News Nosh 6.9.20

APN's daily news review from Israel - Tuesday June 9, 2020

NOTE: APN invites you to join a briefing call on West Bank Annexation: A View from the Knesset - with MK Merav Michaeli of Israel’s Labor Party, a member of the opposition in the Knesset, and a longtime advocate for Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Date: Thursday, June 11th
Time: 11:00 am (Eastern Time)
Dial-in Number: 951-797-1058
Participant Access Code: 147414

Quote of the Day:

“…We already know the illusion of euphoria, and if there is anything we have learned since (the Six Day War) it’s that our wars today are not over in six days.”
—In a Maariv Op-Ed, Dr. Orit Miller-Katav warns those who believe that annexing parts of the West Bank sounds like a good idea now.*

Front Page:


Yedioth Ahronoth

  • Restrictions to the easing of restrictions
  • (Former IDF chief of staff) Eisenkot apologized to the Maglan unit soldier, Eli Chayut: “They didn’t tell me the truth”
  • Security threat // Amos Gilad on the danger of annexation
  • Historic vision // Sever Plocker on the annexation opportunity
  • Police: Man suspected of raping 12-year-old in her bed was detained

Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)

  • The horror scenario: Thousands on resuscitators
  • Fear of a crisis with Germany
  • The neighborhood of bloodshed (Jawarish in Ramleh)
  • Justice Danziger: Chairman (of Clal Insurance Co.) Dani Naveh acted flawlessly in the case of Clal Insurance

Israel Hayom

  • Freezing the easing of (corona) restrictions - Israel on the way to a second wave?
  • Virus effect: Corona worsened existing addictions and caused new ones among the addicted
  • (Israeli diplomatic official:) “Sovereignty - without European sanctions”
  • Exclusive - Medical specialist interns performed operations alone
  • 65 elderly died alone - Dramatic price of corona
  • A thorny legislator - what was a porcupine doing in the Knesset bathroom?

Top News Summary:
Corona - the fear of a second wave of corona, the brakes put on easing restrictions and the decision not to make the Shin Bet track infected people (ironically, it was the chief of the Shin Bet who had to convince the ministers it was a bad idea) - were the top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers along with more West Bank annexation discussion and the police’s attempt to show presence in the crime-ridden Ramleh neighborhood of Jawarish.

There were numerous bits and bobs in today’s Hebrew newspapers related to Israel’s plan to annex West Bank land on July 1st. Israel is blocking Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas from visiting with Palestinian leaders in Ramallah by saying that he would have to go into two weeks quarantine on his way back into Israel en route to the airport, Haaretz+ reported. Maas is coming to Israel this week to discuss the annexation issue. Maariv reported that Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi expressed concern that applying sovereignty in Judea and Samaria will hurt Israel's relations with Germany. But, Yedioth/Ynet reported that Germany won’t support sanctions on Israel over the annexation, but the act will cause a strain on relations. Israel Hayom reported that according to a senior Israel government official, the European Union in general won’t fight Israeli annexation of the West Bank. "The EU is unlikely to impose sanctions on Israel following the application of sovereignty,” he said. And Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat anti-Semitism Elan Carr says that decisions about when and how to apply sovereignty are solely in the hands of Israeli leaders.

Maariv and Yedioth reported on the increasing resistance to annexation inside the right-wing bloc. Representatives of 25 isolated settlements that were left outside the US map told Maariv: "We are afraid we will be evicted under the plan." The Yamina party said: "We will fight sovereignty that will result in deportation of Jews.” Yedioth Hebrew’s Elisha Ben Kimon reported that Yesha council mayors who oppose the annexation plan are trying to get rabbis to oppose the plan. They met Monday night with Rabbi Haim Druckman, a senior religious Zionist rabbi, to raise support against the plan among the rabbis so that they put pressure on Prime Minister Netanyahu to work on major changes to it. Haaretz’s Washington correspondent, Amir Tibon, wrote that US evangelicals may not be as gung ho on annexation as they were in the past. And that could have an effect on US President Donald Trump’s chances of winning the next elections.

