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      Tuvia Brodie has a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh under the name Philip Brodie. He has worked for the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham College and American Express. He and his wife made aliyah in 2010. All of his children have followed. He believes in Israel's right to exist. He believes that the words of Tanach (the Jewish Bible) are meant for us. His blog address is http://tuviainil.blogspot.com   He publishes 4-6 times a week on his blog. Please check the blog regularly for new posts. 

      Kislev 19, 5774, 11/22/2013

      Israel headlines, November 19-21, 2013


      Israel headlines tell a story. They tell you the news. But sometimes, they reveal some underlying truths.

      Return to this blog every Tuesday and Friday after Noon. You’ll see a sampling of headlines from Israel’s press—and some comments about those headlines.

      Today’s headlines—and those comments--come from November 19 - 21, 2013.

      The Arab-Israel conflict

      -Liberman: Israel Needs Allies, Not 'Painful Concessions'

      -UN Official: 'Settlements' Are Holding Back Peace

      -Arab Ministers: No Peace Progress? It's Israel's Fault

      - Katz: Abbas Won’t Back Down from ‘Law of Return’ in Talks.

      -Lieberman: 20 years since Oslo Accords and we are just deteriorating

      -Erekat: We'll Take Israel to Court over Arafat Death

      - PA Leader Claims US Helped Israel Kill Arafat

      -BDS Fail: Anti-Israel Groups Use Israeli Technology


      -Gaza Suffering under Siege – but Not Israel's

      -Israel hits Gaza weapons plant, terror tunnels in retaliation for mortars

      America and Israel

      -US, Israel 'Unable to Agree' on Kerry Visit Date

      -Drifting from US, Liberman calls to diversify foreign policy

      -Lieberman: Ties with US deteriorating, more allies needed

      -Op-Ed: How the United States fans the flames of Mideast conflict

      -Israeli Officials: Kerry unfamiliar with substance of talks



      -Iranian Supreme Leader: Israel 'Doomed to Collapse'

      -Elkin: Israel Can Act Alone Against Iran…Deputy Foreign Minister

      -On eve on nuclear talks, Khamenei says Israel ‘doomed to extinction’

      -France says Iran comments on Israel complicate nuke talks

      -France Says Iran’s Khamenei Comments Unacceptable

      -As Israel's allies soften stance on Iran, Netanyahu scrambles to regain

      -Netanyahu visits Russia to lobby against Iran deal

      -Bennett: Bad Deal with Iran Will 'Lead to War'

      -Top U.S. lawmakers urge Obama to take tougher line on Iran

      -Obama urges Senators to hold off Iran sanctions

      -Despite Israeli efforts to thwart nuclear deal, US says resolution near

      -US official says 'very hard' to get Iran nuclear deal

      - Iran and world powers close to agreement as nuclear talks resume

      -Sorry, the French won’t save us from Iran

      - Kerry: Iran's Uranium Enrichment Will be Decided Later

      -Iran Still Insisting on Right to Enrich Uranium

      -[Thomas] Friedman Slams 'Israel Lobby' for Preventing Iran Deal

      -Israel ‘unpleasantly surprised’ by US quiet on Khamenei’s vicious speech


      Life in Israel

      -Ceragon to raise $39m in Nasdaq secondary offering

      -Evogene raising $83m on NYSE

      Israel politics

      -Likud: Trying to Rein in Netanyahu


      The Arab Middle East

      -Report: Egypt to Receive $4 Billion in Russian Arms

      -2,200 Syrian refugees flee to Lebanon in 5 days, according to UNHCR

      -Palestinian journalists say freedom of speech in danger [in the PA]

      -Libyan MP Carried Hand Grenade in Her Handbag 'For Self Defense'


      The Temple Mount

      -Long Wait for Brief Jewish Access to Temple Mount

      The war of the Left against Israel

      -MK Stern: Some Things More Important than Torah Study

      -Shai Nitzan Recommended for State Prosecutor

      -Are Ministers Afraid to Oppose Nitzan Appointment

      -Nitzan Appointment: Nationalist MKs Come Out Swinging

      -Livni and Yechimovich Voice Support for Shai Nitzan

      -MK Calls to Fund Reform/Conservative Religious Services

      -Court: Respond to Attempt to Block Nitzan by Friday


      -Britain's Hague says believes Iran nuclear deal within reach


      - China tells Iran to seize opportunity before nuclear talks


      -'Pro-Israel' France Supports anti-Israel Groups, Too

      - France Rejects Harsh Iranian Criticism Regarding Israel

      -France's Fabius says West must show firmness in Iran nuclear talks


      -Netanyahu Takes Off for Moscow

      -Report: Egypt to Receive $4 Billion in Russian Arms

      -Putin Upbeat About Chances of Deal with Iran

      Jews around the world

      -Yaalon to Arrive in Canada for Working Visit

      -New York Jews Latest Victims of Black Youths' 'Knockout Game'

      -Dutch TV pulls Jews-killed-Jesus ad off air following uproar

      -Ukrainian [online] game kills Jews, gays, Americans


      - Concern Vatican May Take Over Part of Mount Zion


      In today’s news cycle, we have watched the Iran story widen. Now, for Israel, this story is no longer about the US and Iran; now, it includes France, England, China and Russia.

