News Nosh 11.11.14

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

Quote of the day:
"There is a group of people for whom human rights are just for Jewish Orthodox rituals, and they are willing to draw us all into a blood bath in the name of those human rights..."
--Yedioth commentator Gideon Eshet discusses how praying on the Temple Mount has been championed by right-wing Jews as a human right of freedom to worship, but those same people don't believe others have a right to worship their way - such as Reform Jews.**

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

News Summary:
Two stabbings by young Palestinians killed two young Israelis, a settler woman in the West Bank and a soldier in Tel-Aviv, making the headlines of the main Hebrew newspapers today and the commentary pages, as numerous analysts suggested which course the government must take to stop the deteriorating situation - many saying that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was not taking the lead. Meanwhile, there were more sporadic demonstrations by Arab Israelis to which Netanyahu told protesters they could go live in Palestine. 

It appears that Palestinian attackers don't always need to be shot dead to be stopped. In Tel-Aviv, a 50-something-year-old passerby punched the 18-year-old Palestinian attacker from Askar Refugee Camp in Nablus in the face when he saw him stabbing Sgt. Almog Shiloni, 20, from Modiin. Nur Al-Din Abu Hashiya managed to run away and was found laying on the floor bleeding a few minutes later by security forces. A picture of Hashiya handcuffed to a Tel-Aviv hospital bed went viral and caused an uproar that Israel was treating a terrorist [which it does and is required to do - OH]. A few hours later Maher al-Shalmoun from Hebron tried to run over settlers at Gush Etzion junction in the West Bank and when he failed he got out of his car and stabbed people, killing Dalia Lamkus, 26, from Tekoa settlement, and injuring two others. 

Netanyahu blamed the 'incitement' of the Palestinian Authority for the deadly attacks and ordered security heads to take extra steps in the wake of the attacks, including increasing the number of security forces in the field and destroying the homes of attackers. Golani troops were taken out of training and sent to the West Bank and the police boosted their presence in major cities. The family homes of four Palestinians from E. Jerusalem men who killed Israelis in attacks over the last few months were slated for destruction. Defense officials differ over the effectiveness of home demolitions as a deterrent, Haaretz+ wrote. On its front page, Haaretz also noted that destroying the homes of those accused of (and who admitted to) burning to death Mohammed Abu Khdeir is not being considered. 

Right-wing activists and settlers held spontaneous demonstrations in Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv and Gush Etzion last night after the attacks, as well as a demonstration in front of the B'Tselem human rights organization in Jerusalem, Maariv reported. "Traitors - out," they yelled.
Maariv mentioned that today a rally will be held in Jerusalem to mark 24 years since the murder of Meir Kahane [a far-right-wing American-Israeli activist whose party was outlawed as a terrorist organization -OH]. The organizers expect that at the end of the event participants will make a protest march through the capital. [That could end in violence against Arabs as it has in the past. - OH]

Speaking yesterday in Jordan at the international 'Ecopeace - Friends of the Earth Middle East' conference to save the lower Jordan River, Science Minister Yaakov Perry said the time arrived to "adopt the Arab Peace Initiative as a framework for negotiations for a regional solution that will bring also an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority." Perry, a former Shin Bet chief and a Yesh Atid minister, said the moderate states in the region should hold a conference about discussing cooperation with Israel in numerous fields and act to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Meanwhile, (light) clashes continued between Arab Israeli youth and police at the entrance to the Israeli Arab town of Kafr Kana, where a few days ago police shot dead Kheir Al-Din Hamdan who wielded a knife at them then turned and ran away. Haaretz+ and Ynet have a list of other incidents of Arab-Israeli protest that took place around the country, but Haaretz+ noted that "despite these incidents, the trend in the Arab community seems to be toward restoring calm, with Arab leaders saying they do not plan to call for any more protest events, but instead plan to focus on the legal process."

While some commentators advised Netanyahu to calm the winds, he accused protesting Israeli Arabs of 'demonstrating against Israel and in favor of a Palestinian state' [when they are actually protesting against trigger happy police shootings of Arabs and against changing the status quo on the Temple Mount and when it's possible to be in favor of a two-state solution and not be 'against Israel' - OH] and said all the demonstrating Israeli Arabs "are invited to move to the Palestinian Authority or Gaza."

At the end of an article about Arab Israeli riots, Israel Hayom wrote that "The Jerusalem Police on Tuesday launched an investigation into a suspected "price-tag" attack in the Beit Safafa neighborhood in the capital's south, where residents reported vandals had slashed the tires of five cars and scrawled graffiti reading "No cars, no Arabs" on a nearby sidewalk." 

