Event 4/30: Peace Partners at UChicago Hosted by J Street U

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Hard Questions, Tough Answers with Yossi Alpher: April 28, 2014

This week, Alpher offers an assessment of where the American-brokered Israeli-Palestinian peace process stands now, with the nine-month period allotted for the process expiring officially this Tuesday and what next; what happens if there is Palestinian success at forming a unity government; or if there is not; What sort of unilateral move might Israel now invoke; will there be another American initiative; and what kind of unexpected possibilities should we expect?

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News Nosh 04.28.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday April 28, 2014

Note: News Nosh has added to its review 'Makor Rishon' newspaper, many of whose reporters also write for Maariv, which presently is only found online. The newspaper is popular among religious-nationalist pro-settlement right-wing Israelis.

Quote of the day:
"One morning I combed my hair in the opposite direction than usual; my mother slapped me across the face and said, 'Only Hitler combed his hair that way'."  
--Former Shin Bet chief shares growing up as the child of Holocaust survivors.**

Front Page News:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • 6 million memories
  • And the world was silent // Elie Weisel
  • On this planet // Noah Klieger
  • Unseen survivors // Tami Arad
  • Singing to the flowers // Yael Gervitz
  • Letter to Grandma // Ran Sarig
  • Hearings for arguments regarding sentencing of Olmert begins
  • Not published today
Makor Rishon
Israel Hayom

Peace Talk Highlights:
Holocaust stories, memories, reunions and pain filled the papers of today's Hebrew papers. But the papers focused differently on Holocaust-related statements of the top politicians on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day. Meanwhile, the special US envoy to the peace talks leaves town while the US and Israel are at odds over what to do if the Palestinian unity government is formed and the Israeli cabinet is divided about how to respond to the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation deal.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made a powerful statement Sunday recognizing the Jewish suffering in the Holocaust and calling it the 'most heinous crime in modern era.' Haaretz+ made that its top story. Yad Vashem said Abbas' Holocaust message may herald a shift in the Palestinian and Arab world's stance on the subject.
However, in an interview with CNN later on Sunday, Netanyahu belittled the importance of Abbas' statement, terming it “damage control.” Yedioth also titled an article on page 7 with Abbas' declaration, only noting at the end of the subtitle that 'Jerusalem was unimpressed.' However, Israel Hayom and Makor Rishon focused on Netanyahu's 'defiant' speech last night, in which he linked the Nazi genocide to Iran's suspected drive to acquire nuclear bombs and charged that the "West has not learned its lesson, but we will protect ourselves next time."
And in an exclusive interview with Ynet, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that "the Holocaust is the most evil chapter in human history. We stand tall as Palestinians to condemn it, now and forever." On peace talks, Erekat said the Israeli occupation was a major obstacle to peace, denied the need for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and said "Israel made a mistake by suspending the negotiations" but that Abbas was still willing to meet with Netanyahu.
The PLO also announced yesterday that it gives Israel "three months to reach an agreement on the 1967 borders prior to any discussion on any other matter whatsoever, including security, to reach a peace agreement."
in the coming days, Abbas will announce the establishment of a unity government and the date for Palestinian Authority presidential and parliamentary elections, as well as PLO National Council elections, the PLO said. Hamas said it would disperse its Gaza government as soon as the new government is formed, Ynet Hebrew reported.
This has put Israel and the US on a collision course over whether Israel should recognize and work with the new technocrat government, which will act in keeping with Abbas’ platform and the conditions of the Mideast Quartet – recognizing Israel, rejecting violence and honoring previous agreements, Haaretz+ reported. The US and Europe believe Israel should cooperate with the new unity government and renew the talks and they will pressure Israel to do so. "However, Israel opposes any cooperation with the new government as long as some of its components and supporters, particularly Hamas, do not recognize Israel, reject terror and honor previous agreements," wrote Barak Ravid. In the meantime, with talks stalled, US envoy Martin Indyk left Israel and has no clear plans to return. Haaretz+ reported that the assessment in Jerusalem is that he will only return for “maintenance."
The Israeli cabinet is divided about what to do. Pro-settlement Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said Israel should annex 60% of the West Bank - i.e. Area C. Justice Minister and chief Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni said it was crucial to wait and see what sort of government emerged. Finance Minister Yair Lapid also said it was too early to call time on the negotiations. In a TIME magazine column on Sunday, center-right Finance Minister Yair Lapid made the same requirements of Hamas as the government - i.e. accepting the Quartet conditions - and said, "We don't see it at the moment, but we need to watch and wait and study what's going on."
Interestingly, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Israel risks turning into an 'apartheid state.' A recording of him speaking Friday in a closed forum was revealed by the Daily Beast. He also warned that stalled peace talks could bring about violence in the West Bank. "People grow so frustrated with their lot in life that they begin to take other choices and go to dark places they’ve been before, which forces confrontation,” he said.
A Hamas media advisor denied he said Hamas would recognize Israel and said that "he had been misquoted and that the party 'could not' individually recognize the country." [Hamas leaders have said in the past that the organization recognizes that Israel exists as a state, it just doesn't accept the right to exist. - OH] 

