News Nosh 11.10.20

APN's daily news review from Israel - Tuesday November 10, 2020

Quotes of the day:
“With regard to Israeli activity beyond the Green Line, there may be an uncomfortable atmosphere for Israel. The only time Biden, then chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, spoke harshly in conversation with me was when a new settlement was established. It is also clear that the issue of Israeli sovereignty in the territories will be frozen for the next four years…”
—Former Likud member of Knesset and Israeli former ambassador to the US, Zalman Shoval, writes in Maariv today that Israel must rehabilitate bilateral support for Israel in Congress to benefit its long-term goals.*

“The enslavement was so absolute that the moment came when the state established from the ashes of the Holocaust became a state in the shadow of a man who thinks that there are good people among the Nazis, as well. In the state of Trump-Israel, a cynical prime minister imitates an inciting and divisive American president. In the state of Trump-Israel, anyone who protests against government policy is considered anti-Zionist at best or is simply anti-Semitic. In the state of Trump-Israel, free media is the enemy of the people.”
—Yedioth journalist Tzipi Shmilovich writes that the Israeli government and its leader emulated the US President and will pay for it both in the US and in Israel in the future.**

Breaking News:
Saeb Erekat, Top Palestinian Peace Negotiator, Dies at 65 After Contracting COVID
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of mourning. Tributes for Erekat poured in from right-wing and left-wing Israeli politicians and from around the world. Former Likud minister and Kadimah chairwoman, Tzipi Livni, expressed grief over Erekat’s death, writing on Twitter: “I’m saddened by the death of @ErakatSaeb. Saeb dedicated his life to his people. Reaching Peace is my destiny he used to say. Being sick, he texted me: “I’m not finished with what I was born to do”. My deepest condolences to the Palestinians and his family. He will be missed.” Peace Now called his death “a sad day for all supporters of peace in Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Erekat, the 'man of peace,' was part of every process between Israel and the PA and fought to build real trust between Israelis and Palestinians until his last day.”

Front Page:


Yedioth Ahronoth

  • World hope - Significant breakthrough in finding corona vaccine (Hebrew)
  • This winter is already lost // Nadav Eyal
  • Health Ministry expected to recommend: Mandatory vaccine law
  • Equal bar for everyone // Yossi Yehoshua on draft of women to elite combat units (Hebrew)
  • The bubble of the “rule of law” // Ben-Dror Yemini on the appointment of a State Prosecutor

Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)

  • Getting closer to a vaccine
  • (Trump is) Fighting over the vote
  • Coalition pressure - Opposition in coalition to opening hotels in Eilat and the Dead Sea; PM: If the infection rate continues, the lockdown exit will be postponed

Israel Hayom

  • The vaccine that raises hope, the mutation that raises fear
  • Elections 2021: The campaign already begin
  • Report: Trump considering to run again in 2024
  • Minorities: Let us hold a prayer at the Wailing Wall on Memorial Day
  • In the middle of a vote: Health Minister Edelstein pulled the legislative bill - Eilat and Dead Sea won’t be declared “tourism islands”
  • Exclusive - Brig. Gen. Zini in interview on military exercise in the shadow of corona: “It’s impossible to live here and not be prepared”
  • Today: Peace agreement with Bahrain is brought to Knesset for approval

Top News Summary:
The hope for a coronavirus vaccine, which Israel is already working on acquiring, alongside the expected delay in easing corona restrictions in Israel, a few storms in the Knesset and the latest moves by the outgoing and incoming US Presidents were the top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

Also, differing reports about Iran and the Arab countries. ‘Israel Hayom’ reported that senior Arab officials will press US President-elect Joe Biden to maintain sanctions on Iran and that Saudi officials say that Biden will be "pro-Iranian president. Maariv reported that Iran told the Gulf states: "Trump is gone, we are here, let's work together.” Reporter Gideon Kotz wrote that Iran is trying to take advantage of Biden's election to send a message of reconciliation to the Arab Gulf states.

