News Nosh 5.5.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday May 5, 2019

 
Quote of the day:
 

You Must Be Kidding: 
“Dearest residents of the south, just don’t forget while you are running to the bomb shelters that Bibi gives good speeches in English.”
—A social media post by one of numerous Israelis, who blamed the people of the south for their problems because they voted for Bibi.*


Breaking News:
See News Summary.
 

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • 300 launches in a day - Non-stop fire - Today: no studies in Beersheva, Ashdod, Ashkelon and Negev communities…
  • Life itself // Matan Tzuri
  • Hot summer // Alex Fishman
  • In Eurovision captivity // Yossi Yehoshua
  • Expected timing // Shimrit Meir
  • Our first Memorial Day - Four bereaved families who lost a loved one this year write about their pain
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • The message to Hamas: You will pay heavily for continuing to shoot - Battle day in the south; cabinet to meet to discuss escalation
  • A revolutionary change is just a matter of time // Yoav Limor
  • Hamas planned the escalation in advance // Daniel Siriyoti
  • No one will be hurt at Eurovision // Yizhar Cohen
  • The south is paying for the loss of deterrence // Gadi Yarkoni
  • We will light a torch also for you - 15 of the torch-lights on Independence Day tell who they would like next to them at the moving ceremony at Mt. Herzl
  • The protectors of their brothers - Itamar Siman-Tov and Addis Tafaso joined Golani Brigades after their brothers were killed in an accident
News Summary:
The violent escalation that began over the weekend between Israel and the Gaza Strip filled most of the pages of today’s Hebrew newspapers. As News Nosh was being prepared Sunday, the number of people killed on both sides rose. The papers reported that despite reports from Gaza about attempts to reach a ceasefire, Israel was not interested in one and the fighting would continue for at least a few days.

The latest as of this writing is that at least 13 Palestinians and four Israelis were killed since Friday. Haaretz has a 'live updates' link. Maan has photos from Gaza, where the IDF leveled seven residential apartment buildings, several schools, four family homes, a local mosque, and three ambulances, were completely destroyed during the escalation, as well as Hamas targets.

The papers wrote that the escalation began on Friday afternoon when a Palestinian sniper from the Islamic Jihad movement shot and injured two Israeli soldiers, who were on the Israeli side of the border. Israeli responded, killing four people: Two killed in a strike on a Hamas outpost and two others killed when - in an unusual move - tanks fired on civilians demonstrating near the fence as part of the March of Return protest. Already concerned that things would get out of hand, Egypt summoned Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) officials to Cairo Friday. Israel also deployed the Iron Dome missile defense system brought down the rockets.

Already Thursday, the Islamic Jihad warned it would hit major cities if targeted assassinations resumed. This followed the IDF's publication of the photo of the organizations' military wing Baha al-Atta. They believe that the publication of his name is an indication that Israel will assassinate him if terror attacks continue. Islamic Jihad: “We’ll hit the port of Ashdod, Dimona (nuclear reactor), Ben-Gurion Airport and the Haifa refineries." On Saturday, Israel bombed a PIJ tunnel and killed five or six members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Then an Israeli man was killed in Ashkelon by rocket shrapnel late Saturday night. Earlier, Israeli air strikes killed a pregnant Palestinian woman and her toddler daughter. The Israeli Army later claimed that they were killed by Hamas explosives. Israeli defense sources warned ahead of flare-up that if Israel doesn't reach understandings with Hamas to improve the lives of Gazans, Hamas will struggle to prevent an escalation.

