APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday January 22, 2013
Quote of the day:
Where is hatred when you need it? Where is the fervor and the fire − or at least a little smoke?
--Gideon Levy talks of the sleepy election for the 19th Knesset.**
Front Page News:
- Millions of Israelis vote for the 19th Knesset - State of Netanyahu // Yossi Verter; The awful indifference from the anger and hatred // Gideon Levy; Goal: to fool the voters // Nehemia Shtrasler; A look at five campaign slogans
- Go vote - This morning the polling stations will open. 5,659,722 people in Israel can fulfil their right, and their obligation, to vote and determine how the next four years will look
- 5,656,705 - Israelis to determine today the composition of the 19th Knesset (Hebrew)
- On the voters' indecision; On the stress in Likud following the loss of mandates, which endangers the fragile connection with the religious-nationalist sector; On the revolution Netanyahu is planning for his office from replacing cabinet secretary Tzvi Hauser to appointing Yaakov Ganot as director-general; With the complete elections dictionary from "shooting from inside the APC" to "terror course"
- Moshe Arens - voting Likud-Beiteinu // For the sake of the coalition
- Yael Dayan - voting Labor // To replace the bad
- Yisrael Oman - voting Habayit Hayehudi // The home of the Jews
- Roni Somek - voting Yesh Atid // Another way is possible
- Stef Wertheimer - voting Hatnua // We deserve hope
- Yehoshua Sobol - voting Meretz // Curing the sickness
- :Yehuda Meshi Zahav - voting Yehadut Hatora // United in tradition
- Raji Bathish - voting Da'am // We're tired of slogans
- Go vote - In Likud, hope that supporters will "return home"; Yachimovich fighting till the closing of polling stations; Lapid, Bennett and Gal-On hoping to be the "election surprise"; Every one convinced Netanyahu will form coalition, waiting for sample election polling at 10PM - and afterward for the phone call on the beginning of contacts to make a coalition
- Who will Netanyahu call first // Mati Tuchfeld
- Stop thinking small and go to the polling station // Mordechai Gilat
- Despite everything: elections 2013 are a riddle // Dan Margalit
- Responsibility requires: Vote with your thoughts // Gonen Ginat
- It's wrong to give up the right to determine our fate // Gideon Alon
- Celebration for democracy: 5,656,705 people with the right to vote to determine today how the 19th Knesset will look - and the future of us all
- Abu Mazen lashes out: "The Zionists had connections with the Nazis"
- Obama sworn in to second term: "A decade of recovery begins"
Go vote, implored the Israeli newspapers of Israeli citizens today. The papers gave the biggest parties the chance to tell voters why they should vote for them and the commentators told the voters how important their vote was. Meanwhile, Maariv wrote about the trouble Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu faces if he, indeed, is the one to form the next coalition government, Likud defended its controversial last-minute government appointment and the settlers have a new leader.
If Netanyahu wins he faces a dilemma, write the papers: what coalition will he form? If he goes with the right-wing he may have trouble getting the centrists, Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni, on board. If he goes with the centrists, he may have trouble bringing in Naftali Bennett and Habayit Hayehudi, because of their ideological differences: the centrists want to negotiate a settlement with the Palestinians. Bennett just wants to keep settlements.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu's appointment of popular outgoing Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon as head of the Israel Land Administration met with widespread derision as a "last-minute electioneering gimmick. But Likud defended the move saying, "If the other parties cared about lowering housing prices, they would welcome the appointment." Haaretz's Barak Ravid has an interesting piece noting that the Netanyahu-supporting Israel Hayom buried the commentary of its top political affairs commentator on page 37 because he criticized the appointment. Ravid quotes Margalit who wrote: "... The announcement is flawed because a prime minister does not appoint an official on behalf of a government that will be formed after the election. Also because it was slated to come into effect six months from now. If the housing shortage is so great that it is necessary to announce the appointment two days before the election - why not immediately? Why only after he returns form his trip to the United States? ... This is an announcement that indicates great worry in Likud circles. It will not succeed because it will be interpreted as panic, not as a solution to the price of housing." In addition, unlike every other day, Dan Margalit's columns was not translated to English.
