News Nosh

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News Nosh: May 10, 2018

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday May 10, 2018
Quote of the day:
"Whoever deludes himself now into thinking that starving the Iranian people will cause the Ayatollahs to give up the bomb did not learn a thing from the lesson of N. Korea."
—Former MK Haim Ramon writes that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s gamble might boomerang.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
“The President isn’t a man, he isn’t a human.”
--Associates of Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev said after President Reuven Rivlin refused to let her sing the national anthem on the field ahead of the Israeli soccer final cup game.*
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News Nosh: May 9, 2018

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday May 9, 2018
Quote of the day:
"There is a triple gamble here: Netanyahu is counting on the Khameini's caution, Trump's reliability and Putin's generosity, three traits that have not been found among them to date. We need to pray that it will succeed, for him and for us."
--Senior Yedioth political analyst, Nahum Barnea, examines the possible outcomes of US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.*

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
As expected, US President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and Netta Barzilay made it to the finals in the Eurovision competition - making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers along with the IDF call to open bomb shelters in the Golan Heights followed by an attack in Syria that was attributed to Israel.

Trump also said he will reinstate powerful sanctions on Iran. Iranian President Hassan Rohani responded saying that Iran will remain in the nuclear deal, but that if talks with the European members of the deal fail, the Islamic Republic will enrich uranium "more than before ... in next weeks." The day before the decision, the Iranian rial was at a near record low. The European members of the agreement said they rejected Trump’s declaration and that they hoped he would change his mind.

The commentators had much to say about the significance of Trump’s decision to pull out from the Iran nuclear deal and much of it expressed concern on the one hand, some were even impressed (see Commentary/Analysis below). Everyone agreed it was a great achievement for Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who called it a brave decision, although how long it would stay that way was still to be seen. Haaretz reported that US Jews were torn over the decision. Saudis and other Sunni Gulf states were thrilled.

Fear of an Iranian reprisal to either Israel’s attack on an Iranian military base in Syria earlier in the week or to Trump’s announcement continued to keep Israeli leaders tense - and threatening. Speaking at the Herzliya Security Conference, Education Minister Naftali Bennett said, “While we're shedding blood fighting (Iran’s) tentacles, the octopus's head is lounging in its chair and enjoying itself." Israel's doctrine should therefore be by "aiming at the head of the octopus and not its tentacles."

