News Nosh 8.14.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday August 14, 2019

Quote of the day:
“Military orders and regulations forbid the blindfolding of detainees, and action to clarify the rules to the troops acting in the region has been taken and will continue to be taken on a continuous basis.”
--Israeli army was forced to admit that soldiers blindfolded Palestinians against protocol, after Israeli activists petitioned the High Court against the numerous documented incidents of soldiers detaining and blindfolding shepherds, seemingly for punitive purposes, over the last two and a half years.*

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • What is Russia hiding - Global concern following the nuclear explosion (Hebrew)
  • Trump reveals: Chinese army moving forces closer to Hong Kong
  • The measles victim - Rotem Amitai, 43, an El-Al stewardess, contracted measles on flight from New York and died yesterday
  • The little girl’s cry revealed the horror - parents in Lod detained on suspicion of horrific abuse of their daughter
  • When Putin gets armed // Nadav Eyal on the Russian concealment
  • They raised a white flag // Amnon Abramovich on the left-wing failure (Hebrew)
  • Netanyahu’s opportunity // Limor Livnat on the Smotrich storm (Hebrew)
  • Save the rescuer // Einav Schiff critiques election ads
  • Daughter of no one // Merav Betito on the neglecting of the 5-year-old girl
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • The secret weapon: the Election Day headquarters are revealed - The real investment of the parties: “This is how we will transfer votes on the last day”
  • The hands in Gaza and Judea and Samaria, the voice of Iran
  • Go get vaccinated! // Ran Reznik on the danger of measles
  • The (HBO) series (“Our Boys”) and the storm
  • The nuclear explosion in Russia: “Level of radiation rose 16 times after the disaster

Top News Summary:
A five-year-old girl was found crying, tied up and bleeding, alone in her home in Lod, an Israeli stewardess died after contracting measles on an El-Al flight, and right-wing politicians slammed each other as they battled over right-wing voters - making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

Elections 2019 Quickees:
  • Attorney general says hidden cameras in (Arab) polling stations could be illegal - Ahead of hearing on Likud program to film ballot stations in Arab-majority areas, Mandelblit warns scheme could be outlawed if it’s found to interfere with the voting process. (Times of Israel and Haaretz+)
  • Attorney General recommends Central Elections Committee disqualify 2 far-right candidates - While committee has final say on who will be allowed to run, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit says Ben-Zion Gopstein and Baruch Marzel of Otzma Yehduit party are "deep in the forbidden territory" of incitement to racism. (Israel Hayom)
  • Likud rejects AG’s opinion that hidden cameras at polls could be illegal - Ruling party slams Mandelblit’s legal guidance as ‘unacceptable,’ says barring cameras ‘could hurt democracy and the purity of elections.’ (Times of Israel)
  • Netanyahu Forms New Strategy to Win Israel's Election - The PM 'doesn’t think' Likud, Yamina and ultra-Orthodox parties can win Knesset majority, and is now refocusing efforts on his own party, campaign official tells Haaretz. (Haaretz+)
  • Lieberman: "Netanyahu has become irrelevant. Shaked and Smotrich will not recommend him to be prime minister" - Chairman of Yisrael Beiteinu also said that Likud members won't forgive Netanyahu for the humiliating them by forcing them to sign loyalty declarations. (Yedioth/Ynet Hebrew)
  • Ehud Barak in a fierce attack on the (new) State Comptroller: "Netanyahu's wretched servant, a doormat” - Former PM and number 10 in the Democratic Camp list exploded in rage over changes the new State Comptroller made in the Permits Committee: “(Matanyahu) Engelman is shameful.” On Netanyahu, he said: “He acts like an animal fleeing from the fear of his fate.” (Maariv)
  • Labor Launches Campaign in Likud Heartland, Urging Voters to Quit 'Disappointing' Netanyahu - 'You aren’t leaving Likud, Likud has left you,' Peretz tells crowd at Gaza border town. (Haaretz+)
  • 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+)
Quick Hits:
