News Nosh 3.8.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday March 8, 2018
Quote of the day:
“You said, 'It's not right that soldiers are shown (in media) crying at funerals, because the Iranians decipher it wrong.' If they knew how sensitive you are and how much you love their shish-kabob they would have already made peace with Israel.”
—Nili, one of the four daughters of Uri Lubrani, the secret agent and diplomat, said at his funeral yesterday.

You Must Be Kidding: 
48% of Jewish pollsters said they wouldn't want to have Arabs as neighbors.
24.8% of Arab citizens rule out Israel's right to exist. But in 1995 when Yitzhak Rabin was prime minister only 6.5% opposed Israel's right to exist, according to the Index of Arab-Jewish Relations.**

Front Page:
  • Netanyahu: If the (coalition) partners don’t commit to continue until the end of 2019, we will go to elections
  • High number of people at the Populations Authority sparking agitation in E. Jerusalem
  • Experts warn: Tens of thousands of children with disabilities will be transferred to regular education without support
  • IDF establishing database about Palestinians with the aid of information it collected at random checkpoints
  • Ashdod mayor announced: The enforcement campaign against shopping centers open on Shabbat has been stopped
  • Child custody law could be withdrawn because of a technical error
  • The exhibition grounds, Washington // Uri Misgav
  • The revolutionary died. The revolution, too // Gideon Levy
  • Fruit of her work // Jonathan Lis
  • Three men stand on the stand and speak in the name of mothers whose sons were sent to Gaza
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • “(Attorney General) Mendelblit listened to Hefetz’s recordings and only then approved the (state witness) agreement”
  • Towards a solution: (Ministers) Shaked, Deri and Gafni reached a compromise on the Draft Law
  • The woman whose husband murdered their children enters politics - Lilach Shem-Tov joined MK Orly Levy-Abukasis’ new party
  • Thanks to them - From Golda Meir, to Dafni Leef, and to Linor Aberjil: Salute to the female Israeli groundbreakers - Special magazine supplement
Israel Hayom
  • Likud 34, Lapid 24, Zionist Camp 10 - Special: Israel Hayom and ‘Maagar Mochot’ poll
  • Elections? Doesn’t sound so enticing anymore // Mati Tuchfeld
  • Netanyahu against the police: “They are threatening to detain in order to turn people into state witnesses”
  • Bad smell in Rosh Ha’ayin: Welcome to ‘Garbage Nursery’ - Deputy mayor’s surreal suggestion: Turn residential buildings garbage bin rooms into nurseries
  • History in the air: First flight to Tel-Aviv above Saudi Arabia

News Summary:
While the Israeli coalition partners worked on a compromise to solve the crisis over the Draft Law, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu attacked the police for recruiting state witnesses to testify against him, one of whom will also be testifying against two other Likud ministers, according to Yedioth. Separately, Yedioth exposed racist parents at a religious school in Sderot who are trying to fire the Bedouin women who clean the school and Maariv reported that no government official attended the funeral of Uri Lubrani, the man who secretly served Israel’s security services and openly served as a diplomat.

Netanyahu lashed out at the Police for signing up people to testify against him, accusing the police of detaining people in order to convince them to become state witnesses just in order to bring him down. During his appearance at The Economic Club in Washington, Netanyahu was asked whether US President Donald Trump gave him his red tie, to which he sarcastically responded: “That could be investigated so I won't answer.” Netanyahu jokes, but Maariv reported that Channel 10 reported that Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said that it would not be easy to defend the prime minister's continued tenure in the case of an indictment. According to another news report, Netanyahu tried to recruit Jewish tycoons Arnon Milchan and James Packer to establish an Israeli TV station a la ‘Fox News.’ In the shadow of the probe against him for allegedly trying to use Israel Hayom newspaper as part of a quid-pro-quo exchange to get better media coverage in Yedioth Ahronoth, ‘Case 2000,’ Netanyahu met with his supporter Sheldon Adelson, the owner of Israel Hayom and praised him for his support for Israel. Despite all the probes, another poll shows that Likud would sweep elections, with Netanyahu leading for the fifth term, if elections were held now. Zionist Union, the second-largest party, would drop to only 10 seats.

In an article by Matan Tzuri, Yedioth Hebrew newspaper referred forthrightly to ‘Racism in the Sderot school,’ however, Ynet English changed the title and sub-title and left out the whole beginning of the story, which focused on the attempts by parents at a religious school in Sderot to get the female Bedouin cleaning ladies fired from their school. The English version is titled, ‘Bedouin workers claim they face discrimination in Sderot school,’ and it begins by saying that the contractor who hires the cleaners ‘complains they face racism.’

