News Nosh 11.19.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday November 19, 2019

 
Quote of the day #1:
"First, it is worth dwelling on the reasons why the Prime Minister is bothering to organize emergency conferences of the parties that support him. It is not the situation in the Gaza periphery and the collapse of the hospitals, not the murdered women or the construction workers who fall to their deaths, but the war of survival. And in this war - all victims are kosher. Even when it comes to 20 percent of the citizens of the State of Israel."
--Yedioth commentator Chen Artzi-Srur on the incitement by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu against the Knesset representatives of the Arab public.*

Quote of the day #2:
"I drove to the Knesset this morning from (my home in) Nokidm and got a phone call from an angry citizen, who said to me, ‘Be warned, if you join Netanyahu's coalition - you're done.’ After five minutes, I received another phone call: "Be careful, if you join the Gantz minority government - you're done." At the entrance (to the Knesset), a citizen told me that if there are another elections, I am over. We live in a fascinating reality.”
—Elections kingmaker and Yisrael Beiteinu chairman, MK Avigdor Lieberman, told Maariv Monday.

Breaking News:
Israel Intercepts Four Syria Rockets Believed to Be Fired at Iran's Command
Explosions heard in Damascus ■ Israel's intelligence recently assessed that Tehran decided to respond resolutely to any Israeli action. (Haaretz, Maariv, Ynet)

Front Page:
Haaretz
  • US changes policy: “Settlements don’t violate international law”
  • The last card // Noa Landau
  • Lieberman: Without an agreement by noon tomorrow, each to his own
  • Documents reveal the enormous influence of Iran on Iraq
  • Hackers attacked Israeli company that is vying against Chinese company for sensitive security tender
  • UN: 7 million children across the world are being held in detention facilities and welfare hostels
  • The important thing is that Messi scored: Argentina and Uruguay parted in a tie 2:2
  • No place to investigate // Mordechai Kremnitzer
  • Identical interests // Nechemia Shtrasler
  • 500 stops, free: Public transportation system on weekends in Gush Dan sets on its way this Friday
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • The stamp of kashrut for settlements - Historic declaration of US government
  • The truth will win // Yifat Ehrlich (Hebrew)
  • What a night! 30,000 people arrived at Bloomfield stadium to see the South American soccer celebration starring the best player in the world
  • Ahead of expiration of Gantz’s mandate (to form a government): Netanyahu getting closer to Lieberman
Maariv (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • Pompeo’s declaration: Enormous diplomatic turnaround - The dramatic decision - Trump Administration: Settlements do not violate international law
  • The ball goes to the Israeli government // Amnon Lord
  • Diplomatic earthquake // Caroline Glick
  • Important correction in foreign policy // Dore Gold
  • Balanced decision with important message // Ariel Kahane
  • Settlement - security necessity // Yigal Dilmoni
  • Assessment: US declaration will make things difficult for Gantz
  • Grass legend (photo of Messi kicking ball)
  • Police Unit of Investigations against Police expected to announce today to family of (killed Ethiopian-Israeli) Solomon Teka: The policeman who shot him will be put on trial
  • NYT reveals: This is how Iran wants to take over Iraq

Top News Summary:
Celebration and anger after the US changed its policy and declared that Israeli settlements don’t violate international law, suspense ahead of Wednesday deadline to form a government and recognition of and opposition to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s incitement against Arab MKs made top stories in the Hebrew newspapers.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the latest dramatic change to US policy: declaring that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are not inconsistent with international law, i.e. that they are not illegal. That said, Pompeo made clear that the US is not taking a position on whether Israel has sovereignty over the West Bank and left that to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Right-wing Israelis celebrated as did ‘Israel Hayom’ newspaper, which wrote that ‘Israel was gifted with an early Hanukkah present.’ (See also Commentary for ‘Israel Hayom’ Op-Eds.) The paper did note that Martin Indyk posted that it was “A totally gratuitous move by a discredited ⁦@SecPompeo⁩. Why slap the Palestinians in the face again? Why boost the settlement/annexation movement at the very moment that Gantz is trying to form a government? This has Friedman’s fingerprints on it.” Indeed, US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, was behind it, Yedioth Hebrew reported. “The dramatic statement, which is a significant softening of the US government's position, follows a process that took place within the administration for several months at the initiative of US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, which pushed for this change behind the scenes and by Israel Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer. A government official said last night that the prime minister has been dealing with the issue for a number of months. The decision was also made in coordination with the NSC and the Attorney General and his staff,” Itamar Eichner wrote, adding that “Despite some speculation in Israel, senior officials in Jerusalem said there was no connection between the decision and the political crisis in Israel, and that Trump's attempt should not be seen to help Netanyahu form a government.”

