News Nosh 1.2.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday January 2, 2019
 
Quote of the day:
"The ship is sailing at full speed in the wrong direction. A change in direction will not come from the ship's nose, from the Knesset, but from the sails - which are the people and movements leading the struggle. This is where I'm going to invest my time."
--MK Dov Khenin, one of the Knesset's most highly esteemed lawmakers, said he will continue battling for the people, but no longer from the Knesset.*

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Dismissal on live TV - Gabbay announced to Livni the dismantling of the partnership at the Zionist Camp faction meeting
  • On blood and ice // Sima Kadmon
  • David is waiting for the committee - Today: The decisive meeting over subsidized medicines
  • Attorney General making effort to conclude the Netanyahu (corruption) cases before elections
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • The expulsion - By surprise and on live TV: Chairman of Labor party Avi Gabbay dismisses Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni, who sat next to her
  • They earned their sufferings // Ben Caspit
  • Livni is a burden, not an asset // Meir Uziel
  • A story of impulses and ego // Ran Edelist
  • Gantz’s associates: The political turnovers are a result of his entering politics
  • New Opposition Chairwoman, MK Shelly Yachimovich, supports: “Brave step of a leader”
  • Likely: Attorney General Mendelblitt will rule in the Netanyahu (corruption) cases before the elections
Israel Hayom
  • The serial abandoner was abandoned // Mati Tuchfeld on Tzipi Livni being dismissed by Avi Gabbay
  • The left-wing’s chances: Union of Labor party and Meretz // Yossi Beilin
  • The knives are being pulled out: Rebellion against Gabbay
  • Embarrassing silence: Why doesn’t Gantz speak // Eitan Orkibi
  • Syria in Brazil - Prime Minister met in Brazil with US Secretary of State Pompeo to discuss US withdrawal from Syria
  • HMOs threaten: We will disrupt the votes over the subsidized medicines
  • Attorney General met with his predecessors, who said: “He will announce a hearing for Netanyahu”
  • New name in the race for job of police commissioner: Minister Erdan met with General Roni Numa
  • The conservative announcement of Judge Stein // Aviad Bakshi

Elections 2019 News:
In a dramatic - and many say ‘humiliating’ - move on live TV, Labor Party chief Avi Gabbay announced at a press conference that he was breaking off his party’s partnership with MK Tzipi Livni’s Hatnuah party, as Livni sat next to him, completely taken by surprise. The move dismantled their joint faction, the Zionist Camp, which had fared very poorly in polls. Afterward, Gabbay said, “"I only ate shit from her,” (Maariv) and Livni called it "horrible" and accused Gabbay of trying to get a photo of a "humiliated woman sitting on a low chair." Gabbay named MK Shelly Yacimovich as the new Opposition leader, the latter saying he made a brave move, but also admitted that there was a "humiliating" element in the way it was done (Haaretz Hebrew). Yedioth’s Moran Azulay noted that associates of the popular politician-to-be Benny Gantz “were quick to take credit” for Gabbay’s move, saying that it was the “Gantz effect” of Gantz entering the political arena.

After meeting with some of his predecessors, who said he must decide before the elections whether to indict Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit will likely announce a hearing (Maariv) for Netanyahu before the elections, said a TV report, quoted in the Hebrew papers. Culture Minister Miri Regev (Likud) accused Ministers Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, the two leaders of the ‘New Right’ party, of taking advantage of the settlers who voted for them and that their new party “will bring a second Oslo Accords disaster.”

*One of Israel’s most successful and esteemed lawmakers, MK Dov Khenin of the Hadash party, announced he would not run in the general elections after 12 years of serving as an MK, but said he will still be involved in public life, where he believed he would have greater effect. Yet the Ethiopian-Israeli community looked for better representation in the Knesset. Ethiopian-Israeli religious leaders proposed a deal to several parties offering the Ethiopian vote in exchange for a Knesset seat for an Ethiopian-Israeli candidate, Israel Hayom reported.  "The time has come … to fight for our rights to equality," said a prominent religious leader.

