News Nosh 02.01.15

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APN's daily news review from Israel

Sunday February 1, 2015
 

Quote of the day:

“If I go to the ceremony, and if I have the civic courage, I'll raise a handwritten placard in the hall. It will say that the Jerusalem Municipality does not have the right to award a prize for the freedom of the individual in society, because it does not respect the rights of the individual of the myriads of its residents.”
--Ilana Hammerman writes about her dilemma in attending the ceremony for "The Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of the Individual in Society," which she will be awarded on February 8th.**



Front Page:

Haaretz

Yedioth Ahronoth

  • This is how Mughniyeh the father was eliminated – “Elimination of Imad Mughniyeh: a US-Israel operation”
  • Courage remains in the family – Chief of Staff made visit to northern border and met Lt. Tzur Goldin, whose brother was killed in Operation Protective Edge
  • State Comptroller: We will prepare to release report of Prime Minister’s Residence expenses
  • The double advisor // Daniel Friedman
  • Eyal, 9, run over and killed at the entrance to school
  • His war – Ohad Ben-Yishai, one of the most severely wounded in Operation Protective Edge, does not stop amazing his doctors
  • “Enough of the exploitation” – Apartment buyers across the country are uniting: We are collapsing under the strain of paying municipal fees (arnona)

Maariv This Week

Israel Hayom

  • Second NGO affair – Likud complained against V15 organization to central elections committee. States: Illegal donations. Herzog and Livni: “Likud stressed, we have no connection to NGOs.”
  • Driver: “I was in charge of the petty cash, not Sara (Netanyahu)”
  • Eyal, 7, exited his school and was run over and killed
  • “Assassination of Imad Mughniyeh – cooperation between Mossad and CIA”
  • Anger and shock in Egypt after attack in Sinai: Hamas’ military wing – terror organization
  • No deal for exchange of captives: ISIS executed second Japanese captive
  • Elimination in the heart of the city: One dead and one severely wounded in explosion of car in Rechovot

 

News Summary:
The likely release of a report by the State Comptroller into the Netanyahus’ allegedly excessive spending at the official residence and a criminal probe by the Attorney General into the ‘bottle scandal’ over the alleged pocketing by Mrs. Sara Netanyahu of cash of bottle deposits belonging to the public vied with the Washington Post report that the CIA assisted the Mossad in assassinating Hezbollah leader Imad Mughniyeh in 2008 for the top stories of today’s Hebrew newspapers. Maariv's Intelligence Affairs analyst Yossi Melman wrote that this leak was intentional. "Someone wanted to convey a message to the people of Israel and to the Prime Minister: "You need us. See how close the cooperation between the intelligence communities of the two countries was, and it can be damaged by the defiant policy of your Prime Minister."
 
Meanwhile, the hullabaloo over Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s planned address to Congress two weeks before Israeli elections continues to make news. Haaretz+ reported that Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi doesn't rule out possibility of Democrat lawmakers boycotting Netanyahu's address, Maariv reported that Netanyahu is trying to do damage control by telling Democratic senators to mitigate their attacks on his planned speech. Ynet noted that an analysis in the New York Times claimed that 'Israel and the US are choosing to escalate the rift.’
 
Not helping, but barely mentioned in the press was the Israeli publication of tenders for 450 new housing units over the Green Line. The US said this will further isolate Israel and ‘inflame tensions.’ Egypt and the UK also condemned the plan. Haaretz+ reported that the tenders include 102 units in the Hebron suburb of Kiryat Arba, 78 single-family homes in Alfei Menashe and 156 units in Elkana, as well as 114 units in East Migron, “a new neighborhood born out of an agreement by which settlers would evacuate an outpost built on private Palestinian land and move to a new residential area east of the settlement of Adam. Residents violated the deal, and in the end were given an area closer to Migron.”
 