Quick Hits:

  • Israeli Officer Convicted of Assault After Video Shows Her Firing Sponge-tipped Bullet at Palestinian - The Justice Ministry’s department for the investigation of police officers argued the Border Police officer officer shot the man 'for fun.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Cars Vandalized, Walls Defaced in Suspected Hate Crime in West Bank Village - Resident says security footage shows perpetrators approaching windows of people's homes ■ As-Sawiya has seen its share of vandalism in the past, but residents say they have witnessed an increase in recent months. (Haaretz+)
  • Tel Aviv begins demolition of 18th-century Muslim cemetery to build homeless shelter - The project has sparked legal action and protests from Jaffa's residents, as city officials promise that bones removed would be reburied on site. (Haaretz+)
  • For Some Palestinians, Cutting Off Cooperation With Israel Means No Medical Treatment - To get essential medical care in Israel, Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza require a permit, but the PA has stopped applying for them. (Haaretz+)
  • Abu Dhabi's Etihad Sends Second Flight of Palestinian Coronavirus Aid to Israel - The Palestinian Authority rejected a first shipment in May, after officials said it wasn't coordinated with them. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • "I'm afraid of dreaming of the murderer at night" - Ahmad Dawabsha was due to appear in court for the first time today and testify at the sentencing arguments stage of the trial, but his grandfather, Hussein, who is raising him, decided the situation was too difficult for the child. Instead, he will read to the judges a letter written by his grandson. 10-year-old Ahmad Dawabsha lost his parents and sibling five years ago when his family's home in the village of Duma was set ablaze in an event that caused a storm in the country. And despite the years since, he still finds it difficult to talk about that awful day. After all the preparations were made for Dawabasha to come, for the first time, to the court in Israel in order to testify at the stage of the sentencing arguments of Amiram Ben-Uliel, 26, who was convicted of the murder of Ahmad’s parents and brother and the attempt to murder Ahmad - it was decided at the last minute that he would attend the hearing. (Yedioth Hebrew)
  • Minister Regev will be asked to testify in support of Bentzi Gopstein - Yesterday, the trial opened of chairman of the (racist- OH) LEHAVA organization, Bentzi Gopstein, who was charged with supporting terrorism and incitement to violence and racism. Attorney Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir will seek to summon Transportation Minister Miri Regev, because she has previously said that "the Sudanese are cancer in our body.” (Yedioth Hebrew)
  • Israeli Hamas spy convicted in plea bargain - Agent sentenced to three years in prison after prosecution determines 'no serious harm' caused by ties with Gaza-based terror group; trial of second suspect spy still ongoing. Rami Al-Amudi was born to an Israeli mother and Gazan father and lived in the Gaza Strip with his father’s family until November 2019, when he moved to live in Tel Aviv. According to the Shin Bet, Al-Amudi reestablished ties with his mother in 2018 and has been working with her to receive Israeli documentation and live with her in Israel. (Ynet)
  • "Bring closure”: The family of the late Amit Ben-Yigal toured the village where the attack on him occurred - Relatives of the soldier, who was killed in a terror attack in Yaabed village, toured at a lookout site together with the commanders of the Menashe Regional Brigade. A Golani Commander: “We continue in Amit’s path and in his spirit.” (Maariv)
  • Shin Bet violated court orders, watchdog concludes, but warrants no disciplinary action - Inspector of complaints agrees security service failed to tell right-wing activist he was under no obligation to show up for questioning, but finds that the violation was not malicious. (Haaretz+)
  • Netanyahu files police complaint against incitement to murder for third time in month - Prime minister says online incitement 'clearly identifying with the far left' has crossed a red line after Facebook post wishes his son would be orphaned soon. (Haaretz+)
  • Report: April worst month for Israeli business sector in decade - Economic crisis beget by coronavirus affects manufacturing sector in particular due to heavy reliance on exports, which have dipped sharply because of worldwide lockdown. (Ynet)
  • Israel's NSO showcases drone tech, pushes to counter rights abuse allegations - Cyber tech firm allowed public a rare look at new anti-drone defense system, Eclipse, amid allegations that company's spyware has been used to commit human rights abuses. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Male Lawmaker to Head Israeli Panel for Advancing Women’s Status - Still, Oded Forer of right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu has the support of the head of his party’s women’s forum and of Labor legislator Merav Michaeli. (Haaretz+)
  • Bar Refaeli's mother takes jail sentence in her place - Tzipi Refaeli will serve a 16-month term for actions committed by supermodel, while her daughter will pay 2.5 million shekel fine and do nine months of community service. The Refaelis will pay $1.4-million fine for misleading tax authorities on supermodel's ties to Israel while claiming she was based in the United States. (Maariv, Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Iran to Execute 'Spy Who Gave CIA, Mossad the Whereabouts of Martyr Soleimani' - Tehran claims Israel is involved in U.S. drone strike in Iraq that killed elite Quds Force chief. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
  • U.S. sanctions imposed on Iranian shipping network over proliferation take effect - The State Department had announced the designations in December but allowed a delay for them to take effect, giving time for exporters of humanitarian goods to the Islamic Republic to find different shipping methods. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Amid U.S. Tension, Iran Builds Fake Aircraft Carrier to Attack - The faux foe, seen in satellite photographs obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, resembles the Nimitz-class carriers that the U.S. Navy routinely sails into the Persian Gulf. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Turkey Orders Arrest of More Than 400 People in Further Crackdown on Alleged Coup Organizers - Some 80,000 people have been detained since a failed 2016 coup attempt, with many being civil servants or members of security forces. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • North Syria air strikes break truce in rebel towns in Syria's northwest, witnesses say - Military jets bombed several villages in the Jabal al-Zawiya region of rebel-held northwestern Syria on Monday in the first such air strikes since a Turkish-Russian deal produced a ceasefire over three months ago that halted major fighting. Opposition sources suspect the strikes targeted militant hideouts. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • North Syria clashes leaves dozens of fighters dead - Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at least 22 insurgents, 19 troops dead in new government counteroffensive against last remaining opposition stronghold in the Jabal al-Zawiya region of the northwestern province. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Giant prehistoric platform in Saudi Arabia had ritual use, archaeologists posit - The monumental platform at Dumat al-Jandal, now just remains, was built in phases during the 6th millennium B.C.E. and used for about 2,000 years, researchers say in the journal Antiquity. (Haaretz+)
  • Race protests spark calls for Arab states to end 'exploitative' migrant worker system - The system, known as kafala, generally binds workers from poor Asian and African countries to one employer. (Agencies, Haaretz)


