APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday October 14, 2013
Quote of the day:
"... if you observe American Jews, you know full well that young American Jews are much less disposed to tolerate the cognitive dissonance that results from the clash between their values and some Israeli policies."
--Americans for Peace Now spokesman, Ori Nir, analyzes recent polls showing a new American Jewish generation that is alienated from an intransigent Israel.**
Front Page News:
- Iran refuses to give up uranium
- IDF reveals tunnel in Gaza meant for strategic attack
- State and kibbutzes on way to historic agreement on land
- Refineries company to fire 240 employees because of worsening financial situation
- Teva considers transferring operations from Israel to Asia
- Reform for protection of animals wins Netanyahu and Livni's support
- In Yiddish in favor, in Russian against: Strange campaign of Moshe Leon (for Jerusalem Mayor)
- Tunnel of terror - Under our nose: IDF revealed channel for terror attacks and kidnappings
- Stomach ache turned into paralysis - Two children paralyzed by complication from common intestinal virus
- The senior rescuer did it again - Did you collapse? Get injured? If Chief of Staff Gantz passes by he'll take care of you
- Not only at Teva Pharmaceuticals: 240 to be dismissed from refineries
- Abandoned in Morocco: New study finds how Israel took advantage of Mossad collaborators
- Coffee war - Which is tastier, cheap Kofix or Rolladin?
- Following revealing of terror tunnel on Gaza border: Israel to prohibit entry of cement to Gaza Strip (Hebrew)
- Private colleges: It is illegal to require students to take psychometric exams (Hebrew)
- Shin Bet arrested two young Palestinians who confessed to murdering Gen. Saraiaya Ofer with an ax in Jordan Valley (Hebrew)
- Tel-Aviv resident set himself on fire after found himself financially embroiled; fights for his life (Hebrew)
- We are guilty // Alkana Shor
- Passengers at the Jerusalem Central Bus Station continue to breathe poisonous air
- Maariv survey: One of every 10 MKs admitted to smoking light drugs (Hebrew)
- 500 tons of cement for terror - Israel transferred to Gaza cement, metal and building materials; Hamas did not use them for building kindergartens, schools and hospitals. They preferred to build tunnels of terror
- Palestinians confessed to murder of Saraiah Ofer; motive still unclear
- Expose: This is how Baruch Pechter, Rabbi of Metula, avoided paying municipal taxes for 25 years
- Refineries: 240 to be fired
- Memorial for passing of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef; masses arrived for Shas rally in Jerusalem
- Pope Franciscus likely to arrive in Israel in March
- Drilling at Yam-3 dry; $175 million went down the drain
The Israeli military exposes a Gaza tunnel that leads into Israel, Iran now says that uranium will stay in Iran, Palestinan President Mahmoud Abbas travels to Europe to promote a settlement freeze and Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal travels to Iran as relations thaw.
Israeli papers called it Hamas' 'tunnel of terror.' The 1.8 kilometer-long tunnel was meant for attacks on and kidnapping of Israelis, say Israeli security officials. The tunnel goes from Gaza 300 yards into Israel and took a year and a half to two years to build. Nevertheless, it hasn't been used yet, despite the troubles Hamas faces: the Gaza Strip is cut off from the world by Egypt and Israel and Hamas has weak relations with Iran. "Although Hamas is in trouble and under pressure, it is still practicing restraint on the ground. It is making an effort to prevent acts of terrorism against us even as it builds up its strength in terms of rockets and tunnels," Maj. Gen. Turgeman told Haaretz. Ynet has good photos of the tunnel. Israel has already begun its collective punishment. On Sunday Israel froze shipments of building materials to the Gaza Strip, Maariv and Maan reported [despite the fact that materials used to build the tunnel did not come from Israel. -OH] In September, Israel permitted delivery of cement and steel for use by the private sector into the Gaza Strip for the first time since 2007, when Hamas got power in the Strip. Israelis living around the Gaza Strip complained that they're still in the line of fire.
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister and chief nuclear talks negotiator said his country is willing to hold direct talks with the US on the sidelines of the Geneva conference beginning tomorrow, and it is willing to negotiate the level and amount of uranium enrichment, but not its removal from the country. This comes following an earlier report that Iran would ship out uranium stockpiles. Meanwhile US Secretary of State John Kerry told AIPAC that while the window for diplomacy is cracking open, "no deal is better than a bad deal." Nevertheless, senior Israeli officials told Yedioth that "Obama is deceiving himself" and accused him of doing everything to avoid military action against Iran. The officials said Obama is trying to postpone the conflict with Iran by another three to four years, to the next US president. However, Iranian Jews living in Iran have told Obama that these talks are an 'unrepeatable' opportunity to fix relations.
