News Nosh: 7.31.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Quote of the day:
“This morning when I awoke to drive to the base I asked myself why. Why should I serve the State of Israel, the state that I and my two brothers and my father served with devotion, a sense of mission and with love of our homeland when in the end, what do we get? To be class B citizens?"
--Capt. Amir Jmall, a member of Israel's Druze community, posted an open letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on his Facebook page Sunday, stating that he will stop serving in the military in protest of the controversial Jewish Nation-State law.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
Two Italian artists who painted a mural of Palestinian teen, Ahed Tamimi, who was jailed for slapping an Israeli soldier who entered her property shortly after soldiers shot her cousin in the face, were expelled and barred from entering Israel for 10 years.**

Front Page:
Haaretz
  • IDF’s scenario for war in the north: Hundreds of thousands will be evacuated, limited defense from missiles
  • Trump: I’m willing to meet with Rouhani without preconditions
  • Army recommends to establish gas rig 10 kilometers from the coast
  • International expert on rigs near the beach: The worst possible scenario was not accounted for
  • CEOs called on the Prime Minister to change the (Jewish) Nation-State Law; Hundreds demonstrated in Tel-Aviv
  • “Consider it a warning”: Israeli questioned at Ben-Gurion Airport about his support for ‘Breaking the Silence’
  • Mentally ill man was defined as a ‘nuisance’ by the authorities and left without a framework for treatment
  • The apathy increases // Mohammed Azaiza
  • Rescue operation - Assuta Hospital is in an enormous deficit and will need the government to rescue it
  • (Regev,) Get off the field // Haaretz Editorial
  • Commission of Inquiry has begun and the banks will have to explain the credit line they gave to tycoons
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Not coming down the tree - MK Eitan Broshi, who was accused again of sexual harassment, demanded that Labor party chief Avi Gabbay apologize for calling him a ‘sex criminal’ or he’ll sue him
  • The Druze officer’s protest - Captain Amir Jmall posted on Facebook he will resign from military service in protest of the Jewish Nation-State Law and called on fellow Druze to do the same
  • The Malaysian plane: The mystery increases
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
*A Druze officer in the Israeli military said he would leave the service in protest against the Jewish Nation-State Law, while thousands of Israelis, Jewish and Arab, participated in a joint mass Arabic class in protest to the Law, which also removes Arabic as an official language of Israel, and President Reuven Rivlin, who opposes the Law, declared he had to sign on it or resign so he will sign, but in Arabic (Yedioth), while Labor party MK Eitan Broshi, who was accused by a second woman of sexual harassment, threatened to sue Labor party chief Avi Gabbay for calling him a 'sex criminal'  - making the top two stories in today's Hebrew newspapers along with the declaration by US President Donald Trump that he is willing to meet his Iranian counterpart without preconditions.
 
Quick Hits:
  • Israeli settlers vandalize Palestinian property in Ramallah-area village - Israeli settlers stormed al-Mughayyir village predawn Monday, slashed tires of eight Palestinian-owned vehicles and sprayed racist, anti-Palestinian graffiti on the walls of Palestinian homes. (Maan+PHOTOS)
  • In first, incendiary balloon lands in Be'er Sheva - Sappers rush to street in Negev desert's largest city to remove balloon believed to have been flown from Gaza, raising fears the daily fires may no longer be restricted to Gaza border towns only. (Ynet)
  • Israel prevents toddler from visiting imprisoned mother - Yahiya, 2,  was completely prevented from seeing his mother Lama Khater, not only from visiting her. Khater, a Palestinian writer and a mother of five from the southern West Bank district of Hebron, was detained from her home during a predawn raid by Israeli forces on July 24th. (Maan)
  • Israel temporarily cancels Gaza family-prisoner visits - Israel announced temporary cancellation of all visits of families from Gaza to Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons  until further notice. (Maan)
  • International Freedom Flotilla members remain detained by Israel - Israeli naval forces are still holding 20 international solidarity activists in detention, while two Israeli activists were released on bail, that were aboard the Freedom Flotilla ship that was attacked on Sunday sailing towards besieged Gaza. (Maan)
  • Israel detains Palestinian television employees after banning its operations - 20 detained in overnight raid, including four workers of Al-Quds, which Israel declared a terrorist organization earlier this month. Students from Hebron university, members of Hamas student group, detained as well. (Maanand Haaretz+)
  • Shin Bet to build four more detention facilities to meet court ruling - High Court ordered the state that all prisons and detention facilities meet a minimum 4.5 square meters per detainee. (Haaretz+)
  • Palestinian inmates deliberately wasting water, Prison Service says - Israel is grappling with a five-year drought and the public has been asked to use precious resources wisely, but security prisoners are reportedly wasting hundreds of thousands of cubic feet of water on purpose. IPS mulls steps to curb jails' water use. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli Author Questioned by Shin Bet at Ben-Gurion Airport Over Involvement in Leftist Groups - Moriel Rothman-Zecher, who lives in the U.S., says his interrogator told him he should think of their conversation as a warning: 'It's a slippery slope.’ (Haaretz+)
