APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday January 28, 2013
Quote of the day:
"I know it's not easy for an Arab player to pick up the gauntlet and play on a team that does not want him. But the time has arrived to say no to racism."
--Leading Arab-Israeli sports commentator Zouheir Bahloul on whether Arabs should play on the racist Beitar Jerusalem soccer team.**
Front Page News:
- Fear in Israel of flow of chemical weapons to Lebanon; Iron Dome stationed in Haifa
- In contradiction to Lapid's demand to reduce the number of ministers, Prime Minister said broad coalition needed because of "security threats"
- (Netanyahu's) answer to Assad and Lapid // Amos Harel
- Protest against involvement of (former PM bureau chief) Natan Eshel in coalition talks
- Yesh Atid's US advisor: It would not have helped us to talk about peace
- Activity identified in Ariel Sharon's brain
- 232 killed in fire in nightclub in Brazil
- Beitar (Jerusalem soccer team) coach: Most fans won't oppose a Muslim player
- Record-high grant for computerized model simulating human brain
- Fear: Hezbollah will get chemical weapons - Israel and US raising cooperation regarding Syria
- Israel's red line // Alex Fishman
- Lapid and Bennett - Overtures to coordinate positions
- Country with flu
- The hiding rocks - In order not to upset the angry ports labor union, the State is hiding rocks meant for a new port
- Israel to Russia: Stop the transfer of Syrian chemical weapons to terror organizations (Hebrew)
- Winds of war // Amir Rappaport (Hebrew)
- And to the glory of the State of 'Trust Me' - A year after the Mt. Herzl disaster, professional sources warn: The lessons were not learned, the tender for producing the torch lighting event this year is dangerous and unsafe (Hebrew)
- Medical dispute - Soroka Hospital reported improvement of former prime minister Ariel Sharon, however Sheba Medical center lowers expectations
- Battle over the Negev - Government approved plan to transfer hundreds of thousands of dunams in the Negev to Bedouin in a controversial move
- The danger and the alertness - Concern in Israel: Assad's regime collapsing, fear that chemical weapons and missiles will get to hands of Hezbollah and al-Qaeda type terrorists
- Brazil cries
- Flu - Plague of the country -
- Morsi: Emergency state in three cities; "Egypt on verge of civil war"
- "Arik Sharon's brain responded to photos of his relatives"
- Gaydamak's provocation and fans' racism - Everything about the storm in Beitar Jerusalem
The Israeli prime minister warns of Syrian chemical weapons in Hezbollah's hands, coalition talks continue and the brain of former prime minister Ariel Sharon shows activity making top stories in today's Israeli papers. Meanwhile, the President of Chechnya has a message for the Beitar Jerusalem soccer fans and Bedouin and right-wingers both oppose the government plan to allocate land to the Bedouin.
Netanyahu warned yesterday that the collapse of the Syrian regime could allow for chemical weapons to get to Hezbollah's hands, and said it was a top priority to "address these security threats," which would be closely monitored. The Lebanese media reported that a series of blasts heard in what is said to be a Hezbollah ammunition compound. At the same time, Israeli jets reportedly crossed four times into Lebanese air space. Meanwhile, Israel deployed two Iron Dome batteries in northern Israel. Netanyahu also has returned to his statements against Iran, which were rarely heard during election campaigning, saying on International Holocaust Day that Iran was preparing for another Holocaust and must be prevented from going nuclear.
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid has plans to meet with two other party chairman in order to strengthen his negotiation position. Maariv writes that Lapid and Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz are discussing uniting their parties. If they did, they would hold joint coalition discussions and Mofaz would be the Defense Minister. (NRG Hebrew) Yedioth reports that Lapid and Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett will meet soon, as well, in order to try coordinate their positions ahead of coalition talks. "The coordination between them will put pressure on Netanyahu," explained their associates. Yedioth also ran a photograph from 2010 of the two on a trip to settlements in the West Bank that Bennett had organized for VIPs when he was Chairman of the Yesha settlers' council. Netanyahu wants Bennett in the government - despite the mutual attacks - in order to have a broad coalition. Shas, meanwhile, is sending Netanyahu mixed messages about joining the coalition. The Ultra-Orthodox party leaders warn of an unprecedented split in society if conscription were forced upon yeshiva students, but say they are prepared to 'go to great lengths to achieve cooperation,' writes Haaretz+.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the Israeli coalition may change, but Palestinian demands won't. Addressing the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Abbas stipulated that the negotiations must achieve a settlement construction freeze, secure the release of prisoners and address other core issues, including Jerusalem and the refugees. Concluding his address, Abbas stressed that the Palestinians do not seek to delegitimize Israel - only the settlements and the "occupation," Ynet wrote.
