News Nosh 12.04.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Wednesday December 04, 2013


Quote of the day:

 "The country seems to me to be divided between those who want to settle the West Bank and those who seek peace."
--Former governor of Bank of Israel Stanley Fisher makes rare public criticism of Israel.**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth


Israel Hayom

  • The European threat - if the talks with Kerry's mediation fail, we will stop aid to the Palestinian Authority; They are threatening Israel too: We will mark settlement products
  • Kerry arrives in the country; Israel: There is no diplomatic crisis
  • The negotiations won't end in time // Dan Margalit
  • Sefi Rivlin 1947-2013
  • Thanks and appreciation - Southern Command gave Certificates of Appreciation to soldiers who were involved in exposing the terror tunnel on the Gaza border
  • This is how you identify signs of distress in your children
  • (Radio host) Razi Barkai storm: "There is no difference between fans of Eyal Golan and believers of Rabbi Ovadia (Yosef)
  • French investigators: Arafat died a natural death - he was not poisoned
  • Pisa tests: Small improvement in achievements of Israeli students, but the gaps are not getting narrower


News Summary:
Kerry arrives tonight in Israel carrying a plan for security arrangements for the future Palestinians state as peace talks sputter and US-Israel relations are highly tense. The EU tells journalists that if the talks fail, it will consider ending aid to the Palestinian Authority and marking settlement products. The Palestinian President repeats that if the talks fail, Palestine will seek membership in international organizations. And Maariv reports that Israel is considering allowing Palestinians to use their privately-owned property for economic initiatives
Haaretz's Barak Ravid reports that in a meeting tomorrow with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Kerry will present a proposal of an American security concept to be implemented once there is a Palestinian state. The proposal, prepared by Gen. John Allen's team, represents the first US contribution of its own ideas on the core issues involved in a final peace arrangement since the talks began this summer and it has taken into account Israel's security concerns. Ravid writes that the US hopes that if Netanyahu accepts the security concept, the US can then demand that Netanyahu present clear positions on the future borders.
Meanwhile, the EU said that it may stop funding the Palestinian Authority if peace talks fail. If that were to happen, Israel would be forced to assume responsibility for the West Bank, something it is loathe to do. Andreas Reinicke, the EU representative to the Middle East peace process, told reporters he is still optimistic regarding the talks.He also said the EU will start labeling Israeli settlements products in a few weeks, to distinguish them from goods made in Israel proper. He said so far 14 out of the 28 EU member states, including Britain and France, said they would label goods from West Bank settlements. He reiterated the EU's ongoing objection to the construction in the settlements. "You can't build on land you're negotiating about," he said. 
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned again that if talks fail at the end of nine months, he will act for Palestinian membership in international organizations. He blamed the lack of progress on Israel. "The talks are going through great difficulties because of the obstacles created by Israel."

Now Israel has agreed to a plan to allow Palestinians to use 20 thousand hectares (almost 5000 acres) of Palestinian privately-owned land to develop a massive agricultural project as well as for commercial purposes, Maariv's Eli Bardenstein reported. The land is in Area C, i.e. under Israeli civilian and military control, where Israel rarely gives permits for construction. The project is the brainchild of USAID, which will fund it. Israel agreed to the US request "to show that Israel is willing to approve development projects in Area C, which does not obviate the development of the Palestinian economy and when things are done in coordination with the Authority...Israel knows how to approve projects quickly," said the Israeli sources, who explained that the said area also serves the grandiose economic plan of the U.S. government to promote Palestinian economic development. (NRG Hebrew)

While the Hebrew newspapers have been writing at length over recent days about the crisis in US-Israel relations over the Iran interim nuclear agreement, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon declared yesterday, "The relations between us are excellent and are based on common values and interests," he said. "Even between such friends there can be differences."

