APN's daily news review from Israel - Thursday November 12, 2020
Quote of the day:
"Gantz feared that his voters would punish him for joining hands with the [mostly Arab] Joint List. So he
gave up an historic opportunity to replace Netanyahu, and no less importantly, to write a new chapter in the State
of Israel's relations with its Arab citizens. The absurdity is that most Kahol-Lavan voters were actually in favor
of this move."
--New Israel Fund Director, Mickey Gitzin, writes about how Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is now connecting with Arab MK Mansour Abbas of the Islamic Movement's Ra'am party, a party he in the past referred to as 'terror-supporting,' and how Gantz didn't dare do so as not to appear 'too leftist.'*
- Municipality wants to expedite construction in E. Jerusalem before change of presidents
- Justice Ministry expected to freeze the enforcement against building violations in Arab communities
- US Election committee workers: There is no evidence that there were faked
- Netanyahu’s attorneys ask to amend indictment against him due to “serious flaws”
- Head of Department for Investigating Police prevented summoning former police commissioner Alsheikh for testimony in the investigation about his consultant
- Netanyahu remembered too late to deal with acquiring vaccines and the supply to Israel is in danger // Meirav Arlosoroff
- The pro-democracy legislators in Hong Kong resigned in protest
- Israeli researchers made the breakthrough to digitizing smell
- La Familia // Gideon Levy on how right-wing and left-wing generals defend a soldier who shot dead an innocent Palestinian for no reason
- The dialogue is over - Ethiopia is on the verge of a civil war
- A company that employs 12,000 Israelis is in trouble: Apple’s chip makes clear how much Intel needs change
- It was all already radio for assassinating Arafat - “Operation Olympia” - Full story revealed of the operation to assassinate Arafat and his deputy, Abu Jihad, at a stadium in Beirut in 1982 where hundreds of kilos of explosives were under their seats and car bombs at the exits - But PM Begin canceled ‘pressing on the button’ (Hebrew)
- On the way to a deal: Vaccine for 3 million Israelis
- Who does a night curfew help? // Amichai Attali
- Sad Hanukkah - All those who make a living from the creation and of plays won’t be able to this Hannukah (Hebrew)
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
- The goal: 3 million vaccines on the way to Israel
- Netanyahu: Don’t indict me over my families acts
- From jail to a limo - Prisilia Kashti, who was convicted of running over and abandoning a person who later died, sparked a storm after posting her celebratory release from jail
- “The director will recommend a third lockdown” - Due to a Jewish connection: “Pfizer’s vaccine is on the way”
- Racing to 2021 elections: The result in the US is already dictating the campaigns
- Green zones and tracking by apps: The Singapore model will be presented to the corona cabinet
- Alert in the south: One year anniversary to the assassination of senior Jihad member Abu Al-‘Ata
- File of Agent No. 225524 was revealed: 19 years after Lt. Col Yehuda Edri was murdered by the agent he operated, the file was revealed
- Not giving up - US President Trump still refuses to recognize the election results
- “Green islands” law was approved - But due to the lack of fast tests, Eilat hotels won’t open this weekend
- Netanyahu called to change the indictment against him: “Lack of details on the presents allegedly given”
Top News Summary:
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu orders the vaccine using "Jewish connections" from the Pfizer CEO, he also asks to amend the indictment against him so as not to include acts that he said were his family members’ and the latest corona challenges were today’s top stories in the Hebrew newspapers.
