APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday March 07, 2013
Quote of the day:
"I am actually celebrating being both Israeli and Iranian..."
-Iranian born Israeli singer Rita, at her UN performance of Hebrew and Persian songs. The Iranian ambassador was not present.**
Front Page News:
- Netanyahu assigning Defense Ministry to Yaalon and Treasury to Bennett
- Rebels in Syria kidnapped 20 UN workers near border with Israel
- Pink hope - Fight for equal rights for women in India
- With death of Chavez, renewal of battle over leadership of Venezuela
- Development will allow testing of intestinal cancer by breath
- Jailed divorce refusenik escapes through window of rabbinical court
- Are locusts kosher? Not all agree
- Fear: Al-Qaeda will operate on border with Israel - Kidnapping of UN observers intensified threat from Syria
- Female teacher attacked because she gave a ride to an Arab teacher
- The forbidden romance at the London embassy
- Likud and Yesh Atid agreed: Ultra-Orthodox will also study core subjects
- For first time: Hundreds of arrest orders for ultra-Orthodox who did not report to the induction center (Hebrew)
- Ultimatum to Rabbi Ovadia: Arieh Der'i demands to be made the sole chairman of the Shas party or he will resign and run for mayor of Jerusalem (Hebrew)
- Syrian rebels kidnapped 20 UN employees near border
- The cheapest supermarket: Rami Levy. Most expensive: Shufersol Deal. Difference: 14%
- Obama at Sharon Park - Israel plans to take US President to visit ecological park, from which the distance between Judea and Samaria and Tel-Aviv can be seen
- 20 UN observers kidnapped on the Golan border
- The revolution is already here, on the fence // Prof. Eyal Zisser
- Lapid hardening his positions: Not giving up on Foreign Ministry
- The hunt and the embarrassment - Jailed divorce refusenik Shai Cohen jumped from bathroom window at Jerusalem rabbinial court - and escaped
- Blue and white podium - Maayan Davidovitz won bronze medal in windsurfing world championships and joined Lee Kozitz who won gold
- Facebook's new face
- Counter-Terrorism Bureau: Raise alertness in Morocco, Malta and Georgia
- Following death of Chavez: US optimistic
The fear in Israel raised by the kidnapping of 20 UN workers by Syrian rebels and the obstacles preventing the government from being formed were the top stories in today's Israeli newspapers. Meanwhile, Yedioth focused on the violence by Jewish youth against Arabs in Israel, Israel Hayom reported on Palestinian requests for gestures from Israel and Ynet reported on how the Muslim Brotherhood instructed Hamas to get international legitimacy.
Yedioth writes that there is a fear in Israel that Al-Qaeda people will takeover the 80 km long buffer zone between Israel and Syria, for which the UN observers are responsible. Maariv writes that Israel has been preparing some months now for a possible escalation from Syria, but the IDF told Yedioth that it is not making any changes in its deployment along the border with Syria despite the kidnapping of 20 UN observers by Syrian rebels. "That's an internal Syrian issue." Meanwhile, talks are underway for the release of 20 Filipino UN peacekeepers seized by Syrian rebels on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. The Philippine government confirmed that the 'Martyrs of Yarmouk' brigade are treating them as 'guests'. (VIDEO) The UN Commissioner on Refugees announced that the number of Syrian civilians who escaped to nearby countries has reached one million. Half of them are under age 15. Israel Hayom writes that Israel fears the UN will pull all its people from the buffer zone.
