News Nosh 02.13.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday February 13, 2014

Quote of the day:
"Naftali Bennett and his people are not willing to hear things they do not like in German. And submarines, Naftali? German submarines we can receive in German?"
--Merav Michaeli reminds pro-settler Economy Minister and his party members of the war submarines Germany is selling to Israel after they walked out on the German EU President's speech.**

Front Page News:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Will be indicted for bribery - The incriminating material that Rabbi Pinto offered to the police against Superintendent Arbiv did not help him: Attorney General Weinstein ruled that he will be indicted for giving bribes to officer Bracha, money laundering
  • Hadassah Hospital considering to cancel (former director) Yosef Mor's golden parachute; Hospital nurses going to battle, demanding more staff positions
  • Who is hungry - It's official: 330,000. For first time, official committee determined criteria for "lack of nutritional security"
  • Arik Einstein's last songs are released
Dance of the starlings in the Negev skies - Starlings visiting Israel for a few days on way to Africa make shapes in the skies
Israel Hayom
Peace Talk Highlights:
Aside from the Hadassah crisis and the decision to indict a famous rabbi, the big story in today's Hebrew papers was the 'Shulz Storm': When European Union President Martin Shulz criticized the living conditions of Palestinians in a speech to the Knesset and pro-settler Habayit Hayehudi party leader Naftali Bennett and his MKs walked out. Meanwhile, Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat gave advice in an interview on Israel's Army radio, a Knesset bill on a peace deal referendum edged closer to becoming Basic Law and Israeli artists and Jewish American leaders expressed their support for US Secretary of State John Kerry's peace efforts. And the latest on Israeli arrests of Palestinian children.
While right-wing members of Israel's Knesset were angry at the 'lies' allegedly told by EU President Shulz when he spoke in the Knesset, left-wing MKs thought it was Naftali Bennett and his party members who were the ones who needed to apologize. Speaking in his native tongue German, Shulz pledged the EU would always stand by Israel and the spoke of the importance of remembering the Holocaust. But he also spoke about the need for Palestinian freedom of movement and access to water.  "A Palestinian youth asked me why an Israeli can use 70 cubic liters of water and a Palestinian just 17," he added. "I haven't checked the data. I'm asking you if this is correct." Bennett and the other members of the nationalist religious pro-settler Habayit Hayehudi party stormed out, saying he won't accept a false moral sermon, "definitely not in German." Likud MKs also slammed the EU President. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accused Shulz of 'selective hearing' and right-wing MKS from Shas, Likud and Habayit Hayehudi demanded an apology.
**But Labor party MKs slammed Bennett and his party for their walkout: 
Former Labor party chief Shelly Yachimovich called Bennett's conduct "embarrassing and damaging. The speech of Parliament President Schultz in the Knesset was sympathetic to Israel and full of appreciation and respect for the Zionist project."
Labor MK Omer Bar-Lev said, "Apparently, for Minister Bennett and members of his faction, democracy is only a suggestion."
Labor MK Hilik Bar called the conduct "dangerous and ugly" adding that "Bennett and his party hold the coalition and the entire country hostage and continuously damage the peace process. They have crossed all boundaries and harmed Israel and its sensitive relations with Europe."
MK Merav Michaeli said: "Naftali Bennett and his people are not willing to hear things they do not like in German. And submarines, Naftali? German submarines we can receive in German?" (More from NRG Hebrew)

Some of the papers discussed how much the water issue and came up with very different numbers:
According to Maariv, in 2006 Israel used 170 metric cubes of water per capita per year in 2006 and the Palestinians used 129. According to NRG Hebrew, in 2012 Israeli per capita municipal water consumption was 66.8 cubic meters per year and the Palestinian consumption was 37.6.
According to Haaretz+, "Palestinians use 73 liters of water a day -- just a third the amount consumed by Israelis."
According to Friends of Earth Middle East, "water consumption per capita per day in Israel in 2011 was 250 liters, while among Palestinians in the West Bank, after taking into consideration an average loss of approximately 30% of the water - due to theft and lack of infrastructure – it was 70 liters."
Chief Palestinian negotiator Erekat spoke on Razi Barkai's popular radio talk show program on Army Radio calling on Israeli leaders to prepare Israelis for concessions. "I haven’t heard any Israeli official from this government saying two states," Erekat told Army Radio. "I haven’t heard any Israeli leader in this government saying East Jerusalem (as) the capital of Palestine. I haven’t heard any Israeli saying we recognize the State of Palestine's right to exist in peace and security." Erekat told host Razi Barkai that no one on the Palestinian side has seen a formula for a peace agreement from Secretary of State John Kerry, who is leading the negotiations. Only Ynet and NRG Hebrew reported on the interview. According to NRG Hebrew, Erekat said in Hebrew, "Netanyahu should say "1-9-6-7"
A Knesset committee has approved a bill for second and third reading that would give near-constitutional status to a requirement that any Israeli decision to cede land must be put to referendum. Tal Schneider, who did her thesis on national referendums, wrote an Op-Ed in Maariv saying it was a recipe to prevent a peace agreement from being implemented. (See Commentary/Analysis below)
Yedioth reported yesterday that Israeli artists wrote a letter to John Kerry expressing support for his peace efforts. This comes after much criticism of him by Israel's right-wing ministers and MKs. American Jewish leaders also wrote a letter in support of Kerry's peace efforts - but they sent theirs to Netanyahu.
And despite a Foreign Ministry spokesman saying that Israel should not detain Palestinian children in the middle of the night and that instead they should be sent a summons, at least three youth were detained last night in overnight raids in the West Bank, Maan reported.

