News Nosh 12.08.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Sunday December 08, 2013


Quote of the day:

"I mean Lazar Sidelsky, the lawyer who dared give me, a black intern, a job in the 1950s. He is the only boss I've ever had, a good Jew who would be very happy if the ambassador of Israel paid him a visit."
--Former S. African president Nelson Mandela in conversation with newly appointed Israeli Ambassador Alon Liel upon their first meeting. Liel shares more in a Yedioth op-ed today.**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth

  • The world parts from Nelson Mandela
  • A guide // Shimon Peres
  • The power to forgive // Sever Plocker
  • Mandela and Israel // Alon Liel (former Israeli diplomat in S. Africa who worked with him)
  • Storm on the way // Nahum Barnea in Washington
  • The mother of the 'Alifs' and 'Uri' passed away - Childern's book author Estern Streit-Wurzel


Israel Hayom


News Summary:
At the Saban Forum, the US President and Secretary of State say Israeli-Palestinian peace is possible, while Israeli Foreign Minister and Defense Minister say it isn't.  On Iran, the US President says America prefers diplomacy and there is a 50% chance of a final agreement, while the Israeli newspapers note that he confirmed Iran will be able to make limited enrichment of uranium.

US President Barack Obama said it could happen - Israeli-Palestinian peace - and that it would be implemented in stages (full transcript of Obama's speech here). And, US Secretary of State John Kerry said not only that a peace deal will make Israel more secure, but at the end of his visit in Israel, Kerry said that it was closer than ever. The US security proposal includes an Israeli military presence in Jordan Valley, which will be reduced gradually after the establishment of a Palestinian state, in accordance with the security situation, Haaretz reported.

But Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman insisted that it would not happen. "'Trust between the two sides is about zero,' he said. He also called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas undemocratic and unrepresentative, but said the dialogue with the Palestinians was necessary so that Israel could "manage this conflict." Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon insisted there was no Palestinian partner for peace. A source told Ynet that peace talks would be extended beyond the allocated nine-month time frame.
In an Op-Ed titled 'Storm on the way,' Yedioth senior political commentator Nahum Barnea commented on Obama's speech on the paper's front page "Israel's security demands are a protective guard that allows the governments of Israel to postpone the discussion on painful subjects, on borders, on Jerusalem, on evacuating settlements. It is doubtful that the Americans can invent security arrangements that will cause Netanyahu to withdraw to the '67 lines or even to discuss them. It is doubtful that (Palestinian President) Abu Mazen can agree politically to a multi-year withdrawal. On the Palestinian issue, the general feeling here, among the Americans and the Israelis, is that the negotiations ran aground. The explosion will come soon and it's doubtful that it can be avoided. Obama expressed hope that at the end of the time period assigned for negotiations the two sides will have reached a joint proposal, from which they can move forward. That sentence did not describe the sad reality in the negotiation room, but gave expression to a heart-felt wish. According to all the signs, the Netanyahu government and the Obama administration are at the opening of a period of conflict. The language is polite, but the decisions each side presents to the other are hard, loaded and require heavy political prices. The weather in Washington was grey and cold. According to the forecasters, the storm is on the way." Barnea noted that when the floor was open to questions, they were all about the Iranian issue and none about the Palestinian issue.
Regarding Iran, Obama told the 'tough audience of Israelis' (Israel Hayom) that there was a 50-50 chance of a final agreement with Iran and that all options remained on the table. What Maariv and Yedioth emphasized was that Obama said it would be impossible to completely stop the Iranians from enriching uranium. Maariv reported that the Geneva deal will begin on January 15th. Yedioth senior political commentator Nahum Barnea wrote, "For the first time Obama recognized, in his own voice, that even in a final agreement Iran will be able to enrich uranium. He also recognized that a final agreement, as good as it may be, cannot prevent the Iranians from achieving nuclear weapons. It is impossible to destroy the knowledge and technology. Iran will become a threshold state."

