News Nosh 11.4.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday November 4, 2019

 
Quote of the day:
"In the world of medicine, we call this an autoimmune disease."
--Yedidiya Stern writes in Yedioth that the attack by Justice Minister Amir Ohana on the most senior members of staff under his authority, accusing them of an alleged "political agenda" in the investigations into the prime minister is an example of the governing body attacking itself.*

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • The doctor murdered his wife, ran and was caught - 12 woman murdered this year
  • She wanted to leave, living // Anat Lev-Adler
  • Children of periphery of Gaza Strip pay the price
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • The ultra-Orthodox obstacle: “We won’t allow it, even if we go to elections”
  • (Hamas politburo chief) Sinwar: “Israeli government is not able to make decisions”
  • Awful situation: Almost half those hospitalized in Israel are elderly
Israel Hayom
  • “The situation is dangerous, but we won’t stop operating in Syria” - Alertness in south, eyes towards the north: In Israel they are signaling to Iran - we won’t rest
  • Suspicion: The doctor murdered his wife
  • Reason for optimism - elections in the US one year away // Avraham Ben-Zvi
  • Reason for concern - 37 days till elections in UK // Eldad Beck
  • Coalition negotiations stuck: Today - meeting of heads of right-wing bloc
  • Battle of bereaved father against the Population and Immigrations Authority: “My son fell in battle, he didn’t pass away. Change the writing on his ID”


Top News Summary:
The apparent murder of a woman by her husband, a well-known doctor, and court orders preventing the extradition of a Russian hacker and the deportations of two Israeli-born Filipino children were top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

The High Court ordered a stay on the extradition to the US of the Russian hacker Aleksey Burkov following petitions from him and from the family of Israeli Naama Issachar, who is in jail in Russia on a drug conviction. Russia wants to exchange Issachar for Burkov. Speaking to Haaretz, Burkov said he’s not a Kremlin spy, and he wasn’t meddling in the US elections. Haaretz+ found that US Secret Service documents show that Russian hackers struck plea deals with U.S. authorities to hand over partners in cybercrime schemes. An Israeli judge also halted the deportation of two Israeli-born Filipino children, asserting that the minors' welfare wasn't taken into account.

In regards to the latest flare-up with Gaza, senior Israeli Minister Yuval Steinitz said a ground operation in Gaza may be inevitable and it will 'come at a price.’ Steinitz said Israel will have to eliminate the leaders of Hamas and then get to a long-term arrangement." But Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar said no talks are being held with Israel over the long-term ceasefire agreement or prisoner swaps because of the Israeli political deadlock. “We won't be held prisoner to Israeli elections,” they said. (Also Maariv) They also said they nor would they turn a blind eye to the Israeli retaliation strikes that took the life of one man in Gaza. Sderot residents demanded action after rockets hit their town Friday night. At the Sunday weekly cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pledged covert actions on all fronts, to its south, north and east “at sea, in the air and on the ground.”

Elections 2019 Quickees:
  • Bennett: "If we go to a third election the right-wing will crash in historical proportions" - Member of Knesset spoke about the political dead end saying, "the right-wing will crash in historical proportions," adding, "We will find ourselves with a full-fledged left-wing government. I will absolve Netanyahu of any commitment towards me in order that he form a government." (Maariv)
  • Netanyahu Alone Is Responsible for Dragging Israel Into Third Election, Lieberman Says - Yisrael Beiteinu argues that Likud's foot-dragging, lack of compromise are clear proof that the PM does not want to form a unity government. (Haaretz+)
  • Poll: Half of Likud and Yamina (Shaked/Bennett) voters are willing for their party to join a Gantz government - The Israeli Institute for Democracy poll shows that nearly 50 percent of Likud voters and Yamina (Shaked/Bennett) voters were in favor of their party joining a coalition led by Kahol-Lavan. (Maariv)
     
