News Nosh 05.21.15

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday May 21, 2015 

Note: News Nosh will be off for Shavuot holiday Friday through Sunday, May 22-24.

Quote of the day:
"Forget separate buses. Double-decker buses! But we're on top."
--Assaf Appelboim, one of many Israelis to Tweet on the program to prevent Palestinians from traveling on buses in West Bank buses.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • History! (Maccabi Tel-Aviv won third title)
  • The (bus) segregation storm [Photo of Jews and Palestinians on bus (in West Bank) yesterday
  • Where are the brains? // Ben-Dror Yemini
  • No to racism // Yifat Erlich
  • Conflict of interests? Lawyers of Netanyahu, who holds the Communications Ministry portfolio, represent communications companies
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • The (bus) segregation and the freeze
  • Not wise and immoral // Prof. Aviad Hacohen
  • Close the breach // Bat-El Binyamin
  • Khamenei: Supervision over the nuclear plants? Chutzpah
  • (Maccabi Tel-Aviv) trophy in a knockout
  • Suspicion: Fisher helped topple mayor of Hadera
  • Kibbutzes preparing for Shavuot holiday with first fruit ceremonies, marches and dancing
  • Celebration of cheeses – straight from the desert

News Summary:
Israel’s suspension of the plan to segregate Israelis and Palestinians on West Bank buses - two hours after the pilot project went into action, the Swiss court order for Israel to pay Iran $1.1 billion for a pipeline debt, the $1.9 billion arms deal the US made with Israel to soften it ahead of the Iran nuclear deal and yesterday’s alleged Palestinian vehicular attack against Border Police were top stories in Hebrew newspapers today. Meanwhile, the Norwegians, the French and the EU pressed Israel for peace and Netanyahu said he was all for it.

**Lawmakers across the political spectrum blasted the segregated Arabs and Jews bus program, some for fear of the detriment to Israel’s image as an Apartheid state and other for fear that it made Israel an Apartheid state. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu suspended the ban on Palestinians using Israeli buses due to the backlash locally and internationally. But a Habayit Hayehudi MK insisted the criticism was hypocritical. And Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon promised to revive the plan. The papers described the backtracking as “humiliating” to the government. Maariv reported that the social media network “heated up” over the sudden canceling of the program, some laughing, some worried and some disappointed. Channel 10 military affairs reporter and analyst for Maariv, Alon Ben-David, Tweeted that it was "an unfortunate decision that could be the one that paves the way for a boycott of Israel." 
Israel faces pressure to agree to a two-state solution soon. Netanyahu yesterday met with Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende, who gave him some friendly advice on restarting peace talks: Israel will be under great international pressure after the Iran nuclear deal is done. But according to Netanyahu, that is not a problem. In a separate meeting with EU foreign policy chief Frederica Mogherini Netanyahu said he was “still committed to vision of two states” and that Israel was taking steps to ease life for Palestinians. [That meeting must have been after canceling the decision not to let them on buses with settlers – OH]
Nevertheless, there will likely be a two-state deadline. According to a report, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius recently presented the Arab League with a detailed plan to renew peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The plan includes the demand for Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The French UN resolution sets an 18-month deadline for those talks. If no agreement, then France will recognize the Palestinian state. 

