News Nosh 10.3.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
NOTE: News Nosh will be on Sukkot holiday hiatus starting tomorrow, the 4th of October, and will return intermittently in a truncated form until October 15th when it will be back in its full form.
Quote of the day:
"There is a yawning chasm between those who are certain that the occupation is the beginning of our redemption and those who are afraid that it’s the bitter smile of history. The battle isn’t just between elites fighting over hegemonic status, but between completely different political cultures."
--In an Op-Ed in Yedioth, journalist and commentator Yaron London looks at the divide in Israel over the occupation of the Palestinian territories.*

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Horror in Las Vegas - At least 58 killed in the most severe shooting incident in US history
  • The murderer across from you // Orly Azoulay, U.S.
  • License to kill // Nadav Eyal
  • Shooting and crying // Alon Pinkas, U.S.
  • The gun decides // Yaov Frumer
  • Gidi Gov’s second tragedy
  • MK Elkin: Trump is following in the footsteps of Obama
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
News Summary:
The massacre in Las Vegas was today’s big story in the Hebrew newspapers and Israeli commentators blamed the lack of US gun restriction laws.

What was missing from two of Israel’s biggest newspapers was the news that Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdullah was in Gaza today with the Palestinian Authority (PA) ministers for a major Fatah-Hamas reconciliation effort, which will include the transfer today of government ministries in Gaza run by Hamas to the Palestinian Authority. Hamdallah also convened the Palestinian cabinet for the first time in three years. Israel has long opposed reconciliation and today far right-wing Education Minister Naftali Bennett said Israel should stop transferring to the PA Palestinian tax monies it collects because the PA is reconciling with Hamas, Maariv reported. Deputy Public Diplomacy Minister Michael Oren said a key issue for Israel was whether Hamas would retain its weapons.

