News Nosh 6.30.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday June 30, 2019
 
Phrase of the day:
Ping-pong match.
--How the military correspondent of 'Israel Hayom,' Yoav Limor, described the exchanges of troubles (environmental, economic, physcial hardship, etc.) Israel and the Gaza Strip gave each other over the last few days.*

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • (Long-term) arrangement under fire - Despite the agreement with Hamas: Launching of incendiary balloons  did not stop
  • They are blackmailing us // Alex Fishman
  • Special: Mayor of Istanbul in conversation with Yedioth - The man who defeated Erdogan twice
  • Running to the summer holiday - 1.5 million children in kindergarten and elementary school start summer break
  • Night effort to find solution that will prevent closure of Sde Dov (airport) at midnights
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • Agreement (with Gaza) for calm under test - Political source: Preparing for military option if Hamas doesn’t keep the quiet
  • The path to deterioration is short // Yoav Limor
  • “Gantz having difficulty making decisions” -Rise in frustration of senior members of Kahol-Lavan
  • Europe is burning hot
  • The rape affair: The psychological treatment of the 7-year-old was stopped
  • And thank you to my teachers - The school year comes to an end today
  • The  embarrassing punishment of the head of IDF Human Resources, Almoz, against soldiers who got degrees first: removal from the unit and subordinated to the officer in charge of his office
  • US Jews: Israel’s strategic home front // Yitzhak Herzog

Elections Quickees:
  • Rivals for Israel's Labor Party Leadership Snipe at Each Other Ahead of Vote - As former 2011 protest leaders Stav Shaffir and Itzik Shmuli trade barbs, veteran candidate Amir Peretz tries to recruit former Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin and former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot to his ranks. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli Journalist Nitzan Horowitz Elected Chairman of Left-wing Party Meretz - Horowitz, who served as a Knesset member twice, overcame current chairwoman Tamar Zandberg; he is the first openly gay man to head an Israeli political party. (Haaretz+)
  • Ehud Barak examining possibility of merger with Kahol-Lavan - Will the ‘party of the chiefs of staff’ recruit another chief of staff? In Kahol-Lavan they say that the merger with Barak is not on the agenda and claim that according to an internal poll they held, he won’t pass the minimum threshold to enter the Knesset. (Yedioth, p. 6)
  • Stav Shafir: "Ehud Barak offered me a place on the list - and I refused" - The candidate for the leadership of the Labor Party attacked her rivals and avoided answering whether she would give Ehud Barak the first place on a united list, but added: "We must unite.” (Maariv)
  • Journalist Rina Matzliah called Likud voters ‘blind herd’ - Commentator of Channel 12 News got into conflict with the Likud and Prime Minister Netanyahu on the backdrop of her remarks on the ‘Friday Studio’ TV program in which she said: “The past few months have been a low point for the right-wing camp, which is normally considered a very ideological camp. What we have been seeing in recent months is that it has stripped itself from all ideology. What does it have to offer in recent months? Bibiology. He does what he wants, enters dark alleys that are far from the right-wing ideology, and they follow him like a blind herd.” Matzliah: "They didn’t shut my mouth when I criticized (Avi) Gabbay and (Benny) Gantz, and so it is today.” Likud responded: "Rina Matzliach, who refers to the right-wing voters as a blind herd, joins those who have already called us riffraff, amulet-kissers, bots and mindless. This is another example of an ‘objective’ journalist. Our response will come at the ballot box." (Maariv, Israel Hayom and JPost)

Top News Summary:
Numerous fires burned near the Israeli communities around the Gaza Strip from incendiary balloons despite the latest agreement for calm between Gaza Strip and Israel, making the top story in the Hebrew newspapers, which reported about the frustration of Jewish residents in the area as commentators argued who was to blame, Israel or Hamas.

What was blatantly missing altogether from the papers were the riots in the E. Jerusalem village of Issawiyeh, near the Hebrew University Mt. Scopus campus, where Palestinian residents clashed and more than 90 were injured by Israeli police, after the police killed Mohammed Obeid, 20, who was protesting with Jewish-Israelis against police raids that have been taking place there for the past three weeks. The police said he was setting off fireworks and throwing stones at the police, putting them in danger. Meanwhile, an Israeli court rejected the young man’s family’s request to release his body for burial. His family said he was murdered. Ahmad, a resident of the neighborhood, said, “The police don’t leave the neighborhood, which causes anger and frustration. If they remain in the area, many young people will take to the streets…The police should stop lying that the victim endangered their lives, he was murdered in cold blood.”

