News Nosh 01.06.14

APN's daily news review from Israel

Monday January 06, 2014


Quote of the day:

"Friends, Bibi (Netanyahu) is not missing votes in the Knesset, the question is only if he has the backbone."
--Opposition leader and Labor party chief Isaac Herzog says Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has a mandate to reach a peace deal, but doubts if he has the courage.**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth

  • "US offer is best we'll get" - Foreign Minister Lieberman bypasses Netanyahu from the left and gets closer to the Americans - But declares: I am prepared to move the border to Hwy 6 - Arabs in the Triangle and Wadi Ara will be in Palestinian state
  • (African) infiltrators conquered Rabin Square
  • Existential threat // Noah Klieger
  • Life Achievement prize to (basketball player) Miki Berkovitz
  • Woman who gave birth hugged baby and discovered: She's not hers
  • Life in question mark - Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox are leaving the world of Torah and are left without work and family. Who will help them?
  • Now it's final: Ben-Moshe and Elstein won the battle for IDB, Dankner gave up


Israel Hayom


News Summary:
The top stories in today's Hebrew papers were the mass protest in central Tel-Aviv by African asylum seekers and migrants demanding not to be treated like criminals and the declaration by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman that US Secretary of State John Kerry's framework proposal is 'the best Israel will get.' However, Lieberman conditioned accepting a peace agreement to including population transfers and denying Palestinian refugees Right of Return. But Maariv reported that Kerry was pressuring Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to accept a limited number of refugees. Haaretz reported on a spat over peace talks during the Israeli cabinet meeting and Yedioth reported that Israeli President Shimon Peres attacked those who supported annexing the Jordan Beqaa Valley, while right-wing MKs slammed a former Mossad chief for saying Israel does not need the Valley for its security. Meanwhile, Isaac Herzog slammed Netanyahu in his first speech as Labor party chief.
Lieberman shocked locals and foreigners alike when he praised Kerry's efforts and said: "Kerry's offer is the best Israel will get." But praise aside, Lieberman said he would not support any peace agreement that did not include transferring Israeli Arab towns in Wadi Ara and the Triangle region to Palestinian sovereignty. Speaking at the annual conference for ambassadors he also said, "I will not support any peace deal that will allow the return of even one Palestinian refugee to Israel.'
Lieberman may oppose the return of a single refugee, but Maariv/NRG Hebrew's Eli Bardenstein and Ariel Kahane reported that Kerry was pressuring Netanyahu to allow a limited return of Palestinian refugees to Israel in the framework of family reunification. According to Bardenstein, Kerry believes he can convince Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to agree to declare Israel is a Jewish state if Netanyahu would be more flexible about accepting Palestinian refugees into Israel's borders. But it appears that Netanyahu rejected the proposal. Meanwhile, Maariv writes that negotiations are expected to be extended to 2015, as per Israel's desire. But Israel is willing to pay the price for that: freezing construction planning processes in some settlements.
While Lieberman was laying out his vision for peace Sunday, Kerry flew to Jordan and Saudi Arabia to enlist the support of the kings of those countries and through them, the backing of the Arab League for the framework agreement that he is expected to present in full in late January. He returned to Jerusalem Sunday evening and is expected to return again next week. While in Jerusalem, Kerry rejected Israeli and Palestinian claims of US bias.
Earlier Sunday, an argument erupted in the Israeli government weekly cabinet meeting over peace, Haaretz reported. Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz presented a report that showed official Palestinian Authority media outlets relayed that Israel has no right to exist. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said there could be no peace until incitement ended, while Justice Minister Tzipi Livni argued that incitement could only be prevented once a peace agreement resolved the conflict. "The conflict will not be solved by adopting the narrative of one side over the other, or deciding who is more correct. The conflict will only be solved by an agreement, with mutual recognition. Then it will be possible to demand that a culture of peace be upheld, and that incitement be prevented," she said. Netanyahu took Yaalon's side.

