APN's daily news review from Israel - Monday September 21, 2020
You Must Be Kidding:
The Israeli government gave $1 million to an Israeli NGO, which has established ‘student villages’ across the West Bank, so that its students can guard West Bank settlement outposts.**
- Corona cabinet to discuss more restrictive restrictions on the economy and tightening the lockdown
- Lockdown brings state closer to pessimistic scenario Bank of Israel warned about // Sami Peretz
- Now, in these difficult times, the voice of Bader Ginsburg, is needed // (former chief justice) Dorit Beinish
- Death of Bader Ginsburg, could spark a political battle that will change the face of the presidential race // Chemi Shalev
- Thousands demonstrated against Netanyahu; Man arrested on suspicion of trying to run over demonstrators in Jerusalem
- Attempt to force imposing sanctions on Iran tests the limits of US force // Noa Landau
- Reading studies can wait, but the lockdown could be destructive to first-graders
- Heat wave just began: the climate crisis is here and not everyone is prepared for it
- Anyone but Bennett // Aluf Benn
- Long live the difference // Yechiam Weitz
- Israel Aerospace Industries transfered at least $155 million to companies linked to money laundering in Azerbaijan
- “We cannot continue this way” - Ignoring the lockdown (Hebrew)
- Government discussing stricter lockdown ahead of Yom Kippur
- A holiday, a festival and anger // Nahum Barnea
- Self-destruction // Ben-Dror Yemini
- Exit strategy // Amnon Shashua
- Mirit Harari (who died of cancer): “She took advantage of her life till the end and was happy until the last minute” (Hebrew)
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
- Test of the lockdown
- Israeli driver arrested after racing in direction of (anti-Netanyahu) demonstrators at Balfour
- Death of a hero - Mirit Harari valiantly fought cancer and inspired numerous women
- Conquered Holland - Israeli soccer player Eran Zehavi signed on Dutch soccer team after five years in China
- Assessment: stricter lockdown is unavoidable; Tomorrow: (Corona) cabinet meets
- Police investigating suspicion of attempt to run over demonstrators at Balfour
- Demonstrators in front of Prime Minister’s Residence (at Balfour) gave up solidarity long ago // Amnon Lord
- The opposition is spreading the virus of loss of hope // Moria Kor
- Do soul-searching and make the lockdown stricter // Ran Reznick
- The death that shook-up the campaign // Avraham Ben-Zvi (on Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death)
- This time, forever: Due to the wave of abandoning pets - broadcast from organization for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
- Assessment in the US: “Iran will be able to manufacture a nuclear bomb by the end of the year”
- Parting from Mirit Harari: “She inspired everyone”
- Israeli pride: Guy Niv made history at the Tour D’France, Eran Zehavi signed on to Dutch soccer team
Top News Summary:
The government is considering tighter restrictions for its second corona virus lockdown, which began on Rosh Hashanah Eve and continues for three weeks. But despite the lockdown, thousands of Israelis participated in another Saturday night anti-Netanyahu demonstration - and a man was arrested on suspicion of trying to drive into the protesters - making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.
Interestingly, the death and legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a front page story in Haaretz, which dedicated the main photo to her, an Op-Ed by female former chief justice Dorit Beinisch and also an analysis about the effect of her passing on the US presidential election race. However, Bader Ginsburg’s death was largely ignored by the other main Israeli newspapers, whose front pages dedicated articles to another woman who died of cancer, Mirit Harari, whose name is largely unfamiliar to Israelis.
