News Nosh: 8.13.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday, August 13, 2018

Quote of the Day #1:
"This open city, open to every spirit, can contain all the flags there are - the LGBT flag, the Druze flag, the flags of anti-Semitic countries like Hungary and anti-Israeli countries like Turkey. Only the Palestinian flag it can't hold."
--Top Yedioth political commentator, Nahum Barnea, writes about the bruhaha over the Palestinian flags waved at the protest rally against the Nation-State Law.*

Quote of the Day #2:
"Testimony from the officers involved in the attack, which has been concealed from the public until now, confirms for the first time that the children — four cousins ages 10 and 11 — were pursued and killed by drone operators who somehow mistook them, in broad daylight, for Hamas militants."
--'The Intercept' reporter, Robert Mackey, saw the secret Israeli military police report on the 2014 Israeli missile attack on four Palestinian children on a Gaza beach, which was the most direct evidence to date that Israel has used armed drones to launch attacks in Gaza. And moreover, it was proof of how unreliable the use of those drones are.**

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Shari Arison in the interrogation room - The richest woman in Israel and the bribery affair in Africa
  • The mistake of her life - Israeli athlete Lona Chamtai and the 5,000 meter run
  • Oh no, a flag! // Nahum Barnea on the demonstration of Arab Israelis
  • You waded in the rivers in the Golan and are suffering from the flu? Get yourself checked
  • The jail diaries of (singer) Kobi Peretz
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links)
Israel Hayom
  • “If we don’t agree on the draft law - we’ll go to elections” - Crisis over draft law: Netanyahu gave ultimatum to heads of coalition
  • (Ultra-Orthodox minister) Litzman presents: A miss for generations // Mati Tuchfeld
  • The ultra-Orthodox are shooting inside the armored vehicle // Yehuda Shlezinger
  • Shari Arison was interrogated for 8 hours
  • War against the Jewish nation-state at the square for redeemers of Palestine // Dror Eydar
  • Storm in the Labor party: (Sexual harassment) Testimony by another woman against MK Broshi
  • Unbelievable: Runner Chamtai got confused - and missed the 5,000 meter medal
  • Storm: Police to Attorney General - “Probe Police Commander Guy Nir”

News Summary:
Shari Arison, Israel’s wealthiest woman, was questioned by police for hours over suspicions as a suspect in a bribery investigation, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu threatened early elections if a compromise isn’t reached on the IDF draft bill in the next two weeks, Kenyan-Israeli athlete Lona Chemtai Salpeter made two tragic mistakes and lost a medal at the European championships 5000 meter run competition and and the debate over the waving of Palestinian flags at the Arab-Israelis’ protest against the Nation-State Law Saturday night continued in full force making the top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Meanwhile, a third cabinet meeting about a long-term ceasefire arrangement with Hamas ended with no decisions, but a declaration from Netanyahu that Israel wants “a complete cease-fire; we will not be satisfied with less.”

Also worthy of note: the ‘Choice of Life" forum of bereaved families of fallen Israeli soldiers, ‘accompanied by’ the far right-wing ‘Im Tirtzu’ organization, called on the Defense Minister to revoke the candidacy of Maj. Gen. Yair Golan as the next IDF chief of staff due to his past statements expressing fear over signs that Israeli society is becoming fascist and declaring it “intolerable” that Israeli soldiers place Palestinian civilians in harm’s way instead of themselves. [“It’s unacceptable that in the name of preventing risk we would decide that now we are going to mow down an apartment building. You would kill women, children, those involved. It’s intolerable,” he said.](Maariv) Matan Peleg, the leader [of the semi-fascist - OH] ‘Im Tirtzu’ organization, said: “In order to ensure the existence of the State of Israel, the IDF must educate its commanders and soldiers to strive for victory. The value of victory must be paramount for the commanders of the army. Yair Golan's statements last year revealed that he may be suitable for a Red Cross commander, but certainly not for the IDF, and that his appointment as chief of staff will undermine the security of thousands of soldiers, fighters and commanders.” But right-wing journalist Erel Segal said on his program on 103FM/Maariv: "There is no easy way to say this -  this was cynical use of bereaved parents. Although I dislike (Golan), I do not like what was done. Is bereavement a tool to create an ideological position? "

For the most part, the Israeli media did not ask the question about the meaning of the waving of Palestinian flags waved at a protest calling for equality between Israeli Arab and Jewish citizens. Instead, for the most part, they just shared the quotes by people, such as Netanyahu, who said it was wrong. At the government cabinet meeting Sunday, Netanyahu said that the Palestinian flags waved at the joint Jewish-Arab protest Saturday against the Nation-State law proved the protesters were trying to turn Israel into an Israeli-Palestinian state, which is why ‘it is clearer than ever' the law was necessary. And Culture Minister Miri Regev said Yitzhak Rabin would turn over in his grave if he knew that Palestinian flags were waved at the square in his name.

