News Nosh 7.5.20

APN's daily news review from Israel - Sunday July 5, 2020

You Must Be Kidding: 
"Applying sovereignty is the most rational, humane and security-driven decision, which is reinforced by the Bible."
--President Zionist Organization of America, Morton Klein

Front Page:


  • The explosion at Nantaz was the biggest blow to the Iranian nuclear program // Amos Harel
  • Trump: We are under a siege from “far-left fascism”
  • Some 1,000 new cases confirmed; Sedetzky: More manpower needed for the campaign to investigate (corona)
  • Minister Tzachi Hanegbi: Saying that the people don’t have food because of the corona crisis is nonsense
  • In one day, 30,000 people received messages to go into quarantine following Shin Bet surveillance
  • The National Forensic Institute ruled again: The accused in the murder of Maya Vishniak did not attack his mother (Hebrew)
  • Priorities // Iris Leal on the right-wing’s focus on MK Ayman Odeh instead of on the corona crisis
  • A new world // Li-On Hadar on Israel’s need to make do without the US
  • CEO of Clalit HMO warns: “Without change and immediate steps we will be in the Italian scenario within two months"

Yedioth Ahronoth

Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)

  • Preventative enforcement (of corona restrictions)
  • “Our hero” - Michael Ben-Zikri, 43, jumped into the lake to save a woman and her three children, and drowned and died
  • The storm and the apology - Minister Tzachi Hanegbi claimed that there are no hungry people in Israel and retracted after sparking great pubic criticism

Israel Hayom

  • Stop the outbreak - Government to convene today: On the agenda - more emergency steps
  • “The American window for applying sovereignty - between one month and 45 days”
  • The explosion in Nantaz was the biggest blow to the nuclear program // Yoav Limor
  • “Our hero: Michael saved a family and drowned and died”
  • Associates of the prime minister: “The budget saga it’s not a trick: Netanyahu is is not interested in elections”

Top News Summary:
An insensitive and uninformed government minister infuriated Israelis who are struck down by the economic corona crisis as the number of actively infected corona cases made a new record, a man saved the lives of drowning children and lost his own, and another mysterious explosion took place in Iran making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

Also making news were demonstrations: across the country over the weekend: Friday and Saturday, thousands participated in Black Flag rallies across the country, calling on Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to resign in the face of his corruption indictments. And also on Saturday, people rallied across in 13 cities against domestic abuse and the failure of the law enforcement authorities to deal with violent men, after the 13th woman was murdered this year by her husband. (VIDEO and PHOTOS.) Half of the murdered women are in Arab society and a total 42 Arab Israelis have been murdered since the beginning of the year, a far higher number than their percentage of the population. Israeli-Arabs have been calling on the government and the police to deal with crime in their communities. And in the background, the subject of another election simmers, in Op-Eds below, in an interview (see Interviews) and in 'Israel Hayom,' which reported that associates of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that "Kahol-Lavan can relax, Netanyahu doesn't want elections." This comes following a report that  Netanyahu threatened to call an election over the budget dispute.

Two more Iranian sites were hit Saturday in a string of mysterious incidents. On Saturday, a fire broke out at a power station in southwestern Iran, followed by a chlorine gas leak at the Karoon petrochemicals plant near the port of Bandar Imam Khomeini, that injured dozens. On Thursday, a fire broke out at Iran's Natanz nuclear facility. According to the Kuwaiti al-Jarida newspaper, which often quotes anonymous Israeli sources that don’t reveal things to the Hebrew newspapers, a cyberattack aimed at gas compression controls was what hit the Natanz site. And on Monday, 19 people were killed in an explosion at a medical clinic in the north of the capital Tehran, which an official said was caused by a gas leak. And the week before, on June 26, an enormous explosion occurred near the Parchin military and weapons development base, east of Tehran. Iranian authorities claimed that that was caused by a leak in a nearby gas storage facility. The Kuwaiti newspaper reported that the Parchin blast was caused by a cyberattack as well.

