News Nosh 7.11.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday July 11, 2019
Quote of the day:
“I personally commit to this, and the commitment has no expiration date."
--Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu promised he would not be evicting any more Jewish or Arab communities in the Land of Israel. So how can a viable Palestinian state be created without moving settlers? And does this mean will Israel will stop demolishing Bedouin villages it does not recognize?*

Breaking News: 
Gaza Factions Threaten Retaliation After Israel Reportedly Kills Hamas Operative
28-year-old Mahmoud al-Adham died from wounds, Gaza's Health Ministry says. Israeli army confirms force opened fire to drive away armed people from border, but says it's not aware of killed Hamas members. (Haaretz and Ynet)

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Ethiopian-Israelis’ protest: Most of the (arrest) cases are expected to be closed (Hebrew)
  • Babies without pregnancy (Hebrew)
  • Honor from the UN - Israeli pride: The ‘House of Wheels’ organization will accept status of special consultant to the UN to integrate youth with handicaps (Hebrew)
  • (Beitar Jerusalem soccer team owner) Hogeg threatens to leave - “Ali Mohammed is dead” roared hundreds of fans when the new foreign acquisition of Beitar Jerusalem team arrived at training (Hebrew)
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • “Where’s the boy”: trafficking in babies affair revealed
  • Palestinian suspected of committing sex offenses against a minor in a school in Ashdod
  • Politically challenged - Ehud Barak challenged Prime Minister to take the ‘bottle cap challenge’ - and was answered with a satirical video clip
  • Murderer of Oron Yarden remains in jail - Murderer Tzvi Gur requested that the Prison Release Committee postpone the meeting for a year
Israel Hayom
  • “State Prosecutor does not excel in self-criticism” - Justice Minister Ohana in interview: “There is much place for repairing”
  • Gantz advisor’s embarrassing remarks (Hebrew)
  • “Chabad, the Jewish home” - Interview with Rabbi Yehuda Krinski, the man closest to the Lubavitcher Rebbe
  • 12 parents of children from the horror daycare center in Rosh Haayin in a joint interview on the nightmare
  • Suspicion: Palestinian sexually attacked 13-year-old girl in Ashdod
  • Trump threatens: “Our sanction on Iran will significantly worsen soon”
  • Police investigating suspicion of international affair of kidnapping and trafficking in babies
  • Beitar Jerusalem (soccer) fans made racist calls - team owner Moshe Hogeg considering leaving

Top News Summary:
Police suspect an ultra-Orthodox woman led the human trafficking of Israeli babies, who were sold to childless Jewish-American couples. Israeli police also arrested a Palestinian man on suspicion he raped an Israeli teen at the school where he was a janitor. Yet, he and his lawyer said he visited the police station five times in the last week to find out what claims were made against him after his work permit was revoked. He was told he was not being sought for questioning. (Also Maariv) These were today's top stories in the Hebrew press.

*Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu promised he would not be evicting any more Jewish settlements - or any Arab communities in the Land of Israel. “I personally commit to this, and the commitment has no expiration date. We will not let any community or town in the Land of Israel be evicted, neither Jewish nor Arab. We don’t forcibly evict people. We’re done with this nonsense. Israel under my leadership will not repeat the mistakes of the past.”  [NOTE: The statement has two important messages. One, means that he opposes a viable two-state solution, which would require dividing the land and removing settlers from the land which would be the Palestinian state. Secondly, by referring to the Arab communities, he might be trying to lure Arab voters to vote for him ahead of the September elections. But if he means what he says then it will be interesting to see what that means for the Bedouin communities living in ‘unrecognized’ villages in Israel and in the Palestinian Territories. Will Israel recognize them? - OH]

