News Nosh 8.13.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday August 13, 2019
 
Quote of the day #1:
“Its name is a declaration that we aren’t hiding from that past. We’re acknowledging the history and clearly saying: This is our place, it belongs to us now, but we remember and respect what was here in the past.”
--Roni Gilat, a member of Kibbutz Zikim, where members decided that the beautiful and only Arab house in their midst would bear the name of the Arab family that built it a century ago.*

Quote of the day #2:
"The fact that he was found dead with David Grossman’s latest book says a lot about him. But even in this case the whole truth must be told. The reaction of the settlers was absolute false naïveté: How is it possible to kill such a good person, who only went to buy a book. A gift for his rabbis? This is nothing less than a war of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness, against the angels of terror who harmed us only out of blind hatred. Esau is an enemy of Jacob. That is the Jewish destiny and we are the victims. As far as they’re concerned, there is no connection between the murder of the soldier and the occupation. They find no connection between the murder and the hopeless situation of the nearly 3 million Palestinians who are being crushed under the burden of the occupation of the Israel Defense Forces and the Shin Bet security service. The fact that there is almost no family in the West Bank that hasn’t experience death and humiliation and harassment, and people wounded and maimed after being shot by the security forces, makes no difference to them. They want it all. Both to settle on land that doesn’t belong to them, and to live in peace and quiet, every man under his vine and fig tree."
--Haaretz commentator Nehemia Shtrasler wrote in an Op-Ed about the settler reactions to the Palestinian killing of Israeli soldier Dvir Sorek in the West Bank.**

Front Page:
Haaretz
  • The revolution of the state comptroller in the permissions committee: More Likud supporters, less jurists
  • A revolution against proper order // Mordechai Kreminitzer
  • Netanyahu demanded Smotrich apologize. He cares less about the court // Yossi Verter
  • The war with Netanyahu over the Russian vote goes up a level and Lieberman is still on top // Liza Rozonsky
  • 14 injured in an explosion of an Iranian weapons arsenal in Baghdad
  • Hadassah hospital is going through economic recovery, but salaries of the director and senior hospital employees grew by tens of percent
  • Assessment in US: Explosion that killed 7 people in Russia was caused by nuclear cruise missile // NYT
  • Dead Sea factories won’t be able to continue to pump water without limits
  • Creeping expulsion // Amira Hass on settler extremism in Hebron pushing locals out
  • Blind faith // Boaz Senjero on police who plant evidence and judges’ faith in them
  • It’s an obligation to vote // Amir Barnea
  • In 1991, Yang Yang decided to learn Hebrew. Since then he translated the best of Israeli literature to Chinese
  • State’s solution to challenge of aging population: Encouraging elderly to work, to study and to volunteer
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • The dispute, the rebuke and the apology (Photos of Netanyahu and Smotrich)
  • From both sides of the partition // Yedioth photographer and reporter at the gender-separated outdoor performance of (religious) singer Yishai Rivo organized by Lod Municipality
  • The State Comptroller presents: Permissions committee with a right-wing lean
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • Everyone against everyone: battles within the blocs - Shooting in all directions
  • Source in Likud on Smotrich’s apology (to Netanyahu): “There won’t be another warning”
  • Because of a computer glitch: Change of draft day for hundreds of recruits
  • Health Ministry presents: Satisfaction poll not complimentary: We’ll hide it

Top News Summary:
Today’s top stories were connected to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the wielding of his strength. Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who blasted Netanyahu as ‘weak’ and with ‘zero leadership’ the day before, apologized yesterday for his comments and Matanyahu Engelman, the Likud choice for State Comptroller, has changed the Permits Committee by appointing eight new members, making it more populist and more supportive of Netanyahu.
Also making headlines were blasts reported in a weapons arsenal in Baghdad that was used by an Iran-backed militia. No one took responsibility for the attack.


