News Nosh 12.11.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Wednesday December 11, 2013


Quote of the day:

"Thank you for your support...Together with Bibi we can all help truly make Greater Israel, the Greatest Israel. Give today."
--Jewish American blogger Mondoweiss makes funny mock fundraising campaign to send Netanyahu to Mandela memorial service.**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth


Israel Hayom


Peace Talk Highlights:
The stormy weather and Nelson Mandela's burial service were today's top stories in the Hebrew papers. Also in the news (with the exception of Yedioth) were more details about US Secretary of State John Kerry's security proposal. Kerry arrives tomorrow - only five days after he left Jerusalem - to try to save the peace talks, which are in a deeper quandary following his security proposal.

The Israeli papers quoted from Palestinian reports that the US security proposal will allow Israel to maintain both overt and covert military presence in the Jordan Valley for 10-15 years - and that settlements and E. Jerusalem will remain under Israeli security control. During that period, Palestinian security forces would be trained and only after a transition period would changes be considered. There would also be an 'invisible' Israeli presence at the crossings between Jordan and the future Palestinian state. The Palestinians vehemently oppose the proposal and warned that this would lead to "total failure." A diplomat told the Palestinian daily Al-Hayyat that the Palestinians are willing to have IDF forces remain "for three years or a little longer, similar to what was done in Sinai after the peace agreement with Egypt," Maariv/NRG Hebrew quoted. Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam newspaper called the plan, 'worse than bad.' (More from Haaretz, Ynet and Israel Hayom) Palestinian officials told Haaretz that Kerry's declared optimism is impossible to understand

Meanwhile, at a fundraising event in Moscow the former chief of staff Dan Halutz said Assad was good for Israel, the Palestinians were also to blame for peace talks difficulties and that Israel must prepare for the moment that US presence and involvement in the Middle East decreases significantly, because US interests are moving away from the Middle East, Maariv/NRG Hebrew reported. Halutz, [who is infamous for saying that he lost no sleep after the assassination in 2002 of a Palestinian militant, which killed another 14 people including children and injured dozens - OH], said that Israel wants Bashar Assad to stay in power in Syria and pointed to the mine that exploded on the Israel-Syria border this week as an indication of what would happen if extremists got to power. [However, yesterday officials said Assad forces set the bomb - OH]. Unlike former Mossad chief Meir Dagan and former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin, Halutz also said the difficulties in the peace negotiations were "not only because of the Israelis" and the Palestinian side was also responsible. He said Israel can compromise on everything except its security concerns, but "I am not optimistic about the ability to reach an agreement because I have a bit of experience with the Palestinians." The Maariv article did not quote whether he gave reasons why the Palestinians were at fault.

Quick Hits:

  • 'Arabs out' spray-painted in Safed/Tzfat city in Israel, cars' tires slashed - Another apparent 'price tag' attack: two days after hate-graffiti was found on walls of mosque in Baqa al-Gharbiyye, similar incident reported village of Akbara. (Ynet and Maan)
  • Father tells Arabic teacher: 'My blood is pure, yours isn't' - After 7th grade student receives project on three religions, child's parent comes to school, curses Arab teacher, coordinator: "You Arab, who do you think you are that you'll decide what to do with my son?" (Ynet)
  • Israel army recruits and phone company employees tour al-Aqsa compound - More than 100 newly recruited Israeli soldiers entered the al-Aqsa compound escorted by large numbers of police officers on Tuesday. Separately, a group of settlers and employees of the Israeli telecommunication provider Bezeq also visited the compound Tuesday. (Maan)
  • Ashrawi urges NBC to halt drama series set in East Jerusalem - PLO official Hanan Ashrawi on Tuesday called on US network NBC to halt production of a drama series due to be filmed in East Jerusalem. The drama 'DIG' is an action-adventure series set to be filmed entirely in Jerusalem. It was developed by the Israeli Keshet Media Group, and is due to be aired in 2014. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces wreck house, several structures in Jordan Valley - Israeli forces demolished a house and several steel structures and tents in the northern Jordan Valley on Tuesday in Jiftlik, Fasayil and Barza. A spokesman of the Campaign to Protect the Jordan Valley said that demolitions were part of an ongoing Israeli campaign "to displace Palestinian residents of the Jordan Valley." (Maan)
  • Israeli forces raid prisoner's home, interrogate relatives - Israeli forces raided the house of a Palestinian man currently imprisoned in Israeli jails at 3AM Tuesday, interrogated his family and made extensive damage to their property and belongings, said his wife, Margaret al-Raee. (Maan)
  • Dutch water giant severs ties with Israeli water company due to settlements - Vitens reneges on deal with Mekorot because 'these projects cannot be seen separately from the political context.' (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Romania stops sending construction workers to Israel over settlements - Israel will hire more workers from Moldova and Bulgaria because of the problems with Bucharest. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Judea and Samaria (W. Bank): Police pose as human rights activists - Contrary to promise of police chief Aharonovitz: the disguised police insert themselves among leftists and ambush rightists in conflicts hat rise between Palestinians and settlers. (Maariv, p. 1/NRG Hebrew)
  • Israel's Rita invited to UK House of Lords - Iranian-born singer asked to speak at event on empowerment of women at British Parliament's upper house. (Ynet)
  • Marwan Barghouti vows to 'honor Mandela's struggle' - Jailed Fatah leader writes eulogy from Israeli prison, says he is reminded daily of the quest for freedom. (Haaretz)
  • (Palestinian President) Abbas received with applause - Abbas and five senior PLO officials arrived at the burial ceremony to a stormy applause. He was announced as the 'President of the State of Palestine' and he gave numerous interviews to the local press saying: "The Palestinian people shares in your grief. Until his last day, Nelson Mandela supported the Palestinians. In his struggle for freedom and liberty, he gave us all inspiration. We will never forget his support for our people's struggle for a state and freedom." (Israel Hayom, p. 11)
  • Former Israeli ambassador: Netanyahu is not welcome in South Africa - Alon Liel, Israel's former ambassador to South Africa, says PM made right decision by not attending Mandela memorial but not for high travel costs. (Ynet)
  • **Mock funding drive launched to send Bibi to Mandela service - Mondoweiss, a progressive Jewish website, starts tongue-in-cheek campaign, tells readers 'desperate times call for desperate measures.' (Haaretz)
  • OECD: Israel poverty high despite strong economy - OECD survey shows Israel has worst poverty among member states, despite economic growth, low employment. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Gush Katif residents to receive additional compensation - Around 500 families will each receive 30,000 to 90,000 shekels ($8,500 to $25,700) in additional compensation from the government after their former homes' values were re-appraised. "We have righted another wrong," Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel says. (Israel Hayom)
  • 'Yesh Atid' party's revenge against Habayit Hayehudi: Preventing transfer of money to Judea and Samaria - In response to Habayit Hayehudi not supporting laws in favor of same-sex couples, Yesh Atid stopped the discussion and the vote in the Knesset Finance Committee over the transfer of 90 million shekels to settlements. (Maariv, p. 18/NRG Hebrew)
  • Knesset approves Infiltration Prevention Bill detaining migrants without trial - (Controversial) Bill passes after stormy debate with 30 MKs voting in favor, 15 against. Vote preceded by heated debate. MK Eli Yishai says detaining African asylum seekers for one year is not enough: "We need hot pursuit." Meretz MKs ask (Likud) MK Regev, ''Would you put Nelson Mandela in confined facility." (Ynet and Haaretz)
  • New migrants' detention facility gears for opening Thursday - Public Security Minister intends to release immigrants during daytime, but most regulations are similar to detention under house arrest. First 400 of 9,000 infiltrators expected to be held in facility to be admitted this weekend. (Ynet)
  • Haifa University accepts employees from the State of Palestine - Academics looking for jobs at the university found a surprising tab when entering their details in the registry data: the list of countries of origin also offered to choose from "Palestine." (Maariv, p. 17/NRG Hebrew)
  • Soldier arrested for allegedly selling entry permits to Palestinians - Following lengthy, covert investigation, soldier arrested under suspicion of trading permits to enter Israel for drugs, cash. Police say further arrests are expected. IDF Spox: "The investigation did not raise any suspicion for kidnapping attempt." [Note the title of the Maariv report claimed that the Palestinians planned to kidnap the soldier they did business and went to nightclubs with. But the article only said that the police feared it could happen, not that they knew the Palestinians had any intention. - OH]  (Ynet and Maariv, p. 6/NRG Hebrew)
  • 2 soldiers seriously wounded in Golan Heights drill - Unexploded ordinance tears in tank. During drill, soldiers put blazing barrel into container with torn shell. Explosion marks rise in IDF accident injury rate. (Ynet)
  • Search for missing soldier Guy Hever resumes - IDF announces it's been decided to renew search for soldier who went missing in 1997 in Golan Heights area. (Ynet)
  • Palestinian Authority policeman killed in attack on security post - A group of men fired at security forces in Tuqu (Palestinian) police station, striking one officer. The incident was under investigation. (Maan)
  • Israeli army pays above-market rent for soldiers - Organization that supports underprivileged soldiers collects rent from army's budget, but fund do not match market rates. (Haaretz)
  •  Israeli chemists to receive Nobel prize in Stockholm - The three scientists receiving the 2013 Nobel Prize for Chemistry did much of their research at the Weizmann Institute. Communications Minister Gilad Erdan: Your achievement shows the power, ability and excellence in the world of Israeli scientists. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli army: Golan bomb was activated by Assad forces, not Islamists - Officials say Friday's incident, in which a bomb detonated near the border fence and damaged an IDF jeep, could herald escalation on Syrian border. (Haaretz)
  • Halutz, Israel prefers the Syrian leader Assad - At a fundraising event in Moscow the former chief of staff Dan Halutz said: The mine that exploded on the Israel-Syria border is an indication of what will happen if extremists get to power. [However, now officials say Assad forces set the bomb - OH]. Unlike former Mossad chief Meir Dagan and former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin, Halutz blamed the difficulties in the peace negotiations on the Palestinian side. (Maariv, p. 1/NRG Hebrew)
  • Israeli officials: U.S. admits Iran will get $20b from sanctions relief - U.S. officials admit to Israeli colleagues that they greatly underestimated the economic benefits Tehran would reap from Geneva accord. (Haaretz)
  • US defense bill ups funding for joint projects with Israel - Bill includes $173 million in added funds for U.S.-Israeli cooperative missile defense programs, including David's Sling and Arrow. Measure also backs U.S. President Barack Obama's request of $220 million for additional Iron Dome batteries. (Israel Hayom)