Avi Roeh will be the next head of Yesha settlers' council, write the papers. The council met and decided that Roeh, the head of the Binyamin Regional Council (in the W. Bank), would replace Danny Dayan, who recently resigned and expressed his support for Netanyahu. Roeh, 55, worked in the aerodynamics department of the Israel Aerospace Industries and six years ago replaced Pinchas Wallerstein as head of Binyamin Council, Maariv wrote. In 2005 he lost his wife in a car accident and in 2007 he married Hadassa Weinberg, the widow of Hebron commander Dror Weinberg. He has seven children, one with Weinberg. (NRG Hebrew) Israel Hayom writes that Roeh will continue serving as head of the Binyamin Council even after his appointment to his new job. The paper noted Roeh's work in settlements: he was one of the founders of Kochav Ya'akov settlement and, as head of Binyamin Council, he led the opposition and protest to the evacuation of Migron outpost.
- Israel removes Palestinian protest camp outside Jerusalem - Tent city pitched near Beit Iksa just a week after Israel evacuated Palestinian encampment in E-1. (Haaretz)
- What happened to Palestinian books when Israel was created in 1948? - WATCH: Controversial new documentary explores Israel National Library's appropriation of thousands of books left at the homes of refugees. (HaaretzVIDEO)
- Can Israel live with a nuclear Iran? New York debate between American and Israeli analysts leads to a resounding no. (Haaretz)
- Obama wrote the Prime Minister: "Looking forward to continuing to work with you" - Netanyahu sent Obama a letter yesterday congratulating him on his inauguration as US President. He also sent him a letter wishing him a happy New Year to which he got a response a few days ago signed by the President. Labor Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich also wrote Obama congratulations. (Israel Hayom, p. 25)
- Hagel meets with top Jewish American leaders - A statement issued by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations described the meeting as 'an important opportunity for a serious and thorough discussion.' (JTA, Haaretz)
- Report: Israel brings Yemeni Jews - Palestinian weekly Al-Manar reports that a group of Yemeni Jews arrived in Tel Aviv via Doha on a Qatari flight. Efforts to bring Yemeni Jews apparently involve a number of government offices, MKs and Shas party. (Israel Hayom)
- Housing more than twice as pricey in Israel as in the U.S., data shows - Comparing Israeli numbers to an annual survey of international housing affordability confirms what Israelis already know - it's hard to afford a home here. (Haaretz)
- Iron Dome tested ahead of overhaul - Aerial defense system undergoes assessment ahead of being upgraded to be able to faces greater range of threats. (Ynet)
- A quarter of Israeli citizens struggle with Hebrew, survey finds - New survey released Monday reveals that 60% of immigrants from former Soviet Union have difficulty filling out forms and writing letters in Hebrew, while 45% of Israeli Arabs have trouble with such paperwork. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- 30 countries to attend TA tourism fair - Representatives from Taiwan, Philippines to participate in International Mediterranean Tourism Market for first time this year; 150 travel agents to arrive from abroad. (Ynet)
- Politicians too quick to tout boost in Israeli education, say experts - Leading experts on education say Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu overstated the significance of an improvement in Israeli students' test scores. (Haaretz)
- Israel launches world's first exhibit on King Herod's legacy - King Herod considered to be one of the most influential and controversial figures in ancient Roman and Jewish history. Exhibit opens next month. (Israel Hayom)
- Malaysian PM in first visit to Hamas-ruled Gaza - Najib Razak's visit is political boost for Gaza's internationally isolated rulers. During first-ever visit to the territory, Razak expects to meet with Hamas leaders, tour sites bombed by Israel and visit school funded by his predominately Muslim nation. (Israel Hayom)
- Syria opposition postpones formation of transitional government - Credibility of opposition Syrian National Council at stake with second delayed bid to form government. Disagreements among members triggered when coalition president left to raise funds in Qatar. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Iran in uproar over clip showing 2 officials kissing - Iranian higher education minister, national museum director caught on camera as they lock lips in elevator. (Ynet)
- Lebanon nabs 'high-paid spy for Israel' - Lebanese army arrests local man who was paid $600,000 to pass on intel on Hezbollah and military to the Mossad, Al-Manar TV reports. (Ynet)
