APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday March 06, 2013
Quote of the day:
"The information indicates that the military commander had sufficient grounds for assuming, for reasons that were partly security-related and based on the assessment of anticipated future danger, that the security of the area, and alternatively the public's security, required the appellant to remain in detention."
-- Part of the decision by Military Judge Moshe Tirosh in which he explained why he revoked the appeal of Abdul-Hakim Bawatneh to end his administrative detention. The exact same wording was found in the decisions for eight other Palestinians.**
Front Page News:
- Lapid insists on Foreign Ministry portfolio, Bennett demands treasury - Attorney General examining legality of saving Foreign Ministry for Lieberman
- Locust swarm covers south of country
- Police investigating suspicion of corruption in Labor party primaries
- Police Commissioner Danino changes direction: Intends to probe content of Saar letter
- Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan leader who changed Latin America, died
- The capital market star who got into trouble with debts to criminals - Allowed for publication: The State witness in the Holyland case: Shmuel Dechner
- One out of 10 mothers develops compulsive behavior after giving birth
- Soloist of Bolshevik ensemble suspected of attacking creative director of ballet with acid
- We will investigate MKs over vote buying in Labor party
- End of a tyrant: Venezuelan ruler Chavez died
- Lapid's demand: Public transportation on Sabbath and civil marriage (Hebrew)
- Police Commissioner: Police to probe content of letter against Education Minister Gideon Saar (Hebrew)
- After 14 years in power: Venezuela President Hugo Chavez died (Hebrew)
- New video clips reveal: Syrian rebels associated with Al-Qaeda deployed along border with Israel
- Battle over Iranian nuclear project: Commander of US military: Economic sanctions on Teheran are no effective
- This morning: Pesticide spray operation to try to stop the spread of locusts (Hebrew)
- Korzitz's fourth - Windsurfer Lee Korzitz promised in Brazil to win her another world championship
- Top US military commander: Sanctions not working
- "We won't break our commitment to Lieberman" - battle over the portfolios
- Suspicion: Murdered the mother and waited five hours for her son
- Lee's fourth time (to win windsurfing championship)
- Permitted for publication: State witness in Holyland affair who died - Shmuel Dechner
- Venezuela morning: President Hugo Chavez passed away after long battle against cancer
Police probes into a damning letter against the Education Minister and allegations of vote buying in the Labor Party, the political battle over portfolios, and a resounding statement by the top US military commander made top stories in Israeli papers today. Also in the news, US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel got a big hug from Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Maariv reported that Al-Qaeda associated Syrian rebels filmed themselves near the border with Israel and Yedioth reported Israel will transfer weapons to the Palestinian Authority.
Apparently, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid really does insist on getting the Foreign Ministry portfolio and this is not a negotiating trick to get other demands. But Netanyahu has offered Lapid the Finance Ministry and Likud sources say he'll give it to Naftali Bennett if Lapid doesn't take it. Haaretz writes that the Finance Ministry portfolio tests the alliance between Lapid and Bennett. Lapid and Bennett say it is unacceptable to save the Foreign Ministry portfolio for Avigdor Lieberman, since his party faction is only equivalent to 11 mandates, fewer than their parties. In anycase, the Attorney General is going to examine whether it is legal to save the Foreign Ministry portfolio till after Lieberman's trial is over - and assuming he is not convicted. Meanwhile , Yesh Atid will agree to maximum 20 ministers while Likud-Beiteinu wants 24. The low number has caused great tension among senior Likud officials, writes Yedioth, with 12 people vying for six jobs.
Maariv writes that Yesh Atid demands changing the status quo in Israel regarding religion and state. The two main demands are allowing civil marriages and transportation on Sabbath. The party also wants easier conversions to Judaism. Discussions with Likud-Beiteinu continue over these issues, reports Zeev Kamm. (NRG Hebrew)
Most of the papers quoted the head of the US Central Command saying that diplomatic efforts and economic sanctions against Iran don't work, Maj. General James Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee it was not too late to bring Iran 'to its senses.' Yedioth quoted him saying, "Israel does not need us to attack Iran." Israeli papers also showed photos of Barak hugging Hagel. Hagel said the US will continue aiding Israel's defense despite fiscal uncertainty and that all options were on the table regarding a nuclear Iran. Haaretz noted that Hagel's nearly two-hour-long talks with Barak were his first meeting with a foreign counterpart since he took his new job last week.
