News Nosh 03.11.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday March 11, 2014

Quote of the day:
"How fortunate we are, because we have Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose exciting tango on the AIPAC dance floor has no need for two. It’s enough to have one dancer, who is also an actor and a liar, who was never really serious about “two states.”
--Former minister and Meretz MK Yossi Sarid writes that Israel has become a country of interests and not principles.**

Front Page News:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • And the world is silent // Nahum Barnea on the Iranian weapons ship
  • The Iranian connection - the mystery of the Malaysian plane
  • WhatsApp conversations brought about the collapse of the gay youth bar (murder) case
  • The alliance of (Labor party chief) Herzog and the ultra-Orthodox
  • Purim: The costume day is expected to be cold and rainy
  • The work model balancing work and home is gaining popularity in Israel
  • Carla is in Israel - The wife of former French president Sarkozy will perform in Israel in May
  • Not published today
Israel Hayom

Diplomacy and Peace Talk Highlights:
Today's top stories were about Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's futile attempt to raise international attention to Iranian weapons, the outrage in Jordan following the Israeli shooting dead of a Jordanian judge at a West Bank border crossing and the division in the Knesset over the votes on controversial bills. Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron is due to arrive for a visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories tomorrow to talk about Iran, Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and promoting Israel-UK economic relations.
Netanyahu stood in front of a display of armament seized from the Iranian ship and accused the world of wanting "to ignore Iran's continued aggression" and adding that the world must use the event to see the Iran's nuclear weapons intentions. But Yedioth and Haaretz commentators said that his calls fell on empty ears and that the world has come to terms with Iran being a nuclear threshold state. (See Commentary/Analysis below.) Nevertheless, the US made its first official condemnation of the cargo, condemning 'strongly condemn(ing) Iran's continued support of terror.'
In the Knesset, two plenums took place yesterday: The coalition met in the Knesset plenum and the opposition met in a separate meeting room as it began its boycott of the sessions over the controversial bills it calls 'anti-democratic.' Opposition chief MK Isaac Herzog (Labor) said, "We are waging a battle to save Israeli democracy." 
A diplomatic problem has arisen between Jordan and Israel after the killing of a Palestinian-Jordanian judge by an Israeli soldier at the Allenby border crossing between Jordan and the West Bank yesterday. Questions arose about the killing, but few Israeli papers asked them. When the news first came out Monday morning, all the Israeli websites gave the IDF version, writing something along the lines of "Palestinian killed after trying to grab weapon from IDF soldier" (Israel Hayom) or "Nablus resident ran at soldiers yelling "Allahu Akhbar" and tried to choke one of them when he was shot to death" (Ynet) But then news came out of another man who had been standing with Zueter told foreign media outlets that a fist fight started when the soldier pushed Raed Zueter, the 30-year-old judge, but that at no time did Zueter try to take the soldier's weapon and even Ynet adjusted its story, as did Haaretz+. Maan interviewed the man who said he saw the whole incident. The killing sparked a protest outside the Israeli embassy in Maan. Jordanians called for closing the embassy, annulling the peace agreement with Israel and expelling the Israeli ambassador. Israel Hayom wrote that there were riots. Now Palestinians officials are calling for an independent investigation of the case and the Jordanian government sent a sharply-worded statement to Israel.

