News Nosh: 8.15.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Quote of the day:
"The Shin Bet lady, who already knew everything about me and my family’s journey around the world, began with 'You think because you’re a public person I can’t do whatever I want with you?' I was floored. This is how interrogations begin in police states…In the end, after hours of this, she warned, 'I may let you into Israel but, who knows, I may not let you out. I will keep you here and kick out your family. It depends on you. You would miss your kids, yes?'"
--Following the detention of Jewish-American journalist Peter Beinart and questioning about his political views by the Shin Bet at Ben-Gurion Airport, Iranian-American author and TV host, Reza Aslan, revealed on social media his recent ordeal when entering Israel.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
"Instead of correcting this serious error after being notified, StandWithUs is now ignoring the truth and is doubling down and is repeating this erroneous claim in a new StandWithUs website post that Israeli policy supports a Palestinian state."
--One right-wing pro-Israel organization accused another right-wing pro-Israel organization of endangering Israel for 'falsely' accusing it of supporting the two-state solution.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Health Ministry considers: Close down more rivers from visitors - The Leptospirosis scare
  • Battle over the (long-term cease-fire) arrangement - Bennett vs. Defense Minister Lieberman
  • Buying time // Alex Fishman
  • On the knife // Elior Levy
  • Italy: Bridge disaster
  • Fortnite is not a game - New course at college teaches parents how to play the game that conquered children
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • Dispute in the top echelons: “Lieberman gives Hamas a prize”
  • Israel and The Hague on crash course - No limits to the chutzpah - Int’l court decided to establish mechanism for “victims in Palestine”
  • Italy cries
  • Junk food distanced from schools - Kiosks found selling unhealthy food will be fined
  • Committee for appointing senior officials was neutralized - and the appointment of the next chief of staff could be delayed
  • Leptospirosis scare: Fear that the warning against bathing will be expanded to more rivers (in the north)
  • ‘Israel Hayom’ and ‘Or Yarok’ probe: 76% of the accidents in which pedestrians are hurt - happen in the crosswalk

News Summary:
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman decided he would reopen a Gaza Strip crossing ahead of an agreement to ease restrictions on Gaza in exchange for quiet from the Palestinian side, for which far right-wing Education Minister Naftali Bennett attacked him, the Eurovision competition will take place in Israel following a compromise between the Israel Broadcasting Corporation and the Finance Ministry, and the Leptospirosis scare expanded as more northern rivers were suspected of contamination - making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

*Also in the news, after prominent left-wing Jewish-American journalist Peter Beinart was detained and questioned by the Shin Bet at Ben-Gurion Airport sparking an uproar, Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit ordered to open a probe into the numerous incidents in which the Shin Bet detained Israeli civilians and foreigners upon entering the country and questioned them about their left-wing political activities. On the same day, Iranian-American author and TV host, Reza Aslan, shared that he, too, was detained, questioned - and threatened - upon arriving in Israel. The Anti-Defamation League slammed Israel, saying that 'questioning those who may hold divergent views when entering or exiting Israel does the opposite of strengthening a commitment to a democratic Jewish state'

Defense Minister Lieberman said Tuesday that he would open the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing if the three-day lull in violence from the Palestinian side continued along the Gaza-Israel border,(and indeed, it opened this morning) sparking Education Minister Bennett to accuse Lieberman of ‘giving Hamas a prize for terror.’ Lieberman retorted that Bennett should focus on the rising violence at schools.

Today everyone seems to be convening to discuss the Gaza deal mediated byEgypt and the UN. The Israeli security cabinet will convene today to discuss it and one Israeli minister already told the LA Times that the ceasefire deal was ‘virtually done.' In Cairo, officials from Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian groups continued talksabout a Hamas-Fatah reconciliation and a long-term truce with Israel. The PLO was also expected to convene Wednesday to discuss the matter. Haaretz+ reported that the Trump administration wants to see a Gaza cease-fire 'with or without the Palestinian Authority’ and Argentina blamed Palestinian rocket fire at Israel for Gaza violence. Meanwhile, Egypt allowed 114 truckloads of goods into the besieged Gaza Strip between Sunday and Monday.
