APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday January 29, 2013
Quote of the day:
"It should be noted that the brigade commander believes that to totally prevent damage to the petitioners' property, he must deploy a large number of soldiers in the area at any given moment."
--Attorney Yuval Roitman, a senior deputy at the State Prosecutor's Office, tries to explain why the State cannot protect two elderly Palestinian farmers and their plot of land from endless attacks by Bat Ayin settlers.**
Front Page News:
- Also in 2012: Suicide is top cause of death in IDF - 14 last year
- Natan Eshel and the old politics // Yossi Verter
- Eshel asked to head coalition talks
- Didn't stop for a moment from working with Netanyahu // Barak Ravid
- Iran announced it launched missile to space
- Record number of divorces: 4.7% of couples separated last year - Almost half of divorces files opened without agreement between the two
- Migrant worker jailed for months because she made a false complaint - State jails foreigners for unlimited periods, even though they have not been convicted of a crime
- Israel leads in economic land exploitation in poor countries
- Winter is warmer in villages because of heat emitted from big cities
- The little girl in the hallway - Hospital pediatric departments collapsing from load of children with pneumonia, flu and respiratory problems
- Soon: Painful economic edicts - Secret team appointed by Netanyahu believes: deficit requires more taxes and bigger budget cuts than expected
- The email proved: Natan Eshel lied - Eshel checked if he could head the coalition talks, but accidentally sent the email to Shelly Yachimovich
- Beitar Jerusalem soccer team requested: Game without audience
- Olmert: I won't go to Beitar games
- Grandchildren of Jewish jazz musician battling against expulsion from Israel
- Readers: Starting this Friday, the price of the Friday paper will rise
- Sources in Foreign Ministry: "No red lines were crossed regarding chemical weapons in Syria"
- In Kiryat Shmona, preparing the (bomb) shelters, again
- White House: Don't believe the reports about explosion at the Iranian nuclear site in Fordo
- Yehadut Hatorah ready to compromise on draft: We will agree to the Yaalon plan
- Following Maariv investigative report: Mother of Hila Betzaleli on the deficiencies in the tender for the torch-lighting ceremony on Mt. Herzl: "I won't let any other soldiers die... " (Hebrew)
- 7.5 years after Gaza withdrawal - State demanding 165 evacuated families to leave the caravilla site in Nitzan within three months (Hebrew)
- Beitar vs. fans: Game tonight against Umm al-Fahem team will be held without audience (Hebrew)
- Height of winter, record flu
- "The option in Syria: Between bad and terrible"
- Iranian monkey in space - Iran claims it launched a monkey 120km into space and it returned alive
- Israel Hayom continues to be #1 paper
- Non-stop divorcing - Rise of 5% in number of divorcees in Israel in 2012; Tel-Aviv first
- All because of a mistaken address: Natan Eshel's email sent to Yachimovich
- Rupert Murdoch apologized for anti-Semitic cartoon
- Ashamed of its fans? Beitar requested to hold game against Umm al-Fahem - without audience
A mis-sent email reveals lies and the pre-election thinking of the prime minister, the hospitals are overflowing with patients that have the flu and pneumonia, and the question of whether Syria's chemical weapons are a real concern for Israel or just spin for the prime minister were the top stories of today's papers. Meanwhile, the latest on coalition talks, racist Beitar Jerusalem soccer fans and the phone call the prime minister was awaiting.
Natan Eshel, the former bureau chief of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) who was forced to leave public service in disgrace, mistakenly sent an email, confirming that he was asked by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to head his coalition negotiating team, to the likely leader of the opposition Labor party Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich - despite claims otherwise. It was meant for another 'Shelly': attorney Shlomit Barnea-Fargo, the Prime Minister's Office legal adviser. Yachimovich exposed the email. The Yesh Atid party has already said it refused to work with him after a Facebook campaign pressed for Eshel to be left out of the picture, following indecent acts against an employee during his work. Haaretz's Yossi Verter writes that Netanyahu's request that Eshel head the coalition talks "proves that the prime minister hasn't yet internalized the primary lesson of this election campaign, which, succinctly put, would be "it's the new politics, stupid!" where the public has a say in such things. Verter also points out that as a private citizen, Eshel has no right to ask for a legal opinion from a public servant and that Barnea-Fargo "is obligated first and foremost to R., the victim of Eshel's sexual harassment."
