News Nosh 9.8.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday September 8, 2019

You Must Be Kidding #1: 

"Rabin murdered Holocaust survivors."
--Yair Netanyahu, son of the prime minister, wrote in a Tweet.

You Must Be Kidding #2: 
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has repeatedly warned in recent days of the danger that the election will be “stolen" due to alleged voter fraud by Arab citizens of Israel. The Likud party alleged voter fraud at more than a hundred polling stations from the April elections.
The police investigated and found one case in favor of Likud.**

Front Page:
  • Likud party filed complaints against more than 100 polling stations, the police found suspicion of fake vote at just one
  • Netanyahu is not interested in purity of elections but of purification of the nation // Haaretz Editorial
  • 17-year-old moderately wounded in stabbing attack in the West Bank, his father was lightly wounded
  • US and Iran harshen the tone, but Israel thinks that Trump and Rouhani will meet // Amos Harel
  • Municipalities took advantage of elections to change the guidelines for deporting children of foreigners
  • In a quarter of the identification line-ups in recent years, witnesses idnetified with certainty people who weren't suspects
  • Not just talk // Nati Tucker on Likud promoting bill at night to cancel the Cable and Satellite Council that Netanyahu wanted to close down
  • What wasn't // Gideon Levy writes that Israel was less democratic before Netanyahu
  • The film that turns Yigal Amir into a movie hero is a reminder that the murder of Rabin was not an act of madness // Shani Littman
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Attorney General will warn the ministers: Cameras law will disrupt the elections (Hebrew)
  • The new threat: Hamas’ explosive drones
  • Floating danger // Yossi Yehoshua
  • Exclusive: (Muslim-Arab Israeli soccer player,) Totaha received offer from Beitar Jerusalem team
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • Cameras reach the government - In an exceptional move, Attorney General will participate (in cabinet meeting)
  • Three stages of Kahol-Lavan // Yaakov Berdugo
  • Cameras Law - It’s time // Gilad Zwick
  • Only 53% of voters are sure who they will vote for
  • The best of ‘Friends’ - ‘Friends’ television series celebrates 25th anniversary and calls on ‘Israel Hayom’ readers to choose their favorite episode
  • Fear: Jihad is pushing for escalation
  • The elections warm-up // Yoav Limor
  • Exclusive - Education Ministry opposes ultra-Orthodox state schools with core studies
  • Closing circle - The machine gun of the Golani Brigade soldier who fell in the Six Day War was found in digs in the Golan Heights

Top News Summary:
The battle over the Camera Law, the Palestinian drone and the clashes along the Gaza border and the Israelis who were stabbed by a teen when going to their Palestinian dentist in the West Bank were top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Also making news was the Iranian announcement that Iran has the capacity to raise uranium enrichment beyond 20 percent.

In an unusual move, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblitt would be attending the government cabinet meeting today to try to convince Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the ministers that the law they are pushing to allow putting cameras in polling stations to prevent voter fraud will disrupt the elections and they should drop it. (UPDATE: They passed it.) Last week the Elections Committee Chair, Justice Hanan Melcer, said the “Cameras in polls will cause chaos.” Netanyahu denied that the cameras were targeting Arab voters even though he and his party have been saying that there is rampant voter fraud at Arab polling stations. The police checked this and found the claim to be wrong. In the last elections, Likud deployed some cameras without permission at Arab polling stations and some Arab citizens felt uncomfortable being filmed and left without voting. Many politicians say that this is the goal this time. An unnamed senior right-wing official told Yedioth (Hebrew): “The law does not interest Netanyahu nor the Likud, they only want to wake-up the right-wing public and deter the Arab (voters).“

Israeli newspapers were far more concerned with the Gaza drone that hit an Israeli vehicle, than they were with the fact that two Palestinian teens killed by IDF gunfire during "especially violent" Gaza border protests. The killing of the Palestinian teens, aged 14 and 17, got a line in the middle of the articles about the drones. But the Palestinians reacted with five rockets launched towards Israel, Haaretz noted.

