News Nosh 1.4.21

APN's daily news review from Israel - Monday January 4, 2021

Quote of the day:

"Netanyahu should look for voters in Hadera, not in Um al-Fahem."
--MK Mansour Abbas said about the Israeli Prime Minister's attempts to get Arabs to vote for him in the upcoming elections.*

Front Page:


  • Revised indictment: Netanyahu presented 155 demands to to tilt coverage on Walla news website
  • Revised indictment makes clear: Netanyahu wanted control and not positive coverage // Mordechai Kremnitzer
  • In light of the lack of vaccines: Sharp drop expected in number of new vaccinations from corona next week
  • Government neglected infection hotspots and is looking for a magic solution // Amos Harel
  • In Al-Rakeez village, it’s prohibited to connect to electricity [even a generator]. This time it ended in a shooting
  • Israeli woman seriously wounded in her head from throwing of stones at her car near Halamish settlement
  • (Gideon) Sa’ar’s plan: Divide the job of the Attorney General and public hearings for judges
  • (Merav) Michaeli will run for chairman of Labor party, Meretz will save fourth spot on list for an Arab woman
  • New Congress in US sworn in, but corona and Trump ruined the celebrations // Natanel Smylovich
  • Fear that sense of taste and smell lost for many of those recovering
  • Due diligence check raised suspicion: The (Emirati) business partner in Beitar Jerusalem soccer team is a front man
  • Came to whitewash (settlements) // Noa Landau writes that Kahol-Lavan ministers are helping attempts to harm democracy
  • Pulling the strings // Zvi Bar’el on the explosion that shook Yemen 
  • Private investigator Zvika Naveh search for information on Netanyahu’s lawyer after a different lawyer of Netanyahu sent him a client

Yedioth Ahronoth

  • On the way to a full lockdown 
  • The agreement was violated // Nahum Barnea writes that Netanyahu blaming everyone else for the failure of the third lockdown is fake news
  • Lockdown first // Sever Plocker in support of full lockdown, including education system
  • Trump was caught in the act - Recording exposed of him trying to overturn vote count in Georgia (Hebrew)
  • Revised indictment: Netanyahu involved in 150 attempts to tilt coverage in Walla News
  • Expose - Tel-Aviv Mayor Huldai’s advisor working for politician Huldai (Hebrew)

Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)

  • Political lack of lockdown - Dispute between Netanyahu and Kahol-Lavan over corona lockdown
  • The vaccine panic - Fear of lack of vaccines
  • The voice that decides - Netanyahu continues to court Arab votes; Sa’ar planning to hold public hearings for High Court justice candidates

Israel Hayom

  • Serious warning from hospitals - Infection rate spreading at frightening pace, but Likud and Kahol-Lavan can’t reach an agreement - On the way to tightening the third lockdown?
  • Not just those returning from abroad: 7 more cases of British mutation
  • Stone terror returned: Attack on the way to a corona test
  • Special: Surprising votes from Georgia
  • Show trial like there has never been in Israel // Mati Tuchfeld

Top News Summary:
The dispute between Likud and Kahol-Lavan coalition over whether to tighten Israel’s third lockdown and close down schools completely (Israel’s infection rate has risen to 6.6%) and the fear that there won’t be enough doses of vaccine left next week (Yedioth emphasized how other countries are impressed with Israel’s ability to vaccinate so many people so quickly) and Netanyahu’s revised indictment in case 4000, which charges that he made 155 demands to to tilt coverage on Walla news website (‘Israel Hayom’s front page article was a commentary that the Netanyahu trial is a ‘show trial.’ The English article on the ‘Israel Hayom’ website had an altogether different headline that said that the amendment was to remove references to PM's family) were the top stories in today's Hebrew newspapers.

Interestingly, Yedioth and Maariv reported that US President Donald Trump got caught ‘red-handed’ after a phone recording revealed he was pressuring a Georgia official to ‘find votes,’ but ‘Israel Hayom’ ran a front-page feature reporting how much Georgians love Trump.

