News Nosh 11.25.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday November 25, 2019
Quote of the day:
"His deed is a noble one of the first degree."
--Chairman of the European Jewish Association Rabbi Menachem Margolin said after Lebanese businessman, Abdallah Chatila, bought Hitler's artifacts at an auction, to prevent them from "getting into the wrong hands," and transferred them to a Jewish organization.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
"...the air force attacks were carried out in a surgically powerful and precise manner, with minimal collateral damage.”
--In an unusual letter distributed to IDF units summarizing the two-day IDF aerial operation in the Gaza Strip, the Chief of Staff concluded that the mistaken killing of nine members of a family by missiles to their home in the Gaza Strip was 'minimal collateral damage.'**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • On the way to primaries (in Likud)
  • Sitting on the fence // Nahum Barnea
  • Monologues from hell - Special supplement on Day of Struggle Against Violence Against Women (Hebrew)
  • On the way to the wedding, pass through the engineering faculty - 650 couples met during their studies at the Technion
  • Habima National Theater’s debts: 72 million shekels (Hebrew)
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Cracks in the wall of loyalty (of top Likud people to Netanyahu)
  • Show of power of motorcyclists - Thousands blocked the Ayalon Hwy to protest plan to prohibit riding on sides of road
  • “A noble act” - Lebanese businessman bought Hitler’s objects from auction to give them to Jews
Israel Hayom
  • Likely: Primaries - only after the Knesset is dissolved
  • The indictment and the deadlock - In the Likud, they are not hurrying to join Sa’ar’s calls - the battles are getting hotter: Sa’ar against Barekat and visa-versa
  • The jurists present: Ignoring the law // Simcha Rotman
  • The left-wing is celebrating the revolution that won’t happen // Eitan Orkibi
  • Expose - Recommendation: Film and collect data from all hospital operating rooms
  • Rise and succeed - Special project about Ethiopian-Israelis

Top Election/Indictment News Summary:
The big story - and surprise - was that indicted Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed to hold Likud party leadership elections within the next six weeks. The last time Likud held primaries was five years ago. The date of the primaries is significant because if it takes place in the days that the Knesset has to choose another person to try to form a government, then elections can be avoided. But if it’s after the Knesset is dissolved then there will be a third round of elections, explained Yedioth. And according to ‘Israel Hayom,’ it will be after the Knesset dissolves. The second biggest story was that Netanyahu’s rival, Gideon Sa’ar, declared he was running, sparking sharp remarks from another potential opponent, Nir Barekat. But Maariv reported that other senior Likud people are raising their voices without being named. Maariv quoted one, who told Channel 12 News: “If Netanyahu doesn’t agree to snap primaries, he shouldn’t be surprised if 61 signatures are collected to form a government.” Yedioth reported that Netanyahu’s associates are acting to increase the protests against the State Prosecutor and to change public opinion to support Netanyahu. Meanwhile, Likud is advancing a bill for direct prime-ministerial elections. In ‘Israel Hayom' however, it appeared as if Netanyahu were not facing serious internal problems. “The right-wing bloc: ‘We support the Prime Minister’” and “Netanyahu is in the north: ‘Acting to thwart Iran’s additional attacks’” were top stories. The other story that was in most of the papers was about the nursery school teacher who posted on Facebook that she took down the photo of the prime minister from the school wall. Afterward, Education Minister Rafi Peretz said he was trying to locate her for her unacceptable act and she resigned (see below.)

