APN's daily news review from Israel - Wednesday November 18, 2020
Number of the day:
— Percentage of Israelis who reported being satisfied with the US election results, according to a new poll.*
10 said killed, including Iranians, in IDF strikes in Syria
In a rare move, Israeli military claims airstrikes against Iranian Quds Force sites near Damascus, targeting central command of Iranian forces near capital's airport and compound housing high-level Iranian visitors; strike comes day after Israel uncovered explosives on its side of Syrian border. (Israel Hayom and Ynet)
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- Palestinian Authority announced renewal of (security) coordination with Israel
- A necessary step // Amos Harel
- An admission of failure // Jack Khoury
- Two hours crowded in line; Israelis returned to shopping centers
- Following Haaretz report: IDF to stop tracking on internet to locate gatherings
- Trump considered attacking Iran; US to withdraw forces from Iraq and Afghanistan
- Netanyahu spoke with Biden and referred to him for the first time as “President-elect”
- Welfare Ministry cancelled aid to elderly claiming it was only possible to advance legislation connected to corona
- Parents of soldier who died in Hilazon River considering civil suit against IDF
- Deni Avdija planned his whole life for his great moment tonight (at NBA)
- His achievement is great // Sami Peretz writes that Netanyahu destroyed the civil service
- Cheap populism // Daniel Chaimovich on government aid to student
- On a thin wire - ‘Florentine Circus’ could disappear without aid from the state
- New documentary film on Albert Einstein presents him as a fearless political activist and a “militant pacifist”
- Exclusive - The cry of Shira Iskov who was almost murdered by her husband - “The law allows Aviad to abuse us from inside jail” (Hebrew)
- The judge who abandoned Wafaa to the hands of the murderer (Hebrew)
- The new poor people in Eilat - Some 1,500 residents now go daily to soup kitchens (Hebrew)
- One who knows // Sima Kadmon on the political crisis
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
- The lines, the tourists and the protest - Stores opened up
- Rising calls in Likud to dismantle coalition government
- Assessment in Israel: Iran is being careful not to get to a nuclear (bomb)
- Operation vaccine: The goal - 15 million doses in Israel
- Tension in the north: “Syria is responsible” (for roadmines on border)
- Abbadia and Madar’s big night (in the NBA)
- Next project? (Prof.) Gamzu considering running for mayor of Tel-Aviv
- Medical psychologists in corona wards: Only in three hospitals
- History: First delegation from Bahrain arrives to visit Israel today
Top News Summary:
The newly poor in Eilat lining up for food at a soup kitchen and the people desperate to buy waiting in lines for hours (and fighting) outside stores that finally reopened Tuesday, Iran-related bits-and-bobs, and an explosion at a metal factory in southern Israel that killed a Palestinian and a Turkish worker - made top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Also in the news, the Palestinian Authority announced it renewed its coordination with Israel after a six-month freeze, the IDF stopped monitoring social media to locate gatherings to stop corona, while the police are joining group chats used to organize protests against Netanyahu.
Haaretz+ and Maariv report that Israeli security establishment still maintains that Iran is wary of advancing towards a nuclear weapon, despite its declarations otherwise. Nevertheless, Israel is preparing a “corrections list” for the nuclear deal with Iran to give US President-elect Joe Biden, Israel Hayom reported. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: "There is more to do about Iran.” And, according to Reuters, with just two months left in office, US President Donald Trump considered bombing Iran, to which Iran said the US would face a ‘crushing’ response. A Saudi minister said that if Iran developed nuclear weapons, so would Saudi Arabia. But on the Israel-Syria border explosives were found and the IDF thinks they were laid by pro-Iran militias.
On Tuesday, two weeks since the US election, Netanyahu spoke with Biden for the first time. This time he called him ‘President-elect.’ Earlier on Tuesday, Netanyahu refused to comment when asked in an interview on Army Radio who he believed won the U.S. election. Today, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Pompeo and with Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani. Also, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, and the UAE crown prince exchanged invitations for visits.
*A poll by the Ruderman Family Foundation surprisingly showed that despite Israelis’ overwhelming support for Trump in the US elections, 71% feel satisfied with the US election result. More than 90% say new the Biden administration will support Israel.
