News Nosh 7.3.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday July 3, 2019

 
Quote of the Day #1:
“Judaism is an adjective that modifies my Arabness.”
--Jewish-Arab-American journalist, Massoud Hayoun, wrote a book about his Egyptian grandfather and his own identity.*

Quote of the Day #2:
“There is a process of deligitimization in which we are being painted as criminals and violent people even though we are experiencing the violence.”
—Avi Yalou, a social activist, said about the protests over police brutality towards Ethiopian-Israelis.**

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Anarchy - Harsh scenes in all parts of the country: Protest of Ethiopian-Israelis lost control; Central roads blocked: Tens of thousands stuck for hours in traffic
  • The crime and its punishment // Nahum Barnea at the protest demonstrations (Hebrew)
  • Primaries in Labor party: Amir Peretz won, Shafir bypassed Shmuli
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom


Top News Summary:
**Today’s top story was about the violence of the Ethiopian-Israelis protesting the killing of a youth by a policeman and about the ‘anarchy’ that ensued as they blocked major highways and junctions across the country. The Hebrew newspapers today, unlike the Israeli police yesterday, showed less restraint towards the protesters, some of whom attacked cars (video), including a police car, set fire to an abandoned car, threw stones and a Molotov cocktail at police, and injured some 50 police officers, who were ordered to show ‘maximum restraint.’ Police said they arrested 60 people in total at all the protest sites. "There is a process of deligitimization in which we are being painted as criminals and violent people even though we are experiencing the violence,” Avi Yalou, an Ethiopian-Israeli social activist, told Haaretz.

What was upsetting to some Israelis was that the protests caused massive traffic jams across the country with an estimated 50,000 commuters stuck for up to five hours. (One couple was late for their wedding and the guests couldn’t come. Maariv posted a video of the bride walking in the midst of the blocked cars. "She arrived with a police car in shock.”) Yet, they still did not portray the Ethiopians as ‘bad,’ as they do in similar situations with Palestinians. Another protester, 31-year-old Shlomi from Netanya, tried in vain to speak with drivers, Haaretz+ reported. “People here are crying over a half-hour traffic jam while a mother is sitting shiva for a murdered 18-year-old – they’re looking for excuses and say [the bullets] hit the ground. Instead of coming out and being with us, they say ‘your protest isn’t just.’ It’s not ours, it’s everyone’s. I’m not willing to have my child be afraid. There are second and third generations here who are suffering,” he said, adding that he was disappointed to see few non-black people among the protesters. “The general public does not understand us . . . They see you everywhere, in the military, at work, on the street and online, and they tell you they’re with you -- but as soon as you damage their comfort they flip," he said.Yedioth’s senior commentator Nahum Barnea wrote a full page Op-Ed on page 2 of the paper that explained the difficulties the Ethiopian-Israelis face and accused the police of ‘disappearing’ when Ethiopian-Israelis take to the streets to protest a killing by a policeman, for which Israeli commuters pay the price. [Read translated excerpt of his interesting Op-Ed below in Commentary/Analysis.] Alongside that was a column by commentator Merav Betito calling on the police, army, judicial, education, health and social welfare systems to do internal probes “because separating and excluding Ethiopian-Israelis has a price.” Maariv showed a large photo of Ethiopian-Israeli women holding posters of Solomon Teka, who was shot dead Sunday, alongside the headline, “They stopped the country.” Neither the photo nor the headline were particularly accusatory. Next to it was a report from Teka’s funeral with the title, “The community is in great pain, and the whole nation should be in pain.” At Teka’s funeral, the family, which moved to Israel six years ago, said, “We didn't make Aliyah to be murdered." The autopsy was inconcslusive and it's not clear if the bullet was shot directly at him or on the ground and then ricocheted. The policeman who shot Teka has filed a complaint about threats to his life and now has 24-hour security protect him. He said he was "Sorry for the tragic result.” (Maariv) Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also showed restraint and instead of slamming the protesters, as he would have had they been Palestinian, he released a video calling for the protesters to stop blocking traffic. The protests continued today.