Quick Hits:
  • Israel ranked 5th from worst of 20 countries on detention of migrants' children - The United States was ranked worst while Brazil was ranked best by the International Detention Coalition. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli forces detain 3 Palestinian youth in Nablus-area village - Hebrew-language news outlets reported that Israeli forces searched the three Palestinian youths near the Palestinian village of Deir al-Hattab, after they were spotted "acting suspiciously" through surveillance cameras. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces shoot, injure 2 Palestinian youth in Beit Ummar - Sources said that a 17-year-old Palestinian, who was identified as Saif Ahmad Radwan Akhlil, was shot with live ammunition in the thigh and the chest during an Israeli army raid on the village Monday night. (Maan)
  • East Jerusalem female resident charged with incitement to terrorism for Facebook posts - Suzanne Abu Ghanem, 39, posted pictures of Hamas terrorists on Facebook and Instagram, praising them and calling for violence: 'God forgive us for failing to do something about Al Aqsa. The time has come for a revolution.' (Ynet)
  • Palestinian female writer faces Israeli interrogation for 22nd day - Detained Palestinian female writer and mother of five children, Lama Khater, 42, has been subjected to intensive interrogation by the Israeli security service for the 22nd consecutive day. (Maan)
  • Israel to release Palestinian female teen on bail - Israeli military court's decision came after a previous decision to sentence Ibtehal Breiwish,18, to four months in prison. Breiwish, from Hebron district, was detained after an Israeli settler provoked her and her friend and later attacked them in front of the Khadouri Technical University branch of al-Arroub, in northern Hebron. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces assault, detain Jerusalemite woman near Al-Aqsa - Eyewitnesses said that Israeli forces assaulted the woman while she was present in the Bab al-Rahma cemetery, just outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, and detained her afterwards; her identity was not yet identified. (Maan)
  • Israeli judge denies Palestinian bail because he 'lives in a fantasyland' - Courts Administration criticizes 'unfortunate' language of Judge George Amoraee towards Palestinian in jail for being in Israel without a permit. (Haaretz+)
  • Support for 2-state solution hits new low for Israelis, Palestinians - According to poll conducted among both populations, only 43% of Israeli Jews and Palestinians support concept of Palestinian state alongside Israel. Both sides doubt possibility of implementing solution, express lack of trust in the other side. (Israel Hayom)
  • Police rejects (convicted ex-soldier) Azaria's request for gun license - Israel Police determines Elor Azaria, (the former soldier) convicted of manslaughter and imprisoned for shooting dead a seriously wounded terrorist, poses a danger to the public; furthermore, police intelligence found no security threat to his safety to justify need for firearm. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israel measures home of 5 Palestinian prisoners for demolition - Locals said that Israeli forces escorting with army engineers raided the al-Amari refugee camp and inspected Umm Nasser Abu Hmeid's house, mother of four Palestinian prisoners, a fifth accused of killing an Israeli soldier and another who was killed by Israeli forces in 2002. (Maan)
  • Explaining the delay in terrorist home demolitions - Despite the government decision to expedite the demolition of terrorists' houses, the procedure still takes months to complete, but security official says not all cases are ‘black and white.’ (Ynet)
  • Ronald Lauder warns Israel: Nation-state law will harm ties with world Jewry - World Jewish Congress chief and former Netanyahu confidant urges Israeli leaders to 'rethink their destructive actions' in New York Times op-ed. (Haaretz)
  • Palestinians push initiative to remove Israel from UN - Israeli officials are rolling up their sleeves as Palestinians attempt to remove or suspend Israel from the United Nations over the contentious Nation-State Law, in a similar move to one imposed on Apartheid-era South Africa. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Officials fume as International Criminal Court seeks 'Palestinian victims of Israeli crimes' - Three ICC judges urge "victims of the situation in Palestine" to come forward, facilitate investigation against Israel. Jerusalem officials: Move indicates "strong anti-Israel policy." Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked describes move as "deeply disturbing." (Israel Hayom)
