News Nosh 11.19.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday November 19, 2018

 
Exchange of the day:
Negotiation specialist, Michael Tsur: "Negotiation takes place in the mind of your partner. In other words, until you understand how [Hezbollah leader Hassan] Nasrallah’s mind works, you won’t know what to do."
Interviewer: And if we’re dealing with Nasrallah?
Michael Tsur: “It doesn’t matter how dangerous I am perceived to be in your eyes. First of all make your request nicely, in a way that respects the addressee. For example, at [West Bank] border crossings I’ve been imploring soldiers for years not to say, in Arabic, ‘Hand over your ID card.’ Why not say, ‘Give me your ID card, please’?”
Interviewer: Would that approach at least move us toward peace negotiations?
Negotiation specialist, Michael Tsur: “I want to say that under the right leadership, it would take half a year, and we would have coexistence here. I won’t say peace, because that’s a terribly dangerous word, almost like love.”*

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • “We will overcome the enemy, but it will require sacrifice” - Netanyahu’s election and war speech
  • Minister of war // Sima Kadmon
  • Pulling one over on us // Shimon Shiffer
  • This is the right-wing? // Yoaz Hendel
  • It’s in their (Habayit Hayehudi party) hands
  • The champion from Hurfish - The Druze youth, Juwad Kheir Al-din was crowned the European champion in Thai boxing (Facebook)
  • Expose - The attorney generals against (Justice Minister) Shaked: Four former AGs wrote a letter to AG Mendelblitt in support of (Deputy Attorney General) Dina Zilber (Hebrew)
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
Making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave a speech calling a move to early elections ‘irresponsible’ in light of the security situation and laid a trap for his coalition partners, the Israeli government approved a broad budget cut to increase wages of police officers, to the concern of many for the elderly and the ill and a senior Hamas official said the botched secret Israeli operation in Gaza appeared to have been an attempt to install wiretaps. Khalil al-Haya also said, "Gaza is no longer a place where Israel can do as it wills.” (Maariv)

During the dramatic live-televised speech last night in which Netanyahu described his military career and how he had risked his life for the country, many thought he was going to announce his resignation. But as Sima Kadmon wrote in Yedioth, “But, hello, we’re talking about Netanyahu. What resignation, what nonsense. He would resign?” In the end, he simply announced that he was taking on the Defense Ministry portfolio. But what he stressed was that bringing down the government now, something that Habayit Hayehudi chairman, Education minister Naftali Bennett, said he would do if he weren’t appointed defense minister, would be “irresponsible” at this sensitive security period. The Israeli political commentators explained that Netanyahu trapped Bennett in a lose-lose situation, whereby if he resigned and brought about early elections he would be considered irresponsible for bringing down the most-right-wing government ever. But if he stayed in the government he would be perceived as a ‘loser’ because he previously said that was not an option if his ultimatum was not accepted. The commentators’ conclusions were the same: “A brilliant trick” (Sima Kadmon, Yedioth), “a beautiful trap” (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) and “He’s a genius” (Ben Caspit, Maariv). (See Commentary Analysis below. Highly recommended are Caspit and Ran Edelist's commentaries below, as well as the commentary and the interview with Ram Cohen. - OH) Many of the commentators expected the two ministers to resign this morning. Caspit thought they would stay. (UPDATE: Bennett announced they were staying in the government.)

Former chief of staff Benny Gantz, the hot name for the upcoming elections, spoke out against “exploiting a defensive war for political or personal gain.” It appeared Gantz was backing Netanyahu’s call to avert early elections. “Security is first of all a strong army, but it is not only a strong army. Security is a thriving economy, a cohesive society and a serving government. Security is common values, correct norms and good governance." (According to a poll, the Zionist Camp faction would win 24 seats in elections, compared to 26 seats for the Likud if led by Gantz, Maariv reported.)

And, in diplomacy, the Hebrew newspapers all but ignored that the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted in favor of eight resolutions on Palestine and a ninth on the Syrian Golan Heights, which the Palestinian representative to the UN called proof that the international community stands behind and supports the Palestinian cause despite of efforts by the United States to change that. Yedioth/Ynet did report that US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley is expected to submit a draft resolution at the UNGA, harshly condemning Hamas. Also, Yedioth/Ynet reported that the US ‘rabbi of celebrities,’ claimed that Gulf states are ‘competing’ over ties with Israel.
 
