News Nosh 03.08.15

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday March 8, 2015 

Quote of the day:
“Enemies do not scare me; I worry about our leadership."
--Former Mossad chief Maj. Gen. (res.) Meir Dagan tells tens of thousands of Israelis at rally last night that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is putting Israel in danger.**

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

News Summary:
The reactions in the political establishment to the ‘Concessions Document,’ which shows that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was willing to exchange land for a two-state solution ‘based on the 1967 lines’ and the ‘Tears Speech’ by former Mossad chief Meir Dagan at a rally last night calling for the end to Netanyahu’s rule were the top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. In addition, were news on the Iran talks and reports on the vehicular attack by a Palestinian injuring five or six Israelis on Friday. 

At a time when polls show that Israeli voters are more polar than ever – either right-wing or left-wing, Netanyahu's secret peace concessions to the Palestinians from August 2013, revealed by Yedioth’s Nahum Barnea, is shaking up the political establishment ahead of elections. The right-wing leaders such as Naftali Bennett and Avigdor Lieberman are saying that the document proves that Netanyahu is ‘more left-wing than the left’ and that he will ‘return to the mistakes of the Gaza withdrawal.’ Center-left leader from the Zionist Camp, Tzipi Livni, said it shows why neither the Americans nor the Palestinians trust NetanyahuNetanyahu denied the deal, saying the report was a pile of nonsense orchestrated by Yedioth’s publisher, Noni Mozes. Interestingly, Israel Hayom, the Netanyahu mouthpiece, also interviewed Dennis Ross, the US diplomat who mediated peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, who said
that Netanyahu never agreed
 to the '67 borders or the division of Jerusalem.
Maariv’s Ben Caspit writes that Netanyahu didn’t lie when he denied. He really never intended on signing the agreement, he was just buying timie. “…in Netanyahu’s narrow point of view, he didn’t make any concessions,” writes Caspit. “In order to understand this, one must understand Netanyahu. He is here to pass the time, to fool everyone, to bluff, to agree and to regret, to send envoys that will continue to negotiate till the last second, and then disappear, or change his mind, or invent something else. That’s how he signed the Wye Plantation Agreement and then returned to Israel and blew it up. That’s how he conducted the negotiations to return the Golan Heights with Assad, the father and with Assad, the son. In both cases, (ask Ron Lauder), he agreed to withdraw from the Golan and in both cases he changed his mind. That’s how he sent President Peres to negotiations with [Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas] Abu Mazen. Peres also was equipped with the same agreements for exactly the same understandings, and then, a moment before he signed with Abu Mazen in Amman, Bibi changed his mind. And so it was this time. That’s his thing. He just lies to them. He takes them for a trip to the bar and then disappears.”

Barnea writes that “the document revealed Netanyahu was not only willing to trade land with the Palestinians, but was willing to offer them full restitution for lands seized by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War, implicitly accepting the Palestinian claim on the entirety of the West Bank as land for a future Palestinian state.” Meanwhile, Maariv and Haaretz+ reported that White House officials said that Obama is planning on another Mideast peace push before the end of his term
**Former Mossad chief Dagan made headlines in a speech that was considered powerful but also moving. Speaking to 50-80,000 Israelis who showed up at Rabin Square for a rally calling for a change to Netanyahu, Dagan teared up as he spoke saying he had no other interests except that his children and grandchildren could continue living here, but that Netanyahu’s leadership was Israel’s biggest threat. In it’s coverage of the anti-Netanyahu rally, Israel Hayom focused on the Likud statement that Dagan’s speech harmed national security and accused him of ‘political moves.'
In another very moving speech, Michal Kesten-Keidar, the widow of an officer killed in Operation Protective Edge, shared her tale of loss and called on Israelis to vote for someone who will try to prevent war. "No one is talking about the diplomatic process or peace agreements anymore," she said. "An entire election campaign is being run without mentioning the blood that was spilled here this summer. Maybe it's too scary. Too difficult. But I, last summer, lost the love of my life to war, and I have come here to ask you – when you go to the ballot box, vote for those who will try to prevent the next war."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with allies in Paris over Iran's nuclear program and said 'deficiencies and divergences' remain over reaching a 'solid agreement,' but that the US and France were on the same page. Iranian Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi said that key technical roadblocks that were hampering a final nuclear accord with the world powers were eliminated in the ongoing discussions with US negotiators. Haaretz noted that Iranian responses to Netanyahu's speech reflected the country’s political divide.
Five to six people were wounded with light to moderate wounds from the Friday attack by a Palestinian who drove his vehicle into a group of Border Police soldiers and also hit a civilian on a bicycle, the papers reported. Uday Salaymeh was shot by security forces carrying a cleaver. His uncle, Fatouh, told Reuters, "We heard about it just like anybody else. An attack that had happened in Jerusalem, and that's all we knew, like anybody else. We don't know anything." The Hebrew papers did not report that security forces shot and injured Anas Yahya Abdeen, 7, who was standing on his balcony when the forces raided Salayma’s home in the E. Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amud (Mt. of Olives). The two homes are opposite each other. Ynet reported that headstones on Jewish graves in the neighborhood of the attacker were damaged later in the day.

