News Nosh: 8.1.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Quote of the day:
“After the passage of the nation-state law I couldn’t restrain myself and keep quiet any longer. There isn’t a single word about equality in the law. The right to equality is one of the most important basic rights in every country in the democratic world, and that should have been the case in our country too – but to my regret that didn’t happen.” 
--Former deputy president of Israel's High Court, Salim Joubran, himself an Arab citizen, called the new nation-state law racist and warned it will strengthen existing discrimination against Arab society.*

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • “Leave the politics outside of the army” - The Druze protest reaches the IDF, the Chief of Staff struggles with the erosion
  • (My Druze brothers,) I apologize // Yoav Keren
  • Enough of the demagoguery // Yifat Erlich
  • The fires commando - At Kibbutz Beeri they understood that the kite terror requires special action
  • Danger near the park - Severe report: Safety defects endanger children on the way to the parks
  • Farmers against the viral video clip: “There is no plastic on the lettuce”
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • The (Druze) officers’ protest expands
  • Gaps in citizenship // Tal Lev-Ram
  • Eisenkot is trying to save // Yossi Melman
  • Senior political source: “There is no change in the US attitude towards Iran”
  • ‘Facebook Law’ will be re-examined - Prime Minister, who opposed passing the law that would prevent crimes on the Internet out of fear of harming freedom of speech on the social media networks, announced he would reconsider it
Israel Hayom
  • The challenge: Distancing Hezbollah from the Golan border - Change in strategy in the north: After years - Assad controls all of the territory facing Israel
  • TGI poll: ‘Israel Hayom’ continues to lead
  • Nation-State Law - answer to the the post-Zionist trouble // Boaz Haetzni
  • Exclusive: The drafted car is being released - IDF will stop emergency draft of vehicles from civilians - and move to leasing
  • The Iranians are hardening their position: We won’t meet with President Trump
  • Facebook reveals: We identified an attempt to politically tilt ahead of elections for Congress

News Summary:
Today’s top story was the expanding protest over the Jewish Nation-State Law and in particular, how the IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot is now forced to deal with the fallout after two Druze officers declared on Facebook that they were leaving their career service. Eisenkot told Druze soldiers to leave politics out of the army and the IDF suspended one of the Druze officers. But as most Israeli commentators noted (see Commentary/Analysis below), that simply isn’t possible. Maariv’s military analyst, Tal Lev-Ram, reported that the army estimates that despite the protest, a wave of resignations by Druze officers is not expected, but that if the current crisis continues, the potential future damage increases.

Maariv reported that 200 people demonstrated against the law in Haifa last night and Yedioth reported that former heads of the security establishment will participate in a rally against the law this Saturday night. They include former chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi, former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo and former Shin Bet heads Yuval Diskin and Ami Ayalon. Maariv reported that a majority of Israelis support adding a clause about equality in the law, according to a poll by Tel-Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institute. Still 52% of Jewish Israelis believe the law needed to be legislated and 47% thought it shouldn't have been.