Accusations flew in the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, where the subject of discussion was the sale of fifty F-35 stealth jets and other advanced weapons systems by the U.S. to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after that Gulf nation agreed to normalize relations with Israel in September. Deputy head of the National Security Council, Reuven Azar, told lawmakers that Israel was compensated for the sale and he denied that Netanyahu secretly agreed to the sale. "There was no agreement with the Emirates in exchange for their agreement to the peace deal," he said. Meretz leader MK Nitzan Horowitz accused him and Netanyahu of lying.  "The defense minister told us that what you just said was a lie," Horowitz cried out, “It’s just not true. You knew about the planned sale and you purposely hid it. It had been in negotiations for months. Please out of respect for us, don't lie." Former defense minister, MK Moshe Ya'alon (Yesh Atid-Telem faction) said: "People are sent on behalf of the politician so as not to tell the truth.” (Maariv)

At the Knesset committee for Eradicating Violence in the Arab Sector, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made a surprise and rare appearance, which several Joint List lawmakers blasted as “hypocritical” and hollow. Netanyahu vowed to bring for approval a long-awaited proposal to fight organized crime and violence in Arab Israeli communities. But members of the mostly-Arab Joint List faction were unimpressed.  “The Arab public is hungry to put an end to the crime epidemic” and has had enough of Netanyahu’s ‘empty promises,’’ said Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh. “We won’t flatter a prime minister who incites against us or to an acting police commissioner who claims our culture is violent.” There were also subtle accusations that Netanyahu was providing privileges to a Joint List MK, Mansour Abbas, in order to bring about the disbanding of the faction.

Tomorrow (Wednesday), the Knesset will vote to approve the Israel-Bahrain normalization deal.

Meanwhile, Judicial Appointments Committee member Osnat Mark (Likud) attempted to block the promotion of two judges because she perceived them as leftists. Mark opposed promoting one judge based on his assistance to asylum seekers, and another for acquitting a Palestinian for a non-fatal shooting attack over a decade.


Quick Hits:

  • Former Army Brass Called Not to Indict Israeli Soldier Who Killed Innocent Palestinian - Among those submitting in support of the soldier, who was later charged with killing of Ahmad Manasra, were lawmakers Moshe Ya’alon and Yair Golan. (Haaretz+)
  • New housing permits in Hebron expected to bolster Jewish presence in city - Peace Now said the timing of this "unexpected and dubious" move appears to be connected to the US presidential elections. Local Jewish leaders commended the move to permit the first new housing since 2002, which they hope will attract young couples to the city. Peace Now and the Hebron Municipality filed petitions in the Jerusalem District Court, where they argued that the permit granted was illegal. A hearing on the petitions is expected to convene on Jan. 31, 2021. (Israel Hayom)
  • Activists Arrested at Jerusalem March Ordered to Stay Away From Netanyahu's Residence - Protesters report violence from plainclothes cops, with one saying that he was hit by a police car and beaten until he lost consciousness. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli Man Convicted of Threatening Netanyahu and His Son - Be’er Sheva resident, whose lawyer says has right-wing views, tweeted: ‘Does anyone know about plans to assassinate the prime minister?’ (Haaretz+)
  • Shin Bet: Hamas recruiting teens to carry out terror attacks, kidnappings - Security service arrests two teens who were allegedly contacted by the Gaza-based terror group and instructed to gather intel, carry out shootings. (Times of Israel, Israel Hayom and Ynet)
  • Israeli Justices Wait for the Army to Weigh in on Drafting Women to Elite Units - Petitioners seeking access to elite combat roles cite 'commitment to equality,' while justices urge patience: 'This is a very complex issue in a very sensitive system.’ High Court gave state six months to respond. (Haaretz+, Ynet Hebrew and Maariv)
  • Dramatic Rise in Number of Arabs in Israel Studying STEM - The past five years have seen the number of Arabs studying tech-related subjects shoot up over 65 percent - but challenges remain. (Haaretz+)
  • Thousands in Jerusalem Break Through Police Roadblocks to Attend Rabbi’s Funeral - Two arrested at funeral of Rabbi David Feinstein, 91, one of most important Haredi rabbis in U.S., after police fail to prevent gathering held in violation of coronavirus restrictions. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli watchdog sets out to undermine Hezbollah's grip on Beirut airport - Shurat Hadin Israeli Law Center [right-wing pseudo-governmental organization - OH] warns leading international airlines and insurance companies that continued services to the Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut could potentially implicate them in aiding terrorist activity. (Israel Hayom)
  • On the brink, UN agency for Palestinian refugees pleads for funds to pay salaries - UNRWA issues emergency call for donations as 28,000 staff could go unpaid as years of funding cuts and a Trump decision to defund the organization take their toll. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Israel's new virus surveillance system draws comparisons to China - Monitoring system installed in Or Akiva can detect whether person is wearing a face cover and measure distance between individuals to determine whether they are observing social distancing; system does not possess facial recognition capabilities. (Ynet)
  • Israel ranks worst in road fatalities among OECD countries - 'By presenting a partial picture we can not really understand the failures and problems and act to correct them,' a road safety advocacy group says insisting transparency is key. (Ynet)
  • Four 1,000-year-old Gold Coins Unearthed Near Jerusalem's Western Wall - The rare discovery at an Israel Antiquities Authority dig sheds light on the historical and political shifts between the ancient Muslim dynasties ruling the city. (Haaretz+)
  • Palestinian leaders 'are small-time hucksters,' UAE official blasts - UAE Federal Council Member Dirar Belhoul al-Falasi: Hamas fired missiles from the roof of a Gaza hospital; Palestinians rejected COVID-19 aid because they wouldn't have been able to sell it. (Israel Hayom)
  • Bahrain cabinet approves air services MOU with Israel, Israeli airline to offer direct flights in January - Israir Airlines says will operate two flights a week to the Gulf state's capital of Manama, offering flight tickets for $249 after Bahrain's government approved on Monday a memorandum of understanding with Israel, covering air services, the state-run agency of the Gulf country said. (Israel Hayom and Ynet)
  • Report: Israel to send delegation to Sudan to firm up normalization - Israel plans to send its first delegation to Sudan on Sunday to firm up the countries' US-brokered announcement on Oct. 23 that they would normalize relations, a source briefed on the provisional itinerary said. (Israel Hayom and Ynet)
  • Jordan to Hold Parliamentary Elections Amid Rising COVID Cases, Economic Uncertainty - Almost all fatalities from the coronavirus happened in the last two months, while regulations have wreaked havoc on the economy. (Agencies, Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Lebanese Christian politician denies US envoy's claim he was willing to break with Hezbollah - Gebran Bassil, son-in-law of Lebanese President Michel Aoun, says conceding to US demand to sever ties with Iran-backed organization would imperil "national unity and peace." (Israel Hayom)
  • UN chief receives Theodor Herzl Prize for fighting hatred, anti-Semitism - This is the first time the World Jewish Congress has awarded the prize to the head of the Nations United. "Along with COVID-19, another virus has spread: Anti-Semitism," UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres Guterres says. (Israel Hayom)

