News Nosh: 11.6.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday November 6, 2018


You Must Be Kidding: 
— What Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called the occupation.**

“Half a man.”
--What Likud MK Oren Hazan called wheelchair-bound Meretz MK Ilan Gilon in the Knesset plenum, sparking fury and calls for Hazan’s removal.**

Front Page:
  • (Israeli tycoon) Lev Leviev suspected in connection to smuggling of diamonds to Israel
  • Disappointment for the right-wing or devastation of the left-wing // Chemi Shalev on US midterm elections
  • (Justice Minister) Shaked intervened, and only then did the State Prosecutor agree to examine the hairs (in the Tair Rada murder case)
  • State Prosecutor recommends putting (Netanya Mayor) Miriam Feirberg on trial for fraud and not for bribery
  • Second round (of elections) in Jerusalem: The division in the ultra-Orthodox camp serves the secular Ofer Berkovitz
  • Newly elected mayor of Tiberias issued a restraining order against journalists
  • They should kneel // Nehamia Shtresler on the right-wing  reaction to the Rabin murder
  • It can start tomorrow // Yael Darel and Gili Melnitzki on what the state can do to prevent construction site accidents
  • State plans to build nine new marinas. Who does that benefit and what will remain of the beach?
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Trump’s test - US midterm elections today
  • Always winning // Nahum Barnea in Washington
  • Police considering: Extradition request for (Israeli tycoon Lev) Leviev  in the “black diamond” (smuggling) case
  • On the indifference // Ben-Dror Yemini on the unnecessary deaths at construction sites
  • Campaign of the weak // Yoaz Hendel on the dispute between Bennett and Lieberman
  • Choice going backwards // Merav Betito on the elections in Beit Shaan
  • The bad neighbors? // Afif Abu Much on Nazareth and the ‘branding’
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • American test - ‘Israel Hayom’ Editor-in-Chief, Boaz Bismuth, reports from Florida
  • Florida campaign, the scale of the US // Boaz Bismuth
  • Trump’s moment of truth: The goal - a ‘red’ Senate // Avraham Ben-Zvi
  • The Iranian exercise - Second round of sanctions began and Teheran reacted with disdain and provocation and Revolutionary Guards held a military exercise
  • “Black diamond” affair: Police want to question (Israeli tycoon Lev) Leviev
  • In honor of Sigd holiday: 3 ground-breaking Ethiopian-Israeli women
  • Storm in the Knesset: MK Hazan called MK Gil-On “half human”
  • Measles panic: Children with cancer hospitalized at Ichilov Hospital were exposed to a tourist from Ukraine with measles
  • Enormous efforts to prevent general strike

News Summary:
**Police want to extradite Israeli billionaire and one of the biggest diamond dealers in the world, Lev Leviev,  in connection with a massive plot to smuggle diamonds from Russia to Israel (Leviev is presently at his estate in London), the stakes for US President Donald Trump, the American right-wing and the left-wing in the US mid-term elections, and the Iranian military muscle flexing in response to the new US sanctions were top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers along with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu calling the occupation “bull” and Likud MK Oren Hazan called wheelchair-bound Meretz MK Ilan Gilon, “half a human” at a stormy debate over the ‘Loyalty in Culture Law,’ which passed its first reading. Also Maariv’s Yasir Ukbi reported on an interesting incident in E. Jerusalem, where locals refused to let the corpse of a resident killed in a car accident receive a prayer at the city’s mosques.

The US imposed all the previous sanctions, sparing only eight major oil importers, the EU tried to find a host for a trade mechanism designed to circumvent the sanctions, but the US warned it would sanction any such host country. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned that Iran is facing a "war situation” from the US, a "bullying enemy,” and Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman thanked US President Donald Trump for reimposing the sanctions. Netanyahu said: “We now see the fruit of my struggle.”

Speaking at a Likud faction meeting, Netanyahu called the occupation “bull” and said only technological strength can lead to agreements with the Arab world, since “concessions are perceived as weakness.”