Other Top News Summary:
On the sidelines of the inauguration of right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Netanyahu met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss the US withdrawal from Syria and Pompeo said the US was still committed to protecting Israel. Netanyahu and Pompeo also discussed Honduras moving its embassy to Jerusalem with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez.  Netanyahu said that US President Donald Trump won’t roll out his ‘Deal of the Century’ before Israeli elections in April, saying that the US agrees that presenting the peace plan during election time would undermine its chances. Meanwhile, the US and Israel officially quit the UN cultural agency, UNESCO, claiming the organization fosters anti-Israel bias. However, their departure is not expected to greatly impact UNESCO financially.
Quick Hits:
  • Israeli forces demolish agricultural structure in Masafer Yatta - Israeli forces demolished a greenhouse and uprooted olive trees after razing one dunam of land in the Hebron-area village. (Maan)
  • Prominent Israeli-Palestinian coexistence group cuts ties with Israeli government - According to a letter received by parents of participants in Seeds of Peace, a U.S.-based non-profit, the break came in response to a ministry demand for greater involvement in its programs. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel displays archaeological finds looted from West Bank - International law bars an occupying military from displaying antiquities outside the occupied area. Curators: The artifacts have been loaned. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel's Social Equality Ministry Fails to Offer Arabic Preparatory Course for University Entrance Exam - Ministry promised online course would 'give equal opportunity for all citizens,' but rights group says it 'perpetuates gaps' by putting Arabs at a disadvantage. (Haaretz+)
  • Petition demands release of classified Israeli documents on 1950s immigrant transit camps - Association for Civil Rights in Israel wants information from security service about suppression of protests by immigrants from North Africa and Mideast. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel limits prison time for women who kill abusive partners - A law passed by the Knesset lowers the maximum prison sentence for women who kill an abusive partner, grants mandatory life sentence for anyone who kills a partner after abusing them for an extended period of time. (Haaretz+)
  • Knesset Once Again Delays Implementation of Common Reporting Standard - Demands for changes to legislation regulating the interest-free loans offered by some ultra-Orthodox lenders is holding up the implementation of information sharing. (Haaretz+)
  • Memorial wall for Israeli PMs at renovation of prime minister’s residence at IDF headquarters ignores Rabin's assassination, Olmert's premiership - Defense officials were responsible for photo captions that appear to spin history in Netanyahu's favor, overlooking Peres's presidency and leaving out former prime minister altogether. (Haaretz+)
  • Arnon Mozes to Buy 34% of Israel's Largest Newspaper, Doubling His Stake - Mozes is apparently strengthening his hold over Yedioth Ahronoth in anticipation of an indictment in Netanyahu's corruption charges. (Haaretz)
  • Water Sent to Israel's North in Bid to Save Drying Upper Galilee Stream - In an attempt to keep the stream in Nahal Betzet from drying up, a pipe will be attached to several sections which may also reduce the use of groundwater, restoring flow to springs in the area. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel's Corruption Probe Into Lev Leviev’s Diamond Empire Stalls - No one has been called in for questioning since the death of an employee, while both the police and Leviev are refusing to compromise, sources say. (Haaretz)
  • Archaeology Site in Israel Helps Show How the Human Brain Exploded in Power - The tangible expressions of the human brain are the tools people make and the ways they use them, say scientists who researched the Acheulian civilization along the Jordan River. (Haaretz+)
  • Iran to upgrade speedboats with stealth technology - Revolutionary Guards reveals plans to equip vessels in Strait of Hormuz with radar-evading stealth technology and new missile launchers • Vital shipping route has seen periodic confrontations between Revolutionary Guards vessels and U.S. military ships. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)


