News Nosh 11.18.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Monday November 18, 2013


Quote of the day:

"If, as the Prime Minister says, only Israel is responsible for its fate, it must actualize this responsibility at the diplomatic table and not just in the battlefield..."
--Former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy in today's Yedioth on negotiations regarding Iran's nuclear program.**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth

  • "We will continue to pressure Iran" - French President in Jerusalem
  • The weak alliance // Shimon Shiffer
  • French hug // Alex Fishman
  • "This is how they tried to hunt my daughter" - Scandal of the singer and the minors
  • Ahiya can see again - Ahiya Klein was severely injured in eyes in tunnel on Gaza border
  • Case of Rosen (journalist accused of sexual harassment) faces closure
  • Why is the treatment of premature babies in Israel the worst in Western countries?
  • Country slowing down - This is how the low growth of the economy affects us


Israel Hayom

  • (Outgoing National Security Council director) Amidror: Israel can attack Iran alone
  • French President Hollande: "We have only four conditions for Iran, we won't accept that they deceive us"; Netanyahu: "The agreement in Geneva is bad and dangerous, it is my obligation to prevent another Holocaust"
  • France wants a deal // Boaz Bismuth
  • The exceptional announcement of "The next star": "Don't pass judgment based on hearsay"
  • Emmanuel Rosen case: Lador ruled to close it
  • Tonight the state's next Attorney General will likely be chosen
  • Worrying report: Serious faults in Mada and Rescue Union
  • Sport: Maccabi Tel-Aviv defender


Peace Talk Highlights:
French President says Israel must make 'gesture' on settlements, Israeli Defense Minister blames Palestinian attacks against Israelis on peace talks, Israeli Prime Minister insists Palestinians must make 'gesture' by recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, and Palestinian President says the talks will go on.
Most of French President Francoise Hollande's visit to Israel was devoted to the Iran issue, but Hollande did tell Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres that Israel must make a 'gesture' to stop settlement construction and it should continue to free Palestinian prisoners. "There are still gestures that need to be made (by both sides). Some gestures have already been started by Israel, other gestures are expected, especially in the area of settlements," he said in joint remarks to the press with his Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon blamed the recent wave of attacks on Israelis on the political process. "When a political process takes place, the issue of de-legitimization of Israel comes up and the hatred of us increases and then there are initiatives - not of organizations or criminals - that turn into training," he said. "Our victims are victims of the peace process." (NRG Hebrew)
According to Yaalon, the obstacle to peace is the lack of willingness by the Palestinian Authority to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. "That is the root of the conflict," he said. In an interview on CNN's State of the Union, Netanyahu also insisted on the declaration, saying it was time for the Palestinians to make a gesture, by recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. (NRG Hebrew)
In an interview with AFP before Hollande's arrival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that "regardless of what happens on the ground" peace talks will run the full nine-month course. He also called for an international probe to determine who killed Yasser Arafat after scientists said it was likely he had been poisoned.

Iran-related News:
French President Francoise Hollande promised Israel that Iranian 'deception' will trigger renewed sanctions, but Israeli commentators said Hollande does not represent Israeli interests at the talks over Iran's nuclear program (see Commentary/Analysis below). Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said for the first time that Israel would agree to an interim agreement ("If the agreement would enter a framework of dismantling capacities, and the Iranians would take steps to dismantle centrifuges or a plutonium reactor, I would not like it, but I'd say there's progress." NRG Hebrew), but also complained that the agreement would not solve the problem of enriching uranium and would allow for a break-out bomb to be produced in three weeks. US sources shared with Haaretz's Chemi Shalev details of the Iran nuclear deal and also complained that it is Israel that is undermining the US military threat by repeatedly saying the US would never use it. Meanwhile, the UK's Sunday Times reported that Israel and Saudi Arabia are planning for a possible joint attack on Iran and the White House denied an Israeli TV report of secret talks between the US and Iran.

