News Nosh 8.15.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday August 15, 2019
 
Quote of the day:
“We send our condolences to his family and to our friends in his yeshiva. As a group, we condemn such brutal actions; such violence hurts all of us. We build bridges between the peoples on this land and we hope that this tragedy will be the last.”
--Palestinian teens, who are members of a Jewish-Muslim interfaith forum that killed Israeli soldier Dvir Sorek was also a member of, wrote in a public letter.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
“Attempted infiltration of 56 illegal aliens into Israel was thwarted"
--This was the headline of a breaking news story on Maariv and Israel Hayom websites today. The story: About nine or 10 Palestinian families from the West Bank, 56 children, women and men, riding in a rented bus were making their way to an Israeli beach when they were stopped at an Israeli military checkpoint in E. Jerusalem and were searched and held because they did not have permits to enter Israel. The last sentence in the Maariv article reads: “In a search of the bus they found items of clothing and other findings that increased the suspicion that this was a group that was making its way to one of the Israeli beaches.” The driver, a resident of Tzur Baher (Palestinian village in E. Jerusalem) in his 20's, and all bus passengers, 56 children, women and men, were detained in transit for further investigation. (Maariv and Israel Hayom Hebrew)

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • The immunity dilemma - Attorney General: Indictment against Minister Haim Katz
  • Separation at the last minute
  • High Court’s self-goal // Ben-Dror Yemini
  • Look for the woman // Chen Artzi-Srur
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Celebration in separation - Court changed its decision and allowed Afula Municipality to hold performance in front of gender-separated audience
  • In the hands of the High Court - Requests to disqualify (far-right) Otzma Yehudit party and its candidates for Knesset was rejected
  • Attorney General: Minister Haim Katz will be indicted on fraud and breach of trust charges
  • CBS statistics show drop in percentage of marriages in Jewish sector
Israel Hayom
  • Investigation - The adoption files oversight - “They erased my soul”: This is how the authorities keep information from adopted children about their parents
  • In the middle of a performance: The (gender) separation was cancelled
  • Israeli pluralism stops in everything connected to the ultra-Orthodox sector // Hanani Bleich
  • Social Welfare Minister goes on trial; Haim Katz: Considering asking for immunity
  • Assessment: The anti-Semitic female members of Congress will arrive in Israel in the next few days


Top News Summary:
Israel’s Welfare Minister, Haim Katz, is expected to resign and is considering asking the Knesset for immunity after the Attorney General decided to indict Katz for fraud and breach of trust and the High Court overruled a district court decision to allow the Afula municipality host a gender-separated concert in a municipal park - but only after the performance began. And the latest on the 'provocative arrival' of the US Congresswomen.

According to Yedioth, Minister Katz will likely resign if the Knesset does not give him immunity and history has shown that the absolute majority of indicted MKs who asked for immunity from the Knesset did not receive it. Moreover, the attorney general will instruct Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to fire Katz if he fails to resign. Interestingly, Yedioth wrote that the situation puts Netanyahu in a tricky position. As prime minister, he must act in this case and possibly fire Katz. On the other hand, as a suspect himself in criminal cases, any remark Netanyahu makes in Katz’s case could complicate him if he finds himself in a similar situation to Katz after the attorney general rules in his cases.

The papers wrote that when religious singer Motti Steinmetz came onstage to perform before the gender-separated audience in Afula, he thanked G-d, the ultra-Orthodox Interior Minister and leader of the Shas party, Arieh Dery, and Afula mayor Avi Elkabetz. But actually, he should have thanked the Arab judge who allowed it. Nazareth District Court Judge Attif Ailabouni proposed the solution, according to which, the event was separated into three wings instead of the previously banned two: one seating area for women, one for men - and a third for mixed seating.
Haaretz had a reporter at the concert who told an interesting story about what happened. But after the performance began, the High Court disqualified Judge Ailabouni’s decision. However, it was too late and the show continued on, gender-separation and all.

