News Nosh 2.11.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday February 11, 2019
 
Quote of the day:
"It doesn't really matter who is behind the wheel, as long as he is responsible like she is."
--Passenger on Israeli Egged public bus said about the first Muslim woman from E. Jerusalem to drive an Egged bus.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
75.
The number of votes that Minister Zeev Elkin won for the Likud party primaries at the polling station in a Jewish settlement enclave in Hebron, despite there being only 67 voters.**

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

Elections 2019 News:
**Some 58,000 registered Labor voters get to go to the polls today to elect their Knesset candidates, as the Labor Party faces one of its greatest crises with all times low popularity, and 44 contenders are vying for possibly only six seats in the Knesset. And a Likud official called for a recount of votes from the Likud primaries or he will appeal to the court, Maariv reported. Irregularities included Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz winning 1,061 votes in the city of Netivot, while the total number of voters in the ballot box stood at 1,047. In Hebron, Minister Zeev Elkin won 75 votes, but there were only 67 voters and in Bnei Brak, 334 people voted, but Miri Regev received 436 votes. (Maariv)
  • Shas Leader Arye Dery Drops Effort to Form Joint ultra-Orthodox Ticket - The leader of Mizrahi ultra-Orthodox Shas party ended speculations over a joint run with its Ashkenazi counterpart in the April election. (Haaretz and Maariv)
  • MKs against Prime Minister: Likud court will discuss the petition to cancel Netanyahu's armor - The party's court will examine the petition filed, inter alia, by MKs David Bitan, Yoav Kish, Shereen Haskel and Miki Zohar, who dropped low on the list because of the requests that were approved to save (2 spots) for the prime minister. [Note: Also because they were not popular! - OH] (Maariv)
  • Increasing efforts for joint ticket in right-wing bloc - After the zigzag in relations, Habayit Hayehudi hopes to return to negotiations with Haichud Haleumi within the next two days. Netanyahu made clear to Rafi Peretz: There is no chance of a joint list of Habayit Hayehudi and Likud party. (Yedioth p. 6 and Maariv)
  • Adina Bar-Shalom meets today with Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid - Bar-Shalom, chairwoman of the religious-secular ‘Achi Yisraeli’ (Israeli brother) party and the daughter of Rabbi Yosef, will meet with Lapid to discuss the possibility of running in the coming elections on a joint ticket. (Maariv)
  • (MK) Oren Hazan: “The Prime Minister thinks he’s a king, Yair Netanyahu is a nerd” - The (controversial) Likud Knesset member, who was pushed into a bottom place on the Knesset list, slammed the prime minister and his son: "They operated a war room against me; there is a royal house here.” (Maariv)
  • Kulanu slams report over maneuvers for joint centrist ticket - Kulanu rules out a joint candidate list with Yesh Atid in the April 9 election, following Israel Hayom report on internal polling to test waters • Kulanu says it is the only party that is "putting people first," won't sow divisions within electorate. (Israel Hayom)
  • New Book on Amazon Claims to Outline Benny Gantz's Agenda. There's Only One Catch - 'Benny Gantz: Mindset, Opinions and Thoughts' is available for purchase for 4.99 dollars. (Haaretz)
Election profiles:
The Arab candidate in the Likud demands that Netanyahu give her a saved spot on the list and goes against the ministers
Dima Tayeh of Kafr Manda tried to challenge the Likud and bring the Arab sector good news. But the 43rd place she got in the Likud primaries caused the young Muslim woman who supports Israel great distress, and at the same time she was declared a traitor by the people of her nation (Palestinian citizens of Israel - OH). Now she turns to the Prime Minister: “Save me a place on the list.” (Meir Uziel, Maariv Magazine supplement, pp. 6-7)

Meet the candidate: Ali Salalha will work for quality education
Elections 2019: The educator and principal who transformed Beit Jann into Israel's best-known school for education is running on the Meretz list for the Knesset and promises to fight the offensive Nation-State Law. "I am Ali Salalah, 66, an educator and principal for close to 40 years. I managed to bring Beit Jan, a small Druze community from the Galilee, from 13% who pass matriculation exams to 100%, and to become the best community in Israel in education. This is without giving up on any child and without any child leaving school. We advanced the weak and the strong." (Maariv)