Quick Hits:
  • Israel Arrests Palestinian Jerusalem Affairs Minister for Third Time Within a Year - Fadi al-Hadmi was detained by Israeli security on Sunday and later released. The circumstances leading to his detention remain unclear. (Haaretz+, PNN and Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli Soldiers Arrest B'Tselem Researcher Who Documented Protest Against West Bank Outpost - Arif Daraghmeh says his arrest was intended to intimidate him. Soldiers kept Daraghmeh in the hot sun for hours. He fainted and was then hospitalized. He tells Haaretz one of the soldiers copied photos on his phone while he was examined at the hospital. (Haaretz+)
  • Likud MK pushes PM on West Bank annexation - Sharren Heskel's bill, if implemented, would bring the Jordan Valley territory under full Israeli sovereignty, permit Palestinians living in area to apply for Israeli citizenship within decade, provided they meet certain criteria. New Right MK Ayelet Shaked proposed a similar bill Sunday, regarding the Gush Etzion bloc of settlements and Ma'ale Adumim settlement in the West Bank. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • 'Israel is making progress on freeing captives held by Hamas' - Yaron Blum tells Israel Radio that Hamas does not realize that "something has changed," and Israelis are not willing to see a repeat of the deal to free captive soldier Gilad Schalit. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel’s liason: “The body returned was not of a terrorist” - Family of Lt. Hadar Goldin RIP wrote a letter of protest to the Prime Minister after the body of Imad Shahin, 17, was returned to Gaza last week: “Shahin was active in Hamas youth (organization) and was even buried wrapped in the terror organization’s flag.” Yaron Blum, the Israeli government liason regarding POWs and MIAs, denied that Shahin was a terrorist, even though his body was wrapped in a Hamas flag. Shahin was killed by Israeli soldiers in November 2018 in the riots at the Gaza border fence. Goldin’s mother: “The one leading the country went crazy. This is not a Palestinian body - this is a Hamas person. Hadar was abducted five years and three months ago. In January 2017, the cabinet decided that in order to bring back the [dead - OH] POWs, they will put pressure on Hamas and won’t return (Hamas) captives and bodies." (Maariv and PNN)
  • Israeli Politicians Inappropriately Involved in Media, Special Report Finds - Report examining political influence on the Israel's media finds 'failure' to create an independent communications authority, warns of damage to freedom of expression. (Haaretz+)
  • Jordanian schools, clinics shut as UN Palestinian agency strikes - Around 7,000 UNRWA workers walk out after demanding raises as agency faces unprecedented financial crisis. (Times of Israel)
  • Four Months After Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israeli Protests Still Going Strong - Demonstrators gather in front of the state prosecutor’s house almost daily; late last month, they disrupted a conference to try to get their message across. (Haaretz+)
  • Dalia Rabin on conspiracies in relation to Rabin’s murder - The late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's daughter referred to Dr. Mordechai Kedar's theory that her father's murderer was not Yigal Amir and she spoke about the possibility of pardoning his murderer, Yigal Amir: "For me, a pardon is illegitimate, he is the murderer.” (Maariv)
  • Dr. Kedar on his statements regarding Yitzhak Rabin's murder: “I will stop any further dealing with the subject" - Dr. Mordechai Kedar, lecturer from Bar Ilan University, posted on Facebook announcing that he had stopped discussing former PM Yitzhak Rabin’s murder: “I thank the media for its consideration of my request.” (Maariv)
  • A (Arab-Israeli) boy who witnessed the murder of his sister disappeared before testifying against his accused brother - Two days before his testimony against his brother in his sister's murder case, a 16-year-old boy disappeared and police are searching for him. The boy witnessed the sister's murder about six months ago and even tried to save her. (Yedioth Hebrew and Haaretz Hebrew)
  • Energy Investors Rejoice: Israel-Egypt Gas Pipeline Deal Finally Expected to Go Through - Texas-based Noble Energy, Israel’s Delek Drilling and Egyptian East Gas Co. have partnered in a venture called EMED ■ Deal expected to start in January. (Haaretz+)
  • PM hails emerging alliance with Arab, Christian world - Speaking at the Christian Media Summit in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the Arab world's perception of Israel is undergoing a seismic shift and that the Jewish state has "become an indispensable ally against the enemy of militant Islam." Netanyahu: Israel prevented Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. (Israel Hayom)
  • Local leaders, ex-ministerial aide grilled in government corruption probe - Mayor, former mayor, ex-ministerial aide among those questioned; 10 others arrested in investigation into alleged graft by senior government employees accused of colluding to hand government contracts to certain external parties. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • PM’s son, driver reach settlement over leaked tape - Yair Netanyahu has sued Roee Rozen, a driver who secretly recorded him and his friends while they were visiting a strip club, citing a violation of privacy. Rozen agrees to pay Yair Netanyahu $8,500 and publicly apologize for leaking the recording. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • Israel's 'Air Force One' makes successful test flight - The blue and white aircraft, originally used by Qantas an bought by Israel 3 years ago, has the Star of David on the fuselage, flanked by the writing "State of Israel" in English and Hebrew. Last week, Kahol-Lavan’s Yair Lapid wrote on Facebook: “Five years ago Bibi brought his plane purchase to the government. The price tag was 170 million shekels ($48 million). I voted against. I told him, ‘You don’t need this plane, not when this country can’t fund emergency rooms.’ Nothing helped. Today they unveiled the plane. The price tag? 729 million shekels. Nobody even bothered to explain how it became half a billion shekels more expensive.” (Israel Hayom and Times of Israel)
  • Israeli Government Posted Fake Successful Immigration Stories on Twitter, Report Says - Investigation by The Times of Israel finds that Immigrant Integration Ministry posted stock images of people on Twitter with fabricated quotes. (Haaretz)
  • Demanding the impossible, Israel says pork can only be imported if kosher - Netanyahu’s caretaker government quietly changes regulations to bar entry of pig products into country, though domestic production remains intact. (Times of Israel)
  • Tel Aviv Ranked 5th Worst in World for Traffic Congestion - Israel has 'significant infrastructure needs,' said International Monetary Fund officials. (Haaretz+)
  • Report: Palestinians to hold legislative, presidential elections in February - Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh is said to have met with the head of the Palestinian Authority's Central Elections Commission to discuss the guidelines of the electoral process. Haniyeh describes move as "real reconciliation." (Israel Hayom)
  • Jewish Astronaut in First All-female Spacewalk Posts Photo of Israel From Space - President Reuven Rivlin responds to Jessica Meir's tweet, writing 'we are proud of you and send warm regards from Israel’. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Iraqi Protesters Attack Iranian Consulate in Karbala - Protesters threw stones and burned tires around the building in the Shiite holy city, directing their rage at neighboring Iran and the powerful Iraqi Shiite militias tied to it. (Agencies, Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Egypt's Sinai Province swears allegiance to new Islamic State leader - Quraishi was named on Thursday in an audio message that also confirmed Baghdadi's death and vowed revenge against the United States. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran student leader says he regrets 1979 US Embassy attack -"Like Jesus Christ, I bear all the sins on my shoulders," says Ebrahim Asgharzadeh, who cautions others from following in his footsteps. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Iran's Khamenei renews ban on talks with U.S. - 'Those who believe that negotiations with the enemy will solve our problems are 100% wrong,' Khamenei said on state TV. (Agencies, Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Saudi Arabia formally starts long-awaited, 'world's largest' IPO of state-run oil firm - In Aramco's first-ever half-year results, it reported income of $46.8 billion. Yet analysts say a $2 trillion valuation — Apple and Microsoft separately for instance are $1 trillion — may be a stretch. (Agencies, Haaretz)


