News Nosh: 7.30.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday, July 30, 2018

Quote of the day:
"Although Professor Harari is proud of his Israeliness, he is not interested in cooperating with the (Israeli) Consulate...We prefer not to represent the government as long as it persists with this policy."
-- Karin Eliahu-Perry, the personal manager of Professor Yuval Noah Harari, explained to the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles that Israel's passing of the Nation-State Law and the Surrogacy Law were the reasons Harari refused to attend a Consulate reception in his honor. (Haaretz and Yedioth, p. 20)*

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • The vaccinations storm - Families of sick children who were exposed to measles because of a child who wasn’t vaccinated are furious
  • “Our beloved child, who knows what you went through in those moments? Did you cry out, ‘Mommy’ or ‘Daddy’?” - Father of Eylon Shalev-Amsalem, who was killed by a suspected drunk driver
  • Driver with blood on his hands - Eli Bar-Zakai drove drunk, but runs away from responsibility
  • The widow of the commander of the elite commando got engaged to the officer who received a medal of honor
  • (Labor party chief) Gabbay to MK Broshi: “Resign”
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Due to another claim of (sexual) harassment: MK Broshi was suspended from the (Labor) party
  • Fear in IDF: The interceptor missile will fall to Syrian hands
  • A hug from the President - Druze met with Netanyahu, who refused to change the Nation-State Law, and found solace with Rivlin
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu blamed the left-wing for the hullaballoo over the Jewish Nation-State Law, Labor Party Chief Avi Gabbay asked MK Eitan Broshi to resign from the party after another sexual harassment testimony against the latter, and the mourning over the killing of a 13-year-old boy by a drunk driver were the top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Meanwhile, Palestinian teenage girl, Ahed Tamimi, was released from Israeli prison and Saudi Arabia’s king declared in contradiction to the Crown Prince that the US peace plan must include E. Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.

Netanyahu told his ministers not to be apologetic about the Jewish Nation-State Law, for which criticism is mounting. All the newspapers, with the usual exception of ‘Israel Hayom,’ expressed surprise that he blamed the left-wing for the attacks and ignored that the Druze population of Israel is leading the protest. Israel Hayom, however, ran an enormous Op-Ed on its front page equating opposition to the Nation-State Law with being a supporter of Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi, who was jailed for slapping a soldier. (Yet President Reuven Rivlin showed empathy in his meeting with Druze leaders yesterday. Still, Culture Minister Miri Regev instructed Haifa’s mayor to prohibit a nation-state protest event, which she said was organized by 'those who wish us ill, who undermine our existence.’
 
