News Nosh 2.19.20

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday February 19 2020

Quote of the day #1:
"Anyone who doesn't see importance in this meeting, just three weeks after the release of the Trump plan, is wrong...In my opinion, it is always preferable and even recommended to walk around in our region with open eyes."
--Maariv's new diplomatic affairs correspondent, Anna Barsky, writes about her trip to the West Bank at the invitation of the Palestinian Authority.*

Quote of the day #2:
"We talk to Hamas all the time. It's a stupid lie that we ignore them because they are terrorists. They are terrorists, but it's better to talk to them rather than fight them."
--Former deputy IDF chief Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yair Golan, currently a lawmaker with the Labor-Gesher-Meretz alliance, urged Israel on Tuesday to talk directly with Hamas and strike a security agreement.**

You Must Be Kidding: 
Israel's Housing Ministry is promoting the construction of 9,000 Israeli homes in E. Jerusalem, in an area which even the Trump plan designated as Palestinian.***

Front Page:

Yedioth Ahronoth

  • 17.3 - Netanyahu’s trial begins, two weeks after elections
  • At the frontlines of isolation: This is the medical team that volunteered to treat the Israelis from the ‘coronavirus cruise’
  • Expose: Train employees: “Don’t let those who returned from Asia get on board”
  • Nursing your child or taking the exam - Student walked out of test to nurse her baby and was not allowed to return
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Between debate and trial - Reading of indictment of PM will take place on 17 March, two weeks after elections. Netanyahu called on Gantz to debate him on TV. Gantz called it spin
  • Question marks // Matan Wasserman
  • Price of quiet - Easing sanctions at crossing and in the fishing zone for Gaza Strip residents
  • Temporary truce // Tal Lev-Ram
  • “We aren’t certain that they are telling us the whole truth” - Coronavirus panic - The 12 Israeli passengers left on the virus-hit cruise will take off today for Israel
  • Searching for a vaccine // Maayan Haruni
  • Deadly winter - 21 elderly died in their homes since the start of the year
Israel Hayom
  • “We won’t celebrate until we see them in Israel” - The 12 Israelis on the ‘coronavirus cruise’ are expected to be released today
  • The recordings of the Ashkenazi (Harpaz) affair: Double standard in Kahol-Lavan // Mati Tuchfeld
  • Going to a medal of courage - After losing his brother, Dan Green, 21, deteriorated to crime and violence. But then he got on track and finished Officers’ Course in Givati Brigades
  • “Sovereignty will prevent a Palestinian state” - Ayelet Shaked interview in Friday paper
  • PM’s trial: First hearing on 17 March
  • Netanyahu to Gantz: Come debate me on TV

Top News Summary:
A date set for Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s trial, Netanyahu dares opponent, Benny Gantz, to debate him on TV, Israelis leave ‘corona cruise’ today to return to Israel and Israel eases sanctions on Gazans toward a long-term arrangement - making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

**Despite its aggressive threats against Gaza, the Israeli political echelon has adopted the army's [and Hamas’ - OH] stance to move toward the long-term agreement with Hamas. For the first time in years, Israel will grant 2,000 more entry permits today to merchants from Gaza (a 40% increase) and it will expand the Gazan fisherman’s fishing zone back to 15 nautical miles from the coast. (Also Ynet Hebrew) Yedioth Hebrew’s military affairs correspondent, Yossi Yehoshua explained it as such: “Militant declarations are one thing and reality is another.” The decision was made last week, but was not carried out and then there were a number of explosive balloons launched toward Israel. Nevertheless, the permits were given today  even after an RPG warhead attached to a plastic bag was found in a kibbutz along the Gaza border. There were no reports of casualties or damage. Former IDF deputy chief of staff, MK Yair Golan, called for Israel to hold direct talks with Hamas. "We talk to Hamas all the time," Golan said. "It's a stupid lie that we ignore them because they are terrorists. They are terrorists, but it's better to talk to them rather than fight them."

