News Nosh 8.9.20

APN's daily news review from Israel - Sunday August 9, 2020

You Must Be Kidding: 
They are “germs, there’s no argument there… they spread diseases and must be kept away from society.”
—Yona Avrushmi, murderer of Peace Now activist Emil Grunzweig at an anti-occupation rally in 1983, said about protesters demonstrating against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. After he murdered Greenzweig, he told police investigators that the peace activists protesting against the occupation of the Palestinian Territories were “germs that must be eliminated.” Avrushmi also said that he won’t being going to counter the demonstrations, but “some young guys are going, and they know what to do, they know exactly what to do.”**

Front Page:


Yedioth Ahronoth

  • Seventh week of demonstrations (across from the Prime Minister’s Residence)
  • Following crisis between Netanyahu and Gantz : Cabinet meeting cancelled
  • Special project - How to return to school during the corona period
  • “Nasrallah on noose” - After 158 people killed in disaster enormous demonstrations in Beirut
  • Death of a great spirit - Israel Prize laureate Rabbi Adin Even-Israel passed away

Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)

  • The protest isn’t stopping
  • The right-wing hand // Ben Caspit
  • Judicial transparency - Following Maariv expose on conflicts of interests among judges, High Court Justice  Esther Hayut published a list of when judges should recuse themselves
  • The public profited // Matan Wasserman
  • The Lebanese rage - Thousands surrounded the parliament in Beirut

Israel Hayom

  • The rage in Lebanon explodes in the streets
  • “Quiet probe” in the Likud (about alliance) with Bennett and Lieberman
  • “We’ll turn the parents into teachers” - Homework year 2020 version
  • Battling for the last breath - Only 42 ECMO machines in hospitals; Doctors: “We are collapsing”
  • Silencing people // Jacob Bardugo on demonstrations against Prime Minister
  • Rabbi Steinsaltz” the man who didn’t fit any framework // Prof. Aviad Hacohen
  • If you’re going to dismantle the government, at least it should be about principles // Ofir Dayan

Top News Summary:
Demonstrations across the Israel against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a coalition crisis between Likud and Kahol-Lavan, with the possibility that Netanyahu wants to go to another election, the murderer of a Peace Now activist calling anti-Netanyahu demonstrators “germs” and, in Beirut, Lebanese demonstrators breaking into the foreign ministry (Israeli newspapers shared a photo of the effigy of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in a noose - even though there were similar effigies of other Lebanese political leaders) made top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Also making news: The explosive balloons from Gaza and what they meant.

Some feared violence as they demonstrated Saturday night outside Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s residence. “The next political murder is written on the wall,” said one. Between 10,000 to 15,000 people arrived and called for his ouster and thousands more demonstrated across the country in demonstrations against the government, including about 250 bridges across the country (Maariv), for the fourth week in a row.

Protesters were allegedly attacked with pepper spray in Eilat. While Netanyahu claims that the protesters are all left-wingers, actress Rivka Michaeli joined the black flag protest in Tel Aviv and said: “I don’t identify with the left, it is a protest for the restoration of democracy." (Also VIDEO.)

**The threat of violence against Netanyahu supporters was articulated coarsely by Yona Avrushmi, the man who murdered a peace activist at a Peace Now rally in 1983. Avrushmi, who was released in 2011, gave an interview Saturday night to Channel 12 News calling anti-Netanyahu protesters ‘germs' who should be ‘removed from society.’ An anti-Netanyahu protest group lodged a complaint with the police. (Also Maariv)

Jerusalem police evicted protesters from an encampment in Jerusalem at Independence Park, but told the High Court to reject a petition to move or limit anti-Netanyahu protests, saying it would be a blow to freedom of expression.

Also, this week Facebook removed three fake accounts that were pretending to be anti-government protest activists and uploaded content inciting against Netanyahu.

Coalition Crisis:
Likud canceled the weekly government meeting over a dispute with Kahol-Lavan, exacerbating the conflict between the two ruling parties. Kahol-Lavan said the move was a political spin for Netanyahu to find a way to call snap elections. Meanwhile, Likud reportedly sent out ‘feelers’ to Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman and Yamina co-chairperson, Naftali Bennett, to form a narrow right-wing government, without Kahol-Lavan. But both chairmen rejected the offers. Kahol-Lavan Chairman, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, told Channel 12 he stands by the government despite tensions and said Netanyahu “has his personal and political reasons” for pushing for another election. On Thursday, ultra-Orthodox party leaders said they oppose calls to dissolve government over budget impasse and won’t cooperate with any initiatives to do so.