Elections 2019 Quickees:
  • Leading candidate in the Likud to take over from Netanyahu: Gideon Saar - A Channel 12 News poll indicates that the prime minister's biggest opponent within his party is the preferred candidate for the job in the future. There has been no change in the poll map: the right-wing coalition does not have 61 mandates. (Maariv)
  • Joint Left-wing Slate Seeks to Woo Voters With Specter of Gantz Joining Netanyahu's Government  Gantz's party fired back, saying Democratic Union's Ehud Barak 'could teach a course in crawling into Netanyahu governments’ ■ Right-wing alliance promises legalization of West Bank settlements, liberal economy. (Haaretz+)
  • Attorney General Mandelblit to recommend disqualifying Baruch Marzel and Bentzi Gopstein from running for Knessset - According to a report on Channel 13 News, the High Court is expected to support the prevention of the senior right-wing party's members from running. However, it will not recommend disqualifying the entire party from running. (Maariv)

 
Quick Hits:

Israel Navy, NATO Forces Conduct Exercise Simulating High-casualty Earthquake - The navies of nine other countries participated in the drill, on the understanding that Israel would need to bring relief assistance in by sea. (Haaretz+, Maariv+VIDEO Ynet)
Israel Prepares to Demolish Homes of Palestinian Suspects in Soldier's Murder - Cousins Nseir Asafra and Kassem Asafra were arrested on Saturday in Beit Kahil, northwest of Hebron. Investigation reinforces assessment that suspects acted independently. (Haaretz+)
Israeli Army Scraps Training for Reservists Due to Budget Cuts - Reasons given for the slashes include new preparations for a Gaza war, a lack of government and the chief of staff's budgeting, but high-ranking reservists warn that these cuts may have consequences in the next battle. (Haaretz+)
Budget Cuts May Leave Thousands of Special-needs Kids Without Appropriate Schooling in Israel - With a $140.6 million budget shortfall, some 350 new classes to accommodate special-needs children will not be opened, in addition to cuts on the number of assistants, therapists and teaching hours. (Haaretz+)
Israeli Man Indicted in Rape, Sexual Abuse of 45 Underage Girls - The 26-year-old resident of an ultra-Orthodox settlement allegedly used false identities to contact girls over the internet. (Haaretz+)
Israeli Court Rules to Place Limit on Amount of Water Pumped From Dead Sea - Environmental group files petition against Dead Sea Works requesting the company obtain licences to promote more efficient and economical pumping technologies. (Haaretz+)
Muslims in Israel make up 18% of Israelis, a decline in population growth - The CBS released data on the Muslim population on the occasion of the Eid al-Adha holiday: A third are children up to the age of 14 - higher than other religions, lower rates of matriculation exams and earlier marriages. (Maariv)
Geneva prosecutors indict Israeli billionaire Steinmetz in Guinea corruption case - Steinmetz and two associates are accused of paying bribes linked to the allocation of mining licences between 2005 and 2010. (Agencies, Haaretz)
Israeli village excavates itself, finds biggest winery in the Crusader world - King Baldwin III built a castle in Mi’ilya from which he ruled his Galilean lordship in the 12th century. Watching it crumble before their eyes, latter-day villagers teamed up to find the treasures buried beneath their very own homes. (Haaretz+)
PA money woes make tense Eid al-Adha for West Bank Palestinians - Abbas' refusal to accept tax revenue from Israel is taking its toll on the local economy as civil servants see wages cut in half and even the annual festival devoted to food is failing to make an impact; 'our financial situation is tough, we are under siege from all directions,' says Hebron livestock merchant. (Ynet)
Turkey Says U.S. Delegation Begins Work on Syria Safe Zone - Ankara seeks to push out U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish militias from border areas inside Syria, considering them terrorists aligned with a Kurdish insurgency in Turkey. (Agencies, Haaretz)



