News Nosh: May 10, 2018

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday May 10, 2018
 
Quote of the day:
"Whoever deludes himself now into thinking that starving the Iranian people will cause the Ayatollahs to give up the bomb did not learn a thing from the lesson of N. Korea."
—Former MK Haim Ramon writes that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s gamble might boomerang.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
“The President isn’t a man, he isn’t a human.”
--Associates of Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev said after President Reuven Rivlin refused to let her sing the national anthem on the field ahead of the Israeli soccer final cup game.*

Front Page:
Haaretz
  • Attack target: Iranian missiles that were aimed at Israel
  • Revenge on hold // Amos Harel
  • Trump: “If Iran doesn’t return to negotiations, something will happen”
  • First wave of sanctions: August
  • Trump’s problem is not the nukes, but the regime // NYT
  • Not only Iran will pay the economic price
  • (Interior Minister) Deri confirms: Discussions with the UN about asylum seekers, were renewed, Holot detention facility will remain closed
  • Health Ministry closing psychiatric institution due to defects, and paying it 1.5 million shekels
  • The police officer who shot dead a resident of Rahat and lied about it was reprimanded
  • How did two young people from Ashdod get involved in the affair of Trump’s silence money
  • The Arab communities are filled with historical sites. So why don’t they get recognized and preserved (by the state)?
  • 1/4 page ad: It is impossible to hide the occupation - Israeli gov’ts decision to expel the Human Rights Watch researcher…puts Israel in a list of MIFUKFAKOT states…Instead of hiding the occupation from the world - it needs to be ended  (Joint ad by B’Tselem, Gisha, ACRI, Machsom Watch, Adalah, Breaking the Silence, Doctors for Human Rights, Rabbis for Human Rights, and many others)
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Preventive strikes - After midnight - Another Israeli attack in Syria, warning sirens in Golan Heights
  • Dangerous euphoria // Einav Shiff
  • “What’s the point of living if you only suffer” - Giora Eiland tells about his dealing with pains after the removal of a cancerous tumor
  • Subsidized English-language summer school for children in poorer districts
  • Haifa soccer celebration
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • The frustration and the danger - In Israel, they assess,: even after the preventative strike in Syria attributed to the IDF - the danger of Iranian revenge in the north rises due to the frustration following the cancelling of the nuclear deal (Photos: Burning US and Israeli flags in Teheran, Putin, Netanyahu and the ‘hope in Moscow, IDF Chief of Staff visits the north)
  • The price of success // Tal Lev-Ram
  • Open account // Yossi Melman
  • The big illusion // Ron Kaufman
  • The death blow // Yehuda Sharoni
  • The trophy is red - Haifa won the soccer championships
Israel Hayom
  • After midnight: Sirens, missile interceptions, and falls in the Golan; IDF Spokesman: Iranian Quds Force launched 20 rockets at Israel
  • Stability - no longer the holy of holies // Gershon Hacohen
  • Despite the tension - the Golan is developing fast
  • Give Iran the red card // Prof. Eyal Zisser
  • A call to commentators: Stop mocking // Haim Shine
  • The Iranian people support Trump // Menashe Amir
  • Iranian terror - at the expense of the economy // Eran Bar-Tal
  • Expose - This is how the oral English exam will look (with a computer)
  • The trophy travels to Haifa
  • A moment before the (Eurovision) finals, Netta Barzilay is moved: “I’m proud of the state of Israel”
  • A gesture ahead of the summit: US Secretary of State Pompeo brought back three captives from N. Korea
  • Want a visa to New Zealand? Fly there to pick kiwi
  • Rabbinical court ruled: Shaming of a divorce-refuser is permitted

News Summary:
At press time for most of the Hebrew newspapers, Israel had not yet shelled in Quneitra in order to prevent any Syrian or Iranian forces from deploying on the Golan Heights border (Yedioth did manage to report that and also Haaretz here) and 20 missiles were not yet fired in response from Syria at Israeli forces in the Golan, which Israel intercepted and then responded by bombing some 50 military targets all over Syria, in "one of the air force's largest operations in recent decades.” Today Israel said it attacked five Syrian antiaircraft batteries and reportedly destroyed all of them after coming under heavy fire.

When most of the newspapers went to print, they were explaining that late Tuesday night, Israel had attacked a small convoy in Kisweh, carrying missiles which ‘sources’ said were meant to be immediately launched on Israel. That ‘preventive strike’ was the main story along with the meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin in which Netanyahu hoped to get Putin’s okay for freedom of action against Iran in Syria, and the victory of Hapoel Haifa over Beitar Jerusalem soccer team for the state cup.

