News Nosh 5.12.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday May 12, 2019
 
Quote of the day:
"In our advanced age it is about time for us all to decide if 71 is the Age of Reason or the Age of Dementia. We are a strong but frightened state, advanced and also dark, feeling safe and also unstable, thriving, but many of its inhabitants are poor. The Middle Eastern neighborhood was and still is difficult, but today it is much less threatening. There are opportunities to deepen our roots in this place..."
--Alon Ben-David, military commentator for Channel 13 News, writes in Maariv.*

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • We are on the map - Eurovision week sets off
  • Expose - Jump in number of traumatized people in the south
  • Post of retired judge Oded Al-Yagon, who made fun of headscarf of, Linor Aberjil, MC of torch-lighting ceremony, sparked demonstration of support by female politicians and celebrities
  • Hatred and racism // Chen Artzi-Srur (religious female commentator)
  • Close your eyes // Anat Lev-Adler
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • On the right side of history // US Ambassador to Israel David M. Friedman writes a special Op-Ed marking a year since the transfer of the US embassy to the capital
  • Prime Minister will request an extension; Source in Likud: “The (potential coalition) partners exaggerated (in their demands - OH)”
  • The tension increases: Battery of Patriots in the Persian Gulf
  • Raising the morale - The ‘orange carpet’ was rolled out and Eurovision Week was launched
  • The headcovering storm: Linor, your glory is on your head // Emily Amrousi writes that a headscarf is not oppression but the demand to remove it is
  • Are you finishing a combat army service? You have a chance to (work) in Army Radio or the Army musical troupe
  • Exactly during the time of escalation in the south, the left-wing organization heads participated in an anti-Israel conference
  • More pride for judo: Gold medal to Sagi Muki and silver to Tohar Butbul in Baku

News Summary:
In today’s Hebrew newspapers top stories, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s lawyers’ requested a two-month postponement of the pre-indictment hearing, which Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit was expected to accept on condition the lawyers’ collect the evidence materials they still didn’t pick up, Netanyahu was also expected to request a two-week extension to form the next government (which commentators said was related to the hearing postponement request and the cases against him - see Commentary/Analysis below), Eurovision Week launches today in Israel and tension between the US and Iran is increasing with U.S. President Donald Trump saying on Thursday that he could not rule out a military confrontation then sent Patriot missiles to the region and US bombers to the Persian Gulf, but also reportedly gave his phone number to the Iranians in an attempt to renew ties. Also, making front pages was a retired judge’s vulgar remark, the poisoning of nearly half of the griffon vulture population in the Golan Heights, possibly by farmers targeting predators that attack cattle herds, but the killing of a Gazan protester made less news.

The storm over the remark by a retired judge who bluntly mocked the MC of the Independence Day torch-lighting ceremony over the ‘hypocrisy’ of her seemingly contradictory clothing choices: a headscarf because she is religious with a “tight dress (that) clearly emphasizes her breasts proudly displayed to the glory of the State of Israel, in order to please the hearts of our secular brethren, and apparently also in order to create an atmosphere of unity among the people.” [NOTE: The remark was over the seeming disparity between the religiosity of her headcovering and the sexiness of her dress, yet Yedioth Ahronoth and a number of right-wing female Israelis came to her defense stating that he rejected her headscarf. “Linor, your headwrap is a crown of tradition on your and our heads. You represent the good and beautiful in our society and I am simply proud of your choice,” Culture Minister Miri Regev said in a statement quoted by Hebrew media. - OH]

The first Palestinian killed by Israeli forces since the understandings between Israel and Hamas went into effect made less news. Haaretz reported on the death of Abed Alael, 24, on its front page. He was killed by Israeli fire at a protest on the Israel-Gaza border. Only Haaretz gave him a name. Yedioth gave his killing a headline on page 6. Israel Hayom and Maariv mentioned his death deep in their articles about the situation with Gaza. The papers reported that Israel reopened the fishing zones as part of the implementation of the “understandings,” the cease-fire agreements mediated by Egypt, between Israel and Hamas and Islamic JIhad. Maariv reported that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are expecting from Israel to fulfill its part of the agreement, or there will be another escalation. The Egyptian intelligence delegation was expected to visit Israel today and in the Gaza Strip tomorrow, after which the Qatari funds of $480 million will be transferred to Gaza. Alon Ben-David wrote an insightful analysis in Maariv. See translation in Commentary/Analysis below.