Meanwhile, Haaretz+ reported that on Sunday far-right minister Betzalel Smotrich held up millions of shekels  in funds earmarked to aid Ethiopian Israeli youth because he wants to use the money for “conversion institutes in crisis, resilience centers in Gaza border communities and in Judea and Samaria (West Bank), road safety and more.” Among the other programs awaiting funding as part of this decision is a special grant of 5 million shekels requested by the Jerusalem municipality to strengthen schools in East Jerusalem.


Elections 2019 News:
The other big story was that veteran Labor Party lawmaker Amir Peretz won the primary for the party's leadership on Tuesday - bay a landslide. He decided to postpone his victory celebrations due to the protests. “This outburst expresses the sense of discrimination they have been carrying for many years. Tomorrow we'll do everything that is required to reunite the party and make it a political home for every Israeli," Peretz said.     
Out with the new, in with the old: Amir Peretz is Labor leader again - Winning 47% of the votes, the former party leader beats younger lawmakers Stav Shaffir and Itzik Shmuli, who won 26.9 and 26.3 percent respectively. The voting rate was 45.6% of eligible party voters, lower than last primary, which saw 59% turnout. Peretz expected to engage in talks with Ehud Barak's new party and Meretz in an effort to form a center-left bloc ahead of upcoming election. (Israel Hayom and Haaretz)
The Labor Party, which many have already eulogized, made signs of life yesterday - Tens of thousands of people came to the polls to decide who would takeover from Avi Gabbay - and who might be No. 2 of Ehud Barak. Attorney Moshe Shahal, a veteran of the party, said: "Barak should not be given the first place.” (Maariv)
Ex-PM Ehud Barak Vows Never to Sit in Netanyahu Coalition Ahead of New Election - Earlier Yair Golan, expected to be second on Barak's new slate, told Haaretz he would not rule out joining Netanyahu-led government. Barak promises to head efforts to cancel mandatory army conscription. (Haaretz+)
Yair Lapid: "If Netanyahu stays, we will be a halachic (religious Jewish) state and there will be no democracy here" - Number 2 in Kahol-Lavan party attacked the prime minister at the Herzliya Conference, saying that Netanyahu "reached the conclusion that if (Israel) continues to be a democratic country, he will go to prison - and therefore he does not want it.” (Maariv)