Meanwhile, in the fallout over the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, France said the deal is ‘not dead’ and that talks were slated with Tehran. US President Donald Trump warned Iran against resuming its nuclear program while in Iran, hardline Iranian MPs burned the US flag and Iranian banks were in turmoil. Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said, "If the Iranian regime collapses, Iran will be our biggest ally in the region.” (Maariv)
 
Quick Hits:
  • Israel expels pro-BDS Human Rights Watch official - Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine director for Human Rights Watch, is ordered to leave country in 14 days for supporting boycotts against Israel. Shakir: Israel aims to muzzle dissent. HRW: Israel tries to suppress criticism of its human rights record. (Israel Hayom and Ynet)
  • Settler gets 15 years in prison for killing Palestinian, 13 years later - Yehoshua Elitzur, Jewish convert from Germany, was convicted in 2005 of killing Sael Jabara al-Shatiya, but fled the country before the sentencing; after being caught in Brazil and extradited to Israel, court finally sentences him. (Ynet, Times of Israel and Maariv)
  • Likud gains political strength as US pulls out of Iran deal, poll finds - Channel 2 poll: Current Likud-led coalition would number 66 Knesset seats if elections were held today • Strong showing reflects public confidence in PM following U.S. nuclear deal announcement, decisiveness against Iran taking up positions in Syria. (Maariv and Israel Hayom)
  • International efforts being made to prevent Gaza escalation ahead of US embassy move - International negotiators are trying to mediate between Hamas, Israel in order to prevent an escalation on Gaza border fence as 'March of Return' campaign climaxes with opening ceremony for US embassy in Jerusalem. (Ynet)
  • Hamas leader: Next week's protests will be 'decisive' - Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, vows that he and other top officials were "ready to die along with tens of thousands" in violent border fence protests • Sinwar says Hamas rejected international proposals to stop weekly border riots, despite violence. (Israel Hayom)
  • Palestinian government condemns early release of Elor Azaria - In March 2016, Azaria was caught on video footage killing an incapacitated 21-year-old Abd al-Fattah al-Sharif, who was lying on the ground. Azaria was found guilty of manslaughter, and sentenced to 18 months in prison, but received a four-month reduction of his sentence from Israeli army chief of staff, Gadi Eisenkot. (Maan)
  • "It's a double celebration”: (‘Shooting soldier’) Elor Azaria celebrates his brother's wedding - The Azaria family celebrates twice: the wedding of their son Adir and the release of Elor, after serving half of the sentence imposed on him. Among the hundreds of guests were activists who fought for his release. (Maariv)
  • Palestinian brothers and mother detained by Israeli forces in predawn raids - Israeli forces detained at least 15 Palestinians during predawn search and detention raids on Wednesday. Meanwhile in Qalqiliya city, brothers Mahmoud and Qassi Nael Mwafi and their mother were detained by Israeli forces. (Maan)
  • Israeli naval forces open fire on Gaza fishermen - No injuries were reported. The fishermen said they were forced to head back to shore afterwards “in fear for their lives.” (Maan)
  • Israeli bulldozers raze lands in southern Gaza - Witnesses told Ma’an that four Israeli military bulldozers entered dozens of meters into the town of Khuzaa and razed and leveled lands across from the “Camps of Return,” set up by Palestinian protesters along the border. (Maan)
  • Abbas reiterates commitment to two-state solution in meeting with Chilean president - Speaking alongside Chilean President in Chile, Abbas said his government would only consider future peace negotiations based on existing international resolutions. (Maan)
  • **Incident at the soccer cup finals: (Culture and Sports Minister) Regev wanted to go on the field and sing the national anthem, President Rivlin rejected that - Before the opening of the important game at Teddy Stadium, the sports minister demanded to shake the players hands and sing the national anthem on the field, but President Rivlin did not agree and threatened to go home if she did. Sources close to Regev: “The President isn’t a man, he isn’t a human.” (Maariv)
  • State Comptroller: communities near conflict zones lack resources - Communities near Gaza and beyond the Green Line, classified as 'near conflict zones' for funds allotment, have yet to receive allotted funds aimed at keeping them safe and secure, State Comptroller says. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Government allocates $16M for digs near Old City of Jerusalem - Work to focus on area between the City of David and Mount Zion, including the fortifications at the Gihon Spring. Excavation of Western Wall tunnels to be completed. Culture Minister Miri Regev: Excavations will reveal the history of the Jewish people. (Israel Hayom)
  • Border Policewoman lightly hurt from stone-throwing near Abu Dis - Rioting breaks out near Border Police base in Etzion Territorial Brigade after a pipe bomb was thrown at the base; two Palestinians suspected of throwing the stones that hit the policewoman arrested. (Ynet)
  • Another cancellation: Paul McCartney announced that he would not come to Israel to receive the Wolf Prize - The legendary British musician who was a member of the Beatles was due to arrive in Israel and receive the prestigious 2018 prize, but announced: "I can not come because of timetables.” (Maariv and JPost)
  • Israeli Embassy in Egypt marks first Independence Day in years - Since attack on embassy in 2011, Israeli events in Cairo have been low-profile. Ambassador David Govrin praises Egyptian authorities for ensuring celebration could take place. Arab countries no longer see Israel as an enemy but as a partner, he says. (Israel Hayom and Ynet)
  • Israeli American Council marks Israel's 70th anniversary - Some 18,000 people flock to Independence Day gala in Los Angeles, the largest such celebration to be held outside Israel. CEO Shoham Nicolet: Israel is a miracle. We should celebrate it every day, not just once a year. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel, Cyprus, Greece push East Med gas pipeline to Europe - PM Netanyahu meets with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades in Nicosia. Leaders discuss pipeline project to connect Israel to Europe's power grid, Iranian threat. Netanyahu: We are building a great alliance. (Israel Hayom)
  • Jordan urges political solution to rid Mideast of nuclear arms - Visiting Germany, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi warns of "dangerous repercussions" if the entire Middle East is not free of weapons of mass destruction • "We all need to work together in making sure we solve the conflicts of the region," he says. (Israel Hayom)


