News Nosh: 11.8.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday November 8, 2018

 
You Must Be Kidding: 
A day before the opening of a Jewish-Arab cultural festival in Haifa, a government ministry informed the municipality that it was withdrawing state funding for the event.*

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Gang war - The assassinations return
  • She can’t anymore // Sima Kadmon on Deputy Attorney General, Attorney Dina Zilber
  • Dismiss Zilber // Ben-Dror Yemini on (Justice Minister) Shaked’s challenge
  • Yedioth commentators summarize the US mid-term elections:
  • I am the party // Nahum Barnea in Washington on Trump
  • The day after // Orly Azoulay on the ramifications
  • Two Americas // Alon Pinkas on the rift
  • The Democratic defeat // Sever Plocker on the revolution that wasn’t
  • In the women’s hands // Tzipi Shmilovitz on women’s power
  • They made history // Danielle Brinn on the challenges
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • The threat and the dismissal - After 8 years, the US House of Representatives returns to control of Democratic party; Dismissed Attorney General
  • Maariv’s Special and expansive project: 50 top women in government, economy and society
  • Plague of (criminal) assassinations on the streets
Israel Hayom
  • A divided Congress is an opportunity for Trump // Boaz Bismuth in Florida
  • “My first visit will be to Israel” - In first interview to media since his election as Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis tells ‘Israel Hayom’: “You have a new friend”
  • After ‘Israel Hayom’’s expose: Expansive vaccination campaign against measles
  • Non-stop (criminal) assassinations
  • Narrowing of (Deputy Attorney General) Dina Zilber’s authorities: Better late than never // Nadav Shragai

News Summary:
The commentary on the results of the US mid-term elections, the ‘plague’ of criminal assassinations in city streets and the Israeli Attorney General’s response to the Justice Minister’s demand to fire Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber for expressing her opposition to the Loyalty in Culture bill were top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Not making much news was the latest on the agreement with the Gaza Strip.

After the second mob assassination in four days in broad daylight on the busy roads of the country, Israeli newspapers are calling it a ‘plague’ and warning of a crime gang war, in which the deterrence has been lost and the crime organizations feel safe to kill off one another.

Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit defended his embattled deputy, Dina Zilber, who criticized the ‘Loyalty in Culture’ bill at a Knesset committee. After Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked told Mendelblit to dismiss Zilber and said that she won’t allow Zilber to represent the government in the Knesset, Mendelblit said there would be no ‘field trials’ for Zilber and only he would decide who will represent him in the government and the Knesset. (Also Maariv) Former justice minister Dan Meridor (Likud) defended Zilber. ”Dina Zilber stands almost alone against an attack on the rule of law,” he told 103FM (Maariv), adding that "Ayelet Shaked wanted to show her strength out of weakness. Meanwhile, Haaretz+ reported that Shaked opposed defining the role of the Attorney General’s Office as a ‘gatekeeper,’ even though the High Court has defined it as such, ruling that the Attorney General’s legal decisions are binding – a view that Shaked rejects.
 
