APN's daily news review from Israel - Tuesday August 11, 2020
You Must Be Kidding:
"This is a high-ranking officer, who has contributed greatly to the security of the state in life-threatening operational activities.”
--The police explaining why it only fined the commander of Israeli Police SWAT team for keeping in his office an assault dog that bit, threatened and attacked several people who came in.**
- Netanyahu and Gantz did not reach agreement on budget
- Lebanese Prime Minister and government resigned following protest against them
- (Lebanese Prime Minister) Diab had no choice but to resign, but the demonstrations show that the citizens won’t be satisfied with that // Zvi Barel
- In an exception ruling, High Court cancelled the destruction of the building of a terrorist in the West Bank
- ER wards are closing due to high number of corona patients and hospitals fear collapse
- 15 years since the eviction from Homesh (settlement), from the point of view of the Palestinians, the settlers are felt now even more
- Gulf states to the UN Security Council: Extend the arms embargo on Iran
- Researchers are checking the connection between corona and a drop in the birth of premature babies
- A decision from above // Amira Hass on Israel allowing Palestinians to cross illegally into Israel
- At their expense - Wave of negligence suits and record number of deaths reveals the depth of the crisis in nursing homes
- Israeli Democracy Institute report: One million people harmed, 20% of self-employed forced to close their businesses
- Masks in the classroom: This is how the school year will look (Hebrew)
- There are no budgets // Maayan Haruni
- Cry of the bereaved father to High Court Justices (Hebrew)
- Expose - Commander of police SWAT unit was fined: He kept a dog in his office that bit fighters (Hebrew)
- Five ways to avoid elections // Yuval Karni
- Bibi, don’t go there // Ari Shavit
- Expose - Despite the crisis: Enormous salaries at Hadassah Hospital
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
- “We oppose a closure” - 75% of Maariv Online users voted against the move
- “Where is the deterrence?” - Father of (deceased soldier) Amit Ben-Yigal enraged over High Court decision to cancel the demolition of the terrorist’s home
- The ultimatum - Getting closer to election: Chairman of Kahol-Lavan gave Prime Minister 24 hours to pass law that will extend budget deadline; Netanyahu rejected the demand
- The next crisis: The law to disqualify the prime minister
- Budget crisis gets worse again - fourth elections in horizon
- Masks from 4th grade, capsules in after-school day care
- Doctors at Soroka Hospital gave banned medicine to patient - and she died
- “Not demolishing the terrorist - is flagrant offense”
- Netanyahu wanted another exit station to get off the merry-go-round // Mati Tuchfeld
Top News Summary:
A coalition government budget crisis that points to elections, a cancelled house demolition that angered right-wingers, and collapsing hospitals and tentative plans for the school year were the top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. And two newspapers printed interesting 'letters' by commentators, one to the Prime Minister and one to the Chief Psychiatrist. (See Commentary/Analysis below.)
Also, four rockets were launched from Gaza into the Mediterranean Sea a few explosive balloons were heard in Sderot and senior Hamas officials told Egyptian mediators and even talked to the far-right-wing 'Israel Hayom' newspaper, saying that violence along the Israeli border will resume if Israel does not allow infrastructure projects to proceed and if Qatari and UN aid to Gazans is discontinued. And in Lebanon, after angry protests, the Lebanese prime minister and government cabinet resigned, but the papers made no comparison to the situation in Israel.
