News Nosh 10.15.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Tuesday October 15, 2013


Quote of the day:

"Some of my comrades-in-arms got combat shock, not from the battle itself, but from the burial of the (Egyptian) soldiers."
--Major (res.) Mati Chai talks about his understandings about war and the enemy after he decides to return the dog tags he took from a dead Egyptian soldier 40 years ago.**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth


Israel Hayom

  • Pressure on Teva Pharmaceuticals: Reduce the dismissals
  • Netanyahu: Easing sanctions now - "historic mistake"
  • In simple Hebrew: Don't believe Iran // Boaz Bismuth
  • Adm. Cheney Merom was detained at London (airport)
  • The Nobelists club - Dozens of Nobel Prize laureates from around the world to come to Israel in August 2014 to attend conference focusing on science and technology..."A great opportunity to show Israel's achievements"
  • Another source of Israeli pride: Facebook acquired Onavo
  • Former police commissioner Niso Shaham accused of sexual harassment, indecent acts, fraud and breach of trust


News Summary:
The Knesset reconvened for winter session and the Prime Minister talked about Iran and the Palestinian issue, while others warned of the end of the coalition government. Meanwhile the coalition chairman said no Likud leader could give up land to the Palestinians and remain in Likud, Maariv reported that peace talks are on the verge of exploding and that Israel is demanding military control of the Jordan Valley in the West Bank.

This winter session of the Knesset is expected to be a volatile one, with numerous controversial bills coming up, such as peace talks, the national referendum bill, the governance bill and the ultra-Orthodox draft. Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin said that "this coalition, like all its predecessors, will not survive. Every coalition has a breaking point."

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu used the opening session to repeat his declaration that international sanctions against Iran are working and mustn't be eased. He called peace with Egypt an 'anchor of stability.' He also said that "For the first time, Arabs realize that Israel is not the enemy," and on peace talks, he said: "We want a real peace and not an agreement that will disappear after signing," Netanyahu said. "Peace must be based on security and mutual recognition," emphasizing that the Palestinians must agree to his condition of recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Opposition leader Shelly Yachimovich slammed Netanyahu's 'fear mongering' on Iran.
Also on Monday, government coalition chairman (Likud) MK Yariv Levin said that any leader of the Likud party who agrees to evacuate settlements as part of a diplomatic agreement with the Palestinians will not be able to continue to be part of the Likud, Israel Hayom reported. "If, G-d forbid, a Likud leader rises who tries to give away parts of the homeland or to harm Judea and Samaria, the final result will be that Likud will remain, and remain strong, but that man who gives away parts of the homeland will no longer be a part of the Likud," Levin told the Knesset Channel yesterday.

Maariv's Eli Bardenstein writes that Palestinians refuse to accept Israel's demand to keep an Israeli military presence in the West Bank on the border with Jordan as part of a peace agreement. That would continue to prevent Palestinians from leaving and entering the West Bank without going through Israeli security. "Give us more respect," said Palestinian negotiators. "We prefer the status quo to living in a closed cage." Bardenstein writes that Netanyahu understands that the negotiations collapsed before they began. (NRG Hebrew)

Quick Hits:

  • 30 settlers attack Palestinian car near Nablus - Nasser Hamarsheh, 60, his cousin Montaser and an international guest were traveling to the former site of Homesh settlement northwest of Nablus when 30 settlers hiding behind olive trees attacked the car with stones and sticks. (Maan)
  • Revealed: Large-scale fraud halts land deals in West Bank settlement of Beit El - WZO Settlement Division takes action after discovery that 250 homes built illegally and documents forged to cover up. (Haaretz)
  • Israeli rightists raise flag in Asqa compound - A group of 14 Israeli right-wingers raised the Israeli flag and began dancing and singing, while touring the Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Monday. Some also prayed. They were arrested by police and later freed. (Maan and Israel Hayom, p. 7)
  • Tunnel discovery leaves local security squads wondering if paintball training is enough - Civilian security squads in communities near Gaza raise concerns about potential terror attacks after Israeli military cuts training. (Haaretz)
  • Yasser Arafat's underwear tells experts little about his death - Swiss toxicologists, in quest for evidence of radiation poisoning, find inconclusive evidence. (Haaretz)
  • Radiation experts confirm polonium on Arafat clothing - Swiss radiation experts have confirmed they found traces of polonium on clothing used by Yasser Arafat which "support the possibility" the veteran Palestinian leader was poisoned. (Maan)
  • Tear gas canister thrown at E. Jerusalem hotel - A number of the guests sitting in the lobby of the St. George Landmark Hotel were lightly wounded. (NRG Hebrew)
  • Former Israel Navy chief complains after routine questioning at London airport - Israeli embassy says it was looking into the issue after Marom claimed he was detained; under British law, permission to arrest foreign citizens for war crimes is limited. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Hearing on demolition of Palestinian village postponed - again130 residents of West Bank village Zanuta face eviction. (Haaretz and Maan)
  • Efforts to find Ron Arad stopped almost completely - Security establishment gave up attempting to discover what happened to the helicopter navigator whose plane was shot down. [Note, this is incorrect. The plane fell due to a technical problem. -OH] (Maariv, p. 13/NRG Hebrew)
  • Ex-Jerusalem District Police chief Shaham charged with sexual harassment - Sex in police vehicles, exploitation, favoritism among police ranks revealed as indictment is filed against Maj.-Gen. Niso Shaham, who conducted numerous affairs with younger female officers, interceded on their behalf in police matters. (Ynet)
  • "Security people broke into Levi Eshkol's archives a decade ago" - State Archivist revealed yesterday in Knesset session: The break-in took place after the Shin Bet and Defense Ministry ordered removal of the third prime minister's secret documents and transferring them to archivist. The sensitive documents, it was claimed, were removed despite the opposition by Eshkol's family. (Maariv, p. 1/NRG Hebrew)
  • Report: Wife of Palestinian prisoner pregnant after sperm smuggled to Gaza - Boy will be Gaza's first 'prison baby,' The Guardian reports, joining at least another three West Bank infants conceived in the same way. (Haaretz)
  • Brig.-Gen. Almoz assumes duties as new IDF spokesman - Defense minister says former Civil Administration chief 'has the tools, values to preserve army's status.' (Ynet)
  • Katsav requests retrial from Supreme Court - Former president and convicted rapist claims he found 'distortion of judgment' in original ruling. (Ynet)
  • Peres invites Charles Aznavour to lunch - President to host legendary French singer who is arriving to perform in Israel for very first time. (Ynet
  • Israel: Only sanctions can ensure a genuine diplomatic solution with Iran - Ahead of two days of talks in Geneva between the six world powers and Iran, Israel releases official statement saying that it does not object to Iran having a peaceful energy program, but says in any agreement Tehran's military nuclear program must be dismantled. (Haaretz)
  • Khamenei: Main enemy is Zionist network - Eve of resumption of talks between Iran and West, ayatollah slams Israel, US in annual hajj speech. 'Arrogant governments, headed by the USA deceive public opinion in different countries,' he says. (Agencies, Ynet)

**Operation dog tags
Because of memories and pangs of conscience, 40 years after Yom Kippur War, Major (res.) Mati Chai decided to return the dog tags he took from a dead Egyptian soldier. Now the family of Mohammed Salah Alhariri needs to be found. The Egyptian embassy in Israel said that because Egypt does not have something organized, like Israeli website for the fallen of the Defense Ministry, it they will have a hard time locating the family and the dogtags will be transferred to a war museum in Cairo. Chai was sent as a 19-year-old soldier to fight at the 'Budapest Outpost.' The Israelis won the battle there on October 15th and on the 16th, officials from the military rabbinate told the Israeli soldiers to bury the Egyptian soldiers and give the officials their dogtags to pass on to Egypt after the war. Chai remembers clearly how difficult the burial was. "During combat, you act like a robot. He shoots at you, you shoot at him. It's like today's computer games. But when you bury the dead, it is something else. You see in front of you a human being and the emotions overwhelm you. Their military ID card likes like ours, with a photo, and inside you discover a 22-year-old guy, who sometimes even reminds you of someone you know. Suddenly it hits you the fact that they are people, too, and they have families who are now mourning over them, like they mourn on our side. Some of my comrades-in-arms got combat shock, not from the battle itself, but from the burial of the soldiers." The dogtags Chai holds belong to one of the Egyptian commandos he buried. "I wasn't supposed to take it, but apparently something in the photo in his military ID suddenly spoke to me. That's where the understanding that I didn't have before suddenly came to me: What is this war good for?" (Eti Abramov, Yedioth, p. 18)


