News Nosh 11.20.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday, November 20, 2017
Quote of the day:
"It is doubtful that there was such a clear confrontation between the Chief of Staff and the Defense Minister in the history of the state, and on such an important issue as the purity of arms and the values of the IDF."
--Maariv analyst Yossi Melman comments on how Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman responded to the decision of President Reuven Rivlin not to pardon the 'Shooting Soldier from Hebron.'*

You Must Be Kidding Number: 
--The amount of shekels that settlement schools received more than schools inside of Israel.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Facing the investigators - For the 6th time, the commander of the Anti-Fraud Unit of the police and his men to the Prime Minister’s Residence
  • David Shimron received an offer to become a state witness
  • President under attack (because he did not pardon Elor Azariya)
  • The cry of the children - Despite declaration of Health Minister that children with SMA will get compassionate treatment,  doctors did not hear about it
  • Under house arrest: Alon Castiel (entrepeneur suspected of rape and sexual assault) is expecting a daughter
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • (Police strategic advisor) Horev resigned, the contact with the police will continue - Following ‘Israel Hayom’ articles: ‘the whisperer to the police commissioner’ returns to the shadows
  • The 6th questioning (of Netanyahu)
  • “Disappointed with the decision of the President against a pardon (for Elor Azaria)
  • More than half of the country suffers from being overweight or fat
  • The recordings - and the storm in the rabbinical courts
  • On the end of the era of free love // Galit Distel-Atabrian
  • On the school principal, and on refusing the draft // Ram Cohen
  • On (General Ofer Winter), between an IDF rock and a religious-nationalist hard place // Amnon Lord

News Summary:
Three men topped today’s news in the Hebrew newspapers: President Reuven Rivlin, who was attacked on social media networks by the right-wing for rejecting the pardon request of soldier Elor Azaria (who extrajudicially killed an already injured and prone Palestinian assailant), Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who was interrogated for a sixth time for four hours as police tried to ascertain whether he promoted Arnon Milchan’s business interests in exchange for lavish gifts for his family (his wife, Sara, reportedly told police she never asked for the champagne, and his cousin and personal lawyer, David Shimron, reportedly refused a police offer to become a state witness) and police advisor Lior Horev, who resigned and in a letter accused Netanyahu and his administration of trying to restrict the freedom and power of the police. Horev has been “butting heads" with Netanyahu and his administration over the criminal investigations against Netanyahu.

Language:Iinterestingly, in the article about President Rivlin not pardoning Elor Azaria, Haaretz reporter Jonathan Lis referred to the Palestinian assailant as a 'terrorist,' which that for the most part Haaretz has avoided since the assailant, Abdelfattah Al-Sharif, attacked soldiers and not civilians. Haaretz's former military correspondent, Gili Cohen, and its senior military analyst, Amos Harel, always referred to Al-Sharif as either an 'assailant' or an 'attacker.'

