News Nosh 9.22.20

APN's daily news review from Israel - Tuesday September 22, 2020

Quote of the day:

“It does not take much to imagine how such an event would have ended had the driver been a Palestinian: execution on the spot, before leaving the body out to lie on the ground until a sapper arrived to rule out the possibility of an explosive device. Within minutes of the incident, the police would release a statement about an attempted terror attack.”
—Journalist Oren Ziv compares the police reactions to a suspected car-ramming attack by a Jewish-Israeli and one by a Palestinian.**

You Must Be Kidding: 
"We need to try and kill anyone who raises his hand against a Jew. And he doesn't even have to kill [a Jew], only strike him or want him dead."
--Said by the Tzfat (Safed) Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu.**

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Front Page:


Yedioth Ahronoth

  • The sick who will remain without treatment (Hebrew)
  • Like in a war movie // Binyamin Tobias - Things seen from the corona ward (Hebrew)
  • They don’t care // Sima Kadmon on government officials ignoring the quarantine
  • Broken mirror // Chen Artzi-Sror writes that on Yom Kippur, the Israeli government should ask for forgiveness (Hebrew)
  • Thank you, my love // Didi Harari’s eulogy to his wife, Mirit (Hebrew)
  • The farce of the distance learning (Hebrew)

Maariv This Week

Israel Hayom

  • The cry of the doctors: More job positions were promised - and not filled; Director of Health Ministry warns: “The system is in an emergency state”
  • Collective irresponsibility // Prof. Sharon Anav
  • Life liked this: Frustration of families under lockdown - Children learn on zoom, parents work from home or are on unpaid leave
  • The Israeli who gives excuses: This is how you passed the roadblocks
  • Peace with good taste: History - a kosher restaurant in Dubai
  • Moving parting by Didi Harari from his wife Mirit RIP: “Go, be an angel, like you were in life”
  • Approved: Salaries of Prime Minister, ministers and MKs will be cut (by 10%); Soon also for judges?
  • The left-wing hopes for a rift in the right-wing camp // Galit Distel Atbarian

Top News Summary:
Today, following the first working and school day since the start of the corona lockdown, the Israeli papers focused on the results: people suffering at home with distance learning and remote work, full hospitals, and as a result, postponing of surgeries, more unemployed and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu blaming the chairwoman of the Knesset corona committee and the citizens, while two of his own advisors violated the quarantine.

Corona Quickees:

  • Two Israeli Hospitals Turn Away Patients, Ministers told hospital capacity exceeded by end of week - Pessimistic scenarios indicate 6,000 serious cases by mid November with 1,200 deaths while optimistic estimates show 3,500 serious cases and 700 deaths; latest test results show record breaking 11.6% positivity rate. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Non-corona patients paying the price - The number of serious patients breaks records every day so Health Ministry has instructed hospitals to prepare for a significant reduction in activity. The dramatic price: many surgeries may be delayed - and patients waiting for them are exposed to risks. (Yedioth Hebrew)
  • Gantz pushes field hospitals as coronavirus wards overflow - The defense minister's orders come after Health Ministry DG tells hospital chief the number of seriously ill will increase by 200-300 in the next 10 days, putting the health system 'in a state of emergency.' (Ynet)
  • Israel posts over 40,000 new jobless since start of lockdown - Employment Service says some 41,924 jobseekers have registered with the office since Thursday, of whom the majority are on unpaid leave; Finance Ministry plans to offer NIS 5,000 to employers who will not let go of staff. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Two Netanyahu Aides Violate post-D.C. Trip Quarantine - Reuven Azar spotted at supermarket and Netanyahu's social media adviser, Topaz Luk, was filmed filming demonstrators at an anti-government protest near the premier's official residence in Jerusalem, despite requirement to quarantine until Monday. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Netanyahu accuses Knesset Corona Committee chairwoman of raising morbidity - On Monday the Prime Minister hinted that chairwoman of the Corona Committe was responsible for an increase in corona morbidity.  Yifat Shasha-Bitton responded to his remarks: "Stop escaping responsibility and mud-slinging." (Ynet Hebrew and Ynet Hebrew)
  • Over 1.16 millions Israelis ordered into quarantine over phone tracking - The Shin Bet (which tracks Israelis) alerted the Health Ministry to 572,443 people who were in close proximity to verified corona patients, 29,121 of them over the past week alone. (Israel Hayom)
  • Coronavirus Israel Live: Defense Ministry to Set Up Field Hospital - Two Israeli hospitals turn away virus patients due to full wards. Netanyahu aides violate post-D.C. trip coronavirus quarantine order. New guidelines allow protests in groups of 20 during lockdown. (Haaretz+)
  • Minister, MKs to take 10% pay cut - Government tasks Finance Ministry with exploring similar cut across the board in the public sector. (Israel Hayom)
  • Want to Predict the Next Virus Outbreak? Check the Weather Forecast - The study, conducted by researchers from Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and Germany, showed that climate data can help predict when the virus will erupt. (Haaretz+)

