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 come from November 5 - November 7, 2013.
The Arab-Israel conflict
-Hamas to Teach 'Resistance to Israel' in Gaza Schools
-Returning PA Terrorists Guaranteed Incomes (up to 12k NIS/month)
-Netanyahu Slams Palestinian Authority 'Intransigence'
-Peace talks threatened by Palestinian incitement, Netanyahu tells Kerry
-Fatah Gloats: Israel, Go Pray for Your Dead
-Poll: Most Palestinians Predict Terror War
-MK Struck's bus attacked by Molotov cocktails en route to Hebron
-Kerry: US Sees Jewish Judea and Samaria as 'Illegitimate'
-Kerry Threatens Israel with 'Third Intifada'
-Hamas: New Terror War ‘A Matter of Time’
-PA Officials Call for 'International Probe' into Arafat Death
-Arafat polonium — junk science
-Expert: Arafat poisoning reports 'completely fabricated'
-Terror Shooting Near Modiin; None
America and Israel
-Young Israel Pres.: America Hypocritical on Pollard
-Abbas Accused of Contradicting Childhood Narrative
--Peace talks blow up after teams swap accusations
-As talks flounder, US to give $75 million more in aid to Palestinians
--Obama: Bibi is a Pain in the...
-Kerry urges Israeli settlement limits
--Report: Obama Linking 'Peace Talks,' Iran
-Kerry extends Mideast trip in effort to salvage peace talks
-Obama's Public Approval Ratings Plunge Below 40%
-US ordered to turn over Red Cross files on Gitmo
-IAEA Chief Not Sure Iran’s Nuke Program Peaceful
-UN cannot guarantee all Iranian nuke work peaceful
Life in Israel
-OECD report says Israelis are wealthy, but fearful
-Water Authority Worried: Kinneret Too High
-Israel faces water surplus
-Wix raises $127m in Nasdaq IPO
-Israel at OECD Conference Hopeful for Economic Future
-America Movil makes strategic investment in Israel's Mobli
-El Al to launch low-cost flights to Europe
-Israeli water tech comes to rescue of EU farmers
-Israel’s Applied CleanTech to Clean Up Netherlands
-Report: Livni Offering Abbas More than PM Wants
-Lapid freezes transfer of NIS 105m. to settlements
-Samaria: Acts of Terror Outnumber Livni's "Advancement"
-Former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman Acquitted
--Gal-on: A-G Weinstein should be probed for handling of Liberman case
-Call for A-G to Resign after Lieberman Verdict
-With Lieberman cleared, Netanyahu wins back his most stable partner
The war against religion
-US Ambassador Supports Challenge to Jewish Tradition
-Rabbis: Women's Groups Pushing Out Religious Soldiers from IDF
-Hareidi, Secular MKs Threaten 'Culture War'
Jews around the world
-Two Muslim Women Attack Jewish Man in Montreal
-Toronto University Arrests Unruly Anti-Israel Students
-Pig’s head left on doorstep of Ukrainian synagogue
-Boycott Movement in Vancouver Against SodaStream
This news cycle contains at least four news stories to talk about: Mahmoud Abbas tells another fib; the religious in Israel are again taking fire from Jews who hate Judaism; the United States again demonstrates its animus towards Israel; and the PLO accuses Israel of killing Yasser Arafat in 2004.
The Abbas story did not make waves in Israel. Only one media outlet ran it. But it’s still important because Abbas has been selling the world the fiction that Israel started the 1948 War by forcefully exiling Arabs who lived in Israel. Abbas most recently repeated this canard last year at the United Nations, where he declared that Arabs in Tzefat [Sefad] “were uprooted and thrown into exile” by Jews in 1948. But the media-watch group Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) has discovered that Abbas has unwittingly revealed that the Arab narrative of Jews deliberately ‘exiling’ Arabs from Tzefat was a lie. Abbas is quoted as telling an Arab TV interviewer, “The [Arab] Liberation Army retreated from the city [of Tzefat], causing the people to begin emigrating. In Tzefat, just like Hebron, people were afraid that the Jews would take revenge for the [Arab] massacre [of Jews] in 1929... The people were overcome with fear, and it caused the people to leave the city in a disorderly way."
