News Nosh 10.6.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday October 6, 2019
 
Quote of the Day #1:
"I'm afraid of being a victim, but no less, I'm afraid of being a simple witness. And so, and because my life has turned into a nightmare, I'm on strike today and will probably have to go a bit wild and join some sort of road blocking act, hoping that our raging protest will have a place in some news release, which Minister of Public Security, Gilad Erdan, will happen to hear. When you hear the same news broadcast about Arab rioters blocking roads, please remember the justified protest of Ethiopian immigrants in the summer, remember that then there was not a single victim, and we demand similar treatment."
--Amjad Shavita, managing co-director of Sikkuy - The Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality, wrote in an Op-Ed, why he no longer walks his daughter to kindergarten.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
“We are in luck that the Arabs boycotted the opening ceremony of the 22nd Knesset. They would have shot into the air to express happiness/sadness/their protest/ because that's their habit, and then, of course, blame the police."
--Far-right-wing, racist religious settler Transportation Minister, Bezalel Smotrich, wrote on Twitter, after the Arab MKs boycotted the ceremony as a gesture of protest against the violent crime in Arab society, which they call on the government to eliminate.*

Quote of the Day #2:
“I’m surprised the racist [Smotrich] didn't take our seats and claim God told him they are his."  
--Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint List, responded, noting Smotrich’s Messianic settler ideology.*

Front Page:
Haaretz
 
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • If it happened to her // Chen Artzi-Srur on murder of woman by her husband (Hebrew)
  • Instead of primaries: Declaration of loyalty at Likud Central Committee (Hebrew)
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • (Gideon) Saar against Netanyahu: “No need to convene Likud Central Committee”
  • Protest in (Arab) sector rises - Masses of Arab-Israelis continued to demonstrate and blocked roads: Stop the bloodshed in the streets
Israel Hayom
  • (State witness) Filber is consistent: The considerations were proper // Akiva Bigman
  • Today: The hearing (for Netanyahu in three corruption cases) renews; Drama in Likud: (Gideon) Saar announced: No need to convene Likud Central Committee, I support Netanyahu; Sources in Likud: The putsch died
  • “We will love your daughter the way you loved her” - Shock from the murder of Michal Sela (by her husband)
  • The only way out of the entanglement: Third round of elections // Yaakov Berdugo


Top News Summary:
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s reverse move to keep himself at the head of the Likud party and the continuation of the hearing into his corruption cases were the top stories in the Hebrew newspapers, with the exception of Yedioth which spent its first five pages on the Thursday night murder of a Jewish Israeli woman by her husband. Maariv and Haaretz+ however, gave precedence to the continued protests by Arab Israelis, who demand the government deal with the rampant crime and violence in their sector.

*Remarkably, the Hebrew newspapers were supportive of the Arab citizens’ protest. Instead of describing the blocking of numerous roads across the country as a crime, the articles noted it matter-of-factly and quoted how some of the thousands of people who attended the protests felt. [NOTE: In the Arab-Israeli protests of October 2000, the Arab citizens also blocked roads. Thirteen protesters were shot dead. - OH] Yedioth (Hebrew) dedicated two pages to the issue with the title “Won’t be silent anymore.”  Haaretz ran a feature titled “It’s Like a War Zone,” in which it interviewed five Arab protesters telling how they live in fear as the Israeli Police fails to fight crime in their communities. Even Israel Hayom newspaper titled its article (the smallest article on the subject of all the major papers), “Thousands demonstrated in the Arab sector: ‘We want personal security.’” The papers also reported, without a tone of threat, that the Arab-Israeli leadership decided to continue with more protests, to open a protest tent outside the government headquarters and even to make a hunger strike. Yedioth (Hebrew) also reported on anger of the police and the state prosecutor's office for the “revolving door of the courts,” which have been giving light sentences to Arab criminals convicted of violent crimes and having weapons in the Arab sector. And it dedicated a fairly large article to the latest incident of violence in the Arab sector, in which a 26-year-old resident of Ibtin village was severely injured after being shot in an Arab neighborhood of Haifa on Saturday. Maariv reported that the Arab-Israeli leadership sees the placing of Border Police forces in Arab communities [meant to tackle local crime - OH] as an attempt to restore the military government [Israel placed Arab citizens under martial law from 1948 till 1966 - OH] and that the leadership demands a comprehensive plan to combat crime in coordination with elected local officials. The leader of the Joint List, Ayman Odeh, called on Jewish Israelis to join their fellow citizens’ protest. But far-right-wing, religious [and racist - OH] settler, Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich, attacked Arab lawmakers for being absent from Thursday’s Knesset inauguration as a gesture of protest against the violence and also to attend the first day of protests against violence in Arab society. “We are in luck that the Arabs boycotted the opening ceremony of the 22nd Knesset. They would have shot into the air to express happiness/sadness/their protest/ because that's their habit, and then, of course, blame the police,” he wrote on Twitter. Odeh responded, noting Smotrich’s Messianic settler ideology: “I’m surprised the racist [Smotrich] didn't take our seats and claim God told him they are his." 

