News Nosh 5.29.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday May 29, 2019

Quote of the day:
"Which democracy exactly are you fighting for? A democracy in which five million people are being held under military rule? One where almost no new Arab communities have been built in 70 years and where there is an ongoing attempt to prevent the representation of 20% of its citizens? Perhaps it is a democracy in which lands are divided according to ethnic criteria and after 70 years of dispossession, where senior citizens are thrown out of their homes without an alternative and without compensation?"
--Yedioth reporter Tamar Kaplansky blasts the people who demonstrated Saturday night against the 'end of democracy.'*

You Must Be Kidding:
An African monkey fled from the 'Ship of Peace' farm of a French nun in southern Lebanon, crossed the border and was spotted jumping around balconies of homes of Israelis.**

Breaking News:
Hours to Deadline: Netanyahu Races to Dissolve Knesset, Send Israel to New Election. (Haaretz and Ynet)

Front Page:
  • Netanyahu preparing to dissolve the Knesset today; Kahlon announced he will return to Likud
  • Draft? Power hunger? The dispute between Netanyahu and Lieberman looks like a cockfight // Ravit Hecht
  • Dissolving of the Knesset reveals what is really the significance of ‘the good of the country’ and the ‘will of the people’ // Mordechai Kremnitzer
  • The difficulties on the way to new elections and what waits for Netanyahu after the dissolving of the Knesset // Jonathan Lis
  • Israeli-American attack on The Hague International Criminal Court: It has no authority to deal with out actions
  • State Attorney deleted most of the accusations against Barak Cohen and the ‘Come to the Banks’ activists
  • Miriam Abrahim and Saadi Hatata are waiting 40 years for Israel to respond to their request to live together
  • Green light for a new bank: Postal Bank expected to receive bank license
  • First Gay Pride events in 12 cities including Beit Shemesh and Tiberias
  • Rabbinical activism // Sami Peretz
  • Worth the price // Ido Baum writes that new elections are a smaller price to pay than establishing a government
  • Dan Khenin left the Knesset but isn’t giving up: “It’s possible we will lose, but it’s worth giving a fight” - Interview
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Government or elections - The decision: by midnight tonight
  • Tension at the top (PHOTO of Kahol-Lavan leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid)
  • Kahlon’s zigzag
  • An insult to Kulanu (the name of Kahlon’s party and also means ‘all of us’) // Sima Kadmon
  • The son of Border Policeman protects the junction where his father was murdered
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • The fateful hours (PHOTO of Netanyahu and Lieberman)
  • Your future is in your hands, Moshe (Kahlon) // Ben Caspit
  • The corruption affair of ‘Housing and Construction Ltd.’: Talks with State Attorney for plea bargain without conviction
Israel Hayom
  • Respect the decision of the voters // Amnon Lord
  • Government or elections - political drama till the last minute
  • The fire pointed at Kahlon - because he didn’t join Netanyahu // Mati Tuchfeld
  • Lieberman threatens and the public will pay // Eran Bar-Tal
  • The test: Rationale or stupid acrobatics // Haim Shine
  • Lieberman is the weak link // Meir Indor
  • Worrying: 70% jump of youth using electronic cigarettes
  • Ahead of the presentation of the ‘Deal of the Century’: Kushner on tour, will arrive in Israel
  • ‘Israel Hayom’ probe: The growth in number of Jews in E. Jerusalem stopped

News Summary:
The sides dug in firm - and blamed each other - as tonight’s midnight deadline for forming a coalition government neared, Kulanu party leader Moshe Kahlon broke his promise and agreed to merge with the Likud party and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu moved towards dissolving the Knesset - making today’s top story in the Hebrew newspapers.