What did not make the news, with the exception of Haaretz and newspaper websites, was that an Israeli soldier shot dead a 19-year-old Palestinian young man after he allegedly or was about to throw threw a firebomb at an Israeli vehicle in the West Bank, depending on which report you read. (Maariv, Haaretz+, Ynet, Maan)
 

Quick Hits:

  • Teen hurt as Israeli forces suppress weekly Friday West Bank demos - Muhammad Bilal al-Tamimi, 15, was shot in the thigh with a live bullet fired by Israeli soldiers at the march in Nabi Saleh which this week protested Israeli violations against Palestinian children. Demonstrators also carried pictures of Malak al-Khatib, a 14-year-old girl currently being held in Israeli custody. (Maan)
  • Tel Aviv backtracks: will not open bilingual school in Jaffa - About 60 Jewish and Arab kindergarten classmates will have to part ways next year after municipality backs out of plan. (Haaretz+) 
  • Embarrassment in Knesset: (Radical right-wing activist) Baruch Marzel refused to shake hand of Justice Salim Jubran - Justice Jubran heads Central Election Committee and on Thursday all party candidates arrived at Knesset. Marzel is running as #4 on the Yachad party list headed by former Shas leader Eli Yishai. Was identified in past with (terrorist) Kach party. He explained his behavior: "At every opportunity he goes against Israel and IDF soldiers. Just recently he asked to cancel the punishment of terrorist Hanin Zoabi." [MK Zouebi is not a terrorist. – OH] (Maariv)
  • Druze student beaten for speaking Arabic had to pay for own ambulance - The ex-soldier was handed the bill after being badly beaten up by Jewish thugs in Jerusalem. (Haaretz+) 
  • Palestinian Christians call for peaceful solution to conflict' - The present conflict is a suicidal situation in which Israel cannot survive,' Pope's representative in Jerusalem says, warning that stalemate poses danger to peace. (Ynet)
  • Jerusalem court rules contentious home in Arab neighborhood belongs to Jews - Decision means Jewish activists from Elad will not be evicted from a building the right-wing group bought from Palestinians in Silwan. (Haaretz+) 
  • Three armed Palestinians caught after crossing into Israel - Day after IDF stops Palestinians with grenades after entering Israel illegal from Gaza, similar incident takes place on Friday evening. (Ynet)
  • Palestinian villagers of Deir Istiya fear roadblock's creeping permanence - The army barricades the village after each report of rock-throwing, but residents say Israel simply wants their land. (Haaretz+)
  •  Israeli Arab claims he was threatened to be killed, brings suspicious object to police station - An Israeli Arab claimed on Thursday that he was threatned to be killed and arrived at the Binyamin (West Bank) Police Station with a suspicious object he said was an explosive device that was thrown at his home. A police explosives expert was sent to the home of the individual. (Ynet)
  • Former Haaretz editor-in-chief David Landau laid to rest - Hundreds attend Jerusalem funeral of former Haaretz editor; 'You were like a roaring lion,' his daughter, Chani, says in her eulogy. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli defense minister: It's safe for residents, tourists to return to routine - Israeli leaders visit injured soldiers, families of the fallen two days after deadly attack by Hezbollah. (Haaretz+) 
  • Iran's Revolutionary Guards: Israel should expect reaction anywhere - Commander says actions against Hezbollah will lead to a response 'in any place in the world'. (Ynet
  • Lebanon to complain to UN over Israeli border shelling - Gov't in Beirut distances itself from Hezbollah's actions, saying 'what Hezbollah declares and acts only represents itself as a political party, it does not represent the Lebanese government.’ (Ynet)
  • Nasrallah: Hezbollah doesn't want war with Israel - but isn't afraid of one - Leader of Hezbollah says group has right to respond to Israeli 'aggression,' two days after border attack that killed two Israeli soldiers. (Haaretz
  • VIDEO: UN peacekeepers capture IDF artillery strike - Footage documents the Israeli shell fired into Lebanese territory which killed Spanish soldier Cpl. Francisco Javier Soria Toledo. (Ynet and Maariv VIDEO)
