News Nosh: May 22, 2018

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday May 22, 2018
 
Quote of the day:
"This isn't Iran. If Israel wants to follow in Iran's footsteps, let it, but stop calling it a democracy. What happened here is a disgrace to any democratic country. It's inconceivable for people who went out protesting to be repressed like this, hurt physically, beaten and humiliated."
--Jafar Farah, Director of the Mossawa Center that promotes the rights of Israel's Arab citizens, was released after being detained at Friday protest and having his leg broken by a policeman.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
An ultra-Orthodox lawmaker called a secular Jewish lawmaker “a Jewboy who tattles on his fellow Jews." during an argument that broke out over whether to establish a parliamentary inquiry committee that would examine the use of state’s witnesses against politicians.**

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • 12 demands of Iran - US Secretary of State warns Teheran: “If you don’t obide, we will impose the harshest sanctions in history”
  • President in a bathrobe - In an attempt to disperse rumors about his health situation - Abu Mazen was photographed yesterday in the hospital with his two sons, Yasser and Tarek
  • British royal house released yesterday the official photo of the new couple, Harry and Meghan, with the little bridesmaids and page boys
  • The test that blocks of Ethiopian-Israeli soldiers
  • Mountain of life and death - All the details of the amazing rescue story of the Israeli mountain climber, Nadav Ben-Yehuda
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Until the end - Trump Administration set a harsh ultimatum to Iran
  • The suit of threats // Yossi Melman
  • Toy against Israel - Dutch comedienne presented a grotesque version of Netta Barzilai’s hit, with words including: “I hunt Palestinians between the curtains, that’s my party”
  • They don’t turn off the engine - Residents complain that many bus drivers don’t turn off the engine between trips, causing air and noise pollution
Israel Hayom
News Summary:
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened Iran with the “harshest sanctions in history” if it doesn’t fulfill 12 US demands, an Israeli judge released 19 Arab-Israeli protesters whom police detained two days earlier and Paraguay followed the US and Guatemala in moving its embassy to Jerusalem, while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas released photos of himself looking well in hospital to alleviate fears.

Unsurprisingly, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed unwavering support for the ultimatum that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave to Iran that would require Iran to fulfill 12 US demands that go beyond the single focus of the 2015 nuclear agreement in order to renew it. Those demands include withdrawing from Syria and ending support for Hezbollah and Hamas. (Maariv’s Yossi Melman called it the ‘Netanyahu’s dream list.’) Netanyahu urged the world to 'follow America’s lead.’

*In a show of rejection of police claims, an (Arab-Israeli) judge ordered the release of 19 Israeli Arab protesters who were detained when peacefully (as seen in video) demonstrating Friday against the IDF killing of Gazan protesters, despite police request to extend their remand. "The court saw videos and the information, and police violence. In my opinion the trial was conducted as a trial against police violence and not a trial against the detainees," said lawyer Hassan Jabareen. Those released included Arab civil rights activist, Jafar Farah, who accused one of the policemen of intentionally breaking his leg at the police station. Seven other protesters also required medical attention after arrest, the court discovered. Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh supported his police officers, and cast doubt on Jafar’s claim saying, “It was a highly violent riot. That's not legitimate protest, even in a tolerant democracy." Footage of Farah before being led away by officers showed him standing on his own two feet, but he later arrived injured to a local hospital after being in police custody. Yet Police said that even after 48 hours they couldn’t explain how Farah’s leg was broken. Activists participating in Friday's protest claimed Farah's leg was broken during a confrontation with policemen surrounding their treatment of his son, 18 year old Bissan, who was also arrested on the scene. "Later his father arrived at the police station and saw policemen beating his handcuffed son. He tried defending him, and the cops beat him as well and broke his leg," the activist maintained. When MK Ayman Odeh, head of the Arab List party, went to visit one of the detained and injured protesters, policemen barred his entry into the hospital room. Angry, Odeh, called him a ‘zero.’ The policeman who suffered the verbal abuse filed a complaint against the MK for insulting a public servant. Two more protests were held in Haifa Sunday evening—another in solidarity with the people of Gaza and demanding the release the 19 people still detained after a similar protest in the northern city Friday—and one calling for "continued coexistence." Haaretz reported that Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that “Every day that Ayman Odeh is not in prison is a failure of law enforcement.” Avi Gabbay, head of the Labor party and the Zionist Camp faction, reacted saying: "Lieberman incites against Arabs and spreads hatred.” (Maariv)
 
