News Roundup for October 4, 2019

October 4, 2019

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Top News and Analysis

Annexing the Jordan Valley Doesn’t Make Security Sense, Haaretz
Shaul Arieli writes, “Any rookie intelligence officer knows that Iran cannot and does not intend to send armored forces toward Israel, which would require crossing 1,500 kilometers of the Arabian Desert, exposed to the Israel Air Force, in an entirely Sunni area. And yet it turns out that in Israel, where half its teachers do not know what countries it shares borders with (according to a 2015 Gal Institute survey) and around a third of its students do not know what the capital of Syria is (based on a 2003 survey of junior high schools in Jerusalem), propaganda films can be successfully released portraying the Jordan Valley as a natural barrier to tanks from the east.”

With Anti-Semitic Attack On ‘Shifty’ Foe, Trump Shows Off The Mechanism Of His Racism, The Forward
Peter Beinart writes, “It’s no surprise that Trump called Schiff ‘shifty’ — which means tricky or deceitful, or that in the past he’s called him ‘little pencil-neck.’ When discussing Jews, Trump often plays on well-worn caricatures about cleverness, deviousness and physical weakness.”


20,000 join rally as Arab Israelis strike to protest deadly crime wave, Times of Israel
Schools and businesses in Arab towns and villages were closed following a call by local and national Arab leaders, and newly elected Arab lawmakers of the Knesset skipped the official swearing-in out of solidarity.

Joint List members to boycott Knesset inauguration over sectarian violence, The Jerusalem Post
“Tomorrow the 13 MKs from the Joint List will not participate in the inaugural swearing in of the Knesset, in solidarity with the general strike protesting the wave of murders in Arab towns and the subsequent lack of policing,” MK Ahmad Tibi tweeted on Wednesday.. “It’s like the Wild West, guns a blazing.”

Netanyahu legal team’s pre-indictment hearing with AG resumes for second day, Times of Israel
The second day of the pre-indictment hearings in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s criminal cases got underway Thursday with his defense team predicting that, like the day before, they would need a lengthy session to present all of their arguments in the most serious of the three cases the premier faces.

Arab-Israeli communities go on one-day strike to protest violent crime and lack of police response, JTA
Arab-Israeli communities held a general strike on Thursday to protest an uptick in violent crime and the lack of an effective police response.

In pivot, Netanyahu considers proposal to set Likud primary for next year, Times of Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is weighing a suggestion by Likud minister Haim Katz to hold a Likud leadership vote in a year, signaling the premier is retreating from the prospect of flash primaries, an idea floated earlier on Thursday and met with a challenge by rival Gideon Sa’ar.

Opinion and Analysis

In Netanyahu’s Party, Assassins Never Get to Sit on the Throne, Haaretz
Anshel Pfeffer writes, “Gideon Sa’ar is gunning for the top spot in Likud – and the premiership. But can he do it in a party where loyalty is the key to succession?”

Netanyahu faces new legal battle — just as his political hopes fade, CNN
Oren Liebermann writes, “Faced with the difficulty of forming a government, speculation is rife in Israel that Netanyahu will soon return the mandate to Rivlin, allowing the Israeli President to choose someone else to try to form a government.”

The Terrible Danger Stalking Israel – and Why Israelis Can’t Fight It, Haaretz
Edan Ring writes, “‘Post-truth’ disinformation and incitement against minorities, journalists and political rivals: They’re not exclusive to Israel, but Israeli Jews are particularly susceptible. This is why – and how that vulnerability could turn violent…”