Quick Hits:
  • Palestinian prisoner on 24th day of hunger strike - Rizeq Abdallah al-Rajoub, 61, is protesting his administrative detention (jail without trial) by Israeli authorities.  Last November, Israeli forces detained al-Rajoub and issued an administrative detention against him for a period of six months, but released him after he went on hunger strike for 22 days. However, Shin Bet re-detained him shortly after and issued another four-month administrative detention against him. (Maan)
  • 15 injured as Israeli forces suppress olive-planting event in Nablus - Israeli soldiers fired dozens of tear-gas bombs and stun grenades towards hundreds of Palestinians, who were planting hundreds of olive trees in the eastern area of Urif. The olive-planting event was held in areas where Israeli authorities have threatened to confiscate land and was organized by the Fatah movement and the local Urif Committee Against the Separation Wall and Settlement. (Maan)
  • The (Deputy Attorney General) Zilber affair: Former attorney generals in a letter against Justice Minister Shaked - After the justice minister rejected the attorney general's decision in the Dina Zilber case, four former attorney generals united and published an unprecedented letter that strengthens Attorney General Mendelblitt’s hand. "The independence of the attorney general is the guarantee of the rule of law and must be firmly guarded," they wrote in the sharply-worded document that reached the hands of  Yedioth and Ynet. (Yedioth/Ynet Hebrew)
  • Despite probe, Shin Bet officers suspected of ordering invasive (vaginal) search of Palestinian woman remain in duty - The Civil Service Commission was not informed of the investigation against the two Shin Bet officers, who are suspected of ordering female soldiers to conduct a vaginal search of a woman during her arrest. (Haaretz+)
  • IFJ demands response after Israeli attack on journalists protest - In an open letter to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) demanded an urgent response to the unprovoked attack by Israeli forces that took place against a peaceful march organized by IFJ, at the Qalandiya checkpoint north of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank, at which several Palestinian and international journalists suffered severe tear-gas inhalation as Israeli forces suppressed the peaceful march. (Maan)
  • Israel delivers demolition notice to Palestinian home in Hebron - Israeli authorities delivered a demolition notice to Muhammad Yousef Abu Fanous’s home in in the Masafer Yatta area in the south Hebron hills,  under the pretext of the house being built without the difficult-to-obtain Israeli permit. Israel denies building permits to almost all Palestinian applications in Area C -- which is more than 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military control -- forcing communities to build illegally. (Maan)
  • Palestinian activist sent to prison for riding a bike in his village - An Israeli military court sentenced Abdullah Abu Rahma, a recognized human rights defender, to 110 days in prison for riding a bicycle during a protest against the occupation two years ago. (+972mag)
  • Israeli minister, dozens of settlers storm Al-Aqsa - Israeli Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, on Sunday, with a large number of Israeli forces deployed around the compound. (Maan)
  • Palestinian Quota for Restaurant Jobs in Israel Raised - Government approves permits for 1,500 West Bank Palestinians to work as dishwashers and cleaners in Israeli restaurants, bars and cafes, which industry says is too few. (Haaretz+)
  • West Bank Regional Council Built Illegal Racetrack on Public Israeli Funds - Authorities do not intend to enforce the building laws by demolishing the track, since it may still be legalized in the future. (Haaretz+)
  • Jerusalem Suburb Expansion Plan Changed to Keep Growth Within the Green Line - In the original plan for the expansion of Mevasseret Zion, some 40 percent of the land intended for the neighborhood was technically in the West Bank. (Haaretz+)