  • **Rumble on the Right Pro-Israel, when one group attacked another for ‘falsely’ claiming Israel supports Palestinian state - StandWithUs claimed Israel ‘officially supports the two-state solution’ - the Zionist Organization of America thinks that’s false, ripping the hasbara (advocacy) group’s statement as ‘extremely harmful.’ Last year Haaretz reported that a popular operator of Birthright trips run by the Orthodox Union had been referring participants to stay there for free in order to extend their 10-day trip, during which the youth were encouraged to volunteer in illegal West Bank outposts. (Haaretz+)
  • **Jerusalem hostel booted by Birthright bans ‘Haters of Israel’ - Several US politicians, celebrities, organizations and newspapers, including J Street, Haaretz and Natalie Portman, are featured on the list of banned 'Haters of Israel’ of the Jerusalem Heritage House. (Haaretz)
  • Radioactive sheep said to prove Israel conducted illegal nuclear test - Findings from a recent study by Science and Global Security journal alleges Israel conducted a nuclear experiment in cooperation with South Africa over the Indian Ocean in 1979; conclusions say traces of radioactive substance found in sheep in the area underpin findings; 'Israel is the only country that had the technical capability and the political motivation to conduct such a discreet experiment,' says expert. (Ynet)
  • Israel, U.S. embassies in Germany receive hostile letters with white powder - Police have opened two investigations. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Race to lead Israel's military heats up: The four men who could be the next IDF chief - From a charismatic wunderkind to a gruff tank commander, one of these four men will soon be chosen to lead the strongest army in the Middle East. (Haaretz+)
  • Netanyahu slams Corbyn over terrorists' tribute; Labour leader fires back over Gaza killings - War of words erupts after Netanyahu slams U.K. Labour leader for reportedly honoring Black September terrorists. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Israeli High school student exposes his behind in Majdanek (Holocaust) memorial site - Local police question a high school student after he is caught on camera with his pants down at a memorial site at the former Nazi concentration camp; teenager, together with a friend who went along with the act, gets a fine and is sent back to Israel. (Ynet)
  • How Much Is Israel Worth? $4.3 Trillion, Says Expert Valuation - It’s even more after taking into account public’s views of the country’s future. (Haaretz+)
  • Tel Aviv ranked the 9th most expensive city in the world - New York City is 13th - Vienna has dislodged Melbourne for the first time at the top of the Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Index. (Haaretz)
  • Construction Worker Dies, Israel's 28th On-the-job Death of 2018 - Wasim Awad Fayyad Mahameed, 28, from the town of Zalafa in the Wadi Ara region of Israel, was electrocuted in Moshav Talmei Eliezer on Thursday. On Monday, three construction workers were killed in two separate incidents. (Haaretz+)
  • Seriously injured Maglan soldier regains consciousness - Cpl. A., who suffered a serious back injury after jumping off a Hummer jeep during training, wakes up two weeks after injury; he underwent a series of operations at Tel Hashomer hospital, and has a long rehabilitation ahead. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Technion, Hebrew University on Shanghai 100 list - Academic Ranking of World Universities publishes annual list of world's leading academic institutions, placing Israel Institute of Technology and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem at 77th and 93th spots respectively. (Ynet)
  • Despite questioning, bribery probe said unlikely to touch Shari Arison - Source says billionaire probably had no inside knowledge of day-to-day operations at Housing & Construction, not at risk of losing Hapoalim license. (Haaretz)
  • Uri Geller bends dirt pile, finds Ottoman-era soap factory in Israel - While building the Uri Geller museum in Jaffa, the psychic says he intuited that there was something beneath a suspect pile of refuse. (Haaretz)
  • TechNation: U.S. law firm launches $30 million fund to finance lawsuits by Israeli startups - Emergency callout platform startup Carbyne now has Peter Thiel as an investor. Hebrew University, Technion advance in Shanghai Ranking. (Haaretz)
  • Palestinian Cabinet Meeting Statement of gratitude to Colombia for recognizing the State of Palestine - Palestinian Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, welcomed the decision of the Republic of Colombia to recognize the State of Palestine within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. (Maan)
  • Nasrallah: Hezbollah stronger than the IDF - In remarks broadcast on a big screen at an event dubbed 'July Victory of 2016' in Beirut marking 12 years since terror group's 'victory' against Israel in 2006 Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah secretary-general says Israel is 'deterred by the resistance', knows it will lose the next round of fighting and is responsible for the Syrian civil war which it caused in order to gain strength. (Ynet)
