News Nosh 10.24.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Thursday October 24, 2013


Number of the day:

1 million.
--The amount of dollars billionaire Power Rangers creator Haim Saban said he would donate to Israeli soldiers if Simon Cowell would sing 'Go Go Power Rangers.'**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth

  • The new mayors - Young generation of mayors will need to prove to voters they did not err
  • The daughter on Facebook: "Help me find my mother's murderer"
  • The prince's dress - On William and Kate's son's baptism


Israel Hayom

  • Barekat: There was a deal to takeover Jerusalem - Day after his dramatic victory, mayor attacks Leon, Deri and Lieberman
  • Saturday night: Moving to winter clock
  • Botox: Not at the dentist - Health Ministry prohibits
  • Merkel to Obama: "Did you eavesdrop on me?"


Peace Talk Highlights:
The few details that emerged from the meeting between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the warning by chief Israeli negotiator Minister Tzipi Livni about the failure of peace talks and the call by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for a boycott of settlements by corporations. The Palestinian Authority cabinet condemns Israel's killing of a wanted man and of the passing of a bill making negotiations over E. Jerusalem difficult. And Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon says Israel is adhering to its 'red lines' amid reports of an Israeli strike on the Syria-Lebanon border.

According to Maariv/NRG Hebrew, Kerry asked Netanyahu what he is willing to give on the issues of borders, compensation over annexation of the settlement blocs and the control Israel is demanding over the West Bank's Jordan Valley its border crossing with Jordan. Eli Bardenstein writes that during the seven hour meeting in Rome, Kerry reminded Netanyahu that both Netanyahu and Abbas have already taken chances in the past and noted that at the moment they were speaking, the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams were meeting for the 13th time. Netanyahu said progress in the talks will be based on the principle of the two-state solution and he repeated his demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a "Jewish state." Palestinian sources told Maariv's Asaf Gabor that it is likely that representatives of the Palestinian Authority were present in the talks between Kerry and Netanyahu, but that it was kept secret. (NRG Hebrew)

On Iran, Yedioth's Itamar Eichner reported that the two sides agreed to disagree. But Maariv's Rome correspondent Yossi Bar wrote that diplomatic sources in Rome noted that Kerry's position on Iran came a bit closer to Netanyahu's than what the US has presented recently. The belief is that this was a way for Kerry to get Netanyahu to make more compromises in the negotiations with the Palestinians.

According to Maariv's article, Israel's special ministerial committee for the release of Palestinian prisoners will decide on Monday which prisoners to release on Tuesday. In addition, Israel will release the corpses of more than 30 Palestinians, including three who were citizens of Israel. The Palestinian Authority is reportedly presenting this as a diplomatic achievement, while Israel claims it is due to High Court petitions. (NRG Hebrew)

Yesterday, the day that she was in her 13th negotiation meeting with the Palestinians, Israel's top negotiator Justice Minister Tzipi Livni told participants of the World Jewish Congress in Jerusalem in a recording that failure in peace talks could lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state with international backing on terms unfavorable to the Israelis. Moreover, she said, "When there is no peace process, there is no legitimacy to act in order to keep Israel's security. So stalemate is against Israel's security needs." She said negotiations for solving the conflict are needed, "not an interim agreement." President Shimon Peres also spoke at the event saying, that he did not agree with the bill according to which a large majority is needed for negotiators to discuss the status of Jerusalem. (NRG Hebrew)

Peres was not alone. The Palestinian Authority cabinet in Ramallah blasted Israel's bill requiring a large majority in Knesset to approve negotiating over Jerusalem. Israel's "insistence on the confiscation of the city's Arabic identity," renders the establishment of an independent Palestinian state impossible, the cabinet statement read.The cabinet also condemned Israel's "bulldozing of agricultural land planted with olive trees..., the storming into Palestinian houses and the destruction of (the families') furniture and property" as well as Israel's shooting of a wanted Islamic Jihad man Tuesday. Thousands attended the funeral for Muhammad Assi, 28, from Beit Laqiya, near Ramallah, who was killed Tuesday by Israeli soldiers who shot a rocket into a cave at him. He was allegedly responsible for planning a bomb attack on a bus in Tel-Aviv. Mourners chanted for an end to negotiations with Israel.

