News Nosh 07.24.16

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday July 24, 2016
Quote of the day:
"Inshallah, we will meet in Riyadh."
--Saudi Arabian Gen. (ret.) Anwar Eshki told a group of Jewish members of Knesset he met with in E. Jerusalem.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
Israeli forces detained Palestinian filmmaker Emad Burnat at the weekly protest in Bilin on Friday. Burnat’s 2011 Oscar-nominated documentary, "5 Broken Cameras," showed his first-hand account of the protests in Bilin that began in 2005 against the expansion of nearby Israeli settlements and the construction of Israel's separation wall, which separated Bilin residents from their privately owned lands.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • “We kissed” – Brig. Gen. Buchris tells investigators; Buchris publicly: “No such thing ever happened”
  • “David remained king despite what happened with Batsheva” – Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen asked to defend his former subordinate – and sparked a storm
  • The men’s club // Chen Artzi-Sror
  • Campaign of madness – of a depressed youth – What looked like an ISIS attack in Munich was actually perpetrated by a mentally unstable youth
  • Compromise: Broadcasts of (public broadcasting) corporation will be postponed by only six months, with possibility to advance if it’s ready
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)

News Summary:
Brig. Gen. Ofek Buchris, who was indicted on rape charges, admitted to military investigators that he kissed one of his alleged victims. Sgt. Elor Azariya, the ‘Shooting Soldier from Hebron, testifies today, and a young mentally unstable German of Iranian descent shot dead nine people in Munich making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Also in the news, a retired Saudi general met with Israelis in west and East Jerusalem.
The papers jumped on the fact that Brig. Gen. Buchris said publicly that nothing ever happened between him and the women who accused him of rape, and yet he told military investigators that he actually did ‘only’ kiss one of them. But a retired general coming to his defense also made headlines with a storm. Maj. Gen. Gershon Hacohen tried to make light of the alleged crimes - 16 counts of rape, sodomy and committing an indecent act - by comparing Buchris to King David and saying that King David remained king despite what he did with Batsheva. Moreover, the name and photo of one of the two complainants was revealed on a Facebook page of supporters for Buchris. She intends to sue.
In a highly unusual move, former Saudi general Anwar Eshki visited Israel and met with Israeli officials and MKs in both west and E. Jerusalem. His very trip here required permission from both the Saudi and Israeli governments. Eshki, who heads a Saudi think tank, led a delegation of Saudi academics and business people and met with with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and other senior Palestinian government figures in Ramallah. But he also met with Foreign Ministry Director-general Dore Gold at the King David Hotel and with a group of Knesset members in E. Jerusalem - ostensibly to encourage dialogue in Israel on the Arab Peace Initiative. But the Israeli left-wing party Hadash slammed his visit saying that advancing a dialogue about the Arab peace initiative was just a pretext and that the visit was actually “part of the normalization of cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel against Iran, Syria and resistance movements in the region” and that instead of challenging Israel’s peace process refusal strategy the Saudi delegation “legitimized it by giving Arab ‘sponsorship’ to voiding the initiative of any content and for eliminating the two-state solution and the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.”
Quick Hits:
  • In rare call, Netanyahu offers Abbas condolences on brother’s death - Omar Abbas, who had been treated in the past at TLV hospital, died of cancer in Qatar on Thursday ; Israeli officials stress no other matters discussed in courtesy call. (Times of Israel, Maan and Maariv)  
  • Six-year-old Ahmed Dawabsheh released from hospital one year after arson attack - Dawabsheh will have to return for further operations, but will now live with his grandfather after the attack in Duma that killed his brother and parents. (Haaretz+, Maan and Ynet)
  • Israeli settlers threaten, fire toward Palestinians on their private land - Israeli settlers from an illegal outpost known as “Fathers’ Road” [Derech Avot – OH] verbally attacked Palestinian residents from al-Khader, threatening them with a gun as the Palestinians were working in their land. (Maan)
  • Man charged with sheltering Tel Aviv terrorists in his storeroom - Negev resident didn’t know duo were planning Sarona attack, but was aware that they were in Israel illegally, claims prosecution. (Haaretz+) 
  • West Bank City Petitions High Court to Lift Six-week Closure - The closure was imposed on June 9 after it was found that the perpetrators of the terror attack on the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv had come from Yatta. (Haaretz+) 
  • 48 Palestinian prisoners hunger strike against Israeli policy of detention without charge - A mass hunger strike across Israeli prisons continued on Saturday in protest of Israel’s detention of hunger-striking prisoners Bilal Kayid and brothers Muhammad and Mahmud al-Balboul, who are being held without charge. (Maan