A series of statements and moves took place parallel to Trump’s announcement. Prior to the announcement, Netanyahu accused Iran of deploying arms in Syria to threaten Israel. After the announcement, the IDF ordered local authorities to ready bomb shelters, deployed an Iron Dome battery in the Golan Heights and called up some reservist forces. Then came the missile attack on a base south of Damascus. Syrian news agency: 'Missile defenses intercepted 2 Israeli missiles'; 9 militiamen reported killed.
Quick Hits:
  • Elor Azaria, Israeli soldier convicted of killing a wounded Palestinian terrorist, set free after nine months - So-called 'Hebron shooter' was released two days before his sentence officially ended so he could attend his brother's wedding. Family, friends ecstatic as they welcome Elor Azaria home after he serves half his 18-month manslaughter sentence. PM Netanyahu says he is "glad" affair is over. Minister Yisrael Katz asks President Rivlin to have Azaria's criminal record expunged. (Haaretz+, Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • Five Minors From ‘Wedding of Hate’ to Be Tried, Court Rules - A lower court’s ruling of procedural faults is overturned in the case of Israelis suspected of inciting to violence by celebrating a fatal attack on a Palestinian family. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel Police arrest three for threatening Breaking the Silence supporters - Protesters suspected of blockling road, throwing eggs at car of women apparently affiliated with anti-occupation NGO at Tel-Hai College. (Haaretz+)
  • Kite terror continues to strike Gaza border communities - Incendiary kites being flown from Gaza continue causing severe damage estimated at hundreds of thousands of shekels; IDF assures Gaza border communities' residents that a solution will be found soon; Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon assures farmers compensation for the damage. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • "You don't look like someone who wants to enlist, go convert to Islam like your father" - Meir (a pseudonym), the son of a Jewish mother and an Arab father, wanted to enlist in the IDF like all his peers, but the remark by a soldier at the recruitment center during this first call up made him regret: "I felt humiliated." (Maariv)
  • Knesset passes bill to deduct terror funds from PA in first reading - Under bill, money taken out of Palestinian tax money Israel collects on behalf of the PA will go towards paying compensation to terror victims, supporting the fight against terrorism; Lieberman: 'We're pulling the plug on Abbas.' (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli Watchdog Raps Hospitals, Police, Asylum-seeker System and Construction Safety Authorities - Hundreds of police commanders were appointed in 2016 and 2017 by Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich without having the required qualifications, State Comptroller Joseph Shapira says in his annual report. The state prosecution and the police seek indictments without examining all the investigative material, and sometimes before receiving a forensic report, which casts doubts on their decisions. (Haaretz and Maariv)
  • Fictitious tweets in the name of former chief justice - It turns out that the anonymous person running the popular fictitious Twitter account in former chief justice Miriam Naor's name is Eran Schwartz, the owner of a PR company that represents extremist right-wing organizations including 'Honenu' and 'Derech Haim.' Schwartz opened the account two years ago as part of a campaign of 'Derech Haim' against High Court judicial activism, but due to its success, he "got into the role" of the pluralist secular judge and continued to run the account that has thousands of followers. (Maariv, p. 24)
  • US Embassy will be in Jerusalem, but the July 4th celebrations won't be - The US embassy may have officially moved to Jerusalem, but the reception for US Independence Day, traditionally held at the ambassador's residence in Herzliya Pituach, will not be held in Jerusalem. US Ambassdor David Friedman decided to hold it at hall near Ben-Gurion Airport. The reason is because people always complained that they sweat in their suits on the coast and no air-conditioned hall could be found big enough in Jerusalem. (Yedioth, p. 31)
  • Israeli embassy in Iraq opened - on Facebook - Foreign Ministry's new 'digital embassy' seeks to harness war-torn country's supposed affinity for Israel with page highlighting 'glorious' Jewish-Iraqi history. The Iraqis may not really be able to visit in Israel, but from now on they can make 'Internet Visits' at the Iraqi-Israeli restaurant, Azoura, in Mahaneh Yehuda in Jerusalem and exchange recipes with Israelis for kubbeh. The page is called, "Israel in Iraqi dialect." (Yedioth, p. 31 and Times of Israel)
  • Ammonia plant crisis in the Haifa Bay: the Knesset against the National Security Council - The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee's Subcommittee on Home Front Preparedness decided in favor of an opinion, which was contrary to that of the NSC and Haifa Chemicals Co., determining that the supplying of ammonia to Haifa Chemicals would be carried out using small containers. The NSC and Haifa Chemicals want to implement another alternative: an ammonia ship. But the Knesset and Haifa Municipality say this is much more dangerous because the floating plant will be exposed to missile attacks. (Maariv)
  • Israel approved 0.09% of asylum requests over past nine years - The state comptroller cites a 'violation of decency' that 'seriously undermines' the migrants' rights amid a failure to honor international commitments. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli elite unit commander's promotion scrapped after soldier accidentally killed - The officer will not be promoted to brigade commander after the March death of Staff Sgt. Shachar Strug that has led to manslaughter charges against another soldier. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Israel-Cyprus Dispute Over Gas Field Risks Delay for Creating Energy Hub - Disagreement over ownership threatens to delay multi-billion dollar plan. (Haaretz)
  • Colombia turning Israelis away after misconduct by Israeli tourists - Israeli embassy in Bogota has called on Israelis visiting the country to 'respect local rules and laws,' after reports of the Israelis being caught with drugs. (Haaretz)
  • Palestinian Ministry of Health to send $3 million in aid to Gaza - The move was confirmed by Health Minister Jawad Awwad, who said that a total of 20 trucks worth of medical supplies -- valued at $3 million -- will be dispatched from warehouses in the northern occupied West Bank city of Nablus, to the besieged Gaza Strip in the next few days. (Maan)
  • PLO official calls for demonstrations against US Embassy relocation to Jerusalem - The date selected for the opening -- Monday 14th of May -- marks the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian’s Nakba, or catastrophe. In the words of Ahmad Majdalani, Executive Committee Member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, opening the embassy on this date adds insult to injury, and deepens the historical injustice perpetrated against the Palestinian people; in 1948, over 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their land by zionist militias. (Maan)
  • Israeli hacker crashed Hamas website for hours - "Zhacker," who managed to disable the website of the terrorist organization and other Arab sites, said: "The site is secured with the best tools, and I have published student details in Lebanon." (Maariv)
  • Nearly 250 Jewish Clergy Oppose Trump’s CIA Nominee, Citing Torture Record - The petition was organized by T’ruah, a rabbinical human rights group with 2,000 affiliated cantors and rabbis across the Jewish religious spectrum. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Airplane and Oil Deals at Risk if Trump Nixes Iran Nuclear Deal - For Western businesses, the deal meant access to Iran’s largely untapped market of 80 million people. Most prominently, airplane manufacturers rushed in to replace the country’s dangerously dilapidated civilian fleet. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Russian Helicopter Crashes in Syria, Killing Two Pilots - Russian Defense Ministry says preliminary information points to technical malfunction as cause for crash. This is the second fatal incident involving Russian military aircraft in Syria this month. (Agencies, Haaretz)

From friends to foes: How Israel and Iran turned into arch-enemies
The two countries enjoyed good relations for 30 years, but since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Israel and Iran have been a study in enmity – despite not sharing a border or having any territorial disputes. (David B. Green, Haaretz)

