News Nosh: May 17, 2018

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday May 17, 2018
 
Quote of the day:
"The amount of people hit did us an immense wrong. It was a difficult story to tell."
—Senior IDF Spokesperson's Unit officer Lt.-Col. Jonathan Conricus admitted Israel's failings in it's PR campaign over the Gaza border protests.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
"The amount of people hit did us an immense wrong. It was a difficult story to tell."
—Senior IDF Spokesperson's Unit officer Lt.-Col. Jonathan Conricus said that the number of people Israeli soldiers injured and killed did Israel a 'wrong.'*

Front Page:
Haaretz
  • In Israel, they assess that Hamas will ask to avoid a wide confrontation
  • The crisis with Turkey: Israeli ambassador humiliated in front of cameras at airport
  • The law allows waving a Palestinian flag, but the police less so
  • Who preferred not to show up to the opening of the US embassy?
  • US Senate Intel committee determined that Russia aided Trump in elections
  • Kim threatens to cancel the meeting with Trump due to his demands nuclear disarmament
  • Amazon prepares to enter Israel: Examining Israeli buying habits on the Internet and turning to food suppliers
  • The Dolphinarium in Tel-Aviv was destroyed
  • Our generation’s decree // Dan Margalit
  • He is the state // Roee Chicky Arad
  • Techno instead of pirouettes: Sharon Eyal is making a revolution in Israeli ballet
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Hamas changes its version - Senior member admits that “50 of those killed in the bloody confrontations were our people”
  • War of humiliations - Unprecedented low in in Israel-Turkey relations
  • Visual diplomacy // Dani Ayalon
  • The teffilin stir - Ultra-Orthodox furious after ‘Eretz Nehedert’ showed imitation of Education Minister as Netta Barzilai
  • Storm in the Shin Bet - Suspicion of negligence: An informer of the Jewish [terror] unit, resident of Havat Gilad, committed suicide after speaking with his handler
Israel Hayom
  • Hamas admits: 50 of those killed - our fighters; After the exposing of the hazing of Haniyeh: Sinwar signals - “We don’t want a confrontation”
  • The bullets reached Sderot
  • “‘Israel Hayom’ bill - to be investigated” - State Prosecutor decided to reopen Case 2000 and interrogate the bill’s initiators who intended to harm the newspaper
  • Necessary decision // Haim Shine
  • Kahlon celebrated too early; The targets for (low-cost) housing have not been reached // Eran Bar-Tal
  • The humiliations battle: Turkey and Israel make public gestures
  • Guatemalan President inaugurated the embassy in Jerusalem: “We are brothers”; Prime Minister: “We intend to discuss with you advancing the friendship”
  • At a cost of 24 million shekels: 16 cultural centers will be established in the periphery

News Summary:
Turkey ‘hazed’ Israel’s ambassador to Ankara, bullets from Gaza hit a house in Sderot, but the Gaza-Israel border was relatively quiet after Egyptian involvement, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman insisted that Hamas was a bunch of ‘cannibals,’ for allegedly sending children to protest (Israel caught a Palestinian who said Hamas encouraged women and children to protest because the army wouldn’t shoot them) because the IDF wouldn’t shoot them, but a Hamas official said that 50 of the Palestinian protesters killed were its own people who were protesting - making top stories in the Hebrew newspapers. Also, Yedioth reported that Turkey bought Israeli electronics and sold them to Iran.

Hamas was working with Egypt to prevent an armed conflict with Israel, Hamas’ military wing chief Yahye Sinwar told Al-Jazeera. He also said that the 'March of Return' protests did not achieve all the goals Hamas hoped for, but it achieved the key goal of bringing the Palestinian agenda back into the public discourse. The relative quiet on the border was disrupted when machine gun fire hit a house in Sderot of the town’s former mayor. Israel responded by striking Hamas outposts in Gaza.

Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights Council will discuss Friday Israel’s killing of 62 people on the Gaza-Israel border and Lieberman said Israel should immediately withdraw its membership from the council, as should the US. (Maariv) Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu defended Israel’s actions saying the IDF was left with 'bad choices' trying to defend Israel's border from Gazans sent by Hamas that 'call for Israel's destruction.’

*In a discussion with visiting Jewish Americans, a top IDF Spokesperson said that Hamas won the ‘PR war by a knockout,’ cynically claiming that “Hamas wanted as many Palestinians killed as possible, photos of hospitals buckling under pressure.” In a typically Israeli fashion, Lt.-Col. Jonathan Conricus, a senior officer in the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, believed Israel was the victim in the shooting vs. protests on Monday: “The amount of people hit did us an immense wrong. It was a difficult story to tell." Some US Jews were horrified over the IDF killing of Gazan protesters simultaneously as right-wing religious Jews celebrated the transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem. Some said they were ‘ashamed to be Jewish.’

