News Nosh: June 14, 2018

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday June 14, 2018
Quote of the day:
“Today I write to you and my heart is on the verge of tears. I read the High Court's decision regarding our Bedouin neighbors. It is clear that the four petitions submitted by the (Kfar Adumim settlement) Association contributed to a decision that would enable the forcible evacuation of our Bedouin neighbors. From here, I cannot understand why the community leadership chose to act to expel our neighbors. What instinct has led us to want the destruction of their homes? What morality has motivated us to want to expel people for the second time, after their families were already expelled from the State of Israel in the 1950s? What imperviousness, and perhaps arrogance, led us to refuse to join the proposal of members of the community to reach a jointly agreed solution? What logic made us open a terrible account with those who live next to us? The Bedouin houses are illegal. Maintaining the law is essential to the welfare of society. But this was not the principle that was of top concern to the leadership of the community. If this were the case, it would have prevented unauthorized construction inside (our own) community, before it acted against illegal construction by the Bedouin. It eyes were set on other considerations, not keeping the law and not good neighborliness. I hope that there were no considerations regarding the fact that our neighbors are not Jews, because these are unacceptable to me as a Jew.”
—Part of a letter written this week by former Jewish Agency chairman, Sallai Meridor, slamming his fellow settlers at Kfar Adumim settlement where he lives, for their actions to get rid of their Bedouin neighbors, the village of Khan al-Ahmar.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
The three Jewish settlers detained Tuesday for attacking and injuring six police officers during the eviction from the Netiv Ha'avot settlement outpost, were released the following day, yet 21 Arab Israeli citizens were detained for three days last month for participating in a non-violent protest in Haifa against the IDF killing of Gazans and during their detention seven of the civilians were hospitalized for injuries they received in the hands of police.**

Front Page:
  • Trump: The nuclear threat from N. Korea is gone
  • Actually, Trump’s softness towards Kim will advance peace // Asaf Ronal
  • Today the World Cup Mundial opens in Russia
  • Labor Ministry ordered supervisors not to stop threats to life at construction sites, just to photograph them
  • TV channels Reshet and Channel 10 signed merger contract expected to bring about dismissal of hundreds of workers
  • More than 100 residents of Afula demonstrated against selling a home in the city to an Arab family
  • (Justice Minister) Shaked advancing law that will allow fining people who go to prostitutes 1500 shekels
  • Center for mentally gifted in Raanana censored a nude drawing by Da Vinci
  • One of us // Chemi Shalev on Israelis’ love for Trump
  • A fake trial // Yossi Klein on administrative detentions of Palestinians
  • Due to the high demand, Tel-Aviv regrets benefits on municipal taxes to hi-tech companies
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • The (Mundial) celebration begins
  • For the first time: Condemnation of Hamas at the UN, but the vote was rejected
  • The Milchan storm - The top film producer’s lawyers to the Attorney General: Probe who ordered to remove him from the film about successful Israelis in Hollywood
  • In the footsteps of Hanna Senesh - Paratroopers from Israel returned to the European continent in the framework of an exercise with the US military
  • ‘Yuval Hamibulbal’: The real story - on the beloved children’s star who is addicted to cocaine and shady entertainment at hotels
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Happy Mundial holiday - It begins tonight
  • They closed accounts - Duvdevan combat soldiers caught the terrorist who murdered their friend First Sgt. Ronen Lubarsky
  • Germany approved the acquisition deal of drones from the Israel Aerospace Industries at a cost of a billion euros
  • (TV channels) Reshet and Channel 10 submitted request for merger
Israel Hayom
  • The ball is everything - Mundial 2018
  • The account was closed - Duvdevan combat soldiers detained the terrorist who threw a marble slab and killed their friend First Sgt. Ronen Lubarsky. Family of the murdered: “We expect death sentence for the terrorist”
  • Everything you need to know about the merger between Reshet and Channel 10
  • Storm in the Knesset: In the shadow of investigations, David Bitan returns to the center of things
  • Russia transferred message to Israel: “Don’t attack Syria during the Mundial”
  • Interrogation of the Prime Minister on the Submarines Affair? False charge! The media needs to do soul-searching // Haim Shine
  • Trump returned from the summit: “The nuclear threat from N. Korea is gone”

News Summary:
Excitement at the start of the Mundial world soccer championships opening today, the ‘closing of accounts’ following the arrest in his bed of a Palestinian man suspected of being the one who killed a soldier when he dropped a stone slab on soldiers raiding his residential building, and the merger agreement of two of the main Israeli TV channels were today’s top stories in the Hebrew newspapers.

