News Nosh 6.18.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday June 18, 2019
 
Quote of the day:
"We’re very proud they have equity, the same as all other employees in the company."
--CEO of the Israeli chip designing company Mellanox, Eyal Waldman, who encourages Israeli companies to hire Palestinians, said that 100 Palestinian engineers who worked for Mellanox will also receive a share of the $3.5 million payout, after the takeover by the US company, Nvidia.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
'Rabbi Avraham Al-Naddaf' is the new name of a street in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in E. Jerusalem after the Jerusalem Municipality approved naming streets in the Muslim neighborhood after Jewish rabbis, despite a professional panel's opposition.**

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom

Top News Summary:
A 7-year-old school girl from a West Bank settlement said she was raped by a Palestinian man who worked at her school, Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi died in the midst of his trial, the US announced that Israeli government officials were not invited to the Bahrain economic conference after all and the Iranians announced that Iran would enrich more uranium in 10 days time as the US said it will send 1000 more troops to the region were top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

While right-wing Israeli politicians called for the death sentence of the 46-year-old Palestinian man accused of raping a seven-year-old schoolgirl from a West Bank settlement, and the newspapers presented the rape of of the seven-year-old girl by the accused Palestinian man as a fact, information provided deeper in the articles made the picture far less clear. The accused, Mahmoud Katusa, 46, denied he was connected to the rape of the child. Haaretz noted that security sources said that the rape was not politically motivated and that the indictment was based solely on the girl’s testimony, without any forensic evidence, but that the police said that was sufficient. “Because of the time that has passed since the rape and the uncertainty about when it occurred, no forensic tests were done, and the police found no evidence of the girl’s kidnapping on the settlement’s security cameras. It’s not clear whether she was kidnapped during school hours or after school, but nobody reported her missing from class.” Moreover, people supported his alibi and he failed one out of two polygraph tests. Ynet Hebrew interviewed someone who knew the accused man and expressed serious doubts that he was guilty. However, the print paper did not include the quote. "The defendant worked for me for at least five years, and we have known about this story for several weeks, and it does not seem reasonable to us," said a resident of the settlement where the incident took place. "This is an adult without any criminal record, who claims that at the time of the incident he was working as a cleaner for at the home of a teacher. Anyone familiar with the area about which the indictment relates is aware that the dragging of a 7-year-old girl in the middle of the day, from neighborhood to neighborhood on foot, is unrealistic. We know that he failed a polygraph test, but this increases the question marks." (Ynet Hebrew Maariv interviewed people from the village of Deir Qadis, where the accused man, Mahmoud Katusa, is from. Katusa’s brother said the girl accused Katusa when she saw him because he was the only Arab at the school. The brother accused the police of stitching a case against Katusa. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan called to investigate the rape as a terrorist attack. MK Shelly Yachimovich (Labor) slammed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who expressed his empathy to the family. Yachimovich: “The cynical nationalist dance over the blood of a girl who was the victim of a horrific rape is horrifying and chilling coming from the mouth of the one who gives the middle finger to rape crisis centers that deal with thousands of victims.” (Ynet Hebrew)

Election Quickees:
  • Netanyahu Taps Far-right Leaders as Education, Transportation Ministers - Both will also be members of the diplomatic-security cabinet, and Smotrich was given charge of the Israel Land Authority. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Haredi parties plan 'bear hug' response to Lieberman provocations - Since the haredim realize that attacking Yisrael Beytenu leader will only benefit him, they plan to reveal all the issues on which they say he has worked with them in recent years and thank him for his cooperation. (Israel Hayom)
     