In the evening, Netanyahu and his wife and President Reuven Rivlin gave the honor of attending the annual reception at the residence of the Egyptian Ambassador to Israel, Khaled Azmi. Rivlin spoke of the need to include peace not only between the leaders of Israel and Egypt, but also between the Egyptian people and the people of Israel. Netanyahu praised President Sisi, calling him "a wise and courageous leader," and said that they exchanged views and assessments of the situation in the region on a regular basis. "It's hard to imagine what would have happened if there had not been peace between Israel and Egypt ... We want to expand the circle of peace," Netanyahu said. [NOTE: It’s hard to see how he will expand the circle of peace without being willing to remove settlers to make peace with the Palestinians, who want a state of their own. (Yedioth Hebrew and Maariv)

Elections 2019 Quickees:
Meretz: They're choosing the list members
About 1,000 members of the Meretz conference will choose the party's list for the 22nd Knesset today, two weeks after Nitzan Horowitz defeated MK Tamar Zandberg in the party leadership elections. Discussions about joint lists: "We are holding talks with everyone and talking to Amir Peretz and the Labor Party, as well as with other parties, including Ehud Barak, and these contacts will continue." (Yedioth Hebrew and Maariv)
The secret meeting and the struggle for the chairman
Despite the natural suspicion between the two, yesterday, under the shadow of the fog, Amir Peretz and Ehud Barak were discussing a possible union ahead of the elections. But behind the scenes, Barak, the chairman of 'Democratic Israel' party, was already preparing for the campaign. A few hours after the meeting, Barak presented to his party members an internal poll indicating that he is bringing more seats than Labor chairman if he heads a joint list of the two parties. (Yedioth Hebrew)
The American adviser to Kahol-Lavan party recommended: don't talk about Israel - The chairman of Kahol-Lavan brought in Joel Benenson, who had worked with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, and recommended to them that they "Do not talk about Israel in public." (Israel Hayom Hebrew)
Quick Hits:
  • At West Bank Event, Netanyahu Promises No More Settlers, Arabs Will Be Evicted - Speaking at a Jewish settlement, Israeli Prime Minister lists his four principles regarding the future of the West Bank. (Haaretz+)
  • Palestinians Report Hundreds of Olive Trees Destroyed in West Bank Overnight - No Hebrew graffiti was found at the groves where the trees were damaged, unlike previous such attacks on Palestinian agriculture. (Haaretz+)
  • Graffiti in Deir Qadis: "Mahmoud be careful." Katusa: "No one in the police has spoken to me since the canceling of the indictment" - In the village of the Palestinian whose charge of rape against him was canceled, graffiti was spraypainted on walls saying among other things, “Death penalty for Katusa" Katusa: "I demand that they reach the truth and punish the rapist, and to anyone who still suspects me - I proved that I did not rape." Today: A debate in the Knesset on the failures of the investigation. (Haaretz+ and Yedioth Hebrew)
  • Investigation cases against most of the (Ethiopian-Israeli) rioters will be closed - The attorney general met with the leaders of the Ethiopian immigrants protest and promised to re-examine complaints submitted by Ethiopian immigrants to the Police Unit for Investigating Police Officers. The first indictment was filed against one of the protesters. Habmato Matsko, who was arrested on suspicion of setting fire to the vehicle near Azrieli Towers. (Yedioth Hebrew)
  • Beitar Jerusalem soccer team owner threatens to leave (after fans shouted racist slurs against new foreign acquisition - What started with a colorful procession of Beitar fans quickly turned into a disgrace with the cries of "Ali Muhammad is dead" towards the newly acquired player. The stunned owner Moshe Hogeg announced that he was considering leaving. Moshe Hogeg did not believe that this was happening to him by the club he had spent millions on. On a celebratory day ahead of the opening of the 2019/20 season, soccer player Ali Mohammed sat in the dressing room as he absorbed shameful curses from fans of Beitar Jerusalem, who raged on the grass. Muhammad's friends tried to calm him down, but at least for the first few minutes he was shocked and humiliated and hurt. Hogeg was in shock and the club has already issued a statement that Hogeg was considering leaving the club. (Yedioth Hebrew)
