News Nosh 06.11.15

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday June 11, 2015 
Quote of the day:
“[Netanyahu] became a slave to a person that everyone knew from the beginning was involved in the casino business, had allegations of prostitution against him, and who uses this money to buy a foothold in Israeli politics."
--In a Facebook post that at first appears to be about shamed MK Oren Hazan, Meretz chief Zehava Gal-On reveals at the end a surprise for readers.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Oren Hazan - King of the Center - Likud Central Committee received MK, who was accused of drugs, pimping and running a casino, with cheers and hugs
  • Embarrassing and sad // Yifat Ehrlich
  • “Israeli virus in (Iran) nuclear talks”
  • Ronal Fisher affair: Transcripts reveal more about (former police commander) Bruno’s perks from Fisher
  • The teacher of the state – tonight the winner will be chosen
  • The heroes of our culture // Naftali Bennett
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • (Shamed MK Oren) Hazan: “They believe drug addicts, but not an elected MK” – Received with cheers at the Likud Central Committee
  • State secrets // Ben Caspit
  • Ease in taxes on real estate investors
  • Ronal Fisher affair trial began – police superintendent Malka admitted and convicted
  • “Israel spied on nuclear talks between Iran and the world powers”
  • No reason to get upset // Yossi Melman writes that Kaspersky company has financial-ideological interests in making such an announcement
Israel Hayom
  • Agent virus – Wall Street Journal writes that Israel spied on nuclear talks
  • Does the virus have ears? Missing James Bond // Boaz Bismuth
  • George W. Bush: It’s possible to defeat the terror – Exclusive interview tomorrow
  • Indictment against (Ashdod port labor union chief) Alon Hasson
  • Green light to housing reform: More taxes on second apartment
  • Because of crowded storage space in planes: size of suitcases to be decreased

News Summary:
The Likud MK accused of running a casino, pimping and using hard drugs was received with cheers at the Likud Central Committee convention and a cyber security firm said Israel spied on Iran nuclear talks using a cyber virus making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Also, the Israeli press barely mentioned that Israeli forces shot dead a young Palestinian man in Jenin. And there was no mention, except in Ynet, of a damning report of systematic abuse of Palestinian child by Israel.

The storm over Israel’s Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, Likud MK Oren Hazan, continues, but what surprised the papers was the warm welcome he received at the big Likud meet, despite calls for his suspension from Knesset – even by female MKs from his own party. (But still no Knesset panel has been formed that allows lawmakers to sanction colleagues.) Meanwhile, Hazan said he now refuses a lie detector test. Interestingly, Israel Hayom played down the warm welcome Likud gave the controversial MK.
The other big story came from the Wall Street Journal, which reported that Israel spied on Iran talks by planting a computer virus at the luxury hotels in Europe where talks were held. Researchers at the cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, who identified the virus, have concluded that it was an improved version of spyware first detected in 2011 by the codename 'Duqu.' The US said it takes steps to ensure confidentiality. Israel Hayom reporter and commentator, Boaz Bismuth, pooh-poohed the Kaspersky report, saying it was invented. Maariv’s more sophisticated and knowledgeable security reporter, Yossi Melman, wrote that it’s true that computer viruses and worms are the spies of the future “and the future is here.” Melman did not say whether he believed the report or not, but did say that meetings of Iranians, especially on nuclear matters, are a target for spying.

Hundreds of mourners marched at the funeral of Izz al-Din Bani Gharra, 21, who was shot dead by Border Police during a predawn operation – but that did not make Israeli news. The Border Police stated that Bani Gharra intended to throw a pipe bomb at forces and was shot. Palestinian sources say he was returning home from dawn prayers at the mosque, but Maariv did not report that in the few sentences about the killing at the end of an article about another issue. Israel Hayom and Yedioth made no mention of his death at all. "I lost everything after Izz was killed. It was a shock. My son Izz loves life and he loves Palestine. Israel killed him in cold blood," Bani Gharra’s mother told Ma'an.

