News Nosh 06.18.15

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday June 18, 2015

Quote of the day:
“...therefore we decided to fire a volley of shells toward the point from which he lost his life.”
--IDF Battalion commander Lt. Col. Neria Yeshurun described the shelling of a Gaza medical clinic because he and his soldiers were sorry that they could not be at the funeral of a fellow officer who was killed by fire from the clinic.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • This is how Israel beat the boycott in Sweden – Israeli fruit returned to supermarket
  • Combat camaraderie – Givati Brigade commander asked military court not to lower rank of battalion commander Liran Hajabi who sexually harassed female soldier May Fattal
  • “I did not rape” – 4 years after young woman accused Channel 2 News correspondent of rape, Yoav Even reveals she accused him and gives his version
  • Eilat is on the map – After 22 years, Maccabi Tel-Aviv basketball team did not make it to semifinals
  • Good money: Teens are volunteering – and earning virtual coins for real purchases
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • “IDF is a moral army fighting in an immoral environment” – ‘My Truth’ organization faces the EU’s commission over Operation Protective Edge
  • Sensation: After 22 years – Maccabi isn’t in the final playoffs
  • Minister Danon to the Americans: We want an Israeli astronaut in space
  • The principal warned the parents: A rapist lives near your house 
  • The culture war continues: - (Right-wing singer) Amir Benayoun vs. President Rivlin: “He is concerned about the minorites and not the Jews”; President’s Office: No interest in responding
  • (Minister) Kahlon apologized to the (Obama) Administration: “(MK) Michael Oren’s criticism of Obama – his own opinion only”

News Summary:
Today’s big story in the Hebrew newspapers focused on the crisis on the Golan Border. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon apologized to the Obama administration over damning claims by party member and former ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren.
An IDF officer said that no massacre is taking place in the Syrian Druze village of Khadr, nor will it take place, despite reports that Syrian rebels have surrounded the village after fierce fighting yesterday. Khadr, which is very close to the border with the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, sits opposite Majdal Shams and is the last village in the area still under Assad’s control. If it falls into the rebels hands, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad could lose control of the Syrian Golan Heights, Yedioth’s Smadar Perry wrote. The Islamist rebels warned the Druze in Khadr  that if they support the Assad regime (which they do), “we will hurt you badly.” Israel warned the rebels, among them the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, to stay away from the village. Netanyahu tried to assure the Druze that Israel is “closely following everything that happens within the borders at this time. I suggest to those involved in this, those that this is precious to them, to now settle for that statement of mine." (Maariv) Some reports said that Israel is preparing for a possible influx of Syrian refugees, but Haaretz+ reported that Israel isn't even setting up a field hospital and that, according to the IDF, all is quiet. Yedioth reported that the subject of the day among the Druze on the Israeli-controlled side of the Golan is how to help their brethren on the other side of the border is.

Kulanu party chief, Minister Moshe Kahlon, wrote an apology to US Ambassador Dan Shapiro saying that MK Michael Oren's article in the Wall Street Journal, declaring that Obama has “abandoned Israel,” does not speak for Kahlon or the party, of which Oren is a member, the papers reported. Kahlon also summoned Oren for a clarification meeting. The US State Department rejected Oren's anti-Obama claims as 'false' and were motivated by Oren’s desire to promote his new book.