Residents of East Jerusalem refused to allow the body of Alaa Karish, who died in a road accident on Route 90, to be brought to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and to two other mosques in E. Jerusalem for ritual prayers, because he sold property in the Old City to Jews, Maariv reported. Karish was buried later by his family, but it is unclear where. In contrast, thousands participated in the funerals of the five other victims of the head-on accident between a truck and a van of factory workers from E. Jerusalem, who were honored as “martyrs of a loaf of bread,” and mourning notices were hung everywhere possible. Karish, on the other hand, did not even receive a prayer and the term "deceased.” Palestinian media outlets reported extensively on how prayer services for Karish were prevented. "A man who sold his property to Jewish settlers is not worthy of burial, he is a traitor and even a heretic,” the crowd shouted when the deceased's body arrived at one of the mosques in East Jerusalem. The Palestinians rely on a fatwa (religious decree) issued in 1935 against the sale of properties in East Jerusalem to Jews. According to the Fatwa, "A Muslim who sold an asset will not be buried in cemeteries of Jerusalem and no prayers will be held for him at the Al-Aqsa Mosque." Karish’s family reportedly did not oppose the decision not to pray over his body and did not set up a ritual mourning tent. According to reports, Karish sold a 300-square-meter property in the Sa'adia neighborhood near the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City to a Jewish organization. The property was transferred in 2010. Since then he has been ostracized by his family.

Key Diplomacy News:
  • Israel cautioned against deducting 'martyr payments' from PA taxes - Palestinian Authority already has $1 billion deficit and would be pushed to "breaking point" if Israel implements law to deduct stipends paid to terrorists from tax funds Israel collects for the PA, U.N. Middle East envoy and European officials say. (Israel Hayom)
  • Transportation minister eyes railway linking Israel, Gulf states - Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz heads to Oman for international transportation conference, to present Tracks for Regional Peace initiative • "This will be a historic visit," Katz says. "Normalization through strength is important and possible." (Israel Hayom)
  • Doha warns Brazil against moving embassy to Jerusalem - With Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro doubling down on plans to move the country's embassy to Jerusalem, Qatari Foreign Ministry cautions relocation of Brazilian Embassy to "occupied city" would constitute departure from international consensus. (Israel Hayom)
  • Egypt shelves Brazilian FM's visit as embassy relocation plans sour ties - Egyptian officials say Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro's pledge to move his country's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem counters longstanding position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Qatar: Decision goes against international consensus. (Israel Hayom)

Quick Hits:

  • 4-month-old Palestinian child injured as Israeli settlers attack vehicle in Nablus - Settlers attacked vehicle of Ali Shawahneh with rocks as he drove past the illegal Havat Gilad settlement. Israeli military arrived at scene to take statements from the family regarding the incident; No ambulance was called. In October, Aisha Muhammad Talal al-Rabi, 47, was killed after Israeli settlers hurled rocks at her vehicle near  Zaatara checkpoint near Nablus. (Maan)
  • Israeli Soldier Charged With Beating Blindfolded, Handcuffed Palestinian - The soldier beat up the detainee until he bled, after mocking him and other detainees, the indictment says. Israeli army calls soldier's conduct 'grave assault on detainees.’ (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Israeli gang leader sentenced to prison for beating up (and stabbing) Arab men dating Jewish women - In February 2017, Raz Amitzur asked a man with a Jewish woman for a cigarette lighter to see if he had an Arab accent and then stabbed him multiple times in the back. The plea bargain would reduce the original anti-terrorism charges against Amitzur in exchange for his admission to having racist motives. (Haaretz+)
  • Palestinian shot after attempting stabbing attack near West Bank settlement; (video shows settler calling on soldiers to kick prone man in the head) - The Israeli army said it thwarted a stabbing attack near Kiryat Arba settlement in Hebron on Monday. Local sources identified the Palestinian as Ahmad Abed al-Nasser Adais, in his thirties, a resident from the Bani Naim village, who reportedly suffers from a psychiatric disorder. Adais was shot in the leg and evacuated for medical treatment. Maan posted video by settler who shouts at injured and prone Palestinian, “You dog, anyone trying to kill a Jew must die. Kick him in the head.” (Haaretz and Maan+VIDEO)
  • Israel Pleads Ignorance of New, Illegal West Bank Outpost Days After Visits by Officials - Police representatives, JNF chief and the head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council all paid a visit to the outpost, which the state told the court it did not know existed. (Haaretz+)
  • Barkan terrorist still at large, but his house will be demolished - Security forces continue their manhunt for Ashraf Na'alwam, who murdered Ziv Hagbi and Kim Levengrond Yehezkel in the Barkan industrial area last month; in an unusual move, the IDF issues demolition order for the terrorist's house, which will take effect in a few weeks. (Ynet)
  • Israeli forces seal off West Bank village - Israeli forces set up a checkpoint at the entrance of al-Lubban al-Sharqiya village and turned back Palestinian residents attempting to enter or exit and prevented Palestinian pupils from reaching their high school. (Maan)
  • Israel seizes Palestinian lands for illegal settlement - Israel seized 155 dunams (38 acres) of land belonging to residents of al-Lubban al-Gharbi village in order to to open a bypass road for illegal Israeli settlement of Beit Arye, also built on lands belonging to Palestinian residents of the village. (Maan)
  • Israeli bulldozers raze, level lands in southern Gaza - Several Israeli military vehicles and four large D-9 Israeli military bulldozers entered dozens of meters into lands in southern Gaza Strip and razed them, without opening fire. (Maan)
  • Report: Prime Minister approved advancing the death penalty for terrorists - After Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman accused Habayit Hayehudi party Ministers, Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, of undermining the law, Bennett said yesterday at a meeting of coalition party leaders that for him there is no problem advance the bill, which is the flagship bill of Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party. (Maariv and Maan)
  • Steinitz: "There will be no death penalty for terrorists - it's all politics" - Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz [who is close to PM Netanyahu - OH] told 103FM radio hosts, Ben Caspit and Prof. Aryeh Eldad, about his opposition to advancing the legislation promoted by the Yisrael Beiteinu party: "If the law passes, it will be a victory for the terrorist organizations...We will not allow inflicting harm on ourselves and we will not execute anyone - it's all politics. The Shin Bet, the National Security Council and the Attorney General agree with me that legislation now for the death penalty for terrorists will damage Israel’s image." (Maariv)
  • Game of Israeli national women’s water polo team against its Spain will be moved due to BDS demand - Caving to BDS, Spanish city cancels water polo match against Israel
  • Israeli Water Polo Association head Revital Cohen Gluska says organizers offered to hold match in Barcelona instead, but warned there would be protests. The union announced Monday just a day before the competition that the women's match planned for the town of Molins De Rei in Catalonia would be moved following BDS protest to boycott Israel, which influenced the town’s leadership. The hosts suggested that teams play without an audience and without flags, but Cohen Gluska refused. Sports Minister Miri Regev wrote her Spanish counterpart demanding the game be held as planned. Meanwhile, it is unknown where the game against the world’s #2 will be held. (Maariv, p. 27 and Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli Lawmakers Enraged by Plans to Upgrade Netanyahu's New Jet for $16 Million - Knesset members blast the prime minister's 'flying golden calf,' claim he and wife Sara are upset over size of living area in the plane ■ PMO retorts: 'That's a big lie.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Two killed in car bomb in south Tel Aviv; police rule out terrorism - Police suspect mobsters were settling scores: One of the victims was known for gambling and the other had a history of violence. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel to Purge Young Ethiopian Jews’ Criminal Records - Seeking to ‘mend rift’ with Ethiopian Jewry, Israel's president and justice minister say they will expunge ‘disturbance of public order’ crime charges in honor of community’s Sigd holiday. (Haaretz+)
  • High school students complain: "Teachers force us to read pornography" - Students in Ramat Gan were stunned to discover blunt sexual descriptions in the book they needed to read, “God’s Mountain,” by Italian novelist, Erri de Luca. De Luca is an extreme pro-Palestinian activist, who belongs to the radical left and was a member of the extreme political movement Lotte Continua (an ongoing struggle), which opposed the Israeli occupation of the Territories. (Maariv)
  • Palestinian exports to be exempt from Russian customs - Palestine and Russia are expected to sign an agreement, in the near future, exempting Palestinian products exported to Russia from customs, according the Palestinian ambassador to Russia, on Monday: “Palestinian-Russian relations are making headway forward in various fields, particularly on the political and economic levels.” (Maan)
  • Russia Deploys New Cruise Missiles to Mediterranean Off Syrian Coast - Russia has in the past fired Kalibr cruise missiles from frigates and submarines stationed in the Mediterranean Sea at militant targets to support Syrian army offensives. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • France Issues Arrest Warrants for Senior Syrian Officials Accused of Collusion in War Crimes - Warrants include Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's most senior advisers, Jamil Hassan, the head of Airforce Intelligence who is already the subject of a German warrant, the sources said. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran Accuses Israel of Launching Cyberattack on Its Communications Infrastructure - Accusation comes as U.S. reimposes broad sanctions on Iran once lifted by nuclear deal. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Iran blames Denmark plot on alleged Israeli conspiracy - Denmark announced last week that a police operation there in September stemmed from an Iranian plot to kill an opposition activist. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Saudi investigators removed evidence of Khashoggi's killing, Turkish media says - A Saudi team tasked with helping Turkish authorities investigate the killing worked instead to remove evidence, Sabah reports. (Agencies, Haaretz)