Leader of the opposition, Kahol-Lavan leader, MK Benny Gantz, blamed the Netanyahu government’s lack of policy. "The lack of policy meets the extortion by Hamas and brings about shooting on Saturday morning.” (Maariv) Haaretz+ reported that for many Gazans, if the weekend's escalation causes the sides to finally reach understandings, then it’s worth it. For the Israelis living on the others side of the border, they were worried that the escalation wouldn’t end soon. Meanwhile, preparations continued for the upcoming Eurovision song contest in Tel-Aviv, despite the escalation. Some of the singers already arrived in the country. And a fight broke out on TV. Haaretz+ journalist Gideon Levy sparked a storm in a TV interview Saturday night on the "Meet the Press" program on Channel 12 News, saying that what is happening now in the south is the "Gaza Ghetto Uprising." Likud MK Yoav Kish did not remain indifferent to his words and replied, "You are delusional." Levy got into a dispute Saturday night with Knesset Member Yoav Kish after saying that in the Gaza Strip,”There is a connection here, there are two million people under siege, there is an experimentation on human beings that goes on and on, and no one thinks that when people are under siege, they battle. It is the Gaza ghetto uprising, because Gaza is a ghetto and you cannot deny that. It’s closed on all sides.” The program's host, journalist Rina Matzliah, stopped Levy and said to him: “Retract your words,” but the latter replied: "I will not retract, because it's a ghetto."

At this point, MK Yoav Kish joined the discussion and said: "You forget that Egypt has a border with Gaza, and what does it mean, Egypt is irrelevant, everyone who wants to come in and go out goes according to the Egyptians. They shoot at residents and you come and say a ghetto, where are you?…You forget that Egypt has a border with Gaza, and why isn’t Egypt relevant? Anyone wants to can enter and leave according to the [decision of the] Egyptians. They [the Palestinians] shoot at residents for no reason, you come and say ‘ghetto’? Where do you think you are, Gideon? You are delusional, delusional. Take things in proportions…What can do you do, there is a terrorist organization there that wants to destroy the State of Israel. You wanted to forget about the Holocaust?"
 
Levy replied: "You, in contrast, with your party led us to this situation. You don’t talk to the PLO. We don’t talk to any Palestinians about anything. Hamas is an interlocutor like the PLO was at the time an interlocutor when everyone said it was a terrorist organization. You all won’t even speak with the PLO. Are you willing to give it something? You aren’t willing.” (Maariv)

There were also online clashes between Israeli living around the Gaza Strip and those elsewhere, who expressed scornful protest over the results of the last elections. “You voted for Bibi, you deserve it,” wrote one. “Dearest residents of the south, just don’t forget while you are running to the bomb shelters that Bibi gives good speeches in English,” wrote another. (Maariv) Haaretz+ gave an explainer about what Hamas' arsenal is made of.
 