Quick Hits:

  • Extremist Israeli group enters Al-Aqsa compound under police escort - The 104 Israeli Jews were described by witnesses as "settlers," and they included 33 Israeli intelligence officers led by extremist lawyer Yehuda Glick, who was allowed in following the end of his 6-month ban two days ago. Glick called on all Jews to visit the compound, and proposed an initiative to schedule daily visits. (Maan)
  • Israeli settlers uproot 106 olive trees near Yatta - Israeli settlers raided Palestinian agricultural areas in the southern West Bank overnight, uprooting 106 olive trees in Quwawees area east of Yatta. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces raid Abu Dis and attack al-Quds University, injuring 40 - Israeli forces shot 40 Palestinians including a large number of university students with rubber-coated steel bullets during a raid on a Palestinian village east of Jerusalem on Sunday afternoon, while students were on their way to class. (Maan)
  • Israeli injured from stone-throwing - Israeli woman, 40, was lightly to moderately injured when a rock was thrown at her windshield near the settlement of Ofra. (Yedioth, p. 22)
  • Israel to displace Palestinian community south of Hebron - Israeli forces on Sunday handed confiscation orders to Palestinians in the al-Kaabna area of Um al-Daraj south of Hebron. Soldiers said large tracts of the locals' land would be appropriated for an Israeli military base. (Maan)
  • Appointment of new State Attorney: Right-wing sources oppose choosing Adv. Shai Nitzan - After a complaint was filed with the police against Nitzan for a judicial opinion he wrote for a relative, now the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel has turned to Justice Minister Livni: Let the government decide between the two candidates the selection committee offers. (Maariv, p. 6/NRG Hebrew)
  • Bolstered referendum law has MKs at each other's throats - Upgraded referendum law would make it harder for the government to cede land that has been annexed by Israel, including Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. (Right-wing MK) Yariv Levin: Such matters should be left to the people; that is how the EU decided on the euro. Arab MK Ahmed Tibi: "The Knesset has no legislative powers when it comes to occupied territory; this is arrogant behavior and it is void of relevance." (Israel Hayom)
  • Right-wing attacks Minister Peretz - Stormy reactions in right-wing following publication yesterday of Maariv story about book published in cooperation with Ministry of Environment that does not include Judea and Samaria. "The minister has no right to leave out a whole public or part of it from the map of activities of his ministry on the basis of his political views," said Likud Deputy Minister Ofir Ekunis, adding: "It's time the left-wing gets used to it: Judea and Samaria are part of Israel." (Maariv, p. 18/NRG Hebrew)
  • Al-Aqsa Brigades hold military parade in Qalandia - Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the military wing of Fatah, held a military parade in the Qalandia refugee camp between Ramallah and Jerusalem on Saturday to mark the 9th anniversary of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's death. (MaanPHOTOS)
  • Hamas shows off tunnel-digging unit - Weeks after Israel demolishes tunnel network, Hamas reveals tunnel-excavation methods in Al-Jazeera report. (Haaretz)
  • 5 injured after explosion in Gaza City - The explosion occurred at the Abu Jarad military site as a result of a fire. The explosion was heard throughout the city, and a black cloud was seen overhead. (Maan)
  • Palestinian Anti-corruption chief: complaints quintupled in 2013 - The number of civilian complaints regarding corruption in Palestinian ministries and other governmental institutions has increased recently. (Maan)
  • High Court to rule on administrative detainee held for over three years - Samar Albarak, who is suspected of being an Al-Qaida biological weapons expert, has been held in Israel since August 2010. (Haaretz)
  • Car of Islamic court judge torched in Jaffa - Judge dealt with divorce cases. Attack follows assassination attempt on senior prosecutor in Tel Aviv less than two weeks ago and the shooting dead of a man in Jaffa the day before. (Haaretz)
  • Fearing party takeover, Likud wary of Lieberman's return - A group of Likud activists wants to tweak the party's constitution in the foreign minister's favor; others propose strengthening Netanyahu's leadership. (Haaretz)
  • For first time since Morsi's ouster, Muslim Brotherhood calls for dialogue with army - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel welcomes end to three-month period of emergency law and curfew. (Haaretz)


Muslims, Jews find common cause in fight for religious rights
Whether it's for an extra day of New Year or time off to mourn a family member, these women have found common cause in a trade union. (Roy (Chicky) Arad, Haaretz)
Unearthed: Polyamory in Israel's pre-state underground
Irgun leaders Shmuel Katz and Eliyahu Lankin fought together, sat beside each other in the Knesset - and shared the bed of Doris. (Haaretz)