Quick Hits:
Following uproar, Israel Police rescind order demanding media footage from Bedouin protest - Police withdraw original request just hours before hearing on the matter, which sparked outrage from Haaretz and Israel's two biggest news networks. (Haaretz)
Israeli Arab journalists: Police often ask us to reveal sources - Police want the whole Israeli media to turn in photos of a protest, but Arab reporters say they are often asked for such information without receiving anything in return. (Haaretz)
Israel approves new town in Negev - Shizaf will be part of the Ramat Negev Regional Council, and it will include 250 housing units for young couples. Meanwhile, the Prawer-Begin plan to relocate the Negev Bedouin will forcibly evict nearly 40,000 Bedouin. (Maan)
Police seek more arrests in violent Bedouin demonstration - Four protesters in custody are minors. 17 indictments include charges of aggravated assault against police, damage to police vehicles and animals. Court injunction requiring media outlets to hand over footage of riots to police sparks outrage. (Israel Hayom)
Reports: Palestinians are exploiting the Bedouin problem - Political officials accuse pro-Palestinian organizations of attempting to tie the Negev Bedouin settlement issue to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Maariv, p. 3/NRG Hebrew)
Report: Israel clears West Bank land for future settler homes - Israel has bulldozed land in the village of Al-Mazraa al-Qabaliya to prepare it to build 255 homes for Nahlei Tal settlement (outpost). Palestinian landowners were given two months to present objections to the decision, but "the authorities did not wait for those to be filed." (Agencies, Ynet)
**Israel not seeking peace to the extent it should, says former central bank chief - In rare public rebuke, the widely esteemed Stanley Fischer tells NYU forum that country is divided 'between those who want to settle the West Bank and those who seek peace.' (Haaretz)
Court to rule on Israeli army's raid of Palestinian TV station - The Israeli government has so far submitted three different versions explaining why the raid on the Al-Watan studios was necessary. (Haaretz)
1 arrested, 1 injured in clashes over a road in Kafr Qaddum - Israeli forces raided the village on Tuesday afternoon firing tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber-coated steel bullets. [The village has been protesting for two years against the IDF closure of the road leading to Nablus, the main city. -OH] (Maan)
Settlers take over building near Hebron mosque - Israeli settlers moved furniture and hundreds of chairs into a building in Hebron's Old City on Tuesday in an attempt to take over the property. (Maan)
3 Palestinians steal car with baby still in vehicle - The thieves pulled the driver out of the car and sped off - not noticing the sleeping baby in the backseat. The thieves fled the scene as soon as they discovered the baby, leaving the vehicle behind. The baby was safe and sound. (Ynet)
Israeli forces detained 110 Palestinians in Hebron in November - The report pointed out that the total number of detained included 25 patients, 30 children under 18, and two women. "The soldiers attacked detainees and family members with rifle butts, and in several cases, gathered all family members in one room while they messed up the interior of the houses." (Maan)
High-ranking officer gets community service for sexual assault - Military court demotes lieutenant-colonel convicted of sexually assaulting three female subordinates, sentences him to 40 days of community service. Officer to leave army but set to enjoy veterans' pension, benefits. (Ynet)
Border Guard officers convicted for stealing from migrant - Officers convicted of stealing from Sudanese man, ordered to pay victim. Judge says 'abuse of power trend spreading.' (Ynet)
Stone-hurling suspects: Motivated by 'Jew-hatred' - Remand of five suspects in stone throwing that injured two-year-old extended. Four admit in questioning crime was motivated by 'Jew hatred.' (Ynet)
Israeli forces demolish water wells and tents in the Jordan Valley - Israeli bulldozers demolished water wells and tents belonging to local Palestinian residents in a number of districts across the northern Jordan Valley on early Tuesday morning. (Maan)
Bloomberg dedicates 'Jewish Nobel Prize' winnings to Israeli-Palestinian economic ties - Outgoing NYC mayor to use proceeds from the first Genesis Prize to 'promote commerce between the people in Palestine and the people in Israel.' (JTA, Haaretz)
Hasmonean structure uncovered in Jerusalem - One-of-a-kind Hasmonean structure discovered by Israel Antiquities Authority in City of David National Park parking lot. Coins found inside the structure date its use from 200 B.C.E. to 37 B.C.E. Archeologists: Discovery bridges a historical gap. (Israel Hayom)
The IDF is strong, but not necessarily at advertising - New NIS 10 million campaign, which has internet users seething, is aimed at raising motivation to do combat service, which has dropped substantially in recent years. (HaaretzVIDEO)
"Within a decade, the people's army model may collapse" - So said the head of the IDF manpower planning during a Knesset debate. He added that two out of every three female candidates for the draft who was interrogated on suspicion of falsely claiming to be religious (in order not to serve in the IDF), were not religious. (Maariv, p. 17/NRG Hebrew)
Israelis less critical of home the longer they live in U.S., survey shows - Israelis living in America for over a decade more likely to be interested in Israeli politics and believe U.S. Jews should support Israel publicly. (JTA, Haaretz)
They forgot to pay - Foreign Ministry sends its VIPs to eat at the Abu-Ghosh Restaurant, but does not think it needs to pay for the hummous, salads and shishkabobs. The owner, Jawdat Ibrahim, had enough and announced: Until you pay me, I am not feeding the State's guests. (Yedioth, p. 18)
Israel fights against becoming tax haven for Diaspora Jews - Tax Authority plans to exchange information with foreign authorities as part of crackdown on international fraud, agency chief says. (Haaretz)
17 'attempt suicide' over unpaid Gaza war compensation - Seventeen members of families who lost relatives in Israel's 2008 war on Gaza staged a mass suicide attempt in protest over unpaid compensations from the Hamas government. (Maan)
Amnesty demands Israel 'immediately' lift Gaza blockade - Amnesty International condemned the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip, demanding Israel "immediately lift its blockade" on the besieged coastal enclave "by allowing the delivery of fuel and other essential supplies into the territory without restrictions." (Maan)
French experts rule out Arafat poisoning - The French experts' findings differ significantly from those of Swiss scientists, who said last month that their research offered some support for the suggestion Arafat was killed by polonium poisoning. (Agencies, Maan)
IDF providing humanitarian aid to Syrian civilians living near Israel border - Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon says Israel has sent water and food across the border, and has been helping the Syrians prepare for winter. (Haaretz)
Nasrallah: Israel will not attack Iran without US green light - Hezbollah chief makes TV appearance to dissipate rumors of his assassination, provides new details on Geneva talks, says Netanyahu's statements regarding nuclear Iran are 'psychological warfare.' (Ynet)
Report: Iran asked for Israel's help in soothing tensions with U.S. - In 2006, PM Olmert refused Iranian request for fear brokerage would anger Washington, i24 News reports. (Haaretz)


