News Nosh 12.16.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Monday December 16, 2013


Quote of the day:

"We can't stop, we won't stop, can't you see it's we who own the land, can't you see it's we who take a stand. And we can't stop and we won't stop. We build things, things don't build we. Don't steal nothing from nobody."
--American-Israeli settler makes pro-settler parody video of Miley Cyrus' 'We Don't Stop'.**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth


Israel Hayom


News Summary:
The snow continued to be the main story in today's Hebrew papers, along with the death of an Israeli soldier, apparently by a Lebanese soldier who fired on him along the border. Meanwhile, the Israeli government passed a controversial bill against some left-wing NGOs, radical Israeli settlers left Palestinians alone while they dealt with the storm and in a 'historic meeting' between Israeli and Saudi diplomats, an Israeli MK tried to convince a Saudi prince to visit the Knesset.
The ministerial cabinet decided to impose high taxes on funding from abroad for Israeli NGOs that call for boycotting Israel - in other words some left-wing NGOs. The bill was passed despite opposition by the State Attorney General, who said it harmed freedom of expression.

Of note, the storm kept the radical settlers at home, it appears. Maan News Agency had no reports of attacks on Palestinians or their property since before the storm began. It is usually an everyday occurrence, as News Nosh readers have likely noted.  Haaretz and Israel Hayom reported that many settlers have left their prefab homes [usually those are found at settler outposts - OH] and permanent homes with the help of the Israeli army, while other settlers were stuck behind impassable roads.

At the World Policy Conference in Monaco, the former head of the secret services in the Saudi kingdom and ambassador to the US, Saudi Prince Turki Al-Faisal shook hands on stage with former Israeli ambassador to the US Itamar Rabinovich and spoke with Likud MK Meir Shitrit, who told the prince: "Come to the Knesset," Maariv/NRG Hebrew reporter Gidi Kotz reported from Monaco. Al-Faisal replied saying it would not be beneficial as long as Israel did not accept the Arab Peace Initiative of Saudi King Abdullah. Al-Faisal called on Israel to accept the Arab Peace Initiative so that the details could then be negotiated. He said the elements of the solution are known: establishing a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with land swaps and Jerusalem as its capital. He said solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would lead to solving other problems of the region. He lauded US Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts, but he also said that the Israeli and Palestinian leaders needed a 'big bear' that would sponsor the talks and that he doubted US President Barack Obama would be able to do the job on subjects such as land swaps, Jerusalem or security arrangements. "If Obama changes his mind, as in other issues, all hopes will vanish," he said. Shitrit suggested he take on the job of the 'big bear.'

On Iran, the Saudi prince said that the military option must remain on the table, but that wider talks over making the region nuclear-weapons-free must be part of the agreement and Israel should be included in these negotiations. He said that as former prime ministers, both Shimon Peres and Ehud Olmert agreed to such a discussion if there were enough guarantees that Israel would not be endangered by nukes. Al-Faisal expressed disbelief in six-month interim agreements - both on the Iranian issue and on the Israeli-Palestinian issue and said it does not prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons in the future.

Al-Faisal denied the report that meetings were held between Saudi and Israeli intelligence services. But when he spoke with Shitrit, he noted with a smile, "We used to be in the same business," hinting at Shitrit's position as minister with the intelligence portfolio while serving in a previous Israeli government. 'Tehran Times' also ran a short report on the meeting.

