APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday March 05, 2013
Quote of the day:
"First people should live in peace, and then there will be peace between governments."
--Rabbi Menachem Froman of Tekoa, a settler and a peaceseeker, died yesterday.
Front Page News:
- Attorney General ordered stop to expulsion of Eritreans
- Rabbi Ovadia to his people: Take me to Yachimovich // Yossi Verter
- In Likud they expect an agreement with Lapid and Bennett - within days
- Elections in Kenya
- First ride in separate bus line for Palestinians: Passengers actually pleased
- Rabbi Menachem Froman, a man of peace in the middle of the (Palestinian) Territories, died
- Suspicion of a triple murder and suicide in Haifa
- What turns a local hostel into a world leader
- The security guard went on a murder journey
- Suspicion: Two MKs involved in buying votes in primaries
- Netanyahu to Lapid and Bennett: Foreign Ministry saved for Lieberman. Decide between yourselves who takes the Treasury
- Alert in south: Swarms of locusts spread over Negev fields
- Low studies - The reform in Higher education to be hurt: Treasury plans to cut hundreds of millions of shekels
- Dispute between Lapid and Benett on Housing Ministry and number of ministers in government (Hebrew)
- Ahead of Obama's visit: Netanyahu considering transferring territory in Judea and Samaria (W. Bank) to Palestinian control
- First underground tunnel of migrant workers from Africa under the Sinai border fence
- Rabbi Menachem Froman, Rabbi of Tekoa (settlement) also known as the 'White Admor,' died at age 68 from a battle with cancer (Hebrew)
- Suspicion: Journey of murder in Krayot (near Haifa)
- Special for Passover: Maariv's big (supermarket) price comparison
- The weapon of Palestinian demonstrators in Judea and Samaria: Shooting fireworks at IDF soldiers
- Journey of murder in the Krayot
- Plea bargain likely with Judge Dan Cohen
- Locust plague
- Rabbi Menachem Froman 1945-2013
- Coalition talks: Today discussion over division of portfolios begins
- Biden at AIPAC conference: "If Israel is wrong on Iran - it's a threat to its existence"
- 100,000 people signed petition to release Pollard
A triple murder mystifies, an unusual spiritual man dies, and locusts threaten the south. Meanwhile, Israeli police arrest two groups of Jewish youth in connection with two attacks on Arabs and Yedioth reports on the controversial Palestinian bus line of the Israel Transportation Ministry. The US Vice President makes headlines in Israel from the AIPAC conference, although Defense Minister Ehud Barak also had some interesting comments, and Maariv reports Israel may transfer more control to the Palestinians.
**Rabbi Menachem Fruman, the rabbi of Tekoa settlement who died of cancer yesterday, was a very unusual man. Here are excerpts from the papers about him:
Maariv: "He lived in a settlement, but traveled to Gaza to meet with Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin (later assassinated by Israel), and to Ramallah to meet Arafat. Everything to bring peace closer. He was a ground-breaker, a lover of man, admired by all." (Hebrew)
Yedioth: The man who searched for peace died. Rabbi Froman was a man of contradictions: His whole life he devoted to achieving peace with the Palestinians, but he opposed removing settlements and in his past he was even a rabbi of a kibbutz.
Haaretz writes he "was a leading proponent of Israeli-Palestinian dialogue as far back as the 1980's, when contact with the PLO was still illegal...More recently, he championed the idea of dialogue between Jewish and Islamic religious leaders as a path to peace, in which context he held intensive talks with religious leaders from both Hamas and Israel's Islamic Movement."
The death of the man who called for and lived peace came on the day that the police arrested two groups of Jewish youth involved in separate attacks on Arabs last week. Seven or eight male youth from Tiberias lynched (word used by Maariv) an Arab street cleanre from Jaffa while they were visiting Tel-Aviv. In the second case, three Jewish girls attacked an Arab woman from E. Jerusalem who was waiting near the Jerusalem light rail. In both cases, the youth first asked their victims: "Are you Arab?" Israel Hayom reported that the police say that in the attack on Hana Imtir, the Arab woman from E. Jerusalem, "the girls attacked first." One of the girls was detained and then the other two turned themselves in. They were taken to a court hearing and represented by former Kach activist Adv. Itamar Ben-Gvir. Yesterday, the girls filed a complaint against Imtir saying she attacked them. Imtir (who was not named in the Israel Hayom article - despite her name being published elsewhere) was then questioned under caution. Maariv reported that two of the girls are from settlements and one is from Jerusalem. The police asked the judge at a court hearing yesterday that the settler girls be prevented from entering Jerusalem for 1-1.5 months and that the Jerusalemite be allowed to leave her house only when accompanied by an adult relative. He agreed. According to Maariv, the girls will be indicted soon.