Quick Hits:
  • Labor MK hits back at massive increase in Settlement Division budget - Stav Shaffir exposes increase in division's budget from NIS 58 million to NIS 140 million in 2015, says taxypayer money used for political organizations. (Ynet)
  • Jerusalem is paying the economic price (for the security situation) - Orders at restaurants dropped, groups are hesitant to join tours and many hotels rooms are left empty: the capital again absorbs the economic cost of the security situation. Tourguide: "People come to enjoy themselves and do not want to find themselves accidentally in the midst of a terror attack." (Maariv)
  • Israel Navy fires on Gaza fishing boats twice in 24 hours - According to the IDF, both boats were returning from Egypt with smuggled goods destined for Gaza; Palestinians: Two wounded. (Haaretz+)
  • Between 1.7 to 2.8 million Palestinians in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) - Knesset discussion: How many Arabs live in the West Bank? Head of the sub-committee for issues of Judea and Samaria of the defense and foreign affairs commitee, MK Moti Yogev of Habayit Hayehudi, said the question was important because it was the basis for different perspectives and opinions regarding the future of the Territories. (Maariv, p. 9)
  • Abbas: Arafat shrine will be moved to Jerusalem – 'the capital of Palestine' - Palestinian Authority makes announcement on Monday at opening of Arafat Museum in Ramallah; Arafat commemoration in Gaza Strip cancelled after bombs target Fatah members in Strip. (Ynet)
  • Supreme Court: Right to overturn laws needed to protect Israel's minorities - Comments come after coalition votes to back bill that would override court rulings such as order to close detention center for asylum seekers. (Haaretz+)
  • Kerry updates Netanyahu on Iran talks, slams Khamenei's call to eliminate Israel - Two days of intensive talks with Iran in Oman fail to reach breakthrough ahead of the nearing deadline, American officials say. (Haaretz+)
  • GOP victory puts Iran nuclear deal on nerve-racking race to finish - Some Republicans are pushing for further sanctions, but there are signs in the Iranian business press that the November 24 deadline will be met. (Haaretz+)
  • UN to open 'internal and independent' probe into attacks on its Gaza facilities - Board of inquiry will also investigate instances in which weapons were found in UN facilities in Gaza. Israel has been lobbying Ban and his associates in an effort to delay the establishment of the investigative committee. (Haaretz+)
  • Peter Gabriel contributes to Gaza relief album - British musician clarifies he is not anti-Israeli or anti-Semitic, but rather 'anti-Israeli government policy, anti-injustice, anti-oppression and anti-occupation.' (Ynet)
  • Israel allows Gaza fish exports to West Bank - Shipment of more than 730 kilograms of fish transported from Gaza for the first time since 2007. (Haaretz)
  • Canadian-born Israeli woman joins fight against ISIS in Syria - 31-year-old resident of Tel Aviv said she contacted Kurdish fighters over the Internet before traveling through Iraq to train at one of their camps on the Syrian border. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Israel, India successfully test flagship anti-missile system - The Barak 8 is designed to improve the navy’s capabilities against missiles, planes and drones. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • IDF begins enlisting women for second mixed-gender combat battalion - Battalion will be called Lions of the Jordan and be part of Central Command, which includes West Bank. (Haaretz+)
  • Biden: U.S. will never abandon Israel - out of our own self-interest - During address at the Jewish Federations' General Assembly, the U.S. vice president attempted to ease fears regarding the U.S.-Israeli relationship, as well as ongoing nuclear talks with Iran. Said he was 'good friends' with Netanyahu. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Palestinian found guilty of hiding role in Jerusalem bombing from U.S. authorities - Rasmieh Yousef Odeh served 10 years in an Israeli prison before being released in a prisoner swap with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Four Syrian nuclear scientists shot dead near Damascus - Activists claim an Iranian scientist was also killed, and say Nusra Front was behind the assault. (Agencies, Haaretz)

An American boy: From New Orleans to the grave, via the West Bank
Orwa Hammad’s father is a used-car dealer in New Orleans. The son grew up in the the village of Silwad in the West Bank. Last Friday an Israeli army sharpshooter killed him, because he was apparently holding a Molotov cocktail. (Gideon Levy and Alex Levac, Haaretz+)