The Human Toll of Israel's 'Action Against Seven Tents and Eight Animal Pens'
11 Palestinian families – 74 people, including 41 children – were left homeless in the Jordan Valley. Finding shelter for sheep and newborn lambs was the most urgent task, as their livelihood depends it. (Amira Hass, Haaretz+)
From a Tax Haven to Sotheby's: Inside the Battle at the Museum of Islamic Art
Despite criticism, the Sotheby’s auction of precious items from the museum's collection has not been permanently canceled. A Haaretz investigation reveals a possible conflict of interest. (Naama Riba, Haaretz+)

Top Commentary/Analysis:
**You are a branch of the Republican Party in the Middle East (Tzipi Shmilovich, Yedioth Hebrew) The four years of Donald Trump's presidency were very dark, but there was one bright light in them: the beam they cast on the ailments of America, the rift and hatred, the racism and misogyny, the fragile democracy and even more fragile union. Those who saw the doom in 2016 warned that this was exactly what would happen and they were ridiculed. Indeed, they were wrong. The reality was much worse. But what even the most pessimistic could not imagine was that this beam of light would cross the ocean, reach as far as the only democracy in the Middle East, and flood it with pervasive moral decay. Looking at the US over the last four years it has sometimes been hard to believe that Israel is still the same independent state with curious media and an open mind, and not just another branch of the Republican Party living in a bubble of conspiracy sites. So many times during these years, there was no connection between the Israeli perception of the reality in America and the reality in America. The enslavement was so absolute that the moment came when the state established from the ashes of the Holocaust became a state in the shadow of a man who thinks that there are good people among the Nazis as well. In the state of Trump-Israel, a cynical prime minister imitates an inciting and divisive American president. In the state of Trump-Israel, anyone who protests against government policy is considered anti-Zionist at best or is simply anti-Semitic. In the state of Trump-Israel, free media is the enemy of the people. In the Trump-Israel state, racism and misogyny are something that is in the open air. In the state of Trump-Israel, instead of fighting together against corona, they are fighting each other. And the Trump-Israel state is now saying that Joe Biden, a mainstream Democrat and a lifelong friend of Israel, is suddenly an existential danger. And Trump, who can hardly find Israel on the map, has achieved in Israel the status of the cult leader he has among tens of millions of Americans. It is strange and not entirely healthy, but perhaps the relocation of the embassy to Jerusalem and a sign in the Golan Heights justify it. Trump, it is certain, was very good to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, but an entire generation of young Americans, including most of the Jews, is growing up in a country where for the first time Israel is not a bipartisan consensus. They saw Trump and Netanyahu turn every American liberal into an anti-Semite and every Jewish liberal into a person who hates himself. When this generation reaches the management position of the US - it will submit the bill. And all this damage was done because Israel chose to indulge a person who is the complete opposite of what Judaism purports to be, and of everything that the post-Holocaust Jewish people are supposed to symbolize. He is racist, he is evil, he is corrupt, he is immoral, he is revered by Nazis and anti-Semites. There will come a day when we will all have to look deep inside and ask ourselves how the Jewish state became part of the cult of such a person. The answer will not be pleasant.
Trump Envoy Pushes for New Iran Sanctions. Biden Has Different Plans (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Trump administration might be looking to lock the next U.S. president into a web of deep sanctions on Tehran. Israel is considering options for the inevitable next round of U.S.-Iran talks.
Biden should watch and learn (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) When it comes to the Palestinians and Iran, US President-elect Joe Biden would be wise to follow in President Trump's footsteps.
Israel Could Have Prevented COVID-19 Outbreak Among Palestinian Prisoners (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Israel's High Court rejected two petitions urging the adoption of available methods that could reduce coronavirus infection among Palestinian security prisoners. Last week 87 of them tested positive – in one jail.
