APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday February 26, 2013
Quote of the day:
"I didn't shed a tear."
--Naftali Bennett, leader of right-wing Habayit Hayehudi party, wrote on his Facebook page about loss of Oscar-nominated Palestinian-Israeli documentary, '5 Broken Cameras.'**
Front Page News:
- Israel secretly repatriated at least 1000 north Sudanese
- The clashes in the W. Bank: Palestinian youth injured from weapon illegally used to disperse demonstrations
- UN envoy: Without a peace process, we will be on the verge of an explosion
- Exceptional procedure - Health Ministry to force hospitalization on (Palestinian) hunger-strikers
- Because of alliance with Bennett: Lapid cancelled tour with left-wing organization for his party's MKs
- MK Slomianski of Habayit Hayehudi suspected of paying for votes in primaries
- World powers to offer ease of sanction to Iran
- Large study: Mediterranean diet prevents heart disease
- "$50,000 in two cigarette packs" - Following Yedioth expose, recorded testimonies of corruption in Habayit Hayehudi's primaries
- Queens of the Oscars - Ann Hathaway exposed, Jennifer Lawrence tripped
- Conquering the heavens - Security establishment celebrated successful test of Arrow 3, meant to intercept ballistic missiles in space
- Police examining whether Slomianski bought votes (Hebrew)
- Breakthrough in talks between Netanyahu, Bennett, and Lapid over draft (Hebrew)
- Arrow to space (Hebrew)
- Security establishment believes wave of riots across W. Bank near end (Hebrew)
- Still waiting for Arik to wake-up - A journey between the stations of former prime minister Ariel Sharon on the anniversary of his 85th birthday today (Hebrew)
- Bennett, the detective and Slomiansky: Police opened investigation
- End to the mystery? DNA results to arrive today to determine whether the young woman from Ashdod is Sasha Brandt, who disappeared 19 years ago
- Feeling success in the air - 'Arrow 3' test
- Report: Nasrallah has cancer; Was transported for urgent treatment in Teheran
- Thousands attended the funeral of the Palestinian prisoner; Fewer incidents of public disorder
- Oscar: Ben Affleck's 'Argo' won Oscar for best film
Corruption allegations within Habayit Hayehudi, a successful test of a long-range missile interceptor and the continued clashes in the West Bank made top news in Israeli papers this morning. Meanwhile, the latest on the crisis in forming a coalition government as the clock ticks.
Likud has a sordid history of vote buying, but now Habayit Hayehudi has made headlines with an alleged violation. The police opened an investigation after a vote contractor was recorded detailing the alleged bribery and describing how "bags of money and cigarettes packets filled with cash" were used to pay those who voted for Habayit Hayehudi MK Nissan Slomiansky in the party's primaries. Apparently, party leader Naftali Bennett, had commissioned the tape recordings. Slomianksy, slated #3 in the party, denies the allegations and says that this story is a plot meant to keep him from being appointed as a minister.
The clashes between Palestinians and the IDF in the West Bank are losing their strength and will not lead to a third Intifada, the IDF predicts. (NRG Hebrew) Maariv reported that soldiers were told to act with restraint, following the clashes that peaked when a Palestinian man accused of throwing stones died on Saturday, five days after being detained by the IDF and held by the Shin Bet. Most believe Araftat Jaradat, a 37-year-old father of two, died of torture. An autopsy performed by Israel in the presence of the head Palestinian Authority pathologist showed he did not die of a heart attack as the Shin Bet had claimed. Pathologists are now awaiting the results of microscopic and toxicology tests, which might take days or even weeks to receive.
Thousands attended his funeral, which according to Maariv reporter Asaf Gabor, who was also there, included armed men from both Fatah and Hamas. Jaradat was buried with military honors and many senior Palestinian Authority officials attended as did university students who arrived in PA-organized buses. Flyers distributed by Fatah's Al-Aqsa brigades said, "This terrible crime will not pass without punishment." Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of stoking unrest in the West Bank, saying that the recent violent clashes were a result of Israel's provocation. He also told Palestinian Authority security officials not to get drawn into Israeli violence.
