News Nosh 11.03.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Sunday November 03, 2013

 

Quote of the day:

"The bullet that does not kill us makes us stronger."
--Iyad Burnat, star and co-director of the Oscar-nominated film 5 Broken Cameras wrote on his Facebook page after Israeli forces shot him in the leg Friday during weekly protests at his village of Bil'in.**



Front Page News:

Haaretz

Yedioth Ahronoth

Maariv

Israel Hayom


 

Peace Talk Highlights:
Netanyahu plans to build a wall between the West Bank and Jordan, Abbas promises not to pull out of peace talks, Palestinian officials say the US is too passive a peace broker, while Palestinian Islamic Jihad head slams Palestinian negotiators. Meanwhile, Israel's diplomatic relations with South Africa weaken while efforts are being made to strengthen relations with China - at the expense of Philadelphia.
 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he intends to build a separation barrier between the West Bank and Jordan after completing walls on the Egyptian and Syrian borders, Maariv's Eli Bardenstein reported. The wall is meant to send a message to the Palestinians, who oppose an Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley as part of a peace agreement. The wall will also guarantee continued Israeli control of the border crossing, Netanyahu reportedly said. Israeli control over that border has been a sticking issue in peace talks. The official reason for the wall is to prevent Syrian refugees who escaped to Jordan from crossing into the West Bank, Bardenstein wrote. (NRG Hebrew)
 
Haaretz's Barak Ravid gives the background to the a of events that took place between Tuesday and Thursday that led to the resignation of chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, who later backtracked. Barak writes that senior Israeli officials said the Palestinians were notified a week prior that Israel was going to announce new construction in the settlements. "The Palestinians responded with anger and frustration." The two teams met again Tuesday. "The Palestinians were told that the next day Israeli would announce new construction. Erekat fumed..." On Thursday Erekat resigned, but after US Secretary of State John Kerry and Special US Envoy Martin Indyk spoke to Abbas, Abbas said the Palestinians promised they would carry on negotiations for nine months and that they intended to keep that promise. Ravid notes that "Although the Palestinians knew the announcement on settlements was coming, they expected neither that construction would start immediately nor the scope of the plans - some 5000 new housing units. The Americans were also not aware the number would be so high." 
 
Senior Palestinian officials told Haaretz's Palestinian affairs correspondent Jacky Hugi that the Palestinians are disappointed and frustrated with the US passive brokering of the peace talks. "Palestinians feel that the United States was passively sponsoring the talks, the officials told Haaretz, and that the administration wasn't taking any positions that could pose a block to Israel, especially in relation to the continued settlement construction, including in East Jerusalem." Abbas will meet Kerry Tuesday and will present him with the difficulties he is facing in negotiations, especially continued settlements construction, Hougy reported.

Meanwhile, Islamic Jihad leader Mohammed al-Hindi had pointed criticism for the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which is conducting the negotiations with Israel. Al-Hindi condemned the negotiators who "sit with the occupation without national support, despite the increase in settlement activity and with the ongoing Judaization of Jerusalem."

The Palestinian issue has harmed Israel's relations with South Africa. South African ministers will refrain from formal contact with Israel as an expression of solidarity with the Palestinians, the papers reported. The South African international relations minister was quoted saying: 'The last time I saw a map of Palestine, I couldn't go to sleep.' MK Avigdor Lieberman callsed the comments "a combination of hypocrisy and classic anti-Semitism," and said a pogrom is only a matter of time.

