News Nosh 10.02.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursdsay October 02, 2014

Quote of the day:
"We don’t need you as a security guard. As far as we’re concerned, you live in the house, but it’s better if you have a weapon.”
--Official from the Elad settler organization on the recruitment of people to babysit the 25 homes taken over in the middle of the Silwan E. Jerusalem neighborhood until settler families move in.**


Front Page News:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links)
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
The US blasted Israel shortly after Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with US President Barack Obama and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz gave interviews to the Israeli press making top stories in the Hebrew newspapers today.  What barely made the papers was that the Palestinians have distributed the draft for their UN Security Council resolution calling to end the occupation by 2016 and President Mahmoud Abbas warned that if the US vetoes it, the Palestinians will move to join the International Court for Crimes and may end security coordination with Israel.
 
The US sharply criticized the Jerusalem municipality's approval for construction of some 2,500 homes in an empty area in the south of Jerusalem known in Israel as Givat Hamatos. The White House said the move would distance Israel from "even its closest allies" and would "poison the atmosphere." The controversial move would complete a band of Jewish areas that would cut-off the Palestinian neighborhoods in E. Jerusalem from Bethlehem and the Palestinian state-to-be. Peace Now published a statement ahead of Netanyahu's meeting with Obama, explaining that the municipality announcement "is the last step before tenders can be issued and construction can start" and that Netanyahu was trying to "destroy the possibility" of peace. 

The US condemnation came right after a short one hour meeting between Obama and Netanyahu, in which Netanyahu vowed his commitment to the peace process and suggested that Arab countries be involved and 'think out of the box.' [They, however, already offered the Arab Peace Initiative 13 times since 2002, which Israel ignored. - OH]  Obama said that the war in Gaza this summer was of great concern to many Americans and that "We realize we have to find ways to change the status quo, so that both Israelis feel safe in their homes and also you do not have the tragedy of Palestinian children being killed as well. We will work on rebuilding Gaza but also finding a more sustainable peace between Israelis and Palestinians," Obama said. Two of Netanyahu's ministers slammed him for expressing a commitment to 2-state solution. Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said, "There will never be a Palestinian state west of Jordan."
 
Meanwhile, the Palestinians circulated a draft UN resolution that would set 2016 as the deadline for ending the Israeli occupation. Abbas threatened to reevaluate the Palestinian Authority's security ties with Israel and join the International Criminal Court, as well.if the UN Security Council did not approve the resolution on setting borders and a timetable for ending the occupation.

Quick Hits:
  • Netanyahu complains about UN bias to Ban - Netanyahu slams UN Human Rights Council inquiry into Gaza conflict for 'not focusing on Hamas, which used UN facilities to fire at Israel.' (Ynet)
  • Top Israeli official holds secret talks with Palestinian PM on Gaza - Israel's clandestine backchannel with the Palestinians exposed: Sides working on plan to boost coordination and cooperation, in parallel to official Cairo talks. (Ynet)  
  • Rightist group's job offer: $136 a day for guarding new East Jerusalem apartment - Right-wing group aims to protect 25 homes in East Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood. (Haaretz+) 
  • East Jerusalem settlers no real danger to demographics, experts say - The number of Jews in Silwan (3.5% of residents) is not large enough to influence any future (peace) agreement, experts say. “Any way you look at it, the settlers’ effort in Jerusalem has failed. It’s accomplished nothing but friction and escalation,” said Col. (res.) Shaul Arieli, membero of Geneva Initiative and Council for Peace and Security.[Note: The 850 or so Jewish settlers living in Hebron make up less than one percent of the population, but their presence has had enormous negative consequences on the city, which was divided and parts closed off to Muslims. - OH] (Haaretz+)
  • WATCH: Israeli president teams up with Jaffa boy to speak out against bullying and racism - Israeli President Reuven Rivlin tells 11-year-old Jaffa boy he was brave for posting video telling of the gay epithets his classmates called him. (Haaretz
  • Israeli intelligence: Syria retains small WMD capacity - Israeli defense officials believe Assad kept a small amount of weapons to deploy if faced with an immediate threat to his regime’s survival. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom
  • Oil prospecting on Golan temporarily halted over pollution fears - Residents are concerned that use of fracking in the area could lead to the wide-scale pollution of ground water. (Haaretz+) 
  • Youth leader compares IDF soldiers to Nazis, causes outcry - Counselor asks students visiting Poland what the difference is between a Nazi who didn't refuse orders and an IDF soldier who doesn't refuse orders, says question is relevant in light of issues such as the "occupied territories" and the fighting in Gaza. (Israel Hayom
  • Israel eases Gaza travel restrictions for Muslim holiday - In rare step, 500 Palestinians living in Gaza will be allowed to pray in Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque and visit relatives in the West Bank. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • VIDEO: Lions from Gaza zoo transfered to Israel - A look inside the strange mission of transferring three lions from Gaza war hit zoo to a sanctuary in Jordan: 'This is the first time these lions are making the journey,' vet says. (Ynet)
  • After Gaza war, Israeli restaurants battling to stay open - Summer hostilities contributed to downfall of many establishments, and the worse is yet to come, say industry observers. (Haaretz+)
  • 50 days of war dealt heavy blow to Israel's ailing economy - New figures show sharp declines in hotel stays, exports, retail sales and new-home purchases. (Haaretz+)
  • Sara Netanyahu honored by Jewish leaders - At Jewish Federation event in New York, Sara Netanyahu, the wife of PM Benjamin Netanyahu, receives recognition for her work with wounded soldiers and bereaved families during Operation Protective Edge this summer. (Israel Hayom)
  • IDF tank goes on display at American museum - Israeli M48 tank that defended country during '73 Yom Kippur War showcased at Museum of American Armor in Long Island. (Ynet)
  • Israel lets unauthorized West Bank outpost encroach into nature reserve - Outpost will expand, even though it restricts some Palestinian farmers. (Haaretz+)
  • "Peopleare not willing to work at construction sites with Arabs" - Rappelling workers have no doubt. Natanel Arami was murdered by Palestinians, when he fell from 30 meter height. "Someone cut his ropes...We see the hatred in their eyes. I make a remark to someone and a moment after that he decides whether I die or not." (Yedioth, p. 6-7)
  • Israel paid 32 million to treat wounded Syrians - The astronomical sum was revealed in Health Ministry report, that said that some 1200 wounded Syrians were treated in hospitals at the expense of Israel. "We want our neighbors to develop positive feelings towards us, this earns us points with them," said senior Northern Command officer. (Maariv)
  •  Israeli Arabs mark anniversary of October 2000 riots - Arab communities held ceremonies in memory of the 13 rioters killed in clashes with Israeli police at the beginning of the second intifada. Victims' families still feel disappointment and helplessness, since no police officer was indicted for use of live fire, and the person who closed the cases involved, former Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, will soon be appointed to High Court. (Haaretz+)
  • Terror victims ask US court to seize Iranian Internet assets - American victims of terrorist attacks funded by Iran, North Korea and Syria are taking the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to court in attempt to seize Internet assets. ICANN: Any seizure would render the domains worthless. (Israel Hayom)

