News Nosh 3.10.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday March 10, 2019
You Must Be Kidding #1: 
“An electric shock into your left-wing brain is what will help.”
--One of the threats MK Stav Shaffir (Labor party) received after attending the Central Elections Committee debate on the request to disqualify Michael Ben-Ari and Itamar Ben-Gvir of the Kahanist Otzma Yehudit party from running for elections.*

You Must Be Kidding #2: 
Left-wing activist Guy Hirschfeld was detained in the West Bank for unlawfully entering an army firing zone, but the same area has been home to unauthorized settlement outpost Shirat Ha’asavim for years and none of the settlers there were ever detained.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • A month to the elections - Yedioth poll: Kahol-Lavan weakening, Likud maintaining its strength, Feiglin passes the threshold
  • Expose - Speeding up the cooling-off period: (Former chief of staff) Eisenkot gives up his discharge leave (Hebrew)
  • ‘Haaretz’s’ hypocrisy // Ben-Dror Yemini
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • A month to elections: The key is in the hands of the undecided (voters)
  • A month is forever // Mati Tuchfeld
  • Tension in the south: “We will react to every balloon”
  • The navigation disaster: The commanders will also be dismissed
  • All the soldiers will be obliged to visit the Western Wall and the Knesset
  • A moment before the beginning of the election campaign broadcasts, we went back to look at the unforgettable ones
  • If an agreement isn’t reached: From 14:000, the trains will partially stop working
  • Desecration at the Western Wall // Dror Eydar

Elections 2019 News:
The top elections story was the dramatic drop in support for the Kahol-Lavan party led by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, according to both Haaretz+ and Yedioth (Hebrew) polls and the rise of the far right-wing party of Moshe Feiglin, whose new party may cross the minimum threshold.

Election Quickees:
  • (Former chief of staff Gadi) Eizenkot shortens his discharge leave, and will be able to run in the next elections - The former chief of staff is expected to begin his cooling-off period in early April, meaning that if elections take place again in less than three years he will be able to run. The reason for the decision, which will lead to a financial loss of 200,000-300,000 shekels, is apparently his desire to serve as a personal example and lead other officers to this decision. (Maariv and Yedioth Hebrew)
  • *The police arrested a man suspected of threatening MK Stav Shaffir's life - A number of people threatened the Knesset member (Labor) following her appearance Wednesday at the Central Elections Committee in the framework of the debate calling to disqualify Michael Ben-Ari and Itamar Ben-Gvir of the Kahanist Otzma Yehudit party from running for elections. One man threatened to set her on fire and murder her, and another wrote to her that "an electric shock into your left-wing brain is what will help." (Maariv)
  • Yair Lapid outlines four demands for peace with Palestinians - The co-leader of Kahol Lavan also tells English-speaking audience that Israel has a crisis on its hands with a prime minister he no longer recognizes. (Haaretz+)
  • (Kahol-Lavan’s Gabi) Ashkenazi rose to attack: “The left-wing is weak? The one who destroyed a nuclear reactor here is me, not Netanyahu" - The former chief of staff spoke in a TV interview about the Likud campaign against him, and about the recording from years ago in which he called Kahol-Lavan leader Benny Gantz a donkey: "In private conversations, I speak like a Golanchik” (a soldier from the Golani brigades -OH).  (Maariv)
  • Israelis Poised for Their Gayest Parliament Yet - The number of gay lawmakers is set to double to at least four after April 9. Next step: Electing representatives from the Arab, lesbian and transgender communities. (Haaretz+)
  • Former TV news anchor set to become first Druze woman in Israel's parliament - Gadeer Mreeh, number 25 in the Blue and White Party list, was the nation’s first non-Jewish woman to anchor a Hebrew news broadcast; now, she's ready to break another glass ceiling—likely becoming the first woman from the Druze minority to ser-e in the Israeli parliament. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • U.S. Environmental Organization Hazon Wants Israeli Right-wing Group to Stop Using Its Name - The agendas of the two organizations couldn’t be more different. The Jewish environmental group Hazon has issued a cease-and-desist order demanding a new right-wing Israeli organization stop using the same name, saying it has the trademark to the Hebrew word meaning “vision.” (JTA, Haaretz and JPost)
  • Tel Aviv's ex-deputy mayor suspected of financing Likud event with bribe money - Arnon Giladi allegedly moved the money through an account for donations to a fictitious nonprofit group. (Haaretz+)
  • Gantz sues pro-Netanyahu paper for sexual harassment reports - Benny Gantz, Netanyahu's main challenger, says Israel Hayom's reports are false and were published to harm his political career. (Haaretz)