 
Quick Hits:
  • Three Israeli Prison Guards Suspected of Beating Palestinian Prisoners Out of Revenge - The three are suspected of brutally and unjustifiably assaulting bound Palestinians with clubs after two other Israeli guards were stabbed by a jailed Hamas activist. (Haaretz+)
  • Illegal Cuffing, Strip-searches and dirty prison wards: Israeli Prison Service Blasted in Report - Public Defense decries ‘nation-wide, daily infringement of basic rights and violation of detainees’ human dignity’ in Israeli prisons, some called 'unfit for humans.' (Haaretz+ and Maariv)
  • Canada provides $2.4m for 128,000 Palestinians in Gaza, West Bank - World Food Programme will use the funds to meet basic food needs of 91,000 food-insecure non-refugees in Gaza through electronic vouchers for around one and a half months and 37,000 vulnerable Bedouin and herders in the West Bank for three months. (Maan)
  • New Zealand pledges $2m to support UNRWA's vital programs over three years - The multi-year agreement is critical in enabling predictable funding that will allow UNRWA to continue to provide uninterrupted services to Palestine refugees, including education to 532,000 Palestine refugee boys and girls in 715 UNRWA schools across the Middle East. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces assault Muslim worshipers in Jerusalem's Old City - Israeli forces physically assaulted Palestinians near the Lions Gate and Damascus Gate, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, on Wednesday evening, beating and kicking them as they left the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound following prayers. (Maan)
  • Israel seals off vital road to/from Ramallah-area villages [for settlers’ benefit] - Israeli forces sealed off a major and vital road connecting the northwest villages of the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah and the town of Birzeit, on Thursday. Sources said it was in order to allow Israeli settlers to hold Independence Day celebrations near the illegal Israeli settlement of Halamish, which was built on Palestinian lands. (Maan)
  • Right-wing Israelis storm Solomon's Pools near Bethlehem - Dozens of right-wing Israeli settlers entered and held religious prayers at the Solomon's Pools area south of Bethlehem, in the central occupied West Bank, on Thursday, under the protection of heavily armed Israeli forces. (Maan)
  • Kids on tanks and selfies galore: Israelis celebrate Independence Day at gun show - 'The IDF is one of the state's most important values,' a mother explains why she brought her family to shoot a sniper's rifle at the Armored Corps museum. But a frustrated soldier admits: 'I have no idea why they’re doing it.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Trump's peace deal is surrender plan, Palestinian foreign minister says at heated UN meeting - 'All indicates this far that this is not a peace plan, but rather conditions for surrender — and there is no amount of money can make it acceptable,' top Palestinian diplomat says at the UN Security Council. (Haaretz and Maan)
  • PM, Swiss envoy: International community must not accept US peace deal - Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Ishtayeh met with the Swiss envoy to the Peace Process in the Middle East, Roland Stinger, and discussed the latest political developments and efforts exerted to mobilize financial and political support in light of the financial war waged by the United States and Israel against the Palestinian people. (Maan)
  • Israel police arrest driver in car accident that killed four released prisoners - Driver, a Jerusalem resident, is suspected of causing death by negligence due to careless driving and drifting out of his lane. All 13 passengers, who were taking part in a rehabilitation program, were on their way back from an Independence Day trip. (Haaretz+ and Maariv)
  • Israeli Neglect Slows Housing Construction in Arab Towns, Watchdog Says - A deputy attorney general admitted that this 'might be a mistake that we in the Justice Ministry are responsible for.’ (Haaretz+)
  • 'The Jewish people reached their pinnacle:' Ben-Gurion’s postcard day after Israel's founding - Writing to his lifelong friend, Shlomo Lavi, Israel's first prime minister describes the malaria swamps he found upon arrival: 'Although our sons are fighting on the frontlines, our heart is happy at the sight of great progress.’ (Ofer Aderet, Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • BDS = Beautiful, Diverse, Sensational: Israel Fights Eurovision Boycott Campaign Using Google Ads - The new PR campaign attempts to counter BDS by putting up ads that use the same acronym but lead to a website exalting Israel. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
  • WATCH Greedy Jews, occupation, and 'lovely bitches': Israel’s Eurovision video pushes limits and draws fire - The video, meant to be a satirical advertisement for tourists coming to Israel, sparked immediate controversy for its anti-Semitic and insensitive elements. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli clarinetist targeted by BDS thugs in Berlin - Daniel Gurfinkel, who has lived in Berlin for four years, tried to speak up for Israel when he passed a demonstration calling for a boycott of Eurovision, and came under attack. Two protesters actually tried to protect him, but police were "indifferent." (Israel Hayom)