 
Quick Hits:
  • Lieberman: Military preparation schools are turning into religious militias - Speaking at Herzliya Conference, former defense minister says 'ultra-orthodox and nationalist zealots' are taking over religious Zionism.' "Something really wrong is happening to the religious military preparation schools…they are turning into private, religious militias - a kind of Phalange." [Phalange is a reference to a Lebanese Christian militia that allied with Israel in the '80's and is infamous for committing a massacre in 1982 against Palestinian refugees living in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon, killing between 762 and 3,500. Many were tortured, some were raped and some were skinned alive or had limbs chopped off with axes. - OH] “Lieberman said he will oppose inclusion of Haredi parties in coalition since 'they have been involved for too long.’ (Yedioth/Ynet and Maariv and JPost)
  • State Comptroller: The Ministry of Education and Defense's supervision of the pre-military academies was very poor - In a preliminary probe following the disaster at Nahal Tsafit, the comptroller wrote: “It is necessary to ensure that the objectives of the preparatory program that justify the deferral of military service of youth can be assured, that it is possible to ensure that the activity is appropriate to the values of the army and the state, that the state budget allocated for this purpose is effectively utilized for the goals set, that every girl and boy is given equal opportunity to take part in this program, and that it is carried out with utmost care to ensure the safety of its participants.” (Maariv)
  • Israeli Arab School Rejects Government’s Effort to Get Kids to Promote Its Line - The Masar Institute for Education in Nazareth has denounced a required online course for delegations abroad; questions include 'What is demonization?' (Haaretz+)
  • "We made history": the first graduates of the Bedouin youth village - 22 seniors completed their studies at Neve-Midbar-Nitzana, which was initiated by the Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Education. The goal? To give the future generation of Bedouin society tools to succeed and influence their communities. "The next generation of the Bedouin sector is entitled to a supportive and progressive environment," said Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog. "The Jewish Agency, through donations from Diaspora Jewry, has given it the courage to act to strengthen the entire population of Israel.”  (Maariv)
  • Nursing homes against the Ministry of Health: "The allocation of a Palestinian auxiliary manpower is not a solution" - The crisis of the shortage of manpower in nursing homes has led the government to propose a new proposal to solve this problem - an experiment of employing inexperienced Palestinian workers, and which fills only a sixth of the existing shortage, in place of foreign caregivers that it refuses to import into nursing homes. According to the new government proposal,t he state imposes on the nursing homes the cost of the transporting the employees from the Territories and of training them, subject to the procedures of the Ministry of Health. Moreover, these workers are required to stand and wait at checkpoints, to being checked for the entry permits, and are subject to frequent security restrictions. Directors of retirement homes across the country told Maariv this week: “The elderly are crying out for available, experienced and reliable caretakers and there is a solution but the government is not willing to finance it.” (Maariv)
  • Because of racism: Lawyer petitioned the High Court to deny the Israel Prize from someone, 27 years after it was awarded - Attorney Ruth Refaeli petitioned for the retraction of the Israel Prize in Social Sciences given 27 years ago to the late Prof. Reuven Feuerstein for his work as a pedagogical psychologist and educator, because of the racism of a book he published 56 years ago called, "The Children of Malach: Cultural Delinquency in the Children of Maroco and its Educational Significance.” Refaeli, who is of Moroccan origin, said that this was a "racist, chilling and unusual book in our midst” and also demanded personal compensation of 350,000 shekels for Torts compensation for "insulting her publicly and damaging her reputation" and for "creating stereotypes and prejudices that led to hostile treatment and incitement towards her.” The judges rejected the petition because of the time that had elapsed and made her pay court costs. [NOTE: Wikipedia Hebrew writes that “Feuerstein's book ‘The Children of Malach: Cultural Delinquency in the Children of Maroco and its Educational Significance’ (1963) was later criticized and Feuerstein himself, shortly before receiving the Israel Prize, sought to shake off the aspects presented in it.” The English Wikipedia citation makes no mention of the book - OH] (Maariv)
  • Syria says Israeli strikes on its soil constitute 'state terrorism' - Russia, meanwhile, pins blame on Israel, says: "The use of force, blatantly violating Syria’s sovereignty, not only prevents the normalization of the situation in the country but also carries the potential of destabilizing the region." (Israel Hayom)
  • Russia Condemns Strikes in Syria, Blames Israel - Moscow says strikes 'grossly violate Syrian sovereignty,' killed 16 including small child. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran atomic archive stealers, Hezbollah tunnel-busters win security prize - Award also given to creator of Shin Bet cyber unit that created program used to thwart dozens of terror attacks, team that made advanced missile. (Times of Israel and Israel Hayom)
  • PM: Trump knew in advance of Israel's Iran archive mission - Awarding a security prize to Mossad team credited with archive capture, PM says he discussed planned operation with Trump. "I have no doubt that this helped to validate his decision to withdraw from" the Iran deal, he says. (Israel Hayom)
  • In first, US embassy celebrates Independence Day in Jerusalem - After Netanyahu’s request, annual July 4 party taking place at conference center in capital; bipartisan congressional delegation attending. (Times of Israel)
  • 'Netanyahu and Trump have a full-blown bromance' - Israel's standing in the United States is not a function of any particular administration because it has remained a largely bipartisan issue, a panel of experts said during the second day of the Herzliya Conference 2019 at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. Scholar David Makovsky: "I don't think it helps anybody to demonize the Democrats when they've been so supportive in the past." (Israel Hayom)
  • U.S. Warned Israel Over Deals With China, Top Pentagon Official Tells Haaretz - China's attempts to dominate world order and bully its neighbors are 'largest long-term threat to U.S. national security,' Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood says. (Haaretz+)
  • Former General Seeks Israeli Officials' Aid Against Illegal Arms Trade Allegations - In December, the U.S. imposed financial sanctions against retired Israeli Maj. Gen. Israel Ziv claiming he supplied weapons and ammunition to both sides in the civil war in South Sudan. (Calcalist English)
  • Israeli Radio Broadcaster Who Was Vocal About Boycotting German Products Passes Away - Today it’s hard to find Israelis who boycott Germany products, but Yael Ben-Yehuda made a name for herself when she refused to read a Volkswagen ad in the 1960s. (Haaretz+)
  • Iranians say US sanctions hurt people, not government - In Tehran's Grand Bazaar, all agree that American sanctions hurt the average person, not those in charge; ' they should think about the Iranian people and the Iranian society,' says young teacher, while another adds that 'instead of the nuclear program, the Iranian people need bread.’ (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Iran Seeks Death Sentences for 'Tens of U.S. Spies' - Former contract employee was recently executed on charges of spying for the CIA. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran: Israel will be destroyed in 30 minutes if we are attacked - "If the US attacks us, only half an hour will remain of Israel's lifespan," Mojtaba Zolnour, the chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee said Monday. Threat comes amid heightened tensions and hours after Iran announced it breached nuclear deal by crossing uranium limits. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Iran to US: Treat us with respect if you want talks - "Never threaten an Iranian ... Iran has always resisted pressure and has responded with respect when respected," Foreign Minister Zarif said Monday. In last-ditch talks in Vienna on Friday to persuade Iran to back off from its plans to breach the limits, Iran’s envoy said European countries had offered too little in return. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)


