News Nosh 1.11.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday January 11, 2018
You Must Be Kidding: 
"What is this special weapon we have that we fire and see pillars of smoke and fire, but nobody gets hurt? It is time for there to be injuries and deaths as well."
--Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel tells local radio that he wants Israel to kill more Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.*

Front Page:
Haaretz
  • In the wake of the attack in the West Bank: IDF puts siege on Nablus in search for the terrorists
  • Former senior officials in the US: In 2014, Netanyahu offered to give Abbas land in Sinai for annexing the West Bank
  • Senior people in drone company, which is under sensitive investigation, will join Netanyahu’s visit to India
  • (Finance Minister) Kahlon: I won’t break up the coalition, Netanyahu and I are “no longer not (a thing)”
  • As deputy head of Shin Bet, (now-Police Commissioner) Alsheikh acted to close case against senior member of organization who sexually harassed employees
  • Finance Ministry pressuring to cut number of Israeli consulates abroad: US is in the focus
  • Blood bank offers homosexuals to donate, but in a complicated process and without using all the blood
  • Banana republic // Haaretz Editorial
  • Will there also be dogs? // Yossi Klein
  • (Ministers) Katz and Kahlon gave in to pressure of the Taxis Unions and government committee will recommend raising cost of trip by 4%
  • The man who exposed the Nixon Administration lies about Vietnam is sorry he didn’t do it earlier
  • The campaign to save water returns, milk and vegetables get more expensive: the drought continues into 2018
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Exclusive: “I can’t and don’t intend to enforce the Supermarkets Law”  - Interior Minister Arieh Deri
  • Expose: Chairman of Cable TV Council filed complaint against Minister Qara over incitement
  • Expose: 5th grade teacher gave lesson on how to perform oral sex
  • “Dearest and holy Raziel, we will continue in your path” - At new cemetery in Havat Gilad [settlement outpost] Rabbi Raziel Shelach, who was murdered by terrorists, was laid to rest
  • This is how the ‘magician’ Netanyahu succeeded in bringing down the supernatural entertainer Lior Shuchard
  • Letter to Sara Netanyahu from a mother to a mother // Smadar Shir tells SN to criticize her son Yair and not be silent over sexist remarks he made
  • The ‘hot chick’ syndrome // David D’Or
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
News Summary:
The top story in today’s Hebrew newspapers focused on the calls for revenge at the funeral of the settler rabbi, who was killed in a drive by shooting in the West Bank, and Israel’s military and political response. Also in the news were interesting reports related to US President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem declaration. And oddly barely making headlines was the report that Trump was expected to extend the sanctions relief to Iran as part of the nuclear deal at the recommendation of his security advisors. The European Union sent its own message to Trump that Iran was complying with the nuclear deal by reassuring Iran it remained committed to the nuclear deal, according to another report.

There were calls for “revenge!” (by hilltop youth) and calls for new settlements and making more settler children (by settler politicians) as another kind of revenge at the funeral of Rabbi Raziel Shevah, a father of six, who was murdered in a drive-by shooting near the the settlement outpost of Havat Gilad, where he lived. In a radical move, Shevach was buried in the outpost, the first to be buried there. The Israeli Civil Administration in the West Bank gave the go-ahead on Wednesday to build hundreds of homes in Jewish settlements throughout the West Bank. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called for the legalization of the wildcat outpost of Havat Gilad, which was founded in 2002 following the murder of the settler Gilad Zar. Not one of the buildings in the settlement has a construction permit.

The Israeli army imposed a partial lockdown on the nearby Palestinian city of Nablus and  on nearby villages. After the funeral, dozens of settlers threw stones at Palestinians driving on the nearby road .Ynet referred to it as “venting.” (Note: Israel now considers Palestinian stone-throwing ‘terrorism.’ - OH) Video is here.

Maariv’s Ben Caspit wrote that senior Palestinian Authority officials told two members of the Knesset who met in Ramallah with them that "Trump's Jerusalem declaration was the excuse we used to stop the peace process. After we received information from him, we understood that President Trump's peace plan was not good for the Palestinians.” They said Trump was acting “insane.” During the meeting, which was organized by the Geneva Initiative, the Palestinians announced that "we will no longer agree that the US will be an exclusive mediator in negotiations with Israel. In such a situation there will be no negotiations. When the President is acting insane, it is necessary to change the mechanism. The era in which the United States mediated between us and you is over." And, in response to Trump's Jerusalem announcement, the Arab League will call for the recognition of a Palestinian state. The leaders of Arab countries will meet next month to embark on a diplomatic campaign to persuade the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Interestingly, Egypt is opening a criminal probe over an NYT article, which stated that Egypt tacitly accepts Trump's Jerusalem move. Egypt said there was no proof that the officer who briefed Egyptian talk show hosts on how to treat Trump's announcement was in fact a member of Egypt’s intelligence services.
