News Nosh: May 7, 2018

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday May 7, 2018
 
Quote of the Day #1:
"Although there have always been objections to the work of the Justice Ministry, lately our work of safeguarding the public welfare and advancing human rights is perceived among growing audiences—including the Knesset and the government—as illegitimate."
Deputy Attorney General Avi Licht said the day that the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved the override power legislation, which would allow the Knesset to pass laws already struck down by the High Court of Justice with a simple majority of 61 MKs.*

Quote of the Day #2:
“I am accepting the prize in support of people who resist the system. I didn’t see what would be served by turning it down. As a political statement, it is stronger if I take the prize and give it away.”
-- Scientist and feminist thinker, Prof. Evelyn Fox Keller, one of nine people who received the prestigious Dan David Prize at Tel Aviv University Sunday night, announced she will give the money to Israeli human rights organizations.**

You Must Be Kidding:
At the official dinner hosting the Japanese Prime Minister at the Israeli Prime Minister's Residence, Israeli celebrity Chef Segev Moshe chose to serve the dessert inside shoes, which deeply insulted the Japanese.***

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Israel revealed Iranian retaliation plan - Iran plans to shoot missiles on northern bases
  • 1.5 million pamphlets of the Giro D’Italia were destroyed because of a foreword by (Tourism Minister) Yariv Levine and (Culture Minister) Miri Regev
  • The Japanese were offended: A dessert served to the Japanese PM in a shoe at a meal with Netanyahu
  • BDS against Neta Barzilay (Israel’s Eurovision presenter)
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • The message to Iran: You are exposed
  • The Iran documents prove the depth of the lie // Yaakov Amidror
  • Crisis over the Overriding Clause
  • The camel blessing (to the bicycle riders on the Giro D’Italia race)
  • When the Chiefs of Staff were privates - Special project on five former CoS
  • Wave of anti-Semitism due to the ceremony for 70 years anniversary
  • Tomorrow: Neta Barzilay in the semi-finals of the Eurovision contest

News Summary:
Israel announced it was preparing for being attacked by Iranian missiles from Syria in the coming days, the bill to allow the Knesset to bypass High Court rulings passed the Ministerial Legislative Committee before getting stuck by coalition member, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, and people still wondered whether US President Donald Trump will come for the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Haaretz also revealed that Hamas offered Israel to negotiate for a long-term ceasefire. What didn’t make much news was the latest from the Gaza border, including that Israelis soldiers killed three Palestinians at the border.

The Israeli security establishment assessment is that the Iranians are in an advanced stage of ‘’battle procedure’ and plan to launch rockets from Syria, apparently to IDF military targets in the north, in the next few days. The attack plan is in retaliation for Israel’s deadly missile strike last month in Syria. Maariv’s military correspondent, Tal Lev-Ram, wrote that the Revolutionary Guards were planning to launch the missiles through another entity, probably a Shiite militia. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned that Iran is supplying Syria with advanced weapons 'to attack us both on the battlefield and on the home front,' and that it’s better to confront Tehran sooner rather than later.

*High Court Chief Justice Ester Hayut accused the government of authorizing the Knesset to "enact laws that violate human rights without hindrance,” after a Knesset committee approved giving the Knesset override power over the High Court with a simple majority of 61 MKs. Zionist Union leader Avi Gabbay accused Netanyahu of trying to turn Israeli democracy into a democracy like Turkey and Deputy Attorney General Avi Licht said that the the Justice Ministry’s work of safeguarding the public welfare and advancing human rights was increasingly perceived as “illegitimate" - even in the Knesset and the government. In any case, Kulanu party leader said he would not support the bill and now it is unlikely to get a majority to pass.

Haaretz’s military analyst, Amos Harel, reported that Hamas recently conveyed messages to Israel that it was willing to negotiate a long-term truce, but as far as is known, Israel has not responded clearly to the messages. This report comes days after six Hamas men were killed in a mysterious blast. Yesterday, Hamas said the men were killed “while they were tracking the biggest technological spy system Israel has planted in the Gaza Strip." Now Hamas officials fear their leaders will be targeted and are boosting their security.

At the Gaza-Israel border fence, Israeli soldiers shot dead three Palestinians, whom the army said they were trying to breach the border and planting bombs at the fence. The burning kites have Israeli officials angry. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Hamas should be forced to pay a price for things damaged by the kites and the Israeli Air Force struck Hamas targets in response to the incendiary kites.
 
