APN's daily news review from Israel - Tuesday September 29, 2020
Quote of the day:
"Yes, she’s got a huge following, and it would have been nice to enlist her to the cause of peace, but if
she’s not interested, or not brave enough to stand up to the BDS crowd, there are many other emerging political
leaders who’d be happy to take the slot she was offered."
--Haaretz's Washington correspondent, Amir Tibon, writes about US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's pull-out from Americans for Peace Now's October 20th virtual event commemorating 25 years since the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, who was murdered because of his support for a two-state solution.*
- Knesset expected to approve law restricting demonstrations
- In Jerusalem, ignoring corona has turned into an ideal
- Netanyahu: Prepare for treating 1,500 seriously ill from October
- Corona patients occupy 15% of the beds in the emergency room and some 40% of the beds in the internal wards
- Trump almost never paid tax in the last 20 years, and his businesses are in heavy debt
- In the first presidential debate taking place tonight, absolutely everything could happen // Chemi Shalev
- Some 70 people killed in exchange of fire between Azerbaijan and Armenia, which destabilizing the Caucasus
- Cutting the subsidies of daycare centers harming especially low-income families
- The (Jewish) historian who writes about the Holocaust without the word ‘anti-Semitismx’
- Strong against the weak // Haaretz Editorial
- Last warning - The master of nature movies knows that he will no longer get to see the future of Earth: “Save it”
- 500 deaths in less than a month
- Last night: Mass gathering at seminary in (ultra-Orthodox city) Bnei Brak
- The fearful secular people // Ben-Dror Yemini
- Yom Kippur praying // Sivan Rahav-Meir
- (US) President without taxes
- Sukkot holiday pods
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
- Lockdown until further notice
- Blow to the (US) President - NYT revealed Trump hasn’t paid taxes for 10 years
- “Assad signals to Israel”
- Studying from home - even after the holidays - Rate of infection is not slowing down
- The corona challenge and the negligence // Prof. Eyal Leshem
- Approaching 800 seriously sick
- Exchange of fire in Caucasus
- Trump against Biden: Tension ahead of the first debate
- Israel builds a sukkah
- The UN needs to rethink its path // Ambassador to UN Gilad Erdan
Top News Summary:
The ever-rising rate of COVID-19 infection in Israel (today it surpassed even the US per capita), the Saturday night anti-government protest (some 16,000 protesters demonstrated across the country, many simply by riding in convoys to Jerusalem or Caesarea - VIDEO) to protest the government plan to restrict the anti-government protests due to the virus, the NYT expose about US President Donald Trump not paying taxes for a decade (which only ‘Israel Hayom’ played down, focusing instead on the presidential debate) and the fighting that erupted between Azerbaijan and Armenia were today’s top stories in the Hebrew newspapers.
Also, Yedioth’s diplomatic affairs correspondent Itamar Eichner revealed that the cover by an Israeli ensemble of an Emirati song has won it fans across the Arab world. Firqat Alnoor, (which this reporter saw and fell in love with at a concert in Jerusalem,) played ‘Aheibak’ (‘I love you’). On YouTube it shows almost 25,000 views in two weeks. Even the Emirati Minister of Culture and Youth Noura Al Kaabi shared the performance with her followers on Twitter, calling it “beautiful music” by the Israeli ensemble.
Also, Maariv and Israel Hayom quoted from a report by top Arab journalist Ibrahim Hamidi in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat English and Arabic daily, who said that Syrian President Bashar Assad may be signalling to renew peace negotiations with Israel.
And at the virtual UN General Assembly, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday called for an international conference early next year to “launch a genuine peace process." Abbas also criticized the decisions by the UAE and Bahrain to normalize relations with Israel. Abbas told the UN there would be no peace and no security in the region without a resolution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The day before, at a meeting in Amman, Jordan, Egypt and the European Union urged the renewal of Israel-Palestinian talks and said that Israel’s pledge to suspend annexation ‘should become permanent.’ Also at the UN, Syrian Foreign Minister al-Moallem accused Turkey of being the main sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East.
Interestingly, it appears that the normalization agreements of two Arab countries with Israel has brought together the Palestinian factions, which agreed (finally!) to hold election in six months.
