News Nosh 06.22.15

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday June 22, 2015 

Quote of the day:
"This is a textbook that expands their education about our neighbors. If parents say such things we have a big problem." 
--Nes Tziona Mayor and Likudnik, Yossi Shabo, responds to the fiery reaction by parents after he gave the city's high school graduates a book about the history of Arabs and Islam.**


Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Arab MK on flotilla to Gaza
  • Terror by individuals – Second terror attack in two days
  • This is how the rabbis cover up complaints against sex criminals
  • Their blood is still rejected – Health Ministry set criteria for blood donations from Ethiopian-Israelis – but no one implements them
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • Heroism of the soldier – Border Police fighter stabbed at Damascus Gate, succeeded in shooting terrorist – and collapsed
  • (MK) Zouebi is not alone: MK Ghattas will join the flotilla to Gaza
  • The alte zachen (horse-drawn carts that collect old furniture and appliances) are being taken off the streets
  • Dispute over a bicycle: 5-year-old stabbed a 4-year-old
  • News for new recruits: New plan for contact with the IDF induction center is digital – not by fax
  • Huge majority in Iranian Parliament: We won’t allow supervision of nuclear facilities
  • Pope: “Everyone knew, so why didn’t they blow up Auschwitz?”

News Summary:
A young Palestinian stabbed a Border Policeman reigniting Israeli fears of lone attackers and an Arab MK is joining a protest flotilla to Gaza making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Also in the news, Egypt appointed a new ambassador, whom Israel thinks may actually sit in his Tel-Aviv office, a well-known Israeli tweeted a racist remark about the US President and a reconciliation meeting at the President’s residence between the Culture Minister and artists ended in mutual accusations and a call for revoking citizenship. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu rejected the French initiative at the UN for a timeline for a two-state solution, but that only made news in some papers along with the confusing reports about an Iranian parliament bill about inspections of nuclear sites.
 
Numerous clashes broke out in E. Jerusalem (at Damascus Gate,
at a settlement enclave on the Mt. of Olives, and near Geva Binyamin settlement) after the incident in which a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli border policeman, who shot his attacker at Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City. Both are hospitalized in critical condition. The attacker,18-year-old Yaser Yasin al-Tarawah from Sa’ir village was initially reported dead, but later police said he had been moved to Hadassah Hospital. This was the second attack in two days by an individual who did not have the support of a militant organization and Israeli military analysts say that there is no way to stop them. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon think that collective punishment might help. They revoked work permits from the villagers of Sa'ir, where Sunday's attacker lives, as well as withdrawing travel permits given to 500 West Bank Palestinian families to depart the country through Ben Gurion airport during Ramadan. Still, the Shin Bet said there was no increase in West Bank attacks on Israeli civilians and military this year compared to the last two years. But there has been a steady increase in the annual total of attacks since 2010. Most of the attacks are firebomb throwing. Meanwhile, Maan reported that a Palestinian woman was hospitalized after stones were thrown at her car near the site of Friday’s shooting and Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian teen in clashes in Al-Bireh, near the settlement of Psagot on Saturday night. So far this year, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that Israeli forces have injured on average 39 Palestinians per week. Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman attacked Netanyahu for lack of leadership and vision saying that the cause of the recent attacks is that Israel has no deterrence. He also called the Arab-Jewish faction, the Joint List, “one big terror flotilla.” 
 
Politicians attacked and defended MK Dr. Basel Ghattas (Joint List) after he told Ynet he planned to join the protest flotilla currently making its way to Gaza and urged Israel to lift its naval siege on the besieged enclave. The IDF said it would not allow any ship to reach Gaza, Maariv reported. The IDF Spokesperson stated that it will not allow ships without permits to enter Israel’s maritime borders. [Note: Gaza is not part of Israel. OH]

Israel believes that Egypt will send its newly appointed ambassador to Tel-Aviv, after Egypt recalled the last one in protest against the Gaza war of 2012. The official switch is to occur in September. Not unrelated to the decision, for the first time ever, Israel wished Egypt a 'Ramadan Karim' . The video greeting was made by Israel’s ambassador.
  
