News Nosh 03.09.15

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday March 9, 2015

Quote of the day:
"(She) kills her husband and cries that she’s a widow,”
--Right-wing columnist Hagai Hoverman slammed Michal Kastan-Keidar for her Saturday night address to the Saturday rally to end the Netanyahu rule.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Insulting video clip - Labor Union to Netanyahu: Serious incitement
  • Record insensitivity // Sima Kadmon
  • A great and justified scream rose against the comparison of workeres to terrorists // Sever Plocker
  • ‘Compromises Document’: Ron Dermer also committed to the ’67 lines
  • Garboz storm: Wall to wall condemnations of the “Handful speech”
  • Corporal Dan, for the glory of the state – Soldier who is on autism spectrum will light torch on Independence Day
  • Sharp drop in number of amniocentesis tests
  • Viral shame – Is it considered violent to spread video clips of embarrassing behavior of Israelis?
  • Blue and white medal – Bronze for triple jump to Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko
  • The French are returning – Young couples are in tough competition: foreign residents are again charging for apartments for investment
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • Beni Begin: “Yedioth – a shame to journalism”
  • (Yedioth publisher) Noni Mozes’ goal: To change the government – in order to be behind-the-scenes prime minister
  • The publication in Yedioth: Masterpiece of deception // Mati Tuchfeld
  • Better for Bennett to return votes from Lapid and not hurt the right-wing // Haim Shine
  • PM intervening in Israel Chemicals crisis
  • Anger over Garboz’s words: “Riffraff 2 speech”
  • US official: “Agreement with Iran - for more than 10 years”
  • Groundbreakers: List of those lighting torches on Independence Day
  • Israeli achievement in European championship: Bronze for triple jump by Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko

News Summary:
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu intervenes to solve a dismissal crisis at Israel Chemicals after the workers threaten to speak at the rally to get rid of him and he declares that a two-state solution is no longer relevant after the revelation of a document showing a land for peace agreement with the Palestinians that was drafted with his approval making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Meanwhile, Channel 10 revealed that Israeli Ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, reportedly promised Mideast Quartet leader Tony Blair that Israel would not only give the Palestinians a state, but one along the lines of 1967 'Green Line'.

Also in the news, the US is making “an effort to calm serious tensions with Israel” over a nuclear agreement with Iran. A senior US official told Israeli reporters that the agreement would last more than 10 years. And US President Barack Obama told CBS News that the US would 'walk away' from a 'bad deal' with Iran. Moreover, Netanyahu said that foreign ministers from several countries involved in the negotiations with Iran told Israel they will wait for a good agreement rather than rush into a bad deal. Israel Hayom noted that the Wall Street Journal reported that 64 senators back a bill would require Congress to approve any Iran deal. If the bill receives three more supporters, it would be immune to a veto by Obama. The papers noted that Iran has unveiled a new long-range cruise missile that reaches 2,500 kilometers.
The Palestinian Authority has made a wave of arrests of Hamas activists. According to Maariv's Noam Amir it was to insure the area stays calm ahead of Israeli elections – and despite Israel’s withholding of PA tax money for three months. But Ynet's Elior Levy writes that it was a “punitive measure” against Hamas, after it arrested a senior Fatah official. Levy noted that “in an unusual step – the forces arrested 40 Hamas members, including released detainees, academics, and students in a coordinated effort conducted in multiple cities across the West Bank.” Maan reported that bystanders were injured in an arrest attempt in Balata refugee camp near Nablus. 
Foreign Minister Avidor Lieberman called for the beheading of Israeli Arabs “who are against us.” Interestingly, Times of Israel wrote that he was referring to ‘terrorists,’ but Lieberman never said that. Maariv wrote that he was speaking of Israeli Arabs in general that are ‘against us.’ Times of Israel also wrote that Lieberman said that citizens who seek the destruction of Israel should be handed over to Abbas. However, Lieberman actually said that “Citizens of Israel who raise a black flag on Nakba Day – from my point of view they can leave and I am happily willing to donate them to Abu Mazen.” Times of Israel actually pointed out that Nakba Day is the day “[on which Palestinians mourn the establishment of Israel]”, which is not the same as seeking its destruction. 
Israel Hayom and Yedioth continued to battle it out ahead of elections – but differently. Yedioth gave headlines to Israelis who complained about Likud election video clips and about the Likud personal attack on former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, who was the keynote speaker at the anti-Netanyahu rally Saturday night. It downplayed the speech at the rally by artist Yair Garboz, who slighted “amulet kissers” – i.e. Jews originating from Arab countries. Israel Hayom continued to make personal attacks – on Yedioth publisher Noni Mozes, who it accused today of wanting to be the behind-the-scenes prime minister, on Yedioth reporter Nahum Barnea, who exposed the document showing that Netanyahu had agreed to a two-state solution based along the ’67 lines and on Yedioth in general for “trying to divide the right-wing” and “bring the fall of the Likud.”