*Yedioth took a very different view on the latest negotiations and incidents between Israel and Hamas over the Gaza Strip. While Maariv’s Middle East commentator Jacky Khougy and Ynet's Elior Levy wrote that without Israel ending the siege on Gazans in the Strip Hamas will continue to launch incendiary balloons, Yedioth’s top military commentator Alex Fishman turned the equation around and wrote that Hamas is blackmailing Israel by using incendiary balloons to pressure it to get the Qatari money released and return the fishing zone area to what it was. The front pages suggested that Hamas is not fulfilling its side of the Friday agreement reached with Israel, because despite the agreement for calm reached on Friday, according to which Palestinians would stop launching incendiary balloons, they had not stopped. But Haaretz noted that as part of the Israel-Hamas understandings, Israel would not fire on Palestinians at border protests, but soldiers did open fire and wounded 49 Palestinians Friday. Both Maariv's military commentator, Tal Lev-Ram, and its Arab affairs commentator, Jacky Khougy, agreed that Israel does not want to provide what it promised in the agreement with Hamas so that it does not look as if it is conceding to terror and it is only playing for time. (See Commentary/Analysis below.) However, Ynet’s Palestinian affairs correspondent, Elior Levy, gave interesting details from the behind the scenes of the ceasefire arrangement between Israel and Hamas, which provided a much more informed view than Yedioth’s Fishman on what was really upsetting Hamas. Even Yoav Limor, the military commentator of the right-wing ‘Israel Hayom,’ explained Hamas reasoning for the incendiary balloons: "Frustrated by the pace of the humanitarian relief, Hamas began to allow a few incendiary balloons to be launched over the border. Israel, in response, restricted the Gaza fishing zone. Hamas immediately increased the balloon arson attacks, which led to Israel further restricting Gaza's fishing zone. This in turn resulted in a halt of the supply of fuel to the coastal enclave, which prompted additional balloon terrorism."
 
Quick Hits:
  • Setting Legal Precedent, Jerusalem Court Allows Settlement Homes on Private Palestinian Land - Which Could End Up Legalizing 2,000 Settlement Homes - Court accepts that construction on private Palestinian land can be legalized retroactively if the land had mistakenly been thought to belong to the state ■ Ruling to be ultimately considered by the High Court. (Haaretz+)
  • U.S. Envoys to Join Inauguration of Settler Project in East Jerusalem - Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt said Palestinians' criticism of move, seen as another step by the Trump administration to recognize Israeli sovereignty in East Jerusalem, is 'ludicrous.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Right-wingers shelve development plan because it doesn't include West Bank settlements - Far-rightist Bezalel Smotrich, the new transportation minister, is already making his presence felt by helping stall the plan that covers everything from energy to mining to water use. (Haaretz+)
  • Vehicles vandalized, malicious graffiti sprayed in suspected West Bank hate crime - Malicious graffiti reading 'non-Jews = enemies' was spray-painted on the walls of private houses and Stars of David were scrawled on vehicles in the Palestinian town of Sarta, human rights organization says. (Haaretz+)
  • 14-year-old tells: "The policeman attacked me and strangled me" - VIDEO - Exceptional police violence against boys at protest against eviction of (Arab-Israeli) family from their home: About 50 demonstrators held a protest vigil on Thursday against Israel Land Authority intention to evict the Abu Kishk family from their home near Lod. This is a downtrodden family that has been fighting for a long time against the eviction from the compound where it has been living for 51 years. The family said the police used excessive violence against youths aged 13 and 14 who participated in the demonstration (see video). Police: "We will not allow dangerous and uncontrollable riots." (Yedioth/Ynet Hebrew and YouTube)
  • Russia calls U.S. economic plan for Mideast 'counterproductive' - The economic plan calls for the creation of a global investment fund to lift the Palestinian and neighbouring Arab state economies. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Palestinian PM: Bahrain will lead nowhere, Trump's economic approach 'divorced from reality' - Day after U.S.-led workshop on economic aspect of Mideast peace, Mohammad Shtayyeh says conference was nothing more than an intellectual exercise, expresses concern over possible American abandonment of two-state solution. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Bahrain FM speaks to Israeli journalists: Israel part of Middle East's heritage - The Bahraini foreign minister also voiced support for Israeli strikes against Iranian targets in neighboring Syria, saying 'every country has a right to defend itself.’ (Haaretz)
  • Despite Sinai sweetener, Egypt unlikely to sign on to Kushner's Mideast plan - Cash-strapped Cairo government sees development of peninsula as crucial to national security, but even prospect of a $9 billion windfall cannot sway the Egyptians on giving up part of this land for a Gaza expansion. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Trump: "If no agreement is reached between Israel and the Palestinians during my term, it will never happen" - The וֹ President addressed a press conference at the end of the G20 summit on the Deal of the Century, and assessed that there would be no further possibility of reaching a peace agreement between the parties. (Maariv and Israel Hayom)
  • Israelis, Palestinians do business on sideline of Bahrain summit - Aric Tal, CEO of Nokia Israel, tells Israel Hayom: The Americans "want companies to hire Palestinian workers, pay them a proper salary and improve their standard of living and welfare." (Israel Hayom)
  • Palestinian Authority Arrests Businessman Who Attended Bahrain Conference - Then Releases Him - Hebron resident Salah Abu Miala was taken by Palestinian security forces upon his return to the West Bank. (Haaretz and Maariv)
  • Israel Arrests Palestinian Minister Who Joined Chilean President at Temple Mount - Palestinian Jerusalem affairs minister says he was arrested for 'violating sovereignty' on visit with President Pinera to Temple Mount Tuesday. Arrest overnight Friday comes amid heightened tensions in East Jerusalem after police fatally shot Palestinian. (Haaretz)
  • In Israel, Chilean president signs agreements on health, science, tech - On the diplomatic front, Sebastian Piñera says the Chilean Embassy will not relocate from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, reiterates support for two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians. (Israel Hayom)
  • Russia Disrupting GPS in Israeli Airspace via Ship or Military Base in Syria, Defense Officials Believe - Cyber specialists also examining possibility disruptions have been caused by a source in Israel who is 'unaware of the consequences.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Central Bureau of Statistics: Modi'in Illit (settlement) leads the number of children born, Jisr al-Zarqa (Arab-Israeli town) leads in the number of deceased - The national average of birth per 1,000 residents was 3.1. In Modi'in Ilit the birthrate was 7.7, and in Kiryat Tivon and Usafiya it was only 1.8. On the other hand, the highest death rate in 2017-2013 was recorded in Jisr al-Zarqa - 9.3 deaths per 1,000 residents, compared with 4.9 in the national population. The lowest death rate was recorded in those years in Modiin-Maccabim-Reut and Shoham - 3.2. In Jisr al-Zarqa, they also suffer from diabetes and excess weight. In (Bedouin-Israeli town of) Rahat they have a hard time getting a school diploma, but almost all of the residents own an apartment, unlike in Tel Aviv, where half of the city lives in rented apartments. (Maariv)
  • Israeli Employers Pocketing Deposits Deducted From Asylum Seekers’ Pay - 'The state enacted a law that officially permits the theft of a fifth of the asylum seekers’ wages every month,' says one worker’s rights activist. (Haaretz+)
  • Failures in the operation of informants and criminal charges for trivialities: the report of the Public Defender's Office - The report for 2018 shows that the courts have made important decisions regarding the use of interrogators in interrogations. The report says that criminal proceedings are used to much and false arrests are made too often still high putting too much pressure on the Israel Prison Service. (Ynet Hebrew)
  • El Al welcomes its first ever Druze flight attendant - Merach Kara grew up in a small village in northern Israel within a culture that frowns upon women simply flying on a plane, let alone working on one; but with the support of her family she decided to ignore the naysayers and follow her lifelong dream. (Ynet)
  • Israeli DJ Known as 'Perplex' Shot Dead in Club in Central Mexico - The motives of the armed men who opened fire at a dance club killing the DJ and wounding three other people remain unclear. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
  • A special “Summer School”: 300 teachers from abroad will come to teach English in the periphery on a volunteer basis - A delegation of teachers from the United States, Australia and South Africa will arrive in Israel as part of the National Program for Excellence in English and will teach students. (Maariv)
  • French Consulate Opens Disputed Second Temple Site in East Jerusalem - ltra-Orthodox Jewish visitors confront security guards at Tomb of the Kings, gifted to the French government in the late 19th century, which hadn’t been open in years. (Haaretz+)
  • UN Report: 7,500 Kids Killed or Wounded in Yemen Since 2013 - Report by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says killings and injuries were among 11,779 grave violations against children since the start of the war. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Survey: More than half of Arab world’s young adults want to leave - Lack of trust in Islamist governments, spike in non-religious identity are chief reasons, BBC News survey finds; 70% of young Moroccans consider leaving home country and almost half of Sudanese, Jordanian population. (Ynet)
  • Erdogan Says U.S. Will Not Impose Sanctions Over Russian S-400 Missile Deal - Speaking at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Trump said that Turkey had been 'treated very unfairly,' despite his earlier threats to impose sanctions. (Agencies, Haaretz)


