News Nosh

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News Nosh 05.20.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday May 20, 2014

Quote of the day:
"Acting like an ostrich state is not an option for us."
--Justice Minister and chief Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni slights Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to freeze peace talks.**

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News Nosh 05.19.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday May 19, 2014

Quote of the day:
"For years the Jews lived together among Christians and Muslims. We are not anti-Semitism deniers, but there were lights and shadows, and we should emphasize the lights, not just the shadows."
--Dr. Orna Katz, Education Ministry supervisor for the study of history, explains why Israeli schools will be teaching about two popes this week.**
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News Nosh 05.18.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday May 18, 2014

Quote of the day:
"We demand government action to stop these ugly acts. We will say together no to racism, no to violence, and yes to living together in peace."
--50 IDF reservists intend to make a protest tent outside the extremist Yitzhar settlement against price-tag attacks.**
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News Nosh 05.16.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday May 16, 2014

Quote of the day:
"The use of social networks as a tool of protest is unacceptable."
--IDF Spokesman's response after more soldiers used Facebook as a means of protest - this time against evacuating settlement outposts.**

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News Nosh 05.15.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday May 15, 2014

Note: After weeks of not being published Maariv is back in the newsstands with a new name, 'Maariv This Week,' and a new owner, The Jerusalem Post Group, but no website. The NRG Hebrew website is no longer connected to Maariv and now belongs solely to the publisher of the nationalist religious paper, Makor Rishon.

Quote of the day:
"We need to combat racism, violence and xenophobia, to eradicate terror, erroneously called 'price-tag,' and to strive for full equal rights for minorities, women and anyone who is different."
--Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon calls price-tag attacks 'terror.'** 


Front Page News:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Flying government - Ministers of previous government increased number of flights abroad and suspicion of receiving favors rose
  • Meanwhile, in Tokyo, Netanyahu and his wife [main photo]
  • Failure in math: Teachers are not suitable and study plans are outdated
  • Number of people entitled to apartment without VAT expanding
  • Anger in Turkey: "Erdogan responsible for mine disaster"
(New) Maariv This Week
  • Germany changes its mind: No discount for warships
  • Hurts the pocket - Sentences in Holyland affair will put more than 10.5 million shekels in the state's coffers
  • Violent clashes during evacuation of illegal outpost at Maaleh Rehavam
  • One of maintenance workers at Petach Tikva school arrested
Makor Rishon
Israel Hayom

News and Peace Process Summary:
Today's main stories in the Hebrew media focused on the suspicious rise in the number of flights abroad by Israel's ministers and the eviction of settlers and demolishing of homes in a settler outpost yesterday, seven years after Peace Now petitioned the High Court for their removal. Meanwhile, Haaretz+ led with a report stating that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is looking for an alternative plan in the wake of failed peace talks and US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to renew the talks, while Hamas and Fatah officials met and moved forward with the unity government. US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is in Israel to discuss security and military aid, while Maariv This Week reports that Germany called off a discount to a deal for warships. Today is Nakba Day, but it was almost impossible to know reading the Israeli papers.
 
Haaretz+ reported that Netanyahu is looking for alternative to the failed peace talks after he told a Japanese newspaper that he is "engaging in consultations with my own coalition partners and with others, to see if we have other alternatives, because I think the status quo is not a good idea, because I don’t want a binational state." Reporter Barak Ravid also noted that two weeks ago, Netanyahu asked cabinet ministers for ideas on steps Israel could take following the end of negotiations and the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. But a number of Israeli officials told Ravid on condition of anonymity that Netanyahu actually just wants to placate coalition partners Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Finance Minister Yair Lapid rather than solve the conflict with the Palestinians. 
 
Kerry told Abbas yesterday in London that the door for talks is still open. Palestinian officials told Israel Hayom that Kerry asked for the meeting in order to find a way to renew negotiations and he even proposed a new guideline to restart the talks
 
Meanwhile, Hamas and Fatah officials held a three-hour meeting in Gaza and concluded that they would meet the five-week deadline to establish a unity government. Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said the new government would need parliament's approval. Hamas holds a majority in the parliament, which has ceased functioning since the rift between the two parties. In another sign of Palestinian unity, Hamas vacated Abbas' Gaza City villa, which has in recent years been used as a base, Ynet reported. Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi gave his blessing to the Palestinian reconciliation deal, in a statement also marking the 66th memory of the Nakba, Maan reported.
 
Nakba Day was barely mentioned in the Israeli Hebrew media. Israel Hayom reported that the IDF raised alert levels for Nakba Day commemorations in the Palestinian territories and NRG Hebrew website reported that Deputy Interior Minister Faina Kirshenbaum wrote the Minister of Finance and Minister of Education demanding they implement the "Nakba Law" and deny funding to universities that commemorate the Nakba. Haaretz+ published an Op-Ed by Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, titled "Israel can't erase the Nakba from history." 