Worth noting, Kahol-Lavan Chairman Benny Gantz also praised the move, saying it was “an important decision, which points once more to the [U.S. administration’s] firm stance by Israel and commitment to the security and future of the entire Middle East. The fate of residents of Judea and Samaria should be decided in agreements … that will serve both sides and reflect the reality on the ground."

And of course, the Palestinians blasted it and said it has no validity. “The United States is not authorized to approve or reverse (international) decisions.” (Maariv) In a sign showing the increasing prominence of Joint List Chairman MK Ayman Odeh, Yedioth Hebrew shared his view on the subject, even before quoting the Palestinians' response. “No foreign minister will change the fact that the settlements were built on occupied land on which an independent Palestinian state will be established alongside the State of Israel." Peace Now told the religious news website, Kikar Hashabbat: "No statement will change the fact that the settlements were built on occupied territory in contravention of international law and they constitute an obstacle to peace. Trump has been and remains an unfair mediator serving the far-right vision at the expense of the moderate majority of the public in Israel.” US Democrats also warned against it, calling it destructive.


Elections 2019:
On midnight Wednesday, the mandate of Kahol-Lavan chairman Benny Gantz to form a coalition government will expire and while the Likud made signs of getting closer with Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu, the assessment was that Lieberman will not joint a narrow right-wing government that excludes the ultra-Orthodox nor will he join a government led by Gantz with the support of Arab MKs. (Yedioth Hebrew) Moreover, Lieberman declared his own deadline: noon on Wednesday for a unity government, after which, "every man is on his own."

And as time was running out for a unity government and before the decision on indictment in his corruption cases, Netanyahu, who called a government with Arab MKs a “existential threat,” continued to incite against the Arab MKs. Netanyahu said that “A minority government supported by the Arabs is a dream government for Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran." Netanyahu added that while everyone said that he is crying wolf, "There's a real wolf in the room."  (That referred to Arab MKs. Yedioth Hebrew dedicated 3/4 of a page to the issue with the headline: “In the Joint List they are furious: “INCITEMENT CROSSED A RED LINE.” Monday morning the Joint List filed a complaint about a photoshopped picture depicting Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh as an 'enemy of the public.’ At noon, Joint List MK Ahmed Tibi filed a complaint with the Knesset ethics committee against Netanyahu for falsely accusing Tibi of reading out in the Knesset the names of terrorists killed in Gaza during the 2014 war, for which he and his family has received death threats, he said.
Haaretz has an excellent timeline of the days election and incitement highlights.)

Gantz, who had been chastised for not speaking out against the incitement towards Arab MKs and citizens, finally said something, as did MK Yair Lapid. “I, too, have disagreements with members of the Joint List," said Gantz. "I agree with them on some things and absolutely disagree on others. But the kind of lashing out we saw for the last two days has got to stop. You must, Netanyahu, recant immediately." Lapid was more vociferous. “What comes out of Netanyahu's mouth in the last few days only incites violence, it sounds like the followers of Baruch Goldstein," he said, referring to the Jewish extremist that carried out the 1994 massacre in Hebron, killing 29 and injuring 125 Palestinians. "It'll end badly, he knows, he was there. If there's violence, it's on Bibi." But Gantz also called on Netanyahu to form a government with him.

A couple hours later, Joint List Chairman Odeh published a video on Twitter calling for Jewish-Arab unity and for Jewish Israelis to ignore Netanyahu’s incitement. "We won't let him fan the flames of hate," he said. "The Benjamin Netanyahu civil war will not happen…I address you, the Jewish public. You know the danger of charismatic leaders riding murky waves of hate and racism. You know what it's like to be a persecuted minority. This is our chance, Arabs and Jews, to show him that his time has passed and that incitement will not work... Let's show him how strong we are together," Odeh concluded.

