APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday March 01, 2013
Quote of the day:
"If Obama is not coming to advance a solution to the conflict, he is better off not coming."
--Former Shin Bet deputy chief gives his first interview to the media and shares his views.**
Front Page News:
- Gatekeeper - A year after the right wing paved the way for him as Chief Justice of the High Court, Asher Grunis reveals himself as a pedantic who does not make allowances for either side. Goodbye activism, hello formalism
- Attorney General ordered investigation of judge suspected of beating his children, three years after the complaint
- How did a gas station attendant from a village near Hebron become a national symbol // Gideon Levy
- Third Intifada is not here yet, but frustration is rampant // Amos Harel
- Visit to a refugee camp: The W. Bank old-timers are making the youth moderate
- Poll gives 31 mandates to Lapid
- Teheran's back door - The land of no anti-Semitism
- The forgotten immigration - At age 60, Gomulka's children are not ashamed of their longing for Poland
- Call for direction - Noam Dovav
- 1/4 page ad: Yesh Gvul movement invites you to ceremony for awarding prize in name of Yeshiyahu Leibovitz, March 4, 20:00, Tzavta, Tel-Aviv - Free entry. www.yeshgvul.org
- Lapid: I won't sit with the ultra-Orthodox
- The mediator // Nahum Barnea
- Funny in the cafeteria // Sima Kadmon
- Mainly infidels // Sivan Rahav-Meir
- Beautiful from inside - Igal Serena visited the new Israel beauty queen at her uncles' home in a housing project in Lod
- Following the criticism: Attorney General approved investigation of the "child-beating judge"
- Partner Co. to pay: 400,000 shekels to customer who got cancer
- Likud-Beiteinu likely to re-open its coalition agreement with Livni - and revoke authority given to her (to negotiate with Palestinians)
- Prime Minister of the Likud party // Shalom Yerushalmi
- Judge affair: Calls in political establishment for dismissal of attorney general after he held up for three years a decision to interrogate a judge suspected of beating his children
- 14 killed in legacy war of the Aberjil crime organization, which is raging in cities in the center of the country for two years
- "Obama, come with Pollard" 81,000 people already signed petition calling on US President to arrive in Israel with spy who is rotting in jail 28 years
- European Foreign Minister demands from 22 states of the EU to begin to implement the law to mark Israel products manufactured over the Green Line
- "I waited at the station and suddenly a young woman came and asked: "Are you Arab?" I said, 'Of course,' and she spit at me" - Hana Imtir, mother of 8 from Ras al-Amud, in first interview, three days after she was attacked in Jerusalem
- Negotiations: Test time
- End the negotiations now // Dan Margalit
- After two years: Attorney General approved interrogation of judge suspected (of abusing children)
- "(Soccer coach) Grandt likely to return to Chelsea"
- Another explosion for criminal reasons
- In January: Unemployment dropped to 6.5%
- Health Ministry recommends prohibiting sale of electric cigarettes
- Combat fitness competition: Shayetet 13 (Naval Commandos) beat Sayeret Ramatkal
Attorney General finally approves investigation of judge suspected of abusing his children, Yesh Atid says it refuses to sit with ultra-Orthodox in coalition and a war over who will lead a crime organization caused a car to explode killing two people in the middle of Rishon L'Tzion making top stories in Israeli papers today. The Arab woman attacked by Jewish girls Tuesday gave her first interview to Maariv, the former deputy of the Shin Bet gave a revealing interview to Yedioth.
Following a coalition negotiation meeting with Yesh Atid yesterday, Likud-Beiteinu said Lapid's party refuses to join a coalition with the ultra-Orthodox. Yesh Atid MK Shai Piron explained the party's demand saying that the "Relationship between the religion and the state must be different...Everyone must study core subjects." At the same time, Likud-Beiteinu is leaning on Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett to join the coalition without Lapid. Yedioth's political commentator Sima Kadmon writes that no one told Shas outright that it won't be in the government, but they told Shas that if Likud-Beiteinu does not succeed in bringing the Labor party into the coalition or breaking the Lapid-Bennett alliance, then that's what will happen. But, Likud-Beiteinu has apparently promised to save some ministry portfolios for the ultra-Orthodox, but the latter realizes it will find itself outside in the end. Dan Margalit of Israel Hayom writes that Netanyahu is stuck in a difficult situation. "(Lapid) promised to sit in the government four and a half years and so did Bennett," writes Margalit. "Netanyahu fears that the next crisis will not wait four years and that in mid-2014, he will have to ask for the support of the ultra-Orthodox who he is now being demanded to give up on."
Meanwhile, Maariv reports that sources in Likud-Beiteinu said that the party would agree to change its coalition agreement with Tzipi Livni's Tnuah, so that she will not be responsible for the peace negotiations with the Palestinians - which is what Bennett requested, and reports Maariv, Yesh Atid, as well. (NRG HEbrew) Yesh Atid claims that Likud-Beiteinu promised it that if it entered the coalition without Bennett, the government would evacuate isolated settlements and advance the diplomatic negotiations with the Palestinians - something it could not do with Bennett. But, Likud sources told Maariv this was false. US sources told Yedioth that if a coalition is not formed by the 16th of March, Obama won't be coming.
