News Nosh 06.30.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday June 30, 2014

Quote of the day:
"They traveled for hours. From Beit-El, and from Ofra, from Shilo and from Susiya, from Eli and from Elkana, as if from another land..." 
--Ariella Ringel-Hoffman writes lyrically in Yedioth about the people who attended the solidarity rally for the kidnapped teens.**

Front Page News:
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links)
Israel Hayom
  • "You gave us energy" - Mothers of kidnapped youth spoke to 85,000 people at Rabin Square - and also to (Palestinian President) Abu Mazen
  • The power of the people // Emily Amrousi
  • Tension in the south: Iron Dome intercepted two rockets; IAF attacked in Gaza
  • The blunder at Hotline 100: "The police who checked the call of the kidnapped youth - will be dismissed"
  • Starting tomorrow: Discounts for movies and other benefits for pensioners in new plan by Minister Uri Orbach
  • (Tel-Aviv Mayor) Huldai: "Interior Ministry putting us back dozens of years" - Storm over Interior Minister decision to close kiosks on Shabbat in Tel-Aviv
  • Netanyahu: "In the face of Islamic radicalism, we need to put a security fence along the Jordan (River)"

News Summary:
A rally for the kidnapped teens, continued rocket exchanges between Gaza and Israel, and the decision of an increasingly religious Interior Minister to keep Tel-Aviv kiosks closed on Sabbath were top stories in today's Hebrew papers. Also high up in the news, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu layed out some of his views for the Middle East, his cabinet approved a [dubious] plan to win over Palestinian East Jerusalemites and two controversial bills are up for a vote today.

Most of the papers wrote that "tens of thousands came from all across the country and from the whole political spectrum." But it was Yedioth that told readers who actually attended the rally for the kidnapped youth in Tel-Aviv: "Those going to the rally could be identified with one eye closed: foreigners to the (Tel-Aviv) background, guests in this city, with the girls' jean skirts and the boys' khaki pants, wearing shirts saying, 'Brother of us all.' 'Brothers of all of us,' who are so much brothers of them. They traveled for hours. From Beit-El, and from Ofra, from Shilo and from Susiya, from Eli and from Elkana, as if from another land..." wrote Ariella Ringel-Hoffman in the lead story about the religious Zionist Jews who came from settlements to show solidarity at a rally meant to show the unity of all the people. The papers noted how people watched the World Cup games from the cafes around the square, while the rally took place. "Like 90% of the people of Israel, I'm not going to the square," said 'Boaz,' watching the games. "Because every day there is a rally here. Who can keep up?" Maariv focused on the fact that Rachel Frankel, a mother of one of the kidnapped youth lauded Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. "We appreciate that the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority and the Mayor of Hebron, rose above the conflict and called for the immediate release of the boys," she said.
The tit-for-tat continues, the latest updates being Israeli aircraft targeting three underground rocket launchers in the center of the Gaza Strip on Saturday night, the first night of Ramadan. A few hours later, early Sunday morning, Israeli jets targeted more sites in the Gaza Strip. On Sunday evening, Palestinians responded with two rockets at Israel, which Iron Dome missile defense system successfully intercepted over Netivot. No casualties or damage was reported. Israel responded - this time targeting people in Gaza. One person was killed and three people were wounded. Israel said it targeted a rocket launching cell. Palestinian militants also shot at Israeli soldiers patrolling the border fence, Ynet reported. Speaking to Army Radio, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said "only full occupation of Gaza will stop rockets."

MAIN POINTS OF NETANYAHU'S SPEECH at Tel Aviv University's INSS think tank. Ynet and Haaretz+
  • Israel must keep IDF forces in West Bank under any future peace agreement to ensure Israel's security and the non-militarization of a Palestinian state, and to prevent the collapse of the Palestinian Authority and the rise of Islamists. 
  • Israel will need to keep security control over the Jordan Valley for a very long time in any future agreement, to fight the Islamist threat coming from Jordan. He suggested building a fence [although one already exists - OH] 
  • Israel needs to support the Kurdish aspiration for independence. "They deserve it."
  • World powers must be careful of making a deal with Iran that would allow it to continue enriching uranium and gain the ability to break out to weapons capability in a short time.
Only Haaretz+ and Ynet reported on the approval by the government cabinet of a plan to tighten Israeli control over E. Jerusalem. The plan, drawn by a committee, called for investing $86 million to make E. Jerusalem safer for Jewish Israelis to visit by beefing up police presence and to encourage Palestinian Jerusalemites to accept Israeli sovereignty by actions such as teaching them Hebrew in schools and increasing job opportunities. Haaretz noted the obvious: "The committee members did not draw any link between the security situation and the national conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and its byproducts, such as construction in the settlements, the dead end in the peace talks, or the Palestinian aspiration for an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital. [Not to mention the Jewish settlers taking over homes and making enclaves in E. Jerusalem - OH]
Force-feeding Law up for final approval - After a compromise was reached in the coalition, the Knesset Internal Affairs Committee is expected to approve the force-feeding law in the second and third reading and then the proposal will be brought to the plenum. The Israel Democracy Institute attacks: "This will contaminate the book of laws." The law would allow doctors to force-feed hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners. (Maariv)

