News Nosh 12.9.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday November 26, 2019
 
Number of the day:
2,306,000.
--Number of people living in poverty in Israel, according to a report by Latet, an Israeli food bank NGO. Half of the elderly in need cannot heat their homes in winter or adapt them to medical needs and more than half of children receiving aid do not have enough to eat.*

Front Page:
Haaretz
  • Three days till Knesset is dissolved: No agreement over election date
  • Attorney General ordered investigation regarding testimony of associate of (state witness) Hefetz
  • (Defense Minister) Bennett boasts killing Iranians and changing the rules and sparks indignation in the security establishment
  • Trump again angered the ‘disloyal’ US Jews. And not a word about Netanyahu // Chemi Shalev
  • Leon concludes a year as Jerusalem Mayor. The fears were proven wrong, as well as the expectations for change
  • Reuven Hazak was among those who exposed the Bus Line 300 Affair. Now the sculptures he created are looking at Jerusalem from above
Yedioth Ahronot
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links)
Israel Hayom
  • Trump: “I am your best friend” - Historic address of the US President at the IAC conference
  • The miracles that we have yet to get, if only we will be smart about receiving them // Boaz Bismuth
  • We’ve already seen this movie: “Preventing elections is unlikely”
  • What about soul-searching? // Avishai Ivri
  • We need a decision, not unity // Eitan Orkibi
  • Israeli involvement in giving Mongolian passport to Iranian judoka
  • Winter arrived: 19-year-old severely injured from lighting


Elections 2019/Netanyahu Indictment News:
Today's big story in the Hebrew newspapers was the confrontation between supporters of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and those of his rival, Gideon Saar, at the Likud Central Committee meeting just days before the deadline of the dissolution of the Knesset. Despite the booing of Saar by Netanyahu supporters, the Committee managed to agree that elections would not be held for the members of the central committee, only for its leader if elections are held, as they likely will be. The other main stories were the storm that suddenly gripped the country after a month of temperatures that felt like spring and the report by the Latet food bank organization that found that half a million families live below the poverty line in Israel.

Other Top News Summary:
Interestingly, what was a minor story in the other papers was the main story of ‘Israel Hayom’: US President Donald Trump addressed the annual conference of the Israeli-American Council and said he is Israel’s best friend and that there were some Jewish people in America who don’t love Israel enough. It was clear that the owner of the daily freebie, Sheldon Adelson, a major Trump donor, had a stake in the IAC, because already in Sunday’s paper, the newspaper printed a front-page article about the conference which was to take place that day. Yedioth/Ynet and Haaretz explained why: the Israeli American Council national summit is financially backed Adelson. So, today’s front page was a celebration of Trump, Adelson and the IAC. Yet, while ‘Israel Hayom’ splashed Trump’s love for Israel across the front in big bold letters, Haaretz+ reported that Trump was called out for using anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish wealth and lack of love for Israel, ostensibly because they aren’t right-wing. Trump also said that if his son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner, can't achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal then 'it can't be done.'
 