Features:
How Putin's Blacklisted Oligarch Friend Is Linked to Key Israeli Political Players
After the U.S. slapped sanctions on Putin pal Viktor Vekselberg, his interests in Israel, among them firms involving the likes of Benny Gantz and Ehud Barak, are on shaky ground. (Shuki Sadeh and Refaella Goichman, Haaretz+)
Israel's explainers: "There are things that official representatives cannot do"
Ruti Lieberman initiated the project YES! ISRAEL, which works to (influence) public opinion in the US for the benefit of Israel’s affairs. ”We need more organizations and people who are willing to tell our truth,” she said. (Ilana Stutland, Maariv)
Famed Israeli-French Singer Maya Casabianca Dies at 78
The Moroccan-born chanteuse, whose music was also widely popular in the Arab world and the Soviet Union, not only sung duets with the likes of Yves Montand but had performed in Syria. The Moroccan-born chanteuse, whose stardom ebbed once she moved to Israel in the ’70’s, wrote a book, book “He and I,” in which she told about her career as a child prodigy and a singer who in the 1960s conquered stages in Paris and performed in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Spain and the Soviet Union. She also recounted her long affair with Egyptian singer Farid al-Atrash, which she kept secret for years. A huge portrait of Atrash, inscribed “Yours forever,” hangs in Casabianca’s apartment on the edge of Haifa’s German Colony. There are also photos from when she lived with Atrash in his mansion in Hamdoun, Lebanon. (Haaretz+)

Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
Prediction: Neither Trump nor Bibi Will Last 2019 in Office – Just Read Adelson's Paper (Bradley Burston, Haaretz+) For Trump and Netanyahu both, the cult of personality is wearing off, like cheap plating revealing inferior metal, faulty construction, and material fatigue.
The most tragic mistake of the right wing is the Likud's decision to stick to Netanyahu at all costs (Prof. Arieh Eldad, Maariv) The public is looking for an alternative, and the new right of Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, which disconnected itself from the National Religious Party (Habayit Hayehudi) cables, could be their destination.
Labor Head Gives Livni an ISIS-style Farewell. It May Cost Him Dearly (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) Gabbay's cruel humiliation, unprecedented in contemporary politics, could cost him dearly among women voters.
The real new Right (Uri Heitner, Israel Hayom) Today's Likud has lost its way thanks to ethical and moral bankruptcy and now encompasses values that are antithetical to those traditionally heralded by Revisionist Zionism.
Gabbay’s callous decapitation of Livni could pave the way for a New Israeli Left (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) The Labor Party leader may have enraged women – but he showed the kind of killer instinct that is a prerequisite for any aspiring prime minister.
Everyone talks about unity, and only splits: the divorce in the political system is exaggerated (Lilach Sigan, Maariv) Too many parties are breaking up in the run-up to the elections, and too few leaders want to unite the public. There is only one clear result for recent surveys: confusion and confusion.
Zionist Union Split Can Only Hurt the Israeli Opposition (Haaretz Editorial) Avi Gabbay and the rest of the center-left must eschew self-promotion and focus on replacing Netanyahu, united behind whoever is most likely to win.
Elderly, I apologize that we can not win for you in the war against poverty (Moshe Cohen, Maariv) I apologize on behalf of all the nonprofit organizations in Israel - that we can not win for you in the war against poverty. We do our best, we manage to help you survive, but that’s not really living.
Livni and Gabbay's Zionist Disunion (Moran Azoulay, Yedioth/Ynet) Labor leader's dramatic announcement that he is ending the partnership with Hatnuah pulled back the curtain on a tense situation between the two party heads.
Israel's Ya’alon, now seen as bland by the right, unlikely to link with fellow ex-army chief Gantz (Chaim Levinson, Haaretz+) Sources in Gantz's newly founded party say Bennett's establishment of his own new party will likely foil attempt for Ya'alon to win over right-wing voters.
Mudslinging is only the beginning (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) The New Right party could cost the Right its hold on power. The criticism Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked face seeks to push them into endorsing Netanyahu as PM, stabilizing the political system.
Sources in the government believe that Bennett himself was the one who caused the release of terrorists in the past (Attorney Yehiel Gutman, Maariv) The Minister of Education Naftali Bennett announced at the press conference on Saturday night that the new right-wing party would block efforts to release (Palestinian) attackers. However, he was a central cause in the release that took place 5 and a half years ago.
The Political Failures of Tzipi Livni, One of the Best Prime Ministers Israel Never Had (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) She was popular during her Likud days and even a political asset in several governments, but to get to the top in Israeli politics, you must be able to maintain partnerships and build coalitions.
The nationalist camp paradox (Dr. Ofir Haivry, Israel Hayom) The nationalist camp is splintering itself in a futile and pointless ideological spat. Responsibility falls on the leaders of these new satellite parties but also on Netanyahu, who has worked to push them away.
Humiliation and revenge served cold: How Labor head dropped the bomb and rattled the Israeli left (Jonathan Lis, Haaretz+) Labor chairman Avi Gabbay, fed up with 'taking shit' from Hatnuah leader Tzipi Livni, held a surprise press conference to break up their partnership in front of the cameras.
Wanted: A new party for Israel's Arabs (Yoseph Haddad, Yedioth/Ynet) The Joint List has little left to offer voters, and anyone wise enough to provide an alternative would be welcomed by the sane voices in the Arab sector, who are just looking for a new party to call home.
The Willing Suspension of Disbelief (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Why are secular Jews in Israel prepared to believe in Benny Gantz, but not in God, and why are religious Jews prepared to position him alongside the original God?

