News Nosh 1.20.20

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday January 20, 2020
 

 You Must Be Kidding: 

Judges ruled to give Ateret Cohanim settler organization the land in E. Jerusalem on which live 23 members of the Rajbi family in a home they bought over 40 years ago, on grounds that the structure was built on land owned by Jews before 1948. Israeli law enables Jews to repossess properties in East Jerusalem that they lost during the 1948 war, but does not allow similar rights to the thousands of Palestinians who lost their property in that war.**

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • The hope of the Issachar family - that Putin will give Naama pardon
  • Anger in Likud: “Edelstein sold us out, we will make sure he doesn’t become president”
  • They’re doing a Ruvi Rivlin on him // Yuval Karni
  • Following Yedioth expose - War plan against military service evasion (Hebrew)
  • The depth of the bungle - The failures that caused 7 deaths in the floods and damage of billions of shekels (Hebrew)
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • With all their voice and power: The (election) campaigns begin
  • (Knesset Speaker) Edelstein: Next Tuesday the plenum will convene to debate the immunity committee
  • “Critical week for Naama (Issachar)’s fate”
  • “It’keh, my love, since I received your letter, I am no longer hungry” - International Holocaust Day: Preparations in Jerusalem
  • Exclusive - MK Tibi, the national water carrier and the great land tangle - The Water Authority asked to confiscate land in the north - and Tibi threatened to cut budgets (and the state gave up on the lands)
  • IDF preparing for draft of (teen pop singers) Noa Kirrel and Adi Beatty
  • As a result of the storm: State Comptroller will examine preparations for weather damage

Top News Summary:
Hope that an Israeli woman in jail in Russia will be pardoned by the Russian President as world leaders arrive in Israel for the Holocaust Forum, and no pardon from fellow Likud members for the Knesset Speaker, who agreed to convene the plenum to discuss the Prime Minister’s immunity request, and work along Israel’s northern border to install a new preventative system that will reveal tunnel excavations - these made the top news in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Also, ‘Israel Hayom’ published a fascinating article that inadvertently revealed something about the government’s attitude towards and methods of confiscating land from Arab citizens.

Yaffa Issachar, the mother of Naama, who was sentenced to seven years in jail in Russia, returned to Israel and said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to pardon Naama during his visit to Israel and she called on Israelis not to protest for Naama’s release during his visit. (NOTE: Yair Navot writes in Yedioth about the connection between the release of Naama Issachar and the Russian-Polish conflict. (See translation in Commentary/Analysis below.) [That said, Maariv reported that activists received permission to demonstrate against Putin during his visit because of his arms sales to regimes who harm their citizens. Eli Yosef, chairman of the "Jewish Heart" party, which is running in the upcoming Knesset elections, is known as a "serial charger” into political events. He was given permission to hold two demonstrations against the Russian president for his “involvement in the murder of thousands of women and children and men...Putin is a dictator who sells weapons to the enemies of Israel, Iran and Syria. They use weapons to slaughter a civilian population. Do we honor the memory of the Holocaust by giving respect to the person responsible for the murder of tens of hundreds of thousands?” Yosef asked.]

Putin will make a lighting one day visit on Thursday, and dozens of other world leaders and dignitaries are arriving beginning today to attend a ceremony at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp and to attend the fifth Holocaust Forum. The gathering also includes French President Emmanuel Macron, US Vice President Mike Pence, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Britain’s Prince Charles, and Spanish, Dutch and Norwegian royalty among attendees. According to Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz, this will be "the largest diplomatic event in Israel’s history.”  Maariv reported that only 30 Holocaust survivors were invited to a ceremony at the President's House. Yad Vashem said: "The event is not a public ceremony but a gathering of leaders." Meanwhile, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon invited Holocaust Forum attendees to a “one-of-a-kind” cocktail party with a DJ in a cave underneath the Old City, Haaretz+ reported. Later the Jerusalem Municipality said it was for foreign reporters.

