News Nosh 1.16.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday January 16, 2019

You Must Be Kidding: 
"As representatives of the German government in Israel, I must ask, what is your point in trying to transfer responsibility for the Holocaust and the Nazis among you, to us Jews in Israel?"
--In a Twitter clash with Peace Now, Yair Netanyahu, son of Israel's Prime Minister calls Peace Now activists 'Nazis.'

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Good luck, brother (Photo of new IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi receiving a hug from the last chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot)
  • The burden is on him // Nahum Barnea
  • Iron Dome’s exit - US military stands to acquire two Iron Dome systems
  • Expose - “Coming to Israel? You need to report to us what your schedule is” - Borders Authority distributing form to visitors to Israel demanding they report who they will meet with and that they provide phone numbers
  • Jerusalem hopes for snow
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Chief of Staff Kochavi - “In the focus - increasing the ability to harm the enemy”
  • To prevent war // Yossi Melman
  • Zero days of grace // Tal Lev-Ram
  • The winter storm returns: Preparations for snow in the Galilee mountains and in the Jerusalem Municipality
  • What does he mean - MK Galant claims that his appointment to become chief of staff was thwarted after the Attorney General and former state comptroller “were blackmailed by certain people in an affair connected to “personal privacy.” If he knows something about them, he should speak. Don’t know? Apologize to them and all of us // Kalman Libeskind
  • “Talks for Madonna to perform at Eurovision”
Israel Hayom
  • “The goal: A lethal, efficient and innovative military” - Without a moment of grace for the 22nd Chief of Staff: “An Israeli crossed the border into Lebanon”
  • Measles danger: “1 out of 10 ill were hospitalized”
  • The white hope (for snow in Jerusalem)
  • Following the report in ‘Israel Hayom’: Condemnations of the doctor who said he would not treat Netanyahu
  • A new era began: Channel Reshet-10 sets on its way

Elections 2019 News:
Former Israeli army chief Benny Gantz, is close to cementing his party list ticket for the April 9 elections. Haaretz+ reported. According to Maariv, Gantz offered former news anchorwoman Miki Haimovich a high place on the list.

Meanwhile, the Likud party court dismissed 14 members of the ‘New Likudniks’ from the party’s rosters. The activists say they are Likudniks, who simply don’t support the party leader, Binyamin Netanyahu. One of the activists, Lior Meiri said when he left the hearing: "The judge asked me why I wrote posts against Netanyahu and I still want to be part of the party…I replied that the Likud is not Netanyahu and Netanyahu is not the Likud. This personality cult is not part of the movement's path. This dance of demons began in August two years ago, when we protested against the Prime Minister's speech, which stated that it is permissible to accept gifts, and this has not changed to this day.”

Haaretz ran profiles of two politicians: MK Bezazel Smotrich, “the youthful face of unrepentant Jewish extremism, who has been elected to lead one of Israel’s oldest parties, marking a generational changing of guard in the settler movement,” and former TV and fashion celeb, Orli Levi-Abekasis, who could be Israel’s next kingmaker, writes Judy Maltz.

Other News Summary:
Today’s top story was about the first day of Israel’s new military chief, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, who vowed to make the IDF 'deadly, efficient army.’ The commentators all agreed that Kochavi has entered at a politically sensitive period with numerous security challenges. Also in the news, conflicting reports about the indictment of the Jewish terror minor, the latest on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' visit at the UN and the Israeli Minister who doesn't want to let him come back, and a Twitter debate between the son of the Prime Minister and Peace Now.

The prosecutor’s statement said that the 'Jewish terror minor' who will be indicted for the murder of Aisha Rabi was involved in “serious security violations" in one of the most complicated investigations the Shin Bet has ever had, Maariv reported. Yet, Ynet reported that the minor will likely be indicted on manslaughter, i.e. for throwing the rock that broke through the windshield and hit Rabi in the head, killing her. Interestingly, police said that the other four suspects, who were released to house arrest, are still believed to be involved in the murder, which is considered by authorities an act of terrorism. However, a source told Haaretz that there is an "evidentiary difference" between the Rechelim settlement yeshiva student who is still in detention and the other four. As far as is known, all five refused to speak under interrogation, but the evidence against the detained suspect comes from outside sources.

Just before taking over from Egypt the leadership of the ‘Group of 77’ bloc of developing nations, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York, asking the UN to provide international protection for the Palestinian people. The UN chief said the two-state solution is the 'only path to peace.’ Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan suggested barring Abbas from returning to the West Bank after his next trip abroad, claiming Abbas was “one of the main instigators of violence on the southern border.”

**Ynet Hebrew reported on a Twitter argument between the son of the prime minister, Yair Netanyahu, and Peace Now. Netanyahu Tweeted that “The leftists worship the generals and then call us fascists." Those who run Peace Now's Twitter account were quick to respond.