Knesset committee postpones vote on 'Zoabi bill' - The bill, initiated after Arab MK Hanin Zoabi said the kidnappers of the three teens were not terrorists,  would enable 80 Knesset members to impeach an MK who supports an enemy country or a terrorist organization, incites to racism, makes statements against the existence of Israel, or operates against it. (Ynet)

Quick Hits:
  • Lieberman peace initiative gaining traction - Foreign minister's office says peace proposal receiving positive responses from US, EU; plan decided upon given current conditions prevailing in the Middle East. (Yedioth/Ynet
  • Poll: Palestinians overwhelmingly reject two-state solution, want Palestine 'from river to sea' - However, clear majority also opposes violence to achieve goals, favors Abbas over Haniyeh, according to poll by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy conducted just before protests arose against Abbas for his cooperation with Israel's search for the kidnapped youth. (Haaretz+) 
  • Israeli bulldozers 'level Palestinian land, uproot trees' near Salfit - Local researcher Khalid Maali said that an Israeli court had approved confiscation of 3,000 dunams (750 acres) of private Palestinian land, but that the bulldozers had leveled an area of more than 10,000 dunams (2,500 acres), uprooting olive and fruit trees in Salfit. (Maan
  • Israeli army handing out Ramadan candies with anti-Hamas slogans, Palestinians say - 'Hamas is making life bitter in the West Bank' is one of the messages. (Haaretz+ and Maan)
  • Israel lifts ban on international travel for Hebron residents - The ban was imposed on the 800,000 residents of Hebron two weeks ago after three Israeli teenagers went missing. (Maan)
  • Hesder yeshivas pledge extra service to find abducted teens - IDF commander asks hesder yeshivas for extra help as the search for the three missing teenage boys enters its third week. "We believe that we must lend a hand to these soldiers and units," a statement by the hesder yeshiva association reads. (Israel Hayom)
  • Hamas official: Arab Bank rejected money transfer from Qatar -  Qatar attempted to transfer money to cover monthly salaries of civil servants of former Hamas-run government in Gaza, but Arab Bank rejected the transfer, said Deputy chief of Hamas politburo Mousa Abu Marzouq, adding that President Abbas and unity gov't "are still looking for a mechanism," to transfer the funds. [Arab Bank was sued in US for abetting terror because Hamas charities had accounts at the bank. - OH] (Maan
  • Gaza summer fouled by 100,000 cubic meters of beach sewage - Fuel shortage halts work at waste treatment facility, leads to mass pollution of Gaza's beach. (Agency, Haaretz)
  • Aid convoy arrives in Gaza - The "Miles of Smiles 28" aid convoy arrived in Gaza Strip on Sunday through Rafah crossing, with 18 people from European and Arab countries. (Maan)
  • Netanyahu pushing forward with plans to outlaw northern branch of Islamic Movement (in Israel) - Months after declaring plans to define Muslim group in same terms as Kach, prime minister tells ministers he has issued instruction to the 'authorized authorities.' (Haaretz+ and Ynet
  • JNF gets 60-day extension to contest move making it more accountable - Move may push effort to increase oversight of land management agency until after Knesset summer recess. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli court extends detention of (famous released hunger-striker) Samir Issawi - Israeli court accepted the Israeli prosecution request to send Issawi to jail to serve the remainder of the punishment he was sentenced to before being released as a part of the Shalit deal. But lawyer was not present so can appeal. (Maan
  • Most Israeli Jews want gov't to consider Diaspora Jewry in its decisions - Survey shows 51% of Jews in Israel believe non-Orthodox movements should be given equal status in matters of conversion and marriage. (Ynet)
  • Leviathan partners negotiating $30 billion BG deal with Egypt - The Israeli partners in the Leviathan gas reserve and British BG Group confirmed their intention to sell natural gas to BG's liquefaction plant in Idku in Egypt. (Globes
  • Two Israelis face trial in Egypt over 'spying' - The Israeli 'fugitives', one reportedly an intelligence officer, will be tried in absentia at an unknown date. (Agencies, Ynet
  • Sudanese media: Man suspected of spying for Israel commits suicide in jail - Alleged spy was accused of providing information to that aided Israel in its alleged attacks against Sudan. (Ynet)
  • Jordanians 'disappointed’ with response to killing of judge at Israeli border - Incident at Allenby Bridge in March elicited angry threats from politicians, but four months later Israel is still investigating and bilateral ties seem unchanged. (Haaretz+)
  • Cabinet approves 1,500 Jordanian workers for Israeli resort city Eilat - Hotels in Red Sea resort suffering from manpower shortage after firing foreign workers. (Haaretz+)
  • Despite criticism against Israel, Amos Oz awarded honorary degree in Ireland - Alongside calls for Academic boycott of Israel, former Irish president Mary Robinson awards honorary degree to Israeli author. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Study: Israel, Jordan lead world in child well-being, family stability - 92% of Israeli children live in two-parent homes, 7% live in one-parent homes and 0 percent live in homes without parents; South Africa lies at other end of scale. (Haaretz
  • ISIS changes name, declares Islamic 'caliphate' - Sunni militant group re-brands and proclaims leader as Caliph in direct challenge to Al-Qaida. (Agencies, Haaretz
  • Officials deny presence of ISIL fighters in Gaza, Sinai - "These were lies and fabrications seeking to defame the Gaza Strip," said Palestinian Ministry of Interior spokesman Iyad al-Buzm, noting that Egypt destroyed all smuggling tunnels between Egypt and Gaza Strip. (Maan)
  • India probes plot to attack Israeli, U.S. consulates - Alleged Pakistani plan uncovered in April. (Haaretz)