Meanwhile, Israel is working on improving economic and political relations with China, Israel Hayom reported. To begin with, the Israeli consulate in Philadelphia will likely be closed - and another consulate will opened in China. Israel Hayom's Shlomo Cesana writes that Israel Prime Minister Binaymin Netanyahu made clear to senior Foreign Ministry officials a few months ago that he is interested in opening a new consulate in China in order to develop economic relations between the two countries, as was agreed upon with China during his visit in May. However, there was no budget to open a new consulate without closing an existing one. Moreover, Cesana writes, relations with China are getting stronger. Last week, Dore Gold, the President of the right-wing think tank, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and General (res.) Uzi Dayan, the Chairman of the National Lottery, traveled together to China 'to convince the Chinese of the need of defensible Israeli borders,' writes Cesana. "China is interested in being a dominant player in the Middle East, said Gold. Israel Hayom also reported that because of these strengthening relations with China might Netanyahu might cause a terror trial to be dropped. The case is of an American family of a 16-year-old, who was killed in Tel Aviv in a 2006 suicide attack. The family sued the Bank of China for allegedly knowingly working with terrorists. Netanyahu faces accusations from critics that he might let the case unravel rather than risk bilateral trade ties with China.
 

Quick Hits:

  • Israeli forces open fire on protests across West Bank, injuring dozens - Israel forces injured dozens of Palestinians and international activists after opening fire on protests across the West Bank on Friday. (Maan)
  • **5 Broken Cameras star and Oscar nominee among those shot in Bilin by Israeli forces - Iyad Burnat, star and co-director of the Oscar-nominated film 5 Broken Cameras, was among those shot by Israeli forces during the weekly protest against the separation wall in his village of Bilin on Friday. (Maan)
  • Palestinian Union official: West Bank gas stations running out of fuel - Many gas stations in the West Bank have run out of fuel after Israel cut off fuel supplies on Friday. The Palestinian Authority's accumulated debts to Israeli providers have exceeded 600 million shekels ($170 million), the agreed-upon limit at which Israel has threatened to cut off fuel in the past. (Maan)
  • Israel to resume fuel supply to PA, official says late Friday - PA Finance Ministry spokesman Rami Mehdawi told Ma'an that "despite the financial crisis that the PA suffers from, the Ministry of Finance will transfer the money to Israel and fully pay the accumulated debt in order to provide the market with fuel." (Maan)
  • Hamas: Power outage across Gaza Friday as fuel runs out - "We have completely stopped the operation of (Gaza's sole) power plant this morning at 6 a.m. because we don't have a single liter of fuel," Fathi el-Sheikh Khalil, the authority's deputy chairman, told AFP. (Maan)
  • UN calls for 'urgent action' to address Gaza power crisis - United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator James Rawley expressed concern on Friday at the closure of the Gaza Power Plant earlier on Friday. He noted that even before the shut down the Gaza Strip was "running on less than half of the electricity that it needs." (Maan)
  • Egyptian army uncovers fuel smuggling networks - The Egyptian army on Saturday discovered and demolished a major network used for storing and smuggling fuel through the Gaza borders. (Maan)
  • Shufat residents protest home demolitions, clash with police - Clashes broke out in East Jerusalem late Friday between Israeli police and young Palestinian men protesting against home demolitions. (Maan)
  • Defense spending on staff exceeds entire Israeli welfare budget - Money spent on salary-related expenditure hit record high of NIS 18.6 billion in 2013, with the pension budget soaring 50% in three years. (Haaretz)
  • PRC, PFLP military wings claim attacks on south Israel - The armed wings of the Popular Resistance Committee and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on Friday claimed responsibility for shooting several rockets on southern Israel. (Maan)
  • Steinitz: I have no doubt Bennett agreed to the prisoner release - Steinitz reveals that Netanyahu specifically said he would not go forward with Palestinian prisoner release without a green light from Bennett, who, after the release, voiced vehement opposition. Steinitz to Channel 2: There was an agreement in advance. (Israel Hayom)