Quick Hits:
  • Full video released of Israeli soldiers beating arrested Palestinian - New footage of last week’s incident at Jalazun refugee camp does not show Palestinian man trying to take soldier's weapon (as soldiers claimed). (Haaretz+ and Ynet+VIDEO)
  • **Israeli officer: Shelling Gaza clinic raised soldiers’ morale - After IDF opened investigation following remark by battalion commander that a Gaza medical clinic was shelled to avenge the killing of an officer,  Maj. (res.) Amihai Harach told Galei Yisrael radio that it was also destroyed because Hamas operated there and that it lifted the soldiers' morale. The soldiers documented the shelling “so we could distribute it to the whole battalion.”(JPost and Haaretz+) 
  • (Arab) actor and (Arab MK) get death threats  - An anonymous cyber-thug yesterday sent death threats to actor Ghassan Abbas, via emails to the Habimah theater. “Tell that dog of an Arab Nazi Wog Ghassan Abbas... that I’ll exterminate him myself, along with that skank, (Meretz MK) Essawi Frej,” said the message in part. (JPostMaariv, p. 12 and Israel Hayom, p. 11)
  • Hamas rejects 'one-sided' dissolution of Palestinian government - After Palestinian president announces unity government to be sent home within 24 hours, Hamas says was not consulted, will not accept any unilateral change in government. (Haaretz
  • Jerusalem Film Festival under fire after pulling Rabin assassin documentary - Festival's withdrawal of film on Yigal Amir, under threat of defunding from Minister Regev, outrages many in cinema circles. (Haaretz+)
  • Netanyahu seeks to shut down PA-funded TV station for Israeli Arabs - Prime minister instructs Communications Ministry to use all means available in order to shut down PA-funded TV station; Nazareth-based station aims to give voice to Israeli Arabs. (Ynet)
  • Rightist MK wants to 'out' leftist Israeli NGOs in new bill - Habayit Hayehudi's Betzalel Smotrich proposes that representatives of foreign-funded nonprofits wear identity tags in Knesset. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • President Rivlin's wife at opening of art museum in Sakhnin: "This is a revolutionary place that will bring together Jews and Arabs" - The inaugural exhibition of the Arab Museum of Contemporary Art (AMOCA), called "Hiwar" (dialogue), showed Israeli and international artists, including Assad Azi, Mahmoud Badarna, Marina Abramovic and Kadishman. (Haaretz+ Hebrewi24 and Israel gov’t)
  • Exclusive: Hamas will be part of the new Palestinian government - Palestinian government spokesman denied reports that Hamas won’t be part of the new government: "We talked in the most explicit way in the local and international media.” (Maariv)
  • Hamas denies reaching long-term ceasefire agreement with Israel - Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk says so far there's 'no written plans to discuss with other Palestinian factions' while Salah Bardawil says 'no vision or timetable for the implementation of the truce has crystallized'. (Ynet)
  • Israeli Arabs will fight harder against “house demolitions and the government's policies” - Joint List members met with leaders of Arab communities and discussed acute issues relating to the Arab public, including housing crisis, meager budgets and more. (Maariv)
  • Israel's new radar system is largest yet - Development of the advanced, portable ULTRA-C1 has been completed, and may be used by the IDF in coming years. (Ynet)
  • Michael Douglas: Israel has every reason to be paranoid - American actor speaks on BDS and Judaism in an exclusive interview with Ynet before received Genesis Prize. (Ynet)
  • Latent academic boycott is spreading, Israeli professors tell Knesset - 'The world has a problem with academic institutes beyond the Green Line. We don’t feel boycotted, but there’s no doubt we feel a rumbling in the ground,’ universities heads and academic researchers told the Knesset Education Committee. (Haaretz+ and Maariv)
  • Here there is no boycott: Israel is hosting an international conference to combat desertification - At the Israeli pavilion at the Expo exhibition in Milan, where the conference was held, Israel hosted experts from many countries, including Afghanistan. Chairman of the JNF: "We believe that exporting our technologies to other areas of the world could have implications on a global scale." (Maariv
  • Swedish supermarkets back out of Israel boycott after media campaign - Consumer's assembly at northern Sweden city adopts pro-Palestinian proposal to take Israeli products off the shelves; campaign led by Israeli embassy focusing on fair trade forced boycotting stores to fold. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • EU drive to label West Bank settlement exports unlikely to harm Israel, experts say - Wondering how much and what exactly West Bank settlements export to Europe? Here are the answers. (Haaretz+)
  • Louvre denies discrimination of Israeli students, says reservation system is automated - Group of students from Tel Aviv University tried to schedule visit to museum, but was turned down. (Haaretz+)
  • TripAdvisor CEO says Jerusalem is his favorite destination - Travel website's Jewish CEO Stephen Kaufer recalls his journey to Israel with his late wife: 'It instantly turned into my favorite trip then and ever since.' (Ynet
  • (Israeli org) urges Coca-Cola to fire PA franchisee who supports BDS - Zaki Khouri called the international boycott movement against Israel "a means to force Israel to recognize that the occupation is not cost-free."  Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center: Coca-Cola's own rules prevent it from joining non-U.S.-sanctioned boycotts. (Israel Hayom)
  • Fake bomb discovered near Israeli embassy in Uruguay - For a second time this year, a device designed to look like a bomb is found outside the building complex that houses the embassy in Montevideo. (Haaretz+)
  • Jordan arrests suspected mastermind in 1982 attack on Paris Jewish diner - Souhaur Mouhamad Hassan Khalil Al-Abbassi, alias 'Amjad Atta,' one of three suspected in attack that killed 6, injured 22. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran nuke talks impeded by disagreement on all main elements - Negotiations likely to be extended as progress reportedly slows down; up to 10 crucial elements said to remain unresolved. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Muslims around the world to begin Ramadan fast on Thursday - Religious authorities in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Indonesia and most other parts of the world announced based on their sightings of the moon when the daily fasting would begin. (Agencies, Haaretz)

