News Nosh 10.7.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday October 7, 2019

NOTE: News Nosh will be off during Yom Kippur, Tuesday and Wednesday this week, and back on Thursday.

 You Must Be Kidding: 

"It's not only a matter of funding. It's a question of priorities. The police need to decide if their top priority is to investigate the prime minister's cigars or these matters [violence against women]."
--Communications Minister David Amsalem (Likud) suggested that police should not deal with the Prime Minister's corruption cases because they couldn't deal with the violence against women at the same time.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • “We are always on the edge of war” - Interview with Brig. Gen. Eliezar Toldeano, responsible for security in one of the most boiling areas, Gaza (Hebrew)
  • The suspect in the murder of his wife: Eliran Meloul - The waiting following the murder
  • Salary slips for the holiday - Revealed: This is the salary that they paid to Yonatan Ulrich, Topaz Luk and the rest of Netanyahu’s advisors - during the month of elections (Hebrew)
  • Rabbi battle: Battle over the street of Ovadia Yosef
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • The plan to thwart Erdogan - After years that Turkey acted to strengthen its influence in Jerusalem: Israel moves to actions
  • Of all times, during the hearing: Attorney Ben-Ari is abroad
  • Family of Michal (who was murdered by husband): “How do we continue?”
  • Tomorrow in the Yom Kippur supplement: Local creation - Inspiration in the shadow of sirens: A meeting of artists from the Gaza periphery
  • Underground: Head of the underground field in the IDF Gaza Division warns: Hamas always could surprise
  • For the highest price - Torah scrolls, drawings and other items costing thousands of dollars. The auction trend in the ultra-Orthodox sector is flowering
  • The worthy respect - Musa Peled’s part in conquering the Golan Heights in the Yom Kippur War was revealed in a new book

Top News Summary:
Today was a mixed bag of top stories in the Hebrew media, but one item united and shocked them all: that the senior prosecutor leading the corruption cases against Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was absent from the hearing yesterday and will be absent today, the fourth and last day, as well, because she went on holiday. Maariv reported that people in the know said that Netanyahu’s attorneys did not present any conclusive evidence that disproved the accusations in Case 4000.

The papers also reported that the Israeli security cabinet convened Sunday, for the first time since elections, to discuss the threat from Iran, which was perceived as greater following Iran’s missile attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities last month. Netanyahu tried to convince the cabinet that the fears were real and it wasn’t ‘spin.’ (Maariv) Haaretz+’s Amos Harel wrote that Netanyahu urgently wants to supplement the defense budget by a few billion shekels to improve the missile defense system in identifying incoming cruise missiles.

Elections 2019 Quickees:
  • Netanyahu has tried to form a government through defections - but with no success so far - While the PM continues to hold the mandate to assemble a government when there are no negotiations with Kahol-Lavan the ruling party has tried to locate MKs in the center-left bloc who agree to "defect." (Maariv)
  • Half of Israelis oppose unity government headed by Netanyahu, poll finds - Survey also shows that the results of a potential third election cycle would be nearly identical to September vote. (Haaretz)
  • Political capital - While the state lost money from last month's re-election campaign, those who won are the senior Likud employees, who are close to the prime minister - The senior officials, including the Prime Minister and members of his family, earned a salary of close to 100,000 shekels in exchange for their work during the election month. More than 80,000 shekels for the CEO of the Likud movement, more than 60,000 shekels to media consultants and close to 50,000 shekels for bureau chief: The salaries of the party's seniors were revealed in the September payroll. Likud in response: "The amounts relate to the election period.” (Yedioth Hebrew)
  • Israel election board curbs parties’ access to information on September’s vote - Committee said it provided some political parties less access to minutes from precincts after they violated disclosure restrictions. (Haaretz+)

