News Nosh: 8.20.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday, August 20, 2018

Quote of the day:
"The difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist depends on your perspective."
--Veteran peace activist and journalist, Uri Avnery, died today at age 94.

You Must Be Kidding: 
“Don’t come. I’m asking you – don’t show up. We’ve been doing great without you. We don’t need you here. If you come, I’m going to get up and leave...There’s no chance I’d ever interview them. I wouldn’t give them the honor. I’d go."
--Eyal Berkovic, a legendary Israeli soccer player and present-day TV host, declared on his show that Arab members of Knesset are spies and terrorists.**


Breaking News:
*Uri Avnery, Veteran Peace Activist and Among First Israelis to Meet Arafat, Dies at 94
The Gush Shalom founder was one of the first Israelis to actively seek a Palestinian state as a peaceful solution to the conflict: ‘The difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist depends on your perspective.’ (Haaretz and Ynet)

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • “Tohar laid on the ground four hours spasming, wet and bruised. We wanted to evacuate her, but the (party) organizers said: ‘Don’t touch her, she’ll close down the party’”
  • Hunting grounds for pedophiles - The case of Beno Reinhorn, who is suspected of trying to seduce 140 girls to photograph themselves naked for him, provides a frightening peek into what happens in the smartphones of our children
  • Only the Likud can // Nahum Barnea on the (long-term) arrangement in Gaza
  • The plan to battle leptospirosis
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
 
Israel Hayom
  • Bolton: The goal - remove Iran from Syria - Prime Minister to US National Security Advisor: “You are a real friend”
  • Fences and vaccines: The campaign against leptospirosis
  • They come to help Roni (who needs a bone marrow donation)
  • Exclusive: Not just missiles: Separate warnings on tsunami, earthquake and terrorists
  • Faculty of Medicine at Ariel University was inaugurated: “Historic day - and summit of values”
  • “She laid on the ground without treatment for four hours”: Indictment in the death of Tohar David at an outdoor nature party
  • The accidents at construction sites: The contractors’ ’success method’ // Anat Ginsberg
News Summary:
Israel will indict three party organizers suspected in causing the death of a drugged young woman who collapsed when they delayed her evacuation as not to have their party closed down, while assassins made another attempt to kill a fellow Israelicriminal and the Health Ministry took steps to prevent the spread of leptospirosis in northern Israel making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

In security and diplomacy, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton met with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over dinner at Netanyahu’s residence, along with US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer. Bolton said that preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, eliminating ISIS and returning Iranian forces to Iran were joint goals of the US, Russia and Israel. The two meet again today.

Regarding Gaza, Israel shut the Erez crossing Sunday following clashes at the Friday Gaza border protests. However, it left the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing open. Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi said the closure was meant as a warning to Hamas. Maariv’s military correspondent Tal Lev-Ram wrote that “Israel is avoiding taking more severe steps against the Gaza Strip and the Kerem Shalom crossing remains open despite the (arson) fires. Security sources say that in recent days there has been a marked drop in the number of incidents and that it is necessary to wait a few days until the picture becomes clear and Hamas takes control of the situation completely. If the events continue in the coming days, Israel will reconsider its steps, but at this stage an opportunity must be given to attempts to reach security arrangements and stability.” In the meanwhile, the government cabinet continues to insist it ‘isn’t talking to Hamas.’ Culture Minister Miri Regev, said: “We are not talking to Hamas, but to Egypt.” However, Zionist Camp MK Salah Sa'ad demanded that government share the details of the agreement being prepared with Hamas. “What is Bibi hiding?" he asked. "The government needs to explain the meaning of the change in attitude toward Hamas, what is the role of Qatar in an agreement that strengthens the extremists, and why was it signed for only a year.” Maariv’s Lev-Ram said there was concern in the defense establishment that the agreement being hammered out with Hamas might be at risk from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. “Israel believes that the failure of the reconciliation efforts between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority will affect the security situation and reduce the chances of an arrangement (between Hamas and Israel).” Israel fears that Abbas will increase the cuts in government salaries to Hamas. Meanwhile, Israel rejected the four UN proposals to protect Palestinians, which UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres presented Friday. Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, slammed Guterres’ report.
 
