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Ashkenazi: No annexation moves expected today – The Times of Israel

| July 5, 2020

As new surrogacy bill fails, minister vows to fix discriminatory law by end 2020 Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn says he will work to pass a new surrogacy law that will not discriminate on the basis of religion, race, gender or sexual orientation. In February, the High Court struck down the existing law, which blocked single men and homosexual couples from being able to have children via a surrogate

Annexation simmers, coronavirus rages and Netanyahus busy mulling an early election – Haaretz

| July 5, 2020

The silence with which July 1 passed, without the sovereign power annexing a single windblown West Bank hilltop and without the security cabinet holding even a symbolic meeting, was the epitome of an anticlimax.

Israel heading into annexation abyss without a safety net analysis – The Jerusalem Post

| July 5, 2020

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi (Blue and White) woke up on Wednesday morning unclear if the day would end with a dramatic announcement with regard to Israeli annexation of portions of the West Bank.He was blunt about his lack of information when Army Radio quizzed him about what to expect over the coming 12 hours.Could there be a declaration of sovereignty, the radio interviewer asked.I dont know, Ashkenazi replied. You should ask [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu.But you are Israels foreign minister, doesnt he update you?

‘The Palestinians got screwed. They are now a non-issue around the world’ – Haaretz

| July 5, 2020

Former Shin Bet security service chief Carmi Gillon doesnt mince words when describing the destruction he believes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is wreaking in Israel. But theres a positive surprise, even though he thinks Netanyahu is the reason for all the awful things happening here, in every sphere. The fact that Bibi Netanyahu is a coward and doesnt make critical decisions in every situation, Hamas, Iran is sometimes for the good; for example, his ability to absorb damage from Gaza, says Gillon, who headed the Shin Bet in 1995 and 1996.

Prosecution oversight czar: State attorney should have cleared Mandelblit – The Jerusalem Post

| July 2, 2020

Responding to a request to evaluate Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblits role in the Harpaz Affair, Justice Ministry oversight czar Judge David Rozen on Wednesday said if an error needs to be fixed, it is that Mandelblits name should be fully cleared.The Harpaz Affair was mainly a fight between then-defense minister Ehud Barak and then-IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi over who would be seen by the country as Mr. Security, with Mandelblit being involuntarily drawn into the mix from various spin-off issues.Rozen issued his ruling the day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched multiple attacks on Mandelblit for seeking to block him from receiving tycoon donations to pay his legal expenses in his public corruption trial.The oversight czar, who sent former prime minister Ehud Olmert to jail and criticized Mandelblit and the prosecution on a number of issues, is not viewed as being in anyones pocket.Recent reports by Channel 13s Ayala Hasson and leaks from supporters of Netanyahu have called into question whether charges against Mandelblit should have been dropped and whether he improperly tampered with the basis for which his case was closed.However, Rozen said the biggest error to be fixed now is that Mandelblits case should be officially closed because those suspicions have been found to be groundless.In 2015, then-attorney-general Yehuda Weinstein dropped the charges against Mandelblit. But he left open whether the case was being closed due to insufficient evidence, which could have blocked Mandelblit from becoming attorney-general, or because the charges were groundless.The High Court of Justice approved Mandelblit to become attorney-general, but the question of the basis for closing the case was never resolved.After becoming attorney-general, Mandelblits lawyer sent then-state attorney Shai Nitzan a letter asking him to close the case on the basis that the charges were groundless.Though Nitzan and the prosecution generally leaned in this direction, they decided they could not take any action for fear of violating conflict-of-interest principles because Mandelblit was their boss.Despite the conflict of interest, Mandelblit had a right for his name to be cleared, and if the prosecution also believed this, they should have acceded to his lawyers request, Rozen said.Furthermore, despite questions raised about Mandelblits withholding information from the deputy attorney-general for 24 hours during the Harpaz Affair, and despite statements he made to Ashkenazi suggesting he would try to help him during the probe, that the police, Weinstein and the state comptroller at the time saw all of the evidence when the case was closed, Rozen said.

