News Nosh 3.6.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday March 6, 2019

Numbers of the day:
--Number of Knesset seats to center-center-left bloc vs. number of seats to right-wing bloc, according to recent poll.*

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Elections 2019 - The female clash - Special: Prominent female candidates from all the parties at a tense meeting (Hebrew)
  • “He thinks he has a chance, that donkey” - What (Gabi) Ashkenazi said about (Benny) Gantz when Gantz was his deputy in the army
  • Expose - (Habayit Hayehudi leader MK) Smotrich supports Netanyahu
  • Attorney General bars (Otzma Yehudit leader Michael) Ben-Ari
  • Expose - Brigade Commander against the soldiers who did not charge: “Scared little girls”
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • Kahol-Lavan: Platform and talk are different - Remarks prove: Senior members of Kahol-Lavan party support Palestinian state
  • (Gabi) Ashkenazi: “(Yedioth publisher) Noni (Mozes) will do what I tell him”
  • Selfie from space: First photo from the Genesis spacecraft
  • New situation at Temple Mount could become permanent - and Israel needs to worry // Nadav Shragai
  • 70 years after they parted in the Holocaust: Naomi and Ruthie met in Israel
  • For the second time in history: Man was healed from AIDS

Elections 2019 News:
Today’s top election stories was the Attorney General and State Prosecutor’s recommendation to ban Kahanist, Michael Ben-Ari, leader of the Otzma Yehudit party, from running for Knesset and that a recording revealed that a top Kahol-Lavan party, former chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi, called the party’s leader, Benny Gantz, a ‘donkey’ when they were in the military and said Yedioth publisher, Arnon Moses would do whatever he said (Maariv).