  • Poll Finds Deep Divisions Among Ukrainian Jews on Threat of anti-Semitism - In largest survey of the country's Jewish community in 15 years, vast majority of respondents say feel solidarity with Israel. In largest poll of Ukrainian Jews conducted in 15 years, nearly one fifth of 900 respondents (17%) said that anti-Semitism has increased in the country, while another fifth (21%) said the opposite. (Haaretz)
  • American veterans with PTSD take on a new mission: An Israeli archaeological dig - At a 2,000-year-old archaeological site in Beit Govrin, U.S. military veterans who suffer from trauma uncover lost treasures — and learn how to recover. (Haaretz+)
  • Tlaib Says She Is Humbled Her Ancestors Provided 'Safe Haven' for Jews After Holocaust - The Palestinian-American Democrat charged in an interview that Netanyahu could not look her grandmother in the eye and say 'you are as human as I am to you.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Educational Booklet on Abbas Draws Fierce Criticism From Palestinians - Palestinian academics petition against distribution of booklet 'Our Role Model the President,' claiming it idolizes the president in a manner that befits tyrannical regimes. (Haaretz)
  • Assad Troops Expand Offensive on Rebels in Northeast Syria Despite Calls for Calm - Syrian regime soldiers push into last rebel stronghold as UN Security Council calls on Assad to honor cease-fire. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Houthi rebels start withdrawing from key Yemen ports - Iran-backed forces pull out of Hodeidah ports, witness says, under UN-sponsored peace deal stalled for months. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • A rare glimpse inside Egypt's jails through the art of an ex-convict - 'The cell is truly empty, it has nothing at all,' says Yassin Mohamed, who spent five years behind bars due to his involvement in anti-government protests. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • 40 U.S. States Sue Teva, Other Drugmakers for 'Multi-billion Dollar Fraud on the American People' - 'We all wonder why the prices for generic prescription drugs are so expensive – this is a big reason why,' Connecticut attorney general says, alleging price-fixing conspiracy. (Haaretz and Maariv)
  • Nurit Karlin, Israeli-born Pioneering New Yorker Cartoonist, Dies at 80 - For many years Karlin was the only woman who drew cartoons for the New Yorker. After moving back to Israel, she became active with a nonprofit that monitors Palestinian human rights. (JTA, Haaretz)


Features:
Gideon Levy: The Grieving Israelis, the Sick Palestinians: A Tour of Destruction Along the Gaza Border
Independence Day flags and mourning in Ashkelon and Ashdod, sick Gazans who can’t get home: A tour of the sites of destruction along the Gaza border. (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+)
During the escalation (with Gaza): Left-wing organizations criticized Israel abroad
Senior members of Breaking the Silence, B'Tselem and the New Israsel Fund were hosted at a conference in South Africa against the occupation, but did not say a word about the shooting on the south. Breaking the Silence Director Avner Gvaryahu, B'Tselem Director General Hagai Elad and New Israel Fund Director Miki Gitzin spoke and answered questions at a Cape Town event attended by dozens of members of the Jewish community in the city. For two hours they talked about the occupation and the suffering of the Palestinians, and also compared Israeli policy with the Apartheid regime that existed in South Africa. The conference was the initiative of the Jewish Democratic Initiative, a South African Jewish organization whose goal is to create international pressure on Israel. Hagai Elad explained during the conference that it is a strategy of B'Tselem to apply international pressure to achieve political goals. "We should try to open the door to international implications for Israel, too, through a detailed description of the grim reality in Gaza." Regarding the apartheid policy, Elad said, "The level of injustice we are committing against the Palestinians is the same level of injustice [of apartheid in South Africa] and should be rejected with the same commitment." JDI told Israel Hayom: "We do not support BDS and are sad to hear such accusations from our Jewish partners. Respect for human rights is a central goal for us as Jews." Breaking the Silence said: "We were happy to meet South African Jews who told us about the cost of the struggle against apartheid and how their government spoke badly of them in the press when they spoke publicly against its destructive policy." (Yair Altman, Israel Hayom Hebrew)

Commentary/Analysis:
Vicious protests at Israeli-Palestinian memorial are a sign of Israel's demise (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) But they are just the symptom; for the cause, look to the prime minister's residence.
