News Nosh 3.13.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday March 13, 2019

 
Quote of the day:
"What took place between Givat Assaf and Abu Shukhaydam occurs every night and it’s only the absence of documentation that prevents the expose of the pure evil on the part of the world’s most moral army. The nausea and disgust are overwhelming, and then comes the anger and shame. All of it takes place very quickly. 'Say hello, say it,' 'It’s a celebration, you idiot,' 'Goodbye forever.' The sounds of blows to the head, blow after blow, the moaning of the father and son, the sounds of the helpless, the giggles of the abusers."
--Haaretz prints on its front page an Op-Ed by journalist Gideon Levy damning Israeli society, following the court release of video filmed by soldiers showing them brutally beating a Palestinian father and son who were detained.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
Yedioth Ahronoth did not even report on it.**

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • Under Assad’s nose: Hezbollah on the Golan border - IDF reveals: Secret terror structure for day of need
  • Likud against (top member of Labor party list) Nissenkorn: “He will harm citizens”
  • Mount, volcanic - Fear of renewal of clashes on Temple Mount
  • Today: State Comptroller will release severe report on failures in public transportation
  • 42 people from Telegrass company were arrested: “Criminal organization by all definitions”
  • Another loss for Theresa May; Brexit is strengthening nationalism // Dror Eydar in London

Elections 2019 News:
Alongside the IDF report that Hezbollah is entrenching itself on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights without Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad knowing and with the goal of carrying out attacks on Israeli soil in the future, marijuana made two top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers: One was the rising popularity of a far right-wing politician, Moshe Feiglin, whose new party, Zehut, opposes a Palestinian state and calls to legalize grass, and the other was the arrest of some 40 people working for the pot-providing Telegrass company.

Election Quickees:
  • On the Campaign Trail: Gantz Slams Netanyahu's Son as the Right Battles Over Portfolios - Rise of far-rightist moves others to join cannabis bandwagon, Netanyahu says Likud would hold on to education portfolio, sought after by the Union of Right-Wing Parties. Kahol Lavan party demanded that Netanyahu "gain control of your son Yair’s mouth and keyboard," accusing the prime minister’s son of making inflammatory remarks against President Reuven Rivlin. (Haaretz+)
  • Netanyahu: The idea of Lapid as prime minister is 'chilling' - "Only a big Likud would prevent a left-wing government," PM Netanyahu says and warns voters not to be fooled by Blue and White pretending to be right-wing • Gantz attacks Netanyahu for casting himself as victim: You brought corruption probes on yourself. (Israel Hayom)
  • 'We Can Roll With It': Where Israel's Political Parties Stand on Legalizing Marijuana - The rise of Moshe Feiglin, a far-right champion of legalization, has pulled pot to the fore in election campaigns. Where do the other political parties stand? (Haaretz+)
  • No Grounds for Banning Far-left Candidate From Israeli Election, Attorney General Tells Top Court - Ofer Cassif, who rejects Israel as a Jewish state, was disqualified from running in the election by a panel of lawmakers, but attorney general opposes the ban. (Haaretz+)
  • Gantz to Speak at AIPAC: I Will End Netanyahu's Battle With U.S. Jews - Gantz vows to restore full U.S. support of Israel ahead of conference by pro-Israel Jewish lobby that is expected to be fraught with tensions. (Haaretz+)
  • Gantz's Party Promises non-Orthodox Recognition at Western Wall, Civil Marriages - The newly formed party wants to relax the religious establishment’s hold on matters of state, but still wants the ultra-Orthodox as potential coalition partners. (Haaretz+)

Other News Summary:
Also making headlines was the ‘arson attempt,’ when someone threw a Molotov cocktail at an Israeli police station in Jerusalem’s Old City near the Temple Mount, causing some damage to the wall and lightly injuring a Border Policewoman, after which Border Police forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, including the Dome of the Rock. Less was written about how the forces physically assaulted Muslim worshipers in search of perpetrators before forcing everyone to leave the premises and closing off the compound. The Waqf provided video, which Maariv also posted online.