Features:
Inside the ‘BDS Dossier’ That Led to the Deportation of an American Human Rights Activist From Israel
A ministry’s report on the director of Human Rights Watch in Israel offers a rare glimpse into how far into a person’s past the government is prepared to go as it investigates activists it deems a threat to the state. (Dina Kraft, Haaretz+)
“I was marked”
10 months after ‘The prisoners of the occupation,’ a play she wrote based on testimonies of Palestinian security prisoners was rejected from being performed at the Acco Festival, Einat Weitzman went on a crowdsourcing campaign and declares: “If I don’t find a theater that will agree to run the show, I will rent a private hall and even present it under the skies. (Ruti Kadosh, Maariv Magazine supplement, p. 13, May 8)
Did Trump's Israel Envoy Support a Radical-right Kahanist Group?
David Friedman headed a foundation that was quite generous to a movement whose leaders are anti-gay and support the expulsion of Palestinians from the West Bank. (Hilo Glazer, Haaretz+)
Exodus from Egypt
How did the bourgeousie Jewish community life appear in the middle of the 20th century? New research, based on hundreds of family photos from that period, puts light on the annual holidays in Alexandria, on the status symbols and on the decision not to photograph Muslims or to film holidays.  (Ilana Stutlander, Maariv Magazine supplement, p. 6-7, May 6)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
There Is No Opposition in Israel (Haaretz Editorial) The risk of ideological decay threatens Israel more than posing difficult questions or alternative idea at tense times.
Dangerous euphoria (Einav Shiff, Yedioth) The feeling that Israel has in the last week has a specific name: euphoria. As long as the danger of war gets closer and becomes more real, so the feeling that nothing really bad will happen spreads all around. Because of that, we must be sure to remember that one of the incarnations of euphoria is smugness and complacency. The frequent warnings about the home front not being prepared are neutralized by the blowing statements of the senior politicians. The political discourse stopped giving the citizens tranquilizers and moved to giving it stimulants. The habits of denial - the greatest Israeli start-up of them all - is charging a fee in what is called ‘life itself’…And no, it’s not a tiring story about yes, Bibi or no Bibi. Because the other two prominent people in the opposition, Yair Lapid and Avi Gabbay, are not different from him in thos issues. They both like to brag that they are hawkish on security issues more than him, from the understanding that most of the Israelis - also those that don’t necessarily connect to the style - see the prime minister as an experienced diplomat and security man….There is no alternative to the dramatic  moves that are taking place around us. We are marching to where they tell us, and hoping it’ll be okay or not terrible. It’s possible it will be that way. It’s possible it won’t. Are you willing to participate in the experiment?
Israel and the U.S. Are Triggering a Risky, Unnecessary War of Choice in the Middle East (Daniel Levy, Haaretz+) But neither Israel's prime minister, nor other regional U.S. allies, have any assurances America will stick around to manage the dangerous fallout from the Iran deal's implosion.
A new regional order (Prof. Abraham Ben-Zvi, Israel Hayom) The U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear accord could deepen the rift between Washington and its traditional allies in Europe, who tried to convince it to remain in the deal. It also has significance for other players, from Israel to North Korea.
Dumping Iran Deal May Well Spur Regime Change. But It Could Be Trump's Regime. Or Bibi's (Bradley Burston, Haaretz+) It may be time for both men to consider why 'be careful what you wish for' is such a useful cliche.
The Iranians acted hastily, both sides will try to contain the events (Yossi Melman, Maariv) It is clear that the Netanyahu and Putin talks held in Moscow contribute to Israeli restraint. Sources in the country understand that it is forbidden to harm the Assad regime, whose existence the Kremlin sees as a supreme interest.
A preemptive strike in Syria (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) Even if Iran had no intention of launching missiles at Israel on Tuesday, the alleged Israeli strike came along and conveyed the following message to the Iranians: You raised the likelihood of an attack on Israel, so we’re raising the threat level, despite the tensions.
