News Nosh 11.11.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday November 11, 2019
 
Quote of the day:
"The days before Rabin’s murder were days of intense and legitimate public debate, that descended in some cases to criminal incitement and defamation that motivated the murderer to try and assassinate Israeli democracy. We mustn’t forget the slippery slope from incitement and hate to bloodshed.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said Sunday, imploring all political camps not to "fuel hate."*

"It is enough to listen again, and again, to the speech 'their children and our children' by the mutation called 'Erez Tadmor,' spokesman for the Likud campaign and a close associate of Netanyahu, to realize that the real threat to the Zionist vision established here 71 years ago is what grew here, within us."
-Top Maariv political commentator Ben Caspit in a chilling Op-Ed about hate-speech coming from those in office.**

You Must Be Kidding: 
Police had to escort the audience to their cars to physically protect them from right-wing protesters who forced to cut short the screening of the film, "The Advocate," about human rights lawyer, Lea Tzemel, who represents in court Palestinians accused of terror acts.***

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Close, far - (Photo of Gantz and Netanyahu passing each other in Knesset and Gantz’s hand is on Netanyahu’s shoulder) - Gantz has nine days left to form a government
  • Reminder of stateliness // Amichai Attali
  • The internal dispute: Collapse of the (hospital) system (Hebrew)
  • Health on paper // Sarit Rosenblum
  • Kicking the conventions: The female pupils who defeated the administration on the soccer field
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • “We will remove the mask from Lieberman’s face” - says source in Likud in attack on Yisrael Beiteinu chairman; Netanyahu and Gantz will meet with Yisrael Beiteinu chairman
  • Lieberman and the chaos // Akiva Bigman
  • Who will blink first // Mati Tuchfeld
  • Return to stateliness // Gideon Allon
  • Special - “The crowdedness in the trains is unbearable”
  • Remembering Rabin
  • President Trump will address the annual Israel American Council
  • Nir Hefetz storm: Left courtroom in anger - “They are letting my blood be spilled"
  • Difficult clashes in Yitzhar (settlement): One youth barricaded in his house, residents and police injured


Top News Summary:
Accusations, labels, and lashing out at politicians and by politicians, at memorials for Yitzhak Rabin, in the street, in the court and in the Knesset, were the top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

*It started at a memorial for Rabin at Mt. Herzl, where Rabin's grandson called on Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to resign, by saying politicians should “take responsibility…If you are stained, move aside, leave office.” Netanyahu blasted the “shameful political lashing-out.” Netanyahu said he did not condone calling Rabin a traitor and no one said anything when he was called one. At the ceremony, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin warned about the hatred and incitement in Israeli society. “We mustn’t forget the slippery slope from incitement and hate to bloodshed," Rivlin said, imploring all political camps not to "fuel hate. It is not the way of the Israeli nation,” he said. In Ashkelon, right-wingers verbally attacked Kahol-Lavan MK Gabi Ashkenazi, a former chief of staff, shouting "Leftist, get out of here. You go with the Arabs. (We want) only Bibi." (Yedioth Hebrew) At a Rabin memorial session at the Knesset, Kahol-Lavan leader Benny Gantz, who has nine days left to form a government, said: "Let's not tell ourselves stories. If today at noon Gabi Ashkenazi walks in Ashkelon and people shout at him harsh derogatory words, it is coming from and led from somewhere, and we must all fight against this phenomenon uncompromisingly. I urge you to understand that this is happening right before our eyes." Gantz warned that paralysis of the government exposed more danger: "The paralysis that we're currently in is fertile ground for deepening divisions and controversies. The looming danger for Israeli society is the greatest since the days before the murder.”

In a courtroom, Netanyahu's former media adviser who became a state witness, Nir Hefetz, insisted his “testimony is pure truth” and that he stands by it - this despite the pressure from Likud officials to get him to retract his testimony. But Hefetz left the courtroom angrily after the judge decided that the hearing would be held with open doors. “You are letting my blood be spilled,” he said. After he returned, he apologized and said: “I’m paying an inconceivable price for the truth." (Also Yedioth Hebrew)

Elections 2019 Quickees:
In election news, Netanyahu accused Yisrael Beiteinu chief Avigdor Lieberman of coordinating with Kahol-Lavan and with the Joint List against the Likud. According to Netanyahu, Lieberman’s ultimatum that the Likud needs to break up its bloc by abandoning the ultra-Orthodox (Shas, United Torah Judaism and Yamina), was actually meant to allow Lieberman and Kahol-Lavan form a minority government with the backing of the Joint List. (Also Maariv) But the Joint List said it was not interested in toppling Netanyahu if it meant a government with Lieberman, whom it calls a racist. Yedioth and Haaretz+ suggested possible scenarios, the most likely of which was third round of elections.