At Berkeley, love of Israel means no fear - except fear of J Street (Bradley Burston, Haaretz) What message is Berkeley's Jewish Student Union sending if it hails Israel's democracy while refusing to accept other points of view?
Treading heavy water (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) If the Iranians weren't so transparent, we too might have wanted to believe that the delegations will depart Geneva with more than just chocolate and watches. 
Fashion victim (Michal Aharoni, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) "Whoever advised Netanyahu to talk about jeans as a symbol of freedom should go home...He can be the Prime Minister's friend but not write his speeches." Aharoni notes that hardly anyone at Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's funeral wore jeans and that the vast majority of the wives and sisters of the men who attended the funeral do not wear pants at all, and asks, "What does that say about us as a society? If Israel's public diplomacy was clever and would think in contemporary terms - even just a little - it would understand that Netanyahu's remarks could boomerang...Israel is a democracy because it does not arrest bloggers and it has media outlets that investigate the Prime Minister and his wife and because it has demonstrations and its senior officials are investigated by the police and a former president is in jail because he did things which it is forbidden to do. Our democracy is not in clothes, it is in our ability to loudly criticize ourselves without fear; it is the ability and the willingness to hold public debates, to air the dirty laundry in public." The author says, "It is not that Israeli public diplomacy can drastically change our situation in the world but it can prevent us from being seen as pathetic."
No drain - Israel simply has too many brains (Moshe Arens, Haaretz) The fact that percentage-wise the number of Israeli scientists at American universities is the largest only indicates that the Israeli educational system graduates each year a very large number of highly talented and proficient scientists.
Futile negotiations (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth/Ynet) Instead of suggesting bold alternative, Netanyahu loading 'two states' cart with irrational demands.
No negotiations without recognizing Jewish state (Zalman Shoval, Israel Hayom) The real reason that Palestinians deny the national Jewish identity of Israel stems from Arab and Muslim unwillingness, in principle, to recognize the existence of a Jewish nation. 
How to negotiate with Iran: Nothing tangible is given for free (Moty Cristal, Haaretz) With the P51 talks starting this week, President Obama should recognize the major cultural differences between the Iranian and Western approaches to the art of negotiation. 
Netanyahu vs. the world (Baruch Leshem, Yedioth) Leshem discusses a recent article about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the New York Times, in which he referred to Theodor Herzl and Winston Churchill and said, "They were alone a lot more than I am." Leshem writes: "Herzl? He started his career as an Austrian journalist, without a state and the strongest army in the Middle East. Despite this he succeeded in advancing the idea of a Jewish state and became the most important symbol of the revival of Israel. In his lifetime he was dubbed 'the King of the Jews' and masses of distraught Jews attended his funeral. Netanyahu's embrace of Churchill's isolation also sounds strange. Britain's European allies did not abandon him; they were conquered by Nazi Germany. The US supported him diplomatically and provided him with weapons and economic assistance until it joined the war in [late] 1941. Churchill was also not isolated among his own people during the war, but was an admired, unifying symbol.."It is possible to compare Netanyahu's isolation to that of a Japanese soldier who continues to hide out in the jungle on some Pacific island years after World War II has ended because he was certain that the battles were still raging."
One government, different majorities (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) While Netanyahu's grip on power is secure, he will have to work hard to cobble together a majority on the key issues facing the Knesset. 
The code to Damascus: Why Bashar Assad will never relinquish power (Salman Masalha, Haaretz) To fathom why the bloody Syrian civil war shows no sign of abating, one has to understand the tribal mentality of the Arab region. 
Geneva talks (Alex Fishman, Yedioth) The Iranians are arriving at the talks that will open today in Switzerland from a weak point, but they aren't on their knees. They smell the weakness of Obama and plan to tango with the West. From Israel's point of view, it is going to end in disappointment.
Hamas built mega tunnel for 'rainy day' option (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) Hamas is still wary of a new round of escalation, but the strategic isolation it suffers from and Gaza Strip's dire economic state have made it desperate.


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