Quick Hits:
  • Witnesses: Israeli forces fire tear gas into East Jerusalem schools - Dozens of school children suffered excessive tear gas inhalation after Israeli forces deployed in the Ras al-Amoud quarter of Silwan neighborhood fired tear gas canisters into four schools. (Maan)
  • Israeli troops 'assault' Palestinian youth in south Qalqiliya - Abd al-Latif al-Raee told Ma'an that he and his son Adham, 19, were walking in their privately-owned field in southern Qalqiliya when Israeli troops attacked the young man. "They assaulted my son before my eyes...they dragged him between bushes where they brutally beat him." (Maan
  • Israeli forces briefly detain woman, issue ban for Aqsa compound - Nujoud Imteer was taken to police station when she tried to enter the compound from the Cotton Merchant's Gate. She was detained and banned for allegedly "causing riot inside the mosque," locals said. [Note: Palestinian woman have been yelling at Israeli rightists who have been visiting thea Aqsa compund. -OH] (Maan)
  • Israeli forces raid house, detain father and son in Silwan, injure grandmother - Israeli soldiers "savagely" broke into the house of Idris Shaloudi, 43, damaged its interior, arrested Shaloudi and his son, Abd al-Rahman, 20, and injured Abd al-Rahman's grandmother slamming a door on her hand, for which she was taken to hospital. (Maan)
  • 4 Palestinians injured after Israeli forces raid Qabatiya - Israeli soldiers raided the area near the Shuhad junction and dozens of Palestinian youths responded throwing rocks and empty bottles. Soldiers shot four of them, for which they were hospitalized. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces demolish Jordan Valley village for 2nd time - "A Civil Administration bulldozer arrived once more at Khirbet Ein Karzaliyah in the central Jordan Valley this morning. It began demolishing the tents put up by the residents since the latest demolition of 13 January 2014," B'Tselem said in a statement. (Maan
  • English-speaking yeshiva wins approval to build in East Jerusalem - City council's own planning department objects to plan for Ohr Somayach, a yeshiva geared toward English speakers seeking to become more religious, in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. (Haaretz)  
  • Netanyahu stalling on Turkey reconciliation draft pact - Israeli officials say issue of Gaza blockade is being dealt with separately to the reconciliation agreement, and that Erdogan's statement on the matter was motivated by internal politics. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Lifting Gaza blockade 'out of the question,' senior Israeli officials say - Sources at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office reject Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's condition for reconciliation with Turkey. (Haaretz+)
  • Palestinian Authority, Jordan working to reopen bridge Israel closed in 2005 - The two sides are holding talks with Jordan to try and reopen the Prince Muhammad Bridge commercial crossing between Jordan and the northern West Bank. It is also known as Damia Bridge, is a bridge over the Jordan River about 15 kilometers to the north of Jericho. (Maan
  • Israelis 'not Zionist enough' for Oxford Israel Society - The university's Israeli students have left the Israel Society in the hands of a group of British Jews, saying the organization doesn't realize that not every Israeli supports the Israeli government. (Haaretz+)
  • Gaza seeks global help to unravel Apollo statue mystery - A life-size bronze statue of the Greek god Apollo, which recently surfaced in Gaza and could be worth as much as $340 million, has prompted the territory's Hamas government to seek international archaeological help to unravel the mystery behind it. (Maan
  • Israel bars Gaza patients over 'Palestine' letterhead - Israeli military official says Israel denied access permits to 50 Palestinians because their forms were marked 'State of Palestine'; urgent patients were granted access. (Haaretz)
  • Fatah accuses Hamas of evading reconciliation - Fatah spokesman Ahmad Assaf said that Gaza premier Ismail Haniyeh requested more time because Hamas leadership wanted more time for discussion. Assaf accused Hamas of setting new terms and condition that were "more obstacles and obstruction." (Maan)
  • Negev Bedouin enroll in tourism course to become more professional hospitality providers - Course includes lectures on how to address an audience and how to price a camel ride. (Haaretz+)
  • IAI opens Singapore R&D cyber center - Singaporean specialists will develop innovative cyber early warning technologies. (Globes)
  • Soldier sentenced to six months detention for sabotaging planes - IDF technician in IAF base in north uses sharp tool to sabotage switches of two F-16s, in revenge for workload, indictment notes. (Ynet)
  • Hundreds flock to 'weeping' Mary statue in northern Israel - Members of a Christian family in Tarshiha town say they have witnessed a miracle in their living room -- a statue of the Virgin Mary that "weeps oil." Amira Khoury says the statue "spoke to her" and told her not to be afraid. (Israel Hayom)
  • Unprecedented in recent history, Iran minister attends talk by Israeli minister - Breaking with tradition, Iranian energy minister Hamid Chitchiyan remained present throughout talk delivered by Miniser Silvan Shalom in Abu Dhabi. (Haaretz
  • Prepare for cyber war, Iran's supreme leader tells students - Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers message to 'Revolutionary foster-children,' aka university students, Mehr reports. (Haaretz)
  • Iranian army chief: Iran would strike US bases if attacked - Western threats of a military strike 'are just political bluffs,' General Firouzabadi says; adds that Iran has been preparing for a 'decisive battle' against US, Israel for the past decade. (Ynet
  • BBC channel in Iran to air Israeli-made film for first time - Documentary about Israelis in pre-revolutionary Tehran has won positive feedback from Iranian exiles, says director Dan Shadur. (Haaretz+)  
  • British PM nixes Israel trip due to flood crisis - British Prime Minister David Cameron: I send my apologies to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, but nothing is more important than dealing with these floods. (Israel Hayom)
  • Syrian crisis overshadows aid delivery to Palestinians, UN says - Donors are choosing Syria emergency over Gaza humanitarian crisis, refugee agency says. (Agencies, Haaretz
  • Al-Manar reveals Mughniyah's artistic side - Marking the sixth anniversary of death of Hezbollah operative, network affiliated with Nasrallah's organization runs feature of Mughniyeh's love of theater, music. (Ynet)  
  • Lebanese app posts 'I am alive' tweet after bombings - Bypasses congested phone lines after an attack to enable survivors to alert families and friends that they are OK. (Haaretz
  • Disney drops Arabic Donald Duck over anti-Israel tweet - Egyptian voice-over artist says he's proud to be dropped over calling for Israel's destruction. (Haaretz
  • Eritrean president says countrymen living in 'concentration camps' in Israel - President appeals to Eritrean exiles to return to Eritrea during interview with state media. (Haaretz+)