 
Quick Hits:
  • Settlers Attack Israeli Police During Arrest of Right-wing Activist in West Bank - At Yitzhar settlement, a number of youth threw stones and paint at officers trying to arrest Neria Zarug, a 'hilltop youth' activist at Kumi Uri hilltop, who has defying injunction prohibiting him from entering West Bank. Dozens tried to prevent his arrest, three policeman were lightly injured. (Haaretz+ and Maariv)
  • ***Right-wing Protesters Threaten Organizers at Israeli Screening of Documentary on Human Rights Lawyer - Screening comes after film was pulled from festival lineup following request from culture minister ■ Police ask for screening to be halted, citing tense atmosphere. (Haaretz+)
  • Groundwater Polluted by Military Factories Spreads to Israel's Coastal Region - Some 120 sites were affected, imposing restrictions on drilling drinking water in Herzliya, Rehovot and Nes Ziona. Authorities have known about the pollution for years, but no steps have been taken to purify the water. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel Seeks Manager for 'Campaign Against Cultural Delegitimization’ - The job at the Strategic Affairs Ministry involves working with the Intelligence department and developing public diplomacy aimed at 'bolstering Israel’s public image.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Israel: No breakthrough in Gaza hostage talks - Officials deny report by Saudi news outlet saying delegations from Hamas and Israel have been holding talks in Cairo on the return of bodies of two fallen IDF soldiers and two hostages; Jerusalem says Hamas intransigence to blame for lack of progress. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Bennett confirmed as defense minister; Galant: Does not serve security of state - Move by Netanyahu sees New Right unite with Likud faction until end of current Knesset; Likud minister and former top IDF officer is sole dissenting voice; Blue and White calls decision 'cynical' bid by prime minister to thwart New Right supporting Gantz. (Ynet)
  • When It Comes to Rabin’s Murder, Some Israeli Schools Avoid the Topic Altogether - Schools that do address the tragedy tend to focus more on rifts in Israeli society and less on the assassination or the political atmosphere that led to it. (Haaretz+)
  • Rivlin invites Italian Holocaust survivor who received threats to visit Jerusalem - 'What happened to you is another example of the reality the Jewish people face in Europe today,' writes president to former Auschwitz prisoner Liliana Segre, 89, who now has police protection after uptick in attacks as she battled anti-Semitism. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Jordan's king announces 'full sovereignty' over lands leased by Israel in 1994 peace accord - Israel controlled agricultural lands for over 70 years and was permitted to lease areas under 25-year-old peace accord, assuming arrangement would be extended once again; but monarch's announcement to parliament seems to dash Israeli hopes. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Trump to address upcoming Israeli-American Council summit - US President Donald Trump is slated to speak before the Israeli-American Council’s annual conference in Florida on Dec. 7. This will be the American president's first speech before an apolitical Jewish organization since he was elected into office in 2016. (Israel Hayom)
  • High Court Rejects Russian Hacker's Petition Against Extradition to U.S. - The judges also ruled that there were no exceptional circumstances which require intervening in the decision to extradite Aleksey Burkov. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Man sets himself on fire inside courtroom in southern Israel - The 48-year-old, accused of threatening a medical secretary, is in a serious condition after he poured flammable liquid on himself and set his body alight during a hearing at Be'er Sheva District Court. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • 4 Syrian Soldiers Killed in Clashes With Turkish-led Forces - Syrian news agency SANA said Saturday's clashes included heavy machine gun fire and occurred in the village of Um Shaifa near the town of Ras al-Ayn. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Syria Car Bomb Kills Eight Near Turkish Border, Ankara Says - Attack comes over a week after similar car bomb in nearby city, captured by Turkish forces last month from Kurdish-led fighters, killed 13. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Twitter Accounts Push Stock Photos Claiming to Show Turkish Soldiers Helping Syrians - Dozens of images showing soldiers holding babies and helping the elderly have been shared in a misinformation campaign to portray the Turkish incursion in a positive light. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • UAE Calls for Iran Talks With World Powers, Region - The UAE, which says Iran is a destabilizing force in the region, backed U.S. President Donald Trump's maximum pressure campaign against Tehran but called for deescalation after recent attacks. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran Begins Building Second Nuclear Power Reactor at Bushehr Plant - Bushehr's first reactor came online in 2011 with the help of Russia. This new reactor similarly will be built with Russian help. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Lebanon's grand mufti calls for protesters' demands to be met - An unrest continues to rattle Lebanon, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian, the top cleric for Sunni Muslims, urges Beirut authorities to form an emergency government. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Pompeo: We will stamp out anti-Semitism wherever we find it - One month after Halle attack, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog visit German synagogue struck by tragedy. (Israel Hayom)