Abbas leaves today for a series of meetings in Belgium, Germany and Italy in an attempt to convince European officials to raise the pressure to freeze settlement construction, Maariv/NRG Hebrew reported. Sources told Maariv's Asaf Gabor that the visit is a response to Israeli public's calls to stop talks with the Palestinians following the security tension that has increased between the two sides recently. "Abu Mazen (Abbas) and the Palestinian leadership hear the calls in Israel calling to freeze talks because of recent incidents, and are already preparing an alternative plan: turning to the UN organizations to receive international recognition of a Palestinian state," said Abbas' associates. Moreover, the Palestinian Authority is in a financial crisis and wants the EU help. That help might be problematic in light of an EU report that the Palestinian Authority wasted or lost €1.95 billion, transferred by Belgium to the West Bank and Gaza Strip over the past several years.
Hamas Politburo chief Khaled Meshaal is also traveling to get support abroad - but in a different direction. Israel Hayom reports that Meshaal arrives tonight in Iran on an official visit during which he will meet with senior Iranian leadership, in what appears to be a thawing of the Hamas-Iran relationship after a two-year rift. The relationship went sour after Hamas declared that Iran's ally, Syria, was acting immorally against its people. Hamas moved its offices from Damascus to Egypt. But after Gen. Sisi took power from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, he has treated Hamas as an enemy, due to the close links between the two movements. Maariv's Asaf Gabor wondered if Meshaal planned to move the Hamas politburo office to Tehran. He reported that Meshaal said that he lives under siege-like conditions in Qatar, since leaving Egypt, and is looking for a new destination. (NRG Hebrew)
- Israeli forces to displace 7 Bedouin families during Eid holiday - Israeli forces told seven families in the Tubas district village of al-Malih in the Northern West Bank that they would have to evacuate their homes on Monday, the first day of Eid al-Adha. (Maan)
- West Bank village inhabited for 3,000 years faces eviction - The High Court prepares to hand down a ruling that will seal the fate of the 130 residents of the village of Zanuta, an archaeological site in the West Bank. (Haaretz)
- Settlers attack Palestinians harvesting olives in Hebron - Settlers beat and injured Nasser, Khalil and Sameeha al-Nawaj'a of the Hebron village of Susiya [not to be confused with nearby settlement outpost with same name - OH] as the villages were harvesting their olives. (Maan)
- PM nixes controversial bill applying Israeli labor laws to West Bank women - Bill that would have applied Israeli law protecting pregnant women to Palestinians as well as settlers could have been interpreted as annexation, critics warned; military order issued instead. (Haaretz)
- Murder victim's family: Detectives mocked him because he's Arab - Officers investigating murder of Ramla man make light of his death during WhatsApp chat. Victim's sister: They should be trying to catch the killer. (Ynet)
- Two Palestinians confess to murdering retired Israeli colonel - Seraiah Ofer was bludgeoned to death by his home in the Jordan Valley (West Bank); Three arrested, one not identified, motive still unclear. (Haaretz, YnetPHOTOS and Maan)
- Witnesses: Israeli forces raid Jenin village, injure dozens - Israeli forces in seven Israeli military vehicles entered the Palestinian village of Jaba in the northern West Bank district of Jenin sparking clashes with local Palestinians many of whom were injured. No detentions were reported. (Maan)
- The Israeli army's dark knights - Were sheep really almost stolen from the illegal outpost of Havat Maon - or did its residents use soldiers to harass residents of the nearby village of a-Tawani? (Haaretz)
- Tennis: Tunisian ordered not to play Israeli - Israel's Amir Weintraub advances to semifinals of Tashkent tournament after Malek Jaziri instructed to withdraw from match by Tunisia's tennis federation. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Welfare budget for Arab sector enough for half the needy - An examination by the Sikkuy civil rights organization found that in most areas of operation of social services departments there is inequality. The gaps in resources causes distress. (Maariv/NRG Hebrew)
- Arab sector: 53% of the poor waiting for National Insurance (social security) New data reveals a severe shortage of branches of the National Insurance Institute compared with in the Jewish sector. In Umm Al-Fahm, 48,000 people are forced to settle and use dropboxes. (Sunday Maariv, p. 1/NRG Hebrew)
- East Jerusalem residents: City lied about contested highway - Municipality told court a deal had been reached on 6-lane highway that would bisect their village. Not so, say Beit Safafa residents. (Haaretz)