  • Russia to help UN with patrols along Syria-Israel frontier - Following return of UN peacekeepers to the frontier between Syria and Israel for the first time in years, Russian military announces intention to assist them until UN patrols along the border are fully restored; 'The Russian flag is the guarantor of peace and security on that land.' (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Former Mossad chief doubts Russia could remove Iran from Syria - In interview with Saudi-owned paper Elaph, Tamir Pardo also talks about need to impose sanctions on Lebanon to weaken Hezbollah and about Israel's ties with moderate Arab nations in the Gulf. (Ynet)
  • U.S. Pastor Held in Turkey Appeals for Release and Lifting of Travel Ban - The detained pastor, who is accused of aiding a coup against Erdogan in 2016, has triggered a diplomatic crisis between the U.S. and Turkey. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Trump 'delays F-35 delivery to Turkey' as diplomatic crisis escalates - A newly-signed defense bill stalls delivering the fighter jets pending a Pentagon report on Ankara-Washington relations, reports say. (Haaretz)

Quiz If you're leftist and they know It
Peter Beinart is the latest Jewish American to be questioned at the Israeli airport/border for his political views. Now it's your turn to answer some questions in this Haaretz quiz. (Haaretz)
So You’ve Been Detained at Israel’s Airport. Here Are Your Rights
Dan Yakir, chief counsel for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, says it’s crucial for both Israelis and foreigners who are detained to understand what they have to do and what they may refuse. Here’s what to do if you get stopped or questioned at Ben-Gurion Airport for a ‘cautionary conversation’ with the Shin Bet security service. As Yakir explains, the High Court ruled in 2017 that before the Shin Bet can sit an Israeli citizen down for a “cautionary conversation,” that person must be served with a summons that specifies that their cooperation is voluntary. Thus an ambush at the airport designed to extract information and warn people not to cause trouble is completely out of bounds.  “This means, if you are an Israeli citizen who is asked to wait at a border-control clerk’s desk, delaying your entry with no explanation given, your detention is illegal,” Yakir says. “An Israeli in such a situation should call a lawyer and ask for their intervention.” The rules are different for foreign citizens and for Israelis, Yakir adds. Foreign nationals, too, should know that there are limits to what they might have to do when they enter the country, or to whom they might have to speak with. (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+)
'People turn to me, broken: What's happening to our Israel?’
It's almost cliché to say that the crisis between American Jewry and the State of Israel is unprecedented, but it’s only getting worse. The Nation-State Law, the Surrogacy Law, and the detention of Rabbi Haiyun has sunk the liberal Jewish community into deep depression. (Carrie Rubinstein, Ynet)
Where Life Is Cheap in Israel (Haaretz Editorial) The government’s failures are responsible for the fact that human lives have become the construction industry’s cheapest resource.
The ideal choice for preserving (Chief of Staff) Eizenkot's path: Yair Golan as chief of staff and Nitzan Alon as his deputy (Ran Adelist, Maariv) Not only does that speech stand in the way of Yair Golan to the position of Chief of Staff, but mainly the fact that he is a free agent. He is one who in regards to what is his responsibility, he does what he wants…When Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman is defending Maj. Gen. Golan against the right-wing nationalists, it sounds “stately,” but Lieberman is not the type of defense minister who defends an officer, but rather a person who seeks legitimacy from the enlightened public.  At the same time, he may hide a joker which he will pull out later. The ideal choice to preserve the path of Rabin, Lipkin-Shahak and Eisenkot, is Yair Golan as chief of staff and Nitzan Alon as his deputy…the latter who is also considered a hater of Israel by the settler right-wing. In the choice that emerges as political, it will not happen. Not because they are politically different from a Zamir or Kochavi (two other candidates), but because both were marked, mythologically and not methodologically, in the right-wing camp. Neither of them is a leftist, of course, unless a leftist is a man who anxiously sees the direction in which Israeli society is deteriorating, in which case, all the candidates are leftists.
