News Nosh: 7.16.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday July 16, 2018
Quote of the day:
“We tried to point during the tour to the fact that they won't speak to us about the occupation, but we got no answers. They gave us a map of Israel that doesn't have the West Bank borders depicted on it. It's really unfortunate because Birthright is often the only opportunity for young Americans to learn about what's going on."
—Becky Wasserman, 26, from Boston, one of eight Jewish-American youth who left a Birthright tour while in E. Jerusalem and contacted Peace Now to show them the occupation.*

Front Page:
Haaretz

Yedioth Ahronoth

  • The goals (gates) of victory (France defeated Croatia at World Cup)
  • Bennett: Bomb the kite and balloon launching cells from the air; Eisenkot: That’s against my operational and moral positions - Sharp debate in cabinet between Chief of Staff and Chairman of Habayit Hayehudi party
  • Seriously wounded, rehabilitated - and will command the Sayeret Matkal commando unit
  • 6.5 hours, with welding tools, in safe room in Teheran - New revelations on how the Mossad emptied the Iranian nuclear archive (of documents)

Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)

  • Grand Finale - French national team supplied the perfect finals for the perfect World Cup, beat Croatia 4:2
  • Netanyahu’s solution: Shaked will be the heir - Yosef Gutnik, who was behind the campaign, ‘Netanyahu is good for the Jews,’ that helped the Prime Minister win in 1996, declares that he will help the Justice Minister be elected “after Netanyahu resigns”
  • Ayelet (Shaked) is good for the Jews // Ben Caspit
  • (Chief of Staff) Eisenkot: Bombing kite launchers - is against my operational and ethical positions

Israel Hayom

  • Bravo la France! - France is world (soccer) champion
  • Opening a new page in relations? Tonight: Putin-Trump summit
  • Ministers in the cabinet: “The fate of a kite like the fate of a Qassam (rocket)”
  • 32 safes in 6 hours: New details on the smuggling of the Iranian nuclear archive

News Summary:
France won the World Cup and acrimonious debates broke out in the government cabinet over how to deal with the Gaza kite and balloon arsons and in the Knesset over the Jewish nation-state bill, while the New York Times and the Washington Post revealed new details that Israel gave them about how the Mossad broke into an Iranian facility and stole half a ton of nuclear files - making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump meet today and will discuss, among other things, the new regional order in Syria. Ahead of the meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke with Trump about Syria and Iran and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spoke with Putin, saying that Palestinians are worried that the US Embassy move to Jerusalem was a stamp of approval for Israel expanding its settlements. On Sunday, Assad forces reportedly fired 800 missiles on rebel-held area near the Golan Heights. Last night, Syria accused Israel of another attack on its territory.

Despite the Gaza-Israel ceasefire from Saturday night, Palestinians launched four rockets towards Israel late that night and Israel responded Sunday morning by striking Hamas targets. No injuries were reported on either side. The IDF also said it shot at Hamas militants launching incendiary balloons. On Saturday the IDF killed two teens who were playing outside when the IDF targeted what it said was a building used for Hamas military. (Graphic photos and video of the killing of the children). "Let the enemy end its aggression first and then the resistance will stop," Hamas politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh said in a eulogy at the funeral of Amir al-Namara, 15, and Loay Kheil, 16, Sunday. (Photos of funeral and video of family.)

The IDF also revealed it was training forces for a Gaza ground invasion and it deployed Iron Dome anti-missile batteries in Tel-Aviv, both signs that it was willing to deal with an escalation, if that were to take place.

A Palestinian father and son were killed in their home Saturday night and originally it was thought to be due to the Israeli strikes, but Palestinian officials said they were still looking into the matter. However, Maariv’s Yasir Okbi wrote that it was a ‘work accident,’ in which the man, Ahmad Mansur Hassan, 35, the commander of a rocket unit in the Fatah party’s military-wing, the Al-Aqsa Brigades, accidentally blew up himself and his son while preparing a rocket.

