APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday January 16, 2013
Quote of the day:
"They are a mirror image of Netanyahu's campaign."
--Maariv commentator Nadav Eyal writes that the US President's remarks about the Israeli Prime Minister are the opposite of how the Israeli leader is portraying himself.**
Front Page News:
- Obama: Netanyahu's policies are destructive and lead to isolation - Netanyahu rejects the criticism and says he won't compromise
- World Bank rules in dispute: The (Red-Dead) water pipe project s is feasible
- Enormous demonstrations in Pakistan: High Court ordered arrest of Prime Minister
- IDF shot to death Palestinian youth in West Bank; within one week 4 unamred Palestinians were killed
- Rubinstein to Bennett: No involving educational institutions in elections
- Change in voting patterns likely to strengthen Left
- Comparison: Who in the Knesset took care of the elderly and the handicapped?
- At Ashdod port, they gave in to the workers' committee and will allow hiring of relatives
- Facebook vs. Google: Presented a unique search engine in the social media network
- Hebrew University sparking protest: Will allow submitting doctorate papers in English
- Children in Canada hoping for Indian Spring
- Obama: "Netanyahu is a coward, leading Israel to destruction"
- Disappointment for Facebook - The new search engine did not excite the investors and stock prices dropped
- Compromise of millions - (Singers) Rami and Rita to receive 2.5 million shekels from Helicon following enormous suit against company
- In the shadow of the threshold percentiles - Orit Mofaz on the difficult year her husband Shaul passed
- Senior AIPAC officials: "The relations with the US won't be affected" - Obama attacked Netanyahu in closed circles, the Jewish lobby in Washington is trying to calm people
- "Obama speaks" - The whole article that sparked a diplomatic dispute // Jeffrey Goldberg (English)
- Armed at the Eiffel Tower - Heightened alert in Paris after Islamic terror organizations threatened revenge for French aid to the Mali government against the rebels
- Today in Morning Globes: Minister of Finance Steinitz responds to storm over deficit - "No need for a plan to increase taxes," "Talk about a replacement for me is baseless," "Yachimovich invents crude lies"
- Playing with fire - Firefighting station at Givat Hamatos in Jerusalem was evacuated following a court order, the firefighters now operating out of a children's club
- Senior Likud officials: Obama is trying to intervene in elections; Storm following attack on Prime Minister by President Obama
- CEO of Treasury: "We have no plan to raise taxes"
- Balad's broadcast that distorts 'Hatikva' (national anthem) not disqualified
- Open hearts: Fundraising campaign for Ilan
- Workers' committee bends the management: Hiring of relatives at Ashdod Port won't be prohibited
- (National Security Council head) Amidror to High Court: The Palestinian Authority aided in establishing the Palestinian outpost in E-1
- After more than 3 years: (Former minister) Hirschson to be released from jail
- Initiative in Congress: "Within two years, Israelis won't need visas
US President Barack Obama reportedly called Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu a coward who is leading Israel to international isolation making the top story in today's Hebrew papers. Meanwhile, Obama's nominee for US Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, apologized for earlier remarks and got the support of two Jewish senators, Palestinians tried and failed to reach the tents at their E-1 outpost and Israel almost admits it wrongly killed a Palestinian at the separation barrier.
US journalist Jeffrey Bloomberg sparked a storm in Israel when he wrote: "Obama said privately and repeatedly, 'Israel doesn't know what its own best interests are.' With each new settlement announcement, in Obama's view, Netanyahu is moving his country down a path toward near-total isolation." (Full article here.) Netanyahu's associates have brushed off Obama's reported criticism and said the Prime Minister will not give in to international pressure. Likud campaign chief Gideon Sa'ar said, "Netanyahu will work with Obama while safeguarding Israel's interests," Israel Hayom reported. According to Haaretz, Likud-Beiteinu is avoiding accusing Obama of interfering with Israeli elections. But, Israel Hayom quoted Likud officials saying, "Obama is intervening." The Israel Hayom article was titled: "Obama in service of the Left" and called Goldberg 'an associate' of Obama. "The fingerprints of the left are all over this story; Obama clearly intervened in the elections," a source told Israel Hayom. According to Bloomberg: "The dysfunctional relationship between Netanyahu and Obama is poised to enter a new phase. On matters related to the Palestinians, the president seems to view the prime minister as a political coward, an essentially unchallenged leader who nevertheless is unwilling to lead or spend political capital to advance the cause of compromise." This will affect US involvement in the frozen peace process writes Goldberg: "(Obama) has become convinced that Netanyahu is so captive to the settler lobby, and so uninterested in making anything more than the slightest conciliatory gesture toward Palestinian moderates, that an investment of presidential interest in the peace process wouldn't be a wise use of his time." Yet, the conservative Maariv newspaper stressed that AIPAC officials are trying to calm the winds by saying that Obama's remarks do not signify a change in the strategic relationship between the US and Israel. Tzipi Livni said Obama's warnings about Netanyahu are a wake-up call for Israelis.