Also, the papers reported that Israel was preparing for “provocative” arrival (Yedioth) of the female members of Congress, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. ‘Israel Hayom’s’ headline labeled the women as the “anti-Semitic female members of Congress.” But meanwhile, Netanyahu is considering backtracking on his decision to allow them in, and is now considering banning them from entering after US President Donald Trump expressed his displeasure. The original consideration for banning them was over their support for boycotting Israel.

Elections 2019 Top Story:
In election news, Israel’s Elections Commission allowed a Kahanist party and its two Kahanist candidates to run for Knesset. After a stormy debate in which the Commission’s head, Judge Hanan Melcer, closed MK Stav Shafir’s microphone and had her removed from the podium, the petition to bar Otzma Yehudit failed to secure a majority vote because a Labor member and his replacement were absent from the session. But the final decision will be made by the High Court.

Elections 2019 Quickees:
  • Erdan says he turned down UN envoy job to help Likud win election - Public security minister Gilad Erdan says its his ‘duty’ to stay in Israel to ensure Netanyahu wins another term as prime minister. (JPost and Times of Israel)
  • Ultra-Orthodox and Arab Parties Struck Illegal Deal at Polling Stations, Haaretz Investigation Finds - United Torah Judaism and United Arab List-Balad swapped representatives at key polling stations, in violation of election laws ■ Analysis of thousands of protocols from polling stations and interviews with dozens of representatives reveal the deal. (Haaretz+)
  • (Likud Minister) Tzachi Hanegbi: "We may be able to form a broad government with some members of Kahol-Lavan party“ - The Likud Minister referred to the possibility of forming a unity government, suggesting that Gantz might join Netanyahu: “Lapid and Ya'alon have personal issues [with Netanyahu - OH], but maybe it is possible with a component of the party.” (Maariv)
  • (Likud MK, Avi) Dichter: "Netanyahu knows that in the next primaries there will be a number of contestants facing him" - Likud Knesset Member said in a radio interview in Jerusalem that in the party's next internal elections there will be someone who will contest the prime minister for its leadership: "Everyone knows this fact." (Maariv)
  • Abbas expresses hope Netanyahu will be defeated in election - PA: We want to maintain ties with US. (JPost/Maariv)
     
