News Nosh: 8.14.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Quote of the Day #1:
"Benjamin Netanyahu has half-apologized for my detention yesterday at Ben Gurion airport. I'll accept when he apologizes to all the Palestinians and Palestinian-Americans who every day endure far worse."
Prominent Jewish-American journalist, Peter Beinart, posted on Twitter after Israel's Shin Bet detained him at Ben-Gurion Airport and questioned him over his political views.*
 
Quote of the Day #2:
"From the (Shin Bet's apology) statement it can be concluded that in Israel a black list was compiled, not of terrorist operatives or people suspected of such activity, but of people based on their political views."
--Maariv's Intel commentator writes how the Shin Bet has begun serving the right-wing ideological agenda of the government by detaining and interrogating Israelis and Jewish-Americans over to their left-wing views.**

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Jewish journalist detained at Ben-Gurion Airport, Shin Bet and Netanyahu apologized
  • The black list // Yossi Melman
  • A slap (in the face) of Jews // Shlomo Shamir
  • “Netanyahu and A-Sisi secretly met in Cairo”
  • The accidents at the construction sites: Three killed in one day
  • The Leptospirosis plague: Golan rivers closing at top of tourism season
  • Israel Public Broadcasting Corp: “We have no money for Eurovision”; Kahlon: “You made a severe mistake”
Israel Hayom
  • “If Abu Mazen returns to Gaza - Israel will be harmed” - Minister Yisrael Katz; Opposition in the cabinet to possible (long-term ceasefire) arrangement plan with Gaza
  • IDF: “The attempt to cast doubt on General Yair Golan - is inappropriate”
  • The Eurovision farce: The fateful moment is arriving
  • The Leptospirosis scare: At least 27 were infected
  • Treasury director threatened Tnuva (dairy products company) representatives: “If you don’t withdraw the High Court appeal on increasing the price of dairy products at subsidized rates - we will open the dairy market to imports”
  • Moshe Hogeg celebrates: Businessman acquired Beitar Jerusalem soccer team for 26.5 million shekels

News Summary:
*The Shin Bet detained prominent Jewish-American journalist, Peter Beinart, at Ben-Gurion Airport and grilled him on his political views (for which both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Shin Bet later apologized, calling it an ‘administrative mistake’ and Opposition leader MK Tzipi Livni called for an emergency Knesset discussion on the multitude of detentions of left-wing activists questioned over political activity), Netanyahu reportedly secretly met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi in May to discuss a ceasefire deal with Hamas (and afterward participated in the breaking of the Ramadan fast before returning to Israel late at night) and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman slammed the right-wing “defamation campaign” against Maj. Gen. Yair Golan by ‘Im Tirtzu’ organization, which is trying to thwart Golan’s candidacy for the appointment as the next chief of staff - making the top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers along with the deaths of three more construction workers in a single day. The majority of those working in construction in Israel are Arab-Israel or Palestinians from the West Bank.

Meanwhile, in regards to Gaza Defense Minister Lieberman made some interesting statements. 
1.) Lieberman said that all 168 demonstrators killed by the IDF during the Gaza border protests were Hamas members.
2.) He said that war with Hamas is just a matter of time.
3.) At the same time, Lieberman is considering easing the restrictions on the Gaza Strip, such as opening Kerem Shalom commercial crossing and extending the Gaza fishing perimeter.

This comes as a Hamas deputy returned to Cairo to continue talks on an emerging agreement with Israel. Clearly, Israel is concerned about the humanitarian situation because it actually asked the US to scale back its cuts to the UNRWA aid agency for Palestinian refugees, fearing a health and sanitation disaster in Gaza if UNRWA is defunded. Meanwhile, the World Bank granted unemployed Gazans $17 million in aid. The Gaza unemployment rate was estimated at 48%.
