News Nosh 11.3.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday November 3, 2019

 
Quote of the day:
"...The most important war is the war for peace."
--Labor party chief Amir Peretz said ahead of the Rabin memorial rally, the slogan which was "No to violence, yes to peace."*

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • The shooting on Sderot - Look Tahel in the eyes - The photo of Tahel, on the floor during the siren, tells the story of the children of the Gaza Strip periphery (Hebrew)
  • Jihad attacks, Hamas gets attacked // Yossi Yehoshua (Hebrew)
  • “The hatred has again been weaponized by politicians” - Gantz at the rally marking 24 years since Rabin’s murder
  • The crown speech // Nahum Barnea with the masses at the rally
  • Country on hold - After 48 hours in the emergency ward: Victoria received a place in the hospital ward (Hebrew)
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • Exceptional incident - Hezbollah launched surface-to-air missile - Alertness in the south, tension in the north; In the IDF, concern over shooting of (Israeli) drone in Lebanon
  • On being on alert and intercepting (missiles) - Iron Dome (anti-missile battery) deployed, cabinet to meet today to discuss situation
  • The transcripts that Channel 12 News did not broadcast: Netanyahu wasn’t moved at all by (Walla-Bezeq owner) Elovich, Nir Hefetz said in his testimony
  • 24 years since the murder: “Time to correct” - Masses participated in Yitzhak Rabin memorial rally
  • UN to Israeli organizations: Give us suggestions for making UNRWA’s activities more efficient
  • This is how (Avigdor) Lieberman stopped historic reform in judicial system
  • Return Jews to their lands in Hebron // Nadav Shragai

Top News Summary:
A flare-up by Islamic Jihad in the south, a rally and a speech by Benny Gantz against hatred in Tel-Aviv and two more Arab-Israelis killed in the wave of violence in the Arab-Israeli sector were top stories in today’s Hebrew newsapers.

According to Israeli military analysts, Israel’s retaliation taken out on Hamas targets in Gaza following the 10 rockets launched by Islamic Jihad - seven of which were intercepted - at southern Israel Friday night was proportional. Yedioth’s Yossi Yehoshua wrote that there were no attempts to cause fatalities because Israel knew that it wasn’t Hamas behind the attacks, but as the sovereign, it was responsible. In fact, one Palestinian man was killed. The Hebrew papers focused on the fears of Israelis living in the periphery outside the Gaza Strip periphery and Yedioth’s front page pictured a photo of a scared Israeli girl crouched on the floor taking cover. No Israelis were injured, a home in Sderot was damaged. (video) One official in Gaza said that the rocket fire was the local Islamic Jihad’s act of defiance against Hamas. Islamic Jihad's military wing issued a statement after the rocket shooting, saying that the State of Israel "commits crimes against the Palestinian people and occupies its land" and so it “should not feel comfortable and live calmly.” (Maariv) Also, people on holiday found an explosive device hidden in a book in a Gaza periphery Israeli community. It was flown from via a balloon, but it's unclear how long ago.

While tension in the south made top news, tension in the north was also a headline, particularly the fact that Hezbollah used a surface-to-air missile to shoot down an Israeli drone last week, which the IDF confirmed. This is seen as Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah following through with his warning to protect Lebanese airspace from Israeli infiltration. This apparent policy shift is a cause for concern in Israel. Nasrallah said that the firing on the Israeli drone proves that Hezbollah ‘is not afraid.’