Quick Hits:
  • High Court Allows Demolition of 13 East Jerusalem Buildings Under Palestinian Authority Control - Palestinians say that ruling in favor of Defense Ministry sets precedent for destruction of thousands of structures in West Bank. Wadi Hummus neighborhood is located on edge of Sur Baher, in southeast Jerusalem. Unlike the rest of the village, this neighborhood lies in the West Bank, beyond Jerusalem's municipal boundaries. Most of the area is designated as part of Area A – i.e., under Palestinian Authority control. (Haaretz)
  • **Jerusalem Municipality Approves Naming Streets in East Jerusalem (Neighborhood) After Rabbis - The decision goes against opinion of professional panel that warned the move will increase tensions in Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan. (Haaretz+ and YeshivaNews)
  • Israel Seeks to Erase Archives of Intel Firm Psy-Group Employed in anti-BDS Campaign - Government increasingly involved in legal battle over the information held by Psy-Group, also probed in FBI investigation into the Trump campaign. (Haaretz+)
  • ‘Over Judea and Samaria There Will Be War': Hebrew Graffiti Sprayed on West Bank Mosque - The graffiti found included writings vowing to resist evacuation of Jewish settlements in West Bank, alongside Stars of David. Palestinian says security cameras caught three masked men entering his yard and puncturing car tires in the village of Kafr Malik. Last Thursday similar vandalism and graffiti was reported in the Palestinian village of Einbus. (Haaretz and YOUTUBE)
  • Israel Postpones Eviction of West Bank Bedouin Village of Khan al-Ahmar Until December - State tells High Court of Justice nothing would move at least till mid-December, when new government is formed. (Haaretz+)
  • After the Qatari money entered: Hamas declared a new phase of understandings with Israel underway - Gaza ruler says next stage to include improvements to the water and electricity supplies, relaxed rules on imports and exports to Gaza, and the expansion of industrial projects. (Ynet, Maariv and Israel Hayom)
  • Qatar delaying the transfer of millions to Gaza: "Families removed for Hamas officials" - According to Gaza reports, Qatari grant not transferred to the needy families because of removal of 5,000 families from list of those who were supposed to receive money. Palestinians reported that a dispute between the Welfare Ministry in the West Bank and the Gaza office delayed the transfer of funds. “The [Fatah-controlled West Bank - OH] Palestinian Authority believes that the families were removed from the list for the benefit of Hamas officials," and therefore insist that the original list receive the grant. (Maariv)
  • Palestinians take to the streets to protest Bahrain workshop, Trump peace plan - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declares major protests across the occupied Palestinian territories next week to coincide with the Bahrain workshop. (+972mag)
  • Strategic affairs minister: Time for PA leader Abbas to go - The international community must seek Abbas' ouster as it is the only way to ensure the Middle East peace process moves forward, Gilad Erdan tells Jerusalem Post Conference in New York. Erdan laments fact that the PA is sparing no effort to undermine US President Donald Trump's economic summit in Bahrain next week, says Abbas "should pay the price for his intransigence." (Israel Hayom)
  • Despite the deficit - Netanyahu promises to add more than 1 billion shekels to security budget - Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced that he will submit to the interim government for approval on Sunday a package of 3.25 billion to deal with the deficit. (Yedioth, p. 9 and Ynet Hebrew)
  • Amid Likud spats with judiciary, Rivlin says courts ‘cornerstone of democracy’ - Comments seen as implicit criticism of Netanyahu a day after PM called his wife’s fraud conviction a ‘witch hunt.’ (Times of Israel and Maariv)
  • Rivlin meets delegation of European Muslim leaders in Jerusalem - President and group of imams and activists from France and Belgium discuss anti-Semitism, value of interfaith dialogue. (Times of Israel)
  • Violent clashes between police and residents of Bedouin village in Negev - "Police came to search. When they found nothing, they began to accuse us of attacking policemen and they attacked people, including children and women,” said resident of Beer Haddaj. (Maariv/JPost)