Quick Hits:
  • Netanyahu addressed for the first time the protest in the Arab sector, his pledges to combat violence in Arab Community were met with skepticism - The prime minister (finally) responded to the weekend protests in the Arab community, saying he condemned the murders had agreed to allocate additional manpower and increase enforcement. MK Ahmed Tibi responded: "Good morning!” Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh: “The test of declarations - a government decision for a systemic program to combat violence, and to begin to implement it immediately. It’s not reasonable that twenty percent of the population has to break the rules and block roads in order for the government to address the problem that has been plaguing innocent lives for years. I urge the police to treat the protesters as civilians and not enemies. We will do whatever it takes to live in a society free from firearms.” (Haaretz+ and Yedioth Hebrew)
  • Jews Resolve Things in Court, Arabs Pull Out a Weapon, Israeli Minister Says - Responding to wave of protest by Israeli Arabs over what they dub lax police response to violent crime, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan says Monday that Arab society "is a very, very violent society" with "cultural norms" that promote violence. His comments were dubbed 'racist and patronizing' by lawmakers. Erdan, whose office is in charge of overseeing the Israel Police, is slated to meet leading Israeli Arab politicians on Thursday, in a bid to find solutions for the uptick in gun violence in the Arab community, but senior lawmaker Ahmad Tibi said his peers are reconsidering the meeting over the minister's latest comments. (Haaretz and Maariv)
  • Hate Crime Suspected as Vehicles Vandalized, Slogans Sprayed in West Bank Palestinian Village - Masked vandals were caught on camera entering the village of Qira, north of the Salfit district, puncturing tires and spray-painting houses, reading ‘There is no place for enemies in the country’ and ’when Jews are hurt, we don’t forget our obligation.’ (Haaretz+VIDEO and JPost)
  • **Israeli Ministers Imply Fewer Women Would Be Murdered if Not for Netanyahu Probes - 'It's not only a question of funding, but of priorities,' Communications Minister David Amsalem says after a woman was allegedly murdered by her husband in Jerusalem. (Haaretz and Yedioth Hebrew)
  • Cop Likely Won't Be Indicted for Manslaughter in Deadly Shooting of Ethiopian Israeli Teen - Prosecutors to pursue lesser charge of negligent homicide in case that sparked wave of protest over police brutality, sources say. (Haaretz+)
  • Survey: One in five Israelis was adversely affected by IDF fighting - The ‘Path of Tomorrow’ Association reports that one-fifth of Israelis report being directly affected or know of someone in their family who was adversely affected by an IDF fighting event. (Maariv)
  • Ever since Operation Protective Edge: an increase in the number of veterans from the Yom Kippur war turn to NATAL organization for psychological aid - Since the last operation in the Gaza Strip, in 2015, 461 veterans of the war that occurred in '73 have turned to the NATAL aid hotline: “(It’s) a trigger for veterans with post-trauma.” (Maariv)
  • Fear that the Yom Kippur War surprise will repeat itself - A survey conducted by the “Yom Kippur War Center” to mark the 46th anniversary of that war also showed that 40% saw the war as a failure and a victory, and 29% saw it as a political and intelligence failure. (Maariv)
  • Jordan Calls on Israel to Release Two Citizens Arrested Going Into the West Bank - Heba Abdel-Baqi, who went on a hunger strike, ‘was interrogated intensively for 35 days’ over supporting terrorism, ‘and in the end, there was no basis for indicting her,’ lawyer says. (Haaretz+)
  • FM Katz says IDF chief ended policy of ambiguity in Syria by going public with Iran drone plot - Foreign minister Yisrael Katz claims Monday that Aviv Kochavi admitted to having approved publication of a foiled Iranian drone attack by Israeli military in August; Katz attacked Kahol-Lavan MK Yair Lapid for suggesting earlier ambiguity was ended due to Netanyahu's personal interests (Ynet and Maariv)
  • Israel’s Interior Ministry Looking Into Revoking BDS Co-founder Omar Barghouti’s Residency - Barghouti, a Qatari-born Palestinian who lives in northern Israel, is 'doing everything to harm the state, and shouldn’t enjoy the right of being a resident of Israel,' minister claims. Joint List leader Ayman Odeh: “Today it’s Barghouti and tomorrow it could be anyone who doesn’t agree with the Israeli government, with the occupation policy and with Jewish supremacist laws.” (Haaretz+ and Maariv)