Features:
*In Makeover Project, Israeli Kibbutz Preserves Its Palestinian 'Roots'
Kibbutz Zikim renovated and repurposed 100-year-old Beit Alami – named after the Arab family who lived there until 1947 – but retained the building's name for its new visitors center. (Moshe Gilad, Haaretz+)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
**A Murder Out of the Blue? (Nehemia Shtrasler, Haaretz+) It’s true. The murder was shocking, and the family should be consoled. I am also sending my condolences from here to the parents and the siblings. It’s also true that Dvir was a special boy, a people lover, friendly and mature for his age. The fact that he was found dead with David Grossman’s latest book says a lot about him. But even in this case the whole truth must be told. The reaction of the settlers was absolute false naïveté: How is it possible to kill such a good person, who only went to buy a book. A gift for his rabbis? This is nothing less than a war of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness, against the angels of terror who harmed us only out of blind hatred. Esau is an enemy of Jacob. That is the Jewish destiny and we are the victims. As far as they’re concerned, there is no connection between the murder of the soldier and the occupation. They find no connection between the murder and the hopeless situation of the nearly 3 million Palestinians who are being crushed under the burden of the occupation of the Israel Defense Forces and the Shin Bet security service. The fact that there is almost no family in the West Bank that hasn’t experience death and humiliation and harassment, and people wounded and maimed after being shot by the security forces, makes no difference to them. They want it all. Both to settle on land that doesn’t belong to them, and to live in peace and quiet, every man under his vine and fig tree.
Why endless wars can’t be ended (Clifford D. May, Israel Hayom) When we decide to fight, it is imperative that our strategies be superior to those of our opponents. That doesn’t mean devising “exit strategies” but rather, having a coherent “theory of victory.”
The Danger of Hebronization (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) The Muslims who risk their lives to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque have an important role to play in keeping the Palestinians’ struggle for liberation on the national rather than the religious level. When tens of thousands of Palestinians gathered Sunday at al-Aqsa’s mosques and the plaza outside them – despite the brainwashed, hate-filled policemen carrying vast amounts of weaponry that they were itching to use – they weren’t just defending their holy places. They were also defending their existence as a people in their own land…Israeli governments have used the (Israeli) religious zealots to strike another very territorial blow at the Palestinians, as part of the process of fragmenting and dismantling their remaining expanse. In 1994, a Jewish-American-Israeli doctor massacred Muslim worshippers at Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque. In response, secular Israel punished the Palestinians, and continues to punish them to this day. It has imposed curfews, closed streets and let the murderer’s friends and admirers abuse thousands of Palestinian residents every day, to the point that many were forced to go pack their belongings, leaving ghost neighborhoods behind them…Consequently, given this situation of Israeli military superiority and creeping or galloping expulsion, the spatial and temporal division between Jews and Muslims at the Ibrahimi Mosque / Tomb of the Patriarchs isn’t a sanctification of the principle of equality between two religions and their believers. Rather, this division is another technique for domination and humiliation.
Riklin should remember: The destruction of the Holy Temple did not occur because Jews read fine books (Dr. Revital Amiran, Maariv)  The [right-wing - OH] media person, Shimon Riklin, called the act by the people of Ofra (settlement - OH) of reading books of writers like David Grossman an act of falsification and fawning towards the left-wing. These things reveal intellectual insecurity.
J Streeters duped on alternative tour of Israel (Steve Frank, Israel Hayom) Hebron’s Shuhada Street was a highlight of J Street’s Israel tour, and the group fell for the myth, hook, line, and sinker.
We all have a genetic predisposition to discrimination, so we better overcome the desire for political correctness (Dr. Liraz Margalit, Maariv) The political correctness approach has abandoned all attempts to have a reformed society and has become a policing of opinions, all of which is to teach us how to use laundered language.
Why Israel must annex parts of the West Bank (Uri Heitner, Yedioth/Ynet) The time has come to return to the national consensus that has been disregarded for almost 20 years, but this time in a way that will substantively and significantly consolidate Israel's position – namely, sovereignty in the Jordan Valley and settlement blocs.
