News Nosh: 7.17.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Quote of the Day #1:
"Education is about thinking critically. It's about hearing people you don't agree with. And this is what we want to teach our children. In order for us to educate our young people to be democratic, to be liberal, they have to hear the other side."
--Amir Fuchs, who heads the Israel Democracy Institute's Defending Democratic Values Program, said the law passed banning some left-wing groups from speaking at schools was part of a wider phenomenon in Israel of trying to discredit left-wing groups.

Quote of the Day #2:
"What would we do with this money? Would we build a school there, agree to the occupation and our presence in the ghetto, or would we build tunnels and bombs to get out of the ghetto and free our brothers and sisters? This is a real dilemma."
--In a debate with a right-wing journalist in a radio interview, Israeli director Ran Kahlili said Israelis must not be afraid to put themselves in Hamas' shoes.**

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • On Putin’s side - Self-goal - US intel agencies ruled unequivocally that Russia intervened in US presidential race, but Trump declared: I actually believe Putin
  • Record number of students failed the Israel Bar Association exam: Where did those who pass go to school?
  • France is in the clouds (Photo of Mbapepe and Mrs. Macron)
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Facing Putin: Trump in frontal attack on the US intel agencies
  • Putin at the summit: “Preserve the 1974 border agreements between Syria and Israel”
  • Only an exercise, in the meantime - Israel harshens its response to kite terror: Kerem Hashalom crossing will close, in IDF they published photos of an exercise simulating infiltrating Gaza
  • It happened again: Suspicion of abuse of children in a pre-school
Israel Hayom
  • “We will work together in order to ensure security for Israel” - Historic conference - and support for Israel: Two superpower leaders adopted Jerusalem’s stance about southern Syria
  • Practicing entering Gaza - (IDF) Preparing for an escalation
  • 12 years since the Second Lebanon War - “The quiet in the north is wonderful, but the gap (in education and salaries) from the center (of the country) is great”
  • Freedom, equality, CELEBRATION - France celebrates World Cup championships
  • Record number of students failed israel Bar exam
  • Humiliation for Palestinians: Hungarian Prime Minister will visit Israel, his deputy was sent to the Palestinian Authority
  • Enormous exit in hi-tech: Datorama was sold for $850 million
  • The Nation-State law should have been born long ago - hopefully, the scars will heal // Prof. Avraham Diskin

News Summary:
Israel flexes its muscles at the Gaza Strip and the Israeli papers (with the exception of ‘Israel Hayom’) express shock at US President Trump’s dissing of the US intel agencies during a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and they also reported that the two leaders’ declared they would cooperate on Syria in order to ensure Israel’s security making top stories in the Hebrew newspapers. Meanwhile, the Knesset is trying to pass 60 laws in the four days till it goes on summer recess. The controversial Jewish Nation-State law did not succeed in being passed yet, due to hundreds of reservations made by opposition members, much to the chagrin of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who vowed it would pass within hours or days.

Two days into the Gaza-Israel ‘cease-fire’ there were numerous exchanges: Gazans launched incendiary balloons at Israel and Israeli drones targeted them at Hamas targets, but did not injure anyone. Palestinians responded with a rocket.