Sen. Chuck Hagel has secured two key Jewish senator's support by vowing to do 'whatever it takes' to stop Iran, the papers reported. In a letter to a senator, Hagel wrote that he regretted the term 'Jewish lobby' and expressed 'overwhelming support for the strong U.S.-Israel strategic and security relationship.'
Hundreds of Israeli police blocked Palestinian activists from trying to reclaim their E-1 protest camp yesterday. Nevertheless, the High Court ruled that the tents remain. The head of the National Security Council Yaakov Amidror said that the Palestinian Authority was involved in creating the Palestinian outpost in E-1.
Israeli forces shot two bullets at the chest of Samir Awad, and two at the legs of the 16 or 17-year-old Palestinian boy, killing him near the separation barrier in Budrus village. Interestingly, most of the papers noted the circumstances in which the soldiers opened fire was questionable. Only Ynet wrote that 'it remains unclear whether the Palestinian was armed.' Maariv noted his death in one paragraph at the end of an article on how no rockets have been shot from Gaza in a whole month. The few lines said that from an initial investigation, it was learned that the soldiers did the procedures for arresting a suspect, but acknowledged that they did so wrongly. The paper wrote that the soldiers "did not try to hide this fact and revealed their mistake from their own initiative." The article does not go as far as to say that the youth was killed mistakenly. Yedioth, however, wrote that from the initial investigation it appears the soldiers acted wrongly and did not report on the incident as required. Israel Hayom wrote "there is a big question mark regarding what happened." It said there were youth trying to cross or harm the fence and the soldiers exposed themselves and tried to arrest one of them. When he did not stop after they called out to him, the soldiers opened fire. Ynet and Yedioth interviewed Palestinians saying the youth got close to the fence on their way home from school and were ambushed by the soldiers. Yedioth noted that the IDF is continuing the investigation into the incident to discover why the soldiers opened live fire and did not use demonstration dispersal methods. The Palestinian doctors say the boy was shot in his back, Yedioth wrote. Here's Haaretz's report.
- For the first time since the disengagement (from Gaza in 2005): A whole month without rockets - Statistics published by the Shin Bet show that during December not even one rocket was shot at Israel. A senior source in the IDF command in the south: "Twenty years it has not been this quiet in the region." In 2012, Palestinians shot a record 1,893 rockets. (Maariv, p. 6)
- 2 (Jewish Israeli) teens accused of assaulting Arab strike plea - Two youths implicated in August assault on Arab teen in Jerusalem strike plea bargain; State agrees to drop aggravated assault charges to secure incitement conviction. (Ynet)
- IDF: 'Attack tunnel' discovered near Gaza border - Army says tunnel near security fence part of 'attempt to carry out terrorist attacks'; Palestinians say farmer severely hurt from IDF fire. (Ynet)
- Legal expert to High Court: Israel could be tried in Hague if it evicts West Bank villagers - Petition relates to area in the South Hebron Hills that was declared a live-fire zone in the early 1980s, and which Defense Minister Barak decided in July 2012 requires the eviction of 8 of 12 Palestinian villages. (Haaretz)
- Eizenkot takes on position of deputy IDF chief - Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot replaces Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh • "I am well aware of the responsibility with which I'm trusted, and I anticipate returning and contributing," says Eizenkot. (Israel Hayom)
- IDF reveals: Northern councils excel in combat draft - For the first time IDF ranks local, regional council according to enlistment rates and placements. (Ynet)
- Court orders state to suspend benefit packages for ultra-Orrthodox - Supreme Court injunction requires state to explain why benefit packages are still being paid to 54,000 ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students when their military deferment is no longer allowed under the expired Tal Law. (Israel Hayom)
- Israelis worry over religious radicalization, poll shows - Both religious and secular Israelis oppose laws that would restrict secular lifestyle. Exclusion of women unpopular among general public. (Israel Hayom)
- Bloodstains and swastikas: IDF spokesmen threatened - Threats against IDF Spokesman in Arabic Major Avichay Adraee increased since Operation Pillar of Defense; wanted poster uploaded to Hamas website; IDF Spokesman Mordechai also threatened. (Ynet)
- Masked youth returned to streets - Recently, in Palestinian cities in Judea and Samaria (W. Bank) one can see scenes from the past of armed people waving their guns. The activists, from the Al-Aqsa Brigades, are protesting the wave of arrests by the Palestinian Authority. (Maariv, p. 13)
- Video 'shows' terrorists training for border attack - Clip released by jihadist group shows operatives shooting firearms, details plan for attack that claimed life of Israeli soldier on border with Egypt. (Ynet)
- QPR's Israeli player targeted online - Defender Tal Ben Haim receives anti-Semitic attacks on English football club's official Facebook page just days after joining. (Ynet)
- Palestinians use street art to tell ideas - Outside of traditional museum exhibit halls, West Bank's walls serve as canvas for burgeoning arts culture. (Ynet)
- Palestinian workers demand salaries as sanctions and cash crisis bite - Hundreds of Palestinian Authority workers protest outside Palestinian prime minister's office, saying they had not been paid in months. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- US lawmakers eye visa exemption by 2015 - Two congressmen present House with bill promoting Israel's inclusion in list of nations whose citizens can travel to US sans visa. (Ynet)