Israel Hayom Hebrew published a fascinating article by Hanan Greenwood, which not only incites against MK Ahmed Tibi and belittles the head of the Water Authority in what appears to be an attempt to put pressure to change the Water Authority's decision, but also reveals how needlessly land is confiscated and how threatened some people in the state feel about returning state confiscated land to Arab citizens. Here is the translation of the article, "A danger to the state's stability - and a real earthquake." This is how senior government ministries define the Water Authority's decision to give up returning land to state ownership. [NOTE: This is a roundabout way of avoiding saying 'expropriated privately-owned land' - OH]  The state's move to restore its land, MK Tibi's threat - and the giving in of the Water Authority: This affair, which originated in a decision back during the state's founding, is upsetting government ministries and raising questions about the Water Authority's conduct and the governing ability of elected officials over the executive authority. The story began in the 1960s, when the state expropriated land that was not inhabited around (Arab village) Kufr Manda in the north for establishing the national water carrier. However, the land title was not registered and not expropriated, and over time the villagers took over the land for agriculture and other uses. Recently, the Water Authority decided to clear things up and filed warrants for the confiscation of the land - but, as expected, the residents of Kufr Manda, who were not interested in the fact that the land was designated for strategic infrastructure construction. Therefore, Mayor Muenis Abdel al-Halim decided to take action - and demanded that the Water Authority cancel the expropriation process immediately. At the same time, he enlisted MK Ahmed Tibi (Joint List) - who, for his part, began to exert pressure to transfer the territories to the residents. MK Tibi appealed to Giora Shaham, head of the Water Authority, and threatened to hold up the authority's budget. During elections, where the finance committee meets very rarely, this is a threat that has consequences - which did indeed bring about the desired result from the complainants - in complete contrast to the stated interest of the State of Israel. Sources in the affair explained that "Tibi threatened to jam the Water Authority's budget if it refrained from appearing at the (Knesset) hearing [on the issue of the land], and Shaham ran to the Knesset and said he did not need the land and that it could be transferred to the complainants." It should be noted that this is an unprecedented decision. Land confiscation in the State of Israel has widespread security and policy implications - and the professional bodies, from the Ministry of Justice through the Treasury to the Israeli Land Authority, have expressed shock. "The Water Authority's position undermines the basis of land expropriation in the State of Israel since its establishment," one source stated, "This is to admit to a governmental mistake on lands in the State of Israel - which is like allowing the return of Palestinian refugees. This is a danger to the State of Israel, it undermines the State's stability and compromises its security. This is a real earthquake." Another source said: "In the past week there has been a crazy mess, with senior officials screaming to the sky and saying that the Water Authority has acted contrary to its powers. If today they cancel land expropriation, tomorrow they will cancel more. Everyone is up on their back legs and trying to prevent it. Even if the area is not needed - there are ways to release land and that is not the way. Now representatives of the Arab public in the Knesset are coming to the offices and saying that the state does not need the land at all, because 'the head of the Water Authority said so.' Now go fix the damage."
The Water Authority said in response: "These are lands appropriated in the 1960s from Jewish and Arab landowners for the establishment of the national water carrier, and which are not currently used. Therefore, the Water Authority, together with other parties, decided to conduct a professional examination on the need for these lands. When completed, we will formulate a position regarding all the land.
(In print version) MK Ahmad Tibi said in response: "The Water Authority has admitted to the committee that the land is far from the water reservoir and there is no need for the water reservoir project. There are alternatives to these sections for the project. We are aware of the incitement of unknown elements, including against the fundamental rights of Arab residents, including residents of Kufr Manda. We will continue to work to eliminate unnecessary appropriations."
In the website online version of the article here is MK Ahmad Tibi's response:
1. These lands are land owned by residents of Manda village and the title is registered in their names. And the confiscation was done in the 60's and not in the 50's, as the news item says. (Article was apparently corrected before print. - OH)
2. The registration of the expropriation was done only in 2019 and then the residents awoke to the reality of actual expropriation.
3. The Water Authority admitted to the (Knesset) committee that the lands are far from the water reservoir and there the water reservoir project does not need them. And there are alternatives to these plots for the project.
4. This is not the first time an expropriation was cancelled. MK Tibi managed to get about 25 acres of land in the Taibe industrial zone returned a few years ago.
5. Other senior officials outside the Water Authority also acknowledged that there is no need for the expropriation of these lands that Kfar Manda needs for the future of its children and young couples.
6.  We are aware of the incitement of unknown elements against the fundamental rights of Arab residents, including residents of Manda. The Joint List will continue to work with the government ministries and the Knesset finance committee to eliminate the unnecessary expropriations made in the 1960s, (and which) the owners continued to cultivate the lands because they were privately-owned locally and were never originally owned by the state.