Quick Hits:

  • Israel Tightens Demands on Gazan Breast Cancer Patients in Need of Urgent Care - Previously, Israel followed the recommendation of doctors in Gaza to allow travel to East Jerusalem for treatment. Now the army wants proof. (Haaretz+)
  • Young Palestinians in West Bank say they were severely beaten by Israeli soldiers during apprehension - In affidavit, Ahmad Alqam, 17, said Israeli occupation soldiers detained him from his family home during dawn raid and beat him severely in the face and back along the way to detention facility, where his hands and feet were cuffed to the chair for long hours as he was sitting a low position, where he remained for nine days before being transferred. Mustafa Bayari said soldiers severely beat him and banged his head across a wall several times, then he was assaulted and humiliated by investigators at the detention facility. Abdullah Sobh, 19, said he was beaten during interrogation at a detention facility, where he was kept for 17 days before being transferred. (WAFA)
  • Gazans are sentenced to death, says Euro-Med Monitor at HRC - The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor described in  statement before the Human Rights Council Monday the unilateral sanctions by some countries against the civilian population as "a lethal weapon that may lead to the death of civilians, especially in light of the unprecedented risks posed by the Corona pandemic." (WAFA)
  • Elderly anti-occupation activist among five Palestinians detained by Israeli forces in the occupied territories - Israeli forces detained Khairi Hannoun, 61, after storming his house in Anabta town in theWest Bank. Hannoun made headlines last month when he was filmed with a soldier pressing his knee on Hannoun’s neck while on the ground, a scene reminiscent of the event that led to the death of African-American George Floyd. (WAFA)
  • Palestinian prisoner from Hebron completes 18 years in Israeli jails - Fathi al-Najjar, from Hebron district, had been denied a much-needed medical treatment and examination by the Israeli prison authorities despite his bad and deteriorating health. He was finally released Monday after completing 18 of his 30-year sentence. (WAFA)
  • Israeli forces seize water tanker east of Tubas - Israeli occupation forces seized Monday evening a water tanker owned by a Palestinian contractor to the east of Tubas, said local activist Aref Daraghmeh. (WAFA)
  • Brothers ordered by Israelis to dismantle agricultural structures in the Jordan Valley - Rami and Hafez Masaeed were ordered to remove their structures in Khirbet Yerza, in the West Bank, within 96 hours under the pretext that they were built without a permit and to return the land back to the way it was before they had built the structures. (WAFA)
  • Israeli forces halt construction of poultry farm, retaining walls in Bethlehem - Israeli authorities distributed Monday notices to stop the construction work on a poultry farm and retaining walls in the town of al-Walaja to the northwest of Bethlehem, according to a local activist. (WAFA)
  • Israeli (settler) was ambushed with stones while driving with his family and was questioned by police: "How did we become suspects?" - Uri Peretz, his wife Renenah and their children drove to their home in Eish Kodesh (settlement outpost in West Bank) and were hit by a barrage of stones. The father fired into the air to make the terrorists flee and as a result was questioned by police. "It is not reasonable for someone who survived a lynching to be treated as a criminal,” he said. Police: We invetigate every time a civilian opens fire. (Yedioth and Ynet Hebrew)
  • **High Court: Chief Rabbi of Safed must face disciplinary hearing for racist incitement - Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, a state employee, who once said anyone who touches a Jew should be 'annihilated,' scolds ruling of ‘politically motivated court.’ (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • CBS: The percentage of those convicted of crimes among Arabs is about 7 percent higher than that of Jews - The Central Bureau of Statistics released data on criminal rulings in 2018, which show that about 25,000 Israelis were on trial and 21.2 thousand of them were eventually convicted. (Maariv)
  • Israeli Suspected of Trying to Run Over Protesters Claims He Was on His Way to Netanyahu - 22-year-old says he did not intend to hit protesters but rather to 'explain the coronavirus' to prime minister ■ Witness says car 'flew at' demonstrators. (Haaretz+)
  • Companies Linked to Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, Donated $100 Million to E. Jerusalem Right-wing Group - Leaked documents link the Russian oligarch to four companies that have donated generously to the Elad organization, which works to increase Jewish presence in E. Jerusalem ■ This report was written with the assistance of Shomrim, the Center for Media and Democracy. (Haaretz+ and WAFA)
  • Israel Aerospace Industries Paid $155 Million to Two Companies Linked to Azerbaijan Money Laundering - Leaked bank reports reveal money transfers from state-owned defense giant to two companies suspected of money laundering for Azerbaijani government. The transfers began just months after a $1.6 billion arms deal was signed with the Azeri regime. (Haaretz+)