Quick Hits:
  • Revenge of the artists? Amid Loyalty in Culture bill row, statue of Minister Regev erected at Habima Square in Tel Aviv - Artist Itay Zelit is behind sculpture of Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev resembling Snow White; the sculpture was placed in front of a mirror with a sign reading: 'At the heart of the nation'; in response, Regev tweets, 'Mirror, mirror on the wall, what are the ugliest injustices of them all?' (Ynet, Israel Hayom and Maariv)
  • Two (Israelis) Injured After Shots Fired at Bus in West Bank Settlement - The bus driver and a passenger suffered minor injuries resulting from flying shards of glass. IDF says forces are searching the area near Beit El for a suspect. (Haaretz+, Israel Hayom and Maariv)
  • Israeli Committee Approves 640 New Settler Homes in East Jerusalem - Some of Ramat Shlomo homes will be built on privately owned Palestinian land. Committee rejected objections from the non-profit group Ir Amim, which said the new neighborhood was would be built on privately owned Palestinian land.  Palestinian Foreign Ministry slams move, which it says proves Trump's administration's bias in favor of settlement enterprise. (Haaretz+)
  • Likud prevented vote on Expulsion of Families of Terrorists bill - According to the bill, the military commander in Judea and Samaria, the GOC Central Command, will be able to expel the family of a terrorist who hit or attempted to attack within a seven-day period. But before the vote was to take place, coalition whip (Likud) MK David Amsalem told MK Moti Yogev that he won't allow the bill to go to vote. The bill sparked a storm from the moment it was proposed by chairman of Haybayit Hayehudi party, Minister of Education Naftali Bennett and by a member of his party, MK Moti Yogev.A few days ago, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit said he opposes it. Senior members of the coalition said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said he would not allow the bill to go to vote at this time out of fear that it will drag Israel to the International Criminal Court at The Hague on charges of war crimes. (Yedioth, p. 19)
  • Minister Katz dances traditional sword dance in Oman - Receiving a very warm welcome upon his arrival in Oman, transportation and intelligence minister presents his “Tracks for Regional Peace” plan; adds his visit stresses Israel's growing strength. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • IDF Surrounding House of Barkan Factory Terrorist, Palestinians Report - Reports say Ashraf Walid Saliman Na'alwa, 23, was not home when Israeli troops arrived. Na'alwa is suspected of killing two Israelis in a shooting at a West Bank factory in October. (Haaretz+)
  • Families of Barkan victims demand death penalty for terrorist - Some 700 of Kim Levengrond Yehezkel and Ziv Hagbi's friends relatives attend protest march, calling for capital punishment for terrorist Ashraf Naalwa, who is still at large; Kim's family walk with their hands tied, just as she was tied before being shot dead. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Change in Saudi Policy Prevents Over One Million Israeli Muslims From Making Hajj to Mecca - Israeli citizens could formerly perform the pilgrimage with a temporary Jordanian passport. According to a new rule in Saudi Arabia, such passports will no longer be recognized. (Haaretz+)
  • *Israel Pulls Funding From Jewish-Arab Festival in Haifa a Day Before It Opens - An Israeli government ministry claims that the Haifa Story Festival was not aimed at people from marginalized communities in Israel, and therefore doesn't merit funding allocated to events that cater to disadvantaged groups. (Haaretz+)
  • At the Temple Mount, metal detectors only for the entrance of Jews - High Court rejected a petition against the metal detectors for Jews only at the entrance to the Temple Mount. Chief Justice Esther Hayut wrote in the ruling: "We were convinced that the distinction in the means of inspection is justified in order to maintain security and ensure order, the right to prayer is not harmed." [Right-wing attorney] Ben-Gvir: "Black day for democracy." (Maariv)
  • Barkat, Habayit Hayehudi Give Crucial Nod to Leon in Jerusalem Mayor’s Race - Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and the Habayit Hayehudi party announced their support for Moshe Leon over secular candidate, Ofer Berkovitch, in the second round of voting. (Haaretz+ and Maariv)