Turkey not only did a body search of the expelled Israeli ambassador at the airport, it lowered its flag at its embassy in Tel-Aviv to half-mast in protest of the killing of Gazans. (Maariv) Israel couldn’t match the humiliating airport act, because the Turkish ambassador had already left the country. So it summoned the Turkish consul and made him show his ID. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country won’t let Israel steal Jerusalem and Turkey will support its “Palestinian siblings.” Israeli journalists in Istanbul were shoved and cursed by locals. Netanyahu's son, Yair, posted 'F*ck Turkey' on Instagram and Israeli lawmakers pushed to recognize the Armenian genocide as diplomatic revenge.
Quick Hits:
  • Israel said 32 countries confirmed they'd attend U.S. embassy gala. Here's who really came - After Foreign Ministry published initial attendance list, several countries – including Serbia, Vietnam, Peru, El Salvador and the Ivory Coast – denied they had confirmed their attendance and said they weren’t planning to attend. (Haaretz+)
  • Palestinians recall envoys to EU countries who attended U.S. embassy gala in Jerusalem - The Palestinian envoys to Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania were called for hearings on the support their countries showed for the embassy’s move, which the Palestinian Authority strongly opposes. (Haaretz+)
  • Hanan Ashrawi: Nikki Haley not world's 'schoolmarm' - On backdrop of deadly Gaza Strip border riots, inauguration of new US Embassy in Jerusalem, Palestine Liberation Organization official Ashrawi blasts US envoy to UN's pledge to 'take names'; extremely difficult to find link between reality, Haley's words, Ashrawi adds. (Ynet)
  • Following in America's footsteps, Guatemala opens Jerusalem embassy - President Jimmy Morales says Guatemala brings 'message of peace, love and fraternity' to Israel. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • How Trump went from rebuffing top Jewish Republicans on U.S. embassy move to ‘King of Israel’ - In under six months, the then-presidential candidate went from declaring ‘neutrality’ to backing calls for an embassy move. 'Trump understands his supporters are pro-Israel. He likes to please his supporters,’ one expert says. (Haaretz+)
  • Gulf states rebuke Israel – with Qatar particularly vocal. But alliances still inch closer - Behind the scenes fears over Iran have divided Arab leaders, with some willing to quietly reach out to Israel. (Haaretz)
  • Petition in Iceland: Cancel Eurovision in Israel over 'human rights violations' - The online petition, signed by 17,500 people, says Israeli policies toward Palestinians disqualifies Israel from hosting the 2019 event after Netta Barzilai’s victory this month. (Haaretz)
  • Names of border casualties hung at Bezalel Academy - Arab students at Jerusalem's Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design hang black signs commemorating the 61 dead at Monday's bloody Gaza border protest, 50 of which Hamas said were its people. (Ynet)
  • Palestinian vineyard near Hebron vandalized in suspected hate crime - Graffiti saying 'We will reach everywhere' was spray-painted on a nearby rock, in the latest in a string of vandalism cases on Palestinian property. (Haaretz)
  • Agricultural terror raging in the north: suspicion of burning a hayloft in the Lower Galilee - 350 hay bales were set on fire in the area of the Kadouri agricultural school. Fire extinguishing forces were operating there. MK Broshi: "The Prime Minister must act and use all the tools in order to preserve agriculture.” (Maariv)
  • Satirical TV show uses religious items in skit, drawing fury - Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox ministers, chief rabbi slam depiction of Naftali Bennett wearing joke tefillin to resemble Eurovision winner's hairdo. (Times of Israel)
  • Case 2000 said reopened over new evidence; PM to be questioned again - Recordings of PM's wife and son have reportedly been provided by state witness Nir Hefetz on alleged deal to increase Netanyahu's control over media. (Maariv, Israel Hayom and Times of Israel)