Nation-State Law Quickees:
  • MK Sa'ad demanded the cancellation of the participation of MK Avi Dichter at a grant ceremony for members of the Druze community - Ahead of the granting scholarships to members of the Druze community, Druze MK Salah Sa’ad (Zionist Camp) appealed to Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, President of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, and asked that the man who proposed the Nation-State Law not be present at the ceremony, saying: “The presence of Dichter in the Druze scholarship ceremony is a disgrace to the event." (Maariv)
  • *Ex-justice Joubran: Nation-state Law Should Be Quashed - Salim Joubran, former deputy president of the Supreme Court, warned in a radio interview on Tuesday that the new nation-state law will strengthen existing discrimination against Arab society, saying “The law is bad, superfluous and doesn’t add honor to the Israeli law books" and adding that he would definitely reject it were on the bench now. (Haaretz+)
  • Journalist Amit Segal: "I'm tired of declarations about the end of democracy. I”m waiting for Fascism to come" - Itai Segal, political commentator of the (Channel 2) The News company, and Ben Aluf, editor of Ha'aretz, discussed on the 103FM radio program of Anat Davidov and Yinon Magal about how to cover the protest over the Nation-State law: Segal: “Every time the legitimacy of the legislation is forgotten and only horror scenarios of the other side are presented.” Ben: "I think that the law is important and so is the debate. It is not a situation of zero and one. The role of the media is to be critical and not just to tell what the prime minister said." (Maariv)
  • Druze Brigadier General (res.): “I’m afraid (Jewish) people will not sell us apartments because of the Nation-State law" - Hasson Hasson, the military secretary of the former president, referred to the community's decision to protest against the Nation-State law: "The state is divided into sane and fanatic, it hard to fathom.” (Maariv)
  • Former Jerusalem Police District Commander: "Without the Druze in the Border Guard, I would not have had control over the city" - Major General (res.) Aryeh Amit, who signed a letter from senior police commanders who oppose the Nation-State Law, claimed that "the law is superfluous and is not needed. Anyone who does not say ‘amen’ to the prime minister and his his gang is labeled a traitor.” (Maariv/103FM)
  • Hefetz: "The Nation-State law creates a feeling that the Druze are second-class - The former police commissioner explained to 103 FM why he signed a letter from senior police officers in favor of the protest: "If a law we pass a law that harms significant parts of the population, we needed to think twice.” (103FM/Maariv)
     
Quick Hits:
  • Israeli court jails Arab poet for inciting terrorism online - Dareen Tatour sentenced to five months after being convicted of incitement to terrorism for a poem and remarks she posted on social media during a wave of Palestinian terrorism attacks; 'Resist, my people, resist them / Resist the settlers robbery / And follow the caravan of martyrs,' the poem reads. (Maan, Ynet and Haaretz)
  • Female border cop lightly wounded in West Bank riot - Border Police woman taken to hospital with hand injuries after Molotov Cocktail is thrown at her; incident takes place after violent riots erupt during Border Police arrest operation of suspects in Dheisheh Palestinian refugee camp near Bethlehem. (Ynet)
  • Resistance Committee announces state of alert in Khan al-Ahmar - The committee made the announcement a day before the Israeli Supreme Court's decision regarding the appeal to either approve or reject the demolition of the village. (Maan)
  • Israeli Military Documents From the 70's Reveal Attempts to Force Bedouin Into Permanent Homes - The early attempts, which were struck down, display the theoretical basis for the Israeli intention to demolish the contentious Khan Al-Ahmar village and forcefully transfer its residents. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli Court Rejects Charges That Settler Youth Broke the Law by Entering West Bank - The Jewish minor from the so-called 'hilltop youth', a radical settler group, was accused of violating a military order banning him from the West Bank. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian youth in Gaza - Witnesses told Ma'an that Israeli forces fired live ammunition towards a group of Palestinian youths who allegedly pulled apart the Israeli security fence near Nahal Oz Israeli military post. (Maan)
  • Concerns over Freedom Flotilla activists 'beaten, dragged' - The National Committee confirmed that Dr. Swee Chai Ang, a British activist, author, and orthopedic surgeon, suffered injuries due to being assaulted on board by masked Israeli naval forces. (Maan)
