News Nosh 09.03.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Tuesday September 03, 2013


Quote of the day:

"I'm critiquing the way the American Jewish community operates because I think we're hurting ourselves, and Israel, through our isolation from Palestinians. As Jews and Zionists, I want us to do better."
--Peter Beinart in a scathing new article discussed in Haaretz.**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth

  • No longer brothers - Naftali Bennett speaks in interview with Yedioth about dispute with Lapid
  • Assad: Obama is weak
  • Sad day in Negev Textiles - Dozens of employees of factory with economic difficulties met yesterday to plan protest against closure
  • "Don't deport me" - 13 years after moving to Israel and a moment before IDF draft, Daria Perlman received announcement: You have one month to leave


Israel Hayom


News Summary:
Peace talks will resume today in Jerusalem and reports say there was a secret round on Saturday. Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he agreed not to join international organizations during negotiations and a top Likud official and deputy minister said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would not remain in the Likud party if he agreed to an interim agreement. Meanwhile, the toast with Israeli MKS to the Jewish New Year that was to be hosted in Ramallah by Abbas was postponed.

Haaretz writes that the talks currently focus on whether the 1967 border, with land swaps, will be officially recognized as the basis for a future agreement. The other top subject is the order that the issues will be addressed. Israel demands to talk security arrangements first, while the Palestinians demand to talk about security and borders simultaneously. A US official will reportedly be attending, but that may not be US special envoy Martin Indyk, because he got married over the weekend. On Sunday, Israel Radio quoted senior Palestinian officials as saying that Justice Minister and chief Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni had met secretly with chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. Abbas revealed Monday that it was Israel's agreement to release Palestinian prisoners, which made him agree to stop lobbying to join UN institutions.
Deputy Defense Minister and Likud Central Committee Chairman Danny Danon attacked Netanyahu saying that if he adopted an interim agreement with the Palestinians he would not remain in the Likud party, Yedioth and Israel Hayom reported. Danon was speaking last week at a conference for settler Likud activists held in the settlement of Netafim. Danon attacked the architects of the Oslo Accords and said they were still holding contacts to advance in the US and Israel an interim agreement, according to which  "Israel would give over land and won't receive anything in exchange." Danon said that Netanyahu would likely agree to this. But, he said, "An interim agreement like this is against the DNA of the Likud and the values of the nationalist camp. Whoever adopts such an agreement will not be in the Likud."
Some 30 MKs were set to attend the Rosh Hashanah toast hosted by the Palestinian President in Ramallah was postponed over the crisis in Syria and the high-level Palestinian meetings Abbas is holding this week. An Israeli spokeswoman said the meeting is expected to take place in the coming weeks.
Syria News:
Haaretz writes that US Secretary of State John Kerry called Netanyahu on Sunday with a reassuring message: the Obama administration is determined to take action against Bashar Assad's regime in response to the August 21 chemical weapons attack. Kerry's words of reassurance came on the heels of a similar conversation held between US President Barack Obama and Netanyahu on Saturday. Channel 2 reported on Monday that Obama told Netanyahu that "Syria is not Iran," which is why the manner the Syrian crisis is being dealt with has no implications for the way the Iranian threat is to be handled.
Syria Quickees:

  • Jewish leaders wary as White House seeks support for Syria vote in Congress - The administration launched its outreach efforts amidst widespread Jewish concerns about taking sides or playing a prominent role in Syria debate: Rosh Hashanah is a good excuse to stall.(Haaretz)
  • White House uses Israel as lever to press Congress on Syria - White House intends on using the Israel angle to sway politicians: Iran and Hezbollah would be emboldened if Congress does not approve the strike • Kerry: Assad has joined the ranks of Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein. (Israel Hayom)
  • Peres: I trust Obama's judgment on Syria - Israel's nonagenarian president says that delaying the U.S. attack in order to appeal to Congress for approval was a good move on the part of the American president. (Haaretz)
  • Tel Aviv shares extend their gains on Syria quiet - Tel Aviv share and bond prices extended their gains Monday, as prospects of a United States attack on Syria appeared to be fading. (Haaretz)
  • (Druze village in Golan Heights) Majdal Shams: Hundreds rally for Assad - Assad loyalists among Druze community insist Syrian president could not have been responsible for attacks, protest against international intervention, say 'Assad managed to maintain calm in Israel-Syria border for 40 years.' (Ynet)
  • U.S. moves aircraft carrier into Red Sea; France cites evidence of 'coordinated' chemical attack - France mulls parliamentary vote on Syria attack; Russia to urge U.S. Congress to vote down strike. (Agencies, Haaretz)

Quick Hits:

