News Nosh 3.4.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday March 4, 2019

Quote of the day:
“The right thing to do is to follow your truth. Those who have the right to vote should go out in order to influence. And if you don’t know who to vote for, vote for ‘Simply Love' (Pashut Ahava). We also accept women, also Bedouin and also Arabs.
--Reserve general, Amiram Levin, who resigned from the Labor Party, called on people to vote for the Arab and Jewish women's party, "Simply Love" (Pashut Ahava.)*

Breaking News:
Two Palestinians killed, two Israeli soldiers injured, one Palestinian injured in West Bank car incident
Soldiers shot and killed two Palestinians in car that hit and wounded two soldiers. Most of the Hebrew media took the IDF's version that it was an intentional ramming attack against soldiers. However, Maariv's Yasir Ukbi interviewed Palestinians, who said it was a night road accident and they accused the IDF of murdering in cold blood. Only Maariv noted that the incident took place in the dark and fog at a sharp bend in the road. (This can be seen in the photos the other news websites posted, but they did not mention that. -OH) IDF said that soldiers stopped and got out to help other soldiers whose vehicle had broken down. Palestinians told Maariv that the troops that were hit were standing in the middle of the road that bends in an area that does not have visiwhen the three young Palestinian men passed through.  "This is a cold-blooded murder, because we all know that no one is going out with two others to carry out a terrorist attack." They added: "Unfortunately, the Israelis journalists also did not ask the right questions and automatically believed the claims of the army and the soldiers. This is a collective execution against the passengers of a vehicle that stopped. It’s because of the soldiers' hatred of the Arabs, and afterward they come and lie to justify their crime." The mayor of Naama village, Khaldun al-Deik, told Maariv Online that "according to eyewitnesses, this is a traffic accident and not a terrorist attack. The turn where the soldiers' stood is a very sharp turn and 20 traffic accidents occurred there in just the last two years.” Al-Deik said that the youths were on their way to work, one of them worked in the bakery and was on his way to it. (Haaretz+, Ynet and Maariv)

Front Page:
  • Chance of advancing ‘French Law’ is low - and it also won’t help Netanyahu
  • The surprising branching off of Case 1000 and the way in which Netanyahu continues to stir the media
  • (State Prosecutor Shai) Nitzan responded to Netanyahu: We made no political considerations about him
  • The text messages attest to the bribery relations between Netanyahu and (Bezeq main shareholder) Elovich
  • Likud campaign manager fired after it was learned he is friends with (journalist) Ben Caspit’s wife
  • Security establishment warns that political decisions could cause escalation in the West Bank
  • Waqf guards call for mass protest at Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday
  • Arab Spring skipped over Algeria, but now the protest against the president threatens to turn into chaos // Zvi Bar’el
  • Bluff of the century // Raviv Drucker on Trump’s peace plan
  • Let them eat alone // Avigdor Feldman on the cooperation between Netanyahu’s attorneys with the persecution of the law enforcement authorities
  • Suspicion that Eurovision tickets were given to associates illicitly
  • The present Chief of Staff is the big winner of the success of the party of the former chiefs of staff
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Without mentioning a Palestinian state, with transportation on Shabbat - Expose - The official platform of the Kahol-Lavan party led by Gantz and Lapid (Hebrew)
  • Lapid: “There are few women in our party, and they, too, are not disciplined” - Unsuccessful joke
  • No entry for women - Special project: Map of exclusion (of women) in Israel
  • “I don’t have much time left. I want Oron next to me, dead or alive” - Zehava Shaul, is not only fighting for the return of her son (who was killed and whose body is held in Gaza), but also against cancer (Hebrew)
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Top state prosecutors are under guard
  • Disgrace of the Eurovision - Sale of tickets was frozen: “Senior people in media and sports field received the best seats in contravention of guidelines”
  • Telegrass’ lottery: 30 kilogram of cannabis for “sick people who have difficulty receiving a prescription”
Israel Hayom
  • “It won’t be easy for me with the man who lives beyond the hill” - Netanyahu said about Rivlin in closed talks with senior Likud officials
  • Gantz is courting the ultra-Orthodox
  • Red ticket - Embarrassment for Eurovision: Sale of tickets frozen due to irregularities. Suspicion: Hundreds of tickets sold to senior people in media…and not to public
  • Exclusive - The plan: Sick people will testify at the committee of the subsidized medicines
  • Blow to the Palestinians: Today - Consulate in Jerusalem will be closed
  • Acting Police Commissioner admits: “The Waqf violated the status quo at the Temple Mount”

Elections 2019 News:
As Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu rails against the ‘Deep State’ and the ’leftist conspiracy' to bring him down by recommending indicting him ahead of elections, State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan defends Attorney General Avichai Mendelblitt’s decision, saying no political considerations motivated him. Maariv’s top story was about the security measures taken to protect Nitzan and another top prosecutors in the corruption investigations against Netanyahu. Yedioth led with the expose that the Kahol-Lavan party platform is right-wing and Haaretz reported that political moves could escalate violence in the West Bank.

