News Nosh 8.20.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday August 20, 2019

 
Quote of the day:
"Using Palestinians as a tool, as raw material, in the hands of the occupier is a daily event. Any Israeli soldier who has carried out operational activity in the territories knows this. In my unit, for example, we were sent to break into the homes of innocent Palestinians to try out new tools designed for use in break-ins."
--Achiya Schatz, communications director of Breaking the Silence, writes that the Israeli police planting of weapons in Palestinian homes for the sake of an invented story in docudrama is similar to what Israeli soldiers do.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
On Sunday afternoon, as the soccer players and the audience gathered for the opening of the annual soccer tournament between Palestinian families of Jerusalem’s Old City, Israeli police officers arrived at the order of Minister Gilad Erdan and ordered the crowd to disperse, confiscated posters and other equipment, claiming that the event was linked to the Palestinian Authority.**

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week
Israel Hayom


Top News Summary:
Former justice minister and chairwoman of the Yamina list, Ayelet Shaked, reportedly tried to bribe Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu by promising to influence the Attorney General to give Netanyahu immunity in his corruption cases if he promised to give her a high spot in the Likud party, while Israel promised to give Gazans aid to get to the airport if they promised to emigrate and three Golani brigade combat soldiers were dismissed after they refused to fight in a Gaza border incident, in which one officer was injured and it took three hours for six soldiers to kill the lone Palestinian militant earlier this month, making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu made a ‘limited achievement’ (Yedioth) from his visit to Ukraine because despite signing economic and political bilateral agreements with the country, which also promised to open a Jerusalem investment center (but not a Jerusalem embassy - to Netanyahu’s chagrin),  the whole visit was seen by Israeli media as a pre-elections gimmick to get votes away from the mostly Russian-voting Yisrael Beiteinu party - and because his wife, Sara, made some embarrassing faux pas. Sara not only reportedly was restrained by her own security guards from entering the cockpit to chastise the pilots for not greeting her at the start of the flight, she also threw out the traditional Ukrainian bread offered to her by the Ukranians upon landing at their airport, upsetting Ukrainians.

Some 35,000 Gazans left the tiny Strip via Egypt in 2018 and now Israel says it will pay for flights and drive Gazans to an Israeli airport if more agree to leave.

Elections 2019 News:
Leader of the far-right-wing list, Yamina, Ayelet Shaked denied
 that she tried to bribe Netanyahu
by promising him that if she were given a spot in Likud, she would make sure he got immunity in corruption cases because she ‘controls’ the attorney general. She called it an ‘assassination attempt.’ Haaretz broke the story and saw messages sent as part of Shaked's efforts to join Likud, before she took the reins of the united right-wing slate, Yamina. One of her associates said that "if she doesn't control the justice ministry, it's clear Bibi is going to jail." Channel 12 News reported that Likud and Yamina were in negotiations and that Likud will start campaigning against the small right-wing parties that do not pass the threshold, and in return - Yamina will not demand the resignation of the prime minister in case of indictment. (Maariv) The opposition responded calling for an investigation. (Maariv) Meanwhile, Netanyahu accused Lieberman of joining the left-wing for agreeing to share surplus votes with center-left Kahol-Lavan party.

And Chairman of the Labor-Gesher list, Amir Peretz, ‘shot in all directions’ in an interview with "Israel Hayom.”  On Kahol-Lavan, he said: “It will fall apart, it has no ideology…It has an expiry date - right after the election.” On Labor's situation: "There was a severe crisis, we will achieve 15 seats.” On Stav Shair leaving the party: “She went to the place right for her.” The paper wrote that Peretz "is trying to breathe new life into the battered party, which sank in the last election under Avi Gabbay's baton, to an unprecedented low of 6 seats. Their burst of activity has come in recent weeks with meetings with various sectors of society across the country, but despite his effort to make the Labor-Gesher list with Orly Levi-Abekasis a socio-economic alternative, the polls project no more than 7 mandates for the list." (Interviewed by Yuri Yalon in Israel Hayom Hebrew)