Defense Minister and chairman of Kahol-Lavan party, Benny Gantz, gave Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu a 24-hour deadline to approve a bill to delay the state budget deadline, but Netanyahu has now dismissed the request and the the threat of a fourth elections in just over a year is getting stronger. Gantz wants to pass a two-year budget, as the coalition agreement states, but Netanyahu wants a one-year one, which will essentially at the end of the year before the evidentiary stage of his criminal trial. If a bill to delay the budget deadline isn’t approved and the budget isn’t approved by August 24th then the Knesset will dissolve and Israel will head to elections. Gantz said that another election would deepen distrust and friction and cause “civil war.” Nevertheless, Kahol-Lavan announced, ”We will not participate in the vote on the law against Netanyahu,” which would restrict a candidate accused of crimes from forming a government. (Maariv)
Right-wing leaders and the father of Golani soldier, Amit Ben-Yigal, who was killed by Nazmi Mahmoud Younes Abu Bakr, 49, when he dropped a rock on Ben-Yigal’s head from the roof of his home during a raid in his West Bank village, were outraged that the High Court cancelled the demolition of Abu Bakr’s house over 'property rights and human dignity' of the Abu Bakr’s wife and eight children. Justices Menachem Mazuz and George Karra reasoned their ruling by stating that Abu Bakr’s wife and eight children, who were not involved in the attack, still live there. The court instead allowed the military to seal up just one room of the apartment where Abu Bakr lives. In light of the outcry from politicians and reqeusts from the soldier’s family, the Attorney General will hold a hearing over the decision. Yedioth Hebrew’s judicial affairs correspondent, Tova Tzimuki, wrote that “It should be noted, however, that for many years the position of the Supreme Court, with regard to the demolition of terrorist homes, has been considered ‘restrained.’ Usually, the determination is that if there is proof of a connection and direct knowledge of the family members about the terrorist's intention to carry out an attack - then the house will be destroyed, or at least the floors where the family members lived will be sealed. On the other hand, if knowledge or cooperation cannot be proven - the legal system tends to refrain from approving the demolition of homes or floors of it." Tzimuki also wrote, "It should be noted that the authority imposed on the High Court to approve or prohibit the demolition of terrorist homes is considered one of the sensitive issues in the State of Israel - both in terms of the families of those killed and wounded and in terms of the families of terrorists and Israeli and international law.” Unlike Netanyahu and Gantz, Meretz chairman MK Nitzan Horowitz supported the decision: “There is no justification for destroying the homes of terrorists and it is not a deterrent. This is also what the IDF has stated in the past. This is revenge and blind punishment that only kindles the fire. The terrorist's family and children were not involved or charged in any way and there is no reason to punish them. It’s a shame that Gantz joins the chorus of belligerents on the right. It will not bring him half a vote.”
- Israel overtakes China with over 85,000 coronavirus cases - The Health Ministry reports another 1,641 new daily COVID-19 diagnoses, bringing the number of confirmed cases since the start of the outbreak to 85,354; another 7 people die since midnight, bringing death toll to 619. (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
- Israeli Hospitals See First Signs of System's Collapse From Coronavirus - ICU beds, resources for non-COVID patients dwindling, with officials describing extreme stress on staff as the coronavirus keeps spreading. (Haaretz+)
- Israelis welcome in only four countries due to coronavirus spread - Head of Knesset committee on handling pandemic scolds top Health Ministry official for failing to produce a plan that would allow resumption of international travel, which is set to take effect on August 16. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Netanyahu, Education Minister Insist School Year Will Start on Time Despite Coronavirus - With billions earmarked to upgrade student and school infrastructure, Education Ministry tries to inspire confidence in their management of a system in upheaval. (Haaretz+)
- Following (Corona manager) Gamzu's decision: Petition filed to ban (foreign) yeshiva students from entering the country - A petition has been filed to the High Court against the Corona Manager, and against the Ministers of Health and Interior, demanding that they stop the entry of thousands of yeshiva students and girls going to seminary in Israel - until the end of the second wave of the Corona virus. (Maariv)