      Last week, France nixed the plan the US had wanted. Now, as new talks start again, US officials send a confused message. Some unnamed official said an agreement is close; another  said it’ll be tough to agree with Iran on anything.

      What does this say about the US? Is this a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing—or is it an attempt to keep someone off balance?

      Who, exactly, is the US attempting to confuse—and why? No one had answers. But, as you’ll see below, an answer did appear by November 21st.

      France, meanwhile, doesn’t look confused at all. It holds firm. It resists any plan that will get Iran ‘off the hook’.

      As France held firm, so did Iran. It announced that it would accept no deal that would require it to stop enriching uranium.

      US Secretary of State John Kerry declared that he knew how the US would complete an agreement with Iran when Iran was being so stubborn: the US would push off any discussion of Iran stopping uranium enrichment until ‘later’.

      That would be a great deal for Iran. They would get billions of dollars released to them from a partial lifting of sanctions—and little damage to their A-bomb ambitions.

      That would be a lousy deal for Israel.

      France may be alone in its resistance to such a deal. The ‘fix’ may be in. France may cave in the face of opposition:  England wants a deal. Russia wants a deal. Kerry wants a deal.

      Is there a surprise on the horizon? These talks in Geneva center around something called, P5+1. That refers to the six countries ‘in charge of’ nuclear talks--the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France, plus the additional ‘1’, Germany. As you see in the headlines above, all of these countries have had something to say about these talks. All have spoken out, mostly—we infer—in favour of a deal. But where is Germany? Have any of you heard from Germany?

      Why does Germany remain silent?

      Keep your eyes open for France and Germany. Any Iran deal may depend on them. Maybe.

      A related story-line focuses on how these talks affect US-Israel relations. These relations have been souring since Obama became US President. Now, CNN reports that relations between the US and Israel have so soured that Kerry ‘can’t find’ the time to revisit Israel. We saw a measure of exactly how cold this relationship is when, on November 20, 2013, Iranian leader Khamenei—in a speech to tens of thousands--characterized ‘the Zionist regime’ as the “sinister, unclean rabid dog of the region.”  To Israel’s dismay, The Times of Israel wrote, the speech did not prompt an immediate condemnation by the United States. By the next afternoon, the US still hadn’t condemned the speech. The best it could say was, the speech ‘wasn’t helpful.’ By contrast, France condemned the speech almost immediately as ‘unacceptable’.

      In the diplomatic world, it doesn’t get any worse than that.

      By late Thursday (Israel time), the US still hadn’t condemned Khamenei’s speech. Meanwhile, an Israeli news outlet wrote that some (unnamed) diplomats were now saying that Kerry appeared to be working towards an agreement without understanding the issues involved.

      Perhaps that was the answer to the question above about possible confusion within the US negotiations team. Yes, this latest report could be just another head-slap in the hand-to-hand battling that goes on in the international ‘trenches’. But it could also mean that Kerry is either incompetent or so dismissive of Israel’s concerns that he doesn’t give a damn about details. Either way, Israel stands to lose.

      There were other stories in the headlines above—some of them important. But this apparent ice between the US and Israel dominates the picture right now.

      What could happen next?



      Kislev 18, 5774, 11/21/2013

      Arab headlines, November 14 -20, 2013

      If you’re like most non-Arabs, you probably don’t read the Arab Press. That could be a mistake.

      The Arab world is not monolithic. It’s dynamic. It’s a living entity. It’s home to almost 350 million people. Many of these people know about you. What do you know about them?

      Every Thursday before Noon ET, return here for something you may not see elsewhere: Arab news.

      Here are headlines for—and personal comments about-- Arab news stories for November 14–20, 2013.


      -Hollande: Israel must make 'gesture' for peace talks

      -Italy donates 3 million euro for PA initiative in Area C, Jerusalem

      -French president: Jerusalem must be capital of two states

      -80 Israeli police officers visit Aqsa mosque

      -Israel cuts power to Jericho village over unpaid debts

      -Israel issues orders to halt construction of Yatta mosque


      -US believes Iran deal 'possible' at next talks

      -Hollande assures Israel Paris will be tough on Iran

      -Khamenei vows no retreat on nuclear programme

      - Khamenei: Iran will not surrender “nuclear rights”

      Internal Regional Arab news

      -France grants Jordan 1 million euros

      -‘Mr Science’ to perform for Jordanian students

      -Syrian warplanes target town near Lebanon — monitor

      -Sudan confronts politically explosive bread shortage

      - Wave of attacks in Iraqi capital kills at least 29

      - Libyan troops in show of force in the capital

      -Action plan to tackle child labour in Petra

      -‘Fix responsibility for shoddy projects’

