News Nosh 02.16.15

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday February 16, 2015

Quote of the day:
״Hitler would be proud of the demonization of Jews by the settlers."
--MK Mickey Rosenthal of the Zionist Camp is one of the many who slammed the government-funded Samaria Settlers’ Committee for its depiction of leftist organizations in an animated video that even named Peace Now, B'tselem, Yesh Din, and others.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
The parting from the outgoing IDF chief of staff and the swearing in today of Gadi Eizenkot to replace him along with the reactions to the shooting attack on a synagogue in Copenhagen were the top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Also in the news was the Channel 2 report that the US decided to limit updating Israel on the progress of the nuclear talks with Iran.
Danish Jews and Danish leaders rejected Israeli Prime Minister Binaymin Netanyahu’s call for European Jews to immigrate to Israel following the attack by an Arab Danish man on a café and a synagogue, killing two people Saturday. The Danish chief rabbi responded to Netanyahu saying terror was not a reason to move to Israel. The Danish Prime Minister vowed to protect Denmark’s Jews and the Danish Ambassador to Israel Jesper Vahr told Maariv that "Leaving is not the solution for the Jews.” He also warned: “Do not blame the entire Muslim community." Haaretz+ reported from the Jewish community in Copenhagen and Ynet interviewed the mother of the girl whose bat mitzvah was held at the Copenhagen synagogue where the attacker killed the Jewish guard. “They will not scare us away just like they won't scare Israelis away,” she said. The Israeli government cabinet approved Sunday a $46 million plan to encourage European Jewish immigration to Israel. The budget is significantly lower than the original sum suggested in an Immigration Ministry proposal, Ynet reported.

Israel Hayom emphasized that the White House denied that it is limiting information it shares with Israel on the nuclear talks with Iran, but the rest of the Hebrew newspapers seemed confident that the Channel 2 report that the US fears that Netanyahu will use the information for his own political uses and for undermining the talks was valid.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman demanded a criminal probe of the leaked classified Foreign Ministry assessment that no breakthrough was expected in the Iran talks. However, it appears that the Islamic Republic's supreme leader Ali Khanenei is hoping for a breakthrough: he instructed his foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to to control his temper and speak softly and smile during nuclear negotiations with Western delegates.
Regarding Netanyahu’s speech to Congress against a deal with Iran, the Republican who invited him admitted to Fox News that he kept the White House in the dark regarding the invitation. And Republican Mike Huckabee voiced support for Netanyahu's Congress speech during his visit to Israel.

Quick Hits:
  • Blair, in Gaza, says better Palestinian living standards vital for peace - 'If we leave Gaza in the state it is in, you have another eruption in violence and then we are back into a further catastrophe,' warns Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair. (Haaretz+)
  • **Samaria Settler Council under fire for video depicting leftists as anti-Semite collaborators - Animated video titled 'The Eternal Jew' features a German named Herr Stürmer paying a hooked-nosed Jew for slanderous information about the IDF and Israel; Peace Now demands AG to open police investigation into video, accuse Netanyahu, settlers of brewing ‘another assassination.’  (Haaretz+, Ynet+VIDEO, MaarivIsrael Hayom and Channel2)   
  • Report: Drone from Lebanon penetrated Israeli airspace - Neither Lebanese officials nor the IDF would comment on the media reports. (Haaretz)
  • Comptroller’s report will shed light on Netanyahus’ home expenses - According to data published in 2013, in the four years of Netanyahu’s second term as PM, the budget for his homes increased by 73 percent. (Haaretz+) 
  • Watch: Sara Netanyahu hosted (interior) designer Moshik Glamin at the prime minister's residence - Day before release of State Comptroller’s report on the (public-funded) expenses of the PM’s residence, Netanyahu posted video clip of his wife hosting the designer and showing residence in order to show the dilapidated condition of the house and that it is not a ‘luxury palace.’ "Obama was sitting here on the couch with coffee stains,” she said. (Maariv+VIDEO)
  • French aliyah drive turns into junket for some cities - Kiryat Gat, Beit She’an, Nahariya among bloated delegations to Paris immigration fair. (Haaretz+)  
  • Longest Gaza smuggling tunnel uncovered by Egypt - Tunnel measuring 2.5 kilometers was operated by Hamas' military wing. Egyptian officials say tunnel will be destroyed. (Agencies, Haaretz)  
  • Jordan-based rappers threaten to sue over Netanyahu's ISIS-inspired clip - Torabyeh's music is sampled in the Likud video claiming a vote for the left will bring ISIS to Jerusalem; Hip-hop group 'rejects all forms of cooperation with the Zionist enemy (right and left).' (Haaretz)
  • President Rivlin: "Israelis long for leadership that can make decisions" - The president hinted at the superficial election campaigns waged by the parties, noting the viral video clips and slogans: "Israelis are fed up with the attempts to drug them with satire or celebrities." (Maariv)
  • Bahrain sends troops to support Jordan in fight against terror - No detail on deployment given. Both countries part of U.S.-led coalition against ISIS. (Agencies, Haaretz
  • ISIS creating 'provinces' outside of Syria and Iraq - The Islamist militant group has affiliates across North Africa and is looking to recruit in Afghanistan and Pakistan, The New York Times reports. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Egypt bombs ISIS targets in Libya following video of beheadings of Egyptians - President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi warned that his country would respond to the beheading of 21 Christians in Libya as it saw fit. (Agencies, Haaretz
  • Yemen's last Jews consider fleeing after Islamist takeover - Rise of militia leads last remaining Jewish families in Sanaa to consider exodus; Israel may not be their first choice for destination. (Agencies, Haaretz