- Right-wing activists seek to resettle evacuated West Bank settlement - Several lawmakers make a visit in a show of support for 20 families who moved into the abandoned settlement of Sa-Nur. (Haaretz+)
- World leaders concerned over Israel's 'unilateral steps' in East Jerusalem - Top diplomats see Israel's public call for tenders to build 1,257 new settlement homes in East Jerusalem's Giv'at Hamatos neighborhood as a 'step that sends the wrong signal at the wrong time.’ (Agencies, Ynet)
Soldiers Demolish Residential A Structure In Northern Plains
- This is the second time in less than a month that the soldiers have demolished the residential structure of Raddad Hamed Daraghma in the al-Farisiyya Palestinian Bedouin community, under the allegation of being installed without a permit. (IMEMC)
- Israel Continues To Deny Urgently Needed Surgeries To Wounded Detainee Israa Ja’abis - Israa’ Ja’abis urgently needed surgeries and medical treatment resulting from the serious burns to 50% of her body, before she was abducted by the soldiers in 2015. The married mother of one child was sentenced to 11-years in prison on charges of trying to carry out an attack against soldiers. (IMEMC)
- German FM warns unilateral action could hurt Mideast talks - "Creating facts unilaterally won’t help us in this already difficult situation," Germany’s top diplomat, Heiko Maas, tells reporters after meeting with his Palestinian Authority counterpart in Berlin. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
- Israeli Man Gets Seven-year Sentence for Smuggling Metal to Gaza - Michael Peretz had ignored warnings from the Defense Ministry to quit contact with an intermediary with ties to Hamas. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
- Record Number of Infections Reported Among Palestinians - Most Israelis afraid to be first to receive vaccine, poll finds ■ Merchants in Tel Aviv's Carmel market reopen against regulations ■ Daily coronavirus cases rise ■ In-person classes to continue in towns with low infection rates. (Haaretz)
- Israeli Police Detain 12 as Anti-government Protests Near Gantz's Home Persist - Police cite violations of regulations that call for demonstrators to keep a few hundred meters away from the defense minister's home, even though he has urged police to allow the protests to take place. (Haaretz+)
- Israeli Claudia Conway? Mossad Chief's Daughter Backs anti-Netanyahu Protests, Report Says - Yossi Cohen's daughter changed her Facebook profile picture to the logo of the anti-Netanyahu 'Black Flag' movement, Ynet news site reports. (Haaretz)
- Netanyahu Supporters Attack Bereaved Family, Causing Uproar - Netanyahu supporters say of Farkash family, whose son was killed in the Second Lebanon War: 'losing a son doesn't give you the right' to host anti-Netanyahu protesters. Netanyahu, Likud party, President Rivlin, major political figures condemn the statements. (Haaretz+ and Maariv)
- After the 'Fake Leader' speech: Zilber summoned for a clarification - Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber was summoned by Attorney General Avichai Mendelblitt following her sharp speech against Netanyahu's leadership, which sparked a storm. (Yedioth, p. 19)
New film born out of lesbian affair between Palestinian and Israeli officer during Gaza war
Director Samira Saraya explains why she had to cast herself in the lead role and why she’s fed up with the depictions of Arab women in Israeli cinema. (Nirit Anderman, Haaretz+)
Meet Gaza's first woman taxi driver
In the impoverished Hamas-controlled enclave, where unemployment is sky high, Nayla Abu Jubbah, 39, found a way into the male dominated trade of taxi driving and now hopes to expand her business by hiring more women. (AFP, Ynet)
Made Millions in Africa, Taking Tom Cruise’s Seat: Meet Eytan Stibbe, Billionaire Israeli Space Passenger
Who is the former air force pilot who’ll climb onboard a SpaceX rocket at the end of 2021 and head to the International Space Station? (Hagai Amit and Shuki Sadeh, Haaretz+)
Dear Ambassador Friedman, Farewell, I’m Not Shedding a Tear (Victor Harel, Haaretz+) To Mr. David Friedman, U.S. Ambassador to Israel, shalom: I hope that you’ve already prepared the resignation letter that you’ll submit to the outgoing president, as all the U.S. ambassadors in the world are required to do, because parting from you isn’t causing me any sorrow…In my opinion you were the most political and least professional U.S. ambassador ever to serve here. You violated a glorious tradition of American ambassadors, all of whom – whether they were political appointments or came from the ranks of the State Department – respected the directives of all the articles of international law…
Dina Zilber in the service of the followers of the D9 (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth Hebrew) The Deputy Attorney General has always been there, not to support those who have a matter-of-fact critique of the legal oligarchy, but to strengthen those who want to destroy it. On governance and hypocrisy.