Elections 2019 News:
Netanyahu canceled his sudden plan for snap Likud party leadership elections, shortly after one of his biggest competitors for the position, Gideon Saar, wrote on Twitter that he was “ready.” Netanyahu had said that holding a primary would 'shatter the illusion of a Likud rebellion.’ Instead he called for the convening of the Likud Central Committee to confirm that he is the leader. Saar wrote that convening the center was not necessary, because “no one disbelieves Netanyahu’s role as the leader.” (Ynet Hebrew)

Also last Thursday, Kahol-Lavan co-leader, Yair Lapid, said he was willing to give up his rotation deal with party co-leader Benny Gantz if it facilitated the formation of a unity government with the Likud party. He also reiterated his call on Netanyahu to step down as Likud leader due to his criminal investigations, allow new party head to emerge. Yisrael Beiteinu chairman and election kingpin, Avigdor Liberman, praised Lapid’s move as 'smart and noble.’

Today the third day of Netanyahu’s hearing takes place and his lawyers got more time to give their arguments on Case 4000 (favorable coverage for Netanyahu and family on Walla website in exchange for legislation that financially benefits Walla’s owner) before giving their arguments for Case 1000 (allegations that Netanyahu and family received illicit gifts from billionaires Arnon Michlan and James Packer) and Case 2000 (favorable coverage for Netanyahu in Yedioth newspaper in exchange for legislation weakening Yedioth’s competitor, ‘Israel Hayom’). (Also Maariv) Saturday night, hundreds of Netanyahu supporters rallied near the Attorney General’s home demanding to stop the "witch hunt" against Netanyahu, Maariv reported.
 
Quick Hits:
  • Two Rockets Fired From Gaza Failed to Reach Israel, Army Says (1 Palestinian killed in border protest)
    Attempted rocket attacks Friday come hours after one Palestinian was killed and 54 were injured by IDF fire during weekly protests held along the Israel-Gaza border. Last month, a rocket barrage fired from the Strip exploded within the coastal enclave, wounding seven Palestinians. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • Palestinians give in to pressure, let Israel deduct terrorists' salaries - In February Israel froze $140 million of Palestinian tax money as part of a policy implementation aimed to offset the money Ramallah pays security prisoners detained in Israel. President Abbas, who only increased those stipends, now says he will accept arrangement. (Agencies, Israel Hayom, Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Israel Prize laureates against Jewish Nation-State Law - 40 Israel Prize laureates to petition High Court today against law stating that Israel is the Jewish people's nation state. The petitioners propose adding a sentence at the beginning of the Nationality Law stating that "the State of Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people" and that it is "also the state of the entire minority living there." Among those who signed the petition are author David Grossman, actor and comedian Gavri Banai, sculptor Dani Karavan, choreographer Ohad Naharin, educator Alice Shalvi, artist Michal Neeman, Prof. David Harel of the Weizmann Institute and Vice President of the Academy of Sciences, who said: “The principle of equality among all citizens of the country is not only sacred because there are people who believe in it, but because it really is a cornerstone of democracy. As soon as the law was enacted in this way, they automatically excluded more than 20% of the population, and that is no longer a democracy.” (Yedioth Hebrew and INN)
  • Normalization despite the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the initiative for an agreement with the Gulf states - According to Channel 12 news report, Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz presented Israeli initiative to Arab foreign ministers from the Gulf states on sidelines of UN general assembly. Main principle - to normalize relations due to mutual interest vis-à-vis Iran, with an understanding that full peace agreements cannot be signed at this stage because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Maariv and Ynet)
  • Top court puts end to (Israeli) Palestinian poet's four-year legal saga - Four years ago, Dareen Tatour, a Palestinian citizen of Israel was arrested because the security services decided a poem she wrote and published on her personal Facebook page was ‘incitement.’ After her release from prison, Israeli prosecution attempted to reopen case against her. On September 26, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected the prosecution’s petition. So,after nearly three years under house arrest, and five months jail time, she is finally free from all legal troubles. “I’ve been released from prison, but prison stays within me, and I feel that I am in a bigger prison,” Tatour said at the book launch. “Many places cancelled events at which I was supposed to read poetry.” She plans to release her memoir in English and Hebrew translations within the next two months. (+972mag, Al-Monitor and Mondoweiss)
  • The smuggling of 40 guns and cartridges from Lebanon to Israel was thwarted - IDF radar observers identified suspicious traffic near the border. Military and police forces who arrived on the scene seized the weapons and also arrested a suspect on the Israeli side. (Maariv)
  • Jerusalem is becoming a Jewish Disneyland, NYT's architecture critic warns - Cable cars to the Holy Basin that will overpass Arab inhabitants, 40-story glass towers and a district planner who sees Singapore as a role model. The New York Times' Michael Kimmelman visited Jerusalem and delivered a warning about the future. (Haaretz+)
