News Nosh 3.8.21

APN's daily news review from Israel - Monday March 8, 2021


Quote of the day:

“I think it is very much in Israel’s interest to end the occupation, and anyone who thinks this policy [of maintaining the settlements] can continue without a price is mistaken.” 
--Meretz leader, MK Nitzan Horowitz, responded to those who slammed him for saying “there were grounds for” the International Criminal Court investigation against Israel for war crimes.*

Front Page:


  • Domestic violence and discrimination at work: The detrimental effects of corona will follow women for years to come
  • Another stage of opening the economy on the way to returning to routine
  • Bennett’s plan: Hope that Netanyahu will get 61 mandates - and then put him in the Prime Minister’s Office
  • Netanyahu’s campaign is in dire straits. At the moment, only Meretz saves him
  • After 100 million doses, it’s possible to say: the corona vaccine is safer than expected
  • Following Haaretz report: District court rejected state request to convict woman who cut her abusive husband’s clothes
  • Pope on the destruction of Mosul: “Hope is stronger than hatred, peace is stronger than war”
  • The environment that remains // 10th grader, Lia Sazian, writes about the damage to the future of keeping pupils out of school
  • Lots of luck - How is Israel in 9th place in rate of corona infection and 54th place in rate of death
  • The good police - Creators of “The Police” explain why police are presented in a positive light
  • She was one of the pioneers of feminism in Israel. Now Esther Eilam is 82 and still optimistic

Yedioth Ahronoth

  • The woman of the year - annual edition for International Women’s Day

Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)

  • A sigh of relief - Restaurants, hotels, event halls and even grades 7-10 reopened
  • Women stronger than the epidemic - Special for International Women’s Day

Israel Hayom

  • The fines map - 552,076 fines: Full statistics of law enforcement during the epidemic
  • Coffee, without a home coffee machine: Israel returned to restaurants and classes - and to routine
  • Tribe of brothers (Photo of Netanyahu visiting Bedouin sheikhs in a tent)
  • A vote or a change of rule // Prof. Giora Goldenberg tells right-wingers that if they don’t go out to vote “you will drown in the waters of a flood and you will disappear politically”
  • Their beautiful hour - In medicine, business, food and sports: Women broke through all barriers
  • Commanders, you want physical contact (with the enemy)? Give soldiers clear guidelines // Yoav Limor

Top News Summary:
Israelis celebrated the opening of restaurants, wedding halls and school for 7th-10th graders and most of the papers celebrated on the occasion of International Women’s Day the Israeli women who made important achievements, with the exception of Haaretz, which focused on the difficulties women face now and in the future due to corona - making today’s top stories. And, Iran and the International Criminal Court's war crimes probe continued to make news in some of the Israeli press.

Elections 2021: 
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's visit to a Bedouin-Israeli tribe in the Negev became a source of cynical jokes on social media, Maariv reported. One wrote, in reference to Bedouin code of conduct: “How lucky he is that with the Bedouin, once you enter their tent, no one will throw you out.” Interestingly, Netanyahu initially said he visited the Bedouin city of Rahat, but the city's mayor said he didn’t, noting that the municipality rejected the Netanyahu’s request to speak due to its proximity to the election. During the visit, one of the Bedouin sheikhs said he voted for Likud - but then he went on to say that the Bedouin’s lives are “miserable” under Netanyahu's rule. “Many workers under your authority have made our lives miserable.” Sheikh Gideon Abu Sabit bemoaned the government’s demolition of Bedouin homes and confiscation of lands worked on by Bedouin community members. The government’s position is that the homes torn down were illegally constructed, and that lands the state has seized were illegally taken over by some in the communities. Netanyahu announced he would transfer the handling of all Bedouin population [issues] to the Prime Minister’s Office – and “will take care of it personally.” He also promised a transfer of 1.5 billion shekels to the Arab sector, for the purposes of civilians’ security. Rival politicians looked askance at the visit, but for different reasons. MK Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint List, wrote: "You have been prime minister for 12 years and now you remember?" ‘Israel Hayom’ Hebrew reported that Chairman of the right-wing Yamina party, MK Naftali Bennett, attacked Netanyahu for the visit, writing: "What a shame. Netanyahu went down to the Negev today to attract (the votes of) Bedouin clans. Once again he did not bother to meet with the parents of the 10-year-old girl who was (raped) by a Bedouin gang. Once again he ignored business owners who are blackmailed every month by [Bedouin] criminals."