- Gantz to Fly to Tuesday to Washington to Meet With U.S. Defense Secretary, Pentagon Officials - Defense minister to discuss Israel's qualitative military edge in region, Iran policy with Mark Esper on trip, during which he is to limit contact with others. (Haaretz+)
- Honduras Aims to Open Embassy in Jerusalem by End of 2020 - 'We hope to take this historic step before the end of the year, as long as the pandemic allows it,' Honduran president Hernandez says on Twitter. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
- US official: US hopes to name Qatar a major non-NATO ally - The "Major non-NATO ally" (MNNA) status gives a country preferential access to US military equipment and technology, including free surplus material, expedited export processing and prioritized cooperation on training. (Israel Hayom)
- Bipartisan House Bill Backs Israel's Deals With UAE, Bahrain, Calls on Other States to Join - Resolution also calls to ensure that any U.S. weapons sales don't 'adversely affect Israel’s ability to counter and defeat any credible conventional military,' amid talks of UAE purchase of F-35 jets. (Haaretz+)
- Diplomacy 'in reverse': Veteran Israeli diplomats question haste of Abraham Accords - The breakneck speed with which the official White House ceremony for Israel, UAE and Bahrain was announced surprised several former negotiators, who liken the event more to signing of a letter of intent than an actual peace treaty. (Ynet)
- Emirati, Bahraini FMs send Israel new year greetings - The holiday greetings were in response to their Israeli counterpart, Gabi Ashkenazi, who had sent a Rosh Hashanah message to each, writing: "My dear friend, on the eve of the new year on the Jewish calendar, I would like to wish you and your people a year full of peace, prosperity, stability and health! Happy New Year!" (Israel Hayom)
- Dubai's Habtoor Group to Open Representative Office in Israel - Major conglomerate's portfolio covers the hospitality, construction, education and automotive sectors. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Israeli and Emirati film industries to cooperate after peace deal - Agreement between Abu Dhabi Film Commission, Israeli Film Fund, Jerusalem's Sam Spiegel Film and Television School seeks to strengthen commercial ties through training programs, co-productions and joint film festivals. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Israeli and Dubai diamond exchanges sign trade agreement - With the U.S.-brokered peace agreement, the UAE and Israel are taking their quiet economic ties public for the first time. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Desert Storm: Former Israeli defense officials' Persian Gulf entanglement - Court filings in a business dispute expose attempts to sell unauthorized cyber tools to a country Israel has no official ties with. (Calcalist English)
- A Palestinian solidarity protest held Saturday in occupied Jerusalem against the Israel-Emirates normalization deal (VIDEO WAFA)
- Bahrain's repressed opposition moved by Israel normalization deal - Solidarity with Palestinians has long united Bahrainis, but controversial agreement has especially angered the Shi'ite majority. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Trump: Kuwait May Be the Next Country to Establish Diplomatic Relations With Israel - 'I think they'll end up fairly quickly being a part of it,' Trump says. (Haaretz+)
- Sudan to Talk Removal From U.S. Terrorism List in UAE Visit Amid Rumors of Israel Normalization - Sudan's transitional government has been pushing to get off the list, which hinders its ability to access foreign loans to tackle an economic crisis. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Coronavirus Israel Live: Pandemic Czar Warns of Rise in Severe Cases, '600 Deaths a Month' - Israel sees 58 dead in two days, breaks ventilated patients record ■ New guidelines allow protests in groups of 20 during lockdown ■ Israel currently has 52,577 active cases; 1,256 people have died. In the West Bank, there are 11,425 active cases and 291 deaths, and in Gaza 1,825 active cases and 17 deaths. (Haaretz+)
- Israel Police hand out over 2,800 fines for COVID violations - On Saturday, the second day of Israel's second coronavirus lockdown, police handed out over 2,800 fines to members of the public caught violating public health regulations, the Israel Police reported Sunday. (Israel Hayom)
- In Israel’s First Hospital to Turn Away Coronavirus Patients, a Stark Warning of Collapse - Overcrowded coronavirus wards and lack of staff trained in treating severe cases edge this hospital in northern Israel closer to a tipping point, and its director stresses lockdown is not the cure. (Haaretz+)
