News Nosh 1.16.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Quote of the Day #1:
“We are writing to you in the conviction that the time has come for a world-wide protest against the organized inhumanity of the Government of the Union of South Africa…We have watched with great concern the relentless pursuit of official racism (apartheid) by the South African Government. It has defied the most elemental considerations of human decency in its treatment of African and Asian citizens, loosely called non-whites…While there is time, we hope you will join us in this undertaking. We look forward to your affirmative reply as indicated by your signature on the enclosed card.”
—Parts of a recently unearthed letter co-written in 1957 to Jewish philosopher Martin Buber by Martin Luther King Jr. asking him to join the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.*

Quote of the Day #2:
"When Israeli officers sanctimoniously warn that 95 percent of Gaza's water is unfit to drink, they ignore the original absurdity: Israel forces Gaza to make do with water from the aquifer located within its borders. This aquifer, which supplied water to some 300,000 people in 1950, is now supposed to supply the same amount to two million people. Its no wonder there is over-pumping and contamination by sewage and seawater."
--Haaretz journalist Amira Hass writes that the source of Gaza's economic and infrastructure problems, which Israel is warning about, is Israel.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Being discussed: Direct flight to India over Saudi Arabia
  • Case 5000: Storm over salaries of Prime Minister and other ministers - 5 ministers: Give up on salary raise
  • Acting as if it’s their house // Yifat Ehrlich
  • They deserve it // Shlomo Pyotrokovsky
  • Disconnected from reality // Chen-Arutzei Sror
  • Investigation - “They are drugging the elderly in order that they sit quietly”
  • Health Ministry suggests: Palestinian caretakers instead of foreign workers (Hebrew)
  • Glick and Deri: the hug - After he tried to get MK Yehuda Glick to (go vote on Supermarkets Law) while sitting Shivah, Minister Deri got a moving gesture from Glick
  • Cinema Gal - New movie theater in Nazareth Illit will be named after Gal Gadot
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • In the security establishment they aren’t in a stew: Abu Mazen continues to oppose terror - While politicians compete who kicks the Rais (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) more after his speech, ‘May your house come to ruin,’ the security establishment measures what’s happening in the field, there the security coordination continues
  • A bouquet for Gandhi - During their visit to India, Prime Minister and wife visited site of burning of Mahatma Gandhi’s body
  • Price of cuts - Due to expected budget cut to Foreign Ministry: Palestinian Authority will pass Israel in number of missions abroad
  • For that there is money - always: Ministers approved increasing their salaries by 5,000 shekels so it will be 44,200 shekels
Israel Hayom
  • “Abu Mazen tore off the mask” - Abu Mazen storm: Wall-to-wall condemnations against the ‘Curses Speech’ of the Palestinian Authority Chairman
  • Not a leader, an insulter // Yossi Beilin
  • Loser speech // Amnon Lord
  • (Main photo: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hugs Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu)
  • Modi in the role of Gandhi // Dror Eydar in India
  • In the name of the brother: 70 (years) since the Lamed Hey convoy
  • Exclusive - The conversion army of Israel - expansion of military conversions
  • El-Al passengers returned from the freezing flight: “We prayed that we’d reach Israel already”
  • Exclusive - State Comptroller fighting leaks? He only probed 3 cases in 6 years
  • Ministers approved for themselves: Their and the Prime Minister’s salaries will jump by 5,000 shekels a month
  • “It won’t be boring”: The programs for the country’s 70th anniversary celebration were revealed
News Summary:
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and other politicians bashed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for his speech, while Palestinian politicians supported Abbas’ calls and moved to end all obligations of agreements signed with Israel, meanwhile, Israeli ministers approved a handsome raise for themselves and for Netanyahu, much to the chagrin of many, and Netanyahu signed nine cooperation agreements with India and is working on getting a direct flight to fly to India over Saudi Arabia, making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Barely mentioned in the print papers was that an Israeli soldier shot Ahmad Salim, 24, in the head killing him when he and others threw stones at soldiers who had entered their village of Jayyous. The IDF said it was checking Palestinian health officials' reports of the death Salim’s death.