Quick Hits:
  • Israeli soldier fires warning shots in clash with settlers - Incident began when police tried to arrest two settler youths suspected of violent clashes with (attacking) Palestinians. Some 20 settler youth clashed with the soldiers and threw stones at them. Only one of those youth was arrested; army investigating. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom, p. 17)
  • Settlers assault elderly Palestinian man in the Old City -  Ahmad Mahmoud al-Qaq said his father, 63, was walking home when four settlers obstructed his way and started to punch him in the face. He sustained bruises in his face. Al-Qaq's neighborhood of Silwan is witness to ongoing tensions due to increasing numbers of settlers. (Maan)
  • **Journalist against Operation Protective Edge widow: “She killed her husband and cries that she’s a widow" - (Right-wing settler) reporter of ‘Arutz Sheva’, Hagai Huberman wrote a column against Michal Kesten-Keidar, widow of Lt. Col. Dolev Keidar. (The widow addressed the anti-Netanyahu rally Saturday calling on Israelis to vote for someone who will bring peace and end bloodshed.) (Maariv and Times of Israel)
  • **Hagai Huberman: "I won’t retract what I wrote to the widow of Dolev Keidar" - Uproar over the statements of Channel 7, openly criticized Michal Kesten: "Maybe I was wrong in my style, but the content was correct." (Maariv)
  • The racist post that caused a storm among the (Israeli) Bedouin - A Hebrew teacher wrote on Facebook after the road accident that killed 8 Bedouin women: “They prayed so hard to Allah and he really liked it and pulled them to to him. Yuck, they’re gross!!!” She claims that the post was inserted and the police is investigating. (Yedioth, p. 24)
  • Anger among Bedouin: policeman who killed young man in Rahat returned to job - At demonstration in front of Police Southern District HQ, the protesters demanded, including Sami al-Jarar’s father, that the officer be immediately suspended and put on trial. "We fear that pressures are being applied from above on the prosecutor handling the case." (Maariv)
  • Israel ends ban on hotels having Christmas trees - Chief Rabbinate curbs kashrut supervisors' authority to food only, after religious-freedom NGO threatens court action. (Haaretz+)
  • EU diplomats tell PA: You're not doing enough to reconstruct Gaza - Envoys from Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Spain meet with senior Israeli diplomat, praise Israel's action to ease Gaza humanitarian crisis. (Haaretz+) 
  • Israel's top intelligence officer to visit U.S. this week for first official visit - Officials describe MI Chief Herzi Halevy's trip as routine and an opportunity for the general to familiarize himself with Washington's counterpart agencies. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • White House taps Camp David negotiator to head Mideast desk - Robert Malley has drawn some pro-Israel criticism for dismissing the narrative that the Palestinians were to blame for the collapse the Camp David talks. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • WAZE developer, Iron Dome inventor chosen to light Independence Day torches - Israeli-Arab journalist also to participate in ceremony marking Israel's 67th anniversary, this year dedicated to 'groundbreaking Israelis'. (Ynet
  • A significant increase in motivation for women to enlist in the combat positions - Rise of 30% among women and among men, there was a slight increase compared to same period last year and a total of 75% of draftees expressed their willingness to serve in combat units. (Maariv
  • Saudi Arabia becomes world's biggest defense importer - Saudi Arabia is building its arsenal as its arms spending rises 54% to $6.5 billion last year. U.S. is the biggest beneficiary of the growing Middle Eastern defense market, with $8.4 billion arms shipments to the region. (Agencies, Israel Hayom
  • IAF chief: Iron Dome can't completely protect Israel and its citizens - Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel says the Israeli public's expectation that Iron Dome will protect the entire country is unrealistic - 'we won't see results like Protective Edge again.' (Haaretz+)
  • Sen. Feinstein: Netanyahu speech was 'humiliating, embarrassing, very arrogant' - Democratic senator tells 'Meet the Press' that Netanyahu's actions were 'something that no ally of the United States would have done.' (Haaretz+)
  • Netanyahu on CBS: Current Iran deal means short breakout time to the bomb - PM tells 'Face the Nation' he would support a deal that 'conditions the lifting of restrictions on Iran's nuclear program on Iran's behavior.' (Haaretz+) 
  • Defense Min. Ya'alon: 'English speakers' trying to topple Netanyahu - Defense minister echoes Netanyahu's claim that a coalition of forces is trying to get out the vote among leftists and Arabs. (Haaretz+)
  • If no candidate receives a majority - Rivlin will call for unity government - President met at his residence with a classified unit and said the government has to take care to change the system of government: "At least we need to find a way of preventing us from turning into Italy." (Maariv
  • Zionist Camp optimistic: Reserving Rabin Square for election night - Head of logistics contacted Tel Aviv Municipality in case Herzog forms the government. Zionist Camp members will watch the poll sample results at the drive-in hall. "If it turns out we won we shall all spontaneously celebrate at Rabin Square." (Maariv
  • Zionist Camp unveils party platform: Mending ties with US, reducing cost of living - Herzog sets three mains goals for first 100 days in office: Implementing economic plan, dealing with housing crisis, presenting peace initiative to Arab League. (Ynet)
  • Haredi activists blast Yishai for joining radical rightist Marzel - A group of ultra-Orthodox activists launched a campaign last week attacking Eli Yishai's Yahad party for joining forces with politicians from the far right. (Haaretz)
  • After 45 days: Egypt opened the Rafah crossing (to Gazans) for two days - Palestinian sources reported that the first passenger bus passed through the crossing toward Egypt. If Cairo extends the opening of the crossing, a new list of names will be published according to the registry. (Maariv and Maan
  • Peace Corps suspends its program in Jordan due to risk of attacks - There are growing security concerns among some foreigners after Jordan raised its profile in the battle against Islamic State militants. (Agencies, Haaretz+)
  • 'Jihadi John' apologizes to family for trouble he has caused them - The 26-year-old recently outed as Mohammed Emwazi relayed the message of regret from Syria via a third party, The Sunday Times reports. (Haaretz)
  • Iran supreme leader Khamenei appears in public amid rumors of failing health - Foreign-based news websites in recent days have claimed that Khamenei, who has the final word on all matters in Iran, had been hospitalized in critical condition. (Agencies, Haaretz)

