News Nosh: 6.28.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday, June 28, 2018
 
You Must Be Kidding: 
The average income of a Jewish family is 20,595 shekels - some 70% more than an Arab family, according to statistics released by Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics.**


Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • (Mundial 2018:) Germany humiliated; Brazil passed the ball, Tzvika Hadar caught it
  • Tense in the south - the deterrence is wearing off: Hamas changed the rules of the game and responded to the bombing of the car of an activist in the kite launchers cell by shooting 13 mortars at the Gaza Strip environs
  • Kappara to him (meaning: He's a great guy) [Photo of Prince William and Neta Barzilai)
  • Chocolate milk, bread roll and infantry training - Parents in Tel-Aviv were horrified by the content of the municipal summer camp for kindergartners
  • The Polish gave in, but so did we // Sever Plocker
  • He’s coming back - As if there were no investigations (against him): (Likud) MK David Biton’s comeback
  • She’s taking off - Shiri Maimoun talks about her role on Broadway
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • (Mundial 2018) The miserables of the world, Germany last
  • An end to the Polish Holocaust law
  • History in the skies - Pride of the Ethiopian-Israelis: If there aren’t any last minute changes, Y. will receive his pilot wings in December
  • The tension in the south: Shooting at night, fires during the day
  • (Attorney General) Mendelblitt attacked: “The Tweets and the demonstrators don’t move the end of my fingernail”
  • Soda pop with Neta (Barzilai) on the boulevard: Prince William took a walk on Rotschild Blvd and Tweeted: “Kappara Aleichem” (You are all great)
  • In Iran, they found the guilty party for the riots: “An Israeli campaign”

News Summary:
Gaza responded to an Israeli attack, changing the formula of deterrence, Poland withdrew its Holocaust law, to which Israel expressed satisfaction, Prince William met with Israeli Eurovision winner Neta Barzilai and with Palestinian Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian children and won hearts and Germany lost a soccer game and is out of the Mundial, shocking the world and making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

Hamas stood by its statement last week that ‘bombs would be met with bombs’ and repeated it yesterday after Israel bombed the car of a Gazan burning kite launcher and Gazan militant groups responded with 13 rockets at communities in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip. There were no reports of injuries. Israel Hayom wrote that in Gaza, they were “flexing muscles,” Yedioth wrote that “Hamas changed the rule of the game” by responding to Israel’s attack on a kite launcher. Until now, Gazan para-military groups did not retaliate to every Israeli attack on Gaza, but that policy has changed, says Hamas, and “Israel no longer has any doubt the group wants to establish a new formula of deterrence,” writes Haaretz+ military analyst Amos Harel. According to Haaretz, more rockets were launched from Gaza so far this year than in all of 2014, when the number launched helped trigger the last Gaza war. (NOTE: The trigger was the barrage of rockets that fell on Israel after three religious Jewish-Israelis burned alive the Palestinian youth from E. Jerusalem, Mohammed Abu Khdeir. - OH)
Maariv shared an important angle of the story: That Israel won’t be drawn into an escalation because of Israeli public pressure. So said a ‘security source,’ who revealed the two main reasons why not: “We could reach a military confrontation tomorrow (with Gazan militants), but there are other considerations like the situation in the north and the continued building of the underground barrier in the south,” the source told Maariv. Indeed, Haaretz+ reported that due to the fear of an Iranian missile attack, Israel was boosting its defense of its nuclear reactors. The unnamed security source, who spoke to Maariv, said Israel was planning on presenting an ‘aid package’ for Gaza within the next two months. Ynet reported that the plan to set up a solar field to increase power supply to Gaza was approved by Israel.

And, Maariv reported that an Egyptian newspaper reported that Egypt is formulating an arrangement between Israel and Hamas. Meanwhile, Israel said it foiled an infiltration attempt by three Palestinians when it shot and wounded three Palestinians, who were hospitalized in Gaza. Earlier in the day, the IDF fired at another group of Palestinians who tried to breach the border, seriously injuring a 15-year-old Palestinian, who was evacuated in critical condition to an Israeli hospital.

Maariv also reported that according to a French media report, Mossad chief, Yossi Cohen, participated in an ‘Intel Summit' with his Sunni Arab counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority,” which was held in Aqaba, Jordan under US auspices the day before Netanyahu and the Jordanian King meet in the coastal city
on June 17th. The organizers of the conference were Jared Kushner, son-in-law of President Trump, and his special Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt.

Israelis were thrilled with the jaunt that Prince William took with Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai in Tel Aviv and his Tweet of a Hebrew phrase, ‘Kappara aleichem,’ (‘You guys are great’), which Barzilai uses regularly.

