News Nosh 03.10.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday March 10, 2014

Note: Maariv's publisher is trying to sell the paper and as a result it did not go to print Sunday. Today, I saw that the print version of Sunday's paper went online at NRG Hebrew and I have posted yesterday's headlines and the key articles below. Today, no print version was posted online, however the reporters continue to post articles to the NRG website and News Nosh will continue to include the relevant ones. 

Quote of the day:
“It happened with no warning. And it is not as if we were hiding that we were Israelis until that point. We are proud Israelis, we never hid it from anyone.”
--Yaacov Zacharia of Tel Aviv, on being barred from disembarking from a Norwegian cruise ship in Tunis, because he was Israeli.**

Front Page News:
Yedioth Ahronoth
Israel Hayom

Peace Talk Highlights:
Today's top stories were the battle in the Knesset over the votes on three controversial bills and the weapons cargo found in the 'Iranian' ship. Meanwhile, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the US promised that Israel will free the Palestinian prisoners by the end of March and the Arab League and the US backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' stance not to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that, in any case, the US framework agreement is a US document.
Upon returning from a visit to the US, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Sunday that the Palestinians received a commitment from the US that Israel will go ahead with the fourth and final stage of the release of pre-Oslo Accords prisoners and release the remaining 30 men, among them Israeli citizens. [Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said that he will not release Israeli citizens and Israeli papers have expressed doubt that the release will take place without a breakthrough in the peace talks. -OH] 
The Arab League and the US have weighed in on Netanyahu's demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The Arab League chief took Abbas' side and urged Arab countries to stand firm against the Israeli demand, saying the request is an attempt to foil peace talks. What went unnoticed in most of the Hebrew papers was the top story in Sunday's unprinted edition of Maariv/NRG Hebrew newspaper: that the US also supported Abbas' stance. In a sentence that sounded much like German Chancellor Angela Merkel's statement upon her visit here, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in an interview with Al-Quds Palestinian newspaper, "The American position is clear, Israel is a Jewish state." But Psaki took it one step further and added: "Yet we do not see a need that both sides recognize this position as part of the final agreement." Psaki explained, "the US wants to reach a formula acceptable to both sides." Meanwhile, US officials who are in contact with the Palestinians told Israeli officials visiting the US last week that they fear there is only a 50% likelihood the talks will be extended to the end of 2014, Maariv/NRG Hebrew's Ariel Kahane wrote.
Netanyahu may have accepted that US explanation. In an Israel Radio interview broadcast on Sunday, Netanyahu reiterated that he considered the guidelines that US Secretary of State John Kerry is drafting for a future peace deal as an "American document of American positions." 'Such a definition could give Netanyahu leeway to register reservations that could discourage staunch supporters of Jewish settlement in the West Bank where Palestinians want to make their state from bolting his coalition,' wrote Reuters. Netanyahu also said that any peace deal with the Palestinians was at least a year away.

