News Nosh 2.11.20

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday February 11, 2020

Quote of the day:
“This is a conflict zone under military rule which doesn’t permit and won’t permit residents from the area to attend. This isn’t an event organized from the outset with the cooperation of the Palestinians and I think that there's something really insensitive here.”
--Korhaa Yuval Itah, 39, a Midburn community member from Jaffa, explains why she opposes holding a 'Burning Man-style' festival in Area C of the Palestinian Territories.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
“In my worldview, I don't see a world with borders, with lines between people...(and all the discussion about territories) from my standpoint are political issues that I don’t want to deal with.”
--Yaron Ben-Shoshan, one of the organizers of the Israeli 'Burning Man-style' festival in Area C of the Palestinian Territories, justified his plan.*

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Besieged on the coronavirus cruise - Diaries of Israelis in isolation on the Japanese coast (Hebrew)
  • Exclusive - 4 million shekels compensation to murder victims at BarNoar (LGBT youth center) (Hebrew)
  • Cynicism, not Zionism // Dani Adino Ababa about the (upcoming) immigration of the Falashmura (Hebrew)
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Everyone against everyone  - The political battles began ahead of the finish line
  • Senior Qatari official: “We are close to an agreement with Israel”
  • Eating the climate - Experts warn of damages from food industry
  • The pressure cruise - Number of infected people among passengers at “Diamond Prince” rising

Israel Hayom

  • Israelis on the “corona cruise”: “We want to return to isolation in Israel”
  • Senior officials in the Palestinian Authority admit: “We fear being humiliated at the UN - we don’t have a majority”
  • 20 days to elections: Battle over the Foreign Ministry
  • The abandonment of the Knesset plenum - Gantz’s self-goal // Gideon Allon
  • Following ‘Israel Hayom’ report - (Justice) Minister Ohana: “The heavy load on judges could bring about the delay of justice”

Top News Summary:
The Israelis stuck on a coronavirus-hit luxury cruise off Japan’s coast, the Palestinians, who withdrew their UN resolution against the Trump ‘peace’ plan and the Israeli politicians attacking each other in the race to the election finish line were top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers, along with the 28-month prison sentence for Arab-Israeli Islamic leader, Raed Salah, for expressing his condolences at the funeral of the attackers, who killed Border Policemen at the Temple Mount in 2017. Joint List MKs called the sentence another act of persecution against Israel's Arabs and a "dangerous erosion of freedom of speech.” Oddly, what did not make news in the papers was the Associated Press report on Ynet website that the Shin Bet was accused of torturing Palestinians, who were round up in a sweep after the explosion set off that killed a Jewish teenage settler in the West Bank.

Today Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will address the UN Security Council against US President Donald Trump’s peace plan, but the Palestinians have withdrawn their proposed resolution against the plan, supposedly because it needs more revising, but likely due to lack of enough support to pass it. Meanwhile, Maariv reported, Abbas continued his efforts to mobilize European countries to reject Trump's peace plan and the European Union foreign minister met in Washington with senior White House officials to talk about the plan’s details. Busy campaigning for elections, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu toured the Jordan Valley where he said that Trump's recognition of Israeli sovereignty there will 'definitely' happen. The plan has more detractors after a union of African leaders rejected it as 'illegitimate.’