Recently Iran launched a cyber attack, which was thwarted, on Israeli water and electricity facilities. Israel’s Cyber chief Yigal Unna took the attack very seriously, saying, “Winter is coming," as in the famous "Game of Thrones" phrase, meaning that a secret war, specifically the Iran-Israel cyber war, was underway, wrote Ronen Bergman in Yedioth Hebrew. Bergman noted, however, that “In one of the conversations I had with Meir Dagan, the head of the Mossad in the previous decade, he said: ‘A lot of times all kinds of explosions and injuries are attributed to us, which we are not connected to at all. Because of the way the Iranian system is run, quarrels and friction and ego problems, and sometimes simply because they don't read the instructions - in many cases they themselves negligently cause the damage.’” And, a day after the mysterious fire broke out in Nantanz Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sent a letter to EU foreign policy chief to trigger a dispute mechanism in the international nuclear agreement.

Annexation is no longer a big story in the Hebrew newspapers, except in ‘Israel Hayom,’ which is trying to keep the hope going. In a misleading headline on its front page, it reported that the “US window for applying Israeli sovereignty” is within 45 days, suggesting it will happen in that time. But upon reading the article, one learns that the US decision about applying sovereignty is within 45 days and according to a senior White House official, it has “more than a 50% chance.” And all this is from the Zionist Organization of America National President Morton Klein. Yedioth Hebrew’s diplomatic affairs correspondent, Itamar Eichner, reported on page 18 that according to a classified report prepared by Israeli diplomats in Europe, if Israel declares annexation of West Bank land, the European Union threatens to retaliate with boycotts of diplomatic visits, cancellation of billions in grants for research and cancellation of student exchanges. Former Israeli ambassador to the EU Oded Eran and former Israeli ambassador to Germany Shimon Stein also warned of the worsening situation. (Article in English.) A group of esteemed former world leaders, known as ‘The Elders,’ urged European countries to oppose annexation with negative political and economic consequences. [NOTE: In ‘Israel Hayom’s’ report it suggested that Israel’s plan to annex West Bank land, is not really annexation, per se, and that application of sovereignty is different. The sentence reads: “The Elders, founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007, say in letters to the leaders of France, Germany, Britain and the European Union that they should insist to Israel that annexation, as they call it, would have negative political and economic consequences for bilateral and regional relations.” Ynet/‘i24 News’ reported that thousands attended anti-annexation rallies across the US over Israel’s annexation plans. Ynet called them ‘anti-Israel’ rallies. ‘Israel Hayom’ focused on anti-Israel demonstrators in Brooklyn, who were joined by the anti-Zionist ultra-Orthodox Satmar Jews, who waved PLO flags in protest of the ‘sovereignty’ (annexation) plan.

In Israel, artists, social activists and families created a huge protest installation against the annexation at the Tel Aviv Museum Square. Yedioth published a photo of it with a caption and Haaretz Hebrew wrote about it (and also published a photo). The work consists of floor paintings and 1,000 stickers and says, "The People Are Against Annexation.” Haaretz reported that the work was done as a tribute to the street paintings of the Black Lives Matter movement in the US.

Earlier, Yedioth’s Eichner also reported that prominent Evangelical Christian, Dr. Mike Evans, warned US President Donald Trump that if he blocks Israeli annexation of the West Bank it will cost him the election. Maariv’s Gideon Kotz wrote from Paris that senior Arab sources said: "Iran has taken over the struggle against Israeli annexation.” The ‘moderate figures’ told the French paper, “Le Figaro” that "The lack of open resistance from the Arab states to annexation is a gift to Iran. The Palestinian and Arab streets are annexed to Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas.”

Also: Joint Arab List leader, MK Ayman Odeh, was under fire by right-wing politicians for attending a joint Hamas-Fatah event against annexation of occupied Palestinian Territories. (Also Maariv.) And the Palestinian Authority was forced to slash civil servant salaries due to its tax dispute with Israel over annexation. The PA rejected receiving its taxes, which Israel collects on its behalf, and which make up more than half of the PA's budget.

