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
- 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
- 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.
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.’