- Israeli election for dummies: How votes become seats - The Bader-Ofer method for distributing Knesset seats. In practice, this law favors the larger parties and usually gives them an additional Knesset seat at the expense of smaller parties. The formula in the law is based on the relationship between the number of seats a party has already been allocated, plus 1. (Haaretz)
- In Yehadut Hatorah, they will distribute fake IDF draft orders to ultra-Orthdox - Tens of thousands of 'draft orders' to be put in mailboxes in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods to raise consciousness about voting. The papers read: "You want the real thing (IDF)? Don't go vote." (Maariv, p. 26/NRGHebrew)
- Lapid: Experienced politicians don't impress me - In intimate interview, Yesh Atid leader recounts Obama visit to Israel as senator; says he has what it takes to be decision maker. (Ynet)
- Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat expressed support for Binyamin Netanyahu - In a tour of Jerusalem with the Prime Minister and Minister Moshe Kahlon, Barkat and Kahlon expressed support for Netanyahu. (NRG Hebrew)
- Bennett: 'Tribal outlook' in Israel problematic - In special interview ahead of Tuesday's elections, Habayit Hayehudi leader says 'moral failures' of Second Lebanon War drove him to world of politics; urges all Israelis to view each other as 'brothers.' (YnetVideo)
- Shas fined for handing out 'election amulets' - In last-ditch effort to win support, Ultra-Orthodox Sephardic party hands out amulets, tries to pursue the Ashkenazi vote. (Ynet)
- Otzma Leyisrael accuses Israeli Arab activists of attacking them on campaign tour - Right-wing activists claim members of United Arab List-Ta'al hurled stones at their car during a visit to Lod; UAL: We won't respond to Kahanist provocations. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Deri: Cut defense budget despite Iran threat - In special interview with Ynet ahead of Tuesday's elections, Shas leader discusses experiences in prison, 'father-son' relationship with Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. (Ynet)
- Israel puts cost of Election Day at 1.7 billion - The nationwide vacation will cost the business sector about NIS 1.17 billion, of which NIS 280 million will be carried by the country's manufacturers and the rest by the public sector. (Haaretz)
The Iranian threat suddenly seemed to disappear (Amos Harel, Haaretz) But it'll be back when coalition talks begin.
The State of Netanyahu (Yossi Verter, Haaretz) Barring a major electoral upset, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to be reelected for a third term, the only question is how complicated it will be for him to form a coalition.
**Good night and good luck (Gideon Levy and Alex Levac, Haaretz) A great campaign it was, if you're an insomniac.
Moshe Kahlon's appointment will be the shortest in Israeli history (Nehemia Shtresler, Haaretz)The appointment of Moshe Kahlon as chairman of the Israel Lands Committee is a blatantly political move that will mean nothing as soon as the election is over.
A different America, a different president (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) America has changed. The most recent election campaign has proven just how much.
In Syria, the victims no longer have names (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) Child beggars, an epidemic of rape, and graves that no normal citizen can afford no longer shock the world. The world is now bored by Syria, and turning its attention to other things.
Right man at the right time (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) Central Elections Committee erred by prohibiting Netanyahu from holding press conference about the Kahlon appointment.
The trials and tribulations of house-hunting in the holy city (Ilene Prusher, Haaretz) This being Jerusalem, finding an apartment to purchase is not going to be easy. Were I choosing between staying in Manhattan or moving to Brooklyn or Queens, I wouldn't also have moral and ethical dilemmas to pile on top of the financial ones.
On his day of inauguration and triumph, Obama presents a 'progressive manifesto' (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz) U.S. president starts second term with calls for 'engagement' with America's foes, a message unlikely to be welcomed by cynical Israelis.
What's so funny about the Israeli elections? (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz) From 'Shas in the City,' to frenemies Shelly and Tzipi, or Yair Lapid the 'oppo-alition' member, professional and homegrown satirists have forced Israel's election candidates to display good self-deprecating humor. But, ultimately, the joke is on us.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.