News Nosh 7.12.20

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday July 12, 2020

You Must Be Kidding: 
"Of course, this is not the foundation's policies or ideology, but international laws that the organization cannot change, and that our donors are subject to."
--The official state fundraising arm, Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal, tries to explain why it essentially boycotts settlements.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • The cry (almost full page photo of Rabin Square full of demonstrators)
  • Watching with concern - Scouts in danger of being closed down
  • On the edge of collapse - The gloomy forecast of the heads of hospital internal wards
  • “Want to feed a Bedouin?” The racist video clip of the children’s star, Roy Boy

Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)

  • The square of rage (2/3 page photo of Rabin Square full of demonstrators)
  • The public isn’t stupid // Ben Caspit
  • Government of disconnect (from reality) // Yehuda Sharoni
  • Report: Another explosion heard last night in Teheran
  • Ad: Sovereignty? - Over all of the Land of Israel! The sanctity of life is above all! Declaration of Sovereignty over a small part of Judea and Samaria, according to the ‘Deal of the Century,’ is like a declaration of a complete concession of the rest of the land, and it will directly bring about the establishment of a Palestinian state, with all this implies. Jewish law rules: Any declaration in this spirit is prohibited and encourages the enemy to increase pressure and terror and brings about bloodshed. The only way for peace and security is full control, real sovereignty and a wave of construction over all of the land of Judea and Samaria...400 great rabbis of Israel signed on a ruling, based on the Jewish Law, which prohibits any negotiation of the land of Israel. —The Rabbinical Congress of Peace.
Israel Hayom
  • “We don’t want our life’s work to go down the drain” - After the demonstration in Rabin Square: Protesters blocked highways in Tel-Aviv
  • Isolated out of choice: Israelis who sentenced themselves to quarantine - out of fear
  • Withdrawal, not collapse // Amnon Lord
  • The Likud: “The ultra-Orthodox don’t have anything to check Gantz for?” - The dispute over the state budget still has yet to be solved
  • Avi Rikan in a post-championship interview: “I love going to big games”
  • Lior Kalfon against Prof. Less: “Corona is the monster mother of the flu”

Top News Summary:
Ten thousand people demonstrated at Tel-Aviv’s Rabin Square against the failure of the government to financially help people, thousands more demonstrated at junctions across the country against Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, corruption and his government’s anti-democratic moves, while the Attorney General barred Netanyahu from making decisions regarding law enforcement due to a conflict of interests in light of his corruption trial and talk of elections continued - making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Meanwhile, another explosion went off near Teheran and the New York Times reported that Israel and the US are developing a joint strategy of harming senior Iranian officials and Iranian nuclear facilities. Israel’s official fundraising organization bans its beneficiaries from operating in settlements and a young Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli soldiers in what appears to be a wrongful act, but was mainly reported as being the dead man’s fault (see Quick Hits below).

Only Israel Hayom made the demonstrators in Tel-Aviv Saturday night, the self-employed and the unemployed, look like bad guys, by declaring on the front page that some protesters blocked “highways in Tel-Aviv.” Inside the paper, the article gave the protest and the blocking of streets equal weight with the title, “They protested - and blocked roads.” The other papers also reported that at the end of the protest at the square, some of the protesters marched through the city shouting “Bibi, go home” and “Bibi, go to jail” and “This is war" and blocking traffic. They were dispersed by cavalry police, who detained 19-20 of them. (Maariv and Ynet and VIDEO) Yedioth Hebrew also reported that Netanyahu tried to stop the demonstration from taking place. On Friday, while Netanyahu was meeting with representatives of the self-employed to soften the protest organizers - police tried to stop the work to set it up at Rabin Square. And Haaretz+ reported that police summoned one man over a Facebook post he wrote calling on people to attend the protest. Even before the Saturday night protest over the economy, Yesh Atid Chairman, MK Yair Lapid, warned Thursday that protests may turn violent as more income groups now feel the economic crunch of reimposed virus restrictions. Also Saturday night, the ‘Black Flags’ protest grew to an enormous size - with thousands of demonstrators at 170 junctions across Israel, where demonstrators protested corruption and anti-democratic measures for the third consecutive week, saying there was a straight line between the government corruption and the failure in dealing with the corona crisis. “When the Prime Minister is busying with hiring lawyers, tax breaks for his family and escaping the trial he has no time or interest in the citizens of the state.

