APN's daily news review from Israel - Tuesday July 14, 2020
Quote of the Day:"An absurd spectacle is taking place in the country. The decision-making is so shallow, like the water in the toddlers' pool. The public pools are closed, but those who are able to, can pay 500 for a one-time family entrance to the pool at a luxury hotel. Those who don’t have the money don’t interest anyone anyway. They can go to the beach and sit on the sand. The state will already take from him the 500 shekels for not wearing a mask in public."
--Commentator Orit Miller-Katav takes a sharp look at the government's handling of the corona crisis.**
You Must Be Kidding:
Jewish Israelis are moving to the West Bank for a better quality of life during the pandemic, while Palestinian laborers from the West Bank were forced by their Israeli employer to sleep at an Israeli garbage dump because the employer did not want to allow them to go home for fear they would not be allowed to return to work.*
- Netanyahu emptied the Knesset Corona Committee of authority because it rejected a government decision
- Another step in turning the Knesset into a rubber stamp // Haaretz Editorial
- Self-employed who earned less in 2018 received a tiny stipend
- Government failure to find leader for corona battle illustrates whole management crisis // Amos Harel
- Department for Investigating Police told parents of Eyad Alhallaq: The shooting of your son was not filmed
- State advancing massive planting of trees in Negev meant to keep Bedouin from the land
- President of Poland elected again, on the way to a conflict with the European Union
- Israeli studies revealed how the bat finds its way at night
- Method at test // Sami Peretz on the biggest economic and social experiment in the country’s history
- Waiting for the High Court // Gur Megiddo on immunity of former minister Haim Katz
- The classical Mizrachi (Arabic) music department at the Music Academy in Jerusalem is trying to connect between two approaches almost completely opposite // Amir Mendel
- “8,000 unconfirmed active cases in Israel” - Report to be presented to Knesset today declares
- Beersheva's State Cup (soccer)
- Expose - The oversight of the storage of the corona medicine
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
- Rebellion in the Knesset Corona Committee
- Protest under attack
- Rosh Hashana holiday - with immediate family only
- Sad record: 20,000 actively infected with corona
- “Opening of gyms and pools - for the good of the public”
- Despair of the virus: Soldiers in IDF are complaining
- Without fans, with the state cup - Soccer championships
- Likely: Studies in capsules will begin September 1st
Top News Summary:
In another country, it might have been a non-story, but in Israel it was the biggest story of today’s Hebrew newspapers. A Knesset committee rejected a government cabinet decision and made its own decision: to open gyms and pools. This event embodied the three main themes in today’s news: corona, quarantines and lockdowns, unemployment and overwork and public rage over the mishandling of all of the above.
Barely mentioned in the news was another huge explosion at a facility in Iran - petrochemicals - shortly after a senior Iranian official threatened that if a regime or a government was involved in the attack on the Natanz nuclear facility, “Iran will react decisively.” (Also Maariv.)
It comes at no surprise that only ‘Israel Hayom’ put the war that began Monday between the government and a single Knesset subcommittee on page 5. The Knesset’s Coronavirus Committee, headed by Likud MK Yifat Shasha-Biton, overturned a government ban on opening pools and gyms, instead of ratifying the decision that closed them last week. The Likud party was furious andiImmediately afterward, coalition whip Miki Zohar declared that the Shasha-Biton, who herself voted against the position of the prime minister and the cabinet, was “finished” and would be ousted from being chairwoman for not toeing the government line. But Kahol-Lavan wouldn’t vote in favor of ousting her so the Likud could only suspend her. The role of the committee is to oversee the steps the cabinet is taking in the fight against the coronavirus. The committee looked at the data and did not see reason to keep them closed, an act that harmed citizens who needed exercise and the businesses and instructors who needed work. Israel Hayom asked if this would cause a coalition crisis. But the rest of the papers saw this as a spark that might cause the rest of the Knesset committees to stop being rubber stamps for the government. (See fascinating commentary and analysis in the section below.)
