APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday January 6, 2013
Quote of the day:
"The Jewish and Arab citizens can live together. I am not talking about the 'good Arab,' who is expected to adhere to the boundaries of the discourse in Israel.
--MK Hanin Zouebi, the 'most-hated woman in Knesset,' shares her vision of co-existence.**
Front Page News:
- The marriage between Yisrael Beiteinu and Likud will dissolve after elections
- Livni initiating union of forces in center
- State Comptroller to publish final Harpaz report today
- Abu Jariban affair: Attorneys of officer claim (dead man) was responsible for his own death (Hebrew)
- Fatah flag back to flying in Gaza Strip in a call for reconciliation
- Bedouin girl who killed her second husband: They forced me to marry
- The trial began in India of the gang of rapers, the prosecution demands death sentences
- Rains and strong winds across the country, possibility of snow in Jerusalem this week
- Central effort - Following Livni's initiative: Heads of center and left-wing parties trying to form joint front for day after elections
- Diskin Storm - Severe criticism of Netanyahu's conduct following statements by former Shin Bet chief in Friday interview with Yedioth
- Today: Final report to be published on Harpaz affair
- Real winter
- Likud ministers: The President is involved in the (center and left) unity initiative (Hebrew)
- Tension ahead of the publication of the Harpaz report today (Hebrew)
- The war that was not - For 5 years Wikipedia published an imaginary war, until someone discovered it made a mistake
- Despite opposition - Obama insists on Hagel (Hebrew)
- Alone against Iran // Amnon Lord
- Waiting for snow in Jerusalem
- "The President will do everything in order to place the forming of a government on the left"
- The (Harpaz) report: Ethics and norms
- Will there be snow?
- The mask was pulled off of (Yedioth publisher) Noni Moses // Dror Eydar
- Hagel appointment: Not good for them, not good for us // Boaz Bismouth
- Tragedy in New Zealand: Israeli tourist killed in traffic accident
- Battle against exporting monkeys for profit succeeded: Mazor farm to close
A 'center-left' bloc unites against the Prime Minister, the Shin Bet chief makes predictions and Jerusalem officials are disappointed about a senator's appointment, making top stories in today's Israeli papers. Meanwhile, Likud makes accusations against the Israeli President.
On Friday Hatnua chairwoman Tzipi Livni called for a 'united bloc' against Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is expected to win the elections in 16 days time, despite dropping ratings in polls. Labor party chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich welcomed Livni's call (Haaretz) for a united centrist front and reiterated she will not be joining a government led by Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman, the chairman of Yisrael Beiteinu. Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid was not warm to the idea and instead suggested the two ladies' parties join a coalition with Netanyahu, in order to prevent an extreme right-wing coalition. After which Livni responded by saying, "We either fight far-right government or force Netanyahu to form different coalition...We must do something. People will go out and vote if we all do the right thing and join forces. We must face the voting public and tell them, we're united." Also, on Friday, when the damning Yedioth interview with former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin was published, Livni said: We can't leave Israel's future in the Prime Minister's hands. Netanyahu responded calling for right-wing support, saying that Livni and Yachimovich are trying to topple his government with their recently-launched unification efforts. Haaretz wrote that Netanyahu was fearful.
Meanwhile, the headlines in the two most right-wing papers, Maariv and Israel Hayom, were that President Shimon Peres was behind the attempt to build a center coalition. [Note, that some of the papers are calling it a leftist or a center-left coalition - OH] Their sources were unnamed Likud people who said the president is doing "everything in his power" to help the Left form and reduce Netanyahu's chances of heading the next government. Israel Hayom noted that Livni's initiative came after a meeting with Peres. The President's Residence issued a statement in response, saying: "The president is not involved in any kind of political maneuvers.
