APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday January 24, 2013
Quote of the day:
"Only a strong tiger will take care of the weak."
--The campaign slogan - a take-off from Shas - of Pelly the Tiger, who won the elections at the Ramat Gan Safari.**
Front Page News:
- Lapid on way to government headed by Netanyahu
- Shas leaders beginning to feel cool touch of the opposition's sword // Yossi Verter
- Even the pilots' strongholds preferred Lapid over Netanyahu's gestures // Aluf Benn
- Drafting ultra-Orthodox pushed Iran from the agenda of the next government // Amos Harel
- Unlike Obama who presented his vision, Netanyahu only wants to preserve what exists // Barak Ravid
- Netanyahu held an exceptional meeting on weapons in Syria
- Six Palestinians killed in two weeks: IDF shot to death young woman near Hebron
- Where did the restraint go that the IDF was so proud of in Operation Pillar of Cloud
- Storm on the continent: Cameron promised a referendum on leaving the European Union
- Dankner joins the 'Haircut club', requests a write-off of 600 million shekels of debt
- Lapid's conditions - Lapid on way to government with Netanyahu - "I won't join a obstructive bloc"
- Who gives - will get // Nahum Barnea
- At his pace // Sima Kadmon
- The most feminine Knesset - A record 26 women to serve; 38 MKs religious, 66 MKs Ashkenazi, 40 Mizrachi, and 14 not Jewish
- Likud-Beiteinu's problem of lack of ministry portfolios: Ministers to be emitted from the government
- Netanyahu looking for formula to form Likud-Lapid-Shas government (Hebrew)
- Real results: Likud-Beiteinu 31, Yesh Atid 19, Labor 15, Shas 11, Habayit Hayehudi 11 (Hebrew)
- A natural partner was born // Shalom Yerushalmi (Hebrew)
- Almost equal share of the burden // Yair Sheleg
- Election results according to community
- In Morning Globes supplement: The most-watched election broadcast then and always: Channel 2 won in knockout and passed the 45% rating
- The confidante, the American advisor and the senior IDF officer - The group that accompanied Lapid to the great achievement
- Nuclear spy, (Mordechai Va'anunu) was awarded a medal from the country just months before being fired. Now it's offered for sale
- Lapid: No obstructive bloc
- Netanyahu: "We will form a broad government for affordable housing, increasing sharing the burden (IDF draft for ultra-Orthodox) and changing the system of government"
- By one vote
- Lapid for the Foreign Ministry portfolio? // Dan Margalit
- Ultra-Orthodox to be pushed back // Mati Tuchfeld
- Opening a new page // Nadav Shragai
- Lapid's secret weapon: Special campaign for the young and the Russian sector
- This is how they voted: Lapid won in the center of the country, the periphery was with Likud-Beiteinu
- Journalists, entrepreneurs and social justice activists: Meet the new MKs
Yair Lapid decides to be a kingmaker and not a blocker, Likud and Yesh Atid consider what coalition they want and what are the issues most important to them and the Palestinian President says he will talk to any Israeli government that recognizes Palestine. Meanwhile, there was discussion over what portfolio Lapid will take and the IDF killed a female college student, the fourth Palestinian killed in two weeks, but the papers share different details.
Yair Lapid, Chairman of Yesh Atid, is the kingmaker in the real sense of the word. He said yesterday he would not block a Netanyahu-led coalition, ending the hopes of the parties to the left of him that he would form a coalition as an alternative to Netanyahu. Yesh atid, the surprise second-largest party in the next Knesset, will join the Netanyahu-led government, and it appears he will decide who will be the coalition partners and what will be the agenda. Netanyahu needs Yesh Atid's 19 mandates and now Yesh Atid is debating over whether it wants a government without the ultra-Orthdox or without the settlers of Habayit Hayehudi, writes Yedioth. It has already decided what are its top two conditions to entering the government, thereby setting the agenda: legislation for universal draft (meaning including ultra-Orthodox and Arabs, what is known as 'sharing the burden') and peace talks with Palestinians. The other conditions are lowering the cost of living, reducing the number of ministers in government, and requiring study of core subjects in schools. Israel Hayom writes that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented his three principles guiding coalition talks: more equal distribution of the national burden, affordable housing and a change in the system of government.
