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Netanyahu on Nation-State Protest: 'They Want to Turn Israel into Palestine'

By Israel Hayom

A week after the Druze community and supporters of the Druze gathered in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv to protest the nation-state law, the same plaza outside city hall turned red, green, black and white on Saturday night as thousands of Israeli Arabs turned out to demonstrate against the law, waving Palestinian flags and chanting, "In spirit and blood we will redeem Palestine." The title of the protest was "The nation-state law will be overturned – yes to equality." Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu tweeted footage of the ?protest and wrote: "There is no greater testimony ?that the nation-state law was necessary. We will ?continue to fly the Israeli flag proudly and sing ??[the national anthem] 'Hatikvah' (The Hope) with great pride." Speaking ahead of the weekly meeting of the ?coalition faction heads Sunday, Netanyahu said, ??"Last night we were given clear proof of the ?defiance against the very existence of the State of ?Israel, which is why the nation-state law is ?necessary. ? "We've seen how the Palestinian flag was flying in ?the heart of Tel Aviv. We heard the calls to "redeem ?Palestine in spirit and blood. Many protesters want ?to repeal the Law of Return, do away with our flag ?and our anthem – they want to do away with Israel as ?the nation-state of the Jewish people and turn it ?onto an Israeli-Palestinian state."? This, Netanyahu stressed, "is exactly why we enacted ?the nation-state law. The individual rights of ?Israeli citizens are well-anchored in other Basic ?Law and regular laws. Now it is clearer than ever ?that we needed the nation-state law to ensure ?Israel's future as the nation-state of the Jewish ?people. We enacted this law and we will preserve ?it," he said.? Protester Laila al-Sana, 19, from a Bedouin village in the Negev, said, "The law legitimizes racism," said. "It's very important to show we are here, to resist," she said. "When I heard about the law I felt I should defend my hometown, our land, the land of my ancestors," 68-year-old Sheikha Dabbah said at the rally. Aataf Basha, a resident of the Bedouin town of Rahat, told Israel Hayom he thought the law was "discriminatory and fascist, divisive and discriminatory. It won't help the Netanyahu government. We need to go hand in hand: Druze, Jews, and Arabs – it doesn't matter what your ethnicity, we need to oppose ?Netanyahu. This is a delusional law. After 70 years of living together, suddenly there's a problem of nationality?" Basha said. The sight of Israeli citizens unfurling Palestinian flags and marching to "redeem Palestine" drew harsh comments from politicians. A number of politicians were on the ground with the marchers, including Knesset members from the Joint Arab List, Meretz, and Zionist Union MK Mickey Rosenthal, who attended despite party leader Avi Gabbay's explicit instructions to Labor MKs not to take part in the protest. Rosenthal tweeted that "what worries me most are the Zionist Union members who are afraid to stand up proudly against this campaign of incitement, lest they be publicly or politically eaten alive [for it]. I'm taking part in the protests not in support of its organizers, but because I believe that there is no Zionism without democracy and no democracy without equality." Zionist Union MK Robert Tiviaev called the Palestinian flags on display at the protest "a disgrace." Joint Arab List MK Jamal Zahalka said, "We oppose this law and demand that it be overturned entirely. The addition of the word 'equality' won't save it, and it [the law] will carry the seeds of racism in any form. Anyone who is satisfied with the amendment [adding the word 'equality'] wants to add an element of hypocrisy to it, nothing more." Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev said that former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin "is surely ?turning in his grave over the fact that the Left supports Arabs who flew Palestinian flags in ?Rabin Square. I find that outrageous. I plan on asking Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit [to ?weigh in on the matter] because we cannot agree to Palestinian flags flying in central Tel Aviv."? Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis said, "If anyone still had any doubt about why the nation-state law was necessary, the images from the protest are clear proof that Israel needs the law. In the fact of the subversives who question that Israel is the national state of the Jewish people, with a blue and white flag and 'Hatikvah' [as the national anthem], Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People is one of the most important laws enacted in Israel in the past few years," Akunis said.

