News Nosh 6.3.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday June 3, 2019

 
Number of the day:
10.
The increase in the percentage of US Jews who support dismantling all the Israeli settlements as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians.*

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Fired (Photo of Ministers Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked)
  • Self goal // Sima Kadmon
  • (Shaked) was too popular // Limor Livnat
  • Today: Knesset chooses State Comptroller
  • War in a bun: Head of Samaria (West Bank) Regional Council: Prevent McDonald’s from opening branch at Ben-Gurion Airport because they won’t open one in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) (Hebrew)
  • Rising to the flag - Tens of thousands of youth yesterday marked Jerusalem Day by participating in the traditional Flag Parade, which passed through the Old City and ended at the Wailing Wall (Photo of religious youth waving Israeli flags in front of Damascus Gate)
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Split of right-wing parties
  • Knesset chooses State Comptroller today
  • Until it gets to Sara (Netanyahu // Ben Caspit writes that Shaked might have been brought into the Likud, but wasn’t because Netanyahu’s wife doesn’t like her
  • “Iranian arsenal was damaged”
  • A signal to Hezbollah // Tal Lev-Ram
  • Celebrations and rioting - 30,000 participated in Flag Parade marking Jerusalem Day, hundreds of (Palestinian) worshipers rioted on Temple Mount when Jews entered the compound
  • Short fuse // Yossi Melman
Israel Hayom
  • ‘Israel Hayom’ poll: 59 (Knesset seats) for the right-wing without Lieberman; Only for for Labor party
  • “Habayit Hayehudi won’t close the door on Bennett and Shaked, merger must be advanced”
  • Rising to the flag (Photo: Religious Jewish nationalists crowd Damascus Gate waving Israeli flags)
  • Choosing a State Comptroller: Dramatic vote in Knesset
  • Jews allowed to enter Temple Mount, Muslim rioted

Elections 2019 News Again:
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu dismissed Education Minister Naftali Bennet and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (which most Israeli commentators agreed was out of personal interests, and not because they didn’t make it into the present Knesset - See Commentary/Analysis below), Netanyahu won’t agree to accept Shaked into the Likud party (for the same reasons he fired them) and Netanyahu faces a litmus test of political clout as the Knesset selects a new state comptroller today making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Also, ‘Israel Hayom’ ran a poll that showed that the right-wing would get a majority of 67 out of 120 seats in the next elections - unless MK Avigdor Lieberman decided his party would stay in the opposition.

Election Quickees:
  • Blue and White: Gantz, Lapid to keep deal to rotate premiership - Party leaders say they’ll stick to format that ‘led to incredible achievement of 35 seats,’ despite reported concern it’ll make cooperation with ultra-Orthodox difficult. (Times of Israel)
  • Labor's Gabbay Proposes New Election for Party Chairman 'As Soon as Possible' - Current leader hasn't said yet whether he intends to run for reelection but proposed that the party's slate for the September race not be changed, leaving him in the top spot. (Haaretz+)
  • Trump says 'not happy’ about ‘messed up’ Israeli politics - U.S. president calls Israel to 'get their act together' ahead of September elections; Pompeo says peace deal may not 'gain traction' as Trump argues 'it can be done.' (Ynet)
  • Government in Paralysis: All the Ways New Election Stalls Israel's Progress - Haaretz correspondents show how the dissolution of the Knesset will affect the work of the army, the judicial, health and education systems — and the lives of Israelis. (Haaretz+)
  • Fixes for Crowded Israel's Hospitals, Roads, and High Home Prices? Not Till 2020 - Israel’s long interregnum is going to put a lot of key government initiatives and reforms on hold until next government as politicians return to the campaign trail for a second time in six months. (Haaretz+)

Other News Summary:
Events on Jerusalem Day also made top stories: Riots broke out when Palestinian worshipers threw stones and chairs at police who for the first time allowed hundreds of Jews to enter the Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day, which coincided with the Muslim holiday of Ramaddan. The High Court had allowed the police to let the nationalist religious Jewish visitors go up and it also allowed the same people to pass the traditional Flag Parade through the Muslim quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem - waving large Israeli flags - even though the day coincided with the Muslim holiday of Ramaddan.

What did not make big news was the Israeli strike in Syria that reportedly killed 10 Syrian soldiers, Iranian soldiers and Lebanese Hezbollah militants, in response to two rockets fired from Syria at Mt. Hermon in the Golan Heights. The Israeli attack The IDF confirmed it struck in Syria. A video shows the Syrian rocket hitting the Israeli ski resort on Mount Hermon, but Israel does not know who was responsible for shooting it.

