APN's daily news review from IsraelTuesday July 21, 2020
You Must Be Kidding: “Traitor, leftee, a big zero."
--What Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's supporters called former IDF deputy chief of staff, Yair Golan, before spitting on him at a anti-Netanyahu protest encampment outside the Prime Minister's Residence.**
- Government retracted: Education system, beaches and swimming pools will stay open
- Likud tricks harm the health of the public // Amos Harel
- Researchers: Hundreds of people responded well to corona vaccine
- Last deadline for passing budget gets closer, and advancing it has been halted by the dispute between Netanyahu and Gantz
- Series of incidents in Iran embarrasses the regime and could provoke it to clash with Israel // Amos Harel
- Two indicted in the lynch of the asylum seeker in Beersheva were acquitted for thinking he was a terrorist
- Foreign Minister of Hungary in Israel: We and you are the most attacked in the world
- ’77 in 2020 // Uzi Baram on government response to crises then and now
- After she went from an immigrant absorption center to the top of tae kwan do in Israel, Rivka Baich dreams of the Tokyo Olympics
- Standing at the front lines - When hospitals are collapsing under the overload and more and more families need social welfare services, these are the two women who are running the battle:
- We have hope // Eti Eliav, nurse
- We are transparent // Tamar Tiar-Turjeman // social worker (Hebrew)
- Farmers' law suit against Iron Dome anti-missile battery and the dangerous radiation
- 3-year-old infant died from heat stroke after being forgotten in car
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
- Open to business - Public pressure worked (restaurants and pools to stay open)
- Aid plan: Grant to needy was increased
- Oxford: Progress in development of virus vaccine
- Report: Israeli attack in Syria
- Rift in Likud - between Finance Minister Katz and Coalition Chairman Miki Zohar
- The magician // Ben Caspit on Netanyahu breaking commitments
- Dimona: 3-year-old died after being forgotten hours in car
- Test days - In the open air it’s safer
- In parallel to the light improvement in infection rates, a change to the restrictions; Health Ministry emphasizes: Public’s conduct will decide
- From start of school year, 5th and 6th graders will do distance-learning; Parents protest
- In violation of guidelines: Some 100 high school students celebrated at end of year party
- Correction in grants plan: More money to those receiving monthly allowances
- Likely: [Canadian-Israeli billionaire] Sylvan Adams - Head of the Olympic Committee
- IDF Unit 8200 against the tech firms: Stop stealing our people
- Report: Israel attacked near Damascus
- Tragedy in Dimona: 4-year-old apparently forgotten in car for hours and died
- They confessed and were convicted of tax evasion: Bar Refaeli expected to do community service, her mother, Tzipi, is expected to go to prison
Top News Summary:
The nurses’ strike ended a day after it began once the Finance Ministry agreed to provide a budget to hire 2000 more nurses
and improve their conditions, ahead of the meeting of the resolute and surprisingly independent Knesset Corona
Committee, the government backed down and agreed to allow pools and restaurants to stay open, meanwhile,
a bitter dispute broke out between Likud heavyweights accusing each other of
making corona-related decisions based on personal interests, while Kahol-Lavan party managed to get the
government to change the government grants for everyone so that they are larger for the
needy and there are none for the rich, and, lastly, according to foreign reports, Israel attacked Iranian targets in Syria, killing seven - and making the top stories in today’s Hebrew
Also, Maariv reported that a number of non-governmental organizations and extra-parliamentary bodies are presently organizing to petition the court to force Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to take a leave of absence, known as an ‘incapacitation’ period, claiming that it’s impossible to run a country during a crisis and show up to criminal trial hearings three times a week. (See interesting commentary by Gur Megiddo and Ido Baum in TheMarker in Commentary/Analysis below.) Haaretz+ news and Maariv’s commentator Ben Caspit wrote about how Netanyahu is fighting with Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz over the length of the state budget in order to keep himself in power. (See also Ben Caspit in Commentary/Analysis below.)