Reconciliation did not take palce at the ‘reconciliation meeting’ held at the President’s residence between the Culture Minister and Israeli artists. President Reuven Rivlin summoned Culture Minister Miri Regev and a number of artists, including two actors who were at the center of the storm - Oded Kotler (who said Likud voters went to vote like ‘cattle’) and Norman Issa (who said he won’t perform in the Jordan Valley that is in the West Bank), as well as Mira Awad and Cameri Theater CEO, Noam Semel, who was one of the organizers for the event. Kotler told Regev, "You don’t need to force (artists) to work abroad." Regev replied: "Who forces them?" Kotler responded firmly: "The Jordan Valley is abroad." Regev: "That statement is reprehensible. I respect an artist who makes a decision to perform or not to perform, but the (theater) institutions must give performances." Kotler responded: “This is an area that is under military rule." The head of the Jordan Valley Council, David Elhayany, reacted sharply to Kotler’s statements: "I am sorry that once again Kotler shoes to mix politics and culture together and it is more painful to me personally. The words of Oded Kotler show that he has no respect for democracy and, as such, democracy does not have to honor him, but to renounce him. We reached these Territories (West Bank) in a democratic manner and therefore his position is not consistent with the values of democracy. Hence, if Mr. Kotler thinks the Jordan Valley is 'abroad,' I recommend the Interior Ministry considers revoking his passport.” Regev’s associates said that no reconciliation meeting between artists and herself took place and that the tension between the two sides remained. (Maariv)
 
**But the mayor of Nes Ziona, Yossi Shabo, himself a right-winger and a Likudnik, expressed understanding for Kotler’s ‘cattle’ remarks after the book he gave to high school graduates, “Chapters in the History of Arabs and Islam,” sparked a storm among parents, Yedioth reported. Parents wrote on Facebook: "Do our children need to read this before they go to the army? Why not a book about Israel's heritage? Shabo is a great mayor and he's a Likudnik and right-wing, but in this case he made a mistake." Shabo, who has an M.A. in Middle Eastern studies, was shocked: "This is simply ignorance. This is a textbook that expands their education about our neighbors. If parents say such things we have a big problem. Tomorrow they will ask to reject textbooks on Christianity. I don't want to use the word that Oded Kotler used ('cattle'), but something is happening to this people, the sons of the ‘people of the book,’ when there is an immediate belligerent response against a textbook. I see how this is directly related to the culture war we are going through in these days.” Shabo, 76, who was born in Cairo and reached the rank of colonel in the IDF, was among other things, the (military) governor of Gaza and the economic attaché to the embassy in Cairo. “Following the rise of radical Islam to the headlines, I thought it was my mission to instill in the graduating students the knowledge that they don’t receive in high school about the history of the Arabs and Islam.” The book is required reading at every university, he said. “The knowledge that this book imparts contributes to a joint language of tolerance between us and the Arabs. The more that we know, the less we will fear and we will also understand that in periods of the past there was co-existence between Jews and Arabs.”

Netanyahu told visiting French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius that UN resolutions for an end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will drive away peace, while Fabius insisted that not solving the conflict may lead to an explosion between the sides. Fabius added that the US may back the French UN resolution initiative to kick-start peace talks and set a timetable for a final-status agreement. Before their meeting, Netanyahu said that France’s UN initiative was 'a dictate' that would harm Israel's security and that he won’t accept dictates on the peace process.
 
On the nuclear talks, Fabius said that the nuclear deal with Iran was 'still not clear.' Meanwhile, Iranian lawmakers curtailed their own power to veto a nuclear deal [unlike in the US – OH] and gave the right of approval of a deal to the Supreme National Security Council, controlled by Khamenei. The amended bill banned access to military sites and scientists as part of any future deal. [But it was unclear to this reader whether that was overruled by the bill that curtailed veto power. – OH]

