News Nosh 10.17.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Thursday October 17, 2013


Quote of the day:

"When the Latrun monastery is spray-painted with graffiti, it troubles the entire Protestant world -  and we cry about anti-Semitism? Those who seek to destroy and devastate us come from us."

--Former Shin Bet chief Carmi Gilon says the roots for the next political murder are planted among "price tag" activists.**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth


Israel Hayom


News Summary:
On the anniversary of the murder of Yitzhak Rabin, a former Shin Bet chief warned that a future political murderer is bound to rise from among the Jews and the President and Prime Minister appeared to disagree over peace-making. Maariv reported on an Israeli offer to lease the Jordan Valley in the West Bank from the Palestinians, a possible plan to offer the Palestinians to exchange West Bank land for Gush Etzion bloc (?!) and on an EU attempt to formulate a way for Israeli institutions in the West Bank to bypass EU sanctions. And, the Iranian Foreign Minister charmed a Yedioth reporter at the end of the nuclear talks in Geneva, while Israel works secretly with Arab states against Iran's nuclear program.
**Former Shin Bet chief Carmi Gilon said that the price-tag attacks are the basis for the next political murder. At a conference marking 18 years since the murder of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, Gilon slammed the radical right-wing, their rabbis who support such acts and also the law enforcement authorities, who have failed to stop the attacks on Arabs and their property.  At the time Gilon spoke, an indictment was filed in Jerusalem against 11 Jewish teens accused of carrying out several price tag acts in Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood during August and September, for "intent to harm the property and lives of Arabs."

At the State memorial ceremony for Rabin in Jerusalem, President Shimon Peres said the younger generation needs to know that Rabin was murdered, but the need for peace still exists. He repeated a couple of time, "Peace is made with our enemies" and said, "Whoever misleadingly believes the status-quo will remain is delusional." Netanyahu responded by saying, "President Peres, you said correctly, that peace is made with enemies. But peace is made with enemies that want peace. Enemies that want to destroy us from the map are not our target for peace." He also said, "peace cannot be achieved or maintained without military superiority."
The Palestinians have refused an offer that Israel lease land in the Jordan Valley in the West Bank for 'tens of years' in order to allow the IDF to continue to control the Palestinian border with Jordan following the creation of a Palestinian state, Maariv reported. "In such a situation, we will be closed in a cage," said the Palestinians. "We will not be part of this re-definition of the occupation." It's clear to both sides that the talks are stuck, wrote reporter Shalom Yerushalmi, mainly because of lack of agreement over borders. (NRG Hebrew)

Knowing that the peace talks are likely to end if they don't get out of the rut their in, Israel is considering a new [and strange! -OH] offer. According to information obtained by Maariv, one of the proposals under consideration in Jerusalem is Palestinian consent to allow Israel to annex the Gush Etzion settlement bloc to Israel in exchange for the Palestinians 'annexing' a large area inside the West Bank, probably near Nablus (Shchem). The goal, writes Ariel Kahana, is to try to avoid the explosion of the talks and the blame for that on the Israeli side. The Israelis don't expect the Palestinians to agree. [Unsurprisingly, because they are offering them what is already supposed to be part of their state! - OH] (NRG Hebrew)

The EU is trying to work around the very sanctions against settlements that it created in order for Israel to participate in the EU's prestigious 'Horizon 2020' scientific research program. One idea is that Israeli organizations interested in funding establish subsidiaries that operate only within the Green Line. (NRG Hebrew)
An exchange between a Yedioth reporter and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi has gone viral in Iran. At first Lior Zilberstein asked him if a breakthrough in the Geneva talks may open a new horizon in Iran-Israel relations, without identifying herself. Araqchi replied: "It's completely different; it has nothing to do with these negotiations. Any breakthrough in this nuclear issue will open new horizons." Then she approached him as he was going to his car. She identified herself and asked whether he would like to say something to the Israeli media. He replied with a wide smile before entering his car to go to the talks: "You know I can't do that." (PHOTOS here.) The brief encounter between the Araqchi and the Israeli reporter became the talk of the day in the Islamic Republic, Ynet reports.
The talks themselves were considered very serious by all sides and even surprised the Americans. "I've been doing this now for about two years," said one U.S. official, "and I have never had such intense, detailed, straightforward, candid conversations with the Iranian delegation before." The disagreements remain particularly in regards to which sanctions should be removed in exchange for the steps Iran is proposing.
Israel's official response was that it will wait to see actions, not PowerPoints.

Ynet's Atilla Somfalvi reported that Israel is working secretly with certain Arab states to battle Iran's nuclear plan. "Israelis involved in these relations explained to Ynet that some countries in the region are fearful of the void created by Washington's hesitant and confused behavior, and they seek a strong and reliable collaborator they can work with - even if it is in secret," wrote Somfalvi.

Quick Hits:

  • Netanyahu aide pushing plan to exempt urban settlements from publishing tenders - The goal is to reduce the diplomatic pressures by reclassifying them as rural settlements. (Haaretz)
  • Electricity pole for East Jerusalem settlers gets in Catholic Church's way - Pole put up two years ago at one of the holiest sites to Christians tainting relations between Catholic Church and Israel. (Haaretz)
  • Locals: Clashes in Hebron village, Israeli watchtower burned - Locals of Beit Awwa, a West Bank village in the Hebron district, reported that Palestinians set fire to an Israeli watchtower Monday during clashes with the Israeli army. The clashes broke out when the Israeli army entered the village. (Maan
  • Israeli army taking steps to change Palestinian child arrest policy - UNICEF progress report gives IDF mixed grades in arrest and interrogation of Palestinian minors in the West Bank; army says policy change still under review. The IDF raised the age of minority for Palestinians from 15 to 18, such as it is for Israelis. (Haaretz)
  • IDF officers suspected of dealing in date-rape drug - Investigation into drug sales - including date rape drug - led police to two IDF officers. (Ynet)
  • Boycotting since 1967: East Jerusalem Palestinians to abandon local elections - Voter turnout expected to be low, after talk of reconsidering boycott is muted; Palestinians who considered running in city council back down. (Haaretz)
  • Palestinian Authority minister: Israel releases cancer patient - Israeli authorities released a Palestinian prisoner due to recent medical tests that showed he suffered from leukemia. Hassan Turabi, 22, from the village of Sura in Nablus, has spent eight months in Israeli jails. (Maan)
  • Rabbis to Jewish Israeli leaving the country: "Leaving the country is prohibited according to Jewish law (halacha)" - In the wake of a rising percentage of people leaving the country and a rise in percentage of assimilation among Jews abroad, an organization of rabbis reminds that according to halacha, it is permissable to leave Israel only if you must, and for a limited time only. (NRG Hebrew)
  • Suspects arrested over arson of kindergarten in south Israel - Police suspect that background to the arson in Heletz, in addition to he torching of the teacher's car, was a dispute with parents over teaching methods. (Haaretz)
  • New international high school in Israel to charge whopping $35,000 a year - English-language private boarding school aims to also attract students from Arab countries. (Haaretz)
  • Gaza gets first stress-relieving sensory room - Palestinians in Gaza Strip will soon enjoy space for special needs children; 'Gaza is our mission in Palestine.' (Ynet)
  • Egypt-U.S. relations in turmoil, says foreign minister - Egypt's foreign minister says instability with U.S. reflects negatively on entire Middle East. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Hezbollah claims to have captured Israeli spy-bird - Hezbollah TV claims eagle with Israeli tags, Israeli-made radio transmitter captured in Lebanon. Park's authority: Bird born in captivity, released into wild two years ago. (Ynet)
  • Turkey missile deal shows China's growing Mideast clout - 'Chinese ambassadors tend to speak good Arabic... while the Americans still expect everyone to talk in English,' says U.S. official. (Agencies, Haaretz
  • Iran willing to discuss snap inspections of its nuclear facilities - Negotiations between Iran, world powers continue in Geneva; Iranian FM says signing 'additional protocol' is part of last step of proposal. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Netanyahu to meet Pope next week - PM to meet Pope Francis at Vatican, discuss Iran, peace talks with US Secretary of State Kerry. (Ynet)


Understanding Jerusalem by trying to understand the man who tried to kill your wife
American Jewish writer David Harris-Gershon talks about his recently published memoir on his attempt to make sense of the 2002 Hebrew University bombing - in which his wife was seriously injured. (Haaretz)


Rabin's second legacy - a state for all its citizens (Gilad Kariv, Yedioth) 18 years passed since the murder and the discussion over 'Rabin's Legacy' has not stopped. For the most part, it is connected with the idea of the diplomatic efforts of the passed prime minister, which stood at the heart of the incitement campaign that preceded his murder. But alongside the diplomatic legacy, Rabin and his government had other legacies, no less important. One: the commitment to chaning the national priorities and to channel government efforts towards teh periphery and towards increasing social welfare services. The second: his legacy regarding the relations between the Jewish majority and the Arab minority in Israel, based on the fact that his government was the first that put the advancement of civil equality as a strategic goal. The political cooperation between Rabin and the Arab parties broke for the first time the political exclusion barrier of the Arab public, and in that way so did his first appointment of an Arab MK as a deputy minister....Paradoxically, despite the troubled situation regarding the diplomatic process (with the Palestinians), most of the Jewish public adopted Rabin's basic truths regarding the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Even not a small amount of those who stood on the balcony of incitement at Zion Square, and (Ariel) Sharon and (Binyamin) Netanyahu at their head, adopted in the end parts of this legacy...Like recent previous sessions of the Knesset, this session is expected to raise discussions that will worsent the tense relations between the Jewish majority and the Arab minority. When MKs come to the discussions over these issues, they should keep Rabin in their mind: The first Israel-born prime minister, who was committed all his life to the preserving the future sovereignty of the Jewish people, but in the same breath, recognized the need to establish a civil infrastructure that includes and respects its partners as equals, all citizens of the state, Jewish and Arab.
Rabin's true legacy -- Israeli security (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) The prime minister's primary obligation is to the citizens of Israel -- even at the price of international isolation. 
Who is on the ropes, Iran or Israel? (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) while Iran is now at the center of the world's courting efforts, Israel lags far behind.
Hamas has a right to dig tunnels (Amira Hass, Haaretz) After all, there's no chance of a revolution of consciousness or diplomacy in Israel, and the required fundamental change in the Palestinian leadership is not on the horizon. 
Without sanctions, talks meaningless (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) Were it not for the sanctions, Iran would keep doing what it has done for years -- playing for time until nothing can be done. 
A freeze for a freeze (Ari Shavit, Haaretz) A freeze of the Israeli settlement enterprise, and a freeze of the Iranian nuclear program will return legitimacy to Israel, and remove the immediate threats of a binational state and a nuclear Iran.
The Labor Party is no longer the leader of the camp (Yael Paz-Melamed, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) Shelly Yachimovitch speaks only against the rich and against layoffs. She is not interested in peace talks with the Palestinians. Rabin was the last (leader) who believed in path to peace.

The Head of the PLO Department of Culture and Information, Hanan Ashrawi, visited Brown University on Sept. 26 and spoke to Palestinian-American professor Beshara Doumani about the Oslo Accords, academia, and women in politics. A long-time activist, lawmaker and scholar, Ashrawi was the first woman to be elected to the executive committee of the PLO. (Maan)


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