Operation Peace for the Eurovision (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) Israeli leaders must tell the public why this round of fighting with Gaza occurred, how it was ended and what it achieved, rather than hiding behind generals who say deterrence has been restored.
Not far is the day when many good people will boycott the official celebratory face of the country (Ran Edelist, Maariv) I wish that it were possible to bless and be blessed with a full heart for the independence of the State of Israel on the day of its holiday, but that is not what happens to a large part of the country's citizens…As always on Independence Day holidays, but not only, in recent years, like a disturbing tingling, has been the constant and banal question: How can we celebrate independence wholeheartedly with all the hoo and hah and the hollow echoing that is sounded from the row of ceremonies, when around the corner, we and our emissaries trample people that are like me and like you. People who want independence like me and like you. Independence in the simplest sense of the word: to be a free people in his country. So, they shoot, like me and like you, when we fought for our independence. Sometimes it is not just a bothersome tingle, but a direct punch to the intestines. Not really on Independence Day Eve? Is that what bothers you…when we are demonstrating noble restraint - Eurovision! But the terrorists on the other side of the fence don’t pay attention to us. Not to mention the general closure imposed on the (Palestinian) Territories so that we can celebrate our independence with pleasure. Fist or tingling - the caravan passes, the dogs bark, the sun shines, and the shadow darkens…Also the shooting of a handcuffed Palestinian, also the closure imposed on the (Palestinian) Territories and also the fist in the soft underbelly of the Israeli left are a direct result of the new War of Independence. Even if it seems to someone that the War of Independence ended after the War of Independence in 1948, for many, too many, the War of Independence has been going on and on since Rabbi Shlomo Goren sounded the shofar on the Temple Mount in 1967, at the foot of the Western Wall, the beginning of our redemption. Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz, the exact opposite of Rabbi Goren, was the last or the first of the prophets of wrath - depending on whether you count the prophets of Israel throughout the generations or the [just] the prophets of wrath that speak out against the corrupt occupation since 1967.
Leibowitz did not want to understand what was holy about this wall of stones [reference to the Western Wall - OH], which funneled to it the trauma of fear that existed before the Six-Day War and the euphoria of victory after it…If there is no reversal of the trend - or at least a severe decrease in the takeover of the unholy triangle of religionization-territories-corruption, the day will soon come when many good people will boycott the official celebratory face of the state. Already in these days, the Independence Day celebrations in secular Tel Aviv and its branches are not the same as those in the nationalist-religious Jerusalem and its branches. Although the soundtrack is still songs of the old Land of Israel, but in the background, along with the songs of the Palmach, Shoshana Damari and Yaffa Yarkoni, the sound of the thunder of bombing of the Gaza Strip and the Gaza envelope echoes. 
Gideon Levy’s madness and hatred cannot be corrected, the left is on its way to joining him (Prof. Arieh Eldad, Maariv) Imagine the sensitive journalist who, during the battle for Berlin, would have chosen to address the crimes of the Russian army and protect the Germans. Only one sensitive journalist, who was stationed at Zhukov's headquarters, reported to the press, completely sympathizing with the suffering of the German enemy: "What we are doing here to the German civilian population is a war crime. This is a mass killing of captured civilians and soldiers. There are tens of thousands of rape cases of German women by Russian soldiers. They turned Berlin into a ghetto, so they should not be surprised if the German soldiers fought to the last drop of blood in a heroic battle, which could not be more justified. The German people are fighting for their freedom, and Hitler is their leader.” Who was this bastard journalist? How, with the clear knowledge of the extermination of the Jews of Europe, of millions of Poles and Russians and Gypsies and patients, and the exposure of the worst war crimes imaginable by the human imagination, and horrific experiments on living human beings by the Germans, did he consider them the victim and not the next criminal? Was he a Nazi mole who had been stationed as a journalist in Russia? Was he insane? And how did he manage to be defined as a "journalist" in the Soviet Union of Stalin? How was he not immediately denounced as a traitor and