News Nosh 3.21.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Quote of the day:
"Leaders can deceive, steal, destroy countries and abuse citizens, but only on the condition that their most horrendous acts are carried out politely, in clean language, when they are dressed in suits and ties, and delicately holding the stem of a tall glass of wine with a napkin under it. Abbas can’t be a member of that club, which is reserved only for real leaders who rule real countries. Again and again he tries to muscle his way in, and each time the bouncers kick him out."
--Haaretz journalist Zvi Bar'el accuses world leaders of being hypocrites.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
"Thirty-four seconds. That’s how much time passed between the start of the stabbing attack in which Adiel Coleman was murdered Sunday and the moment the police arrived and killed the assailant, Abed al-Rahman Bani Fadel."
--Haaretz+'s Jerusalem Affairs reporter, Nir Hasson, writes that the police detention of 8 Palestinian passersby and shopkeepers for not stopping or intervening in the murder of Coleman, which would put them at risk for being mistaken for the terrorist, is a cruel demand and a a test case for raising the legal threshold for preventing a crime.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • “We did it. The target was destroyed” - 11 years later, Israel confirms for the first time: “We attacked the Syrian nuclear reactor”
  • Special: All the heroes of the operation tell Yedioth about the dramatic moments
  • World war in the cabinet: Olmert pushed to attack, Barak opposed
  • Credit to everyone // Nahum Barnea
  • The Deir A-Zour legacy // Alex Fishman
  • The lesson afterward // Yossi Yehoshua
  • Solving the atom // Ronen Bergman
  • Bush’s version // Orly Azoulay
  • Between two reactors // Amos Yadlin
  • Rely on ourselves // Nadav Eyal
  • The pilot Kfir: “I hugged my daughter. She didn’t know where Daddy was going”
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
Today’s big story was the confirmation by Israel that it attacked Syria’s nuclear reactor in 2007 and the details of the operation, whose release for publication by Israel was a ‘future message for all of our enemies,’ said IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and Israeli analysts. (See Commentary/Analysis below.) Also of interest, Maariv translated to Hebrew and printed the full Op-Ed by Ron Lauder that was published this week in the New York times, in which he describes himself as a right-winger but realizing that for Israel’s security and future it must commit to the two-state solution.

Here are some key articles in English about the 2007 operation against Syria’s nuclear reactor:
No longer a secret: How Israel destroyed Syria's nuclear reactor (Haaretz+, Ynet)
Syria strike revealed The intelligence failure: It took years for Israel to discover Syria's reactor (Haaretz+)
Former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi: After reactor bombing, I hoped Israel wouldn't wake up to sirens (Ynet)
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert: 2,500 people knew about Syrian reactor strike plan—and nothing was leaked (Ynet)
Former defense minister Ehud Barak's version: Syrian reactor strike plans were insufficient - denies accusations that he pushed for a delay (Ynet)
Two prime ministers' egos battle over the Syrian nuclear reactor strike (Haaretz+)
Pilot who participated in IAF's daring three-minute bombing: Blowing up nuclear reactor, maintaining a poker face (Ynet)
IDF official: 2007 reactor strike a unique intelligence achievement (Israel Hayom)
'The atmosphere was tense': Inside the first briefings about Syria’s secret North Korean nuclear reactor (Haaretz+)
Ten Years of Silence on Syria Strike. Why Now? (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
Waltz with Bashar: Ynet correspondent Ron Ben-Yishai traveled to Syria shortly after the attack and recounts his visit (Ynet)
Quick Hits:
  • Israel Police arrests (sic-detains) 8 Jerusalem residents and vendors for not preventing fatal stabbing attack - Those arrested, residents and market vendors between ages 15-67, brought in for questioning on a charge of failing to prevent a crime, the murder of Adiel Kolman in Jerusalem's Old City. Two were released after questioning, other six were released to house arrest because judge said evidence was 'weak.' (Haaretz+, Israel Hayom and Ynet)
  • Israeli soldiers tear gas Palestinian village as children make their way to school - As Palestinian children were heading to school on Wednesday morning, Israeli forces raided the central occupied West Bank village of al-Mughayyir, in the Ramallah district, injuring eight people with rubber-coated steel bullets while dozens of others, some kindergarten children, suffered from tear gas inhalation. Wafa news agency reported that undercover Israeli soldiers also raided the local boys’ school, during which they beat 10 students and detained three of them. (Maan)
  • Israel demands that left-wing groups disclose funding sources, activists’ personal details - Organizations that facilitate meetings between Israelis and Palestinians must now provide extensive information in order for the Palestinians to be granted entry permits to Israel. (Haaretz+)
