News Nosh 8.12.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday August 12, 2019
 
Quote of the day:
"Self-criticism and setting things right are the key to the survival and growth of any society. The State of Israel is not just any state, but a state that has a purpose."
-Israeli Ambassador to Panama, a member of the Druze faith, Reda Mansour, said regarding his own sharp criticism of the demeaning treatment he received by a security person when he was entering Ben-Gurion Airport.**

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Dispute Mount (Main photo of large numbers of Border Police clashing with a few Palestinians at Temple Mount)
  • Let them pray // Nahum Barnea
  • Expose: Army recruits who come from Gaza periphery communities suffer from PTSD (Hebrew)
  • The ruling: Court cancelled gender-separated ultra-Orthodox event
  • The storm: “Weak prime minister, craziness on his watch” (said by Minister Smotrich)
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • The battle over the Mount (Main photo of large numbers of Border Police clashing with a few Palestinians at Temple Mount)
  • Elections 2019 - War in the right-wing - Court decision to prohibit gender separation at an event in Aful infuriated Transportation Minister Smotrich: “Judicial system is stupid, Netanyahu is weak and this craziness is taking place on his watch”
  • 70% of the restaurants don’t have a Kashrut certificate - The reason: They are open on Shabbat and holidays
Israel Hayom
  • “The riots on the Temple Mount were planned”
  • Bottomline: The Jews won // Nadav Shragai
  • MKs in Kahol-Lavan are confused: “Which Benny Gantz should they believe”
  • For the second time in two days: Infiltration attempt failed from Gaza

Top News Summary:

The clashes that broke out at the Temple Mount after Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu relented to right-wing pressure and allowed religious Jews to enter and the sharp criticism by a far-right-wing minister were today’s top stories. Also, Israeli forces fired a tank shell and killed a Palestinian man who approached the security fence inside northern Gaza and shot at Israeli soldiers. Hamas said he acted on his own. And, the IDF said that the two young Palestinians, who were detained Sunday for stabbing to death the Israeli soldier, Dvir Sorek, in the West Bank last week, were not connected to any militant organization, as was previously assumed, but had acted spontaneously on their own.

On Sunday, the Jewish day of mourning for the destruction of the biblical Holy Temples, Tisha B’Av, coincided with the Muslim sacrifice holiday, Eid al Adha. Initially Israeli police prevented religious Jews from entering the Temple Mount. Meanwhile, right-wing religious Jewish leaders slammed Netanyahu for not allowing Jews entry. Police deliberatied whether to allow them to visit later, after thousands of Muslim worshippers finished their prayers. So the Jerusalem Waqf called for a protest against giving the Jews entry. Clashes broke out between Muslim worshippers and the hundreds of Israeli Border Police.  and Netanyahu eventually gave the permission after the Muslim worshippers had finished their prayers. Clashes continued and police fired stun grenades and tear gas, causing 15 Palestinians to be hospitalized. After hours of clashes, Hamas called on Palestinians to march on Jerusalem and 'defend Al-Aqsa Mosque.’ ‘Israel Hayom’ reported that Muslim worshippers began throwing chairs and other objects at a group of Jewish visitors that was allowed to enter under close police escort. Israel Police said at least four officers were wounded.

The papers presented the ‘battle on the Temple Mount’ as a win-lose situation. ‘Israel Hayom’ declared on its front page, via an Op-Ed by Nadav Shragai, that ‘Israel won.’ Indeed, it supported that with the fact that “a record number of Jews visited the Temple Mount on Tisha B'Av, despite riots.” That is, 1700. Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich called Netanyahu a “weak leader”, making front page. Netanyahu rejected the criticism over his Temple Mount policies and said the question was always about how to manage situation in a manner that best serves public safety.” Haaretz’s Editorial declared that Israel “surrendered to a few extremists” by allowing Jews to visit. While Yedioth’s Nahum Barnea wrote that Israel should have just let the religious right-wingers pray at the Temple Mount if they wanted and it wasn’t a big deal. [However, he appears not to be aware that Jews are not allowed to pray on the Temple Mount, according to an agreement signed between Israel and Jordan. - OH] Jordan condemned Israel’s ‘blunt' violations for letting Jews in to the holy site. The Arab world condemned Israel for 'violating the sanctity of Al-Aqsa.’ Interestingly, the response of the Palestinian Authority was not prominent in the Hebrew papers.