An hour later, a respectful dispute took place between Gantz and Tibi in the Knesset. Tibi had spoken in the plenum earlier about the IDF mistaken killing of eight members of a poor Gazan family. Gantz responded in a conciliatory tone: "I want to tell you, my Arab friends, we don't agree on everything. This is no secret. Our political opinions in particular are very different, and I suppose they will continue to be. I respectfully accept the criticism you're making of the state of Israel's action against the Palestinian people. But I implore you, do not attack the IDF. Whenever something goes wrong, we question, we examine, and we learn our lessons. We are not infallible.” Maariv reported that Tibi responded to Gantz saying: "You have said courageous words in condemnation of the Prime Minister’s incitement campaign, a campaign that leads to the murder threats against members of the Joint List. There was never such a thing as a prime minister daily inciting against my friends and against us. We are in disagreement with Gantz on the diplomatic issue. No one will educate us as we rise in anger against the injury of civilians, when we remind of the a-Swaraka family, eight of whose sons were killed. I said similar things when Jewish children were killed. A child is a child is a child. I challenge all of you to condemn killing children wherever they are.”

Yedioth Hebrew’s Itamar Eichner wrote a report suggesting Netanyahu was hypocritical regarding the Arab MKs. In an article titled, “Netanyahu's romance with the Arab MKs,” he wrote: “Despite his fierce offensive against Arab MKs, Prime Minister Netanyahu "flirted" with them over the years and received their support for his laws and initiatives, even entertaining the idea that they would support his minority government before dissolving the last Knesset.”

Later that night, only 100 (Haaretz) or 400 (Yedioth) Netanyahu supporters protested outside the attorney general's residence to show their opposition to him being indicted. (NOTE: The papers reported Sunday that demonstrations in support of Netanyahu would take place at junctions across the country, as well as at the AG’s residence. It appears the turnout was small, possibly because the publishing of the decision regarding an indictment was postponed to early next week.
 