Two obstacles hinder the formation of a coalition government: the number of ministers and who will receive the Foreign Ministry portfolio, the papers agree. Yesh Atid wants maximum 18 and will probably compromise on 22, while Likud wants 28, which Yesh Atid will never agree to, writes Haaretz. Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid is still insisting on being Foreign Minister, but the Attorney General ruled it was okay for Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to save that one for his partner, Avigdor Lieberman. Haaretz reports that Netanyahu has assigned the Finance Ministry to Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett and Defense Ministry to Moshe Ya'alon. But according to Yedioth, Bennett is waiting to see how the battle over the Foreign Ministry ends before he decides whether to take the Finance Ministry. Meanwhile, the deal with Tzipi Livni for the Justice Ministry may be reassessed and her role in talks with Palestinians is also under threat, writes Haaretz. Netanyahu wants to present his new government on Monday, writes Yedioth. Many of the details have been ironed out between Likud-Beiteinu and Yesh Atid. Maariv writes that according to part of the agreement, ultra-Orthodox Jews will be forced to study core subjects and not just Jewish-related ones. (NRG Hebrew)
Pages 2 and 3 of Yedioth were dedicated to interviews with Arabs who were attacked by Jews in the last week and a half. "They yelled at me, 'Friend of an Arab,' and threw rocks at us," Revital Wolkov told Yedioth yesterday. Wolkov, a teacher at a Jewish school in Ramat Hasharon, was driving with her friend, Suhad, an Arab teacher at the same school, to Jerusalem to console the school's principal, who lost her mother. When the two entered the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood in (west) Jerusalem, they were attacked by two teenagers. "When they realized I was Arab, they began to curse, yell, spit and throw rocks at us. It was terrible. We were very scared," said Suhad, 25, from Qalanswa, who is married and mother of a baby. Wolkov said she tried to talk to them, to calm them, but it did not help. "We just ran away. We were very scared and Suhad took it very hard." The women filed a complaint with the police who located one of the youth, who admitted to the attack. Volkov claims she was attacked again after leaving the principal's house. "I slowed down at the junction and two youths jumped on the car and cut my tires," he said. Police were then called to the scene again.
The police say there is an increasingly wide phenomenon of atacks for nationalistic reasons in recent weeks. In 2012 the number of such (reported) attacks stood at 56, double the year before. But people were arrested in only 12 cases. Now the police has decided to set up a special unit with 80 police officers that will soon begin to operate. Meanwhile, the name of the young man who was arrested for threatening Peace Now officials and vandalizing Peace Now offices has been released following his latest suspected attack. Dor Oved, 22, is suspected of vandalizing cars belonging to Palestinians, spray painting "Death to Arabs," and puncturing tires in industrial park in Shiloh settlement near Jerusalem, reports Israel Hayom. His attorney is Itamar Ben-Gvir, [who has been connected with the Kahane Chai movement and is also representing the young religious Jewish women who attacked the pregnant Arab woman from E. Jerusalem last week - OH]. Yedioth reported that the police intend to recommend that the prosecutors indict both the Jewish girls and Hana Imtir for assault. Yedioth also interviewed an Arab couple who were camping on Lake Kinneret over the weekend when they were suddenly attacked by seven Jewish teenagers, who yelled that lakes was for Jews. Nimmer Sharkawi, 41, was hospitalized for three days during which he was operated on three times. And month, a group of Arab youngsters were brutally beaten by a group of Jewish youths, it was revealed today.
In the last couple days, the papers have been reporting on gestures that Israel may offer the Palestinians ahead of US President Barack Obama's visit. Israel Hayom reported that the Palestinian Authority has given U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry a list of the desired confidence-building steps it wants. Some of the requests coincide with what the Israelis are willing to offer. They include: the transfer of security control of Palestinian areas to Palestinian control, the release of Palestinian funds frozen by Israel and the renewal of VIP identification cards for Palestinian officials that were cancelled.
The Egyptian leadership, which is essentially people from the Muslim Brotherhood, has urged Gaza leaders to follow its lead in order to receive legitimacy from the international community. "Implement jihad in other ways," it recommended. What does it suggest? Stop smuggling weapons into Gaza. More here from Ynet.
