News Nosh 11.12.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday November 12, 2019

You Must Be Kidding: 
"Go to the Arabs, go to Ayman Odeh, terrorist!"
-A group of ultra-Orthodox youth shouted at Kahol-Lavan leader Benny Gantz outside the wedding hall of the son of ultra-Orthodox MK Yaakov Asher over the possibility that Gantz would form a minority government with the support of the mostly Arab Joint List.*

Quote of the day:
"Benny, the very fact that you attended the wedding of an ultra-Orthodox public persona in these sensitive political times expresses your public courage and your natural desire, which I know of personally, to bring closer and not to distance. Regardless of the results of the (political) negotiations in the coming days, you honored me and my family and the entire ultra-Orthodox sector - and for that I thank you."
--Ultra-Orthodox MK Yaakov Asher wrote to Benny Gantz after hearing he was verbally attacked by ultra-Orthodox youth outside the wedding hall.*

Breaking News:
Before dawn Tuesday morning, Israel assassinated Baha Abu al-Attta, the commander of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the Gaza Strip, also killing his wife. The Damascus home of Islamic Jihad official Akram Al-Ajouri was also targeted. Later it was known that the army carried out two more assassination strikes against PIJ activists: one that killed one man and another that killed two men riding a motorbike while they allegedly were on their way to shoot rockets. The PIJ said it would mount an "unprecedented response" to Israel's attacks, and warned the Jewish state that it "opened the gates of hell." PIJ retaliated with more than 190 rockets on southern and central Israel by 8PM. Israel’s Homefront Command declared an emergency across parts of Israel and schools and businesses were closed. Israel warned Hamas: "If you join in - the IDF will attack you, if you do not - the IDF will not attack you," the message read. Many were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. Egyptian mediators tried to arrange an Israel-Gaza truce.

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • 78-year-old, after pacemaker implant, lies in the hallway, no emergency button, so they gave him a bell (Hebrew)
  • Expose - The special conditions of Milchan during his questioning
  • Days of decision - Today: Meeting of Lieberman and Gantz
  • Exclusive - After he was critically wounded: Company commander returned to battalion
  • Only 15 km from Tel-Aviv: Russian submarine in Israel’s territorial waters
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Gantz in message to Lieberman: We are prepared for compromises
  • The Shimoni precedent:  Mayor of Ashkelon acquitted on bribery of journalism coverage clause; Netanyahu’s attorneys: Case 4000 is collapsing
  • No to health - Heads of internal wards at hospitals released difficult statistics on how the health system if functioning: A few doctors to dozens of patients
  • Russian hacker from the Issachar affair was extradited to the US
Israel Hayom
  • “Still possible to establish a wide unity government” - Netanyahu to ‘Israel Hayom’: Worst option is a minority government”
  • Don’t count on Lieberman // Amnon Lord
  • Favorable coverage or bribery? So for everyone // Akiva Bigman
  • IAEA confirms: Iran does what it wants
  • Defense for combat soldiers: ‘Four mothers’ (movement) of the right-wing
  • Shimoni ruling: The Knesset needs to rule whether coverage was positive or bribery, not the court // Boaz Sanjero
  • Ahead of the Olympics - US National basketball team might come to Israel in the summer

Top News Summary:
A week to form a government and politicians make declarations of intent to compromise, a verdict in a corrupt mayor’s case that attorneys dispute whether it helps or hurts Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the killing by Israeli soldiers of a young Palestinian who posed no threat made top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers alongside the crowded hospital wards and the unexpected declarations by the Israeli and Jordanian leaders on the 25-year-old peace agreement.