Other Top News Summary:
The Shin Bet declared that the brutal murder of 19-year-old Ori Ansbacher from Tekoa settlement at the (Gilo) forest by a 29-year-old Palestinian from Hebron was nationalistically motivated - in other words, an act of terror. Arafat Irfaiya, 29, reenacted the murder in the forest [over the Green Line - OH] for interrogators and the IDF mapped his home ahead of a possible demolition. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu paid a condolence visit to the home of Ansbacher’s parents and promised to implement next week a law to deduct the salaries of Palestinian security prisoners from tax money Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. Youth from the West Bank settlement of Tekoa, where Ansbacher lived, began an initiative to commemorate her by calling on hikers around the country [including the Palestinian territories - OH] to photograph themselves and tag the photo with the words "to be a free people in our country.” (Maariv)

Two Israelis were killed and 51 were injured in a traffic accident when a bus collided with a rescue vehicle on the West Bank ['Apartheid Road' - OH] 443 highway that goes through the West Bank, connecting Modiin and Givat Zeev to Jerusalem.
 
Quick Hits:
  • Israel Says Will Legalize West Bank Homes Built on Private Palestinian Land - State tells court it will retroactively legalize structures in Alei Zahav, invoking new legal mechanism for the first time. (Haaretz+ and i24news)
  • Demolitions of Unauthorized Bedouin Buildings on the Rise - Increasingly, however, the Bedouin raze the buildings themselves to avoid paying the state the cost of tearing them down. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli settlers attack school, injure students in Nablus - A number of Palestinian students suffered injuries after dozens of Israeli settlers from the illegal Yitzhar settlement raided Urif village and broke into a local high school. Heavily armed Israeli forces provided protection to the settlers as they raided the high school and later escorted them out of the area. 10 students suffered from tear-gas inhalation. (Maan)
  • Palestinian battling cancer is denied exit from Gaza for treatment - The medical care Ahlam Abu Musa needs isn’t available through Gaza’s debilitated health system, but the Israeli army has denied all four of her exit requests. (+972mag)
  • Egypt intervenes after 2 Palestinians killed in Friday riots - Two Palestinian teens fatally shot after throwing explosives, rocks at IDF troops across the Gaza border. Gaza Health Ministry says 17 wounded. Egypt reining in terrorist groups in Gaza to prevent violence from hampering a Hamas-Fatah reconciliation. (Israel Hayom)
  • After a period of relative calm: Incendiary balloons were launched from the Gaza Strip to Israel and Hamas resumes night time clashes on Gaza border - Months after the nightly rioting stopped, clashes restarted east of Jabalia, with dozens of Palestinians launching firecrackers and fireworks at IDF forces on Sunday night, not in the framework of the Friday March of Return demonstrations. A Palestinian was injured by IDF fire, responding to the throwing of stun grenades against them. (Ynet and Maariv)
  • More Jewish and Arab Students Sharing Israeli Classrooms - Educators attribute 60-percent increase over five years in enrollment to bilingual schools to growing frustration over lack of progress on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Haaretz+)
  • Number of Israeli Arab Ph.D. candidates more than doubled in a decade - The Israeli Council of Higher Education calls these statistics a 'revolution.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Report: Mossad helped smuggle Iranian nuclear scientist to Europe - According to a report in the Sunday Express, a 47-year-old nuclear technician was transferred to Britain in a migrants' boat in a joint operation of the Israeli intelligence agency, the British MI6, and the CIA. (Ynet, Maariv and Israel Hayom)
  • Report: Israel spying on Iran from US base in Afghanistan - Iranian, Russian news agencies report Israeli forces operating out of U.S. Air Force base some 75 miles from Iranian border • Intelligence gathering, combat experience in local conditions behind Israeli presence, agencies quote Israeli expert as saying. (Israel Hayom)
  • State comptroller to investigate soaring budget for PM’s private jet - Cost of ‘Israel’s Air Force One’ has jumped from $50 million to $160 million, and it’s still unclear when specially outfitted aircraft will enter service. (Times of Israel and Maariv)