The controversial new bus line for Palestinian laborers who work in Israel began operating yesterday and Yedioth had reporter Eitan Glickman ride with the Palestinians. The article, titled 'Barrier of Shame,' revealed that at least 700 laborers never made it to their jobs because of new arrangements and because of the traffic jam that was formed as a result. "What's happening to people in Israel?" asked Anan Ghaneim from Azzoun. "Why suddenly to separate us? Are we animals?" The idea for a separate Arab busline, Haaretz revealed, came following complaints by settlers who did not want Palestinians on the buses with them. Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz told the media that Palestinians can still travel on the public buses with the settlers. But Haaretz reported that Palestinians have been forced to get off buses in the past and now Israeli forces will enforce a new policy under which Palestinians on mixed buses would be routinely stopped at checkpoints and then be forced to continue using the designated buses.
The annual national convention of the right-wing Israel lobby, AIPAC, opened Sunday evening with a keynote speech by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, but because of the time difference, his noteworthy statements appeared only on the Israeli news websites and not in the papers of the Israeli press. Interestingly, his suggestions regarding the Israel-Palestinian conflict were understood differently by the different medias.
"Barak also called for a 'daring peace initiative' which would try to achieve a permanent status solution with the Palestinians or what he described as a 'fair interim agreement,'" wrote Haaretz.
"Barak calls for a unilateral solution: A border surrounding the settlement blocs," wrote Maariv's website, NRG Hebrew.
"Barak: Peace deal with Palestinians currently impossible," wrote Yedioth's Ynet.
Haaretz noted that at the end of Barak's speech, "the crowd responded to Barak's words with tepid applause - but no boos. They had been asked in advance to refrain from such expressions of displeasure."
What did make headlines in the papers today from the conference were US Vice President Joe Biden's statements. Haaretz ran with the sentence "Obama is not bluffing on Iran," while Maariv and Israel Hayom thought it was most significant that he said that, "If Israel is wrong on Iran, it is a threat to its existence." Netanyahu (unsurprisingly - OH) said that "Only a credible military threat will stop Iran."
Also of interest: The head of AIPAC said isolationism was 'extremely dangerous' for Israel. (Haaretz) And, anti-AIPAC posters greeted conference delegates in Washington. The billboards, sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace and the Avaaz global advocacy group, read: 'AIPAC does not speak for me. Most Jewish Americans are propeace. AIPAC is not.'
Ahead of US President Barack Obama's trip to Israel, Netanyahu reportedly wants to make gestures towards the Palestinians, Maariv reported. The security establishment prepared a list of suggestions which include: transferring light weapons, releasing prisoners and even turning parts of Area C of the West Bank (under Israeli civilian and security control) into Area A (under Palestinian civilian and security control). The prisoners would be from the 123 Fatah prisoners who were jailed before the Oslo Accords. The transfer of authority would be of two roads, one that leads to the new Palestinian city, Rawabi, the other leads to the Tulkarem industrial zone. Another suggestion is to prepare a zoning plan for 10 Palestinian neighborhoods in Areas C, where locals have built without permits because they weren't allowed to build and Israel considers them illegal. If passed, the neighborhoods will be considered legal and hooked up to infrastructure. These suggestions were all believed to be ones that would not hurt Netanyahu politically. (NRG Hebrew)
- IDF courts in West Bank cancel just 2.6% of Palestinian administrative detention orders - Report summing up activities between 2009 and 2011 also shows Israel's High Court of Justice has never accepted a single Palestinian's petition on such an order. (Haaretz)
- Palestinian attacks in West Bank and Jerusalem surged last month - Shin Bet releases data showing sharp increase in Molotov cocktail attacks and other violent incidents in February. (Haaretz)
- Suspicion: 2 MKs involved in buying votes in primaries - Testimonies obtained by Yedioth Ahronoth reveal that two candidates in Labor primaries allegedly paid 'voter contractors' huge sums in exchange for their support. (Ynet)
- Hamas offers Israel collaborators temporary amnesty - Week-long campaign offers reprieve from typically harsh punishment for working with Israel in exchange for apology and information. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
- Israel accuses Hamas of keeping Gaza crossing shut - The Kerem Shalom border crossing between Israel and Gaza has been closed since Thursday, despite Israel's decision to reopen on Sunday; Israeli officials say Hamas trying to wrest control of Palestinian side from the PA. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- 'Obama will visit Israel even if no coalition formed' - American official tells Israel Hayom that U.S. President Barack Obama will visit Israel later this month whether or not a new Israeli government has been established by that time. The official said this was because Obama's intended audience during his upcoming trip is the Israeli public, not the government. (Israel Hayom)
- Netanyahu: I'll discuss Pollard's release with Obama - Prime minister meets with spy's wife ahead of US president's visit, promises to try and promote his early release. (Ynet)
- Raed Salah to Obama: Don't visit Al-Aqsa Mosque - Supporters of Islamic Movement's northern branch demonstrate outside US embassy, claim visit in Al-Aqsa with Israeli escort will show he is pro-occupation. (Ynet)
