News Nosh 6.30.20

APN's daily news review from Israel - Tuesday June 30, 2020

You Must Be Kidding:
There are no fewer than 10 cameras in the 150 meters (164 yards) between Lions Gate, where the chase began, and the garbage room, where the Border Policeman shot dead the autistic Palestinian young man, Eyad Alhalaq. Yet the Police and the Justice Ministry have produced no video footage of the killing.*

Front Page:


  • Gantz: July 1st is not a sacred date for annexation; Netanyahu: Kahol-Lavan does not decide
  • Corona cabinet made stricter restrictions: Numbers at weddings and gathering will be decreased
  • 5.2 billion shekels allotted to businesses, but only a third was distributed
  • A month after the killing of Eyad Alhalaq, the investigators have no video of the shooting [Front page photo: Old City street and garbage room where he was killed by a Border Policeman)
  • State announced it will allow women to take Jewish Law (halacha) exams for Rabbinate
  • With Kahol-Lavan backing, the request for an inquiry into the submarine affair was rejected
  • The bullies of the girls - A 9-year-old girls is battling over her gender identity. For (right-wing) journalists Riklin and Magal that’s too much
  • The photographer behind the iconic picture of Obama (back with crosshairs on head) explains why he isn’t interested in photographing Trump
  • Shortening the training and cancelling the internship: This is how the Medical Labor Union plans to deal with the lack of doctors

Yedioth Ahronoth

  • The chain (of infection) failure - Testing without control (Hebrew)
  • Effect of the second wave: The restrictions return
  • Vacation again - Elementary school and kindergarten children finish school today
  • Tomorrow the target date for annexation:
  • The elimination of the Zionist vision // Ben-Dror Yemini
  • The Americans will decide // Shimrit Meir

Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)

  • Reducing exposure - Following rise in infection, government decided to pull back from some of the easing of restrictions
  • The economic epidemic - From wedding hall owners to travel agents - the crisis draws hundreds of citizens who lost their income into the streets
  • Annexation on condition
  • Police under investigation - Knesset Interior Committee held special discussion following storm over arrest of Brig. Gen. (res.) Haskel, who demonstrated outside PM’s residence and demanded from police: “An rule for dealing with demonstrations”

Israel Hayom

  • Not a great summer vacation: The new restrictions - End of school year, schools start summer holiday - with restrictions
  • Health Ministry simply fell asleep at the wheel // Ran Reznik
  • “Take advantage of the diplomatic opportunity and in parallel deal with corona” - Minister Hendel presented his position, different from Gantz’s
  • Price of police negligence: 23, 416,164 shekels - Police paid enormous sums for damages suits and demands for compensation in 2019
  • Waze to commanders: IDF is developing a digital geographic key
  • Eilat is disconnected? IsraAir announced: “In two weeks we will cancel the flights to Eilat”
  • New aid plan for self-employed and businesses: 2 billion shekels

Top News Summary:
Corona topped the news as gatherings were again capped to 50 people after corona cases rose to 3.5% of those tested yet virus testing and antibody testing lacked manpower. And, meanwhile, the annexation set to begin tomorrow, although unclear how, except that it’s “at the Knesset” sparked a feud between  over the timing between Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu - making top news in today's Hebrew newspapers.

A day before the official Knesset debate on annexation begins in the Knesset, not only is there no agreement between Israel and the US over the move, but neither between the Israeli leaders, nor among settlers. In a meeting yesterday with President Donald Trump's adviser Avi Berkovitz and US Ambassador David Friedman, Gantz said that the July 1st deadline is not set in stone and that “anything not related to coronavirus will wait.” But later at a Likud meeting Netanyahu said that “annexation does not depend on Kahol-Lavan, they are not a factor” in the decision. Maariv reported that according to US sources, annexation won’t take place in the coming week.

UN rights chief urged Israel to halt its ‘illegal' annexation plan and warned it could lead to deadly clashes. Israel’s Foreign Ministry slammed her comments, accusing her of 'politicizing' her post. And  late last night (Monday) Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh told the Mideast Quartet that the Palestinians are ready for direct negotiations with Israel and will agree to a state with a limited number of weapons and an international force to monitor compliance with a peace treaty. However, that did not make it into the print newspapers. Also, late Sunday night in a speech for the 'Christians United for Israel'  summit, Netanyahu said, “I am ready for peace talks with Palestinians.” That also did not make headlines. Ynet’s Elior Levy reported that Palestinian Authority officials are frustrated with their own confused and contradictory positions on annexation - including refusing to receive the transfer from Israel of Palestinian tax revenues, due to annexation plans, which is subsequently strangling the middle class.