  • Israel's Sea of Galilee at Lowest Level in 17 Years - The water level in Israel's only freshwater lake fell further in November, approaching an all-time low. (Haaretz+)
  • Palestinians: Gaza fisherman shot dead by Egyptian naval forces - Gaza's Interior Ministry says the incident took place after dark, off the coast of the southern border town of Rafah. It is unknown if the victim, Mustafa Abu Odah, 30, breached the maritime border. Egyptian military source denies allegations. (Israel Hayom)
  • Gaza Protests to Go On, but With Less Violence, Organizers Say - Despite the positive diplomatic developments and improved conditions in the Strip in recent days, a leading activist told Haaretz that the marches will continue until the blockade on Gaza is totally removed. (Haaretz+)
  • PLO: 'Israel accentuates West Bank-Gaza separation in all means' - Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) Executive Committee Saeb Erekat said that "the Israeli decision to deduct part of the Palestinian Authority's (PA) tax revenues, in order to transfer the money to the besieged Gaza Strip comes within the framework of the so-called 'Deal of the Century,'" which is based on the Nation State law and the plan to separate Gaza from the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. (Maan)
  • Snowden: Israeli Firm's Spyware Was Used to Track Khashoggi - Former U.S. intel staffer claims one of the dissident's contacts was bugged with NSO's Pegasus spyware, blasts Israeli tech industry. In response, NSO denies selling its products. (Haaretz+)
  • Saudi Arabia Signs Deal to Build Navy Vessel in Joint Venture With Spanish Shipbuilder - The deal is the first military contract signed by the kingdom with a foreign country since the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (Haaretz+)
  • US hopes Russia will keep letting Israel hit Iran in Syria - “Israel has an existential interest in blocking Iran from deploying long-range power projection systems." (Agencies, JPost and Maariv)
  • U.S. Envoy to Syria: We Will Mount Financial Pressure on Iran, Contest Its Actions in the Middle East - Ambassador James Jeffery says the U.S. is 'contesting more actively' Tehran's actions, 'particularly in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.’ (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iranians Increasingly Angry at Country's Wealth in Wake of New Sanctions - Some elites have house tigers and mansions, while every day Iranians are having 'serious difficulty getting diapers for their child,' Iranian cleric alleges. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • US aims to end Iran oil exports without triggering price spike - The U.S. seeks to employ a "calibrated" approach, using maximum economic pressure to push Iranian oil exports to zero without seeing oil prices soar, Special Representative Brian Hook says • Iranian general: We will defeat the U.S. in an economic war. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • In West Bank, Family of First Palestinian-American Woman in Congress Cheer Her On - Rashida Tlaib has become 'a source of pride for Palestine and the entire Arab and Muslim world,' says her uncle, Bassam Tlaib. (Haaretz+)
  • The Biggest Jewish Winners – and Losers – of the Midterms - From Colorado's new governor to the two lawmakers who will now be a massive headache for Trump – U.S. Jews were among the big winners of the midterms. (Haaretz+)
  • The Jewish Minister in Tunis: I don’t have Israeli citizenship - Tunisia’s new Minister of Tourism of Tunisia, Renee Trabelsi, a  Tunisian businessman of Jewish origin, was forced to defend himself against a political campaign opposing his appointment, after some accused him of having Israeli citizenship. Trabelsi, whose tourism company in Paris organizes trips to the synagogue in Djerba, where his father is the head of the Jewish community, said: “I don’t have Israeli citizenship and I can prove it. I am proud to be Tunisian. I have devoted my life to Tunisia. It gave me so much and I need to give back.” (Maariv, p. 16)
  • 72% of American Jews: "Trump has responsibility for the slaughter at the Pittsburgh synagogue" - According to a survey conducted by the Jewish American Leftist Association and pollster Jim Gerstein, a large majority of Jews in the United States oppose President Trump and his policies. 67% oppose the US withdrawing from the Iran nuclear agreement. (Maariv)
  • Israeli Lawmakers From Right and Left Vow to Back Reform and Conservative Jews in Struggle for Equal Status - In aftermath of Pittsburgh massacre, movements demand full recognition in Israel. (Haaretz+)


