News Nosh 10.02.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Wednesday October 02, 2013


Quote of the day:

"Yesterday he seemed - and this is not a printing mistake - trustworthy."
--Yedioth's senior political commentator Sima Kadmon says Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's speech was convincing.**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth

  • Netanyahu at UN: If we need to stand up to the Iranians alone
  • He convinced me // Sima Kadmon
  • The nursery school teacher talks - I'm scared
  • US Jews are assimilating
  • White nights - We joined the volunteers of "The New Guard" chasing gangs in the Galilee and the Negev
  • America closed


Israel Hayom


News Summary:
Today's Hebrew papers were impressed by the 'assertive' tone of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's speech at the UN General Assembly Monday, but noted he had softened his stance. Right-wing Israelis were pleased with the speech while left-wing Israelis criticized it. So did the butt of the speech: Iran. But the Israeli commentators were not sure anyway that anyone besides Israelis and Iranians were listening. And only a few sentences were relegated at the end to the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

No more drawings or other gimmicks. This time, noted the Israeli papers, Netanyahu was all about facts and details and about proving that Iran was really after the bomb, despite the smiles of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, whom he called, 'a wolf in sheep's skin.'

Netanyahu said clearly that Israel would attack Iran alone if necessary. But the papers noted that he softened his stance and moved his red line. No longer did he speak of attacking Iran preemptively, before it reached a nuclear bomb. Now he spoke of attacking afterward, if and when it achieved one. He insisted that Iran be forced to abandon its military nuclear program, but did not make that demand concerning its civilian nuclear efforts, wrote Haaretz's Barak Ravid.

The papers noted the four demands he expects the Western powers to use during negotiations with Iran. These are the issues he and US President Barack Obama do not agree on:
1. Halt to all uranium enrichment.
2. Removal of the stockpiles of enriched uranium from the country.
3. Dismantling the infrastructure for nuclear breakout capability - the underground facility at Fordo and the advanced centrifuges in Natanz.
4. Halting all work at the Arak heavy water reactor toward production of plutonium.
Ravid noted that the speech lasted about 30 minutes and that only two of those minutes were dedicated to all non-Iran subjects, including the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. Ravid also noted that there were very few diplomats in the hall when he spoke, possibly because of it was the last speech.

On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict he mainly blamed the Palestinians that peace has not been achieved, when he said: "My predecessors were prepared to make painful concessions. So am I. But so far the Palestinian leaders haven't been prepared to offer the painful concessions they must make in order to end the conflict...For peace to be achieved, the Palestinians must finally recognize the Jewish state, and Israel's security needs must be met." Transcript of Netanyahu's speech.

Israeli politicians' reactions were according to their political leanings. Shas MK Eli Yishai said Netanyahu's speech "was an honor to the whole people" while opposition leader Shelly Yachimovich said she supported the facts, but that the way he presented them was wrong. "The way to deal with Iran is not by emphasizing Israel's isolation." Meretz party Chairwoman Zahava Gal-On said, "Netanyahu returned to the old rhetoric of threats and intimidation." The Iranian ambassador to the UN took a jab at Netanyahu saying a 'smile policy' was better than 'lying' and also called the speech 'inflammatory.' Even before Netanyahu gave the speech, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Netanyahu's assertions about Iran's nuclear program were lies and that Ahead of prime minister's UN speech || Iranian FM: Netanyahu was the 'most isolated man' at the UN.
And an unnamed senior US official told Haaretz that Obama told Netanyahu in their talk on Monday that he believed that Iran was more serious than before about nuclear diplomacy. "In terms of quality, the messages coming from Iran are something we haven't seen in the past," the senior official said.

