-- Dr. Zvi Sela, a former brigadier-general in the Israel Police who is now a psychological adviser, shares insight from numerous interviews with Hamas spiritual advisor Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, whom Israel assassinated in 2004.**
Front Page News:
- Abbas: Reconciliation government will recognize Israel and condemn terror; Jerusalem: Confirmed killing of negotiations
- Abbas' departure plan // Jack Khoury
- Preparing to present new evidence (against Olmert): Prosecution to ask to open Talansky and Rishon Tours cases
- Weekend of violence - 22-year-old stabbed to death in Golan, his childhood friend suspected of murder
- Round of appointments in IDF General Staff
- Inspectors kidnapped in Ukraine; West to put harsher sanctions on Moscow
- Eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day - The letters from the land of Israel to relatives who remained behind; Rare copy of lost book of poems by K. Tzetnik
- The struggle succeeded, Domino's will recognize workers' unions
- Two popes to be officially declared holy Catholics today
- Rising leap - New round of IDF General Staff appointments marks Intel Chief Aviv Kochavi as candidate for Chief of Staff in future: appointed as General of Northern Command
- A disappearing generation - Eve of Holocaust Day 2014
- Friend, murderer - Ruslan Yaakobovitch murdered his best friend and flatmate in their kibbutz apartment
- Orphaned from birth - Natalie Lanciano (29) got to see her baby boy after C-section, just before dying of organ failure
- Want to sign up for the 'Summer holiday school"? Registration begins today
- not published today
- Never again - Holocaust Memorial Day
- "Their whole lives they were together - until the murder" - Or Ribek, 22, was stabbed to death by his childhood friend and flatmate, Ruslan Yaakobovitch
- League of Champions - Round of appointments in General Staff
- Senior political source: "Abu Mazen made a confirmed killing of the peace process"
- Third incident in a week of drowning of at private pool - Toddler in critical condition
Stories from the Holocaust on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day, the weekend murder of a young man by his best friend and the appointment of Military Intel Chief Aviv Kochavi as General of Northern Command took the front pages of Hebrew newspapers from the subject of the stuck peace talks and Hamas-Fatah reconciliation today. Interesting to note was how the papers covered the speech Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gave yesterday.
In what Israeli commentators said was a speech meant for Israeli and US ears, Abbas said Saturday that the Palestinian unity government will recognize Israel and condemn terrorism. However, Israel Hayom made no mention of those important details in its Hebrew article, which focused on the Israeli government source who told the Israeli media outlets that 'Abbas has made a confirmed killing' (or 'put the last nail in the coffin') and 'is only recycling the conditions he put to extend peace talks.
Haaretz+, however, presented Abbas' willingness to extend talks as positive using the word 'still' and made Abbas' statements on the unity government's recognition of Israel [as a state - not as a Jewish state - OH] and of opposing terror as its headline. Yedioth mentioned Abbas's important statements in the middle of its article, which focused on the assessment that US President Barack Obama feels hopelessness over the peace talks, after he said in a press conference in S. Korea that it may be time for a 'pause' because the two sides have "not proven the desire to make difficult decisions." Meanwhile, US lawmakers vowed to defund the Palestinian Authority because of the unity deal with Hamas, while Iran hailed the truce against the 'Zionist occupiers.' And, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah offered to resign to pave the path for the unity government with Hamas.