      -KSA [Kingdom of Saudi Arabia] wins anti-dumping case against India

      -Downpour cripples life in Riyadh

      - Beware of stormy weather

      -3 die, over 100 rescued in heavy rains & flash floods

      -More downpours, unstable weather predicted

      -Schools get rain-days off amid flooding

      - Oil tanker wrecks threaten marine environ

      -Young Saudis getting creative on YouTube

      - ODD NEWS: Australian kangaroo exporters look to hop into China

       -His Highness the Amir ends 3rd Africa-Arab Summit, calling for joint Afro-Arab cooperation

      -Gunmen fire at parked car of Fatah official in Ramallah


      From the headlines above, you can see several story-lines in the Arab Press developing during this news cycle: the weather, turmoil in several Arab countries, local business and cultural issues, Iran and Israel. That was the lion’s share of headlines. Where were the ‘peace talks’ with Israel?

      In fact, in much of the Arab press, where was Israel?

      Of course, in the PA, we know exactly where Israel was--front-and-center: for example, during a single day, within  one specific two-hour time-frame, the PA news site ran a total of 30 stories on its  main page. Thirteen (42%) of these were anti-Israel.

      At times, these ‘Israel’ stories seemed unrelenting. For example, no other Arab news vendor during this entire news cycle showed the following uninterrupted chronological series of stories:

      -Witnesses: Israeli troops cuff Palestinian children

      -Israeli forces shoot teenager in the foot near Hebron

      -Israeli forces assault 7 family members in their home near Hebron

      -Israeli forces detain 4 teenagers near Ramallah

      -14 injured as Israeli forces disperse West Bank protests

      -Israeli forces detain Hebron man

      -Report: Israel arrests 70 Palestinian workers

      To read this string of headlines, you’d never know there were on-going ‘peace talks’ occurring. In fact, during this entire news cycle, there were no stories on the PA site about making a real peace with Israel. There were no essays about how to prepare for peace. There was no analysis of ‘living side-by-side with Israel in peace-and -security’.

      Apparently, the PA wasn’t interested in such a ‘peace’. Its only concern was Israeli ‘brutality’.

      Jordan, meanwhile, had no special concerns for Israel. Jordan posted 32 stories on its news-site during this same day/time-frame. Only two (6%) were anti-Israel.

      The Saudis weren’t any different. They ran 39 stories during this same period. Only one was about Israel. But it wasn’t anti-Israel. It was about the President of France assuring Israel that Paris would be tough on Iran. This is exactly what the Saudis want. Their anti-Israel news content at that moment added up to zero per cent.

      The only anti-Israel item on the Saudi page was a cartoon. It purported to show Israel harming peace talks.

      The Kuwaitis ran 12 stories on its front page at this same time: none (0%) were about Israel. Another twenty-six stories (some of which were also on the Main Page) appeared on the Kuwaiti World News page. None (0%) were about Israel.

      Al Jazeera ran 45 stories at this same time. Five (11%) were about Israel. Three (7%) were anti-Israel. Two were about the French promise to be tough on Iran. Were these two stories ‘anti-Israel’? Maybe—or, then again, maybe ‘not exactly’.

      Al Arabiya ran 52 stories. Five (10%) were about Israel. Perhaps four (8%) were anti-Israel.

      You can see from the sampling of stories listed above what the Arab press outside the PA was interested in during this news cycle: weather, science, money, responsibility for bad roads—exactly what each of us is concerned about in our own worlds.

      Makes you wonder about the how the PA fits in with its brothers.

      Kislev 16, 5774, 11/19/2013

      Israel headlines, November 15-18, 2013

      Last updated: November 20, 2013


      Israel headlines tell a story. They tell you the news. But sometimes, they reveal some underlying truths.

      Return to this blog every Tuesday and Friday after Noon. You’ll see a sampling of headlines from Israel’s press—and some comments about those headlines.

      Today’s headlines—and those comments--come from November 15 - 18, 2013.

      The Arab-Israel conflict

      - Teen Terrorist: I Intended to Stab a Soldier

      - Hamas to PA: Stop Peace Talks, They're US Dictates

      -'Hot Mic' Catches UN Disbelief at Anti-Israel Bias

      -Netanyahu: Outspoken UN interpreter can work here anytime

      -PA Trend: Naming Soccer Teams After Terrorists

      -Report: Israel, Saudi Arabia Plan Iran Strike

      -PA Official: No Peace with Current Coalition

      -Netanyahu: Palestinians need to make concessions in peace talks as well

      -Hamas shows off ‘terror tunnels’ on anniversary of IDF operation

      -Ya'alon: Escalation in West Bank due to diplomatic process

      - Fatah: 'Settlements' a 'Crime Against Humanity'

      - PA pays former prisoners $10,000-$50,000 upon release

      -Hamas: Ceasefire is Time to Prepare the Tunnels

      -Hollande Meets Abbas, Attacks 'Settlements'

      -Netanyahu invites Abbas to Knesset for sake of peace

      -In Ramallah, Hollande urges Palestinians to be flexible on right of return

      -PA: No Peace Without Full 'Right of Return'