That’s interesting: for decades, Jewish and non-Jewish haters of Israel have claimed repeatedly that, in 1948, Jews expelled Arabs from Israeli cities as part of an organized government effort to expel Arabs from Israel. Tzefat was supposed to be one of those cities. Now Abbas himself admits that Arabs left Tzefat of their own accord.
This may seem like a little point. But when Abbas stands before the world at the United Nations and demonizes Israel with lies in order to plead for statehood, why should we remain silent? We must make sure the world sees how Abbas builds his case for statehood upon lies and misrepresentations.
If we remain silent, Abbas will define the terms of Arab-Israel relations. That’s not in Israel’s best interest.
This week, Israel’s anti-religious Left attacked religious Jews on two fronts. First, the Left wanted to see severe—even criminal—charges filed against Haredi (ultra-religious Jews) who do not enter the army. Second, Leftist women’s groups in the IDF continue to push against religious men in the IDF. Their complaint appears to be that it is religious soldiers who are taking opportunity away from women. The religious are loading up Officer Training Programs (recent Training classes have averaged close to 40 per cent religious); and religious soldiers are volunteering at an above-average rate for combat assignment.
That’s a threat. Apparently, these women don’t want religious officers—or religious Jews in combat.
They want equality. They want women officers and women in combat.
There’s just one problem with that: a study (which the army doesn’t like to talk about) shows that women who enter combat training become severely injured at an above-average rate. They drop out of training. This leaves their assigned combat units understaffed; and that hurts IDF battle-preparedness.
Is this how these women want the IDF to face its enemies, with undermanned units?
These Leftists don’t care. They want women officers and women in combat—and they appear intent on harassing the religious until they win.
With Jews like these in Israel, who needs enemies?
The third story in this news cycle may have a very short shelf life—or spark a wave of terror against Jews in Israel. This is the story of how Yasser Arafat died in 2004. In 2012, Arabs claimed that a substance called polonium-210 was found on the clothing Arafat wore just before he died. ‘Scientists’ were asked to confirm this. They have now supposedly confirmed that Arafat’s body contained perhaps 20 times what might be expected to be found. The PLO has called for an international investigation: someone, they say, killed their beloved leader—and the prime suspect, they claim, is Israel.
In this news cycle, the peace talks appeared near collapse even before the Arafat story broke. US Secretary of State John Kerry (and his US masters) have therefore taken several steps to keep the peace-momentum going: (1) Kerry declared that any Jewish presence in Judea-Samaria is illegitimate;(2) Kerry announced that the PA will receive an additional 75 million dollars; (3) President Obama linked the Arab-Israel ‘peace talks’ with Iran talks, suggesting that Israel needs to ‘make progress’ with Abbas so that the Iranian nuclear ‘problem’ can be solved (suggesting that an American failure to deal with Iran will be Israel’s fault); (4), Kerry suggested in an Israel TV interview that, if peace talks failed, Israel will face intense world-wide isolation—and a third intifada; and (5) an announcement “suddenly” appeared in the press that a new American book about President Barak Obama has come out in which Obama is quoted as saying, about Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, ‘he’s a pain in the as*.
These remarks send four messages: first, the Americans can no longer speak civilly about Israel; second, the Americans reject all of Israel’s suspicions about a so-called ‘peace’; third, the Americans have pre-judged who will be responsible for the talks’ failure; and fourth, the Americans are signalling how all should respond to the talks’ failure: isolate Israel and start a terror war against Israel.
Israel’s leaders believe that America is our friend. Well, with a ‘friend’ like this, who needs enemies?
In Israel, meanwhile, business grows, another Israeli company has gone public on the American NASDAQ exchange, and Israeli technology makes a hit outside Israel. Israel—perhaps unique in the Middle East—appears to have a water surplus; and the Israeli economy gets praise at a meeting of the OECD. This is the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. It’s a prestigious club that’s limited to the 34 most Developed Nations in the world.
Israel is a member of that club.
Of all the news we saw this news cycle, were these four story-lines truly the most important? You’ll have to wait for more news to find out.