Maariv’s Ben Caspit wrote that politicians “competed who kicks (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) more after his ‘May your house come to ruin’ speech. Netanyahu said from India that Abbas “tore off his mask”and in doing so “did Israel a service” (Netanyahu also said he supports economic relief for Gaza). Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said Abbas returned to past rhetoric for which he was accused of anti-Semitism, and Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Abbas 'lost his senses.’ But Maariv’s Caspit reported that looking at the field, Israel’s security establishment sees that the security coordination continues. The security establishment assessment is that Abbas was only releasing his frustration, but that he did not break the rules of the game.

That said, differing reports said that the PLO Central Council Committee either decided to freeze the security coordination with Israel or it called on the PLO to do so. It also decided on economic disengagement and the postponement of any American mediation, until the decision on Jerusalem was canceled: "We must move from an autonomous government to state rule.” (Maariv) The Council also called on the PLO to suspend recognition of Israel.And it announced that the obligations the Palestinians undertook as part of the 1993 Oslo accords "no longer exist.” (Also Haaretz)
Quick Hits:
  • Key Gaza border crossing to be reopened after Hamas tunnel destroyed, Israeli army says - The Gaza Strip's main goods crossing, Kerem Shalom, will be reopened amid Israeli security establishment fears of a economic collapse in Gaza. (Haaretz and Maan)
  • Destroyed Hamas tunnel larger than predecessors, could fit dozens of terrorists - Depth of destroyed tunnel estimated to be dozens of meters underground, height and width large enough to allow passage of dozens of terrorists, equipment; tunnel discovered weeks ago, Egypt notified of its existence over weekend, said to be incensed with Hamas at breach of sovereignty; Kerem Shalom Crossing to reopen Tuesday. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Hamas still has tunnels running from Gaza to Egypt's Sinai, Defense Minister Lieberman says - Lieberman also says 'hundreds of millions' coming from Iran to Gaza, and that Abbas is using Trump's Jerusalem decision to leave peace process. (Haaretz)
  • Israel believed to have warned Egypt before striking Hamas tunnel - The Egyptians reportedly view the tunnel as an egregious violation of their sovereignty and the crossing of a red line in their relations with Hamas. (Haaretz)
  • Israeli policy on medical permits for Hamas personnel, families toughened - Responding to High Court petition by family of Hadar Goldin, whose body is held in Gaza by Hamas, state replies policy regarding providing medical entrance permits to Hamas activists and their families was made stricter, but permits for life-saving permits remain in place; petition also seeks to prevent visitation of Hamas prisoners held in Israel, return of Hamas terrorists' bodies. (Ynet)
  • State agrees to family's demand to halt visits to Hamas prisoners - Family of Lt. Hadar Goldin, whose remains are being held by Hamas, calls move a "small step in our grand mission to bring Hadar home" • In response to family's petition, state admits Diplomatic-Security Cabinet decision has not been fully implemented. (Israel Hayom)
  • IDF demands terminally ill cancer patient attends deferment hearing - Avraham Cohen, 18, suffered from cancer, but that did not prevent the IDF from harassing him and demanding that he report to the recruitment center in order to regularize his status as a yeshiva student; about two weeks ago he died; IDF: 'Regret the incident. Conclusions will be drawn.' (Ynet)
  • Testimonies of 2 soldiers assaulted by Ahed Tamimi revealed - A month after Ahed Tamimi and her cousin assaulted 2 IDF soldiers during Nabi Salih riots, soldiers' accounts to CID made public; company commander did not initially ascribe much importance to incident, citing preoccupation with riots; on Tamimi and her cousin not being arrested, he said 'it could have led to bad result.' (Ynet and Maariv)
  • The trend reversed: a rise in the number of young Bedouins recruited - Despite religious extremism and the tension with the state, in the past year there has been a 40% increase in the number of Bedouins serving in the army, and the number will likely double. (Maariv)
  • Post-Yair Netayahu tape scandal Justice Ministry mulls barring civil servants from taping each other - The regulation would bar Israeli civil servants from making video or audio recording of their colleagues, except to expose sexual harassment and/or ethical violations. (Haaretz)
  • Israeli Arab student stabbed at university in Jenin - The woman is in critical condition and the motive remains unknown, but her relatives have been arrested by Palestinian police. (Haaretz)