Gaza Riots Leader: `We Have Lost the Battle for Public Opinion'

By The Tower

Gaza activist Ahmad Abu Rutema, spokesman for the so-called March of Return, the Hamas-led riots on Israel's border, has conceded that Hamas has "lost the battle for public opinion," and that "there is nothing wrong with a tactical withdrawal" when the path becomes too costly. Speaking at a symposium titled "The Palestinian Cause – Proposals on the Table" organized by Hamas earlier this month, Abu Rutema said that "the images of torn limbs, wounded people, blood, and martyrs are very painful, and must drive us to reexamine all our tactics and to invent new ones," the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported. Since the so-called "March of Return" was launched by Hamas in March, there have been near-weekly, violent riots along the Israel-Gaza border organized by the terrorist group. The riots have given Palestinians cover to attack Israeli security forces with gunfire, grenades, Molotov cocktails, and efforts to illegally infiltrate into Israeli territory to carry out terrorist attacks. Hamas also sent women and children to the front line to use them as human shields. At least 160 Palestinians have been killed as a result of the rioting, and one Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper. In addition to clashes at the border, southern Israel has experienced hundreds of fires caused by incendiary terror kites and balloons flown over the border from Gaza. Abu Rutema explained that the March of Return "has been an attempt to create a certain model. Unfortunately, we had lost the battle for public opinion in the Return March, when it became associated in people's minds with blood and the loss of limbs. This is very scary." He claimed that the March of Return, "launched by the youth, tried to associate this form of struggle with images of life and beauty. This is the philosophy of peaceful struggle."

"We are fighting by developing the sense of beauty among the Palestinians because our battle with the occupation [i.e., Israel] is a battle over images and public opinion. [Israel] is trying to present us in an image of death and terrorism. So these were modest efforts, and we all complemented one another," he added. "This is not an attempt to water down the Return March, but it is OK, from time to time, to engage in a tactical withdrawal, if you sense that your path has become too costly," he unpopularly conceded. "The March of Return "with the many martyrs and wounded, is very costly. So there is nothing wrong with a tactical withdrawal, which will preserve the original idea."

Education Ministry to Train Israel's High Schoolers to be 'Hackers'

By Israel Hayom

The Education Ministry is set to launch a training program for 12th-grade high school students with the aim of turning them into computer hackers. Over the course of the program, scheduled to begin in the upcoming school year, students will be taught to hack into active computer systems in search of security breaches. The innovative pilot program will include 100 students within the framework of the prestigious software engineering track, in conjunction with the Israel National Cyber Directorate in the Prime Minister's Office. The students will be trained by experts in the field and will ultimately be certified as "vulnerability analysts." In other words, the students will learn to perform controlled cyber attacks on computer systems, including those that belong to schools, with the aim of detecting security weaknesses. The program is a sensitive one because the students could exploit the knowledge they acquire to hack government sites in Israel and abroad. Israeli youngsters have gotten in trouble in the past for hacking into the Pentagon and the U.S. military systems. Therefore, the course will place considerable emphasis on the topic of ethics and the students will be warned about permissible and prohibited conduct in the field. At the same time, 240 students in the teleprocessing track will be trained as "cyber protectors." These students will be taught to detect cyber attacks and to inoculate computers systems accordingly (in contrast to the vulnerability analysts who will be taught to breach systems). To graduate from the course, the students will be required to analyze their schools' cybersecurity systems, which contain sensitive information such as grades and personal files, identify vulnerabilities and recommend solutions to prevent information leaks. The purpose of the program is to develop reserves of trained workforce in the field of cyber and information security. The expectation is that these students will put the skills they learn in this course to use in the workforce after they graduate. "For the first time, students in the education system will receive the tools to defend the State of Israel online," Education Minister Naftali Bennett remarked.