Quick Hits:
  • Relatives blast Foreign Ministry over Israeli-Palestinian found dead in Kiev - Family alleges that Rafaa Tzartzur was shunned by Israeli Consulate in Ukraine, despite possessing valid Israeli residency status. Tzartzur, who was studying medicine in Ukraine, had been trying to return to Israel, but the Israeli Consulate in Ukraine claimed that his residency status had been revoked and refused to issue him a visa. (Haaretz+)
  • Settlers cut down 60 olive trees near Nablus - A group of settlers raided a neighborhood known locally as Al-Luhuf and chopped down more than 60 olive trees using chainsaws in private fields in the village of Huwwara. (Maan)
  • 2 detained after posting signs calling for Muslim 'evacuation' at Aqsa (Temple Mount) - Israeli police said the suspects posted an inflammatory sign on one of the main gates of al-Aqsa mosque compound, urging Muslims to evacuate the mosque so that Jews can build a Jewish temple in its place. (Maan and NRG Hebrew
  • Israeli forces arrest 2, injure 2 in Jerusalem village - Israeli forces raided a shop for health equipment that belongs to Saad Mohammad Mustafa at the southern entrance of the village and assaulted the shop owner, who was hospitalized, and a customer. They also verbally abused women in the area. (Maan)
  • 4 Palestinians indicted for throwing firebombs at synagogue - The Jerusalem District Court indicts 18-year-olds Mohammad Abid, Ibrahim Darbas, Waleed and Mohammad Alian from Issawiya for arson, aggravated assault, manufacturing weapons, carrying a weapon and attacking a police officer. (Israel Hayom)
  • Baptism in ruins of Arab village disrupted by Jewish neighbors - Shlomi residents called out racial slurs, say Israeli Arabs; Shlomi official sympathizes with residents, calling baptism 'provocation.' (Haaretz)
  • Again, harassment of Arabs in Yokneam: tires punctured and the "price tag" graffiti - The words "price tag" and a Star of David were painted on the car of an Arab contractor in Yokneam, Israel. In addition, two tires were punctured. This is the fourth case of harassment of Arabs in the city in the last month. Afula Police and the Shin Bet launched an investigation. (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • Israel blocking Palestinian permits over bid to join UN organizations, IDF officer (admits) -  Testimony to Knesset committee contradicts government claim to Supreme Court that professional considerations behind halt in approving West Bank building permits in Area C. (Haaretz+)
  • 'Less than a third of illegal Palestinian buildings have been taken down' - "Anyone driving through Judea and Samaria can see the increased illegal Palestinian construction in Area C. The situation has gotten worse near the Adumim bloc, where it has become an intense industrial undertaking," Habayit Hayehudi MK Moti Yogev tells Knesset committee. (Israel Hayom)
  • Sanctions: Israel freezes 19 Palestinian construction projects - Israel on Sunday said it would freeze 19 Palestinian construction projects in the West Bank in an apparent effort to impose sanctions on the Palestinian Authority in response to a Hamas-PLO deal. (Maan and NRG Hebrew)
