News Nosh 3.12.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday, March 12, 2018
 
Quote of the day:
"The OECD presents Israel as a bi-polar society: an economy of flourishing high tech and finance, versus an economy of low productivity in the rest of industry; an economy of Tel Aviv versus an economy of the periphery; an economy of the secular and modern orthodox versus an economy of ultra-Orthodox Jews and Arabs; a positive and hopeful short term versus a long term that arouses pessimism and concern. But there are also unifying factors: we all suffer from high housing costs and intolerable road congestion. That's a comfort of sorts."
-Globes commentator, Amiram Barkat, on the 2018 OECD report that both praised Israel's strong economy and warned of the sharp gaps within society.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
An Israeli policeman named Yehuda Gigi hit Mohammed Shakir, 17, to force a confession. The Palestinian youth made the confession and served 10 months in prison for stone-throwing, despite security cameras showing he didn’t throw rocks at cars. And even when was the forced confession was revealed accidentally, the policeman kept his job.**

Front Page:
Haaretz
 
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Efforts for a compromise (on the Draft Law) - Elections zigzag - Near midnight: Understandings with the ultra-Orthodox, elections distanced
  • Netanyahu cooked porridge // Nahum Barnea
  • Took them for a ride // Sima Kadmon
  • They’ve had enough - why women in the world and in Israel are getting off high heels
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
A slow news day for the Hebrew newspapers with all of them focusing on one story: the crisis over the draft law. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reached a deal with his ultra-Orthodox coalition partner over the Draft Law, but elections still remained up in the air. Also high in the news was State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan’s response to Netanyahu who blatantly accused police of pressuring people to become state witnesses (there are three now testifying against Netanyahu) in order to tell lies about him. “We'll never recruit state witnesses and tell them to lie. Claiming otherwise is preposterous,” Nitzan said. What failed to make big headlines was the 2018 OECD report, which while praising Israel’s strong economy, warned (again) of Israel’s failure to integrate unskilled ultra-Orthodox and Arabs into the workforce through quality education and training. Israel Hayom’s article almost didn’t mention the problems.

Following an agreement between Netanyahu and the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party over the Draft Law, the question remained whether another coalition partner, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, would accept it. And still, questions remained whether Netanyahu and Lieberman were in cahoots to bring about a snap election, as per Netanyahu’s needs vis-a-vis the investigations into his alleged corruption. Yedioth’s Nahum Barnea wrote that “if he will think that a more central government would improve his situation in regards to the prosecutors, the media, the judicial system, he won’t hesitate to betray (the ultra-Orthodox),” who won’t benefit from early elections. Meanwhile, Habayit Hayehudi leader, Education Minister Naftali Bennett warned that if elections were called due to a failure to resolve the 'fake and unnecessary crisis,’ he won’t be satisfied by demanding only the defense ministry portfolio, he might run against Netanyahu. Maariv reported that if snap elections are held, they’ll be either on the 19th or 26th of June.
 