Also in the news, the German acquisition of Israeli attack drones at a cost of $1 billion will bring 100 German soldiers to Israel to learn how to operate them, Yedioth writes, and for the first time, the UN General Assembly had a majority of support for a resolution against Hamas, but the Secretary General rejected the resolution because it did not have a two-thirds majority. Ahead of the UNGA meeting, Human Rights Watch said that Israel's use of lethal force against Palestinian demonstrators in the Gaza Strip in recent weeks may constitute war crimes. After the Hebrew newspapers went to print, the UNGA passed a resolution condemning Israel’s ‘excessive use of force’ in Gaza. And ahead of the visit by US officials to discuss the Trump peace plan, Palestinians told the US that if the subject of Jerusalem is not addressed, there will be no deal. Senior White House officials told Haaretz that the peace plan will be a basis for talks.
Quick Hits:
  • **Jewish settlers who attacked Israeli police released after 24 hours - Three detained for attacking officers during Tuesday's Netiv Ha'avot outpost evacuation; right-wing activists threw stones and other objects at the police officers, injuring six. (Haaretz+)
  • Hundreds of Israelis demonstrate against home sale to Arab family - Mayor joined protest: 'the residents of Afula don't want a mixed city, but rather a Jewish city, and it's their right. This is not racism.’ (Haaretz+)
  • *Ex-Jewish Agency chief slams fellow settlers over eviction of neighboring Bedouin - Sallai Meridor, former Israeli U.S. envoy and founding father of a settlement, decries his community's contribution to High Court's ruling to demolish neighboring Khan al-Ahmar Bedouin village: 'The Bedouin were here when we arrived.’ (Haaretz and Maariv, p. 13)
  • Just 8 months after Channel 2’s breakup, two top TV networks to merge - Move by Reshet, Channel 10 follows massive financial losses for both companies, with officials arguing the Israeli market is too small to support three commercial channels. (Times of Israel)
  • Israel thwarted hundreds of terror attacks, some with the help of big data, Shin Bet says - Israeli security service invested heavily in new technology, including machine learning and AI to thwart attacks 'even before they happen.’ (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • 'This is terrorism': Israeli farmers still reeling from Gaza's burning kites - Hundreds of flaming kites being sent every week from Gaza into Israel in order to wreak havoc on the ‘occupied lands of Palestine.’ (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Cyclist uses camera to show bright side of kite-charred south - Benny Deutsch, a photographer and nature enthusiast, embarks on project to ‘create something beautiful’ out of the scorched landscape caused by incendiary kites, and to show that ‘people can still come and visit.’ (Ynet)
  • Iranian poet promised asylum in Israel, but no response three years in - Persecuted gay poet Payam Feili’s story won sympathizers in Israel, but the state is making his life here impossible. (Haaretz+)
  • Netanyahu: My Rivals Should Apologize for Submarine Affair Accusations - Day after giving testimony to police in 'Case 3000,' PM says 'the air has been let out of this balloon.’ (Haaretz+)
  • MKs move ahead with some tax exemptions for PM’s private residence - Bill for state funds to be used on benefits, expenses incurred at PM’s private residence—which relate to fulfilment of his professional duties—clears first hurdle in Knesset preliminary reading; bill’s sponsor says move ‘fair’ while opposition MK describes it as ‘Chutzpah.’ (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Battle for recognition of Ugandan Jews to move to Israel's top court - Conservative movement, which converted almost all of Abayudaya community's members, to demand that a government decision denying recognition be overturned. (Haaretz+)
  • Anti-Abbas protest being held in defiance of Palestinian Authority ban until Ramadan ends - Protest organizers say a slander campaign on social media is presenting them as outside agitators. (Haaretz+)