Peace Now: ”Aside from writing and whining about leftists 24/7, did you ever think of expressing an original and relevant view once in your life, proving for once that you have something else in your personality besides hatred?"

Netanyahu: “Do you have an original view that is not dictated by the German government and the European Union?"

Peace Now: “That criticism is a little funny coming from someone whose values are consistent with the German government of the 1930s, is it not?”

Netanyahu: "As representatives of the German government in Israel, I must ask, what is your point in trying to transfer responsibility for the Holocaust and the Nazis among you, to us Jews in Israel?"

Peace Now: “Whoa, Netanyahu. As Jews, we have to ask, what is your thing about bringing anti-Semitic content to the Web and starring on anti-Semitic sites like the Daily Stormer? And do you also talk at home about donations from the German government, or is it forbidden to coordinate testimonies regarding the Submarine Affair?”

Netanyahu: "And as ‘Jews,’ why do you always support our Palestinian enemies, who murder Jews almost every day?"

Peace Now: "So, in your words, Peace Now are Nazis who support the murderers of Jews, representatives of the enemy. And then afterward you claim that we are slandering. Okay.”

Netanyahu: “Wasn’t it you who called me now a Nazi? Well, gotta go, I'm sick of you. Go to hell.”

Quick Hits:
  • Israeli settlers block road to Bethlehem-area village - Some 50 Israeli settlers gathered at entrance to Tuqu village preventing Palestinians from passing, which caused panic among locals. The settlers were under armed security by Israeli forces. (Maan+PHOTO)
  • Palestinian girl released after 39 months of imprisonment - Lama al-Bakri, 18, released Tuesday from administrative detention (jail without sentence). She was shot, seriously injured and detained for allegedly attempting to carry out a stabbing attack near the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba in Hebron. (Maan)
  • Israeli bulldozers raze lands in northern Gaza - Locals told Ma'an that four large D-9 Israeli military bulldozers entered dozens of meters into Palestinian lands, north of Beit Hanoun town, and began to raze the lands. Meanwhile, soldiers in Israeli military towers opened fire towards Palestinians east of al-Qarara town in southern Gaza. No injuries. (Maan)
  • Israeli army opens fire at Gazan youths near border - According to Hebrew-language news outlets, the Israeli army opened fire at the youths, however, no injuries were reported from the shooting. (Maan)
  • Israeli Army Suspects Man Crossed Into Lebanon - Lebanese army, Hezbollah reportedly searching for man wearing IDF uniform. (Haaretz+ and Maariv)
  • State calls for deportation of Human Rights Watch rep. - Almost eight months after the Israel-Palestine director of organization appealed his deportation order, the state replies by saying ‘appellant continues to promote boycott of Israel.’ (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israeli Watchdog Orders Re-examination of Netanyahu Legal Defense Funding - The permits committee in the State Comptroller’s Office has been ordered to hear the arguments of the prime minister's new lawyer, only weeks after it turned down a similar request to receive funds from tycoons. (Haaretz+)
  • (Jewish Israeli) doctor who said he would not treat Netanyahu: "I don't discriminate against anyone" - Dr. Yaron River, director of the neurology department at Hillel Yaffe Hospital, was heard telling doctors and nurses that if the prime minister needed medical treatment, he would refuse to treat him. (Maariv)
  • Culture Minister Blocked From Cutting Haifa Museum Funds Over ‘McJesus’ Controversy - In the wake of protests by local Christians, Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber warned Regev that cutting state funding for the museum would improperly infringe on freedom of expression. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Runaway tank rolls down hill in southern Israel after crew falls asleep - Tank commander had gone to the bathroom and when he returned he saw that his Merkava 4 tank was missing, only to be located on the other side of a main highway. (Haaretz+)
  • 2 men shot dead in Arab Israeli city of Tira; investigation underway - Victims named as Ashraf Hassan Fadili, 43, and Uday Abdelhai, 28. (Times of Israel)
  • Convicted terrorist farms land near Israeli settlement - Terrorist Rizq Salah killed IDF soldier Guy Friedman with an explosive device in 1990, but now he is allowed to [his] cultivate land near Netiv Ha'avot [a West Bank outpost - OH]; IDF: 'After verifying his right to the land and in the absence of other security impediments, his access to the land was allowed.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Tel Aviv to build 'Tent City' with glamping options for 2,000 Eurovision attendees - Campsite will be set up in the Yarkon Park, close to the EXPO Tel Aviv, where the pan-European music competition is to take place. The event is expected to attract over 10,000 international visitors. (Haaretz+)
  • 30,000 download app to document stories of Jews from Arab states - Released three weeks ago, Seeing the Voices app allows immigrants to Israel from Arab countries and Iran to record videos of them sharing personal stories • Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel says app makes mission "possible and accessible." (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel may be lauded as 'startup nation,' but its innovation ends at Tel Aviv's limits - Israeli innovation doesn’t reach most Israelis as a product or service – or as a job, report finds. (Haaretz+)
  • Thousands of Palestinians Strike in West Bank Over PA Social Security Law - The law looks to guarantee old-age allowances, workers’ compensation and paid maternity leave to private-sector employees. Private sector workers say employee withholding is too high, while supporters blame a disinformation campaign. (Haaretz+)
  • Almost 68% of Palestinians had internet connection in 2018 - The report added that Israeli forces detained 40 Palestinian social media users in 2018 for the posts on different platforms, including journalists. (Maan)
  • Israel set to begin exporting gas to Egypt in a few months' time - In interview on sidelines of regional gas forum in Cairo, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz says Israel, Egypt have discussed how to extend cooperation on natural gas. Agreement has stirred controversy in Egypt, which until recently exported gas to Israel. (Israel Hayom)
  • Malaysia says it won’t host any more events involving Israel - The predominantly Muslim country, which is a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause, refuses to budge over a ban on Israeli athletes in a para swimming competition; 'It’s about fighting on behalf of the oppressed,' Malaysia’s foreign minister says. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Iran ignores US and proceeds with satellite launch, which Netanyahu says fails - Iran claims rocket failed to reach 'necessary speed' in the third stage of launch. Israeli premier says Tehran is lying about nature of its tests and that Iran is trying to launch an international ballistic missile, not a satellite. U.S. had warned Tehran rocket launch would violate U.N. Security Council resolution because its ballistic missile technology can be used to launch warheads. (Israel Hayom and Haaretz)
  • Netanyahu warns Iran to leave Syria 'as quickly as possible' - Prime Minister Netanyahu dismisses Tehran's claims that its officials are in the war-battered country only in an advisory capacity. (Ynet)
  • Safe Zone in Syria Begins to Take Shape in Turkey-Trump Negotiations - Turkey has promised to take over the fight against Islamic State in Syria following the U.S. withdrawal. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Adviser Fired Over Involvement in Khashoggi Murder Remains Active in Saudi Court, Sources Say - Saud al-Qahtani, who has previously raised eyebrows for his influence in the kingdom, was dismissed as a top aid to the crown prince. Investigators say he gave Skype orders to the team inside the Saudi consulate. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Florida Governor Says Airbnb's Policy Targets Jews, Calls for Sanctions - After Airbnb removed listings in Israeli settlements, Gov. Ron DeSantis says he plans to suspend the use of Airbnb for state-paid travel and would consider barring the state's pension fund from invests in the company after. (Agencies, Haaretzand Ynet)
  • In Major Blow, Democratic National Committee Withdraws Women’s March Sponsorship - Democratic Jewish leader welcomed decision to 'take a principled stand against anti-Semitism'.  National Organization for Women also disappeared from new list of sponsors. (Haaretz+)