Elections 2019 Quickees:

  • Gantz doesn't rule out partnership with Netanyahu 'if I go first' at being prime minister - Kahol Lavan leader, who said he 'came to replace Netanyahu,' said Likud 'offered me the world if I came on board' but stressed he won't sit in a Netanyahu-led government after September 17. (Haaretz+)
  • Gantz attacked by the left-wing following his remarks: “Shows lack of determination to make a change” - Chairman of the Kahol-Lavan Party caused an uproar following his comments that he would consider the possibility of a rotation with Netanyahu. Ehud Barak: "These are not just slips of the tongue.” Labor-Gesher list: “He started his crawl (towards Netanyahu)”. (Maariv)
  • Shaked: "Smotrich is a bit like Trump, you can’t control his tweets" - Ayelet Shaked, Chairwoman of the United Right, referred to the harsh criticism by the Minister of Transport Bezalel Smotrich against the PM's conduct regarding the decision to prohibit the holding of a gender-separated public event in Afula: "The style is inappropriate, but in essence Smotrich is right.” (Maariv)
  • Maariv and 103 FM poll: The right bloc stands at 57 seats, the left at 54 - According to the poll, the Likud is strengthening and leading over Kahol-Lavan, but Lieberman holds the key, despite losing one mandate. The Labor-Gesher list shuffles with only 5 seats. (Maariv)

 

Quick Hits:
  • Court forbids gender-segregated concert planned by city of Afula - Municipality expresses regret over ruling, saying it had wanted one summer event out of 360 to allow ultra-Orthodox residents ‘to enjoy according to their customs.’ Court spokesperson responded to the attacks on the judicial system following the decision to ban gender segregation at a musical event: "Low point in an over-the-top discourse.” (Times of Israel and Maariv)
  • Gridlock in Talks Between Israel, Hamas Prisoners Over Using Phones in Jail - The Israel Prison Service will not put the newly-installed public phones to work unless prisoners give up completely on cellphones. (Haaretz+)
  • The trauma of the Gaza periphery soldiers - An alarming phenomenon: Qassam-generation children raised in the Gaza periphery communities suffer from post-trauma when they are recruited to the IDF. Some of the soldiers drop out of combat units despite high motivation and find it difficult to function in the military situation. The (social) workers that work with them say: "The teens keep it in their stomach a long time and then it bursts when they get to the army.” The topic was brought to the attention of the IDF. (Yedioth Hebrew)
  • Tokyo in shock: Netanyahu called off Japan visit he asked for days ahead of trip - Netanyahu sought visit to boost his campaign. With Israel's Foreign Ministry on strike, Japanese mobilized to help. Prime Minister Abe cleared his schedule. So what made Netanyahu cancel the visit? Two theories. (Haaretz+)
  • Remedial Education Program for Bedouin Women in Israel in Danger of Closing - Activists charge: Education Ministry has a budget of 60 billion shekels but can’t find four million for Bedouin women? (Haaretz+)
  • Israel’s Biggest Wind Farm Gets Trapped in a Bureaucratic Turf War - Genesis Wind is supposed to make a major contribution to Israel’s renewable energy mix, but after nine years, the project has yet to get off the ground. (Haaretz+)
  • Rare jewel found on Mt. Zion reveals Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem - First Temple-era Jerusalem was bigger than thought, archaeologists say, adding: ‘Nobody abandons golden jewelry and nobody has arrowheads in their domestic refuse.’ (Haaretz+)
  • The academic program that has California up in a storm - A new curriculum, which is expected to enter California high school, presents BDS in a positive light and includes songs that describe Israelis as a conquering and oppressive people. The Jewish community is furious: "An entire generation will grow up to hate Israel.” (Yedioth Hebrew)
  • Largest-ever congressional delegation visits Israel in show of bipartisan support - Concurrent trips by 41 Democrats, 31 Republicans come among increasing calls from Democratic Party's progressive wing to call into question America's relationship with Israel. House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer: "We are like Israel, and you are like us – a very vibrant democracy that welcomes and accepts different points of view." (Israel Hayom)
  • In Jerusalem, U.S. House Leaders Back Netanyahu’s Decision to Let Tlaib and Omar Enter Israel - Steny Hoyer and Kevin McCarthy call on all U.S. House members to visit region, during educational tours by over 70 Democratic and Republican representatives. (Haaretz+)
  • Pompeo criticizes Iranian Supreme Leader’s ‘faux concern’ for Palestinians - State Secretary and Khamenei trade barbs on Twitter on Jewish, Muslim holidays. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Senior Revolutionary Guards official: "An Israeli presence in the Persian Gulf could spark a war" - Iranian navy commander responded to comments by US State Secretary Pompeo, who revealed that Israel is taking part in US-led coalition with goal of protecting ships in the region. (Maariv)
  • Declassified: When a ‘loaded’ Nixon confused Syria and Egypt during Yom Kippur War - Newly declassified transcripts highlight the key role U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger played in managing the 1973 conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors. (Haaretz+)
  • Aleppo's centuries-old bazaar making slow recovery - Years of Syrian civil war have left the UNESCO world heritage site in tatters, and its network of covered markets severely damaged, but planners are hoping that by getting some shops back open, eventually they can re-inject life into the souks. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • UAE-backed Yemeni Separatists Pull Back After Seizing Port City of Aden - Saudi Arabia had responded angrily to takeover, calling for an immediate ceasefire and ordering forces to withdraw. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Saudis may have hailed 'historic' reform, but women's rights can still be thwarted by male relatives - Despite new developments, male relatives can still file cases of disobedience and absence from home against women – a crime in the kingdom. (Agencies, Haaretz)