*Following Biden's victory: There may be a change in the Israeli-Palestinian issue (Zalman Shoval, Maariv) Although the president-elect has stated several times that his commitment to our security is an "iron commitment," indeed all indications are that cooperation between the United States and Israel will continue, but apparently in a different way…It is unclear what the Biden administration's approach will be on the issue. As stated in the report of the Institute for Policy and Strategy: "Israel has a narrow window of time to influence the position of the United States." This means that the prime minister should already in the interim stage open discreet contacts on the issue. Israel will also need to consider its steps regarding its overall security policy regarding Iran, including options that have been revoked in the past. Biden is considered a friend of Israel and also a friend of Benjamin Netanyahu, but political friendship is always a limited guarantee. Bilateral support for Israel in Congress has not disappeared, but it weakened during the Trump and Obama era, and one of Israel's most important goals should be to rehabilitate it. Both the government and American Jewry, 70% of whose voters voted for the Democratic candidate this time, as well, and some of whom hold important positions in the party, played a key role in this task…However, the left-wing in the Democratic party, which has been strengthened in the House of Representatives, has already warned Biden not to ignore its positions. The main speaker for the left is Ben Rhodes, former President Obama's former deputy national security adviser, who strongly opposes Biden's emerging foreign policy trends and also the figures identified with him. He calls for the abolition of "destructive" relations with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, for turning a cold shoulder on President al-Sisi's administration in Egypt and for "dictating a solution for both sides" on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. The left demands a reduction in the defense budget, the removal of sanctions on Iran and Venezuela and the conditioning of security assistance to Israel in "changing its attitude toward the Palestinians." American friends tell me that Biden will stand as a solid rock in the face of these trends, but only the future will see if really, as he said, "the Democratic Party is me." In any case, the left will continue to strive for change, as Congresswoman Alexandria Oxio-Cortez, one of its prominent leaders, said: "I think we will be able to push Biden in a more progressive (left-wing) direction, and foreign policy is a huge area we can improve." During the discussions on the party platform, the anti-Israel progressive group and the anti-Semitic section, aided by James Zogby, president of the Arab-American Institute, tried to include anti-Israel clauses, which were removed by the majority. But it did manage to include a clause opposing the "expansion of the settlements." On the other hand, the platform also condemned BDS activities. Biden has repeatedly stated that his commitment to Israel's security is an "iron commitment," and indeed all indications are that cooperation between the United States and Israel will continue, both in the field of direct aid and on other issues, including those with special sensitivity. However, a clear change may occur in the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Although the American embassy will remain in Jerusalem, an American consulate in the east of the city may reopen. Steps have been taken to restore relations between Washington and the Palestinian Authority, but sparingly. However, with regard to Israeli activity beyond the Green Line, there may be an uncomfortable atmosphere for Israel. The only time Biden, then chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, spoke harshly in conversation with me was when a new settlement was established. It is also clear that the issue of Israeli sovereignty in the territories will be frozen for the next four years, but other parts of Trump's initiative may also guide Biden's policy, in part because expanding ties between Israel and the Arab world is also an American interest.
Biden Conjures Dreams of New Middle East, but Trump's Damage Will Be Difficult to Repair (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Trump's loss is a blow to his friend Erdogan, and an opportunity for the U.S. to re-enter the Iran nuclear deal. But Biden may find that America's traditional foreign policy isn’t necessarily relevant anymore.
Beware misplaced sympathies (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) Israeli defense officials believe the close working relations with the US under a Biden administration will forge ahead, but remain wary of the possibility that the US policies will once again be sympathetic to the Palestinian and Iran. 
Shocker: American Jewish Vote Clinched Biden’s Victory and Trump’s Ouster (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Without their critical support, Biden would have lost Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona and Trump would be looking forward to four more years. An overall Jewish population of 400,000 in Pennsylvania yields 320,000 eligible Jewish voters, of which about 256,000 Jewish adults actually cast a ballot. At a three-to-one ratio, Biden garnered 192,000 and Trump 70,000. Thus, the Jews of Pennsylvania gave Biden a surplus of 122,000 votes. He is currently leading Trump by 45,000 votes. This means that without Jews, Trump would have triumphed over Biden by a 75,000-vote margin and we would be living in a totally different world.
Is making aliyah always the answer? (Leora Levian, Israel Hayom) Instead of urging our European brethren to immigrate to Israel, we should work on making Israel the easier option to for them to chose.
Hamas Is Mourning Biden’s Victory, Abbas Is Celebrating and the Saudis Are Sulking (Muhammad Shehada, Haaretz+) Palestinian Authority leaders are hopeful, almost excessively, that Biden will reverse Trump’s catastrophic damage. But both Hamas and Saudi Arabia now have a lot to lose.
