News Nosh: April 25, 2018

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday April 25, 2018
 
Numbers of the day:
1.6 million.
--Number of dollars the family of Mohammed Abu Khdeir has filed in civil damages suit against the convicted murderers of their son who abducted and then burned him alive in a forest till he died.*

960,000.
--Number of dollars the Jewish National Fund spent on PR to make the Israeli public aware of the Zionist institution's current activities.**

Front Page:
Haaretz
  • State admits it is not possible to deport asylum seekers; Netanyahu: We will open Holot (detention facility)
  • Iran: If the US withdraws from the nuclear deal, we will also withdraw from it
  • The door has not been slammed shut // Chemi Shalev
  • Former police commander Niso Shacham was convicted of an indecent act against a police woman - and acquitted in seven other affairs
  • Shaham file: Overexertion to insert consensual sexual relations into the criminal field // Revital Hovel
  • Artificial island across from Tel-Aviv area: Future of Israel’s sea
  • US prefers sexual education that encourages abstention from relations // NYT
  • The secular convent // Zvi Barel
  • Let’s see you go there // Noa Osterreicher
  • Nahad Bashir is sick of being a terrorist. So he created the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation’s first TV series in Arabic
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • The public will judge // Chen Artzi-Sror
  • He got off light - Resounding acquittal and conviction of indecent act: This is how the case of (former police commander) Niso Shacham collapsed
  • The rumors were too soon - (Singer) Tzvika Pik is alive and hospitalized in Vienna
  • Fast trigger on the keyboard // Raz Sukenik
  • The doctor is Arab? The grant is cancelled
  • Weather went crazy: Rain and winds as of this morning
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • South Tel-Aviv residents: The state betrayed us - Following the collapse of the plan with the UN and the lack of a third country to deport to, the state announced it would stop issuing deportation orders (to asylum seekers)
  • The left-wing minority rules // May Golan
  • It’s all political // Ron Kaufman
  • The lie was exposed // Shula Keshet
  • A healthy dispute // Nadav Haetzni
  • Tragedy in the north - Neria, 2, was forgotten in locked car for five hours and died
  • French President: Work on a new agreement with Iran
  • “The mountain gave birth to a mouse” - That’s how former police commander Niso Shacham reacted after being acquitted of seven indictments…but was convicted of an indecent act against a policewoman
  • in contradiction to the rumors: “Tzvika Pik’s situation is improving, he will return to Israel soon”
Israel Hayom
  • The infiltrators - No deportation orders: Saharonim Prison and Holot Detention Facility will reopen
  • “If it threatens - Iran will pay the price that few countries have paid”
  • Daily: 2 injured on electric bicycles
  • 5 hours in a car, alone - Child died
  • “Pressure in Gaza to make a deal”
  • Niso Shacham acquitted of majority of accusations, convicted of indecent act; “The mountain gave birth to a mouse”
  • Israelis collected money - “Mama Kate” will come to Israel
  • Tvika Pik’s friends: “We hope he will return soon”

News Summary:
A court shocked many by clearing of almost all charges a former police commander who slept with seven women who served under him, and the Israeli government shocked many when it announced it could not, and therefore would not, forcefully expel any asylum seekers from Israel, (and will just put them in jail) while the US and Israel both threatened Iran it ‘would pay,’ not shocking many, making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel may strike the Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft defense systems in Syria if they are used against Israel and US President Donald Trump said “Iran will pay if it restarts its nuclear program.” This came after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and French President Emmanuel Macros both said there would be no “plan B” should U.S. President Donald Trump exit the accord.
 