Quick Hits:
  • Cop Who Shot Ethiopian Israeli Teen to Be Charged With Negligent Homicide (not reckless homicide) - This summer, the country was rocked by nationwide protests – which police expect will now resume – after an off-duty officer shot and killed 18-year-old Solomon Teka. Law enforcement officials said that the case is especially complex because the police officer felt his life was in danger, and because he only fired at the ground and the bullet ricocheted and hit Teka in the chest. The Teka family demanded he be tried for murder. When they realized that wasn't going to happen, they demanded the clause for reckless manslaughter, for which the maximum sentence is 12 years in prison. (NOTE: Negligent homicide is a new clause that went into effect this year in Israel and is intended for cases where a person takes an unreasonable risk, but hopes not to cause a fatal outcome. Among other things, this offense relates to death-causing situations such as playing with a weapon or driving dangerously. The maximum penalty is three years in prison. Reckless homicide refers to cases where the defendant did not foresee a fatal outcome, even though a reasonable person would have acted differently. The maximum penalty is 12 years in prison. —OH)(Haaretz+, Maariv, Ynet Hebrew)
  • After Being Filmed Beaten, East Jerusalem Residents File Complaint Over Police Abuse - ‘I told the policeman I couldn’t breathe from the gas,’ stated the resident. ‘He sprayed me again and said, "Now you’ll feel better.” (Haaretz+)
  • (Soldiers) Assault (on Bedouin-Israelis) in the Negev: A plea bargain between the Kfir sergeant and the military prosecution - Staff Sergeant (?) Yitzhak Yehuda today signed a plea bargain. He will be sent to prison for 60 days and another 30 days military work. In addition, his rank drops to corporal. [Earlier this month, three other soldiers reached a plea bargain to serve 50 days in prison. They are all part of a group of 13 soldiers from the ultra-Orthodox Netzah Yehuda battalion of the Kfir infantry brigade who violently attacked young Bedouin gas station attendants - OH]. (Maariv)
  • Applying sovereignty in the Jordan Beqaa Valley (West Bank): Likud wants to advance the bill next week - After the US announced that the settlements do not violate international law, MK Sharren Haskel (Likud) says that "Netanyahu has given the green light to advance the move. I hope that Kahol-Lvan won't stop it.” (Maariv)
  • Retired justice Dorner: "Netanyahu is endangering free press in Israel" - Retired High Court Justice and Press Council President was interviewed by Yoav Limor on 103FM, and expressed concern for journalists: "If there is incitement when a politician targets a journalist, there is a change he will be harmed.“ (Maariv)
  • Police arrested 25 suspected of sex offenses on the Internet, including  one man from an elite unit in the IDF - The suspects are aged 20-70 and their arrest was made possible by the activities of an undercover female police officer who pretended to be a 13-year-old girl. This comes a month after 26 others were arrested for the same offense. (Maariv)
  • Surprise IDF Drill Held to Test Preparedness on Northern Border - In second exercise in the Northern Command this year, military said it is mobilizing security forces, vehicles and aircraft in the area, and that residents may hear sirens and explosions. (Haaretz+)
  • (Justice Minister) Ohana was recorded: "Palmor was distanced because she couldn't aid in the changes I'm talking about" - Justice Minister explained at a Hebrew University conference why he ousted the Director General of the Ministry of Justice: “She wasn’t a helping factor for the changes I am talking about.” (Maariv)
  • ‘Healthcare Israel’ Won InnoDip Award for Innovative Diplomacy - The Administration for Economic Cooperation between Governments in the field of health will receive the award established by the Abba Even Institute for International Diplomacy at the Interdisciplinary Center Institute and will be awarded for the first time at the Jerusalem Post Conference. (Maariv)
  • A worker was killed in a fall from a height in an open area near Caesarea - The slain, a 39-year-old resident of the Territories (West Bank), worked in a greenhouse at Kibbutz Sdot Yam. This is the 42nd time since the beginning of 2019 that a laborer in the building industry finds his death as a result of a work accident. (Maariv)
  • KKL-JNF and terror victims sue US charity allegedly helping fund Palestinian terror - It aims to hold the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, also known as Education for a Just Peace in the Middle East, liable for conspiring to provide financial aid and other assistance to Palestinian terror groups that make up the Boycott National Committee, which leads the BDS movement. (Israel Hayom)
  • Ethiopian Airlines names new Dreamliner aircraft 'Tel Aviv' - The airline operates two scheduled flights between Tel Aviv and Addis Ababa daily. (Israel Hayom)
  • Iran’s grip on Iraq detailed in leaked intelligence cables - The unprecedented leak of 700 pages of Iranian intelligence cables shows Tehran’s efforts to embed itself in Iraq, including paying Iraqi agents working for the United States to switch sides. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • WATCH Iran rocked by protests as images of Khamenei set on fire and banks burned - Though largely peaceful, demonstrations devolved into violence in several instances, with online videos purporting to show police officers firing tear gas at protesters and mobs setting fires. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran's Guards warn protesters of 'decisive' action if unrest continues - The warning appeared to hint at a looming crackdown on protests that flared nationwide in response to an official announcement on Friday of gasoline rationing and price hikes of at least 50 percent. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Why Did Iran, One of the World's Most Oil-rich Countries, Just Hike Its Gas Prices? - The Islamic Republic heavily subsidizes gas prices which in turned back fired and added to the nation's decades-old economic problems. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran Exceeds Heavy Water Limit in Latest Nuclear Deal Breach, UN Watchdog Reports - Although this is not as drastic a step as hiking uranium production, it confirms the slow demise of the 2015 international deal. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Turkey Will Launch Another Syria Operation if Area Not Cleared of Kurdish YPG, FM Says - Mevlut Cavusoglu quoted in Turkish state-owned Anadolu agency saying the U.S. and Russia have yet to do what was required under a brokered agreement. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Saudi-led Coalition Says Yemeni Rebels Hijacked Red Sea Vessel - Houthis confirm seizure of South Korean ship, say it will be released. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Egypt at Risk of U.S. Sanctions Over Purchase of Russian Fighter Jets, U.S. Official Says - Egypt is aware of those risks, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs R. Clarke Cooper said at the Dubai Airshow. (Agencies, Haaretz)