  • Hamas leader vows to shower Israel with missiles if IDF invades Gaza - Yahya Sinwar says terror group will defeat Israeli military, praises Palestinian man who opened fire on Israeli troops earlier after sneaking across fence. (Times of Israel, Israel Hayom and Maariv)
  • PA official: Iran helping Hamas rebuild West Bank terror network - Hamas deputy leader Saleh Arouri "gets military aid and economic support from the regime in Tehran, and is rigorously working to rehabilitate Hamas' terrorist cells in the West Bank while exploiting the [PA's] diplomatic standstill [with Israel] and the fact that the leadership in Ramallah has reduced to a minimum its security cooperation with Israel," senior PA official tells Israel Hayom. (Israel Hayom)
  • *Israeli Army Forced to Admit Blindfolding Detained Palestinians Is Against Protocol - Activists’ petition to High Court details incidents of shepherds being detained and blindfolded, seemingly for punitive purposes, 25 times over two and a half years. (Haaretz+)
  • One Palestinian Hurt as Israel Police Disrupt Muslim Holiday Celebrations in East Jerusalem - Police have been entering the village daily, writing reports, searching and detaining residents as part of enhanced law enforcement campaign that has been going on for two months. (Haaretz+)
  • IDF nabs armed Palestinian trying to infiltrate Gaza border  - "The suspect was captured and found carrying a knife along with two bullets," the IDF says in a statement. The incident marks the third time in a week that Palestinians have attempted to infiltrate Israel from the coastal enclave. (Israel Hayom)
  • 'Jews Don't Stay Silent' Graffiti Sprayed in West Bank Town in Suspected Hate Crime - Several cars in the town of Yatma vandalized with Stars of David graffiti and punctured tires, residents say. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli Cops Who Planted Gun in Palestinian's Home Yet to Be Investigated - Justice Department yet to decide on opening investigation into policemen who planted weapon during filming of a documentary series. (Haaretz+)
  • Increase in racism and disputes on WhatsApp with the commander: Highlights of the Military Ombudsman Report - Soldiers’ Ombudsman released a report summarizing last year, and it shows a bleak picture: Increase in complaints from soldiers who belong to special populations, among ultra-Orthodox and lone soldiers. (Maariv)
  • Netanyahu visits family of murdered soldier on his 19th birthday - The prime minister and his spouse arrive at the home of Dvir Sorek in the West Bank settlement of Ofra, with Netanyahu promising the Jewish people will 'continue spreading roots and fighting.’ (Ynet)
  • PM: Homes of Dvir Sorek's killers to be demolished 'soon' - Speaking at ceremony honoring Shin Bet security agency personnel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praises them for arresting killers of off-duty soldier within 48 hours: "You operate day and night for the safety of our citizens." (Israel Hayom)
  • Hadassah Hospital Gave Senior Staff Huge Wage Hikes in Midst of Financial Crisis - Treasury report shows some employees received double-digit raises in 2017, with increases of tens of percentage points, just as the struggling hospital was in the throes of restructuring, layoffs and cost-cutting. (Haaretz+)
  • Decline in the marriage rate in the Jewish population continues - The age of marriage has risen as has the proportion of (young) single and and older single women. In most cases, the groom is older than the bride. Nearly half of the ultra-Orthodox married by age 21. (Maariv)
  • Museum searches for Jews deported to Cyprus in 1940s - Seventy-three years ago, the British government decided to deport 52,000 illegal Jewish immigrants - many of whom were Holocaust survivors - to detention camps in Cyprus for illegally trying to make their way to the British-ruled pre-state Palestine. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israeli Lawmakers Rebuff House Bill Endorsing 'Dangerous' Two-state Solution - Twenty-one right-wing MKs express 'concern' over bill endorsing a 'dysfunctional terrorist' Palestinian state, say two-state solution counters Trump's Mideast policy and that its ‘more dangerous than BDS.’ (JTA, Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Abbas said to snub visiting Republican Congress members - ‘I think he saw the Republicans as maybe not worth his time,’ says GOP lawmaker, days after Palestinian president met with delegation of Democrats. (Times of Israel and Haaretz)
