News Nosh 02.02.15


APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday February 2, 2015

Quote of the day:
"Dialogue is important, especially when there is no consensus."
--Nava Boker, Likud candidate #25, speaking at a weekend conference with the former Palestinian prisoners' affairs minister.**


Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • “No connection”? Lobby of MKs from Zionist Camp and “One Voice” – January 2011: Yoel Hason and ‘One Voice’ NGO establish joint Knesset lobby
  • Attorney General turned to State Comptroller: Transfer to me the materials in the bottles affair
  • Saluting the recipients of the Medals of Courage
  • Soldiers receive more: Salaries of draft soldiers rose 25% - 1,076 shekels to combat soldiers, 784 shekels to combat auxiliary soldiers and 540 shekels to home front soldiers

News Summary:
The Attorney General is to decide whether to open a criminal probe against the Netanyahu’s, the State Comptroller said he will release his report before elections on the family’s spending,
while the Prime Minister’s Office ‘zigzagged’ and stated the expenses on the couple’s drinks were double what it previously had stated as the scandal over the alleged pocketing by Sarah Netanyahu of bottle deposits exploded, making top stories in today's Hebrew newspapers along with Likud accusations against the Herzog-Livni ‘Zionist Camp’ party that it used foreign money for its campaigning through the ‘One Voice’ and ‘V15’ NGOs (see Quick Hits).
 
All the papers noted the that outgoing Chief of Staff Benny Gantz made an ‘exceptional’ political statement while still in uniform. However, what he said and how it was understood varied from paper to paper. According to Haaretz+, Gantz was talking about Israeli-Palestinian negotiations: ““We are in a very sensitive period in terms of Israel’s political situation, and I am in uniform. But there is no doubt that this topic is very important. I assume that a way will be found to move forward with it. But on this topic, time will tell.” Haaretz did not comment on whether it thought Gantz wanted a return to negotiations. However, Maariv reporter Noam Amir wrote that Gantz was trying to ‘gently push decision-makers to return to negotiations with the Palestinians’ when he talked about Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and quoted Gantz saying: “Everyone knows that the Palestinian issue is the most important thing (to us).” Yedioth’s Yossi Yehoshua also reported that Gantz was expressing his opinion that it was important to solve the Palestinian issue and used the same quote as Haaretz. Only Ynet’s Itai Blumenthal reported that Gantz was warning of international interference. Even Israel Hayom wrote that “Gantz made an exceptional comment: ‘Negotiations are important for Israel.’” Gantz warned about “the privatization of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the international arena” following the Palestinian petition at the International Criminal Court in The Hague and the tension on the northern border: “There is no doubt we can’t afford to have the northern front active.”

