News Nosh 8.10.20

APN's daily news review from Israel - Monday August 10, 2020

Number of the day:


--The number of seats the right-wing/ultra-Orthodox bloc would receive if elections were held now, two seats short of a majority in the Knesset, according to a poll. *

Front Page:


  • Likud and Kahol-Lavan: We will support a bill postponing the deadline for approving the budget
  • MAIN PHOTO: Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz greets demonstrators outside his home last night
  • (Yamina party chairman) Bennett is rising in polls. He shouldn’t count on them // Amnon Harari
  • Doctors declared labor dispute in protest of the heavy workload
  • Sharp rise in number of homeless; Many of them from the middle class who were affected by the crisis
  • The slowing of the spread of the virus puts Israel in a catch regarding battling it // Amos Harel
  • Knesset’s Corona Cabinet approved holding cultural events in open air
  • IDF chose to turn a blind eye to the thousands of Palestinians who crossed the separation fence on their way to go to the beaches
  • Police to investigate murderer Yona Avroshami on suspicion of inciting to violence
  • Language perpetuates gender inequality. The statistics reveal how
  • He was also burned // Haaretz Editorial on how Gantz learned he, too, can’t trust Netanyahu
  • That they won’t get used to it // Noa Osterreicher against the warnings over giving out unemployment stipends
  • Without brakes -  Minister Miri Regev is busy with politics (says ministry official who resigned)

Yedioth Ahronoth

  • Trying to postpone elections
  • Shooting and postponing // Nahum Barnea
  • Until the next trick // Sima Kadmon
  • School in the shadow of corona: What can be learned from the world
  • “I flashed back to the same knock on the door” - Miriam Peretz on the arrest of the terrorist responsible for the fall of her son after ten years

Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)

  • “Netanyahu is pushing for (corona) closure” - says senior health official
  • An offer it’s hard to refuse - Yesh Atid - Telem will submit bill for preventing indicted person from forming government
  • The efforts to prevent elections - Deadline for passing budget was postpned
  • The trial of history // Ben Caspit

Israel Hayom

Top News Summary:
An extension to the country's budget deadline puts off another election, but hasn’t completely stymied it, corona concerns, overworked doctors and eased restrictions cause both worry and relief, and the arrest of a Gazan who was allowed to enter Israel to donate bone marrow to his brother (VIDEO) brings satisfaction to the army, the prime minister and the mother of the soldier, whose killing he is suspected of being involved in 10 years ago - making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

Also in the news, the IDF struck targets in Gaza, after shots were fired at a force of Israeli soldiers along the Gaza border (no casualties), which came after the IDF struck sites in the Gaza Strip, which came after explosive balloons were launched from the Gaza Strip, which Hamas said was because Israel is foiling infrastructure projects that could improve the humanitarian situation in the Strip and also because the Qatari initiative to finance projects in the Strip and to deliver cash assistance to families in need is due to expire next month.

Just when it looked like Israel was going to its fourth election in a bit over a year, a compromise prevented it - or at least postponed it. There was more talk about Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu creating a dispute over the budget in order to go to another election and thereby avoid his trial. A shouting match broke out over the Likud’s refusal to pass a one-year budget, as per the coalition agreement. The budget needed to be passed by August 25th or the Knesset would be dissolved. But late Monday night, Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister and Kahol-Lavan leader Benny Gantz agreed to postpone the budget deadline. Ultra-Orthodox leaders urged Netanyahu and Gantz to pass the budget and avoid elections. (They support a two-year budget, as Gantz does.) Sources in United Torah Judaism told Maariv, “We will consider declaring the dissolution of the right-wing bloc if there are elections.” The opposition led by Yesh Atid-Telem has other plans to block Netanyahu from leading in the future. This week it will submit a bill that, if passed, will prevent a politician indicted for serious crimes from forming a government. Kahol-Lavan, which in principle supports this law, will have to decide which side it takes.

*Meanwhile, a Maariv telephone poll on elections found that the right-wing - ultra-Orthodox bloc would get only 59 seats if elections were held now, two seats short of the 61 seats needed to form a majority in the Knesset. It also shows that the Likud party continues to fall - now to 29 seats. Yesh Atid-Telem would receive 19 seats, Yamina 14, the Joint List 14, Kahol-Lavan 13, United Torah Judaism 9, Meretz 8, and Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu - 7 seats each. The rest of the lists do not exceed the minimum threshold. And, in response to another question, "How sure are you that you will vote on Election Day the same as you voted in this poll?”: 12% answered "not at all sure," 32% "quite sure" and 56% "very sure." Meanwhile, Haaretz+ reported that Israelis abroad are joining growing anti-Netanyahu protests.