Quick Hits:
  • Convoy of Israeli Arabs drives to Netanyahu's office to protest violence in Arab society - Among the demonstrators are Israeli Arab leaders such as MK Ayman Odeh, who blamed the police of grave oversight: 'Violence in our society is spreading like a plague.’ (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Israeli forces break arm of Palestinian woman as she attempts to prevent arrest of son - Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the home of Bassam Abu Aisha in Hebron, in order to detain his son Saed. Soldiers assaulted Bassam’s wife when she attempted to prevent them from taking her son. They also allegedly confiscated an undisclosed amount of money from Abu Aisha’s home. (Maan)
  • **Winner of Prestigious Israeli Award to Donate Prize Money to Human Rights Organizations - Feminist and scientist Evelyn Fox Keller, a former professor at MIT, will give her Dan David Prize money to anti-occupation organization B'Tselem, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and Physicians for Human Rights. (Haaretz+)
  • Netanyahu answers critics: Anyone who says there’s nothing new in Iran nuclear archive hasn't seen it - 'To those who say that this proves why you need the deal, I say that a deal that enables Iran to keep and hide all its nuclear weapons know-how, is a horrible deal,' Netanyahu tells foreign press. (Haaretz+)
  • 1.5 million copies of Giro d'Italia brochure trashed due to 'electioneering' - Promotional brochure, produced by Tourism Ministry for bicycle race, contained greetings from tourism, culture ministers that were deemed illicit election propaganda; all copies withdrawn under orders from AG Mandelblit, new version printed without greetings at a cost to taxpayers of NIS 250,000-300,000. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Jerusalem 2018: More ultra-Orthodox, more Arabs - According to a special report by the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, 68% of the city's Jewish students studied in ultra-Orthodox schools. There was a sharp increase in the number of Arab students. The negative migration continues, with almost half of those leaving the city being young people aged 20-34. (Maariv)
  • Israeli Embassy in Cairo to host belated Independence Day celebration - After years of maintaining low profile, embassy to host major event at Ritz Carlton, inviting Egyptian officials, journalists, businessmen, cultural figures; opponents of normalization try unsuccessfully to have event canceled; Egyptian weekly responds by publishing anti-Semitic cartoon: ‘Israel celebrating 70 years since Nakba.’ (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • ***Dessert on the left foot: Japan PM said offended by dessert served in shoe at Netanyahu home - An artistic gesture or an insult? The official meal of the Japanese Prime Minister and his wife at the Prime Minister's Residence, Chef Segev Moshe chose to serve the dessert inside shoes. Japanese diplomat: "There is nothing more contemptible in Japanese culture than a shoe...There is no culture in the world where shoes are put on the table. What was the famous chef thinking? If that was humor, we don't think it was funny." Segev: "It was a unique and creative dessert." (Yedioth, p.1, Times of Israel)
  • Without diplomatic ties, progress made toward Indonesia issuing tourist visas for Israelis - The Israel-Indonesia Chamber of Commerce says efforts are underway to issue tourist visas for Israelis who want to travel there, but no final decision has been made. (Haaretz+)
  • BDS campaign targets Netta Barzilai's Eurovision bid - Being odds-on favorite of winning Eurovision song contest, Israel's entrant Netta Barzilai targeted by BDS campaign; campaign shows Barzilai in uniform, calls to give Israel 'zero points'; 'Gunboat crews whom Barzilai sent off with her songs played a part in Gaza carnage,' campaign accuses; brushing off campaign, Barzilai says she 'feels ready for semifinal, hopes to make all of Europe dance.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • PA is paying terrorists millions of dollars, Defense Ministry reveals - Ahead of Knesset vote on bill to halt Palestinian Authority stipends to terrorists, Defense Minister Lieberman says Israel must end "theater of the absurd." If passed, bill will divert $276 million from PA revenues to fight terrorism, compensate victims. (Israel Hayom)
  • War of Independence casualty's remains found 70 years later - Killed in Egyptian shelling while defending her home of Yad Mordechai, Pvt. Livka Shefer's remains found 70 years after her death by IDF's MIA Accounting Unit; Shefer died trying to extract another wounded soldier, and was considered a fallen soldier whose place of burial is unknown up until now. (Ynet)
  • More Details on Israeli Spy Firm Black Cube's 'Ops Against ex-Obama Officials' Revealed - New Yorker details Black Cube's alleged efforts to send emails to the wives of Obama advisers Ben Rhodes and Colin Kahl via the same shell companies used on behalf of Harvey Weinstein. Black Cube yesterday denied any connection to Trump admin. (Haaretz)
  • Israeli spy firm Black Cube denies Trump aides hired it to discredit ex-Obama officials - The private intelligence company, however, does not deny or confirm that it was hired by Harvey Weinstein in a separate case. (Haaretz+)
  • 'U.S. Embassy' Road Signs Go Up in Jerusalem Ahead of Next Week's Opening - The signs, in English, Hebrew and Arabic, were installed by workmen close to the south Jerusalem location of the embassy when it is officially relocated on May 14 from Tel Aviv. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • New US Embassy building in Jerusalem unveiled - The new US Embassy will be inaugurated in Jerusalem next week, but construction works by American, Israeli firms will continue over next 6 years; move will initially be largely symbolic, as at first only ambassador will move to capital building. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Foreign Ministry Director General: "All signs show that Trump will not arrive for the embassy opening" - The American president hinted that he might come to Jerusalem, but Yuval Rotem did not sound optimistic in a conversation with Ma'ariv. Those who have already promised to come are the his son-in-law Kushner and his daughter Ivanka. (Maariv)
  • Abu Mazen's apology: Did Israel's threats do the job? - The Palestinian Authority chairman's apology for his anti-Semitic speech did not pass quietly in the Arab media. Al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper: The Palestinians fear that the United States and Israel will fire Mahmoud Abbas. (Maariv)
  • Israeli company Frutarom sold for whopping $7b to U.S. flavor and fragrance company - The flavorings, chemicals and aromatics maker went public in Tel Aviv in 1996 at a market value of $13m; today the company is worth $5.6 billion, an increase of over 42,600%. (Haaretz+)
  • Iran and Assad's Man in Lebanon's Election Was Once Jailed for Killing the PM's Father - Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, is expected to remain in power though he lost some seats to rivals including candidates allied to Hezbollah. (Agencies, Haaretz)


