News Nosh 5.20.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday May 20, 2019

You Must Be Kidding: 
Settlers were filmed Friday throwing rocks at Palestinians near Asira al-Qibliya, a West Bank village close to the settlement of Yitzhar, as Israeli troops watched without intervening.**

Front Page:
  • Four killed in accident from crane at construction site in Yavneh; 11 employees interrogated
  • Finance Ministry opposes move to improve safety due to fear of raising the costs of apartments
  • Outgoing government approved Netanyahu’s request to cancel the limit to the number of ministers
  • Permits committee: Netanyahu request (for donations for his legal defense) will be rejected if he does not submit a declaration of capital this week
  • Polish Prime Minister: We won’t return Jews’ property, that would be a victory for Hitler
  • Israel talks in two voices about Poland’s rejection to discuss its part in the Holocaust // Ofer Aderet
  • Elections for European Parliament: Merkel’s continent vacates her place for that of Salvini // Daphna Maor
  • Eurovision 2019 - The packaging was outstanding, just the songs were disappointing // Ariana Melamed
  • (Deputy Health Minister) Leitzman, go home // Raviv Drucker
  • The law and the equality // (former High Court justice) Eliyakim Rubinstein on the Nation-State Law, the High Court Override Law and the Immunity Law
  • Vitaly Minsky created a positive film about the young Putin. Now he regrets
  • The sea vessels at the center of Case 3000 will cost the army half a billion shekels a year. The addition to the budget is already on the way
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • “Work in a death trap” - 4 construction workers killed with collapse of crane weight
  • Lawlessness at the (construction) sites // Yitzhak Moyal
  • Wanted: Enforcement // Attorney Ram A. Gamliel
  • Trump’s Deal of the Century sets off: International workshop to encourage investment in the Palestinian Authority
  • Exclusive: Soldier expelled from his home because he was assigned to be a cook and not a combat soldier, so he went AWOL
  • Israeli pride - In Europe they praised the Eurovision production held in Tel-Aviv; Criticism of Madonna’s performance: “She buried her career”
  • (Gideon) Saar under fire - Wave of attacks by right-wing activists on social media following his criticism of the prime minister
  • Braking stage // Ben Caspit
  • Opposition candidates for position of State Comptroller: Giora Rom and Yifat Sasa-Biton
Israel Hayom
  • “We will start revealing the Deal of the Century on June 25th”
  • The crane disaster in Yavneh: 4 killed, zero answers
  • The leak, the threats - and the singing out of tune known in advance
  • The European Union: “We will investigate the incitement in Palestinian education (system)”
  • Danger, Lag B’Omer holiday: Due to heat wave - bonfires prohibited in parks
  • The reform for limiting judges’ (authority): Democracy is not over, only hegemony // Shuki Segev

News Summary:
The killing of four more workers in another construction site accident in Israel - and the lack of action by the government, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s difficulties in forming a coalition due to his partners’ demands, the White House announcement of the first part of the ‘Deal of the Century’ peace plan and the complaints about Madonna’s singing out of tune during her Eurovision performance were the top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers

With the clock ticking, Netanyahu told his potential coalition partners to ‘get back to reality’ and give up on their ‘unrealistic’ demands, but Netanyahu also got his present government to cancel the limit on the number of ministers so that he could offer more high positions to them. Right-wingers attacked Likud MK Gideon Saar for rejecting the personal immunity law that Netanyahu wants to pass, Maariv reported, and the Permits Committee gave Netanyahu until end of the week to disclose his finances otherwise they will reject his request to be allowed to get friends to foot his legal defense. (Also Maariv)

The White House announced that the US will hold an economic 'workshop' in June where the first part of US President Donald Trump's peace plan will be revealed. The conference is meant to bring together government officials and business leaders from around the world in an attempt to convince them to invest in the Palestinian territories and help jump-start the economic side of the ‘Deal of the Century.’

