APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday August 15, 2013
NOTE: News Nosh will be on holiday from Sunday through Thursday, August 18-22.
Quote of the day:
"Maybe these email messages should simply be titled, I'm frightened. Can we talk?'"
--Haaretz blogger Mira Sucharov examines the hateful emails that circulate about Muslims.**
Front Page News:
- Hundreds killed in Egypt in suppression of supporters of Morsi
- Danger of war // Zvi Bar'el
- Israel signed scientific agreement that boycotts settlements and E. Jerusalem - with the US
- Back to talking - Israeli and Palestinian Authority negotiation teams met for the first time in Jerusalem
- Activity of official responsible for hasbara (PR) on the Web stopped: Japan demanded clarifications on his posts
- Google to Court: Gmail users have no reason to expect we would protect their privacy
- Egypt in emergency state
- Sisi's honor // Smadar Peri
- The bad scenario // Alex Fishman
- Daniel's smile - Her mother has cancer, her house caught on fire, but volunteers helped Daniel celebrate her bat-mitzvah
- End to flip-flop sandals in the Prime Minister's Office
- Egypt on edge of civil war: Hundreds killed in clashes between police and Morsi supporters (Hebrew)
- For the sake of all to see // Nadav Eyal
- It's easy to get confused // Gideon Kotz
- (Singer) Arik Einstein on release of terrorists: "They are real sickbags. They murdered and stabbed in cold blood. I don't understand how no one on the other side is outraged by the celebrations"
- Extreme City - More and more cities in Israel discovering skateboarding and opening 'skate parks'
- Lapid considers cancelling planned pension cuts
- Sharing the burden // Shlomo Maoz (Hebrew)
- Open? Closed - After 50 years, the children road safety street-crossing shifts are in danger of ending
- Blood on the Nile - Emergency State in Egypt: Hundreds killed in clashes with military
- Battle over Egypt's image // Eyal Zisser
- End to innocence: The dream of democracy disappeared evaporated // Boaz Bismoth
- Report: Privatizing medical services in hospitals failed
- "Officers headed by Ashkenazi acted against the political echelons"
- Investigate thoroughly: In the halls of the Chief of Staff offices - and also in the media // Gonen Ginat
- Diplomatic negotiations renewed; Abu Mazen: "The remainder of the prisoners are already on the way"
- MK Haim Katz vs. Treasury: "The cut in pensions is no longer on the agenda"
Peace Talks Highlights:
Israelis and Palestinians held low-key peace talks in Jerusalem, released Palestinian prisoners spoke of the desire for peace and Palestinian officials said Israel now plans to hand over bodies' of Palestinian militants. Meanwhile, both Palestinian Hamas Deputy Foreign Minister and a former Palestinian politician who supports peace expressed a lack of optimism in the success of the talks. And a Meretz party delegation traveled to Jordan to meet with Prince Hassan, who also had his criticism of the US-led process.
Amidst a fury over and a flurry of settlement construction, Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and special envoy of the Prime Minister Yitzhak Molcho sat at a table at an undisclosed location in Jerusalem and began negotiating a peace deal with Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and senior negotiator Mohammad Shtayyeh. US envoy Martin Indyk was not present, but were on call in the city. The sides discussed overall guidelines for the negotiations and their agenda. Each side was also expected to present their positions on some of the issues, wrote Haaretz.
Elior Levy writes in Yedioth and Ynet that Israel plans to hand over bodies of Palestinian militants buried in the Jordan Valley, as part of gestures to Palestinians in light of Wednesday resumption of peace talks. Maan writes that the Palestinian Authority will demand DNA tests before Israel returns bodies.
Ynet posted a video of people in Ramallah celebrating the prisoners' release home, saying 'the move will promote peace.' Maan ran a news feature on two of the former prisoners, cousins who sat in jail for 23 years for the murder of Baruch Heizler. "Tears streamed down Hosni Sawalha's face as he recited from the Koran alongside the graves of his parents, who died while he was in Israeli jail since his teens...The 40-year-old and his cousin Mohammed Sawalha were reluctant to talk about their actions, both saying they now simply wished for peace."
But other Palestinians say that, prisoner release aside, there isn't hope for the talks. An article in Ynet interviews Ghazi Hamad, the moderate Hamas deputy foreign minister and Ghassan Khatib, a former Palestinian spokesman and current professor at Bir Zeit University. Both express their lack of optimism about the success of the talks.