  • Palestinians have completed the preparations to join Interpol - Earlier this month, PA Chairman signed the documents to join fifteen international organizations, and now says senior Palestinian official, the preparations for joining the international police organization have been completed: "The moment there is a order from the political leadership, there will be a petition to the organization's offices in Paris." (NRG Hebrew)
  • Initiative adopted PLO Mahmoud Abbas join 60 UN organizations Sunday - PLO Central Council decided to adopt the initiative of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to join 60 UN bodies and sign international treaties. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Lod mayor clashed with Arabs who shot fireworks over homes - Mayor Yair Revivo clashed with Arab youth to stop them from shooting fireworks at houses in the city Sunday on Holocaust Remembrance Day eve. "We will not allow anyone to violate the minimum quiet that Jewish and Arab residents have a right to." (Ynet)
  • Army treads lightly as era of Haredi draft beckons - IDF to begin by exempting ultra-Orthodox men over 22, redirecting them to job market. (Haaretz+)
  • WATCH: IDF to jail ultra-Orthodox Jew for refusing to serve the occupation - Uriel Ferera, a 19-year-old Haredi from Be’er Sheva, was raised on the values of social justice and peace. Now, the IDF has announced it will jail him for an undetermined period of time for refusing to serve. (+972Mag+VIDEO)
  • 4 more Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jail on hunger strike in protest against their detention without trial - In a letter describing the "tyrannical" system of administrative detention, one detainee wrote how prisoners are forced to stand up before the judge on charges that are considered "top secret," meaning that the prisoner does not know what they are. It was unclear whether the four were in contact with the 100 other hunger strikers. (Maan)
  • Mayor of Nice receives honorary degree from Netanya college - Christian Estrosi, one of Israel's strongest supporters in the French political arena, receives honorary degree on Thursday from Netanya Academic College president. Estrosi grants Netanya Mayor Miriam Feirberg the title "Friend of Nice." (Israel Hayom)
  • Gazan 'Arab Idol' performs in Israel for crowd of 10,000 - Mohammed Assaf grew up in refugee camp in Gaza; comes to Nazareth for first concert in Israel. MK Tibi dances. (Ynet)
  • Bethlehem family condemns daughter's pro-Israel video - The family said it "rejects and distances" itself from the content of a video featuring their daughter's video proclaiming "God has given this land to the Jews," and that she was forced to flee Palestine because of persecution for her beliefs. (Maan)
  • Pro-Palestinians 'evict' Jews from NYU dorm - Fake eviction notices posted on doors of dorm believed to house many of New York University's Jewish students warn of destruction of property. Pro-Palestinian group says seeks to raise awareness of Palestinian hardships. (Israel Hayom)
  • Pew Survey says: Israelis more open-minded than most of the world - Israelis relatively okay with homosexuality, alcohol use and premarital sex, but they ain't got nothing on those laissez-faire French. (Haaretz)
  • **"No participation for supporters of the boycott (of settlements) at the (Israel) march of support" - Gov’t coalition chairman Yariv Levin joined the protest against the inclusion of the New Israel Fund, B’Tselem, Partners for a Progressive Israel and J Street in the annual NY Israel parade. (NRG Hebrew)