*Also, a survey found that a growing number of U.S. Jews support evacuation of all West Bank settlements as part of a peace agreement with the Palestinians rose from 15% in 2018 to 25% in 2019. However, only 6% of Israeli Jews were in favor of such a move. In last year’s survey, 70% said that caring about Israel was “a very important part of my being a Jew.” That number dropped to 62% this year. The percentage that “strongly disagreed” with this statement had risen from 9 to 15%.

Quick Hits:
  • Israeli Policeman Indicted for Fracturing Prominent Arab Activist's Leg While in Detention - In addition to breaking the leg of the director of the Mossawa Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens, Jafar Farah, the policeman, Lior Hatam, is accused of assaulting seven others . Charges filed against Hatam at a pro-Gaza rally last year in Haifa, after police initially rejected violence claims. (Haaretz+, Maariv and Times of Israel)
  • Israel’s Supreme Court freezes deportation order for Human Rights Watch director - In April, a lower court ordered Omar Shakir to leave the country, saying his anti-settlement activity amounted to a boycott of Israel. (Israel Hayom)
  • Garbage and Poverty: Watchdog Blasts Israel's Services to Arab East Jerusalem - The authorities say they're striving to catch up, but a special report puts a damper on the day when Israelis celebrate the city's unification. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Pilot program sees IDF nurses embedded with combat battalions - IDF Medical Corps also increasing number of soldier-students who qualify as nurses before joining the military in effort to ease nursing shortage in civilian health system. (Israel Hayom)
  • Petition: "Don’t allow McDonald's to operate at Ben-Gurion Airport" - For years, McDonald's has refused to open branches beyond the Green Line. Now that the chain is competing for a tender to open branches at Ben-Gurion Airport. Senior settler leaders are protesting against the food giant. "They are violating the boycott law," says Samaria Regional Council head, Yossi Dagan,.In a letter to the Ministers of Finance and Transport, “They must not be allowed to compete" McDonald's Israel: “The global management does not approve opening a branch in the West Bank.” (Yedioth Hebrew)
  • Israeli Arab joined Al-Qaida in Syria, returned after suspected as double agent, indictment shows - Ranwa Rasami Mohammad Shinawi, 22, agreed to join Nusra Front at the behest of a Syrian citizen, out of a desire to die 'a martyr’s death,' Shin Bet says. She stole money from her family to pay for the trip and stayed with Nusra members until they arrested and jailed her on suspicion of being a double agent working for Israel. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • First Arab principal at Jewish-Israeli public school wants migrant children to feel at home - After leading Jaffa high school to excellence, Jalal Toche will be the first Arab principal of Bialik-Rogozin school, which serves almost half of foreign students in Tel Aviv. (Haaretz+)
  • Two days before she was fired from her job: Justice Minister Shaked ousted a judge who was supportive of the infiltrators [and refugees from N. Africa - OH] - Maariv has learned that on the eve of her dismissal, the justice minister decided to prevent the continuation of Elad Azar's tenure - despite the shortage of judges in the appeals court in Jerusalem. Azar was considered a red sheet in the eyes of South Tel Aviv activists who oppose the immigration trend of asylum seekers from Africa. Azar is known as judge who is very opposed to government policy, and in several rulings he even bypassed the High Court of Justice to the left in all his treatment of infiltrators and asylum seekers. Now, in light of the dismissal of Shaked, the final decision will have to wait for the next justice minister. But in the meantime, Azar's appointment expired, so he was essentially fired. (Maariv)
  • Israeli Army Using Tech to Provide Warning Signs of West Bank Terror - Radar, cameras and soldiers' digital watches would all help prevent attacks on troops. (Haaretz)
  • Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, to visit Israel in August - It will be her first time in the country since she became the tech giant’s COO in 2008. (Haaretz+)
  • In first, state will pay salaries of non-Orthodox city rabbis in Israel - The official application, however, refers to them as ‘community leaders’ rather than rabbis, with wages significantly lower than their Orthodox counterparts. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel's official July 4 celebrations to be held in Jerusalem for the first time - This year’s event marking the America’s 243rd Independence Day will be held on Tuesday, July 2, at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem. (Israel Hayom)
  • Annual Israel Parade in NY: With Counter-protests and Estranged Jewish Organizations, Tens of Thousands 'Celebrate Israel' - Despite the participation of politicians and the subject of Israel seldom escaping heated political debates, the parade’s organizers insist this event is apolitical, marchers and protesters exchanged remarks including 'Self-Hating Jews!' and 'Free Palestine!' while some left-leaning Jewish organizations opted not to participate in the march. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Israel upgraded F-16s of the United Arab Emirates - The cooperation between Abu Dhabi and Jerusalem, which also includes the sale of intelligence equipment, is motivated by hostility to Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood and attracts former senior members of the intelligence community. (Maariv)
  • Pompeo: U.S. ready for talks with Iran with no preconditions - Though claiming the United States is prepared for talks with Iran, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made clear in a Press conference Sunday, the American effort to fundamentally reverse the malign activity of this Islamic Republic, this revolutionary force, is going to continue. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Iran calls U.S. offer for talks 'word-play,' asks for action - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday the United States is prepared to engage with Iran without precondition. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran: Israel 'trapped in ongoing nightmare' of security fears - At memorial for founder of ayatollah regime Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran's senior military commander Mohammad Bagheri says, "Islamic Revolution radiates outward from our homeland to the surrounding space." Zionist regime now knows what genuine fear is, he says. (Israel Hayom)
  • Hezbollah defiant as U.S. warns Lebanon of missile clash with Israel - Al Hayat newspaper says Americans gave Lebanese government evidence of the location of precision-guided missiles belonging to the terror group, prompting fiery speech by leader Nasrallah admitting to possessing the weapons. (Ynet)