  • **Israeli forces detain 4, including Oscar-nominated filmmaker, in Bilin protest - Israeli forces detained filmmaker Emad Burnat, the Oscar-nominated director of the documentary film "5 Broken Cameras," a film showing Burnat's first-hand account of the protests in Bilin, along with a Palestinian reporter for Iranian TV , the head of the local council Basil Mansur, and activist Ashraf Abu Rahma. Israeli activists also participated in the march against occupation. (Maan)
  • 2 Palestinian youths injured during clashes with Israeli soldiers in Kafr Qaddum - Residents began staging weekly protests in 2011 against land confiscations and the IDF’s closure of village's southern road for 13 years. (Maan
  • Israeli forces open fire at shepherds in Gaza - Witnesses said Israeli forces stationed behind the security fence east of Al-Bureij refugee camp opened fire at a group of shepherds near the Abu Qatrun area in central Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported. (Maan
  • Legislative Bill: the Kurdish region in Iraq will not defined as an ‘enemy state’ - According to MK MK Ksenia Svetlova (Zionist Camp) , who proposed the law and was joined by MKs Yossi Yona, Itzik Shmuli and Yael Cohen Paran, the Kurdish people share values and common enemies with Israel and Israel has an alliance with them. The MKs seek to exclude the Kurds in Iraq from the ordinance about import and export with an enemy. (Maariv
  • In blow to Netanyahu, national security adviser nominee withdraws from running - Brig. Gen. (res.) Avriel Bar-Yosef, Netanyahu's pick from five months ago to replace Yossi Cohen, was never approved by the cabinet and says he's accepted a private sector opportunity. (Haaretz+) 
  • Shira Banki's father: 'Extremism, no matter the kind, is a sure path to destruction' - Uri Banki, whose 16-year-old daughter was murdered at last year's Jerusalem Pride march, spoke at this year's Pride of his hope for a better society; his full remarks are included. (Ynet
  • Yacimovich Blasts Herzog for Seeking to Delay Israeli Labor Party Primary Till 2017 - She said an 'artificial extension' of Herzog's term was unconstitutional and undemocratic, and that it would mean the party would face an extended 'destructive' primary campaign at the height of the public's 'crisis of confidence' with it. (Haaretz+) 
  • Christian Schools in Israel Still Awaiting $13 Million Promised by State - Church leaders call for meeting with Netanyahu over funding crisis, which was meant to have been resolved in September 2015. (Haaretz+) 
  • Qatar says gives $30 million to pay Gaza public sector workers - As Hamas faces a budget shortfall and is unable to pay wages to its public sector workers, Qatar is stepping in to fill the wage gap; The funding is meant to '"alleviate suffering and financial distress.' (Agencies, Ynet
  • Voter registration centers open for 5 days across West Bank, Gaza Strip - The Palestinian Central Elections Commission (CEO) announced Saturday that voter registration centers would be open from Saturday until Wednesday in all local and municipal councils across the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip in preparations for the upcoming local elections in October. (Maan
  • Tightening Grip on Turkey, Erdogan Closes Private Schools, Charities and Unions - This is his first decree since imposing a state of emergency after a failed military coup. Nephew of Muslim cleric and Erdogan rival Gulen detained. (Agencies, Haaretz
  • More children in Syria dying of malnutrition - A new report by two human rights groups shows that Madaya, population: 40,000, lacks food and has medical care provided only by two dentistry students and a veterinarian. (Ynet
  • Calls for end to coalition air strikes in Syria after 77 civilians killed - After 21 civilians were killed on Monday and 56 killed on Tuesday in coalition air strikes, Syrian opposition forces are calling on the US to halt all airstrikes in Syria. Assad to UN: '(Syria) condemns, the two bloody massacres perpetrated by French and US warplanes.' (Agencies, Ynet
  • Iran Arrests 40 After Finding Tunnel Meant for 'Militant Activities' - Tunnel uncovered near Pakistan border where security forces have clashed with militants possibly affiliated with Al-Qaida. (Agencies, Haaretz

70 years later, perpetrator and victim recall King David Hotel bombing
Levy Kampos remembers clearly what happened when the deadly blast went off on that fateful July morning in 1946 — so does Sarah Agassi, who called the hotel to inform them of the bomb her group left there. (Ofer Aderet, Haaretz+) 
An outpost tries to hold its ground
Ten years after the confrontation that has become a symbol, the residents of Amona are preparing for the next round; approaching the High Court of Justice's deadline for the evacuation of the outpost, the settlers are recruiting thousands of supporters to protest on the deadline and are pressuring right-wing ministers to find a way to circumvent the order. (Oded Shalom and Elisha Ben-Kimon, Yedioth/Ynet
Palestinian family, pleading for son's release, says Israel forced him to confess terrorism links
Bara Farid Abu-Dheir, 26, suffered brain trauma as a toddler and never fully recovered. His father, a journalism professor, encouraged him to travel to Turkey and Jordan to look for work. What happened when he tried to return to Nablus is every parent's nightmare. (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) 
Just One More Battle in War Between IDF and Rebel Rabbis (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Rabbi Yigal Levinstein has left no stone unturned in his attempts to open a new front against the military, but Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot seems to have won the latest bout. 
