APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday March 25, 2013
NOTE: News Nosh will be on Passover holiday from tomorrow, March 26, through Monday, April 1st. Happy Passover and Happy Spring!!
Quote of the day:
"How can you hold negotiations with such limitations?"
--Senior Likud official explains to Maariv why Tzipi Livni will not succeed in negotiating with the Palestinians.**
Front Page News:
- IDF focusing its activities in north on Lebanese sector
- Poll: Rivlin and Peres most popular public persons, Weinstein least so
- Opposition attacking Lapid: "He should first learn economics"
- Erdogan: Renewal of relations only after implementation of agreement
- Recommendation: Pre-birth leave for women in physical profession
- Education Ministry approved illegal admissions process in schools
- Rebellion of the legumes: Religious Ashkenazi Jews oppose the strictness in Passover kosher rules
- Living alongside Goldberg, Agnon and Alterman
- The financial edicts on the way - Finance Minister: We have a monstrous overdraft
- Good news: Price of gasoline expected to drop next month
- Stone-throwers who caused injury of little Adel caught
- "First compensation, and after that we will reconcile"
- Rightness of the way // Avigdor Lieberman
- Passover comes, spring is here
- Netanyahu and Lapid agreed on a 16 billion shekel budget cut (Hebrew)
- Shooting from Syria towards IDF patrol
- The tied hands of the person responsible for negotiations (photo of Tzipi Livni) (Hebrew)
- Israel Amb. to US Michael Oren summarizes Obama visit and the reconciliation with Turkey (Hebrew)
- Story of freedom // Arel Segal "The people of Israel are an eternal metaphor in the history of mankind. The...writer Heinrich Heine said, "Since the exodus from Egypt, freedom speaks in a Hebrew accent." Passover and the exodus from Egypt are a seminal story for every people yearning for freedom..."
- Assad regime lost control over Golan border
- Ahead of (Passover) holiday: IDF placed a closure over the (Palestinian) territories and raised alert in south and north
- Lapid and Netanyahu agreed to cut defense budget
- Spring is here. Passover seder comes
- "The apology - lack of support for soldiers"
- 5 suspects arrested for involvement in attack that injured 2-year-old Adel Biton
- Explosives placed next to Tiv Tam (grocery store with pork products) on Ibn Gvirol St. in Tel-Aviv
Enormous government budget cuts, Turkish-Israel relations renewal on hold, and more action on the border in the Golan made top stories in Israel. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry left the country expressing optimism about renewing the Israeli-Palestinian track, but Likud officials say that it likely won't go anywhere.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan conditioned normalization of relations with Israel on the fulfillment by Israel of its promise to end the Gaza blockade and compensate families of the nine Turks killed by Israeli soldiers on the Mavi Marmara, he said. But Israel National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror told Israel Army Sunday that the deal with Turkey to restore ties did not include a lifting of the maritime blockade on Gaza, writes Israel Hayom. "We did not agree to promise (Turkey) that under any condition we would continue to transfer all the things into Gaza and ease up on the residents of Gaza if there is shooting from there," said Amidror. According to sources close to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Erdogan's statement is only meant to satisfy certain groups in Turkey - and it does not reflect his real intentions. He has no interest in the erosion of the agreement with Israel. (NRG Hebrew) Meanwhile, Netanyahu reassured the Greeks that the reconciliation with Turkey would not affect the security and economic ties that Israel and Greece have strengthened over the past three years, writes Haaretz. The former IDF Navy chief slammed the apology. But, IDF Chief of Staff Beni Gantz expressed his support both for the apology and for the Shayetet fighters who were responsible for the killing of the Turks, saying, "Another army would have ended the operation with dozens of casualties." (NRG Hebrew) In a special interview to CNN Turk and Hurriye Sunday morning, the most widely circulated paper in Turkey, Israeli President Shimon Peres asked Turks to work to heal the rift to return relations between the countries to normal. (NRG Hebrew and JPost) When asked by the Turkish journalist Cansu Camlibel when he would be meeting the Turkish president, he said, "From my point of view it can happen soon." Ynet reports that although initially critical of Obama's Mideast tour (they called it a 'photo-op'), the US media changed its view and was full of praise after he succeeded in restoring Israel-Turkey ties. It said 'Obama twisted Netanyahu's arm' to do so.
For the second time in two days, machine gun fire coming from a Syrian army position in the Golan was fired at an IDF patrol on the Israeli-held side of the Golan Heights, once hitting the jeep. Israel responded by shooting a Tamuz missile at it Sunday, destroying the position and injuring two Syrian soldiers. The army is examining whether Assad's forces intentionally opened fire on IDF forces in order to complicate the IDF in Syria's civil war. Israel warned it would respond immediately to any breach of sovereignty. Israel Hayom writes that Israel is considering making a buffer zone inside Syria and using locals as interlocutors. [Sounds a bit like a south Lebanon rerun - OH] Haaretz reports on how the IDF is focusing more on the Lebanese border as Syrian weapons move into Lebanon and the Syrian army disintegrates, noting that last week two reserve brigades practiced maneuvers for operating in Lebanon after years in which they had focused exclusively on the Syrian border, and the Armored Corps reservists are now focusing training on dealing with anti-tank missiles, of which Hezbollah has thousands, instead of tank battles. Israel Hayom writes that a Jordanian source said the Syrian army no longer has control over the Golan border.
