News Nosh 12.11.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday December 11, 2017

You Must Be Kidding: 
“They should understand that they are not wanted here, they are not part of us...(They) have no connection to this country.”
--Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said about the Arab-Israeli citizens who live in the Wadi Ara region, where a few dozen residents protested this week against the Trump Declaration by throwing stones at police cars and buses.**
Quote of the day:
"Perhaps the only good thing that can emerge from the various boycott laws that now seek to impose prison sentences for calling for a boycott is that it will finally be possible to imprison the corrupt and serial racist Lieberman."
--MK Esawi Freij (Meretz) said after Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Arab Israeli residents of the Wadi Ara region are not part of Israel and should be boycotted.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • “Terror tunnels - death trap for Hamas”
  • “They shouted that it’s a terrorist - I didn’t hesitate and gave him a punch”
  • Lieberman - Since when does the right-wing hate Arabs // Dror Eydar
  • Light from the past - Collector Aviram Paz exhibits pre-state menorahs
  • The dark side of psychiatry - Patient died of poisoning from dangerous psychiatric medicine because of hospital negligence
  • They took the masks off on the stage: Pictures prove - demonstrators on Saturday night waved signs supporting BDS

News Summary:
A young Palestinian stabbed and seriously injured an Israeli security guard at the entrance to the Jerusalem central bus station, Israel destroyed a Hamas tunnel that crossed into Israel and Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called for a boycott of the Arab-Israelis of Wadi Ara - and was slammed by his fellow right-wingers, making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. In diplomacy, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with French President Emmanuel Macron and the two agreed not to agree regarding the ‘Trump Declaration.'

Minutes before Israel released for publication Sunday that it destroyed a Hamas tunnel, which reached under the banana fields of Kibbutz Nirim, near the Gaza Strip border, Hamas issued a statement promising Israel ‘the coming days will prove to the enemy the magnitude of his error.’ The IDF warned Hamas that its tunnels were a 'death trap’ for the organization and commentators wrote that Israel’s new technology for locating tunnels was destroying Hamas’ most important strategic asset. (See Commentary/Analysis below.)

Strangely, the newspapers (with the exception of Haaretz) gave no analysis as to why a 24-year-old Palestinian guy from a refugee camp near Nablus came to Jerusalem and stabbed an Israeli. Almost as if it’s just something young Palestinian men do. Maariv asked how he did it and reported that the Shin Bet is looking into how he crossed checkpoints. Yedioth also noted a little about him: Yasin Abu Al-Kar’a has no ‘security background, his family is loyal to the Fatah movement, and on social media he posted a photo of Yasir Arafat and expressed opposition to the Palestinian firefighters helping Israel during the fires last year. Maariv went a bit further and noted that before he made his attack, he wrote, “Jerusalem in the heart, in the eyes and in blood.” Haaretz translated it to: “For Allah and for the honor of Al Aqsa we will shed our blood." Maariv also quoted the Police commander of Jerusalem, who said that the Police had prepared itself for attacks over the last few days. The reference was to the Palestinians’ reaction to US President Donald Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel. But the papers did not make the connection for the readers, with the exception of Haaretz’s Nir Hasson, who wrote: “The city has been on edge since US President Trump's Wednesday speech, in which he recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The Palestinians responded by declaring three days of rage.” Also MaarivOnline's version of the print article added a similar paragraph connecting between the Trump Declaration and Palestinian violence. Also interesting to note, it was civilians who stopped the knife-wielding attacker with their ‘bare hands’ (Israel Hayom), what the highly-armed and trained Israeli security forces rarely do, more often than not shooting the attacker dead. Then there is the case of Elor Azaria, who shot an assailant dead after he had already been shot and wounded and was laying prone on the ground. That case divided the country with many Israeli political leaders and average Israelis, saying it was the right thing to do because he dared attack an Israeli soldier.

**Meanwhile, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman was back in his familiar seat of attacking the Arab-Israeli citizens, who are residents of Wadi Ara. [He has long called for that piece of the country to become part of the Palestinian Authority - OH.] So yesterday, a day after a few dozen residents from Wadi Ara blocked a road and threw stones at police cars, buses and a Yedioth photographer, Lieberman said that all of the Israeli Arab residents of the Wadi Ara region “do not belong to the State of Israel" and should be boycotted. (A couple hundred other Arab-Israelis held an organized protest at the Wadi Ara junction.) The irony is that right-wingers blasted him, not because they thought that it was wrong, but because it ‘gives a weapon to those supporting the boycott of Israel for the occupation. (See Commentary/Analysis below.) Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said, "I am no less right-wing than he is. If the principle is to give up every place where there is an Arab majority, we will have to give up Jaffa." Arab members of Knesset expressed outrage. MK Esawi Freij (Meretz) said that "perhaps the only good thing that can emerge from the various boycott laws that now seek to impose prison sentences for calling for a boycott is that it will finally be possible to imprison the corrupt and serial racist Lieberman. Instead of Lieberman boycotting civilians, it is time for all Israeli citizens to boycott Lieberman…" Chairman of the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Affairs, Mohammed Barakeh, noted that "Every protest by the Arab public is considered a security incident. I have not seen (tear) gas grenades [thrown by police] at the demonstrations of the handicapped.” (Maariv)