Corona Quickees:

  • Outrage as Likud minister dismisses Israelis' food poverty - Tzachi Hangebi was quick to backtrack after he rejected as 'nonsense' claims that many are struggling to put food on the table amid coronavirus and economic crisis, but some are not satisfied with his apology. (Ynet)
  • Israel's coronavirus active cases top 10,000 - After two more people have died of the virus since Thursday, the fatality rate as the result of coronavirus has now reached 326, the number of serious cases has risen to 77 of which 27 are on ventilators. (Ynet)
  • Without policy shift, Israel will see hundreds of seriously ill COVID-19 patients in a month, officials warn - The current low number of seriously ill patients gives a dangerous illusion that the situation is good, but ‘the rapid spread of the virus may lead to the health system’s collapse,’ an expert explains. (Haaretz+)
  • Over 30,000 Israelis Ordered Into Quarantine as Coronavirus Digital Tracking Resumes - Some say they were at home at the time in question, but they have no means of appealing the order which came after Knesset temporarily allowed Shin Bet assistance to locate suspected patients. (Haaretz+)
  • PM revives restrictions on gatherings, announces 6-month economic plan - Restrictions include limit of up to 20 people at closed spaces - such residential homes, a limit of 50 people at bars, clubs, event halls; prayers at synagogues limited to 50 worshippers. (Ynet)
  • Israel's social workers take to streets over low pay during coronavirus - Dozens block Tel Aviv's Azrieli interchange to traffic, carrying signs saying 'We're not breathing’ - a reference to salaries often below minimum wage and heavy workload, which has greatly increased due to health crisis. (Ynet)
  • Police Officer (Illegally) Threatens Israeli Man Who Shared Invite to 'Illegal' Coronavirus Protest - 'You posted that there would be a demonstration. It's against the law,' officer tells Bnei Brak man, despite High Court ruling that states otherwise. The planned demonstration against discrimination of the ultra-Orthodox community did not take place eventually. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli researchers develop 30-minute coronavirus test - The testing kit developed by start-up NanoScent utilizes nano-scale sensor-based smelling system to identify virus in its earliest stages, scan the data and provide result within half an hour; method has 90% success rate. (Ynet)


Quick Hits:

  • Thousands Protest Across Israel Calling on Netanyahu to Resign - 'Black Flag' movement continues demonstrations against prime minister, on trial for alleged corruption and accused by critics of attempting to subvert democracy. (Haaretz+)
  • Permits committee shuns Netanyahu's request for legal aid from US billionaire - State Comptroller's panel accepts AG's opinion that $2.83 million donation from US billionaire Spencer Partrich, who is also a witness in one of PM's corruption cases, could not be accepted because it’s higher than what is allowed under Israeli law. (Yedioth Hebrew/Ynet)
  • Netanyahu ordered to repay cousin $30,000 out of the $300,000 he received for legal defense from his cousin Nathan Milikowsky - The Permits committee decided that most of the money had been used for Sara Netanyahu’s legal defense, and she is considered to be a private citizen, so the money didn’t pass the maximum amount a prime minister is allowed to receive as a gift. (Haaretz+)
  • Family of Palestinian slain by police says probe drags on - After a month of pressure by family, officials confirm in a court hearing that investigators are studying security-camera footage of the shooting, says family lawyer. (Ynet)
  • Hamas: We arrested a cell operating on behalf of Israel - Based on the initial interrogation of the cell members, a Hamas statement says, they were to target "resistance" members in the coming days, under direct orders from Israeli intelligence officers. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli-Palestinian cooperation is necessary to clean up this highly polluted stream - The Kidron river flows through both Palestinian and Israeli territory, and has become a grave sewage hazard. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel set to formalize appointment of Gilad Erdan as new UN, US ambassador - The only other figure to have filled both envoy roles simultaneously was the late diplomat Abba Eban, from 1950 until 1959. (Israel Hayom)
  • UN Suspends Two Jerusalem Staff Members Over Sexual Misconduct - International staffers put on unpaid leave after a 'abhorrent' video shared on social media shows a woman straddling a man in the back seat of a UN-marked vehicle as it was driven down a coastal boulevard in Tel Aviv. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • WATCH Israeli Pop Stars’ Music Video With Mexican and Arab Garb — and Giant Roosters — Irks Some Viewers - Despite the fact that the lyrics are not that complicated — mostly trite phrases about love and dancing — there’s a lot going on in the video. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • American film academy taps 13 Israelis to join Oscars vote - New Israeli representatives among 819 participants hailing from 68 different countries; Some names under the blue and white banner include film directors Alma Har'el, Rachel Leah Jones, and others. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israeli Defense Contractors Partner With UAE Tech Firm to Fight Coronavirus - The partnership focuses on artificial intelligence, sensors and lasers, IAI said in a statement. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Turkish court convicts four rights activists on terrorism-related charges - Amnesty Turkey said that seven other defendants, who were detained three years ago during a crackdown following a 2016 attempted coup, were acquitted. (Agencies, Haaretz)