The Iranians entered a frontal confrontation with Israel in a clear position of inferiority (Tal Lev Ram, Maariv) At the end of the night of fighting and the exchange of blows, it seems that this is a chapter in a confrontation that escalates and has not really ended. Iran will now look for the IDF’s weak spots in the area of the fence.
*Bibi’s nuclear gamble - the return of the bomb? (Haim Ramon, Yedioth) Netanyahu boasts that his campaign brought about the sanctions against Iran. Indeed, the sanctions harmed Iran’s economy. But they didn’t slow the race to an Iranian nuke, rather they turned them into being more determined. Whoever deludes himself now into thinking that starving the Iranian people will cause the Ayatollahs to give up the bomb did not learn a thing from the lesson of N. Korea. 
Netanyahu defeated the pundits (Amnon Lord, Israel Hayom) The prime minister has closed the door on Israel's traditionally slow, cautious policy on Iran. Israel has enough clout in the international arena to make its positions clear.
It isn't too late to stop the Gaza insanity (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) Seeing next week’s escalation in the strip as inevitable, Israel and Hamas are busy calculating the expected death toll from the border riots. An Israeli willingness to give a dialogue a chance may be the only way to stop what will likely turn into the next war in the Strip.
Of Rabbits and Arabs (Kobi Niv, Haaretz+) People are dying like flies in Gaza, like plastic ducks at an amusement park shooting gallery- while MK Jelin complains about dead rabbits.
The attempt to get it all left Iran empty-handed (Dr. Ronen A. Cohen, Maariv) Even today, Tehran is moving in a number of channels, trying to achieve quick achievements and to establish facts on the ground. If it had been smart enough, it would have given up some of her pretensions.
The president who stopped playing by the old rules (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) Trump is the exact opposite of Obama: The former president questioned America’s greatness, its righteousness, its pretension to serve as an example to others. Trump questions nothing. His gut feeling about America’s status may be a more efficient foreign policy tool than Obama’s scholarly doubts.
To Be a Palestinian Documentary Filmmaker in Israel (Ibtisam Mara'ana Menuhin, Haaretz+) Despite Israel being a powerhouse of political documentaries – most of them are directed by white, Jewish and generally privileged filmmakers – no matter how sensitive and morally attuned they are.
The illusion of security: Twelve years after the Lebanon War, the home front is still abandoned (Ron Kaufman, Maariv) No real step was taken to protect the residents of the north in particular, and the residents of the country in general. The armored personnel carriers are not a solution for today's missiles, which include hundreds of kilograms of explosives.
Israel’s message to Tehran: An unusual IDF order and a ‘preventive strike’ (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) The alleged Israeli attack on a base used by Iranian militias near Damascus, and the earlier order to open bomb shelters in the Golan Heights, may have been an attempt to make it clear to Iran’s moderate camp, led by President Rouhani, that the Revolutionary Guards are adopting a policy that could harm their country at this sensitive time.
The ball is in Iran's court (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) Trump's announcement has created an opportunity for Iran to retaliate over the alleged Israeli strikes on its military assets in Syria, but it does not want war and will have to play its hand very carefully.
Settlements Are Not the Periphery (Noa Osterreicher, Haaretz+) Wait a second; the settlements and the periphery will share the same slice of the budgetary pie? That’s where I started to get suspicious.
In the ayatollahs' offices, there was utter astonishment: the bastard had changed the rules (Meir Uziel, Maariv) So what? They ask there, what’s happening with this Trump? We were sure that everyone in the West was innocent. Suddenly it turns out that the United States has a president who is not willing to work for the whole world.
Iran's Entrenchment in Syria Set Back Months After Most Extensive Israeli Strike in Decades (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Israel thwarted Iran's revenge attack, struck dozens of Iranian military sites. Tehran could still use its big gun, Hezbollah, but is likely to reconsider its policy. Israeli politicians' arrogance poses a danger.

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