News Nosh 10.22.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday October 22, 2017
Quote of the day:
"What I’m about to write is difficult, and it’s important for me that you read it to the end, even if you end up losing sleep over it, as I hope it will prompt you to do something."
--In an Op-Ed on Yedioth's front page, the former commander of the Northern Command, Major-General (res.) Amiram Levin, warns Israelis that the Netanyahu government is dragging the country into war.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
“Good morning.”
The Facebook post written in Arabic by a Palestinian worker last week, for which he was arrested by Israel Police because they relied on automatic translation software, which erroneously translated the post. Facebook translated “good morning” as “attack them” in Hebrew and “hurt them” in English.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Senior IDF brass assessment: Intentional shooting, not spillover
  • Government in dragging us into a war // Gen. (res.) Amiram Levine
  • Police: If Netanyahu doesn’t make a date for the questioning (in corruption cases) - we will
  • Hello to the freshman students: Where are college students most satisfied from lecturers
  • Freedom from the politicians // Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg
  • Lesson in equality // Prof. Yifat Biton
  • Enormous fine of Tnuva Company, but consumers will only get compensation of 25 shekels each
  • The new illness: Are you afraid of losing your cellular phone? Maybe you have nomophobia
  • (Singers) Static and Ben-El’s new song
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • Tension in north: “If the shooting continues, we will make a harsher response”
  • Knesset returns in a storm - Tomorrow the winter session opens with a number of burning subjects including: (Jewish) Nation-State law, the new draft law and the bill to prohibit interrogating a serving prime minister
  • Yaron Bloom was appointed liaison for missing and captive
  • Crisis in Spain worsens: “We are ahead of a conflict”
  • IDF decided to shorten minimal time to receive rank of first sergeant and lieutenant
  • Danger in Hula Valley: Fire holes return - endanger hikers
  • Mazal tov: Bar Refaeli hugs a second daughter

News Summary:
In Israel, almost complete certainty that rockets shot from Syria were intentionally aimed at Israel and, following Israel’s retaliatory attack, Syria warned of ‘grave consequences,’ 309,530 college students begin their first day today and a former Shin Bet man, who was involved in Shalit prisoner exchange deal, was appointed the state’s liaison for captive and missing making top stories in the Hebrew newspapers. Also, Haaretz’s+ Barak Ravid reported that despite Israel’s declaration that it wouldn’t negotiate with the Palestinian Authority following the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation, the US said that it saw the Palestinian reconciliation led by Egypt positively and although the US position is that Hamas must disarm, there is no expectation that this will 'happen overnight.’

And the latest on the Netanyahu corruption investigation cases: Despite the ongoing graft probe in what is known as Case 3000, Israel signed a deal for more German submarines, Yedioth learned that Germany approved a secret Memorandum of Understanding Thursday night with Israel to purchase three more submarines, on top of the six already previously acquired. But the deal includes an opt-out clause if any wrongdoing is discovered. According to former defense minister Moshe Ya'alon, that clause will be used. Yaalon told Army Radio on Sunday that there was corruption in the submarines affair. "I do not know what they will be able to prove on the criminal level," he said. "I am well versed in the 3000 case and I did not say for nothing that Netanyahu should resign for the good of the state."

Yedioth reported that after weeks of Netanyahu stalling, Israel Police gave Netanyahu an ultimatum: set a date for questioning or the Police will. Netanyahu will be asked to provide his version to the testimonies collected in various investigations against him, particularly that of billionaire Arnon Milchan in Case 1000, the gifts case. Also, of interest in the case of misuse of public funds at the Prime Minister’s Residence, for which Mrs. Sara Netanyahu was a suspect, Yedioth reported that former IDF chief of staff Beni Gantz was on a list of guests at one of the extravagant meals at the Residence, as were Milchan, Shaul Elovitch, chief shareholder of Bezeq, and tycoon Yitzhak Tshuva.

