News Nosh 7.9.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday July 9, 2019

 
Phrase of the day:
"Conflict contribution."
--Communications Director of Americans for Peace Now, Ori Nir, writes in Haaretz+ about the actions by US President Donald Trump's Mideast team, Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and Amb. David Friedman, who are led by ideologically pro-settler right-wing extremists, and who have no interest in resolving the conflict and instead are intentionally contributing to it by adding fuel to its fire.*

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • On the walkie-talkie they shouted, “Take off,” bullets fired all around, but the helicopter pilot insisted on waiting till all the fighters were counted - New details on moments of heroism of Captain A on the night of the operation in Khan Younis (Hebrew)
  • Continue the protest, without violence, for my son // Special: Waraka Teka, father of Solomon Teka, RIP, in a column for Yedioth (Hebrew)
  • Hello (Gaza) periphery First Grade - Children who were one-year-old during Operation Protective Edge will enter first grade at the end of the summer - at a new educational center
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • The 18th tunnel - Works on establishing underground obstacle along Gaza Strip border revealed the path of an attack tunnel in Israeli territory
  • From Obama to Gantz - The next star of Kahol-Lavan party: The strategic advisor of Joel Beininson, who was behind the victories of Barak Obama in the US elections
  • The mothers’ protest - More than a thousand Ethiopian-Israeli mothers marched yesterday in the streets of Tel-Aviv to Rabin Square and called: “Stop killing our children, we want them to leave the house and come home safely”
  • No school trips? No studies - Now, the pupils are threatening
Israel Hayom
  • Likely: Palestinian Authority will renew relations with Trump - Palestinians rethinking their path: Delegation to set off for Washington
  • Expose - Resigning with full hands - Just before he ended his term, committee approved for the director of the State Comptroller’s Office, Eli Marzel, to equalize his salary to that of a judge
  • Ramat Gan municipality to give ranking with ‘stars’ to private daycare centers
  • The solution that is needed: Bennett and Shaked - go to Likud // Amnon Lord
  • The mothers’ protest - Hundreds of Ethiopian-Israeli women marched in a quiet protest in Tel-Aviv and called: “Mom, do something so that I won’t be the next victim”
  • Stock market in New York and Israel’s Ministry of Finance will establish a secondary stock market for hi-tech in Israel
  • The man who turned thoughts into acts // Mandy Grozman on the Lubavitcher Rebbe

News Summary:
Ethiopian-Israeli women march through Tel-Aviv against police violence and discrimination, while the police said the forensic evidence backs the claim of the policeman who killed an Ethiopian youth, that he shot the ground and the bullet ricocheted, the IDF discovered another tunnel leading from Gaza into Israel, while the government offered solutions to the crisis over violence towards toddlers at daycare centers making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

Also in the news, a Jerusalem District Court made an unprecedented ruling against the Palestinian Authority and Iran said it began enriching more uranium. And while the Iranian Revolutionary Guard chief said the world knows Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapon, US Vice President Mike Pence vowed to “oppose Iran’s malign influence.” A former IAEA official told the Jerusalem Post that Iran was cutting nuclear breakout time by two months and that Iran’s violation “allows Iran to reach a nuclear bomb in less than a year.” (Also Maariv) Also, see the 'Features' section for a mind-boggling report on the reverse that the government took with Bedouins with whom they signed an agreement. Also, in 'Commentary/Analysis,' right-wing Israel Hayom columnist, Yossi Ahimeir, writes about Arab Israelis who inspired him at the Herzliya Conference.

Separately, in a 'dramatic' and unprecedented Israeli court ruling, Judge Moshe Drori of the Jerusalem court ruled that the Palestinian Authority government was liable for damages of attacks by Palestinians against Israelis during the Second Intifada, including attacks 'it didn't know about but later endorsed.’ The ruling applies to 17 petitions presented by the Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center) organization on behalf of the victims of the attacks and/or their families. “This is an unprecedented decision, as Israeli courts have until now only deemed the Palestinian Authority responsible for attacks carried out by its employees,” Ynet wrote. (Also Maariv)

The latest with Gaza:
The Israeli military said it discovered a tunnel while constructing an underground barrier, apparently an old tunnel, not one that was recently excavated or was intended to be used by Hamas in the near future. The Eshkol Regional Council said, “The tunnel does not pose a threat and is being handled by the IDF.” The IDF also shot down a drone that infiltrated from Gaza after it crossed into Israeli territory. Maariv’s military analyst, Tal Lev-Ram, wrote that while the IDF exposes Hamas' activities underground, Hamas continues to use other means in the air, and the army is preparing to significantly use drones in the next major confrontation.

