News Nosh 03.07.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday March 07, 2014

Quote of the day:
 “May their name and memory be wiped out. Let them die, those leftists…kill them. They’re worse than Arabs!”
--A post on a racist Facebook page. Israeli Police say their hands are tied and they cannot open an incitement case against anyone without the approval of the State Prosecutor's Office.**

Front Page News:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • "We said to the Captain: We aren't pirates, we are the Israel Defense Forces" - New revelations about the takeover of the weapons ship
  • The (TV) tax will be cancelled
  • Will Netanyahu give up on his loudspeaker? // Raz Sukenik
  • No deal with Shula Zaken
  • Netanyahu on the Iranian denials: When the ship arrives in Eilat, we will see who is a liar
  • Bad winds in the Mossad, organizational reform in the Shin Bet and turnover in Military Intel: The failure to predict the Arab Spring and the technological revolution that is shaking up the Israeli intelligence services
  • Rhetorical war - He knows Russia is not as strong as the Soviet Union, but he is using the best of the Soviet methods; Despite relying on a primitive doctrine, Putin succeeds in preserving Moscow's status as a world power
  • Pollard hospitalized - Head of committee for his release: "Fear that he won't survive the coming months in jail" (Hebrew)
  • Communications Minister Erdan announced the cancelling of the TV tax within a year and the establishment of a new broadcasting authority
Israel Hayom
  • "Military Intel put together the intelligence puzzle for months" - Soldier who participated in the operation: "When the weapons were found, there were shouts of joy"
  • Small people // Gonen Ginat
  • Netanyahu: It's time to release Pollard
  • Tragedy: Mother of six died after birth
  • Fortuna died on the bloody highway
  • (Communications Minister) Erdan: I will close the Israel Broadcasting Authority and cancel the (TV) tax
  • Women's Day: Yael Yaniv, only 32 years old and already assistant professor at Technion
  • Study: Government ministries argue between themselves - and there is no standard for baby carriers

Security Issues and Peace Talk Highlights:
The takeover of the ship carrying missiles in the Red Sea continued to be a top story in today's Hebrew papers. Meanwhile, the Palestinians say they have not received a draft of the US framework agreement for peace and that a boycott campaign will bring peace. Israeli officials say the boycott isn't a threat. And, Israeli Foreign Minister has "pulled a fast one" on the European Union on the subject of Palestinian prisoners.
Iran denied Israeli claims of supplying rockets to Gaza and Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Zarif Tweeted mock surprise about the claim and the timing, but Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said: "When the ship reaches Eilat, we'll see who's lying." The Israeli websites have posted IDF video of the navy commando unit making the raid. A senior Israeli military intelligence officer told Maariv/NRG Hebrew that there are dozens more similar affairs connected to Iran that are being examined. The official said that the Iranians would likely freeze their activities until they discover how the information was leaked about the ship to Israel. Another senior intel officer told Haaretz+ that the naval raid blocks the smuggling route, but that new weapons shipment routes will be found. 
On the peace front, Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, who is holding meetings with American officials in Washington, denied he has received an outline or final proposal for a framework agreement, in contradiction to an Al-Quds newspaper report. And NRG Hebrew translated parts of a Time Magazine article by the Middle East correspondent, Karl Vick, in which the Palestinians threatened to escalate the boycott efforts after the failure of negotiations. Some Palestinian officials said that the "boycott weapon is the best chance for peace." But Israel officials are convinced: boycott efforts have failed. Israeli officials told Maariv/NRG Hebrew that despite calls in Europe and the US for a boycott, investments, exports and high-tech in the country have been unaffected. Additionally it seems that European funds that considered withdrawing their investments from Israel have changed their minds. "Their effort failed miserably," say Israeli officials. (NRG Hebrew)

Yedioth writes that Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has prepared a 'fast one' for the European Union: After the Chairman of the EU Foreign committee asked for permission for a parliamentary delegation to visit Palestinians in Israeli prisons, Lieberman instructed his ministry to respond saying that the permit would be granted if the EU would allow an Israeli delegation to visit a European jail. Israel has not received a response to its request. Itamar Eichner wrote that an Israeli Foreign Ministry official said the European request was "coordinated in advance with Palestinian sources, who are trying to lead a campaign against Israel on the subject of prisoners." [News Nosh has recorded the numerous complaints of maltreatment and negligence of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails reported on by Maan, but not in the Hebrew media. - OH]