  • Female combatants from the “Lioness of the Valley" battalion who felt ill were left in the field and fled when they saw Palestinians - A serious incident occurred last week during the final training of one of the battalions involved. After five female combatants asked to stop the exercise, the commanders put them at a location and instructed them to wait until an evacuation vehicle arrived and brought them back to the base. The soldiers were told to be alert because [Palestinian - OH] robbers might come. However, they were not instructed how to remove the covers placed over the rifle barrels during training. A number of Palestinians arrived and although the soldiers were armed, they abandoned some of their equipment and began to flee, despite already receiving advanced training. The Palestinians stole a number of helmets and fled only after one of the female soldiers cocked her weapon and shouted at them. IDF Spokesperson: "The female combatants, the company commander and the division commander were all reprimanded.” [NOTE: Article does not mention that this occurred in the West Bank, which is also illegal according to international law. - OH] (Maariv)
  • BDS activist arrested after racist rant on Air India flight - Simone O'Broin, promoter of BDS movement against Israel in the UK, is taken into custody after she was caught on video in an inebriated state terrorizing passengers and racially abusing aircrew who refused to continue serving her alcohol; 'Indian f***ing money grubbing bastard,' she shouted in the viral video. (Ynet)
  • Saved from deportation, Jewish-American activist approved for Israeli citizenship - Julie Weinberg-Connors, who was detained at Ben-Gurion International Airport two months ago, is expected to receive her immigrant’s visa on Tuesday. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli Man Who Attacked Asylum Seeker He Mistook for Terrorist Gets Plea Deal - Haftom Zarhum, slain after being mistaken for the terrorist behind an attack in Be'er Sheva in 2015, was beaten by nine passersby, including Israeli security forces. (Haaretz+)
  • Netanyahu is Israel's fake news champion, studies find - Research shows that more than 70 percent of statements by senior Israeli politicians are tainted by untrue statements. Politicians know they won’t have to pay a price for their inaccuracies, say researchers. (Haaretz+)
  • Who’s trying to build a new coalition for Netanyahu? His disgraced former aide - Natan Eshel was forced out of office four years ago for suspected sexual harassment. With Netanyahu's other confidants facing corruption charges, Eshel has been spotted at the residence mediating on Netanyahu’s behalf. (Haaretz+)
  • Netflix angers Jordanians by portraying Amman as Tel Aviv - TV show set in Israel's largest city and produced by the US streaming giant is currently being filmed in the Jordanian capital due to budgetary restrictions; Producers reportedly require local actors to wear IDF uniform. (Ynet)
  • Trump Says Saudi Arabia Must Remain an Ally Despite 'Very Vicious' Khashoggi Killing - Trump says his administration has a taped recording related to the Khashoggi murder, but that he doesn't want to listen to it. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • What Happens to Cairo After Egypt Builds Its New Capital? - A city of some 20 million people combining charm and squalor, Cairo may soon witness an exodus by well-heeled residents, state employees and foreign embassies to the New Administrative Capital. (Associated Press, Haaretz)
  • WATCH In Jordan’s Ancient Petra, Sirens Warn of Flash Floods - Elsewhere in Jordan, such alarms are still missing. Thirty-four people were killed in flash floods in late September and early November. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • British foreign minister to make first visit to Iran - British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt to visit Islamic republic next week for talks about the future of the 2015 nuclear deal • Accords "remains a vital component of stability in the Middle East by eliminating the threat of a nuclearized Iran," Hunt says. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)


