News Nosh 01.22.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday January 22, 2014
Word of the day:
--How Israeli President Shimon Peres described the demand for Palestinians to recognize Israel as a 'Jewish state.'**

Front Page News:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • The world extends a hand to Iran
  • Limiting IVF - 8 attempts and that's it
  • "I had relations with female police officers" - Superintendent Shaham speaks
  • The mother of a baby that was born in an ambulance, herself was born in ambulance
  • UN and US goals at Geneva Conference: Deposing Assad and establishing a transition government
  • Israeli diplomatic effort in Europe to prevent collapse of sanctions on Iran
  • The wall paradox - On the one side the security establishment completes the fence on the trans-Samaria highway, the main entry for Palestinians without work permits; On the other hand, the economic harm to the Palestinians will bring a security escalation (Hebrew)
  • Dilemma in Shas: Whether to support the daughter of Rabbi Ovadia, Adina Bar Yosef, as a candidate for the presidency (Hebrew)
  • The battle against breast cancer turns into national project: For first time the Health Ministry will bring together statistics to examine effective treatments
  • The last battle of the Budapest stronghold -  40 years after Yom Kippur War, IDF Chief of Staff asked to give medals to all the fighters of the only IDF military post that was conquered by the Egyptians; IDF refuses: "Too much time has passed"
  • The 18th IDF Chief of Staff gets accustomed to his new hate as Chairman of the Basketball Association
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
Israel's President Shimon Peres joined the chorus saying Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is 'unnecessary,' just before the two travel to Davos. Mahmoud Abbas leaves to meet with Russian leaders and said he won't extend peace talks. And opposition leader Isaac Herzog said he's not sure Netanyahu has "the guts" to make peace as Peace Now reveals Israel's plans to build more settlement homes. Meanwhile, Hamas deployed forces to prevent rocket fire on Israel
**President Shimon Peres has called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's insistence on Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state "unnecessary" and a possible impediment to peace talks, Israel Hayom writes. In conversations with diplomatic and political officials in recent weeks, Peres said it was possible to reach an agreement with the Palestinians now, with American assistance. Peres' stance is similar to that of Yesh Atid Chairman and Finance Minister Yair Lapid, who called the demand "nonsense" and that of Justice Minister and chief Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni, who fought a bill on the subject.
Peres and Netanyahu were expected to fly together on Wednesday to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where Netanyahu is set to meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry. According to Yedioth, due to the international criticism of Israel's on the diplomatic front, Netanyahu will focus his talks on hi-tech and the economy. He'll address the conference Thursday at 15:15 Israel time. Justice Minister and chief Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni will do the talking about peace. She will participate in a discussion with chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and US special envoy Martin Indyk about the peace process. Yedioth writes that upon leaving Washington for Davos, Livni warned about Israel's isolation if the peace process were to fail. On Friday, an event in appreciation of Peres will take place at Davos. On Sunday, 100 leaders from the Israeli economy will call jointly for advancement in the peace process. These are the people who Yedioth reported on earlier this week.

Abbas is due in Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, Haaretz+ reported. A senior Palestinian official said they were hopeful that the visit 'will ensure progress in settling the Palestinian-Israeli issue.' Both Abbas and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said yesterday that the Palestinian Authority will not negotiate with Israel even a day past the agreed upon 9 months, something Israel is pushing for.

Labor chief Isaac Herzog, who as opposition leader meets privately at least once a month with Netanyahu, said he has found in Netanyahu a leader who "understands the real risks Israel faces without a peace deal." At the same time, he said wasn't sure Netanyahu "has the guts to do it."  On Tuesday, the anti-settlement Peace Now group said Israel had advanced preliminary plans to build 381 new homes in Givat Zeev, a settlement just outside of Jerusalem, AP reported.

Meanwhile, following threats from Netanyahu, Hamas deployed forces to prevent rocket fire on Israel. Ynet's Elior Levy writes that diplomatic communications through an Egyptian mediator helped avert breakdown of the agreement made between Israel and Hamas following Israel's last massive attack on Gaza in November 2012.