What did get headlines was the stabbing of two Israelis in a West Bank town by a 15-year-old Palestinian with a pocket knife. The father and son were lightly and moderately wounded when they entered the village of Azzoun to see their Palestinian dentist. The dentist jumped on the attacking youth and gave medical treatment to the father and son. (Maariv) Palestinian sources said the teen perpetrator surrendered himself to the Palestinian security services. Maariv and Yedioth wrote about the Palestinian doctor, who “doesn't regret helping Israeli victims despite death threats.” Dr. Amin Mansour has a large clientele among Russian-speaking Israelis due to his knowledge of the language, says it's his 'duty as a physician' to treat anyone in need regardless of their background.

Elections 2019 Quickees:
  • A week and a half before the election, only 53% of Israelis have decided how to vote and of them, most would vote for Kahol-Lavan - Poll published Sunday. With a week and a half left before ballots are cast, voter turn-out of more importance than ever. Kahol-Lavan performs well as a "No. 2" choice for supporters of Labor, Yisrael Beytenu. The poll attempted to project the number of seats each party would win based only on supporters who said they were very certain about their choices. In that scenario, 31 seats were projected for Kahol-Lavan (Blue and White), compared to 30 for the Likud. Yisrael Beytenu was predicted to finish in third place, with 11 seats, followed by the Joint Arab List, with 10. (Israel Hayom)
  • Poll published Friday: Likud retakes lead, Right nears 60 seats without Lieberman - Kahol-Lavan drops to 30 seats, while Labor-Gesher gains at the expense of the Democratic Union. Some 40% of respondents say that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the best candidate to lead the government. (Israel Hayom)
  • Likud and Kahol Lavan tied in election polls, but majority coalition remains uncertain - Thursday night: Both major parties gain strength ahead of Israel's September 17 ballot, while Kahanist party Otzma Yehudit seen inching closer the electoral threshold. (Haaretz)
  • Likud and Kahol-Lavan - 32 each, a stable Lieberman with 10 seats - One-and-a-half weeks left until the elections, and there’s almost a tie between the blocs: 56 for the right, 54 for the center-left. At present, neither party has the option of forming a government without Yisrael Beiteinu. (Maariv)
  • Lieberman: "Likud plans to launch brutal violence at the polling stations” - Chairman of Yisrael Beiteinu addressed the Cameras Law, saying that there is a directive from the ruling party to use violence: "Such a decision would not be approved without receiving explicit approval.” (Maariv)
  • **Netanyahu Alleged Massive Arab Voter Fraud. Police Found One Case - in Favor of Likud - Police investigated suspected fraud in six ballots sent by election committee. Two are alleged to have been rigged in favor of Likud and Shas. Netanyahu convenes gov't meeting to advance bill allowing cameras in polling stations. (Haaretz+)
  • Risking Vote Irregularities, Israel Election Board OKs Unbalanced Monitor Assignment - Haaretz found a correlation between unbalanced precinct committees and polling stations with potential irregularities; Central Elections Committee says such configurations are unavoidable. (Haaretz)
  • Netanyahu attacks Kahol-Lavan: “They want to steal the elections from us“ - In the wake of the petition filed against the Likud's request to place cameras at polling stations across the country, the PM said Friday that "the last thing Gantz and Lapid want is a true count of votes and the purity of the elections." (Maariv)
  • Kahol-Lavan, Likud turn sights on smaller parties as elections near - As the campaign enters its final week, and the parties shift direction and change their messaging in a final push to win more votes, one thing remains certain: No one knows how this election will end and what kind of government will emerge. (Israel Hayom)
  • Likud MK to far-right anti-gay Party: Quit race and we’ll end non-Orthodox worship at Western Wall - Though the meeting was initiated by MK Zohar, he claims it was sanctioned by the prime minister, still Likud issued a denial saying Noam was not offered anything to drop out of the race. (Ynet)
  • Bypassing the Attorney General: In an unofficial video, Netanyahu promised farmers to stop enforcing the law - The video featuring Netanyahu is free of the party's stamp and is not officially a Likud video clip. This is an illegal attempt by the PM to collect votes. (Ben Caspit, Maariv+VIDEO)
  • Arab alliance struggles to get voters fired up ahead of Israel's election - 'We’re two weeks from the election and we don’t feel any movement,' campaign worker for the four-party Joint List says amid fears that dull messaging would keep many Arab voters at home on September 17. (Haaretz+)
  • Likud claims: Internal polls indicate an increase in support from Russian public - At the Russian headquarters of the party, they launched a campaign in which over 100 billboards were distributed. At Yisrael Beiteinu they say: "Netanyahu always remembers immigrants just before the elections and forgets them afterwards.” (Maariv)
  • Foreign minister says ultra-Orthodox will not 'extort' Likud - Israel Katz claims there's no chance for Netanyahu to be replaced as Likud leader in a 'democratic way' and lends his support for U.S.-Israel defense alliance in a fight against Iranian missile enterprise and nuclear ambitions. (Ynet)
  • Druze representative quits Democratic Union, warns Arabs will not vote for Barak - Ali Salalha says party failed to take him seriously and that former prime minister Ehud Barak will drive away the Arab voters it seeks to win over. (Haaretz+)