Haaretz's Amos Harel has an insightful piece regarding attacks on Israelis by individual Palestinians and takes note of the Israeli right-wing attempts to change the status quo at the Temple Mount [News Nosh readers will have noted the numerous visits by right-wingers reported on only in Maan - OH] and how dangerous that is 'the primary danger' to keeping the calm among the Palestinians.

Continuing on his tour of East and West Europe, Abbas called on corporations to stop working with settlements. In a press conference in Brussels after meeting with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, he said the step was not aimed against Israel, but against the illegal settlements continuously being built on Palestinian land. A UN rights expert singled out several major international firms -- including Motorola, Hewlett Packard, Veolia, G4S and Volvo Group -- for their involvement in building and maintaining settlements.

A Kuwaiti newspaper quoted an Israeli security official as saying that the Israeli Air Force targeted a missile shipment along the Syrian-Lebanese border yesterday. Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon only said that Israel will not tolerate the transfer of Syrian arms to Hezbollah and is adhering to its red-lines.

Quick Hits:

  • Child treated for shock after Nablus settler attack - An eight-year-old Palestinian girl was treated for shock on Wednesday after settlers from Yitzhar attacked the Boursli family home in Burin with rocks and empty bottles. The attack took place hours after foreign ambassadors and consuls visited the Nablus-area village. (Maan)
  • Settlers prevent Bethlehem farmers from reaching their land - Armed Israeli settlers assaulted villagers from Tuqu while Israeli soldiers stood by and prevented the Palestinian villagers from reaching their land to harvest olives, east of Bethlehem. A confrontation developed between settlers and farmers, with Israeli soldiers intervening on behalf of the settlers, locals said. (Maan)
  • Youths smash hole in Israel's separation wall near Abu Dis - Dozens of young Palestinians smashed a hole in Israel's separation wall near Abu Dis on Wednesday, as clashes broke out in the town for the second day in a row, in protest against a house demolition in Abu Dis late Monday. (Maan)
  • **Simon Cowell steals the show in Friends of IDF fundraiser - TV personality teased into singing on fundraiser by Haim Saban in Beverly Hills, raises $1m for cause. (Yedioth, p. 20/Ynet)
  • EU strives to skirt diplomatic row with Israel for the sake of scientific cooperation - Israel, the only non-European country that has been asked to join Horizon 2020, threatens not to sign if EU settlement guidelines aren't softened. (Haaretz)
  • Europeans discuss terms for Israel's return to UN human rights council - Failure to agree will make Israel the first country to boycott a UN review of human rights in its territory. (Haaretz)
  • Qatar, UAE warned over Israel snubs - Swimming's governing body says two organizing committees of World Cup events apologized for 'stupid' incidents in which Israeli swimmers were disrespected. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Ariel: Annex territories, give Palestinians limited citizenship - In magazine interview, Housing Minister Uri Ariel urges Israel to annex Judea and Samaria, says demographic threat is not a concern. Ariel proposes offering Arabs citizenship but holding them to certain criteria to avoid "apartheid" label. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel calls upon Palestinians to identify 2 bodies found near Haifa - Israeli police called upon several Palestinian families Wednesday to identify two bodies found burnt inside a car parked at a graveyard in the Haifa district of Israel. (Maan)
  • Head of Egypt's intelligence in 1973: Israel's agent was answering to Sadat - Former head of Egyptian intelligence Fouad Nassar says Ashraf Marwan helped deceive Israel ahead of the Yom Kippur War. (Haaretz)
  • PA anti-corruption unit seeks information about EU aid allegations - Palestinian Authority anti-corruption commission on Tuesday asked the European Anti-Fraud Office for information concerning any investigation it was conducting after a British newspaper alleged that the PA had misspent EU aid. (Maan)
  • Foreign bloggers become unlikely champions of Israel advocacy - Ten influential bloggers arrive in Israel for "Once in a Lifetime" Israel advocacy program run by Tourism Ministry and (right-wing pro-Israel organization) StandWithUs. Some 3 million followers will get to see the bloggers tour historical sites, ride camels, and see the local nightlife. (Israel Hayom)
  • After failed mayoral bid, Zoabi resumes 'fight for justice' in Knesset - As Hadash candidate, businessman duke it out for Nazareth city hall, one thing remains clear - MK Hanin Zoabi lost, receiving only 10.4% of votes. 'I never thought I would win,' she says, vowing to return to Knesset 'even though I don't miss it.' (Ynet)
  • Republican hopefuls Perry and Sandoval visit Israel - Rick Perry has made the trip several times before; for Sandoval, who is studying desert farming techniques in the Negev, it's a first; both are tapped for 2016 presidential runs. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Report: Israel's 'startup nation' status at risk - Government must increase investment in scientific research if Israel is to remain one of the world's most technologically advanced nations, says Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Country's scientific potential remains untapped, study finds. (Israel Hayom)
  • 'Israel will not accept deal that allows Iran to enrich uranium' - In a briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon warns that Iran is still pushing forward toward nuclear weapons. Ya'alon says so far Syria is adhering to its commitments to dismantle chemical weapons. (Israel Hayom)
  • Senior official says Iran has halted 20 percent enrichment - No immediate comment from the UN nuclear agency that regularly inspects Iranian nuclear sites, though one diplomat in Vienna says unaware of any halt. (Agencies, Haaretz)