Quick Hits:
  • *Family of Palestinian teen kidnapped and burned to death sues Jewish killers - Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s family seeks tougher punishment for his three Jewish murderers, say lawyers. (Haaretz, Maariv and Ynet)
  • Hamas officials demand debate on prisoner swap rejected by leader - As well as prisoner exchange of unknown size, Egyptian offer reportedly rejected by leader Ismail Haniyeh included opening of the Gaza-Rafah crossing with Egypt, easing of decadelong blockade. Egypt says it remains committed to negotiation efforts. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel Building Neighborhood for Security Forces on East Jerusalem Land Expropriated From Palestinians - Dozens of olive trees uprooted at project site on land expropriated in the 1970s from residents of Arab neighborhood of Sur Baher. (Haaretz+)
  • Breaking political taboo, Jewish settlers side with Bedouin in their fight against demolition - Founders of Kfar Adumim declared decades ago that the nearby Khan al-Ahmar Bedouin encampment must be demolished, but now 15 settlers are seeking to join the legal struggle on behalf of their impoverished neighbors. (Haaretz+)
  • Pro-Israel groups break with Israeli government, refrain from attacking Natalie Portman - One U.S. organization criticized Portman, but the rest seemed to stay silent, even though a quick glance at Facebook’s archives shows that all of them have praised her in the past. (Haaretz+)
  • The Labor Party conference confirmed its commitment to the two-state solution - Members of the party approved the announcement by Chairman Avi Gabbay, who said: "We are committed to a Jewish and democratic state while maintaining a Jewish majority." He also declared: "We will come to a demonstration in support of the High Court of Justice in Tel Aviv on Saturday night.” (Maariv)
  • Egypt allows body of Hamas scientist killed in Malaysia back to Gaza - Family of fallen soldier Hadar Goldin, whose remains held by Hamas, calls decision "resounding failure" for Israel • Malaysian police release photo of a suspect in the murder of Fadi al-Batsh, say foreign agents believed behind "very professional" hit. (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • Continuing kite threat puts Israeli farmers on edge - As another incendiary kite sets fire to 100 dunam wheat field in Sha'ar HaNegev, farmers residing in Israeli communities on the Gaza perimeter fear 'gimmick that has become a genuine threat'; meanwhile, as March of Return protests seem to be dying down, IDF fears desperation move by Hamas to reinvigorate them. (Ynet)
  • Supreme Court chief justice agrees to meet with PM on override power bill - Hayut makes meeting conditional upon postponement of Knesset committee meeting called to advance controversial bill that, in its current form, would enable government to bypass HCJ rulings by a simple MK majority of 61; AG warns bill would strip HCJ of powers. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • **Jewish National Fund spent nearly $1 million on image-building advertising campaign - Publicity push apparently launched because of a sense that the Israeli public is unaware of the Zionist institution's current activities. (Haaretz)
  • IDF soldier lightly wounded during demolition of terrorist's home - 19-year-old Border Policewoman evacuated to hospital after being shot in the leg during riots that broke out between IDF soldiers and Palestinians in Jenin as combat engineers demolished home of Ahmed Konba, a member of the terror cell that killed Rabbi Raziel Shevah in January. (Ynet)