Quick Hits:
  • Report: Israel's High Court supports policy of 'secluding' Palestinians - B’Tselem, Hamoked suspect reasons for isolating Gazans are demographic, not security-related. (Haaretz+)
  • Villagers, settlers clash in Nablus village - Dozens of Israeli settlers raided Beit Furik village east of Nablus and threw stones at houses and attempted to break into them. Villagers rushed to fend them off, leading to clashes. (Maan)
  • Israeli intelligence detains Palestinian lecturer at Allenby Bridge - Ahmad Muhammad Daraghmah, 35, was detained at the crossing while on his way from Jordan to Nablus after completing his PHD in engineering at a Malaysian university. (Maan)
  • Rightists, security forces enter Aqsa compound - 46 Israelis, including a group of 33 led by extremist leader Yehuda Glick, roamed around the compound before leaving from the Chain gate. (Maan)
  • Fear in IDF: Completion of fence inside West Bank will lead to economic hardship and security escalation - Israel is completing the separation fence in the area trans-Samaria Hwy, near Shaarei Tikva and Ornit settlements - a central crossing point for thousands of illegal Palestinian laborers weekly. Security establishment considering offering more work permits to prevent the expected frustration from the loss of livelihood for Palestinians. (Maariv, p. 1/NRG Hebrew)
  • ORT director who threatened to fire ‘political’ teacher was active in Habayit Hayehudi - A case of the pot calling the kettle black? (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli police, inspectors storm E. Jerusalem home of freed Palestinian prisoner Samir Issawi - A large number of police officers and Jerusalem municipality inspectors broke into his home and took photos of both the interior and the exterior before they left. Issawi's father said he is worried that the municipality might demolish the home and displace the 14 members of his family that live there. (Maan)
  • Opposition parties unite against planned electoral reforms - At joint press conference, opposition party heads attack proposed rise in electoral threshold from 2% to 4% as ploy to force smaller parties out of Knesset. Labor head Isaac Herzog: Opposition must fight heavy-handed government policies. (Israel Hayom)
  • Undercover Israeli forces detain jailed Hamas leader's son - Israeli agents in plain clothes broke into a gas station on Haifa Street near Jenin refugee camp and detained 25-year-old Jamal Abu al-Hayja. (Maan)
  • Thousands lay Jenin man to rest 12 years after death - Thousands of Palestinian on Monday participated in the funeral procession of Majdi Khanfar, whose remains were handed over by Israel 12 years after his death. Jenin governor Talal Dweikat said burying Khanfar was a basic right and long overdue. (Maan)
  • Romanian president: Military cooperation with Israel to continue - Traian Basescu tells Israel Hayom: "Our fighters cooperate with your fighters in any way possible. We understand the advantages we gain through this." Romania supports Israel's demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel as Jewish state, Basescu says. (Israel Hayom)
  • Left-wing Australian Jews deplore Canberra's refusal to censure settlements - Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, mainstream Australian Jewish community refute 'war crime' claims against Israel. (Haaretz+)
  • Syrian teen asks Israeli court to not be sent back to Syria - Teenager who was injured in her country's civil war, has been treated in Israeli hospital, claims returning to Syria would risk her life, claims relatives in another Arabic country are willing to take her in. (Ynet)
  • Israeli song a hit in Yemen - "Sana’a al-Yemen" blares from stereos and minibus speakers. "Come with me to Sanaa," Zion Golan sings in Yemeni Arabic. (Haaretz)
  • 2 Fatah-affiliated lawmakers who fled Gaza in 2007 return - Hundreds of Fatah supporters gathered near Erez crossing to welcome Majid Abu Shammalah and Alaa Yaghi, two elected Fatah members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, in a sign of warming relations between the two main Palestinian factions. (Maan)
  • Senior Israelis trying to prevent enormous business deals between Iran and Russian and Italy - In the wake of the cancellation of some of the sanctions on Iran, Israel is making an effort to cancel commercial deals with Iran. Minister Steinitz traveled with senior Foreign Ministry officials to Rome and Moscow. Israeli source: "The efforts are doomed to failure." (Maariv, p. 3)

Lift the veil on West Bank outpost funding (Tuesday Haaretz Editorial)  Finance Ministry must demand that state funds illegally funneled to West Bank outposts be returned.
Settlements, a life-giving disease for Israel (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) What kills an individual has just the opposite effect on a country, at least when that country is Israel.
Israel’s military dictatorship in the West Bank (Naomi Sheffer and Gabi Sheffer, Haaretz+) In effect, the army is circumventing the civil system. It sets policy and implements it without any supervision from either the civil legal authorities or the political authorities.
Leftist' teacher must not be fired (Nitzan Horowitz, Ynet) As long as they don't incite hatred or racism, teachers have every right to voice political opinions in school.
Don't punish a teacher for doing his job (Haaretz Editorial) The education minister must break his silence and throw his support behind a teacher who is being punished for trying to engage his students.
Politics in the classroom: With us or against us (Aviad Kleinberg Fishman, Yedioth) Fishman refers to a recent controversy over a teacher who expressed his political views in class and asserts, "Outside the classroom, it is the civil right of any teacher to express a view on any subject, but in the classroom the teacher is not a private citizen. He is an educator: His job is to raise for discussion even controversial issues, bring information and present valid views from all sides. His job is to teach pupils how to evaluate them with a critical eye and formulate justified arguments. In class, his job is to present the positions of all sides, not take one of them."
The lost Obama years (Gadi Shamni, Haaretz+) The American approach to Israeli-Palestinian peace talks is no longer relevant as a basis for promoting a final-status solution.
The next big battle (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) After regular armies, terror attacks and rockets failed to defeat Israel, the Palestinians are now turning to economic boycotts.
It's time to devour the racists (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz+) Popular radio linguist Avshalom Kor escaped punishment for calling Arabs cannibals. We must learn from how our Jewish brothers confront anti-Semitism.
IDF targeting 'rocket launching freelancers' (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Instead of automatic response against Hamas, Israel's new policy focuses on targeted assassinations of individuals directly involved in rocket fire.
Obama’s place in history: already assured (Avi Shilon, Haaretz+) The post-modern approach of America's first black president does not look at the world in terms of good versus bad and West versus East and it will win out in the end.
Liberate Mount Scopus (Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom) We must stop ignoring a reality in which anything from Molotov cocktails to hit-and-run attempts have become the norm.
Losing its strength in Lebanon, Hezbollah is left unprotected (Zvi, Bar'el, Haaretz+) A fringe action, whose explosions go no further than a single neighborhood or town, can start a snowball effect.
A foundational document (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) After regular armies, terror attacks and rockets failed to defeat Israel, the Palestinians are now turning to economic boycotts.
Zealous Republican's advice to Netanyahu: Confront U.S. pressure with a fast and a prayer (Barak Ravid, Haaretz+) Republican congressman Louie Gohmert offers Benjamin Netanyahu bizarre advice, and reiterates his personal feelings about the premier being a great leader for Israel – on par with biblical rulers like Kings David and Solomon.
 Hurray for Harper (Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom) Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Knesset speech should be required reading for all Israelis, particularly those in positions of power.
Stop looking for traitors in every corner (Avi Dabush, Ynet) Why is almost everything taking place in Israel seen as a New Israel Fund conspiracy?

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