Meanwhile, White House adviser Jared Kushner arrived in Israel on the first stop of a trip meant to convince Arab leaders to support his ‘Deal of the Century’ peace plan and the economic conference being held next month in Bahrain. Kushner will also meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah.
Quick Hits:
  • Hague criminal court has no jurisdiction over Israeli-Palestinian conflict, army’s top lawyer says - Israel and United States launch attack on ICC; military advocate general says Israel has strong legal system and there's no reason for scrutiny from the court. (Haaretz+)
  • Wary of Lawsuits, Israel Boosted International Law Training for Military Commanders in 2018 - Army expands its activities to deal with possible legal action against soldiers and defense officials over clashes on the Gaza border. (Haaretz)
  • 'Your Home Is My Home:' Israeli President's Moving Call for Arab-Jewish Co-existence - Rivlin, who hosted an iftar feast, tweeted in both Hebrew and Arabic, expressing concerns over Israel's democratic values. (Haaretz)
  • Yair Netanyahu: "The left-wing killed Begin, they demonstrated outside his home until he got cancer" - The prime minister's son continues to stir up storms on Twitter. During a confrontation with attorney Eldad Yaniv, the former wrote: "They demonstrated every evening under Begin's house, ‘Begin is a murderer,’ until he said, 'I can’t handle it anymore’ and got cancer out of great sadness.” (Maariv)
  • In the shadow of the storm of the immunity law and the High Court Override Clause: Netanyahu meets with Chief Justice Hayut and her Deputy at PM’s office - The Prime Minister hosted the Chief Justice Esther Hayut and her Deputy Melcer, at his request. The two jurists stressed the importance of preserving the independence of the judiciary. (Maariv)
  • A minority arrived at the Knesset and was taken for questioning after saying “I want the prime minister" - A minority citizen with Israeli citizenship came to the Israeli parliament and at the moment he was asked to identify he tried to move away from the site. He was detained for questioning after a paper was found on him with words in Arabic about "The Shahids’ Road.” He was transferred to the police for questioning, during which he claimed that he had come to the Knesset with the aim of "making peace" and that he had not come to do something bad. He is still being held. (Maariv)
  • The Gaza documentary that managed to anger both lovers and haters of Israel - 'One Day in Gaza,' a BBC-PBS Frontline production, documents the violent events on the Gaza border in May 2018. (Haaretz+)
  • The Icelandic band which waved Palestinian flags at the Eurovision Song Contest: "El-Al Airlines took revenge against us" - A member of the Icelandic delegation, Hatari, shared a post, to which he attached a screenshot of a flight attendant who not only seated the singers in a bad place, he says, but also wrote about it in closed El-Al Facebook with a photo of the back seats in the almost empty plane and the words: "This is what’s done to the Icelandic delegation!!!!” Channel 13 interviewed the El-Al employee who wrote the post. She said, “It was a joke.” (Maariv PHOTOS and Channel 13)
  • Record Number of Israeli Locales to Hold Gay Pride Events for the First Time - 'This isn't just a celebration, but a call for equality. It’s an issue for Israelis from all parts of the country,' says CEO of LGBT rights organization. (Haaretz+)
  • First Openly Gay Orthodox Rabbi Ordained in Jerusalem - 27-year-old Daniel Atwood was denied by his New York seminary despite the school originally agreeing to ordain him. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Watchdog Okays Building Greenhouses on Rare Dunes Next to Israel's Border With Gaza - The dunes near Netiv Ha’asara, which cover some 6,000 dunams, is one of the last large dune areas in the coastal plain region. (Haaretz+)
  • Double negligence: A worker was seriously injured at a building site where a closure order was issued - A 24-year-old worker fell from a height at a site that was ordered closed two weeks ago by safety inspectors from the Ministry of Labor and Welfare, after many flaws were discovered that endangered the lives of the construction workers: "Again, we are witness to the contractors' disregard for human life.” (Maariv and INN)
  • Unlicensed Crane Operator Arrested in Tel Aviv as Construction Deaths Rise - The woman worked at a building site of the firm Electra Construction. Court also slams employers of a worker, Wasim Albaz Abu Keif, who fell to his death Sunday at Ashkelon factory, while working without a harness, work shoes or helmet on the roof of the factory. (Haaretz+)
  • SodaStream holds iftar meal for Muslims, Christians and Jews - Several thousand attended the meal that celebrated unity between different people who work at the factory on a daily basis. The company announced the establishment of a special production line for Bedouin women in the Kuseife region and the establishment of a Jewish-Arab nursery in the industrial area in Rahat. Dozens of journalists from abroad arrived in Israel for the occasion. (JPost and Times of Israel)
  • **Lebanese Monkey Escapes Nun's Farm, Infiltrates Border, Drives Israelis Nuts - The monkey escaped the 'Ship of Peace' farm in southern Lebanon and has been spotted in several locations in northern Israel. (Haaretz)
  • Florida governor, Cabinet sued over plans to meet in Israel - Watchdog group and several news outlets sue Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and members of his cabinet to stop them from holding a cabinet meeting during their trade mission in Israel. Lawsuit argues that the meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, violates the state's constitution and open-government laws, which require that cabinet sessions be open to the public. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Netanyahu in interview: "The Iranians are developing missiles that will reach deep into Europe" - The prime minister spoke about Islamic Republic on KAN Channel 11 Tuesday night: "These are violent elements operating in a large area." On the sanctions: "The (Iranian) people feel that the regime can’t take care of them.” (Maariv)
  • Iran hails as 'turning point' Japanese offer to mediate crisis with U.S. - Japan 'wants to do all that it can' to resolve conflict, PM Shinzo Abe says after a four-day visit by Trump and ahead of a June meeting with Rohani. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Wife of Iran presidential adviser shot dead at home, report says - The report said Mitra Najafi — the second wife of Mohammad Ali Najafi, a former reformist mayor of Tehran and a Rohani confidant — was killed in northern Tehran. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iraq Kurdish region gets new president, opposition boycotts - Former prime minister Nechirvan Barzani will follow his uncle Masoud Barzani in office. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Turkey launches military operation in northern Iraq against Kurds - Video published by the ministry defense showed helicopters landing commandos on mountainous terrain. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Satellite Images Show Razed Villages and Burning Crops After Syrian Government Offensive - For President Bashar Assad, Idlib stands in the way of final victory against armed rebels. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Egyptian security forces commit war crimes in Sinai, watchdog says - Security forces responsible for arbitrary arrests including children, disappearances, torture, extrajudicial killings, collective punishment and forced evictions, Human Rights Watch says. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Every Jewish Institution in Germany Needs Police Protection, Merkel Says - 'Unfortunately, there has always been a certain number of anti-Semites among us,' German chancellor says following a warning that Jews should refrain from wearing skullcaps in public. (Haaretz)