Quick Hits:
  • IDF strikes Hamas sites in Gaza after rocket fire on Israel  - Military says airstrikes target several Hamas posts and a naval base. There were no immediate reports of casualties. (Israel Hayom)
  • Hamas calls pre-dawn Israeli strikes in Gaza a 'dangerous step' - The IDF attacks come in response to at least 3 rockets, intercepted by the Iron Dome, fired at the southern city of Sderot just hours earlier; 'Israel must bear the consequences,' says the terror group in a statement. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israel Border Police Bus Vandalized Outside West Bank Settlement - Police continues to face opposition when enforcing closed military zone order in unauthorized outpost of Kumi Ori. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli Border Police Thwart Stabbings by Palestinian Minors at Tomb of Patriarchs - In two separate incidents, young Palestinian residents of Hebron approached security posts at the holy site and brandished knives. Both subdued, arrested. (Haaretz+)
  • Following the PISA (international education) tests: The Arab sector is threatening to go on strike - Following the discrepancies revealed by the international tests between Jewish and Arab pupils, the National Parents Committee of the Arab sector held an emergency meeting and demanded an independent investigation commission to investigate the enormous gap in achievement scores. (Maariv)
  • Israel's Attorney General Orders Investigation Into Methods Used to Interrogate Netanyahu Associate - Nir Hefetz, the prime minister's former media advisor, turned state's evidence against Netanyahu in the case where he has been charged with quid pro quo with telecom giant Bezeq. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel halts veteran lone soldiers’ stipends: ‘There’s no government, so there’s no money’ - Lone soldiers are eligible for a monthly government stipend to help finance the cost of rent, one of the biggest issues they face: ‘I had to choose whether I want to eat or pay my bills.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Lebanese-born Donor of Hitler Items Welcomed in Israel - Abdallah Chatla paid $660,000 at auction for the items, which include Hitler's personal effects, but said he had 'had no right to decide' what to do with them. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Netanyahu: I Didn't Discuss Formal Annexation Plan With Pompeo, but Issue Came Up - U.S. State Department recently denied claims an annexation plan was reviewed in Lisbon meeting last week. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel's Defense Chief Warns Iran: Syria Will Become Your Vietnam - Comments by Naftali Bennett follow remark from Israel's foreign minister, who was quoted as saying Israel would consider striking Iran if it came close to being nuclear-capable. (Haaretz+)
  • US envoy vows Israel will no longer be 'punching bag' at UN - US Ambassador Kelly Craft and her predecessor, Nikki Haley, blast the international body for its unfair treatment of the Jewish state. (Israel Hayom)
  • Next month: Summit of Presidents in Jerusalem -  75 years of Auschwitz liberation: 35 heads of state from around the world are expected to arrive in Jerusalem next month to take part in the "Remember the Holocaust, Fight Anti-Semitism" event. Among the leaders invited to the forum by President Rivlin: Russian President Putin, US Vice President Pence, French President Macron, Prince Charles and King of Spain Filipe. (Yedioth Hebrew)
  • Australia Snubs Israeli Project on Child Sex Abuse Over Malka Leifer Extradition - Because of Israeli foot dragging over extraditing accused pedophile to Australia, the country's UN delegation in Geneva shunned the Israeli delegation's initiative on child sexual exploitation. (Haaretz+)
  • Bethlehem Eyeing a Merry Christmas, With More Tourists and More Hotel Rooms - This year townsfolk are abuzz about a new attraction – a wooden relic reputed to be from the manger used by Jesus – sent Bethlehem from Rome in time for Christmas. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • PA vexed by ICC report slamming 'pay-for-slay' policy as potential war crime - International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor warns Ramallah's payments to terrorists and their families could constitute a war crime. Palestinian FM: ICC report "based on misleading narratives of a political nature." (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Norway to withhold funding to PA over inciting curriculum - Norwegian legislature passes decision to retain monetary aid to PA's education system after report shows Palestinian textbooks rife with incitement to violence and terrorism. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Canada 'made deal with devil' with anti-Israel vote, says ex-U.S. envoy to UN - Nikki Haley says by voting for a UN resolution for the Palestinian right to self-determination, drafted by North Korea, the North American state 'traded its integrity for a seat on Security Council,' which held 'monthly Israel-bashing session.’ (i24News, Ynet)
  • Biden: Netanyahu Is Drifting to the 'Extreme Right' to Stay in Power - The former VP, who called Netanyahu a 'friend' during the Obama era, shifts his tone on the prime minister but reiterates support for U.S. military aid to Israel. (Haaretz+)
  • Biden calls Sanders’ pitch to leverage Israel aid ‘bizarre’ - Democratic presidential hopeful says proposed annexation of West Bank settlements would be a 'fundamental mistake,' but says withdrawing military aid from the Jewish state is akin to 'kicking France out of NATO.’ (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Revealed: Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib targeted in far-right fake news operation (from Israel) - Israeli-based group uses Facebook to spread disinformation to more than a million followers around the world, singling out Muslim US congresswomen. (Israel Hayom, Haaretz Hebrew, Calcalist Hebrew and Guardian)
  • Guatemala to designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization - President-elect Alejandro Giammattei tells Foreign Minister Israel Katz he will instate designation once he takes office, next month. (Israel Hayom)
  • Lebanon's Hariri reemerges as PM candidate after main challenger withdraws - Despite being backed by Hariri himself, who resigned as prime minister amid nationwide protests, businessman Samir Khatib fails to secure Sunni endorsement. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Saudi Arabia ends gender-segregated entrances for restaurants - Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been easing segregation and restrictions on women over past year, accompanied by a crackdown on dissent. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • U.S. releases first photos of 'sophisticated Iranian weapons' seized en route to Yemen - 'Significant hoard' captured in the Arabian Sea is further proof of Tehran's efforts to inflame conflict in the region, top U.S. official says. (Haaretz)


