News Nosh 12.10.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Tuesday December 10, 2013


Quote of the day:

"It looks like a trick' by someone who does not really want an historic agreement with the neighboring people."
--In a Letter to the Editor, an Israeli reader says Netanyahu's demand for Palestinian recognition of a 'Jewish state' is a ploy.**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth

  • Hospitals: We are collapsing
  • Waiting for the storm - Tonight: rains and cold; Tomorrow: Fierce winds and snow in the north. Rescue teams on alert
  • To die of embarrassment // Sima  Kadmon on the farce on the way to Mandela's funeral


Israel Hayom

  • Preparing for the storm
  • Fewer pyramids, more supervision: Law limiting tycoons passed
  • Today: Mandela's burial ceremony
  • Committee to decide whether to acquire an Israeli Air Force 1
  • Kerry keeps on trying: Will arrive tomorrow for another round of diplomatic negotiations
  • 90-year-old made complaint: "My children beat me - because of money"
  • Today: Awarding of Nobel Prize to Israelis Warshel and Levitt


Diplomacy and Peace Process Highlights:
The 'farce' over who will represent Israel at Nelson Mandela's funeral, the sudden scrapping of the controversial plan to relocate Negev Bedouin, and more trouble in the peace talks, with the Palestinians accusing the US of blackmail, were key stories in today's Hebrew papers.
The Israeli papers, with the exception of the pro-Netanyahu Israel Hayom, do not believe for a minute that cost was the reason the Prime Minister cancelled his attendance at Mandela's funeral. Now President Shimon Peres has cancelled, as well, citing the flu. But Maariv noted that Peres was well enough to host the Guatemalan President for a dinner last night. [Granted flying abroad is more tiring than sitting at a dinner. - OH]. Now it is the Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein who will represent Israel Israel at the Mandela memorial. Most commentators say that the real reason for the cancellations of the top two leaders was to avoid being shamed by South Africans both for Israel being supportive of S. African Apartheid and for Israel's policies towards the Palestinians, which Mandela renounced. (See Commentary/Analysis below) Labor party chief Isaac Herzog slammed Netanyahu and said, "It appears as if Israel is slighting South Africa."

After a former Israeli minister said yesterday that the Bedouin never agreed to the Prawer-Begin relocation plan that he helped draft, the plan will likely be scrapped, much to the relief of the Bedouin, some of whom are still sitting in jail detention for demonstrating against it 10 days ago. Although most people were under the impression that former Likud minister Benny Begin presented the draft of the bill to the Bedouin that he met with, he said yesterday that he did not, shocking the political system who responded saying it was no longer relevant. "I never said Bedouins agreed with my plan. The reason is simple: I never presented them with plan." Now right-wingers want to amend it to make it even worse for the Bedouin.
More trouble in peace talks. No one is happy with the Americans. The Palestinians say the US is no longer an honest broker: it trying to blackmail the Palestinians by using the release of Palestinian prisoners to get Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to agree to security arrangements in the Jordan Valley that perpetuate the occupation by leaving IDF forces there for an unspecified period. Senior PLO official Yasser Abed Rabbo told Voice of Palestine radio that Kerry had plunged the process into crisis by seeking to "appease Israel through agreeing to its expansion demands in the (Jordan) Valley under the pretext of security." He accused the US of asking the Palestinians to make security concessions in peace talks with Israel in order to silence Israel's criticism of diplomacy over Iran's nuclear program. Abed Rabbo said Kerry "only wants to win over the Israelis and allow settlement expansion at our expense" and that would lead to the failure of the talks. One of the Palestinian negotiators who resigned, Mohammed Ashtayeh, said that "there must be an alternative to American mediation in the form of a Russian, European, and UN sponsorship."
For its part, Israel is playing 'Good cop, bad cop,' in negotiations, Palestinian sources told Maariv/NRG Hebrew. Justice Minister and chief Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni was eager to reach an agreement and projected a positive atmosphere, while Netanyahu's envoy to the talks, Yitzhak Molcho, is the one who makes the decisions and is in direct contact with Netanyahu and is responsible for refining Livni's enthusiasm.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu said that Israel and the Palestinians aren't close to a final peace deal - directly contradicting Kerry who said only three days ago, "I believe we are closer than we have been in years to bringing about the peace..." Netanyahu also contradicted Finance Minister Yair Lapid, saying that the makeup of the government coalition doesn't dictate progress in peace talks, rather 'our life experience' does. Lapid had suggested getting rid of the pro-settler Habayit Hayehudi party for the sake of the peace process.
Letter to the Editor:
**"Recognition of an excuse", Yedioth
"Even the Prime Minister understands that his artificial blowing up of the "Palestinian strategic threat" and the need for a "security border" on the Jordan River in the framework of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, is not really believable, and therefore decided to focus in his speech Sunday at the Saban Forum on the demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a "Jewish state." Our security needs in any future agreement with the Palestinians are clear and legitimate, but it is hard to imagine the security danger that can rise from the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state in most of Judea and Samaria. The IDF itself has been praising for some time the cooperation between it and the Palestinian Authority security forces. The demand to recognize Israel as a "Jewish state" never came up in the past, not in negotiations that led to an agreement with Egypt and not in one that was held with Jordan. So why is this demand suddenly coming up? It looks like a trick' by someone who does not really want an historic agreement with the neighboring people."
--David Haetzni, Ramat Hasharon