Also in the news, Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian negotiator who devoted decades of his life towards achieving a Palestinian state alongside Israel, was buried on the same day that settlers thanked Defense Minister and Kahol-Lavan chairman Benny Gantz for acting to legalize 1700 settler homes and that the Jerusalem Municipality and the Israel Lands Authority were revealed to be planning to expedite settlement construction, Yedioth Hebrew reported. Efrat settlement council head, Oded Ravivi, said Gantz’s move “shows that Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria [West Bank] has become a consensus among Israelis.” Peace Now slammed the move: "Gantz is allying with Messianic settlers and betraying his values.” News of Gantz’s settlement legalization plan came on the same day that he addressed the Knesset saying that, “Unfortunately, [the] Palestinian leadership has not internalized the fact that the time has come to put the excuses aside, to get back to the negotiating table, to security and civil coordination, and to work together to find solutions.” The Office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas responded saying that the Palestinian leadership reiterated its readiness to resume talks with Israel. “The Palestinian leadership is ready to return to negotiations (with Israel), based on international legitimacy, or from the point where they stopped, or based on Israel’s commitment to all signed agreements." But also in Jerusalem, the municipality is pushing to expedite settlement construction across the Green Line before US President-elect Joe Biden enters the White House in January. Once US President Donald Trump is out of office, the Jerusalem municipality and the Lands Authority expect a construction freeze. Erekat, who participated in every round of peace negotiations held between the Palestinian and Israeli governments since the tenure of late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, died of coronavirus Tuesday and was laid to rest with military honors in Jericho Wednesday, as condolences continued to pour in from around the world, most recently from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the European Parliament Group of Socialists and Democrats. Jordan’s foreign minister arrived in Ramallah to convey King Abdullah’s condolences. Wednesday was also the 16th anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat, which was marked by a gathering of hundreds of people at his grave in Ramallah, by rallies, a boy scout marches and clashes between young Palestinians and Israeli soldiers across the West Bank.
- Cancer and COVID stricken Palestinian prisoner dies in Israeli jail; Palestinians accuse Israel of medical negligence - Cancer-stricken Palestinian prisoner, Kamal Abu Wa’er, 46, died Wednesday in Israeli jails following a severe deterioration in his health over the last week. PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi and Hamas both accused Israel of denying Abu Wa'er access to professional medical treatment, and added that his death is part of the ongoing suffering of the Palestinian detainees, especially those who have serious illnesses and conditions. (Ynet Hebrew, WAFA, IMEMC)
- After request from Hamas prisoners, Israel eases conditions for inmate who assaulted guard - Islam Alushahiya, who is accused of stabbing a warden in the neck in protest of the decision to disrupt cellphone reception, will be released from solitary confinement and join other Hamas prisoners, who in return have agreed to move to a new prison wing. The prisoners had refused to move to the new wing, which was opened two weeks ago, citing a ban on cooking inside its cells. Alushahiya is serving time for driving a Palestinian attacker to the northern Israeli city of Hadera, where he carried out a terrorist attack during the Second Intifada. (Haaretz+)
- New Israeli settlement road in south of the West Bank to eat up over 2000 dunums of Palestinian land - The new road for settlers will run from the illegal Israeli settlement of Avigal to the Highway 60 bypass road and through the village of Ma’in and the Um-Ishqihan area, eating away at more than 2000 dunams of land belonging to Palestinian residents. (WAFA)
- Expansion of illegal settlement in north of West Bank continues with takeover and razing of Palestinian land - Israeli army and settlers’ bulldozers began leveling Yanun village land near the illegal settlement outpost known as 777 to expand the settlements that surround Yanun. First land was confiscated to build Itamar settlement, then Gidonim and then Avri Ran’s Givot Olam outpost and then others such as ‘776’, ‘777’, and ‘778’, leaving Yanun with 2000 dunams of which 60 percent is pastoral land. (WAFA)
- Israeli and Palestinian rights groups demand Israeli military end incursions into Gaza’s farmlands, compensate farmers for damages - On 13 October, Israeli military bulldozers entered about 300 meters into the Gaza Strip, severely damaging dozens of dunams of agricultural land, destroying crops and irrigation systems, the most severe damage to Gaza farmlands caused by Israel since the 2014 Gaza War. NGOs Gisha, Al Mezan, and Adalah demanded Israeli defense minister, attorney general, and military advocate general, immediately halt, investigate and compensate. (WAFA)
- Israeli soldiers beat an elderly Palestinian man for refusing to leave his West Bank land - Soldiers assaulted Muhammad Salibi, 77, of Beit Ummar, who refused to heed their orders and leave his land, where he was harvesting olives. The land is near the illegal settlement of Beit Ayin. (WAFA)