Features:
This Palestinian came from Canada with a dream – Israeli settlers and the army came together to thwart it
Khaled Al Sabawi had a vision — developing affordable building lots in the West Bank to Palestinians. But sales stopped almost completely due to settlers’ harassment and the pressure they put on the army. (Amira Hass, Haaretz+)
Lion? David Ben-Gurion Was Actually a Mouse in His Early Years
According to a new Hebrew-language biography, David Ben-Gurion failed at everything through World War I, at least. Later, he'd be a master of tough decisions. (Ofer Aderet, Haaretz+)
Diamond Cinderella
"At the age of 12, I went to wash cars at gas stations. I wanted to help Mom so she could buy me food," says Ronnie Nemder, and her eyes light up almost like the many diamonds she wears. Today Nemder is a jeweler and a boutique owner in Neve Tzedek, which she dreams of turning into a franchise, with the encouragement of her husband, Eitan Nemder, a son of one of the oldest diamond families in Israel. She tells Shoshana Chen about the rich customers from Dubai and Saudi Arabia, and about the one who stopped at the store with a new Lamborghini who bought $1 worth of diamonds only to give his wife something nice. (Shoshana Chen, Yedioth Hebrew '24 Hours' supplement)
This City Wanted to Be Israel's Berlin. So What Went Wrong?
Haifa had everything needed to become a success story: A beautiful scenery, a major university, flourishing high-tech industries and cheaper housing than Tel Aviv. (Yael Darel, Haaretz+)

Elections 2019/Netanyahu Indictment Commentary/Analysis:
All That Netanyahu Has Left Are Empty Political Stunts (Haaretz Editorial) There are three days left until the Knesset must dissolve, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is bombarding Israelis with ridiculous proposals, accusations in every direction and fables about security emergencies and one-time diplomatic opportunities. Netanyahu continues to spout lies – “In recent weeks, I’ve gone a long way, I haven’t spared any effort to set up a unity government and avoid unnecessary elections” – whose sole purpose is to enable him to serve first as prime minister in any rotation government and bring his entire right-wing bloc into the government. He boasts of having spoken with the U.S. president about “historic opportunities” and claimed to have discussed annexing the Jordan Valley with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but then Pompeo’s assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs, David Schenker, issued a denial. It seems that the “magician” is running out of rabbits to pull out of his hat.
The battle over who will takeover the Likud may change the political map in Israel (Ephraim Ganor, Maariv) There is a high likelihood that from the Likud there will be those who demand and act to oust and takeover from Netanyahu. Their numbers are small, which increases the likelihood that this struggle will indeed bring about the disintegration of the Likud.
Start-up Nation: The Israeli invention that will be registered in Netanyahu's name (Ben Caspit, Maariv) Is there another proper Western country where the prime minister could have stayed one more minute in power after the explosion of a rotten abscess such as the submarine affair? The answer is negative.
Explained: The Other Major Scandal Threatening Netanyahu's Grip on Power (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) Associates of the prime minister are set to be charged in the case involving Israel's purchase of naval vessels. Benny Gantz’s party wants a commission of inquiry to see if Netanyahu is no mere innocent bystander.
Not everything can be judged: Netanyahu must be granted immunity (Dr. Haim Misgav, Maariv) The statement that the prime minister is entitled to immunity from prosecution is a good opportunity for the elected system to curb the unelected agents, headed by the attorney general.
Israel's Justice Minister Is Actually Netanyahu’s Long Arm in the Legal System (Yuval Yoaz, Haaretz+) A caretaker government is not permitted to make senior appointments in the public service. That’s why an acting state prosecutor will be named within a few days to replace State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan, whose term ends December 15, rather than a permanent replacement. The attorney general heads the search committee for state prosecutor. The committee recommends a candidate to the minister, who is expected to accept the recommendation and submit it to the cabinet, which has the formal authority to approve the appointment. Justice Minister Amir Ohana, during the hiring process for the acting state prosecutor, seeks to decide on this appointment on his own.