The Joint List may end up not recommending anyone for Prime Minister, said Balad party chairman, MK Jamal Zahalka. Lapid is not "a serious candidate for the premiership," he said and (New Hope chairman MK Gideon) Sa'ar is "more radical than Netanyahu. He is for a Greater Israel, and an alliance cannot be made with him." Haaretz+ reported thatBennett has a plan to take Netanyahu’s seat. According to reporter Chaim Levinson, Bennett hopes that Netanyahu will be able to reach - with the Yamina party - the required 61 seats to form a coalition. Then Bennett will turn to the leaders of the anti-Netanyahu bloc – Yair Lapid, Gideon Sa’ar, Avigdor Lieberman, Merav Michaeli and Nitzan Horowitz – and persuade them to make him prime minister by threatening that if they don’t, he’ll back Netanyahu for the job. Indeed, Likud MK and former Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat warned right-wingers that Netanyahu's rivals, namely Bennett and New Hope leader Gideon Sa'ar could undermine the right-wing’s chances of forming a government and realizing right-wing policies. Meanwhile, the Israel police cancelled dozens of fines given to anti-Netanyahu protesters after they requested hearings for allegedly failing to disperse. 

Security and Diplomacy:
*The left-wing Meretz party leader MK Nitzan Horowitz blamed Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the right-wing for the International Criminal Court probe against Israel for war crimes, saying it was in Israel’s interest “to end the occupation, and anyone who thinks settlement policy can continue without a price is mistaken.” Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said that price could also affect US firms. Shtayyeh said Sunday that if the ICC indicts Israel, “We can take US firms to court," adding that The Hague's decision to investigate Israel for alleged war crimes "shattered the monopoly on pain Israel purported to have.” Israel praised Brazil for supporting it against ICC probe.

Maariv reported that after Iran “succeeded in deterring the US and European states” from condemning its nuclear policy, Iran turned to threatening Israel.” But actually, Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami warned Israel not to attack Iran: “If (Israel) makes a foolish mistake, we will destroy Haifa and Tel Aviv.” The papers noted that two US B-52 heavy bombers flew over the Middle East region accompanied by military aircraft from nations including Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in a not so subtle message to Iran.

Quick Hits:

  • Palestinian Rights group says three Gaza fishermen killed by errant Palestinian rocket - Early reports by Palestinian media attributed the boat explosion to Israeli fire as Israel denied involvement ■ Hamas says it is probing the 'painful incident.’ (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • Palestinian National Council called on world parliaments to label radical Israeli settler groups as terrorists - PNC urged parliaments to list settler organizations such as "Price Tag", "The Hilltop Youth" and "The New Guard" as terrorist organizations, due to their criminal terrorist record in the occupied Palestinian territories. (WAFA)
  • 'There's no reason for Israel not to apply sovereignty over Judea and Samaria' (West Bank) - "It doesn't make sense that half a million people who live in Judea and Samaria cannot live under Israeli law, we did it in the Golan Heights and we will do it in Judea and Samaria," Settlement Affairs Minister Tzachi Hanegbi tells i24NEWS in an exclusive interview. (Israel Hayom)
  • Combat soldiers: "The ban on opening fire leads to hesitation" - Following incident of the theft of a soldier's weapon in (Israeli-Arab town of) Shfar'am, disagreements in IDF regarding guidelines for striving for contact with the opponent. Many believe that the problem is not the conduct of the specific soldier - but the spirit of the commander and vague instructions or commands. Some fighters say that the reality in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) that it is forbidden to shoot at people throwing stones and as well as at people throwing Molotov cocktails except while throwing - leads to continued hesitation on their part to shoot in an emergency. "We are told not to shoot unless there is an emergency. But, who knows if they will support you afterward and whether you acted correctly. It is individual, each person will act in a different way in real time.” (Israel Hayom Hebrew)
  • Israel's defense establishment investigating oil spill - Israel's defense establishment has joined the probe into a massive oil spill off Israel's Mediterranean coastline, Israel Hayom has learned. (Israel Hayom)
  • ‘It Isn’t Jewish’: Israel’s Sephardic Chief Rabbi Denigrates Reform Conversions - While the decision became a lightning rod in a long-standing debate over the Orthodox rabbinate’s control over matters of religion in Israel, the scope of the decision is relatively narrow. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • On International Women's Day: 35 female prisoners, including 11 mothers, behind Israeli bars - The Palestinian Prisoner Society explained that three of the female prisoners are under administrative detention, without a charge or trial. The three are Khatam Al-Sa`feen, Bushra Al-Tawil, and Shurouq Al-Badan. (WAFA)
  • More than one-tenth of the Palestinian households are headed by women: PCBS - Median age at first marriage in Palestine was 20.7 years for females and 25.3 years for males in 2019. Total fertility rates decreased in Palestine from 4.1 births per woman in 2014 to 3.8 births per woman in 2019; of which 3.8 births were in the West Bank and 3.9 births in Gaza Strip. (WAFA)
  • Israeli woman charged after returning from Syria - The woman, whose name has not been released, is charged with illegally leaving the country and visiting Syria in violation of Israeli law. (Haaretz+, Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • Discovery of Biblical ‘Toilet’ Unleashes Archaeological Fracas in Israel - In latest debate over the historicity of the Bible, researchers get potty-mouthed over whether a 2,800-year-old shrine in Lachish, Israel was really desecrated by installing a lavatory. (Haaretz+)
  • State Department nominee contributed to book claiming 'Israel lobby' controls politics - Uzra Zeya has been nominated by President Joe Biden as undersecretary for civilian security, democracy, and human rights, previously worked on a book that accused the "Israel lobby" of influencing American politics. (Israel Hayom)
  • Exultant Crowds Gather for Pope's Erbil Mass, Despite Coronavirus Concerns- The Mass in the autonomous Kurdish region is the pope's first engagement in his visit to Iraq, and local Christians have been eagerly awaiting it: 'We hope that he brings peace to Iraq and social harmony and an end to wars.’ (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Pope Francis sends heartfelt greetings to President Abbas - While his plane passed over the Palestinian airspace on its way to Iraq, His Holiness Pope Francis sent his heartfelt greetings to President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian people, wishing that God bless the Palestinian people with peace and prosperity. (WAFA)
  • Explained How the Pope’s Risky Iraq Trip Aims to Boost the Middle East's Christians - Francis’ visit is the culmination of two decades of efforts to bring a pope to the birthplace of Abraham, the prophet central to Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths, after St. John Paul II was prevented from going in 1999. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iraqi government prevents Jews from participating in Pope’s historic visit - Iraqi-born Edwin Shuker: Baghdad wasted a historic opportunity to reconcile with its Jews by inviting them to attend the ceremony at Ur. (Maariv/JPost)
  • Saudi-backed Yemeni Government Announces Resumption of Ties With Qatar- Yemen broke ties with the Gulf state during the four-year boycott by Saudi Arabia other Arab nations, but since the January detente, it is reestablishing relations. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Saudi-led coalition launches air strikes on Yemeni capital after foiling drone attacks - The Iran-backed Houthis, who have been battling the coalition since it intervened in Yemen's civil war in March 2015, recently stepped up cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Report: US officials meet with Yemen's Houthis - Senior US officials have held a first direct meeting with officials from the Iran-aligned Houthi movement that controls Yemen's capital, two sources familiar with the matter said, as the new US administration pushes to end a six-year war. (Israel Hayom)
  • Beirut summons Iranian envoy for dressing down - Move follows report by Iranian media outlet accusing Lebanon's Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai of support for the normalization of ties with Israel. (Israel Hayom)