Meanwhile, the far-right-wing Yamina party is gaining strength, according to an election poll. The Likud party continues to lose ground and receives 32 seats in the current poll, compared to 35 in the previous poll. Kahol-Lavan also continues to fall, dropping to 11 seats, one less than the previous poll. On the other hand, Yesh Atid - Telem led by Yair Lapid, which is gaining strength with one more seat and rising to 18 seats in the current survey. The Joint List is strengthened by one mandate and rises to 16, as does the Yamina party led by Naftali Bennett, and receives 12 seats. Shas, led by Aryeh Deri, who is trying to appear in the current crisis as the responsible adult, rises to 10 seats, while Yisrael Beiteinu, led by Lieberman, 8 seats, and Meretz with 5 seats, retains its power. The picture of the blocs looks like this: the right-wing bloc - 62, the center-left bloc - 50, Lieberman 8. The other parties do not pass the blocking percentage. (Maariv)

Tension with Hamas:
Explosive balloons from Gaza that were discovered near the border with Israel were seen as a signal that the stalled negotiations with Hamas meant that the period of calm on the Gaza border is ending. And a Hamas official said as much to Haaretz. A Lebanese newspaper close to Hamas reported that the organization had sent a message to Egypt that Israel was “causing the failure projects that would improve the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip." Hamas threats may be intended to accelerate moves to extend the monthly Qatari financial grants, which expire next month, Yedioth Hebrew’s Elior Levy wrote. The Israeli army responded to the balloons with aerial strikes in Gaza.

Quick Hits:

  • Palestinian Woman Dies After Being Shot During an Israeli Army Raid - Palestinian Health Ministry says 23-year-old was shot by Israeli forces in her house in the West Bank city of Jenin, but the Israeli army denies using live fire. (Maariv, Ynet Hebrew and Haaretz+)
  • Border Policeman Shoots, Severely Wounds Palestinian in the Head in Case of Mistaken Identity - Police were looking for victim's brother during 'operations against car thieves' when they shot him in the eye before asking for a name to confirm his identity. (Haaretz+)
  • Four-year-old Palestinian girl fatally shot in East Jerusalem by apparent stray bullet - Haneen Zaloum from the neighborhood of Silwan dies Friday at hospital, in second such incident in three months. (Maariv and Haaretz+)
  • Israel Fails to Investigate Employers Who Stole Money From Over 1,000 Asylum Seekers - Only 60 cases have currently been opened by authorities, with sanctions taken against 30 employers, while asylum seekers collectively deplore a loss of millions of shekels. (Haaretz+)
  • From Rabin's assassination to Eichmann trial: Thousands of files missing from Israel's state archive - Loss of the files, which include documents relating to major events in the country’s history was revealed in response to a freedom of information request. The loss of the files was reported Thursday by the Israeli journalism and media website The Seventh Eye, based on information obtained in a freedom of information request from the non-profit public interest group Hatzlacha. (Haaretz+)
  • Coronavirus Israel Live: Death Toll Nears 600; More Than 100 Patients on Life Support - Gantz announces start date for clinical trials of Israeli vaccine ■ Top official aims to rein in virus without lockdown by September. (Haaretz)
  • Israel sees 16 coronavirus deaths in just 24 hours, more ventilated patients - The Health Ministry reports that despite the decline in new COVID-19 cases, the number of seriously ill patients and the deaths continues to go up and is now the highest since the peak of the first wave in mid-April. (Ynet)
  • Gaza Schools Reopen After Five Months as Few Coronavirus Cases Reported - With only 78 cases infections recorded in Strip, all in quarantine centers, classes resume in person, with plans in place in case of spike. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Relatives Get 10 Years in Prison for Kidnapping, Murdering 19-year-old in Southern Israel - Hanan al-Bahiri, of the Bedouin town of Lakiya, was killed and burnt by family members after she divorced her husband. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel's Attorney General Seeks Court Order to Stop Slander of Son of Prosecutor of Netanyahu - Likud activist has been harassing Deputy State Prosecutor Liat Ben Ari by publicly accusing her son of having assaulted a police officer, which authorities have stated is false. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli army examining purchase of wearable anti-drone device - The system, priced at $50,000, is developed by Israeli startup SKYLOCK and has already been sold to the U.S. Army and NATO forces. (Calcalist)
  • Israel Shoots Down Own Drone Friday Over Golan Heights, Suspecting It Came From Lebanon - Later in the day sirens sounded in several communities in the Galilee, near Israel's border with Lebanon, in a false alarm. (Haaretz+)
  • Jerusalem LGBTQ Center Sues City Over Budget Discrimination - The Jerusalem Open House says municipality requested documentation of regular participants' ID numbers to prove scope of activity. (Haaretz+)
  • Ruins of Ancient Jerusalem Help Unravel Enigmas of Earth’s Magnetic Field - Floor tiles from house in Jerusalem burnt down by the Babylonians 2,600 years ago yield data that could help better understand the erratic behavior of the planetary shield protecting us from cosmic radiation. (Haaretz+)
  • New find in southern Israel sheds light on early human migration - Researchers and local youths uncover unique Stone Age site near Dimona with ancient artifacts believed to be flint tools made by prehistoric people, the like of which previously discovered in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. (Ynet)
  • Israeli NGO starts fundraising campaign for disaster-stricken Lebanon - The organization set its goal to raise 1 million shekels that will be used to supply Lebanon with food, clothing, and medical equipment; founder Gal Lusky calls on Israelis to pitch in and support the cause. (Ynet)
  • Anti-government Protesters Storm Lebanese Ministry Buildings in Aftermath of Beirut Blast - Dozens of protesters broke into the Foreign Ministry where they burnt a framed portrait of President Michel Aoun, representative for many of a political class that has ruled Lebanon for decades and which they say is to blame for its deep political and economic crises. A policeman was killed during the Saturday clashes with demonstrators, a police spokesman said, when he fell into an elevator shaft after being chased by protesters. Prime Minister Diab calls for early parliamentary elections as over 200 protesters wounded, one police officer killed in clashes. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Nasrallah: Beirut warehouse did not contain Hezbollah weapons; we know more about Haifa port - 'We as Hezbollah know perhaps more about what goes on at the Haifa port than what happens in the Beirut port.’ (Haaretz and Maariv)
  • Quarter of People Killed in Beirut Explosion Said to Be Syrian - Lebanon's Kataeb Party, a Christian group which opposes the government backed by Hezbollah, announced the resignation of its three lawmakers from parliament. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Armed man seizes hostages in French bank calls for Palestinian rights - Police source said the man holding four hostages had made statements in support of the Palestinian cause, 'We know that he has been radicalized and suffers a serious psychiatric illness,' police say. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • U.S. Iran envoy Brian Hook stepping down, to be replaced by Elliott Abrams - Hook's departure comes as the United Nations Security Council prepares to vote next week on a U.S. bid to extend an international arms embargo on Iran. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • U.S. envoys 'bite off more than they can chew,' Iranian official says after Hook resigns - Mocking remark follows Pompeo's surprise announcement that Brian Hook was leaving his post as top U.S. envoy for Iran. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • U.S. 'scrutinizing' Saudi Arabia's nuclear program after Chinese hel -

