News Nosh 11.05.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Tuesday November 05, 2013


Quote of the day:

"From our point of view, possibility of holding a national referendum is real and and the work of persuasion must start from now."
--Peace Now Secretary General Yariv Oppenheimer on just-launched Peace Now campaign to persuade Israelis to support a two-state solution. (See video.)**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth

  • Talking about an arrangement for Jerusalem - Behind the scenes, this is how the talks with the Palestinians are being conducted
  • The end is known in advance // Eitan Haber
  • Parents crying, friends in shock - Parents arrested over suspected abuse of eight-week-old twins
  • New commander for Shayetet (Naval commandos)
  • Embarrassment for (former Jerusalem mayor candidate) Moshe Leon at airport customs
  • They humiliated me - Actress Ania Buckstein tells about the insulting interrogation (over her Jewishness) at the Rabbinate


Israel Hayom

  • The same Iran - Hagel: "Netanyahu's pressure helped bring the Iranians to the negotiation table"
  • So how are we going to believe that Iran changed? // Boaz Bismuth
  • Moshe Leon detained at customs for carrying an exceptional amoung of (expensive) clothing
  • Today: Second round of municipal elections in 38 municipalities
  • Revolution in IDF: "Psychological profile" is out, 'Commanding attention' is in
  • Minimum age for marriage rose to 18; Ultra-Orthodox furious: "Another anti-religious law"
  • October is strong month in car industry: Some 20,000 cars sold
  • Another president behind bars: Mohammed Morsi's trial opened


News Summary:
What do Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have to say on the leak that the US will offer its own peace proposal in January, what does Maariv reveal about why US Secretary of State decided to make a proposal and what details does Ynet/Yedioth have from behind the scenes of the peace talks? Meanwhile, Peace Now is preparing for a peace agreement and has begun a campaign to persuade Israelis of the need for a two-state solution.
Yesterday, a day ahead of the arrival of US Secretary of State John Kerry, Meretz chairwoman Zahava Gal-On said that from information she had received, the Obama administration was planning to present its own Israeli-Palestinian peace plan in January. A source told Haaretz that Gal-On said Kerry informed Netanyahu of the peace plan during their seven-hour meeting in Rome two weeks ago.

However, according to reports in Maariv/NRG Hebrew, the reason why the US is moving from coordination and passive participation to intervention was a result of the failure of the meeting in Rome. Kerry was disillusioned when he realized that Netanyahu was not interested in achieving a permanent peace agreement, but rather just an interim agreement, wrote Maariv's Ariel Kahane on NRG Hebrew. A source close to the negotiating team said that "for Kerry, this meeting was in a way sobering, perhaps even an end to (his) naivete. He realized that Netanyahu has his own considerations and that a final status agreement is unattainable, unlike what he thought."According to the source, the failure in Rome explains Kerry's aggressive remarks toward Netanyahu a few days later [when he said the "US would not succumb to fear tactics" - OH] and the call from US President Barack Obama to Netanyahu last week. Obama made clear to Netanyahu that he supports Kerry's efforts to reach an agreement, wrote Kahane.
Israel Hayom reported that at the Rome meeting, Netanyahu refused an American proposal to station American forces in the Jordan Valley or to allow other international troops to maintain the security along the eastern border. The compromise was meant to overcome a sticking point in negotiations regarding control of the West Bank Jordan Valley border with Jordan. Israel wants to retain control even after the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a Likud faction meeting in the Knesset Monday that Israel would examine any proposal presented during the negotiations, "but we won't accept any external dictates and no pressure will help."
The Palestinians insist that the US peace solution be permanent one and Abbas plans on asking Kerry for the US to pressure Israel over settlement construction. According to a Palestinian official familiar with the negotiations, as long as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not agree to the 1967 borders and continues to talk about maintaining Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem, there cannot be a breakthrough, especially since there are other important issues such as the refugees and the prisoners to be dealt with, wrote Haaretz. Moreover, Abbas said that linking the Palestinian prisoner release to Jewish settlement expansion could kill peace talks. Israel will be moving forward on the construction of 5,000 settler housing units to appease right-wingers, who are angered by the release of another 26 Palestinian prisoners.
Meanwhile, Ynet's excellent Elior Levy writes also in Yedioth today revealing that the two representatives of the Israeli negotiating team often disagree with one another and have small arguments in front of the Palestinian negotiating team. One of the dramatic discussions in negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians was over Jerusalem. They discussed 'shared areas' of the city and while Netanyahu's envoy Yitzhak Molcho demanded making the shared areas of Jerusalem as small as possible, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni was more generous. On borders, the Palestinians demand that they begin the negotiations over the '67 borders, but the Israelis insist the border begin where the separation fence stands [which Israel always insisted was temporary, but the Palestinians claimed was Israel's plan to make into a border - OH]. Israel also wants to connect the settlements of Beit El, Psagot and Nokdim to settlement blocs that will remain in Israel's hands [despite the fact that they are no where near Israel proper - OH.] Levy has more great info here.
**In parallel to the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Peace Now is preparing for the battle over the minds of Israelis ahead of a national referendum to be held over a peace agreement. The organization started a PR campaign Monday to encourage peace and to pressure the government to achieve a peace agreement based on the two-state solution. Peace Now Secretary General Yariv Oppenheimer said that "the film illustrates in a minute and a half the contemporary vision of all those who believe in a two-state solution and support reaching an agreement. The peace camp must demand that Netanyahu overcome political and psychological barriers and reach a comprehensive peace agreement with the Palestinian side and with the Arab world. From our point of view, possibility of holding a national referendum is real and and the work of persuasion must start from now." (See video in NRG Hebrew and video with English subtitles)