- Settlers attack 7-year-old girl in south Hebron hills - Two settlers riding a quad bike attacked four children and their mother with stones as they were returning from school to the their villages. (Maan+PHOTO)
- High Court to rule whether Palestinians are denied building rights - Villagers and human rights groups say the Civil Administration discriminates against local residents but approves plans to expand settlements. According to Bimkom − Planners for Planning Rights, currently only 10 percent of the 180 Palestinian communities located entirely in Area C have Israeli-approved master plans. (Haaretz+)
- Israeli forces raid Kifl Haris overnight for religious visit; Jewish visitors yell anti-Arab slogans - Forces escort a large group of Jewish Israelis to visit three religious sites in the West Bank village. Locals were prevented from moving freely through the streets, said that members of the visiting Jewish group "provoked" locals who did venture out and yelled in the streets and chanted anti-Arab slogans during their visit. (Maan)
- Israeli forces open fire at Gaza fishermen, injuring 1 - Israeli naval squadrons off the coast of northern Gaza fired at a Palestinian fishing boat, hitting a man in the foot. (Maan)
- Two young Jews detained trying to enter the Temple Mount posing as Muslims - The young Jews said they were touring the Old City and wanted to see the Temple Mount. (Ynet Hebrew)
- Israeli forces injure 3 Palestinians in clashes east of Jerusalem - During protests in al-Eizariya and Abu Dis against "Israeli incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque," three young Palestinian men were hit by rubber-coated steel bullets in the lower extremities. (Maan)
- IDF doctor saves life of Palestinian baby - Parents from village of Beitin bring one-month-year-old baby who suffered a respiratory arrest to IDF checkpoint near Beit El to receive treatment. (Ynet)
- Israel to get new Military Intelligence chief - IDF Intelligence chief Kochavi to move over to Northern Command. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
- IDF command reshuffle raises questions - Wave of appointments and promotions in General Staff opens door for speculation on future candidates for top positions. (Ynet)
- Inside iNet - IDF's secret news website - Military Intelligence run website 'iNet' provides high clearance level Israeli officials with classified updates and forum of discussion. (Yedioth/Ynet)
- Christian leaders tell youth to 'tear up' Israel army forms - Orthodox Archbishop Atallah Hanna and former Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah on Friday urged Christian youth not to enlist in the Israeli military and to ignore Israeli "propaganda" encouraging them to do so. (Maan)
- Israel Air Force to participate in joint exercises in US - Britain’s Royal Air Force, other allies, will join ‘Red Flag’ simulated battles in Nevada skies. (Haaretz+)
- Cut off from the world, Gazans consumed by poverty - Some Gazan blame Hamas for much of their suffering: 'If jobs open up, their people get them. They never suffer.' (Agencies, Ynet)
- Peres’ visit to Druze holy site canceled for fear of unrest - Druze leaders and President Shimon Peres' office feared his presence at the site near Tiberias would spark protests over the recent conviction of 16 sheikhs for visiting Syria. The spiritual leader of Israel’s Druze community said he expected Peres to pardon them, as their convictions are threatening the covenant between the Druze and the state. (Haaretz+)
- New in the Old City: Co-existence on the fitness machines - Private gym that recently opened in the heart of (King David's) market succeeds in attracting Muslims, Christians, and Jews. "Also for the religious Jews it works out from the modesty aspect because there is a separation between women and men," says gym owner, Elias Katnasher, who opened the gym to provide boys and young men with something to do. (Yedioth Jerusalem Friday supplement, p. 42)
- Google Street View bug 'Arabizing' Tel Aviv - Online maps service shows street names in Arabic, instead of the default Hebrew or English. (Haaretz+)
- Bored female Israeli soldiers wow Tribeca film festival - 'Zero Motivation,' directed by former IDF secretary, wins two awards at major N.Y. film festival. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
- 'Arab Labor' sitcom by Haaretz's Sayed Kashua to air in L.A. - Satirical comedy about the life and trials of Arab Israelis bought by southern California's KCET. (JTA, Haaretz)
In front of gas chambers they received text messages: "What are you doing there? Go study our Naqba." When they returned home they were criticized in the local press. But Prof. Mohammed Dajani, who took students from the West Bank to visit the concentration camp in Poland, does not regret. "I saw how the students were moved. We succeeded in transferring the message that it is impossible to understand the Israelis without learning about the Holocaust...If I can," said the Al-Quds university lecturer, "I will continue this project and go there again and again." Prof. Sari Nusseibeh: "I encourage the initiative and think it's positive. I also visited concentration camps in Poland. A private visit that came from curiosity." (Yedioth's 'Mosaf L'Shabbat' Friday supplement, pp. 14-15)
What would you do if you had to serve in an IDF checkpoint?