President Peres was dismissive of the government approval of a bill to annex settlements and roads in the Beqaa Jordan Valley, calling it 'a declarative move' that 'didn't move him.' But in closed circles, he was very upset about it, Yedioth's Itamar Eichner reported, because it tried to bypass the negotiations with the Palestinians. Peres was very upset with the right-wing ministers who passed the bill and they got a mouthful from him. Peres suggested that the bill made Israel look like a banana republic to the world. Meanwhile, right-wing MKs, such as Likud coalition chairman Yariv Levin, slammed former Mossad chief Meir Dagan for saying Israel does not need the Jordan Beqaa Valley for its security. Levin called it 'irresponsible.'

**In his first speech as Labor party chief, Isaac Herzog called Netanyahu "a visionless CEO," but promised to support him if he had the 'backbone' to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians. 

Quick Hits:

  • Israeli man physically assaults Palestinian girl in Jerusalem - The father of 12-year-old Marah Munther Jalajel said his daughter was beaten by an Israeli "settler" on her way to school in the al-Sharaf neighborhood of the Old City of Jerusalem. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces raid Hebron village, attempt to demolish local oven - During the raid on the semi-nomadic village of Um al-Kher east of Yatta, Israeli forces tried to demolish the village's traditional oven, which produces bread for more than 50 residents. The attack came after settlers in the nearby houses claimed that smoke emanating from the oven disturbed them. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces issue demolition orders in Nablus village - Israeli military forces issued demolition and stop-work orders to Palestinians in the Nablus village of Aqraba. Israeli forces also issued a stop-work order to a contractor who was refurbishing a street near the village school. (Maan)
  • Israel issues demolition orders for East Jerusalem buildings - Jerusalem municipality workers accompanied by Israeli police on Sunday issued demolition orders for houses, shops, storage buildings, and a sports field in the Silwan area of East Jerusalem. One of the buildings was built in 1814. (Maan)
  • Eilat teacher alleges official discrimination over her hijab - Teacher contends that despite acute shortage of Arabic teachers, and although clearly qualified, she was rejected time and again for three years. (Haaretz)
  • Demeaned at Ben-Gurion airport: 'Now you know what Jews endured' - Security staff allegedly stoop to new low when they referenced the Holocaust during an invasive search. (Haaretz)
  •  Israelis begin construction on new settlement in central Hebron - Israeli settlers escorted a bulldozer which uprooted fifty-year-old trees in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of central Hebron and leveled a large tract of land in preparation for the construction of a new Jewish settlement outpost. (Maan)
  • Terror persists, but West Bank fence still porous - Breach in fence through which Bat Yam bus blast terrorist's infiltrated Israel remains penetrable despite constant IDF patrols in area. Defense establishment aware of breaches, reporting 6,000 Palestinians enter Israel illegally every month. (Ynet)
  • Pope Francis sets date for Israel visit: May 24-26 - Visit to include Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Amman. (Haaretz)
  • Palestinians become first customer of Israel's Leviathan gas field - West Bank utility agrees to buy $1.2 billion worth of natural gas for a power plant to go up near Jenin. (Haaretz and Maan)
  • Palestinian bites prison psychiatrist on nose - Palestinian held in Jerusalem detention center for illegally entering Israel bites medical official on schnozzle as jailers open his cell to take him to physical examination. (Ynet)
  • Fatah: Hamas will not allow anniversary celebration in Gaza - A Fatah spokesman on Sunday said that Hamas refused to allow the faction to hold an official celebration for its 49th anniversary in Gaza. (Maan)
  • 'Miles of Smiles' aid convoy denied entry to Gaza - Egyptian authorities refused to allow an aid convoy headed for Gaza through the Rafah crossing. (Maan)
  •  Italian solidarity delegation denied entry to Egypt after Gaza visit - 23 Italian solidarity activists were asked to return to Gaza "because there were no special coordination arrangements for their departure." The visitors came to express solidarity with the besieged coastal enclave and brought with them quantities of medicines and medical aid. (Maan)
  • Czech police:12 illegal weapons found in Palestinian embassy - Palestinians deny weapons were illegal; Prague police running genetic and ballistic tests. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • UN Refugee Agency lambastes Israeli policy on African migrants - Find alternative to current 'warehousing' of migrants UNRA tells Israel in rare public statement. (Haaretz)
  • Report: Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad barred from anti-Zionist meeting - Tunisian authorities block Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah representatives from entering country to attend anti-Zionist conference, which calls for canceling the 1978 Camp David Accords. (Israel Hayom)