Quick Hits:

  • Hamas appoints English-language spokeswoman - Isra Al-Mudallal, 23, will help improve Palestinian public diplomacy. She hoped to speak to Israelis, but Hamas was quick to remind her of ban on Israeli media. (Haaretz, Ynet and Maan)
  • Arab MK: Jewish prayer in Temple Mount will lead to Intifada - Knesset's Interior Committee holds discussion regarding making possible Jewish prayer in Temple Mount. Arab MKs slam idea. Verbal clashes between Arab MKs and rightwing MKs ensue. (Ynet, Maan, Haaretz and NRG Hebrew with video and photos)
  • NGO films soldiers training near West Bank cemetery - Training in Palestinian villages approved by military advocate-general, though soldiers cautioned not to put local population at risk. (Haaretz video)
  • Jerusalem man succumbs to 4-year-old wounds from clashes with Israeli forces - Rami Bajis Zalabani, 27, died Monday evening from the wounds he sustained when IDF forces shot him in the chest with a rubber-coated steel bullet four years ago. (Maan)
  • Israeli authorities halt work on 2 Palestinian houses in Idhna - Israeli forces ordered the owners of the two buildings to stop construction on their own houses in the city west of Hebron near the Green Line. (Maan)
  • Israeli bulldozers uproot 25 olive trees west of Salfit - Israeli bulldozers on Monday razed Palestinian lands west of Salfit and uprooted 25 olive trees in order to to pave the way for the expansion of Bruchin settlement. (Maan)
  • Witnesses: Israeli forces fire tear gas at Hebron schools - Israeli military forces fired tear gas and sound bombs at two elementary schools in Hebron on Monday. Dozens of students suffered from gas inhalation. (Maan)
  • 18 years to Rabin's murder: 'Incitement spreads like mushrooms' - Opposition Chairwoman Yachimovich says on murder's anniversary: 'Same anti-democratic incitement, same extreme bills keep sprouting like poisonous mushrooms.' Rabin's daughter: 'Government lacks my father's courage.' (Ynet)
  • Following death threats: MK Stern has bodyguard - Knesset Security decided to give MK Elazar Stern from (Livni's) Hatnuah party security guards after he received threats following his remarks condemning [radical right wing settler - OH] Rabbi Dov Lior. (Maariv, p. 1/NRG Hebrew)
  • "Yigal Amir should have gotten a bullet to the head" - Former Shin Bet chief and Kadima party MK Yisrael Hasson said in interview to Knesset Channel. (Maariv, p. 5)
  • Peter Beinart to join Haaretz as senior columnist - Author and journalist Beinart to leave Daily Beast; will write regularly for Haaretz on Israel, America and the American Jewish community. (Haaretz)
  • Israel to spend NIS 871 million on Mossad, Shin Bet pensions - The government is not divulging how many retirees will be receiving this sum, since that is considered classified information. (Haaretz)
  • Arab woman who lost sons, husband (killed by criminals) awaits justice' - Netanyahu didn't keep his word,' says Siham Aghrbayia whose sons, husband were murdered. She claims PM promised to help her after hearing her heartbreaking story, but failed to do so. PMO: Netanyahu asked his top Arab aide to assist her. (Ynet)
  • Court could allow terrorists to study in universities - High Court agrees to hear petition to allow convicted terrorists to enroll in universities, participate in correspondence courses. Policy put in place after Hamas abducted IDF soldier Gilad Schalit. State: One of the most popular courses is called "Genocide." (Israel Hayom)
  • Hamas issues own textbooks for Gaza children, shaping ethos - New curriculum omits Oslo Accords, claims Jews, Zionists unrelated to 'extinct nation of Israel,' boasts Hamas 'drove Zionists into shelters' during Pillar of Defense Operation. (Ynet)
  • IDF boasts: Less missiles at Israel, Hamas fear - In contrast to tough times after Operation Cast Lead, when some 200 rockets were launched at Israel, in the last year (since Operation Pillar of Defense) only about 40 rockets were launched at Israel and there were less terrorist incidents. (Maariv, p. 3/NRG Hebrew)
  • IDF Rabbinate in 'culture war' with Education Corps - Attempt to divide responsibilities slammed as 'deception that invites trouble.' (Haaretz)
  • West Bank fuel crisis 'resolved' - Israeli companies have resumed fuel supplies to West Bank gas stations resolving a fuel crisis that has plagued the region for the last few days. (Maan)
  • Morsi to judge: I am your legitimate president - Egypt's ousted president's trial adjourns within minutes after opening Monday morning, after Morsi refuses to wear prison uniform, shouts to judge from defendants stand 'I am the legitimate president, judge - you are wrong!' Egyptians on alert of riots. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Report: Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander killed in Syria - Mohammad Jamali was killed by 'terrorists' according to an Iranian news report. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran: Protesters swarm former US Embassy in Tehran - Amid nuclear talks, Teheran's new bid to ease relations with West, hardliners storm former US embassy marking 1979 takeover, highlighting internal tensions, obstacles new regime still faces. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Hagel: Netanyahu threats, economic sanctions pushed Iran to negotiating table - U.S. Secretary of Defense tells Bloomberg website he does not believe Netanyahu is trying to derail talks. President Rohani says Islamic Republic 'not optimistic' about negotiations. (Haaretz)