"One of the greatest threats today isn't necessarily military in nature, but rather digital. All the systems we use are controlled by computers; therefore hacking them for classified information means real harm to Israel's ability to function," he said. "Israel's cyber warriors will stand in the same line alongside Sayeret Matkal [the IDF's elite special forces unit], Golani [infantry brigade] fighters and Artillery Corps gunners. They are the tip of the spear on the modern battlefield, and I trust them to courageously defend those assets that belong to all of us," Bennett added.

Yemenite Children: All Materials to be Declassified

The Archives Affairs Committee, headed by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, instructed the State Archives to conduct a comprehensive examination of 300,000 classified files related to the affair and to reveal them. Shaked also called on the WIZO and Hadassah administrations to reveal their archives. The committee also instructed the IDF archives to publish all data in its possession that contain no violation of privacy. Since the 1950s, more than 1,000 Israeli families have reported their children were systematically kidnapped from Israeli hospitals and given to Ashkenazi families for adoption in the country and abroad. The anguish of the families, mostly immigrants from Yemen, was generally dismissed by authorities.

Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation warns Netanyahu: Israel Might Not be Able to Host 2019 Eurovision


The Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation and the government are fighting about who will pay the 12 million euro guarantee to the European Broadcasting Union, due by August 14. Failure to pay the sum would mean Israel will have to give up the right to host the competition The IPBC ("Kan" in Hebrew) warned Netanyahu on Sunday that Israel might have to give up on hosting the Eurovision Song Contest because of a disagreement over who will foot the bill. The production cost of the Eurovision in Israel is estimated at 35 million euro, and the IPBC was supposed to transfer 12 million euro as a guarantee to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) by August 1. The EBU has agreed to give the IPBC an extension until August 14, but the issue of where the money will come from has not yet been resolved. Israel won the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest with Netta Barzilai's "Toy," granting it the right to host next year's competition. But despite his enthusiasm over the win, the prime minister refuses to allocate a budget for the competition, arguing the money should come from the IPBC's annual budget. "The prime minister and the finance minister have decided a body budgeted at the enormous amount of NIS 750 million at the expense of the public can find the funds for a guarantee for the Eurovision. The IPBC is being wasteful and trying to sabotage the Eurovision," a source close to Netanyahu said.

The IPBC, meanwhile, claims it would not be able to take the money out of its own budget unless it fires 200 employees or cuts down on original productions. The IPBC explained that its budget is "completely transparent and covers, by law, diverse activity in three TV channels, nine radio stations and additional online activity. "The IPBC is required by law to invest in original content and productions throughout the year. Diverting these funds means canceling projections and firing employees for three days of broadcasts for the Eurovision," the IPBC explained. The IPBC further noted that "Almost every country that had the right to host the Eurovision participated in its financing and earned a lot of money for the state coffers from thousands of visitors and worldwide exposure. All of our attempts to find a shared solution were met with disregard, and the government's decision unequivocally means giving up the right to host the competition," the IPBC concluded. The prime minister has made efforts in the past to shut down the IPBC, even before it went live, and put a halt on recent efforts to split the IPBC's news division into a separate body to not endanger the Eurovision being hosted in Israel. IPBC Chairman Gil Omer sent a letter to Netanyahu on Sunday, detailing the obstacle the IPBC faces in securing the guaranteed money. "In two days, the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation will be required to provide a 12 million euro guarantee to ensure the hosting of the 2019 Eurovision competition in Israel. This is a point of no return, following which—if the guarantee is not provided as required by the EBU—it would not be possible to change the situation, and the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest will not take place in Israel," Omer wrote in a letter seen by Ynet. "For two weeks now, I've been making great efforts to inform the decision-makers on the obstacles we face, so we could make every effort to resolve them. In different letters I've sent during this time, I stated that we place great importance in holding the competition in Israel and are confident it would significantly contribute to the state both economically and to its image," he continued. "Unfortunately, our repeated requests for intensive work to resolve the fundamental problems that serve as obstacles to holding the competition in Israel have been left unanswered." At present, Finance Ministry officials refuse to commit to allocating the necessary guarantee money, not wishing to pay it to the Europeans if the competition does not end up taking place in Israel after all.

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