The papers write that Likud prefers a broad coalition with Yesh Atid, Habayit Hayehudi and the ultra-Orthodox. But Yedioth writes that in Yesh Atid they want a narrower coalition with either Habayit Hayehudi or Shas and they haven't yet decided which is worse for them. Maariv writes that Netanyahu prefers a government with Yesh Atid and Shas, because Shas will probably agree to some sort of compromise on the draft of Yeshiva students in order to be in government. Together that would give them a narrow government with 61 mandates. Shas officials told Maariv that they would be ready to join a government with Lapid, but want the freedom to vote according to their conscience on the draft issue. The other ultra-Orthodox party, Yehadut Hatora, likely won't make it into this government because it will have more trouble compromising, Likud officials told Maariv, and Shas said it would sit in government even without Yehadut Hatorah. At a second stage, Likud will consider bringing in Habayit Hayehudi, Kadima and even Tzipi Livni's Hatunua to form a broader coalition, Likud officials told Maariv. Meanwhile, Nafatali Bennett, the leader of the party expected to be #2, is still waiting for a phone call from Netanyahu, writes the paper.
When it comes to portfolios Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman and former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman said Lapid was a "natural choice for finance minister" in the next government. But Maariv reports Lapid is expected to ask for Lieberman's former job: foreign minister. And if it's any indication, Dan Margalit, the leading political affairs commentator of the Netanyahu-associated newspaper, Israel Hayom, suggested in his Op-Ed today that Lapid get that job.
The day after Israeli elections, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinian Authority was ready to talk to any Israeli government that recognized Palestine. Israel Hayom reported that senior officials in the Palestinian Authority were making calls to Israelis they know to find out who is Yair Lapid and what are his views. One told Israel Hayom that, "Lapid said he supported a two-state solution, but he also declared he was running for Knesset from Ariel and he and his voters are closer in views to Naftali Bennett, so we aren't optimistic." Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said at a press conference that Palestinians do not think that 'peace is on the horizon' and that they should focus on non-violent resistance.
Numbers of 19th Knesset, which is made up of 120 MKs:
66 MKs Ashkenazi, 40 Mizrachi, 14 not Jewish, 11 settlers, record 26 women, 38 religious, 14 journalists, 5 reserve generals. Age of youngest MK: Stav Shafir of Labor - 27. Oldest MK: Shimon Ohion of Likud-Beiteinu - 67. This Knesset has more younger members and more journalists than in the past, more religious and more ultra-Orthodox and more settlers. It is going to be very interesting. Israel Hayom has more about the 47 new MKs here.