Oddly, or not, Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz expressed his support for the people protesting against the economic failures of his government. The ever-persistent differences between Likud and Kahol-Lavan continue to increase as does the talk of a fourth elections. Kahol-Lavan and Labor accuse Netanyahu of pushing towards another elections. Following the release of Netanyahu’s economic rescue plan, Kahol-Lavan accused him of throwing around money in order to go to elections. Presently, Likud and Kahol-Lavan are in a dispute over the state budget. Kahol-Lavan demands a two-year budget (Maariv), but Netanyahu insists on a one-year budget. “Why is it impossible to do a 1.25 year budget, but it’s possible to announce an economic plan for a year ahead?” one Kahol-Lavan asked Channel 12 News (reported in Maariv). Minister of Economy Amir Peretz (Labor) accused Netanyahu of being the reason that the government is dealing with politics instead of corona.” (Maariv) Peretz said that “If Netanyahu insists on going to the polls at the expense of the well-being of the citizens, his natural partners will also make accounts with him." Israel Hayom Hebrew quoted Likud sources who were upset that the ultra-Orthodox parties, which are allied with Likud, are getting closer to Gantz. As a result, the decision over the budget will be postponed. A senior member of Likud insisted they had no reason to transfer their alliance to Kahol-Lavan. “The ultra-Orthodox do not have a position like ours in matters of the judiciary. Security matters do not interest them. They get the things that are important to them, the budgets for the yeshivas. So come on, it's all good.” ‘Israel Hayom’ noted that in Kahol-Lavan there are fears that Netanyahu is planning a political move that will bring down the government and that it is connected to a one-year budget.

**Israel Hayom Hebrew reported that the official Israeli state institution for fundraising abroad for Israel won't provide funding for organizations that work in settlements. In other words, the official Israeli organization essentially boycotts settlements - an act that was made illegal in 2011. [NOTE: Israely Hayom did not call it a 'boycott' or note the irony, just its outrage. - OH] Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal (UIA) explained that the reason it won't provide funding for organizations working over the Green Line is technical, not ideological. Nevertheless, it accepts the conditions. The organization, with branches in 45 countries, demands from Israeli organizations receiving funds from it not to invest in in the West Bank and the Golan Heights in the face of the tax policies of countries around the world. The letter of commitment, which is signed by any institution receiving budgetary assistance, states that "we are not involved and/or engaged in any way in activities beyond the borders of the State of Israel as they were before on the 4th of June 1967. And we promise not to deal with activities as such with the donation money.“ It should be noted that senior members of Keren Hayesod have tried over the years to change the problematic clause, but the tax laws in the countries from which the donors come, such as Germany, Brazil, Australia and more, do not provide tax benefits for projects beyond the Green Line. As a result, attempts to remove the limitation failed and it remained as before. Keren Hayesod responded: "Keren Hayesod raises hundreds of millions of dollars from all over the world. The donations are obtained from independent fundraisers that are legally registered in the various countries. Unfortunately, the existing tax laws in those countries do not allow tax credits on donations beyond the Green Line. Of course, this is not the foundation's policies or ideology, but international laws that the organization cannot change, and that our donors are subject to."