Quick Hits:
  • MK Stav Shafir to Attorney General: "Open a criminal investigation against MK Mickey Zohar" - Zionist Camp MK Shafir said that remarks by the Likud MK were defamatory, after Zohar wrote on his Facebook page that Meretz and the Zionist camp justify terror attacks. (Maariv)
  • Israeli interior minister's wife tweets racist joke about Obama, causing furor - Judy Nir Mozes Shalom quickly deleted her tweet comparing U.S. president to 'weak black coffee,' but not before raising a flurry of Twitter derision. (Haaretz)
  • Israel Foreign Ministry removes video mocking foreign journalists - Animated short portraying foreign journalists as oblivious to Hamas' terrorist activities removed due to wide criticism from foreign press corps. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Thousands of (Arab) Christians from the Galilee attend protest rally at burned Galilee church - Religious leaders call on Israel to protect holy sites, take steps to inciters, following suspected arson attack at Church of the Multiplication last week. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Reports: Israel Air Force bombed an Israeli drone that crashed in Lebanon - Lebanese media report unmanned aircraft crashed early morning in Bekaa region, and eyewitnesses spotter fighter jet shortly before hearing blast. (Agencies, Haaretz+ and Ynet and Maariv)
  • Israel Police (and Shin Bet) may soon have to document all security-related interrogations - Knesset legal adviser suggests series of possible alternatives that would obligate the police to document interrogations without compromising security requirements. (Haaretz+) 
  • Former IDF chief gets diplomatic escort in London to prevent arrest - Former IDF Chief of Staff and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz asked for immunity from arrest while in London for conference on Israel boycott movement, but was refused. Israeli Embassy assigns two diplomatic officials to accompany him throughout stay. (Israel Hayom)
  • Khader Adnan enters 48th day of hunger strike - The Palestinian Prisoner's Society denied reports on Sunday that Khader Adnan had died, as the 37-year-old prisoner, entered his 48th day on hunger strike, protesting not receiving a trial. (Maan)
  • State pays over NIS 1.3 billion in damage claims (to Israelis) over Gaza fighting - Tax Authority: 90% of claims filed following Operation Protective Edge have been settled. Record number of 25,249 claims filed over indirect damage, 4,579 claims filed over direct damage. Defense Ministry allots 30 million shekels to pay reservists. (Israel Hayom)
  • Egypt continues to ease restrictions on Gaza border - Egyptian authorities will re-open the Rafah border for traffic crossing both ways for three days this week, officials say. Sisi opened Rafah during the first week of Ramadan to "ease the humanitarian situation of the Palestinian people in Gaza," according to Egyptian border officials. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces demolish Palestinian structures in Salfit - Salfit's governor, Abdul Hamid al-Dik, said that bulldozers escorted by Israeli troops demolished an agricultural storage room and a structure used as a car wash, both for not receiving permits. (Maan)
  • Last president of apartheid South Africa: Sanctions no way to solve Israeli-Palestinian conflict - In interview with Israel Radio, Frederik Willem de Klerk says sanctions are counterproductive, comparisons of Israel with apartheid South Africa are 'odious.' (Haaretz)
  • Miliband threatens to sue paper over claim he criticized Israel - The claim was contained in a Jewish Telegraph interview with media mogul Richard Desmond, who said the former Labour leader made the comments during a conversation. (Haaretz)
  • Cabinet nixes discussion on controversial quality of life plan - Social Affairs Minister Haim Katz says document doesn’t prioritize closing social gaps, reducing poverty. (Haaretz+)
  • “Moral bankruptcy”: Ministers unanimously reject anti-corruption 'Dery Law' - Proposed law was meant to prevent public officials convicted of certain crimes from returning to political positions. (Haaretz+ and Maariv)
  • Cabinet approves national technology innovation authority - Effort aimed at expanding research fields, high-tech employment opportunities for Haredim and Arabs. (Haaretz+)
  • Michael Oren: New book meant to enlist American Jews to fight Iran deal - Former envoy to U.S. says non-Orthodox and intermarried Jews in Obama administration 'have a hard time understanding the Israeli character.' (Haaretz+)
  • ADL condemns MK Michael Oren’s ‘unjustified and insensitive’ remarks on Obama - Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., wrote that Obama's outreach to Muslim world could be rooted in father abandonment issues. (Haaretz)
  • 'We won't hesitate to strike terrorists despite human shields - 
  • Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel tells German magazine Die Zeit military's counterterrorism efforts will not be curtailed by "enemies' immorality." Eshel expresses concerns Iran "will use its nuclear program to realize its regional aspirations." (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli officials: Iran and Russia in no rush to abandon Assad - The two countries are continuing to provide Syrian regime with advice, intelligence and weapons, but not boots on the ground. (Haaretz+)
  • Kibbutzes in north preparing to absorb Druze refugees from Syria - Upper Galilee regional council leader asked 29 kibbutzes to find places for absorbing refugees, if need be, including sports halls and schools. (Yedioth, p. 10)
  • Assad's new policy: Conscripts can defend their villages rather than fight on frontlines - Druze and Christian sources say policy shift has encouraged draft dodgers to rejoin army. (Haaretz+)
  • ISIS militants plant explosives around ancient Syrian city Palmyra - It is unclear whether the Islamic State group intends to destroy ancient Roman ruins or to secure the site from advancing government forces. (Agencies, Haaretz)