*The Israeli newspapers’ big takeaway from the annual memorial event for Yitzhak Rabin Saturday night, was Kahol-Lavan leader Benny Gantz’s accusation of politicians using hatred as a weapon. "Rabin was murdered because of because of factionalism, because of incitement, because of hatred. Twenty-four years later and Rabin is not with us, but to our misfortune and our disgrace, incitement is rearing its ugly head," Gantz added. Ahead of the rally, Labor party chief Amir Peretz called on people to attend the rally in order “to remind everyone that the most important war is the war for peace." housands attended the rally. (Maariv)

In the Arab-Israeli sector they are in a battle for their lives. Israeli-Arab leaders decide to start a hunger strike to protest the violence within their  communities, which they accuse the authorities of not dealing with properly. Two more people were killed over the weekend, bringing to four the number people murdered in Arab towns in Israel just last week. (Also Yedioth Hebrew and Maariv) The leadership of the Arab-Israeli sector also decided to set up a protest tent in front of the Prime Minister's residence.” "The government does not want to deal with the problem,”  one said. (Maariv)


Elections 2019 Quickees:
  • Netanyahu's uninhibited attacks signal he's seeking another election, Gantz says - Kahol Lavan chairman says Thursday prime minister using allies to attack judicial system, law enforcement, and the media. (Haaretz+)
  • The Prime Minister’s divisive comparison - Strong criticism from the left and the Arab leadership over a Netanyahu post in which he allegedly mocked that while he was meeting with IDF soldiers at a graduation ceremony, Kahol-Lavan leader Benny Gantz met with Arab MKs Ayman Odeh and Ahmed Tibi from the Joint List. Above the two photos he wrote: “Interesting what each person did today." The picture, which was intended to ridicule Gantz and delegitimize talks and meetings with representatives of the Arab list, caused a stir in the political system and reactions from all sides. On the left, Netanyahu was accused of racism and incitement. On the internet, hundreds sharply criticized Netanyahu, who himself had met with those representatives in the past. Kahol-Lavan refused to comment on Netanyahu's comparison, but a party official claimed: "Netanyahu is in the midst of a March 2020 election campaign." Chairman of the Joint List MK Odeh said: "Thoughts about being in the dock have made Netanyahu hysterical, but there is nothing he is more afraid of than Arab citizens." (Yedioth Hebrew)
  • The race for cracks in the (right-wing) block - Will the “New Right" change the political picture? Bennett said yesterday: "I relieve Netanyahu of any commitment to me, he should just establish a government.” Some say that  Kahol-Lavan offered Bennett and Shaked two senior positions in exchange for disassembling the right-wing bloc, but Kahol-Lavan denies. Netanyahu, for his part, is considering offering Bennett a ministerial role in the transition government to ensure that he does not join Gantz. (Yedioth Hebrew)

 
Quick Hits:
  • Footage leaked of Israeli Police Officer Shooting Unarmed Palestinian in the Back With Sponge-tipped Bullet - Channel 13 News shows video of 2018 incident of Border Police officer telling Palestinian to walk away with his arms raised after which she fires a rubber-tipped round at his back once he gains distance. At her detention hearing after her arrest in October 2018, the judge said she apparently shot the Palestinian “as a dubious form of entertainment.” As Haaretz reported in 2018, the evidence includes text messages in which members of the unit boasted about the incident. She also faces a charge of obstructing justice, since she allegedly asked her fellow police officers not to talk about the incident. However, the incident was eventually reported by Border Police officers. The event came to light during the investigation of a different incident, in which members of the Border Police allegedly beat a Palestinian man for no reason. (Haaretz+ and video and Times of Israel)
  • East Jerusalem School Declares Strike After Israel Arrests Palestinian Student - Strike was announced following the arrest of 16-year-old student on school grounds, violating agreement reached earlier this year with Isawiyah residents in which police vowed to halt activity near schools. (Haaretz+)
  • Border Police vehicle was stoned (by settlers) at the entrance to Yitzhar (settlement), no casualties - The incident comes about two weeks after the violent incident in which IDF soldiers were attacked by some 30 (Jewish) youngsters from the hilltop youth near Yitzhar. In Saturday’s incident, no damage was done to the incident, no were there casualties. The soldiers searched for suspects. (Maariv)
  • New projects to make Judea and Samaria [West Bank - OH] ’just like any other place' - Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich actively pursuing a "sovereignty through transportation" policy that would integrate settlements with Israeli towns through more roads, railways and nationwide projects. "Israelis and Palestinians live in Judea and Samaria and they are not going anywhere; they should get proper transportation, not just band-aid solutions," he says. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel Blocks Palestinian Amnesty International Employee From Leaving West Bank - Shin Bet say Laith Abu Zeyad was denied passage into Jordan because of security considerations. Amnesty claim worker punished for promoting Palestinians' rights. (Haaretz+)