Elections 2020 / Netanyahu Indictment News:
After being stuck between a rock and a hard place, senior Likud member and Knesset Speaker, Yuli Edelstein, made the painful decision to convene the Knesset plenum to move forward with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s immunity request. The Likud had pressured him not to hold the plenum or to stall until after the March 2nd elections. But Kahol-Lavan threatened to have him dismissed and the Knesset legal advisor said he is not allowed to prevent it from being held. What he did manage to do was to stall until next week. Edelstein said he could not allow this debate to take place as so many world leaders were visiting. (Yedioth Hebrew) Next Tuesday, the plenum will convene to vote on the formation of a committee to discuss Netanyahu’s immunity bid. Yedioth political reporter, Yuval Karni, wrote today that “Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein entered the battle field of Netanyahu’s immunity with the result known in advance: a lose-lose situation. Yesterday, Edelstein became the ‘collaborator of the left-wing’ and the one who could bring down Netanyahu. No less. It doesn’t matter how long he delays the convening of the plenum, or bends the Knesset rules or drags his feet - in the end, he made a reasonable decision, which in the parliamentary field could harm Netanyahu. And for that, there is no pardon.” Indeed, Yedioth Hebrew reported that Likud officials were furious. "It's the end of Yuli in Likud,” one told Yedioth. "He sold us cheap," said another Likud official, “If he had a dream to become president - he lost our support.” Netanyahu’s son, Yair, also got aggressive, tweeting and later deleting, “(Edelstein’s) father is Leonid Nevzlin, an oligarch who is wanted for murder in Russia, and the owner of Haaretz newspaper. Only because of the large amount of money he gives to the newspaper, the paper does not go bankrupt.” (Maariv) Meanwhile, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblitt denied Netanyahu’s lawyers’ request to receive all the investigation files. Mendelblitt said that, by law, a defendant cannot receive all of the materials of the three cases until the indictments are presented to the court, which cannot be done until the special Knesset committee votes on Netanyahu’s request to receive parliamentary immunity.