  • Following a broad campaign in the (Bedouin) sector: 450 Bedouin youths are interested in joining the IDF - The decline in the IDF recruitment rate among Bedouins has been going on for years, which has been well expressed in numbers. In recent years, efforts have been made on this issue, and at the end of 2018, 467 youths were recruited to the IDF. (Maariv)
  • Israel Aims to Increase Ethiopian Community's Enrollment in Higher Education - The initial target is to bring up the number of students from the community who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree to 1.7 percent of the student body. Currently that rate stands at 1.54%, or 3,567 students. [At end of 2017, Ethiopian-Israeli population was approx. 1.72%) (Haaretz+)
  • Register Children of Asylum Seekers or Face Fines, Court Tells Petah Tikva City Hall - About 58 children whose residence was confirmed to be in Petah Tikva are still waiting to be put on the municipality's books. (Haaretz+)
  • Violence in kindergartens: "Soon they will have to import kindergarten teachers from abroad, everyone wants to escape” - A wave of violence by children in the education system, especially against kindergarten teachers, aids and children since the opening of the school year: "There are children to whom the Ministry of Education and the local authority are doing a great injustice, they are unable to be in a kindergarten in which there are over 30 children.” (Maariv)
  • 12,000 Israelis will be able to vote in today's elections in Portugal - In addition to those Israelis who have already received the Portuguese passport, there are now tens of thousands of other Israelis in the process of obtaining the passport and striving to obtain European citizenship, said Attorney Adam Yedid, whose law firm deals with attaining European citizenship. Even Israelis with Portuguese citizenship who are in Israel will be able to exercise their right to vote by a ballot sent by envelope. (Maariv)
  • Ex-'X Factor' judge Lovato 'sorry' for Israel visit after fierce pro-Palestinian backlash - Pop star-actress posted apology on Instagram, which she later removed, after being slammed for serving as 'Zionist propaganda tool' ■ Israel reported to have funded the trip. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • 'Israel-Australia relations irreparably damaged': Diplomatic row erupts over house arrest for accused pedophile Leifer - Diplomatic sources say the case could cause a serious rift, while the Australian Jewish community threatens to cut off donations. (Haaretz+)
  • Islamic Jihad Leader in Gaza Vows to Oppose Trump's Peace Plan - As the organization celebrates 32 years since its founding, Ziad al-Nakhalah says that Islamic Jihad has imposed new rules of the game in the struggle against Israel. (Haaretz)
  • 'Where's the Qatari money?' Hamas facing growing criticism in Gaza - Recent spike in injuries among Palestinian youths dispatched by terror group to protest at Israeli border fence has led to a rise in complaints about the Strip's rulers, as Gazans see double standard in opportunities and funding. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Iran to free Russian journalist accused of spying for Israel - Move follows Russian Foreign Ministry's summoning of Iran's ambassador over detention of Yulia Yuzik. Moscow has close economic and political ties with Tehran, and it is unusual for the latter to target Russian citizens. (Israel Hayom)
  • Iran to Allow Women to Attend Soccer Match After Demand From FIFA - After Tehran decided to let women attend Thursday's World Cup qualifying match against Cambodia, 3,500 tickets were sold within minutes. (Haaretz)
  • Chaos in Iraq: About 100 killed in anti-corruption and unemployment demonstrations - The bloody protest continues to rage in the country, with the number of injured at about 4,000, the parliament’s Human Rights Commission reported. Since the start of the protests Tuesday, security forces have responded with live ammunition and tear gas. (Agencies, Haaretz and Maariv)
  • Unusually inclusive protest across Lebanon shows deepening anger over economic malaise - Top UN official stresses 'the importance of delivering on reforms rather than announcing them.’ (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Berlin: Armed Syrian burst into a synagogue - Just before Sabbath, 23-year-old Damascus-born man carrying a knife jumped the security ropes surrounding the building at Oranien Strasse and shouted "Allah Akbar." Witnesses said police who secured the compound failed to stop him and that he continued to swing the knife and scream. He was eventually arrested by police reinforcements who were called to the scene and stopped him with tear gas. No one was injured. Police confiscated various items from his home, but released him from custody. The Berlin Police said they had not yet ascertained whether the background to a criminal or nationalist incident. (Yedioth Hebrew)


Features:
A Gazan Blinded by Israeli Navy Gunfire Loses a Final Glimmer of Hope
Seven months after a Gaza fisherman was shot in the eyes by Israeli navy troops and lost his sight, he was finally allowed into Israel for an examination, after repeated refusals. The news was not good. (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+)
Without handshakes and without small talk: this is what the meetings between Israeli and Lebanese army officers look like
"In such a meeting, we are the angry side," explains Brigadier General Erez Meizel, head of the IDF Foreign Relations Division. "I want to hear what they have to say and how they explain Hizbullah's presence.” *Tal Lev-Ram, Maariv)
Sleep Deprivation and a Freezing Cell: A Palestinian Woman Is Interrogated by Israel