Features:
With Transgender Woman's Suicide, Israel’s LGBTQ and Religious Worlds Come Together
Neta Hadid was buried in a religious ceremony with rabbis taking part, while in eulogies she was addressed as both a man and a woman. (Shira Kadari-Ovadia and Lee Yaron, Haaretz+)
In the Sinai, they demand from the Egyptian army: Stop harming the innocent residents
Following a shell that fell last week on the Iftar dinner table of a family in a village in Sinai, sources in the Peninsula say:Stop harming civilians in your war on terror. According to eyewitnesses, when the shell fell on the family's home, the family and neighbors tried to escape from the area, but suddenly a missile was fired at them from a military aircraft, which led to an increase in the number of dead and wounded in the incident. "The Aish family is one of the few families that remained in the village of al-Jura," they say. "In recent years, residents have had to leave the village in the wake of shelling by the security forces. These families did not give up and remained in their homes. Today they are paying the price.” (Yasser Okbi, Maariv)
Photo blog: This Is What Jerusalem Looked Like Just Months After Photography Was Invented
A look at the city when it was still a poor and neglected town at the remote edge of the Ottoman Empire, through the lens of two legendary photographers. (Daniel Tchetchik and Dr. Gil Weissblei, Haaretz+ and Ynet)
 
Elections Commentary/Analysis:
Netanyahu Sacked Israel's Justice Minister Out of Spite, but Can't Be Rid of Her Forever (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) The premier fired Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett out of long-standing vengefulness, but there's a chance he may need to put up with them in his next government.
Too Popular (Limor Livnat, Yedioth) Many in the Likud, including ministers and MKs, asked Netanyahu to save a spot on the party list for Ayelet Shaked, the popular minister who suits his new view: weakening the gatekeepers. They didn't understand that it was exactly for that reason, even if there were others, for which he could not allow her to join the Likud: She's very popular. Too popular. And again advances personal interests over national interests again and again.
Until it reaches Sara (Ben Caspit, Maariv) Shaked succeeded in dismantling most of the nests of opposition to integrating her into the Likud party. The problem was that there was no chance of dismantling the main nest: Mrs. Netanyahu.
Self goal (Sima Kadmon, Yedioth) If there was anyone left who needed proof that appointments and dismissals pass through the Balfour (PM's) residence, yesterday he received it (when he dismissed Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked).
If the President had given the mandate to Benny Gantz he would have succeeded in forming a government (Oded Tira, Maariv) Had Rivlin given the forming of the coalition to the chairman of Kahol-Lavan, the map of interests would have been "re-mixed" and everything would have been possible.
Alter egos Trump and Netanyahu, partners in slime, set to help each other (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+)  The Tweedledee and Tweedledum of nationalist populism, the Bonnie and Clyde of the rule of law and the Spiro Agnew and Huey Long of accountability in government will soon campaign in tandem.
Netanyahu’s 10-year itch (Amnon Lord, Israel Hayom) While there have been leaders who were able to hold onto power for over a decade, it is at this point that things have a tendency to fall apart.
If Israel Wants Somebody Really Crazy, There’s Ehud Barak (Iris Leal, Haaretz+) The opposition, headed by the leaders of the Kahol Lavan party is the outfit that couldn’t win the election and couldn’t prevent the next one from coming, simply because it didn’t try. In shock mingled with frustration, we observed this party’s nonexistence. Genuine political work in recent days required a team to conduct negotiations with everyone. It was a golden opportunity to apologize to the ultra-Orthodox to clear the air, Instead of hearing several times a day how Kahol Lavan’s new legislators were being enticed to defect to Likud, we should have been flooded with pictures of the party’s Gabi Ashkenazi in secret meetings with Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, and of Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz sharing a sandwich with Likud star Gideon Sa’ar. On the night of the first of the three votes needed to dissolve the Knesset, they should have demanded, in accordance with the Basic Law on the Government, that the president give them the mandate to try to form a coalition. They should have even gone to the High Court of Justice if he refused. But that’s Kahol Lavan, and with all due respect to its generals, that party doesn’t have what it takes to fight real wars. And still, a certain opportunity has been created and someone should exploit it. only a genuinely crazy person has a chance to achieve a Big Bang. So this is the opportunity for Ehud Barak, who has been warming up on the sidelines. He’s the only one capable of disturbing Netanyahu’s equanimity and handling the incomprehensible mission of defeating him.