Maariv’s Yasir Ukbi reported on how Gazans are paying money - and being scammed - to get work permits to work in Israel. With 71% unemployment among the younger generation and even more among academics, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip dream of work permits in Israel. Five years after Operation Protective Edge Gaza residents suffer from severe unemployment and dream of work permits in Israel: "No balloon would have been launched if the Israeli farmers in the Gaza periphery would have accepted farmers from the Gaza Strip.” According to Gaza residents, tens of thousands of Hamas members are holding the two million Gazans hostage. They know that only work permits in Israel will help them get out of this suffocation, but (Israel allows) only 5,000 Gazan merchants are to enter Israel. "People here sell their wives’ gold, borrow money, and what don’t they do to obtain exit permits to Israel," says Mohammed, a resident of the northern Gaza Strip. "I saw the line of people standing to receive $100 of the Qatari money, which is nothing compared to those who dream of getting out of the siege to Israel in order to work…People here sell everything to (buy a permit) to get to Israel and make a living. Those who don’t get approval, it’s as if the sky fell on him. People don’t know how they’ll pay their debts, especially at supermarkets. Some people are tricked by cheats, and the permits they get are forged, so they lose their whole world." "People here know that what they get from a calm (no skirmishes with Israel) is electricity and Qatari money," says Issa from the southern Gaza Strip. "Even the fishermen know that it all depends on the mood of the Israeli navy…I wish that the Gaza Strip would accept Palestinian farmers from the Gaza Strip - not a single (incendiary) balloon would be launched. Not even balloons of love. Most of the people are the silent, they don’t say anything. If they says something against Hamas policy, they find themselves behind bars, and there were cases like that."  Haaretz’s military analyst Amos Harel wrote that it is not being publicized, but Israel is giving more permits to Gazans to work in Israel to relieve the economic and humanitarian crisis there. (See Commentary/Analysis below.) And Maariv’s Ukbi also reported that an Egyptian security delegation will arrive in the Gaza Strip at the end of the week and meet with senior Palestinian Authority officials and senior members of Hamas to talk about the internal Palestinian reconciliation and the an agreement between Israel and Hamas.


Elections 2019 Quickees:
Israel's Center-left Seeks to Form anti-Netanyahu Bloc, but Union Remains Elusive - Ehud Barak, Meretz and Labor are mulling the option of joining forces, but there is concern that two parties running together could sink the third. (Haaretz)
Tzipi Livni considering political comeback, but only if Barak and Labor join forces - Ehud Barak meanwhile says he hasn’t ruled out joining forces with Labor and is willing to be second on a joint slate. (Haaretz+)
Report: Ehud Barak in talks to bring (former Peace Now leader) Avi Buskila to his party - Channel 13 News reported that the former prime minister, who founded the "Democratic Israel" party, is conducting talks with a Meretz member and former Secretary General of Peace Now, in order to have him join the party. (Maariv)
A new adviser to Kahol-Lavan: the man behind Obama's successes - Maariv has learned that the party recently signed Joel Benenson, one of the leading US strategists and consultants. He recently also was an advisor to Facebook. (Maariv and JPost)
Netanyahu urged to give Shaked a top spot on Likud list - Some in the prime minister's inner circle are warning that former justice minister Ayelet Shaked is an asset worth right-wing votes and leaving her out in the cold could prove dangerous for the ruling party's continued leadership. (Ynet)
Meretz Chairperson gives up his salary till elections  - Nitzan Horowitz, the new Meretz leader, announced to the party's financial committee that he would not take a salary of 40,000 shekels a month for the next two months. "He prefers to budget more activities in the field for the election campaign," say his associates. (Yedioth, p. 12)

