News Nosh: 10.10.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday October 10, 2018

Quote of the day:
"How did a movement that represents the marginal fringe of the fringe turn into an existential threat? The answer is not found in the field of strategy, but rather in the field of psychology."
--Yedioth commentator, Aviad Kleinberg, writes that Israel is hysterical when it comes to BDS.*

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Expose - The last battle over Sultan Yakub - Intel establishment plans to unofficially close the case dealing with the three missing IDF soldiers from the 1982 battle
  • Family tragedy in Beitar Illit: 2-year-old and 4-year-old died in fire
  • The resignation of the “friend from the UN” (Nikki Haley)
  • 2,000-year-old stone with the inscription “Jerusalem” (was unearthed)
  • The tasks of the new Governor (of the Bank of Israel)
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • “I won’t need immunity” - Prime Minister spoke about the investigations against him
  • They died in the children’s room - 2-year-old and 4-year-old died in fire that broke out in the family apartment in Beitar Illit
  • The next Governor (of the Bank of Israel): Prof. Amir Yaron
  • “Thank you, Nikki Haley”
  • No reason to worry // Shmuel Rosner
Israel Hayom
  • Haley resigns: “True friend of Israel”
  • Tragedy in Beitar Illit: Little Zvi and Efrat died in fire in their house
  • The challenges waiting for the new governor (of the Bank of Israel)
  • Netanyahu’s show: Prime Minister surprised and answered reporters’ questions on numerous subjects
  • Qatar paid - and 200 tons of fuels were transferred to the Gaza Strip

News Summary:
Israel’s best friend ever in the UN, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, resigned, much to the chagrin of the Israeli government, Israel appointed a new Governor to the Bank of Israel, an Israeli who has lived in the US for 20 years, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu surprised reporters and answered questions on numerous hot issues, and two young siblings died in a fire in their apartment in Beitar Illit - making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Meanwhile, Israel defied Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and allowed Qatari-paid-for fuel to enter the Gaza Strip and alleviate the plight of Gazans a bit,

The Israeli right-wing political establishment went into shock from the surprise resignation of  US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, Israel’s “diplomatic Iron Dome” (Maariv) and “our armored gear in the UN Security Council (also Maariv). Haaretz wrote that “No one may be more upset at (Haley)’s resignation than Israel.” Yedioth wrote that Israel “expressed sorrow” over the decision. Indeed, a row of right-wing Israeli politicians expressed their thanks to her on Facebook and Twitter (Maariv) and Prime Minister Netanyahu also thanked her for leading “an uncompromising struggle against the hypocrisy of the United Nations and for the truth and justice of our country.” Haaretz+ noted that Haley stood up for Israel at the UN (and AIPAC) 13 times. The Israeli commentators were divided about the effect on Israel of her departure. (See Commentary/Analysis below).

In energy-starved Gaza, two trucks carrying 35,000 liters (9,200 gallons) of Qatar-funded fuel arrived Tuesday, much to the dismay of Abbas, who insisted that the Palestinian Authority be involved in negotiations regarding the Gaza Strip. But U.S. Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt tweeted that the US "appreciates the efforts of the U.N., Egypt, Qatar and Israel to alleviate the humanitarian situation in Gaza and efforts to achieve the goal of an enduring cease-fire.” Seven more truckloads of Qatari-funded fuel enter Gaza today.

In a rare event, Netanyahu answered numerous questions of reporters at a press conference. That in and of itself was a headline. Even the pro-Netanyahu paper, ‘Israel Hayom,’ noted it on its front page. Numerous headlines came out of that press conference. Among them, Netanyahu, again, blamed Abbas for the suffering of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and even explained that Gazans' protests, which Israel is trying to stop, is understandable: “We don't want this situation – let's call it 'slow-burning' – to go on. On the other hand, (Gazans) are suffocating. How did this situation come about? Because Abbas suffocates them and then they lash out.”

(Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Abbas backed the two-state solution in a phone conversation after chancellor's Israel visit.) Netanyahu also said he is “not interested in getting into needless wars." Haaretz+ reported that the Israeli army believes that the surging Gaza violence doesn't justify going into Gaza War #4.  The army thinks that Sunday’s West Bank terror attack is a bigger cause of concern. Meanwhile, the manhunt for the Palestinian young man who murdered two Israelis at the Barkan Israeli industrial zone in the West Bank continues: Israeli forces raided the man’s hometown and made more arrests. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman aid that the terrorist's time is running out. But Maariv’s Tal Lev-Ram reported that “There is no progress” and that the IDF is expected to carry out additional arrests in order to obtain intelligence that can help in the search.