- Knesset members brace for intensive winter session - With the prime minister increasingly isolated, Yesh Atid is preparing to be his 'largest, strongest support force' in peace talks. (Haaretz)
- F-35s to carry Israeli developed helmet display - Pentagon announces Elbit, its US partner to be sole supplier of helmets to all stealth aircraft . Deal worth more than $1 billion over 10 years. (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
- Pope sets March date for joint pilgrimage with rabbi - Planned visit with friend, the Argentine rabbi and biophysicist Abraham Skorka, is to bring message of reconciliation, says Channel 2. (Haaretz)
- Lieberman: "Senior Israeli officials wanted to give up the Golan" - Israel Beiteinu chairman visited Katsrin last night and claimed that high-ranking officials held talks meant to resume negotiations with Syria on the basis of withdrawal from the Golan Heights. "They were prisoners to a concept that soon after collapsed on our heads." (Maariv, p. 8/NRG Hebrew)
- Lebanese director risks jail to film in Israel - Describing production of his award-winning movie 'The Attack' in Jewish state as 'crazy trip,' Ziad Doueiri says it still bothers him movie has been banned in Arab world. (Agencies, Ynet)
- U.S. citizen found dead in Egypt prison cell - James Henry, a retired U.S. Army officer, had been detained in August for violating curfew in Sinai. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Egypt not expected to be hit hard by U.S. aid cuts - The U.S. State Department did not say how much of the $1.5 billion in annual military and economic aid to Egypt will be affected; spare parts from U.S. manufacturers will continue to be delivered. (Agencies, Haaretz)
In Ramallah and in Bnei Brak, big hair's back among observant women
Devout Jewish and Muslim fashionistas seem to have remarkably similar tastes when it comes to new trends in headwear. (Haaretz)
**A new American Jewish generation arises, alienated from intransigent Israel (Ori Nir, Haaretz) Polls show U.S. Jews are attached to Israel - but their critical stance on Israel's policies means they're beginning to consider disengaging.
We've learned nothing from Rabin murder (Yair Tzaban, Ynet) Keeping late premier's memory alive not enough; anti-democratic legislation must be blocked.
Hamas' strategic tunnels: Millions of dollars to spirit kidnapped Israelis into Gaza (Amos Harel, Haaretz) Egyptian pressure on Hamas is working to deter it from attacking Israel - for now.
Red lines - an agreement that we can live with (Giora Eiland, Yedioth) ...What is the significant gap between the sides (in the Iranian nuclear power program)? Iran is apparently prepared to make two compromises to end sanctions: stopping uranium enrichment above level of 4% and strengthening the monitoring mechanism...Israel is on the opposite side. It's main demand is that Iran give up completely its ability to enrich uranium...The US, like most Western European states, is already in the middle. Obama already gave up on the first Israeli demand (enriching uranium), in his response to Rouhani's UN speech. So what is a good agreement that Israel can still hope for and even accept? In addition to including a monitoring mechanism it must include one main thing: That all uranium enriched until now and the uranium enriched in the future beyond 4% be transferred to a third state. There they will be turned into fuel rods and brought back to Iran...It is almost impossible to turn fuel rods back into raw uranium, from what a bomb is produced. Or as Shimon Peres said: It's easy to make an omelet from eggs, but impossible to make eggs from an omelet...
Israel must stay calm and avoid provocations (Haaretz Editorial) If the diplomatic option collapses as a result of Netanyahu capitulating to right-wing pressures, another flare-up is liable.
Isolation is better than detonation (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) An internationally isolated Netanyahu and no Iranian bomb is better than him becoming the West's favorite while nuclear warheads are stockpiled in Tehran.
Perhaps in mourning the sulha will come (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz) It's difficult to see much good news in the offing for Shas, but perhaps the hope for Mizrahi Jewry will come from Yeruham mayor Michael Biton, who believes in integrating into the region.
No skullcap will cover this gaping gash in our collective act (Avirama Golan, Haaretz) The sorry incident at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum reflects an exceptionally unfortunate mishmash concocted by Israeli culture.
The solution to Jewish assimilation (Gidi Mark, Israel Hayom) The future of the Jewish people is vital to the continued existence of the State of Israel and to the continued existence of Jewish communities around the world.
A dangerous illusion (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) The illusion that Israeli settlers can live peacefully in the land of apartheid was shattered with the murder of Seraiah 'Yaya' Ofer.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.