News Nosh 11.06.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Wednesday November 06, 2013


Number of the day:

--The percentage difference between the average monthly income of a Jewish male employee versus an Arab male employee in Israel, according to just released data.**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth


Israel Hayom

  • Lieberman: the ruling - Tension climaxes in political establishment ahead of ruling this morning
  • Eini's departure: Resignation - and the mystery
  • The man of the big committees // Dan Margalit
  • Netanyahu will demand from Putin: "Don't ease sanctions on Iran"
  • Getting into more trouble: (Upper Nazareth Mayor) Gapaso suspect in another bribery affair
  • Burning hand: Israeli finished third in world poker championships and collected $3.7 million
  • Local elections: Victory for Padlon in Herzliya, turnover in Afula
  • Central Bureau of Statistics: Half of salaried employees earn up to 6,541 shekels a month ($1,860)
  • The art collection that was stolen from Jews: Unknown works found, including by Chagall


Peace Talk Highlights:
US Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Israel as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators shout at each other. Kerry is expected to pressure Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu - and offer him a deal on Iran and the Palestinians, while the Palestinians threaten to turn to the UN if there are any more settlement construction announcements.

In what was likely a symbolic move meant to illustrate the type of Israeli leader and agreement the US wants, Kerry went straight to the Rabin memorial in Tel-Aviv upon his arrival Tuesday night in Israel, to pay his respects to former Prime Minister Yizhak Rabin, who was murdered over the two-state solution and the intention of withdrawing from the West Bank - including settlement blocs. (Ynet has a video of his visit here.)

According to the papers, Kerry will try to pressure Netanyahu in their meeting this morning to make the compromises necessary to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians. He will tell him that if there is no significant progress in the next couple months, the US will offer its own proposal to resolve the core issues: borders, settlements, Jerusalem, water and security. Maariv's Eli Bardenstein reported that Kerry will also tell Netanyahu that the US will prevent an ease on sanctions against Iran if he will be more flexible and make significant progress in negotiations with the Palestinians. (NRG Hebrew) Jerusalem political sources told Maariv that the US administration is making every effort to avoid a dispute with Israel because it wants quiet during the negotiations with Iran and the world powers, the second round of which takes place tomorrow, which is why US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel complimented Netanyahu this week, when he said that it was Netanyahu's threats that brought Iran to the negotiating table.

Kerry's arrival came just hours after the Israeli and Palestinian teams raised their voices and exchanged insults in their 16th or 17th meeting together. The Palestinian negotiators at the secret meeting in Jerusalem accused Israeli officials of trying to discredit the Palestinian leadership by linking new settlement plans with the staged release of 104 prisoners. Nevertheless, the papers write, the Palestinians don't plan on killing the peace talks.
Earlier this week Netanyahu said the Palestinians knew about the settlement construction and were just making a noise out of nothing and Housing Minister Uri Ariel told French MPs that settlement construction was coordinated with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and that Abbas' protest was "essentially a pre-coordinated show." The Palestinians say they never gave permission to build settlements in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners. [What is likely is that the Israelis agreed to the prisoner release, but insisted they would build settlements as they choose. The Israelis saw it as an exchange and made it seem as if it was quid pro quo when they announced the construction directly ahead and after the prisoner release, and then said it was coordinated. But the Palestinians saw the release and the construction as two different things that are not directly connected. Probably if the settlement construction were announced at a different time - as other announcements have been - it would not have been as problematic for the Palestinians, making them seen as if they agreed to settlements in exchange for prisoners. -OH]

Kerry meets with Palestinian President Abbas in Bethlehem at 1PM local today. Abbas will tell Kerry that the settlement construction and 'Judaization' of E. Jerusalem must end. The Palestinians are not expected to end the negotiations. However, Palestinian sources told Maariv's Asaf Gabor that if there is another announcement of settlement construction the Palestinian Authority plans on turning to the UN to recognize the Israeli occupation of Palestine. "UN institutions will recognize that the Palestinian state lives under Israeli occupation. In addition to UN organizations, the International Criminal Court at the Hague will have a role."