The Shin Bet security service tried to make journalist Lama Khater confess to links with Hamas, so for 35 days she was cuffed to a chair for 10 or 20 hours a day. (Amira Hass, Haaretz+)
How Israel Stopped a Third Palestinian Intifada
Ex-Shin Bet cyber chief, Arik Brabbing, describes how the 2015 wave of 'lone wolf' attacks required Israel to think out of the box. An article he published recently with Capt. Or Glick in the IDF journal Bein Haktavim offers an extensive analysis of that tense period, which probably also sheds light on future escalations in the territories. It’s the first comprehensive and declassified publication by an official who had a close-up view of the events. (Amos Harel, Haaretz+)
‘For those who want peace, replacing Zionism is inevitable’
For many Palestinians in the West Bank, the minor shifts in Israeli politics are a long-awaited opportunity to challenge the traditional understanding of the occupation. (Yuval Abraham, +972mag)
The fake Nazi death camp: Wikipedia’s longest hoax, exposed
For over 15 years, false claims that thousands of Poles were gassed to death in Warsaw were presented as fact. Haaretz reveals they are just the tip of an iceberg of a widespread Holocaust distortion operation by Polish nationalists. (Omer Benjakob, Haaretz+ and Times of Israel)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
This Is What Protests Should Look Like (Jack Khoury, Haaretz+) The Arab community and the police prove that protests against violent crime can be peaceful.
When people are treated as enemies (MK Ahmed Tibi, Ynet Hebrew and Ynet English) Neither the tendency for crime nor our "culture" is responsible for the waves of murder in Arab society, but neglect, exclusion and violence in uniform. How shocking it is that doesn't shock you. Since the year 2000, 1,386 (Arab-Israeli) civilians have been killed and murdered as a result of domestic violence and organized crime in Arab communities (according to figures from the Aman Center - The Arab Center for Safe Society). It is shocking that this number does not shock the government, the police and the Israeli public at large, as if someone had launched a program of self-annihilation in their backyard that was no one else's business. Before 2000, the crime rate was much lower than today (5% of homicides in Israel compared to 60% today, three times the percentage of Arabs in the general population). In October 2000, 13 Arab demonstrators were shot by police, mostly by sniper teams. Since then - and this conclusion has also been adopted by the Or Commission tasked with investigating these deaths - the Israeli police have treated the Arab citizenry as enemies. The lack of trust between the community and the police has deepened, and at the same time, hostility, police violence, exclusion and neglect have increased. For more than a decade we have been crying out: collect the illegal weapons in our communities, but to no avail. There has been a small operation by the police here and there, but nothing effective enough. More than 70% of the weapons come from IDF military bases, and some are smuggled across the border. Only a fool will believe that (police) intelligence does not know who is smuggling them and from where, because if it were a weapon for security or terrorist purposes - the weapons would've been confiscated, and the responsible individuals put in jail. The social terror suffered by the Arab public is the result of criminal organizations operating almost unhindered. They impose a reign of fear and the wild west: paying patronage, trafficking in arms and drugs, a gray market, and an attempt to take control over the local authorities and decisions by local planning committees. The heads of authorities who don't comply are threatened or turned into shooting targets. The day is not far when the a mayor will be killed. People tend to remind us of the phenomenon of shooting in the air at weddings and they use it as a pretext to lash out at the Arab public and its leadership. "What did you do about it?" they say. Well, I was the one who passed a law against shooting at weddings with an increased penalty for these crimes. It remains only to be implemented. I do not attend a wedding that I expect to have shots fired and I leave weddings if firing starts. Murder of women? All Jewish women's murders are solved, but not so for Arab women's murders. Many were murdered after complaining to the police or welfare bureau. The renunciation of the Israeli government and the Israeli police from its responsibility adds oil to the fire. The claim that the Arab public does not cooperate with the police is an escape from responsibility and an attempt to blame the victim. We are familiar with cases where state witnesses were killed, or witnesses were exposed and their fate was no better. Who can deal with the crime? With the drug dealers and the weapons? Who can prevent the distribution of guns and grenades from the military if not law enforcement and police? The Joint List has no militia or private police. The Israeli police are strong and efficient in this area. It managed to eradicate the crime in Netanya and Nahariya because it made a decision to do so. In early 2015, we - together with the leaders of the Joint List - met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and demanded from him a binding government decision on eradicating the crime. He promised. Well, Well, you probably understand already how that went. We also demanded a commitment from Benny Gantz to make a binding government decision and a multi-system plan that includes the Ministries of Public Security, Welfare, Internal Affairs, Finance, Education and Housing, in order for the treatment to be comprehensive. The increasing violence is not a product of culture, but of policy and living