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APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday May 24, 2018

Quote of the day:
“You are becoming callous and brutal and the world is becoming disgusted. You may have won a country but you have lost your soul. Sad.” —In a letter to the Editor, Canadian reader Liz Fox wrote that her feelings towards Israel changed after seeing the video of IDF soldiers shouting in joy after shooting an unarmed Gazan demonstrator and the photo of an old man after being shot in the leg.*
Front Page:
Haaretz

Kfar Saba police makes the march more difficult - Conditions for the (gay) pride parade: 2-meter-high fences and a route that bypasses the Chabad House Prime Minister’s Office requests acquiring an armored car for Sara Netanyahu, which will cost millions “We will make a party on you”: More testimonies against the police officer suspected of beating Jafar Farah
    In the shadow of the tension with Iran, Israel getting closer to Azerbeijan
Photo of F-35 in the skies of Beirut signals a change in Israel’s approach // Yaniv Kobovitch
    Highly praised Jewish-American author Philip Roth died
Crossed all borders - Tenzin Palmo lived 12 years in a cave then became a revolutionary feminist. Now she is a lecturer in Tel-Aviv Debate about participation of Israeli actors threatens to cut short the basketball season
    1/4 page ad: Keeping the corpses of terrorists is a 'fixed game'

Yedioth Ahronoth

    Above Nasrallah’s head (photo of F-35 flying over Beirut)
Emergency room reaches homes - MDA ambulances will be able to do blood tests and EKG tests at your home
    Messi-mania: Craze for tickets for Argentina-Israel game
    Ringo power - The legendary Beatles drummer closes accounts

Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)

    On the way to a hudna (long-term cease-fire)?
Drama in the cabinet - Decision that only Prime Minister and Defense Minister can declare war was cancelled Police Commissioner: “I am invited less to (meet with) the Prime Minister than in the past”
    Storm over the armored car (for Sara Netanyahu)
    New hope - Breakthrough Israeli research for ALS
    Good luck! 165,000 students go to math matriculation exams today

Israel Hayom

    Iran isn’t stopping: Secret missile factory revealed
    The Iranians continue to manufacture - and lie // Oded Granot
“Israel has air superiority in the region” - said Indian Air Force chief in an interview
    Legislative bill: Prohibit photographing soldiers
MK Amsalem bill storm - (Proposes that Prosecution won't be able to appeal in corruption crimes; Judicial system attacked: Weakens the battle against corruption” On the way to recognition? Knesset to discuss soon the murder of the Armenian people
    Parting from Philip Roth: One of the greatest American authors passed away


News Summary:
The ‘leaking’ to Israeli media of a photo of an Israeli F-35 over Beirut skies, the uncovering of an alleged secret Iranian missile factory and the revelation that the Prime Minister’s Office has requested an armored car for Sara Netanyahu at the cost of 2 million shekels were today’s top stories. Also in the news, the latest regarding the Gaza-Israel conflict - including a diplomatic rejection a report that Egypt and Qatar proposed a hudna truce between Israel and Hamas,

Iran is secretly developing missiles at a desert facility, according to satellite photos published by the New York Times, the Israeli papers wrote. That report comes after Iran's chief of staff rejected US demands that Tehran curb its regional influence and limit its missile program. Iranian Chief of Staff Mohammad Bagheri said Iran doesn't need permission to develop defense capabilities. Syria also rejected the US demand for an Iranian withdrawal from Syria. But, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel ‘will act again’ against Iranian entrenchment. At the International Air Force conference where Israel’s Air Force chief revealed Tuesday that Israel was using its F-35s in military operations, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that many in the Middle East appreciated Trump's leadership on Iran, not just Israel.

Gaza Strip:
UN envoy Nikolay Mladenov urged Israel to avoid the use of lethal force against Gazans 'except as a last resort’ and told the UN Security Council that "Gaza is on the verge of collapse" and that urgent action was also needed to relieve the suffering of its "increasingly desperate" people. In closed talks, the UNSC discussed a Kuwait-sponsored resolution ‘condemning in the strongest possible terms’ Israel's handling of Gaza riots, without mentioning Hamas. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe cancelled his trip to Israel and the Israeli papers quoted Israeli officials saying that the real reason were the IDF killings of Gazan protesters on the border. (Interestingly, Yedioth reported that a high-ranking Polish government delegation is arriving in Israel, headed by the Deputy Prime Minister, the first since the fallout over the Polish Holocaust Law.)