- Most Israelis Aren't Paying Coronavirus Fines, Government Survey Shows - Rights group has petitioned the court to cancel fines, citing 'arbitrary enforcement' and criminalization of 'everyday behavior.’ (Haaretz+)
- Palestinian family in cave home faces Israeli eviction - Civil engineer Ahmed Amarneh receives demolition notice from Israeli authorities for his cave home, which he built after being refused a construction permit twice. "I tried twice to build (a house), but the occupation authorities told me it was forbidden to build in the area," said Amarneh, who lives in the northern West Bank village of Farasin, which is Area C. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Palestinian village Farasin defiant despite threats of being wiped off the map - Over the past year and a half, the tiny West Bank village has been hit with orders from the Israeli authorities to demolish, evacuate or freeze construction on every single of the 36 structures in Farasin, said the mayor. But residents say they are going nowhere. (Middle East Eye)
- Department Investigating Police (DIP) will investigate the conduct of the undercover police in attacking the (anti-gov’t) demonstrator in Tel Aviv - The DIP has begun an investigation into the conduct of the police officers, following videos in which they are seen talking to the attackers and apparently were not doing their duty to prevent the attack. (Maariv)
- **The SWAT team commander's dog attacked the fighters - For two years, an investigation was conducted secretly against Lt. Col. N. on suspicion that he regularly kept in his office an assault dog that bit, threatened and attacked several people who came there for professional meetings. The complainant claimed that most of the people attacked preferred to remain silent because they were afraid that the commander would harm them professionally. The prosecution decided to settle for a fine and the removal of the dog from the office. The police: "This is a high-ranking officer, who has contributed greatly to the security of the state in life-threatening operational activities.” (Yedioth/Ynet Hebrew)
- Israeli Public Broadcaster Files Police Complaints About Death Threats Over Satire Show - Company and producer cite explicit threats of physical harm as opponents of ‘The Jews Are Coming’ plan rally next week. (Haaretz+)
- (Singer and composer) Matti Caspi speaks about the storm over the post he wrote: "I received threats on my life" - Musician Matti Caspi write a post on Facebook yesterday in which he called Netanyahu a "dictator." In an interview with 103FM, he said that he received threats, and claimed: "There is a guiding hand that prevents the operating of cultural (events in the country).” (Maariv)
- Israeli Army Reducing Troops, Reopening Roads in North as Tension With Hezbollah Subsides - IDF had fortified the northern border in preparation for retaliation after strike attributed to Israel killed a Hezbollah member in Syria. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
- Adv. Ariel Golan is convinced that there is a causal connection between hiccup attacks and military service - After the IDF Compensation Officer dismissed a claim for recognition of the disability of a fighter who had suffered from hiccup attacks since 1984, when he encountered terrorists during an IDF operation while heavy machine gun fire was opened against the IDF force. During the encounter, the fighter was thrown to the ground to evade fire. Immediately afterward his hiccup attacks began. Attorney Ariel Golan convinced the appeals committee that encountering terrorists during his military service caused him to have hiccup attacks, despite being examined in 2017 by a doctor from the Ministry of Defense, who once again determined that there was no causal connection between his mental condition and his military service. (Maariv)
- Ruins of Ancient Jerusalem Help Unravel Enigmas of Earth’s Magnetic Field - Floor tiles from house 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+VIDEO)
- At $2B, IAI notes best half-year performance on record - The Israel Aerospace Industries on Sunday posted its performance review for the first half of 2020, saying that with sales of over $2 billion, it has bested the company's performance of record for any quarter of half-year to date. (Israel Hayom)
- For Americans Moving to Israel, the Promise of Less Stress Over FBI Background Checks - A proposal pending final approval would significantly reduce the time required for mandatory FBI background checks of prospective immigrants to Israel. (Haaretz+)
- Italian court: Asserting Jerusalem is Israel's capital is 'propagating misinformation' - Two pro-Palestinian groups sue Italian TV network after gameshow host says Tel Aviv is not Israel's capital. Court says asserting that Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish state amounts to "disseminating incorrect information.” (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