  • More than 12,000 Jews visit Temple Mount since September - Temple Mount groups publish new data showing at least 12,125 Jews visited holy site in first half of current Jewish year, compared to 8,229 in comparable period last year—a 47% increase; actual number most likely higher, since report excludes Jews who visited independently. (Ynet)
  • Mayim Bialik says sticking up for Israel has come with ‘a heavy price’ - 'I’m happy to take that public bullet for the state,' Bialik says at an anti-Semitism conference in Jerusalem. (Haaretz+)
  • IDF Soldier wounded in Samaria car-ramming attack regains consciousness - Significant improvement recorded in the condition of one of the soldiers hurt in Friday's terror attack on route 585 between the settlements of Mevo Dotan and Hermesh, in which two of his fellow troops were killed. (Ynet)
  • IDF soldier killed by unintentional firearm discharge - Staff Sgt. Shachar Strug, 20, accidentally shot dead at an IDF base in central Israel; investigation has been opened into the incident; this is the first death of an IDF soldier by unintentional discharge since July. (Ynet)
  • Haredim burn soldier effigy during Jerusalem anti-draft protest - Haredi anti-draft protwesters riot in Jerusalem, damaging city property and burning effigy of IDF soldier, as well as copies of the draft-supportive Haredi daily Yated Ne'eman. (Ynet)
  • Who's hiding Israeli air force participation in major exercise with UAE and U.S.? - It's unclear why Israel is not mentioned on the promotional website of the annual Iniohos exercise with the U.S., UAE, Greece, Britain, Cyprus and Italy. (Haaretz)
  • Netanyahu defends Egypt border fence: Influx of African migrants more dangerous than terrorism - Israel would be facing terror attacks from the Sinai without the border fence, but even worse, says Netanyahu, the entry of over a million migrants. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • WATCH 'Who knows if Abraham wasn’t black': Israeli artists slam asylum seeker deportations in new song - Israeli artist Ehud Banai re-recorded his 1987 song “Dirty Work” in a new version to protest Israel's plan to deport African asylum seekers. (Haaretz)
  • Netanyahu congratulates Mike Pompeo on nomination as U.S. secretary of state in phone call - The two leaders discussed the excellent relationship between Israel and the U.S. and common opportunities in the region. (Haaretz)
  • Former IDF chief: Netanyahu 'deserves to be PM if not indicted' - Benny Gantz, who presided over Operation Protective Edge, says it's too easy to criticize from the sidelines, but advocates legislation for a limited term for any prime minister; 'It is the hardest job in the state. Being in power too long produces a kind of numbness.' (Ynet)
  • Despite tensions, Israel approves Gaza humanitarian relief measures - IDF decides on series of relief measures for beleaguered Gaza populace, including more entry permits for traders, young people, more lenient terms for fishermen; COGAT, Southern Command officers conferred on measures, agreed to move forward despite official Israeli position on no humanitarian crisis. (Ynet)
  • EU raises half-billion dollars for project to improve Gaza’s drinking water - Israel, Palestinian Authority voice support for the initiative. At Brussels conference, EU high representative for foreign affairs says there is no State of Palestine without Gaza. (Haaretz)
  • Former Israeli Liaison to the (Palestinian) Territories: “Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) is in control, he is simply frustrated" - Maj. Gen. (res.) Eitan Dangot spoke about the harsh attack by the Palestinian Authority chairman against the American ambassador, in which he called the ambassador a ‘son of a dog’ and a ‘settler.’ Dangot: “I have accumulated quite a few hours of meetings with Abu Mazen and I can tell you that the man is still in control. He is very frustrated that the core of his political work has been completely broken by American policy and now knows that he has nothing to lose if he attacks them. " (Maariv)
  • Minister Yoav Galant: Abbas pressuring Hamas to rap Israel - Housing Minister speaks about crisis in Fatah-Hamas relations following attempt on life of Palestinians PM Hamdallah, says Palestinian President Abbas 'about to exit stage with no accomplishments'; frustration at that fact, he adds, has led him to making stupid comments; on mass Gaza rally near border: 'There will be no invasion.' (Ynet)
  • Netanyahu: Stop treating Palestinians like a ‘spoiled child’ - PM Netanyahu tells Bulgarian FM that Europeans should be as frank with Palestinian Authority about refugees as they are with Israel about borders. (JPost and Ynet)
  • Jerusalem artist spotlights Israelis and Palestinians who were burned alive - A series of works, jolting in their simplicity, center on the names of eight Israelis and Palestinians who burned themselves to death or were burned alive. (Haaretz+)
  • Thanks to Israeli efforts, EU steps up war against online incitement - Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and ministers from Greece, Italy, Malta, Moldova and Slovakia to take unprecedented step of signing joint statement against online incitement, calling it a criminal offense. France to push for EU laws to fight incitement. (Israel Hayom)