The camera rolls, and the people at the Bat Yam boardwalk are asked to participate in a reality show: Playing soldiers at a checkpoint and deciding whether to allow a Palestinian child to visit her sick grandmother. What would you do? (By filmmaker Itamar Rose, Yedioth/Ynet)
Threat of peace removed, for now (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth/Ynet) Despite current crisis, announcement on continuation of talks between Israel and Palestinians will likely be made soon.
Palestinian reconciliation is an opportunity for Israel (Barak Ravid, Haaretz+) Jerusalem chooses to see the unity deal as a threat, even after it long argued that Abbas doesn't represent the entire Palestinian people.
McCarthyism in the Israeli Tax Authority (Haaretz Editorial) By 'scrutinizing' the Israeli branch of Physicians for Human Rights, the Tax Authority is misusing its power to persecute opponents of the government.
Unity government inheriting host of headaches from split Palestinian regimes (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) From increased Israeli impositions to long-standing Fatah-Hamas tensions to practical, legal, and parliamentary questions, no one is talking about the challenges ahead.
The bi-national state nightmare (Eitan Haber, Yedioth/Ynet) Within a short period of time, will become landlords of millions of Palestinians. We will take care of their sewage, schools and kindergartens, and they will take care of terror.
In a Hamas state of mind (Dr. Reuven Berko, Israel Hayom) If Abbas' union with Hamas is a success, peace with Israel will fall off the agenda and the PA will begin the countdown to its end. If it fails, the chasm between the PA and Hamas will remain. Will the tail wag the dog, or the other way around?
Hamas might be serious about peace - that's what Yassin told me 15 years ago (Matthew Kalman, Haaretz+) 15 years after Hamas' founder first offered to end the conflict, Palestinian reconciliation gives Israel another opportunity to try for peace - or not.
The Nazi parallel (Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom) For the Palestinians, the imperative is killing Jews, not living peacefully alongside them.
Like sheep to the slaughter, like sheep to the occupation (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) There is no comparing the Holocaust and the occupation, but the act of resistance is equally legitimate and just in both cases.
Why does only Jewish violence interest the media? (Kalman Libskind, NRG Hebrew) The pictures that came out this week from the Temple Mount should have opened all the newscasts. A group of small (religious) children are seen were with their parents on a tour of the Temple Mount. Not threatening anyone. Just looking Jewish. It was enough for a mass of hundreds of Arabs to surround them, come up to them at point-blank range and scream in their ears, "Allahu Akbar" while some of them threw various objects and chairs. Channel 2 got exclusive use of the video but did not find time in two newscasts to show them. At the same time as the attack, settler youth attacked Israeli firemen, who entered the settlement to put out a fire, and it made the headlines. I tried to ask myself what brought this story to the headlines. Behind the increased preoccupation with the firemen was another matter. It was an attempt to convey a message to us indirectly, without saying it directly. Remember what these (settler) guys did two weeks ago to soldiers in Yitzhar? Now they are doing it to the fire fighters.
Israel needs to begin at the end (Amir Oren, Haaretz+) The Israeli government must borrow from a successful old military tactic if it truly wants peace with the Palestinians.
Abbas is responsible for the failed talks (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) It is worth noting that Abbas' walk to Canossa (or Gaza in this case) took place 48 hours after receiving a new Israeli offer.
Palestinian unity exposes Netanyahu’s true face (David Landau, Haaretz+) 'One gun, one military authority,’ demanded Israel of the Palestinians, so why is its government now using the Fatah-Hamas rapprochement as grounds for an end to all negotiations?