Quick Hits:
  • **Israeli Policeman Charged With Assaulting Palestinian Minor to Elicit False Confession - Detective indicted for assault after he allegedly beat teen to get a confession that the Palestinian was throwing stones. The incident came to light when a voice recording of the interview-under-duress was found in the police case files given to the suspect’s lawyer. In the recording, detective Yehuda Gigi can allegedly be heard beating Mohammed Shakir, 17, who was convicted to 10 months in prison for rock-throwing after false-confession. The recording was presumably accidental. (Haaretz)
  • Netanyahu orders new investigation policy in West Bank to avoid police probing itself - Netanyahu's proposed solution of military police handling probes has not been implemented. Israel Police have treated complaints against Border Police in West Bank despite criticism about conflict of interests. (Haaretz+)
  • Clashes erupt as settlers assault children in Jerusalem - Clashes erupted last night after Israeli settlers assaulted a number of children in the neighborhood of Silwan. Israeli Border Guard Police force later arrived at the scene and fired teargas canisters and stun grenades to disperse the angry Palestinian protesters. (Wafa)
  • Israeli settlers cut 15 olive trees south of Nablus - Ghassan Daghlas, head of the settlement portfolio in the northern West Bank for the Palestinian Authority, told WAFA that settlers from the illegal Yitzhar settlement cut 15 Olive trees that belong to farmer Muhammad Fawzi. (Wafa)
  • Footage shows Population Authority security guard swearing at east Jerusalem resident - East Jerusalem resident says he documented harsh conditions at Immigration and Population Authority's east Jerusalem office, but security guard asked him to stop and then swore at him; 'They don't want us documenting anything,' said a witness to the incident. (Ynet)
  • Elbit Systems to Buy IMI in Major Israeli Defense Merger - Elbit, which is expected to have to offload companies to address antitrust concerns, will pay $520 million for state-owned IMI. (Haaretz)
  • Shaare Zedek Hospital Director of the Department of Ophthalmology advanced an appointment for a cornea transplant for a private patient - Although others waited more than a year, a young man paid a private clinic headed by the department head, and was his turn was moved up. The hospital: The cornea or the date of the operation did not match the rest of the patients. Maariv earlier revealed that the same doctor fired five doctors - all Arab - shortly after he became its head. (Maariv)
  • Rabbi dismissed from IDF course for opposing women's service - Rabbi Tzvi Kostiner, who has accused the military of "waging a cultural war and trying to destroy families" by encouraging women to enlist, headed a rabbis' training course in the IDF reserves. Rabbi's associates slam "growing attempt to muzzle rabbis." (Israel Hayom)
  • IDF launches large-scale emergency preparedness exercise - Simultaneous with General Staff emergency preparedness exercise, Home Front Command to hold similar drill in government ministries, public institutions, schools; sirens will sound Tuesday at 11:05am, 7:05pm; IDF asks everyone to practice seeking shelter during drill. (Ynet)
  • Superman Dean Cain to swoop into Knesset Wednesday - Stupendous Superman actor Dean Cain to save the day this week, when he'll attend a Knesset event saluting Israel at the behest of his friend, Zionist Union MK Hilik Bar; Lois and Clark star became friends with Israeli parliamentarian when both visited Warsaw at the same time; 'His curiosity towards Israel transformed into love with the passage of time,' Bar shares. (Ynet)
  • Ovadia Yosef’s daughter: ‘If it were up to me, Shas would disappear’ - Daughter of Shas founder and spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Adina Bar-Shalom, declares that if it was up to her, Shas would disappear; 'Deri changed for the worse since leaving prison, he disappointed me,' she laments. (Ynet)
  • Israeli Emmys: ‘Fauda’ Wins Best TV Drama, ‘Shababnikim’ Best TV Comedy - At the Israel Academy for Film and Television’s awards ceremony, Channel 10 won for best news broadcast, 'A Wonderful Country' for best satire program and Ilana Dayan for lifetime achievement. (Haaretz)
  • Israel's Asylum Seekers Face Grim Prospects as Holot Detention Center Sends Them to the Unknown - Some of the African inmates of the facility in the desert are presented with an option to temporary relocate from the center- but most of the major cities are closed. (Haaretz+)
  • amilies from kibbutzim, moshavim to shelter asylum seekers - Initiatives underway for Israeli families at kibbutzim, moshavim, to provide refuge for asylum seekers facing expulsion; efforts to resettle 1,000 African families from south Tel Aviv in periphery cities; resettlement's organizer: 'Government likes the idea.' (Ynet)
  • Israel may declassify Jewish Agency archives dealing with racist absorption of North African Jews - Justice minister announces intended move after airing of new documentary 'The Ancestral Sin', which delves into sore spot in Israeli history: The treatment of immigrants who came to Israel in the 1950’s. (Haaretz+)
  • Hundreds of Poles gather to express solidarity with Jews - Warsaw rally held to express Polish solidarity with Jews, criticize government's 'radical inappropriate policies'; thousands attend Macedonia ceremony commemorating 75th anniversary of deportation of Macedonian Jews to Treblinka. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Israeli connects with Iranian tourism officials at trade show - ITB Berlin tourism and travel trade show allows Israeli executive to approach Iranian Tourism Ministry officials, speak to them about airing episode showcasing their country in Israel; 'Slight embarrassment was noted at first when I told them I was from Israel,' he recounts, adding, 'Tourism can make the connection between our two countries.' (Ynet)
  • Polish senator suggests expelling Israeli envoy for linking ruling party to 1968 purge of Jews - Senator Jan Zaryn says Poland 'may have to ask this lady to leave this country' after Israeli ambassador Anna Azari warns that 'it has been very easy to wake up and recall all anti-Semitic demons in Poland.’ (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Ann Coulter Tweetstorm Targeting 'Globalist' Jews Sparks Outrage - Twitter users were enraged, calling for the commentator to be banned from the platform over Coulter's use of what they deemed to be anti-Semitic and inflammatory language. (Haaretz)
  • Fox News Host: Trump Can't Be Racist, He Dated a Black Woman - Son-in-law Is Jewish - Jesse Watters has had awkward on-air moments before, taking time off last Spring after making a lewd joke about Ivanka Trump. (Haaretz)
  • Trump Administration Backs PLO in Terror Lawsuit, Angering Zionist Organization of America - The Supreme Court will say by March 29 whether it will consider the appeal by the litigants in the case, known as Sokolow v. Palestine Liberation Organization. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Syrian Army Gains Ground, Cleaves Rebel Enclave of Eastern Ghouta - The Syrian army has cut off two major towns from the rest of the area under 'unrelenting bombardment.’ (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Yedioth: Hezbollah forces participating in Ghouta massacre - Hundreds of the Lebanese organization's fighters have been taking part in the Assad army's onslaught on rebel forces in the eastern suburbs of Damascus following direct orders from Iran; to avoid criticism, Hezbollah leader Nasrallah has been hiding the fighters' participation in the battles from their families. (Yedioth/Ynet)