Features:
'We hope the regime lasts': When Israel enjoyed cozy ties with Brazil's military dictatorship
Archival documents show how Israel helped prop up the Brazilian junta, supplied it with weapons and military expertise, and even signed a number of nuclear agreements. (Eitay Mack, +972mag)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
Now, Zionist Union, It's Time to Support the Government of Bibi Netanyahu (B. Michael, Haaretz+) A few more months of Netanyahu is infinitely better than one day of Bennett in the Defense Ministry: This man and his Crusader party are the biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence and right to exist.
A perfect fraud operation: This is how Netanyahu kneaded, folded, and frightened Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked (Ben Caspit, Maariv) The prime minister's speech had one sole purpose: to frighten senior members of Habayit Hayehudi party. Like Netanyahu's confidant said: "Those who resign in the morning have the eggs of an ox and the brain of a bird.”…Finally he reached the rank of his mentor, Winston Churchill. It was Bibi's "blood, sweat and tears" speech, only without Germans on the other side. At the moment, it is not yet clear whether Israel will eventually defeat the terrible danger that Binyamin Netanyahu hinted at yesterday. What is certain is that he already conquered the television prime-time in a perfect fraud operation. The TV channels fell like flies. By the time they realized that they were only listening to an election speech, it was too late. Netanyahu explained to the citizens of Israel at length how much he fought and contributed and sacrificed for us, and how irresponsible it is to engage in politics at the expense of national security. Netanyahu spoke in terms of a fateful period, the Third Temple is in danger, the future of the Jewish people is at stake, and Naftali Bennett is doing politics. Shameful. He counts on it that we are all fools. After all, if the situation was really sensitive and explosive (Spoiler: the situation here is always sensitive and explosive), Netanyahu himself would not made cuts yesterday morning of NIS 200 million from the defense budget to give to the pensions of police officers. And if we were indeed on the eve of a war of existential annihilation, Defense Minister Lieberman would not have resigned. Netanyahu did not elaborate on the terrible danger that lies ahead. Has Nasrallah obtained a nuclear bomb with three directions and is now completing the assembly of it in a bunker in Beirut? Does the shoeless group in Gaza intend to invade Israel by means of a system of ultrasonic tunnels that the IDF has not been able to locate? Are the Shiite militias based in Syria acquiring the keys of the submarine? Or, from another angle: What is so dangerous now that wasn’t dangerous a few weeks ago, when Netanyahu was the one who tried to get ahead of the elections with all his might? What is so fateful now that was not fateful last year when Netanyahu threatened to go to elections because of the “Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation“? From a security aspect, our situation is good. Strategically, it’s perhaps the best. Iran is bleeding, fighting a war of survival against sanctions. Hezbollah was there, in the same situation, the whole time. Hamas is starving. What is so fateful now, Netanyahu? What's so special? Where did you get the apocalypse look from on yourself last night? The man who warned yesterday about doing politics from security, made politics from security. Yesterday's speech had one purpose: to frighten Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked. As one of Netanyahu's confidants said with satisfaction after the prophecy of rage was over: "Whoever resigns tomorrow morning has the balls of an ox and the brain of a bird." In other words, if Bennett and Ayelet still turn in the keys, they are committing suicide. The question that remains open, however, is why Netanyahu is committing suicide with all his might in order to save his government. He still leads the polls safely. He wants to be ahead of the police recommendations [of corruption indictments - OH]. His opponents are not yet organized. So what does he know that we don’t? I don’t envy the Habayit Hayehudi couple, the most hated couple at the [Prime Minister’s Residence on] Balfour (more than [Raviv] Drucker and I am hated), the Minister of Education and the Minister of Justice. Last night they were determined to resign and go to quick elections. In other words, the one who was really determined was Naftali Bennett. Ayelet Shaked was much less determined than he was. According to sources close to the two, Shaked opposed Bennett's demand for the Defense Ministry portfolio and claimed it was a mistake. When she saw that Bennett insisted, she gave in. According to their analysis, the weakness on the southern front will not allow Netanyahu to tail them like he did in the previous round. The prime minister's speech, which was well-built and certainly made the required impression on the target audience, trapped them. If they resign, they take a huge risk of becoming those who have overthrown a right-wing government for no reason. If they repent and do not resign, they will be considered complete losers. Bibi kneaded them, folded them and scared them. They will have to find something very convincing to say this morning, so as not to appear like two first graders on the first day of school. So after we have said everything we said, the conclusion remains the same conclusion: the man is a genius.