 
Quick Hits:
  • Funds Donated to Palestinian Family May Go to Settlers Trying to Evict It - The group Elad, which has been trying for 25 years to get the Siyam family to leave their home, has put a lien on donations to their cause. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli left-wing activist assaulted in Tel Aviv -  Haaretz employee Jonathan Pollak says information about where he lives and works were posted online before the attack outside the publication's offices. (Haaretz+)
  • Arab sector school demands end to 'racist propaganda' course - Education Ministry requires all students to take online course before heading overseas on school trips that Masar School in Nazareth wrote has 'content that is mainly political, biased and transmitted from a very narrow and one-sided perspective…Children are not meant to be state agents of propaganda, and this program is actually illegal.” (Ynet)
  • A soldier who took part in the IDF secret military operation in Khan Younis: “We were preparing for all the reactions, from casualties to war” - One of the soldiers who took part in the special operation in the Gaza Strip, in which Lieutenant Colonel M. was killed, described the nature of such operations and said that the first principle is the security of the operational force, the second principle is secrecy, that the force won’t get caught or even disclosed at the expense of the operation, it is better not to perform the task than to be exposed. And third, is performing the job. (Maariv)
  • PA 'setting new course' with US in effort to make amends - Ramallah and Washington have been exchanging conciliatory messages before a senior PA delegation flies to Washington in the near future to "possibly renew relations" with the Trump administration, a senior official in Ramallah tells Israel Hayom. (Israel Hayom)
  • 'Why not?': How Netanyahu explained flying billionaire friend in military chopper - TV news airs partial transcript of police interrogation of Netanyahu, suspected of accepting illicit gifts from wealthy friends. (Haaretz, Maariv and Ynet)
  • Court: State attorney's legal opinions on Netanyahu to remain under wraps - Justices say there are no grounds to release internal memos sent to AG regarding the scope of possible indictment of the PM, despite apparent disagreements between high-ranking Justice Ministry officials. Pre-indictment hearing dealing with three corruption probes to take place in October. (Israel Hayom)
  • The Kosher Cover-up: What the Israeli Embassy in Brazil Didn't Want You to See - Israel's ambassador and Brazil's far-right president dined over a soccer match, but a bad Photoshop job can't hide what they ate. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Israeli election gives Palestinians multi-million dollar boon - While a majority of Palestinians who work in Israel are not eligible to vote, they will nevertheless enjoy paid time off on Election Day. As one Palestinian in Ramallah put it, "As far as we are concerned, Israel can hold elections every month." (Israel Hayom)
  • Jerusalem pleased with Greece's choice of new prime minister = Kyriakos Mitsotakis is the son of an avid Israel supporter who advocated strengthening Greek Israeli relations; Greece was the last European country to establish full diplomatic relations with the Jewish state. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • "We were surprised by the ambassador's strange statement in Washington about his support for relations with Israel" - Deputy Speaker of the Parliament in Baghdad referred to the storm raised by Iraqi Ambassador Farid Yassin during his speech in the United States and said that "his remarks do not represent the official position of the state.” Farid said there are objective reasons for the establishment of relations between Iraq and Israel…(they) could help, because of the presence of a large Iraqi community in the country…We can use the Israeli experience mainly in the fields of technology and agriculture." However, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry declared: “There will be no normalization of relations with Israel." (Maariv)
  • Biblical City of Ziklag Where Philistines Gave Refuge to David Found, Researchers Claim - Finds from the Philistine period and 10th century B.C.E., the time of King David, signal Khirbet al-Rai as the site of Ziklag and place boundaries on the kingdom he ruled. (Haaretz+)
  • Saudi Arabia says it foiled attack on ship in the Red Sea; Houthis deny - A tweet by Saudi state television quoting Colonel Turki al-Malki did not name the ship or provide other details about the incident. (Agencies, Haaretz+)

 