Officials in Jerusalem are concerned about the appointment of Sen. Chuck Hagel as US Secretary of Defense. Hagel opposes an attack on Iran and supports dialogue with Hamas, while the current Israeli government holds the opposite views. "This is a problematic message to Israel when next to Hagel, John Kerry will be serving as Secretary of State - and they both oppose an attack on Iran," a high-ranking official told Yedioth. The official said that the security cooperation between the two countries won't be affected, "but the intimacy between the two sides on this issue will." Senior officials who in the past spoke with Hagel said he admires Israel, but he is critical of construction in settlements and he supported the disengagement from Gaza and supports dialogue with Hamas and Hezbollah. Yedioth noted that AIPAC and 'ultra-conservative Republicans' have run a campaign against Hagel calling him an 'Israel-hater,' who refused to sign in support of Operation Cast Lead (against Gaza in 2008-9). He was also one of four out 100 senators who did not sign on a letter of support of Israel during the Second Intifada. Maariv pointed out that if the appointment does not go through it will hurt the US President's prestige, seeing as his original choice for Secretary of State, Susan Rice, was undermined. Haaretz's Chemi Shalev writes that Hagel's confirmation may inflame the Jewish community and harm Israeli interests, whatever happens. Israel Hayom's Boaz Bismouth writes that the appointment is 'problematic' and quotes Harvard Professor Stephen Walt [whose views I'm sure he generally does not agree with -OH]: "The real meaning of the Hagel affair is what it says about the climate inside Washington. Simply put, the question is whether supine and reflexive support for all things Israeli remains a prerequisite for important policy positions here in the Land of the Free."
There is little chance of a third Intifada breaking out, says the head of the Shin Bet, Yoram Perry. But, he says, there is high chance of mass civil disobedience. Speaking in a closed forum at the Israeli ambassadors' annual convention, Perry said he believes that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is interested in a peace agreement. Yedioth noted that Perry's statements contradict the doctrine that former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman tried to instill in the ambassadors that Abbas is not a partner. Maariv noted that, earlier at the convention, Netanyahu said he was interested in renewing negotiations after the elections - even though, a week earlier, he had said that Abbas was a 'peace-refuser.' Perry also said Abbas expects gestures from Israel, such as release of prisoners and transfer of arms to Palestinian security in order to strengthen his status versus Hamas. Maariv also noted (and Yedioth did not) that Perry said these requests must be considered. Regarding 'price-tag' attacks against Palestinians, Perry said their goal was to deter Israel from removing settlement outposts. The head of the Mossad, Tamir Perdo, refused to speak at the convention, fearing that his statements would be leaked.
- Palestinian Authority officially changes name to 'State of Palestine' - Abbas signs presidential decree in first concrete move after successful UN bid. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Settlers raid Nablus village, fire live ammo - Dozens of settlers from the illegal outpost of Esh Kodesh raided the Nablus village of Qusra, firing live ammunition into the air. Last Tuesday, dozens of settlers raided uprooted more than 190 olive trees in the village, assaulted residents, and damaged homes and a tractor. (Ynet and Maan; Note: Ynet uses quotes from 'Tafnit' - a settler 'news' agency)
- Israeli undercover unit detains 6 youth in East Jerusalem - The force, which was dressed as Palestinians, detained four minors and two other youth Saturday. The teens are suspected of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at a settler house in the Palestinian neighborhood. (Maan)
- Taxpayers footing Mossad luxury vacations - TheMarker discovers that Mossad employees are taking advantage of government subsidized vacation deals and spend significantly less to stay at some of Israel's most expensive hotels. (Haaretz)
- Obama's grandma visits Israeli hospital - Sarah Obama has her eyes examined at Israeli medical facility in Equatorial Guinea, tells doctors: 'Everyone in Africa is talking about you.' (Yedioth/YnetVideo)
- Gaza marks Fatah's 48th anniversary - Rival Palestinian factions continue trying to mend fences as Hamas allows first Fatah rally in Gaza City since 2007. Legions gather in Saraya square; other cities across Gaza. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Israel renews detention of Palestinian prisoner on day of release - The family had decorated the home and prepared sweets for the guests, but found out that Israeli prison authorities had decided to renew his administrative detention. Muhammad Ammar, 56, was arrested March 11, 2011, and has been imprisoned without trial ever since. (Maan)
