As Iran resumed negotiations with the West regarding its nuclear program, the Israeli papers highlighted the major developments.
Haaretz’s lead story reports that Israel would allow Iran to possess some enriched uranium. The revelation came from sources in Jerusalem who are trying to show flexibility from Israel if an agreement is reached between the West and Iran. The level of enriched uranium that Israel stated was acceptable was 3.5%.
Yedioth Ahronoth spotlights a message from the American government to the Iranians that Israel will not attack in the next six months, a period of time coinciding with the presidential race in the United States. The report also lists the red lines that the Americans have demanded for any agreement with the Iranians including: the stopping of enrichment at their underground facility and halting enrichment at 20%.
Israel Hayom quotes the head of the Iranian Army who said yesterday, “We are committed to exterminating Israel” and takes a dubious tone regarding the chances of success for an agreement. The paper asked seven people (all under 35) if Iran could be trusted. All said no, but one woman said it was still important to give negotiations a chance.
Maariv leads with the news out of the West Bank that Israeli settlers shot and wounded a Palestinian youth while IDF soldiers did not intervene. A video released by the human rights group B’tselem shows a group of settlers firing on a group of Palestinians while soldiers were standing by. The IDF said it was investigating the incident.
Free for a day
Former president and current inmate Moshe Katsav was released on a furlough from prison so he could attend his son’s wedding, and pictures of him dancing were splashed across the papers. Former Knesset member David Mana, who also attended the wedding, told Israel Hayom, “He was very happy to see his friends; everyone spoke to him only about the wedding.”
Maariv reports that the recent furor about violence attributed to refugees in south Tel Aviv has spread to Bnei Brak, Ashdod, and other places, where residents are organizing protest and marches to draw attention to the issue.
Yedioth Ahronoth reports that a Palestinian terrorist cell in the West Bank has been indicted on charges of attempted kidnapping. According to the report, the cell tried and failed on four different occasions to kidnap Israelis in the West Bank for the purpose of trading them for prisoners. One of the victims of an attempted kidnapping told Yedioth, “When I knew for a fact it was an attempted kidnapping, I shook all over and it was a miracle that I was able to escape.”
Haaretz reports on page four about yesterday’s Jerusalem Day events. Focusing on some of the celebration’s rotten apples. Under the headline, “Hundreds praise Baruch Goldstein,” the article reports that 10 Jews were arrested for suspected racist acts and five Palestinians for attempting to throw objects at the participants.
Haaretz’s opinion page also discusses the Jerusalem Day celebrations in its op-ed, “Jerusalem, the lies surround her.” The piece laments that while Jews rejoice in the unification of the city, its Arab and Christian residents must struggle each day. It argues that increasing attempts to Judaicize Jerusalem do not succeed in unifying the city but instead make life more difficult for its Arab residents. It concludes by stating that each year on Jerusalem Day we are reminded that the international community does not accept the annexation of Jerusalem.
Checking in on the world championship
Boris Gelfand, the Israeli chess master and challenger for the world chess championship, made the news today after he broke through and won a game against the current world champion, Viswanathan Anand of India. Both Israel Hayom and Maariv featured the Israeli on their front pages with both papers hoping that this would be the decisive win. Each of the previous six games had ended in a draw and with five games to go, Gelfand has a strong advantage.