Eyad Hallaq's mom sleeps in her late son's bed. His dad won't eat. They have a message for Israel's police
A month after the fatal shooting of Eyad Hallaq, a young autistic Palestinian, his family is still paralyzed by grief and praying that the Border Police officer who shot him pays for his crime. (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+)
Going back to their roots
After years of identity erasure by the Soviet regime, the Jewish communities in Moldova and Ukraine are blossoming once again. But when asked about making Aliyah and moving to Israel – opinions differ. (Akiva Bigman, Israel Hayom)
‘The Amazing New York No Longer Exists’: Laid Low by Coronavirus, the City Loses Its Magic for Israelis (who are returning to Israel)
Cramped and crowded in tiny overpriced apartments, with the city shut down as the pandemic rages across the United States, an unexpected president and protesters taking to the streets, many Israeli are returning home for now, or maybe forever. (Haaretz+)
A Desert Adventure Along the Oil Pipeline That Was Once Meant to Link Israel and Iran
We took a trip along the route of the pipeline built decades ago with our one-time Iranian friends, surrounded by beautiful, untamed trails in the land of craters. (Moshe Gilad, Haaretz+)
From yeshiva boy to transgender IDF soldier
Bloom Lotus grew up as the son of a religious family, and always felt like a woman trapped in a man's body; having just completed the first of many surgeries, she says 'transsexualism is the source from which I draw strength.’ (Nechama Shirley Farkash, Ynet)
This Sudanese Asylum Seeker From Tel Aviv Could Be Competing in Next Year's Olympics
Jamal Mohammed was just 8 when militants raided his village, killing his father and nearly 100 other residents. Fleeing at 16, he put his life back on track at an athletic club in south Tel Aviv and now dreams of competing in Tokyo. (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+)