Palestinian rally: "Hamas does not need me anymore because I became crippled"
According to data provided by the Department of Health Services abroad, which belongs to the Ministry of Health of the Gaza Strip, out of 22,500 injured, 900 are waiting for treatment abroad due to problems related to the strict security procedures at the Rafah border crossing. Although the Supreme Committee of the March of Return makes efforts to facilitate the departure of the wounded for treatment, it does not always help. "The total cost of treatment for the wounded by the end of last August (including air tickets and travel expenses) was $2 million," the committee said in a statement. Muhammad Ibrahim (not his real name), a 24-year-old from Khan Yunis, has long since regretted his participation in what he calls the “march of lies and blood.” “I am now completely alone, because I became a person with no use,” he says, "in the eyes of the leaders I am totally worthless, they do not need me anymore because I became disabled." (Laila Abdel-Nour writing from Gaza, Maariv Magazine supplement)

If Republicans Lose the Midterm Elections, They’ll Be Sorely Disappointed. If the Democrats Lose, They’ll Be Utterly Devastated (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) U.S. Jews will view a Trump triumph as a confirmation of the white nationalism that spurred the Pittsburgh killer.
Painting Iran into a corner (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) The Iranian economy is in shambles, and it is unlikely the Islamic republic can weather new sanctions for long. The more pressure Tehran feels over the U.S. sanctions, the more eager it will be to reach a compromise that would lift them.
Iran Sanctions Are a Trump Tower That Could Easily Collapse (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) From the outside, Trump's sanctions look like a mighty edifice but I wouldn't buy a condo in that ill-planned building.
Israel First or American Jewry First? Fear Is the Driving Factor as U.S. Jews Go to the Polls (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) The vast majority of Jewish Americans are set to vote for Democratic candidates Tuesday, prioritizing the dangers of anti-Semitism at home over Israel’s special relationship with President Donald Trump.
Democratic midterms win: Good for Iran, bad for Israel? (Eytan Gilboa, Yedioth/Ynet) If the Democrats regain control of at least one house of Congress, they would make it harder for Trump to govern and could block further moves he wishes to take against Tehran. For Israel, a Democratic victory could undermine the Trump administration's pressure on the Islamic Republic and pro-Israeli moves.
Are U.S. Jews Still Safer Than the Jews of Europe? (Alvin H. Rosenfeld, Haaretz+) The last two years have seen extreme right-wing views entering the mainstream, including a militant strain of white nationalism. But until the unprecedented Pittsburgh synagogue hate crime, I would have said U.S. Jews lived unthreatened lives relative to Europe. Now, that's changed.
US midterms a referendum on Trump's presidency (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) American voters are usually apathetic but President Donald Trump's campaigning on behalf of Republican candidates has injected new energy into the midterm elections • Whatever the result, Trump will leverage it to his advantage in 2020.
A historic accident or a real revolution: the midterm elections are a referendum on Trumpism (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) Will the unexplained phenomenon disappear in two years and be remembered as a curiosity, or will it remain a permanent factor that promises to run a second term and eight years in the White House?
The Left has abandoned truth (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) Those who love late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin would be wise to adopt his spiritual will and stop trying to destroy the remaining glue that holds us together as one people in one homeland.
It’s Forbidden to Disparage Women and Minorities, but the State of Israel Is Fair Game? (Benny Ziffer, Haaretz+) It has long been clear that freedom of artistic expression isn’t a supreme value, so Culture Minister Miri Regev’s ‘cultural-loyalty bill’ deserves praise.
The Druze message: It is time to remove doubts and prove that the Golan will remain forever under Israeli rule (Yossi Ahimeir, Maariv) There is still a small minority of Druze who tied their fate to Israel, did not shy away from the threats and participated in the elections. But most of them, with their abstention and demonstrations on election day, clearly signaled to Israel: This is the time to pave a path to our hearts.
Saudi Arabia is still a partner (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) Israel would do well to use its influence, particularly in the U.S., to help resolve the current fallout between Saudi Arabia and the West.
How far can Netanyahu take Israel's romance with the Arab world? (Evan Gottesman, Haaretz+) Despite warm receptions in Oman and Abu Dhabi, Israel shouldn't over-state the strength of its Gulf alliances. A common enemy like Iran can produce photo-ops and covert collaboration - but that isn't normalization.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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