APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday January 7, 2013
Quote of the day:
"We may not be facing thousands of demonstrators storming border fences with AK-47s, but that doesn't diminish the seriousness of the situation."
--(Gush) Etzion Sector Commander Colonel Yaniv Alaluf told soldiers the Third Intifada has begun.**
Front Page News:
- Final Harpaz report: Office of (former IDF chief of staff) Ashkenazi collected denigrating information on Defense Minister with boss' knowledge
- Police investigating if Netanyahu received money from businessman through his driver
- Judea and Samaria is here, in Lod // Gideon Levy
- Flooding and disabled trains due to stormy weather
- Indictment against Dafni Leef for rioting and using force to prevent arrest
- Non-profit for teen drug addicts to close within months without additional funds from State
- Researchers revealed the connection between childhood throat infections and obsessive-compulsive disorder
- War report - Harpaz Affair: Intrigue and hatred, the battle between the bureaus, collecting embarrassing information on the general who had a romance: State Comptroller report reveals worrisome conduct in the security elite
- Night meeting - Livni, Yachimovich and Lapid met last night
- The storm - The climax is still to come
- More equal - The mechanic who earns twice as much as the Governor of the Bank of Israel: Report on salaries in the public sector
- End of hope - India closed its gates to homosexual families who wanted to have a child through an (Indian) surrogate
- Harpaz report - "The relations between the bureaus cannot justify the conduct of the military echelons towards the elected political echelons in which the former collects information on Minister Barak - even partial - with the knowledge of the chief of staff" (Hebrew)
- On the chief of staff: He knew of the attempts of his people to gather denigrating information on Barak, and did not report on the Harpaz document
- On the Defense Minister: He stopped the appointment of 170 officers during a long period as a means of pressure against the authority of the chief of staff
- Responses: Barak: Criminal investigation must be opened; Ashkenazi: It was proven there was no putsch
- "Unfitting conduct" - State Comptroller states: There was no 'putsch' attempt by Ashkenazi, there was no attempt by Barak to dismiss him - but there is no justification for the conduct of the former chief of staff
- Country in the eye of the storm: Rainy in north and center, preparing for snow in Jerusalem
- Police looked into claims and found: No need to investigate alleged money envelopes to Netanyahu
- 17 out of 20 record salary earners in the public sector are doctors
Besides the record stormy weather in the country, the revealing contents of the long-awaited Harpaz report was the story of the day in the Hebrew press. Also of interest, a senior IDF officer said the Third Intifada had already begun and the right-wing have adopted one of Peace Now's settlement-tracking instruments - against Palestinians.
Those awaiting the final report by the State Comptroller in the Harpaz affair - named after the writer of a forged document - wanted to know: who was at fault, Defense Minister Ehud Barak or then-chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi? The report concluded that while Barak was no angel - he delayed appointments of 170 officers in a power game with Ashkenazi - the conduct of the former chief of staff was more problematic, as he knowingly allowed his office to look for dirt on high-ranking generals and on Barak's wife. Read on at these links to Haaretz and Ynet's articles.)
Yesterday, the papers all reported that the head of the Shin Bet said no Third Intifada was likely. But yesterday a senior IDF officer said it has already begun, Ynet reported. Speaking to troops and reservists Sunday, the Etzion Sector (part of southern W. Bank) Commander Colonel Yaniv Alaluf, "We may not be facing thousands of demonstrators storming border fences with AK-47s, but that doesn't diminish the seriousness of the situation." Interestingly, Ynet noted that many of the soldiers serving under the colonel live in Gush Etzion settlement region and were quite happy with what he had to say.