  • Israel delivers demolition notices to homes in al-Walaja - Sources mentioned that Israeli forces also delivered summon notices to the owners to Jerusalem municipality, in order to investigate how they built the houses without a permit. (Maan)
  • Activists Hand Out Anti-occupation Materials to Birthright Participants en Route to Israel - The Jewish activists from the IfNotNow group were kicked out of the JFK International Airport after Birthright staffers allegedly asked airport security to intervene. (Haaretz+)
  • Facebook Takes Down Video of Second Birthright Participants Walking Off a Trip - The social network took down the video over the weekend, which featured the moment of the walk-off, as well as a lengthy conversations with Palestinians. (Haaretz)
  • Demanded that the Attorney General remove the declaration of the Kach movement as a terrorist organization - In the appeal, a copy of which was also sent to the justice minister, [far right-wing] Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir claims that the reasons for the making the movement illegal were "false accusations." If the request is approved, it will consider running in the next elections. (Maariv)
  • Ex-MK's son removed from combat unit for urging insubordination - Avi Feiglin, the son of former Likud MK Moshe Feiglin, also receives probationary prison sentence after criticizing IDF's policy of "knowingly endangering soldiers' lives." Following inquiry, IDF "condemns all calls by soldiers to refuse orders." (Israel Hayom)
  • MK Ayman Odeh: “I support of Ahed Tamimi, IDF soldiers killed 30,000 Palestinians" - The chairman of the Joint List faction, who visited the Palestinian girl who was released last night, said that "she has become a symbol against the occupation…I hope that she will continue her struggle and I hope that the entire Palestinian nation will come out against this cursed occupation. We want to live in a place of justice and peace.” (Maariv)
  • 4 years on, Rafah's Black Friday case remains open - Investigation into heavy IDF bombardment of Rafah on August 1, 2014—after Lt. Hadar Goldin and two other soldiers were killed and Goldin was taken by Hamas—is still ongoing, with difficulty to obtain witness statements and the complexity of the fighting that day delaying the probe. (Ynet)
  • Fearing Hezbollah Attacks, Israeli Military Insists Gas Rigs Be Close to Shore - Energy Ministry unmoved as army recommends to situate natural gas rigs differently than initially planned. (Haaretz+)
  • IDF's massive May attack in Syria combined artillery and jets - Footage released almost 3 months after IDF retaliated to Iranian salvo on Golan Heights from Syria, in what was the largest Israeli strike in the country since 1974, shows cannons were also used and fired deep into Syrian territory; 'We have capabilities that enable the dispersal of shells to be as narrow as possible,' says officer. (Ynet)
  • Russian ambassador to Israel: We can't force Iran out of Syria - Rebuffing Israel's longtime demand, Ambassador Anatoly Viktorov says Iran is playing a "very, very important role in our common and joint effort" in Syria • Moscow similarly can't prevent Israeli military strikes against Iranian forces in Syria, he says. (Israel Hayom)
  • Pro-Assad or anti-Assad, Druze in Israeli Golan Welcome End of War - Lately, the young men said, residents have been talking more about nation-state law than about events to the north. (Haaretz+)
  • Archives Reveal: PR Motive Guided Israel in Aiding Rwanda Genocide Victims - Newly published letters show that the desire to 'score a PR victory' – not empathy – was key in decision to offer help to victims of the massacres. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel's High Court Recommends Allowing Women to Join ultra-Orthodox Party - The change would require the removal of an article in the charter of the Agudat Yisrael party, which is part of the United Torah Judaism alliance. (Haaretz+)
  • Daughter of late Shas spiritual leader founds new inclusive party - Adina Bar-Shalom, daughter of the late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, lines up prominent figures in business, media, and the military to run on her list • High Court debates petition against ultra-Orthodox Agudat Israel's ban on women joining party. (Israel Hayom)
  • Religious LGBT activists respond to rabbis calling them 'deviants' - Dozens of the LGBT signatories who still maintain religious lifestyle decry 'irresponsible disregard, exclusion and aggression of many religious leaders against us' and note 'growing signs of acceptance, tolerance towards LGBT community' among religious; 'We promise that in the face of baseless hatred we will always choose to increase in baseless’ love.' (Ynet)