conditions. As mentioned, Arab culture did not suddenly change in 2000. Furthermore, we and Gazans and the West Bank are members of the same people. There there are more weapons but far fewer homicides and crimes (8 murders per year per million residents, compared to 46 cases among the Arab public in Israel). Recently, many police stations have been opened in the Arab communities. See Umm al Fahm and Jasr al-Zarqa, but the crime rate there has not gone down. The Israel Police does not need Arab policemen to eradicate the phenomenon, but rather effective police officers, police officers who were instructed to deal with these agents of death and not hand out traffic reports. And as mentioned, a government decision, a multi-agency committee, an emergency plan, and a change in the courts, too, where the lenient punishments they give in certain cases to firearms dealers and to shooters, are in a bad instance a mockery and in the worst case they encourage even worse crime. Consideration should be given to the establishment of a state commission of inquiry, or at the very least, a parliamentary commission of inquiry to investigate the causes and responsibilities of the rampant crime in Arab society, based on the State Comptroller's report on the issue. I know there is no instant magic solution. It is a long and painful process that requires the efforts of all of us, the Arab public, its leaders, its clerics, educators and the community as a whole. We are ready.
Israel Police must protect Arab citizens too (Rasool Saada, Yedioth/Ynet) Israel's largest minority has lost faith in almost every aspect of their lives as widespread use of illegal guns makes every disagreement potentially deadly; it is up to the state to show that it cares as much about Arab communities as it does about Jewish ones.
It is time for Arab society to do soul searching over its violent culture (Kalman Libeskind, Maariv) Consider the treatment that a Jew would receive for his wife's murder, and compare that to the treatment a Bedouin would receive for murdering his sister. Nothing similar. Also: the moral distortion by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel.
Arabs, joint the police (Michael Milstein, Yedioth Hebrew) Such moves are difficult to digest in the Arab public, but necessary to establish civil equality. Beyond the issue of integration, this will reflect willingness to take responsibility and involvement. The Arab public cannot continue its passive stance between the police and the criminals and expect an outside salvation. And, flooding the Arab towns with masses of police officers and the increased violent struggles between them and the criminals, will gradually be accompanied by friction between the public and the law enforcement authorities.
When you hear today that I drove wildly on the road (Amjad Shavita, Ynet Hebrew) My daughter can't understand why I stopped the daily practice she loved: walking from home to her kindergarten. "After all, it's less than five minutes on foot, Dad," she protests each morning in tears as I make excuses and insist that we drive the car. Because how would I explain to her my fear of a stray bullet? I'm afraid of being a victim, but no less, I'm afraid of being a simple witness. And so, and because my life has turned into a nightmare, I'm on strike today and will probably have to go a bit wild and join some sort of road blocking act, hoping that our raging protest will have a place in some news release, which Minister of Public Security, Gilad Erdan, will happen to hear. When you hear the same news broadcast about Arab rioters blocking roads, please remember the justified protest of Ethiopian immigrants in the summer, remember that then there was not a single victim, and we demand similar treatment. I know that the police's attitude towards that protest was not ideal, but Arab citizens aspire to even that treatment. So when you hear about the rioters, remember that I'm one of them. I am a law-abiding, normative citizen, from a strong socio-economic background. But for five years now I have not dared to pick up a phone to the police. Even if someone invades my house or injures me in the car, I will not call the police, as there is a chance that they will call a crime organization to "handle" the issue more quickly and effectively. And that's even though there is a police station two miles from my house. Just like there are police stations in Umm al-Fahm and Majd al-Krum, the two communities that experienced shocking homicides this week. And I'm still lucky. After all, I am an employee and not independent. I do not need the generosity of the bank credit nor the patronage of the police. If I owned a restaurant in an Arab town, I would probably have to pay sponsorship fees to crime organizations. And if I refuse to pay? Every evening, a group of young people arrive who will be drunk in the restaurant, fight, startle customers and break every plate that falls into their hands. And if I had to renovate the restaurant after such an incident? The banks would not give me loans that they would give to businessmen in my status from the Jewish sector of society, and I would have to look for a loan in the gray market. Someone told me I could make a deal on WhatsApp for a loan of up to half a million shekels, the money coming in cash by a courier on a scooter - the same scooter that would return to shoot at my house every time I delayed repayment. This wasn't always the case. I am 36 and still remember much quieter days. Organized crime has only begun to take over our lives in the last two decades. I know my people in the Occupied Territories, Jordan and the refugee camps, and I can say with certainty that our crime is the most serious. The belief that every extended