News Nosh 01.19.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday January 19, 2014
Quote of the day:
"The IDF is a brutal and immoral army, which acts with exceptional violence, unlike most other armies in the world."
--Words of a teacher at a Kiryat Tivon high school, which got him fired after a student complained.**

Front Page News:
Yedioth Ahronoth
Israel Hayom

Peace Talk Highlights:
Today's top story in the Hebrew press continues to be a graft case involving a top police commander a famous rabbi. Meanwhile, Palestinian sources said that US Secretary of State John Kerry is slated to present a "flexible" framework document in Aqaba, Jordan at the end of this month. As a sign of good faith, Israel will reportedly release the bodies of 36 Palestinians, Maan reported. But Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of using the peace talks as a cover for settlement expansion. Regarding settlements, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman summoned European ambassadors in Israel to his office for censure, following a rebuke of Israeli envoys in Europe over new settlement construction. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reportedly wants to add a fourth settlement bloc to be annexed by Israel to his demands for a peace agreement. According to Maariv/NRG Hebrew's Zeev Kam, Netanyahu and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni support a population exchange - meaning making many Arab Israelis become citizens of the future Palestinian state along with their towns, in exchange for Israel keeping settlement blocs. And Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop slammed the boycotting of settlements, NRG Hebrew reported. Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said the Americans have 'misperceptions' and don't understand the Middle East. But this time he didn't name names, Maariv/NRG Hebrew and Haaretz reported. And trouble is brewing between two political allies: Yair Lapid, Finance Minister and leader of Yesh Atid, and Naftali Bennett, Economy Minister and leader of Habayit Hayehudi. On Thursday, pro-peace activists took to the streets, holding demonstrations at 20 key junctions across the nation. Among those expressing their support for the peace process were Yesh Atid activists, who were surprised to receive a visit from Lapid, who called for 'separation from the Palestinians. On the same day, Bennett was planting trees in Hebron 'for the future generations.' Lapid also joked about Bennett, saying he has been demoted from a being 'brother' to a cousin. Opposition Leader MK Isaac Herzog said Lapid should have made Bennett, at most, the neighbor from across the street. Meanwhile, Probably Israel's greatest political supporter in the world, Canadian premier Stephen Harper arrives in Israel today. He will be receiving a very warm reception by Israel.