Facing criticism from more right-wing members of the coalition for the ceasefire deal Netanyahu defended the ceasefire and the IDF said it would not accept any more burning kites or rockets. And Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz warned that if the situation gets worse, Israel will consider targeted killing of Hamas leaders, and he also blamed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of “intentionally cutting the salaries (of Palestinian Authority employees in Gaza) and trying to undermine the electricity and water supply to the Gaza Strip in order to create a humanitarian explosion.” At the Sunday Israeli government security cabinet meeting, the Cabinet approved a new policy according to which the IDF would open fire on any cells launching incendiary balloons and kites, but it would avoid shooting at the balloon and kite launchers themselves and instead fire near them and at ‘terror infrastructure.’ But that wasn’t enough for Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali, who demanded more force, and went head-to-head with IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot:
Bennett: ”Why not shoot anyone who launches aerial weapons at our communities, and at the cells? There is no legal impediment. Why shoot next to them and not directly at them? These are terrorists for all intents and purposes."
Eisenkot: ”I don't think shooting teens and children—who are sometimes the ones launching the balloons and kites—is right."
Bennett: “And what if it's an adult identified as an adult?"
Eisenkot: "Are you proposing to drop a bomb from a plane on incendiary balloon and kite cells?"
Bennett: “Yes.”
Eisenkot: “I disagree with you. It's against my operational and moral positions."