Other News Summary:
Rising tension between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, between Israel and Palestinians at the Temple Mount and clashes down below between ultra-Orthodox Jews and women praying at the Western Wall were top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

The ‘Women of the Wall’ said they were 'abandoned' in clashes and some were injured between them and thousands of ultra-Orthodox protesters who were called in to disrupt their prayer service, after Orthodox groups warned of 'Reform Jews conquering the Western Wall.’ Police accused the Women of the Wall of entering the main prayer area to create a provocation.

Up above on the Temple Mount, a solution has yet to be found for the conflicting interest between Palestinians adamant to reopen the Bab al-Rahma building in the Temple Mount compound and Israel, which is keen to keep it closed, as it has for the last 16 years when Israel closed it based on the claim that it served a group associated with Hamas. A senior Israeli delegation visited Jordan Thursday, but failed to reach an agreement, despite reports otherwise. According to one media report, a solution was apparently reached, according to which Israel would allow the entry of building materials under the supervision of the Islamic Waqf, which would close the building to worshipers during the renovations. Those renovations may take longer than planned, Maariv wrote. According to the report, Jordan rejected the Israeli demand to close the compound. A senior Jordanian source said that "Israel will allow the entry of building materials to renovate the site, but it is not clear when the renovations will begin." In any case, 40,000 worshipers prayed peacefully at the Temple Mount Friday. However, tension rose again. Saturday, when Israeli Border Police officers entered the Bab al-Rahma building and, despite objections from Muslim religious leaders at the Temple Mount, they refused to remove their shoes. The video spread through Arab social media outlets. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan plans to close Bab Al-Rahma mosque this week, Maariv reported. Erdan said that due to legal restrictions and the desire to avoid confrontation with thousands of Muslim worshipers, Israel has not closed the prayer house until now, but intends to do so later.

In Gaza, the tit-for-tat continues. On Thursday night the Israeli army shelled a Hamas post after someone opened fire on an IDF post near the Gaza Strip. At the weekly Gaza ‘March of Return’ protests Friday, Israeli forces shot and killed at least one Palestinian and injured 48 others, including four paramedics and two journalists. That barely made news in the Hebrew media. What did make news was the projectile from Gaza that landed in an open area Friday evening, for which Israeli aircraft retaliated by striking a number of targets in the Gaza Strip, including two naval vessels belonging to Hamas, the IDF said. Maan reported that the Israeli navy opened fire targeting Gaza fishing boats off the coast, forcing the fishermen back to shore in fear for their lives; no injuries were reported, and it's not clear if those fishing boats were what the IDF considered Hamas naval vessels. Also on Saturday, the head of an RPG rocket tied to a balloon was located in Israel in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip (Maariv). Israel responded attacking Hamas sites late Saturday night.

Earlier Saturday, a senior Hamas official told Haaretz that the group wants calm, but expects Israel to ease the restrictions on Gaza in return. "Israel is attempting to force a ceasefire in exchange for a return to the situation we were in before the Marches of Return," the official told Haaretz. "In three weeks we will mark the anniversary of the marches, with more than 250 killed and thousands wounded. If someone thinks this blood was spilled in vain, then he is seriously mistaken," said the senior Hamas official. Haaretz+ reported that Israel's new method for pumping cash into Gaza and avoid embarrassment is to use bank payments to Gaza civil servants for fictitious ‘authorized projects.’ (Also Maan.)