 
Quick Hits:
  • **Court Okays Eviction of Palestinian Family Because Their Land Was Once Owned by Jews - Israeli ruling, based on law that enables Jews to reclaim property left behind (across the Green Line), but does not give Palestinian similar rights, could pave the way for the eviction of 700 more Palestinians from East Jerusalem properties. The judge dismissed the Palestinians’ arguments, but said “It would behoove the state to consider in appropriate instances providing a solution for those evicted from their homes.” In an exceptional move, the judge refrained from imposing court costs or compensation payments from the Palestinian defendants. "Ateret Cohanim has never owned any property in Silwan, but the state has created a distorted mechanism through which Ateret Cohanim owns properties of 80 families in the neighborhood," said Aviv Tatarsky, of Ir Amim organization in response. "The state will gain nothing from these devastating moves, which only prove that Israel is unable to rule East Jerusalem on the basis of principles of equality and concern for the welfare of all its residents." (Haaretz+ and Mynet Hebrew and background from Peace Now)
  • REVEALED: IDF's biggest division is not prepared for war - Internal audit finds 319th Division on northern border is short of dozens of tanks and vehicles, lacks million of shekels for first troops into combat in event of conflict in north; 'inspection team has been assembled' says army. (Ynet)
  • Apple’s Siri calls Rivlin 'president of Zionist occupation state’ - A glitch in the voice-controlled personal assistant was a result of the president's Wikipedia page, from which the information is usually extracted, being hacked. (Ynet)
  • Jordan Parliament Passes Draft Law to Ban Gas Imports From Israel - The import of Israeli gas has become a major focus in the kingdom and sparked protests and calls for both the deal and the peace treaty to be scrapped. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Report: Trump to decide on release of Mideast peace deal before March 2 ballot - Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly pushing for the U.S. administration to present the peace plan before the vote; while Benny Gantz opposes such a move, raising concerns over election intervention. (Ynet)
  • Huge lawsuit against Shin Bet for responsibility for the suicide of an agent - The family of an agent  who was recruited to the Jewish terror department and who committed suicide two years ago in the (settlement) Havat Gilad, demands compensation of 2 million shekels from the Shin Bet. After his death, the family members received the deceased's telephone and were shocked to find that the Shin Bet had used him as an informant. When they examined the calls that preceded his suicide, they realized that their son had talked to his Shin Bet operator about 20 minutes before he died. Family lawyer [and far-right-wing politician - OH] Itamar Ben-Gvir: “Shin Bet’s negligence is responsible for his death.” (Maariv)
  • Gantz's party expected to back request to ban Arab lawmaker from running in election - Heba Yazbak under fire after hailing Palestinian convicted of killing Israeli family as a 'martyr.’ If committee votes to disqualify her, High Court will debate issue. (Haaretz+)
  • Suspected murder in the Negev: A young man was shot dead - A 25-year-old young man was shot dead on Sunday in the Bedouin al-Sayyid village in al-Qasum Regional Council. He was taken to a local clinic in Tel Sheva, where his death was determined. Since the beginning of 2020, five people have been murdered by Arab society. Last year, the number of murderers among Israeli Arabs was 94. (Maariv and News1)
  • In a Bid to Settle a Case, Israeli Judge Reaches Out to Investigators, Violating Protocol - Case involves three policemen accused of beating a detainee and of obstructing the investigation into the incident. Since the trial began in 2017, Judge Shimon Stein has been trying to get the prosecutors and the defense attorneys to settle the case before it entered the evidentiary phase. (Haaretz+)
  • Number of Suicide Attempts of Children Under 14 in Israel Rose 62% in a Decade - A main theory to the causes of the rise in suicide attempts and depression among young people is related to the increasing use of social media and lack of physical exercise. (Haaretz+)
  • Number of Israeli Farms Dropped 61% Over Four Decades - But average size of a farm has grown and Israel still supplies most of its needs for fresh farm products. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli Director to Helm New HBO-Keshet Show About Targeted Assassinations - The first season of the new series, based on Ronen Bergman’s book Rise and Kill First, will focus on the killing of senior Hezbollah leader Imad Mughniyeh. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • Netflix's 'Messiah' demonizes Muslims, critics allege - New series about all-powerful, mysterious figure with possible holy powers draws outrage. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel Hayom makes guest appearance in Netflix's 'Messiah' - CIA agent character is seen carrying a copy of the edition of May 24, 2017, which features US President Donald Trump’s declaration, "I will always stand with Israel," on its front page. (Israel Hayom)
  • Trump Jr. on Ukrainian Businessman Lev Parnas: 'I Thought He's Israeli' - Lev Parnas has said that he would testify in Trump's impeachment trial if asked, implicating the U.S. president by saying 'Trump knew exactly what was going on.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Iran says it will 'seriously reconsider' its cooperation with nuclear inspections agency - Tehran's warning comes in response to EU powers triggering a dispute mechanism under the 2015 nuclear deal. (Agencies, Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Iran backtracks on plan to send flight recorders to Ukraine - Iran may be hesitant to turn over recorders for fear that more details from crash that killed 176 people — including the harrowing 20 seconds between when the first and second surface-to-air missiles hit the plane — will come to light. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran says two new satellites ready for launch - The U.S. and other Western countries have long been suspicious of the satellite program because the same technology can be used to develop long-range missiles. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Yemen army 'on high alert' after Iran-backed Houthi attack kills 73 - The attack 'confirms without doubt that the Houthis have no desire for peace,' Yemen's president says. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Lebanese security forces, protesters clash for second night - Protesters reignite unrest in capital as deepening multi-faceted crisis grapples with financial strains that have sunk currency, pushed up prices and driven banks to impose capital controls. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Dozens Wounded as Iraqi Anti-government Protests Resume - Protests begin again after lull caused by U.S.-Iran crisis. Protesters demand end to sectarian political system, alongside early elections and he stepping aside of ruling elite. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Libya's Conflict Looks Increasingly Like Syria, Says U.S. Official - Libya peace summit struggles to draw eastern commander Haftar back into diplomacy. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Ahlan, Dolly! The Next Netflix Star Is an Egyptian Puppet - Instagram celebrity Abla Fahita is slated to be translated into 20 languages. (Haaretz+)