Elections 2020 / Netanyahu Indictment News:
The announcement of the opening of Netanyahu’s trial on March 17th made large bold headlines on the front pages of the main Hebrew newspapers, with the exception of ‘Israel Hayom,’ which gave a tiny headline and used an abbreviation, ‘PM,’ to refer to the Prime Minister, making it even smaller. The charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust will be read aloud in court. The trial will begin two weeks after Israeli elections and will last months or years and Maariv reported that senior Likud officials were worried that “photos from the court will severely damage Likud after elections.” The sources in the ruling party claimed that because of the announcement of the hearing, “the little chance that still existed for a unity government with Kahol-Lavan - completely dropped from the agenda.” Shortly after the trial announcement, Netanyahu challenged his chief rival, Kahol-Lavan leader Benny Gantz, to a television debate. Gantz dismissed the invitation as an attempt to distract the public from the corruption trial announcement.

Elections 2020 / Netanyahu Indictment Quickees:
Threat to Ethiopian soccer league players: "You will be punished if you do not come to the event with Netanyahu"  -In anticipation of an event marking the 20th anniversary of the Ethiopian-Israeli minor league with the participation of the Prime Minister, the players were warned: "Anyone who does not register and does not attend the ceremony will end playing this season." Likud: "We have nothing to do with messages given by the association.” (Yedioth Hebrew and Haaretz+)
(Ethiopian-Israeli) Teacher to face disciplinary hearing after lobbing apple at PM, comparing him to Hitler - Education minister demands the woman, who regularly attends protests against police brutality and racial profiling, be called in for clarifications. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
Voting begins in Israeli embassies as March 2 election nears - Some 5,200 state employees abroad are eligible to take part in voting that wraps up Thursday in California. (i24News)
Want Your Money? Tell Us Who You’ll Be Voting for in Israel's Next Election - Some ATMs asking users to take opinion poll when they withdraw money. Operator: It’s legal, more polls to come. (Haaretz+)
 Likud’s version of Big Brother: Its controversial app for Israeli voters - One party activist said he deleted the app – and two minutes later, received a text message imploring him to re-install it. Another user was a 13-year-old boy, who is too young to vote. (Haaretz+)
Yisrael Beiteinu party claims: Cyber attack against us - Avigdor Lieberman's party has filed a complaint with the police, claiming that a campaign of distributing defaming content  has been launched against the party on a website for the Russian-speaking public from a server in Russia. The party suspects there is an outside source is behind the campaign, and has filed a personal complaint against the site operator, which claims "this was a spontaneous act.” (Yedioth Hebrew)
Quick Hits:
  • ***Israel advancing thousands of new homes in east Jerusalem - Peace Now slams plan to build 9,000 homes in the Atarot area, between Kafr 'Aqab, Qalandiya and Al-Ram, as one that will "drive a wedge in the heart of the Palestinian urban sprawl and prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state." If approved, this will be the first new neighborhood in east Jerusalem since Har Homa in 1997. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel planning Jewish neighborhood on land Trump slated for Palestinians - Fifteen Palestinian families currently live in area near East Jerusalem neighborhood of Kafr Aqab. (Haaretz+)
  • Thousands of Palestinians Channel Protests Against Trump’s Plan Through Dawn Prayers - Campaign reflects Hamas's cautious approach to operating in the West Bank, says Palestinian political analyst. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Israel Approves Extending Tel Aviv-Jerusalem train Line to Western Wall, Over Experts’ Objections - Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich exerted heavy pressure on the committee to accept the plan, several sources say. (Haaretz+)
  • Jordan slams Israel's plans to extend train line to Western Wall - Jordan's Foreign Minister called the move a "flagrant violation of international law," urges international community to "assume its responsibilities to resist the illegitimate and illegal Israeli steps." (Israel Hayom)
  • Delaying Leifer's Possible Extradition, Court Allows New Professional Opinions in Sexual Abuse Case - Hearings on psychological evaluation expected to take place in February or March, further delaying a possible decision on handing over Malka Leifer to Australia for trial. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • In the shadow of fear of protests against Israel [over delay of extradition of Malka Leifer]: President Rivlin took off for Australia - In Israel, concern of protests against the president [because Israel has delayed extradition of ultra-Orthodox Jewish Australian, Malka Leifer, who is suspected of pedophilia at Jewish girls school where she was principal and then since escaped to Israel - OH]. Veterans in the Australian Jewish community have described the affair as most serious crisis in relations between Jewish community and Israel since the Maccabia Bridge disaster, when four members of the Australian delegation were killed. (Yedioth Hebrew)
