APN's daily news review from Israel
February 4, 2013
Quote of the day:
"The Israeli side emphasizes the series of disturbances, while the Palestinians claim that Israel is the result of imperialist acts."
--Israeli and Palestinian textbooks demonize each other, according to a new report funded by the US State Dept.**
Front Page News:
- Lapid: We will bring down Netanyahu within a year and a half - if he won't fulfill our demands
- Pelephone cellular phone company crashed for five hours and millions were cut off
- Defense Minister Barak hints Israel attacked in Syria
- In Nazareth there are no welfare services because the employees have no office - solution only in a year and a half
- High Court: State must make it easier for those turning to surrogates abroad
- Stormy discussions in France and UK ahead of approval of single-sex marriages
- Journey in search of girl who sent letter from Palestine to King George V
- Pelephone: The crash - 3 million Israelis could not talk or send text messages because of a serious glitch - Examining possibility of hacker attack
- Lapid: I am not fearful of being in the opposition; Where are the women? Only men in coalition talks
- Barak broke the Israel silence; Despite the tension, Gantz and Barak abroad
- Bennett and Lapid's conclusions: Together in a government or together to the opposition (Hebrew)
- Report from Lebanon: Israel Air Force attacked Hezbollah electronic facility near Sidon (Hebrew)
- Following Maariv investigation: "Itzuv Bama" won't supply equipment for torch-lighting ceremony
- In security establishment, checking if cyber attack caused glitch in Pelephone company (Hebrew)
- This is how the Jerusalem Municipality fights a strike of the nursery-school teachers: Replace them with girls serving in National Service (Hebrew)
- Toughening positions - Coalition talks began
- Yesterday: Severe glitch in Pelephone Cellular phone system across the country; Hours without calls or text messages
- (Tycoon) Noni (Dankner)'s hands in Channel 10 // Gonen Gilat
- Drive carefully: Map of roads you can drive on fast
- Barak on attack in Syria: "This is proof that we mean what we say"
- Report: IDF destroyed broadcasting facility in Lebanon
- At last minute, Shula Zaken
A major cellular phone network crashes, Defense Minister Ehud Barak practically admits Israel attacked in Syria and kingmaker Yair Lapid says he is not afraid to be in the opposition making top stories in today's Israeli papers. US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders and makes efforts to meet with Iran's Foreign Minister. And, Haaretz reveals that the IDF violated instructions when it destroyed the Palestinian tent camp in Burin and video footage reveals more offenses.
Speaking at an event in Germany, Defense Minister Ehud Barak stopped short of confirming Israel was behind the strike on the weapons convoy near Damascus, but came close. "I cannot add anything to what you have read in the newspapers about what happened in Syria several days ago," he said in English, then added: "I keep telling frankly that we said ... and that's proof when we say something we mean it... we say that we don't think it should be allowed to bring advanced weapons systems into Lebanon." It just so happens that IDF chief Benny Gantz has landed in the U.S. for talks on Mideast security situation, shortly after the air strike on Syria. Last week, Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, director of IDF Military Intelligence, also met with his counterparts in the U.S. in what the IDF called a schedule work visit.
The pressure is on Likud after the coalition talks began and the parties are toughening their stances. Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid went so far as saying he could replace Netanyahu as prime minister in 18 months if the latter does not heed to his party's demands. The central issue on the table, writes Israel Hayom, is the universal draft law. Lapid has also said he views [far-right-wing - OH] Habayit Hayehudi as a natural partner in the next government and Maariv writes that the two parties have already agreed to join the Netanyahu government together - or to join the opposition together, in order to prevent Netanyahu from forming a government with the ultra-Orthodox and without them. The agreeement will force Netanyahu to give both parties what they demand, writes Maariv. Netanyahu is trying to thwart this alliance by emphasizing that the new government that is formed will renew diplomatic negotiations with the Palestinians. The renewed negotiations is just one of the demands on the list Yesh Atid presented to Netanyahu yesterday.
[The alliance raises questions. If Lapid is so adamant about renewing negotiations with the Palestinians with the goal of creating a Palestinian state, then how does he believe that he has a partner in Naftali Bennett and his Habayit Hayehudi party, which oppose evacuating settlements for a Palestinian state? Will Lapid be a 'fig leaf' for negotiations that go nowhere, as Meretz claims? - OH]
Shas says it will not put up with Yesh Atid's proposals for drafting ultra-Orthodox men into military service and complains that Netanyahu prefers Lapid over Shas. Meanwhile, Netanyahu aide, Yitzhak Molcho, has quit the coalition talks and will serve instead as envoy in talks with Palestinians, because the attorney general said he could not hold both roles concurrently. This, write the papers, weakens Likud's maneuvering in coalition talks. Haaretz thinks it could be a signal that Netanyahu plans to renew talks with the Palestinians, as per the demands of his expected coalition partners.
