News Nosh 8.28.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday August 28, 2017
Quote of the Day #1:
“For years, one of the most problematic exports of the State of Israel has been the cheapening and trivialization of the Holocaust, bordering on subtle hints of denial. This happens, for example, by comparing every adversary or enemy to the Nazis. This isn’t a phenomenon limited to a bunch of internet talkbackers. The prime minister himself is among the primary culprits in this field. Then there is, for example, the peculiar lesson learned from the terrible tragedy: never again, as long as we are talking about us.”
—Yedioth reporter Yehuda Shohat writes that more and more Israeli Jews dare to express openly or implicitly that the main problem with the Holocaust was the choice of the victims, as many of them make excuses for neo-Nazi rallies in the US.*

Quote of the Day #2:
“But it is hard to dispute their claim that many Jews, in Israel and around the world, think that hating Arabs purifies all vermins, be they a neo-Nazi, a Ku Klux Klan member or a Hungarian fascist. If they hate Arabs they must therefore be a Jew lover and loyal supporter of the State of Israel. Wrong, wrong, wrong. The debate is about what defines us—is a love for Israel, or a hatred of Arabs? The choice is ours.”
—Top Yedioth political commentator Nahum Barnea validates  the claim by authors Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman that Nazis and KKK members should not be absolved of their anti-Semitism due to their hatred of Arabs.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Where are the most crowded classrooms - expose
  • The tragedy in Houston
  • President’s month of Selichot: Cancels criminal records [of IDF soldiers]
  • A mother’s voice [mother of Lt. Hadar Goldin, soldier killed and missing in action]
  • The rabbi said: You can’t use it - What does Rabbi Aviner have against the emoji [of two hands together in thanks]
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
The fury of the parents of a killed and captured Israeli soldier called Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman “weak” and a “coward” after Lieberman said there would be no prisoner swaps, the floods in Houston and the acquisition of F-35 stealth planes from the US were top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Also in the news, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres arrived in Israel and was expected to push Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to ease restriction on Gaza. Israel Hayom reported that Abbas already agreed to ease crippling Gaza sanctions, at the behest of US Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt and senior US residential adviser Jared Kushner during their meeting in Ramallah Sunday. Meanwhile, Haaretz reported that talks were underway to arrange a meeting next month between US President Donald Trump and Netanyahu.
Quick Hits:
  • Following Numerous Accidents, Israeli Army Limits Carrying of Private Handguns on Its Bases - Guns on bases became more prevalent following wave of terror incidents that began in October 2015 and introduction of laxer policy in granting permits, initiated by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. (Haaretz+)
  • Family of Halamish Terrorist Convicted for Not Preventing Attack - Israel military court finds attacker Omar al-Abed's mother, father, two brothers and uncle 'knew about his intentions' but did not notify security services. (Haaretz, Maan and Ynet)
  • Rivlin to consider clemency for IDF soldiers with prior convictions - President Rivlin urges soldiers with criminal records to file pardon requests, citing desire to provide youngsters, whose 'personalities have not yet solidified,' with best chances of integration into the workforce 'without the residue of the past.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israel extends detention of Palestinian NGO worker - Israeli authorities have extended the remand of Salah Hamouri, 32, a Palestinian-French human rights defender and field researcher for Palestinian prisoners' rights group Addameer, who was detained during an overnight raid on his home in E. Jerusalem on Wednesday. (Maan)
  • 50 years on, tens of thousands of Palestinians detained for political protest - Sunday marked 50 years since the Israeli government issued Military Order 101, a “draconian law” used to suppress Palestinian political expression, said Amnesty International. Unless given prior authorization from an Israeli military commander, Palestinians in  West Bank are not allowed to attend or organize a procession, assembly, or vigil of 10 or more people for a political purpose - “or for a matter that may be construed as political, or even to discuss such a subject." (Maan)
  • 8-year-old Palestinian girl dies after being struck by Israeli settler car in Nablus - According to Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri, the child was hit around noon on Route 90 in the Jordan Valley area of the West Bank, while Palestinian medical sources said that the girl was run over by an Israeli settler's vehicle near the Furush Beit Dajan village in the Nablus district. It remained unknown whether the driver had fled or remained at the scene. (Maan)