  • Israeli Arab High Jumper Pressured to Reconsider Competing for Israel - Palestinians and supporters of BDS urge Hanin Nasser not to compete for Israel at a European competition that begins Thursday. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel-Egypt: "Expanding the circle of peace" - President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife Sara attended annual reception at residence of Egyptian Ambassador to Israel, Khaled Azmi. Rivlin emphasized need for peace also between Egyptian and Israeli  peoples. Netanyahu praised President Sisi, calling him "a wise and courageous leader," and said they regularly discussed the situation in the region. "It's hard to imagine what would have happened if there had not been peace between Israel and Egypt ... We want to expand the circle of peace," Netanyahu said. (Yedioth Hebrew and Maariv)
  • The most serious offense: murder due to racism - The amendment to the Penal Law, which was dubbed "The Reform in Offenses Committed," entered into force yesterday. The existing offenses of murder and manslaughter will be replaced by four new offenses, the most serious of which will require a life sentence. The offense of death in circumstances of reduced liability will apply in cases where the defendant suffers from a mental disorder or has killed an abusive spouse. Murder motivated is considered the most severe type of homicide. (Yedioth Hebrew and Haaretz Hebrew)
  • Report: Police checked whether Netanyahu tried to give Mexican company benefits from public funds - The police investigated information according to which the prime minister and his associates tried to grant benefits to a Mexican company from public funds, according to the report on Channel 11. (Maariv)
  • Lebanese report: Israel tried to poison a senior official in the Gaza Strip - Hamas foiled an attempt to assassinate a "senior resistance figure," reported Al-Akhbar, which is affiliated with Hezbollah. Hamas did not respond to the report. (Maariv and Israel Hayom)
  • Israel Stops Reviewing Sudanese Asylum Seekers' Requests - Interior minister instructs halt in examining requests, saying they must wait until situation in Sudan stabilizes. Over 3,000 Sudanese awaiting response to requests. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli Parole Board to Release Woman Serving Life for Soliciting Abusive Husband’s Murder - (Arab Israeli woman) Nisreen Masarwah has served 17 years and will be released to a hostel as part of the rehabilitation process next week. (Haaretz+)
  • After Major Falling-out, Jewish Agency to Resume Partnership With Evangelical-funded Charity - Collaboration will be project-based and won't include annual contributions as prior to the breakup, International Fellowship for Christians and Jews chief says. (Haaretz+)
  • Babies without pregnancy - Israeli doctors discovered how to print an entire uterus outside the body, which may lead to the creation of babies without pregnancy and birth. (Yedioth Hebrew)
  • Senate Introduces Bill to Punish Saudi Arabia Over Human Rights Abuses - Proposed legislation is the latest U.S. effort to hold the kingdom accountable for violations of human rights, but it doesn't suggest halting weapon sales to Riyadh. (Haaretz)
  • Iran Sanctions Will Soon Increase, Trump Says, Accuses Tehran of 'Secret' Uranium Enrichment - Senior Iranian security official says Tehran will not reverse decision to increase uranium enrichment beyond limits set by accord until it achieves its 'full rights' under the deal. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • UN Watchdog Verifies Iran's Stockpile of Enriched Uranium Above Nuclear Deal Limit - Iran's stock of enriched uranium reported at 213.5 kg, over the deal's 202.8 kg limit in the second breach in recent weeks. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • EU, Israel, Egypt express unease about Turkey's gas drilling off Cyprus - 'Israel follows with serious concern recent steps taken by Turkey in waters off Cyprus's northeast coast' - Foreign Ministry spokesman; Turkey rejects EU criticism and claims drillings are against international law. (Agencies, Ynet)