Crossing the Green Line
New companies are bidding in tenders beyond the Green Line for the first time, as more Israelis seek cheaper homes. (Globes)


Naftali Bennett: An ultra-nationalist who speaks fluent liberal (Sara Hirschhorn, Haaretz) Naftali Bennett's PR blitz of New York and Washington last week invoked the liberal values and language close to the hearts of American Jews - welcome to the settler movement's newest strategy.
Making peace with a population (Elie Friedman, Ynet) Meticulous analysis of lexicon chosen by Netanyahu during Bar-Ilan speech is indicative of gap between his recognition of Palestinian state, his recognition of Palestinian people.
Right-wing opposition to the Iranian nuclear deal is unfair and foolish (Yehuda Ben-Meir, Haaretz) It's bizarre to conclude that Barack Obama has changed his stripes and is willing to accept a nuclear Iran.
Maybe I'm a closet Muslim man (Ravit Hecht, Haaretz) The knee-jerk outcry over the portrayal of women sexuality in 'Blue is the Warmest Color' exemplifies the vapidity many of our social struggles are suffering from.
Battling Israel's 'bad Bedouin' (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) A chasm, deepening: Israel's Arab citizens are well aware of the facts behind the government's 'demographic balancing.'
Iran, Turkey coordinating moves as Assad plans next stage in Syria (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) Disarray between the resistance militias and their political leadership leaves Assad as the only authority able to ensure stability in Syria.


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