*ISRAEL-SYRIA: Originally, Israel thought the four errant rockets that landed Saturday in the Golan Heights were spillover from the Syrian civil war. But today’s newspapers say that the IDF now believes they were intentionally aimed at Israel. The IDF retaliated by destroying the cannons believed to have launched them. Syria wrote the UN demanding the UN rebuke Israel. Only Maariv’s Yasir Ukbi reported that in the letter, Syria accused Israel of “asking rebels to launch the mortars in order to justify an Israeli retaliatory attack.” Syria warned of ‘grave consequences' to Israeli fire, while Israel warned Syria that continued rocket spillover would be met with a harsher response. Later that day, Iranian and Syrian Chiefs of Staff signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to upgrade the cooperation and coordination between their two armies and outlining their fight against 'Zio-American schemes.’ Yedioth ran an Op-Ed on its front page by former Northern Command chief Gen. (res.) Amiram Levin who accused Netanyahu's government of dragging Israel towards war, saying that "The suspension of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority in response to the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and the PA, and the fiery statements against Iran as the Israeli government’s only reactions, leave no room for doubt: The government has lost its political way and is incapable or unwilling to seek a diplomatic solution for the conflicts. This is a misfeasance of the basic responsibility of the government and its leader—to do everything in their power to reduce the chances of war and to make it their top priority." In an interview with Maariv/103FM this morning, Levin attacked Netanyahu’s policy in the north: "Instead of conducting a policy that is reasonable and matter-of-fact, we speak in rage. Why heat everything up and not act quietly in the north?" Indeed, in an interview with Army Radio today, former defense minister Moshe Ya'alon agreed: "We must continue to operate in Syria without announcing it, as we did in the past.” Yaalon said he didn’t expect the northern border to be quiet and said “we must respond in an wise manner.” (Maariv) But some residents of the Golan Heights were unfazed. “If (Syria) enters into a confrontation with us, it will end badly for them.” (Maariv)

Meanwhile, last night IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot flew to the US to participate in an international conference of chiefs of staff in which Arab countries will participate Until now, only the coalition countries which are involved in the war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq have been involved in these meetings. They included Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. But this time, the event host, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Army, General Joseph Dunford, changed the format of the meeting to allow the participation of the Israeli chief of staff. Maariv’s Yossi Melman wrote that “It should be emphasized that Israel has been conducting frantic diplomatic moves and initiatives in recent weeks with the participation of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Defense and the Head of the National Security Council, who are talking to leaders in Russia and the United States and their counterparts in both countries due to growing concern over the possibility that Iran or its proxies will deploy near the border on the Golan Heights. In these meetings, Israel is trying to enlist support for its positions and presents this demand as a red line that it will not allow to be crossed. For the time being, it is not clear whether Russia, beyond the understanding of Israel's positions, is on board, especially when the US is losing its ability to influence Iran.”
Quick Hits:
  • Former Defense Minister, Courted by Labor Party: There'll Be No Peace, West Bank Can Hold Millions of More Settlers - 'The illusion of peace has now evaporated,' said Moshe Ya'alon, but so has 'the illusion of a Greater Land of Israel.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Still Recovering From Harvey, Texas Hit With 'Hurricane Israel' Over anti-BDS Provision - The town of Dickinson explained that it was doing so because of a new state law against boycotts of Israel and the settlements, passed earlier this year. Mayor of Dickinson says residents are angry, upset and confused that hurricane relief grants included the provision. (Haaretz)
  • ACLU Slams Houston Suburb for Withholding Hurricane Relief to Anyone Boycotting Israel - The city of Dickinson requires applicants for grants to repair homes or businesses damaged by Hurricane Harvey to refrain from boycotting Israel: 'An egregious violation of the First Amendment, reminiscent of McCarthy-era loyalty oaths.’ (Haaretz)
  • Author of Texas anti-BDS Bill Calls Aid Incident 'Misunderstanding' - 'I think this is simply a result of confusion over the implementation of a recently approved law,' said Rep. Phil King. (Haaretz+)
  • Helping Israel or Causing It Harm? In Wake of Texas anti-BDS Incident, U.S. Jewish Groups Divided Over Boycott Laws - Some are warning recent incidents are putting Israel on the opposite side of free speech. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli [religious] right-wing lawmaker attacks #MeToo campaign, saying it casts all men as rapists - Habayit Hayehudi lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich's statement, a reaction to the rape testimony of Israeli actress Orna Banai, draws widespread criticism on social media. (Haaretz)