Quick Hits:
  • Thousands march in funeral of young Palestinian near Nablus - Funeral-goers waved Palestinian, Fatah, and PFLP flags. They chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation, urging Palestinian factions to take revenge for 19-year-old Ahmad al-Najjar’s death by a bullet from an Israeli soldier. (Maan)
  • Settlers hurl rocks at Palestinian vehicles near Ramallah - Dozens of Israeli settlers on Saturday evening gathered on the main road between Ramallah and Nablus near the Jewish-only settlement of Beit El settlement and hurled rocks at passing Palestinian vehicles.  Israeli soldiers stood next to the settlers, but did not intervene. (Maan
  • Israeli settler runs over B'Tselem photographer in Hebron - Raed Jihad Abu Rmeila, 28, said he could not determine whether he was hit on purpose or by mistake by an Israeli settler car as he walked on the pedestrian side of the yellow line near the Ibrahimi Mosque (Cave of the Patriarchs) when he was struck. (Maan
  • Israeli soldiers open fire at Palestinian protesters at Gaza border - A spokesman for the Gaza Committee to Break the Siege, Adham Abu Salmiya, told Ma'an that march was in protest against the continued Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and the Israeli refusal to allow reconstruction materials into Gaza. (Maan)
  • Netanyahu criticizes UN over Lebanon flare-up - Prime minister slams international peacekeepers for failing to enforce resolution banning Hezbollah rearmament. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Lieberman: Third Lebanon war is inevitable - Foreign minister says Hezbollah forced new 'game rules' on Israel; 'Hezbollah is bolder, more determined, more provocative. This is a precedent that everyone's following, they're following our response or lack thereof,' he tells Ynet. (Ynet)
  • Israeli forces issue stop-work orders, confiscate tractor near Hebron - Israeli soldiers handed stop-work orders to Mustafa Eid Nujoom and Arif Mahmoud Nujoom, who had begun building two houses. The Israelis also confiscated an agricultural tractor belonging to local resident Ghazi Fawzi Abu Ayyash. (Maan)
  • UN: Israel demolished homes of 1,177 Palestinians in Jerusalem and West Bank in 2014 - Since the beginning of 2015, Israeli authorities destroyed 77 structures, displacing 110 Palestinians. (Haaretz+)  
  • Soldiers’ wages rise 25 percent, to $274 a month for combat service - From 2016, soldiers’ salaries will be adjusted for inflation and updated annually. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Knesset members to get pay rise, bringing salary to just under 40,000 shekels per month - Israeli lawmakers get 675-shekel hike; move comes as MKs on hiatus, and adjusts pay to match rise in average Israeli salaries. (Ynet)
  • Israeli-Arab who joined Islamic State seriously hurt in coalition airstrike - Maharan Yussuf Khaladi, 20, underwent training and fought in 5 battles, he was wounded during a battle in Fallujah; he was arrested upon his return to Israel. (Ynet and Haaretz+)
  • Galant: We destroyed tunnels during Cast Lead and the government did nothing - Kulanu's Major General (res.) Yoav Galant says defense minister and others were aware of tunnels from Gaza for years but failed to prepare adequately. (Ynet)
  • Herzog: If I win elections, I may ask Netanyahu to join coalition - Zionist Camp leader Isaac Herzog on recent tensions in the north: "If Nasrallah thinks he can divide our people because of the elections, he is wrong. Against terrorism, there is a consensus. And on the Golan Heights, there is no dispute." (Israel Hayom)
  • Likud accuses Zionist Camp of breaking election funding law - Petition filed by ruling party claims NGOs OneVoice and V15 are indirectly contributing to left-wing parties' elections campaign, using funding from foreign donors. (Ynet and Israel Hayom
  • 'Commanders for Israel's Security' refuses to disclose finances - Defense-oriented political movement claiming to be a nonpartisan movement refuses to reveal obscure sources of funding. "At this stage we will not reveal the names of our donors. ... We do not wish to reveal who we consult with," group's PR firm says. (Israel Hayom)
  • Giving speeches and attacking: (Likud’s) Steinitz and Gamliel participated in ‘One Voice’ conferences – In Likud they attacked the campaign of the V15 Movement and accused it of being funded by radical left-wing NGOs, but a Likud minister and deputy minister gave speeches at a conference held by one of the ‘One Voice’ for donors. (Maariv
  • Bennett, Steinitz participated in One Voice events - Bayit Yehudi chairman, intelligence minister attended conferences of group accused by Likud of 'radical leftwing' agenda to buy elections. (Ynet
  • Flagging Meretz party blasts center-left Zionist Camp - Meretz, which polls say might have trouble making it into the Knesset, portrays itself as the country’s only true left-wing bastion. (Haaretz+)
  • The Likud unveils: The Bibi-sitter - In viral video, Netanyahu tells a young couple that its either he watches over their children, or Herzog and Livni, to which the couple object citing metaphors for the former's intention to concede territory and latter's frequent party switching. (Israel Hayom)
  • **Likud candidate Nava Boker: "Dialogue is important, especially when there is no consensus" - Likud candidate #25 participated along with former Palestinian minister from Gaza, Hisham Abdul Razak, in a seminar in Ramat Gan hosted over the weekend by the Geneva Initiative. Abdul Razak: "The way to achieve peace is through negotiations. Peace needs to be made between enemies. The basis for this is the Arab (Peace) Initiative, which isn’t far from the Geneva Initiative or the Clinton Parameters – and their goal is identical." (Maariv)
  • Abu Marzouq: Cairo regime a 'coup against Egyptian ethics' - Senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouq on Sunday lashed out against Abdel Fattah al-Sisi a day after the Egyptian leader heaped blame on Hamas for their alleged support of a Wahhabi insurgency in the Sinai peninsula and an Egyptian court declared Hamas' military wing Ezzedine al-Qassam a "terrorist group" and banned it, in what many saw as a political move. (Maan)
  • '1,000 percent profit': Israel's overpriced alcohol - Local representative for world's largest liquor conglomerate criticizes businesses for massive markups. (Ynet)
  • U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee urges Kerry to suspend PA funding - Democrats and Republicans urge U.S. secretary of state to end assistance to Palestinian Authority until ICC bid is suspended. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Britons like Israel better only than North Korea, poll finds - Some 35 percent of Britons name Israel as their least favorite non-European country, a worse score than Iran's. (Haaretz)
  • UN: Palestinians in Syria cut off from aid - Rebel groups prevent refugee camp on outskirts of Damascus from receiving emergency assistance for almost two months. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Jailed Australian Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste freed from Egypt - Greste was arrested 400 days ago on charges that included aiding Muslim Brotherhood; security official says colleague Mohammed Fahmy expected to be released within days. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • International Book Fair coming to Jerusalem - Biennial literary event will kick off at capital's historic train station on February 8. Albanian writer Ismail Kadare will receive 2015 Jerusalem Prize for 2015 during opening ceremony. (Ynet)
  • Swastikas painted on UC Davis Jewish frat house after campus divestment resolution passes - Non-binding advisory resolution calls on University of California to divest from 'corporations that aid in the Israeli occupation of Palestine.' (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Report: Noble Energy in Egypt for talks on importing Israeli gas - Officials from American energy firm visit Cairo to discuss option of using Israel's offshore gas fields to power energy-starved nation. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Family of Elbit employee who died in Saudi Arabia suspect foul play - Missile system technician Christopher Cramer worked for Elbit's U.S. unit Kollsman. As to why an Israeli company was selling Saudi Arabia weapons technology, Kollsman spokesman explained, “It was a legacy system of Kollsman’s, an American product that had no components involving Israeli technology.” (Haaretz+)