Features:
Nukes, Planes and Champagne: How Israeli Prime Ministers Have Worked for Billionaire Arnon Milchan
The story of the Hollywood producer is the story of how money, charm and connections get things done in Israel. (Eytan Avriel, Haaretz+)
From POWs in 1948 to hospital roommates in 2019
70 years after they were both captives of Jordan during the War of Independence, David Ashri and Yehuda Neuman meet once again for heart surgery; the two are spending their recovery reminiscing about their days as POWs, thanks to the doctors who made the connection between them. (Yael Freidson, Yedioth/Ynet)
He's Not Yet Six, but Israel Doesn't Let Him Leave the Gaza Strip With His Mother
The bureaucratic reason is simple: His registered address is Rafah. (Amira Hass, Haaretz+)
"I wanted you to hear that the things were heard at 'Shabbatarbut' in Baka al-Gharbieh"
The 'ShabbaTarbut' cultural events now held in Arab communities began at the initiative of Afif Abu-Much, a hi-tech man and social activist, who wanted to  make the Arab sector more visible in the Israeli media. Now it's an event that succeeds in creating a dialogue between publics that politics is having difficult dividing between them, particularly in the elections period. MK Esawi Freij, Meretz party: "This is a welcome initiative, but it is individual, which is like turning your car on and not driving it. It needs funding, it needs the aid of municipalities. The perception till today (in the Arab sector) was 'don't conquer us with your culture, we'll be fine.' But it doesn't need to be that way, and we are working to change the situation." (Maariv magazine supplement, 25 June, pp. 4-5)
It was designed to fight terrorism. Now spyware lets Israelis stalk their spouses
Surveillance software and apps, once intended to thwart terrorism and avert crime, have become tools in the hands of suspicious spouses, business competitors and paranoid employers. (Hilo Glazer, Haaretz+)
Israeli Archaeologists Discover How Ancient Romans Pulled Off Their Monumental Architecture
Ikea didn’t invent the DIY diagram: Ancient stonecutters wanted credit for their efforts just like any artist, signed their work — and also marked the stone blocks with building instructions. (Ruth Schuster, Haaretz+)

Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
Gaza, Iran, or is it Hezbollah? Netanyahu using intel warnings to justify nixing election (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) People close to Netanyahu warn of a threat for the Gulf, Gaza or Hezbollah. Though the threats are not unfounded, PM may be using them to suit his needs.
What Ehud Barak Really Wants, Even if He Won't Admit It (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) While Netanyahu had the entire political establishment chasing its tail this week, Ehud Barak came back – and with a vengeance. Will he spoil Gantz's party?
Netanyahu is not interested in a right-wing government, but rather a government of immunity (Ben Caspit, Maariv) If the situation continues to deteriorate, the prime minister will agree to bring Shaked into the Likud. Even in the Kahol-Lavan party they know that Barak's plan is not to help Gantz win, but to replace the prime minister himself.
Barak Invites Center-left to 'Party Like It's 1999' as He Tries to Take Down Netanyahu (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) With perfect timing, the former prime minister parachutes directly into his anxious successor’s attempted constitutional putsch.
It's Time for a True Jewish-Arab Partnership (Amnon Be’eri-Sulitzeanu and Dr. Thabet Abu Rass, Haaretz+) The approaching election campaign doesn’t just give the left wing a make-up exam, as is not infrequently noted, but this exam is open book. The pro-democracy camp must not fail. And in order not to fail this time, it must fix its biggest mistake from the last campaign: the exclusion of the Arab public in the political discourse. According to a survey we conducted, approximately 35 percent of the respondents declared that they would not be voting due to a sense of being excluded by decision makers, a lack of faith in their influence, the fact that there is no joint Jewish-Arab party, or a lack of faith in Israeli democracy itself. Beyond the mistaken political tactics the Zionist center-left chose in disqualifying Arab parties with the excuse that they aren’t Zionists, there is also racism at work, in contradiction to basic democratic principles: No one would think to disqualify anti-Zionist ultra-Orthodox parties from a coalition.
Young Israeli Labor Star’s ‘New Beginning’ Plays With the Facts (Ran Shimoni, Haaretz+) Labor MK Stav Shaffir has been promising to rebuild her party. She’ll put the “democratic camp” on the march to the future, without behind-the-scenes intrigues or wheeling and dealing. But Shaffir held two meetings with outgoing Labor party chief Avi Gabbay about entering the government. However, when she realized that her involvement in the affair wasn’t yet known, she would claim: “I refused and was utterly opposed” and “I was shocked and pained to see that some of my colleagues cooperated.” Sources in the Labor Party said they too were shocked – at her ability to lie so brazenly to the public. A politician who wants to succeed needs a measure of Machiavellian skill, but Shaffir deserves special commendation. She considered the proposal, presented demands, and at most hadn’t yet refused. She told her voters other facts.
Netanyahu will be remembered as the “Super Spinner of Israel," because you can not lie all the time (Lilach Sigan, Maariv) The prime minister will be remembered as someone during whose time we learned that spin, with all due respect, has some kind of limit. Because even the most talented magician in the world needs the trust of the other side.
Barak the Savior (Of Netanyahu) (Israel Harel, Haaretz+) Even as Netanyahu was wondering from where help would come, it has begun to arrive, in the form of Ehud Barak’s unbridled assault. Nobody knows better than Netanyahu how to exploit such situations to extricate himself from trouble. That, for instance, is what happened in the 2015 election, when he managed to persuade disappointed Likud voters that the campaign against him was actually aimed at them – mezuzah-kissers and believers in amulets. This time, former Mossad director Shabtai Shavit has come to his aid. “Bibi’s political base,” Shavit said, “are people whose moral threshold is at the level of grass.” Barak’s return (“to save the Zionist enterprise”) has restored a bit of color to the despairing faces of those who hate our perpetual prime minister.
As Long as Infighting Kept at Bay, Barak's Contribution Could Help Get Rid of Netanyahu (Friday Haaretz Editorial) It’s hard to ignore the political breath of fresh air that former Prime Minister Ehud Barak has brought into the election campaign. He’s sharp, focused, unfiltered, on the ball and aimed straight at the only goal for which he decided to return to politics – ousting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Barak has charged the center-left with new energy and created a new, surprising opening in the middle of a campaign that until now had seemed tired and sleepy. Barak hasn’t proposed a unity government without Netanyahu or otherwise tried to entice Netanyahu’s Likud party. He has gone straight to the heart of the matter: Netanyahu dragged an entire country into early election to save his skin, created unprecedented political chaos that is counter to the public interest, and intensified his destructive games of incitement and division solely so that he could continue in power.