Elected: The man who refused to strip for Netanyahu
Foreign Press Association picks its first Palestinian chairman: Samer Shalabi. It's outgoing head says violence by IDF against journalists has increased. (By Matthew Kalman, Haaretz+) 
The Secret Life of My Aunt, Fatma Yodkovitz
Just this year NRG reporter Asaf Gabor discovered that his Aunt Fanny was called as a child Fatma Mohammed bin al-Hassan. Her (aunt’s) mother fled from the Nazis to France where she married an Arab, who secretly converted to Judaism. Together they lived a double life. (By Asaf Gabor, NRG Hebrew
Christian lone soldier decides to cross the 'Finnish' line
Daniel Bana's Christian Arab father married a Finnish tourist 30 years ago and moved to Finland. But Bana, who is now a lone soldier in the IDF, calls Israel home. "We would visit my dad's family every year, he has a warm and loving family," he says. (Israel Hayom)
From Druze village to March of the Living
Buteina Halabi, an artist from northern town of Daliyat al-Karmel who dedicates most of her work to Holocaust, invited to participate in annual march from Auschwitz to Birkenau. (Yedioth/Ynet)

Sullen Netanyahu reaction amplifies PR success of Abbas’ Holocaust statement (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) PM asserts Israel won’t negotiate with any Palestinian government 'backed by Hamas,' exposing looming dispute with U.S. if the reconciliation reaches fruition. Even if the PM’s diagnosis is correct, one has to admit Abbas’ ploy is working wonders - with the active assistance of Netanyahu and other Israeli officials.
Palestinian unity leaves Israel with few options (Eitan Haber, Yedioth/Ynet) We can either annex territories and establish a bi-national state or unilaterally set borders. Third option is to continue current situation, but for how long?
Apartheid in planning rights (Haaretz Editorial) Israel’s discriminatory planning policy in the West Bank violates its most basic obligations.
The world has learned the lessons of the Holocaust better than Israel (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz+) Instead of crying out to end the injustice against the Palestinians, the Israelis are depicting the Palestinians as a continuation of the evil.
Fatah-Hamas 'unity': Not so fast (Smadar Perry, Yedioth/Ynet) Knowing that 'historic reconciliation' could very well end in nothing, Netanyahu left the door open by suspending, rather than killing, the talks.
Holocaust recognition is not for Jews only (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Now that one 'Holocaust denier' has slipped through Netanyahu’s fingers, Hamas is the last thin hanger on which to hang the threat of a new Holocaust.
Hamas is the same Hamas (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) Hamas will continue to strive to do what it knows how to do -- kill Jews
Peace talks are over, back to reality (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) Now that the negotiations have failed, it’s time to concentrate on really moving toward peace, among other things by integrating Israeli Palestinians into military service.
Holocaust and the Nakba: the Jews turned to construction, the Palestinians to incitement (Ben-Dror Yemini, NRG Hebrew) The universal lesson of the Holocaust is that acts of genocide continue to run rampant in many parts of the world. But nothing - and certainly not the Nakba – compares to the Jewish genocide.
And where is the silence? (Yitzhak Laor, Haaretz+) The sense of victimhood that the state has fostered over the years has grown to replace the Zionist ethos.
How the Holocaust tripped up Kerry's peace process (Emanuela Rubinstein, Haaretz+) The shadow of the Holocaust, falling on Israelis of all political affiliations, is the key complicating factor tripping up John Kerry's attempts to bring peace.
Hamas-Abbas: A reality check (Prof. Ron Breiman, Israel Hayom) Israel has already agreed to a far-reaching territorial compromise when it signed the peace treaty with Jordan, which is the real Palestinian state.
**I was named after my grandfather who perished (Former Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter, Israel Hayom) "One morning I combed my hair in the opposite direction than usual; my mother slapped me across the face and said, 'Only Hitler combed his hair that way'."  

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

Event 4/29: Peace Partners at Northwestern Hosted by J Street U


On April 29th, J Street U at Northwestern hosted Ori Nir (Americans for Peace Now) and Ghaith al-Omari (The American Task Force on Palestine) at Northwestern University for a talk on the current status of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, the need of a two-state solution, and the importance of campus discussion on these issues.

For more about the event see The Daily Northwestern: "J Street U speakers discuss Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the 2-state solution"; and North By Northwestern: "J Street U Northwestern speakers speak on Israeli-Palestinian conflict".