- All you have to do for a permit to move freely during Israel's lockdown as a prayer leader is ask - Haaretz reporter sets up fake synagogue at publication's headquarters, contacts Religious Services Ministry, and within hours receives permit. Now all that remains is for him to learn to blow the shofar. (Haaretz+)
- Netanyahu Adviser, Under Quarantine Order, Left Home to Film Protesters - Likud party says digital media adviser Topaz Luk only arrived at anti-government protest to take a coronavirus test, while protesters say Luk 'staged anti-coronavirus protest.’ (Haaretz+)
- Two Netanyahu Aides Violate post-D.C. Trip Quarantine - Reuven Azar spotted at supermarket on Friday despite requirement to quarantine until Monday. The news comes after Netanyahu's social media adviser, Topaz Luk, was filmed on Sunday at an anti-government protest near the premier's official residence in Jerusalem. (Haaretz+)
- 'Hackers Are Exploiting the Coronavirus to Attack Hospitals' - Over the last several months cybercriminals have targeted hospitals with computer viruses - this Israeli company has created the specific tech needed to stop them. (Haaretz+)
- Unemployment Is Surging, NGOs Are Collapsing, So Israelis Volunteer to Turn the Tide - Some 165,000 have volunteered for the first time due to the coronavirus crisis, a bittersweet statistic revealing that the government should be doing more. (Haaretz+)
- Palestinian Worker in Israel, Stabbed in the Neck by Group of Israelis - Issa Abu Halil, 30, from Dura town near Hebron, was stabbed in the neck and other parts of his body Tuesday night by more than one Israeli citizen at Halil’s workplace in the Israeli city of Ashdod on Wednesday. Khalil suffered moderate injuries and was transferred to a hospital in Ashdod. No arrests were made, and none of the Israeli perpetrators were identified. [NOTE: The Israeli websites did not note that he was Palestinian. - OH] (IMEMC, Palinfo, WAFA, Rotter.net and AshdodOnline)
- Israeli army detained 3 Palestinians after they too infiltrated the Israeli state, from the Gaza Strip, the Jerusalem Press reported. - Hebrew sources stated that 3 Palestinian youths crossed into Israel Friday morning, near Kfar Azza. The three young men were transferred to Israeli intelligence for interrogation. The Gaza Strip has been under a strict blockade, imposed by the Israeli occupation in 2007, causing a humanitarian disaster (IMEMC)
- Palestinian youths Detained After Sneaking in to Israel from Gaza Strip - Four youth detained Saturday after trying to cross into Israel from the besieged Gaza Strip. Specialist in Palestinian prisoners’ affairs, Abdul Nasser Farwana, said that since the beginning of 2020, the Israeli army has arrested 40 Palestinian citizens trying to cross the (Gaza) border into Israel. The Gaza Strip has been under a strict blockade, imposed by the Israeli occupation in 2007, causing a humanitarian disaster which has continued to worsen since the beginning of the siege. (IMEMC)
- Israeli settlers chopped dozens of olive trees in Al-Sawiyah village - Locals said they discovered that dozens of olive trees had been cut down by settlers from the Rehalim settlement, south of Nablus. (IMEMC)
- Israeli Authorities Destroy Fruitful Trees, Seize 200 Acres of Land - Israeli bulldozers destroyed 200 fruit trees, on Saturday, in the town of Bidya, west of Salfit, in the northern occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Information Center reported. Owner, Salim Khalil, said some of the trees were more than 2 decades old, the harvest being his sole source of income to provide for his family. (IMEMC)
- Israeli Settlers Assault, Injure 2 Palestinians near Bethlehem - Israeli settlers assaulted two Palestinian brothers in their ’40’s, near al-Walaja village, west of Bethlehem, Friday night, causing them serious wounds. (IMEMC)
- **Israeli students in state-funded scholarship program guard illegal West Bank outpost - University students housed in villages operated by the Kedma association volunteer to guard Jewish shepherds’ farms, against some of which there are demolition orders. (Haaretz+)
- Palestinian Prisoners Assaulted, Injured by Israeli Repression Forces at Megiddo - Israeli prison authorities assaulting prisoners, and spraying them with tear-gas when they stormed sections 5 and 6 of Megiddo prison Wednesday night. The PPS said that the confrontation started with the arbitrary transfer of a large group of Palestinian prisoners from Gilboa to Megiddo prison. When a Palestinian detainee approached the prison director to express his opposition it led to the repression of the prisoners. (IMEMC)