Here’s How Netanyahu Runs His Social Media Empire
Every day the prime minister broadcasts messages to millions of followers via dozens of accounts, some of them run with state funding, and some via private funding from less-than-transparent sources. (Refaella Goichman, Haaretz+)
IDF axes multi-million dollar projects paid for by taxpayer
Hundreds of defense projects, each worth more than Israel's annual medicine basket budget, have been either shelved or halted in recent years, after being deemed irrelevant, due to inadequate planning and lack of oversight. (Yoav Zitun, Ynet)
Could the FBI Hold 15,000 Israelis Criminally Responsible Over Binary Options?
Recent round of cases indicates that the FBI considers all employees, even those who left the industry years ago, potentially guilty of offenses that carry a maximum 20-year jail term. (Shelly Appelberg and Genia Wilensky, Haaretz)
This Moroccan-Jewish Singer Made Arabic Music Popular in France. Why Have Israelis Forgotten Her?
Maya Casabianca, the global 'goddess of song,' passed away last week at age 78. Why didn’t Israelis feel a deep connection with the Levantine singer with the deep and powerful voice? (Eness Elias, Haaretz+)
Moments before their fatal mission, Jewish WWII soldiers took these incredible photos of Egypt
A rare look at photographs taken by Jewish soldiers in British Mandatory Palestine during a World War II mission to Egypt. For some, this was their final mission. (Chen Malul, National Library, Haaretz+)

Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
This is perhaps the worst election campaign in the country's history (Talia Levin, Maariv) I wanted to write about the elections, to scold all those who says there’s no one to vote for and that they are sick of this country and to reprimand the politicians who are acting like children fighting over who gets the ball, but I prefer to bury my head in the sand for the next three months.
Israelis Love Their Army Chiefs (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) The people won’t give up on the illusion that the prime minister needs to be the military commander that will pick up the phone at 3 A.M.
The mask is off: Gantz is a leftist (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) By the time the Left realizes the Israel Resilience Party and its leader Benny Gantz are positioned to be the final nail in its coffin, it may be too late.
Concerted Attack by Right Casts Gantz as Clearest Threat to Netanyahu (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) The former chief of staff’s pledge to amend the nation-state law embodies the choice between patriotism and nationalism that awaits Israelis on April 9.
Gantz speaks, and the right goes wild (Sima Kadmon, Yedioth/Ynet) Benny Gantz's choice to make his first public political comments about the Nation-State Law, on which there's near consensus, could have been his way to ambush the right. Or maybe we're just putting too much meaning into it.
Gantz just doesn't get it (Matan Peleg, Israel Hayom) Anyone who uses the nation-state law to garner votes or the media's approval is making a mistake. Israel Resilience Party chief Gantz would be wise to read the nation-state law and calculate a new path.
Who’s Afraid of Transparency? (Haaretz Editorial) Despite opposition from Netanyahu and the Likud, further restrictions on election propaganda is needed to safeguard democratic values.
The (Likud) bibots scream out what’s on Netanyahu's message page. Don’t confuse them with the facts (Yitzhak Ben-Ner, Maariv) Miri Regev, Oren Hazan, Nava Boker, and all the others are the clones of the bots from the social media networks, those in Hebrew and those translated from the language of a foreign country, which threaten to intervene in the elections. For the sake of the prime minister, they are ready to spill their guts in a non-stop blab.

Thank Kahlon for Defending the Israeli Government’s Gatekeepers (Amir Fuchs, Haaretz+) All of Israel’s recent governing coalitions have included a civil libertarian component. We can only hope that the next coalition will contain at least one party that will take up the liberal center-right banner.
No days of grace: the challenges facing Aviv Kochavi (Tal Lev-Ram, Maariv) Gaza will occupy him, Iran will increase the threat from Syria, and Hezbollah won’t give up its precision missiles. But the most important challenges that Eizenkot's replacement will face are from inside the army. As on senior officer said: "The ethos of the fighter in recent years, in the regular army and the reserves, is eroding. To blame it only on external causes of processes in Israeli society is to escape from dealing with it. You have to invest resources and make good quality training. More motivation, pride and compensation. So the stain will decrease. The danger is from within, not from the outside…The IDF knows what to do; It just has to want to do it."
Israel's New Army Chief Gets to Work. This Is What Awaits Him (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Any revolutionary plans Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi may have could be stalled by a prime minister busy with elections and embroiled in investigations.
Kochavi's new challenges as chief of staff (Yossi Yehoshua, Yedioth/Ynet) The new IDF chief of staff will need to find a way to keep the army outside the political game amid the April 9 elections, formulate a national plan to boost motivation among new recruits, and make the adjustments needed to handle Israel's volatile fronts.
The moral travesty of Israel seeking Arab and Iranian money for its alleged Nakba (Ramzy Baroud, Maan) The game is afoot. Israel, believe it or not, is demanding that seven Arab countries and Iran pay $250 billion as compensation for what it claims was the forceful exodus of Jews from Arab countries during the late 1940s.
Debunking the 'Startup Nation' myth: How Israel's economy cut itself off from the world (Meirav Arlosoroff, Haaretz+) Despite its flashy image, Israel is a superpower of mediocrity and inefficiency, with a resulting 23-percent plunge in international trade during the last decade.
The end is no different from the beginning (Ariel Bolstein, Israel Hayom) PA President Mahmoud Abbas has proven a disaster for every aspect of Palestinian life. The economy is a disaster, as are human rights in the PA. Even his most loyal followers are hoping he steps down soon.
(Culture Minister Miri) Regev presented the artists of the left-wing as victims of political persecution and proved that they are crybabies (Prof. Arieh Eldad, Maariv) The Minister of Culture and Sport, who has completed four years of service, has significantly increased the budgets and proved how much left-wing Israeli artists are spoiled.
Why Jewish Women Must Not Quit the Women's March (Emma Goldberg, Haaretz+) The Women’s March is America's most vital and effective coalition for resisting hate. We Jewish women must be part of it
'We Mustn't Break the Hope That Still Exists': 2019 Israel Forces Arab Actor to Confront Identity Politics
The blend of Israeli Jewish and Arab cultures, Hebrew and Arabic, village origins and the Tel Aviv bubble – all of this informed the life and work of 24-year-old actor Ala Dakka, who preferred not to define his identity. But now, he's reached a turning point. (Interviewed by Gili Izikovich in Haaretz+)

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