- Palestinian jailed in Israel suffers voice loss due to negligence - Israeli prison authorities repeatedly ignored the medical condition of Mahmud Hamdi Shabaneh, 40, thought to be an infection in his vocal chords, leading him to lose the ability to speak. (Maan)
- Israeli forces raid Negev jail, prisoners say - Israeli forces raided a Negev jail on Saturday, forcing prisoners to stand in the prison yard during cold weather, prisoners told Ma'an. (Maan)
- West Bank beer gains global following - From small Christian village, Taybeh beer has its sights set on American market. (Ynet Video)
- Official: Israeli soldiers shoot, injure man in north Gaza - Abdullah al-Zaneen, 32, was shot by Israeli forces east of Beit Hanoun. Al-Zaneen was employed by the Gaza government to work at a garbage dump in the area. Israeli troops have shot at Gazans near the border at least 10 times since the end of Operation Pillar of Cloud. Some 30 people have been wounded in the incidents. (Maan)
- Israeli fighting Assad 'can't go home' - Arab Israeli who joined rebel forces in Syria says they burned his passport, refuse to allow him to leave. (Ynet)
- Man charged with spying for the Mossad in Yemen - The man was arrested three weeks ago in the city of Taiz after a period of surveillance, and was named as 24-year-old computer engineer Ibrahim al-Dharahi. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Report: Egypt thwarts smuggling of 6 U.S.-made missiles into Gaza - Six missiles with a range of 75 kms were found south of Al-Arish with the help of Bedouin agents, on their way to being smuggled through tunnels into the Gaza Strip. (Haaretz)
- Morsi in 2010: Zionists are descendants of apes - Egyptian media outlets circulate video showing President Mohammed Morsi harshly coming out against Israel and calling for armed resistance against 'criminal Zionist entity.' (Ynet)
- U.S. Jewish leaders express 'concern' about impending Al Jazeera incursion into millions of American homes - Foxman, Hoenlein cite Qatari network's record of anti-Israeli reporting and support for extremist elements in the Arab world. (Haaretz)
- 'Bar-Ilan speech will be basis of next government's policies' - Former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, referencing Netanyahu's 2009 speech at Bar-Ilan University in which he accepted the two-state solution, says government prepared to implement important diplomatic measures when right conditions arise. (Israel Hayom)
- Lieberman: Yisrael Beiteinu's marriage to Likud ends at election - Agreement submitted to Central Election Committee states that final status of joint ticket will be determined within one month after the election - it seems Lieberman is not willing to wait that long. (Haaretz)
- 'Performance of singer at Likud-Beytenu event violated law' - Elections Law prohibits entertainers from performing at political campaign events, as performances could be used as kickbacks in exchange for votes. (Ynet)
- Yair Shamir attacks PM, then apologizes - Knesset candidate Yair Shamir, No. 2 on the Yisrael Beytenu list, accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of zigzagging on his ideals to win points with constituents. (Israel Hayom)
Former Shin Bet chief's criticism of Netanyahu, Barak must not be ignored (Aluf Benn, Haaretz) Yuval Diskin's criticism should be noted particularly since he supports a strike on Iran. Focusing on cigars and alcohol is a smoke screen for the dilapidation of Israel's senior politicians.
Under academic robes (Haaretz Editorial) Recognition of the Shalem Center as an academic institution marks another phase in the right's battle against Israel's established universities.
Cover-up led to anti-Zoabi campaign (Sawsan Zaher, Ynet) AG concealed information that would have cleared Arab MK of any wrongdoing during Gaza flotilla.
Forget two states, it's time to learn to share (Dan Goldenblatt, Haaretz) Israelis and Palestinians must engage in an open-ended process of building and maintaining a shared confederation of two states in one space.
Shame on Peres and Prosor (Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom) One reason Peres received his cushy post was so he would finally keep his utopian "new Middle East" to himself.
The racism of leftist nationalism (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) Israel's left-center, which has lost its emotional and moral compass, must turn to the Arab parties and their voters now or face destruction.
Getting rid of a burden (Dr. Celo Rozeberg, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) When (head of National Security Council) Amidror chastises the Israeli ambassador to the UN for 'daring' to ask why we are advancing settlement construction in E-1, he is reflecting the chaos created when the resigning foreign minister and his deputy were busy preparing their testimonies...What is not legitimate about an ambassador not understanding at all the work he is entrusted with doing: explaing the government's position and defend it in international forums?
Israel, the hypochondriac nation (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz) Israelis' fear of peace allows them to support a Palestinian state while voting for the right, hardly a healthy situation.