The Trump Administration even expressed support for the historic reconciliation move, [which is surprising because the Bush Jr. Administration had opposed previous such attempts as did Israel - OH]. However, there may be a catch to the US support. President Trump's special Middle East advisor Jason Greenblatt said the Palestinians must abide by the Mideast Quartet’s four conditions, which include declaring that Israel has a right to exist and making a commitment to nonviolence, in order to kick-start Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. Those two issues were always sticking points because Hamas said it recognized Israel, but not that it had a right to exist and it also said it would not give up its right to fight the occupation (which is permitted to occupied people's, according to the Geneva Conventions), even if it did not use that right. Meanwhile, the Palestinian envoy to Washington criticized Israel following the reports that Israel was pressuring the Trump administration to expel the Palestinian diplomatic delegation to the US.
Quick Hits:
  • 11-year-old Palestinian shot in the head with rubber bullet during (Israeli forces) raid in Shuafat (E. Jerusalem) - Israeli forces had stormed the camp through its main entrance in large numbers and deployed heavily in the refugee camp’s streets, causing clashes to erupt between local youth and Israeli troops. A man in his 60s and another resident who was not identified further were also treated on the scene after they were shot with rubber bullets. Several others suffered from severe tear gas inhalation. (Maan)
  • (Minister) Elkin vs. Trump: “He’s following Obama” - In a rare move, a serving Israeli minister criticizes Trump administration policy (for preventing settlement construction in West Bank). Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin also claims: The attitude in the White House towards construction did not change. (NOTE: Elkin said the same thing in June - OH) (Yedioth, p. 10)
  • MK Glick petitioned the High Court of Justice: They ordered the entry of Jewish MKs to the Temple Mount on Sukkot - A month and a half after the successful pilot, Knesset member Yehuda Glick (Likud) appealed to the High Court to allow him to ascend to the holy place. "I feel cheated and hurt" They threw me a bone.” (Maariv)
  • Israeli Minister Visits Cuba - a Country Without Diplomatic Ties to Israel - Culture minister Miri Regev's office said she left for a private family trip to Cuba, a country that severed relations with Israel in 1973. (Haaretz+)
  • Netanyahu holds first ever Mossad citation ceremony - In first-ever PM Citation ceremony for Mossad units, Netanyahu salutes ‘initiative, daring, professionalism, planning and execution'; Mossad chief says they must act ‘as an example to ourselves and to the world.’ (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Mossad spy agency chief: Iranian threat is Israel's top priority - At event honoring the intelligence agency, Mossad head Yossi Cohen warns Iran is seeking nuclear weapons, aggressively directing hostile forces close to Israel's borders and increasingly backing Hamas. (Israel Hayom)
  • Lieberman: IDF yet to face difficult tests - Speaking in a ceremony for IDF officers and non-commissioned officers, defense minister hints Lebanon will be held responsible for Hezbollah’s aggression, warns Israel doesn't have 'luxury of conducting a long war.' (Ynet)
  • Explosive devices stolen from IDF base - Military investigators rush to IDF combat engineers base in Golan Heights after routine stock count reveals disappearance of explosive devices, mines, anti-tank weapons and hundreds of M16 5.56mm bullets. (Ynet)
  • Israel, Greece, Cyprus and Egypt to hold joint air force drills - Several other European countries are expected to join aerial maneuvers as part of nations' efforts to bolster stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos says. Four nations are considered close regional allies. (Israel Hayom)
  • Head of Palestinian women's union Khitam Saafin released from Israeli prison - Saafin was detained during a predawn military raid in Beituniya village on July 9th, the same night Israeli forces detained Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member Khalida Jarrar, and has been held without trial or charge. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces detain 23 Palestinians, 2 journalists, in West Bank raids - Israeli forces detained 522 Palestinians, including 130 minors and 16 women, over the course of the month of August, according to a joint report released Palestinian institutions focusing on prisoners' rights. (Maan)
  • Israel issues 18 administrative detention orders against Palestinian detainees - One of the detainees is Sabah Faroun, a mother of four whose administrative detention order (prison without charge or trial) was renewed for three months for the fifth time in a row. (Maan)
  • 2 life sentences for terrorist previously released in Shalit deal - Convicted terrorist Ziad Awad murdered Baruch Mizrahi in 2014 in drive-by shooting as he was making its way to Kiryat Arba for Passover; Awad's son sentenced to 20 years for assisting attack; victim’s wife calls for death sentence. (Ynet)
  • Cops duck indictment over death of Ethiopian suspect - Family of Yosef Salamsa, who in July 2014 police deduced committed suicide following abuse by cops using a taser gun, decry AG decision to quash probe after citing insufficient evidence. (Ynet)
  • Israel's natural water sources are drying up - While desalination plants supply two-thirds of household water use, natural water sources are essential to cover the rest. Severe cuts proposed. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel Mulls Ceasing Adverts in Anti-draft ultra-Orthodox Newspaper - The statement came at the requested of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who sought to stop advertising in Hapeles because he said it incites against Israeli soldiers. (Haaretz+)
  • Bedouin resident indicted for polygamy - Following new state anti-polygamy guidelines, first indictment filed against resident of Bedouin diaspora married to two women; since the beginning of the year, 179 police investigations opened for offense which carries maximum prison term of 5 years. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • The end to the U.S. visa? Progress in discussions between Israel and the United States - An inter-ministerial team led by Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely is promoting the issue with the Trump administration. The main dispute is the use of the Israeli fingerprint database. (Maariv)
  • Israel Aerospace Industries Unveils Unmanned Helicopter for Evacuating Wounded Soldiers - Equity crowdfunding raised $200 million for startups since 2012. Cogentix puts $2 million into Israeli startup developing treatment for overactive bladder. Mobileye rivals cry foul over tax rules they favor it on anti-collision devices. (Haaretz)
  • Amazon to Set Up Alexa Development in Israel - U.S. company on hiring spree for 100 scientists, engineers and project managers. (Haaretz)
  • Israelis complain passports defaced at border crossings - Dozens of Israelis passing through Ben Gurion and Taba border crossings complain their passports were defaced by Population and Immigration Authority officials; Authority: 'Travelers pass through passport control with damaged passport to avoid paying for new one.' (Ynet)
  • Israeli judo champ Yarden Gerbi announces retirement - The 28-year-old Olympic medalist said 'the fire had gone out' of her, a year after winning a bronze in Rio. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Probe into deadly Halamish attack finds lax security allowed terrorist to enter settlement - An ultra-Orthodox battalion protecting the settlement had violated directives, making it easier for Omar al-Abed to enter Halamish and stab to death three members of the Salomon family during Shabbat dinner. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • At least ten Hezbollah fighters killed in airstrike in Syria; Russian friendly fire suspected - The airstrike struck a Hezbollah position in eastern Homs province, where the Lebanese group is fighting ISIS alongside Syria and Russia. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Egypt denies N. Korea arms bound for its military - Egyptian Foreign Ministry rebuffs claims North Korean anti-tank rockets worth $23 million were destined for Cairo; Egypt insists it complies with UN sanctions on isolated country; experts estimate incident is source of recent US-Egyptian tensions. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Egypt Arrests 22 in Most Recent Anti-gay Crackdown - Those arrested are subjected to anal examinations, which rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch say amounts to torture. (Agencies, Haaretz)

