APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday February 5, 2013
Numbers of the day:
240, 78, and 0.
--Number of complaints of abuse by IDF soldiers of Palestinians, number of probes, number of indictments, respectively, according to new report by Israeli human rights organization, Yesh Din.**
Front Page News:
- Biggest human trafficker (got immunity) as a state witness - then returned to the world of crime
- Netanyahu holding contacts with Bennett and Livni in attempt to pressure Lapid
- Call to renew negotiations with the Palestinian Authority - (Former Military Intelligence chief Amos) Yadlin: War in Syria removed threat from Israel
- Punishment to officer who attacked a (Bedouin) citizen at a checkpoint: 75 days of work on base and a lowering of rank
- (State told) Settlement (to stop) sewage flowing to neighboring Palestinian village
- Cyber fighters also trying to harm the Home Front
- Researchers: We discovered the remains of King Richard III under a parking lot
- Prolonged viewing of TV harms sperm quality, sport improves it
- Lieberman demand to keep the Foreign Ministry - signal to Lapid: FM is not available
- Bennett: I have understandings with Lapid that the Likud will not be able to harm
- Mr. Chairman, the new MKs
- The story of the life of Laila Samir, mother of the singer Chaya Samir, comes to the big screen
- Lesson in politics: We brought together new MKs Ayelet Shaked, Itzik Shmuli and Stav Shafir with the teachers that influenced their lives
- Excuse me, there's a glitch - Following the collapse of the cellular phone network, Pelephone CEO offers customers a free hour of calls or internet
- Habayit Hayehudi: Shas made the secular people disdain the Torah. Shas: Bennett is trying to change the status quo
- The new National Religious Party (now Habayit Hayehudi)// Shalom Yerushalmi
- Police to investigate suspicion of forgery and fraud at the polls in the Arab sector (Hebrew)
- 16 years after the (IDF) helicopter disaster: The widow of the brigade commander to be sworn-in to the Knesset (Hebrew)
- Thanks to Israeli doctors: Olympic champion in ice-skating can return to competition (Hebrew)
- After more than 500 years, the bones of King Richard III found under parking lot
- Changing profiles - What caused (singer) Nurit Galron to disguise herself as (singer) Yehudit Ravitz?
- The 19th Knesset is underway
- Agitation in Habayit Hayehudi: Rabbis of the religious-Zionist stream demand Bennett cool his war with the ultra-Orthodox: "We are not Lapid"
- Pelephone: the compensation and the rage
- Richard the Third and Shakespeare
- Channel 10 rolling in the swamp of hypocrisy // Israel Hayom Editor Isi Liebler
- Ahmedinejad: "Israel attacked in Syria because of its weakness"
- Suspicion in (religious community) Modiin Illit: 5-year-old raped, rabbis silencing (parents) from talking (Ynet)
- Soon: ultra-Orthodox male nurses in hospitals
The Likud tries to battle an alliance, the ultra-Orthodox try to battle Naftali Bennett and the religious-nationalist rabbis and a little girl's rape is met with silence by her parents and religious community making top stories in today's Israeli papers. Meanwhile, an Israeli MK meets with Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad in Ramallah, a Syrian opposition member spoke with Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Germany and a Channel 10 documentary shows that the editor of Israel Hayom newspaper changes the content of reporters' articles to suit the Israeli Prime Minister.
The 19th Knesset opens today and in the background are the coalition battles. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is reportedly annoyed by the arrogance of Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, who said he would replace Netanyahu if the latter did not agree to his party's demands. Lapid and Habayit Hayehudi's Naftali Bennett are attempting to pressure Netanyahu by making an alliance. The two parties together have 31 mandates and without both of them Netanyahu cannot form a coalition government. Haaretz writes that Netanyahu is mulling a government without Lapid, but that would require breaking the Lapid-Bennett alliance. According to Yedioth, Bennett said Netanyahu is, indeed, trying to break up that alliance, but that he won't let that happen. Bennett, by the way, also wants a smaller government of only 18 ministers, just like Lapid, Maariv wrote. A Netanyahu confidant told Haaretz that Lapid is 'drunk with power.'