Saudi Arabia remains behind the UAE, which became the first Arab nation to open a nuclear power plant on Saturday. (Agencies, Haaretz)


By the time Israel finally allowed him in for urgent care, this young Gazan was already dead
After months of hospitalization with a blood disease in the Gaza Strip, Jalal Sharafi needed a bone marrow transplant, which is unavailable there. By the time Israel relented, and gave him an entry permit for treatment here, it was too late. (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+)
The Evolution of Palestinian Cuisine
Today’s Palestinian meals based on meat, chicken, rice and tomatoes are profoundly different from original cooking from prehistory until the advent of modern culture – and the Israeli ban on picking wild herbs. (Yasmin Zaher, Haaretz+)
The Christian Cult That Lured Israeli Arabs to Rebuild the Galilee in Brazil
A large tract of land in Brazil, a furnished home and a new car – it was hard to resist what the two religious leaders from Kafr Yasif were offering Christian-Arab believers. But some of those who made the move from Israel later discovered that they had paid a very high financial and psychological price for that dream. (Hilo Glazer, Haaretz+)
For Gaza patients, uncertainty over Israeli permits is a matter of life and death
Israel's permit regime has become even more arduous for Palestinian patients since the PA halted coordination, with rights groups trying to fill the vacuum. (Judith Sudilovsky, 972mag)
Meet the ‘Bibists’: Netanyahu Loyalists Say There’s a Reason They’re Not Out in the Streets Defending Him
They may be his staunchest supporters, but their outlook predated Netanyahu’s rise to power and will probably outlast him, too. (Judy Maltz, Haaretz+)
‘I’ve no idea how we’ll survive’: Pandemic pushes Palestinians into poverty
As the COVID-19 crisis wears on, Palestinians in the West Bank are struggling to make ends meet — and some local governors are taking matters into their own hands. (Suha Arraf, 972mag)
The story of Israel's other secret agent Cohen
A tribute to Eliyahu Cohen, a founder of intel Unit 8200 and Mossad spy who posed as an Iraqi officer. (Ofer Aderet, Haaretz+)