**What shockingly didn’t even make Yedioth’s print paper, but was front page in Haaretz was the content of the video the Israeli court released showing the chilling footage of the Netzach Yehuda soldiers beating detained Palestinian father and son who were heard screaming in pain from the beatings they received when they were blindfolded and cuffed. The soldiers, four of whom have been convicted, are seen in the footage, which the soldiers filmed, hitting the Palestinian father and son in the head while saying 'it's your celebration.’ Haaretz video has captions in English. At one point, the soldiers tell the father and son they are beating that this is a 'celebration.' Haaretz’s Gideon Levy writes in a front page Op-Ed, “It’s also a celebration for the collaborating media. Most Israeli media, which doesn’t cover the occupation and its horrors, is doing all it can to entertain its consumers rather than to trouble them.” Indeed, it was a small article on the bottom of page 4 in Maariv and not even in Yedioth.

Also not making news in most of the papers was the killing of two Palestinians, one young man in Hebron, whom soldiers said tried to stab them, but his father said he was distributing notices from the Sharia Court across the city. The other young man was killed in clashes that broke out when soldiers raided the town of Salfit and and confiscated camera recordings from streets and commercial shops. The soldiers opened heavy fire and shot him in the chest. Here are the details:
  • Palestinian Health Ministry: Man Shot Dead by Israeli Forces - A Ma'an reporter said that large numbers of Israeli forces raided Salfit City and confiscated camera recordings from streets and commercial shops, causing violent clashes to erupt. Israeli forces opened heavy fire, shooting Mohammad Jamil Shahin, 23, in the chest and killing him (PHOTO) and injuring 40 others. (Haaretz and Maariv and Maan)
  • Palestinian assailant shot dead in (alleged) attempted West Bank stabbing attack in Hebron - The Israeli army said Yaser Fawzi al-Shweiki, 27, ran with a knife in his hand toward soldiers, who shot him before he got to them. Yasser's father told Ma'an that his son was distributing notices from the Sharia Court across Hebron City. Sources said Israeli forces dragged Yasser's body into a building under Israeli settlers’ control. (Haaretz+, Maariv and Maan)
On Shuhada Street in the aftermath...
  • Following alleged attempted attack, Israel imposes severe restrictions on Hebron's Old City - Israeli soldiers sealed off military checkpoints set up near the Ibrahimi Mosque, al-Shahada Street entrance and Tel Rumeida, preventing Palestinians from crossing the checkpoints leading to their homes. The Israeli-controlled H2 area is home to 30,000 Palestinians and around 800 Israeli settlers who live under the protection of Israeli forces. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces physically attack Palestinian activist in Hebron - Israeli forces attacked and repeatedly beat Zeidan al-Sharabati, an activist with the group Human Rights Defenders, near his home on the al-Shuhada Street in Hebron’s Old City. Zeidan was taken to hospital. (Maan + PHOTO)
  • In video - Israeli settler threatens Palestinian activists in Hebron - The video shows extremist Israeli settler Ofeh Yohanna threatening activist Ahmad al-Azzeh, who is a member of the al-Shuhada Street protection committees. (Maan)

