News Nosh 05.26.15

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday May 26, 2015 

Quote of the day:
"The elections are over, Arabs, get out of our sight. The politicians’ Knesset speeches upon the presentation of the government went off the air on all three TV channels when it was Odeh’s turn to speak. Was this any worse than what Netanyahu said on Election Day about Arabs 'voting in droves'?"
--Haaretz commentator Yitzhak Laor laments how the media and the liberals in Israel only remember the Arab citizens during election time.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Erdan gave in, Begin quit and Elkin threatens
  • A portfolio without a minister // Sima Kadmon
  • One country, six foreign ministers
  • Erdan: Enough of advancing Bezeq bill; but last week he declared: the (landline) monopoly must be dismantled
  • (Olmert to) Jail, for the second time
  • “Someone will call us father and mother” – oldest woman to give birth in Israel (67) celebrated the brit of her newborn
  • Quit in a storm – antitrust commissioner resigned in protest over likely arrangement for gas cartel. His supporters say: State gave in to tycoons
  • Heat wave alert
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • The carousel of ministers
  • On the wheel // Ben Caspit
  • Prime Minister dismissed Foreign Ministry director general that Lieberman appointed
  • Antitrust commissioner resigned
  • Who do we believe? // Yehuda Sharoni
  • Olmert sentenced to 8 months in prison
  • A severe and unnecessary (punishment) // Adv. Yehiel Gottman
Israel Hayom
  • Erdan returns to government: “Bigger budget for police”
  • “Black flag” – 8 months prison sentence to former prime minister Ehud Olmert
  • High Court needs to stop the court delays – and fast // Dan Margalit
  • Antitrust commissioner resigned
  • (Prof. David) Gilo’s plan: Maybe right, but without gas // Hezi Sternlicht
  • Embarrassment for IsraAir: Plane confiscated in Portugal over claim the company owes “millions of euros”
  • Unemployment low: only 4.9%
  • Tomorrow temperatures expected to pass 40 degrees

News Summary:
Musical chairs without music in the Israeli government, a dismissal in the Foreign Ministry and the resignation of the antitrust chief along with another prison sentence for former prime minister Ehud Olmert make top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Meanwhile Haaretz+ reported that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered to hold negotiations with Palestinians over borders – of settlements.
Likud MK Gilad Erdan backtracked and took the post that Netanyahu offered him a week ago (the papers mocked him for that), part of which was given to Minister Zeev Elkin, who now got what was promised to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. Minister Benny Begin, a minister without portfolio, will now have to resign in order to make way for Erdan, due to a limit of 12 Likud ministers. Netanyahu also fired the Foreign Ministry Director General Nissim Ben-Shitrit and appointed his ally, US-born Dore Gold, who is a known critic of the two–state solution. Now, the responsibilities of the Foreign Minister are divided between six different people, wrote Yedioth. Also, the papers (with the exception of Israel Hayom) made a big deal about the antitrust commissioner quitting after Netanyahu backed a deal that will not break up the cartel of the gas companies.

But the most interesting piece of news was Haaretz’s+ report by Barak Ravid that Netanyahu proposed talks on the borders of settlement blocs, when he met last week with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. Ravid stated that it was the first time since taking office that Netanyahu voiced willingness to discuss with the Palestinians the size and borders of settlement blocs. A senior Israeli official told Ravid that “Netanyahu’s main goal at the meeting was to display readiness and even eagerness for a resumption of the talks, given the EU’s deep distrust of him over the Palestinian issue. Netanyahu is very concerned by preparations in Brussels to impose sanctions such as labeling settlement produce in EU supermarkets, as well as by the French push for a UN Security Council resolution that would lay down principles for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” He also contradicted his election promise of ‘no Palestinian state’ when he told the cameras that he was committed to the principle of “two states for two peoples.” [It’s a brilliant move that makes Netanyahu appear ready to talk and cuts the Palestinian negotiating hand from the start. – OH]