Corona Quickees:
  • Israel Ranks Third in Highest Daily Infection Rate Among European Countries, WHO Says - Palestinian death toll rising in the West Bank. Netanyahu admits economy reopened too soon. Three lawmakers, army chief, second cabinet minister quarantined. (Haaretz)
  • Israel sees further rise in coronavirus infection rate, jump in serious cases - The Health Ministry reports that contagion rate in Israel now stands at staggering 6%, with 1,148 people testing positive for COVID-19 on Saturday; IDF says there 6 new COVID-19 hotspots in Israel that require 'unique treatment.' (Ynet)
  • Israeli HMOs warn they'll start 'throwing away' virus tests due to overload - HMOs warn of an imminent collapse of coronavirus medical labs if number of tests conducted daily is not capped, prompting the Health Ministry to mull new guidelines, prioritizing testing for at-risk populations. (Ynet)
  • Gym owner crashes coronavirus cabinet meeting in plea for solutions - Stella Weinstein, a mother of three from Ashdod and the owner of the "Lazuz" fitness center, implored cabinet members to discuss reopening gyms posthaste, claiming currently available data about gyms does not justify financial damage caused by forced closure. (Ynet)
  • Protest Takes Center Stage as Coronavirus Transforms LGBTQ Pride Events in Israel - Events to mark Pride month have been radically different across Israel this year due to the pandemic. Although lockdown created new pressures and problems, community leaders say people are rising to the challenge. (Haaretz+)
  • Second coronavirus wave seems to be making Israelis less sick, doctors say - Younger age of patients, earlier detection and improved treatments may account for the milder nature of cases, Israeli medical experts say. (Haaretz+)

Quick Hits:
  • France's Macron Asks Netanyahu Not to Proceed With Annexation - In the first conversation on the matter between the two since Netanyahu declared target date for West Bank annexation, Macron warns of violation to international law; Netanyahu also spoke to Merkel, U.K.'s Johnson. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • 'Sovereignty not contrary to international law' - In a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu, 100 legal experts from Israel and around the world assert that "ignoring Israel's claims with respect to applying sovereignty is wrong and intellectually dishonest." (Israel Hayom)
  • Child Survivor of Duma Arson Attack to Testify Ahead of Killer Sentencing - Israeli Amiram Ben-Uliel was found guilty on three charges of murder in May for killing (burning to death) Sa'ad and Riham Dawabsheh and their son Ali. (Haaretz+)
  • Palestinian shot by Israeli army dies of wounds, authorities in West Bank say - Ibrahim Abu Yaqoub, 29, a resident of  the village of Kifl Hares, was shot in the neck, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. Israeli army said two Palestinians threw a firebomb toward an IDF patrol Friday night in the nearby village of Kifl Haris. The IDF initially said in a statement that soldiers opened fire in response and wounded one of the two. Abdullah Kmail, governor of Salfit Governorate, where Yaqoub lived, said in a statement soldiers had shot Yaqoub "in cold blood as he was walking with friends," without them doing anything unusual before the shooting. (Haaretz+)
  • IDF to investigate fatal shooting of West Bank Palestinian - Ibrahim Abu Yaqoub, 29, shot under unclear circumstances. IDF said soldiers fired upon two masked attackers who attempted to throw Molotov cocktails at an Israeli military post. Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said Abu Yaqoub was killed late Thursday night after being shot by Israeli forces in his home village of Kifl Haris, his family says he had no connection to a firebomb. IDF says soldiers provided first aid to the wounded assailant until he was turned over to the Palestinian Red Crescent, an emergency medical response service. The IDF neither confirmed or denied that Abu Yaqoub was one of the attackers shot by Israeli soldiers. [IRONICALLY:] After the funeral, protestors clashed with Israeli Border Police, who shot a 24-year-old in the chest. The demonstrator was hospitalized. [NOTE: The IDF usually detains people who tried to harm it. - OH] (Times of Israel)
  • Racist graffiti, vandalized cars in Palestinian village amid reported rise in settler violence - 'The army is here 24 hours, we know that they have cameras. How is it that when it comes to settlers inside the village, suddenly they don’t have a clue?' said mayor of Palestinian village of Lubban al-Sharqiya near Nablus. (Haaretz+)
  • Two soldiers injured as Israeli settlers resist dismantling of illegal outpost -  Border Police forces were attacked by settler activists while trying to enforce a 'closed military area' order and seal and illegally built building at an illegal outpost near Yitzhar settlement that was destroyed in the past. (Haaretz+ and Maariv, p. 9)
  • Three far-right activists questioned over graffiti in front of Supreme Court president's home - Police say the three, including prominent anti-asylum seeker activist Sheffi Paz, spray-painted graffiti saying 'Thank you burying the Law of Return, Esther Hayut buried Zionism'. (Haaretz+)
