News Nosh 04.06.15

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday April 6, 2015

Quote of the day:
"Don't be slavin’, just Nosh."
--Chorus of song by Jewish a cappella group Six13, from their Passover parody of popular “Uptown Funk.”** ;)


Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links)
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
The US and Israeli leaders each try to convince the other’s public to support their views on the Iran nuclear deal and a young man is trampled to death at the funeral of his beloved rabbi making top news in the Hebrew press today. Meanwhile, the Palestinian President said he might take Israel to court for withholding some of Palestinian tax revenues.

US President Barack Obama told New York Times reporter Thomas Friedman, “If anybody messes with Israel, America will be there,” making headlines in Yedioth and Haaretz+. Maariv and Israel Hayom focused on Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s US ‘media blitz,’ in which he criticized the deal and warned against it. Maariv noted that when CNN asked Netanyahu whether he trusted the US President, “Netanyahu avoided expressing full confidence in Obama and answered: “I think the US President is doing what he thinks is good for the US.” The papers reported on US Senator Dianne Feinstein’s exceptionally sharp response, in which she said she wished that "he would contain himself, because he has put out no real alternative."
 
Yedioth's Ronen Bergman reported that the Mossad and IDF Military Intelligence are preparing for the day after the signing of the final nuclear agreement, and are likely to run into trouble. Israeli intel agencies will be responsible (at Israel's behest) for secretly making certain that Iran does not covertly renew the military side of the nuclear program. Bergman writes that, unlike in the past, when Meir Dagan was head of Mossad, the intelligence agencies of the world powers "won't be in a hurry to cooperate with Israel." 

Haaretz reported that sources in the Zionist Camp opposition party have said that an Iran deal could pave the way for a unity government.

On Saturday, the US rejected Israel's attempt to get a clause inserted in the Iranian nuclear deal 'recognizing Israel's right to exist.' The Americans said it was unrelated to the issue. Haaretz’s Barak Ravid prepared a Q&A: What next for the Iranian nuclear agreement?

Both the US and Israeli governments are preparing lobbying strategies for and against the deal. Associated Press obtained a document drawn up by experts in Netanyahu's office, that gives a glimpse of the arguments Netanyahu will raise, “targeting vague language in the system of inspections and its failure to address issues beyond the nuclear program.” Netanyahu's appearances on US TV Sunday signaled the launch of that campaign. Reuters reported that the White House is launching its PR campaign in hope that support from the US public could help sway skeptical lawmakers in Congress. 
  
Palestinian President Abbas rejected Israel's partial transfer of frozen tax revenues. Israel wants to keep a large part of the monies to settle debts incurred by the Palestinian Authority, but Abbas said he may opt for arbitration or court. On Saturday Abbas said he was willing to meet Netanyahu and resume the peace process with Israel and urged Israel to accept the Arab Peace Initiative. He also said the Israeli people must understand that the current situation will lead to apartheid. "I have no hatred or animosity for the Jewish people or the State of Israel," Abbas said, reiterating that the Palestinians would not recognize Israel as a Jewish state and that the Palestinian Authority already recognized Israel's right to exist in the Oslo Accords.