Quick Hits:
  • In Photos - Hundreds of Gaza mourns slain 22-year-old Palestinian - Mourners in the funeral procession carried the body of Bassam Sami Safi, 22, who succumbed Monday to wounds he had sustained two weeks ago during Gaza’s weekly protests. (Maan)
  • Israel to evacuate Palestinian family to grant ownership to settlers - An Israeli court informed the current residents and heirs of Mariam Abu Zuweir to evacuate the home by the of March. The notice came after a petition by (settler -OH) Elad group, which allegedly presented forged documents to claim ownership of Abu Zuweir’s property. (Maan)
  • Israeli settlers set up mobile homes, raze lands in Nablus area villages - Israeli settlers set up 20 mobile homes in the Huwwara village to expand the illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzhar in the village’s southern side. They also razed more than 15 dunams of Palestinian land in Jalud village and installed a new water line in the area for settlement outposts. (Maan)
  • Israeli settlers uproot dozens of olive trees in Nablus area - A group of Israeli settlers from Yitzhar settlement uprooted 33 Palestinian-owned olive tree near Burin village on Tuesday. (Maan)
  • Israel delivers stop-construction notices to structures in Salfit area - Head of Haris village council, Taysir Suf, said Israeli forces raided the village and delivered stop-construction notices to two houses, one that is still under construction and another that is inhabited, in addition to a yard that includes a carpenter's workshop, two rooms, a bathroom and a wall. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces shoot, injure 2 Palestinians in Kobar clashes - Two Palestinians were shot and injured by Israeli forces, on Monday, during violent clashes in the village of Kobar, near Ramallah. Local sources said that a large number of heavily armed Israeli forces raided the village, causing clashes to erupt among Palestinians and Israeli soldiers. (Maan)
  • It's easy to smuggle a gun from the West Bank into Israel - Law enforcement has been unsuccessful in sealing off a notorious gun smuggling route in the southern West Bank, as demonstrated by a Ynet investigative team. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • 2 Palestinian youths detained after crossing Gaza border fence - Hebrew-language news outlets reported that two Palestinians youths from Gaza managed to cross the Israel-Gaza border fence, northeast of Gaza, and were detained by Israeli forces. (Maan)
  • Defending nation-state law, PM says Israeli Arabs have 22 other countries - Netanyahu brushes off criticism of controversial legislation, says individual rights anchored in preexisting laws. (Times of Israel and Maariv)
  • UAE Minister Slams Netanyahu for Saying Israel Is Nation-state of Jews Alone - Rebuke comes hours after Netanyahu says Israel is in contact with six Arab countries to advance normalization. (Haaretz+)
  • "A senior IDF official presented Netanyahu with a report, according to which, Iran would not renew its nuclear program - and it was rejected out of hand" - ‘The Independent’ website in Arabic reports that the "official in charge of the Iranian file" in the army submitted to the prime minister a report contradicting Netanyahu’s claims about the Islamic republic, and it was rejected. (Maariv)
  • Court defers ruling on expulsion of Human Rights Watch official - Judge to study Twitter history of Human Rights Watch's Israel and Palestinian territories director Omar Shakir • HRW claims not to support boycotts of Israel but has defended Shakir's tweets backing Airbnb's delisting of Jewish homes in the West Bank. (Israel Hayom)
  • The Walls of Hope: "Strengthens the connection between Jews (in Israel) and Diaspora Jews" - At the initiative of the "Partnership Together" initiative, 11 young Bnei Akiva volunteers arrived from Britain for a six-week stay at Moshav Shtula to decorate the security wall built between the fence and the border of the moshav and engage in various volunteer activities in schools, kindergartens, youth movements and clubs. (Maariv)
  • Monthlong Hebrew language festival launched in North America - Festival includes arts and educational events to encourage people in the Diaspora to learn language • "Promoting Hebrew among Jews … is the most powerful way to bring together Jews," says organizer • More than 40 events planned in New York alone. (Israel Hayom)
  • Top Tel Aviv University Staff Backs Field Labor for Students From Africa, Asia - A Haaretz investigation found that studies at the university accounted for only one month of the 15-month program. The rest of the time, the students worked for 12 hours a day or more on farms. (Haaretz+)
  • Record $158.3 billion in worldwide debts owed to Israel - The amount will be added to the Bank of Israel's foreign currency reserves, now at over $273 billion, and will help the country contend with potential local and global financial developments • Foreign investment in Israel also up, reaching $20.5 billion. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli Weapons Makers Learn to Think More Like a Startup  - To keep the innovation flowing, the Big 3 are partnering with tech firms and tweaking their organizational culture. (Haaretz+)
  • US officials reportedly in Mideast peace talks with Jordan's king - U.S. secretary of state and White House senior advisers Kushner, Greenblatt discuss Middle East peace with King Abdullah in Washington, American source says • Abdullah also meets with U.S. vice president to discuss Islamic State, U.S. presence in Syria. (Israel Hayom)
  • Columbia University student government rejects BDS - Student council fails to reach the two-thirds majority needed to pass the BDS proposal. "Damage has been done: These votes polarize campus and contribute to a difficult environment for Jewish students," says Columbia/Barnard Hillel Director Brian Cohen. (Israel Hayom)
  • WATCH Last battle to defeat ISIS rages in Syria as hundreds surrender - The besieged enclave of Baghouz is the last shred of territory held by the jihadists who have been driven from roughly one third of Iraq and Syria over the past four years. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Turkey discussing offensive against Syrian Kurds with Russia, U.S. - Turkey wants to set up a safe zone in the border area east of the Euphrates river after most U.S. troops pull out. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Saudi-led Airstrikes Kill Twenty-two Civilians, Including Children, in North Yemen - Tens of thousands of people have died in a four-year war that pits the Iran-aligned Houthi movement against Yemen's Saudi-backed government. (Agencies, Haaretz)