- Israel closes Ibrahimi Mosque for Jewish holidays Saturday and Sunday - For the second day in a row, Israeli occupation authorities continue their closure of the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron City, south of the occupied West Bank, denying access to Muslim worshippers at the site due to the Jewish holidays. (WAFA)
- New Graphic Novel Digs Deep Into the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict - Award-winning artist, Ruth Modan, has rival Israeli and Palestinian diggers searching for the Ark of the Covenant under the West Bank separation barrier in her latest comic book, “Minharot” (“Tunnels”). (Haaretz+)
- Hamas Denies Report of Breakthrough in Prisoner Exchange Deal With Israel - Senior official Moussa Abu Marzouk says Friday that Egyptian delegation in Gaza presented outline for deal, but many obstacles remain, including legal challenges in Israel. (Haaretz+)
- East Jerusalem Palestinian suspected of recruiting agents for Hezbollah, Iran - Yasmin Jaber, arrested by Shin Bet along with other suspects, allegedly headed a cell that attempted to recruit Israelis and Palestinians, security service said. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
- Israel's population hits 9.2 million on eve of Rosh Hashanah - According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, 88.8% of the population is satisfied with their lives. During the past year, 49,410 couples got married and 170,000 babies were born. (Israel Hayom)
- 1934-2020 Israeli Columnist Meron Benvenisti, Vocal Supporter of a Binational State, Dies at 86 - Benvenisti, who published columns on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Haaretz for some 20 years, also served as Jerusalem's deputy mayor in charge of the city's Palestinian neighborhoods. (Haaretz+)
- Air Force commandos get first Druze commander - Lt. Col. A. makes history in becoming the first Druze commander of any of the IDF's four most elite units. (Israel Hayom)
- Organized Crime Has Discovered Cyberattacks - and Business Is Booming - Cyberattacks in Israel are up 20 percent alone this year and some say digital ransom attacks are up 715 percent worldwide. With workers exposed at home, hackers are forming cartels and upping the stakes. (Haaretz+)
- After being stuck for days, Hasidic Jewish pilgrims retreat from Ukraine border leaving garbage in their wake - About 2,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews traveled through Belarus in hope of celebrating Rosh Hashanah in the city of Uman, but couldn't reach their destination. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet Hebrew)
- 30% of Israel's ultra-Orthodox are ready for coed college classes, study shows - Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services study shows Haredim also willing to have lecturers of either gender and see little importance in gender segregation on university campuses. (Haaretz+)
- Former Haaretz editor Dov Alfon named editor of French daily Liberation - Alfon served as editor of Haaretz in 2008-2011 and beforehand edited the paper’s culture section, the magazine, and reported from Israel and Paris. (Haaretz+)
- Rouhani says Iran will give 'crushing response' to U.S. bullying - Iranian president says Washington 'approaching a defeat in its sanctions move' after the Americans declared all U.N. sanctions on the Islamic Republic had been restored, a move rejected by many world powers; meanwhile, rial fell to a record low against the dollar. (Agencies, Ynet)
- US accuses Hezbollah of storing explosive chemical in Europe - U.S. believes that terror group transports ammonium nitrate around Europe to carry out future attacks when it or its masters in Tehran deem necessary, a senior State Department official said Thursday as he appealed to countries in Europe and elsewhere to impose bans on the organization. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Iran would have enough fissile material for nuclear bomb by year's end, U.S. official says - United States to slap sanctions on over two dozen targets tied to Iran arms on Monday, as part of Trump's effort to limit Tehran's regional influence. (Agencies, Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
- $1.6 billion: The amount that Nasrallah allegedly smuggled in preparation for the "Doomsday Scenario" - Various reports indicate that the Hezbollah leader is smuggling huge sums over the years so that he can flee his country if necessary. The source of most of the smuggled money is in the budget of Hezbollah and the Lebanese government. (Agencies, Maariv)
- In retaliation for Soleimani's assassination: Bahrain announced that it had thwarted Iranian attacks - In retaliation for the US assassination in January of the head of the Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani. the Revolutionary Guards set up a new terrorist organization that planned to carry out a series of attacks on security buildings in the Gulf state and eliminate senior officials, the Ministry of Interior reported in the kingdom. (Agencies, Maariv and Ynet)