Quick Hits:
  • Top Israeli Court Orders State to Clear Palestinian Area It Turned Into Landfill - Israel Railways dumped tons of dirt onto Palestinian land next to the West Bank settlement of Nili to be used for a park, ignoring orders to cease and desist. (Haaretz)
  • *“Broke the law": Yair Netanyahu attacked the late Yitzhak Rabin in the wake of the column by Maariv commentator Kalman Libskind - PM's son caused a stir on Twitter when he attacked the former prime minister. "Rabin broke the law by lecturing in America while still a public servant, earning a fortune. When they brought it against him, he blamed the case on his wife and closed the case in a pleasant conversation in his living room with Aharon Barak. Rabin murdered Holocaust survivors on the Altalena. Rabin brought Arafat and tens of thousands of terrorists from Tunis and caused the deaths of 2,000 Israelis." (Arutz7 and Maariv)
  • Yair Netanyahu more dangerous than Rabin assassin Yigal Amir, says Labor head - At Tel Aviv rally, Amir Peretz excoriates PM’s son for comments alleging Rabin ‘murdered Holocaust survivors,’ calls on AG to act to prevent next political assassination. Rabin's son, Yuval: “To say that my father murdered Holocaust survivors - is a continuation of the (anti-Rabin) poster of him in SS uniform." (Times of Israel and Maariv)
  • Netanyahu Disavows Son's Tweets About Assassinated Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin: ‘His Opinions Are His Alone’ - Yair Netanyahu wrote that 'Rabin murdered Holocaust survivors on the Altalena' and that he 'caused the deaths of 2,000 Israelis.’ (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Jewish man murdered Arab man in psychiatric hospital; Father of dead young man: “He was brutally beaten, we must not be silent" - The family of Hamed Salameh, 24, the security detainee who called the police and said he was on his way to attack a Dimona reactor and was sent for a psychiatric exam, was killed in a brawl at a psychiatric hospital, is demanding answers. His father visited him hours before he died: "We laughed and everything was fine. I came home and got a phone call that he was dead.” Dr. Zvi Fishel, chairman of the Psychiatric Association: "This tragedy is the result of a severe manpower shortage in the psychiatric wards. This is the result of ongoing neglect of the mental health system. We have long been alerted to the unbearable discrimination between psychiatric medicine and the rest of the medical field. Neglect and discrimination lead to a sad result of rising violence in the closed psychiatric wards." (Maariv, Israel Hayom Hebrew and Ynet Hebrew)
  • 5 years without Ebra - Rally in Tel-Aviv - This evening, a five-year protest rally will be held in Tel Aviv marking the captivity of Ebra Mengistu in the hands of Hamas. "Every year that passes I say to myself, 'Maybe this year he will come back,'" says his brother Ilan, "Mother prays daily to see him." (Yedioth Hebrew/Ynet English)
  • United States Blocks UN Statement on Israel-Hezbollah Fire, Diplomats Say - According to the UN diplomats, the United States objected to the statement's failure to condemn Hezbollah and its 'moral equivalence' between Israel and the militant group. (Agencies, Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Miriam Adelson: ‘Sara Netanyahu told me if Iran wipes out Israel, it would be my fault’ - Israel Hayom publisher speaks to police as part of the investigation into the suspicion that PM Netanyahu offered benefits in exchange for positive news coverage. Adelson also testified that Sara Netanyahu told her to buy her presents. (Haaretz and Maariv)
  • Israel bars Druze religious leaders from visiting Syria - The sheikhs planned to visit a religious site near Damascus but were arrested at the Jordanian border for allegedly seeking to meet with officials of the Assad regime. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel's baseball team has a secret weapon – and it may get it into the Olympics - Local association has arranged citizenship for over a dozen U.S. players, some of them former major leaguers like Danny Valencia, Ty Kelly and Jon Moscot. (Haaretz+)
  • Despite abuse claims, Jewish Agency allowed alleged pedophile to immigrate to Israel - A former karate teacher has been renamed in a new civil suit against Yeshiva University regarding abuse claims from the late 1970s and early ’80s. In 2015, the Jewish Agency reviewed the claims but allowed the man, who denies all wrongdoing and was never convicted, to make aliyah. (Haaretz+)
  • Competitiveness in tourism prices? Israel ranks 139th out of 140 - The overall rating of the industry was 57, a slight improvement over the rating two years ago. There was a dramatic improvement in the security and safety section, which looks at the incidence of crime, violence and terrorism and to what extent police services can be trusted. The price competitiveness section, in which was ranked one rank before the end (compared with 133 in the previous report), refers to the cost of flights to Israel, port taxes, hotel stays and fuel. (Yedioth Hebrew)
  • Kentucky becomes 22nd state to enact anti-BDS law - “My colleagues and I condemn the BDS movement, and we have sent a letter to the Office of Foreign Asset Control requesting an update on the federal government’s oversight of non-governmental organizations engaged in anti-Semitic hate against our allies in Israel and the Jewish people worldwide,” said Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) at the signing ceremony. (Israel Hayom)
  • Lebanese president threatens: "Israel will bear the consequences of every attack on our country" - Michel Aoun warned in a meeting with the UN Special Coordinator that "any attack on Lebanon's sovereignty will be responded with based on our legitimate right to self-defense.” (Maariv)
  • Despite U.S. Pressure, Chinese Firm Closing in on Highly Sensitive Israeli Location - The Chinese Hutchison company made it to the last stage of the tender on building a desalination facility in a security-sensitive site in Israel. (Haaretz+)
  • Iran seizes ship for alleged fuel smuggling in Gulf, holds 12 Filipino crew - Due to its low fuel prices, Iran has been fighting fuel smuggling by neighboring countries and Gulf states. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Turkey plans to return 1 million Syrians, warns of new migrant wave in Europe - Ankara may reopen route for migrants into Europe if it does not receive adequate international support for plans to resettle 1 million refugees in northern Syria, Erdogan said Thursday. (Agencies, Ynet)