Foreign Ministry sources told Maariv that "no red lines were crossed regarding chemical weapons in Syria," and that nothing has actually changed regarding the subject in the last couple weeks. What has changed, writes the paper, is Netanyahu's desire to build a broad coalition with many ministers - and he used the Syrian chemical weapons as a ruse to bring in many ministers - despite the demand by Yesh Atid party that government be reduced in size, the paper reported. (NRG Hebrew) The PMO refused to respond to the allegations. Meanwhile, people living near Israel's northern border have started to prepare the bunker shelters, Maariv reported. Ynet wrote that Hezbollah has begun setting up camps near WMD facilities and the FBI is reportedly training Jordanian and Turkish soldiers in chemical defense, Haaretz reported. On Sunday, Netanyahu said Israel was concerned that Syria's arsenal of unconventional weapons would fall into the hands of the Lebanon-based Shiite terror group.
Latest coalition news: The Labor party has announced it will stay in the opposition - despite talk that some members wanted to join the government. Yachimovich is still facing harsh criticism for the failure of her party to win more seats in the election. Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid has grown confident quite quickly. He told Channel 2 yesterday that the next election will make him prime minister. Surprisingly, the ultra-Orthodox Yehadut Hatorah party has said it would accept the Yaalon plan for drafting ultra-Orthodox men into the military, Maariv reported, meaning it has more of a chance of entering the coalition - if Yesh Atid drops its plan for Yaalon's plan.
In an exceptional decision, the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team board of directors requested from the national soccer union that no audience be allowed to come to the game today between Beitar and the Arab-Israeli team Umm al-Fahem. It fears that Umm al-Fahem players will leave the field, as they warned, if any racist calls are yelled. The national union approved the request in order to prevent an international storm that would result in heavy punishment, Yedioth reported. Yedioth interviewed one of the four fans that was arrested on incitement for racism after sparking the riots Saturday. N., who also helped prepare the racist banner held up at Saturday's game that read "Beitar will be pure forever," is a member of the extremist fan group of Beitar called 'The Entourage.' "I'm a racist, I hate Arabs," he told reporter Yaron Doron, without shame. "We made the banner so people would understand that it is prohibited to bring Arab players to Beitar. If they bring Muslims here, we will burn down the club...Arabs and Beitar Jerusalem don't go together." He sees the Beitar fans as the victims in this story. "I come to the games to curse. Why would I go to a game if not to curse? Once I used to beat people, but I don't anymore. Besides that, I don't understand why it's not okay for us to curse the Arabs when in E. Jerusalem they scream 'Death to the Jews' and throw stones on Jews. It's because we're Beitar fans that they make a big deal of it."
Meanwhile, Zahava Gal-On, Meretz Chairwoman, equated Yair Lapid to racist Beitar fans for his refusal to form an obstructive political bloc with 'Zoabis,' i.e. with Arab parties. Lapid has said he would not form an obstructive bloc with Haneen Zoabi. Gal-On wrote on her Facebook page that the racism in Israel "shocking, but not surprising."
Meanwhile, Obama waited one week to congratulate Netanyahu on his elections win, the Israeli papers noted. Haaretz reported that former U.S. ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk confirmed the 'bad chemistry' between Obama and Netanyahu.
