News Nosh 07.02.14

APN's daily news review from Israel

Wednesday July 02, 2014
 

Quote of the day:

"What's the time?"
--Question far right-wing Jews in Jerusalem asked dark skinned passers-by to check for an Arab accent and then attack them in revenge for the killing of three Israeli teens.**



Front Page News:

Haaretz

Yedioth Ahronoth

Maariv This Week (Hebrew links)

Israel Hayom


 

News Summary:
The chilling phone call to the hotline and the sorrow at the burial of the three Israeli yeshiva students who were kidnapped and murdered in the West Bank were today's top stories in the Hebrew papers. Also in the Hebrew news were the attacks by right-wing youth on Arabs in Jerusalem while the Israeli government continued to discuss what its response would be to the murders. And between the Gaza Strip and Israel, the exchanges of fire continue.
 
Israel lifted the gag order on the disturbing recording of the Gil-Ad Shaer's  SOS call to the police hotline, in which his words 'They kidnapped me' are heard, followed by gunshots and shouts of pain. Maariv reported that the police and IDF believe that Shaer was shot first, in the car, likely due to the phone call. The papers noted his bravery for making the call and again slammed the police for bungling it. The other two were shot later, but it is not clear if in the car or later after they burned the car and got into an escape car. In anycase, the forensic exam shows that all three were killed very close to the time that they were kidnapped. The police still has not come to the confirmed whether the kidnapper driving the car was dressed as an ultra-Orthodox man.
 
The scandal over and the anger at the police has increased since the release of the call and details of the blunder. Haaretz reported that batteries of the cellular phones of two of the teens were removed, making it unable to track them, had the police tried, but the battery of Eyal Yifrach's iPhone could not be removed and it gave signals all the way to the point where the first car was found burned, however, that was only discovered much later. Moreover, it took 54 phone calls till Gilad Shaer's father was able to get the army and police to act on his suspicion that his son was kidnapped, Haaretz reported. Ynet wrote that the IDF told Shaer's father: Everything 'will be worked out by morning.' 
 
At the funeral, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu eulogized the boys declaring that Israelis are more moral than Palestinians. "The moral chasm that separates us from our enemies is deep and wide. They revere death and we life. They revere cruelty and we, pity. This is the secret of our strength, it is also the base of our unification." He declared it a national day of mourning.
 
**But even as Netanyahu spoke about Israeli morality at the funeral, hundreds of right-wing activists marched through the capital attacking Arabs and chanting "Death to the Arabs" and "Muhammad is dead. Police tried to protect Arab employees with their bodies after some right-wingers even burst into McDonald's looking for Arabs. A number of right-wing activists were arrested for attacking Arab youths, five of whom were wounded. The protesters also distributed hate stickers, some demanding revenge. Ynet posted video of the attacks and the police trying to protect them. Haaretz updated on the right-wing march and attacks from 5PM through 3AM. Another E. Jerusalemite, Khalid Atiyeh, 24, was attacked by dozens of Israelis while working in a restaurant in Pisgat Zeev Jewish settlement neighborhood, Maan reported. And, a 17-year-old Israeli was arrested for attacking a Palestinian taxi driver with pepper spray late Monday. The same night, an Arab teen arrived at a hospital in Jerusalem with minor injuries, saying he had been attacked by a group of Jewish youths, Israel Hayom reported. Police detained a Jewish man in his 20s spray-painting "Kahane was right," on a traffic sign near Beit Shemesh, in reference to the late extreme right-wing militant Rabbi Meir Kahane. In Hebron, dozens of Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian homes and clashed with Palestinians in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood after the bodies of three Israeli teens were found. Soldiers arrived and beat 19-year-old Sajid Mamoon Sultan, seriously injuring him in the head, Maan reported
 
The security cabinet discussions continued Tuesday night over how to respond to the three murders. Haaretz reported that during the Monday night cabinet meeting, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon proposed creating a new settlement in memory of the murdered teens. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni opposed the idea, saying it would turn national tragedy into a political issue. But Haaretz wrote: The Defense Ministry specified that the outpost is located on state lands and that the government already made a decision to turn it into a settlement. Far right-wing Economy Minister and leader of Habayit Hayehudi party, Naftali Bennett, called the proposed action "weak and disgraceful" and threatened to vote against it, which is why Netanyahu decided to postpone the vote and schedule another meeting for Tuesday night. Ya'alon criticized Bennett saying his suggestions for retaliation were dangerous. "If we implement what you propose, it will lead to an escalation we won't know how to control, to the point of a war in Gaza." Ya'alon said. "Do we really want a war in Gaza now?" Bennett responded: "We will ultimately be at war in Gaza. It's better that we be the ones to start it." At the start of Tuesday night's cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said the defense establishment has three missions: finding those involved in the murderer, weakening Hamas infrastructure and manpower, and 'operating against Hamas' in the Gaza Strip.
 