Quick Hits:

  • Palestinians say teen killed by Israeli army in West Bank - Military says it is investigating report, confirms troops were in area at the time. [This was reported on in all the papers, highlighting the question marks over the death. OH] (Haaretz and Maan)
  • Arabs hurl stones; police break into Temple Mount - Officers in Mughrabi Gate break into Temple Mount after being pelted with stones; disperse rioters. Three arrested. (Ynet)
  • Israel and Netherlands in row over security scanner at Gaza border - High-tech machine was supposed to offer solution to Israel's security concerns about Gazan exports, but Israel refuses to use it because it wants to isolate the W. Bank from Gaza. (Haaretz)
  • Dutch PM to visit Ramallah Sunday - Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, along with various other EU ministers, will visit Ramallah Sunday. Rutte was supposed to visit the Gaza Strip Sunday to supply a security scanner for a border crossing, but a Palestinian foreign ministry official later denied this report via telephone. (Maan)
  • Settlers attack Palestinians in their home in Hebron - 25 settlers attacked the house owned by Mufeed al-Sharabati Saturday, causing damage to it and assaulting its residents as well as children in the street before Israeli forces stopped them. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces open fire on protests in Nabi Saleh, 5 injured - Five Palestinians were injured when Israeli forces opened fire with with rubber-coated steel bullets on protestors in the northern West Bank village of Nabi Saleh on Saturday. (Maan)
  • PM vows to defend Christians after pro-IDF family attacked - Son of the Rev. Gabriel Nadaf attacked, apparently in response to his father's call to Christian Arabs to join Israeli military. Netanyahu: I will not tolerate this. We will use every mean at our disposal to stop these thugs so that Christians can enlist. (Israel Hayom)
  • Shas leader Deri winks to settlers - arrives for visit in Gush Etzion - Shas chairman turns right, and signals in recent weeks to the nationalist religious public and the settlers that he is not a leftist, as portrayed in the past. (NRG Hebrew)
  • Israeli forces attack protests commemorating Mandela across West Bank - Dozens of Palestinians were injured and one detained as Israeli forces opened fire to disperse protests against the Israeli occupation and commemorating Nelson Mandela's death across the West Bank on Friday afternoon. (Maan)
  • US consulate marks Mandela passing with pro-Palestine statement - The US consulate in Jerusalem on Friday posted a photograph on its official Facebook page marking the passing of Nelson Mandela by highlighting his pro-Palestinian political activism. "But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians," it reads. (Maan)
  • Barghouti: Mandela gave Palestinians hope for freedom - Nelson Mandela's struggle for freedom inspired Palestinians to believe that their own liberation was "possible," jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti said on Friday in an open letter from his prison cell in Israel. (Maan)
  • Palestinian churches to hold Sunday services in honor of Mandela - Churches across the West Bank will hold special services in honor of anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela on Sunday, according to a statement released by the PLO. (Maan)
  • President Abbas to visit South Africa for Mandela memorial service - A high-level Palestinian delegation will accompany Abbas to South Africa for the services, which begin on Tuesday and end on Saturday. (Maan)
  • South Africa's Jews mourn passing of Nelson Mandela - Synagogue services to be held across South Africa as the country's Jewish community mourns the passing of the anti-apartheid icon. (Israel Hayom)
  • Diplomat: UK to donate 15.5 million pounds to UNRWA - The UK said the financial contribution to UNRWA would provide vital support to Palestinian refugees in Syria and those who have fled Syria. (Maan)
  • "Investigate Avraham Burg for revealing nuclear secrets" - (Right-wing) Ometz movement turned to the State Attorney General demanding an investigation into former speaker of Knesset for (allegedly) harming state security after he said last week that Israel has nukes. "Everyone is equal before the law," it state. (Maariv, p. 6/NRG Hebrew)
  • Israel's Defense Ministry seeking $853m to buy missile boats from Germany - German-made vessels needed to help protect Israel's offshore gas interests, defense officials say; Israel also holding talks with gunboat manufacturers in South Korea and the United States. (Haaretz)
  • Germany to sell 2 destroyers to Israel - German paper Bild reports Germany grants Israeli request, will sell two new destroyers to protect Israeli gas fields at sea for sum of one billion euros. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Jordan wins UN Security Council seat, replaces Saudis - General Assembly elects Jordan to replace Saudi Arabia which rejected the seat to protest council's failure to end Syrian and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Egypt's el-Sissi wins TIME Person of the Year reader's poll - Army chief beats Turkish president and American pop star Miley Cyrus. (Haaretz)
  • Syria's Assad calls Mandela's life a lesson to tyrants - Syrian president, who has been fighting a bloody battle against rebels for more than two years, mourns Nelson Mandela, saying he was 'inspiration' for freedom fighters. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Israeli indicted for handing over information to Syrians - Majdal Shams resident Rafat Halabi, 28, indicted for crossing over to Syria, providing Syrian intelligence with details on IDF patrols. (Ynet)
  • Syrians detonate bomb against Israeli patrol on Golan border - This is the first roadside bomb attack against an Israeli target since the civil war began; no one was hurt but the vehicle sustained some damage. (Haaretz)
  • All Syrian chemical weapons munitions destroyed, says watchdog - Joint United Nations-OPCW team in Syria aims to remove the most toxic chemicals from Syria by the end of the year for destruction at sea and destroy the entire program by mid-2014. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Obama to Israel Hayom: 50% chance of deal with Iran - U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the 10th annual Saban Forum on Saturday, defending the interim nuclear deal with Iran. Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz: Iran must not have any capability to enrich uranium or to produce plutonium. (Israel Hayom)
  • Iran, world powers to meet next week on nuclear deal implementation - Expert-level talks on details of implementation of Geneva agreement are expected in Vienna next week. (Agencies, Haaretz)