And Attorney General Avichai Mendelblitt accused Netanyahu loyalist, Public Security Minister Amir Ohana, of spreading “conspiracy theories” by making “baseless, false accusations” against him that he and the law enforcement agencies were not dealing with suspicions of incitement against Netanyahu and members of his immediate family. (Also Maariv)
**Meanwhile, Netanyahu supporters set up a tent near his those who oppose him, outside the official residence on Balfour Street. Policemen had to part the camps. Netanyahu supporters called MK Yair Golan (Meretz) “Traitor, leftee, and a big zero,” and spat on him and cursed him. Another anti-government demonstration is expected Tuesday against the Agreement Act, which will allow the government to bypass the Knesset and set corona restrictions that will take effect immediately, before being approved by the legislature. (Ynet Hebrew)
Also worthy of note, today, Yedioth put on its Ynet Hebrew website “a full list” of its project to encourage Israelis to visit small businesses. Unlike the promo it gave yesterday in the print paper by profiling 26 businesses, none of which were of Arab-Israeli owned, today out of the 74 businesses profiled, only six were owned by Arab-Israelis. Arab-Israelis are 20% of the population of Israel.
- Knesset Approves 'Restrained' Bill on Shin Bet Digital Tracking in Coronavirus Fight - Tracking by security service extended until 2021, but the cabinet would have to reconfirm it every 21 days, and the Health Ministry must launch a mobile app that will facilitate contact tracing. (Haaretz+, Israel Hayom and Ynet)
- Health Ministry reports 1,183 new virus cases, 4 more deaths - Number of serious patients rises to 264, with 80 on ventilators; government to reinforce health system with 2,000 nurses, 400 doctors in a bid to end labor dispute. (Ynet)
- Coronvirus Puts Impoverished Israeli Soldiers Even More in Debt - The army once let many needy soldiers in noncombat roles hold down jobs in addition to their service, but the virus put a stop to that as restaurants and stores close. (Haaretz+)
- Ministers approve additional virus stipend for weaker sectors - Recipients of social security payments to be granted extra 750 shekels on top of original amount to be distributed to every Israeli adult; high-earning civil servants and independent business owners will no longer receive any handout. (Ynet)
- Likud heavyweights make it personal in coronavirus clash - Finance Minster Israel Katz and coalition chair Miki Zohar, both of Netanyahu's party, trade insults at Knesset Finance Committee meeting on pandemic compensation after Zohar calls for higher recompense for businesses. (Ynet and Maariv)
- Israel negotiates purchase of promising COVID-19 vaccine - Health Ministry said to hold talks with AstraZeneca over experimental COVID-19 vaccine; injection reported safe, to produce immune response in early-stage clinical trials in healthy volunteers. (Agencies, Ynet)
Turkey suspends flights to Iran amid coronavirus outbreak - Iranian health officials play
down president's figure of 25 million people infected. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Hungary Backs Talks Based on Trump's Mideast Plan, Foreign Minister Says in Israel - Visiting Jerusalem, Peter Szijjarto also says Israel and Hungary are among the three countries 'most attacked by international organizations or by global mainstream media.’ (Haaretz+)
- Israeli Soldier, Prison Guard Acquitted in Death of Asylum Seeker They Mistook for Terrorist - Pathology report states that Haftom Zarhum died from the eight bullets three people shot at him, and not from being beaten by the defendants. Haftoum Zarhum, 29 at the time of his death, was in Be’er Sheva to renew his work permit and was catching a bus back home at the time of the incident. Zarhum was one of those most seriously injured in the incident after being shot and beaten, but was evacuated to the hospital only after all the other victims were evacuated, the indictment added. (Haaretz+, Maariv and Ynet)