  • Chinese and Palestinian Die in Two Work Accidents in Southern, Central Israel - This brings the death toll in work-related accidents to 41 just this year. (Haaretz+ and Ynet Hebrew)
  • Stolen Torah scrolls found in Palestinian barn - The valuable scrolls, stolen on June 10 from a synagogue in Bnei Brak, were hidden in a barn near Nablus together with a small weapons cache. Five Palestinians have been arrested in connection with the theft. (Israel Hayom)
  • At Paris Air Show, Israel Displays Its Next-gen Drones - World’s leading aviation exhibit started on Monday amid highest levels of defense spending in more than 30 years. (Haaretz+)
  • Airport Workers Suspected of Smuggling Thousands of Georgian Citizens Into Israel - Members of alleged ring behind what police have dubbed 'Ben-Gurion underground' recruited employees with passes for closed off areas to bypass passport control. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Israeli Court Rejects Tougher Sara Netanyahu Verdict on Use of Public Funds - Prosecutors wanted it to say she improperly used funds to order catered meals for private, rather than official, guests . (Haaretz+)
  • Assessment: Judge Chen's decision will prevent the filing of a civil suit against Sara Netanyahu - According to Prof. Ron Shapira, the judge's decision in the Prime Minister’s Residence case significantly reduces the chances of a civil suit: "A complex procedure against the background of the cost involved.” (Maariv)
  • Despite Committee's Support, Israel Refuses to Release Woman Who Killed Abusive Husband - The prison service won’t let Dalal Daoud into an individual rehabilitation track because she is required to remain under house arrest during her furloughs and the police refuse to cancel this condition. A parole board is due to convene Wednesday on her case. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel's Education Ministry Shows No Female Role Models in Religious Jewish Schools - Almost all annual 'role model' chosen by National Religious Education Administration are men, with the exception of male rabbis' wives. (Haaretz+)
  • *Palestinian Contractors Poised for Riches From Israeli Tech Firm’s Takeover - 100 West Bank engineers due to get payout after Israeli chip designer, Mellanox, is sold to U.S.’s Nvidia. “We’re very proud they have equity, the same as all other employees in the company,” Mellanox CEO Eyal Waldman told Reuters in an interview. ASAL CEO Murad Tahboub said 125 of his 350 employees work exclusively for Mellanox: “[Mellanox] saw value, they saw loyalty in the relationship…The Israeli market provides an opportunity for the whole Palestinian high-tech sector.” (Agencies, Ynet)
  • World’s largest brewer opens Israeli cybersecurity unit as attacks mount - Anheuser-Busch's Tel Aviv hub to focus on analyzing threats and potential attacks. Move follows brewer's acquisition last year of Israeli startup that analyzes beverage consumption. (Israel Hayom)
  • Sotheby's to Be Sold to French-Israeli Businessman Patrick Drahi for $3.7 Billion - Drahi runs a business-telecom empire and in Israel has stakes in Hot cable company and i24NEWS. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Fury as Ukraine okays new homes on site of Jewish massacre during the Holocaust - Speaking on behalf of the country's Jewish community and government officials, Israeli ambassador Joel Leon asks mayor and his local council to halt development plans in the name of those no longer able to do so. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Egypt Signs $500 Million Settlement With Israel Electric Corp Over Natural Gas Deal - Israeli officials says this is the most significant deal to emerge between the two countries since making peace in 1979. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • U.S. Says Could Sanction Turkish Defense Firms Beyond F-35 Suppliers - Chief American arms buyer Ellen Lord said decision to proceed with sanctions would hit Turkish industry hard. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran says it dismantled a CIA cyber spying network, brought to arrest of agents - The secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, was quoted as saying by the state broadcaster IRIB that several CIA agents were arrested after Tehran shared intelligence with its allies. (Agencies, Haaretz)


