News Nosh: June 25, 2018

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday, June 25, 2018
You Must Be Kidding: 
"We who are battling against everything, working like dogs day and night, barely making a living from job to job, going to military reserve duty - and I need to hear about discrimination?” 
--A Jewish student at Ohalo College in Katzrin complained that the subject of a lecture by retired High Court justice, Salim Jubran, the Arab minority in Israel, was 'political,' so he and others left the hall.**

Front Page:
  • Elections in Turkey: Erdogan declared he won, his opponents claim false votes
  • Court allowed holding event in Tel-Aviv that separates between men and women
  • Security establishment assessment: Senior members of Hamas moving toward a broad violent round with Israel
  • Kushner attacks Abbas: “It’s not clear he can reach an agreement”
  • Senior Ministry of Finance official: Eurovision won’t be held in Jerusalem, it’s expected to be held in Tel-Aviv
  • For its secular residents, the large number of candidates for mayor of Jerusalem is not good news
  • Prince William arrives today for a first official visit in israel
  • Ehud forgot // Raviv Drucker writes Ehud Barak still won’t admit that he ruined the chance for a peace agreement 18 years ago
  • Voice of his masters // Mordechai Kremnitzer writes against allowing ministers to appoint their ministry’s legal advisors
  • New exhibit examines the evolution of the sandal and tries to define what is the local style
  • In the war against the high cost of living there are no magical solutions and no volunteers who will help from the kindness of their heart // Sami Peretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • “Whoever said to Netanyahu a word against his wife, his head was cutoff” - Legal advisor of Prime Minister’s Office tried to explain to her associates why she didn’t stop the problematic conduct of the Netanyahu family (Hebrew)
  • Expose: Transcript of the interrogation of the pedophile teacher, Shaul Shamai - Question: “Did the girls sit on your lap?”, Shamai: “Yes.” “Where did it happen?” Shamai: “Next to the teacher’s desk”
  • Erdogan won, the opposition rejects the results
  • Welcome, Your Royal Highness (in English with photo of Prince Willam)
  • The female pilot that will rehabilitate the pre-military academy (from which 9 youth died in a flood)
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
Three individuals led the news in the Hebrew newspapers today: Sara Netanyahu, Tayep Erdogan and Prince William. Two other individuals were missing from the news: a Palestinian man who turned himself in to soldiers saying he accidentally hit soldiers with his car, and the other, Osama Khalil Abu Khater, 29, succumbed to his woundsSunday, bringing the amount of Gazan protesters killed by Israeli soldiers since March 30 to 132. And meanwhile, the latest news on Gaza and about the Trump Administration's peace plan. Lastly, Yedioth reported on an incident where Jewish students were disrespectful towards an Arab former High Court justice at a college in Katzrin.

TV journalist Guy Hefetz revealed a new recording that exposed more spending irregularities by Sara Netanyahu, wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, including having her dirty laundry cleaned abroad because she liked the smell, the papers reported. Maariv’s Ben Caspit has a particularly biting Op-Ed on the issue. (See translation in Commentary/Analysis below.)