Quick Hits:
  • Israel Navy fire wounds Palestinian fisherman off Gaza coast - 26-year-old Mohammed Bachar was evacuated; no details on type and extent of injury. (Haaretz and Maan)
  • Israeli troops detain 4 children near Tulkarem - Israeli troops on Sunday morning detained four boys, aged 9 - 13, near a school in the northern West Bank village of Farun. (Maan)
  • Israel revokes Jerusalem residency status of prisoner's wife - Two weeks after Israel jailed Omar al-Shalabi, the former secretary-general of Fatah in Jerusalem, for incitement for Facebook posts, Israel revoked the residency status of Muna Abdullah al-Shalabi [meaning she is banned from her home and city. – OH] (Maan)
  • Palestinian parliament speaker sentenced to year in prison - An Israeli court on Monday sentenced Palestinian Legislative Council speaker Aziz Dweik to 12 months in prison and ordered him to pay a fine of 6,000 shekels. (Maan)
  • Israel to demolish electricity grid, water well in Hebron-area village - Israeli forces stormed the village and delivered the orders for an electricity grid of 800 meters owned by the al-Yassiriya municipality that currently provides power to a village neighborhood of 10 houses. (Maan)
  • Large West Bank traffic jams as settlers take part in bike race - TV crews from Ma'an satellite said the 30-minute drive between the two cities took three hours as Israeli forces closed a main exit from Hebron connecting to Route 60 as settlers from Kiryat Arba took part in a race. (Maan)
  • Ramallah district road opened after 15 years of closure - Beitin residents have been forced to drive 20km instead of 3km to Ramallah since 2000. Only private Palestinian cars and settlers will be allowed to use the reopened road, while Palestinian taxis, buses and trucks will be banned. (Maan)
  • Hamas military wing 'paving new road' near Gaza buffer zone - West Bank based Palestinian officials told Ma'an that the Al-Qassam Brigades have began paving a 300-meter road in the northeastern Gaza Strip to prevent Palestinians from entering Israel illegally. (Maan)
  • Free bread distributed in Gaza bakeries - A female philanthropist based in the United Arab Emirates has initiated a campaign to distribute free bread to poor Palestinian families living in the Gaza Strip who are unable to afford their basic living costs. (Maan)
  • Egypt to open Rafah crossing into Gaza for 2 days - Egyptian authorities will open the Rafah border crossing for two days on Tuesday and Wednesday allowing passengers to travel from Egypt into Gaza, although not the other way around. (Maan)
  • PA pledges support for Bedouin community facing forced displacement -  Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Sunday pledged $50,000 to the Bedouin community of Abu Nuwwar east of Jerusalem that is currently facing forced displacement by Israeli forces, due to  Israeli plans to build thousands of homes for settlements in the so-called E1 corridor. (Maan
  • Ex-con Shas leader forfeits ministerial right to name judges - Heeding Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein's recommendation, Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri relinquishes ministerial right to name Labor Court judges due to his criminal conviction. Authority to be vested with Religious Services Minister David Azoulay. (Israel Hayom)
  • Dispute with Israel's rabbinate may lead to Efrat rabbi Shlomo Riskin's ouster - Officially, the Rabbinate says the problem is technical, but it's known that American-born Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, chief rabbi of Efrat, holds liberal attitudes on conversion and women's rights that have irked the ruling rabbinical body. (Haaretz+)
  • Economist: New Israeli government harms foreign relations - Report in London-based publication details series of political challenges before Netanyahu, says PM leaning further right. (Ynet)
  • Gaza families visit relatives jailed in Israel - Sixty-one Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, including 11 children, crossed into Israel to visit 37 relatives in Israel's Ramon prison on Monday. (Maan)
  • Record number of French Jews to visit Israel with Taglit-Birthright - Some 1,500 Jews to arrive in Israel from France this summer, with a special stop added to 10-day trip - grave of Yoav Hattab, who was murdered at kosher supermarket in Paris two days after returning from his Taglit trip. (Ynet)
  • Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg: "Israel must stop selling weapons to South Sudan" - Meretz MK petitioned Defense Minister Yaalon to order the cancellation of licenses for arms exports to the African nation: "Our responsibility is to demand cessation of the flow of weapons that could be used for human rights violations and crimes against humanity." (Maariv)
  • Israel emerges as global cyber superpower - Sales by Israeli companies reached 10% of world total, figures show. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel's judo team suffers ongoing harassment in Morocco - Israeli delegation arriving for World Masters competition held up at Rabat airport for more than eight hours, competition's organizers remove Israeli flag, and local audience waves Palestinian flags and chants 'we will murder you.' (Ynet)
  • Report: Saudi Arabia rejects Israeli offer of Iron Dome tech - Arab media outlets report that Israel offered to help Saudi Arabia defend itself from rocket and mortar attacks by Houthi rebels in Yemen. Proposal, said to have been conveyed via U.S. diplomats, was reportedly turned down for unspecified reasons. (Israel Hayom)
  • Officials: Egypt army kills 35 militants in Sinai in 3 days - The Egyptian army has killed 35 gunmen affiliated to the Bayt al-Maqdis militant group in the northern Sinai over the last three days, Egyptian security sources told Ma'an on Monday. (Maan)
  • Iran hopes sanctions will be lifted by December - Official says that total lifting of international sanctions, which could occur as part of a nuclear deal with world powers, could help Iran's oil and gas sectors attract billions in foreign investment. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Iranian military official accuses U.S. of letting ISIS seize Iraq's Ramadi - The U.S. didn't do a 'damn thing' to stop Islamic State's advance on Ramadi, says leader of the Revolutionary Guard's elite Quds unit. He also said the US has no will to fight ISIS. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Middle East Updates / Turkey, U.S. agree 'in principle' to provide air cover for Syrian rebels battling ISIS - Syria air force targets ISIS-seized Palmyra; Iraq, Iran push back on U.S. defense chief over Ramadi loss; Yemeni politicians say UN peace talks indefinitely postponed. (Haaretz)
  • UN urges Lebanon to pick president, end political vacuum - Special envoy says lawmakers' year-long inability to agree on candidate for presidency has undermined country's efforts to deal with impact of Syrian crises, tackle growing list of problems. (Agencies, Haaretz)