  • UN consulting with Israeli NGO to improve UNRWA operations - The latest steps come amid allegations that the agency for Palestinian refugees is tainted by corruption. One of the NGO's approached by the office of the UN secretary general is the Center for Near East Policy Research – headed by [right-wing Israel advocacy person - OH] journalist David Bedein – which has long-been been a vocal critic of UNRWA. (Israel Hayom)
  • IDF chief lambastes 'military modesty decree' issued by rabbis - Booklet of instructions for religious soldiers on how to avoid interaction with women was issued in early October. "Let me be absolutely clear: The only people who have any authority on the matter are those who define orders, namely the military commanders. Men and women will continue to serve side by side, as one, in the Israel Defense Forces," Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi states. (Israel Hayom)
  • Palestinian NGO Launches Interactive App to Take You on the Tlaib-Omar Trip That Never Was - The two congresswomen were barred from entering Israel before a planned visit last August after Trump pressured Netanyahu to keep them away. The new app, called Palestine VR, is intended, in the words of its developers, to “give users access to everyday life in Palestine and allow them to see highlights from the trip Israel banned U.S. Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from participating in.” (Haaretz)
  • PA, Hamas election moves met with skepticism - Palestinian analysts suggest both sides trying to avoid blame for lack of elections, argue poll would be impossible without internal reconciliation or participation of East Jerusalem voters. (Ynet)
  • Family of Israeli Woman Jailed in Russia Petitions Top Court Not to Extradite Russian Hacker to U.S. - Petition charges that Russia has turned Naama Issachar into a bargaining chip in its effort to release Alexey Burkov, who is wanted in the U.S. for cyber crimes. (Haaretz)
  • Israeli court orders release of two detained Israeli-born Filipino children facing deportation 0 Court expected to rule Sunday whether 13-year-old Gena Antigo and 10-year-old Ralph Harel, who were arrested as they headed out for school, should be deported. (Haaretz+ and Times of Israel)
  • No Israeli government involvement in NSO's alleged Whatsapp hack, minister says - 'This is not about the state of Israel,’ said Zeev Elkin attempting damage control, as scandal takes global dimension. Facebook-owned WhatsApp sued Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group on Tuesday, accusing it of helping government spies break into the phones of roughly 1,400 users across four continents. Targets included diplomats, political dissidents, journalists and senior government officials. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • India asks WhatsApp to explain privacy breach - At least a dozen journalists and activists were targeted in WhatsApp's biggest market: India, which has 400 million users. Facebook-owned WhatsApp sued Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group on Tuesday, accusing it of helping government spies break into the phones of roughly 1,400 users across four continents in a hacking spree whose targets included diplomats, political dissidents, journalists and senior government officials. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Yair Netanyahu’s driver to pay out for taping him disparaging women - Premier’s son to be paid NIS 30,000 by Roi Rozen, who recorded him and his friends on night out at strip clubs, then released the tapes to a news outlet. (Times of Israel)
  • Israel reveals its first-ever 'Air Force One.' Test run begins with a hitch - Five years after Israeli Air Force One was ordered, at a cost of $164 million, the controversial project is about to begin its test flights. (Haaretz+)
  • A Babylonian treasure: How dozens of pictures of Iraqi Jews came home - An employee of the Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center in central Israel stumbled across a handful of images found years earlier by elderly woman who spotted them dumped on a Tel Aviv street; through social media, the owners have already been located. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Calls to condition U.S. aid to Israel 'outrageous,' Biden says - Fellow Democratic presidential candidates Sanders, Warren and Buttigieg have all expressed some kind of openness for the previously unpopular idea. (Haaretz+)
  • Report: US withholding $105M in security aid for Lebanon - State Department tells Congress that the White House budget office and National Security Council had decided to withhold foreign military assistance but does not give a reason for the decision. The move comes two days after the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. (Israel Hayom)
  • 40 years on, U.S. Embassy in Tehran is monument to Iran hostage crisis - A brick gate around the compound is today famous for its anti-American murals and entering the facility is like stepping back in time, with a museum in what was once the vault displaying communications gear destroyed by besieged staffers. (Agencies, Ynet)


Features:
How an Israeli-Arab Psychologist Became Germany's Staunchest Islam Critic
Ahmad Mansour is waging battles against the radicalization of young Muslim immigrants, and hatred of Israel, in his adoptive country of Germany. (Liza Rozovsky, Haaretz+)
Erdogan's head: What drives the President of Turkey and where does he want to go?
