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Nov 7: Whistle-stops and crooked cops

This is one of the rare days when all four of the Israeli dailies lead with completely different headlines. Haaretz leads with Netanyahu’s trip to the United States; the PM is “set to discuss a package of benefits in exchange for extending the temporary settlement freeze.” Senior administration officials slovenly remind his highness that the benefits are still on the table. This, in a nutshell, is Obama’s “tough love” for Israel: When the carrot doesn’t work, try… more carrots. Haaretz notes in passing the PM’s flight will cost us taxpayer one million dollars.

Other headlines of interest include the police opening thousands of criminal cases for no good reason, just to rake up statistics – the information comes from internal correspondence between senior commanders obtained by the newspaper. A huge wildfire in the Golan Heights gets the third headline.

Yedioth leads with a sequel to the Ariel artists’ boycott: This time, the boycotting artists have called on the artists who do want to perform in Ariel to reconsider. The wildfire is also here, and Israeli composer Gil Shohat gets the third headline: The newspaper sent him to play in a train station, a la Joshua Bell. Bush’s disclosure of Israel’s bombardment of the Syrian nuclear facility three years back gets a tut-tutting headline: “Israel concealed, Bush uncovered.”

Maariv blows the Bush revelations sky-high with the main headline. The reason: Drooling over Israel’s performance; “Israel’s daring operation”, “the attack brought back my faith in the abilities of the Israeli army,” etc etc. The Ariel boycott get’s the tiny, by comparison, second headline.

In the Prime Minister’s Own Freesheet, Yisrael Hayom, the settlers launch a counteroffensive, calling for a counter-boycott and using counter-insults – referring to the distinguished signatories of the artists’ letter as a “marginal group” of which the public has had enough. Sadly, in terms of power-play, they are probably right. To add a bit of humour to the story, some of the settlers leaders slammed the artists’ petition as an “Apartheid letter.”

Summary: Except for the Haaretz cop story, not a an earth-shattering news day – and even the Haaretz story will probably pass unnoticed in the general atmosphere of weariness and escapism  prevailing in the country.

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