After much wrangling, Netanyahu reached a compromise on the wording of the controversial Jewish nation-state bill with hard-line Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett. The contentious provision ‘7b’ that permitted the state to promote separate communities, was then changed to Jewish-only communities and then it was watered down to say that Israel encourages the establishment of Jewish-only communities and called it a "national priority.” But Joint List MK Dov Khenin pointed out that the new wording was even worse than the original. “While the earlier wording pretended to be neutral, stating that separate communities were possible for each group, now the cat is out of the bag and it’s stating explicitly that only Jewish communities will get priority. This is a model of undisguised racism, suited only to corrupt rulers who have lost all shame.” The Israel Democracy Institute said the new text violates the principle of equality and contravenes Israel’s Declaration of Independence. In the Knesset committee where the bill was being discussed, another shouting match broke out, with Yesh Atid MK Pnina Tamano-Shata asking, “How can you have a democratic process on an undemocratic bill?” In response to the clause, Israeli Arab MK Tibi urged Arabs to settle in Jewish towns, for which he, ironically, drew the fury of right-wing Jewish politicians.
Quick Hits:
  • Top court orders rejected the state's appeal: One suspect in arson murder of Palestinian family will be released to house arrest - State appealed against the release of the man, now 20, who was indicted for his involvement in the murder of a 18-month-old infant and his parents in the 2015 firebombing of the Dawabsheh family home. Court said he must wear an electronic bracelet and can't leave Israel. (Haaretz+, Maariv and Ynet)
  • Israeli Lawmakers Advance Bill Limiting Palestinians From Petitioning High Court - The bill would reduce the High Court’s heavy caseload and aims to stop Palestinians from disputing Jewish settlement construction. (Haaretz+)
  • Left-wing activist charged with working for armed Palestinian force - Investigation began after expose in which Ezra Nawi was filmed bragging of handing Palestinians who sold land to Jewish settlers over to Palestinian forces for punishment. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • In video - Israeli forces injure 9 Palestinians, detain 7 others in pre-dawn raids in Ramallah - The ministry confirmed that Israeli forces shot six Palestinians with live bullets in their lower limbs and the pelvis area, while three other Palestinians were shot with rubber-coated bullets. Israeli military raids into Palestinian cities, towns, and refugee camps are a near daily occurrence. (Maan)
  • Undercover Israeli forces kidnap Palestinian in Hebron - Undercover Israeli forces raided a gas station and kidnapped a Palestinian youth, Malik al-Jaabari, in Hebron on Sunday. Israeli forces returned to the gas station afterwards and confiscated the surveillance camera recordings. (Maan)
  • Israel sets up iron gates to seal off Khan al-Ahmar - Now, the only way to enter the village after two iron gates were installed on two separate roads blocking all access points to the Bedouin village is through the mountains. Earlier this month, Israeli forces and military vehicles surrounded Khan al-Ahmar in attempt to demolish the village and displace its residents, half of whom are children. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces seal entrance to Hebron-area refugee camp - Residents were forced to use substitute roads to be able to reach their workplaces outside of the camp after Israeli forces sealed off the entrance to al-Fawwar refugee camp Monday, preventing entry and exit of vehicles. (Maan)
  • Israeli bulldozers demolish 2 Palestinian-owned rooms in Nablus - Israeli bulldozers demolished two rooms built from stones in the Khirbet al-Marajim village, which belonged to two Palestinian residents. Nearly all Palestinian applications for building permits in Area C are denied by the Israeli authorities, forcing communities to build illegally. (Maan)
  • Residents of Arab village demand Israel open archives on 1956 massacre - About 50 residents of Kafr Qasem were killed by Border Police, unaware that a curfew had been imposed on their village. (Haaretz+)
  • Law clamping down on Facebook ‘incitement’ okayed for final vote - Critics say legislation, meant to protect national security, can be used to limit freedom of expression 'against almost anything you can imagine.’ (Times of Israel)