Quick Hits:
  • WATCH 12 (Palestinian) vehicles vandalized, a grave desecrated in suspected West Bank hate crime - Vandals also spray-painted malicious graffiti and Star of David on buildings and on a grave in the Palestinian town of Huwara. (Haaretz)
  • Kushner hopes Israel won't take unilateral steps before Trump's peace plan is released - In a rare 45 minute interview Thursday, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser said the administration won't ask Israel 'to do things that would put them at risk.’ (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Assessment: The Saudis are reluctant to finance economic aid to the Palestinians - Senior officials in Riyadh object to the "Deal of the Century" formulated by Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Among diplomats, the feeling is growing that Kushner is taking advantage of the plan for a future run for party leadership. (Maariv)
  • Erekat: 'Deal of the Century' does not entail win-win equation - In a meeting in Ramallah, West Bank, Friday with a high-profile delegation of 50 dignitaries from across the United States, representing the academic, political, cultural and economic spectra, and the civil society, Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) Executive Committee, Saeb Erekat Erekat, said that the US-proposed ’Deal of the Century is more about dictations and not a peace agreement that maybe reached through negotiations.’” (Maan)
  • Shin Bet men suspected of ordering search of Palestinian woman’s private parts likely won't stand trial - Two Shin Bet officers are expected to undergo a disciplinary hearing and one IDF commander might be put on trial, pending military decision on the case. (Haaretz+)
  • Suspect in gang rape of soldier detained 17 years after fleeing Israel - Shachar Mizrahi, who fled during his trial in 1999, was arrested after returning to Israel with a fake passport. Mizrahi and three other soldiers were charged with serious sex offenses, including gang rape and severe abuse of a male comrade at gunpoint. (Haaretz+)
  • Palestinian Authority returns slashed tax revenues to Israel - The money had been deposited in a Palestinian bank before it was returned in protest over the reduced amounts Israel deposited. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli City Votes Against Absorbing Arab Village, Aiming to ‘Preserve City’s Character’ - Besides Afula City Council rejecting to absorb the neighboring Arab village of Dahi, the mayor of the northern town of Afula has also pushed through a city council vote that would keep Arabs from nearby villages out of a park. (Haaretz+)
  • Ex-French Envoy to U.S.: Israel Is Not an Apartheid State, but It Could Be in the West Bank - Gerard Araud tells Haaretz that he 'never said' and 'never thought' Israel is an apartheid state, pushing off backlash over remark he made in an interview to The Atlantic but warning against consequences of occupation. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel reaches another milestone as population crosses 9 million - The number of Jews stood at a record 6,738,500 last March, the Central Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli files suit over refusal to let her board bus because she wore shorts - Egged bus company responded to complaints by saying bus line is mainly used by religious passengers and driver used 'poor judgment.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Israel cancels plan to evict dozens of Holocaust survivors after Haaretz report - Forty-five Holocaust survivors and World War II veterans were set to be evicted after ministry decided to terminate its contract with the private company who owns assisted living housing units. (Haaretz+)
  • Jerusalem holds off evicting gallery that hosted anti-occupation NGO - A compromise has been reached that will keep the Barbur Gallery open for at least the next three months, after it earlier sparked city's ire for hosting event by Breaking the Silence. (Haaretz+)
  • Former judge and state comptroller, Micha Lindenstrauss, dies at 82 - Lindenstrauss was an aide to Shimon Peres when he was minister, and served as state comptroller from 2005 to 2012. (Haaretz)
  • Judge rejects UMass students' request to force pro-Palestinian panel off campus - Judge says he can't take action just because someone may say something 'that fits someone's definition of anti-Semitism’. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • U.S. intensifies campaign against Iran with new moves to curb its nuclear activity - The State Department says additional sanctions could be imposed for uranium trade or any assistance to expand the Bushehr nuclear reactor. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Nikki Haley to attend the first Israel Hayom Forum for US–Israel Relations - The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations will join other prominent figures from Israel and abroad to participate in the first-ever Israel Hayom Forum on June 27. (Israel Hayom)
  • Jordanian king sacks intel chief, senior officials amid reports of plot - King Abdullah says move to replace his intelligence chief was prompted by complaints of shortcomings in the intelligence system. (Haaretz+)


Features:
A military checkpoint is not a safe place for an assertive Palestinian woman and her friends
Three Palestinians' calm ride to a friend's engagement party in Bethlehem turned into a violent and emotional reminder of the reality of the occupation. Police: Claims are untrue. (Amira Hass, Haaretz+)
New lists shed light on Kastner train passengers
As the crematoriums of Auschwitz prepared to accept Hungarian Jewry, Dr Israel Kastner negotiated with the Nazis to save a train full of Jews and bring them to safety in Switzerland; 2 new lists reveal details of the completion of that journey. (Itai Vilnai, Yedioth/Ynet)
When Israeli and German troops fought side by side in Bavaria's trenches
And Gideon Levy was there to witness it and ask uncomfortable questions about the past. (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+)
Unique Dead Sea region is good fit for NASA
The special characteristics of the Amiaz plateau in Judean Desert make it optimal for calibrating satellite camera sensors; Ramon Crater, with its magnificent colors, also an option. (Ynet)
How Damascus and Mosul became the Arab world's plastic surgery hotspots
Conditions in Syria and Iraq pale in comparison to Turkey or the Gulf states, but appealing prices and locals looking to recover from the war against ISIS have given birth to new aesthetics hotspots. (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+)
Gideon Levy: Israel required a Palestinian to hire armed guards to visit his dying brother. He didn't raise the money in time
A Palestinian whose teenage brother was shot at a checkpoint, after allegedly trying to stab a policeman, was asked to pay $1,360 in order to see him at an Israeli hospital. (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+)
Biblical King, Starts With a B: 3,000 Year-old Riddle May Have Been Solved
New research on the Mesha Stele suggests that King Balak, the Moabite leader who according to the Bible tried to curse the Israelites, may have been a historical figure. If correct, it would be yet another confirmation that the holy text was written centuries after the purported events it narrates and that its authors had a penchant for taking known historical figures and then projecting them into a different time and weaving them into stories and parables for their own theological purposes. (Ariel David, Haaretz+)