Features:
Why has a play about a terrorist shot to the top of Israel's agenda?
This week, Walid Daka read the play, based on his letters from prison, that has sparked a political furor. He wonders whether those attacking the play have read it, and why Rabin’s assassin has fathered two children, while he can’t even touch his mother during visits. (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) 
The officer who saw behind the top-secret curtain
From supporting Yemeni Royalists to a proposal for the assassination Iran's Khomenei, former military intelligence officer Yossi Alpher had a behind-the-scenes look at some of the IDF's most classified operations; now he explains the covert strategies that guided Israeli intelligence for decades. (Ronen Bergman, Yedioth/Ynet
The Promised Land: Back to the idea of establishing a Jewish state in Australia
When the winds of anti-Semitism began to blow in Europe in the 30’s, Zechariah Bergner, a Polish Jew, set out to the Australian outback to see if it were possible to establish there a Jewish home for the state of Israel. We made a special journey in his footsteps and in the steps of the faded hope of the Jewish survivors of WWII. (Mordechai Haimovich and Alice Springs in Australia, Maariv)
Meet the Israeli companies leading the fight against cyber attacks
Israeli firms are among the leaders in the cyber-attack sector: What do they make, and are they making crime pay? (Omri Zerachovitz, Haaretz+)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
Why Israeli police find it so difficult to solve church arson attacks (Chaim Levinson, Haaretz+) No arsonist has been arrested for torching a religious site, although the investigating police unit believes it is creating a strong deterrent factor. 
Salvation Army: why no one can stop the military rabbinate? (Ran Adelist, Maariv) The Military Rabbinate became the weapon of the conscious of the religious Zionist parties, to such an extent that it raises the question: Who here is the boss - the IFD commander or the rabbi?
Netanyahu's policy of inaction puts the region at risk (Haaretz Editorial) The recent spate of attacks on Israeli show: the relative quiet along the Gaza border is no indication of calm or stability. 
In Israel, we walk amongst killers and torturers (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) The harassment of the Al-Midan Theater stems from envy of our subjects’ ability to overcome oppression, to think and create, in defiance of our image of them as inferior.
The 'lone wolf' challenge (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) The defense establishment has yet to devise an effective way to predict the actions of an individual.
We need to admit: Israel has no good answer to the individual attackers (Alon Ben-David, Maariv) The Shin Bet is practically helpless. Chances of an early warning about an attack by a lone attacker are zero, and once executed - only the resourcefulness of the people nearby will determine how it ends.
The Master and Miri Regev (Tal Niv, Haaretz+) There is no reason to laugh at Regev personally – clearly not. But there is a reason to weep personally. Every citizen can weep now. 
Israel has forgotten what democracy means (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz+) If Culture Minister Miri Regev wants to cut funding to Arab theaters, she'd better increase it first – because that's the only way they'll notice. 
The US needs more than a lame duck (Yossi Beilin, Israel Hayom) In a parliamentary system like Israel's, Obama would have resigned and asked for a new mandateץ
When Obama gives orders to Israel (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) It is not an op-ed by a former diplomat that strained Washington’s ties with Israel, but the U.S. president’s sharp policy shift on settlements. 
It all comes back at us: the weapons Israel uses may achieve the opposite effect (Cielo Rosenberg, Maariv) Israel is mistaken when it attacks Western media and accuses it of anti-Semitism. Instead of cooperating, we provide them with further ammunition.
Theater director who called Likud voters 'a herd of beasts' answers critics (Oded Kotler, Haaretz+) How did I dare use the metaphor 'beasts' when describing such an enlightened and culture-loving public?
Remember lessons learned (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) The lesson of Israel's experiences in Lebanon must resonate with its captains whenever they consider the Syrian dilemma.
 

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