Features:
Blue sea, boat and bridge (Yedioth reporter wants to help Arab-Israeli village)
They have one of the most beautiful beaches in the country, a cute little guest house, a pastoral fishing port, a few restaurants, and women who will host you in their homes for a local kings feast.  Will all these be enough to encourage Israeli tourists to visit Jisr a-Zarqa (Arab beachside town)? Yakir Alkarib visited the locality and discovered that the answer, namely the reality, was complex.  The bottom line is that a miracle should happen here. Because without it, Jisr-a-Zarqa has no chance of really changing, and turning itself in the near or distant future into a tourist site that an Israeli couple looking for quality pastime will come to spend time or money on. Too many things work against Jisr, and not since yesterday. One is the disconnected location behind Highway 2, with two small, depressing entrances. Once paved, this highway made Jisr a besieged community. And if that wasn't enough, there were also a few hundred years of isolation within the Arab sector itself, which looks down on Jisr with condescension. The common perception is that the sons of Jisr are descendants of Sudanese who were brought here a few centuries ago as slaves. This isolation created the reality of too many marriages with close relatives. And also: lots of drugs and weapons, and shooting at weddings - another custom that has already injured and killed a few here. But Jisr’s beach - reached shortly after passing the police and Border Police stations located on the western edge of the village - is staggering. In the northern part, Alligators Creek pours completely innocently into the sea. In the 30 miles that the river travels from Ramot Menashe to the coast, nobody pollutes it and it comes clean. And that is how fresh water can be seen mixed with salt water, like it was 500 or 1000 years ago. Over the river a stone bridge looms looking like the hump of a Roman aqueduct, but the truth is that it was built for Emperor Wilhelm II during his visit to the Land of Israel in 1898. Great admiration awaits at the edge of the cliff: after a short climb, a hidden beach of deep stone pools is discovered. The wind is cold, the sea, blue-gray, stretching to the edge of the horizon. What beauty, we say, and in the same breath - what a pity no one else knows or comes….So what did I come for? To try to help this village, a local council to be exact, which has been trying for years to recover from itself. This is not out of this world. In the village center there is a nice little guest house called Juha, which is run by Muhammad Jourban since mid-2014. There is a warm lobby on the first floor, and a few rooms for rent on the second floor, to individuals or groups. They are nice, simple. In one of them we surprised a young tourist, who looked very lonely and smiled kindly at us. There is also a hummus joint and another restaurant in front of the mosque. And there was Musa's restaurant on the beach. But it is closed and you need to call him to order a meal. Why is it closed? Sighing again. Forget it, that's a long story, too…In the meantime, it is raining and as we head out…toward the exit, some police and Border Patrol cars leave Jisr along with us. It turns out that the police stations here are only open during the day. At night they close and Jisr is left vulnerable to its fate, as it always has been. (Yakir Alkarib, Yedioth Hebrew)