Ynet interviewed two Druze men who also opposed it for the same reason. One of them, former MK Shachiv Shnaan, whose son was killed last year in a Palestinian attack on Border Police officers at the Temple Mount, asked: “If you protest because you want equality in your country, why wave flags of another state?” he asked. “But it isn’t anything new that Arab Israelis have a continued identity problem. They are torn between the national Palestinian identity and their real lives in Israel in partnership with the state.”

But there were rebuttals and explanations towards the ends of the articles. The Israeli Labor party responded to Regev, “Rabin would turn over in his grave if he knew that a person who incites like you were serving as a minister in the Israeli government.” (Maariv) And Zionist Camp MK Shelly Yachimovich said that if Rabin weren’t murdered the square would not have been named after him so he wouldn’t have turned over in his grave because he would still be alive. Maariv called the flags ‘PLO flags’ and asked Arab MK (Balad party) Jamal Zahalka his view on them and the calls “to redeem Palestine.” “Those were people who came on their own with the flags. But we are pride about the waving of the flag, anyway. It’s a flag of the hope for freedom, liberty and independence.”

103FM/Maariv interviewed former Shin Bet chief Ami Ayalon, who opposes the Nation-State Law and attended the Arab-Jewish protest was not deterred by the flags. “I was at the demonstration out of a sense of Jewish-humanistic and civic duty to go,” he said. “(I told myself) in advance that I would not identify with all that would be said and with the flags that were raised and that's what happened. I saw the flags but I could not hear calls [‘to redeem Palestine’]. This is the test of democracy. It's easy for us to attend demonstrations where everyone thinks like us. The smart thing is to get out of our comfort zone and hear things you do not like to hear.” [NOTE: Oddly, Maariv wrote that Ayalon was ‘present’ at it - as if it were not a choice to attend, but he happened to be there, despite him saying otherwise. - OH] Regarding the call by protesters 'with blood and hearts we will redeem Palestine,' Ayalon said: "These are the vocal minority that the media love. They didn’t photograph the families with the children in strollers that asked to call themselves equal citizens. It is important to me that people understand that democracy is not only beautiful words, it is the only framework that enables us to conduct a discussion of our differences without killing each other."

Ynet also interviewed Amnon Be’eri Sulitzeanu, co-director-general of the Abraham Fund Initiatives—which works for a “shared future for Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens”—who said: “Just as the Israeli flag is the flag of Jews and is waved with pride by Jews in marches in different places in the world, it should also be acceptable to wave the Palestinian national flag by Arab Palestinian Israeli citizens, which is their flag.”

And Ynet interviewed Arab MK Ahmed Tibi, who explained that the flag “is not the PLO flag, but the flag of Palestinians" and that anyway, what was important was the number of people who came to protest against the legislation. "There were 30,000 people and only 15-20 were waving Palestinian flags. 30,000 Jews and Arabs demonstrated to repeal this law and not everyone thinks the same thing. There are different political positions and different worldview." He rejected claims the protesters, who were demanding equality in the State of Israel, were waving the flag of another country while doing so. "This is not the flag of another country, and I don't want you or anyone else to preach to the Arab public about morals," he insisted. "The flag is a flag of Palestinian people, not the PLO, not the flag of evil. It’s the same flag that a Palestinian who lives in Chile or anywhere else in the world, would wave." According to Israeli-Arab leaders the rally was a success and even the Arabs were divided over whether anyone should have brought Palestinian flags.
 