For decades he carried out complex and secret intelligence and diplomatic missions, serving as a confidant of defense ministers and prime ministers. He only retired at the age of 89. Yet, Uri Lubrani was laid to rest yesterday without any official government representative, Maariv reported. Lubrani, who died at age 92 this week, also served as Israel's ambassador to Iran and was the one who conducted the diplomatic contacts between Israel and Ethiopia that led to Operation Solomon. From 1983 to 2000 he served as the coordinator of operations in Lebanon and was involved in contacts with Nabih Beri, leader of the Amal movement, for the release of Ron Arad. Lubrani also served as head of the Israeli delegation to the negotiations with Lebanon in the framework of the Madrid talks. He was Advisor to Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett, Arab Affairs Advisor to Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, Director of the Office of Prime Minister for David Ben Gurion, Ambassador to Uganda and Ambassador to Ethiopia. At his funeral, Nili, one of the four daughters, said in her eulogy, “You served a young country that turned into today's Israel. Not everything that is happening today was to your liking. We saw you gather things into your stomach and hold back. You said, 'It's not right that soldiers are shown (in media) crying at funerals, because the Iranians decipher it wrong.' If they knew how sensitive you are and how much you love their shish-kabob they would have already made peace with Israel. A number of former Mossad chiefs and former Defense Ministers did attend the funeral. (Ynet Hebrew)
Quick Hits:
  • Senior IDF official denounces small group of 'lawless settlers' - Outgoing GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Roni Numa warns of continued existence of ‘small group of radical, lawless settlers’, praises IDF’s success in thwarting terror. (Ynet)
  • Israeli government-funded council spent millions on illegal settlements - Documents show Mateh Binyamin Regional Council money went to infrastructure at small, wildcat settler outposts. (Haaretz+)
  • In daylight campus raid, undercover commandos nab West Bank student leader - In a scene resembling Netflix thriller Fauda, undercover Border Police disguised as journalists arrest newly elected president of student union at Bir Zeit University in broad daylight for Hamas activities. (Yedioth/Ynet, Ynet Hebrew, Al-Jazeera and Times of Israel)
  • Israel passes law allowing it to revoke permanent residency of East Jerusalem Palestinians - The state can deport anyone whose residency status is withdrawn. Israeli Arab MK says bill is part of effort 'to empty East Jerusalem of Palestinians.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli Army Setting Up Extensive Database With Personal Details of Palestinians Collected at Checkpoints - After Haaretz reported that soldiers are erecting random checkpoints to collect personal details of Palestinians, the military explains it's part of Israel's use of big-data to foil terror attacks. (Haaretz+)
  • **The rift in society between Israeli Jews and Arabs is growing, survey shows - 48 percent of Jewish pollsters said they wouldn't want to have Arabs as neighbors; the percentage of Arab respondents who acknowledged Israel's right to exist has plummeted compared to a similar poll from last year. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Children's advocacy watchdog urges UN to blacklist IDF - Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict the latest group to accuse IDF of crimes against children • Watchlist official calls blacklist an "indispensable tool" • Group also wants Myanmar, Afghanistan government forces on list, no mention of Hamas. (Israel Hayom)
  • Gaza rocket sirens in southern Israel are false alarm, army says - Military is investigating why they sounded. (Haaretz)
  • Israeli prisoners stay jailed past release date because of a bureaucratic spat - A disagreement between the parole board and the Israel Prison Service costs inmates their overdue freedom. (Haaretz+)
  • Deputy FM to diplomats: Israel not responsible for situation in Gaza - The dire humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip stems from the internal Palestinian crisis, therefore Israel is not responsible for it, Tzipi Hotovely tells diplomats stationed in Israel • "The two-state solution is no longer relevant," she adds. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli minister in U.S.: Palestinians had their chance in Gaza, but they turned it into Afghanistan - Naftali Bennett tells U.S. Jewish students in New York that two-state solution is a terrible idea and ‘we’re done with that.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Arab FMs insist on Jerusalem as future Palestinian capital - At Arab League's Cairo headquarters, Arab foreign ministers endorse PA President Abbas' February call at U.N. Security Council for the recognition of Palestinian state, an international peace conference by mid-2018 and a timetable for two-state solution. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Palestinian parliament to convene for rare session next month (about Trump declaration) - Palestinian National Council to convene to discuss U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, PLO says • Members will also elect representatives to Palestinian Executive Committee, PLO's Central Council. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Report: Saudi crown prince meets senior Israeli officials in Egypt - Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed normalizing Israeli-Saudi ties and U.S. President Trump's planned "deal of the century," says London-based Arab paper • Saudis invite Israel to join mega-city venture in Gulf of Aqaba, report says. (Israel Hayom)
  • Ending 70-year ban, Saudi Arabia allows flights to Israel over its airspace - Saudi Arabia officially allows Air India to operate flights between India and Israel over Saudi airspace. (Haaretz)