  • Soldier accidentally sends emergency recruiting order on Independence Day - A soldier accidentally activated the emergency recruit system on Independence Day morning, sending 5,000 soldiers a message to present themselves immediately at gathering points; message declared an error soon afterwards. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israeli forces destroy tent structure in Susiya - Israeli forces demolished and confiscated a tent structure belonging to Khader al-Nawajaa, in the Palestinian village of Susiya, located in the South Hebron Hills. (Maan)
  • Israeli minister pledges to clamp down on crime within Bedouin communities - In a visit to south, Gilad Erdan promised to increase law enforcement in Arab communities after footage of Bedouin shooting during celebrations goes viral. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli forces detain Dean of Student Affairs of Bethlehem University - Dean of Student Affairs at Bethlehem University, Mahmoud Hammad, was detained. Also detained was Muhammad Samer Sirhan, 14, from occupied East Jerusalem. (Maan)
  • The moment McMaster 'crossed his own lines': Covering for Trump in Israeli intel leak affair - New Yorker feature details McMaster's brief term as national security adviser and reactions when he defended the U.S. president for passing Israeli intelligence to the Russians in May 2017. (Haaretz+)
  • German Jewish leader advises against wearing kippot in public - Wearing traditional skullcap is right in principle, but individuals should not be "showing themselves openly with a kippah in a big-city setting in Germany," says head of Germany's Central Council of Jews after assault on two kippah-wearing men in Berlin. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel's chief rabbi orders German Jews to keep skullcaps - Despite potential danger of falling victim to hate crime, Chief Rabbi Lau says kippah is 'Jewish symbol,' orders Jews to 'keep wearing it proudly'; 'Hiding Jewish identity not the solution,' agrees Berlin's rabbi; MFA official: 'Sad testament to Jewish communities' grim lot in Europe.' (Ynet)
  • Palestine files complaint to UN over Israel's breach of anti-racism treaty - Palestinian diplomats have filed an official complaint against Israel, alleging breaches of Israel’s obligations of the United Nations’ anti-racism treaty. (Maan)
  • Hezbollah operative killed in mysterious blast in Lebanon - Terrorist group confirms Bilal Hassan Abdo was a member, but unlike in past cases does not blame Israel. Local authorities say faulty gas balloon likely the cause, but are also investigating possibility of assassination or accident while assembling bomb. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Anger in the Palestinian street: "Syria murders Palestinians, why is Hamas silent?" - The Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus is again under attack by the regime, which claims to be trying to oust ISIS. The fighting took the lives of 20 people in a place that has become a symbol of atrocities. (Maariv)
  • US Embassy opening in Jerusalem to include rare mezuzah ceremony - Extraordinary gesture comes at behest of U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Channel 20 reports • Works to prepare U.S. consulate site for embassy move, including paving of roads, construction of wall around site's perimeter, are currently underway. (Israel Hayom)
  • Nuclear watchdog sees hope of Iran joining nuclear test ban - Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization: Iran could ratify total ban on nuclear explosions if U.S. rescinds threats to withdraw from 2015 nuclear agreement. U.S. nuclear nonproliferation envoy skeptical of prospects Iran will ratify treaty. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Algeria sentences 'spies for Israel' to death, prison - Interior minister for North African country announces capture of 'international spy ring' comprised of 7 Africans, proving Mossad attempts to undermine state security; head of group sentences to death, remaining defendants to prison terms. (Ynet)