Yedioth’s settler affairs reporter, Elisha Ben-Kimon, wrote that in the Yesha Settlers’ Council, they are in a fog about how to prepare for annexation when internally they are split about support for it. Yedioth’s Middle East commentator, Shimrit Meir, wrote that the “path towards historic moves is confused and embarrassing. The question is whether annexation at the present timing on the eve of US elections is something that is even appropriate to push towards.” The Jerusalem Post reported that a poll of settlers taken for the pro-settler organization Regavim, found that 53% of settlers believe that Netanyahu will give in to pressure from Trump. Haaretz+ found that despite talk of annexation, fewer immigrants to Israel are moving to West Bank settlements, even though many immigrants from North America, especially Orthodox Jews, find the settlements an attractive destination. Haaretz’s Amir Tibon writes that the new annexation battle is between AIPAC and US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who spearheaded a letter calling for conditions to be placed on U.S. military aid to Israel if it unilaterally annexes parts of the West Bank.

Quick Hits:

  • *Lack of Security Camera Footage Mars Israel's Probe Into Its Killing of Autistic Palestinian - Haaretz investigation shows that many cameras were in the area, including two in the garbage room where Eyad Hallaq was shot by Border Police. But where's the footage? (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli Lawmakers Vote Down Comptroller Probe of Submarine Deal - Prime Minister Netanyahu has been accused of involvement in purchase of naval vessels from Germany that allegedly entailed bribery. (Haaretz+ and Ynet Hebrew)
  • Dozens of Pro-democracy Protesters Rally Against Netanyahu Government in Tel Aviv - Some of the activists intend on sleeping in tents on Rothschild Boulevard for the coming days in a move reminiscent of the 2011 social protests. (Haaretz+)
  • "I'm the one who pushed Netanyahu to buy 9 submarines in talks with the (German) chancellor (Merkel)“ - Maj. Gen. and former National Security Council director, Yaakov Amidror, discussed about the possibility of re-investigating the submarine affair, known as Case 3000: "I have no doubt that the State of Israel needed them." (Maariv/103FM)
  • Report: Significant progress in negotiations for a prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas - Palestinian sources told Lebanese Al-Ahbar that the parties mediating between the parties "have made significant progress in dividing the stages of the deal and the price Israel will have to pay.” (Maariv)
  • Hamas: "We have the ability to force Israel to release Palestinian prisoners"  -Senior officials in the organization have sent a message to Israel that it must release prisoners who have been re-arrested, after being released in the Shalit deal. However, it said: "Despite the progress, there is concern that the deal will not come to fruition.” (Maariv)
  • Left-wing activist assaulted over Palestinian flag at Tel Aviv Pride - A man waving a rainbow flag physically attacked a fellow attendee at the Pride event, leaving her with bruises and swelling on her face and body. (972mag)
  • Israeli University Presidents Slam Minister's Proposed Committee Appointee as 'Political' - Minister of Higher Education says he won’t back down from appointing professor from West Bank university to top committee despite criticism. (Haaretz+)
  • 'Arabs, not Jews, founded and built Jerusalem' - Paper by Jordan's Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought claims Old Testament proves "Jerusalem was always an Arab city." Palestinian official: Paper debunks the exclusive Israeli narrative used to negate Palestinians' rights in Jerusalem. In the past, PA President Abbas also claimed Jesus was Palestinian. (Israel Hayom)
  • Right-wing Activist Says Shin Bet Misled Him, Violated High Court Ruling - The 19-year-old says the Shin Bet security service broke the law by summoning him to a warning talk while leading him to believe it was a mandatory police summons. (Haaretz+)
  • Suspected homicide in road between Druze villages of Kisra and Samei, two suspects arrested - A 32-year-old man was found dead on the main road linking the Kisra and Sumei Druze villages in Western Galilee on Sunday evening, Israeli media reported.  In addition, three people were lightly and moderately wounded by gunfire in the Arab-Israeli village of Sha'ab in the Lower Galilee. A 29-year-old and a 19-year-old were evacuated to Nahariya hospital in moderate condition and a 21-year-old man was evacuated lightly wounded.(Maariv, Israel Hayom Hebrew and JPost)
  • Minister of Agriculture will meet with representatives of fishermen who say: "Let us fish with honor” - Minister Alon Schuster will meet and sail from Haifa with fishermen's representatives, fish and environment experts and MKs of the Joint List. The fishermen propose: Establish a round table to remove the many restrictions imposed on them. Chairman of the Fisheries Organization, Saado Zeinab: “The fishermen have come are on the brink of starvation and this is a livelihood for hundreds of families. We were prevented from fishing for three months because of the Corona epidemic because there was no one to sell to, and immediately after that the 60-day fishing shutdown began…and this year we weren’t given compensation as in the past.” [NOTE: Most of the fisherman are Israeli-Arabs. - OH] (Maariv)
  • Here to stay: 35 English teachers from the United States decided to immigrate to Israel - After ten months of teaching English in schools across Israel, and through the help of Masa organization of the Jewish Agency, 35 out of 220 teachers decided to complete the immigration process and even enlist in the army. (Maariv)
  • Israel Grants Residency to Human Trafficking Survivor Leading Fight Against Prostitution - Chile Ezra, who was forcibly brought to Israel to work as a prostitute and was raped by a client, was in a relationship with an Israeli who died before she obtained legal status. (Haaretz+)
  • Bipartisan letter calls on EU to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as terrorist group - The 27-member bloc has so far only designated Shiite group's military wing as a terrorist group. Overall, 17 Republicans and 13 Democrats signed the letter. (Israel Hayom)
  • US ambassador appears on Lebanese TV despite court-imposed ban - Shiite judge attempts to muzzle Ambassador Dorothy Shea over her criticism of Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Shiite terrorist group that wields considerable power in Beirut's parliament. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Iran Issues Arrest Warrant for Trump, Asks Interpol to Help - While Trump faces no danger of arrest, the charges underscore the heightened tensions between Iran and the United States. (Agencies, Maariv and Haaretz)
  • Soleimani's daughter marries Hezbollah leader Nasrallah's cousin - Over the weekend, 28-year-old Zeinab Soleimani married Riza Safi al-Din, son of Hassan Nasrallah's cousin, Hashim Safi al-Din. (JPost and Israel Hayom)


