News Nosh 11.13.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Wednesday November 13, 2013


Quote of the day:

"The setting aside of these public funds suggests the government is serious (about settlement expansion), and suggests it's only pretending to negotiate while it pursues its settlement construction."
-- Peace Now Secretary General Yariv Oppenheimer on Israel's announcement to build a whopping 20,000 new settler homes.

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth

  • Israel and the US: From crisis to crisis - At the height of a dispute with the White House over concessions to Iran: Housing Minister approves plan to build thousands of apartments in the Territories
  • Masquerade // Alex Fishman on the gas masks
  • The responsible adult // Shimon Shiffer on Netanyahu's quarrels
  • Not wanted in Zealand - Immigration authorities are sick of Israeli backpackers who make a living from illegal jobs
  • Return of the Analyzer - Israeli hacker Ehud Tanenbaum in trouble again
  • Social networks having stormy debate about public breastfeeding
  • Who will protect them - Hundreds of workers in factories manufacturing gas masks in danger of losing their jobs


Israel Hayom

News Summary:
After Israel issues tenders to build 20,000 settler homes, US demands explanations, Palestinians threaten to call off peace talks and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu backtracks - partially. Israeli security officials say even if negotiations end, it won't lead to a third Intifada and Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman wants back his powers - including over peace talks.
**The Housing Ministry announced plans for the biggest batch of tenders it has ever issued in the West Bank, Peace Now said Tuesday, sparking deep concern in the US. The original plan included construction in the controversial E1 area, which links Jerusalem to Ma'aleh Adumim. But, just hours after the news broke, Netanyahu ordered a halt to the construction plans there, due to pressure from the US. Netanyahu said that "there is no need to pay international prices for a process that does not have great significance." He also reprimanded Housing Minister Uri Ariel (from the pro-settler Habayit Hayehudi party), instructing him to halt the tenders for all 20,000 settlement units.

The construction of the 20,000 units would cost nearly $13 million (NIS 45 million), wrote Haaretz. Peace Now Secretary General Yariv Oppenheimer said the fact that the government was pressing ahead such an expansive and expensive venture - showed the government's commitment to the wider settlement project.

The Palestinians threatened to call off talks. A senior Palestinian official told Haaretz that Abbas spoke to Kerry and other members of the Quartet, as well as Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi. Meanwhile, Israeli security officials say that even if negotiations end, it will not lead to another Intifada, Maariv's Amnon Lord wrote. Israel believes the shake-up in the Arab world will not include the Palestinians, who belong to the group of peoples who are exhausted, say the sources. Lord also wrote that it appears that those who are pushing the Palestinians to act with violence are foreign actors and internal political sources in Israel. Lord's article appears to contradict Asaf Gabor's report in Maariv yesterday that Palestinian officials say a third Intifada is just a matter of time and that the reason it has not happened is that the Palestinian Authority forces have been preventing it. (NRG Hebrew)
If the peace talks do continue, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman wants to run them. With the return of Lieberman to his old post, the Foreign Ministry is now working to restore powers that were transferred to other ministries. Lieberman wants back the negotiations with the Palestinians, which Justice Minister Tzipi Livni has, the strategy issues, which Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz has, and the economic relations with the Palestinians, which Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett have. (NRG Hebrew)

Quick Hits:

  • Israel agrees to recognize EU ban on funding institutions in settlements - Participation in European R&D program could bring hundreds of millions of euros into the coffers of Israeli research institutes and high-tech companies. (Haaretz)
  • Israel plans more house demolitions in Shufat camp - Israeli intelligence agents on Tuesday escorted representatives from the Jerusalem municipality on a tour of Shufat refugee camp and took photos. (Maan)
  • Violent Hebron outpost expands at 'phenomenal' rate - Operation Dove on Monday said that activists from the grassroots (Israel-Palestinian) Taayush movement entered an area near the Havot Maon outpost this week to document illegal expansion and demand that Israeli authorities intervene. (Maan)
  • "The interim accords (Oslo Accords) make it difficult to keep law enforcement in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip" - General Eitan Dangut, Coordinator for activities in Judea and Samaria, told the State Control Committee that for the first time a body will be chosen to be responsible for law enforcement. MK Cohen: the Minister of Defense is responsible for putting a stop to lawlessness. (NRG Hebrew)
  • "Arrange for separate transportation for the Palestinians" - In a discussion held in the Knesset about transportation lines in the West Bank, a harsh reality was described of sexual harassment and bullying that the Jewish passengers endure. (NRG Hebrew)
  • Photographs reveal taken before the bombing in Latakia, Syria: Target was anti-aircraft missile launchers - In Satellite images one can identify in the center of the area that was allegedly bombed by Israel, is air defense base and inside it is battery of Russian-made SS -125. The battery was upgraded to help it hit F-16 jets. Officials in Israel: We fear that the battery will be transferred to Hezbollah. (Maariv, p. 1/NRG Hebrew)
  • Pollard's Mossad handler: I was promised he would be freed - Rafi Eitan tells Army Radio he incriminated Jonathan Pollard because the U.S. told Israel that Pollard would serve no more than 10 years in prison. Eitan asks for forgiveness from Pollard. Thousands of Israeli students call for Pollard's release. (Israel Hayom)
  • Soldier's remarks give insight into Israel's cyber intelligence practices - Cyber expert admits in video that he culled intelligence using virtual methods, despite Israeli ambiguity on matter. (Haaretz)
  • 1 in 5 Beersheba children display post-traumatic symptoms after missile fire - Ben-Gurion University study on preschool nutrition shifts focus to post-traumatic symptoms after Operation Cast Lead erupts in midst of research. Study finds the only risk factor that increases symptoms is manifestation of similar symptoms in a parent. (Israel Hayom)
  • Report: Jordan rebuffs Israeli request for Jewish prayer space on Temple Mount - "Jerusalem must be the capital of the state of Palestine," says Palestinian Authority president. Abbas says Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb "has ensured that this should be our goal" and that the Al-Aqsa Mosque should be kept "safe and sound" in Muslim hands. (Israel Hayom)
  • A fighting chance: Teens train to win place in IDF's elite units - A host of courses ready boys (and girls) for the rigors of the army's vetting process. (Haaretz)
  • Defense Ministry delaying reform in fundraising for IDF - Rising salaries, expenses cited in report on Association for Wellbeing of Israel's Soldiers. (Haaretz)
  • Egypt plans to lift three-month state of emergency, curfew - State of the emergency allowed authorities to make arrests without warrants and gave security officials the right to search people's homes. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Egypt is worst state in Arab world to be a woman, survey says - Despite hopes that women would benefit from the Arab Spring, they have come out the biggest losers, according to a survey by the Thomson Reuters Foundation. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Israel in diplomatic blitz to affect outcome of 'inevitable' Iran deal - Alongside lobbying Congress, Netanyahu to enlist Putin and Hollande to "negotiate a better deal." Ya'alon: Iran needs to be faced with dilemma of choosing between a bomb or survival. Foxman: Kerry's moral preaching to Israelis was counterproductive. (Israel Hayom)
  • Lieberman: It's time to calm tensions between Israel and U.S. over Iran - The returning foreign minister attempts to downplay the apparent crisis between Netanyahu and Kerry over Iran's nuclear program. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Former MI chief: Agreement with Iran is better than a military attack - Former Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin described Iran as "a potential existential threat to the state," but added that Israel should not object to an agreement. (NRG Hebrew)
  • Israeli sources claim $170 billion price for nuclear Iran - Officials claim Islamic Republic invested $40 billion over last 20 years in constructing, operating nuclear facilities, yet sanctions led to additional deficit of $130 billion in Iranian economy. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Kerry to ask Senate to hold off on further Iran sanctions - U.S. secretary of state to present administration's case on Wednesday. "Sanctions remain the best way to avoid war" says Republican Sen. Mark Kirk. White House: "This is a decision to support diplomacy and a possible peaceful resolution to this issue." (Israel Hayom)

Israel's unofficial minister of settlements (Haaretz Editorial) This ritual of Uri Ariel as "bad cop" and Netanyahu as "good cop" can't hide the reality for long. Netanyahu is enabling an extremist representative of the settlers to hold a job that involves enormous diplomatic sensitivity.
Organized crime equals terror (Adv. Ilan Bombach, Yedioth/Ynet) Shin Bet's investigation methods should be used by police against criminal organizations.
Netanyahu's two-state mask has slipped (Henry Siegman, Haaretz) Kerry's effort to re-launch the peace process was based on the illusion that Netanyahu is committed to a two-state solution; its failure means that it's only a matter of time before the Palestinians fight back.
The Hollande Line (Eli Hazan, Israel Hayom) When a nation such as France understands, as we do, the severity of the Iranian issue and takes active steps, we can feel that we're in good company.
Expose: John Kerry supported the flotilla organizers (Ben-Dror Yemini, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) A'Letter of recommendation' that Kerry gave in 2009 to individuals and anti-Israel groups brings into question his judgment and conduct in negotiations with Iran.
Moscow on the Nile (Dr. Ronen Yitzhak, Israel Hayom) The Russian delegation's visit to Cairo will mark the first time high-ranking Russian officials arrive in official capacity to Egypt since being kicked out in the early 1970s.
Hardened in Syrian war, Hezbollah presents new set of threats (Amos Harel, Haaretz) The Israeli military must adapt to fighting a Hezbollah with urban warfare experience and the ability to launching offensives of its own.
Iranian nukes and ethnic politics (Eran Segal, Haaretz) The Shi'ite enemy was apparently the principal common denominator around which society in Saudi Arabia and, to some extent, the Gulf as a whole could unite. 
Prime Minister doing the right thing (Nechama Duek, Yedioth/Ynet) Even biggest optimists should be grateful to Netanyahu for his efforts to improve deal with Iran.
First we'll take Washington (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) Netanyahu's ranting is making Israel irrelevant, an insufferable nuisance, and it is causing a fissure in relations with its greatest friend. 
Masquerade (Alex Fishman, Yedioth) On the one hand, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ayalon are warning the public that chemical weapons could get in the hands of Hezbollah. On the other hand, the Defense Ministry wants to stop manufacturing and distributing gas/chemical weapons kits to citizens - and explains that Syria is no longer a threat....
Oppose the deal on Iran (Alan M. Dershowitz, Haaretz) All reasonable, thinking people - liberals, conservatives, Americans and their allies, the pro-Israel community (ignoring J Street) - must unite against a 'Chamberlain moment' bad deal on Iran with no Iranian quid pro quo. 
Between Arak and a hard place (Prof. Ron Breiman, Israel Hayom) The Americans in general and the Obama administration in particular are making mistake after mistake in their analysis of the developments in the Middle East.
Needed: A Mizrahi leadership (Avi Shilon, Haaretz) A leadership with a Mizrahi consciousness will accelerate out ability to assimilate here in the Middle East, not as occupiers nor as weaklings.

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