In This Secret School, the Israeli Army Is Breeding Future Cyber Warriors
The Ashalim school is preparing intel experts who can hack into computers, copy data and take control of systems. (Amitai Ziv, Haaretz+)
Letters to the Editor:
No Democracy to Fight for if Israeli Arabs Are Excluded (Haaretz)
Dear Right Wing, Can You Please Save the State of Israel? (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Dear right wing: Save the state of Israel, pleads the center-left. Give us a prime minister we can be proud of; strip from us the shame of the immunity law; restore to us the wonderful democracy that we knew; have mercy on our High Court of Justice. Enlightened right wing, remember Zeev Jabotinsky and Menachem Begin, purge our ranks of Miki Zohar and Miri Regev, remove Yariv Levin and Gilad Erdan, get rid of the sickening partnership with Betzalel Smotrich and the Gerrer rebbe, and the main thing – vomit Benjamin Netanyahu from your midst. We are willing to go wherever you go; we will even adhere to your ideology – you saw, we almost agreed not to invite the Arabs to speak at the protest rally. We won’t quarrel with you about the nation-state law, we will sympathetically consider gender-segregated studies at the universities and even in the high schools. We won’t withdraw from the territories, we will continue the closure on Gaza and maybe we’ll also set out together to occupy the Gaza Strip. We, the members of the center-left, will salute you, provided only that you stand firm and don’t cave in.
*In Abu Kabir neighborhood in Tel-Aviv and in the (Palestinian) Territories, there is no democracy (Tamar Kaplansky, Ynet Hebrew) The tens of thousands who demonstrated against the "end of democracy" are blind daily to the eviction of the E. Jerusalem neighborhoods, to the exclusion of the Palestinian Israelis and to the military regime in the West Bank. Ask, for example, the residents of the Abu Kabir neighborhood in Tel-Aviv, those who were settled on state land in South Tel Aviv after the War of Independence, but were never allowed to settle their status and they were defined as squatters. Five forced evictions have already taken place in the neighborhood since the land was expropriated by the municipality, which wants to build a park there. The last eviction was on the day of the swearing-in of the new Knesset. The next eviction is on the way. How does this relate to the festive demonstration on Saturday night? Oh, it’s really not connected. The burning struggle for democracy is not particularly interested in the residents of Abu Kabir (or of the Argazim or Givat Amal neighborhoods). It is a fact that that the masses did not come to the neighborhood’s emergency conference, held the day after the Saturday demonstration, but only about 100 people, most of them activists and residents fighting for the most basic human rights, such as the right to shelter. Maybe we should ask the Palestinians in the Territories how they feel, now that there is someone fighting for democracy? Just kidding. About five million men and women live under military rule and without rights they aren’t a threat to Israeli democracy and never have been. It's enough to see what a struggle was necessary to have one Arab speaker - one! - (at the Saturday rally and how much his presence angered Knesset members Yoaz Hendel and Zvi Hauser of the Kahol-Lavan Party, which led the rally. The two MKS didn’t show up. Well, they are in support of democracy, just not for the Arabs’ right to speak, let's not get carried away. After the speech of [Arab] MK Ayman Odeh at the demonstration, the Prime Minister called him "a supporter of terror.”  But I have no expectations of Netanyahu, an expert on incitement. The real question should be addressed to the citizens who came to the demonstration and its organizers. And the question is: Which democracy exactly are you fighting for? A democracy in which five million people are being held under military rule? One where almost no new Arab communities have been built in 70 years and where there is an ongoing attempt to prevent representation from 20% of its citizens? Perhaps it is a democracy in which lands are divided according to ethnic criteria and after 70 years of dispossession, senior citizens are thrown out of their homes without an alternative and without compensation?…Netanyahu's rotten rule must be replaced, that's clear. But he did not invent government corruption, racism…or the harm to democracy. Ask the residents of the State of Israel’s backyard: the Palestinian citizens, the poor, the people of Abu Kabir neighborhood, whom none of those battling for democracy Saturday night bothered to visit.