Election Quickees:
  • Israeli Political Decisions Could Spark West Bank Violence, Defense Officials Warn - Offsetting the money that Israel transfers to the Palestinians, the leadership crisis in the Palestinian Authority or a violent incident on the Temple Mount could all ignite violence. (Haaretz+)
  • Responding to right-wing criticism? The Kahol-Lavan platform was exposed and it breaks right - The party of the former chief of staff presents a relatively right-wing platform, which includes opposition to dividing Jerusalem and to withdrawing from the Jordan Valley. It also promises to hold a "regional conference" and promote "separation from the Palestinians." The platform does not include the repeal of the Nation-State law, but rather anchoring the legislation of the "value of equality" alongside it. (Maariv and Yedioth/Ynet Hebrew)
  • New Likud strategy aims to drain votes from rival right-wing parties - In light of Gantz's lead, Netanyahu signs off on new strategy to boost Likud even at the expense of right-wing allies • Likud official: "We are in an election, each party fends for itself" • Main goal: To ensure president taps Netanyahu as next PM. (Israel Hayom)
  • 'New Right' (Hayemin Hechadash) Party Won't Support Bill to Protect Netanyahu From Indictment, Says Bennett - Co-leader of right-wing Hayamin Hehadash 'generally supports' proposed law to bar criminal investigations against a sitting PM, known as "The French Law," but not one that would apply retroactively. (Haaretz+)
  • *Amiram Levin: Vote for the Arab and Jewish women’s party - After leaving the Labor party, the reserves general announced that he supports the “Simply Love” (Pashut Ahava) party of Arab and Jewish women. The party is headed by Lili Weisberger and Anhar Masarwa, Rabia Basis and Yael Treidel, who call themselves the “Four Mothers Model 2019” (take off of the ‘Four Mothers’ movement that led to the IDF withdrawal from southern Lebanon - OH). He called for people to vote for the party during a discussion of the Jewish Nation-State Law, which he vehemently opposes. “The right thing to do is to follow your truth. Those who have the right to vote should go out in order to influence. And if you don’t know who to vote for, vote for ‘Simply Love.’ We also accept women, also Bedouin and also Arabs." (Yedioth, p. 4)
  • Labor's No. 2 calls Gaza disengagement 'genius move' - Former GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. (res.) Tal Russo says if Israel had not evacuated its Gaza Strip settlements, there would have been "major terrorist attacks and a lot more wounded" • Russo: "Noise" over arson terrorism incentivizes the enemy. (Israel Hayom)
  • Is Alan Dershowitz Correct? Fact-checking Netanyahu's Defense - Following the attorney general’s recommendation to indict the prime minister in three cases, Netanyahu responded with a heated, lengthy speech denying and dismissing the charges. But how accurate were his assertions? (Haaretz+)
  • Benny Begin: "Netanyahu is trying to paint Mendelblitt as a weakling, but (Mendelblitt) won’t bend to him“ - A Knesset member from the Likud is considered among the only voices from the party that is not afraid to criticize Netanyahu’s conduct: "The idea that the prime minister will not be investigated is a distorted idea.” (Maariv)
  • Did Gantz Attend a Memorial for Hamas Terrorists? Fact Checking Netanyahu's Claim - The prime minister also stated that his main rival said he put Israeli soldiers at risk to prevent harming Palestinians. So we checked the archives. (Haaretz+)
  • WATCH Netanyahu goes full Trump, posts 'Fox & Friends' clip claiming 'Israeli deep state' behind pending indictment - 'Fox & Friends,' known as U.S. President Donald Trump’s favorite show, lauded Netanyahu, saying, 'the people love him.’ (Haaretz)

Other Top and Important News Summary:
One very important piece of news barely made headlines in Hebrew newspapers: the US is officially closing its Palestinian consulate in East Jerusalem today. The mission functioned as a de facto embassy to the Palestinians and now it will be a branch under the command of the US embassy in Jerusalem. (Also Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)