Top Commentary/Analysis:
Via Facebook, Israel is trying to change Palestinian perception of the occupation (Hillel Cohen, Haaretz+) Shin Bet officers, who control the fate of the Palestinians in the territories, are waging psychological warfare on social media.
What disengagement and annexation have in common (Yossi Beilin, Israel Hayom) Both show a lack of understanding and foresight, and ignore the Palestinian side.
When Ariel Sharon Took Gideon Levy to Gaza to Convince Him That Disengagement Is a Mistake (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the pullout from Gaza, recollections of three unforgettable journeys: to Ariel Sharon's ranch, years beforehand; to Atzmona on the day it was evacuated; and to see the heaps of rubble, five months after the fact.
A Jewish state that is not for the Jews (Tzipi Shmilovich, Yedioth/Ynet) The young generation of Jewish Americans, who grew up on the ideals of equality, reformed Judaism and liberalism, find it very hard to identify with Netanyahu's Israel, risking dangerous future alienation.
Five Lessons From the Gaza Disengagement That Israel Still Hasn't Learned, 15 Years On (Eric H. Yoffie, Haaretz+) The first step toward peace should be an Israeli-Palestinian separation.
Don't forego a historic opportunity (Isi Leibler, Israel Hayom) While understandably the coronavirus now dominates everyday life, we must continue to face our ongoing domestic and global security issues.
Netanyahu and Gantz Are Already Campaigning, and Israel Slides Into Election No. 4 on Autopilot (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) The prime minister will bang on about the horrible protesters, the imagined violence, the ‘anarchists,’ the wider left and the ‘mobilized’ media.
What earned Netanyahu the title of "instigator of the instigators"? (Prof. Arie Eldad, Maariv) All those who accuse Netanyahu of division, rift, sowing hatred and destroying democracy probably forget that he had very good teachers. Most of them are from the Israeli left [sic - with Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert- OH]…Netanyahu did say all the things quoted above, as well as many other things. He has used and continues to use these statements as a political weapon. And when the media began publishing leaks from the criminal investigations against Ariel Sharon, Sharon said that the investigators should be "investigated." Yes Yes. Sharon. Our Ariel Sharon is the copywriter. Not Netanyahu. Not (former Justice Minister Amir) Ohana. And anyone who talks about the attack on the media typical of Netanyahu (and Netanyahu v. Drucker, Caspit, Peleg) has probably forgotten what Sharon said to Dubi Weisglass: "Listen to what the scoundrel Benziman w- and lost in the same lawsuit. But the term "silencing lawsuit" was not created in Netanyahu's feverish mind…Ehud Olmert, former prime minister, who took bribes and is a former prisoner - he is today one of the top critics of Netanyahu…
Even if Netanyahu Leaves, the Nationalist Right Won’t Disappear (Aluf Benn, Haaretz+) The protests haven’t created a political or moral alternative to rule by Netanyahu’s Likud and the rest of the right. If Netanyahu goes, he’ll be replaced by another right-wing politician, who will have no trouble forming a broad, stable governing coalition. Not a single poll has pointed to or even hinted at any other possibility. Ironically, Netanyahu himself is the main obstacle to forming a pure right-wing government, due to his terrible relationship with the leaders of other rightist parties.
Israel's young rebels with a cause (Moshe Pearl, Yedioth/Ynet) In the face of devastating economical crisis and cynical and opportunistic nature of its leaders, Israel's young people are flowing onto the streets in anger, trying to stop the politicians from selling the country from under us all.
Israeli Protesters Are Playing a Dangerous 'Just Not Bibi' Game (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Haaretz’s editor-in-chief, Aluf Benn, put it well in his op-ed Friday. He reminded everyone celebrating prematurely that even when Netanyahu is gone, his supporters will still be here. His warning warrants an asterisk: Look at what’s happening in the meantime. The revulsion felt toward Netanyahu is legitimizing anything that isn’t him, such as Gilad Erdan, who was the public security minister who falsely accused an innocent Bedouin citizen who was killed for no reason by the police, an agency he was in charge of. And Erdan never bothered to apologize.
Seth Rogen Is Funny, but the Jewish Agency's Isaac Herzog Is Ridiculous (Carolina Landsmann, Haaretz+) On social media last week, the Jewish Agency chairman posted a video informing the Jewish people that he had extracted a confession and apology from actor and comedian Seth Rogen. Anyone watching that is reminded of Roberto Benigni in “Life is Beautiful.” Herzog is also trying to hide from us the situation around the world and in Israel using games of imagination and hysterical laughter in the Jewish ghetto. Otherwise, there’s no explanation for the head of the Jewish Agency to tell the camera: He told me, listen, I didn’t mean at all to deny Israel’s right to exist. An alternative explanation is that Herzog has lost it.
Only the Ideological Right Can Overthrow Netanyahu (Israel Harel, Haaretz+) The demonstrations outside the prime minister’s residence on Balfour Street are not bringing the end of Benjamin Netanyahu’s rule any closer. If anything, they are pushing it farther away. The slogans on many of the posters, some of the flags (the verbal ones as well), the exhibitionist behavior of a few demonstrators who offend the state’s symbols, and the media’s total dedication to justify, promote and sanitize these occurrences – lead to the exclusion of Netanyahu’s opponents on the right.
"Everything is bullshit“ strategy (Yuval Diskin, Yedioth/Ynet) It is impossible to take credit for the patent Netanyahu registered on the "Everything is bullshit” strategy. "Everything is bullshit” is the common denominator of the stories that are fed to us, such as: The State of Israel is among the best in the Western world in dealing with the Corona, our situation has never been better, there is a historic opportunity for sovereignty, there is a historic opportunity to apply sovereignty - we won’t let it pass,  Bnei Gantz will be prime minister, the left is to blame, the New Israel Fund is to blame and more ...…Netanyahu's patent includes more Fake News, more sowing of hatred and turning the justice system and the State Attorney's Office into the people’s enemy…The corona epidemic has taken the hot air out of the balloon…More and more citizens are realizing that there is no genius or magician here. There is simply a criminal defendant here, who is trying by all means to save himself from the district court where he will be required to respond to the serious indictments. And because he is not a real leader and because he is busy taking care of himself, he has managed to bring the country into a very serious socio-economic crisis.