IN PHOTOS: The Serene Jordan Valley at the Heart of the Annexation Turmoil
Israeli photographer Yaniv Nadav went searching for everything beautiful and humane in the unknown reaches of the land Israel wants to annex. (Daniel Tchetchik, Haaretz+)

Annexation Commentary/Analysis:
What will be the importance of applying sovereignty if Trump loses the election? (Prof. Eitan Gilboa, Maariv) Democratic candidate Joe Biden warned against annexation. If the support of the United States is critical, what is the point of making the move if the new president cancels recognition?
What is the UAE trying to tell Israelis? (Dr. Moran Zaga, Yedioth/Ynet) The consequences of the Arab world slamming its doors in Israel’s face in response to West Bank annexation are hard to assess, but Jerusalem must understand the bigger picture of the risks involved.
Applying sovereignty in the Beqaa Jordan Valley is of strategic and security importance (Oded Tira, Maariv) Contrary to voices claiming that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) have no security importance for Israel, I argue that one of the cornerstones of Zionism is the strengthening of the Jewish people's ability to protect itself.
Time is running out (Shai Alon, Israel Hayom) Israel is ostensibly supposed to extend sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria in the coming days, yet the information we are getting is still based on rumors and leaks to the media.
Binyamin Netanyahu does laundry (Einat Ovadia, Ynet Hebrew) The Prime Minister convinced the media, which convinced you, that it is not apartheid but "applying sovereignty,” and that it is not an international crime but "partial annexation." Enough of the laundering words.
How settler groups could use annexation to deepen Palestinian dispossession (Uri Agnon, 972mag) For decades, settlers have used the Israeli legal system to take over Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem. Activists fear those tactics may soon be used in the rest of the West Bank.
No American government has trampled on the diplomatic (peace) process like the Trump administration (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) The failures of previous presidents in this area left feelings of despair at the prospects for peace. The ridicule and scorn the Trump administration has inflicted on this area is not discouraging - because, in the first place, he did not inspire hope.
Israel's Failed Pandemic Government (Haaretz Editorial) The coronavirus crisis is looking more and more like coronavirus chaos. The number of infections is rising steadily and Israel seems to be gradually losing control over the pandemic. It would behoove this government to remember that it was formed primarily to battle the coronavirus. Netanyahu, however, has preferred to devote most of his effort to his personal concerns: his legal battles, political threats, annexation fantasies and seeing to his own bank account at taxpayers’ expense. Instead of creating a single agency to deal with the coronavirus, Netanyahu is taking hysterical and confused steps to try to halt the economic and health avalanches. That’s no way to run a country during a crisis.
Netanyahu should fearlessly make the necessary Zionist move - annex (Yossi Ahimeir, Maariv) Israel is on the verge of an ideological decision of the highest significance. Applying sovereignty over the Beqaa Jordan Valley will add security to both Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan.
Palestinians are fighting to dismantle apartheid, not just annexation (Salem Barahmeh, 972mag) If you ask Palestinians in the Jordan Valley how they feel about annexation, many will say that they were already annexed long ago.