  •  Abbas ‘aggressive’ in talks with Dems, rejects US overtures - Rep. Susan Wild says she “didn’t walk away from the meeting with [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas feeling particularly optimistic about an openness” to working with the White House and legislators in support of a two-state solution. “I don’t know that I think that Abbas recognizes that there is, or should be, a Jewish state – that was my impression,” she says. (Israel Hayom)
  • Be'er Sheva to turn local zoo into free-range savannah - Citing concerns for animal welfare, the municipality of the Negev's capital says it will develop 'experiential animal sustainability center' by 2022 in order to teach the public to empathize with the environment and living creatures. (Ynet)
  • Haredi extremists seek UN protection as a 'persecuted minority' - Edah Haredit sect asks UN to "inform the Israeli government" that its efforts to conscript haredi youth are "gross violations of international law." (Israel Hayom)
  • Due to family feud: A Bedouin citizen from the Negev fled to Canada - The man, who came with his six children to Montreal, applied for a humanitarian refugee status for fear of violence. "Either they kill me, or I kill them," he tells Maariv. (Maariv)
  • Jordan halts fictional film for historic reference to Jews in Petra - Fears sparked by the film were stoked earlier this month when video emerged of Jewish visitors praying in a shrine said to be the burial place of Moses’ brother Aaron, near Petra. (Agencies, Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • Top of the polls, German politician downplays far-right past - Andreas Kalbitz who heads the anti-migrant Alternative for Germany party - predicted to get 21% of the vote in the elections - in the past downplayed the Holocaust and was a member of the Witiko Association, which was founded by former Nazis after World War II. (Agencies, Ynet)

No, Liberal Zionism Isn't Dead Yet. So Fight for It (Abe Silberstein, Haaretz+) If a Jewish state really becomes dependent on the subjugation and annexation of Palestinians - apartheid - then its continuation would be immoral. But we haven’t reached that point of no return yet.
The explosion in Russia is a cause for concern (Nadav Eyal, Yedioth/Ynet) Russia's seemingly accelerated arms race and willingness to go to war should be more of a concern for the world than a single incident that does not seem to have far reaching consequences.
The Goal: Granting Netanyahu Permission to Do as He Pleases (Haaretz Editorial) Matanyahu Englman, who was appointed with the task of eviscerating the office of the state comptroller of any content in the service of his masters, has begun fulfilling his mission. This week he decided to appoint to his office’s Permits Committee members who are not jurists, including Likud and other right-wing party associates. It’s hard to think of a more egregious move. Over the last year, Netanyahu appealed to the committee three times for permission to exceed ethical boundaries that bind other cabinet members and receive cash and gifts, some of these retroactively, in order to fund his legal defense. In all cases the committee, in its former composition, refused his request. Now Netanyahu is seeking, through his loyal servant Englman, to change the committee’s composition so that his request is granted.
Disengagement harmed Israel's security (Akiva Bigman, Israel Hayom) Even those who still support the 2005 disengagement in hindsight admit that it did little to reduce the number of terrorism casualties while greatly contributing to the threat from Gaza.
In One Netanyahu Corruption Case, a CEO Faces a Hard Task Too (Gur Megiddo, Haaretz+) Next week is the pre-indictment hearing for Shaul Elovitch, whose Bezeq telecom company plays a role in favorable-news-for-favors allegations.
The eyes of the State of Israel (Yoav Keren, Yedioth/Ynet) The IDF has a team of women soldiers whose job it is to watch and monitor; known in Hebrew as tatzpitaniyot – derived from the word tatzpit, or lookout - these troops are often the first line of defense against terrorists, and their contribution cannot be overstated.