Israeli bill that benefits veterans discriminates against Israeli Arabs (Haaretz Editorial) When Arabs do not serve in the military, this is based on a government decision. Yet the legislation gives priority to veterans in student housing and employment. 
**Present but absent - The empty chair (former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy, Yedioth) The crisis between Israel and the US is not just the result of a deal that is being formulated with Iran: it is the direct result of the political strategy that Israel formed in recent years. Israel hoped to turn the Iranian nuclear issue into an international issue on the table of the large powers. We demanded international leadership of this issue, we demanded international sanctions, we demanded the powers take responsibility and run this front against Iran around the discussion table - and if necessary in the battlefield. We wanted the enlightened and responsible world to be ready to invest resources and sacrifice lives to achieve the goal. The world answered our demands and took the reigns to lead this into its hands. Until this point we succeeded. We thought we could also preserve the authority - to inspect the facilities, to decide if things are going as they should and if necessary to intervene to correct what needs to be corrected....Netanyahu announced that the deal is a historic mistake and that Israel is not obligated to abide by it. Indeed, Israel is not obligated to abide by it, not because it is good or bad, but because Israel decided in advance not to be sitting at the negotiating table. Israel put its fate in the negotiations in the hands of a custodian and believed it would act according to Israel's directives. A situation formed in which Iran is negotiating with six powers over an issue that is fateful to all the countries in the Middle East while none of them are present...This is a prescription for a string of endless disputes between the US and the states in this region....(Halevy writes that Israel chose not to sit at the table with the countries who will discuss the future of Syria, even though it shares a border with Syria.) It is assumed that here, too, Israel expects the US to take care of her concerns and here too there will be a disappointment. Israel and the US have a special relationship and this should not be given up. But there are "no free lunches" and it's about time Israel demands its place near the tables where they are negotiating, in one way or another, subjects that affect its fate. If, as the Prime Minister says, only Israel is responsible for its fate, it must actualize this responsibility at the diplomatic table and not just in the battlefield.....
The cost of not planning and imagining peace (Yitzhak Laor, Haaretz) Israeli soldier Eden Attias' blood is on the hands of the fools who run our lives as though there has ever been an occupation in modern history that hasn't ended in a huge bloodbath.
Israeli Arabs are exiles in their own land (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz) Israel will change only when its Arab citizens become active partners in its institutions. And that will be for the good of both peoples. 
Time to squeeze Iran (Minister Gilad Erdan, Israel Hayom) Any deal with Iran must be a means of ending Iran's nuclear weapons program.
U.S. Jews should push for sanctions but dial down the anti-Obama rhetoric (Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, Haaretz) U.S. Jews should call for a tough bipartisan line on Iran sanctions, but without the inflammatory anti-administration tone taken by some pro-Israel advocates - which is politically disastrous.
The weak alliance (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth) What appears like a renewed 'honeymoon', a return to the relations that Israel and France had in the mid-'60's, could cause a disappointment to those who raised their level of expectations to unrecognizable heights....It would be an illusion to assume that the French represent Netanyahu in the negotiations (with Iran). The best Israel can hope for from the France's attitude is related to improving the conditions of the agreement.  There is an agreement in the international community that Iran can continue to enrich uranium, that it does not need to remove the centrifuges from the country, and that an intermediary agreement will only freeze the present situation. The main Iranian concession is that it is ready to allow close inspection of every nuclear site known to the West. Moreover, it will be made clear to Iran that any attempt to deceive the powers will return the country back to the situation it is in now, but with harsher sanctions....
Iran and after: Why Israel should embrace France as a partner (Ari Varon, Haaretz) Israel should leverage the fact that it has found strong common ground with France over the Iranian nuclear program to build deeper strategic ties with Europe. 
Mr. Flexible (Nadav Eyal, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) After a grand and warm reception, it turns out that the French President is closer than ever to agreeing with the powers over the draft of an arrangement with Iran.
Peace: The toughest selling job in the world
(Colin Irwin, Haaretz) With the Israeli-Palestinian talks in crisis, negotiators need to learn how to craft a deal that their publics will actually buy. Polling is a key tool. 
U.S. has war and Middle East fatigue (Amir Oren, Haaretz) The spat between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama over Iran shows how out-of-touch Israel's leader is with world opinion.

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