Channel 10 interviewed Basel, the Palestinian employee who saved Sara Vitori, one of the three people who the attacker shot and Maariv published quotes from the interview. Basel, who works as a warehouse worker at Alon Metal, told of the assistance he gave to Sara: "I did not let anyone touch her,” he said. About the terrorist, Ashraf Naalweh, he said: "When (employees) shouted his name I thought he was electrocuted, because he was our electrician. I didn’t think that he carried out an attack and had a weapon.” Basel said that when he hear Sara’s voice, he didn’t think twice. “When I went into her office, I saw her on the floor bleeding and she had two holes in her stomach, because the bullet went in the front and out from the left.” He went back to the storeroom to get a first aid kit then returned to Sara while the terrorist continued to fire. "I went downstairs, took everything I needed, went upstairs and helped Sara until the end," he said. "I stayed with her until the last minute." Basel continued, "I took her to the stairs, down to the ambulance, and I did not let anyone touch her, and they took Sara to the hospital and told me that after Yogev and I had gone down, the terrorist came down immediately after us…I help everyone, it doesn’t matter if they are Arab or Jewish, it doesn’t matter who.” Rafi Alon, one of the owners of the Alon factory that employs more than 200 Palestinians, said yesterday that he felt battered and betrayed. He made it clear that the factory would continue to work and employ Israelis and Palestinians, but something in him broke. "I'm in favor of coexistence," he said. "I want to believe that this is a stray weed that was sent by cruel people. I gave to the Palestinians here like (I did to the) Israelis and even more. Today I feel they betrayed me. We’ll see how we will continue from here.”

