News Nosh 06.14.15

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday June 14, 2015 
Quote of the day:
“Wanted: A culture minister. Until the person is found for the position, Chief Censor (Miri) Regev serves as the substitute.”
--Opposition leader and Zionist Camp chief MK Isaac Herzog wrote on Twitter.**

Breaking News:
Young Palestinian killed by IDF jeep near Ramallah
Conflicting reports by IDF and Palestinians about how it happened. IDF says jeep hit man after swerving to miss firebomb thrown at it. Palestinians say the man was walking to work at a chicken farm when he was run down on the main street and then crushed as the vehicle crashed into a wall and overturned. Maan has a very different and chilling report. (Haaretz, Maariv, Maan+PHOTO, Ynet and Israel Hayom)

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Culture war – Education Ministry’s culture committee respond with fire to the Minister: “Bennett is undermining our morality”
  • Likud Central Committee members vote today whether to keep primaries, as Netanyahu wants, or return the power to their hands
  • Help from the US - US law will prevent European boycott of Israel
  • Iran fears spying at nuclear talks; Rouhani: “We won’t allow our secrets to fall into foreign hands”
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s internal leadership is tested today in an internal Likud vote, Israeli artists and culture representatives declare war against two censoring Israeli ministers, and as a video of Israeli soldiers beating a Palestinian man goes viral and a UN report is due about possible Israeli war crimes in Gaza, Israel worries about more boycotts and shares more Israel-friendly reports on last summer’s Gaza war.

**Israeli artists and politicians slammed Culture Minister Miri Regev and Education Minister Naftali Bennett, some suggesting they acted like Israel were a Fascist or military regime.  Opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog called Regev a “Commissar on behalf of intimidation and exclusion" on his Facebook page and on Twitter he wrote:  “Wanted: A culture minister. Until that person is found for the position, Chief Military Censor (Miri) Regev serves as the substitute." (Maariv) More than 300 artists and cultural figures signed a petition over the weekend against blacklisting artists for their political views after Regev threatened to withhold funding from projects or actors engaged in boycotts against Israel or Israeli settlements.  Speaking to Channel 2's Meet the Press on Saturday, Regev said, "The clear message is that a country needs to protect itself. ... We were elected not just to serve in the government but also to govern," she said. Yedioth interviewed, famous Israeli actor Moshe Ivgi, who said: “I think the Minister of Culture got confused about her role. The fact that she is waving the 30 mandates that she (Likud) got does not mean that she needs to serve only those 30 mandates. She needs to serve the whole country. She should do some soul searching and understand what her role is in a democratic country. To say ‘I will rule and I will decide’ is a method that suits fascist regimes. I wish the minister success in understanding her job.” Fellow Likud minister Gila Gamaliel also spoke out against Regev: "We as a government are committed to all branches society." (Maariv) Minister Bennett is also under fire by Ministry employees for censorship. The Ministry’s professional committee, which decides what cultural performances will be budgeted for children to see at schools, accused Bennett of “undermining our ethics” and is planning an emergency session after he said the committee’s ethics “need to be examined” after it approved, ‘A Parallel Life,’ a play about life in jail of a Palestinian man who killed an Israeli soldier. Yedioth quoted the committee saying, “He’s trying to turn us into a rubber stamp.” (Maariv) Haaretz revealed that a damning Culture Ministry report is hiding in a desk drawer, despite the High Court waiting for it for over a year. The report reveals that there are no cultural institutions in Arab-Israeli communities. The report was ordered after a petition was filed by the Mossawa Center in 2012, demanding an in-depth look at Arab-Israeli cultural needs and claiming that the Ministry only gives 3% of its budget to Arab cultural organizations, despite Israeli Arabs comprising 20% of population.
As the fury over Regev's insistence not to give Culture Ministry budget money to any art that is critical of Israeli soldiers increases, a hard-to-watch video of IDF soldiers beating a Palestinian civilian goes viral, just as Israel tensely awaits the publishing of the UN probe into possible Israeli war crimes in last summer’s Gaza war. The IDF said that local Palestinians had attacked the soldiers with stones, but that it appears the soldiers' conduct was inappropriate and 'if need be, disciplinary action will be taken.' The Palestinian Authority has called for the soldiers to stand trial.
The timing of the IDF soldiers-beating-Palestinian-man video is terrible for Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is bracing for the unveiling this week of the U.N. Human Rights Council's report on alleged Israeli war crimes in the Gaza war last summer. The release of two Israel-friendly reports were timed to coincide with the release of the UN report in order to diffuse its impact, Israel Hayom reported. One was an internal Israeli probe by a government-appointed panel and the other was prepared by group of foreign generals and senior politicians, who were handpicked by the Friends of Israel organization, which sent them to Israel in late May. The group did not visit Gaza. Both reports concluded that Israel adhered to international law and used proper proportionality.