Corona Quickees:

  • Israel marks 600 coronavirus deaths since start of pandemic - There are 393 patients in serious condition, with 118 connected to ventilators; ministry reports only 254 new virus cases, citing low number of testing over weekend; ministers reimpose new public health restrictions. (Ynet)
  • Coronavirus Israel Live: Education Minister Vows Next School Year Will Start on September 1 - Cabinet issues new restrictions further limiting crowds ■ Medical staff announce labor dispute ■ Joint List lawmaker quarantined ■ Concerts allowed to resume. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli Jeweler Says Working on Most Expensive Coronavirus Mask in the World - Mask decorated by Yvel company with white and black diamonds and a top rated filter at the request of the buyer, a U.S.-based Chinese businessman, will cost $1.5 million. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)

Quick Hits:

  • Police to Probe Incitement Against anti-Netanyahu Protesters by Murderer of Left-wing Activist - Yona Avrushmi, who was imprisoned for the murder of Emil Grunzweig at a 1983 rally, said Israelis protesting against Netanyahu and his government 'are evil people, enemies of the nation.’ The police investigation will be conducted at the Tel Aviv District Fraud Unit. (Maariv and Haaretz+)
  • Likud minister: Arrest peace activist’s killer for his latest incitement - Yuval Steinitz says he still has fragments in his leg from grenade Yona Avrushmi tossed at demonstration, urges investigation of his recent calls to harm anti-Netanyahu protesters. (Times of Israel)
  • Thousands of Palestinians Revel in a Weekend of Freedom at Israeli Beaches - Using breaches in the West Bank separation barrier, Palestinians soak up the sun on Israel's shores as Israel's military looks on. (Haaretz+)
  • 'Frustrated by Minister Miri Regev,' Top Israeli Public Transport Official Resigns - Sources say officials in the Transportation Ministry are in despair over Regev's preoccupation with 'visibility and politics instead of the benefit of the public.’ (Haaretz+)
  • UAE helps reunite Yemenite Jewish family that was separated for 15 years - ‘My soul felt reborn,’ one relative says at Abu Dhabi airport ceremony; tweeting about reunion, Emirati FM Abdullah bin Zayed hails his country as ‘homeland of coexistence.’ (Times of Israel)
  • Tel Aviv Tops All but One European City in Real Estate Prices in 2019 - The Deloitte Property Index emphasized that the coronavirus pandemic has already shaken up the residential real estate markets. (Haaretz+)
  • Report: Venezuela ready to renew diplomatic relations with Israel - Former chief rabbi of Venezuela Pynchas Brener has been appointed ambassador to Israel by President Juan Guaidó, but Jerusalem has yet to formalize the appointment. (Israel Hayom)
  • 'Israel wants to help Lebanon,' Macron tells donor conference - The French president tells world powers during a video-link conference that Israel 'signaled it is willing to help' Lebanon following the port explosion in Beirut, which killed 158 people; 'I guarantee you, this aid will not go to corrupt hands,' says Macron. (Ynet)
  • Beirut protesters hurl rocks as anger over devastating blast reignites - Demonstrators gather around the capital's Parliament Square, call for the government and its Hezbollah ally to leave from power; top Christain cleric calls for cabinet to resign 'if it is unable to help the country.’ (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Report: Lebanese Prime Minister to Resign Amid Political Fallout From Beirut Explosion - Pressure on Lebanese cabinet mounts as fourth minister resigns. Iran urges world not to 'politicize' the situation, says U.S. should lift sanctions. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Blast destroyed landmark 19th century palace in Beirut - Three-story mansion had been a landmark in the Lebanese capital, its spacious garden the venue for countless parties and events; it had survived multiple wars but succumbed to last week's port explosion. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Angry Lebanese say Hezbollah worse than Israel - After catastrophic Beirut blast, Lebanese citizens demand prosecution of corrupt politicians, direct ire at Iranian-backed Shi'ite group and its leader Hassan Nasrallah. An image of Nasrallah was hoisted with a noose tied around it during protests in Beirut on Saturday, marking the growing pressure on the Shi'ite organization by its opponents in Lebanon. [NOTE: Effigies of many Lebanese political leaders with nooses were held up during the protest. - OH] (Ynet)
  • Alleged Hezbollah operative and his daughter gunned down in Tehran - Dr. Habib Dawoud, 58, and his daughter Maryam, 27, were shot in their vehicle on Friday night by a man on a motorcycle. (Israel Hayom)
  • Pompeo: Arabs and Israelis are speaking with one voice on Iran - The Security Council "must choose between arming terrorists or standing by the Gulf," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. (JPost/Maariv)
  • In Rare Unified Statement, Gulf Arab Bloc Backs Extending UN Arms Embargo on Iran - Six-nation bloc backs embargo to stop Iran from purchasing foreign-made weapons like fighter jets, tanks and warships. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Turkish study maps out Iran's entrenchment in Syria - Iran has no fewer than 125 military outposts and bases throughout Syria, including dozens in the governorates closer to Israel, such as Deraa and Quneitra. (Israel Hayom)
  • Egypt Mulls 'Game Changer' Law to Protect Women as #MeToo Picks Up Steam - Meanwhile, several NGOs are pushing for a unified law that would toughen penalties against sexual abuse in all forms, criminalize rape within marriage, and include better reporting mechanisms. (Reuters)