Elections 2020/Netanyahu Indictment Commentary/Analysis:
Whoever Wins Israel's Next Election Will Be a Right-winger (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+)  Kahol Lavan needs to break sharply to the right, not just to attract the voters it needs, but also to make it easier for other right-wing parties to join a Gantz government.
How the shakeup that our politicians are undergoing is a testament more than anything else of us as citizens of the state (Ben Caspit, Maariv) The drama on the right, starring Itamar Ben-Gvir, mainly reveals more about us, the residents of the state, as do the values of the rising political star, MK Gadi Yebrakan [who left Kahol-Lavan party to get a better seat in the Likud party list, despite saying in the past that Netanyahu and Likud lack values and are only interested in themselves - OH]. And in the left-wing camp are actually waking up.
Defense Chief Cynically Exploits Israeli Army as Part of His Election Campaign (Haaretz Editorial) Defense Minister Naftali Bennett continues to exploit the Defense Ministry and use it as the election campaign headquarters of Hayamin Hehadash. After threatening Hamas and Iran, declaring plans for annexation, trying to turn infiltrators from Gaza into bargaining chips and other right-wing, populist declarations, on Saturday night he made time for his war on left-wing activists. In an unprecedented move, Bennett ordered the Israel Defense Forces to issue restraining orders – without a judge’s approval, signed by an army command chief – against left-wing activists who belong to the group Anarchists Against the Wall. The administrative restraining order is frequently used against Palestinians. Among Israelis, however, it has only been used against right-wing activists suspected of committing hate crimes against Palestinians. Now, Bennett said, it will also be “used against the anarchist left.” The wink to his electorate in the territories is clear:
Breaking the draw (Daniel Friedman, Yedioth Hebrew) The battle ahead of the upcoming elections, which we are facing now, is now focused on the question of the immunity of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But a distinction should be made between what is important and what is not. The question of whether the current Knesset will discuss Netanyahu's immunity is of secondary importance, since it is unlikely to have a major impact on the outcome of the elections. The fact that there are three indictments against Netanyahu is well known. This fact is already included in voter considerations. Those who ignore it will continue to do so regardless of the question of immunity, and so will those who attribute to the indictments a crucial weight. If, in these circumstances, Netanyahu and his supporters win 61 seats - and now the prospect seems slim - they will probably be able to form a government, and even overcome the rejection of his request for immunity (should the Knesset committee eventually meet and reject his request). If Netanyahu does not achieve a majority of 61, and he somehow manages to prevent the debate on immunity in the current Knesset - it can be assumed that his immunity will be rejected in the next Knesset. At this stage, the question of immunity is therefore of secondary importance. The key question is how to prevent a fourth round of elections, and in this context - how to ensure that a post-election government is formed, which is highly desirable for the two major parties to stand and function in a plausible manner. It is difficult to offer a simple solution in the face of the declared and contradictory positions of the two blocs, with Netanyahu and the bloc headed by him sticking to a position that they will not give him up as an exclusive candidate for prime minister, while the opposite bloc declares that it will not serve in Netanyahu's government. Still, it is imperative to find a creative solution to the impasse, which apparently has no exit, and threatens to drag us into an endless series of elections. To find such a solution, there is room for initiative and dialogue between the two major parties (whether with the help of a mediator to be chosen by them or without any mediator). In this context, one must think of a possible solution that both parties can come to terms with. For example, the prime minister will be the candidate supported by the largest number of Knesset members, and in the case of an equal number of supporters - by those Knesset members whose parties received the largest number of votes in total. No more than 19 ministers will serve in this government and it will require a vote of confidence in the Knesset after six months in office. Such a solution requires special legislation, but under the special conditions we are in - and if the agreement of the two major parties is reached - such legislation can be passed even in the current Knesset.