Netanyahu also said that he doesn't want to call early elections. (That said, Interior Minister Arieh Deri predicted early elections as early as March, due to the dispute over the IDF draft bill.) Also, Netanyahu met with a senior Russian official for the first time since the downed plane crisis and emphasized the importance of continued communication regarding regional threats despite the recent incident.
Quick Hits:
  • 100,000 shekel ($27,500) lawsuit against (TV presenter) Eyal Berkowitz for his remarks against Arab MKs - MK Essawe Freij (Meretz) is demanding a huge sum from former soccer star Eyal Berkowitz after the latter said on his TV show ‘Ofira and Berko’ that the Arab Knesset members were "spies.” The indictment stated that was ‘racist incitement’ and libel. (Maariv)
  • Under right-wing pressure, Israeli army okays extending two agricultural laws to West Bank - Criticized by the opposition as a means of 'creeping annexation' of settlements, laws to benefit organic-produce and poultry farmers there. (Haaretz+)
  • Terrorists will not be released under new legislation, MK vows - The government wants to pass a bill allowing for the administrative parole of prisoners to relieve prison overcrowding. Chairman of Internal Affairs Committee Yoav Kisch (Likud): No terrorist or security prisoner will be let out even a day early under the bill. (Israel Hayom)
  • Bereaved Families to Erdan: "Shortening prison sentences for security prisoners is a declaration of war" - One hundred bereaved families sent a letter to the Minister of Public Security, warning of the bill that is expected to be passed in the coming weeks: “We demand from you a courageous action against terrorism, not another (Facebook) post or Tweet.” According to the bill, sentences will be shortened between 2-7 months for prisoners serving up to 20 years in prison, including (Palestinian) security prisoners. (Maariv)
  • Israel's Interior Minister cancels book launch of Palestinian security prisoner - The northern Israeli-Arab city had planned to hold the event for author Walid Daka, who spend years behind bars after being convicted for involvement in the kidnapping and murdering of an Israeli soldier in 1986. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • US student denied entry to Israel over BDS to fight ban in court - BDS activist Lara Alqasem "can fly back to the United States whenever she likes. ... She is not under arrest; she is refused entry," says Immigration Authority • Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan: If Alqasem publicly denounces BDS, maybe she can stay. (Israel Hayom)
  • Leading Conservative NYT Columnists Slam Israel Over Detention of U.S. Student - Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss ask 'why is Israel scared of this young American?' and challenge Israel to invite BDS supporters to visit. Alqasem's court hearing is set to take place Thursday at 10 A.M. (Haaretz)
  • State Department on detained U.S. student: We're aware of her case, decision up to Israel - 'Our embassy is providing consular access as we would to all American citizens,' State Department spokesperson says of 22-year-old Lara Alqasem who is detained in Israel over alleged BDS ties. (Haaretz+)
  • University of Florida professors call on Israel to release detained alumnus Lara Alqasem - ‘Her predicament is nothing short of the Kafkaesque’ writes one academic, noting irony that Lara Alqasem – now detained for a week – came to Israel to study justice. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli University chiefs stand by U.S. student held in Israel: Her arrest causes country damage - With letter to strategic affairs minister, Association of University Heads of Israel joins opposition to deny entry to Lara Alqasem over alleged support for boycott. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli minister: If detained U.S. student condemns BDS, expresses regret, I'll consider allowing her in - Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan slams 'far-left, Meretz members,' and Hebrew University for cooperating with 'campaign of lies of the boycott activist.’ Alqasem stated during court hearing she does not endorse boycott of Israel. (Haaretz)
  • Netanyahu: Israel will keep deporting 'infiltrators', Eritrea-Ethiopia peace treaty will help accelerate expulsion - Netanyahu boasts of setting up a border fence to keep migrants away, says that despite left-wing organizations' appeal deportation will continue. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel lifts protection of Congolese migrants, set to deport hundreds - Interior Minister Arye Deri decides to nix special status of Congolese migrants who fled to Israel from violent conflict in their homeland. Decision to come into effect in January 2019. (Haaretz+)
  • Belgium acknowledges Pisgat Ze’ev (Jewish neighborhood in E. Jerusalem) as part of Jerusalem - After sending the Tenzer family a letter stating parents of family live in “Jerusalem”, while their 2 children live in “Palestinian territories,” Belgian consulate announces confusion stemmed from a computer technical error. (Ynet)
  • Dozens protest against Netanyahu in Tel Aviv - In wake of decision not to bring Surrogacy Law amendment up to vote at opening of Knesset's winter session, LGBT community stages demonstration near Likud party conference. (Ynet)
  • Coalition whip: I will vote to preserve Netanyahu's immunity if indicted - Asked about maintaining his immunity, Netanyahu said: 'I do not think it is relevant because I do not think there will be an indictment.’ (Haaretz)
  • Shaked warns court against interfering with Nation-State Law - Eight petitions have been filed to HCJ demanding it to strike down the contentious law; any interference by the court would be 'foolish' and 'dangerous,' justice minister says. (Yedioth/Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • Israel Can 'Definitely' Absorb 100,000 West Bank Palestinians, Justice Minister Says - 'It’s impossible to ignore the processes taking place in the Democratic Party. You know, the party itself is becoming less and less what’s considered Zionist,' Ayelet Shaked tells The Atlantic. (Haaretz)
  • Major evangelical-funded Israeli charity loses three top executives - The IFJC, which invests over $100 million in Israel annually, sees most of the senior leadership leave at once, with no explanation. (Haaretz)
  • Brain Drain From Startup Nation Increasing, Especially Among Best Educated in High-tech - The phenomenon is particularly prevalent in the fields of computer science, engineering and math, even with people who completed only a bachelor’s degree. (Haaretz+)
  • IDF issues broad restrictions on soldiers' social media behavior - Orders bar soldiers from posting comments on political and military issues on their private social media profiles • Online behavior "that does not coincide with military values or infringes on human dignity has a negative effect on IDF's image." (Israel Hayom)
  • One laborer was killed and another seriously injured after they fell into a sewage pit in Moshav Gilat - Two men fell into a sewage cistern Sunday, near Beersheva. They were evacuated to Soroka Hospital when their condition was very severe, and one of them died in the trauma room. (Maariv)
  • In first, Arab women to run in their own parties in Israeli local elections - Record number of Arab women also top their party slate ahead of municipal ballot across Israel on October 30. (Haaretz+)
  • Candace Owens boasts about mocking sexual assault victims with TPUSA Israel affairs director - 'LMAOOOOOOO!!!! Omg… Greatest idea ever. Not even kidding.’ (Haaretz)
  • Earliest-ever Inscription Bearing Jerusalem’s Full Name Unearthed in Roadwork - Dating to the 1st century B.C.E., the inscription was found on a repurposed piece of a stone column in a Roman building, near the city's entrance. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • Turkey to Search Saudi Consulate for Missing Journalist Jamal Khashoggi - Saudi authorities say they are 'open to cooperation' with Turkey over the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi a week ago. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • US rejects Iran's legal claim to recover $2B in frozen assets - Tehran appeals to World Court in an attempt to get its hands on frozen assets the U.S. Supreme Court awarded to victims of terrorist attacks in which Iran was implicated • State Department: Case is based on malicious conduct by Iran, should be dismissed. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Russia to deport Siberia's chief rabbi over 'espionage' - Court rejects appeal by Chabad emissary Asher Krichevsky against his deportation, finds him guilty of "engaging in activities that constitute threat to Russian Federation, its citizens." Siberian authorities previously attempted to deport rabbi in 2014. (Israel Hayom)

