News Nosh 07.22.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday July 22, 2014

Quote of the day:
“Once again the foreign minister, who is supposed to be the face of the State of Israel, is exposing his racist, ugly face. Israeli-Arab citizens, like every other citizen, have the right to express solidarity with their brothers who are suffering in Gaza and the suffering of innocent (people) in Gaza.”
--Meretz party chairwoman MK Zehava Gal-On on Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's Facebook post calling to boycott Israeli Arabs who made a general strike to show empathy for Gaza residents and against the military offensive.**

Front Page News:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Outstanding commanders - IDF commanders of brigades and battalions in Operation Protective Edge are marching at the head into the battle fire in Gaza
  • Don't stop yet // (Former Shin Bet chief) Yuval Diskin
  • The destruction of Gaza // Alex Fishman
  • The IDF that we knew // Yossi Yehoshua
  • The next war // Shimon Shiffer
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links) Israel Hayom

Today's Hebrew papers focused on the deaths of more Israeli soldiers and the Israeli mission to destroy tunnels under the Gaza Strip. Also in the news was that Palestinians across the West Bank and Gaza and in Israeli prisons celebrated over Hamas' announcement that it had kidnapped an Israeli soldier during the battle in Shujaiyyeh. Palestinians hoped that this would lead to the release of some of their people in Israeli prisons. The IDF and Israel's ambassador to the UN denied the claim.
Maariv and Israel Hayom reported that thousands of Israeli Arabs protested in Nazareth and Jaffa against the operation, but did not mention anywhere the number of Palestinians killed in Gaza as a result of the military campaign. Yedioth has dropped its Italian journalist's dry military reports and [finally!] ran an article describing the numerous deaths of civilians on the Palestinian side. The full-page article on page 18 by Ynet reporter Elior Levy quoted Palestinians 'claiming' that 508 people have been killed so far, 268 of them since Israel began the ground invasion.

Levy also reported that (former) 'Hamas Prime Minister' Ismail Haniyeh gave a recorded speech, in which he said he welcomes any international move towards a ceasefire, but repeated Hamas main demands. "We cannot go backward. We cannot return to a slow death. Every thing in Gaza is under siege and this siege must end once and for all."  Oddly, Levy's online article in English did not have that quote. Israel Hayom called the speech 'belligerent and aggressive' and added Haniyeh's quote: "Gaza will become a graveyard for its invaders." One of Haniyeh's sons was killed, one of the papers reported.
The papers reported that Hamas militants who attempted to enter Israel through a tunnel were wearing uniforms. Ynet has videos of the militants emerging from the tunnels. Ynet's Yoav Zeitun wrote that the uniforms were meant to confuse troops and make them think they were IDF soldiers. Indeed, the Israeli soldiers hesitated to shoot at them, wrote Maariv. [NOTE: According to international law, guerilla fighters must wear uniforms so they can be differentiated from civilians. - OH] 
On the international front, pressure was up for a ceasefire. U.S. President Barack Obama called for an immediate cease-fire, as did the U.N. Security Council. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon were to arrive in Israel Tuesday in a bid to achieve a cease-fire. In Cairo on Monday, Kerry announced that the U.S. would send $47 million in humanitarian aid to Gaza. Kerry met with Ban and was scheduled to hold other meetings with top Egyptian and Arab League officials. In contrast to the international calls for a cease-fire, there was opposition within Israel's Diplomatic-Security Cabinet to an immediate cessation of Operation Protective Edge, Israel Hayom reported. In Qatar, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with Hamas politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal. Channel 2 reported on Monday that Lieberman has called for the assassination of Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, Lieberman's office denied the report. 

Haaretz has an excellent review of Day 14 of Operation Protective Edge, with no paywall 