How South Africa's apartheid regime saved Israel's defense industry
In the 1980s, Israel's defense industry was cash-starved until it struck a secret and unprecedented $1.7 billion deal to sell South Africa 60 Kfir combat planes. (Aluf Benn, Haaretz)


Netanyahu's symbolic absence (Haaretz Editorial) Israel is gradually being evicted from the international community because of its insistence on continuing the occupation.
Funeral rearrangements (Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom) It is just as well that money matters are keeping Netanyahu from representing Israel in Johannesburg.
How the third intifada will start (Amira Hass, Haaretz) Senseless killing like the shooting of 15-year-old Wajih al-Ramahi are only likely to be repeated.
In Hebron, you don't ask 'why?' (Melanie Ward, Haaretz) Three months of living in Hebron taught me what goes on there makes no sense, either for Israel's security or for the Palestinians who live there.
Between negotiations and reality (Dr. Reuven Berko, Israel Hayom) The Palestinians prefer for an international force to provide Israel's security, knowing that they would run for their lives at the moment of truth or are more likely to butt heads with an Israeli army trying to fight terrorism.
Why Israel supported South Africa's apartheid regime (Avi Shilon, Haaretz) Our ties with that regime are a good example of the Zionist utopia's slide toward tragedy, which was in this case not entirely our own fault.
Thieves, go home! (Sami Michael, Yedioth/Ynet) How is it possible that a child is robbed of a slice of bread and sentenced to a life of illiteracy, while wealthy people and rulers deprive us of our money and waste it on a life of luxury, on ostentatious journeys and on nurturing unnecessary and dangerous settlements? We citizens don't work hard for our living so those who govern us can live in glorious palaces.
The problem with Netanyahu isn't the ice cream bill (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) What did we get for the 12 billion shekels spent on preparations to attack Iran? How much are the settlements costing us? These kinds of numbers are beyond comprehension.
What if Mandela were Palestinian? (Khaled Diab, Haaretz) It's tempting - but misguided - to think that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be resolved by a savior figure like Mandela.
Israel present-absent (Ben-Dror Yemini, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) Yemini discusses the controversy over Israel's representation at the memorial ceremony for Nelson Mandela and says, "The noise that we made in our ears over the noted absence ended with barely a whisper. Nobody paid attention, there was no crisis and if Netanyahu had been there, it could have been much worse because there was a concern, only a concern, that it would have ended in a provocation...Today, South Africa is a bastion of extreme anti-Israel sentiment." Yemini acknowledges the legacy of Israel's relations with the apartheid regime but adds, "This is not so different from the relations that many countries have with a state like Sudan. In South Africa it was a racist regime; in Sudan it is a murderous one. What was forbidden to white racists in Pretoria is permitted to Arab murderers in Khartoum."
Leaving Mars, Obama repivots toward Venus (Oded Eran and Yoel Guzansky, Haaretz) The president is projecting American power through diplomacy rather than military force, to the bewilderment of U.S. allies.
The dark side of Roger Waters (Yehuda Safra, Israel Hayom) One who displays at his concert a pig with a red Star of David on it loses all legitimacy, and it's a shame that he chooses not to focus on his strength -- music.
Waiting for Van Damme in Gaza (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) The economic situation in Gaza is worse than ever, with residents concerned that they have become the expendables.
 Keeping Israeli academics in Israel (Minister Yaakov Peri, Israel Hayom) Can we possibly take pride in the fact that the two researchers were educated in Israel, or must we re-evaluate given the fact that Israel failed to keep Warshel and Levitt within its homegrown academia?