Top Commentary/Analysis:
Netanyahu Caught Between Rock of Risky Election and Hard Place of Criminal Trial (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) In one-man-rule Israel, overwhelming opposition to new election accounts for nothing.
Election bells toll as Netanyahu outmaneuvers Gantz (Moran Azulay, Yedioth/Ynet) Rows over state budget and coalition regulations seem to be precursor to 4th national ballot in less than two years, but the prime minister is in control of government while his rivals are trying to oust over his criminal charges.
Elections are needed, but the public doesn't want it (Amnon Lord, Israel Hayom) It would make sense for all the political freelancers who quit their left-wing parties to rally to help Netanyahu form a narrow yet efficient government, but their heads are clearly in the wrong place.
The Bibists call the left-wing "violent," but they ignore history (Ben Caspit, Maariv) Statistics have an obscene habit, especially in these days when truth has become an underground matter: they don’t lie. The left is flirting with violence, but the right, unfortunately - is the one doing it.
Netanyahu Is Up to His Old Tricks and Shticks (Haaretz Editorial) Less than five months ago, amid a cloud of uncertainty and fear over the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went to the television studios and urged the head of the “anyone but Bibi” bloc, Benny Gantz, to set aside the bitter disputes that had accompanied Israel through three general elections and to form a unity government with Netanyahu so that they could fight the coronavirus together. The rest is history. Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi were summoned to rally round the flag and they reported for duty. Now, as expected, Netanyahu is seeking to break his promise...
New coronavirus czar plays Netanyahu at his own game (Dr. Baruch Leshem, Yedioth/Ynet) Prof. Gamzu, who took over Israel's coronavirus response apparatus, openly told politicians, 'you failed'; now, Netanyahu's megamaniacal twin with political inspirations, looks savvy enough to knock PM off his perch.
A hollow protest (Avi Bareli, Israel Hayom) Unlike the upheaval that followed the Yom Kippur War and led to two distinct political ideologies, the current demonstrations are just an infantile desire to "get back" at Netanyahu for being in power for so long.
Palestinians as ghosts: How Israel’s education system normalizes occupation (Gil Gertel, 972mag) A study finds that while some high school textbooks touch on Israel's control of the West Bank, students are taught little to nothing about its true nature.
The Nasrallah myth is no more (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is no longer regarded as the unbeatable "defender of Lebanon." This makes him a wounded animal, and his weakness could impair his judgment.
Israelis, Leave Lebanon Alone (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) A seconds-long television news flash reflected the essence of the Lebanese attitude toward Israel: A few hours after the apocalyptic explosion in Beirut last week, a Lebanese man appeared on the screen and said that in 2006 he traveled to the south. He immediately he began to compare the scope of the destruction there after the 30 days of Israeli shelling to that wreaked by the explosions in the Beirut port. That’s how the Lebanese see Israel, that’s how the Arabs see Israel: as a measurement for destruction, killing, expulsion, arrogance and blind force. And still, official Israel has the chutzpah to join the wave of solidarity with the Lebanese people. Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, of all people, the man who boasts of killing 1,364 Gazans (whom he calls terrorists), is behaving as though he were appointed successor to Mother Teresa, and wholeheartedly offering Israeli assistance to the Lebanese.
Hezbollah responsible for Beirut disaster (Yoni Ben Menachem, Israel Hayom) Everyone in Lebanon assumes the investigation into the catastrophe will ignore what is known to every child in the country: Hezbollah controls the port of

A woman behind enemy lines
Former Mossad agent Sima Shine talks to Israel Hayom about being sent on an operation to a country that "doesn't have diplomatic relations with Israel" and what is really happening on the ground in Iran. (Interviewed by  Ran Puni in Israel Hayom)

U.S. Artist Adam Pendleton Brings Black Lives Matter to Tel Aviv: ‘I Don’t Shy Away From Complicated Ideas’
Pendleton, presenting in Israel for the first time, tells Haaretz about the importance of the creator’s voice in a sea of political chatter. (Interviewed by Vered Lee in Haaretz+)

'I stopped Sharon from limiting the disengagement to 5 settlements'
Speaking to Israel Hayom, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says that Ariel Sharon was "sick of" the pressure against the 2005 disengagement and was prepared to revise his plans. (Interviewed by  Nadav Shragai in Israel Hayom)

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