No to Messianism: This is how Naftali Bennett plans to turn Habayit Hayehudi party into the ruling party   - Senior members of the Economy Minister's party are convinced that he is conspiring to pass a constitution in order to part from the messianic Tkuma branch members led by Uri Ariel, then dismantle the government and then go to elections with the sponsorship of complimentary polls. (Maariv)
The Israeli army’s polite raid on a Palestinian graphic-design business
What were the soldiers looking for when they stormed a small firm in Ramallah that publishes ads for the U.S. Consulate and articles about herbal remedies, musicians and travel? (Haaretz+)

Winning Palestinian hearts and minds (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) A majority of West Bank Palestinians might choose maintaining a relationship with Israel, and especially the Israeli economy, over an independent Palestinian state.
Instead of scaring us, Netanyahu should tell us what he plans to do (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth/Ynet) PM was not elected to describe threats and dangers Israel is facing, but to act as a captain navigating the ship to a safe harbor.
Western arrogance leads to Arabian slights (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz+) Too many westerners fail to understand the nuances of the Arab world, its extensive historical, religious, cultural and social roots.
Mideast peace impossible without international action (Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, Haaretz+) It is time for the international community to empower those within Israel who want peace rather than colonization. 
Will Ramadan stop arrival of new intifada? (Smadar Perry, Yedioth/Ynet) Israel must pray that once abduction affair is solved, it will not create bloody conflicts and push situation out of control. 
We need an answer to radical Islam (Rev. Majed El Shafie, Israel Hayom) To change various minorities' circumstances in the Middle East we must work together -- Jews, Christians and Bahais -- alongside moderate Muslims.
Israel's prerequisite for peace (Carolina Landsman, Haaretz+) The rift between the supporters of Greater Israel and the rest of the population must be healed before an accommodation is reached with the Palestinians. 
Moment of truth (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) Israeli Arabs must decide who they are loyal to: the state of which they are citizens or the forces of darkness that have been trying to terrorize Israel for years.
Iranian bomb directed at Arab world (Eitan Haber, Yedioth/Ynet) After getting global sanctions off their back, Iranian will continue building nuclear facilities, mainly against Arab countries.
Fear Iran, not ISIS (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) Suddenly Sunni terror is more dangerous than a Shiite nuclear bomb. Suddenly, in order to combat Sunni terror, Iran has become a courted country and is even perceived in Washington as a stabilizing force.
Come for the boys (Avi and Rachel Frenkel, Yedioth/Ynet) Parents of kidnapped teen Naftali Frenkel urge Israeli people to turn up for support rally in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square.

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