  • IDF scours Adam amid fears of terrorist infiltration - Less than a week after Yotam Ovadia was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist who infiltrated the West Bank settlement, troops search the area after suspicious man is spotted lingering outside the fence, but find nothing. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • International Children's Games kick off in Jerusalem - Some 1,500 young athletes, aged 12 -15, from 31 countries, attend festive opening ceremony. Israel has never hosted the event. Mayor Nir Barkat hails event as a "wonderful celebration," says athletes will become the city's "ambassadors across the globe. (Israel Hayom)
  • Ban on Israelis may block Tunisia from hosting chess championship - Following pressure from Israel advocacy group StandWithUs, World Chess Federation says Tunisia must provide written confirmation all competitors will receive visas to ensure they host event. StandWithUs lauds federation's "unprecedented" response. (Israel Hayom)
  • Herzog vows to bridge Jewish divide in new role - Promising political change, outgoing opposition leader sees new challenge in leading Jewish Agency as many Diaspora Jews irked by Likud-led government nationalist, religious and pro-settlement policies. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Israel Hayom is the leading paper in Israel, media survey finds - TGI media survey shows Israel Hayom maintaining top spot on weekdays, weekend edition overtaking Yedioth Ahronoth in the first half of 2018. Israel Hayom scores nearly a third of weekday readership. Print newspapers in decline for third straight year. (Israel Hayom)
  • Print Readership Among Jewish Israelis Falls Below 50 Percent - The rate has dropped dramatically from 58 percent in a 2015 poll to the current level of 49 percent, TGI reported. (Haaretz+)
  • After Trump says 'no preconditions' for meeting with Iran - Pompeo sets preconditions - Iran responded to Trump, conditioned such meeting on Trump's return to the 2015 nuclear deal and suspend sanction. (Haaretz)
  • Israeli official: No change in US policy towards Iran - Despite Trump offering to meet with Iranian President Rouhani 'anytime' and without preconditions, senior Israeli official says US administration officials assured Jerusalem there is 'no change to the firm stance against Iran.' (Haaretz and Yedioth/Ynet)
  • UNRWA job termination initiates massive protests in Gaza - housands of Palestinian employees protested on Tuesday blocking UNRWA main offices in the besieged Gaza Strip and prevented its staff from reaching them, following the recent decision by UNRWA to end work contracts of about 145 out of 1000 employees hired in Gaza on the emergency appeal program. (Maan)
  • Norway demands Israel explain seizure of Gaza-bound boat - Norwegian diplomats are providing consular assistance to 5 Norwegians who were among 22 passengers, crew detained on the Kaarstein, the 1st Norwegian 'aid vessel' attempting to breach Israel's Gaza blockade. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • 3 Israelis arrested in Colombia in sex trafficking bust - 15 other suspects arrested for suspected involvement in sex ring that exploited 250 women and girls as young as 14 and forced them to have sex with tourists; Israeli-owned hostel one of 13 sites raided in weekend crackdown. (Ynet and Maariv)
  • Turkey Rejects American Pastor's Appeal for Release From House Arrest - Trump threatened sanctions against Turkey if pastor Andrew Brunson is not released. (Agencies, Haaretz)


Features:
Israel is under massive Chinese, Russian cyber espionage attack
A look at one of the most secretive units of the Israeli intelligence community— the Shin Bet’s counter-espionage division, which was responsible for the arrest of former minister Gonen Segev—one of many cases of Tehran's infiltration attempts. However, it turns out that the Iranians are actually the least of Israel's problems. (Ronen Bergman, Yedioth/Ynet)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
Israeli Arab Poet’s Arrest Proves Israel Has Separate Laws for Arabs and Jews(Mordechai Kremnitzer, Haaretz+) The prison sentence of Dareen Tatour exemplifies that what rabbis in Israel may do, an Arab poet may not. Her sentence could very well turn her from an unknown writer to a national hero.
I Used to Love the Jewish Religion. Now I Fear It (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) The storms of controversy stirred by the discriminatory surrogacy law are a stark reminder of the advances made by the religious-nationalist alliance.
A right to self-determination, not racism (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) Those who oppose the nation-state law, which in no way harms Israel's minorities, have yet to present any concrete argument against it. Invective and tears, however, are plentiful.