Quick Hits:
  • Israel's Supreme Court Doubles Sentence of Border Policeman Who Shot and Killed Unarmed Palestinian Teen - Two of three justices overturned original April decision to sentence Ben Deri to 9 months in prison who admitted to shooting Nadim Nuwara in 2014 despite the fact that the Palestinian did not constitute an immediate threat to his life. 'Original sentence was not close to reflecting the severity of a deliberate act' of switching rubber bullets for live rounds. (Haaretz+, Maariv and Ynet)
  • IDF course commander gets prison term for abusing soldiers - Cpl. R to serve 2 months behind bars as part of plea bargain reached in case that revealed he ordered cadets enrolled in an IAF course to stand against the wall while he smashed a mop stick on their backs. (Ynet)
  • Soldiers’ visits to mental health offices jump 40 percent since 2010 - Military sources underline 'drastic' increase, with 44,000 soldiers seeking mental health appointments in 2017. (Haaretz+)
  • Palestinian father, 2 children injured after Israeli settler attack - Israeli settlers from Yitzhar stoned vehicle, injuring Munther Abdelhafez Mousa, 43, and his two children. “When I was returning from Ramallah towards Tulkarem, my two children and I were attacked by at least 15 masked Israeli settlers, who blocked the road in front of us and surrounded the vehicle, which prevented us from moving.” Mousa said the settlers threw stones and glass bottles at the vehicle, leading to the injury of the three passengers. (Maan)
  • Arabs of Jerusalem Are Terrorists': 15 Cars in East Jerusalem Vandalized in Suspected Hate Crime - Car tires were slashed and offensive graffiti was sprayed on the walls of an Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood in suspected 'price tag' attack. (Haaretz+ and Maan)
  • Dozens of Olive Trees Cut Down in Suspected West Bank Hate Crime - Nationalist slogans were spray-painted near the trees, including 'Regards from the prisoners of Zion,' and 'price tag.’ (Haaretz)
  • Israeli forces shoot and injure Norwegian activist in Kafr Qaddum march - A Norwegian female activist was shot and injured on Saturday with a rubber-coated steel bullet fired by Israeli forces as they attempted to suppress the weekly and peaceful anti-settlement march in the Kafr Qaddum village in the northern occupied West Bank district of Qalqiliya. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces, settlers raze lands in Ramallah village - Israeli settlers, under the armed protection of Israeli forces, stormed the Palestinian village of Ras Karkar and razed agricultural lands in the area. (Maan)
  • Israeli ministry to fund evangelical Bible program in West Bank settlement - Education Ministry to set aside nearly one million shekels for trips to settlement facility dedicated to helping young Israelis foster 'a deeper connection to God by embracing their biblical and cultural heritage.’ (Haaretz+)
  • **'Terrorists': Anti-Arab rant gets former Israeli soccer star suspended from talk show, sued for defamation - Eyal Berkovic slammed for describing Israeli Arab lawmakers as spies and 'terrorists' on-air. (Haaretz+ and Ynet Hebrew)
  • West Bank University Illegally Moved Construction Debris to Site That May Belong to Palestinians - Ariel University denies claims that the construction debris is being dumped in an area beyond the ‘blue line,’ the zone marked as state land. (Haaretz+)
  • At dedication of West Bank medical school, Bennett decries Israeli university ‘cartel’ - Education minister hits back at council of university heads, which criticized approval of medical school at university in settlement of Ariel, saying it would lead to 'loss of trust.’ (Haaretz)
  • Litzman: We are trying to keep doctors in Israel - At opening ceremony for Ariel University Faculty of Medicine Dep. Health Min. Yaakov Litzman discussed difficulty of keeping medical graduates in Israel, disparity in care across the country; Critics: We need more beds before more doctors. (Ynet)
  • 24 Druze local politicians file seventh court challenge against nation-state law - The top court petition claims the Knesset exceeded its authority, inflicting 'harm on the core of democracy.’ “They took the Israeliness from us.” (Haaretz+ and Maariv)
  • Israeli Arabs, Palestinian Authority to Mark Nation-state Law With 'Apartheid' Day - Decision made at PLO assembly in Ramallah. Israeli Arab leaders claim Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has agreed to help Arab MKs act against the nation-state law worldwide. (Haaretz+)