  • "Who wants to feed a Bedouin"’: Children’s TV star apologizes for racist video - Children's shows star, actor Roy Oz ('Roy Boy') admitted that he was the one who filmed himself treating Bedouin kids as if they were animals in a zoo - and encouraging his daughters to feed them cookies on a family trip they did. He apologized: “These things should not have been said.” Police: The video will be probed. Knesset Member Sundos Saleh also commented: "How to educate racism and take pride in it in three steps? Teach your children to feed the Bedouin while speaking in broken Arabic, film it and upload it proudly to social media, with wide circulation. Israeli education on supremacy is in free fall." (Maariv, Ynet Hebrew and Times of Israel)
  • The artillery women: They immigrated to Israel from the same neighborhood in New York - and enlisted in the IDF together - Celia Cohen and Liora Gershkowitz, who left a comfortable life in New York, joined the Artillery Corps, saying: "We wanted to contribute to the country." (Maariv)
  • Report: Hamas rejects [Israel's conditions for] prisoner exchange deal - Source in terrorist organization tells Saudi news outlet that Hamas' preconditions for any "serious talks" with Israel remain the same: The release of all inmates reimprisoned for terrorist activity after being let out as part of the deal for captive soldier Gilad Schalit. (Israel Hayom)
  • Hamas naval commander suspected of working for Israel flees Gaza - Unconfirmed reports claimed he escaped Gaza aboard an Israeli military boat, carrying his laptop, surveillance equipment, and "classified documents" the circulation of which would be harmful to Hamas. In recent years, the terrorist group controlling the Strip has executed dozens accused of collaboration with Israel. (Maariv and Israel Hayom)
  • Yair Netanyahu apologizes to Channel 12 anchorwoman for slanderous tweets - Channel 12's Dana Weiss filed a libel suit against the prime minister's son for tweets ridiculing her journalistic credentials. (Haaretz+)
  • US presidential election: Which of the candidates does the Israeli public prefer? - Survey conducted at end of June by Israel Democracy Institute revealed that most preferred Trump and most were right-wing. While over a quarter (26%) of respondents said they did not have a solid stance on the issue, over half (56%) responded that they believe Trump as US President is better for Israel than his rival, Joe Biden, who has only 16% of respondents. About 75% of those who supported Trump were right-wing voters, and 56% of Biden's supporters were left-wing voters. Among those voting for centrist parties, 46% supported Trump and only 20% who expressed support for Biden. [NOTE: What Israel calls “centrist” parties are mainly right-wing, such as Yesh Atid and Gesher, with the exception of the Labor party. - OH] (Maariv)
  • Car of mayor of (Arab-Israeli town) Qalansawa was set on fire, circumstances are being investigated - There were no casualties in the arson on ’Abdulbase Salameh's car last night in the town. Firefighters who rushed to the scene noticed a completely burning vehicle and the burning of thorns near the burning vehicle. (Maariv)
  • East Jerusalem: 38 arrested on suspicion of setting off fireworks in violation of the law - Residents of Jerusalem and the surrounding area suffered during all hours of the day yesterday from fireworks and live shooting in the air by Jerusalemite Palestinians celebrating successfully passing the Palestinian Authority matriculation exams. It should be noted that shooting in the air and setting off fireworks in celebration an annual spectacle on this date, however such intensity has not been remembered for years. (Israel Hayom Hebrew and JPost)
  • Fewer workplace deaths in Israel in 2020, government report claims - Ministry experts omit some accidents and downplay impact of coronavirus lockdown, which has seen a slowdown in construction work, however. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli military arrests three suspects trying to cross border from Lebanon - Incident Thursday comes after one in June in which Sudanese national tried to cross border, and another in May in which five Sudanese citizens were arrested after crossing border. (Haaretz+)
  • Erdogan Signs Order to Turn Hagia Sophia Back Into a Mosque Despite International Warnings - Court annuls a 1934 government decree turning the nearly 1,500-year-old structure into a museum. Erdogan rebuffs international condemnation. (Haaretz and Times of Israel)
  • Israel Hayom: Is Yale's Middle East Studies program tainted by BDS ties? - Congressman Scott DesJarlais urges the Department of Education to review Ivy League's program saying the school's MacMillan Center allows faculty support for the anti-Israel boycott movement. Such support would be in violation of the Higher Education Act. (Israel Hayom)
  • Danon: Obama's decision to 'abandon' Israel was lowest moment of UN tenure - Israel's outgoing Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon reflected on his last five years in office, mentioning immediate plans and some expectations for the future. (Israel Hayom)
  • Ehud Barak received $2.3 million for two studies, one was not completed, Wexner Foundation says - Statement also clarifies Jeffrey Epstein's role as a trustee of the philanthropic foundation started by Leslie Wexner. (Haaretz+ and Maariv)