UB vision research contributes to a rethinking of what leads to a rare, hereditary disorder causing blindness – UB Now: News and views for UB faculty…

| June 26, 2020

A series of papers published recently by two teams of vision researchers at UB and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is revealing important new information about the possible cause of a condition that underlies a rare form of irreversible blindness in young children. Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is the label given to a family of disorders characterized by the degeneration and eventual death of the eyes photoreceptor cells, which absorb and convert light into electrical signals in the retina

Report: Israel has told Abbas it will limit annexation to 2-3 settlement blocs – The Times of Israel

| June 26, 2020

Israel has conveyed a message to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that its annexation plans have been greatly reduced, will no longer apply to the Jordan Valley and will be limited to only two or three settlements blocs, Channel 12 reported Friday, citing a senior official in Ramallah. The official told the network the message was delivered via Jordan, following Mossad chief Yossi Cohens reported meeting on the matter with King Abdullah this week

Bibi to Gantz: Sovereignty or Elections – The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com

| June 26, 2020

Photo Credit: Asher Schwartz {Originally posted to the JNS website} Throughout the coalition negotiations over the formation of Israels unity government, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was surprised to learn how strongly Blue and White leaders Benny Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi opposed the plan to apply Israeli sovereignty in parts of Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley, which the prime minister intended to implement with American support. With the specter of another election still on the table, Gantz and Ashkenazi, similar to the other senior members of their party, concealed the degree to which their positions on the matter diverged from their partners on the right.

Mizrahi-washing: The new face of Israeli propaganda – +972 Magazine

| June 26, 2020

Mizrahi Jews have received growing global attention over the last few years. More and more people are finally recognizing that not all Jews in Israel are of European descent, that many arrived from Middle Eastern and Muslim countries where they were religious minorities, and that successive generations have faced discrimination since arriving in the country

Ashkenazi asks Cyprus to help with Europe’s annexation response – The Jerusalem Post

| June 24, 2020

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi called on Cyprus to try to moderate the EUs response to Israeli plans to move forward with the Trump peace plan, in a meeting with his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides on Tuesday.Ashkenazi said Israel is committed to promoting a peace process in a responsible way and in coordination with different factors in the region while protecting Israels strategic and security interests, based on [US President Donald] Trumps peace plan.The plan includes having Israel extend sovereignty to 30% of the West Bank, including all settlements and the Jordan Valley, though Ashkenazi and Defense Minister Benny Gantz have sought to have Israel apply its civil law to a smaller area.EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell and a number of European foreign ministries and UN ambassadors have made strong statements against any Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank. Cyprus has yet to say anything publicly on the matter, but is sensitive to the matter because it is involved in its own land dispute, with Turkey occupying northern Cyprus. Turkey also continues to encroach on Cyprus exclusive economic zone in the Mediterranean Sea.Ashkenazi asked Christodoulides for Cyprus to be a moderate voice in the discourse with European states.The foreign ministers also discussed reopening tourism between Israel and Cyprus, which recently downgraded Israel due to an increase in local coronavirus cases.Ashkenazi said Israel is trying to reduce the COVID-19 morbidity to allow flights and tourism to begin again.Christodoulidess visit was in lieu of one by Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades with several ministers, which was canceled because of the hike in coronavirus cases in Israel.Israel is the first country Christodoulides visited since the coronavirus outbreak, which Ashkenazi said, shows the strong, stable and solid friendship between the countries that are marking 60 years of ties between them.Christodoulides arrived in Ben-Gurion Airport via helicopter, and the meeting was held in a special coronavirus green zone in the airport, created for the purpose of allowing such diplomatic visits.Ashkenazi said after the visit that Israel and Cyprus have many shared interests in strategic, diplomatic, economic and security matters


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