**The President of Chechnya has a message for the fans of Beitar Jerusalem soccer team: No to racism against Muslim players. Ramzan Kadirov said he agreed to the transfer of the two players from his beloved team, Terek Grozni, following a personal request from Beitar owner Arkady Gaydamak. "I am certain that the friendly relations developed recently between Beitar and Terek have a great future...(but) soccer is first and foremost played by people - not Jews, Christians or Muslims. Not long ago an Israeli player named Ze'ev Chaimovitch played with us and he was very much liked by the fans," said Kadirov in a message to Beitar fans, Maariv reported. He also called on the Israeli police to release the fans who were arrested in riots Saturday night over the acquisition of two Muslim players from Chechnya. Yesterday, the Beitar board of directors held an emergency meeting, following the racist riots and the media frenzy that followed. The two representatives of the official Beitar fan club walked out, saying it was unacceptable that Gaydamak had made such a decision without first consulting with the board. (NRG Hebrew) The board approved continuing contacts to bring the players over. Meanwhile, Maccabi Umm al-Fahem told Beitar's manager, Itsik Kornfein, that if there are any racial slurs at the game tomorrow between the two teams, Umm al-Fahem will leave the field, Yedioth reported. Despite fans' strong objection, Gaydamak said he has no intention of backing down on his plans to bring in two footballers from the Chechen team. Maariv reported that Beitar has had Muslim players in the past: Gorem Ajoyev of Tajikistan in 1989-1990 and Victor Pacha from Albania in 1999-2000. According to a former Beitar coach, "only in the last 10 years did the racism and hatred of Arabs begin, and it's time to put an end to it." Someone who felt that racism was Nigerian player Ibrahim Nidallah, who was signed on in 2004. Fans would come to practices just to curse him and make racial slurs against him. He was released from the team. The issue was in Yedioth '24 Hours' supplement's Question of the day:
Should Arab soccer players even agree to play on Beitar Jerusalem team?
Leading Arab-Israeli sports commentator Zouheir Bahloul:
"It's a great step towards an enormous change...I know it's not easy for an Arab player to pick up the gauntlet and play on a team that does not want him. But the time has arrived to say no to racism. To say enough! Only cooperation between the management and Arab players who are willing to play on the team will break this dark and racist stalemate..."
Arab-Israeli soccer player who was part of Israel's national team, Abbas Suan:
"No place for discussion...I am convinced that no Arab player will improve the views of the Beitar fans. The racism will remain and the Arab player will only suffer from daily harrassment and hatred - both on the field and in his private life..."
Bedouin living in 'unrecognized villages' in the Negev have slammed the land offer approved by the Israeli government yesterday, calling it a 'back-room deal.' (Haaretz+) They say it requires uprooting communities. The right-wing also condemned the offer, saying it gives them too much land. It actually gives them only 62% of what they already sit on.