Give Someone Else a Chance (Haaretz Editorial) Indeed, if Netanyahu does not succeed in forming a government, another candidate should be given a chance to do so before the Knesset is dissolved. Kahol Lavan chairman Benny Gantz was correct when he said, “Since Netanyahu has not succeeded in forming a government, it would be appropriate to transfer the mandate to us.” But Netanyahu, as usual, uses democracy to empty it of content. After all, as far as he’s concerned, the only purpose of democracy is to preserve his rule.
The man who cannot be bought (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) Avigdor Liberman watches from a distance as Netanyahu obsesses and struggles to deliver the coalition government needed to protect him from prosecution in his three corruption cases.
State Attorney’s hydrogen bomb makes it clear: The judicial system is not planning to fold (Avishai Greenzig, Maariv) Senior jurists rose one by one on the stage at the Israel Bar Association conference, and made it clear that neither the immunity law nor postponing tricks would dissuade them from continuing the proceedings against Netanyahu. Lieberman is certainly pleased.
Netanyahu and Lieberman's Political Fight Just Got Out of Hand (Ravit Hecht, Haaretz) The premier and the ex-defense minister lost control head-butting each other and found themselves in the danger zone.
Bibi, you have to fight for your innocence, and Israel just needs to return to sanity (Ben Caspit, Maariv) It's time to stop chaining yourself to the altar. Put out the fire you started in the club where we all sit. Fulfill your promise to bring down the charges against you at a hearing or in court.
Suddenly if Only Briefly, One Can Fantasize About a post-Netanyahu Israel (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) 11 immediate and dramatic effects on Israeli politics and society – as well as Trump and American Jews – that amount to nothing less than a metamorphosis.
Liberman is blackmailing Netanyahu for the future of Israel  (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) Yisrael Beytenu leader has been slandered by Likud and their ultra-Orthodox partners over his refusal to compromise on the new IDF draft law even though he is merely playing by the rules of the Haredi lawmakers.
Lieberman must be prime minister for Netanyahu's crisis to be resolved (Aluf Benn, Haaretz+) The animosity between the two is of no importance.
Israel with a a castrated and submissive judicial authority  will not be the state we know (Vladimir Beliek, Maariv) The extended High Court Override clause, which will prevent the High Court from intervening in administrative decisions of the government, is a point of no return. It was not for this that I left a comfortable life and flew to the Promised Land.
The deal of the century is splitting the Arab world (Itzhak Levanon, Israel Hayom) Unlike Jordan, where the king's vacillation is undermining stability, Egypt is not backing PA President Mahmoud Abbas' rejectionist approach to the deal of the century.
Despite Israel's political crisis, Kushner shows 'business as usual' for Mideast peace plan (Amir Tibon, Haaretz+) Trump's adviser has to show his commitment to the Bahrain conference, whether or not Netanyahu manages to form a government.
Reconciliation with Iran? Trump loves tyrannical rulers and oppressors (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) The American president is no longer talking about additional sanctions or war, but about negotiations with the regime, which declares that it will wipe Israel off the map. So what? "Netanyahu will understand us.”
Netanyahu uncommonly quiet as US-Iran crisis escalates (Josef Federman, AP, Ynet) PM is in the delicate position of not wanting to be seen as pushing Washington into military confrontation with Tehran.
Israel’s not-so-subtle message to Iran (Yaakov Lappin, Israel Hayom) With the release of satellite images documenting Iran's attempts to build a land bridge from Tehran to the Mediterranean Sea, Israel appears to warn Tehran to cease its activities or else.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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