The other battle is being waged between Bennet's Habayit Hayehudi and the ultra-Orthodox parties, who oppose Bennett's support for Lapid's universal draft plan. Maariv called it 'a historic rift' between the ultra-Orthodox parties and the nationalist religious ones. Both the ultra-Orthodox parties have been pressuring the religious-Zionist rabbinic leadership to block the Lapid-Bennett alliance. "Indeed, religious-Zionist rabbis, who are usually given a cold shoulder at best by their Haredi counterparts, are this week being actively courted by the leading Haredi sages," writes Haaretz.Habayit Hayehudi has accused the ultra-Orthdox Shas party of giving Torah a bad name among secular people by its "self-professed monopoly on religion." One religious Zionist rabbi from Kiryat Shmona has made a veiled threat to Habayit Hayehudi over the IDF draft, Haaretz reported. Likud told Maariv that Lapid was a 'political newbie' and that the ultra-Orthodox would bend Bennett.
Labor faction head MK Isaac Herzog travelled to Ramallah escorted by Palestinian police to meet Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad Monday, who warned that the Palestinian Authority was 'on the brink' because Israel has suspended the transfer of tax funds it collects on the PA's behalf. Herzog said, "The scenario in which the PA collapses is catastrophic not only for the Palestinians, but for us as well." In the past two months, Israel halted the transfer of some $200 million to the PA and has only released half of it.
At a conference in Germany, a man approached Defense Minister Ehud Barak and said, "I am Syrian, from Dir Azzur, I am a member of the Syrian opposition delegation. Help us." The two began speaking in Arabic at the request of Barak and the Syrian told about the massacre of his people. Barak said that Israeli help would only hurt the opposition. The man insisted and said the opposition sent letters to President Peres and the US Conference of Presidents of Jewish organizations, but had not yet received a reply. The two parted with a hug. "According to my understanding, your suffering won't continue much longer," Barak said.
Israel's Channel 10 ran an investigative report on the pro-Netanyahu slant at the Israel Hayom daily freebie newspaper. According to the report, Israel Hayom's editor-in-chief, Amos Regev, intervenes in the content produced by reporters and slants it to provide more positive coverage of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Haaretz wrote. Among the issues the report found, the paper discriminated against Tzipi Livni and the Kadima party.It changed the content of reporters' articles without their permission or knowledge. For example, it tried to attribute leftist political leanings to the initiators of the 2011 social-justice protests by inserting words into reports of the four reporters who covered the demonstrations. The free daily newspaper, which began publication in 2007, is owned by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a close associate of Netanyahu's.