- Report: Biden intervenes to keep word 'occupation' out of Democrats' platform - Presumptive 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden personally intervened to keep the word "occupation" out of the official party platform. Citing three sources familiar with the discussion, Foreign Policy reported that the former vice president intervened following "heavy last-minute lobbying" by pro-Israel groups. (Israel Hayom)
- Ilhan Omar's Fate Uncertain as She Faces pro-Israel Challenger in Democratic Primary - As a result of support from pro-Israel organizations, Antone Melton Meaux has significantly out-raised Omar ahead of Tuesday’s primary vote. (Haaretz+)
- Cairo's Tahrir Square makeover aimed at preventing future protests, critics say - Critics say project seems designed to tighten control and prevent future protests, while some archaeologists worry about the preservation of four sandstone sphinxes placed on a busy roundabout. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- 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)
- Iran nuclear deal at risk as Security Council readies to vote on arms embargo - Renewed sanctions would likely kill the nuclear deal altogether. Tehran has already breached parts of the 2015 accord over the US withdrawal from the pact and Washington's imposing strong unilateral sanctions. (Israel Hayom)
- Trump: Iran will agree to quick deal after re-election - "If we win, we will have a deal with Iran within four weeks," Trump says during a fundraiser according to a video published by the Jewish publication Belaaz and Jacob Kornbluh from the Jewish Insider. (Israel Hayom)
- Iran shuts newspaper that quoted expert who doubted official COVID death stats - Former member of Islamic Republic's coronavirus task force Mohammadreza Mahboubfar told Jahan-e Sanat that 20 times more Iranians might have died than the regime is reporting. (Agencies, Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
For Glory and Matchmaking: The Very Lively History of Jewish Tombstones in Turkey
A new online database of 61,000 graves reveals that, for Jews in Turkey, investing in death was also investing in life. (Ofer Aderet, Haaretz+)
Israel's democracy is stronger than Netanyahu (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) The prime minister's failure to dismantle the government by violating the coalition agreement with Blue & White proves that despite his unceasing search for more power, the state stands, but we cannot rest on laurels, for the danger remains.
No one believes Netanyahu. Gantz has one step left
(Tali Ben-Ovadia, Ynet Hebrew) The prime minister does not care about the budget, but about his law. Gantz should go to Lapid, Ya'alon and Lieberman with a bowed head and apologize and submit the (two-year) budget bill with them.
Gantz is not built to withstand the pressures that Netanyahu is exerting on him, but he has no choice (Ben Caspit, Maariv) Netanyahu is a man with a developed historical consciousness, and the disaster that is going to happen to us here inspired by him will be engraved in his name. That will be his punishment, even before he is sentenced by the panel of judges.
One million Israelis look at Netanyahu and Gantz in terror (Arnon Bar-David, Ynet Hebrew) Thank you, we give up on propaganda, commentators, text messages and polls. Arnon Bar-David, chairman of the Histadrut (National Union), believes that going to the election polls in such a crisis indicates a detached leadership.
A Letter to the District Psychiatrist From a Concerned Israeli Citizen (B. Michael, Haaretz+) I am not a physician, but I think that as a loyal citizen I am obligated to report to the relevant authorities the unusual behavior of people who may pose a danger to others. We’re talking about a person who, due to rather unusual circumstances, is responsible for my life, health, welfare and security. This man’s conduct has always worried me, but recently the situation has deteriorated, and I’m becoming deeply concerned that his behavior will cause serious harm to me and to all the other people whose life, health and welfare are in his hands. To wit: The man is a compulsive liar. He’s such a liar that even the opposite of what he says isn’t true. In general, it is clear that he knows he’s lying. It’s pretty acceptable in his circles. But sometimes it seems as if he believes his lies, and that he’s actually living in this imaginary reality he’s created. That is strange and worrisome. He is convinced that evildoers are pursuing him at every turn, conspiring against him, undermining him and seeking to kill him. No one is actually pursuing him and no one is plotting to harm a single hair on his head, but he insists…