Quick Hits:
  • *Secret Israeli report 'reveals armed drone killed' four children playing on Gaza beach in 2014 - According to a confidential Israeli military police report obtained by The Intercept, four cousins were killed in two separate drone strikes after they were mistaken for Hamas fighters. (Haaretz and The Intercept)
  • Israeli human rights activists to President Rivlin: Don't meet Philippine's Duterte - 'There is no place for a mass murderer and a person who supports rape, shooting women in their sexual organs and bombing schools to meet with Israel’s president,' a letter to the president says. (Haaretz+ and Maariv)
  • Motivation at low: Only 3,000 (Jewish) students took the Arabic matriculation exams - New data shows that only about 2.5% of all 12th graders chose to take the Arabic exam. Elementary schools have an optional two-hour program and middle schools require study aing second foreign language - Arabic or French - and many choose French. Co-director of Sikkuy NGO’s 'Shared Society' dept: “One of the reasons (for the drop is) that there is a lack of effectiveness in learning. We learn Arabic to serve the needs (of the) IDF Intelligence Corps, but we go out into the street and can’t have a conversation with our neighbor." [NOTE: Classic and spoken Arabic are very different and Israeli schools and universities teach classical. - OH] (Maariv)
  • Israeli public broadcaster warns Netanyahu: No budget, no Eurovision - Netanyahu, Kahlon demanding that Kan public broadcasting corporation pay for next year’s contest out of its current budget. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • After 16 Stormy Years, Israel's Channel 10 Due to Go Off the Air - Merger with rival, which won an antitrust nod last week, will leave Israel with just two commercial broadcasters. (Haaretz+)
  • Two Israel policemen indicted for stealing from migrants - Bisan Yahiya and Nazia Saab are accused of blackmailing Chinese migrant workers who were running a gambling operation for 18 months while wearing uniforms and their weapons. (Haaretz+ and Maariv)
  • Yachimovich: MK Broshi accused of sexual harassment by another woman - Yachimovich reveals story of woman who served in Broshi's IDF battalion, saying he 'sexually harassed her on a regular basis and made her life miserable'; Broshi's recent harassment of MK Nahmias-Verbin, and his lawyer's attack on yet another complainant, led more women to come forward, the MK says. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israeli Mother of 7 Murdered in South; Husband in Jail for Assaulting Her - Police said they are looking into various leads including disapproval of Nura Abu Sulb’s lifestyle by some of the men in the community. (Haaretz+)
  • "Immunity in exchange for incriminating information on Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh“ - Police Brig. Gen. Guy Nir, who is on forced leave from the police, claims that he possesses material that allegedly incriminates senior officers, including Alsheikh. (Maariv)
  • Israeli shoemaker donates 2,000 sandals to Syrian refugees - "The decision to donate is a humanitarian one, in the hope that this small step will lead to better neighborly relations in the future," says Teva Naot CEO Michael Iluz • The donation, estimated at NIS 250,000, delivered by the NGO Israel Flying Aid. (Israel Hayom)
  • Education Ministry to train Israel's high school students to be 'hackers' - Some Israeli students will be taught to hack into computer systems to detect security breaches, others will be taught solutions to prevent information leaks • Education Minister Bennett: Cyberwarriors are the tip of the spear in the modern battlefield. (Israel Hayom)
  • Ronen Lubarsky's father to judge: 'Only death penalty will stop terrorists' - The bereaved father calls for the death penalty in a letter addressed to government ministers, which he intends to read in front of the judges; 'It must be the first in a series of steps that will change reality and give hope to the people of Israel'; Im Tirtzu's CEO: 'giving terrorists the death penalty is life-saving.'(Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Pakistani Jew asks (his) government to allow him to travel to Israel - Fishel Khalid appeals to Pakistani officials to allow him to travel to Jerusalem with passport that is "valid for all countries except Israel" • Khalid pens op-ed saying travel ban to Israel violates religious rights afforded by Pakistani constitution. (Israel Hayom and NPR)
  • On Visit, Spanish Artist to Recite Names of Gazans Killed in 2014 War - The provocative performance artist, Santiago Sierra, will present a work based in part on reading the names of Palestinians killed in the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas. (Haaretz+)