Also barely reported on in the Hebrew media was that “two Palestinians infiltrated from the Gaza Strip and were caught.” MaarivOnline wrote that the report of a security incident in the Gaza envelope region caused “great anxiety (until the) two Gaza residents were apprehended and taken for interrogation.” What MaarivOnline failed to report was that the “two Gazan residents” were two children, who from the looks of the photo on Maan News, appear to be aged 8-10. Maan even got a quote from the Israeli army spokesperson, who said that the children are part of a recent increase of Palestinians youths attempting to cross into Israel to “escape the reality in Gaza.
Quick Hits:
  • Slain Palestinian teen girl laid to rest in Ramallah after Israel returned body - Thousands of Palestinians marched in the funeral of 16-year-old Samah Mubarak on Saturday, 36 days after she was shot and killed by Israeli forces at a checkpoint for allegedly wielding a knife in an attempt to carry out a stabbing attack against heavily armed Israeli soldiers. (Maan)
  • Israel delivers demolition notice to Palestinian home in Beit Jala - The notices state the the family should carry out the demolition of the two-story house before April 10th, or the demolition would be carried out by Israel and the family would have to pay demolition costs and fines. Nearly all Palestinian applications for building permits in Area C are denied by the Israeli authorities, forcing communities to build illegally. (Maan)
  • Israel to demolish 4 greenhouses near Bethlehem - Israeli forces delivered demolition notices to four Palestinian greenhouses in the Shushahla village near al-Khader town in the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, on Thursday. Israeli forces sealed the road leading to the village several months ago, preventing locals from staying in their lands after 5:00 p.m. (Maan)
  • Infant injured as Israeli forces detain 13 Palestinians in West Bank - A 40-day-old Palestinian infant from Dheisheh refugee camp suffered from tear-gas suffocation and was taken to a nearby hospital for medical treatment, after soldiers fired live ammunition and tear-gas bombs throughout the refugee camp during a  detention raid. (Maan)
  • **Israeli Activist Arrested for Entering West Bank Firing Zone. Residents of Illegal Post There Were Never Detained -  Hirschfeld of the left-wing group Ta’ayush has been released on bail after entering the area, which is technically off-limits because it is an army firing zone. (Haaretz+ and Maan)
  • 'Overwhelming' opposition at UN for Israel's tax deduction from Palestinians, Kuwaiti envoy says - Mansour Al-Otaibi tells closed-door Security Council meeting the Israeli decision was 'not acceptable,' while Greenblatt argues 'entirely inappropriate to focus on Israel.’ (Agencies, Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Israel Police Unveil New Rules to Avert Racism (towards Ethiopian-Israelis) in Identity Checks - Israelis of Ethiopian origin say they are often asked to show ID for no reason. New directives stop short of threatening punishment for deviating from procedure. (Haaretz+)
  • Three Israeli soldiers convicted of abusing Palestinian detainees - The three, who will be sentenced this week, were convicted of aggravated abuse of two Palestinians who had been suspected of providing assistance to a terrorist who killed two fellow battalion members. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel’s Release of Palestinian Lawmaker Lets Her Forget the Larger Prison for a Moment - In a festive meeting, Khalida Jarrar gave well-wishers a chance to celebrate her release from a small prison and temporarily shelve fears about an escalation of Israeli violence. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli forces seal off entrance to Ramallah-area village - Israeli forces sealed off the entrance to Aboud village, preventing vehicles from entering the village and forcing residents to use long alternative roads. (Maan)
  • Lebanon warns Israel not to violate maritime borders in construction of gas pipeline - Mike Pompeo is expected to arrive in Israel in coming days to discuss Israel's plan to export natural gas to Europe with Greece and Cyprus. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Study: Women run only 12% of top Israeli companies - Banking is most female-friendly sector, with women in 30% of top jobs; industry, technology at bottom of list. (Haaretz)
  • 'I feel exploited': African, Asian students at Tel Aviv University put to work on farms for degree - Students in a 15-month degree program were required to work for at least 12 hours at jobs that contributed nothing to their professional knowledge, with only one month devoted to studies at the university. (Haaretz+)
  • Tel-Aviv University to Examine ‘Slave Labor’ Claims by Foreign Farming Students - Students in program aimed at graduates from Africa and Asia say internship phase of studies involved long hours of unskilled farm work and little education. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel to suspend expulsion of hundreds of Congolese migrants - Interior Minister Arye Dery announces move after Foreign Ministry steps in to warn that repatriating the migrants to DRC would risk their lives. (Haaretz+)
  • Commanders in Nahal Hilazon navigation accident face dismissal - Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi will likely seek to establish clear protocol for training in extreme weather, take a harsh stance against officers responsible for greenlighting the training exercise that ended in the drowning death of Sgt. Evyatar Yosefi. (Israel Hayom)
  • 2018 saw highest budget deficit in 15 years, Finance Ministry reports - Finance Ministry also reports unusual deficit of over $1.5 billion for January-February 2019, compared to a budget surplus for the same months in 2018 • Deficit the result of increased government spending as well as 6.8% drop in tax revenue. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel's Burning Man cancelled after army turns down proposed location - Organizers call off the annual Midburn festival after failing to secure authorization for its new location in a military training area. (Haaretz+)
  • House Passes Resolution Denouncing anti-Semitism Triggered by Ilhan Omar Comments - Resolution passes by large majority of 407-23, with all 23 no votes cast by Republicans. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar votes in favor of resolution. (Haaretz+)
  • Gillibrand Becomes First Democratic Presidential Candidate to Criticize Omar's 'anti-Semitic Tropes' - New York senator says those with critical views of Israel, such as Ilhan Omar, should be able to express them, but noted that her critics shouldn't use Islamophobic language. (Haaretz+)
  • US Senate minority leader slams Trump for calling Democrats 'anti-Jewish' - US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Friday said President Donald Trump has “redefined chutzpah” after he accused Democrats of having become an "anti-Israel" and "anti-Jewish" party.(i24news and Maariv)
  • Omar furor reflects intensifying national debate over Israel - Although controversial anti-Israel remarks made by the Muslim congresswoman have come under attack from Democratic party's establishment, she won support from the millennial activists, including some Jews, criticizing Israeli treatment of Palestinians and urging boycotts against the Jewish state. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • WATCH: Bill Maher addresses Ilhan Omar controversy and whether U.S. Jews will desert the Democratic Party - Maher also goes after Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner: He is 'called a security threat by our own intelligence agencies. It's OK to hate him without being anti-Semitic, right?' (Haaretz)
  • Suicide Car Bomb Wounds Eight in Northern Syria - Seven civilian casualties are reported as well as a wounded U.S.-backed fighter; no group immediately claimed responsibility for attack. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Syria slams watchdog report saying it used chemical weapon in Douma attack - Global chemical weapons watchdog report says it found 'reasonable grounds' that chlorine was used in the 2018 strike that killed over 40 people. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Nasrallah: "The IDF is afraid of war and is not ready to enter into such a situation" - Hezbollah secretary-general said in a speech on the anniversary of the founding of the’ Islamic Resistance Support Committee’ that “The Israelis do not believe in the systems they have developed over the years can help them from failure, so they install American anti-missile systems.” (Maariv)
  • Feeling sanctions pressure, Hezbollah seeks donations - Hassan Nasrallah is urging supporters to send money to the terror group, calls Western sanctions 'a form of war.’ (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Algeria halts public transportation as mass protests enter third week - Several lawmakers of the ruling FLN party have resigned to join the mass anti-government protests. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Saudi crown prince has gone 'full gangster,' U.S. senators assert - Florida's Marco Rubio and Wisconsin's Ron Johnson slam kingdom's action during confirmation hearing of Trump's pick for ambassador to Saudi Arabia. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Europeans, Canada, Australia issue first rebuke of Saudi Arabia at UN rights forum - It was the first rebuke of Saudi Arabia at the UN Human Rights Council since it was set up in 2006. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Egyptian actor says military court sentenced him to 8 years - Amr Waked, a 45-year-old actor living in Spain, said on Thursday his lawyer told him he was convicted of 'disseminating false news and insulting state institutions.’ (Agencies, Haaretz)