Bibi, you have the power to destroy the country - but the demonstrations will not stop (Ron Kaufman, Maariv) I really am not jealous of you, for what you have been experiencing in recent weeks. On the one hand, January is approaching, and then the evidentiary phase of the trial against you will begin. On the other hand, there are the demonstrators who are willing to pay any price, the main thing is to make your life bitter. Needless to say, you are the only prime minister - out of a dozen - still raising his 29-year-old son in the prime minister's residence. Much of the public is disgusted with you and Yair, not just for this reason. There are a few more, many even. For some reason, you, your son, the wheelers and dealers who work for you, the "slaves" for whom you arranged a job on the Likud list for the Knesset, all of you claim that you won the election and that a leader is only replaced at the ballot box. But this is a gross, blatant and even disgusting lie. In your three "election victories" you failed to form a government. For the third time, even though you won 36-35 seats (depending on who you ask) in the rotten political bestseller combos, you had to go to unity, which from day one, even at the signing of the agreement, you knew clearly and decisively that you had no intention of keeping it…Personally, I'm glad you managed to destroy Kahol-Lavan as well, a collection of characters who knowingly deceived their constituents, and everyone is happy with their downfall. About Derech Eretz [party of Tzvi Hauser and Yoaz Hendel - OH it is a pity to expand, they were nothing, and in the future there will be nothing, only outside the Knesset. This whole pile has betrayed the trust of the electorate, on purpose - a conduct that is unforgivable…You miserab ly failed to manage the Corona crisis, your government is clearly not functioning, the economy is collapsing…You used public money to pay the ultra-Orthodox, just to support you. You're still paying with our money, and you intend to pay later as well. Some of what (you are giving) is expressed in bringing the ultra-Orthodox to Israel. They do not have the monthly allowances and national insurance (from the government) in the US, so you allow 12,000 ultra-Orthodox to be imported - probably to the Trump Heights settlement (in the Golan Heights - after you agreed to bring ultra-Orthodox here since the beginning of the Corona crisis in Israel. They are a significant part of the morbidity factor in Israel, and you are solely responsible: Not (former ultra-Orthodox health minister) Yaakov Litzman in the past or Aryeh Deri now. You and only you are responsible for this article (of the agreement). It's not the left, it's just you, because what really interests you is you. For you, we, the working secular public, are just unnecessary dust, a pile of slaves designed to fund your whims: to [stay-OH] at Balfour [PM’s residence], at the expense of the public, who will also be forced to continue to fund your private home in Caesarea and the rest of your private homes. And now you want to go to the polls, when in the last year and a half you have spent 6-7 billion shekels of ours. That's our money, Mr. Prime Minister. The public coffers do not fund our homes and us. We are already ready for all the spins, lies, deception and fraud created by your wheelers and dealers, ready for the lies of your dear son Yair on social media - messages that are spread with your knowledge and full approval. Okay, you have the power to destroy the country, to put us in a general quarantine now, just because you want to. But the demonstrations will not stop, they will continue and intensify. It will not be 15,000, and it will not be stopped by 150,000 protesters across the country. All the best to you, sir… Sincerely,
Israel's voters have a very short memory (Einav Schiff, Yedioth/Ynet) One would expect the upcoming elections, if they happen, to hold to account those responsible for health, economic and political crises in the country, in particular the person who acts out of his own interests, but history shows this is not the case.
PM wants another chance to get off the merry-go-round (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) It is possible that the prime minister is convinced that an election is in the offing, no matter what. But if Benny Gantz had played the part of a true partner, Netanyahu would have found it difficult to avoid the rotation.
The bill that is the opportunity to prevent Netanyahu from serving as president in the future (David Harel, Maariv) The fact that he is accused of bribery as prime minister - threatens to swallow what is left of democracy in Israel. There are many worrying signs that Netanyahu will also seek to be chosen as president in the future.