Later Prince William traveled to the West Bank, where he met with Abbas, visited a Palestinian refugee camp, and met with Palestinian youths, played soccer with them and met the Palestinian soccer association chief Jibril Rajoub (whom the right-wing Israelis can’t stand - OH). And while the Israeli part of his trip did not seem so political, his statements on the Palestinian part did. ”My message tonight is that you have not been forgotten, it has been a very powerful experience to meet you and other Palestinians in the West Bank and to hear your stories," the prince said in a speech at a garden party at the British Consulate General in Jerusalem that serves the Palestinians. The Israeli papers noted that Abbas told Prince William that the Palestinians were serious about peace with Israel. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin publicly asked Price William to tell Abbas it is time to find a way to ‘build confidence’ between Israel and the Palestinians. Maariv reported that the Prince refused to meet with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat [who opposes dividing the city to its Palestinian and Israeli parts - OH]. “Only at the British Ambassador’s residence in Ramat Gan,” was the British answer. Barkat said he refused because of Jerusalem's ‘honor.’ Later the Prince toured Jerusalem’s holy sites and told crowd of Palestinians he ‘hopes the links of friendship’ between Britain and the Palestinians ‘can grow stronger.’
 
Quick Hits:
  • Dozens of grape vines, fig trees damaged in suspected West Bank hate crime - There had been no reports of hate crimes over the past two weeks – though the months before saw a significant spike. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel demolishes Palestinian Bedouin village for 130th time - According to local sources, Israeli authorities and military vehicles stormed into Al-Araqib village, evacuated the women, children and elderly leaving them out in the open without a shelter and demolished their homes. (Maan)
  • Democrat who slammed Israel for Gaza killings is shock winner of New York primary - Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez, 28, scores decisive victory over House Democrat Joe Crowley after running on a socialist platform. (Haaretz+)
  • Boycotting Israeli settlement goods back up for debate at Irish parliament- Bill forbidding sale or import of products manufactured in settlements sparked diplomatic crisis between Israel and Ireland in the past. (Haaretz)
  • WJC launches digital initiative to fight online BDS incitement - World Jewish Congress recruits 40,000 "digital ambassadors" to combat anti-Israel online content • While still in beta stage, project led to meeting with president of Bulgaria over neo-Nazi march. BDS activist says Jewish families "funding" Islamophobia. (Israel Hayom)
  • Lawmakers back tougher version of terrorist wages bill - Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee approves final draft of the bill after divisions emerge between defense, education ministers and Prime Minister Netanyahu over pliability of deduction of terrorists' wages from PA taxes. Deductions ruled irreversible. The deduction will be equal to the amount of funds the authority gives terrorists and their relatives. (Israel Hayom, Ynet and Maan)
  • Terror funds confiscated from Mercaz Harav terrorist’s family - Security forces seize NIS 43,000 from home of family of Alaa Abu Dhein who committed 2008 massacre at Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem; Police: Financial support for families of terrorists will not be tolerated. (Ynet)
  • Diplomats complain of excessive searches at Erez Crossing - Diplomats entering crossing complain of long delays entering Gaza Strip due to tightened Israeli security procedures in wake of incident in which French Consulate driver Romain Franck smuggled weapons to West Bank arms dealers. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israel's AG Says He Won't Delay Netanyahu Probe Even if Elections Called- Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit says that 'there's a link among the issues in the various cases' of corruption Netanyahu is embroiled in, but still 'no date' for investigation's end. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Revealed: Netanyahu's secret Manhattan apartment - The 5th Avenue apartment, used by Israeli ambassadors, was bought by Israel in 1986 in the name of then Ambassador to the UN Benjamin Netanyahu and is still registered in his name. (Globes English and Maariv)
  • Ex-top figure of Lieberman's party gets seven years in prison for corruption - David Godovsky didn't take money personally but systematically orchestrated graft, court says. Godovsky served as the party's chief of staff and the right-hand man of former Deputy Interior Minister Faina Kirshenbaum, who was indicted in August 2017 for bribery, fraud, money laundering and tax offenses. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Activist: El Al can be sued for $18,000 if women asked to move for men - Leading women’s rights advocate says women asked by a flight attendant to move seats because an ultra-Orthodox man refused to sit next to her can lead to hefty financial lawsuit; Israeli hi-tech giant cuts ties with El Al in light of phenomenon. (Ynet)
  • Chairman of Israel’s LGBT Association: "In English, Netanyahu takes pride in us, in Hebrew he prevents us from being parents" - The amendment to the surrogacy law that has been approved continues to limit the possibility of surrogacy for male couples who need to continue to travel around the world to have a child. MK Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi): "This is a Jewish state.” (Maariv)
  • 140 Palestinian administrative detainees held in Israeli Ofer detention center - Palestinian administrative detainees held in Israeli prisons (without charges) continue their protest boycott of administrative detention courts since February 2018, according to the Prisoners and Former Prisoners' Affairs Committee. The total number of administrative detainees amounts to about 430 detainees. (Maan)
  • “Ashkenazi Jews earns 1,000 shekels more than Mizrachim, Arabs and Ethiopians at the bottom of the bucket” - A new study by the Adva Institute found that there are still large salary gaps due to ethnicity, Arab or Jewish and gender: "The social status is inherited, but in the third generation we are no longer seeing differences.” (Maariv)
  • **It’s good to live in Israel, particularly if you are Jewish - Statistics from the Central Bureau of Statistics shows: 80.8% of Jews are happy with their lives in Israel compared to 80.7% of the Arab-Israelis. Out of all the Jewish population, Ultra-Orthodox are the happiest with their lives and their economic situation. The average income of a Jewish family is 20,595 shekels - some 70% more than an Arab family. (Maariv, p. 18)
  • US Army purchases Trophy tank active defense system - American military signs $193 million deal to outfit M1 Abrams tanks with Rafael-developed active defense system that detects and intercepts threats while communicating location of attacker. (Ynet)
  • Syrian Offensive Knocks Three Hospitals Out of Service - The United Nations says the offensive has so far forced up to 50,000 people to flee towards the Jordanian border. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iranian president blames 'Israeli and American campaign' for economic slump - With Iranians protesting against government's inability to fix waning economy as US sanctions close in, President Rouhani blames arch enemies, vows 'we will never surrendered to the US.' (Ynet)
  • All Iranians have duty to tackle economic problems, Revolutionary Guards commander says - Netanyahu addresses the Iranian people following mass protests in Tehran: 'You showed courage in the streets of Iran.’ (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran reopens uranium feedstock plant in preparation to boost enrichment - Following orders by supreme leader, atomic energy agency relaunches, in symbolic move, a plant for production of UF6, the feedstock for centrifuge machines that enrich uranium. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • North Korea upgrades nuclear reactor despite US summit pledge - Commercial satellite images taken last week show infrastructure upgrades in Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center, monitoring group North 38 says. In June 12 summit, North Korean leader Kim committed to "complete denuclearization" of his country. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Post-election Crackdown: Erdogan Detains 324 Security Staff in 24 Hours- Hundreds arrested over alleged ties to cleric accused of orchestrating failed coup. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Buzz of big Egyptian gas find belatedly sends Israeli energy shares tumbling - Israeli gas companies in Tel Aviv losing four-to-five percent in midday trading on possiblespicion that developing the Noor field will hurt Leviathan's prospects. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel confident in U.S. protections in any Saudi nuclear power deal - Israel vehemently opposes any effort by the Saudi Arabia to relax 'gold standard' non-proliferation limits on enriching uranium or reprocessing nuclear fuel. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Female Saudi TV Presenter Flees Country Amid 'Indecent Dress' Probe - Shereen al-Rifaie, who was reporting on the lifting of the ban of women driving, was accused of dressing inappropriately, and has since fled the kingdom. (Agencies, Haaretz)