Quick Hits:
  • Israeli ministers to decide whether 'price tag’ attacks are terrorism - New legislation would target Jews who commit acts of vandalism and violence against Palestinians and peace activists. The bill’s sponsor, MK Eitan Cabel (Labor), said he intends to submit another bill soon making perpetrators of such acts liable to up to 20 years in prison. (Haaretz+)
  • Hilltop youth released from detention because of police error - One of the Shin Bet's main targets, a 16-year-old youth who was caught red-handed in a 'price-tag' attack was released because police forgot to ask court to extend his detention. (Yedioth, p. 8)
  • Palestinian youth shot by Israeli forces in East Jerusalem - The young man was suffering from a critical injury and extensive bleeding after being shot in the thigh with expanding dum-dum bullets by Israeli forces during clashes in Anata, E. Jerusalem neighborhood. (Maan)
  • Israel troops open fire on Gaza protesters, 2 injured - Troops fired at some 300 demonstrators who were protesting Friday against Israel's destruction of farmland for its 300-meter buffer zone. (Maan)
  • 6 Palestinian villagers injured as armed settlers attack Beit Ummar - Clashes broke out after a group of settlers tried to raid Beit Ummar village near Hebron on Friday. Israeli forces attacked a funeral procession in the village as dozens of settlers, some armed, gathered near the graveyard. Settlers also attacked a restaurant in the area, smashed its windows and forced workers to close it down at gun point. (Maan)
  • Clashes with Israeli forces spill onto Bethlehem main streets - Clashes between protesters and Israeli forces took place in the area around Rachel's Tomb on the main road leading through Bethlehem from Jerusalem to Hebron as well as on nearby Manger Street. The confrontations have been taking place daily for two weeks in nearby Aida refugee camp. (Maan)
  • Bethlehem remembers teen slain by Israeli forces - Hundreds gathered in Bethlehem's Azza refugee camp on Saturday to commemorate the one year anniversary of the shooting death of Saleh al-Amarin, 15, who was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier during clashes near Aida refugee camp. (Maan+PHOTOS)
  • 5 shot as Israeli forces disperse protests across West Bank - The weekly protests against the Israeli occupation and separation wall were violently dispersed by Israeli forces in Bilin, al-Masara, Kafr Qaddam, and Tuqu. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces 'mistakenly' detain man, injure his elderly mother - Several military vehicles raided Kafr Qaddum village, firing tear gas canisters towards local youths, who responded with stones and empty bottles. The Israeli forces subsequently detained Bakr Ali, a 27-year-old local. His elderly mother was also injured as she choked on the large amounts of tear gas released by canisters fired by the soldiers. (Maan)
  • Israeli settlers farm on land confiscated from Palestinian village - Dozens of Israeli settlers accompanied by Israeli forces early Friday began farming on lands confiscated from Palestinian farmers in the village  of al-Hathaleen, south of Hebron. The 37 acres were confiscated a few months ago. (Maan)
  • Palestinians aim to win back right to appeal property confiscations in military court - Palestinians could appeal confiscations in West Bank military courts until last month, when the Israeli army changed its stance. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli forces detain Palestinian who opened fire towards settlement - No Israeli soldiers were wounded in the attack at the entrance to the settlement of Migdal Oz, which was described as being carried out with a homemade weapon. Migdal Oz is built at the entrance of Beit Fajar, a Palestinian village just south of Bethlehem. (Maan)
  • **Lesson in loyalty - Leadership teacher who told students that "the IDF is brutal and immoral" was forced to resign. The student who complained: "When I tried to share my view he humiliated me...It bothers me that a teacher takes advantage of his position to instill erroneous ideas about the state and the army in students. (Yedioth, p. 8)
  • Israeli radio host reined in after on-air jokes about Palestinians - Avshalom Kor won't have to apologize for gags following explosion at a Palestinian ambassador’s residence this month. (Haaretz+)
  • Daily Show's Jon Stewart makes light of Ya'alon's Kerry comments - Despite the severity of the defense minister's comments about John Kerry's peace efforts, which he dubbed 'obsessive' and "messianic,' Jon Stewart manages to find humor in the row between Israel and the US. (Ynet)
  • A guitar maker turned paratrooper - Louis Berman, a guitar maker from South Carolina, came on Birthright Israel's 10-day tour and fell in love with the country. "A strong Israel and a strong IDF will guarantee the safety of the Jews in the Diaspora. I want to help and contribute," he says. (Israel Hayom)
  • Homefront, defense ministries lock horns over budget - Homefront Defense Minister Gilad Erdan slams Defense Ministry after it withholds funds due to it. The Defense Ministry's actions "exceed its authority and are in breach of the Budget Law," Erdan says in a letter to Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein. (Israel Hayom)
  • IDF to send reservists text messages in emergency drafts - Text messages to be sent to call up reservists in emergencies, in addition to current system of automated calls. "I hope this method will be efficient and expedient," says IDF officer. (Israel Hayom)
  • Garbage and resentment piling up in West Bank refugee camps - The ongoing strike by workers from the UN relief agency for refugees is hitting the weakest sector of Palestinian society hard. (Haaretz+)
  • Wounded Syrian couple treated in Israel - Wounded Syrian woman: "We hesitated coming to Israel, because we were taught to hate it. We were taught this is a brutal enemy state, but we learned that reality is different. People here have a conscience. Our enemy is in Syria, not in Israel." (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel warns Hamas in Gaza: Rein in rocket fire for good - Late Wednesday night six Grad rockets were fired from the north end of the Gaza Strip at Ashkelon. (Haaretz)
  • Police arrest youth carrying 40 pounds of hashish from Jordan - The 25-year-old youth is expected to appear before the Nazareth magistrates' court on Sunday. (Israel Hayom)
  • Etgar Keret imagines a 'brave new Israel' where the word 'Nazi' isn't banned - In a New York Times op-ed, Israeli author provides alternative visions for a future Israel. (Haaretz)
  •  Movie from 'Palestine' receives Oscar nod - Palestinian film "Omar," which deals with the Middle East conflict, makes the nominee list for Best Foreign Language Film for the 2014 Oscars. Israeli film "Bethlehem" misses out. Israeli-born director Hany Abu-Assad insists his film is Palestinian. (Israel Hayom)
  • Silvan Shalom attends international energy conference in Abu Dhabi - First time Israel has sent a minister to a meeting of the International Renewable Energy Agency. (Haaretz+)
  • Lebanon's Hariri says could share power with Hezbollah - Son of slain premier Rafik al-Hariri, whose assassination was widely blamed on Hezbollah, says he's now ready to share power with rivals if that's what it takes to help Lebanon. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Congressman to Palestinian Authority: Stop incitement or lose U.S. aid - Leading U.S. politician's bill would require Palestinians to pass inspection every six months or lose $400 million a year. (Haaretz+)
  • US chides UNESCO for putting Jewish exhibit on hold - UN cultural agency delays opening of exhibit tying Jews to land of Israel, sponsored by Simon Wiesenthal Center, because of Arab states' complaint. US ambassador to UN urges agency to reverse 'wrong' decision. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Rabbi Pinto probe sparks tensions between FBI and Israel Police - Israeli police refuse to provide FBI information for its probe on N.Y. Congressman Michael Grimm. (Haaretz+)
  • Egypt constitution approved by 98.1% - Supreme electoral commission reports that Egypt military-backed constitution was approved by 98.1% in first vote since coup toppled country's president. (Agencies, Ynet)

