News Nosh 1.5.21

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APN's daily news review from Israel - Tuesday January 5, 2021

Quote of the day:

״It seems that no matter how many achievements the MKs bring to the public, there will always be commentators who will volunteer to explain to the Arab citizens what our real interest is and who really works for us.״
--Amjad Shbita, co-CEO of Sikkuy, an organization that promotes equality and partnership between Arab and Jewish citizens in Israel, writes in Yedioth that Arab-Israelis have a right as citizens and as equal human beings for the government to deal with the wave of crime in the Arab-Israeli sector and not because they serve the political interest of the right or the left.*

Front Page:


Yedioth Ahronoth

  • 42% of those infected in Israel: Pupils and education staff (Hebrew)
  • Fifth time in quarantine - Asulin family (from Efrat settlement) was exposed in teachers’ staff room and son to a daycare worker.
  • Don’t neglect me - Yedioth reported last week that state is concealing funds meant for Holocaust survivors. Nilan Reich, 89, asks that the public see how he lives in terrible isolation - and there’s no one to help him (Hebrew)
  • The first female murder victim of 2021

Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)

  • Battle over the lockdown
  • The ‘green passport’ - Health Ministry revealed plan and instruments that will allow vaccinated, recovering and those tested to return almost to complete daily life
  • Dollar is collapsing, interest rate remains
  • First (femicide) victim of 2021 - Man called police and said: “I strangled my wife”

Israel Hayom

  • Ahead of tightening the lockdown: Education in the crosshairs
  • With US mediation: Historic reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Qatar
  • Festival of storytellers - Our correspondent received a mission: to get vaccinated. Did he succeed?
  • Back to November 3rd: Georgia’s moment of truth

Top News Summary:
The dispute over a stricter lockdown and whether it will include elementary schools to be decided today (as Israel recorded over 8,000 new virus cases, the highest since September) and a plan to provide ‘green passports’ to people who have recovered from corona or have been vaccinated to fly or attend large events, the first first femicide victim of 2021 and the US-mediated reconciliation agreement between Qatar and other Sunni Arab countries were the top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

What was not in the news were questions about what happened to the soldier who shot in the neck and paralyzed an unarmed Palestinian shepherd trying to pull his generator away from three armed soldiers and whether he would be put on trial.

What was not in the news was what happened after a Palestinian threw a rock at the car of Rivka Teitel, seriously injuring her as she drove on Road 465 and after Israeli forces raided nearby Deir Nidham village and arrested numerous people. What happened was that Israel sealed off the village, preventing people from driving in or out, and then destroyed a large area of the village’s agricultural land, in what residents say is collective punishment. The Hebrew papers also called the throwing of a stone at Teitel’s car ‘an attack.’ Yet, practically everyday settlers throw stones at Palestinian cars. Yesterday settlers attacked Palestinian cars on the same Road 465, while elsewhere, in Sarta village, settlers pelted several houses and vehicles and slashed tires. Two years ago when settler teens threw rocks at passing Palestinian cars near Nablus, they killed Aisha al-Rabi, a mother of six. The attack was labelled a terrorist attack by the Israeli government, but the attacker, from Kochav Hashachar settlement, was only put under house arrest and has not yet been brought to trial.

Elections 2021:

  • The committee decided: This is the date on which the Knesset will go on election recess - The Knesset committee agreed on both the date on which the Knesset will go into the election recess and when it will return to activity. The Knesset recess will begin on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, until the 24th Knesset convenes. (Maariv)
  • Former Mossad chief to launch retirees political party - Danny Yatom, also a former Labor MK, begins process of registering party, which, similar to the former “Pensioners of Israel” party, which won seven seats in the 2006 elections but failed to pass the electoral threshold in 2009, will focus on issues relating to senior citizens. (Maariv, p. 8 and Times of Israel)
  • Meretz presented: three Arab candidates in top 10 slots - Meretz won't hold primaries and at a press conference Monday, left-wing Meretz party presented the three candidates, two in the top five slots. “While others talk, we are acting, because you can count on Meretz. When Meretz talks about Jewish-Arab cooperation, it means it,” said party chairman Nitzan Horovitz [in a message to Netanyahu, who has been courting the Arab vote recently. - OH] “The Arab public is not stupid. It knows that Netanyahu is making cynical and false attempt,” said #4, Jida Rinawi-Zuebi. (Maariv, p. 8)
  • Sa'ar's party, Bennett's Yamina sign vote-sharing deal, hours later, Lapid's Yesh Atid and Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu also sign vote-sharing deal - Agreements leaves Likud without natural vote-sharing partner. Source said that Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman "acted behind the scenes to coordinate between the four parties on the signing of the agreements between them."(Haaretz+ and Yedioth)
  • (Far-right-wing party leaders] Bennett and Smotrich lock horns over who's in the right - The major point of contention is reportedly the demand by the National Union that Habayit Hayehudi be excluded from the national-religious faction. Two more public figures announce parliamentary bids ahead of the March 23 vote. (Israel Hayom)

