APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday March 15, 2013
Quote of the day:
"Coexistence has to go beyond the swimming pool..."
--Moshe Vaknin, one of the parents being sued by the Education Ministry for sending their children to an Arab-Jewish first grade class that the ministry refuses to approve.**
Front Page News:
- The brother, the son and the battle spirit - Netanyahu's nightmare has become reality. Younger and more popular than him, Bennett and Lapid will teach the prime minister what is the power of the friendship that developed between them // Yossi Verter
- Last minute crisis: Netanyahu does not want Bennett as his deputy
- Expose: How much money did Yair Lapid's company make
- We have hatred - Students in Jerusalem are unashamed of their racism. The teachers are still battling (it)
- My god the particles - Scientists at the catalyzer in Switzerland proved they succeeded in finding Higgs boson
- The nobility requires - A, 18 and a half years old, tells how she got the courage to file a complaints against Rabbi Berland, who she admired
- Infant critically injured in attack on trans-Shomron Hwy
- Obama: Iranian nuclear weapon - red line
- Infant critically wounded from stone-throwing
- Crisis of the deputies - Netanyahu suddenly cancelled the positions of the deputies to the prime minister and the signing of the coalition agreement was delayed
- This is how (former president Moshe) Katzav sexually harassed me
- Obama: I won't release Pollard immediately. I will make certain his punishment is re-examined (Hebrew)
- Maariv poll: Most Israelis believe Obama is hostile towards Israel (Hebrew)
- Senior Likud members: Lieberman stole the party, no portfolios were left for us
- The Bugi (Yaalon) era - Yaalon plans to declare an extension of Chief of Staff Beni Gantz's role for a fourth year
- Attack on trans-Samaria highway: Two-year-old critically injured following stone-throwing (Hebrew)
- Syria: Death of a country - 70,000 killed, one million refugees, diplomatic isolation and debts of $100 billion
- Key witness: Following death of (state witness) Shmuel Dachner, testimony of Yossi Olmert will be fateful in trial of his brother, the former prime minister
- Stone terror - Two-year-old Adel Biton fighting for her life after (car) accident caused by stone-throwing
- Obama leaves opening for hope? "I won't release Pollard, at this time"
- Lapid and Bennett demanded to be deputy prime ministers; Likud: the title has been cancelled
- At climax of heat: Tel-Aviv going to run this morning
- iPhone killer? Galaxy 4 revealed
- Ahead of holiday: Festivals across the country
An Israeli toddler was critically injured in the West Bank, the coalition agreement signing was stalled and the US President Barack Obama said nuclear weapons were the red line for Iran making top stories in today's Friday papers in Israel. Meanwhile, Israelis and Palestinians are battling for the hearts and minds of Obama and the White House Press Corps and Israel's Military Intel chief gave a rundown of the threats and changes in the Middle East.
The newspapers led with the news of a toddler critically injured from stone-throwing. But in the body of the article, Yedioth writes that a woman driving on the trans-Samaria highway crashed into a truck that had stopped on the side of the road after the latter was hit by a stone. While the driver was examining his vehicle Adva Biton, from the settlement of Yakir, rammed into the truck from behind critically injuring her two-year-old daughter. According to Yedioth, the reason for the accident is still not known and is being investigated. Maariv writes that the truck driver stopped his vehicle because he thought he blew a tire, when actually the side of his truck was hit with stones. According to Maariv, it was the combination of the stones, the sudden movement of the car to the side of the road and the drop in the truck's speed that caused Biton to lose control of the car and slam into the back of the truck. Just prior to the crash, rocks were thrown on an Israeli bus, breaking the windshield. More from Haaretz and Ynet.
After Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reneged on a pledge to make Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett deputy prime ministers, the two parties did not arrive at a meeting with Likud-Beiteinu and the coalition agreement was not signed. Likud sources told Maariv that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's wife Sarah was behind the decision. Nevertheless, the government is expected to be sworn-in on Monday. (More from Haaretz)
Meanwhile, Yuli Edelstein resigned from the Knesset in order to be appointed Speaker of the Knesset and Likud MK Ze'ev Elkin was slated to become deputy foreign minister and run the ministry till Avigdor Lieberman's trial ends, Haaretz reported. Elkin is an immigrant from Ukraine who lives in the isolated West Bank settlement of Kfar Eldad. In an interview with Haaretz he said he opposes the two-state solution and that he does "not believe in real peace."
Left-wing and Labor politicians expressed concern about the make-up of the new government. "The settlers took control of the economic power centers," said Meretz party Chairwoman Zahava Gal-On. Habayit Hayehudi will be getting the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the Ministry of Housing and the chair of the Knesset Finance Committee. "I fear that this is a government that will expand the settlement enterprise and continue to hurt the middle class," Labor party MK Eitan Cabel told Maariv. The news from the third Netanyahu government is that the "monies and resources that Lapid fought to take from the yeshivas will be transferred to building settlements, at a social and political cost more difficult than ever," said Meretz MK Nitzan Horovitz. (NRG Hebrew)
President Barack Obama gave an interview to Israel's Channel 2 and said that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a threat to American security interests and that all options remain on the table. He also said he would not release Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard from jail, but Israeli newspapers felt he left the window open because he qualified it saying, not at this time.