  • UN official says 700 people died in Syrian camps for ISIS families - Deaths caused 'feelings of anger' that could help rekindle Islamic State activities in Syria, counterterrorism chief Vladimir Voronkov tells reporters. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Russia and West in showdown over humanitarian aid to Syria’s last rebel area - Members of the UN Security Council have been haggling over cross-border aid delivery to Syria, with Russia, a major ally of the Syria government, working to reduce the deliveries down from two crossings to just one. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • On Fifth Attempt, UN Security Council Renews Syria Aid via Turkey - The United Nations describes the aid as a 'lifeline' for Syrians in the country's northwest. Russia and China abstained from the vote after blocking the move repeatedly. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Syria's rebel-held region braces for new battle after first case of coronavirus detected - Hospitals suspend non-emergency procedures, schools close in the last rebel stronghold. Russia, China again veto UN Security Council resolution to keep aid flowing through Turkey. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Pompeo slams UN report on deadly U.S. drone strike on Soleimani - Report justifies further distrust of human rights institutions, Secretary of State says, as report describes event as watershed change in extra-territorial killings. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Shrinking water supplies threaten to put fragile Iraq 'on the edge' - The conflict-riven country has seen its water infrastructure degrade over decades both from neglect and war damage, said Tobias von Lossow, a water security expert. (Agencies, Haaretz)

For 17 Years, This Bedouin Family Lived Behind a Jordan Valley Monastery. Then Israeli Abuse Began
The army expelled the Abu Dahuq family any number of times and now, again, the 30 souls among them have no place to go. (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+)
With 'Falastin,' Chef Sami Tamimi Redefines Palestinian Cuisine
Sami Tamimi, one of the most successful Palestinian chefs in the world and co-owner of the Ottolenghi chain of restaurants in London, presents a fusion of traditional and contemporary cuisine in his latest book. He also explains what his beef is with Israeli chefs. (Ronit Vered, Haaretz+)
For Many Israelis Who Grew Up in Apartheid South Africa, Annexation Brings a Horrible Sense of Déjà Vu
Having fled their discriminatory African homeland in the 1960s and ’70s, some Israelis are now deeply worried by talk of annexation and creating a series of Palestinian ‘Bantustans.’ (Judy Maltz, Haaretz+)

Top Commentary/Analysis:
Yes, It’s Israeli Apartheid. Even Without Annexation (Michael Sfard, Haaretz+) July 1 passed without an annexation, as have the following days. Maybe we’re witnessing the evaporation of the right’s most audacious policy for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a policy that Israel’s biggest supporters have warned will turn it into an apartheid state. Does the removal of annexation from the agenda also remove the danger of apartheid? Unfortunately, the answer is no. In recent months, I have studied the issue in depth and, in a legal opinion I authored for the Yesh Din rights group, I came to a disheartening conclusion on this term’s relevancy for describing the type of control wielded by Israel in the West Bank. Yes, even without annexation.
It is disturbing to think that people like Carmel Gilon have reached key positions in the country (Prof. Arieh Eldad, Maariv) Many of our senior security personnel do not insist on the right to remain silent after their retirement. Most of them reveal their views sooner or later, and quite a few of them turn out to be leftists. [NOTE: Eldad is far right-wing and Gilon expressed opposition to annexation and in favor of 2-states. - OH]
Peter Beinart’s Great Change (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) A page-one headline in Friday’s international edition of The New York Times (a day after the piece appeared in the paper’s U.S. print edition): “I No Longer Believe in a Jewish State.” No, the significance of this cannot be overstated. Peter Beinart, one of American Jewry’s most prominent liberal intellectuals, an observant Jew who was raised in a Zionist home, who was 28 when he became the editor of The New Republic, and who later became a senior columnist at Haaretz, has said goodbye to the two-state solution and in effect issued a divorce decree to Zionism, at least in its current format. He writes: “It’s time to imagine a Jewish home that is not a Jewish state.” Beinart is not a lone voice in the United States. American Jews are beginning, if belatedly, to take a clear-eyed look at Israel, its darling. The Democratic Party is also doing so, slowly. Now we can hope that Beinart’s op-ed will motivate more and more intellectuals and others to look honestly and bravely at reality, as he has done, and to say what is still considered heresy, a betrayal of Israel and not politically correct in the United States. Beinart has seen the light. An end has come to years of a pleasant, intoxicating belief that it was possible to be a liberal Jew and still support Israel, by dint of the illusion of the two-state solution, which Israel and the U.S. never intended to carry out…
The Beinart betrayal (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) The progressive "pope," Peter Beinart, seeks to denude the Jewish state of its rightful place among the nations. Alas, he seems to have decayed into a cocoon; inside a reactionary, defeatist brain that secretes poison. In this venal endeavor, Beinart will fail.