Features:
Jexodus, the Far-right Group Calling for U.S. Jews to Be Released From Left-wing Bondage
After previously calling the Democratic Party 'anti-Jewish' and 'anti-Israel,' Donald Trump just tweeted a quote from Jexodus leader Elizabeth Pipko. The 23-year-old model says she wants to ‘help Jewish millennials leave the anti-Semitic left.’ (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+)
 
Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
Netanyahu’s Racist 107-seat Knesset (Haaretz Editorial) The prime minister is pushing the idea that Arab parties need to be subtracted from the 120-seat Knesset to get the number of legitimate seats for a government coalition.
The Likud is the real threat to Israel (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) While we are all busy watching Netanyahu attack a celebrity on social media, his party is busy with political plans that endanger the Jewish and democratic nature of the state.
Netanyahu made Israel stronger (Bryan Leib, Israel Hayom) Powerful countries like China, India, and the U.S. have played major roles in boosting Israel's economy and image. This is due to Netanyahu and Israel's diplomatic corps.
The Israeli Beauty Queens Who Don't Want to Be Pretty and Shut Up (Tsafi Saar, Haaretz+) While decorated generals can't bring themselves to mumble anything more than 'blue and white' and 'unity,' TV presenter Rotem Sela, model Shlomit Malka and actress Gal Gadot are speaking out against inequality.
Politicians don’t want Arabs in the Knesset — but don't mind their votes (Yehuda Shohat, Yedioth/Ynet) While Netanyahu is busy blaming Gantz for 'not ruling out' Arab parties from his coalition, there are thousands of Palestinian- Israelis who vote for Likud, Shas and even further to the right. The PM doesn't mind getting votes from 'good Arabs' — as long as, God forbid, they don't utilize their basic right for political representation.
'Bibi or Tibi' is about Zionism, not racism (Jonathan S. Tobin, Israel Hayom) Non-Jewish citizens deserve respect. But the argument between the prime minister and a reality TV host over whether Israel is "a state of all its citizens" or the Jewish nation-state is not a test of tolerance.
The elections give Hamas and Iran an opportunity to settle accounts with Israel (Ephraim Ganor, Maariv) As we approach Voters' Day, 9 April, the (incendiary) balloons and the explosives on the fence will increase. That's how it is when the prime minister and the defense minister is preoccupied with his re-election and needs quiet (on the border) like (he needs) air to breathe.
Following the support-for-retreat formula (Ariel Bolstein, Israel Hayom) MK Ayman Odeh, the main wheeler and dealer in talks for a Gantz-Lapid alliance, is ready to support a leftist prime minister in exchange for a nightmare list of concessions.
How can it be that the crisis in hospitals does not win a place in the election campaign? (Yitzhak Ben-Ner, Maariv) Only equality in hospitalization for the ordinary citizen and those in power will bring the latter to understand what is happening and perhaps finally begin to stop the avalanche.