Commentary/Analysis:
Outcry Over Jewish Terror Suspect's Rights May Not Help Palestinian Detainees (Mordechai Kremnitzer, Haaretz+) Axing by the Central District Court of Jewish minor’s confession of an arson at a Jerusalem church in 2015 due to the conditions of his interrogation, joins previous such disqualifications. Certain methods are considered routine methods that have been used for decades on tens of thousands of Palestinian detainees, including many minors, like preventing the detainee from meeting with his lawyer. And nobody objects. But this unleashes an outcry when it comes to a child of ours. This shows the clear difference in the law enforcement system’s treatment of ours, namely Jews, and the others, Palestinians and puts Israel's court system on dangerous path toward ethnic-based rulings.
A most unflattering investigation (Oded Shalom, Yedioth/Ynet) Israel was the focus of a New York Times investigation regarding the death of a young Palestinian medic at the Gaza border, and it was not pretty.
Between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) We Jews have formed a covenant with words that in recent generations have been formulated by our authors and poets. Our resurrection from the ashes of history was made possible by the power of the word.
Amos Oz, my brother, my teacher (Abraham B. Yehoshua, Yedioth/Ynet) No one is irreplaceable, but Amos Oz will always be remembered as one of the greats, he is one of the most decorated writers in terms of prizes, but most of all, his work lives on.
According to what is happening in the playground of the neighborhood of Tel Baruch North - racism is still here (Lior Dayan, Maariv) We think that in Israel there is no difference between Mizrahim and Ashkenazim and all are equal. So let's take a tour of the neighborhood and you'll see that it's not true. At the playground, all the children are blonde and their nannies are dark-skinned. My father also had a Mizrachit nanny and at the time that seemed natural.
The real Israel isn’t Startup Nation, it’s poverty row (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) Only 8% of our labor force is employed in high-tech, but a fifth of the country lives under the poverty line.
 
Interviews:
'To our great misfortune, he was right': David Grossman bids farewell to Amos Oz
Two prominent writers, Amos Oz and Haim Be’er, and translator Victor Radutzky, who translated 13 of Oz’s books into Russian, say goodbye to friend and colleague Amos Oz, who with great prescience described the ills of occupation already in 1967. (Interviewed by Gili Izikovich in Haaretz+)


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