Video clips of Syrian rebels show they have deployed along the border with Israel in the Golan Heights, Maariv reported. Fighters of the Lawa Furkan Brigades, associated with Al-Qaeda, are seen next to the border fence armed with heavy machine guns and Kalachnikov rifles. IDF sources said "there is not order at the moment to open fire against rebels." One video clip was filmed from the Syrian town of Al-Qahtania, some four kilometers from Kibbutz Ein ZIvan in the Golan Heights. The cameraman is heard saying with excitement: "God is great, the free Syria army is only a few meters away from the border." In the background two IDF jeeps can be seen. In another clip, the rebels are seen shooting a sniper rifle and MAG near the border. One fighter tells the camera, "Assad's soldiers are not Arabs, they are Jews. They are not Muslims. If they were Muslims we would not be fighting them."
Israel is set to give 700 guns to Palestinians and in return the Palestinian Authority will keep the quiet, reports Yedioth. The security establishment said the light weapons will help the PA more efficiently fight against demonstrators (against Israel) and terrorists. The Palestinians promise not to make any unilateral moves in the UN during Obama's visit, without coordinating with US administration first.
- Attacked on vacation: 'Arab, get out of the Kinneret' - Nazareth Illit resident attacked during weekend trip to Kinneret with wife, hospitalized for a fractured jaw-bone; police launches investigation. Haaretz writes that the four Israeli youth arrested are the same ones suspected of beating the Arab street cleaner in Tel-Aviv. (Ynet and Haaretz)
- Palestinian students force British envoy out of West Bank university - In protest against U.K.'s support for Israel's policies, dozens of students at Birzeit University heckle British consul-general and attack his car, preventing him from speaking on campus. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- After a 20-year battle: Jerusalem Municipality expected to call street after Yeshiyahu Leibowitz - Following the recommendation of retired Judge Yaakov Turkel and the mayor, the committee is expected to finally approve naming a street after the rabbi (who opposed the occupation - OH). The location: Near Givat Ram campus of Hebrew University. (Maariv, p. 16)
- Palestinian family loses High Court bid to force Israel to find PLO man's body - Convict Anis Dula died 33 years ago in prison; High Court of Justice rules Israel did all it could to locate him. (Haaretz)
- Buses torched in possible protest of new Palestinian-only bus lines - No suspects apprehended yet in Kafr Qasim arson incident. In response to Israeli decision to operate buses designed solely for Palestinian day laborers, Al-Arabiya asks: Do we really need another Rosa Parks? Meretz MK Gal-On calls service "apartheid." (Israel Hayom)
- Left-wing Israeli activist acquitted for driving away from West Bank roadblock - Judge rules he was not required to follow the orders of the security personnel at the scene because they were not prepared to identify themselves. (Haaretz)
- Fireworks - the new Palestinian weapon against soldiers - Rise in number of incidents where fireworks were shot at IDF soldiers and IDF positions in clashes recently. Order to forces: React to it as you would to a Molotov cocktail. (NRG Hebrew)
- Ultra-Orthodox could lose mass state funding without spot in Netanyahu coalition - As members of the government, Shas and United Torah Judaism helped direct generous amounts of state funding to the Haredi community. If they are forced to sit in the opposition, that money may be at stake. (Haaretz)
- UTJ (Yehadut Hatorah) presents new Knesset with first dissolution bill - Mere month after House was sworn in United Torah Judaism moves for new general elections. Party says election results were 'too inconclusive'; warns 'Israel will be ruled by people motivated by hatred.' (Ynet)
- Tel Aviv court reveals name of late witness in Holyland case: Shmuel Dechner - The witness in the trial involving ex-PM Ehud Olmert, who until now has been known only as S.D., spent several years as a consultant to the owner of the Holyland project. He died on Friday. (Haaretz)
- Playboy launches Hebrew language edition in Israel - The Israeli edition of Penthouse, the traditional and more daring rival of Playboy, flopped when it debuted here in 1989. (Haaretz)
- Gaza marathon cancelled over women ban - UN agency says 'disappointing decision' follows discussions with Strip's Hamas rulers, who have insisted that no women should participate in race. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Police open investigation into Labor primary vote buying allegations - Yacimovich says former chairman Peretz and two Laborites are the guilty parties mentioned unnamed in Yedioth Aharonoth report; Peretz denies all involvement. (Haaretz)