- U.S. Space Force Deploys to Vast New Frontier: Arabian Desert - Future wars may be waged in outer space, but the Arabian Desert already saw what military experts dub the world’s first 'space war.’ (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
- Footprints show humans reached Saudi Arabia almost 120,000 years ago – or did they? - The fossil evidence doesn't show any other Homo species around at the time but there's very little of that fossil evidence and Neanderthals were in Israel then. (Haaretz)
- Lebanese patriarch blames Shi'ite leaders for political paralysis - Maronite patriarch criticizes Shi'ite insistence on the finance portfolio, adding sectarian fuel to a nation in severe political and economic crisis. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Russian jets attack Syrian rebel-held bastion in heaviest strikes since ceasefire - First wide-scale aerial bombing since March agreement ended a Russian-backed bombing campaign that displaced over a million people. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- 150 Jewish tombstones taken by Nazis in Polish town to be restored - Mayor committed to preserving stones used for construction of the market square during Nazis’ WWII assault. (Haaretz+)
Features:Israeli Cops Thought the Palestinian Shepherd Stole a Car. So They Shot Him in the Head
In the dead of night, Border Police stopped a car carrying three young Palestinians and without a word shot one of them in the head, point blank. Now he may lose his eyesight…Abd al-Rahman Jabarah lies on his side, cringing, feeble, his face a picture of torment, his eyelids seemingly glued shut. Tubes protrude from his nose and his body, a scar adorns his forehead. His suffering is manifest. It’s hard to talk to him. He asks not to be photographed. He woke up just a few days ago, after being comatose for a month. Jabarah, a shepherd, was shot in cold blood and without a word being uttered, from a distance of a meter, while riding in a car that had picked him up in the middle of the night in his village, Salim, east of Nablus. Those who tried to take him out, officers of the Border Police’s special anti-terror unit (Yamam, according to its Hebrew acronym), supposedly the glory of the force, mistook him for his brother, A’amar – who’s suspected of no less than car theft. Still, nothing can explain or justify a criminal attempt to liquidate an unarmed young Palestinian who was not endangering anyone, who was traveling in a car with two other young men, whom he barely knew, in the dark of night…(Gideon Levy, Haaretz+)
Streaming rights: How a beautiful kibbutz waterway became ground zero for Israel's (Ashkenazi-Mizrachi) culture wars
The Asi stream is at the center of a dispute that’s been billed as a clash between Israel’s ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots,’ its old elites and working-class towns. Haaretz visits Kibbutz Nir David and Beit She’an to hear from both sides. (Judy Maltz, Haaretz+)
A Paean to Liberalism and Human Rights (Haaretz Editorial) U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday at her home in Washington D.C., became by the last years of her tenure a symbol of the fight for liberal and humanistic values. Ginsburg, who was Jewish and hailed from Brooklyn, sat on the Supreme Court bench for 27 years…Ginsburg was a proud Jew, and two years ago she visited Israel. She was a winner of the Genesis Prize for Lifetime Achievement, awarded jointly by the government of Israel, the Jewish Agency and the Genesis Foundation – which she accepted from retired Supreme Court President Aharon Barak. And like Barak, Ginsburg also represents progressive judicial ideology, which views as a supreme value the right to equality of every person before the law, and promotes social values by enshrining them as precedent-setting Supreme Court rulings. Ginsburg demonstrated that the link between the feminist struggle and the struggle for social equality for minorities in all realms is an essential one. The values of human rights, and the very rule of law and obliging elected officials to abide by it is now under assault, both in the United States and in Israel. In both countries, populist leaders are seeking to distort judicial values in the name of their appetite for absolute political power, without checks and balances. Israel must fight off these assaults, strengthen the court and transform Ginsburg’s legacy, the legacy of liberalism and equality, into an integral part of its national identity.