Prince William lands in Israel tonight after kicking off his Mideast tour in Jordan where the young prince praised Jordan's commitment to Palestinian refugees. He will also be visiting the Palestinian Authority and his visit to E. Jerusalem is considered by the monarchy part of visit to the Palestinians. When asked about that, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Jerusalem was “our capital forever.” (Maariv) Far right-wing MK Bezalel Smotrich threatened to “physically prevent William's visit to Israel” calling it “a humiliation” to Israel’s national honor. (Maariv)

Yesterday it was front page news that a Palestinian had made a car-ramming attack and the hunt was on to catch him after he fled. Today, the print papers didn't even bother to report that the young man, Mohammed Shehadah, turned himself in that very night and said it was an accident, that he hit the soldiers when driving in the dark in a blind spot. MaarivOnline included a video taken by the man’s friends or family as he walked towards to the soldiers at a military checkpoint to turn himself in, was then patted down, then he waved, and was seen taken away. It appears they wanted to document that he was going there willingly and that he was unhurt up to the point of the handover. But the reporter made no mention of that in the article. Maariv also had a later IDF photo of Shehadeh blindfolded with his hands tied behind him at a military office. The papers reported that Shehadeh had fled' the scene of the incident, in which he lightly injured four soldiers, one paper reported that he 'sped away.' The soldiers were walking on the side of the road and it is clear from the video that it happened in the dark. Shehadeh contacted the Palestinian security to turn himself in, and they coordinated him handing himself over. A quick search of the same Bethlehem News Facebook page that posted the first video reveals another video that Palestinians on the scene filmed immediately after the incident of the injured soldiers and other soldiers trying to calm them as they call for an ambulance. One of the Palestinians asks if there is something he can do. The soldiers are laying on the ground and appear to be stuck, it's pitch black and the Palestinians and standing soldiers are using their cellphones to put light on them. One wonders what happened to Mohammed Shehadeh.

Gaza and US Diplomacy Quickees:
Three hurt in five strikes in 24 hours: Israel targets Gazans prepping flaming balloons, Hamas targets - Three Palestinians wounded, according to Palestinian officials, though no word on their condition. (Haaretz and Ynet)
WATCH: Incendiary balloons flown out of Hamas positions - Shortly after attacking a cell launching incendiary balloons from Gaza towards Israel and wounding three Palestinians, the IDF releases video showing balloons being flown from Hamas military positions near the border. (Ynet)
Netanyahu: Kushner talks touched on helping Gaza, weakening Hamas - Speaking at weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu says in his Friday discussions with US Mideast delegation, talks centered on regional developments, peace push, and resolving Gaza's humanitarian crisis without strengthening Hamas; ‘There was absolute support for our positions and activities.’ (Ynet)
Kushner Attacks Abbas in Rare Palestinian Interview, Questions His Ability to Reach a Deal - In the rare interview, Trump envoy tells Al-Quds newspaper that he's 'ready to work' with Abbas, but if the Palestinian president won't engage, U.S. administration will present the plan to the public. (Haaretz and Ynet)
Erekat Fires Back at Kushner: Peace Plan Tightens Israeli Colonial Control Over Palestine - Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat accuses U.S. of dictating rather than negotiating, says money can't compensate for Palestinian rights. According to Erekat, Kushner's interview highlights America's "refusal to talk substance, to mention Palestinian rights or a Palestinian state."  (Haaretz+)
Amid PA rejectionism, Arab nations threaten to 'go over Abbas' head' - Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates say they will back the U.S.'s Middle East peace plan regardless of whether the Palestinian Authority is on board. Chief Palestinian negotiator: U.S. determined to dictate solution in the region. (Israel Hayom)
Jordanian King Abdullah to Meet Trump Monday in Last-ditch Attempt to Influence Peace Plan - The Jordanian King has urged the Trump administration for more than a year now to endorse a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and to clearly offer a Palestinian state as part of its peace plan. So far, however, the administration has not endorsed such a position, and it's still not clear if Palestinian independence will be part of Trump's plan. Trump's peace plan could present new challenges for Jordan, where a majority of the population is of Palestinian origin. (Haaretz)