  • MKs Bitan and Moalem propose canceling the Disengagement Law from northern Samaria (West Bank) - MK David Bitan (Likud and Shuli Muealem (Habayit Hayehudi) hope that the re-establishment of the settlements of Ganim, Kadim, Homesh and Sa-Nur will be approved by a vote to be held on the subject by the ministerial committee. Chairman of Habayit Hayehudi party: "There was no justification for the expulsion.” (Maariv and Ynet)
  • Simcha Goldin: "The government is nurturing Yahya Sinwar, he gets what he wants" - The father of the soldier (who was killed in Gaza and whose body is being held for a prisoner exchange)  referred to Bloom's appointment as coordinator for the POWs and MIAs and told of their first conversation. "I wish him luck, I told him, ‘You don’t have even one day of grace.’” (Maariv)
  • As academic year begins, college lecturers go on strike - Senior lecturers in 17 public colleges say while they get paid the same as their university counterparts, they work almost double the hours; they demand equal conditions to those of university lecturers; junior staff at Beit Berl also on strike, over employment agreement yet to be approved. (Ynet)
  • Vitriolic protest erupts against Israel at Russian conference - During youth conference in resort city of Sochi, Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese participants burn Israeli flag, chant 'death to Israel, death to Jews' while refusing to speak to Israeli delegation; 'When the Arabs saw the Israelis, they simply left the room. They said it was a war crime to sit with Israelis.'  (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Dozens of Israeli army veterans of Six-Day War roughed up trying to bring Torah scrolls to Western Wall - After the Torah scrolls were confiscated, the former paratroopers – all in their seventies – joined Women of the Wall for a mixed-gender prayer service outside the women’s section of the wall. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli Justice Minister Using External Consultant to Dictate State's Positions on Settlements - Every document on the subject of settlements must pass through lawyer Amir Fisher, a right-wing activist who is not actually part ofthe State Prosecutor's Office. (Haaretz+)
  • Ashrawi: Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank amounts to war crimes - Following announcements that Israel had advanced plans for nearly 3,000 illegal settlement units in the occupied West Bank, PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi strongly denounced the move as a “blatant disregard for the two-state solution.” (Maan)
  • Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian teen sailing off Gaza coast - Witnesses told Ma’an that the 19-year-old, whose identity remained unknown, was sailing off the coast of Beit Lahiya when Israeli naval forces opened fire on the teen’s boat. (Maan)
  • **Israel Arrests Palestinian Because Facebook Translated 'Good Morning' to 'Attack Them' - No Arabic-speaking police officer read the post before arresting the man, who works at a construction site in a West Bank settlement. (Haaretz)
  • Palestinian arrested after stealing truck to run over IDF soldiers - After receiving reports of a stolen truck in Holon, police find 39-year-old Palestinian culprit who attempted to flee in car chase before hitting a vehicle and being arrested; during investigation, the resident of Ramallah confessed he intended to use the stolen truck to run over IDF soldiers in central Israel. (Ynet, Haaretz and Maan)
  • Israeli forces raid refugee camp, ransack homes in search of weapons - Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided and searched two houses belonging to Wael and Fadi Jawabreh looking for weapons and confiscated cell phones from both homes. No detentions were reported. (Maan)
  • West Bank Hospital Chief: Israeli Army Fired Tear Gas Into Compound - Manager of Qalqilya's Darwish Nazzal Hospital says IDF chased youths into the courtyard and fired the gas. Army says canister fired hundreds of meters away. (Haaretz)
  • 12-year-old boy wounded from Hebron rock throwing attack - Palestinian caught on tape throwing large stone at children in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron; 1 child is lightly injured and rushed to Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Karem for treatement; Members of the Jewish community in Hebron react angrily to incident and claim it is the result of Palestinian incitement that happens regularly in the city. (Ynet)
  • Israeli police detain Palestinian in Old City for alleged knife possession - Israeli media reported that the youth, whose identity remained unknown, was detained for being in possession of a knife. He was reportedly transferred for interrogation (Maan)
  • Israel demolishes 2 Palestinian homes in southern Hebron hills - Israeli forces raided Halaweh village Thursday morning and demolished two houses belonging to Muhammad Younis Abu Aram and Khalil Younis Abu Aram. There is an ongoing case in Israeli courts regarding getting permits to build the two homes, but they were destroyed anyway. (Maan)
  • Largest theft attempt of past several years thwarted, 27 Palestinians arrested - 67 Palestinians illegally residing in Israel stopped in largest heist in recent history, including tens of tons of agricultural produce; 27 adults arrested for questioning, with the remaining 40 minors released home; Border Patrol confiscates the vehicles used in the theft attempt. (Ynet)