Over a three-hour lunch in Paris yesterday, Macron told Netanyahu to give peace a chance and stop settlement construction and that Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital was a threat to peace and France opposed it. Netanyahu told Macron that Trump’s declaration was important for peace because it would bring people down to reality. The Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem would be internationalized is one of the major obstacles to peace, Netanyahu said, according to Haaretz. Today, Netanyahu is in Brussels where he’ll likely get an earful more of the same from the EU foreign ministers.
Quick Hits:
  • Ministerial Committee for Legislation confers war powers on Cabinet - In tumultuous week, ministers voted to pass bill transferring war powers from government to more exclusive Security Cabinet; PM Netanyahu asks coalition heads to send 'business as usual' message; committee will also discuss two Shabbat bills, one allowing minister to take into consideration Israel's traditions when providing Shabbat work permits—accepted in vote—and one barring opening of supermarkets on Shabbat. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • 9-year-old girl wounded in Gush Etzion rock-throwing incident - Girl lightly hurt by glass shards as rocks hit her mother's car (in West Bank); stones hurled at her infant brother hit vehicle's door. 'Stone throwing is attempted murder,' says Gush Etzion council head. (Ynet)
  • Tencent, Singulato, Cancel Visits to Israel Amid Jerusalem Travel Warning - Business delegations from China and Japan have canceled planned visits due to safety concerns following President Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (Calcalist English)
  • Israel postpones vote on thwarting Jerusalem division, as to not embarrass Trump - Voting on the law, which would place Palestinian neighborhoods under Israeli sovereignty in the event of a peace agreement, will take place after Pence's visit. (Haaretz+)
  • White House on Abbas' refusal to meet Pence: Palestinians are walking away again from dialogue - The Palestinians' refusal to meet Vice President Mike Pence means they are distancing themselves from an option to discuss the future of the region, Washington says. (Haaretz)
  • VP Pence to Speak at Knesset, Visit Western Wall During Upcoming Visit to Israel - Among the details of the trip released by the White House is a menorah lighting event by the vice president at the Western Wall and a stop at Egypt's pyramids. (Haaretz+)
  • Erdogan says Israel a 'terrorist state that murders children' - In fiery speech, Turkish president vows to use 'all means to fight' against American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, says implementation of US decision won't be easy. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Netanyahu blasts Erdogan: I won't be lectured on morality by a leader who bombs Kurds - Remarks come after Turkey's president called Israel a 'terror state.’ (Haaretz)
  • Czech president accuses 'cowardly' EU of pro-Palestinian bias over Trump's embassy move - Zeman welcomes U.S. decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, calls on Czech government to do the same. (Haaretz)
  • Australian mall magnate and Holocaust survivor Frank Lowy knighted in Britain - Lowy, 87, fought in the Israeli War of Independence before founding Westfield in Australia in the 1950s. A close friend of Ehud Olmert, both men were investigated for wrongdoing in potential sale of Bank Leumi in 2005. (Haaretz)
  • Germany presses Kuwait Airways for shunning Israeli passengers  - Kuwait Airways faces legal repercussions at home if it transports Israelis, even between foreign countries • German Transport Ministry calls for talks to discuss this "fundamentally unacceptable" practice in letter to Kuwaitis • Kuwait yet to respond. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Three Arrested in Sweden Synagogue Firebombing - A dozen masked men attacked a synagogue after a protest against Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • 'Threats and anti-Semitism Unacceptable,' Swedish FM Says After Protesters Call to Kill Jews - Margot Wallstrom, who only recently repaired ties with Israel, tweeted in response to demonstrations taking place in Sweden's Malmo following Trump's Jerusalem decision. (Agencies, Haaretz)