Other Key Commentary/Analysis:
Netanyahu Is Using Gaza’s Fishing Zone as a Tool for Collective Punishment (Yaniv Kubovich, Haaretz+) In recent months, following border escalations, fishing has become a lever for pressure on Gaza residents, who rely on it as a major stable of the economy.
One day we will have to consider whether there is room in Jerusalem for dozens of Arab villages (Dr. Chaim Misgav, Maariv) …My earliest memory of the city is from a visit to the Western Wall in the period before the War of Independence. Someone held my hand and led me along very narrow streets, between houses whose walls had seen better days, until we reached a wall built of large stones. In front of it stood a few men in black who prayed with great devotion. I did not feel moved, even though they told me that if you wanted a wish to come true, you had to put a note in the slot between the stones. In the evening, it was whispered in my ears, someone collected the notes. I do not remember being particularly impressed. Even then I felt there was something unreal about the story. Even at my young age, I understood that whoever collects the notes every evening does not do so in order to present them to the Creator of the Universe…As someone who is very concerned about the fate of the Jewish people and wants his national home to survive forever, I understand the importance of myths aimed at uniting the people around them. This is the real purpose of the Western Wall, which was conquered during the 1967 war.  It soon became Israel's national symbol. Dozens of [Palestinian - OH] houses were demolished in order to build the magnificent plaza in front of it. World leaders are brought to visit it and to put a note in the grooves between the huge stones. Often the contents of a note - and sometimes, a photograph of it - go to the pages of the newspapers when it comes to a known personality, and I do not really believe that the person who leaked the contents of the note is God….But the interesting thing is that those who headed the political leadership after the end of the war did not ignore the myth that was emerging. Therefore, they took pains to expand the municipal area of Jerusalem almost in secret. Not openly. Not by explicit law. Without public debate. Thus, not only East Jerusalem, including the Old City, were annexed to the original area of Jerusalem, but also 28 Arab villages. And this was, in my humble opinion, a foolish act, on which we have already paid with countless unnecessary victims, because the Arabs living in these villages received blue identity cards which allowed them free movement throughout the country, something which has more than once abused….Either way, one day it would be wise to consider whether there is room in the capital of Israel for dozens of Arab villages. What appeared in 1967 as worthy, it’s possible now has no place in these days. The euphoria was so great, and it was good at that time. Not for this period. The traditional flag dance will certainly not pass through these villages.
With Israel on Alert for Jerusalem Day, Syrian Rocket Fire May Not Be Coincidental (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Defense officials aren't sure exactly who is to blame, but the usual explanation of errant fire has clearly become irrelevant.
The politicization of archeology: science in the West Bank has its own laws (Archaeologist and CEO of ‘Emek Shaveh,’ Yonatan Mizrahi, Maariv) The Supreme Court ruled that the excavation managers in Judea and Samaria [West Bank - OH] do not need to meet academic standards. Archaeology is required to meet the academic standards at the basis of which is transparency: Every excavation must be documented and the researchers must publish the goals of the research and who financed it. This is how the Israel Antiquities Authority works, and this is how archeologists work throughout the world. After we've said all this, last week, the High Court ruled that the Civil Administration and the archeology officer who runs the excavations in the West Bank does not to meet the same criteria or to reveal the names of the excavation archaeologists in the West Bank and where the findings were stored. The reason given: fear of academic boycott of researchers and damage to Israel's foreign relations. The court accepted the decision in response to a petition we filed (‘Emek Shaveh’ organization with Yesh Din organization, in which we asked for comprehensive information on archaeological excavations in the West Bank. Turning information into a state secret places a big question mark on its scientific value. If the State of Israel believes that it acts as per the law, it must refrain from hiding and deal with the public debate that its actions provoke. If it is not acting legally, it is better for it to correct its ways….Unlike the academic research in the West Bank, our motives, ‘Emek Shaveh,’ are not hidden from the public. The organization struggles against the politicization of archeology in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and elsewhere. Criticism is welcome, even against civil society organizations, but demonization and false accusations are the tools of those who have no substantive claims. Open and revealed information is the most effective weapon against them. To that end, we petitioned in the first place.