Elections 2021:
*Battle for the Arab vote:
Netanyahu continues to court Arab votes and said he wants to break the Joint List’s monopoly on the Arab Israeli vote, Israel Hayom Hebrew reported. MK Mansour Abbas, who has gotten closer to Netanyahu, welcomed the change, but other Arab MKs but objected. Abbas said he was happy to be the first to identify the change in the perception of right-wing Israeli politicians towards Arab society, from a hostile attitude one to one that places Arab citizens at the center of political discourse. Nevertheless, about Netanyahu’s attempts to get closer to Arab public he said Netanyahu should look for voters in Hadera and not in Um al-Fahem. The Likud is set to reserve an election-slate spot for an Arab-Israeli, likely longtime supporter Nail Zoabi, a school principal from the village of Nein, as part of his attempt to gain Arab votes. (Times of Israel) Zoabii told 103FM: “I want to remove the Arab sector from its leadership.)
Sa'ar Reveals Plan for Justice System: Curb Attorney General's Power, Public Hearings for Judges - Likud breakaway Sa'ar calls to reform Israel's justice system, opposes Netanyahu's efforts to draft self-serving legislation amid his corruption charges. (Haaretz+)
Meretz will designate Knesset seat for Arab woman Monday Meretz head Nitzan Horowitz said that on Monday, the party will designate the fourth seat on their Knesset list for an Arab woman, Channel 13 reported. (JPost)
Likud minister Regev attacked Yitzhak Shamir's granddaughter: "If your grandfather had seen your deeds - he would have turned over in his grave" - [Netanyahu loyalist] Miri Regev attacked Adv. Michal Diamant, who announced her departure from Likud and that she joined Gideon Sa’ar’s ‘New Hope’ party. "You and Sa’ar are doing to Netanyahu what others have done to complicate matters - an attempt to rebel against the Likud leader," Regev wrote. Shamir's granddaughter: “My grandfather resigned from Likud due to his disappointment with Netanyahu…You brought about the destruction of the party.” (Maariv and Ynet Hebrew)
Labor MK Merav Michaeli to run in party's primary elections - Michaeli's announcement comes after the Tel Aviv District Court ruled that the Labor Party will undergo primary elections, after the Party's outgoing leader, Amir Peretz, decided that the party's ruling body would be the one to choose the party's new leadership. (Ynet)
Nissenkorn: I didn’t surrender to takeover attempts by a bribery defendant - At a ceremony marking the end of his tenure as justice minister, former Kahol-Lavan member Avi Nissenkorn slammed Kahol-Lavan leader Benny Gantz without mentioning his name. Nissenkorn accuses Gantz of being ready to strike a compromise with Netanyahu that would have allowed the Likud to ensure favorable picks for filling the currently empty state attorney post and other key posts in the future. (JPost)
From Balfour to the Knesset: Protesters form the “The Democrats party - The new party (of anti-Netanyahu protesters) will promote values of "liberty, equality and mutual esteem" and until the primaries are held it will be spearheaded by two scientists, a former military officer and an MK. (Maariv)
'I'm a Man of My Word': Sa'ar Rules Out Rotation Deal With Netanyahu - In an interview with Israel's Channel 12 News, the New Hope party chief firmly vows that sitting in a government with Netanyahu is off the cards. (Haaretz+)
Failure to Pass State Budget Has Cost Israelis $6.5 Billion So Far - The Knesset won’t get another chance to pass a 2021 budget until July at the earliest. Practically, reforms will only be felt a year from now. [The upcoming elections are the result of the failure. - OH] (Haaretz+)

Quick Hits:

  • Suspects Arrested After Israeli Seriously Wounded by Stones Thrown at Her Car in West Bank - Woman in her thirties, wife of convicted Jewish terrorist, sustained wounds to her head ■ Palestinians report 15 youth arrested by soldiers in nearby village. (Haaretz and Maariv)
  • After an Israeli settler was allegedly injured by a stone, soldiers raid West Bank village, assault residents - Israeli soldiers raided today Deir Nitham village, north of Ramallah, assaulted its residents and detained 15 people after an allegation that an Israeli settler was injured by a rock in the vicinity of the village. (WAFA)
  • Palestinian and international activists demand protection for residents of south Hebron hills (after shooting of shepherd) - Palestinian and international activists today held a protest rally in al-Rakiz hamlet in Masafer Yatta, in the south Hebron hills, against the Israeli army and settler attacks targeting the area’s Palestinian residents. Soldiers two days ago shot and paralyzed Haroun Abu Aram, 24, who was trying to protect his property from being seized by the soldiers. (WAFA)
  • Settlers attack Palestinian vehicles south of Nablus - Settlers from Eli and Shilo hurled stones at vehicles with Palestinian registration plates travelling along Nablus-Ramallah Road near al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya village, south of the city, smashing their windshields. (WAFA)
  • Palestinian villagers fend off settler attack west of Bethlehem - Dozens of Israeli settlers attempted to raid al-Miswana agricultural area, which belongs to the Sukkar family and is located between Wadi Fukin, al-Jab‘a and Nahalin villages, before the villagers fought them off and forced them to leave the scene. (WAFA)
  • Israel okays a plan to seize Palestinian land near Bethlehem - Israeli occupation authorities ordered the confiscation of large tracts of Palestinian-owned land in the area in favor of colonial settlement construction and expansion. (WAFA)
  • Israeli forces storm, fire tear gas into hospital in Tulkarm - Director of the Thabet Thabet Government Hospital, Haitham Shadeed, told WAFA that he and the medical staff were shocked when the Israeli forces raided the hospital courtyards and the Outpatient Clinics Section’s waiting room at 3:30 A.M. and fired concussion bombs inside. (WAFA)
  • Israeli NGO accuses UN agency of distorting data on terrorism - Betzalmo, an NGO that describes itself as a "Jewish human rights organization, says that the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs systematically fails to accurately report on the murder of Israelis by Palestinians. "It's inconceivable that UN agencies ignore Jewish terror victims," Ambassador Erdan says. (Israel Hayom)
  • Two weeks since his death: protests resumed over the death of Ahuvia Sandak; A minor was arrested - In the fourth protest, about 100 demonstrators arrived Sunday night at the junction at the entrance to Jerusalem and called on the police not to whitewash the incident that led to the youth’s death. Protests also in Kiryat Malachi, Ma'ale Adumim and other centers around the country. (Maariv)
  • Demonstrator indicted for attacking Arabs on nationalist grounds - According to the indictment, during a demonstration near the Police National Headquarters over the death of (hilltop youth settler Ahuvia Sandak), Yehuda Benayahu blocked the entrance to the Sheikh Jarrah (E. Jerusalem Palestinian) neighborhood with wood and iron bars, smashed the windows of the local medical clinic in the Arab neighborhood and together with other demonstrators attacked Arab drivers. (MyNet Hebrew)
  • "The killing of the policemen is being allowed”: Disappointment among police for lack of condemnation of the violence (by right-wingers) against them - In the last two weeks, there have been extensive demonstrations in protest of the death of the boy Ahuvia Sandak, with widespread violence against police officers, but the police feel that the elected officials have forgotten them. (Maariv)
  • Thirty more cases of COVID-19 among Palestinian detainees in Naqab - According to Palestinian Prisoner's Society, latest figures increase number of Palestinian prisoners who have contracted the coronavirus since the outbreak of the pandemic to 171. (WAFA)
  • 1/3 of soldiers who died last year committed suicide - 28 soldiers died over the past year — the second lowest number in Israel’s history — but only one in an attack. (Times of Israel and Ynet Hebrew)
  • Israel Declares Closed Military Zone Near Lebanon Border Over Hezbollah Demonstrations - Hezbollah demonstrations mark first anniversary of killing of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, as Tehran accuses Israel of stoking war with U.S. (Haaretz+)
  • A year on, Hezbollah says Iran ‘doesn’t need help’ avenging its top general - On anniversary of assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, Hassan Nasrallah says Tehran will retaliate for US  ‘when it decides to’; says Hezbollah will preserve ‘atmosphere of tension’ in the region. (Maariv and Times of Israel)
  • Israel Rejects 'Nonsense' Iran Charge It Seeks to Trick U.S. Into War - Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz adds that Israel is on alert Sunday, the one-year anniversary of the assassination of Tehran's top general, Qassem Soleimani. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran Missile Program Must Be ‘On the Table’ in Nuclear Talks, Biden National Security Adviser Says - Tehran says its ballistic missile program is non-negotiable, while Biden has promised to join the nuclear deal while building on it. (Haaretz+)
  • With New Congress, Israel Loses Two of Its Best Friends in Washington - Democratic veterans Nita Lowey and Eliot Engel were favorites of AIPAC and staunch opponents of the Iran deal. (Haaretz+)
  • Ancient stone ax in Turkey could be 2,000 years old - The ax from the Chalcolithic period must have been used for religious ceremonies and rituals. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)