Commentary/Analysis:
Hebrew University’s Two Big Disgraces (Zeev Sternhell, Haaretz+) About 10 days ago students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem declared a two-hour strike in support of the months-long struggle by a group of students and professors for the direct employment of cleaning workers at Israeli universities. Prof. Anat Zeira, who heads the university’s union of senior faculty, announced that the professors supported the strike as a sign of solidarity with the cleaning workers. This isn’t the first time this struggle has taken place. The last Hebrew University Senate meeting I took part in before retiring, at the beginning of the previous decade, was partly dedicated to this issue. The truth is, the university’s conduct here is a disgrace despite its money-saving aspect; at an academic institution, moral and educational considerations must take precedence. Social sensitivity and setting a worthy example to students are much more valuable than financial gain, especially when it’s achieved on the backs of women and men at the bottom of the social ladder. The economic consideration, and it alone, also appears to have led the country’s first university to compete for the army’s graces in setting up a military framework on campus. In April, the university proudly announced that it had won the bidding to run an academic excellence program for the Israel Defense Forces’ Intelligence Corps. One would think the institution had won a bid for research funds or something against leading universities around the world. I don’t know who competed, but Tel Aviv University didn’t think it worthy to join. The problem is that an autonomous military framework will be set up on campus and receive services from the university. It’s hard to presume that the military’s considerations are dictated by research excellence alone.
Behind the scenes of the ceasefire arrangement between Israel and Hamas (Elior Levy, Yedioth/Ynet) Over the weekend the two sides were once again on the verge of another violent cross-border flare-up, but a last-ditch effort by the Egyptians put the Jewish state and the terror group on course for finally implementing the terms of a long-term ceasefire arrangement.
The Bahrain summit showed that the Arab world stood by the Palestinians - and why I wouldn’t want to be a Jewish Bahrain this week - and why Gaza and Israel are unable to reach a calm (Jackie Khougy, Maariv) Abu Mazen did not have many choices when he refused the White House peace initiative. And why would not I want to be a Jew this week in Bahrain? Abba Eban said the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. We enjoy this expression rolling on our tongue, but it requires a historical examination. I'm not sure that serious research will reveal that we face accomplished peace objectors. At the same time, it is worth checking the other side of the coin: We Israelis, as is well known, attack any peace proposal that comes our way, complain about it in every corner of the world, and never miss an opportunity…The Bahrain economic conference had great ambitions, but its results were small. In the end what was held was an academic workshop, or a business forum, and nothing more. The Arab states sided with the Palestinians. They sent a low level representative and told the Americans that if this were the plan, then they should know that the Americans were alone in it. This demonstration of solidarity is not self-evident. Arab governments and the Arab street joined the two camps of Palestinian politics, and together they all said "no" to the White House. And there was the problem of style. It is impossible to conduct negotiations on such a complex and profound issue by means of force, to say to the Palestinians that they are peace objectors, to declare that Israel has the right to annex territories, and then to wonder why they do not jump on the bandwagon. That you are a party to a process of clarification or mediation, and the judge slanders you before the procedure begins.* In the small synagogue in Manama, the capital of Bahrain, a joint prayer was held this week for Israelis, American Jews and several members of the Jewish community. The foreign guests danced in a circle singing "Am Yisrael Chai.” No doubt, this was Israel-America week in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The Americans ran its affairs no less than its rulers. The Jewish community of Bahrain numbers about 30 people. Descendants of Jews from Iraq, Iran, and Yemen, who moved there in the late 19th century and a little later. From the time the State of Israel was established, the Jews began to feel uneasy and even persecuted, and gradually left. Few emigrated here to Israel, the majority settled in the home of the sponsors - Britain. King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifah inherited power from his father 17 years ago and began steps to improve relations with the US. He saw the Jews as an important card in his efforts to approach the Americans and began using them wisely, as he did the Christian minority. He left a permanent quota for a Jew in the parliament, and then appointed Huda Nunu to serve as Bahrain's ambassador to Washington, where he cultivated secret relations with the Israeli security authorities. His palace secretly cultivated relations with the Israeli security authorities, but made sure to avoid any public contact. Nunu, as ambassador, did not dare to meet Israelis openly, although many sought her closeness. The palace's tolerant policy toward Jews stems from survival needs. Bahrain is the  Arab country most threatened by Iran. 70% of its population is Shiite. Some oppose the palace, and a few are persecuted by it and coordinate their struggle with Tehran. The Iranians see them as a Persian colony taken from its owners, and every once in a while they remind their neighbors of that. We, protected civilians, do not recognize this reality. Between the threatening Iran and the royal palace, the Jews of Bahrain are a well-off but frightened minority. In the Second Intifada, when charities operated to raise money for the welfare of the Palestinians, they also made a donation. Its leaders publicly expressed their right to receive what they deserve. Try to imagine what happened this week. Israelis and Americans visit the synagogue, documenting themselves with ear-to-ear smiles, ending and leaving the Jews alone again. The Jews certainly welcomed them out of politeness. Presumably, they would have preferred they had not come. * The friend from Gaza was frustrated and a bit scared. "We are in the 21st century," he reminded me. "It's true that you are strong, but there is also a human interest: There are two million people here - children, ill people, women, old. Some are people who want to live and work." That was Tuesday afternoon, and on the morning of the same day the Israeli government decided to stop the sale of diesel fuel to the power plant in the Gaza Strip. The military wing of Hamas earned the sanction honestly. On Tuesday, an unbearable number of 15 incendiary balloons were launched into the communities surrounding the Gaza Strip…In addition to the power station, which produces the bulk of the current, the Gaza Strip is fed from two other sources. Israeli electricity flowing through 10 power lines, and Egyptian supplies via transmission lines, mainly to Rafah and Khan Yunis, which are close to the Gaza Strip border. Egyptian electricity has long ceased to flow, creating a situation in which Israel, which has shut down the power plant, is the only one currently supplying electricity to the Gaza Strip via the transmission lines. In addition, many residents of the Gaza Strip have created their own electricity, using a home generator. But its operation is expensive and depends on the availability of diesel fuel in the markets. Sources in the Gaza Strip assessed this week that stopping the diesel fuel would not solve the crisis, just as the decreasing the Gazans’ fishing area did not solve the crisis. The military wing of Hamas will continue to launch balloons to force Israel to grant further easing of the siege. They think that if they stop, they won’t get anything. This story shows how distressed the two sides are. Hamas leaders carry promises to the public about a better life and the lifting of the closure. Although this year they succeeded in improving civilian life: the Rafah crossing was opened and it provides oxygen to the population of the Gaza Strip, and the millions of Qatari dollars light up the homes. But Israel itself has not given any of this, and it has the biggest keys to the welfare of the individual in Gaza. Allowing the exit of thousands of workers, for example, will bring in cash and revive the Gazan economy. Export permits for agriculture or food will add to this. Qatari funding for the salaries of Hamas government workers, which Abu Mazen denied, will calm the ranks of officials, and will benefit Hamas politburo chief Yahya Sinwar and his people. Israel rejects all this, in order not to appear to have given Hamas a prize for violence. Lest it be understood that Jerusalem understands only power, and that the Palestinians will copy the model to the West Bank as well. Hamas, for its part, is hesitant to stop the violence, because it knows that with negotiations and pretty words, Israel will give very little. Each side will bite the other until it bleeds, retaliating for the mutual provocation, but fearing that it will spill over into war. War will bring destruction and death on both of them, and as we have learned, it does not solve the problem, but rather takes a heavy price. Those who want the Israeli prime minister to exert a heavy hand on the Gaza Strip, to eliminate and destroy, have forgotten that we were already there. And we failed. So what do we do in the meantime? They've been wrestling for a year now. Hamas is burning fields, in Israel they are playing with the fishing space, and this week they dared to go far and hit every home (by stopping fuel for electricity), not just fishermen. Do not believe the threats or chest thumping from Jerusalem and Gaza. Hamas on the one hand, and Israel on the other, are helpless in this story. They cannot solve the problem through negotiations, nor do they know how to solve it by force.
In Gaza, the path to escalation is short (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) In Gaza, there are always enough explosives to blow up a deal, but the election campaign could obligate the Israeli government to adopt a more hawkish policy on the terrorist enclave.
While Jews and Arabs mingled in Bahrain, Israelis and Palestinians met a thousand miles away (Noa Landau, Haaretz+) Myth on Israel and Gulf countries' estrangement was shattered at Trump's economic summit ■ Confab laid cornerstone for normalization between Israel and moderate Sunnis, but only a diplomatic plan can set developments in motion.
Israel can register the Bahrain Conference and the Tripartite Summit as impressive achievements (Alon Ben David, Maariv) The conference in Manama signaled that the Sunni world was ripe for progress in its relations with Israel. At the same time, an unprecedented conference was held in Jerusalem with representatives of the United States and Russia on the future of Syria.
A timeout (with Gaza) does not really bring good news: there is no long-term arrangement, just an (Israeli) attempt to buy quiet time (Tal Lev-Ram, Maariv) When there is no clear government policy vis-a-vis Hamas, the overall direction remains the same - and it leads to an escalation. It is doubtful that the understandings reached with the Gaza Strip will last more than a few days.
An Empty Zionist Bluff Appears in Galilee (Salman Masalha, Haaretz+) “Branding.” That’s the new term for racism in the Netanyahu-Smotrich era. The name Nazareth Illit (Upper Nazareth) created confusion, said a statement from the municipality explaining the decision to change the city’s name. Most Israelis, the statement said, mistakenly think that Nazareth Illit is a neighborhood of the city of Nazareth and this hurts the city’s “ability to create an identity, a brand and affiliation”…The disavowal of the Nazareth name now is an attempt to throw off any connection with what the Arab city represents. Whether due to the housing crunch in Arab communities or just for the sake of getting better housing, more and more Arab Israelis have been moving to Nazareth Illit. The racists perceive this as a threat to the city’s “Jewish character.” The astounding thing is that the city’s Arab residents also lent a hand to this grotesque move.