  • Bribes in exchange for ID cards and travel permits in east. J'lem - The police arrest 83 people, including Population and Immigration Authority employees, who were allegedly involved in bribery offenses at the ministry's Wadi al-Joz branch (in E. Jerusalem), where services such as issuance of identification cards and travel permits, were provided in exchange for large sums of money. (Ynet)
  • 3 suspected of links to J'lem stabber released to house arrest - Despite objections raised by police, judge says visual evidence showing three suspects walking with the terrorist before he attacked a cop is insufficient to keep them in remand. (Ynet)
  • Israeli NGO to file ICC grievance against PA, Hamas leaders  - Jerusalem Institute of Justice says International Criminal Court must hold Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas accountable for war crimes. NGO plans to pursue separate investigations against Haniyeh and Abbas. (Israel Hayom)
  • Foreign investors to acquire majority stake in Tel Aviv Stock Exchange - Four investors from Australia, U.S. and Denmark will join U.S. hedge fund Manikay Partners in helping make the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange a publicly traded company. (Haaretz)
  • Netta Barzilai beats major stars as 'Toy' climbs Billboard chart  - Israeli Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai's "Toy" propels her to the No. 2 spot on Billboard's Dance Club songs rankings, ahead of huge pop acts like Sia or Enrique Iglesias • Barzilai: It's been an amazing year. … I'm thankful for everything that's happened. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli equestrian athlete refuses to compete on Yom Kippur - Dan Kramer is risking his career, and team's chances of participating in 2020 Olympics, in respect for the holy day, raises ire of fellow team members; Sports officials hope for date change. (Ynet)
  • 16-year-old swimmer proud to represent Palestine at Asian Games - Though Jordanian-born Mera Abushammaleh did not progress to the finals, she said she was confident that she will improve and hopes to one day win a medal for Palestine. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • UN McGoldrick applauds humanitarian workers in Palestine - In honor of World Humanitarian Day, Jamie McGoldrick, the Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, called for the protection of the Palestinian people, particularly health workers helping to save lives along the borders of Gaza. (Maan)
  • Hezbollah's Nasrallah met with Iran-backed Yemeni rebels - The Lebanese militant group said Sunday that Hassan Nasrallah met with a delegation headed by Houthi spokesman Mohamad Abdelsalam to discuss the latest developments in Yemen's civil war. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Yemen fighting rages as bomb that killed 40 children on bus revealed to be U.S.-supplied - The incident is the latest in a series of killings and bombings in the southern city, the temporary headquarters of the internationally recognised government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • U.S. 'action group' will fail to overthrow Iran's government, foreign minister says - Javad Zarif responds to State Secretary Pompeo's new Iran Action Group, meant to coordinate U.S. policy regarding Iran following President Trump's renewed sanctions against Tehran. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran readies to unveil new fighter jet, defense minister says  - The Qaher-313 jet will be introduced on National Defense Industry Day next week, Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami says, adding Iran will continue developing missile capabilities as a top priority. Iran's navy declares new defense system operational. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Jeremy Corbyn endorses BDS movement in 2015 footage - In video filmed in Belfast, U.K. Labour leader says the movement is 'part and parcel of a legal process that has to be adopted.' Corbyn has since maintained he opposes a blanket boycott of Israel. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • UK's Corbyn in new controversy involving female terrorist hijacker  - British paper reports Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn shared a stage with Palestinian hijacker Leila Khaled at events in 2002 and in 2011. Corbyn photographed in Tunisia standing next to Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine leader Maher al-Taher. (Agencies, Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Trump said to tell Jordan king: Israel will have a PM named Mohammed if no deal - Israel's Channel 10 claims the US president made the prediction half-jokingly after Abdullah warned that many young Palestinians now want 'one state with equal rights.’ (Maariv and Times of Israel)