Peter Beinart's One State Solution Sounds So Perfect It's Practically Utopian (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) I’d love to live in Beinart’s peaceful hyphenated state of 'Israel-Palestine.' But I can’t vote for it. No one actually living here is proposing it. And that’s exactly where his thesis unravels.
Understanding the collapse of liberal Zionism (Jonathan S. Tobin, Israel Hayom) Peter Beinart claimed to speak for Jewish critics of Israel. Now he wants to replace it with a binational state, leaving Jews defenseless. Is anyone really surprised?
With the annexation noise in the background, the initiative that will dramatically change the Israeli-Palestinian conflict showed up (Ran Edelist, Maariv) Almost secretly, the component that might change the picture of the conflict sneaked up. One week ago, Jibril Rajoub, former head of the (Palestinian Authority - Fatah) Preventive Security Forces and now chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, and Saleh al-Aruri, deputy head of the Hamas Politburo, held a joint video call that was broadcast at a press conference in Ramallah. The intention, they declared, is to establish cooperation between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) ahead of annexation. "Today we are coming out with one voice and under one flag, Hamas are our partners," Rajoub declared, adding, “All factions are opening a new page….” Al-Aruri said that "the factions are committed to preventing annexation and moving forward in a way that unites the Palestinian people," and that this is "an opportunity to embark on a new stage and formulate a strategy that will serve the Palestinian people at a dangerous and sensitive time for it.”…In principle: the left-wing governments - Rabin, Peres, Barak and Olmert - managed the conflict with Fatah and the PA as the first partners for an only chance for a political settlement, and the Gaza Strip as part of the settlement. The governments of Shamir, Sharon and Netanyahu gambled on the divide and rule between the Gaza Strip and Fatah, with the goal being to spark incitement between Hamas and Fatah and to harm the success of them both…And Hamas is still looking for a hudna (long-term ceasefire agreement) and a prisoner exchange, and Netanyahu is still afraid of what they will say in the synagogues in the settlements and he is stuck over the (release from Gaza of Israeli) prisoners and the bodies of soldiers. He is petty over the number of Hamas members to release from prison, but allows Qatar to resucitate Hamas, so that G-d forbid he won’t have to deal with Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) directly as the joint leader of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. At the gathering that accompanied Rajub and Al-Aruri's press conference, (Joint List Chairman, MK) Ayman Odeh also participated. Hila Korach (Channel 13) was full of astonishment on the verge of shock and did not let it go: Heaven forbid! Does Ayman Odeh support Hamas, that is, support attacking Jewish soldiers?! Odeh tried to polish an answer that would slip down the hoarse throat of the typical Israeli patriot, but it was a waste of time…Go try to explain to the TV anchor the complexity of the conflict, Israel's exclusive contribution to perpetuating the conflict, and the potential contribution of the cooperation between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to advancing a solution…Only if Ms. Korach insists on not understanding that when going to negotiations you put aside the baggage of the past, might she realize that what was in that "press conference" was a Palestinian attempt to reach negotiations with Israel with an asterisk: Kochavi and the IDF will win the next round, but due to annexation, the Palestinians will be united. Al-Arouri's message was that “annexation will leave no chance for the factions to move forward with the minimum political outline of establishing a state within the 1967 borders in the West Bank and Gaza Strip." This is a key sentence, which is supposed to deal with the Israeli convention that the Hamasniks don’t want an arrangement, they only want to destroy Israel. "The '67 borders" of Al-Aruri and Hamas are a kind of invitation to negotiations. Whether Hamas and the PA will wage a violent war against any outline that is less than 67, no one has an answer. Hamas is currently fighting for the lives of its citizens on the subjects of water, electricity and a horizon to get out of the cycle of poverty and the ills that result from it. And only the Israeli government will decide whether this situation will turn from a struggle for their citizens to a war of independence for Allah.
