News Nosh 12.19.13

APN's daily news review from Israel

Thursday December 19, 2013


Quote of the day:

"The chilling thought that passes through my mind is what would happen if tefillin were burned at Teddy Stadium (in Jerusalem), or if they cut a Jew's sidelocks in Germany."
--Maariv sports commentator Eyal Levi on the tearing up of a Quran by fans of Beitar Jerusalem soccer team at a game against an Arab team.**

Front Page News:


Yedioth Ahronoth

  • "I will return to the army. I already see colors and this encourages me" - Captain Ahiya Klein, who eyes were wounded in tunnel explosion in Gaza, in his first interview
  • Dankner transferred to his wife half his house
  • Study: Men also need to take folic acid


Israel Hayom


News Summary:
Today's top story was that a prominent rabbi of the religious Zionist movement, who was convicted of forcibly sexually assaulting minors, was sentenced 'only' to community service. On the subject of peacemaking, there were some interesting headlines. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinian Authority did not support a boycott of Israel (only settlement goods) adding at the press conference in South Africa that "We have relations with Israel. And we have mutual recognition with Israel. (NRG Hebrew) Abbas also circumvented US Secretary of State John Kerry by sending a memorandum to US President Barack Obama expressing concerns over Kerry's security proposal, which the Palestinians say showed that Kerry is not neutral, but sides with Israel. And chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat (who quit a couple months back) said that if Israel were willing, a framework peace agreement was possible by April and that the Palestinians were ready to extend the talks with Israel another 6-12 months, if the framework agreement were reached. Interestingly, Erekat defended Kerry praising his efforts, which surprised a senior Palestinian official who told Haaretz that Erekat was probably trying to lower the flames and moderate the criticism Palestinians have aimed at Kerry over the last two weeks. Meanwhile, Hamas announced that the bodies of Palestinians held by Israel are being removed from graves for the IDF to perform DNA testing on them, as ordered by Israel's High Court ahead of the return of the bodies to their families for proper religious burial. Maariv/NRG Hebrew's Asaf Gabor wrote that while the Palestinians claim the return of the bodies was agreed upon as part of the negotiations, an Israeli source said it was as a result of petitions to the High Court and directions from the government. Also of note, the US has now joined the European Union in asking Israel not to make another settlement construction announcement following the upcoming round of release of Palestinian prisoners, Haaretz reported. But Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Likud convention yesterday, "We aren't stopping for even one moment the building and development of our land, including the settlements." However, Justice Minister and chief Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni has also recommended to Netanyahu to restrain himself for fear of the collapse of peace talks, Israel Hayom reported. Meanwhile, in good news for peacemaking, the Knesset voted down a bill meant to prevent talks on Jerusalem's status. By an overwhelming majority of 51-12, the Knesset nixed the bill that would have forbidden negotiations on the status of Jerusalem unless 80 MKs supported such negotiations. (Also in Haaretz

Quick Hits:

  • Israeli forces kill one Palestinian, wound several others in Jenin clashes - Clashes erupt during Israeli operation to arrest wanted suspect in the West Bank city. Around 25 military vehicles arrived in the camp and fired live ammunition at Palestinians, injuring three people critically. Two people were shot in the stomach and one in the head. (Haaretz and Maan)
  • **Beitar Jerusalem soccer fans vandalized the Quran of the driver of the Sakhnin soccer team - We thought the charged encounter between the teams ended without incident, but group of fans from the capital made certain to violate the relative peace by damaging a symbol holy to Muslims - tearing up a Quran. Bnei Sakhnin team: "Cursed is the hand that hurt the holy books." (Maariv Sport/NRG Hebrew)
  • Political sources say: US and German threatened and (the IDF military colleges won't move over the Green Line) - Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was forced to stop the construction of military colleges on Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem because the US and Germany threatened cancellation of cooperation if colleges move. "Our position regarding buildings that are over the Green Line are known," said high ranking German official. (Maariv, p. 4/NRG Hebrew)
  • Jerusalem patriarch: Settlement construction 'hampers' peace - Top Roman Catholic cleric in Holy Land, Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, delivers Christmas message, says Mideast peace efforts are being 'hampered' by Israeli settlement construction. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Poll: Nearly a third of Gazans have relatives in West Bank, E. Jerusalem or Israel - NGO that commissioned survey says it shows Israel's movement-restriction policy divides families. (Haaretz)
  • Israel government retaliating against violent Bedouin protests with harsh detention - Three weeks after demonstrations against resettlement turned violent, minors are still held under arrest in what some call an "unjustifiable act of revenge". (Haaretz)
  • Prominent Gaza psychiatrist, rights advocate, Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj, dies at 70 - Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj -- the founder of a Gaza-based mental health organization -- died at the age of 70 of cancer in an Israeli hospital. A critic of Palestinian as well as Israeli governmental policies, El-Sarraj was imprisoned four times by the Palestinian Authority, according to Al Jazeera. Both Hamas and Fatah paid tribute to him. (Maan)
  • Pope's plans for Bethlehem Mass disappoint Israel - Catholic pontiff's truncated trip dashes hope of believers expecting papal-led Mass in Jerusalem. Israeli officials ask Vatican to reconsider holding service only in Bethlehem. (Yedioth, p. 6/Ynet)
  • Edelstein to become temporary head of key Knesset committee - Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein resorts to requesting to have himself appointed as temporary chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee after all nominees are rejected. (Israel Hayom)
  • New Course: Training of Arab mayors - At the program being held at Tel Aviv University in conjunction with the Injaz Center for Professional Arab Local Government, new Arab mayors will receive close accompaniment by faculty members in required fields. (NRG Hebrew and INJAZ English)
  • Abbas' guards intervene in violent clash between PA officials - Around the same time, unknown gunmen open fire on the offices of the Palestinian minister for Islamic endowments; unknown if incidents are related or what motivated them. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • UN: Nearly 1 million Gazans to need food aid in 2014 - Number of needy families is expected to rise primarily due to Egypt's closure of smuggling tunnels under its borders. (Haaretz)
  • Report: More than 800,000 Israeli children live under the poverty line - Though the overall number of families living under the poverty line dropped slightly in 2012, the number of families with two working parents surviving under the poverty line rose slightly to 5 percent. Disposable income rose, report finds. (Israel Hayom)
  • Surprise! Lesbian penguin couple shacking up at Israeli zoo - The Ramat Gan zookeepers had assumed tiny Suki was a girl and hulking Chupchukoni was a boy. Not so, blood tests showed. (Haaretz)
  • One-sided, anti-Israel panel to 'debate' next U.S. academic boycott - BDS battleground turns to January convention of 30,000-member Modern Language Association, but the game seems rigged. (Haaretz)
  • Backlash against U.S. academic association for Israel boycott move - American Studies departments at Brandeis and Penn State Harrisburg sever links to American Studies Association, saying boycott curtails academic freedom. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Jordan wants Israel to remove Aqsa-mosque surveillance cameras - Jordan slams Israeli move to put cameras, police station in Al-Aqsa mosque, claiming 'flagrant military violation of freedom of worshippers as well as interference in Waqf's affairs.' (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Indictment: Druze sheikhs illegally crossed into Syria - Court rejects sheikhs' appeal to dismiss indictment against them. Though Israelis are forbidden from crossing into Syria, sheikhs say they should be free to visit holy sites in Arab republic. (Ynet)
  • UN Security Council condemns Syria military activity on Golan Heights - UN warns Golan fighting could 'jeopardize the ceasefire' between Syria, Israel. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Egypt to try Morsi for conspiring with Hamas and Hezbollah - Egypt's public prosecutor says that ousted president's Muslim Brotherhood plotted a terror attack and divulged military secrets to a foreign state. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran, six powers to resume nuclear talks after snag - Sides will return to table on Thursday in Geneva despite Tehran's objection to U.S. blacklisting additional Iranian companies. (Agencies, Haaretz)


Israeli products of the week / Give these peace pendants a chance
Peace may seem hard to come by these days, but expressing one's desire for it is easy with these attainable accessories. (Haaretz)


Why Palestinians despise nature reserves (Zafrir Rinat, Haaretz) For many Palestinians 'nature reserves' means 'reserved for Israeli settlements.'
How to avoid apartheid (Yonatan Gher, Ynet) Instead of saying Israel isn't apartheid state, let's aim to ensure we don't become one.
Apartheid and the Arab world (Khaled Diab, Haaretz) From the Arab states that provided the ANC with military training, to those who supplied oil to Pretoria: responses to apartheid South Africa differed wildly across the Arab world.
**At the place where they tear holy books (Eyal Levi, Maariv Sport/NRG Hebrew) The chilling thought that passes through my mind is what would happen if tefillin were burned at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem, or if they cut a Jew's sidelocks in Germany. When did we stop feeling shame? Why doesn't the police intervene and why doesn't the National Soccer Association stop the (fans of the) two sides from going into the field? Enough. We all already feel like vomiting...
The flights may be pricey, but the scorn's free (Yoel Marcus, Haaretz) Six pithy bits of gossip on greed, power, and tasteless spouses.
Kerry's semantics (Zalman Shoval, Israel Hayom) Is the U.S. secretary of state engaging in semantic acrobatics in an attempt to placate both sides, or do his comments reflect confusion and inconsistency?
Treatment of African migrants is the darkness that lives in our souls (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) Instead of a contractor to deport migrants, Netanyahu should have been looking for a project manager who would facilitate the integration of 60,000 Africans.
Israelis, stop treating U.S. Jews as rich uncles (Ari Shavit, Haaretz) Israel must stop making it difficult for progressive American Jews to cherish it.
Israel can imprison African migrants, but not their souls (Aeyal Gross, Haaretz) The state's policy toward African migrants is in contempt of court.
Yedioth is a fifth column (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) For years Yedioth stood at the forefront of those inviting international pressure on us.
The wrong way to fight foreign meddling in Israel (Gerald M. Steinberg, Haaretz) If Israel really wants to expose the moral corruption spawned by foreign governments funding anti-Israel groups, then there are far better options than legislation.
Egyptian security forces outgunned by Islamic terrorists in Sinai (Amos Harel, Haaretz) Small number  of tunnels between Gaza and Sinai still operational, despite hundreds destroyed by Egypt.


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