Is the World Jewish Congress trying to compete with the New Israel Fund? (Eldad Beck, Israel Hayom) Ahead of a conference on anti-Semitism and racism in sports, the WJC has made the curious decision to emphasize racism and discrimination against Arabs in Israel.
Trump's peace plan would give Palestinian refugees many, many countries (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) By taking a soft stance with Beirut in border demarcation talks, the U.S. is hoping Lebanon will provide citizenship to its Palestinian refugees and support its Mideast peace plan.
‘Deal of the century’ must address Jewish refugee issue (David A. Dangoor, Israel Hayom) If the U.S. Mideast peace plan is to succeed, it must include redress for the Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa.
Needed but unwanted: Germany's dilemma on Middle Eastern refugees (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Asylum seekers provide potential labor pool and many are opening small businesses, but their integration is being challenged by the country's far right
Every religious group that finds holiness in Jerusalem is busy denying the other’s ties to it (Dr. Meir Krauss, Maariv) The multi-religious essence of Jerusalem requires all of its advocates to make a conceptual revolution: mutual recognition of the ties of all the partners in the city and their cultural and religious aspirations.
The Left’s Miri Regev Fiasco (Carolina Landsmann, Haaretz+) Former Meretz chairwoman, Zehava Galon, refuses to understand. What does it mean that a woman such as Regev cannot find a place in Labor? What does it say about the Israeli political system that the only political home open to Regev, regardless of her views, was Likud? That Regev found her place in Likud even though she did not belong there ideologically is a badge of shame for Labor, not for Regev. That Labor was closed to her and let her “fall into the hands” of the right – this was Labor’s missed opportunity. That a political bulldozer with left-wing views such as Regev was forced to the (far) right is the left’s biggest fiasco.
The Right Pick for Israel's State Comptroller (Haaretz Editorial) In the midst of the ongoing struggle, led by the prime minister, to weaken the gatekeepers and judicial review, the Knesset will on Monday choose the next state comptroller by secret ballot. The MKs are being asked to choose between Matanyahu Englman, the director of the Council of Higher Education, and Maj. Gen. (res.) Giora Rom, the chairman of the National Road Safety Authority and former director of the Civil Aviation Authority. Englman, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s candidate, is portrayed as an easygoing person who reflects Netanyahu’s need to weaken the comptroller’s status. Based on his statements, he perceives the controller’s role as being very limited – a sort of accountant who goes over the receipts and expense reports and demands streamlining. Rom has excellent experience in at least one public agency. He managed the Civil Aviation Authority and oversaw a lengthy project that included hundreds of actions, including legislation, that aimed to restore Israel’s air safety ranking after it was lowered. If there are still people in Likud and on the right who see the importance of the institution of the state comptroller and its contribution to improving public administration and the welfare of Israeli society…they must choose Rom as the next state comptroller. The secret ballot is a good opportunity to do the right thing without have to worry about vengeance from Netanyahu.
Finally, a ray of light from Gaza (Hillel Frisch, Israel Hayom) Notwithstanding Hamas’s recent aggression, it has failed to galvanize the Arab population in Ramallah and Hebron to rise up against either Israel or the Palestinian Authority.
Suddenly the Future Invades (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) ‘What will we do in another 10 years?’ asked the Palestinian hostess on a balcony in Bethlehem. ‘The grandchildren will grow up, get married, where will they live? What will be left for them?’
Israel is sending signals to Iran (Assaf Golan, Israel Hayom) Middle East experts agree that whatever the goal of the aberrant rocket launch on Saturday, Israel is responding not to Syrian President Bashar Assad but to Iran.
Strike Shows Israel Is Chasing Iranians Deep Into Syrian Desert (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Reported Israeli attack on T-4 base is the third strike on Syria this week. Israel isn't sure who fired rockets at the Golan on Saturday, but it's clearly not errant fire.

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