  • Trailblazer: Israel gets its first ever Druze athletics champion - 24-year-old (female) medical engineering student from the northern village of Daliat el-Carmel makes history for track and field win, says she hopes to be an inspiration to other women in her community. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Party Drug or Breakthrough Treatment? Israel approves compassionate use of MDMA to treat PTSD - Recreational use of MDMA, also known as ecstasy, is forbidden in Israel where the drug is considered dangerous. But a trial treatment may soon change that. (Haaretz+)
  • New face of Israeli recycling campaign: Hezbollah leader Nasrallah - 'Nasrallah has been stuck in a bunker for 12 years. What is your excuse?' (Haaretz+, Israel Hayom and Ynet)
  • 'Game of Thrones' Actress to Star in Israeli Horror Movie - Lena Headey, who plays Cersei Lannister, will be taking up a leading role in 'Gunpowder Milkshake' by acclaimed directors Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado. (Haaretz+)
  • The ‘Arabic Booker Prize’ Could Make History This Year - This could be the first time a woman is named the sole winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction. (Haaretz+)
  • Netherlands recognizes Gaza, West Bank as official birthplaces for Palestinians - Palestinians living in the Netherlands who were born after 1948 will now be allowed to register the Strip and the West Bank as their place of birth, instead of Israel or unknown. (Haaretz+, Maan and Ynet)
  • Abbas calls on African Union to support international peace conference - During his speech at the 32nd African Union Summit in Ethiopia's capital of Addis Ababa on Sunday, Abbas warned against Israel’s attempts to change the character and identity of the city of Jerusalem, and its call on some states to transfer their embassies to it. (Maan)
  • UNRWA report finds anti-Israel bias in 3 percent of Palestinian textbooks - The review did not find any cases of incitement, and majority of bias issues were related to maps and the status of Jerusalem. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Iran Offers Support to Lebanese Army on Official Visit - Development comes after Hezbollah leader urged Lebanon to accept anti-aircraft weapons from Iran to confront Israeli warplanes. (Agencies, Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Amid battle, thousands of civilians trapped in Islamic State's last remaining pocket in Syria - 'There are fears over the lives of thousands who are stranded,' head of Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • In a chaotic, neglected Mosul, Iraqis struggles to recover from ISIS rule - The regional governor denies allegations of fraud and says not enough money is coming to his office to fund rehabilitation. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Saudis invest billions to make 'haunted' antiquities site a tourist draw - The development of Al-Ula is part of a push to attract non-Muslim tourists and temper the austere strain of Sunni Islam that has dominated Saudi Arabia for decades. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Morocco recalls envoy to Saudi Arabia for consultations - The recall is due to the airing by Saudi TV channel Al Arabiya of a documentary that diverged from the Moroccan position on the Western Sahara issue, the ambassador told Le360. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Saudi Arabia Denies Involvement in Bezos-AMI Blackmail Scandal: 'Like a Soap Opera' - In a blog post, Jeff Bezos alluded to Saudi Arabia's displeasure at the Bezos-owned Washington Post's coverage of the murder of its columnist and Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Egypt's Sissi Elected New Chairman of African Union - Amnesty International warns the Egyptian president's poor human rights record could bode badly for the African Union. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Turkey calls on China to close internment camps for Muslims - Turkish foreign minister calls incarceration of more than one million ethnic Uighur people in 'forced indoctrination' camps a 'great shame for humanity.’ (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • U.S. Employee Takes Israeli Firm to Court for Failing to Protect From Sexual Assault - Lawsuit asserts Caesarstone, the Israeli maker of quartz countertops, failed to protect an employee from sexual assault and harassment by a major customer and for tolerating a workplace environment that “condoned sexual harassment.” (Haaretz+)
  • Kevin McCarthy Promises ‘Action’ Against Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib - Republican leader in House says statements by the congresswomen are equal to ones by Steve King, who said he doesn't understand why 'white supremacy' is stigmatized. (Haaretz and Ynet)