Quick Hits:
  • Palestinian succumbs to wounds, Gaza death toll rises to 168 - Wissam Yousef Hijazi, 30, succumbed to his wounds sustained east of Khan Younis. Hijazi was severely injured after he was shot by Israeli forces during his participation in the protests near the return camps along the eastern border. (Maan)
  • Israel allots $9.5 million to build new settlement for evacuees of illegal outposts - The money is earmarked to pay contractors for work already completed, Finance Ministry says. (Haaretz+)
  • Financing spat blocks opening of Jerusalem site that would keep out Palestinians - For now a barbed-wire fence surrounds the Ein Hanya spring; later the plan is for a roadblock to go up as well. (Haaretz+)
  • Jerusalem school district rejects Israeli parents’ call to ban Arab bus drivers - Education administration gets more than 30 requests from parents claiming that Arab bus drivers put their children at risk. Official says: 'This is not the way of Jerusalem.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Netanyahu convenes Knesset panel dedicated to solving Druze protest for second time - Committee discusses challenges posed to a government plan to strengthen the Druze community. Panel was set up in wake of major protest over nation-state law. (Haaretz+)
  • In message to Hezbollah, IDF completes 'war of the future' drill - Thousands of soldiers deploy across Golan Heights to implement IDF's new fighting doctrine, which envisions requirement to fight on multiple fronts. Exercise includes use of drones, cyber and intelligence-gathering technology, and air defense system. (Israel Hayom)
  • Name of former NSO employee charged with intellectual property theft revealed - Yechiel Isakov is revealed to be a former employee fired by an Israeli company known for selling cyber-arms who is charged with stealing intellectual property and trying to sell it for $50 million over the Darknet. (Ynet)
  • Israelis lose fight against IDF colleges outside Jerusalem neighborhood of Ein Karem - Environmental groups and locals are claiming that the construction of a campus, right by archaeological sites and springs, damages water, views and the neighborhood's option to expand. (Haaretz+)
  • Netanyahu likely to put off appointment of PMO director-general until election date is decided - The previous director-general, Eli Groner, quit two months ago and was reportedly involved in a harsh dispute with the premier's wife. Filling the role in the meantime is PMO chief of staff, Yuval Horowitz. (Haaretz+)
  • Minister urges declassifying more files on missing Yemenite children - Fates of hundreds of babies and toddlers who went missing between 1948 and 1954 still unknown • Their parents were told they had died • Justice Minister Shaked: State must be an open book in this case • MK Koren: This is just the tip of the iceberg. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli Students Caught Dancing Naked at Nazi Death Camp in Poland - Workers caught the students on security cameras and called local authorities. The two were flown back to Israel. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • Yachimovich: Broshi should refrain from suing and avoid humiliation - Following Yacimovich's post about another woman who accused MK Eitan Broshi of sexual harassment, the MK says she would not give up her parliamentary immunity if Broshi sues her for libel. (Ynet)
  • Israel’s Eurovision dream slips away as cutoff nears 0 In contrast to every Eurovision host country ever, Netanyahu and Israel's finance minister decided that the event in Israel would be funded by the new public broadcaster. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Hundreds exposed to Leptospirosis in Golan Heights streams - Health Ministry says 27 have been hospitalized so far after bathing in several popular Golan Heights streams said to contain bacterial infection; Nature and Parks Authority announces some parks have been closed, while others given the all clear. (Ynet)
  • Israel releases 4 Gaza fishermen, 5th remains in detention - Israeli authorities released four Palestinian fishermen, on Sunday evening, who were attacked and detained by Israeli naval forces earlier, along with another fisherman, in the northern besieged Gaza Strip. (Maan)
  • PA sends necessary cancer medication to Gaza - Upon instructions from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, medications were transported on Monday to the warehouses of the Ministry of Health in Gaza after no chemotherapy medicine was left in the Strip. (Maan)
  • (5 Israeli) Rights groups petition Israel’s High Court to re-open Gaza border crossing - Petitioners are demanding that Israel reverse restrictions imposed a month ago on the entry of fuel and export of goods through the Kerem Shalom crossing. In addition to Gisha and the Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, there are four other Israeli groups in the petition: Adalah – the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Physicians for Human Rights, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and Hamoked – Center for the Defense of the Individual. (Haaretz+)