  • NIS 15 million allocated for 'peace train' to Jordan border - Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz's vision for a train connecting Israeli sea ports to Jordanian border and hopefully beyond to Iraq, Saudi Arabia, gets boost with initial planning funds; cargo trains would decrease truck traffic on Israeli roads improving safety, traffic. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • UN defends Palestinian refugee agency as region braces for US aid cuts - U.N. Relief and Works Agency provides health, education and humanitarian help and "is a force for stabilization in a very volatile area," U.N. official says. U.S. is the largest donor to the agency, with a pledge of nearly $370 million in 2016. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • MK Gafni: Hundreds of non-Jewish inspectors will be recruited to enforce Shabbat laws - After Interior Minister Deri tells Yedioth Ahronoth he has no intention of enforcing recently passed Supermarkets Law, United Torah Judaism lawmaker says in closed meeting Haredim have reached an agreement with Prime Minister Netanyahu to task 'hundreds of gentile inspectors dealing with illegal immigration' with law's enforcement. (Ynet and Maariv)
  • Yair Lapid's new acquisition: The former deputy head of the Mossad joins his party - In the context of the "Fact" TV program investigation of MK Yaakov Perry [which found that he had lied in a polygraph about an investigation - OH], Yesh Atid party has a newcomer: Ram Ben-Barak, who served in the Mossad and the IDF’s Sayeret Matkal commando unit and in a variety of other positions. (Maariv and Haaretz)
  • The High Court of Justice to the State: You have 30 days to present a plan to reduce gaps in Jerusalem classrooms - An achievement for the Jerusalem Municipality: The justices of the High Court ruled that the capital city is unique and different, and the state must take responsibility, since this is an inappropriate and inhuman situation. Mayor Barkat: The government can not continue to discriminate against Jerusalem. (Maariv)
  • Palestinians to get 3G in West Bank, not Gaza, after ban lifted - Ban on high-speed mobile data service has cost Palestinian economy hundreds of millions of dollars • Israel has cited security concerns as reason for ban, as service could make it easier for terrorists to communicate while reducing risk of surveillance. (Haaretzand Israel Hayom)
  • Jewish Agency leaders vow that key Israel program provider for Diaspora Jews wont close - Masa brings about 12,000 young Jews to Israel every year, but is at center of dispute with Israeli government over one of its subsidiaries that organizes trips. (Haaretz)
  • U.S. denies visa for Israeli singer to perform at UN for Holocaust Remembrance Day - Amir Benayoun was not able to convince the U.S. consul that he 'has a strong connection to his country, which ensures his return to Israel after a short visit to the U.S.' (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Israeli Lawmaker Moves to Stop BDS Groups From Funding Colleagues' Trips Abroad - Likud's Yoav Kish is capitalizing on the new list preventing entry into Israel by boycott activists, though a Knesset colleague decries the 'flood of fascist legislation.’ (Haaretz)
  • Haitian-American pastor slams Trump during Martin Luther King Day celebration in Jerusalem - Hundreds of Caribbean-American Christians demand apology from U.S. president for allegedly labeling Haiti a shithole, during Israel event honoring civil rights leader. (Haaretz)
  • *Newly unearthed letter shows how Martin Luther King Jr. enlisted Martin Buber in apartheid struggle - Experts say its no surprise civil rights leader reached out to the Jewish philosopher on South Africa, given that King quoted Bubers I and Thou principle in a famed prison letter. (Haaretz)
  • American Rabbi Who Marched With MLK Learned About Resistance From pro-BDS Group Banned by Israel - Rabbi Everett Gendler has protested alongside Martin Luther King and the Dalai Lama, and calls MLK a very savvy field general who was great on strategy. The rabbi himself says he learned about protest from the American Friends Service Committee, the Quaker group, whose senior activists are now barred from entering Israel due to their calls for boycotts of the Jewish state. (Haaretz)
  • Two Leading U.S. Jewish Groups Urge Netanyahu to Change African Asylum-seeker Deportation Plan - The letter by Anti-Defamation League and Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society says that the deportation scheme 'betrays the core values that we, as Jews, share.’ (Haaretz)
  • New Jersey Divests From Denmark's Largest Bank to Comply With State anti-BDS Law - As of December 2016, New Jerseys state pension fund held $44 million in the Danske Bank. (JTA, Haaretz)

Abbas Alarming Cry of Despair (Haaretz Editorial) The Israeli government must see the Palestinian Authority president's words as a final warning before the PA's disintegration.
