News Nosh 9.22.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Sunday September 22, 2013


Quote of the day:

" wouldn't take long for Israel and other critics of Iran to sorely miss (Rouhani's) predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."
--Haaretz US affairs commentator Chemi Shalev writes how the new Iranian President has made life difficult for Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth


Israel Hayom


News Summary:
The murder of an Israeli soldier, the US warming to Iran and the rejection of a resolution calling on Israel to disarm of nuclear weapons were top stories in today's Hebrew newspapers along with the ongoing attack on a Kenyan mall.

An Israeli soldier was lured by a Palestinian co-worker into the West Bank where he was murdered - with the aim of using the soldier's body to negotiate the release of his Palestinian's brother from an Israeli jail. Ynet reports that the entire defense establishment mobilized to find the soldier once he was announced missing Friday night, before his absence became a bargaining tool. Early Saturday morning, special police forces raided the murderer's home. Nidal Amar, 42, confessed and led forces to the body of 20-year-old Sergeant Tomer Hazan.

While Israeli right-wing politicians said the attack proved the Palestinians don't want peace, [no matter that Israel has killed seven Palestinians since the start of talks - OH] the family of the murderer and his village members expressed shock and disapproval. 'Nidal has no conscience,' said the residents of the Palestinian village of Beit Amin, adding that they opposed all killing, whether of Israelis or Palestinians. Amar's wife and daughters said he opposed such actions and that he hasn't lived at home for two years. The head of nearby Shaarei Tikva settlement said that a hole in the (separation) fence allows Palestinians to enter into Israel.

A historic meeting likely to take place on Tuesday between US President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is causing Israel concern. But a NY Times piece, quoted in Israeli papers, reported that the Obama administration seeks to reassure Israel that it will judge Iran by its actions regarding its nuclear program, not by its words.

Haaretz's Barak Ravid writes that it was due considerable pressure by Netanyahu that got the UN nuclear assembly to reject the Arab resolution to single out Israel in a non-binding resolution calling for it to join a global anti-nuclear weapons treaty. Fifty-one countries voted against and 43 states for the resolution. Earlier, the Arab League envoy to the IAEA said, "The world has to know that Israel is not playing a constructive role, that it has nuclear capability." Ravid writes that "Even though the proposed resolution would have been nothing more than a declaration, there were concerns in Jerusalem that if it passed, it would have diverted international attention away from efforts aimed at stopping the Iranian nuclear program and relieving Syria of its chemical weapons, and focused the world's gaze on Israel's nuclear facilities and capabilities.

Quick Hits:

  • In the Jordan valley, the inhuman-yet-human bulldozers came at dawn - A visit to the West Bank village of Khirbet Makhoul, which was demolished this week on the grounds that the houses were built without permits. (Haaretz)
  • European diplomats: Israeli army manhandled us, seized Palestinian aid - IDF says it was blocking an attempt to pitch tents at site of a West Bank village demolished earlier this week,and that Palestinians attacked soldiers. (Haaretz and Maan)
  • EU demands Israel explain altercation with diplomats - European diplomats say Israeli soldiers manhandled them while attempting to deliver aid to Palestinians; Foreign Ministry official calls their actions a 'provocation.' (Haaretz and Maan)
  • Sheikh Jarrah: Punctured tires, 'price tag' grafitti - Unidentified persons puncture tires of five Arab-owned vehicles, paint graffiti calling for revenge in east Jerusalem neighborhood. (Ynet and Maan)
  • Steimatzky bookstore franchise closes only branch in Golan Heights - Residents of Golan protested that branch in Katzrin was closed for not being profitable. (Maariv, p. 13)
  • Israel's Deputy Defense Minister calls for the annulment of Oslo Accords - In an op-ed in the New York Times, Danny Danon says the agreements signed with the Palestinians 20 years ago have only led to bloodshed, calls for 'three-state solution.' (Haaretz)
  • Hundreds of Israeli rightists enter Aqsa under guard - Over 300 Israeli rightists entered the al-Aqsa compound on Sunday. Four groups consisting of rabbis, families and rightists under heavy armed guard and toured the area. Some tried to perform religious rituals but were prevented from doing so by Palestinian worshipers. (Maan)
  • (Arab-Israeli city) Umm al-Fahm: 30,000 people at Islamic movement annual rally - Thosands attend annual 'Al-Aqsa Mosque in Danger' rally of northern branch of Islamic Movement. This year, rally also dedicated to Egyptian struggle, bearing Morsi'd picture, pro-Brotherhood signs. (Ynet)
  • Israel denies jail visits to father in sperm smuggling birth - Israel has denied family visits to the father of a baby conceived using sperm smuggled out of an Israeli jail. (Maan)
  • Is Israel's military censorship of the press ending?  The Israeli military censor, which is responsible for protecting national security secrets, may become a civilian agency. (Haaretz)
  • Israeli army turns Hebron home into military base - Israeli forces on Sunday forcibly took control of a Palestinian house east of Hebron to use as a military base to protect settlers. Israeli forces raided the property of Salim al-Salayman at 2 a.m. and briefly detained him and 17 members of his family on the first floor. (Maan)
  • Rowing for peace - A rare scene on the banks of the Seine River in Paris: A flotilla of surfers paddling while standing on their surf boards and wearing flags of Israel, Syria, the Palestinian Authority and Lebanon. The event was held as part of an initiative to promote peace through love of the water. The goal: A surfing competition club for competitors from the various countries. (Maariv, p. 24)
  • Tel Aviv rattled as Israeli Air Force jets launched due to false alarm - Two F-16 jets launched due to drone fears; Suspicious signal discovered to be naught but peaceful flock of birds. (Haaretz)
  • Musician launches education resource on Palestine - Iconic British musician Roger Waters launched an education resource on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Dublin this week, entitled 'Palestine & Israel - How will there be a Just Peace?' It was co-produced by Sadaka - the Ireland Palestine Alliance. (Maan)
  • Shin Bet warns: Arab Israelis joining al-Qaeda - Security agency says Arab Israelis joining rebel forces in Syria operating with al-Qaeda, may be trained against Israel. (Ynet)
  • PA rejects Israel request to license 3G - Palestinian Authority rejected an Israeli request to license Palestinian operators to provide 3G technology via Israeli companies, saying that only the PA has the right to license Palestinian operators. (Maan)
  • MKs reluctant to dive into muddy waters of local government - At the same time, several former MKs who failed to get into the current Knesset are trying their luck in the municipal elections. (Haaretz)
  • Watch: IDF Tamuz missile hits Syrian outpost - Footage shows missile destroy position manning Syrian troops who fire machine guns at Israeli soldiers. Commander: Feeling of great satisfaction. (Ynet)
  • Hezbollah suffers blow as security forces enter Dahiyeh - Interior Ministry announces Lebanese security forces to enter southern-Beurit Hezbollah stronghold which saw 14 people killed in mid-August anti-Hezbollah bombing. Hezbollah: We asked state to take responsibility. (Ynet)
  • Egypt shuts down 130 smuggling tunnels - Hamas government in Gaza Strip says Egypt closed dozens of underground tunnels connecting enclave with Rafah and Sinai. Palestinians peg loss to Gaza's economy at $250 million. Hamas mulling operating Rafah crossing jointly with Palestinian Authority. (Israel Hayom)


Voice of peace
CDs of (Israeli singer) Zohar Argov in Jericho, and fans of Ofer Levi in Shchem (Nablus). Mizrachi (Israeli Eastern) music conquers the Palestinian cities. (Asaf Gabor in Maariv's Magazine supplement)
Departures / Arrivals: Forget beaches and shopping: Marguerite visited checkpoints and refugee camps
The Israeli dream didn't quite work out for Corinne, but her daughter is living it. (Haaretz)
Guess who exposed Israel's secret strategy on Iran in 2009?
In August 2009, Netanyahu was shocked to read a detailed description of Israel's secret Iran strategy in Maariv. An investigation revealed that then-Military Intelligence chief Yadlin had leaked the information. The investigation was never completed. (Dan Margalit in Israel Hayom)
Acclaimed Israeli author Nir Baram settles the score with globalization and the Israeli left
After a hit novel about life under the Stalinist and Nazi regimes, Baram is back with a contemporary story - a chilling tale in which the masses undertake a global protest. (Haaretz)
10 things to know before visiting Israel
World-renowned chef, author, TV personality Anthony Bourdain offers tips for tourists following trip to Holy Land, which he says 'makes for inspiring, fascinating, confusing travel.' (CNN, Ynet)
The Golan Heights come down to earth
Nearly four decades after the establishment of Katzrin, intended to be a bustling urban center in the Golan, residents and planners are still trying to figure out why it never took off, and whether an alternative plan would have made a difference. (Haaretz)