Trump Tells World to Drop Dead as Netanyahu Dictates His Nixing of Iran Deal (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) Israeli prime minister hopes decision to withdraw from agreement will see Iran go the way of the Soviet Union once harsh sanctions kick in.
*Breaking the rules (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth) Trump's speech yesterday and Netanyahu's meeting with Putin today create new rules of the game in Israel's dealing with Iran. Netanyahu strives for a situation in which the US will prevent an attack on Israel from Iran, and Russia will thwart an Iranian attack from Russia. There is a triple gamble here: Netanyahu is counting on the Khameini's caution, Trump's reliability and Putin's generosity, three traits that have not been found among them to date. We need to pray that it will succeed, for him and for us. In the meantime, the gamble is working. The Iranians still have no reacted to the two bombs that hit their forces and missiles in Syria. Even on the attack last night, near Damascus, they have avoided in the meantime responding...The question is what will happen if instead of breaking, the ayatollahs choose war, or, what is more likely, the area will deteriorate into war as the result of a hasty, uncalculated move, of one of the actors. Will Trump be ready, in order to protect Israel and Saudi Arabia, to open a new front in the Middle East? If he does that, it will be contradict everything he promised voters...Trump is the opposite of Obama in another way: Obama doubted America's greatness, doubted its righteousness, doubted its pretension to be a model to others. He acted in his second term at the White House, not as a leader of the world, but as a one who oversees the dismantling of his company. Trump lacks doubts. It's possible that his gut feeling about America's position is a more efficient tool in foreign policy than Obama's educated doubtfulness...Putin will receive Netanyahu (today) and wil make clear to Netanyahu that Russia does what is good for it. There are no deals for celebrities: What Netanyahu did not achieve in the seven prior meetings with Putin he won't achieve in the eighth.
Withdrawal with an asterisk: Trump allows Iran and the world to rethink their steps (Yossi Melman, Maariv) Ostensibly, the US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement is Netanyahu's wet dream, but not necessarily a zero-sum game. The victory of the prime minister does not mean a crushing defeat for Tehran…It should be made clear, however, that the significance of Trump's announcement is not that a war is at hand. Last night, the IDF informed the residents of the Golan Heights to prepare for the possibility of an Iranian response. At the same time, a limited mobilization of intelligence units and anti-aircraft units began. It is estimated that if the scenario is realized, short-range missiles will be launched into bases or communities on the Golan Heights, a decision that is not willing to take risks, but is not necessarily related to the Trump announcement and the nuclear program "If Iran decides to respond by firing rockets at the Golan or the Galilee, it will be in order to avenge Israel for the attacks on Iranian bases in Syria attributed to it, disconnected from the moves related to the nuclear agreement…In this interim period Iran will be able to calculate its moves. It will try to assure for itself that the impact of the US sanctions will be minimized, and will try to achieve this by means of contacts with the other five signatory countries - Germany, Britain, France, Russia and China - to ensure that they do not withdraw from the agreement. If Iran reaches the conclusion that US sanctions will trigger a second wave of sanctions by companies in the world that will cease to trade and invest in it, it may announce its withdrawal from the nuclear agreement. Even then it will not necessarily run for the bomb.
A disastrous withdrawal - who will pay? (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth) …After almost a decade at the head of the government, Netanyahu can list for himself an amazing achievement, which usually only appears in science fiction books: An American president fulfills word for word his world perspective on an issue that appears to him as imperative, the existential threat that Iran faces us with. All this with the sad fact that until now it was not possible to point to a diplomatic single success or achievement that Netanyahu leaves behind him. Not regarding an arrangement with the Palestinians and not a breakthrough with the Arab world. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that the Israelis are the immediate candidates to pay the price of the decision that Trump made. There are no happy wars: the IDF, declared the Prime Minister yesterday, is strong and prepared. The IDF, promised Netanyahu, will win. But the war between Israel and Iran could have a heavy price in blood on our side. The shelters in the north were opened to a great extent as a result of Trump’s decision: our fears will follow us through the coming period…
A Disastrous Pullout (Haaretz Editorial) Netanyahu might think that Israelis should be grateful to Trump, but at this point the U.S. pullout endangers the world and threatens Israel.
Trump out - We understood what you are against. And what’s the alternative? (Alon Pinkas, Yedioth) None of the three ways that it is possible to interpret Trump’s announcement offer a ‘Default B.’ No other plan, no policy. I announced, I declared, I stood by my word, terrible deal. And what instead? What about the implications? What is the strategy? At his most important moment as president, in the field of foreign policy, Trump remained Trump: an agent of chaos.
Trump Quits Iran Deal: A Career-defining Moment for Netanyahu That May Have a Price (Noa Landau, Haaretz+) Twenty-five years ago an up-and-coming Likud legislator published a column on the Iranian nuclear threat. Now let's see if Israel gets what he wished for.
Tough times for Iran (Dr. Ephraim Kam, Israel Hayom) Iran may be a regional superpower, but it has good reason to keep retaliatory actions against Israel small, because any face-off could develop into a broader conflict and put Iran's other interests at risk.
Nixing of Nuclear Deal Turns Rohani Into Lame Duck, Empowers Conservatives in Tehran (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Trump’s decision to exit the nuclear agreement actually presents Iran as the responsible country, one upholding the agreement to the letter.
Trump first: The president was burning to prove that he is decides all the world's problems (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) In his statement, it seems that the US leader simply could not resist until the official date, to announce a decision and chose a process that demonstrates his ability and his uncontrollable urge to shock the international arena.
Trump Casts Himself as Vigilante Sheriff After Quitting Iran Nuclear Deal (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Netanyahu has taken a risky gamble, as the chief instigator of a dramatic shift in U.S. policy, one that could ultimately embroil it in another Middle East war.
Israel’s message to Tehran: An unusual IDF order and a ‘preventive strike’ (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) The alleged Israeli attack on a base used by Iranian militias near Damascus, and the earlier order to open bomb shelters in the Golan Heights, may have been an attempt to make it clear to Iran’s moderate camp, led by President Rouhani, that the Revolutionary Guards are adopting a policy that could harm their country at this sensitive time.
Trump and Netanyahu are triggering a risky, unnecessary war of choice in the Middle East (Daniel Levy, Haaretz+) But neither Israel's prime minister, nor other regional U.S. allies, have any assurances America will stick around to manage the dangerous fallout from the Iran deal's implosion.
Is it Kennedy or Trump? The possibility that the world would block the Shiite bomb was strengthened (Ben Caspit, Maariv) While the American president read the summary of Netanyahu's speeches yesterday, word for word, the shelters in the Golan were opened and war winds began to blow over our heads with tremendous speed.
How the U.S. State Department Deleted the Occupied Territories (Gerard Horton, Haaretz+) Its official reports now adopt the 'occupation denial' language of senior Trump appointees. But the damage to America's credibility won't be limited to Israel/Palestine: Russia and China will also have reason to celebrate.
Elor Azaria's release: In another moment, Azaria will be lighting a torch on Independence Day (Anat Moshe, Maariv) The family's joy at the release of its son Elor is obvious. But the public expression of excitement by senior public figures is not only incomprehensible, it also has a bad taste, morally and publicly.
By Emasculating High Court, Religious Minority Exposes Itself to Tyranny of Israel’s Secular Majority (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Perceptions of the court as bastion of interventionist leftists are just an illusion.
Between two poles: Portman denies supporting BDS but has acted according to its intentions (Zalman Shoval, Maariv) The phenomenon that is now more dangerous than extreme right-wing anti-Semitism is precisely the one coming from the left. FYI to the film actress.
In Israel, Fun Is for Right-wingers (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) When the left is deliberating whether it’s permissible to enjoy the Giro d’Italia bicycle race, sing old Israeli songs or watch an air force flyover, it’s playing the right's labeling game
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.