**When Obama met Israel's new minister on the tarmac of Ben-Gurion Airport, he spoke longer with Tzipi Livni, saying, "I look forward to working with you," wrote Maariv this morning. Livni was appointed head of negotiations with the Palestinians as a condition to entering the coalition government. Now, it is clear that while she holds the title, she won't be pulling the strings, senior Likud officials told Maariv. The sources say that she won't be able to advance peace because Netanyahu made 'security mechanisms,' that almost completely remove her authority on the subject. A team of ministers will guide her how to act. They are made up of the foreign minister (expected to be Avigdor Lieberman), the (hardline) Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and Minister Naftali Bennett, leader of the pro-settler Habayit Hayehudi party, all three of whom oppose transfer of land to the Palestinians. Livni must update that team ahead of every meeting and update Netanyahu before and after every meeting. Moreover, Netanyahu confidante Adv. Yitzhak Molcho will be attending the talks with her. (NRG Hebrew) "How can you hold negotiations with such limitations? Of course if the Prime Minister really wanted to he could, but at the moment, what she thinks needs to be done is not at all what the Prime Minister thinks."
Nevertheless, US Secretary of State John Kerry concluded at the end of his meetings with Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas over the weekend that peace was possible and necessary, a US State Department official said yesterday. (NRG Hebrew). Speaking to reporters in Iraq, he said on the talks: "I wouldn't characterize them in any way except open, candid, and a good beginning." But Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that a partial Israeli settlement freeze was not enough for resuming talks. In an Op-Ed in Maariv, Israel Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, writes that Israel is stronger after Obama's visit and that behind closed doors Obama demonstrated his desire to understand the Israeli point of view. (NRG Hebrew)
- Lapid: State has 'monstrous overdraft,' cuts necessary - Finance Minister paints bleak picture of 'inheritance': 'Instead of managing responsible finances, they took giant loan and had party.' Says he will dedicate first year in office to decreasing deficit. (Ynet)
- Report: Zygier revealed names of Mossad spies to Hezbollah - Australian media report that Ben Zygier, also known as "Prisoner X," was arrested after he embarked on an unauthorized mission to recruit European contact with ties to Hezbollah as a double agent, compromising other Mossad agents in the process. (Israel Hayom)
- State: Postpone (settlement outpost) Amona eviction because of new gov't - After securing extension on deadline for eviction of illegal outpost, State motions for additional delay to allow 'new political echelon to learn petition.' (Ynet)
- Peres, ex-Knesset Speaker Rivlin top annual Israeli popularity poll - Our beloved president still leads the yearly Haaretz popularity poll of Israeli leaders, but this year he is accompanied by deposed Knesset Speaker MK Reuven Rivlin. (Haaretz)
- 5 suspects arrested over Ariel attack - Palestinians from nearby town of Kifel Hares arrested in connection with stone throwing attack that left Adele, 3, in critical condition, six others moderately wounded. (Ynet)
- Arabs account for just 8% of Israel's economy - Despite accounting for 20% of the overall population. (Haaretz)
- Hacktivists claim they breached Mossad computers - Anonymous, Sector404 and RedHack say that they were able to hack Israel's intelligence service's mainframe on Friday. Claim they have obtained and leaked personal details of over 34,000 officers and agents. Police, Justice Ministry websites downed as well. (Israel Hayom)
- Unions still planning to shun Turkey for holidays -75% of company unions still oppose reinstating Turkey as a destination for worker vacations, while some such as the Haifa municipality, the Airports Authority, and the Hebrew University, think the boycott should end now. (Haaretz)
- Palestinians add national meaning to Palm Sunday in Jerusalem - Thousands of Christians gathered in Jerusalem for the start of Easter week on Sunday. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Israeli Arab vocalist wins top spot in 'The Voice' singing competition - Nineteen-year-old Christian resident of Acre wins over Israeli audiences with her rendition of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. Israeli Arab says responses to her success ranged from racist to loving. (Israel Hayom)
- Is Uri Ariel ignoring Israelis west of the Green Line? It's time housing minister come down from high ground of Judea and Samaria, get to know the large tribe of Israelis who'd rather live in Israel's center. (Yedioth/Ynet)
- Syrian opposition source: Rebels no threat to Israel - Tensions continue to escalate on northern border after IDF fires Tamuz missile at military post in response to Syrians fire on Golan but opposition source believes Israel need not be concerned. (Ynet)
- US: President Obama will also celebrate the Passover seder - Hours after we get up from the seder table, lucky people will arrive at the White House to celebrate with the US President. (Israel Hayom)
- Friends of the IDF director pulling in his own big bucks - Retired military major general 'finds the vision' behind fundraising for the IDF in America - and a generous salary as well. (Haaretz)
- Gaza tunnel sees lovers unite - Egyptian bride, 17, smuggled into Gaza via tunnel to meet her Palestinian groom after authorities refused to grant her entry permit. (Ynet)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.