  • 'President Trump has been the best friend Israel can ever have' - US Congressmen Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Mike Johnson (R-LA) tour Judea and Samaria and praise the 45th president for his pro-Israel stance and the recently unveiled peace plan. (Israel Hayom)
  • After making a ”provocation": Yehuda Glick was arrested on the Temple Mount (after escorting US Congressmen) - Yehuda Glick, a longtime activist for greater Jewish visitation rights to the Jerusalem site, had escorted two U.S. congressmen to the area, whom Glick identified as Mike Johnson (R-LA) and Jim Jordan (R-OH), but then he returned without permission, police argue. The former Knesset Member was taken for investigation for suspected misconduct and disturbing to police officer after failing to comply with police instructions at the holy site in Jerusalem. (Haaretz+VIDEO, Maariv, JPost and Times of Israel and VIDEO)
  • Senior Hamas, Russian officials meet in Qatar - Meeting included former Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal and Russian Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, and was said to focus on the Palestinians' objection to the US peace plan. (Israel Hayom)
  • Defense minister: Israel seeing signs Iran is rethinking its strategy in Syria - Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said Tuesday that Israel detected signs that Iran is considering decreasing its presence in Syria, giving the Jewish state an opportunity to go from the defensive to the offensive. (Israel Hayom)
  • 'All Israeli positions within range of Iranian fire,' general warns - "We give a warning to Israelis to care about their acts of mischief. They are far smaller than the Americans, much smaller and much more impotent by our calculations," Revolutionary Guards chief Gen. Hossein Salami warned in an interview with the Hezbollah-affiliated Al Mayadeen TV, saying a strike against Israel may not necessarily come from Iran soil. (Israel Hayom)
  • IDF to launch new Iran-focused directorate - New military branch is part of five-year plan for strengthening IDF's operational capabilities; plan envisions armed forces as more integrated and relying on advanced technological tools. (Ynet)
  • Israeli Army Mulls Revising Draft Exemptions for ultra-Orthodox Men - A committee named by IDF Chief Aviv Kochavi to examine distorted statistics published last year about the draft is due to submit their report to the defense minister on Tuesday. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli Court Orders Facebook to Unblock Account of NSO Group Employee - Group of Israeli cyber intelligence firm's employees has filed suit after social media giant blocked their private accounts when it filed its own lawsuit. (Haaretz)
  • Former Prime Minister Olmert Asks Rivlin to Expunge His Criminal Record - Lawyers for Ehud Olmert, who served jail time on corruption charges, based request on his contributions to the state, while Olmert has expressed interest in returning to public life. (Haaretz+ and Maariv)
  • Israel to Stop Granting Licenses for Exploration or Extraction of Oil Shale - Energy, environment ministries say they won’t extend oil-shale extraction license in Negev’s Rotem industrial zone. (Haaretz+)
  • Egypt Blocked Israeli Plan to Assassinate Gaza Hamas Chief Sinwar, Report Says - Al-Araby al-Jadid reports Israel wanted to target Hamas leader for rejecting plans for border calm, explosive-laden balloon launches into Israel. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • Regime Airstrikes Kill 300 Civilians in Syria, UN Says - Strikes have hit hospitals and refugee camps as Assad's troops assault final rebel stronghold, according to UN. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Regime Airstrikes hit hospitals, camps in Syria as UN says 300 civilians killed in ongoing fighting - At Al Kinana Hospital, blown-out walls and dust-covered medical cables and supplies were strewn about the hospital after two staff were wounded on Monday, witnesses said. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Turkey Issues Fresh Detention Request After Surprise Acquittal in Protest Trial - Prosecutors on Tuesday demanded the re-arrest of Turkish businessman Osman Kavala in connection with the failed 2016 coup, hours after he was acquitted over his alleged role in the Gezi Park protests of 2013, a document seen by Reuters showed. The surprise ruling was met with applause in the courtroom. (Agencids, Haaretz+)
  • Iran sentences eight alleged U.S. spies to up to 10 years in prison - Penalty matches series of previous espionage sentences in the country. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Report: Iran threatens to raze ancient Jewish site in favor of Palestinian consulate - Alliance for Rights of All Minorities in Iran claims formidable Basij paramilitary force attempted to raid the historic site in what it called "an act of revenge against the Israelis Palestinian peace plan by President Trump." (Israel Hayom)