The despair, disdain and disgust were evident in today’s news. Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman even promised to form a coalition headed by Likud within a week if the party would just replace Netanyahu. (Maariv) Like others, Lieberman also said that "The economic aid plan is a plan to save Netanyahu” and spoke about the expressions of fury towards Netanyahu and the government. “This rage leads to a deep rift within Israeli society,” said Lieberman. (103FM/Maariv) Commentator Amnon Abramovich said that the one-year budget that Netanyahu is trying to pass is a “political explosive” trick to make it possible for him to serve a full 1.5 years, as per the coalition agreement, and then bring down the government.“There is a purpose here, and it is clear to everyone. If you want to go to the March 2021 elections you pass a budget that last till then, and then the government falls apart." Kahol-Lavan wants a two-year budget. (Maariv) Rock singer Asaf Amdursky shocked people when he called on the public to come and demonstrate in front of the prime minister's residence today to “overthrow the Bastille.” In a Facebook post Monday, Amdursky wrote: “On the 14th of July, the Bastille is being overthrown, bring flak jackets because [Netanyahu’s] puppy for public security [Minister Amir Ohana] has already summoned the riot police and maybe also the Border Police...this is how it is in dictatorships: the security services are operating against the people.” Amdursky added: “Anyone who has the opportunity to bring a torch - such as youth movements, for example, which were also closed by the crook [Netanyahu] - or just a pot or horn is welcome to come to Balfour to make his protest clear and direct!” In the post, he goes on to list numerous controversial and problematic acts by Netanyahu, the police and the government. Amdursky already made headlines for speaking sharply against Netanyahu at the massive demonstration Saturday night at Rabin Square, calling him a ‘crook.’ (Maariv and ICE)
- For 2nd time in a week, Israel sees biggest daily leap in new coronavirus case - More than 20,000 active cases. Health authorities report almost as many infections in July as March, April combined; number of cases set to double every 12 days; 177 patients are in serious condition and 55 of them on ventilators. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- In third night of lockdown protests, police arrest Haredi demonstrators as protest turns violent - Police arrest 16 in Jerusalem, as trash cans burned amid mounting anger at government ‘discrimination’; many in community said to use unapproved COVID-19 test to evade quarantine. (Ynet and Times of Israel)
- Haredim feel persecuted, decry 'selective enforcement' of corona measures - "In Beitar, a woman is fined 2,000 shekels, but in Tel Aviv, police hand out masks," claims Shas MK. Israel Hayom obtains figures showing that less than 2% of fines handed out from July 1-7 were distributed in Haredi cities. (Israel Hayom)
- Joblessness in Israel Exceeded 12% Ahead of Latest Rise in Coronavirus Cases - Figures put at 507,000 the number of people who were deemed unemployed in the first two weeks of June. (Haaretz+)
- Knesset concludes plenum without discussing aid plan for virus-hit economy - Parliament speaker says petitioned gov't to provide version of bill by 4pm to expedite legislative process; grants to self-employed, businesses could be delayed. (Yedioth/Ynet)
- Israeli Social Workers Protest in Jerusalem Over Poor Employment Conditions - Ongoing strike over low wages and heavy workloads could affect some 1.5 million people using social services, as demand rises amid the coronavirus crisis. (Haaretz+)
- Tel Aviv Fined 750 Businesses Over Coronavirus Regulations, Jerusalem Fined None - Tel Aviv municipality issued more fines to business owners than the seven other cities with the highest number of coronavirus cases combined. (Haaretz+)
- Will High Holidays be marred by corona lockdown? - Data about the spread of coronavirus in the next few weeks will decide if the government will shut down the country for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur like it did for Passover, or limit itself to PR outreach encouraging the public to avoid gathering with extended family. (Israel Hayom)
- Steinitz says Israel must impose 10-day lockdown to fight coronavirus - The energy minister says being disconnected from Europe, which has marked Israel as a state with high COVID-19 rate, for '2 or 3' months will damage 'the basic mechanisms' of the economy; adds Israel made mistake by reopening too fast. (Ynet)
- Israel Claims Security Cameras Where Police Shot Autistic Palestinian Were Not Working - Eyad Hallaq's family suspects the police 'are concealing evidence' as investigation into his death in Jerusalem's Old City nears close and authorities say there is no security camera footage of the incident. (Haaretz+)
- For Second Day in a Row, Jerusalem Police Tear Down anti-Netanyahu Protest Camp - City calls claim that protesters were wounded in clashes 'baseless,' while protesters say police and city inspectors arrived without a warrant and began confiscating personal items. (Haaretz+VIDEO, Maariv, Times of Israel and Ynet)
- Land of Israel Lobby beats Netanyahu to the punch on sovereignty - MKs Haim Katz and Bezalel Smotrich present a bill covering Israeli sovereignty in Area C that includes a mechanism to protect areas outside the map and meet the "humanitarian needs" of non-Israeli residents. (Israel Hayom)
- 11 European Foreign Ministers Urge EU to List Options to 'Deter' Israeli Annexation - 'Time is short,' top diplomats warn in a letter to the EU foreign policy chief, calling for concrete steps that 'would provide us with a solid basis for further discussions.' (Haaretz+)
- Jordan: Israel's sovereignty bid jeopardizes regional peace - Any attempt to unilaterally change the status of the West Bank will fuel regional instability and dim hopes of a final settlement of the decades-old Arab-Israeli conflict, King Abdullah warns. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