Just days after Israel made a diplomatic victory by pressuring UN chief Ban Ki-moon not to put Israel on a blacklist for crimes against Palestinian children, Israeli forces detained another child in the middle of the night and a new Israeli-Palestinian organization accused Israel of systematic abuse of Palestinian kids. The report by Military Court Watch (MCW) that was submitted Wednesday to the UN special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, looks at 200 cases of Palestinian children detained by Israeli forces since 2013. In 187 cases, the children had their hands bound during the first 24 hours of arrest, 165 said they were blindfolded and 124 complained of physical abuse. Only eight of the 200 said they were given access to a lawyer prior to interrogation and just seven had a parent present during questioning. Ynet published the AFP article.
In the middle of the night, Israeli forces detained 13-year-old Tariq Mustafa, 13, from his home in Issawiya. Night arrests of children are very controversial and the UN and international children’s organizations have implored Israel to stop them and to send summons to the families instead. Critics say that many of the worst allegations against Israel of beating, blindfolding, abusing, questioning without a lawyer or parent, and without being read some of their rights, occurred in the context of night arrests of Palestinians. Israel says the night arrests avoid friction with the local population and therefore prevent casualties. UNICEF promised that if night arrests could be eliminated, and Palestinian minors came forth voluntarily during the day, many other complaints against the IDF could be eliminated. So in January 2014, Israel announced it was making a voluntary summons pilot program, which would end the night arrests. But last March, The Jerusalem Post reported that very few summons were given to the children and night arrests continued as the regular practice. There have been numerous dark reports about Israeli abuse of Palestinian children in the military justice system. Last month, just two weeks before the decision over whether to put Israel on the blacklist, Israel held a hasbara conference for foreign diplomats on the subject of “Minors & Military Justice System in the West Bank.” On Monday, Ban Ki-moon decided not to not put Israel on the blacklist, despite the recommendation by the UN special envoy 
Quick Hits:
  • International Criminal Court planning to send delegation to examine complaints against Israel - Delegation to arrive in area by end of June, Palestinian officials say, adding that Russia and China promised to veto any U.S. proposal in Security Council to delay investigation. (Haaretz+)
  • Far-right party pushes new bill to brand foreign-funded Israeli NGOs as ‘foreign agents’ - Under new Yisrael Beiteinu bill targeting human right groups and NGOs identified with left wing, foreign-funded NGOs would be subjected to closer inspection, have to declare itself a 'foreign agent' in official documents. (Haaretz+)
  • New tax legislation targets Israeli NGOs - Justice Minister Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) is promoting a bill seeking to tax or eliminate foreign funds to NGOs focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which she says are 'eroding the legitimacy of Israel to exist as a Jewish and democratic state'. (Agencies, Ynet
  • Israeli universities providing data on graduates to Shin Bet - Security service uses information to contact possible new recruits. (Haaretz+ and Times of Israel)
  • Poll finds uneasy support for Obama among U.S. Jews, widespread disdain for GOP - J Street survey says Hillary Clinton beats Jeb Bush 68%-30%; Netanyahu remains popular but the Jews are backing Iran deal. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli authorities level Palestinian property in (E.) Jerusalem - On private property, Israeli forces demolished all the trees, a 60-square-meter room, a well, and a fence without prior notice. The trees were 10-40 years old and included olive, palm, and pear trees. The farm was among other private Palestinian lands in the area that Israel slated for confiscation as part of plan to build a national park in their place, but the plan was rejected in September 2014 by an Israeli Planning and Zoning committee in order to assess the needs of the Palestinian neighborhoods. However, local committee member Muhammad Abu al-Hummus said Israeli authorities have ignored the suspension. (Maan
  • Abbas calls for reviewing agreements with Israel - In a news conference with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić in Belgrade Wednesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud called for reviewing political, economic, and security agreements with Israel. (Maan)