News Nosh: May 8, 2018

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday May 8, 2018
Quote of the day:
"Israel cannot rely on the apathy of Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan, or emulate the policy embraced by Egypt, to justify its conduct in Gaza. The problem is on Israel’s border and the unrest will continue as long as there is no significant improvement."
--Haaretz Editorial today calls on Israel to manage the crisis in Gaza together with Hamas.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
More than one-third of the mobile homes the World Zionist Organization rents out are in the West Bank and many are in areas not legally authorized for buildings, according to information obtained by Peace Now.**
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News Nosh: May 7, 2018

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday May 7, 2018
Quote of the Day #1:
"Although there have always been objections to the work of the Justice Ministry, lately our work of safeguarding the public welfare and advancing human rights is perceived among growing audiences—including the Knesset and the government—as illegitimate."
Deputy Attorney General Avi Licht said the day that the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved the override power legislation, which would allow the Knesset to pass laws already struck down by the High Court of Justice with a simple majority of 61 MKs.*

Quote of the Day #2:
“I am accepting the prize in support of people who resist the system. I didn’t see what would be served by turning it down. As a political statement, it is stronger if I take the prize and give it away.”
-- Scientist and feminist thinker, Prof. Evelyn Fox Keller, one of nine people who received the prestigious Dan David Prize at Tel Aviv University Sunday night, announced she will give the money to Israeli human rights organizations.**
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News Nosh: May 6, 2018

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday May 6, 2018
Number of the day:
--Percentage of Jewish Israelis who support an Israeli strike on Iran nuclear facilities, according to a new poll.*

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • We are on the map - Giro D’Italia turned Israel into an international site
  • A dream come true // (singer) Ivri Lider
  • My heart fills with pride // Dani Sadeh (Yedioth’s tourism reporter)
  • Expose - From the Yarkon to Jerusalem - Next week the US embassy moves to the capital. Here’s how the embassy will look when it is completed in six years from now
  • Jump of hundreds of percents in use of pain killers
  • Big-small present - At age 50, (presenter) Michal Zuaretz hugs a daughter born to a surrogate in Israel
  • Six Hamas engineers were killed in an explosion in Gaza
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • Victory round - Tens of millions across the world watched 175 Giro D’Italia competitors pedaling across the country
  • The overriding clause is the independence clause // Dror Eydar
  • Much more than the sport // Tal Brody
  • Jerusalem - After a year of terror, sharp rise of number of pupils visiting Israel
  • Ahead of the decision on the nuclear agreement: Netanyahu and Putin will meet this week
  • Following ‘Israel Hayom’ expose: Extensive support among the right-wing for the report to legalize settlement outposts
  • Mysterious explosion in Gaza; Hamas claims: “Israel responsible for the killing of six of our men”

News Summary:
Today’s Hebrew newspapers celebrated the great international PR Israel received from hosting the Giro D’Italia bike race, which began Friday in Jerusalem  (and one anti-Netanyahu protester got arrested for trying to hang a protest sign at the race), Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will be meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin shortly before US President Donald Trump makes his decision on whether to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal - and the Israeli newspapers had numerous reports on the subject, and six Hamas engineers were killed in a ‘mysterious’ explosion making top news, making much bigger headlines than the fact that 70 people were injured from live fire in the sixth Friday of the Gazan ‘March of Return’ protests. And unlike the headlines from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas 'anti-Semitic' speech, the papers buried the fact that Abbas apologized. Yedioth put it on the next to last page.

*Following the recent attacks in Syria and ahead of Trump’s decision on the Iran nuclear deal, Yedioth called the upcoming Putin-Netanyahu meeting in Moscow a ‘summit under high tension.’ Netanyahu will reportedly try to convince Putin to take into account Israeli interests and not supply Syria’s Bashar al-Assad with the S-300 advanced missile defense system. Meanwhile, European intel delegations have arrived tin Israel o examine the documents Israel purportedly took from Iran’s nuclear archives. A Russian official said his country would become one of Tehran's most important allies if US President Donald Trump goes against the position of the Western powers, who have proposed to improve a number of clauses in the Iran nuclear deal. Former secretary of state John Kerry Met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif in a bid to save the nuclear deal that he helped make reality when in office. And the former research chief at the IDF’s Military Intelligence, IDF Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad said it would only help Iran if the US were to exit from the nuclear deal. He told Haaretz that an American commitment to the deal remained the least bad option. But Trump's lawyer and confidant Rudy Giuliani said Trump was "committed" to regime change in Iran, taking the Israeli line that it is "the only way to achieve peace in the Middle East." And The Observer reported that in May 2017, Trump hired an Israeli spy firm to get dirt on Obama's Iran deal negotiators. Another Iranian official said that Iran was determined to reject Trump’s demands for changes to the nuclear accord, calling it ‘bullying.’ An Israeli poll found that 44% of Jewish Israelis supported an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, 31.1% oppose a strike and 24.7% have no opinion. (The poll has other interesting information, as well.)