- *Interest in Moving to Israeli Settlements Grows Amid Talk of Annexation, Pandemic - Lockdown policies are pushing Israelis to seek bigger houses and more open space, and perspective annexation is the icing on the cake. (Haaretz+)
- Palestinian Workers Forced to Sleep in Trash-sorting Plant Because Employers Feared Coronavirus Lockdown - Workers at Jerusalem plant say they slept in inadequate conditions which violate hygiene standards, and believe management is trying to break up their efforts to organize. (Haaretz+)
- Palestinian Authority arrested Palestians ‘for backing annexation' on Israeli TV - Despite PA denial, relative of one detainee says he has been in jail for weeks and will face trial; Channel 13 report disguises faces and voices as interviewees express desire for Israeli identity card, say they don't see Israelis as enemies and even 'chose Israel.’ (Agencies, Ynet and Israel Hayom)
- In first, Saudi scholar publishes article in Israeli academic journal - New research delves into Prophet Muhammad's strategic and personal ties with the Arabian Peninsula's Jewry; TAU official cites publication as 'important' for bringing the two nations closer. (Ynet)
- Israeli Court Rejects Request to Revoke Amnesty’s Petition Against Spyware Firm NSO's Export License - Tel Aviv judge 'endorsed the Defense Ministry’s talking points,' human rights activist charges, as petitioners claim the court ignored evidence that NSO's phone hacking software was used to spy on journalists and dissidents. (Haaretz+ and Ynet and Israel Hayom)
- Israel Advancing Four Power Plants Expected to Dangerously Pollute Air, Groundwater - Environmental Protection Ministry warns that combined pollution from the four natural gas powered plants planned for the Jezreel Valley poses a risk to residents. (Haaretz+)
- Israeli watchdog reveals 28 Hezbollah missile sites in Beirut civil centers - Report uncovers sites used for production, storage, and launches of medium-range ballistic missiles; Hezbollah reportedly holds hundreds of missiles with range of up to 300 km (185 miles) (Ynet)
- Hezbollah needs to be dismantled, top Lebanese officials say - Former minister Ahmed Fatfat says that the Iranian-backed terrorist organization that all but controls parliament is preventing reform. Lebanon's top Christian cleric Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai says the country cannot be dictated to in a manner that isolates it from its allies. (Agencies, Ynet and Israel Hayom)
- Accusations of Serial Assault Spark New #MeToo Wave in Egypt - Over 100 women have emerged online, accusing a former student at American University in Cairo of sexual harassment, assault, blackmail or rape. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Bahrain top court upholds death sentences against two activists - Rights groups say the confessions of Mohammed Ramadhan and Husain Moosa of killing a police officer were extracted through torture. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- US White Supremacists Trigger Twitterstorm by Using #JewishPrivilege to Bait Jews - Sarah Silverman, Josh Gad and David Simon among those pushing back by sharing their experiences of antisemitism. (Haaretz+)
- US Jews of color share experiences of racism within the community - Jews of black or Latin descent comprise 15% of the Jewish population in America. (Israel Hayom)
Features:How a 14th century document breathes life into a destroyed Palestinian village
Israel's demolition of Zakariyya al-Battikh seemingly erased its centuries-long history. Two testimonies from the Mamluk era have helped revive its memory. (Yossef Rapoport, 972mag)
The culture of lies of the corona epidemic (Itai Vered, Ynet Hebrew) This is what the peripheral damage of the virus looks like: Israel's dubious policy leads citizens to bluff about symptoms, distort financial losses and do tricks to hold too large celebration events...The corona epidemic did not create lying. Nor were unreported employment, nor failure to tell the truth born with the virus. Unfortunately, in the culture that has developed in Israel, there is a certain forgiveness for trickery, for rounding corners and for lies. For example - we are one of the leading countries in the world in pirated downloads on the Internet. But now that the public is in distress, the conduct of the government is more encouraging to people to lie. Despite the time elapsed since the first wave there is no effective testing set-up, so a person who fears he is ill is forced to lie to get tested. The economic rescue plan comes too late and too little. (The leadership) did not internalize what other countries have done - pour money. They poured money here, but on creating unnecessary government ministries. State leaders show a disconnet - the prime minister, president and health minister have all violated the quarantine and social distancing regulations, and the sense of where and where intensified as ministers and celebrities who came in contact with a verified corona case were given a VIP route for testing, while the ordinary citizen was told by the Shin Bet to enter solitary confinement. In addition, the guidelines for citizens are confusing and often illogical (a pool for swimmers is prohibited, a pool at a hotel is allowed), and it is apparent that there is no responsible guiding hand. Citizens also have a responsibility for the rise in infection. Social distancing, wearing masks and obeying guidelines are first and foremost a matter of personal responsibility. But the government's conduct in the crisis cracks the public's trust in the state and its institutions and in the guidelines from them, and encourages a culture of lying and deception. These are things that are difficult to find a vaccine for, and they may stay with us long after a vaccine for the virus is found.