Quick Hits:
  • One Palestinian Hurt Wednesday 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+)
  • Top Israeli Minister Calls for Status Quo Change at Jerusalem's Temple Mount, Sparking Jordan's Ire - Jordan warns of 'dangerous repercussions' after Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan says Jews should be allowed to pray at holy site following violent clashes this week. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • Violating Promise to High Court, Jerusalem Jobs Office Turns Palestinians Away - Officials in west Jerusalem Employment Service office say they can’t serve Palestinians because there aren’t enough Arabic-speaking employees. (Haaretz+)
  • In first, Israel agrees to exclude settlements from free trade deal with S. Korea - The agreement - the first of its kind to be signed between Israel and a major Asian state - excludes Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the Golan from custom fees exemptions. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • *Palestinian teens mourn anonymously after Israeli friend is killed - Palestinian friends attest to their unique bond with murdered Israeli yeshiva student Dvir Sorek, who was part of their interfaith forum. “During each meeting, we talked about our daily lives and the future we want to build together," they write. (Israel Hayom)
  • Following his conversation with (far-right-wing activist and rapper) The Shadow: Yigal Amir was denied the possibility of conducting telephone calls - Murderer of PM Yitzhak Rabin started a hunger strike following prison decision to impose sanctions on him for attempting to form a political party. Prison Service: “We moved to deny him benefits.” (Maariv)
  • Sleepy Israeli Neighborhood Becomes a War Zone Over Netanyahu’s Corruption Cases - People in Petah Tikva aren't necessarily for Benjamin Netanyahu or against the Ethiopian Israeli community. It's the noise of the protests they can't stand. (Haaretz+)
  • IDF Homefront Command revolutionizes emergency response - The creation of a real-time situational map allows decision-makers to see which parts of the country are in most urgent need of assistance, displaying more than 250 layers of data. (Israel Hayom)
  • Filipina Sues Israel for Deporting Her and Son Without Time to Claim Their Belongings - Rosemarie Perez and her son were deported to the Philippines without money or clothes, and forbidden from calling relatives ahead of their arrival. (Haaretz+)
  • In first-ever review, UN racism panel presses Palestinian Authority - In a rare plea, the PA delegation asks for “slack” from the UN committee. Several of the UN experts pressed the PA on its failure to implement anti-discrimination policies, requesting proof that textbook materials had been reviewed for anti-Semitic material, and asking for explanations for Palestinian officials’ documented incitement to terrorism. (Israel Hayom)
  • House Republicans indicate openness to alternatives to two-state solution - “The world is constantly changing. Look at Lebanon. Look at Syria. Things are always in flux in these areas, so how can we choose a solution now without knowing what’s going to happen in a few years?” said House of Representatives Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli Company Nice Wins $137 Million Contract From U.S. FAA - System will be used to help with incident response. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli company developing 'suicide' drone to take out enemy UAVs - ELTA planning 'sophisticated upgrade' to its current 'Drone Guard' system, which has sold to defense agencies all over the world; the aircraft will be able to identify the target's flight path and fly directly into it. (Ynet)
  • Iranian commander: Hezbollah honed its skills in Syria, can destroy Israel - IRGC head says Shiite terrorist group can obliterate Israel without help because of new capabilities obtained in Syrian civil war. Comments seem to affirm Israel's concerns over Iranian-backed activity in war-torn country. (Israel Hayom)
  • Syrian government closes in on town that was bombed with sarin - Regime forces are just a few kilometers from Khan Sheikhoun, where a 2017 sarin gas attack killed dozens of Syrians. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • In Lebanon, a monastery brings together Christians scattered by war - The monastery, which is nestled in a remote valley in the northern Lebanese mountains and dates from the fourth century, is a meeting place for Christians who have fled conflict. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • 1st US ethnic studies plan called anti-Semitic, faces update - Jewish lawmakers say the proposed curriculum focuses on targeting Islamophobia but ignores anti-Semitism and has song lyrics supporting the idea of Jews controlling the media; while conservatives criticize the curriculum for describing capitalism as a 'form of oppression.’ (Agencies, Ynet)


Features:
Lose the Evidence, Close the Case Twice: How a Palestinian's Complaint Was Handled
'Comedy of errors' by Israeli police in the West Bank reflects amateurishness at best, a human rights lawyer says. (Yotam Berger, Haaretz+)
A photographic history of Temple Mount
A new exhibit at the Tower of David Museum offers the public a glimpse at 180 years of photographs of the most volatile spot in the Middle East, many of which haven't been seen in decades. (Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom)
This Tel Aviv Sex Shop Is Keeping It Kosher
Rabbi Shmuley's daughter Chana Boteach is following in the family footsteps with her modest new Tel Aviv store, hoping to help people rediscover their sensuality through Judaism (and sex toys).
(Patty Nieberg, Haaretz+)
Jews and Arabs together against the Nazis
For the first three years of World War II, Jews and Arabs fought, ate, trained, were taken prisoner, and killed together, says Professor Mustafa Abbasi. While that brotherhood fizzled out after the war, he says, "it gives us a sliver of hope for the future.” (Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom)

