News Nosh 11.04.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday November 4, 2014

Quote of the day:
"I don’t want to call it a phenomenon, but three soldiers committing suicide after Operation Protective Edge is a significant event." 
--Col. Keren Ginat, director of the army’s mental-health department, speaks to a Knesset subcommittee on the mental health treatment of Israeli soldiers following the operation.**


Front Page News:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • "Ehud (Olmert) knew everything" - Drama in the courthouse: Secret recordings of Shula Zaken revealed embarassing discussions that could incriminate the former prime minister
  • Moral low // Sima Kadmon
  • Difficult to hear // Tovah Tzimuki
  • 'Bishula' - Zaken's dubious sense of justice // Noah Klieger
  • Black day for soccer - Fan broke into soccer field in the middle of a game and hit the star of Maccabi Tel-Aviv, the soccer player was expelled, then a riot broke out that ended with the game being broken up
  • No man's land - The face of the country // Amir Peleg
  • Next time with a knife? // Raz Sukenik
  • The judge is guilty // Shaya Feigenbaum
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Shame (half page photo of soccer fan and soccer player fighting) 
  • The recordings and the shock - In dramatic debate, Olmert's former office manager, Shula Zaken, detailed the pressure that he put on her not to testify, talked about the "secret petty cash" and declared "he knew everything"
  • Not the time to rejoice // Ben Caspit
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
The two top stories in today's Hebrew papers were the 'shameful' fist fight on the soccer field at the Tel-Aviv derby and the 'embarrassing' statements of former prime minister Ehud Olmert, as revealed in Shula Zaken's recordings at the courthouse. 

Also in the news (only in the body of another article in Yedioth and Maariv) was the approval given to build more Jewish homes over the Green Line in ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo. Only Haaretz mentioned that the plan also requires confiscating privately-owned Palestinian land, which is why it was rejected a few years ago when the plan was first brought up. The renewed plans were kept on a low profile in an apparent bid to avoid friction with Washington, which condemned the move. Peace Now director Yariv Oppenheimer said, "The approval adds more fuel to the diplomatic fire and the crisis between Israel and the U.S."

Just before the controversial settlement plans advanced due to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's pressure, Netanyahu secretly met with Jordanian King Abdullah at his palace in Amman to formulate steps to calm the tension in (E.) Jerusalem, according to a report in a Kuwait paper that was quoted in Haaretz and Yedioth today. Haaretz noted that "Al-Jarida newspaper has been used in recent years as a means for leaking and whitewashing information by sources in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office," and that some stories have turned out to be true and others false. 

Meanwhile, Netanyahu and the Palestinians exchanged accusations over who is responsible for the tension in Jerusalem, Maariv reported. The Palestinian Foreign Ministry slammed Israel for "trying to isolate (Palestinian President Mahmoud) Abbas," while Netanyahu slammed the Palestinians for "incitement that causes tension in Jerusalem."  Netanyahu said that the condolence letter that Abbas sent to the family of the suspected assassin of a right-wing activist was "a letter of encouragement to the family of a terrorist who tried to murder Yehuda Glick. In this way he is encouraging others to continue with such actions - and the international community is silent." Lieberman also commented on the letter Sunday saying it proves Abbas is not a partner for peace. However, as News Nosh has noted this week, what is missing from the Hebrew reports is the difference in narratives: Abbas accused the Israelis of murdering the assassin. Most Palestinians believe he could have been arrested, but that Israeli police killed Muataz Hijazi extrajudicially. That has only appeared in the Arabic press. In a sharply worded statement the Palestinian leadership called on the international community to protect Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas from what it said was "the crime of diplomatic isolation with the goal of disposing of President Mahmoud Abbas." The statement also slammed Lieberman: "Lieberman is one of the most prominent Israeli officials leading the racism and extremism and this is known to all the world leaders now believe that there is no Israeli partner for the peace process." 

Speaking of the peace process, the US said that Secretary of State John Kerry would not present the US peace plan to chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat during their meeting in Washington on Monday, Ynet reported. Erekat is meeting with US officials to save the peace process.

Barely mentioned, if at all, was the law the Knesset passed, which prevents the release of Palestinians prisoners convicted of murder as part of any future political agreement or prisoner swap. The Israeli government will no longer have the power to release criminals convicted of 'murder under extraordinarily severe circumstances.'  Meretz leader Zahava Gal-On accused Habayit Hayehudi MK Ayelet Shaked, who proposed the bill, of "preferring one victim over the other." "You are part of a party which is poisoning the public discourse with legislation aimed only at thwarting any chance of reaching an agreement," she said.