Peter Beinart Doesn't Go Far Enough (Jeff Halper, Haaretz+) Liberal Zionists are belatedly waking up to the only just alternative: a single state, shared by Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs. But if Israeli Jews won’t endorse a one state solution, will they have to be dragged unwillingly into it?
**The government should be committed to the people, not to itself (Dr. Orit Miller-Katav, Maariv) The huge demonstration on Saturday night about the dismal economic situation of about a million unemployed in Israel, cried out like the cry of an entire country. Not only did the pain of the unemployed rise from there, but a voice of cry and warning towards what might be even more bleak and dangerous in the future. True, the prime minister promised to transfer the payments to them later this week. True, he also promised the self-employed representatives a weekly meeting on Friday in his office. These are necessary things, but it would have been good if they had taken place earlier and prevented all unnecessary suffering. An absurd spectacle is taking place in the country. The decision-making is so shallow, like the water in the toddlers' pool. The public pools are closed, but those who are able to, can pay 500 for a one-time family entrance to the pool at a luxury hotel. Those who don’t have the money don’t interest anyone anyway. They can go to the beach and sit on the sand. The state will already take from him the 500 shekels for not wearing a mask in public. People are stuck at home with the kids and have no air to breathe. No work, no money, no public transport on Saturdays to travel to the sea, no public public pool, and there is also no response from the ministers who are responsible for those issues of advancing, community and cooperation. Nothing and nada. What will families do at home day after day? And this is only in the narrow aspect of young children, what about summer courses and training for youth that have been canceled? Sports competitions and training camps for those who dedicate their lives to it? If they had thought about the consequences in depth it might have been possible to sustain most things, give people a livelihood and avoid mental anguish. The focus of attention should now be on the vision for the future. The intense heat leads to the flames of fires in agricultural areas and woods, but also to fires inside the houses themselves. Domestic violence has risen by hundreds of percent since the outbreak of the corona. The shelters for battered women are filled to capacity, and many teens leave their homes to the streets, fleeing to a "protected" place. And during this time the social workers are on strike, and rightly so. About a thousand jobs need to be given and those who work on a starvation wage find themselves torn between one heartbreaking case and another. The social workers are crying out for state aid, for training for workers, for a wage increase, because in the current situation they cannot provide a solution to all the hardships. The longer they go on strike, the greater the number of cases. At the same time, doctors warn of what is to come. After all, summer will be over in a few months and then the hard blow will come and the flu patients will flock to the inpatient departments of the hospitals, where there are about 500 positions for doctors that the government needs to approve. All 111 department heads in the hospitals in the country warn of what might happen when the hospitals are flooded with flu and pneumonia patients and at the same time corona patients. Who will they prefer then? It is clear, again the elderly patients will pay the price in their lives. They will not be resucitated. A great government has a responsibility to take care of the near and distant future, to plan the next moves and to be prepared for various nightmare scenarios. This is its role: to care for the general public, to set a personal example and to be committed to the people, not to itself.
On Saturday we experienced a crucial moment, a deja vu of Tahrir Square (Zur Sheizaf, Ynet Hebrew) For four years we, the adults, have been fighting the battlefields for democracy. And suddenly the young people are at intersections, on bridges and in squares. It’s like Cairo 2011.
