News Nosh 10.26.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday October 26, 2017
Quote of the day:
"This is a reckless step of a government that seems to be determined to ruin the possibility for a two-state solution. If passed, this bill will constitute a de facto annexation and a clear step toward a de jure annexation."
--Peace Now on the bill seeking to annex key - and distant - settlements to Jerusalem.*

Front Page:
  • In coalition, advancing legislation that will prevent opening of supermarkets on Sabbath
  • More deals of church revealed, and the mystery increases
  • Yitzhak Molcho, the Prime Minister’s envoy, resigned from his job in the wake of the appeal to the High Court
  • “Take me and it will all flow smoothly”: Two people control technological acquisitions in the Defense Ministry
  • Rabbinical court candidates will be required to declare that they are not divorce (get) refusers
  • UN: 75% of the population of the world suffers from freedom of religion
  • (Yigal) Amir legacy // Yossi Klein
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • “Bibi Law 2”
  • Yair Netanyahu: I will never enter politics in my life
  • Israeli companies that the UN will boycott
  • The goat and the elephant // Sima Kadmon
  • They didn’t deal with the problems, didn’t fix them and didn’t supervise - State Comptroller report on faults with long-term care insurance
  • #MeToo - AFter 40 years, former beauty queen Ronit Rinat reveals she was raped resulting in a pregnancy
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • “The is nothing to legally prevent a law against police making indictment recommendations”
  • The bridges glitch - (State Comptroller report found that) 145 are in a “severe’ condition, 417 are “really terrible”
  • Exclusive: Police worried: Almost half the police officers are having difficulty concentrating
  • The strange incident of the Iraqi-Shiite family stuck on the Kinneret beach
  • MK Kish vs. Knesset legal advisor Yinon: “The rule of the legal advisors is evil”
  • Adv. Molcho, Netanyahu’s state envoy, resigns from his position
  • Demand: Sanctions against countries that support giving a prize to the father of the terrorist from Armon Hanatziv”

News Summary:
So Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s associates have replaced the highly controversial ’French Law’ (‘Bibi Law #1’) with the ‘Police Law’ (‘Bibi Law #2’), Netanyahu’s state envoy, Yitzhak Molcho resigned the day before the High Court was supposed to discuss whether his employment was a conflict of interest, the UN has boycotted dozens of Israeli companies operating in the West Bank and today, Chief Justice Miriam Naor will be replaced by Justice Esther Hayut making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

After the bill prohibiting investigating a prime minister ran into opposition within the coalition, Netanyahu’s associates are promoting a new bill, which will prohibit police from recommending indicting someone at the end of an investigation. The police are furious and the Attorney General has expressed reservations (Maariv). But according to Yedioth, no opposition to the bill is expected from within the coalition. However, Maariv reported that sources in the coalition say they will support the Police Law - only if it’s implementation begins in the future, 2020, - and that it won’t apply to Netanyahu. The assessment is that Netanyahu wants to move to elections and start campaigning - without a police recommendation for indicting him.