Quick Hits:
  • Furor after New York school holds minute's silence for Gaza victims - ZOA President Morton Klein blasts Beacon High School for move, calling it 'disgraceful to mourn the death of Hamas terrorists’. (Haaretz)
  • WATCH Dutch TV comedian blasts Israel with spoof of Eurovision winner ‘Toy’ - Sanne Wallis de Vries’ pastiche of Netta Barzilai’s winning song criticizes Israeli army for killing of Gazans and has the chorus ‘Look how beautifully I launch missiles.' (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • Benicio Del Toro Joined Palestinians at Cannes in Demonstration Against the Israeli Army’s Killing of Gazans - In Cannes, southern France, dozens of people stood in a circle and held hands outside the Palestinian pavilion. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Israeli army arrests Palestinian teen (who was shot in head in December by IDF soldiers), Mohammed Tamimi,  for allegedly throwing rocks - The 15-year-old the cousin of Ahed Tamimi was arrested for throwing rocks at cars outside his West Bank village, but was later released; family denies claims. (Haaretz)
  • Disturbances in two Israeli jails following death of Palestinian prisoner - Security prisoners bang on doors, shake bars after death in hospital of Aziz Awisat, 54, of E. Jerusalem, while he was being treated for a heart condition. Two weeks ago, Awisat attacked a prison guard at the Eshel Prison in Be'er Sheva by pouring boiling water over him. The guard suffered burns all over his body. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Israeli Army to Punish Officer Who Held Up Sign at Auschwitz in Polish Reading 'You Too Played a Part'   - Members of the Witnesses in Uniform project took the sign away from the soldier and told Polish security guards that they would handle the incident. (Haaretz)
  • Israel Blocks Hundreds of Asylum Seekers From Accessing Their Bank Account - Asylum seekers are being given new visa numbers unannounced, causing banks to refuse them access to their account. As a result, many can't pay rent or withdraw money. (Haaretz+)
  • From Netanyahu to leftists, praise and scorn for late Middle East scholar Bernard Lewis - Israeli PM applauds Lewis as ‘one of the great scholars of Islam and the Middle East,’ while critics blame him for helping upend the region. (Ynet and Haaretz)
  • Acre's Old City turns to tourism - and tries not to displace Arab residents in the process - As tourism becomes increasingly vital to the Old City, the hope is to get more Arab residents involved, but local author Ala Halihal is pessimistic. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli lawmakers told 22,000 jobs could be lost under new U.S. military aid package - Knesset Finance Committee members urge government to reopen talks on 10-year accord that goes into effect this year. (Haaretz)
  • A peak at defense measures surrounding new Ramon Airport - In anticipation of opening of new international Arava airport in 2019, a 34km long physical barrier is in the final stages of construction; steel plates, 26m high fence, communication points and full cooperation with Jordan will assist IDF in preventing terror groups such as Islamic State from attacking planes. (Ynet)
  • King Stallion or Chinook: The IAF’s next heavy-lift helicopter - Two American companies, competing over who will fly IDF soldiers on sensitive missions, present their helicopters side by side at ILA Berlin Air Show: Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin’s advanced yet expensive CH-53K King Stallion vs. the veteran Boeing CH-47 Chinook. (Ynet)
  • Secret talks between Netanyahu and Jerusalem top cop began in July, sources say - The prime minister and Yoram Halevy have allegedly spoken behind the back of the national police commissioner, who is expected to be succeeded by Halevy. (Haaretz+)
  • **’Jewboy': Ultra-Orthodox lawmaker uses anti-Semitic slur against colleague in Knesset - MK Israel Eichler says fellow lawmaker reminds him of 'the Jewboy who informs and tattles, who works for the ruler against his Jewish brethren.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Rabbi’s Letter Not Needed to Change Name to Cohen or Levy, AG Says - While a rabbi's letter isn't usually necessary for name changes, names that may claim some biblical heredity could 'undermine and deceive' public opinion, thus requiring more attention. (Haaretz+)
  • New legislation to exclude non-Orthodox conversions, Chief Rabbinate - Bill proposes the establishment of new Jewish conversions authority under the Prime Minister's Office to perform Orthodox conversions in line with Halacha; move expected to weaken Chief Rabbinate, which will no longer have a monopoly in the field; Reform, Conservative conversions performed abroad will be recognized, but not ones done in Israel. (Ynet)
  • 15th time in 2018: Construction worker in Israel dies in work accident - Construction worker falls to death at Tel Aviv site with record of safety violations. The Labor Ministry stopped construction at the site for two days and the police have begun to investigate. (Haaretz)
  • New Israeli APC to be unveiled at Paris trade show - Manufacturer of the new Mantis armored personnel carrier, which boasts an extraordinary appearance and state-of-the-art specifications, promises excellent navigability, high-end road performance and uncompromising shielding; Mantis to be unveiled at Eurosatory defense and security international exhibition in Paris next month. (Ynet)
  • Some 200,000 people tour the country celebrating Shavuot - Thousands of Israelis visit nature reserves, national parks across the country celebrating Shavuot; Israel's kibbutzim hold traditional annual display of agricultural products and new-born babies; Israel Nature and Parks Authority advises to stay close to water sources due to extreme heat. (Ynet)
  • 5 rare Jewish coins discovered by Temple Mount project - Coins, minted by autonomous Jewish province of the First Persian Empire in late 4th century BC, attested to existence of commercial, administrative life in and around Second Temple and Temple Mount; 'These were the first coins ever minted by Jews,' says project's co-director. (Ynet)
  • Seething at Gaza leadership, Palestinian youth sets himself ablaze - A young Palestinian father of two sets himself on fire Saturday in protest of Hamas' mishandling of the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, causing himself moderate injuries across his body; he is not known to be suffering from any mental illness; his brother was injured at a recent border protest. (Ynet)
  • Egypt Will Keep the Rafah Crossing With Gaza Open for Entire Month of Ramadan - Hamas leader: Recent protests do not mean giving up on the armed struggle. (Haaretz+)