In diplomacy, Energy Minister Steinitz told Army Radio that Israel has had covert contacts with Saudi Arabia amid common concerns over Iran and Netanyahu told his cabinet that he 'doesn't see anything concrete' in Trump’s reported peace plan, but that in any case, Israel's security interests will be the deciding factor.
Quick Hits:
  • **Israeli government allocates disproportionate aid to settlements, study finds - Largesse encompasses state-initiated building, local budgets, schools and public transportation. (Haaretz)
  • Court orders Palestinian Authority, terrorists to pay $17 million for deadly 2001 attack - Jerusalem District Court Judge Moshe Yair Drori says Palestinian Authority must pay 40 percent of damages to families of three Israeli victims of shooting ambush on road near Jerusalem in 2001, that killed three Israelis during second intifada. [NOTE: Earlier this year, the same judge ruled that the Palestinian Authority had to pay compensation to Arab Israelis and Palestinians whom the Palestinian security forces had tortured for collaborating with Israel.] (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Tensions mount as IDF fires second 'warning shot' at Syrian outpost - Day after IDF tanks fire on Syrian military position after spotting construction work along the border in violation of a 1974 UN ceasefire agreement, tanks go into action again in the northern Golan. (Ynet)
  • Lieberman to Shift Responsibility for Army Radio From IDF to Defense Ministry - Israeli military chief of staff recommended the shift due to economic considerations, but is said to be uncomfortable with the extent to which the military station deals with political issues. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel approves plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda or jail, and to close Holot detention center - Netanyahu says that after removing 20,000 'infiltrators' from Israel, it was time for the next stage, which he described as 'increased removal.’ (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Israel to Pay Rwanda $5,000 for Every Deported Asylum Seeker It Takes In - In addition to the payment to the Rwandan government, which was first reported by Channel 10 and confirmed by Haaretz, Israel will continue to pay asylum seekers $3,500 and their airfare if they leave voluntarily. (Haaretz)
  • UN refugee agency expresses concern at Israel's expulsion of African asylum seekers - UN High Commissioner for Refugees calls Israel's forced relocation of Eritreans and Sudanese to third African country controversial. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel Holding Egyptian Convict in Security Prison - One Year After His Sentence Expired - Ahmad Suwarka was arrested in March 2009 and charged with colluding with Hamas on planning an attack or capturing a soldier. Now Israel and Egypt are blaming each other for bureaucratic snafus preventing his release to Egypt. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel Deporting Swedish Holocaust Survivor's Daughter - Because Her Father Allegedly Converted - Rebecca Floer's attempts to immigrate were also rejected on the grounds of her alleged membership in a missionary organization. She says she was baptized as a child but left the church and considers herself Jewish. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli Journalists Could Face Year in Jail for Publishing Material From Police Probes - Controversial new clause in proposed law that seeks to prevent police from making recommendations public in criminal cases now also targeting media. (Haaretz+)
  • Jerusalem Fast-tracks Planned Cable Car to Western Wall Despite Criticism - 73 cars, 3,000 passengers per hour: Opponents fear proposal to alleviate Old City traffic would be 'Disneyland-like,' subvert public interest in favor of settlers. (Haaretz+)
  • Bill aims to facilitate lawsuits against NGOs that malign IDF - Bill introduced by Likud MK Yoav Kisch after police conclude that the spokesman for NGO Breaking the Silence  fabricated a story of IDF misdeeds • Under current legislation, only attorney general has the authority to indict public body over defamation. (Israel Hayom)
  • Police raid gov't company offices in sub probe - Cops arrive with a search warrant at Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline offices Sunday morning where key suspect in the submarine investigation, David Sharan, who once served as Netanyahu’s chief of staff, also acted as a company secretary; police spend hours searching premises, scouring Sharan's computers. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Dozens of ultra-Orthodox arrested for protesting jail terms given to Israeli army deserters - Hundreds from extremist Jerusalem faction demonstrate against jail sentences handed out to 11 of their members for deserting. (Haaretz+ and Ynet
  • Israeli police charge three protesters for their actions during evacuation of illegal West Bank outpost - Police don't plan to file many indictments related to the February 2017 evacuation of Amona, despite the dozens of personnel wounded during clashes - much of which was documented in video currently in police possession. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli soldier wounded by errant gunfire from Sinai - Soldier taken to hospital for treatment. Fire was likely unintended spillover from Sinai fighting. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Migrants may bring food into detention facility, but can't cook, Israel's top court rules - The ruling comes in response to a petition by an asylum seeker from Sudan and several NGOs. (Haaretz+)
  • Bank of Israel issues banknotes featuring portraits of women - Female poets Rachel Bluwstein, Leah Goldberg to join male poets Nathan Alterman, Shaul Tchernichovsky on new Israeli currency. Bills printed in different sizes to benefit the blind • Bank of Israel chief to present notes to president in festive ceremony. (Israel Hayom)
  • U.S. General Says Trump Order for Nuclear Strike Can Be Refused - Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of Strategic Command, told a panel at the Halifax International Security Forum on Saturday that he and Trump have had conversations about such a scenario and that he would tell Trump he couldn't carry out an illegal strike. (Agencies, Bloomberg and Maariv)
  • Iran rebukes France not to interfere in its missile program - After French President Emmanuel Macron says Tehran should be less aggressive in Mideast and clarify its ballistic missile strategy, senior Iranian official asks: "Who is he at all to interfere?" Macron: Iran misunderstands France's "balanced" position. (Agencies,Israel Hayom)
  • US: 'The next chemical weapons attack is on your head'; Russia again blocks UN inquiry into Syria chemical attacks - Rival U.S. and Russian resolutions on Syria defeated at U.N. Security Council. U.S. Ambassador to U.N. Nikki Haley slams Russian demands for major changes to operations of expert body tasked with determining who is responsible for chemical attacks. (Israel Hayom and Haaretz)
  • Turkish, Russian and Iranian ministers hold talks on Syria - Foreign Ministers Mevlut Cavusoglu of Turkey, Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran and Sergey Lavrov of Russia hold preparatory talks ahead of Nov. 22 summit by the leaders of the three guarantor countries. Talks have achieved positive results, Cavusoglu says. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Saudi Arabia and Arab allies hold emergency meeting in Cairo on confronting Iran, Hezbollah - 'Stopping them requires joint Arab policy,' says Arab League Assistant Secretary, adding that meeting would send 'strong message' to Iran. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Saudis recall ambassador to Germany over comment about Lebanon involvement - German FM said Europe 'could not tolerate the adventurism' after meeting with Lebanese counterpart. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • At least 17 killed in stampede during aid distribution in Morocco - All of the victims were women, local news reports. (Agencies, Haaretz)