Meanwhile, Israel tightened its embargo on Gaza by blocking fuel shipments and Netanyahu visited Israeli communities on the Gaza border and said: “We're fighting terror for 100 years, it won't end in one blow.” Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards' elite force, was supposed to address Gaza via satellite, but there was an unexplained technical glitch, which Hamas blamed on Israel. Israeli army's spokesman made fun of Soleimani.
Quick Hits:
  • EU blasts Israeli minister: You feed disinformation and mix BDS, terror - The EU's Federica Mogherini penned a sharp-worded letter to Israel's Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, accusing him of making 'unfounded and unacceptable' allegations that the organization supports terror. (Haaretz+)
  • *Israel Passes Law Meant to Keep Breaking the Silence Out of Schools - Law prohibits school activities organized by groups in favor of legal actions being taken abroad against Israeli soldiers. Critics ask: 'Where will we hear the truth about what's happening in the occupied territories?' Ram Cohen, a headmaster at Tel Aviv's Tichonet high school, said he hosted Breaking the Silence at the school last year and planned to invite the group again, even if it meant breaching the law. "As a principal, as an educator, it is my duty to stand up and say—no more.“ (Haaretz+, Maariv and Ynet)
  • Lieberman slams Bennett over clash with IDF chief - 'A politician who seeks to gain at the expense of the IDF chief is the most disgusting thing,' the defense minister tells Ynet after Bennett clashed with Eisenkot during a Cabinet meeting over the IDF's reluctance to shoot at incendiary balloon flies; HaBayit HaYehudi: Lieberman is a weak minister. (Ynet)
  • MK Bezalel Smotrich lashes out at deputy Attorney General: 'Your words mean nothing' - Knesset committee approves articles 5 and 6 of the nationality bill, but not before several MKs exchanged mild insults; Hasson accuses Dichter: 'You were a Trojan horse in Kadima,' Dichter replies: 'Chameleons envy the amount of colors you can change.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Bedouin village's school opens early in act of protest against slated demolition - Palestinian education ministry celebrated the opening of the school year in Khan al-Ahmar a month ahead of time, hoping this might stymie the village's evacuation. More than 170 students attended, alongside their families, as Palestinian Minister of Education Sabri Saydam declared the beginning of the school year at the Khan al-Ahmar school; several ministers and officials also attended the ceremony. (Haaretz+ and Maan)
  • Gaza aid worker for Turkish org gets 9 years for helping Hamas - Muhammad Murtaja, a Turkish humanitarian charity activist from Gaza, used his position to transfer hundreds of thousands of shekels to Hamas; activist funneled NIS 11K to terror group for military use. (Ynet)
  • Israel secretly releases Turkish citizen arrested for allegedly aiding Hamas - Lawyers for Ebru Özkan, who was jailed for a month, tell Haaretz that military prosecution sent her home and suspended proceedings against her by classifying her as someone who 'could not be located.’ (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Opposition MKs slam proposed 'Film Law' on government cinematic funding - Culture Minister Miri Regev wants her ministry to choose a group of script-readers to decide which films would receive government funding, instead of the method now: government funding of film funds who independently choose scripts to fund. (JPost)
  • Palestinian man gets 14-year sentence for stabbing Israeli woman in West Bank - Hamza Faiz must also pay victim Nirit Zmora $182,000 in compensation for her injury in the 2015 attack, ruled military court. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Five minors in Israeli town accused of attacks on asylum seekers - In two of the three incidents in Rehovot, the Eritreans who were assaulted needed to be hospitalized; Haaretz has learned of three similar cases in recent weeks. (Haaretz+)
  • Water Cut to Spring Near Jerusalem to Prevent Female Swimming - Ein Itamar was “adopted” by a group of men, some of them Bratslav Hasidim, who upgraded the site and have been using it regularly for years. The women’s visits have regularly sparked protests and arguments, and sometimes they have even obtained a police escort for fear of violence. In several cases, women have said they endured violence or sexual harassment when they tried to get near or enter a spring. (Haaretz+)
  • MK seeks to make Cave of the Patriarchs handicapped-accessible - "More than a million people visit the site each year, but many can't go inside and take part in the prayers," MK Shuli Mualem-Rafaeli writes in letter to defense minister, citing benefit to Jews and Muslims alike. Initiative receives broad support. (Israel Hayom)
  • Lapid accuses Netanyahu of leaking cabinet meeting in 2014 - After PM expresses frustration over leaks of heated exchange between IDF chief and Bennett, Yesh Atid leader claims Netanyahu divulged info during Operation Protective Edge; ‘We both know it’s true.’ (Ynet)
  • Rejecting deported wife's appeal, Israel says couple spent 'unreasonable time apart' - The population authority stated in its decision that the couple had spent “an unreasonable time apart for a married couple.” (Haaretz+)
  • Startup Cofounded by Ehud Barak Raises $12.5 Million for Cybersecurity - TechNation | Mantis Vision secures $55 million for 3D-camera technology. Alibaba executives in Israel to examine food-tech innovations. (Haaretz)
  • Analysis In turnaround, Israel may form body to vet foreign investment - Move would almost certainly focus on China, whose global shopping spree is creating anxiety in the U.S. and Europe. (Haaretz)
  • Natufian Matza Archaeologists Find 14,400-year-old Pita in Jordan's Black Desert - Making fresh bread from opportunistically collected wild grains was really hard, but maybe the innovation smelled so good that the people invented agriculture. (Haaretz+)
  • Hungarian PM to visit Israel, but only deputy to visit PA - In a sign of burgeoning diplomatic ties, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban will arrive in Israel on Wednesday for an official visit as guest of PM Benjamin Netanyahu • Orban, who has been accused of being anti-Semitic, expected to visit Western Wall. (Israel Hayom)
  • Syrian army says it captures strategic hill overlooking Israeli border - The hilltop, which had a major Syrian anti-aircraft radar base and is the highest ground in Daraa province, fell into rebel hands in October 2014; heavily bombed by Russian and Syrian forces in recent days as Assad recaptures swathes of land, Israel signals it will not impede offensive as long as it does not encroach on demilitarized zone. (Ynet)
  • Iran: If Trump wants to talk, he'll have to call - Week after US president says ‘at a certain point (Iran's) going to call me and say “let's make a deal,’” FM spokesman Barham Ghasemi appears to make overtures, saying 'maybe someday he will call Tehran and ask for negotiations—this is more likely.' (Ynet)
  • New details emerge on unprecedented 'Israeli strike' on Syria-Iraq border - According to the Wall Street Journal, Israel stuck a villa housing Shi'ite militias, Iranian forces in attempt to disrupt Iran's land corridor to Mediterranean. (Haaretz)
  • 22 people, including 9 Iranians, killed by alleged Israeli strike near Aleppo - reports - The attack targeted warehouses near Aleppo where weapons belonging to Iranian militias as well as to the Syrian army were stored, war monitor says. (Haaretz)


