News Nosh 4.27.21

APN's daily news review from Israel - Tuesday April 27, 2021

Quote of the day:

“You don’t know what’s going on? When the people were given permission? Based on which agreements and for how long? How can it be that the state gives land to a person and there are no agreements and they don’t know for how long, especially when it’s not state land? Whoever heard of such a thing?”
—Israel’s High Court Justice Esther Hayut's reaction when to the state’s lawyer after the state couldn’t explain the conditions under which it had allowed Israeli settlers to use privately-owned Palestinian land.*

Front Page:


Yedioth Ahronoth

  • Bennett and Sa’ar are concerned: Netanyahu will deceive us
  • Cold feet // Sima Kadmon
  • Tension in the south: “We are preparing a powerful retaliation”
  • The country is stuck (in traffic) - Traffic is 15-21% higher than before the epidemic

Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)

  • Stuck in a rotation
  • First at the guillotine // Ben Caspit
  • They pulled a fast one (on the opposition bloc)
  • “Getting closer to an escalation in the south”

Israel Hayom

  • Sa’ar’s conditions for a right-wing government - The surprise proposal for solving the political deadlock
  • The message to Hamas: An expansive reaction is on the agenda
  • “The intifada will end the occupation and the flag will fly over Jerusalem” - The outrageous statements by (MK) Ayman Odeh
  • Joyous to the mountain - Lag B’Omer holiday celebrations at Mt. Meron are permitted
  • The mutation danger: Health Ministry will recommend stopping direct flights from India

Top News Summary:
Right-wing opposition party leaders Naftali Bennett and Gideon Sa'ar moved closer to making a rotation deal with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in exchange for being first in a rotation government (Maariv), the Likud and the Islamist Ra’am party made a surprising deal which gave Netanyahu a tactical win which the opposition called “political bribery” (because it gave the leader of the Ra'am party two roles and he is expected to give the Likud support now) and Israel threatened Gaza with a harsh response to more rockets (after closing Palestinian fishermen’s fishing zone) and beefed up forces on the Gaza Strip border making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

Quick Hits:

  • (Armed) Settlers Attack Palestinian Farmers in Hebron Hills; No Arrests Made - David Shulman of the Arab-Jewish partnership Ta'ayush group and an Israel Prize laureate said that IDF soldiers at the scene did not stop the attack by some 30 settlers, but fired tear gas and stun grenades at the Palestinian farmers. (Haaretz+ and PHOTOS)
  • Israeli settlers attack Palestinian vehicles in northern West Bank - Israeli settlers closed off the road connecting Nablus and Jenin and hurled rocks toward Palestinian vehicles, damaging some. (WAFA)
  • Rights Groups Call for Israeli Action in Case of Palestinian Woman's Intrusive (vaginal and anal) Search - A 2015 raid on the home of the woman, who was suspected of membership in a Hamas cell, 'involved a serious sexual assault,' said the Public Committee Against Torture, but the cases against the officers involved have been closed. (Haaretz+)
  • UAE urges Israel to stop Jerusalem violence in rare rebuke - Emirati Foreign Ministry says it was concerned over 'acts of violence committed by right-wing extremist groups in the occupied East Jerusalem' and called on Israel to put an end to it. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Palestinian Charged With Jerusalem Hate Crime for Throwing Coffee at Jewish Passerby - A friend of the assailant who filmed the assault and posted it on social media was also charged, amid a wave of violence in Jerusalem. The 19-year-old’s lawyer said he has psychological problems and is known to the mental health services. (Haaretz+)
  • Assault on Rabbi That Sparked Protests in Jaffa Wasn't Racist, Indictment Says - Two Arab brothers are charged with assaulting and threatening Rabbi Eliyahu Mali, who sought to buy a lot next to their home, which some Jaffa residents see as part of an attempt to push its Arab population out. (Haaretz+)
  • *'You Don’t Know What’s Going On?' | Top Court Takes Israel to Task Over Settlers' Use of Palestinian Land - The High Court hears a petition of 20 Palestinians, who are heirs to the land in question, to rescind decades-old military expropriation order on West Bank land in the Jordan Valley where settlers are now growing dates. (Haaretz+)
  • Joint Arab List head: Intifada will end occupation, see Palestinian flag fly over Jerusalem - Ayman Odeh denounces Israel's policy on riots in the capital, praises Arab youth for their role in the violent clashes, and urges a Palestinian uprising. (Israel Hayom)
  • High Court to convene as government stalls again over justice minister - Cabinet convenes to vote on appointments of all outstanding ministerial vacancies but bid to name Gantz permanent justice minister fails after Likud sabotages vote by proposing its own candidate - a move AG brands as illegitimate. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Key panel approves Likud, Yesh Atid proposals to resume Knesset activity - None of 3 deputy Knesset speakers to be from anti-Netanyahu bloc; Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee to be headed by Yesh Atid’s Orna Barbivai, first woman in role. (Times of Israel)
  • After Arrests, Court Bars anti-Netanyahu Activists From Jerusalem Protest Site - Judge sides with police, says activists planned to hold a protest without a permit, which the High Court ruled isn't necessary to demonstrate. (Haaretz+)
  • 1,600-year-old Byzantine Mosaic Carpet to Go on Display in Israeli Museum -Almost unnoticed among the white mosaic flooring of the giant wine production zone, one archaeologist caught a glimpse of color through the patina of the ages. (Haaretz+)
  • Palestinians to discuss delaying vote over Jerusalem dispute - While it remains unclear whether Israel will allow voting in city's eastern half, some speculate a weakened and divided Fatah is pulling the strings to prevent downfall in May 22 polls. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Egyptian Officials Say Palestinians Set to Call Off Elections Over East Jerusalem Vote - Officials say they had been briefed on the decision, which is expected to be announced Thursday at a meeting of Palestinian factions. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Third of Palestinian political parties have logos erasing Israel - Of the 36 parties running in the May 22 Palestinian parliamentary elections, 11 have images showing all of Israel replaced with "Palestine." [NOTE: Many Israeli books have the same map and it shows no Green Line. - OH] (Israel Hayom)
  • Virus surge in crowded Gaza threatens to overwhelm hospitals - Hamas' decision to lift most restrictions in Gaza, coupled with Palestinians' disregard of safety precautions, new COVID variants and the lack of sufficient vaccines have led to aggressive resurgence of the virus in the enclave. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • German intelligence: Iran working to expand, upgrade its WMD arsenal - Iranian agents in 2020 sought to establish business contacts with German companies operating in the high-tech field while dodging US and international sanctions, says a German intelligence report obtained and published by the Washington Free Beacon. (Israel Hayom)
  • Syrian refugees face Ramadan penury amid Lebanon's economic ruin - Many of 1.5 million Syrian refugees who have poured into Lebanon in wake of civil war languish in severe poverty in tented settlements, reminiscing about days of Ramadan feasts and new clothes for the children back home. (Agencies, Ynet)


In Jaffa, Relentless Gentrification Complicates an Already Strained Arab-Jewish Reality
A timely new documentary series stresses the interplay between Jewish-Arab tension and systematic gentrification targeting people ‘of a certain color’ in the oldest part of Tel Aviv. (Eness Elias, Haaretz)
Escape From Tel Aviv: The Great Exodus of Palestinian Filmmakers
Funding is difficult, courts get in the way, the state censors, co-productions have vanished and the Arab world reacts with suspicion - the impossible reality facing acclaimed Palestinian directors in Israel is forcing them to leave. (Nirit Anderman, Haaretz+)