The extremist rabbi who reigns unobstructed (Sefi Rachlevsky, Haaretz) If Rabbi Dov Lior were Muslim, Israel would probably have assassinated him, but the religious leader who calls for murder has support even from moderates. 
The end is known in advance (Eitan Haber, Yedioth) "From the prime minister on down, even the settlers in Judea and Samaria know very well that one of these days there will be an American proposal for an agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians." Haber reminds readers that since 1967, the US has never recognized, "the occupied territories," as part of Israel. Haber suggests that anyone planning a social event in certain communities in Judea and Samaria for the summer of 2015 ought to reconsider.
Contribution to peace process (Ashraf al-Ajrami, Ynet) Most Israelis unaware of fact that majority of freed Palestinian prisoners join peace efforts after their release.
Yasukuni and Ramallah: Commemoration also requires sensitivity (Moshe Arens, Haaretz) Can the celebrations at the release of Palestinian murderers from prison truly be considered a sign that Abbas wants to make peace with Israel? 
Lieberman, leave the Foreign Ministry (Avraham Tirosh, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) "Even if the court acquits MK Avigdor Liberman tomorrow and thereby allows his immediate return to the Foreign Ministry, Netanyahu must not return him to the post...A man with militant views and remarks such as Liberman cannot be the one who leads Israel's foreign relations and conducts dialogues with heads of state...There is a need for a strong, efficient and involved Foreign Ministry which will deal in public diplomacy, implementing policy and cultivating and strengthening [Israel's] international relations, led by an appropriate minister and not someone for whom the ministry is a kind of after-hours job."
Israel's treatment of Nazareth's budding university is anything but universal (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz) A Texan university is backing an academic center in the Arab city of Nazareth, highlighting the shameful approach of Israel's politicians. 
Revisiting Resolution 338 (Asaf Romirowsky and Nicole Brackman, Ynet) Current events demonstrate that just, durable peace in region is not contingent on immediate solution to Palestinian problem.
How far have Jerusalem and Washington diverged on Iran? (David Harris, Haaretz) Congress must prepare the ground for new sanctions to go into play if there is no concrete progress in the talks with Iran, showing America's allies that Teheran will not be allowed to cross the nuclear goal line.
Divide and conquer: Obama's Israel strategy (Richard Baehr, Israel Hayom) The U.S. president may believe that a nuclear Iran is a better outcome than the alternative of preventing this from happening with a military strike, with its potential for a wider conflict to follow. But he cannot come out and say so. 
JFK, the forgotten Zionist (Seth Lipsky, Haaretz) We could use a conservative, ardently Israel-supporting Democrat like JFK today, when his party has retreated so far from his vision. 
Morsi trial analysis: In Egypt, the revolution wore a judge's robe (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) A full conviction for deposed Islamic President Mohammed Morsi will give the U.S. an opportunity to embrace the army that saved Egypt from violent criminals.
The Palestinian negotiator who cried wolf (Amira Hass, Haaretz) Saeb Erekat isn't to blame for his serial resignation threats; he wasn't the one who decided to negotiate under such humiliating circumstances.


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