The ending of the peace talks appears to have had repercussions. German Chancellor Angela Merkel informed Netanyahu that Israel won't receive the discount for the three German warships Israel ordered, the new 'Maariv This Week' reported. The ships can carry nuclear missiles. Israel believes that this is a 'punishment' initiated by US President Barack Obama for ending the peace talks, wrote reporter Ben Caspit. An Israeli sent to Berlin to discuss it said, "The decision is not final." However, relations with Germany are strained, Caspit wrote.

That might be a topic for discussion with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who landed last night in Israel for talks on regional security and US military aid to Israel, amid the nuclear talks with Iran and the IDF's severe financial crisis.

Quick Hits:
  • IDF evacuates illegal settlement outpost, amid token resistance - Far-right activists had tried to block access to outpost, the first of three tapped for demolition; IDF bracing for 'price tag' attacks in retaliation. (Haaretz+ and Ynet
  • **Yaalon: "We need to eradicate terror erroneously called 'price-tag'" - Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon slams worrying phenomenon, saying: "We need to combat racism, violence and xenophobia, to eradicate terror, erroneously called 'price-tag' and to strive for full equal rights for minorities, women and anyone who is different," he said in speech at ceremony to commemorate the 3,050 fallen members of the kibbutz movement. (Maariv This Week, p. 3)
  • Likud activists: "Yaalon is bad for the settlement enterprise" - 60 Likud members signed a letter against the Defense Minister over the eviction from Maaleh Rehavam outpost and protested against his intention to evacuate 28 buildings in Givat Assaf and Ramat Gilad (outposts). Ya'alon's associates attacked: "An exploitive gang does not represent the views of the (Likud) party." (NRG Hebrew
  • Three right-wing activists held on suspicion of involvement in hate crimes - Two of the detainees, both minors, are being held under a special order that prevents them from meeting with their attorneys. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli forces detain 14-year-old boy in overnight (E.) Jerusalem raid - In the early morning hours, Israeli forces surrounded Musallem Musa Odeh's house in the Silwan neighborhood of E. Jerusalem and detained him. (Maan)
  • Israeli bulldozers demolish structures in East Jerusalem neighborhoods - Bulldozers entered the Palestinian neighborhoods of Beit Hanina, Shuafat, and Ras al-Amoud, where they destroyed two shops and a workshop. One owner said Jerusalem municipality workers had issued demolition orders "several times," but that he had paid a total of 20,000 shekels in fines to postpone the demolition. (Maan)
  • Cutting power from (Arab) residents of E. Jerusalem (and preparing to help settlements) - In wake of Palestinian Authority's debt, Israel Electricity Corp announced it would cut electricity for two hours a day to (Arab) E. Jerusalem residents. IEC also preparing for possibility that Palestinians will respond by damaging electricity lines to settlements; IEC is supplying them with generators. PA disputes the amount it owes and wants to involve international arbiter. (Yedioth, p. 12)
  • Israeli military vehicles enter Gaza border area - The vehicles escorted six Israeli bulldozers, which leveled Palestinian fields near the separation barrier in the northern Gaza Strip. (Maan
  • Low pay, no leave: Jordan Valley farmers exploiting Palestinian labor - Critics accuse Israel of ignoring illegal abuses of West Bank farmers. (Haaretz+)
  • World Bank transfers $30 million to Palestinian Authority - The funds, contributed by Japan, will go towards "education, health care, and other vital social services for the Palestinian people," the statement said. (Maan)
  • Netanyahu wants to let largest party form government - Prime minister is expected to advance legislation that would take away the president’s role in the process. (Haaretz+)
  • Comptroller report slams rising ministerial travel, slack gun oversight - Many of the trips were financed by external organizations, some were unauthorized or involved apparent conflicts of interest. (Haaretz+, Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • Petition to Lapid: Prevent those who commemorate Nakba Day from receiving budget money - A letter sent by MK Kirshenbaum to the Minister of Finance and Minister of Education demanded they implement the "Nakba Law," which denies funding to universities that commemorate the Nakba. (NRG Hebrew)
  • Israel to seek UN recognition of Yom Kippur as holiday - Yom Kippur should be an official U.N. day off, just like Christmas and Eid al-Fitr, says Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Ron Prosor. U.N. recognizes 10 holidays, none of them Jewish. Campaign launched with aim of winning General Assembly vote. (Israel Hayom)
  • New bill would limit pardons for convicted terrorists - In preliminary reading, Knesset approves bill that would make terrorists ineligible for presidential pardons unless they pay compensation to their victims. Meretz leader slams bill, which was proposed by United Torah Judaism MK Yakov Litzman. (Israel Hayom)
  • Mossad recruiting candidates through Facebook - Former members of Israel's intelligence community received job offers from the spy organization through the social network. The ad reads: "Life is what you make of it." (NRG Hebrew
  • Israel offers to help Turkey with coal mine disaster - With efforts underway to improve bilateral ties, Israeli Embassy calls off belated Independence Day celebration in Ankara. (Haaretz)
  • Report: Egypt seeks alternative to Tamar gas - "Interfax": Egypt in talks with Norway's Hoegh LNG to lease a floating unit. (Globes)
  • Was secret Iran nuke program trigger for tough sanctions? Past findings says Iran may have worked on secret bomb program, UN nuclear watchdog says. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Hillary Clinton skeptical about Iran nuclear deal - Speaking at American Jewish Committee forum, Clinton says U.S. needs to be tough on Iran talks, and that U.S. commitment to Israeli security will never waver. (Haaretz
  • Israeli Arab arrested upon return from fighting with rebel forces in Syria - Umm al-Fahm resident Ahmed Shorabji has been charged with entering enemy country and engaging in prohibited army exercises. (Haaretz+)