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News Nosh 04.27.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday April 27, 2014

Quote of the day:
"This man recognized the State of Israel, because despite the fact that he was a terrorist, he was a man of realpolitik who understood that we were in the midst of a cruel conflict that claimed many victims and would continue to claim many victims."
-- Dr. Zvi Sela, a former brigadier-general in the Israel Police who is now a psychological adviser, shares insight from numerous interviews with Hamas spiritual advisor Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, whom Israel assassinated in 2004.**

Front Page News:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • not published today
Israel Hayom

Peace Talk Highlights:
Stories from the Holocaust on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day, the weekend murder of a young man by his best friend and the appointment of Military Intel Chief Aviv Kochavi as General of Northern Command took the front pages of Hebrew newspapers from the subject of the stuck peace talks and Hamas-Fatah reconciliation today. Interesting to note was how the papers covered the speech Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gave yesterday.

In what Israeli commentators said was a speech meant for Israeli and US ears, Abbas said Saturday that the Palestinian unity government will recognize Israel and condemn terrorism. However, Israel Hayom made no mention of those important details in its Hebrew article, which focused on the Israeli government source who told the Israeli media outlets that 'Abbas has made a confirmed killing' (or 'put the last nail in the coffin') and 'is only recycling the conditions he put to extend peace talks.

Haaretz+, however, presented Abbas' willingness to extend talks as positive using the word 'still' and made Abbas' statements on the unity government's recognition of Israel [as a state - not as a Jewish state - OH] and of opposing terror as its headline. Yedioth mentioned Abbas's important statements in the middle of its article, which focused on the assessment that US President Barack Obama feels hopelessness over the peace talks, after he said in a press conference in S. Korea that it may be time for a 'pause' because the two sides have "not proven the desire to make difficult decisions." Meanwhile, US lawmakers vowed to defund the Palestinian Authority because of the unity deal with Hamas, while Iran hailed the truce against the 'Zionist occupiers.' And, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah offered to resign to pave the path for the unity government with Hamas.

Quick Hits:
  • Settlers attack 7-year-old girl in south Hebron hills - Two settlers riding a quad bike attacked four children and their mother with stones as they were returning from school to the their villages. (Maan+PHOTO
  • High Court to rule whether Palestinians are denied building rights - Villagers and human rights groups say the Civil Administration discriminates against local residents but approves plans to expand settlements. According to Bimkom − Planners for Planning Rights, currently only 10 percent of the 180 Palestinian communities located entirely in Area C have Israeli-approved master plans. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli forces raid Kifl Haris overnight for religious visit; Jewish visitors yell anti-Arab slogans - Forces escort a large group of Jewish Israelis to visit three religious sites in the West Bank village. Locals were prevented from moving freely through the streets, said that members of the visiting Jewish group "provoked" locals who did venture out and yelled in the streets and chanted anti-Arab slogans during their visit. (Maan