Quick Hits:
  • Justice Minister: No bias in High Court ruling to raze Bedouin village and replace with Jewish one - ‘I’m not saying that it’s okay or not, just that people shouldn’t say it’s discrimination,’ Ayelet Shaked says. Earlier this month, court ruled residents of the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran could be evicted. “How will we be able to explain how we razed a village … just because the people belonged to a different ethnic or religious group?” said Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg. (Haaretz+)
  • Threat to the life of Arab-Israeli director Mohammad Bakri: "I paid (a mobster) to murder him" - Yafa Awad, an activist from the Galilee and member of the Jewish-Arab "Joint Society" group received a phone call in which she was told that the Arab-Israeli director would be murdered as soon as arrived at the screening of his film, ‘Zahara,’ in Carmiel Thursday. The film is meant to promote dialogue between Jews and Arabs. (Maariv)
  • PA close to file ICC reports on Israeli activities in Gaza, West Bank - The reports, which cover Israeli settlement activity and last summer's war in Gaza, will be submitted to the International Criminal Court next month. (Haaretz+)
  • Rightist NGO demands eviction of seven Palestinian families in Silwan - Ateret Cohanim want to evict the Rajabi family from the house next door to one Jewish settlers entered two weeks ago, as part of its ongoing effort to expand Jewish settlement in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. (Haaretz
  • Israeli forces demolish three-story Silwan building - Israeli military vehicles entered Ras al-Amoud (in E. Jerusalem) escorting three excavators which tore down the building. (Maan
  • "Testimony: The (police) staged an investigation against Hadera's mayor to help his opponent"
  • Report: two police officers from the Lahav 433 anti-corruption unit opened investigation proceedings against Haim Avitan to help Gandelman. Avitan was arrested four months before the elections; Gandelman won. (Globes and Israel Hayom Hebrew only)
  • Palestinians: "Abu Dahim was executed. Security cameras were confiscated" - According to eyewitnesses, Amran Abu Dahim, 41, father of 3, did not intend to run over Israelis, but tried to change the direction he was driving in. After learning of his killing (by Border Police), severe clashes took place between masked men from the neighborhood and security forces. (Maariv
  • Soldier recalls (killing) of Jerusalem attacker - Sergeant 'A' shot Palestinian attacker Wednesday in his vehicle after three Border Police were wounded; 'There wasn't a moment to lose.' (Ynet)
  • A Palestinian and some settlers throw Molotov cocktails – army closes Palestinian village entrances - Israeli forces on Wednesday closed all entrances to Burin and a main road near Huwwara after a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a settler car in the area and after settlers protested in the area. A Palestinian official said that settlers from Yitzhar then threw Molotov cocktails at Palestinian cars and agricultural lands. (Maan)
  • IDF questionnaire asks recruits about sexuality, political leanings - 'I frequently wished I was a woman' and 'I tend to vote for liberal.' among questions asked. (Haaretz+)
  • Rival activists arrested at Nakba Day event at Tel Aviv University - One was a right-wing activist who tried to tear down the lighting and the Palestinian flag for the ceremony Wednesday. The other had tried to stop him from doing so. This is the fourth year the ceremony has been held just outside the university. Last year, it took place without incident. (Haaretz+ and Ynet
  • Israeli forces continue detention campaign against teenagers near Bethlehem - Israeli forces raided several neighborhoods after midnight Tuesday, detained four 15-16 year old boys, and distributed a statement in the area threatening to interfere with the lives of young men who continue to hurl stones at Israeli vehicles traveling on the bypass roads near the town. (Maan)
  • Netanyahu taps Rabin conspiracist for top Communication Ministry post - Shlomo Filber, who ran Likud campaign and served as Netanyahu’s chief of staff, claims he didn’t write article claiming Shin Bet murdered Rabin. (Haaretz and Ynet)   
  • How an Israeli minister's wife welcomed Obama to Twitter - Interior minister's wife and media celeb urges president to tweet 'from the hurt of barack,' and agriculture minister reminds Obama about government's plans for Jerusalem. (Haaretz+) 
  • AG closes case against ex-military advocate general in ‘Harpaz affair’ - Avichai Mendelblit, the current cabinet secretary, absolved due to his ‘low level of problematic conduct.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Channel 10 to fight Netanyahu's demand for $4.3M in license fees - In petition to High Court, television channel cries foul after Netanyahu uses last day as acting finance minister to demand backpay on license dues. (Haaretz+)
  • Rare footage: This was how the IDF blew up the ‘Beaufort’ after it withdrew from Lebanon - 15 years after the withdrawal from the security zone in southern Lebanon, the IDF archives revealed the Defense Ministry video showing the final withdrawal from the outpost and firing at soldiers. (Maariv+VIDEO)
  • IMF: Donors need to support West Bank, Gaza recovery - The economic cost of the 50-day war is estimated at $4 billion for Gaza, the IMF noted, as tens of thousands of homes and business were destroyed and the area was under Israeli and Egyptian blockades. "larger construction projects that are required for a job-creating economic recovery are still pending," the report said. (Maan)
  • Middle East Updates / Iran's Khamenei rejects probe of alleged nuke weapons work - Britain says Syrian video footage exposes Assad barrel bomb lies; Iran to allow UN inspection of Yemen aid ship in Djibouti; Syrian antiquities chief says statues moved from Palmyra. (Haaretz
  • Middle East updates / Islamic State's Egypt affiliate urges attacks on judges - Ten killed as Libya's rival governments take on Islamist fighters. (Haaretz)
  • Islamic State seizes ancient city from Syrian forces - UNESCO World Heritage site of Palmyra in danger of destruction at militants' hands. (Agencies, Haaretz)