The ex-mayor of Ashkelon, Itamar Shimoni, was found guilty of bribery, but was cleared of trying to skew news coverage, and Netanyahu's lawyers said that meant that favorable coverage was not a criminal offense, and therefore, Case 4000, in which Netanyahu is suspected of passing laws to financially benefit Bezeq Telecommunications and Walla website owner, Shaul Elovich, in exchange for positive coverage on the website, was not a crime of bribery. But legal officials in the Justice Department said that the verdict actually gives support to the prosecutors in Case 4000, because the judge listed conditions to see when positive coverage was bribery. That included determine examining whether the media is held by a party who has external-economic interests in general and vis-à-vis an elected official in particular. This recommendation seems to fit the description of Netanyahu's conduct vis-à-vis Shaul Elovich in a deal that gave Elovich profits, wrote Yedioth Hebrew’s judicial affairs correspondent, Tovah Tzimuki. Another test that Judge Margolin put forth was to examine whether access and involvement were given to the associates of the elected official, in accordance with the "directive from above." In the case of the prime minister, the suspicions against him detail his people's involvement in both regulatory issues and vigorous involvement in Walla website’s content. Meanwhile, state witness and former Netanyahu spin doctor, Nir Hefetz, demanded that Justice Minister Amir Ohana publicly apologize for violating the court gag order on the details of his testimony or he’ll sue him.

It was likely due to the video that showed the young man, Omar Badawi, waving a cloth when he came out of his house and was shot, along with the Tweet by the UN envoy calling the killing ‘shocking’ and calling for an investigation nd the admission by the IDF that Badawi posed no threat that got this particular incident of the killing of a Palestinian during riots into the Hebrew newspapers. Yedioth Hebrew gave it a full page with photos. Maariv gave it almost half a page with photos. Haaretz+ put it on the front page. Only Israel Hayom put it in a narrow item on page 11.

After Israel returned the agricultural land it leased from Jordan, King Abdullah made a tour of the enclave known as Baqoura or the ‘Island of Peace’ and met with the Jordanian Chief of Staff and other senior Jordanian military officials and together they also prayed at the site. Yedioth published photos. In Parliament, the king said they returned 100% of the land. But later on, the Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said that Israeli farmers would be allowed to enter one of the enclaves to harvest their crops till spring. Safadi said that his country was committed to its peace treaty with Israel and it would continue to respect private ownership by Israelis in Baqoura, but now they will need a Jordanian visa to reach their lands, which willl be governed by Jordanian laws. In Israel, Yedioth Hebrew and Maariv reported that Netanyahu surprised by showing up to the Knesset conference marking 25 years of  peace with Jordan. There he declared that it was Israel’s military power, not true amity between the peoples, that are the basis for Israel’s peace accords with Jordan and Egypt.
The conference was organized by MK Merav Michaeli (Labor-Gesher faction). Netanyahu said that "there is really no reconciliation with Jordan and Egypt because of the Palestinian problem. The peace is cold and is based on Israel’s might, which deters dictatorships...The stronger we are, and the more we demonstrate our strength, the more they are with us,” Netanyahu said. Netanyahu also said that Israel helps Jordan in many overt and covert ways.