  • Israeli forces demolish Jericho home, assault residents - Israeli soldiers destroyed a house and cattle farm belonging to Deifallah Rashayda and Jihad Rashayda, leaving 12 family members homeless in the Jericho village of Fasayil. Five women were hospitalized after soldiers assaulted them with their rifle butts. (Maan)
  • Israel should seek mediation on expelling Palestinians in firing zone, High Court says - Eight West Bank villages have been in guns' sights for more than a decade; state to respond to the proposal after Sukkot. (Haaretz)
  • World's literary stars sign Israeli petition against destruction of Palestinian villages - Nobel laureates in literature and other prominent writers sign petition by David Grossman against destruction of villages in southern Hebron hills. (Haaretz)
  • Israeli forces hand home demolition order to Palestinian family - Israeli forces on Sunday handed a home demolition order to a Palestinian family of six in Idhna, in the southern West Bank. (Maan)
  • Israel issues stop-work orders to 4 Hebron homes - Israeli authorities issued stop-work orders to several homes in the Hebron village of al-Thahriyah on Monday and took pictures of the properties before leaving. (Maan)
  • Israel pledges to demolish synagogue, yeshiva at West Bank settlement - State promises court to tear down buildings by next March after finding land is owned by Palestinians, purchase deeds were forged. (Haaretz)
  • Jerusalem man indicted for stabbing Arab taxi driver - Barack Zakaim, 23, from Jerusalem, was indicted for the assault of an Arab taxi driver. He is being accused of stabbing the man in his back and legs. But the indictment does not accuse him of nationalist motives [which is considered a serious offense - OH] (Ynet)
  • Israeli human rights groups: Education system failing in East Jerusalem - Ir Amim and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel found that there is a severe shortage of classrooms in East Jerusalem, a higher dropout rate and "tremendous disparities" in the allocation of professional positions between the two educational systems. (Maan and 972mag)
  • **Peter Beinart: American Jews willfully ignore the Palestinian perspective of the conflict - In a controversial new article, the community's enfant terrible lashes out at the American Jewish 'cocoon' that breeds insulation, lack of empathy and an inability to properly defend Israel. (Haaretz)
  • Haredim, Arab communities have lowest matriculation passing rates - Education Ministry bagrut figures for 2012 show rich do still do better, poor catching up a bit. (Haaretz)
  • Israel establishes 'Jewish Identity Administration' - New 5-million-shekel initiative meant to "raise awareness of and identification with the basic components of our national Jewish heritage among Israelis." Hatnuah Chairwoman Tzipi Livni called it a political tool for Habayit Hayehudi - to affect education according to the religious nationalist pro-settler religious faith and political world view. (Israel Hayom)
  •  New NIS 110m housing plan approved for Negev, Galilee regions - Project is part of broader plan to bring 300,000 new residents to Israel's north and south. (Haaretz)
  • Roadside bomb targets IDF patrol on Gaza border - Attack near Kibbutz Nahal Oz causes no casualties or damage. IDF Spokesman said it was the "second incident of this type in three days." (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli military vehicles enter south Gaza border area - Several military vehicles entered at least 50 meters into an area east of Khan Younis, witnesses said. Heavy gunfire was heard, with no injuries reported. (Maan)
  • Egypt army demolishes homes, tunnels along Gaza border - Egyptian forces have demolished six tunnels and 20 homes near the Gaza border since Sunday, The official said Egyptian forces had destroyed over 350 smuggling tunnels since the army deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in early July. (Maan)
  • Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat ranked Israel's richest politician - Barkat, a savvy investor, is worth NIS 450 million - 11 times more than Prime Minister Netanyahu. (Haaretz)
  • Israel closes Ibrahimi Mosque (Cave of the Patriarchs) in Hebron for Jewish new year - Israeli authorities will close the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron to Palestinian worshipers during the Jewish new year, a Palestinian official said Monday. (Maan)
  • Israel to close Kerem Shalom crossing for Jewish holiday - PA liaison official Raed Fattouh said the crossing will be closed from Wednesday to Sunday. (Maan)
  • Ahead of Jewish new year, Gantz calms citizens - During visit at naval base, IDF chief turns to Israeli people, says IDF will ensure upcoming holidays are safe; 'Army has great commanders, excellent systems capable of handling any challenge.' (Ynet)
  • Enlight in talks to help build Israel's biggest wind farm (in Golan Heights) - Wind farm in Golan Heights would generate 100 megawatts of electricity. (Haaretz)
  • Hamdallah to start international trip seeking financial support - Caretaker Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah will begin an international tour this week to secure financial support for the Palestinian Authority. He seeks $500 million to cover the PA's budget deficit. (Maan)
  • Police start taking testimony from Netanyahu's associates in 'Bibi-Tours' affair - Probe will determine whether criminal investigation into prime minister's alleged improprieties over travel expenses is warranted. (Haaretz)
  • State comptroller: Nativ paints emigration from Israel as legitimate - Report: Agency that helps Jews from former Soviet Union immigrate to Israel lacked transparency and engaged in various irregularities between 2009 and 2010. Aliyah emissaries hired without following proper procedure; tenders were improperly awarded. (Israel Hayom)
  • "We come from different places" - Economy Minister Naftali Bennett tells Yedioth about a number of disputes with his political ally, Yair Lapid, over social justice, drafting ultra-Orthodox and the peace talks. Nevertheless, "I'd like to focus on the 60% of the things that we agree on," he said. (Yedioth, p. 6)
  • Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu merger on the rocks, party insiders say - Members of Prime Minister Netanyahu's Likud say the chances of the partnership continuing are not high; the merged list lost heavily in the previous elections. (Haaretz)
  • Jordan condemns forming new prayer plaza at Western Wall - According to Jordanian news agency Petra, Jordan condemned Minister Naftali Bennett's initiative to construct a new prayer area south of the Western Wall for the Women of the Wall. (Ynet)
  • Lebanon charges 3 for rocket fire against Israel - Authorities indict two Lebanese citizens, one Palestinian for August attack which led to IDF airstrike against PFLP target. (Agencies, Ynet)