Other Top Commentary/Analysis:
Hilltop Youth 1, Candle Generation 0 (Shira Makin, Haaretz+) American teens aren’t suckers. While still too young to vote, they can already be credited with the iconic photograph dubbed Donald Trump’s “walk of shame.” Trump’s failure is the result of sophisticated trolling by tens of thousands of teens. These wonderful young people, who in a few years from now will turn out en masse to vote, are arousing genuine hope among U.S. liberals, because according to all the surveys they are much more liberal, sober and educated than previous generations. But in Israel, polls indicate that young people are breaking right and becoming closer to religion. According to a survey conducted by Dahlia Scheindlin for the Zulat think tank in May, the younger the respondents, the more right-wing they are. In the 18-24 age group, 62 percent identified as right-wing. In another poll, 67 percent of Israeli teens and young adults said they were right-wing, while 82 percent of young adults said maintaining security was more important than maintaining democracy. Therefore, in less than three decades, the hopes, the naivete and the idealism of the Candle Generation (teenagers who lit candles to mourn the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995) have been replaced by the ultranationalism, religious belief and racism of the hilltop youth…
"Tremendous shame and a feeling of nausea“: Letter to Amnon Abramovich (Yoram Dori, Maariv) In a frenzy of organized incitement, you got a shower of curses. For what? For being willing to sacrifice your life for the state and being seriously injured. A letter to my friend from the Armored Corps (who was verbally attacked at a demonstration in Tel-Aviv against Netanyahu for remaining Prime Minister while under indictment - OH] I feel shame and disgust, aversion and anger at the blatant attack against you. In my view and in the view of many of our comrades of the hard-fought combat in the 600 division, that was a bullying attack against all that is sacred to us and worthy of appreciation, whether we agree with your views or whether they irritate us and contradict our own positions. The hooligans and rioters did not try to hurt you, but all of us, citizens of the State of Israel…Amnon, despite the same hate-filled gang that for whom we also fought, don't despair. You will continue to struggle for what is important and right in your eyes, as you continued to drive the tank that went up in flames when you were in the driver's seat, fearlessly, with the will to save your friends, our people and our country. Don’t be afraid, take courage, because we are your fighting companions until we bring Israel to internal reconciliation and peace for our children and our grandchildren.
The dangers of driving under Israeli apartheid (Izzy Mustafa, 972mag) There is no such thing as a leisurely drive when a human error could get us killed by our colonizers.
Ami Ayalon, what do you have in common with Breaking the Silence organization? (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth Hebrew) The former Shin Bet chief and leftist Zionist, Ami Ayalon, is dragged into joining an organization whose essence is an anti-Zionist propaganda service. If you have a bit of integrity left - leave it.
Amos Gilad's ground-shaking testimony must cause the re-opening of the investigation of the submarine affair, Case 3000 (Ben Caspit, Maariv) The Attorney General must immediately open a thorough investigation into the submarine affair. Netanyahu and his loyalists provide a blatant show of greed. The Bibist madness in the the view of Keren Waxner, and a puddle instead of Gantz.
This Is What Happened When My Dutch Autistic Son Was Drafted to the Israeli Army (Anonymous, Haaretz+) My son was born and raised in the Netherlands. He has a very tolerant and pleasant character. Dutch men are sometimes dubbed “cheesehead" (kaaskop), because their hair is blond, like the color of cheese, and – almost as an insult – because they have a soft, pliant nature. Indeed, that’s my son: quiet, polite and kind. On the other hand, my son suffers from Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a mild form of autism, and with the syndrome come the symptoms,,,My son was almost 18 when we came.,..most teens diagnosed with ASD are not required to serve…At the drafting center…all that was required was five minutes of personal guidance before the test began, and a serious and businesslike conversation with a mental health officer who cares and really listens to the boy sitting across from him, without cynicism or blunt hints throughout the conversation about impersonation and pretense. After all, he had a letter in Hebrew describing his condition, signed by a psychiatrist. It’s important to understand that aggressiveness, chutzpah and rude behavior don’t have to be part of the Israeli lifestyle. It’s not a decree from heaven.
It's time to put a price tag on Qatari aid to Gaza (Michael Milstein, Ynet Hebrew) In the background of the annexation and escalation that will accompany it, it should be made clear that the transfer of money is conditional on Hamas' remuneration: the prisoners, thwarting attacks and restraining factions in the Gaza Strip.

‘Our ideology is our pain’: Notes of an Israeli Black Panther
Reuven Abergel, one of the founders of the Israeli Black Panthers, talks about the complex relationship between the Mizrahim who led the movement in the 1970s and the Ashkenazi leftists who supported it. (Interviewed by Rueven Abergel in 972mag)

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