**In an article, in which only the title, "They did not spare his honor," revealed the reporter's views of the incident, Yedioth reveals that Jewish students thought that talking about state discrimination towards the Arab minority was 'politics.' Here's the translation of the article:
A riot at a conference on multiculturalism at the Ohalo College in Katzrin: Retired (Arab) High Court justice Salim Jubran spoke about the situation of the Arab minority in the country - and dozens of students interrupted by shouting and some abandoned the hall, while the heads of the Ohalo College took the side of the students. “There was a bad atmosphere from the start,” said one of the students. “I expected the judge to talk about how the judicial system works, and that’s not what I heard. Most of the time he talked politics. It bothered me and I left the hall. We who are battling against everything, working like dogs day and night, barely making a living from job to job, go to reserve duty - and I need to hear about discrimination?” Also Prof. Shimon Amar, the president of the college, a quarter of whose students are not Jewish, was not enthusiastic about what Jubran said. "The judge's words are not accepted by the college faculty, but at the same time, as a Jewish college that advocates multiculturalism and tolerance, and trains future teachers, students must learn to listen to things they do not like," he said. College spokeswoman, Rivka Shraga, said: "Unfortunately, in most of his remarks, the judge chose to relate to the situation of the Arabs as a minority in Israeli society and most of the examples he chose to present were not related to the subject of the seminar and created unrest. Judge Jubran, who was astonished at the college's response, does not understand what the fuss is about. "I did not do anything wrong," he explained yesterday. I spoke about the development and progress of Arab society in Israel, but also about the problems in the Arab sector. There are failures, but also success and I gave the example of the Arab doctors in Israel. I did not talk about politics. On the contrary, I gave an example of a girl from Gaza who was hurt and brought to Israel for treatment with the intervention of 30 Jewish women, and it moved me greatly. I always prayed and I continue to pray for peace." (Yedioth, p. 16 and Yedioth Hebrew)
Quick Hits:
  • IDF takes precautionary measures for fear terrorists will enter Israel under cover of Syrians seeking medical aid - As Syrian President Assad and his allies continue push to recapture rebel-held areas near Israeli border, IDF is wary of pro-Iranian militia and Hezbollah fighters trying to infiltrate Israel under the guise of Syrian civilians seeking medical help in Israel's field hospitals. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israeli army fires Patriot missile at drone approaching from Syria - IDF says drone turned back after missile launch. Pro-Assad commander says drone was operating in southern Syria. (Ynet and Haaretz)
  • Gets off lightly with community service for staged kidnapping in Hebron - Niv Assraf and Eran Naguaker fined NIS 5,000 and NIS 2,500 respectively for faking abduction in 2015 in Hebron in order to resolve financial troubles; community service also given for incident which took place shortly after kidnapping of 3 Israeli teens by Hamas terrorists. (Ynet and Maariv)
  • Sirens Sound Around IDF HQ in Central Tel Aviv; Drill Only Announced After the Fact - Military says sirens were part of a 'surprise drill' at army headquarters. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Palestinian journalist questioned Hamas’ policy, IDF responded: "You are right" - A publicist from the Gaza Strip raised questions about the success of the "March of Return" and the launching of the kites. The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major General Abu Rukan, replied: "Whoever plays with fire is burned.” (Maariv)
  • Turkey accuses Israel of selling them defective drones - Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli claims Israeli engineers sabotaged 10 IAI Heron drones sold in 2005 deal; 'We have never been able to effectively make use of them. We realized that we bombed rocks and most of the targets were missed.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Opposition leader Isaac Herzog unanimously approved as new Jewish Agency head - First time in 23 years that prime minister's choice for the job was rejected. Herzog, who will take office August 1, vows to work together with Netanyahu 'to foster and strengthen the Jewish people and State of Israel. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Herzog: Israel-Diaspora rift must be mended - After being appointed the head of the Jewish Agency, Isaac Herzog says the greatest challenge he will face is mending the rift between Israel and the Jews in the Diaspora; he also calls on Netanyahu, who fought against Herzog's candidacy, to work with him. (Ynet)