Netanyahu won't budge on the budget (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) Blue and White leader Benny Gantz knows he won't become prime minister in any rotation. The question is, will he give in now, ending his political career, or try to hold on for a few more months?
Biden Is Proof Netanyahu Can Be Replaced (Raviv Drucker, Haaretz+) …Biden was a weak candidate, to say the least. Even at his best he was a weak candidate, and now he is not at his best. But his election proves that sometimes you can win on the energy of anti. Is this a lesson that can be applied in Israel? Will it be possible during the next election campaign, which now looks increasingly close, to overcome Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a few mediocre candidates, simply with the power of being anti-Bibi?…Joe Biden the candidate is not necessarily Joe Biden the president. It’s not unreasonable to think that in half a year he will be enormously popular. Not just because of his tendency to tell the truth, but also because he’s an accepting, grandfatherly type, a conciliator, a healer, a human being. Sleepy Joe, Grandpa Joe. As different as possible from Donald Trump, but also nothing like Netanyahu.
On Israel-Palestine, Biden Is Not Just Another Version of Obama (Michael Herzog, Haaretz+) The top members of Biden’s team are for the most part level-headed and experienced. Contacts with them in recent months leave the impression that their approach to the challenges in the Middle East – which will not be at the top of their agenda in any event – is realistic. They seem to be a far cry from the irrational hopes for the Arab Spring of the Obama era, from dividing the Middle East between Iran and Saudi Arabia or from seeing political Islam as an antidote to extremist Islam.
Trump is Netanyahu's smarter twin and his partner in creating a false culture (Yitzhak Ben-Ner, Maariv) Trump himself will be uprooted from the White House, but Trumpism, the same legacy that has divided the two parts of America and increased hatred, violence and anarchy in it, will take more time to eradicate…Netanyahu, a twin, a student and teacher of Trump, was his partner in creating the culture of lies, the Fake News, the alternative facts, the conflict of interest, the pursuit of money, power and honor; Blackening and defaming opponents, police investigators, lawyers and judges. He is not only does not practice what he preaches - his past rebukes to Ehud Olmert (about stepping down when indicted), his statements about corruption in the previous regime), but he is also a liar by nature. It did not start with his promises to the state and its citizens about getting the (natural reserves of) "gas out of the water,” which came true at a very high price that the Israel Electricity Company has to pay for the gas it consumes - and the ignoring the need to restrain the giant "Chevron" from doing anything it pleases, as per an investigation on Channel 13 News). It does not end with the endless empty messages, the dubious numbers of corona tests and infections, the huge failure of the enforcement of those restrictions, Netanyahu’s dangerous concessions to the ultra-Orthodox and his false promises to about a million people who lost their jobs and livelihoods. Now there is a new, democratic president and vice president in the United States who will try to get rid of the cheating and intimidation culture of twin Trump and try to really make America Great Again the right way. "We will know how to work with any administration," promised Bibi’s ministers. And the question is: how? After all, you do not know how to work with  yourself: see the Corona cabinet, the struggle of the ministers of finance, health and education, the war of the Likud…against passing the budget and making senior appointments, the escalation of the epidemic towards a third lockdown - and the prime minister who lets the hawks commit suicide and ignores the situation. Maybe because he still thinks he can be built up from the chaos, and maybe because of the seven days of mourning for the forced and contemptuous departure of his twin, Donald.
Netanyahu's Committee for Elevating Lackeys (Haaretz Editorial) The photo of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking in the lobby of the Jerusalem District courthouse minutes before his trial opened, surrounded by around half of Likud’s Knesset faction, their faces masked, became part of Israeli iconography as soon as it was published. It’s hard to think of a more representative image for the end of the Netanyahu era: the ruling party standing behind its criminally indicted prime minister, supporting him as he lashed out at the judicial system like the most common of criminals. Many wondered about the unknown woman who was standing among David Amsalem, Yoav Gallant, Tzachi Hanegbi and Yisrael Katz, and how she had merited the dubious honor of accompanying the accused during his difficult moment. It turned out to be Osnat Mark, who was destined to enter the Knesset and gain a seat on the Judicial Appointments Committee. Now the public can finally understand why she was found worthy of this lofty position. Mark opposed the promotion of two judges whom she thought held views that were too far to the left on the political map…