- At least 166 homes in Israeli settlement built on private Palestinian land - Haaretz has obtained a certified map of the West Bank settlement of Eli, drafted by the Civil Administration to clarify what lands could be included in zoning plan for settlement, which reveals the houses were built on Palestinian property. (Haaretz)
- Palestinian villagers take IDF to High Court over military drills - Petitioners claim the drills are conducted in violation of High Court order; IDF spokesman: Exercises were held in firing zones, not in farmlands, and no damage was caused. (Haaretz)
- Suspicion: Girl who spat on Tibi sprayed anti-Christian slogans - Jerusalem Police arrest two girls, Orion Nizri (20) from Jerusalem and A. (17) from the center of the country, both suspected of spray-painting 'Jesus is a son of a bitch' on wall surrounding Monastery of the Cross in capital; A., a known right-wing activist living in the W. Bank, is the one who spat on Arab MK Ahmed Tibi at Bar-Ilan University in December. (Ynetphotosvideo)
- **Israel to urge court: Drop Palestinian farmers' complaint against settler attacks - Israeli prosecutors will explain to the High Court of Justice on Monday why it's hard to protect two elderly people from attacks by young Jews. (Haaretz)
- Arab teachers: Kids compare current conflict to Holocaust - Yad VaShem offers Holocaust teaching seminars for Arab teachers. "It is somehow relieving for us to tell them what happened there," said one teacher. (Ynet)
- Israel removing former settlers from Nitzan caravilla site - 7.5 years after Gaza withdrawal, State demands 165 evacuated families leave the caravilla site within three months (Maariv/NRG Hebrew)
- Report: Israel's middle class lives like the West's working class - Left-leaning think tank Adva Center finds that the image of suburban family with two cars is far from reality and that Israel's middle class is shrinking. (Ynet and Haaretz)
- Jordan's king meets Mashaal, urges 2-state solution - King Abdullah, Hamas politburo chief discuss Palestinian issue; Abdullah urges Palestinian reconciliation, rejects concept of Palestinian-Jordanian confederation. (Ynet)
- Egypt: Clashes resume despite emergency decree - Egypt plunges deeper into political turmoil as anti-Morsi riots spark despite emergency situation. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Israel summons Argentine envoy over AMIA bombing probe - Jerusalem 'extremely disappointed' by Buenos Aires' investigation deal with Tehran; Argentina and Iran agree to establish an independent international "truth commission" led by a jurist Israel's ambassador to Argentina to convey official protest as well. (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
- Iran cracks down on media before election - Islamic Republic's clerical leadership tightening grip on media as presidential elections near, arrests journalists working for reformist newspapers. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Iran denies explosion at underground uranium facility - Tehran calls reports of explosion at underground Fordo bunker "Western propaganda" designed to influence the upcoming nuclear negotiations. London Times: Israeli officials confirmed explosion. Ya'alon plays down Israeli involvement. (Israel Hayom)
- US 'does not believe' reports about blast at Iran nuke plant - White House spokesman says 'we have no information to confirm report' about explosion at underground Fordo bunker. (Agencies, Ynet)
Wagner didn't hate all Jews, just 'bad' ones, argues Israeli scholar
The legendary German composer wasn't quite the anti-Semite people think, says Irad Atir, whose PhD paper was praised by Yad Vashem. (Haaretz)
After she won over the audience in "A star is born" with songs from the Israeli pantheon, Miriam Tukan wants to sing her own classics. Tukan, from the Arab village of Ibilin wants to win in the renewed Song and Chorus Festival. "I don't see representing the Arab sector as a burden. In my view, it's something positive, a type of mission, which I see as a gift. Sometimes it's heavy, but it's also good, because it pushes a person forward." (Maariv daily magazine and another NRG Hebrew article about her)
Reading between the lines: How Amos Oz views Jewish identity
In their jointly written investigation into the defining essence of the Jewish people, the father-and-daughter team of Amos Oz and Fania Oz-Salzberger come up with definition so reductive that one may end up no wiser regarding who's a member of the club. (Haaretz)
He was considered a jazz legend: one of the most famous Jewish musicians in the US. It's enough to do a google search to see that he was Jewish and they even have other proof. So why won't Israel recognize Lorraine and Leah, the granddaughters of Milton Mesirow, and why is it threatening to expel them from Israel? The two were born in Paris and raised in England by their mother and were not in contact with their father, Howard, Milton's son. (Yedioth's '24 Hours' magazine)
Yigal Amir's legacy (Uri Weiss, Haaretz) In declaring he won't join an anti-Netanyahu bloc with the Arab parties, Lapid is voicing the position adopted after Yitzhak Rabin's murder.