Political commentators Sima Kadmon (Yedioth) and Yanir Kozin (Maariv) believe that the French Law was just a spin and that all along Netanyahu planned to propose the Police Law, which is far more important to him. Kozin writes: “The reason is simple. In the present situation, when the investigation is completed and the materials are submitted to the State Prosecutor's Office, the police write a statement stating ‘an evidentiary basis has been found in the suspicions.’ But if [the Police bill] is approved it will also apply retroactively. This means that at the end of the prime minister's investigations, the police will not be able to say a word beyond ‘we have finished investigating.’ Such a situation, of course, has political implications. The prime minister will not have to deal with the issue of whether to resign in the event that the police find evidence to prosecute him. Kadmon writes that if the bill is passed, “it will prevent the public from knowing the severity of the allegations against him…Netanyahu will achieve something greater than peace: time.”
Quick Hits:
  • *Israeli Ministers Set to Vote on Annexing West Bank Settlements to Jerusalem - Backed by Netanyahu, bill to be voted on Sunday would include settlements of Ma'aleh Adumim, Gush Etzion, Efrat, Beitar Illit and Givat Ze'ev under Jerusalem's municipal jurisdiction, but not officially annexed to Israel. Peace Now: "This is a reckless step of a government that seems to be determined to ruin the possibility for a two-state solution. If passed, this bill will constitute a de facto annexation and a clear step toward a de jure annexation."
  • (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Israel approves major settlement expansion in Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem - Zoning board issues building permits for 176 new homes in Nof Zion, a Jewish settlement in the heart of the Palestinian neighborhood of Jabal Mukkaber. Abbas calls on Washington to intervene. (Haaretz)
  • Jerusalem to Demolish 5 Buildings After Arab Residents Lose Appeal - Residents of Kafr Aqab say the city has denied their requests for building permits, forcing them to build without them. (Haaretz)
  • PM sanctions Temple Mount visit by MK Glick for his son's wedding - In a rare move, MK Yehuda Glick (Likud) was permitted to visit the site with his son to celebrate his upcoming marriage—the first approved request to visit the site since MKs were prohibited from doing so two years ago. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Netanyahu pledges NIS 800m to bolster West Bank security - Day after settler leaders and members of families who have lost relatives to West Bank terror attacks pitch tent outside PM's Residence campaigning for tighter security provisions, Netanyahu holds meeting, promising to earmark huge sum in upcoming budget; 'We won't move from here until the budget passes.' (Yedioth/Ynet and Haaretz+)
  • From the West Bank to London The Palestinian Plan to Protest the Balfour Declaration's 100th Anniversary - The Palestinian Authority is planning a major demonstration in London and will request the British government to recognize the State of Palestine. (Haaretz+)
  • Graffiti calling Israeli president a Nazi spray-painted on school - Vandals spray-painted 'Rivlin Nazi convert' and 'Rivlin [is an] abomination in a holy place' at Bnei Brak school, which the Israeli president visited two months ago. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • Minister: High Court won't decide future of settlement enterprise - The Justice Ministry "won't allow left-wing organizations to set facts on the ground by dragging the court into the political sphere," Ayelet Shaked says • "Government wants to hit the gas, the judiciary keeps hitting the brakes," housing minister says. (Israel Hayom)
  • Police spokeswoman: No difficulty coordinating time with PM for questioning - Police Spokeswoman Lapidot rejects reports that the PMO was 'stalling for time' when asked to set date for investigators to question Netanyahu; 'We need to remember that the prime minister is a busy man with a country to run,' she says. (Ynet)
  • Today, a relative of the first Arab ‘Righteous Among the Nations’ will receive the honor on his behalf - The Egyptian doctor, Dr. Muhammad Hilmi, was recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 2013, for saving Jews in Berlin, but no member of his family has ever accepted the certificate. Now a relative is expected to accept the medal in Berlin from the Israeli ambassador to Germany, Jeremy Issacharoff. (Maariv)
  • In ironic twist, terrorist's father wins human rights award - Muhammad Alyan, whose son killed three Israelis in 2015, wins award for best international human rights attorney given by International Institute for Human Rights and Peace in France. "This is an unimaginable record moral low," Jerusalem activist says. (Israel Hayom)
  • 10 Golani Brigade soldiers were arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking and use - The investigation began following a complaint by their commanders to the MPCID: One soldier was arrested for several months on dangerous drugs. IDF Spokesperson: "We see the acts as severe and will act with full determination.” (Maariv)
  • Mike Pence to Visit Israel, Hold Talks With Netanyahu, Abbas - U.S. Vice President Pence to hold talks in Egypt too as part of bid to move Middle East peace forward. (Haaretz)
  • Israel Military Relinquishes Tel Aviv, Haifa Sites for Public Use - In exchange for an estimated 1 billion shekels ($286 million), former IDF sites are earmarked for tourist facilities, commercial use and residential projects. (Haaretz)
  • Haredim launch counter-campaign against radical IDF haters - Hitting back against radical factions opposing IDF Conscription Law by staging repeated protests and targeting IDF soldiers, moderate Haredim wage shaming campaign against prominent members, calling on public to boycott their stores; 'This is the man who kept you waiting in traffic for six hours.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Legendary Israeli soccer referee Abraham Klein honored by FIFA Museum in Switzerland - Klein, who officiated at three World Cup tournaments, presented items from his personal collection to the museum. (Haaretz)
  • Germany probes Kuwait Airlines for rejecting Israeli passengers - Transport Minister orders investigation after Israeli-Arab claims he was refused boarding after presenting his Israeli passport; 'If you want to boycott Israel, give me your USB flash drives, your phones, your safe-driving cars,' he says in viral video. (Ynet)
  • Israeli minister urges Italy to crack down on racism after anti-Semitic soccer scandal - Miri Regev called the display of Lazio supporters littering a stadium with images of Anne Frank wearing a jersey of city rival Roma 'despicable.’ (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Proposed Bridge Between Saudi Arabia and Egypt Will Likely Need Israeli Approval - Saudi Arabia's crown prince announced a 10,230 square mile free enterprise zone, known as NEOM, which will focus on industries including energy and water, biotechnology, food, advanced manufacturing. (Haaretz)
  • U.S. Unanimously Approves New Sanctions on Hezbollah in Bid to Rein in Iran - Congress will vote Thursday on another bill, to impose additional sanctions on Iran related to its ballistic missiles program. (Agencies, Haaretz)