- Omar was shot dead in Jaffa: “They murdered an entire family" - Omar Kahil, a young man in his 20s, was shot dead by unknown individuals about a week ago and was pronounced dead tonight. He left behind a wife and daughter about two years old. His best friend: “It’s heartbreaking.” Kahil is the 53rd person murder victim in Arab society since the beginning of the year. (Ynet Hebrew)
- Kibbutz sues IDF for exposure to 'very strong' Iron Dome radiation - Recently filed lawsuit claims not only was the Negev farming community prohibited from working substantial area of land due to deployment of missile defense system, but was only made aware of radiation five years later.o Now Kibbutz Ruhama is demanding millions of shekels from the Ministry of Defense as compensation for the land taken from it. (Yedioth/Ynet)
- "I voted for the Likud all my life": Man who put up anti-government billboard responds to attack by Yair Netanyahu - Yair Netanyahu accused Meir Edri that a billboard he had put up "would bring an end to the state and a second Holocaust." In a conversation with Ben Caspit and Inon Magal on 103FM, Edri refuted the accusations and claimed: "I am not against Netanyahu - I am in favor of the state.” The billboard showed both Prime Minister Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister Gantz and said: “855,380 unemployed.” (Maariv/103FM)
- EU Ruling, Shin Bet Cellphone Tracking Create Quandary for Israeli Tech Firms - Two developments will make it harder, more costly for firms to meet European privacy standards. (Haaretz+)
- Israel Failing on Bedouin Preschool Attendance Goals, Figures Show - Preschool attendance rates are tied to a shortage of preschools in unrecognized Bedouin committees, and belief of some that children under five should remain at home. (Haaretz+)
- Druze Heritage Conference will award six members of the community with the "Vision Award” - The conference this year, which will be broadcast on Facebook Live due to the Corona epidemic, will deal with the influence of the corona on the Druze community, the issue of Jewish Nation State Law, Druze construction, Druze identity of the Druze youth and more. The "Vision Award" will be presented to six members of the community for their work to promote the Druze in Israeli society. (Maariv)
- Israeli Top Model Bar Refaeli Convicted on Four Counts of Tax Offenses - Refaeli and her mother confessed to tax evasion on income nearing $10 million after signing a plea bargain last month that would see her facing community service and her mother 16 months in prison. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
- More Than 1,000 Senior U.S. Police Officers Visited Israel. Here’s What They Learn - Trip organizers and participants say the nature of the exchanges is often mischaracterized. (Haaretz+)
- Chevron Agrees to Buy Noble, Key Player in Israeli Energy Sector, for $5 Billion - 'Game changer' deal will bring a global energy major into the Israeli market for the first time. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
- New York-based Rozenberg Offers $75m for 44.99% of Israel's El Al - Scion of American family says he is ready to buy control of Israel’s flag carrier despite its ‘challenging’ condition. (Haaretz+)
- Israeli Court Discusses Extradition of Accused Pedophile Malka Leifer to Australia - Court to make extradition decision in September. Leifer fled to Israel in 2008 after being indicted for 74 counts of rape and sexual assault of her students in Australia. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
- 'Jews should no longer stay in Germany' - Nine months after the attack on the small Jewish community in Halle, Germany, local leaders say anti-Semitism is now on the rise. "I used to be an optimist when it comes to the future of Jewish life in Germany," says one Jewish resident. (Israel Hayom)
- Historically Jewish fraternity in Scotland rocked by rape allegations - Conduct at Alpha Epsilon Pi at center of investigation after women come forward with sexual assault allegations. (Israel Hayom)
- Syrians vote for new parliament amid measures against coronavirus - The third vote since the conflict began in 2011, and in which some 1,658 government-approved candidates are running, will produce a rubber-stamp body loyal to the president. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Iran executes man convicted of spying on Soleimani for U.S., Israel - Mahmoud Mousavi Majd was convicted of having 'links to the CIA and the Mossad.’ (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