  • As online incitement soars, Shaked weighs action against Twitter - Justice Minister cites upward trend in incitement after Trump's Jerusalem declaration, but emphasizes that while Facebook promptly removes violent content, Twitter is 'ignoring’ requests. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israel to declassify archives on racist absorption of Moroccan Jewish immigrants - The initiative follows the broadcast of a film documenting the systematic discrimination and racism suffered by Jews who came to Israel from Morocco in the early days of the state. (Haaretz+)
  • How Paddington ditched his beloved marmalade sandwich in favor of a kosher matza - Some posters of ‘Paddington 2’ across Israel switched the bear's iconic marmalade sandwich to a Passover-friendly equivalent. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel's Channel 10 News on market for $57 million - If such a sale comes to fruition, it could facilitate a merge of Channel 10 and Reshet, the franchise of Channel 13. (Haaretz)
  • Expert: Arms smuggling affair may sour Israeli-French relations - Affair will force France to keep a low profile, weaken Minster of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, French historian says, adding it will provide Israel with means to exert pressures on French consulate; while weapons were meant for West Bank arms dealers, armaments presumed to have also reached local terror groups; 'We're fighting terror that has claimed 250 lives in France but trafficking 70 weapons with a French diplomatic passport?' French MP exclaims. (Ynet)
  • Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia: Top Three Stunning Admissions From the Top U.S. General in the Middle East - Assad has won, Iran deal should stand and Saudis use American weapons without accountability in Yemen: head of U.S. military’s Central Command's stunning Congressional testimony. (Haaretz)
  • UN rights chief blasts 'war crimes' in Syrian conflict - Zeid Raad al-Hussein decries "mind-numbing crimes" using "unlawful methods of warfare," especially by Assad regime • "When you are capable of torturing and indiscriminately killing your own people, you have long forfeited your own credibility," he says. (Israel Hayom)
  • Germany presses Iran to recognize Israel's right to exist - In effort to prevent U.S. from backing out of Iran nuclear deal, Germany demands Iran renounce anti-Semitic, anti-Israel activities. EU foreign ministers discuss renewed sanctions on Iran, but EU foreign policy chief says no practical proposal exists. (Israel Hayom)
  • In holiday greeting, Trump blasts Tehran for 'brutalizing' Iranians - U.S. President Donald Trump wishes "blessed Nowruz" to Iranians celebrating arrival of spring • Trump blasts Iran's leaders, Revolutionary Guard Corps, says Iranian people burdened by "rulers who serve themselves instead of serving the people." (Israel Hayom)
  • Trump's new lawyer: The man who sent Jonathan Pollard to jail - Joseph diGenova has promoted conspiracy theories about a ‘deep state’ attempt to ‘frame’ Trump and his campaign for criminal activities. (Haaretz+)
  • Charlottesville mayor: Trump made 'devil's bargain' with anti-Semites - Speaking in Jerusalem at a conference on anti-Semitism, Mike Signer spoke about coming under fire after publicly discussing his Jewish identity. (Haaretz+)
  • U.K. upset with Israel's Russia-free condemnation of chemical attack on ex-spy - After Israel condemned the nerve agent attack without mentioning Russia, Britain says 'we expect strong statements' from all of their 'close partners, Israel included.’ (Haaretz)

Palestinian youth divided over days of rage
While many Palestinian university students interviewed for this story were not in favor of clashing with the IDF, saying their leadership is using them as tools in a political game, others wore their time in Israeli prison as a badge of honor and one even asserted the only answer is to 'stab, shoot or kill Israelis.' (Ynet)
Israeli Arabs, Facing Roadblocks at Local Universities, Flock to West Bank Schools
Skirting Israel's stringent admissions standards, Arabs now outnumber residents of the territories at the first private Palestinian university in Jenin. (Yaser Wakid, Haaretz+)
French graphic novel depicts Theodor Herzl's life
Graphic memoir by French-Jewish and Russian-Jewish duo depicts State Visionary Herzl in his later years, but also during his rough and tumble days as a Viennese student; novel juxtaposes Herzl's story with that of a young Russian boy escaping pogroms in 1882 Russia. (Tamar Shabak, Yedioth/Ynet)
'Why him and not me?' The Orthodox women defying their rabbis and joining the Israeli army - The number of observant women in the military has skyrocketed nearly 170 percent in five years, with the biggest rise seen in combat roles. Four religious women reveal why they’re reporting for duty. (Judy Maltz, Haaretz+)

**For Jerusalem police, a Palestinian who doesn't prevent a 34-second stabbing attack is a criminal (Nir Hasson, Haaretz+) To expect someone to intervene and risk being mistaken for the terrorist is a cruel demand, but the police still want bystanders indicted for the latest fatal attack.