And Yedioth’s (Hebrew) Yossi Yehoshua reported on the “The Cellular Dilemma.” The Israeli security establishment opposes the plan of Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan to block cellular phone use by security prisoners, whom are almost all Palestinian. Here’s what he wrote: About two weeks ago, cell phones were blocked in the Ramon and Ketziot prisons, as part of a technology project initiated and led by Minister Erdan, in order to prevent security prisoners from communicating using smuggled phones with terrorist organizations and from directing attacks. This move led to a tense protest by Hamas prisoners. The IDF warned of unrest that will ignite the area: “The timing is inappropriate.” Senior Prison official: “Strange and absurd resistance." In the framework of the Israel Prison Service's attempt to combat the phenomenon of smuggled telephones for security prisoners, two weeks ago, a technological method began to block the possibility of making and receiving calls from cell phones in the security wings of the Ramon and Ketziot prisons. The problem: In recent discussions within the defense establishment following the implementation of the project, the army expressed opposition to the move, for fear that it would lead to an escalation. In the assessment of the situation on Thursday at the IDF Kirya Headquarters, it was agreed that "in light of the overall explosiveness (of the issue), we recommend waiting at this stage with the expansion of the pilot and reexamining the timing of its implementation in a few months, in accordance with developments." An IDF representative explained that this was due to the explosive incidents in Gaza and the Temple Mount, the elections in Fatah, and in the reduction of aid to the Palestinian Authority. 
Quick Hits:
  • Statement by prosecutor against murderer of Israeli teen: "I decided to rape and murder her (because of the occupation)" - Arafat Irfaiya, 29-year-old Palestinian who admitted to killing 19-year-old Israeli, reportedly told Shin Bet interrogators he planned attack out of revenge. "I left the house to murder a Jew, because of the occupation and because of the treatment of Arabs at checkpoints and in Jerusalem.” (Maariv and Times of Israel)
  • (Bedouin) soldier refused a security check at train station - and was attacked leaving him battered and bloody - Security guards at the Be'er Sheva train station injured a Bedouin soldier who refused to show a soldier's ID and tried to break into the station - they hit his head with a gun barrel. Israel Railways: "The security guard followed procedures." (Ynet, Ynet Hebrew and Maariv)
  • "What will happen if the balloons fall again on one of the houses?" - Hamas' incendiary balloons unit, the Al-Zawari, is threatening “to continue until the siege on Gaza is lifted.” Yesterday 10 launches toward Israel were counted. IDF moved to using riot dispersal means and not live fire. (Maariv)
  • Israel Strikes Hamas Outpost in Gaza After Explosive Device Thrown Over Border - No injuries were reported on either side. The chain of events marks the fourth such flare-up since last week, when Israel attacked a Hamas outpost in response to the first airborne firebomb launched from Gaza since November. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Waqf Guards Barred From Temple Mount by Israel Call for Mass Protest - The guards, employed by the Temple Mount's Islamic custodian, call on Muslims to participate in Friday's prayers at the entrance to the complex. (Haaretz+)
  • Saeb Erekat: "Qatar and the Gulf states do not support Trump's peace plan" - The senior Palestinian Authority official said in an interview that the Qataris had told him that the deal had no support. In a letter he sent to the Arab League, he wrote: "The occupation is leading us to a religious war.” (Maariv)
  • Palestinian Prisoners Rearrested After Shalit Deal Petition High Court for Release - During the search for three kidnapped Jewish teenagers in the West Bank in 2014, Israel re-arrested 60 prisoners released in the Gilad Shalit deal. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli defense officials oppose US Golan Heights bill - Republican senators who proposed the bill, which would recognize Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights, are reportedly vexed by the Israeli request to shelve it for the time being • Prime Minister's Office denies knowledge of any such request. (Israel Hayom)
  • Three Israeli Arabs arrested for suspected homophobic attack outside Tel Aviv club - The suspects, however, say they are the actual victims and were attacked because they're Arab. (Haaretz+)
