News Nosh 03.11.15

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday March 11, 2015

Quote of the day:
“Netanyahu offered autonomy; the Palestinians wanted a state. This is how he stopped [international] pressure on Israel.” 
-Likud representative explains how the Israeli Prime Minister avoided peace.**


Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • The protest march – Party-line crossing battle
  • Also the richest will have trouble buying an apartment in the center of the country” – CEO of Bank Mizrachi Tapichot in chilling forecast
  • Forecast: Pleasant on Election Day
A child executed the “Israeli spy”
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links)
Israel Hayom
  • In Likud, warning about a left-wing government
  • 6 days before elections: Channel 2 and Knesset Channel polls – 24-25 mandates to Zionist Camp, 21 for Likud 
  • The public is right-wing, the government is left-wing? // Mati Tuchfeld
  • Lapid – lots of promises, few achievements // Chezi Sternlicht
  • Candidate of the (Joint) Arab List: “ISIS learned from the Zionists”
  • And Herzog is depending on them for an ‘obstructive bloc’? // Haim Shine
  • In Zionist Camp platform: Advancement of ‘Israel Hayom’ bill
  • Hiding an attempt to shut mouths // Shlomo Cesana
  • North Golan Heights: IDF officer lightly wounded from gunfire
  • ISIS in another video clip: Child eliminates “Mossad agent” from E. Jerusalem

Election 2015 Polls:
Week before election, polls give Zionist Union the lead
Two separate polls, by Channel 2 and the Knesset Channel, give Herzog and Livni's list 3-4 more seats than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party. 

Surprise at the  Ma'ariv's traveling ballot box in Rishon Lezion and Bat Yam: a sweeping victory for the Likud
Netanyahu strong with 28, Zionist camp won 20 seats in second place, followed by Moshe Kahlon, 19, far behind - Yair Lapid with 9 seats and Bennett with only 3.

The National Student Survey: Zionist camp with 41 seats, followed by Meretz with 19 (Maariv)
In the poll sample of the national student union, Zionist Camp swept the elections, Jewish Home won 17 seats, followed by Yesh Atid with 15 seats. Likud got only 10 seats and the "Green Leaf" party won 5 seats.

News Summary:
Two polls show the waning of the boosting effect of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress (see Election Polls above) and Netanyahu declares there is an ‘worldwide’ effort to topple him with six days to go before elections as the papers focused mostly on statements by candidates on election panels.

Also, Maariv reported that Zionist Camp leader Isaac Herzog said he supports Israeli sovereignty in the settlement blocs. “We need to make confidence-building measures such as freezing the settlements outside of the settlement blocs. I want (Israeli) sovereignty in the large blocs and we need to invest in them. It’s possible to contain 80% of the settlers there,” he said.  His remarks were made a few days after he said: “In any situation and in any agreement, Gush Etzion will remain an inseparable part of Israel, but in order to ensure security and in order to keep the large blocs we need to change direction and take responsibility for our fate.” Yesterday Herzog spoke about the settlements and said: “Between 2009-2014 Israel invested 10 billion shekels in settlements outside of the blocs. We need to decide where the money is going. To the Negev, to youth, to big projects – or to settlements that won’t remain in an agreement.” Maariv did not say where Herzog made the statements.

The former Netanyahu-appointed ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, questioned Netanyahu’s handling of the peace talks and also said Israel must restrict settlement building and create a 'two-state reality.' 
 
Herzog and Oren's statements wouldn't have surprised Moshe Ifergan. The Likud activist representing the party said Netanyahu had fooled the US on his intentions for peace. He described Netanyahu’s 2009 Bar-Ilan speech – in which Netanyahu said he recognized the two-state solution – as “a brilliant way of thwarting [U.S. President Barack] Obama" and explained that Netanyahu intentionally made conditions he knew "the Palestinians would find hard to accept.”