When It Comes to Human Rights, I Rather Be a Purist Than a Hypocrite (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Imagine a cow screened on the facade of the Dabah slaughterhouse in Deir al-Assad. The owner, Dabah Salah & Sons, explains that it was meant as a show of solidarity with the slaughtered cows. “These cows were caught up in a terrible tragedy. The company’s act was a spontaneous expression of humanity,” the columnists of the sacred center will write. “It’s hypocritical. Dabah can’t absolve itself. It’s responsible for the slaughter!” the purist leftists will write. “Cows are inferior creatures that are meant for human consumption. Why are you championing them?” the carnivores on the right will write. Bingo. Symmetry between the right and the left. The purists of the world have united. The pious center will condemn them both. That’s what Netta Ahituv did (in an Op-Ed). She created a symmetry between right and left and condemned the purists. We aren’t talking about cows, however, but rather about human beings, and not about a slaughterhouse, but about a scarred and battered land that Israel has assaulted repeatedly with its terrible destructive force, and whose infrastructures Israel had threatened to destroy just two or three days before last week’s disaster.
Miracle in Tel Aviv: An enemy state flag on the city hall is a demonstration of naivete (Yossi Ahimeir, Maariv) The explosion in Beirut illustrates the danger posed to Lebanon by Hezbollah, which is operated by Iran. The organization's incessant provocations in Israel also completely endanger the land of cedars…Every time I drive from my home in Ramat Gan to Tel Aviv, on Abba Hillel Road, I see to my left, as I approach the area of the Diamond Exchange, the flag of the Kingdom of Jordan. It is flies naturally on a mast, along with flags of several other countries, marking the residence of the Jordanian embassy - of course, not in Jerusalem - and notes the fact of peace with our neighbor to the east. For 26 years now, the Jordanian miracle has been flies him in the Israeli wind…A flag represents a sovereign state, authority or organization, and when hoisted in foreign territory, is an expression of peace relations, a desire for peace. This is the Jordanian flag, this is also the Egyptian flag, unlike the Palestinian flag. When the Palestinian flag is hoisted - certainly within Israel - its purpose is to create anti-Israel provocation… We would very much like to see, alongside the flags of Jordan and Egypt, more flags of Arab countries…There are undoubtedly elements in Lebanon who are interested in peace with Israel, but they lack the ability and courage to demonstrate this desire. Lebanon is subject to Sheikh Nasrallah's regime of terror, which endangers Lebanon more than it endangers Israel. The "atomic" explosion last week, which destroyed half of the Lebanese capital, illustrates the danger posed to Lebanon by Hezbollah-operated Iran…And here, in recent days - a miracle! This flag of the enemy state - in the meantime - was hoisted on the Tel Aviv Municipality building…An insult in itself. It was not the Lebanese who lit it, but the (Tel-Aviv - OH) landlord. In a burst of naivete, perhaps out of improper public interest, the miracle was raised - or ignited. In Lebanon, which is licking its wounds, they found time to mock this artificial "gesture," and even promised in response to burning the Israeli flag….Meanwhile, another flag is constantly defiant in front of Israeli settlements on the northern border - a yellow flag in the center of which is a hand waving a threatening assault rifle. One thing is for sure: this miracle will not happen in Tel Aviv. The Hezbollah flag will never be hoisted on the town hall.
The Israelis 'Fighting Till the Last Drop of Blood' Against Palestinian Documentary (Doron Koren, Haaretz+) A court will soon decide on the conflict between artistic freedom and soldiers’ libel suit in the case of 'Jenin, Jenin', the controversial documentary on the Israeli army during Operation Defensive Shield.
‘Jenin, Jenin’ Article Is Propaganda Clothed as Journalism (Nadav Lapid, Haaretz+) Haaretz piece on soldiers suing Mohammad Bakri is completely one-sided. Are you trying to please right-wing readers? Doron Koren begins his piece by refreshing our memory: “The IDF embarked on Operation Defensive Shield in West Bank cities in March 2002 after a suicide bomber blew himself up at the Park Hotel in Netanya and murdered 30 people, many of them elderly. It was the peak of a bloody month in which more than 135 Israelis were killed in terror attacks, and the peak of the second intifada, in which more than 1,000 Israelis were killed, a majority in suicide bombings in the heart of Israeli cities.” The Wikipedia entry for “Second Intifada – Casualties” notes that 3,330 Palestinians were also killed. Some also count the 1,200 Palestinians killed in Operation Defensive Shield. Even the IDF, I thought, makes note of the number of Palestinians it killed. But in this article they are nowhere to be found…
Palestinian Deaths, and Other Points Haaretz Failed to Mention (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Three comments on Doron Koren’s article about the legal battle against Mohammad Bakri and his film ‘Jenin, Jenin.’
