APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday July 25, 2019
Quote of the day:
"The stay in the village was a lot of fun. According to the plan, the team changed every three months, but
the guys did not want to go home. Everyone wanted to stay there. What could be bad? Beach, diving, amazing
--Former senior Mossad agent, Aharon (Araleh) Sharf, said about the diving resort in Sudan that the Mossad ran in the '80's as a cover for a base to secretly aid the exodus of Ethiopian Jews to Israel.*
- Progress in negotiations for union between Barak’s party, Meretz and Shafir
- A crack in the wall // Yossi Verter
- Solution to collapse of coastal cliffs: sands from the Negev
- Syria: Israel attacked forces affiliated with Iran in Golan
- The dismissal in the justice ministry is highly unreasonable // Mordechai Kremnitzer
- The Population and Immigration Authority plans to deport an abused woman claiming that she filed a complaint (against her Israeli husband) too late
- They get an A in adding // Gideon Levy
- The balanced horro // Noa Ostreicher
- Ruth Westheimmer challenges the politically correct and explains what her problem is with #MeToo
- “We will recommend Netanyahu (to be prime minister) on condition that he establishes a right-wing government” - First interview with New Right party chairwoman, Ayelet Shaked (Hebrew)
- Exclusive - “Going with Meretz is easy. Will it create change? No. We chose the difficult path” - (Labor chief) Amir Peretz and (Gesher leader) Orly Levi-Abekasis explain in joint interview how the connection between them was created and why they won’t merge with Barak
- Expose - Under the the Red Sea - Mossad combat agents at Arus beach in Sudan in the ’80’s (Hebrew)
- Honor for the people of the quiet: Chief of Staff medals of courage to be awarded to Shayetet 13 (Naval commando)
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
- Close to a union (Photos of Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz, Democratic Israel chairman Ehud Barak and Labor chief Amir Peretz
- Shin Bet exposed: Iranian network operated on Facebook to draft agents in Israel
- Nurses’ protest: The strike ended, the partial strike continues
- The suspicion of rape in Cyprus: Waiting for the DNA results
- Medals of courage and certificates of appreciation to be awarded to operation units at sea
- In Likud, they will focus on Lieberman supporters: “He harmed you” - Tomorrow in Israel This Week: LIkud’s strategy against Lieberman is revealed
- Suspensions from school not by the book - Parents claims: Principals’ hands are quick on the trigger of suspending children
- Exclusive - Old City in Safed presents: Conflicts under the ground - Gallery owner discovered they are digging under his property
- Intellectual earthquake // Eitan Orikibi on Yuval Noah Harari’s editing of book in Russian
- Civilian security commanders who work with military threaten to go on strike: “They are hurting our rights”
- Tomorrow: 500 issues of ‘Israel This Week’ (‘Israel Hayom’ weekend edition)
Top News Summary Elections 2019:
Today’s top stories were about politics and politicians, alongside the reports that Israel targeted Iranian-backed forces in Syria, for which the IDF is on high alert along the northern border.
The papers reported Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz and Democratic Israel chairman Ehud Barak met last night to unite their parties, while some papers reported that Stav Shafir and Itsik Shmuli, both from the Labor party, were trying to convince Labor chief Amir Peretz to join a joint left-wing list, as well. However, we learned this morning (Thursday) that Shafir was involved in the meetings because today it was announced that Shafir left Labor and joined the newly formed joint list of Meretz and Democratic Israel where she will get the #2 slot. Amir Peretz had already ruled out political mergers with other left-wing factions and gave a joint interview with Orly Levi-Abekasis, the leader of the light-right-wing social-welfare-oriented ‘Gesher’ party, to Yedioth. Levi-Abekasis said that she had “received many offers from Ehud Barak, but because of the Jeffrey Epstein affair, he can not be a partner for political mergers.” (Yedioth Hebrew) In another interview to Yedioth, the new head of the New Right party, Ayelet Shaked, said she would be willing to recommend to the President that Binyamin Netanyahu form the next government, but “only on the condition that a right-wing government, not a left-wing government, be established with Gantz and Amir Peretz.” (Yedioth Hebrew) Kahol-Lavan leader, Benny Gantz rejected the criticism of him and his fellow party leaders that they are 'too stately,' saying: "I'm stately and I am not ashamed of it," Maariv reported.