  • Netanyahu: Israel, Russia to cooperate on foreign troop exit from Syria - Speaking at weekly cabinet meeting, the prime minister claims Israel and Russia have agreed on preventing Iran from establishing its presence in the war-torn country after the two leaders met in Moscow last week. (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • Israel's mission to the moon carries human history - The ‘lunar library’ reportedly contains a guide to 5,000 languages, entire English Wikipedia, collection of songs, children’s drawings and writings about Israeli culture and history and is designed to last 6 billion years. (Ynet)
  • Iceland’s Eurovision entry challenges Netanyahu to wrestling match - Icelandic BDSM techno band Hatari are inviting PM to a Glima, a Nordic folk wrestling match that emphasizes technique over strength; band previously expressed desire to boycott event in Israel. (Ynet)
  • Palestinian Authority Newspaper Criticized for Calling Trump Envoy 'Mongoloid' - Figures across the political spectrum in U.S. denounce op-ed that described Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt as 'retarded.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Gazans resume minor pilgrimage after years of Egyptian ban - Palestinians in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip resume a minor pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, known as the "umrah," after nearly five years of an Egyptian ban • Egypt halted the umrah program for Gazans in 2015 over instability in the northern Sinai. (Israel Hayom)
  • Forget BDS and the Startup Nation, Israel Turns Out to Be a Big 'Don't Know' - A recent survey finds that most young people abroad don’t associate Israel with anything, not even the Palestinian conflict. (Haaretz)
  • Texas blacklists Airbnb over Israeli settlement boycott - Texas passed a law in 2017 prohibiting government contractors from engaging in boycotts of Israel. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Chemical weapons agency: 'toxic chemical' used in attack on Syrian rebel town last April - The attack on April 7, 2018, killed dozens of civilians and prompted air strikes against the Syrian government by Britain, France and the United States. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • On brink of Syria defeat, Islamic State unleashes car bombs - Capturing the village in eastern Syria will be a milestone in international efforts to roll back the jihadists, whose self-styled 'caliphate' covered roughly one third of Syria and Iraq at its height in 2014. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Tens of thousands protest in Algeria as Bouteflika declares bid for 5th term - Protesters are demanding an end to the 20-year rule of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 82, who is currently receiving medical care in Switzerland. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Egypt's top Muslim cleric draws criticism for soft line on polygamy - Al-Azhar's Grand Imam sparked a heated debate on social media, with some siding with scholars calling for a ban on the practice. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Saudi cabinet approves tourism visa for foreign travelers - The conservative Muslim country has previously restricted visas to resident workers, business travellers, and Muslim pilgrims who are given special visas to travel to holy sites. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Defying ban, reformist Iranian newspaper publishes photo of opposition leader - New photo of Mir Hossein Mousavi and wife Zahra Rahnavard was tweeted by Etemad daily and spread on social media. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Jewish Philanthropist Banker Becomes Brazil's Richest Person - Joseph Safra has a net worth of $25.2 billion. (JTA, Haaretz)

Bedouin father, Jewish mother, and Golani heart
On Thursday, Golani company commander Shaker Kozly awarded the brown beret of the elite infantry brigade to his little brother, Adam; the family may be of mixed ethnicity, but love of the IDF is in their blood. (Korin Elbaz Alush, Yedioth/Ynet)
Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
Netanyahu Is Going Down, but What About His Powerful Accomplice? (Eytan Avriel, Haaretz+) Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Mozes is so powerful that even after the attorney general announced his intention to indict him, nobody’s so much as mentioning his name.