Commentary/Analysis:
The Isawiyah Syndrome (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) What’s happening in Isawiyah [Palestinian village on edge of E. Jerusalem - OH] now contains everything, the entire landscape of our homeland. There’s the disregard of the main issue and the preoccupation with marginal ones, the abuse and the crimes of the occupation in the guise of protecting security, the belief that it’s possible to solve everything with force, and of course, further proof of apartheid in another Bantustan. Isawiyah is the Hong Kong of the Israeli occupation, except minus the flourishing economy, needless to say. Just as Hong Kong is a “special administrative region” of the People’s Republic of China, Isawiyah is a special administrative region of the occupation.
May Dvir Sorek’s legacy be a lesson to the Jewish Left (Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom) Faced with what they clearly viewed as a contradiction, Israel Prize laureate David Grossman and his fellow peace fantasists were stunned.
Wanted: A police force for all Israelis (Rasool Saada, Ynet/Yedioth) A crackdown on organized crime pushed criminals to places with less scrutiny - the Arab neighborhoods; law enforcement agencies may understand they need a community-based policy to make people feel safer, but recent budget cuts are not helping an entire sector that is suffering.
The Israeli Right’s Virtual-reality High Court (Amir Fuchs, Haaretz+) A new TV program hosted by Avri Gilad dealt last week with fighting terror in Gaza. In one of his conversations with listeners, Gilad described the expulsion of Hamas members to Gaza in the early 1990s. According to the version touted by Gilad, who is known for his controversial slips of the tongue, 400 Hamas activists were deported to Lebanon but later “returned to Israel by the High Court of Justice,” ultimately becoming terrorist leaders. First, the truth: When the deportees were still in Israel, waiting on buses, the Supreme Court approved their deportation unanimously, in a decision joined by its then-president Meir Shamgar and its future president Aharon Barak. The High Court did not return them to Israel. On the contrary, they were deported and remained in Lebanon. Anyone can make mistakes in a live broadcast, but this one reflects a distorted mindset, fostered by politicians, opinion shapers, think tanks and others, according to whom the Supreme Court is “tying the hands of the authorities” in their war on terror. This is stated as part of the effort to justify the undermining of the court’s authority. In reality, the situation is exactly the opposite: In most cases – in fact, almost always – the Supreme Court approves the methods the authorities wish to employ in the war on terror.
No, the United Nations didn’t create Israel (Ken Cohen, Israel Hayom) Israel owes little to nothing to the UN; the Jewish state exists due to its own ability to assert the Jewish people’s right as an indigenous people to its ancestral homeland.
'Kashmir Is Palestine': Why Both India and Pakistan Want to Push This Ominous Comparison (Kunwar Khuldune Shahid, Haaretz+) In Kashmir, Modi wants Israeli settler-style demographic change and Pakistan wants a new intifada to explode. But the Israel-Palestine conflict comparisons - and their dangerous consequences - go even further.
Netanyahu sees the appointment of the UN ambassador as the exile of the Likud officials who threaten him (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) Gilad Erdan had good sense when he rejected the Prime Minister's proposal to be ambassador to the UN. The problem is that Netanyahu sees the role in New York as an instrument by which he expresses what he thinks of politicians around him.
Segregation Halted, for Now (Haaretz Editorial) Wednesday’s ruling by the Nazareth District Court paves the way for the expansion of the scourge of gender segregation. With the encouragement of the Interior Ministry, many local councils will be happy to embrace the ruling by Judge Attif Ailabouni, whose meaning is loud and clear: Local authorities can enforce gender segregation.
Erosion of Hezbollah's power must be leveraged (Itzhak Levanon, Israel Hayom) The Iranian backed Shiite terrorist group is facing growing opposition in Lebanon and beyond. This is a welcome trend that should be encouraged if we are to see the group's future dissolution.

Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
How to remove 3 suspicions from an election campaign (Memi Pe’er, Ynet Hebrew) As a media consultant for a candidate, I would dictate a security-political agenda, create spins on a daily basis, utilize the Twitter gang, and make leaks according to my needs. Sound familiar?
Three Basic Scenarios for Israel’s Upcoming Election: Sweet Dreams, King Lieberman and Your Worst Nightmare (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) It takes a swing of only five Knesset seats to save Netanyahu from prosecution and undermine Israeli democracy – or vice versa.
A word to Kahol-Lavan people: This is not the direction that the millions who supported you had intended (Yitzhak Ben-Ner, Maariv) Hundreds of thousands who voted for Gantz and Lapid’s party called for no integration in the current government's leather chairs, but for an agreement, if not a bloc, with the opposition parties.
One issue is leading Israel into oblivion, and everyone is ignoring it (Amnon Abramovich, Yedioth/Ynet) With politicians busy exchanging accusations and political blows this election cycle, they are all pretending not to see the elephant in the territories and instead are again allowing the prime minster to let his personal considerations dictate what will be the main focus of the September vote.
Our fate is in the hands of the politicians who are world champion in distractions and idle arguments (Shmuel Rosner, Maariv) In the election, we will vote about transportation and gender segregation and ties that did or did not exist with Jeffrey Epstein. We will not vote on China, Russia, America, immigration, global warming.
Netanyahu is also afraid of Arabs (Maisam Jaljuli, Ynet Hebrew) The racist campaign to place cameras at polling stations in Arab communities has a reason: high voter turnout will result in his loss of power. Hence, any improper means is kosher.
Israeli Labor Chief’s ‘Radical Distributive Policy’ Doesn’t Bode Well (Sami Peretz, Haaretz+) Labor Chairman Amir Peretz took a big gamble when he decided to run on a joint ticket with Orli Levi-Abekasis’ Gesher party rather than Meretz, contrary to the wishes of many Labor voters. Now Peretz is doubling that risk by releasing a socioeconomic plan described by one of its authors, Prof. Danny Gutwein, as “radical distributive policy.” The two decisions rest on the same ambition: to shift low-income voters and voters outside the major cities from the right to the left. The hope is to fight the trend of Labor voters abandoning the party, and the chance that Labor-Gesher won’t make it into the Knesset.
Leaders, practice care when you speak (Yossi Beilin, Israel Hayom) The public's faith in its politicians would be greatly improved if they made more honest, not to mention realistic campaign promises.
A left-wing victory could halt further progress in the economy (Zalman Shuval, Maariv) With regard to the economic and social issue, it is not inevitable that the red color will seep into government programs where the Democratic Camp will be a key partner. Hopefully this nightmare will not come true.
Ayelet Shaked's Poor Attempt at Coming Up With a Political Vision (Ziva Sternhell, Haaretz+) The oath to values that Ayelet Shaked proudly announced last week, and which she said members of United Right would be signing, provides a good opportunity to examine the worldview of the woman who the media have already crowned as a possible future contender for prime minister. In 2016 Shaked wrote a long essay for the journal Hashiloah, in which she explained her worldview, the foundation for her conduct as justice minister. The article is full of references to important thinkers and theoretical definitions that are meant to validate her struggle against the High Court of Justice, to explain the concept of “governability” to which she frequently refers, and to expound on how she views the idea of a Jewish, democratic state. the essay reveals that the pious theoretical cloak in which Shaked is trying to wrap herself is thin and full of holes, in part because morality – as a universal value – is totally absent from her views….Moreover, the completely baseless thesis she develops in the essay, to the effect that it was Judaism that gave rise to democratic principles, demonstrates the volatile link between Israel’s secular education system – which has disengaged itself from sources of universal culture – and messianic conceptions.
If Gantz's performances continue in the current direction, it will find its expression in the ballot box (Abraham Tirosh, Maariv) The ongoing election campaign is not doing well for the Kahol-Lavan leader, nor for his party. He is mistaken, confused, and raises doubts about his leadership and fitness to be prime minister.
 
Interviews:
'The world understands - Israel isn't the problem'
As the long-term head of Israel's public diplomacy efforts, Yarden Vatikay, leaves public service for the private sector, he sits down with Israel Hayom to discuss the delicate balance Israel has to maintain in fighting for its image, which is an integral part of fighting for its survival. (Interviewed by  Yoav Limor in Israel Hayom)

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