Meanwhile, six Hamas men were killed in what ‘Israel Hayom’ labeled a ‘mysterious’ explosion in central Gaza.  Hamas blamed Israel. [NOTE: On July 7, 2014, seven Hamas militants died in a ‘mysterious’ tunnel explosion in Khan Younis, which some reported was caused by an Israeli airstrike. Hamas responded by firing 40 rockets towards Israel. The following day, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge, the third Gaza War. - OH]

Gaza Quick Hits:
  • Palestinians Set Fires at Israel-Gaza Crossing; 70 Wounded by Israeli Fire in Border Protests - Gaza Health Ministry: Three wounded protesters in critical condition. IDF says protesters tried to breach border. 45 killed since protests started six weeks ago. (Haaretz)
  • For fear of assassination: Hamas will increase security around Ismail Haniyeh - According to a report in Asharq Al-Awsat, the Gaza terror organization has begun to reinforce the protection of visitors to Gaza. According to eyewitnesses, at least six jeeps accompany the convoy of Hamas Politburo Chief Ismail Haniyeh. (Maariv)
  • Video shows Palestinians from Gaza cut border fence, enter Israeli territory - Palestinians report six wounded, one seriously, by live fire at protests near border. Israeli army says it shot toward Palestinians who tried to damage fence. (Haaretz)
  • WATCH: Hamas fakes injuries, uses children in Gaza border protests - The IDF Spokesperson's Unit published a video from Gaza border protests that shows supposed casualty stand upright under cover of smoke, multiple children present, ushered by adults to shield them from IDF fire; Hamas 'creating false pretense, misleading international public opinion,' army accuses. (Ynet)
  • Straw bales set ablaze in latest incident of agricultural terrorism - Pile of straw set on fire at field in Kibbutz Afikim in the Jordan Valley, causing hundreds of thousands of shekels in damage; farmers call on Agriculture, Public Security ministries to take action. (Ynet)
  • As fields burn, IDF mulls using drones against incendiary kites - Palestinian demonstrators continue to launch kites fitted with firebombs from Gaza into Israel, sparking blazes near two kibbutzim. Army considers measures including using multi-rotor drones to intercept the kites or shooting at those launching them. (Israel Hayom)
  • Gaza border rioters take down 2 IDF drones on sixth week of protest - Israel's southern residents edgy about Palestinians' increased use of incendiary kites—a new primitive weapon that has so far eluded the IDF’s high tech capabilities. (Ynet)
  • Goldin family faces Gaza border riots with protest of their own - Stung by the Israeli government's continued unwillingness to use whatever means necessary to retrieve fallen Sgt. Hadar Goldin's remains from Hamas, and in light of the recently revealed Mossad operation in Iran and Gaza border protesters' derision, the Goldin family takes to the Gaza border to boost the campaign for Hadar's return. (Ynet)
  • A new solidarity flotilla on the way to the Gaza Strip, led by a Norwegian ship - The flotilla is planned to pass through ports in Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands on its way to the Gaza coast. According to the plan, Israeli citizens who support the "lifting of the Israeli siege,” will board the ships at various stops. (Maariv)
Quick Hits:
  •  U.S. Embassy Move to Jerusalem 'Will Come at a Price,' Israeli Defense Chief Says - Avigdor Lieberman says 'historic, important and dramatic' decision to move U.S. embassy to Jerusalem will have a price that is 'worth paying.' (Haaretz)
  • Israel presents: How to legalize West Bank settlements built on private Palestinian land - Committee presents unprecedented recommendations to legalize thousands of homes built on privately-owned Palestinian land in West Bank settlements. (Haaretz+)
  • Gov’t Film Grants Reform Would Give More to Artists in Settlements, 'Periphery' - Panel expected to submit recommendations, including new regional foundations, to culture minister for approval. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel's top court: To visit Gaza family, Jerusalem cancer patient must prove her elderly mother can't travel - State says criteria for Israelis' entry to Gaza doesn't apply to Sa'ad Hassona, a permanent resident who wasn't seen her family in over a decade. (Haaretz+)
  • Rights group loses volunteer slots for urging IDF insubordination - After controversial human rights group B'Tselem urges IDF soldiers to refuse orders to shoot "unarmed demonstrators" on the Gaza border, national service program suspends the organization's eligibility for volunteers, saying campaign violated the law. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli Ministers Set to Approve Legislation to Curtail Top Court's Power - The PM won't use his veto power to postpone a vote on the bill, which would allow the Knesset to override the court's rulings, but instead seeks a compromise. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Thousands attend weekly anti-corruption protest in Tel Aviv, warn against 'Turkish-style democracy' - Protesters attend weekly rally, focusing on override power vote bill to circumvent High Court in reenacting laws struck down by it; anti-democratic measures being taken, they allege, while attention is shifted through PM Netanyahu's 'warmongering.' (Ynet)