- Israel arrests dozens of Hamas activists, lawmakers in West Bank - Ramallah-based human rights group says Israeli arrest campaign meant to undermine Palestinian reconciliation efforts between Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Party. (Haaretz, Ynet and Maan)
- **Of 240 complaints of abuse by IDF soldiers against Palestinians in 2012: 78 probes, no indictments - Report notes that 'the slow pace of the military law enforcement system' means that more investigations were liable to be opened and indictments issued. (Haaretz)
- 'Iran could have bomb within six months of decision' - Iran could have its first atomic bomb within four to six months if the regime in Tehran takes the decision to go ahead and make a bomb, former IDF Director of Military Intelligence Amos Yadlin said on Monday. "After President Bashar al-Assad falls, Syria would be preoccupied with reconstruction. It would be hard to imagine Syria turning toward armed conflict with Israel then." (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
- Witnesses: Israeli tanks breach south Gaza border, fire at farmers - Seven IDF military vehicles and two bulldozers breached the Sufa area east of Rafah Tuesday, opening fire at Palestinian farmers. No injuries were reported. (Maan)
- Israel orders West Bank settlement to stop polluting nearby Palestinian village - Farmers from the Palestinian village of Wadi Foquin asked the staff of the field school in the West Bank settlement of Kfar Etzion for their help in stopping the sewage flow from Betar Ilit. (Haaretz)
- MK Ahmed Tibi says (E. Jerusalem hunger-striking prisoner) Issawi risks death in Israeli jail - Issawi weighs only 48 kg after refusing food for 187 days. He was released in the Shalit prisoner swap was rearrested in July and accused of violating the terms of his release by leaving Jerusalem for which he is willing to be tried in a magistrates court and to serve a short, but he will not agree to serve another 20 years in Israeli jails as Israel wants. (Maan)
- Study: No demonization in PA's school books - New study accuses both Israeli, Palestinian school books of bias; Fayyad welcomes study. Israel: Study itself is biased, completely unrelated to reality. (Ynet)
- Yale professor blasts 'blindness' of Israeli Education Minister over school textbook report - Bruce Wexler, who supervised controversial report that cleared Palestinians of 'demonization', tells Forward that Israel 'is holding on to propaganda report it knows to be false.' (Haaretz)
- Lieberman wants foreign affairs portfolio' - Close associates of former FM say he fully expects to resume his position in new government once his trial is over; say Netanyahu 'promised to clear the way.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
- Settler launches 'operation proposal' - Young man from Har Bracha settlement gets soldiers at Oranit checkpoint to assist in marriage proposal. (Yedioth/Ynet)
- It's good to be an MK - MKs' monthly salary stands at 38,250 shekels ($10,391) and each is granted a car of his or her choosing from six different models. MKs are covered in their travels abroad, either by the Knesset or, in the case of a diplomatic mission, by the Foreign Ministry. (Israel Hayom)
- Let women cut backroom deals, WIZO tells polsWomen's International Zionist Organization, calls on the prime minister and other faction heads to include women in the negotiation teams. (Haaretz)
- Who protects the Israeli civilian home front from cyber attack? - While Pelephone may have ruled out such an attack, other computer security experts were of the opinion that a cyber attack was a real possibility. (Haaretz)
- Iron Dome featured at Aero IndiaRafael's missile defense systems shown at top Bangalore defense and aerospace expo; garners international attention. (Ynet)
- On farewell tour, Barak says much more than goodbye - On his recent visit to Munich, Israel's outgoing defense minister made what was perceived to be the first Israeli acknowledgment of last week's attack in Syria; he has been abroad nine times in the past five months. (Haaretz)
- Panetta disappointed by Hagel questioning - US defense secretary says Senate committee hearing didn't focus enough on what former senator thinks about today's issues. NBC: Israel mentioned 178 times during hearing, Afghanistan - just 38. (Ynet)
- Convicted murderer suspected of fleeing to Syria - Tamra resident sentenced to 20 years failed to report back to Hermon Prison after 12-hour leave. Two relatives claim they helped him cross border. (Ynet)
- Iran: Israel will regret Syria air strike - Tehran reiterates threat against Israel over alleged strike against weapons research center. Defense Minister al-Freij says IAF 'doing rebels' bidding'; adds Damascus' resolve 'cannot be broken.' (Ynet)
- Ahmadinejad wants to go to Gaza, pray in Jerusalem 'after liberation' - Due to visit Egypt this week, Iran's president expressed interest in visiting the Gaza Strip; he did not specify whose permission he would seek. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- McCain tweet on Iran draws criticism - Republican senator compares Ahmadinejad to monkey Iran sent to space, drawing sharp criticism. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Former UN inspector: Iran's claims of nuclear advance may be no empty boast - UN inspector adds credibility to Tehran's claims of technical advances in its disputed nuclear program after affirming it may be able to make thousands of next-generation uranium enrichment machines. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Iran FM: US changing approach to Tehran - Ali Akbar Salehi says Biden's offer for bilateral dialogue a sign of change of approach by US administration. (Agencies, Ynet)
The conscientious objector's easy way out
Natan Blanc, in military lockup for refusing to evict Palestinians, is missing out on a lot of action. (Amira Hass, Haaretz)
Hebron shoe industry battling for survival
The city of Hebron in the southern West Bank has long been famous for the production of high quality leather shoes. But dozens of factories have closed as they struggle with Israeli restrictions and a new threat: Chinese imports. Meanwhile, several Israeli companies still manufacture shoes in Hebron. A website called The Hebron Store, which promotes Palestinian traditional products, has boosted purchases. (Maan)
Big brother: When secrecy becomes a norm in Israel, it comes with a price
This norm makes it difficult to distinguish between morality and its opposite - and that's how an innocent physician became an accomplice to murder. (Haaretz)
Enforce the UNHRC settlements report to push Israel out of its state of denial (Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, Haaretz) The UN report on Israeli settlements should be read by every single Israeli citizen. It is an opportunity for the international community to hold Israel accountable and end a culture of impunity that has all but destroyed the possibility of a two-state solution.