Meet female soldiers who shone during last Gaza conflict
IDF observers who stopped deadly terrorist attacks during Operation Protective edge recount dramatic moments in which the saved the lives of many, and address the public outcry over wording of their citation which praised them for 'not losing their composure'. (Smadar Shir, Yedioth/Ynet
Constantine, capital of Arab culture
Suspension bridges, unique architectural structures and creative heritage are just some of the virtues that will make this Algerian city a tourist destination in 2015. (Eyal Sagui Bizawe, Haaretz+)
Face to face with Israelis leading female MKs
To mark International Women’s Day, we recruited women lawmakers from across the political spectrum, to grill one another on policy. (Yedioth/Ynet)

IDF firing zones must not be used as tools of dispossession (Haaretz Editorial) The Israeli army is giving up a firing zone in the West Bank for the expansion of a Jewish settlement; so why does it find it necessary to destroy Palestinian homes for the sake of those same firing zones?
'Concession document' is a beacon in the dark (Ariela Ringel-Hoffman, Yedioth/Ynet) If this were a sane, less violent election campaign, Netanyahu's secret peace offer could have actually been seen as a sign that not all hope is lost.
The left is not doing Israeli Arabs any favors (Jack Khoury, Haaretz+) The Joint List is resuscitating Israeli-Arab interest in the electoral process and doesn’t deserve any patronizing sneers from Meretz.
The Likud is escaping a real debate (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) Ad comparing dock workers to Hamas is just another way for Israel's ruling party to avoid dealing with state's fundamental problems.  
American Jews are angry with Netanyahu (Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, Haaretz+) The community fears the worst of the backlash over Netanyahu's speech to Congress has yet to be seen.
Secret document reveals Netanyahu's lack of credibility (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) If it's legitimate to reveal the gap between Obama's rhetoric on Iran and the concessions Kerry made on his behalf, it's legitimate to reveal the gap between the prime minister's rhetoric and the major concessions he offered the Palestinians.  
And now, a preview of the Iranian foreign minister's address to Congress (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz+) Not surprisingly Mohammad Zarif delivered a hate speech, whereas in Netanyahu’s address it was impossible to find any scare-mongering or incitement against the Iranian people.
A 'security technician,' not a visionary (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) The opinions of former security officials who no longer have access to privileged information about matters of national defense are worth no more than anyone else's.
Elie Wiesel, if you love Bibi so much - why don't you live in Israel? [Hebrew title: Elie Wiesel, get out of my life] (Rogel Alpher, Haaretz+) By what right did you stand there, using your reputation and your prestige, to try and influence the members of Congress to accept Netanyahu’s position on an issue that has nothing to do with you? 
Saudis trying to woo Turkey into joining anti-Iran axis (Zvi Bar’el, Haaretz) Not everyone in Turkey is pleased about Ankara breaking ice with Riyadh, fearing consequences of creating rivalry with Iran. 
Yedioth's bid to divide the Right (Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) With Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog failing to take off, Yedioth Ahronoth is in distress.
If Senator Menendez resigns, a rare species of pro-Israel Democrats may go extinct (Seth Lipsky, Haaretz+) Corruption charges threaten to oust one of the last great Democrats prepared to support the Jewish state in an era of appeasing Obama. 
A transparent anti-Likud plot (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) The content of the "concessions document" and the motives guiding the media outlet that published it prove that it is false.
Ignorance and malice at heart of Netanyahu abuse (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) Those attacking Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to address the U.S. Congress must be unaware of how the U.S. Constitution actually works.
In special interview to Ari Shavit, Herzog declares: I am going to form next government
Zionist Union’s co-chair says he has spent his life surprising people who have written him off. Can he pull off the biggest shock of all and become Israel’s next premier? (Haaretz+)

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