Quick Hits:
  • Settlers assault Palestinians near Ramallah village - Extremist settlers from Kokhav Hashahar assaulted three young Palestinian men while they were picking gundelia plants south of al-Mughayyir village north of Ramallah. The young men were evacuated to a medical center. (Maan)
  • Three days, no water for some 50,000 East Jerusalem residents - Neighborhoods are part of Jerusalem municipality but on the far side of the separation barrier. (Haaretz)
  • Israel police assault man at Aqsa compound - During a heated argument, Israeli police officers "brutally attacked" Khalil Suwwa, 42, as he was trying to enter the (Temple Mount) compound, where he studies Islamic law. Suwwa fainted and was eventually evacuated to a hospital but only after the Israeli officers seized his identity card. (Maan)
  • **Facebook's safe haven for Israeli racists - Posts rejoicing in the death of Palestinians and calls for the murder of asylum seekers have become a matter of course, but police say their hands are tied. (Haaretz+) 
  • Israeli forces level private Palestinian land in Jordan Valley - Israeli forces started a far-reaching campaign leveling private Palestinian lands in the northern Jordan Valley. A member of the local tribal committee said settlers are likely to occupy the area and establish a new settlement. (Maan)
  • Israel, US hold joint military training exercise - Marines come to Israel to practice aerial rescue operations. The joint Israeli-US military exercise that was kept under gag came to a conclusion Thursday. For first time, IAF pilots fly V-22 helicopter which US plans to sell to Israel. (Ynet and Haaretz+) 
  • US national security adviser to visit Israel in May - U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice to visit Israel in May to lead delegation to U.S.-Israel Consultative Group. U.S. President Barack Obama asked Rice to visit Israel following "very productive" meeting with PM Benjamin Netanyahu this week. (Israel Hayom)
  • Coalition trying to ram through package of controversial bills - Bills would raise Knesset threshold, draft Haredim and require referendum for any territorial withdrawal. (Haaretz+)
  • The 'masked' youth of Ziv High School - Two (Jewish Israeli) highs school students chose an unusual project for their theater exam: A play about a dialogue between two Palestinian brothers - one a wanted man and the other a (Shin Bet) collaborator. The play won them first place in Jerusalem's talented youth contest and the big prize: Presenting the play at the Gerard Bechar Theater. "We wanted a play that would give a message that the audience could learn from," said the students. (Yedioth Jerusalem supplement, p. 66)
  • Watch: Netanyahu goes to LA, visits Apple, dines with DiCaprio - The prime minister traveled to the West coast with one objective in mind: Advancing Israel's high-tech industry. Along the way he dined with A-list Hollywood stars and sent them a clear message too: Make movies about Israel. (Israel Hayom
  • Netanyahu arrives in Los Angeles to an empty crowd of diplomats - The Israeli consulate workers were instructed to not take part in any planned events in the prime minister's visit due to the ongoing labor dispute in the Foreign Ministry. (Ynet
  • Netanyahu signs business pact with California governor - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the first Israeli prime minister to visit California since 2006 • Israel and California to cooperate on cybersecurity, energy sources, water conservation. Netanyahu premieres "Israel: Royal Tour" documentary. (Israel Hayom)
  • Peres: More Arab countries see terrorism as an enemy - In a live interview with Arab news website Panet, President Shimon Peres answers questions from the Arab world and says if Gaza ceases fire towards Israel, there will be no need for a blockade. (Ynet+VIDEO
  • Technion ranked among world's 100 top universities - Haifa-based university only Israeli institution in new World Reputation Rankings list by Times Higher Education. The Technion -- Israel Institute of Technology makes the 91-100 group. (Israel Hayom
  • Official: Israel refused to let Palestinian refugees in Syria return - Fatah central committee member Mohammad Ishtayyeh said the Palestinian Authority had attempted to negotiate the return of Palestinian refugees from Syria, but Israel had refused. At least 1,500 Palestinians have been killed in the ongoing Syria conflict. (Maan)
  • Arab worker stabbed to death by coworker in central Israel - An Arab worker from the Galilee village of Reineh was stabbed to death by a coworker from Afula after a brawl broke out between the two employees of a meat factory near Natanya after they ended their night shift. (Maan
  • European youth group votes against Israel boycott - Youth of the European People's Party votes to stop boycott in Judea and Samaria, calls on EU not to harm businesses after months of efforts by Samaria Regional Council. Hungary conference is first in Europe to vote against boycott movement. (Israel Hayom
  • Lieberman to meet with Kerry in Rome - The Foreign Ministry's Workers Union plans to disrupt Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's upcoming state visit to Italy to meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Rome on Thursday. Ministry employees have decided to renew labor sanctions. (Israel Hayom)
  • Knesset reveals how lawmakers used their voter relations budget - How much does Netanyahu pay for internet? Who is the minister who spent more than $2,500 on 'newspaper clippings'? – Knesset report reveals how MKs used their 'voter relations' funds. (Ynet)
  • Palestinian evangelicals lead shift away from Christian Zionism - Hundreds of peace activists, church leaders, evangelical Christians and academics will meet in Bethlehem on Monday for five days of dialogue and discussion about the role of Christian Zionism in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Maan
  • First all-female Palestinian presidential guard unit graduates - The 23-member unit will specialize in protecting officials, special operations, and anti-terrorism activities. Although many women serve in the Palestinian security forces, the unit is the first all-female unit. (Maan
  • Gaza-bound Code Pink activists stuck at Egypt airport - Egypt denies entrance to female activists attempting to reach Gaza, with some claiming they were manhandled by the authorities. (Agencies, Ynet
  • Egypt to 'revoke citizenship' of thousands of Hamas members - Egyptian security services have started to collect information about thousands of Hamas members who were granted Egyptian citizenship during the rule of ousted president Mohamed Mursi, according to Egyptian media. (Maan
  • Hamas accuses Egypt ambassador to Palestinian Authority of criticizing group - Sami Abu Zuhri said that Hamas "denounces attempts by Egypt's ambassador to Ramallah, Wael Atiyeh, to exert pressure on some Palestinian factions to criticize Hamas." (Maan)

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