Features:
A D.C. reporter's weekend under Hamas rocket fire from Gaza
My house in Kibbutz Nahal Oz is as close to the Gaza border fence as Capitol Hill is to the Washington Memorial and this weekend, my first back in almost a year, was the most violent in recent memory. (Amir Tibon in Kibbutz Nahal Oz, Haaretz+)

Commentary/Analysis:
The Right Name for Jewish Terrorists (Nili Osherov, Haaretz+) A terrorist is someone who fights for a cause that is not accepted by the ruling authorities, and is willing to sacrifice innocent civilians as well as himself. Only one of these elements applies to the Jewish terrorists.
An army is not supposed to “view with severity," it is supposed to hit the terrorists and stop the arson (Prof. Arieh Eldad, Maariv) The Arabs, who assess the aiming ability of the pilots of the air force, understand very well that if you don’t manage to hit the first, second and third time, you probably are not aiming to harm.
Israeli Cabinet Wars Pressure Netanyahu to Act in Gaza (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) The dynamic on the Israeli side is beginning to remind us of 2014, just before the Gaza conflict. Meanwhile, Eizenkot is caught in a battle between Bennett and Lieberman, and his brief honeymoon with the right is coming to an end.
Proving itself to Iran, Hamas is deliberately playing with fire (Elior Levy, Ynet) Hamas reached a dead-end after Israel closed the Kerem Shalom border crossing. But the organization launched 200 rockets and bombs to impress Iran. An organization that wants a ceasefire, as Israel claims, does not do that. Nor does it send incendiary kites and balloons into Israeli communities.
If the Palestinians Don’t Want to Lose Everything (Tzvia Greenfield, Haaretz+) Debate over the Palestinians’ intentions and the missed opportunities no longer matters. Whatever they sought in the past doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is what they decide now. If U.S. President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” really exists and is not mere illusion, the Palestinians must immediately embrace it. If they do not, they could soon discover that by turning their backs on the U.S. administration they are giving Israel’s right-wing government an opportunity to annex all of Area C, the parts of the West Bank that according to the Oslo Accords were under full Israeli control. Then, any possibility of establishing a Palestinian state, even a small one, will vanish forever.
In Helsinki, Trump Hazed America as if He Were Putin’s Puppet (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz) U.S. president blames his own country for bad relations with Moscow and for its intervention in the 2016 elections - as if they were separate entities.
The investment in relations with Putin led to a great personal achievement for Netanyahu (Yossi Melman, Maariv) The Russian president told the press conference that Trump spoke to him about the commitment to Israel's security. He had said it before, but to say it that way, at the most important meeting of all, was of special significance.
In Helsinki, Trump and Putin Just Ripped 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 effectively wiped out 70 years of peace in Europe.
Orbán Is Coming to Israel to Meet His Soulmate Netanyahu. Here’s How He’s Taking Down Hungary’s Democracy (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) With the backing of his ideological partner, Hungary’s leader has used the refugee crisis to erode his country’s democracy. First of a three-part series.
The situation in the Gaza Strip: Lieberman is the most leftist member in the coalition government, and yet nothing has changed (Lilach Sigan, Maariv) It turns out that even the most right-wing government can’t change the reality in Gaza to less bad. If we do not cooperate with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, there will be no solution.
Principled activists or entitled brats? What's wrong with the Birthright walk-outs (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) Birthright’s programs are essentially a gift from the government of Israel and wealthy American Jews. The goal of these protests may be noble: the method – not so much.
The debate over the authority over conversion is far more critical than promoting (the right for Jews) to visit the Temple Mount (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) The first most important thing is a supreme effort to promote the war on ignorance regarding religion and tradition, which among many Israelis has reached astonishing proportions.
Keep the Internet Free (Haaretz Editorial) Israel's 'Facebook Law' would deal a mortal blow to freedom of expression and has no place in a democratic country.
The minister should change his mind (Yaakov Ahimeir, Israel Hayom) By barring a qualified researcher from a scientific venture because of her political views, Science Minister Ofir Akunis is echoing the Left's exclusion of the Right in the first decades of the state.
Sacha Baron Cohen’s 'Who is America?' is rude, crude and, occasionally, brilliant (Adrian Hennigan, Haaretz+) Cohen's Israeli 'terrorist terminator' Col. Erran Morad is a stroke of genius and proves that politicians will say anything – even voicing support for arming toddlers.
Interviews:
**Ron Kahlili: "Gaza is like the Warsaw Ghetto"; Yinon Magal: "You lost contact with reality"
The film director was hosted by [right-wing - OH] journalist Yinon Magal and Anat Davidov on 103 FM and claimed that he understands Hamas firing missiles at innocent civilians: "I think that every Israeli has to understand Hamas. To continue to act patronizingly towards (Hamas), to ignore its interests and its human composition, to be blind - we’ve been here before," he said. “For years there has been a bitter enemy in the south of the country. We must look at the 'white of his eyes' and understand what enemy is in front of us. We call everything it does terror, and with that we end the matter." (103FM/Maariv)

