News Nosh 11.25.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Monday November 25, 2013


Number of the day:


--Latest number of settler houses approved by Israel, Peace Now revealed. **

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth

  • The agreement, the concern
  • It's not the end of the world // Nahum Barnea
  • We have a problem // Eitan Haber
  • A new Middle East // Alex Fishman
  • We can live with this // (former Military Intel chief) Amos Yadlin
  • An agreement by zigzagging // Ronen Bergman
  • The smile returned  - Eyal Golan released from house arrest
  • He has no reason to celebrate // Merav Betito
  • I was an abused wife - Ronit Elovitz escaped with her daughters to a shelter and wrote a book about it
  • Quiet, we're firing - Hundreds of security guards at malls were already sent home
  • Pop art for children - Andy Warhold and other surprises waiting for Hannukah


Israel Hayom


Peace Talk Highlights
Suspicion Israeli students to hold dialogue with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, while new Labor party chief envisions center-left bloc and a Palestinian Authority (PA) official says Iran nuclear agreement gives hope for a Palestinian-Israeli one. Meanwhile, a Palestinian party slams Abbas for his concessions to Israel. 

After a stormy debate, Israel's National Student Association agreed to send a delegation of 200 students to Ramallah to hold an unmediated dialogue with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, NRG Hebrew reported. The offer was made by MK Hilik Bar, the Labor party CEO and chairman of the Lobby for Solving the Arab-Israeli Conflict and Ori Reshtik, Chairman of the NSA. In the end, it was the right-wing Bar-Ilan University student association chairman who tipped the scales. Matan Bar-Noi, a settler from Elkana settlement, agreed to join the initiative in order "to center it, because it was leaning left politically." The dialogue will be held in December.

Days after beating Shelly Yachimovich for Labor Party leadership, Isaac Herzog reveals his political vision for the future - Labor, Yesh Atid, Minister Tzipi Livni's Hatnua, Kadima led by Shaul Mofaz, and Meretz in a merger to form a center-left bloc. However, he promises he has no plans to join government.

The Palestinian Authority expressed a new confidence in international diplomatic efforts in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after world powers clinched a nuclear deal with Iran, Maan reported. Presidential Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh called on the Middle East Quartet to intervene on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, given "the success of the international efforts to solve the Iranian issue." However, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine criticized Abbas for offering "useless" concessions to Israel during peace negotiations.

Iran-related News:
The Israeli commentators and analysts complained, lauded, warned, and calmed Israeli readers today about the agreement signed between Iran and the six powers. They also slammed Israeli Prime Minister Binaymin Netanyahu, who was perceived as a failure. (See Commentary/Analysis below.) Interestingly, there were more than a few who supported the deal, including Israeli politicians. (Full text of interim deal here.)

On the con side, Netanyahu said the deal endangers Israel and that Israel will defend itself. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel needs to find new allies [!] and Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett echoed the Prime Minister's claims, as did Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon.


However, Israeli President Shimon Peres said "time will tell" and Meretz chairwoman MK Zahava Gal-On said it slows down the fast track to a nuclear bomb. And former army intel chief Amos Yadlin said that the Iran deal was better than the alternative of no deal and that Israel must push for  a final deal that keeps Iran years from a possible bomb. Ynet interviewed the former head of the Iran division in the Prime Minister's Office, who said the deal includes considerable achievements. Yoel Guzansky also said Israel made all of its demands public, knowing that not all of them would be approved. "Part of Israel's policy was to ask for the maximum with the hope and aspiration that at least half would be accepted," he said.

US President Barack Obama called Netanyahu and said he wants Israel and the US to begin consultations over a final nuclear agreement. Canada has vowed to keep its Iran sanctions after the deal. Israel Hayom has a poll showing that Israelis don't believe Iran will not make a nuclear weapon. And in Iran, Iranians hailed their Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif as a hero.