A young Palestinian woman was shot dead in the head by an IDF commander and (one or) two others were wounded yesterday."Initial investigation reveals that an IDF officer was ambushed by firebombs near the Al-Aroub refugee camp and opened fire... and opened fire, fearing for their lives," said the IDF. But further on, the IDF revealed that two officers were driving by in a car, when youth threw stones and Molotov cocktails at them, Haaretz reported. Yedioth reported that one of the officers was a deputy brigade commander and that the the two officers were driving in a civilian car. The officers got out and one of them started shooting while the other one chased the youth, Haaretz and Ynet reported. Lubna Hanash and two other young women were on their way from a college near the highway and apparently planned to catch a bus home when they were shot. Hanash died from a shot in the head, writes Ynet. This is the fourth killing of Palestinians by IDF soldiers in two weeks, only Haaretz pointed out. Salah Amarin, a 15-year-old boy from Bethlehem, died Wednesday after being shot on Friday near Rachel's Tomb in the Bethlehem area, where he had been firing stones with a slingshot at an IDF position, wrote Haaretz. [The IDF positions at Rachel's Tomb are tall reinforced cement guard towers. - OH]On Saturday, Uday Kamil Mohammed Darwish, 21, from a village near Hebron, was killed after trying to cut the security fence in the settlement of Metzadot Yehuda (Beit Yatir). On Tuesday, Samir Awad, 16, was killed near the village of Budrus. Investigations have been opened into the latter two cases, in which it appears that soldiers opened fire in violation of established procedure. Haaretz noted the following: GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon signed an order 10 days ago creating a new criminal offense in the West Bank for endangering an individual on a public road, an offense that already exists in Israeli law. It carries a 20-year jail term. [It remains in question if the law will be applied to settlers who throw stones and Molotov cocktails at Palestinians. - OH]
- Barak blocks two generals from speaking at memorial - Major-General Gadi Eizenkot was meant to comment on asymmetrical warfare (conducted by an army against a non-military organization, like the IDF's warfare in the last decades). But due to Barak's ban he did not attend the event. Major-General Yossi Baidatz eventually made his address, after much pressure by the event's organizers, which focused on the strategic and operative challenges facing the army in this kind of warfare. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Netanyahu's disgraced bureau chief may return to PMO - Natan Eshel, who admitted last March to inappropriate conduct involving a female government employee, met with Prime Minister's Office's legal advisor as officials set ground for his return. (Yedioth/Ynet)
- Happiness is personal, not national, Israelis say - Forget war, wage inequality or the price of dairy. When it comes to ranking their quality of life, Israelis eschew the big picture in favor of what affects them right now, according to a new survey. (Haaretz)
- Bank of Israel: Raise taxes, cut budget - Central bank report contradicts Netanyahu and Steinitz's statements, recommends series of steps to bring down budget deficit to reasonable levels. (Ynet)
- Netanyahu, army brass held special discussion on Syria chemical weapons - The prime minister said Israel was keeping tabs on the rebels in Syria, as well as the movement of chemical weapons in the possession of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime. (Haaretz)
- Turkey: Assad regime is committing war crimes in Syria - First Patriot missile batteries, sent by NATO members to Turkey, will be ready for use this weekend, senior officer says. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Russia warns Israel and West not to attack Iran over nuclear program - Russian FM Lavrov urges Iran to accept UN watchdog's bid to inspect nuclear facilities. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Iran proposes next round of nuclear talks take place in Cairo - Last three rounds of negotiations failed to achieve a breakthrough; Egypt will consult proposal with world powers, Iran's FM tells state media. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Iranian artist presenting in Israel - Exhibition by internationally renowned photographer Mehraneh Atashi of Tehran opens at Peres Center for Peace. (Yedioth/Ynet)
- U.S. protests 'State of Palestine' placard in UN - Susan Rice said that the United States does not recognize the General Assembly vote in November 'as bestowing Palestinian 'statehood' or recognition.' (Haaretz)
- Americans in Israel toast to four more years of Obama - On the eve of the Israeli elections, U.S. immigrants and visitors gathered to watch a live broadcast of Obama's inauguration in Washington, D.C. (Haaretz)
- In response to Israeli elections, U.S. renews call for peace negotiations - White House press secretary reiterates need for direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians toward a two-state solution. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
