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Monday, Jan. 16 '17, י"ח בטבת תשע"ז



HEADLINES:
1. MAJORITY OF ISRAELIS WANT NETANYAHU TO REMAIN PRIME MINISTER
2. STONE-THROWERS TARGET POLICE IN JERUSALEM HAREDI NEIGHBORHOOD
3. KERRY: WE PROTECTED ISRAEL FROM UNFAIR TREATMENT AT PARIS SUMMIT
4. YESH ATID MK: RABBINATE'S KOSHER CERTIFICATION IS WORTHLESS
5. HAMAS HEADQUARTERS UNCOVERED NORTH OF JERUSALEM
6. TRUMP: KUSHNER CAN SECURE A PEACE AGREEMENT FOR ISRAEL
7. FEIGLIN: HAMAS SAW SOLDIERS ACTING LIKE SISSIES
8. FIRED INAUGURATION ANNOUNCER GETS NEW JOB FOR JANUARY 20


1. MAJORITY OF ISRAELIS WANT NETANYAHU TO REMAIN PRIME MINISTER
by David Rosenberg

Despite a host of investigations and allegations against the Prime Minister and his wife, Sara, a majority of Israelis believe Binyamin Netanyahu should not resign.

A police investigation probing gifts allegedly given by media mogul Nuni Mozes to the Prime Minister, as well as claims of a conflict of interest in a purchase by Netanyahu’s government of ballistic missile submarines and allegations that public funds were diverted to Netanyahu family’s private residence have all fueled speculation Netanyahu could be forced to resign, making new elections all but inevitable.

Earlier this week a veteran Shas MK warned that Netanyahu’s resignation was increasingly likely, adding that his party was already making preparations for early elections.

"We’re getting ready for the possibility of elections," the MK said. "This whole business [police investigation of Mozes’s alleged gifts to PM] doesn’t smell good. An indictment isn’t so unrealistic, and in this kind of situation the odds of new elections are very high, so we’re preparing for that possibility – it won’t be easy, but slowly things are becoming clearer."

On Sunday, the Prime Minister himself addressed the investigations, slamming what he called "an orchestrated media campaign" to undermine his government.

"In recent days, there has been an orchestrated media campaign, unprecedented in its scope, to bring down the Likud government under my leadership. This propaganda campaign is designed to pressure the Attorney General and other factors in the prosecution to indict me."

But a recent pair of surveys conducted by the Panels polling agency shows a bit of good news for the Prime Minister, revealing that a majority of Israelis back the Prime Minister, and that Israelis are increasingly opposed to calls for Mr. Netanyahu to resign.

The first poll, from January 9th, shows that 45% of all Israelis believe Netanyahu should not resign, compared to 39% who said he should quit, and 16% who had no response.

But just six days later, on January 15th, the margin in favor of the Prime Minister doubled from 6 to 12%, with fully 50% of Israelis saying they were opposed to Netanyahu resigning, compared to 38% who said he should resign.

The polls show, unsurprisingly, that the Prime Minister’s strongest support came from right-wing voters, with 61% opposing his resignation in the first survey and 70% opposing it in the second. By contrast, the overwhelming majority of left-wing voters say Netanyahu should resign, rising from 79% in the first poll to 82% in the second. The left, however, is a minority in Israel.


2. STONE-THROWERS TARGET POLICE IN JERUSALEM HAREDI NEIGHBORHOOD
by David Rosenberg

Police officers carrying out a search for a suspect in the predominantly haredi neighborhood of Meah Sharim in Jerusalem came under a barrage of stones on Monday, leaving one injured.

The incident occurred as both plainclothes and uniformed officers attempted to locate an individual believed to be hiding out around Salant and Huni Hamagal streets.

Officers entered and searched a building in the area, but failed to capture the suspect.

During the search, a large group formed outside of the building and hurled stones at police.

One officer was struck in the head and evacuated to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus. He is reportedly in good condition.

A police spokesperson issued a statement Monday afternoon condemning the attack and pledging bring the assailants to justice.

"The police department emphasizes that it will act firmly against all lawbreakers… who harm officers of the law who work to provide law enforcement services to the public. The identities of the stone-throwers are known to the police, and the department will use everything at its disposal to arrest them and bring them to justice."