Call my blof: Rightist Israel party tries its hand at political satire, but the joke's on them
Jon Stewart has nothing to worry about: Habayit Hayehudi's mashup of The Avengers is about as subtle as one of The Hulk's smashes. (Haaretz)
The unexpected Israeli soundtrack to Tunisia's Arab Spring
Singer-songwriter Bezalel Raviv had a hit with the song 'Tunisia' and is now using crowd-funding for a project with Arab artists. (Haaretz)

Lieberman's dangerous proposal
(Haaretz Editorial) By rehashing the idea of a population swap, Israel's foreign minister has once again put a spoke in the wheels of the peace talks.
Let settlers come home (Ami Ayalon, Yedioth/Ynet) Jordan Valley residents must not be turned into a bargaining chip in a cynical political game.
Israel presents: Foolish announcements in front of the whole world (Amos Gilboa, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) Amos discusses the approval by the Israeli cabinet of a bill to annex settlements and roads in the Jordan Valley saying, "As if it is not enough that its taking steps that lack any great wisdom, the Israeli government is also announcing actions in a way that brings  the world on our heads."
What about those who murdered innocent Palestinians?
(Anat Matar, Haaretz) Unlike the prisoners released this week, the Israeli soldiers and settlers who have blood on their hands never even served time in jail.
Celebrating murderers' freedom? (David Meyers, Ynet) World's silence over release of Palestinian 'heroes' is a sad reflection of moral depravity of 21st century.
Palestinian blood is cheap (Yitzhak Laor, Haaretz) Every day Israel erases the Palestinian voice. Security? Only we have such a need. Internal debate? Only we have that.
Frame the agreement first (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) Rather than hashing out details of a framework deal, Kerry would be wise to reach an agreement on the deadline for a deal.
Violence in the soccer field: and perhaps the Jews are to blame? (Dror Zarsky, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) The violence in the soccer fields is blamed on the Police, the Arab fans and the politicians. Just not the Jews, who have become much more nationalistic.
Learning to love Ariel Sharon (Seth Lipsky, Haaretz) The former PM had an astonishing ability to connect with people who loathed him and with whom he had quarreled - not least, George W. Bush.
How I learned to love Arik (Marit Danon, Yedioth/Ynet) Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's personal secretary explains how she turned from a strong critic into an ardent fan.
John Kerry is the problem, not the solution (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz) Peace will not be born so long as one of the prospective parents doesn't want children and the gynecologist is Kerry.
Signs of peace process failure (Dr. Kobi Michael, Israel Hayom) American determination -- which is totally removed from reality and ignores the two fundamental problems, a lack of confidence and legitimacy -- is going to be the main source of failure in the peace process.
Former Israeli envoy's diplomatic gaffe on Buenos Aires bombing (Barak Ravid, Haaretz) Buenos Aires is furious after former ambassador Itzhak Aviran said Israel 'took care' of those responsible for the 1994 bombing in the Argentinian capital.
Israeli ministers cementing settlements to solidify hold on Jordan Valley (Ilene Prusher, Haaretz) Laying foundations for a new settlement neighborhood sends a message to Washington and Ramallah that Israel is here to stay, according to members of Netanyahu's coalition.


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