  • I will do everything for Israel, Togolese foreign minister says - Professor Robert Dussey, one of the strongest figures in Togo, has stopped counting his trips to Israel • "The Israeli people are, first and foremost, the people of God and I need to defend Israel," he says, underscoring Togo's unwavering support. (Israel Hayom)
  • Next year (not) in Jerusalem: 2019 Eurovision likely to be held in Tel Aviv, official says - Amid controversy over plan to hold event in Israel's capital, Finance Ministry official says Tel Aviv hosts the only site meeting requirements. (Haaretz+)
  • Messiah in the heart of Tel Aviv: Court allows gender-segregated event in Rabin Square - Tel Aviv District Court okays Chabad's planned program for Monday with the judge criticizing municipal authorities for trying to cancel it too late. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Israel's El Al faces scrutiny after moving female passengers - Crew on flight from New York to Tel Aviv capitulates to four ultra-Orthodox men, forces two female passengers to change seats to accommodate them • Flight delayed for over an hour • Flag carrier lost a discrimination suit over similar incident last year. (Israel Hayom)
  • NBA stars visit never on cards, despite Regev's promise - NBA officials say there are no plans to hold an All-Star exhibition game in Israel in honor of 70th independence celebrations despite claims by sports minister who met with the league's commissioner last year. (Ynet)
  • Israel Aerospace’s New Boss: Fighter Pilot With Little Business Experience - Nimrod Sheffer takes the helm of a giant but struggling defense company with major challenges ahead. (Haaretz)
  • BBC censures TV host for accusing IDF of killing 'lots of Palestinian kids' - After weeks of defending popular TV host Andrew Marr who made the unfounded allegation, BBC finally admits he ‘risked misleading audiences on a material point’, says he was in breach of editorial guidelines. (Ynet)
  • 'Russian jets strike rebel-held town in south Syria' - For first time since 'de-escalation' agreement reached a year ago, Moscow carries at least 20 strikes on Busra al Harir, northeast of Deraa—an area bordering Israel and Jordan; Assad's army has expanded its offensive in the area in effort to recapture it from rebels. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Saudis Intercept Missiles Over Riyadh as Yemen War Drags On - State-run TV says missiles fired by Yemen's Houthis, whose TV says rockets were aimed at the Saudi defense ministry and other targets. (Agencies, Haaretz)

ATM machine, salary department and travel agency - Where is Herzog running to? The Jewish Agency (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth) This is a story that can only happen in a very corrupt country - or in Israel. Some 70 years ago, a state was established. Its establishment turned four institutions redundant - the Jewish Agency, the Zionist Federation, Keren Hayesod and Keren Hakayemet L’Yisrael (JNF). The fathers of the state did not have the wherewithal or free time to close them down and they continued to exist, sitting together in one courtyard in Jerusalem, the courtyard of the national institutions. The political parties turned them into an ATM machine, salary department and travel agency. When the parties wanted to compensate a politician who was left without a chair (ministry), when their heads requested to go on expense-paid speaking tours abroad, when they needed financial aid, direct or indirect, the address was there. Sometimes there were agreements on dividing up the loot. All the parties joined this corrupt arrangement., from Meretz to Shas…The Jewish Agency needs to be closed - there is no need for it. Same fate for the Zionist Federation and Keren Hayesod. KKL (JNF) needs to be nationalized. After the the political parties robbed these institutions and emptied them from within, they have no reason to exist.
The Jewish Agency’s Crisis Is Too Deep for Isaac Herzog to Solve (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) The opposition leader may be Netanyahu's opponent, but he's too establishment to effect the change the agency needs to become relevant again.
It is difficult to find a logical explanation for Netanyahu's opposition to Herzog's appointment as head of the Jewish Agency (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) Either Netanyahu has not heard or been briefed on the extent and depth of the anger and frustration prevailing in the two major religious streams in American Jewry, or it simply doesn’t "move" him.