  • (Israeli Channel 10 journalist) Zvi Yehezkeli: "We are a power that can destroy a quarter of the world, but we treat Hamas like a child" - The [religious right-wing - OH] Arab affairs analyst on Israel's conduct vis-a-vis Gaza: "We are deteriorating our deterrence. If we want to, we can reach the Gaza coast [with ground forces] easily." (Maariv)
  • Hamas on Israel mulling targeted assassinations: 'Israel's threats don’t even scare Palestinian children' - Haaretz reported Sunday that Israel had been preparing to kill senior Hamas officials. (Haaretz+)
  • WATCH: How an incendiary balloon starts a fire - Video filmed in the Shaar HaNegev Regional Council shows how to delayed the incendiary mechanism on balloons being sent from Gaza starts a fire moments after landing in Israel. (Ynet)
  • Israeli navy attacks, detains 5 Gaza fishermen - Nizar Ayyash, the boat captain, told Ma'an that the Israeli naval forces fired at the fishing boats and detained five Palestinian fishermen, who were taken to an unknown location, and confiscated the fishing boats and sailed them towards the Israeli Ashdod seaport. (Maan)
  • PCBS: Unemployment among Palestinian graduates hits 55.8% - According to PCBS, the rate of unemployment among Palestinian graduates, between the age of 15-29 years old, holding an intermediate diploma degree or higher was 55.8% during 2017 (37.8% for males and 72.0% for females) compared to 41.5% in 2007. (Maan)
  • At Least Three Militants, Four Security Personnel in Jordan Killed in Raid After Bomb Attack - A building was partially blown-up when security forces stormed a building where suspects behind the planting of the home-made bomb that killed one policeman on Friday were believed to be hiding. (Agencies, Haaretz and Maan)
  • Turkey Helping Syrian Rebels to Build New 'National Army' to Fight Assad- The Turkish-backed opposition to secure the last big rebel stronghold in Syria could prove a major obstacle for Assad. Assad claims Turkey is illegally occupying Syrian land. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Blast Near Syrian-Turkish Border Kills at Least 18; Cause Unclear - The opposition-run Syrian Civil Defense, also known as White Helmets, says the blast occurred Sunday in the village of Sarmada near the Turkish border. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Russia Downs Drone Near Its Syria Air Base - The drone caused no casualties or damage, and the Hmeimim air base is operating as normal, reports said. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Erdogan denies Turkey is in economic crisis: 'It's just fluctuations' - Erdogan describes Friday’s 18 percent fall in the lira to a record low as the ‘missiles’ of an economic war waged against Turkey. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran's Khamenei calls for action amid 'economic war' fueled by falling currency - The Supreme Leader called for special courts to be set up to deal with those who engaged in 'corrupt economic practices' amid reinstated U.S. sanctions. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • US ambassador urges Britain to ditch support for Iran nuclear deal - Woody Johnson says 'we want UK by our side' as US ramps up sanctions on Tehran, adding the White House wants 'global Britain to use its considerable' influence to join Trump's efforts to achieve a new Iran nuclear deal. (Ynet)
  • Egyptian church suicide bombing thwarted, officials say - Militants have killed over 100 Christians in Egypt in a series of attacks since December 2016. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Egypt Hands Muslim Brotherhood Leader Another Life Sentence - Mohammed Badie has also been sentenced to death in separate trials since his 2013 arrest. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Trump Abandons Canada in Saudi Human Rights Fight - The kingdom appears emboldened by Washington's willingness under Donald Trump to de-emphasize rights issues when it comes to its allies. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • GOP condemns primary winner who said 'Hitler was right' - Missouri Republicans denounce northwest Missouri primary winner Steve West, who has promoted conspiracy theories about Jewish "cabals" that torture children • ADL regional head: What will a person elected to a position of power do with beliefs like this? (Israel Hayom)
  • Indian MP dresses up as Hitler as form of protest - Actor-turned-politician Naramalli Sivaprasad, known for using costumes to express protest, is demanding special economic assistance for his state, warning Indian PM Modi not to turn into Hitler. (Agencies, Ynet)