Fifteen years after Peace Now began using planes to track settlement expansion in the Palestinian Territories, it's the right-wing's turn, writes Maariv's settlement affairs reporter Amichai Atali. The Regavim movement, an organization focusing on illegal Arab construction in Israel and the West Bank, recently began making aerial photography trips to document illegal construction on the Palestinian side. Maariv gives a historical survey of Peace Now's documentation of settlement expansion. According to Regavim employee, Oved Arad, "We identify for some time now that the Palestinians are taking over enormous amounts of land in Judea and Samaria. After looking into it, we understood this is an organized plan, which is part of the (Palestinian Prime Minister) Fayyad Plan to take over as much land as possible that is in Area C, which is under the control of the State of Israel, in order to make facts on the ground ahead of the creation of a Palestinian state." [Note: The State and right-wingers consider all West Bank land that is in Area C, which is not privately-owned by Palestinians, as belonging to Israel - OH] Regavim plans to make the aerial trips every two months. The trips have already given the organization a number of victories in legal battles, including the demolition of a mosque built in a military firing zone near Mt. Hebron. (NRG Hebrew)
- Case dropped against Israeli teen suspected of firebombing Palestinian taxi - Jerusalem District Attorney decides to close the case due to 'lack of evidence', even though the 13-year-old suspect's DNA was found on a glove in a forensic sweep at the scene of the crime. The cab caught fire, leaving its passengers - six members of a single family - seriously wounded. (Haaretz)
- Sleeping with the enemy: Shin Bet censured for 'exhausting' interrogation technique - A military judge has reprimanded the Shin Bet for failure to document that suspect was so tired that he fell asleep in his chair. (Haaretz)
- Lod's Arab residents fear influx of Jewish 'settlers' will drive them out - Many Arab residents of this mixed city fear their new religious neighbors' goal is to drive them out - a claim the 'settlers' vehemently deny. (Haaretz)
- Israel's 'anonymous' statistics surveys aren't so anonymous - In a workshop at Tel Aviv University, students discovered that much of the confidential personal information collected in social surveys by the Central Bureau of Statistics is publicly accessible. (Haaretz)
- Rabbi issues modesty rules from age 3 - In new dress code, Rabbi Shlomo Aviner says women must avoid wearing red, put on 40 denier stockings, keep their hair tied into braid. (Ynet)
- Netanyahu probed last year for allegedly accepting money from businessman - No criminal investigation opened following initial police check; Justice Ministry confirms such investigation was underway last year, says police concluded that there wasn't enough evidence to warrant a criminal probe. (Haaretz)
- Survey: 20.3% of seniors poor - National Insurance Institute says Israel's poverty rates among seniors fall far behind OECD average. 'We must overhaul the system,' says former NII director. (Ynet)
- Rabbi Ovadia: We will leave the country if we are drafted - Responding to the possibility that young ultra-Orthodox will be drafted to the IDF, Shas' spiritual leader said: "We will have to leave the country in order to free our yeshiva boys, we are surrounded by haters." (Maariv, p. 16/NRG Hebrew)
- Dead end: Waze not being sold to Apple after all - After days of speculation, in which Apple was supposedly considering an acquisition of Israeli start-up Waze for upwards of $750m, the rumors turn out to be false. (Haaretz)
- Inclusion of German journalist on anti-Semitic rhetoric list stirs criticism - Central council of Jews in Germany and others defend Jakob Augstein, who was ranked ninth on the Simon Wiesenthal Center's list of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric. (Haaretz)
- Palestinian PM Fayyad slams Arab donors for failing to deliver aid to PA - Fayyad warns that the Palestinian Authority's unprecedented financial crisis could quickly double the number of poor to 50 percent of a population of roughly 4 million. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Assad: Syrian revolution fictitious - Faced with growing international pressure, alarming civilian death toll and rebels' achievements, Syrian president seeks to assure his public he's 'in control.' (Ynet)
- Egypt's Morsi backs calls for Assad war crimes trial - Egyptian president tells CNN Syrian counterpart's regime will not be able to survive much longer; Assad should be tried for crimes against his people. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Left, Center parties' leaders hold midnight meeting - Chairpersons of Labor, Hatnua and Yesh Atid meet in effort to form united front ahead of nearing elections. Joint statement says meeting went well; source privy to meeting says 'nothing will come of it.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
- Dancing with voters - The politicians understood that the path to the polling station goes through a party at a Tel-Aviv club. Binaymin Netanyahu DJ-ed with his twin sons at a party at the Tel-Aviv port, while Shelly Yachimovich launched the Labor party campaign at a party in the south of the city. (Yedioth, p. 14)
- Peres urges young Israelis to vote - President calls on young Israelis to exercise their right to vote in coming election. 'Leave the TV sets, what about your own reality?' he asks. (Ynet)
- '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 fined again over poor Knesset attendance - Knesset's Ethics Committee deducts four days' pay from Yisrael Beiteinu chairman's wages for missing 22 plenum sessions. (Ynet)
- Ultra-Orthodox parties threaten to 'crown' Left - PM Netanyahu's natural coalition partners vexed by what they call Likud-Beiteinu's 'dismissive attitude'; threaten to form their own bloc, shift support to Left. (Ynet)
In an Arab woman, a new hope for Israel's left (Avner Cohen, Haaretz) Asma Aghbarieh-Zahalka is creating a new political discourse in Israel: revolutionary on one hand but non-radical on the other.