Annexation Commentary/Analysis:
Annexation Simmers, Coronavirus Rages – and Netanyahu’s Busy Mulling an Early Election (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) Ministers from the prime minister's Likud party say he’s never the one to bring up the issue of annexation. Either way, Gantz is finally showing some moxie.
When dealing with the issue of annexation it is worth remembering - whose country is this anyway? (Meir Uziel, Maariv) Israeli law must be applied to the land and remember the violation of the settlers' rights, living in their homeland as Type B citizens with Type A threats. For the Jews of the world and for us - sovereignty must be applied.
Annexation Apologists’ Most Misleading Claims – and How to Debunk Them (Maya Rosen, Haaretz+) From Netanyahu to Kushner, apologists for Israel’s annexation of the West Bank are pushing word games, distraction and delay to make the morally and legally indigestible seem reasonable.
Because it is our right (Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom) Security is important, but it must not overshadow the Jewish people's right to claim what is rightfully ours.
Trump has no time for West Bank annexation (Orly Azoulay, Yedioth/Ynet) With coronavirus cases breaking daily records, president beginning to realize he is culpable for his administration's mishandling of crisis, and faced with prospect of November defeat may even drop out of the race.
Trump and Netanyahu face their rendezvous with destiny (Caroline B. Glick, Israel Hayom) What Netanyahu does over the next few weeks will determine if he goes down in history as one of the greatest Jewish leaders of all time, or if he is remembered as a disappointment of Sabbatean proportions.
Palestinians Have Heard Enough Empty Talk of Unity. With Annexation at Stake, They Expect Leaders to Deliver (Jack Khoury, Haaretz+) Once again, Hamas and Fatah vow to recover national unity and present a united front against Israel's plans for the West Bank, and Palestinians now face three options moving forward.
Myths about sovereignty assertion (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) Critics say attaining sovereignty will undermine the peace process and ruin Israel's reputation abroad, but these myths do not hold up to scrutiny.
While Netanyahu Keeps Annexation Alive, Palestinians Close Ranks (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Both the Israeli army and the Palestinian factions agree: Even a 'symbolic' annexation could ignite the street.
To understand what will happen with the annexation, we must go back to Begin's application of sovereignty (Ran Edelist, Maariv) To understand what will lead to the clash between Netanyahu's tricks and the wall of reality, one must go back to Menachem Begin's application of sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and how we slid from their into the Lebanon War...In early December 1981, Prime Minister Begin was hospitalized. He slid in the shower of his house and he broke his femur. His mood was murky. Not only because of the break, that was a nasty and painful affair, but because three years earlier, in September '78, he had agreed to Sadat's demands at Camp David to withdraw to the '67 lines in exchange for peace. Withdrawal is not a joyous matter for a person, who throughout his entire life has sworn to keeping the land of Israel whole. And while he was stuck in the hospital, Begin knew that within a few months, in April '82, the IDF's last soldier would leave Sinai. In the joint Israeli-Egyptian document, a withdrawal to the last inch was agreed, a section that has historical significance and validity to this day. And on it was signed: Menachem Begin. For two weeks, Begin was lying in Hadassah Hospital, I suppose he swallowed painkillers that may have obscured his pain, but not his agony for handing over parts of the Land of Israel. On Saturday, his mood was an open...secret. When his time came to be released from the hospital, in December '81, he summoned Defense Minister Arik Sharon to his bed. It was a meeting between an old lion whose teeth were numb and a young lion, who was muscular and hungry. Three years earlier, in September '78, after succumbing to the pressure of President Carter, Moshe Dayan and Ezer Weizmann at Camp David, Begin agreed to withdraw from Sinai in exchange for peace. His problem was opposition from home, the right-wing and the Likud. The solution was Arik Sharon. Sharon did not have supporters in the Likud center, but he had a media aura, aggressive bruteness that corresponded with growing parts of the Likud, and skyrocketing aspirations that were mainly to be Begin's heir (to Likud). The main thing was that he was a cynic from the freezer. From Camp David, Begin phoned Sharon, the Minister of Agriculture, on his farm and asked what he thought of the withdrawal agreement from Sinai. Sharon agreed to support Begin, with both of them realizing that the price is the defense ministry. It took about three years and in August '81 he approved Sharon's appointment (as Defense Minister). Ahead of the imminent withdrawal, he needed Sharon's active backing more than ever. On December 18, 1981, on his sick bed (in Hadassah Hospital), he summoned the defense minister to announce that tomorrow he was to pass in the Knesset the application