Quick Hits:

  • Bill: Construction in settlements only with majority of 80 MKs - Labor MK Merav Michaeli proposed a bill Sunday prohibiting construction beyond the Green Line without a majority of 80 Knesset members. "Construction in territory not meant for the population of the occupied territory or for military purposes violates international law and leads to economic boycotts on Israel putting Israel in danger of international isolation," she said. At a OneVoice movement conference, Minister Tzipi Livni attacked Habayit Hayehudi MKs for "vetoing peace when they prefer isolated settlements over a Jewish democratic state." (NRG Hebrew)
  • Ashrawi praises Dutch water firm for cutting Israel ties - "Vitens should be praised for turning its principled position into positive action," said PLO official Hanan Ashrawi. (Maan)
  • Dutch water company pressured to resume ties with Israeli firm - Factions in government and parliament leaning on Vitens to rethink boycott of Mekorot, which supplies water to the West Bank and Israel. (Haaretz)
  • **Pro-settler video parodies Miley - American-Israeli Ariel resident Orit Arfa turns Cyrus's 'We can't stop' into 'Jews can't stop.' (NRG Hebrew and Times of Israel)
  • Half of Israeli kids on welfare go hungry - Latet charity finds one in 11 kids on assistance stole food out of hunger. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Committee to decide on construction of Israeli 'White House' and 'Air Force One'Cabinet ministers authorize establishment of public committee to examine feasibility of purchasing plane for Israeli leaders, building new official PM Residence. 'Gov't must maintain modesty,' Lapid says. (Ynet)
  • Mofaz: Home Front Ministry serves no purpose - Home Front Ministry is devoid of any real authority, says Kadima chairman and former defense minister. "Transferring the Homefront Command's authorities from the army to a civilian institution is unnatural," says Mofaz. (Israel Hayom)
  • Undercover Israeli forces raid Tulkarem in broad daylight - An undercover Israeli force on Monday raided Tulkarem in broad daylight and detained a former Palestinian prisoner staying at a guesthouse hotel in Tulkarem in the northern West Bank. (Maan)
  • Tel Aviv University collating all laws of the world against racism - Two out of four volumes have been published to help jurists, legislators and diplomats understand countries' laws on racism and discrimination. (Haaretz)
  • Mandela's S. Africa boycott success sparks Israel debate - Recent successes in the campaign to boycott illegal Jewish settlements have given fresh impetus to calls for sanctions against Israel like those that brought down apartheid in South Africa. (Agencies, Maan)
  • Managing Arab millions from the towers of Tel Aviv - Israeli-American Tal Keinan handles some 6 billion shekels, part of it from the Gulf. (Haaretz)
  • Lauder to give Channel 10 NIS 30m farewell gift - Ron Lauder will transfer his shares to Channel 10 chairman Yosef Maiman and inject a final NIS 30 million before cutting his ties with the station at the end of the month. (Globes)
  • Israel Hayom buys Maariv print house - The move is a mortal blow to "Haaretz" which has printed Sheldon Adelson's newspaper for tens of millions of shekels annually. (Globes and Israel Hayom)
  • Gaza floods, thousands evacuated - but get reprieve from blackouts - West Bank loses power; Energy Dept. promises to limit Gaza brownouts to 8 hours a day, instead of the usual 16. (Haaretz and Maan)
  • Qatar sends fuel to Gaza to relieve power crisis - Gaza's 1.8 million people have been enduring long daily blackouts after a fuel shortage switched off the power plant. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • OCHA: Number of displaced tops 10,000 in Gaza - Approximately 10,000 people have been forced to flee their homes due to widespread flooding in the Gaza Strip. (Maan)
  • Mashaal, Abbas in rare telephone call - Hamas' leader-in-exile Khalid Mashaal telephoned Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday in a rare telephone call between leaders of the rival Palestinian parties to thank him for his efforts at different levels, particularly sending aid to the Gaza Strip. (Maan)
  • White House adviser consults Israeli officials on Iran deal - Obama's national security adviser Susan Rice met with her Israeli counterpart last week in effort to gain support for nuclear deal with Iran. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran to continue nuclear talks despite 'unsuitable' U.S. actions - After U.S. blacklists additional companies, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says will show measured response. (Agencies, Haaretz)

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

Lauder to give Channel 10 NIS 30m farewell gift

Ron Lauder will transfer his shares to Channel 10 chairman Yosef Maiman and inject a final NIS 30 million before cutting his ties with the station at the end of the month.