- Ten Israeli Arabs Wounded in Clashes With Police During House Demolition - Three detained in northern town, as local council announces strike in protest of demolition. Activists say authorities expand policy of demolitions in Arab towns. (Haaretz+)
- Abbas calls for urgent meeting to discuss measures against Israel - The PLO has several measures to protest the Sunday demolition of homes in Sur Baher, like turning to the Hague court or ceasing cooperation with Israel; despite the largely declarative nature of these measures, Israel would be wise not to ignore Ramallah's bitter tones, so it isn't taken by surprise by the PLO's next move. (Ynet)
- US lawmakers overwhelmingly approve anti-BDS resolution - House of Representatives passes measure to oppose efforts to boycott Israel. Resolution passes by vote of 398-17, in a rare display of bipartisan unity. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
- U.S. Blocks UN Rebuke of Israeli Demolition of Palestinian Home in East Jerusalem - American envoys told Security Council members they would oppose draft statement arguing demolition 'undermines prospect for just and lasting peace,' diplomats say. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Trump Vetoes Congressional Effort to Block Saudi Arms Sales - 'Shameful' decision 'perpetuates the administration's involvement in the horrific conflict in Yemen,' Pelosi says. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Shin Bet: Iran tried to enlist Israelis, Palestinians for espionage, terror - Security services in Israel spotted ongoing efforts in Syria on behalf of Iran over past months to recruit people via social media in order to gather intelligence and carry out attacks on Israeli civilian and military targets; Israeli authorities say attempts largely unsuccessful. (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
- "Ehud Olmert canceled trip to Switzerland for fear of being arrested for war crimes" - According to Channel 12 News, information that reached the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs indicated that the moment the former prime minister lands on European territory, he may be arrested, which will cause great embarrassment to Israel. (Maariv)
- Israel to Begin Gas Exports to Egypt Within Months, Energy Minister Says - The landmark $15 million deal will bring natural gas from Israeli offshore fields into the Egyptian gas grid. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Israel Didn't Aim to Distort History by Concealing Nakba Files, Former Defense Official Says - The Defense Ministry's secretive security department hid evidence of massacres and forced expulsions of Palestinians in 1948 only to 'ensure information security,' former director, Yehiel Horev, says following Haaretz report. (Haaretz+)
- Lebanon accuses Israel of threatening its civilian infrastructure - Israel's UN envoy claimed at the Security Council that Beirut's port has become 'the port of Hezbollah,' saying it's used by Iran to supply the group with weapons. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Iran claims U.S., Israel assassinated head of IAEA - The Tasnim news agency based in Tehran says official sources suspect Israel and the U.S. were behind the recent death of Yukiya Amano since he wouldn't blame Iran for breaking 2015 nuclear deal. (Ynet)
- Rohani: Iran Is Ready to Negotiate, but Not if Negotiations Mean Surrender - 'We are completely ready for just, legal and honest negotiations to solve the problems,' says Iranian president amid heightened tensions surrounding nuclear deal. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- U.K. Has Sent Mediator to Iran to Seek Freeing of Tanker, Senior Iranian Official Says - Tensions between Tehran and Britain have spiked since the Islamic Republic seized the vessel on Friday. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Iran's President Hints at Quid Pro Quo for Seized U.K. Ship - Release of Iranian tanker in Gibraltar would lead to 'proportional response' from Tehran, as confrontation seems to stabilize. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Turkey Says No Agreement on Syria Safe Zone With U.S. - Ankara says 'no patience left,' once again threatens military offensive on country's northeast if safe zone accord isn't found. (Agencies, Haaretz)
*The Sudanese Job
It was one of the most daring operations in the history of Israeli intelligence. For four years, an abandoned holiday village in Sudan served as a secret base for the immigration of Ethiopian Jews, who sailed in rubber boats on their way to Israel. Eros was then a neglected holiday village, and under the Mossad's fighters, headed by Commander Danny Limor, became an attractive diving site. None of the tourists who visited the magical vacation site imagined that the dive instructors were actually Mossad fighters, and that the whole village was actually a secret facility of Israeli intelligence, which for four years served as a cover for a series of dangerous operations...The fighters of the Mossad would go from Eros to the Gadarif refugee camp. In the neighborhood, in a desolate area, the group