  • Egypt's cyber-ops against ISIS jams Israeli cellular networks - In recent weeks the Egyptian military has been waging a major campaign against the Islamic State fighters in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. (Haaretz)
  • One more Palestinian party set to break Arab boycott on Jerusalem elections - This is the second group to participate in Jerusalem's municipal elections, breaking a boycott that started in 1967. (Haaretz+)
  • (Ultra-Orthdoox) Jerusalem Faction plans mass protest against IDF service - Two weeks after the passing of their leader, Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, radically anti-conscription sect gears up to flood Jerusalem streets, 'cause a noise the world will hear' in bid to demonstrate undiminished resolve to continue struggle. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • 'Dad, protect your daughter!' urges group opposing women in combat - Claiming it wants to "preserve the nature of the IDF," Brothers in Arms launches campaign urging fathers to discourage women from joining combat units • Standards have been lowered to suit female fighters, who are more likely to be injured, group says. (Israel Hayom)
  • Rabbi says LGBT is a sickness taking over Israel, but ‘we are not homophobic’ - Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira, a yeshiva dean, says support for healthy, religious families is being unfairly labelled homophobic. (Haaretz)
  • Minister lands in hot seat for telling female MKs to 'stop whining' - Speaking at Knesset session marking International Women's Day, Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis tells female lawmakers, "If you continue to whine, you will never become leaders" • MKs slam "shameful" remarks • Akunis: Sorry if I caused offense (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • Missing Files on Israeli Yemenite Children Who Disappeared in the 1950s Made Public - About a year after 3,500 files were made public based on a cabinet resolution, the Justice Ministry’s freedom-of-information unit has released a list of files that have disappeared. (Haaretz+)
  • PM asks Trump to allow ex-spy Jonathan Pollard to leave for Israel - Netanyahu asks U.S. president to ease parole restrictions on Jonathan Pollard in meeting this week, hoping to secure his arrival as gesture for 70th Independence Day, official says. Netanyahu said it is time to put affair behind U.S.-Israel relations. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli Labor Ministry Reveals: Grave Safety Violations in Construction Work Were Hidden From the Public - The ministry highlights 700 safety violations- many leading to fatal accidents- that transpired between 2012-2016; since the beginning of 2018, 10 construction workers have died in Israel. (Haaretz+)
  • Civil Servants’ Pay Now Double Israel’s Average Salary\ - The average for civil servants in 2016 approached $5,000 at current exchange rates, a government report shows, as port workers continued to do well. (Haaretz+)
  • Bezeq Cuts Dividend, Hit With Fine as Netanyahu Graft Case Continues - The telecom company also names two directors to replace the controlling shareholder and his son, who have been arrested as part of the affair. (Haaretz+)
  • Einstein letters of admiration, advice sell at Jerusalem auction - Note written by renowned physicist Albert Einstein to young Italian scientist Elisabetta Piccini after she declined to meet him sells for $6,100 • Another note, outlining Einstein's ideas for "Third Stage of the Theory of Relativity," sells for $103,000. (Israel Hayom)
  • Radical left-wing activists derail free speech event in London - One of the panelists accosted at King's College by so-called "anti-fascists" is Dr. Yaron Brook, an Israeli • Masked protesters waving Antifa flags storm lecture hall, attack security guards • Event chair decries attempt to undermine freedom of speech. (Israel Hayom)
  • Revised Israel Anti-Boycott Act still threatens free speech, ACLU says - ACLU says the bill continues to pose a risk to free speech, an accusation that its supporters in Congress and in pro-Israel organizations strongly reject. (Haaretz+)
  • Reports US may sell F-35 jets to UAE raise concern in Israel - Researcher warns of erosion of Israeli air superiority • PM assures "Israel's qualitative advantage will continue" • Sale may offset power balance between Iran, U.S. allies in Persian Gulf, but at cost to Israeli exclusivity over advanced F-35 system. (Israel Hayom)
  • Polish lawmakers pass resolution condemning 1968 expulsion of Jews - Warsaw lawmakers pass resolution to honor mass anti-communist protests and condemn ensuing anti-Semitic purge that saw 13,000 Jews forced out of Poland in 1968. Resolution condemns anti-Semitism and the "communist organizers of anti-Semitic persecution." (Israel Hayom)
  • Bombing That Killed Lebanon's Hariri Was Terror Act, UN Tribunal Rules - Special Tribunal for Lebanon says evidence presented by prosecutors 'could' lead to the convictions of four suspects. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran's missile production has increased 3-fold, general says - "In the past, we had to do a lot of explaining to various bodies for our actions, but it’s not like that anymore," says Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of Revolutionary Guards' aerospace division • He says officials have agreed on need for missiles. (Israel Hayom)
  • Saudi Prince Says Turkey Part of 'Triangle of Evil,' Egyptian Media Reports - Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's reported comments reflect Saudi Arabia's deep suspicion of President Tayyip Erdogan. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Cold Hearted? Russian Company Sparks Ire by Naming Prune-flavored Ice Cream 'Poor Jews' - The ice cream cone is wrapped in an image of the Israeli flag. (JTA, Haaretz)