Features:
Netanyahu Praised Paraguay for Welcoming Jews, Except, They Also Welcomed Nazis and Hezbollah
The Israeli prime minister said the Jewish state 'has no better friends' than Paraguay – a country that tolerates a strong presence of Hezbollah and other Islamist groups. (David B. Green, Haaretz+)
Card Games, Parties and Dating: The Story Behind the Hottest Jewish Hotel in the U.K.
'The Green Park,' an award-winning film about the historical Bournemouth hotel, to make local debut at the Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv. (Beit Hatfutsot – The Museum of the Jewish People and Ushi Derman, Haaretz+)
Explained Between Israel vs. Palestine and Saudi Arabia vs. Iran: 5 power players battle in the Middle East
The modern Middle East has been plagued by ruinous wars centered on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but never have they seemed so interconnected with Iran and Saudi Arabia vying for regional control. (The Associated Press, Haaretz)
Why American 'Lone Soldiers' are still eager to join Israel’s army
Israeli officials encourage Israel’s purported monopoly on Jewish military service. 'There is only one place that Jews can fight for their lives,' said former PM Ehud Olmert. (Haaretz)

Commentary/Analysis:
Every Day That Lieberman Is Defense Minister (Haaretz Editorial) With their anti-Arab incitement, Avigdor Lieberman and his cabinet colleagues are helping to march Israel confidently into a Judeo-nationalist future.
Instead of mobilizing against violence, elected officials ride on the demonstrations (Lilach Sigan, Maariv) It is especially tiring the fact that it is always possible to rely on public representatives to add a little more fuel to the fire. And that includes the furious responses of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, whenever he finds out that he has again fallen in the polls. With all due respect to criticism of the Arab Knesset members, there is no justification for calling them "terrorists.” In conclusion, a final word to Knesset members who, in spite of their desire for coexistence, somehow always find themselves in situations where they lose their calm: Democracy is not a fairyland where you have a "right" to do whatever you like without having to pay a price.
There is a way to solve the Gaza crisis (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) An arrangement led by Egypt and supervised by UN and Arab League inspectors, which would lead to the creation of a joint PA-Hamas civil government, would serve all parties and gradually dismantle the explosive conflict—even without forcing Hamas to disarm completely. While this solution may be far from ideal for Israel, the chance is worth the risk
Pompeo's Crude Threat to 'Crush' Iran Hides Crisis in Trump's Mideast Strategy (Daniel Amir, Haaretz+) The Secretary of State gave Tehran a full U.S. foreign policy shopping list. But as a diktat, not an invitation to negotiate, it will only provoke Tehran to amp up its threats to American allies and U.S. objectives in the Mideast.
Pompau's speech: Trump fulfilled Netanyahu's dream list (Yossi Melman, Maariv) European companies will cancel, suspend, or reconsider their relations with Tehran, fearing that the United States will punish them: Iran has three options: to withdraw from the agreement, to stay and survive or to wait.
As Health Worsens, Israeli Intelligence Sees the Beginning of the End of Abbas’ Rule (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Claims that the Palestinian president was suffering from pneumonia have been rejected, but Israel believes the 82-year-old’s time in charge is drawing to an end.
Abbas is a pain in everyone’s neck, not just Israel’s (Smadar Perry, Yedioth/Ynet) The Israelis are not the only ones who have had enough of the Palestinian president. The king’s palace in Saudi Arabia, the king’s palace in Jordan, President al-Sisi’s headquarters in Cairo and the Gulf emirates—none of them will shed a tear if he resigns. They’ve already realized that he has no power, no vision and no integrity.
In the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Syrian-Druze have long been loyal to Assad. But that's changing (Wesam Sharaf, Haaretz+) When the Druze sheikhs of a Golan Heights village wanted to glorify an Assad regime war criminal, we, the younger generation, had enough - even if it meant compromising our opposition to Israel's annexation of our land.
A pin in a balloon: I don’t think that Netanyahu contributes to Israel's national security, on the contrary (Uri Savir, Maariv) In order to establish our justified hold on Jerusalem, what the city really needs is a political settlement. We are strong enough to defeat all Arab states and Iran; But not the Palestinian people.