Quick Hits:
  • Soldiers wound seven Palestinian students in stone-throwing protest - Birzeit University demonstrators marked one year since killing by army of their classmate, Saji Darwish, alleged to be stoning settlers' cars. (Haaretz and Maan
  • Dozens (of Palestinians) injured in clashes north of (E.) Jerusalem - The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that nine demonstrators suffered injuries from (Israeli forces') live fire and one in critical condition in Kafr Aqab after clashes broke out when Israeli bulldozers leveled land in the Qalandiya airport area for the separation wall. (Maan
  • Israeli forces level land east of Jerusalem - Large numbers of Israeli troops and municipality inspectors escorted bulldozers and excavators into the southeastern outskirts of al-Issawiya neighborhood of E. Jerusalem, where they demolished stone walls and steel structures used by local farmers. (Maan)
  • Massive lawsuit alleges zoning violations by Knesset - Jerusalem's main water utility company files an 11 million shekel ($2.74 million) lawsuit alleging that parts of the Knesset compound never received legal development permits. Knesset spokesman says lawsuit is "bizarre," lacks factual merit. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel navy fires on Gaza shore, ground forces shoot at farmers - Israeli military vehicles deployed east of Gaza City opened fire on farmers working on their land near the border. Israeli forces opened fire at Gazan border 29 times since Aug. 26 ceasefire, killing at least two Palestinians and injuring 35, including nine children. (Maan
  • 15 Palestinians detained in Tuqu near Bethlehem - Large numbers of Israeli troops raided the town, ransacking several homes of the Sabbah family and detaining 15 young men between the ages of 14 and 20. Israeli military spokeswoman said they were "suspected of hurling rocks at firebombs at civilians." [Note: Stone-throwing and clashes with soldiers began after army stationed soldiers on road near Tuqu and Teqoa settlement following kidnapping of 3 Jewish youth last summer – OH] (Maan)
  • Lawyer: Israeli forces assault prisoners in Ofer - Israeli "Nachshon" forces used batons and police dogs and struck a group of Palestinian detainees all over their bodies as they awaited trial at Ofer military court, fracturing skull and other bones. (Maan
  • Official: Settlers establish 8 mobile homes in Nablus area - Israeli settlers on Tuesday set-up 8 mobile homes on private Palestinian land on outskirts of Urif village, opposite Yizhar settlement. (Maan
  • Israel levels private land in village south of Bethlehem - Israeli troops and settlers escorted bulldozers to the land and prevented landowners from accessing the area near the village of Kisan. (Maan)
  • Shin Bet involved in police blacklist of Jerusalem Arabs - 'The Shin Bet cooperates with other security and law enforcement organizations to reduce violence and terror,' the agency says in response to Monday’s expose in Haaretz on the practice. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel demolishes EU-funded shelters in Jerusalem - EU condemns destruction of structures put up on outskirts of Arab neighborhood of Issawiya, inhabited by Bedouin communities. (Agencies, Ynet
  • IDF soldiers come under fire along Syrian border in Golan Heights - One officer sustained light wounds and did not require hospitalization. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Two incidents in the North: Officer slightly injured by gunfire on Syrian border, firing on (Lebanese) Al-Manar reporters - Report: "An IDF force crossed the Blue Line into Lebanon and shot at an Al-Manar TV station team." (Maariv)
  • Lieberman responds to PA's threats over his remarks (to behead disloyal Arab Israelis) - After Palestinian Authority warns Israeli foreign minister of potential ICC suit, Lieberman says they will 'receive answer when I am defense minister.' (Ynet and Maan)
  • ADL in rare attack on Lieberman: "Words divide" - Unusual condemnation by the Anti-Defamation League of an Israeli politician, following the foreign minister's words: "(Israeli) Arabs who are not loyal to Israel deserve harsh violent responses." (Maariv)
  • Joint List speaker says ISIS crimes inspired by Zionism - Arab party leaders distance themselves from remarks by Raja Za’atra. Zionist Union said in response to Za’atra’s remarks: “We expect the leaders of the Joint List to distance themselves immediately from the scandalous comparison between Israel and ISIS, as well as the statement that Hamas is not a terrorist organization. (Haaretz and Ynet
  • In the name of democracy, (former Military Intel chief) Yadlin walked out on event because of participation of (radical right-wing) Marzel: "I'm not willing to give him a kosher stamp" - Zionist Camp candidate Amos Yadlin left an elections panel at Bar-Ilan University in protest that radical right-wing activist Baruch Marzel from Yachad party was invited. (Maariv, p. 5)
