News Nosh 1.17.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday January 17, 2019
Quote of the Day #1:
"In Kafr Qassem, they respect me and make sure that we finish every game before Shabbat begins and that we finish every training or game at an hour so that I'll get home without being under pressure."
--Religious Jewish Israeli soccer player Ohad Edelstein talks about why he's playing with Kafr Qassem, a Muslim Arab Israeli soccer team, for the third season straight.*

Quote of the Day #2:
"I'm ashamed that Israeli citizens, soldiers, bereaved parents and disabled IDF veterans need to go out in the rain to demand the most basic thing – equality. This is a disgrace to the country and we will fix the nation-state law."
--Yesh Atid party Chairman, Yair Lapid, said to Druze activists who demonstrated outside his home against the Jewish Nation-State Law, as they did outside the homes of other leading politicians.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom

Elections 2019 News:
*The Druze have brought their protest against the Jewish Nation-State Law to the homes of Israeli political leaders. Yesterday they visited Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, Labor chairman Avi Gabbay and Gesher chairwoman Orly Levi-Abekasis. Three more Labor MKs said they won’t run in the party’s primaries: First MKs Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin, followed by Eitan Broshi and Hilik Bar. In an interview in Maariv today, Nahmias-Verbin attacked Labor party chairman Avi Gabbay and said, ”We are not fulfilling our historic role. Instead of the party being the central axis on which the entire left-center camp relies, it is losing direction, and the public has long ceased to see us as a ruling party."

‘Israel Hayom’ reported that polls showed that Likud was still in the lead, with Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid neck-and-neck with each other, but far behind Likud. (Gantz today launched his campaign in an online video today with the election slogan  "Israel Before Everything.”) Despite the lead in polls, Netanyahu will be getting a boost a before elections, Israel Hayom reported. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is slated to make a historic visit a week before elections and likely to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital during the four-day visit. But it seems Netanyahu’s party is not confident of a win. The Likud is also working to prevent transparency of online propaganda, oddly saying that it “contradicts the foundations of our democracy.” The legislation to make online propaganda transparent is meant to prevent foreign countries from intervening in the elections. But while Likud opposes rules on election propaganda, Facebook may enforce them.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu’s former comrade-in-arms established a new Arab-Jewish political party named Lema'anenu (For Our Sakes)—that offers a very different vision to that of hNetanyahu. Amos Danieli, who even saved the prime minister’s life during a 1969 operation, said that time and politics pushed the two friends apart. “Politics caused us to become distant,” says Danieli. “He can’t call anyone who doesn't agree with him a traitor." And, Israel’s ultra-Orthodox parties ended their rift and agree to remain together in the next election.

Top News Summary:
The scandal that is rocking the country: the chairman of the Israel Bar Association, Effi Naveh, was arrested on suspicion of receiving sexual bribes in return for judicial appointments making today’s top news story. A female judge, who allegedly had sex with him in order to get appointed a magistrates judge, and a female lawyer, who allegedly had sex with him in order to get her judge husband promoted, were also questioned as suspects. Naveh, considered one of the most powerful people in the judicial system, is a close political ally of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and “has been a key member of the Judicial Appointment panel whose support in committee votes has been crucial in helping the justice minister fulfill her goal of appointing a larger number of conservative and religious judges,” Haaretz wrote. In the court Wednesday, the judge decided to put Naveh under house arrest for eight days and bar him from his own law firm and from the Israel Bar Association for one month. Today Naveh resigned from his position as head of the Bar. The Israeli legal world reacted with horror - as did the Israeli commentators. (See Commentary/Analysis below.)

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu leaves Saturday for a historic first visit of an Israeli Prime Minister to Chad, where he will formally re-establish ties between the two countries, nearly half a decade after Muslim country cut them.

And, Reshet 13 TV reported that US President Donald Trump’s "Deal of the Century" will include a a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem and entail Israel annexing Jewish settlement blocs in the West Bank. The plan reportedly gives the Palestinian state 90% of the West Bank and promises to "dry up" settlements. Isolated settlements would either be evacuated or their construction halted. The Holy Basin in Jerusalem will be under Israeli sovereignty, but under joint management. U.S. Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt said the report "is not accurate." (Also Maariv)

And in New York, the Palestinians have plans for the US: re-submitting its application for full UN membership. Palestine just assumed presidency of the Group of 77 and China in the United Nations and now “the United States will have no choice but to negotiate with Palestine in its capacity as chair of this organization,” Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said.

