News Nosh 1.3.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday, January 3, 2018
You Must Be Kidding: 
“Do you want half of Africa coming here?... Sorry to say this, but for us, he is a goy from Kenya.”

-- Amos Arbel, an official from the Ministry of Interior, defends the deportation of a Jewish convert from Africa.

Front Page:
Israel Hayom
Times of Israel

News Summary:
Today, the Knesset advanced a bill that makes it easier for military courts to issue a death sentence in cases of fatal terrorism and bans leniency after a final death sentence is issued. The Shin Bet came out strongly against this bill, warning that it may instigate kidnappings of Jews worldwide (not just in Muslim countries). Attorney General Mandelblit privately commented that he continues to oppose the death penalty, but Defense Minister Lieberman proposed that "an ordinary majority of judges should suffice to sentence a terrorist to death." The bill still needs to pass three additional rounds of voting to become law. 

Yesterday, President Trump threatened in a tweet to cut off aid to the Palestinians, while simultaneously admitting that his Jerusalem move has thrown a wrench in his aspirations for the ultimate deal: "We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more. But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments [more than $300 million] to them?" President Mahmoud Abbas' office responded that "Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the state of Palestine and it is not for sale for gold or billions." 

Many stories relating to Iran dominated the headlines of Israel's English media outlets. After days of popular protests in Iran, Iranian state TV aired coverage of pro-regime rallies claiming to "protest the violence" in recent days. The IDF reports that it has uncovered an Iranian intelligence cell in the West Bank and that Islamic Jihad used Iranian projectiles in Friday's rocket attack from Gaza.
Quick Hits:
  • Reuters and Haaretz report that flight attendants are suing Delta Airlines, claiming that they've been harassed, denied promotions, or unfairly disciplined for being Jewish or Israeli. 
  • In response to Trump's threats on Twitter to withhold aid to the Palestinians, President Abbas' adviser, Nabil Shaath, said: "This statement has absolutely no justification. We wanted a peace process with the Americans and we worked hard for it. We gave Trump all the attention and time. We went to the White House to see him and welcomed him here in Bethlehem... he wants to punish us for protesting and not accepting his position on Jerusalem... This [tweet] shows that Trump is not a serious man.”
  • The Palestinian Central Council, the second highest decision-making body in the PLO, is expected to meet on January 14 in Ramallah to discuss Trump's announcement on Jerusalem.
  • The Jerusalem Post reports that Knesset committees will now meet to discuss applying new laws to the West Bank. Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said: "This decision will bring a change in how residents of Judea and Samaria are treated and start a new situation that will stop the discrimination against them... until we apply sovereignty to all parts of Israel, we must fix this absurdity." Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked took this moment to assert that "We are not in Judea and Samaria to disappear one day. We've been here for 50 years and we'll be here for another 5,000 years." 
  • Ma'an News reports that 22 Palestinians were detained in IDF raids in the West Bank last night. 
  • The militant wing of Hamas, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, released new photographs from Gilad Shalit's time in captivity - Shalit, then a soldier in the IDF, was released after 1,941 days in a highly controversial deal which saw Israel free 1,027 Palestinian prisoners for his return. 
  • Prime Minister Netanyahu's son, Yair, cursed the Molad Center for the Renewal of Israeli Democracy - "F**k your mother, leftists!" - at a meeting to mediate a libel lawsuit. In August, Molad sued Yair for defaming the organization on Facebook.
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