Elections 2019 Quickees:
With just a week to set up a government, the question about whether Kahol-Lavan chairman Benny Gantz would form a narrow government with the backing of the mostly-Arab Joint List or whether he would form one with the Likud was anyone's guess. Maariv led the paper with a report that Gantz sent a message to Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman ahead of their meeting today (which was postponed following Israel's assassination of Islamic Jihad leader - OH) saying that he would be willing to make compromises “if they are compatible with our world views.” Yedioth reported that Kahol-Lavan will likely agree that in a unity government led in rotation first by Netanyahu, Netanyahu will take leave of office only if and when a trial against him begins - and not when he’s indicted. Haaretz thought that today’s big election story was that Shas leader Arieh Deri promised to Gantz that he would leave a unity government if Netanyahu refused to leave office when it was Gantz’s turn. Maariv also reported on its website that the Joint List signaled to Gantz that it would be willing to support a government that included Avigdor Lieberman [who has expressed racist anti-Arab statements - OH]. Chairman of Raam (part of Joint List), Mansour Abbas, addressed the issue of the political deadend, and made it clear that his party is taking into account the possibility of joining a blocking bloc. "We do not in principle rule out supporting a government with Avigdor Lieberman, subject to negotiations with Gantz.” The chairman of Balad is also willing to take part in running the negotiations,” he told Army Radio Monday morning. *Also in the news, on Sunday, ultra-Orthodox youth verbally attacked Gantz outside the wedding of the son of ultra-Orthodox MK Yaakov Asher. "Go to the Arabs, go to Ayman Odeh, terrorist!" they shouted over the possibility that Gantz would form a minority government with the Joint List's support. But inside the wedding hall, Gantz was honored as he danced around the center of the circle and around him hundreds of yeshiva boys and the band played songs and added his name. Maariv reported that afterward, MK Asher wrote Gantz a letter apologizing for the small group of youth "who shamed the ultra-Orthodox community with their behavior, which comes in the background of the phenomenon of political extremism and division prevailing in this period....Benny, the very fact of your attending the wedding of an ultra-Orthodox public persona in these sensitive political times expresses your public courage and natural desire, which I know of personally, to bring closer and not to distance. Regardless of the results of the (political) negotiations in the coming days, you honored me and my family and the entire ultra-Orthodox sector - and for that I thank you." (Ynet Hebrew, Walla Hebrew, Israel Hayom Hebrew)
Quick Hits:
  • Palestinian killed by Israeli soldiers near Hebron Monday posed no threat, initial army probe finds - Footage from the incident shows Omar Haitham al-Badawi, 22, waving a towel as he left an alleyway and then he was shot. The incident took place during clashes with Israeli security forces in the Al-Aroub refugee camp. Palestinian sources said the victim was not involved in the rioting and went outside after his house caught on fire. Circumstances seem to indicate he posed no threat, says UN envoy Mladenov and the IDF. (Haaretz+, Ynet and Yedioth Hebrew and YouTube)
  • Palestinian Was Charged With Attacking Israeli Police at Temple Mount. Turns Out They Attacked Him - Video of the 2017 event shows officers attacking S. for no apparent reason at the entrance to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Despite the evidence, the internal investigations unit dropped the case against the officers. The 35-year old resident of East Jerusalem was cleared of resisting arrest in 2017 and is appealing the decision not to investigate the police officers who arrested him for assault. (Haaretz+VIDEO and YouTube)
  • Palestinian shot in back near Azayim village says Israelis abused him for hours - Speaking to The Associated Press after the video emerged last week, Karam Qawasmi said he was run over by a military jeep, then beaten for several hours before troops released him, only to shoot him in the back with a painful sponge-tipped bullet as he walked away. Leaked footage from the May 2018 incident near his town of Azayim shows Israeli policewoman allegedly shooting Qawasmi after telling him to run away; officers who were at the scene were reportedly reassigned. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • ‘Thanks from Samaria - Samaria Regional Council has allocated a number of activities for the benefit of IDF forces who are now deployed in the sector. In addition, each settlement will adopt a battalion, and residents will volunteer and give them food and drink from their money [NOTE: likely when they are stationed near the settlements - OH]. (Yedioth Hebrew)
  • 120 olive trees belonging to Palestinians destroyed in West Bank - Every year, olive picking season sees an increased incidence of destruction of trees in Palestinian villages. (Haaretz+)
  • After Yitzhar settler welds himself to the floor to evade security forces, his detention was extended and indictment to be submitted today - On Sunday, Neria Zarug, banished for three months for 'violent acts against both Palestinians and the security forces,' constructed a large metal and wooden clamp for his leg in effort to prevent forces from removing him from West Bank settlement (outpost), was assisted by residents who pelted firefighters with rocks. (Ynet) On Monday, court extended his detention by a day. HIs attorneys from 'Honenu' organization [represent right-wingers accused of crimes against Palestinians - OH] said: "This is a draconian detention. The restraining order given to Neria was based on intelligence information that is confidential and we don't know what it is." (Yedioth, p. 18 and Israel Hayom, p. 9)
  • Israel envoy to Brazil boycotts Jewish event over criticism of Bolsonaro - Yossi Shelley criticizes leader of Brazilian Israelite Confederation, which is in charge of the event, in a local newspaper; citing the criticism made by him towards Bolsonaro as the reason for the boycott. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israel Breached International Obligations by Extraditing Hacker to U.S., Russia Says - Israel's High Court rejected petition against signing of the extradition order for Alexsey Burkov on Sunday. (Haaretz+)
  • Russian submarine spotted in Israeli territorial waters - Ynet learns the submarine breached Israel's maritime border three months ago; Israeli military didn't elaborate on whether the country's security has been harmed in the incident. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Millennials Mull Rights and Democracy at Tel Aviv Rabin Memorial - 'Israeli Assembly' event draws youth movements for fourth time to address hot-button social issues, as adult groups remember and discuss the 1995 assassination. (Haaretz+)
  • EU Calls on Israel to Reverse Decision to Deport Human Rights Watch Director - "The EU stands firm in protecting freedom of expression and freedom of association," read the statement. (Haaretz+)
  • (Transportation Minister) Smotrich: "The Rabin festival became the tribal fire ceremony of the left-wing, his family is not a nature reserve" - The transport minister (Yamina party) referred to the storm that arose during the state memorial for the former prime minister. "It does not respect Rabin the man nor his legacy," he said. (Maariv)
  • Suicide or assassination? Key Syrian White Helmets backer found dead in Istanbul, diplomat says - James Le Mesurier, founder of the Mayday Rescue group, was found dead early on Monday near his home in central Istanbul's Beyoglu district, the neighbour said. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet Hebrew)
  • Syria's Assad says offensive to retake Idilb to resume soon - In a wide-ranging interview with Russia's official international broadcaster, Assad commits to free elections in 2021. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Top U.S. general: 500-600 troops to remain in Syria to counter ISIS - Meanwhile, head of U.S. Central Command arrived in Israel Saturday for meetings with Israeli army top brass. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Turkey begins repatriating captured Islamic State militants - One U.S. citizen deported, seven German nationals to be sent back on Thursday. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Erdogan's bodyguards reportedly also attacked U.S. Secret Service members in 2017 - Court documents give new details about controversial May 2017 incident as Trump prepares to meet Erdogan in Washington this week. (Haaretz)
  • WATCH #BoycottUber trends after CEO says Khashoggi murder a Saudi 'mistake' - Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi reached out to the publication hours later to clarify: 'I said something in the moment that I do not believe.’ (Haaretz)
  • Saudi state video labels feminism, atheism, homosexuality as extremist ideas - Video released by Saudi Arabia's state security agency says 'all forms of extremism and perversion are unacceptable.’ (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Europe should mull renewed sanctions on Iran over nuclear breaches, Germany suggests - The European Union, though desperate to rescue the accord it helped negotiate, has been unable to convince Iran to abide by it. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • UN nuke watchdog finds man-made uranium in Iran, says Tehran is enriching at Fordo - Revelation from IAEA is the first time it has acknowledged in a report that allegations made by the U.S. and Israel against Iran are true ■ Report also confirms Tehran is enriching uranium at underground Fordo facility. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
  • UN Human Rights Council reps overwhelmingly lauds Iran for its record - North Korea, Qatar, Malaysia and Belarus were among nations that offered praise for Iran’s human-rights record. “It’s the foxes guarding the chickens,” says UN Watch director. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Archaeologists in Egypt unearth large mummy thought to be a lion - Rare discovery of the large animal found near the famed Step Pyramid south of Cairo. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • UN mission proposes plan to end Iraq turmoil - World body lays out series of short- and longer-term measures to deal with crisis, including electoral reform and series of anti-corruption measures, after at least 319 protesters killed by security forces since unrest began last month. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Poland Asks Netflix to Make Changes to Documentary About Nazi Death Camp Guard - 'The Devil Next Door,' which tells the story of John Demjanjuk, convicted by German court for being a Nazi death camp guard, includes a map showing camps inside borders of modern Poland. (Agencies, Haaretz)