- Peres tells EU president: Terror, not Israeli settlements, is obstacle to peace - On tour of European countries, Israeli president rejects criticism of West Bank settlements, says terrorism prevented implementation of two-state solution. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Hebron: Separate roads for Jews, Palestinians - Road leading to Cave of Patriarchs separated by fence: paved side for Jews, unpaved for Arabs. Peace Now: With settler pressure, government continues building walls, fences of racism. (Ynet)
- East Jerusalem woman wounded by Israeli Border Police fire - Police say officers fired foam-tipped bullets to disperse crowd after rock-throwing incident, Silwan residents say no rocks were thrown. (Haaretz)
- Israel mistreats Palestinian children in custody, UNICEF reports - The United Nations Children Fund estimated that 700 Palestinian children aged 12-17, most of them boys, are arrested, interrogated and detained by the Israeli military, police and security agents every year in the West Bank. (Reuters, Haaretz and AFP, Ynet)
- Israel denies entry to pro-Palestinian American Jew - An Israeli judge ruled that Adam Shapiro, who arrived at the airport with his pregnant Israeli-Arab wife, was still subject to a 10-year ban from 2002. (Haaretz)
- Lieberman imposes media ban on defense committee hearings - IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz appears before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, but media receives no information on what he said, in line with a new policy. (Israel Hayom)
- Israel agrees to demolish four West Bank outpost structures immediately - State issued order to the built houses in the Gush Etzion outpost. The regional settlement council had lied to Israel's High Court, insisting the structures were inhabited. (Haaretz)
- Spurned by Likud, ultra-Orthodox parties say they'll now support the Left - Our views are much closer to Labor's than to Habayit Hayehudi's, says United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni. Former Shas MK Shlomo Benizri: I hope the national-religious camp understands the implications of what it is doing. (Israel Hayom)
- Hundreds of arrest warrants made for ultra-Orthodox who did not report at the induction center - In light of the fact that no new law has been passed regarding draft of ultra-Orthodox, young ultra-Orthodox who did not show up received a letter that an arrest warrant is out for them. Nevertheless, IDF sources say the police probably will not make the arrests. (Maariv, p. 4)
- Israel launches hotline for abused Bedouin women - A forum of women in the Negev has launched the first help line for victims of sexual and other assault, in an attempt to encourage these women living in a conservative and closed society to ask for help. (Haaretz)
- More soldiers join Givati rebellion - Seven combat soldiers in jail since Tuesday, joined by 10 more refusing to obey orders in response to 'humiliating' treatment by battalion commanders. (Ynet)
- Israeli Arab brothers convicted of helping Hamas plan terror attacks - Under plea bargain agreement, two brothers from Kafr Kana sentenced to prison for involvement with Hamas operatives. (Haaretz)
- Israeli women learn more, earn less - Statistics bureau releases data in conjunction with International Women's Day: Israeli women, both Jewish and Arab, earn more degrees, but still earn less money than men. Women are having their first child at an older age. (Israel Hayom)
- Israeli Knesset discusses jailed spy Jonathan Pollard - Israel made mistakes in handling of the case, says public diplomacy minister; Lapid signs petition calling for Pollard's release. (Haaretz)
- Former US defense official: Release Pollard - Lawrence Korb, who was assistant secretary of defense when Jonathan Pollard was arrested in 1985, says Pollard's punishment was "disproportionate" (Israel Hayom)
- From the White House to Hayarkon Park - Park Sharon, formerly Khiriyeh, expected to host US President. Netanyahu interested in taking advantage of the lookout point in order to show to Obama Israel's narrow waist, from the sea to the Judea and Samaria mountains, both of which can be seen from Khiriyeh hill. (Maariv, p. 24)
- Obama forgoes Knesset address, opts to speak before Israeli students instead - U.S. president decides that purpose of speech is to send a message directly to the Israeli public; White House officials say visit not dependent on establishment of new Israeli coalition. (Haaretz)
- US to build second secret facility in Israel - The $100 million project calls for the construction of a 6,000 sq. meter (65,000 sq. foot) compound below an already existing building. (Israel Hayom)
- Palestinians grieve over death of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez - Abbas says Venezuelan president was a great friend of Palestinians: 'We have lost a great leader who fought for a better world'; Syria state media also pays tribute to Chavez. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Venezuelan expats worried of post-Chavez era - Venezuelan-Israelis fear Jewish community will be persecuted more ferociously after dictator's death; 'Chavez's death no light at end of tunnel,' says community leader. (Ynet)
