News Nosh 11.5.20

APN's daily news review from Israel - Thursday November 05, 2020

Quote of the day:

"We will probably be in 10th place and will come after North Korea and Iran."
--Former director of IDF Intel, Amos Yadlin, predicts that under a Joseph Biden US presidency, Israel won't be a top priority.*

Front Page:


Yedioth Ahronoth

Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)

  • Superpower on hold
  • In the land of Israelbluff - In light of the illogical decisions of the government, the public is forced to act sneakily in order to survive the economic crisis
  • Likely: Junior high school students will have to stay home
  • Fury over the salary raise of the MKs: “There will be a revolt” - While masses of businesses collapse and hundreds of thousands are unemployed, in January the salaries of the elected will increase by some 6,500 shekels a month

Israel Hayom

  • Lead for Biden; Trump: Falsifications
  • The hopes for a blue wave were proven wrong // Amnon Lord
  • American test // Avraham Ben-Zvi
  • The battle will be decided in weeks // Caroline Glick
  • They made a mistake? The polls actually deceived // Gilad Zweik
  • Trump gambled on Hispanics in Florida - and kept it in his pocket; For the first time since 1996: Arizona belongs to the Democrats; The polls predicted a big victory for Biden - and got a close battle

Top News Summary:
The US elections remained the top story in today’s Hebrew papers, which revealed who they thought would win by the front page photos of Joe Biden smiling. ‘Israel Hayom,’ the pro-Trump and pro-Netanyahu paper, played down Biden’s lead and played up that the Democrats fell drastically behind expectations. Meanwhile, Israel’s members of Knesset are slated to get a raise soon, much to the chagrin of the hundreds of thousands of Israel’s unemployed, but shops will open on Sunday, if that’s any consolation. And across the country, heavy rains caused flooding and in Ashdod people paddled boats down the streets.

US Election Quickees:

  • Over Three-quarters of U.S. Jews Voted for Biden in Election, Poll Finds - Democratic candidate secured 77 percent of the Jewish vote compared to Donald Trump’s 21 percent, according to survey, giving Joe Biden the widest points margin since 2008. (Haaretz+)
  • In Florida, Trump Got More Jewish Votes Than Anywhere Else. Here's Why - A poll released Wednesday suggests that over 40 percent of Jewish voters in the Sunshine State voted for the GOP incumbent. His pro-Israel policies may have been the clincher, one expert says. (Haaretz+)
  • Ritchie Torres, Self-proclaimed 'pro-Israel Progressive,' Wins Congress Seat - The gay Black New Yorker says he doesn’t see himself as part of the Democratic camp that includes figures such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (Haaretz+)
  • Iman Jodeh, second Palestinian -American to win a seat in the US Congress - Iman Jodeh has become the second Palestinian-American after Rashida Tleib to win a seat in the US Congress after winning today the Democratic Party’s seat in the US House of Representatives from Colorado. (WAFA)

Quick Hits:

  • Israeli Soldiers Kill Palestinian Security Officer Who Fired at Them, Army Says - Palestinian Authority calls on international community to investigate 'extrajudicial execution' of Captain Bilal Adnan Rawajbeh, 29, near West Bank city of Nablus ‘and ambulance crews from reaching him, for ‘leaving him to bleed to death.’ Rawajbeh He served as a legal advisor in the Palestinian Preventive Security Forces. (Haaretz+, WAFA, Ynet, Israel Hayom, Palestine PLO-NAD Tweet)
  • Israel Demolishes Tents, Shacks Housing 74 Palestinians in West Bank Firing Zone - Structures that served as sheep pens, toilets and water tanks in the village of Khirbet Hamsa were also demolished, and three vehicles were confiscated. High Court petitions filed over the years by Jordan Valley residents against the intention to evict them have been denied, and one of them now calls the Israeli move 'a great injustice.’ (Haaretz+, Ynet and WAFA)
  • Israeli settlers chase Palestinian herders out of grazing land - The settlers chased out Palestinian shepherds and fiercely attacked their livestock Thursday while the animals were grazing in the open pastures of Ein al-Hilweh in the northern Jordan Valley. (WAFA)
  • Israeli Authorities Order Demolition of Palestinian Road in Nablus District - Local sources have reported that Israeli authorities posted demolition orders along a 3-kilometer stretch of road, saying that Israeli forces will be coming along within one week to destroy the road. (IMEMC)
  • West Bank archeological site closed for Palestinians, opened for Israeli settlers only - The Sebastia archeological site in the north of the West Bank was Thursday declared by the Israeli army off-limit to Palestinians while made accessible to Israeli settlers only, according to Sebastia mayor Mohammad Azem. (WAFA)
  • Palestinian youth to support farmers during olive harvest season - ActionAid Palestine supports Palestinian youth initiatives helping Palestinian farmers during olive harvest in Bethlehem-district village of Walajeh and the Tulkarem-district village of Shweikah. (WAFA)
  • Erdan: UN resolutions only perpetuate Israel-Palestinian conflict - "Instead of persuading the Palestinians to choose the path of negotiations and peace, these resolutions only encourage them to harden their positions. Every voice in favor of these resolutions is another step toward turning the UN into an irrelevant body," says Israel's Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan at the UN General Assembly Fourth Committee. (Israel Hayom)
  • Corona chief proposes using CCTV to track mask-wearing by Israelis - Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit pushes back on proposal, saying state would not "complicate the situation with a camera array or people informing on one another. Only the police have the authority to hand out fines." (Israel Hayom)
  • Coronavirus cabinet okays reopening of high street shops next week - Stores will only be allowed to to serve four customers at a time; renewed lockdown to be decided for three Druze Golan towns with high morbidity; outgoing pandemic czar proposes using cameras to survey use of face masks. (Ynet and Haaretz)
  • Jordanian official lands in Israel in critical condition to receive treatment for COVID-19 - An unnamed Jordanian official, believed to be a high-ranking member of the Jordanian General Staff, arrived by helicopter at the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem on Wednesday after being diagnosed with a coronavirus complication. (Ynet, Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • Israel Police Detain 10 Anti-government Protesters Near Gantz's Residence in Three Days - Police says those detained defied conditions for protest, but they were ultimately released without conditions. (Haaretz+)
  • Man indicted for threatening to harm PM's family - A 26-year-old resident of Tel Aviv was indicted on Wednesday for threatening to harm Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his family, as well as a host of other ministers and their families. (Israel Hayom)
  • Court denies petition by Rabin's assassin to attend son's bar mitzvah - Amir asked the court to allow him to attend his son's bar mitzvah this Friday. The petition was filed as an appeal, as the warden of Eshel Prison, where Amir is serving a life sentence, denied his request. (Israel Hayom)
  • In Rare Move, ADL Joins Campaign Against Former Far-right Politician Slated to Head Yad Vashem - The record of Effi Eitam, who has called for Palestinians to be expelled from the West Bank, is 'deeply disturbing for those individuals and organizations dedicating to inculcating the lessons of the Holocaust,' ADL letter says. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli hospital asks government to approve Russian virus vaccine - Jerusalem's Hadassah Medical Center chief says discounting Russian option before trying it would be a mistake Israel could only blame itself for; claims reports from colleagues in Moscow show vaccine is safe. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Prime Minister Shtayyeh calls on Romania to pressure to stop settlement expansion - Mohammed Shtayyeh said in a press conference held after his meeting with his Romanian counterpart, Ludovic Orban, at his Ramallah office that Romania will support achieving a partnership between Palestine and the European Union, and will contribute to overcoming the obstacles that prevent this. (WAFA)
  • UAE's flydubai to start direct Israel flights this month - Dubai state-owned flydubai will operate 14 weekly services between the UAE's and Israel's financial capitals from Nov. 26, it said on its website. (Israel Hayom)
  • Shelling in Syria rebel enclave kills 7, including children - Syrian government on Wednesday shelled the last rebel last enclave in the country's northwest, killing at least seven people, including four children, rescuers and activists reported. (Ynet)
  • European rabbis call for more 'control and transparency' for mosques - Head of Conference of European Rabbis issues rare call for control over houses of worship after deadly Vienna shooting. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Netflix to debut its first Egyptian original series 'Paranormal' - "Our plan is: invest in Arab creators, in Arab production, in Arab content. We have announced four projects, plus 'Paranormal'," said Ahmed Sharkawi, director of Arabic and African original series at Netflix. (Israel Hayom)
  • Syria's Assad Says Billions Locked in Troubled Lebanese Banks Behind Economic Crisis - Assad says anywhere from $20 billion to $42 billion of Syrian deposits could be lost in once vibrant Lebanese banking sector. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran's Khamenei blames 'Arrogant Powers and Zionism' for 'Paris incident' - Iranian supreme leader hints at major conspiracy, involving France's Macron and 'other governments', behind cartoons shown in class by French teacher beheaded by extremist. (i24News/Ynet)


We Flagged Fake Profiles for Facebook. They’re Still Online and Active
Despite claiming that ‘authenticity is the cornerstone’ of Facebook, the social media giant failed to act against fake avatars with deep-fake profile pictures used by an Israeli company providing influence services to brands. (Refaella Goichman, Haaretz+)