Quick Hits:
  • Gaza fisherman shot dead by Israeli navy, say Palestinians - Israel says it fired warning shots at boats straying from fishing zone; Palestinians say one fisherman killed and two arrested. (Agencies, YnetMaarivIsrael Hayom and Maan)
  • Israeli forces fire at Palestinian vehicle near Jenin, injure 2 - Mustafa Ballut, 20, from Jenin, was taken to an Israeli hospital in Affula, suffering from serious wounds after Israeli troops opened fire at their vehicle near al-Jalama checkpoint. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces shoot, injure 5 teens near Ramallah - One teenager was shot twice in the chest and seriously injured. Another was hit in the mouth, and the other three in the lower extremities. All were hit with 0.22 caliber bullets in clashes that broke out Friday near al-Jalazone refugee camp. (Maan
  • Palestinian injured during Bilin's weekly march - One Palestinian was injured and several other Palestinians and foreign activists suffered severe tear-gas suffocation during the Bilin weekly march against settlement and the separation wall. Four French activists were detained. (Maan
  • Israeli forces open fire at Palestinians in southern Gaza Strip - Witnesses report the shots were fired on Palestinians in their agricultural lands in eastern al-Qarrara, north of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported. (Maan)
  • Palestinian activists clash with Israeli troops near protest camp - Dozens of young Palestinian men were injured Friday during clashes with Israeli forces near the Bawwabat al-Quds (Gate to Jerusalem) protest camp, east of the Old City of Jerusalem near Abu Dis. (Maan)
  • Palestinian Police: Suicide rates rose alarmingly in the West Bank in 2014 - Police spokesman Luay Irzeiqat told Ma'an that police investigated 32 suicides in 2014 compared to 19 in 2013 and eight in 2012 marking an alarming jump of 400 percent since 2012. (Maan
  • Activists plant saplings near Bethlehem - Volunteers planted some 200 olive tree and vine saplings Saturday in al-Khadr village, near Efrat settlement, to confirm identity of lands threatened with confiscation, to emphasize Palestinians' resistance against Israel as well as settlers' violations that aim to force people living near the settlements to leave their homes and lands. (Maan)
  • Torture of Palestinian detainees by Shin Bet investigators rises sharply - In the second half of last year, there were 51 instances of torture reported, compared to eight in the first half of 2014. (Haaretz+) 
  • IDF cancels status of firing zone to enable expansion of nearby settlement - Order signed in January will allow for expansion of Ma'aleh Adumim; army continuing to demolish Palestinian homes in the Jordan Valley claiming they are in firing zones. (Haaretz+) 
  • At 11th hour, High Court delays demolition of apartments in West Bank settlement - The illegal buildings were meant to be razed by Sunday at the latest, but the new state-requested deferral has no deadline. (Haaretz+) 
  • Watch: A demonstration of Palestinian and Jewish women on the occasion of Women's Day – MK Dov Henin attended the demonstration at Qalandiya checkpoint and wrote: "The message is one: No to hatred, yes to peace and independence for two peoples." (Maariv
  • Israeli forces respond to Women's Day march with violence - More than 30 Palestinians, mostly women, were injured as Israeli troops fired tear-gas canisters, stun grenades, rubber-coated bullets, and pepper spray at hundreds of women participating in a peaceful march marking International Women's Day at Qalandiya checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah on Friday. Fourteen were evacuated to hospitals. (Maan)
  • Dovish ex-general appointed to liaise with Bedouin in West Bank - Brig. Gen. (ret.) Dov Sedaka, senior consultant for NGO that initiated Oslo negotiations, to oversee Bedouin’s planned move to permanent towns. (Haaretz+) 
  • Palestinian leaders vote to suspend security coordination with Israel - Despite the PLO Central Council's vote, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, as head of PLO Executive Committee, is not expected to implement the Thursday decision anytime soon. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom
  • Report: Abbas won’t stop the security coordination with Israel before elections - Palestinian officials told "Al-Hayat" newspaper Saturday that coordination will be stopped if a right-wing government is formed led by Benjamin Netanyahu, which refuses to renew the transfer of Palestinian tax funds to the Palestinian Authority. (Maariv and Israel Hayom)
  • Cars torched and racist graffiti scrawled in Palestinian village near Ramallah Thursday - Residents of the village near Ramallah say they have filed more than 70 complaints to police about settler attacks. (Haaretz+) 
  • Israeli army temporarily halts use of attack dogs in West Bank - Inquiry into incident in which a Palestinian youth was bitten by a dog while being arrested finds that the arrest could have been carried out using other means. (Haaretz+) 