  • (US) Jewish Protesters Make Their Voice Heard at anti-'Unite the Right' Rally - 'These people want me dead because I exist, and that's not ok,' a Jewish protester who painted a Star of David on her face at a demonstration says as activists raise objection to the Washington rally. (Haaretz)
  • Ben Shapiro Offered Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez $10,000 to Debate. When She Refused, Things Got Weird - Shapiro said the congressional candidate had accused Republicans of being afraid to debate, and here he was ready to debate. (Haaretz+)
  • Syrian War's Biggest Mystery: What Happened to the Country's Top Human Rights Activist? - Razan Zaitouneh's fate has been one of the longest-running mysteries of Syria’s conflict. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Turkey works to create safe zones in Syria for returning refugees - "God willing, soon we will have liberated more places and made more areas safe," says Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey, host to 2.7 million Syrian refugees, is also taking steps to save Iraq's Qandil area from being a "nest of terror." (Agncies, Israel Hayom)
  • Don't badmouth the lira: Turkey investigates social media users over comments on plummeting currency - Prosecutor's office says 346 accounts have posted comments about the weakening lira 'in a provocative way.’ (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran's Supreme Leader: Government's Economic Mismanagement Worse Than U.S. Sanctions - 'With better management and planning we can resist the sanctions and overcome them,' Khamenei says in rare criticism. Tehran's Supreme leader states his country won't go to war nor will it negotiate with the U.S. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Khamenei Bans Any Talks With Trump as Iran Unveils New Version of a Short-range Missile - 'I ban holding any talks with America... America never remains loyal to its promises in talks,' said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on policy in the Islamic Republic. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran plans to take back uranium given to Russia under nuclear deal - Iran transferred its 20%-enriched uranium to Russia as part of deal but has already received a batch back, says Iranian official. He says fuel necessary for "domestic needs" and if nuclear deal ends, Iran "would feel unimpeded" to produce 20% uranium. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • In new controversy, Corbyn shown at Holocaust denier's wedding - U.K. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn attended senior Palestinian diplomat Husam Zomlot's 2010 wedding in London, Mail on Sunday reports. Zomlot, called a "close friend" by Corbyn, has claimed Israel "fabricated" Holocaust and Islamic State beheadings. (Israel Hayom)

 
Commentary/Analysis:
Peter Beinart’s Airport Interrogation Proves Something Is Rotting in the State of Bibi (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Netanyahu was quick to distance himself from an incident that was totally outrageous and completely predictable at the same time.
*The spirit of the era: Are there blacklists in Israel over political opinions? (Yossi Melman, Maariv) It is the Shin Bet's apology that should worry us most. Yesterday, the organization published a clarification on the delay and interrogation of journalist Peter Beinart. According to the Shin Bet “the detention was made due to an error in the discretion of the professional agent in the field." From the statement it can be concluded that in Israel a black list was compiled, not of terrorist operatives or people suspected of such activity, but of people based on their political views. We have already become aware of the fact that in Israel an office was established that contradicts the basic principle of democracy. The Ministry of Strategic Affairs, headed by Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan and headed by the former Chief Censor, Brig. Gen. (res.) Sima Vaknin-Gil. In the office, lists of BDS activists or their supporters were prepared in an attempt to curtail their steps abroad and in Israel. Among other things, defamation campaigns are being waged against them, which will ultimately embarrass Israel and cause it damage. At the same time, the rigid policy of the Population and Immigration Authority, which for years has been harassing Jews and non-Jews, who want to visit or live in Israel. But the fact that the Shin Bet is also beginning to be dragged, willingly or unwillingly, into this anti-democratic whirlpool, is beginning to cause concern. In recent weeks there have been at least four cases in which Shin Bet investigators have detained and interrogated Israeli and Jewish political activists. Needless to say, everyone was left-wing. The sequence of events is something to think about, that maybe these are not isolated cases. Last night, the Shin Bet said that the head of the organization, Nadav Argaman, had ordered a probe into the incident. What is needed is for the Shin Bet to go back to being an organization that does not serve the government's agendas and does not flow with the "spirit of the times," but protects Israel's fragile democracy and goes against the anti-democratic stream.