  • 'Twitter must ‎muzzle terror-linked accounts or face legal action' - It is "unthinkable" that terrorist groups are allowed to use Twitter "to radicalize, recruit, incite ‎and spread propaganda," Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan tells Twitter's CEO • Erdan: Fight against online incitement in Israel has curbed terrorism. (Israel Hayom)
  • Islamist militants are 'preeminent threat' to the West, Homeland Security chief tells Israeli forum - Kirstjen Nielsen spoke Tuesday at the first International Homeland Security Forum, an initiative launched by Nielsen’s Israeli counterpart, Gilad Erdan. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Iraqi Kingmaker Forges Alliance With pro-Iran Coalition After Ballot Box Fire 'Plot' - The move, which was announced by al-Sadr and Hadi al-Amiri of the Leader of the Conquest coalition on Tuesday, came largely as a surprise as al-Sadr has been touting himself as a nationalist leader who opposes Iranian influence in Iraq. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • New Iraqi Leader Proclaims Jews Can Return: 'They Are Welcome' - Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who formed a coalition with a pro-Iranian political bloc, is known to call for ending sectarianism in Iraq. (Haaretz)
  • Far-right party confirms: We deleted anti-Semitic cartoon from leader's Facebook - Heinz-Christian Strache, whose party has controversial Nazi roots, has in the past defended the image, which portrays 'the bankers' as a man with Star of David buttons. (Haaretz+)
  • Anti-Semitic Vandalism Targets Jewish Sites in Italy, Netherlands - Two attacks on Holocaust memorials and one on a Italian barbershop are the latest anti-Semitic incidents targeting European Jews. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • As Turkish elections loom, Israel-bashing takes center stage - Seeking to dent incumbent president's support as he leads in polls ahead of June elections, main rival Muharrem Ince accused Erdoğan of 'signing secret deal with Israel' and of urging schools not to boycott Israeli goods. (Ynet)
  • Turkey Coordinating With Iran on Possible Military Incursion Into Kurdish Iraq - Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says Turkey is in contact with Iran about conducting a possible military operation against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in the region of Qandil. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Sarin 'Very Likely' Used in 2017 Attacks Blamed on Assad Regime, Watchdog Says - On of the attacks occurred as government forces, backed by planes and helicopters, were battling rebels in the area. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran's Rohani to Macron: Tehran not ruling out military withdrawal from Syria - Rohani and France's Macron held a telephone call late Tuesday in which they also discussed the nuclear deal; Macron tells the Iranian leader that Europe and China still support accord. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iranian leader asks French president to save nuclear deal - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warns West it is impossible for Tehran to stay in nuclear pact if it cannot benefit from it in the post-U.S. exit era • France's Macron urges Tehran to ensure its commitment to nuclear deal is "without any ambiguity." (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • US will struggle to impose sanctions on Iran without EU, official says - Dr. Matthew Levitt, former intelligence deputy at U.S. Treasury, tells Israel Hayom that Iran nuclear deal was always problematic, failed to address Iran's role in spreading terrorism. Sanctions must be part of a broader strategic goal, Levitt says. (Israel Hayom)

Killing a Child Is 'Not Right', but Not Wrong Enough for an Indictment (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Israeli prosecutors concluded that the two soldiers acted properly when they shot and killed an unarmed teenager 10 meters away as he ran away from them.
