APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday April 02, 2013
Number of the day:
--The number of square feet in a house that Haaretz blogger Ilene Prusher could have had for the money she paid if she had been willing to buy a home over the Green Line (in West Bank). How many square feet did she get?**
Front Page News:
- Lapid surprised Treasury in discussion on middle class
- Making fun of the law: MKs already submitted 849 legislative bills
- Celebrating Mimouna (photo of Peres, Netanyahu and his wife at festive table in Or Akiva)
- Passover at an illegal settlement outpost in the West Bank: 10 empty caravans, 12 guards in military reserve duty
- US sent stealth aircraft to Seoul and called on North Korea to act with restraint
- Ranking in quality of life: Israel at the bottom of the OECD index in housing and education
- Heavy pollution from worst dust storm in four years
- One out of 5: Sharp rise in diagnosis of ADD in the US
- Tourism in India dropped 25% following gang rape in bus in New Delhi
- Lapid: Think about Riki Cohen from Hadera - Finance Minister surprised senior officials in his office, spoke about woman and her husband who had difficulty living off of 20,000 shekels ($5,400) a month, says let's find way to help her; Opposition attacks: He should help the people earning 5,000 shekels a month
- I am Riki Cohen - What does the real Riki Cohen say
- The most expensive night of the year - How much do municipalities pay for performances on Independence Day eve - on your bill?
- Veteran reporter Nissim Mashal going into politics: Running for mayor of Ramat Gan
- It's all honey - Families from North African countries celebrate Mimouna
- Record earners - For Riki Cohen's information, some people earn 726 thousand shekels a month
- Black life - The misery in Africa is sending young girls to the arms of Israeli businessmen, in exchange for a meal
- Civil war in Syria spreading: Battles between Sunnis and Shiites and Alawites in Lebanon (Hebrew)
- Druze in Syria to Druze in Israel asking to fight alongside them: "We don't need you" (Hebrew)
- New era in energy sector: Electricity from gas at 'Tamar' gas field created at power station
- End of Passover was beginning of Mimouna celebrations (Photo of Netanyahu and wife eating muflatta) (Hebrew)
- Peretz Hochman, "The Cigarette Seller of Three Crosses Square" and Polish resistance fighter, passed away
- Czech soccer union recognized Jewish league that operated in Terezin as part of its official history (Hebrew)
- The city in yellow - Heavy haze in country's streets due to strong winds with sand from the Saharan Desert. Air pollution in Jerusalem 100x more than usual
- Lapid and 'Mrs. Cohen from Hadera': The debate over the middle class
- Israel preparing for the biggest cyber attack ever
- Gasoline price dropped 38 agorot to 7.57 shekels a liter
- Gone with the haze
- The muflattas arrival - Celebration of Mimouna festival
- Report: Khaled Mashaal chosen again to be Hamas politburo chief
- S. Korea no longer quiet about threats from northern neighbor
- Tragedy in Kiryat Shmona: Policeman killed trying to catch thieves
Yair Lapid's surprise speech about saving the middle class, another violent attack against a senior citizen and the arrival of Israeli gas to Israeli shores were top stories in Israeli papers following the end of the Passover holiday. Also in the news were the reports of Khaled Mashaal being chosen again to serve as Hamas politburo chief and a new agreement between Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. Meanwhile, a report in Maariv caused a debate in Syria.
The election of Khaled Mashaal for a fifth term as Hamas' political chief came as a surprise in light of Mashaal's repeated announcements he no longer wants the job and he was believed to want to run for prime minister in Gaza or head of the PLO, Haaretz writes that he was re-elected due to pressure from Egypt. Mashaal, 56, is largely viewed by experts as a moderate. He has stated he recognizes the state of Israel - but not its legitimacy - and that he supports the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. He also supports reconciliation with Fatah. Ynet writes that even European countries that consider Hamas a terrorist organization were supportive of Mashaal continuing in this post. Ynet quoted an unnamed European diplomat who said that he saw an opening for a "real engagement with the West" if Mashaal persuaded Islamist colleagues to change their policies. Hamas leaders met at a fancy hotel in Cairo on Monday to make the decision. The day before, Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh met Egypt's intel chief.
On Sunday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordanian King Abdullah signed a pact for the protection of Jerusalem's holy sites. As Ynet and Israel Hayom point out, the agreement to protect the holy sites includes preventing 'Judaization' of Jerusalem. Israel Hayom fails to note that it's specifically about East Jerusalem.