- B'Tselem: IDF using deadly force on protesters - New report by human rights group claims Israeli security forces 'systematically violate' rules of engagement in West Bank. Ten Palestinians killed by 'less lethal' IDF weapons since 2005. IDF dismisses brief as 'one-sided, biased narrative.' (Ynet and Haaretz+)
- Hospital: Ariel Sharon responded to family photos, not in coma - Soroka medical officials say 'significant' activity detected in ex-PM's brain as he was shown photos of family members, heard recording of son's voice. (Ynet)
- Druze says 2 nightclubs racially discriminated him - Rani Tarif, 27-year-old druze, says two clubs denied him entry because of ethnicity. 'I'm Israel's flesh and blood,' says enraged Tarif, IDF combat soldier. (Yedioth/Ynet)
- Lieberman fraud trial to open in three weeks - Trial against former foreign minister will be held before panel of three judges; dismissed MK Ayalon is expected to testify against Lieberman if a plea arrangement is not reached before trial. (Haaretz+)
- Uri Lupolianski considering running again for mayor of Jerusalem - Lupolianski's associates say the results of national elections - high number of votes from Jerusalem for Yehadut Hatorah - was encouraging. Elections are taking place at the end of October. (Maariv, p. 8)
- Letter found on terrorists: 'Al Aqsa Brigades claim responsibility' - IDF soldiers apprehend two Palestinian terrorists with grenades, firebombs; letter they carried read: 'Martyrs' Brigades claim full responsibility for bombing at Elon Moreh settlement.' (Ynet)
- Soldier jailed for threatening commander with loaded rifle - Engineering Corps soldier sentenced to 40 days in military prison after pointing loaded M16 assault rifle at his commander. (Ynet)
- Treasury reconsidering tax hike plan - In wake of election results, Finance Ministry official says 'there is a good chance' of passing measures rejected by prime minister in the past. (Ynet)
- New Bedouin MK permitted to bring only one wife to the opening event of the 19th Knesset - Taleb Abu-Arar, new MK of Ra'am-Ta'al party has three wives. His solution: He isn't inviting any family, only dignitaries from the Negev. (Maariv, p. 8)
- No Lollapalooza in TA this summer - Music festival scheduled for August postponed until 2014 for logistical reasons. Some rumors about the cancellation being the result of more anti-Israeli boycotts. (Ynet)
- Turkey warns against Israel-Cyprus gas deal - At Eurasian Economic Summit in Istanbul, Turkish envoy tells his Israeli counterpart that a potential Israel-Turkey gas pipeline could be squandered by Israeli partnership with Cyprus on natural gas. (Haaretz+)
- Morsi declares state of emergency in 3 Egypt cities after clashes kill 49 - Seven shot dead, hundreds injured in new clashes in Port Said; Morsi's opponents call for more protests Monday. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Sheldon Adelson invested in fight against Hagel, NYT reports - New York Times reports that secretly-funded groups are running advertisements against Obama's nominee for secretary of defense; while the Jewish billionaire is invested in the anti-Hagel fight, it is unclear whether he is behind the groups' efforts. (Haaretz+)
- Report: Feds up pressure on suspects in Stuxnet leak - US investigators probe e-mails, phone records of officials privy to virus that targeted Iran's nuclear program in what is considered highest-profile probe yet. (Ynet)
- U.S. upgrades strike capabilities against Iran, stations 'stealth' fighters in Gulf - U.S. last Aril deployed six F-22 Raptors, its most advanced fighter currently in operational use and the only operational 'stealth' fighter in use around the world, on airbase in UAE. This temporary deployment has apparently become permanent. (Haaretz+)
An infiltration thwarted, a Palestinian youth left to die
After the semester's final exam, Samir Awad and his friends from Budrus went down to the separation fence, where teenagers often provoke soldiers to see how they respond. It ended with live bullets in his back. They didn't notice the four soldiers who were concealed by the prickly pear cacti in the village, next to a greenhouse, nor did they see another two soldiers who hid in a trench next to the fence. Approaching it constitutes a test of courage for youths in this imprisoned village; the area is their only play corner. Almost every day, at the end of school, teenagers go down to the barrier, provoke the soldiers who are almost always stationed there, and wait to see how they will respond. But this time the soldiers were hiding, and they ambushed the teenagers. (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+)
Are the lives of IDF soldiers worth more than those of Israeli civilians?
In a new book, analyst Yagil Levy says there has been a substantial change in the blood price that Israeli society is willing to pay in military confrontations, restricting the army's ability to operate effectively. (Haaretz+)
U.S. strategist's formula for Lapid's stunning success: the candidate, the message, and the Internet
Mark Mellman, the U.S. political consultant with deep ties to Israel, tells Haaretz that Lapid is 'sweet and smart' and very easy to work with. Politically speaking, he adds, Israel is not as unique as it likes to think. (Haaretz+)
Likud veteran Silvan Shalom, the man behind the woman
Silvan 'Steve' Shalom married right and worked hard, so why isn't he prime minister already? Profile. (Haaretz+)
Racism in the stands (Haaretz Editorial) Only 24 hours before the world was set to mark International Holocaust Day, Jerusalem's soccer team unfurled the banner 'Beitar is pure forever.'