Arab MK hopes to build bridges through Arabic prose
Israeli-Arab Knesset member Issawi Frej organized a gathering in the Knesset in honor of the Arabic Book Festival, an initiative to create public events related to Israeli-Arab-written prose and literature. But only nine members of Knesset participated, just one of them from the coalition – and it wasn’t the Minister of Culture. Frej dreams of an Israeli book week, not a Hebrew book week. “I was at a bookstore with my son, and they have a table of Hebrew children’s books. A Jewish kid comes in, walks up to the table, leafs through books, reads, chooses and asks mom to buy one. I want my son to have the same kind of experience.” (Yuval Avivi, Al-Monitor)
Everything you wanted to know about Ramadan but didn't know who to ask
Here's a look at some questions and answers about Islam's holiest month. (Agencies, Haaretz)
Have you seen Israel’s ‘funny’ viral video? Surprise, the joke’s on you (Asher Schechter, Haaretz+) The Foreign Ministry has given up trying to change your mind. It’s just mocking you instead. 
The price of friction: There is no forgiveness for those who stuck the soldiers in the (Palestinian) Territories (Ran Adelist, Maariv) The soldiers involved in the incident in Jalazun refugee camp are the last ones who need to be punished. This is about infants who were captive in a poisonous environment. The one that sent them into the ring was the government.
It's Druze's duty to stand by their brothers (Lt. Col. (res.) Kamil Wahabi, Yedioth/Ynet) The members of Israel's Druze community have fought and died for Israel's security; Israel must intervene to save their brothers in Syria from an Islamist massacre.
How far will Israel go to protect Syria's Druze? (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Israel's long-standing obligation to preserve the 'blood alliance' with its Druze citizens is on a collision course with its strategy of minimal intervention in Syria's civil war.
Moment of truth drawing near for Syria's Druze – and for Israel (Ofir Haivry, Yedioth/Ynet) As jihadist attacks on Druze villages increase, it's time for Israel to make a decision – either to take action or to witness a bloodbath on the other side of its northern border. 
The Druze dilemma (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) Israel has decided to stay on the sidelines in the Syrian civil war -- it does not want to be dragged into it and it shouldn't.
Dictatorship is in the air, and Israel's 'center-left' is still apologizing (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Now you have to say yes or no – democracy or the coming dictatorship? – and act accordingly. There is no third option. Whoever remains silent supports that second choice.
The alternative channel: Someone is taking care of the dialogue between the White House and the office of the Prime Minister (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) Against the background of the acrimonious relations between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu, Yossi Cohen and Susan Rice, the National Security advisors of Israel and the United States, are cooperating closely, and that cooperation has become a byword among journalists and commentators in Washington.  
Israel's center-left is sick, sterile and detached (Ari Shavit, Haaretz+) Those who are supposed to fight for equality, freedom and human dignity have embraced an elitist, oppressive, humiliating world of ideas. Enough.
UN investigators fighting wars on paper (Eitan Haber, Yedioth/Ynet) The world is dreaming of sterile wars. Legal and international law experts want a war to be like an amusement park: No fire, no smoke, no fear and a lot of caution; a pharmacy, basically.
An Israeli minister's flawed view of culture (Aeyal Gross, Haaretz+) Miri Regev has not yet grasped that her ministry’s funds do not come from her Likud party’s coffers, and she must not allocate them on the basis of her political views. 
The handful: The Jews whose hatred for President Obama makes them crazy (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) Those who had booed the US Secretary of Treasury represented a tiny and marginal group of Jews who don’t have a fraction of an idea about what is really happening in the relationship between Israel and the US.
Michael Oren, the problem isn't U.S. critique of Israeli policies – it's Israeli policies (Jeremy Ben-Ami, Haaretz+) J Street president questions whether 'no daylight' and 'no surprises,' the two principles Oren says hold the U.S.-Israel relationship together, really mean what the former ambassador thinks they mean. 
The kidnapping that united us (Yossi Dagan, Israel Hayom) An act of heroism wound up saving Israel from a nightmare scenario of a Hamas invasion. 
Michael Oren's wildly unconvincing, deeply trivial attack on Obama (Peter Beinart, Haaretz) If absence of public disagreement is a 'core principle' of U.S.-Israel affairs, Oren must have forgotten to tell his boss, the prime minister.
Open wound: Ten years since the eviction from Gush Katif, Israel no longer believes (Noam Amir, Maariv) The memories are still fresh and painful and, unfortunately, the bleak forecasts according to which "the disengagement will bring the missiles to Tel Aviv" have become a bitter reality. Since then, Israel has become more right-wing state, and won’t forgive the move.
Theater funding and the boomerang effect (Michael Handelzalts, Haaretz) Culture Minister Miri Regev’s all-out war on the country’s public theaters may have unintended consequences.
How do you plan to be my Culture Minister?
David Grossman was afraid his most recent book would not succeed abroad. He was afraid the subject was too Israeli, but he was happy to discover he was wrong. What is happening in recent days in Israel makes him less happy. In an interview with Yedioth, he declares that he would be happy to meet Culture Minister Miri Regev. "I would tell her that I understand very well how she sees herself as the representative of the right-wing, but I would like to know how she represents me as well." (Interviewed by Elad Zeret in Yedioth's '24 Hours' supplement, p. 24)

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