The man who has ruled the republic for the past 17 years has been an easy year. Why is he angry with Israel and how has he cemented his status? If (Kemal) Ataturk was a mighty reformer in the directions we liked, Erdogan is a mighty reformer in the opposite direction, but still a reformer who changed Turkey from completely. As soon as he came to power, people like me saw it as a revolution, but we had no idea how dramatic it would be,” said Dr. Alon Liel, who previously served as Israel's ambassador to Turkey and was Director General of the Foreign Ministry. "In my opinion, Erdogan's initial goal was to change Turkey, to erase the Kemalism," explains Dr. Liel, whose doctoral thesis he did on Turkey at the time. “There have been two circles of millions of people that (Kemal) Ataturk hurt badly: the Kurds and the religious, and Erdogan belongs to the religious circle. The religious were just trampled on. They were not allowed to be in Turkish politics and public (positions). "(Eyal Levy, Maariv)
Palestinians are attending Hebrew U in record numbers, changing the face of Jerusalem
Separation barrier and tough job market seen as spurring spike of East Jerusalem residents on campus. The trend is bringing the city's Palestinian and Jewish communities closer, and creating a new elite. (Nir Hasson, Haaretz+)
A Wall, Arrests and Close Surveillance: How Israel Fences in a Palestinian Family
Their every move is filmed, every exit from their house depends on the army and they may access their land three times a year at most. The Gharib family has been living this way since Israel surrounded them with settlers. (Amira Hass, Haaretz+)
Solomon's Wisdom: The Story of the Bravest Warrior in the Jezreel Valley
He built four elite units and saved Arik Sharon's life, but in the end, Lt. Col. Shlomo Baum was forced to leave the IDF after a particularly long ideological argument. (Dr. Uri Milstein, Maariv)
Could Netanyahu Actually Be Good for Israel's Arabs?
In recent years, Israel's Arab community has been benefiting from higher budgets and making great strides in academia and high-tech, says Ron Gerlitz, the country’s most optimistic leftist. (Netta Ahituv, Haaretz+)
Gideon Levy A young Palestinian's walk of death
The guards at a checkpost that's off-limits to pedestrians claimed the young man approaching them had a knife. They kept shooting at him after he was wounded and prostrate. Now Israel won't return his body to his family. (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+)

Commentary/Analysis:
Enough With the Israeli Right’s Self-pity (Ravit Hecht, Haaretz+) What Prof. Mordechai Kedar said at a demonstration of support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Petah Tikva’s Goren Square shocked many people. But anyone who has had any contact with right-wingers knows this isn’t a lunatic-fringe idea or a slip of the tongue. The view that Yigal Amir didn’t kill Yitzhak Rabin, and that people who don’t belong to the right were actually behind the murder, has always been deeply rooted there. Nonsense like this reflects the infantile inability of parts of the right to bear responsibility for the murder of an Israeli prime minister. To bear responsibility for the fact that a murderer grew up among them, one of several, and that this particular murderer desecrated Israel’s national existence and undermined the symbol of its sovereignty more than any Arab terrorist ever has. n 40 years of ruling, the right hasn’t managed to grow into the role of sovereign ruler, which, among other things, includes accepting responsibility for mistakes and errors, weaning itself from its obsessive self-pity and ceasing to cling to the role of the victim.