  • Palestinian Authority removes mention of agreements with Israel from textbooks - In the new textbooks, almost all of the PLO-Israel agreements were deleted, including the two-state solution, peace and coexistence. In addition, the state's name is mentioned in parentheses - a sign of illegitimacy. (Ynet and Maariv)
  • In First, Israeli Court Demands Facebook Reveal Identity Behind Fake Account - Fictitious profile was focused entirely on slandering Ramat Gan municipal employees, said complainants. (Haaretz+)
  • No railing, no protection: An air conditioner installer fell 5 stories high and was killed on the spot – a live voice - EMS personnel responded to emergency that saw a 50-year-old man fall from a height while he attempted to install an air conditioning unit in a building in Kiryat Bialik. He was the 67th worker to be killed this year. (TYW and Yedioth Hebrew)
  • Gigantic Prehistoric City Found in Israel During Roadworks - En Esur, with its monumental temple and huge population, was vastly bigger than anything thought possible in the Southern Levant 5,000 years ago. (Haaretz+)
  • Only a Third of Israeli Camels Have ID Chips – and It Could Be Deadly - The Agriculture Ministry says Bedouin communities in the country's south won't cooperate with it, while stray camels continue to be involved in fatal car accidents. (Haaretz+)
  • 'The days of the Ottoman Empire are over' - After years of inaction, new Foreign Ministry plan aims to stop Ankara's efforts to undermine Israeli sovereignty in east Jerusalem. Among proposed steps: outlawing Muslim Brotherhood, limiting activities of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, whose stated objective is "preventing the Judaization of Jerusalem." (Israel Hayom)
  • Turkey protests after U.S. Embassy likes tweet about ill nationalist party leader - The U.S. Embassy posted an apology on Twitter late on Saturday. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Defying Pentagon, Trump Backs Turkish Operation in Syria Targeting U.S.-backed Kurds - U.S.-backed militia says American forces failed to meet their commitments, as Washington informs Kurds it wouldn't protect them against imminent Turkish incursion into northeastern Syria to 'clear terrorist elements.’ (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • US troops start pullout from along Turkey's border in Syria - "The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial 'caliphate,' will no longer be in the immediate area," the White House says following phone call with Erdoğan. Move leads to concern among Kurdish fighters. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • India issues Yom Kippur terror alert for Jews, Israelis - Indian sources say Israeli support for the country’s abrogation of an article of its constitution giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir motivated the terror groups to attack. (Israel Hayom)
  • Shattering Brief Calm, Iraqi Soldiers Fire on Protesters as Death Toll Tops 100 - Interior Ministry spokesman confirms over 6,000 wounded in sixth straight day of anti-corruption protest. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • China pulls out of $5B deal to develop Iranian offshore gas field - Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh says exporting crude oil is Iran's "right" and Islamic republic will do so by every possible method. Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization reiterates threat to reduce commitments under 2015 nuclear deal unless the European parties to the pact shield its economy from US sanctions. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Saudi Arabia eases restrictions on women taking hotel rooms - As kingdom rolls out first tourist visa, it starts to let women rent rooms without male guardian approval, allow foreign couples to stay together without proof of marriage. (Agencies, Haaretz)

'My Shin Bet Interrogation Prepared Me for Israeli Prison'