Fake Lockdown, Imaginary Reality: Netanyahu Is Leading Israel Into Darkness (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) When every issue is weighed according to political survival, Netanyahu's coronavirus response can only look like an election campaign.
The 'Netanyahu lockdown' is dangerous sham (Yoram Yuval, Yedioth/Ynet) Imprisoning the Israeli public, who have lost all trust in the prime minister, brings with it all the health and psychological risks that surfaced during the first national closure while being devoid any serious justification for such a measure.
After Second Lockdown, Liberal Israelis Will Flee the Country (Rogel Alpher, Haaretz+) The second lockdown proves that Israel is being managed very badly, relative to other advanced nations, which could be immigration targets for liberal Israelis. These Israelis, in contrast to religious, traditional-religious, right-wing and ultranationalist Israelis, will not live in Israel because of a biblical past or a divine promise. They will live in Israel if it provides them with the standard of living, the social services and the personal freedoms that they want. The colossal failure of management that led to the second lockdown, the inability to take effective and science-driven decisions and to enforce them consistently, to formulate good policy in advance and to behave in a calm, organized manner rather than descending to pathological levels of chaos and disorder – all these prove that Israel is incapable of giving liberal Israelis the life they want…
The virus in Gaza offers chance for Hamas and Israel (Michael Milshtein, Yedioth/Ynet) While Israel must offer aid to the Strip, which is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis, the level of assistance could be leveraged against the terror group, whose growing fears of civil unrest may force it to soften its rigid ideology.
Netanyahu, a Master of Humiliation (Carolina Landsmann, Haaretz+) It’s impossible to share the joy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his followers over the agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, because their joy is schadenfreude over the Palestinians: Look at how your brothers betrayed you. The Arab boycott, the threat of international sanctions on Israel and its moral ostracism from the club of Western nations were the only cards the Palestinians had to play in their nonviolent struggle against the occupation. Now, they don’t have any cards left. Netanyahu, backed by U.S. President Donald Trump, has pushed them into a fateful decision – complete capitulation or a return to armed struggle…
The year 2020 breathes new life into Foreign Ministry (Itamar Eichner, Yedioth/Ynet) While PM worked tirelessly to bury the ministry in previous years, it was rejuvenated once Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi took the helm and its staff experienced a professional renaissance.
Political tangle: the ties that the State of Israel must allow in order to move forward (Ran Edelist, Maariv) Separation of religion from the state and separation of state from Palestinians are the ultimate solution for ensuring the existence and growth of the State of Israel - separating the state from Netanyahu will be a bonus.
Netanyahu, Step Down So That We May Have a Good Year (Friday Haaretz Editorial) The despondency of the passing year cannot be separated from the fact that the state is led by a man who has been charged with crimes yet refuses to act like a gentleman and to respect the fundamental rules of democracy. Instead of resigning and letting the wheels of justice spin free and true, Netanyahu has declared war on every component of law enforcement in Israel: from the police, the prosecution and the attorney general down to the judges. By so doing, Netanyahu has fatally wounded the foundation underlying every functioning state. His recklessness had immediate grave repercussions: The Israeli fabric of life, already fragile, has been torn apart by the incitement and polarization that he provoked…
Netanyahu's followers are completely captivated by personal and family ecstasy, in the belief that there is no one else but him (Ben Caspit, Maariv) Netanyahu pounced on the political achievement with hunger, while blaming the corona failure on others. And despite all the good will, the image of Balfour protesters actually serves the Prime Minister.
History is passing the Left by (Uri Cohen, Israel Hayom) The leftists in Israel are suddenly placing all sorts of terms and conditions on peace, and assuming that the general public shares their reservations about the historic developments Benjamin Netanyahu has worked for.