Features:
The Myth of Masada: How Reliable Was Josephus, Anyway?
The Roman siege of Masada ended in mass suicide by the trapped Jewish rebels. But absent archaeological evidence, it all boils down to the question of whether you think Josephus aspired to accuracy. (Elon Gilad, Haaretz+)
'Everyone does what they want without facing consequences' - Jerusalem’s no man’s land: Chaos and anarchy in the Kafr Aqab neighborhood
Formally part of Israel, but on West Bank side of barrier, area marred by lawlessness, building chaos, and traffic; city says security situation harms ability to provide services. (Adam Rasgon, Times of Israel)


Commentary/Analysis:
Awaiting Impact of Morsi's Death, Israel Closely Watching Events in Egypt (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) The Islamist former president's death is seen in Israel as a challenge that Sissi's government can withstand, but the moment of truth will come on Friday.
Train could leave Bahrain, without Abbas (Itzhak Levanon, Israel Hayom) Key Arab countries are essentially telling Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that his problems no longer supersede theirs. Will he get the message?
We forget that the threats against us will not expire in the foreseeable future (Yossi Ahimeir, Maariv) During the internal struggles between us, we forget that the threats are here to stay. Our pilots must expect us to be more worthy of those who embark on dangerous missions on behalf of the nation.
When Palestinians Dehumanize Jews, the Israeli Left Is Silent (Steven Klein, Haaretz) Jewish settlers were filmed at a Palestinian wedding. Their host was fired by Fatah and denounced for facilitating a 'despicable act.' Why won't the Israeli left call out this obstacle to peace and coexistence?
The war that still isn’t over (Amnon Lord, Israel Hayom) The rewritten history about the War of Attrition forgets that no nation has ever faced such a complex battle as the one Israel was forced to fight against Arab powers, Palestinian terrorists, and the former Soviet Union.
With Sara's Conviction, Netanyahus Deceitfully Portray Themselves as Ultimate Victims (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) Instead of thanking the merciful prosecution for the VIP criminal procedure it granted his wife, Netanyahu chose slandering law enforcement and baseless, ridiculous self-pity.
The IDF should cut contact with B’Tselem ( Gilad Zwick, Israel Hayom) It is time for Israel's military to realize that B'Tselem, which masquerades as a human rights organization, is a political group with a radical agenda that has no interest in morality, values, or the truth.
U.S. Anti-pinkwashing Activists Don't See LGBTQ Israelis as Real People (Linda Dayan, Haaretz+) 'Pinkwashing' is a dirty word for many U.S. progressives, who show the same hate towards us LGBTQ Israelis as Israel's own far-right theocrats and homophobes
 army's next front: A war with the treasury over military budget (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) The appointment of the new IDF spokesman, who worked with Kochavi on multi-year plans, reveals the direction the military will take in the budget fight.
Russia-Iran strain raises possibility of US-Israel-Russia Syria deal (James Dorsey, Israel Hayom) The upcoming meeting of US, Russian and Israeli national security advisers in Israel has taken on added significance as once-concealed disagreements between Russia and Iran move out into the open.
Lindsey Graham, Trump Ally and America's Most Unlikely Campaigner Against Israeli Annexation (Eric H. Yoffie, Haaretz+) Now that Trump confidant and fiercely loyal Netanyahu ally Senator Lindsey Graham has joined the anti-annexation, pro-two state 'resistance', will Bibi think again?
In Israel, with Netanyahu at her side, Miriam Adelson places her bet for 2024 – if not sooner (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) Increasingly involved in politics and now the richest person in Israel, Sheldon Adelson’s wife has always been keen to support pro-Israel Republicans, and none fit that bill better than Nikki Haley.
Iran dragging Middle East into a dangerous standoff ( Yaakov Lappin, Israel Hayom) Tehran has been threatening its Arab neighbors, the international oil market, and Israel as it attempts to squeeze out of the chokehold of US sanctions.
Pushing Limits of Nuke Deal, Iran Willfully Plays With Fire to Score Diplomatic Points (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) While the U.S. has no real plan ahead, Tehran's announcement on increased uranium enrichment shows it intends to force the EU to convince it to stay in 2015 agreement.
 
Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
Avigdor Liberman is the mouse that roared (Sever Plocker, Yedioth/Ynet) As his loyalties and agendas shift, following the Yisrael Beytenu leader in and out of alliances is dizzying work, and now he is a self-appointed kingmaker who aims to push the major parties into a unity government.
They have learned nothing, not even a lesson: Kahol-Lavan’s mistake will discuss them disappear (Menahem Ben, Maariv) In contrast to Lieberman's revolutionary and brilliant proposal, the Kahol-Lavan party leaders continue to mutter: "We will not sit with a prime minister against whom there is an indictment." That’s not practical, it's stupid and it's immoral.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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