Attacking the 'chosen' (Ben Cohen, Israel Hayom) Zionism and its product – the State of Israel – are transformed from a political movement in favor of Jewish self-determination into an almost mystical evil.
The Temple Mount Is in the Fanatics’ Hands (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) It’s clear that the Jews have to mourn the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem – all Jews, not just the “handful” of messianic fanatics sewing together robes like the ones worn by the ancient priests. All Jews who love the Jewish people and seek peace, particularly those who are liberal, abhor racism and for whom human rights, freedom of religion, equality and freedom of expression are important, must go to the Temple Mount. But that’s not to mark the destruction of the ancient Temples but to mourn for our country, where chilly drafts blow through wrecked walls – a country whose leaders are corrupt, whose judges expel children and their mothers from the Promised Land and whose cabinet members stand trial. We have to mourn for its army, which is occupying 5 million people, for the high priest, the official in charge of supervising the government, who’s a willing prisoner in the lap of the dictator, and for the citizens who own the country and are still convinced they’re the Chosen People.
Finland takes attacks on Israeli embassy in Helsinki very seriously (Kirsikka Lehto-Asikainen, Yedioth/Ynet) In wake of consistent harassment of Israel's mission, Finnish Ambassador to Israel Kirsikka Lehto-Asikainen celebrates decades of strong bilateral ties, says her country will fight anti-Semitism in any form.
Judaism should not be used as an ideological prop (Jonathan S. Tobin, Israel Hayom) Protesters using Tisha B’Av to call for the elimination of ICE and the Homeland Security Department are doing more than using a misleading analogy.

Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
In Netanyahu’s Israel, Democracy Is Dying in Broad Daylight (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Ominous pre-election right-wing purges inspired by Trump's brazenness have been met with apathy and impotence on the center-left.
The big parties head into the final stretch (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) This is what we know so far about what the major political players intend to do in the week leading up the election and on Election Day itself to make sure they squeeze out every possible vote.
The War for Israel’s Russian Vote Shifts Into High Gear – and Lieberman Is Still Winning (Liza Rozovsky, Haaretz+) Likud’s attacks on the former defense minister are full of inaccuracies and backfire to hurt Netanyahu – but Yisrael Beiteinu is offering its own half-truths, and is losing younger voters.
The left gave up a political settlement and raised its hands (Amnon Abramovich, Yedioth/Ynet Hebrew) It does not even mention the need to put an end to control over the Palestinians. This is the third election campaign that includes only a meager yes-Bibi-no-Bibi bickering.
Netanyahu Is Running Out of Natural Partners (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) Bibi’s historic alliance with the religious right has begun to show cracks, which may be significant enough to deny him a ruling coalition in September.
At the Prime Minister's Residence, they are beginning to understand the damage from the extreme right (Limor Livnat, Yedioth/Ynet Hebrew) Is it right to form a coalition with supporters of gay conversion therapy and supporters of separating Jewish and Arab women in the maternity ward? About the need to dismantle Yamina and take only Ayelet Shaked.
Israel's New Iron Lady Should Sit in the Back of the Bus (Zehava Galon, Haaretz+) Ayelet Shaked is currently the only woman heading an Israeli party. She’s already kowtowing to those who didn’t want her, undermining the women who fought so that a women could be where Shaked is today, and the women who will follow. “Segregation is not exclusion,” she said, (referring to gender separation on buses and at public events - OH) bringing to mind the South African explanation that apartheid meant “separate development.” Does she want women to sit in the back? That’s fine, but she should be the first.
Israel Faces Political Deadlock – So Why Are the Markets So Strong? (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) Foreign investors and Israel’s rich aren’t bailing out, they’re bailing in. Why is the shekel strengthening when all the polls predict the end of the Netanyahu era?
Meet the Daring Poster Child of the Israeli Left
The seasoned graphic designer and activist Lahav Halevy tells Haaretz why the right's propaganda always seem to come out on top, and why lefties don't fight the occupation (their espresso will get cold) (Interviewed by Naama Riba in Haaretz+)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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