The Shin Bet security service did not answer my question as to whether the suspicions against Lama Khater of Hebron — of civil activity in Hamas — warranted such great use of its abuse skills: 10 interrogators, being tied to a low chair for 20 hours straight, sleep deprivation and a doctor who dispensed painkillers and then returned Khater to her torturers. During her 35 days of interrogation she saw representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross twice. She met three times with a lawyer, who was allowed to see her immediately after her arrest. Had she been suspected of grave security offenses, she would have been prevented from meeting with them for a prolonged period of time. After all these meetings, she said, “It was hard to think that they were returning home, to the normal world, while I was returning to the interrogation.” That is, returning to be tied to a low elementary-school chair for another five or 15 hours, to the threats, insults and screams of another Shin Bet interrogator. (Amira Hass, Haaretz+)
Self-styled Arab Jew Shimon Ballas Was the First Iraqi Israeli to Publish a Novel in Hebrew
Instead of becoming an Israeli Zionist, Ballas chose to remain faithful to the identity he defined as Arab-Jew – despite the fact that the Arab was seen in the country as inferior, as a stranger and an enemy. (Ofer Aderet, Haaretz+)
For This Acclaimed American-Israeli Food Writer, Life Is ‘Sababa’
Adeena Sussman, who’s catching her breath from her U.S. cookbook tour, tells Haaretz about the passion that has put the Israeli iteration of Middle East cuisine on the map. (Dina Kraft, Haaretz+)
Eliminating Violence in the Israeli Arab Community Is in Everyone’s Interest (Ayman Odeh, Haaretz+) Those in the government who seek to shirk responsibility for the personal security of the citizens resort to benighted arguments to transfer responsibility to the victims themselves. I’ve stopped counting the times I’ve been asked about the “culture of murder” in Arab society. A quick glance at the data for Palestinians in the territories is enough to understand how unfounded this claim is: The annual average number of murder victims in Jewish Israeli society is eight per million, similar to the West Bank’s nine per million. In the Gaza Strip the number is 11 per million. This situation isn’t inevitable, it’s a direct result of the government’s helplessness and the police’s criminal indifference. The solutions are on the table, and for years we have been demanding every possible platform: enforcement campaigns, stations for collecting guns, and education budgets that will stop the unbridled violence.
Israel’s Great Betrayal of Its Arab Citizens (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) You don’t need decades to suspect that the police have deliberately imposed anarchy on guns and crime in the Arab community. At a time when gangs in the Jewish community are handled with an iron fist, organized crime in the Arab community is flourishing and drowning the Arab population in blood and tears. The security forces, which keep an eye on every move an Arab makes, even in his bedroom, have suddenly gone AWOL. Isn’t that a decision – to do nothing when action is called for?
Criminal discount (Ariella Ringle Hoffman, Yedioth Hebrew) What David Amsalem said, still as a minister in the Israeli government, in reference to the murder of Michal Sala, was that the Israeli police are investing excessive resources in the investigation of the prime minister's cigars and therefore cannot invest time, effort, and forces in the proper treatment of the phenomenon of murder of women in the State of Israel. Or if you want in a slightly different wording, it's this or that. Or cigars, or the murder of women. David Amsalem's foolish assertion deflects the debate about violence against women and dismisses the police from carrying responsibility.
The Roots of the Crime Wave in Arab Communities in Israel (Amnon Be’eri-Sulitzeanu and Thabet Abu Rass, Haaretz+) Arab citizens are being terrorized by criminals and life in Arab communities has become hellish. It wasn’t always that way, but 19 years ago, after the police gave a chilling demonstration of what it thinks of Arab citizens (reminder: It ended with 13 people dead), Arab society simply expelled them, physically and consciously. The police, for their part, cooperated, preferring to limit to a minimum their involvement with law and order in Arab towns. This under-policing created a terrible vacuum that became fertile ground for crime, which has risen and flourished. Today it’s clear that it’s a disaster.
Listen to Brig. Gen. Dror Shalom (Yossi Beilin, Israel Hayom) The most senior figure in situation assessment in the defense establishment has some surprising things to say, many of which are contrary to Prime Minister Netanyahu's policies. The new government should take heed.