Wine is enlisted into the Israeli-Palestinian hummus wars
Wine grapes with roots in antiquity are becoming part of an ideological identity struggle: Are these heirloom varieties Israeli or Palestinian? (Ronit Vered, Haaretz+)

With Haley's exit from UN, pro-Israel groups lose their favorite Trump official (Amir Tibon, Haaretz+) As UN ambassador, Nikki Haley gave many pro-Israel Americans what they wanted: An official with a Trump-like unquestioning support for Israel who isn't Trump.
Israel has nothing to worry about, even replacing Nicky Hailey will continue on the same line (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv)  True, Trump gave the outgoing ambassador meaningless compliments, but it is not clear how important it is to him what his representative does at the UN does, while Haley, in contrast, sees herself as a candidate for secretary of state.
Trump’s ‘sanity translator’ Nikki Haley will be missed most sorely by Netanyahu and right-wing American Jews (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Trump can’t be such a jerk, Jews told themselves, if he appointed a UN ambassador who is Golda Meir, Deborah the Prophetess and Esther the Queen all rolled into one.
What has been will be again
(Yoaz Hendel, Yedioth/Ynet) Likud ministers, two party leaders and two potential candidates sit down for an interview, though they remain anonymous, what they say runs deep—the world keeps going round, and Netanyahu's wheels keep turning; Investigations or not, he is still the king of this jungle, everyone else—must keep quiet, keep faith, and wait.
Dare to Know Lara Alqasem (Yael Shenker, Haaretz+) The fact that Alqasem has no relatives in Israel is perhaps part of the story that brought her here, and Israel wants to prevent the entry of the story itself
*A country in existential anxiety - Mommy, help me, Lara wants to enter (Aviad Kleinberg, Yedioth) The clearest example of the Israeli anomaly is the hysterical way in which we treat BDS. How did a movement that represents the marginal fringe of the fringe turn into an existential threat? The answer is not found in the field of strategy, but rather in the field of psychology.
Israeli Minister Should Apologize, Not Detain American Student (Haaretz Editorial) The real damage to Israel’s image and the encouragement of boycotts is by Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan and the rest of the thought police and political persecutors who constitute the ugliest government this country has ever known.
The same old Sinwar (Dr. Reuven Berko, Israel Hayom) Too many Israelis rushed to believe Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar's promises of peace. We must not be fooled; he has no intention of laying down his arms or setting aside the desire to murder Israelis.
Startup Palestine: It could happen, with Israeli help (David Rosenberg, Haaretz) Tech offers a way out of the West Bank and Gaza’s economic misery, if their leaders get their mind off other things and the BDS movement stops meddling.
Even if President Trump publishes the peace plan, Israel has no reason to worry (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv)  The summary of the recent events that were made public regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the understanding prevalent among diplomats at the United Nations is the same: the chances of a political solution have never been so remote.
How Netflix Fell in Love With the Mossad (Nissan Shor, Haaretz+) The film and television industry wants new heroes. It isn’t able to invent the new James Bond, so it uses existing narratives, worked over and distilled to suit a simplistic worldview that has sex appeal and cinematic rhythm.
Nothing short of dangerous (Ariel Bolstein, Israel Hayom) The decision by Joint Arab List lawmakers to lobby foreign officials to take punitive action against Israel is political subversion, harms Israeli sovereignty and challenges democratic values.
Netanyahu's Most Valuable Electoral Asset (Aluf Benn, Haaretz+) If Benny Gantz wins enough Knesset seats in the upcoming elections, the former army chief of staff could guarantee Netanyahu's reelection.

Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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