The tower collapses on Netanyahu's head and the cards are made of cast concrete (Ben Caspit, Maariv) The prime minister continued to believe the story he had created for himself, and instead of striving for a dignified and quick exit, he now strives at top speed into the wall after rotting in his role and rotting his surroundings…They have not yet invented the superlative that is capable of describing the power of the almost biblical political drama we are in. This is the perfect storm, and its clouds have gathered over the past three years, followed by a hesitant drip that turned into pouring rain, which has transformed into a thunderstorm. Now we are inside Hurricane Bibi. Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit sits on a mountain of evidence, recordings, documents, text messages, witnesses and state witnesses. Near this mountain, another hill, not a small one, of the materials that have been plundered is hoisted up. Only from this hill can you produce a grand package of indictments. Mendelblitt gave Binyamin Netanyahu a long list of significant celebrity discounts and hair-raising end-of-season sales. After we have said all this, it is already possible to say with certainty that at the bottom line, the attorney general has met the simple task at hand: to enforce the law and serve justice…Netanyahu got off easy. State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan's "minority opinion" actually reflects the opinion of the majority in the State Prosecutor's Office. According to this view, all three cases are bribery cases against Netanyahu. Case 1000 is a clear bribery case, lowering it to fraud and breach of trust was made for tactical reasons: to go to trial with Arnon Milchan, and not against him. Case 4000 is a clear bribe case, unanimously. In Case 2000, 21 out of the 23 attorneys in the legal advisor's team thought that it was also a bribe case against Netanyahu. Mendelblitt played the role of Netanyahu's attorney in this game. That’s a relatively good situation, because the former attorney general really was Netanyahu's attorney. Mendelblitt rescued Netanyahu from a few troubles in the current cases, but the troubles that remain are enough.
Israel's Ruling Party Is Anti-nationalist, anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish (Yechiam Weitz, Haaretz+) What a mindless campaign video misusing a national tragedy tells us about Netanyahu's Likud.
Netanyahu should resign for the good of the country (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) Some might think it's unacceptable for a Yedioth Ahronoth writer to call on the prime minister to quit his post over corruption charges that directly involve my publisher; the differences, however, between the soon-to-be indicted Arnon Mozes and Netanyahu are immense.
Netanyahu’s Dilemma: If He Pulls Even With Gantz, He May Not Be the Next Prime Minister (Amnon Harari, Haaretz+) Tying Knesset seats with Gantz’s Kahol Lavan could come at the expense of Netanyahu's natural coalition partners on the right.
Attorney General Mendelblitt acted with ugly legal acrobatics that humiliates him (Dr. Chaim Misgav, Maariv) It seems that the attorney general did not withstand the pressures that were applied on him. The unreliable way he chose the issues in Cases 1000 and 2000 does not lead to the exploration of the truth.
B. Netanyahu and his war against Deep State's windmills (Tzur Sheizaf, Ynet Hebrew) Even after 42 years of gross Likud, our beloved prime minister was forced to contend with the dark scheme of rule that dominates the country with his evil octopus arms…The Deep State is the invention of the 21st century. It goes well with the Internet and the DarkNet - the dark web of information and trafficking in weapons, people, drugs and everything you don’t want to know about. Netanyahu and his ilk are digging in the ground, searching for and finding - on the left, in the State Attorney's Office and in the courts - the Deep State telescopes. They turn over every stone. After all, since 1977, the revolution that toppled the Labor Party from power and raised Begin's Likud. And that same Likud, with the exception of several (good) years, is the king of Israeli politics even if it was called Kadima when headed by Ariel Sharon. So how do you get rid of this dreadful Deep State that came to destroy us? The Deep State is Bibi's alter ego. We dismiss one, the other will disappear as well. It's that simple. And a redeemer came to Zion.