Moreover, just days ago the IDF exonerated itself from one of the most infamous killing incidents of last summer's war: four Palestinian children killed by a missile while playing on a quite beach. The dead children's families are outraged, saying no justice was found from the Israeli inquiry. (The Guardian’s Peter Beaumont, who was one of the journalists sitting on the hotel patio of the beach and witnessed the horror and helped carry the children wrote on Facebook that he never was asked to give a testimony despite offering to do so and despite the IDF’s statement that it made efforts to collect all the testimonies of eyewitnesses. Daily Telegraph correspondent Robert Tait wrote a personal piece about the self-exoneration. – OH] Meanwhile, In light of the soon-to-arrive UNHCR report, the IDF Advocate General Danny Efroni announced Thursday that the army was extending its criminal investigations into alleged unsanctioned use of weapons by soldiers and officers during the war.
Israel fears that the UNHCR report on Operation Protective Edge will encourage boycotts of Israel, Maariv reported. Israel refused to cooperate with the probe and denied the probe’s members, one a NY judge, from entering Israel. And Yedioth’s political commentator, Ben-Dror Yemini, writes that the video of the soldiers beating the Palestinian man will only make things worse.
But the papers reported happily that a new amendment to US President Barack Obama's sweeping trade package with Europe that will prevent the European companies from boycotting any Israeli goods. Former Israeli Ambassador, and now an MK, Michael Oren said the new language will deter EU companies from boycotting Jewish state.

Also, two weeks before the Iran nuclear deal deadline and just days after it was revealed that a state, allegedly Israel, spied on the negotiations between Iran and the world powers, the Israeli papers stressed that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, “Iran will absolutely not allow its national secrets to fall into the hands of foreigners.” Rouhani also said that a deal could done by the deadline. Maariv reported that Iran is considering transferring the nuclear talks to another country. and Iran has asked Austria to secure nuclear talks against spying.Meanwhile, an Israeli delegation flew to Washington to make a final effort to influence the unfolding agreement.
Quick Hits:
  • Israel's High Court: No proof of discrimination against Palestinians in Area C - Court rejects petition that claimed it was illegal and discriminatory for settlers to have planning authority for Palestinian towns and villages in West Bank. (Haaretz+)
  • 400 protest in Be’er Sheva against evacuation of Bedouin village - Demonstrators take to streets Thursday in peaceful rally, including dozens of women – an unusual sight for a Bedouin protest. This protest was against planned evacuation [sic- eviction] of Umm al-Hiran and home demolitions across the Negev. (Haaretz+) 
  • Norwegian insurance giant divests from multinational firms operating in West Bank settlements - Companies excluded for exploiting resources in occupied territory, KLP says, in unusual 'tertiary' boycott; meanwhile, Orange CEO meets Netanyahu, apologizes for 'misunderstanding.' (Haaretz+) 
  • Chief rabbi urges UN chief to fight anti-Israel boycotts - Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef tells Ban Ki-moon during Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Kazakhstan: 'As leaders, we must reject any kind of boycott.' (Ynet)
  • Orange CEO tells Netanyahu: We'll keep investing in Israel - In visit to Israel, Stephane Richard tells the PM he 'deeply regrets' uproar over his comments, stresses his company does not participate in any boycott. (Ynet)
  • Two States One Homeland initiative launched despite threats - Two States One Homeland, a movement founded by Israeli and Palestinian activists interested in dialogue, switched conference location from outside Green Line to within. Prominent guests on Right, Left canceled participation due to political pressure. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel asks U.S. to increase aid to Druze in Syria - Request made to U.S. Gen. Martin Dempsey after Israel ruled out direct involvement. (Haaretz)
  • Thousands call on Israel to save Syrian Druze in mass protest - Israel's Druze accepting donations to send to family, friends in Syria who face threat of massacres; 'We are all ready to take them into our homes.' (Ynet and Maariv)
  • Syrian Druze won't appeal for Israel's help, Lebanese-Druze leader says - In wake of deadly Al-Qaida that killed 20 Druze villagers, Walid Jumblatt says both Israel and Assad take sectarian stance with aim of dividing Syria. (Haaretz+)
  • Wary of civil war, IDF won’t go into Syria to help Druze mortally threatened by ISIS - Israeli Druze leaders appeal to Rivlin, Eizenkot, Abbas for help, but military move is out. (Haaretz+)
  • Syria's Al-Qaida affiliate expresses regret for killing of Druze - As many as 20 members of Druze minority sect were killed by members of Nusra Front in northwestern Syrian province of Idlib Wednesday. (Agencies, Haaretz
  • IDF to hire civilian students in part-time jobs - New initiative will offer hourly-pay to students in specific fields, such as Intel and drone piloting, providing benefits and valuable work experience. (Yedioth/Ynet
  • Hamas threatens: "If Israel attacks, the rules of the game will change" - Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades issued an official statement Thursday declaring that if Israel opens fire it will lead to a change in perspective and and to shooting of Qassam rockets. (Maariv
  • Photographer barred from treatment after being shot by Israeli forces - Nidal Shtayyeh, who works for Chinese news agency Xinhua, was was shot in the face seriously damaging his eye while covering a small demonstration at Huwarra checkpoint near Nablus on May 16. (Maan
  • Israeli forces continue detention raids in al-Issawiya (E. Jerusalem) - Five people, including four teenagers – one of them 13-years-old – were detained at night. No details were given of their detention. (Maan)
  • Public security minister to revive prisoner force-feeding bill - Legislation seeking to allow Israel Prison Service to force-feed Palestinian security prisoners staging prolonged hunger strikes passed its first reading in 2014, was suspended over elections. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked says will support the bill. (Israel Hayom)
  • Report: Anti-Semitism in Canada reached all-time high in 2014 - Most incidents occur in Ontario; dramatic spikes in anti-Semitic incidents seen during Gaza war and before Christmas. (JTA, Haaretz)  
  • Breaking the Silence exhibition thwarted in Germany - Israeli Embassy in Germany succeeded in having the exhibition cancelled claiming it had no connection with the celebration of the jubilee anniversary of Israeli-German relations. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Madrid court shelves 2010 Gaza flotilla investigation - A Madrid court has decided to shelve its investigation into the Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara, but leaves possibility of reopening probe. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Israeli Arab poet defies ban, visits Lebanon - Poet Marwan Makhoul defies Israeli travel ban, and flies to Lebanon; Markhoul due to read his poem about the 'enemy plot to draft Christian Palestinians to IDF' at public event in Beirut. (Ynet)
  • IDF's top IT unit wins 'I Defense' competition - Over 30 military, civilian and foreign teams go keyboard-to-keyboard against mock cyberattacks on strategic infrastructure as part of second annual cyber competition. Shin Bet's Cyber Unit wins second place. IDF mulling revisions of cyber framework. (Israel Hayom)
  • Attorney General would join fishing trips which (indicted) attorney Ronal Fisher held on his yacht - Despite the social connection that seemingly appears here, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein did not remove himself from the investigation of the case and the decision-making, including regarding the former Tel Aviv District Attorney Ruth David. (Maariv
  • George W. Bush's Israel Hayom interview generates media buzz - Outlets in the U.S., Iran and Germany focus on former president's assertion that "boots on the ground" was the best approach in combating Middle East jihadi groups. New York Daily News, The Blaze focus on his special relationship with military. (Interview below) (Israel Hayom)
  • Egypt allows two-way travel through Rafah crossing with Gaza for first time in three months - Border officials said the new opening would last for three days and some Palestinian sources said it could be extended, although there was no immediate Egyptian confirmation. 15,000 people apply to exit. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet
  • Middle East Updates / Body of American killed fighting ISIS in Syria returns to U.S. - Turkey's Erdogan: Snap vote 'inevitable' if no government within deadline. (Haaretz)