Quick Hits:
  • Poll: 73% say Israel more successful than Hamas in Gaza op - 80% of the public say they support the operation, Israel Hayom poll shows. 94% satisfied with IDF's performance. 88% happy with IDF chief Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, 73% like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's performance since operation started. (Israel Hayom)
  • (Israeli) Soldiers' families learn sons were killed through WhatsApp - Rumors spread on social networks include number and names of troops killed in Gaza before army officially informs families. (Ynet)
  • Israeli strikes kill 35 members of two Gaza families within hours - Deaths of 25 members of Abu Jamaa clan highest toll for one family in a single strike since launch of Operation Protective Edge. (Haaretz)
  • Palestinians (Israel Arabs) in Israel clash with police over Gaza assault - Demonstrators in Nazareth start with quiet march holding placards reading "Israeli army commits genocide in Gaza," but some masked protesters broke off and flung stones at police.  In Jaffa, police keep left-wing and right-wing demonstrations a mile from each other. Arabs call commercial strike for Gazan victims. (Agencies, Maan and Israel Hayom)
  • Mounting casualties take toll on Israeli morale' - It's ugly and it's no walk in the park,' says one Israeli as Gaza operation enters 13th day, 'But we have to finish the operation. If we stop now, the soldiers will have died in vain'; however others are not so sure: 'I hate war. I'm pained by every death.' (Agencies, Ynet)
  • **Lieberman urges Israelis: Boycott businesses of Arabs striking over Gaza op - Israeli-Arabs call for general strike in protest of Operation Protective Edge and in solidarity with Palestinian civilians in Gaza. (Haaretz+)
  • Wounded soldiers eager to return to battlefield -Dozens of soldiers are hospitalized during Day 13 of Operation Protective Edge. Some are adamant on returning to their units on the ground. Parents of Golani Brigade medic wounded while treating other soldiers say IDF should "finish the job." (Israel Hayom)
  • 1,500 turn out for pro-Israel rally in London - 
  • Demonstration seen as answer to numerous pro-Palestinian events across Britain since start of Operation Protective Edge. (Haaretz)
  • Artists want Israeli show in Edinburgh canceled - Fifty leading arts figures, including Scotland's national poet Liz Lochhead, issue petition against Incubator Theater's performance at Edinburgh Festival Fringe due to Israeli operation in Gaza. (Ynet)
  • Israel wins supporters around the world - New solidarity campaign invited pro-Israel activists to snap their passport - and even got responses from Iran, Pakistan and Indonesia. (Ynet)
  • 20,000 Israelis attend lone soldier's funeral - Many arrive with flags of Israel to pay their last respects to Golani fighter Sgt. Sean Carmeli from the United States, who was killed in the Gaza Strip. (Ynet)
  • IDF campaign shows rockets in schools and hospitals - Social media effort by IDF Spokesperson's Unit attempts to deflect international criticism of Israel and present Hamas as abusing its innocent civilians. (Ynet
  • Israeli professor's 'rape as terror deterrent' statement draws ire - 'The only thing that deters a suicide bomber is the knowledge that if he pulls the trigger or blows himself up, his sister will be raped,' says Bar-Ilan University professor, Mordechai Kedar. (Haaretz+)
  • Thai government stops sending migrant (workers) to parts of Israel amid Gaza war - Areas close to Gaza Strip currently hold over 4,200 Thai laborers. (Haaretz)
  • Israeli artists opposing the war come under attack on social networks - Actors, singers and directors are expressing sympathy for the victims on both sides. That irks some rightists. (Haaretz+)
  • Israelis stay home during Gaza war, further sinking airlines’ revenues - El Al says cancellations and a slowdown in new reservations will cut its third-quarter revenues by $30 million, to $40 million. (Haaretz+) 
  • Wounded Israeli soldiers crowd into hospital, surrounded by parents and politicians - Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva is treating most of the fighters injured in Gaza, as well as civilians hurt by rocket fire. (Haaretz+) 
  • Syrian civil war clips get recycled for Israel-Gaza propaganda battle - Both sides guilty of using video to show the evil that can be done by their enemies. (Haaretz)
  • Protests against Israel's war effort in Gaza spread - Japanese demonstrators hold silent protest, while protesters in the United States, including Jewish groups, take to the streets. (Haaretz)
  • Lieberman: Israel seeks to ban Al Jazeera - News outlet is a 'branch of a terrorist organization,' foreign minister accuses, says cabinet reviewing Qatari TV channel's status. (Haaretz+) 
  • Tendency to PTSD could be inherited, scientists say - Scientists suspect that trauma causes epigenetic modification of our genes - which can be passed onto the kids. (Agencies, Haaretz+)
  • U.S. issues travel warning for Israel, West Bank - State Department recommends Americans 'consider the deferral of non-essential travel to Israel and the West Bank,' avoid Gaza, due to fighting. (Agencies, Haaretz
  • Report: Israel attacked long-range missile depot in Sudan - London-based Al-Arab reports that Israel hit long-range missiles in a Sudanese warehouse, no response from the Israeli military. (JTA, Haaretz)