The death of the (French) mystery man (who worked for the Mossad)
He was kidnapped by Hezbollah, he tried to find Ron Arad and supplied information to the Mossad after being recruited by the spy agency in 1989, he was the ‘Yedioth Ahronoth’ correspondent in Baghdad under the pseudonym of Pierre Beaudry, he skipped between yachts and fancy restaurants, he did everything to justify the title he was given of ‘playboy,’ and even gave a granddaughter to Jean Marie Le Penn. The amazing story of Roger Auque as written by him and published this month after his death in September. (Yedioth, cover of ’24 Hours’ supplement and Times of Israel French)

Right-wing leaders, stop cultivating anti-Left, anti-Arab propaganda (Haaretz Editorial) Settler group's recent video framing leftists as Nazi collaborators suggests lessons of Rabin's murder have yet to be internalized. The right must go beyond lip service against such voices. 
Eisenkot's Herculean task (Yossi Yehoshua, Yedioth/Ynet) The likelihood of a war breaking out on more than one front during the 21st IDF chief of staff's term is much higher than during his predecessors' time in office. 
Copenhagen, Paris: Europe has failed its Jewish citizens again (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) The gunman who killed two and wounded five in the Danish capital seemed to have at least some military training. 
The wars awaiting Chief of staff Eizenkot - also at home (Alon Ben-David, Maariv) Ease and moderation won’t be enough for Eizenkot. He will have to fight against the budget cuts, the media and above all - against the inflammatory voices of his (political) superiors.
Keep calm, the U.S.-Israel relationship will carry on (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) The strategic relationship between the United States and Israel has weathered rough spells before, and it will survive the current discord between its two leaders.
Why do we keep believing Netanyahu? (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth/Ynet) Every time the prime minister convinces Israel's citizens of the rightness of his moves, he backtracks on them. The same could happen with his Congress speech.
Israel's cowardly lions of culture (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz+) The integrity of Israel’s intellectual elite, seen in the Israel Prize protests, evaporates in the face of the occupation.
So what if politicians talk nonsense? (Eitan Haber, Yedioth/Ynet) A true leader is tested by his decisions and actions, not by the comments he makes to the public.
Why Netanyahu must address Congress (Jacob Dayan, Haaretz+) The organization behind it may have been inept, but the prime minister’s instinct to speak out against an Iranian nuclear deal is 100% correct.
The time tunnel of the elections (Yossi Yehoshua, Yedioth/Ynet) Before our politicians willingly enter the Hamas tunnels for campaign purposes, they should consider their own part in the failures of Operation Protective Edge. 
Netanyahu has sabotaged the fight to keep Iran from going nuclear
 (Chuck Freilich, Haaretz+) U.S. legislation that hitherto had bipartisan support instantly collapsed; now it’s not clear a majority can be forged to pass sanctions.

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