The silent transfer of Palestinians from Area C (Rida Abu Rass, Yedioth/Ynet) About three weeks ago, Supreme Court Justices Noam Sohlberg, Anat Baron and Yael Willner allowed the state to destroy the Palestinian community of Khan al-Ahmar and expel its citizens to a site near a dumpster in Abu Dis...Think about it: No infrastructure, no running water, no electricity and no educational framework for your children. You live under the constant fear of projectiles fired by training military forces, and all the while, the state destroys the few buildings and basic infrastructure you managed to build would you stay? The upcoming war crime in Khan al-Ahmar is merely an extreme example of an expulsion strategy that Israel is undertaking vis-a-vis all Palestinian communities in Area C, to create an environment that will coerce them into leaving.
'They destroyed everything': Israel's decades-long war against the Jahalin Bedouin (Joshua Leifer, +972mag) Expelled by Israeli forces from the Negev, then forced to live next to a garbage dump, the Jahalin Bedouin have lost their ancestral homes and their traditional way of life. The impending forced displacement of Khan al-Ahmar is just the latest struggle in the Bedouin tribe’s history of dispossession.
How Trump's Foreign Policy Is Making Russian Fascism Great Again (Alexander Reid Ross, Haaretz+) As he sabotages America's strategic alliances in favor of pro-Kremlin autocrats, the president is acting out the geopolitical fantasies of Alexander Dugin, rising Russian fascist ideologue and guru to Trump's alt-right base.
Where is Netanyahu's leadership move? (Sima Kadmon, Yedioth/Ynet) Why is the American president’s ardent fan refusing to ignore the hostility, the fights, the lies, the conflict and the distrust of the past, and to sit down with Palestinian President Abbas, because ‘yesterday’s conflict does not have to be tomorrow’s war’? And why aren’t all those who celebrated Trump’s election adopting his approach that peace is made with enemies?
Trump is sharper in identifying failures of others, and a little less so in identifying his own failures (Shmuel Rosner, Maariv) The details of the agreement may reveal that the North Korean regime has indeed decided that the time has come to change direction. They may also discover that he has decided to examine again whether and to what extent the Americans are not learning from experience. Three successive US administrations "tried to put North Korea's nuclear program under control." Three tried - and only one government succeeded. All of course thanks to the hard work of two of his senior officials: Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Ambassador Bob Glucci. Having difficulty believing that all this happened? Open Bill Clinton's book "My Life" on page 625 and you won’t find it difficult. The proof is there, signed by the President. Clinton tells how he blocked North Korea's nuclear program. Clinton even argues with "several people who said" success was not a success, but a failure. The Koreans fooled the Americans. Not for the first time, nor the last. But Clinton, with his familiar skill, knows how to explain that failure is actually a success. Without which the world would have been more dangerous. ‘My Life’ is one of the worst memoirs written by any president, but Clinton's basic flaw is shared by many presidents: all are sharp as a razor in identifying the failures of others, their predecessors or their heirs. Everyone is a little less sharp in recognizing their own failures.
The Secret of Israel’s Trumpmania? He’s One of Our Own (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) The U.S. President distrusts Muslim, derides Europeans, detests political correctness, ignores human rights, torments immigrants and trashes the media: What’s not to like?
Israeli Right rolling in foreign money (Uri Zaki, Yedioth/Ynet) Ironically, those who caution against foreign funds donating to left-wing organizations benefit from millions of shekels apportioned to them by covert overseas entities.
No General Will Save Us (Carolina Landsmann, Haaretz+) Netanyahu eats the defense establishment for breakfast; former top defense officials seem aware of the Netanyahu's danger, but he controls them.