  • Israel, Spain to launch joint probe into Spanish soldier's death in Lebanon - Spanish soldier serving in UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon killed in exchange of fire between Israeli army and Hezbollah. (Haaretz+)
  • Wounded Syrians: Eliminate Hezbollah - Syrians wounded in country's fighting, admitted to Israeli hospitals, share horrors of war, point to Hezbollah as responsible for situation. (Ynet)
  • Israel election updates / Labor's Herzog: Netanyahu disrespecting U.S. to further political interests - 44 days to go: Livni attacks Netanyahu on alcohol spending; Meretz party calls for investigation into Netanyahu's bottle recycling scandal. (Haaretz)
  • 'Obama campaigner advising Left on how to unseat Netanyahu' - Zionist Organization of America decries perceived attempt by Washington to meddle in Israeli elections following reports that President Obama's closest advisers have teamed with the Left to defeat PM Netanyahu. Group head: It is simply hypocrisy. (Israel Hayom)
  • UN reviewing its operations in Gaza after offices attacked - Following a violent protest and rising political tension, the danger of internal violent conflict becomes ever more possible, which only adds to the local populaces' reasons to fear. (Haaretz+)
  • Muslim man appointed to British synagogue council - Bradford's Muslim community helped repair city's last synagogue when dwindling funds nearly shut it down. (Haaretz)
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in Austria nearly doubled in 2014, watchdog claims - It was the highest figure recorded since 2008, surpassing the previous record year of 2009 by more than 22 percent. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Israeli who joined Nusra Front returns to Israel after being kept in cave for 5 days - Amin Ahmed Saleh Tznobar, 24, regrets decision to travel to Syria and join terror group after he was treated harshly, and then arrested upon return to Israel. (Ynet)
  • Middle East updates / EU giving Lebanon $42 million to assist Syrian refugees - Yemenis say US drone strike kills 4 Al-Qaida operatives; Report: Egyptian planes strike jihadist targets in Sinai; ISIS militants admit defeat in strategic town of Kobani; Egypt bans Hamas' armed wing, lists it as terrorist organization. (Haaretz
  • Turkey's Erdogan accuses rivals of working with Mossad - President says followers of his rival belong to a 'parallel structure' that cooperates with Israeli intelligence. (Haaretz)
  • Abbas to visit Sweden after Israel shuns FM visit - After Swedish foreign minister cancels Israel visit amid diplomatic tensions between two countries, Stockholm invites Palestinian president for visit. (Ynet)
  • Hamas calls on Iran to give it more funds for weapons - Senior Hamas official says groups needs more arms and funds to fight Israel, and calls on Hezbollah to send Palestinians from Lebanon, Syria, into West Bank and Gaza, according to report by Fars news agency. (Haaretz)
  • Report: Former Palestinian Fatah strongman granted Serbian citizenship - Mohammad Dahlan, who fled West Bank after fallout with PA, said given Serbian passport for efforts in securing United Arab Emirates investment. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Egyptian president blames Muslim Brotherhood for deadly Sinai attack - It is the second major deadly attack on Egyptian security forces in Sinai in the last six months. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Egypt bans Hamas' armed wing, lists it as terror group - Egyptian officials say weapons are smuggled from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip into Egypt, where they end up with militants fighting to topple the government. (Haaretz)
  • Source: Egypt ruled out as Israel-Hamas mediator - Hamas spokesman lashes out at Egyptian decision to list Qassam Brigades as terror group, claims ruling 'serves only the Zionist occupation'. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Ancient tablets disclose Jewish exiles’ life in Babylonia - 2,500-year-old said to be the most important ancient Jewish archive since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. (Haaretz+)