Meet the West Bank Settlements' New Real Estate Baron
He loves big jeeps and luxurious living, but Zeev Epshtein believes he’s doing holy work developing Jewish neighborhoods in the West Bank. (Shuki Sadeh, Haaretz+)
Did David and Solomon's United Monarchy Exist? Vast Ancient Mining Operation May Hold Answers
Archaeology has provided precious little evidence for the biblical account of a powerful Judaic kingdom 3,000 years ago, but the sheer extent of copper mining in Timna, when Egypt was in a state of collapse, is otherwise hard to explain. (Philippe Bohstrom, Haaretz+)
How a BDS panel was canceled - then reinstated - at religion scholars' annual meeting
Protests, angry fall-outs and charges of online harassment at the American Academy of Religion’s annual meeting in Boston - a sign of just how contentious BDS has become in academia. (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+)
Letter to the Editor: The Genesis Prize Foundation Responds. (Haaretz)
Leader of Israel's Labor Party is seriously damaging the left (Rami Livni, Haaretz+) Anyone who questions the validity of the Jewish narrative of the Israeli left doesn’t understand anything about the political history of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.
*His short fuse jumped: Lieberman behaved like a politician in the Azaria affair and not as defense minister (Yossi Melman, Maariv) It is doubtful that there was such a clear confrontation between the chief of staff and the defense minister in the history of the state, and on such an important issue as the purity of arms and the values of the IDF. Lieberman lost in all respects…If Lieberman were to show responsibility, and had he understood that his interest as defense minister is to bring down this sad affair, which is rupturing Israeli society because of unprecedented political involvement on the right-wing, he would have issued a completely different message. In such a statement, he was expected to express his support and appreciation for the president, who takes into consideration the position of the chief of staff and calls for an end to the issue that does not contribute, neither to the IDF nor to society, and ultimately not to Lieberman.
Congratulations, Another Arab Ghetto in Israel Is Born (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) After 70 years, the state is building its first Arab city, whose population density will be 1.5 times that of claustrophobic Tel Aviv.
IDF chief’s Saudi interview: A gesture from Riyadh (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) The rare and unusual interview Gadi Eisenkot gave a Saudi news website was part of an ongoing process to prepare the Saudi public opinion for bringing the secret relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia out into the open by stressing the interests shared by the two countries, including security cooperation.
Netanyahu's Unforgivable Scuffle With Liberal American Jews (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Lack of outrage at the manhandling of Reform leader Rick Jacobs at the Western Wall shows how quickly one gets used to an ongoing disaster.
There is a limit: It is quite possible that Avi Gabbay reached the maximum point to which the Labor party could be stretched (Dr. Revital Amiran, Maariv) It seems that the party chairman is also beginning to understand that this is the stage to keep the borders of the camp on the left, just before the number of voters from the Labor Party abandoning it will be too large.
Israel must reexamine why northern Samaria was included in the 2005 disengagement (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) What rationale or logic caused Ariel Sharon, the architect and patron of much of the Israeli settlements beyond the 1949 armistice lines, to reverse course and decide on the disengagement plan?
The strategic interests behind Eisenkot’s Saudi interview (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) The IDF chief of staff’s rare interview to a Saudi news website strengthens and confirms Saudi Arabia’s claims against Iran. Israel’s interests are both security-related and diplomatic and have to do with the Saudi involvement in the Trump administration’s Mideast peace initiative.
Politically Incorrect in Palestine (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Why don't BDS activists and the Palestinian Agriculture Ministry remove from the shelves products made in the settlement Tekoa?
The old agreement that will keep Iran away from Israeli border (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Why is the State of Israel disrupting the Syrian army’s efforts to defend Druze village of Hader, which Israel itself has vowed to protect? Because Syrians are building posts within the Golan Heights buffer zone in violation of 1974 Disengagement Agreement, which is seen today an important deterring and legal tool against Iran and Hezbollah.
Making friends with the enemy (Yaakov Ahimeir, Israel Hayom) Israel fell in love with a bitter enemy 40 years ago when Egyptian President Anwar Sadat visited. The resulting cold peace leaves much to be desired, but Egypt is an important regional partner.
Israel's ultra-Orthodox and Netanyahu vs. the public (Haaretz Editorial) Two recent legal moves demonstrate an ultra-Orthodox appetite that will never be satisfied and a prime minister who is prepared to do their bidding to assure his political survival.
The free world is now divided into two camps, and Israel is following Trump's (Uri Savir, Maariv) For the United States, Trump may be a passing episode that will end in 2020. But for the citizens of Israel, the day is approaching when they will have to decide which part of the family of nations it will belong.
Israeli army is losing too many talented, experienced senior officers (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Israel's most serious security challenge will likely be in the north, where it will not only face veteran Iranian officers, but also a new generation of Hezbollah commanders.
Auschwitz Responds: We Reject Accusations We Downplay Jews' Suffering Due to 'Nationalist Bias' (Bartosz Bartyzel, Haaretz+) We keep far away from political disputes: Our visitors are presented with the fate of all groups of Auschwitz victims – including, but not exclusively, Jews.

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