  • Hagel: U.S. to speed up sale of six V-22 Osprey aircrafts to Israel - New radar-evading aircraft will enable Israel Air Force to carry out long-range special ops, including in Iran. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Fans protest, mourn killing of Arab singer Shafik Kabha - About 2,500 people gathered in Kafr Qara to protest murder of singer Shafik Kabha, for which no suspects were yet detained. Protester: 'Police not doing enough.' (Maan)
  • Israel holds record in rising home prices - Goldman Sachs study reveals apartment prices in Israel have soared some 40% since 2009, highest rate among OECD countries. But there is some good news, as prices are expected to drop. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • New: Career guidance for Arab high school students -  After reporting that the percentage of Arabs in academia is about half their proportion in the population, a new plan was revealed that will help Arab youth "make an informed choice." (NRG Hebrew)
  • Witnesses: Israeli undercover forces arrest Hebron man - Israeli undercover forces on Friday arrested a man while he was sitting at a bakery in the Wadi al-Harba neighborhood of Hebron. (Maan)
  • Palestinian plaintiffs claimed that the IDF carried out a massacre killing 15 Palestinians - but court rejected itPalestinian families made compensation suit against IDF following 2002 attack that killed their relatives, but it ended in rejection of the petitioners petition and a fine for them to pay (NRG Hebrew)
  • IDF: Soldiers' drill activated explosive charge that injured six IDF soldiers - After incidents in which officer was severely injured, four Hamas militants killed in Gaza Strip, IDF high-ranking officer says: 'We estimated Hamas will plant charge, and we were ready.' Officer adds IDF was also prepared for abduction possibility. One of the Hamas fatalities was the top official in the Khan Yunis region in charge of tunnels and rocket development. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Gaza crews still searching for bodies of 2 men killed by Israel - Palestinian civil defense crews are still looking for the bodies of two men killed by an Israeli airstrike on Friday. (Maan)
  • Gazans display 1910 British naval cannon found at sea - Gaza fisherman find British cannon in remains of WWI warship. Hamas proudly displays finding, points it at Tel Aviv: 'symbol that resistance will continue until Palestine is freed.' (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Gaza conference seeks to maintain relations with Egyptian people - A popular conference kicked off Saturday in Gaza City seeking to reinforce relations between the Palestinian and Egyptian peoples after the rift between Egypt and the Hamas movement, which rules the coastal enclave. (Maan)
  • WSJ 'star-struck' by Israeli tech scene - Within tiny country, UK tech envoy tells leading US financial daily, 'you have every major sector and subsector of the technology industry.' Recent acquisitions of Israeli companies show nation's lure hasn't tarnished, newspaper states. (Ynet)
  • Turkey seeks Israeli gas, but politics in the way - Gas pipeline project between the two countries said to be worth $3.5 billion. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Turkey rejects claims of cooperation with Israel in Syrian strike - Turkish FM slams reports claiming his country gave Israel 'critical intelligence' prior to alleged strike in Syria's Latakia. Minister Davutoglu: 'Never acted with Israel against any Muslim country, never will.' (Ynet)
  • Israeli official: We don't expect Syria to retaliate - Assad vowed to respond to any attack on Syrian soil, but Israeli top-brass believe even American leak unlikely to draw Syrian president out. Opposition activist: 'Assad loyalists frustrated about Israel's impunity.' (Ynet)
  • Egypt suspends satirist's show after he pokes fun at army chief - Channel says Bassem Youssef's last episode caused discontent on the street. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • AIPAC: We will continue to work for stronger sanctions against Iran - Rare statement follows furor sparked by Haaretz reports on agreement to refrain from sanctions campaign during next rounds of talks. (Haaretz)
  • Top U.S. negotiator for Iran talks: We haven't proposed lifting any sanctions - In interview with Channel 10, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman did not confirm or deny the U.S. eavesdropped on Israel leaders. (Haaretz)
  • 'Hospitalized after collapse.' Where's Khamenei?  Iranian supreme leader hasn't been seen in public in three weeks, concerns about his health and possible power struggle growing. Reports in Syria: He met with delegation of Muslim clerics. (Ynet)


Features:

This is how the University of Haifa works to represent terrorists
[Far right-wing organzation - OH] 'Im Tirtzu' found that 80% of the cases dealt with in legal clinics at the university were to represent security prisoners, including those convicted of spying and terror. The clinics are workshops in the Law Faculty. Most of those represented were Arab citizens of Israel and were helped in getting rights such as access to library books, family visitations and studies in the Open University. HU responded saying: "The purpose of the clinics is to allow disadvantaged groups of Israeli society to receive the conditions that they have a right to as per Israeli law...The (Im Tirtzu) report, to which you refer, is the manipulative and tendentious report of a political body, which tries to insert cynical politics into academia in order to promote its public relations and its PR on the backs of others." (Maariv, p. 1/NRG Hebrew and Israel Hayom)
Women-only cafes offer new visions of Palestinian public space
Discreetly located at the foot of a staircase, the cafe offers a familiar scene: shisha pipes are stacked neatly on the counter, ashtrays dot each table, Lebanese satellite television plays in the background and steaming Turkish coffee is served to a table of regulars. But unlike most public establishments in Ramallah, Ladies is a cafe for women only. (Maan)
Kissinger wants Israel to know: The U.S. saved you during the 1973 war
Henry A. Kissinger reluctantly submits himself to a rare interview for an Israeli television documentary called 'The Avoidable War,' on the 40th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. (Haaretz)
80-year-old Palestinian man remembers destroyed village of his youth
Jameel Deif-Allah Sawalma recalled memories of the destroyed village of his youth for the TV program, "A memory that never rusts." (Maan)
Sheikh Kamal Rian can't solve his son's murder. What can he do?
The father of a young man killed in a shootout has decided to devout his life to fighting gun violence in Arab society in Israel. (Haaretz)

Commentary/Analysis:

Heightened Jewish activism on Temple Mount may spark widespread conflict (Amos Harel and Nir Hasson, Haaretz) Israel's defense establishment weary as volatile site, formerly out of bounds to Jewish activists, becomes the focal point of increased activity by a wide swath of the religious-Zionist camp.
Hot air - and the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations (Rubik Rosenthal, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) "Everyone knows that nothing will come from 'the process.' Only the names change - 'negotiations', 'peace talks', 'proximity talks', 'shuttle diplomacy', regular ceremonies with regular texts and changing players. The not-so-short history of 'the conflict', tells us a story that already has rules of its own: 'The process' does not solve the conflict, does not advance it and does not lead to changes. The milestones in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are dramatic, one-time moves by courageous leaders: Ben-Gurion in May 1948, Rabin in 1992, Ariel Sharon in 2005...The ritual of releasing murderers and counter-demonstrations will continue and perhaps the mini-freeze on building five homes in a settlement that nobody intends to visit on a Saturday stroll or look for on a map. This is how the conflict appears today. A lot of hot air, but nobody really cares that it exists at all, or to use one of Bennett's colorful phrases: A piece of shrapnel in our backsides."
It's scorched earth season in the Palestinian olive groves (Gideon Levy and Daniel Bar-On, Haaretz) The relatively meager olive harvest in the West Bank is marred by vandalism and destruction of numerous Palestinian-owned groves.
The army cannot be run like a business (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) The government should plan on transferring some revenue from natural gas export to the defense budget. 
In battle of minds between IDF and Hamas, all sides take a hit (Amos Harel, Haaretz) Egyptian pressure keeping Hamas from responding to Thursday's deadly operation; IDF will have to examine whether its forces could have bypassed the ambush. 
'Work arrangements' in Cairo (Smadar Peri, Yedioth) Peri analyzes the situation in Egypt and asserts, "It is not clear where Cairo is going, when it will calm down and, worst of all, what will happen when the economy collapses and millions of hungry unemployed people try to flee. Hello, is anyone in Jerusalem considering this nightmare?"
IDF gets budget increase instead of budget slash (Rotem Starkman, Haaretz) Defense Ministry deployed its fright-inducing artillery, budget grows, but pensions paid to its officers remain classified information.
Washington must strike Iran, not bargain with it (Prof. Efraim Inbar, Israel Hayom) The U.S.'s position as leader of the free world obligates it to destroy Iran's nuclear infrastructure; going along with the delaying tactics of prolonged negotiations is dangerous and irresponsible. 
A bitter indictment of the judicial system in Israel (Yuval Elbashan, Haaretz) After we helped the well-connected folks to plunder public assets and receive astronomical salaries by means of the constitutional revolution, it is destined to go the way of all revolutions and disappear, to enable the new government to do now as it pleases.
Hypocrisy and double standards (Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom) Israel is used to being held to a higher standard, even by the U.S. What it has not yet adjusted to is a world in which the moral compass at the White House is broken. 
Russia returns to Egypt as U.S. backs away (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) American suspension of aid to Cairo leaves opening for Moscow to resume patron's role.
Putin instead of Obama: Russian foothold in Cairo (Roi Kais, Ynet) Head of Russian intelligence lands in Cairo, defense minister will follow in what seems as policy to fill in vacuum left by Obama admin after US aid freeze.
Defense always wins the budget battle (Haaretz Editorial) Total rollback of planned cuts to defense budget is a stinging loss for Yair Lapid, the treasury and Israel's citizens.
Many countries, one land (Yaron London, Yedioth/Ynet) Battle between unification, division trends in Israeli society decided against 'one nation' idea.
Don't teach young kids about the Holocaust (Niva Lanir, Haaretz) Education Minister Shay Piron has had the dim idea of introducing Holocaust Studies to kindergartens. 
Persona non grata? (Merav Betito, Yedioth/Ynet) Hollande wants to talk directly to Israelis, knowing they are much braver than their leaders.
Obama and Peres have the future of Israel in their hands (Amir Oren, Haaretz) U.S. President Barack Obama has another year of real power, while President Shimon Peres will be free to reenter politics in 2014. Their actions will determine the political landscape in Israel.
How Shimon Peres stopped Israel from bombing Iran (Ari Shavit, Haaretz) But the Israeli president's opposition to the military option may come at a price.
Silencing the Right (Emily Amrousi, Israel Hayom) According to the Israeli Left, every time public criticism surfaces from the Right, the next political murderer begins enacting his evil plans and the writing is on the wall.
Bombs awry: Is Israel's alleged bombing of Syria really necessary? (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) The six aerial attacks on Syrian soil this year have been hailed for their effectiveness, but no one in Israel is asking the important question.
The Balfour Declaration and the Holocaust (Dmitry Shumsky, Haaretz) Although people may try to deny it, there is a link between the Balfour Declaration and the fate of European Jews during World War II.
Prevent the next big explosion (Yuval Diskin, Yedioth/Ynet) To prevent a 'Palestinian spring' Israel must create hope, and prisoner release is part of that.
Can Netanyahu's coalition survive the infighting over a Palestinian deal? (Yossi Verter, Haaretz) On Naftali Bennett's backtracking on the prisoner-release agreement, Judgment Day in court for Avigdor Lieberman, and Yesh Atid's waffling on the so-called 'civil union' bill.
White House down (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) Ever since his second election win, Obama has been constantly getting into trouble: Egypt's coup, the red line on Syria, Iran's charm, Obamacare, the government shutdown, and now the NSA eavesdropping on America's allies.
Jewish and democratic is indeed the way (Shaul Arieli, Haaretz) Before 1948, Zionist leaders conceded part of British Palestine to remain loyal to the Zionist vision of a democratic Jewish state. Unfortunately, some leaders today seek a Greater Israel. 
Netanyahu must ditch the villains of the peace (Yoel Marcus, Haaretz) Many people believe that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the only person capable of achieving peace with the Palestinians. He'll have to kick the extremists out of his cabinet first. 
Making Le Pen seem leftist (Zeev Sternhell, Haaretz) Israel is today at the extreme right end of the political spectrum and is being distanced from the family of enlightened nations. 
Are there judges in Jerusalem? (Yossi Sarid, Haaretz) The High Court itself is to blame for the way it's been cheapened; judges who do not insist on respect end up losing it.

 

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

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