Commentary/Analysis:
Stop Trying to Justify Israel (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) Real countries don’t have to argue they are legitimate, not least when they're hitting 71 years old. That's why there is nothing more ridiculous than Israel's holy obsession with hasbara.
Vulnerable to blackmail and trembling over the cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest. Indeed, Netanyahu: Right-wing. Strong. Winning (Ben Caspit, Maariv) The prime minister has no idea what he is doing in Gaza, the only thing he wants is to perpetuate the situation there, and he lives from round to round and counts on the short memory of Israelis.
Now it's up to him (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth) I suggest that Netanyahu go on TV and tell us the truth: Israel is conducting negotiations with Islamist terror organizations in the Gaza Strip and is prepared to pay significant prices to resopnd to the demands of the representatives of almost two million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. To achieve real calm, Israel must allow free exit of Gazans outside the most crowded camp in the world in which they live. Moreover, international involvement is necessary to rehabilitate the Strip, which includes building an airport, and deep water port. In addition, we will need to approve the continued entrance of millions of dollars from Qatar to the Strip, and to stop deducting from the taxes that belong to the Palestinians - while ignoring that some of the money goes to families of attackers who murdered Israelis. The Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip is the one who will decide now the rules of the game, and in essence is saying to Netanyahu: If you want quiet on your side, if you want to have the paradise that you talk about so often, you will need to pay also in a currency that will allow the Palestinian people to live in Gaza with a measure of ease.
A premeditated Ramadan offensive (Daniel Siryoti, Israel Hayom) Hamas leader Sinwar took a calculated risk by telling his operatives to launch rockets on Israel even while he was away in Cairo.
Hamas Twists Israel's Arm Right Before the Eurovision and Independence Day (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Killing of Hamas operatives, delay in Qatari money transfer spurred a significant escalation.
Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the test of the Gaza factions (Elior Levy, Ynet) Yahya Sinwar knows exactly what makes Israel tick, and is using it to exact better truce conditions when the fighting inevitably ends; the smaller Palestinian group, which is backed by Iran, has other ambitions however.
A complex reality: Not only Islamic Jihad leads the last round of fighting (Yossi Melman, Maariv) The security establishment has branded Ziad Nahhala as the leader of the violence in the Gaza Strip, but it is impossible to ignore the circumstances leading to the Palestinian resistance. The Islamic Jihad has already threatened the Eurovision Song Contest, which is apparently the main reason organizers now estimate that the number of tourists arriving in Tel Aviv will be 50% less than expected. The IDF and Shin Bet are preparing accordingly, mainly on high intelligence alert and increased monitoring of social networks. At the same time, the deployment of Iron Dome batteries throughout the country was intensified.
No longer a minor nuisance (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) Islamic Jihad has proved time and again that it refuses to play by the rules. The time has come for Israel to consider targeting the Iranian-backed terror.
The Gaza Ghetto Uprising (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) The cruelty and temerity of the people in Gaza once more reached new heights Saturday: dozens of rockets on Israel before the week of its Independence Day, just after its Holocaust Remembrance Day, and worst of all, two weeks before its Eurovision. How dare you Gaza, how dare you. (But) Everything is completely disconnected from context and reality, intentionally and willfully. Half a week after Holocaust Remembrance Day, the knowledge that 2 million people have been locked up more than 12 years behind barbed wire in a giant cage doesn’t remind Israel of anything and doesn’t arouse anything. Half a week before Independence Day, the struggle for freedom and independence of another people is perceived as murderous terror for no reason.
Latest round of Gaza violence must be used to restore deterrence (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Senior officials say Israel rejected the Egyptian ceasefire proposal, refusing to be dictated by the terror groups in Gaza, who apparently believed this flare-up would be over by Monday, when the holiday of Ramadan begins.