Election Quickees:
  • Latest Israeli Election Poll Predicts Victory for Center-left Bloc - Channel 12 survey shows bloc with 61 seats against right-wing bloc's 59, but respondents still prefer Netanyahu as PM over Gantz and Lapid. (Haaretz and Maariv)
  • High school once seen as election bellwether gives Blue and White huge win - Students at Ramat Gan’s Blich give 47% of vote to Gantz and Lapid, while Likud is far behind with 21%; but school has in recent years lost its luster as an accurate forecaster. (Maariv and Times of Israel)
  • "Bibi or Tibi: incitement against Arabs has become a way of life for Netanyahu" - The chairman of the Ta'al party, MK Ahmed Tibi, attacked the prime minister following the campaign, which warns of an Arab-backed government: "An attempt to delegitimize by the one who brought Kahanists into his circle.“ (Maariv/103FM)
  • Israeli Arab Party Sues Journalist for Calling It a 'Terrorist Organization' - Balad is demanding [right-wing religious journalist - OH] Amit Segal take down his article, issue an apology and pay a $77,000 compensation for violating libel laws. (Haaretz+)
  • Smotrich will protect Netanyahu - Ichud Leumi MK Bezalel Smotrich, who is #2 on the United Right-Wing Parties List, formulated a plan to halt the criminal proceedings against the prime minister: changing the law so that a majority in the Knesset would be required to lift Netanyahu's immunity. (Yedioth/Ynet Hebrew)
  • Deri: Lieberman unhappy that Shas wants to keep out non-Jews - Following statement by Lieberman that Yisrael Beytenu will seek to wrest control of Interior Ministry from Shas, Deri defended the ministry’s scrutiny of FSU immigrants, adding that Shas will seek Aliyah ministry as well. (Ynet)
Other Top News Summary:
Police are expected to recommend indicting Likud MK David Bitan, a confidante of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, on bribery and the Egyptians met with senior officials in Gaza in order to try to ease border tensions, while the Israeli air force struck a Hamas military compound after a fifth consecutive night of launches of incendiary balloons into Israel. No casualties were reported on either side. A senior Gaza official downplayed the winds of war between Hamas and Israel, saying, "I think the Israeli side is also not interested in war on the eve of elections.” Israel believes that Hamas is making night protests on the border fence and launching the balloons towards Israel to put pressure on the Egyptian delegation. But balloon launchers have said they are trying to pressure Israel to end the siege. (Also Maariv) And meanwhile, Maariv reported that the crisis at Bab al-Rahma worsens: The Muslim Endowments Ministry, which manages the Temple Mount compound, announced that it would not accede to the High Court regarding the police's request to close the new prayer compound, stating, it does not need to answer the "occupation authority.”
Quick Hits:
  • Police Detain Wife of Arrested Palestinian Lawyer - Palestinian and Israeli attorneys say arrest intended to put pressure on investigation of her husband, Tareq Barghout, who was arrested in Ramallah last week alongside Zekariya Zubeidi. Lawyers have gone on strike in protest of the move. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel to release mother of al-Barghouthi brothers - Ofer Israeli military court decided to release on bail, Suheir Al-Barghouthi, whose husband and three sons are currently in Israeli prisons while her fourth son was shot and killed by Israeli forces in October. Suheir was held under harsh conditions: in solitary confinement and wasn’t allowed to change clothes for one month. (Maan)
  • High Court: Demolition of home (of Barghouti), shooter of soldiers at Givat Asaf, can proceed - Family of Assam Barghouti, who killed two soldiers in a shooting at Givat Asaf outpost and wounded seven at another shooting near Ofra – petitions against court-ordered demolition of his home. High court justice: The deterrent effect is still viable. (Israel Hayom)
  • In photos - Israeli settlers seize Palestinian home in East Jerusalem - Israeli settlers seized al-Halabi family home Tuesday, in Jerusalem's Old City. Palestinian youths attempted to defend the home from seizure, were assaulted by Israeli police forces who also fired tear-gas bombs at them. The settlers pepper-sprayed Palestinian residents and students, resulting in a number of severe suffocation cases. (Maan)
  • For 11th time: Israeli settlers attack Urif school - 50 Israelis from Yitzhar settlement raided eastern area of Urif, forcing school to dismiss classes for 11th time this school year. Settlers threw rocks, injuring one student, and damaged three vehicles belonging to teachers. (Maan)
  • In video - Israeli forces tear-gas Palestinian students in Shufat (in E. Jerusalem) - Israeli soldiers raided Shuafat refugee camp as students were heading to their schools, and employees to their workplaces. The forces heavily fired tear-gas bombs causing dozens to suffer tear-gas suffocation, while several students suffered from panic attacks. (Maan)
  • Israel bans call to prayer in Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque 44 times in February - Islamic Endowment Department in Hebron said restrictions are attempt by Israeli occupation to give impression that the mosque is Jewish property. Ibrahimi Mosque (Cave of the Patriarchs) is believed to be burial place of prophet Abraham and is site of frequent tensions due to presence of 500 Israeli settlers in Hebron's Old City. (Maan)
  • Israeli authorities demand ownership of Palestinian land in Silwan, E. Jerusalem - Ateret Cohanim (Israeli Jewish organization trying to settle Jews in E. Jerusalem) delivered notices to members of Maragha family demanding ownership of apartment building that houses 15 people. Local Palestinian committee said it is part of Ateret Cohanim’s plan to seize control over 5 dunams and 200 square meters of the neighborhood, under claims that they belong to Yemeni Jews since 1881. (Maan)
  • UN report on firms linked to Israeli settlements stalls anew:’Blacklist' to Be Completed Within Months - Announcement seen in Jerusalem as postponing creation of list of firms working in settlements, while supporters of the list view it as confirmation that work will be completed. (Haaretz+, Maariv and Ynet)
  • Israeli Bedouin convicted of soldier's murder in 2017 stabbing attack - Khaled Abu Judeh's original plan was to kidnap a soldier and negotiate the release of Palestinian security prisoners. (Haaretz+)
  • Jerusalem deputy mayor boycotts event held at 'heretical' Conservative venue - Eliezer Rauchberger of the ultra-Orthodox Degel Hatorah party says he declined to attend because the Reform and Conservative movements are bent on 'destroying Judaism.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Senior security official: The recommendations to worsen (Palestinian) prisoners' conditions were not implemented in practice - A security source said that although Public Security Minister Erdan accepted the recommendations in full and announced them with happiness before the Likud primaries, no actual change was made in the prisons. (Maariv)
  • (Teachers at) schools in Be'er Sheva will be on strike tomorrow in protest against the mother who choked a principal - Studies in all schools in the city will be suspended for an hour in protest of an event in which a mother physically and verbally attacked the principal. Secretary General of the Teachers' Union: "Violence in schools continues to rage and the Education Ministry is silent.” (Maariv)
  • Former Sanders aide Simone Zimmerman given key role in anti-occupation group - The Jewish American activist will direct B'Tselem's efforts to influence U.S. officials and the general public. (Haaretz+)
  • Abbas slams US administration during visit to Baghdad - After meeting with Iraqi PM Adel Abdul-Mahdi, PA President Mahmoud Abbas says Trump administration is "encouraging Israel to be a state above the law." Abdul-Mahdi and Iraqi President Barham Saleh stress Jerusalem's importance to the Palestinian people. (Israel Hayom)
  • Ex-Pakistani leader calls for diplomatic relations with Israe - Pervez Musharraf, who in 2005 established contacts via Turkey, told journalist in Dubai that there is no harm in establishing relations with Israel, ‘it will help Pakistan counter India.’ (Ynet)
  • U.S. Opioid Lawsuits May Cost Teva Up to $3 Billion - Sackler family’s Purdue Pharma said to be exploring bankruptcy filing as litigation pressures mount. (Haaretz+)
  • Omar the flashpoint as Democrats confront divide over Israel - Democratic party is split over a series of anti-Israel remarks made by the Muslim congresswoman, with some insisting she is a victim of racism herself and others suggesting she is perpetuating anti-Semitic stereotypes. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Ocasio-Cortez Defends Ilhan Omar as anti-Semitism Storm Roils Democratic Party - Several Jewish lawmakers and groups denounce the freshman Minnesota congresswoman, but Rep. Ocasio-Cortez notes that 'no one seeks this level of reprimand when members make statements about other communities.’ (Haaretz+)
  • White Supremacist Propaganda Efforts in U.S. Rose by 182 Percent in 2018 - The Anti-Defamation League reported 1,187 incidents in 2018, up from 421 in 2017. Efforts included flyering, with campus incidents on the rise. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Revolutionary Guards' Soleimani flexes political muscle = The general's success in operations beyond Iran's borders, in particular in shoring up Assad's rule in Syria, have made him instrumental in the steady spreading of Iranian influence in the Middle East. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • WATCH Dramatic Footage of Firefight Between Syrian Kurds and ISIS Caught on Tape - The footage shows fighters firing machine guns at ISIS-controlled territory as a large explosion took place and fires were burning in distance. (Agencies, Haaretz)

Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
Will Israel Be Worse Off Without Netanyahu at the Helm? (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) The premier himself hints that we'd be worse off without him, but Israel owes its recent success to factors beyond his control.
Israelis’ obsession with generals (Yaron London, Yedioth/Ynet) The Blue and White Party includes a disproportionate amount of ex security officials and although Israel is not Latin America, the military still wields too much power in local politics. The electorate ought to be more wary of the enchantment of the uniform.
We Are All Victims of Netanyahu’s Abuse (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) 'The state wants to throw out the master of the house and take over his property,' the abuser claims. 'It has no proof that she was abused.’
A change to Oslo-inspired diplomacy (Ariel Bolstein, Israel Hayom) The Netanyahu doctrine – according to which it is a strong Israel standing up for itself, not one that makes unnecessary concessions to its enemies, that wins the respect of the world – is working.
Blue and White platform is making elections interesting again (Limor Livnat, Yedioth/Ynet) The party founded by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid strives to be neither left nor right but rather a mixture of everything so as to sway voters from both sides; but its agenda must be realistic in order not to sell lies to the public.
Why the outrage? 'Jewish Power' (Otzma Yehudit) party is the new norm in Israeli politics (Ramzy Baroud, Maan) IAcareful reading of the (Kahanist) party’s constitution and the text of the Nation-State law reveals astounding similarities. This suggests that since the days of Meir Kahane, it is Israeli society that has drawn closer to the views of Jewish extremists, not the other way around.
Netanyahu Wants to Bring Trump Good News About Chinese Investments (Hagai Amit, Haaretz+) The U.S. has been pressing Israel to vet Chinese investments and Netanyahu is likely to comply before his D.C. visit.
A Pavlovian rush to condemn Netanyahu (Prof. Oz Almog, Israel Hayom) The champions of rule of law who are rushing to convict the prime minister even before he is officially indicted fail to see that, like everyone else, their judgment is subjective.

Caution on the Temple Mount (Haaretz Editorial) Israel would suffer no loss of respect, sovereignty or security if the Bab al-Rahma building remained open
Arab support for Al-Aqsa and the Palestinians (Hillel Frisch, Israel Hayom) Palestinians like to claim that their problem lies at the heart of Arab concerns. But Google search trends from Arab internet users show that it's Al-Aqsa, not the Palestinians, that is of interest.
Hamas Seeks Concessions From Israel Before Escalating Conflict (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Egyptian delegation tries to mediate between Israel and Hamas amid threat of violence on the one-year anniversary of the start of Gazans' weekly protests.
The four fronts of potential Palestinian escalation (Elior Levy, Yedioth/Ynet) The West Bank, The Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and the security prisoners might drag Israel into the next round of fighting; all four are extremely volatile for different reasons, but an eruption in one could trigger a domino effect.
With Key Protest Dates Looming, Egyptian Delegation Tries Defusing Tension in Gaza (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Threat of violence on Land Day on March 30 or on the one-year anniversary of the start of Gazans’ weekly border protests set background of Egyptian delegation's attempt to mediate between Israel, Hamas.
Can Netflix Star Marie Kondo Fix the Israeli-Palestinian Mess? (Adrian Hennigan, Haaretz+) With her unfailing ability to help people get their own houses in order, it’s time for the star of Netflix's ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’ to attempt the world’s biggest challenge.
Could Netanyahu’s Case 1000 Woes Also Include a Big Tax Bill? (Efrat Neuman, Haaretz) A recent court ruling confirms that gifts like the ones he got from Milchan and Packer are liable for taxes.

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