A day in the life of a Palestinian child laborer
According to a Human Rights Watch report, hundreds of Palestinian youths, some as young as 11, are being employed on settlement farms. The work is hard, and conditions even harder. Three youngsters describe an average workday. (Or Kashti, Haaretz+) 
10 years on, Hamas uses Gush Katif as training grounds
Islamist organization self-produces and tests rockets where Israeli settlements once stood; this is also where its fighters practice how to infiltrate Israel and kidnap soldiers. (Yossi Yehoshua, Yedioth/Ynet)
One year after West Bank murder-kidnapping: What Israel's security forces got wrong
New revelations on the mistakes that lined Israel's frantic search for three teenagers. (Amos Harel and Chaim Levinson, Haaretz+) 
PT. 3: Walking the Green Line: 48 years of occupation – “The first Jew he ever met”
It is now 48 years since the Six-Day War, a short military campaign with long-term consequences for Israel and the Palestinians. Writer Nir Baram spent a year meeting people on both sides of the Green Line. (Nir Baram, Haaretz
The woman who had 11,000 cookbooks
Dalia Carmel is world renowned for her cookbook collection, a fraction of which she's given to New York University. But back in Israel, she's still remembered for her part in one of the country's most notorious political scandals, “the Rotten Business” also know as the Lavon Affair. (Ronit Vered, Haaretz+)