The absurdity: The General Staff forum, whose hands are stained with blood, represents the sane part of Israeli society (Ran Adelist, Maariv) It is difficult to determine from when the IDF began to conduct a counter-policy vis-à-vis the government. This has happened since the establishment of the state, but it seems that there has never been a big gap like there is in these days, at the last (Security) Cabinet meeting regarding Gaza. This absurdity gets to the point where the IDF was forced to decide between refusing orders and an all-out-war within Israeli society and between squashing the Palestinians. The decision is clear: the Palestinians are paying the price over the struggle for Israel’s democracy and the IDF is obeying the orders of the rabbis of the West Bank through their representatives in the Knesset, without whom Netanyahu would not be Prime Minister and Lieberman would not be defense minister. Within the boundaries of the democratic-political game, Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot is doing his best to stop them. Last week, the IDF did not respond to the throwing of explosives, kites and balloons, and a very senior officer in the Southern Command said that the IDF is in favor of an arrangement [with Hamas - OH]. At the last cabinet meeting, where the "situation in the Gaza Strip" was discussed, another issue was discussed in the background, namely, the situation in Israel. The question that floated in the air and was not answered was how much Israeli society can support the brutality that is being waged against the citizens of the Gaza Strip. This question should be answered by all the citizens of Israel, but at the sound of growls coming from all sides, I am not sure that they should be asked…During his visit to (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel, Netanyahu said: "Israel is examining how to prevent a humanitarian collapse in the Gaza Strip, and perhaps it is the only one working on the issue." At the cabinet meeting, Netanyahu kept the right to remain silent. Why should he enter between the IDF and the rabbis of the West Bank and their representatives? Let the boys play in front of him. Both in the cabinet and in the Gaza Strip. On both sides of the fence.
Anyone who finds it difficult to blame the Gazans for shooting at a kindergarten is not someone I can talk to (Tamir Idan, Maariv) Is it worth mentioning that Israel has withdrawn from Gaza? Is it worth mentioning that the siege on Gaza is imposed only because Hamas continues to smuggle weapons and ammunition? A response to Yehoshua Sobol.
Rogel Alpher’s Terrible Verbal Attack on U.S. Ambassador David Friedman (Israel Cohen, Haaretz+) Alpher and his fellow Israeli leftists can’t accept that Trump is now president, just as they can’t accept Netanyahu’s success.
Iran is worried, disappointed and afraid (Menashe Amir, Israel Hayom) Iranian citizens are already asking: How could the toughest communist leader in the world bend to Trump while we continue burning the American flag?
A Dove in Hawk's Clothing? Trump’s Korea Haggling May Make the World Safer, by Accident (Asaf Ronel, Haaretz+) The document Trump signed is worthless, but he managed to smash the hypocrisy that's been running the world for decades.
Wasting no time (Eldad Beck, Israel Hayom) Trump is aware of the risk: The arduous negotiations with the Kim regime could blow up at any moment. But the new equation of deterrence he has achieved vis-à-vis North Korea will also impact Iran.
North Korea’s Kim Is Big Winner of Singapore Summit but Trump Comes Up Short (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Pyongyang tyrant gains legitimacy and respect from U.S. president without giving up anything new or tangible in return.
Tehran: Your time will come (Prof. Abraham Ben-Zvi, Israel Hayom) An unconventional president was the right person to end the anachronistic "nuclear umbrella" thinking and pave the way for new regional alliances in the Far East. Other rogue regimes should take note.
The Independence of Channel 10 News Must Be Protected (Haaretz Editorial) The proposed merger with Reshet has the potential to exacerbate political influence on the broadcaster, a factor regulators must consider.
What Can We Expect From Muqtada al-Sadr, Iraq’s New Kingmaker? (Amatzia Baram, May 26th, Haaretz+) The Iranians may have been the ones who killed his father – it’s not clear – but he doesn’t like the Americans either and fought them after the 2003 invasion.
Modi's missile dilemma: Why India keeps spiking, and reviving, a massive Israeli arms deal (Shrenik Rao, Haaretz+) A half-a-billion dollar arms deal with Israel has become an electoral liability for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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