- Pentagon report: Turkey sent up to 3,800 fighters to Libya - The report comes as the conflict in oil-rich Libya has escalated into a regional proxy war fueled by foreign powers pouring weapons and mercenaries into the country. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Egypt Says Sissi and Trump Agree on Need to Maintain Libya Cease-fire - Egyptian lawmakers are reportedly expected to vote on whether to authorize the president to deploy troops to neighboring Libya, which could pit Egypt and Turkey in a direct confrontation. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Egypt Parliament Backs Deployment Abroad After Sissi Says Could Intervene in Libya - Move comes shortly after the Egyptian presidency said Sissi had agreed with U.S. President Donald Trump to maintain a ceasefire in Libya and avoid any escalation. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- WATCH: UAE’s Amal spacecraft rockets toward Mars in Arab world 1st - The UAE has set a goal to build a human colony on Mars by 2117. (Agencies, Haaretz, Ynet and Israel Hayom)
- Saudi Arabia's King Salman admitted to hospital for tests - The 84-year-old monarch is reportedly being tested at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital due to inflammation of the gallbladder. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
- Saudi Social Media Campaign Targets Former Crown Prince - Saudi Twitter users have sent thousands of tweets accusing the kingdom's former crown prince, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, and his long-time aide of corruption, in what two Saudi sources said was a campaign to discredit him ahead of a possible indictment, as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman moves to sideline rivals to the throne after King Salman, 84, was admitted to hospital in the capital Riyadh, suffering from inflammation of the gall bladder. (Haaretz+)
Features:Young Israelis Are Finally Taking to the Streets. Here’s What’s Driving Them
For nearly four years, Amir Haskel would stand at key intersections around Israel, holding up signs demanding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s resignation. Sometimes, a handful of protesters – mostly in their sixties and seventies – would join the retired air force brigadier general. For the most part, though, it was a one-man protest movement. Try as he might, Haskel failed to interest young Israelis in his crusade against the nation’s longtime leader. As he lamented in an interview with Haaretz last December, “They’re terribly apathetic.” No longer. As the coronavirus ravages the Israeli economy and job prospects wither, young Israelis are waking up to a new reality – and they’re holding one man responsible. (Judy Maltz, Haaretz+)
Skinheads Dictating Social Policy (Haaretz Editorial) If fear is a bad adviser, then the fear of one’s electoral base is an evil one. There’s no other way to describe the decision by Finance Minister Yisrael Katz to delay the approval of a plan to give government aid to nonprofit groups that help the needy, the homeless, Holocaust survivors, sexual assault victims and other groups, just to prevent funds going to help asylum seekers…A more accurate question would be not what caused Katz to act, but who. And the answer is Sheffi Paz and Yair Netanyahu. The idea that government money would help foreigners at the bottom of the food chain brought the Israeli skinheads out of their holes.
Iran's multifarious network of influence in the West (Reza Parchizadeh, Israel Hayom) The "fake opposition," run by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, mostly acts as padding for the Islamist regime abroad.
‘Mysterious’ Incidents in Iran Could Provoke Regime to Confront Israel (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) In recent weeks Iran has apparently attempted a number of cyberattacks against Israel after it targeted its water infrastructure facilities in April.