Quick Hits:
  • 9 Palestinians arrested after farming on land confiscated by settlers - Two Palestinians were injured and eight were detained on Sunday after Israeli forces dispersed dozens who were planting trees on their confiscated land in Anata village, east of Jerusalem. Settlers seized the land last July. (Maan
  • In an attempt to prevent the demolition of houses: They are preparing for a fight at Havat Gilad (outpost) - After the failure of talks between the settlers and the security establishment, two structures are expected to be destroyed by Monday by order of the High Court. Local settlers called Sunday to right-wing activists to prepare for a fight. (NRG Hebrew)
  • High Court limits Israeli prisons’ monitoring of inmates’ calls - The court said legislation is needed if the state wants to compare voice samples with those from other databases. (Haaretz+)
  • Knesset opposition to boycott votes on controversial package deal - In response to coalition's move to tie together votes on three controversial bills, opposition announces it will ban Knesset hearings the entire week. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Israeli rights group appeals decision to close case against illegal outpost - While police took 3.5 years to investigate allegations, authorities determined the land in question- claimed by Palestinians - actually belonged to the state. (Haaretz+) 
  • Bedouin demos are subversive nationalist activity, Shin Bet tells court - Association for Civil Rights in Israel says security service harasses anti-Prawer Plan protesters. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli forces erect checkpoints near Nablus villages for 3rd day - Israeli forces erected temporary checkpoints at the entrance to the northern West Bank villages of Madama and Burin for the third day, and inspected residents as they traveled in and out, impeding their movement. The Israeli crackdown began after a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the vehicle of a Jewish settler. (Maan)
  • Economy Minister Naftali Bennett opened Facebook and Twitter accounts in Arabic - After opening accounts in English, Russian and French, (the pro-settler leader of Habayit Hayehudi party) opened accounts in Arabic to reach out to the Arab sector in Israel and the world. (Yedioth, p. 17)
  • Setting red lines to political content in the IDF - The Education Corps set at the head of its goals for 2014 the subject of regulation of content given in the army. A senior officer: "Lecturers who lean towards an unbalanced line will not be allowed to appear any more before the soldiers." (NRG Hebrew
  • Fatah accuses Hamas of violently breaking up Gaza rally - In additional deterioration of relations, Fatah says Hamas beat and arrested Gaza activists participating in even commemorating 'martyrs who fell during the Intifada.' (Agencies, Ynet and Maan
  • Fatah leader: Hamas are "border guards for the occupation" and should abandon MB agenda - Sultan Abu Al-Einen slammed Hamas because it continuously arrests Fatah and other factional leaders that try to carry out attacks against Israel and said it has turned into “border guards for the occupation." (Maan
  • UAE halts project for freed prisoners in Gaza - A Palestinian minister said in a statement that 70% of the plans and designs for the city were prepared and the UAE did not give a reason why the project was suspended. (Maan
  • Jewish-Ukrainian MP: Israel not doing enough to help local community - Oleksandr Feldman says he is 'disappointed' in Foreign Minister Lieberman for not doing more to help Jews of Ukraine during the crisis. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Canadian university students launch Sabra hummus boycott - Pro-Palestinian student groups at University of Ottawa to boycott product, partly owned by the Strauss Group, which they claim supports the IDF. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • **Israelis on cruise ship barred from entering Tunis - Jewish non-Israeli passenger permitted to disembark tells Haaretz that the ship kept it a secret. (Haaretz
  • Inside Iran arms ship: 40 missiles, 400,000 bullets - A day after reaching Eilat port, special engineering and Navy forces unload weapons from Iranian arms vessel destined to reach Gaza militants. (Haaretz and Ynet+VIDEO
  • Spectators applauded IDF in Eilat: 'Israeli Pride' - Hundreds of people gathered near the Port of Eilat to follow the entrance of KLOS C. (Ynet+VIDEO
  • Revenge for the capture of the arms ship: hackers attack Israel - MadSec Security company announced that a number of Israeli websites are being targeted by hackers in a cyber attack by Muslims named #OpIsrael Birthday. The group is planning a large-scale attack on Israel's Heroes and Martyrs Day. (NRG Hebrew
  • EU foreign policy chief: Success of nuclear deal with Iran not guaranteed - Zarif says Iran will only accept a deal that respects its 'rights,' a reference to uranium enrichment on its soil, while reiterating Iran's longstanding position that his country is not pursuing nuclear arms. (Agencies, Haaretz
  • Netanyahu slams Ashton: Ask Iran about its Gaza-bound arms boat - EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Tehran on landmark visit, meeting Rohani and Zarif, with Iran's nuclear activities set to dominate discussions. (Haaretz
  • Congress expected to approve $160 million for Iron Dome - Anticipated funding from Congress would allow Iron Dome to move toward goal of doubling operational batteries by 2015. Officials involved in budget allocation say funding is meant to demonstrate the U.S. government's commitment to Israel's security. (Israel Hayom)
  • IDF chief arrives in US - IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz is scheduled to hold a series of meetings with U.S. defense officials during his visit, and will also take part in the Friends of the IDF annual gala dinner on Tuesday. (Israel Hayom)
  • Bulgaria says 2012 Israeli bus bomber was Lebanese - After already pointing to Hezbollah as responsible for the 2004 suicide bombing that left five Israeli tourist in Burgas dead, Bulgarian officials have confirmation of attackers identity. (Agencies, Ynet)