Quick Hits:

  • Israeli car hits 2 Palestinian girls near Beit Jala - Two teenage Palestinian girls were injured Tuesday morning in a hit-and-run accident on the main road between Beit Jala and al-Walaja west of Bethlehem. Some Israeli settlers living in Gush Etzion and Betar Illit settlements west of Bethlehem choose to travel to Jerusalem through Beit Jala. (Maan)
  • Bethlehem-area man hit by Israeli vehicle - A Palestinian man was injured Monday afternoon after he was hit by an Israeli vehicle in the village of Nahhalin west of Bethlehem in the southern West Bank. (Maan)
  • U.K. government warns British citizens against doing business in Israeli settlements - Recommendations released by British government warn citizens of potential 'reputational implications' of getting financially involved in Israeli settlements in West Bank. (Haaretz)
  • Settlement wastewater pumped in valleys, plains in Salfit district - Settlers in illegal settlements in the central West Bank area have started to pump untreated wastewater into the valleys and plains near Palestinian villages in Salfit district. (Maan)
  • Professors call on American Studies Association to vote down Israel boycott - If a majority of the ASA's voting members do not vote to endorse the boycott resolution by December 15, the national council said that it will withdraw the resolution. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Settlers raid Palestinian park near Nablus -Settlers attacked al-Masudiyya park and attempted to pull down a number of structures. They also dug out a hole in a small first aid facility located in the park before running away when security guards arrived. (Maan)
  • Israel-Jordan water deal inked, but worries about Dead Sea remain - Jordan to manufacture desalinated water in Aqaba and channel brine waste byproduct to Dead Sea; environmental group questions economics of the deal. 'We proved we can all work together' says Palestinian water minister. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  •  Israeli forces raid Duheisha camp in Area A near Bethlehem, detain 4 - Undercover Israeli forces entered the camp in a civilian vehicle and detained four young men after ransacking their homes. (Maan)
  • Settler attempts suicide near Salfit, Palestinian security forces stop her - Locals noticed an Israeli car parked in a field near Deir Ballut village and notified Palestinian security officials. Palestinian security forces then approached the car and found a 41-year woman who told them she wanted to commit suicide. (Maan)
  • Ultra-Orthodox protest: 'Army recruitment - blasphemous' - Some 1,400 haredi protesters riot in front of army prison against detention of draft dodger. Several demonstrators perform grotesque mock-hangings, throw stones at Ynet photographer. (Ynet)
  • Group: New Israeli excavations under al-Aqsa - The al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said that excavations under the Chain Gate on the western side were about 8 meters below a tunnel the Israelis had dug under the western part of the compound. Dozens of plastic buckets were seen as well as large plastic containers full of soil. (Maan)
  • Son of Chief of Staff registered as Labor party voter - Nadav Gantz, paratrooper serving compulsory IDF service, decided to register in Labor party following win of Isaac Herzog in primaries. IDF Spox: It is permitted. (Yedioth, backpage)
  • Roger Waters compares Israeli policy to Nazi Germany, slams 'powerful Jewish lobby' - Former Pink Floyd front man: 'There were many people that pretended the oppression of Jews was not going on from 1933 until 1946... this time it's the Palestinians being murdered.' (Haaretz)
  • UN: Israel to allow some materials into Gaza again - Border restrictions, tightened after terror tunnel discovery by IDF in October, to be eased; materials imported into Gaza Strip will be used for UN construction. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Gazans release parody of Van Damme's 'epic split' video - Palestinian comedy troupe in Gaza spoofs viral Volvo ad to highlight the infrastructure problems facing the Strip. (HaaretzVIDEO)
  • Israel tried to influence Mandela trial, declassified documents show - Then-Foreign Minister Golda Meir urged Israeli diplomats to lobby against a death sentence. Philosopher Martin Buber and author Haim Hazaz among those who were asked to lobby the regime. (Israel Hayom)
  • Yaalon: Iran uses embassies as 'terror bases' - Israeli defense minister accuses Iran of using diplomatic courier bags to smuggle bombs, weapons. Also claims Iranian embassies in South America used as espionage bases. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Iran: Nuclear deal dead if U.S. approves new sanctions - Some American senators are considering new sanctions that would kick in after six months or if Iran violated terms of the interim deal reached in Geneva. (Agencies, Haaretz)