Druze Nation-state Crisis: Israeli Army Chief Forced to Put Out Fire Netanyahu Started (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Whether the IDF takes disciplinary steps against the Druze officers who are resigning, it must be attentive to the community, and safeguard against any crisis that develops among its soldiers.
Just like in the case of Elor Azaria, the chief of staff was forced to calm down the Druze revolt with his own hands (Yossi Melman, Maariv) Since the establishment of the State, the security and political establishments speak in high talk about a "blood pact" and the “brotherhood of fighters.” But it is not certain that Eisenkot's attempt to clean up the area after the frenzy of cynical and irresponsible politicians will stop the storm. Perhaps the Chief of Staff's effort is similar to that of the child from the Dutch story, who put his finger in the bursting dam.
The most anti-Israeli law (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) The Nationality Law only serves to erode the Israeliness that should be being promoted in Israeli society. It is morally, historically and practically bankrupt and it shows complete disregard for our Druze brothers who carry Israeli ID cards and who serve loyally when called upon to defend the nation. There is nothing Israeli about the law.
Dear Bibi: Israel's in Far Worse Danger Than You Ever Thought (Bradley Burston, Haaretz+) Somewhere inside, you know the nation-state law is the single most devastating mistake you've ever made. It's all coming out now. What you're made of. What this country is made of. You are what you hide.
What’s the fuss about: The Nation-State law is not supposed to discuss equality at all (Dr. Chaim Frankel, Maariv) The sacred value that everyone is talking about has received legal anchoring from the Declaration of Independence, but it does not appear in any law in Israel's law, even in "human dignity and liberty." The Druze citizens will always receive full equality.
Nation-state Law’s Present Absentees (Oren Yiftachel, Haaretz+) The law’s absolute silence about the land’s Palestinian residents – not only Arab citizens of the state, but also millions of Palestinians subject to Israeli rule who don’t have citizenship – is deafening.
Find an answer and do it quick: It is painful to see the harm the Druze feel from the Nation-State law (Meir Uziel, Maariv) There is no doubt that the attitude of the Jews in Israel to the Druze is of genuine love and unity. The Nation-State law did not intend to harm this relationship, but there is nothing to be done against the feelings of those officers…What are we going to do now so that the Druze, the Circassians, the Muslims serving in the IDF and the Arabs who live in symbiosis with us in hospitals, pharmacies and dozens of other sectors of life, which together build the strong Israeli body, won’t feel hurt? We need to find an answer to this quickly.
Arens, you're wrong about the law (Martin Sherman, Israel Hayom) Even some right-wing figures have joined the baseless objection to the nation-state law. It would be better for them to devote their energies to repairing the schism that opponents of the law have caused.
In Israeli Court, the Poet Was Neutralized, So to Speak (Haaretz Editorial) In her despair, poet Dareen Tatour revealed a painful truth: If you’re a Palestinian, you have no reason to expect justice from the Israeli judicial system, even if you’re an Israeli citizen.
The message Saudi Arabia sent to Trump is a death blow to the peace plan (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) This is no longer just Abu Mazen's obstinate refusal and not about the disconnected Palestinian leadership. The one who undermines and actually eliminates the hope of realizing Trump's dream of the "ultimate deal" is Saudi Arabia - a major Arab state - which Trump is proud and boasts of its friendship.
Equality: Already enshrined in law (Prof. Abraham Diskin, Israel Hayom) The principle of equality has been enshrined in the country's basic laws since its inception. The demand to add an equality clause to the nation-state law is intentional, unadulterated hypocrisy.
Iran Rejects Trump's Extended Hand, but Leaves Room for Future Talks (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Instead of Iran knocking on Washington's doors to talk about the nuclear deal and sanctions, it seems the U.S. is the one courting Tehran.
After Roy Moore takedown, Sacha Baron Cohen's Col. Erran Morad is officially the funniest Israeli ever (Adrian Hennigan, Haaretz+) He may be an 'anti-terror expert,' but the 'Who is America?' character's greatest gift is disarming Trump supporters and GOP politicians.

Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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