Features:
Jerusalem mixed grill
They live so close, but they seem to come from distant worlds. Samira Aliyan of Beit Safafa and Rivka Brundain of Mea Shearim [both in Jerusalem] open their pots and their hearts as part of a tour of the kitchens of Jerusalem cooks. In an exciting conversation, the two talk about the similarities and differences between the makloubeh and cholent, the aromas of cinnamon and Ras al-Hanout spices, and about life in a city that has so many flavors and contrasts. (Shir Golan, Yedioth Hebrew’s ’24 Hours’ supplement, pp. 10-11)
Citizens from across the political spectrum declare: The people don’t want another elections
What started as a discussion on WhatsApp continued on a Facebook post and developed into a protest tent at the Rose Garden (outside the Knesset) in Jerusalem. One of the leaders of the organizing: "The Knesset has gotten lost“
In the freezing cold of Jerusalem, in a simple tent in the Rose Garden, across from the Knesset, Nathaniel Alinson and Doron Dvir opened a stage for popular protest against third round of elections. What started as a discussion on WhatsApp continued on a Facebook post has evolved into a spontaneous rally of citizens of all shades of political map proclaiming: The people don't want elections, and their elected officials have to step down. Sound naive? Definitely, the organizers say. They say that's exactly what it takes to bring about change. (Sigal Ben-David, Maariv)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
I'm a Neighbor of the Gaza Family Israel Killed Accidentally. I Don't Know How to Tell My Kids They'll Never Be Safe (Mohammed Azaiza, Haaretz+) When we began to hear explosions near the city, Karim’s spontaneous smile was replaced by a look of worry and fear. “Is it war, Dad?” he asked. I told him it wasn’t war and there was no reason to worry, everything would be OK. I wasn’t certain about my answer, but I didn’t know how to explain the essence of life in the Gaza Strip to my son. After all, in Gaza our fate is not in our hands. And every time we hear an explosion our thoughts start to race — where did the bombs fall this time? Who was killed? Who was wounded? The kids were looking at me with worried faces that were begging me to protect them from fear and death. But how can we protect them? Where can we take them? There are no bomb shelters in Gaza, no safe place. That is the terrible feeling that consumes me with every escalation, the helplessness at being unable to protect what’s most precious to you. You go from room to room, trying to gain a little more time of laughter and mischief with the children, but every boom reminds you that you live in Gaza. On the night before the last day of the escalation, Thursday, I was woken at 1:30 A.M. by an explosion that shook the whole of Dir al-Balah. …I heard the ambulance sirens and the rumors spread like wildfire — they bombed a house with everyone inside it. It was the Asoarka family. Eight people lost their lives, including children. There were pictures of people like me, who were searching for the missing in the sands, pulling children out of their beds and throwing them on the mattresses of the dead. As if we were living in a different planet. I remained awake and when the crime was revealed at sunrise, the shock was heavy. It was a helpless family that I knew well. A simple family that lived in tin shacks and had a hard life even without Israeli planes dropping bombs on them. When they finished removing the bodies it turned out that only two of the children, a 1-month-old baby and a girl, were still alive…I asked myself why the army had bombed this family. And then I read that the army explained there had been a mistake. A mistake? This is a terrible sin, a crime that should remain on everyone’s conscience.
A profound diplomatic revolution (Amnon Lord, Israel Hayom) Now needed is the establishment of an Israeli government capable of providing significance and substance to the new American policy, which essentially states that the 1967 lines no longer represent a baseline for a future peace deal.
After Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, the Latest Trump Statement Isn't Going to Make Settlements Legal (Noa Landau, Haaretz+) With both Trump and Netanyahu facing political troubles at home, timing of U.S. policy shift is surprising, as Secretary Pompeo insists all his administration is trying to do is 'advance peace.’
The truth comes to light (Yifat Ehrlich, Yedioth Hebrew) A lie cannot survive. In the end, the truth shows up, even when the lie has been chewed over and over. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed at the truth in a celebratory moment that will enter the pages of history.
A long awaited correction (Dr. Dore Gold, Israel Hayom) It must be recalled that the last sovereign over the territory of the West Bank was the Ottoman Empire; it renounced its legal rights to the land after World War I.
Pompeo’s statement on Israeli settlements is a diplomatic turning point (Caroline B. Glick, Israel Hayom) President Trump's extraordinary gesture of support for Israel and the rights of the Jewish people was evident in the historic statement. The US has rightly concluded that falsely calling settlements illegal is not helpful for peace.
Bibi Is the Past. Ayman Odeh – Lawmaker, Israeli, Unavoidable – Is the Future (Bradley Burston, Haaretz+) Ayman Odeh is 10 times the Israeli I am. Not just because I'm an immigrant and he was born here. And not just because he has the kind of sociological X-ray vision and political second sight which are the province of those born into an intelligent, culturally savvy, and discriminated-against minority within a self-satisfied, tunnel-visioned majority. Ayman Odeh is, in fact, 10 times the Israeli that Benjamin Netanyahu is. Odeh sees right through him. And Bibi can't take it. Odeh, as a child the only Muslim in a Christian school in a Jewish city in the state of Israel, is the chair of Israel's third-largest political party, the Joint List, which took more than one of every 10 votes in the most recent election.