Features:
"I don’t tell a boy: 'Don't be in the hills.' I say: 'No matter where you are, I'll be there with you.’”
They sleep in tents, in beds they built themselves, they learn to train dogs and make cheeses, and most importantly - they go through a process that takes them back to the frameworks they fell out of, some at age 12. At the Hebrew Shepherd Farm, which is trying to rehabilitate hilltop youth [extremist settlement youth who live in shacks they build on hilltops in the West Bank from where they attack Palestinians and sometimes soldiers - OH], the goal is to reach the end the year with zero youth. This Yedioth Ahronoth correspondent was allowed to visit the site. She talked to youth about the difficulty in accepting authority, and she heard from the program's head, Roy Simon, why no one should given up on, even if he threw stones or was in custody. Simon’s program is supported by the Education Ministry. (Yifat Ehrlich, Yedioth Hebrew Friday magazine)
LISTEN: Anti-Semitism Is Not a Jewish Problem. Israel Is.
We took our tape recorder to Haaretz’s inaugural Judaism, Israel and Diaspora conference, and heard from Anshel Pfeffer, Isaac Herzog, Natan Sharansky and others. PLUS: David Makovsky talks Trump, peace and his new podcast on U.S.-Israeli relations. (Haaretz Weekly podcast)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
Israeli Army’s Boasts of Preparedness Against Iran Have Quickly Turned to Alarm (Yaniv Kubovich, Haaretz+) It’s doubtful the picture has changed very much, so Benjamin Netanyahu may not be the only one exaggerating the seriousness of the situation for his own purposes.
The Gaza show must go on and on and on (Merav Betito, Yedioth/Ynet) Friday's rocket attack on Sderot was the latest in a string of similar incidents all prompting similar responses, but a resident of the city whose home was damaged in the barrage asks: 'Does the government think we are second class citizens?'
Putting Himself Above Rest of Us (Haaretz Editorial) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu added something of no modest proportions to his legacy this week. On Sunday, a Boeing 767 that Israel Aerospace Industries dubs “the plane of the state’s leaders” completed its first test flight. This plane is supposed to serve Israeli prime ministers and presidents for the next 50 years. But even if Benny Gantz forms a government in the next month, the plane is likely to go down in history as “Netanyahu’s plane,” after the person under whose leadership the decision to buy it was made. So far, 600 million shekels ($170 million) has been spent to buy and convert the plane – more than twice the original estimated cost…its total cost is similar to the cost of the last 10 years of prime ministerial trips abroad on leased commercial jets – and that was with a prime minister who goes overseas a lot. Moreover, the latter cost includes outlays for fuel and security, which the state will continue to have to make even with the new plane....
Inspired by Netanyahu, the records of shock, disgust, and divisions in the country were broken (Ben Caspit, Maariv) Erez Tadmor's false and sickening speech, who was the mouth of the last Likud campaign, is the prime minister's legacy and the stench that will remain after his term ends. How do you even begin to discuss his statements?
Youth guides, employment and rehabilitation activities: How to deal with hilltop youth violence (Yair Sheleg, Maariv) Due to the destructive potential of their actions, they should be responded to with the utmost severity, but also know that criminal treatment cannot be the sole means of coping.
Settler violence is part of a mechanism whose purpose is to make the lives worse of the Palestinians (Ran Edelist, Maariv) The government's policy is to Judaize the West Bank. For this to happen, the Palestinians must be removed. For that to happen, the Netanyahu government and the right-wing block have a firm policy of pressure in every field.
The Nation-state Law Strikes Again (Carolina Landsmann, Haaretz+) Justice Minister Amir Ohana announced this week that he had signed the order for the extradition of Russian hacker Aleksey Burkov to the United States, where he is wanted for cyber crimes. He will be extradited after Israel turned down a prisoner swap deal with Russia, Burkov in return for Naama Issachar, who is in prison in Russia for drug possession. Justifying his decision, Ohana said: “I wouldn’t make the connection between [Issachar] and Burkov, because if we make this connection, we would put every Israeli around the world at risk.” But this affair has another point, too. At the press conference in which Ohana announced Burkov’s extradition, he explained that the obligation to bring Issachar home “derives from the nation state of the Jewish people law.” Our nation-state law? It turns out that Section 6(a) of the law, “The Connection with the Jewish People,” states: “The state shall strive to ensure the safety of members of the Jewish people and of its citizens, who are in trouble and in captivity, due to their Jewishness or due to their citizenship.” Also in the letter Ohana sent 10 days earlier to the Issachar family’s lawyer, he noted that Israel’s obligation to act to bring Naama back home in part stems from Section 6(a), because it is clear that she is being persecuted because she is Israeli.  