The Arab policewoman who went against the conventions: "I will be the first female Police Commissioner“
Her family initially objected and her fiance canceled the marriage, but Sergeant Mureen Bannawiya (who has already made peace with her parents) does not regret her decision: "To this day, except for me, there is no female policewoman from the village.” (Alon Hachmon, Maariv)
The Israeli running for the presidency of Guatemala
Yitzhak Farhi (born and raised in Guatemala and) is now a Ra'anana businessman, , but in June he will compete to be the next president of Guatemala thanks to a television interview in which he explained the secret of Israel's success. (Itamar Eichner, Yedioth/Ynet)
Rescuing the rescuers: Syrian White Helmet builds new life in UK
With the help of Western powers and Israeli soldiers, Amer was among hundreds of White Helmets evacuated last July from southwest Syria, and now he is adjusting to the sights and sounds of normal life he has not heard for eight years. (Ynet)
Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
This Is What Happens When You Stay Silent as the Far Right Rises to Power (Yossi Klein, Haaretz+) Germany once greeted the extreme right with apathy and scorn. We’ve accepted ours with apathy and silence – a troublesome silence that makes a statement.
Israel should be better at disqualifying unsuitable election candidates (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) Attorney General was right to back a ban for former Kahanist Michael Ben-Ari, but his mental gymnastics over why Balad should not be outlawed were a masterpiece of legal sophistry.
Corrupt, Racist Politicians' Outrageous Move Against Israel's Far-left (Ravit Hecht, Haaretz+) Far-rightists are disqualifying candidates – something pretty rich considering that cabinet members describe all elected officials from the Arab community as ‘terrorists.’
Whoever tries to swim in the sewage canals of the ruling party understands how Israel has become a debased empire (Ben Caspit, Maariv) All this time, Netanyahu stands there and continues to lie, in the face of the cheers of the crowd. And also: There's enough to look for on (Kahol-Lavan leader) Benny Gantz. There is no need to invent a case against him that is an insult to intelligence [reference to claim by woman that he exposed himself to her when they were in high school - OH].
For Netanyahu, Unity Is a Dirty Word (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) Netanyahu is realizing that his 'innocent victim' campaign strategy is no longer working. Gantz's platform flirts with the moderate right, but there are signs he'll break left if he comes to power.
Netanyahu puts (his political base) into a spaceship and takes off to Planet Bibi
(Guy Tzadik, Maariv) The Likudniks fought to enter the hall, and within it, Netanyahu goes to battle against the entire left-wing. And Kahlon offers the middle class insurance against those who are plotting to reach the treasury.
The Israeli elections committee embraced Jewish supremacists and expelled Arab radicals. So what else is new? (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) The board’s decisions may be overturned by the High Court but they will be seen by critics as proof of Israel's slide to the darkness of nationalism and ethnocentrism.
When Jews on both left and right whitewash anti-Semitism (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) So many partisan apologists on both sides of the political spectrum have destroyed their credibility on anti-Semitism and exposed rank hypocrisy. It is an ugly moment in our people’s history.
Right-winger’s First Success in Election Polls Endangers Gantz and Netanyahu Alike (Amnon Harari, Haaretz) Moshe Feiglin’s party is now above the electoral threshold, but even Bibi might be cool to a politician who wants to rebuild the Temple and privatize hospitals.
Netanyahu panic and his legal situation could lead to an unnecessary battle in the south (Ran Edelist, Maariv) Do not mistake the zombie effect that supposedly controls the Prime Minister's affairs. At night he hears the clatter of chains and door bolts, and during the day he sees how his life is falling apart into fragments of criminal stories.
Hamas knows now is the best time to pressure Israel into concessions (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) But election season also puts Netanyahu in an impossible bind.
Israel's women want equality, not special treatment (Ravit Dom Eini, Yedioth/Ynet) Israeli society faces many complex challenges, but there is one central issue with a solution that is ultimately a simple choice, and that is parity between the sexes; so what exactly is the problem?
The rock and a hard place: Netanyahu's maneuvering in the Gaza Strip on the eve of the elections is very limited (Tal Lav Ram, Maariv) The threat declared by the prime minister that the IDF will intensify its responses if the escalation (at the Gaza Strip border - OH) continues, is one that if he does not stand by his word, that is likely to exact a political price. This is the case if the rocket fire from Gaza continues.
Blue and White Blood in Israeli Election (Carolina Landsmann, Haaretz+) The problem is that 'opposition' candidates Benny Gantz, Yair Lapid and generations of Israelis suckled an outsized fear of anti-Semitism with their mother’s milk.