Many on social media attacked Madonna’s performance, giving her ‘zero points,’ for signing out of tune. Some criticized her for having dancers' wear clothes displaying the Israeli and Palestinian flags. Madonna responded: ’Peace is not political.’
Quick Hits:
  • Supreme Court okays house arrest for teen accused of killing Aisha Rabi - Rejecting state’s appeal, justice argues that likelihood 16-year-old could carry out another attack would be ‘close to zero.’ The teen, whose DNA was found on the rock that struck the Rabis’ car. and four others are accused of involvement in the rock-throwing attack in mid-October in the West Bank that led to the death of Aisha Mohammed Rabi, 47, a Palestinian mother of nine. The teens are all students at the Pri Haaretz Yeshiva in the Rehalim settlement. (Maariv, Wafa and Times of Israel)
  • **WATCH: Israeli Soldiers Stand by as Settlers Pelt Palestinians With Rocks - A fire broke out near a West Bank village, leading to a confrontation between the two parties, with each side blaming the other. (Haaretz+ and YouTube)
  • Tel Aviv University Reverses Decision to Ban Nakba Lecture - The university changed its mind after the Association for Civil Rights in Israel appealed the decision, arguing that since the university is not funding the Nakba commemoration event, the 2011 Nakba Law does not apply. (Haaretz+)
  • "They give out weapons licenses like candy” - "It is inconceivable that the state abandons its citizens," says Hannah Zorno, whose brother, attorney Natan Zorno, was murdered along with his daughter, Yamit. Yesterday, a discussion was held in the High Court on Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan's reform that eases eligibility for granting arms permits. (Maariv)
  • Suspected murder: An (Arab-Israeli) man in his ’40’s was killed after being shot from a passing vehicle in Tamra - Tamra municipality announce general strike in protest of police negligence. Sources in the city said Wissam Joudat Yassin, 46, was shot near the jewelry store he opened two days earlier, at a time when the street was thronged with people and cars. No one has was arrested. Tamra residents will protest Monday against the police lack of response to violence in the Arab sector. MK Ahmed Tibi, co-chairman of Hadash-Ta'al, told Maariv Online: "A murder in Nazareth two weeks ago, a murder in Tamra and Baqa in the past 24 hours, a wounded in Kufr Kana and shootings in other communities. And the police's incompetence cries out to the sky. There is a feeling of lack of personal security and gangs of crime taking over the streets." (Maariv, Haaretz+ and Times of Israel+VIDEO)
  • Arab League urges German parliament to reverse anti-BDS motion - The motion condemning the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement against Israel and urging the government not to support groups that challenge Israel's right to exist is "unjustified," the Arab League claims. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Palestinian FM condemns Germany's vote to define BDS as 'anti-Semitic' - The Palestinian Foreign Ministry commented on the vote in favor of defining and condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) as "anti-Semitic,” saying that “the decision came under the pretense that BDS aims to strip Israel of its right to self-defense...” (Maan)
  • Israeli West Bank Archaeological Digs Must Not Be Made Public, Top Court Rules - Supreme Court rejects NGOs petition, arguing that publishing information publicly could expose archaeologists to academic boycott and undermine Israel’s position in future diplomatic negotiations. (Haaretz+)
  • Returning Property to Jews Would Be a Victory for Hitler, Polish Prime Minister Says = Morawiecki, leader of the right-wing Law and Justice Party, says compensation would be an inversion of victim and perpetrator. (Haaretz+, Israel Hayom and Maariv)
  • Razor and shaving foam in the middle of the night: Sara Netanyahu’s demands from (tycoon) Milchan - and son, Yair’s response on social media - 'Ulpan Shishi’ Friday news program host, Amnon Abramovich reported that Hadas Klein, the personal assistant of billionaire Arnon Milchan, detailed the list of demands that she received from Mrs. Netanyahu, including a discount on the renovation of the pool, ‘Columbia’ brand jackets to mark her wedding anniversary and a replacement of a chef who cooked "too spicy.” PM: "Lies.” Netanyahu's son, Yair, reacted on Twitter writing: "Amnon Abramovich is a little devil full of hatred and poison that uses the stage of Al Jazeera's flagship program in Hebrew - Ulpan Shishi -  to spread his blood libel. I watched and almost exploded. I know the truth! I know it's all lies! He is hiding behind the leak of investigation material from his mafia friends in the State Prosecutor's Office (I’m reminding again, that’s a criminal offense) in order to be immune from prosecution...” (Yedioth/Ynet Hebrew and Maariv)
  • After Eurovision, Israel Is Hoping for Tourism Boom - The number of foreign visitors was smaller than was hoped, but organizers made the most of the event’s TV and social media exposure. (Haaretz+)
  • Cluster of incendiary balloons lands in southern Israel - According to Hebrew-language news outlets, a cluster of about 30 balloons with explosive objects attached to them, were found in an Israeli military base by Israeli forces and claimed that Palestinians launched them from Gaza. (Maan)
  • U.S. Network to Adapt Israeli TV Show Set on Army Base - The ten episode series '68 Whisky' follows a group of army medics is based on the popular Israeli series 'Charlie Golf One.’ (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Al Jazeera Suspends Journalists After Video Saying Jews Skewed Holocaust - The video claiming that the Holocaust was 'different from how the Jews tell it' was taken down after sparking widespread criticism. Media's Executive Director of Digital Division calls for mandatory bias training. (Haaretz)
  • Assad's army fails to retake last major rebel-held territory in Syria, rebels say - The Syrian army waged a costly campaign to seize the coastal province of Latakia, leaving dozens killed. Army denies claims that forces have withdrawn. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • For Iranians, economic crisis looms larger than US tensions - Most say they believe a war will not come to the region, and think Iran should try to talk to the U.S. to help its anemic economy. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)