Netanyahu Lays Trap for Bennett, Who Might Make a Colossal Political Mistake (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) Netanyahu wove a web of arguments aimed at undermining Bennett and Shaked's justifications for resigning and forcing early elections. Let’s see how they get out of it.
Not a false alarm (Oded Shalom, Yedioth/Ynet)‘The photos of Gazans giving away sweets in joy of victory drove people crazy,’ said a protester. In light of last week’s ceasefire, people in Sderot and Ashkelon, where Netanyahu got most of the votes in the last elections, are now questioning 'Mr. Security.'
Netanyahu's non-election election speech (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) Netanyahu's statement Sunday was his first election speech of the 2019 campaign. And taking on the defense portfolio was a crucial step toward having a shot at winning.
Netanyahu is not invincible (Tali Ben Ovadia, Yedioth/Ynet)  The well developed legend about an invincible hero, Benjamin Netanyahu, crumbles the moment he faces truly formidable foes; If Lapid, Gabbay, Gantz, Ashkenazi and Barak put aside their egos to present a united center-left front, they can defeat him.
Israel Cannot Abandon Some of Its Citizens to Pursue Political Ends (Tzvia Greenfield, Haaretz+) From the prime minister’s perspective, keeping the Strip and the West Bank as separate Bantustans is critical to blocking a Palestinian state, which is way he was reluctant to go to war with Hamas.
Yes, we have a partner in Gaza (Ram Cohen, Israel Hayom Hebrew) Since the Israeli government's decision not to go to war in Gaza, there has been disappointment throughout the political spectrum from left to right. Few dare to admit that there is no hope in the war against Hamas. Hundreds or possibly thousands of Gazan fighters and civilians may be killed. Based on past wars, it is likely that dozens of Israeli soldiers and civilians will be killed. If the number of fatalities is not a gauge, what will be considered a victory?…In the war against Gaza, someone who has something to lose will lose. The military and civilian leadership understands this more than ever, and therefore does not push for a military confrontation. The Gazans, on the other hand, have nothing to lose. Sewage flows through the streets, there is no drinking water; There is no livelihood and dignified existence; All that remains is to fight to the last drop of blood for their future. As Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in Gaza, said at the end of the week, "We are eager to break the siege and give a fair life to our people.”…Only a political solution will bring an end to our tragedy and their tragedy. With all the emotional difficulty, Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader, is a partner for negotiations. They say he has blood on his hands; In the eyes of the Palestinians, Benny Gantz also has blood on his hands. This is the reality of our lives. The next government should appoint a Minister for Peace with Gaza and the Middle East, and not be enticed by the false promises of those who yearn to be appointed ministers of war.
Netanyahu is stuck with Hamas, and he likes it that way (Meron Rapoport, +972mag) Netanyahu understands that keeping Hamas in power comes at a heavy political price. But as long as it thwarts the possibility of a Palestinian state, it’s worth it for him.
Shhh, Palestinians – It’s Election Time in Israel (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) Please, keep quiet, my brethren! The Israelis are going to elections for your sake too, to determine your future. Remember, this is a democracy.
Top 12 Reasons Netanyahu Will Lose the Upcoming Early Elections (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) He probably won't but from now until Election Day hope springs eternal.
Binyamin Netanyahu, and not only he, has proved in recent days that there is a leadership vacuum (Chaim Frankel, Maariv) The behavior of the prime minister this week in the surrendering to Hamas - without any conditions, even the most basic, to stop the rampage of terrorists along the Gaza Strip fence, proved there is a leadership vacuum.…In contrast, I wanted to say to the residents of the State of Tel Aviv that the fact that they did not come to the protest in Tel-Aviv of the residents of the Gaza periphery was an insulting act of lack of basic solidarity among citizens.