Those who acted on behalf of the Bedouin while in uniform are now afraid of political damage (Tal Lev-Ram, Maariv) When we invited Lt. Col. (res.) Wahid Al-Huzayel to be interviewed for our podcast series on military and security affairs on Radio 103 FM, I thought it would be a complex and charged meeting, in which he would send sharp messages to Israeli society. I've known Al-Huzayel for years, he was and still is a courageous man who says his opinion even when it is not pleasant to the ear. This was the case in the army and on the battlefield, as well as in civilian life. But despite it all, nothing prepared me for the intensity of the encounter and the jolt it caused me. I did not see a soldier more proud of the uniform he wore and the weapon he held than the Al-Huzayel. His personal story is deeply rooted in the battle heritage of the Gaza Division in particular and of the IDF in general: He dropped out of school in the ninth grade, did not complete his matriculation exams, enlisted in the Desert Patrol Battalion, completed an officers' course, and advanced in the ranks until he became battalion commander. He and his family made great efforts to encourage members of the Bedouin sector in the south to enlist in the IDF. Members of many delegations came to meet him during their tours in the sector. He was a symbol of how Bedouin can best integrate into Israeli society. And he was a reminder of the blood alliance between us, during days when the gaps deepen and the suspicion and alienation only intensify. But this week, four years after he left the army, Al-Huzail told me that while he was proud of his military service and the course he had taken - he was not convinced that if he were a young boy now - he would choose to enlist again. And it's not really because of him. It turns out that two years ago he saw an ad calling on young families to move to Kibbutz Kerem Shalom. He called and, according to him, he received an insulting and humiliating response. He was told that as a Bedouin he did not fit the kibbutz life. After insisting that he saw himself and his family as suited to communal life and asked to be transferred to the next stage of interviews, he was promised that they would call him back. But no one has contacted him since. At Kibbutz Kerem Shalom they were angry this week about the publication (of his story). I can understand their pain, especially when the discourse on social media networks has sometimes become offensive and violent. I spoke with a number of residents, and I completely accept their claim that they did not know about his application and that an outside company employed by the Kibbutz movement is the one who leads the marketing of the project and the initial selection. But on the other hand, I find it puzzling that they claim Al-Huzail should have approached the kibbutz personally after receiving no response. The battalion commander explains - and it is not certain that Jews can understand his words - that he did not want to be accepted to the kibbutz as a commander who served in the area for 23 years, who was injured when he defended the nearby communities and received the IDF Chief of Staff's medal for his heroism. He wanted to be accepted as a private person. The case of Al-Huzail is more significant than his personal story. It does not tell only about a single event. This is also not a technical error. We cling to the language when we hear about apartment owners in cities that refuse to rent their property to Arab citizens, but forget that racism exists in small communities, communities that espouse values of liberalism and openness, but in the test of reality they are given in and retreat. One can understand the desire of a small community to preserve its unique character. Ignoring this will be hypocrisy. Often in small places, people want to live alongside people who share the same beliefs and values. But at the very least, every person, regardless of religion or race, should be allowed to go to the admissions committee and present himself and his family - not the stigma and the group he ostensibly represents…It remains to be hoped that following this unfortunate even, the kibbutz movement will examine the processes of acceptance to their communities and update the procedures, and perhaps also be able to open up to the absorption of non-Jewish families. The problem of the lack of integration of Bedouin into Israeli society cannot be solved only through the attractive offers provided by the army. (Paying for the lessons to get) a truck driver's license, to complete matriculation exams, and to learn a vocational study are only cosmetic treatment. If we really want to solve the problem at the root, we need treatment at the political level. These things do not purge Arab society and its leaders of responsibility. Wahid Al-Huzail is not presenting himself as a victim. He is aware of radicalization in Bedouin society and the strengthening of the Islamic movement. He argues that the political leadership of Israeli Arabs leads to alienation rather than integration and coexistence. But he is also disappointed with the generals who entered Israeli politics, whom he knew well from his military service. He expected a different voice Yoav Galant of the Likud and from Benny Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi of the Kahol-Lavan Party. Those who worked for the Bedouin and for other minorities while in uniform are now afraid of political damage. "The word ‘Arab’ has become a derogatory term," says Al-Huzail, and speaks with pain about the Jewish Nation-State Law and about (Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s infamous race-baiting statement the night before the 2015 elections) “The Arabs are going in droves by bus to the polls.” His story reached the public consciousness this week because of his military past and stories of his heroism about uniforms. Apparently, the rejection of another Bedouin citizen from a kibbutz absorption committee would not have made headlines. Al-Huzail represents a large group of minority members who want to be part of Israeli society but find it difficult to find the government address that will prevent their exclusion. Al-Huzail feels that Jewish Israeli society is moving away from him, but he sends a message whose goal is to indicate that there is hope and that another way is possible. The things he says must disturb us all. Maybe for a moment we'll remove the glasses we use and see the reality as it is.
Why We Must Keep Looking at Politics Through the Lens of the Holocaust (Joshua Shanes, Haaretz+) The mantra ‘never again’ – the clarion call to teach the Holocaust in order to prevent such atrocities in the future – demands we study how those catastrophes occurred and avert their repetition.
Sovereignty should apply to all West Bank ‘C areas’ - otherwise it is possible to start packing (Nadav Haetzni, Maariv) Instead of taking advantage of the new policy of the US administration to impose sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, there is a trend of erosion in the Israeli hold.
West Bank Rape Case Shows How Israeli Military Prosecutors Railroad Palestinians (Nery Ramati, Haaretz+) The rape charges against Mahmoud Qatusa were dropped because of flaws in the evidence, the chief military prosecutor says. The prosecutor’s remarks sound like this was a rare technical failure in the military court system, but the facts show the opposite. Every year inexperienced military prosecutors hand down hundreds of false indictments based on partial evidence gathered by negligent and disinterested police. Most indictments for security offenses are based on the confessions of young Palestinians, exacted under conditions including torture by the Shin Bet security service. If I ever had to be interrogated at one of these places, I would immediately confess to the 1933 assassination of Chaim Arlosoroff and reenact whatever the investigators wanted to see…These Palestinians incriminate dozens, sometimes hundreds in crimes such as stone-throwing, taking part in demonstrations or membership in a terror group. On these lists you'll rarely see a specific place or time for when the alleged crime was committed, or information on how the participants were identified and what they exactly did. Other groundless indictments are based on the problematic testimonies of soldiers who say they can identity people hours after seeing them from a distance at a mass protest or stone-throwing incident, after no clear identifying details were submitted at the time of the event.
Even if Mahmoud Katusa were the rapist, it will be difficult to put him on trial again (Ron Kaufman, Maariv) If the suspect were a Jew, the investigation would not have taken place. When it comes to a Palestinian, they let give the case to the police at the local station as a study case so that maybe some of them will come out as investigators some day.
Encouraging Servility in Israel (Haaretz Editorial) The Mifal Hapayis lottery directors’ decision to stop funding the grant given the winner of the Docaviv documentary film festival, starting next year, and to reexamine the possibility of canceling the grant already promised to this year’s winner, the makers of the film “Advocate,” about Leah Tsemel, is another expression of the continuing erosion of Israeli democracy. The Mifal Hapayis decision comes in response to a public outcry led by right-wing activists, the Yahad organization, and the bereaved families’ group called “Choosing Life,” who have called on everyone to cancel their subscriptions to the lottery. The protesters have opposed awarding the grant to the film’s creators because of its focus on an Israeli attorney who represents Palestinian prisoners, some of whom are charged with involvement in terrorist operations. Opponents of the cultural boycott, cultural institutions and, primarily, Israeli consumers, fans of music, theater, film and dance must counter this blatant attack on Israeli creativity.
Like in Israel: Trump wants to bring Iran into negotiations that will continue forever (Udi Segal, Maariv) In his foreign policy, the president acts according to the Israeli principle: If you don’t reach an agreement, then at least leave the other side bound to negotiations forever.
Trading Insults Rather Than Kinetic Blows, U.S. and Iran Could Still End Up at the Table (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Trump's plan – or rather, business strategy – was also evident at the Bahrain conference ■ A Breaking the Silence scandal ends with a whimper.
Before Israel is dragged into a U.S.-Iran war (Giora Eiland, Yedioth/Ynet) There are steps that the Jewish state could take to diffuse the tensions on its borders, preempting any efforts by Tehran to punish the United States by triggering a proxy Middle East war.
Why Trump May End Up Calling Rohani ‘Dear Friend’ After All (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Before heading to negotiations, Washington must set its red lines and clarify what it offers in return.
What is the significance of the personal sanctions imposed by the United States against Zarif and Khamenei? (Yossi Melman, Maariv) According to Michael Rogers, one of the heads of US intelligence, the United States and Iran have decided to turn the fight between them into cyber warfare. And also: the historic failure of Mohammed Morsi.
Khamenei's Secret Stash Could Help Iran Weather Trump's Sanctions (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) America estimates that Iran's supreme leader controls $200 billion; the difficulty lies in tracing just where these funds have been invested, and how to sanction them.
The TV series about my family (the Dayan family) led me to think about the current model of masculinity (Lior Dayan, Maariv) This is not the best time to be a man. I realized that while my grandfather (Moshe Dayan) was chasing fedayeen and women, I was chasing my kid at the playground in the mall.
Miriam Adelson's Bat Mitzvah – or a Wonderful Night for U.S.-Israel Relations (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) An event featuring the wife of the casino mogul droned on for hours, but special guest Nikki Haley didn’t miss a chance to shine.
 
