News Nosh 7.24.19

APN's daily news review from Israel

Wednesday July 24, 2019
 

Quote of the day:

"We have to look at a pitcher that came from Grandma and Grandpa’s house and ask whom it originally belonged to.”
--Aya Gov, who created the 'Archive of Plunder' as her final project at the Bezalel Academy of the Arts after discovering that her grandfather came into possession of such objects during the war, said that because in Israel there is no organization that represents all of the Palestinians in the discussion regarding the return of stolen property from war, citizens have to ask who are the rightful owners of the objects.*


Front Page:

Haaretz

Yedioth Ahronoth

  • Friday: Chilling transcripts of the interrogation of the abusive daycare teacher, Carmel Mauda
  • The new resident at 10 Downing Street (Photo of Boris Johnson)
  • New section: Today 80 years ago
  • Why was the director of the Justice Ministry fired - The temporary minister, Ohana, sent Emmy Palmor home

Maariv (Hebrew links only)

Israel Hayom

  • Port of terror: The arms path from Iran to Lebanon
  • Stars in Japan - Special project ahead of Tokyo Olympics 2020
  • Initiative and faith - Some 50 ultra-Orthodox entrepreneurs met with philanthropist Sheldon Adelson and received business advice
  • Expose - (Ehud) Barak presents: the blacked out diaries - More than half of the meetings in Barak’s calendar when he was Defense Minister - deleted
  • “A friend at 10 Downing Street”
  • Minister Ohana on firing director of Justice Ministry: “This is governance”; Criticism in the left-wing: “Crossed a red line”

Top News Summary:

The temporary Israeli justice minister, Amir Ohana, fired his director-general, after Yair Netanyahu, the prime minister’s son, stated erroneously in a post that she was a left-winger appointed by his predecessor, and former prime minister and now chairman of ‘Democratic Israel’ party, Ehud Barak, apologized and took responsibility for the killing of 12 Arab Israeli citizens by security forces during the October 2000 protests making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Barak’s apology came a day after a Meretz party lawmaker, Esawi Frej, said that without apologizing to the Arab citizens for the killings when Bark was prime minister, there could be no merger between Barak’s party and Meretz. (Background on October 2000 protests here.)

Just yesterday, Yedioth published an article titled: About one-third of Arabs (in Israel): "Don’t feel safe”. Here’s the report: Data from a survey to be presented today (Tuesday): The personal security index in Arab society is very low. More than a quarter of Israeli Arabs (26.6%) reported that they or any member of their family had been injured in the past year by violence, from beating to stabbing or shooting. This emerges from a survey on violence in Arab society in Israel, which was conducted by the "Abraham Fund Initiatives,” an organization that promotes equality for Arab citizens. The polls shows that the phenomenon that most worries (80.3%) of Arab citizens is violence. That was followed by shooting and use of weapons (77%), and in third place was crime (73.5%). The poll also shows that more than 90% of Arab citizens believe that it is easy to obtain firearms. 59.3% of the Arab citizens also noted that they are actually afraid of being harmed by violent offenses, compared with only 19.6% among Jewish citizens. The organization relates to the high percentage of Arab citizens murdered every year among all the murdered in Israel, which reaches three times their share of the general population in Israel. In 2018, 123 people were murdered in Israel, 72 of whom are Arab citizens, constituting 58.5% of all those murdered. [Arabs are 18% of Israeli citizens - OH] The police and the Ministry of Public Security have set a central goal of improving police services in Arab communities. About four years ago, an administration was established, headed by Major General Jamal Hacharsh, the first Muslim to wear reach the rank of commander. Since the establishment of the Administration, seven new police stations have been opened in Arab communities and 600 Arab policemen, most of them Muslims, have been recruited. Amnon Be'eri-Sulitzeanu and Dr. Thabet Abu-Ras, co-executive directors of the Abraham Fund Initiatives, said following the survey: "Violence and crime are the product of deep discrimination of Arab society (in Israel) in all spheres of life." (Yedioth Hebrew)

Quick Hits:

  • ’Even if in a Tent, I’ll Live on My Land’: Palestinians Reeling After Israel Demolishes Homes in PA-controlled J’lem Area - Residents of Wadi Hummus neighborhood in Palestinian—controlled East Jerusalem watched their homes being blown up and heard the Israeli soldiers joking about it ■ Residents reject Israel's security claim and believe it wants to 'prove that there’s a superior power here that does as it wishes.’ (Jack Khoury, Haaretz+)
  • Israel 'Avoiding Prisoner Exchange Deal, window closing,’ Hamas Spokesman Says - In speech marking fifth anniversary of 2014 Gaza conflict, Hamas military spokesman accuses Israel of misleading, lying about missing Israelis, remains of fallen IDF soldiers. "We warn that the file of the prisoners may be subject to closure completely as in the case of Ron Arad," he says, saying it was “for reasons Israel knows.” (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • PM: Israel ready to deal Gaza terror groups blow 'like never before' - Speaking at memorial for soldiers killed in 2014's Operation Protective Edge, PM Netanyahu says 50-day conflict was a "clear moral campaign of self-defense." Israel is "trying to reach calm, but is preparing to embark on a campaign – a large-scale military operation that will deliver a blow against Hamas and Islamic Jihad," he warns. (Israel Hayom)
  • Five years since Operation Protective Edge (3rd Gaza War): Remembering and protesting - The Goldin and Shaul families have boycotted the official ceremony in memory of the victims of Operation Protective Edge.  In an alternative ceremony that they held, they slammed the Coordinator of POWs and MIAs, Yaron Bloom: "He has become the prime minister's media coordinator.” (Yedioth Hebrew)
  • Human Rights Watch Chief on Attempt to Expel Local Director: Israel Trying 'To Shut Us Down' Like Iran - Supreme Court to rule on whether Israel can expel local director Omar Shakir on claim that he had engaged in BDS activity. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli court rejects petition to restore gov't funding to controversial Arab theater - Funds for the Al-Midan Theater were first suspended in 2015, the same year it put on a production of a play inspired by a convicted Palestinian terrorist. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel condemns Palestinian assault on Saudi blogger visiting Jerusalem - Mohammad Saud, one of six journalists from Arab countries visiting Israel at Foreign Ministry's invitation, was accosted by a group of Palestinian youth. Foreign Ministry official slams incident as "barbaric." Hamas: Visit of Arab media delegation a stab in the back of the Palestinian people. (Israel Hayom)
  • Hezbollah Operative Said Killed by Israel Recruited Members in Syrian Golan Heights - Mashhour Zidan, who was killed when a missile hit a car he was driving, was part of a Hezbollah network in the Syrian Golan being tracked by Israel. (Haaretz+ and Maariv and Israel Hayom)
  • 'The port of Beirut has become Hezbollah's port' - At UN Security Council session on the Middle East, Ambassador Danny Danon urges international community to tackle Iran's regional aggression and its illicit use of civilian maritime routes. "They use commercial companies, mainly from Europe, to support Hezbollah and develop its missile program," he says. (Israel Hayom and Ynet)
  • U.S. Mideast envoy: Trump hopes to decide soon on when to publish peace plan - Conflict can't be solved using international law, envoy argues, sparking strong rebuttals from UN Security Council members. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • US envoy: Direct talks only way to resolve Israeli-Palestinian conflict - Sparking pushback from several countries, Jason Greenblatt says peace plan cannot rely on global consensus, inconclusive international law and "unclear" UN resolutions. US President Trump hopes to "soon" decide whether to release plan before or after Israel's September election, he says. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel, US to increase energy cooperation in a variety of fields - US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry meets Israeli counterpart Yuval Steinitz and PM Netanyahu. Discussions focused on "advancing energy security through cybersecurity collaboration, information sharing, and training in cybersecurity," as well as on gas projects in the Mediterranean Sea. (Israel Hayom)
  • Yuval Noah Harari Lets Russians Delete Putin's Lies From Translation of His Book - References in the Israeli historian's book '21 Lessons for the 21st Century' to the Russian annexation of Crimea were either nixed or softened. (Haaretz)

Features:

*Israeli art student creates online archive of looted Palestinian objects from War of Independence
Aya Gov created the 'Archive of Plunder' as her final project at the Bezalel Academy of the Arts after discovering that her grandfather came into possession of such objects during the war. Gov and her brother, Itamar, a curator, noted that there was nothing exceptional from a historical perspective in the fact that Palestinian property was looted. “In every war there has been looting. Denying what happened in 1948 in this context relates to the myth that the founding of the State of Israel took place while maintaining purity of arms, and that they did only what was necessary to stay alive,” Itamar Gov said. “To this day there are people in Israel who claim that there is no such thing as a Palestinian people. This project also undermines claim,” Itamar Gov commented. His sister said her project is actually based on oral histories. “There are quite a few objects that people clearly know are a result of looting, but their grandfathers denied it.” Consideration of looting during the War of Independence has to be put into the global discussion of the broader subject, she insisted. “There’s a consensus when it comes to paintings from the Holocaust period, for example, and efforts are being made to find the original owners. When it comes to objects that were looted from colonies and today belong to institutions or private individuals, there are now questions as to what to do with them…In Israel there is no organization at the moment that represents all of the Palestinians in the discussion regarding the return of stolen property. That’s why we have to ask who the rightful owners of the objects are. We have to look at a pitcher that came from Grandma and Grandpa’s house and ask whom it originally belonged to.” (Naama Riba, Haaretz+)
When Boris Johnson visited Israel as a 20-year-old
“Even back then, he used to say ‘I will be a leader one day," recalls Alec Collins, who hosted the future PM in his home at Kfar Hanassi. "He has a great sense of humor, and this will be of great benefit to the UK.” (Dean Shmuel Elmas, Israel Hayom)
The Jew who helped defeat Iraq’s pro-Nazi regime
Yoav Byron Kattan, who passed away last week, founded a Zionist underground in Iraq and served as a judge in Israel. (Ofer Aderet, Haaretz+)
 
Commentary/Analysis:

Firing (Justice Ministry director) Palmor: The conduct of dismissal without reason is not a right-wing policy (Avishai Greenzig, Yedioth Hebrew) Ohana has the right to fire. But as a member of Knesset who got the opportunity to fulfill his dream and serve as justice minister, doesn’t he have any policy to promote besides for the dismissal of a professional CEO?
It's Ohana’s right  - the dismissal of the ministry director (Shlomo Pyotrakovsky, Yedioth) Without a strong director that will back up his positions and act to implement them, the justice minister could find himself spending his days in the office without the ability to formulate and implement the policies.
Netanyahu appoints as ministers only those who really excel at flattering him (Ben Caspit, Maariv) The prime minister prefers to appoint only the most disciplined yes-men, who have proved themselves in digging in Cases 1000, 2000, and 4000, and they, like a child who sneaked into a toy store, are going wild.
Rand Paul: The wrong man at the wrong time (Sandra Parker, Israel Hayom) When it comes to Iran, sending a Chamberlain to do a Churchill’s job will at best buy time, but in the end, doing so will only lead to “total and unmitigated defeat.”
Expulsion of Human Rights Watch Director Would Be Big Show of Israeli Hypocrisy (Zehava Galon, Haaretz+) Human Rights Watch recommended in a report that businesses cease their activities in the settlements, recognizing that commercial entities also have a responsibility with regard to human rights breaches. But the government doesn’t have the courage to declare Human Rights Watch a “BDS organization.” The last time the government tried to keep a Human Rights Watch employee from receiving a work visa, it backed down in the face of broad international criticism. Now it’s trying to bring in through the back door what it could not through the front: We have no problem with Human Rights Watch, the state says, just with its local director, Omar Shakir, as if a different employee in the same role as Shakir would sing the praises of the settlements.
Trump Doesn’t Really Hate People of Color. Just Like He Doesn’t Really Love Israel (Eric H. Yoffie, Haaretz+) Racist incitement is an opportunistic tool for Trump, as is his over-hyped 'support' for Israel. A president who believes in nothing can be counted on for nothing
A great friend to Israel (Ron Prosor, Israel Hayom) Boris Johnson election as Britain’s prime minister is good news for both Israel and British Jews, who now have reason to believe their premier will fight British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and the anti-Semitism that has ruined his party.
Israel's Homophobia Problem Just Got Even Worse (Alex Sanchez, Haaretz+) Still reeling from the Education Minister’s endorsement of 'conversion therapy,' we in Israel’s LGBTQ community are now told by an ex-chief rabbi we’re unfit to be Jews. Jewish religious leaders are spreading darkness from Jerusalem

Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:

Barak Apology Preferable to ‘Regret,’ but Punishment Would Be Better (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) It seems Barak's apology over the death of 12 Israeli Arabs in October 2000 Protests tends to correspond with election season. As such, Ehud Barak’s apology is better than simply expressing regret, but punishing those responsible for the death of 13 young Arab men would be even better than an apology.
For a Meretz-Barak Union (Haaretz Editorial) The head of Democratic Israel, Ehud Barak, responded Tuesday to the call of Meretz MK Esawi Freige and apologized to Israel’s Arab community as a whole and the families of the Arab citizens who were shot dead by security forces in October 2000, when Barak was prime minister. Barak’s apology is important. One hopes it will help heal the Arab community’s still-open wound. It is also a necessary step toward repairing the broken relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel. The door that Barak has opened must remain open, because it offers the only path to forming a genuine democratic alternative to the divisive, inciting right-wing regime headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.The efforts to unite the left-wing parties must not cease. Without a strong center-left bloc there’s no chance for an electoral upset.
Shaked, a secular woman, heading a political party? Oh, the joys of liberal fascism (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Ayelet Shaked brought a great light to all those who had lost hope of breathing life into Israel’s wilting liberalism. Suddenly the scent of the “liberal right” is in the air, like some miraculous new potion that will exterminate the extreme, messianic, Zionist ultra-Orthodox right of Rafi Peretz and Bezalel Smotrich. The joy is even greater given the fact that Shaked is a woman heading a political party. Since she is also secular, the enthusiasm knows no bounds. Really, we don’t deserve all this bounty. All that remains is for us to learn that Shaked was once a lesbian and that she has Arab ancestry to complete the sweet liberal dream…But then one remembers Bennett and Shaked’s fascist-flavored liberalism. “The Land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel, period,” Shaked said four years ago. “Zionism will no longer subordinate itself to individual rights,” she announced two years later. But who cares about Arabs and individual rights when we have lived to see a secular woman head a right-wing party. You can’t get more liberal than that.
It's not too late for the Left to unite (Yossi Beilin, Israel Hayom) Given the current situation, it is hard to see a more natural or logical move than Meretz and the Israel Democratic Party coming together to form a joint list ahead of the September election.
Israel's left-wing leaders need to face reality (Amnon Abramovich, Yedioth/Ynet) Barak and Peretz should behave like responsible adults in the days before Knesset lists must be submitted for the September elections; the former has to accept that he is no longer the leader of the left and the latter must understand that he will not draw voters away the religious or the right. If the left goes on three separate lists, the consequences will be dangerous to health. On the night of the elections, the hearts of leftists will flutter in the face of three parties fluttering below and above the threshold.


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

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