Netanyahu is convinced that the biennial budget will bring an end to his political path (Ben Caspit, Maariv) Channel 12 News reporter said that the chances of an election in November are greatly increased because of the deadlock between Netanyahu and Gantz regarding the state budget. Netanyahu is demanding a one-year budget, although in his fortified coalition agreement with Ganz he has pledged a biennial. Gantz insists on keeping the agreement and going for a biennial only. Each of them, said Amit Segal, is convinced that if he surrenders, it means not only a painful compromise, but the end of his political career: “Netanyahu is convinced that if he allows a biennial budget, he will lose the last window in which he can go to the polls without fulfilling the rotation agreement." But the biennial budget is in the coalition agreement Netanyahu signed with Benny Gantz a few weeks ago. The best jurists and politicians spent many months preparing this agreement. Now it turns out it was a joke. The Prime Minister has no intention, plan or desire to abide by the coalition agreement he has just signed. How can it be imagined that the man will have to abide by what he signed half an hour ago? After every such trick we all call him a "magician,” instead of calling him by his name: a crook…
Political and legal bomb: The decision on the question of Netanyahu being in incapacitation period is unavoidable - and imminent (Gur Megiddo and Ido Baum, TheMarker Hebrew) The court's decision that the prime minister's trial will begin in January and take place three days a week, leads to one conclusion: Netanyahu does not and cannot have the ability to run a country like this, certainly not one that is in such a severe health and economic crisis. He must take an incapacitation leave period...Politically, it is clear that Netanyahu was entirely involved, at least until the beginning of the second wave, in planning a move aimed at bringing Israel to another round of elections, after which he hoped to obtain the political majority for personal and retroactive legislation to overturn his trial. This, along with the repeal or reduction of the High Court's constitutional oversight authority over Knesset legislation, for the purpose of preventing a ruling that would invalidate any law to repeal its law. In order to preserve this political possibility, Netanyahu rejects advancing a state budget and insists on an annual budget, in order to preserve the possibility of bringing down the government by not passing a budget - because this is the legal escape he found to dissolve the Knesset without enforcing the exchange between him and Benny Gantz. These political plots, in times of crisis, come at the expense of the administrative and political attention that was supposed to be given to the crisis itself. A prime minister immersed up to his neck in a criminal trial, during a deep economic crisis, drowns the entire country in the (troubles) in which he finds himself. At the stage when the trial is actually taking place and the witnesses testify three days a week - Netanyahu does not and cannot have the ability to run a state. In January, Netanyahu must go into incapacitation period...According to the Basic Law, if the Prime Minister is unable to perform his duties for 100 consecutive days, he is considered to be permanently unable to perform his duties. A day later, on the 101st day of the incapacitation period, the government is considered to have resigned - which will probably lead to elections...Whether the evidentiary stage of the Netanyahu trial begins in January, as ordered by the court, or whether Netanyahu manages to do tricks to delay it by another month or two, time is running out. The moment of decision on the issue of Netanyahu's incapacitation period is approaching. The ball is in Netanyahu's hands, and if he does not dribble it, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit will have to decide - or the High Court.
To: U.S. Attorney General, Re: Milikowsky-Netanyahu (Uri Misgav, Haaretz+) To: U.S. Attorney General William Barr; Charles Rettig, U.S. Internal Revenue Service commissioner; Walter J. Clayton, chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; Christopher Wray, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Dear Sirs, I unfortunately have to bring before you a serious suspicion of a clear, blatant, and prolonged violation of the 1977 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by a U.S. citizen by the name of Nathan Milikowsky. As you know, this is a federal law that forbids U.S. citizens and corporations from bribing foreign government officials to benefit their business interests. The State of Israel itself added similar legislation to its Penal Law in 2008, as part of its efforts to be accepted into the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (Article 291A, which prohibits the bribing of a foreign public official or an employee of an international public organization). Milikowsky is a Jewish American businessman and industrialist. Aside from the U.S. companies that he owns and manages, he has also invested in various Israeli companies in the high tech and medical technology industries. A great deal of information has been published in recent years in Israel and the United States regarding ongoing financial support, estimated in the millions of dollars, that Milikowsky provided over the years to his cousin Benjamin Netanyahu, who has served as the Israeli prime minister consecutively since 2009, and also served as the country’s finance minister in the past….
Censorship in a time of coronavirus (Yuval Karni, Yedioth/Ynet) Israel's fight against the second wave of the coronavirus is thoroughly out of control. The Prime Minister opts to fire Likud head of Knesset coronavirus committee for daring to question uninformed decisions and the finance minister reprimands his ministry Director General for defending her colleague; this is no way to fight the pandemic.
The big thing missing from the 2020 protests (Jalal Bana, Israel Hayom) The Arab sector is unseen and unheard, and is missing a golden opportunity to be part of the consensus.