Israel Forces Palestinian to Raze His and His Daughter’s Homes With His Own Hands (Gideon Levy and Alex Levac, Haaretz+) In East Jerusalem, the Israeli authorities require residents to demolish their ‘illegally built’ homes by themselves or to pay the city exorbitant sums for doing it…It’s all done according to the law, by the book. And all of it reflects the policy of occupation in Jerusalem: Embitter the lives of the Palestinian residents, fill them with despair and maybe they’ll finally leave their city. Treat them with a heavy hand, torment them.
Minister Regev is fighting against the left-wing, but she is stepping on the gas in neutral (Prof. Arieh Eldad, Maariv) While the Minister of Education, Culture and Sports Miri Regev is fighting all the treacherous leftist windmills - her office continues to employ someone responsible for Arab culture, who praises terror and martyrs. Lubna Zouebi has a BA in Communication and an MA from Tel Aviv University's unique program on conflict resolution and dialogue. On her Facebook page she wrote extensively about equality, openness, avoiding violence against women and against harming helpless people. Some of her colleagues describe her as an outstanding worker. This outstanding employee of the Ministry of Culture expresses her views on her private Facebook page. A week after three Arabs from Umm al-Fahm murdered two Border Police officers, Hael Sattawi and Kamil Snan on the Temple Mount, and on the day that riots broke out in Jerusalem caused by Arabs because of the installation of metal detectors at the entrances to the Mount, riots in which three (Palestinian) rioters were killed, she expressed her opinion on the events: “To all those who said that the lives of people are more important than the land, the house and Al-Aqsa, I tell you: If they rape this land and our house, you and your soul are next in line…You cannot protect your body and your life if you could not protect your symbols, your lands, your children, your identity and your existence with dignity, not humiliation.” There were those who read that, were shocked and filed a complaint with the Civil Service Commission. The Commission's mills grind slowly. Only in mid-February did the hearings take place. The prosecutor did not demand that she be dismissed from the Civil Service, only to reprimand her severely and to fine her monthly salary. Since she admitted to guilt, she was only reprimanded. Not severely, and half a salary fine.
Outlaw Israel's Arabs (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) They are already regarded as illegitimate citizens. Why not just say so and anchor it in law?
The Damage Done by Pope Netanyahu (Haaretz Editorial) In empowering itself to decide who’s a Jew and who is less a Jew, the government is acting as a Vatican of the Jewish religion.
Islamic Jihad is the real threat from Gaza (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) While Israel is busy negotiating ways to calm tensions in the coastal enclave, it would do well to pay attention to the organization that does not listen to Hamas and is only trying to make the situation worse.
The Israeli Army Doesn’t Have to Win (Jonathan Shimshoni, Haaretz+) In a conflict centered around civil societies, one can win only if one is willing to claim ownership over the rival society or, alternatively, to destroy or expel it. In either case, only a Pyrrhic victory is guaranteed.
How Assad Defied the Odds, Won in Syria and Pushed the U.S. Out (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Eight years into Syria's Civil War, Russia is the big victor in Syria and will remain for a long time to come.
ISIS Women Want to Go Home, and the West Faces a Tough Dilemma (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Western countries are reluctant to take back runaway citizens, partly out of fear their ISIS husbands will mobilize terror cells back home.
Ilhan who? In Israel, nobody knows or cares about the Omar anti-Semitism controversy (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) Israelis' obliviousness this week parallels their lack of concern over tropes and tweets of white supremacist U.S. politicians — and their sometimes deadly consequences.
A botched Gaza raid may rewrite how Israel runs its special operations (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Findings on the failed op, which ignited a two-day conflict, will soon land on the IDF chief's desk.
'In China, the Library Had Books About Becoming Rich Like a Jew. But It's Not anti-Semitic'
This week at the Tel Aviv airport: A diplomacy student who is helping build cooperation between Israeli and Chinese women, and a couple of tour guides who are brought closer together by traveling apart. (Interviewed by Liat Elkayam in Haaretz+)