  • Israeli forces open fire at Gaza fishermen, injuring 1 -  Israeli naval squadrons off the coast of northern Gaza fired at a Palestinian fishing boat, hitting a man in the foot. (Maan)
  • Two young Jews detained trying to enter the Temple Mount posing as Muslims - The young Jews said they were touring the Old City and wanted to see the Temple Mount. (Ynet Hebrew
  • Israeli forces injure 3 Palestinians in clashes east of Jerusalem - During protests in al-Eizariya and Abu Dis against "Israeli incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque," three young Palestinian men were hit by rubber-coated steel bullets in the lower extremities. (Maan)
  • IDF doctor saves life of Palestinian baby - Parents from village of Beitin bring one-month-year-old baby who suffered a respiratory arrest to IDF checkpoint near Beit El to receive treatment. (Ynet)
  • Israel to get new Military Intelligence chief - IDF Intelligence chief Kochavi to move over to Northern Command. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • IDF command reshuffle raises questions - Wave of appointments and promotions in General Staff opens door for speculation on future candidates for top positions. (Ynet)
  • Inside iNet - IDF's secret news website - Military Intelligence run website 'iNet' provides high clearance level Israeli officials with classified updates and forum of discussion. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Christian leaders tell youth to 'tear up' Israel army forms - Orthodox Archbishop Atallah Hanna and former Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah on Friday urged Christian youth not to enlist in the Israeli military and to ignore Israeli "propaganda" encouraging them to do so. (Maan)
  • Israel Air Force to participate in joint exercises in US - Britain’s Royal Air Force, other allies, will join ‘Red Flag’ simulated battles in Nevada skies. (Haaretz+)
  • Cut off from the world, Gazans consumed by poverty - Some Gazan blame Hamas for much of their suffering: 'If jobs open up, their people get them. They never suffer.' (Agencies, Ynet
  • Peres’ visit to Druze holy site canceled for fear of unrest - Druze leaders and President Shimon Peres' office feared his presence at the site near Tiberias would spark protests over the recent conviction of 16 sheikhs for visiting Syria. The spiritual leader of Israel’s Druze community said he expected Peres to pardon them, as their convictions are threatening the covenant between the Druze and the state. (Haaretz+)
  • New in the Old City: Co-existence on the fitness machines - Private gym that recently opened in the heart of (King David's) market succeeds in attracting Muslims, Christians, and Jews. "Also for the religious Jews it works out from the modesty aspect because there is a separation between women and men," says gym owner, Elias Katnasher, who opened the gym to provide boys and young men with something to do. (Yedioth Jerusalem Friday supplement, p. 42)
  • Google Street View bug 'Arabizing' Tel Aviv - Online maps service shows street names in Arabic, instead of the default Hebrew or English. (Haaretz+)
  • Bored female Israeli soldiers wow Tribeca film festival - 'Zero Motivation,' directed by former IDF secretary, wins two awards at major N.Y. film festival. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom
  • 'Arab Labor' sitcom by Haaretz's Sayed Kashua to air in L.A. - Satirical comedy about the life and trials of Arab Israelis bought by southern California's KCET. (JTA, Haaretz)