Arab family has an "operational arm" and that in every neighborhood a gang is hiding is stereotypical and disconnected from reality. In the summer, the police announced that Arab society has about ten criminal organizations dealing with collection protection monies, trafficking in arms and drug, and some of them cooperate closely with Israeli criminal organizations. They became execution contractors for (Jewish) crime organizations that were decimated and moved to Eastern Europe. The state knows how to handle crime organizations. After all, it did it in Netanya and other cities. The state also knows that there are thousands of illegal weapons in Arab society, and most of them have been stolen or smuggled out of the IDF. How can I convince my daughter that the state that prides itself on its ability to damage weapons convoys near Damascus is unable to stop this smuggling of its weapons from within its borders? The government has chosen to treat crime organizations with real gloves. What has it done in recent years to collect the illegal weapons? It declared "pick-up points" and promised not to punish anyone who would give up their weapons. This is as ridiculous as declaring forgiveness for sex offenders for voluntary participation in therapeutic workshops. One must admit: Some of the crimes in Arab society are perpetrated within the phenomenon of violence against women. Although violence against women is not unique to Arab society, among us it is more serious and requires deep consideration and accountability. But things have to be put in proportion: in 2019, 11 women were murdered - a shocking figure - but at the same time 58 men were murdered, proving the strength of crime organizations. When you hear today that we have rioted, remember that our plight is real and our demands are right. After all, we demand a long-term, inter-ministerial program that addresses violence on various levels, enforceable, social, occupational and economic. In this program, Arab society, its leadership and the professionals in it will also be responsible. But in the short term, an immediate plan for the elimination of crime organizations in Arab society is called for - and here the responsibility lies entirely with the state, which has the only monopoly to exert power. And it, believe me, knows how to wield power in Arab society. Only if it is learns to use it in the right places, such as suppressing violence instead of suppressing the protest against violence, will it begin to overcome the deep distrust between it and Arab society. [Amjad Shavita is the managing co-director of Sikkuy, The Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality.]
Israel Condemned This Gazan Fisherman to Life in Eternal Darkness
(Gideon Levy, Haaretz) Let the sailors in their white uniforms know what they do in the name of the rite of security to helpless fishermen who endanger no one and who have done no harm.
American Jewry’s days of reckoning (Caroline B. Glick, Israel Hayom) The more strongly liberal Jews embrace progressivism, the less capable they become of defending their Judaism – much less defending their fellow Jews who aren’t progressive.
Not surprisingly, the new thug and the recycled thug (Ran Edelist, Maariv) Like two acrobats who perform identical exercises, Trump and Netanyahu crash together in wonderful timing with spectacular leaps and bounds. And: Who is the man behind Trumpism?
Trump’s Impeachment Meltdown Accelerates Collapse of Netanyahu’s Iran Strategy (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Israelis were astounded this week by the PM’s warning of imminent war with Iran – and by the realization that their hero U.S. president won’t have their backs.
A US-Iranian political move could extricate Trump from the congressional impeachment process (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) Some argue that one of the considerations pushing the US president to meet with his Iranian counterpart is the dream of winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Is that the reason for a change in American policy?
It’s time to put an end to labeling Trump an anti-Semite (Jonathan S. Tobin, Israel Hayom) Regardless of your opinion about the merits of impeachment, the president’s lashing out at two prominent Democrats leading the attack on him wasn’t anti-Semitic.
Global Climate Change Crisis: Best Thing to Ever Happen to Israeli Hasbara (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) Greta Thunberg is in. Ahed Tamimi is out. Let the great green-washing begin.
What the Attack on Saudi Arabia Shows Us About Dimona (Uzi Even, Haaretz+) The attack perpetrated by the Iranians on the Saudi refineries – be it directly or indirectly – has direct implications for our security. These ramifications still have not been widely discussed in public, but I intend to do so here because they require rethinking Iran’s capabilities vis-à-vis Israel.
Still not a partner for peace (Yossi Kuperwasser, Israel Hayom) In a recent address to the UN General Assembly, Abbas reiterated his commitment to paying terrorists' salaries and made it clear that despite increasing pressure, the Palestinian Authority is highly unlikely to become a partner for peace anytime soon.
Annexing the Jordan Valley doesn’t make security sense (Shaul Arieli, Haaretz+) The 1994 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan included two clauses whose security importance is as great and perhaps greater than the demilitarization of the Sinai Peninsula in the peace treaty with Egypt. These clauses turn Kahol Lavan chairman MK Benny Gantz’s intention and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand to annex the Jordan Valley to Israel into a tasteless joke showing a lack of national responsibility.