3. KERRY: WE PROTECTED ISRAEL FROM UNFAIR TREATMENT AT PARIS SUMMIT
by David Rosenberg

The United States delegation at the Middle East peace summit in Paris worked to protect Israel from ‘unfair’ treatment, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday.

"We came in here and where we thought it was unbalanced and where we thought it was not expressing the kind of unity that I talked about, we fought to address it," he said.

"We didn't soften it. We did what was necessary to have a balanced resolution. And if you look at it, it speaks in positive ways, rather than negative, to both sides."

Kerry thanked France for hosting the international conference and welcomed its final statement in favor of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict.

But, he added, the resulting statement, which he noted included condemnation of Arab incitement against Jews and attacks on Israelis, was added in part due to pressure from the US.

The Secretary of State also said that he had contacted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during the summit to reassure him that no one-sided action would be taken by the conference vis-à-vis Israel.

The outline of the final statement endorsed by the participants of the summit, which emphasizes a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, was unveiled by Kerry in a speech in December.

"It evidenced a constructive willingness to engage with Israel that has not been readily put on the table by people over the course of the past several years," he said.

The conference comes less than a month after the US withheld its veto on an unprecedented United Nations Security Council resolution which labelled all Jewish communities in eastern Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria as illegal.

But Kerry said he had told Netanyahu that, contrary to his government's complaints, this did not mean that Washington had turned its back on Israel's claim on Jerusalem.

Kerry said he had told Netanyahu: "We fully expect Israel's profound historic and religious ties to the city and to its holy sites. We've never questioned that.

"This resolution in no manner prejudges the outcome of permanent status negotiations for east Jerusalem which must reflect those historic ties and realities on the ground."

AFP contributed to this report


4. YESH ATID MK: RABBINATE'S KOSHER CERTIFICATION IS WORTHLESS
by Chezi Dreksler

MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid) spoke about the push to privatize kashrut supervision in Israel.

"Those who observe kashrut (eating kosher food) complain about how corrupt the system is," Stern said. "This topic bothers us, and we cannot rest for even one moment.

"I asked MK Eitan Cabel (Zionist Union), and he said it was a loaded topic. He's right, it's loaded with lots of money.

This is not the first time Stern has tried to denigrate the Chief Rabbinate. He also wanted to eliminate the hesder IDF program but did not succeed, and, as head of IDF Manpower, ended the separate units of hesder soldiers.

"I am still fighting to separate 'synagogue and state,'" Stern said, "but the issue of kashrut is making the project very difficult. It's an issue which pushes people farther away from Judaism."

"The Rabbinate expects us to do things which we don't do at home. Their minimum standards are impossible to fulfill, and we cannot let the status quo continue.

"The Herzliya Rabbinate is currently insisting staff keep to standards which are considered mehadrin (super-stringent) in Jerusalem. Every rabbi is deciding for himself what the standards should be, and it's getting impossibly stringent.

"We can no longer rely on the Rabbinate's kashrut, because the system is corrupt.

"What do I want?" Stern continued. "Why does the 'Beit Yosef' kashrut organization sit in Jerusalem and tell everyone else what to do? They should have an office in every region. If Rabbi Landau is running his kashrut supervisory organization from Bnei Brak, Ramat Gan's rabbinate should be able to provide kashrut supervision all over Israel, too."



5. HAMAS HEADQUARTERS UNCOVERED NORTH OF JERUSALEM
by Uzi Baruch

Thirteen Hamas terrorists, including a member of the Palestinian Authority’s Legislative Council, were arrested overnight in a joint operation by the IDF and Shin Bet internal security agency.

The operation comes on the heels of the discovery of a regional headquarters of the Hamas terror group in the Ramallah district, north of Jerusalem.

The base is believed to have served as the center of operations for dozens of Hamas terrorists in Samaria, and may be part of a broader effort by Hamas to expand its influence in the Ramallah area. Payments to jailed terrorists and their families, outreach efforts to local Palestinian Authority residents, public demonstrations, and the operation of a Hamas student group were all managed from the headquarters.

During the raid of the facility overnight, IDF soldiers and Shin Bet agents confiscated cash, vehicles, and propaganda material used by Hamas for recruitment purposes.

"The discovery of this [terror] infrastructure reveals Hamas’ continuing strategic intentions to operate and establish bases in the area, as part of an effort to weaken the [Palestinian] Authority; all while attempting to commit serious acts of terror," a Shin Bet spokesperson said.