Ahead of Obama's trip, Palestinians and Israelis are already fighting over how they will share their narratives with the US President. Israel Hayom reported that Jerusalem city officials are offering visiting journalists a free tour of City of David, Israel's most contentious archaeological excavation site in the E. Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. Israel also suggested to journalists they could avoid going to the West Bank with Obama when he meets with Palestinian leaders, and watch a live feed of the meeting between the US and Palestinian presidents. It was for the journalists' 'convenience,' the Israelis insisted. But the Palestinians want Obama - and journalists - to see what life is like under the occupation They hope to introduce Obama to the family of a prisoner held by Israel. Ynet writes that Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat led a group of Western diplomats in a tour of Jerusalem's Givat Hamatos site and Beit Safafa neighborhood stressing that Israeli construction in these areas as well as in Ramat Shlomo and Area E-1 will mark the end of the two-state solution. In Russia, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he hoped to restart peace talks with Israel this year, but does not have high hopes that will happen. Still, the Palestinians have hopes for progress on the release of prisoners and on the release of Palestinian monies.
Speaking at the Herzliya Conference, Military Intel chief Maj. Gen. Kochavi made quite a few headlines. He said Syria's president has yet to give orders to use the chemical weapons, but preparations for use are advanced. On the Palestinians he said, "We see signs from the Palestinian street that Palestinians are reaching a boiling point which stem from the economic situation, but also from the prisoners' issue. We estimate there's no energy for a third Intifada." Regarding the Middle East at large, Kochavi said that the old characterization of moderates versus extremists in the Middle East was no longer valid, and that the battle now was between the two streams of Islam, Sunni and Shi'ite. Sunni Hamas in Gaza, for instance, is moving away from Shiite Iran and closer to Sunni Turkey, Egypt and Qatar, Israel Hayom reported. "Israel has four active borders for the first time in decades. This is a new reality; terror activity can happen from Lebanon, Sinai, Golan, and Gaza. The fifth border, attacks against Israelis abroad, is also heating up. We are seeing activity on all these fronts," Kochavi said.
Police to restrict Muslims' entrance to Temple Mount - Information about plans to cause disruptions after Friday prayers lead police to restrict entrance to Jerusalem site to men over 50 and women. (Ynet)
Settlers chase Palestinians off farmland near Hebron - Israeli settlers from Ma'on settlement near Yatta south of Hebron on Thursday vandalized summer crops in fields belonging to Palestinian farmers from Yatta. (Maan)
Settlers steal IDF tent erected to prevent Palestinian encampment - The canvas has been returned but remaining pieces have not; sources at the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar say incident merely a juvenile prank. (Haaretz and Ynet)
'I don't want their money. I want to walk again' - A 24-year-old man who was paralyzed when Israeli tanks shelled a mourning tent says his claim for compensation, dismissed by an Israeli court, was his last hope. "I collapsed when I was told that my case has been dismissed," Arafat Dayem said. (Maan)
**Co-existence or a crime? Jewish-Arab education earns parents a court date - Parents at Ein Bustan, a Waldorf school in the lower Galilee where first and second grade classes don't yet have Education Ministry approval, are summoned to court for breaking the Compulsory Education Law, which requires students to be enrolled in an accredited school. (Haaretz)
US official: 'Israel must show Arab public it's serious about peace'
In press briefing ahead of US President Obama's visit to Israel, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes says trip is not about 'closing the deal' but about cooperation on day-to-day basis. (Ynet)
Where are they now? / The Jackie Robinson of Israeli soccer
As the first Arab player on the Israeli national team, Rifaat Tourk knows what it's like to be cursed by fans and players alike. Four decades later, he's fighting for equality for Arabs - off the pitch. (Haaretz)
Hamas denies role in August terror attack on Egyptian base
Hamas co-founder accuses opposition faction of trying to undermine the relationship between Gaza and Cairo. Al-Qassam Brigades says it will sue the editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram Al-Arabi magazine over a report accusing Hamas leaders of killing Egyptian soldiers. (Haaretz and Maan)
Russia, Palestine study power station for West Bank - Additionally, Russia may include Palestine on the list of the countries which enjoy privileges related to fees and tariffs in case a free trade agreement is signed. (Maan)
UK: Lord suspended over 'Jewish conspiracy' claims
Muslim House of Lords member Nazir Ahmed told Pakistani TV Jewish owners of newspapers, television channels pressured courts to punish him more severely for fatal car accident. (Yedioth/Ynet)
Watch: Damascus synagogue in ruins
Syrian opposition releases further documentation of synagogue damaged in early March, allegedly by mortar shells fired by Assad's army; former chief rabbi of Syria 'chilled' at the damage. (Ynet)
Report: Iran test-fires short-range missiles
Nazeat-10, Fajr-5 missiles fired during military exercise in central Iran, Fars news agency reports. (Agencies, Ynet)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.