Commentary/Analysis:
Only Freedom of Movement Can Save the Gaza Strip From Imminent Collapse (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Gaza's condition could improve if Israel lets Gazans work, thereby increasing their income sources. But the government's policy is to divide the Strip from the West Bank– which only serves Hamas.
Israel shooting itself in the foot with bill barring filming of soldiers (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) Banning filming won’t prevent filming. Photos and videos can be taken from every window in Hebron and sent to news desks around the world. The photographers won’t get caught, and the damage will be much greater, because they will talk about a less democratic Israel with something to hide.
An Appointment to Serve Israeli Propaganda (Jack Khoury, Haaretz+) A country in which all its Arab citizens are practically deemed suspects at the airport cannot take pride in the appointment of an Arab opposition leader.
Netanyahu's Gaza Dilemma: How to Avoid a War Without Being 'Weak on Terror' (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) After the army and Hamas exchanged more fire overnight, Israel no longer has any doubt the group wants to establish a new formula of deterrence.
A message to the free world (Yoram Ettinger, Israel Hayom) By withdrawing from the U.N. Human Rights Council, whose members stand for anything but human rights, the U.S. is sticking to its policy of conditioning American support on pro-American policy
Ode to the World Cup (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Suddenly a world where a Turkish referee tells Messi what’s what and a black African referee blows the whistle on European whites.
And Thank You for Not Flying El Al (Haaretz Editorial) The boycott of the airline by a high-tech giant fed up with its discrimination against women is a lesson in social responsibility.
 
Interviews: 
'It's not racism, it's Jewish law'
We asked Israel's Chief Rabbinate about the Jewish law that forbids non-Jews from working in wine production. "Hello. Is this Chief Rabbinate spokesman Kobi Alter? Nir Gontarz here, from Haaretz. How are things?" (Nir Gontarz in Haaretz+)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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