News Nosh 3.27.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday March 27, 2018
 
Quote of the day:
"The vision of an Arab prime minister, which at present seems like a delusional idea, is drawing near. And then this will be an equal and democratic country, and not a Jewish and democratic one.”
—Arab MK Ahmad Tibi said after new statistics showed that an equal number of Jews and Arabs live between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, or possibly more Arabs.*

Number of the day:
17.
Percentage that settlement growth has surged from the annual average since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took office in 2009, according to Peace Now report.**

Front Page:
Haaretz
Sara and Yair Netanyahu suspected of obstruction of justice in Case 4000
State to 59-year-old grandfather (Eritrean asylum seeker): Prove that you aren’t 32-years-old
Trump expelled 60 Russian diplomats and put himself at the front facing Putin // Chemi Shalev
The mistaken activation of Iron Dome testifies to the nervousness in the south // Amos Harel
Foreign ministers of Germany and France talked with Netanyahu’s in order to save the nuclear agreement
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-germany-france-to-netanyahu-sanction-iran-missile-program-1.5949708
President invited thousands of prisoners who served third of their sentence to submit pardon request
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-at-least-3-000-prisoners-eligible-for-independence-day-pardon-1.5949839
Four hospitals announced they would not instruct guards to search for chametz (bread)
Bennet’s censorship // Haaretz Editorial
https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/academia-in-the-government-s-service-has-no-place-in-a-democracy-1.5949775
The left-wing is committing suicide // Nehamia Shtrassler
Tightening belts - Half of drivers in Israel don’t give importance to car safety
Yedioth Ahronoth
Exclusive - Summit of Mossad chiefs: “The country is in a critical condition, for our (country’s) leadership, the personal interest of more power and money trumps the good of the public”
(Former Mossad chief) Pardo warns: The intelligence failure in discovering the Syrian reactor is jointly held by the Military Intel and the Mossad
Sara Netanyahu refused a frontal confrontation (with state witnesses)
https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5200244,00.html
Kahlon’s mayors - Five mayors, including of Haifa, joined the Kulanu party
Rainy on Passover Eve
Stormy Storm - Trump’s porn star reveals everything
The idea is great, the implementation less so: What happens in the (Education Ministry’s) ‘School during Holiday’
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Sara Netanyahu refused a frontal confrontation with state witnesses Hefetz and Filber
The confrontations that didn’t take place // Amir Zohar
IDF warns: Activation of Iron Dome was not a mistake or glitch
Shaky nerves // Yossi Melman
West against Russia: The expulsion - US, Canada and a row of European countries joined Britain and announced the expulsion of some 100 Russian diplomats, whom they claim were involved in spying
The demographic storm - Israel’s Civil Administration (of the Palestinian Territories) revealed more than 5 million Palestinians live in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; Right-wing angry: Unreliable statistics
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
 