Quick Hits:
  • Israeli forces demolish Palestinian home in Jordan Valley - Israeli bulldozers demolished a house in the Fasayel area of the Jordan Valley belonging to local Adnan Abu Kharbish, and it consists of three bedrooms, a kitchen and facilities. (Maan)
  • Israeli bulldozers demolish caravan in West Bank village in Jordan Valley - Despite hiring an attorney after he had received a demolition notice four months ago, the Israeli authorities carried on with the demolition Wednesday of a caravan owned by Abed al-Hadi Abyat in the Fasayel village in the district of Jericho, leaving his family homeless. (Maan)
  • Israel prepares to demolish house of Palestinian attack suspect - Israeli forces raided the house of Khalil al-Jabbarin, 17, who had carried out a stabbing attack in the Gush Etzion settlement south of Hebron, last September. (Maan)
  • OCHA: 'Humanitarian operations undermined by Israeli government' - Attempts to delegitimize humanitarian and human rights organizations operating in the occupied Palestinian territories have been on the rise and advanced by Israeli government and civil society groups, the UN said in a report. (Maan)
  • Israeli Museum to Remove Divisive 'McJesus' Sculpture - Mayor says work will no longer be displayed following discussions with church leaders. Creator previously asked museum to remove his work to protest Israeli policies. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • South Jerusalem Palestinians left without postal services for two weeks over employee corruption charges - Five staffers were detained on suspicion of stealing from Postal Bank accounts. Branch cannot be immediately reopened because it ran as an agency rather than by Israel Postal Company. (Haaretz+)
  • KKL halts security infrastructure projects in Gaza border communities - After announcing its decision to invest NIS 100 million in security infrastructure in southern communities, the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael freezes the works due to dispute with the Finance Ministry. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • 'Hebron observer mission deliberately creates friction' - Report by Judea and Samaria District Police says the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) is disrupting IDF and police work in the Palestinian city in order to justify their high salaries. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Police suspect murder after 21-year-old Israeli woman found dead in Australia - Aya Masarwe, an Arab-Israeli student from Baqa al-Gharbiyeh who studied at Shanghai University in China, was in Melbourne on a study abroad program and was murdered while on a video call with her sister. She will be buried in Israel. (Haaretz+, Maariv, Israel Hayom and Ynet)
  • Wolf Prize 2019: Israeli architect, biochemist who linked weight gain to hormone among winners - The laureates in the five categories include Yad Vashem architect Moshe Safdie, chemists, mathematicians and an Israeli-American economist. (Haaretz+)
  • Gal Gadot to voice Wonder Woman character in Lego Movie 2 - The Lego Movie will not be Gadot's first venture into animation, as the Israeli star recently voiced herself in an episode of The Simpsons and portrayed a race driver in 'Ralph Breaks the Internet.’ (Haaretz)
  • The jumping ambassador takes a leap with special needs youth - Israel's ambassador to Macedonia, known for photos of him in mid-air in front of world's best-known landmarks, joins a social project involving young people with disabilities. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • 40 UN ambassadors to visit Israel on Holocaust Remembrance Day - A delegation of U.N. ambassadors from countries such as Panama, South Sudan, Ukraine to mark International Holocaust Day in Israel following a tour of Nazi death camps in Poland. Holocaust memorial monument found toppled in Ramat Gan. (Israel Hayom)
  • Hamas Interrogates Italian Diplomats It Suspected Were Israeli Special-ops Team - Reports in Gaza say Hamas security personnel pursued the four men after they failed to stop at a checkpoint and were carrying automatic weapons. Diplomats sought refuge in UN headquarters. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Al-Qassam fighter dies of wounds sustained in accident - Hamdi Abed al-Karim Hijazi, a member of the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas movement, succumbed on Wednesday to wounds he had sustained in an accidental explosion last week. (Maan)
  • Iranian state TV: FBI arrested our American-born news anchor - Marzieh Hashemi, who was born in New Orleans as Melanie Franklin, was arrested after arriving in St. Louis, says Press TV. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • At Least Four American Soldiers Among Casualties in Attack on U.S.-led Coalition in Northern Syria - At least 16 civilians were killed in the blast, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. ISIS claimed responsibility. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran vows to keep forces in Syria after Netanyahu warns of more strikes - Revolutionary Guards chief says Israel should 'be afraid of the day that our precision-guided missiles roar and fall on your head.’ (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Iran Says It Will Be Ready for New Satellite Launch in a Few Months - After a failed launch earlier this week, which Israel's Netanyahu warned was hiding efforts to develop intercontinental ballistic missile, other Western leaders warn against Tehran's attempts to deliver a nuclear weapon. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Turkey-backed rebels await 'zero hour' to attack Syrian Kurds in Manbij - The YPG fear the U.S. withdrawal will open the way for a threatened Turkish attack into northern Syria, including Manbij. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Turkey's lira dubbed the 'comeback kid' of the year - but can Trump still destroy a full recovery - So far the Turkish lira is the worst performing emerging market currency in 2019. Yet others seem hopeful it could stabilize. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Somali Militants Say Deadly Kenya Attack Was Revenge for Trump's Jerusalem Move - Shabab statement says attack was response to Trump's 'witless remarks' and 'declaration of Al-Quds as the capital of Israel.’ (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Yemen Fighters Begin Prisoner Exchange Talks in Jordan as Part of UN Peace Efforts - Delegates from Iran-aligned Houthi movement and the Saudi-backed Yemeni government meet in Amman to discuss implementation of deal reached in UN-led talks. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • U.S. Official Warns Israel Over Chinese Investments, Citing Cyber Security and Intelligence Concerns - Secretary of Energy Dan Brouilette says during Israel visit that investments could lead to allies hesitating to share intel amid concerns that firms are conducting espionage. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • US Army seeks to buy 2 Iron Dome batteries from Israel - For the first time, US to acquire a full weapons system from Israel to defend its troops in battlefields abroad; the US Army is asking Congress for $373 million for the deal, with the expected delivery date being 2020. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Rashida Tlaib Called a 'Danger' Who Might 'Blow Up' Capitol by Florida City Commissioner - The Council on American-Islamic Relations has demanded Annabelle Lima-Taub resign. (Haaretz)
  • Rabbis Endorse Women's March After Addressing anti-Semitism Concerns With Organizers - Rabbis say that differences remain but encourage Jewish community members to attend Saturday's march. (JTA, Haaretz)

