News Nosh 11.27.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday November 27, 2018
 
 
You Must Be Kidding: 
“The other day, he was defense minister and today he’s playing musical chairs because he can’t sit next to an Arab.”
--Arab MK and leader of the Joint List faction, Ayman Odeh, Tweeted after MK Avigdor Lieberman changed seats in the Knesset plenum so as not to sit next to Odeh.**

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Government in trouble
  • Those affected by the rise in the interest rates are the mortgage holders
  • Taxi driver testified: “Hooliganism and vengefulness of the appointed police commissioner”
Israel Hayom
  • The interest rate is changing direction - the mortgage will get more expensive: For the first time since 2011, the interest rate is rising
  • Brakes in the narrow coalition
  • Suspicion: Senior person in El-Al and a former Mossad member smuggled drugs
  • Gives you confidence - Prime Minister and Defense Minister (Netanyahu) made a surprise visit to inductees to the Armored Corps
  • Doctor got measles from a patient: “I was in isolation for weeks”
  • Suspicion of murder in Tel-Aviv: 12-year-old girl found dead
News Summary:
Two teenage girls were found murdered yesterday, the coalition failed to scrape together a majority for Culture Minister Miri Regev’s ‘Loyalty in Culture’ bill, so it was postponed before the vote (and Regev blamed MK Avigdor Lieberman, who said his party will no longer support any coalition bill (Haaretz Hebrew) and she also blamed Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, who let his party members vote according to their conscience) and the Bank of Israel raised interest rates, making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

Also in the news the Hebrew papers said the incident where a Palestinian man driving a car hit three soldiers standing near the road, lightly injuring them, was a nationalist attack. But the man’s family, called for an investigation, saying that Ramzi Abu Yabes, 32, a nurse and a father of two, was on his way to work. Israeli forces took his body by force from a Palestinian ambulance to an unknown location. (VIDEO)

In diplomacy, the US ambassador to Israel denied the reports that US President Donald Trump is delaying revealing his Mideast peace plan due to pressure from Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and said that they are simply waiting for the right moment “when it has the highest chance of being accepted by the parties.” (Maariv)

And the Palestinians have called for an emergency Arab League session over Israel's warming ties with Arab states, such as Oman, Chad and reports on Israeli attempts to tighten relations with Sudan and Bahrain. Indeed, Israel received supportive statements yesterday from visiting leaders from Chad and the Czech Republic. Chadian President Idriss Déby announced that his country will renew diplomatic ties with Israel, but stressed that does not mean they will ignore the Palestinian cause. Meanwhile, Deby’s opponents labeled him a 'brutal tyrant’ and said his visit to Israel was an attempt to strengthen his 30-year-old tyrannical rule.

Visiting Czech President Milos Zeman said he is doing everything he can to move his country’s embassy to Jerusalem, but “I’m not a dictator, unfortunately,” he joked. He slammed the European Parliament for hosting “Palestinian terrorists” and emphasized his opposition to the "cowardly" European policy. The Joint List faction was not present for his speech at the Knesset. Zeman also expressed doubt over the two-state solution, telling Israel’s President, Reuven Rivlin, that he looks forward to learning about ideas for a "one-state with two nations." Jerusalem Affairs Minister Elkin presented Zeman with the Protector of Jerusalem Award.
 