- In first, Israel surpasses US in number of daily COVID deaths per capita since pandemic began - Army intelligence report shows Israel also has higher coronavirus infection and mortality rates than U.S., France, U.K., Italy, Austria and South Korea. (Haaretz+ and Ynet and Israel Hayom)
- Israel's virus death toll hits 1,500; slight fall in serious, ventilated patients - Health Ministry reports Tuesday morning 65,025 active carriers of virus in country; with limited testing due to Yom Kippur, just 1,121 new virus cases identified in 24 hours, while infection rate remains high yet steady at around 13.8 percent. (Ynet)
- COVID-19 Spike Pushing Israeli Hospitals to the Limit, Report Warns - According to a report by the team that monitors the situation in hospitals, about 10-15 percent of all emergency room beds and 40 percent of internal medicine beds in every hospital are occupied by coronavirus patients. (Haaretz+)
- Israeli Army Reservists Say Coronavirus Crisis Commanders Fail to Wear Masks or Socially Distance; IDF cancels leave for combat troops - Letter to chief of staff warns that officers are not following guidelines and describes use of insecure computers and disdainful treatment. (Haaretz+ and Times of Israel)
- 260 Israeli Yeshiva Students Test Positive for Virus, Stoking Fears of Wider Outbreak - New cases were among 2,000 students who slept in same building for Rosh Hashanah prayers. 1,200 others who attended prayers have returned home. (Haaretz+ and Times of Israel)
- In ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem, Yom Kippur Was Stronger Than the Virus - For the thousands packed into each synagogue without masks on Yom Kippur, the coronavirus spreading is sacred self-sacrifice. (Haaretz+)
- 70% of Israel's Newly Furloughed Workers Are Women - More women have become jobless than men because they worked in industries that were more affected by the coronavirus, employment service chief says. (Haaretz+)
- ‘The Coronavirus Lockdown Could Damage Israel’s Image as a Tech Superpower’ - While some high-tech companies can keep working from home, hardware firms say that without a permit to work onsite, their ability to supply customers will be undermined. (Haaretz+)
‘It sounds like the Palestinian authorities are managing the pandemic better than
Israel’ - The latest Israeli lockdown curtailed plans to visit a cousin for the Jewish new year –
but that’s a relief given the government’s failure to handle the coronavirus. (Um Forat's Post
- Settlers, Palestinians Clash, Damage Farms and Supplies Near Nablus - Residents of Qusra in the West Bank says nearby settlers struck a farmer with a stone and attacked a chicken farm, while settlers say Palestinians started the skirmish by torching a vineyard. WAFA reported that an armed Israeli settler assaulted a Palestinian farmer who was working in his land in Asira al-Qiblya village Sunday. (Haaretz+ and VIDEO and IMEMC)
- Israel to Confiscate Palestinian-owned Land in Hebron - The Israeli authorities announced, last week, a military order to confiscate a large area of Palestinian lands in the Tel Rumeida area [where a Jewish settler enclave is located - OH], in the southern West Bank city of Hebron. (IMEMC)
- Miriam Levinger, mother of Hebron’s Jewish community, passes away at 83 - Together with her husband Moshe, Levinger led the Jews back to Hebron after the Six-Day war. (Even after Israel conquered the West Bank city in the '67 war) Jews were not allowed to live there until Miriam led a group of women to illegally enter Hebron’s formerly Jewish Beit Hadassah building in late 1979, refusing to leave until the government agreed to authorize Jewish life in the city in 1980. At the funeral, Miriam’s daughter urged her deceased mother to bring the ancient foremothers with her to God to protest and demand that the nation of Israel return to Shechem (Nablus), Jenin and Tulkarem and all of Biblical Israel. (Maariv and JPost)
- Israeli Forces Invade Homes, Detain Palestinians, including a Woman in E. Jerusalem - The Israeli police detained a Palestinian woman and her husband, Al-Maqdisi, on Sunday, after invading their home in Al-‘Isawiya town in occupied East Jerusalem, the Palestinian Information Center reported. Soldiers also detained two siblings, Mustafa and Fadi, as they were grazing their sheep near the Apartheid Wall in Anin village and interrogated them for hours before releasing them. (IMEMC)
- Palestinian Teen Sentenced to Five Years in Prison - Samer Abdul-Karim Awais, 17, from Jenin refugee camp, was detained by Israeli forces on April 15, 2019. He has been interrogated in harsh circumstances at the Petah Tikva detention center over the past few months. The teenager is also said to have been tortured. (IMEMC, Albawaba and Palinfo)
- Conditions of Palestinians in Israeli prisons are leading towards explosion, says official - Israel Prisons Service has denied family visitations for hundreds of prisoners under feeble and false pretenses and implemented unprecedented policies of oppression and abuse against the prisoners forbidding them for months to get money from their families for their canteen accounts, especially the Gaza prisoners, as well as not allowing entry of clothes and cigarettes. (WAFA)