Back Home in U.S., Israel’s Lone Soldiers Break Their Silence About the Occupation
Six Israeli army veterans are taking part in a first-of-its-kind U.S. tour organized by the Breaking the Silence group. ‘I think it’s very important that American-Jewish communities hear this from people who grew up in their own communities,’ says one delegate. (Haaretz+)
Giving back war [on the soccer field]
(Black French soccer player on Israeli team) Antoine Conte is not alone: All over Europe, more and more footballers refuse to let racism  in the stands pass, and are taking extreme action to make it clear that they are no longer willing to tolerate it. (Mario) Balotelli's fury, (Nathan) Taison (Barcellos Freda)’s tears, and the Israeli angle within the phenomenon that must disappear from the soccer fields. "I have a feeling that it has become part of the game, to hear racist cries against players with different skin colors. We are neither animals nor monkeys. It's really sad that in 2019 people are coming to the stadium to do that. But as far as I'm concerned, this is a red line. I really hope the administration and the association will deal with it severely, because if it doesn't, I will end my path in Israeli soccer.” These tough words were posted by Beitar Jerusalem soccer team defender Antoine Conte at the end of the game last night against Maccabi Haifa. Conte, who claimed he heard growls in his direction from Haifa fans, created a storm in Israeli football, which includes clashes between clubs, the intervention of politicians, and even the sharing (of the incident) on social media networks by the Center Back player of PSG and France's national team, Presnel Kimpembe. (Nadav Tzantzifer and Yair Katan, Yedioth Hebrew, Sports supplement, cover)
Brother and sister reunite in Israel after 59 years
They grew up apart in England and had never met before, but now thanks to a Facebook post, Susan Masrua from Tayibe and her long lost-brother have finally reconnected after decades of searching for one other. (Hassan Shaalan, Yedioth/Ynet)