Quick Hits:
  • Israeli forces, settlers seize Palestinian land, build infrastructure in Nablus area - Israeli settlers from the illegal Israeli outpost of Ahiya seized about 10 dunams (2.5 acres) of land in Jalud village,  next to village homes, and under the protection of heavily armed Israeli forces razed the land, set up water lines, and laid groundwork for illegal settlement construction. (Maan)
  • Israel seizes land for expansion near Salfit - Israeli authorities carried out expansion work Monday near Israeli observation tower at entrance of Kifel Hares village, seizing part of Palestinian-owned land. Village mayor said expansion seeks to obstruct and control the movement of the residents of the village. (Maan)
  • Isolated Israeli settlements get favored under new funding list approved by the government - Plan includes criteria crafted especially for West Bank settlements defined as neighborhoods within settlements. Subsidies will be offered for housing infrastructure work, with priority given to citizens who do not presently own homes and who want to move to the approved locales and need state loans. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel works to release Arab detained by PA for selling lands to Jews - As part of a series of unusual steps to release east Jerusalem resident Issam Akel, 53, the Israel Police arrests the PA's Jerusalem governor Adnan Rit for the 3rd time this month; Rit is suspected of involved in Akel's 'abduction.' (Ynet)
  • Israeli Education Ministry to Cut Funding to Jewish Pluralism Programs - Officials say ministry wants to restrict new funding to Orthodox organizations. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel's Deputy Health Minister Makes Baseless Claim on Arabs Spreading Measles - Litzman’s remarks do not correspond to reality: While in Haredi communities there are indeed lower-than-average rates of vaccination, vaccination rates among Arabs are actually very high. For example, in Nazareth and Iksal the vaccination rate for measles is 96.9 percent, while in Tel Aviv it’s only 92.5 percent; in Bnei Brak 92.8 percent. [See also ‘Measles outbreak hits ultra-Orthodox areas harder’] (Haaretz+)
  • Qatari funds help prevent disease outbreak in Gaza - The money transferred to Gaza made many in Israel angry. But now the security services confirm: some of the money and fuel brought into the Strip is being used to reactivate sewage treatment plants in Gaza and to increase the supply of clean running water to Palestinian families. The sewage in Gaza flows to river beds, some of which flow into Israel, and the great fear was of the outbreak of disease there - which would reach us quickly. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • 3 Palestinians shot, injured in 17th naval march in Gaza - Dozens of others suffered from tear-gas inhalation, on Monday, when forces fired live ammunition and tear gas towards large Palestinian crowds gathered at the northern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip and the Israeli navy opened fire at Gaza boats attempting to break the 12-year siege. (Maan)
  • Dozens suffer from tear-gas inhalation near Ramallah - Israeli forces raided the village and fired rubber-coated steel bullets, as well as tear-gas bombs towards the homes of Palestinian residents in the village of Deir Abu Mashal. Violent clashes broke out among Palestinian youths and Israeli forces during the raid. (Maan)
  • **Lieberman Swaps Knesset Seat to Avoid Sitting Next to (Arab) MK Odeh - The recently resigned Israeli defense minister, racist MK Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu), who was required to move from the cabinet benches in the Knesset and sit among the opposition, received permission to swap seats last Wednesday with a member of his own faction, to avoid having to sit next to the Arab leader of the Joint List faction, MK Ayman Odeh. Odeh tweeted: “The other day, he was defense  minister and today he’s playing musical chairs because he can’t sit next to an Arab.” (Hadash party Hebrew website and Jewish News and Channel 10 Hebrew).
  • Amnesty demands Israel revoke NSO's license after Haaretz report on firm's negotiations with Saudis - Organization says cyber firm 'out of control' following revelation that it offered cyber-espionage system to Riyadh mere months before crown prince launched purge. (Haaretz)
  • Hamas on releasing photos of the (members of the) IDF force (from the botched operation in Gaza): "We received important information" - Abu Obeida, the spokesperson of the military wing of the terrorist organization, claimed that their decision to publish the photos of the fighters helped them obtain "important details about the failed Zionist operation.” (Maariv)