Quick Hits:
  • Report: Israel targeted Lebanon post in which Spanish peacekeeper died - Corporal Javier Soria Toledo died in IDF shelling in January following a Hezbollah attack in which two Israeli soldiers were killed. (Haaretz)
  • Without hearing, IDF orders Palestinian lawmaker's 6-month detention - 
    Palestinian officials question timing of arrest of Khalida Jarrar, part of a group monitoring ties to ICC in The Hague. Head of Palestinian Prisoner's Society denounced Jarrar's arrest as a "revengeful act" after she refused to agree to Israeli army decision to relocate her from Ramallah to Jericho. (Haaretz+ and Maan)
  • Police plan to indict Israelis who staged prank kidnapping in West Bank - Two men, one an IDF soldier, had security forces searching Hebron area for hours. One now claims that staged kidnapping was over gambling debts not ex-girlfriend. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Israeli forces open fire on Nabi Saleh weekly protest, injure 6 - International Solidarity Movement issued a statement stating that the weekly march met "extreme violence" from Israeli forces, with four people shot "in the first five minutes of the protest." (Maan)
  • Gaza power plant received fuel Sunday after month-long closure - On Mar. 2, the Hamas-run energy authority closed the plant after they were unable to afford the taxes demanded by the Palestinian Authority for importing fuel into besieged Gaza. (Maan)
  • Gaza returns to 8-hour electricity schedule - The return to the program comes after the government's decision to exempt the station of tax on fuel for three months. (Maan
  • Erekat: Netanyahu wants Jewish state just like ISIS wants Islamic State - Senior Palestinian official also says that Palestinian Authority already opened proceedings against Israel in ICC. (Haaretz+)  
  • Israel cuts off power to sick prisoners - Israeli prison services cut off the power supply to sick prisoners' wards in Al-Ramla Prison on Saturday, a lawyer for the Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Committee said, calling it “immoral.” (Maan
  • 500% increase in Palestinians detained without trial in 2015 - The statistics suggest a massive increase in Israel's incarceration of Palestinians without charge or trial despite repeated promises to limit the practice in line with international norms. (Maan)
  • From an Israeli combat soldier to conscientious objector - Two years into his service, Nahal soldier Yaron Kaplan, 21, of Lod, refuses to continue serving because of the occupation. (Haaretz+) 
  • Israeli right-wing comedy group draws ire with anti-Arab TV skit - Israel Broadcasting Authority refuses to air sketch of right-wing humor group Latma depicting a Jewish woman who marries an Arab man and is subsequently murdered by him; group has since removed video from its Facebook page. (Haaretz)
  • Israel faces impending cyberattack - The Anti-Defamation League issues a security advisory informing Jewish and Israeli communities of threatened cyberattack, which is expected to take down websites and replace their content with anti-Semitic and anti-Israel messages. (Israel Hayom
  • Sexual assault cases in Israel's defense establishment up 15% in 2014 - IDF praised for confronting sex harassment; police, prison service are criticized. (Haaretz+) 
  • Bid to suspend Israel from FIFA brings Blatter to the region - World soccer chief Sepp Blatter will visit the Middle East under the cloud of a Palestinian bid to have Israel suspended for "racist behavior against Arabs", hampering local teams. (Haaretz and Maan
  • Obama hosts traditional White House Passover Seder - First Family holds Seder for seventh year in a row, inviting Jewish aides and officials to bring their family's recipes; acknowledging how Passover inspired generations of Americans in struggle for civil rights. (Ynet
  • Passover parody: 'Don't be slavin', just nosh' - Jewish a capella group Six13 unveils 'Uptown Passover,' its holiday version of Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson's 'Uptown Funk,' which melodically describes Israelites' exodus from Egypt. (Ynet)
  • Christians celebrate Easter's empty tomb in Jerusalem - Addressing worshipers at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the heart of Jerusalem's Old City, Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal spoke of the suffering gripping the war-torn Middle East, urging the faithful to demonstrate courage. (Agencies, Maan
  • Over 1.3 millions expected to go through Israel's airport this Passover - Though flights are up, Israelis hotels rue continued weakness in incoming tourism. (Haaretz+)
  • Palestinians trapped as IS and al-Nusra Front seize most of Syria camp - The camp in Damascus is now almost completely under the control of the Islamic State group (IS) and Al-Qaeda's local branch Al-Nusra Front, a monitoring group said. (Maan)
  • PLO delegation heads to Syria for talks on camp crisis - A Palestine Liberation Organization delegation will be sent to Syria to discuss the crisis in Yarmouk refugee camp after it came under attack by the Islamic State group. (Maan)
  • The Palestinians of Yarmouk to Ynet: We need international intervention, Islamic State is beheading people - The inhabitants of the refugee camp on the outskirts of Syria say they are not sure which is worse, the arrival of Islamic State, or the starvation and war that preceded it. (Ynet
  • (Palestinian) minister announces start of construction for 1,000 Gaza homes - Palestinian Housing Ministry says has method to build a ground floor for each family whose homes were destroyed during the 2014 war in the first phase of the project. (Maan
  • Report: Iran financing Hamas' military force reconstruction efforts - Tens of millions of dollars have been transferred to Hamas for the rebuilding of tunnels destroyed by Israel last summer, the Sunday Telegraph reports. (Haaretz)
  • Rwanda confirms finalizing deal with Israel to accept asylum seekers - President Paul Kagame confirms that his country has been approached to receive Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers; a second newspaper says Uganda is considering the offer. (Haaretz+) 
  • SodaStream changes labeling to 'Made in the West Bank' - The manufacturer of home carbonation systems, which has been the target of anti-Israel boycotts, was accused of misrepresentation in the U.S. state of Oregon. (Haaretz)