  • Israel's public security minister visits new synagogue in Silwan [E. Jerusalem] - The synagogue, which was inaugurated on Thursday, was set up in a building owned by the Palestinian Abu Nab family, according to Zuheir al-Rajabi, the head of a local committee. Since settlers seized the Abu Nab property, there has been a marked increase in assaults and provocative acts by settlers, their security guards, and Israeli forces against the locals of the neighborhood, he said. (Maan)
  • After Palestinians petition, Israel says it will remove settlers from Hebron house - The settlers broke into the Machpelah House last month amid an ownership dispute. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Israel inks strategic acquisition of 17 additional F-35 stealth fighter jets - Defense Ministry concludes deal with Lockheed Martin on the purchase of additional aircraft, bringing the total to 50 planes, with the average cost per plane dropping to $100 million; Lieberman: jets are 'significant and strategic addition of strength to air force.' (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • The Rueful Israeli Commander Who Was Promoted to General at Age 100 - Yitzhak Pundak, who died at 104 years old and took responsibility for fall of Kibbutz Nitzanim, was buried there at his request. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Israeli Ambassador to Brazil allegedly tries to sabotage Ya'alon - Yossi Shelly, the Israeli ambassador to Brazil, is allegedly attempting to sabotage an event due to former Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon's participation, over Ya'alon's rift with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—a close associate of Shelly's. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israeli settlers reportedly level land west of Salfit to expand industrial zone - Villagers said bulldozers leveled lands in part of an area which has already been developed by Israeli settlers to build a factory in the Ariel Industrial Zone, part of the illegal Israeli settlement bloc of Ariel -- one of the largest settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. (Maan)
  • Israeli bulldozers level lands near southern Gaza border - Witnesses told Ma'an that four Israeli military bulldozers staged a limited incursion near the city of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza as drones hovered overhead and Israeli soldiers intermittently opened fire in the area, causing no injuries. (Maan)
  • Israeli Court Blocks Family From Opening Infant’s 1950 Grave for Genetic Testing - Family that suspects that its infant son was kidnapped from the hospital where he was sent in 1950 and doubts brother is buried there as documented, but judge rules DNA test of remains won’t settle anything. (Haaretz+)
  • Businessman arrested as part of Beny Steinmetz probe named as Shimon Menachem - Menachem, formerly of Scorpio BSG Ltd, was arrested Thursday at Ben-Gurion Airport. He is a the brother-in-law of Raz Steinmetz, a partner in the Kushner Companies. (Haaretz)
  • The odd couple behind the weekly anti-Netanyahu rallies - A high-powered attorney and former maintenance man, Eldad Yaniv and Meni Naftali seem an unlikely duo to lead the current assault on PM Netanyahu over his numerous alleged corruption cases. Nevertheless, and despite their recent police arrests, so far the two have persevered. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Taunting of religious man caught on video at rally - A demonstrator at a rally against the AG is filmed telling a religious bystander to 'take that rug off your head,' after being asked why the demonstrators decided to hold the rally on a Saturday, thereby making it difficult for observant Jews to take part. (Ynet)
  • Conan O'Brien Is in Tel Aviv, and Israelis Are Freaking Out - Late night host Conan O'Brien notes how buff Israeli men are in a Facebook video; Israelis take to social media to heap praise of their own. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Netanyahu tweets humorous video for his 'friend' O'Brien - A jokester at heart, PM Netanyahu initially brushes off meeting late-night host O'Brien, only to offer up the broadest of smiles upon hearing of O'Brien's 25 million Twitter followers. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israeli Artist Shy Abady Explores the Failure of Modern Judaism - An exhibition of portraits that features lesser known or errant offspring in Jewish history positions the ‘Arab Jew’ as the necessary extreme of the dynasty. (Haaretz+)
  • Successful Israeli tourism video to compete at the UN - After winning several prizes in Europe and getting hundreds of millions of views, the Ministry of Tourism's campaign competes in the UN World Tourism Organization's Video Competition. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • UN spends 4 times more on Palestinian refugees per person - Abba Eban Institute claims UN spends 4 times more money per Palestinian refugee than per any other refugee, while having 1 body for dealing with Palestinian refugees and another for the rest. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Palestinian Judges Launch Campaign Against Further Erosion of Their Independence - Palestinian Authority judges have been facing outside attempts to influence their decisions, salary cuts, a failure to implement their rulings and a bill that would blur the separation of powers. (Haaretz+)
  • Egypt opens Rafah crossing, as relatives of 'martyrs' set off for the hajj - Egyptian authorities on Sunday morning opened the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip to allow a group of 500 hajj pilgrims -- all said to be family members of Palestinians who have been killed by Israeli forces -- leave the besieged coastal enclave to travel to Saudi Arabia via Egypt. (Maan)