Meanwhile, Channel 10 News reporter Alon Ben-David reported that both Egypt and Qatar are proposing long-term truces between Hamas and Israel. According to the report, Israel demanded a complete halt to rocket fire, a complete cessation of tunnel digging, maintaining the security perimeter, and a solution to the issue of Israeli prisoners and missing persons. In return, Israel will significantly ease the crossings into Gaza, including the entry of things for projects and commercial goods, provided they are not used for strengthening Hamas militarily, while the Egyptians will ease the Rafah crossing. Worthy of note, Israel also relinquished its demand to demilitarize the Gaza Strip and to return Gaza to the control of the Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. The report in Maariv also said that the issue of Gaza is of great concern to the US administration, which wants to achieve calm in Gaza and to respond to the humanitarian situation. The Americans want to find a path of progress in Gaza even before the presentation of President Trump's peace plan and the US administration is pressuring the Arab states to say publicly that the responsibility for the situation in Gaza falls on Hamas.

Yesterday, the Israeli military bombed an alleged Hamas tunnel and two boats (more in Haaretz+ and Maan) and Israeli firefighters battled to control a number of fires near the border with the Gaza Strip that were set ablaze by flammable kites from Gaza. The IDF told the media that it allowed the transfer to Jordan of 22 wounded Gazans for medical treatment - something it had refused to allow in the past. But the request was made by Jordan's King Abdullah, making it hard to reject. The Gaza authorities announced Sunday that since the massive “Great March of Return” demonstrations began, Israeli forces killed 112 Palestinians and injured 13,190 others.

Quick Hits:

Over 70 Democratic lawmakers urge Netanyahu: Don't demolish West Bank village of Susya - Left-wing group J Street calls the letter 'the most significant criticism of settlement expansion ever by Congress’. (Haaretz+) Israeli court halts expulsion of senior Human Rights Watch official - Israel issued a deportation order against Omar Shakir, accusing him of being involved in the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. (Haaretz+ and Ynet) MK proposes banning taking footage of on-duty IDF soldiers - Yisrael Beytenu faction chief says bill needed to address "harassment" of soldiers by left-wing activists during violent protests on Israel's border with Gaza. If passed, proposed legislation would see violators sentenced to five to 10 years in prison. (Israel Hayom) New bill aims to toughen maximum penalty for terrorists - Current law sets 20-30 year cap on sentences for murder or attempted murder, preventing court from giving tougher sentences to terrorists • "The war on terror requires more powerful instruments. The current situation is absurd," bill's sponsor says. (Israel Hayom) Israeli Arab Bus Driver Says Three Jewish Youths Attacked Him With Pepper Spray - The bus driver, Adham Badir, says the three attacked him after he told them they could not board the bus with their electric bikes. (Haaretz+PHOTO) 'Go to Gaza, Terrorist': Israeli Arab Protesters Say Police Abused Them in Detention - Detainees who have since been released filed new complaints, saying officers verbally and physically abused them during and after their arrests. (Haaretz+) Israeli Energy Minister Blasts EU: Can 'Go to a Thousand Thousand Hells' - The EU supports probing police brutality against Arab protesters. Just two weeks ago, Yuval Steinitz praised Israel-EU ties. The EU is one of Israel's main trade partners. (Haaretz) Arab organization files complaint over police brutality - Police Internal Investigations Department receives formal complaint from legal center for Arab rights alleging cops in charge of detainees arrested in pro-Palestinian protest used excessive force and acted in a racist, discriminatory and abusive manner during their arrest. (Ynet) (Arab) MK Freij to Public Security Minister Erdan: "You're a liar, your mouth is twisted" - A riot broke out in the Knesset plenum during a discussion on police violence that was proposed by Meretz MK Esawi Freij. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan protested and called Freij, "A beast on a stage." Freij: "You lead a herd of beasts and are engaged in promoting lies. Instead of protecting our public, you are fighting against it. Look in the mirror, you piece of liar, I will not lower myself to your level. You say 'beasts'. Your mouth is twisted. You should be ashamed of yourself. I don't expect an apology from you because you are a failed minister. " (Maariv and Yedioth Hebrew) (Israeli Arab) news correspondent, Forat Nassar: "Police don’t speak with Arab reporters” - The Arab journalist revealed that in all his years of work he had not been able to obtain a police source because of his ethnic origin: "Every story related to the police there is an attempt to boycott you.” (Maariv) Cherry plantation burned in settlement as hay torched in southern West Bank - Settlers claim arson, say fire damaged trees worth thousands of shekels. In South Hebron Hills, where the hay was burned, graffiti sprayed saying 'We will reach everywhere.’ (Haaretz and Maan) Police arrest Palestinian suspected of West Bank hit-and-run - The Palestinian had been randomly stopped for inspection by police when they discovered it had been involved in the weekend accident, from which he had fled. (Haaretz+) Israel to nix law allowing prime minister to declare war with only the defense minister's consent - Security cabinet acting to reverse law back to its old draft, but critics warn that it, too, has loopholes that could enable a premier to declare war without any backing. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom) Angola fires diplomats for attending Jerusalem event on eve of US embassy move - Luanda says senior adviser's participation in Israeli celebration 'damaged the good name and image' of country. (Times of Israel and Maariv) US envoy 'mortified' over photo with doctored image of Jerusalem - "I was more mortified than anyone else, more than any Palestinian," says U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, claiming he was duped into posing next to altered image of Jerusalem. "Someone just shoved it in my face and took a picture," he says. (Israel Hayom) Abu Mazen's advisor: US Ambassador Friedman is a terrorist settler - Mahmoud al-Habash sharply criticized the American ambassador to Israel: “He adopts the blasphemy of the Jewish extremists regarding the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem." Al-Habash says the photo is proof that Friedman continues to incite for the destruction of Al-Aqsa and calls for 'an Arab response to the provocation' and an apology. (Haaretz+, Ynet, Maariv and Maan) Israelis don't think Netanyahu's government should listen to U.S. Jews, survey shows - Israeli Jews back Netanyahu’s snubbing of Jewish-American views on conflict with Palestinians, religious pluralism. But support from U.S. Jews still seen as essential. (Haaretz+) As tensions with Iran mount, officials from neighboring Azerbaijan visit Israel - As the U.S. embassy was inaugurated in Jerusalem and death toll in Gaza rose by the hour an Israeli minister met with an Azeri delegation to discuss the evolving cooperation between the two countries. (Haaretz+) Knesset to debate recognizing Armenian genocide amid spat with Turkey - Right-wing propose now, but Left-wing Meretz party has submitted similar resolutions in recent years that never made it from committee to the Knesset floor. (Haaretz) Knesset speaker advocates recognizing Armenian Genocide - Despite diplomatic spat between Ankara and Jerusalem, Yoel Edelstein denies that move to recognize the early 20th-century extermination of 1.5 million Armenians stems from political feud, insists it is morally correct thing to do 'as human beings and Jews’; official recognition hinges on government approval. (Ynet) Turkish man beseeches Erdoğan to reject Hamas propaganda - A senior official at Turkish Airlines' Israeli office 30 years ago publishes open letter to Erdoğan inviting him to visit Israeli Arab cities and 'discover who true terrorists are'; like Kurdish insurgents, Öcal says Hamas terrorists use women, children as human shields; 'Jews never betrayed Turkey, but Palestinians have.' (Yedioth/Ynet) Navy veterans gear up for last stand on Kishon dives - Veterans who dove in Kishon Stream and were later afflicted with cancer to submit petition to High Court of Justice seeking recognition, compensation; petition aimed at state for first time, demanding authorities to divulge full breadth of morbidity; Navy veteran says that while he won't live to reap the benefits, he has made it his mission; 'I feel cheated and betrayed by my country,' 70 year old commando veteran adds. (Yedioth/Ynet) Begin Center opposes journalists Raviv Drucker's series: "Medical ethics have been grossly trampled" - The head of the former prime minister's heritage center claims that in the series "The Captains," Prof. Avinoam Reches was interviewed and revealed Begin's medical secrets and analyzes how that affected Begin’s conduct as prime minister: "We view this with great severity.” (Maariv) Police demands Israeli Gay Pride Parade put up high fence, stay away from ultra-Orthodox - Among the requirements are a 2-meter-high fence along the route and staying away from the local Chabad House – to protect the marchers, say police. (Haaretz+) Israel Festival musical about ‘Singing Rabbi’ strikes wrong note in #MeToo era, say critics - Local premiere of ‘Soul Doctor,’ about life of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, runs into problems over long-standing allegations of sexual impropriety – and cast members having the wrong type of visa. (Haaretz+) Philip Roth, Iconic American-Jewish Author, Dies at 85 - Roth, a Pulitzer Prize winner, was renowned for works such as 'Portnoy's Complaint,' 'American Pastoral' and 'The Plot Against America.' (Haaretz and Ynet) Israeli breakthrough could lead to cure for ALS - Tel Aviv University researchers discover muscle cells in ALS patients excrete toxins that damage nerve cells, causing them to degenerate. Researchers hope molecule found to block toxins' effect could serve as a basis for medication to treat the disease. (Israel Hayom) ICC will not be rushed into probing Israeli crimes, prosecutor says - International Criminal Court denies Palestinian request to launch immediate investigation into alleged Israeli crimes • ICC prosecutor says court must consider "issues of jurisdiction, admissibility and the interests of justice" before investigating. (Israel Hayom)