Throwback to the 1970s: Netanyahu Is Facing His Own Yom Kippur War (Uzi Baram, Haaretz+) There’s a clear similarity between the present situation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the collapse of the Alignment (Labor Party) in 1977. In the preceding years, the Alignment was subject to criticism and accusations of corruption and immorality, a result of too many years in power. And at the same time, the majority of his supporters remained loyal to him, claiming that it was impossible to place Israel’s security in the hands of Menachem Begin. However, the Yom Kippur War diminished the aura of national security surrounding the Alignment. That opened the door to many other complaints, which had been sidelined due to the security halo.
Beinart's guilt damns a nation (Anat Talmy, Israel Hayom) Internal motives drive him to hold Israel to an unattainable standard. This is because for Peter Beinart, the ongoing conflict is entirely the fault of Israeli Jews.
You Want Planning? Take a Tip From the Settlers (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Everything that can be said about what is happening within the jurisdiction of the sovereign State of Israel – chaos, panic, a lack of professionalism, small mindedness – is the opposite of what typifies the Israeli settlement enterprise in the West Bank) entity to the east of the Green Line. “Planning” is its middle name. It is characterized by foresight, perseverance, devotion and continuity, which have created the reality of Yesha-stan: The Palestinians of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are imprisoned in their crowded enclaves, surrounded by an ever-stretching expanse of elite housing for Jews only, which demanded long-term thinking, meticulous gathering of information and coordination among various groups – civilian and military, official and semi-official. (Did someone once complain that Hamas operates from within a civilian population? The Israel Defense Forces is their inspiration.) The human rights NGO B’Tselem is keeping count and reports that in the first five months of this year the government of the Land of Israel demolished the same number of structures that it demolished in June alone: 30. In East Jerusalem it demolished six residential buildings during that entire period. In the first two weeks of July it already managed to destroy another 31 structures...
Beware of undermining the courts (Yaniv Roznai, Israel Hayom) There is nothing wrong with criticizing the judiciary, but we cannot allow anyone to intimidate judges just to make them hesitate before ruling on Knesset legislation.
Don’t touch our national anthem. There are many more problematic in the world (Naftali Rotenberg, Ynet Hebrew) The French anthem talks about blood and weapons, the Dutch sing about "German blood" and the Americans about bombs. You (Arab-Israelis) don’t identify with the words “yearnings of a Jewish soul”? So what.
Chevron Comes to Israel. Is It Here to Stay? (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) The world’s No. 6 energy company broke a barrier this week when it agreed to buy Noble Energy and that’s good news for Israel.
Chevron Buyout: The Americans Saw the Suckers in Israel and Realized Noble Energy Was a Great Deal (Avi Bar-Eli, Haaretz+) Israelis lacked flexibility and daring to buy out Noble Engery's share of gas reservoirs that could have increased public’s disposable income by 3-4 billion shekels a year. Chevron saw an opportunity.
Striking in a pandemic is immoral (Ran Reznick, Israel Hayom) The National Association of Nurses is being too light and hasty on the trigger finger, and not for the first time. At this stage, the strike is immoral and cannot be allowed to happen.
Israelis will get through the coronavirus crisis together (Reuven Rivlin, Yedioth/Ynet) Our challenges have made us tough, molding us into a world-renowned society that is diverse and complex but strong, creative and vibrant; we have survived to a great extent because of our unique spirit.
Netanyahu Has (Almost) Nothing to Fear From a President Biden (Aaron David Miller, Haaretz+) Biden’s overwhelming priority as president will be putting America back together again, not fighting with Israel about the Palestinians. Unless Netanyahu does something really reckless.
Once there were ‘parliamentary tables’ in coffee shops where men friends politics, today there are piles of slime on Twitter (Natan Zahavi, Maariv) Instead of standing in front of each other and saying what they think the tweeters are hiding behind a keyboard and emitting slime in piles. The absence of (deceased journalist and news show) host Moti Kirschenbaum is noticeable. He probably sees what's going on in the country and laughs. Or cries.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.