Why Israelis should support the Iraqi protesters (Rachel Avraham, Israel Hayom) Israel has a strategic imperative to aid the protest movement seeking to topple the Iraqi government, both to support the Iraqi people in their quest for freedom and democracy and to break up the "Shia crescent" that stretches from Iran to Lebanon.
It's Tempting to Connect the Dots, but Iran-Israel War Doesn't Seem Imminent (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Revolutionary Guards claim that it thwarted an Israeli assassination attempt is questionable, but Israel-Iran tension is increasing.

Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
Tell Me Who Your Natural Partners Are (Haaretz Editorial) Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who chairs the National Union party, launched an ugly racist attack on Friday against Knesset members from the Joint List of Arab parties who skipped the Knesset’s swearing-in ceremony to attend protests against violence in the Arab community. This is what the Arab-hating extremist Jewish nationalist wrote on Twitter: “It’s fortunate they boycotted the Knesset’s opening session. They would have even opened fire there as an expression of joy/sorrow/protest/just because it’s customary (and then, of course, they would have blamed the police...).” This is the same man whom Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boasts is a natural partner, and whom he appointed as a member of the cabinet. This is the man who represents the religious Zionist movement in the Knesset. It isn’t a racist slip of the tongue, but an organized doctrine of Jewish chauvinism that, shamefully and dangerously, not a single cabinet member has denounced. Since the beginning of the year, more than 70 Arab citizens have been murdered.
Israel's right-wing is repeating mistakes of defeated left (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) By representing the entire right-wing, Netanyahu is hampering coalition building with Blue and White and is dragging the country to the extremes; this is a far cry from what the Israeli public wants, and from the pragmatic leader he used to be.
Alongside pleas for unity, Netanyahu revealed his bluff: There will be no rotation agreement (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) Meeting between the PM and Lieberman mainly benefited the latter ■ And Gantz is wondering from whose experience he should learn.
Netanyahu is in no rush (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) When the threat of a third election becomes reality, redemption may come from of all people, Avigdor Lieberman. Hoping to be seen as the responsible adult in the room, the Yisrael Beytenu leader may agree to join a right-wing-haredi government, the likes of which he has been a party to so many times before.
Waiting period (Anna Barsky, Maariv) Kahol-Lavan people are waiting for the right-wing bloc to dismantle, while they are waiting for Kahol-Lavan to dismantleץ All the meetings between the negotiation teams of the two largest parties ended with nothing. Why should they rush? And, after the political calculations, there are also principles and promises for voters.
Neither Likud nor Blue and White really wants unity (Yuval Karni, Yedioth/Ynet) Netanyahu says he wants to form a unity government, but is actively working against it; Gantz's party isn’t showing much enthusiasm either, and despite the need for a period of calm, it seems that a third round of elections is imminent.
In Netanyahu's Corruption Cases, It's the ‘State’ vs. the State (Israel Harel, Haaretz+) Benjamin Netanyahu is (for now?) the last link in a chain of Israeli-born leaders who’ve sinned. We recall the lecture fees (“Leah Rabin’s dollar account”) that Yitzhak Rabin pocketed when he was ambassador to the United States. While he was president, Ezer Weizman took large sums from billionaire Edward Sarusi. Ehud Barak was involved up to his neck in the nonprofit associations case. Then there were the Greek Island and Cyril Kern cases involving Ariel Sharon, and Ehud Olmert’s cash envelopes and the Holyland scandal. Compare the norms of these righteous men to those of their predecessors – David Ben-Gurion, Moshe Sharett, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, Zalman Shazar, Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir, Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir – all of them born abroad. In terms of his lust for the wealth and gifts of others, Netanyahu is no different from the prime ministers who preceded him. There is, however, an aggravating difference between the way the justice system is dealing with him and how they dealt with the others. His predecessors, who pursued the “correct” political agenda, like the Oslo process, the disengagement from Gaza, or “convergence” (Olmert’s plan to withdraw from 90 percent of the West Bank) were granted a complete erasure of their sins, or, in Olmert’s case, rather forgiving charges (and verdicts). Netanyahu, who dared to challenge the way governmental powers are being usurped by promoters of the “rule of law,” is being scraped with iron combs.
Netanyahu's fate and the future of Israeli democracy (Jonathan S. Tobin, Israel Hayom) The flimsy corruption charges against Netanyahu create a precedent that is a greater threat to the rule of law and the future of Israel than anything he is charged with doing.
In Netanyahu's Party, Assassins Never Get to Sit on the Throne (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) Gideon Sa'ar is gunning for the top spot in Likud - and the premiership. But can he do it in a party where loyalty is the key to succession?