Features:
Gaza's entrepreneurs: Dreams and ambition in a tough neighborhood
Young Gazan business owners remain optimistic despite facing unique challenges and obstacles including limited power supply, difficulty obtaining Israeli exit permits to attend professional conferences and export their products. (Elior Levy, Ynet)
The village in the Galilee that has become a weapons warehouse controlled by criminals: the sad story of Tuba Zangaria
A gun battle and throwing grenades at politicians, the burning of the village council building and of a kindergarten, a helpless police station and 6,500 residents who are afraid to open their mouths. Near Kfar Hanassi and Rosh Pina, a small settlement has been under local terror for years, but no one is willing to cooperate in order to end it. "Bedouin are Bedouins," explains the former council head. A filmed visit to no man's land in the heart of the Upper Galillee. (Hassan Shaalan and Asaf Kamer in Ynet Hebrew+VIDEO)
The Ethiopian babies who disappeared without a trace
The stories are the same: healthy infants were born to new Ethiopian migrants in Israel in the 1980s but were suddenly declared dead, with families not getting a chance to say goodbye or even bury them. With no graves to be found, some families don't even have death certificates. MK Pnina Tamano-Shata, whose family also lost two babies, demands a state commission of inquiry. (Shirit Bruk and Yehuda Shohat, Yedioth '7 Days' supplement/Ynet)
 
Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
Labor Is Dead, and There's Only One Way to Revive It (Avraham Burg, Haaretz+) Keeping it alive by artificial means will only humiliate the suffering patient and obscure its former greatness.
Fear and loathing in the Labor Party (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) Labor may have ended its historical role, but this is not the time to put it aside. When casting their ballots in the party's primaries, its voters must think about the center-left bloc and the day after the elections.
These Politicians Are Instagram Stars. But Can They Save Their Party? (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) While Merav Michaeli and Stav Shaffir campaign for Labor ahead of Monday's primaries, both women already have their sights set on a post-Gabbay future.
Do Israelis vote for political ideology or cult of personality? (Dahlia Scheindlin, +972mag) Although Israelis have historically voted for strong political frontmen, it seems that dazzling personalities are no longer sufficient to winning elections. It turns out that voters are looking at the values, worldview, and policies.
Et tu, Benny? (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) Lt. Gen. Gantz seems to be suggesting unilateral withdrawals and another disengagement. This is frightening and clarifying. Judicious conflict management requires a steady hand at the helm of state.
“Zero leadership, zero management ability": the shocking testimonies from Gantz's cyber company (Ben Caspit, Maariv) Gantz's term in the cyber company, Fifth Dimension, shows a picture of a weak sluggish chairman devoid of initiative or independent drive, which turned into the marionette of the dominant CEO. And that's not all.
The loyal: Once again Likud members declare they will apply (Israeli) sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, but talk is easy (Prof. Aryeh Eldad, Maariv) As in every primaries, members of the ruling party swear to the Greater Land of Israel, but their party has been in power for 32 years, and one grain of land has not been annexed, so should we believe in words or deeds?
Memo to the Israeli Left: Learn From Trump (Tzvia Greenfield, Haaretz+) Contrary to the media propaganda against him, hated American president knows how to formulate new approaches that can change reality.
Tehran eyes Israel's elections (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) Iran wants the current Likud government to fall and at the very least to deter Israel from continuing the campaign against its entrenchment efforts in Syria. In the meantime, this hasn't been working.
Tibi, as an Arab politician in Israel, you can’t be half pluralist (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) As election nears and with the Joint List splitting up, why should only one Arab party behave responsibly while the other is free of that burden?