Something Was Missing at Tel Aviv's Economic Protest. Maybe Things Aren't Bad Enough Yet (Ravit Hecht, Haaretz+) With all the anger, insult, uncertainty and anxiety, this demonstration recalled the instinct-driven social protests of 2011 and not a civil uprising of humiliated, frightened and hungry people.
The public is not stupid - and it stopped paying and being silent (Ben Caspit, Maariv) The current war is not about the exaggerated rent on Rothschild Street, nor about the exorbitant tuition at nursery schools and for after-school care. The current war is for people’s home. It’s about this country. About its form, its values, its elected representatives, its future.
'Israel's Mideast Enemies Adapted. They Now Operate in the Shadow of Coronavirus' (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) The series of incidents in Tehran and the deepening Lebanon crisis spell a sensitive period for Israel in the coming week. Annexation date came and went? Not in this army unit.
What the corruption charges and 'Just not Bibi' campaign couldn't do, the virus will (Ravit Hecht, Haaretz+) Barring a fundamental change in the government’s handling of the economy in the coronavirus crisis, a wave of civil disobedience is about to erupt, the likes of which has not been seen in Israel. This will not be the protest of the summer of 2011, with the tents and the holy rage over the inability to buy an apartment in Tel Aviv, or just another hate spectacle against Benjamin Netanyahu. It will be the protest of wounded, trampled people, whose dignity was robbed and whose children face hunger. It will take place against the backdrop of the collapse of the middle class, and mainly over the pathological detachment of the government, which has more ministers and deputy ministers than there are ventilated patients in the hospitals.
Netanyahu needs his own Mt. Rushmore speech (Amnon Lord, Israel Hayom) Some protest organizers view the coronavirus pandemic as an ally in their "anyone-but-Netanyahu" campaign to topple the prime minister.
The Likud should fear a protest vote (Yaakov Ahimeir, Israel Hayom Hebrew) A government headed by two people so different in temperament, did it even have a small chance of being “boring"? The closer the date of the exchange (of leadership), the greater the tension between them. Of all times, now, in the face of the epidemic and the need to protect human lives, the government had an excellent chance of functioning properly. After all, it set a target that had to be reached…The most important thing: The promises for financial compensation to unemployed, business and others harmed by the epidemic were not fulfilled at the date that Netanyahu set. Sharon, at the time, pounded on the hood of a car in order to strengthen his demand to speed up the preparations for housing solutions for those (settlers) evicted from Gush Katif (Gaza Strip). And now, the continuation of this government depends on the strength of the cries of the employers whose source of income has ended. One of those shouting already waved his clinched fist at the camera, threatening…Polls show this spirit is harming the people’s trust in the prime minister. This trend could change if and when the self-employed see financial aid promised to them transferred to their bank accounts. Maybe then we’ll hear a sigh of relief and maybe then Netanyahu will feel relieved that the elections issue will evaporate. Otherwise, at the time of elections a mass protest vote of desperate and of hardcore Likudniks could happen. And that could end Netanyahu’s term.
Netanyahu the Magician Finally Fumbles His Rabbit – and the Threat of an Early Election Recedes (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+)  It turns out that Gantz and Ashkenazi made clear to Pompeo that annexation was a poor idea, while the failed effort to have judges investigated made Netanyahu look bad in a couple of ways.
The left lacks a plan for the day after Netanyahu (Ze'ev Avrahami, Yedioth/Ynet) While various attempts to depose the prime minster have honorable intent, the left-wing must realize that it must court votes from the right in order to survive, thrive and truly make a difference.
Israel is sliding into a nondemocratic abyss, and we know who will be blamed (Ronit Peleg, Raphael Zagury-Orly and Itzhak Benyamini, Haaretz+) The prevailing association of Mizrahim with Netanyahu isn't just cynical and opportunistic – it's also dangerous.
Ultimately, women prefer to be defended by men (Ronit Dror, Israel Hayom) Studies show that while Israelis like the idea of women in combat, they are worried about their physical and mental abilities to function when fighting an enemy face-to-face.