Counting votes

Jon Stewart's biting satire, the pro-Palestinian tweet by Rihanna and the calls by Madonna for peace and love on Instagram. World celebs are not avoiding stating positions on the Israeli-Palestinian subject in general and about Operation Protective Edge in particular. So who is with us and who is against us and who maybe prefers to be silent? (Maariv Magazine)

Israeli military playing a lethal game of cat-and-mouse in Gaza (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) Officer tells Haaretz: 'Hamas' equipment and tactics are just like Hezbollah's.'
Victory, nothing else (Amos Regev, Israel Hayom) In the current war against Hamas, there is no alternative to victory. This is the legacy of Israel's fallen soldiers.
Israel must increase military pressure while pursuing a diplomatic solution (Yuval Diskin, Yedioth/Ynet) Ground operation should be expanded deep into the southern Strip's populated area, but without a diplomatic move the battle against Hamas will not end in the near future.
Will Shujaiyyeh be the last stop? (Ran Adelist, Maariv) The elimination of tunnels on the (separation) fence will be completed within a few days, and the question is how to complete the Operation Protective Edge with a 'victory photo'. The amount of blood (spilled) is enough to advance a long-term ceasefire agreement with Hamas.
The moral case for Israel’s ground invasion (David Landau, Haaretz+) Israel has no moral defense for its aerial bombing of Gaza; its high number of civilian deaths were inevitable and therefore unjustifiable.
A small but dangerous crowd (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) To receive global recognition from the haters of Israel, is the extreme Left willing to repudiate both nation and homeland?
Israel is in a situation of kill or be killed (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth/Ynet) We must prove to our enemies that in the violent neighborhood we live in, Israel is the only one setting the rules of the game.
An apology in the name of the media: We're not worthy of the soldiers who were killed (Ben Caspit, Maariv) The officer with whom I toured asked Lt. Col. Kedar where he planned to sleep that night. "Here," he said, "on the ground, with the soldiers. Tonight will be an infiltration. I need to be here." He was there, first (and was killed).
Hamas’ terror tunnels - a national strategic failure for Israel (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) When seeking a cease-fire, either the authorities were willing to let the enemy’s tunnels be, or they weren’t aware of them.
Tunnel threat could have been removed long ago (Yossi Yehoshua, Yedioth/Ynet) Why have Israel's leaders waited until now to deal with underground city of tunnels being built under Gaza Strip? 
Tunnel vision: How Israeli defense ministers failed to address threat from below (Amir Oren, Haaretz+) Nearly a decade ago, Col. (res.) Yossi Langotsky warned that the underground passageways of Gaza were a strategic danger, but almost no one took his report seriously.
Second front and the tunnels blunder (Yossi Melman, Maariv) True, discovering tunnels and destroying them is complicated, but in Israel it's difficult to point to achievements in this field. There is no knowledge, technology and the cooperation necessary to do so. Even the military probe after the discovery of tunnels is lacking.
Erdogan's rants about Gaza aren't just aimed at Israel (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) The Turkish prime minister may be viciously slamming Israel over loss of life in the Strip, but he's really trying to stick it to Egypt's president.
The price of disengagement (Dr. Eyal Levin, Israel Hayom) Without settlement, there is no security. And without security, there is no Zionism. 
The battle in Saja'iyya (Shujaiyyeh) is not just against Hamas and Islamic Jihad (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) As the IDF tackles the heart of the terrorist groups' presence in Gaza, Israel can also give a lesson in deterrence to Hezbollah and other enemies of Israel that may soon be on its doorstep.
Despite the pain - it's a just war (Sarah Beck, Maariv) We are all sad for every soldier (killed), we think about the families and we continue in our forced routine. But the last round has revealed how Hamas has operated under our noses.

GOC Southern Command: There is no Iron Dome for tunnels
GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman says despite labor, intelligence and technology, threat of tunnels from Gaza does not yet have a complete solution. Turgeman: We will continue with determination and patience until the tunnels are destroyed. (Interviewed by Lilach Shoval in Israel Hayom)

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