News Nosh 11.26.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Tuesday November 26, 2013


Quote of the day:

"The government does not like Israel, but the people don't care. They just want to live well."
--S., a religious Jewish Iranian young woman who recently immigrated to Israel and joined the Israeli army.**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth

  • Ease in financial edicts - Finance Minister Lapid announced income tax won't increase in January
  • The boycott dilemma - Government about to decide: Sign on agreement with Europeans that will hurt settlements or give up on hundreds of millions of euros
  • Price-tag // Nahum Barnea
  • Secrets from [Eyal Golan's] interrogation room - Losses at the casino, enormous loans to Haim Revivo, free performances for criminals and evasive answers: "I don't remember
  • Returns to the stage - Yesterday Eyal Golan performed at a bat-mitzvah in Tel-Aviv
  • From Iran to Border Police - S. immigrated alone to Israel 1.5 years ago from Iran, today she completes basic training and will become a Border Police fighter
  • The uncle stabbed his 7-year-old niece in the neck: "A voice told me to kill"
  • My terrible secret - Interview with young woman who discovered her grandfather was the Nazi criminal from 'Schindler's List'
  • Danger in the crosswalk - Cross walk lights (are too short) and endanger elderly pedestrians


Israel Hayom

  • Income tax won't be increased
  • "Heard voices" - and stabbed his 7-year-old niece
  • 4 Air Forces, one drill
  • Prime Minister's advisor to the US - coordinate continued negotiations with Iran
  • The Syrian injured and the dangerous bacteria
  • Hit and run in Rishon L'Tzion: Meir Solomon was killed on way to synagogue
  • Another Israeli exit: Apple acquired PrimeSense for $350
  • In trouble again? Report: "Gaydamak arrested in Switzerland"


Peace Talk Highlights:
Chief Israeli peace negotiator calls on Labor party to make a political alliance with her Hatnua party to advance the peace process while the Foreign Minister suggests broadening the Likud-Yisrael Beteinu right-wing alliance. Meanwhile, the Israeli Prime Minister held an emergency meeting last night over whether to sign an agreement with the EU that will boycott the settlements but will give Israel hundreds of millions of euros and participation in a prestigious scientific project.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who heads the Hatnua party and leads Israel's peace talks, called on the new Labor party chief Isaac Herzog to form a political alliance with Hatnua to counter the political alliance between Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid and the pro-settler Habayit Hayehudi party led by Naftali Bennett. Herzog said earlier he would not join the government in its present configuration. But, speaking at a conference of the Lobby for Advancing the Two-State Solution, Livni said he did not need to. "We have six months to prevent a permanent agreement with Iran that would make it [a nuclear-armed state] and six months to achieve a permanent settlement with the Palestinians that would guarantee Israel is a secure, Jewish and democratic state...We are still paying the price for the alliance between 'the brothers' Yair [Lapid] and Bennett...So let's form a new alliance - an ideological alliance for a political solution."
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who heads the Yisrael Beiteinu party which is on a joint ticket with Likud, suggested Habayit Hayehudi should join to make an even wider right-wing grouping.  Lieberman also spoke about again attacking the Gaza Strip. "Yisrael Beiteinu will oppose any move in Gaza that does not include controlling the whole Strip and cleansing it of terror cells," he said.
Meanwhile, Israel is in a bind over whether to join the prestigious EU Horizon 2020 project. The project prohibits funding beyond the Green Line. Israel tried to negotiate around that, by offering that the companies that apply for receiving loans from the EU through the project won't use the money beyond the Green Line. But the EU rejected Israel's provision and maintained that it won't offer loans to anyone with dealings beyond the Green Line. (See other Israeli demands in Haaretz) Now Israel has days to decide whether to sign "the humiliating agreement that boycotts settlements" or give up hundreds of millions of euros and advancing Israel's economy and academia, as Yedioth's Itamar Eichner wrote. If Israel does not join, it will lose EU aid in the amount of 1.4 billion euros over seven years. Foreign Ministry officials told Eichner that the EU pulled a 'dirty trick' by giving the impression some time ago that the Israeli conditions would be accepted, but then gave its rejection Friday. In the meeting Netanyahu held with cabinet ministers last night, some ministers suggested giving the EU an ultimatum: either it signs the agreement with the suggested Israeli stipulations or Israel does not join the project and it will distribute the billion euros it was supposed to give to the Europeans directly to the Israeli researchers as compensation for not being accepted. Science Minister Yaakov Peri suggested not to end things in such a way with the Europeans and to give them an alternative offer. The project will publicly announce a call to scientists for submissions on 10 December. But if Israel waits till after that it will lose a great portion of money that will go to other scientists.