The real connection between Netanyahu and Adelson's Israel Hayom (Raviv Drucker, Haaretz+) I filed a Freedom of Information Law request on February 11, four months ago. Today the answer arrived. I nearly fell off my chair. 
Israel's High Court is sponsoring anti-Palestinian discrimination (Haaretz Editorial) Rejection of petition that sought to restore authority over planning in West Bank’s Area C to Palestinian councils shirks court's responsibility to guarantee equality for all.
Giving Israel's haters a free gift (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) Israel can and must fight BDS's propaganda of lies, but one video is worth more than 1,000 articles – and video showing IDF soldiers beating a Palestinian protestor is a propaganda attack.
An end to the Judaization of the Galilee? (Meirav Arlosoroff, Haaretz+) Nearly seven decades of land discrimination brought in its wake dreadful poverty, illegal construction and an embittered Arab population. A new policy seems to be in the making.
America's hypocritical lip service on Jerusalem (Aviad Kleinberg, Yedioth/Ynet) Why is the US refusing to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but is willing to swallow other bitter pills like Israel's settlement and annexation policy?
Indulging Israel hasn't worked - maybe the boycott will (Yossi Sarid, Haaretz+) How long will Netanyahu act like Putin, Erdogan and Berlusconi, but ask to be rewarded like Nelson Mandela? 
How to save Israel-US relations (Yair Lapid, Yedioth/Ynet) Americans see the Middle East through different lenses than Israelis. In order to save the relationship, Netanyahu must go against his nature and take action. 
Whose falafel is it anyway? (Ilan Zvi Baron, Haaretz+) International Falafel Day is a fitting time to ask just how Israeli Israel’s national dish really is. Has Israel appropriated Arab cuisine, or is the falafel ball just an immigrant in good standing?
Rivlin, the president who divides (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) The president made a double contribution this week to increasing the fragmentation and polarization – both in words and in actions.  
Egypt won’t declare Hamas a terror group. What does that mean for Israel? (Zack Gold, Haaretz+) Cairo has an adversarial relationship with Hamas, but Israeli government should not be lulled into thinking that means Egypt is on Israel's side. 
Oren Hazan must vacate his Knesset seat (Yifat Erlich, Yedioth/Ynet) The applause with which the disgraced MK was greeted at the Likud Central Committee will be remembered as one of the most embarrassing moments in Israeli democracy, but the prime minister's silence over the affair is even worse.
Jewish values mean whatever you want them to mean (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) From the deputy foreign minister to the U.S. president, we’ve gotten used to people hijacking Judaism for their own agenda.
Fighting the good fight (Lital Shemesh, Israel Hayom) As boycott, divestment and sanctions initiatives sweep across university campuses in the U.S., pro-Israel StandWithUs campaign is trying to counter the damage they inflict on Israel's international image. Changing people's minds, one campus at a time.
The real story: that Israel lost the most important battle - the narrative (Avishay Ivri, Maariv) The removal of the play on the terrorist murderer from the cultural basket of the Ministry of Education is not censorship. This is a measure to prevent Israeli students from getting a distorted picture about the principles of good and evil.
For once, I'm rooting for Netanyahu (Raviv Drucker, Haaretz+) The prime minister is taking a stand against plans to give the Likud Central Committee more power to decide the party’s Knesset slate. 
Without the Jews, there is no Jerusalem (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) The world's refusal to recognize Jerusalem as the Jewish capital doesn't hurt the Jews -- a child knows who his mother is even if others don't acknowledge it -- it hurts the world itself, in its battle against Islam's political and spiritual defiance. 
Netanyahu's masterclass in how to lose friends and alienate your allies (Carlo Strenger, Haaretz+) The prime minister’s years in power have been disastrous for Israel’s standing in the Western world – which isn’t dumb, as he seems to think. 
The Israeli-Saudi labyrinth (Yoram Ettinger, Israel Hayom) Could the enemy of Israel's enemy become Israel's friend?
Could the Mossad really be such heels? MossadStoleMyShoe hashtag marches across Twitter (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) A new criminal charge sweeping social media has become a source of entertainment and ridicule rather than outrage.
Where will Erdogan's Pyrrhic victory lead Turkey? (Zvi Bar’el, Haaretz+) The Turkish president says 'all options for forming a coalition are open,' his dilemma depends on the concessions he is willing to make to his partners. 
Herzog insists he's leading the opposition – just not from the left
Haaretz puts the Zionist Union leader on the spot in this Q&A. (Interviewed by Nir Gontarz, Haaretz+)

'My position was: you need to have boots on the ground'
Former U.S. President George W. Bush tells Israel Hayom in an exclusive interview, "My strategy, the Bush doctrine, was to vigorously pursue those who do us harm and bring them to justice." "America has been very supportive of Israel," he remarks. (Interviewed by Amos Regev and Boaz Bismuth in Israel Hayom)
Seattle's gay mayor rejects calls to boycott Israel, listens to LGBT Palestinian students
Rejecting calls to cancel visit, Ed Murray participated in Tel Aviv's Gay Pride Parade; 'I encourage any country that supports LGBT people,' he tells Haaretz. (Interviewed by Ilan Lior, Haaretz+)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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