 
Quick Hits:
  • Blow to the image of the new Comptroller: Ex-judge backs away from appointment as chair of Comptroller's Permits Committee - Sara Frish says office, rocked by turmoil over Netanyahu corruption investigation, has become a ‘ball on the political playing field.’ (Ynet Hebrew and Haaretz Hebrew and Israel Hayom)
  • **Israeli Police Break Up Arab Soccer Tournament in Jerusalem’s Old City - Organizers deny interior minister's accusation that contest is sponsored by Palestinian Authority. (Haaretz+)
  • The police complained: "The detainee attacked us.” The judge: "It's a pity he is detained, and you aren't" - In a hearing to extend the detention of a man suspected of attacking police, the judge harshly criticized the law enforcers. Judge: "How can you claim violence from a suspect whose hands and feet were handcuffed? Ugly speech makes him a despicable man, in my view, but that is not a criminal offense. The policeman used a tazer against him when he was handcuffed, and the result is that the suspect standing before me was detained, and the policeman was not detained, and it is a pity that he was not," he concluded angrily. (Maariv)
  • Facebook post spurs calls to murder Israeli police officer - After Hamas-affiliated news agency singles out the officer that shot Palestinian terrorist in Jerusalem's Old City on Aug. 15, social media campaign aims to take revenge. (Israel Hayom)
  • Hamas: Lone wolf incidents could lead to unwanted Israel-Gaza escalation - Lone-actors are motivated by growing dissatisfaction with delays to improve conditions, official says. (i24News and Maariv, p. 4)
  • Imitating Hamas, Hezbollah brings arson terror to northern border - Hezbollah operatives over the weekend approached Israel's border with Lebanon, in broad daylight and with no interruption, and set fires in several locations, Channel 12 reports. Vehicles belonging to the UN's peacekeeping force reportedly passed by and did nothing. (Israel Hayom)
  • Gaza-based jihadi group accuses Hamas of apostasy, praises ISIS - In video posted to Telegram, Jaysh Al-Islam accuses Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoot Hamas of adopting Western attitudes and allying with "nonbelievers" Saudi Arabia, Iran. (Israel Hayom)
  • Trump confirms peace plan to be released after Israeli elections - Long-awaited proposal was to have been unveiled in summer, but was delayed due to fresh Israeli vote set for September 17. (Times of Israel, Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Omar, Tlaib on Israeli Travel Ban: 'We Can't Let Trump and Netanyahu Hide Occupation' - 'Denying visits from dully elected members of Congress is not consistent with being an ally,' Omar says alongside Tlaib in press conference slamming decision to bar their visit. (Haaretz)
  • U.S. scraps West Bank conference over Palestinian protests - The conference initiated by the U.S Embassy in Jerusalem, set to bring together alumni of U.S. educational and cultural programs was canceled after Palestinians deem it an attempt to circumvent boycott of U.S. administration. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • New German defense minister reaffirms support for two-state solution in Jordan visit - Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was in Amman in order to extend the mandate of German troops fighting Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Jordanian parliament recommends expelling the Israeli ambassador and examining the peace treaty with Israel - Against the backdrop of events at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Temple Mount, the Speaker urged Parliament to move from "the language of speech to the language of acts." He strongly condemned the "provocation of the occupation forces.” (Maariv and Israel Hayom)
  • Released for publication: Jordanian citizen, who planned to stab soldier, was arrested in Hadera with knife found on him - A Jordanian young man of Palestinian origin was arrested on suspicion of planning a stabbing attack and even began to search for a suitable victim for the attack, but was arrested after arousing suspicions of a police officer. He arrived on a tourist visa in June to visit his sister who lives in the Territories of the Palestinian Authority. (Maariv and Israel Hayom)
  • In bid to 'fight corruption' Palestinian leader fires league of advisers - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas dismisses all of his advisers and ordered a former prime minister and other ex-cabinet ministers to return tens of thousands of dollars from a pay raise he had secretly approved. (Agencies, Israel Hayom and Maariv)
  • Mysterious Israeli Businessman Behind Mega-deal to Supply Spy Planes to UAE - Two business jets, an offshore company, millions in cash, wealthy Gulf royals one Israeli businessman - and Iran. Leaked documents reveal the secrets behind the United Arab Emirates' newest spy planes. (Haaretz+)
  • Targeting LGBTQ Organization, Palestinian Authority Calls to Halt West Bank Community Event - West Bank police statement, which sparked wave of violent incitement on social media, specifically went after Nablus 'queer camp' held by al-Qaws Organization. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • Images of Israelis held in Cyprus internment camps spark tears and memories - An appeal for people to help name those held by the British for trying to enter pre-state Palestine elicited a wave of responses; Bella Dermer recognized her five-year-old self in the makeshift kindergarten; Shmil Katz was amazed to see his a photo of baby brother's brit, which the family never had; and Anat Yahav can see her son's resemblance to his late grandfather. (Ynet)
  • Civilian death toll mounts as Syrian offensive widens - An air strike in the village of Deir Sharki killed seven members of one family, most of them children, on Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Turkey says three killed in strike on convoy Syria slammed as act of aggression - Convoy reportedly entered Syria to help insurgents in the town of Khan Sheikhoun fighting a government advance. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Turkey ousts three Kurdish-aligned mayors, citing links to outlawed militant group - Police detain 418 people in 29 provinces in an investigation targeting suspected supporters of PKK, considered a terror organization by Ankara. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iranian tanker sought by U.S. departs Gibraltar for Greece - Tehran has warned the U.S. against any new attempt to seize oil tanker in open seas. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran's Zarif rules out talks with U.S. over a new nuclear deal - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday said Iran is not interested in talks with Trump. (Agencies, Haaretz)


