News Nosh 10.03.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Thursday October 03, 2013


Quote of the day:

"The history of detentions of the battling for the freedom of their people, in all countries, including our parents who fought for our freedom, teaches that there is no better school for terror than prison."
--Ze'ev Tzachor argues that it's time to have a public debate about the Shin Bet's system of detaining and imprisoning Palestinians.**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth


Israel Hayom


Peace Talks Highlights:
Prominent right-wing ministers did not show up to a right-wing anti-peace rally attended by thousands of right-wing activists at the national convention center in Jerusalem, Ynet and Yedioth reported, to discuss the political situation and the talks with the Palestinians. At the last minute, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett arrived and gave a 'hot right-wing speech,' reported Yedioth's Akiva Novick, saying to loud applause: "A people cannot be an occupier in its homeland...there is no argument for peace, no argument about demography. There is an argument of international pressure, and against it we need to stand like a fortified cement wall and state the claim that the land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel." At the height of his speech a clash broke out when a group of youth shouted curses at him, calling him a "traitor to the land of Israel." The rally organizers from the Nahala settlement movement removed the demonstrators who interrupted. But it was too late, Bennett had quickly left.

Iran-related News:
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu starts his three-month PR campaign by telling the US media that the Iranian regime is a 'cult,' as he tries to draft European and Persian Gulf states to his side and against easing sanctions on Iran. But Maariv/NRG Hebrew writes that Israeli sources involved in the international community say that "Netanyahu is only isolating Israel," the New York Times wrote that Netanyahu seems 'eager for a fight' with Iran and Labor Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich said it's a mistake to portray Iran as an existential threat to Israel." Israeli officials said Wednesday that concern over a possible Iranian ruse was shared by the US' Sunni allies in the Middle East, headed by Saudi Arabia and including some Persian Gulf states. The officials said open channels of communication have been maintained in secret for quite some time already," wrote Israel Hayom. Maariv's Eli Bardenstein writes that "Netanyahu admits that it won't be easy for him to continue to pressure the US and the West, especially in light of the fact that he finds himself alone in the battle, alongside the Persian Gulf States and Saudi Arabia, which also fear a partial deal with Iran. On the other hand, Netanyahu believes that if until today Rouhani thought he had a quick deal in hand, he discovered he's wrong. Netanyahu believes that during his meeting with US President Barack Obama that he succeeded in making it difficult for the Iranians and said he hopes that they feel this in the future."

Meanwhile, an EU minister said the West may drop its demand for Iran to halt all nuclear work. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said the West wasn't facing reality on Iran and Israeli President Shimon Peres said the West should not ease sanctions on Iran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani responded to Netanyahu's UN speech saying Israel is upset  that Iran grows stronger, as Israel gets weaker , and he got the backing of Iran's parliament in diplomatic efforts with the US.

And, not surprisingly, a British report about the alleged assassination of the Iranian commander of cyber-warfare made Israeli headlines.

Quick Hits:

  • Israel freezes plan to build Jerusalem park encroaching on Palestinian neighborhoods - Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz says proposal, which would hem in two East Jerusalem neighborhoods, has no 'particularly sensitive natural value.' (Haaretz)
  • U.S. State Dept: Shutdown could hit military funding for Israel - The Obama administration had requested $3.1 billion for Israel for the 2014 fiscal year that began on Oct. 1, the day U.S. political stalemate forced a partial shutdown of government. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Supreme Court rejects citizens' request to change nationality from 'Jewish' to 'Israeli' - Court rules against change in identity card registration, citing that there is no proof of the existence of a uniquely 'Israeli' people. (Haaretz)
  • Police chief: 88 officers dismissed last year over violent incidents - Police come under fire for stun gun use during Knesset State Control Committee meeting. Commissioner Yohanan Danino: "It is necessary to equip police with a means of defense in addition to a gun." Committee requests improved stun gun guidelines. (Israel Hayom)
  • Palestinian women visit Tel Aviv to promote peace - Parent's Circle Family Forum enables Israelis, Palestinians to participate in exchange visit program, joint projects; events encourage reconciliation in midst of harsh reality. (Ynet)
  • Intellectuals sign petition for more Bible studies in schools' - The status of the Book of Books in Israeli society has been steadily eroded' states petition signed by hundreds of mainly secular teachers and Academics. (Haaretz)
  • Ben-Gurion University professor receives Order of the British Empire title - Professor David Newman, dean of the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, is being recognized for his contributions to higher education and academic relations between Israel and Britain. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli law agencies ask Microsoft for info on 66 users in first half of 2013 - Report shows 18 percent of Israeli requests were rejected as not satisfying legal requirements; 34 of the requests were of Skype users. (Haaretz)
  • Grenada, Haiti recognize the State of Palestine - Grenada and Haiti have officially recognized the State of Palestine in a ceremony held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City last Friday. (Maan)
  • The female spring: How Arab women change the face of Israel's local elections - A women's umbrella group predicts a 150-percent increase in the number of Arab women on local councils after the October 22 vote. (Haaretz)
  • Hundreds of Palestinian troops deploy near restive West Bank camp - Officials say security forces assemble in response to rise in unrest in Jenin. (Agencies, Haaretz and Maan)
  • Israel demolishes Palestinian home in the Negev - Over 100 Israeli policemen arrived in the village of Wadi al-Niem accompanied by bulldozers and a helicopter, and demolished a home leaving 10 people homeless. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces shoot Palestinian farmer in Gaza - Israeli forces stationed east of Gaza City opened fire at a group of farmers in the area, injuring one person. (Maan)
  • Gaza tunnels idle amid Egypt crackdown - In recent months, the Egyptian military has tried to destroy or seal off most of the smuggling tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza Strip border, a consequence of the heightened tensions between Cairo and the Hamas government in Gaza. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Egypt turns back 100 Palestinian Hajj pilgrims -  Egyptian authorities on Wednesday forced over 100 Palestinian pilgrims to return to Gaza after having entered Egypt to travel to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage. (Maan)
  • Putin supporters nominate him for Nobel Prize over Syria plan - Putin says world powers on 'right track' on Syria chemical weapons and that military intervention can be averted if global powers work together. (Agencies, Haaretz)


In rare interview, Kissinger: If Israel took out its nukes in 1973, U.S. neither knew nor reacted
Ex-U.S. Secretary of State denies rumors that the White House knew some Israeli officials were considering a show of force to deter Syria and Egypt in the early stages of Yom Kippur War. (Amir Oren, Haaretz)

Dayan to Golda: We should prepare nuclear option
On second day of Yom Kippur War in 1973, after Chief of Staff David Elazar left room, defense minister stuns those present by saying to then-PM that they should prepare for a 'demonstration' of Israeli nuclear force. (Ynet)