*Incitement doesn't pay off (Chen Artzi-Srur, Yedioth Hebrew) The statements against the Arabs in Israel will, as always, achieve the opposite goal: their political power will increase…Chairman of the Joint Lst, Ayman Odeh, posted a photo on Twitter of him telling a bedtime story to his three children, captioned: "At the end of a long day, these three existential threats need to be put to bed.” The picture in pajamas is a photo that could have been taken in any home in Israel. It is exactly what we look like at the end of the day: exhausted, yearning for a family moment, removing the fixed armor of cynicism and defense. Children are not an existential threat. Citizens are not an existential threat. The picture, which received thousands of Likes, comes at the culmination of a wild attack on representatives of Arab society [in Israel]. "A minority government is a historic national terror attack," called the Prime Minister at an emergency conference he organized to prevent a narrow government. His messengers in the media used similar words. First, it is worth dwelling on the reasons why the Prime Minister is bothering to organize emergency conferences of the parties that support him. It is not the situation in the Gaza periphery and the collapse of the hospitals, not the murdered women and the construction workers who fall to their deaths, but the war of survival. And in this war - all victims are kosher. Even when it comes to 20 percent of the citizens of the State of Israel. In this cynical game, it is clear to all minds that incitement is merely a tool, the Arab population is only a convenient target and nothing else. After all, the Likud and Netanyahu himself have negotiated with the Joint List, not just once or twice, to advance their goals. Last night, Kahol-Lavan chairman Benny Gantz called on the prime minister to retract his attack against Arab politicians. This act can be seen as an elegant step of solidarity and closing a rift, but we are already know about waging war. The same Gantz who condemned Netanyahu for dividing (society) is the same one who didn’t dare to say one bad word about Avigdor Lieberman, who may provide him with a coalition and who himself is attacks the Arab public day and night. This is the same Gantz who in his campaign made an ugly comparison of the percentage of people voting in [ultra-Orthodox city of] Bnei Brak to the percentage voting in Tel Aviv in order to produce the "Haredi are flocking in droves to the polling stations” effect. If this is so, what have we learned? That senseless hatred, which is as its name- brings nothing. You don't really have to hate, you don't really have to formulate opinions. It’s enough to trigger the chaos generator that is called incitement and delegitimization and thus produce a successful distraction. Netanyahu may have invented the method, but nowadays almost everyone uses it. Even those who pretend to do things differently. The disputes over the representatives of Arab society are clear and well-known, and nevertheless it is forbidden to give in to this unforgivable tarnishing (of Arabs), when the motives behind it are so personally serving. One does not know if we will have a third election, but if so, here is a free tip: Whenever a certain population became a scapegoat, its power only grew. All it takes for the Arabs to go in droves to the polls is a few more of the Prime Minister's wolf wolf speeches.
Netanyahu is the new Nixon (Baruch Leshem, Yedioth/Ynet) Both were strong-headed, ambitious and stubborn veteran politicians, but both found themselves embroiled in political scandals; is Netanyahu also about to make a deal to cut and run hoping to rehabilitate his image in the future? 
A belt to the Gaza Strip: …Lessons from the latest round of violence (Yossi Ahimeir, Maariv) As the Islamic Jihad has promised, the ceasefire in Gaza is only temporary. Surely some more heads will fall in Gaza before the round, or the operation, which we hope will really be the last.
Seeing stars (Nadav Tzanzifer, Yedioth Hebrew) Forget the political dead end, leave the complex security issues and the Iranian threat out. For one magical autumnal evening we became one of the peoples! That's how it was when the world's best soccer player, Leo Messi, and other South American superstars, filled the grass at Bloomfield Stadium [in Jaffa], proving that love for the ball and passion for the game are a way of life worth adopting. It ended in a 2: 2 draw, but the sports and soccer culture won big. There are events that provide images that are burned as victories into our consciousness, even national pride for one evening, especially when they happen only a few days after hundreds of missiles were launched at Israel. Certainly, when the world's best player, Leo Messi, arrives with Argentina for a match against Uruguay at Bloomfield. Beyond broadcasting to the whole world that things are normal here, this is exactly the type of pictures Israel needs. There are no other places in the world, and Israel is the 33rd country Messi lands in in his career, that on his way out of the hotel he will see ultra-Orthodox disciples of Nachman dancing on a pickup truck, falafel booths and shawarma crowded from early afternoons with Argentina and Uruguay fans, a madness for one player which did not resemble his weekend visit in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), including the live broadcast of the landing of Argentina's team, as if it were the arrival of Anwar Sadat.
While jihadists target Jerusalem, the EU bashes Israel (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) Old habits, it seems, die hard. European countries have a historic knack for judging Jews, depriving Jews of scholarships, restricting Jews to specific pales of settlement, and tagging, branding and labeling them.
Iran's Protests Are Just What Trump Wants. So Why Is He Silent? (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) The U.S. could've helped Iran's demonstrators – whose anti-government protests are echoing in Iraq and Lebanon – but chose not to.
Iraqi Protests Against Corruption Have Become an Internal Threat for Iran (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) The gasoline price hike is causing the Iranian street to erupt, but if Iraqis topple their government, it could fuel an even bigger protest movement in Iran.