Features:
The State Attorney's Office presents: lies, concealment of facts from the High Court of Justice, and agreements that don’t need to be implemented (Kalman Liebeskind, Maariv) The state signed a contract with the residents of the Bedouin village and promised to give them and their children plots in a new neighborhood. But the State Attorney's Office withdrew from the agreement and sold lies to the High Court…The story of the village of Umm al-Hiran is familiar to every Israeli, mainly because of the incident that took place on January 18, 2017, when the policeman Erez Amadi Levy and the local resident Ya'qub Abu al-Qiyan were killed during an operation to demolish illegal houses. Let us put aside this time the confrontation over the circumstances of this incident, the various claims, and the PID investigation. We have dealt here with all of these in the past extensively. Two months after this difficult event, the contacts between the representatives of the residents and the representatives of the state, which conducted the dialogue, resumed mainly through the Bedouin Development and Settlement Authority in the Negev. On April 10, 2018, a “framework agreement” was finally signed between the parties. At the same time, on the same day, another agreement was signed with the Bedouins of Umm al-Hiran, detailing exactly what they would receive from the state and what they should do for it. To make it easier to understand, we will call the first agreement the "framework agreement" and the other, the detailed "additional agreement.” The residents of Umm al-Hiran, after the killing of Abu al-Qiyan, had very little trust in the institutions that they faced, they suspected that someone would want to pull a fast one on them, and agreed to sign the "framework agreement" only after the second agreement was signed. In short, the residents of Umm al-Hiran undertook to evacuate their illegal homes and move to neighborhood 12 in the nearby town of Hura. The state, for its part, has undertaken in the framework agreement to grant every couple and every single person from the age of 24 a plot to build in the new neighborhood, and to compensate them for the structures they had to demolish in the old settlement. It was further agreed that anyone who moved to the new neighborhood for temporary housing, even before the completion of the construction of his new home, would receive a grant of 50,000 shekels to finance the temporary passage. The "additional agreement", which was signed simultaneously, promised that the state would give the villagers another 70 lots for their minor sons so that they could live next to their parents when they married. Let's put aside the important discussion about these costs and the question of whether it is right and proper to pay them. What is important for our purposes is that the State of Israel signed the two agreements with the residents of Umm al-Hiran and at the end of the "additional agreement" all of them undertake: "Immediately upon the signing of this agreement, the parties will begin to implement it." The agreements, as stated, were signed, and both sides began to implement them. The state, through the Bedouin Authority and the Jewish National Fund, began to vigorously prepare the new neighborhood in the town of Hura, laying down sewage, electricity and water infrastructures. The Bedouin, on the other hand, demolished with their own hands the first eight houses in Umm al-Hiran, began moving to temporary housing in the new neighborhood, and at the same time began to build their new homes there. I saw some 50 houses in various stages of construction when I visited this week, some of them are completely built and already populated by families.  So far all is well and good and from here starts the crazy story. About five months ago, some members of the tribe submitted a petition to the High Court of Justice, claiming that the state discriminates against women by giving free lots to minor sons and does not give such plots to minor daughters. We will note here that the state, which tried to explain in its response to the High Court that there was no discrimination, chose not to tell the truth. Such discrimination takes place over the years, by agreement, between the state authorities and the Bedouins and their families, but we will return to that later. In essence, the state had to decide how it relates to agreements that have already been signed, and what it says to the High Court of Justice, which seeks to know if girls are discriminated against.  