  • 150 Jewish innovators gather in Jerusalem - This year's ROI Summit convenes experts from 32 countries in a wide range of fields, from app developers and crusading journalists to toy designers and community organizers, who are seeking to build a thriving Jewish future. (Ynet)
  • Humans of Tel Aviv project aims to dispel myths about Israelis - Israeli photographer Erez Kagnovitz aims to show the world the faces and stories of real Israelis, and plans on launching a travelling exhibit, which will visit US campuses. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • **Meretz chair: Meth-smoking casino-running lawmaker Oren Hazan is like Sheldon Adelson - Zahava Gal-on outlines similarities between Likud’s scandal-ridden Oren Hazan and Netanyahu’s Jewish-American supporter in biting Facebook post. (Times of Israel)
  • Ministers rapped over political cuts to theaters - Opposition leader Herzog says decision to block funding to the arts for political motives ‘silences voices.’ (Times of Israel)
  • MK Ghattas justified the boycott of Israel. MK Yogev’s response: "Go to Gaza" - Joint List MK Basel Ghattas stated that "people are more interested in escort girls from Burgas than they are in the Palestinians." Habayit Hayehudi Yogev and Yisrael Beiteinu MK Sharon Gal attacked Ghattas saying: "How impudent. Go the parliament in Syria.” (Maariv
  • Orange CEO Richard to visit Israel this week - After sparking diplomatic furor over his remarks about ending ties with Israeli firm, Stephane Richard to head to Israel to clear up the 'misunderstanding.' (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Gilad Erdan handed the anti-BDS mantle - Gilad Erdan, who in addition to being information minister and public security minister is also strategic affairs minister, is creating a unit in the latter ministry to combat foreign efforts to boycott Israel. Israeli officials note that while the boycott movement has inflicted little damage so far, it is picking up steam. (Haaretz+)
  • Rivlin expresses concern for Syria's Druze in meeting with US military chief - Druze in Syrian Golan are in danger from Islamic State, Nusra Front, who consider them heretics. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • MK Yellin: "Negotiations are underway between Hamas and Israel under our noses” - "…the negotiations are through foreign embassies, so they shouldn’t try to pull one over on us. I ask on behalf of (Israeli) residents of the Gaza perimeter, ‘Why now?'” Yesh Atid MK Haim Yellin asked during a Knesset plenum session about rocket shooting on Israel. Yellin said Israel needed to respond to terror with force, “the same force with which we established this state.” (Maariv
  • Hamas: Palestinian Authority, not IS, conspiring against us - The Islamist group that rules Gaza reverses its claim that Salafis have been committing bombings, points finger at Ramallah and presents alleged confession. (Ynet and Maan)
  • Egypt agrees to reopen Gaza’s Rafah crossing for 3 days - Following direct appeal from Palestinian President Abbas to Egyptian counterpart, travel in and out of the Gaza Strip will be permitted from Saturday through Monday. (Haaretz+ and Maan)
  • Poll: Half of Gaza residents considering emigration - Fifty percent of Gazans say they are considering emigration from the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research reported. Unemployment in Gaza increased in 2014 "to reach 44% -- probably the highest in the world," the World Bank reported, with poverty rate in the occupied Palestinian territory reaching 39%.” (Maan)
  • Haniyeh expresses support for hunger striker Adnan - Hamas official and former prime minister in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniyeh, telephoned wife of hunger striking Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan to express solidarity with his family. Adanan is protesting being held without trial. Adnan's health reached critical condition Saturday on 35th day of his hunger strike. (Maan)
  • Bernie Sanders isn't pleased with rumor that he has dual Israeli citizenship - “I got offended a little bit by that comment, and I know it’s been on the Internet. I am obviously an American citizen and I do not have any dual citizenship,” Vermont senator and presidential candidate tells NPR host. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Palestinian appeals U.S. sentence for lying about Israel convictions - Rasmieh Odeh was convicted of two bombings in Jerusalem in 1969, but in 2004 she denied having a criminal record on her U.S. citizenship application. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Middle East Updates / U.S. orders more soldiers to Iraq to aid Sunni integration - U.S. citizen killed fighting ISIS in near Syrian border town of Kobani; Turkey's pro-Kurdish party says it's open to all coalition partners except ruling AKP. (Haaretz)