'Trump is the best president since Roosevelt'
Israel Hayom Editor-in-Chief Boaz Bismuth reports from Georgia, with some surprising voices. (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom)
“Their spirit will continue to exist in this place”
Five years after the attack on Dizengoff Street, where his friend Shimon Ravimi was murdered before his eyes, Nir Amitai is establishing with the help of crowd funding a farm in the Negev for helping at-risk youth as part of his rehabilitation for the trauma he went through. (Ilana Stutland, Maariv Magazine, cover)
IDF sees record number of Israeli Arab conscripts
The 1,000 new soldiers from Israel's largest minority is more than double that of recent years, with Arab troops serving in combat roles in prominent brigades; army says it has also had inquiries from Syria and Lebanon. (Yoav Zitun, Yedioth/Ynet)

How Is It That Netanyahu Is Now Courting Arab Voters (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+)  The center-left has only itself to blame for losing even the banner of coexistence to the right.
Pride can go to hell (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth Hebrew) Arab-Israelis, this is the time to put honor aside and dare to change. “We are people of pride,” said MK Ayman Odeh in response to Netanyahu’s attempts to get closer to Arab-Israelis. To hell with pride, Odeh. Because this ‘honor’ that you speak of is one of the greatest disasters of the Arab-Israelis, probably of Arabs in general. Not everyone, of course not. But it’s time to admit: The more there is ‘pride,’ the more there is murder of women, more murder in general, more violence and more backwardness. Netanyahu is not the issue. The Arab minority in Israel is the issue. In the last decade there a significant change has begun for the better, especially in the field of education, but a negative change has happened in the field of violence, including the rise in the number of murdered…Netanyahu is a politician. He has interests. One can assume that his getting closer to the Arab sector, like his connections with MK Abbas Mansour, are not the result of a late recognition of Jabotinsky’s doctrine (that all rights need to be given to every citizen in the State of Israel)…He is cynical. And one cannot quickly forget his statements of incitement or forget that we are entering an election campaign. But this is politics..In order for change to happen, the leaders of teh Arab public must change their views. Not they don’t need to vote for Netanyahu necessarily.  Most of the Jewish voters don’t vote for Likud and don’t like its leader. It’s not the man. It’s the issue. So they need to begin to serve the interests of their people, instead of looking for excuse. They need to be in favor of integration that includes equal rights, but also equal obligations. They can be in favor of the right of self-determination of the Palestinians, but also the self-determination of the Jews…Odeh, don’t change for the sake of Netanyau, change for the sake of Arab-israelis.
The prime minister's proceedings will turn into a show trial
(Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) Can Netanyahu have a fair trial in the circumstances of an election, and can the country have a fair election with the prime minister on trial?
Watching a Show at Israel's High Court (Samah Salaime, Haaretz+) The hearing in the High Court, which was supposed to delve into the constitutionality of the Basic Law on Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, quickly turned into an operation to award legal protection to the holy Zionist enterprise. It began with a warning letter from Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin and continued with the efforts of Supreme Court President Esther Hayut to intercept any argument that was launched at her with the aid of the 10 loyal soldiers in the legal battalion, including one Arab soldier, who remained silent throughout most of this absurd performance.
The makings of the US recognition of the Moroccan Sahara (Dr. Dore Gold, Israel Hayom) When the voices of Arab moderation are secured, peace can become a reality. But if Iran enters undisturbed, then any peace can be undermined.
Yemen Explosions Heard All the Way in Jerusalem, as Israel Braces for Iranian Revenge (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) It is still unclear what role, if at all, the Iranians played in the attack. But as the anniversary of General Soleimani's death nears, the entire Middle East is riddled with warning signs.

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