Elections 2019 Commentary/Analysis:
A Third Election Is Almost Inevitable. Even Israel's Political Kingmaker Knows That (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) Faced with the same deadlock as everyone else and playing for time, Lieberman might just be positioning himself for the third contest.
Elected officials must do everything possible to avoid another round of elections (Dr. Orit Miller-Katav, Maariv) We must wake up and rehabilitate the state’s economy, for the good of all. A situation in which "there will be nothing, because there is nothing" [Netanyahu’s slogan declaring he is innocent of corruption - OH] cannot continue to dictate political inaction.
Anyone but Bibi (Haaretz Editorial) Avigdor Lieberman, the chairman of Yisrael Beiteinu, is exploiting his 15 minutes of fame to the hilt. On Monday he even permitted himself to present an ultimatum to Kahol Lavan and Likud: If by tomorrow at noon you can’t reach an agreement on principle over a national unity government and sign off on its main points, then “It’s every man for himself.” Kahol Lavan must not surrender to Lieberman’s dictates. There is no question that a third general election in one year is undesirable, but the possibility of a national unity government that includes Benjamin Netanyahu, who is fueled by incitement, is the worst option of all. The heads of Kahol Lavan, Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, did the right thing when they firmly opposed Netanyahu’s words about the MKs of the Joint List. But statements and gestures are insufficient. This is Netanyahu, the man whose lust for rule caused him to lose all restrain and to trample every value.
The stalemate in the political system requires a change of the electoral system (Yochanan Plesner, Maariv) Changing the electoral system is the most important move that needs to be made these days. It's a shame that sometimes you have to get to the bottom to make a change, maybe small, but significant.
Mendelblit, Decide Now (Ehud Barak, Haaretz+) Given our crazy legal and political situation, a swift decision by the attorney general is vital. Its absence is a key reason for our current mess. We need to end the surreal situation in which the “gatekeepers” — the police and prosecution, and eventually judges, too — are being threatened by Benjamin Netanyahu’s envoys and mouthpieces as part of his no-holds-barred fight to evade the long arm of the law. In two days, or 21 days after that, at most, we’ll finally know if we’re headed for a third election. Another election would be bad, but far worse is the possibility of a new government headed by Netanyahu. Should Benny Gantz agree to serve in such a government, it would likely become proof of naivete as well as being political suicide.
Four Scenarios: What Happens Next if Benny Gantz Fails to Form a Government (Jonathan Lis, Haaretz+) Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz's mandate to establish a governing coalition will expire on Wednesday at midnight. What are the other options facing Israel?
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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