News Nosh 12.06.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Friday December 06, 2013


Quote of the day:

"Israel has nuclear weapons and it an obligation to hold a public and courageous debate about them. Enough with the ambiguity."
--Former Knesset speaker Avraham Burg declares what every other Israeli can't or won't.**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth

  • Death of the symbol of freedom - Nelson Mandela 1918-2013
  • Medal of courage to female combatants - 4 female Mossad agents, all mothers, receive award
  • Divorce revolution - Government to approve: Custody of children for fathers from age 2
  • White in the eyes - Winter arrived yesterday with first snow on Mt. Hermon
  • Why is Yuval frustrated // Nahum Barnea says Netanyahu is wrong about Yuval Diskin, who said the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is greater threat than Iran
  • Loves to be in his suite // Sima Kadmon on the over-spending of the Netanyahu couple at the public's expense
  • I'm a nerd? Isaac (Buji) Herzog in his first interview since being elected head of Labor party


Israel Hayom

  • 87.5%: Don't believe that the negotiations will lead to an agreement
  • Palestinians rejected Kerry's solution for security arrangements: "It will lead to the continuation of the occupation"
  • Mandela died
  • The angels of Shilat on Hwy 6
  • Winter finally arrived - snow on Mt. Hermon
  • "They asked for cigarettes - and attacked me with a knife" - Horror in Beit Shemesh, 67-year-old stabbed by a 14 and 18-year-old.
  • General (res.) Daniel Matt passed away
  • Fans of WonderWoman are divided over casting of Gal Gadot: "Too thin"
  • The pianist Evgeny Kissin to receive Israeli citizenship


News Summary:
The Palestinians reportedly rejected the US security proposal, much to the satisfaction of Israel, yet visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry says some progress has been made in peace talks. Meanwhile, storm continues over former Shin Bet chief's declaration that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is more dangerous than nuclear Iran and a former Speaker of the Knesset declared that Israel was a nuclear state.

Kerry presented the US security concept based on the Israeli concerns and got a big like from Israel and a big no from the Palestinians, the papers reported.  The details of the proposal have not been revealed, but the key elements are that Israeli military presence will remain in the Jordan Baqaa Valley for many years and the Palestinians will control the border crossing. The Palestinians said the continued Israeli presence would prolong the Israeli occupation.
Maariv's Eli Bardenstein writes that Israel was pleased with the US security arrangements proposal. An Israeli diplomatic source said that they were close to the Israeli demands.  "They are good responses to the Israeli demands," said the source.  It appears that the Americans made significant strides in understanding Israel's security requirements unlike in the past - when they only offered technical-intel solutions that could replace the IDF's presence in the Bekaa Valley and the border crossings, wrote Bardenstein. (NRG Hebrew) Kerry said that some progress was made in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiation, but that real negotiations must replace finger-pointing and artificial crises. Nevertheless, according to Maariv's Bardenstein, the Palestinians' strong opposition to Kerry's proposal caused Kerry to make a third meeting with Netanyahu for this morning. Environment Minister Amir Peretz told a conference in Turkey that the next five months were crucial both for the final agreement with Iran and the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. Peretz, by the way, was the highest ranking Israeli official to visit Turkey since the Gaza flotilla affair in 2010. An Israel Hayom poll showed that the majority of Israelis don't think a peace agreement will be reached.
Former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin struck back at Netanyahu with a damning Facebook post yesterday, Haaretz reported. Diskin had sharply criticized Netanyahu's policies earlier this week, and said that he Israeli-Palestinian conflict was a greater threat to Israel than nuclear Iran, for which Netanyahu's associates accused him of being 'frustrated and detached from reality' because he was not appointed head of the Mossad. On Facebook, he wrote that Netanyahu's cronies will say it's okay to spend 10,000 shekels on ice cream, the Prime Minister needs to concentrate on Iran. Moreover, Yedioth's top political commentator, Nahum Barnea, wrote on the front page that 'Yuval was indeed disappointed,' but not just for the reasons that Netanyahu's associates claimed 'and he is not detached from reality.' Barnea wrote how "Diskin slams Netanyahu for being hostage in the hands of a handful of a settlers. That's not accurate: Netanyahu is a hostage in the hands of many and opposing forces, beginning with settler right-wingers who control the institutions of his party, continuing on to his coalition partners and ending with the US Secretary of State John Kerry. There are two ways of surviving this complex system. One, taking leadership, like Begin or Rabin did. And that is a dangerous path. Or, two, avoiding a decision. Netanyahu has chosen the second path for now...The Shin Bet and Mossad send their people to a life of tension between two poles. They expect them to scheme schemes, sometimes to violate the law and even assassinate people in foreign territory - and at the same time to act completely honestly in their country with their comrades in the organization, with their bosses, with the government to whom they serve. Then, the more they climb the ladder of ranks, they discover that the politicians above them are affected with all the characteristics they attributed to the enemy. They make decision based on their personal and political interests; they are hypocritical, cowardly, running from responsibility. Diskin - who like his colleagues, waited many hours in Netanyahu's office for a discussion that was postponed from hour to hour because of trivial reasons and ended with nothing, just as it had begun - is not only angry at Netanyahu: he scorns him...The one-time MK Shmuel Plato-Sharon once snapped at Luba Eliav, "What did you do for the country?" This is the question Yuval Diskin puts to Netanyahu. Luba Eliav had a good answer to the question. I wonder if Netanyahu does."