      America and Israel

       - US Security Advisor Blames Israeli Building for Tension

      - John McCain: Kerry a 'Human Wrecking Ball' in Middle East

      - McCain: We've Lost Influence in the Middle East

      -Obama to Congress: You Want War? Then Toughen the Sanctions

      -Obama Refuses to Speak to Netanyahu

      -Israelis not thrilled with US foreign policy

      -The current Israel-US rift was only a matter of time

      -‘It seems like Barack Obama has no red lines’

      -Pollard’s operator: U.S. promised to free spy after 10 years

      -Putin controls Middle East


      - Iranian: No Progress if Our Nuclear Rights are Ignored

      - Poll: Most Israelis Believe IDF Can Strike Iran On Its Own

      -Binyamin Netanyahu's stance in disagreement with the United States

      -Zarif: We Won't Give Up Our Right to Enrich

      -PM: Iran’s nuclear drive ‘directly threatens Israel’s future’

      -McCain: Don't increase sanctions on Iran this year

      -Likud MK: Western powers too eager to strike deal with Iran

      -Netanyahu: Deal offered to Iran lets it acquire fissile material for nuke within 3 weeks

      - Netanyahu: P5+1 Offering Iran 'Enormous Bonus’

      -Netanyahu: A good deal strips Iran of ability to make fissile material for nuclear bomb

      -Netanyahu: It's my duty to prevent a second Holocaust against the Jewish people

      - Ya'alon: Iranian regime dreams of defeating west

      - Netanyahu to CNN: Bad Iran deal could lead to war

      -‘Geneva talks a facade, US-Iran worked secretly on deal for past year’

      Life in Israel

      -Israel second in Global Dynamism Index technology sector

      -Apple reportedly buying Israel’s PrimeSense for $345 million.

      -Can-Fite to list on NYSE MKT

      -Israeli agritech firm promising growth in crop yields

      -OECD: Israel is the only member that cut spending per capita 2001-2011

      -BGU, Chinese firm to create desert research institute in Mongolia

      Israel politics

      -Minister says coalition will collapse over peace talks ‘sooner or later’

      -Minister Peri: Israel must be careful not to exacerbate row with US

      -Peri: Palestinian issue will tear cabinet apart

      -Labor chief Yacimovich assails Netanyahu for 'slapping Americans in face'

      - PM Appoints Liberman to Take Over While he's in Moscow

      The Arab Middle East

      -Libya Reels as Tripoli Violence Continues

      - Sources: Deputy Libyan intelligence chief kidnapped

      -Gunmen kill senior security officer in Cairo

      -Syrian troops launch offensive near Lebanon border

      - Thousands of Syrian refugees flood into Lebanon

      -Kuwait mulls screening workers for homosexuality

      -Gaza Strip full of corrupt millionaires, says Palestinian official.

      - Gazan 'Arab Idol' Attacks Israel on US Tour

      The Temple Mount

      --Arabs Wave PLO Flags on Temple Mount

      The war of the Left against Israel

      -Judea-Samaria Conference to Begin Amid Leftist Threats

      Jews around the world

      -'Apartheid Week' Approved at University of Toronto, Scarsborough

      -Simon Weisenthal Center Exposes European anti-Semitism

      -Brooklyn: Anti-Semitic Attacks Continue in 'Game' to Hurt Jews

      --Simon Wiesenthal Center Condemns Toronto Univ. Apartheid Week

      -Italian police raid homes of suspected online anti-Semites

      -Norweigan FM Brende applauds Kerry's Israel-Palestine and Iran efforts

      -Norwegian Jews hoping new circumcision rules head off ban


      There’s a lot to write about in today’s news cycle: Iran, French President Francois Hollande, Mahmoud Abbas, Norwegian Jews and Israel’s business environment are just a few of the story lines we could talk about. I’ve only got space to tell you about three of these stories. For the others, you’ll have to look again at the headlines and deduce what's up.

      Iran dominated the first part of this news cycle. The West, led by the US, promised it could get Iran to back away from pursuing nuclear weapons.  The deal was, if Iran stopped its march to a nuclear arsenal (that’s how the agreement was described in the press), the West would lift what have become crushing economic sanctions.

      It was supposed to be a good deal for all involved: Iran would get billions of dollars released from ‘sanction’. The West would get peace. Israel would get peace of mind.

      The US loved the deal. It began to leak stories of an impending agreement. But then Israel objected. It made a series of announcements about the agreement: it was, Israel said, a bad deal.

      Immediately, a highly-publicized argument broke out between the US and Israel. Through headlines, both sides barked at the other. It was like watching a couple’s marriage break up in public.

      Is Israel’s love-affair with the US at an end? Certainly, Israel’s Left got frightened. It cried that Israel shouldn’t slap the US in the face.

      Is that what Israel was doing?

      Anger filled the headlines. A shortened version of this fight goes something like this:  US Secretary of State John Kerry talked about a pending agreement with Iran. Israel said it didn't like what it saw. Kerry announced that if Netanyahu was criticizing this agreement, he’s out of touch; he hasn’t been properly informed. Netanyahu fired back: I’m totally up-to-date; I’m completely informed; this deal is bad.