In an exclusive interview with Maariv, Hana Imtir, 38, a mother of eight in her second month of pregnancy, tells how she was attacked this week by three young Jewish women when she was waiting after pregnancy tests for her husband to pick her up in Kiryat Moshe. She tells "I waited at the station and suddenly a young woman came and asked: "Are you Arab?" I said, 'Of course,' and she spit at me. In an attempt to protect myself I pushed her and three more girls jumped on me punching me and slapping me. They stepped on me and pulled off my hijab (headscarf). I felt like a doormat that was stepped on." Imtir says a security guard of the Jerusalem light rail arrived. "They laughed at me because I'm Arab. I couldn't believe this was happening. I got many punches and kicks...Fortunately, there was an elderly Arab man there who intervened and helped to calm me." Imtir said there were dozens of people there and no one gave a hand. "I was there and no one came to help me except for the elderly man and the photographer [who documented the attack and gave the photos to the media - OH]. After the incident she went home and didn't leave for three days out of shame and fear that they would do it to her again.
**After 31 years in the Shin Bet, Yitzhak Ilan, former deputy of the organization, knows almost everything about the Palestinians, and now that he can speak publicly he gives his first interview and details how to prevent a third Intifada ("Whoever says Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is irrelevant - is mistaken"), opens a window into the interrogation rooms ("the Shin Bet has no basements"), presents the difficulty of dealing with Jewish terror ("We have good intelligence, but we don't have the legal instruments") and admits: Israel is a preferred target for the Iranian intelligence ("I respect and appreciate their professionalism")
"I wanted to be head of the Shin Bet. It's natural after 31 years of service, when you get to the end of the pyramid...Why didn't they appoint me? I don't know. You need to ask the Prime Minister."
Is it possible you weren't chosen because the right-wing prevented it? Because you were also head of the department responsible for Jewish terror.
"I don't think so. I have my own thoughts, which I will keep to myself."
Avoiding a third intifada:
"We must take care that prisoners do not die in prison and we must prevent (Palestinians) from being killed in demonstrations. Instead of 10 soldiers, there should be 100.
There is great criticism of the Shin Bet regarding dealing with Jewish terror. We don't see people brought to jail. The Israeli intelligence turns over every stone to bring to trial traitors and spies, but those that attack Palestinians laugh at everyone. Why aren't you able to stop the terror in the Jewish sector?
"First of all this terror is very sophisticated and very dangerous to the people of Israel. These people work in an underground manner. We're talking about a few hundred or a few dozen, who are involved with this terror...I say the rule of law does not suit preventing Jewish terror..."
On Obama's visit:
"If Obama is not coming to advance a solution to the conflict, he is better off not coming."
- EU increasing pressure to mark settlement products - EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton has called on 22 EU states to speed implementation of law to mark products made in Judea and Samaria (W. Bank). In letter she wrote, she emphasized need to speed-up efforts "to achieve the goal." Companies likely to suffer are: Barkan, Shamir Salads, Ahava cosmetic products and Sodastream. (Maariv, p. 1)
- Construction in Judea and Samaria (W. Bank) to be suspended until Obama's visit - Unofficial instructions by Prime Minister's Office stop the publication of construction tenders in Jerusalem. Netanyahu's associates: "It's a temporary step to prevent a diplomatic storm." (Maariv, p. 3)
- Israeli security forces brace for Palestinian protests - Demonstrations expected across West Bank, East Jerusalem in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israel. (Haaretz)
- Graves of the next intifada's victims are waiting in Dheisheh' - We are the last generation you can make peace with. There's a five-year window of opportunity.' says a local Fatah leader facing the rows of new, empty graves. (Haaretz)
- Netanyahu blasts Erdogan's 'dark and libelous' criticism of Zionism - Turkish prime minister called Zionism 'a crime against humanity, like anti-Semitism and fascism,' while arguing to UN body Europeans not doing enough to combat hatred of Muslims. (Haaretz)
- Military Intelligence and Mossad traded blame over Sabra and Chatila massacre, archives reveal - Newly released portions of 1983 government meeting show that Military Intelligence bore the brunt of the blame for the massacre of Palestinians. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Education Minister's request: Have students sign petition to release Pollard - In latest move to pressure Obama to release the Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, Minister Gideon Saar has ordered that teachers present the petition to their students to allow them to sign. (Maariv, p. 2)
- Gazans make huge catch of rare Devil Ray - Local fishermen describe two-day bonanza as "a godsend;" fish weighing up to 700 kilos hauled off to market. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- IDF Spokesman: Next war in Lebanon will have many casualties - IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai attributes Hezbollah's positioning in populated areas and its upgraded rocket and missile arsenal to the increased risk to non-combatants in any future conflict. (Israel Hayom)
- Because of anti-Semitism: Hundreds of Jewish families emigrating from France to the UK - In the last year there was a rise of 58% in cases of violence or incitement against the Jewish community in France. (Maariv, p. 8)
- Love in the territories - Secret romance that has stirred the settlements of Samaria (northern West Bank): A security coordinator, a Bedouin tracker - and their child. They met when she was serving in the Border Police in the south. Their romance continued after she finished her service and then he was transferred to a nearby brigade. A month and a half ago they moved in together in a rental apartment in the settlement. A month ago she gave birth and the settlers say the fact that she did so without being married is problematic discussions are being held about what to do. (Yedioth, p. 8)
- IDF physician under investigation for multiple rapes and sexual assaults - In the course of investigation, military police began suspecting the physician is also responsible for past complaints of sexual misbehavior in the examination room. (Haaretz)
- U.S. says will increase aid, train rebels in 'effort to bring about a post-Assad Syria' - New York Times reports that combat training will be offered to the Syrian opposition; White House spokesman says humanitarian assistance will be provided to the Syrian people. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Harlem Shake in Tunis: 'You're dancing while Israelis kill?' - Salafis try to prevent university students from filming themselves doing popular dance. In Egypt, some 400 youngsters dance outside Muslim Brotherhood's main office, chant 'Leave! Leave!.' (Agencies, Ynet)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.