By sea, by air and by dry-cleaning: the reality which the members of the royal family built is being revealed (Ben Caspit, Maariv) Yes. This is real. I heard it from dozens of survivors who were there. Now it is also laid out, sketched, written, recorded and edited in countless interrogation transcripts, recordings, pleadings, indictments and state committees. Now that (TV journalist) Guy Peleg has unearthed a recording of two of the senior officials of the prime minister's inner cabinet, the aquarium that is the holiest sanctuary of Israeli statehood, it is no longer possible to deny these things….So what do they say? They say it's gossip and slander and persecution. This is true: in the past nine years we have been witness to a long campaign of persecution by two people who are chasing the state's coffers. Two who believe they have been relegated to the kingdom, trying to sweep into their pockets and home as many goods as possible, favors, various kinds of reparations, expenses, renovations, laundry, illicit gifts and other types of piggery. They don’t care about anyone else. They pursue the state coffers by the sea, by the air, and through dry cleaning. They do not get tired, they don’t despair, they stand there on their watch day and night. That is, they send others to stand in their stead. The recordings show, among other things, that the heads of the staff of the Prime Minister's Bureau, each in turn, are in fact personal servants of “Lady" Netanyahu. Let's go back to this: The chief of staff is the most important job in the country, after the prime minister himself. He is the one that is supposed to create for the prime minister the professional, sterile, efficient and wise work environment…All this is true of ordinary prime ministers. With the king and the queen, the chief of staff is the operator and the deliverer of the laundry. And the air conditioner. And the leak in the pool. And the endless gifts. And the flowers. And the couriers. And the packaging, oh the packaging. And there is no end to it. You have to read these transcripts again, and again, and again, and you can not believe it. So here, I add one more testimony: Yes. This is real. I heard it from dozens of survivors who were there. Now it is also laid out, sketched, written, recorded and edited in countless transcripts of interrogations, recordings, pleadings, indictments and state committees. On top of all this, Hefetz's prophetic statement to Prime Minister’s Office Legal Advisor, Adv. Shlomit Fargo-Barnea, in 2010: “In the end , the story of Caesarea (use of public funds for PM's private residence - OH) will reach the National Fraud Investigation Unit. He was right: Caesarea arrived at the National Fraud Investigation Unit, along with another train loaded with presents, favors, cigars, champagne, newspapers, websites, jewelry, creams, shirts, ties and whatnot. A huge, world-wide gift industry, an entire system built to suck as much money and benefits from the state treasury as possible and from the pockets of wealthy people in as little time as possible…And another thing: The initiative led by (Justice Minister) Ayelet Shaked to turn the legal advisers of the government ministries into appointees of the ministers, rather than professional appointments of the Justice Ministry. I'm not one of those who automatically criticizes Shaked. On the contrary, she does some good things at the Justice Ministry, and some bad things. This initiative is supposed to turn the legal advisors, gatekeepers and alarmists at the gate of the system, into personal yes-men. It's bonkers. Adv. Shlomit Fargo-Barnea, who has served in the position for four prime ministers, is battling for her professional life and mental sanity during the years of Netanyahu. She had periods when she scolded the couple, especially the spouse (who even once attacked her in the presence of dozens of people). She had periods where she showed signs of independence iNow imagine to yourselves that they had appointed her. Yes, that’s how Ayelet Shaked wants public service to look. And we will conclude with another sentence from the pantheon that (state witness) Nir Hefetz recorded: "Why do we need all this piggishness?”
By Bashing the Media, Trump and Netanyahu Foster Their Tribalist, Right-wing Support (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Fake news and liberal media are portrayed as spearheads of an elitist tribe that seek to enslave their downtrodden rivals and impose their alien values on them.
What they cooked for Sarah: The indictment against the prime minister's wife raises too many questions (Meir Uziel, Maariv) The only hope to return to logic is for the court to disqualify the prosecution on its doorstep. And why are there no humane voices on the left criticizing the decision to put Sarah Netanyahu on trial?
Two Princes: William and Jared Reflect America's and Britain's Growing Irrelevancy (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) Visiting the region this week, the scions of the Houses of Windsor and Kushner reflect their respective countries' declining influence in the region.
In the eyes of the people of the region, 70 years still seems too short to establish facts (Meir Uziel, Maariv) In Israel, time has special meanings: 2,000 years are sometimes the present, and a few minutes run to a bomb shelter room is regional time for us. We are the only country in the world whose time zones are divided in such a way.