- Confidantes of Peres: "Netanyahu was quick to begin contacts (with parties over coalition) in order to establish his candidacy" - Sources in the President's residence: "After suffering a blow to his party, Netanyahu tried to establish himself as the only candidate who can form a government in order to reduce (the affect) of Peres' considerations." (Maariv, p. 3)
- Labor campaign was one-woman show' - Leftist party members unhappy with election results; say they paid price for Yachimovich's attitude, disconnect with voters. (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
- Yesh Atid voters made the 'sensible choice,' Lapid says - Lapid encouraged by Netanyahu's promise to work toward solving the issues of enlisting the ultra-Orthodox in the military and bolstering the middle class. Russian-speaking community traditionally backed Yisrael Beytenu, but a large group of disillusioned supporters abandoned it for Yesh Atid. (Israel Hayom)
- Arab media: Farewell Oslo Accords - Arab world's coverage of Israeli election suggests Lapid's rise to power 'made Netanyahu's victory taste like defeat,' citing 'semi-coup'; warns next gov't will be hawkish, war-driven. (Ynet)
- According to Israel election results, a woman's place is in the Knesset - Israel went to the polls on Tuesday and elected more women to the Knesset than ever before in Israeli history. (Haaretz)
- Eight mandates were lost - After counting 99.5% of the ballots, some quarter million voters 'wasted' their votes on parties that did not pass the threshold. The right-wing are waiting for the results of the soldiers' ballots and the double ballots, which could give Habayit Hayehudi another mandate. (Maariv, p. 6)
- Yesh Atid's Dov Lipman to relinquish U.S. citizenship to serve in Knesset - The number 17 in Yair Lapid's party, who immigrated to Israel from Silver Spring, Maryland, eight years ago, is the third dual citizen to serve in the Knesset and the first to give it up voluntarily. (Haaretz)
- **Pelly the Tiger elected as premier of the Safari - Pelly, 12, won after a tight race against Yossi the Elephant with 25% of the vote of visitors at the Safari in Ramat Gan and Internet users throughout the week. Yossi the Elephant got 24% of the vote. Pelly immigrated from Slovakia seven years ago. (Israel Hayom, p. 26)
- Final results of Israel election to be released within hours - With 60% of the double-sealed ballots counted, it appears that Habayit Hayehudi will receive 12 seats, one more than expected from the exit polls, while the United Arab List - Ta'al will shrink from five to four seats. (Haaretz)
- For Israeli Arabs, election marks success mingled with regret - All three parties got more votes, but Arab citizens feel they still could have had higher voter turnout. (Haaretz)
- Israel's two big cities had vastly different voting patterns - The White City and the Holy City, in a sense, represent Israel's two polar extremes, and nowhere is this more pronounced than in how each one votes. (Haaretz)
- United Torah Judaism wins - on demographics - For the first time ever, the ultra-Orthodox community's growth has been translated into votes; the party has won seven Knesset seats. (Haaretz)
- Stock market applauds election - The TASE's benchmark TA-25 index rose as much as 1.8% in the early afternoon, before easing to finish at 1,205.65 points, a gain of nearly 1% for the day. The TA-100 ended 0.9% higher at 1,1070.17, with the rest of the market higher, except for technology and telecommunications shares. (Haaretz)
Israeli pilots' favor for Lapid may just be a vote against attacking Iran (Aluf Benn, Haaretz) Most voters at air force-base polling stations preferred Lapid over Netanyahu. Is this because they are more moderate, or because of the implication of the premier's threats against the Islamic Republic?
Unnatural bedmates: Time for Haredim to cut loose from the Likud (David Landau, Haaretz) The left's contempt pushed the Ashkenazi Haredim into the arms of the Likud nearly three decades ago. Now is the time for United Torah Judaism to break loose from the irrational, false theology of Bennett and Feiglin and hitch their wagon to Lapid's up-and-coming political star.
Political gridlock and frailty (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) Israel is going to have a badly bifurcated parliament, and the government likely will be hobbled by internal contradictions.
With Netanyahu-Lapid talks underway, Shas knows its place is at stake (Yossi Verter, Haaretz) Together, Netanyahu and Lapid are worth 50 Knesset seats. Add to the pot Naftali Bennett and Shaul Mofaz, and you have a foundation for a coalition of 63 or 64 MKs.
Slap in the face of cynicism (Aviad Kleinberg, Yedioth/Ynet) Parties that did well in elections consist of people who want to change Israel's priorities.
Lapid's friends in high places (Shuki Sade, Haaretz) It's no secret that former television journalist Yair Lapid, who raced to a surprise No. 2 finish in Tuesday's Knesset elections, has friends in the media. But he also has some very close connections at the very top of Israel's business world, too.