  • Cocaine smuggled in El Al planes by company security official, police suspect - Suspects also include a former Shin Bet official; investigation launched after drugs were seized on a flight arriving from Johannesburg. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • In Jerusalem, International conference for Jewish media: "The past year has created complex moments between Israel and the communities of the world" - Among the 150 participants are journalists, bloggers and opinion leaders covering Israel and Judaism from different angles, who together have hundreds of millions of followers on social media networks. (Maariv)
  • Israel Police arrest 32 East Jerusalemites on suspicion of working with Palestinian security forces - Round-up is part of effort to find Palestinians who are preventing sale of properties to Jews; detainees suspected of ties to PA, in violation of rarely cited clause in Oslo Accords. (Haaretz+)
  • Palestinian family among 45 detained by Israeli forces = In the central West Bank district of Ramallah, seven Palestinians were detained, including a father along with his son and daughter, who were identified as Diab Saadi Musleh, Shadi Musleh, and Aya Musleh. Ahmad al-Khatib, a Palestinian journalist, was also detained. (Maan)
  • Israeli court sentences PLO member to administrative detention - Last week, Ahmad Atoun, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLO) from Jerusalem, was detained by Israeli forces from his family home in al-Bireh village. (Maan)
  • Attorney general says Netanyahu graft investigation ‘almost finished’ - Avichai Mandelblit says decision on indictments in Bezeq-Walla bribery case ‘will be made as quickly as possible.’ (Times of Israel)
  • Jerusalem Rabbinical Court Court Gives Custody to Father Suspected of Sexual Assault on Kids - The court’s ruling went against the recommendation of welfare authorities in the city where the family lives to place the children with their mother. (Haaretz+)
  • In First, Woman Nominated to Head Israel's State Archives - Nomination of Ruti Abramovitch comes as State Archives faces task of digitizing collection and must decide on making some classified material public. (Haaretz+)
  • Child of Yemenite immigrants who was thought dead in 1950 appears on electoral roll - Population Authority says error to blame amid decades-old allegations that Yemenite immigrant babies were taken from their parents and died or were put up for adoption. (Haaretz+)
  • CNN poll reveals depth of anti-Semitism in Europe - One in 20 Europeans surveyed has never heard of the Holocaust. More than a quarter believe Jews have too much influence in business and finance. One in five believes anti-Semitism is a response to everyday actions of Jews. (CNN/Yedioth/Ynet)
  • City of Beverly Hills condemns Airbnb decision to drop rentals in West Bank settlements - The resolution noted that the City of Beverly Hills calls on Airbnb to 'correct this act of disrespect to the land of Israel and restore its original services immediately. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Pyramids lit up and demonstrations: Saudi Crown Prince in a campaign to rehabilitate his image - For the first time since the murder of Saudi journalist Khashougi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has embarked on a political journey, which will reach a peak when he participates in the G-20 Summit in Argentina. He will meet with Trump and reportedly wanted to meet Erdogan, who responded: "We'll see." In Egypt, he was received with great respect. Yet, London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported that there were demonstrations in Egypt against his visit, but there was no mention of them in the Egyptian media or social media networks. Yesterday, dozens demonstrated in the Tunisian capital against his planned visit - and the demonstration, despite its small size, received widespread media coverage. Journalists and human rights activists are expected to demonstrate at the entrance to the palace where he will stay. (Yedioth/Ynet Hebrew)
  • Trump's Mideast Policy Adds to Pressures on Jordan's King as Domestic Criticism Mounts - Jordanian government faces tough criticism on social media. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • France's Macron Praises Courage of Slain Syrian Radio Activist Fares - Raed al-Fares was a pro-democracy activist who ran a radio station in Idlib, northwestern Syria, that provided independent news and satirised both President Bashar al-Assad and opposition insurgents. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Soros foundation pulls out of Turkey after Erdogan attacks 'Hungarian Jew' - George Soros' Open Society Foundation says 'baseless claims' that the Jewish billionaire seeks to divide nations and foments protests in bid to overthrow the government have forced it to end its operations in Turkey. (Agencies, Haaretz)