 
Commentary/Analysis:
It’s No Crime to March for Peace (Ravit Hecht, Haaretz+) In the current atmosphere of fear and ideological corruption, it’s a crime to march for peace. It’s a crime to consider the Arabs human beings.
Oh no, a flag! - What happened Saturday night at Rabin Square (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth) This open city, open to every spirit, can contain all the flags there are - the LGBT flag, the Druze flag, the flags of anti-Semitic countries like Hungary and anti-Israeli countries like Turkey. Only the Palestinian flag it can't hold.
Shooting themselves in the flag (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) Despite the Palestinian flags and the pro-Palestinian slogans being shouted at the Tel Aviv rally against the Nation State Law, we must listen to the moderate voices, those Arab Israeli who want equality and integration into Israeli society. But we must also remember, with equality also come duties.
Protests Against Nation-state Law Highlight Sad Truth About Israeli Left (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) Holding two demonstrations is a de facto acceptance of the racist hierarchy that Netanyahu has imposed on Israel: Jews at the top, then the Druze, Arabs at the bottom.
The constant threat to the life of the Jewish minority in the Arab region requires the Nation-State law (Yossi Ahimeir, Maariv) The question of majority and minority should be discussed in the entire Middle Eastern context. And when you do this, you understand that there is special justification for enacting the law, against the fury of the agitators in the square, in the media and in the Knesset.
The 'state' vs the 'land' (Prof. Asher Cohen, Israel Hayom) The nation-state law declares the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in the State of Israel, not throughout the land of Israel, and must not be used as a pretext for settlement expansion.
Arab protest in the heart of Israel sends clear message: We're here to stay (Jack Khoury, Haaretz+) In recent years, Arab-Israeli society has shown indifference to protests and lack of faith in its leadership. But the nation-state law was a slap in their face.
Flag of hysteria - The (Arab) sector's demonstration gave Netanyahu an opportunity to mark them as “traitors" ahead of the elections (Ran Edelist, Maariv) In a nutshell, the hysterical outcry of the prime minister came into being against the background of the failure of his government in Gaza and the shadow of the investigations against him.
He Only Knows How to Incite (Haaretz Editorial) Netanyahu turned Palestinian flags into the heart of the matter regarding the nation-state law protest, so as to drag the entire country into his comfort zone and nullify the justified protest.
The proof is in the protest (Zvi Hauser, Israel Hayom) Adoption of the nation-state law specifying that the Jewish people have exclusive rights to self-determination in Israel was a decisive victory against the majority of the Mideast and a noisy minority in Israel.
Netanyahu Upgraded Our Citizenship (Yitzhak Laor, Haaretz+) The value of Israeli citizenship is declining. And now comes the little prince to upgrade it with the help of the ‘nation-state law.’
The silence of the rabbis regarding the Nation-State Law indicates that they abandoned the struggle over the character of the state (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) The leaders of the ultra-Orthodox parties were required to voice their views on the subject of the controversial law and to stand as a central element in the controversy over the matter. With a little courage, they could have bought their world.
What Sort of Equality Do You Mean? (Nave Dromi, Haaretz+) Would Livni and Gabbay agree to change the national anthem or the flag in the name of equality?
The truth is revealed (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) The purpose of Saturday night's rally in Tel Aviv wasn't to scrounge up votes or economic benefits. The Arabs of Israel are voicing their one truth and we should not dismiss it.
From Charlottesville to nation-state bill, Trump and Netanyahu fiddle as the fabric of society burns (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Israel and the U.S. are separately but concurrently splitting into warring camps of majority supremacists against minorities and their defenders
The families of the missing Israelis held in Gaza should not impose measures that might endanger (Israeli) civilians (Dr. Chaim Misgav, Maariv) The statements of the soldiers' parents, whose bodies remained in the battlefield, went too far. Their terrible tragedy does not allow them to utter defiant things against those who are working to get their children back.
Palestinian Protesters in Gaza: Don’t Wound Us – Kill Us (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) How many of the young people protesting at the Gaza border fence hoped the soldiers facing them would pull the trigger and end their lives? Unfortunately, many.
Netanyahu's policy of divide and rule over Gaza and the West Bank has failed in a big way (Dr. Revital Amiran, Maariv) It is worth looking into the eyes of reality: neither the right nor the left can destroy Hamas. Therefore, only diplomatic negotiations with international assistance, while resolving the internal Palestinian conflict, is the remedy for the situation.
Hamas is jealous of Hezbollah (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) Hamas would like to reach the same understandings in Gaza as Israel and Hezbollah did concerning the Lebanese border in the wake of the 2006 war, but Gaza's rulers lack the authority and will to do so.
The time has come for the ministers to give the residents of the Gaza perimeter clear answers (Yanir Kozin, Maariv) Isn’t the public supposed to get an answer from the political echelon, the one it has elected, about what it is deciding to do? But the ministers prefer to smile at the camera, shake their heads, and mainly evade.
Will Netanyahu Call Early Elections? Hasidic Rabbi to Decide (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) Deputy Health Minister Litzman may want the conscription bill to pass, his moves are dictated by the Gerrer rebbe, who's in dubious touch with reality.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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