Elections/Indictment Quickees:
  • PM dodges immunity issue as he seeks to downplay indictment - Netanyahu calls query about whether he’ll seek parliamentary immunity for bribery, fraud and breach of trust charges ‘complicated question,’ says he is more than capable to deal with legal woes while running the country. (Ynet)
  • War of Succession: The Five Men Vying to Replace Netanyahu as Party Leader - From a high-tech millionaire to a Refusenik who spent three years in a Soviet jail, here are the likeliest contenders in Likud to take the crown from King Bibi. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel police chief hits back at Netanyahu, says investigators won’t be deterred - The prime minister, indicted for bribery, has called to 'investigate the investigators.' (Haaretz)
  • Top Likud members angered at request to participate in pro Netanyahu demonstration - Likud members say they are asked to participate in a demonstration that will promote a messaging they are not comfortable with including calling the AG's decision to indict the PM an attempted coup. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Netanyahu in closed talks: "Olmert was wrong when he resigned, I will not do so" - The Prime Minister told his associates that he did not intend to follow the path of the former prime minister, adding: "I will act to ensure that the Likud-led primaries do not take place even after the last 21 days." (Maariv)
  • Day school teacher took down Netanyahu's picture and stirred up a storm: “He is not a role model” - The teacher published a post that drew many comments on the internet. Education Minister Rafi Peretz made it clear that he "takes her actions very seriously," noting that his ministry "is working to locate her as soon as possible.” (Maariv)
  • Day school teacher who took down Netanyahu's picture resigned: "I will not give up my values" - Osnat Hagai, who stirred up a storm when she removed Netanyahu's picture from the nursery school wall where she worked, said on the TV program “Pipeline” why she left: "I teach the children the exact opposite.” (Maariv)
  • Sheldon Adelson's ‘Israel Hayom’ Daily to Pay $14,000 in Gantz Libel Case - Close to the first election in April, Israel Hayom published pieces claiming he had allegedly sexually harassed Jacobs many years ago. The free newspaper did not admit to printing false information, but agreed that future coverage would be 'fair, proper and legal.’ (Haaretz)

Other News Quick Hits:
  • **In Unusual Document, Army Chief Hails Israel's 'Success' in Latest Gaza Operation - Nine family members killed by mistake in an Israeli strike are not mentioned in the letter Kochavi sent to all army units. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel Arrests and Releases Palestinian Official for Seventh Time Within a Year - The Palestinian Authority appointed Adnan Ghaith a year ago despite provisions in the Oslo Accords with Israel that bar its activity in Jerusalem. (Haaretz+)
  • Police shutter number of Palestinian bodies in Jerusalem over incitement - “A fierce battle is underway for the future and identity of Jerusalem, and every step should be taken to thwart the PA’s attempts to incite residents of east Jerusalem against Israel,” says Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli Arab Who Murdered Rabbi in West Bank Gets Life Sentence - Abed al-Hakim Asi [who apparently grew up in West Bank] rejects his lawyer's attempts to plead reduced responsibility, tells prosecutors 'you're the terrorists, not us.’ He cited incidents of terror attacks carried out by Jews against Arabs. (Haaretz+ and Times of Israel)
  • Israeli who fought off terrorist seeks rehab help - After a long recovery process, Niv Nehemiah is still in need of treatment but the financial support provided by the state cannot cover the cost of the family's medical treatments and emotional support. (Ynet)
  • After 17 years - Minister Dichter and MK Hendel testified against film ‘Jenin, Jenin’ - After the first libel suit against the film ‘Jenin, Jenin’ was rejected, Lt. Col. res. Nissim Magnaji, who fought in the battle in Jenin (in 2002), and appears in the film, filed a new suit against its makers. The 2002 documentary film directed by (Arab-Israeli actor and director) Mohammed Bakri shows alleged testimonies of war crimes that IDF perpetrated in Jenin during Operation Defensive Shield, most of which were revealed as false. Former Shin Bet chief, Deputy Minister Avi Dichter (Likud) and MK Yoaz Hendel (Kahol-Lavan) gave testimonies that supported the complainants. Dichter: “The movie ‘Jenin, Jenin’ is anti-Semitic, false, besmirching and distorted.” MK Hendel added: “The besmirching of IDF soldiers is a phenomenon that must not be accepted. Freedom of speech of the filmmakers and others is important, but it must not become freedom to lie. I expect the court to prove to the world that justice is with them, with us, and the truth will come to light.” (NOTE: The film deals with the IDF operation inside Jenin Refugee Camp where over 11,000 people lived. Soldiers and bulldozers killed dozens of Palestinians and partially demolished the camp. - OH]  (Maariv, p. 6)