Israel's Invisible Laborers (Haaretz Editorial) Yet another worker was killed in Israel this week. An air-conditioning technician in his 50s died Sunday, after falling five stories while working at an apartment building in Kiryat Bialik. The Magen David Adom medic who was called to the scene said, “There was nothing we could do but declare him dead.” It’s not only the ambulance service, but also the police and the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry that act as if all there is nothing they can do but declare the deaths of workers, as if it were a matter of divine decree and not the result of a systematic abdication of responsibility by everyone involved in the issue. No other explanation is possible for the horrifying fact that since the start of the year, 67 people have died in work accidents in Israel.
Israel’s fractured democracy and its repercussions (Dr. Alon Ben-Meir, Israel Hayom) The net result of the current coalition system is that the various parties end up settling for the lowest common denominator, both in domestic and foreign affairs policy, which inadvertently weakens the government’s hand in taking major initiatives.
Netanyahu's 'Brothers' (Raviv Drucker, Haaretz+) Netanyahu knows that in the case dubbed Case 1000, he has a problem. It’s hard to legitimize the systematic, ongoing receipt of cigars, champagne, jewelry and other luxuries over the course of years. Therefore, during his interrogations, he turned Milchan into his “brother.” If it’s okay for Bibi to accept millions from his cousin Nathan Milikowsky, then it’s okay to accept hundreds of thousands from his “brother.” It’s pretty mortifying, then, that his “brother” said, during his own interrogation, that Netanyahu and his wife are a hedonistic couple who make incessant demands, and that he was revolted by them. But, hey, you don’t choose your brothers. Of perhaps you do. Based on the evidence, Netanyahu had many “brothers” – Spencer Partrich, Zeev Rubinstein, Dedi Graucher, Robert Rechnitz and even Sheldon Adelson, who also apparently brought the prime minister boxes of cigars.
Israel’s strategic situation doesn’t brook inertia (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) Prolonged political uncertainty poses two different dangers: that Israel’s enemies will be tempted to take advantage of Israel’s infirmity and that Israel will be unable to take advantage of emerging diplomatic opportunities.
Israel Is Terrified of Netanyahu's Magic Wearing Off (Tzvia Greenfield, Haaretz+) The public is confused and still finding it hard to believe that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu really lost the election, and that the story of Israel spiralling down into the realms of craziness that began with the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is about to end. After all, that’s the main reason why President Reuven Rivlin proposed to Kahol Lavan the unrealistic plan involving the period of incapacity, which accepts in advance and without question the permanent presence of Netanyahu as the only possible prime minister in Israel. Many members of the public have yet to internalize the significance of the revolt of 2.5 million Israeli citizens against the despotic and frenetic rule of Netanyahu and his family. Moreover, they seem to grasp even less the dramatic transformation that has taken place in the attitude of local Arab leaders regarding their responsibility as part of Israeli society – and no less important: the emotional change occurring in the attitude of the country’s Jews toward the Arab community as a significant partner in the country as a whole, which is deserving of respect and wholehearted assistance.
As Iraqis Protest Corruption, Iran Pours Oil on the Flames (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) An Iraqi public used to empty promises is not an easy one to quell, and their frustration with their corrupt government – and Iran's hold on their country – might unseat it.
It's time to wake up (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) Israel must do away with the obsolete paradigm guiding its analysis of Iran. As the attack on Saudi Arabia proves, Tehran has moved from proxy war to direct confrontation.
Keeping Dissidents Quiet, Turkey’s Literary Cleansing Drive Knows No Rest (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Since 2016, more than 300,000 books have reportedly been confiscated in Turkey, including textbooks banned for mentioning Pennsylvania, where Erdogan rival Fethullah Gulen is exiled.
Saudi Arabia Recognizes Its Weakness and Is Ready to Talk to the Iranian Foe (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has suffered a raft of regional failures, may have to cut his losses by negotiating with the great Shi’ite enemy.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.