With China 'closed,' Palestinian traders fear losing a good deal
"The economies of the whole Arab world are not productive and depend on imported goods, Chinese goods," Hebron trades says. If the coronavirus continues to harm trade the effects will be felt across the region, he says. (AP, Israel Hayom)

Elections 2020/Netanyahu Indictment Commentary/Analysis:
Only Israel’s Arabs Can Unite Israel’s Jews (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Without Israel’s Arabs the Jewish state has no shared national identity. Take Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan party, which changes its position every week on the Joint List of Arab parties. Kahol Lavan is supposedly the party that draws the line between rational Zionism and fanatical messianism, between clean politics and muck and corruption, between a chance for peace and a continuation of the occupation. But this party doesn’t know its own mind when it comes to “the peace process” with Israel’s Arabs: To ask for the Joint List’s support and appear stained by treason, or keep its distance from Arab Israelis as if they were infected with the coronavirus. In a poll published Monday by Channel 13, a question was asked that under normal circumstances would make you gag: Would a government supported by the Arabs be considered legitimate? Forty-four percent said it would, 33 percent said it wouldn’t…We can imagine the hue and cry if such a question were asked in the United States about African Americans, in France about people from North Africa or in Britain about the Jews. But in Israel the question is considered legitimate because it’s perceived as a political question, not one of values. It was born out of the unbridled, detestable campaign of anti-Arab incitement led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his gang against Kahol Lavan, which is now known as “Gantz.” But the very idea of removing the Arabs from Israel’s political fabric stems from a worldview and is a direct extension of the racist legislation that not only shapes Israel’s image as a Jewish state but also reflects the views that have become entrenched in society here in recent decades.
Moral decision (Ben Dror Yemini, Yedioth Hebrew) In the entire right-wing bloc, there is not a single person who questions the legitimacy of Netanyahu's continued term. It was clear that the investigations would lead to a police recommendation (for indictment). And the recommendation came. It was clear that the leaks from the prosecutor's office would lead to an indictment. And it came. It was clear that at some point the trial would begin. And it came, too. There is a date. On March 17, for the first time in Israel, there will be a man in Israel who must both manage and defend a state, and also defend himself against a country that accuses him…But there must also be a moral and public decision alongside the legal decision. The problem, we should admit, is not Netanyahu. The problem is the flock of sheep gathered around him. It's not that they're silent, it's not that they're ashamed. On the contrary, they are competing between them who will be more loyal, who will denigrate the Attorney General more. True, Netanyahu can continue (to serve), but what about a moral stance? Many Knesset members of the right-wing bloc know that it is "kosher but smells.” And not just to the right, there are also justified allegations against law enforcement agencies - this is not a conspiracy, nor is it a Deep State. And how the hell is there, within the 55-seat bloc, not one name, just one, capable of making a moral statement? Binyamin Netanyahu would have done us all a kindness had he stepped aside and allowed a replacement from his party take the helm, but that did not happen. It is only left to the same right-hand man to stand up and say: That’s enough. This will not happen before the election. Hopefully it will happen after the elections.
Why Netanyahu’s post-election court date might mean a quicker ouster (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) President Rivlin could find himself deciding whether to task someone with forming a coalition days before being due in court – and that's just one problem.
Winds of change worth remembering at the polls (Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom) Evidence of thawing anti-Israel enmity among Middle East states wishing to ally themselves with Washington against the ayatollah-led regime in Tehran should be cause for great celebration in the so-called "peace camp."
The support of the Joint List in the next government will create an interesting new momentum (Ephraim Ganor, Maariv) According to the current reality, only if the Arab sector provides the Joint Arab List with 16 seats could a turnaround occur here at the end of the third round of elections.
Netanyahu's economic plan looks like it came from outer space (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) The Likud's finance minister-designate Nir Barkat may be an Earthling but he served up a package of reforms that have no bearing on economic reality.
Call a spade a spade (Dan Schueftan, Israel Hayom) Any attempt to delve into the culture of politics is either reduced to a pathetic circus of insults recruited for political demagoguery or attacked by self-righteous champions of political correctness. It's time to hold a real conversation.
'Bernie or Bust': Yes, Electing Sanders Is More Important Than Just Defeating Trump (Jacob Bacharach, Haaretz+) Sanders should capitalize on the fervor of his base, including many young Jewish voters, to win the Democratic nomination, and block an authoritarian racist like Bloomberg. That’s not blackmail, it’s principled, hardball politics.