 

Commentary/Analysis:

When the cannons roar, Netanyahu's numbers soar (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) Events in the north this week strengthened the electoral importance of the 'security-political' issue - PM Netanyahu’s strongest suit. But he and other party heads suffered some serious blows. 
As Netanyahu rampages, Israel's interests are but collateral damage (Haaretz Editorial) The prime minister has become a ticking cluster bomb, discharging its lethal load at timed intervals and destroying the remains of Israel’s standing in the world.
No more Mr. Security (Sima Kadmon, Ynet) After he was unable to translate a failed war into a push for peace, and was exposed among the right as hesitant and undaring, Netanyahu needs to ask himself one vital question.
In the Mideast, anonymous strikes help leaders save face (Amir Oren, Haaretz+) For years, Israel, Iran and sometimes with Damascus’ allies Beirut traded blows under the radar – all to avoid pushing the enemy off the plane of rational behavior and into the emotional one.
Israel's deterrence has long faded from the world (Eitan Haber, Yedioth/Ynet) We cannot destroy states and large terror organizations. We can hurt them, we can inflict a lot of damage on them, we can postpone the war and the next battle, but there is no war that can end all wars.
The smoking $1,000 check that may do the Netanyahus in (Amir Oren, Haaretz+) A move by the prime minister’s lawyer proves that the first couple paid the state back for bottle-deposit money they improperly took.
This was no election-driven escalation (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) Legend may have it that security tension plays into the hands of the ruling government; history proves this is not the case, so it's unclear where rumors of Netanyahu's desire for an escalation started.
A Labor win will only entrench the occupation (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) On the most fateful issue, another term for Netanyahu would be a disaster, but a victory for Zionist Camp could be a worse disaster. 
Revenge for Quneitra strike isn't over yet (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) After Hezbollah's attack Wednesday, the IDF hoped that a chapter had ended: We did our thing, they exacted their revenge. As far as Hezbollah is concerned, that may be true. But whoever thinks Iran will settle for that is living in a dream world.  
It's hard to believe Netanyahu won't take responsibility for Lebanon bloodshed (Yoel Marcus, Haaretz+) Nobody is better than Bibi at shifting the blame onto the other side. It's a wonder he didn't hold Abu Mazen responsible for the bloodshed at Har Dov, too.
A chance for Israel's Arabs (Yael Gvirtz, Yedioth/Ynet) Lieberman's bid to exclude the Arab parties from the political system has backfired, and now there is a real chance for them to become legitimate partners in government.
After Congress speech scandal, Netanyahu is toast at White House (Barak Ravid, Haaretz+) As long as Obama is in office, he has no intention of meeting Netanyahu. If reelected, the Israeli PM may find himself abandoned and defenseless in the international arena.
Hezbollah provocation is Lebanon's nightmare (Smadar Perry, Yedioth/Ynet) While Nasrallah continues to brag about Mount Dov attack, Lebanese leadership and public fear a new round of fighting with Israel will inflict huge economic damage; Iranians fear their involvement in conflict will negatively affect nuclear talks. 
Behind Nasrallah's message: Syria, Iran and Hezbollah are one united front (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Two main messages stand out from Nasrallah's Friday address, but what the Hezbollah leader did not say: Will Iran accept last week's attack as adequate response for death of general?
Iran's interest in Lebanon has nothing to do with Israel (Zvi Bar’el, Haaretz+) Neither Hezbollah and Iran nor Israel want an escalation on the Golan Heights, but the violent dialogue in which they are engaged could still lead to just that.
Israel should threaten Lebanon, not Hezbollah (Giora Eiland, Yedioth/Ynet) Deterrence is only effective as long as the other side understands that a war will lead to the destruction of Lebanon and will not inflict damage only on the Shiite organization.
Egypt's turning on Hamas won't solve Israel's Gaza problem (Zvi Bar’el, Haaretz) For the first time, an Arab leader is challenging the view that 'resistance' organizations fighting Israel necessarily serve Arab interests.
The triple knot (Dr. Reuven Berko, Israel Hayom) Hezbollah has no interest in opening another front against Israel, which could oust Assad and destroy Lebanon.
David Landau and his bid to repair the world (Yair Ettinger, Haaretz+) The late editor battled every bit of egotism, whether of the settlers or the left. He had his faith behind him.
David Landau: A man without labels (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) For the formidable former editor-in-chief of Haaretz and founder of the Haaretz English Edition, who died this week, there was no contradiction between being an Israeli and clinging to your British roots.
David Landau possessed a rare combination of qualities (Shimon Peres, Haaretz+) 'Religious in depth, liberal in breadth' – thus the former president of Israel recalls the late David Landau, who worked with him on two books.
Experience vs. experiment (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) Israelis are not becoming callously defiant of the world or of the Palestinians. They just don't believe the Middle East is ripe for peace.
Why the election in Israel will change nothing (Zeev Sternhell, Haaretz+) There is only one thing that will galvanize Israel to end the occupation and it's not a new more centrist government.
Welcome to Israel: Good for gays, bad for everyone else (Carolina Landsmann, Haaretz+) Israel forcibly rules over millions of Palestinians and imprisons asylum seekers like they are criminals - but at least it treats LGBTs fairly.
The Obama version (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) The White House has always refused to call Islamist terrorism by name, and has now reclassified the Taliban as an "armed insurgency," rather than a terrorist organization.
In Israel, invasion of privacy gets little attention (Amitai Ziv, Haaretz+) Perhaps due to the security situation, Israelis ask few questions about what the government knows about them or what it does with the information.
When the liberals go crazy (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) Jewish American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg will attack Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu no matter what, doing so with a profound lack of understanding of the Middle East reality. But Goldberg seeks to curry favor with the American administration. 
**Freedom of the individual in the Shuafat refuse heaps (Ilana Hammerman, Haaretz+ - translated by Richard Flantz on Facebook) Invited to a ceremony at which "The Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of the Individual in Society" is to be awarded to an author, Ilana Hammerman writes this scathing article.
 

 

Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.

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