  • Palestinian president arrives in Turkey for 3-day visit - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Sunday for a three-day state visit to discuss "ways to strengthen bilateral relations and coordination on issues of common interest," Wafa news agency said. (Maan)
  • Palestinian president to convert would-be presidential palace into national library - The palace was intended to be a residence for the Palestinian president and a guesthouse for visiting delegations. (Maan)
  • Lebanon trying to stop construction of Iranian arms factory in its territory - After warning from Defense Minister Lieberman that Israel 'does not intend to resign itself' to Iran's attempts to manufacture precise weaponry in Lebanon, Lebanese PM raises objections to Tehran's plans for factory that would arm Hezbollah with accurate missiles. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • WATCH: Iranian drones attacking ISIS targets in Syria - Al-Manar footage shows Revolutionary Guards drones attacking fortified ISIS positions on Syrian-Iraq border on August 23; additional video filmed on the ground shows ISIS casualties alongside destroyed vehicles. (Ynet)
  • Iraqi forces retake most of Tal Afar from ISIS - Iraq’s military say it has driven ISIS militants out of more than 90 percent of the northern town of Tal Afar, ISIS's stronghold in the country, as well as retaken the town center. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Islamic State submits to ceasefire in Syria-Lebanon border fight - After fighting the Lebanese army on one front and Hezbollah and the Syrian army on the other while losing ground to both, ISIS submits to ceasefire in the Qalamoun region; truce meant to allow for negotiations over the fate of 9 Lebanese soldiers taken captive by ISIS. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Report: Russia, Syria establish integrated air defense system - Russian defenses in Syria include Pantsir-S1 short-to-medium range surface-to-air missile defenses and the S-400 anti-aircraft system. "These air defense systems are capable of destroying targets within a range of up to 400 kilometers," official says. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Pro-Israel Group Moves Gala to Trump's Resort After Flurry of Cancellations Over Charlottesville Remarks - Nearly 20 charities have canceled their events at Mar-a-Lago in protest of his comments on Charlottesville. One group is going against the tide. 'The Truth About Israel' organization booked a gala event in February to commemorate 45 years to the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. The speakers include former Israeli ambassador to US, Danny Ayalon, and three Republican Congresspeople. "Everyone is taking a stand that they don't like [Trump]. We're taking a stand that we do," one of the event's organizers told the pro-Trump website Newsmax. (Haaretz+)

WATCH Hebrew 101 with Conan O'Brien
Watch Conan's goofy video, filmed on his El Al flight to Israel. (Haaretz)
Love of soccer brings together Jewish and Arab kids
Sixth graders from Jewish and Arab communities in northern Israel come together for a three-day camp where they play their favorite game in mixed teams and learn about each other; 'I found out there are interesting things in Jewish culture,' says Amir Hosni-Kabha from Barta’a, while teammate Gal Ben-Yitschak from Pardes Hana says he's happy to have learned some words in Arabic. (Ynet)
Eichmann and the Bomb: How Israel's Fledgling Nuke Program Impacted the Nazi's Trial
New book explores the diplomatic balancing act faced by Ben-Gurion. (Yechiam Weitz, Haaretz+)
The Danger of Ignoring Mizrahi Jews' History (Ron Cahlili, Haaretz+) The more you delve into Mizrahi Jewish history, the more you understand what a real alternative it is, one that could help to neutralize the Israeli fear machine.
We didn't retreat. We gave it up for peace (Eitan Haber, Yedioth/Ynet) Just like in Sinai, Israel should discard its tough guy attitude and relinquish what will be handed over anyway. Enough hiding behind such terms as 'disengagement' or 'evacuation'—for could there be a nobler choice than the decision to let go for peace?
Israel's Defense Minister in Service of Mohammed Dahlan (Raviv Drucker, Haaretz+) Israeli Defense Minister Lieberman's contempt for Mahmoud Abbas serves interests of the former Gazan 'strongman' who, backed by major Arab money, is trying to inherit the Palestinian Authority.
**When it comes down to it, love should trump hate (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) Jewish American authors Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman call on Jews in US Pres. Trump's administration to resign over his support of Charlottesville neo-Nazi rally. Their open letter makes a good point: namely, that we should not absolve any Nazi or KKK member of their anti-Semitism due to their hatred of Arabs, while we define ourselves through our love of Israel.
Who would have believed that the partnership between the US and Israel would be expressed in relation to the racism that rules the administrations? (Uri Savir, Maariv) Trump will not change, but the day is approaching when American Democrats and Republicans will make a joint effort to put an end to the phenomenon that threatens the democratic system. Here, too, we need a battle like this.