Quick Hits:

  • Shin Bet: Murder of Israeli Woman Motivated by Cancer Death of Palestinian Prisoner - Muhammad Marwah Kabha, 40, said that approximately six weeks before the murder of Esther Horgen near her West Bank settlement, the death in prison due to illness of another security prisoner, Kamal Abu Waer, had prompted him to carry out a terrorist attack. [Waer, 46, had both cancer and was the first Palestinian prisoner in Israel to die of COVID-19. Palestinian President had made an international campaign for Israel to release him]. (Israel Hayom, Maariv, Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Settlers raze Palestinian farmlands in northern Jordan Valley - Israeli settlers escorted bulldozers into al-Farisiya, where the heavy machineries leveled large tract of farmlands belonging to the villagers as a prelude to seize them and set up colonial agricultural enterprises. (WAFA)
  • B’Tselem: 2020 in the Occupied Territories: Heinous Killings, Settler Violence and a Home Demolitions Spike - In the West Bank, in at least 11 of the 16 incidents B’Tselem investigated, the Palestinians killed posed no threat to the lives of the forces and the forces fired at them with no justification. (Read examples.) Over the course of 2020, Israeli security forces killed 27 Palestinians, seven of them minors: one in the Gaza Strip, 23 in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and three inside Israel. (IMEMC)
  • Israeli bulldozers demolish structures near Jerusalem - Taha al-Rifa‘e, Mayor of Anata village [inside E. Jerusalem], said that Israeli forces and staff of the so-called Jerusalem Municipality escorted bulldozers into the eastern section of the town, close to the industrial zone, where the heavy machineries tore down four structures and walls, and also several houses al-Najma neighborhood of the town. (WAFA)
  • Three injured from Israeli military gunfire south of Jericho - An Israeli military force barged its way into Aqabat Jabr refugee camp in the early morning hours and sealed off the main entrance of the camp, triggering confrontations. The forces shot and injured three Palestinians, who were rushed to a hospital. (WAFA)
  • Israeli Charged With Damaging Palestinian Property Amid Protests Over Teen's Death - 18-year-old indicted for attacking property after demonstration over the death of a settler teen chased by Israeli police after allegedly throwing stones at Palestinians. (Haaretz+)
  • Son of well-known female MK was arrested on suspicion of threatening police officers - The incident took place on a security road in the Ma'ale Adumim area, when police asked him to move his vehicle. In response, he threatened them, and they arrested him immediately. It has not yet been decided whether he will be released at the end of the investigation. (Maariv)
  • "Out of fear of harm": Netanyahu's wife and their children will receive security from state a year after the end of his term - The State Committee for the Approval of Security Procedures for High-Level Persons recommended extending the protection of the Prime Minister's wife and their two children after the end of his term by six months, but a Shin Bet committee consisting of two Likud ministers ruled otherwise. (Yedioth Hebrew)
  • In another first, IDF deploys female soldiers to northern front  - Northern Command official: They are excellent at drone operation, we have absolute faith in their capabilities. (Israel Hayom)
  • Seven injured in fuel warehouse explosion on Syria-Lebanon border - Cause of fire and explosions not immediately clear, with Lebanon's LBC TV saying the warehouse was used by smugglers. (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+)
  • Iran seizes South Korean oil tanker in Gulf; Seoul dispatches forces - Iranian media says the vessel en route to UAE, Saudi Arabia, had been seized by the country's elite Revolutionary Guards navy for 'polluting the Gulf with chemicals.’ (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran Resumes 20 Percent Uranium Enrichment at Fordow Site, Breaching Nuclear Deal - The move is the latest in a string of Iranian violations of the nuclear accord ■ Netanyahu: Israel won't allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Iran warns its Lebanese, Gaza proxies can 'level Haifa, Tel Aviv to the ground' - Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has reportedly given the Tehran-backed terrorist groups the green light to destroy major Israeli cities "if any foolishness is committed against Iran." (Israel Hayom)
  • Senior Hamas official describes receiving $22M in cash from Iran's Soleimani - "We had agreed on a larger sum, but there were only nine of us, and this was all we could carry," former Hamas Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar says in interview to Iranian TV station. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli Soccer Fed Fears Unknown UAE Sheikh Is a Front Man for Dubious Figures - Doing due diligence, the Israel Football Association raises suspicions about the financial muscle of the new UAE partner in Beitar Jerusalem. (Haaretz+)
  • In first, Israel-based international news network available in UAE - i24NEWS is now available on both eLife and Switch TV services for no additional cost. The UAE'S leading telecom group Etisalat launches Israel-based i24NEWS channels. (Israel Hayom)
  • Palestinians accused of robbing Yad Vashem - The alleged gang of thieves also stands accused of robbing a shooting range in Caesarea on Israel's coastline and a museum in Kibbutz Hazorea in the Jezreel Valley. (Haaretz+)
  • Palestinian Court Releases Top DJ on Bail After Techno Rave at Moses' Burial Place - Sama Abdulhadi faces charges of desecrating a holy site and violating COVID-19 lockdown measures after organizing a party at Nabi Musa, while organizers insist the Palestinian Tourism Ministry approved the event. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Turkish Police Clash With Students Protesting Erdogan-appointed University Chief - Faculty members at Bogazici University, one of Turkey's top establishments, say appointment of rector with ties to ruling party 'clearly violates academic freedom and scientific autonomy.’ (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Crusader-era Siege Ramp Protected Israeli City From the Desert for a Thousand Years - Israeli archaeologist identifies massive siege ramp erected by Muslim or Christian warriors to conquer Ashkelon – which has been shielding the city from encroaching sand dunes ever since. (Haaretz+)
  • Ford Prepares to Test Self-driving Car on Israeli Roads, Aiming for 2022 Launch - Udy Danino, head of the U.S. automaker’s Israeli research and development center, says the plan is to introduce robotaxi service before the end of next year. (Haaretz+)
  • Famed Lebanese Musician Elias Rahbani, Who Wrote for Fairouz, Dies at 83 - Local media outlets report that the youngest of the Rahbani brothers had contracted COVID-19. (Agencies, Haaretz)