Kahlili: "We have an enemy facing us who has very specific choices and if we get into his shoes we can understand him." He described a hypothetical situation in which Israel is under siege in some big ghetto and receives money from American Jewry who wants to save us. "What would we do with this money? Would we build a school there, agree to the occupation and our presence in the ghetto, or would we build tunnels and bombs to get out of the ghetto and free our brothers and sisters? This is a real dilemma. Our forefathers, brothers, and people chose to establish infrastructures within the ghetto and we know what their end was. On the other hand, we mark the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, which calls for "yes" to resisting.”

Anat Davidov: “Those same Hamas people are holding millions of residents hostage."
Yinon Magal: “You are the arrogant person when you call to understand the human makeup of Hamas, and you claim that if its human composition is such, then we have to accept the fact that it fires at innocent civilians. You compare Gaza to the Warsaw ghetto - you lost contact with reality.”

Kahlili: "True, I think that if we cling to the claim that we must not compare things to the Holocaust, then we are actually annihilating the memory of the Holocaust. The Holocaust is a historical element that we must constantly learn lessons from and draw conclusions from it. It is inconceivable that we will spoil the memory of the Holocaust by forgetting it all the time and saying that it is forbidden to talk about it. You can continue to ignore Hamas, continue to ignore the Arabs, continue to support the national law, make separation and treat the Arabs as subhuman. " The Holocaust is not a thing to be forgotten or forbidden to talk about. We can not continue to ignore Hamas, continue to ignore the Arabs, continue to support the nation-state law, make a separations and treat the Arabs as subhuman."

Magal: "What are you even comparing? Did Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto bomb the nearby Poles? It's not serious and it’s bizarre, I treat the Arabs as sub-humans? You treat the Arabs as sub-humans., You understand people who shoot at civilians. We should never have invited you to the broadcast here. All those years you (leftists) told us that the problem is the occupation, that there are settlers and roadblocks. We removed the (Jewish) dead from Gaza, not just the living, and now you understand them when they shoot at us?”

Kahlili: "When we left Gaza, we did not make an agreement with Hamas, it did not exist at the time. (Sic - it existed. Israel withdrew from Gaza unilaterally without transferring power to the Palestinian Authority which left the Strip open to the chaos that immediately ensued. - OH] We withdrew unilaterally. To say that they are not fulfilling their side of an agreement is political folly. You are separating the Arab residents of Gaza and the Arab residents of the West Bank - they are one people. Hamas sees itself as the representative of the Palestinian people and as far as it is concerned, occupation is occupation and therefore you must take it seriously.

Kahlili
: “About two million Gazans are stuck in a triangle - Israel, Egypt and Hamas. They are suffering and there is no argument about that. I also have no argument with the fact that Hamas is a murderous organization that uses terror to achieve its goals, but I say something else. Let's put ourselves in its shoes, be smart for a moment and put aside the hatred, the hostility and the interests, and understand what their motivation is. "

After Magal explained that Hamas' motivation stems from its desire to return to their lands as saboteurs, Kahlili said it was necessary to deal with this.

Kahlili: “It’s unavoidable, they won’t disappear. Even if we starve them or put them behind bars. If their demand is to discuss borders in negotiations - we must examine how we do that. What can be given and what can not be given, where are our red lines and in this way we will talk about this matter once and for all."
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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