From fruit and vegetable stalls to the Knesset plenum
The moving maiden speeches of new MKs Yaron Mazoz (Likud), a fruit stand seller from Haifa, and Yoav Kish (Likud), a reserve combat pilot. (Arik Bender, Maariv
Gazans reach beyond blockade through start-up
Dozens of workers sit with their eyes glued to computer screens and fingers clicking away on keyboards writing code and tapping in data for clients around the globe.
It could be a scene at any software firm, but these programmers are Palestinians based in the Gaza Strip, which has been under an Israeli blockade since 2006. (Sarah Benhaida, AFP, Maan)
IN PHOTOS | Behind the Niqab
The cloth allows women to follow a strict interpretation of their religious beliefs by preventing others from seeing their faces. (AP, Haaretz)

Segregated buses are only the tip of the occupation's iceberg (Haaretz Editorial) The international community assists the Israeli segregation regime by averting its eyes. Such injustices would not be viewed with understanding if directed at Jews anywhere in the world.
Israel scored an own goal in segregated buses decision (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) The BDS campaign leaders are finding it difficult to believe that the Israeli government has insisted on giving them such a wonderful gift. 
Failure of the (separate) buses pilot: Isn’t there a responsible adult around? (Ben Caspit, Maariv) Why did the defense minister insist to implement a (image) damaging program, particularly at a time when Israel is at war against the rearguard of becoming a pariah state?
Why was an Israeli who opposes two-states put in charge of Palestinian peace talks? (Asher Schechter, Haaretz+) There’s more than meets the eye to Netanyahu’s decision to appoint Silvan Shalom as chief negotiator with the Palestinians.
On Scott Walker’s 'listening tour' of Israel, Palestinians aren’t heard (Peter Beinart , Haaretz+) How the American Jewish establishment foists its isolation from Palestinians on American politicians. 
Segregated buses make conference on Israel’s isolation seem urgent and naïve (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) A forum of the Jewish People’s Policy Institute suggests potential remedies for the growing gulf between Israel the world and American Jews – if there are any. 
Isaac Herzog, resign now (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) The head of the Zionist Union comes across as someone who is not up to the challenge of fighting the most right-wing, nationalist government in the history of Israel.
Media hid the truth (Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) As the Channel 10 film about the Zionist Union shows, the Israeli media knew Isaac Herzog wasn't a suitable candidate for prime minister.
Rabbi Moshe Levinger, leader of the pioneers (Israel Harel, Haaretz+) Even more than Rabbi Kook, Levinger inspired and led the religious Zionist settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria – not with the words of the Torah, but with sheer dedication. 
Netanyahu showed Erdan who's boss (Eitan Haber, Yedioth/Ynet) Four rising politicians who set their sights on the prime minister's job were used by Netanyahu for his political needs, then thrown away; Gilad Erdan was the only one who didn't see it coming.
Netanyahu's government is on a 
flight to nowhere (Ari Shavit, Haaretz+) The proposed separation between Jews and Arabs on buses is just the beginning: Where there is no vision, the government will cast off restraint, to paraphrase Proverbs.
Islamic State finding it hard to gain foothold on Syria's Israel border (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) The extremist group has twice been repelled by Syrian rebels in recent weeks, while Israel has tempered response to errant shells entering its territory.
What Israel's new culture minister bodes for artists (Yossi Klein, Haaretz+) With the appointment of Culture Minister Miri Regev, the real danger among Israel’s artists is self-censorship.
Why is the Islamic State invincible? (Yaron Friedman, Yedioth/Ynet) Every ISIS commander killed in an airstrike has a deputy, 100 dead terror activists can be replaced with 100 new volunteers, and the radical Islamic organization is still making a lot of money from the oil fields it controls. The US-led coalition's failure to destroy the organization from the air calls for a massive ground offensive, but how can that be done without Iran's support?
Pakistan is the only Muslim nuclear state – so why is Israel's hysteria reserved for Iran? (Azriel Bermant, Haaretz+) Unlike Iran, Pakistan doesn't call for Israel's destruction. But in certain ways, Islamabad poses more of a threat to Israel than Tehran does.
The summit that wasn't (Clifford D. May, Israel Hayom) Gulf state rulers didn't attend U.S. President Barack Obama's summit last week because they're not buying what the president is selling.
Sayed Kashua isn't offended by what Americans say about Muslims (Sayed Kashua, Haaretz+) They’re not talking about him, he tells himself, or about his children. This is a problem of the Arabs and the Muslims who are American citizens, not his.

Former Supreme Court head ready to sit down with Shaked
Upon Ayelet Shaked’s appointment as justice minister, Aharon Barak agrees to talk to her and emphasize the absolute importance of the Supreme Court to Israel’s democracy. (Part of full interview to be published Friday. Interviewed by Amira Lam and Tova Zimuki in Yedioth/Ynet)

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