Quick Hits:

  • **Israel approves 799 (or 829) housing units in West Bank - Givat Sal'it outpost approved two weeks after PM called off planning for 24,000 units in West Bank, East Jerusalem, Peace Now reveals. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • "Israel intends to turn Al-Aqsa into a museum" - The Palestinian media has decided to fight against the visits of Jews to the Temple Mount, and a special article in the Palestinian news agency [WAFA? - OH] warned against "attempts to show that they were here in the past." (NRG Hebrew)
  • Bedouin mayor says Israeli lawmakers painting false picture for public - Knesset members visit Bedouin towns as residents, supporters protest plan to destroy villages. (Haaretz)
  • Cabinet votes yea for Shai Nitzan as state prosecutor - Habayit Hayehudi slams appointment; Netanyahu: Nitzan is the worthiest candidate. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Amish arrived in Israel to apologize for the Holocaust - An apology Amish style: dressed in traditional clothing, 31 Christians Amish landed in Isarel. They intend to "reconnect" to Judaism and to apologize for not doing anything to stop the slaughter during the Holocaust. (Maariv, p. 1/NRG Hebrew)
  • Israeli city becomes 'Gaza' for three days - in army drillSome troops to represent Hamas fighters in urban warfare drill in the city of Ashkelon. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Health trend takes over military kitchen - Defense Ministry introducing whole grain rice, light salad dressings, oatmeal into IDF soldiers' menu. (Ynet)
  • You served in the army? Your criminal record gets erased - Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved the bill by MK Levy-Abeksis that "puts an end to the paradox." Bill to be brought to a vote in the Knesset later this week. (NRG Hebrew)
  • Al-Baraq's path from biology student to wanted terrorist - Interrogation transcripts attainted by Ynet reveal chilling tale of terrorist recruitment, training process. Read how Samir al-Baraq, reportedly being held in Israel [confirmed - OH] grew from a biology student to terrorist involved in secretive al-Qaeda chemical division. (Ynet)
  • Netanyahu to meet with pope next week - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to Italy next Sunday for the annual meeting between the Israeli and Italian governments. Netanyahu will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican and is expected to officially invite him to visit Israel. (Israel Hayom)
  • Deal to acquire V-22 planes from US finalized - Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met Friday to expedite V-22 Osprey deal. The American aircraft is a hybrid between a helicopter and an airplane. Israel will be the first to receive the aircraft from the U.S. (Israel Hayom)
  • Gaza forced to use donkeys for waste collection due to lack of fuel - Garbage collection vehicles in the Gaza Strip stopped working on Sunday due to lack of fuel, forcing local municipalities to use donkeys. (Maan)
  • Israel releases Palestinian prisoner after 16 years in jail - Hani Muhammad Badee Bader al-Sharif, 38, had been in Israeli jails since Nov. 24, 1997, his family told a Palestinian prisoners research group Sunday. (Maan)
  • Israeli court extends detention of 7 teenagers from Jerusalem - The seven teens aged 14-16 were charged with "throwing firebombs" at an Israeli military base near their E. Jerusalem village of Issawiya and trying to set it on fire. (Maan)
  • Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Hamdallah meets his Jordanian counterpart
  • Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Sunday met with his Jordanian counterpart Abdullah Ensour to discuss methods for improving bilateral relations as well as political and economic cooperation between the two countries. (Maan)
  • Palestinian Authority: Iran embassy bomber 'does not represent Palestine' - Palestinian authorities on Sunday condemned last Tuesday's suicide bombing attack against the Iranian embassy in Beirut, stressing that the Palestinian individual involved "does not represent the Palestinian leadership." (Maan)
  • Report: Egypt enacts law restricting protest - Draft criminalizes all peaceful assembly, says rights group. (Agencies, Haaretz)