The answer that was submitted a few weeks ago by a senior deputy in the State Attorney's Office was amazing. We were confused, the prosecution said. Any signature on the "Additional Agreement" between the Authority for Bedouins and the Bedouins themselves is mistaken. The agreement, wrote the senior representative of the State Attorney's Office, was signed by Yair Ma'ayan, director general of the Authority for Bedouins, "solely on his own initiative.” Ma'ayan, the State Attorney's Office explained to the High Court of Justice, promised in an agreement signed with the Bedouin to allocate plots to those under the age of 18, and that contradicts the decisions of the Israel Lands Authority. "The matter was brought before the Attorney General, and he ruled that there is indeed no basis for carrying out the said orders." It is important to understand that Ma’ayan is not a private citizen. He does not even work as a low-level civil servant. Maayan is the head of a government authority - a senior official who heads the governing body on behalf of the State of Israel, the entire issue of development and settlement of the Bedouin communities and signs daily on significant contracts on a huge scale. And when the Justice Ministry is now trying to escape the agreements it signed, and presents the head of the authority as an irresponsible madman who signs on his own behalf all kinds of promises that can not be fulfilled, we must mention a number of things: The agreement signed by the Umm al-Hiran evacuees and the director general of the Authority for Bedouins was not signed on a restaurant napkin. It was signed on a document bearing the logo of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the State of Israel. Moreover, in all the discussions that led to this agreement, the senior advisor to Police Major General Moti Cohen, then the commander of the southern district of the police force and now deputy police commissioner, took an act’ve part. He was not just taking part. On the same night that the agreement was signed, Cohen's representative passed between the Bedouin houses, himself, and signed them one by one on the agreement. And when the State Attorney's Office presents a document that connects a senior state official - a man who signs a thousand and one contracts - as a document in which citizens can wrap fish, what can be understood from this? And at this point it is important to understand something more important. Were it not for this agreement, whether good or bad, the residents of Umm al-Hiran would not have left their homes by agreement. Maybe they would have continued their struggle. Perhaps the state would find itself fighting against them in a few legal proceedings. But in no case would we have seen the people of the tribe demolishing their own homes with their own hands, as they did following the signing of the agreement with them. And to understand how much the state does care about them, we will only mention that the State Prosecutor's Office did not even bother to inform them that it did not intend to fulfill its part of the contract before it notified the High Court of Justice and left them stunned. This story is problematic in many ways. The simplest thing, as stated, is that it is impossible for almost 100 citizens to sign a contract with the state and discover that from the state's point of view, the senior official who signed the contract with them "exceeded his authority." After all, what does the Attorney General expect a civilian to do before he signs something with a state official? Call State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan and Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit and clarify whether it’s okay with them? But there's another point that makes me even more upset. The State Attorney's Office apparently knew that if it told the High Court justices that the neighborhood of the Umm al-Hiran evacuees was in a state of advanced construction, the judges would understand that at this point it is impossible to go backward. What did the prosecution do? It didn’t tell the judges the truth, or in a slightly less gentle wording: it lied to them. “For the full picture," the representative of the State Attorney's Office wrote to the High Court of Justice, "it should be noted that at this stage no individual agreements have yet been signed with the residents of the area, and therefore the land in the neighborhood has not yet been allocated to any of them by the Israel Land Authority." And then again: "At this stage, the said land has not yet been allocated to the evacuees, since no specific agreements have yet been signed with any of them." The High Court justices who read these lines assumed that nothing had begun to move, that the plots had not yet been allocated, that it was still possible to freeze everything. In actuality, as stated, contrary to the descriptions of the State Attorney's Office, 50 houses in the neighborhood are in advanced stages of construction. In some of the cases - and this week I visited several of them - the evacuees of Umm al-Hiran have already finished building and moved to the new home with their family. The state, by the way, had a solution for how to get out of the mess. Two weeks ago, it hastily convened the compromise committee of the Authority for Bedouin to quickly get a revised decision. The state, according to the new decision, will not allocate to the residents the 70 plots for their children as it promised, but will keep them available for five years, and will be ready to sell them to minors who reach the age of 18 during these five years. What does this mean for the Bedouin? First, they will have to pay for plots even though the agreement signed with them promised them that they would receive them for free. Second, anyone whose children are 14 years old can get a plot for his child, but someone whose child is 12-years-old cannot, because in five years he will not be at the age of entitlement. I urge you again to leave here the question of whether the original commitments of the state seem good to you or not. What is important is that a country that signs an agreement with its citizens cannot come to them and tell them that a mistake has been made, after they have done their part.  