News Nosh 5.1.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday May 1, 2019

Quote of the day:
"We've been through a rough campaign season. We've slammed others and got slammed ourselves. Enough now. We must rise above, put our swords aside and clean the dirt. Political strategy can no longer be the only the sole compass."
--At the inauguration of the 21st Knesset, President Reuven Rivlin calls on the politicians to unite society and not divide it.*

Front Page:
  • New IDF Spokesman was police informer in Yisrael Beiteinu affair
  • Love at first sight: The confidant who accompanied the chief of staff behind the scenes // Amos Harel
  • European offer for solving the tax crisis: Palestinian Authority will pay prisoners regardless of felonies
  • Unity? No thanks // Yossi Verter
  • Gantz at first faction meeting: We won’t allow the government to turn into a refuge for lawbreakers
  • Holocaust Day: The US DuPont corporation helped the Nazis to Auschwitz, and did not act only for the money
  • Amazon on the way to Israel: Turned to local businesses and invited them to sell via the website
  • Court gave first criminal sentence to man who refused to divorce wife: 15 months in jail
  • Important reminder // Haaretz Editorial on Attorney General’s statement
  • Formula for corruption // Nati Tucker
  • Crime, Fashion - Does the path to acquittal pass through the stylist? // NYT and Shira For
  • The father and daughter behind the ‘The Story of Eva’ explain how the connection between the Holocaust and Instagram was created
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • From tonight at 8PM, events for Holocaust Remembrance Day: A generation that is disappearing - About 210,000 Holocaust survivors are still living among us. Within six years, the number will drop by half
  • Expose - This is how (Netanyahu's ex-bureau chief) Natan Eshel is trying to recruit deserters from Kahol-Lavan party
  • Mom, thanks to you - New MK Gadi Yabrakan (Kahol-Lavan) kissed the feet of his mother when she arrived for the swearing-in ceremony at the Knesset and moved the whole country. “This day is first and foremost dedicated to my mother”
  • The recordings that are complicating the appointment of the next IDF Spokesman
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
israel Hayom

News Summary:
The inauguration of the 21st Knesset and the swearing of allegiance of its 120 members, stories of survivors of the Holocaust ahead of Holocaust Day Remembrance Day and revelation that has caused problems with the appointment of the new IDF Spokesman twere today’s top stories in the Hebrew newspapers.

In diplomacy, the European Union suggested a solution to the crisis over the refusal of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to accept the PA’s Israeli-collected taxes after Israel deducted payments to Palestinian security prisoners and their families. The idea was for security prisoners and their families to be integrated into the social welfare system of the Palestinian Authority, which will make the payments legal, but also remove any financial incentive for terror, said senior EU official Johannes Han. Due to the fear of the collapse of the Palestinian Authority due to the refusal to receive tax payments from Israel, the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee for Economic Assistance to the Palestinian Authority, which convenes twice a year in Brussels to discuss and fund donations to the PA, discussed the issue Tuesday. This is one of the few international forums where communication between Palestinians and Israelis takes place, Maariv noted. However, the committee failed to reach an agreed solution. The meeting was attended by representatives from the European Union, the United States, the United Nations, the Arab League, Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This is one of the few international forums where communication between Palestinians and Israelis takes place, Maariv wrote. Han said: “We are all aware of the crisis the Palestinian Authority is dealing with, and of its human, social and security implications. Both sides need to move toward a solution. Israel's decision on the matter (to deduct monies - OH)  is a violation of the current arrangements. At the same time, we do not support the PA's payments to the families of the terrorists.” Meanwhile, the EU contributed 3.7million Euros to support Gazan farmers, Maan reported.

Also, Israel summoned the French ambassador over a former French diplomat calling Israel an ‘apartheid’ state. Former French ambassador to the US Gérard Araud said in an interview to The Atlantic that Israel must decide: Either leave the Palestinians "stateless or make them citizens of Israel." Israeli officials were barred from meeting Araud, who is scheduled to visit Israel in the coming days. Meanwhile, Israel’s ambassador to Brazil Yossi Shelley was rebuked by his bosses for saying the chairwoman of the left-wing Meretz party “hates Jews.” Shelley apologized to Tamar Zandberg after she filed a complaint with the Foreign Ministry and Civil Service Commission.