US policy on Iran legitimate (Smadar Shir, Yedioth/Ynet) Obama realizes it is very easy to start a war, but it is impossible to know if and when it will end.
It's time for diplomacy on Iran - and Netanyahu knows it (Amos Harel, Haaretz) The Israeli military option will come back into the picture, perhaps for the last time, in the coming spring, if talks between Iran and the six superpowers fail.
**We need to talk about the Shin Bet (Zeev Tzachor, Yedioth) The film 'Bethlehem' won best feature film and 'Gatekeepers' won best documentary film. Both films are about the Shin Bet, both films are excellent. Both of them took an ideological stance...The credibility of the films, the great talent that was invested in them and above everything, their depth, may finally create a public debate about the work methods of the Shin Bet. It's about time that this enormous institution, which has hidden arms that operate within our lives - will interest us, at least the ethical sides of it that won't be affected by security, those that we, citizens, are allowed to express an opinion. One example would be the story of detentions and the detained. The subject was discussed in the past only in relation to the release of prisoners. It came up recently when prisoners 'with blood on their hands' were released, ahead of the negotiations with the Palestinians, and it is likely to come up again ahead of the release of another 250 prisoners. Those who oppose the release claim that those released increase terror, according to them, among those released were terrorists who killed us again. It's possible. The winning films expand the examination in ways that can't be counted in numbers, but they have depth. For example, the idea that the Shin Bet fills prisons with thousands of Palestinians, prevents terror acts or possibly this method encourages terror? Forty years since the Yom Kippur War and we told many stories of the difficult battles. We did not tell about continuous nightly campaign that has continued since, whereby IDF soldiers drafted and in reserves, operate alongside the Shin Bet and are essentially under its command. One of the most difficult experiences I have had, which I participated in numerous times throughout my years of reserve duty, was breaking into a Palestinian home in the middle of the night, a home that was marked by the Shin Bet as a place where a wanted person was hiding. Thousands know this event, like I do, when soldiers suddenly break inside and the shocked people of the home look in horror and helplessness. If the wanted person is caught, his mother kneels and pleads in the universal language of those pleading for the souls of their sons and their little children screaming in fear. We, the soldiers and the Shin Bet, don't know why we had to detain him and we don't know anything about what will happen to him.  The history of detentions of the battling for the freedom of their people, in all countries, including our parents who fought for our freedom, teaches that there is no better school for terror than prison. And we can surmise that the children that screamed there that terrible night of the arrest are the next fighting generation. Maybe two best films this year will cause us to talk about that.
Discrimination against Israeli Arabs still rampant, 10 years on (Ron Gerlitz and Jabir Asaqla, Haaretz) Ten years after report on October 2000 riots, in which 13 were killed, the state has failed to implement antidiscrimination measures that would reestablish just relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel. 
Sheikh Salah's ready-made solution (Dr. Reuven Berko, Israel Hayom) Islamic Movement head Sheikh Raed Salah wants to use the tried and true "Al-Aqsa is in danger" ploy to drag Israel into the regional turmoil.
'Ultrasound' of Palestine shows birth defects (Yonatan Mendel, Haaretz) According to doctors, chances are that this creature will never be born - and, if it is, it will not live long. 
The Iranian nukes - the real danger (Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael, Yedioth) "Alongside the nuclear issue, the heart of the matter must be dealt with - an Iranian declaration cancelling the policy which calls for the destruction of Israel. Only such a declaration can provide the necessary credibility for a nuclear agreement and will show that Iran belongs to the family of nations and is not a deviant requiring special treatment...Such a statement could come in a larger framework, to be joined by the larger Arab countries (especially Saudi Arabia, alongside Egypt). But such a step would require Israel's going toward the Palestinians. This is unavoidable if we really want to see America enforcing its will on Iran on the nuclear issue."
Israel can't afford to ignore Abbas' serious message of peace (Peter A. Joseph and David A. Halperin, Haaretz) Each leader will have to prepare his own people for sacrifices and to signal to the other side that he is serious about reaching a negotiated settlement.
The speech the world needed to hear (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) Netanyahu's U.N. speech was not meant to appease the world, it was meant to tell the truth, and the truth sometimes hurts.
The battle for Jerusalem (Ari Shavit, Haaretz) Jerusalem has experienced a social and cultural resurrection in recent years. The machinations of politicians such as Lieberman and Deri must not be allowed to kill it again.
Washington vs. Jerusalem (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) Israel is officially the bad boy of international politics as dictated by U.S. President Barack Obama. 
Yair Lapid's short-term memory (Haaretz Editorial) Instead of berating Israelis for leaving the country, the finance minister should be doing something to improve the situation in Israel.
A victim in Churchill's clothing (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) Netanyahu tells the world of his grandfather beaten by thugs, but many Palestinians carry the same memory, from much more recent times.
The speech you did not hear (Guy Meroz, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) "Imagine how the world would have been amazed and would have jumped for joy if it had heard other things," from the Prime Minister. Meroz believes that it is a pity that Prime Minister Netanyahu did not either invite Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Jerusalem or offer to meet with him elsewhere and remarks, "This is not the age of courageous leadership as in the time of Begin and Sadat, this is the age of clever, sophisticated, hesitant and stuttering leadership. It is not important how good one's English is or how frightening one's Persian is - the content does not matter and will not cause anyone on any side to go home in peace in five years."
How the New York Times distorted Netanyahu's UN speech (Alan M. Dershowitz, Haaretz) Why is the American media trying so hard to present Iranian President Rohani's remarks in a positive light while bitterly criticizing Israeli PM Netanyahu's rational and compelling speech? 
Netanyahu's UN speech was enriched with Iran rhetoric, but his stockpile is low (Yossi Verter, Haaretz) It was the type of speech that is destined to be quickly forgotten and disappear into the infinitely large ocean of YouTube clips.
Democracy for all Israelis? (Aeyal Gross, Haaretz) The distinction between citizenship and nationality ostensibly justifies and rationalizes discrimination and exclusion.


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