  • Haredi leader lambasts anti-draft protesters - A renowned leader of the Orthodox Jewish community slams recent anti-draft protesters, calling them 'empty and reckless' street youth who 'publicly desecrate' the Torah. (Ynet)
  • Infant shot in leg during attempted hit in (Arab-Israeli town) Qalansawe - Infant, aged 18 months, shot in leg during attempted hit on relative, who was holding him, in Qalansawe; baby was taken to Meir Hospital while the shooter has not yet been identified; shooting is another in long line of recent Qalansawe gun crime; 'Not a day goes by without shootings,' says Qalansawe resident. (Ynet)
  • Israel extends no warm welcome to Ugandan Jews, using technicality to deny visas - Interior Ministry dragging its feet, citing an unforeseen bureaucratic technicality to in effect reject their conversions to Judaism. (Haaretz)
  • Leader of American-Israeli Group Vows 'To Be More Careful' After Posting anti-Semitic Soros Image - Adam Milstein, chairman of the board of the Israeli American Council, tweeted an image of Soros atop a multi-tentacled creature strangling the globe. (Haaretz)
  • New regulations require ministers to attend war memorials - After Netanyahu pledges to rectify 'regrettable mistake' of failing to send government representative to attend Yom Kippur War memorial ceremony, new regulations put in place to ensure same mistake never repeated. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Iraqi forces complete Kirkuk province takeover after clashes with Kurds - Iraqi central gov't forces complete takeover of Kurdish-held Kirkuk province by taking Altun Kupri, last Peshmerga-held quarter; before retreating, Kurdish forces fight advancing Iraqi army; 'This is beginning of war between Kurds and Iraq," says Peshmerga commander; US calls to resolve conflict politically rather than militarily. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • 100,000 Kurds have fled Kirkuk since Iraqi takeover - In the aftermath of Iraq's seizure of Kirkuk, much of the exodus is taking shelter in cities deeper inside Kurdish territory. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Netanyahu lobbies world powers to stem Iraqi Kurd setbacks - In an effort to prevent Iraqi Kurds’ lands from being overrun by Iraqi forces, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lobbies world leaders to support Kurdistan's bid for independence. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Defying U.S., Israeli Demands on Palestinian Reconciliation, Senior Hamas Delegation Arrives in Iran - Senior Hamas official says unity agreement will not impact Hamas' military wing. With ties restored, a senior Hamas delegation led by its second-in-command Saleh al-Arouri arrives at the Iranian capital of Tehran for diplomatic discussions following years of estrangement between Hamas and Iran. (Ynet and Haaretz)
  • At Least 52 Egyptian Police Killed in Raid on Islamist Militant Hideout - By detonating explosive devices and being positioned on higher ground, Muslim Brotherhood-linked group inflicted heavy casualties on Egyptian security forces. (Haaretz)

Haredi protest leader: 'We scorn Israel'
After the fifth consecutive day of protests by ultra-Orthodox Jews against army enlistment, Rabbi David Zucker—one of the organizers of the demonstrations—attempts to explain rationale behind their anger; 'We scorn Israel in the strongest possible manner.' (Ynet reporters)
Gideon Levy & Alex Levac The West Bank terror you never hear about
Mohammed Jarara, a Palestinian policeman, is the victim of a hostile act, a casualty of terror perpetrated by three Israelis armed with stones. (Gideon Levy and Alex Levac, Haaretz+)
‘Healing Ink’: Tattoo artists cover terror victims’ scars
As part of a surprising collaboration between the Israel Museum and Artists4Israel organization, people injured in war, military service and terror attacks team up with international tattoo artists, who decorate their bodies as a way to help them recover from their physical and mental scars. (Gil Korotki, Yedioth/Ynet)

Zionism Doesn’t Need 'Divine Promise' to Justify Jewish Nation-state (Shaul Arieli, Haaretz+) By relying on faith-based arguments devoid of any diplomatic or legal validity, Israeli politicians are undermining the solid foundations of the Zionist narrative, which have been accepted by the international community for a century.
Fatah-Hamas reconciliation: Both a challenge and an opportunity (Ami Ayalon, Gilead Sher and Orni Petruschka, Yedioth/Ynet)  The Cairo agreement presents a challenge not only to the Palestinian leadership and society, but also Israeli society and government, the Egyptian-led Arab world and the entire international community. This opportunity should be seized by anyone interested in a permanent agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
Netanyahu's government is dragging us to war (Major-General (res.) Amiram Levin, Yedioth/Ynet) The prime minister is giving in to the radicals in his government and focusing on public relations instead of statesmanship. Anywhere else, this could end peacefully, but in Israel it could result in an unnecessary war. The inexperience in matters of security, the lack of diplomatic discretion and the absence of a political balance, alongside arrogance and a disregard of our enemies, are a recipe for disaster.