- Venezuela's Sephardi chief rabbi sends condolences to family and friends of Hugo Chavez - But Rabbi Isaac Cohen, who had met with the president several times, declined to answer probing questions about the Jewish community's relationship with Chavez. (Haaretz)
- 'Zygier case raises questions about Australian passports held by dual citizens' - Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr says there was a "lack of clarity" in Australian Foreign Ministry's handling of Zygier affair. Carr says "no evidence" so far that Australian passports were misused. Australia also confirms for first time that Zygier was working for Israeli government but won't say if he was working for the Mossad. (Israel Hayom)
- Australian probe: Zygier was facing 20-year sentence for 'serious espionage' - The Australian foreign ministry investigation confirms Ben Zygier was facing a 20-year prison sentence for a security-related crime and criticizes the Australian government's handling of the case. (Haaretz)
- U.S. envoy to IAEA storms out of meeting over Iran's Israel remark - Joseph Macmanus walks out after Iran's Ali Asghar Soltanieh accused Israel of committing 'genocide;' officials from Canada and Australia also left the closed-door meeting. (Agencies, Haaretz)
The security guard, the lover and the scandal at the embassy
What happened in the tourism department at the Israeli embassy in London? A British employee who was dismissed committed suicide. She claimed in a letter: They ignored my claims of sexual harassment. After her death it was revealed she had a romance with a local guard at the embassy, who even left his guard for her. Tourism Ministry: The complaint was examined and nothing was found. The employee suffered from severe disorders. (Yedioth)
Rebbe with a cause: The unconventional truths of Menachem Froman
Menachem Froman was tough to pin down: a settler and peace activist; deeply religious and a free-love advocate; living in occupied territories and preaching an end to occupation. (Haaretz)
**Israeli wins over the General Assembly
"I am actually celebrating being both Israeli and Iranian, a unique mixture," says Israeli chanteuse Rita during her 10-song set with melodies in Persian and Hebrew. Israel ambassador to UN Ron Prosor: I always hoped that I would one day be the opening act for Rita at a major venue in New York City. (Israel Hayom VIDEO)
Menachem Froman, the settler rabbi who wanted to be a Palestinian citizen (Gershon Baskin, Haaretz) When we went to speak to President Mahmoud Abbas last month, Menachem Froman told him: I look forward to being a citizen of the State of Palestine. Abu Mazen responded that he looked forward to giving him a Palestinian passport.
The light in a rabbi's heart (Uri Heitner, Israel Hayom) The kind of peace Rabbi Menachem Froman dreamed of was a complete peace.
Bibi's bloated government (Haaretz Editorial) The pressures being placed on Netanyahu to retain a coalition bloated with surplus ministers are irrelevant when placed in context; Israel's welfare comes first.
Netanyahu's violent fingerprint (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) The fruits of Netanyahu's policies are now on parade; The recent wave of attacks on Arabs are directly related to the devastating impact of his tenure.
Letter to the prime minister (Yoaz Hendel, Yedioth/Ynet) Former advisor says Netanyahu's final term offers him opportunity to implement policies without fear.
Israel's Labor Party is laboring in vain (Ari Shavit, Haaretz) Labor's decision not to form a moderate socially-oriented government with Likud, Hatnuah and the ultra-Orthodox parties is a martyr's move. The decision not to take part in the post-election power game is the decree of self-immolators with principles.
What about the peace process? (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) Arabs must accept that we have come home to Israel for good.
Different meanings of Zionism (Sinem Tezyapar, Ynet) Turkish Muslim urges Prime Minister Erdogan to clarify harsh anti-Israel comments.
Will Venezuelan anti-Semitism die with Hugo Chavez? (Ben Cohen, Haaretz) Under Chavez, Venezuela became a source of incendiary anti-Israel rhetoric that spilled over into open hostility towards the dwindling Venezuelan Jewish community, and his successors seem likely to continue to stoke anti-Semitism as a useful political tool.
Israel silent on Chavez's death, but seeks to reboot relations with Venezuela (Barak Ravid, Haaretz) Foreign Ministry doesn't expect Jerusalem-Caracas ties to improve in the short term, but Chavez's possible successors are friendlier toward Israel; one has Jewish roots.
Chavez and Ahmadinejad: End of a love affair (Ely Karmon, Haaretz) The late Venezuelan President Chavez was Iran's go-between for Latin America, and probably the most open apologist for Hezbollah in the region. The symbiotic relationship between Chavez and Ahmadinejad was also grounded on their visceral anti-Semitism.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.