An article by Maariv Arab affairs reporter Asaf Gabor sparked a debate in Syria, where the civil war killed 6000 just last month. Gabor reported last week that Druze from the (Israeli-occupied) Golan Heights expressed their intention to go to Syria to fight alongside their Druze brethren there. The article was translated into Arabic and raised discussion in Syria. Some people in Syria expressed thanks, others said it was an expression of support for Assad and said "We don't want you to come protect us." (NRG Hebrew)
- Israel braces for 'potentially crippling' cyberattack -Hacktivist group Anonymous says #OpIsrael, meant to "erase Israel from the Internet" in solidarity with the Palestinians, will peak on April 7. Cybersecurity experts say financial system, government websites are likely to be targeted. (Israel Hayom)
- Israeli conscientious objector to refuse IDF service for 8th time - Natan Blanc, who has spent over 100 days in military prison, first refused to serve in the IDF in November, due to his opposition to Israeli occupation. (Haaretz)
- 71-year-old attacked for 'driving slowly,' suffers heart attack - Two men arrested on suspicion of attacking senior citizen because he was driving 'too slow' in search for parking spot; confrontation leads to heart attack. Incident follows two other attacks on senior citizens over weekend. (Ynet)
- Israel Police drag their feet in investigation of attack on foreign national - Vinay Menon, of India, sustained serious head injuries after three men in Pardes Hanna allegedly attacked him. Officers ignored eyewitness reports and didn't take Menon's full statement until days later. (Haaretz)
- Compensation for youth who died after violent arrest - Police to pay 2 million shekels to family of Bedouin youth who died of beating during his arrest in 2008. He was suspected of throwing a bag with a small amount of drugs outside the car he was sitting in. (Yedioth, p. 23)
- Israelis happy, says OECD, despite low ranking on income and education - A study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development finds that Israelis are among the most content people in the Western world, even though the country doesn't measure up to many other criteria. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
- Number of Israeli emigrants drops amid woes overseas - Despite surveys showing many Israelis are considering leaving the country, actual number of people moving abroad dropped by 30 percent in the second half of the last decade. (Haaretz)
- Man caught driving Palestinian minors into Israel - The man was driving a condemned car with 12 underage Palestinains inside. He did not have a driver's license and the car only had eight seats. (Ynet)
- Palestinian budget reflects PA's dependence on Israel, U.S. - The large defense budget has been criticized because it is seen as part of the internal oppression system, as well as maintaining the crumbling Fatah movement's hegemony and the status quo with Israel. (Haaretz)
- Israeli-Palestinian business arbitration center established - President of International Chamber of Commerce in Israel says new center will see trade between Israel, PA double within five years. (Yedioth/Ynet)
- Palestinians, Israeli Arabs mark Land Day with muted protests - Thousands take part in Land Day protests in Israeli Arab towns Saturday, as well as in (the West Bank) and Gaza. Two soldiers and two civilians -- an adult and a toddler -- lightly hurt by stone throwing. (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
- Pope makes Easter pleas for Mideast peace - During his Easter Sunday message, Pope Francis urges Israelis, Palestinians to resume peace talks, end conflict; pontiff also addresses Syria, N. Korea. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Natural gas begins to flow from Tamar gas field on Saturday - Israel's first batch of natural gas begins flowing through underwater pipe en route to Ashdod intake center, where it arrived on Sunday; Israel begins move to energy independence. (Ynet)
- Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad hospitalized with abdominal infection - 61-year-old Fayyad felt pain in his abdomen while at his office and was taken to Ramallah Hospital. The prime minister suffered a heart attack two years ago while visiting family in the United States. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Palestinian books sit in Israeli library - Books collected by teams of Israeli librarians and soldiers from Palestinian homes in 1948 are part of collection of some 30,000 publications sitting in Jerusalem National Library basement, marked 'abandoned property.' (Agencies, Ynet)
- Hamas to ban mixed-sex schools in Gaza Strip - The law, which will mandate separate classes for boys and girls from the age of nine, goes into effect next school year and applies throughout the Strip, including in private, Christian-led and United Nations schools. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Egypt, Iran commercial flights resume after 34 years - First commercial flight between Cairo, Tehran in 34 years takes off in latest step towards normalizing ties broken after 1979 Islamic revolution. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Egypt orders arrest of TV satirist - Known for his imitations of Egyptian president, Bassam Youssef arrested for insulting Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Daily Show's Stewart blasts Egypt's Morsi on freedom of speech - WATCH: Jon Stewart targets Egyptian president and politics on Monday's episode of the Daily Show, after Egypt arrests television satirist Bassem Youssef for insulting Islamic authorities. (Haaretz)