Wait, now comes the most amusing part. The new decision, the one the state now wants to convince the residents to accept, was signed two weeks ago by the compromise committee. The chairman of this committee is the Director General of the Bedouin Authority, Yair Ma'ayan. Now, a small question: what exactly should the Bedouin do, with one hand the state explains that they can throw the first contract signed by Yair Ma'ayan into the garbage bin, because Maayan is an official who does things on his own initiative and asks them to adopt the new and revised decision in their matter, signed by the same Yair Ma’ayan?  Now let's talk about another big lie from the State Prosecutor's Office. Remember that the cause of the petition against the agreement was the claim that there is gender discrimination, and that the state allocates plots to Bedouin male minors and does not allocate them to female minors, as well? Well, this discrimination is a known, familiar, deliberate, coordinated and long-standing matter between the state and the Bedouin. There is also an explanation for this discrimination. A Bedouin boy who marries, lives with his new wife next to his father. A girl, naturally, does not live near her father, but next to her father-in-law and mother-in-law. For this reason, it was clear to the state for all these years that if you allocate a plot to both the male minor and the female minor, that would also force the state to grant two plots to each family instead of one, and also to know that the lot allocated to the female minor would not be used by her, but rather by her parents. Also here it does not matter what you think about this issue. What matters is that this practice, which is connected to the Bedouin tradition, has been practiced for decades. Except that the state prosecutor is not happy to tell the High Court of Justice the truth and explain that in light of Bedouin customs, the state also treats a young Bedouin man differently from a young Bedouin woman. So what do they do? They lie to the judges. And so, in order to calm the court and in order to say that the state is not discriminatory, the state prosecutor relies in its response to the High Court of Justice on the decision of the compromise committee of the Authority for Bedouin, the last committee to discuss the issue only a month ago: "There is no argument that equal conditions should be applied to all evacuated families, and there is no room for gender discrimination in the distribution of lots." In order not to talk without facts, I went this week to examine how many male minors and how many female minors received plots from the state in the most significant construction project carried out in the Bedouin sector in recent years, the expansion project south of Rahat. Thousands of housing units were built in this project, and among other things, lots were also allocated to minors. I counted them one by one, by their names. 259 lots were allocated in total to those who have not yet reached the age of 18. 246 of them are to boys. 13 of them for girls. According to my probe, in cases where girls got plots,  it was because their parents did not have sons. Such is the situation in the construction project in Rahat. Such is the situation in all other projects. Anyone who tells you something else, even if you call it the State Attorney's Office, is lying. No response was received from the Ministry of Justice.
Following the publication of this article, the Ministry of Justice requested to give the following response: The claim that the State Prosecutor's Office lied to the court is itself false and baseless, along with many other inaccuracies that are intertwined in the article. Suffice it to say, as the Attorney General told the High Court, the Bedouin Development and Settlement Authority in the Negev is not authorized to allocate land by itself. Unfortunately, the Director-General of the Bedouin Authority acted without authority to sign the additional agreement without the knowledge and approval of the authorized bodies, alongside gender discrimination and  any allocation to youth is only possible in exchange for payment, subject to the relevant provisions. Therefore, when this was discovered, and after the complexity involved in changing the signed agreement was considered, there was no alternative to amending it so that it would be made clear that the allocation would be made according to law alone. This amendment was made and approved by the compromise committee, which is composed of the Israel Lands Authority and the Authority for Bedouin, headed by the director general of the Authority for Bedouin himself, after he was made aware of the failure of his actions.
 