Features:
Inside the New D.C. Think Tank That Unites George Soros and Charles Koch
Co-founder Stephen Wertheim says the newly formed Quincy Institute wants to address U.S. foreign policy, including its relations with Israel and the Middle East. (Amir Tibon, Haaretz+)

Commentary/Analysis:
Ethiopians Protesting Police Shooting of Teen Are Saying What Israel Needs to Hear: This Is a Racist Country (Eyal Gato, Haaretz+) Even the most laundered police language cannot conceal or 'whiten' the community’s complex situation – a state of alienation and isolation.
Let the East Jerusalem Neighborhood of Isawiyah Be (Haaretz Editorial) As with the police’s attitude toward Israelis of Ethiopian origin, here too there are broader questions that must be asked about police behavior in Isawiyah and the rest of East Jerusalem. Firecrackers are a very common weapon in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. According to police, Mohammed Abid, a 20-year-old resident of Isawiyah shot firecrackers at a group of policemen, and one of the police drew his weapon and shot him dead. Tens of thousands of firecrackers are fired every year, some of them directly toward policemen. Yet there have been few, if any, injuries from these firecrackers, raising questions about the level of risk posed to the policeman in question and the need for him to use live fire to neutralize it. In recent years Jerusalem police have adopted a policy of wide-ranging enforcement campaigns against entire neighborhoods, in which hundreds of officers block the exits and carefully check every vehicle coming or going to try to find a reason to issue a ticket. There are also armed patrols conducted to demonstrate a police presence. Sometimes these police operations involve other authorities as well, to collect taxes or levy various types of fines. The undeclared message, conveyed repeatedly in conversations between the officers and neighborhood residents, is that the operation aims to make the residents stop throwing stones at policemen who enter the village. In other, less subtle words, these are collective punishment operations. The Isawiyah operation started three weeks ago, and includes daily raids on the village and harassment of the residents. Most business owners in the village have closed their shops for now, and residents are shutting themselves in their homes for fear of encountering policemen. Events in the village had escalated before Abid’s death. His death, as well as the fact that police refused to release the body to his family for four days, assured the continued violence. Dozens of residents have been injured in the confrontations. Police behavior toward Isawiyah is illegal, immoral and ineffective. It’s a policy that punishes a population of 20,000 people for the acts of a few, and increases the sense of humiliation and rage among East Jerusalem residents, which in turn sparks the violence against policemen.
The crime and its punishment (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth Hebrew) On the South Ayalon Highway, near the Azrieli towers, a group that leapt into the road blocked the traffic. A handful of policemen watched them from a distance, from the bridge of Road to Peace (Street). The traffic jam thickened for miles going north. The surprising part was not the demonstration, but the Olympic silence in which those stuck in the traffic jam accepted the demonstration. Israelis are usually zealous about their freedom of movement. When they see a checkpoint, they try to get around, zigzag, to explain that an emergency situation awaits them on the other side. If that doesn’t work, they shout, honk, commemorate the injustice done to them on the social media networks. And [yet] here, quiet. For more than two hours, I heard a single honk of protest from the center of the line of traffic, and an echoing honk of sympathy - beep-beep-beep-beep - from a car traveling on the opposite side of the highway or from the locomotive of the train. That says something about the feeling of guilt that many Israelis today feel. Perhaps the words embarrassment, shame, are a more accurate description. And that also means something about their attitude towards the system. They understand why the demonstrators don’t trust the police. They don’t believe it either. Why should they trust it? It is possible, very narrowly, to explain the circumstances that led to each incident separately, but the unbearable accumulation of incidents that ended in death says it all. "It's not a mistake - it's a policy," the demonstrators shouted rhythmically…
The origins of Israeli racism lie in our hyper-militarized society (Orly Noy, +972mag) Israel was established and continues to exist in a mentality of constant war. Our racism is only a symptom.
Exposing the 'New Left’ (Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom) Only radical leftists in Israel and abroad believe that the IDF is ethically reckless or that the Jewish state is not “very strict” when it comes to monitoring its own morality.
