News Nosh 06.02.15

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday June 2, 2015 

Quote of the day:
“Last week the (kibbutz) administration decided to that the Arab laborers are good enough to enter the kibbutz, renovate and build our homes, but G-d forbid, not to eat with us in the same space in the dining room. Why?...Because some mothers complained…that the laborers were ‘scary.’”
--Ranen Yazarsky revealed her kibbutz’s ‘dirty laundry’ on her Facebook page sparking a storm.**


Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • “Why did you do this to Mom?” – yelled Katia, a soldier, after her father brutally stabbed to death her mother, from whom he was divorced, and the mother’s partner
  • Height of hypocrisy – ‘The Palestinian Return Centre,’ which opposes Israel’s existence and the peace process, was accepted by the UN
  • Move to attack // Noah Klieger
  • The battle over the minds // Yoaz Hendel
  • Mother and two children killed in car accident
  • Only a drill: Today, two sirens, at 11:05 and 19:05, as part of Home Front Command drill
  • Who will be the queen? Tonight at 9PM Israel beauty pageant
  • The beer storm – Class-action suit against Goldstar Beer Co.: “Campaign makes fun of women”
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • The cost of the boycott - France and Britain won’t join the security exhibition in Israel
  • Herzog and Netanyahu met last night to discuss political and security issues
  • Only a drill: Sirens to be heard across country today
  • Death on the roads: Mother and her two children were killed in the Golan
  • Man killed his ex-wife and her partner
  • Breakthrough in battle against cancer – cocktail that destroys cancerous cells
  • Letters to the minister – Osem Ltd. CEO Itzik Tzaig suggests to Economy Minister: “Invest in professional and technological education and in massive support to establish factories in the periphery”
Israel Hayom
  • “Obama is determined to reach a bad agreement” – Sharp criticism in Israel on Obama’s statements to Channel 2
  • The revenge of Obama’s advisors // Haim Shine
  • Hope for cancer patients
  • The family was destroyed (from a car accident)
  • Horror: Murdered his ex-wife and her partner
  • Only a drill: Today – two sirens
  • Now it’s official: Lindsey Graham joins race for President of US
  • The Knesset committees set on their way; the big winner: MK Oren Hazan (Likud, who sits on the most committees)
  • Celebration of reading: Guide to events ahead of opening of Book Week tomorrow

News Summary:
A tragic car accident and a double murder were top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers alongside the latest concern in Israel: international boycotts. Meanwhile, more news out of the Gaza Strip, including threats on Hamas. And statements made by the US President in an interview with an Israeli program that angered officials in the Israeli government. Lastly, a Maariv report on IDF confiscation of Palestinian cash that left questions.

The Palestinians may have ‘failed’ to suspend Israel from FIFA on Friday, but the fact that Israel was so close to being suspended from world soccer fields has woken up Israeli officials and newspapers to the ongoing phenomenon. Boycotts, boycotts, boycotts, the papers cried out again today. Haaretz+ reported that EU is on an unstoppable drive to renew legislative process to label West Bank settlement products. Maariv reported that France and Britain were among a number of Western countries declined the Israeli invitation to exhibit at Israel's seventh annual "Israel Defense" international security exhibition, for armies, police and public security, which opened this morning in Tel Aviv. An Israeli security source told Maariv“They have no desire to be identified as selling attack products to Israel." Regarding the question of whether this cause damage to Israel the official refused to answer, “but obviously not having the leading companies there prevents the Israeli security establishment from gaining full access to the most advanced products on the market,” wrote the reporters Noam Amir and Dana Somberg.
 
Yedioth reported on the quiet boycott of Israeli academics: academic journals that refuse to publish Israeli articles, foreign lecturers who decline coming for conferences and a drop in cooperation with international companies. Israeli university heads met with President Reuven Rivlin to tell him about the urgency of the issue: “The issue must be put at the top of the agenda because if the Israeli academia finds itself boycotted it will be an economic and scientific catastrophe,” they told him. Haaretz+ reported that right-wing Jewish-American tycoon and financier of the Israel Hayom freebie [also known as the Netanyahu mouthpiece – OH] Sheldon Adelson will host a (not very – OH) secret anti-BDS fundraiser and strategy summit, with backing from other Jewish tycoons from across the political spectrum. 
 
In Gaza, visiting German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier lamented Gaza’s ‘catastrophic state’ and said Israel must ease its blockade over the Strip and Hamas must work to end rockets. [Note: there has been only one rocket since last summer but the siege is strangling the population and preventing its reconstruction. – OH] “'We cannot wait to improve living conditions until talks about a two-state solution are back on track,” he said.
 