- Israeli forces seize herd of camels in eastern Bethlehem - Israeli troops chased the herd for a long distance outside Bethlehem and seized nine camels, citing the West Bank area was a nature reserve. The herd`s owners were told they would have to pay 3,500 shekels ($1,050) for each camel to get them back. Israel designates areas as nature reserves to advance ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. (WAFA)
- Israel demolishes home, a retaining wall, sheds in a village bordering occupied Jerusalem - The Israeli demolitions in Walaja village were on the privately-owned land of a local resident. Israel claimed the owner did not have a permit for their construction. (WAFA)
- Israeli forces bulldoze foundation of house in Beit Jala neighborhood - Israeli forces bulldozed the foundations of a house in Bir Oneh area, northeast of Beit Jala, under pretext of construction without a permit. Bir Oneh area is subjected to almost daily violations by Israeli forces, including home demolitions and stop construction notices. (WAFA)
- Israel stops enforcing contentious law targeting Arabs for construction violations - Planning process in Arab towns can take decades, and sometimes residents have little choice but to build their homes without permits. A push by justice minister and lawmakers now seeks to allow 'fair' development. It was decided to freeze the demolition of houses and the fines for illegal construction, and at the same time act quickly to legalize construction. (Maariv and Haaretz+)
- As Rev. Warnock’s Israel Record Becomes an Issue, Atlanta Jews Call the Senate Candidate a Friend - 'Raphael Warnock signed letter likening West Bank to apartheid South Africa,' Jewish Insider reported and was quickly made an issue by his opponent in the Georgia Senate race. (JTA, Haaretz)
- Israeli soldier found dead near West Bank base - The IDF says Corporal Sagi Ben David was last seen Tuesday at Anatot army base near Jerusalem where he served. His body was located near Hizma checkpoint; death does not appear to be a result of a nationalistic act. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
- Three Israeli airlines to run Dubai-Tel Aviv flights from December - Dubai Airports CEO says 'air connectivity' is one of the first important steps of the normalization deal; El Al will run its service with Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Israir's flights will be use Airbus A320s, Arkia's flight will be on Embraer E-195 E-Jet. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Israeli settler delegation visits Dubai following UAE accord - According to statement, the visit, which Palestinian officials lambasted, consisted of meetings with around 20 individuals and companies working in agriculture, pest control and plastics. (Agencies, Ynet)
- PA fumes as Israeli settlers visit Dubai following UAE accord - "The UAE is an advanced country at the forefront of development and investment, and it is our honor to forge trade and industry ties with them," says Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council. (Israel Hayom)
- Israel, Gulf allies to join forces against Hezbollah - Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates plan to jointly seek Hezbollah's designation as a terrorist group by nations that have yet to do so. The ultimate objective is having the UN designate the Iranian-backed Shiite organization as a terrorist group, a senior official says. (Israel Hayom)
- Lebanon Hezbollah Leader: Glad About Trump's 'Humiliating Downfall' - Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, in a televised speech, described Trump's administration as 'among the worst, if not the worst' in the United States' history. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- "Messages of love and peace": Arab support for peace agreements with Israel - In light of the announcements about the normalization of relations, the Foreign Ministry reports a significant increase in pro-Israel reactions on social media, from residents of Arab countries. Among the respondents are citizens of countries with which there is no agreement, such as Iraq and Syria. (Maariv)
- Government Recruits Gaza Border Israeli Youth to 'Promote Israel's Truth' on Social Media = The Strategic Affairs Ministry will train volunteers to 'develop hasbara content that will show what life is like in the south and represent the beautiful face of Israel online.’ (Haaretz+)
- Israeli Court Rejects Police Bid to Use Confiscated Press Photos Against anti-Netanyahu Protesters - The public interest in having an objective free press overrides the need for criminal investigations, judge rules. (Haaretz+)
- Upgrading Avner and Yair Netanyahu's vehicles: "One of the most outrageous stories" - According to reports, the Prime Minister's Office sought to upgrade the vehicles of Benjamin Netanyahu's children, claiming that they were threatened due to the demonstrations against the father. Channel 13 News reporter, Aviad Glickman, who revealed the affair, said: "This is an upgrade worth hundreds of thousands of shekels." (Maariv/103FM)
- Massive King David-era fortress uncovered in Golan Heights - Nearly 3,000-year-old fortification, found near religious moshav of Hispin, maybe first evidence for ancient Israelite ally the Geshurites, whose capital is recorded in the Bible as having been located nearby. (Agencies, Ynet and Haaretz+)
- HBO to bring Oslo Accords drama to small screen - The film, based on the award-winning play by J.T. Rogers, is set to star Ruth Wilson and Andrew Scott and is being executive produced by creators of La La Land and Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks Pictures. (Yedioth/Ynet)