What's So Frightening About Civil Society Groups That Recognize Israel's Complexity? (Mickey Gitzin, Haaretz+) There’s a name for Gadi Taub’s claims regarding the New Israel Fund: conspiracy theories. As is his wont, in other instances, Taub is offering a theory full of holes, and ignoring everything that doesn’t serve his claims or that contradicts them. His obsessive preoccupation with a Trumpist-type of conspiracy has already brought us such gems as the declaration that U.S. President Joe Biden won’t really serve as president, but will immediately be replaced by Vice President Kamala Harris, herself a puppet of former President Barack Obama; or the claims regarding votes being cast for Biden by deceased citizens. The “Obamagate” theory that Taub is obsessively promoting adopts the same method: combining distortion and half-facts lacking any context into an attractive story. That is exactly what Taub did in his response to an article by New Israel Fund President Prof. David Myers, regarding its reluctance (along with other Jewish organizations) to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism. Taub has apparently fallen in love with his theory, to the effect that the NIF collaborated with Israel’s enemies in the name of the “de-Zionization” of the State of Israel…
‘All I can do is film, and it breaks my heart’ (Basil al-Adraa, 972mag) Entire communities in south Hebron are under threat of expulsion, while Israeli soldiers try to prevent activists like me from filming the demolitions.
If Israel, the US administration and American Jewry make a restart, we will all benefit(Shira Ruderman, Maariv) This period invites opportunities for the relationship triangle. If the three vertices can take the opportunity to work together, the profit will be for Israelis and Americans alike.
'Hamas Will Conquer the West Bank'? How Israeli Defense Officials – and Media – Distort Reality (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) The Hebrew-language headline of a Haaretz analysis about a potential Hamas victory in Palestinian elections unintentionally reveals a false consciousness….“At a time when Hamas is threatening to conquer the West Bank as well via elections, Israel is looking elsewhere" was the Hebrew-language headline of an analysis by Amos Harel published by Haaretz on February 26 (the English headline was different). Its first section describes senior Israeli officials’ fears of a Hamas victory in the May 22 Palestinian general elections. The Hebrew headline encapsulates the essence of the article and unintentionally reveals a false consciousness, which in turn is liable to distort readers’ perceptions of reality. So let’s analyze it…The headline of Harel’s analysis related to conquering a geographic area, not votes. And in this context, the use of the word “conquer” is problematic. The claim that any part of the Palestinian population could “conquer” territory that is essentially Palestinian buries the fact that this territory has been under Israeli military rule for more than 53 years. “The West Bank as well.” In other words, Hamas will conquer this territory in addition to the Gaza Strip which, as is well known, it “conquered” long ago. After the Israeli settlements and army bases there were dismantled in 2005, the Strip became a compact contiguous territory, albeit one far smaller than the West Bank (365 square kilometers as compared to 5,879)…The offhand comparison being made here between Gaza and the West Bank creates the false impression of a contiguous, uniform territory. This comparison blurs and buries the violent military, bureaucratic and planning processes by means of which Israel has concentrated the Palestinians into pales of settlement and has de facto annexed 61 percent of the West Bank. Gaza is the model enclave that has been replicated in smaller versions in the West Bank…Members of Hamas in the West Bank are scared even to run in the upcoming elections and aren’t holding public campaign rallies lest they be arrested by Israeli authorities. Students are arrested every Monday and Thursday. So what kind of conquest would this be, even if Hamas ends up as the largest party in the Palestinian parliament? If Arouri and Meshal are really that disconnected from reality, their organization has a very big problem…But Israel’s stubborn refusal to recognize the Palestinian people’s rights in its own homeland (even in the minimalist version proposed by Yasser Arafat and Abbas) also pushes people to support the organization that they believe will better defy the foreign occupier. Treating Israel as if it were merely reacting to the Hamas threat, and addressing the Palestinian voters’ considerations, as if they were disconnected from Israel’s hostile rule, is yet another instance of blurring and burying the reality on the ground.
Time for Israel to take the gloves off with the ICC (Maurice Hirsch, Israel Hayom) In the war that the Palestinian Authority has been waging against Israel using the court, reason, facts and legal arguments have failed. Now is the time for real action.
The JNF is no innocent charity (Michael Sappir, 972mag) The Jewish National Fund presents itself in Germany as a 'green' organization serving all of Israel's residents. That's not what its leaders say in Israel.
The Silent Arab Majority Mobilized to Demand Security. It's Now Politicians' Turn(Jack Khoury, Haaretz+) After a massive demonstration in Umm al-Fahm against police violence and for personal security, Israel's politicians – Arab and Jewish alike – must contain the rage and not fan the flames.
Netanyahu Wants to Spend Big to Rescue Israel's COVID-hit Economy, While Others Aim to Spend Smart (Nati Tucker, Haaretz+) Concerned about the labor market amid as unemployment remains at a high 12%, the Bank of Israel looks askance at the prime minister’s grants program.
Netanyahu is embracing fascists — and the world is tolerating them (Sami Abu Shehadeh, 972mag) Itamar Ben-Gvir is not an outlier in Israeli politics; he is part of a far-right alliance that the international community has been normalizing for years.
Dear Israeli Voters, Your Info Is Vulnerable (Haaretz Editorial) An app used by Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope party vacuumed information from the contact lists on party activists’ cell phones (including credit card passwords, telephone numbers and more), thereby violating the privacy of these contacts, who never gave their consent. The result is a database containing personal data on many Israelis being exposed on the internet. This isn’t the first information security failure connected with an election campaign.
Biden Will Call 'At Some Point,' and Erdogan Is Already Steeling Himself for Heavy Pressure (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) The new U.S. administration is clearly taking a different approach towards Turkey than Trump had, but will it lead to changes domestically?
The Middle East's arc of crisis (Reza Parchizadeh, Israel Hayom) The Iranian regime's dramatic showcasing of the apparent ebb and flow of its nuclear project is a red herring.
‘Dead Goyim Leg’: NBC's 'Antisemitic' TV Clip Is More Accurate Than We’d Like to Admit (Robby Berman, Haaretz+) The outrage over the portrayal of an ultra-Orthodox family refusing a transplant from a non-Jew is hollow when so many Orthodox Jews hold racist attitudes towards gentiles and refuse to donate organs to them.


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