When Palestinians arrive at Auschwitz
In front of gas chambers they received text messages: "What are you doing there? Go study our Naqba." When they returned home they were criticized in the local press. But Prof. Mohammed Dajani, who took students from the West Bank to visit the concentration camp in Poland, does not regret. "I saw how the students were moved. We succeeded in transferring the message that it is impossible to understand the Israelis without learning about the Holocaust...If I can," said the Al-Quds university lecturer, "I will continue this project and go there again and again." Prof. Sari Nusseibeh: "I encourage the initiative and think it's positive. I also visited concentration camps in Poland. A private visit that came from curiosity." (Yedioth's 'Mosaf L'Shabbat' Friday supplement, pp. 14-15)
What would you do if you had to serve in an IDF checkpoint?
The camera rolls, and the people at the Bat Yam boardwalk are asked to participate in a reality show: Playing soldiers at a checkpoint and deciding whether to allow a Palestinian child to visit her sick grandmother. What would you do? (By filmmaker Itamar Rose, Yedioth/Ynet)

Why is the Palestinian reconciliation driving Israel into a panic? (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Contradictions are rife when it comes to Israel's refusal to engage in dialogue with Hamas.
Threat of peace removed, for now (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth/Ynet) Despite current crisis, announcement on continuation of talks between Israel and Palestinians will likely be made soon.  
Palestinian reconciliation is an opportunity for Israel (Barak Ravid, Haaretz+) Jerusalem chooses to see the unity deal as a threat, even after it long argued that Abbas doesn't represent the entire Palestinian people.
McCarthyism in the Israeli Tax Authority (Haaretz Editorial) By 'scrutinizing' the Israeli branch of Physicians for Human Rights, the Tax Authority is misusing its power to persecute opponents of the government. 
Unity government inheriting host of headaches from split Palestinian regimes
 (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) From increased Israeli impositions to long-standing Fatah-Hamas tensions to practical, legal, and parliamentary questions, no one is talking about the challenges ahead.
The bi-national state nightmare (Eitan Haber, Yedioth/Ynet) Within a short period of time, will become landlords of millions of Palestinians. We will take care of their sewage, schools and kindergartens, and they will take care of terror.
In a Hamas state of mind (Dr. Reuven Berko, Israel Hayom) If Abbas' union with Hamas is a success, peace with Israel will fall off the agenda and the PA will begin the countdown to its end. If it fails, the chasm between the PA and Hamas will remain. Will the tail wag the dog, or the other way around? 
Hamas might be serious about peace - that's what Yassin told me 15 years ago (Matthew Kalman, Haaretz+) 15 years after Hamas' founder first offered to end the conflict, Palestinian reconciliation gives Israel another opportunity to try for peace - or not. 
The Nazi parallel 
(Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom) For the Palestinians, the imperative is killing Jews, not living peacefully alongside them.
Like sheep to the slaughter, like sheep to the occupation (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) There is no comparing the Holocaust and the occupation, but the act of resistance is equally legitimate and just in both cases.
Why does only Jewish violence interest the media? (Kalman Libskind, NRG Hebrew) The pictures that came out this week from the Temple Mount should have opened all the newscasts. A group of small (religious) children are seen were with their parents on a tour of the Temple Mount. Not threatening anyone. Just looking Jewish. It was enough for a mass of hundreds of Arabs to surround them, come up to them at point-blank range and scream in their ears, "Allahu Akbar" while some of them threw various objects and chairs. Channel 2 got exclusive use of the video but did not find time in two newscasts to show them. At the same time as the attack, settler youth attacked Israeli firemen, who entered the settlement to put out a fire, and it made the headlines. I tried to ask myself what brought this story to the headlines. Behind the increased preoccupation with the firemen was another matter. It was an attempt to convey a message to us indirectly, without saying it directly. Remember what these (settler) guys did two weeks ago to soldiers in Yitzhar? Now they are doing it to the fire fighters.
Israel needs to begin at the end (Amir Oren, Haaretz+) The Israeli government must borrow from a successful old military tactic if it truly wants peace with the Palestinians. 
Abbas is responsible for the failed talks (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) It is worth noting that Abbas' walk to Canossa (or Gaza in this case) took place 48 hours after receiving a new Israeli offer.
Palestinian unity exposes Netanyahu’s true face (David Landau, Haaretz+) 'One gun, one military authority,’ demanded Israel of the Palestinians, so why is its government now using the Fatah-Hamas rapprochement as grounds for an end to all negotiations?
Ending illusion of peace-seeking Abbas (Guy Bechor, Yedioth/Ynet) Fatah-Hamas unity agreement is a stinging insult to Arab regimes and anyone who ever saw the Palestinian leader as a 'peace partner.'
A question for Prime Minister Netanyahu (Friday Haaretz Editorial) If Benjamin Netanyahu will not talk with the Palestinian Authority, how will he address the demographic threat he warned of?
A brief history of failed peace talks (Shlomo Cesana, Israel Hayom) Peace talks conducted by anyone but state leaders seem bound to fail. Netanyahu has made his terms for peace very clear to the U.S., and it is also clear that Abbas will not accept these terms. What have negotiators been doing for nine months?
In Palestinian unity deal, Abbas starts defining his legacy (Jack Khoury, Haaretz+) When the time comes to step down, the Palestinian president could tell his people: I was unable to end the occupation, but I did manage to unify my people. 
Regaining control in Jerusalem (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) The Netanyahu government has become too tolerant of Waqf chutzpah on the Temple Mount. 
Obama brings curtain down on Mideast peace process (Barak Ravid, Haaretz+) With the departure of the American babysitter, both the Israelis and Palestinians will have to deal with the bleak reality on their own.