  • Right-wing activists fail to stop sale of East Jerusalem building to Arab tenants - Spearheaded by city councillor Aryeh King, right wingers had tried to thwart Jewish owners’ decision to sell to building’s longtime residents. (Haaretz+) 
  • Jerusalem set to unveil controversial plan for cable car in Old City - Project expected to spark fierce opposition on diplomatic and environmental grounds. (Haaretz+) 
  • Meretz's Galon: Arab Joint List has failed ultimate test of partnership - On Friday, representatives for the Joint List stated that the party would not sign any surplus vote agreements. (Haaretz+)
  • Netanyahu ad compares dock workers to terrorists - Latest Likud campaign clip shows 'support group' for groups hurt by Netanyahu government, including broadcast worker, cellular executive, and Hamas member. (Ynet)
  • Ex-Shin Bet chief: Under Netanyahu, Iran increased enriched uranium twelvefold - Yuval Diskin claims that despite bellicose rhetoric by Netanyahu, under his tenure Iran's nuclear abilities increased: 'Six times more centrifuges, 12 times more enriched uranium – Netanyahu failed on Iran. (Ynet)
  • Galant: Government knew of tunnels leading to preschools, didn't take action - Kulanu's Maj. Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant says Israel's next round against Hamas will take place during term of next government due to results of Operation Protective Edge; Yadlin slams Netanyahu's Congress speech. (Ynet)
  • Ya'alon: 'Conquering Gaza would cost 10 billion shekels per year' - Maj. Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant (Kulanu) blasts Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon over Gaza war: He is "willing to live with a tie. I am not." Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin (Zionist Union): "Unthinkable that Hamas' military leadership was not hit." (Israel Hayom)
  • Newlyweds' Netanyahu protest goes viral - Or and Reut had to get married abroad to have a civil ceremony, and chose to share their frustration online, mocking PM's response to housing report in the process. (Ynet)
  • Coalition with Left unfeasible, Likud assures Habayit Hayehudi - National religious party says Likud planning to exclude it from next government, include Zionist Union. Likud says will not pursue coalition "with party whose officials doubt Zionism," stresses PM "will turn to his natural partners" to form a coalition. (Israel Hayom
  • Iran: We saved the Jews three times; Netanyahu should learn history - Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif tells NBC Wednesday that his country `doesn’t support blind terrorism’ and `we will never have a bomb.’ He also insinuated that Netanyahu should brush up on his history lessons. (Haaretz
  • Sister wears fallen brother's uniform for Purim - Miriam Shalev pays tribute to brother killed in Operation Protective Edge by proudly donning his uniform, along with paratrooper's red beret. (Ynet)
  • Israel to resume imports of Gaza fruit and vegetables for first time in since 2007 - Move intended to help devastated Gazan economy marks partial resumption of imports halted when Hamas took over coastal enclave. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Israel uses military expertise to join commercial space race - Israel plans to produce civilian devices using defense infrastructure that created technology such as Iron Dome, moving beyond current focus on spy and military communications satellites. (Agencies, Ynet
  • David Grossman: "Netanyahu is right about Iran, people should listen to him"
  • In an interview with the Italian newspaper "La Repubblica," the famous writer said that Iran “talks day and night about the destruction of Israel,” but he added that he hoped that Netanyahu would not be elected again. (Maariv and Israel Hayom)
  • Ben-Gurion Airport to offer luggage storage lockers - Israel Airports Authority issues bid for secured compartments where passengers will be able to store their suitcases, handbags and private items for a limited period of time; each compartment will include a power outlet for charging cell phones, tablets and laptops. (Ynet
  • Syrian boy who lost leg in war fitted with prosthesis in Israel - A 13-year-old Syrian boy and his mother are preparing to return to Syria after the boy received extensive treatment for serious injuries to his lower body. Israeli Arab community worked together to raise funds for the boy's prosthetic leg. (Israel Hayom
  • Egypt carries out first hanging over pro-Morsi violence - Mahmoud Ramadan was hanged at 7 AM Saturday. Hundreds of Morsi supporters have been sentenced to death after speedy mass trials, which the United Nations has described as "unprecedented in recent history." (Agencies, Maan)
  • Al Qaeda's in Syria confirms death of top military commander - Fate of Nusra Front leader unknown, but 'military commander' confirmed dead after strike hits Idlib area; unclear if attack was by US or Syrian regime, both frequently target Nusra positions. (Agencies, Ynet)