When Netanyahu and Coronavirus Are the Only Show in Town, These Filmmakers Step In
Featuring the director of 'King Bibi' and life in Nazareth during the outbreak, new project 'The Pandemic Logs' showcases Israel's best documentarians' take on coronavirus. (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+)
A Rebel With a Cause: This Jewish Radical Was Once the Most Talked-about Woman in America
How did Yiddish-speaking factory worker Rose Pastor marry into one of America’s richest families yet end up dying a pauper? A new book by Adam Hochschild, ‘Rebel Cinderella,’ recounts her remarkable story. (David B. Green, Haaretz+)

Annexation Commentary/Analysis:
‘Invented’ Palestinians, ‘Indigenous’ Jews: The Roots of Israel’s Annexation Plan, and Why the World Must Stop Netanyahu, Before It’s Too Late (Victor Kattan, Haaretz+) What Netanyahu, his Likud party and the Trump administration really think about annexation and the Palestinians – and why they’re totally wrong.
Right-wing to blame for annexation delay (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) Ministers from Netanyahu's own Likud party have yet to come out in support of the Trump peace plan, fearing it will at best include a freeze on settlement construction or at worst the establishment of Palestinian state.
The chance and the risk: The prominent disadvantages in President Trump’s plan (Shai Alon, Maariv) The sovereignty map and the borders of the Palestinian state have not yet been elucidated in depth in the plan presented by the US administration to the prime minister, and this is a major danger to Israel that must not be ignored.
Wanted Urgently: A Firefighter to Put Out Israel's Annexation Blaze (Akiva Eldar, Haaretz+) With a pyromaniac in the White House and a prime minister on Balfour Street who's obsessed with survival, Benny Gantz must do something fast to thwart 'Operation Annexation for Peace.’
*The desire to complete the annexation matter is important, but not applicable at this time (Dr. Orit Miller-Katav, Maariv) This week we mark 53 years since the Six Day War. It is the war that changed the face of the country. Thanks to it, Jerusalem was liberated and became the united capital of Israel. The power of the army gave the leaders of the state a sense of euphoria that led us to the wrong concept that cost us dearly six years later, on Yom Kippur 1973. The IDF is all-powerful, enter quickly and finish the whole business in a few days - that was the concept that has accompanied us ever since. These days, when talking about annexing the Beqaa Jordan Valley and settlements in Judea and Samaria according to Trump's plan of the century, which is set to start on July 1, it is important to note some facts we may have forgotten along the way. First, the readiness for war. Prime Minister Levi Eshkol prepared strategically and militarily well for the offensive. The immortal phrase "Nasser is waiting for Rabin" from the well-known poem by Haim Hefer, which recounts the feeling of tension during the waiting period ahead of the Israeli attack on Arab armies. In order to create public consensus, a national unity government was established and Dayan received the security portfolio and the glory from Eshkol. Second, the price of war. At the end of the war there were more than 770 [Israeli] fallen, some 2,500 wounded and 15 POWs. The government was confronted with a new reality of control over new territories and their residents - “the bride and the dowry,” like the name of the book authored by Avi Raz. It is impossible to accept only the territories without the residents living on them. Since then, 12 prime ministers have been dealing with the situation and there is no solution. In 1989, there was a debate between Yitzhak Rabin and Ariel Sharon about Sharon's statements that the territories should be immediately annexed to Israel. Rabin replied that this was a serious harm to the State of Israel as a Jewish state. Artificially adding one and a half million Arabs will change the demographic balance immeasurably, and the land cannot be separated from its inhabitants, or in his words: “And what will you do with the Arabs? They will not float in the air like Chagall's figures.” Third, the reality in the field. Control of the Jordan Valley and the back of the mountain, and control of the entire eastern boundary of Israel along the Jordan River bordering Jordan, ensures a significant security strip and breathing space. Levi Eshkol ordered immediate settlement on the basis of Yigal Alon's plan for the creation of realities on the ground, and between 1968-1977, 77 communities were established in the Beqaa Jordan Valley, Gush Etzion, in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip periphery. The Beqaa Jordan Valley communities today are not only a human shield but include agriculture vital to the country. Netanyahu's desire to end the matter and establish a reality on the ground is important, but is not implementable at this time. He is certainly not the first to put the end of the saga in his name and to enter the history books as having made the move. But as someone who knows the subtleties of the various agreements and their complexity, I would recommend perseverance and long-distance vision. Because we already know the illusion of euphoria, and if there is anything we have learned since then it’s that our wars today are not over in six days.
The Palestinians Can't Count on the Mercy of Israel's 'Moderate' Left (Yitzhak Laor, Haaretz+) What was the Zionist left thinking before it was extinguished by the occupation? When the military government prevented Palestinians within Israel from returning to the land that they owned, pinned them to the places where they were living and limited their ability to become fully equal citizens? The “creeping annexation” taking place in the West Bank since 1967 has been based on that success.
West Bank annexation is negligent, dangerous and redundant (Amos Gilad, Yedioth/Ynet) Aside from the security threats the plan poses to Israel, suddenly placing millions of Palestinians under Israeli sovereignty would jeopardize Zionism's central vision for a Jewish State.