Alongside the blessings to William, this is the time for answers - where was the royal house until now? (Ron Prosor, Maariv) When Britain and Saudi Arabia join hands in the struggle against Hezbollah, the tea drinkers on the banks of the Thames woke up, albeit belatedly, and realized that the interests of the kingdom justified visiting Israel.
‘The Ultimate Deal’: Crushing the Palestinian People Grain by Grain (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz) The mission is not just to smash them, but to grind the Palestinian people up finely, grain by grain, each individual separated from his brethren.
War or an agreement: Israel’s critical dilemma vis-à-vis Gaza (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Four years after Operation Protective Edge, Israel must decide whether to wait for a humanitarian arrangement in the strip or launch an offensive which could end with renewed control over two million Gazans; the IDF wants an arrangement but has prepared plans for battle, and the political echelon keeps relying on Egyptian mediation and holding theoretical discussions, which won’t prevent another war in the Strip.
The Palestinians' Child Soldiers Are Their Most Dangerous Threat [Against Israel] (Amiram Levin, Haaretz+) In the absence of a strategy to combat the Palestinian propaganda war, time and time again Israel falls into the same trap. We deserve a government with vision.
'Mowing the grass' (Prof. Efraim Inbar, Israel Hayom) Because ending terrorism from Gaza is unrealistic, Israel has wisely adopted a strategy of attrition. If there is soon to be a large-scale ground operation, conquering the whole Strip should not be the goal.
There is a thread: exposing the IDF requires it to act accordingly (Tal Lev-Ram, Maariv) The army's announcement of the way in which the field operatives are engaged in the construction of the kites and their dispatch indicates that the period of restraint has ended and that the address is one - Hamas. On the face of it, these are not just words that are released into the air.
Fight Hamas with ethics (Dr. Hanan Shai, Israel Hayom) The world must be told, in politically incorrect terms, that a war of civilizations is being fought on the Gaza-Israel border. More precisely, it is a war between civilization and those who have abandoned it.
Trump Has No Coherent Strategy on Iran. Astonishingly, Neither Does Israel(Chuck Freilich, Haaretz+) The U.S. president thinks he's denuclearized North Korea without dismantling a single bomb. Israel simply can't risk a similar White House 'success' with Iran, but war can't be its only option either.
So Easy for U.S. Jews to Dissociate Themselves From Stephen Miller (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) What a simple and great idea. To disown and keep one’s distance from any senior Jewish official whose actions contradict Jewish values as understood by quite a few members of the American Jewish community.
Trump’s Trade War: Is There a Silver Lining for Israel? (Ora Coren, Haaretz) While U.S., China and Europe duke it out, Israeli exporters could pick up customers.
Turkey Elections: Erdogan's Win Paves the Road Toward Autocracy (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) With Erdogan’s reelection, Turkey faces a future as a purely autocratic state, persecuting political rivals and settling scores.
A divided country and a free-fall economy: Erdogan's challenges (Chayim Iserovitz, Maariv) In the past, the Turkish president managed to silence the protests against him. It is necessary to see whether this time, when he is stronger than ever due to his extensive powers, he will reach out to his rivals or choose again the path of the fist.
Anti-Erdogan Opposition Fails to Halt Turkey's Descent Into an Elected Dictatorship (Simon A. Waldman, Haaretz+) In elections that were neither free nor fair, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stage-managed a mandate for ultimate power. But Turkey's opposition parties, despite the buzz they created, also have to account for their failure.
The Sykes-Picot borders were buried? It turns out that this forecast needs updating (Zalman Shoval, Maariv) Today it has become clear that the dream of Kurdish independence was torpedoed by Turkey and America, Iraq will probably remain Iraq (and not be divided), and Assad's regime is spreading throughout Syria.
It's Not Easy to Be a Muslim Lesbian (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Friends and family reject them, send them to the doctor, and sometimes even threaten their lives. Muslim lesbians look to social media for some solace.
Segregation at Rabin Square (Haaretz Editorial) Despite religious objections, public spaces belong to the entire public and equality in such spaces must be safeguarded.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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