Features:
Sex for Food: With Nowhere Else to Turn, Women of Syria's Aleppo Face Exploitation by Aid Workers
Women are the sole breadwinners for almost half of the families of Aleppo, where men are scarce. But with no source of income, the city's women are forced to rely on local workers for aid. (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+)
"By right and not out of charity“: Tunisian women are fighting the discriminatory inheritance laws
Seven years after the state ignited the Arab Spring, its women have taken to the streets demanding equal rights.  (Yasir Ukbi, Maariv)
The Kids Are Alright: The American Teens Working to Change Muslim-Jewish Relations
Women’s advocacy group the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom is launching teen chapters later this year. The pilot scheme has already proved a success, with the girls looking to avoid the mistakes of previous generations. (Shachar Peled in New York, Haaretz+)
Voices of Mothers From 2014 Gaza War Are Spoken by Men in New Play
The women whose words make up the new play are hearing them anew as male actors recreate on stage their experiences from Operation Protective Edge. (Maya Asheri, Haaretz+)

Commentary/Analysis:
Replace Netanyahu or Hold Elections (Haaretz Editorial) The coalition cannot continue to exist under the cloud of suspicion that hangs over Netanyahu.
*OECD exposes a bipolar Israel (Amiram Barkat, Globes English) Israel's good economic performance hides extreme and worrying gaps that are liable to worsen.
How They Made Abbas the Enemy of Peace (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) Don't listen to Netanyahu's people. Unlike most Israeli leaders, who sentence future generations on both sides to the mire of the occupation, Abbas is still pushing for an agreed solution.
Lieberman's principle: What began as arm twisting has become a matter of values (Yossi Melman, Maariv) The defense minister estimates that if his party becomes stronger in the next elections, it will be difficult to establish a government without him, and he can demand the position he fell in love with, whether from Lapid or from Netanyahu.
Netanyahu Among the Lilliputians (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) Anything goes when it comes to flinging insults at Netanyahu or anyone who expresses admiration for him or Israel. Maybe it’s the result of a feeling of intellectual inferiority.
Holding on to the inheritance: The bloody war between the two challengers (Ben Caspit, Maariv) Along with Netanyahu's battle for survival, another struggle is being waged between Lieberman and Bennett, who see themselves as his successors. But while the former is coordinated with the prime minister's moves, the chairman of Habayit Hayehudi is threatening to embark on his own path.
How 'Fauda' Has Romanticized the Most Repugnant Aspects of Israel's Occupation (Hagar Shezaf, Haaretz+) When Israeli security forces, disguised as Palestinian journalists, stormed Birzeit university and arrested a student leader, the Israeli media, rather than outrage, offered its highest plaudit: "Just like 'Fauda.’”
There is nothing about the recent crisis except a cold calculation, the one who is the beneficiary of it is Netanyahu (Dr. Revital Amiran, Maariv) The prime minister set unreasonable conditions for his partners, with the aim of saving his political skin and perhaps his liberty. But if Kahlon or Bennett would speak, they might avoid being humiliated.
Netanyahu's Politics of Avoiding Indictment (Tzvia Greenfield, Haaretz) His possible motive for early elections seems far-fetched but is not to be ruled out: demands being made by U.S. President Donald Trump.
AIPAC isn’t Likud (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) There is no greater lie than the accusations that America’s pro-Israel lobby is a right-wing organization which is drifting away from the US Jewry. AIPAC isn’t taking sides, but its critics—most of whom belong to the radical left—are having trouble hearing Democrats and Republicans talk in favor of the alliance with Israel.
Louis Farrakhan and David Duke are some of America's most notorious hatemongers. Sheldon Adelson is not (Jonathan S. Tobin, Haaretz+) Not everyone we Jews don’t like is Hitler. Not everyone who opposes Israel’s government is an anti-Semite. Not every figure on the Jewish right is a Farrakhan.
Is Vladimir Putin an anti-Semite or philo-Semite? Depends on His Agenda (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) Experts are divided on whether the Russian president was really blaming the Jews for hacking the U.S. elections in his latest interview with Megyn Kelly. What’s clear, though, is that he has some allies with decidedly anti-Semitic views.
Jewish food tells the story of immigrants, not of Israeli nationalism (Rafram Chaddad, +972mag) Jewish food has always been a way to demonstrate how Jewish immigrants and refugees mixed and integrated into different societies. So how did it all of a sudden become ‘Israeli?’
The Tide Has Turned, but Netanyahu's Coalition Partners Are Convinced He's Still Set on Elections (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) Advancing early elections doesn’t serve only Netanyahu, the serial suspect – it's also in the Likud’s interests.
 
Interviews:
Seeds of resistance: The woman fighting occupation with agriculture
Vivien Sansour, founder of the Palestine Heirloom Seed Library, talks to +972 Magazine about Palestinian agricultural heritage, the occupation in global context, and the movement to preserve local farming techniques and biodiversity. (Interviewed by Joshua Leifer in +972mag)

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