Class warfare: How 'Hebrew labor' destroyed Jewish-Arab solidarity
In a new book, former MK Tamar Gozansky analyzes the consistent policy of the pre-state Labor Zionist movement and the Histadrut, which always preferred the benefit of the (Jewish) nation over social struggle. (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz+) 
Who decided to declare the establishment of the state?
"The Friday that Changed Destiny," a new book by Dr. Mordechai Naor, tells the story of all the events, great and small, preceding and surrounding the events of those crucial days. "There was no vote" prior to Ben-Gurion's fateful decision, he concludes. (Aharon Lapidot, Israel Hayom)

The Shin Bet must stop torturing Palestinian detainees (Haaretz Editorial) Israel's internal security agency must comply fully with 1999 High Court ruling outlawing use of physical force in interrogations. 
Netanyahu's mistake was trusting Abbas (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) An Israeli and a Palestinian, each sent by their respective leaders, held years of secret talks summarized in an August 2013 document showing far-reaching Israeli concessions; but while Netanyahu dispatched his most trusted aide, Abbas was playing a different game. 
A very narrow bridge: It must be admitted that any agreement between Iran and the world powers is not as bad as Netanyahu describes (Yossi Melman, Maariv) Each expert with the minimum degree of integrity should admit this, and in any case, there is actually no other choice. Also, the war over who gets credit for bringing two (Syrian) Jewish women from Syria to Israel. 
Israeli defense candidates refrain from going on offensive over Gaza (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Amos Yadlin and Yoav Galant all recognize that might is not necessarily right when it comes to Gaza. 
The public was surprised by the attack in Jerusalem, the Shin Bet and the IDF were not (Yossi Melman, Maariv) In light of Israel's international isolation under Netanyahu and the crisis with the United States, it is clear that quiet with the Palestinians is as fragile as ever. The IDF and Shin Bet wish to renew the peace process and the continuation of military cooperation. 
By invoking Purim, Netanyahu calls for a preemptive strike on Iran (Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi, Haaretz+) The Israeli prime minister conveniently ignores the first eight chapters of the Book of Esther, recruiting only the revenge tragedy part to justify his agenda. 
In possible U.S.-Iran conflict, Netanyahu leaves the Jews with no alibi (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) For us it's all in the family, but most of the world sees a brash Israeli leader backed by a powerful lobby and a casino magnate's billions, thumbing his nose at the president. 
From the boiling blood of his heart: Meir Dagan’s unprecedented speech (Ben Caspit, Maariv) On stage stood one of the bravest warriors in the history of Israel and in front of thousands of Israelis demanding change, he warned of the abyss Netanyahu is leading the state. 
Speech of nothing: Netanyahu's show in Congress was impressive, but the failure was great (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) The prime minister's trip to Washington was not a victory lap, as he and his supporters certainly believe, and it won’t significantly affect the clauses of the agreement being formulated with Iran.
Bottom line of Congress speech: Iran strike off the table (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Today, with the great powers seemingly determined to reach an agreement with Tehran, the chances of an attack being carried out after an accord is signed are smaller than ever.
Sharing election fever, sharing values (Matthew Gould, Yedioth/Ynet) As both Israeli and British citizens go to the polls, they can be proud of their shared commitment to uphold democracy, the rule of law and equality under the law.
Spin bomb: When Americans present the bill, Netanyahu won’t be there (Ben Caspit, Maariv) The speech in Congress was a brilliant cynical move by Netanyahu, who took control of the media agenda. In reality it was futile. Also: who won’t I vote for in these elections: the Arabs, the ultra-Orthodox, Bibi Netanyahu, Meretz, Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) because of his religious ideology. If you're right-wing, vote Lieberman. If you're social justice oriented, vote Kahlon. I can’t do it this time. I’m left with Lapid and Herzog. I have a feeling that I'll stay with this dilemma until the last minute.