of Israeli law to the Golan Heights and that he should prepare the IDF in case the Arabs reacted violently. Begin arrived at the Knesset and passed the law on Application of Israeli law in the Golan in a parliamentary blitz of three votes and on the same day...Four months later, in April 1982, Sharon delivered the goods and stormed the Israeli settlements in Sinai (Hevel Yamit). It included 15 communities plus a city plus an airport. The voices (Geula Cohen on the verge of crying and her son Tzachi Hanegbi waving chains at soldiers and police) were harsh. From then on, these two, Begin and Sharon, needed a double injection of patriotic infusion. Sharon pulled out the "small pine trees" (plan in reference to Lebanon) that hid in it the "large pine trees" (plan), and together the two decided on the first Lebanon War. The war then had extensive backing of the political and media consensus. Even today, it has a consensus - as a needless war and as a terrible failure. Forty years after Begin's law to apply sovereignty to the Golan Heights, Netanyahu also wanted to have his own "historical" law. With Syria in dire straits due to the civil war, he persuaded Trump to present presidential approval to applying Israeli law on the Golan Heights. At the end of March 2019, the same familiar showcase was staged as Trump presents in the Oval Room the American certificate of the Golan Heights. In practical terms, nothing has happened since '67. The same small settlements, the same Katzrin heavily resucitated [supported by the state - OH] and the same Syrian claim. And, as always, the annexation of Golan II is a misrepresentation that rests on the IDF bayonets. Whoever holds the door to the entrance to the Quneitra [Syrian city on Syrian-controlled side of Golan - OH] when the region calms down will call for all of the Golan Heights for Syria and gain all-Arab and world-wide support. Because since 1945, the world wants (although not always succeeds) to secure the borders of all countries and have world order, and what Putin is allowed to do is impossible for Israel. Meanwhile, Assad the father conspires to retrieve the Golan through power and he allies with the Soviets, Assad Jr. joins Hezbullah and the Iranians. The northern border is always boiling. Excellent! There is no one to talk to and nothing to talk about. [Writer is sarcastic. - OH] The classic regional situation. The truth behind all the annexations of the Golan Heights and quarrels with Syria is that Yitzhak Rabin, Arik Sharon, Ehud Barak, Shimon Peres and Netanyahu himself, each in turn, offered Assad the father and the son the same Golan Heights for peace and permanent settlement. None of this was successful. Assadians always replied "Go back to '67 and recognize the rights of the Palestinians. And we also want a piece of the beach in the Sea of Galilee" (the ceasefire map in the War of Independence does not lie). Sharon, by the way, did not mind Syrian soldiers wetting their feet in the Sea of Galilee. Rabin has deposited with US Secretary of State a "deposit" in which he (wrote he) was ready for peace with Syria in exchange for the Golan Heights, and Netanyahu dispatched Ron Lauder with a US guarantee deposit that includes a commitment to withdraw from the entire Golan Heights. Indeed, the situation in the West Bank and in "Jerusalem" is much more complicated and for all the reasons we have analyzed. Not to mention the ranking on the holy scale: 7 average in the West Bank, 9 in Jerusalem, 10 at the Western Wall. The situation today is that every casual and permanent organization has its own patent leap to a "solution." One will annex Area C, the other will expand Area A and a third will be maneuvered in Area B, as if the salvation comes from the Waze algorithm and everyone is leaning on maps. Most of them are astrological maps of stars and constellations, most reminiscent of Cornelius Asher, a Dutch painter who specialized in surrealistic mazes where you walk out of nowhere and get nowhere. The problem is that in real life, at the end of each maze, when you seem to be rescued and even "annexed," a stubborn Arab and another bloody round await. Menachem Begin, patriotic troubles, the Golan Law and the Lebanon War, remember? By the way, there is nothing like a steamroller to create a rigid pattern, and those who helped the Palestinians forfeit their nationality (state) and their stubbornness (1967) are the neighbors from hell.
How Netanyahu silenced Israel’s spies and soldiers from dissenting on annexation (Yossi Melman, Haaretz+) Annexation could set the Mideast on fire. But Netanyahu has kept Israel’s security and intelligence chiefs completely in the dark – and now he’s replacing them with acquiescent loyalists.
The sanctions dilemma (Yossi Beilin, Israel Hayom) Europe sanctioned Russia for annexing Crimea. If Israel annexes the West Bank, EU countries will have to respond. Sanctions against Israel will be painful for them, and punitive EU recognition of a Palestinian state will be painful for Israel.
Like Trump, Netanyahu Is Running Into the Brick Wall of Coronavirus Reality (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) The resurging coronavirus pandemic, annexation delay, economic slump and his own unforced errors are making snap elections less attractive by the day.