Netanyahu Really Will Burn the Country Down (Nehemia Shtrasler, Haaretz+) “Bibi is too big a leader for this country,” Sara Netanyahu has said about her husband, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. “Why does he have to work so hard? Without him the state wouldn’t hold up, people here would be slaughtered. We’ll move abroad and the country will burn.” It seems to me that Benjamin Netanyahu is now trying to carry out the task that Sara assigned him. His actions since the outbreak of the pandemic show that he doesn’t care if we all go up in smoke as a burnt offering. He doesn’t care about how many people are sick with the coronavirus, or about the dead and the unemployed.
Where is the 'real mother'? (Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom) The families expelled from Gush Katif during the disengagement were willing to lose their homes rather than start a civil war. None of that nobility is being shown by the current protesters, either on the Right or the Left.
Lebanon also drowned in corruption and division. Note that we were warned (Ksenia Svetlova, Yedioth Hebrew) The explosion in Beirut may turn out to be a symbol of the final disintegration of the social fabric and the lack of governance. Israel is not Lebanon, but the similarities cannot be ignored.
Netanyahu’s policy is ‘Let me die with the Philistines.’ Except we’re the Philistines (Meirav Arlosoroff, Haaretz+) Prime minister’s insistence on managing the coronavirus crisis alone, while undermining government’s decision-making processes brought us to the failure of the second wave.
Netanyahu is fortifying his position as supreme ruler with the help of the residence in Balfour (Orit Lavie-Nashiel, Maariv) There are moments in the life of a leader that he must say: that’s it. If Benny Gantz will behave this way in regards to the budget, it may be the last important move in his short political career, but he will at least be remembered as the one who exposed the bluffer from Balfour.
Actually, yes to elections (Einav Schiff, Yedioth Hebrew) Elections are the only way to reset the principle violated by the epidemic: it is not possible to have a real partnership with Binyamin Netanyahu, which does not involve dedication to his desire to escape trial.
Netanyahu and His Son Laugh Up There, While Down Below Others Weep (Tchia Dov, Haaretz+) I read the remarks of Yair Netanyahu, the crown prince of the shameful swamp at Balfour, and I cringe with fear. It turns out the spoiled playboy and his elected dad are sitting at their house on Balfour Street, sipping champagne, enjoying some pistachio ice cream and laughing. Some of the protesters’ voices on the street may be a little bothersome, then again, maybe not – after all, the space is air conditioned and sealed off with shaded windows made of reinforced glass. So the noise is muffled if heard at all.
Israel must formulate a new equation of deterrence against Hezbollah (Alon Ben David, Maariv) Moments after the Beirut disaster, Hezbollah was quick to signal that it wanted to keep the northern front tense. On the side of extending the blessed hand to the people of Lebanon - there is no reason to bow your head in front of the Shiite gang.
For Israel, Beirut blast serves as a double warning (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) From China to the Gulf, regional players may see Beirut disaster as opportunity.
Beirut Disaster Brought Out Purists on Both Sides of Israel's Political Map (Netta Ahituv, Haaretz+) One of the oldest tricks in the book of the typical right-winger – one inspired by the Netanyahu family – is to draw a symmetry between the left and the right. We murdered “their” prime minister? They had an anonymous post calling for the murder of “our” prime minister. We beat them up, without any provocation, with clubs and broken bottles? But they’re violent toward us, too! That symmetry is a lie, to put it simply. Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai’s decision to light up city hall with the Lebanese flag on Wednesday night became a symbol that cut across the politics of the Beirut disaster. But then the person, or the city government, discovers that their spontaneous empathy is problematic, as my Haaretz colleague Gideon Levy wrote on Friday and as more than a few leftists have argued on social media. After all, there’s an occupation, and city hall has never been lit up with the Palestinian flag.
Tel Aviv’s flag show can’t cover up Israel’s role in Lebanon’s crisis (Orly Noy, 972mag) After decades of war and occupation, Israelis should not act surprised when Lebanese and Palestinians refuse to gush over their gestures of solidarity.
Europe must wake to Iran threat before it is too late (Moshe Kantor, Yedioth/Ynet) The Islamic Republic's aggressive actions over the past five years and its efforts to destabilize the region are clear and it would use its position as a nuclear power to entice countries seemingly beyond its reach to create a new world order.
Israel’s March of Benightedness (Friday Haaretz Editorial) The Tel Aviv municipality’s decision to light up city hall in the colors of the Lebanese flag to show solidarity with Lebanon’s mourning over the explosion at the Beirut port is wholly praiseworthy. So are the condolence messages sent by President Reuven Rivlin and the aid offered by Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi. As Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai aptly put it, “humanity takes precedence over any conflict.” But for some Israeli public figures, not only does humanity not take precedence over any conflict, but whenever any initiative is taken to try to reduce the intensity of the hate between Israel and its neighbors, they feel an uncontrollable urge to bare their primitive worldview.
Israel’s Budget Pit Is a Disgrace for a Developed Country (Haaretz Editorial) The state budget deficit spiked to 7.2 percent of gross domestic product in July. By the end of this year it’s expected to reach 13 percent. This is one of the highest deficits in the developed world, and it’s also one of the most problematic because of the breakdown of government spending.