Afterwards, clashes broke out across the West Bank, and the IDF soldiers severely wounded two Palestinian teens, one of them using illegal methods. The IDF said one of them, Muhammad Khaled al-Qurd, a 13-year-old boy shot in the chest, was most likely injured by a Ruger gun, which can only be aimed at rioters' feet. He has bleeding in his lungs and liver. Nevertheless, but clashes were not as intense as the IDF had expected, wrote Yedioth and Maariv. Nevertheless, The US called for maximum restraint ahead of US President Barack Obama's visit and forbade its diplomats from entering the West Bank.
Meanwhile, the Israeli human rights organization, Physicians for Human Rights, and even the Israel Medical Association have called for prison doctors to be independent of the Israel Prison Service instead of answering to it, Haaretz reported. Rioting in the West Bank began before the death of Jaradat and was sparked by the four hunger-striking Palestinians. Haaretz reported that the Health Ministry has decided to force the hospitalization of hunger-striking Palestinians. Many other Palestinian prisoners had joined the four in a solidarity strike last week, but Israel Hayom reported today that most had stopped.
The alliance between Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid and Habayit Hayehudi headed by Naftali Bennett has revealed more about the views and intentions of each of the parties leaders. Yair Lapid forbade his party members from participating in an educational tour of the Jerusalem area with a left-wing Zionist group, which supports a two-state solution, Haaretz revealed. The reason, he said, was his fear of harming the alliance with Habayit Hayehudi. Some 10 of the 18 Knesset who signed up to attend the Geneva Initiative organization's tour, led by Col. (ret.) Shaul Arieli at the invitation of Labor MK Moshe Mizrahi, came from Yesh Atid.
Netanyahu is under pressure. If he does not form a coalition government before Obama's visit, the trip will be cancelled. Four days are left before the end of the period Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has to form a coalition government. By law, he can then ask for a 14-day extension. President Shimon Peres can refuse to give him the extension or give him only part of it. If Netanyahu gets the 14 days, they will end four days before Obama arrives. With the Yesh Atid-Habayit Hayehudi alliance preventing the formation of a coalition government, Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett is now facing pressure from settler leaders to join the coalition and form a right-wing government. But Bennett explained on his Facebook page that without the alliance, "there would be a government of Livni, Kadima, Shas, Yesh Atid and Likud, without religious Zionism and without Habayit Hayehudi. This government would go full speed ahead with Livni's policies (giving up Jerusalem, giving up the city of Ariel, an obsession with negotiating with the PLO, etc.) This is a fact." Former chairman of the Yesha settler council, Pinchas Wallerstein, told Israel Hayom that Habayit Hayehudi's actions could lead to new elections, which would mean that the Left would win. "Woe to us if we are partners to the fall of the right-wing in Israel."
Yedioth's question of the day: Should we go back to elections to solve the political crisis?