  • Former Islamic Movement Leader Ra’ad Salah Convicted of Incitement to Terrorism - Leader is expected to receive jail time for praising the actions of three Israeli Arabs who killed two Border Police officers in Jerusalem's Old City in 2017. (Haaretz+)
  • Platoon commander in armored corps to the IDF leadership: Officers don’t obey orders - Major Ido Piotrkowski, an outstanding officer, circulated a fierce criticism of the IDF's organizational culture and decided to retire despite being marked as a great promise. IDF Spokesman: "This is his personal opinion.” (Maariv)
  • Immigrant community statistics: The Ethiopian community will celebrate the Sigd holiday tomorrow - At the end of 2018, the population of Ethiopian origin was 151,800, which is 1.69% of the total population of Israel. 86,900 were born in Ethiopia and 64,900 in Israel with a father born in Ethiopia, according to Central Bureau of Statistics. Challenges exist - in 2018, there were about 33,000 on unemployment, about 37%; the national average is 28%. And 6.6% of the Israelis prosecuted were Ethiopian-Israelis. Number of single parent families is high at 26%, double the national average. Highest number of Ethiopian-Israelis live in Netanyaha (11,900 people) (Israel Hayom Hebrew)
  • WeWork Founder Adam Neumann 'Helped Kushner Craft Mideast Peace Plan' - The now disgraced ex-CEO reportedly claimed that three people would save the world: Mohammed bin Salman, Jared Kushner and Neumann himself. (Haaretz)
  • Netanyahu, Top U.S. Commander Warn of More Attacks by Iran in the Middle East - 'The attack on the oil fields in Saudi was stunning in the depth of its audaciousness,' General Kenneth McKenzie said. Netanyahu: Iran planning 'additional attacks.’ (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • New Arab Group Says It’s Time to Stop Boycotting Israel - The Arab Council for Regional Integration group held its first conference in London this week. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • British Labour Party Puts Ban on Selling Arms to Israel on Election Platform - Last year, Labour passed a motion strongly criticizing Israel and pledging to halt all U.K. weapon sales to the Jewish state if it rises to power. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • In Shadow of Submarine Affair, ThyssenKrupp Fails to Make $202m in Promised Israeli Purchases - German firm agreed to terms after winning contract to build patrol boats for the navy in deal now shadowed by Case 3000. (Haaretz+)
  • *Lebanese businessman buys Hitler items, is donating them to Israel - Diamond magnate Abdallah Chatila purchased Hitler-linked items at Munich auction to keep them from neo-Nazis, gives them to Keren Hayesod; will be honored by European Jewish group. (Times of Israel and Israel Hayom)
  • Lebanon Protesters Clash With Hezbollah, Amal Supporters in Beirut - Incident was the worst tension in the Lebanese capital since a mob loyal to the Shi'ite groups attacked and destroyed the main protest camp in October. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • 'I know where Eli Cohen is buried,' says alleged son of ex-Syrian leader - New-Zealander claiming to be son of Amin al-Hafiz says Mossad refused to pay him $1million to reveal location of executed spy's remains; Cohen's widow asks: 'Is he not worth it?' (Ynet, Israel Hayom and Maariv)
  • Iran Should Punish 'Mercenaries' for Unrest, Top Revolutionary Guards Commander Says - Iran blames 'thugs' with foreign ties for the recent violent unrest sparked by a drastic reduction of fuel subsidies. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • WATCH As Internet Restored, Iran Protest Videos Reveal Chaos - As nation connects back to the world, the toll of the protests, which the government blames on 'foreign foes,' remains unclear. (Agencies, Haaretz)

Distrust, Fear and 'Self-defense’: High-profile Campaign to Collect Guns From Israeli Arabs Flops
Half a million shekels in advertising and dozens of collection points, but just a handful of illegal weapons were collected in a week — and mostly from Jews. Neither the Public Security ministry nor the police had very high hopes for the campaign, assuming that at best a few dozen weapons would be taken out of circulation. “The importance is in conducting the campaign,” said a senior police officer. “To show that there is goodwill as part of the war on crime.”
The Day AIPAC Lost Its Legitimacy (Matt Matilsky, Haaretz+) AIPAC backs a two state solution. But its refusal to comment when the Trump administration 'legalized' Israeli settlements, a key obstacle to any future Palestinian state, demonstrated its lack of purpose - and spine.
The American declaration on the settlements: Why don’t we release ourselves from the Israeli feeling of inferiority? (Meir Uziel, Maariv) The United States declared loudly what every man who wants peace knows. The land of the Jewish people is in Judea and Samaria no less than between Hadera and Gedera.