Balfour Declaration's Legacy Is Toxic for Both Israelis and Palestinians (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz) One short letter looms large in the Israel-Palestine conflict's mythology. But it's just that: A myth, but also a bluff, a betrayal and a gift to propagandists on both sides.
Many on the left wondered this week what a Zionist like Avi Gabbay was doing in the Zionist Camp faction (Prof. Arieh Eldad, Maariv) Some of the party's leaders were shocked: Maybe a few Likudniks will be persuaded to vote for him, but leftists will vote Meretz, the only party that insists on its right to transfer Jews.
Israel's Labor Leader Is the True Face of the Right (Daniel Blatman, Haaretz+) The moment Avi Gabbay declared that his party will effectively boycott 20 percent of Israeli's citizens, he lost the legitimacy to present himself as the Labor Party's leader.
If this is the Left’s leader, why not just vote for the Right? (Aviad Kleinberg, Yedioth/Ynet) Centrist politicians have been trying to lure right-wing voters for years, but Avi Gabbay’s recent comments crossed a certain line. Somehow, the Labor leader’s shift to the right seems kind of sincere and a bit too resolved.
A pardon for all of us (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) Just like God sent Noah a spirit of reconciliation after the great flood, so must the president pardon Hebron shooter Elor Azaria, who did not receive a fair trial.
Conceptiyahu (Amir Oren, Haaretz+) Netanyahu is unique in personifying three types that coexist at the Prime Minister's Residence in one person: the millionebbish, the narcissist addict and the Conceptiyahu.
Playing with fire (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom)
As the Syrian civil war wanes, regional actors are outlining their interests in the Middle East. Syria and Hezbollah are looking to recover, Russia seeks hegemony and Iran wants to tighten its regional grip. It is up to Israel to draw clear red lines.
Privatizing the Prosecution (Haaretz Editorial) The person drafting Israel's response to High Court petitions on settlements is a right-wing activist and outside consultant hired by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.
Israel needs to make it clear that the landlord here can go crazy sometimes (Lior Ackerman, Maariv) Perhaps a harsher and more severe response than expected from Syria on the northern border will create a shock on the other side and convey a more decisive message that will increase Israeli deterrence.
Israel has no intention of quitting UNESCO, so why threaten? (Sever Plocker, Yedioth/Ynet) Israel has never withdrawn from an international organization, regardless of its resolutions. It didn’t pull out or even consider pulling out of the UN following the shameful resolution comparing Zionism to racism. Talking about an Israeli withdrawal is thus foolish, and we only stand to lose from such a move.
In Israel, Persecuting the Messenger (Friday Haaretz Editorial) Next week two initiatives will be launched in the Knesset aimed at silencing opponents of the occupation.
Unsettled under the Trump administration (Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom) Several "quality" settlement housing construction plans were approved this week, but the numbers are a far cry from the thousands of homes that were expected to go up under a new, friendly U.S. administration. Now some say little has changed since Obama.
#AnaKaman (#MeToo) (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) The next global social media campaign should bring the stories of Palestinian women who live (or were killed) under the Israeli occupation.
BDS can actually be sued for damages (Benjamin Leventhal, Ynet) While Israeli courts have yet to render judgment in cases based on the boycott act, Israeli-based businesses, academics and cultural figures suffering damages from boycotts against Israel can sue the BDS Movement under civil law.
Mind-blowing EU chutzpah (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom)
The EU has graduated from passive diplomatic and financial assistance to the Palestinians to subversive illegal construction. The intent is to erode Israeli control of Area C and east Jerusalem while promoting Palestinian territorial continuity.
Rabin, Ze’evi, What’s the Difference (Ravit Hecht, Haaretz+) The Israeli right's attempt to equate the lives, and deaths, of Yitzhak Rabin and Rehavam Ze'evi are part of a broader effort to lend legitimacy to unacceptable extremist ideologies.
The self-destruction mechanism of terror (Isaac Ben-Israel, Yedioth/Ynet) Less than four years after its official establishment, ISIS seems to be approaching its end. How did it happen? Once terror crosses a certain line, it sets in motion a self-destruction mechanism and undermines its own goal. The organization’s intimidation efforts were so successful, that the entire world teamed up to destroy it.
The Israeli Peace Camp’s Algorithms (Gadi Taub, Haaretz+) The assumption that Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah movement seek the end of what we call the ‘occupation’ may well be baseless.
An Israeli in Egypt: Fear and lotioning in Sinai (Shir Reuven, Haaretz+) After crossing the desolate border between Egypt and Israel, I met a tall Egyptian in a fine suit with five different kinds of hash.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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