The security establishment is not stirred: Abu Mazen continues to oppose terrorism(Ben Caspit, Maariv) The politicians are competing over who hits the President (Mahmoud Abbas) more, but the defense establishment measures what is happening on the ground. It is estimated that despite the "last-circle effect," the PA chairman is only releasing frustration, but has not broken the rules of the game.
Abbas Exits With One Final, Outrageous Performance. Now, America Must Contain the Damage (Daniel B. Shapiro, Haaretz) After a shameful speech full of bizarre canards about Israel's illegitimacy, the U.S. now knows Abbas can't, and won't, reach a Mideast peace deal. But we must also understand the same is true about Israel's current government.
The moderate Palestinian leader’s lies (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) Mahmoud Abbas’ scathing speech was mostly a gift to the Israeli rightists who wants one big state; the Palestinian president is making it clear that he’s not a partner, that he refuses to recognize the Jews’ right to self-determination and that he is trapped in hallucinations, illusions and lies.
Abbas' Belligerent Speech Doesn't Restore Confidence in the Palestinian Leadership (Amira Hass, Haaretz) Despite the PA president's declarations, some in the West Bank believe that they will remain on paper only and not much will really change. The personal rivalries that won't go away will also apparently continue to be detrimental to the Palestinian struggle.
The speech of the dissolution: Abu Mazen began his process of descending from the stage of history (Eli Avidar, Maariv) The chairman of the Palestinian Authority has always excelled at the tactical level, but now it is clear that all the successes in this field did not advance the Palestinians one meter on the way to an independent state.
Trump's Catch-22 With Iran and the Palestinians Could Blow Up at Israel (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Like his threats to cut Palestinian funding, the U.S. presidents new demands for the Iran nuclear agreement suffer from inconsistencies that cannot be resolved.
Israel’s calculated tunnel demolitions (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) The IDF is likely capable of uncovering and demolishing a number of cross-border tunnels simultaneously; so far, however, it has chosen to destroy each tunnel separately, giving the other side an opportunity to digest what happened rather than pushing it towards desperate measures.
**Gaza's Prison Warden and the Strip's Ever-rising Collapse Threshold (Amira Hass, Haaretz) The isolation of the Gaza Strip and its residents, as a political project rather than a security project, began long before the Qassam rockets did.
One people, two resurrections (Donniel Hartman, Ynet) The Zionist narrative of Holocaust and resurrection has never been able to appreciate and recognize Jewish resurrection beyond the national home’s borders; when Zionism looks at the Diaspora, it still sees it as the European Jewry in the early 20th century, which is still exposed to an inevitable and imminent holocaust, either as the result of anti-Semitism or as the result of assimilation.
What Israel Should Learn From the Cases of Adolf Eichmann, Yigal Amir and Kozo Okamoto (Yechiam Weitz, Haaretz) Looking back on instances Israel considered employing the death penalty (and did once with Eichmann) makes the current debate on it appear grotesque.
From a prison in Cyprus to a hand away from the top of the Mossad: Lapid's security man - a profile (Yossi Melman, Maariv) After seven years of service in the Sayeret Matkal commando unit, Ram Ben-Barak arrived at the Mossad, where he advanced from position to position. Despite his friendly appearance and sense of humor he is an imperturbable professional.
For the Sake of Our Future, Plant Trees Instead of Digging Graves (Salman Masalha, Haaretz) The entrance to Jerusalem is lined with graves. It seems that the dead have taken over the mountain, and they are creating a necro-demographic and necro-topographical problem.
How the Israeli military's courts abandon female soldiers (Roni Rosenberg, Haaretz) It appears that the IDF sentences soldiers more harshly for stealing property than it does for take nude pictures of their fellow female soldiers and invading their privacy.
The government must begin a marathon to close the gaps needed to protect the Home Front (MK Amir Peretz, Maariv) In 2014 [3rd Gaza War - OH], the Home Front suffered from about 5,000 rockets and mortars. Cities such as Ashkelon, Ashdod, Be'er Sheva and Sderot might have looked like London after the blitz, but the concept that combines passive protection and active defense and investment in emergency preparedness paid off.

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