 
Quick Hits:
  • Netanyahu Asked Obama to Consider Giving Palestinians Land in Sinai, Former U.S. Officials Say - Former U.S. officials say that in 2014, Netanyahu floated idea in exchange for annexing swaths of the West Bank, but it was non-starter for Palestinians. Prime Minister's Office denies the account. (Haaretz+)
  • *Israeli minister on Gaza rocket fire: The time has come for dead Palestinians - Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel tells local radio Wednesday that Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip produce lots of smoke and fire, but no fatalities or injuries. (Haaretz)
  • Israeli Prison Confiscates Book About Occupation From Ex-lawmaker Serving Time - The Prisons Service won't allow jailed former Joint List lawmaker Basel Ghattas 'contraband material': a book about Israel's policies in the West Bank. (Haaretz+)
  • Family of Palestinian teen who slapped IDF soldier faces penalty - Ahed Tamimi, 16, faces assault, rioting and incitement charges over Dec. 15 incident in the village of Nabi Saleh • Defense minister revokes entry permits from 20 of teen's relatives, says dealing with Tamimi and her family must generate deterrence. (Israel Hayom)
  • Opposition tries to exploit terror victim's funeral to foil legislation - Bill reinstating the position of deputy health minister, thus facilitating United Torah Judaism head Yakov Litzman's return to the government, passes with 62-38 vote despite political ploy after MK Orly Levy-Abekasis stalls for time, allowing missing MKs to show up.  Justice minister slams opposition's "gross insensitivity." (Israel Hayom and Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Coalition sanctions Opposition over ‘cynical’ tactics - Fuming over the opposition's attempt to exploit the absence from the Knesset of coalition MKs and ministers who were attending a funeral of a terror victim to foil a bill they opposed, coalition announces retributive decision to prevent any discussion on opposition bills in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Kahlon pledges not to dismantle coalition - Speaking during a Globes business conference in Jerusalem day before state budget set to be approved by the government, finance minister says icy relationship with PM has thawed, before being heckled by disabled protesters. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • (Interior Minister) Deri: 'I've no intention of enforcing Supermarkets Law' - In exclusive interview with Yedioth Ahronoth, interior minister who led bill granting him powers to close down shops on Shabbat, seeks to assuage concerns by critics, insisting it gives him no authority to interfere with municipal matters; 'Nothing will change. It's all incitement in the media.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israel's new Sabbath supermarket law has yet to be tested, but tested it will be - Malls, shopping centers and other stores that operate on Shabbat will be forced to either shut down or break the law. It remains to be seen how local authorities will enforce the new law. (Haaretz)
  • Government to begin discussions on 2019 budget plan Thursday - Cabinet ministers to convene to discuss 2019 budget; nursing care reform, school vacation revolution and new olim pensions have already been included, but several bones of contention remain to be hammered out, such as decision to collect municipal taxes from Ben Gurion Airport, disability benefits raise. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Netanyahu set to lead trade task force to India - Prime minister leaves Saturday night to lead a delegation of 130 businessmen to India next week for talks on agriculture, energy and defense, among other things, despite India's UN vote against Trump's Jerusalem declaration. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Report: India mulling upholding lucrative missile deal with Israel - After backing out of $500 million antitank missile deal with Rafael, Indian government considering pressing ahead through government-to-government route, with PM Netanyahu's upcoming visit to the country; official says deal fell through due to Rafael's refusal to provide India with manufacturing technology. (Ynet and Maariv)
  • EU, Norway to convene emergency meeting of donor groups providing Palestinians financial aid - The conference, to be held on January 31, is being held against the backdrop of a U.S. threat to cut funding to the Palestinians and a stalemate in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Reductions of Israeli missions in U.S. at heart of dispute over Foreign Ministry budget - Draft 2019 budget proposes merging several consulates in the United States, Turkey and Eastern Europe. (Haaretz+)