Iran-related News:
Western powers are telling Israel to stop complaining about the Iran nuclear deal and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu moderates his tone, while Hezbollah hails the agreement, the Arab media gives it mixed reviews, and Israeli officials travel to Washington to discuss the final agreement. Meanwhile, an Israeli poll finds that only 10% divides those who think its good and those who think its bad for Israel.

Fearing that he will worsen the crisis with the US over the Iran nuclear agreement, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lowered his aggressive tone yesterday in his criticism of the deal between the world powers and Iran, wrote Yedioth. But US President Barack Obama blasted critics saying, "Tough talk and bluster may be the easy thing to do politically, but it is not the right thing for our security." And Britain's Foreign Secretary Alexander Hague warned Israel against any action that would undermine the deal. "We would discourage anybody in the world, including Israel, from taking any steps that would undermine this agreement and we will make that very clear to all concerned," Hague told parliament. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Israel would not launch an attack in the near future because "no one would understand" such a move "at this stage." Hezbollah said the deal was a "defeat for the enemies" of the region. The Arab media reactions reflect their regional divisions. But the consensus, writes Haaretz's Jacky Khoury, is that the Syrian regime was the big winner, because it is believed there is no longer any chance of military action against President Bashar Assad and his regime. Meanwhile, an Israeli team will leave for Washington to discuss the final Iran deal, Netanyahu told Likud members.

A text message poll by Yedioth asked whether the deal signed with Iran was good for Israel.
45% - Yes
55% - No

Quick Hits:

  • A tail of two West Bank building permit requests - A 10-family Jewish outpost gets approval for 94 housing units and a commercial zone. The 40 Arab families of Susya get the boot, and a lecture. (Haaretz)
  • Israel-EU rift deepening after talks over settlement funding ban hit impasse - EU representative rejects Israel's conditions concerning European funding for institutions operating beyond the Green Line; Horizon 2020 joint project in question. (Haaretz)
  • Twins born in Bethlehem from smuggled sperm of prisoner - For the first time in Bethlehem, the wife of a Palestinian prisoner delivered two healthy twins after successful fertilization using sperm smuggled from her jailed husband, Ahmad al-Mughrabi from Duheisha refugee camp. (Maan)
  • Israeli soldiers destroy 60 olive trees near Bethlehem - Israeli soldiers accompanied by settlers uprooted over 60 olive trees in the village of Tuqu, near Bethlehem Monday. (Maan)
  • Settlers uproot 15 olive trees in Salfit - Settlers from the outpost of Brukhin destroyed over 15 trees belonging to the Sheikh Omar family in the Salfit village of Bruqin. (Maan)
  • Palestinians planning to launch flotilla from Gaza - Activists, fishermen will try to reach open seas of Mediterranean to remind world Gaza is still under closure. Protesters are expecting Navy interference but say will not confront seamen. (Ynet)
  • Israeli forces detain 4 in protest [against cutting out a lane to enter Azariya town near Maaleh Adumim - Israeli forces detained Thaer Anees, head of the Fatah's Youth movement in Jerusalem, and three others and assaulted Hiba Erekat, (female) head of the national council of Abu Dis when they demonstrated against a decision by Israeli authorities to reduce a road linking the town of al-Azariya to one lane. (Maan)
  • Battle of religions over King David's Tomb - The holy compound, which attracts thousands of believers, turned into focus of conflict between Christians and Jews. At Dormition Abbey next door they say the (Jewish) worshippers spit on the priests and curse them. The Jews claim: The Christians remove our mezuzahs and throw prayer books. (Maariv, p. 1)
  • Israel detains 3 Palestinians in Silwan - The three young men tried to prevent the Israeli antiquities authority from starting excavation work on their lands and an attempt to confiscate it. (Maan)
  • Shin Bet considering including film "Bethlehem" in training courses - The film, which depicts the relationship between a Shin Bet agent and his 'source,' gets much praise from the Shin Bet. A new initiative seeks to use the film as an illustration of its activities. (Maariv back page/NRG Hebrew)
  • Israeli forces demolish house, steel structure in Hebron town - Israeli forces demolished a house and a steel structure in the southern West Bank town of Idhna west of Hebron under the pretext of construction without license. The six-member family of Ashraf Muhammad Yousuf al-Batran was left homeless. (Maan)
  • Sick prisoners at jail hospital threaten open strike - Sick Palestinian prisoners at Ramle hospital threatened on Monday to go on an open hunger strike in protest of their health situation, and what they termed an Israeli policy of medical negligence. (Maan)
  • Murderer released in Shalit exchange in charge of detainee compensation - Indictment reveals how Hamas operative involved in murder of Israeli recruited fellow murderer released in Shalit deal to funnel money to families of imprisoned Israeli-Palestinians living in Green Line. (Ynet)
  • Israeli forces detain elderly man, young girl in Bethlehem camp - Israeli forces on Monday detained a 70-year-old man and a young girl from Duheisha refugee camp in Bethlehem in an overnight raid. (Maan)
  • Camp residents clash with Palestinian Authority security near Nablus - One man was injured during clashes between Palestinian Authority security forces and Palestinian youths in Balata refugee camp demonstrating for the release of a man accused of shooting in a courtroom. (Maan)
  • Norway: "We will stop calling for the boycott of Israel" - New Foreign Minister Borge Brende: "A minister who proposes boycotting Israel will not be a cabinet member for long." (Maariv, p. 6/NRG Hebrew)
  • Hezbollah has fleet of 200 Iranian-made UAVs - After Hezbollah personnel track explosive-laden car from Syrian border, open fire on terrorists, Lebanese military defuse 400 kilo payload, report exposes Hezbollah has UAV capability. (Ynet)
  • Israel and US Air Force  hosts largest-ever aerial manoeuvre drill - Code-named 'Blue Flag,' the Israel, Greece, Italy, US are holding massive aerial training exercise in Israel with almost 100 aircraft. IDF stress: Exercise has nothing to do with Iran. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Joint Israeli-Jordanian Employment Park to be established in Jordan Valley - Ministerial Committee on Development of the Negev and Galilee approved Monday establishment of the park where Jordanians and Israelis will work together. Construction cost: 120 million shekels. (NRG Hebrew)
  • Apple confirms acquisition of Israeli 3D sensing company PrimeSense - PrimeSense is best known for its advanced body-movement tracking technology originally used for the Xbox 360, a popular gaming device. (Haaretz)
  • Only 1,200 Arabs in high-tech? How to make a change - Tzofen helping to revolutionize high-tech industry through goal of advancing establishment of industrial centers in Arab cities. (Ynet)
  • Elie Wiesel honored with President's Medal - Holocaust survivor accepts Israel's highest civilian award, calling himself honorary Israeli: 'Even though I don't live in Israel, Israel lives within me.' Peres: 'Great honor, privilege for me.' (Ynet)
  • Russian-born Israeli businessman Gaydamak arrested in Zurich - Gaydamak, who ran for mayor of Jerusalem and owned Beitar Jerusalem soccer team, was in Zurich for an arbitration meeting with fellow former suspect in a billion-shekel money-laundering scheme. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Anti-Semitic incidents on the rise in Australia, report shows - Anti-Semitism remains on the fringe of Australian society, but the fallout sparked by explosive revelations that Israel's "Prisoner X" was Ben Zygier, a Melbourne-born Mossad agent, triggered use of age-old stereotypes of Jews, by questioning the loyalty to Australia of Australian Jews as a group, wrote the report. (Haaretz)
  • Israel aims to attract cyclists - Tourism Ministry launching campaign presenting country as destination for extreme sport tourism. 'Israel has optimal conditions for cycling,' says ministry's director-general. (Ynet)
  • Turkish envoy colluded with Muslim Brotherhood to divide Egypt, sources say - The plan was allegedly to sow chaos in Egypt and prove that the army was not in control after Morsi's downfall, according to report in Egyptian newspaper. (Haaretz)