Commentary/Analysis:Why Israel's right fears the non-Jewish refugees (Don Futterman, Haaretz) Israel's right-wing politicians have turned African refugees into a political football of racism rather than thinking what should be a proper Jewish response to their plight. 
The slow but certain waning of ethnic politics in Israel (Israel Harel, Haaretz) The same ethnic demon that previously boosted Lieberman and Deri to power is now turning against them, which is good news for Zionism.
The slow extinction of the TV stars we sent to Jerusalem (Ari Shavit, Haaretz) Yair Lapid and Shelly Yacimovich rose to power thanks to their TV personas; we have no one to blame for their disappointing performances but ourselves.
What do people want from Lapid? (Yoaz Hendel, Yedioth/Ynet) Yesh Atid leader makes promises he can't keep, but can use his political clout for good.
Israel's fate in his hands, Netanyahu's moment is now (S. Daniel Abraham, Haaretz) Twenty-five years ago, Benjamin Netanyahu told me: 'Make no mistake. I will be the man to make peace' with the Palestinians. It's time for him to show the courage of his convictions. 
Fifteen years for a poem? (Elliot Abrams, Israel Hayom) Continuing pressure may lead Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim to pardon Mohammed el-Ajami, whose only "crime" was political criticism. 
Municipal elections: A vote for apathy and a nod to corruption (Haaretz Editorial) Anyone who has been charged with corruption, whether on the local or the national level cannot be given a pass on the basis of a technicality or ulterior considerations.
Demonizers of Israel: De-legitimization begins at home (Bradley Burston, Haaretz) The Anti-Defamation League this week released its 2013 list of what it determined were the top 10 most influential and active anti-Israel groups in the United States. Ever since the list came out, I've been seeing the news here in Israel a little differently. What if Israel's worst enemy is right here, part of the family, abusive and ill-willed, immune and shielded, destructive and pleased with the fact?
Peace with Jordan invaluable (Eitan Haber, Yedioth/Ynet) Israel may pay heavy price one day for taking peace treaty with Hashemite Kingdom for granted.
We already forgot thee, O Jerusalem, a long time ago (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz) A second-term Barkat won't erase its internal divide but Israeli ministers still wish to replace the Three No's of Khartoum with one Big Fat No of 'United' Jerusalem.

Uneasy calm on the West Bank following several violent incidents (Amos Harel, Haaretz) Tension on the Temple Mount, where right-wingers are making sustained efforts to change the status quo, is the primary danger.


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