Quick Hits:

  • Palestinians petition High Court to reclaim Jordan Valley land - Petitioners are requesting an interim order to halt the cultivation of the site by settlers; judge gives state 21 days to respond. (Haaretz)
  • Settlers torch Palestinian vehicle near Nablus - Settlers from the notorious Yizhar settlement set fire to a car belonging to Abdul-Athim Shehadah at the entrance to Burin village. Shehadah has been the victim of 13 settler attacks since 2000. (Maan)
  • J'lem vehicles vandalized in third 'price tag' attack in a week - Tires slashed and 'price tag' graffiti sprayed on cars in Old City, just two days after two teens arrested for damaging eight cars in Sheikh Jarrah. (Haaretz and Maan)
  • Family ordered to cease work in Jerusalem cave - Khalid al-Zeer and his family live in a 20-meter cave on his land which Israel has threatened to confiscate since Aug. 20, when Israeli bulldozers from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the Jerusalem municipaltiy demolished their home. (Maan)
  • PA liaison officials secure release of 5 Palestinian children - The boys between the ages of 12 and 15, all from Hebron and al-Fawwar refugee camp, were arrested on their way to school by Israel, a PA liaison official said. (Maan)
  • Don't scrap home because it's 'easier to live in Berlin,' Lapid tells Israelis (sparking ire) - One reader responds to Yair Lapid on Facebook by noting that some Israeli expats went 'from a situation where they barely made ends meet to being financially comfortable.' (Haaretz)
  • Average Israeli doesn't finish the month - Check by Maariv/NRG found why Israelis leave the country: Not only are salaries low compared to the West, housing, food and gasoline are much higher. (NRG Hebrew)
  • Hamas offers to hire Ma'an staff after closing Gaza office - In a statement, Ma'an said that the Hamas government had seized control of its office and equipment in the weeks since the closure and it could therefore no longer justify paying expenses toward the operation. (Maan)
  • Media group criticizes Hamas, Ma'an - A Palestinian media group on Tuesday criticized both Hamas and Ma'an Network following the closure of Ma'an's Gaza office and the television network's decision to end its work in the coastal territory. (Maan)
  • Controversial Hebrew ulpan opens in east Jerusalem - Some 100 people volunteer in east Jerusalem as part of national service, 20 of them study Hebrew at new ulpan. 'We have to use Hebrew in our everyday lives, it can help me,' says Arab ulpan student. (Ynet)
  • Arson attempted at Bat Yam restaurant that employed Palestinian terrorist - Just over a week after Palestinian Nidal Amar lured IDF Sgt. Tomer Hazan to his death in a West Bank village, unknown assailants try to burn down the restaurant that illegally employed him. Authorities fear future crime wave targeting the establishment. (Israel Hayom)
  • Sharp rise in AIDS among residents of E. Jerusalem - The residents (Palestinians) are not aware of the danger of the virus and don't get preventative treatment and are diagnosed too late. It is believed some are infected during trips to countries in the Persian Gulf. (Maariv, p. 21)
  • On thirteenth anniversary - Nothing changed since October 2000 riots, Arab leaders say - Leaders call on communities to set aside political differences in remembering 13 Arab citizens killed by Israeli forces. (Haaretz)
  • Golan: Gunfire targets border fence construction site - Workers constructing border fence between Israel, Syria targeted with gunfire. None injured, fire break out. (Ynet)
  • Iran denies link to alleged spy arrested in Israel - 'Those are worn-out attempts by the Zionist regime to campaign against Iran,' said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Experts: Iran on verge of collapse in light of economic sanctions - Research shows sanctions take toll on Iran, which is in worse economic condition than presented, claim regime may lose foreign-exchange reserves. Iranian executive already unable to make transactions. (Ynet)


How Druze bested the Jews
How did a Druze school in northern Israel go from bottom to the top of the class in the span of a decade? The blood, sweat and tears that made Beit Jann High School the best in the whole of Israel. (Haaretz)
War zone
A close-up look at the areas where the law doesn't really exist anymore. Harsh beatings and threats with knives: Reporter Akiva Novick spent two wild nights in the field and grazing lands with people from the 'New Guard' organization. A peek at the wild areas of the country, where a war is being raged between Bedouin gangs and (Jewish) farmers of the Galilee and the Negev. (Yedioth '24 Hours' supplement)