Hollywood producer opens up about past as Israeli operative
'It was like being a 20-something guy whose country decided to let him be James Bond?' asks Arnon Milchan. (Haaretz)
David Broza returns to peace train, with boycotters on board
Forthcoming album 'East Jerusalem / West Jerusalem' unites musicians of different political stripes in an East Jerusalem studio. (Haaretz)


Geneva deal has faded the West's 'red line' on Iran's nuclear program (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) The deal reached with world powers has granted the Islamic Republic it's main aspiration: the right to enrich uranium. The rest of the red lines have been blurred, distorted or erased.
A bill aimed to conceal criticism (Haaretz Editorial) Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is promoting a bill that would restrict freedom of expression.
See you in six months (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) For Israel, the next six months will see the culmination of years of overt and covert efforts to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions. 
Displacing Bedouin in the name of a false god (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz) Go out en masse to Umm al-Hiran to stand by the Bedouin threatened with displacement. 
America retreats from superpower status (Prof. Abraham Ben-Zvi, Israel Hayom) The U.S. is abandoning its role as international mediator to tend to internal affairs, leaving Israel in the dust. 
Haredim also have a birthright (Chaim Levinson, Haaretz) As long as Israel gives money to secular Jews from abroad, the Haredim deserve it, too. 
The fight is not over (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) Israel must fight the Iranian nuclear project with the tools that remain in its hands.
Alliance with U.S. is here to stay (Moshe Arens, Haaretz) U.S.-Israeli relationship will overcome all differences of opinion, even on Iran and its nuclear program.
Reviving the Palestine pound to strengthen Palestinian independence (Alex Shams, Maan) The Palestine pound, found now only in tourist markets, is an inconvenient reminder for many Israelis that a cosmopolitan and tolerant society thrived in Palestine before its dismemberment and exile by the emerging Israeli state. One Palestinian researcher, however, is determined to bring the Palestine pound back, this time as the currency of the newly emerging State of Palestine.
Bibi, the bomb, and Behruz (Ilene Prusher, Haaretz) Worry and worst-case scenarios are not the only things that should drive a country's foreign policy.

**From the streets of Iran to the Israeli Border Police
Until one and a half years ago, S., 23, lived with her religious Jewish family in Iran and dreamed of immigrating to Israel. She followed her dream, left behind her family with the help of the Jewish Agency, and today she finished basic training and will be certified as a Border Police fighter. Her family does not want to immigrate, she says. "We talk by phone and internet. I hope in the future they will come here, too. I miss them very much." She learned Hebrew in a Jewish school in Iran, about Israel she learned from TV. "On TV they don't show nice things about Israel, only bad things. The government does not like Israel, but the people don't care. They just want to live well. The people don't like that the government invests so much money in the nuclear program." S. also says the Jews in Iran live well. "The government does not have a problem with the Jews at all. They have a problem with the word Zionism and with Zionist Jews. Although the government laws are tough, life is okay for the Jews - until it's about contact with Israel." S. has a Jewish name and a Persian name. She says that since she was small she wanted to immigrate to Israel and join the IDF. "When I moved to Israel I was asked to give my name in order to receive an ID card. It was the first time in my life I was so moved to use my Jewish name. For me, it was the significant moment of my life." S. joined the Border Police beause "I wanted to be a combat soldier and to have a significant position. I heard about the female combat soldiers of the Border Police and ever since I entered the army I have enjoyed every moment. I found good friends and I am treated well. Everyone here is like a family for me." (Interviewed by Yaron Doron in Yedioth)

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