The question this raises is whether based on the nation-state law, any Jew – even if they are not an Israeli citizen – is entitled to protection by Israel. Is any Jew in the world who runs into trouble as a result of anti-Semitism able to sue Israel for failing in its mission to guarantee their safety?  Maybe this is the reason that in December 2018 the Mossad received over 10 million shekels ($2.83 million) to beef up security at institutions of Jewish communities around the world. In other words, Israel pays for the security of Jews living overseas, who are not Israeli citizens. Time after time the nation-state law has been revealed to be a conceptual nuclear bomb at the heart of the Zionist enterprise, a law that undermines the idea of Jewish nationhood on one hand, and the notion of Israeli sovereignty on the other…
How Rabin Conspiracy Theories Went Mainstream – and Other Bizarre Tales From Netanyahu's Israel (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) While Netanyahu’s aides are accused of trolling and claim the police searched their phones illegally, the prime minister’s woes are becoming increasingly bizarre – both politically and legally.
Conspiracy Theorists Conspiring? (Iris Leal, Haaretz+) Conspiracy theories flourish in a place where the plain truth and the facts don’t provide a sufficient answer. The desire for everything that happens in our lives to be clear in all its details is natural in all aspects of life, and this desire is what gives rise to alternative suggestions for unsatisfactory answers. The common basis for all these suggestions is the assumption that behind the façade of the democratically elected government are powerful forces, and they are the ones who are actually in charge of the political game – the same “deep state” that has permeated our lives since the beginning of the investigations into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s criminal cases. That’s how we arrived at a situation in which Netanyahu is Dreyfus…
Iranian Troops Are on a Deadly Collision Course With Iraq’s Protesters as Tehran Tightens Its Grip (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) To keep its grip on power in Iraq and beyond, Tehran is ready to quash its neighbor’s protests.
Trump’s Middle East shake-up led to killing of al-Baghdadi (Dr. Joseph Frager, Israel Hayom) The raid on ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was a major turning point in Trump’s presidency, and it’s a crying shame he can’t seem to get an iota of credit for it from his political opponents.
New world order: Putin strengthens his hold in the Middle East and Africa (Ksenia Svetlova, Maariv) Increasing Russian influence and weakening of the United States' position in the region creates a new reality. Israel needs to prepare for these changes if it wants to remain relevant.
Putin wants to save Syria's Jews — to keep Trump from coming back (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) The Jews of Syria have become part of Russia's religious diplomacy, which partly aims to reassure American evangelicals and keep U.S. forces away
Time for US, NATO to give Turkey the boot (James Sinkinson, Israel Hayom) While removing Turkey from NATO would mark a sea-change in Washington and NATO's policy, and would surely drive Ankara closer to Moscow, it would certainly get Turkish President Erdogan's attention.
The Delusions of a Colonialist (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) After many years of concealment, last week, in a few short sentences Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed the core of his ideology, which is shared by many in the dominant ideological stream in Israel. At the opening of a cabinet meeting, the outgoing prime minister said that he had begun to read Barbara Tuchman’s “The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914.” “Queen Victoria’s 60th year, a great parade in London. England ruled one quarter of the world. ... Everything crumbled a few decades later. There are many reasons, but one reason is clear, and their great security collapse stemmed from them not arming themselves against their enemies. They relied on the successes of the past, and from the position of the greatest empire in the world, they declined and declined and, of course, were hit very hard.”

Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
Gantz Is Rabin’s Latest Successor. But His Coronation Comes With a Warning (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) For the first time since Ehud Barak lost the premiership to Ariel Sharon in 2001, the Israeli tribe feels it has a leader again, although Gantz is nowhere near forming a government.
**Preserving Israel's rule of law (Yedidia Stern, Yedioth/Ynet) While no one knows whether the attorney general will ultimately decide to indict the prime minister, this is an opportune moment to take a principled stand, free of positioning or party politics, to defend the justice system.
The Attorney General Must Put an End to the Circus (Ehud Barak, Haaretz+) The history of Israeli government contains nothing at all like these Days of Incitement. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his close circle are in a panic, and are leading with the help of indentured ministers and Knesset members, aides and fans, a campaign to undermine the status of the law enforcement authorities. They are producing shows of North Korean-style brown-nosing, trying to intimidate state witnesses and rewrite the history of the murderous incitement they led against Yitzhak Rabin exactly 24 years ago. As in similar cases in history, the gradualism blinds the public that does not notice the danger and is not acting with enough determination to remove it. Netanyahu’s strategy is transparent. He understands that it is too late for him to come up with a “deal” that would prevent his being indicted. His fear is enormous and justified.  The possibilities open to him are very limited and have given rise to unrestrained behavior. Netanyahu must remain behind the wheel to deter Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit from making the obligatory decisions, or alternatively to delay them until State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan and Liat Ben Ari, the lead prosecutor on his cases, are replaced by weaker people.
The ugly nepotism with which the justice system is infected eats every good part of it (Dr. Haim Misgav, Maariv) As High Court Chief Justice Esther Chayut said, there is nothing like what is happening in the governing system these days. But the guilty party is not where she is pointing to. The State Attorney's Office cannot, in my view, get its hands clean; And the High Court Chief Justice can't regain the public’s confidence which is waning as she seems to continue to collaborate with a host of journalists. Hundreds of leaks in the media portray her as an active player in the political game. The bad smell that comes from her seniors’ remarks about the elected echelons is far from indicating good faith.
Can Joe Biden save the day for pro-Israel Democrats? (Jonathan S. Tobin, Israel Hayom) His denunciation of threats to cut Israel aid was great, but it’s far from clear that the fading establishment champion can best his party’s increasingly dominant left wing.
 
Interviews:
Exit from Taba
There is hardly anyone who has crossed the border into Sinai in the last 40 years and has not met Itzik Hai, the legendary director of the border terminal at Taba. Now, he said goodbye to the job and recalled the difficult and funny moments: the terrorist attacks, the perfumes from the duty-free that washed through with the flood and the tourist who smuggled a Kalashnikov in a cross. In an interview with Smadar Perry, he explains why Israelis do not heed the warnings of the trip to Sinai and whether the masses of families who began to flood the beach huts with their children are irresponsible. How would you sum up 40 years in a few sentences.
"It's a simple task. I was fortunate to work eight (years) at Ben Gurion Airport before I went down to Taba when Sadat came on his first historic visit to Israel. I was the executive director for a brief period of the Jordanian terminal in the Arava, when the famous meeting of Rabin and King Hussein took place. I set up from scratch a place they didn't think was important at first, and we overcame constraints and nature. I leave the place with immense satisfaction, and I think, with all modesty, that I have become a part of history. "(Interviewed by Smadar Perry in Yedioth Hebrew)

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