put on trial? Rest your mind. Such a "journalist" did not exist. It’s just a metaphor. I'd never heard such an invented story. It was only from my feverish mind that invented it. Well .. I did not completely invent it. An Israeli "journalist.” Gideon Levy, presented the Gaza Strip just like that during the last round of the war. The Israelis as war criminals. The murderers of Hamas as soldiers in the role of soldiers of the people fighting for their freedom to break out of the ghetto in which they are subjected. "The fact that two million people are imprisoned for more than 12 years behind barbed wire fences in a giant cage reminds Israel of nothing and does not arouse anything. Half a week before Independence Day, and the struggle for freedom and independence of another people is perceived as murderous and senseless terrorism…Gaza is a ghetto, and what is happening in the south is the ghetto uprising. There is no other way to describe reality. It is possible to make claims against Hamas, and it is impossible to make any claim against Gaza. It is fighting for its freedom, there is no just struggle of its own, and Hamas is its leader.” (‘Haaretz+,’ May 5, 2019). In the "Meet the Press" TV program, which was aired the day before the Op-Ed was published, Levy said: "There are two million people under siege here, there is an ongoing human experiment here, and no one thinks that when people are under siege they battle. This is the Gaza ghetto uprising, because Gaza is a ghetto and it can not be denied. It is closed on all sides.”..Gideon Levy knows very well that if the Arabs in Gaza lay down their arms, stop sending suicide bombers, stop fire rockets and missiles, Israel would also stop fighting them and remove the partial siege, which was intended only to reduce their ability to murder. He knows that Israel sends hundreds of trucks of food, fuel, medicine and other goods to Gaza every day, and that even at the height of the latest rocket attack, Israel continued to supply fuel tankers and gas trucks to Gaza. He knows the truth, and yet he denies it. Because he identifies with all of his soul with the enemies of Israel and provides them with propaganda services as much as he can. His hatred of Israel and identification with its enemies consumed every trace of integrity and logic that was still in his mind. This (Op-Ed) is not intended to try to "correct" Gideon Levy, but to present to the Israeli left-wing, to stop screaming "Nazism" and "Fascism" every time Israel acts as a sane state, the madness which is led by self-hatred. If you do not understand this, all of you will turn into Gideon Levy.
Exasperated by Israel's reality, its leftists are trapped (Ravit Hecht, Haaretz+) Material pleasures can’t compensate for the psychological and cultural deficit created by detachment, confusion and repression. A person who feels like an exile in his own home tensely awaits the dawn, yet it only grows darker.
Our challenge: Unity during normalcy (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) Now that Independence Day is over, let's make an effort to show solidarity not just in times of crisis and jubilation, but also on ordinary days. Our tribalism will continue but we must never use it for violence.
Stop interviewing the citizens of the Hamas enemy state, in the midst of them firing missiles at us (Kalman Liebeskind, Maariv) It’s true, as we have already said, we have no interest in causing unnecessary suffering to the enemy's citizens, but those who have time during times of war, when hundreds of rockets fly over our heads, to take an interest in the safety of the enemy's citizens has a deep identity problem. I still remember the delusional situation from the days of Operation Cast Lead, when the Israel Defense Forces suspected that the heads of Hamas were hiding under the Shifa Hospital (in Gaza), and (Lapid’s) Army Radio station interviewed the (Palestinian) hospital director to hear how difficult the situation was for him. When MK Yair Lapid tells religious Zionism that it must decide whether it goes the path of "extremism or to bringing people closer together," while he sees himself as a bridge, he reveals that he has a serious problem with understanding the reality….When the rockets from Gaza are being fired at our communities, I, for one, have no interest in hearing how difficult things are for the enemy. That's why he has his radio stations. I am interested in the residents of Sderot. I am interested in the children of Kibbutz Nahal Oz. I am interested in Moshe Feder, who was killed by a missile fired at him. That's me. Close to myself, and to my people. Something, we must admit, has gone wrong with us over the years.
Time to face facts on West Bank and Gaza (Giora Eiland, Yedioth/Ynet) Israel must halt its policy of 'managing' the conflict with the Palestinians, and go back to finding an actual solution to it, which means accepting Hamas as Gaza's rulers.