Police shooting puts Justice Ministry unit to the test (Haaretz Editorial) In the wake of a young Arab man's death, investigators in the unit that probes police conduct bear a heavy burden.
The terror attacks Israel cannot thwart (Yossi Yehoshua, Yedioth/Ynet) Lone terrorists pose an impossible challenge for the IDF and Shin Bet. There is no real security solution to this new-old type of terrorism apart from calming the situation down, on both sides – and that's the government's responsibility.
Wanted: a leader with a steady hand on the wheel (Ben Caspit, Maariv) Complacency could spell the political demise of the Prime Minister. Loss of the sense of personal security, together with economic destabilization, can lead to his dismissal, despite the lack of heavyweight opponents. On the other side, there is no shortage of fanatics and the price will be paid, in the end, by everyone. By them and by us.
Netanyahu’s escalating rhetoric is a sign he’s losing it (Barak Ravid, Haaretz+) The prime minister is helpless in the face of the terror wave, the riots in Jerusalem and the impending deal between Iran and the West. All that's left for him to do is issue press statements.
**The knights of human rights - discriminatory prayer (on the Temple Mount) (Gideon Eshet, Yedioth) There are more than 100 MKs whose views on prayer at the Temple Mount/Harram al-Sharif does not allow rational discussion on the issue. They are most of the Shas MKs, Yehadut Hatorah, Likud, Habayit Hayehudi, Yisrael Beiteinu, Labor, Hatnua, Yesh Atid, Kadima, Balad and Raam-Taal.You can barely hold a dialogue on the subject with members of Meretz and Hadash (left-wing parties).  There is no point in arguing with those who claim that the Temple Mount/Harram al-Sharif is 'ours', whether it be from ours from the Jewish religion or ours from the Muslim religion. Let's deal with those who debate the right for (Jewish) prayer there on the basis of human rights: politicians like Shuli Mualem, Miri Regev, Uri Ariel, Tzipi Hotovely, Moshe Feiglin and others. They claim that it should be open for people of all religions to pray in the name of freedom of religion. What's right is right. Okay, but not really. They understand, sometimes, that that it's not right for a Jew to pray in a mosque unless it was built on a Jewish grave, like Joseph's Tomb. So there is a mosque there, but first there was a grave - so it's okay. Since Jews were here first, then the right for Muslims to pray is quite problematic. Freedom to worship? Human rights? It changes from person to person, depends on where....Let's leave the Muslims and the Christians out of this and focus on the Jews. What about the rights of Jews who want to get married without an (Orthodox ) rabbi?...Or Reform Jewish women who want to pray at the Wailing Wall?  Do they have rights? Or do their rights have to suit the world view of Hotovely/Mualem/Shaked and the like? There is a group of people for whom their human rights are just for Jewish Orthodox rituals, and they are willing to draw us all into a blood bath in the name of those human rights...
For a joint Jewish-Arab intifada in the Holy City (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) The conflict aside, Israel’s eternal unified capital is a dysfunctional mess.
An intifada with an Islamic State influence (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) The entire Muslim world is currently in violent religious frenzy, and even more so in our neighborhood; and while Israeli security forces have learned hard lessons from the previous intifadas, will it be enough?
Tectonic movements in Tel-Aviv (Yossi Melman, Maariv) Jerusalem is burning on a low flame, its flames are licking also in the West Bank and yesterday it reached Gush Dan. If we add to that the riots in towns and villages of the Arabs in Israel, here we have the potential for a fire. What is needed is balanced leadership, not inflammatory, which is trying to lower the flames rather than fuel them.
Impoverished Israelis, take comfort in knowing Jerusalem is yours (Yitzhak Laor, Haaretz+) Not only is the city under Jewish control, but Jews can do as they please with it, because it belongs to us alone. Poor people, rejoice!
Olmert, Barak and Netanyahu: Israel's inglourious bastards (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) Through their actions and the example they set for others, two former and one current prime minister share a large part of the blame for the Israeli public's lack of trust in the political system.
There is no government in Jerusalem (Sarah Beck, Maariv) Anyone walking yesterday in the halls of the Knesset could have thought that it was the European Parliament. No sense of war. No gravity and no sense of responsibility on their shoulders. Wake up! These are not terrorist attacks by lone terrorists. This is a system in which there agitators with names and addresses.
In Jerusalem, the Israeli tormentor whines (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) The question isn’t why firecrackers are being thrown in East Jerusalem, but what are the aims of a government that systematically beats down and harasses a population.
Temple Mount hypocrisy (Dr. Nessia Shemer, Israel Hayom) The importance of prayer appears in abundance in the Quran, which states that only evil people infringe on the rights of others to pray.
The (pyro)manic depression of Israel's sustainability (Yoel Esteron, Yedioth's Calcalist economic paper/Ynet) The band of pyromaniacs in Jerusalem and cynical politicians are the cause of Israel's depression. Calcalist publisher, Yoel Esteron speaks at the Calcalist Business Sustainability 2014 conference.
Netanyahu, treat us like cows (on Mondays) (Nehemia Shtrasler, Haaretz+) Netanyahu seeks an extremism that begets more extremism and closes off any avenue of agreement. But we just want to live another day.
New anti-Semitism in the old continent (Guy Bechor, Yedioth/Ynet) Those who support a Palestinian state in European parliaments are basically supporting the destruction of the Jewish state.
When an Israeli leader said ‘no’ to America – and didn’t get insulted for it (Seth Lipsky, Haaretz+) The just-released phone call between Ronald Reagan and Menachem Begin shows a wartime disagreement between allies conducted in a calm, civil and adult way - with no hint of the ‘chickenshit’ rhetoric
Prevent the spread of violence (Prof. Alexander Bligh, Israel Hayom) The government must adopt a zero-tolerance policy to violence of any kind -- and this has nothing to do with the Arab population, though it too must have the law enforced in a clear way.
Israel must crack down on illegal Palestinian workers, before it's too late (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Unlike a year ago, this time there have been large demonstrations as Temple Mount fervor feeds the flames.

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