Features:
Israel's Threat Against Iran: How Netanyahu and Barak Stoked a War Scare to Pressure the U.S.
Hebrew University lecturer Dr. Daniel Sobelman’s research suggests Israel worked to convince the Obama White House that it was seriously considering a unilateral attack on Iran. (Amos Harel, Haaretz+)
Israel Becomes Hotspot for NBA Stars, and Some Are Catching the Heat
With three NBA All-Stars visiting in under a month, Israel's become a hot destination for the best basketball players in the world. But the price is usually high – and viral, especially when a photo-op includes an assault rifle. “You got played. And you played yourself ... Flashing a toothy grin w/ a sniper rifle in Israel on a trip sponsored by Friends of the IDF is so horribly offensive ... man ... what are you doing? They are an Apartheid regime ... They've recently slaughtered 100s of unarmed Palestinians w/ those rifles,” wrote Sean King, a human rights activist, on Instagram. (Elad Zeevi, Haaretz+)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
Supreme Court’s Resentencing a Small Step in Right Direction (Mordechai Kremnitzer, Haaretz+) Doubling of border policeman’s sentence for killing Palestinian protester was eminently reasonable.
The Supreme Court harshened the punishment of the soldier who shot a Palestinian boy, and proved its integrity (Yossi Melman, Maariv) Contrary to the image that the Israeli right is trying to give it, the Supreme Court has honest people, whether they are labeled left or right, whether they wear skullcaps and are settlers.
Israel Needs a New Jewish-Arab Party (Iris Leal, Haaretz+) When Hadash joined Joint List, many voters were left 'politically homeless.' And Meretz, which has just one Arab MK and whose head is willing to join a coalition with Lieberman, isn't the answer.
Things could turn around on him: The prime minister is playing with fire, and it’s not against Hamas (Dr. Revital Amiran, Maariv) The New Israel Fund is a Zionist organization that helps and enriches public discourse. It is legitimate to criticize it, but when it comes from the senior figures in the country, a dangerous line was crossed.
What do the three players stand to gain from the Gaza ceasefire deal? (Giora Eiland, Yedioth/Ynet) A wide-scale ceasefire arrangement between Israel and Hamas is the best option of all the alternatives Israel has to consider; All three players involved in the potential deal have something to gain in this scenario; For Israel—quiet on the border, Egypt will get the isolation of ISIS in the Sinai, while Hamas will get a form of legitimacy and a promise of economic aid.
Hamas Is Desperate for a Deal With Israel. Here’s Proof (Muhammad Shehada, Haaretz+) A Hebrew message Hamas sent Israelis wasn’t exactly a threat. It was a plea for a cease-fire before Gaza descends into chaos.
On the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) As a result of the "interim" Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas regime in Gaza have become faits accomplis and bones in Israel's throat that it can neither throw up nor swallow.
Seven strengths that could make Netanyahu in the next elections – and seven weaknesses that could break him (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) He's been around for so long, Israelis can no longer imagine life without him.
13 years since the disengagement (withdrawal of Israeli civilians and soldiers) from the Gaza Strip): Nothing will erase the stain that is stuck to everyone who was involved. (Chaim Misgav, Maariv) I was close to the events. I represented some of the protesters against the evacuation, and I witnessed what seemed to me to be a criminalization of the judicial system. (Then foreign minister) Tzipi Livni did not lift a finger. (Then chief justice) Aharon Barak clucked in his tongue.
This year's mayoral race in Jerusalem is all about the religious Zionists (Nir Hasson, Haaretz+) In past elections, the ultra-Orthodox held sway; this time, secular and religious — but not Haredi — voters are getting behind candidates from the knitted-kippa crowd
Recognize Israeli sovereignty on the Golan (Sarah N. Stern, Israel Hayom) As long as the Golan is considered occupied territory, the illusion that it might someday be captured is perpetuated. The simplest way to put an end to this illusion and to Iran's voracious appetite is for the U.S. to recognize Israeli sovereignty there.
Naftali Bennett's Gaza Warmongering (Haaretz Editorial) Bennett's bluster is no substitute for the worthy efforts the government is making to achieve calm, and Netanyahu ought to say so.
This is how Hamas managed to confuse us, while its sole purpose was to return to Israel (Meir Uziel, Maariv) The great achievement of the regime in Gaza is the distress the Israeli citizen feels in light of the humanitarian situation there. The Palestinians have succeeded in reversing the situation, and accordingly, we are losing our natural sense of self-defense.
Gone too soon (Yossi Beilin, Israel Hayom) In my first meeting with Kofi Annan, who would later become U.N. secretary general, he told me he loved and admired Israel ever since it provided agricultural assistance to his homeland of Ghana.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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