Features:
The immigrant who promotes Israel on Facebook: "The state has failed in its public relations"
Joshus Wander uses the social media networks for the purposes of Israeli public relations and the content he raises there, almost every day, receives hundreds of thousands of views. "It's amazing to see how it affects people.” (Ilana Stutland, Maariv)

Commentary/Analysis:
Preserving a Racist Character in Israel (Haaretz Editorial) No city has the right to close a park to Arabs, as Afula in the north has done, but such racist incitement has become typical in the country under Benjamin Netanyahu.
Instead of learning from the French, the Israelis only protested last week about the lines at the Black Friday sales (Dr. Revital Amiran, Maariv) Despite the high cost of living and cynical exploitation of the security discourse, Israeli society, which was known in the past for high political involvement, remains indifferent. With the collapse of the welfare state policy, the intensification of capitalist trends, the widening social gaps and the weakening of the middle class, citizens became largely indifferent to the difficulty of making a living. The social protest of 2011 has evaporated; (Yesh Atid Chairman Yair) Lapid and his capitalist party managed to capture a high wave in the Knesset and aided it to die. Today, Israeli citizens can be seen sitting for hours in traffic jams on their way to work and back, or waiting in the blazing sun or in the pouring rain for inefficient public transportation. From the traffic congestion, the Israelis go to the emergency room rush, to the unbearable waiting for tests critical to saving their lives or to the endless lines for (university) dormitories and reasonable tuition. Owning a home has become a distant dream for many Israelis, as well as a desire for a decent pension. Most of them already know at the age of 40 that the retirement pension that awaits them will not suffice for a dignified existence. Still, despite all this, the Israelis are indifferent. The security discourse has become a cheap means by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, former defense minister Avigdor Lieberman and Education Minister Naphtali Bennett to promote small political interests. They cynically use it to frighten the public while planting hints of a close war. Under this auspices they continue to act against the public interest. Only yesterday it was reported that instead of scholarships for students, the Ministry of Education will transfer NIS 25 million to Torah-studying groups and to Orthodox organizations. This follows the recent across-the-board budget cut from all government ministries, without prioritizing social goals and cutting NIS 100 million from the health budget. But the Israelis are silent. The only lively protests at the end of last week were in the lines for the Black Friday sales. The demonstrators in France are wearing reflective vests in every vehicle to highlight their protest. In Israel, these same vests are identified with the fast one, which passed relatively quietly, that a lobbying company at the time pulled on the Israelis when it made sure that the law led by MK Gilad Erdan (according to the law, all drivers must wear the vest when they get out of their car on the highway - OH) passed, requiring the specific kind that benefits the lobbyist’s customers. Irony at its best.
Yes, I Hate Netanyahu. Join Me (Rami Livni, Haaretz+) Other leftists say they don’t despise him. I do. His lies and cynicism have managed to take away our love for our country and ability to think.
Coming from the sea: The security vision of the former commander of the navy, Shlomo Erel, was not realized (Yossi Ahimeir, Maariv) At the age of 98, the esteemed commander passed away, leaving behind his dreams of submarines manufactured by the Israel Shipyards and of clean hands and integrity in security acquisitions.
Netanyahu teaches his detractors a lesson in diplomacy (Shlomo Pyuterkovsky, Yedioth/Ynet) Chad's president's visit indicates a positive improvement in Israel's diplomatic standing, thanks to PM Netanyahu's extraordinary statesman skills. But the lack of any viable replacement to take over the helm is sobering.
Military aid and uranium for nuclear reactors: the interests behind Chad's president's visit to Israel (Yossi Melman, Maariv) The Israeli interest in the Muslim state (of Chad) faded after Gadhafi fell, but now President Idris Deby needs the help of Israel, and Israel will try to expand its arms sales in the country.
How Mohammed Bin Salman Put Saudi Arabia in Debt to Trump and Netanyahu (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) The crown prince seeks support to blunt criticism over Khashoggi murder, but despite his charm offensive in the Arab world, he is still getting a hostile reception.
Top security panel asks Israeli army for classified report on botched Gaza op (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) The state and the intelligence community disapprove of outside intervention in the investigation of security breaches, but even without knowing the details of the operation, it seems that there are a lot of issues that require fundamental examination, such as how decisions were made at the political level about the operation's timing, in the midst of efforts to reach an accord in Gaza; how the Israeli team was exposed; and the possible effect of structural changes to monitoring and control over operations in recent years.
In contrast to the "enlightened world," we must kill the enemy in order to continue living (Nir Kipnis, Maariv) We see the same films, read the same books and hold the same "correct" views; But the difference between us and those like us in London, Berlin, or San Francisco is that we have to kill the enemy every day in order to stay alive. This gap makes us crazy. We, in our youth, listened to the Beatles and believed that all we needed was love, that grew our hair long, we wore torn jeans and occasionally we smoked some grass, which made us see the world in other colors and immediately afterward to eliminate a bag of Bamba (peanut-tasting chips). Are we are monsters with blood on our hands? Are we murderers of Palestinian babies? Now try to go tell your British friend who just saw the premiere of a new film by Ken Loach with you that sometimes it’s a Palestinian child or your child. This gap drives us almost to the point of a split personality. I admit that on the personal level I am flip between the desire to kill all the inhabitants of Gaza, when they are enjoying sweets after an attack (on Israel), and the shame that floods me when I see a teddy bear emerging from ruins (in the Gaza Strip). Because after all, a child who holds his teddy bear in fear when a bomb whistles above is first of all a child - and only then an Arab or a Jew. Binyamin Theodor Herzl, the man whose vision has brought us to this point, thought that the return of the Jews to their country would be a blessing for most of the inhabitants of the region. In the naive belief of a man of the colonialist period, he thought the natives would be happy with those who brought electricity to their homes, clean drinking water for their faucets, and advanced medicine to their villages. In the utopian "Altneuland," the founding document of the Zionist ideal, the extremists who oppose cooperation are a minority. The problem is that this is a Western logic: In reality, they are the majority. I’m not necessarily talking about the Palestinians, but rather about cases in which residents of Amman go nuts by the filming of a series of Netflix about Israel in their city’s streets, or when a beauty queen from an Arab country dares to be photographed with her Israeli counterpart - and other examples that prove that they simply hate us for being a foreign object, and it doesn’t matter how many settlements were dismantled to please them.  The knowledge that there is no visible end to the conflict makes us ask for instant solutions: on the left-wing we are dealing with a metaphysical peace that has no feasibility, except on the platform of the Meretz party. In the right-wing, they fantasize on the final round at the end of which our enemies will be struck and expelled. Even the moderate right-wing has a yearning for a utopian peace, which will be established somewhere after we have succeeded in putting up the Jabotinsky iron wall. The unfortunate news is that this will not happen, and the even more disturbing news is that it appears that it is necessary to strike a severe blow on Gaza, maybe also on Lebanon. The really difficult news is that it will have a terrible price, the tax of life in the Middle East will paralyze Ben-Gurion Airport and the economy, just as Tzachi Hanegbi feared in that shameful interview. To the joy of the Arabs, there is no leader in Israel who will look into our eyes and say: I now need to make a harsh and painful move, one that will not only cause casualties in our ranks but also make us so despised in the eyes of the world that we might not even be able to hop over for shopping this year. Instead, we buy time by paying millions to our enemies, to make the missiles on Tel Aviv more accurate the next time, out of a naive belief that if we get hit first, at least our friends in the (enlightened world) won’t take us out of their circle of friends. "Crusaders," our enemies call us, whose memory is a thousand-years-old. It’s possible that they are right.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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