Features:
"Well-off, intellectuals and European": This is what the life of the Jewish community in Egypt looked like
A new study, based on hundreds of family photos from the first half of the 20th century, sheds light on the annual vacations in Alexandria, the status symbols and the choice not to photograph Muslims or to photograph celebrations of the holidays. (Ilana Stutland, Maariv)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
Brave Police Catch a Dangerous Criminal, Aged 10, Near Sussia (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) A child knocked down signs to which papers were attached. The soldiers didn’t stop, even when they were forced to tear him out of the arms of his mother.
Prepared for every situation: Haifa residents do not have to flee or move to a shelter (Yona Yahav, Maariv) As mayor, I am the only person in the country who has managed three crises: the Second Lebanon War and the two fires in the Carmel. Even if we do not receive instructions from the government and even if we have to act, we have the means and the ability.
Exposure of Iranian retaliation plan may lead to its postponement (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Even if the Iranians decide to go ahead with their plan and order Syria-based militias to fire a barrage of missiles at a military base in northern Israel, the IDF’s missile interception and air defense systems will have no trouble dealing with the threat. The desire to catch Israel by surprise and inflict damage on a military target will likely prompt Iran to delay the attack.
Destroying Democracy (Haaretz Editorial) This bill would end the era of human rights in Israel and move the country into an era with a question mark over democracy.
At 8 PM on all channels, Israel informed Iran: "You will be responsible" (Tal Lev Ram, Maariv) The purpose of the defense establishment's announcement was to signal to the Iranians that the details are known to Israel and the sole address, if the missile plan is carried out, is only Tehran.
Why Does Europe Still Have Faith in Iran, a Serial Nuclear Cheat and Liar? (Emily B. Landau, Haaretz+) The U.S. plan for the day after leaving the nuclear deal isn't clear. But Trump understands what Europeans don't: The Iranian regime only responds to serious, sustained pressure.
Palestinians Are Today’s Jews (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) 'In the chain of human pain, I’m a link on the side of the oppressed, I’m the legitimate son of Jews who were oppressed in Europe and of all the sufferers of this world.’
Catch-22: Trump and Netanyahu's Objective Achievements Are a Triumph for Lies and Falsehoods (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Rational Americans and Israelis will pray for success in Iran or North Korea even though it will entrench their leaders' dishonesty.
Not just Trump: the dark people behind Mike Pompeo (Ran Adelist, Maariv) The new US secretary of state is now visiting the Middle East, and Netanyahu will call him a "true friend." But for him and for his patrons, the Kook brother,s, Israel is just another deal. In the eyes of Netanyahu, Pompeo is a "true friend," but friends, of course, do not even have a privatized kibbutz, let alone on Uncle Donald's farm. Today, when Jared Kushner is a political corpse, Pompeo is forming a Middle Eastern business on his current Middle Eastern journey, assuming that Trump himself has no idea how to mix this burning pistol. A year ago, in May of 2017, Trump made a Disneyland-style tour with a sword dance and a weapons deal in the billions and returned from Riyadh with another "wonderful friend," the heir to the throne, and in fact Saudi dictator Muhammad bin Salman. This friend emerges more and more as a young corrupt megalomaniac and as politically primitive as Trump. He is now attacking his neighbor Qatar for the freedom of action that al-Jazeera has, and threatens to dig a canal that will isolate Qatar from the continent and to set up a nuclear waste dump on its border. He does not like the Palestinians, but nothing will move in relations with Saudi Arabia without an arrangement in which East Jerusalem is Arab Jerusalem. For bin Salman, Israel is a business deal. In return for agreeing to be a mercenary against Iran, he makes up some stammering statements that allow Netanyahu and Co. to boast of conspiring with the Arab world. Details in the next show, this time there will be fireworks.