One Israeli right-wing politician in the government claimed most Israelis wouldn't want a peace deal similar to one Livni already offered. Far right-wing Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon (Likud) told Israel Radio on Wednesday that if Livni were to strike a deal like the one she and former prime minister Ehud Olmert offered the Palestinians in 2008, a majority within the Likud and the general public would oppose it. The Israeli media reported that Olmert and then-Foreign Minister Livni were willing to relinquish virtually all of Judea and Samaria, with the exception of settlement blocs, but peace talks ended when Olmert resigned over corruption allegations.
And in Amman, a Meretz party delegation heard heard a scathing critique of the US-sponsored peace talks from Prince Hassan Bin Talal. The Jordanian Prince said the US errs in its narrow, bilateral perspective. "There is a need to create a plan B to the negotiations, which would take into account issues pertaining to people, beyond the six central issues known to everyone, while also taking into account a regional perspective." Among the Meretz delegates at the meeting were Dror Morag, the director-general of Meretz, and Ilan Baruch, a former diplomat and Gal-On's diplomatic advisor.
Both Israel and the EU seemed to stick to their guns at a meeting held specifically to discuss the EU guidelines that boycott settlements. According to Haaretz, Israel's participation in the EU's 'Horizon 2020'' scientific R&D program was the subject of the meeting. The guidelines restrict any scientific collaboration, investment and the awarding of grants to institutions with direct or indirect ties with settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. Israel says it will not participate in the prestigious and lucrative 'Horizon 2020' if the EU does not change the guidelines.
Ironically, at probably the same time that Israel was digging in its heals, a Haaretz reporter was penning an article that revealed that the Israel had agreed to exactly those guidelines - with the US. The wording of the 1972 agreement with the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation, the main body promoting scientific cooperation between the U.S. and Israel, rejects projects in the W. Bank, E. Jerusalem and Golan Heights.
- Hezbollah claims responsibility for strike on Israeli troops in Lebanon - Hassan Nasrallah says Hezbollah fighters planted bombs in an area they knew in advance IDF soldiers would pass through. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Tourist-friendly defenses go up around Eilat after rocket attack - The Israeli army says it will only cancel planned events in the tourist city if there's a concrete threat. (Haaretz)
- 1,500 Bedouin awaiting home demolitions - Around 1,500 Bedouin residents of Sawah are awaiting the demolition of their homes after an Israeli court rejected their appeal. Residents say they are there since before 1948. But in 2007, Israeli planning and construction authorities asked the residents to evacuate the village after Israel's army declared the area a military zone. (Maan)
- Israel Police officer dismissed over incident with activist who defended Arabs - Police officer allegedly calls activist - said to be known for provoking police - a 'retarded leftist.' (Haaretz)
- Israel encouraging preschool literacy - just not among Arabs - Formerly nation-wide program to encourage kindergarten reading skills only dropped in Arab communities for the past two years. (Haaretz)
- Hasbara chief in hot water over anti-Japan Facebook comments - Japan demands clarifications for Daniel Seaman's posts about its 'aggression and genocide' and wanted to know whether they represent the Israeli government position. (Haaretz)
- 8 years since destruction of Gush Katif synagogues - Yesterday at Hurva Synagogue in Jerusalem's Old City, (radical settler - OH) Rabbi Dov Lior spoke at commemoration marking eight years since Palestinians destroyed synagogues in Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip. (Israel Hayom, p. 9)
- State refuses residency for Eritrean man married to Israeli woman - Population authority officials insist on a clean criminal record from Eritrean army deserter, despite flexibility in regulations. (Haaretz)
- Ya'alon poised to reappoint Gantz as army chief -IDF Chief Benny Gantz expected to get another year in office, although no official decision has been made. (Israel Hayom)
- Ashkenazi rejects Barak's 'criminal' allegations - Former chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi says allegations made by former defense minister Barak had already been rejected by two state comptrollers. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Flip-flops? Not in our office - Prime Minister's Office is making order in its wardrobe: A dress code distributed in the office prohibits employees from wearing shorts, sleeveless shirts and shirts exposing the stomach. One veteran employee: "We've returned to high school." (Yedioth, p. 18)
- Jewish Agency airlifts 17 Yemeni Jews to Israel in covert operation - Mission motivated by increasing security concerns for the safety Yemen's Jewish community, agency says. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Israeli steals life jackets from plane - Stewardesses on charter flight to Crete spot 17-year-old passenger taking three life jackets to use as swimming floats during vacation on Greek island. Police also find 19 Kalashnikov bullets in her handbag. (Yedioth/Ynet)
- Elbit sees lift from drone, cyber spending - Defense electronics firm bounces back from weak first three months to post second-quarter revenue of $702.9 million versus forecasts of $686 million. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Russian company to invest $30 million in Bethlehem complex - A Russian company is set to invest $30 million in a building complex in Bethlehem.