Indeed, Netanyahu told US Secretary of State John Kerry, who called yesterday, that Israel's new government will be 'committed to peace.' Kerry also spoke with Israeli President Shimon Peres and with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Kerry is expected to visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority in mid-February.
The IDF razed the Palestinian West Bank outpost in Burin village, south of Nablus, despite being told by the Israeli Civil Administration beforehand that it had no authority to operate there, Haaretz reported. Moreover, the footage filmed during the clashes, by people whom Maariv called yesterday 'radical left-wing activists,' showed an IDF soldier placing his foot on the pelvis of a Palestinian man who was laying on the ground and being handcuffed by Border Policemen. Meanwhile, Jewish residents of the nearby Jewish outpost made off with the tin structure the Palestinian outpost activists had set up. Haaretz wrote that the army said it was investigating "the confiscation of the tents" and the video showing the IDF soldier standing on the pelvis of a Palestinian man, an incident it said will be "dealt with if necessary."
- Government ministers star in scathing UN settlement report - While conservative columnists were quick to blame human rights groups for a damning report issued by the UN Human Rights Council, statements by Israel's finance minister and other senior officials provided more than enough of a basis for its conclusions. (Haaretz)
- **Both Israel and Palestinians demonize other side in school textbooks, study finds - The project, which was funded by the U.S. State Department, was boycotted by the Israeli government, which later called its methodology tendentious. Palestinian PM Salaam Fayyad welcomed it. (Haaretz and Maan)
- Changes in Jerusalem police brass bring crackdown on Arab residents - Operations included numerous arrests, vehicle inspections, tax collection, house demolitions, shutting off water, searches and random checks of identification, with the help of other authorities including the municipality, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, the Tax Authority, National Insurance Institute, Traffic Police and the Jerusalem municipal water corporation. Police denied the claims of collective punishment. (Haaretz)
- Women excluded from coalition talks? As efforts to form new government gain speed it seems none of the parties saw fit to include women in their negotiating teams. (Ynet)
- Pelephone cellular phone company crashed for five hours and millions were cut off - Problems with Pelephone network not due to cyber attack, company confirms, but isn't sure yet what the problem was. (Haaretz)
- Foreign Ministry against Prime Minister: "We are not a garbage bin" - FM employees angry over Netanyahu's intention to appoint top Likud officials as ambassadors. (Yedioth, p. 10)
- Anat Kamm demands NIS 2 million from Haaretz for exposing her - Attorneys for Haaretz stated: 'We have received the letter. It seems the claims [in the letter] have no real basis.' (Haaretz)
- Terrorist cell plotting to kidnap Israelis nabbed - Four Islamic Jihad cell members, two of whom are Israeli citizens, arrested by Shin Bet and police on suspicion of several attempts to abduct Israelis. (Ynet)
- Foreign Ministry to young Israelis: Stop asking for visas to the US - With the goal of being included in the countries whose citizens do not need a visa to enter the US, Israel needs to reduce the number of Israelis whose visa requests are denied. So it is trying to convince Israelis who just finished the military (and are going to work illegally in the US) not to ask. (Maariv/NRG Hebrew)
- State Archive searching for king's penpal - Immigrant girl, 12, thanked George V in 1935 for helping Jews in Palestine. (Haaretz)
- Israel re-opens Nablus roads closed since Second Intifada - Israel reopened several roads in Nablus that connect with the Nablus villages of Awarta, Yanun, Aqraba and surrounding areas, and will give Palestinians quick access to over 13,000 dunams of land. They had been closed for 13 years. (Maan)
- Marketing the Haifa Technion as a world-class center for... hip-hop - Forget Nobel Prizes. The esteemed Haifa institute of technology is trying to rebrand itself as a place that attracts not just the best and the brightest, but also the coolest. (Haaretz)
- CIA report on Yom Kippur War: Israel had nuclear arsenal - According to a CIA report, Israeli intelligence downplayed the risk of an Egyptian attack in 1973 for fear that the U.S. would push Israel toward peace talks. (Haaretz)
- Syria strikes back? Hackers break into Haaretz emails, threaten more attacks - Hacker group Syrian Electronic Army breaks into newspaper employees' emails by impersonating publisher Amos Schocken in an email. Readers' information was not compromised. (Haaretz)
- Lebanon: Explosion in Tyre raises fears of Israeli air strike - Hezbollah's television network Al-Manar reported that the explosion in the Tyre area was due to a device thrown by unknown persons and is unconnected to Israeli aircraft. (Haaretz)
- Erdogan: History will not forgive Israel - Turkish PM says alleged Israeli strike in Syria 'is unacceptable to us, against every international law.' (Ynet)
- Syrian troops, rebels clash on Jordan border - Ex-Syrian parliament member killed in rebel-held area near Aleppo, one day after rebels captured strategic Sheik Said neighborhood southeast of the city. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Egyptian dies of wounds as toll from anti-government protests rises to 57 - No major clashes reported Sunday; last week was bloodiest yet since Morsi took power in June 2012. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Iran to give 'positive consideration' to direct talks with U.S. - Iran's foreign minister calls proposal 'good news' but does not make clear whether Iran agreed to meeting; his statement that Iran has 'no red line for bilateral negotiations' follows Biden's call for serious direct negotiations. (Agencies, Haaretz)
Tze'elim revisited: A military disaster, an emotional denial
A new book explores the infamous 1992 accident [when elite IDF soldier were killed during a training simulation to assassinate Saddam Hussein - OH] the Tze'elim base and what it says about Israeli society. (Haaretz)
Sex and the IDF: The army's role in defining gender and sexual norms
A new book showcases the dominant role of photography in creating fantasy and sexual reality in Israel's army. (Haaretz)
Bibi's clone (Eyal Megged, Haaretz) Yair Lapid can be confident that no one will ask why he is in politics to begin with if the good of the state is best served by having Netanyahu at the helm. If this is the case, why doesn't he just go home and let Netanyahu run things?