Netanyahu and Obama: Great leaders think alike? (Sefi Rachlevsky, Haaretz) Having come to power in the wake of extreme violence, both Obama and Netanyahu demonstrate clearly the importance of having a leader.
With evil fighting evil in Syria, it's best to stay away (Moshe Arens, Haaretz) Obama doesn't want to bring down Assad or help the Syrian rebels because the sad truth is that both sides in the conflict are forces of darkness. 
European disgrace (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth) After shirking its duty to prevent use of WMDs, Europe has lost its right to lecture anyone - especially Israel.
Humanity needs a 'violet line' against the use of WMD (Yehezkel Dror, Haaretz) The damage has already been done in Syria, but urgent action is necessary to prevent future catastrophes.
US loses the will to lead (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) In light of Obama's hesitation regarding Syria, we have to wonder -- what good are his promises?
Kvetching aside, U.S. Jews have never had it so good (Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, Haaretz) Contentious, pluralistic, with more non-white members, sometimes too ostentatious: The U.S. Jewish community's year was marked by growth - and the familiar ineptness of Israeli leaders delegated to 'connecting' with them. 
The John Kerry show (Yossi Beilin, Israel Hayom) If Kerry's most recent political endeavors end up succeeding, he will become a natural candidate for the presidency.
Why don't Rabbis for Human Rights care about Bedouin women? (Alon Tal, Haaretz) Why do Rabbis for Human Rights ignore the violation of Bedouin women's rights in the Negev but campaign for the private benefit of a few Bedouin families, while sullying the name of the JNF? 
The Struck Law: That's ours and so is that (Gideon Eshet, Yedioth) Eshet discusses a private legislative initiative supported by several women MKs from both the coalition and the opposition, including the Jewish Home's Orit Struk and Labor's Merav Michaeli, which would place working conditions for women in the W. Bank on an equal footing with their counterparts inside Israel. The author says that, "The proposal would apply Israeli law to the occupied territories, which will encourage a diplomatic, coalition and possibly legal uproar, because there are those who claim that it would contravene international law," and also claims that the proposal is discriminatory because it would apply such an equality of conditions only to those women - Israeli and Palestinian - who work for Israeli employers. Eshet writes that this is a way of excluding, and discriminating against, Palestinian women because the vast majority of Palestinian women who are employed work for Palestinian employers. "Why should a woman's rights depend on the identity of her employer?"
Obama, Syria and the prospect of an Israeli attack on Iran (Amos Harel, Haaretz) Prime Minister Netanyahu's lonely sense of mission regarding Tehran's nuclear program has surely been strengthened by the U.S. president's surprising speech.
Opaque UN (Ben-Dror Yemini, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) Yemini writes that if one judges by the number of people who have been killed in wars since the UN was founded, approximately 85 million, as opposed to the number who were killed in the two world wars, 83 million, then the UN has spectacularly failed. "There is no greater horror, vis-a-vis international law, than the use of non-conventional weapons against civilians. A crime against humanity, about this there is no argument. But in light of the horror, the UN is paralyzed. In practice, the UN has not succeeded in preventing any war, bloodshed or genocide. But it is very engaged in condemning Israel...Non-democratic countries have an automatic majority (at the UN)...Other bodies affiliated with the organization, such as the Human Rights Council, have become a joke." Yemini recommends that democratic countries consider withdrawing from the UN and forming an alternate organization.
Israeli critics of Obama should ask: Why hasn't Netanyahu acted on Syria? (Aluf Benn, Haaretz) Israeli leaders on the right denounce the world for not stopping Assad; let's stop suggesting that others step into the line of fire.
A state body with no reason to exist (Haaretz Editorial) The days when Nativ, a quasi-intelligence organization, served any purpose are long gone. Today its only purpose is to keep the state ombudsman busy.
Obama, Syria and the townspeople of Auschwitz (Bradley Burston, Haaretz) I dread what is about to happen. But there are times when evil is such that countering it justifies risk to the townspeople next door.


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