Both Israel and Hamas denied reports that Steinmeier was mediating talks on a prisoner swap. Steinmeier did not meet with Hamas leadership. [But that doesn’t mean he didn’t meet with their emissaries. – OH] Islamic State supporters, who are angry at Hamas for arresting them and for being 'too soft on Israel' gave the Hamas government a 48-hour ultimatum: end the crackdown on them or else. Meanwhile, the Israeli Prime Minister’s advisor to peace talks with the Palestinians, Dore Gold, said Hamas “is not a candidate to become a political partner,” contradicting what President Rivlin suggested last week: I'll talk to anyone, just not about Israel's right to exist.
 
In a preview of the interview to be aired tonight on Ilana Dayan’s ‘Uvda’ program on Channel 2, US President Barack Obama told Israeli viewers that only a deal will stop Iran from having nukes, because a US military strike on Iran’s nuclear sites won't end it. He also said that he understands the Israeli people’s 'concerns and fears.' Not surprisingly, Israel Hayom led its newspaper with angry criticism of Obama’s statements by unnamed officials in Jerusalem. Meanwhile, a delegation of Israeli officials are on their way to Europe in an effort to improve the nuclear deal, Maariv reported. The delegation headed by the National Security Adviser will hold talks in Paris and London in an attempt to persuade the two countries to make changes to the agreement which should be signed by the end of the month.
 
In a Maariv article by Noam Amir titled, “Dramatic rise in funds for terror: 5 million shekels seized in the West Bank,” Amir reported that the IDF Military Prosecutor allowed publishing that during the past year the “astronomical sum” was caught in the West Bank. The funds were confiscated over the past year by security forces in 100 operations. Amir wrote: “The IDF emphasized that the confiscation is done only after an extensive probe into the source of the monies.” But more than half way through the article he wrote, “In 35 cases in which Palestinians appealed against the confiscations, the funds were returned after it became clear that they were not funding terrorism.” That’s more than a third. Moreover, the article appearing in the print edition of the paper removed that key sentence found in the online version. [As is common in Israeli reporting of security issues, there were no interviews with Palestinians whose money was confiscated. The story is one-sided, all taken as fact: the confiscated monies were all for terror -  despite the glaring paragraph that revealed that the Israeli intelligence services were not as professional in their probes as they claimed. - OH]