Give Iran deal a chance (Haaretz Editorial) Netanyahu has managed to convince the world that the Iranian threat is real; he must now embrace the results of these efforts. 
Zig-zag agreements (Ronen Bergman, Yedioth) "Israel has cause for concern. First, because its main demand, the complete dismantling of Fordow, the fortified underground site near Qom, was not met. Second, because the agreement, in contrast to Israel's demand, is for only six months, and therefore, Iran will be able to resume nuclear development in another six months without being considered in violation of it. Third, and most importantly, the section of the agreement regarding sanctions is very vague. It is not clear which sanctions will be lifted and how...If it becomes clear that Iran is violating the agreement or if it refuses to sign a permanent agreement, the ability to threaten it again will be severely impaired."
How the Iran crisis became a test of American Jewish 'loyalty' (Amiel Ungar, Haaretz) What Jonathan Pollard's interminable incarceration and the Iran deal have in common is a warning to American Jews not to voice their support for Israel too loudly.
Netanyahu needs to clarify whether 11 billion shekels were wasted (Shalom Yerushalmi, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) "Israel is not committed to an agreement," Netanyahu said Sunday and he now needs to give us answers what now. What does he intend to do now? Will he attack Iran without the powers? Will he attack Iran despite the US opposition? Will we find new allies instead of the US, as our Foreign Minister says? And did billions of shekels go down the drain on training for nothing for an attack that won't take place? Will we start to pay the price for the uphill battles we had held against our closest ally and will Obama send us now to look for our friends in Moldova? Let's pray not.
Geneva deal seals Netanyahu's legacy: An ineffectual leader (Amir Oren, Haaretz) The prime minister wanted to 'save Israel.' He winds up alienated from the international community - and from his own base.
Nitzan's destructive disengagement days (Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom) The extent that his personal convictions influenced his decision-making during his tenure as deputy attorney-general continues to stir controversy. 
A good deal: Geneva pact distances Iran from nuclear bomb (Barak Ravid, Haaretz) Despite Netanyahu's harsh criticism, Geneva deal places serious restrictions on Iran and provides the West with valuable information on its nuclear program.
The Prime Minister's Dilemma: Escalation or accepting the agreement (Eli Bardenstein, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) Netanyahu insisted not to be involved in the agreement. After the signing, Israeli diplomats hope that Netanyahu will look forward and stop being opposed to it.
To my friends on the right: Don't delegitimize me (Alex Sinclair, Haaretz) Jews on the left are ready for a broad dialogue on Israel, but the right often isn't - and still prefers to reject them as self-hating Jews who want to destroy Israel. 
A tale of two deals (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) American credibility on Iran is shot through so badly that almost nothing American leaders can say will allay Israeli -- or Arab -- fears.
Obama and Kerry's betrayal of 'never again' (Seth Lipsky, Haaretz) What President Obama means when he says he has Israel's back is that he will partner with Israel's enemies behind its back, giving succor to a regime that operates against both Israel and the U.S.
Pros and cons of Geneva deal (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Greatest danger is that interim agreement will become permanent, leaving Iran as 'threshold country.'
U.S., Israel spats blur simple truth: Neither wants Iran to have nukes (Robert Einhorn, Haaretz) It's time to stop exchanging rhetorical barrages and knuckle down to the real work of making the final Iran pact watertight. 
The agreement with Iran: the chance of attacking rose (Amir Rappaport Dr. Rafael Ofek, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) Rapprochement between Tehran and West does not allow an (Israeli) attack in the near future, but the government will have to decide what it wants to do when a political opportunity for an attack arises.
Caution: Settlement construction perpetually in progress (Yehonatan Geffen, Haaretz) Here, battlefields turn into firing ranges and then into annexed territory.
Winners and losers of nuclear deal (Roi Simyoni, Ynet) Deal reached in Geneva between Iran, western powers left certain sides satisfied, others less. As Iran, US are triumphant, Israel, Saudi Arabia come up short. How does deal affect Israel's Mideast neighbors? Political balance sheet.
Battle for new sanctions could harm Israel more than Iran, now that deal is done (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz) Israel finds itself isolated in the world arena, with only Saudi sheikhs and U.S. lawmakers at its side; perhaps it's time to consider other diplomatic options besides perpetual petulance.
The logic of the Obama administration is in question (Dr. Emily Landau, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) "The interim agreement is neither a disaster nor a cause for celebration...There is no basis for believing that Iran will necessarily act in good faith and will not try to bypass the restrictions...After years of deception and lies vis-à-vis the international community, Iran has lost all basis for trust and, therefore, oversight must be comprehensive and the inspectors' visits frequent...As long as Iran has not carried out an about-face regarding its military intentions, it is still playing a tactical game in the framework of which it is trying to achieve maximum sanctions relief in exchange for minimum concessions."
A 'bad deal' for Israel is a hollow victory for Iran (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz) Iranian diplomats claim victory after reaching a nuclear deal with the West, even though most of their red lines were breached.
The agreement with Iran: modest, but better than the present situation (Nadav Eyal, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) Contrary to public opinion in the world, the agreement with Iran is not a historic breakthrough for peace. The agreement with Iran is exactly what it is: an initial interim arrangement.
Oil and the soul of the nation (Yitzhak Laor, Haaretz) Israel has nothing to offer except its apocalyptic arsenal, but even that has no strategic value without the Americans - and their interest is in oil.
Israel lost a great man (Sever Plocker, Yedioth/Ynet) As man of ideals, the late Dov Lautman never despaired of working for weak, helpless and poor (and for peace).


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