What Are the Police Looking for in Isawiyah? (Michal Peleg, Haaretz+) Yes, the police screw Isawiyah. There’s no other way to describe the hell in which the residents of the neighborhood that borders on the Hebrew University fortress of concrete and imperviousness on Mount Scopus have been living for almost five months. There have been 150 days and nights of raids by Yasam (Israel’s SWAT team) and the Border Police, checkpoints on the streets, stun grenades, bullets, one dead and dozens of wounded, hundreds of detentions and arrests, beatings, reports, fines, shouting on megaphones, wailing sirens day and night, blue flashes, screaming and sobbing. The situation in Isawiyah has become a police TV series – or perhaps a training area for Yasam and the Border Police. You have to be there, in the steep and narrow streets, between the stores and the places of business, the houses and the schools and the soccer field, in order to understand the intensity of the fear and the absurdity, when a little girl squeezes between flashing police vans and Yasam (Police anti-terror unit) thugs armed to the teeth, on her way to the grocery store.
Incitement by Other Means (Haaretz Editorial) It’s not enough that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has never taken responsibility for creating the atmosphere of incitement that preceded the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin; this week he took it further and assumed the position of the incitement victim…without a trace of shame or fairness, Netanyahu has completely scrambled history: Rabin, who was actually murdered, wasn’t a victim of a formidable incitement campaign, in which Netanyahu, as head of the opposition and a staunch opponent of the Oslo Accords played a key role. Instead, Netanyahu, who continues to incite against anyone who’s perceived as standing in his way – from the Palestinians through Israeli Arabs, the left, human rights groups, academia, artists, the media, and ending with the police, the president and the legal system – was the real incitement victim whose life is now in danger.
A lesson in political complexities (Yossi Beilin, Israel Hayom) Naftali Bennett is probably in for a very short stint as defense minister, but this important government position is likely to teach him that belligerent statements rarely have room in the complex security reality with which Israel deals.
Risk Manager (Tovah Tzimuki, Yedioth Hebrew) Each year, since Attorney General Avichai Mendelblitt began his role, he has been honoring the University of Haifa's legal conference. In recent years, the main lecture of the conference delivered by Mendelblitt has become the main stage which he has used to update the public on the situation of the prime minister's cases. In particular, he was forced, and so it was in all his public lectures, to repel attempts to discredit (him) and cause the public trust to erode in the moves by the law enforcement agencies, each one in turn, that was handling the case. Yesterday, the AG unexpectedly announced that this year he will be absent from the conference. The official cause is "schedule constraints." Indeed, the AG and his extended staff have been busy since the Sukkot holiday ended in final discussions on reaching decisions in those cases in late November or early December. This decision, which is difficult to make when it comes to a serving prime minister who is a candidate to form the next government, is not made in a vacuum. Throughout all the discussions, brainstorming, diving into evidence, testimonies and legal interpretations, there floats over the decision-making room external attempts to distract, influence and even sabotage the case. Every evening, there are almost leaks to the media outlets - and the AG and his staff know the source of the leaks - investigative materials designed to cause fear, to sabotage, to influence key witnesses. These leaks gave rise to minor incidents, which the AG also had to deal with so as not to cast public doubt on the case. In one case it was about the testimony of Nir Hefetz, once it was an attempt to harass the state witness Shlomo Filber, which led to the interrogation of Prime Minister’s people, Yonatan Urich and Boaz Golan…Within three weeks, Mendelblitt will make the toughest decision in his legal career and of every AG before him. Whether to prosecute a serving prime minister. He also knows that his every decision will be the focus of a difficult public and political debate that takes place even without the prime minister's cases. Who, but him would feel that the rules of the democratic game have become so eroded and that he must not be played by anyone trying to make him fail…
Follow the money (Maurice Hirsch, Israel Hayom) Donor countries must demand that the Palestinian Authority explain its squandering of billions in aid on non-functioning bodies and terrorist organizations.
Jordanians get back land leased by Israel, but see little reason to cheer (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) The public pressure in Jordan regarding its relationship with Israel is not divorced from the kingdom's severe economic crisis.
Playing the Fiddle While Rome Burns (Yehezkel Dror, Haaretz+) Only a country with suicidal tendencies acts the way Israel is acting nowadays. This is not the right time to make an accounting of how we got to the stage where Iran is en route to a breakthrough in the realm of nuclear weapons. But now, a minute before midnight, is the right time to set up a unity government that will focus on halting the existential threat posed to us by Iran. At the same time, it must establish a diplomatic infrastructure for Israel’s security by promoting a regional agreement that includes the establishment of a Palestinian pseudo-state. The dream of Greater Israel, even if it’s historically justified, has turned into a trap that’s liable to be fatal.
UNRWA is in trouble (Rachel Avraham, Israel Hayom) According to an internal UN report, mismanagement of UNRWA has led to "sexual misconduct, nepotism, discrimination, retaliation and other abuses of authority for personal gain in order to suppress dissent and to otherwise achieve their personal objectives."
Lebanon's intifada: Can the people overturn their corrupt, sectarian leaders? (Yasser Alahwal, Haaretz+) Lebanon is rising up: the Arab Spring is returning. But the six sectarian political leaders who divide and rule the country and its resources are in no rush to relinquish power.
Extending the idea of 'aliyah' (Akiva Geresh, Israel Hayom) The qualities that Israelis embody and exhibit can, at least partially, be taught, learned and shared with Jews everywhere.

Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
The Year That Shook All Our Assumptions on Israeli Politics (Tzvia Greenfield, Haaretz+) Certain major perceptions that had been defining our lives until now are being smashed to smithereens. There’s the assumption that the Israeli government couldn’t rely on the Arab parties as partners, at least partial ones, in running the country; the assumption that Arab citizens, and particularly their political representatives, aren’t capable of freeing themselves from fiery language and hostile alienation from the Jewish public; the assumption that Avigdor Lieberman is only capable of deception and at the moment of truth, in return for appropriate political compensation, he will return to assure the continued reign of Benjamin Netanyahu; the assumption that “the people in Israel are shifting rightward,” and thus Likud would control our lives forever and any other political trend was doomed to failure; the assumption that those with an in-depth understanding of the eternal rule of the right would surely turn the right-wing propagandists into media stars, giving Yair Netanyahu, Miri Regev and Naftali Bennett all the exposure they wanted due to their prominent status, and so on.
Keeping the unity torch burning (Limor Livnat, Yedioth/Ynet) For all Netanyahu's latest political maneuvering that appears to be intended to scupper a unity goverment, such a coalition remains Israel's best chance for stability as the nightmarish prospect of a third round of elections hangs over the country.
How Bibi Strove to Become Israel's King of Ratings (Nati Tucker, Haaretz+) Netanyahu cultivated a relationship with media owners, attempted to attempt his own people as executives. Yair and Sara played an active role in Netanyahu's media dealings.
Who will blink first? (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Lieberman probably never imagined that his attempt to force the creation of a national unity government would create the worst electoral crisis in Israel's history.
Opinion The Silence of the Likud Lambs (Uzi Baram, Haaretz+) In today’s Likud, a vague tweet by Gideon Sa’ar (“I’m ready”) is already considered the beginning of opposition, because he looks like a rare vision compared to the unified ranks of the Likud faction. Each member of the faction has undergone a process of self-censorship that enables him to recite on television pages of messages taken from the steamroller of former Im Tirtzu spokesman Erez Tadmor and his friends. The silence of the Likudniks in the face of their leader deviates from Israel’s democratic tradition. A party like Likud should develop identification not only with the figure of a waning leader, but with figures who present alternatives and are ready to take risks.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.