*At the swearing-in of the new Knesset, President Reuven Rivlin urged the coalition to be 'honorable winners' and 'clean the dirt' after the harsh elections season and criticized the racism aimed at Israel's Arab citizens. Just after the swearing-in, the Kahol-Lavan party submitted four bills: a law limiting the term of office of the prime minister, a law prohibiting politicians who are indicted from continuing to serve, a law prohibiting a public figure who was convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude from running for a seat in the Knesset and law establishing a state commission of inquiry into the submarine affair. (Maariv) The new Knesset has fewer women and Arabs, more religious and LGBT members.

Barely mentioned in the news was the rocket launched from Gaza that landed in Israeli territorial waters. In an unusual move, Israel named Islamic Jihad officials as the perpetrators, saying the organization acted without Hamas' approval. Israel retaliated by limiting Gazan fishermen from fishing.
Quick Hits:
  • Israeli navy shoots Gazan fisherman in back - Amran Muhammad Bakr was shot in the back with a rubber-coated steel bullet fired by Israeli naval forces while working off Gaza’s coast, on Tuesday. His medical condition remained unknown. (Maan)
  • Two Israelis Sentenced to Year in Prison for Racially-motivated Assault on Arabs - The residents of Be'er Sheva were part of an organized group that attacked Arabs in order to deter them from dating Jewish women. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli settlers chop down 150 olive trees near Ramallah - Israeli forces protected Israeli settlers as they chopped down more than 150 olive trees belonging to residents of Burqa village. One of the owners, Ibrahim Kanaan, said two days earlier settlers attempted to assault him while he was working in his land, forcing him to flee for his life. (Maan)
  • Israel arrests 18 right-wing activists while evacuating illegal West Bank outpost - Maoz Esther, pop-up outpost adjacent to Koshav Hashachar settlement and built on private Palestinian land, is alternately built and demolished on a monthly basis. (Haaretz+ and Times of Israel)
  • Israel orders stop-construction of solar panels in Jordan Valley - Israeli authorities raided the area and delivered a stop-construction notice to solar panels used for providing electricity to Palestinian residents. The panels were supplied through NGO humanitarian projects. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces attack Palestinian family, demolish two Silwan homes - Israeli forces and police, in addition to a number of Israeli bulldozers stormed the neighborhood and surrounded the two homes, which belong to two Palestinian brothers, Anas and Qusai Barqan. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces detain Palestinian minor in detention raids - Ahmad Nazyeh Abu Adi, 14, and a former prisoner Maraei Qabha, who spent 15 years in Israeli prisons, were among those detained during predawn raids on Tuesday. (Maan)
  • Former Israeli in U.S. Interview: I Guarded Nuclear Device During Six Day War - Elie Geisler says he was asked in May 1967 to guard a secret base in central Israel that held the device. He described a clash with Col. Yitzhak Yaakov, who demanded control of the base and threatened to break into it by force. (Haaretz+)
  • Study: Many Arabs voted for non-Arab parties in the last elections - Not only was the Arab voter turnout in the last elections low, the number of votes received by the Arab parties was equal to 32% of the total Arab vote. (Maariv)
  • PCBS: Unemployment in Palestine up in 2018 on International Labor Day - About 31% of the labor force participants are unemployed compared with about 28% in 2017. The number of unemployed individuals increased from 377,000 in 2017 to 426,000 in 2018, said the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics marking International Labor Day. (Maan)