Quick Hits:
  • Israeli forces detain 23 Palestinians in East Jerusalem - Israeli special forces raided neighborhoods of al-Issawiya, Jabal al-Mukabir, Ras al-Amud, al-Tur and Shufat refugee camp and detained 18 young men, including minors. (Maan)
  • Firecrackers: the newest popular weapon, and the newest threat, in Jerusalem - Call it the Firecracker Intifada: The police suspect that Israelis are improperly selling them to Palestinians, who are using them as weapons in the riots. (Haaretz+)
  • Report: Israel police detain 38 undocumented Palestinian workers - Israeli police have arrested dozens of Palestinian workers in the Galilee for allegedly working in Israel without permits. (Maan)
  • Israeli teachers balk at state curriculum on Rabin: No mention of Yigal Amir - Several schools contacted by Haaretz said they aren’t using the ministry kits and are preparing their own lessons on democracy and public controversies. (Haaretz+)
  • **Dozens of Israeli soldiers who fought in Gaza war now suffering from PTSD - Medical Corps opens evaluation center where soldiers with the disorder can speak with therapists. (Haaretz+ and Maariv p. 13)
  • Deserters will not be allowed military burial - Soldiers that were AWOL for three or more weeks, considered desertion, were previously eligible for military burial if they were killed during their AWOL-period. Knesset rules nonmilitary security personnel would be eligible for military burial as well. (Israel Hayom)
  • Egyptian authorities detain 38 Palestinian (refugees) - The 38 refugees were "swindled" by traffickers who sailed from Turkey to an Egyptian island rather than to Italy. Egypt imprisoned them in Alexandria. (Maan)
  • Senior Hamas leader's sister hospitalized in Israel - Moussa Abu Marzouk's sister is suffering from cancer and is in serious condition, Israel Radio reports. (Haaretz)
  • Israel to transfer Palestinian prisoner to Bethlehem for treatment - Hamada Suf from Haris village in the central West Bank was detained on June 17 during clashes and was shot in the foot. He will be transferred to the West Bank to receive psychiatric treatment. (Maan)
  • 3 Jerusalem Arabs suspected of vandalizing Jewish gravestones - Israel Police Central Investigative Unit open case after dozens of headstones and memorials on the Mount of Olives are smashed. One suspect, 22, denies allegations, but two minors admit to defacing graves and implicate additional suspects. (Israel Hayom)
  • GeoCartographia Poll: Who are the most disappointing politicians in Israel?  - While Moshe Kahlon is gaining momentum and has the highest popularity, all the senior ministers have registered a drop in popularity in the eyes of the public. Yesh Atid leader and Finance Minister Yair Lapid was the most disappointing politician, with 53% disappointed in him. Prime Minister Netanyahu also lost fans and is in second place for most disappointing with 41% disappointed in him. (Maariv)
  • False alarm: PM moved to secure location after suspicious vehicle spotted - Suspicious vehicle, thought to be rigged with explosives, triggers emergency protocol at government complex in Jerusalem. Security detail moves Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other ministers to secure location before matters returns to normal. (Israel Hayom)
  • New IDF GOC Northern Command: Northern front not stable - Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, former Military Intelligence chief, replaces Maj. Gen. Yair Golan as GOC Northern Command. Kochavi: Northern front is at center of storm raging in Middle East. IDF official: Our ability to prevent spillover from Syria is limited. (Israel Hayom)
  • US Supreme Court divided on Jerusalem passport case - Possible compromise would allow Jerusalem-born Americans to list 'Israel' as their place of birth, but passport will include disclaimer saying the place of birth is not intended to recognize Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Israel denied Pan Am 830 bomber his West Bank wish, records show - Records obtained by AP shed light on why Jordanian-born Palestinian Mohammed Rashed remains in custody despite completing his prison sentence last year. (Associated Press, Haaretz)
  • Chief rabbi: Stop allowing non-Jews to make aliyah - Israel's Law of Return allows people with Jewish ancestry to receive Israeli citizenship, but strident religious rules exclude many from the faith itself - some nine million people. (Ynet)
  • Egypt to demolish more than 800 homes for Sinai-Gaza buffer zone - Cabinet says it will compensate families affected by the buffer zone in the Sinai-Gaza border, intended to stop weapons and militant trafficking. (Haaretz)
  • Donald Trump calls Obama Israel's greatest enemy - American tycoon says the White House treats known enemies better than Israel, and that Iran will soon have nukes. (Haaretz)
  • Want to buy a nonstick Tefal pan? Go to 'Palestine' - French kitchenware company removes all mention of Israel on its international website, replacing it with "Palestine."  The store listed under "Palestine" on Tefal website is actually in Jerusalem, in an area clearly not under Palestinian sovereignty. (Israel Hayom)
  • Turkey's Erdogan to refer to ISIS by its Arabic acronym 'Daesh' - President says extremist group has nothing to do with Islam, which is a religion of peace; France has also urged the international community to stop using 'ISIS' or 'ISIL.' (Haaretz)
  • Israeli Arab sentenced to 22 months for fighting with ISIS - Judge says Ahmad Shurbaji, 23, poses a threat to Israel's security. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Tel Aviv soccer derby descends into melee - Violence starts when Hapoel fan attacks Maccabi player leading to fist-fight between the two. (Times of Israel and Israel Hayom)
  • Black Eyed Peas' Will.i.am in Israel to develop smartwatch - The award-winning musician is creating a line of apparel and accessories that merge fashion and technology. (Haaretz)