Italy’s New Populist Rulers Love Putin, Hate Immigrants and Are Confused About Israel (Ariel David, Haaretz+) The ‘Italy first’ parties that will govern in Rome have expressed diametrically opposing views on Israel. But they have few doubts about putting Russia first in their foreign policy.
We, the secular Jerusalemites (Lior Schillat, Yedioth/Ynet)  In Jerusalem, you get to experience real pluralism, for all its degrees and downfalls. The capital’s unique situation offers its secular residents the opportunity to fully live out their secularity, more so than their counterparts in other cities in Israel.
Syria’s Lost Generation: The School Kids Who Can’t Go to School (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) With the civil war now seven years old, more than 100,000 Syrian university students have found their educations blocked, and the schoolchildren aren’t doing any better.
How Netanyahu is stoking Israelis' fear of the Nakba (Galia Golan, Haaretz+) We Israelis must face our part in the physical expulsion of Palestinians in 1948 and its symbolic weight for Palestinians today. It may bite, but it won’t destroy us.
If you do it, it is not a dream (Susie Becher, Yedioth/Ynet) US Ambassador Friedman says crushing Palestinians’ ‘fantasies’ will bring stability to the region, but it is not their dreams alone that are fading, as realities of occupation win Trump administration’s seal of approval. Dream of a democratic State of Israel that ‘will uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens,’ meanwhile, is dying too.
How Easy It Is to Follow Orders, How Hard to Refuse (Moria Shlomot, Haaretz+) It's inconceivable that conscientious objectors have to explain themselves while those who shot and killed 60 Palestinian demonstrators don’t.
Still Too ‘Tough on Arabs’ (Monday Haaretz Editorial) Police violence against the Arab community in Israel appears part of a racist policy led by Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.
If there is an escalation, what happened in the October 2000 riots (by Arab-Israelis) will only be the trailer (Ron Kaufman, Maariv) There are many weapons in the Arab sector, far more than there are in the possession of Jewish citizens. We must not even think about what might happen on the day the Arab leaders decide to inflame (the sector).
If There’s an Occupation, There Shouldn’t Be Eurovision for Israel (Dmitry Shumsky, Haaretz+) Israel’s violation of both international law and the universal right to self-determination needs to be accompanied by real penalties from the international community.
The Judges Are Hurrying (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) The high court is poised to approve the demolition of a Bedouin village to make way for a settlement to expand – a settlement that's home to one of the justice's siblings.
Anyone who supports Hamas is an enemy, and it does not have the right to demonstrate and preach its values (Nadav Haetzni, Maariv) Imagine a demonstration by Hitler's supporters in London in 1940, or the followers of the Japanese Emperor in New York of 1943. Don’t try to imagine, because such a thing could not happen.
From Punjab to Palestine: Why Young Sikhs Like Me Are Becoming pro-Palestinian Activists
(Jaspreet Oberoi, Haaretz+) We Sikhs recognize the pictures from Gaza and the West Bank. We know what years of state-sponsored harassment and violence looks like.
The road to Washington passes through Jerusalem: Why Paraguay transferred its embassy to Jerusalem (Dr. Ephraim Davidi, Maariv) He is known to be involved in corruption, fraud, money laundering, tax evasion and drug trafficking. Incoming President Benitez, like Cartes, wants to improve his relations with the United States.
Yair Netanyahu and the Adelsons Won't Be With Us in the Bomb Shelters (Ravit Hecht, Haaretz+) Some Israelis don't fully appreciate the thuggery, arrogance and hubris of the right wing. Then the prime minister's son pulls one of his stunts.
The minority rhetoric of the settlers undermines the character of Israel (Dr. Revital Amiran, Maariv) On the political level, if there exists a group that is truly honest, that is the settlers. Since the votes of the periphery are guaranteed to Netanyahu, his greatest fear is the flow of votes from the Likud to Habayit Hayehudi party.
Terrorists on Israeli Borders Have Taught Us Hamas, Like Hezbollah, Needs to Be Removed (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) Israel has Hezbollah in the north, while the attempts to breach the Gaza fence have taught us a lesson
Three Myths About Israeli Startups Busted - and One Confirmed (Ruti Levy, Haaretz+) The hype around Israel’s high-tech sector is real, but the true story is often in the details.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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