(Likudnik and) Actor and Director Ze’ev Revach: “I understand the young people who fear for the future of the country - it's time to go out and demonstrate"
Just before his 80th birthday, the veteran actor returns to the important stations of his career and speaks in a special interview about the longing for the stage and his difficulty, as a veteran Likudnik, to identify with the current government. "When I was born, I was named after Ze'ev Jabotinsky. I was and remained Beitarnik at heart," says actor Ze'ev Revach. "But as much as I am known as a Likud member, in the situation that has arisen, I cannot identify now with everything the Likud government is doing. Not now. What I want is for the state to return to sanity." Revach is not only identified as a Likud member and publicly supports the ruling faction: in the 1990s he participated in Likud election broadcasts, and in the early 2000s joined as a candidate in the Ramat Gan municipal elections on the Likud list. On the occasion of the country's 70th Independence Day, he shot a friendly video with Prime Minister Binaymin Netanyahu, just before lighting a beacon. "I understand the young people who are worried about the future, theirs and the country’s. We have a wonderful younger generation, demonstrating about the things that hurt them. And this is exactly the time to demonstrate. Because it's a democracy in its own right. I hear about what is happening to many artists and the entertainment industry and want to join the great young people who are demonstrating, but I can’t. My health is not the best, and I'm at risk. In the situation left here there is no choice but to demonstrate. Culture suffers more and they (government) is leaving it to the end, because it is supposedly not important enough." (Interviewed by Yaakov Bar-On in Maariv)

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