The Worst National Security Corruption Case in Israel's History (Akiva Eldar, Gilead Sher and Uzi Arad, Haaretz+) “Case 3000” – the submarines and war ships affair – is not just another “ordinary” corruption scandal, which relates primarily to unethical practices. Rather, It is Grand Corruption combined with Defense Corruption, both having severe legal implications…In several of these transactions, Netanyahu took decisions which contradicted the official stance of the military and defense establishment. The decision-making process undermined the binding procedure for strategic and defense procurement…Attorney General excluded, at the very outset, Netanyahu from the circle of suspects under investigation...This disputed decision, taken by Israel's chief prosecutor, has never been explained to the public…
A new phase for Iran's presence in Syria (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) IDF airstrikes were clear warning to Tehran, which is trying to bolster Assad's air defenses; attempted bombing that led to attacks seen as test of IDF level of alert on Golan as Damascus hints to Moscow that it could find new patron in Iran.
Restore Israeli deterrence now (Michael Oren, Israel Hayom) A Biden administration is unlikely to assist Israel in the way US President Donald Trump's has done for the past four years. Israel must act immediately to bolster its defense and restore deterrence because a country that hesitates to defend itself only invites greater aggression in the future.
Israel Mustn't Allow This Far-right Former Politician to Head Yad Vashem (Haaretz Editorial) A few months ago Avner Shalev, who has been Yad Vashem’s chairman for 27 years, announced his imminent retirement. Of all the people in Israel, the prime minister chose as his candidate to replace him a man who supports the transfer of Palestinians, who called Israeli Arab citizens a “ticking bomb” and called Arab Knesset members a fifth column that should be barred from Israeli politics and even expelled to the Gaza Strip.
Jewish MKs must support Arab colleagues' outreach (Michael Milstein, Yedioth/Ynet) Joint List MK Mansour Abbas' efforts at cooperation with government reflect a deeper debate about the path of Arab politics, which seems to be at a dead end, and now his counterparts in major parties must do their part too.
The never-ending 'struggle for Palestine' (Asaf Romirowsky, Israel Hayom) The binary view of the Arab-Israeli conflict that has prevailed for decades may have shifted following the Abraham Accords. But if so, what comes next?
By Renewing Cooperation With Israel, Palestinian Authority Leadership Admits Failure (Jack Khoury, Haaretz+) President Abbas was forced to return to the tried-and-true playbook after the PA found no substitute for the tax revenue it refused to accept over Israeli deductions.
In the world, Israel is defined as a "regional power," but along with the advantages, there are disadvantages (Zalman Shoval, Maariv) In the world, Israel is defined as a "regional power," but sometimes alongside the advantages, there are disadvantages, such as the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. And also: we must act so that a script like this in Nagorno-Karabakh is not copied into our arena.
Israel Longs for Bidenism, and It's Ready for an Election Now (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) The timing of the next general election is the hottest topic in the media and political arena today. The self-proclaimed psychics say that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s calendar has settled on June as the best time for him. The new coronavirus vaccines will begin to ease the pandemic and a national budget will be passed, making people feel as if the economy is on the road to recovery. Netanyahu’s court dates may be postponed over and over again: Bibi’s lawyers are sure to argue that to continue the trial during an election would pose a concrete threat to the offender’s chances of being elected, and in any event by then the political opposition will have crumbled into dust.
Should Israel consult with Diaspora Jews? (Jason Shvili, Israel Hayom) Israeli policies must be determined by one sector alone: Israeli citizens.
Trump and Netanyahu Are the True Democrats (Srulik Einhorn, Haaretz+) A hostile media mocks both Trump and Netanyahu, and demeans their voters. That contempt can't cancel the new political movement they've pioneered, or the forgotten voters they've enfranchised.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.