Baking Sacramental Bread and Bombing Enemy SUVs: The Patriot's Guide to Fun in Israel
Baking bread for the Temple, learning about Israeli army weapons and sifting through debris from the Temple Mount – our correspondent takes a 'patriotic' vacation. (Roy Arad, Haaretz+)
Who is Avi Berkowitz, the Kushner adviser stepping in to work on Israeli-Palestinian peace?
There isn’t a ton of public knowledge about the 30-year-old assistant to Jared Kushner. Here's what we do know. (Agencies, Haaretz and Maariv)
This Palestinian artist dares to celebrate female Arab sexuality, despite boycott calls
Defying her rigid patriarchal upbringing, Hanan Abu-Hussein addresses oppression and violence against women in the Arab society. (Vered Lee, Haaretz+)

Arab 'Savages' Search for Their Culture (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Intellectuals are tackling the subject of the Arab world’s alleged ‘backward culture,’ while Israeli Jews’ contribution to the debate hasn't been very helpful.
What ‘Our Boys’ doesn’t want us to know (Jonathan S. Tobin, Israel Hayom) The problem with the HBO series about the summer of 2014 is not its subject matter, but its agenda of moral equivalence about a conflict whose story demands context.
Iran overture and Greenblatt departure cloud Trump-Netanyahu paradise (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Double diplomatic whammy reinforced by curious decision to visit British PM Boris Johnson in his time of misery of defeat.
Trump has made Israel a partisan issue - and that's not good (Orly Azoulay, Yedioth/Ynet) The president is a narcissist who does not understand and does not really care about the worldview of American Jews, but his comments and Netanyahu's silence threatens the close bilateral relationship that is the cornerstone of Israeli national security.
Trump-Rohani Summit Is a Done Deal, Israeli Defense Officials Believe (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) American willingness to negotiate with Iran may mean it expects Israel to restrain itself on the northern front with Hezbollah and Iran.
 Strengthening the US-Israel alliance (Caroline B. Glick, Israel Hayom) Israel has two strategic interests that could be significantly advanced by changes in its security ties with the US. Neither necessitates signing a formal agreement.
The campaign against Iran will be accompanied by the risk of a clash with Hezbullah in Lebanon (Alon Ben David, Maariv) Israel's campaign against Iran, which began as secret, is becoming more intense and open. From now on, it will be accompanied by a growing risk of widespread clash with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Israel must target the real root of the problem - Iran (Gilad Sharon, Yedioth/Ynet) Why should Israelis sit in bomb shelters because of rockets fired by Iranian proxies in Gaza or Lebanon? We should be taking the fight to the real instigators in Tehran.
Can Trump Change Course on Iran and Still Keep Evangelicals Onboard? (Amir Tibon, Haaretz+) Contradictory signs have started to emerge from the White House about its Iran policy, but evangelicals are confident the U.S. president will not do anything to jeopardize Israel’s security
How far can the West go to entice Iran to talk? (Jonathan S. Tobin, Israel Hayom) Negotiations are Trump’s goal. Still, the threat of war against Hezbollah in Lebanon illustrates the high price of appeasing Tehran.
Macron's lifeline to Iran poses great danger to Middle East (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) French president's new offer to Tehran fails to address the same problem the nuclear deal had before it, and the world must curtail Islamic's Republic interference in the region through its proxies in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