Israel’s Next Gaza War Can Be Avoided (Haaretz Editorial) Israel’s prime minister must decide whether he wants to launch a bloody war of honor against Hamas, or solidify and expand the diplomatic and economic route, not as a gift or humanitarian gesture for Gazans but as a security strategy. The belief that the economic rehabilitation of Gaza – ending the closure and creating jobs for Gaza’s hundreds of thousands of unemployed – is “giving in to terror” or “yielding to Hamas” must be replaced by the view that Gaza’s distress and financial blockade are a security threat to Israel.
The real Gaza showdown is just around the corner (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) Israeli leadership trying to end this round of violence at least until summer, but events will be dictated by casualty numbers; and while Netanyahu may fold now, Hamas will be expected to pay the price sooner or later.
In Gaza Crisis, Israel Wants From Egypt More Than Cairo Wants to Deliver (Zvi Bar’el, Haaretz+) Cairo is trying to achieve a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation, contradicting Israel's policy to keep the West Bank and Gaza factions separate in order to thwart a peace process.
Reason for concern: The economic crisis in the Palestinian Authority is getting worse (Brigadier General (ret.) Eli Ben Meir, Maariv) The period of political transition that we are in is an opportunity to freeze, for the time being, the offsetting of funds and the flow of "oxygen" to the Palestinian economy until a comprehensive and updated policy is formulated.
The Left’s Growing Discomfort With Jewish ‘Privilege’ (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) As the left becomes more race and gender conscious, Jews have been put into an awkward position for being on the wrong side of the great divide.
Our power of progress: Without ambitions and battles - Israel will not reach the age of 100 (Meir Uziel, Maariv) Year after year of independence we fill ourselves with a lot of intense illusions. For example, we have already left far behind us the possibility of another Holocaust.
Illegal Bereavement (Rogel Alpher, Haaretz+) Benjamin Netanyahu has denied entry to all Palestinians seeking to participate in the joint Israeli-Palestinian memorial ceremony, scheduled to be held in Tel Aviv this week on the eve of Memorial Day. The security excuse for doing this is the closure that has been imposed on the West Bank, but in previous years Palestinians have been permitted to enter Israel for the ceremony, after intervention of the Supreme Court.
Netanyahu's partners are blackmailing him – and a new election won't save him (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) The looming indictments have made Netanyahu more amenable to pressure than ever.
When the dairy cow makes faces: Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi are in no rush to contribute to the “Deal of the Century" (Jackie Khougy, Maariv) The emissaries of the American president are demanding that the Gulf states give their capital to the peace proposal, but that is not how you take from others. And does Israel have a part in the Egyptian president's great achievement.
Hamas' money laundering machine knows no bounds (Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom) Seeking to entrench itself in the West Bank, and always willing to overlook the suffering of its people in Gaza, Hamas comes up with one scheme after another to funnel money to its operatives. The IDF and the Defense Ministry are busy tracking it down.
Danger: Peace Combatants (Friday Haaretz Editorial) The very idea that Palestinian peace activists have to ask for the occupier’s permission to enter Israel for a memorial rally is outrageous, but everyone has become used to it and sees as normal. Nothing is normal about occupation, but sometimes it spills over into especially deranged realms. For example, when the state prevents Palestinian peace activists from taking part in a memorial rally for its own fallen soldiers, on Israel’s Memorial Day.
As much as we try to ignore them, there are events that refuse to disappear (Ran Adelist, Maariv) In order for the IDF to be strong, we must weigh what will damage its ability to protect us, and sometimes we shut up accordingly. But as in the case of the Israeli submarine that sank the commercial ship in the Lebanon War, with 58 civilians, women, elderly and children, the past has not been erased. The commander of the submarine believed, so he told the commission of inquiry that examined the incident, that there were terrorists on it. He fired, sunk it and left feeling ”happy about the achievement," according to the testimony of Mike Eldar, a colonel in the Navy, for whom the story was burning in his bones. Later it became clear that there were no terrorists on it, but families who had fled from Tripoli. And it turned out to be a wretched and brutal behavior. The problem of identifying the ship was supposed to be carried out by the Israeli missile boats that were