Commentary/Analysis:
*Israeli Soldiers Who Beat Detained Palestinians Are Part of a Bigger Evil (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Most moral army in the world? Keep tripping…The Netzah Yehuda soldiers convicted of beating up prisoners are not exceptions. What took place between Givat Assaf and Abu Shukhaydam occurs every night and it’s only the absence of documentation that prevents the expose of the pure evil on the part of the world’s most moral army. The nausea and disgust are overwhelming, and then comes the anger and shame. All of it takes place very quickly. “Say hello, say it,” “It’s a celebration, you idiot,” “Goodbye forever.” The sounds of blows to the head, blow after blow, the father and sons’ moaning, the sounds of the helpless, the giggles of the abusers. The soldier taking the pictures so he would have something to show his buddies; the grotesque name of the battalion, Netzah Yehuda – Eternity of Judah – any satirist would be too ashamed to make it up. Maybe the name is to blame: Whoever gives this name to an occupation force, it’s as if he’s telling the troops: You can do whatever you would. You’re eternity. It’s not Elor Azaria, there’s no death here, and it’s no less severe: The pure evil, sadistic enjoyment, the great sense of heroism over the weakest of the weak. Don’t try to tell us these soldiers were “upset,” they were having a delightful party. Don’t try to tell us these men are “fighters.” They are cowardly and miserable soldiers. Don’t try to tell us they aren’t animals, they are, even though there are very few in the animal kingdom who torture others just for the sake of it. Don’t try to tell us we sent children to the army and they return as animals – it’s doubtful that these children weren’t like this beforehand. They are disgusting. There are many like them in the occupation units. Such incidents happen often; only the video separates them from this publicized incident. The story is the IDF. The story is the battalion commander who said after the abuse that he had sent his soldiers on an arrest mission “to end the cycle” and to “create a feeling of success among the fighters.” And nobody thought to dismiss him for those words. This story is such a scandal that even now the real face of evil has not been exposed, the faces of these soldiers, let’s see them for their eternal disgrace. Disgrace? In the eyes of many Israelis they are heroes. If this isn’t a cover up for them then I don’t know what is. The story of the so painfully lenient plea bargain.  The story is that even after the abuse they went through nobody thinks of releasing the victims, as a basic gesture of humanity. And what about an apology and compensation? The IDF thinks you must be joking. This story ensures that in two years the abusers’ shame will be removed. The army dismisses officers for training accidents in which there isn’t a grain of ill intent, yet covers up such evil. Why? Because the victims are Arabs, not Jews. It’s a celebration for the IDF because the IDF does everything to cover up what happened. It’s also a celebration for the collaborating media. Most Israeli media, which doesn’t cover the occupation and its horrors, is doing all it can to entertain its consumers rather than to trouble them. It’s a celebration for all those who think these incidents are exceptions to the rule. It’s a celebration for all those who think the problem is with the marginal youth of Netzah Yehuda, Kfir or the border police and don’t understand that everyone has a hand in it. From the pilots, through the sailors and all the way to 8200, it’s all rotten to the core with the blight of occupation.
One can only hope that Rotem Sela did not understand what she said (Prof. Arieh Eldad, Maariv) Israeli Arabs are human beings and are entitled to full equality of rights. But civil rights do not include national rights. Is the reality star host playing with our heads? Ben-Zion Dinur, Israel’s third education minister on behalf of the (left-wing) Mapai party, made the rule for generations of Israelis: "The Arabs have all the rights in the Land of Israel and no right to the land of Israel." They do not have the rights of a national minority. Therefore, when Rotem Sela writes, "Israel is a state of all its citizens," one must hope that she does not understand the subtleties. All Israeli citizens are entitled to equal rights as individuals. But the State of Israel is not "a state of all its nations,” as (Arab MK Ahmed) Tibi wants. In other words, a bi-national state….The position that demands Israel's transformation into a bi-national state is clearly anti-Zionist. It deletes the broadest common foundation on which most Jews in Israel stand. The basis that sees Israel as a nation-state of the Jewish people. Not from the days of the Nation-State Law, but from always. From Herzl through the Declaration of Independence.
Netanyahu Said Israel Is Nation-state of Jews Alone. The Data Show He's Right (Meirav Arlosoroff, Haaretz+) The numbers shed a harsh light on how different the Israel of secular Jews, Arabs and ultra-Orthodox really is, and those gaps are costing us dearly.
With Gaza a Priority, Israel Seeks to Quell Temple Mount Tensions (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Meanwhile, Hezbollah has been cultivating a covert intelligence network since May on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, the Israeli army says.
Trump Mideast Peace Team’s Challenge: Convincing Skeptics Without Revealing Any Details (Amir Tibon, Haaretz+) Ahead of releasing the actual proposal, the U.S. administration is urging everyone from evangelical supporters to a doubting Arab public to ‘remain open-minded.’ Here is how it’s trying to win them over.
Temple Mount Custodian Lost Control. It's in Israel's Interest to Aid It (Nir Hasson, Haaretz+) Accused by Israeli police of helping terrorism and accused by Palestinians of collaborating with Israel, the Waqf is stuck between a rock and a hard place
Why Israeli Jews Love Israeli Arabs (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) For some time now, Arabs haven't been fulfilling the mission awarded them by Jews – granting the seal of approval for Israeli democracy. But they play a vital role in the establishment of the authoritarian Jewish state.
Army Chief Takes Tough Stance on Training Death (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) In response to the first fatal accident to take place on his watch, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi opts for a severe approach, dismissing Paratroopers Brigade officers.
Ilhan Omar's lies about Israel and the Jews (Jerome A. Marcus, Israel Hayom) Omar claims that she is "questioning" the U.S.-Israel relationship. But she has advanced no argument about why maintaining close ties is not in America's interest.
Algerians Won the Battle Against Bouteflika. But They May Yet Lose the War (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Whether the end of President Bouteflika's reign will also mean an end to his method of governing and the power of the elites remains to be seen.

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