Young Palestinian musician aims to change the tune of Arab society
With hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, East Jerusalem-based Bashar Murad is challenging gender stereotypes, but says his intention is not to shock but instead to convey his personal experiences. Most of Murad’s work is not explicitly political and makes no reference to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, in the music video for “The Door” (2015)—filmed on the Mount of Olives and in the Ras al-Amud east Jerusalem neighborhood—an individual clad as Santa Claus attempts to deliver Christmas presents but is unable to do so after repeated attempts to circumvent the barrier that separates Israel and the West Bank. “I’m tired of that because all our life revolves around (the conflict),” he says. “I want to focus on the good and positive things that are happening here because everyone else is focusing on the negative.” (Ynet)

The Israeli Who Won the Oscar, Without Getting an Oscar
The idea for “Skin” first came to Sharon Maymon, screenwriter for the Oscar-winning short film 'Skin', in early 2017, watching the Ethiopians' ongoing battle against discrimination in Israel. “They decided to stand up and say, ‘No more,’ and then the police responded harshly, more harshly than with other protestors. It was fascinating to see them taking to the streets, blocking roads and saying, ‘No more. Our blood is no different than yours.’ I really do think that skin color still makes a difference in Israel. And the easiest example is that everyone knows who Gilad Shalit is but not everyone knows who Avera Mengistu is. You hardly hear about him in the news.” Sharon returned home without a statuette, but he's not wasting time worrying about that. (Interviewed by Nirit Anderman in Haaretz+)

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