Palestinian kids are arrested every day. This time it's my friend's son (Orly Noy, +972mag) All my friend’s son wanted to do was pass his high school exit exams and go on to study at a university. Now, like thousands of other Palestinians before and after him, he is behind bars. No one knows why.
Tragic and interminable cycle of violence against Ethiopian Israelis (Mazal Bisawer, Yedioth/Ynet) We have to make police violence the center of the debate - this isn't a phenomenon reserved only for Israelis of Ethiopian origin; what will you do when the discrimination, aggression, and authoritarianism on display today will end up at everyone's back door tomorrow?
A call for restraint (Inno Farda Sanbato, Israel Hayom) As we protest the police violence directed against Ethiopian-Israelis, we must not use violence or block roads. The police have an interest in provoking us in order to justify their actions.
The upcoming elections not only endanger Netanyahu, but also the Zionist regime (Menahem Ben, Maariv) Netanyahu must bring the leaders of the New Right party [Bennett and Shaked] into the Likud, otherwise the left-center, which will connect with the Arab Joint List, may form the next government.
Lieberman, leave the religious pre-military academies alone (Asher Cohen, Israel Hayom Hebrew) In a speech at the Herzliya Conference, former defense minister Avigdor Lieberman said that what is happening today with "pre-military religious preparatory courses is developing toward private religious militias, a kind of Phalangist." When Lieberman descends sometime in the future from the political stage and gradually settles into oblivion, the religious Zionist pre-military preparatory programs will continue not only to exist, but to flourish. They are likely to change according to the changing reality, but like any proven success, they will stay continue to exist. As part of this flourishing process, the preparatory programs will continue to educate their students, who are crowded on the doorsteps (to sign up) for a meaningful military service, certainly more meaningful than Lieberman's military service. In his attempt to explain his baseless claim, Lieberman explained that "soldiers cultivate  subordination not to their direct military commander, but to a spiritual authority, a rabbi. This is a dangerous thing, it cannot happen." Lieberman seems to be recycling something worn-out that occasionally appears in the public discourse, almost always by people without any understanding and familiarity with religious Zionism.
An Arab at the Helm of an Israeli Bank? It’s Nothing Less Than a Miracle (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) Israeli Arabs are ready to join the mainstream economy, but it’s not at all clear the rest of Israel is ready to welcome them.
In surrendering to the terror of the fires, Netanyahu created a security "status quo" in the Gaza Strip periphery (Yitzhak Ben-Ner, Maariv) Hello, leaders. What's happening to you? Have you been persuaded by the series of changing excuses that leave the Israeli communities surrounding the Gaza Strip, their residents and their fields in the same intolerable situation for more than a year?
Peretz’s Return to the Israeli Labor Party Is a Slap in the Face for Ehud Barak (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) The former PM, who just made his own comeback, was banking on one of the younger candidates to win so their parties could merge – making him the undisputed leader
Europe can't help Iran (Itzhak Levanon, Israel Hayom) Between European companies afraid of losing the US market, Iran's aversion to a military conflict, and the weight of sanctions, the path to talks between Washington and Tehran seems clear.
Jordanian King's Sister Just Fled an Abusive Marriage to Ruler of Dubai. That's the Smallest of Abdullah's Headaches (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) King Abdullah is trying to distance himself from Princess Haya's move, which comes amid rising tensions between Amman and the Gulf states.
The left-wing organizations long for the moment when they have to withdraw from the heart of the country, and from Jerusalem (Prof. Arieh Eldad, Maariv) The Peace Now demonstration against the inauguration of the “Pilgrims' Path” in Jerusalem is similar to the outburst of an unfortunate child who tears his birth certificate in an attempt to declare that he has no parents. [NOTE: The inauguration was of a tunnel located by the Elad settler organization under homes in the Palestinian Silwan neighborhood of E. Jerusalem. - OH]
Confederation can't answer the most important issue in Israel-Palestine (Henriette Chacar, +972mag) Any framework that comes to replace the two-state solution must aspire toward decolonization, and accept that Zionism and full civic equality are irreconcilable.
Where the Far Right of Israel and Lebanon Meet (Zvi Bar’el, Haaretz+) Lebanon's discriminatory and xenophobic policies echo those of right-wingers in Israel. Upper Nazareth is a case in point.
 