Top Commentary/Analysis:
Not Just Biden vs. Trump: The Left Everywhere Still Hasn’t Found a Way to Confront Right-wing Populism (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) The center-left still finds it difficult to accept that a political camp with a willingness to appeal to voters’ base instincts starts any election campaign with an advantage.
Win or lose, Trumpism is here to stay (Ron Ben Yishai, Ynet) Trump's political ideas are not going anywhere, and are already being emulated by other authoritarian leaders around the world, regardless of the eventual outcome of this tumultuous U.S. election.
Don’t Let Palestinian Hunger Striker Maher Akhras Die (Haaretz Editorial) Administrative detainee Maher Akhras has been on a hunger strike for 100 days to protest being held in detention without being charged, without a trial, without evidence and without a right to defend himself. But he doesn’t want to die. “I love life. I am not choosing to die,” he told Haaretz writer Nir Gontarz at Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot, with the last of his strength. He knows his life is in danger, but he is choosing to stand firm, “until all of us, as human beings, will be free and live in freedom and end the wars between peoples and between countries regardless of their religion. That’s my belief, and that’s how I educate my children, relatives and neighbors.”…Akhras’ condition doesn’t seem to make an impression on the country or on the High Court of Justice. The court never misses an opportunity to cooperate with the Shin Bet security service and approve the state’s crimes, and has dismissed several petitions seeking his release…
Why did the left in Israel not support Trump? Probably because of Netanyahu and the Palestinians (Amos Gilboa, Maariv) Donald Trump has been the best US president for Israel since Truman. His recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights and his recognition of Jerusalem as our capital have benefited the people of Israel and will probably not be abolished by Biden. So why did the Israeli left not support him? …One recent polls in the country found that 54% of the population supported Trump, and only 21% supported Biden; But in the segmentation between right-wingers and left-wingers, the findings were as follows: Of right-wingers, 77% supported Trump, and only 7% supported Biden; In contrast, on the left, 45% supported Biden and only 22% supported Trump. In a poll conducted on Election Day on the sports channel (apparently among soccer fans), more than 70% supported Trump and only 12% supported Biden. And the question arises: why does the Israeli left in the broadest sense, with a fringe from the center (not the narrow political of Meretz), not support Trump who has been so good to Israel for four years? This is a strange and weird phenomenon. Although it reflects a minority opinion, it arouses curiosity and a desire to find the reasons. The first reason is related to Netanyahu. This is the intimate relationship between Trump and Netanyahu, the mutual understanding between them, Trump's unreserved support for the State of Israel led by Netanyahu. This is, by the way, a connection that gave the State of Israel extraordinary political power, and put Netanyahu on a par with "world greats." Such a relationship, if Biden were president, would certainly not exist. In my opinion, this will be one of Israel's biggest policy-strategic losses when Trump leaves the stage. Therefore, all hatred of Netanyahu was also directed at Trump, especially since all his behavior contradicted the holy political correctness. When one examines the derogatory nicknames hurled at Trump, one finds that most of them seem to have been taken from the "Bibi insults" dictionary, with the exception of the phrase "ignorant" attached to Trump. Trump has become a byproduct of Bibi hatred, and big time. If Netanyahu is a disaster for the country, then Trump is a disaster for the world. The second reason is related to the conflict and the Palestinians. Trump was the first American president to easily skipped the Palestinian issue in order to promote peace and normalization relations between Israel and Arab countries. This is while he knows how to take advantage of the new strategic situation created in the Arab world vis-à-vis Iran. He is the first American president who did not run to embrace the Palestinians, who did not come in the morning news to Israel demanding tributes to the Palestinians. All of these were like sword stabs in the heart of the Israeli left. Compared to Obama, Trump is perceived as hostile to the Palestinians and therefore as the enemy of the left. The third is related to worldview. Trump is perceived, and rightly so, as representing the conservative approach versus the progressive liberal approach that places the emphasis on individual rights over collective rights; Preferring the "other", who wants a green world and fights fiercely against global warming and more. Anyone can, of course, add their own personal reasons.
Losing the Election Makes Trump More Dangerous for American Jews (Eric H. Yoffie, Haaretz+) Out of office, but unrepudiated, Trump will now be unconstrained, letting loose the extremists in his base, his own tribalistic nationalism and his contempt for American democracy.
Neither Biden nor Trump Will Make Israel End the Occupation (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) It’s extraordinary – two totally different people such as Trump and Biden share an indisputable consensus: American support for the occupation. There doesn’t seem to be an issue on which the two agree more, so the identity of the winner is irrelevant to the occupation. Trump is a friend of the settlers and has recognized the Golan Heights as part of Israel, but Biden too will do nothing to lead to a pullout or even freeze the settlement enterprise….With Biden, we won’t see the likes of settler-friendly U.S. Ambassador David Friedman or Jared Kushner. They’ll be replaced by more serious and moderate Friedmans, but Biden will do nothing to bring justice and redemption to the Palestinians, enforce international law and stick his hand into the fire, other than lip service. After all, this is what the great Obama did…
Is Biden on his way to the White House, or to court? (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) Theoretically, President Donald Trump could still get to 270 electoral votes, but he would need to win in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and North Carolina.
The Map Proves It: Trump and Netanyahu May Go, but the Erosion of Democracy Is Here to Stay (Noa Landau, Haaretz+) Election results show that in the U.S., as in Israel, the threat to liberal democracy is much greater than the influence of any particular leader.
The criticism of Netanyahu is legitimate and far from the incitement that was directed against Rabin (Avraham Tirush, Maariv) Indeed, there is harsh criticism against Netanyahu and it is completely legitimate, but we have not yet seen - and hopefully we will not see - his name on a coffin in which Zionism is allegedly being led for burial.
Netanyahu Has Learned the Lesson of Rabin's Assassination. The Israeli Left Should Too (Zehava Galon, Haaretz+) “Rabin’s murder was a perfect murder that paid off,” the late Prof. Moshe Negbi once wrote. This is a serious charge, but an accurate one. Netanyahu owes his political existence to this murder. The roots of his rule are planted in the blood of the slain prime minister. Fanning the violence and then looking away is a strategy that served him both before the murder and after it.
In today's America, your opponent is your enemy (Dani Dayan, Yedioth/Ynet) Thanks to a rampant political divide, inter-party cooperation is almost nonexistent and public discourse dominated by extremists on both sides; this will surely affect Israel, which needs a strong and self-confident United States.
Abbas is holding out for a Biden White House (Col. (ret.) David Hacham, Israel Hayom) The PA hopes the US presidential election will bring an end to what it sees as four nightmarish years, but Ramallah would be better served by coming out of its defensive crouch and starting to progress towards reconciliation with Israel and America.
Watching the Election From Israel, Democrats and Republicans Can at Least Agree on One Thing (Eetta Prince-Gibson, Haaretz+) As American Israelis gather to see whether Trump or Biden will be their next president, both sides feel like they’re living in completely different realities to their political rivals.
Israel needs a friend in the White House (Limor Livnat, Yedioth/Ynet) Trump delivered 3 peace deals for Israel and moved the Palestinian naysayers to the side, Biden is set to bring them back; as Israelis we must see the election from our own perspective and Trump is the friend Israel needs.
No Matter if He Wins or Loses, Trump Has Proven He’s No Fluke (Nettanel Slyomovics, Haaretz+) An entire political bloc stood solidly behind him even now that they know who he is. Not even his failed handling of the coronavirus was enough to sway them.