The Race for the Next Dead Sea Scrolls, and Why We May Lose It
Decades after first ancient Jewish texts were found at Qumran, hundreds of caves around the Dead Sea could yield more. But we have to hurry. (Moshe Gilad, Haaretz+)
14,000,000 Euros - The man worth millions
Let that sink in: That's the astronomical amount that Sevilia soccer team paid for striker Munas Dabbur, who became the most expensive Israeli soccer player of all times. (Dabbur, 26, is a Muslim Arab-Israeli from Nazareth. - OH) (Ynet Hebrew/Yedioth sport supplement, cover, and Maariv, full back page.

Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
The system of slander is baseless: Soon we will hear about Benny Gantz's "Arab mother" (Avraham Tirosh, Maariv) Despite a brief statement to Druze activists at the entrance to his home, the Chief of Staff is still silent - and this is driving crazy his political opponents, some of whom have open accounts with him from the past.
A Comprehensive List of Israelis I Will No Longer Speak to After the April 9 Election (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Including those who cite illness as an excuse for not voting, unless suffering from heart attack, brain seizure or permanent death.
As a leader who hears the voices emerging from the people, the prime minister decided to crown himself king (Natan Zehav, Maariv) For Netanyahu, the time has come for the restoration of the kingdom of Israel. And the Likud propagandists are putting Gantz on the stake as if his father has a fake brewery that causes death.