  • Daughter of (deceased Shas spiritual leader) Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: "I fear consequences of extreme right-wing government" - Rebbetzin Adina Bar Shalom expressed her concerns: "The only alternative is two states for two peoples". She said that contrary to Deri, Eli Yishai is not going in the path of her father. (Maariv)
  • Shas doesn’t rule out coalition with Herzog, Deri tells Haaretz readers - Ultra-Orthodox Shas party leader Arye Deri says he favors a broad government but rules out a coalition with Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid. (Haaretz+)
  • Deri: "We will not sit with Herzog in a left-wing government"    - Shas party chairman Aryeh Deri said in interview with a religious press: "I declared unequivocally I won't go with Herzog to a left-wing government." He added he wanted Labor Party to be with Shas in the government, but he won't sit with Yair Lapid and Meretz and Herzog can't form a government without them. (Israel Hayom, p. 9)
  • Statue of a woman shakes up West Bank settlement - Somebody has smashed it, as residents cite religious law against idol worship. Others say the Islamic State has come to town. (Haaretz+)
  • Tourism Ministry launches effort to combat 'ugly side' of Israelis - "We must not sweep this under the rug," says Director General Amir Halevy, referring to growing trend of aggressive Israeli tourists. Tourism, Education Ministries to work together to teach children appropriate behavior at a young age. (Israel Hayom)
  • Egypt temporarily opens Gaza crossing Monday after 2-month closure - Some 1,200 people expected to leave Gaza via crossing during two-day opening. It is the first time Egypt has opened border since an Egyptian court declared Hamas a terrorist organization. Opening does not appear to signal change in Egyptian policy. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Egypt shuts down the Rafah crossing after 2 days - Egyptian authorities opened the crossing exceptionally on Monday and Tuesday for humanitarian cases. Thousands of passengers are still on a waiting list hoping that Egypt will reopen the crossing again. (Maan)
  • New data shows unemployment in Israel higher than stated - National Insurance Institute recalculates figures to include part-time workers seeking full-time positions and those who have given up on job market. (Ynet)
  • Jay Leno makes comeback in Israel for award show - Late-night legend Jay Leno will return to Israel in June to host the award ceremony for the second annual Genesis Prize. The $1 million prize is being given to actor Michael Douglas in recognition of his "passion" for his Jewish heritage and Israel. (Israel Hayom)
  • German magazine names Tel Aviv 'The Place to Be' - Israeli metropolis honored as part of ITB Berlin trade tourism fair by one of Europe's leading magazines for LGBT community. (Ynet)
  • Hillary Clinton blasts U.S. Republicans over Iran nuclear letter - Forty-seven signatories 'were trying to be helpful to the Iranians or harmful to the commander-in-chief in the midst of high-stakes international diplomacy,' says Clinton. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • ISIS releases video purporting to show child soldier killing 'Israeli spy' - Jihadist organization says suspected Muhammad Musallam, 19, from East Jerusalem, was spying for Mossad; he'd gone to Syria to fight for ISIS. (Haaretz+)
  • Jordan's king: Mideast conflict is rallying jihadis - Jordanian King Abdullah says Israeli-Palestinian deal essential for combating Islamic extremists, likens Islamic State to Nazism, calling it 'an expansionist ideology based on hatred'. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Middle East Updates / Iraqi forces take town next to ISIS-held Tikrit - Saudi king vows to defend Muslim, Arab causes in first major policy speech; 25 Egyptian policemen wounded by suicide car bomber in Sinai; Frenchman gets 3 years for helping girl, 14, try to join ISIS. (Haaretz)
  • Danish Muslims get green light to form peace ring around Copenhagen synagogue - Police initially refused plan to from peace ring around house of worship that came under deadly attack. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • South African BDS protesters threaten to kill Jews - Demonstration outside Israel trade show in Johannesburg 'a front to stoke up Jew-hatred,' says Jewish Board of Deputies chairwoman; Organizers: Claims of anti-Semitic remarks 'utter nonsense.' (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Israel's envoy to Sweden protests pulling of TV show over Jerusalem reference - Celebrity chef Tina Nordstrom described Jerusalem as Israel's 'heart' during recent cooking show. (JTA, Haaretz)