- UN inspectors heading to Iran this week, seek access to suspicious military site - International Atomic Energy Agency says it aims to finalize a framework deal with Islamic Republic during talks in Tehran scheduled for Wednesday; EU, Iran envoys discuss nuclear talks date, possibly in January. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Iran: Khamenei's ban of nuclear weapons binding - Foreign Ministry in Tehran says West 'must understand significance of supreme leader's fatwa to define the framework for our activities in the nuclear field.' (Agencies, Ynet)
- Next coalition expected to include Yesh Atid and ultra-Orthodox parties - Yair Lapid: Will not join government if my party is not offered any ministerial positions. Ultra-Orthodox parties Shas and United Torah Judaism have agreed to form a "haredi bloc," that will work to promote the two parties' mutual interests. (Israel Hayom)
- Rightists protest 'illegal construction' in Arab village - Dozens of rightist Otzma LeYisrael activists arrive in Musmus to 'examine illegal construction.' Enraged villagers: 'They are lunatic racists.' (Ynet)
- High Court permits 'ridiculous' national anthem campaign ad - High Court of Justice overturns Central Elections Committee Chairman Judge Elyakim Rubinstein's disqualification of segments of campaign ads by Strong Israel and Balad saying that the goal of the Balad ad is "not the debasement of the anthem." (Israel Hayom)
- Panel warns Habayit Hayehudi: Don't use yeshivas for campaign effort - The party told elections committee it would not make use of IDF soldiers or hesder yeshiva students and has pledged to sign a contract with and pay a fee to any business that offers its services. (Haaretz)
- Shas and UTJ woo the poor, but voted down bill that would help disabled retirees - The two ultra-Orthodox parties may raise the poverty flag, but they voted against a 2009 proposal to overturn the legal restriction preventing elderly Israelis with disabilities from receiving both disability benefits and old-age benefits. (Haaretz)
(Netanyahu:) Listen to Obama's warnings (Haaretz Editorial) The U.S president's statement conflict with Netanyahu's campaign advertisements, which depict the prime minister as a statesman welcome overseas, and especially in Washington.
**Revenge American-style (Nadav Eyal, Maariv) After Benjamin Netanyahu involved himself (and the State of Israel) very deeply in the American elections, after Jerusalem's warm embrace of Mitt Romney, after his most important confidant Sheldon Adelson made huge donations in order to defeat Barack Obama, the White House's calculated response has arrived." Eyal claims that the wording of the remarks attributed to the US President, "is not coincidental," and adds, "They are a mirror image of Netanyahu's campaign. Netanyahu is making use of his Washington speech and the White House comes and says - You are pushing America away from you. The Likud-Beiteinu's campaign talks about a strong leader - Obama is talking about a coward." Eyal believes that Israel's various pundits and politicians will make what they will of the remarks, but cautions that given that this is the US, "which gives us security and civilian aid and which wields its veto for us in the UN Security Council," the remarks, "should not be ignored."
Tuning out: World media's half-hearted coverage of Israel's elections (Daniella Peled, Haaretz) 'Bibi wins, the end, right?' one news editor told me. Half the number of foreign reporters are covering this election as compared to those of 2009: there is little appetite for the election's dismal story of stagnation and depression.
The final countdown (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) In this election, there is no clear agenda, no true drama and no real chance that power will change hands.
A well-aimed sting (Amnon Lord, Maariv) Obama's words correspond with the words of Shimon Peres from last week, when he gave the Jews of the US an open check to distance themselves from Israel, and he meant that Israel, which is not under Livni, Olmert, Ashkenazi or his own leadership - is not an Israel that one can be proud of....
A Nazi in every corner (Avi Shilon, Haaretz) While the popularity in Israel of Nazi and Holocaust analogies and comparisons is clearly deplorable on many levels it may also have some value in helping us to process our understanding of that terrible era.
Obama settles the score (Orly Azoulay, Yedioth/Ynet) US president's harsh remarks aimed at saving State of Israel from its own leadership.
Israel's Palestinians are not a minority (Amira Hass, Haaretz) Like Canada's First Peoples, the Palestinians' nationhood cannot be measured in numbers.
Where's the beef? (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) The question that was coined to boost hamburger sales and co-opted for Walter Mondale's ill-fated 1984 presidential bid could today be addressed to Shelly Yacimovich and her empty, so-called leftism.
Obama to Bibi: You're on your own (Barak Ravid, Haaretz) It is clear the U.S. president is sick of Netanyahu and his voracious settlement construction and foot-dragging on the Palestinian issue. How will this affect their relations for the next four years?
No Arabs, no united bloc (Amnon Be'eri-Sulitzeanu, Ynet) Moderate parties' refusal to form political alliance with Arab factions a worrying trend bordering on racism.
Syria's 'Mother Courage' will just have to wait (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) Abused and killed, women are the primary victims of the Syrian civil war. But their struggle for rights will eventually be decided by the male politicians who call the shots.
'You're not fired!' Donald Trump endorses Netanyahu (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz) As if we really thought a Republican capitalist like Trump was going to get behind Labor Party leader Shelly Yacimovitch.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.