  • 'Sad Day for Democracy': Israeli Writers Outraged at Conviction of Palestinian Poet Dareen Tatour - 'What’s more surprising is that there are still people in Israel who expect a fair trial for Palestinians ... as if Israel were still a democracy.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Arab employee claims he was fired for speaking Arabic - 21-year-old Hillal Assi from Kfar Bara says recordings prove he was discriminated against for speaking Arabic in shoe store's premises ‘in front of Jewish customers’; store chain rejects racism accusations. (Ynet)
  • Birthright co-founder says 'angry' with Israel: Netanyahu widening already dire rift with Diaspora - Jewish billionaire philanthropist Charles Bronfman suggests establishing 'reverse AIPAC' in Jerusalem with Israeli and North American groups. (Haaretz+)
  • In Facebook video, Netanyahu falsely accuses Israeli media of ignoring visit by Japan's Abe - 'Did you hear anything about it in the media?' Netanyahu asks, despite the fact that most Israeli outlets – including Haaretz – reported on the meeting. (Haaretz)
  • Abbas apologizes to 'Jewish people' for offensive comments, condemning Holocaust and anti-Semitism - ‘I have great respect for Judaism,’ said Abbas. ’Abbas is a pathetic Holocaust denier – his apology is not accepted,' Lieberman fires back. Palestinian president suggested historical persecution of Jews in Europe was caused by involvement in money-lending. (Haaretz, Maariv, Israel Hayom and Ynet)
  • Kuwait blocks U.S. Request to Condemn at UN Security Council Abbas's Remarks About Jews - Kuwait City oppo ses condemnation of the Palestinian leader, saying he already apologized and that it was one-sided; US Ambassador Haley says Security Council's failure to respond to Abbas comments 'further undermines the UN's credibility.' (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Israeli officials reject PA leader's apology for anti-Semitic rant - Defense Minister Lieberman: Abbas should be treated as the wretched Holocaust denier he is, apology "not accepted.” (Israel Hayom)
  • Abbas re-elected as chairman of PLO exec committee - Concluding the four-day Palestinian National Council meeting in Ramallah, which was boycotted by Hamas, the 82 year old consolidates position by removing rivals from committee Friday, but leaves Israeli leaders fuming after a he made a series of anti-Semitic remarks. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • The Palestinian National Council called for reconsidering commitments to Israel - The central Palestinian body referred to relations with Israel, called for an economic boycott of "occupation products,” and reiterated its opposition to the Trump Declaration on Jerusalem. (Maariv)
  • Israel withdraws candidacy for UN Security Council seat - Israel's exit leaves just Germany or Belgium as candidates for seats at the council. (Haaretz)
  • Hamas engineer's assassins used fake Serbia, Montenegro passports, weapons found, Malaysia police say - Police say it has located the perpetrators' getaway car and the gun used in the killing of Fadi al-Batsh, a member of Hamas. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Exceeding Her Authority, Justice Minister Warned State Prosecutor Not to Fight ex-PM Olmert's Release - As a result, State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan changed his position and did not oppose a reduced prison sentence for ex-PM Ehud Olmert. (Haaretz+)
  • Olmert withdrew his request to erase his criminal record - because he discovered that Justice Minister would refuse - According to officials involved in the details, the former prime minister discovered that the justice minister  Shaked intends to oppose his request for pardon, and realized that he might be humiliated. (Maariv)
  • Alibaba founder tells Israeli students: 'Doesn't matter where you grew up, it's what you do' - Before receiving an honorary doctorate from Tel Aviv University, Jack Ma, the richest man in China, talks with students about education, success, growth and his company and reveals considering opening offices in Israel. (Ynet)
  • Rare coin from ancient Jewish Bar Kokhba revolt discovered in cave - The coin is believed to have been minted between the third and fourth year of the Bar Kokhba revolt. (NOTE: Coin found in the West Bank. - OH] (136-134 CE). (JPost)
  • Israel's Rabbinical Courts May Soon Have Unprecedented Power Over non-Israeli Jews - Government pushing bill that would punish foreign Jewish men who refuse to grant a divorce and would also apply to some Israelis married outside of the rabbinate. (Haaretz+)
  • Lebanon Votes in First General Election for Nine Years - Coalition consisting of major parties expected to form after vote, which is seen as unlikely to result in major changes. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • 'Alternative for Germany party makes anti-Semitism presentable' - Official tasked with fighting anti-Semitism says far-right opposition party is challenging consensus in Germany about how to deal with Nazi past • Felix Klein says he encourages Muslim groups across Germany to take on the fight against anti-Semitism. (Israel Hayom)