The Privatization of Violence: Right-wing Jerusalem Thugs Are an Arm of the State(Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Don’t look at the rioters in Jerusalem as some eccentric Haredi nationalists, a mob unrelated to us, the civilized Israelis.
Danger and its name is Smotrich (Fadi Makalada, Yedioth Hebrew) MK Bezalel Smotrich, the man who was disgusted by (having in the hospital room with his wife an) Arab woman who also gave birth, who dislikes the LGBT people and who wants to destroy the High Court and abandon IDF officers - it is he who became the gatekeeper who determines who is legitimate in politics.
A most dangerous and mendacious report (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) The latest Human Rights Watch diatribe against Israel is one-sided and holds the country to a higher standard than the rest of the world; hardly surprising given that its author has spent years campaigning against Israel's right to exist.
'Death to Arabs': Palestinians Need International Protection From Israel's Racist Jewish Thugs (MK Sami Abou Shahadeh, Haaretz+) Israel's right-wing extremists, Netanyahu's allies, are taking to the streets, fueled by Jewish supremacy and anti-Palestinian hate, protected by the police and emboldened by their unprecedented power in the Knesset.
First in the guillotine: The leaders of the "Bloc of Change" parties are now playing poker on the fate of the country (Ben Caspit, Maariv) Netanyahu's only goal is to produce a "divide and rule" in the bloc of change. Once everyone knows they can be "first in a rotation (government),” no one is willing to compromise.
To Oust Netanyahu, Israeli Left-wing Parties Are Asked to Make a Hefty Sacrifice(Jonathan Lis, Haaretz+) Members of the anti-Netanyahu bloc fear that if Bennett's demands aren't met, he might renege on his wish to form a unity government, and go with Netanyahu in the end.
Dealing a blow to Zionism (Stephen M. Flatow, Israel Hayom) There is no legal, historic or religious basis for the Zionist left's campaign to stop Jews from buying land in Judea and Samaria.
Why Benny Gantz Must Be Israel's Next Justice Minister (Haaretz Editorial) Netanyahu found an original way to avoid dealing with the law enforcement system and the Supreme Court: If he can’t decide who the justice minister will be, there simply won’t be a justice minister. What’s more, the country has no permanent state prosecutor, no budget, and a Knesset that’s incapacitated by the political stalemate. In other words, the state is paralyzed. The preferred solution is to bring back Gantz as justice minister, a post he had filled until April 1. Netanyahu’s refusal to appoint Gantz serves as additional proof that we do not have a prime minister who is accused of crimes, but an accused criminal defendant who has seized the job of prime minister. The High Court must order Netanyahu to fill the post immediately. Otherwise, Mendelblit must view Netanyahu’s refusal as conclusive proof of the need to declare him incapacitated.
Israel needlessly limping from one Gaza flareup to the next (Giora Eiland, Yedioth/Ynet) While it is in Israel's interests to ease tensions with the Palestinians and refrain from any unnecessary clashes, recent events in Jerusalem and the Strip prove that its actions on the ground are in contradiction with this policy.
Hamas' goal is a Temple Mount cleansed of Jews (Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom) Hamas is now trying to write a new equation: quiet in the south in exchange for a Temple Mount cleansed of Jews. Israel must respond with a resounding and public "no."
Hamas is preparing for battle over fishing, elections and Jerusalem (Elior Levy, Ynet) The terror group ruling Gaza has made it clear that it expects Israel to change policies it finds unacceptable, and while Israel is pushing for a restoration of calm, Hamas is threatening to raise the stakes.
Mansour Abbas is not the Muslim Brotherhood (Dr. Nesia Shemer, Israel Hayom) Despite their desire for assimilation and moderate approach to the Jewish state, members of the Islamic Movement's southern branch will forever adhere to the Palestinian narrative.
Canceling the Palestinian Elections Is Patronizing, Unjust – and Dangerous(Muhammad Shehada, Haaretz+) Israel and the Biden administration back the superannuated, autocratic Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' attempts to walk back his decision to hold elections later this month. But canceling the vote has catastrophic risks.
Palestinian election infighting will end in rockets on Israel (Elior Levy, Ynet) If Jerusalem provides Abbas with an excuse to call off the May 22 parliamentary elections, Hamas will see its potential victory in the West Bank dissipate and retaliate with an escalation in violence.
Leadership Vacuum Offers Palestinian Youth Protesting in Jerusalem a Lesson in Self-restraint (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) The youth coming out to Damascus Gate and clashing with Israeli police both represent and misrepresent the greater Palestinian society. What will they do if and when parliamentary elections are held?
Arabs are not the problem, radicalism is (Dan Schueftan, Israel Hayom) It seems that most Arab Israelis want to integrate into Israeli society, but elect representatives who are radical and hostile towards the Jewish state.
Israel has no choice but to act on its own to stop Iran (Jonathan S. Tobin, Israel Hayom) Israeli officials are pleading against more appeasement of Tehran. But revelations about John Kerry's past betrayal help explain the administration's refusal to listen.

How a U.S.-born Rabbi Became the Nemesis of Radical West Bank Settlers
Rabbi Arik Ascherman has been patrolling Palestinian fields to keep settlers’ flocks from grazing for over two decades, and has the scars to show for drawing the radical factions’ ire. (Interviewed by Hagit Sheizaf in Haaretz+)

Maintaining Iran deal best serves Israel's security interests, Russian envoy says
The official believes that positive results can be achieved through diplomatic negotiations with the Islamist republic and the restoration of the JCPOA, as the maximum pressure policy proved to be "futile." (Interviewed by i24News, published in Israel Hayom)

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