Arab Citizens Want to Integrate Into Israel but Refuse to Be a Trampled Minority (Jack Khoury, Haaretz+) People on the right must understand that the country's Arabs are comfortable with their Israeli citizenship but still cherish their national connection to the Palestinians.
Thoughts on Wadi Ara: How to prove to the [Jewish] Israelis that the [Arab Israeli] rioters are not representative (Meir Uziel, Maariv) The violent rioters, who throw stones, prefer Palestinian national honor over a standard of living and values of individual freedom. But if I had been an Arab from Wadi Ara, I would breaking my head now to figure out how to prove otherwise.
Israelis, Defy the Boycott of Arabs and Go Shopping in Wadi Ara (Haaretz Editorial) Lieberman’s statement that residents of Wadi Ara are 'formally citizens of Israel, but they are not part of Israel,' reflects worse on the state than residents of Wadi Ara.
Boycott on Wadi Ara - Illegitimate weapon (Shlomo Pyotrokovsky, Yedioth) What short vision there is in a call to use the boycott weapon against all the Arabs of Wadi Ara. This unsuccessful remark will turn into a weapon by the supporters of the boycott on Israel.
Lieberman is wrong - Oil for the hooligans’ bonfire (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth) A boycott on the residents of Wadi Ara is the greatest victory for the supporters of (leader of Northern Branch of Islamic Movement in Israel) Raed Salah and (MK) Hanan Zouebi. Because that’s exactly what they want. More hate and more hostility between Jews and Arabs. It’s worthwhile to remember that despite the deep political dispute, most of the Arabs of Israel were and remain loyal citizens to the state, even without a declaration of loyalty.
Why Israelis must keep protesting (even if they're oblivious to the occupation) (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Sure, the demonstrators in Tel Aviv aren’t rushing to join anti-occupation groups, but taking to the streets opposing the erosion of democracy for Jews is still important.
The European Union is indeed friendly to Israel, but it is interested in a chance to resolve the conflict (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) If in his talks in Paris and Brussels Netanyahu asks the representatives of European countries to follow in the footsteps of the president of the United States to declare their recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to transfer their embassies to the city, then restraint and politeness will not stop their rejection (of his request).
Netanyahu Ought to Listen, Not Just Preach, to EU Ministers (David Stavrou, Haaretz+) Despite going out of fashion, the two-state solution is the only solution and the only world leaders who believe in it sit in Brussels, not Washington or Kigali.
You Really Blew It on Jerusalem, America (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) Everyone knew it wasn't true, but by losing its own facade of neutrality, the U.S. has lost a strategic asset on the world stage.
Truman, Kennedy and Trump (Prof. Abraham Ben-Zvi, Israel Hayom) By defying top diplomatic and defense echelons to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, U.S. President Donald Trump joins a very short list of U.S. leaders who managed to go against ingrained and rigid thinking.
Recognition of Jerusalem Is Just Trump's Trinket for Netanyahu (Tzvia Greenfield, Haaretz+) Despite U.S. recognition of the city as Israel's capital, Netanyahu's government will likely have to enter painful peace negotiations soon.
Israel's former ambassador to Jordan: With respect, Prince Hassan, you're wrong on Trump ( Oded Eran, Haaretz) Trump's Jerusalem declaration did not violate any U.N. resolutions, nor did it change longstanding U.S. policy. It simply stated facts. Indeed, even Jordanian ambassadors present their credentials to Israel's president – in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, a Well-known Fact (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) Those who refuse to recognize Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people won't acknowledge that Jerusalem is the capital of the country they'd like to wish out of existence. 
Hamas is in strategic distress, but it is too early to be soothed (Yossi Melman, Maariv) The underground barrier and IDF technology are removing the strategic tunnel weapons from the organization, and its political and economic situation is not good. But it is precisely against this background that it is difficult to know how it will respond.
Israel's Tunnel-busting Breakthrough Is Robbing Hamas of Its Strategic Weapon (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) The destruction of a second attack tunnel into Israel presents the Gaza group with a dilemma: Scrap the tunnel project or rush to use unlocated ones.
Hamas is playing with fire (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh's calls for another intifada were likely not meant for Gazans, but could still lead to a combustible tit-for-tat with Israel.
Palestinians not gung-ho for 3rd intifada (Oded Granot, Israel Hayom) Neither the Palestinian Authority nor any other Arab nation has severed ties with the U.S. over its Jerusalem decision. It seems extremists' attempts to spark a new wave of Palestinian violence have failed.
Birthright CEO responds: Orthodox groups are not taking over Birthright (Gidi Mark, Haaretz+) There is no 'Orthodox surge': the percentage of Birthright participants arriving with Orthodox groups has remained stable over the last seven years. The Reform movement, which failed to meet our recruitment requirements, no longer serves as a trip organizer.
'Shoot the Jews': How Sweden's Jews Just Became Key Targets for Violent Muslim Anger Over Trump's Jerusalem Move (Nathalie Rothschild, Haaretz+) A synagogue's firebombed; protestors call, in Arabic, for killing Jews: Be shocked, but don't be surprised. In Sweden, anti-Jewish hatred among Muslims, themselves targets of intense prejudice, is a recurrent form of racism that's taboo to discuss.
Anti-Israel discourse in Germany a 'disgrace,' lawmaker says 
Marcus Pretzell says that the farther left EU delegates are, the harder it is for them to hide their anti-Semitic and anti-Israel bias • Pretzell says Germany, which claims that protecting Israel is a national priority, should use its veto in the EU. (Interviewed by Eldad Beck in Israel Hayom)

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