"The Shin Bet security agency and the IDF will continue to operate with determination to disrupt these [terror] infrastructures in advance [of possible attacks]."


6. TRUMP: KUSHNER CAN SECURE A PEACE AGREEMENT FOR ISRAEL
by David Rosenberg

President-elect Donald Trump has confirmed that Jared Kushner will be tapped to serve the administration as special envoy to the Middle East, adding that he believes his son-in-law will succeed in brokering a deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Kushner, Trump’s 36-year old Orthodox Jewish son-in-law, has been mentioned in the past as a possible pick as White House adviser. In an interview with The New York Times last November, Trump suggested Kushner might play a role in Middle East peace talks.

Last week, members of Trump’s transition team told Reuters Kushner would serve as senior White House adviser, giving the president advice on trade deals and the Middle East.

In an interview with The Times which was published Sunday evening, Trump confirmed that Kushner will be tapped as Middle East peace envoy.

Along with his son-in-law, Trump has also selected former campaign adviser on Israel, Jason Greenblatt, to advise the administration on international agreements, with a special focus on the Middle East.

In a separate interview with the German tabloid Bild, Trump slammed the Obama administration’s "terrible" decision not to veto an anti-Israel United Nations Security Council resolution in December.

The President-elect also suggested his administration would, with Kushner’s help, succeed in brokering a landmark Middle East peace deal.

"You know what? Jared is such a good lad, he will secure an Israel deal which no one else has managed to get. You know, he’s a natural talent, he is the top, he is a natural talent. You know what I’m talking about – a natural talent. He has an innate ability to make deals, everyone likes him," Trump said.


7. FEIGLIN: HAMAS SAW SOLDIERS ACTING LIKE SISSIES
by Gil Ronen

Zehut Movement CEO and former MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) told his supporters on Sunday night that the Israeli left is using their power in the IDF and media to erase the glory of the civilian who killed the terrorist responsible for last week's ramming attack in Jerusalem.

According to Feiglin, the left is trying to counter the tour guide's heroism because the guide acted "like a man," which contradicts the narrative which the left is trying to sell the Israeli public. However, the female soldier who shot at the terrorist is portrayed as a hero - because it fits with the left's agenda.

Regardless, when Hamas view the video of the terror attack, they see soldiers "running like sissies" from the terrorist, Feiglin said.

He also compared the mental games claiming the soldiers didn't run but stopped to fight to those in "The Emperor's New Clothes."

"Everyone saw them running away," Feiglin said. "But now they're trying to tell us the soldier's didn't run from fear, they ran because they were ordered to run. But they all ran! What can you do?

"Are we proud of this video? Is Hamas is showing this video to anyone and everyone because it makes us look good? No! All the IDF cadets ran away.

"Forgive me - I really need to ask you to forgive me for saying this - but I must emphasize again that I'm not against women and I'm not for men, but this is the way our enemies see us... They see us running....running like what? Like sissies. Yeah, like sissies, like little girls. But who did act like a man? Eitan. Don't forget about him, he doesn't exist. He's been erased. There's a narrative we have to create. Eitan messes up our narrative, so we erased him," Feiglin concluded.


8. FIRED INAUGURATION ANNOUNCER GETS NEW JOB FOR JANUARY 20
by Chana Roberts

[youtube:2023298]

After telling the public he "wanted to commit suicide" upon hearing US President-elect Donald Trump had decided not to use his services on January 20, Charles Brotman has a new job with NBC4.

Brotman, 89, was fired via email a week before inauguration day, after he had already begun preparing for the ceremony. He began working as inauguration announcer in 1957, and announced a total of 11 US presidents.

"I was down, I was disappointed, and I thought I would be doing it for the next 100 years," Brotman said. "Now I’m not thinking about the old news. I’m only thinking about good news.

"Now I'm all young and excited again," Brotman told The Washington Post. "It's a new day. Instead of talking to a few thousand people, I'm talking to a few million people."

"Given Charlie Brotman’s long history in Washington and unparalleled experience with Inaugural parades celebrating presidents in both parties, we have invited him to be part of our Inauguration coverage on January 20," an NBC4 spokesperson said. "Charlie will provide his unique insights that people in Washington have enjoyed for many decades."

NBC4 is NBC's Washington, D.C. affiliate, and Brotman will contribute to their coverage of the inauguration ceremony.





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