  • State Archivist Demands State Files Be Kept Separate From Prime Minister’s Office = State archivist Dr. Yaacov Lozowick has also called for the archives of the Israel Defense Forces and security agencies to be brought fully under the aegis of the State Archive, rather than under the Defense Ministry, as they are now. Lozowick wrote that in a healthy democracy archives are independent. (Haaretz+)
  • *For Second Time in Two Weeks: U.S. Jews Walk Off Birthright Trip to Join Anti-occupation Activity - Eight young Americans leave the trip during a visit to Jerusalem's City of David Park (in E. Jerusalem) to join left-wing activist Uri Agnon and Peace Now activist Hagit Ofran, whom they contacted, for a visit to a Palestinian family slated for eviction by right-wing organization that manages the park. (Haaretz+)
  • Number of Trucks Going Into Gaza Strip at Low Point After Israel Announces Closure of Key Crossing - Only 193 trucks entered Gaza from Israel, down from 508 the week before. It remains unclear how much this matters given the dire economic situation and the lack of residents' purchasing power. (Haaretz+)
  • BDS in books: Foreign authors shun Hebrew translations - British author Kamila Shamsie, whose early works had been translated into Hebrew, refuses to publish her new books in Israel. She's not the only one. (Haaretz)
  • (Journalist) Yinon Magal on the call in Haaretz to salute Gaza: “Borders on treason. (Haaretz publisher Amos) Schocken should be ashamed" - In his joint program with Anat Davidov on 103 FM, journalist Magal referred to the Op-Ed by Gideon Levy that was published in Haaretz newspaper: "These scumbags are launching (rockets) at children, we have to reoccupy them and do what we did in Ramallah.” (Maariv)
  • Israel Asks Court to Extend Present Military Draft Law by Seven Months - Request is intended to give the Knesset time to pass a new law despite court-imposed September deadline. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • EXCLUSIVE: Rabbi who crowned Netanyahu endorses Shaked as successor - Gutnick has told 'The Jerusalem Post' exclusively that he has chosen his candidate to succeed Netanyahu whenever he leaves office: Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. (JPost/Maariv)
  • Appeal of deported wife of Israeli man was rejected for ‘wrong’ replies - The population authority stated in its decision that the couple had spent “an unreasonable time apart for a married couple.” (Haaretz+)
  • Israel will invest in developing world, Netanyahu announces - PM Benjamin Netanyahu announces plan to join international efforts to help the U.N. meet its investment targets in developing world • Israel to focus on areas in which it has a relative advantage, such as water management and agricultural technology. (Israel Hayom)
  • WATCH Newly Released Footage Shows Traumatic 1948 Israeli Battle With Egypt - The Egyptian army captured Nitzanim, north of the Gaza Strip, in June 1948: Thirty members of the kibbutz were killed in and 105 people surrendered and were taken as prisoners. (Haaretz and VIDEO)
  • 9,000-year-old Neolithic city discovered in Jerusalem valley - People were still transitioning from hunting-gathering to farming when this vast town with stone houses and red-floored gathering sites arose by Jerusalem, and finally, began to appreciate children. (Haaretz+)
  • 'I am a Palestinian', Maradona tells President Abbas - As PA president met with Argentine soccer star in Moscow ahead of the World Cup final, the two exchanged gifts, hugged and took pictures, with Maradona writing the ‘man wants peace in Palestine.’ (Ynet)
  • The 'national library' that turned into a training facility - Hamas's urban warfare training facility in the al-Shati refugee camp, which is connected to the terror group's vast tunnel network, was meant to be used for public or government services for the Palestinians; aerial photos released by the IDF show destruction of Hamas battalion headquarters. (Ynet)
  • Sacha Baron Cohen, Posing as Israeli Anti-terror Expert, Gets U.S. Lawmakers to Endorse 'Kinderguardians' - The scheme includes a fake instructional video featuring children’s songs and 'gunimals' - weapons adorned with soft toys - that would purportedly help kids confront school shootings. (Haaretz)
  • "There are hungry people here": Huge protests in southern Iraq threaten to lead to chaos in the whole country - The finger of the demonstrators in Iraq is pointed, among other places, at Tehran. The Iraqi regime claims that the Iranians are behind the demonstrations. (Maariv and Reuters)