Quick Hits:
  • Israel to open Jewish heritage center in Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem - Israel to spend more than $1 million on the center in Silwan, devoted to Yemenite immigrants in the 19th century. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel Regularly Detains a Known Palestinian Activist – Without a Restraining Order - International peace activist Issa Amro claims he is often arrested and held up by the military at checkpoints, sometimes for up to two hours; the IDF denies that a special warrant was issued against him. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli settlers assault Palestinian couple in Hebron City - Samer Ghanem, and his wife were attacked on their way to their home in the Tel Rumedia neighborhood. Israeli settlers stormed the neighborhood and attacked the married couple with pepper spray, and threw an unknown substance on them. (Maan)
  • Case against policemen who assaulted Israeli Arab lawmaker dropped - Only two policemen received disciplinary action despite the Justice of Ministry questioning 10 for potential involvement in the 2017 assault on MK Ayman Odeh. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel approves medical transfer of Palestinian child from Gaza - Khaled Abu Sahloul, will receive a kidney transplant from his mother, who was rejected several times from crossing, under the pretext of security reasons, preventing her them from undergoing the parent-to-child kidney transplant in a northern West Bank hospital. (Maan)
  • Israel Navy stops activist boat attempting to break Gaza blockade - The boat was carrying 22 people from 16 different countries in protest against Israel's decade-long blockade. (Haaretz, Maan and Ynet)
  • Palestinian woman released from Israeli prison - Yasmine Abed al-Rahman Abu Srour, 21, was released after seven months of imprisonment is an Israeli prison where she served a four month sentence on ‘incitement.’ (Maan)
  • Israeli University Heads Challenge Decision to Open Med School in West Bank Settlement - University heads claim the move to open the school at the Ariel University was a 'diktat by politicians' that will pave the way for governmental interference in the educational system. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel expelling two Italian artists who painted mural of Ahed Tamimi on separation wall - The two were released and ordered to leave the country within 72 hours. (Haaretz)
  • *Yuval Noah Harari Rebuffs Israeli Consulate Event in Protest of New Israeli Laws - After enactment of nation-state and surrogacy laws, historian and best-selling author declines to be associated with Israeli policy. (Haaretz and Yedioth, p. 20)
  • Security impairments revealed in Adam [settlement] - After the terror stabbing attack in Adam in which 31-year-old Yotam Ovadia had been critically wounded and later succumbed to his wounds, Adam's committee chairman says 'some parts of the fence were established in the early 1980s'; West Bank Division's security officer says most of West bank's communities are not protected. (Ynet)
  • Israel sponsors booth at Berlin Pride Parade; LGBT activists: it's pinkwashing - 'Instead of working for equal rights at home they are courting the LGBT community abroad,' activists say. (Haaretz)
  • Ex-MK Moshe Feiglin backs son urging soldiers to refuse orders - "IDF's top command cares more about the International Criminal Court in The Hague than about protecting the soldiers under its command," Moshe Feiglin says. Avi Feiglin, a soldier, says comrades' blood is "forfeit in the name of political correctness." (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli General Warns Against Imposing Modesty Restrictions on Female Soldiers - The letter by Manpower Directorate head Moti Almoz follows increasing reports of exclusion of female soldiers or requests that they dress modestly for religious reasons. (Haaretz+)
  • For the first time, uniforms in a female style: The Border Police is launching a new look - Over the past year, a number of models of uniforms have been tested to make warriors' uniforms suitable for operational activity. A special design was launched for women fighting in the IDF - who represent 25% of the number of soldiers serving. (Maariv)
  • IDF: Decision to destroy David's Sling interceptor missile correct - After the IAF launched David's Sling interceptor missiles Monday against rockets fired within neighboring Syria, a military comprehensive debriefing concludes decision-makers acted correctly by destroying the interceptor in midair; IDF says further technical considerations cannot be revealed. (Ynet)
  • Dogfight underway for $10 billion Israel Air Force contracts - The IAF will be placing orders for fighter jets, refueling planes and transport helicopters as Lockheed, Boeing and Israel Aerospace Industries battle it out. (Haaretz)
  • While building a museum for mosaics in Israel, another gorgeous mosaic is found - Could the owner have been Jewish? The 1,700-year-old manse unearthed in Lod featured every luxury, as well as glorious mosaics showing animals but no people. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • UN envoy says 'positive talks' with Egypt on Israel-Hamas deal - Nikolay Mladenov has been attempting to come to an agreement on an end of hostilities to be followed by a return of the bodies of Israeli soldiers and progress on humanitarian projects. (Haaretz)
  • Fatah delegation heads to Cairo to discuss Palestinian reconciliation deal with Hamas - PA leaning towards supporting Egyptian proposal, which Hamas has also endorsed. (Haaretz+)
  • Gaza Health Ministry backtracks, says two Palestinians killed by accidental explosion, not by Israel - Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine says dead men were among its members, while sources say they were trying to fire rocket when it exploded. (Haaretz+)
  • US defense secretary: We're not pursuing regime change in Iran - Amid bellicose back-and-forth between the U.S. and Iran, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says U.S. still aims to curb Iran's threatening behavior in the Middle East • "We need them to change their behavior on a number of threats," Mattis tells reporters. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Record low in Iran: Its currency crumbles - Economic crisis in the Islamic Republic worsens: 100,000 Iranian Rials are worth one dollar. Within four months the Rial lost half of its worth. (Agencies, Ynet/Yedioth, p. 26)
  • US examines military action against Iran - CNN report: Washington is considering action against Tehran, following escalating rhetoric and Iranian threats against oil exports. Officials claim that any military action would be carried out by US allies in the region. (Ynet)
  • US seeks to revive an 'Arab NATO' to confront Iran - Trump administration quietly pushing a bid to create a new security, political alliance with six Gulf Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, in part to counter Iran's expansion in the region • Alliance to focus on missile defense, counterterrorism, economic ties. (Israel Hayom)