The Last Jews of Ankara
Turkey's ancient Jewish community dates back to biblical times but today its 24 members struggle to make a minyan on Yom Kippur. (Esti Judah and Davide Lerner, Haaretz+)
This is the happiest day of my life, Kurdish president says after referendum
Massoud Barzani fought for his people’s independence for nearly 50 years. ‘Now I can die,’ he tells French Jewish philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy the morning after the historic vote. Feeling closer than ever to fulfilling his dream, he is determined to do so despite the warnings issued by Iraq, Iran and Turkey. ‘We’ve been tortured, gunned down, displaced. Nothing could be harsher than what we’ve already endured.’(Bernard-Henri Lévy, Ynet)
The Cruelty of Israel's Defense Minister (Haaretz Editorial) Collective punishment has never been proven as an effective deterrent of additional terror attacks. On the contrary: It usually only fuels the violence.
It’s time for self-examination, Mr. Prime Minister (Sima Kadmon, Yedioth/Ynet) In the midst of the High Holy Days, does Netanyahu reflect on what happened to the man he used to be? Is his wall of cynicism and constant preoccupation with survival ever penetrated by different thoughts? Like regret, remorse, shame and a recognition that this is not how he hoped things would turn out.
Fear of death: Perhaps it is not bad to think that the end of the world is approaching (Natan Zehavi, Maariv) We forgot about Ebra Mengistu (Ethiopian-Israeli held in Gaza), the old people are forced to steal vegetables in the supermarket, the handicapped are beaten and given tickets by the police, and Moshe Sender succumbed to his illness and died. It seems that the creator of our terrible world is fed up with the huge business he set up and he is going to close down the shop.
Who Will Achieve Independence First, the Catalans or the Palestinians? (Asaf Ronel, Haaretz+) Catalonia is getting closer to its goal, but the Palestinians, who aren't even seeking to change any internationally recognized borders, are getting farther away from theirs.
*Thou shalt rejoice against thy will (Yaron London, Yedioth/Ynet) There is a yawning chasm between those who are certain the occupation is the beginning of our redemption and those who are afraid it’s the bitter smile of history. The battle isn’t just between elites fighting over hegemonic status, but between completely different political cultures.
Warning to the Left-wing: Those who do not promote the two-state solution will find themselves without a partner (Uri Savir, Maariv) Given the feeling that there is no chance for an international initiative for a two-state solution, the voices among the Palestinians themselves calling for a bi-national state are increasing. For them, this is the way to defeat Zionism.
New Israeli Elites, Same Piggish Capitalism (Nitzan Horowitz, Haaretz+) Today’s religious Zionist ethos: Only the strong survive; we are strong, so that means we’re right, whether we’re talking about Jews vs. Arabs or rich vs. poor.
It is inconceivable that on sensitive matters, the prime minister will make decisions alone (MK Ayelet Nahmias-Rabin, Maariv) On matters of state security, it is important that there be discussions and even questions from those who are considered to understand less; Often they are the ones who may identify the weak points.
Palestinian Reconciliation Talks a Sign of Hamas' Distress (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) As far as Israel is concerned, Palestinian reconciliation could lead to calm on the Gaza border for a relatively long period, although there are still many question marks.
Fatah and Hamas: Another failed attempt at reconciliation? (Elior Levy, Yedioth/Ynet) Monday’s events in Gaza will likely produce images of hugs, kisses and unity statements, but in the Fatah-Hamas history it is well known that festive declarations do not equal reality. Will the tough situation in the Strip finally prompt Hamas to give up military control, or will Abbas waive his demand to disarm the military wing?
Will Hamas really give up its armed 'resistance'? (Muhammad Shehada, Haaretz) As Rami Hamdallah takes over Gaza, Hamas will insist, like Hezbollah, its militants are synonymous with the Palestinian struggle. Can the Palestinian Authority really assert its authority over Hamas' shadow parallel state?
Nation-state bill won't stop court (Akiva Bigman, Israel Hayom) By the time the nation-state bill passes, it will have been modified to give the judiciary the power to intervene on laws that contradict its view of "Jewish-democratic values."
Orthodox Jews Are Now Trump’s Truest Believers (Jonathan S. Tobin, Haaretz+) In one group of voters, Donald Trump is actually gaining ground: Among Orthodox Jews. The stark contrast with the anti-Trump liberal Jewish majority means American Jews' left-right split may now be the most extreme of any U.S. demographic.
Reversing Iran's progress (Prof. Efraim Inbar, Israel Hayom) Tehran is trying to be seen abiding by the nuclear deal, but this will not stop them forever. Once again, Israel is alone in stopping a regional power from going nuclear.
Don't Support an Illegal Kurdish Separation From Iraq (Meir Masri, Haaretz+) It is our obligation to tell our friends the Kurds that there is no future for an independent Iraqi Kurdistan without regional cooperation and the consent of the Baghdad government.
Why is the US against Kurdish independence? (Zalman Shoval, Israel Hayom) The stance of the U.S. against an independent Kurdish state is reminiscent of U.S. policy on the founding of Israel 70 years ago. Will Trump follow in the footsteps of former President Truman and recognize the new country?
Strengthen the Kurds in Syria (Zvi Hauser, Haaretz+) Following the Kurdish referendum in Iraq, a no-fly zone for hostile groups is vital for Kurdish held areas of Syria.

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