Israeli settlements also face pressure from within
As Israeli construction in the West Bank is criticized the world over, domestic disapproval also persists, from parliamentarians' diplomatic protests to Israeli consumers' boycott of settlement products, such as wine. (Agencies, Ynet
One family behind the West Bank soccer team
With 14 relatives on its roster, a team from a small village currently ranked no.1 in the West Bank league believes family is the secret to their success. (Agencies, Haaretz

George Orwell and Israel's 'democratic' occupation of the West Bank (Peter Beinart, Haaretz+) Two Manhattan rabbis challenge AIPAC's linguistic fraud and culture of euphemism. 
Schulz is closer to Herzl's vision than Bennett (Ariana Melamed, Yedioth/Ynet) Habayit Hayehudi members called European Parliament president a liar for claiming Gaza siege is creating distress, but he didn't lie.
Knesset walkout during EU Parliament chief's speech is a new low for Israel (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) Wednesday's display of provinciality and victimhood broke all records for foolishness and embarrassment in our legislature.
The purpose of the referendum bill is to obstruct prospects for peace (Tal Schneider, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) The proposal for a Basic Law that requires a national referendum to approve a peace agreement is designed to bring about no compromise of land on which Israelis live and such are all the legislative attempts to annex territories of Judea and Samaria.
Peace without process (Gidon Ben-Zvi, Israel Hayom) It's time to give the U.S. a breather and allow Israel and the Palestinians to get their game on.
John Kerry's Mideast peace deal is a disaster (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Failure is assured even if 'success' is achieved. Sooner or later, the Palestinian rebellion will erupt again, as justified as ever.
IDF draft law must be stopped (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Instead of advancing an equal share of the burden, the law proposed by the Shaked Committee will only increase inequality.
The Helmsley impact (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) A major new donor emerges, seeking to invest in Israel's strength and scientific progress, without boycotting or dictating. 
BDS is not about anti-Semitism (Mike Shalit, Haaretz+) A response to Moshe Arens’ 'Delegitimizing Israel,' February 10. 
Ten reasons why BDS is immoral and hinders peace (Alan M. Dershowitz, Haaretz+) The Israel boycott movement threatens the peace process by promoting extortion rather than negotiation, and discourages Palestinians from agreeing to any reasonable peace offer. 
Dagan is mistaken and misleading (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) One of the Israeli government's greatest achievements was uniting the international community in the struggle against a nuclear Iran.
Meir Dagan is wrong; they must recognize the Jewish state (Ari Shavit, Haaretz+) Four reasons why this demand is the most natural and justified one imaginable.

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