Other Top Commentary/Analysis:
Only the Right Wing Can Bring Netanyahu Down – and He Knows It (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) The prime minister should be at the peak of his powers, but Netanyahu is facing yet another challenge from within the right over conflicting visions of annexation.
This time too, it may end in blood (Yuval Diskin, Yedioth Hebrew) I'm addressing you: Yisrael Katz, Tzachi Hanegbi, Yoav Galant, Miri Regev, Amir Ohana, Nir Barekat and the other Likud members who stood behind the "I'm Not a Poodle" [reference to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu following his use of that phrase followed by the claim that he was falsely accused - OH] from Balfour [reference to Prime Minister's Residence] at the press conference shortly before his trial began. I am appealing to you, the submissive group, because I am very concerned about the possible consequences of the incitement and the ongoing Not-a-Poodle [Netanyahu] incitement from Balfour, who tried to turn his sentence from criminal to political. To this end, he widely disseminates a satanic connection theory by which a group of conspirators, including journalists, prosecutors, and police, joined forces to make a government coup against him and the right-wing camp. Therefore, you gang of mask-wearers [reference to them for standing behind Netanyahu wearing masks while he gave his speech -OH], if any of those people whom the defendant has labeled as "conspirators" will be harmed by an extremist, a fanatic or a mentally ill person who believes in (Netanyahu's invented connection theory, you won't be able to say you didn't believe it could happen. The blood that, God forbid, will be shed will be on your hands, too. No mask can hide that.
Israeli Leftists, Apologizing for Your Beliefs Won't Spare You. Get Off the Defensive (Zehava Galon, Haaretz+) Apoplectic, gasping in horror, the Israeli right shuddered to its core: Look, Palestine Liberation Organization flags in the plaza. Hide your women. It’s depressing to see good leftists already shrinking from another predictable round of hysteria. There’s no reason to do so. First, because it takes quite some chutzpah to assert that waving the Palestinian Authority flag amounts to support for terrorism, certainly from those who, for over a decade, never sought to halt the security coordination with the same PA. And if the right still hasn’t learned that the “PLO flag” is the flag of the Palestinian Authority, maybe they ought to stop and think about whether they’re sufficiently on top of things to undertake a move like annexing the territories. But mainly, because there is no way that leftists can ever pass the endless loyalty tests issued by the right.
The Israeli Government Seeks Continuous Coronavirus Emergency (Haaretz Editorial) The amendments made to the coronavirus bill on Monday – the aim being to put the bill to the Knesset for a vote in the coming days – are cosmetic changes. While Israelis can breathe a bit more freely knowing that policemen will not be authorized to make forced entries into homes, the bottom line is that the main problems in the bill remain.

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