  • **Two Italian artists who painted mural of Ahed Tamimi barred from Israel for 10 years, lawyer says - The two, who were arrested for painting the mural on the separation wall, left Israel after their visa was revoked. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • (Actress) Renana Raz on the storm she sparked: “I’m afraid to speak, ashamed of the elected officials"
  • "As a citizen, I have a duty to express my protest," said the actress who sparked a storm by criticizing the (Jewish) nation-state law and (right-wing) elected officials. (Maariv)
  • Palestinian convicted of manslaughter gets 18 years in prison - After initially being charged with murder of Israeli farmer David Bar Kafra, Palestinian Alaa Atzi sentenced to maximum punishment for manslaughter; Bar Kafra's daughter laments 'Jewish blood has become expendable.' (Ynet)
  • War With Hezbollah, According to the IDF: Hundreds of Rockets, Less Interceptions and Power Outages - While the intelligence community still thinks the probability of war initiated by Hezbollah is low, the main concern is that local events in Syria or Lebanon will trigger an escalation. (Haaretz+)
  • Building new natural gas rig off Israel's shores poses high ecological risks, expert warns - Flora, fauna and nature reserves stand to be harmed by Leviathan field off the Dor Beach coast, Prof. Rick Steiner says. (Haaretz+)
  • Sara Netanyahu: I support the LGBT community -
  • After Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu voted in favor of the Surrogacy Law which prevents same-sex couples from becoming parents through the surrogacy process, his wife Sara express her support of the LGBT community; says she works behind the scenes to promote and assist the community. (Ynet)
  • PM to attend inauguration of Colombian president in Bogota - In Bogota, Netanyahu to meet with the leaders of Guatemala, Honduras, Argentina and Chile, among others. Colombian President-elect Iván Duque Márquez voiced support for moving his country's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem throughout his election campaign. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel prevents 81 Turkish citizens from entering country saying their visa was forged - Turkish media reports 90 Turkish nationals were rejected. Immigration Authority says their group visa was apparently forged in Israel. (Haaretz+)
  • US ambassador visits family of Adam terror victim - David Friedman is the first US envoy to pay visit to terror victims’ families in West Bank, signalling possible change in US policy; ‘There are no words that can describe the evil and barbarity.’ (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Rivlin to slain terror victim's widow: Be doubly strong - During president's visit to family of Yotam Ovadia, who was stabbed to death by Palestinian terrorist last week, victim's wife says 'The children don't understand', failure to demolish family’s home ‘is not right.’ (Yedioth/Ynet(
  • Gabbay associate suspected of forging Defense Ministry document - The close associate to the Zionist Union chairman allegedly forged a document to enable her to operate a phone and laptop during a preventive driving course. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Protesters demand government bring remaining Ethiopian Jews - Hundreds gather in Jerusalem to demand government uphold 2015 pledge to bring remaining 8,000 Jews living in East African country to Israel. MKs, activists and relatives of Jews forced to remain in Ethiopia attend protest outside Prime Minister's Office. (Israel Hayom)
  • Impressive showing for Israeli students at science olympiads - Members of National Science Team win two gold medals, three silvers at International Physics Olympiad in Lisbon; take home silver and bronze at International Chemistry Olympiad in Prague. Saudi student refuses to stand next to Israeli on medal podium. (Israel Hayom)
  • Palestinian Muftis Bar Participation in Jerusalem Elections - Recent developments prompted need to reiterate long-standing policy, as religious authorities say participating constitutes capitulation. (Haaretz+)
  • Hamas Delegation Makes Unplanned Visit to Cairo as Egypt Seeks to Clinch Palestinian Reconciliation - Palestinian Authority hopes international pressure will convince Hamas to hand over control of Gaza, which the group has rejected before. (Haaretz+)
  • Gaza tensions rise over UN cuts to Palestinian refugee agency - More than 250 jobs eliminated last week at UNRWA, sparking a wave of protests in the Gaza Strip. UNRWA official warns that "if the aid stops, teaching will be stopped, and the fate of a quarter of a million Palestinian students will be unknown." (Israel Hayom)
  • US mulls another drastic cut to Palestinian aid agency's budget - U.S. lawmakers seek to penalize U.N. relief agency for inflating the number of Palestinian refugees from 20,000 to 5.2 million. Sources say Trump administration likely to release long-classified report. Bill's sponsor: Move would force changes at UNRWA. (Israel Hayom)
  • Britain to more than double financial support for West Bank and Gaza - The U.K. government announced it would increase its budget to stimulate the economy, help create jobs and increase access to water and electricity in Gaza. (Haaretz)