Secular patience wearing thin (Sima Kadmon, Yedioth/Ynet) Religious Zionists hold many views that are abhorrent to the secular, though their response to these views varies based on their potential closeness to the issues; only a minority actually express these beliefs, held by the majority, and the secular sector's patience is wearing thin with them. 
Rabbi Levinstein was right: the IDF is going through radical processes that are frightening (Kalman Libskind, Maariv) Rabbi Yigal Levinstein’s remarks about LGBT people were hurtful, but that doesn’t change that his speech was one of the most important speeches heard here. IDF values are being trampled on. Those who want to see an army, which knows what it is fighting for, need to wake up. The IDF of today finds it difficult to define what is victory. It prefers “containment” and “restraint” and it is confused when it has to explain to its soldiers what is “dedication to the mission” and what is “patriotism. ”If we were once educated that “it is good to die for one’s country,” the IDF now  explains that it is good to die [in order not to harm Palestinian civilians] so that the IDF will not be perceived as an unethical army and in order not to adversely affect the international public opinion and in order not to increase the cycle of hatred.
The Israeli Army Against Itself (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) IDF Chief Eisenkot's term is progressing well in terms of its professional and funding elements, but it's challenged on issues of how the military interfaces with society. 
The faith militia
(Yoaz Hendel, Yedioth/Ynet) Rabbi Yigal Levinstein's now-infamous speech didn't just take aim at the gay community, but also at the IDF. It is time to address this inner strife. 
Netanyahu declares war on Israel's media, gets lesson in constraints of power (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) The prime minister has shamelessly set out to annihilate free press – zeroing in on one newspaper in particular – Yedioth Ahronoth. Members of his cabinet step in to teach him a lesson on the constraints of power. 
The trial of Elor Azariya: - a battle over the character of the state (Ran Adelist, Maariv) Rabbis Eyal Karim and Yigal Levinstein are not the story, but only the tip of the iceberg that threatens the integrity of the army and the state. It is important to learn the ultimate lesson from the trial of the soldier shooter. 
And a big thanks to Rabbi Levinstein (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) Sometimes, extremists like anti-gay Rabbi Yigal Levinstein manage to motivate the moderate majority, who should be the leading voice in Israeli society. 
Will Hamas Participation in West Bank Elections Mend Political Rift? (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Optimists hope that Hamas' participation in elections for the first time in ten years will pave the way for a new Palestinian government, but it’s still unclear how tolerant Fatah will be and whether Israel will intervene.
Collaborators: With rivals like these, Netanyahu can sleep peacefully (Michal Aharoni, Maariv) Lapid and Herzog were supposed to be a fighting opposition against the world views of the government. But for a few more ‘Likes,’ they sold Israeli democracy. 
Netanyahu's Direct Hold Over the Telecommunications Sector Must Be Prevented (Haaretz Editorial) A series of significant reforms is needed in the telecommunications market, including increased competition, fighting unmarked advertising and other regulation. 
The critical hour: Azariya is in an almost impossible bind (Noam Amir, Maariv) Just four months after the incident that changed his life, the shooting soldier from Hebron will testify about his actions for the first time and will have to explain he made a mistake, without admit he made one. 
We in the Palestinian Solidarity Movement Have a Problem With anti-Semitism (Gary Spedding, Haaretz+) Toxic conspiracy theories, group-blame and stereotyping are becoming a serious problem in the Palestine solidarity movement – and it’s undermining our struggle. 
The time has come for you to internalize: values are created by actions, not by shouts and preaching (Udi Segal, Maariv) We are in a tailspin. The state, the government, the politics, the public discourse and the media were caught in a right-wing tailspin…We did not crash. But the feeling is of diving down, especially severe nausea and feelings of frustration and helplessness from the lack of ability to get out of the problematic situation… The tailspin is around two central axes that star in the harmful political competition entertainment-tabloid of the country: "Who is a real right-winger" and the professional whining by the champions of discrimination, boycott and freedom of expression, who are doing exactly the opposite of what they preach…You want to talk about balance and freedom of expression? Allow it. You want to talk about racism? Don’t be racist yourselves. You want to talk about democracy in the Middle East? Don’t harm it. 
The Late Palestinian National Poet Will Continue to Haunt Israel (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Mahmoud Darwish insists on mentioning what Israelis don't want to acknowledge: A great sin took place here when the State of Israel was founded in 1948.
Circles of hope (Tehila Friedman, Ynet) Following the litany of horrors in Jerusalem's recent past—Shira Banki, the Dawabsheh family, Mohammed Abu Khdeir—the Yerushalmit Movement has called on the public to take back the capital and make it a meeting place for understanding.
Benefit of Stealth Fighter Jet Proves Elusive Subject in Israel (Guy Rolnik, Haaretz) The F-35 has been dubbed the most expensive plane in the world and the Israel Air Force has 33 on order. Yet no one is asking the big question about whether it’s worth the huge expense.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.