The price of restraint (Uri Heitner, Israel Hayom) The erosion of deterrence encourages and emboldens the enemy and brings us closer to war. Restraint has brought us a thousand rockets in recent months. Hezbollah recognizes this failure, as does Iran.
Prevent Last-minute Legislation (Haaretz Editorial) Miri Regev's 'cultural loyalty' bill is only one example of dangerous legislation that could be advanced before the Netanyahu coalition government reaches the end of its road.
After the Victory Celebration, the Weighty Problems Facing Jerusalem's New Mayor (Nir Hasson, Haaretz+) Moshe Leon has a chance of being a good mayor, but he'll have to make sure he gives everyone — Hasidim and Palestinians and leftists alike — the feeling that they have a place in the city, too.
Most enlightened countries are no longer interested in Netanyahu and Trump (Ran Edelist, Maariv) There is no reasonable person in the world who does not understand today that World War I was superfluous. Like most wars. Unless you think that wars are a catalyst for human development, and therefore there is room to accept them as a necessary evil. The war, for example, brought tanks, planes and automatic weapons into the ring, and undoubtedly advanced transportation for the benefit of humankind. And still, there is a clear answer to the question of whether it would be better to continue riding on horse-drawn carriages for a few more years without war, or to kill millions and gain scientific progress, including health, comfort, and other bonuses that are the product of war. The obvious answer is to ride in the carriages. It’s both life-saving and romantic (with the exception of back pain), or in other words: F**k all the "benefits" and cheer for life. Most of the leaders of the countries who came to Paris did not think for a fraction of a second to deal with such philosophical issues. The conference was convened to prove to the world that leaders can meet face-to-face, discuss common problems, and resolve disputes from an "everybody's here together" perspective to avoid wars. It did not work and it won’t work, because what works in such situations is managing interests. And even in the narrow confines of interest management, Trump and Netanyahu have nothing to find at the conference. The message does not speak to them. And if it were not for their brutality, military and economic, most enlightened countries would not be interested in their company. Trump broadcasts a violent, one-way beam, and no one believes Netanyahu. But even Trump can not afford to be portrayed as the world leper, and Netanyahu needs photos in which he is presented as a leader among leaders…Netanyahu tried to gather photo-opportunistic meetings ahead of the elections, and the international arena is indeed his exclusive playground - where he can fabricate the image of the leader that everyone is waiting for. His technique is simple: he sells false promises of agreements (in Gaza, the West Bank and the north) and gets a meeting with world leaders who expect the burning shooter in the Middle East will finally calm down. It seems that everyone understands the bluff and none of the senior leaders at the Paris conference wanted to meet him…
Citizens of Israel, Get the Bomb Shelters Ready (Israel Harel, Haaretz+) In Iran, Syria, Lebanon and beyond, they’re watching, listening and drawing conclusions from Israel's conduct during the last round of hostility with Gaza.
I like to see movies and stories about settlements even though I know they will be hostile (Meir Uziel, Maariv) Between the propaganda and despite the creators’ intentions, I succeed in seeing the beauty and flourishing of the settlements themselves…The point of reference of Iris Zaki, the young left-wing filmmaker of the documentary, “Unsettling,” is so distorted that even the prohibition against a Jew to visit the home of an Arab in the nearby village because, according to past experience, the Jew is likely to be murdered there, she calls "apartheid." She also calls for supervision over the movement of Arabs within the settlement apartheid, even though she knows that it is not because they are Arabs, but because, according to past experience, it is clear that this will lead to the murder of Jews…What she did was actually set up a table in the shopping center, if you could call the kiosk and pizzeria a commercial center, where she had a conversation with someone who was willing to talk to her for a month. And yet, the settlers with whom she spoke penetrated every hostile camera lens and melted it.
Why I'm raining on Macy's 'Jewish unity' Charade-Parade in Jerusalem (Sandra Fox, Haaretz+) A crude and incongruous import of American capitalist excess, and parading Pittsburgh Jews as objects of pity, is certainly no way to repair relations between U.S. Jews and Israel.
Israel's Solidarity With Diaspora Jews Died Well Before Pittsburgh (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) Many U.S. Jews were shocked by Netanyahu’s ludicrously sycophantic praise for Trump the racist inciter after Pittsburgh. Their shock was misplaced. Israel will always choose national interests over Jewish solidarity.
 