  • Treasury seeks to cut rich olims' Absorption Baskets - Finance Ministry publishes list of proposed cuts intended to finance new government initiatives; cutting Absorption Baskets for rich olim will save NIS 130 million cumulatively; other planned cuts include dipping into cleanliness fund for promoting eco-friendly garbage dumping solutions, pushing plan to make government buildings accessible to handicapped to 2021. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israel forced to abort Arrow 3 missile defense test after second glitch in a month - Defense Ministry says problem was unrelated to the anti-ballistic missile system itself and that another test will be held shortly. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Israeli-sponsored app tries to manipulate Google in fight against BDS - Act.il advocacy app wants ‘BDS undermines peace,’ ‘BDS promotes hate’ and ‘BDS lies’ as top three suggestions on website’s ‘autocomplete’ search feature. (Haaretz)
  • Asylum seekers deported from Israel suffered 'abuse and torture,' UN refugee agency says - The UN refugee agency calls on Israel to stop deportation campaign targeting asylum seekers, offers help in coming up with 'alternative solutions.’ (Haaretz)
  • Israeli rabbis call on government to halt 'brutal policy' of deporting African asylum seekers - Over 90 rabbis from Orthodox, Conservative and Reform streams invoke the teachings of the Torah in support of treating the foreigner with kindness. (Haaretz)
  • Legal battle over egalitarian prayer at Western Wall to enter pivotal stage - At the last hearing, the government was asked to reconsider its decision suspending the agreement committing to an egalitarian prayer area at the Wall. (Haaretz+)
  • Netanyahu on his son's strip club tape: We raised our children to respect women - Netanyahu's son was recorded telling an Israeli gas tycoon's son at a strip club: My dad set your dad up for $20b, give me $115 for a prostitute. (Haaretz)
  • Nightclub owner says Yair Netanyahu was a regular - The PM's son would get special treatment at club; release of recording also caused minor diplomatic incident as Japanese embassy rushed to determine who Yair was referring to when talking about 'Japanese girls.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • The tape effect: threats on the Internet against Guy Peleg - Three days have passed since reporter Guy Peleg revealed the tapes of Yair Netanyahu, in which the son of the prime minister is ostensibly spending time in a strip club with friends, and meanwhile Peleg feels the tense atmosphere in the street and receives threats to his life on social media networks. (Yedioth p. 5 and MAKO)
  • 'God Help Us if This Gets Out': The Full Transcript of Yair Netanyahu's Wild Tel Aviv Night - Benjamin Netanyahu's son recorded telling Israeli gas tycoon's son at strip club: My dad set your dad up for $20b, give me $115 for prostitute. (Haaretz)
  • Police investigating whether Sara Netanyahu asked Hollywood exec Milchan to pay for home repairs - In one instance, the Netanyahus allegedly asked Milchan to send a building inspector to check a leak at their home in Caesarea. (Haaretz)
  • The new Supreme Court nominees - With the release of Justice Minister Shaked's list of nominees to the Supreme Court's bench, the final list is now complete, with 2 of the 25 nominees set to fill the seats on the bench soon to be vacated by Justices Danziger and Shoham; list includes first Arab Muslim nominee for permanent position, capitalist conservative nominee. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israel Police chief once tried to close sexual harassment probe against Shin Bet official - Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich, when still deputy head of the Shin Bet, tried to persuade then-director Yoram Cohen that the evidence was insubstantial and the polygraph tests of complainants inconclusive. (Haaretz+)
  • Former Israeli TV exec sues sexual misconduct accusers for $583,000 - Former Keshet Broadcasting chief Alex Gilady, though having never denied the claims against him, files lawsuit against two journalists including one from Haaretz. (Haaretz)
  • New head of Hamas terror operations in West Bank revealed - Maher Obeid replaces Saleh al-Arouri, who was made deputy Hamas leader, as the head of Hamas's 'West Bank Headquarters,' responsible for establishing terror infrastructure and orchestrating attacks. (Ynet)
  • Senior Hamas official shot and critically wounded in Gaza City - Hamas says Imad Al-Alami was wounded at home while tending to his personal weapon, though reports are circulating that he was victim of assassination attempt. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Jewish school in Tunisia attacked: Firebomb thrown in Djerba, home to ancient Jewish community - Local Jewish community says that locals in Tunisia exploited anti-government protests to attack Jewish school. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Syrian forces killed 85 civilians near Damascus in last ten days, claims the UN - Among the dead civilians were 21 women and 30 children. (Agencies, Haaretz)


