News Nosh 11.04.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Monday November 04, 2013


Quote of the day:

"I really don't feel like I'm in an enemy country, everyone is helping me and caring for me."
--Syrian mother who gave birth yesterday to the first Syrian baby born in Israel because she was more scared for the well-being of her child than of going to the enemy state.**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth


Israel Hayom

  • "It was clear we would continue to build during the negotiations"  - Prime Minister said after giving green light to market some 1700 housing units in Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem
  • "We completed the mission" - 4 days after being severely injured by an explosive device in the Gaza Strip, Lt. Ahia Klein opened his eyes
  • Suspicion: Parents abused two-month-old twins
  • Why is Yedioth playing down the affair - Boaz Harpaz gave two interviews, but the one in Yedioth was diluted // Gonen Gilat
  • Ashkenazi's marionettes // Mordechai Gilat
  • A show in the sky - Last night's eclipse
  • Police suspect: The two explosive devices in Ashkelon were assembled by the same crime gang
  • Justice Ministry advancing bill that will lead to recognition of single-sex couples
  • 68 years after the war: 1500 artworks stolen by Nazis from Jews were found


News Summary:
Israel 'spits in the face' of US Secretary of State John Kerry with the announcement of new tenders for settler homes, the PLO and Arab League threaten to take Israel to the UN on settlements, but Netanyahu says settlement construction was all agreed upon in advance and reiterates his demands that the Palestinians give up the Right of Return and recognize the state as Jewish and that Israel keep a security presence along the West-Bank Jordan border. Meanwhile, Israel faces more isolation and boycotts if the peace talks fail, says outgoing National Security Council director and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni calls on Labor to join Netanyahu's coalition.

"On the eve of Kerry's visit, the government of Israel spits in the face of the US Secretary of State," Peace Now Secretary General Yariv Oppenheimer told Israel Hayom in response to the issuing of 1729 settler homes (or 1859 - depending on the source). The new tenders, in E. Jerusalem and the West Bank, are part of the 3,500 settler homes whose planned construction Israel announced on Wednesday when it released 26 Palestinian prisoners.

Now the PLO is threatening to take Israel to the UN over the new tenders, Maan reported. Moreover, the Palestinians reached an agreement with the Arab League's foreign ministers, according to which, the Arab League would turn to international organizations to condemn Israel for the "construction on Palestinian lands and for the Judaization of Jerusalem," Maariv/NRG Hebrew's Asaf Gabor reported (only online). The ministers decided that they would hold another meeting in the coming weeks to discuss the Arab-Israeli conflict and "crimes Israel is committing in the West Bank in taking over Palestinian lands and at the Al-Aqsa Mosque (Temple Mount)."

Meanwhile, Netanyahu claimed "that the Palestinians knew that we would build during the negotiations. It was a clear part of the move to begin negotiations, and it was told to them clearly that Israel won't take upon itself any limitations in construction during this period," Israel Hayom reported. Speaking at the Sunday government cabinet meeting, he also said that "the Palestinians' refusal to recognize us (as a Jewish state) is the root of the conflict." That recognition meant they had to give up the RIght of Return, he said. He also responded to the Maariv report that he intends to build a wall between the West Bank's Jordan Valley and Jordan saying, "It's important that Israel's security border remain (all) along the Jordan River," Maariv reported. Israeli control over the West Bank border with Jordan is a sticking point in negotiations with the Palestinians, who refuse to have Israeli troops remaining in their state once a peace agreement is signed, and certainly not to control the border crossing between Palestine and another country. According to Netanyahu's plan, the construction will begin as soon as the construction on the walls between Egypt and Israel and Syria and Israel are completed.
Israel's National Security Council Director Yaakov Amidror said Israel would face deepening isolation and further boycotts if peace talks failed, Haaretz and Ynet reported. The EU's recent move, which he described as "a type of an economic boycott," has to be taken seriously by Israel, which must make it clear to the Europeans that they have an interest in continuing economic and scientific cooperation, he said. Amidror, who delivered his final security briefing to the government cabinet before stepping down, also said that Israel's credible military threat was key to deterring Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Also of interest, he said that while Syria's dismantling of its chemical weapons was a positive development, it poses a worrisome challenge for Israel, which could find itself on the defensive against a host of international organizations that will demand Israel come clean about unconventional weapons it allegedly has, Haaretz's Barak Ravid reported. Another interesting point was that the world sees Israel as an extension of the US. So, "Everyone who wishes that Obama loses power must take that under consideration. Israel will also lose its power and the two are related," said Amidror. Interestingly, Haaretz was the only newspaper to report on Amidror's warning about the failure of peace talks, as did the online Ynet. Yedioth and Israel Hayom reported that the briefing took place, but mentioned mainly the Iran threat.
Despite pleas by chief Israeli negotiator Minister Livni for the Labor party to join Netanyahu's coalition to get peace talks going, Labor chief Shelly Yacimovich says she'll join up only if right-wing Habayit Hayehudi quits.