  • Bulgaria Sentences Two Men to Life in Prison for 2012 Hezbollah Bombing That Killed Five Israelis - In the attack, a man of dual Lebanese-French citizenship blew up a bomb in a backpack close to a bus at the airport, also wounding 38 Israeli tourists. The two men were tried in absentia. (Agencies, Haaretz, Israel Hayom and Ynet)
  • Normalization with Israel isn't 'against' any entity, Bahrain's king says - King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa reaffirmed Bahrain's support for the Palestinians and for 2002's Arab peace initiative. (Israel Hayom and Ynet)
  • United Arab Emirates ambassador to France: "I and others are now hungry to know more about Israel" - This is what Ali Abdullah al-Ahmad, one of his country's top diplomats, says in an interview with Maariv, expressing optimism about relations between the two countries in the shadow of the signing of the normalization agreement in Washington. (Maariv)
  • Israeli and UAE Film Bodies Sign Agreement, Plan Regional Film Festival - Israel Film Fund, Sam Spiegel Film and Television School ink cooperation pact with Abu Dhabi Film Commission which includes joint training and workshops. (Haaretz+)
  • Trump awards Kuwaiti emir with prestigious Legion of Merit rank - The White House said in a statement on Friday, adding that it was the first time the honor has been given since 1991. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Kuwaiti organizations call on parliament to criminalize normalization with Israel - Forty-one Kuwaiti organizations yesterday called on the parliament to pass a law criminalizing normalization of relations with Israel.
  • The call was made in a joint statement issued by the non-governmental organizations, particularly professional unions. (WAFA)
  • 'Relocating the Honduran Embassy to Jerusalem is a brave step' - Even Hondurans of Palestinian descent are in favor of the embassy move, says Israeli Ambassador to Guatemala Matty Cohen, who is also responsible for Honduras. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli court rules accused pedophile Malka Leifer be extradited to Australia - Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled Malka Leifer is fit to stand trial. The former headmistress of a Jewish school is charged in Australia with 74 counts of rape and other sexual offenses. (Haaretz+ and Maariv and Israel Hayom)
  • Australia state leader welcomes alleged pedophile extradition ruling - Leifer, a former educator who maintains her innocence, fighting extradition from Israel since 2014, is expected to appeal to the Supreme Court. (Ynet)
  • Explained: The Long-running Court and Diplomatic Battle to Extradite Alleged Pedophile Malka Leifer to Australia - Monday’s court decision that the Haredi educator is fit to stand trial on 74 counts of rape and sexual assault means that, pending appeals, she must return to Melbourne 12 years after fleeing in the dead of night. (Haaretz+)
  • New rig to drill for gas and oil in northern Israel to arrive by Oct. 27 - Once in Israel, the rig-up crew and spudding crew will be required to quarantine in Israel for 14 days. (Israel Hayom)
  • Hamas operative killed, several injured when terror tunnel collapses in Gaza - Arab media speculates tunnel collapsed over faulty construction, or after the IDF detected it and "employed special technological measures to make it collapse." (Israel Hayom)
  • Palestinians arrest supporters of Abbas rival close to UAE - Mohammed Dahlan, a former senior Palestinian official who was banished from the West Bank in 2010 after a falling-out with Abbas, has denied any role in the UAE's agreement to normalize ties with Israel, which most Palestinians view as a betrayal of their cause. (Israel Hayom and Ynet)
  • Report: Iran showing restraint in Gulf in effort to make Trump lose election - According to several US officials cited in a New York Times report, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has vetoed any attack that could trigger a confrontation with the Trump administration before Nov. 3. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • U.S. Announces New Sanctions on Iran Defense Ministry and Others - Pompeo also announces Washington had imposed new sanctions on Venezuelan President, who has forged closer ties between Caracas and Tehran. (Haaretz+)
  • Iran says it is ready to swap all prisoners with US - Iran is ready for a full prisoner exchange with the United States, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a virtual address to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Monday, amid heightened tension between the longtime foes. (Israel Hayom)
  • 'Trump is the greatest ally Israel has ever had' - Newly launched Jewish outreach effort to underscore the significance of the Trump administration's pro-Israel and pro-Jewish policies. (Israel Hayom)
  • U.S. Sends Troops, Armored Vehicles to Syria to Counter Russia - A senior U.S. official said a half-dozen Bradley fighting vehicles and fewer than 100 additional troops were sent in to eastern Syria. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Jordan's mainstream Islamists to stand in November parliamentary election - Islamist voice was needed in parliament to help expose rampant corruption and stand up to tough laws restricting public freedoms, says official with opposition party Islamic Action Front. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)