Commentary/Analysis:
The Apartheid Prime Minister (Haaretz Editorial) Netanyahu has given up on democracy and made it his mission to strengthen international recognition of Israel as 'the state of the Jewish people,' and their state alone.
Slap in the face: Nation-State law establishes my status as a second-rate journalist in Israel (Safa Farhat, Maariv) My status as a Druze journalist was in itself a huge challenge. With the enactment of the delusional, discriminatory and painful law, I received the sad and correct picture that I never wanted to see.
Netanyahu’s Incitement on Nation-state Law Heralds Approach of Israel’s Day of Reckoning (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Controversial laws force many Israelis to look at their state in the mirror and to discover they can hardly recognize it any more.
What can be understood from the IDF investigation into the interception failure by the David’s Sling system? (Yossi Melman, Maariv) The IDF Spokesperson issued a statement stating that "the decision-making process, in the face of identifying the threat and taking into account the short timetable, was correct," but refused to specify what the error was. In essence, the IDF admits for the first time that there were hitches in the interception of the missiles in Syria, but for security reasons it refuses to detail what caused the operational failure, apparently a technical malfunction in the system itself or a human error by one of its operators. It may be recalled that there is a concern that one of the interceptors fell in Syria and did not self-destruct, so its pieces may get into the hands of Assad, Russia and Iran.
Failed by Their Leadership, Palestinians Hope for Thousands More Ahed Tamimis (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Tamimi's village Nabi Saleh once led the popular struggle. Now the released Palestinian teen icon and her mother are inspiring thousands to follow their example.
The application of the Nation-State law must be consistent with the principle of equality (Prof. Oded Mudrik, Maariv)….There is a contradiction in the conclusion that the Nation-State law does not harm and is not intended to harm equality in the context of social minority organizations, but it harms or is intended to harm the civil equality of members of the ethnic minority. Nevertheless, it is impossible to ignore the voices of protest by members of the Druze community, who have forged a blood alliance with the Jewish state and which generally do not negate the identity of the State of Israel as a nation state of the Jewish people. It is worth trying to understand this issue…In my opinion, everything is funneled into the statement in section 7 of the Basic Law: "The State views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value, and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation." If Jewish settlement is a national value, then non-Jewish settlement, including that of Druze, is contrary to national values. While the law does not prohibit non-Jewish settlement, in the case of "conflicting" settlement plans, the Jewish national value is liable to take the land from under a non-Jewish settlement. That is a difficult knot that must be untied. The argument of the "ghetto" of Israeli Arabs in general and those of the Druze community in particular is a primary factor in the sense - and in this context also of reality - of "second-class citizens." I do not think that the Nation-State law should be amended. However, it is essential that the methods of implementing the value of national settlement be consistent with the principle of equality. There are practical ways to do this. They may also be anchored in law. This is an inherent obligation of the State of Israel as it emerges from the explanatory notes of the Nation-State Law: "The State of Israel is a democratic state committed to human and civil rights ... The purpose of this Basic Law is to protect ... the status of Israel as the state of the Jewish people in equal standing to the protection the Basic Law provides in Israel to human rights and the democratic character of the state."
Ahed Tamimi and Her Family: Israel's Ongoing PR Disaster (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) By trying to make an example out of Ahed Tamimi's arrest, Israel helped transform her into an anti-occupation poster child.
The most anti-Israeli law (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth) Netanyahu called on his colleagues yesterday not to apologize for the Nation-State Law. The polls that he is reading convince him that the protest (against it) is weak and divided. It’s possible to break it. We need to prove to him he’s wrong.
Ahed Tamimi's Attorney: Eight Months in Prison Didn't Break Her (Gaby Lasky, Haaretz+) The attempts to break Ahed's spirit continued after her arrest as well: police and military intelligence used aggressive, questionably legal measures in interrogating her. But this courageous girl didn't give in for a moment.
Israel, which is repeatedly stung by terror, is acting too ‘cultured’ (Yossi Ahimeir, Maariv) Although there is no existential threat to these stings, there is also no longer any possibility of accept them, but rather to repel them with a strong hand. Given the differences in polar cultures, we must stop with self-flagellation.
Bahloul, I Too Am Glad You Resigned (Abed L. Azab, Haaretz+) Coexistence never had our best interests at heart. Now it is time for us non-Zionist Arabs to stand our ground.
No policy, no security (Tali Ben Ovadia, Yedioth/Ynet) In the north, Netanyahu, the statesman and the security man, has enabled Hezbollah to arm itself with game-changing weapons and Iran to gain a foothold in Syria, but he has created a situation giving the IDF freedom to act in the heart of the war-torn country. But in the south, it seems Hamas dictates the terms and while no military option is viable, Bibi has no political alternative.
Israel's Resigning Arab Legislator Is Right and Wrong at the Same Time (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) Zouheir Bahloul should retract his resignation and keep making life difficult for the rightists in Zionist Union.
The end of ambiguity: The status and uniqueness of the two main parties of the center is fading (Dr. Revital Amiran, Maariv) As for all of us, there is no magic formula that is not discussed extensively in the right or the left. Apart from empathy for the residents of the Gaza perimeter, the main parties do not have a serious diplomatic plan.
Instead of Crafting a Strategy on Iran, Trump Plays With the Lion's Tail (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) In his battle of wits with Rohani, Trump blinked first. Like Israel, Washington mistakenly believes that tactical strikes on Iranian targets and threats on Twitter can get Iran out of Syria.
Bloodshed will not break our spirits (Emily Amrousi, Israel Hayom) Terrorism can sow fear and destroy families. But it fails and will always fail in its ultimate goals. Radical Islam will never establish a global caliphate, and it will never oust the Jews from the land of Israel.
Why a 17-year-old Palestinian Went Out to Stab Jews (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) The question actually is why so few Palestinians do the same amid the century of injustice and dispossession and years more to come.
Thoughts on my departure (Japan Ambassador Koji Tomita, Israel Hayom) As Japan's ambassador to Israel, I have seen many examples of Israel's remarkable capacity to derive strength from weakness, which I think is a hallmark of a great country.
Iranians in Syria, Hamas at the Fence (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) Israel has been sending an unequivocal message that the Iranians won’t be allowed to approach its border. But is it succeeding in sending the same message to Hamas in Gaza?
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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