Commentary/Analysis:
How to vote strategically: The dilemma facing left-wing voters in Israel (Judy Maltz, Haaretz+) For ditherers, the choice is between Zionist Union and Meretz (for the more conservative), and between Meretz and the Joint List (for the more radical).
Meir Dagan is a true patriot (Former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin, Yedioth/Ynet) Anyone capable of comparing dock workers and Israel Broadcasting Authority employees to Hamas terrorists is also capable of turning a courageous former Mossad chief into an 'ungrateful leftist' and almost an enemy of Israel.
Israel's new policy of hounding Jerusalem Arab suspects: a mockery of the law (Haaretz Editorial) The litany of legal and moral problems stemming from the new procedure being directed against East Jerusalem suspects is intolerably long.
For Obama and Israel, the party is over (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) Now that he is free of electoral pressures and has been challenged by Netanyahu, Obama is making it clear to Israel and its supporters that the presidential treatment of the Palestinian issue is about to take on a much more aggressive attitude.
Which of the two Jewish nations will Israeli voters choose? (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Once, the settlement state begged Israel for legitimacy. Today it is the state within the Green Line that seeks legitimacy from the settlement state. 
Left and Right not mincing words (Eli Sulam, Israel Hayom) Undemocratic, aggressive discourse has trumped the important issues that should take center stage.
What boycott? The U.K.-Israel science partnership is booming (Sir Mark Walport, Haaretz+) In regards to British universities, the positive reality does not match the scare stories.
Steamroll the truth (Itsik Saban, Israel Hayom) When will the media elite report the clandestine operation Noni Mozes has embarked upon to retake the reins of power? 
What has happened to the Likud? (Sever Plocker, Yedioth/Ynet) A quick survey of my run-of-the-mill, typical neighborhood shows that there is one prominent cause for the Likud's loss of support, and it is affecting Bennett and Lieberman too.
This is how Yedioth Ahronoth buys politicians (Miri Eden, Israel Hayom) A glimpse into the carrot-and-stick method employed by Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon (Noni) Mozes to pressure politicians into falling in line with his agenda: favorable coverage for obedient politicians, negative coverage for dissenters.
On-campus BDS is feeding anti-Semitism: UCLA is case in point (Eliora Katz, Haaretz+) Three of the four UCLA students who questioned a sophomore for being Jewish are pro-BDS activists. Perhaps they let their own anti-Israel sentiments infect their 'impartiality.'
Trial balloons and formal proposals (Prof. Abraham Ben-Zvi, Israel Hayom) Nonbinding documents in the preliminary stages of peace negotiations are drafted only to test the waters.
On March 17, it will be a mitzvah to vote against Netanyahu the Toxic (Bradley Burston, Haaretz+) Nine years into his rule, Benjamin Netanyahu has poisoned his country. Israel is broken and battered and weak with fear. He's taken serious problems, and made them into a miserable nation.
Interviews: 
Herzog: I want to unite, while Netanyahu divides
Zionist Union leader, Netanyahu's main contender for the position of prime minister, says citizens of Israel know that whoever wants to change six years of 'nothing' must vote for Zionist Union. (Ynet interview)

WATCH: Netanyahu governments have convinced Israelis peace isn't possible, Meretz MK says
Tamar Zandberg tells Haaretz what concessions Palestinians have already agreed to for a two-state solution and which one obstacle remains. (Haaretz+)
 
Steinitz: Elements in U.S. 'mobilizing' against Likud, 'delegitimizing' it
In online exchange with Haaretz readers, minister says U.S. has joined Israeli media, Palestinian Authority in 'delegitimizing' ruling party in election campaign. (Haaretz+)


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