- Seven Peacekeepers Killed in Sinai Helicopter Crash, Israeli and Egyptian Officials Say - Five Americans said to be among the dead Thursday in a crash in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula apparently caused by a technical failure. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Israel, Lebanon resume talks on disputed maritime border - The last three rounds of negotiations between the longtime foeswere hosted by the United Nations at a peacekeeper base and are a culmination of three years of diplomacy by Washington. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Hundreds of Disillusioned Doctors Leave Lebanon, in Blow to Healthcare - Amid an economic crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and, in August, a huge explosion at the port that destroyed swathes of Beirut leaves the country facing a 'mass exodus' of talent. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Bahrain's long-serving prime minister dies at age 84 - State-run news agency announces the death without elaborating on the cause; official mourning has been declared for a week and funeral will be limited to a specific number of relatives. (Agencies, Ynet)
- In ruins, Syria marks 50 years of Assad family rule - The Assad dynasty has held to power in Syria with an iron grip for half a century; yet, despite winning the civil war on paper, its future is in jeopardy. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Assad blames West for hindering return of refugees to Syria - Comments by Syrian president came after Russia-organized summit boycotted by Arab and Western countries and criticized by the UN and U.S., who insist first priority be making war-torn country safe for return. (Agencies, Ynet)
- UN: Iran uranium stockpile violates atomic deal - IAEA reports Iran has continuing to enrich uranium to a purity of up to 4.5%, higher than the 3.67% allowed under the JCPOA after it announced all violations in advance after U.S. pulled out of nuclear deal. (Agencies, Ynet)
- U.S. Envoy on Iran Insists Pressure Will Persist Under Biden - (Trump appointee) Elliott Abrams does not see sanctions ending, and thinks the new rapprochement between Israel and the Arab states should push Iran to 'change its conduct.’ (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Iraqis Displaced by ISIS Fight Face Uncertainty Once More as Camps Close - Aid organisations say it will be harder to reach the most vulnerable as planned closure, paused due to the coronavirus crisis, resumes. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Turkey reaffirms plans to use Russian S-400 defense system despite U.S. objections - Defense Minister Hulusi Akar tells parliamentarians the military is continuing checks and preparations for advanced Russian anti-aircraft system. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Saudi-led coalition intercepts two explosive-laden boats in southern Red Sea - The Saudis have regularly accused the Houthis of using drones and missiles to attack Saudi Arabia. (Agencies, Haaretz)
The target: Arafat
In January 1982, Israel planned to blow up an entire stadium in Lebanon to eliminate Yasser Arafat, Abu Jihad and the PLO top brass. The targets were waving at the crowds and did not know that under their seats were hundreds of kilograms of explosives. They didn’t know that outside were three car bombs carrying tons of explosives and prepared to reach the exit gates. And they did not know that in Israel they were just waiting for the approval to press the button and explode the the stadium with all of its occupants. The full details of the action, the testimonies of Meir Dagan and Yanush Ben-Gal, and the decision to cancel everything at the last minute are now revealed for the first time after IDF Military Censorship gave approval. But at the last minute, then prime minister Menachem Begin gave the order: cancel. Six months later and [Israel launched the - OH] Lebanon War. ..If this operation had been launched - the Middle East would have looked completely different. Code name: "Olympia". The order: to blow up an entire stadium in Beirut, on top of its occupants. The goal: to eliminate Yasser Arafat, Abu Jihad and the PLO leadership, who were present at the site. Target date: January 1, 1982. (Ronen Bergman, Yedioth Hebrew (more from Haaretz English) - and full article in Friday paper)
Revealed: Syrian Prime Minister Was a Double Agent Who Gave Crucial Intel to Zionist Leaders
In 1945, David Ben-Gurion braced for the possibility of an attack by the Arab states should Israel declare independence. But game-changing information from a Syrian leader alerted him to another major threat. (Meir Zamir, Haaretz+)
A Loss for All Those Who Desire Peace (Haaretz Editorial) Politician, Jerusalem native, Erekat was a leader in using the diplomatic option as a means to achieving the two-state solution – first as deputy chairman of the Palestinian delegation to the 1991 Madrid Conference, all the way through the negotiations with Israel mediated by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry…Erekat, like the rest of his colleagues in the Palestinian and Israeli peace camp, watched the peace process being trampled in the last years of his life under the boots of U.S. President Donald Trump, to the cries of joy of the opponents of the compromise in both nations. In the parting words he sent to his partner in the negotiations, former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Erekat expressed his regret that he was unable to complete the task he was born for…Erekat did not see the defeat of Donald Trump, who was the most hostile president ever toward the Palestinian people. All that is left is to hope that the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration, when it enters the White House in January, will rehabilitate the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue and open a serious, balanced diplomatic channel.