- US accuses Egypt of stifling freedom of expression - State Department criticizes Cairo for questioning Egypt's most popular TV satirist over allegations he insulted Morsi. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Canada pledges $13 million to help Jordan assist Syrian refugees - The aid will go toward tackling humanitarian and security needs brought on by Syria crisis. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Report: Israel spied on Russian fleet - Report in UK's Sunday Times claims Israeli commandos placed spying equipment in Syria in order to spy on Russian fleet. (Ynet)
- Historic Damascus synagogue looted and burned - The Syrian army loyal to President Bashar Assad and rebel forces are blaming each other for the destruction of the 2000-year-old Jobar Synagogue. (JTA, Haaretz)
- Majdal Shams (in Israeli-occupied Golan Heights): Dozens protest soccer matches opposite Israelis - Forty people rally in local stadium against participation of Israeli teams in games; two arrested. Police officer lightly injured. (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
- Israeli movie director beaten by Arab youths in France - Yariv Horowitz, director of anti-occupation movie 'Rock the Casbah', was attacked ahead of screening at Aubagne International Film Festival. (Haaretz)
How to say 'God' in the classroom: Teaching for religious tolerance in Israel
For the first time, teachers will be trained to handle classes with both religious and secular kids. The movement started in small communities, but is now coming to big cities too. (Haaretz)
While in Israel they hope to rehabilitate the relations with Turkey, Erdgoan is thinking about the bigger picture - reviving the Ottoman Empire. Through financial investments and diplomatic mediation he hopes to achieve influence in the Balkan states, and then to cross to Western Europe (Maariv Magazine/NRG Hebrew)
Moshe Dayan opposed pre-Yom Kippur War call-up due to fears of U.S. response
Document shows that the IDF, especially the Air Force, thought the cabinet would agree to a preemptive strike. But Defense Minister Dayan was against this option unless both intelligence assessments and troop movements warranted it. (Haaretz)
The IDF must stop arresting children (Haaretz Editorial) The unbearable ease with which the IDF, police and Border Police arrest small children shows that Israel is blatantly flouting both UNICEF's report and its own laws.
**If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, I could have so much more living space (Ilene Prusher, Haaretz) Any person in their right mind would move to the settlements. You can get two or three times the space for your money; and face little more than a tsk-tsk from Barack Obama.
25 years on: What did Israeli settlers learn from the first Palestinian intifada? (Chaim Levinson, Haaretz) The outbreak of the first intifada put an end to the settlers' vision that the Palestinians would reconcile themselves to autonomy, rather than a state of their own - without violent confrontations.
History - One man against the stream (Emmanuel Rozen, Yedioth) Rozen refers to US President Barack Obama's recent visit and claims that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama, "need to stop the pretty talk and get to work, to not suffice with nonchalantly taking their jackets off, but to roll up their sleeves...:
Why I'm not Orit Strock's sister (Neri Livneh, Haaretz) Far-right Knesset member's battle to extend Israeli labor laws to women in the West Bank may just be one more step on the road to turning the occupation into total, and legitimate, annexation.
Prisoner X is still alive (Uri Misgav, Haaretz) Ben Zygier is dead and buried but the case of 'Detainee X' lives on. It's high time for a serious and independent inquiry.
Dayenu! Enough! (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) I have a dream: Israelis awake from their slumber and say dayenu -- we have conceded enough for the sake of peace with the Palestinians.
Pool wars (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) Tense coexistence turned into shared routine, one pool for two nations. Heaven forbid new refugees should arrive. Now the old refugees would surely come out with foaming rage against them.
Shake-up in Canberra government could bolster ties with Israel (Dan Goldberg, Haaretz) In aftermath of botched coup to overthrow Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, things are looking up for Jerusalem as it seeks to patch up relations strained over Prisoner X scandal.
How Israel fell for Ruby Rivlin, the philosopher clown (Asher Schechter, Haaretz) He started as the guy who made bad jokes, but Reuven Rivlin became a forceful speaker of the Knesset and a leading candidate for president.
A bridge under troubled waters (Aharon Lapidot, Israel Hayom) The discovery and exploitation of Israel's natural gas fields presents the country with problems and options it has never had to consider before.
The pipeline connecting Israeli tycoons, Mideast politicians and daily consumers (Avi Bar-Eli, Haaretz) The Tamar and Leviathan offshore natural gas discoveries in effect reshuffles the deck that Jerusalem is playing with and stacks it in Israel's favor. Overnight Israel obtained the opportunity to shape the map of alliances in the Middle East to its will.
Israeli crackdown on Palestinian mobility began well before suicide bombings (Amira Hass, Haaretz) Most Israelis labor under the misconception that restrictions on Palestinian movement were a result of suicide bombings, but they started long before that.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.