Commentary/Analysis:
The Silwan government (Haaretz Editorial) How can Netanyahu speak of regional peace and at the same time expand Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem? 
Netanyahu's double standard
 (Aviad Kleinberg, Yedioth/Ynet) The prime minister is good at making demands of others that he himself would be unwilling and unable to meet.
Enough of he shameful use of the Holocaust (Alon Mizrachi, Maariv) Analogies are dangerous, because in the case of the Holocaust, there was no doubt who was good and who was bad, but to replicate the model in every conflict means the denial of the ability for self-examination.
Israel's 'no-partner-for-peace’ celebration (Kobi Niv, Haaretz+) No matter what the Palestinians, their leaders and their representatives do or say, it won't change anything; it will only prove that there's no partner.
The true Palestinian dream (Dr. Einat Wilf, Israel Hayom) Abbas' U.N. speech obfuscated the Palestinian desire to wipe out Zionism by vilifying Israel and pretending to want peace. 
It’s all a daydream (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Benjamin Netanyahu should have told the UN General Assembly that he regrets Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip and genuinely seeks a two-state solution. Of course, it didn't happen.
The only way to placate the Palestinians (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Netanyahu is agitating for a Madrid-style regional conference, but its failure would be guaranteed from the start; meanwhile, Obama is looking for a way to ease tensions on the Palestinian front.
The game of thrones in the Middle East (Ziva Sternhell, Haaretz+) The Islamic State fanatics are simply proving the practical significance of the media violence we all imbibe from a very young age. 
Iran rising (Clifford D. May, Israel Hayom) Weakening Islamic State while strengthening the Islamic republic would be a blunder ‎of historic proportions. 
Bibi and Obama may still have a bit of Churchill and Roosevelt in them (Ari Shavit, Haaretz+) There’s still a chance to form an American-Sunni-Israeli alliance to stand up against Tehran. 
The art of disagreement (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) Ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, their aides are tasked with finding verbal formulas both leaders can live with.
God of the left and of the right, forgive us (Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, Haaretz+) This year, more than ever, those of us who see Israel as a central part of our Jewish belief must extend our Yom Kippur prayers to recognize that our devotion can lead to extremism, whether from the left or the right. 
The Palestinians need to learn from history (Guy Bechor, Yedioth/Ynet) Time and again, the extremist rulers of the Palestinians try to eliminate Israel, only for their terrible plan to backfire; this Yom Kippur we will do their soul-searching for them.
Obama looks forward to chat with Netanyahu with all the eagerness of a dentist’s appointment (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Washington has rolled out a red carpet for India’s PM Modi because, unlike Netanyahu, they think he has promise and potential.
There’s an ugly new hashtag in town - #JSIL. Guess what it stands for? (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) Keyboard-happy Israel-haters have just come up with a catchy method of promoting their black-and-white thinking, and a Twitter war is ensuing over JSIL: The Jewish State in the Levant.


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