Reshuffling Oversight Panel, Israel's State Comptroller Proves He, Too, Needs Oversight (Mordechai Kremnitzer, Haaretz+) Now, we need a special comptroller to oversee the comptroller.
California's 'anti-hate' curriculum teaches hate (Mark Goldfeder, Israel Hayom) California's proposed Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum is rightly concerned with bias, prejudice, discrimination, and hate crimes, but omits mention of anti-Semitism and actually singles out Jews and Israel for special condemnation.
The Minister of Separation (Haaretz Editorial) Bezalel Smotrich’s angry response to the Nazareth District Court’s decision to prohibit gender separation at a concert in Afula’s municipal park is a reminder that any assault on the principle of equality in a democratic country is always an assault on the legal system too. “It’s a stupid legal system,” the transportation minister tweeted, like any run-of-the-mill internet troll. “It’s fundamentalist progressive stupidity,” he added.
Extremists are calling the shots on the Temple Mount (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) Israel's government has yielded sovereignty of one of Judaism's holiest sites to a fringe group who violate a rabbinical ban on praying there, so can it really be a surprise when Muslim Waqf that oversees the compound responds in kind?
Why you must watch HBO’s brilliant new Israeli drama ‘Our Boys’ (Adrian Hennigan, Haaretz+) HBO’s grueling but gripping Israeli show ‘Our Boys’ reprises the violent summer of 2014.
Liberal Zionists, Face the Facts: There's Already Only One State From the River to the Sea (Joshua Shanes, Haaretz+) This time, it's Israel's government - not Hamas or the international far left - that's eagerly claiming the annexationist slogan. That means liberal Zionists have only one moral option left.
Israel's boycott of Alternative for Germany: the right thing to do? ( Eldad Beck, Israel Hayom) If Israel is willing to hold dialogue with far-left anti-Semites and anti-Zionists, should it not do the same for a far-right party that has at least backed a few pro-Israel initiatives?
Trump’s Conspiracy Theories Undermine Democracy and Advance Authoritarian Rule (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) The U.S. president’s endorsement of rumors linking Jeffrey Epstein’s death to the Clintons is ludicrous - and dangerous.
Democrats' support for Israel is waning (Yaakov Ahimeir, Israel Hayom) House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's frank criticism of Israel's settlement policy is further evidence of a crack in the veneer of bipartisan support for Israel.
Israel Has Nothing to Fear From China (Zhan Yongxin, Haaretz+) Nowadays, there are certain people so obsessed with bashing China that they are pulling all the strings they can to frame arguments against the win-win cooperation between China and other countries.
Iran Finds Innovative Ways Around Obstacles, From Sports to Sanctions (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) And Trump also seems to take a page out of Iranian athletes' book.
No mounting concern (Dr. Nirit Ofir, Israel Hayom) Despite the Arab Gulf states' silence on Sunday's clashes on the Temple Mount, the Palestinian issue still remains a priority on their agenda.

Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
The solution to the crisis experienced by the political system is the establishment of a national emergency government (Ephraim Ganor, Maariv) Recent political developments reinforce the feeling that the prospect of forming a government after the upcoming elections according to the expected distribution of mandates is zero.
The only political alliance in Israel still fighting the occupation is 99 percent Arab - and this Zionist is voting for it (Larry Derfner, Haaretz+) Israel's left-wing Zionist politicians won't challenge the occupation this election: They don't want to scare away the voters. So I'm voting for a slate that does - despite the militant anti-Israel antagonism of one of its factions.
The current government is going to elections with a certificate of achievement (Yossi Ahimeir, Maariv) Tel-Aviv is a paradise for young people and tourists, free of inhibitions, eating and drinking, as in any major European city free of worries. A city that is a a bubble of the young, real Israel.
 
Interviews:
Finding strength after the murder of her grandchild
Esther Schlesinger survived losing her family in the Holocaust, being shot in the head by the Nazis and rescued from a pile of dead bodies, but losing her grandson - 18-year-old Dvir Sorek who was stabbed to death last week in a terror attack - was one of the worst experiences of her life. (Interviewed by Elisha Ben Kimon in Yedioth/Ynet)
 
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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