Interviews:
*To Negotiate With Nasrallah, You Need to Know How His Mind Works
This week at the Tel Aviv airport: Everything in life is a negotiation, according to an expert. An aspiring social worker explains how she won over troubled soldiers. (Liat Elkayam interviews people at Ben-Gurion Airport for Haaretz+)

Principal of "Tichonet" High School in Tel-Aviv has appreciation for (Hamas chief Yahya) Sinwar and claims that (former IDF chief of staff) "Gantz also has blood on his hands"
Ram Cohen was a guest on Radio 103 FM after writing a Facebook post of admiration of Hamas leader, Yahya Sinwar, claiming that he "cannot call him an enemy." He and Avi Issacharoff, the ‘Walla’ correspondent and commentator on Arab affairs, were hosted by Yinon Magal and Anat Davidov at 103FM, where they discussed the crisis with Gaza, Hamas and its leader, Yahya Sinwar. (Maariv)
Avi Issacharoff: "According to what Ram Cohen wrote on the Internet, you would think that he was talking about a good soul with whom we could sit over coffee. Sinwar is a very strong and extremist leader in the Hamas leadership. There is no one today who can shake-up Hamas while Sinwar is at its head, even Ismail Haniyeh, who is holding a position officially higher than him. Sinwar sat in Israeli prison for 22 years following terrorist attacks he perpetrated and murder. If there is something that distinguishes him, it is his determined war against Palestinian collaborators [who spy for Israel - OH]. They used to call him 'the Father of the Twelve,’ because he killed 12 people suspected of collaboration with Israel. Three years ago, he broke into the house of a battalion commander of the Hamas military wing in the Zeitun neighborhood and dragged him bleeding and bruised inside the house waving a pistol.”
Yinon Magal: “Sinwar once said that he would eat the liver and the heart of the Israelis."
Avi Issacharoff: “Say thank you for him not wanting to also eat our spleen. But the absurdity is that the man owes his life to the State of Israel. A doctor from the Israel Prison Service identified a cancerous tumor in his head, operated on him and saved him."
Ram Cohen: "Even (former IDF chief of staff Benny) Gantz has blood on his hands and we choose him only because Benny Gantz has blood that we love [on his hands]. There is no difference between sending pilots to take down a high-rise building or if it we do it ourselves."
Yinon Magal: "So you are equating what Hamas does with what IDF soldiers do?
Ram Cohen: “We have to be careful in our words. They see us as we see them. My morality is the morality of a person. If we want make ourselves out to be the victims and wonder how they (Gaza residents) are capable of doing such things, and we do not recognize that we kill hundreds of people who approach fences - this is elitist morality.”
Yinon Magal: "It isn’t okay that we protect our fences and our border?
Ram Cohen: "It's okay to protect our borders and our fences, don’t take my words out of context."
Yinon Magal: "I'm trying to understand what is legitimate in your eyes and what isn’t.”
Ram Cohen: "It is legitimate to talk to the head of Hamas who is willing to talk to us."
Yinon Magal: "But he will never recognize us, he wants to kill us and you prefer him to (far right-wing minister Naftali) Bennett."
Ram Cohen: “Have you spoken with him? Bennett says that we have to demolish Gaza."
Yinon Magal: "I don’t say these things to hurt you, but to me you represent the most difficult problem of the left-wing, which does not live in reality. You think that all people are good and want equality and liberty. These are people who want to eat our liver and heart. You ignore this and therefore you created Oslo and thus created a monster and that is immoral. They have an army today with dozens of missiles to launch on Tel Aviv. You are the people who are immoral.”
Ram Cohen: "We are currently in a very strange period. People are demonstrating that they want to go to war right now. The popular minister in Israel (Naftali Bennett) says that he wants to leave the education portfolio in order to get the portfolio of the minister of war. We are not in a normal period. The default is that they (Israelis) want war. I say the opposite, call Sinwar and meet him at the border crossing.”
Yinon Magal: "We want war? We are just attacking Gaza for nothing?”
Ram Cohen: "There has been a siege on Gaza for 10 years now, [Israel] don’t allow [Gazans] to develop anything in Gaza and [Israelis] continue to act like the victims regarding the reality there. [Gazan] People depend on medical treatment in Israel, food from Israel and more."

Fatah Inmates to Haaretz: Israeli Prison Plan Could Lead to Unrest in the West Bank
Measures, including reducing family visits and removing prison canteens are “ticking time bomb," Fatah prison leaders warn, while also criticizing the delivery of Qatar money to Gaza about 10 days ago. (Interviewed by Josh Breiner and Jack Khoury in Haaretz+)

Lieberman opens up in first interview since resignation
Former defense minister asserts his right-wing credentials accusing Netanyahu of being all talk, no deeds and surrendering to terror by ignoring his calls for a tougher stance on Gaza; 'Appointing Bennett for the defense post can save the education system;' After elections: 'I will only join a right-wing government.' (Interviewed by Yuval Karni in Ynet)

Arab teenager who joined IDF says 'it's a privilege'
19 year old from Jerusalem area, where clashes with police is an everyday occurrence, decided to join the Border Police and this week will complete his basic training. Only close friends and his mother know about the teenager's decision as his family might be harmed if it became public knowledge. (Yishai Porat in Ynet)
 
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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