      Then the deal collapsed. The US blamed Iran. Iran blamed the US. Israel and the US couldn’t see eye-to-eye. Everybody saw raw nerves exposed by both the US and Israel.

      Israel urged the US Congress not to lift sanctions. Israel wanted Congress to toughen sanctions. US President Obama responded, you want war? Then toughen the sanctions.

      Iran declared that the US was afraid of war. They appeared to suggest that the US would do anything to avoid a confrontation with anyone who threatened it.

      Iran even suggested that Obama had smoked marijuana when he was twenty—as if that explained something about Obama.

      This was getting ugly.

      US Senator John McCain got into the act. A former soldier, he knew all about war, power and force. So he announced that the collapse of the Iran talks was just one of a string of diplomatic failures that illustrate how the US has lost its power to influence; then he called Kerry a human wrecking ball.

      Then he said, the US shouldn’t increase sanctions this year.

      Netanyahu announced that the deal the West had offered was so bad, it would allow Iran to acquire fissile [sic] material for a nuke within 3 weeks. It’s a deal that would, he suggested, lead to war.

      President Obama—according to some Israel headlines—got so angry at Netanyahu that he stopped talking to him. He refused to take calls from Netanyahu.

       If the Israeli Prime Minister wanted to say something, he could say it to Kerry.

      Nice guy, the US President.

      France, meanwhile, became a hero. Turns out the US didn’t scuttle the talks. Neither did Iran. It was France. France felt that—hold on to your hat—the deal was bad. It was ugly. It wouldn’t do anything to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

      How does that make Kerry and Obama look? More important, what does the French action here tell Israelis about the US?

      An Israeli poll taken during this ‘fight’ had the answer: Israelis didn’t believe the US.

      French President Francois Hollande became an instant hero in Israel. A scheduled trip to Israel became a celebration.

      It was fun. But it didn’t last. As part of his tour here, Hollande went to Ramallah.  He went carrying a gift of 10 million euros. He also gave Abbas another gift: he announced that Israel must end all ‘settlements’.

      Oopps. Hollande’s value as a hero plummeted.

      Hollande is scheduled to return to Jerusalem after his confab with Abbas. His return will be interesting.

      Before he left for Ramallah, Hollande heard Netanyahu speak to the Knesset (in Hollande’s honour). In his speech, Netanyahu made a public offer to Abbas: come to our Knesset. Tell us that you accept Israel as the Jewish State and we will give you peace.

      We may never know what these words meant to Hollande, for when he went to Ramallah, he was not reported to have repeated these words in public. Instead, he was reported as saying, all ‘settlements’ should end. Then he added something new: Abbas needed to be ‘flexible’ on the ‘refugee’ question.

      Interesting. One of the main Palestinian Authority (PA) negotiating points for any ‘peace’ talks with Israel has always been the ‘return’ of all ‘refugees’ who fled Israel in 1948. At that time, some 500,000 – 750,000 Arabs (the number you use depends upon whom you believe) fled Israel. These refugees represent the only refugees of that period (after World War Two) who have never been integrated into or absorbed into a new life in a new place. By contrast, some 700,000-800,000 Jews were themselves expelled from or compelled to leave Arab countries in the decade after 1948. All of them have been absorbed by other nations, primarily Israel. There is no ‘Jewish’ refugee problem.

      These Arabs, however, haven’t been absorbed. They have been cooped up in squalid ‘refugee camps’.

      Is it politically correct to say that their squalor has been managed and maintained by the United Nations?

      Now, through birth, these Arabs add up to some 5 million people. Abbas wants them to ‘return’ to Israel as part of any final agreement.

      That creates a problem. Currently, Israel has perhaps 7.7 million people. Six million are Jews. App 1.6 million are Arab. Israel understands what will happen if, suddenly, there were an additional 5 million (unemployed) Arabs moving into Israel. It would be the end of the Jewish State.

      Abbas, for his part, doesn’t want these 5 million Arabs, either. He doesn’t want them in his new ‘Palestine’. Yes, he claims they are his ‘people’. He claims he fights for them. But he rejects them. He has already stated that no ‘refugees’ will be allowed to enter ‘Palestine’. They must stay in their squalor until they can ‘return’ to Israel.

      Aren’t they good enough for him?

      Some observers of the Arab world feel that, should Abbas accept anything less than a full ‘return’, he will be assassinated. The Arabs have been teaching too many children for too long that they are destined to ‘return’. Compromise on this ‘question’ is not an option.  The Arab culture in the PA simply won’t allow it.

       At 4:30 pm Monday, November 18, 2013, one news outlet headlined that Hollande had recommended to Abbas to be ‘flexible’ on the refugee issue. Less than two hours later, at 6:14 pm, that news outlet headlined Abbas’ response: no peace without full right of return.

      In international politics, that kind of unequivocal response—given so quickly--is the equivalent of a bare-knuckles punch in the face. It will instructive to see how Hollande talks about Abbas’ aggressiveness when he (Hollande) returns to Jerusalem.