Commentary/Analysis:
For Israel, there's good news and bad news after Iran deal (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Although Iran's nuclear project will be monitored for at least a decade, the deal also grants it recognition as a power to be reckoned with. 
Obama tells Israelis: We can argue about Iran - but it’s all in the family (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) American Jews are more likely to be captivated by the president’s combination of vulnerability and schmaltz in his interview with Thomas Friedman.  
Israel should be grateful to Obama (Sever Plocker, Yedioth/Ynet) One day we will appreciate the fact that the American president effectively removed the threat of chemical and nuclear weapons in the hands of our enemies Syria and Iran.
Israel's lessons from Lausanne (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth/Ynet) At this point, Israel has two choices: Keep fighting the Obama administration or repair the damage and try to make the most of the punitive clauses in Iran deal.
In the land of the inevitable critics: Shaky Iran deal is better than a war (Ilene Prusher, Haaretz+) Israel’s nuclear experts side with Netanyahu in opposing Obama on the framework deal with Iran: But is it a worse option than the risk of another Middle East war?
Deal makes Iran stronger than ever (Dr. Ephraim Kam, Israel Hayom) The West lost out to the ayatollahs on almost every demand in the talks leading up to the framework deal. 
Israel's questions about nuclear deal are being echoed in Iran (Zvi Bar’el, Haaretz+) As Israel and many Arab states express concern about the framework nuclear agreement, not everybody is dancing in the streets of Tehran, either. 
The US has sold Israel out with Iran deal (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) The Lausanne agreement is evidence of just how hard - and successfully - the Iranians fought to preserve the essential components for creating nuclear weapons.  
Netanyahu should say yes to Abbas (Haaretz Editorial) The Israeli prime minister should return to the negotiating table or face the consequences. 
Israel's Arabs are not a joke (Yonatan Yavin,, Yedioth/Ynet)  If the Jewish majority keeps ignoring this sizeable minority, unless as the butt of an April Fools' joke, the collision will be inevitable. 
Where did the Israeli blood libel against Arabs come from? (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz+) An Israeli commentator's reminiscence about his grandfather's chilling acts in 1948 conjures the old axiom that Arabs would have done worse had the tables been turned – contrary to hundreds of years of co-existence.
Israel's rich uncle (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) JNF is handing out millions to projects across Israel, but some are more controversial than others.   
Natanzyahu is responsible (Amir Oren, Haaretz+) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must take responsibility for his abject failure to exert any influence on the Iranian nuclear program talks. 
Palestinian issue is not the only thing US should reassess (Efraim Halevy, Yedioth/Ynet) The inadequate Israeli action vis-à-vis the Palestinians, compared to the abundant Israeli political activism in Washington, raise troubling questions about what is happening in Jerusalem's corridors of power.
Israel’s Arabs need a party not hostile to the state (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) The common denominator of Joint (Arab) List’s three factions is hostility that ranges from enmity to hate and open support for Israel’s enemies.
A better deal than we expected (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Despite glaring shortcomings of 'framework' deal with Iran – which allow Tehran ability to resume its nuclear pursuit with haste – Obama now offering Netanyahu an olive branch; the Israeli leader should embrace it and help seal loopholes in final agreement.  
Zionists, support the Palestinian Authority in The Hague (Dmitry Shumsky, Haaretz+) Under the flag of Zionism, the captains of the occupation and settlement enterprise are marching Israel in great strides back to the pre-state and pre-Zionist age. 
Arab states left on their own (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) The framework nuclear deal has cemented Iran's position as a regional power, essentially leaving the moderate Arab nations to fend for themselves.
Iran deal? Israel sticks to its language of bombing and shelling (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) The so-called existential danger is needed so we can be distracted from the real danger, the continuation of the occupation.
Obama's letter of surrender (Prof. Abraham Ben-Zvi, Israel Hayom) By letting Iran keep residual infrastructure, the deal will let Iran coast past the nuclear threshold once the deal expires.
The four sons, re-imagined: Four Zionist views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (Calev Ben-Dor, Haaretz+) Which perspective is wise? And which is wicked? You decide.
 

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