Europe needs to re-commit to the peace process now (Ilan Baruch, Haaretz+) Just as the European community formulated a strong pro-peace Middle East policy in 1980 in the wake of dramatic political shifts in the Middle East, so should the EU now take bold action supporting a dynamic peace process leading to the creation of the State of Palestine alongside Israel.
When tactics replace ideology (Ze'ev Jabotinsky, Israel Hayom) It is now very clear: A solid ideological platform is more effective than political tactics.
Jerusalem soccer fans' racism is a microcosm of Israel 2013 (Elad Lipshitz, Haaretz+) The furor following Beitar Jerusalem's decision to sign Muslim players relies on the same warped logic that prevented Yair Lapid from even considering a coalition with Arab parties.
Israel's red line (Alex Fishman, Yedioth) Israel won't hesitate to attack should Syrian chemical weapons reach Hezbollah.
There is no future without the Arabs (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz+) The new map of Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid is 'without Arabs and without Haredim.'
Coalition building: competing priorities (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) It's important to note who will become the government's primary envoy, and who will simply be filling space.
Lapid is Netanyahu's new twin (Rachel Neeman, Haaretz+) Don't get your hopes up: Yair Lapid will likely be the fig leaf in the next Knesset
Abbas waiting for Yair (Smadar Peri, Yedioth/Ynet) As far as PA is concerned, any moderate Israeli FM would be 100 times better than Lieberman.
If I were Lapid I would demand the finance portfolio (Rotem Starkman, Haaretz+) Yesh Atid's leader would also do well to examine why he won the support of the middle class and the well-off but not Mizrahim from low-income towns.
Remembering our way to a better world (Silvan Shalom, Israel Hayom) Our obligation as Jews is to teach the memory of the Holocaust to the young generation; it is an integral part of our being and our national genetic code.
Universal IDF draft: slogan of the man's man (Yitzhak Laor, Haaretz+) Lapid's call for a universal draft is the slogan of the bourgeoisie, coming one step before the economic cutbacks that will deepen inequality. And he's just one of three macho men in power.
Winds of War (Amir Rappaport, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) "The Syrian military has no less than 1,000 tons of chemical warfare materiel...A tiny percentage of this quantity falling into the hands of Global Jihad organizations (and afterwards finding their way out of Syria) would suffice to create an unprecedented terrorist threat...It is important to note that the issue disturbs not only Israel: The US is greatly interested in preventing the transfer of Syria's chemical weapons to elements such as Hezbollah or Global Jihad."
In the end we're left with Netanyahu (Aluf Benn, Haaretz+) Most of Netanyahu's energy in the last four years went to maintaining 'stability' and ensuring his reelection. Tuesday's vote showed he was right: Despite his poor campaign and the blow to Likud, the foundations of his rule remain strong.
The book Netanyahu needs to read to get a handle on Hagel's Mideast approach (Barak Ravid, Haaretz+) The PM could learn a lot about the next secretary of defense from reading 'Eisenhower 1956,' which describes an American president sympathetic to Israel's defense needs, but also determined to maintain an independent U.S. policy and avoid a war.
The Holocaust began with elections (Robert Rozett, Haaretz+) On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yad Vashem's Dr. Robert Rozett reminds us that Hitler exploited democracy to come to power. Elections alone do not mean a society protects the civil liberties of the individual, their dignity or even their right to life; but those values must be ingrained in society to prevent future crimes against humanity.
Who spread reports of an 'explosion' at Iran's Fordow nuclear plant and why? (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) According to the report, the explosion in Fordow seriously damaged many of the centrifuges in the plant and trapped underground 240 employees who have yet to be rescued. But if this is true, why have the major news networks dismissed it?
Saving Bethlehem from the brink
Vera Baboun, the first woman mayor of the city where Jesus was born, faces no small task: To improve a dire economic situation and to stop residents from emigrating. (Interviewed by Aviva Lori and Matan Gez in Haaretz+)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.