Nasrallah told his listeners lies, and built a victory narrative for them (Jacky Khougy, Maariv) His fighters in the field failed in an effort to strike IDF soldiers, but the Lebanese heard from him a completely different version.
Analysis Lebanon Pays the Price for a Burden Called Hezbollah (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) As international sanctions weaken Lebanon's economy, Hezbollah may reap the profits.
Who is Israel's true enemy? (Giora Eiland, Yedioth/Ynet) Following the recent attack in Avivim, Jerusalem must send a clear message to Lebanese authorities that it will not tolerate Hezbollah acquiring precision missiles.
We did a trick exercise on Hezbollah and succeeded - but why make it public? (Prof. Rafi Carasso, Maariv) In the past, the IDF and Israeli governments used to adhere to a policy of ambiguity: not to admit, not to publish more than the minimum required. Where did it go? Is everything because of the upcoming elections?
Tanks and tourists on the Israel-Lebanon border: The epicenter of the war that wasn't (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) A tour of the north on the day after the exchange of fire between Hezbollah and Israel.
The only way to eliminate Hezbollah's desire to destroy Israel is to eliminate Nasrallah (Prof. Arie Eldad, Maariv) Israel's hasty withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000 made Nasrallah - in the eyes of the Arab and Muslim world in general - the only Arab leader to succeed in defeating Israel.
A Preemptive Attack Is a Must (Israel Harel, Haaretz+) Contrary to the message that the IDF and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are conveying, the last battle concluded with a victory for a Hezbollah in terms of deterrence and psychological warfare. Hezbollah fired Kornet anti-tank missiles and Israel responded in the north as it has responded for the past 14 years in the south: With a useless bombardment of open areas. The helicopters called into action were also deliberately prevented from hitting the missile launchers. The “crushing counter-blow” that Netanyahu threatened was, once again, a dummy strike. And the same goes for the childish “deception exercise.”
Israel must launch a campaign in Gaza to counter dangerous drone threat (Yossi Yehoshua, Yedioth/Ynet) UAVs operated from Gaza that can drop explosives endanger not only IDF troops but Israeli communities bordering the Strip as well; Israel must act as vigorously against this threat from the coastal enclave as it does against similar attacks from the north.
When the U.S. used Israel to test out a weapon – and dragged it into war (Guy Laron, Haaretz+) Fifty years later, Israel's attacks in Syria show the lessons weren’t learned.
The world failed to learn the lessons of WWII (Sever Plocker, Yedioth/Ynet) Hitler's madness, the outrageous complacency of heads of state and the most hideous conflict humanity has ever seen claimed the lives of tens of millions, including 6 million European Jews, but it happened because of Western appeasement of a madman.
Israel would welcome ties with Pakistan. Should India worry? (Efraim Inbar, Haaretz+) The recurrent debate about Israel in Pakistan reflects the former’s improved international standing. The Muslim giant could become the next success in Israel’s growing acceptance around the world.
Jordan Struggles to Reverse Decades of Poor Economic Management (Marwan A. Kardoosh, Haaretz+) In Jordan, where individuals often carry more political weight than institutions, the king’s personal intervention may be needed to solve the mess.

Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
Don’t Give Them Cameras (Haaretz Editorial) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is insisting on getting a government bill passed quickly, before the elections, that enables party representatives serving as observers at voting stations to carry cameras and document what goes on there. Netanyahu has been waging over the past few years focused on two fronts: The judicial branch, including the “gatekeepers,” and the independent media. Now it appears that he has opened a new front against the legislative branch. Netanyahu is undermining the necessary conditions for democratic elections.
It's time to put cameras in polling stations (Gilad Zwick, Israel Hayom) With the jury still out about whether voter fraud stole the April 9 election from the Likud, the Left and the media are busy trying to convince the public that fraud is a "minor" concern and if it exists, it benefits Netanyahu.
Commando Bibi: As part of his survival war, Netanyahu explodes from inside the right-wing tank (Anna Barsky, Maariv) While pollsters and commentators are trying to figure out whether the right-wing will reach 61 seats, Netanyahu is making his own calculations. He knows he must have the largest party. Only then will the President not dare to give the opportunity to form a government to someone else….The headlines about attempts behind his back to choose another MK from the Likud to form the government are being followed closely on Balfour Street (PM’s Residence). And the conclusions are accordingly. Therefore, every vote is important, even critical, therefore he’s not taking captives, and therefore he not only shoots inside the right-wing tank, he also explodes it from inside. Yamina people warned long ago: We know for certain that Netanyahu is preparing us for an ambush for the last days before the elections. Disgraceful videos attacking Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett, massive work in the “knit-kippa” (nationalist religious Jews) area and vacuuming up every possible vote. For Likud and Netanyahu, the equation is clear: right-wing = Likud. So here it comes: Conference after conference, Kiryat Ata after Givat Shmuel, and on Wednesday, Netanyahu arrived in Hebron. And not just any Hebron - for the first time as prime minister he visite the Cave of the Patriarchs and even gave a speech.….Kahol-Lavan embark on a campaign to restore the secular votes that defected to Lieberman.
As Israel's politicians gamble security for political gain, military censor stays mum (Yaniv Kubovich, Haaretz+) Politicians use their access to information as a campaigning tool, while the chief of staff basks in partisan love from the right. And what is the censor doing about it?
Feeling the growing disgust towards the election? Get to know the cartel behind it (Michael Kleiner, Maariv) The sleep and shallow election campaign, which the public has hitherto referred to as a meaningless nuisance, could lead to the collapse of Israeli democracy.
'Internet, TV, Radio – It's All Left': Latest Leaks Reveal Depth of Netanyahu's Media Obsession (Gidi Weitz, Haaretz+) Why did the attorney general allow a man suspected of taking bribery from a media outlet to continue meddling with the media via Communications Minister Ayoub Kara?
What Israeli media gets wrong about Palestinian(-Israeli) voters (Oren Persico, +972mag) As long as journalists don’t challenge the mainstream segregationist narrative in Israeli society, they will have negligible impact on Arab voter turnout, says Palestinian sociologist Dr. Maha Karkabi Sabah.
The anti-Netanyahu Camp Is Longing for a Country That Never Was (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+)  Long before Netanyahu's attacks on Channel 12, nearly all of Israel’s media was in service to the government.
If voters won't get rid of Netanyahu, will the elites do it for them? (Dahlia Scheindlin, +972mag) The same political system that Netanyahu thinks he has mastered could now bring about his demise.
Netanyahu Is Scaring Out the Vote Using His Most Reliable Weapon (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) With claims that Arabs are 'stealing' the election, accusations that the media are launching a 'terror attack' on the truth, and taped screeching against a former minister, Bibi has outdone even himself this week.
For the first time in my life I'm not going to vote - sorry, I just don't have whom to vote for (Lior Dayan, Maariv) My grandmother formed a party, my grandfather was the defense minister, my aunt was a Knesset member. And I don't know how I got to this situation that I can't find any party that speaks to me.