Anyone but Naftali Bennett (Aluf Benn, Haaretz+) Exhausted from the lockdowns, quarantines and economic anxiety, disappointed over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s loss of control, many Israelis are hanging their hopes on Hayamin Hehadash Chairman Naftali Bennett as the savior from the coronavirus…But Bennett isn’t offering the public just a specialty in managing crises but also a strict right-wing ideology. First of all, racism: “I’m not going to establish a government based on Arab votes or Arab abstention, ever.” Bennett doesn’t even cloak himself in the whitewashed wording of a dispute with the largely Arab Joint List, like other politicians. With him it’s simpler: If you’re Arab, your vote doesn’t count. Bennett isn’t offering the public just a specialty in managing crises but also a strict right-wing ideology. First of all, racism: “I’m not going to establish a government based on Arab votes or Arab abstention, ever.” Bennett doesn’t even cloak himself in the whitewashed wording of a dispute with the largely Arab Joint List, like other politicians. With him it’s simpler: If you’re Arab, your vote doesn’t count…
The imperative of practical sovereignty (Sara Haetzni-Cohen, Israel Hayom) Words and thoughts about sovereignty in Judea and Samaria are nice, but ultimately moot without action on the ground. Just look at the Palestinians and learn.
Sale of F-35s to UAE was missed opportunity for Israel (Eitan Ben Eliyahu, Yedioth/Ynet) Instead of denying that the sale was going ahead, Netanyahu should have used it as leverage for more American defenes aid and access to new technology while preserving the country's military superiority in the region, instead he has made us all less safe.
Normalization and Israel's existential problem (Eric R. Mandel, Israel Hayom) The Palestinians are not the primary issue for Arabs or for Israel's immediate security, as evidenced by these treaties and the lack of outrage in the Arab world.
Israel's Cynical Exploitation of Palestinian Dead Bodies (Hagai El-Ad, Haaretz+) The dead Yakub Abu al-Kiyan isn’t just a good Arab. He’s a useful Arab. And he’s far from alone. First, the prime minister, public security minister (at the time) and the police commissioner (at the time) proclaimed that the dead Abu al-Kiyan was a terrorist. In so doing, they justified not only the violent, pseudo-military operation in January 2017 in which hundreds of police raided his village, Umm al-Hiran, to demolish it and build a community for Jews there, but with one quick lie they were able to whitewash everything: the gunfire directed at Abu al-Kiyan when he was slowly driving his car, leaving him to bleed to death, the demolition of his home and his village, and the wild incitement against Arab lawmakers. First, the prime minister, public security minister (at the time) and the police commissioner (at the time) proclaimed that the dead Abu al-Kiyan was a terrorist. In so doing, they justified not only the violent, pseudo-military operation in January 2017 in which hundreds of police raided his village, Umm al-Hiran, to demolish it and build a community for Jews there, but with one quick lie they were able to whitewash everything: the gunfire directed at Abu al-Kiyan when he was slowly driving his car, leaving him to bleed to death, the demolition of his home and his village, and the wild incitement against Arab lawmakers…
Palestinians risk being left behind in the new Middle East (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) As the region changes and the interests of Israel and Gulf states align, Abbas opts to side with Iran and Turkey even at the cost of losing his long-time supporters, unable to move from decades-long, outdated demands.
The day after the conflict (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) The Arab League's refusal to condemn the peace deals despite the considerable pressure excreted by the Palestinians reflects a wider consensus that the time has come for rapprochement.
Will Oman take a calculated risk and make peace? (Daniel Siryoti, Israel Hayom) Arab diplomats think Oman will be next normalize with Israel, even though unlike other Gulf States, it enjoys good ties with Iran.
Israelis' much-vaunted solidarity, honed by war, has failed in time of plague (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) Israelis are grimly reaping the result of decades of Netanyahu’s divide and rule and incitement: We can no longer come together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Black September: Abu Mazen (President Mahmoud Abbas) has nothing left to offer his people (Avi Issacharoff, Maariv) This week's ceremony illustrated how far the Palestinian issue has been pushed off the Arab agenda, dragging Fatah to its lowest point ever. The region has received a message from Iran, and it is probably not the last.