Interviews:
*"Judaism Is an Adjective That Modifies My Arabness"
Jewish-Arab-American journalist, Massoud Hayoun delved into the life of his Egyptian-born grandfather and ended up settling accounts with colonialism, Trump – and Israel in his novel, "When We Were Arabs: A Jewish Family's Forgotten History."(Interviewed by Tzach Yoked in Haaretz+)

"I said to myself: 'Luna, the most important thing is that you be Luna.’”
(Arab-Israeli actress) Luna Mansur was eliminated from VIP Survival reality show after a spectacular fight with Lihi Griener, and she’s not returning to the “Fauda” drama series, even though she has been praised for her performance. In an unapologetic interview, the beauty queen of the Arab sector explains how tired she is of being offered a job as the wife of a terrorist, why she is not willing to play a lesbian, how difficult it is for her to rent an apartment in Tel Aviv and why she does not have time for love. (Interviewed by Smadar Shir in Yedioth’s ’24 Hours’ supplement. Hebrew)
In the second season of "Fauda" Mansur, a Muslim born in Acre, wore a headscarf and played the role of Marwa Awadallah and drew praise. "It was my first role, and when I heard the Arab actors talking on the set about how bored they were in Israel, I didn’t understand what they were talking about. You have a job, so be happy. But most of the roles I have received since then were the wife or sister of the terrorist, and yes, it’s boring. How many times can someone play the same role. Khalas, enough. I’m not an Arab actress, I'm an actress who can play every role, including a Jewish woman. So what if in Hebrew I have a bit of an accent? Who doesn’t? What, Gal Gadot didn't go to Hollywood with an Israeli accent? They worked with her, she worked with herself, that's how you progress.”
She lives with a friend in a rented apartment in Neot Afeka. "It's not easy to find," she admits. "I called a landlord who said, 'I don’t rent to Arabs.' Even though I wasn’t crazy about the area of the apartment, I decided to go to it, I wanted to see his face. I went with a friend, walked around the rooms and said, 'Tayeb, let’s go. Shukran.' I deliberately said it in Arabic. Then I looked at the owner of the apartment and said, 'I guess it won’t work out.' He was in shock. It was a gentle and dignified slap, but he accepted it and I also hope he learned a lesson from it. How long will you live in your stigmas? How long will you think all Arabs are dirty and inferior?"


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