Features:
Mossad Spy or Man Who Turned Olmert Into a Lefty? Philip Roth's Complicated Relationship With Israel Which one of the two the U.S. Jewish novelist really was depends on whether you believe the man himself. (Judy Maltz, Haaretz+) *Letters to the Editor: Killing Humans Like Big Game Hunters and Israeli police brutality (Haaretz+)

Commentary/Analysis:
The Right-wing Has Appropriated 'The People' (Ziva Sternhell, Haaretz+) In contemporary Israel, it’s not hard to discern the influence of small groups driven by belief in the myth of the chosen people, whose members are willing to die for 'holy' stones. US sanctions seek regime change (Dr. Raz Zimmt, Israel Hayom) Iran's Islamic regime will never bow to the conditions placed on it by the U.S., which are completely contrary to the regime's DNA. The real goal is to topple the regime. Hamas in Gaza, Iranians in Syria: Israel's F-35 strikes carried message to both enemies and allies (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) With Iran and Russia's growing capabilities, Israel needed stealth – and fast. The lesson from the events in Gaza is clear: the Palestinian enemy must be dealt with aggressively (Attorney Yoram Sheftel, Maariv) The humiliation of the Hamas leader in the office of the head of Egyptian intelligence is a necessary result of the IDF's determination to fire live ammunition at anyone who tried to cross the fence. And also: Our benefit from the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador in Ankara. More Palestinians Will Die Unless Gaza Becomes Livable (Rep. Keith Ellison and Carol Hutner Winograd, Haaretz+) Open Gaza to weaken Hamas. Lift the blockade, properly fund UNRWA, rehabilitate Gaza's infrastructure - these are the only ways we can prevent the desperation of protestors willing to lose their lives. Where were the Arab MKs when the police violence was directed at others? (Meir Uziel, Maariv) The Israeli [he forgot to write ‘Jewish Israeli’ - OH] public feels that the goal of the Arab public is to emphasize and inflate the fact that the police are attacking them. But tomorrow they will defend with the gatekeepers in force - it all depends on who is being attacked. The Arabs Chose to Be Refugees (Dan Margalit, Haaretz+) These facts can be concealed and denied by fake news, but they are the real truth. The two great abandonments happened at the Arabs’ initiative. The Israel-Turkey crisis and the need for containment (Dr. Nimrod Goren, Yedioth/Ynet) Israel's frustration with Erdogan’s behavior is great, but it is worthy to remember the strategic, economic and diplomatic importance of the relations between the two countries. It is not self-evident for Israel to have full, even if problematic, diplomatic relations with a key regional state that has a large Muslim population, and these relations should not be casually waived. Israel – Always in the Right (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Recent days show how far Israel has deteriorated in her efforts to impose the absolute truth, which is not to be questioned. The day isn’t far when we set up a Truth Ministry, just like in '1984.' The JNF’s March of Waste and Corruption Continues (Raviv Drucker, Haaretz+) JNF's giant delegation to the March of the Living event in Auschwitz somehow evaded the public radar. The waste, the corruption and the hedonism continue to be part of the organization’s DNA. Why Israelis should welcome foreign funding of their NGOs (Ronald R. Krebs and James Ron, Yedioth/Ynet) The policies that democracies pursue typically accord with the preferences of the wealthy and powerful and concentrated special interests. Foreign-funded NGOs can give a voice to the voiceless, to the unrepresented and powerless. In other words, foreign-funded NGOs can make democracy more meaningfully democratic. Erdan’s Test (Haaretz Editorial) Will Erdan manage to develop a backbone, withstand political pressures — both overt and covert — and resist the temptation to hope for a political promotion as a reward for protecting the prime minister’s interests? A message to the radical axis (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) With the F-35 now in its arsenal, the air force has a different dimension at its disposal whose impact is sure to reverberate throughout the region and beyond, even to Moscow. This Is the Photo of an Israeli F-35 Over Beirut (Yaniv Kubovich, Haaretz+) The Israel Air Force's revelation that Israel carried out the world's first F-35 strike marks a change in the military's approach.

Interviews:
Indian general: Israel's regional air superiority undisputed
Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa and dozens of other air force chiefs visit Israel for a special military conference • Dhanoa: IAF is committed to defending peace and stability. Israel not only has aerial capabilities, it knows how to use them. (Interviewed by Hanan Greenwood in Israel Hayom)



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