Quick Hits:

  • IDF to simulate Gaza seizure in Ashkelon drill, locals insulted - Thousands of soldiers will soon flood Ashkelon to participate in training exercise of Gaza seizure. Residents offended by comparison between the cities. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Ireland: Israeli products marked with yellow sticker - BDS movement places yellow stickers on Israeli products reading 'For justice in Palestine - Boycott Israel'. Israeli Foreign Ministry : Yellow sticker - reminiscent of dark days of racism, incitement. (Ynet)
  • Kahane disciple Ben Ari to teach at Ariel University - Ben Ari, a former right-wing MK for the National Union party, is the founder of the educational arm of the Temple Institute, which wants the ancient Temple to be rebuilt on the Temple Mount. (Haaretz)
  • New book cites Obama describing Netanyahu in 2012 campaign as 'a pain in the ass' - Double Down, published Tuesday, also reflects Obama's 'hands-off' approach to Middle East peacemaking at the time. Obama 'relished' reports of Biden confrontation with Netanyahu, authors claims. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • U.S. to join largest aerial drill in Israel's history, along with Italy, Greece - Israel Air Force hopes to turn the drill into a tradition that other nations will seek to take part in in the future, official says. (Haaretz)
  • Israeli army salaries 22% over budget in 2012 - Treasury officials say consistent overspending by Israel's Defense Ministry is caused by a lack of tight supervision of the security budget. (Haaretz)
  • Palestinians blame Israel for death of detainee with leukemia - Hassan A-Turabi, 22, was arrested in January for possession of a Molotov cocktail and weapons. He was released from jail three weeks ago upon being hospitalized for the pre-existing disease. (Haaretz)
  • Palestinian prisoners protest death of inmate, 20 injured - Twenty Palestinian prisoners were injured on Tuesday after Israeli forces suppressed a protest following the death of inmate Hassan Turabi. Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails declared a day of mourning for Turabi and sent back meals provided by the Israeli Prison Service. (Maan)
  • Israel jails young Palestinian over 'illegal phone call' - Musab Nidal Zghayyar, 21, who studies journalism and media at Hebron University, was jailed on charges of talking to a Hamas dignitary over the phone. (Maan)
  • Hamas puts 'Israel Resistance' on Gaza schools curriculum - Gaza Strip schools to add classes teaching Israel resistance to curriculum; education minister says program adds value to human rights studies. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Israel conducts DNA tests to identify Palestinian fighters - The results will be announced in two to eight weeks, at which point Israel is expected to return the fighters in groups. Since the 1960s, Israel has withheld the bodies of hundreds of Palestinians, interred in numbered, rather than named, graves in a cemetery in the occupied West Bank's Jordan Valley. (Maan)
  • Median wage one-third less than average wage and gaps are large between men and women, Jews and Arabs - Central Bureau of Statistics: The median gross monthly salary is NIS 6,541 ($1,853) in 2012, compared with an average gross average salary of NIS 9,149 ($2,592). Wide gaps between Jews and educated Arabs. (Globes and Ynet)
  • OECD report says Israelis are wealthy, but fearful - The organization's 'How's Life?' survey finds Israelis in the top half of countries for overall life satisfaction. (Haaretz)
  • UN halts work on Gaza projects due to Israeli (return of) ban on building materials After Gaza 'mega-tunnel' discovered - Unemployment in Gaza Strip worsens with Egypt's closure of smuggling tunnels. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Israel faces water surplus - The Water Authority is considering scaling back production at desalination plants. (Globes)
  • Swiss forensic team submits Arafat testing results to Palestinian Authority - Previous testing by Swiss lab on clothes provided by Suha Arafat allegedly identified polonium-210, a deadly radioactive isotope. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Interpol probing French, UK Jewish immigrants to Israel - Police believe that fictitious invoices were part of a pan-European tax evasion scheme worth $5 billion. (Globes)
  • Hollywood snaps up Israeli TV series created by Rabin's granddaughter - Hot cable TV show about the family of a prime minister will be adapted to an American format for U.S. audiences and aired on CW TV network. (Haaretz)
  • Indications suggest Syria may attempt to hide chemical stash, U.S. official says  - 'Development is not surprising,' says official. 'At this point, it's not derailing the diplomatic process.' (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Russia says Iran must be invited to Syria peace conference - Chief diplomats from the UN veto powers and Syria's neighboring countries gather in Geneva to discuss how to bring the Syrian regime and the opposition to the negotiating table. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Poll: Americans strongly support Israel, but don't want to get involved in Middle East  - Poll of American attitudes shows only slim majorities in support of U.S. military intervention in Iran or support for an Israeli strike. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Despite Netanyahu's rhetoric, Israel-U.S. gaps on Iran closing - Israeli officials say Jerusalem would tacitly accept American concessions to Iran if those did not include significant changes to sanctions and ensured a halt to uranium enrichment. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iranian FM: Nuclear accord 'possible' this week - Mohammad Javad Zarif says as far as Iran is concerned talks progressed greatly; outline may be ready as soon as this week. 'We are optimistic we can move forward.' (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Iran's culture minister: Citizens should use Facebook and Twitter freely - Ali Jannati says law should be changed to allow free use of social media, however he does not have authority to make the change. (Agencies, Haaretz)