What do they understand? Miraculously, the gang refrained from attacking Gideon Saar with rage - and the numbers on how Netanyahu lost the elections (Ben Caspit, Maariv) Saar's tweet [that he’s ready to run against Netanyahu in primaries - OH] blew up the Likud primaries' experimental balloon. The political stalemate is not really stuck, those looking for the exit sign will find it in the Lieberman formula…The last election was a referendum on Benjamin Netanyahu. On his path, on his conduct, on his family's misdeeds, on the continued rift and wholesale dismantling of state institutions and its symbols for the benefit of a family who became convinced that it is everything. This referendum was clearly decided. Netanyahu received 60 seats in April. Feiglin and Bennett received a quarter of a million votes [that were right-wing votes lost because they did not pass the threshold - OH]. All I need, Bibi told himself, is to bring one more mandate out of those quarter of a million lost votes. Piece of cake. But then we went to vote. The percentage of votes did not decrease, but increased. Israelis are fed up. The 60 seats in the Netanyahu bloc/immunity in April became 55 seats in September. The 42 mandates compiled by the immunity group in April (35 Likud, 4 Kahlon, 2 Feiglin) became 32 in September. Nearly 300,000 Likud voters were left at home, or simply voted for someone else. Netanyahu did not add a mandate, but lost 10. Veteran, deeply rooted, ideological Likudniks told the Lord, his Lady and their son two simple words: That’s it. Israel is more important than Netanyahu. Therefore, and in accordance with this, the exit from the labyrinth is simple: a unity government between Kahol-Lavan, the Likud and (Avigdor Lieberman’s) Yisrael Beiteinu. The Lieberman formula. This government would have 73 Knesset members, the perfect number for a stable coalition. Benny Gantz would be prime minister for the first two years, Benjamin Netanyahu for the next two years. This provides Netanyahu with an ideal window of time to deal with his legal problems, should he ever be indicted. He will demand - and receive - the Attorney General a speedy trial, as Haim Ramon did at the time, and he will be prepared and ready for the second half of the term - or be convicted and exit the political arena. This is the right and fair solution to the current situation.
How Netanyahu mainstreamed an anti-democratic vision (Harry Reis, +972mag) By attacking the judiciary, bringing extremists into his coalition, and trying to subvert voting rights, Benjamin Netanyahu has presented a dark vision of an anti-democratic future for Israeli politics.
The first to dare: Gideon Sa'ar is the first Likud leader to challenge Netanyahu (Yuval Karni, Yedioth Hebrew) The prime minister testifies that he is a strong leader. Strange, but a strong leader such as Netanyahu has, in recent days, been collecting signatures (of loyalty). Before the election, his associates initiated a declaration of loyalty from all Likud members through WhatsApp, and now Netanyahu himself is courting his right-wing partners to sign for him that he is the only one in the right-wing that can serve as prime minister. A strong leader does not deal with signatures. And isn't scared if anyone was going to face him in the primaries. Netanyahu mocks non-democratic parties with no primaries, but in the last primaries for Likud in January 2016, he won the white ballot and on Thursday he toyed with the idea of holding real primaries, but then regretted only because of Gideon Sa'ar's tweet: "I'm ready." It's Netanyahu's right to fight for his political life and his role as prime minister within the rules of the game. But in the name of this right, will the State of Israel go to elections for the third time just because it will not be Netanyahu - but Gideon Sa'ar, Yuli Edelstein, Israel Katz or another candidate?
Gantz, the hope is a government without Netanyahu (Haaretz Friday Editorial) The political whirlwind and the desire to avoid another election might cause Gantz to forget the reason his party won 33 Knesset seats and became the largest political party in Israel, namely that the people are sick and tired of Netanyahu. They are sick not only of the abundant criminal accusations now under review at a hearing, but also of his corrupt and cynical politics, which have put his personal survival above any other value, and in the name of which he has pitted parts of Israeli society against each other. Framing the justice system, including its gatekeepers, as enemies of the state, as people who are sabotaging the will of the people and therefore illegitimate, is the crowning glory of the rotten and corrupt government that has brought Israeli democracy to its knees.
Signs of Benjamin Netanyahu's weakness (Limor Livnat, Yedioth/Ynet Hebrew) The prime minister is worried about his status and his office. He fears his heirs. Instead of cultivating them, he neutralized every person with an independent position in his environment and surrounded himself with yes-men.
 
Interviews:
How One Jewish Family Rebuilt Its Life in the U.K. After Egypt Expelled It
This week at the Tel Aviv airport: A British Jew who experienced being a refugee as a boy mulls a move to Israel, and a hasidic Israeli makes a pilgrimage to New York. (Interviewed by Liat Elkayam in Haaretz+)
 
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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