Features:
Detained, arrested and harassed: The life of Palestinian teens in East Jerusalem
Under Israeli law, minors can be arrested only in rare circumstances and held for the shortest time possible. But human rights organizations say the security services ride roughshod over this when it comes to young Arabs in neighborhoods like Silwan. (Dina Kraft, Haaretz+)
‘Had we known it was private land, we wouldn’t have built on it’
Almost every home in the top row of houses in Netiv Ha'avot includes illegal ‘extensions’ built on disputed land, leading the High Court to order the demolition of 15 of the outpost’s houses by March 2018; while residents say they settled on empty land, Ali Mousa from the nearby village won’t forget the day he saw caravans on a plot he inherited from his grandfather and ended up with a gun pointed at his head. (Oded Shalom and Elisha Ben Kimon, Yedioth/Ynet)
The Nazi-inspired Pogrom That Triggered Iraqi Jews' Escape to Israel
Sure the Nazi influence was noxious, but how could such an atrocity have occurred in a country where Jews had lived in peace for centuries? (Dor Saar-Man, Beit Hatfutsot - The Museum of the Jewish People, Haaretz)
How the Mossad and I took on terrorism financing
In a new book published in the US, Israeli lawyer Nitsana Darshan-Leitner reveals how she was entangled in operations with members of the Harpoon unit, a covert financial counterterrorism taskforce that has dealt heavy blows to Hezbollah, Ismail Haniyeh, Yasser Arafat and Lebanon’s banks. (Nevo Ziv, Yedioth/Ynet)


Commentary/Analysis:
Why a big wave of European countries recognizing Palestine is fast approaching (David Makovsky, Haaretz+) A widening political chasm separates Israel and the EU on the Palestinians. But, in private, senior European officials say that Jerusalem’s caricature of Europe as innately hostile is now an obstacle to recognizing critical policy convergence on Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia.
As Islamic Jihad grows stronger, it’s time to talk to Hamas (Liram Stenzler-Koblentz, Yedioth/Ynet) If Israel wants to prevent Iran from expanding its influence in the Gaza Strip, it must make a perceptual change and try to see Hamas as an organization it could talk to and reach understandings with.
Do Not Kill in My Son’s Name (Robi Damelin, Haaretz+) What makes us think that by enforcing the death penalty we will prevent crime? Will it bring my beloved David back?
The death of guilt in Israel (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) The horror in Gaza can continue indefinitely thanks to an Israeli state of mind that has learned to wipe atrocities out of one’s consciousness.
Deadly drive-by shooting calls for improved deterrence (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Rabbi Raziel Shevah’s murder on Tuesday evening was a carefully planned ambush guided by either Hamas or Islamic Jihad; as the IDF works to thwart the next attack, the most efficient measure of deterrence in the long run is to prevent PA payments from reaching terrorists’ families.
No lone-wolf attack: The guiding hand behind a rabbi's murder in the West Bank (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) The fatal shooting of Rabbi Raziel Shevach seems to have been the act of a skilled terror cell, not a random crime of opportunity.
A place to Tweet: Israel must deal with the 'price list of terror' (Lilac Sigan, Maariv) The post on Twitter by  Bennett yesterday got a lot of support on the right, and for good reason. "The terrorists knew Abu Mazen's price list and knew how much money they would receive for the murder," he wrote. "In order to eradicate terror, it is not enough to put a hand on the murderers, but rather to strengthen the settlement enterprise,” he said. In the world of cynical politics, the tactic of “May G-d avenge his blood,” which is arouse feelings of anger after a murderous attack, is a good recipe for ratings and applause, but this time (Education Minister Naftali) Bennett went too far. A little logic wouldn’t hurt. A little logic will not hurt: How exactly will (the construction of) another settlement prevent the next murder? First, it would only increase the friction between the already chafed populations, and secondly, it would not stop the murder-cash-money industry.
Don’t credit 'Sloppy Steve' Bannon for a pro-Israel presidency. It’s always been Trump (Jonathan S. Tobin, Haaretz+) Some on the Jewish right banked heavily on Steve Bannon and his pro-Israel heft. But they got it wrong: It's Trump’s instincts deciding American policy, and that means support for Israel, and obvious antipathy for the Palestinians and Iran.