Early Tuesday morning the Israeli Air Force hit 34 targets in Gaza, injuring four people. One person was missing.  A rocket from Gaza hit southern Israel. Netanyahu said that Israel will expand the Gaza operation as far as necessary.
 
KIDNAPPING MURDER QUICK HITS:

  • Settlers set up new outposts in response to murder of teens - Outposts set up in controversial E-1 area of West Bank and Gush Etzion; settlers call for settlement construction as appropriate 'Zionist response.' (Haaretz)
  • Israeli Arab student disciplined for writing '3 goals for Palestine' - Technion third-year medical student calls the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens "three goals" for Team Palestine on his Facebook page. Technion says the incident is under review, complaint filed with police. (Israel Hayom)
  • Murder of teens condemned around globe - State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf says many signs point to Hamas' involvement, notes Hamas leadership's praise of kidnappings. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian President Vladimir Putin condemn the killings. (Israel Hayom)
     

Quick Hits:

  • Last hunger-striking Palestinian detainee on 42nd day - Prisoner Raed Faisal Fares Moussa is still on open hunger strike in protest against being held without charge or trial in Israeli jails. His blood pressure and blood sugar "unstable" and he is unable to stand on his feet. (Maan)
  • Pew report: Palestinian support for suicide bombing down 16% since last year - Concerns about Islamic extremism on the rise, particularly in Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Turkey. (Haaretz)
  • Pew poll: Concerns about Islamic extremism on rise in Middle East - Citizens in Muslim countries hold negative views of al-Qaida, Hamas, Hezbollah. Two-thirds of Palestinians worry about extremism, with more concern in Gaza Strip (79%) than in West Bank (57%). Support for suicide bombing highest in Palestinian territories. (Israel Hayom)
  • IDF destroys home of Passover eve killer - VIDEO: Army destroys West Bank home of Ziad Awad, Hamas operative freed in Shalit prisoner exchange deal who was behind murder of senior police officer on Passover eve near Hebron. (Ynet)
  • Israeli forces to demolish house in el-Bireh - After raiding his house, Israeli forces officially notified Abbas Fawwaz Qaraan that they would demolish his house because it was “unauthorized." However, the house is registered by the el-Bireh municipality [and the area is not under Israeli civilian control - OH] (Maan)
  • Israeli forces clash with worshippers in al-Aqsa during visit of Israeli rightists, injure 2 young men - Two young Palestinian men were hit by rubber-coated steel bullets to the neck fired at them by Israeli officers during clashes in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound during visits by Israeli rightists escorted by police officers and soldiers. (Maan
  • Meretz retracts publicity-motivated bill to ban Jerusalem Day - Party MKs say legislation to abolish the national holiday, which they referred to as an 'occupation festival,' was a PR stunt. (Haaretz)
  • Young woman (falsely) claims she was kidnapped, found in Palestinian village - Woman called the police and said she was being held inside a building at a Palestinian village, police and IDF tracked her using the location of her mobile phone. Later determined she was not kidnapped and that she knew the two Palestinians and went inside their vehicle on her own. (Ynet and Maan)
  • ATMs vandalized in Gaza - It is thought that the attacks are linked to an ongoing crisis surrounding the Hamas employees of the former Gaza government, who have not received their salaries following the announcement of a unity government. (Maan)
  • Lieberman: We will do everything to maintain Jordan’s stability - During meeting with German Foreign Minister, Lieberman addresses increased threat of ISIS on Hashemite Kingdom, declares: ‘The stability of Jordan is Israel’s national and vital interest.’ (Yedioth/Ynet
  • Amnesty slams Lebanon ban on Palestinians fleeing Syria - Lebanon is acting in a "blatantly discriminatory" manner by denying access to Palestinians fleeing the conflict in neighboring Syria, Amnesty International said. (Agencies, Maan)
  • Kerry chides Iran ahead of Vienna nuclear talks, deadline looms - As talks resume, Israeli delegation to Washington continues urging US to press for agreement that would dismantle Tehran's nuclear program rather than simply leave it under supervision. (Ynet
  • Israeli official: Nuclear agreement with Iran unlikely by July 20 deadline - The sixth round of talks was scheduled to begin on Wednesday in Vienna, in an attempt to reach a final deal. (Haaretz)


Features:

In Israel, there's always a reasonable chance of war
Two poems on peace, war and what comes between. (By poet Haim Guri, Haaretz)
Accused kidnappers are rogue Hamas branch
Though  the Hebron-based Qawasmeh family clan is known for identifying with Hamas, it also has a well-earned reputation as troublemakers. Not only does it tend to ignore the movement’s leaders. It even acts counter to the policies being advocated by the movement. (Maariv Magazine and in English in al-Monitor
Daring Druze director tackles intermarriage taboo
The first-ever feature about the Druze by an Israeli Druze spotlights the story of a member of the tiny community who weds a Jew. (Haaretz)

Commentary/Analysis:

The price of revenge: Israelis will be killed (Alon Mizrachi, Maariv) Whoever calls to avenge the kidnapped youth is not taking into account the losses on the Israeli side. The ratio is about one Israeli fatality for every ten Arabs. This ratio is more or less well preserved in other wars: in Yom Kippur War 2,200 of ours were killed and 20,000 from the Arab armies - 20 thousand. In Operation "Defensive Shield," 29 of our soldiers were killed versus almost 500 Palestinians, but that happened after a month of terror attacks that killed nearly a hundred Israelis. What I would like to remind with these statistics is very simple. The people who call for war and revenge and attacking and killing should be asked: What is the target number of Arabs you seek to kill? 5,000? 10,000? Because any number you choose - about a tenth Israelis will die as well. This is the real price of war and revenge and murder. At the end of the day there will be bereaved families, and no victory album in the world can bring back one's killed son.
The settler right dictates Israel's response (Uri Misgav, Haaretz) A cowardly reckless government is allowing itself to be dragged along by extremists.
Teens' murder was an attack against the calm (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) Those who kidnapped and killed the Israeli teens sought to inflame the situation. There's no need to give them what they want.
And now for the Zionist response (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) No punishment imposed on the kidnappers, not even a death sentence, will be able to cool the fervor of commemoration by real estate - an eye for an eye, a settlement for a settler.
Israel has an opportunity for a long-lasting strategic achievement (Giora Eiland, Yedioth/Ynet) In order to effectively punish Hamas, Israeli operation's goal should be to deal a critical blow to organization's rocket arsenal.
Israel and Hamas: Enemies that depend on each other (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) Israel and Hamas coexist in a tortuous reality in which each side must appear like an enemy but behave like a partner.
The hour of the boiling blood (Eitan Haber, Yedioth/Ynet) What should cabinet do to satisfy Israeli revenge impulse, so that justified anger dies out. 
The Israeli-Palestinian show that always ends the same way (Shaul Arieli, Haaretz) Why should the directors change the script if we, the audience, keep coming time and time again, not demanding the slightest review?
Who will turn off Israel’s cash pipeline to the settlements? (Gershom Gorenberg, Haaretz) Israel’s public can’t know how much money the state is funneling into settlements and the finance minister, Yair Lapid, despite his two-state declarations, isn’t providing the accounts.
Kidnap Denial: Blaming the victim of tragedy (Bradley Burston, Haaretz) I had trouble sleeping last night. Three families are wounded beyond measure. I saw loving kindness in them. And I saw people who openly blamed them, at their hour of unimaginable pain, for the murders of their own children.
Palestinians react with indifference to murder of teens (Amira Hass, Haaretz) Until discovery of bodies, many believed no abduction had occurred, since such an act would undermine so many Palestinian successes. Israeli victims of violence are given names and faces in Israel and worldwide. The many Palestinian victims are at best mere statistics. The lack of compassion in specific cases is the Palestinian response to this discrimination.
Where do we go from here? (Arsen Ostrovsky, Ynet) What sort of a human being kidnaps and then senselessly murders children, so brutally, and for no other reason than them being Jewish and Israeli? Was the brutal murder of three Israeli teens also the death of peace, or whatever shreds of hope we still had?
Israel's dilemma: War on Gaza or minor moves in West Bank? (Amos Harel, Haaretz) Apparently, Netanyahu has no stomach for an extensive operation in Gaza, but must take some action to appease Likud activists and settlers.
Follow Golda's lead (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) In response to the murder of three Israeli boys, Israel should adopt the same approach Golda Meir took toward the perpetrators of the 1972 Munich attack.
What do we tell our kids about the West Bank kidnap? What do we tell ourselves? (Rabbi Eliyahu Fink, Haaretz) After our worst fears are confirmed about the fate of Gilad, Naftali, and Eyal, overcoming the sadness - and continuing to believe - is an ongoing struggle. 
Cabinet must not be guided by fear (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) Prime Minister Netanyahu and his ministers are afraid that if they won’t decide on a firm, loud, immediate operation against Hamas, rightist groups will launch their own acts of revenge.
Obama turned Israeli settlements into a deal breaker (Dani Dayan, Haaretz) Israeli announcements regarding settlement construction were not the reason the peace talks failed; the European and U.S. reactions to those announcements were a much more decisive factor.
Execute the death cult's emissaries (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) Until we realize that the death mongers operating on our borders are the same ones who murdered three innocent teens, we will keep paying a heavy price for political correctness.
How peace masks Israel’s true colors (Eva Illouz, Haaretz) The peace industry sometimes provided hope that Israel is an enlightened nation, but the truth is they hid the fact that the occupation has eaten away our spirit of democracy.
Only because we want to live here (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) We did not want to add these three young men to our legacy, but reality dictated otherwise.
Israel must bolster Abbas, not his extremist foes (Haaretz Editorial)  Weakening the courageous Palestinian president is one of Netanyahu's ongoing strategic mistakes, and it is liable to be one we Israelis will rue for generations.
 
 

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

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