Remarks about Rabin murder tainted a legitimate rally (Dr. Eitan Orkibi, Israel Hayom) Since the Right is in the unusual position of questioning authority, it must act responsibility. The conspiracy theory about Rabin's murder voiced at a rally this week marked a new low, and the Right should ask itself how it happened.
Does Jewish morality require Israel leave the West Bank? (Evelyn Gordon, Israel Hayom) Jewish tradition links the Jews’ continued presence in their land with their moral conduct. But nowhere does it require national suicide.
There's room for cautious optimism on UNRWA (Ariel Kahana, Israel Hayom) The Palestinian refugee agency's mandate is up for review and UN Secretary General Guterres seems willing to listen to the critics of its anti-Israel policy. Will UNRWA undergo real reform?
A Conscientious Objector's Thoughts From an Israeli Military Prison (Yasmin Ricci-Yahav, Haaretz+) In military jail, before the girls know your name, they want to know why you’re there. I’m asked why I’m in jail and how many days I was sentenced for. But here ends the typical experience. When I say that I am a conscientious objector, that I’m a pacifist, I am immediately asked to explain and elaborate. After explaining that I don’t believe that wars lead to long-term solutions and that I cannot take part in an organization that uses violence and aggression in general, and in one that takes part in the occupation specifically, I am always asked the same question: “So, are you a leftist?” I say that leftism and pacifism do not necessarily overlap, but that yes, in my case, I am both. And then I am met with shock. And then, questions.
Spitting in the well: Yair Golan has decided to reveal the IDF's "big scam" (Prof. Arieh Eldad, Maariv) The new politician from the far left is trying to portray Chief of Staff Kochavi as a manipulator and liar in a request for inflated budgets for the IDF, perhaps because he did not receive his post.
Hamas or Islamic Jihad: Who's responsible for Gaza rocket fire? (Elior Levy, Yedioth/Ynet) One political analyst, who's very close to Hamas, wrote on his Twitter account the terror group was not behind the rocket fire; hours later, all the messages on his social media have disappeared; does it indicate Hamas's unwillingness to blame Islamic Jihad - the second largest faction in the enclave - or is that an admission of guilt?
In the Absence of Policy (Haaretz Editorial) The rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel last week and the Israeli response have reignited the ranting political rhetoric, and with it, the militant hue of the coalition talks. None of these men has a viable action plan and no political party has an answer to the rockets, apart from slogans based on failed responses from the past. One wonders how these warmongers would react if Netanyahu were to accede to these hollow calls and launch an all-out war, including a ground invasion deep into the Gaza Strip.
In his hands: the man who is bringing the next round of escalation in the Gaza Strip closer (Tal Lev-Ram, Maariv) The solid assessment in Israel is that behind the recent shooting is the commander of the Islamic Jihad's Northern Brigade, Baha Abu al-Atta, who changed the rules of the game in the past year.
Israeli Response to Gaza Rockets Signals Hamas to Rein in Islamic Jihad (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Israel's strong but measured strikes on Hamas targets for rockets that appear to have been launched by Islamic Jihad show an unwillingness to escalate – especially as tensions mount on the northern border.
(Published Friday, before the rockets) The discourse in the media is mainly about the north but from the south there is a feeling of an approaching conflict (Tal Lev Ram, Maariv) The purpose of the IDF's operation in the next war in Gaza is simple to understand, from the level of the division commander to the fighter in the field. Impressions from this week's big exercise in the south. This week, another major commanders’ exercise was under way in the south as part of the preparations for a future war in Gaza. This time, it was the turn of Division 162 and Brigadier General Sa'ar Tzur. Division 162 is one of the important maneuvering divisions of the IDF that in every possible war scenario in the south or north it will play a major role. The last time the IDF was prepared for a confrontation in Gaza was in Operation Cast Lead in 2008. Today, Hertzi Halevi, the commander of the division, was then the commander of the paratroopers' brigade, who served under the southern commander, Yoav Galant and the commander of Gaza division Eyal Eisenberg. For more than two years, the IDF had been training for Operation Cast Lead. After the failures in the Second Lebanon War, the ground forces needed a corrective experience to restore the confidence of the military. Operation Cast Lead partially provided this, after the political echelon decided to implement the plans only very narrowly. The current situation in Gaza is different and the latest plans are not similar to those of the military operation in 2008, but the senior reserve officers, who have served for many years in the Southern Command headquarters, feel that this time the army is preparing seriously and thoroughly and is investing a lot of resources. They, who remember the preliminary discussions on the eve of Operation Protective Edge - then the problems rose - claim that the level of preparedness today reminds them of the period before Cast Lead.