Gaza man uses remains of Israeli shells to produce works of art
A young man from the Gaza Strip is producing handmade art using the remains of spent Israeli ordnance, in the process seeking to disprove popular misconceptions about Palestinians. (Maan)

In favor and against: Netanyahu wants and does not want a peace agreement with the Palestinians (Shalom Yerushalmi, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) On the one hand the Prime Minister wants to sign a framework paper and say the right words. And on the other hand, the Americans, and especially Obama, do not believe him. Netanyahu does not want to bring about a breakthrough, but rather he is waiting for the refusal of the Palestinians.  
Knesset 'package deal' is anti-democratic (Haaretz Editorial)  The three bills are significant enough for coalition members not to have to indulge in political horse-trading.
Israel’s fallback plan: 'Reducing’ the occupation (Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, Haaretz+) Michael Oren, Israel’s former ambassador to the U.S., has a proposal for action if the Kerry initiative should fail that both Israel’s leaders and American Jews should take seriously. 
The transparent Palestinians (Elyakim Haetzni, Yedioth/Ynet) Majority of Hebron Arabs work and make a living in surrounding Jewish communities; rioters are a minority.
Will Israel forever be a foreign implant in the Middle East? (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz+) Just to see how Netanyahu blossoms in America is to understand that he belongs there, getting thousands on their feet to dance at the AIPAC conference.
A military operation is not a PR campaign (Eitan Haber, Yedioth/Ynet) Publicity and political commotion distorts IDF's way of action, both in terms of planning and definitely in terms of performance.
Sorry we succeeded (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) It is very difficult to understand why there are media outlets in Israel competing with one another to defame the IDF and slander the country.
Israel gets high on a ship hijacking (Yitzhak Laor, Haaretz+) The killing of Palestinians has become a simple matter and the reporting of it is only for the protocol. 
The Israeli drone and the Palestinian tent encampment (Amir Hass, Haaretz+) On the relationship between Jewish genius, the confiscation of a swing set and slide and the future careers of Israeli Civil Administration inspectors. 
There is no new Iran (Alex Fishman, Yedioth) Fishman writes that the point of today's presentation of the rockets and munitions from the Klos-C is, "to convince those around the world who are still willing to listen to us that there is no new Iran; what has been is what will be...Iran has not given up any item which it defines as an existential strategic interest, neither the continuation of its military nuclear project nor the investment of huge sums, billions, in terrorist entities that it has established in the Middle East." Fishman writes that Iranian President Rohani may not have known about the Revolutionary Guards' weapons shipment on the Klos-C and asserts, "Rohani can continue trying to sell openness and smiles to the world but the Revolutionary Guards will continue to cultivate Iran's interests against Israel by subverting the moderate Arab regimes in the region...Despite the economic difficulty, Iran will not give up on support for Assad, maintaining Hezbollah, building up Islamic Jihad in Gaza," or achieving the status of a nuclear threshold state.
Iran: Pulling the strings of terror (Dr. Ephraim Kam, Israel Hayom) Iran's beef with Israel is getting bigger, and we should bear that in mind.
Leave Iran alone, focus on China (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth/Ynet) Netanyahu should put effort in pressuring Chinese to sell less knowledge, fewer deadly weapons which could critically harm Israel.  
Why leave Judea and Samaria?
 (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) Everyone seems to have a compelling reason for Israel to withdraw from its biblical heartland.

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