Commentary/Analysis:
Legal Loyalty (Haaretz Editorial) Civil servants and gatekeepers are being asked to display blind loyalty to their political superiors, not to constitutional law. In Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s view, the state’s legal service isn’t supposed to advise the government, but to legalize every atrocity.
The Deputy Attorney General's remarks included criticism of the government and their presentation was more like a speech than a professional opinion (Prof. Oded Mudrik, Maariv) Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber’s remarks are controversial in two ways. The first concerns the question of the legal representation of the government before the Knesset committees, and the second concerns the restrictions on what is said that apply to a civil servant. (The writer is the Vice President (Retired) of the Tel Aviv District Court and is currently at the University of Ariel in Samaria and a special advisor to AYR.)
The ax laid by Justice Minister Shaked on Deputy Attorney General Zilber's neck is proof that the Zilber was right (Mordechai Kremnitzer, Haaretz Hebrew) The justice minister expects the legal advisors to be yes men and she throws out those who make criticism. Attorney General Mendelblit must back up his deputy, whose words at the Knesset deserve to be taught in citizenship classes.
For the sake of the rule of law - dismiss Zilber (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth) At the moment there is a dispute over the authority of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to dismiss Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber from her position...This is not an argument between the right-wing and the left-wing. Zilber must be dismissed not to harm the rule of law, but in order to save it from manipulation.
Who Is the Israeli 'Opposition' Defending? (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Wringing one's hands at the booing of Likud's Tsachi Hangebi, a key inciter against Rabin, and a sexist remark aimed at Likud's Miri Regev, a racist, destructive minister, is not the way to build a resistance.
What do our ministers really do? (Nadav Eyal, Yedioth/Ynet) Ministers tend to claim their hands are tied and they have a limited ability to influence; they consider the legal system as their current obstacle; however, the truth is that efficient lawmakers succeed in promoting important issues, while the rest are just making up excuses.
How the Left Can Earn Back the Public's Trust (Tzvia Greenfield, Haaretz+) Fear of immigration and terrorism and the ideological subversion of Western achievements have generated resistance to the left’s policies.
Inglorious parliamentarians (Shlomo Puterkovsky, Yedioth/Ynet) How is it possible that in 2018 we have MKs like Oren Hazan, who calls a disabled fellow lawmaker 'half a person,' and Elazar Stern, who tells Minister Miri Regev he doesn't want to 'talk about how (she) got ahead in the army'? Perhaps we deserve this. Perhaps this really is the face of Israeli society.
The south burns but who will take account with the Netanyahu government? (Ran Edelist, Maariv) We could have achieved the new agreement (with Hamas) after Operation Protective Edge, but instead of the prime minister being punished for the dead and the fire, he takes credit for the temporary cease-fire.
Midterms Were Good for the U.S., the World, Trump (Maybe) Netanyahu (Possibly) and Jews (At Least American) (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) The prime minister should deflect alarmist warnings and seize the opportunity to mend fences with both Democrats and American Jews
Don't Expect Democrats to Obstruct Trump’s pro-Israel Policies – or Punish Netanyahu (Jonathan S. Tobin, Haaretz+) Jewish conservatives warn a Democrat-run House of Representatives will be Corbyn-style hostile to Israel, and Jewish liberals think Democrats will penalize Netanyahu for his love affair with Trump. They’re both wrong.
Against the odds (Amnon Lord, Israel Hayom) The clear Republican victory in the Senate tells us that Trump isn't some unfortunate historical episode. He's the only leader in the United States who could have led a broad resistance movement against the destructive globalist regime.
Thank You, America's Women. You May Yet Save the World – From Trump (Bradley Burston, Haaretz+) Thank you, America's women, for choosing history over pre-history. You made the difference in this election. You saved us.
A divided congress is an excellent opportunity for Trump (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) Donald Trump is only the fourth president in the past 104 years to increase his party's hold on the Senate while losing seats in the House, all but paving his path to victory in 2020 • It is now up to the Democrats to find a way to work with Trump.
For the Left, its tribalism before peace (Galit Distel Etebaryan, Israel Hayom) For members of the so-called "peace camp," the normalization of ties between Israel and moderate Sunni Arab states is important, but not as important as the tribe.
 
Interviews:
American Jews 'love Israel, but feel less welcome'
2018 was one of the hardest years in relations between Jews in the Holy Land and those living in the land of unlimited possibilities; officials from Jewish Federations of North America sit down for an interview to talk about Israeli-American relations and the younger generation. (Interviewed by Yaniv Pohoryles in Ynet)

Florida Governor-elect DeSantis: I will be aggressive against BDS
In interview with Israel Hayom Editor-in-Chief Boaz Bismuth, Republican Ron DeSantis says his first overseas trip as governor of Florida will be to Israel • DeSantis: I will push U.S. President Trump to recognize Israeli sovereignty in Golan Heights. (Interviewed by Boaz Bismuth in Israel Hayom)

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