Yes - 74%
No - 26%
- Jewish teens assault Arab man on Tel Aviv promenade - Cohort of teenagers attack Arab street sweeper while he's on the job, fracturing his skull. Attackers yelled "Are you a stinking Arab?" before attacking. Victim laments: "Why does this happen? I was born in Israel, I have a lot of Jewish friends." (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
- Tel-Aviv: Dozens protest against 'racist' attack of Arab - Police yet to arrest suspects in assault of Arab street cleaner by 20 Jewish teens; 'The government greenlights such incidents,' protester says. (Ynet)
- New Israeli rule orders hunger striking detainees hospitalized after 28 days - Israel Medical Association's ethics board criticizes move, saying a hunger striker's autonomy should be respected and no medical treatment should be imposed against his will. (Haaretz)
- Jerusalem Old City master plan derailed by rightists on city council - New master plan for Palestinian construction in Old City, in the works for 8 years, blocked because it didn't include new Jewish neighborhood. (Haaretz)
- Computer belonging to Prime Minister's Office employee stolen from his residence - Burglars broke into the house in the Sharon region, stole the computer and escaped; Police launch investigation. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Israel successfully tests Arrow 3 long-range missile interceptor - Defense Ministry conducts first flight test of Arrow 3 interceptor missile • Defense Minister Ehud Barak calls test an "important milestone." Arrow 3 meant to bolster Israel's ability to intercept long-range ballistic missiles. (Israel Hayom)
- Senior Turkish politician receives treatment in Israel - Surprising rapprochement: former finance minister Kamal Unakitan, a member of Erdogan's party secretly treated in Israel for renal failure for two and a half months and is expected to return, Turkish media reported. (Yedioth, p. 28)
- Israel's High Court: Internet not a reason to refrain from issuing gag orders - Judge says despite not being 'blind to the virtual reality,' the fear that gag orders will be routinely violated should not be exaggerated. (Haaretz)
- Study: Southern rocket attacks increase miscarriage risk - Research from Ben-Gurion University compares Barzilai hospital's miscarriage data from Sderot and Kiryat Gat between 2004 and Operation Cast Lead in 2008. Increased stress believed to be playing an active role in causing spontaneous abortions. (Israel Hayom)
- Palestinians say no to Barca friendly - Palestinian Authority soccer officials declare their players won't team up with Israelis in match against FC Barcelona designed to promote peace. (Ynet)
- **And the winner is ... not Israel - Two Israeli documentaries that were nominated this year, "5 Broken Cameras" and "The Gatekeepers," fail to earn Israel an Academy Award. Habayit Hayehudi's Bennett happy that "Cameras," which takes a critical look at settlement policy, loses. (Israel Hayom)
- Report: Nasrallah flow to Teheran for immediate treatment - Voice of Lebanon radio reported that he is undergoing treatment for cancer and his deputy, Naim Kassem, is temporarily replacing him. (Israel Hayom, p. 5)
- World powers to offer Iran sanctions relief as nuclear talks commence today in Kazakhstan - No breakthrough expected in first negotiations in 8-month break; At best, diplomats and analysts say, Iran will take the joint offer from the United States, Russia, France, Germany, Britain and China seriously and agree to hold further talks soon on how to implement practical steps to ease the tension. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
Equality begins inside them
Everyone is talking about 'sharing the burden' among the ultra-Orthodox. But what about the Arabs? The number of volunteers for National Service from the Arab sector has risen dramatically. Some 3,000 already serve, and there are not enough positions. "So what if MK Hanin Zouebi opposes it? We want to feel equal in our obligations and rights." (Yedioth, '24 Hours' supplement)
For Israel's last military attaché in Tehran, 'Argo' is kids' stuff
As revolution raged, Brig. Gen. (ret.) Itzhak Segev helped lead 32 other Israelis to safety. (Haaretz)
A prisoner is dead, a martyr is born (Chaim Levinson, Haaretz) There is dying a martyr's death and then there is dying a martyr's death under questioning by the Shin Bet security service. This is as lofty as it gets.
Speak out against silencing (Haaretz Editorial) The widespread use of libel suits and legal threats, including against ordinary citizens who protest or voice criticism, as documented by the Association for Civil Rights, is a serious blow to the already fragile fabric of democratic life in Israel.
Mention the Iran war (Sefi Rachlevsky, Haaretz) Lapid, Yacimovich, Livni and Mofaz can prevent a war with Iran. Without them a 61-member coalition won't be able to govern or attack. Whoever enables a government that can, will have the blood of all its victims on his hands.