The best defense is a good outcry (Yehuda Shlezinger, Israel Hayom) This public, with is unique needs and lifestyle, sees itself as a scapegoat for the rest of society, and feel that PM Netanyahu is treating them unfairly, as well as putting the unity government at risk.
Clear and immediate danger: The social and economic crisis threatens to explode on us all (Keren Ozen, Maariv) As the country knows how to deal with the Iranian threat, it remains to be hoped that the government will address the criticism and also know how to dismantle the internal bomb that is ticking and threatening to blow us all up..
We have never seen demonstrations like this by the ultra-Orthodox (Yaakov Flavinsky, Ynet Hebrew) It is not extremist factions that have ignited Jerusalem in recent days, but the mainstream, middle-class and educated ultra-Orthodox public that simply can no longer contain the rage….The demonstration Monday night was in Romema, one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem. This is not a Meah Shearim. It is considered a coveted residential area both due to new construction to high standards and due to its proximity to the largest Hasidic centers in the world. The study halls of the great Hassidic courtyards - Gur, Belz, Boyan and others - are located near or within Romema. Much of the new construction is intended for affluent, even wealthy families, and many others are at least among the upper socio-economic strata. Beyond the unique location, the human fabric that participates in the demonstrations of the last few days is also exceptional. These are mainly young people and teenagers who belong to the ultra-Orthodox mainstream and not to marginalized groups that are accustomed to confrontations with police officers. The forced closure of the neighborhood, along with justified feelings of selective and violent enforcement, managed to stir up the dormant areas of ultra-Orthodox society as well. The lack of trust in the political leadership, which normally is only among certain factions, is also prevalent in the current period among the "liberal" ultra-Orthodox. Evidence of this is the unrest on social media. A large part of the protesters were updated about the holding of the demonstrations through dedicated WhatsApp groups that were set up due to the war against selective enforcement (of corona restrictions by police). Others have learned about them from other social media networks, Twitter for example. Two ultra-Orthodox media figures, Ariel El-Harrar and Yair Levy, collected dozens of documentation that allegedly reflected selective enforcement and police violence against ultra-Orthodox and posted them. Their work bore fruit and they became the leaders of the struggle. The fact that these are the ultra-Orthodox who are active in social media, and not just members of the segregated communities, indicates that anger has conquered in an unprecedented way even the moderate strata of the sector…The boiling of the street is the expression of justified rage after a long period of accepting without responding. For the ultra-Orthodox, the way they have been dealt with throughout the crisis has crossed the upper red line of what they are willing to accept without response. Now came the eruption.
The ultra-Orthodox turned Netanyahu into their political god, but discovered that they worshiped a false god (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) …After the last elections in April, the leaders of Torah Judaism and Shas could have initiated, led and implemented a historic political upheaval. They could have announced they were joining a coalition led by Gantz, but preferred to “preserve the (right-wing) bloc,” ensure the continuation of their "natural partnership" with Netanyahu, and grant it the continuation of his tenure as prime minister. The bloc has now exploded in their faces and the natural partnership has become alienation and exclusion. It is not only frustrating and depressing, it is humiliating, but they deserve it. Only the shock and upheaval caused by the corona epidemic caused thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews, especially the prevalent feeling among many, who in the eyes of many became more exposed to the virus and its spread, aroused them and opened their eyes to the discovery that Torah Judaism leaders have more important and vital to deal with than the concern, pressures, difficulties and troubles that the corona plague landed on them. The ultra-Orthodox, who flocked to the polls on election day, suddenly discovered that they voted and elected representatives in the Knesset, people who do not care at all about the daily lives of thousands of families, who are not affected or bothered by the suffering of the needy and injured in from their sector. In fact, the ultra-Orthodox public has suddenly discovered the depth of the disconnect between it and its so-called (ultra-Orthodox) representatives in the Knesset…There is a Kabbalistic term, Ataruta Deltata - an awakening that comes from below, by humans. This is the awakening, the willingness now expected from the ultra-Orthodox public to replace their representation in the Knesset and the government.
Will the Socioeconomic Experiment That Is Israel's Coronavirus Crisis Blow Up in Its Face? (Sami Peretz, Haaretz+) If someone had reported at the beginning of 2020 that Israel, like other countries, was about to carry out steps such as nationalizing an airline, increasing the health and welfare budgets, extending the period of unemployment benefits, subsidizing loans, protecting local products, paying a basic income to the unemployed and postponing mortgage payments to banks – we would have said that a social-democratic revolutionary had swept the country. Had they told us that this package would also include closing borders, creating an autarkic tourism economy and increasing the surveillance of civilians by the security services, we would have said (quietly) that our leader is a totalitarian revolutionary.