**Taking no prisoners
"The amount of terrorists in this area is so immense that these 100 (Palestinian) prisoners that we release won't change the regional terror map," says former police official in the Intelligence branch, Dr. Zvi Sela. He insists that the Palestinians understand Israelis better than anyone else. His fourth book, "Bnei Aruba" ("Hostages"), was published recently after a lengthy dispute with army censors and certain politicians. Sela's description of Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, which is entirely devoid of sentiment, picks apart the demonized image of a man that has crystallized in Israeli society. And he has criticism for the former Shin Bet chiefs who appeared in the film, "The Gatekeepers." (Interviewed by Adi Rubinstein in Israel Hayom)
Uri Avnery at 90: Still leftist, after all these years
Avnery, the spiritual father of the Israeli left, still believes in the miracle of peace and has no doubt that he'll live to see it. (Interviewed by Dalia Karpel, Haaretz+)
Ben Zygier did not betray his country, says Prisoner X's lawyer
Attorney Moshe Mazor was one of the only people in Israel allowed into Ayalon Prison's isolated wing to meet with his client, alleged Mossad agent Ben Zygier. Mazor, 34, exactly the age Zygier was when he died, refused to discuss the affair until now. He was afraid to offend Zygier's family members, and also found it difficult to deal with the difficult memories left by the affair. In an exclusive interview, he speaks about his relationship with 'Prisoner X', the phone call he received from him hours before he committed suicide, and why he believes Zygier's death was a huge failure. (Interview by Tsach Shpitsen in Ynet)
Diana Buttu on Palestinian unity and the way forward
Diana Buttu is a Canadian-Palestinian lawyer. From 2000-2005, she served in the PLO's Negotiations Support Unit as a legal and communications adviser. (Interviewed by Alex Shams in Maan)
"We don't miss Beitar [racist Jerusalem soccer team -OH]"
A year after he left Israel, the Chechen soccer player Jibrail Kadayev, the first Muslim to wear the Beitar Jerusalem uniform, summarizes the toughest period he ever passed: "It was terrible, but Sadayev (his fellow Chechen player) and I dealt with it pretty well." He thanks Gaydamak and the Beitar administration for saving his mother's life: "They paid for her medical treatment and that dwarfs the whole racism thing...Children, youth and adults stood behind the fence, cursed us and threw rocks at us. In the beginning we were in shock, but after a few times we stopped paying attention. We decided to let them curse and to ignore them." He is disappointed he did not get to prove himself: "How can you pass the ball when around you is so much hatred?" And he wants to come back for another round: "I have a place with you (Israelis), but in a different team - I am not a masochist. (Interviewed by Shlomi Aharoni in Yedioth's 'HaMosaf Jerusalem' supplement, pp. 10-12)

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

News Nosh 04.25.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday April 25, 2014

Quote of the day:
"The prime minister and members of cabinet are reacting with panic derived of weakness."
-- Labor MK Omer Bar-Lev slammed the decision to impose more sanctions on the Palestinians.**

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News Nosh 04.24.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday April 24, 2014

Number of the day:
--The amount of shekels that an anonymous donor will give to any Jewish settlement living “near enemy populations” to hold a fireworks display on Israeli Independence Day. One settler called it 'incitement.'**

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APN Welcomes PLO-Hamas Reconciliation Agreement


Washington, DC –  The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas today ended a seven-year rift by reaching a historic reconciliation agreement.

Americans for Peace Now welcomes the agreement. APN holds that unity between the Palestinian political factions and between the West Bank and Gaza is vital for empowering the Palestinian leadership to more credibly conduct negotiations with Israel and to more efficiently implement a future peace agreement.

APN’s President and CEO Debra DeLee said: “The new Palestinian agreement is good news, and should be regarded as such by the Obama administration and by the government of Israel. A Palestinian interlocutor who credibly represents all the Palestinians is much better positioned to make hard decisions around the negotiating table and is much better positioned to deliver when the time comes to implement a peace agreement. This reconciliation agreement can and should empower and legitimize Mahmoud Abbas as a leader of the Palestinian polity.”
“We urge President Obama and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to continue interacting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and to determine the future relations of the U.S. administration and the Israeli government with any Palestinian government based on that government's positions and actions alone.”

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APN Yitzhak Rabin Peace Award Dinner - Sunday, April 27, 2014

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APN/Peace Now in the News: April 11-April 18, 2014

Washington Jewish Week - April 17, 2014
APN's Alana Suskin's letter to the editor in reply to criticism of her op-ed

Israel Hayom - April 14, 2014
Peace Now: New settlemnent in Hebron threatens to derail peace process

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