A film about Bedouin life, sans cliches
Director Ami Livne recalls the trials of finding a convincing actor to play the lead in 'Sharqiya,' which opens this week. (Haaretz)


A diplomatic price tag (Uzi Baram, Haaretz) Any prime minister who dares advance toward a peace agreement will find the arrows of the far right and settlers aimed at him. 
How do you sleep at night, my Prime Minister? The window of opportunity (Eitan Haber, Yedioth) Prime Minister who gets carried away in the events instead of shaping them is sinning towards every child born this morning in Israel. He should not rest for a moment on the burning laurels of zaatar and cilantro of the neighbors....
Not all criticism is incitement (Aryeh Eldad, Haaretz) There is no dangerous threat in the right's recent attacks on the prime minister and justice minister - just a spineless shirking of responsibility.
Kerry wants a permanent peace deal (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) While Kerry is determined to achieve a permanent peace agreement, Israeli and Palestinian opposition to an interim deal is softening. 
Second-guessing Israel's army budget (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) How much security are we getting for our money? The vagueness of the strategic threats that serve as the basis for the IDF's budgetary demands makes it ever more hard to tell - for the layman.
Stop believing in myths (Rabbi Arik Asherman, Yedioth) "The Jewish sector of Israeli society has believes in three myths regarding the subject of the Prawer/Begin plan to regulate land issues regarding the Negev Bedouin and the dispute between the Bedouin and the government over ownership of the land. What is popularly believed is that 1.) The Bedouin are taking over the Negev, 2.) The Bedouin never owned land and 3.) This plan is for the benefit of the Bedouin. The truth is very far from the myth." Asherman raises the poll by Panels Institute, that found that 87% of the Israelis believed the Bedouin were suing for ownership of 43.9% of the Negev land. When they learned it was about only 5.4%, most of them agreed that was fair. They were also surprised to learn that there are villages who have land ownership papers from the time of the Turks and British, wrote Asherman. Moreover, he writes, "We must separate between the question of where the Bedouin should live and the question of who owns the land, and it is impossible to force them to give up half of their lands 'for their own good...The Prawer-Begin plan is is in the process of becoming law, but I am hopeful that the breaking of thte myths and the circle of dis-information regarding them will help to create justice. It is not in our neshama to destroy dozens of Bedouin villages in the Negev, to expel between 30-40,t00 citizens from their homes to unemployment and poverty stricken townships or dispossess them from the majority of their lands. Such things were done in Israel in the past only in the fog of battle without the knowledge of the public, and not in recent years to such a degree. Instead, we need to speak to the Bedouin without patronizing, as equal citizens. Not talk to the myths.
It's time to abandon posturing on Iran (François Nicoullaud, Haaretz) Seven former European ambassadors to Tehran: With a 10-year delay after Europe's lead, the United States and Iran are finally committed to serious talks. But they must move fast. 
Scandals of perpetual corruption (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) The prevailing sense of "each man for himself" is the root of all evil in Israeli society today. We must leave this behind if we are to survive. 
All eyes on the courtroom as intrigue-filled Lieberman trial wraps up (Barak Ravid, Haaretz) For diplomats in Israel's Foreign Ministry, the verdict marks the beginning of the end of months of uncertainty about the future of their workplace.
Regarding (Likud MK) Miri Regev (Gideon Allon, Israel Hayom) In my many years as a parliamentary correspondent, I have never seen a committee chairperson so cynically exploit his or her authority, throwing MKs out of the room.


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