Commentary/Analysis:
**Religious fanatics have hijacked America's Israel policy. And they're not even evangelicals (Peace Now Communications Director, Ori Nir, Haaretz+) Trump's extremist, maverick pro-settler envoys, David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, aren't resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They're fueling it - and Congress should investigate
“90% of the Arabs want to integrate, but the state does not accept this" (Yossi Ahimeir, Maariv) The Arab speakers at the Herzliya Conference planted optimism that something positive is developing in the Arab sector. Take for example, Dr. Morsi Abu Moukh. I wonder how many readers of this article have heard his name. I did not even know about him until I listened to him speak at the conference on a panel on “"Arab Society in Israel - Between Integration and Alienation.” This jurist, who is currently writing a book based on his doctoral dissertation at the University of Haifa, which is on the subject of conflict resolution, is the mayor of Baqa el Gharbiya. He is an Arab public leader who for eight years has been leading his city to considerable achievements in planning, employment and industry. He spoke about Arab society, in a way, the Jewish majority in the country, the newspaper readers, do not know at all. "I am very proud of being a Palestinian, just as I am proud of being an Israeli - just like the Jews of America, who are proud of their Jewishness and their citizenship." In saying this, he attacked: "Our leadership is only causing us harm. It t is disconnected from the younger generation. It will take years to repair the damage it caused," he said.  “We are looking for another leadership that is ready to cooperate with the state authorities, which seeks one thing - integration.”…And after criticizing the Arab leadership, which he says does not represent the majority of the Arab public, Dr. Abu Moukh criticized the government: "90% of the Arabs want to integrate, but the state does not accept this…You must understand that there is a partner willing to integrate. We are a friend, who cries for help, and without slogans. There is a civil war in Arab society - 1,600 have been murdered since 2002, 40% of those with academic degrees are unemployed, 12% of children up to age 12 are addicted to drugs. Who will take responsibility for this?” he asked. "The Likud said: 'We do not want the Arabs in the government. The Arabs said:' We do not want to be in the government. ‘I believe that the Arabs should be represented in the government.” As expected, he spoke about the Jewish Nation-State law: "It will alienate Jewish society from Arab society." However, Dr. Abu Moukh also knows how to praise: "In the past eight years, I have received support from the government in support of Baka al-Gharbiyeh, which has helped to make far-reaching changes." Please meet also the other speakers, who expressed themselves in a similar vein. "Most of the Arabs in Israel want a partnership with the state. They want the representation with an Arab minister in the government, and what interests them is not the Palestinian problem but infrastructure and electricity," said Nayef Abu Sawis of Ramleh, who established an Arab list to run in the upcoming elections. Education persona, Dr. Dalia Fadila, spoke about the leadership crisis in Arab society: "We have multiple leaderships: religious, political, and there is no single vision. A ticking bomb develops. The young people are attracted to extremist ideology. We have not yet decided who we are and what we think about being a minority in a majority state. We have no Martin Luther King of our own, who will declare: 'I have a dream.’” Iman Safadi, a correspondent for Army Radio, focused her words on the Nation-State law: "I am a Druze Arab. After the Nation-State law I am confused. It created another difficulty for the young people to connect with the state."  The most extreme among the speakers was attorney Maysa Grabli, a resident of Jaffa: "When I walk with a hijab in the street, they look at me as if I had descended from Mars. Arab society must be recognized as a national collective. We are not an Arab minority, we are part of a broad society.” The discussion was fascinating. We heard (Arab) people speak who are completely Israeli. Despite the dangerous idea of a "national collective", the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) brought together unusual Arab speakers that instilled an optimistic feeling that something positive was developing in Israeli Arab society, and I hope I won’t be proven wrong. It was good to hear this especially during the week when angry voices from another minority, the community of Ethiopian immigrants, stirred the country's spirits, and there were also dangerous calls for mutual boycotts between the (Jewish city of) Afula and the surrounding Arab villages [over the city’s attempts to keep Arabs out - OH]. It was impossible to disagree with Dr. Fadila's conclusion: "We must balance our national identity with the need to be part of the State of Israel, in the sense of integration in every field. It can only be done by education."
5 years since Operation Protective Edge, how is the south doing? (Matan Tzuri, Yedioth/Ynet) Residents say the shorter rounds of fighting that suddenly start and last a day are more unnerving than the 2014 war while mental health professionals call it shaving off a layer of resilience each time.
Not Just Qatari Cash: Why Violence Has Subsided Along Gaza-Israel Border (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Like previous concessions to Hamas, the decision to allow more Gazan to work in Israel was never published by Israeli officials.
Deifying the American president: Miriam Adelson doubles down on 'Book of Trump' (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) Israeli-American megadonor uses media platforms to tout the ‘platinum anniversary’ being celebrated by the two countries and to decry the president’s lack of ‘sweeping support’ at home
The Evangelical Bear Hug (Haaretz Editorial) Under the public radar, one of the events with the greatest influence on what happens here in Israel is underway in Washington: the annual Christians United for Israel convention. About 80% of white evangelical Christians voted for Trump. This year’s huge gathering in Washington is a main election event and Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – evangelical Christians themselves – are addressing thousands of evangelicals there. So are National Security Adviser John Bolton, White House Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, and the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, who is being flown in for the festivities. The evangelical lobby made a decisive contribution toward Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and recognize Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights. It has also directly affected American policy on Iran, the aim to shut down UNRWA by defunding it and opposition to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. An Israeli government that looks after the country’s future and thinks long-term about its citizens’ lives cannot permit itself to buy support on credit from a community that is acting out of the belief that the Jews play a interim role in the process of Christian redemption.
Israel's clarion call on nuclear Iran (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) With Trump pulling out of the 2015 deal, European leaders are unable to demand complete Iranian compliance and consider Tehran's violations mere tactical moves to force negotiations; meanwhile, Jerusalem is preparing its options to stop the Islamic Republic from going atomic.

Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
For Populists Like Trump, Netanyahu and Berlusconi, TV Garbage Is Golden (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) New research on the direct link between the dumbing down of TV and support for populist candidates in Italy is applicable to Israel and the U.S. as well
Netanyahu and Barak are telling stories and making promises (Sever Plocker, Yedioth/Ynet) Netanyahu says he's the only one who can lead the Likud Party to a win, when in fact he only won twice and the rest of his terms were a mastery of coalition-compiling maneuvers, not of winning; Barak says he's the only one who can beat Netanyahu, when he was only able to do it once, while others also had.
Israel’s Former Army Chiefs Not Hitting the Target in Politics (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) The question that Israelis now have to ask themselves is whether they would want Gantz, Barak or Ya’alon as chief of staff after seeing their abilities in civilian life
The Kahol-Lavan MKs will prefer to go with Gantz, and not with the professional haters of Netanyahu (Menachem Ben, Maariv) After the next elections we will need a unity government and a rotation between Netanyahu and Gantz, who proved that his judgment and fairness can be trusted. Any other possibility would endanger Israel.
Lieberman the Kingslayer Wants Payback (Nehemia Shtrasler, Haaretz+) You can criticize him until the cows come home, but there’s one thing on which everybody agrees: He’s unconventional. He’s unpredictable. He doesn’t follow the crowd. He’s the only politician who’s willing to pay the full price, even if that means political suicide, to take revenge on and destroy a rival. That’s why Benjamin Netanyahu is so anxious about Avigdor Lieberman. The prime minister knows him well. Lieberman wants retribution, and not just for recent events. He wants payback for the years during which Netanyahu fed him a line: He didn’t keep his promises to Lieberman, undermined him, isolated him and badly damaged Yisrael Beiteinu. As a result, Lieberman wasn’t part of the coalition government Netanyahu formed in 2015…Lieberman recently expanded his line of attack to include the right flank of religious Zionism and their pre-army academies, making reference to the Lebanese political scene in labeling them the Phalange and religious militias. Those remarks were also well-taken…The time has come for us to stop being the followers of the Gur rebbe and the pawns of Bezalel Smotrich of the Union of Right-Wing Parties. It would be very helpful if they sit in the Knesset opposition ranks after September 17.
The left insists on saving Netanyahu from his voters (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) Likud voters are a diverse group, fearful of a binational state that would lose Israel's Jewish majority, critical of funds handed out to ultra-Orthodox parties to secure their support and accepting of many of the positions held by centrist parties.
 
Interviews:
"I'm willing to leave the Palestine team to play in the (Israeli) Premier League"
He (is an Israeli Arab from the town of Tayibe who) grew up playing for Hapoel Kfar Sava, transferred to the Palestinian league and became the star of its national team. Although Abdallah Jaber, 26, is honored and has star status in the Palestinian league, and he earns very high sums (he says over 1 million shekels per season), he is willing to give up the astronomical wages and his place on the Palestine team to play in the Israeli Premier League. In an exclusive interview he speaks courageously and openly about his desire to break the glass ceiling, as well as the barriers of racism, and move from the Palestinian League to Israeli soccer - and perhaps even star in Beitar Jerusalem uniforms. [NOTE: Beitar Jerusalem hardcore 'La Familia' fans refuse to allow an Arab to play on the team. - OH] (Interviewed by Shimon Elbaz in Yedioth Hebrew)

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