**At the first conference in Israel calling for dismantling nuclear weapons in the Middle East, former Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg declared unambiguously that Israel possesses nuclear weapons, making headlines in Maariv/NRG. "Israel has nuclear weapons and it an obligation to hold a public and courageous debate about them. Enough with the ambiguity," said Burg yesterday at the conference also attended by the Mayor of Hiroshima. Burg, the former chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and former Knesset Speaker said: "Either everyone has them, or no one does." The conference in Haifa was the first such conference held in Israel and it was the initiative of three former left-wing MKs: Burg, Naomi Hazan and Issam Mahoul. Haaretz did not think Burg's statement was worthy of headlines, however rare it is for a prominent Israeli and former politician to make such a statement. It did note that Burg added that Israel needs to know what it would get in exchange for relinquishing its status as a nuclear power.

Quick Hits:

  • Jewish groups enter Al-Aqsa under armed guard - A group of extremists led by Yehuda Glick, an American-born Israeli Jewish Rabbi who chairs the Temple Mount Heritage Fund, entered the Al-Aqsa compound early Thursday escorted by police, surrounding Palestinian worshipers in the southern mosque and setting off fireworks. The Al-Aqsa Foundation said Tuesday that Jewish organizations had submitted an application to Israeli ministers to erect a Hanukkah candle in the Al-Aqsa compound. (Maan)
  • Israeli military closes probe into death of Palestinian protester Mustafa Tamimi - This is the second time in recent months that an investigation into a death of a Palestinian protester ends in no charges. (Haaretz and Maan)
  • PM, President honor Mossad's 'best' agents - Intelligence agency holds ceremony in honor of most outstanding agents. Peres, Netanyahu commend agents for their work. (Yedioth, p. 1/Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • IDF removes barriers blocking villages in Palestinian Authority - As per US guidelines, IDF has removed obstructions placed next to Palestinian villages in the West Bank in recent years after the terrorist attacks. (Maariv, p. 2/NRG Hebrew)
  •  Israeli forces detain group of journalists at checkpoint - They were in a bus heading to Ramallah after they completed a tour in the valley to report on the hardships people suffer there. (Maan)
  • Hundreds demonstrate in Be'er Sheva against Bedouin relocation - Arab MKs call on John Kerry to get involved. (Haaretz and Maan)
  • Ultra-Orthodox hurl stones, burn trash cans in Jerusalem protestHundreds gather in Kikar Hashabat to protest arrest of 19-year-old who ignored IDF call-up notice. Two arrested. (Ynet)
  • Sudanese, Lebanese students enroll in Open University - Massive free open online courses attract scholars from all across the world, even from countries that do not recognize Israel. 'Our belief is that it's the right thing to do,' says school's manager, 'In my eyes, it's a revolution.' (Ynet)
  • Ben Gurion Airport to shut main terminal on Friday to test new security system - Passengers will check in at Terminal 1; new screening system intended to replace invasive questioning has been delayed due to numerous flaws. (Haaretz)
  • Israel reducing number of non-military soldiers - Shorter service, more Haredim in civic service, mean fewer soldiers will serve in civilian positions in prisons, Defense Ministry or the Mossad. (Haaretz)
  • Brigade commander warns: "The shortage of training exercises will destroy the fitness of the fighters" - "We are returning to the situation before the first Lebanon war," warned senior officers. Following such complaints, a plan has been approved to increase training. (Maariv, p. 1/NRG Hebrew)
  • Amidror: US view of the Middle East is changing - Yaakov Amidror, former head of Israel's National Security Council, says, "Dependence of the U.S. on the Middle East is waning." Amidror says Israel must decide whether to export natural gas to several countries in the region or to China. (Israel Hayom)
  • Iranian state TV launches preemptive attack on Jon Stewart - Iran's Channel 2 ran a segment attacking Stewart's upcoming film Rosewater, which they dubbed 'an ultra-formulaic movie commissioned by his masters... the Zionist lobby.' (Haaretz)
  • French Hill neighborhood: Apartment for Jews only  - Owner of apartment in Jerusalem neighborhood (over Green Line) offers it for rent on website for 3,300 shekels a month with one condition: Rental is "For Jews only." Ad sparks storm on internet. A Facebook user named Maqbula Naser posted it on FB with the words "Shamelessly." She says the ad was removed by the website at her request. This is not the first time apartment owners in neighborhood adjacent to Issawiyah declare they will do business only with Jews. Three months ago, a Jewish family in the neighborhood asked (far right-wing activist) Arieh King for help finding a Jewish buyer. (Yedioth Jerusalem, p. 8)


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