Public transportation does not exist in the Arab sector
No Arab community in Israel has a train station, and in most cases, public transport does not enter the city, and populations of 20,000 people are dependent on one bus line. (By Aviv Lavie, Maariv/NRG Hebrew)

Mandela and history - Leadership that knew how to forgive (Sever Plocker, Yedioth) ...Nelson Mandela in S. African and Lech Walesa in Poland demanding crossing out with a thick line the past and turning their faces to the future. Not to open blood accounts over the past and not to throw to the dogs the people who worked for a living with in the civil apparatuses of two dictatorships - the white and the red....
Obama and Kerry spark speculation by outlining Israeli-Palestinian deal (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz) At Saban Forum, the two defended the Iran nuclear accord but gave right-wingers another reason to fret: Is something really going on in the peace talks?
 **On charisma and humanity - It's a pity we did not listen to him (Amb. Alon Liel, Yedioth/Ynet) Israel's former ambassador to South Africa recalls how Nelson Mandela told him Yitzhak Rabin deserves his Nobel Peace Prize.
 Free the Negev demonstrators (Haaretz Editorial) The practice of arresting protesters violates their right to freedom and their right to freedom of expression.
Palestinian resistance shouldn't mean shutting out Israelis (Ori Nir, Haaretz) We Israelis often complain that 'there is no one to talk to.' But for many young Palestinians, Israelis are a lost cause - and anti-normalization means there is less interaction than ever to prove this wrong.
US plan for Israel's safety (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Americans on historic mission to revive deadlocked talks by solving security issues.
Mandela's mission is not yet complete (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) Shimon Peres and Benjamin Netanyahu have no right to eulogize Nelson Mandela.
From Pretoria to Jerusalem (Amit Leventhal, Israel Hayom) The South African government has taken a pro-Palestinian stance since the fall of the apartheid regime. The South African Christian community is hopeful for stronger relations with Israel.
A curse be upon you, land grabbers (Yossi Sarid, Haaretz) The Druze and Bedouin serve in the military, while Israel steals their land and discriminates against them. Has Jerusalem gone crazy?
Kerry's gospel of weakness (Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom) On the heels of the disastrous deal with Iran that could not have been achieved without Western appeasement and capitulation, Kerry's current visit is especially significant.
1967: A starting point to peace (Shaul Arieli, Haaretz) The Six Day War was a watershed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It brought major points of contention to the surface, but also generated potential for resolution.
American aid for Netanyahu (Friday Haaretz Editorial) The prime minister only makes decisions when pressured; this where an American plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace should come in.
Not the same Hezbollah (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) Five years after the Mughniyeh killing, Hezbollah is bogged down in the Syria quagmire and has become the target of harsh criticism in the Arab world.
As Bibi makes trouble, Lieberman takes America (Yoel Marcus, Haaretz) Newly returned Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is reading the political map as Benjamin Netanyahu alienates Israel's best friend.
US aid with no strings attached? (Dr. Gabi Avital, Israel Hayom) Considering the history of U.S.-Israeli relations, especially within the context of nuclear affairs, one has to ask, again: Why is Israel standing alone in the struggle against Iranian nuclearization?
Geneva-Iran, Geneva-Syria: Why not a Geneva conference for Palestine? (By recently resigned Palestinian negotiator Muhammad Shtayyeh, Haaretz) It's time to officially accept the reality: A nuclear occupying power like Israel is comfortable in the current setting of negotiations.


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