The Village Where Palestinians Are Rendered Completely Powerless
Harun Abu Aram was shot and paralyzed by Israeli security forces on Friday in his village, where even having electricity is deemed illegal. (Amira Hass, Haaretz+)
With its racist history, can a Jerusalem football team accept an Arab owner?
As Emirati sheikh buys shares in Beitar Jerusalem, the notorious club is confronting its racist ultra-fans in hopes of reviving its competitive edge. (Robert Swift, 972mag)

Netanyahu Discovers Arabs Just Before the Election, but Do Voters Actually Believe Him? (Jack Khoury, Haaretz+) The prime minister's party is trying to take advantage of the rift in the Joint List to attract Arab voters in the upcoming election – but low Arab turnout would also help Likud.
If he continues to embrace and respect the Arab public, Netanyahu will only benefit (Daniel Siriyoti, Israel Hayom Hebrew) Polls show a jump in support for the Likud among eligible voters from the Arab sector. Against the background of the Prime Minister's "rapprochement" campaign and the separation of MK Abbas from the Joint List, the fundamentally wrong assumption that the sector is on the left side of the political map should be changed. 
*Don’t explain to us (Amjad Shbita, Yedioth Hebrew) Like a swallow heralding the coming of spring, so the voices of commentators claiming that the Knesset members of the Joint List party don't represent the Arab public herald an election period. It seems that no matter how many achievements the MKs bring to the public, there will always be commentators who will volunteer to explain to the Arab citizens what our real interest is and who really works for us. And that our lives here require improvement. In the last year alone, I have lost 112 brothers and sisters due to the phenomenon of crime and violence in Arab society. There is no family that does not bleed or an Arab town that does not cry over the victims. For a decade, the numbers are only growing, and with them the civil protest demanding the right to life and to security. The entire Arab society is mobilizing to fight the criminal organizations and it demands that the law enforcement authorities confiscate the hundreds of thousands of weapons that roam the neighborhoods. The struggle to put an end to the crime phenomenon is deeply linked to the struggle for civil equality. The criminal organizations have taken over our streets because the localities are the country’s (neglected) backyard. The Arab citizens are far from the eyes of police and far from the heart of the government. Despite all this, yesterday Yedioth commentator Ben-Dror Yemini claimed that the real problem is that we are addicted to ‘honor.’ Yemini confuses our demand for dignity as human beings with the misguided term "murder for family honor," whose exploitation indicates a lack of understanding of the depth problems that create the epidemic of crime and violence. We have a defining answer to conditional equality - we will never give up our identity for equality. If we lower our heads against the discrimination that enables crime, the violence will not go away; If we remain silent in the face of incitement, equality will not come. Because if we give in to racism - the situation will only get worse. Our right to personal security does not stem from the fact that we serve the political interest of the right or the left, but rather from our citizenship in the country, our births in the country, and from the fact that we are all equal human beings. (Amjad Shbita is co-CEO of Sikkuy, an organization that promotes equality and partnership between Arab and Jewish citizens in the country.)
PM hoping for election boost from Morocco's King Mohammed (Moran Azulay, Ynet) During previous election campaigns, Netanyahu placed a heavy emphasis on his political relations with leaders such as Trump and Putin, and now hopes to capitalize on the newly formed Israel-Morocco relationship.