Top Commentary/Analysis:
We Were Right to Hang Billboards Showing Abbas and Haniyeh as Defeated Terrorists (Nave Dromi, Haaretz+) By “we,” I mean the Israel Victory Project, a project of the Middle East Forum-Israel, which I head. This organization holds that over the past few decades, Israeli society and its main decision makers have been inculcated with a worldview that believes more in containment and restraint and less in victory. This is the result of an incessant drumbeat of slogans like “land for peace,” which are based on Israeli concessions as a condition for peace with the Palestinians. We seek to offer the public a different kind of thinking – a paradigm change from Israeli concessions to Israeli demands: namely, acceptance of the Zionist idea and the Jewish state…The point of the billboards was to spark public discussion about the crying need to change the thinking that characterizes the “peace camp,” which has come to dominate Israeli thinking.
*The important good news from the Palestinian Authority: "Security coordination will continue after the deal of the century" (Anna Barsky, Maariv) It's important to look at reality: we went on a trip to the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday. It was not exactly a "fun day trip for (Israeli) political reporters," as some of our colleagues in the media chose to define it. It’s easy to criticize and wonder - "Why did you go all the way to Ramallah, and not come back with headlines?" colleagues stung. "Why did you go to Ramallah to serve the interests of the Palestinian Authority and serve as a mouthpiece for it?" they criticized in the right-wing. “You ended up ‘parve’ (neither here nor there) - both you and the Palestinians," wrote one Twitter member of the Peace Camp who was not satisfied with the outcome of the visit. I have to admit: you're all right. No bombastic headlines came out of the visit. During the tour, everything was "for quoting” and we brought the words of the other side - if not for the diplomatic process, then at least for dialogue with the diplomatic reporters. Anyone who doesn't see importance in this meeting, just three weeks after the release of the Trump plan, is wrong. If we intend to ignore and not be interested in what is going on just a few miles away from home - you can certainly not drive to Ramallah and not hear anyone who is there. In my opinion, it is always preferable and even recommended to walk around in our region with open eyes. Just for that, we arrived there in a tense atmosphere full of pessimism and concerns. The Palestinian Authority is the same authority and the positions of its people have not changed. They still claim that they are ready to enter into negotiations based on the 1967 borders and with the Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem. They decided to compliment former prime minister Ehud Olmert and ignore the incumbent Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. They try not to address the issue of Israeli elections so that Netanyahu will not take advantage of this in his campaign. However, an important statement was made there when Abu Mazen's spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeineh said at the meeting: "Security coordination will continue even after the Trump plan is released, because we are serious people and not a foaming-at-the-mouth gang looking for action." There were also statements that were said casually, for which just to hear them it was definitely worth coming. In summary: It was important to get a sense of the ground and look reality into the eyes, even if it is a partial image.
The moral bankruptcy of a PLO state (Rachel Avraham, Israel Hayom) The fact that the Palestinians revere terrorists as role models for young children makes the idea of promoting a PLO state morally reprehensible.
We at Hebrew University Are ‘Collaborators’? (Barak Medina, Haaretz+) The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is a bastion of liberalism that is not afraid of organizations such as Im Tirtzu, and therefore has decided not to exercise force against it.
Turkey and Russia Clash Over Syria, and Idlib's Residents Are Paying the Price (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Turkey doesn’t have many ways out of the corner it has backed itself into, as it tries to please Russia while preventing the Assad regime from capturing Syria's northern province.
"I feel like getting a tattoo on my arm that says, ‘I am the best I can be.’”
After she abandoned the Israeli microphone and screen in order to marry (Arab-Israeli) actor Yusuf Sweid, 43, in Berlin, Adi Shilon, 32, now spends her time in Berlin caring for four-month-old Michelle. The last thing that interests her is how her body looks or how available she is on text message for work (“I respond only after two weeks”). But the voices of fear in her head finally became silent: “I cam to the world only to do it good.” (Interviewed by Smadar Shir in Yedioth Hebrew’s ‘Zmanim Plus’ supplement, cover)
Interviewer: What is the biggest change that has happened inside of you?
AS: “I no longer care what they say about me and Yusuf. In the past I tried to explain that there is nothing negative about us, that I am not afraid of assimilation, but of hatred and racism. And that saga is over. We are a love story from which a marvelous creature came to the world and that’s it. Period.”

