European Jewish Congress
Israel Press Review of 08/11/2016
Israeli Press Review
Israel Press Review of 08/11/2016

Major Headlines 
  • Israel asks France to cancel peace parley, prefers direct talks

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s envoys on Monday rejected a French call that it attend an international peace conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that will likely be held in December in Paris, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Only direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians will lead to a final agreement for a two-state solution, Netanyahu’s envoys, attorney Yitzhak Molcho and acting National Security Council head Yaakov Nagel, said.

They conveyed this message in a meeting with France’s envoy for the initiative Pierre Vimont, who met with them in Jerusalem during his visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories to secure support for the conference.

This initiative only distances rather than advances peace, they told Vimont.

Israel will not attend any conference that is convened without its consent and which touts an approach to the resolution of the conflict which it opposes, the envoys said in their conversation with Vimont.

Such a conference only allows for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to avoid engaging in direct talks without pre-conditions, they added.

“Israel expects France not to advance an initiative or a process that is against the official stance of the state of Israel,” the envoys said. 

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post

  • IDF and Palestinian security forces foil terrorist attack near Hebron

Israel was able to thwart a major terrorist attack against its soldiers in Hebron last week, thanks to intelligence provided by Palestinian security forces, Israel Hayom reports.

According to available details, Palestinian security forces learned on Friday that a large roadside bomb, attached to a 12-kilogram (26-pound) gas canister, had been placed near a Palestinian security checkpoint on a road also patrolled by Israel Defence Forces troops.

The Palestinians relayed the information to Israeli forces in the area. Israel Police sappers followed up on the information and were able to locate the explosive device and neutralise it safely.

Palestinian security forces arrested a suspect, identified only as a resident of Qalqilya, a Palestinian city west of Nablus.

The suspect is believed to be affiliated with an international terrorist cell.

He reportedly told interrogators that he had planned to hurl a firebomb at an IDF patrol in order to bring it closer to the Palestinian security checkpoint, and then remotely detonate the explosive device.

The IDF Spokesperson's Unit confirmed Sunday that Judea and Samaria District Police sappers neutralised an explosive device in the area on Friday.

Click here to read the full article in Israel Hayom

  • Netanyahu faces hail of criticism after calling leading journalist “left-wing extremist”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu faced intense condemnation on Monday night, with one top former ally accusing him of having “completely lost it,” after he assailed a respected investigative journalist and called her “a left-wing extremist” over a critical report into the inner workings of his office, the Times of Israel reports.

The profile story by Ilana Dayan of Channel 2’s long-running “Uvda” program included exclusive interviews with various officials who have been in Netanyahu’s inner circle, and inside information on the internal operation of his office.

The report depicted a shrewd and calculating politician who appears to be chiefly concerned with safeguarding his own rule, often valuing personal loyalty in his appointments above all other traits.

It also portrayed Netanyahu’s wife Sara as a problematic presence in the prime minister’s decision-making process, a power broker who is intimately involved in her husband’s work and decisions and who often has final say on government appointments.

However, it was not the “Uvda” story itself that earned headlines in Hebrew media on Monday evening, but rather the prime minister’s response to the programme: a three-page tirade which was read out by Dayan in full, in a 6-minute segment at the end of the programme.

In it, the Prime Minister’s Office assailed Dayan’s character, calling her “a left-wing extremist” who “does not have an iota of professional integrity” and who is “one of the ring-leaders of the orchestrated attacks on…Netanyahu, which seek to bring down the right-wing government.”

The PMO claimed Dayan systematically went after the right while ignoring transgressions by the left, and called Monday’s report “a political propaganda broadcast against the prime minister and his wife, entirely comprised of recycled slanderous rumors and vile lies.”

Netanyahu’s scathing attack on Dayan, considered one the nation’s top investigative reporters, was quickly met with outrage by politicians.

Former prime minister Ehud Barak, who served as Defence Minister under Netanyahu between 2009-2013, wrote on Facebook: “He’s completely lost it.

“Psychologists would say it begins with a ‘P’,” he added, apparently meaning “paranoia.”

The opposition’s Zionist Union said the premier’s statement was “incitement, pure and simple” which could “fall on attentive ears and lead to harm to a journalist doing her work.” It accused Netanyahu of turning Israel into “a KGB state in which the regime seeks to hinder the work of the guardians (of democracy) in the media and the justice system.”

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel


  • Moroccan delegation of journalists visits Israel despite intimidation from home

A delegation of seven leading Moroccan journalists is currently being hosted by the Israeli foreign ministry with the aim of enabling the participants to view first-hand the situation in Israel and to shatter negative myths associated with the country’s image, Yediot Aharonot reports.

As part of the visit which is taking place despite the absence of any official relations between the two counties, the journalists, comprising five women and two men, will receive political and military briefings, meet with ministers, MKs and senior officials from the Supreme Court and will also partake in a tour of the Gaza border.  

In a conversation with Ynet, one of the delegation members from a prominent Moroccan newspaper explained the climate of fear and propaganda which has hitherto precluded the possibility of such a visit from coming to fruition.

“I was extremely afraid of coming. We are under pressure from the Arab media, religious people and propaganda about the Palestinian issue,” the journalist confessed. 

“People are scared to become outcasts. If you say you support Israel, or even that you don’t have a negative opinion about the country in regard to the Palestinian issue, they will single you out.”

“I didn’t tell most of my friends that I am coming here so that they wouldn’t ostracise me,” the journalist said. “As a country, Morocco has no problem with me coming to Israel. As a delegation we flew as usual from Casablanca. No one prevented us from doing so.”

However, she noted that “my friends recommended that I don’t share anything on social media. ‘You will regret it for the rest of your life. They will incite against you and you will possibly even get death threats,’” they warned her. 

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot

Tuesday, November 08, 2016
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