of designated immigrants was already waiting for them. From there they set out for the sea. "We're talking about hundreds of kilometers of travel in closed trucks that supposedly carry merchandise, but which was actually Jews," says former senior Mossad agent, Aharon (Araleh) Sharf. "Along the way there are Sudanese army roadblocks, and each one has to explain who is driving and where, of course, they must not see the contents of the truck." In the landing area, flotilla fighters were waiting for them, who took them by rubber boats to the Bat Galim ship, towards Israel. Shefa served as head of the village counselors' team. "We conducted the operations at night, so in the days we went diving with the tourists," he said. "The stay in the village was a lot of fun. According to the plan, the team changed every three months, but the guys did not want to go home. Everyone wanted to stay there. What could be bad? Beach, diving, amazing women." Next week, Netflix will screen the film "The Red Sea Diving Club" by Gidi (Gidon) Raff, the creator of the series "Kidnapped" and "Homeland," which describes what happened there until the sudden departure, at the very last moment, when the Sudanese and Libyan intelligence forces discovered the truth. (Ronen Bergman, Yedioth Hebrew)
WATCH: A dark night in Wadi al-Hummus
Israeli police and soldiers demolished dozens of Palestinian families’ apartments in an area that is supposed to be under full Palestinian control this week. Filmmakers Yuval Abraham and Rachel Shor stayed with one of those families through the demolitions to tell their story. (+972mag)
Saudi Arabia’s Vicious Troll Army Has a New Target: Palestinians (Muhammad Shehada, Haaretz+)
When Saudi Arabia's most fanatical pro-Israel influencer was kicked out of Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque this week, it
was a propaganda gift for the kingdom's anti-Palestinian trolls, tasked with pushing normalization with Israel at
Protect the High Court: what those kicking the court should remember (Attorney Neta Levy, Maariv) Without the court, struggles for equal rights will fail, and the achievements achieved are lost. These rights must not be subject to the whims of politicians and coalition considerations.
Speaking to the enemy as a political tool (Aryeh Gronick, Yedioth/Ynet) Most American presidents in recent history, although talking tough about and to their enemies, have also kept any and all channels of communications open for the purpose of avoiding conflict. Will Trump do the same when it comes to Iran?
A Shadow Hangs Over Lebanon, and It's Not the Economy, Politics or War (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) The 'You Stink' protest may have faded, but piles of trash, littered beaches and neglect of international environmental standards remain, spelling disaster for Lebanon.
A signal to Assad and Iran (Yossi Yehoshua, Yedioth Hebrew) Among the current news, Israel is waging a real battle against the entrenchment of Hezbollah and Iran on the Syrian Golan Heights. The activity has been intensifying recently and the reports on it do not reflect the magnitude of the drama in the battle against Iran and Hezbollah in the Golan Heights.
Iran fueling friction on the Golan Heights (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) Despite Hezbollah's attempt to establish itself on the Syrian Golan and the pre-emptive attacks attributed to Israel, both sides are wary of escalating. Still, Iranian interests keep stoking the conflict.
An ongoing push against Hezbollah in Syria (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) With tensions in the Gulf rising, Iran is accelerating efforts to create a second front against Israel on the Syrian side of the Golan for its proxy terror group to use when an attack on the Jewish state would best suit their interests in their conflict with the United States.
A blow to BDS in the House (Jonathan S. Tobin, Israel Hayom) Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib were dealt a setback. But their continuing popularity and the failure to pass a bill that would ban BDS discrimination shows that the fight is far from over.
Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
Center-left Merger Leaves Barak, Shaffir and Meretz Smiling on the Life Raft (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) New Democratic Union alliance should allow Meretz to fight another day, but places extra pressure on other center-left parties in September’s do-over election.
Galvanized Israeli Leftists Can Thank Jeffrey Epstein for the Shock Barak-Shaffir-Meretz Alliance (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) In new Bizarro World, left unites instead of splintering and vain politicians stifle their egos in order to defeat Netanyahu.
Fearing Election Debacle, Labor Chief's Resistance to Left-wing Union Starts to Wane (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) Talks of a joint Barak-Meretz run in September have Labor fearing it might spell its end in the ballot but there's one thing holding Peretz back.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.