The Collaborators (Haaretz Editorial) Not one member of the current governing coalition voiced disgust over the attorney general’s decision or the suspicions against Netanyahu who could very well change the law to avoid standing trial.
Netanyahu's test: Saving the right-wing bloc (Yehuda Shlezinger, Israel Hayom) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's main concern is not the rise of the Left but the potential defection of Likud supporters to small right-wing parties that may not cross the electoral threshold.

What Israel Does to the Palestinian Authority Is Daylight Robbery (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Israeli media is a vital partner in the crimes of the occupation, encouraging Israelis' ignorance. Recent 'activity' to arrest former militant in the heart of Ramallah, right next to a school and a kindergarten, proves just that.
There's a Different Kind of Escalation Brewing in the West Bank (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) The rise settler violence against Palestinians is likely to continue as the army, the police and Israeli society stand by passively – or even encourage attacks.
The idea of two states is an illusion, and the purpose of the talks is one - to prevent war (Ran Edelist, Maariv) Jews and Arabs in the space between the Jordan River and the sea are like piano keys (without distinguishing who the whites are and the black ones), and in order for the piano to play, it needs all the keys…The purpose of the immediate talks about two states is to dismantle existing crises and prevent unnecessary wars in the short term. When we talk under the auspices and pressure of the entire world, we do not shoot (except for the need to deal stiffly with extremists at home), and all this happens during the talks on a two-state agreement between Israel and Palestine until it turns out that these two countries are actually one geo-strategic unit. There is no problem establishing two entities here, and even marking borders and enacting internal laws, as is the case in the United States. It will not happen tomorrow. In the meantime, the procedure needs to be shortened. Or through the victory of the left or a Blue-White and Black government, sorry, the Likud. In both cases, there should be a commitment to an Israeli-Palestinian dialogue that will open once and for all the blockage that will has the whole country stuck.
With Iceland's Hatari Staging anti-Israel Protest, Eurovision 2019 Is Especially Political (Yigal Ravid, Haaretz+) Iceland's Eurovision pick Hatari threatens to turn its Tel Aviv performance into a protest and challenges Netanyahu to a fight.
The Plot Against Zarif – and How Iran's Hardliners Failed (Zvi Bar’el, Haaretz+) A foreign minister's resignation doesn't usually create shock waves. But the dichotomy through which the West views Iran meant Zarif's was perceived as an earthquake.
My Late Uncle Was Part of a Generation of Palestinian Giants (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) This generation didn’t despair, even though its surroundings radiated nothing but despair: in the words of the poet Mahmoud Darwish, they never stopped 'fighting and sowing hope.’
The Temple Mount is in their hands: The Arabs spit in the face of Israel, and the Prime Minister lets them (Prof. Arieh Eldad, Maariv) All the governments of Israel and their leaders, from right and left, committed crimes against the Temple Mount, but Netanyahu, who spoke high up about the "rock of our existence," he is the worst of all.
For Arab Regimes, Palestine Is Old News. Now, It's All About Iran (Muhammad Shehada, Haaretz+) The Arab regimes' exploitation and betrayal of Palestine has a long history. Now, they're framing the Palestinian cause as a burden, and a dangerous distraction from Iran.
Under Modi, the 'new' India prioritizes aggression – and prizes Israel's example (Khinvraj Jangid, Haaretz+) Modi has radically changed India's security doctrine to better reflect his angry, aggressive nationalism. Further escalation with Pakistan is not a matter of if, but when.
In Sissi's Egypt, a tweet can make you public enemy number one (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Egyptian activists are trying to invigorate the public in the face of the president's sweeping constitutional changes, but he doesn't intend to allow this to threaten his rule.
The Palestinians crossing checkpoints and societal divides to work in Startup Nation
Five young professionals tell Haaretz about the challenge of finding jobs in Israel’s high-tech sector and how they reconcile their work with the occupation. (Interviewed by Martin Saps in Haaretz+)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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