News Nosh 06.19.15

APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday June 19, 2015 

Number of the day:
Number of churches and mosques that have been torched in Israel and the West Bank with no one indicted in any of the cases.**

Front Page:
  • The daily food basket, the state’s version – Whole grain rice, tehina and five tomatoes: for the first time, the state is formulating a food basket for the 110,000 families. Social Security believes the number of needy is three times more
  • 17 mosques and churches set on fire in four years, not a single case was solved; Arson suspected at Church of Loaves and Fish (Multitude)
  • The siege on the Druze – IDF preparing for possibility of absorbing refugees and for using airpower
  • How did I dare – I used the metaphor ‘cattle/beast’ regarding an enlightened part of the public. Now, only the gallows are missing // (Actor) Oded Kotler
  • Martin Schlaff returns after 12 years: the tycoon suspected in graft scandals with (Ariel) Sharon and (Avigdor) Lieberman is visiting Israel
  • 9 worshippers shot to death in church in US
  • Testimonies of nepotism at Dimona nuclear reactor
  • Refuses to apologize – Senior officers testified in favor of Givati battalion commander who sexually harassed a soldier
  • Let the animals go – How to convince a deer and an otter to cross a busy highway through an ecological passage
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • (Culture Minister) Miri Regev doesn’t stop: “The artists are troublesome, pretentious and ungrateful”
  • That’s who I am // Nahum Barnea
  • Freedom of funding // Yoaz Hendel
  • Who is a beast? // Meir Shalev
  • “I regret, I don’t apologize” –officer Liran Hajabi, who sexually harassed soldier, told court
  • “I was a Yoav Even’s sex doll” – said man who filed complaint against Channel 2 reporter
  • Repulsive, infuriating – but also fascinating – Yedioth’s film critic saw the documentary on (Rabin’s murderer) Yigal Amir
  • The church at the Sea of Galilee was set on fire and vandalized
Maariv Weekend (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • Prime Minister to Shin Bet: “Investigate the arson at the church” – Caption: The damage to the church – is also damage to Israel’s image 
  • Catch – and severely punish the responsible // Dan Margalit 
  • Racist massacre at South Carolina: Nine black worshippers murdered
  • The dismissed battalion commander: “I’m not able to apologize”
  • Starting the summer holiday – 700,000 high school students start summer holiday today
  • Regev: “The artists – an ungrateful bunch”
  • “I’m a proud Jew” – At a moving ceremony hosted by Jay Leno, actor Michael Douglass received the Genesis Prize from the Prime Minister for his work for the Jewish people
  • Kahlon’s plan: All state lands will be sold (to contractors) by the method of lowest price for the resident
  • Blow to Teva Pharmaceuticals: Lost in the patents trial over Copaxane 20mg
  • New shekel bill of 200 shekels soon – with portrait of Natan Alterman
  • One of the gang – The journey of Halleluya Ben-Avraham who converted to Judaism and became a combat fighter
  • Ahead of one year mark since Operation Protective Edge: Israel’s hasbara (PR) battle to the world // Nadav Shragai

News Summary:
Israeli extremists set a church on fire at a revered Christian site and Israel’s culture minister called local artists “pretentious tight-asses” making top stories in the Friday Hebrew newspapers. Also in the news, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu refused the US request to disavow MK Michael Oren's claims that US President Barack Obama abandoned Israel and he slammed the UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon for singling out Israel and urging it to safeguard the lives of Palestinian children.
In the recording of an interview for a women’s magazine that was broadcast on Channel 2 last night, Culture Minister Miri Regv spoke in a particularly uncultured manner, saying she did not want to ‘work for’ the artists who she called “pretentious, scheming tight-asses.” (also Maariv and Haaretz+)
**Israel is concerned about its international image after likely right-wing religious extremists set on fire the Church of the Multitudes, which is located at a highly revered Christian pilgrimage site. Netanyahu ordered an “accelerated investigation” into the arson (Haaretz+ has video here), which police – and practically everyone - believe was a nationalistically motivated hate crime. Haaretz noted that “since 2011, 17 Muslim and Christian places of worship have been torched in Israel with nobody indicted in any of the cases.” [Interestingly, former senior Shin Bet man, Yaron Bloom, falsely told radio listeners yesterday that “almost all perpetrators of attacks on churches and mosques have been caught.”] The ‘Rabbis for Human Rights’ organization said there have been 43 hate crime attacks against churches, mosques and monasteries in Israel, the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 2009, Ynet reported. The Arab-Jewish Joint Arab List called for the dismissal of Israel’s police chief after church torching and said that his failure to catch the criminals encourages them to continue their acts. Graffiti in Hebrew that was spray-painted in orange, the color that was adopted in 2005 by those who opposed the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, read “And false idols will be smashed” (also translates to ‘and to completely cut off all false gods’). Not translated from the original Haaretz Hebrew article was that “the spray-painted words are part of a sentence from ‘It is our duty to praise,’ a prayer recited (by Jews) three times a day: "Therefore we put our hope in You, God our God, to soon see the glory of Your strength, to remove all idols from the Earth, and to completely cut off all false gods; to repair the world, Your holy kingdom."Police said they initially arrested 16 youths, all religious Jewish seminary students from West Bank settlements, who were in the vicinity, but released them shortly after. Ynet wrote that the arson may scare Christian pilgrims away from Israel and had interesting quotes from priests and tourists.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon singled out Israel in a speech Thursday, urging it to safeguard the lives of Palestinian children, and noting that he did not include Israel on the annual blacklist of parties that kill or injure children in armed conflict. Netanyahu responded saying: “There's no limit to hypocrisy” and accused him of “awarding immunity to Hamas.” Ban’s words came during discussions at the UN where the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution condemning abuses against children in 23 conflict zones. The resolution was based on the UN report about children and armed conflict released last week, which cited that at least 540 children were killed in last summer’s Gaza war, all but one of them Palestinian. Prior to the Security Council meeting, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, sent a letter of complaint to Ban in which he accused Zerrougui of bias against Israel.

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