  • “Tel-Aviv Municipality is performing demolition works on land used in the past as a Muslim cemetery” - During the city construction works in Jaffa, human bones were found. Muslims said it was a cemetery dated to Ottoman times. Mayor Huldai promised to stop the works until after the Ramaddan fast.  On Sunday early morning, an (anonymous) attempt was made to make facts on the ground: cement was poured into grave-shaped panels and a sign was posted: “Muslim cemetery - holy site.” Yesterday before dawn, the municipality destroyed the panels and riots broke out. (Maariv, p. 22)
  • "I feel I can’t do it anymore": A (settler) Shin Bet informer killed himself after a conversation with his handler - The family of the young man who took his own life was horrified to discover, after his death, that he served as an informer for the Jewish [terror] section of the Shin Bet and told his handler that he wanted to commit suicide following unrequited love. (Maariv)
  • New immigrants to Israel are among those facing call for immediate tax data - Tax specialist says new immigrants and returning Israelis should exercise their right not to report income or assets abroad. (Haaretz)
  • Earliest Physical Evidence of Blood Vengeance Found in Jerusalem Hills, Archaeologists Say - 1,000-year-old skull and severed right hand found in remote cave belonged to a person who died a violent death, probably as a result of a blood feud. (Haaretz)
  • Ancient Scroll Shows Jews Tried to Hex Chariot Races in Turkey 1,500 Years Ago - Ancient Greeks and Romans were notorious for their elaborate curses but a metal tablet with a hex in Aramaic is the first evidence that the Jews indulged too, Israeli researchers say. (Haaretz)
  • U.S. version of Israeli hit film ‘Last Band in Lebanon’ to be made - The 2016 Hebrew-language comedy tells the story of Israeli military band reservists who discover that Israel has withdrawn from Lebanon without them, but in the U.S. version, the withdrawal will be from Iraq. (Haaretz+)
  • Police foil knife attack near Tunis synagogue - 45-year-old man tries to stab police officer on patrol near a synagogue in the Tunisian capital; the officer empowers and arrests the attacker; security beefed up in area following attempted attack. (Ynet)
  • Jews and Muslims Celebrate Unusual Coexistence in Tunisia's Djerba - Tunisia is home to one of North Africa’s largest Jewish communities. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Egyptian leader: US Embassy move will cause instability - Speaking to youth conference, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi urges Israel to understand that Arab reactions to U.S. moving its embassy to Jerusalem are "legitimate." El-Sissi urges all Middle Eastern nations to resolve disputes peacefully. (Israel Hayom)
  • Fresh US sanctions target Hezbollah's main decision-making body - New measures take aim at terrorist group's Shura Council, as well as leader Hassan Nasrallah and his deputy, Naim Qassem. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin: We reject the false distinction between Hezbollah's so-called "political wing" and terrorist plotting. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Iran calls latest US sanctions an attempt to 'kill' nuclear deal - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani: U.S. expected Iran to pull out of deal, but we will resist U.S. "plots." Adviser to Supreme Leader Khamenei doubts talks with Europe will save deal. German Chancellor Merkel defends deal in German parliament. (Israel Hayom)
  • Britain warns US sanctions on Iran make 3rd-party trade difficult - Since withdrawing from 2015 nuclear deal, U.S. President Donald Trump has imposed new sanctions on Islamic republic, including barring it from major banking network. U.K. official: Britain working with U.S., EU to protect our businesses. (Israel Hayom)