To win, Herzog must convince Israelis that peace, prosperity are intertwined (Zeev Sternhell, Haaretz+) Voters need to be made to realize that if not for the settlements, the huge funding that flows to the territories would instead be invested in education and welfare. 
Israel will not stand alone (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) Despite a small minority of Democrats and Israeli reporters seeking to curry favor with Obama, Netanyahu's speech to Congress elicited overwhelming support. Most Americans want to prevent a bad deal with Iran. They want answers from the administration. 
An American administration with a grudge (Eytan Gilboa, Yedioth/Ynet) Obama is praying for change of leadership in Israel; if Netanyahu gets in again, his new government might find less than full US support on key issues.
Netanyahu's long history of crying 'wolf' (Raviv Drucker, Haaretz+) There is nothing the prime minister loves to talk about more than his unheeded predictions of a black future.
Answers required (Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror, Israel Hayom) The moment the U.S. decided that the best possible Iran nuclear agreement is better than no agreement, it set off the countdown to a nuclear Iran.
Syria's Iranization becoming real strategic threat for Israel (Israel Ziv, Ynet) If Iran succeeds in its plan to nationalize Golan Heights and gain control of Damascus basin, Israel will wake up to a much more complicated regional reality; tense relationship with US administration is making things even more difficult.
Netanyahu’s Iran proposals deserve serious discussion after election, even if he loses (Haaretz Friday Editorial) Netanyahu failed not as a result of his ideas, but rather as a result of the way he went about things. 
Israel must lay its ethnic demons to rest (Yoaz Hendel, Yedioth/Ynet) Propping up the ethnic demon are vested interests that cover up the fact that Israel has real problems among its disadvantaged populations – Ethiopians, Russian immigrants and those dispatched to the periphery, not to mention poor Mizrahim and Ashkenazim.
Why Israel's Jews must vote for the Arab list (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Those who hesitate because Joint List is an 'Arab party' should remember the role that Jews played in the African National Congress during the apartheid era. 
Don't let the facts confuse you (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) What happens when a small minority in the Israeli media tries to dictate reality to the majority.
Israel's social protesters renewing the battle for awareness (Or Kashti, Haaretz+) Many have been quick to discount the reappearance of the tents on Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard, and question the agenda behind setting up two weeks before the election. 
The European jihadist factory (Elie Barnavi, Yedioth/Ynet) Until Europe resolves its own identity crisis, it cannot successfully integrate its immigrants. 
The morning after: The death of Israel's true left (Yossi Sarid, Haaretz+) In their effort to bring Isaac Herzog to power, Meretz's traditional supporters may deal a fatal blow to both him and their own party. 
Worth the price (Shlomo Cesana, Israel Hayom) According to Netanyahu and Israel's upper political echelon, the confrontation with the White House was worthwhile, and the PM's address to Congress will set in motion a process that will stop the superpowers from striking a bad agreement with Iran.
Boycott of Israeli foodmakers only harms Palestinians (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) They’re just hurting themselves, but one has to feel for them – nothing else they've tried has worked. Pity they never tried to build a functioning economy.
'An Israeli leader must be able to stand up and tell the truth'
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells Israel Hayom that his Iran speech was "well worth" the cost and "served to shore up support for Israel's stance."  "The days when Jews remained passive while others called for their extermination are over," he says. He also accuses a ‘well-funded coalition’ of trying to displace Likud by increasing voter turnout among Israeli Arabs and the Left. (Interviewed by Shlomo Cesana and Mati Tuchfeld in Israel Hayom)

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