Israel Needs Lawmakers to Challenge Attempts to Turn the Knesset Into a Rubber Stamp (Haaretz Editorial) The threats to oust MK Yifat Shasha-Biton (Likud) as head of the Knesset’s ad hoc Coronavirus Committee, which stem from her refusal Monday to approve all the restrictions the cabinet sought to impose, is a continuation of the antidemocratic deterioration Israel has undergone since the coronavirus crisis began. This deterioration is especially evident in the attempts to turn the Knesset into a rubber stamp for cabinet decisions.
Fury is gripping the fringes of the robe (of power) (Chen Artzi-Srur, Yedioth Hebrew) Maybe the moment in which the Knesset (Corona) Committee stopped being the rubber stamp of the government signifies the change...Separation of powers may be a nice concept to boast about in matriculation exams, but in actuality everything has long been one dull and complicated mastication. Knesset committees have for a number of years been used as decoration committees. Lots of good intentions that end in only cosmetic changes on the fringes. The real decisions are made at best in a ministerial committee, and at worst - in one house on Balfour Street [PM’s Residence - OH]. Corona has radicalized these processes as it has done in every other field. From the moment the crisis broke out, all decisions were made in the limited forum of Binyamin Netanyahu and his confidants. Ministers, experts, MKs - were just actors in a pre-written play. This scenario did not surprise anyone. This is how three consecutive election campaigns were conducted, this is how the Operation Protective Edge military campaign was conducted. The only difference this time is the public patience. This patience is on the edge and it produces rage. Anger that begins to ignite the very long robe of power. Yifat Shasha-Biton, an MK from Kulanu party, which became part of the Likud as part of a family reunification, is probably not accustomed to the cult's laws, and especially with the written and unwritten law of always aligning with the boss. She saw the helplessness. People are neither stupid nor irresponsible. All in all, they are looking for a logical model. They want to know that they are not being played with in life arbitrarily. So the committee did what committees were supposed to do - convened, heard experts, saw data, argued a lot, and made a decision: to open pools and gyms. An independent decision of a committee that, surprise surprise, has powers in the Knesset of Israel. A rare moment to be guarded and protected. Coalition chairman Miki Zohar (Likud) did not even blink when he informed Shasha-Biton that she was being fired. He did not even pretend to present any display of a reasonable explanation. It’s possible that gyms are the most contagious place in the universe, but this aspect has been abandoned in favor of a political order whose whole point was not to embarrass the prime minister. Just this weekend Zohar took pride in three things: power, money, honor. For a moment, the committee in the Knesset tried to discuss more fundamental issues such as livelihood, health and civic life. And when these two trucks are on the same route, in Israel it must reach a glorious accident. So the threats of dismissal were immediate, ugly. This time, too, the assumption was that this order would pass by the obedience of a flock of sheep. But the rage, is there. At the edge of the robe. So Kahol-Lavan did not support it [the ousting of Shasha-Biton], the social media networks erupted, and the glorious farce was not long in coming. Not dismissal, but disciplinary sanctions. Not dismissals, but a light punch to the nose. Perhaps this moment, when the Knesset committee ceased to be a rubber stamp, signifies a slow movement of underground currents. The kind that testify to a backbone, a fragile fish skeleton, that is beginning to settle in the backs of public servants. Those who have already realized that their credit from us really soon is going to expire.
China Is Winning the Middle East and Trump Is Helping It (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) Bejing is emerging as a regional competitor to the U.S. in trade, technology and now militarily too.
Shortening mandatory service is a danger to Israel (Prof. Efraim Inbar, Israel Hayom) Soldiers in uniform for less time means the army has less time to train them and can make use of their skills for a shorter period. In addition, there is no benefit in releasing potential young workers early at a time of rife unemployment.
Near Yitzhar or in Area C, selective enforcement is bad (Gilad Sharon, Yedioth Hebrew) Whether it is illegal Palestinian construction or the violence of the lunatics, the children of the fanatics, when the authorities arbitrarily decide where to enforce the law and where not - there will be anarchy.
Don't accept the myth of 'Jewish privilege' (Jonathan S. Tobin, Israel Hayom) Jews reclaimed a hashtag by writing about anti-Semitism. The problem is how extremists seek to shame them into silence or acquiescence to radical schemes.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.