Quick Hits:
  • State: Israeli settlers shot and killed Palestinian man in self defense in Qusra; case closed - Investigation shows Palestinian man, 48, was involved in throwing stones at nearby hikers, mostly children on bar mitzvah trip in West Bank. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • **Peace Now: Settlement growth has surged under Trump - Israel began construction on 2,783 settlement homes in 2017, a 17% increase in the annual average since PM Netanyahu took office in 2009, says Peace Now report. Senior Palestinian Authority official: Figures prove Netanyahu is not interested in peace. (Israel Hayom and Ynet)
  • Amona evacuees to inaugurate new Amichai settlement - 25 of the families evacuated from outpost to enter new homes in newly-established Amichai Monday—first Israeli community officially endorsed in West Bank in a quarter century; despite joyous occasion, residents level criticism, say 'certain figures close to home turned a cold shoulder, tried to make decisions for us.' (Ynet)
  • Jordanian Foreign Minister: "Naharayim belongs to us, but also to Israelis" - Ayman al-Safadi said in a parliamentary debate in his country that the al-Bakoura area belongs to Jordan but that Israel has ownership of its land, according to the 1994 peace agreement signed between the two countries. (Maariv)
  • At least 3,000 prisoners eligible for pardon in honor of Israel's 70th anniversary - Prisoners who have served at least a third of their sentences, prisoners with short sentences and those 70 or older or seriously ill are eligible. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Terror victim confronts her Palestinian assailant in court - Revital Kenino was ambushed outside her Lod home last year and stabbed by Malik Bassem Ismail Saada. "He had murder in his eyes," she tells court. Saada's lawyer says his motive was political, but personal issues and alcohol use were also involved. (Israel Hayom and Ynet)
  • Iron Dome system triggered due to 'system oversensitivity' - Salvo of Iron Dome interceptors as a result of heavy Gaza machine gun fire leads to IAF inquiry; aerial defense commander says no human, technical error led to barrage; 'We don't take chances in situations with even slightest potential of harming either civilians or property,' he states. (Ynet)
  • Israeli army defends erroneous Iron Dome fire over Gaza: ‘We don’t take risks’ - The anti-missile system activation by Hamas gunfire was neither due to human error nor a technical failure, says commander of IDF’s aerial defense corps. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Rabbis condemn IDF for 'trying to re-educate' religious recruits - Letter by 200 rabbis blasts the IDF's "extreme liberal views" that come at the expense of the military's "principal responsibility – to deliver Israel from its enemies and ensure our hold on our holy land" • Rabbis lament mixed-gender, women's service. (Israel Hayom)
  • UNHCR accused Israel of forcing citizenship on Golan Druze - United Nations Human Rights Council adopts 5 anti-Israel resolutions, prompting US to again threaten to withdraw from agency; motions call for, inter alia, arms embargo on Israel, end to leniency against hate crimes against Palestinians. (Ynet)
  • Israel's top court delays planned expulsion of asylum seekers - Author and Israel Prize winner David Grossman asks court to join petitions behind delay: 'Israel was created as a home for refugees.’ (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Haredi vs. Secular: Who Will Succeed Nir Barkat as Jerusalem's Mayor? - Only three candidates are considered to have chance: Moshe Leon, who's close to Lieberman, the ultra-Orthodox deputy mayor, and a 35-year-old pluralist. (Haaretz+)
  • New Meretz chief under review for campaign irregularities - State Comptroller Yosef Shapira to examine alleged clandestine ties by newly elected Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg and strategy adviser Moshe Klughaft for possible party finance law breaches; Zandberg maintains Klughaft—who previously managed Naftali Bennett's Bayit Yehudi campaign—was not employed by her camp but merely provided unsolicited advice. (Ynet)
  • Turkish parliamentarian bursts out saying: "Palestine will be liberated!" - Knesset membert Nachman Shai (Zionist Camp) spoke at a meeting of the International Parliaments Association and said that Israel would not agree to realize the right of return of the Palestinians: "It will cause the destruction of Israel as the state of the Jews.” (Maariv)
  • UK chief rabbi pans Israeli counterpart for racist slurs - In first ever public spat between UK and Israeli chief rabbis, Rabbi Mirvis laments 'deeply offensive' and totally unacceptable' comparison drawn by Israel Sephardic chief rabbi Yitzhak Yosef between black people and monkeys. (Ynet)
  • ”Mabruk Aleik Ya’Aris" (Arabic for ‘Congratulations to you, the groom’): Watch Zionist Camp leader, MK Avi Gabbay tear up the dance floor at a wedding - In spite of the unflattering polls and growing criticism from his party, the chairman of the Zionist Camp also found time for festivities, and posted a video clip on Twitter in which he was dancing: "The whole world needs to see.” (Maariv+VIDEO)
  • Israeli greens fume as Noble Energy asks to block publication of Leviathan data - At issue is data meant to be privy to the public under the emissions permit the company will be receiving, which will set the pollution limits allowed during operation of the rigs. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel issues travel warnings ahead of Passover holiday - Israelis advised to avoid traveling to Sinai, Turkey, southern Thailand, which are under a "concrete risk" of terrorist attacks, Counterterrorism Bureau says. Al-Qaida is trying to exploit Islamic State's collapse to expand its reach, bureau warns. (Israel Hayom)
  • **Lawsuit blames Netanyahu corruption probe for dud Milchan film - Plaintiffs say Hollywood producer too distracted by role in Netanyahu bribery affair to market ‘Rules Don’t Apply.’ (Haaretz)
  • Israel thanks US for 'record-breaking' missile defense aid - The $705 million allocation, up from $600 million last year, will be used to develop Israel's multi-layered missile defense system, says Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Allocation is separate from the annual $3.1 billion U.S. aid package to Israel. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel requests exemption from new US metal import tariffs - Although Israeli metal exports to U.S. are marginal, at $25 million a year, new tariffs set to take effect in May would significantly impact local businesses, says Economy Minister Eli Cohen. Several countries and EU have already been granted exemptions. (Israel Hayom)
  • Sisi to win Egyptian election but seeks high turnout - After his main opponents withdrew from the race complaining of repression, Egypt's incumbent president faces only one challenger, a long-time supporter of Sisi; polling stations to stay open for three days in effort to garner as many votes as possible to bolster Sisi's rule. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Explained: Iran vs. Saudi Arabia: Missile Attack on Riyadh Further Escalates Deadly Yemen Conflict - The war in the region's poorest country, which pits a coalition of Sunni Arab states friendly to the West against a Shi'ite armed rebels backed by Iran, has unleashed one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. (Agencies, Haaretz)