Israel Has a Rare Opportunity for Long-term Quiet on the Gaza Border (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Islamic Jihad's two-day round of fighting with Israel created good conditions for a long-term deal between Israel and Gaza's rulers. The groundwork is laid, but a few factors stand in the way.
After the rockets: Stalemate for now, but what’s next? (Lt. Gen. Steven Blum and Ari Cicurel, Israel Hayom) US policymakers can take steps to decrease the likelihood of another war and prepare Israel for provocations from terror groups.
Occupation Is the Seed of Corruption (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) In 1992 the five Knesset members of Hadash and Ra’am (whose voters were mostly Arabs) were enough to allow Yitzhak Rabin to form a government. Now, even the 13 MKs of the Joint List aren’t enough for Benny Gantz. In the neighboring Arab world – the jungle, as former Prime Minister Ehud Barak calls it – they are looking at the villa’s living room and can’t believe their eyes…Here we have a man with a black cloud of corruption hovering over him who, even after being indicted, has 55 MKs in his pocket. To this disciplined bloc, the dream of every dictator, one can add the eight MKs of Yisrael Beiteinu…The judicial system has actually missed the boat. Every settler can do almost whatever he chooses in the occupied territories, and the legal system is there to issue administrative detention orders – against Palestinians. And if a settler feels as if he can do almost anything throughout the occupied territories, why shouldn’t he feel that way when he comes to Tel Aviv as well?
Hebron in memory (Jerold S. Auerbach, Israel Hayom) Whether Zionism retains any connection to the ancient sources and sites of Jewish history is entwined with the future of the Hebron Jewish community.
Trump, Israel and anti-Semitism: How White Nationalists Are Trying to Hijack 'America First' (Alexander Griffing, Haaretz+) Members of the ‘groyper army’ ask speakers at events leading questions about Israel, gay rights and immigration in order to force them to defend universal rights.
Why Egypt's Sissi Is Pulling His Son Out of the Spotlight (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Mahmoud al-Sissi, the eldest son of Egypt's president, has been sidelined as a result of his failures in dealing with a number of delicate affairs.

Elections 2019/Netanyahu Indictment Commentary/Analysis:
Netanyahu’s long and illustrious career is coming to a sad and shameful end (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) After being dragged kicking and screaming to face criminal charges, the prime minister’s political epitaph will be short and simple: ‘What a waste.’
Prime Minister’s Iron Dome: The goal of a right-wing bloc with the ultra-Orthodox parties (Ran Adelist, Maariv) Not for no reason did Netanyahu encircle himself with yarmulke wearers and place them at decision-making junctions, and not for no reason are the rabbis now bothering the Attorney General…Benjamin Netanyahu is charged with bribery. It won't interest the bloc. Their goal is a right-wing, ultra-Orthodox and cynical minority government.
Is Netanyahu Finally Facing a Full-scale Likud Rebellion? (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) So far, lawmaker Gideon Sa’ar is the only heavy hitter to call for an immediate primary. Netanyahu’s problems will start when others join the call.
Israelis must judge politicians by their word, not their spin (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth/Ynet) With all the claims and counterclaims of the seemingly endless election season, Israeli voters would do well to consider who actually says what they mean and not what they want you to hear.
In the name of the father (Yossi Ahimeir, Maariv) Although he needed to declare he was stepping down, one cannot but be amazed by Netanyahu's ability to battle over his position, according to which only he can run the State of Israel.
Sa'ar's gambit to replace Netanyahu quickly falls flat (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) His idea was simple and smart: Force snap primaries for the Likud leadership to ensure the party remains in power before the Knesset disperses. But the decision to hold the primaries after the Knesset disperses and before another general election makes Netanyahu the heavy favorite again.
Ending the Grotesquerie of Netanyahu Serving as Prime Minister (Tzvia Greenfield, Haaretz+) The sight unfolding before our eyes in recent days has only one meaning: A prime minister who has been indicted on three serious charges is trying with all his might to arouse a popular revolt in order to evade being sentenced by the legal authorities in his country. Although there is room to hope that most Israelis are saner than their leader, it’s clear that the man and his courtiers have abandoned all restraint and are playing with extremely dangerous fire.
The day after him (Dr. Revital Amiran, Maariv) If the left-center bloc wants to replace the existing leadership, it should avoid celebrating and present operative plans that will return the discussion to the operative field and return the public's trust to it.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.