Features:
Yearning for the days before the Palestinian Authority
A young Palestinian tells me he wants the Israelis to rule directly as they did before the Oslo Accords. He can’t remember how it was back then. (Amira Hass, Haaretz+)
These are the candidates vying for public's vote in upcoming elections
Parties submit Knesset list for 2015 elections: Eli Ohana drops out of Bayit Yehudi, Hotovely ranked before Dichter on list, Baruch Marzel runs with Eli Yishai, and Zionist Camp has four women in its top 10. (Ynet)
WATCH: Young Gaza musicians take center stage in 'Arabs Got Talent' finale
Teens, 12-16, set to feature in the hugely popular TV show's finale learned their craft at Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in Gaza City. (Agencies, Haaretz
'Censored Voices' film tears apart Israel's heroic narrative of Six-Day War
In the wake of the 1967 war, Israel’s victorious soldiers were lionized as heroes; but many didn't feel that way, a new documentary shows. (JTA, Haaretz)

Commentary/Analysis:
David Landau strove for peace, but without romanticism (Akiva Eldar, Haaretz+) ‘There is no greater crime than the occupation,’ the former Haaretz editor-in-chief used to say. First and foremost he meant the crime against the Jewish people, Zionism and Israel’s diplomatic interests.
The genie in Netanyahu's bottle (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) The only public issue in the Sara Netanyahu affairs is to what extent her behavior affects the prime minister's decisions and performance; and why is he complaining about a political conspiracy instead of dealing with reality?
Investigate the Israel Hayom newspaper (Haaretz Editorial) Strict enforcement of the limits on campaign finance and campaign advertising must be applied equally, to parties on both sides of the political map.
Netanyahu deepens the abyss with Obama (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) The declarations and statements issued by the Prime Minister in recent days in an effort to justify his blatant disregard of criticism over his expected appearance in Congress revealed even more his contemptuous and defiant character of Netanyahu's conduct towards the White House.
Behind the scenes (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) Reports on the close Israel-U.S. cooperation in the 2008 killing of Hezbollah arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh provide a rare glimpse at the intimate defense relations between the two allies.
Nuclear talks are dividing Iran from within (Zvi Bar’el, Haaretz+) Rohani and the heads of the Revolutionary Guards have been conducting a vitriolic public dialogue of the sort that is impossible in democratic states, where the army is firmly subordinated to the government. 
The attorney general paradox (Daniel Friedmann, Yedioth/Ynet) Netanyahu-Weinstein relationship points to a double conflict of interests: While attorney general serves both as government's legal advisor and as head of prosecution, prime minister has the power to influence moves related to AG and to his authorities.
Without Arabs, there won't be democracy in Israel (Kobi Niv, Haaretz+) Jewish-Arab cooperation is the only way to stop Israel from careening down the nationalist-fanatic slope.
Let Hezbollah and Islamic State destroy one another (Guy Bechor, Yedioth/Ynet) In light of the fast changing situation on the borders, Israel should have a channel of dialogue with Hezbollah in order to convey calming messages – including quiet non-aggression agreements.
Hezbollah and Iran under pressure (Eliezar Merom, Maariv) All out war with Israel is not desirable to Iran at this time. Its supreme interest and of Hezbullah is preserving the Assad regime. 
Obsessive coverage of empty bottles (Dr. Gabi Avital, Israel Hayom) Yedioth and its cronies are obsessing over the recycled bottles story as if it was the last screw in an Iranian nuclear bomb. 
United against Netanyahu, divided on everything else (Uzi Baram, Haaretz+) Netanyahu's only concern is survival, which is why it's impossible to believe anything he says. 
Line in the sand (Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror, Israel Hayom) The volatile nature of our rapidly changing regional dynamics means that Israel must be willing to pay a price for its red lines.


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