Features:
‘Furious and Confused’: Liberal U.S. Jews Fume Over Israel's Tlaib-Omar Rejection
As one longtime Israel supporter says on barring of Tlaib and Omar: ‘I didn’t think I would see in my lifetime American Jews walk back from Israel this much.’ (Dina Kraft and Danielle Ziri, Haaretz+)
A forgotten Jerusalem: Rare color footage from 1930s casts new light on holy city
The archive at the capital's Cinematheque is being digitized, and treasures are being revealed — like this rare fiootage showing the Old City and the vibrant mix of Old Yishuv Jews, Muslims and Christians alongside the city's holy sites. (Ynet)
Haaretz Photo Blog: The Last Years of Golda Meir in Never-before-seen Pictures
National Library of Israel reveals new photographs ahead of the release of a documentary on the country's only female prime minister. (Dr. Hezi Amior, National Library of Israel, Haaretz)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
We Miss You, Uri Avnery (Nehemia Shtrasler, Haaretz+) I was sure that he would do the work, and I was surprised when he said, “Nehemia, you scatter the ashes.” It was a shock. Me scatter Avnery’s ashes? Doesn’t it require special training? But Shlomi didn’t wait for an answer. He handed me the box, which I held onto with awe and reverence…Avnery spilled out like a light cloud wafting over the waves with the breeze, before landing on the water and disappearing. And then Gaby Lasky said: “The sea will never be the same sea.” And was she right. If Avnery were with us today, he would go wild over the fact that the conflict with the Palestinians isn’t central to the election campaign, or actually even a marginal issue. After all, he had spent his entire life seeking a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, out of deep recognition that only a peace agreement ending the conflict would guarantee Israel’s existence over time…Back in the 1950s, Avnery was preaching about the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza and the integration of Israel into the “Semitic region.” Following the Six-Day War, he was the one who coined the expression “two states for two peoples.” But he also once remarked sadly: “My ideas won over public opinion but they were defeated at the political level.”
End which occupation? (Steve Frank, Israel Hayom) For most Palestinians, the occupation is not limited to the West Bank but consists of “historic Palestine,” which includes the whole of Israel.
*The ‘Jerusalem District’ Reality Show and Other ‘Illustrations’ (Achiya Schatz, Haaretz+) About two weeks ago, Haaretz reporter Nir Hasson exposed the story of the police who planted a weapon in the home of Samer Sleiman in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Isawiyah during the filming of the television reality series “Jerusalem District.” Since then two other incidents have been discovered of police officers planting weapons and drugs in the homes of Palestinians in East Jerusalem. One of the Palestinians recounted that following the filming, he was been beaten by unknown individuals. Koda Communications, which produced “Jerusalem District,” explained that the planting of weaponry was done as “illustration,” to simulate the work of the police. For purposes of illustration, armed police entered the homes of Palestinians who were made to appear like drug dealers or collaborators…Using Palestinians as a tool, as raw material, in the hands of the occupier is a daily event. Any Israeli soldier who has carried out operational activity in the territories knows this. In my unit, for example, we were sent to break into the homes of innocent Palestinians to try out new tools designed for use in break-ins. In 2013, another unit received new equipment to break down doors. It was tested on Palestinians’ doors. We also used to “map” Palestinian homes as “field” training. I discovered how common this was when I joined the organization Breaking the Silence. One soldier recounted: “You go in, practice making an arrest, apprehend the person, you know, pretending and everything. You invent something about him, and then apprehend him and let him go.” Another soldier said his team was sent to enter a home so the soldiers could be filmed for Channel 2 eating Hanukkah donuts. The family was told to stay in the basement.
Israel is the sole sovereign of the Temple Mount  (Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Israel Hayom) Amman had no right to summon Israel's ambassador to Jordan over supposed "violations" on the Temple Mount. The Hashemite kingdom needs to be reminded that we Jews have worshipped there for over 3,000 years.
How the once-fringe Jewish Temple Movement is going mainstream (Yonathan Mizrachi, +972mag) The Jewish Temple Movement has for years tried to change the status quo in one of the most contested holy sites in the world. Now the most mainstream figures on the Israeli right are finally listening.
Democrats (have) let radicals take the lead (Jonathan S. Tobin, Israel Hayom) After the Tlaib and Omar ban, the Democrats are talking of censuring ambassadors over the controversy. But ignoring the congresswomen's anti-Semitic connections is the real scandal.
Not Just Rashida's Grandmother (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) This is what she tweeted: “My late grandmother, who came to Israel after the Holocaust and voted her whole life for the Labor Party, always said the following: 1. A good Arab is a …. Arab [the ellipsis is in the original]. 2. If you turn your back on an Arab he’ll stick a knife in it. 3. Be a friend to whoever you want, marry only a Jew.” And she ended her tweet with the words: “Granny is always right.” Sassover offered us an encapsulated, pithy lesson on Israeli society. We’ve known for a long time that social media, the police and the justice system in Israel respond to hatred and aggression with ease and understanding, as long as the writers are members of the Jewish majority. And so, like thousands of other Israelis, Sassover felt secure in tweeting what she did. Despite this tolerance, apparently her legal background stopped her from completing the sentence “A good Arab is a…Arab.” She omitted the word “dead.” The saying is so deeply ingrained in Israeli folklore that anyone who wants to will understand it. We also know that when a French citizen expresses himself with that same coarseness, but instead of “Arab,” says “Jew,” the antennae at the institutes for the study of anti-Semitism go wild, and professors Dina Porat and Bernard Henri Levi speak worriedly to interviewers on every radio and television station.
As Palestinian Authority and Jordan foment riots, Israeli Arab imams preach peace (Evelyn Gordon, Israel Hayom) In mosque after mosque throughout Israel, imams prefer to send a message of peace, thereby underscoring the true story of the past few years – not a breakdown of Jewish-Arab relations, but growing Arab integration.
Secular values are at risk in Israel's public schools (Ram Cohen, Israel Hayom) To ignore the values of the public school system, foremost among them humanism, liberalism, democracy, and equality is to not understand the nature of public education in the first place.
Israel's Lousy Schools, Lousy Students, Lousy Workers (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) How mystery goo on a vacuum backs the Bank of Israel's argument that Israel's economic problems begin in the classroom. Israel has been bedazzled too long by its high-tech prowess to pay much attention to the other 90% of the workforce. Israeli adults have lower levels of basic workplace skills than their peers in countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. That should come as no surprise because Israeli students score embarrassingly badly on international exams of student performance in science, math and reading.   
Not the time for a Gaza campaign (Amnon Lord, Israel Hayom) Tensions in southern Israel are not reminiscent of the days prior to Operation Protective Edge in 2014. There is no reason for us to rush into another war in Gaza.
Israel's worthwhile gamble in Gaza (Shabtai Brill, Yedioth/Ynet) Setting up an interim Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip, with expanded territory into Egypt and a fully functioning seaport, would ease the pressure on both Cairo and Jerusalem; the Gazans would have commitments of their own, including eliminating the tunnels, upholding demilitarization and avoiding enemy activity against its neighbors.
Israel should consider a restricted ground operation in Gaza (Prof. Efraim Inbar, Israel Hayom) The arguments against a ground operation against Hamas terrorism are understandable, but Israel's campaign of precision airstrikes following intelligence gathering is not getting the job done.
Gaza conflict has no magic cure, whatever Israel's politicians say (Ariela Ringel-Hoffman, Yedioth/Ynet) From Netanyahu to Bennett, Gantz to Barak, everyone is willing to use the years-long conflict with Hamas to build themselves up and tear their opponents down - but where would that actually get us?
We are the defenders of Israel, not the 'Gaza periphery' (Tamir Idan, Israel Hayom) Defining the vibrant communities of the western Negev as "Gaza-adjacent" implies that our entire existence is defined by and revolves around our neighbors to the west.

Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
Israeli Election Mismatch Pits Fire-breathing Netanyahu Against Sluggish Gantz (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) The center-left candidate is storming the Prime Minister’s Office with all the enthusiasm of a prisoner consigned to hard labor.
For the first time in a long time, the Labor party seeks to create an equitable Israeli society (Dr. Revital Amiran, Maariv) Peretz's aggressive conduct justly received a furious response from the party, but if that is the degree of determination with which he seeks to implement his economic plan and to extend it to land as well, that’s good enough for us.
You don't replace winning incitement (TV critic, Einav Shiff, Yedioth Hebrew) Yisrael Beiteinu's election campaign makes Tommy Lapid's [anti-ultra-Orthodox - OH] 'Shinui' party look like a fanatic sect of the Gur Ultra-Orthodox community. The amount of poison poured in the video clips and interviews about the ultra-Orthodox community is one of the most disgusting seen here, and the pay-off in the polls is particularly depressing: Avigdor Lieberman was there when Netanyahu made a pact with the 'natural partners' [ultra-Orthodox parties - OH] and didn't exactly turn the tables on end.
Israel's Labor Party takes the socioeconomic agenda off the table (Eytan Avriel, Haaretz+) Its plan to tax the upper middle class to pay for a giant social-welfare plan discredits the idea of helping the needy.
 
Interviews:
'Israel Can’t Afford to Be a Sweetie': Martin Amis on Writing, Innocence and Jewish Manhood
As English literature's longtime 'bad boy' is about to turn 70, he explains what a novelist has to do to 'earn the right weight.' (Interviewed by Dor Shilton in Haaretz+)


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