"Go to sleep in Benayahu, we may wake up to a Tel Aviv with a completely different skyline" (Avi Benayahu, Maariv) "The Syrians built a nuclear reactor," the head of IDF  operations department told me more than a decade ago. "We're going to attack it. Prepare and don’t share this with anyone.” Avi Benayahu, then the IDF spokesman, reconstructs the tense days.
The real fallout from Israel's 2007 attack on the Syrian reactor (Aluf Benn, Haaretz+) The bombing of the nuclear reactor near the Euphrates River reshaped Israel’s defense policy – and led to the downfall of the Olmert government.
Really "outside the box" (Ronen Bergman, Yedioth) The publication today (of the operation) has a message. When Israel is abandoned alone to face its enemies, it acts determinedly and aggressively.. Like then in 2007, so it is today. The Russians and the Americans refused to intervene against Iran's empowerment in Syria. Israel will not accept this.
Palestinians' New Doomsday Weapon Has Israel Scared to Death (Bradley Burston, Haaretz+) The first field trial is next week, the day of Passover. A new weapon against occupation, wielded by Palestinian refugees. And Israel, with its layers of defense against every manner of killing devised by man, is unprepared.
Bombing the Syrian reactor: The difference between it and the attack in Iraq and to who really deserves the credit (Amos Gilboa, Maariv) The comparison between the two attacks shows complete difference. The Mossad received a justified reputation of glory for attacking the reactor in Syria, but the role of Military Intelligence in the operation, to whom which the hat should be taken off, was not given prominence.
Ahed Tamimi's Only Protection Is an Open Trial (Haaretz Editorial) The court rejected the request to hold the Palestinian teen's trial in open court. In this case, secrecy serves those with something to hide.
*With 'Son of a Dog' Remark, Abbas Showed He's Finished With America. And Jerusalem Rejoiced (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) What better gift for Israel in honor of the 51st anniversary of the occupation than Mahmoud Abbas showing there's no longer a Palestinian partner.
Hypocrisy Alert: Trump administration blasts Mahmoud Abbas for using foul language (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Ambassador Friedman should not be called a 'Son of a Dog' but he embodies U.S.-Israeli efforts to humiliate the Palestinians into submission.
A moral breakdown (Amnon Lord, Israel Hayom)Abbas and the murderers he cultivates do as they please; they are never made to pay a price for their actions. The g overnment must find a way to ensure they do.
Forget 'son of a dog' – Abbas' speech was disconcerting for an entirely different reason (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) The Palestinian president is trapped between a U.S. administration he doesn't trust and the failed reconciliation process with Hamas.
As IDF keeps destroying tunnels, Hamas rebuilds old ones (Yoav Zitun, Yedioth/Ynet) In response to Israel’s new anti-tunnel technologies, the Palestinian organization is now focusing its efforts on putting tunnels that were destroyed during Operation Protective Edge back into operation; According to military estimates, however, Hamas is still digging additional tunnels.
Settling in Jerusalem: A Zionist imperative (Prof. Efraim Inbar, Israel Hayom) As the capital grows increasingly ultra-Orthodox and Arab, a haredi-Arab coalition could threaten the consensus in favor of a united city. Drawing Zionist Jews to the city should be a priority.
Asylum seekers: denied asylum, stuck doing jobs Israelis avoid (Meital R. Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) They came to Israel from African countries after a long and exhausting journey, filed a request for asylum and now they may find themselves deported. In the meantime, they have to support themselves with grunt work that often exposes them to exploitation.
Netanyahu's narrative will win out (Dr. Eitan Orkibi, Israel Hayom) The narrow narrative suggesting that Netanyahu is criminally obsessed with slanting the media is inconsistent with what many perceive: Netanyahu liberated the  media and made it pluralistic.

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