Other Commentary/Analysis:
Religious Zionism’s tragedy, and ours (Yehuda Nuriel, Yedioth Hebrew) In the end, everyone returned home. The entire right-wing Zionist bloc united at the last minute, with some lip service, tossing out Itamar Ben Gvir - who had long since become the meat of the camp. All the right knit together, because the house comes first. Just which house? A terrible tragedy happened to religious Zionism, after which it will be even worse. It came, in its own view, on the heels of pioneers and founders of the state. Determined and worthy people, who came to soften and renew the orthodox Judaism of the exiled, separatist Judaism of the Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox, the one who hates everything that moves, and even the very establishment of the secular state. It came to eliminate the discriminations between the sectors, to join in the national effort of secular and religiously-traditional immigrants. Education, work and progress, alongside equal rights and wishes for peace with our neighbors. But 50-something years have passed since the brilliant Six-Day victory - and the great defeat in the war on peace. In part because of Rabbi Kook's "Itchatla Dageula," (Beginning of redemption) and the settlement enterprise, and the invention of new Judaism, essentially. Until today, 2020, one must ask: What does the general public get from religious Zionism? Because living together is a contract of mutual responsibility. Each one brings his or her own thing to the package. And what does the movement that comes to settle in hearts bring us? And so, the knitted yarmulke wearers (religious nationalist Zionists) became an extreme sector, just like the ultra-Orthodox. But while the ultra-Orthodox are trying to stay disconnected from the country as much as possible…the knitted yarmulkes are deeply involved in everyday life. A sector that has become a declared and vocal enemy of the rule of law and democracy. Bulldoze with a D9 over the High Court (quote of Habayit Hayehudi MK Moti Yogev -OH). The voices from Eli settlement: Secular people are like traitors against the state, and the sentence for a traitor is a bullet to the head. “Girillas” (insult for girls who join army), discrimination against women, opposition to women serving in the army, belief that the voice of a woman is sexual (and should not be heard - OH), considerable preference of budgets (to settlements), even at the expense of development and periphery towns. Enormous concessions in military service - if they serving, and the females don’t even serve at all. Homophobia, presenting gay people as abnormal and unhealthy, and general hatred of the Other and those that are different. Patronizing attitudes toward Mizrahi Jews (Hi Ohana!) And incitement against Arabs that is based on base racism - in the book (written by religious Zionist rabbis - OH) “King's Theory,” for example, also calls to exterminate them - and you know where they get that from. Smotrich's “Beasts March” [anti-LGBT march he organized in 2006-OH] and Ayelet Shaked’s parable about the Arab woman as a snake. The cannibalistic jungle style economy, with no concern for the weak and no mutual responsibility, unruly capitalism, cutting public services, weakening the status of workers and decreasing state-offered services  - except for the true welfare state, in the [settlements in the Palestinian] Territories. A separate and preferred stream of education, which also uses state budgets to "deepen Jewish identity" among the non-religious public, or more accurately, Orthodox missionaries, "religious are better because they are religiously observant” taught to all preschoolers. Persecution of the people of the book, a disdain for education, or what they call it contempt of the "enlightened.” The education system is crumbling, with students exiting in opposition to the man who heads it (Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz, who spoke against LGBTs - OH). Alongside the Defense Ministry that has become a slave to Netanyahu's whims: “If there won’t be a union (between the right-wing parties), you won’t be (defense) minister.”…Where do we hear about one party leader doing with other parties whatever he wants? Pushing them to make an alliance with (fascist Kahanist Itamar) Ben-Gvir? Or maybe Netanyahu understands better they they all do: Bottomline, there is no difference between Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, between the “hilltop youth” and today's face of religious Zionism…All of this has been a great injustice, first, to the members of this sector themselves. Many very good to excellent people. Moral, committed, contributing to the defense of the state and its prosperity, educators and advocates of integration and progress. Many who turned into prisoners, were abducted from us. A movement that trapped itself on the tree of settlements and cannot get down. "Don’t give up a clump of soil." A more sacred prohibition than eating pork or blasphemy. Stuck on a tree of an enterprise whose beginnings are based on falsehood and violence to sustain it, even at the cost of destroying the entire state; Hello to you, too, Mr. Amir. [Reference to Yigal Amir, Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin. - OH] And about 55% of religious Zionists, who believe that you did not murder the prime minister, are stuck - because otherwise, how can you explain to your children that everything you believed in was wrong? Religious Zionism, in the language of the ‘Enlightened,’ is a victim of cognitive dissonance: When reality is leftist, and the wall is galloping and approaching - we will blame the messenger, or just say our situation has never been better. But one day, all of this will sink, with Netanyahu or after him. The culture of falsehood and hatred will come to an end and alongside that an inevitable tragedy, for the knitted yarmulkehs before everyone else. And even, magically, no man was uprooted from his home and he won’t watch the destruction of all he believed in - it will not be possible to erase the damage of the moral corruption of an entire… generation, a people being torn up in front of our eyes now.
By Firing a Critical Teacher, Israel Is Surrendering to Incitement (Or Kashti, Haaretz+) In a democratic society, education has the job of providing a variety of viewpoints, including those that deviate from mainstream consensus.