Top Commentary/Analysis:
Sourpuss about peace (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) The Left can't acknowledge Netanyahu's historic achievement of peace with the Gulf states.
It’s Time for Arab States to Drop Another Bombshell on Israel (Yossi Beilin, Haaretz+) Saudi Arabia should revisit its surprise 2002 initiative by pushing the four Arab states who have normalized relations with Israel to lobby for a proper peace. One that includes the Palestinians,
Reversing a century of Pan-Islamic anti-Zionism (Yisrael Medad, Israel Hayom) The issue of Palestine has always been a regional rather than a local conflict. Now, that seems to be changing.
*Israeli police know how to pacify suspected attackers — when they’re Jewish (Oren Ziv, 972mag) When an Israeli reportedly tried to ram his car into anti-Bibi protesters, the police peacefully subdued him. Palestinians often aren't so lucky.
Only rabbis without God support the Jewish terrorist (Dr. Gadi Gavriyahu, Ynet Hebrew) The letter of support for the murderer of the Dawabsheh family is not surprising. Just like after the (terrorist attacks on Palestinian mayors by the) Jewish underground, after (the massacre of Muslim worshipers at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron by) Baruch Goldstein and more - there will forever be those who will not be moved by the murder of Palestinians.
A Palestinian Student Wants a Visa to Europe? Let Him Do Research in Gaza (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) The Be’er Sheva District Court, sitting as an administrative court, dared to rule that S.O., a Palestinian doctoral student in engineering, must be allowed to leave the Gaza Strip for Tel Aviv in order to receive a visa for the European state in which he is meant to begin his research on October 1. But Israel is determined to block the 28-year-old Gazan man from realizing his dream. To this end, it enlisted its endless supply of time, resources, clerks, officers and jurists. So important was it for Israel to shoot down S.O.’s scholarship and his research that it hastened to appeal the Be’er Sheva court’s ruling to the Supreme Court.
A glimpse into the chaos’: How Israel’s COVID-19 policy neglects Palestinian citizens (Makbula Nassar, 972mag) Israel's failure to conduct Arabic outreach and include Arab professionals has made it harder to stem the virus' spread in Palestinian towns, experts warn.
Under Trump, US marks historic peace in Middle East (Bill Hagerty, Israel Hayom) Unlike past US presidents, Republican and Democratic alike, President Trump has recognized that the path to peace in the Middle East runs through Israel. If Joe Biden were to become the next President of the United States, peace and prosperity in the Middle East will no longer be an attainable goal.
A fever dream of dictators (Karim Kattan, 972mag) For the signatories of the Abraham Accords, peace means squashing people's freedoms in order to unlock unfettered exchanges of technology and weapons.
The breaking of the Israeli mirror (Chen Artzi-Srur, Yedioth Hebrew) We like to be proud of our unified ethos, but the epidemic has turned everything upside down. How can one seek discipline when each sector operates in its own universe?
Flouting Quarantine, Netanyahu Aides Reveal Industry of Lies (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+)All the problems have emerged from the prime minister and his circle – violations, lies, incitement, smears, blood libels.
Anti-Netanyahu protests have shot themselves in the foot (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) Holding what are essentially beach parties and packed holiday feasts while the rest of the country is locked down with either their nuclear families or all alone is no way to persuade people to join your cause.