Meretz is the last Jewish anti-occupation party. But for how long? (Meron Rapoport, +972mag) As Israel’s center-left and centrist parties have dropped the topic of the occupation over the years, Meretz has remained the sole Jewish party to emphasize ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But can it continue to hold out amidst running mate Ehud Barak’s talk of annexation?
With religious influence a key issue in Israel's election, everybody wins (Ravit Hecht, Haaretz+) It's become the center-left’s most effective issue, an emotional one like hatred for Netanyahu. And it's a godsend, so to speak, for Lieberman.
Anti-religious rampage (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) It’s hunting season on Jewish tradition, the traditional Jewish family, Jewish scholarship, displays of religious belief, the Rabbinate, rabbinical courts, Shabbat legislation, even religious cultural events.
Israel’s Religion-state Divide Blows Up as Election Campaign Gets Mean (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) Incitement seems to be an increasingly common tactic as everyday Israelis battle the 'contagious disease' afflicting the body politic.
Curse and cry: Journalists who scoff at Netanyahu complain when he responds (Kalman Libskind, Maariv) There has never been a politician here which the media used such violent language against him as it does against Netanyahu. Those who were called this week to defend “Keshet TV” are particularly interested in the politics of election night.
Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory … again (Martin Sherman, Israel Hayom) It’s not enough to point out the flaws, however fatal, of the Left. Rather, the Right must present the public with a plausible and persuasive alternative that does not merely replace a geographic peril with a demographic one.
Poodles of the Autocracy (Friday Haaretz Editorial) Over the past few days, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s intentions and modus operandi have been exposed. It once again turns out that he seeks to get rid of all the checks and balances that he views as impediments to his continued rule, and also to annex the settlements to Israel, including even the most isolated and extreme ones, under a new system of government he has invented – “Jewish sovereignty.” The taped conversation broadcast by Channel 13 News this week – in which Netanyahu demanded that former Communications Minister Ayoub Kara dissolve or abolish the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council because it refused to operate in line with the talking points from the Prime Minister’s Office – reflected Netanyahu’s familiar pattern of action: If the law or the gatekeepers are in his way, either they should go to hell or be replaced with obedient toadies.
There is no doubt that the tension in the north only contributes to Netanyahu's security image (Ran Edelist, Maariv) It is still unclear whether Netanyahu has exhausted the photo-op with soldiers, aircraft and other election accessories. And, it is quite clear that the "Shiite" campaign has no strategic benefit.
Who Will the Homeless Vote For? (Vered Lee, Haaretz+) The homeless in Israel are invisible to the government. Politicians don’t view them as an electoral force worth bothering over or trying to help. According to a 2016 Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services Ministry report, some 1,800 people in Israel are categorized as homeless. The real figure is presumably much higher, — between 11,000 and 32,000, according to a 2018 study by Shmulik Szeintuch.
“Becoming Prime Minister is an option": Avigdor Lieberman is more focused than ever
Less than two weeks before the elections, and the man because of whom they are being held, remains unequivocal: yes to a unity government, yes to sitting jointly with Netanyahu (with conditions), and a big no to the ultra-Orthodox. (Interviewed by Eyal Levy in Maariv)

'If Otzma Yehudit runs, there won't be a right-wing government'
Yamina leader Ayelet Shaked is worried that the fringe right-wing parties could wind up wasting tens of thousands of votes for the camp as a whole. She also has reservations about the Likud's scare campaign, but she has goals, although she doesn't want to claim any ministerial portfolio before the final results are tallied. (Interviewed by Amnon Lord in Israel Hayom)

Beto O’Rourke talks to Haaretz about annexation, two-states, Netanyahu and Trump
Democratic presidential candidate says a two-state solution should be a U.S. policy goal. (Interviewed by Danielle Ziri in Haaretz+)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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