American Jews' election of Joe Biden is not only absurd, but also stupid (Adv. Aharon Papu, Maariv) Instead of voting for President Trump, the great friend in the White House, American Jews actually identify with the Democratic candidate, whose victory is received with love in Iran and the Palestinian Authorityץ
Should Israel’s Settlers Fear Joe Biden? (Sivan Hirsch-Hoefler, Haaretz+) A Biden administration will end the unprecedented Trump White House access given to the settler movement and their ambitions. But history teaches us that whoever is in power, the settlers keep marching on.
Biden's election to the presidency of the United States is reminiscent of what is really good for Jews (Orit Lavie-Nashiel, Maariv) Israel has an interest in the United States continuing to be the leader of the free world - democratic, egalitarian and non-racist, committed to a stable world order and peace. This is what is really good for Jews, Israelis and the world.
The Soldier Who Shot Two Innocent Palestinians Needs Not Regret. Israel Has His Back (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) A soldier firing from a fortified tower killed an innocent man, and seriously wounded another, for no reason. I repeat: For no reason. Despite all the lies, the falsehoods and made up stories circulated by the soldier and his lawyers. If he was a Palestinian soldier, he would be sentenced to life in prison and another 25 years – something I am noting for the benefit of the Zionist experts on apartheid, who say there is no apartheid in Israel because there are no racial laws. You don’t need any racial laws if you can bend the law based on someone’s ethnic origins: And the soldier is a Jew; therefore he will be sentenced in a plea bargain to three months community service. Up to this point, it’s all within the realm of the expected. The investigation is reduced to nothing, the accused is not really accused of anything, the serious indictment evaporates into the ether, the plea makes a mockery of the term bargain; we end up with community service for manslaughter – a much lighter sentence than if the soldier had stolen a 100-shekel bill. And this show is also rare; usually it’s all resolved without a trial. That’s how it is when you’re talking about organized crime. This time, the instigators, the good ol’ boys, the generals in the reserves, got involved to defend the perpetrator. This is how the cosa nostra operates: One for all and all for one…
Rivlin should consider granting a pardon to Netanyahu in exchange for resigning (Meni Pe'er, Maariv) If I were President Reuven Rivlin's adviser, I would recommend that he initiate a pardon before a trial for the prime minister. This is not legal advice, I am not a lawyer, this is strategic advice from a concerned citizen.
The Electoral Math Behind Netanyahu's Sudden Affinity for Arab Lawmakers (Chaim Levinson, Haaretz+) The prime minister's main goal is to break up the 61 seat bloc Gantz can muster if he cooperates with the Joint List, prevent the latter from dissolving the Knesset whenever it's convenient for him.
*Did you see, Gantz? Netanyahu actually went with "supporters of terror“ (New Israel Fund CEO, Mickey Gitzin, Yedioth Hebrew) The chairman of Hosen L’Yisrael acted as many did before him and refrained from collaborating with the [mostly Arab - OH] Joint List so that they would not accuse him of being leftist. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu showed him how to do the right thing, without paying a price…The members of the center-left camp and the fans of the Israeli national soccer team have one thing in common: they, like these, have a compulsive tendency to recreate in their heads those traumatic ”almost moments,” those same historical misses. If only we had kicked a little differently, they pretend to think, everything would have been different: we would have come to power, or at least to the World Cup. Like the soccer team's performance, there was hope for a few moments on the political field. Eight months ago, an eternity in terms of Israeli politics and two eternities in terms of the Corona era, Benny Gantz was on the verge of a breakthrough and the formation of a government without Binyamin Netanyahu. He stood in front of an empty goal and all that was left for him was to proceed according to plan and roll the ball inside. But as happens too often, Gantz missed, retreated, scored an own goal and lost. There are various interpretations of Gantz's historic miss, the dire consequences of which are seen daily. Some provide psychological explanations and claim that he was exhausted from electoral struggles, some say bad advice was whispered in his ear, there are also those who explain that no matter how you twist it, he just did not have enough fingers to form a government. But the missed opportunity was due to only one factor: Gantz and his partners in “Hosen L’Yisrael“ party simply were unable to form a government with the support of Arab society. It makes no difference whether he himself got cold feet or that Yoaz Hendel and Zvi Hauzer vetoed it. The refusal to prepare in advance for this possibility, and placing right-wingers