Legally mandated destruction (Haaretz Editorial) This law is the law of the occupation, and the demolition of the village and prevention of humanitarian aid from reaching the villagers are inhumane acts.
**Rohani's charm offensive poses difficult challenge for Netanyahu (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz) The Iranian's sophistication coupled with America's disdain for confrontation begs the question: where is Ahmadinejad when we really need him?
Murder in the West Bank: A thin line between terror and crime (Amos Harel, Haaretz) In calm times more Israelis go there, incidentally providing new targets for attacks.
Six years of utter blindness (Yossi Beilin, Israel Hayom) No one was celebrating Sukkot in 1973. The Yom Kippur War was still raging, and everyone was picking up the pieces of the myth of an impregnable Israel.
20 years on, Oslo architect has Plan B (Ron Pundak, Haaretz) Arafat, Rabin and Peres: They wanted peace, but each played a part in the failure of the Accords.
Back in the USSR (Zalman Shoval, Israel Hayom) President Barack Obama said that America no longer wants to be the "world's policeman." Vacuums, however, are destined to be filled, and Russia, perhaps with China, will fill them.
In the poker game with Obama on Syria, Putin playing the Israel card (Asaf Ronel, Haaretz) After deal to get rid of Syria's chemical weapons, Russia is dragging the Israeli nuclear issue into the Middle East negotiations.
Putin's pivot to the Middle East (Isi Leibler, Israel Hayom) In the Syria crisis, Putin played the role of international statesman, masterminding a watershed moment in which Russia effectively supplanted the U.S. as world leader.
Legitimacy for Egypt's military government - from an Islamist source? (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) The Muslim Brotherhood is portraying Egypt's army and the secular constitution-drafting committee as traitors; But the Salafi Al-Nour party appears ready for compromise.
Who's the bigger threat to Israel - Roger Waters or Royal Haskoning? (David Rosenberg, Haaretz) The former Pink Floyd front man scores high for boycott buzz but the a decision by the Dutch company to quit Israel is more worrying.
Better living without chemicals (Amir Oren, Haaretz) Sadat did not use gas against the IDF, for precisely the same reason that Syrian President Hafez Assad refrained from using chemical weapons in his conflicts with Israel. 
Israel has no Roger Waters (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) Those who have attacked, poisoned, uprooted and burned will be coming this evening to applaud Ehud Banai, a singer representing Israel's heart and soul.
The show must not go on (Ziv Lenchner, Ynet) Ethical line must be drawn between legal, legitimate Israel and occupying, settling Israel.
Those whom A.B. Yehoshua forgot (Dmitry Shumsky, Haaretz) One of the greatest Israeli writers can't even conceive of the possibility that an Israeli citizen who identifies as a Palestinian Arab could at the same time have an Israeli identity. 
Protocols of 1993 (Hagai Segal, Ynet) Peace camp doesn't have the guts to compare Oslo vision with harsh reality.
The lessons of the first Syrian battle are far-reaching (Ari Shavit, Haaretz) Russia is slowly filling the space that the Americans are leaving behind. Obama and the superpower he leads must decide who they are and where they are headed.
A tiny optimism in the opening (Dr. Cielo Rozenberg, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) the situation that was created in Syria requires the US to maintain a credible military threat. Together with the new tone from Teheran, this is a small window that allows for hope...Now in particular, when it appears Iran is going through a significant change, the military threat upon it must be increased in parallel to the diplomatic moves...
When Western PC meets Arab democracy (Shlomo Avineri, Haaretz) The complications that accompany secular democracy in Middle East nations presents Western spectators with a difficult moral dilemma.
Just a dying Palestinian laborer (Haaretz Editorial) Considering the magnitude of the accusations concerning Ahsan Abu-Srur's death, the planned police probe must be given high priority. 
Force matters: Why Iran will only disarm under U.S. military pressure (Emily B. Landau, Haaretz) The case of Syria shows that only the U.S .'s credible threat of military force, coupled with diplomacy, will force determined WMD proliferators like Iran to back down and reverse course. 
When we thought peace was possible (Eitan Haber, Yedioth/Ynet) Oslo agreement was far from ideal, but it gave hope to Israelis and Palestinians.
Don't hold your breath for Syrian chemical weapons to be destroyed (Ely Karmon, Haaretz) The plan to disarm Syrian chemical weapons is unrealistic, not least because they are the Assad regime's doomsday weapon to preserve the survival of its own Alawite community. 
In favor of voiceless people (Boaz Okon, Yedioth/Ynet) If Knesset fails to adopt immigration policy, State of Israel will continue to be disgraced.


Defending the NSA leaks - Glenn Greenwald to Haaretz: Why whistleblower Snowden came to me
How a meeting with a young computer expert in Hong Kong changed the life of a Guardian journalist. (Revealing interview by Noam Sheizaf in Haaretz)
'There is no substitute for the US in the role of world policeman'
Intelligence, International Relations and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz tries to convince the world that Iran is the biggest global threat. The old Middle East is dead, and the new Middle East is not yet here, he insists. (Interviewed by Shlomo Cesana in Israel Hayom)

Israel Navy commander sees prominent role for fleet in future land battles
Maj. Gen. Ram Rothberg shares his plans for upgrading the fleet to secure Israel's offshore economic interests and lessons learned from the Second Lebanon War. (Interviewed by Amos Harel in Haaretz)
'We had an opportunity to improve; It didn't happen'
Forty years have not dulled the sense of terrible failure reflected in the Agranat commission report on the Yom Kippur War debacle. Yaakov Hasdai, one of two remaining members of that commission, is still pessimistic. Have we learned anything? (Interviewed by Jacky Levy in Israel Hayom)


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