‘We Make Allowances for Ourselves as if We Were Still Weak, Helpless Jews’
In his novel ‘The Memory Monster,’ Yishai Sarid imagines a Holocaust historian becoming dangerously immersed in his work. In an interview marking the book’s publication in English, the writer explains why it’s important to ask provocative questions about Shoah education. (Interviewed by David B. Green in Haaretz+)

A senior J Street official explains: This is why most Jews chose Biden
Yael Patir spoke with Erel Segal and Roi Idan about the results of the survey conducted by J Street, according to which a large portion of the Jews living there voted for Biden: “He represents a combination of political identities." (103FM/Maariv)
Why does the Jewish left in the US support back the nuclear deal?
"J Street supports the agreement, (and) even President Trump with the sanctions he applied, it was clear he sought to return to the agreement. Even if Trump won and had another term, the goal of the sanctions was to lead to an agreement that would prevent Iran from reaching nuclear weapons. That is the American view. The Democrats support the agreement they reached, even if it is not a perfect agreement, has holes in it and needs to be amended. President Biden's approach, and this is the first time J Street supported a presidential candidate, is to go back to the agreement and improve it."
Iran is problematic, not every agreement is good.
"The top (Israeli) security officials, as soon as Obama's agreement with the five powers signed, welcomed it and said we'll accept it. It's better than 'no agreement.'"
The best ties (Israel has with Muslim countries) are with the moderate Sunni states, and this is a blessing in it for the whole region. Don’t you welcome it?
"We welcome and have welcomed the Abraham Accords and President Biden welcomed them and I believe he will continue on this path. There is no doubt that Israel's situation is much better in this respect and the collaborations that took place below the surface are rising, and there is normalization. I'm sure you ask the Emirates, as I do, what do they get in exchange and what has been promised to other countries.”
I do not know what they get but let's be fair honest, why did Orthodox Jewry in the US vote for Trump and the rest for Biden?
"Orthodox Judaism in the United States is a minority, most of whom are Republican, and there are two reasons for this: one, their world of values is similar to conservative issues that are not issues related to Israel: Abortion, taxation. This is very important because in the end they live in the US.
“Do [the non-Orthodox] want more taxes?
"Certainly, more taxes and more health insurance, more open immigration, more equality for LGBT people."
Isn't it strange that a person votes that more taxes will be taken from him?
"A person who thinks the state should give more to all its citizens is not strange, it is part of the worldview."

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