actually in the area. And, it turned out that the submarine, contrary to any accepted naval -and humane - conduct, avoided examining what happened to the passengers and crew and let them drown. The story was whispered about for years. A few years ago former Navy Commander Major General (res.) Zeev Almog and Eldar quarreled (2014 - Hebrew article on libel suit), and the story of the submarine threatened to float up and drown everyone involved. I spoke with Sima Vaknin, the military censor at the time, and she said emphatically that there was no chance of publication. I agreed with her. That is to say I was actively involved in the conspiracy of silence. In the end, even if you're a well-done leftist and even charred to the bone, you still want to preserve what exists, which is the state in which you live. A matter of egoism and not of patriotism. It is a matter of protecting the environment, family, friends and routine of bread, butter and coffee, which is called your lifestyle. In a reality where we are stuck with a government that conducts wild fighting for the Greater Land of Israel - a wish that has no foundation for future feasibility - we find ourselves in situations where the state is threatened or in danger of an all-out war. Including innocent victims of ours and theirs, including war crimes by us and by them…The question is whether the publication of the submarine attack would harm the IDF's ability to defend the state, and the first inclination, including mine was to swallow (the pill and stay quiet -OH). This was a barbaric firing of a torpedo, whose fate is supposed to be heard in the Hague court and drag there anyone who was involved in the matter. From the Chief of Staff to the last of the submarine sailors. Later it became clear that the Mediterranean Sea was not deep enough to sink both the ship and the act of the submarine. Eldar, who was assisted by the "Success" organization and by the censorship, was interviewed by Channel 13 and broke his silence. After the broadcast, I was sure the earth would tremble. But nothing. The sun shone and the birds chirped, as Bialik's poem said. I waited a few more days. No follow-up. Nada. A few days later, I handed Ma'ariv a response saying, among other things: "... The rules of the game say that the moment the incident was published and it was not denied, the skeletons that were removed from the coffin will be released…”I also wrote: "The right thing is to immediately acknowledge responsibility, to pay the victims' relatives compensation, to close the case and learn a lesson." It took several months, and the one who responded three weeks ago was a Lebanese civil court that accused the government of Israel in the name of the families who were identified. A Lebanese newspaper published its decision. I waited a day or two, a week or two-and nothing. Not even a tweet from the media. Still, it is not pleasant to extradite members to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, and even more so when elections are being held here. (No comment was made) from the government, for which an attack by us is a routine yawn for it, and not from the IDF spokesperson, who for his part prays for the storm to pass. And besides, every crime - of war -  will cover love - for ourselves and for our country. A few days later, in Hatzav, a unit of the Military Intelligence Research Division that publishes reports from the Arab media, the position of the Lebanese court was published according to a local newspaper that covered the trial. Again I waited for something to move, and nothing. Channel 13, which began the issue, mitzvah, “was thinking about it." After all, this is not a scoop, but a cleaning up of historic filth on the part of the news channel and the taking of responsibility by the State of Israel. Purification ceremonies also have value. But the state prefers to pay instead of being dragged to court and risking The Hague. $400,000 was paid after 25 years to the family of Ahmed Bushiki, who was accidentally killed in Lillehammer in Norway. In the case of Bushiqi, this was a commander's mistaken decision on the ground. In the case of the decision of the commander of the submarine, there is a chain of command over him, procedures that were violated and people responsible in the top echelons of the state, to the extent that they knew about the incident and its covered it up. The problem today: One of the families has relatives who are American citizens, and the precedent that Israeli families demand the Palestinian Authority for Palestinian attacks may serve as leverage for a similar claim. The international significance of Lebanese law is that we they put us on the field and we must play. Otherwise we will get in trouble, as in the case of Bushiki, and we will also drive as drivers who ran over, and on purpose, and fled like criminals in order not to leave a trace. And again, as in the case