- Palestinian Prisoners’ Society: “Freezing Administrative Detention Of Al-Akhras Is An Israeli Attempt To End His Strike Without A Real Solution” - PPS has reported that the Israeli decision to freeze, instead of cancelling, the Administrative Detention (prions without charges) of detainee, Maher Al-Akhras, 49, after 59 days of ongoing hunger strike, is an Israeli attempt to end his strike without granting him his legitimate rights. PPS stated that al-Akhras is currently in a serious health condition at the Kaplan Israeli medical center, and held Israel responsible for his life. (IMEMC)
- Palestinian refugee receives Spanish citizenship after discovering Jewish Sephardic roots - The 26-year-old lecturer in architecture in the U.K., Heba Nabil Iskandarani has been stateless for most of her life, possessing only a Lebanese travel document that defines her as a Palestinian refugee. (Haaretz+ and Times of Israel)
- Ex-IDF soldier files $6M lawsuit against BDS activist in California - Californian who immigrated to Israel in 2012 received countless death threats over false accusations. (Israel Hayom)
- Scientific journal refuses normalization of illegal Israeli settlement-based Ariel University - After academics raised concerns, scientific journal ‘Molecules’ asked guest editor, Prof. Mindy Levine from Ariel University, to correct her falsely listed affiliation, which listed her university as “Ariel University, 65 Ramat HaGolan Street, Ariel, Israel.” Ariel is a university located in a West Bank settlement. Levine refused to change the word ‘Israel’ and ‘Molecules’ withdrew the special issue, including from its website, to avoid normalization of Israeli settlements. A number of media outlets have corrected reporting on Ariel University that falsely indicated it as located within Israel. (WAFA and PNN)
- Ocasio-Cortez withdraws from Rabin memorial event after backlash - Democratic congresswoman pulls participation from Americans For Peace Now commemoration for assassinated Israeli premier, after pro-Palestinian activists call move ‘disgusting' and showing 'total contempt for Palestinian lives.' Ocasio-Cortez was to speak at the virtual event, which will commemorate 25 years since Rabin's assassination by a Israeli far-right activist, about “fulfilling the courageous Israeli leader’s mission for peace and justice today in the U.S. and Israel.” (Haaretz+ and Times of Israel)
- Israeli Writers Call on President, Judiciary to Declare Netanyahu Unfit for Office - 'Every day he continues in his role brings him and Israel closer to a disaster, the likes of which we have never seen, and hopefully never will,' artists write to president, Supreme Court president, attorney general and Shin Bet chief. (Haaretz+)
- Sudan rejects linking removal from U.S. terrorism list with Israel normalization - Before the embattled African country can access much needed debt relief, Washington would like it to follow in the UAE, Bahrain's footsteps. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
- Israeli Court Delays Decision on Darfuri Asylum Requests Over Developments in Sudan Ties - Issue of repatriating Darfuris raised in recent talks between senior Israeli, Sudanese and U.S. officials, sources tell Haaretz. (Haaretz+)
- Protesters Urge Israeli Court to Lift Gag Order on Name of Suspected Wife-stabber - Demonstrators say the victim, Shira Moshe, wants 'the whole country to know' but judge accepts suspect’s plea not to 'destroy a career and reputation.’ (Haaretz+)
- Probe of gang rape case that shocked Egypt targets witnesses and perpetrators alike - Both suspects and witnesses could now face charges under the country’s morality laws, along with the main case of the alleged gang rape – a move which activists say will discourage other victims from coming forward. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Egyptian Navy Releases the Bodies of Two Palestinian Fishermen Brothers - The Egyptian authorities handed over on Saturday evening the bodies of two Palestinian fishermen, brothers who were shot by the Egyptian navy on Friday off the southern coast of the besieged Gaza Strip, while a third wounded brother, Yasser, remains in the custody of the Egyptian authorities. (IMEMC and Agencies, Haaretz)
- Israel tests state of the art maritime missiles, IDF says - The latest weapons test comes amid concerns that the UAE deal may jeapordize Israel's much-vaunted military advantage in the Middle East. (Haaretz+)
- Czech Defense Ministry plans to buy air defense from Israel's Rafael - Ministry says it expects contracts to be signed in early 2021, as government set to miss NATO defense spending target. (Agencies, Haaretz+)
- Google awards TAU grant to study AI-based solutions to COVID - Google.org, a Google fund aimed at supporting data based solutions, has awarded a competitive grant to Tel Aviv University for high-impact research employing Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to combat COVID-19. (Israel Hayom)