Three Ethiopian Israelis Who Made It in Israel Tell Their Stories
They overcame the racism they encountered to pursue higher education, create businesses and advance careers. (Haaretz+)
Netanyahu, AOC, Concentration Camps and the Obscene Holocaust Hypocrisy of Right-wing Rage (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Education Minister Peretz's analogy between extermination and assimilation was far more repulsive - but the reactions far more restrained.
Trump and Netanyahu are working, at pulling one over on us all (Ran Edelist, Maariv) The President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Israel are riding together toward the sunset. Every time the former adds a lie when he's drowning in his lies, the second adds something of his own.
In Israel just as NY, racial profiling harms more than just victims of police killings (Former US District Judge Shira Scheindlin, +972mag) The judge who oversaw New York City’s stop and frisk case for nearly a decade responds to the shooting of an unarmed black man in northern Israel.
Let’s see you, Hogeg (owner of Beitar Jerusalem soccer team) (Dvir Reshef, Yedioth Hebrew) I don’t know if Moshe is doing a “hold me back” scene or is really serious in his statement that he might leave the team [because of racial shouts by the team’s fans towards its new Black Christian African acquisition who has a Muslim name - OH] - but he should be respected for it. From the first moment he arrived at Beitar Jerusalem, he celebrated that he would do everything to eradicate racism, and since then he has done (and does) much more than all the owners before him, and does not show for a moment fear of that racist and disgusting hardcore group of fans. Ali Mohammed signed with Beitar because for two years he has been one of the league's best midfielders (some would say the best in his position) - a significant achievement for the celebrant who managed to bring him and proved that he is not going to give up any other player in the league. In contrast to (former owner) Arcadi Gaydamak, who completely angered the fans on purpose and brought two Muslims to the team, who also suffered from it [the fans -OH], Hogeg worked hard and acquired a great player, who is not even a Muslim - but alas, his name is Mohammed. What the hell do you care, you ungrateful fans? A man came with money that saved the club from disbanding after (former owner) Eli Tabib left. Despite a failed season, he continues to invest in order to bring Beitar back to the top of Israeli football, and instead of thanking him, you cause him to leave. It seems that you cannot change those fans - obviously they are a very small part of all the fans, but there is no doubt that Hogeg is trying everything he can to minimize the repulsive phenomenon [of racism]. And if that means threatening to leave, why not? Want to see if these threats are real? Come on, try him. Maybe afterward you’ll again beg that someone buy the club.
Ethiopians have an opportunity at solidarity with Palestinians. Will they take it? (Ashraf Ghandour, +972mag) Solomon Tekah was shot and killed by an Israeli police officer because he was black. As a Palestinian I know exactly what that feels like.
Is support for open borders really in tune with Jewish values? (Jonathan S. Tobin, Israel Hayom) Is support for open borders really in tune with Jewish values? Defense of the rule of law and sovereignty is as important to Jewish interests as sympathy for illegal immigrants or voicing political opposition.
The Palestinians will thwart any initiative that will lead them to ideological acceptance of Israel's existence (Zalman Shoval, Maariv) The goal of the Palestinian leaders, from the Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Amin al-Husseini to Mahmoud Abbas, is to thwart any attempt that will be construed as a final and historic affirmation of the right of the Jewish people to the state.
When Hunger Supplants Religion as the Driver for Middle East Conflict (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) Strangely enough, Trump may be precipitating this by hastening climate change and disrupting world trade.
I will not change the crazy Israeli reality with anywhere else (Carmit Sapir Weitz, Maariv) True, sometimes it's too much, and it can be oppressive. We choke here and chairs are thrown at us, but in times of trouble there will always be someone to reach out to.
Finland’s new gov't is bad news for Israel (Mikael Virtanen, Israel Hayom) If the new left-wing government in Helsinki seeks to push the Palestinian cause during its EU Council presidency, it risks derailing the Trump administration’s peace efforts and consequently Finland’s relationship with Washington.
Israeli Education Minister's Duty (Haaretz Editorial) Petah Tikva’s refusal to enroll 129 children of Eritrean asylum seekers, which emerged from a lawsuit filed Tuesday against the city and the Education Ministry, is a new point on the map of Israeli racism.

Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
The Only Answer to Netanyahu's Conservative Clique: A Liberal Alliance (Noa Landau, Haaretz+) Can you currently imagine an effective environmental campaign that isn’t global? Of course not. It’s easy to understand that environmental hazards cross the boundaries we’ve drawn on maps. You can’t save the planet without partners to the cause, and opponents damage that joint effort. Which makes it easy to see why the rise of Green parties has become a global trend. It’s less easy to understand how other political processes occurring around us are equally global and also transcend borders. Even worse, when such matters are spotted, each side hastens to issue superficial condemnation of the other camp for cooperating with “foreigners” rather than admitting that this is the name of the game, and the goal is to outplay one’s ideological adversary. As a result, while left-wing organizations in Israel are frequently on the defensive for “talkingf abroad,” for years the Israeli right wing and the settlers have been systematically forging strategic alliances both political and economic with the growing far right in Europe and with the evangelicals in the United States, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region. These seemingly far-flung alliances directly affect our lives in Israel: from thwarting or advancing the possibility of the two-state solution to the country’s policy towards Iran. But beyond that, they also affect the “shared values” that Israel seeks increasingly to share with conservative forces around the world.
Only the formation of a bloc that includes Kahol-Lavan, Labor and Barak can bring down Netanyahu (Avraham Tirosh, Maariv) It would not be wise to rush to rejoice after Barak said he would agree to serve as Peretz's number two. And also: Why do I prefer the experienced Ehud Barak - and not Benny Gantz - as the successor to Netanyahu, despite his shortcomings. I have nothing against Gantz. On the contrary, he is a decent, considerate, cooperative man and the salt of the earth. But I think that no one can skip from an external role, important as it may be, to find the most difficult role, the position of prime minister, without going through the getting serious experience in the political world. Whoever did skip, failed during his first term. For example, Yitzhak Rabin, Ehud Barak and Binyamin Netanyahu. In contrast, Shimon Peres and Ehud Olmert, who came to the premiership after doing a serious internship in the Knesset and the government, were good prime ministers.
The September elections unexpectedly unclear (Yuval Karni, Yedioth/Ynet) With Netanyahu's political future on the line, indifferent Likud voters may be motivated ironically by the prime ministers' archrival of old, Ehud Barak, who's return is shaking up the center left.
Ora Namir Has Passed Away, as Has the Israeli Labor Party That She Knew (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) The Labor Party’s election this month as its leader of Amir Peretz, a follower of Namir in several respects, does restore some of the party’s spirit, but the past is dead and the party that once was has gone with it. We lived in a bubble back then, which was very pleasant. We were the younger generation of the country’s founding party. All the great names were still with us in the corridors. We hadn’t yet heard about the Nakba, and we thought it was sufficient to mutter a few sentences when it came to the occupation, which at the time was less cruel and more temporary. There were doves and hawks, who argued about issues nobody cares about anymore. There was an atmosphere of modesty and fairness, even if Rabin had much greater disdain for Peres than Stav Shaffir of today’s Labor Party feels toward Itzik Shmuli. There were rival camps and forged letters to the editor, but everyone knew that these people had established a country, and an exemplary one at that. Ora Namir worried about the weak. Her heart would go out to them. Just like many of her generation, she did not understand that ethnic discrimination was ingrained, institutionalized and deeply rooted. Nobody in the party at the time paid any regard for the Arabs, other than when there were guests from the Socialist International and Peres wanted a few men in kaffiyehs in the front row. We believed we were right and that Israel was always right. We were so young, so naïve and so foolish. At the funeral, I thought about where I had been just a day earlier, at the Palestine Expo in London, an event attended by thousands hosted by the Friends of Al-Aqsa organization. I thought about how far I had also come since the gefilte fish with Ora. But that’s a subject for another column.

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