Netanyahu, Do the Right Thing and Go Home (Nehemia Shtrasler, Haaretz+) Something bad has happened to Benjamin Netanyahu. Once, he loved the economy with all his heart and soul. Today, he has turned it into an abused concubine. He has attacked it in a brutal pincer movement and is strangling it to death. On one hand, he announced the closure of wedding halls, restrictions on restaurants, reductions in the number of bus passengers and the liquidation of the culture and leisure industries. On the other, he is giving the public tens of billions of shekels that he doesn’t have, with no accounting, no budget and no clue where the money will come from or how the vast deficit he has created will be covered…
East J'lem property battle highlights EU attempts to undermine Israel (Josh Hasten, Israel Hayom) After a 30-year legal battle, a Jerusalem court has ruled that the Sumarin family must vacate a property located in east Jerusalem and return it to its rightful owners. The family has been supported by some 30 left-wing organizations with many funded by the European Union.
Shadow of Gantz's hacked phone still looms over Israel's gov't, defense establishment (Gidi Weitz, Haaretz+) Netanyahu has voiced anger over head of Shin Bet not revealing more details about breach, while Gantz has accused head of Mossad of working with prime minister.
Jews aren't indigenous to Israel? According to whom? (Jonathan S. Tobin, Israel Hayom) A woke rabbi who launched a Twitter war over the meaning of a word demonstrated how leftist politics pollutes language and cancels Jewish rights.
Iran's unstable foundations are wobbling (Raz Zimmt, Yedioth/Ynet) Not every explosion or fire in the Islamic Republic is result of deliberate sabotage, but this exceptional sequence of incidents can only serve to increase the sense of insecurity felt by the heads of the regime.
Why Never Trumpers Bill Kristol and The Lincoln Project Won’t Ever Mention Israel (Jonathan S. Tobin, Haaretz+) Viral ads by two Never Trump groups, the Lincoln Project and Bill Kristol’s Republican Voters Against Trump, get rave reviews. But they're far less effective than they seem - not least among Jewish Trump voters
Nasrallah Is Running a Country in Crisis With No Solutions in Sight (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) The Trump administration appears determined to get the Hezbollah leader’s movement removed from the Lebanese government, but if that happens, Hassan Nasrallah won’t be the only casualty.
A window of opportunity in stricken Iran (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) The series of suspicious explosions at facilities within the Islamic Republic that are connected to its nuclear program shows that somebody is prepared to take advantage of the various crises that have hit the nation.
Erdogan Turns Hagia Sophia Into a Mosque: Islamists Rejoice, Trump Is Silent and Turkey’s Opposition Won’t Be Distracted (Louis Fishman, Haaretz+) ‘Hagia Sofia first, then Al-Aqsa’: Erdogan’s decree is a personal ideological triumph that won him global Islamist plaudits and muted international backlash. But it could also energize Turkey’s anti-Erdogan opposition.
'On Fridays We Would Have Kiddush, and Then Sit Down for a Ramadan Meal'
This week at the Tel Aviv airport: An American hoping to start a new life in Cyprus, and an Israeli who went on a beachside vacation during a pandemic. (Interviewed by Noa Epstein in Haaretz+)
'Girls are good enough to make it into IDF commando units'
Gali Nishri, Omer Saria, Mor Lidani, and Mika Kliger are demanding that the military stop deciding what women are capable of doing, and allow female recruits to try out for the most illustrious jobs in the army. And they want to be judged by the same criteria as their male counterparts. (Interviewed by Yair Altman in Israel Hayom)
Downsized by the Coronavirus, Israelis Find Respite in the Jobs They Can Find
Four of the temporarily unemployed tell Haaretz how a little modesty and humility can do you good, even if you’re making in shekels what you used to make in dollars. (Interviewed by Shira Kadari-Ovadia, Haaretz+)
'The Shining' on Jesus' Turf: I Stayed at a Deserted Hotel for Christian Pilgrims
An American cleric on a mission from God, two ultra-Orthodox travel agents and one famous musician. The pandemic is a time of bizarre experiences – such as being the only guest in a 200-room hotel at the Sea of Galilee. (Interviewed by Irmy Shik Blum in Haaretz+)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.