Other Top Commentary/Analysis:
The unpaid leave (pun for ‘applying) of sovereignty (Sima Kadmon, Yedioth Hebrew) And there will be night and there will be Wednesday morning, and there won’t be annexation Netanyahu disappeared, the replacement Gantz is actually happy to confront him, and everyone understands that the decision is actually not in the hands of either of them. And while Kahol-Lavan and the Likud arm wrestle and threaten with elections on every possible issue, at the Balfour residence (of the Prime Minister), they maybe are -not - happy to hear about a new channel created under the auspices of corona, between the current defense minister and his predecessor (Naftali Bennett), who warns of catastrophe, and this week set up the Corona Civilian Cabinet, whose members are epidemiologists, economists, medical professionals, representatives of business owners and even the founder of the Shulmans (self-employed) party, Abir Kara. And this is just the beginning…On Sunday, the civil cabinet meets at the office of Amos Yadlin, head of the National Security Studies Institute. Also in attendance will be Maj. Gen. Giora Island, who was the head of the Operations and Planning Division in the IDF and chaired the National Security Council. At the time of the first wave of the epidemic, he was one of the strong critics of the government and of the decision-making process.
The Explosion at Natanz Is a Direct Hit on Iran's Nuclear Program (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) They're still assessing the damage to the nuclear facility, but Iran is already blaming Israel. They may try to retaliate.
Israel needs a professional, honest police force, but that's very unlikely under Netanyahu (Zehava Galon, Haaretz+) If something surprising doesn’t happen, in the next few months we will see a criminal defendant choose the next police commissioner. He won’t do it directly, God forbid. It will be done for him by his mole in the Public Security Ministry, Amir Ohana. They saw how police arrested protesters who didn’t do anything, and then the public security minister tried to falsely accuse them of blocking roads, and even released a doctored video clip to justify his claims. He never apologized. Even after the police admitted in a court hearing that Haskel didn’t block any road.
Journalists Are Under Attack in Many Arab States, but Those in Syria Are Trapped in a Minefield (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Vulnerable to arrests, torture and even death at the hands of the Assad regime and militias, Syrian journalists 'never know the rules we need to follow.’

Annexation: What happened (and didn’t) on July 1?
In a +972 webinar, experts Diana Buttu and Emily Schaeffer Omer-Man shared key lessons and ways forward in the fight against Israeli annexation. (Interviewed by Amjad Iraqi in 972mag)

Strategic affairs minister: Kahol-Lavan and Likud are two parties committed to totally different values
Strategic Affairs Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen (Kahol-Lavan) also said there are increasing attacks on Israel’s legitimacy. (JPost/Maariv)

PODCAST: How the Palestinian Authority undermines resistance to annexation
By obsessing over statehood and relying on foreign aid, the Palestinian leadership has crippled its people's ability to mobilize against the occupation, says scholar Dana El Kurd. El Kurd is the author of “Polarized and Demobilized: Legacies of Authoritarianism in Palestine,” a book that examines how the Palestinian Authority, which was created under the Oslo Accords in 1993, repressed and diluted political activity in the occupied territories. (Interviewed by Amjad Iraqi in 972mag)

'In Turkey, Thousands Are Jailed for Their Views': Meet the NBA Star Who Dares Fight President Erdogan
Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter tells Haaretz how he lives under constant threat for his long-distance fight for freedom in Turkey. (Interviewed by Elad Zeevi in Haaretz+)


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