News Nosh 8.31.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday August 31, 2017
Quote of the day:
“Like many politicians before him, Netanyahu reached the point in which he is truly convinced that he and the state are one. Whoever criticizes him is committing treason against the state.”
--Yedioth’s top political commentator Nahum Barnea in an Op-Ed following Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's speech yesterday in which he attacked the media.* 

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Rise and succeed - Going back to school tomorrow [Photo of General Tamir Yadi with his son who will start first grade tomorrow]
  • “The Russian missiles in the service of Iran” - Reports in Syria
  • In Putin’s shoes [Photo of Netanyahu] // Nahum Barnea
  • Special supplement - Schools for religious and secular, the community of the bi-lingual (Hebrew-Arabic) education, the religious girls’ school that accepts everyone
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • The second attack - Netanyahu supporters came for the second time this month to a rally, which turned into an aggressive speech against the media
  • Prepare the backpacks - School year opens tomorrow
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
Interesting reports on education ahead of the start of the school year tomorrow and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s sharp attack on the media in a speech he gave yesterday were the top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Also in the news, differing conclusions followed two separate tours in and near the Gaza Strip yesterday by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and by Middle East envoy of US President Donald Trump, Jason Greenblatt. Meanwhile, the news north of Israel’s northern border was that - despite Netanyahu’s attempt to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to keep Iran out - Russia reportedly stationed S-400 batteries near what Israel says is an Iranian-Syrian arms factory in Syria that is allegedly manufacturing guided missiles for Hezbollah and the UN Security Council renewed its peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon for another year with an almost half a billion dollar budget to the satisfaction of Israel, which asked for more aggressive action over Hezbollah’s weapons transfers.

*Even ‘Israel Hayom’ used the word ‘attack’ to describe how Netanyahu lambasted the media in a speech he gave before thousands of supporters. Netanyahu accused the media of attacking him and his wife “because they think that if they bring me and her down, they will bring us [the Likud] down. And the entire nationalist camp that the Likud leads. That end justifies any means.” Yedioth’s top political commentator Nahum Barnea wrote that “Like many politicians before him, Netanyahu reached the point in which he is truly convinced that he and the state are one. Whoever criticizes him is committing treason against the state.” Labor party leader Avi Gabbay slammed Netanyahu for focusing on the media, rather than the issues of the disabled, the start of the school year, the housing crisis, etc.

Two men with influence made declarations about the Gaza Strip yesterday. Trump's Mideast envoy, Jason Greenblatt, toured its periphery from the Israeli side with an Israeli general and came to the conclusion that Hamas was the reason the Gazans were suffering because it couldn't provide for Gazans' basic needs, so it must handover rule to the (Fatah-controlled) Palestinian Authority. Greenblatt said he had “learned a great deal” from the [Israeli-led - OH] border tour, particularly concerning the “challenges” facing the Israeli army, Israeli civilians living near the border, and Palestinians living in Gaza.

The other, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, visited a Hamas tunnel from the Israeli side and met with both Israelis living in a kibbutz near the Gaza Strip and with Gazans. He concluded his Israeli-side tour by praising the members of Kibbutz Nahal Oz for their “extraordinary message of peace and reconciliation…by asking us to help the Palestinians in Gaza to overcome their tragic humanitarian problems and being themselves ready to help and to provide support to the Palestinian community in Gaza.”