"For years, I feel like I have no home"
Esther Ofarim was considered the greatest star that came out of Israel. Her songs conquered the summits of the European hit lists, including #1 in England. Following that success, she moved to Germany, leaving behind inalienable assets, such as “Hayu Lailot” and “Song of Army Camaraderie.” Now, at age 79, Ofarim returns for one performance in Israel on April 16th and admits that she no longer has any idea where she really belongs. “I feel like Israel is still in side me, but I am not really from here and not really from there.” Her songs, “Hayu Lailot" (There were nights), “Zionizioni Haderech,’ ‘Yatzanu et,’ and ‘Laila, laila,’ were etched into the pantheon of Israeli music and became inalienable assets and part of our musical cultural legacy. But it’s not certain that’s what Ofarim wishes for herself. (Interviewed by Lilit Wagner in Yedioth Hebrew’s ’24 Hours’ supplement, pp. 6-7)
Ofarim: “Me? Legacy? I have no desire or need like that. It’s not my role to educate and I am not a teacher…I never waved flags. It’s not my thing, and truth be told, this desire to be an inalienable asset seems to be pretty pathetic. ‘Hayu Lailot’ is a beautiful song and it is part of Israeli culture. It tells the beginning of the path of Israel, and thus, I think, historically it is important, because it is not only important to know who the Hasmoneans were. It’s important to know who was Mordechai Zaira. He wrote the song.”
Interviewer: With all the music that is popular today among Generation Y and Z, do you think that one day they will no longer know ‘Hayu Lailot’ and ‘Laila v’laila’?
EO: “That’s their problem!..I don’t want to perform ‘Song of Army Camaraderie’ in Israel. Even though army camaraderie is a good thing in and of itself, and love your neighbor as yourself - that’s my motto in life.”
But she is careful not to slide from here into into a discussion about Israeliness and militancy. “I don’t want to go there.”

General-turned-MK calls for direct talks with Hamas
"It’s a stupid lie that we ignore them because they are terrorists. They are terrorists, but it’s better to talk to them rather than fight them," former deputy IDF chief Major General Yair Golan asserts. He added that he would be in favor of "clandestine discussions" between the US and Iran.
With talks on a possible annexation of settlements in the West Bank amid Trump's Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, Golan emphasized his emphatic objection to such a move, calling it a ‘huge mistake.’ (Interviewed on by David Matlin on i24NEWS video and reported on in Israel Hayom)

MK Yair Golan: “Vote: annexation or disengagement"
Former deputy chief of staff, now a member of the Labor-Meretz-Gesher party, spoke with 103FM radio about the army and politics and said that they are separate. But he addressed the order that then-commander of the Givati Brigade, Ofer Winter, gave during Operation Protective Edge, when Winter told soldiers that they are ‘Going out to battle the wars of G-d.” “(I opposed it) because it immediately put the Druze, Bedouin and secular Jewish soldiers in an unpleasant, uncomfortable position, subjecting them to a language they do not speak or understand,” said Golan. “I also told him at the time that I think this was a grave error.” When asked if army people were surprised when he came out with his left-wing views, he said: “(Then-chief of staff, Gadi) Eisenkott thought I was a right-winger.” On elections he said: “Vote: annexation or disengagement.”  (103FM/Maariv)

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