Israelis who hoped for peace progress should expect to be disappointed (Adrian Daniels, Haaretz) Leaving the Habayit Hayehudi party out of the government won't create a pro-peace government, because Likud-Beiteinu isn't much different.
Will Yair Lapid divide Jerusalem? (Barak Ravid, Haaretz) In his election campaign, the founder of Yesh Atid was vehemently opposed to the partition of Jerusalem in any future peace agreement, but he has not always been against it.
Hamas Beitar (Ben-Dror Yemini, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) There is a frightening similarity between the supporters of Hamas, like Zouebi, and the fans of Beitar Jerusalem soccer team. But one must remember the fans are a minority that don't justify the screen time they get...
Racists, we're sick of you - I won't go to Beitar games anymore (Ehud Olmert, Yedioth) "I'm sick of being identified with the dark vulgarity of these people who are not part of what Beitar should represent. Either we banish this group of racists from our field and disconnect them from the team, or we are all like them...
Yair, you don't stand a chance (Nehemia Shtrasler, Haaretz) For Lapid to have a chance, he must replace those representing him in the coalition talks with 'bad guys.' Otherwise, the seats he won in the Knesset will turn into zero, just like they did for his father.
Alone in the new Middle East (Boaz Bismuth, Haaretz) In our global village, chemical weapons falling into the hands of terrorist groups would destabilize the entire world.
Ten pieces of advice for Lapid (Ophir Pines-Paz, Haaretz) Coalition negotiations between Netanyahu and Lapid can determine our future. Here are a few pieces of advice that could help Lapid help us.
Yair, take the Foreign Ministry (MK Nahman Shai, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) They are trying to convince Lapid not to be appointed foreign minister, but the man who heads the ministry has great weight that can greatly help in the internal issues of the State....
Battle stations (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) Israel will not tolerate Hezbollah or the global jihad movement acquiring Syria's chemical weapons, but any premature operation could give the embattled Syrian dictator an excuse to turn his weapons on us.
Israel's warning on Syria's WMD awaits Assad's reply (Amos Harel, Haaretz) As Prime Minister Netanyahu feels his way toward a new coalition that will put the civic agenda first, security challenges refuse to go away.
Dangerous mix of anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism (Benjamin Weinthal, Ynet) Americans, Israelis and Jews find themselves insulted in pages of one of Germany's most respected magazines.
Emotional voters vs. rational voters (Moshe Arens, Haaretz) There is no doubt that Yair Lapid profited from the way of thinking of more 'rational' voters, who calculated he would join a Netanyahu-led government.
Jaw jaw quickly, as war war approaches (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) Security threats from Iran, Syria and Egypt justify a speedy coalition negotiation process.
Don't blame the messenger: In Eshel affair, Netanyahu doesn't understand the rules of the game have changed (Yossi Verter, Haaretz) The fact that Netanyahu wanted Eshel to be part of his coalition negotiating team proves that the prime minister hasn't yet internalized the primary lesson of this election campaign, which, succinctly put, would be "it's the new politics, stupid!"
Getting the men in black into green (David Rosenberg, Haaretz) The ultra-Orthdox draft is less about fairness than the need to create a pool of labor for the economy, which only army service can create.
Drafting an agreement on the draft (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) Perhaps ultra-Orthodox opposition to Yair Lapid's draft plan is just part of the coalition negotiations game.
Time to get rid of Eshel (Haaretz Editorial) The prime minister's former bureau chief confessed he acted unacceptably. Instead of setting high moral standards, Netanyahu prefers to keep faith with his crony.
As long as Netanyahu is prime minister, Eshel will be around too (Barak Ravid, Haaretz) Despite his commitment not to seek any civil service position, Netanyahu's former bureau chief continues to act as the PM's envoy for 'special assignments.'
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.