Egyptian officials held a meeting Monday with Palestinian factions in Gaza to try to decrease the Palestinian violence from the Gaza Strip that has escalated since the release of the Trump plan and also due to the fact that Israel has yet to implement the long-term agreement. Yedioth/Ynet reported that Hamas head Yahya Sinwar skipped the meeting due to fears Israel might assassinate him, following Israeli threats yesterday. Hamas said it was not interested in an escalation, but a long-term arrangement must be reached soon. Following the meeting, the Palestinian factions decided to stop launching explosive balloons in Israeli territory, Maariv reported.
Quick Hits:
  • Ex-Islamic Movement Leader Gets Two and a Half Years in Prison for Incitement to Terrorism - Sheikh Ra’ad Salah was convicted of praising the actions of three Israeli Arabs who killed two Border Police officers in Jerusalem's Old City in 2017. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli court orders arrest of Jewish suspect without trial after he was freed from detention - 19-year-old is suspected of hurling a rock at a Palestinian and wounding him moderately. He was arrested via an administrative detention order, usually used against Palestinian suspects. (Haaretz+)
  • Shin Bet accused of torturing Palestinians after fatal bombing - Palestinian, Israeli activists claim security agency tortured terror squad that carried out attack that left dead Israeli teen Rina Shnerb last August. One of the men was hospitalized with kidney failure and 11 broken ribs. Another was nearly unrecognizable to his wife when he was wheeled into a courtroom. A third was stitched up after being attacked by a security dog. Human rights watchdogs warn of 'sharp increase' in torture complaints, despite 1999 Supreme Court ban on practice. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • New system will fight intentional water waste by Palestinian prisoners - The price of the water control system is NIS 2.3 million ($672,807), but the Public Security Ministry believes the water savings will more than cover the cost. (Israel Hayom)
  • IAF video in Arabic aims to show 'strongest air force in the Middle East' - The video, which carries captions in Arabic was released on the military's Arabic-language social media channels, with the clear purpose of showcasing the IDF and IAF's operational capabilities. (Israel Hayom)
  • WATCH Fully Operational Israeli Iron Dome Battery Left Unguarded for Anyone to Access - For over 20 minutes, no Israeli soldiers or other security officials were seen at the site in southern Israel, leaving the valuable security asset completely unprotected. (Haaretz+VIDEO)
  • Rare request: Jew living in an enemy state has requested religious paraphernalia - The wealthy man in his 40’s, who recently decided to take active steps to return to Judaism, asked the "Root Department" of the Yad L’Ahim organization for prayer shawl, Tefillin, mezuzah, kippah, shofar, matza package, and holy books so that he could teach his children to keep the commandments. The man and his wife, who have two children, hides their identity from their surroundings. "Apart from the desire to keep ‘mitzvot,’ I want to educate my children in a home according to the Torah. Even if it is difficult and requires a double life game, it is important for me to raise them as Jews," the man wrote in Arabic. The fact that this was an enemy state required a complex operation to transfer them to the target. The items have been dispatched to a country in Europe that has links with the enemy state, where they will be taken by a Yad L’Ahim activist - and from there will be dispatched to the final destination. (Israel Hayom Hebrew)
  • Israel's Bar Association seeks to represent country at war crimes hearing in The Hague - Decision is opposed by members who say that the case considered by the International Criminal Court is controversial, claiming the association should stay out of it. (Haaretz+)
  • Ex-Jerusalem Police Chief Gets Jail Sentence for Sexual Harassment of Policewomen - Niso Shaham was sentenced to a 10-month jail term and fined following his conviction for sexual harassment, indecent assault, fraud and breach of trust. (Haaretz+)
  • *Israeli Burning Man-style Event Planned for West Bank Sparks Controversy - An initiative to hold the 'Dead Sea Burn' music festival near an Area C settlement, where Palestinians reside and will not be able to join in, prompts criticism. (Haaretz+)
  • Coronavirus claims new victim in Israel: Tolerance of Chinese students - ‘People cover their nose when they see me,’ writes one student in Jerusalem, leading Hebrew University to issue condemnation. (Haaretz+)
  • Australian Parliament to Call for Israel to Extradite Accused Sex Offender Malka Leifer - Lawmaker says government and parliament 'will not rest until justice is done.’ (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Boycott AIPAC? In Tug of War Over Israel, Democratic Candidates Are the Rope - As progressive alliance urges presidential hopefuls to skip the lobby group’s upcoming conference, a pro-Israel group is congratulating itself on damaging Bernie Sanders’ standing in Iowa. The fight will only intensify as the primary race heats up. (Haaretz+)
  • Joe Biden Rejects IfNotNow's Pressure to Boycott AIPAC Conference - The Jewish progressive group launched #SkipAIPAC campaign to pressure other candidates not to attend the pro-Israel lobby conference. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Turkish Officials Say Five Soldiers Killed in Attack by Syrian Army, Turkey Retaliates - Turkey sent major reinforcements to Syria's northwestern Idlib region and 'all options are on the table,' a senior official said over the weekend ahead of the attack. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Egypt Moves Toward Toughening Up Draconian Anti-terror Law - The law and the amendments are widely seen as part of an unprecedented crackdown on dissent waged by President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Slain commander Soleimani sought stability, says Iranian president - 'If commander Soleimani wanted to kill American generals it would have been very easy for him, in Afghanistan, Iraq... he never did that,' Rohani claims. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iranian president: Soleimani could have killed US generals - Iranian leader continues to mourn assassinated commander of the Quds Force, touts terrorist as man who "pursued stability," despite being in charge of spreading Iranian aggression. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Fire Sale: Inside the Iranian Plant That Makes the U.S. and Israeli Flags Protesters Burn - Another batch of flags is being prepared for the 41st anniversary of the Iranian revolution on Tuesday. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Over 100 U.S. Troops Diagnosed With Brain Injuries From Iran Strike - Trump previously downplayed injuries saying he 'heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things.’ (Agencies, Haaretz)

As temperatures plunge, elderly must choose between food and heat
Sub-zero conditions leave poverty-stricken pensioners with a dilemma, while some do not even have radiators or more than a single blanket their bed. (Amir Alon, Yedioth/Ynet)
As BDS runs rampant on UK campuses, Jewish students are fighting back
Until recently, anti-Israel events on UK university campuses went unchallenged. But the days when Jewish students remained silent for fear of harassment are over and they plan on changing the situation. (Eldad Beck, Israel Hayom)
Destination: From the Galilee to abroad
(Arab-Israelis) Dr. Ziad Dabur and his son Tarek want to expand the natural cosmetics company founded by the father in their town of Beit Jan and make it an international company. To that end, they met with a banker and Internet marketing specialist. "We only employ women, all from the Druze sector, who have had a difficult time integrating into the labor market," says Tarek. ”In order to employ as many women as possible, which is one of the principles of the business, we need to grow and become a very large industrial company." (Noam Perl, Yedioth Hebrew)