- Lebanese PM-designate resigns after failing to form cabinet - Efforts by the French-supported Moustapha Adib have hit multiple snags after militant group Hezbollah insisted on retaining hold of the key Finance Ministry, as Lebanon faces unprecedented financial crisis. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Yemen's Warring Parties Agree Largest Prisoner Swap - Iran-backed Houthis and Yemeni government, backed by Saudi-led coalition, will exchange 1,081 detainees and prisoners, says UN envoy Martin Griffiths. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- UAE: Iran's aggressive policies made Arabs look at Israel - "The more strategic the Israelis look at these relationships, the more doors will open to them," says UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash. Normalizing ties with Israel "was strategically good for the UAE, will make it have more of a global presence." (Israel Hayom)
- Turkey orders arrests of 82 Friday, including Kurdish opposition, over Kobani protest - 2014 protests in accused Turkish army of standing by as Islamic State besieged Kobani, just across the Syrian border. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Report: Turkey deploying Syrian fighters to help ally Azerbaijan - Turkey is sending Syrian rebel fighters to support Azerbaijan in its escalating conflict with neighboring Armenia, two Syrian rebels have said, as Ankara pledges to step up backing for its majority-Muslim ally. (Israel Hayom)
Features:Renowned Jewish Historian: Stop Using the Term ‘Antisemitism’
Professor David Engel insists events that occurred in different eras and different places aren’t necessarily connected. “Instead of resorting to using the term ‘antisemitism,’ I trained myself to aim for detailed depictions of specific incidents and figures,” Engel, a professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University, writes in the latest issue of “Zion,” a quarterly journal of the Historical Society of Israel. For example, he categorizes a quota on the number of Jews that could be accepted to a university as “legislation that discriminates against Jews”; he ascribes a blood libel to “fantastical imagery of Jews.” (Ofer Aderet, Haaretz+)
Palestinian 'peasants' keep local agriculture alive
A West Bank co-operative is operating an alternative market in the central city of Ramallah, where nearly a dozen farmers who live off the land sell everything from milk and honey to bread and organic fruit and vegetables. (Ynet)
The Muslim Moroccan Director Trying to Crack the Mystery of the Jews Who Left His Homeland
After making a documentary about why the Jews left his own hometown, Kamal Hachkar is closing a circle with a new film about two Israeli musicians with Moroccan roots. Hachkar, who speaks Hebrew and is well-versed in Israeli politics, explains why he’s drawn to such stories. (Khen Elmaleh, Haaretz+)
Story of unknown Egyptian officer who helped Israel avert defeat in Yom Kippur War reveleaed
Military Intelligence recruited the officer, who later gave the Mossad one for the most important "golden tips" of the war. His identity remains top secret, but senior intelligence sources say his contribution to Israel's victory in the war is undeniable. (Aharon Weissberg, Israel Hayom)
Movement restrictions and repeated arrests: Israel's measures against top Palestinian official
Adnan Ghaith has been arrested 18 times in the last two years, but charges were never filed. Israel claims that his activities are a violation of the Oslo Accords but his supporters insist it’s due to his political power. (Nir Hasson, Haaretz+)
Thousands of Palestinian homes face demolition as Israel refuses building permits
Palestinians in Jerusalem are subjected to many racist practices when attempting to get building permits. Bureaucratic procedures can last up to eight years and the cost of obtaining the necessary documents could be as high as $60,000. Israeli settlers, however, have no such problems. According to data from Peace Now, 48,000 building permits were issued by the authorities for settlers from 1991 to 2018, whereas Palestinians were granted only 9,350 during the same period, less than a third of the applications made. As a result, some Palestinians have to build their houses without getting a permit, only to get demolition orders later on…A legal campaign is needed urgently to condemn Israel’s occupation and stop its discriminatory policies. (Dr. Belal Yasin, Middle East Monitor/IMEMC)
'Mr. Prime Minister, do you believe what you’re saying? It's embarrassing': The Netanyahu interrogation transcripts (Gidi Weitz, Haaretz+) The interrogators dropped bombshell after bombshell, constantly catching Netanyahu off guard. Time and again he pounded on the table. He spoke frankly about his wife, his children. The interrogators accused him of lying, said his replies were embarrassing. Don’t talk to me like that, he retorted. They did not knuckle under.