Commentary/Analysis:
Temple Mount Clashes: Israeli, Palestinian Extremists Win Latest Round of Arm Twisting (Nir Hasson, Haaretz+) Palestinians brought masses to Temple mount to substantially reduce the Jewish presence, but Israel managed to squeeze a few hundred Jewish visitors into the plaza.
Every decision made regarding the Temple Mount is like walking in a minefield (Tal Lev-Ram, Maariv) On the one hand, there is a desire to maintain public peace and security stability. On the other hand, there is criticism that says that by perpetuating this situation, Israel surrenders time and time again.
A Surrender to a Few Extremists (Haaretz Editorial) Despite all the sensitivity to the Jewish link to the Temple Mount on Tisha B’Av, the decision by the police and the political leadership to open the gates of the mount to allow Jews to ascend yesterday was a surrender to a small extremist group.
Netanyahu chose not to tell the truth to the public and surrendered to the Waqf on the Temple Mount (Avishai Greenzweig, Maariv) The PM made it clear that the police acted on their own when it distanced Jews from the Temple Mount in the midst of the day of national mourning the destruction of the Temple (Tisha B’Av holiday). But it turns out that this is not the truth.
Clashes on the Temple Mount are Iran's response to sanctions (Daniel Siryoti, Israel Hayom) Iran agreed to help Hamas if the terrorist organization helped it fight Israel and the West. This is what led to the recent escalation.
The Killing of Dvir Sorek Is a Sign of Palestinian Weakness (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Palestinian weakness is once again being fully revealed in the form of the stabbed body of a young Israeli man in the heart of the occupied West Bank. If it was a single individual who decided to kill an Israeli, and found Dvir Sorek, the fact that he acted alone proves that he couldn’t find a place in which to process the natural and justified hatred of the hostile invader and channel it into political thought and action in order to wield influence and upset the balance of power. Political thought and action require cooperation, discussions and study, a leadership that people trust, an understanding that killing is not a goal, the planning of an entire range of activities against the occupier while examining their feasibility and their chances of success – separately and combined. Success will always be measured by the ability to disrupt the acts of invasion and expropriation. The individual act of killing disrupts nothing, and is an admission of the absence of hope to engender a positive change.
Those who led the hatred and schism in the Israeli public were the "working parties" (Dr. Haim Misgav, Maariv) The history of the renewed settlement in the Land of Israel knew more terrible times. And yet, hatred among the various factions in the public will not collapse the solidarity of the Jewish state.
Israel's Military Chief Is Preparing the Next War (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) In Israel, victories are not passed down as an inheritance; every generation must provide its own victory, and now it is Aviv Kochavi’s turn.
Israel’s government needs to heed Gaza wake-up call (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) Politicians should use a period of military superiority and calm to take initiatives rather than allow stagnation that may force a war with Hamas at an inopportune time and with a less cooperative leader at the helm of the PA.
Diplomatic Alternatives First (Yael Admi and Tami Yakira, Haaretz+) This is written in reply to “You are the next bereaved parents” (Haaretz, July 28, in Hebrew), the heartbreaking article by Avi Yaakobi, whose son Gilad was killed in Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014. After that terrible operation, in which Gilad was killed, the Women Wage Peace movement was founded. As mothers, sisters, wives, grandmothers and concerned citizens we knew that repeated rounds of fighting are not a solution. We knew that we have an obligation to demand that the decision makers promote a diplomatic agreement that would bring us closer to the quiet and security that we deserve, and that is in the interest of all of us, all parts of the nation. Women Wage Peace is now promoting a draft bill: “Diplomatic Alternatives First.” The bill is designed to require decision makers to allocate time, attention and manpower to examine and develop diplomatic alternatives, in ordinary times and in times of emergency. There is an unwritten contract between the state and its citizens: We will enlist and report to fight when called to do so, but only on condition that we know the decision makers are leaving no stone unturned to ascertain that these wars really are necessary. The study we conducted taught us that this contract has been violated for years.
Bypassing (ultra-Orthodox ministers) Litzman and Deri: Bezalel Smutrich's freedom fighter in the religious community in Israel (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) In the week when the Prime Minister was resolutely opposed to a state of Jewish law, one religious politician stood up who was not afraid to face him - and these were not Leitzman or Deri, but rather the number three on the United Right list.
All who are 'woke': Go back to sleep (Ginette Weiner, Israel Hayom) Is "white Jewish privilege" a thing? We had the "privilege" of being persecuted, exiled, and slaughtered while the world looked on. And today we have the "privilege" of record numbers of hate crimes against Jews worldwide.
Pro-Israel Democrats aren't yet an endangered species (Jonathan S. Tobin, Israel Hayom) Last week, some 41 House Democrats led by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer were in the country demonstrating solidarity with the Jewish state.
Israel is now a key battleground in the global clash between liberal democracy and its enemies (Nimrod Goren and Gil Murciano, Haaretz+) Netanyahu is calling in unprecedented re-election favors (read: interventions) from his illiberal brothers - Trump, Putin, Modi, Bolsonaro and Orban. The gloves are coming off in the conflict between liberals and illiberals in Israel – and around the world.
Is the BDS movement on the rise? (Hillel Frisch, Israel Hayom) According to the BDS movement’s Palestinian branch, the impact of the movement “is increasing substantially.” Many pro-Israel sites and organizations agree, but how accurate is this prognosis?
There's much to be learned from Israeli gun culture (Alex Traiman, Israel Hayom) Mass shootings in the US are nothing new, but they have become a painful nationwide epidemic. Perhaps it is time to look to Israeli practices to help prevent shooters from claiming so many innocent lives.

Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
Promises in the air (Yuval Karni, Yedioth Hebrew) Zero VAT? Death penalty for terrorists? Eviction of people of Khan Al-Ahmar?   The Prime Minister has made quite a few promises before elections, but a large part of them remains on paper. Now, in the eighth time that he is running, Netanyahu promises not to form a unity government. But history shows that the last time he declared that, he in the end turned to (then Labor party chief Avi) Gabbay and asked him to join his government. And perhaps one of Netanyahu's most prominent election promises, the one he frequently wields in every campaign as the "security card," is the commitment to overthrow Hamas rule. Already on the eve of the 2009 elections in Ashkelon, he declared: “I will collapse the Hamas rule." But since Operation Protective Edge, he has not only failed to do that, but has also been indirectly negotiating a ceasefire and an arrangement with the terrorist organization and even permitting the transfer of Qatari money to it. And that's not all. There are also economic promises that Netanyahu has made over the years, which were never honored or fulfilled, such as promoting a zero-tax program on supervised food products shipped after the 2015 election.
Will another Netanyahu win sever Israel's ties with US Jews? (Jonathan Tobin, Israel Hayom) At the heart of the breach between Israel and American Jewry is a declining sense of Jewish peoplehood among the latter, as assimilation and widespread intermarriage have created a community that is no longer that interested in Israel or, frankly, the person leading it.
What Netanyahu can learn from Ben-Gurion (Yifat Erlich, Yedioth/Ynet) The current prime minister's stint in power may have surpassed that of Israel's first PM, but as his paranoia about threats to his power runs ram pant it seems like he has a thing or two to pick up from his predecessor, especially about when to step down.
 
Interviews:
**"Every Druze person knows that once he gets to Ben-Gurion Airport he will receive special treatment and it's time to stop it."
A week after the incident* at Ben-Gurion Airport - Reda Mansour, Israel's ambassador to Panama, is still angry. But in an interview with Yedioth Ahronoth, he also talks about the hope that lessons will be learned, that such cases will no longer come back, and he draws encouragement from the thousands of supportive responses he received: "My protest has connected a lot of people to a very sensitive and internal place. People have called me from all over the country, from the Gaza periphery to Kiryat Shmona. I've talked to the security chiefs at Ben Gurion Airport and I feel they really want to fix the situation...Anyone who knows me knows that my personal interest was the marginal part of the story," he explained. "This post was written for our young people and for all of us as a country and as a society. Self-criticism and setting things straight are key to the survival and growth of any society. The State of Israel is not just a state, but a state that has a purpose."
 
 
(Interviewed by Itamar Eichner in Yedioth Hebrew)


[*Israeli ambassador to Panama, a Druze, decries treatment at Ben Gurion Airport
A week ago Reda Mansour wrote in a Facebook post that security guard delayed [and humiliated - OH] him and his family upon learning they were from an Arab village. Mansour concluded the post with strong language, saying “Ben Gurion, you can go to hell. Thirty years of humiliation and it’s still not over. You used to take us apart at the terminal, and now we’re suspects even at the entrance…I have only one thing left to say to you: I feel like vomiting!” Ben-Gurion Airport Spokesperson: “Tell your daughter we are protecting her.” (Times of Israel and JPost)]

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