Editorial Netanyahu and Israel's Public Security Minister Attack the Police (Haaretz Editorial) In savaging law enforcement for giving a witness against Netanyahu immunity from prosecution, the prime minister and his public security minister fail to consider the public interest.

Dror Eydar | American Jewry's outcry

AIPAC has changed from a political lobby to something of an umbrella group for U.S. Jewry. Bolstering their affiliation with Israel should be a national enterprise championed by the state.

Opinion We in the U.S. Jewish Community Coddle Our Own Farrakhans Too (Raphael Magarik, Haaretz+) It’s immoral and indefensible that Women’s March leader Tamika Mallory is currying favor with a despicable man. But as we pillory her, remember: We U.S. Jews tolerate, and frequently honor, our own Farrakhans - because we’re dependent on them.

The political system is still trying to solve the riddle: "What does Netanyahu want?" (Yanir Kozin, Maariv) While the Knesset and the government are acting as if waiting for the verdict in the crisis of Draft Law, the prime minister continues his visit to the United States with ease that is making several party leaders nuts.

They are not victims: state witnesses took on this role because of the clear interest of both sides (Attorney Ziva Agami Cohen, Maariv) The recent representation of the state's witnesses as victims distorts reality, since they are represented by an attorney. Their version and evidence they bring are closely checked as well as their motives.

Opinion Requiem for a Revolution (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Leaders from Haim Hanegbi's generation are the revolution that died long ago and is now slowly going to the grave. They are the last revolutionaries in this country.

The critical mass of the public has already made its decsion in the campaign on the identity of the state (Kalman Liebeskind, Maariv) The media criticism of the "I believe" song, which some of the soldiers from the Netzach Yehudah brigade began singing at the graduation ceremony of the IDF commander's course, makes it clear that some of the old elites continue to wage the same war. The song, whose words, “I have full belief, in the coming of the Messiah, and despite his delay. With all this I will wait for him on every day that he will return,” iss one of the thirteen principles of the Jewish faith written by Maimonides. This business is part of the Jewish story. You do not have to believe in it, just as you do not have to observe Shabbat, but just as you can not uproot Shabbat from the Jewish issue, you can not uproot (the song) “I believe." The power of this song is joined by the accepted tradition of its melody…But Channel Ten chose to frame this story under the heading “Religionization in the IDF," and that already takes the entire discourse to another place. Because beyond the nonsense in the use of this term, in this case - since the IDF has nothing to do with anything here, and the civilian parents are the ones who sang the song - the phrase “religionization” is becoming a synonym for trying to escape anything that smells of Judaism. Shabbat stories at pre-school? “Religionization.” The Land of Israel is the Promised Land? “Religionization.” I Believe (song)? “Religionization.” This is not a battle for stateliness, nor a battle for preserving the rules of ceremonies. These are just excuses. All this is part of the battle over the Jewish identity of the state. The critical mass of the Israeli public - certainly the religious and the traditional, but not only them - has long ruled in this campaign. Some of the old elites continue to wage war.

Analysis Netanyahu at AIPAC: The good, the bad and the bubble (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Five comments on a beautiful Israeli-American friendship that’s overshadowed by the problematic personalities of the countries' leaders.

Don’t Drag Israeli Academia Into Politics (Joseph Klafter, Haaretz+) Haaretz’s editorial confused readers over the difference between a political discussion and the role of the university heads.

Hodaya Shahar | Palestinian women's struggle misused

The international community is paying Palestinian NGOs to promote the status of women, but their plight is used as a ruse for furthering a violent stance against Israel.

The Real Oppressors of Gaza's Gay Community: Hamas or Israel? (Dorgham Abusalim, Haaretz+) LGBTQ life in Gaza is arduous and dangerous. I would know: I grew up there. But only blaming Palestine’s conservatism and Hamas, whitewashing Israel’s siege and military assaults, is dishonest and exploitative.

For Arab Women in Israel, It's Just Not Working (Nasreen Hadad Haj-Yahya, Haaretz+) Arab women - around 10% of the total population of Israel - barely participate in the workforce. Why?

Jordan's Stability at Stake as Fury Over Economic Hardship Rages (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Tax woes and a system overloaded by refugees is creating a dangerously explosive stockpile that could erupt.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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