Anyone who is unable to say “You don’t take dirty laundry to Washington" is unable to run a country (Ben Caspit, Maariv) And also: even high-speed internet cannot be installed here because of Netanyahu's conflict of interest. And even though the demonstrations in Balfour are driving Bibi crazy, it's time to change plans during the closure.
Fighting Netanyahu instead of the pandemic (Amnon Lord, Israel Hayom) Even on the Left, there are those who admit that the zeal fueling the protesters demanding the overthrow of PM Benjamin Netanyahu is disproportionate.
How Netanyahu's attempt to limit anti-government demonstrations backfired (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) Across Israel, protesters say the prime minister’s attempts to silence them using COVID-related emergency regulations 'shows that the protests are working' and has only made them more determined to speak out.
Israelis must show some national responsibility (Sharon Kidon, Yedioth/Ynet) If we are not united we have no chance of beating coronavirus, and despite our divisive leaders we must unite and overcome the national mentality of cutting corners and hoping for the best if we are to survive this crisis - not only for ourselves, but for our children too.
Israelis Hate Netanyahu the Despot? Just Ask the Palestinians (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) When the first steps were taken against the coronavirus crisis, Israelis got their first taste of roadblocks, lockdowns, restrictions on movement, home invasions, mass unemployment and fear of the unknown. It was a savory sample of life under occupation, which has been the Palestinians’ routine for at least three generations. Now comes the second stage, the stage of hatred toward the person responsible for it, Netanyahu. They are tasting the taste of hatred toward the one they see as the despot who has taken control of their lives against their will. This hatred also leads to another stage, the threat of violent revolt. It’s true that currently this is nothing but a pathetic, absurd, empty threat with no chance of being carried out – the Israeli left is too spoiled to launch a civil war and its distress isn’t severe enough for it to seek any change. The fact that people are talking about a revolt should remind Israelis of something, but they don’t see it.
Only one person, unique and special, can remove the protesters out of the house: Binyamin Netanyahu (Ben Caspit, Maariv) The atmosphere is like on the eve of the fall of the Berlin Wall, of historic days. The fact that the Prime Minister devotes most of his energy and time to a desperate effort to stop the demonstrations against him is inconceivable.
Protests are important, but now is time to stop (Yoel Hasson, Yedioth/Ynet) Israelis who wish to express their disappointment at the failure of our leaders to lead must shoulder their own share of the national responsibility and recognize that suspending the demonstrations in Jerusalem will benefit us all.
The Bibi Cult Has Finally Detached Itself From Israeli Society (Ravit Hecht, Haaretz+) Back in the day, when security was adequate and the economy boasted full employment, it was easy for the cult members to persuade much of the public that Bibi was the be-all and end-all. The right never believed Netanyahu, but the ideological settlers followed him because to them he was less evil than the begetters of the Oslo Accords. They regularly called him a liar, and his reputation as one worsened after his annexation farce. Today, none of them would even trust an agreement to buy a bicycle from him. They’ll turn their backs on him when the scent of his weakness strengthens, at which point the Bibi-ists will call them a radical leftist faction financed by the New Israel Fund.