After touring inside the Gaza Strip, Guterres called for an end to Israel’s decade-long blockade on the Strip be lifted, describing life in the besieged coastal enclave as "one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises" he had seen. He also called for unity among the Palestinians' warring factions—Hamas, which rules Gaza, and Fatah, which rules parts of the West Bank and said he dreams of the day he can return to Gaza when it’s part of a Palestinian state.
Quick Hits:
  • Revealed: Israel and Donors to Spend $32m Sending Goods to Syrian Civilians This Year - At first Israelis ensured that there was no Hebrew on any of the goods transferred, but after a few months this effort was dropped. Syrian drivers are told to take everything so that it is impossible to leave a bomb behind. (Haaretz+)
  • In turnaround, Israel won't revoke press card of Al Jazeera reporter - Elias Karram will keep his journalist ID now that security officials have argued against a revocation. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • $1B Palestinian lawsuit against US supporters of Israel dismissed - U.S. District Court dismisses $1 billion suit accusing 49 pro-Israel donors and groups of contributing to "war crimes" and "ethnic cleansing" against Palestinians • Judge: This suit is an attempt to drag the court into a political matter. (Israel Hayom)
  • IDF arrests Palestinian singer for song inciting terrorism - In the first arrest of its kind, Israeli security forces battle incitement by arresting singer, songwriter and producer behind song praising Halamish terrorist Omar al-Abed; in addition, 15 arrested overnight raid, 11 suspected of terror activity and violent rioting; forces seizes weapons as well. (Ynet and Maan)
  • Balad party summer camp concludes with procession extolling 'martyrs' - Youth parade of summer camp organized by Arab-Israeli Balad party marches through Dheisheh refugee camp, waving Palestinian flags and calling to redeem ‘Palestine with spirit and blood'; camp divided into groups named after Palestinian leaders Yasser Arafat, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam; MK Zoabi praises ‘spirit of struggle, vigor and force.’ (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Jordan refuses to accept Israeli ambassador's return - More than a month after evacuation of Israeli embassy in Jordan following attack incident in which Israeli security guard shoots and kills 2 Jordanians in apparent self defense, Jordan refuses to accept Israeli Ambassador Shlain's return, after she was photographed sitting in a meeting with the guard and PM Netanyahu, who celebrated the guard's actions upon his return. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • New Border Police unit to tackle tactical homefront missions - Public Security Minister Erdan: Police stand shoulder to shoulder with all security forces, knowing the next conflict will take place on the homefront • "Terrorists will find police officers ready to deal with any threat and defeat any enemy," he says. (Israel Hayom)
  • West Bank resident charged with attempted murder in central Israel stabbing attack - Mansour Hatib, 21, stabbed an Israeli Arab man and attempted to attack a bystander before being knocked down with a pizza tray by a restaurant owner. (Haaretz)
  • Minister: We will fight agricultural terrorism in every way possible - Although head of Border Police reports 20% drop in the number of agricultural crimes, ministers say figures do not reflect financial damage. Ministers pledge to move into "high gear" and pool forces of all relevant ministries, local authorities. (Israel Hayom)
  • Central Bureau of Statistics reports Muslim growth rate still highest in Israel - Central Bureau of Statistics releases a report detailing statistics concerning Israel's Muslim population before Eid al-Adha; Israel's 1.534 million Muslims are 17.7% of the populace; Muslim growth rate, unemployment are highest in country despite fertility rate dropping steadily. (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli army backs soldiers who volunteered with African refugee children - In repeat of incident from last year, residents of south Tel Aviv accost soldiers playing with kids amid anger at refugee issue. (Haaretz+)
  • Tel Avivians gather to hear asylum seekers firsthand - A Sudanese student who fled genocide and an Eritrean artist holding his first exhibit share their stories. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel’s High Court Sends Clear Message to Government: Reconsider 'Frozen' Western Wall Deal - Chief justice slams government's behavior on egalitarian prayer space at Jerusalem holy site: 'There was a deal, and now the government says it doesn't exist. What happened here?' (Haaretz+)
  • (Culture Minister) Regev against (director) Shmulik Maoz's new film: It disgraces the IDF's reputation - The minister has not yet seen "Foxtrot" and has relied on the opinion of a senior official in the film department of the ministry. Maoz: “There was a moment when I missed (right-wing former culture minister) Limor Livnat.” (Hebrew Haaretz) Maoz's film is among the leading films in the number of nominations for Israel’s Ofir Prize, and is being screened at the Venice and Toronto Festivals. (Haaretz Hebrew and JPost)
  • The Plight of a Museum Standing on the Seam Between Jerusalem and Israeli Society - In what may be its final exhibition, the Museum on the Seam confronts the complex relations between religion and art in Jewish society. (Haaretz+)
  • 'Fauda': Just Entertainment or Art Reflecting the Damage of the Occupation? David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, takes a look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the eyes of the hit series. (Haaretz)
  • (Labor party leader) Avi Gabbai hides a "skeleton" on his shoulder: "How will you build a coalition with religious people?" - Comedian Nadav Abukasis met the chairman of the Labor Party in the middle of a run in the park, and discovered a tattoo of a man running on his shoulder. (Maariv)
  • Al-Haq condemns Palestinian Authority for 'arbitrary' detention of Palestinian man from Dura - Shadi Nammourah has been “arbitrarily” detained by the PA's General Intelligence Service (GIS) in its Jericho detention center, despite four court orders calling for his release. (Maan)
  • Iran rejects US demand to allow IAEA visit to military sites - "Iran's military sites are off limits," government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht says. U.S. envoy to U.N. says nuclear inspectors must ensure Iran is not concealing activities banned by the 2015 nuclear deal reached with world powers. (Israel Hayom)
  • Egypt Adds 350 Names, Including Prominent Muslim Brotherhood Figures, to Terrorism Watch List - Authorities have launched a severe crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters since former President Mohammed Morsi's ouster in 2013. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Ali Khamenei: "We must save Palestine from the Zionist enemy" - The Supreme Leader of Iran, who spoke on the occasion of Id al-Adha, saw fit to open his remarks on Israel: "The Palestinian people have been struggling for 70 years for their stolen land.” (Maariv)