Features:
Searching for the Altalena, the Ship That Almost Sank Young Israel
Ben-Gurion ordered Israeli forces to sink the ship that belonged to a right-wing-militia because it challenged the new state's authority. Now, two experts insist they can find it - but how many political demons will they dredge up? (Moshe Gilad, Haaretz+)
Israel’s advocacy people: “We expose the connection between the terrorist organizations and the organizations of delegitimization"
"We identified the need to provide legal tools for anyone who wants to act in the arena of fighting terrorism and anti-Semitism," says attorney Yifah Segal, founder and director of the International Legal Forum. (Ilana Stutland, Maariv)
'Netanyahu doesn’t have the genes of a thief': How die-hard fans see the Israeli prime minister
He’s being persecuted, he’s innocent, he's a great leader – four Likud voters explain why they're sticking with Netanyahu. (Roy Arad, Haaretz+)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
Demography does not lie: The figures given to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee are very close to reality (Prof. Sergio DellaPergola, Maariv) Altogether, over 13 million people live here. Among them: more than 6.5 million Jews and more than 1.8 million Arabs, who are citizens or residents of Israel, including 350,000 in Jerusalem, 2.6 million in Judea and Samaria (West Bank excluding Jerusalem) and more than 1.8 million in Gaza. The demographic balance plays and will play a critical role in defining the national identity of the State of Israel. The answer lies in defining the territory that will ultimately be under Israeli sovereignty: more territory means less Jewish identity; more Jewish identity means less territory.
Iron Dome Malfunction Embarrasses Israel as Hamas Seeks Missile Defense System's Vulnerability (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) The accidental firing of Israel's missile defense system reflects the growing tensions surrounding Gaza. The system may have been calibrated to a higher-than-usual level of sensitivity.
Iron Dome's error points to nerves that can get out of hand (Yossi Melman, Maariv) It is not clear whether the incident (in which Iron Dome missile defense system was triggered by Hamas gunfire) was a coincidence or a deliberate experiment by Hamas, but any small incident could lead to an overreaction and escalation. It is unclear how the system will function in the event of a war in the north.
Why half of Israelis still support Netanyahu (Prof. Yoram Yovell, Yedioth/Ynet) Deep down inside, we want to be a bit like the prime minister—to test the limits, to maneuver within the gray area between right and wrong, and to successfully and quickly get away from those trying to catch us.
Academia in the Government's Service Has No Place in a Democracy (Haaretz Editorial) Education Minister Bennett's effort to regiment Israel’s higher education system through disciplinary rules against voicing anti-government views is fundamentally unacceptable.
Condemnation offers no solutions (Ram Cohen, Israel Hayom) U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman is fanning Palestinian indignation by condemning PA President Abbas, instead of acting as befits the representative of a neutral mediator country.
Flowers for ‘Yesh Din’ organization: It pushed the government to establish a settlement larger than Amona (Prof. Arieh Eldad, Maariv) If the legal battle that brought about the destruction of Amona comes from "rational" reasons and not from blind hatred, then this week, the left must have a deep political soul-searching.
Why Was Israel's Attack on Syria's Reactor Suddenly Cleared for Publication? (Raviv Drucker, Haaretz+) After Israel kept the bombing under wraps for a decade, the sudden disclosure leaves the bitter taste of ulterior motives.
Aggression by any other name (Dr. Reuven Berko, Israel Hayom) The same Hamas officials who routinely shoot their own people are now instructing them to direct their frustrations at Hamas' military, political and economic failures toward Israel.
 
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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