News Nosh 12.27.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Friday December 27, 2013


Quote of the day:

"They are trying to make Ariel part of the consensus, but as far as I am concerned it is not legitimate. You want me to perform there? Solve the problem."
-- Israeli actress Sarit Vino-Elad says she refuses to step foot in a theater built on occupied land and which posed an obstacle to peace with Palestinians.**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth

  • Beit Shemesh test - Because of fake votes: Return elections
  • The last chance // Nahum Barnea
  • Skies are open (photos showing two cadets, an Ethiopian and a religious female) in IAF pilots' graduation ceremony
  • Construction absurd - Ministers Lapid and Peretz and senior Likud officials criticize Netanyahu: It's not right to making new settlement construction announcement, which hurts the peace process, close to date of prisoners' release, which was meant to advance the peace process
  • Pulling one over on ourselves // Yoaz Hendel


Israel Hayom

  • Where is the Arlozorov tent camp (in Tel-Aviv) going? The neighborhood of tents is the pus that the public housing in Israel excretes and the result of the madness of housing prices
  • Delay of prisoner release - and the scream of the (bereaved) families
  • Israel Hayom Poll: 79% oppose upcoming release of prisoners; 86% don't believe negotiations will lead to peace agreement; 35% believe Netanyahu is most suited to stand at head of government at this time
  • Court: "Elections in Beit Shemesh were rigged" and it cancelled the results of the elections
  • Sharansky as a candidate for President is being examined
  • Fill the space, reality version: Grandson of Rebbe from Vizhnitz lost his wife, who died two days after giving birth. He is now expected to marry her younger sister
  • The escalation in the south: Rocket fell in open area, IDF attacked in Gaza
  • Ahead of another release of prisoners and in the wake of reports on US spying - maybe it's time to get Pollard back


Peace Talk Highlights:
After the Israeli High Court rejected a petition against the Palestinian prisoners' release, the Israel cabinet delayed the release to next week and the government said it would also announce tenders for 1400 new settler homes next week. Only a few dozen people protested against the release. [Interestingly, Maariv/NRG Hebrew which usually refers to settlement construction in E. Jerusalem as 'Jerusalem,' wrote today that the construction will take place in 'East Jerusalem.' - OH] The Palestinians warned if the settlement construction announcement is made, they will respond by taking Israel to The Hague International Criminal Court and even Finance Minister Yair Lapid said it was a mistake to make the announcement so close to the prisoner release. A senior Israeli official told Ynet that "Israel is in a poorer and more sensitive situation than it was in 1948. Netanyahu's conduct is leading to sanctions, boycotting."

In less than hopeful signs for the peace process, the papers also reported that Netanyahu has appointed former UN ambassador Dore Gold to serve as his foreign policy adviser. Gold has never expressed support for the two-state solution, Haaretz noted. And, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said Israelis were deluding themselves if they thought there could be peace. "We don't have a partner on the Palestinian side for a two-state solution," he said. (This comes a day after he said that Israel should continue to build in the West Bank.) Haaretz's Barak Ravid writes about Yaalon's hawkish views: "Ya'alon demands that the army have freedom of movement in all West Bank cities. He also wants full Israeli control in the Jordan Valley and of all border crossings, as well as of the air space. Kerry and his advisers consider Ya'alon problematic and negative. They say his positions are extreme, unreasonable and show that he does not seek to move ahead on a permanent agreement. "
Meanwhile, a spokesman of the bureau of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denied yesterday's Yedioth report, claiming that Abbas has maintained a secret channel with Netanyahu for several years.
Israel and the Gaza Strip exchanged rockets and missiles. After a Qassam landed in open territory in Ashkelon regional council, causing no injuries, the IDF shot missiles into Gaza City and Beit Lahiya, injuring two Palestinians.

Quick Hits:

  • Israel: Palestinian farmers to blame for settler attacks on their land - Responding to damage claim, the state claims 'price tag' victims at fault for failing to duly protect their land. (Haaretz)
  • Israeli settler runs over Palestinian child near Salfit - Yasser Ibrahim Abu Zeid, 7, was seriously wounded after being hit by an Israeli settler's car in the northern West Bank town of Deir Istiya near Salfit. (Maan)
  • Fire erupts in Hebron house after Israeli troops fire stun grenade - A stun grenade fired by Israeli soldiers stationed at a military post sparked a fire in the nearby house of Muhammad Jabir al-Karaki in Hebron. (Maan)
  • Brother of Gaza man killed by Israeli sniper speaks out on YouTube - In the video, Raddad Hamad, 22, explained that he and his brother, Odeh, 27, were around a kilometer away from the Israeli border fence when his brother was suddenly hit in the head by an Israeli bullet. Raddad stressed that the area in which they were shot is regularly frequented by Palestinians looking for bits of metal and plastic to sell. (Maan)
  • Sick Palestinian prisoner transferred to hospital - Israeli doctors in Ofer prison informed Thaer Halahla that he contracted Hepatitis C during a dental operation in Ashkelon jail. (Maan)
  • Israeli bulldozers level private Palestinian lands near Qalqiliya - Large numbers of Israeli troops deployed in the area between Ras Atiya and al-Dabaa villages south of Qalqiliya preventing Palestinian citizens from approaching the area where bulldozers leveled their fields. (Maan)
  • Israel shuts Gaza's Kerem Shalom terminal for second day - Israeli Defense Minister gave orders to close Gaza's main commercial terminal for basic goods and humanitarian aid for a second day in a row. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces demolish Bedouin village in Negev for 63rd time - Israeli bulldozers escorted by 25 police patrols raided the village at 9 a.m. Thursday and demolished all its steel houses. (Maan)
  • Want to plant in the West Bank? Provide an aerial photo of the ground - (Israel's) Civil Administration requires Israeli regional councils in the West Bank to meet strict conditions to prevent the planting of trees on private (Palestinian) land and in unregulated areas. (Maariv, p. 8/NRG Hebrew)
  • Full text: President Abbas' Christmas address - "On this occasion, we are reminded of the sad fact that more Bethlehemites will be lighting their candles in Santiago de Chile, Chicago, San Pedro de Sula, Melbourne and Toronto than those in Bethlehem." (Full Christmas address: Maan)
  • Israeli forces storm heart of Bethlehem in rare daytime raid - In the heart of Palestinian Authority-security-controlled areas, Israeli army forces accompanied by special plain-clothes soldiers and dogs raided several homes in the center of Bethlehem, detaining four Palestinians and causing extensive damage. (Maan)
  • Christmas trees offensive to Jews, Knesset speaker says - Lawmaker's request for a holiday tree in parliament is part of an Arab campaign to chip away at Israel's Jewish nature, says Yuli Edelstein. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Magen David Adom tells straight man he can't give blood because he's gay - MDA branch in Haifa refuses to take blood despite Dekel Hasid's regular previous donations, insistence that he is straight. (Ynet)
  • Anger in Left over NGO bill: "It's like a dictatorial regime" - After Likud MK Miri Regev proposed bill that would prevent any NGO from bering registered if it opposes Israel's Jewish character. Meretz chairwoman Zahava Gal-On: "Once again MKs from the Right are competing among themselves who will propose the most extreme surreal law. The big losers are Israeli democracy and freedom of speech." (Maariv, p. 7/NRG Hebrew)
  • Livni tries to thwart the agreement to raise the threshold - Coalition members suspect that Justice Minister Tzipi Livni won't raise the governance bill for discussion in the ministerial legislative committee on Sunday. Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Lieberman agreed that the bill will say that the minimum threshold necessary to enter the Knesset is 3.25%, what would likely push out the Arab parties. Balad party calls on Arab parties to unite: "The right-wing want to keep us away from the Knesset." (Maariv, p. 13)
  • Play goes ahead in West Bank theater, but without three actors - The Cameri Theater, which produced the play, said it allow its actors to 'exercise their freedom of expression and follow their conscience.' (Haaretz)
  • Netanyahu to hail Israeli cyber industry at World Economic Forum - Prime minister to meet world leaders and CEOs to encourage investment in Israeli high-tech. "Participation in the forum will allow us to present the achievements of Israel's economy to the world," says Netanyahu. (Israel Hayom)
  • Indictment: Terrorist Gaza sniper left Strip for eye treatment - Mohammed Abu Amsa of Beit Hanoun held after requesting entry into Israel, en route to Ramallah for medical treatment. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • 30 years on, Israel claims nuclear whistle-blower Vanunu still a security threat - Mordechai Vanunu's attorney admits his client is a 'provocateur' but has no intention of revealing state secrets. (Haaretz)
  • Gov't approves IMI privatization plan - Israel Military Industries will be privatized as a single entity, apart from its classified activity, which will remain state owned. (Globes)
  • Holocaust survivor: How can Israel make people into numbers? Auschwitz survivor slams state for referring to African migrants by numbers not names in court documents. (Ynet)
  • Following public storm: Immigration authority added names of asylum seekers next to the numbers - The names of the asylum seekers now appear on the edited document the State submitted to the court yesterday.  (Maariv, p. 11)
  • Prime Minister ignores Minister Yair Lapid: invited the (ultra-Orthodox) United Torah Judaism to join the coalition - In a secret meeting held this week between the Prime Minister and MK Moshe Gafni, Gafni refused Netanyahu's offer: "We will join the coalition only if Yesh Atid party leaves." (Maariv, p. 6/NRG Hebrew)
  • 5% dissatisfied with Lapid's performance - The latest "Globes"-Smith Institute poll finds Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid party losing more ground, and Reuven Rivlin the most popular candidate for president. (Globes)
  • What was China's foreign minister doing at the Western Wall? Unorthodox visit of Wang Yi to the Kotel, a site usually carefully avoided, raised some eyebrows and many questions. (Haaretz)
  • Coming soon: Campaign to bring tens of thousands of Jews from France - In 2013 thousands of Jews left France, and the Israeli government hopes to channel to Israel many of those who are planning to leave. (NRG Hebrew)
  • Forensic opinion divided: Palestinians to continue probe of Arafat's death, despite tests ruling out poison - Former Palestinian leader's official cause of death was massive stroke, but doctors were unable to determine origin of his illness; Russia and France say he died of natural death, Swiss experts found polonium poisoning in his body. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • (Israeli singer) Idan Raichel tops iTunes list - Israeli musician's latest album, 'Quarter to Six,' included among Apple online store's Best World Albums of 2013. 'It's a great privilege to reach people through music,' says a delighted Raichel. (Ynet)


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