  • Expose: Security establishment recommends r-eestablishing an industrial zone along the Gaza Strip border  - The security establishment recommends employing thousands of Palestinians in a joint industrial zone at the Karni Crossing, after a similar area at the Erez crossing was closed after the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. The subject was officially discussed in the talks. (Maariv)
  • Netanyahu’s security detail assaults Haaretz photographer - As PM attended birthday party for PR mogul Ran Rahav, guards closed public street and detained photographer – until he called police for help. (Haaretz+)
  • Report: The Assad regime claims that the Baumel deal was not completed - more prisoners to be released - Asharq al-Awsat newspaper reports in exchange for freeing the Syrian prisoners, the remains of other fallen IDF soldiers, recovered in the war-battered country by Russian troops, will be repatriated to Israel. (Ynet and Maariv)
  • Israeli ambassador slams New York Times in Holocaust Remembrance Day speech - Ron Dermer calls newspaper a 'cesspool of hostility,’ adding that its editors 'shamefully choose week after week to cast the Jewish state as a force for evil.' (Haaretz)
  • New York Times cartoonist to 'Post': Caricature was not antisemitic - Antonio Moreira Antunes said he sought only to 'critique Israeli policy' and that his work is not antisemitic. (JPost/Maariv)
  • Snark Is Israeli Army's Secret Weapon on Social Media 'Battlefield' - Humor and sarcasm seem to be the order of the day for the Israeli military, while Iran and Hamas seem to be their favorite opponents on social media. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Jordan Reportedly Seeking Changes to $10 Billion Gas Deal With Israel - News of review ordered by King Abdullah send Israeli gas shares lower; sources tell Saudi newspaper that the Jordanian royal was using the report to pressure Israel. (Haaretz+)
  • Palestine to 'gradually disengage' from Israel - In meeting with Swedish Foreign Minister Annika Soder, Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Ishtayeh said the Palestinian side “will work on gradually disengaging from Israel, strengthening the national economy, and promoting the industrial and agricultural sectors,” in order to create job opportunities and reduce the unemployment rate. (Maan)
  • Six new Palestinian hospitals to be built across West Bank - In a meeting with a delegation of the American Federation of Ramallah, Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Ishtayeh praised the federation’s role in supporting the health sector in Palestine, especially by bringing in Palestinian doctors to serve Palestinian hospitals, and building six new hospitals in the West Bank. (Maan)
  • Jewish Students Ask Judge to Move pro-Palestinian Panel Off UMass Campus - Students claim the panel, where speakers are expected to claim that pro-Israel groups try to silence Palestinian viewpoints, is anti-Semitic. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Louisiana bill to ban companies boycotting Israel - The southern US state is edging closer to passing a bill intended to allow government agencies to reject a low bid from a vendor or scrap a contract with a company participating in boycott of the Jewish state. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Stephen Fry, Sharon Osbourne among 100 artists calling to reject boycott of Tel Aviv Eurovision - The international celebrities sign a statement in support of the song contest that will be held in Israel following BDS pressure on contestants to pull out. (Haaretz+)
  • Rights Group: 3,000 Prisoners on Hunger Strike in Turkey - Turkish authorities have not commented publicly on the hunger strikes. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran vows to keep exporting crude oil despite US sanctions - Meanwhile, Saudi energy minister tells Russian state news that Saudi Arabia is ready to meet oil consumers' demand by replacing supplies from Iran. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Blackwater Founder Erik Prince Is Operating in Iraq Again, Now With Chinese Backing, Report Claims - Former Blackwater chief Erik Prince is operating again in southern Iraq, BuzzFeed News reported over the weekend. (Haaretz)