Arab states need the Palestinians if they want real peace with Israel (Husam Zomlot, Haaretz+) We know Arab states are under pressure to normalize Israel’s violent occupation. But they should challenge that bullying - and back Palestinian rights.
The Palestinians understand that they will never dictate when Israel will enter the circle of the Kabbalists (Ruth Wasserman-Lande, Maariv) The agreements between us and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are a reality changing move. This is the recognition of the State of Israel’s right to exist and the conditioning of normalization of normalization on a full solution of the Palestinian issue.
Nasrallah Still Wants Revenge, but Israel May Do the Job for Him (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) One can assume Nasrallah isn’t blind to how Israel mishandled the pandemic, sacrificing some of its most strategic resources: resilience, solidarity and public trust.
Trump Wants New Iran Sanctions. The World Is Flipping Him the Bird (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) It's not just China and Russia that are faithful to their dealings with Tehran. It's also Washington's allies in the Gulf – Qatar, Oman and even the UAE.
In the Moment of Truth, Will U.S. Bullying Force the World to Reimpose Iran Sanctions? (Noa Landau, Haaretz+) The U.S. administration wants to pressure Tehran back to the negotiations table, but 'uncertainty' buys Iran what it hopes would be enough time before Trump is voted out.
It wouldn't have happened without Trump (Jonathan S. Tobin, Israel Hayom) Only an administration staffed by amateurs who didn't play by the rules could have orchestrated the Abraham Accords. Don't expect the Democrats to build on this success.
White House peace deals are as vacuous as Miss Universe statements, and that's by design (Noa Landau, Haaretz+) Israel's treaties with the UAE and Bahrain lack any explicit recognition of Israel as a Jewish state or endorsement of the two-state solution, but rather says parties will be 'guided in their relations' by UN resolutions and international law.
Peace treaties back Iran into a corner (Amnon Lord, Israel Hayom) As is the case with any successful diplomatic initiative, it achieves more than one goal. Perhaps most importantly, peace with the UAE and Bahrain severs the Palestinian cause from Israeli-Arab relations.
And now, peace on the Temple Mount, too (Josiah Rotenberg, Israel Hayom) One of the most perverse aspects of the Middle East conflict is the rejection of Jews' right to pray on the Temple Mount. That must change if the Abraham Accords are to have any meaning.
Israel has joined the Arab axis. It will have to start paying its dues (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Normalization with Bahrain and the UAE could complicate Israel’s relations with Qatar, its dealings with Turkey and any future action in Iran.
The day after the conflict (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) The Arab League's refusal to condemn the peace deals despite the considerable pressure excreted by the Palestinians reflects a wider consensus that the time has come for rapprochement.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Was Larger Than Life, but Her Death Could Prove More Momentous (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Battle over replacing the feminist hero and Jewish icon likely to upend election campaign and could favor the candidate she once called a 'faker', Donald Trump.
The death that rocked the US campaign (Prof. Abraham Ben-Zvi, Israel Hayom) The death of Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg enables Trump to push for a conservative takeover of the Supreme Court and energize his base. This is a defining moment in the battle.
Why Ruth Bader Ginsburg Had an Intimate, Yet Ambivalent, Relationship With Judaism and Israel (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) The late justice took pride in and drew strength from her Jewish heritage, but as a young woman her growing feminist awareness led her to make a decision about religious observance.
Jimmy Carter, "Rock'n'Roll President," is one of the most honest and humble in history (Ron Meiberg, Maariv) While Trump quarrels with the rock greats, (Op-Ed writer) Ron Meiberg took a break from the (US) election, watching the documentary about the former president, who around his neck, he carried to the White House the guitars of Bob Dylan, the Allman Brothers and others.
At 75, UNGA is in need of reform (Clifford D. May, Israel Hayom) The United Nations is not the organization it used to be, and never was.
Why People Betray Their Countries, According to an Israeli Expert
Clinical psychologist Ilan Diamant, who worked for the Mossad, talks about what turns people into double agents, and how the system tries to identify them before they can cross the lines. (Ayelett Shani, Haaretz+)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.