      Will he do as the EU has done—and ignore it? Or, will he step up—as he did with Iran—and confront it for what it is—a deal-killing demand that no rational nation anywhere could accept.

      One wonders: while in  Ramallah, did Hollande see the new Fatah logo? It shows a map of the new 'Palestine' replacing Israel. If he saw it, would he declare that France would never support that kind of 'peace'?

      Abbas, meanwhile, is in fighting form. He airs his hate of Israel with an almost jaunty spirit: he used this news cycle to name soccer teams after Jew-killers and to declare that, if Israel wants peace, it will have to change its governing coalition.

      Nice guy.

      Take a look at the other headlines.  They tell their own stories. Some combine to create their own story lines. Can you find them?



      Kislev 12, 5774, 11/15/2013

      Israel headlines, November 11-14, 2013

      Last updated: November 18, 2013

       Israel headlines tell a story. They tell you the news. But sometimes, they reveal some underlying truths.

      Return to this blog every Tuesday and Friday after Noon. You’ll see a sampling of headlines from Israel’s press—and some comments about those headlines.

      Today’s headlines—and those comments--come from November 11 - 14, 2013.

      The Arab-Israel conflict

      - Arab Hackers Target Israeli Facebook Users

      -Report: Jordan rebuffs Israeli request for Jewish prayer space on Temple Mount

      -Mufti: Jerusalem is 'Islamic'

      -PA Arabs Toss Molotov Cocktail at IDF Near Tapuah

      -Hamas Claims It's Ready For Next Battle With IDF

      --Soldier killed in Afula stabbing attack

      -Netanyahu: Afula terror attack result of Palestinian incitement

      -‘Tests on Arafat paid for by his widow, PA’

      --Fatah official says Israel poisoned Arafat

      -PA minister: Jews poisoned Muhammad, Arafat

      America’s Reputation

      - John Kerry a 'Self-Deceiving Bumbler'?

      -'Kerry, You're Spreading Palestinian Propaganda'

      - Kerry: Obama didn't order all NSA spying

      - Obama challenged at home and abroad over Iran talks

      -Cal Thomas: We Spy on Israel, But Pollard's in Jail?

      -Poll: Israelis Don't Trust U.S. in Iran Talks

      -Kerry: We Respect Netanyahu's Concern About Iran Talks

      -Senators Told to 'Ignore Israel' On Iran

      -Republicans blast Kerry’s 'anti-Israeli' Senate briefing against new Iran sanctions

      -Kerry’s ‘emotional appeal’ against sanctions flops

      -U.S. dismisses Israeli assessment on Iran as 'exaggerated, not based on reality'

      -For whom did John Kerry write a 2009 Gaza letter?


      -Why is France harder on Iran than the US?

      -French MP invokes Munich 1938 in warning against Iran deal

      -Report: Khamenei's conglomerate thrived as sanctions squeezed Iran

      Life in Israel

      - Tourists flock to Israel in record numbers

      -‘Israel and South Korea could be economic powerhouse’

      -Israeli researchers develop revolutionary alternative fuel process

      -El Al launches new routes as profit soars

      -First-ever US TV series to be filmed entirely in Israel

      -Israelis finds bacteria-killing protein, could replace antibiotics

      Israel politics

      - Lieberman returns as Israeli foreign minister

      The war of the Left against Israel

      -Ethics watchdog rebukes Haaretz columnist

      - Knesset’s Left in uproar: ‘Lieberman’s as FM – bomb in peace process’

      Jews around the world

      -Canada: Quebec Politician Calls to Ban Circumcision

      -NY police investigate attacks on Jews in Brooklyn

      -Biggest children’s book publisher erases Israel from map

      -Fourth man arrested in suspected Sydney anti-Semitic attack

      -Australian Jews brace for fight against repeal of hate laws

      -Norway to introduce new ‘regulations’ on circumcision

      -Israelis in Odessa: We're attacked by neo-Nazis


      In today’s Israel news cycle, we see again how recurrent themes dominate. Arab hate makes a mockery of the so-called ‘peace talks. Israel’s Left can’t stop hating Israel. Anti-Semitism continues to haunt Jews around the world. The US looks more incompetent (or duplicitous) than last week--and Israel continues to look like a world-class incubator for growth and innovation.

      The stories of Arab hate almost took on a comical turn. First, it was revealed that –contrary to Al Jazeera’s initial claim—it was Arafat’s widow herself who had paid for testing to see if her husband had been poisoned. When she got her money’s worth (scientists suggested he had indeed been poisoned), Palestinian Authority officials did not announce that, because of peace talks with Israel, they were going to consign Arafat’s 2004 death to history. Instead, they used the ‘findings’ to create a circus-like hate-attack against Israel and Jews.

      The two very best PA headlines were these: first, one PA official declared, ‘There is not one Palestinian leader’ Israel didn’t kill’.  Then, another headline announced, ‘PA minister: Jews poisoned Muhammad, Arafat.’