He Thought if He Just Ran Fast Enough, He Could Get Out of Gaza
There are some 1,600 amputees in Gaza. Here’s the story of one. (Alyona Synenko, Haaretz+)
The soldier who went AWOL was thrown out of his house, the military indictment against him was canceled
The military prosecution agreed to erase the charges against the cook, Corporal R., despite 129 days of desertion, after it became clear that his parents had threw him out because he was not serving in a combat unit. Cpl. R., it should be noted, wanted to serve in the army as a combat soldier, but in the wake of low recruitment data, he was found unsuitable for combat duty. At the end of basic training he was assigned as a cook at a naval base in the south. His parents rejected this  and his mother even turned to the commanders and told them: "We did not raise a cook, we raised a fighter." They threw him out of the house and he was forced to sleep at the homes of friends or stay on his military base on weekends. He asked to be recognized as a ‘lone soldier,’ but this was delayed. Due to his difficult situation he deserted and began to work to make a living. In court, after the full background of the circumstances of his defection was presented, the military prosecution agreed to cancel the indictment without a criminal record. It was also decided that R. 'would return to his previous role as a cook, complete his recognition as a ‘lone soldier’ and receive support from the army, including housing, and then continue to try to transfer to combat duty. In a conversation with the mother, she confirmed that she had removed her son from the house and forbade him to sleep there as long as he did not serve in combat duty. She confirmed that she had urged him to defect from the army until he was assigned combat duty. According to her, she thought she did the right thing for her son. (Maariv)
Why Israel Isn't Doing More to Prevent Construction Workers' Deaths (Lee Yaron, Haaretz+) 'Because of their negligent conduct and extreme foot-dragging in moving forward or making decisions, the casualties are continuing, and even worse, the number of deaths is rising’.
They don’t care (Sever Plotzker, Yedioth/Hebrew)  Accidents at construction sites do not happen, they are caused. What causes them is the lethal Israeli combination of ignoring the law when the law is not imposed, running to the bottom of the cost of production even at the cost of harm to human life, government regulation without teeth and the public’s lack of means and distorted priorities.
Netanyahu Is Seeking a Free Hand to Commit Crimes (Mordechai Kremnitzer, Haaretz+) If Netanyahu succeeds, the Knesset will become an institution that obstructs justice, like a crime organization
The tower of cards: Where did the prime minister's version go, in which he says that there will be no indictment? (Ben Caspit, Maariv) Contrary to Netanyahu's statements on the eve of the elections that the charges will fall one by one, the only thing that is about to collapse is the rule of law. I suggest to the opposition members: Break the rules…Netanyahu's plans to obtain personal immunity from incrimination and to crush, on that same festive occasion, the Israeli legal system (because this is what he will have to pay to Betzalel Smotrich or Yariv Levin) is a breaking of all the rules. The creeping process by which the secular-liberal Zionism of the founding fathers is being turned into the state of Judea, a nationalist, religious and extremist one, is getting a boosted steroid injection here. Against this act we have to fight with all our might. What can we do? MK Ofer Shelah (Kahol-Lavan) is planning a political protest, which will probably be launched this coming week…As far as the protest succeeds in driving the masses into the streets, we will know later. Had it been up to me, breaking of the rules by the coalition, under Netanyahu's orders, should be followed by a countering of breaking the rules by the opposition. Without violence, without talking about "war," without incitement, but with deeds. All members of the opposition, from the first to the last, should resign from the Knesset. Not only them, but everyone on the candidates list of Kahol-Lavan, Labor, Meretz and the Arab parties. All 120. In this situation, the Knesset will be empty and will have only 65 MKs. Did you want the tyranny of the majority? You got it. You wanted to dismantle the institutions of democracy? You got it. There is no reason to cooperate this action, there is no reason to be part of it. There is no diplomatic, political or security decision here. This is not the Oslo Accords or the annexation of the Territories. There is a dramatic change here to the face and character of the Jewish state. This is a process that is unclean, fundamentally unacceptable, unforgivable. I have been writing here for several years now that Netanyahu is trying to do to Israel what Erdogan did to Turkey. Act by act. In the past year, he has almost closed the gap between the achievements of the Turkish tyrant and what is happening here. The only thing that has not happened here yet is the throwing of generals and journalists into prison. It must not be allowed to happen, and if that happens anyway, no one should be part of it. Even indirectly.