Features:
Southern Israelis demand solution to Gaza violence
Increasingly frustrated residents of the Gaza border communities say they are tired of sporadic rounds of fighting and perennial conflict with the Strip; 'There's only one thing we really want—it's peace and quiet.’ This Saturday marked four years since the start of Operation Protective Edge which was supposed to establish quiet on the southern border. However, the residents of the Gaza border communities find themselves in an almost identical atmosphere to that which preceded the Gaza incursion in 2014—constant Code Red alerts and sleepless nights. (Ilana Curiel, Yedioth/Ynet)
'They won't break us,' residents of Gaza-adjacent communities say
Amid mounting border violence, Israeli residents of western Negev insist they are staying • "Our strength gives strength to everyone in the country," one says • Knesset speaker visits site of rocket strike in south, says, "We need to change the equation." (Gadi Golan, Israel Hayom)
Alfred Nobel's Letters Reveal His anti-Semitic, Chauvinistic Side
For 15 years, the man behind the Nobel Prize exchanged letters with his Viennese mistress, a flower girl called Sofie Hess. The Nobel Foundation kept the contents of these letters under wraps for almost a century, for fear of tarnishing his name. (Nathan Ron, Haaretz+)

Commentary/Analysis:
'One Jewish life is worth more than 10,000 non-Jews': Why more U.S. Jews will walk off Birthright this summer (Sam Sussman, Haaretz+) My Birthright guide's supremacist stance was extreme. But the program's claim to be 'apolitical' is not only demonstrably untrue; it frames every critical, inquisitive Jewish millennial who wants to meet Palestinians as an Israel-hater.
Ayelet Shaked is good for the Jews, but she won’t enter the Likud as long as the "lady" rules things (Ben Caspit, Maariv) The fact that a very senior Chabad Lubavitcher disciple sees a female Israeli politician, young and not religious, as the new emissary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe in the Holy Land is no less than a jaw-dropping….Now, according to the excellent report of my colleague Gil Hoffman in The Jerusalem Post, Gutnick strikes again. Netanyahu, at least according to Gutnick, has done his job and can leave. The new Messiah, or his deputy (some Chabadniks believe that their late rabbi is the Messiah and he is alive and well) is a woman: Ayelet Shaked. Ayelet Shaked is the last person in the world who would like this information to be published. It seems to me that the poll published on these pages last Friday did not make her happy. The chances that Shaked will betray the strategic, social and almost familial alliance that she has with Naftali Bennett in the foreseeable future are negligible. It is not certain that the rumors from the Likud about Shaked's chances of joining the party leadership were devoid of malice. Every passing day brings us closer to the elections, which will take place between the beginning of next year and the middle. Netanyahu will try to take Bennett's voters again. It's not certain that the tricks that succeeded last time will succeed next time. Another possibility is to undermine the alliance between Bennett and Shaked, to undermine the concrete from which it is cast, to hit Bennett in the soft underbelly. I'm not really sure it will work. At least not this time.
Don’t Soften It, Bury It (Haaretz Editorial) That Bennett wants to turn Israel into a state of the Jewish race is not new, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is lending a hand to this blatant racism in his panicked efforts to pass the law swiftly.
This is not Zionism: In the right-wing, they attack anyone who points to the problem of the occupation (MK Mossi Raz, Maariv) Aryeh Eldad published a column condemning the participants of the Knesset conference, "Generation without a Future: Children under Occupation" (July 3, 2018), that was initiated by MKs Michal Rozin, Dov Khenin, Ksenia Svetlova and Ayman Odeh. No matter how tightly Eldad tries to close his eyes, the results of the occupation shake the walls of the national home of the Jewish people every day. The first step in solving a problem is to recognize it. Therefore, we continue to say above every stage given to us: the occupation corrupts and it must be ended. The occupation leads to the immense suffering of the citizens of the State of Israel and of the residents of the region, in Gaza and Judea and Samaria. It is important to recognize this suffering, and this is the purpose of the conference held in the Knesset. It is especially important to recognize the impact of the occupation on the children of the region…Anyone who wants to undermine the legitimacy of my Zionism actually seeks to undermine the legitimacy of the Basel Plan and the foundations of the State of Israel…A response to Aryeh Eldad.
Not Just Flaming Kites: What Could Really Ignite Next Round of Israel-Hamas Violence in Gaza (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Gaza's economy is too dire for Hamas to come to terms with the existing situation: its leadership is willing to take risks to change the situation, even if it leads to war
Kite terrorism: The strange dance of Netanyahu, Bennett and Lieberman in order to avoid solving the problem (Meir Uziel, Maariv) It was easy to anticipate that the exit from the Gaza Strip would bring evil and more evil. War crimes against agricultural fields make the Palestinian organizations happier than the welfare of those who have chosen them.
Kahlon’s Smile Risks Becoming the Symbol of Israel's Apartheid (Carolina Landsmann, Haaretz+) The finance minister’s support for the nation-state bill will distort the meaning of his party’s name, transforming “Kulanu” (all of us) to “All of us except the Arabs.”
Spaceship vs. Kite: Israeli chutzpah in technology is facing the Palestinian chutzpah in the field of terrorism (Yossi Achimeir, Maariv) Ceasefire or no cease-fire, the Palestinians will not rest until they achieve the end of the Israeli entity. Against the backdrop of Israeli achievements, their determination to destroy, kill, and not move forward stands out.
Hamas wary of full-fledged conflict (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) The violence of the past weekend shows that patience is wearing thin on both Israel and Hamas' part. The way things evolve from here is up to both sides' ability to roll back their rhetoric and actions.
The Jewish Nation-state Bill Alienates Israel’s Arab Citizens for Nothing (Moshe Arens, Haaretz) The new law can only play into the hands of those extremists among Israeli Arab politicians who are doing their level best to prevent the successful integration of Israel’s Arab citizens into Israeli society.
Hamas' dangerous gamble (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) Hamas' leaders know that if they push Israel too far, the IDF will bring about the end of their regime in Gaza. This, for itself, is nothing new, but it seems that now, Hamas feels confident enough to take this chance.
Turkey’s National Purse Just Became Erdogan's Family Affair (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Erdogan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak was appointed to be finance minister. New health minister owns a chain of pharmacies, education minister owns a private college, tourism minister owns a successful travel agency.
Arm in Arm, Trump and Putin Are Pulling Europe Apart. The Consequences Will Be Catastrophic (Claire Berlinski, Haaretz+) America constructed and sustained a post-war Europe 'whole, free, and at peace,' a liberal order that allowed America itself to flourish. But a treacherous handshake in Helsinki could effectively wipe out 70 years of peace in Europe.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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