Captain Netanyahu sets the passengers against each other as mother ship Israel sinks (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) As the coronavirus lockdown tightens, businesses are collapsing, the health care system is tottering, the right to demonstrate has been eroded, and Bibi has no cure.
Don't eulogize Israeli solidarity (Dr. Eithan Orkibi, Israel Hayom) I suggest we take this rhetoric of our social demise with a grain of salt. Some of it is based on superficial analysis, much of it is tendentious.
COVID-19 failure of right-wing populists like Trump and Netanyahu hardly a coincidence (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) The world’s worst-performing countries against the pandemic are all led by self-centered authoritarians.
Media must do its part to fight corona (Memi Peer, Israel Hayom) The coronavirus crisis has sparked a heated media debate about government failures and the post-outbreak state commission of inquiry that must be formed to investigate them. The pandemic will end long before this debate is exhausted, if at all…If this is a war, then the media is the air force. It has the power to help decision-makers win the battle.
Submarine Affair? Netanyahu Actually Showed Great Foresight (Mor Altshuler, Haaretz+) The peace treaties include the option of channeling oil and gas from the Gulf via Israel as a way to shorten the path to Europe. Is the benefit inherent in a huge project like this greater than the risk of pollution from oil leaks? And how should the Israel Navy prepare for the new opportunities and the challenges they create?
Netanyahu Wages a Holy War Against Protests. It's Already Claimed the First Casualty (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Suffocating Israel's economy will carry a heavy price, and the infringement on the rights of Israeli citizens will be felt long after the virus is history.
On Yom Kippur I am supposed to forgive others for their sins, but this time I am unable (Nir Kipnis, Maariv) I know it's not nice, that a bigger than I am might have made more of an effort. But I just can not forgive my elected officials. For this betrayal I ask you not to forgive them either. If you do not belong to the extreme right or the extreme left, then chances are you voted in one way or another for this government, which includes the Likud, the ultra-Orthodox parties, Kahol-Lavan and the Labor Party. About 80% of those who read this column now chose people from whom - according to the polls - about 80% of the public are disappointed.
Who will screw our heads on straight? (Yariv Vernick, Israel Hayom) Israel's failure to handle COVID is being compared to the failures that led to the Yom Kippur War. In reality, our situation is much worse than it was in 1973.
Israel’s Yom Kippur 2020 – as Bad as 1973 (Israel Harel, Haaretz+) This year is the 47th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. The nation was saved mainly thanks to the heroism of the rank-and-file soldiers and the junior and mid-level officers. They, unlike senior government officials such as Moshe Dayan (“the destruction of the Third Temple”), didn’t become mired in despair…Due to the foul-up of failing to mobilize the reservists, we paid with almost 3,000 dead and over 15,000 wounded, while thousands were traumatized. To this day there are still signs of national trauma. Many people, including some of the war’s heroes, lost their confidence in the government and emigrated. Others express their trauma by showing a lack of confidence in the political leadership and abandoning national solidarity. Yom Kippur 2020. This time too there was no shortage of intelligence. This time too the government didn’t take the enemy seriously and didn’t prepare for war. This time too the shortsightedness of the political leaders, along with the stubborn and erroneous perspective of the professionals, have brought a disaster upon us. Its dimensions in human life, a socioeconomic crisis and despair with the state, its leaders and institutions are likely to be as they were in ‘73, and God forbid, even worse…
The causes of the Yom Kippur war in '73 are not very different from today's policy: a gathering battle against reality and the world (Ran Edelist, Maariv) So, 47 years ago, we did not know that that Yom Kippur would become the day when the state would begin the march of folly towards the current Yom Kippur, which also has a sense of defeat - in health, economy and society.