When I Saw What Was Happening, I Left. The Politicians Aren’t Doing What the Public Wants Them to Do'
In interview, former Accountant General Rony Hizkiyahu explains why he resigned, points to economy’s underlying strengths, warns against politicians' lack of responsibility. (Interviewed by Nati Tucker and Hagai Amit in Haaretz+)

*Former head of IDF Intel: "Israel is very low on Biden's priorities"
Amos Yadlin spoke with Nissim Mash'al and Guy Peleg about the security implications of the US election on Israel. (103FM/Maariv)
AY: "We will probably be in 10th place and will come after North Korea and Iran. Here Obama, Trump and Biden are in exactly the same place after 20 years of wars here. Biden is known for his opposition to wars. (He thinks,) We do not need oil, it was a top interest and we have more oil today than the Saudis. Third thing, we want to promote peace, but there is peace in the Trump plan and in another plan. The fourth thing is that we are against nuclear weapons, especially when it comes to Iran, and here Obama, Trump and Biden are in the same place.…The goal is for Iran not to have a bomb. How do you achieve that goal? For the Democrats - in diplomacy, in an agreement that the Democrats claim we do not accept, to block all of Iran's ways to bomb. Trump said it was the worst deal and left it. Did he stop Iran from going to a bomb? Today it is closer to a bomb after the US left the agreement. It is weaker because the sanctions have weakened it, but there will be a professional debate and this time it is important that the Israeli prime minister does not boycott negotiations with Iran but tries to coordinate negotiations with a democratic government."
What about our local arena with the Palestinians?
"There is an opportunity but it depends mainly on the Palestinians who have not yet responded to Kerry on his 2016 offer. I think they understand that their cards have weakened in the last 4 years. The veto, the issue of violence which is a permanent card, does not seem attractive to them, neither in Gaza nor in Judea and Samaria, and they need to update their approach. I think they have already conveyed messages to the Biden administration that they are willing to resume negotiations based on Kerry's proposals. We accepted these proposals with reservations, but Trump has set new parameters that I imagine the Israeli government will come with.”

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