Israel's top court decided not to disqualify Arab lawmaker, but its lack of conviction is disturbing (Mordechai Kremnitzer, Haaretz+) The Supreme Court deliberated too much over the case of Joint List lawmaker Heba Yazbak. Shamefully, when it comes to Kahanists, it had no trouble making decisions.
Israel’s President Implores Top Army Brass to Speak Up Despite Political Pressure (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) As Netanyahu vows to annex, Rivlin warns IDF officers that political deadlock may continue. The responsibility to put out the fires, he implies, rests with them.
The road is still long until we see Sudan's new face (Yitzhak Levanon, Maariv) If Sudan helps to solve the problem of infiltrators into Israel and also tighten its relationship with Egypt for regional stability, it can be determined that the meeting in Uganda was not for nothing.
Fueled by pathological self-pity, Trump and Netanyahu plot insurrections against democracy (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Center-left moderates fight right-wing insurgents brandishing torches and pitchforks with legal arguments and righteous indignation.
4 decades after the Islamic Revolution, Iran is at a crossroads (Tamar Eilam Gindin, Israel Hayom) The revolution that brought the ayatollahs to power has, over time, created an identity crisis among ordinary Iranians, who see their country struggle between extremism and the desire to be accepted by the West.
Encouragement to be radicalized (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth Hebrew) The approval of Heba (Yazbak)’s candidacy for the Knesset is the trampling of written law.
The judges who supported disqualifying Yazbak acted on the sentiment, rather than clinging to the ruling (Mordechai Kremnitzer, Haaretz Hebrew) Equal treatment of minorities is a supreme test of the court's action, and it has met with great urgency. Chief Justice Chayut previously ruled that “repugnance on the one side and reason for disqualification from running for election on the other hand,“but stumbled at her own test.
History will remember Abbas as peace rejectionist (Ambassador Danny Danon, Israel Hayom) The Palestinian leader seems to prefer fighting Israel in the international arena to promoting Palestinian interests that could facilitate statehood.
AIPAC Must Stop Bernie Sanders – at All Costs (Jonathan S. Tobin, Haaretz+) 'Never Bernie' AIPAC now sounds a lot like a pro-Trump caucus, not a bipartisan pro-Israel lobby. But it has no choice.
The deal within the 'deal of the century' (Alex Traiman, Israel Hayom) While opponents of Trump’s peace plan have accused Israel’s premier of making a diplomatic blunder with the US and failing to deliver on annexation, the two administrations have never been closer and delaying annexation until after Israel’s elections may actually play to Netanyahu’s advantage.
The Annexation Festival (Haaretz Editorial) The plan by members of Israel’s “Burner” community to hold a Burning Man-style event in April in the northern Dead Sea area, near the settlement of Almog in the West Bank’s Area C, has clear political implications that cannot be obscured by apolitical intentions. One of the organizers of the April event posted, “While the location is over the Green Line, recently they’ve been talking about annexing this land. So if in a momentary decision this could be inside the Green Line, there’s no cause for concern.” Speaking to Haaretz, he explained that he isn’t interested in politics, and that “All this definition of A, B and C are political issues and I don’t want to deal with them.” But his remarks ignore the fact that there is another party to the conflict. Like the right-wing government, the event organizers err when they think that an Israeli decision, even with American support, is enough to render the occupation, the settlements and annexation kosher.
The Plan of the Century may prevent a fourth election campaign (Yossi Ahimeir, Maariv) At least one good thing comes out of Trump's plan, which wakes up our sleepy election campaign: it sharpens the debate between the parties.
Enforcing Kashrut in the Israeli Army Is Racism and a Tool for Religious Coercion (Ram Fruman, Haaretz+) “Kashrut is friendship,” declares another absurd Israel Defense Forces document. This time it concerns instructions about the kashrut of the kitchens on missile ships. There is no kitchen staff on these ships, and the sailors themselves are the ones who are supposed to deal with bizarre demands, such as the “separation of challah” if dough is prepared from a quantity of 1,660 grams of flour or more, or a prohibition against baking pizza with yellow cheese. It turns out that this is part of their combat training. But kashrut is the last thing that could be called “friendship.” On the contrary, it is a means of segregation whose objective throughout the years was to make friendship between Jews and non-Jews difficult. In the State of Israel kashrut assumed a role it didn’t have in the past: forcing it on the other, the secular Jew and the non-Jew. There is nothing like the army to serve as a laboratory for these coercive relations. In the past year, and in recent months in particular, there has been a dramatic change in connection with kashrut enforcement in the IDF.

Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.