- The complex will house a music school, gym, administrative offices, gardens and other marketing and commercial spaces and be located on Vladimir Putin St. (Maan)
- Over 250 dead, U.S. condemns killings of Egypt protesters, Turkey urges UN action - U.S. opposes Egypt state of emergency, still reviewing aid; John Kerry: Today's events run counter to democracy; Iran sees civil war risk, calls for democratic process; EU monitoring situation with great disquiet. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Tel-Aviv: Dozens protest against Egyptian army - Israeli Arabs protest in front of Egyptian embassy in Tel Aviv against 'bloodshed' of 'those whose only wish is to bring back the president they've elected'. Protesters are carrying signs in support of ousted President Morsi. (Ynet)
Putting our best face forward (Haaretz Editorial) Daniel Seaman should be disqualified from senior public servant position for racist remarks.
Now they need to part (Yael Paz-Melamed, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) After they achieve important victories together, it's now time for Lapid and Bennett to separate. What began as a successful alliance has turned into a millstone around the neck of Yesh Atid.
Ashkenazi affair has polluted IDF, Israeli democracy (Ari Shavit, Haaretz) In broad daylight, under the noses of our best journalists, the top military brass acted against the political leadership as never before.
Don't let Abbas dictate to us (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) What will remain of Israeli sovereignty if the Palestinians can demad the release of Arab terrorists with Israeli citizenship?
Jewish and democratic - who are we kidding? (Roy Isacowitz, Haaretz) The UN may have reversed itself in 1991 and decided that Zionism did not, in fact equate with racism, but the Gapsos of the world - and they are abundant - are doing their best to prove otherwise.
Both sides of prisoner release (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) If Israelis would only put themselves in the Palestinians' place, from a place of equality and humanity, then the picture of hatred here would be very different.
Britain's diplomacy of hypocrisy (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) Britain preaches morality to us day and night because of our grip on our national homeland, while it refuses to ease its grip on territories it conquered out of clear imperialistic ambitions.
U.K. academia's hypocrisy about Israel (Eli Avraham, Haaretz) By their own logic, British academics should be boycotted for discrimination against blacks, who are grossly underrepresented in universities.
**Poison by PowerPoint: Reading between the lines of Islamophobic emails (Mira Sucharov, Haaretz) The hateful emails that circulate about Muslims should be renamed 'I'm frightened. Can we talk?' since they stem from the universal pain and anxiety that arises from fear and uncertainty.
Street battles in Cairo, and the Israeli connection (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Collapse of talks, tensions accompanying conclusion of Ramadan, fear of growing support for Muslim Brotherhood are what prompted Egyptian army to act to dismantle Nahda, Rabaah al-Adawiya mass sit-ins.
For the Egyptian army, taking power in Cairo was the easy part (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz) As it tries to cope with both suppressing protests under the world's watchful eye and dealing with a faceless, shapeless guerrilla threat in the Sinai Peninsula, the Egyptian army is being pushed to its limits.
This is the Israel we will never show you on the news (Bradley Burston, Haaretz) The tens of thousands who flocked to the reunion concert of Kaveret, Israel's favorite rock band of all time, were there for one reason only: love of Israel, but not of the kind you may have been led to think.
'Bedouin or Jewish, I am proud to serve my country'
"Mostly, I want the Bedouin/Arab sector to understand and internalize that military service will only do our society good. Social distancing and separation will lead us nowhere," says Master Sgt. Marzuk Suaed, a Bedouin father of three. (Interviewed by Gadi Golan in Israel Hayom)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.