*There is no magic solution to solving the problem of Gaza, but there are many opportunities in the (long-term) arrangement (with Hamas) (Alon Ben-David, Maariv) …The prime minister knows very well that no matter how much we bomb Gaza, it will not solve its water problem, it will not provide it with electricity or employment for its two million residents. What haven’t we done in Gaza? From the assassination of the Hamas leadership to the destruction of entire areas of the Gaza Strip. Even today, all the plans the IDF has, from the moderates ones to the extreme ones, will lead us to the exact same point where we are and to deal with these questions. There is no magic solution that will completely eliminate the threat from Gaza - not even the full occupation of Gaza. But there is a pragmatic Hamas leadership that aspires to maintain its rule, and for five years already has been explaining to us that it is ready for a long-term cease-fire in exchange for an arrangement. I have written quite a bit in recent years about the possibilities of an arrangement in Gaza. It does not guarantee good neighborliness, but it can give Gaza an incentive to maintain quiet and perhaps increase our relations with the Strip on other fronts. Along the way, it will also give Israel a significant political advantage, allowing us to split the Palestinian problem into two and adopt a different policy for the two territories, which are anyway separated. Netanyahu distinguishes between the "understandings," which is the stage we are in now, and the “arrangement,” which is already de facto recognition of a Hamas state that will grant it the ability to exist independently. He understands that in an arrangement with Gaza there are many opportunities, but for political reasons he fears going all the way and (instead) chooses a policy of what the Americans call "kicking the can down the road." The continuation of the "understandings" buys us a short-term lull. This will allow the Palestinians to celebrate Ramadan with a little cash in their pocket and we can celebrate Independence and the Eurovision Song Contest quietly. But it is unreasonable to continue with open eyes to another round and another round, especially since their price is only rising. Hamas has already announced that it will continue with the demonstrations on the fence - which means that the next escalation will come very soon. It is not inevitable and is not in the stars - it's up to us. At the age of 71, the time has come to abandon hollow beliefs: Abu Mazen and Fatah will not regain control of Gaza for the foreseeable future, nor will there be a military move, "crushing" or any other creative ideas that change the fact that next to us lives an entity with two million people, who don’t have water, energy or the ability to make a living. The results of the elections gave Netanyahu a broad mandate to lead a courageous leadership that would take us out of the cyclical nature of the rounds. If he only dares - he also can. In our advanced age it is about time for us all to decide if 71 is the Age of Reason or the Age of Dementia. We are a strong but frightened state, advanced and also dark, feeling safe and also unstable, thriving, but many of its inhabitants are poor. The Middle Eastern neighborhood was and still is difficult, but today it is much less threatening. There are opportunities to deepen our roots in this place, with the understanding that we will continue to fight for our existence here. Peace with those around us probably will not break out this year, but let's start with peace within us. [The writer is the military commentator for Channel 13 News.]
Paying for calm on the Gaza front, cannot be our policy (Amos Yadlin, Yedioth/Ynet) The last round of cross-border fighting between Israel and Hamas, demonstrated the need for a new strategy to replace repeated mistakes with devastating results.
The invisible trauma victims of the Gaza conflict (Merav Betito, Yedioth/Ynet) When considering the data during a flare-up between the IDF and Palestinian factions, few take into account the tremendous mental health cost of the populace facing constant stress.
How the war between America and Iran will start (Warren Getler, Haaretz+) Iran is laying trip-wires for a violent, costly escalation. America’s response will be determined by a besieged president, an administration led by anti-Iran hawks and a pre-occupied Congress.
Tehran knows US pressure is working (Eli Leon, Israel Hayom) Iran has failed to bust the American embargo on its oil exports, while Israel and the moderate Sunni states are cooperating to check Iranian influence in the Middle East.
Pressure Mounts on Iran, but Drums of War Have Not Yet Sounded (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Trump seems to stand by promise not to engage in more pointless Mideast wars.The dangerous competition between Hamas, Islamic Jihad in Gaza. What will the next Independence Day look like?
Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and rockets: The politics of Eurovision (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) The Gaza missiles ahead of the Tel Aviv event are 'unprecedented,' experts say, but politics has always been a part of the song contest – from Holocaust survivors in Germany to anti-Putin protests by Ukraine.
A year after opening the Jerusalem embassy: On the right side of history (U.S. ambassador to Israel David M. Friedman, Israel Hayom) Contrary to all the negative predictions, the Jerusalem embassy has been an extraordinary success, advancing peaceful coexistence, bilateral cooperation and cultural exchange between and among Israelis, Palestinians and Americans.
No Extension for Netanyahu at the Expense of Justice (Haaretz Editorial) Friday was the final deadline that Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit gave Benjamin Netanyahu’s lawyers for scheduling the prime minister’s pre-indictment hearing. Friday came and went, and Netanyahu’s lawyers did not collect the evidentiary material, nor did they arrange a date for the hearing, but asked that the hearing be postponed by a few months. Mendelblit’s willingness to accede to the request ignored the obvious: Any delay will serve Netanyahu’s efforts to barter cabinet positions for supporting legislation that would block his prosecution.
Netanyahu Tries to Buy Time, but Can't Avoid the Court (Gidi Weitz, Haaretz+) The real question is what happens first: Will Netanyahu be protected from facing the law or will he be indicted?

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