Netanyahu may have walked back Peter Beinart’s airport detention, but what about the leftists who aren’t on CNN? (Noa Landau, Haaretz+) The prime minister’s PR move doesn’t explain why the Shin Bet security service has detained a number of ‘far left’ activists in recent months.
10 questions on secret Israeli report over 2014 killing of four children on Gaza beach (Mordechai Kremnitzer, Haaretz+) Findings raise questions about decision-making process that led to shooting at children when they didn't pose a threat. This requires clarification on use of drones, IDF's open-fire policy and responsibility of those involved.
The demand of the bereaved families (of fallen soldiers) not to appoint Yair Golan as chief of staff is chutzpah (Yossi Melman, Maariv) There is no more appropriate expression than ‘shamelessness’ to define the shocking letter sent by the families identified with the extreme right, and which are guided by the Im Tirtzu movement.
If You Torpedo It (Haaretz Editorial) Campaign being waged against Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, in bid to prevent his appointment as next IDF chief of staff, is a direct outgrowth of the spirit of incitement that has become the hallmarks of the right’s rule.
Hundreds of PLO flags waving in Rabin Square made it clear what the Arabs wanted (Prof. Arieh Eldad, Maariv) Many of the opponents of the law, who still define themselves as Zionists, propose that instead of the nation-state law we adopt the Declaration of Independence as a Basic Law, because it mentions civil equality. Even if we forget for a moment that this equality is well anchored in the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, how does it help? After all, the Arabs object to the Declaration and its principles. After all, half of our Declaration of Independence deals with the Jewish nation and its right to the Land of Israel. The Arab MKs will vote against the Declaration of Independence, and today I am not sure that all the Jewish Meretz members and UFOs from the radical left who somehow became part of the Zionist Camp will also vote for it. Because it is Zionist and they aren’t any longer. Therefore, thank you from the bottom of my heart to the Arab leaders in Israel who came with the flags of Palestine, in order to give Tel Avivis a private lesson.
The Israeli right’s obsession with flags (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) The fact that the right gets so worked up about the Palestinian flag merely adds to the flag’s legitimacy and drives a deeper discussion of the issue.
Redeeming Palestine, in Tel Aviv (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) For the benefit of those who refuse to see and hear, we examine the clear anti-Zionist positions of the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee, the organizer of Saturday's protest against the nation-state law.
The flags at the demonstration of the Arab sector against the Nation-State law were a gift to Netanyahu (Nadav Haetzni, Maariv) The protest organizers, who are fundamentally the enemies of the Zionist idea and the state, provided the Likud and the Prime Minister with a handsome gift now, with the start of serious talk about elections.
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 deception of the apologists for Israel's nation-state law (Uzi Baram, Haaretz+) The nation-state law is not only an unnecessary law, it is an abhorrent law. Its explicit intentions have been spelled out by each of its architects.
Why 'Unite the Right' Rally Was a Pathetic Flop – and Why That Shouldn’t Matter(Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) The racist right may have lost its battle for the streets of D.C., but the war against racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia in America is far from over.
Humanitarian aid is just a ruse (Liora Cohen, Israel Hayom) Foreign governments are blatantly trying to disrupt the Israeli judicial system by weighing it down with as many cases as possible, claiming they are just doing humanitarian work. This is political meddling and a violation of democratic norms.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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