The Overriding Clause: We are at the height of an attack of lies on the judicial system (Former High Court justice, Eliyahu Matza, Maariv) I retired years ago from the jurisdiction and I do not tend to give advice to serving judges, but here we are talking about a real danger to democracy. I do not know how the High Court justices will act if and when the law is passed, and I can say that if this decision reached my doorstep, I would disqualify the law.
The Disintegrating Left (Tzvia Greenfield, Haaretz+)’A real opposition must avoid three major destructive processes,' all of which are currently being practiced by the 'left-wing opposition'
The fear of an attack in the north: On this issue too, the Russians can restrain the Iranians (Tal Lev-Ram, Maariv) The meetings and relations between Netanyahu and Putin are very important, mainly in order to preserve the maneuvering space and freedom of action in Syria. Until now, the Russians understand Israel's needs well.
Don’t Uproot Israelis, Whether Arab or Jew (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) Incentives and negotiations are the only permissible means for moving a population from one place to another, whether Bedouin in the Negev today, Jews in the Gaza Strip in 2005, or anyone else.
In the era of social networking: Netanyahu manages to preserve his power through lies (Dr. Revital Amiran, Maariv) Netanyahu is not the first leader to lie. In fact, if we go over the biographies of the leaders of the country and the world, it it is doubtful whether one or another who has never sinned. But it seems that he has turned the lie into his overt policy.
The Mutual Right of Return (Ephraim Sneh, Haaretz+) 'Anyone wishing to advance an agreement in the Land of Israel must create a narrative of conciliation, built not on ignorance but on an understanding of the sensitivities of the other side.’
How American Jews Lost Their Religion, and Found Their Identity (Stephen B. Shepard, Haaretz+) I didn't need the Pew survey to tell me just 15% of U.S. Jews think being Jewish is about religion. Philip Roth had already helped me lose my faith.
Lebanon vote likely to lead to another unity government (Daniel Salame, Yedioth/Ynet) As Lebanese citizens head to the polls for first general election in nine years, Prime Minister Saad Hariri promotes ‘selfie app’ to appeal to young voters while Hezbollah leader Nasrallah vows to defend the Lebanese people and develop the country. Neither side, however, is likely to gain a majority that will allow it to govern alone.
Pakistan and Israel: Separated at Birth? (Paul Gasnier, Haaretz+) Young Israelis and Pakistanis, in Tel Aviv and Lahore, express the same sense of encirclement in countries still in survival mode amid fears of communal slaughter - and the same sinking feeling about their countries' future.
The elections in Lebanon: another card in the hands of Iran in its confrontation with Israel (Dr. Jacques Neria, Maariv) Lebanon is currently at a different crossroads. If in the past decisions regarding Lebanon were made in Damascus, today, with the collapse of the Syrian regime, Iran's prestige has risen, and this dictates the political agenda.
In Bennett's battle to destroy the Supreme Court, Kahlon won't play his assigned role (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) When Kahlon announced that he would force his party members to vote against the bill attacking the Supreme Court, he found himself - once again -the gatekeeper for democracy.
Israel Culture Minister's bid to increase cinema budget raises disturbing questions (Nirit Anderman, Haaretz+) A new government-funded movie-making plan could contribute to the oppression of Palestinians in the West Bank.
 
Interviews:
"The fall of Jordan to the hands of Iran is a worse than a war scenario with Tehran"
For years, Prof. Shaul Mishal refused to see Hamas as an enemy and claimed there would be no more combat round. He believes that with the help of Habayit Hayehudi party, it is possible to reach understandings with the organization. (Interviewed by Eyal Levy in Maariv)

WATCH 'It Was Never Obama's Iran Nuclear Deal or War. That's Not Trump's Choice Either'
Dr. Emily Landau, one of the foremost experts on nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, claims that Iran's threats to pull out of the deal if Trump tries to renegotiate it are exaggerated - the deal has been great for Iran. (Interviewed by Esther Solomon in Haaretz with VIDEO.)
 
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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