Do as I Say, Not as I Do (Haaretz Editorial) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made a habit of calling televised news conferences at which he demands that the public obey the restrictions imposed by the cabinet to combat the coronavirus. But even as he makes these demands, he and members of his inner circle have repeatedly exempted themselves from those very same regulations.
He can no longer do it: precisely in view of his political achievements, Netanyahu's failure in the internal arena stands out (Kalman Liebskind, Maariv) Netanyahu can no longer unite the people around anything, not even the struggle against corona. In view of the bleeding wound, which cuts into our flesh, a deal that will stop the legal process, at the same time as the end of his term, can begin the healing.
He is the man of the year because he did not live up to Netanyahu's expectations (Dr. Baruch Leshem, Yedioth Hebrew) Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit stood in front before the person who appointed him, first as the Cabinet Secretary and later as the Attorney General, and insisted on preventing the destruction of the justice system and of the changing the character of the State of Israel.
God, What Terrible Sin Did We Commit to Deserve Netanyahu? (Nehemia Shtrasler, Haaretz+) A prime minister who capitulates to every pressure group and views the long-term as the 8 P.M. news broadcast is not fit to lead Israel.
RBG and how to save a corrosive political culture (Jonathan S. Tobin, Israel Hayom) The friendship between the late justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia provides a model for how all Americans should interact with political foes. Ginsburg's death into one more excuse for Americans to attack and demonize each other. But it doesn't have to be that way, and Ginsburg's own life provides an example of how to return to treating opponents as fellow human beings we can respect and like, even when we disagree with them.
RBG: A Brave Justice Warrior Whose Voice Is Needed in Our Tough Times (Former chief justice, Dorit Beinisch, Haaretz+) Trailblazer Ruth Bader Ginsburg always remained true to her principles and paved the way in the struggle for gender equality – in Israel, too. She also earned all the adoration bestowed upon her.

"It took me a few seconds to realize that this is my moment": the IDF female soldiers that watch through the computer and saw the whites in the eyes of the terrorists
These incidents in early summer could easily have ignited a war in the north. Stav and Tair, Kamlini and Noa, Shani and Keren, first noticed the terrorists on an Iranian mission moving towards the border. "When I saw the explosion, I realized it was a wild success." The women talk about the terrorist who escaped and was hit again, the moments of relief afterward, the harsh work under fluorescent lights, and also the psychological price required from a 19-year-old: "I did not sleep the night after, it was a heavy weight.” A special interview with the female soldiers who identified the danger. (Interviewed by Yoav Zeitun in Ynet Hebrew)

'I am a Pakistani Zionist,' member of tiny Jewish community says in rare interview
Fishel Khalid, who made history last year when the Pakistani government allowed him to visit Israel, says he wants to see good relations between "sister nations" Israel and Pakistan. (Interviewed by  Dean Shmuel Elmas in Israel Hayom)

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