- Two African runners disappear from Jerusalem marathon, apparently seeking to stay in Israel - Both women, who were brought to Israel from Ethiopia for the race, are believed to be in hiding in south Tel Aviv. (Haaretz)
- U.S. Republican, Democrat introduce bill to make Israel 'major strategic ally' - Legislation introduced in time for annual AIPAC conference would give Israel one-of-a-kind status; bill also calls for Israel to join visa waiver program for select nationals entering U.S. (Haaretz)
- Israel complains to UN Security Council over Syrian shells - "Israel cannot be expected to stand idle by as the lives of its citizens are being put at risk by the Syrian government's reckless actions," writes Israel's U.N. ambassador. Russian ambassador warns of armed groups operating between Israel and Syria. (Israel Hayom)
Memorializing Rabbi Froman - not with a funeral, but a cultural-spiritual happening
Right and left, Palestinian and Israeli, man and woman, thousands, pay their respects in a ceremony filled with music, poetry and clapping. (Haaretz)
**A copy-and-paste verdict for every Palestinian
On Jan. 14, a military judge heard nine appeals of administrative detention orders issued to Palestinian residents of the West Bank. In each case, the judge revoked the appeals, providing the same decision - word for word. (Amira Hass, Haaretz)
To win the war of opinions, Zionists must be critical friends of Israel (Dr. Samuel Lebens, Haaretz) The argument that Diaspora Zionists should not publicly criticize Israel in the media is fundamentally flawed, for if it weren't for rational critics - who at times give Israel a bad name - the Jewish state would fail to win the hearts of the 'swinging' public.
Battle for portfolios (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) With the composition of the coalition seemingly set, the messy process of distributing ministerial portfolios begins.
The purpose of Israel is peace (Bradley Burston, Haaretz) The purpose of Rabbi Menachem Froman was to find a place where the Jews and the non-Jews who live here were safe at last, their lives - all of their lives - accorded respect and where a distinction is made between loving the land and claiming exclusive possession of it.
The limits of autonomy in Israel (Haaretz Editorial) The Tel Aviv Labor Court's decision that a religious high school must pay compensation to a teacher fired for being pregnant while single should send a message to all those communities that enjoy broad autonomy in determining their lifestyle.
Who's afraid of the opposition? (Uri Heitner, Israel Hayom) Haredi parties have no right to cry "boycott" and "hatred" if they are not asked to join the coalition.
In Knesset, setting the record straight on a defamed Holocaust hero (Dan Laor, Haaretz) MK Merav Michaeli, in her maiden speech to the Knesset, made a bold statement about her lineage, thus redeeming the legacy of her grandfather Israel Kastner.
When AIPAC went AWOL (Daniel Pipes, Israel Hayom) Chuck Hagel, who once accused AIPAC of "intimidating a lot of people, "got a complete pass from that same lobby.
Restore American Jews' faith in Israel (Rachel Liel, Haaretz) The last four years created an unprecedented and dangerous alienation between the Israeli leadership and liberal American Jewry.
Only because they are Arab - Their blood was let (Bambi Sheleg, Yedioth) In March last year a group of Beitar fans attacked Arab workers at the Malcha Mall in Jerusalem and tried to bring their death. Over the summer, some youth attacked of a young Arab at Jerusalem's Zion Square beating him till he was unconscious. Since then till today we have been witness to a series of attacks by Jewish youth on Arabs - both young and old. It was done with brutality that characterizes a society that is falling apart...This week an Arab woman wa attacked in Jerusalem by female Jewish youth and in the same week an Arab man working in a fast-food restaurant in north Tel-Aviv and he said no one came to help him. A municipal employee of Tel-Aviv was also attacked last week. These severe attacks show that Israeli society, in many cases, is lacking a common set of values, and that the weaker parts of society do not feel any human solidarity with those who they see as 'the enemy.' The meaning is that the families and the education systems of these youth are completely estranged from the values according to which the charter of independence was written and that they feel superior to Arabs....."
The Pope and Prisoner X (Ariel David, Haaretz) Both Israel's poor handling of the Prisoner X debacle and the Vatican's mismanagement of the pontiff's resignation show how maintaining a culture of secrecy, whether through gag orders or media silence, is both damaging and counter-productive.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.