The New Face of Israel’s Arms Exporters
The NSO Group, founded by graduates of Israel’s prestigious military intelligence unit, sells surveillance tools to governments around the world – which occasionally use them for political persecution. (Nathan Lipson, Haaretz)
Smuggled Sperm Allows Palestinian Prisoners to Become Fathers
A Palestinian prisoner serving a 21-year sentence recently became a father for the third time even though he had not seen his wife in a year. "Every attempt at illegal smuggling is dealt with by a disciplinary officer," the Israel Prison Service said. (Dima Abumaria, MediaLine/Maariv)

Where Is the Outrage Over Netanyahu's Crusade for Righteousness? (Dan Margalit, Haaretz) The ardor with which Netanyahu’s henchmen are pursuing a bill to exempt him from investigation for fraud and bribery is evident of this government's moral rot.
What benefit did the public derive from the speeches of Rivlin and Netanyahu? (Shmuel Rosner, Maariv) The chance that the prime minister will find listeners among people who are not his supporters - have only dropped: the president's chances of winning the attention of the audiences he wants to bring back to stateliness - only dropped.
Proposed Powers for Israel's Defense Minister Befit a Totalitarian State (Haaretz Editorial) Allowing the defense minister to impose any kind of limitation on a citizen if there's a 'reasonable possibility' he may harm state security threatens our democracy.
Hezbollah's leader in the Golan exposed
(Yossi Yehoshua, Yedioth/Ynet) Marked by Israel and entrusted by Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah in charge of the Syrian Golan Heights, Munir Ali Na'im Shaiti—nicknamed Haj Hashem—could be the man who shapes the next war on Israel's northern border.
Hopelessly Criminalizing BDS Only Augments Its Impact (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) Dickinson’s 20,000 inhabitants, who had probably never heard of Israel, are now new and ardent supporters of the movement to boycott it.
(Outgoing chief justice Miriam) Naor guarded the court despite (Justice Minister) Shaked's attempts to erode its power (Dr. Yechiel Gutman, Maariv) During her tenure in the High Court, quite a number of laws were annulled (the Third House Taxation Law, the Infiltrators Law, etc.), and decisive rulings were passed such as the evacuation of Amona (outpost settlement).
The Balfour Declaration Promised Lebanon and Jordan to the Jews, Too (Benjamin Pogrund, Haaretz+) As the First World War raged, the imperial powers raced to recognize Jewish self-determination. France put out its pro-Zionist statement five months before Balfour, while Britain worried that enemy Germany would also pre-empt it.
The enemy of my enemy (Isi Leibler, Israel Hayom) Most European far-right parties once had active fascist support, but if they expel their anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers, they may be friendlier than parties on the Left.
Moshe Arens, the Likable Orientalist (Emilie Moatti, Haaretz) It’s not the occupation that’s keeping me and my friends awake at night, but thoughts about your families who turned us into slaves.
Israel’s next challenge: Precision-guided missiles in Gaza (Roi Kais, Ynet) As part of its expansion in the region, Iran plans to produce upgraded rockets in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. In light of the Iranians' warming relations with Hamas, Israeli defense officials believe they will seek to produce accurate missiles in the strip as well. Meanwhile, Hezbollah already has its eyes set on the day after the war in Syria.
School Field Trips That Whitewash the Occupation (Or Kashti, Haaretz) School trips are advancing a political agenda. It’s time to keep the kids at home.
A clear warning shot (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) Until now, Munir Shaito has lived in the shadows: Few knew he was Hezbollah's commander in southern Syria. Revealing his identity means that his activities are now transparent to Israel and that he is firmly in the IDF's crosshairs.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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