      In case you miss the point, that PA minister is saying that Jews killed the original Mohammed.

      Who knew?

      With this kind of incendiary language showing up in the middle of peace talks, do you truly believe Arabs are ready to live with Jews, ‘side-by-side in peace’?

      The answer to that question came during this same news cycle: an IDF soldier was stabbed to death while sleeping during a bus-ride (In Israel, many IDF soldiers sleep on buses). Netanyahu blamed the soldier’s death on PA incitement.

      The Mufti (the Muslim cleric in charge of Jerusalem) declared that Jerusalem was Islamic, not Jewish. Then Jordan demanded that no Jews be allowed to worship on the Temple Mount, even though it had signed a peace treaty with Israel committing to free access for all people (for worship) to all Holy Sites.

      Despite the treaty, the Jordanians reject the idea of Jews praying on the Temple Mount. Apparently, the treaty isn’t worth the paper it was written on.

      This so-called next treaty (to come out of current negotiations) doesn’t look any more promising, especially when the Arabs now claim that Jews killed their Mohammed.

      Killing Arafat isn’t enough. The Jews have to have killed Mohammed, too.

      Meanwhile, an article appeared claiming that all this talk of Israel killing Arafat could turn into a disaster for the Arabs. You see, before his death, Arafat was surrounded by personal guards and advisors. He was practically imprisoned by an obsessively protective staff. If the Israelis did in fact kill him, they couldn’t have done it alone. True, they could have delivered the poison. But that poison would have been given to Arafat by one of his trusted few.

      So if the ‘Palestinians’ blame the Jews, the one lingering question is, which Arafat friend helped them?

      The article suggested that the ‘Palestinians’ might therefore want to be very careful about picking up rocks to throw at someone over Arafat’s death. They could end up using those rocks on each other.

      These anti-Israel declarations are not the actions of people getting ready for peace. They are the declarations of people getting ready for war.

      The US, meanwhile, lost more goodwill. The major actor here was US Secretary of State John Kerry. First, he told US Senators that they shouldn’t believe a thing Israel tells them about Iran—even though, as one astonished Senator later reported, Kerry offered no proof that the Israelis were not believable. Then a 2009 letter-of-introduction surfaced signed by the then-Senator Kerry asking all who met the letter-carrier to grant every courtesy to him as he went to Gaza to help the Gazans in their struggle against Israel.

      Kerry’s behaviour prompted at least one observer to wonder if Kerry was a ‘self-deceiving bumbler’. For this Israeli news cycle, that was probably one of the kinder things said of Kerry.

      Israel’s Left took a hit this news cycle as Gideon Levy and Haaretz (the paper for whom he works) were censored for unethical work. Levy had written one particularly hateful article (he is anti-Israel; his articles do not speak kindly about Israel). He was censored because, essentially, he made up ‘facts’ to support his viciousness. His paper took a hit because it didn’t exercise proper journalistic oversight over him.

      Levy has been caught at this sort of thing before. He is passionate about his hate—for Israel.

      Anti-Semitism outside Israel continues. This news cycle, the Jew-hate comes from Odessa, Australia, Canada, New York and Norway. Where will it appear next week?

      Finally, Israel again showcases its medical technology and research discoveries. El Al profits soar. The South Koreans say they love Israeli innovation and creativity; and Hollywood, California wants to make a first-ever American TV drama right here in Israel. It seems they, too, love Israel.

      There are other stories in this news cycle. You can see some of them above. One stands out. It was a story that appeared, then disappeared quickly.  But you can bet that this story isn’t going to go away.

      It’s the reinstatement of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who had been ‘on leave’ while he faced corruption charges in court. The charges were dismissed. Netanyahu reinstated him. The Left threw a tantrum (because Lieberman is pro-Israel, extremely blunt and, some say, uncouth in his manner). He’s exactly the kind of the man the Left loves to hate.

      My guess is that this is one story that won’t disappear so easily. We should watch to see what impact his return has on Netanyahu’s decisions during the so-called ‘peace-talks.’

       Stay tuned.



      Kislev 11, 5774, 11/14/2013

      Arab headlines November 7 - 13, 2013


      If you’re like most non-Arabs, you probably don’t read the Arab Press. That could be a mistake.

      The Arab world is not monolithic. It’s dynamic. It’s a living entity. It’s home to almost 350 million people. Many of these people know about you. What do you know about them?

      Every Thursday before Noon ET, return here for something you may not see elsewhere: Arab news.

      Here are headlines for—and personal comments about-- Arab news stories for November 7 –13, 2013.