European settlements and double standards (Dore Gold, Israel Hayom) As many as 10,000 foreigners have bought up former Greek Cypriot properties in Northern Cyprus.
The political boomerang effect (Amir Oren, Haaretz) Habayit Hayehudi chairman Naftali Bennett, former deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon and former IDF Chief of Staff aide Col. Erez Weiner did not want to accept their fates and go quietly. The people who tried to oust these individuals discovered that they became boomerangs that landed right back in their faces.
Foolish annexation idea (Yoaz Hendel, Yedioth/Ynet) Electoral threat from Bennett causing Likud to come up with ludicrous ideas.
The self-inflicted apathy of the Arab voter (Ziyad Abou Habla, Haaretz) The forecasted decline of the Arab parties in the upcoming election is unsurprising: they continue to ignore the needs of their constituents.
Naftali's new clothes (Yossi Sarid, Haaretz) The Israeli right knows how to renew itself, while the left is either exhausted or attracted to illusions.
Succumbed to the 'good souls' (Atilla Somfalvi, Ynet) Yachimovich forced to make dramatic statement after people began questioning her credibility.
Likud casts off its skin (Zeev Sternhell, Haaretz) Latest polls prove that most Israelis are willing to end the occupation and establish a Palestinian state. So why it is not translated into political reality?
President Peres - resign (Yoel Marcus, Haaretz) Whining is not enough for a president. If Peres considers the situation urgent, and he is truly worried about the danger that the extreme right-wing leadership will come to power and lead us to war - he should resign from his position here and now
Strong right wing or not, Israel will remain a liberal democracy (Carlo Strenger, Haaretz) The coming Knesset will have a sizable center-left bloc, and it is to be hoped that its leaders will understand that it is part of their civic and political duty to oppose any legislation that undermines the pillars of the liberal order.
**Hanin Zuabi: Not here to be loved
What's it like to be the most hated woman in Israel? As MK Hanin Zuabi runs for the Knesset again, she remains defiant about her involvement in the 2010 Gaza flotilla. And no, she has no Jewish friends left. (Interviewed by Dalia Karpel in Haaretz)
Are you afraid for your security?
"No. My mother was afraid and requested that I have bodyguards escort me everywhere. After three months I put a stop to that. The violent hate campaign was more oppressive. The damage it causes stems from fear. If I believed in isolationism, if I wanted full autonomy for Israel's Arabs and not just cultural autonomy, as Balad calls for, that would be one thing. The damage lies in the undermining of my legitimacy in the eyes of the country's Jewish citizens. The life of all of us - Jews and Arabs - should be one of partnership and equal rights for all. I need the Jewish citizen in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Netanya to understand and adopt my vision. It won't work if only the Arab citizens adopt Balad's vision. Being delegitimized chokes me."
What do you mean?
"The Jewish and Arab citizens can live together. I am not talking about the 'good Arab,' who is expected to adhere to the boundaries of the discourse in Israel. Who says, 'I live tranquilly in a democratic country and I accept the situation and want to be an Israeli in the full sense of the word.' As an MK I am referring to Arabs who possess self-pride and do not forgo their rights. Equality and self-pride go hand-in-hand. I want that message to reach both sides. Even if you get rid of Hanin Zuabi, I am only one of many who reached the Knesset by chance. Every young Arab man and woman will tell you that I represent them. As a symbol of the new generation, I hoped my message would be received in Tel Aviv, too. But the opposite happened. Jamal Zahalka is perceived as being more moderate and is preferred, despite his age [he is 56]. I am not accepted."
Samira Sariyeh took the word independence far. She is Palestinian-Israeli, feminist, lesbian, a teacher, a rapper, runs a clinic to treat cancer patients, writes poetry and now acts in theater. This complexity, and her endless struggles to change Israeli society, brings her to the character that she portrays in a new play, 'The Peacock from Silwan.' (Interviewed by Yehuda Shohat in Yedioth's '24 Hours' supplement)
"My anger is what drives me in life - not to give in, not to accept authority and not to toe the line. Anger is what kept me from giving up even a millimeter of the life I live."
Q? Would you have a relationship with a female settler?
A: I don't rule out anyone for such a thing. When you say 'settler' you are only saying where she lives.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.