Commentary/Analysis:
Israel can't erase the Nakba from history (Saeb Erekat, Haaretz+) Palestine recognized Israel's right to exist in 1988, but Israel's government is asking Palestinians to deny the existence of our people and the horrors that befell us in 1948. 
Bar the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Amos Oz and half the Israeli cabinet from Hillel (Peter Beinart, Haaretz+) The Jewish student organization's speaker guidelines are merely an excuse for powerful figures to torpedo speakers they don’t like. But why should the U.S. Jewish community be afraid of real debate on Israel? 
Battle for Israel's future should be fought on US campuses (Naor R. Bitton, Ynet) For the first time in decades, a coordinated pro-Israel student grassroots movement is gaining momentum in American universities. 
Israel's liberal left has forgotten how to fight (Carolina Landsmann, Haaretz+) The right understands what the left does not - everything is political; it fights on all fronts by placing its people in key positions, while shattering any opposition. 
Evacuation is entirely Destruction (Asaf Golan, NRG Hebrew) Jews can only be inside Israel. Arabs are allowed to live and build anywhere in the country even if the price of this construction is the loss of the Jewish majority and the destruction of the State.
Back to the Israelite Kingdom (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Western states aspire to be liberal and open, while Israel is withdrawing into itself. So why do we need a president? Why not a king? 
Negotiations: What went wrong? (Alon Ben-Meir, Maan) Kerry caved in to Netanyahu's demands to address Israel's security concerns first, instead of dealing with borders, which Abbas sorely needed to allow him to be more flexible. And yielding to Netanyahu's refusal to freeze settlement expansion was nothing short of the kiss of death. 
King Bibi's Game of Thrones: Israelis are smelling blood. And it's not Olmert's (Bradley Burston, Haaretz+) At this point, if Netanyahu loses his mind, will the public, mired in the hopelessness that is his true legacy and the only remaining source of his strength - even notice?
Closure for Jerusalemites (Eli Hazan, Israel Hayom) Once a promising young politician, Olmert turned out to be a complete failure. It is satisfying that he learned that everyone is equal before the law. 
Judge crossed a line in calling Olmert 'traitor' (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth/Ynet) Committing the sin of arrogance, Judge Rozen accused former PM of most serious offense in Israeli book of law.
Yedioth backs the corrupt (Gonen Ginat, Israel Hayom) Every Israeli knows who the ones who kissed up to Olmert are -- they are sitting in the Yedioth Ahronoth building. 
We still need a strong army (Ari Shavit, Haaretz+) Bashing the army as wasteful has become trendy, but Israel still faces serious threats. 
The defense establishment's intimidation tactics (Haaretz Editorial) The defense minister and chief of staff are acting like union bosses, putting narrow financial interests above the public good. 


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

News Nosh 05.14.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday May 14, 2014

Quote of the day:
"Olmert's sentence has turned the page on the process of cleaning house and irradiating corruption from Israeli politics."
--Meretz Chairwoman MK Zehava Gal-On on former prime minister Ehud Olmert's six year prison sentence.**

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News Nosh 05.13.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday May 13, 2014

Quote of the day:
Israeli police were "looking into the circumstances of how (the settlers) accidentally entered Burin." 
--Israel Police Spokesman says armed Israeli settlers driving ATVs inside a Palestinian village was unintentional. Locals detained the settlers and handed them over to Palestinian security forces.** 

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News Nosh 05.12.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday May 12, 2014

Quote of the day:
"I ask myself to what evil and dangerous depths will the hate yet descend, and if we will succeed at living productive, peace-filled lives without hatred for the stranger. Holding on to these complicated emotions, I begin the "chevruta" with Dr. Tibi."
--Dr. Ruchama Weiss shares insights from a Torah-studying session with Arab MK Ahmed Tibi.**

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News Nosh 05.11.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday May 11, 2014

Quote of the day:
"Seemingly, the only difference from our neo-Nazi groups is that (ours) enjoy the support of a significant number of nationalist, perhaps even racist, lawmakers, and rabbis who give them what is in my eyes, a pseudo-religious basis [for their actions]."
--Israeli author Amos Oz says Israeli 'hilltop youth' are 'Hebrew neo-Nazis' who have more support than Europe's neo-Nazis.*

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News Nosh 05.09.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday May 09, 2014

Quote of the day:
"King David is for the Jews, Jesus is garbage."
--Graffiti found on a Jerusalem church this morning, the day after the Vatican called on Israel to protect Christian sites.**

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