The situation on the ground is irreversible (Shalom Yerushalmi, Maariv) Yerushalmi notes the difficulties in moving or evacuating even a fairly small settlement outpost and asks, "Could someone stand up today and evacuate Emmanuel, Kiryat Arba, Karnei Shomron, Beit-El, Ofra, Shilo or Alon Moreh?...No Israeli prime minister could deal with such an evacuation," not even one from the center-left. "It doesn't matter at all whether we have a partner on the Palestinian side or not, because this terrible reality is not a partner for peace. Yerushalmi concludes: "The situation is irreversible and how."
The wrong lesson (Haaretz Editorial) It behooves the state to retract its decision to bar Palestinian prisoners from taking classes at the Open University as quickly as possible.
Livni's proposal -- a political cartel (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) A coalition in which Likud is the most leftist party spells international trouble for Israel.
Im Tirtzu's Zionism without democracy (Michael Felsen, Haaretz) Zionist group Im Tirtzu, now aiming to influence the U.S. Jewish community, should ponder its similarities to Putin's cultish, anti-democratic Nashi movement.
The people demand deodorant (Yitzhak Laor, Haaretz) Here is the code to Israeli conformism: Protest - yes; resistance - no. Confirm what already exists. Put on a missionary smile and sway together to the songs of Naomi Shemer. A settler from Hebron? Why not? There's room for everyone.
Before it's too late (Sima Kadmon, Yedioth/Ynet) Former Shin Bet chief's impression of country's top decision-makers should terrify us all.
Proposal for a protest vote (Michal Levertov, Haaretz) A vote for Zuabi is a protest vote which also serves as a productive cry. It's a protest that is not limited to statements but extends to action.
How Israel will be destroyed without one shot being fired (S. Daniel Abraham, Haaretz) Without a peace agreement, the future is clear: The Palestinians will so outnumber the Jews that Israel will be forced to give them the vote; the first bill to pass in a Palestinian-majority parliament will change the country's name from Israel to Palestine, and the second bill will be a Palestinian 'Law of Return.'
Delusions of Jerusalem (Aviv Tatarsky, Haaretz) The 'eternal and unified' Jerusalem is political sloganeering which only demonstrates Israel's lack of courage to see reality as it is, while condemning the city's Palestinian population to discrimination and dispossession.
A group hug on the Left (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) Almost everyone who sought to topple Netanyahu expected the union of the parties on the Left, just as they had hoped former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would return to the political arena.
A weak prime minister (Aluf Benn, Haaretz) Netanyahu apparently understood the mood of the public, which views him as the default choice and not as a desirable leader.
A third Palestinian intifada is more evident in headlines than in reality (Amos Harel, Haaretz) It's hard to ignore the feeling that the media coverage of riots in the West Bank is designed to undermine a claim that serves as the foundation of Netanyahu's campaign: that Israelis enjoy a greater degree of security than during the eras of past governments.
The end of the kibbutz era (Yossi Beilin, Israel Hayom) There may not be a single representative from a kibbutz in the 19th Knesset.
The real player in the power struggle among Israel's top military brass: Iran (Amir Oren, Haaretz) The dispute over an Israeli campaign against Iran provided the backdrop to the clash between the Barak camp - Defense Minister Ehud Barak and members of his bureau - and then-IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi and his associates.
It's time for a criminal probe into the Harpaz affair (Amos Harel, Haaretz) What is described in the report is sufficient to warrant a comprehensive police investigation, which could shed light on whether anyone else was secretly involved in the Harpaz document forgery.
Comptroller report highlights the deep distrust and moral decay of Israel's top brass (Aluf Benn, Haaretz) State Comptroller's report on the Harpaz affair reveals the mutual abhorrence and lack of faith among members of the top defense brass.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.