Commentary/Analysis:
**The hate speech in the center (Ben Caspit, Maariv) These are terrible days, like the name of the film currently being screened around the country and dealing with the murder of Yitzhak Rabin from the perspective of the murderer (who, incidentally, is Yigal Amir). Terrible, but the upside down: Then an incited, brainwashed and fanatic Israeli assassinated a Prime Minister. Today, the prime minister is leading an assassination in the institutions of the state he heads. With pitchforks and torches, they trample on the last signs of the rule of law, followed by the masses who are incited and filled with hatred. These are days of governmental chaos, where the honest (or crooked) man in his own eyes does as he wishes, of a fading immune system and a body attacking itself. Days when the Minister of Justice invests all his talent in destroying the justice system (fortunately, talent is not his strong side). Days when the prime minister's son claims that a senior member of his party is a dangerous rapist, that the police are a combination of Gestapo and Stazi and that before his father came to power "all that was here were oranges." Days when experienced, intelligent, and sobering elected officials are shaking in their corners, fearing a donor will emerge and publicly support the delusions of that holy trinity that is dragging Israel downward. When called to the flag, they submissively stand up, answer obediently and read in a choked voice the pages of slogans that until a few months ago no one would have believed could be written in this country. Gideon Meir, former Foreign Ministry director-general, esteemed diplomat and honest man, Tweeted (last) week that "in Italy the government is trying to fight the mafia. In Israel, the government and its head are the mafia's emissaries." Meir was educated on the knees of religious Zionism. His grandfather came to Jerusalem in 1908 and founded the legendary bookstore ‘Ludwig Meyer.’ What is more relevant to us is the fact that Meyer was an esteemed ambassador to Italy. He understands the mafia and crime families. And he also worked closely with Netanyahu. But even those who were not ambassadors in Cosa Nostra can understand the situation we are in. Fifteen minutes of exposure to these good guys' texts is enough. The body language, the disgusting Tweets, the scorn, the rebuke, the slander, the systematic crushing of the system, the rewriting of history and the creation of the new truth, are enough to understand this principle. It is enough to listen again, and again, to the speech "their children and our children" by the mutation called "Erez Tadmor," spokesman for the Likud campaign and a close associate of Netanyahu, to realize that the real threat to the Zionist vision established here 71 years ago is what grew here, within us. We're in a bad gangster movie. It's not even the “Godfather.” There, at least, they had style and they played by rules of the game. What we saw on Wednesday was a well-coordinated and well-planned move. The person holding the title of "Minister of Justice" was not swept away by the passion or debate of his language. The failure is deeper and more fundamental. The man read his words from a paper. Someone had dictated them to him beforehand. We have already become accustomed to the attacks of the ‘minister’ on the judicial system he is in charge of. It's not new anymore. Wednesday’s escalation was the jaw-dropping fact that the ‘Justice Minister’ gave details that were under a gag order a court in Israel. He violated an explicit publicizing ban and did so from the diving board, that is, from the speaker’s podium of the Israeli legislative house. But let's take a look at the full half cup (poisoned): The man said, shortly after being put into office, that "not every court judgment should be upheld." So here we have a politician keeping promises. In perfect timing, while these hate remarks echoed in the Knesset plenum, the heir to throne, Yair Netanyahu, tweeted his own pair of terrorizing tweets, which also included a link to the Justice Minister's fresh words, adding personal details about the identity of the same woman close to the state witness, who was summoned for questioning. Shortly thereafter, the Tweeter deleted his Tweets (but there were those who photographed them in time). In Stazi and the Gestapo, that is, the Israeli police, [reference to what Yair Netanyahu called the police - OH] a decision has not yet been made whether to detain him for questioning. The last act came shortly afterwards, when the great Don, the Capo di Tutti, issued a flimsy notice against the breach of the gag order by his (supporter, Justice Minister Ohana). "Court orders must be respected," the Israeli Prime Minister muttered. Cut. You can move on. The horse's bleeding severed head was placed on the bed of the threatened state witness…
Instead of Quelling Violence in East Jerusalem, Israel Police Just Inflamed It (Nir Hasson, Haaretz+) Small changes in the use of force, being attentive to Isawiyah's leadership, involving the municipality and a bit of common sense could have brought a quick reduction in violence.
Israeli Provocations in East Jerusalem's Isawiyah (Haaretz Editorial) Half a year has passed since the police intensified their presence in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Isawiyah, aimed at improving security and strengthening Israeli sovereignty there. Today it can be firmly established that the operation has failed. After one death, dozens wounded, thousands of fines, hundreds of detentions and thousands of sponge-tipped bullets and tear gas and stun grenades, it seems that violence in Isawiyah is only increasing and sovereignty has turned into nothing more than a show of force. Every evening large, armed patrol units go into the neighborhood, disrupting the children’s studies and the residents’ routines as a form of collective punishment...
Israel's Fast Lanes to Apartheid (Dmitry Shumsky, Haaretz+) Haaretz’s Naama Riba heaped praise on Bezalel Smotrich, the caretaker government’s transportation minister, for his efforts to find a solution for this country’s heavy traffic congestion. Admitting that as a leftist writing in Haaretz she never thought a settler like Smotrich would get her excited, she enthusiastically backed his initiatives for promoting public transportation, which in her eyes, justifiably, are the only solution for this crisis. But remember that Smotrich’s vision isn't one of improved transportation, but a horrific political one. The gist of this vision is the subjugation of the Palestinian nation and the annexation of the West Bank while flooding it with hundreds of thousands more settlers (a “settlement” resolution, as he calls it).
Unity is required in the face of our enemies, but especially between us (Brig. Gen. (res.) Shimon Hefetz, Maariv) The memory of Rabin orders us to root out of our lives any violent bigotry that is transmitted to people’s minds. Unity is needed not only for the outside but also towards the inside.
Israel Is Forcing the Palestinians to Love Iran (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) To paraphrase the self-righteous comment by Golda Meir, one could say that the “Palestinians will never forgive Israel for forcing them to love Iran.” After all, Iran is controlled by a benighted dictatorship that oppresses its people and cuts them off from the world, and under anti-American and anti-Israeli slogans is trying to seize control of the entire region, for which it’s prepared to support other bloody regimes. Nevertheless, the Palestinians are on the Iranian side, because faced with the Arab and international failure to stop Israel’s brutal treatment of them, only Iran is perceived as posing a challenge to Jerusalem. And then Israel is surprised that the Palestinians so hate the Jewish state and hasten to describe this with the worn-out mantra of “anti-Semitism.”..
A hate group gets a college hall pass
(Jonathan S. Tobin, Israel Hayom) A new report documents the anti-Semitic fervor of Students for Justice in Palestine. Still, both college administrations and student groups fail to brand it as hate group.
Bennett's multifacted defense challenges (Yossi Yehoshua, Yedioth/Ynet) Although Naftali Bennet has a military background and know-how, he's set to face threats so large and terrible during his time as defense minister that he will have no opportunity to leave his mark on Israeli history as he wishes.
Iraq Protests' Sectarian Character Could Be Their Saving Grace (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) In 2012–2013, the stormy protests against the government were mainly by Sunnis, a minority that constitutes about a third of Iraq’s population. But this bout is different.

Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
It is Gantz's hour to decide whether to conquer the target or disappear from the map (Ben Caspit, Maariv) If the Kahol-Lavan chairman wants to be prime minister, he has to announce yesterday that he is accepting the president's proposal for a unity government. And also: This is how the promising duet, Bennett-Shaked, the mistake that could cost them their political careers. Today it is already possible to establish to a reasonable degree of certainty that this promising and talented duo has worked their way very resolutely into the dustbin of politics. Bennett's creep into the dubious status of defense minister for fifteen minutes in a transition government lacking any legitimacy turned him what he promised he would not be. When he entered politics, Bennett dreamed of present a clean, stately, ideological and pure alternative to Netanyahu. What turns out now is that he has become the ridiculous replica of that same Netanyahu, only without Sarah.
Poker-faced Lieberman Reshuffles the Political Deck, if Only for the Thrills (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) The wily kingmaker’s ultimatums stymie Gantz and Netanyahu – but could also inflame Jewish-Arab tensions.
Israeli citizens experience separation and separation instead of sharing and uniting (Anat Nehemiah Lavie, Maariv) The citizens of the state look up to their leaders and do not see a model focused on the common good. The next generation that will lead us is absorbing now completely different values.
 
Interviews:
The former Duvdevan Unit soldier that disguised as an Arab who now is in a Rambo film
As a Duvdevan soldier, Aharon Cohen, 43, participated in dozens of dangerous operations in the Territories. After his service, he became a U.S. Army Counter Terrorism Unit trainer and  security guard for celebrities, and then became a firearms training instructor for actors. Now, with a role in the latest movie in the Rambo series, he dreams of an acting career: "It helps me deal with military service traumas.” (Ayala Or-El, Yedioth Hebrew)
What do your friends think about being a mid-life actor?
"Everyone thinks it's completely ridiculous, but they support me because they know me and know that it helps me overcome my military past. During military service, I was exposed to the black side of human nature, in all its ugliness. It is very difficult to shake off this part of your life. Although military service has shaped me, contributed to my self-confidence and pushed me forward, it has also had a negative effect. The acting has become my therapy. I am happy to replace the live bullets with empty ones, it’s much safer.”
Are you in touch with your friends from the (Duvdevan) unit? Did they see you in Rambo?
"I'm in touch with some of them. All my friends remained in the military and hold prominent positions, some still serve in senior positions. And yes, they saw me in Rambo and are crazy about it.”
 
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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