Emergency squad: the new threat to the Jewish students in the US
American Jews have not had to pay a price until now for their support of Israel. Now youth are at the forefront and it is demanded from them to choose war or lowering their heads on campuses. (Shmuel Rosner, Maariv daily magazine supplement, cover, Wednesday)
Freedom Flotilla vows to break siege: 'This time we will reach Gaza'
This summer, Swedish seaman Joel Opperdoes, 32, is not piloting cargo ships in the Baltic Sea. Instead, he is the sailing across Europe with five permanent crew members on a fishing trawler named Marianne. Their final destination is the main seaport of the Gaza Strip, which has been under a jointly enforced Israeli and Egyptian blockade for the last eight years. (Anna Kokko, Maan)
Gambling on Israel’s future — from Oren Hazan to Sheldon Adelson (Amir Oren, Haaretz+) Who cares about a small-time ex-casino owner from Likud when the country’s prime minister is supported by the king of casinos?
The Jewish state has no more room for 'good Arabs' (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) There were once so-called good Arabs, and they are no more. Israel finished off the genre. Norman Issa, a man of the theater who dared boycott settlers, is finding out.
My fear for a country I love (British Amb. Matthew Gould, Yedioth/Ynet) Israel's international standing is under grave threat not because of the actions of a small minority of BDS activists, says outgoing British ambassador, but because it is losing the sympathy and support of the moderate majority due to the lack of progress towards peace. 
The culture of self-hate (Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) There is no justification for Israeli taxpayers to fund cultural events that involve boycotts of Israeli citizens.
In praise of tolerance (Aharon Lapidot, Israel Hayom) Israeli society is strong enough to withstand controversial decisions by artists.
How BDS is actually perpetuating the occupation (Dmitry Shumsky, Haaretz+) By obscuring the uniqueness of the Israeli colonialist regime, BDS is giving Israel an escape hatch; instead, boycott movement must focus on occupation and settlements, stop blurring lines between Israel and Territories.
BDS: Turning America against Israel (Richard Baehr, Israel Hayom) If U.S. support for Israel breaks down, Israel's isolation will become a far more serious problem.
It's not too late for Jews to stop treating Obama like Oval Office Pharaoh (Ari Shavit, Haaretz+) In the little time left before Iran deal is signed, the air between Israel and American Jews and the U.S. president must be cleared; else, the consequences of head-on collision will be horrendous.
Why does Israel have to fund those who despise it? (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) Oddly enough, people who use artistic freedom to harm the state think that Israel's citizens should pay for their hateful words against the state. 
How did a person like Oren Hazan get into the Knesset? (Sima Kadmon, Yedioth/Ynet) It's unbelievable how easily people can make their way from casinos and brothels in Bulgaria into Israel's parliament and most important committees.
The Bulgarian connection of Likud's vulgar MK (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) In a viral clip during the primaries, Oren Hazan's father, former MK Yehiel Hazan played the role of the Godfather, Don Vito Corleone. When those values, we shouldn't be surprised to discover some of the acts attributed to the young Likud lawmaker.
Jerusalem: A domestic American dispute (Prof. Abraham Ben-Zvi, Israel Hayom) The U.S. Supreme Court ruling was about the authority to recognize foreign governments. It has no bearing on the Iran nuclear deal.
More Israeli reporters gravitating to the tycoons (Guy Rolnik, Haaretz+) Why did Shelly Yacimovich say she was shocked when Yitzhak Tshuva hired a journalist?  
Director of 'A Parallel Time': 'I realized I’m not living in a democracy'
Playwright Bashar Murkus wonders how people can attack the Al-Midan Theater’s production without having seen it. (Interviewed by Yair Ashkenazi in Haaretz+)
The Palestinian who opposes the boycott against Israel
Bassam Eid, a human rights activist, says boycotts only ends up harming the Palestinians, and says Israelis should demand PM for solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict: 'If the Israelis don't fight the occupation themselves, we will never be able to fight it'. (Interviewed by Elior Levy in Ynet),7340,L-4667098,00.html

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