- Feiglin removed from Temple Mount again - Likud-Beitenu MK tries to enter Dome of Rock, stopped by member of Waqf, later removed from Temple Mount compound. (Ynet)
- Record number of Israelis in Forbes list of billionaires - 17 Israelis made it on the list. First place: Ido Ofer. Second place: His brother. (Yedioth, p. 19 and Israel Hayom)
- Locusts invade Israel's Negev, after plaguing Egypt - Insects spread through Negev; Agriculture Ministry says pesticides should prevent locusts from spreading anywhere else in Israel. (Haaretz)
- Irish host censured for Israel 'cancer' slur - Broadcasting Authority of Ireland accepts Israeli Embassy's complaint, orders TV3 network to air apology for Vincent Browne's remarks. (Yedioth/Ynet)
- Kerry and Abbas hold surprise meet in Riyadh to discuss Israeli-Palestinian talks - The unscheduled meeting was added to Kerry's agenda at the last-minute, as the two leaders' visit to Saudi Arabia coincided; the U.S. secretary of state is currently wrapping up a nine-nation tour, his debut official trip abroad. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- U.S. Secretary of State Kerry gets cold shoulder in Cairo - On his maiden trip to the region, John Kerry not only gets snubbed in Turkey; Egypt shows him it can play tough, too. (Haaretz)
- Kerry: Iran nuclear talks can't go on forever - US secretary of state says there is finite amount of time for negotiations, stresses Tehran 'must put commitment clearly on table. (Agencies, Ynet)
Bennett slated to get finance portfolio - Netanyahu aide says PM plans to give Foreign Affairs portfolio to Lieberman, finance portfolio to Lapid or Bennet; Ya'alon leading candidate for defense minister. (Ynet)
First dispute between Lapid and Bennett on number of ministers - Lapid's party Yesh Atid won't settle for more than 18 ministers, while Habayit Hayehudi is willing to compromise and accept a government with more in order to make things easier for Netanyahu. (Maariv, p. 4/NRG Hebrew)
Lapid and Bennett: Progress on Israeli coalition talks with Likud - Negotiations over the distribution of ministerial portfolios to the two parties is expected to begin, but could stumble over promises Netanyahu made to Lieberman and Livni. (Haaretz)
Lapid: Coalition negotiations far from over - Yesh Atid chairman says too soon to see coalition talks as successful. Likud's last ditch efforts to include Labor in government fail; Yachimovich preparing to head 'aggressive opposition.' (Ynet)
Labor party attacks Lapid: He gave up on the diplomatic process (with the Palestinians) - Labor says alliance with Lapid "is nothing less than betrayal of your voters, a betrayal to your commitment to advance diplomatic negotiations, and that is breaking your word, in which you love to say you stand by." (Maariv, p. 4/NRG Hebrew)
Obama's Middle East team: old problems, new style (Barak Ravid, Haaretz) The U.S. president's second-term team of secretaries and emissaries - including the major appointment of 'blank slate' Philip Gordon - augurs a new involvement in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, though not necessarily on the part of Obama himself.
Best of both worlds (Aviad Kleinberg, Yedioth/Ynet) Ultra-Orthodox parties cry 'Gevalt!' now that they are treated like any other player in political arena.
New routes to racism (Haaretz Editorial) Rather than express 'concern' for the Palestinians by excluding them from Jewish bus lines, it would behoove the prime minister to immediately put a stop to this racist segregation.
Strange days indeed (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) It is an upside down situation when the right-wingers are yearning for leftist party Labor to come and save them.
Tear down this wall (Moshe Arens, Haaretz) The separation fence does not prevent terror attacks, but it is a blight on the land and a burden on the Palestinians.
Obama and Israel's self-victimization extravaganza (Uri Misgav, Haaretz) When President Barack Obama visits Israel later this month he will be treated to Jerusalem's full-dress victim show, a modern Via Dolorosa. Can't we offer our closest ally more than war memorials, nuclear nightmares and the Holocaust?
What do you know of Lincoln, Ms. Livnat? (Ithamar Handelman-Smith, Haaretz) The culture minister couldn't see the parallels between the Academy Award-winning story she loved and the stories behind the Israeli documentaries she shunned.
On the bus to Israeli apartheid (Aeyal Gross, Haaretz) The separate bus lines for Palestinians that went into operation on Monday recall racial segregation in the United States and are bringing Israel closer to apartheid.
A Netanyahu-Lapid-Bennett coalition (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) From a right-wing point of view, this is the best government that could be established.
AIPAC and American Jews: Be proud of Jewish power (Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, Haaretz) Acquiring power to responsibly influence issues of Jewish concern - as showcased by the AIPAC conference - should be a source of pride for U.S. Jews, without any need for apologetics or overstated fears about an anti-Semitic backlash.
Erdoğan is in trouble again (Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) A decade after rising to power, Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan has zero friends and is facing a growing number of problems.
Will Alicia Keys resist BDS pressure and play Tel Aviv? Israeli fans hope so (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz) The New York diva is the latest artist at the heart of the campaign calling on international artists not to perform in Israel.
Shelly Yacimovich is the ultra-Orthodox parties' last hope (Yossi Verter, Haaretz) Without the Labor Party leader, Israel's Haredi parties are doomed to the hell of opposition.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.