Chance of Israeli-Palestinian Peace Deal - if Trump Stays (Tzvia Greenfield, Haaretz+) The Saudis need an alliance with Israel but to have one they must present a deal for the Palestinians, which is where the U.S. president comes in.
On Kremlin friendship (Prof. Abraham Ben-Zvi, Israel Hayom) As the U.S. signals its ongoing disengagement from the Middle East, the ties between Israel and Russia take on special importance.
Israeli Leftist Politics as Therapy (Gadi Taub, Haaretz+) As far as those making the human rights argument are concerned, the Palestinians can burn in hell as long as our hands remain spotless.
*Does 'Never Again' only apply to us? (Yehuda Shohat, Yedioth/Ynet) Perhaps it is the notion of the 'chosen people' or 'virtuous people' that makes me recoil when I detect excuses made in Israel for neo-Nazi rallies in the US, or silence when George Soros becomes a victim of anti-Semitism, or overlooking genocides in other countries.
Bring Back the Shame Bonus (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) Maybe it's time to give 'shame pay' to the Israeli judge who billed dirt-poor Bedouin for the cost of demolishing their homes, and the ministers who serve in Netanyahu's government.
The Knesset is trying to make the reality "normal," and it is to be hoped that the High Court of Justice will not intervene (Kalman Libeskind, Maariv) Those who authorized the demolition of [settler] houses, thinking that the Disengagement Law [withdrawal of Israeli civilians from Gaza Strip and some settlements in northern West Bank - OH] “was intended to fulfill a vital social need," will find it difficult to convince others that the Regulation Law, which [if passed - OH] will prevent the dismantling of [settler] houses, does not meet this test.
Crossing the Rubicon (Sarah N. Stern, Israel Hayom) The U.S. has finally adopted the right approach: not dictating the outcome of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations but letting the parties decide what works.
With the Occupation in Never Never Land (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) The jeep bounced along the road until our backsides hurt, Tzur texted his girlfriend, complaining that he and the other Israeli troops had fired only stun grenades.
Can Greenblatt succeed where his predecessors failed? (Noam Tibon, Yedioth/Ynet) To succeed in his mission, Trump's Middle East envoy needs to create an updated and revised version of the Saudi peace initiative by limiting the Right of Return to the Palestinian state, removing the Golan from the equation, and adding a comprehensive security plan.
Yemen Is Dying, and It’s Been Forgotten by the World (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) The Yemenite front shows clearly how limited Arab countries are in their ability to resolve conflicts by either diplomatic or military means, and highlights Yemen’s need of the intervention of Western countries or Russia.
Obama chose dishonor, and Israel will have war (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) The nuclear agreement—misleadingly presented to the world as the lesser of evils—allowed Iran to grow rich and expand its influence in the region. Now, Tehran is taking over Syria, and the distant enemy is coming closer to Israel.
Targeting 'New Likudniks' (Haaretz Editorial) The attempt to keep the 'New Likudniks' out of the party indicates the degree to which the party's anti-democratic tendencies have deepened under Netanyahu’s leadership.
Rethinking our definition of apartheid: not just a political regime (Part I) (Haidar Eid and Andy Clarno, Al-Shabaka, Maan) Under international law, apartheid is a crime against humanity, but what is missing from the legal definition is the basis for critiquing the economic aspects of apartheid. To address this concern, we propose an alternative definition of apartheid that grew out of the struggle in South Africa during the 1980s and has gained support among activists due to the limits of decolonization in South Africa after 1994 -- a definition that recognizes apartheid as intimately connected to capitalism.
Fascism, Terrorism, the Occupation? Who Cares? There's an Eclipse! (Sayed Kashua, Haaretz+) Will my old, existential political rage come back once I return to Israel from the U.S.?
'We Prevented Israel From Going to War': Outgoing Air Force Chief on Iran, Gaza and the Conflicts Ahead
Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel tells Haaretz about preparing for an attack on Iran, carrying out scores of airstrikes on Hezbollah and averting clashes with Russian jets in Syria ■ On Gaza, he says: 'We kill more terrorists and fewer civilians.’ (Interviewed by Amos Harel in Haaretz)

The Renowned Israeli Political Cartoonist Who Was Almost Recruited by the Mossad
Ranan Lurie, 85, has worked at the world’s top papers, drawn influential caricatures of hundreds of leaders and had military exploits worthy of a superhero. (Interviewed by Ofer Aderet, Haaretz+)

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