Exposing Israeli law in the Palestinian territories - on the silver screen and on the web
New website picks up where Ra'anan Alexanderowicz's outstanding documentary 'The Law In These Parts' left off. (Nirit Anderman, Haaretz+)
Arab MKs: Acre municipality forcing out Arab residents
Joint Arab List MKs says Jewish-led Acre municipality perpetuates poor state of housing in order to drive the mostly Arab residents. (Ynet)
Soldier pays the price for criticizing the Israel army
IDF soldier Shachar Berrin was sentenced to a week in prison after he attended the taping of an international TV program, during which he stood up and expressed his opinion of the occupation. (Gideon Levy and Alex Levac, Haaretz+) 
Jerusalem Municipality and ACRI debate causes for growing poverty in East Jerusalem
NGO claims insufficient funding to services for Arabs in East Jerusalem leads to 75% dropping under poverty line; municipality says ACRI 'attempted to hide huge investments' and 'ignored specific budgets.’ (Ynet
From Israel-Palestine to child molestation: The gestalt of Louis C.K.
U.S. comedian has ventured into the most dangerous area of sexual and political taboos. Will it cost him his job as television's reigning philosopher? (Michael Handelzalts, Haaretz+)

Apartheid in Israel is about more than just segregated buses (Aeyal Gross, Haaretz+) What in a different situation would be considered apartheid is tolerated by many because it is ostensibly temporary. But the occupation has long stopped being temporary. 
Thus said the Obama: The policy dangers that are waiting buried for us below the surface (Cielo Rozeberg, Maariv) There is no such thing as stagnation in the political process. This is only an illusion. Beneath the surface events always occur and Israel must be prepared for surprises.
**For Arab politicians, a view from the Jewish street (Yitzhak Laor, Haaretz+) Before the elections, Odeh was asked by many of his interviewers from the Jewish street: “How is it we haven’t heard about you?” Odeh answered that the Palestinians in Israel actually do know him, so for a moment our reporters also liked him (except for Rina Mazliah, another political commentator, the Cassandra between the advertisements: “I don’t buy his smile,” she said, like every protagonist in colonial literature.) 
Netanyahu may be Erdogan, but Israel is not Turkey (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) In his delusions, the prime minister called early elections, dismissed Israel Prize judges, undermined the free press, conducted a racist election campaign, and sold out the core values of the State of Israel and Zionism in shameless coalition deals.
Israel's revocation of segregated Palestinian buses: Good decision, bad rationale (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) Fear of what the world would say, not morality, motivated Netanyahu to backtrack on the decision to segregate West Bank buses.
Israel may soon be forced to ask itself: How to behave in post-Assad Syria? (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) The bigger picture is gradually becoming clear: After almost a year of a relative stalemate, the Assad regime is retreating on multiple fronts.
Why is Netanyahu so determined to control the media? (Yaron London, Yedioth/Ynet) Israel's prime minister, the charismatic actor, appears to be unsure of his own identity; otherwise, he wouldn't be putting so much effort and using such ugly tricks to take revenge against media outlets which criticize him.
Israel's version of Burning Man won't save the country - but it can change its people (Roy (Chicky) Arad, Haaretz+) Will this utopia have a lasting impact on the people who attend - or will they just return to their ordinary lives of oppression?
Thanks to the United States, Israel got five years of quiet (Yossi Melman, Maariv) The Egyptian proposal called on the UN Secretary General to convene an international conference to discuss the demilitarization of the Middle East region of nuclear weapons. Because, according to all estimates in the world, Israel is the only country in the region that possesses nuclear weapons, it was clear that the resolution was against Israel. 
Israel's corrupt political system is a breeding ground for crooked leaders like Olmert (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) The financial connection between shadowy Diaspora tycoons and senior Israeli politicians is nothing new. Jewish money corrupted the politics of the Jewish State decades ago. 
Netanyahu's ministers and their hollow titles (Sima Kadmon, Yedioth/Ynet) When an American official arrives in Israel, who is he supposed to meet with – the minister in charge of strategic affairs? The minister in charge of the dialogue with the Americans? The intelligence minister? The deputy foreign minister? Or perhaps the minister in charge of Iranian affairs?  
Netanyahu’s new government: The stuff of a well-honed satirical sketch (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) Once an operative portfolio meant something; today, they are mere side dishes to the main course. And in the end, we all know that only two men wield any real influence on diplomatic and security issues.
Lieberman's vision: Gulf states and Israel together against Iran
The former foreign minister has a clear idea of how to resolve the unrest in the Mideast, and that includes what he believes is the enemy within. (Interviewed by Nahum Barnea in Yedioth/Ynet)
'World encourages violence by condemning Israel constantly'
In an exclusive interview, Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, speaks about the conflict with Hamas, the ethics of war, the battle for public opinion, and the prospects for peace • Peace is far from breaking out, he says. (Interviewed by Judith Bergman in Israel Hayom)

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