Quick Hits:
  • IDF shoot, kill Palestinian stone thrower - Palestinian reportedly threw rocks at cars, soldiers near settlement of Beit El before being shot. Palestinian official, victim's family claim he was herding goats. (Ynet and Maan
  • Palestinian villagers capture Israeli settler stealing sheep - A settler from the illegal Eli settlement tried to steal sheep from a Palestinian shepherd before a number of villagers arrived and captured him and then notified Palestinian officials who contacted the Israeli liaison department. Days earlier, villagers from Jalud and Talfit villages south of Nablus captured a settler, but he managed to escape shortly afterward. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces confiscate Palestinian land south of Nablus - Israeli forces had officially announced that 2,000 dunams (495 acres) belonging to the local high school would be confiscated for "security reasons," without providing further details. An Israeli army spokeswoman denied the reports. (Maan)
  • Settlers strike secret deal with Ya’alon to save outpost homes - Illegal mobile homes moved to another illegal outpost after minister promises settlers they would be safe from demolition. (Haaretz+)  
  • Tutu: Israel's humiliation of Palestinians 'familiar to black South Africans' - As annual Israel Apartheid Week opens in South Africa, the former archbishop compares Israel's treatment of Palestinians to apartheid and reiterates endorsement of BDS. (Haaretz
  • Study: Arab children (in Israel) get injured more than Jewish children - Arab children are at higher risk of death and morbidity due to un-secure environment in which they grow up. One of the most prominent examples that researchers give is the high rate of falls from high places, which arise from a lack of safety rails in buildings whose construction was not completed in area where Arab children live. (NRG Hebrew)
  • Finance Ministry mulls first Arabic university in Sakhnin - Finance Minister Yair Lapid says government is moving ahead with plans to further integrate Israeli Arabs into the job market, as well as build the requisite social and educational infrastructure. (Israel Hayom)
  • IDF drone crashed in southern Gaza - UAV is a "Sky Rider" operated by the Artillery Corps. Army investigating the incident. (NRG Hebrew)
  • IAF officer: Israel will face terrorist drones in next war - Drones would range from radio-controlled model airplanes weighing a few kilograms to large drones with payloads of hundreds of kilograms, says Israeli Air Force air defense chief. Some of the drones would be designed to crash into targets. (Israel Hayom)
  • Al Qaida-inspired jihadi movement growing in Gaza, says group leader - Adds that the rise of small militant movements in Gaza poses threat to both Israel - and Hamas. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Masked Gaza gunmen steal $500,000 in rare robbery - Palestinian robbers break into Gaza post office, steal large sums of cash, shoot and wound guard. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Lapid lashes at teens who won't serve in army - Minister says teens who object to IDF service are 'secular Haredim' on his Facebook page, raking in thousands of 'Likes’ - and angry responses. (Haaretz+) 
  • Cost of living in Israel higher than in OECD - Central Bureau of Statistics finds prices in Israel 13% higher than OECD countries • Meanwhile, GDP in Israel is 16% lower than in other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries. (Israel Hayom)
  • Palestinian-Israeli gets 25 years for Tel Aviv bus bomb - Terrorist behind Pillar of Defense suicide bombing that wounded scores in Tel Aviv gets long prison term. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Gil Sheffer leaves PMO as chief of staff - Former PM bureau chief, Los Angeles-born Ari Harow, to replace him. (Haaretz+)  
  • Israel open to joint missile defense with Jordan, Egypt - Israel, US sign agreement securing $429 million in funds for Iron Dome as US general suggest system's upgrade include protection of Egypt and Jordan. (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli arrested for selling paragliding equipment to Iranian - Paragliders have been used in the past by Hezbollah to penetrate Israeli air space. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Poll: China passes Iran as America's greatest enemy - Iran had surged to the top in 2006 and remained the most often cited enemy - until this year. (Haaretz)
Not buying into Netanyahu's 'Jewish state' (David Landau, Haaretz+) Netanyahu’s insistence on recognition of Israel as the 'Jewish state’ reflects his imperious version of Zionism - which he is trying to force down Palestinian throats.
Netanyahu's display of seized ship: Meaningless Hollywood-style propaganda (Amir Oren, Haaretz+) Capturing the Klos C was a genuine relief. But heating up the cold noodles five days later was too much.
The pictures that made us proud (Zohar Reuveni, Israel Hayom) In Operation Full Disclosure, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit finally got it right.
Netanyahu's message on Iran arms ship: It's the world against Israel (Amos Harel, Haaretz) As PM rebukes the world for abandoning Israel to Iran, U.S. reminds who steps up to Israel’s defense time and again.
**A nation of interests, not of principles (Yossi Sarid, Haaretz+) 'Interests' have become a cover story, concealed inside it are scoundrels and injustices. 
Who's afraid of raising the electoral threshold in Israel - and why? (Roy Isacowitz , Haaretz+) The law would would force a political uniformity on the Arabs, which does not exist for Jews, and deny them the political diversity that Jews enjoy.
Cheap tricks (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) Opposition MKs are having trouble accepting a small democratic principle: majority rule.
Where's Livni when you need her? (Sefi Rachlevsky, Haaretz+) A series of anti-democratic bills is about to become law and perhaps the only person who could stop them refuses to speak up.
The Bedouin threat that never was (Haaretz Editorial) The Bedouin aren't enemies of the state, no matter how broad the state's current interpretation of 'subversion' is.
Why leave Judea and Samaria? (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) Everyone seems to have a compelling reason for Israel to withdraw from its biblical heartland. 
Time for Plan B for Mideast conflict (Lawrence J. Epstein, Ynet) Palestinians will never accept any peace plan, no matter how reasonable it seems to Israelis and Americans. 
Delaying the apocalypse at Al-Aqsa/Temple Mount (Khaled Diab, Haaretz+) Jerusalem's holiest site - once again triggering crises between Muslims and Jews and between regional states - cannot remain hostage to extremists. 
The Obama-Netanyahu rift (Isi Leibler, Israel Hayom) Despite the ritual exchange of diplomatic pleasantries, the gaps between Obama and Netanyahu are unbridgeable.
Turkey's unforgettable Jewish history (Adnan Oktar, Ynet) Israel and Turkey have enjoyed mutual love and cooperation on an unprecedented level, writes Muslim author Adnan Oktar.
Behind the US defense cuts (Zalman Shoval, Israel Hayom) The Obama administration is retrenching from America's long-held role as the world's policeman.

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