Hayut, Shaked gear up for Supreme Court nominee tug of war (Tova Tzimuki, Yedioth/Ynet) With all 25 nominees announced to fill 2 vacant spots on Supreme Court's bench, Justice Minister Shaked, Chief Justice Hayut and bar association president Nave prepare to start negotiations.
Israel is becoming an illiberal thugocracy, and I'm running out of ways to defend it (David Rothkopf, Haaretz+) It's not just the BDS blacklist. In Israel, the basic rights and values underlying democracy itself are being repealed.
This is how we are, losers: The establishment of another (settlement) community will be revenge for the murder of Rabbi Shevach (Karni Eldad, Maariv) The IDF put a siege on Nablus, but it is only a small traffic jam. The cork will be released and the fabric of their lives will be preserved. The texture of our death, however, will deepen the tear lines of (our) face.
Netanyahu's real target isn't Israel boycotters. It's Israel's democracy (Daniel Sokatch, Haaretz+) Only authoritarians fear freedom of expression – and Israel’s extreme right are no exception, using Trumpian tools of scapegoating, incitement and lies. But Israeli democracy is not dead yet.
Trump’s Mideast ‘achievement’: A growing rift with the Palestinians (Sever Plocker, Yedioth/Ynet) It’s hard to estimate how long Donald Trump will survive in office, but even if he goes, the deep change he led in the US policy towards the current Palestinian leadership will reverberate for years; that leadership is finished and it’s time to replace it, just like it’s time to replace our own leadership.
Does Trump want to starve the Palestinians into submission? (Marilyn Garson, Haaretz+) The U.S. administration's threat to withhold funds from UNRWA, where I worked, will drag down two million Gazans from an economy of scarcity down to a politics of hunger. Politics are negotiable: food must not be.
When one side’s bravery is another side’s humiliation (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) The Ahed Tamimi affair isn’t unusual, but the unusual attention it has received exposes the distortions of the occupation: The separate legal systems for Jews and Arabs in the territories, and the fact that a settler who kicked and cursed a police officer was sentenced to three months of community service, while the Palestinian girl will likely spend several months in prison.
Why I’m Angry With Israel’s Mizrahi Elite (Uri Avnery, Haaretz) I’ve always hoped that the second or third generation of Jews from Muslim countries, remembering their forebears’ contribution to Islam’s Golden Age, would be a bridge from Israel to the Muslim world.
How Lebanon managed to end its bloodiest conflicts, while Israel failed (Oren Barak, Haaretz+) Both Lebanon and Israel increased their territories in the wake of war and found themselves ruling new populations. But there's one glaring difference between the two expanded states.
The Sick Historical Precedent for Israel's Asylum-seeker Expulsion Push (B. Michael, Haaretz+) Israel's push to expel 45,000 African asylum seekers and migrants borrows from Eichmann's 1938 playbook for expelling Austria's Jews.
UNICEF has declared war on the IDF (Liora Cohen, Israel Hayom) Baseless accusations that Israel violates the rights of Palestinian children are becoming yet another tool in the arsenal of the extremist government-funded groups that try to delegitimize Israel.
Women in the Israeli military just aren't cut out for combat roles (Lizi Hameiri, Haaretz+) The Israeli army is deluding itself and risking the well-being of its soldiers by pretending men and women have equal strength.
We must not turn Yair Netanyahu's behavior into the norm among young people (Anat Moshe, Maariv) Do not give the prime minister's son a pass: Not all 24-year-olds go out on Friday night to strip clubs, whether they are or aren’t under the influence of alcohol.
What Yair Netanyahu learned at home about the status of women (Shira Makin, Haaretz+) Just look at the father's record to understand the son's attitude.
The filthmongering media (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) The publication of the sordid, drunken exchange between Yair Netanyahu and his friends is nothing more than a dirty media attempt to unseat his father, the elected prime minister.
Yair Netanyahu said his dad arranged $20b for gas tycoon. How much will he really make? (Eran Azran, Haaretz+) Based on reports by the Tamar natural gas partnership, it seems Kobi Maimon would only take in hundreds of millions of dollars. Here's why.
Yair Netanyahu's actions are a disgrace to the state (Haaretz Editorial) The problem isn't the young Netanyahu's vulgar utterances, but rather his actions. The prime minister should teach his son how to treat the state and its employees with respect.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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