High time to dismantle UNRWA (David Billet, Israel Hayom) UNRWA has instituted policies that act as formidable obstacles to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to say nothing of the fact that while it publicly declares itself to be dedicated to improving the lives of the Palestinians, it privately maintains close ties to Hamas.
Employers Are Stealing From the Poor, and the Israeli Government Couldn't Care Less (Haaretz Editorial) In April there was a small victory for justice in Israel. It came when the High Court of Justice overturned a law requiring the employers of asylum seekers to withhold 20 percent of their wages and deposit them into an escrow account, to be withdrawn only when and if they leave the country. The Deposit Law sought to encourage asylum seekers to leave Israel by worsening their conditions. Three years after this terrible law went into effect, the court struck it down as unconstitutional and gave the state 30 days to return the accumulated funds to workers. But as Haaretz has reported, when the asylum seekers tried to withdraw their money, many were shocked to discover that while their employers had withheld 20 percent of their wages, they never deposited the money in the escrow account.
How Qatar Could Trigger the Next Hamas-Israel Conflict (Muhammad Shehada, Haaretz+) Qatari cash aid for Gaza has kept a fragile peace between Hamas and Israel. With Doha now stalling its down payments, Hamas is launching incendiary devices, Israel is shutting the border and a major escalation is brewing.
Gush Katif [settlement bloc in Gaza Strip] was not heaven, he wrote, but hell (Gilad Sharon, Yedioth/Ynet Hebrew) A former Rafah Yam resident [Gaza Strip settler - OH] turned to me and said: Your father [former prime minister Ariel Sharon] saved us from ourselves, from the madness we convinced ourselves that is normal and that we will survive living under the scythe of death.
The quiet race between Israel's Navy and Gaza's terrorist group (Yaakov Lapin, Israel Hayom) IDF officials speak of "dizzying rate of change" in naval capabilities, but also about how Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are looking to upgrade their attack.
A desperate Lebanon may find a savior in Beijing (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) No one is going to put up the financing for reconstruction after the Beirut port disaster, except maybe China in order to expand its presence in the Middle East.
Hezbollah pushes Lebanon toward Iranian domination (Dr. Edy Cohen, Israel Hayom) Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is Lebanese, but his loyalty is to Iran. Part of his political purpose is to render Lebanon completely dependent on the Islamic republic.
From Harris to Whitmer and Bass: How Joe Biden’s Possible Veeps Could Tip U.S.-Israel Ties (Allison Kaplan Sommer and Amir Tibon, Haaretz+) Reflecting the broad discourse in the Democratic Party, the five women on the shortlist have contrasting views and records when it comes to the Jewish state and Middle East policy.
Lebanon's Prime Minister Resigned, but Beirut Protesters Not Yet Satisfied (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Even before the massive port explosion, Hassan Diab's government was left with no choice but to resign. But mass civil unrest shows the Lebanese seek greater change.
How Do You Rebuild a Nation After a Genocide? (Una Hajdari, Haaretz+) How does genocide affect survivors' national and political identity? And how they relate to the perpetrators and their heirs? How Bosnian Muslims, targets of Europe's most brutal ethnic cleansing since the Holocaust, are grappling with these core questions.
The Left Made Israel More Moral, but Their Mistakes Made Them Irrelevant'
Ideological right-wing MK Bezalel Smotrich devoted his life to destroying the two-state solution. In an interview he says the left's fixation with it is 'like getting addicted to drugs to escape reality.’ (Interviewed by Ravit Hecht in Haaretz+)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.