They're not all al-Qaeda (Emanuel Rosen, Yedioth/Ynet) Idea that all our enemies would use any weapon to destroy us based on paranoia, ignorance.
Cleansing the Jordan Valley (Haaretz Editorial) Israel is causing grave injustice to dozens of old, poverty-stricken communities that make a living from herding and farming.
Civil war in Syria - Coalition against Iran (former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy, Yedioth) Halevy discusses Iran's involvement and Syria. The author believes that Iran, "sees Syria as a client state," and adds, "The more extreme Tehran's warlike declarations become, the more dependent it becomes on the Assad regime and binds its fate to it. For Iran, there is no going back, just as there is no going back for its Lebanese ally, Hezbollah. Every day of brutal combat by Revolutionary Guard and Al-Quds Force units, along with Hezbollah fighters, against the various Syrian opposition groups, reduces the possibility that the Iranians will be allowed to retain their foothold in Syria after the fall of Bashar Al-Assad. Iran is fighting for the future of its position in the Middle East at the expense of the Syrian population." Halevy asserts that Iran' and Hezbollah's strong presence in Syria contravenes the interests of, "all of Syria's neighbors," as well as those of Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, Egypt, the US, Russia and Europe, and adds that, "Only when the Iranian stranglehold on Damascus is lifted will a new and promising era dawn in the Middle East."
Netanyahu facing the unholy trinity (Aluf Benn, Haaretz) On the assumption that the partners will support a large defense budget, and that settlement growth is more dependent on U.S. President Barack Obama than on Netanyahu, the coalition debate is now focusing on the Haredim.
Don't ignite entire region (Merav Betito, Yedioth/Ynet) Israelis have become addicted to expectation that something terrible is about to happen.
The 'power' of Facebook (Yitzhak Lior, Haaretz) The election burst the illusion of radical left parties that invested their energies in campaigning primarily through social networks.
Blowing hot and cold: Israel's divided reaction to the Arab Spring (Lior Lehrs, Haaretz) Netanyahu's government has a negative, one-dimensional view of the Arab Spring. But Israelis need a deeper and more serious understanding of these critical regional changes, and to start getting to know the new key players: political Islamic leaders, and how a dialogue with them might emerge.
The female gatekeepers (Tal Lior, Maariv) Lior commends the fact that there will be 27 women in the 19th Knesset but reminds its readers that for the past four years, the Security Cabinet has had no women members. The author labels as, "scandalous," the fact that, "51% of the population is not represented in the most important forum in the country," and calls for, "women to become integrated in the security-strategic discourse in the State of Israel."
In rejecting Arab MK, Yair Lapid also rejects Jewish values (Dmitry Shumsky, Haaretz) For many Israelis, Yair Lapid's rejection of Hanin Zuabi is affirmation of the state's commitment to a Jewish majority, but exclusion of the Arab minority goes against the history of Jews, who have so often been the 'other.'
Nukes-for-Assad trade in the offing? (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) If indeed Iran, Russia and the United States have agreed on a framework to end the crisis in Syria, it isn't likely to be divorced from some kind of dialogue on the nuclear issue.
Yair Lapid: Number One on Channel Two (Moran Shanrir, Haaretz) In the glowing piece about Lapid on the investigative show 'Fact,' there were no doubts, no humility, no reason to vote for anyone else.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.