Chain crash: Deaths on the highways is destroying the Arab sector of Israel
The police claim that discrimination and alienation in society lead to non-compliance with laws and disruptive behavior on the road. Experts explain that the lack of awareness of the dangers near home, and relying on help from heaven, aggravate the problem. Israeli Arabs involved in road accidents and casualties are much higher percentages relative to their numbers in the general population in the country. Now the Arab sector has decided to fight the death toll. Death toll on the roads in 2013: 312, 120 of them from the non-Jewish sector. (Yair Krauss, Maariv, p. 18-19/NRG Hebrew)

Netanyahu shouldn’t plant land mines to assuage the extreme right (Haaretz Editorial) When European countries, Israel’s allies, warn about Jerusalem’s policy in the territories, it’s a threat that can’t be dismissed.
If Ya'alon has no plan to thwart the negotiations - then he should control himself (Cielo Rozenberg, Maariv/NRG Hebrew)
Defense Minister Mosh Yaalon can not behave (Likud MKs) Miri Regev or Dani Danon and lash out at US Secretary of State John Kerry, if only because he is among the few who knows exactly what the U.S. contribution is to the security of Israel.
Palestinian rejectionism won't do us any good on its own (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) Have Israelis put any thought into the possibility that a peace deal could outweigh the benefits of continued construction in Yitzhar?
The Israeli media’s double standard against non-Jews (Kobi Niv, Haaretz+) 'Jew stabs girl.' You’ll never see that headline in this country. But if non-Jews are involved, you’ll read all about it.
Drugs and dreams of paradise: Hezbollah and al-Qaeda in Syria (Dr. Yaron Friedman, Yedioth/Ynet) Drugs and radical religious indoctrination go together a little too well in Syria's true battle over the hearts and minds of young men enlisted to join ranks of radical al-Qaeda inspired groups. Dr. Yaron Friedman analyzes the rise to power of Hezbollah and new al-Qaeda-linked group, claiming they pose a bigger threat than the Syrian conflict itself.
What Sharon and Rabin knew (Yoel Marcus, Haaretz+) The two leaders, both warriors and former defense ministers, understood vital facts that the current defense minister has yet to grasp.
Why the uproar? (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon's analysis of the negotiations with the Palestinians is sober and realistic.
Guns and poppies: The Palestinian village that became the Sharon family cemetery (Dr. Dan Asher, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) Poppy hill, where Ariel and Lily Sharon are buried. was much less pastoral in the past. Two wars were there, and also 900 residents who became refugees.
The life-threatening obsession with the Jewish state (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Israel is exhibiting classic signs of obsessive-compulsive behavior with its incessant demands to be recognized as the 'Jewish state' by Palestinians.
Ariel Sharon's bad legacy (Ariana Melamed, Yedioth/Ynet) We didn't bid farewell to a charming private person, but to a military leader who sent soldiers to unnecessary wars and controversial prime minister.
Sharon’s way: force and deceit (Zeev Sternhell, Haaretz+) Ariel Sharon played a decisive role in creating the culture of violence and lies that controls our relations with the Palestinians to this day.
On war criminals and heroes: The whitewashing of Ariel Sharon (Ramzy Baroud, MaanSharon was dubbed the "Bulldozer" for he understood that pacifying Gaza would require heavy armored vehicles, and Gaza's crowded neighborhoods and alleyways weaving through its destitute refugee camps were not suited for heavy machinery. Modest estimates put the number of homes destroyed in August 1970 alone at 2,000. Over 16,000 Palestinians were made homeless and thousands were forced to relocate from one refugee camp into another.
Tunisia’s success, Egypt’s failure (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Three years since the start of the Arab Spring, the constitutions of Tunisia and of Egypt are a study in contrasts.

'A New York Times reporter in Israel is invariably called an anti-Semite or self-hating Jew'
Clyde Haberman reflects on 37 years at the Times, his stint in Jerusalem and on Israel, then and now: 'You’re fencing yourself in. You’re building your own Warsaw Ghetto.' (Interviewed by Chemi Shalev in Haaretz+)

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