Interviews:
Walls of desperation: “The court acquitted us, but from the point of view of many people, we are still guilty”
Solomon Radai sat four and a half years on charges of murdering his wife, despite the police having no proof against him. He was acquitted after it was found the police initiated criminal acts in order to get him convicted. Like him there are many cases of accused who were completely acquitted from charges. They were detained, interrogated, indicted and sat for years in detention even though in the end it was proven they were innocent. Had they been convicted, the state would have taken care of rehabilitation. But because they were completely acquitted, and despite all this, they were punished and received no compensation or rehabilitation from the state. “No one looks at us,” say the three accused interviewed here. “We pay for the mistakes of other.”A week after the cancellation of the indictment against Mahmoud Katusa, who was accused of the rape of the 7-year-old in Binyamin (West Bank), three detainees tell about the long path they went through till they were completely acquitted and about how the state ignored them after their lives were ruined: “They acquitted us but we still feel like prisoners.” (Interviewed by Hadar Gil-Ad in Yedioth’s ’24 Hours’ supplement, cover)
Ashraf Salaimeh: “When the state prosecutor retracted its indictment and announced that I will be released, I didn’t believe it. The prison guard came to me and said, ‘Get prepared, you will be released in a few minutes.’ I refused to believe. I didn’t change my clothes, didn’t take a shower, nothing. I knew that if it turned out to be a lie I wouldn’t be able to deal with it.”
Solomon Radai: “I sat four and a half years on accusations of murder and every day I wanted to die.”