Quick Hits:

  • Israel's military advocate: IDF training inside Palestinian villages is legal - Yesh Din files complaint against Israeli military training inside W. Bank villages, after numerous incidents, such as a recent training exercise of how to break into a home, done inside the home of a Hebronite family while they were inside. IDF's Military Advocate General: legality of training is anchored in principles of 'belligerent occupation.' (Haaretz)
  • Israeli settlers with soldiers threaten to evict villagers - A group of settlers accompanied by Israeli forces threatened to evict people of Umm al-Khair village east of Yatta from their houses according to notices previously given to property owners. A verbal and physical confrontation erupted. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces prevent Palestinian olive harvest in 2 villages - Israeli forces on Sunday surrounded a group of women, children, and elderly residents of the central West Bank village of al-Janiya, who were escorted by activists from the "You're not alone" campaign, and  prevented them from accessing their orchards in order to harvest olives on their lands. Soldiers also prevented Palestinians from Qaryut village near Nablus from reaching their olive trees. (Maan)
  • Jerusalem orders demolition of apartment buildings in Arab neighborhoods - Hundreds may face eviction in East Jerusalem, where regulation of construction is sparse; the city is unlikely to act on the orders due to international pressure. (Haaretz)
  • **Syrian baby born in Israeli hospital - Baby boy is the first born in an Israeli hospital to Syrians fleeing the civil war in their home country. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • 2 Palestinian teens arrested in Jerusalem - Amer Iseed said that a large army unit raided his house and arrested his sons, Obeida, 15, and Othman, 13. They were taken to the a police interrogation center. Issed said he, his brother and nephew were assaulted during the raid. (Maan)
  • Israeli bulldozers destroy Palestinian lands south of Nablus - Bulldozers from the nearby settlement of Migdalim entered the agricultural lands of the nearby village of Qusra and began to dig (ostensibly) to expand the settlement. (Maan)
  • Settler wounded after being struck by Palestinian truck - An Israeli settler sustained critical wounds to the head after being hit by a Palestinian truck near the Israeli settlement of Elazar in the southern West Bank. (Maan)
  • Urgent Knesset discussion regarding Haifa University legal aid to terrorists - Following report in Maariv yesterday, Coalition Chairman Yariv Levine is initiating an urgent meeting of the Education Committee to probe the subject of legal aid given by legal clinics of the Haifa University Law Faculty. (Maariv, p. 4/NRG Hebrew)
  • Israeli Artillery Corps drone crashes in Gaza Strip - IDF says Skylark-1 spy drone suffered malfunction. Palestinian militants told Maan they shot down the drone. (Haaretz, Ynet and Maan)
  • Brill may close boot plant after Israeli army cancels contract - Company says Rishon plant now working on 'gasoline fumes.' (Haaretz)
  • Jerusalem mayor and secularists clash over city council portfolios - Hitorerut B'Yerushalayim, the largest secular faction on the city council, is demanding the finance portfolio, which Barkat has already given to a right-wing faction. (Haaretz)
  • Former Israeli deported due to Gaza flotilla wants to visit sick mother - Swedish citizen Dror Feiler appeals court to reverse entry ban, allow him to tend to aging mother. 'Ban undemocratic, all Jews must be allowed in,' he says. (Ynet)
  • Israeli standardized test scores improve, but gap between rich and poor pupils grows - Among middle-class students, Arabs outscore Jews. (Haaretz)
  • Paula Abdul: Israel visit is 'most magnificent trip' ever - Former 'American Idol' and 'The X-Factor' judge is on her first trip to Israel, where she is connecting to her Jewish roots and planning on holding a belated Bat Mitzvah. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Montreal Jewish festival cancels panels by anti-Birthright activist - In disinviting Sarah Woolf, Le Mood organizers cite right to deny platform to those who deny Israel's right to exist as Jewish state. (Haaretz)
  • Report: NSA spied on Israeli military targets - New York Times review based on Snowden documents shows how National Security Agency tracked 'high priority Israeli military targets', including drone aircraft and Black Sparrow missile system. (Ynet)
  • Pollard campaign manager: US spied on Israel, but won't forgive Jonathan - Report that NSA listened in on Israeli military targets raises hope among campaign for release of Israeli spy. (Ynet)
  • El Al to Netanyahu: Help us resume flights to Turkey - And if El Al can't fly to Turkey, Turkish Airlines shouldn't be able to fly to Israel, says airline's CEO. (Haaretz)
  • Senior Hezbollah officials: Assad will not respond to Israeli strike - "The Israeli attack will not affect the battle and will not push Assad to respond," said senior Hezbollah officials. A senior European diplomat told the paper that the target for the Israeli attack was to harm the peace conference in Geneva. (Ynet)
  • Trapped between two countries, Palestinians lose more than most in Syrian exodus - Flood of displaced Syrians to Lebanese refugees camps stir up memories of Lebanon's civil war, some see rooted in arrival of Palestinian factions in 1948. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Syria opposition: No peace talks without clear timeframe for Assad exit - Arab and Western officials said this week that international powers were unlikely to meet their goal of holding the conference in November. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Kerry in Cairo: U.S. won't allow attacks on its Arab partners - Warning to Iran? Secretary of State specifically mentions Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Jordan and Egypt as allies. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Morsi from jail: Our troubles serve Israeli interests - Al-Watan releases first photos allegedly documenting ousted President Mohamed Morsi in jail. Article reveals three transcripts of conversations held by Morsi with prominent figures. (Ynet)
  • U.S. negotiator on Iran: Israel's security is a priority, no sanctions lifted - Wendy Sherman, the chief U.S. negotiator for Iran talks, says Obama administration is committed to stopping Tehran from advancing its nuclear program. (Haaretz)
  • Khamenei: Israel is 'illegitimate, bastard' regime - Iran's supreme leader lashes out at Israel, says he's not optimistic about nuclear talks with world powers. Referring to US, he says 'We should not trust a smiling enemy.' (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Iran Supreme Leader warns own hard-liners: Don't undermine nuclear talks - Ayatollah Ali Khamenei remarks seen as support for President Rohani's outreach to the West. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Israel's Iran perimter axis - During a professional seminar in Tbilsi held for Israeli Foreign Ministry officials, an ambitious plan to bring the states bordering Iran closer to Israel. States like Georgia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan will receive intel reports on Iranian terror cells operating in their countries and civil cooperation will be increased. (Maariv, p. 2/NRG Hebrew)