Palestinians are Not Numbers: On the Future of the Palestinian Discourse (Ramzy Baroud, Middle East Monitor/IMEMC) Numbers, for example, tell us that over 2,200 Palestinians were killed during the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip between July 8 and August 27, 2014, over 500 of them being children. Over 17,000 homes were completely destroyed, and thousands of other buildings, including hospitals, schools, and factories were either destroyed or severely damaged during the Israeli strikes…But a single chart, or a thousand, can never truly describe the actual terror felt by a million children who feared for their lives during those horrific days; or transport us to a bedroom where a family of ten huddled in the dark, praying for God’s mercy as the earth shook, concrete collapsed and the glass shattered all around them; or convey the anguish of a mother holding the lifeless body of her child…
The Killing of the Terrorist With Nine Lives Changed the Course of the Second Intifada (Ofer Aderet, Haaretz+) Until January 2002, Fatah did not openly perpetrate attacks in Israel. But a bomb that ended Israel’s long pursuit of Raed Karmi, among the most wanted men of the time, led to a policy change. In effect, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already answered these questions. His plan to lay an underwater pipeline from Israel to Europe would enable the transfer of gas from the Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, via Eilat. In a similar light, we should understand Netanyahu’s emphasis on the strengthening of the navy, and increasing Israel’s submarine fleet to nine vessels.
No Terror Attacks, No Accords: 20 Years On, the Effects of the Second Intifada Are Clear (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) The Palestinians’ suicide-bomb campaign led to an extraordinary Israeli consensus on the tough response needed. And now the Palestinian leadership is helping quell violence.
The second intifada, 20 years on: Thousands died in a struggle that failed (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) The Al-Aqsa Intifada was the largest popular uprising against the occupation. Two decades after it broke out, the Palestinian situation is grimmer than ever.
Feeling snubbed over Israel deals, Abbas seeks extremist allies (Elior Levy, Ynet) With Arab League refusing to condemn UAE, Bahrain agreements with Israel, the Palestinian president has decided to strengthen relations with Hamas and Islamic Jihad at the expense of ties to more traditional allies, including Egypt.
Why do Google and Apple maps recognize illegal Israeli settlements, but not Palestine? (Haya Haddad, Haaretz+) Despite their claims, the two tech giants' ubiquitous, influential maps and navigation tools aren't value-neutral at all. Just ask a Palestinian.
The Saudis’ Heads Are in the Clouds of Peace, Their Feet in the Yemeni Mud (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) The crown prince is interested in a normalization with Israel and his father likes the Arab Peace Initiative, but the war in Yemen and threats to Prince Mohammed at home are keeping them busy.
Why the United Arab Emirates is uniquely stable among the Arab states (Dr. Dore Gold, Israel Hayom) Unlike its Gulf neighbors, the UAE does not have the problem of religious extremism, has a clear succession for the presidency and has resolved most of its border problems.
Beware the UAE’s financial corruption (Dmitriy Frolovskiy, Haaretz+) The UAE has become a global symbol of tolerance – for financial corruption, money laundering and complicit courts. Is that a dealbreaker for the Israeli business partners that the Emiratis are banking on?
A separate peace in the Middle East (Clifford D. May, Israel Hayom) How it was achieved and what the "Palestinian cause" now requires.
Normalization with Gulf states heralds fundamental reordering of Mideast alliances (Jackson Richman, Israel Hayom) "The new peace agreements between Israel and the UAE, and Israel and Bahrain, are the product of a profound geopolitical shift that has taken place in the region over the past several years," says senior American Foreign Policy Council official.
*Liberal Zionists, It’s Time to Admit: AOC Just Doesn’t Want to Be Your Friend (Amir Tibon, Haaretz+) The progressive lawmaker’s snub of Americans for Peace Now shouldn’t come as a surprise, and it’s time for like-minded groups to give up on her and focus on their real allies in Congress.
‘UAE’s Investment Fund Could Be a Game Changer for Israel’
University of Haifa President Ron Robin is a rare Israeli who has spent an extended period in the Emirates. In an interview with TheMarker he talks about what will come from normalization. (Interviewed by Israel Fisher in Haaretz+)
'Female soldiers who contribute to Israel's defense are performing a mitzvah'
Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, one of the most important figures in religious Zionism, has very unorthodox views. He sees no reason to boycott Judaism's progressive movements or prevent couples' rights to seek alternative wedding ceremonies. "I oppose religious coercion," he states. (Interviewed by Emily Amrousi in Israel Hayom)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.