Ending illusion of peace-seeking Abbas (Guy Bechor, Yedioth/Ynet) Fatah-Hamas unity agreement is a stinging insult to Arab regimes and anyone who ever saw the Palestinian leader as a 'peace partner.'
A question for Prime Minister Netanyahu (Friday Haaretz Editorial) If Benjamin Netanyahu will not talk with the Palestinian Authority, how will he address the demographic threat he warned of?
A brief history of failed peace talks (Shlomo Cesana, Israel Hayom) Peace talks conducted by anyone but state leaders seem bound to fail. Netanyahu has made his terms for peace very clear to the U.S., and it is also clear that Abbas will not accept these terms. What have negotiators been doing for nine months?
In Palestinian unity deal, Abbas starts defining his legacy (Jack Khoury, Haaretz+) When the time comes to step down, the Palestinian president could tell his people: I was unable to end the occupation, but I did manage to unify my people.
Regaining control in Jerusalem (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) The Netanyahu government has become too tolerant of Waqf chutzpah on the Temple Mount.
Obama brings curtain down on Mideast peace process (Barak Ravid, Haaretz+) With the departure of the American babysitter, both the Israelis and Palestinians will have to deal with the bleak reality on their own.
"The amount of terrorists in this area is so immense that these 100 (Palestinian) prisoners that we release won't change the regional terror map," says former police official in the Intelligence branch, Dr. Zvi Sela. He insists that the Palestinians understand Israelis better than anyone else. His fourth book, "Bnei Aruba" ("Hostages"), was published recently after a lengthy dispute with army censors and certain politicians. Sela's description of Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, which is entirely devoid of sentiment, picks apart the demonized image of a man that has crystallized in Israeli society. And he has criticism for the former Shin Bet chiefs who appeared in the film, "The Gatekeepers." (Interviewed by Adi Rubinstein in Israel Hayom)
Uri Avnery at 90: Still leftist, after all these years
Avnery, the spiritual father of the Israeli left, still believes in the miracle of peace and has no doubt that he'll live to see it. (Interviewed by Dalia Karpel, Haaretz+)
Ben Zygier did not betray his country, says Prisoner X's lawyer
Attorney Moshe Mazor was one of the only people in Israel allowed into Ayalon Prison's isolated wing to meet with his client, alleged Mossad agent Ben Zygier. Mazor, 34, exactly the age Zygier was when he died, refused to discuss the affair until now. He was afraid to offend Zygier's family members, and also found it difficult to deal with the difficult memories left by the affair. In an exclusive interview, he speaks about his relationship with 'Prisoner X', the phone call he received from him hours before he committed suicide, and why he believes Zygier's death was a huge failure. (Interview by Tsach Shpitsen in Ynet)
Diana Buttu on Palestinian unity and the way forward
Diana Buttu is a Canadian-Palestinian lawyer. From 2000-2005, she served in the PLO's Negotiations Support Unit as a legal and communications adviser. (Interviewed by Alex Shams in Maan)
"We don't miss Beitar [racist Jerusalem soccer team -OH]"
A year after he left Israel, the Chechen soccer player Jibrail Kadayev, the first Muslim to wear the Beitar Jerusalem uniform, summarizes the toughest period he ever passed: "It was terrible, but Sadayev (his fellow Chechen player) and I dealt with it pretty well." He thanks Gaydamak and the Beitar administration for saving his mother's life: "They paid for her medical treatment and that dwarfs the whole racism thing...Children, youth and adults stood behind the fence, cursed us and threw rocks at us. In the beginning we were in shock, but after a few times we stopped paying attention. We decided to let them curse and to ignore them." He is disappointed he did not get to prove himself: "How can you pass the ball when around you is so much hatred?" And he wants to come back for another round: "I have a place with you (Israelis), but in a different team - I am not a masochist. (Interviewed by Shlomi Aharoni in Yedioth's 'HaMosaf Jerusalem' supplement, pp. 10-12)