The Palestinians are again missing another opportunity (Ben-Dror Yemini, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) ...Lynches of Arabs by Jews cannot be excused....Fifteen youth attacked a young Arab in Tel-Aviv, just because he was Arab. Such incidents have happened. There was a lynch (of an Arab youth) on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem and nine (Jewish) youth were indicted. There was another incident in Safed. There was a violent event of youth at a shopping mall in Jerusalem. Such acts of racism are likely to continue...Does real anger justify hooligan attacks. Of course not. Hatred is hatred...The fact that there were already three acts like this should turn on many red lights. Not excuse me. No forgiveness. No understanding. What is hated by us should not be done to others. That's all of Judaism on one foot and whoever violates this rule is anti-Jewish more than he is anti-Arab...
On the path to blood, sweat and tears (Salman Masalha, Haaretz) Why the renewed conflagration in the firing zones was only a matter of time.
Remember common history (Sinem Tezyapar, Ynet) Turkish peace activist says despite current rough patch, her country will always help Israel in times of crisis.
Israel's secular suckers rise again (Uri Misgav, Haaretz) Yesh Atid should be the more powerful party in its alliance with Habayit Hayehudi, but as usual, religious Zionists are bending their secular counterparts to their will.
Don't let the Right bring down the Right (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) A government without haredim rules out the possibility of a nationalist government.
Negotiations over the nuke - Three principles for understanding Iran (UK Amb. Matthew Gould, Yedioth - in English) In the scope of the talks between Iran and the world powers in Almaty, Kazakhstan today, the op-ed discusses three ways to understand Iran.
Who's breathing down Hezbollah leader's neck? (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) An internal tug-of-war could oust Hassan Nasrallah from power and put his deputy, Naim Qassem, in the hot seat of the Shi'ite militant group.
Purim in Israel, a time for rejoicing and plundering Palestinian property (Amira Hass, Haaretz) The holiday's ethos of 'On the spoil, they laid not their hand' is considered fit for religious study but not for treatment of the Palestinians.
Walking through the mine field (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) There are many land mines that, if stepped on, could ignite far worse violence in the West Bank. Both sides should avoid them.
Visit to the land of the Xs (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz) Obama is coming to the neighborhood. Jibran Khalil Jibran, the representative on the suffering peoples of this earth, meant exactly such an event when he wrote of the bitterness of the demands that the happy people of this world make of the miserable.
Preparing for the fall of Jordan (Yoel Meltzer, Ynet) Instead of trying to impose two-state solution, world should help establish stable Palestinian state east of Jordan River.
Alliance of minority-bashers (Aluf Benn, Haaretz) Lapid and Bennett offered voters a chance to break the old divisions between left and right. Instead of hating just one minority, like in the old politics, they showed voters one could hate both Arabs and Haredim.
The Palestinian promo for the next intifada (Dr. Reuven Berko, Israel Hayom) Palestinian Authority activists are seeking to "upgrade" their "revolutionary" status ahead of Obama's trip to the region.
After Palestinian dies in Shin Bet hands, time to question the interrogators (Amira Hass, Haaretz) For years, Palestinian detainees and prisoners have complained about sleep deprivation, painful and prolonged handcuffing, humiliation, beatings and medical neglect. By international standards, this is torture.
Gatekeepers in love (Hagai Segal, Yedioth/Ynet) Israel's existential war caused Shin Bet chiefs to gradually identify with Palestinian version of justice.
Last call before next intifada (Haaretz Editorial Monday) The Palestinian issue must now be Israel's first order of business, if it doesn't want to deal with another intifada.
Abbas fans the flames (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) It is reasonable to assume that Abbas does not want a new intifada to start, but he is likely interested in increasing tensions before Obama's visit.
Palestinian chutzpah (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) Now you demonstrate? After all, we've already told you we no longer care what happens to you.
UN peace process envoy to Haaretz: Two-state solution 'on life support'
Robert Serry tells Haaretz that 2013 is a critical year for the two-state solution, saying Israel and the Palestinians have reached 'make or break time.' (Interviewed by Amos Harel in Haaretz)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.