The Flag of Palestine Is Beautiful (Bradley Burston, Haaretz+) The real terror that Netanyahu feels is the fear that Arab and Jew will rise up together.
So far: Im Tirtzu's campaign against the appointment of Major General Yair Golan as Chief of Staff validates his warnings (Attorney Yehiel Gutman, Maariv) I do not know whether the protest (by ‘Im Tirtzu’) will affect or not affect the appointment of the next chief of staff. I don’t know the general personally, and I did not meet him, but I was impressed that he is an officer of values and principle…Im Tirtzu's ugly and offensive media campaign, for which purpose it used others [bereaved parents of fallen soldiers - OH], undermines the authority of the government. This campaign also justifies the difficult things Golan said, that ugly buds that characterized dark regimes are also seen in our country.
Peter Beinart and the Crisis of Israel’s Illiberal Zionism (Carlo Strenger, Haaretz+) The way the Jewish-American journalist was treated at Ben-Gurion Airport isn’t an isolated incident. It’s a preview of where Israel is headed.
To those opposing the Nation-State Law (Alexander J. Apfel, Ynet) The needless uproar over this justified law illustrates that some people in society would sleepwalk into a future devoid of any national identity if they could. The Nation-State Law poses no threat to the rights of minorities, and the entire controversy, which has been blown out of all proportion, serves, more than anyone else, Israel's most vehement critics.
Israel's Arabs must make a choice (Dr. Reuven Berko, Israel Hayom) Unlike the Druze, who truly want to be equal citizens of Israel, Israeli Arabs are increasingly identifying with the Palestinian narrative, as the protest against the nation-state law demonstrated.
Israel’s Conducts Mass Psychological Experiment on Gaza (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) The essence is that Israel is conducting a mass social-psychology experiment in Gaza on obedience, and the subject is obedience. The experiment is being conducted on us Israelis and not on the Gaza Palestinians themselves. The experiment is about compliance and cruelty; it’s an experiment on adapting to increasing cruelty. It’s much more successful than the famous experiment carried out by social psychologist Stanley Milgram 55 years ago, about a year after the Eichmann trial. Milgram sought to find out the extent to which people would be willing to inflict pain on others if they were ordered to do so.
Were we wise in the case of Ahed Tamimi, or would it have been better to release her after a few days of imprisonment? (Zalman Shoval, Maariv) The Palestinian girl has become a sort of Palestinian Joan of Arc, and there are already those who crowned her their future leader. The young woman was punished, and it is also clear that her behavior could not have been ignored.
In Nearing Deal With Israel on Gaza, Hamas Wins Achievements Through Military Resistance (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Netanyahu, who has no clear goal on Gaza, prefers to be weak on terror and not find himself in an endless war in the Strip.
Israel should use its military edge in Gaza (Meir Indor, Israel Hayom) Another ground war in Gaza is just not worth it. The same pundits who blast Israeli restraint would be first to criticize the government if Israel was mired in a ground campaign.
Netanyahu Picks the Perfect Time to Lay a Trap for Corbyn – and He Fell for It(Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) The U.K. Labour leader is the only politician hapless enough to lose the moral high ground to Bibi.
If Netanyahu is the representative of God as his admirers claim, what is the explanation for the (events of the) last month? (Natan Zehavi, Maariv) The messenger of God casts the blame for all the troubles that are taking place in Israel on the "left-wing” funded by the "Foundation for the Destruction of Israel” (New Israel Fund). With the help of his sharp-tongued reporters who write in the Trump-McCarthyist style, he is succeeding pretty well.
Mission Accomplished: Why Solidarity Boats to Gaza Succeed Despite Failing to Break the Siege (Ramzy Baroud, Maan) the stream of solidarity boats continued to arrive, not only unhindered by the fear of Israeli retribution, but also stronger in their resolve. Palestinians consider the killed activists as ‘martyrs’ to be added to their own growing list of martyrs. However, none of the boats made it to Gaza; so why keep on trying?
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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