Gideon Levy - The heartbreaking reason this Palestinian joined the Gaza border protests
A young father of two is hospitalized with serious injuries after being shot by Israeli soldiers during a Gaza border rally. In 2014, the IDF destroyed his home, and he was left with nothing. (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+)
The Jewish-Romani connection: Are Gypsies descendants of tribe of Simeon?
Israeli scholar creates Jewish-Gypsy Forum after discovering biblical link between Jews and Romani people. Since publishing his research findings, he says, he has been contacted by thousands of members of the Romani community, and hundreds have been flocking to Israel for meetings with the forum members. (Yaniv Pohoryles, Yedioth/Ynet)
Forget Paul Newman, this Italian port tells the real story of the Exodus
While the docks are being redeveloped, locals tell the story of the partisans who helped the Holocaust survivors and whose descendants are battling to build a memorial. (Rosie Whitehouse (La Spezia, Italy for Haaretz+)
Making water from air: Why is Netanyahu doing PR for this Israeli startup
What lies behind Prime Minister Netanyahu’s apparent support for the Mirilashvili family’s Water-Gen company, and is there any connection between that and the favorable coverage he gets from Channel 20, which the family owns? ■ Investigation. (Gur Megiddo, Haaretz+)
Moshe Dayan in drag? An artist explores the true meaning of romantic love
Ruth Patir’s video project shows the former defense minister wearing the dresses designed by his first wife’s fashion house – and somehow provides a lesson for us all. (Maya Asheri, Haaretz+)

Yes, Iran lied about its nuclear capabilities. But so did Israel (Avner Cohen, Haaretz+) Netanyahu’s arrogant theatricals exposed Israel's lack of current incriminating evidence on Iran – and Israel's hypocrisy about its own nuclear capabilities.
Netanyahu is leading us to a Masada-style national suicide (MK Dov Khenin, Haaretz+) The right politics can pull the world back from the brink of disaster and open a horizon toward a safer place.
Israeli monarchy: Netanyahu has taken another step in turning us from citizens to subjects (Ben Caspit, Maariv) The new law by which the prime minister and defense minister alone can decide to go to war is nothing less than a scandal.
What's behind Netanyahu's move to grant himself power to declare war? (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) Netanyahu finally scored an intelligence 'win' with the Iranian nuclear archive – and he used every trick in the book to make sure foreign news networks tuned in
Our hearts are burning (Avner Yona, Israel Hayom) For us in the Gaza periphery, it's always something – tunnels, bombs, snipers. Now the Palestinians are using kites to attack our fields, and by the time the fire truck arrives, the crops are lost.
Terror of Poetry (Haaretz Editorial) It's inconceivable for Dareen Tatour's poem's challenge to a policy of oppression and occupation to be considered incitement to terror.
The end of the peace process (Dr. Reuven Berko, Israel Hayom) Israel has no one to talk to on the Palestinian side. Only a solution that is forced upon the Palestinians will stabilize the region.
A.B. Yehoshua, Don't Give Up on the Two-state Solution in Our Name (Stav Shaffir, Haaretz+) Yehoshua’s plan for escaping the despair – establishing a binational federation – is the mirror image of the right thing to do.
Exonerate, Apologize and Compensate (Friday Haaretz Editorial) The state must investigate the conduct of senior officials, given the growing suspicion that they falsely accused a man, Yakoub Abu Al-Kiyan, who was shot to death by policemen.
'Court-override Bill' Does No Such Thing (Israel Harel, Haaretz+) Despite what detractors say, a proposed law is meant to rein in the judicial branch’s excessive eagerness to undermine the independence of the legislative branch.
Swaying the world in favor of good (Shlomo Cesana, Israel Hayom) The unveiling of secret Iranian materials this week was meant to convince the American public to support U.S. President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the nuclear agreement. Now that there is a strong U.S. leader, PM Netanyahu hopes Europe will help combat the ayatollahs.
Israel hopes Trump scrapping nuclear deal could ultimately lead to Iran regime change (Amos Harel, Haaretz) Israel is being cautious, enabling operations to remain below the threshold of war even though it knows it might be subjected to retaliation at some point.
Netanyahu provided Trump with another legitimacy to withdraw from the nuclear agreement (Alon Ben David, Maariv) The prime minister's presentation was intended for the American public, and it did the job there. Thanks to the presentation, Netanyahu managed to earn more points as someone who appears to be a full partner of the US president.
Don't Ridicule Netanyahu's 'Iran Lied' Speech (Yitzhak Laor, Haaretz+) Ridicule only obscures the fact that he's openly trying to help the Trump administration jump-start a mega war with Iran.
The Revolutionary Guards and the Israeli journalists have a common enemy, they call him Binyamin Netanyahu (Kalman Liebeskind, Maariv) It was difficult to distinguish, after the disclosure of the nuclear documents, between Zarif's reactions, and those of our media. It seems that there are those who are prepared for Israel to go up in Iranian flames if only they will be assured that Netanyahu will be burned first.
The sleeping Iranian beast (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) This week's dramatic unveiling of damning confidential Iranian material put the Iranian leadership in an uncomfortable position in the eyes of the world and Iran's own citizens • But it was Israel's own commentators who rushed to undercut the impact.
'Democtator' Netanyahu and his lonely war on the Iran nuclear deal (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) His decision to battle Obama’s agreement and to enlist Trump to scuttle it was made without challenge or opposition.
The same old Iran (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom)Israel's release of secret Iranian documents proving its nefarious nuclear intentions has not convinced world powers to nix the 2015 deal. Still, with a U.S. exit looming, Iran's dire economic state can and should be leveraged  into revising the accord.
Might It Be That Netanyahu Is Right? (Nehemia Shtrasler, Haaretz+) A new accord is needed, one that will prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons forever. Our survival depends on it.
Netanyahu and Lieberman are playing with fire if they think of adopting the Trump plan (Nadav Haetzni, Maariv) The silence of the prime minister and the defense minister regarding the publication in Maariv of Trump’s peace plan (transferring control of some E. Jerusalem neighborhoods to the Palestinians - OH) raises questions: The government leadership must have made it clear publicly that there is no chance for such a disastrous plan.
From left and right, why is a league of haters descending on the ADL? (Debra Nussbaum Cohen, Haaretz+) Founded to fight anti-Semitism and racism, the Anti-Defamation League has absorbed criticism before. But the vicious tone of recent attacks - and their radically different political origins - are new.
Not every infiltration from Gaza is a failure: The IDF learns to evade Hamas's traps (Tal Lev-Ram, Maariv) In Gaza, the images of infiltration into Israeli territory will be broadcast many more times this month. We in Israel do not have to join this mayhem. This is a tactical event - no less and no more.
It is hard to remain indifferent: the lies of Abu Mazen's speech (Sefi Gabay, Maariv) It is difficult to remain indifferent to the Palestinian Authority Chairman’s denials and anti-Semitic remarks, whether intentionally or as a result of ignorance. Such as: The Jews of the Arab countries did not experience suffering and pogroms by the ruling authorities.
Dear Occupiers, Sorry if We Hurt Your Feelings (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Not one Israeli statesman today intends to apologize for the Nakba – not for the ethnic cleansing, nor for the exiling. But Abbas had no choice but to apologize for his Holocaust remark.
The ability to ignore Palestinian anti-Semitism was impaired, and not only because of Abu Mazen's speech (Meir Uziel, Maariv) I also very much want to believe that there is no connection between Palestinian thought of today and the murderous anti-Semitism of the Palestinian Mufti, but it is hard to accept the explanation that the PLO's Palestinians are renouncing their Nazi past.
Abbas' Holocaust Revisionism Shows His Moral Failure. But His Political Failures Are Much Worse (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) Once a weak, dogmatic Holocaust revisionist autocrat, always a weak, dogmatic Holocaust revisionist autocrat. Palestinians deserve a better leader – and Israel’s moral well-being and security depends on it too.
Scent of anti-Semitism in Abbas' Speech Doesn't Change His Support for Two States (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) The president's speech before the Palestinian National Council reflected his authoritarian style and habit not to listen to criticism.
Look who finally woke up (Amnon Lord, Israel Hayom) It seems the Middle East is finally being broadcast to Manhattan, and someone at The New York Times is, at long last, starting to pay attention.
The face of Israel: a culture of ‘you can depend on me,’ a lack of taking responsibility and (almost) national grief (Shay Lahav, Maariv) Social Involvement, Secular-Religious Battles and Coexistence: The tragedy (of the ten youth killed on a hike organized by a pre-military academy) in Nahal Tsafit and the subsequent reactions were the essence of contemporary Israeliness. For bad, but also for good.
Why the world ignores Israel’s bad behavior (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) Human rights are increasingly being shrugged off, but the world is ignoring the Palestinian plight because it wants Israeli technology.
Is Hezbollah headed for victory? (Itzhak Levanon, Israel Hayom) A worrying trend ahead of the Lebanese elections seems to indicate that Hezbollah and its allies may win an unprecedented victory, setting off significant changes in Lebanon.
Lebanese Head to the Polls Today to Decide: Will the Country Be Iranian or Arab (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Sunday’s election will be the first in Lebanon since 2009, following years during which the main political parties failed to reach understandings regarding the election system.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.