Features:
An acclaimed Israeli novelist calls for a moral revolution
Nir Baram, whose new novel, ‘At Night’s End,’ is his most personal work yet, talks about the death of his mother and the suicide of his best friend, and what he has learned from interviewing settlers and Palestinians. (Neri Livneh, Haaretz+)
Tel Aviv residents returned to the moments of terror of the Egyptian bombing
The veterans of the city witnessed the attack, and some even lost their loved ones: "I still see this scary plane descending over our house, and seconds later I hear the boom.” (Oz Rosenberg, Maariv Magazine supplement, cover)
In Divided Jerusalem, Unification Starts From the Bottom Up
A close look at Jerusalem shows it's managed like two cities. But in parks, shopping malls and workplaces, Jews and Arabs are literally finding common ground. (Nir Hasson, Haaretz+)
Losing Their Religion Bucking Trend, Israeli Jews Becoming Less Religious, New Study Shows
While percentage of ultra-Orthodox will continue to increase due to high fertility rate, that growth will be tempered by large number of religious Jews turning secular. (Judy Maltz, Haaretz+)
Israel’s Gaza killings: War crimes or self-defense? Experts weigh in
Legal minds are divided on whether the violent border clashes should be treated as civilian protests, meaning soldiers should largely hold their fire, or whether the rules of war apply. (Judy Maltz, Haaretz+)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
The All-purpose ‘Existential Threat’ (Idit Shafran Gittleman
and Tamar Hostovsky Brandes, Haaretz+) 'It’s worth clarifying if there is a connection between the picture that the prime minister and others seek to instill in our consciousness, and reconciling oneself with the deaths of more than 60 people on the Gazan border.’
The humiliating diplomacy that the Turks began is a record of bad and ugly conduct (Danny Ayalon, Maariv) It will be interesting to know if they will apologize for the physical body search conducted on our ambassador as if he were a criminal or a security threat and for inviting the media in advance (to film it), just as Israel apologized to end the Mavi Marmara crisis…The military philosopher von Clausewitz said that war was the continuation of diplomacy by other means. So the diplomacy of humiliation is ultimately ten times more preferable to military conflicts and economic punitive measures.
If you call the Gaza death toll 'disproportionate,' how many Israelis have to die for the sake of symmetry? (Eric H. Yoffie, Haaretz+) If 100 Jewish bodies were strewn across southern Israel, would the American left more readily forgive Israel’s defensive actions against an angry mob of tens of thousands propelled by the murderous, anti-Semitic terrorists of Hamas?
The Palestinians' self-made Nakba (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) Palestine’s Arabs went through an expulsion, just like tens of millions around the world, including Jews. But the Palestinians are the only ones who adopted an ethos of rejectionism, self-victimization, suffering and death. For 70 years now, the Nakba isn’t just a memory. It’s the ethos, the identity, the lifetime achievement.
Killing Off the Nakba (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) The fear of the Nakba lies in the inability to reconcile the conflict between the yearning for a pure Jewish nation-state and the realization that such a state can never exist.
As usual, the Jews blame themselves (Dr. Reuven Berko, Israel Hayom) The deep-seated Jewish need to find reasons for everything bad that happens leads us to take responsibility for the collective death wish of the Palestinians.
My Jerusalem - wounds of love (Gad Lior, Yedioth) I love Jerusalem, my city. I love my city and I am concerned. Concerned by the different extremist camps taking over the lifestyle in the city…Concerned about the desire to close every cafe and restaurant this is still open on Shabbat. Concerned from the extremism of the Arabs of the Eastern part of the city, who opened institutions that identify with Hamas. Concerned by the leaving of dear and veteran residents of the city they so loved, because of the change in its character. Concerned by the fewer students in the city, whose extremeness strangles them. Concerned by the neglect of the the eastern [Arab -OH] part of the city, in whose streets, often flow sewage and don’t have sidewalks. Concerned by the lack of Israelis in the capital, who fear coming to the city, as if it were more dangerous than crossing the street in Tel-Aviv or Haifa…Concerned by the growing disconnect between the Jewish and Arab residents of the city that was united 51 years ago. Maybe the opening of foreign embassies in Jerusalem, the flow of large government budgets to develop it and the acts of leaders to stop the negative migration from it - will bring back the glory Jerusalem lost in the last 20 years. I wish.
What would have happened had hundreds of thousands of Mexicans marched to the border with the US (Shmuel Rosner, Maariv) They, too, could call it a march of return. They, too, could demand polite treatment by the army patrolling the border. They, too, would have enjoyed the tailwind of media sympathy.
60 dead in Gaza and the end of Israeli conscience (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) On the night of the Palestinians’ slaughter, Zion exulted an embassy and a Eurovision. It’s difficult to think of a more atrocious moral eclipse.
Terrorist propaganda vs. truth (Ambassador Danny Danon, Israel Hayom) If tens of thousands of rioters armed with incendiary weapons swarmed the border of another country, all the preaching and calls for restraint would evaporate into thin air.
Occupier! Murderer! The hypocritical war of words on Gaza between Israel and Turkey (Louis Fishman, Haaretz+) The verbal volume of Erdogan’s attacks on Israel reflects genuine Turkish popular support for the Palestinians. But in a perilous election season it’s also cover for Turkey to maintain essential economic ties with Israel.
Dangerous Immunity (Haaretz Editorial) Israel’s blatant scorn for criticism could harm it in the long run, both diplomatically and economically. The sense of immunity is dangerous.
The Gaza battle isn’t over yet (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) Monday’s events left the Gazan street in a state of shock. As the bodies piled up and the hospitals collapsed, the leadership was forced to stop and think. Now, everyone is waiting: Will Hamas resume the violence in the coming days and on the weekend, or will it try to utilize the ease of restrictions offered by Egypt and Israel?
The bloodstained first act of the Trump Intifada (David Rothkopf, Haaretz+) Trump got his name in big letters on the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. The violence triggered by his unbalanced and intemperate foreign policy towards Israel may one day carry his brand as well.
¡Gracias, Guatemala! (Ambassador Mattanya Cohen, Israel Hayom) Guatemala's decision to move its embassy back to Jerusalem goes full circle on a special 70-year relationship between the Jewish and Central American states.
Rethink a new path: Israeli Arabs can learn a lot from the Druze (Yusuf Haddad, Maariv) The sane majority must take the initiative and lead the sector forward. Stop staying in the position of the weak and take responsibility for their fate. Make an effort and invest in order to become part of society.
The Druze example (Yusuf Haddad, Israel Hayom) Israeli Arabs must stop playing the part of the victim and take their fate in their own hands by making the necessary effort to become a part of Israeli society.

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