Neglect Rooted in Racism (Haaretz Editorial) There's a direct line connecting between Netanyahu's government's racists polices and its reluctance to address construction site accidents whose main victims are Palestinians, Israeli Arabs, foreign workers and asylum seekers
Israel's Minister of Truth (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Israel Justice Minister Shaked said the truth loud and clear: Zionism contradicts human rights, and thus is indeed an ultra-nationalist, colonialist and perhaps racist movement.
Pilot season (Yonatan Yavin, Yedioth/Ynet) Netanyahu can't have it both ways. He either isn't powerful enough to have prevented the potentially dangerous MK visit to the Temple Mount, or his supposed objection was nothing but the slight of hand of a diversionary master.
Two wrongs don't make a right (Prof. Aviad Hacohen, Israel Hayom) A ruling that would give carte blanche for deporting illegal migrants en masse would have helped the boycott campaign against Israel.
Anti-Zionists in Israel's Government (Uri Misgav, Haaretz+) Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked represents a political stream in Israel for which the Third Reich was just a navigational error, a mistaken address.
We need an immigration policy, not just compassion (Yoaz Hendel, Yedioth/Ynet) The High Court of Justice's decision to prohibit the forced deportation of illegal migrants blocks the state's ability to sanction those who refuse it, leaving Israel with no immigration policy to speak of. Leniency is all well and good, but the court was out of line in interfering with a political matter many world governments have tangled with.
The Hezbollah problem (Jonathan S. Tobin, Israel Hayom) Until Trump understands that he can't get tough on ‎Iran while appeasing Russia, a growing Hezbollah problem will threaten the U.S. and Israel.
Kibbutz Dwellers Don't Deserve More Just Because Their Grandparents Founded Israel (Nissan Shor, Haaretz+) How long will kibbutzniks lord their pioneer past over the rest of us Israelis?
The story behind Israel's nuclear ambiguity
Nuclear proliferation expert Or Rabinowitz explains how Trump's threats on North Korea could backfire and asserts that the only ones kept in the dark by Israeli secrecy are Israelis. (Interviewed by Ayelett Shani in Haaretz+)

Ex-negotiator: Public discourse on hostages benefits Hamas
Former special negotiator on hostages and missing persons Lior Lotan says Hamas seeks "to fragment the Israeli public" as "the more doubts we have, the higher price it can demand." PM's Office: Israel spares no effort to bring our sons home. (Israel Hayom)

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