Features:
Veteran recounts bloody Battle of Ammunition Hill
After losing 36 of his comrades in a single battle, Yossi Sidkoni says he had difficulties revisiting the battleground for months; now, he accompanies his granddaughter in the trenches of Ammunition Hill, recounting the fight that almost cost him his life. (Hadar Gil-Ad, Yedioth/Ynet)
Riding through the hills, from Refaim to Sorek streams: The new bike tunnel of Jerusalem
The 2.1-kilometer tunnel, built in the '90s, links Ein Lavan and the Ein Kerem junction - and has a sewage pipe running through it, too. (Haaretz+)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
From Natalie Portman to Iran, the Telltale Signs That Israel May Have a Loose Screw (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Hannah Arendt noted that insanity is a prerequisite to imposing totalitarian rule.
Natalie Portman is just a symptom of US Jewry’s changing attitude towards Israel (Attila Somfalvi, Ynet) It would be very dangerous to see Jewish actress’s defiant move as a passing episode or meaningless provocation. She is a symbol of dramatic changes taking place within the family, a sign of US Jews’ profound disapproval of what they see as a very problematic direction the Jewish state is headed in.
The real danger of Natalie Portman (Dahlia Scheindlin, +972mag) Israeli leaders are relentlessly hammering home the idea that the kind of political dissent displayed by Natalie Portman is foreign. And dissenters, by definition, are not real Israelis.
The BDS win at Barnard is moral posturing gone insane - they should learn from Portman (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) Morality isn't adopting BDS' absurd agenda and yelling at Barnard College to divest shares in 8 'complicit' companies, it's taking personal action like Natalie Portman did.
Blaming a child for the sniper's bullet that killed him (Orly Noy, +972mag) Education Minister Naftali Bennett claims 15-year-old Mohammed Ayoub wouldn’t have been shot dead by an Israeli sniper if he had been at school. Bennett’s comments reflect a reality in which Israeli soldiers kill with impunity.
Good news: At last the coalition is dealing with one of the most serious problems in Israel (Nadav Haetzni, Maariv) The constitutional revolution of Justice Aharon Barak developed decisively under Likud. The voters of Habayit Hayehudi party demand the expropriation of power from the coalition of High Court justices. It is time for them to compete among themselves about how to do the right thing.
How to Destroy the High Court (Haaretz Editorial) The price Israel will pay for Netanyahu’s weakness will involve the demolition of the protective constitutional wall afforded by the High Court.
Without the High Court overriding clause, thousands of infiltrators will understand that a leftist minority is ruling here (May Golan, Maariv) Fifth column activists have already thwarted the plan to deport the infiltrators to third countries, but we did not expect the state to admit publicly that it cannot act. Only the clause to override the High Court’s revoking of a Knesset law will protect us.
Israel Will Not Survive Netanyahu. And That's a Good Thing (Bradley Burston, Haaretz+) In all of his proud intransigence, Netanyahu may be creating the very conditions for a radical new Holy Land, a future Israeli-Palestinian confederation.
The Israeli government sought to expel the asylum seekers, but justice won (Mossi Raz, Maariv) For years south Tel Aviv was the backyard of the city, it was easy to send the weakened immigrants there. Now is the time to improve the conditions of the area, while ending the incitement and dispersing the refugees across the country.
For a model of Jewish-Arab coexistence, look no further than a Primark fitting room (Nissan Shor, Haaretz+) Primark in Berlin might feel like hell on Earth – but it's where Jews and Arabs put their difference aside in pursuit of cheap stuff.
Under the Hater’s Violent Gaze: A Portrait of Racism and anti-Semitism (Eva Illouz, Haaretz+) However repulsive the racist may be, he has a logic which we must understand, because such a logic can ultimately wreak havoc.
Why the PA can't — and won't — stop paying prisoners' families (Yoni Mendel, +972mag) Israel’s demand that the PA stop paying the families of Palestinian prisoners is part of an intentional strategy to block any progress towards resolving the conflict. The problem is that it’s working.
There are cases in which the use of the term "Holocaust" is appropriate, Jewish assimilation is such a case (Avraham Tirosh, Maariv) The Holocaust and assimilation are not equal in nature, but they are equal in the result. And as far as the future of the people is concerned, and only in this respect, there is no difference in how many millions of our people went to perdition.
Everyone’s talking about Russia’s S-300. Why now, and why should Israel be worried? (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) The air defense system will not be a game changer for the Israeli air force, but what it says about Putin favoring Tehran over Jerusalem is of greater concern.
Betweeen Teheran and Pyongyang - Who will give Trump a ladder (Alon Pinkas, Yedioth) In N. Korean, which in contrast to Iran, has nuclear weapons, they are certainly watching Trump’s conduct regarding Iran with curiosity, and wondering whether the US is trustworthy about the agreements it signs.
Sixty-seven Things Gideon Levy Loves About Israel (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Yom Kippur, Israeli wine, and Gaza. Haaretz's Gideon Levy was sent out on a mission to find 70 things he loves about Israel and came up with 67 – and that wasn’t easy, either.
What will be? Who cares - without bloodshed, it won’t happen (Aviad Kleinberg, Yedioth) We don’t know what exactly will be - the future is in a fog - but blood will be shed. How much? That’s still unclear. If we are lucky, little will be shed. If we aren’t lucky, a lot. Not all bloodshed is avoidable, and not all of it is our responsibility, but it is perceived in the public discourse as a power of nature that nothing can be said about. What can you say about the rain of the spring? It comes down and that’s it.
Israel’s Make-believe Independence (Nehemia Shtrasler, Haaretz+) Its citizens are in constant fear of the next war. The country is totally dependent on its main ally. Is Israel genuinely independent?
Understanding the Hamas split (Daniel Siryoti, Israel Hayom) Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh sparked a bitter split when he opted to follow Tehran's recommendations over the feelings of Hamas' own Gaza leader.
Israel’s 007 Fixation (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) The frightening message is that the world is a legitimate scene for mutual hits – Palestinian, Israeli – and each will cut down others according to its intelligence and operational capabilities.

 
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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