There will be a compromiser (Yair Sheleg, Maariv) "This week, Benjamin Netanyahu and Shaul Mofaz paid the price for wrecking the unity government between them over their inability, last summer, to reach agreement on the issue of drafting the ultra-Orthodox...Netanyahu wanted too much to keep his 'natural' ultra-Orthodox partners and Mofaz wanted to depict Netanyahu as someone who capitulated to the ultra-Orthodox ahead of the apparent elections. The result was that the issue was handed over to elections, to the enjoyment of Yair Lapid, who laughed all the way to the ballot box...Luckily for Netanyahu, Lapid has shown himself to be a partner who is more amenable to compromise than his [late] father" and urges the ultra-Orthodox, especially Shas, to come towards the younger Lapid.
On economics, next Israeli government will be firmly right of center (Meirav Arlosoroff, Haaretz) Yair Lapid, Naftali Bennett share Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's capitalist philosophy.
Complex, but stable, coalition (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) The State of Israel has proved in the past that seemingly fragile coalitions hold up. When Israel faces great challenges it is important to join forces to address the social and economic issues.
Will Netanyahu insist on remaining a footnote in history? (Barak Ravid, Haaretz) It will be a surprise if the prime minister goes beyond his tradition of stale promises in his second consecutive term.
And the loser is - the victor (Baruch Leshem, Yedioth/Ynet) Benjamin Netanyahu least successful Likud leader since party rose to power in 1977.
Little change likely in Jordan's first election since Arab Spring (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) The parliamentary election has lost much of its legitimacy due to party boycotts and still doesn't address the complaints of Jordan's populace.
King Turtle-Turtle - Forming a government (Gilad Sharon, Yedioth) "Now, for the third time, Netanyahu can choose the good. He can bring in Lapid and Bennett as a base, and other parties that agree to choose the good. What is the good? The good is our ailing system, which encourages sectoral blackmail and the inability to govern, being replaced with a normal system. The good is that everyone serves and protects the homeland without whole populations - thousands and thousands of young men - evading, while their brothers carry the burden. The good is the state budget being allocated fairly and efficiently in a way that encourages creativity and productivity, not idleness."
A problem in the heart of Meretz (Tsafi Saar, Haaretz) How can it be that a party that waves the banners of human rights, equality and pluralism is sending to the Knesset only people from a hegemonic class?
Yair's torch (Emanuel Rosen, Yedioth/Ynet) Elections show Israelis have had it with PR stunts, want new breed of politicians.
Lapid's responsibility (Haaretz Editorial) In the absence of Likud moderates in the next government, following their marginalization on the party's election slate, Lapid will be the representative of liberal Israel.
The real rules of engagement in the West Bank (Avner Gvaryahu, Haaretz) Every soldier knows the protocol for opening fire, but the more powerful principle is that the enemy must be subdued.
She brought Israelis to the Talmud, can she bring its wisdom to the Knesset? (Vered Kellner, Haaretz) Dr. Ruth Calderon, who has made thorny and ancient Jewish texts accessible to non-religious Israelis through writings, teachings and television programs, now must translate her egalitarian perspective into action as a Knesset member representing Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party.
Lapid as foreign minister? (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) Israeli diplomacy would be well-served by his rhetorical skills after the rough talk of past years.
The dramatic headline of this election: Israel is not right wing (Ari Shavit, Haaretz) Netanyahu and Lapid complement each other, if the two of them can get the better of themselves, conquer their evil inclinations and build mutual trust, they could be a pretty good leadership team.
Bennett holds the golden thread (Israel Harel, Haaretz) He believes that thanks to him, the religious-Zionist public has regained its political power. But he's mistaken.
Netanyahu will push the haredim aside in Lapid's favor (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) Netanyahu and Lapid didn't begin coordinating their positions with each other just after the elections ended. They already began this process weeks ago and, in the last few days, kicked it into high gear.
Israel's new, post-election agenda: first the ultra-Orthodox, then Iran (Amos Harel, Haaretz) Now that the votes are mostly in, a strike on Iran looks less likely, while conscription for Haredim seems closer than ever.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.