So Netanyahu, Who’s a Hamas Collaborator Now? (Ehud Barak, Haaretz+) …It appears that Hamas – comprising its two wings in Gaza, its ideological extension in Israel and its supporters and patron in the region – desire a Netanyahu election victory and are taking steps to help make it happen. His defeat would spell a threat to them, and they know why. On the backs of the Israelis in the Gaza border communities and the hapless Gazans thrives an unwritten pact between Netanyahu and Hamas…For Netanyahu, Hamas is the ideal adversary – a bunch of terrorists who wish to see Israel drenched in blood. An adversary that stands no chance – or as Netanyahu really sees it, poses no risk – of changing, thereby helping to deepen Israelis’ anxiety over the “savages” and “Amalekites” that are just waiting to annihilate us…Until quite recently, Hamas’ ideological spinoff in Israel, the Islamic Movement, was portrayed as being among the “traitors” – shorthand for all the Arabs in Israel, the “leftists” and every political rival of Netanyahu. In his world, Hamas is depicted as an existential threat (though this is way beyond its actual capabilities) while it is guarded as carefully as a protected plant. For all of its many faults, the Palestinian Authority does cooperate with the IDF and the Shin Bet in combating terror, but Netanyahu aims to strengthen Hamas at the PA’s expense. Netanyahu also lends Hamas its “uniqueness” and prestige compared to the PA, as the organization that fights against Israel without paying for it…
To protect the courts, we must all work together (Adv. Ilana Shoshan, Maariv) Put aside the “No, Bibi" or “Yes, Bibi,” we all need to mobilize immediately to protect the judiciary. We have lost confidence in the government and the Knesset. Don’t also take away our trust in the courts.
Netanyahu's Amended Indictment Reveals a Web of Corruption (Haaretz Editorial) The amended indictment against Binyamin Netanyahu in Case 4000 (the Bezeq-Walla case) is a hair-raising document that details no fewer than 230 demands by the prime minister and members of his immediate family for more favorable coverage from the Walla news website – 150 of them by Netanyahu himself, either directly or via an intermediary. It shows yet again how Walla became a propaganda tool for Netanyahu in the guise of an independent media outlet.
He grabbed his generator. They shot him in the neck (Yuval Abraham, 972mag) Harun Abu Aram, whose home was demolished last month, was shot by a soldier at point-blank range while trying to take back his generator. All so Israel could take his land.
When Sharing Data on the Occupation Is Treated as an Intel Breach (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) The attempt to explain the meaning of occupation to the occupier is like climbing a slippery wall. Statistics are an effective tool for anyone interested in conceptualization.
Can the 'Abrahamic narrative' grow beyond the Gulf? (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) There are several ways in which the Emiratis and Bahrainis, and perhaps soon the Saudis, can bring about a slow but sea change in Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian attitudes towards Israel.
A New Government Was Meant to Bring Hope to Yemen. But Then Aden Airport Was Attacked (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) The deadly attack exposes a tangled web of interests and agendas, with the roles of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia – and Israel – are as unclear as ever.
Egypt’s fleeting Arab Spring: How to kill a revolution (Khaled Diab, Haaretz+) For that joyous moment, when Mubarak was overthrown, Egyptians discovered that everything they’d been taught about their apathy and obedience was a myth. And then came the brutal counterrevolution.


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