Presence isn't the same as security (Haaretz Editorial) Israel's opposition to plan presented by Kerry isn't based on security considerations, but on ideology.
No more excuses
(Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) Military plan devised by US experts robs Netanyahu of his security arrangements argument.
Netanyahu using Iran as another excuse to put off peace with Palestinians (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) If Iran gives up its nuclear project, will Israel agree to withdraw from the West Bank?
Diskin's own goal (Zalman Shoval, Israel Hayom) Statements such as the one made by Diskin, until recently a senior government official, serve the Palestinians in their efforts to deceive the world, and especially the U.S.
Mandela was critical of occupation, but fully endorsed Israel's right to exist (Ilene Prusher, Haaretz) Mandela's most notable quotes on the conflict remind us why Netanyahu may have decided it wasn't worth the trip.
Lost in Africa (Sima Kadmon, Yedioth/Ynet) The question is no longer whether Israel will be represented at Nelson Mandela's funeral. Let's admit it: Mandela would not have sobbed in grief had he been told that the prime minister of Israel would be absent from his funeral...Netanyahu's decision to back out of the Mandela memorial due to high travel costs insults the intelligence.
Nixing Mandela funeral as too costly, Bibi shows world what he's truly made of (Bradley Burston, Haaretz) Israel's prime minister proves he is not the smug, petty, vindictive, waffling, in-your-face insulting man he seems. He's something worse.
IDF, here I come (Robert Stark, Ynet) College graduate explains why he left cushy life in NY to start strict, unpleasant military life in Israel.
Israelis are realizing that Naftali Bennett's party really is conservative (Yair Ettinger, Haaretz) Now that Habayit Hayehudi has blocked gay rights bills, liberals are losing respect for the party led by a former high-tech entrepreneur.
The al-Qaeda takeover (Guy Bechor, Ynet) Security arrangements suggested by Americans are irrelevant to Salafi Spring era.
What does 'Israeli Apartheid' mean, anyway? (Amira Hass, Haaretz) The meticulous sub-division of people in Israel is guided by a principle of inequality that benefits the ruling class.
Obama to Israelis: We're not abandoning you (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Netanyahu still at odds with US president, secretary of state over Iran, peace deal, but American politicians make it clear to Palestinians, Iranian that Jewish State will remain protected. But what does this message mean for Israel?
Egypt's new constitution: Greater freedom - subject to military approval (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) The new constitution may promise various freedoms and equality, but in reality it cements the military's power.
Security isn't everything (Prof. Ron Breiman, Israel Hayom) Those who want real peace -- which is different from the current, mendacious peace proposal -- should keep the historical roots of Jews in mind.
Mourning the lack of human rights (Aeyal Gross, Haaretz) Nothing better symbolizes Israel's rejection of the universality of the Declaration of Human Rights than the closure of its investigation into the death of Mustafa Tamimi.
Diaspora is part of the Zionist vision (Dmitry Shumsky, Haaretz) Jews leaving Israel and settling in Berlin symbolize, maybe more than anything, the historic victory of Herzl's Zionism over Hitler's Nazism.
The role of American Jewish leadership (Richard Baehr, Israel Hayom) American Jewish organizations have a long track record of trying to soft-pedal opposition to the president's policies, particularly when he represents the party most Jews support.
How to solve the Israel's Bedouin problem (Moshe Arens, Haaretz) Integrating the Negev Bedouin community into Israel will require education and time, not laws.
Jews, survival and the zombie apocalypse (Daniella Peled, Haaretz) The U.K. Ministry of Defence has a plan for the zombie apocalypse. With hard-earned experience from the Holocaust, so have the Jews.


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