Commentary/Analysis:
Restore Wadi Ara Train Line Plan (Haaretz Editorial) Israel neglects the area, whose residents suffer a transportation crisis, because most of them are Arabs.
Minorities complain of humiliating (security) checks? Go complain to the terrorists (Meir Uziel, Maariv) I once suggested that every airport in the world have huge signs: "We are sorry, because of Arab terror we must make checks and make you uncomfortable." The same sign should also be on the Separation Wall. (Uziel writes about an Op-Ed in Haaretz in which a young Bedouin man from the Negev named Mahmoud described how he was pulled out of the line to visit the coffin of writer Amos Oz in Tel-Aviv because he was dark-skinned.) Mahmoud, I am furious that the accumulated experience requires suspecting that a person who looks like you may commit an act of terror. Because of the terrorists, everyone must defend himself. It is interesting that not one of the people who commented on the article on the internet understood this, nor no one was angry like I was over this injustice.
The Right Yearns to Oust the Palestinians. The Left Must Stop It (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Our role on the left is not to compete in verbal radicalism or to argue over whether there will be another mass expulsion and whether it will devolve into mass murder; our role is to thwart such a horrific scenario.
The death penalty for terrorists is important for the security of citizens - so why did Habayit Hayehudi thwart the legislation? (Attorney Ilan Katz, Maariv) The horrific murder of Ori Ansbacher raises the issue of the death penalty - which was approved in the past, but was thwarted by the former party of Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked. Hope passes to the next Knesset.
Gantz was wrong on the Gaza war (Yossi Yehoshua, Yedioth/Ynet) The former chief of staff should have been honest about the military's shortcomings during the 2014 conflict, in particular the failure to identify the real and immediate threat posed by Gaza's attack tunnels.
First Israel Suffocates Gazans, Then We Say We're Worried About Their Fate (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Total denial of responsibility for the dire situation of Gaza's healthcare system proves Israeli politicians aren't prepared to embrace a different policy than the one bound to bring about mass civilian casualties in war.
 
Interviews:
*Muslim woman from Sheikh Jarrah (in E. Jerusalem) at the wheel on the Egged bus line to West Jerusalem
Jada Hamad, 42, the first Muslim woman from East Jerusalem behind the wheel of an Egged bus, defines herself as a symbol and wonders: "If women fly planes, why shouldn’t they drive a bus?" (Interviewed by Roee Rubinstein in Ynet)
In the 85 years since Egged was founded, Hamad is the first Muslim woman driver from East Jerusalem. Her employment happened quite by chance. She heard about a course run for East Jerusalem residents by the "Ryan" Center of the Ministry of Social Affairs, and was enthusiastic. "I said to myself, Why not, really? Women are already flying planes, why shouldn’t I drive a bus?" Most of the passengers on Hamad's bus try to put the politics and prejudices aside, and try to enjoy the refreshing look of a woman wearing a headscarf at the driver's seat. "She drives well, that's what matters," said one of the passengers. Another passenger said that "it does not really matter who is behind the wheel, as long as he is responsible like she is.” Hamad says she never dreamed of being a professional driver. The circumstances of life led her to become the first female Muslim driver in Egged. "A few years ago, my husband was forced to leave his job as a construction worker due to a work accident, and we lived off of 1,000 shekels a month, which was not enough. I arrived at the Ryan Center, where I was allowed to take a bus driving course,” she said. No one but her husband knew she was taking the course. Even when she began to drive in the city, she decided to keep it to herself out of fear of reactions in East Jerusalem. "My extended family did not even know," she says. One day, however, she was photographed and her picture was distributed in the media in the eastern part of the city. One question was on the picture: "Who is the female driver with the headscarf who works at Egged?" The reactions in East Jerusalem and beyond the Green Line were divided. Some encouraged her and some less so, but Hamad, who decided to break the glass ceiling, did not allow the reactions to affect her. "I do not care what they think, and the moment I realized I had to work, I cut myself off from everything and went to bring my livelihood home," she said. Hamad also says that the company's drivers, including the Jews, have already accepted her as a daughter and encourage her.
These days she is working on improving her Hebrew, especially on the words she will need to use in work. She also tries to get used to the fact that she is not in one place all the time and has to wander between her places of prayer. "Sometimes I even pray on the bus," she admits, and says that Egged even gave her a room for prayer. "I see myself as a symbol," Hamad says, "My sitting behind the wheel can encourage other women in our sector to go out and join the labor market.” When asked about fear that a terrorist could carry out an attack on her bus, she dismisses the question and says, "Every time I hear about violence against drivers or terror attacks, it's frightening. But everything is from above.” The "Ryan" Center of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs is designed to assist in the direction of employment for the Arab population, and works together with the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs and the JDC Israel. The Center assists in the study of a training course for those who can not afford the course themselves.


 


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