      -Israeli plan for Jewish Negev town 'racist'

      -Israel implicated in shooting death of Palestinian bystander

       -Israeli forces raid three Palestinian neighborhoods, detain one

      -Jordan calls for action against Israeli renovation at Jerusalem holy site

      -Palestinian right to return irrevocable — activists

      --Jerusalem man forced to demolish his own house

      Internal Regional Arab news

      - Child drowns in Hebron well

      -Hebron man injures himself in fireworks accident

      -Over 1,000 Syrians entered Jordan over past 72 hours’

      -Statistics put inflation rate at 6.1% (in Jordan)

      -Illegal migrants in Saudi Arabia surrender after deadly riots

      -Kingdom’s economy picks up steam; inflation slows

      -Egypt player suspended over Islamist salute

      -Egyptian court orders end to state of emergency

      -Tunisia: Search continues for new prime minister

      -Gunman killed, police wounded in Tunisia clashes

      -Khamenei controls massive financial empire built on property seizures

      -Pro-Syrian regime cleric killed in north Lebanon

      -Sudan polio vaccination campaign has failed

      -Arab Spring nations backtrack on women’s rights, poll says

      -Abused women must come out of their closets

      -450,000 Saudis to be trained

      -33% of govt projects face disruption every year

      Arafat’s death

      -Thousands mark Arafat's death across the West Bank

      -Abbas pledges to uncover truth behind Arafat's death

      -Arafat’s murderers must face justice

      -FM: PA determined to uncover truth about Arafat death


      Outside of the Palestinian Authority (PA), the Arab world doesn’t appear to use a lot of ink writing about ‘Palestine’ or ‘Palestine’-related issues. Even for Jordan, with a large ‘Palestinian’ population, the ‘Palestinian cause’ doesn’t seem to be an urgent news topic.

      This Arab news cycle prompts two observations: (1) the farther one gets from Israel’s borders, the less interest Arabs appear to have in the entire Arab-Israel conflict; and (2) the PA’s obsession with demonizing Israel just doesn’t seem to compare very well with other, more urgent Regional problems.

      For example, Syria is destroying itself. Over 100,000 have been officially killed since March 2011. The actual number could be considerably higher. More than two million refugees have been driven from their homes. Cities, towns and villages have been turned into rubble. More than 600,000 Syrians have fled to Jordan alone, causing an enormous humanitarian and economic problem for the Jordanian government.

      Tunisia still can’t choose a leader. That provokes unrest—and that unrest provokes an orgy of deadly clashes between government and anti-government forces.

      Egypt continues to totter. It is just now coming out of a state of emergency. Its population is still split between pro-and anti-Muslim Brotherhood factions. Even a soccer player has been suspended from his team because of Islamist-non-Islamist differences. Inflation reaches double digits.

      Sudan is on a political and social death-bed. The situation there is so bad that the UN now admits that both government and rebel forces have refused to allow U.N. aid workers to vaccinate some 160,000 children against polio. The UN’s Sudanese polio campaign is now, officially, a failure.

      The children continue to suffer.

      Iran threatens the entire gulf region. The US so far has refused to act with strength against Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The Saudis, in particular, are unhappy with America’s soft approach. They don’t think ‘soft’ is going to stop Iran.

      The Saudis and the Kuwaitis didn’t follow PA news in this cycle. Instead, they focus on distinctly different issues. Their concerns in this news cycle are illegal immigrants—and business. For example, in an effort to reduce reliance on foreign workers, the Saudis announce they will create programs to train 450,000 Saudi youth to do skilled labour. It’s a five-year plan. They’ll open more than 300 training sites throughout the Kingdom.

      Saudi Inflation is now ‘slowing’. Their news report doesn’t give numbers—the Saudis apparently don’t do that. But their inflation news is a positive for them—if it’s accurate.

      The main focus for both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait seems to be the business of business. The Saudis report they are concerned about disruptions in construction projects. They do a lot of constructing. Their economy could be impacted by too much disruption. They report that fully one-third of all projects face major disruptions each year. That’s too much.

      Their news reports list reasons for this disruption. They express concern over the potential negative impact of disruption on the Saudi economy. They identify solutions.

      The report suggests a sense of urgency. These problems have to be solved.

      It all paints a picture: we are in the business of business. We know we are not perfect. We work to get better. We will get better.

      These reports suggest that Saudi businessmen haven’t yet matured to American standards. These businessmen are, for example, concerned about government inefficiencies and what an American might call shockingly incompetent money management by contractors.

      But such concerns don’t appear unique to the Arab Middle East. They could just as easily have been written about Israeli projects.

      The stories, however, have nothing to do with Israel. They have everything to do with trying to build a thriving, stable economy.

      The PA news outlet doesn’t run many of these kinds of stories. If you compare Jordanian, Saudi and Kuwaiti news against PA news in this current news cycle, you may come to a simple conclusion: the PA is not in the same economic league as these other places.  Read PA news alongside these other Arab news vendors and you realize that the PA has only one industry: hate Israel.

      That industry attracts as much as a billion dollars a year. It’s not a small industry. But it’s a limited industry. Its size and money-making capability is dwarfed by what Kuwait and the other Gulf states can generate.

      The hate-Israel industry no doubt keeps some in the PA happy. A few get very rich from it. But it’s not a winning formula. It’s more like an economic dead-end.

      The stories above covered a week’s news cycle. Certainly, there were other stories in the Arab media. The majority of those stories had nothing to do with the ‘Palestinian struggle.’

      Is the PA playing a loser’s game?

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