Quick Hits:
  • **Wikipedia won’t remove Netanyahu’s "The Arabs are flock to the polls” speech - The creation of a Wikipedia entry of Netanyahu’s (in)famous speech on the eve of the elections provoked a heated debate among editors of the Israeli (Hebrew) version of the free encyclopedia. “That's an unnecessary entry. I don’t find anything racist regarding the rates of the Arab vote,” wrote one Israeli Wikipedia Hebrew editor. In the end, it was decided to take a vote after two weeks of wrangling. Last night it was voted to keep the entry. (Maariv
  • Study: Teachers are afraid to engage on democracy issues in the classroom - "If there the Ministry of Education has a clear directive on the subject it’s a secret," said school principals who participated in the study that will be presented at the Dov Lautman education policy conference. Principals in the Arab sector reported on particularly great difficulty. (Maariv
  • **Dining room in Kibbutz Hatzerim: No entry for Arabs - Following the demand of some kibbutz members, the kibbutz administration prohibited Arab workers [ostensibly Israeli citizens, probably from nearby Bedouin villages – OH] who work in the kibbutz from eating in the dining room. But then came the storm following a post by a member on Facebook. So the administration permitted Arabs to eat there – with a Jewish escort. Kibbutz: “It’s private property.” (Yedioth, p. 31)
  • Only 7.7 percent of Israeli judges are Arab, new study finds - Arabs constitute 20 percent of Israel's population but less than 8 percent of all judges, despite repeated promises to redress the imbalance. (Haaretz+)
  • Education Ministry set to pull controversial Arab play from school repertoire - Al-Midan Theater’s ‘A Parallel Time’ was inspired by an incident in a security detainee’s life and has been seen by more than 900 schoolchildren. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel court orders prison to review refusal to parole Arab who lynched Jewish terrorist - Jamil Safuri was convicted in 2013 for killing Eden Natan-Zada after the latter killed four Israeli Arabs and wounded 22 others on a bus in Sharam in 2005. (Haaretz+)
  • Promising and fulfilling: Yisrael Beiteinu party proposed "death penalty for terrorists" bill - The explanatory notes to the bill, initiated by MK Sharon Gal, stated: "In reality that Israel is dealing with, the death penalty is a necessary deterrent to terrorists. The release of terrorists –is  a message that does not contribute to the fight against terrorism and Israel's deterrent capability.” (Maariv)
  • IDF combats social media mishaps among troops - New guidelines clearly define dos and don'ts for soldiers using Facebook, Twitter and even Whatsapp, and leave little wriggle room. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • (US-born) Lone soldier sentenced to military jail for eating non-kosher (pork) sandwich - After journalists called for comment, however, the IDF soldier's sentence was reduced. (Haaretz and Maariv)
  • Israel says UN grants Hamas-linked group NGO status - Jewish state's UN mission accuses body of accepting UK-based organization it says is 'an organizational and a coordinating wing of Hamas in Europe,' which promotes "anti-Israel propaganda." (Ynet)
  • Prisoner Abdullah Barghouthi launches hunger strike - Israeli prison services on Sunday stormed the cell of Hamas leader Abdullah al-Barghouthi in Rimon prison and sent him into solitary confinement after it was revealed that he had given a telephone interview to a Gaza-based radio station from inside the prison, during which he called on Hamas and its military wing al-Qassam Brigades to take their time as they negotiate a prisoner swap deal with Israel. (Maan
  • Haniyeh: No progress in Gaza year after unity govt formed - Deputy head of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh told Ma'an that nothing had changed in Gaza, citing the ongoing Israeli blockade, the lack of any significant progress in reconstruction, and crises in employees' salaries, electricity and water, among others. (Maan
  • Lawyer: Palestinian children facing torture in Israeli jails - Hiba Masalha, a lawyer for the PA committee of prisoners' affairs, said in a statement on Sunday that teenage detainees are being "terrified, threatened and blackmailed" in contravention of international law and conventions advocating children's rights. (Maan
  • Jews try to block Christian rite at Jerusalem holy site - Dozens of Jewish worshippers forcibly removed by police from David's Tomb compound in Jerusalem after trying to prevent priests from praying at the place, which is revered by Christians as the site of Jesus' Last Supper. (Ynet and Haaretz+) 
  • Anti-Semitic activity on US campuses increasing - ADL says rise in number and intensity of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incidents in American colleges 'are generating heightened concern in the Jewish community about the atmosphere on campus for Jewish students.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • State archive releases record of Vera Eichmann's visit with her husband - Wife of the Nazi war criminal who was executed in Israel was allowed to visit him for 90 minutes before his death; released document is first concrete proof of that visit. (Haaretz
  • Israeli rabbi sells 'kosher' pleasure with online sex shop - Rabbi Natan Alexander of Elazar gives online sex counseling to the faithful and sells kosher sex aids permitted by Jewish law. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Tel Aviv arms trade show braces for protest against South Sudan delegation - Human rights activists want Israel to halt weapons exports to the African state, amid allegations of war crimes. (Haaretz+)
  • Report: Mossad informed Cyprus of impending attack - Kuwaiti newspaper claims Mossad followed suspect for some time, tapped his phone and informed Cyprus authorities of possible attack. (Ynet
  • Cruz captures conservative Jewish hearts at NY gala, including Adelson’s - Organizer Shmuley Boteach tells receptive audience: 'The appetite for Jewish blood is back.' (Haaretz+)
  • Ex-inmates hold mixed feelings on ISIS destruction of notorious Syrian prison - Many Syrians wanted Tadmur Prison to remain standing so future generations would know its horrors. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Israeli army: Situation on northern border 'better than ever' - Maj. Gen. Yair Golan cites Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria and near-collapse of Bashar Assad’s army, but cautions against complacency. (Haaretz+)
  • Rebel advances in Syria leave Israel contemplating life without Assad - IDF deputy chief of staff says Syrian army ‘has ceased to exist’ and that Hezbollah’s casualties are significantly higher than previously believed. (Haaretz+)
  • Middle East updates / U.S. delivers 2,000 rockets for Iraq but holds half for now - Mideast updates: Pentagon has said the delivery of the weapons would help Iraq defend against approaching suicide bombers driving vehicles packed with explosives. (Haaretz
  • Fars: Iranian planes that drew US sanctions to fly outside country - US-banned Iranian airline that acquired several aircraft to begin using them on international flights this week, says state news agency; US hints it may attempt to seize them outside Iran. (Agencies, Ynet
  • Middle East updates / 4.4 earthquake hits near Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant - Saudi-led coalition strikes Houthi strongholds across Yemen. (Haaretz)