of shooting in the West Bank, the question is repeated: So what if a soldier shot a tied up young man? And who is afraid of the International Criminal Court in The Hague? Just two weeks ago, shortly before the publication of the Lebanese court's decision, The Hague decided not to sue the United States for alleged crimes in Afghanistan. The reason for this is the announcement in The Hague: "Lack of cooperation on the part of the United States and other elements who were involved in the war." And who congratulated the decision? Prime Minister Netanyahu at the government cabinet meeting that “discussed” that decision. "They are harassing the United States and Israel, the democracies, which, by the way, are not members of the International Court of Justice," Netanyahu said. "And that's because we have the best legal systems in the world." And indeed, whoever acquits suspects in problematic events, why shouldn’t they acquit a suspect of bribery? "To put US or Israeli soldiers on trial is absurd," explains Netanyahu. "This is a reversal of the original goal of the International Court of Justice." The original goal, as is known, is to put the Oslo criminals on trial.
Alliance of Deniers (Israel Harel, Haaretz+) Today, as in the 1930s, there are Jews, even in Israel, who deny the Jew-hatred that exists in the world. Back then, this hatred was prominent, mainly, in the European Christian world.
We say never again, while we will never know if never again (Udi Segal, Maariv) When the Holocaust, politics, economy and peace are boring to the youth, we, as a society, must do everything to make them relevant and return them to the public discourse.
The wisdom of the masses on political immunity and the measles (Yoav Keren, Yedioth/Ynet) The social media era makes the likes and shares of the masses more valid than that of 100 doctors; now, rightist leaders are telling us the public determined Netanyahu is innocent in the polls, and the hell with Mandelblit and his experts.
New IDF spokesman is army chief's first test (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) The controversy surrounding Gil Messing constitutes the first leadership crisis for the new chief of staff, less than four months after he took up the position.
How a Standoff With the U.S. Almost Blew Up Israel's Nuclear Program (Avner Cohen and William Burr, Haaretz+) Kennedy's ultimatum, Ben-Gurion's 'sick' reply and a 'fiasco' nuclear inspection: Newly declassified documents shed light on the diplomatic crisis that some feared may lead to a U.S. raid on Israel's Dimona plant.
Dilemma: Am I more Jewish, or more Israeli? (Ron Kaufman, Maariv) For more than 50 years I have been watching the Independence Day ceremony, a tradition that was preserved in my parents' home. But now, that’s it, I’ve had enough. I feel like I'm not part of the celebrations.
Faced with fewer clashes, Israel's army seizes international training opportunities (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Until recently, IDF ground forces were too busy to take part in foreign exercises, like those with NATO and German forces last month. While the Israelis have much to offer their comrades-in-arms, they also have something to learn.
Netanyahu knows if you have to, you pay the price (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) How Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has become above the law both on national and personal matters.
Trump's 'deal of the century' is another tragic farce in the making (Salman Masalha, Haaretz+) It’s nice that the American administration is waiting sensitively for the end of the month of Ramadan. Since sources familiar with its proposal told the Washington Post that it outlines practical ways to improve the Palestinians’ lives, but does not call for establishing a Palestinian state, there’s a high likelihood that at the end of Ramadan the Palestinians will break their fast not with a gourmet meal but with onion, as the saying goes.
Who You Calling a Terrorist: Trump’s Conundrum With the Muslim Brotherhood (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) When political considerations meet reality, the technical definitions of a terrorist group get pushed aside. The U.S. calls Hezbollah terrorists but still sells missiles to Lebanon, while Israel transfers Qatari money to Hamas.
My prime minister’s Holocaust commemoration was one long obscenity; and it’s not over (Bradley Burston, Haaretz+) Over the years, Netanyahu has evolved into Israel’s No.1 Holocaust exploiter.
 
Interviews:
'My parents fled Russia to the U.S. and got political asylum, but I got stuck in Israel'
This week at the Tel Aviv airport: An artist with a trauma wears her heart on her sleeve, and an Israeli couple with young kids leave their high-tech lives behind to travel the world. (Interviewed by Liat Elkayam in Haaretz+)

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