Jihad attacks, Hamas receives the response (Yossi Yehoshua, Yedioth Hebrew) The Friday shooting did not really surprise the security establishment. Despite the relative quiet for weeks, there are warnings that the northern Jihad Brigade commander, Baha Abu al-Ata, is planning to launch rockets at Israel, as he did in the past. This was also the reason for the high level of preparedness of the Iron Dome systems, and Israeli intelligence was centered around the conduct of the senior jihadist, who usually works independently without any subordinate or foreign directives. Not that the Islamic terrorist organization needs reasons to fire at the surrounding communities, but even if they were sought, they did not exist last weekend. The demonstrations on the fence that take place every Friday, which often ignite the area, passed this time without any fatalities or unusual events. This did not stop Jihad from launching a ten-rocket barrage, one of which landed in the yard of a private home in Sderot. This incident shows that Israeli defense is not hermetic: in Gaza, terrorist organizations have improved their capabilities and are studying and challenging Israel's sophisticated interception systems. In light of this, the IDF understands that it is necessary to coordinate expectations with the population, that in the case of war on several fronts we will not reach the level of defense available today, which despite the difficult scenes [of Israelis running for cover - OH] and anxiety attacks on the home front,, this is an achievement which does not exist in any other country. The IDF immediately recognized that the Friday night barrage was launched by Islamic Jihad, yet it retaliated against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, as part of the desire to provoke intra-Palestinian friction between the parties. And the reaction stemmed from the notion that Hamas was the responsible sovereign on the ground. However, in light of the fact that Hamas was not the one responsible for the shootings, the IDF's attacks were proportionate and were not planned to cost fatalities.
Gaza Front Was Relatively Quiet for a Short While. Here's What's Igniting It Again (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) The quiet across the border rests on thin ice, senior Israeli army commanders say ■ How the Israeli army leaked the assassination of a top Palestinian terrorist.
The dilemma Israel faces in Gaza is not if but when to go to war (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Islamic Jihad is widely believed to be behind the latest rocket fire on Israeli communities; while Israeli sources claim Hamas is trying to rein in the second largest terror group in the enclave, the Jewish state still has to prepare for a wide-scale operation.
For Israel, Gaza Comes Second to Iran — but That May Change (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Israel sees Baha Abu al-Ata, an Islamic Jihad commander most likely responsible for Friday's rocket fire, as a local bully whose star is briefly shining.
The ball is now in Nasrallah's court (Shimrit Meir, Yedioth/Ynet) There are now two scenarios for Lebanon - one of unity and progress, the other of degeneration and street fighting; and in the Dahia district of Beirut sits the Hezbollah leader, who can decide an entire country's fate.
Opinion Netanyahu vs. Nasrallah (Israel Harel, Haaretz+) After the next display of courage by Hezbollah, or Hamas in the south, the IDF must 'lethally' liquidate both these organizations’ offensive capabilities.
Tomorrow Won’t Be Good (Uri Misgav, Haaretz+) On Friday, November 1, the annual fundraising concert for the Ezra LeMarpeh Organization headed by Rabbi Avram Elimelech Firer was supposed to have been held at the Charles Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv. President Reuven Rivlin was invited as the guest of honor. Tickets were marketed by the Zappa company at prices ranging from 365 to 1,005 shekels. There were plans for staging a gala tribute to the songs of beloved singer-songwriter Shlomo Artzi, accompanied by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and moderated by Eyal Kitsis of the popular satirical television show, Eretz Nehederet. The motto of the event was supposed to have been a line from one of Artzi’s songs: “Yesterday was good, and tomorrow will be too.” Alongside Artzi, who was invited to grace the evening with his presence (were) Eighteen men, zero women. Because the rabbi said so. Elai Botner was even asked to appear without Adar Gold, his regular backup singer who is a woman. Artistic director Haim Shemesh said on the television show “Good Evening with Guy Pines:” “The rabbi requested that we respect him in this matter of women not singing in the performance” – because the ultra-Orthodox hold that men experience sexual arousal upon hearing a woman’s voice.