Sex for judgeship case: Arrest of top Israeli lawyer won't put end to corruption (Gidi Weitz, Haaretz+) In her enthusiasm to fulfill her agenda, Israel's justice minister ignored all the warning signs regarding Effi Nave and gave him a dangerous level of power.
The sin of arrogance, in the case of Effi Naveh, was heavy and the punishment even heavier (Ben Caspit, Maariv) In recent years, Effi Naveh, the chairman of the Israel Bar Association, has concentrated tremendous power and great information. At some point, the popular justice minister (Ayelet Shaked) will also have to explain how she failed to read the writing on the wall.
The Left's self-serving outrage (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) Hysteria-peddling left-wing pundits are trying to implicate Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked in the scandal rocking in our legal world merely because they want to derail her efforts to reform our judiciary.
Shaked’s Responsibility (Haaretz Editorial)The shift in the balance of power on the Judicial Selection Committee – away from the justices and toward the politicians – is what made possible the actions now under investigation.
When the sunlight does not shine, the path to shady deals is much easier and more convenient (Avishai Greenzweig, Maariv) Transparency is a fundamental value for the integrity of every public and governmental system. The system that is concerned with integrity must act in this way and set a personal example.
Fake News? Not at Hebrew University (Asher Cohen and Barak Medina, Haaretz+) We are an Israeli university and proud of it. We are a pluralistic university that believes in equality for all and freedom of opinion, and we’re proud of it.
Hilltop youth have rights, too (Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel Hayom) While we can condemn the hilltop youth for causing real damage, those who would deny them their rights, deny the very essence of the existence of a democratic state.
My settler sister knows her enemies. First of all, she hates the Germans. Then the Arabs (Arnon Grunberg, Haaretz+) The less you know about your enemies, the easier it is to project all your fantasies on to them. The closer you come to the other, the more you see the vulnerabilities, the paradoxes, the contradictions. Part two of a three part report.
The Return of Militarism (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) A wild militaristic orgy is now at its height, as it was back then, following the 1967 Six-Day War.
Nasrallah, Iran, and Israel's end game (Shimrit Meir, Yedioth/Ynet) Perhaps Hezbollah's secretary-general is not 100% well, or perhaps he's simply employing a new media strategy following IDF operation to destroy his organization's attack tunnels - one of enigmatic silence.
Difficult starting conditions: Kochavi will have to be a subcontractor for the government’s helplessness in regards to Gaza (Yossi Melman, Maariv) The new chief of staff took office when the civil war in Syria was concluding and the Iranians are more determined than ever, but the most serious problem is Netanyahu's lack of policy vis-a-vis Hamas. In the absence of a political initiative, the IDF will have to be a subcontractor for the government's helplessness, and embark on a war that no one wants and which can not be won.
In First, Arab Countries Admit Israel Into a Regional Alliance. But There Is a Price (Ora Coren, Haaretz+) Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum, which counts Egypt, Jordan and Palestinian Authority as members, could serve as level to pressure Israel and interfere with domestic energy development.
Neither Hamas nor Iran: (Former chief of staff) Eizenkot's most important war was against the politicians (Ran Edelist, Maariv) The outgoing chief of staff did not destroy the terror organization and did not eliminate the Iranian threat, but he managed to defeat the irresponsible decision makers. The politicians demanded that Eisenkot take a pound of blood to quell anxieties. Instead of crazy plans to eliminate the Iranians in Syria and Lebanon, or the Palestinians in Gaza, the chief of staff preferred to blow up a facility here and an outpost there in order to calm the Jews, knowing that this would not change the situation in any way. The evidence that he thought that way was that this was exactly what happened and is happening on the ground.
The most dangerous thing Trump could do yet, and its nightmare fallout for Israel (Daniel B. Shapiro, Haaretz+) Trump pulling the U.S. out of NATO increases Israel's vulnerability just when threats to its security are intensifying. Netanyahu must use all his influence to dissuade Trump from following through.
Why These American Jews Will Be Participating in This Year’s Women’s March (Danielle Ziri, Haaretz+) A number of the movement’s chapters across the U.S. have sought to distance themselves from the anti-Semitism-roiled D.C. leadership and are vowing to take to the streets on Saturday - but some chapters admit they will need to create a separate identity for next year.

*Everything is from the heavens
"In Kafr Qassem, they respect me and make sure that we finish every game before Shabbat begins and that we finish every training or game at an hour so that I'll get home without being under pressure. And at away games, they make sure that I can get in time to wherever I am being hosted on Shabbat. The club takes care of everything, even to get me kosher food at the training camps abroad. I played in the national league and also in the super league with Hapoel Petach Tikvah and I always found solutions [to religious dilemmas - OH], but now I enjoy more what I'm doing and I'm in a place where they appreciate me. That's the most important thing."  A moment before the game against Kiryat Shmoneh, Ohad Edelstein, 26, talks about life as a religious Jew on an Arab soccer team and he prays for a sensation and to get to the semi-finals, with the help of G-d and his friends from Kafr Qassem. (Interviewed by Maor Levy in Yedioth sport supplement)
How are relations between Jewish and Muslim players on the team?
OE: "There is co-existence and there is respect among everyone. There really are very good relations between the players and every one respects the religion of the other. We are where we are in the league because of the (good) connection and the cohesiveness (among us in the) changing room."
On his coach, Ismail Amer, Edelstein has only good words:
OE: "The connection between me and Ismail is excellent. Aside from the fact that he's an outstanding coach he is first of all a mensch. I always feel open to talk to him about everything. I love and respect him, and he is one of the reasons I stayed here another season. Ismail give me a lot of confidence and thank G-d that is reflected on the field."
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.