French Mediterranean Museum Kicks Israel Out Of, Well, the Mediterranean
Founded six years ago, the Mucem has given its scenic host city a new lease on life – but its exhibitions on subjects including our region’s important port cities seem to have given Israel a miss. (Moshe Gilad, Haaretz+)
Mendelblit’s Vital Warning (Haaretz Editorial) A person’s guilt or innocence isn’t determined in the polling booth.
The Knesset doesn't care about the will of the people (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) Far-right and ultra-Orthodox MKs have been citing 'the will of the people' recently every time they try to legitimize their narrow agenda; but the public didn't vote against a draft law, nor for an immunity law for politicians set to face charges.
Divergent lessons of the Holocaust widen the gap between Israel and American Jews (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) In the age of Donald Trump, American Jews increasingly identify with persecuted minorities – while Israelis see them as a threat.
Islamic Jihad tries to dictate events in Gaza (Ron Ben Yishai, Ynet) The long-term cease-fire arrangement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, appeared near but now, several events, orchestrated by Iran, including Sunday's rocket launch towards Israel, casts new doubts.
The Palestinian Authority Is Collapsing, and Annexation Could Follow (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) It lost its biggest source of revenue and with it, its last raison d’etre. The PA's demise will leave a vacuum annexationists would love to fill.
Poverty isn’t the cause of terrorism (Stephen M. Flatow, Israel Hayom) Myths die hard. In fact, many terrorists come from middle-class or upper-class backgrounds and are driven not by desperation but by radical Islam, Arab supremacy, and basic anti-Semitism.
Military insignia have replaced the yellow stars (IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, Israel Hayom) We, the commanders and soldiers of the IDF – past, present, and future – comprise the defensive forces that the 6 million fallen prayed for.
Give Everyone a Break With the Holocaust (Martin Weyl, Haaretz+) There’s no doubt the Holocaust was one of the saddest and most terrible events in the Jewish people’s history, and it’s important to remember it in a meaningful way and transmit this memory to the younger generation. Still, by any standard, it’s hard to be certain today whether the multiplicity of events about the memory of the Holocaust contributes to the health of society or has a positive effect on our lives.
Much has changed from the first Knesset, but the main thing remains - challenges and hopes (MK Yuli (Yoel) Edelstein, Maariv) Since its establishment, the Knesset has been the only place where representatives of all the Jewish communities gather together and discover that our achievements have come only with mutual respect and the aspiration to live in multi-faceted unity.
Do You Like Withholding Palestinian Tax Money? Enjoy the War (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) The threat by Palestinian prisoners to launch a hunger strike at the beginning of last month struck fear into the hearts of the Israeli government. The fear that the strike would spark rioting in Gaza and the West Bank, obligating Israel to use force, left it with no choice but to back down and reach agreements with the strikers. Shortly before that, with Egyptian mediation, Israel had reached deals with Hamas on economic concessions that would allow a temporary lull in hostilities. In both these instances, Israel’s muscle flexing encountered the limitations of force; Israeli arrogance was taken down a peg for now. But the appetite can’t be satisfied, and national pride made it necessary to withhold from the tax money that belongs to the Palestinian Authority the sums that the PA pays families of prisoners and terrorists who were killed.
The Times knows it doesn’t need to fear Jewish violence (Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom) No one at The New York Times is bracing for an armed onslaught over its recent anti-Semitic cartoons, in contrast to the violent rioting that came in response to the publication of cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad.
The New York Times Fuels More anti-Semitism Than Trump and Republicans? That's Bullshit (David Schraub, Haaretz+) There's a reason Trump and U.S. conservatives are so obsessed with one anti-Semitic NYT cartoon: it's called deflection. Don't play along with their serial denial and hypocrisy.
The readers and editors of the Times understood the cartoon, only we didn’t (Prof. Arieh Eldad, Maariv) Ze'ev Engelmayer chose to write an article in Haaretz that explains that this is only "a cliche cartoon, stylish and certainly not anti-Semitic,” Just wipe the spit and say: It's only rain.
A Game of Thrones Lesson for the Age of Netanyahu and Putin (Rogel Alpher, Haaretz+) The show presents a cyclical theory of history: The periodic arrival of winter and the periodic coming of the Night King. Actual history is also cyclical and it is becoming more and more clear that winter is here, and it will only get worse. In the real world, like in the show, the doomsayers are called pessimists even though the reality proves time after time that they are really the clear-eyed ones.
After Victory, Putin Steps Into Syrian Minefield (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Caught between a stalling U.S. pullout, Israeli 'alliance' and Idlib militias, Russian president finds his monopoly over Assad's resurgence may require some flexibility.
The Rise and Fall of Israel's May Day (Elon Gilad, Haaretz+) Once May 1 was one of Israel's most popular holidays, often bringing Arabs and Jews together in solidarity. Why is it barely observed by anybody but a handful of teenagers any more?
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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