Arming Dictators, Equipping Pariahs: Alarming Picture of Israel's Arms Sales (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Extensive Amnesty report cites Israeli sales to eight countries who violate human rights, including South Sudan, Myanmar, Mexico and the UAE ■ Amnesty calls on Israel to adopt oversight model adopted by many Western countries ■ Senior Israeli defense official: Export license is only granted after lengthy process.
Israel and South African apartheid: A dangerous comparison (Yaakov Ahimeir, Israel Hayom) The assertion that Israel has an apartheid regime is a total distortion. South African-born journalist Benjamin Pogrund is waging a war against the imbecilic comparison.
Thanks Iceland, Madonna for Disrupting Eurovision's Big Deception (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+)  Tthere are some anti-Semites in the BDS movement, but there are many people, including Jews, who see a boycott as a legitimate means of combating the wrongs inflicted by Israel on the Palestinians. Many boycott supporters see such action as a warning bell, a means of informing Israelis that occupation leads to a dictatorship, a regime in which normative government procedures are alien, as evident in the immunity law now taking shape.
The Germans, the Jews and the Poles Are on the Battlefield Again (Ofer Aderet, Haaretz+) The Poles see themselves as the ultimate victims, the Germans repent and pass anti-BDS resolutions, and Israel speaks in two voices.
The Deadly Consequences of a Dead-on-arrival Trump Mideast Peace Plan (Evan Gottesman, Haaretz+) When the U.S. ambassador states 'Israel is on the side of God,' he's voicing in off-base terms the Trump administration's one-sided support for Israel. But an excessively pro-Israel 'ultimate deal' could tip Israeli-Palestinian relations into apocalyptic territory.
Can academia make room for honest scholarship on Israel? (Jonathan S. Tobin, Israel Hayom) The smearing of scholars for publishing a journal that examined misleading attacks on the Jewish state exposes the intellectual dishonesty of academic Israel-bashers.
The Agony and the Ecstasy of Israel’s Eurovision Extravaganza (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) The kitschy, gay-friendly spectacle gave liberal Israelis a tantalizing glimpse of the country they once cherished - but it could turn out to be their swan song
Europe, stop trying to save the Iran deal (Rachel Avraham, Israel Hayom) The fate of the free world depends on the EU not saving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action but walking away from the worst deal of the century.
A Win for Deniers of the Occupation (Haaretz Editorial) The decision by the German parliament to condemn the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and to define it as anti-Semitic is a diplomatic achievement for those who deny the occupation and refuse negotiations, chief among them Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The strategic investment in public diplomacy and nurturing German guilt for the Holocaust paid off; this is the first time that a major European parliament has declared the BDS movement anti-Semitic.
At low intensity: Israel continues to push out the Iranian presence in Syria (Yossi Melman, Maariv) Iran continues to consolidate its presence in Syria, and is not deterred by the Israeli attacks against it, and if there is a reduction in the scope of its activities, this is more due to domestic problems and the American sanctions.
If the U.S. goes to war with Iran, Netanyahu will be the prime suspect (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) He convinced Trump that Tehran will capitulate to crippling sanctions and a credible military threat – but the ayatollahs disagree.
Iranian aggression is all about the economy (Eli Leon, Israel Hayom) Iran, it appears, is trying to create a crisis in reaction to its worsening economy and its unsuccessful effort to overcome U.S. sanctions.
Israel Claims Victory After Germany's BDS Ban at the Expense of Minimizing the Holocaust (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) The Bundestag has equated the boycott calls of an anti-occupation organization to those heard in 1930s Germany. The move is a coup for the Israeli government - and minimizes Nazi anti-Semitism.
What lies ahead for American Jews? (Victor Rosenthal, Israel Hayom) Most American Jews are not expecting the irrational, unfair treatment they may be in for should war break out between the United States and Iran.
Israel's Attorney General Must Take Action on Litzman (Raviv Drucker, Haaretz+) Rabbi Yaakov Yitzhak Rata committed horrific sex crimes against a girl, starting when she was 8 and ending when she turned 18. She courageously testified, and Rata received a 16-year prison sentence. Yaakov Litzman was involved in the case, before and after becoming deputy health minister, including by pressuring psychiatrists who report to him and decide on Rata’s fate. On Thursday we reported, on Channel 13’s “Hamakor,” on intervention by Litzman and his ministry in behalf of at least 10 convicted sex offenders.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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