Top Israeli Journalist Amit Segal Is a Coward (From a Legal Perspective) (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) When we were kids and we would fight over something silly, we would stop talking to one another. But after a while, when the need to communicate overcame us, we would address each other by prefacing each sentence with the word “qullalo” (“tell him”), as if some third party was mediating between us. This is how the exchange would go: “Qullalo, tell him that I’m going to the forest. Does he want to come?” And the other would answer, “Qullalo, yes, let him wait until I put on my shoes.”…Channel 13 news reporter Amit Segal is behaving in a similarly childish fashion regarding the agreement he signed with the Balad party under the auspices of the court. One can assume that he isn’t satisfied with what was imposed on him. When Segal gets reminded about his declaration under the agreement, that Balad is not a terror organization as he had claimed in the past, he gets infuriated. Along with his insults, like his calling journalist Nati Tucker a “court Jew,” Segal explains that Balad is not a terror organization “from a legal perspective,” as noted in his declaration. But while “qullalo” aimed to break the ice and normalize relations, adding the phrase “from a legal perspective” is merely a clever transparency, a broad hint that Segal’s heart isn’t really in the declaration he was forced to make, which is why he gets furious at anyone who reminds him of it and forgets to add, “from a legal perspective.”
Putin’s visit is part of the burial ceremony of American influence in the Middle East (Ran Edelist, Maariv) The Russian president lands on a confused Israeli government and meets with host Binyamin Netanyahu, who is has the status of someone walking on eggs, and no matter what the conversation is between the two. The issue is the very meeting, and each one derives his own interest from it. It is unknown what the two will discuss except for the usual disinformation shrapnel. What is clear is what Netanyahu wants the citizens of Israel to understand ahead of the elections. Even before Putin landed, Netanyahu's messages were already sent out, and they appeared as headlines in "Israel Hayom.” “It was reported" there that "Putin's message: Iran will not act from Syria.”
The connection between Naama Issachar and the Russian-Polish conflict (Yair Navot, Yedioth Hebrew) Upon her return to Israel yesterday, Yaffe Issachar, the mother of Naama, who is imprisoned in Russia, expressed cautious optimism about Naama's release prospects, just days before President Putin's arrival in Israel. In contrast to the extensive coverage of the Naama Issachar affair in the Israeli media, the Russian media covers the issue in connection with Putin's visit to Israel and his participation in events marking International Holocaust Day, the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and the dedication of the Jerusalem memorial site. Last Thursday, President Putin and Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke on the phone, after which each party described the content of the conversation differently. While the Prime Minister's Office explicitly stated that the conversation also dealt with Naama Issachar's case, the Kremlin in his statement did not mention the matter at all, but noted that the conversation dealt with issues related to cooperation between the states and President Putin's upcoming visit to Israel. The Russians seem to want to address the Issachar issue as little as possible publicly, and focus more on the much symbolic importance of President Putin's arrival in Israel. On the same day, the Russian newspaper "Kommersant" published a report which relied on sources in the Russian government, which does not rule out the possibility that Putin will actually pardon Issachar on the eve of his visit to Israel, this week. Alongside these words, the same sources in the Russian government expressed regret and even anger at Israel for refusing to comply with Moscow's request not to extradite Russian hacker Alexei Burkov to the US. They also emphasized Moscow's desire for Israel to make a gesture or gestures toward Russia if Putin would pardon Issachar. One of the possibilities that probably interests Moscow is an Israeli public statement of a high-level personality, the prime minister or president, during International Holocaust Day events in Israel, which will strengthen the Russian narrative of World War II against countries such as Poland, which Moscow believes is trying to rewrite World War II history. Against this backdrop, a sharp diplomatic conflict between Russia and Poland has recently occurred, under which Putin blamed Poland for World War II. A public statement from an Israeli persona of a high level during International Holocaust Day events in Israel may be a significant enough gesture for President Putin to pardon Issachar and return her to her family - but it is still unclear whether this is the deal that was formed between Moscow and Jerusalem.
Before Ramallah, a pit stop at Yad Vashem (Prof. Shmuel Trigano, Israel Hayom) Europe turns a blind eye to Arab-Muslim anti-Semitism in the belief that the Arab world is not responsible for the Holocaust, and that Europe oppressed the Palestinians by contributing to the establishment of the Jewish state.
Trump is failing to protect Israel against Iran (Chuck Freilich, Haaretz+) Three years of Trump’s limited and chaotic efforts to thwart Iranian regional expansionism and end Tehran's nuclear ambitions have failed. And Israel is on the frontline of those failures.
With Tourism Picking Up, Turkey's Economy Sees the Light at the End of the Tunnel (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Turkish economy, and particularly inflation rate, improving fast after a deep 2018 crisis.
Lebanon Protesters May Topple the Government, but Not the Regime (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Young Iraqis and Lebanese oppose the corruption of the ruling class and are tired of governments that operate on ethnic lines – but can they offer an alternative leadership?
 
Interviews:
Tarantino uninhibited
Almost without us noticing, Quentin Tarantino has become one of us. He lives with Daniella in Ramat Aviv Gimmel, visits (father-in-law) Zvika Pick at the Festigal (musical performance), thinks about opening a movie theater here and plans to learn Hebrew to be able to talk to the baby that will soon be born to him and his wife. Now that he has gotten ten Oscar nominations for "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," he talks about working with Leonardo Di Caprio and Brad Pitt, recalls the exciting screening of "Inglourious Basterds" in Israel, which thanks to that he met the love of his life, and reveals what the third part of "Kill Bill" will look like if he decides to do it. (Interviewed by Raviv Golan and Raz Sukenik in Yedioth Hebrew)
 
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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