What's good for the goose (Yossi Beilin, Israel Hayom) Religious Israeli women of enlistment age are granted military exemptions. So why not extend that to men, too?
Israel's military censorship died when Barak opened his mouth about Syria (Amir Oren, Haaretz) If Ehud Barak's blatant violation of Israel's vow of silence - committed when he essentially confirmed Israel's responsibility for the strike in Syria last week- brings no response, then there remains no justification for the existence of the military censor.
Burning politics (Shalom Yerushalmi, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) The solution to the deficit? Continuing negotiations with the Palestinians? The real struggle between the different political factions in the forming of a coalition is over who will get what ministry.
The most Israeli Israeli (Uri Misgav, Haaretz) Yair Lapid faithfully represents a large and self-involved segment of the Israeli public. To borrow his own meme, he is what is most Israeli.
Teheran-Cairo - Egypt's red line (Yitzhak Levanon, Yedioth) Levanon says that even though Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is due to arrive in Cairo today, "The US and Israel can relax: Though the open link between Iran and Egypt will likely continue, the reconciliation that Iran is hoping for is still not on the horizon." Levanon, a former Israeli Ambassador to Egypt, believes - inter alia - that Tehran's and Cairo's differences over Syria are unbridgeable, and that Egypt is too committed to the security of the Gulf states, for there to be any genuine reconciliation between the rival Shi'ite and Sunni powers."
Obama was right to choose Hagel (Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, Haaretz) A reduced American role in the world will impact Israel and everyone else, and probably not for the better. But President Obama has rightly sought a realist secretary of defense for a time of economic distress - and Chuck Hagel is a good man for that job.
A state or a boy's club? (Haaretz Editorial) The prime minister and defense minister would rather play James Bond and turn Israeli media into a fighter in the "perception-shaping" army instead of explaining the action and its motives.
Lapid's success has gone to his head (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) Apparently Yair Lapid believed that the next government would have two heads -- Netanyahu and Lapid.
Needed: A horse thief for finance minister (Nehemia Shtrasler, Haaretz) The finance minister has to be a powerful figure from the ruling party and has to know how to wheel and deal. No, it can't be Yair Lapid.
The struggle for credible deterrence (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) If Israel does not demonstrate its credibility in stemming the flow of Syrian weapons to Lebanon, then it will damage its deterrent capabilities elsewhere.
The gulf between Dubai and Egypt (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) The Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo has been the subject of fierce attacks from Dubai, reflecting different views on the separation between mosque and state.
'Knesset MKs didn't fulfill their public mission'
Knesset speaker and Likud MK Rubi Rivlin criticizes outgoing MKs just before outset of 19th Knesset term. Some of them used gimmicks, voted in committees without any idea what they were voting for, he said. (Interviewed by Gideon Allon in Israel Hayom)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.