The cold wind blowing from Amman ( Yaakov Ahimeir, Israel Hayom) Jordan has effectively frozen diplomatic ties with Israel, which not only supplies the very water the Jordanians and their Syrian refugees drink, but ensures that King Abdullah II stays on his throne.
Jordanians Now See Israel as an Implacable Enemy, Despite 25 Years of Peace (Marwan A. Kardoosh, Haaretz+) Jordan's King Abdullah II is trapped between an aggressively pro-Israel Trump, a hardline Israel and an increasingly radicalized grassroots clamoring to cut all diplomatic and trade relations with Israel.
Al-Baghdadi and Trump’s Syrian chess board (Caroline B. Glick, Israel Hayom) Trump is not flying blind in Syria. He is implementing a multifaceted set of policies that are based on the strengths, weaknesses and priorities of the various actors.
J Street's foul formula (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) The supposedly pro-Israel organization is now less protective of Israeli security than Obama was. It wants to condition US military aid on Israeli withdrawals.

Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
Netanyahu Is Sabotaging Unity Government Talks. His Scorched-earth Tactics May Backfire (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) Netanyahu is gunning for a third election. Helping lead the charge is the justice minister, who dumped a pail of sewage on state prosecutors.
Gantz's attempt to be crowned as Rabin's successor (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) The Blue and White leader, who spoke at 24th anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination, adopted the former prime minister's demeanor and used the word 'peace' more times that evening than in his whole political career; however, it is doubtful the calculating former IDF chief will be able to fill the shoes of the former leader who spoke from his gut.
Gantz, the Perfect Heir to Rabin (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Benny Gantz was anointed the heir of Yitzhak Rabin on Saturday; no one is a more natural heir. The nagging of the Zionist left to let their leaders speak at the rally is becoming more and more tiresome every year. There is no one like Gantz to “be” Rabin. Gantz could very well be Rabin number 2. A bit different – all at once nicer and less impressive – but like a brother in terms of his world view. The two figures are regarded with greater esteem than they deserve: Rabin as the prophet of peace and Gantz as the hope for redemption and cleansing after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Yet just as Rabin was not the prophet of peace he was made up to be, Gantz will not bring about the long-awaited redemption.
Idle claims: Negotiations are ongoing, but it is clear that they will yield nothing (Anna Barsky, Maariv) The entire political system is awaiting Mendelblit's decision - and is anxiously looking toward a third election campaign. Even if Gantz considered the unity option, it no longer exists.
The Arab parties have laid the groundwork for a minority government (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) In this game of chicken, Netanyahu has already decided that a third early election is preferable to ditching his right-wing allies. Gantz has not made up his mind.
Gantz would betray public's trust with minority government (Uri Heitner, Yedioth/Ynet) Likud and Blue and White owe it to Israeli voter to reach a consensus in order to avoid a third election and most of all, avoid a coalition reliant on the MKs from the Arab-dominated Joint List, who might leave the newly formed government in disarray in case of a security crisis.
In TrumpWorld and BibiWorld, truth is tantamount to treason (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) A cult of personality that requires swift destruction of conscientious critics is a hallmark of totalitarian regimes.
It is not (Justice) Minister Ohana that should be the subject of criticism, but Attorney General Mendelblitt (Kalman Libskind, Maariv) What happened to the Attorney General, who used to talk about a dangerous state prosecutor’s office, which stitches cases and makes leaks, and today he attacks whoever quotes him? What happened to journalists who became the prosecutor's cheerleading chorus?
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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