The boy from the 'Hilltop Youth' who turned into a combat soldier and educator
The amazing rehab journey of Sgt. Betzalel Wieberman, 20, from Jerusalem. "I joined the problematic guys of the radical right wing when I was 12," he said attributing it to witnessing a terror attack explosion. Later he was arrested with knives and brass knuckles. Now he prepares youth for meaningful service in the IDF due to the support he got from his military commanders "who were aware of my problematic past." (Yedioth, p. 30)


Time to stop damning the Diaspora (Hilik Bar, Haaretz) Lapid lambasted Israeli expats for being 'willing to toss away the only land the Jews have for the sake of a more comfortable life in Berlin,' whereas Dayan wrote on his Facebook page that 'those who emigrate from Israel constitute a betrayal of the Zionist idea.'
Americans selling our secrets (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) US administration intentionally pointing finger at Israel in bid to sabotage our security policy.
Netanyahu's distorted priorities (Haaretz Editorial) The prime minister's goals continue to revolve around security, settlements and Haredim; Israel deserves a different agenda.
Can Oslo's failed aid model be laid to rest? (Jeremy Wildeman and Alaa Tartir, Maan) Since the signing of the 1993 Oslo Declaration of Principles, the donor community has invested more than $23 billion into "peace and development" in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), making it one of the highest per capita recipients of non-military aid in the world. However, aid has not brought peace, development, or security for the Palestinian people, let alone justice. Al-Shabaka program director and guest author examine the origins of the present aid-for-peace model as well as its effects on socio-economic conditions and pull together the many critiques of the Oslo economic model.
How to stir up hatred between Jews and Bedouin in Israel (Rabbi Arik Ascherman, Haaretz) The government's bill to transfer 40,000 Bedouin citizens of Israel from their land, to be debated in a Knesset committee this week, will harm Bedouin women even more than men. 
The missing 18 minutes that could determine the Harpaz Affair (Amos Harel, Haaretz) Acknowledged forger Boaz Harpaz goes on a media offensive against the man he once supported - former chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi.
Under Obama, US no longer on top (Prof. Abraham Ben-Zvi, Israel Hayom) Not since the Carter administration of the late 1970s has American foreign policy been so rife with internal contradictions and inconsistency.
The third assassination of Rabin (Uri Misgav, Haaretz) The far right is portraying Rabin as a criminal in every way, branded as 'the criminal of Oslo' who was drawn into 'hallucinations of peace.' The subtext? 'Thank God we got rid of him.'
Is the US spilling its allies' secrets? (Elliott Abrams, Israel Hayom) The U.S. acts as a poor ally if it repeatedly and recklessly increases the risk to Israel by treating sensitive information as fodder for the press.
In ratings battle, blood trumps justice (Yitzhak Laor, Haaretz) Bereavement has no role in the meting out of justice; terror victims' families were paraded in the media ahead of the release of Palestinian prisoners solely for commercial purposes.


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