'Stop Giving the Bully Your Lunch Money': An Obama Adviser's Tips for Netanyahu's Rivals
Scott Goodstein, a digital strategist who advised Obama during his first presidential campaign, talks about what astounds him about Israeli politics and how he would imbue its leftists with a winning spirit. (Interviewed by Ayelett Shani in Haaretz+)

"We must deal with the malignant Iranian activity, I’m not concerned that Trump will ‘chicken out’”
Mark Dubowitz, who led the Republican struggle against Tehran's agreement with the powers, said in a special interview that "the Iranian regime will return to the negotiating table only under paralyzing pressure.” [NOTE: He is also head of The Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which was founded in 2001 as ‘Emet’ — Hebrew for “truth” — and whose goal was to “provide education meant to enhance Israel’s image in North America.” - OH] (Interviewed by Ben Caspit in Maariv)

"We have made it clear that a politician who expects everyone to conform to his own will will never succeed in ruling this nation"
For more than two decades, Turkey's ruling party boasted victories in the local elections, especially in Istanbul. That was until the opposition candidate Akram Emmulo came and defeated Erdogan's party in the country's most important city - and not once but twice. "The re-election strengthened our faith in democracy," said the elected mayor in a special conversation with Yedioth Ahronoth after the dramatic victory. "When politics reaches a dead end, the will of the people will revolt against it in the end." (Interviewed by Tulin Duloglu for Yedioth Hebrew)

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