Features:
Trespassers
At a time when most of the long-time residents are still in trauma, the kibbutzes around the Gaza Strip received a surprising reinforcement: Dozens of families, who despite the fear from mortars and tunnels decided to move now to the target area of the state. "It's Zionism," they say. (Noam Barkan, Yedioth's '24 Hours' supplement, cover story)
Link to yesterday's Maariv feature, "How did going up to the Temple Mount (to pray) become a hit with the politicians. (Arik Bender, Maariv)
Brookings takes both sides of the issue on Islamist censorship
Part 3 of a four-part Investigative series: Brookings sells soul to Qatar's terror agenda. Washington think tank Brookings Institution's partnership with the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, alongside its "Islamophobia" project, sends mixed message. (Steven Emerson, Israel Hayom)

Commentary/Analysis:
The police's job is not to appease Israel's radical, silencing right (Haaretz Editorial) Defecating on the flag assuredly hurts the feelings of many Israelis and expresses a demonstrative lack of patriotism on the artist’s part. But freedom of expression exists precisely to protect acts such as this.
In its relationship with US, Israel must start behaving like an adult (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) Even Israel's friends in America, and there are quite a few of them, are finding it difficult to understand its insistence on continuing the settlement enterprise.
19 years later, it's time we talk about Netanyahu (Sefi Rachlevsky, Haaretz+) The man who led the anti-Rabin demonstrations that preceded the assassination was none other than Benjamin Netanyahu. The only goal that should be pursued now is for him to go home.
Israeli experiment in Jerusalem has failed (Yaron London, Yedioth/Ynet) Despite 50 years of trying, Israel's capital will soon be half Jewish and half Arab; so much for the great Zionist experiment.
Burning an IDF colonel at the stake (Israel Harel, Haaretz+) The promotion track of a daring and heroic officer, (Givati Brigade commander Col. Ofer Winter) who invoked God when issuing an order to troops entering Gaza, has been unjustly blocked.
Don't write off Israel's left just yet (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) With no peace agreement in the horizon, we must hold onto the chance of a future agreement. A unilateral withdrawal from West Bank lands will prevent Israel's isolation, just like the Gaza pullout prevented a similar danger 10 years ago.
Israel's right-wing fanatics don't speak for the people (Uzi Baram, Haaretz+) Israel has a major interest in not turning religious issues into the dominant point of friction. Nasrallah, Rohani and Haniyeh would like nothing better than a conflict with Israel over Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa/the Temple Mount.
With US track record in Mideast, Netanyahu is right to be 'a coward' (Elyakim Haetzni, Yedioth/Ynet) From revolution-era Iran to disastrous 2006 Palestinian elections and downfall of Mubarak, American decision-making in region has consistently been far from stellar.
The right doesn't own Jewish values (Don Futterman, Haaretz+) When we on Israel's liberal left act on behalf of Palestinians, Bedouin and refugees, we should be as proud of upholding Jewish values as of universal ones.
Something is rotten in Diaspora discourse on Israel (Mira Sucharov, Haaretz+) Jewish community volunteers and activists who choose to wrestle with ideas around Israeli politics instead of supporting the endless occupation risk being accused of disloyalty.
Exercise responsibility, not populism (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) These are sensitive times that require caution and discipline from politicians on both sides of the aisle.
Shula Zaken’s testimony will unveil shadowy world of Israel's leadership (Gidi Weitz and Revital Hovel, Haaretz+) Ehud Olmert's former secretary spent two years at the Jerusalem District Court as the accused alongside 'the man who was God to me.' This time, she's playing a new role: state witness.    
Not the time to rejoice: The public tragedy of Ehud Olmert (Ben Caspit, Maariv) From my very close acquaintance of what is being done in the courts of some of the politicians currently serving, and of those who have until recently served, I know that the corrupt acts of former prime minister (Ehud Olmert) are generous acts of charity compared to what is happening there. 
Egypt and Israel are tightening the rope around Hamas' neck (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) With all of Gaza's border crossings closed and efforts to rebuild the Strip at a halt, the path to renewed violence may be shorter than it seems.
Obama, the false prophet (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) Now, with the clouds above him turning dark, U.S. President Barack Obama has chosen to lift his staff in anger against the State of Israel.
From the Rabin killing to the Gaza war: a generation comes of age (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) This is the year when the children born in 1995, whose early life took place in the shadow of Rabin's assassination, donned Israeli army uniforms and took up arms.
Livni's disgrace (Gonen Ginat, Israel Hayom) Rather than accept that the anti-Israel Hayom bill is unconstitutional, Livni has insisted that her people in the Justice Ministry were misinformed.
In Egypt's fight against terror, it's the anti-terror Bedouin who suffer most (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Egypt's public broadly backs operations against terrorism, but the perception of the Bedouin as an enemy could hurt efforts to fight terror in Sinai.
White House may view inaugural Israeli-American convention as anti-Obama victory party (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) If Democrats are crushed on Tuesday, it would be inhuman to expect Mitt Romney to refrain from some gloating and Schadenfreude at groundbreaking meeting of expat Israelis.
Rivalries in Kobani play into hands of ISIS (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Now that most of the city’s 150,000 residents have fled to Turkey, the battle for it is no longer a campaign to save lives but a war of prestige for control of a city whose strategic importance is doubtful.


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