What if Netanyahu gave a powerful speech on Iran - but no one really heard? (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz) Despite the PM's convincing indictment of Tehran's nuclear program, the UN seemed like 'The Last Picture Show', the media was occupied elsewhere and Rohani remains the 'it' foreign leader.
Iran isn't resigning from the race for nukes. It is just waiting (Chaim Asa, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's, "true success is having created the impression that he is a head of state and that strategic decisions in the Islamic republic are entirely his to make." Asa writes that it is the Revolutionary Guards that hold ultimate power in Iran and adds, "Even if Rouhani's intentions are serious, it is hard to believe that he will succeed in convincing anyone in Iran to shelve the nuclear program...(the Revolutionary Guards) "will not give in on the nuclear program."
Netanyahu at the UN was the boy who cried wolf (Yossi Verter, Haaretz) It was the type of speech that is destined to be quickly forgotten and to disappear into that infinitely large ocean of YouTube clips.
Not giving diplomacy a chance (Ariella Ringel-Hoffman, Yedioth/Ynet) Instead of trying to force its opinion, Israel should have cautiously embraced change in Iranian rhetoric.
Factual but flawed:  The fans cheered from the stands, but Netanyahu failed to deliver (Barak Ravid, Haaretz) The prime minister's UN address resembled a game of the Israeli national soccer team. After weeks of aggressive marketing, spins, headlines and high expectations, the result was disappointing.
**He convinced me (Sima Kadmon, Yedioth) "Netanyahu was convincing in every word he said and did not need any gimmicks, drawings, flamboyant gestures or bombastic pronouncements. Yesterday he seemed - and this is not a printing mistake - trustworthy...Netanyahu's speech was good because it was well based. His claims were accompanied by facts and quotations...The sanctions, which may certainly be credited to Netanyahu, are what have led to what seems like a strategic change in Iran." Kadmon writes that his demands on Iran may be summarized as the complete nuclear disarmament of the Islamic Republic and wonders how much the speech will resonate with Western leaders.
Turkey's greatest threat: Its own foreign policy (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) It's a little worrying when a key adviser to the prime minister accuses rivals of trying to kill him through telekinesis.
Israel should move from exceptionalism to regional partnership (HRH Prince El-Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan, Haaretz) We in the Middle East need to solve our problems ourselves - and the U.S. should help us, not through military strikes but by encouraging Israel out of its isolationist refusal to treat its neighbors as equals.
No shticks or tricks: Speech to Obama and Putin (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) PM Netanyahu's masterful UN address added credibility to Israel's threat of solo strike on Iran.
A beginner's guide to attacking a rational country (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) Hassan Rohani has made it harder for Israel to call Iran crazy. But perhaps Israel is still right in its accusations. After all, it takes one to know one.
A sad statesman - At UN, Netanyahu spoke to a world that refused to listen (Ari Shavit, Haaretz) Whether credible or not, the Israeli military threat made a major comeback in New York on Tuesday.
Resist the misleading Iranian model (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) Not since the shrewd Haman tried to annihilate the Jews in 127 states has the world witnessed such a clever Persian bigwig as Iranian President Hasan Rouhani. 
In this UN act, Iran is the star and Israel is the grumpy complainer observing from the sidelines (Amos Harel, Haaretz) 'We are the kid who shouts that the emperor has no clothes,' Strategic and Intelligence Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, Netanyahu's close ally, said this week. But the shouting is being ignored.
Alone against the world: Prime Minister reveals sharp teeth (Shalom Yerushalmi, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) Netanyahu puts Israel at the head of the battle with Iran, even if it has to do the work alone and save the world. It is a type of scary threat, brings us back to the days when the system was tense. The big question is whether we have today the ability to operate without assistance.
Reconciliation with U.S. could bolster Iran's regional power, global standing (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) After years of championing its nuclear program as the national symbol, Tehran is changing direction. The talks have already boosted Iranian currency and backed Saudi Arabia into a corner. 
No fear of U.S. pressure on Israel (Amira Hass, Haaretz) The United States is not about to apply any pressure on Israel; not as long as the weapons manufacturer's lobby, the Bible Belt, and Jewish votes and financial power are seen as 'U.S. public opinion.'
Iranian flirtations, Israeli obligations (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) The U.S.-Israeli relationship runs much deeper than America's summer fling with Iran.
Nature conservation - the continuation of the occupation by other means (Haaretz Editorial) Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz should seize the opportunity to reevaluate a decision to turn an unimpressive area in East Jerusalem into a national park - which is aimed at preventing the expansion of adjacent Palestinian neighborhoods. 
Netanyahu must appeal directly to the Arab and Islamic world (Yehezkel Dror, Haaretz) The prime minister must propose Jewish-Islamic-Christian rule in Jerusalem's Old City, and full normalization between Israel and every Arab and Islamic state.


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