on the list, who were later discovered to be Trojans, eventually led to this result. Gantz acted as other center-leftists before him and avoided any move that could have provided Netanyahu with ammunition and allowed his opponents to accuse him of leftism. Since appearance is everything in a campaign, and media consultants have long since become policy makers, Gantz feared that his voters would punish him for joining hands with the Joint List. So he gave up a historic opportunity to replace Netanyahu, and no less importantly, to write a new chapter in the State of Israel's relations with its Arab citizens. The absurdity is that most Kahol-Lavan voters were actually in favor of this move. Also, as is well known, what Gantz chose to do instead was perceived by them as a much more serious betrayal. The irony has been fully exposed in recent days, when Netanyahu's partnership with the chairman of the Ra’am party, which represents the (southern) Islamic Movement, Mansour Abbas, who recently stated that he does not rule out support for (legislation) for the prime minister's escape from his trial, became clear. It is clear that Netanyahu will not think twice or raise an eyebrow about being dependent on the support of Ra’am party for his survival. He will do what Gantz, who ostensibly led a moderate and liberal camp, did not dare to do. Instead, Gantz preferred to commit political suicide. The mocking reactions over Netanyahu suddenly discovering that it was okay to cooperate with "supporters of terrorism" do not provide comfort. Nor are the crisp explanations from the right-wing that "it's not the same thing." Netanyahu will not pay for it at the ballot box. Time and time again he does what his opponents in the political center do not dare. It is hard to imagine, for example, that Gantz would have buried the annexation plan as Netanyahu did. After all, he needs the votes of the right, and these would not have forgiven him for such a move. This is the result of many years of internalization of right-wing spins, of foolish conduct and of a deep identity crisis in the political center - a camp that does not know who it is, what its principles are and who its voters are, is afraid of its own shadow and never finds the self-confidence to deviate from the familiar stencils and rigid campaign rules in favor of a breakthrough. Yair Lapid's recent departure from the traditional line is welcome, but not enough. It is to be hoped that the next player to stand with the ball in front of the goal will find the leg to finish it, or at least agree to pass the ball over to an Arab player, which also proves to be a success for the team.
Progressives will keep up the fight for Palestine — with or without Biden (Edo Konrad, Haaretz+) Rather than peg hopes on a White House moored to bygone policies, Palestine activists should bolster the movement from the ground up.
Right-wing Activists Attacked Us at Israel's Supreme Court (Michael Sfard, Haaretz+) For a long time now, hearings on cases involving one of Israel’s most important and venerable human rights organizations, Hamoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual, have drawn activists from right-wing organizations, who come to the courthouse to harass the organization’s lawyers. They recruit bereaved families and arrange for them to confront the Hamoked representatives, filming the encounters to be posted on social media. These activists also invite politicians from right-wing parties to come to the courthouse, and the hearings generally turn into a carnival from hell. I happened to be there and they pounced on the new target, demanding that I tell them if I enjoy “defending murderers of Jews.” Court security guards saw that the situation was getting out of hand and hustled us into a cafeteria on the floor below the large vestibule (thereby) awarding a prize to the thugs and creating an incentive for them to continue behaving aggressively toward lawyers who are just doing their jobs…These are untenable working conditions for human rights lawyers and mustn’t be reconciled with. The problem is less the right-wing activists and more the system, which allows them to create a hostile environment. This “tolerance” is part of the anti-democratic process delegitimizing dissenting voices of those who oppose the government’s Israeli-Palestinian conflict policies unacceptable.
The one who essentially endangers the talks with Lebanon is Israel (Yitzhak Levanon, Maariv) The Lebanese side is careful to maintain dry and "boring" diplomacy from a journalistic point of view, while Israeli representatives often update the media with juicy details that can disrupt the moves.
Israel won’t blink an eye if a hunger striker dies (Orly Noy, 972mag) The end of Maher al-Akhras' 103-day hunger strike is cause for celebration. But the Shin Bet is still doubling down on, rather than moving away from, administrative detention.
Searching for a safe place in the West Bank for a family hike (Umm Forat, Haaretz+) With hope and a little trepidation, we set out to find a stream that had not been taken over by settlers ■ Post #24
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.