  • Syrian Government Regains Control of Frontier With Israel - Breakthrough caps a six-week-long campaign to retake the southwest corner of the country. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • ISIS abducts 36 Druze women, children in Syria - Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 20 women and 16 children were kidnapped during suicide attacks carried out by the terror group last week in which 250 people were killed; attacks came against a backdrop of military successes scored by Assad. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Israeli advocacy group goes after $1B in Iranian assets in Europe - Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center petitions Washington court to order European Investment Bank to divulge the scope of Iranian assets it holds, ensure restitution to terror victims • If petition is granted, it will cripple Iran's business ventures in Europe. (Israel Hayom)
  • Contrary to Israeli claims, Switzerland says it doesn't forcibly return asylum seekers to Eritrea - Israelis supporting deportations have held on to a recent Swiss ruling permitting the return of Eritreans in some cases, but the Swiss Embassy in Israel says forced expulsion is 'not permitted and not reasonable.’ (Haaretz+)


Features:
From Dissident to Establishment As Sharansky steps down from Jewish Agency, a look at his legacy
His time at the Agency will probably be remembered more for what he didn’t accomplish than what he did, at the Western Wall and on Israel’s conversion policy. (Judy Maltz, Haaretz+)

Commentary/Analysis:
This is a grim time for Diaspora lovers of Israel (Eric H. Yoffie, Haaretz+) From jettisoning LGBT and minority rights to befriending the European nationalist right and abjectly surrendering to ultra-Orthodox dictates, Netanyahu serially chooses the path of stupidity, political convenience and moral obtuseness
Strange bedfellows (Amnon Lord, Israel Hayom) Ahed Tamimi, the propaganda icon of the Palestinian revolution and the Israeli Left, has come out against the nation-state law. Perhaps this will help Druze leaders see who their new friends are.
It is more than legitimate to side with the end of the occupation, but not to tell a story that is not true (Lilach Sigan, Maariv) The constant media coverage of all Palestinian violence does not improve the situation of the Palestinians, but rather that of Hamas leaders. This raises the chances of a child on the other side to grow up on hatred and to end up as a martyr.
Israel's nation-state law is good for the Druze (Rabah Halabi, Haaretz+) The law puts an end to the delusion of having a shared fate, 'the covenant of blood,' or 'covenant of life,' and the rest of the hollow clichés.
The time has come to make sure that the Druze stand beside the Jews not only as soldiers (Kuftan Halabi, Maariv) Although members of the community serve in the IDF and are valued in their positions, immediately after the end of the service, the treatment of them changes dramatically. Now, the Nation-State Law needs to be changed to help them integrate.
Regev, Get Off the Field (Haaretz Editorial) Culture and sports minister's support for a new regulation for sports associations is just another expression of the tyranny of the religious minority over the secular majority.
Reinforce both the wall and our sovereignty (Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom) Israel needs to throw off Muslim objections to professional maintenance of the Temple Mount compound walls. If any part of them collapses, the world will blame Israel and Israel alone.
Gaza's indifference will spell its end (Mohammed Azaiza, Haaretz+) My small city, which has become sad and dark, has taught me something new. It, like Gaza as a whole, needs not only its infrastructure rehabilitated, but also its men, women and children
In the High Court of Justice: one trial for Jews and another for Arabs (Prof. Arieh Eldad, Maariv) The loss of public trust in the High Court is a clear danger. And afterward, no one should be surprised why the public and its representatives in the Knesset want to limit the power of the High Court of Justice.
No solid grounds for an objection (Dr. Eitan Orkibi, Israel Hayom) One would hope that a petition against the nation-state law signed by 180 "intellectuals" would provide solid arguments, but it is nothing more than a dictate for groupthink.
Egypt's War on 'Rumors' Threatens to Kill the Free Press (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) A sweeping new law targeting what Egyptian President al-Sissi calls 'the greatest threat facing the country' will further harm Egyptian civil rights.
The Left exploits the Druze (Atta Farhat, Israel Hayom) If we Druze demand to be added to the nation-state law, Israel will cease to be Jewish and will instead become a state of all its citizens.
From Facebook to YouTube, Netanyahu is actively courting the Iranian people. There couldn’t be a worse messenger (Alex Vatanka, Haaretz+) Tehran, it's Little Satan calling: As conflict between Israel and Iran looms over Syria, Netanyahu seeks to pressure Tehran by addressing Iranians directly. But what if Israeli and Iranian citizens themselves built their own anti-escalation, anti-war dialogue?
Netanyahu (Love) Bombs Iran on Twitter: Effective Public Diplomacy or Geopolitical Trolling? (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+VIDEOS) Adopting a sympathetic tone, the Israeli prime minister is reaching out to the Iranian public online and telling them he feels their pain.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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