Other Commentary/Analysis:
Israel’s Campaign to Destabilize Jordan (Ori Nir, Haaretz+) After 25 years of peace, humiliation and disappointment, Jordan fears Israel's next moves will constitute an existential threat to the kingdom.
Despite the problematic relationship with Jordan: We must take advantage of the Trump term and annex the Jordan Beqaa Valley (Arieh Eldad, Maariv) Opponents in the security establishment to the annexation of the valley warn us that Jordan will cancel the peace agreement. But the truth is that despite its hatred for Israel, King Abdullah is entirely dependent upon us.
Israeli, Jewish, and raising my kids in Ramallah (Umm Forat, Haaretz+) After a year in the U.S., we brought the family home to Ramallah. The children and I landed in Israel and drove through roads littered with checkpoints, while Osama, my partner, had to fly in through Jordan.
Smiles for an Arab, hatred for an Israeli (Yaniv Halily, Yedioth/Ynet) An Israeli journalist based in Britain has for years reported on anti-Semitism in Europe and finds himself its the victim as he is called 'a stinking Jew' by an apparently educated woman on a London bus.
Israeli Generals' Newest Headache: Defense Chief's Boasts About Killing Iranians (Yaniv Kubovich, Haaretz+) Military and defense officials have been taken by surprise on a near-daily basis by Naftali Bennett's statements, which are not coordinated in advance and sometimes run counter to Israeli security policy.
2-state solution may no longer be viable (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) The Trump administration’s historic recognition of the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria is another, perhaps even the last nail in the coffin of the Palestinian state idea.
Israel's real military deterrence is its missiles (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) Amid rising tensions with Iran and ongoing rumors about its experimental new missile, Israel has recently conducted test launches of its own to show that it is ready to face any future attacks and preserve its status as 'an unbeatable country.’
Europe should benefit from Herzl’s vision (Gol Kalev, Israel Hayom) The Jewish state’s visionary planted the seeds for a more perfect Europe in Israel, utilizing his unique understanding of European liberalism. As Europe debates its optimal road toward renewal, it could learn a lot from Herzl and his brainchild.
France’s Hypocrisy on ‘anti-Semitism’ (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) A new peak in European hypocrisy, which was also a new nadir in its moral wretchedness, was recorded last week when France’s National Assembly approved a bill stating that anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism. This continent is clad in slogans of liberty, equality and fraternity, but unlike the East, which it describes in monstrous terms, it has abused its Jews for generations. Yet it’s this continent that’s now coming to teach us moral values.
Trump refined the notion of 'special ties' (Prof. Abraham Ben-Zvi, Israel Hayom) The American president’s speech at the Israeli American Council National Summit in Florida was the most comprehensive display of pro-Israel sentiment he has shown since taking office.
Don't let Sanders get away with redefining 'pro-Israel' (Jonathan S. Tobin, Israel Hayom) Supporting Israel's existence while being allied to those who wish to destroy it and engage in anti-Semitic invective doesn't work.
Are Israel's Most Sensitive Military Operations Top Secret? Apparently Not (Yossi Melman, Haaretz+) Last week’s episode of the “Uvda” investigative TV magazine, about the botched heroic operation in Khan Yunis in November 2018, was a polished, interesting program that offered new information and played on the emotions as only host Ilana Dayan can. The organization that cut corners to realize the mission was the Israel Defense Forces. Since the operation a year ago, Military Intelligence’s Information Security Department and the military censor have done everything they could to block all publication. They went so far as to prevent the publication in Israel of the soldiers’ photos, equipment, identity cards and credit cards that were displayed by the Al Jazeera network to the entire world. I believe that sunlight is the best disinfectant and that the public has a fundamental right to information….what was the justification for allowing Operations Branch chief Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, who retired recently, and other senior officers to relay the story of the operation in such detail?… if publication is banned, there should be consistency and no zigzags. The behavior this time indicates, and not for the first time, that the attitude to security considerations must be taken with a grain of salt.
I'll protect you: a defense alliance with the United States - not at any cost (Omer Dustri, Maariv) An official defense alliance between Israel and the world's strongest power is important - only on condition that the essential principles of national security are preserved.
Non-aggression pact is a good place to start (Yoni Ben Menachem, Israel Hayom) Israel’s policy of breaking the linkage between the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and normalizing ties with the Arab world will help lead to full normalization.
Asylum Seekers in Europe Have Nowhere to Run (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) In contrast to the warm welcome refugees received early on in the Syrian war, the goal now is to encourage asylum seekers to leave.
 
Interviews:
Honduran president: I will not capitulate to anti-Israel threats
Juan Orlando Hernández tells Israel Hayom that his country shares common values, threats and enemies with the Jewish state. “It feels like a big family here,” he tells editor-in-chief at Israeli-American Council summit in Florida. "I feel the love that fills the hall here and I feel a huge honor to be a part of it, because it's my family – the family I joined as a 22-year-old guy sent to Israel,” said Hernández, referring to his stint as part of the MASHAV leadership program, where the Israeli foreign ministry invited him to take part in its international development cooperation initiative aimed at introducing other countries to Israel’s impressive technological know-how on the environment and agriculture.  (Interviewed by Boaz Bismuth in Israel Hayom)

'Israel is what the Arab world can be but is unable to be'
Egyptian-born Hussein Aboubakr was 14 when he discovered much of what he was told about Israel was a lie and the revelation sent him down a harrowing path, from which he emerged as a pro-Israel advocate in the United States. "I dream of making the Arabs understand what Israel really stands for," he says. (Interviewed by Dudi Caspi in Israel Hayom)

Israel’s goal is to kill Palestine, not Palestinians. Listen to Amira Hass
'The violence perpetrated in the West Bank by Israel and the settlers has just one purpose: to erase the Palestinian national identity.' (LISTEN FREE, Haaretz Weekly)
 
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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