News Nosh: May 4, 2018

APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday May 4, 2018

You Must Be Kidding: 
It took four days for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to delete his false Facebook post falsely claiming the fan's of Israel's only Arab soccer team booed during a moment of silence for Jewish teens killed in a flash flood.*
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News Nosh: May 3, 2018

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday May 3, 2018
Quote of the day:
"If, heaven forbid, a tragic incident took place during which policemen shot to death a Jewish driver in the course of the eviction of the [Jewish] Givat Amal neighborhood, for example, Nitzan would not have allowed himself to conclude the investigation with the bottom line leaving a big question mark about the possibility that this wasn't about a victim but about a murderer."
--Haaretz reporter Gidi Weitz writes that the fact that the State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan closed the Umm al-Hiran Case, in which a Border Policeman was run over and killed by a Bedouin man who was shot to death, when he was mistakenly perceived as a threat, according to the Shin Bet, and the State Prosecutor did not clear the Bedouin math teacher, Yakoub al-Qiyan, of the Police Chief's accusations of guilt, was only because the Bedouin was a 'fourth class citizen.'*
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News Nosh: May 2, 2018

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday May 2, 2018
You Must Be Kidding: 
"Following the "nuclear show" of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a Likud initiative began to appeal to Nobel peace laureates living in Israel to recommend Netanyahu for the Nobel Peace Prize for his struggle against the Iranian nuclear program."**
--Maariv's Arik Bender reports on Likud activists' latest effort.**
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News Nosh: April 30, 2018

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday April 30, 2018
You Must Be Kidding: 
Israeli Police use Arab figures for target practice at northern school, where a large majority of the citizens are Arab.**
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News Nosh: April 26, 2018

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday April 26, 2018
Quotes of the day:
First IDF soldier after shooting a Palestinian resident: "I hit him! The son of a bitch."
Second soldier: "Stay professional."
Third soldier: "One live bullet and this would all be over."
Second soldier: "We don't fire live ammunition. We don't need it."
First soldier: "You can't hit with a rubber bullet, you just can't."
--From video clip filmed by B'Tselem at village of Madama near Nablus in the West Bank.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
9 months.
-The prison sentence given to Border Policeman Ben Deri for shooting dead a young Palestinian with a live bullet he wasn't supposed to use and when the boy did not pose any threat.**
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