Features:
Letter to the Editor: “There is no monopoly on Zionism”
(Yedioth commentator) Yifat Erlich condemns certain High Court rulings about acceptance policies to joint communities and declares that “Zionism no longer interests the judges in Jerusalem.” For years, this is how the right-wing discourse is built, especially among the religious right-wing: Whoever does not accept their positions is “not Zionist” – this is how it sounds from a state that is moving and sinking in nationalism. Erlich and her friends are convinced that they have a monopoly on Zionism - they are very wrong. I, and many others, immigrated to Israel from a deep Zionist understanding, not because I was oppressed, and our Zionism said and still says to build here an enlightened country that preserves the rights and honor of minorities, exactly as we demand from other countries where we are a minority. The High Court usually rules based on this elementary order and not based on Jewish halacha and that is the basis for the enmity of most of the religious right-wing critics (some of whom acting out of personal interests). The abyss is wide open between these two perceptions of the State of Israel and there is no reason to accept Erlich’s pretension about what is the “correct” Zionism. – Ran Yehoshua, Rishon L’Tzion (Yedioth, 31.5.2015)
“It’s a victory that is all loss”
While Israel celebrated the Palestinian failure (to suspend Israel from) FIFA, a few hundred (Israeli) players understood that for them this is just the beginning of the struggle. Five soccer teams across the Green Line are registered in the Israeli Soccer Association and now they fear that the state will sacrifice them in order to save Israeli soccer. The teams are in Maaleh Adumim, Givat Zeev, in Bekaat Jordan Valley and in Elitzur Yehuda. Some of them have Arab players. “The state needs to support us, even at the expense of boycotting Israeli soccer.” (cover of Monday’s ’24 Hours’ supplement, Yedioth)
In Etgar Keret's memoir, a psychic map of modern Israel
'The Seven Good Years,' published in English, spotlights the convoluted family history and challenging reality of life as a cosmopolitan literary star. (Lisa Schwarzbaum, Haaretz+)

Commentary/Analysis:
A winning argument from Israel's deputy foreign minister (Uzi Baram, Haaretz+) Tzipi Hotovely thinks the world will rush to Israel's side if we just explain that we have the right to the whole land. 
A mistake in casting: Hotoveli at the head of the Foreign Ministry - beyond contempt for the institution (Uri Savir, Maariv) The Ministry has great strategic importance. Her appointment as Deputy Minister is no less than deliberately sabotaging Israel's foreign relations. 
Rajoub can be deterred, but what about the rest of the world? (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) When it comes to boycott threats, Israel's problem is not the Palestinians, but many of Israel's friends in the West. From one vote to another, it is becoming increasingly difficult for them – both morally and politically – to defend the Israeli policy in the West Bank.
Talk loudly: Israel is now facing an integrated battle from all directions (Nachman Shai, Maariv) Israel’s advocacy (hasbara) woke up with the appointment of Gilad Erdan as Minister. There needs to be investment in public diplomacy and building of a meaningful campaign, otherwise the Public Diplomacy Ministry will fall back into a coma.
Israel is treading along the path to bankruptcy (Haaretz Editorial) If Israel hopes to avoid bankruptcy, Israel's Arabs and ultra-Orthodox populations must be advanced.
BDS is an asymmetric war for world opinion (Yoaz Hendel, Yedioth/Ynet) The biggest problem with the BDS movement is that it isn’t an armed conflict but a conflict of the consciousness; its weapons are claims of human rights abuses, the battleground is the liberal west.  
The European peace offensive (Efraim Inbar, Israel Hayom) The failures of Middle East peacemaking efforts hardly discourage professional diplomats who make their living by trying to bring peace.
Cairo clips critical journalists' wings (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Under Egypt's current president, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, criticism of the security forces is simply not allowed. 
The night that ended two wars (Eitan Haber, Yedioth/Ynet) Fifteen years after the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, there are those who still believe that the pullout was an escape and that we should have maintained our national dignity – even at the cost of thousands of dead soldiers on the way home.
Obama and Netanyahu, it's time for a shared strategy on Iran (Michèle Flournoy and Ilan Goldenberg, Haaretz+) U.S. and Israel must renew engagement, and Obama's speech at Washington synagogue showed he's willing to reach out. 
Is this the beginning of the end of Islamic Republic? (Arie Geronik, Yedioth/Ynet) While radicals who control Iran have presented US for years as the 'Great Satan,' certain surveys show Iranians are the most pro-American nation among region's Muslim people.
War stories seized by moral purists (Dr. Gabi Avital, Israel Hayom) The lofty rhetoric on the need to remain ethical on the battlefield cannot stand on its own, without perspective; we must always compare our conduct to that in other war zones and to other periods.
How an Israeli bank stiffed Washington (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) Bank Leumi is one of a vast number of banks that helped Americans dodge tax. Why did its case particularly vex the American authorities?  
Don't send them to hell (Yoel Esteron, Yedioth/Ynet) The wish to preserve the vitality of a start-up nation compels the government to strive for the preservation of its promising companies rather than drive them away.
 

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