APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday April 07, 2013
Quote of the day:
"The memory of the Holocaust, which taught us to protect ourselves from external threats, did not succeed in protecting us from the internal threat that is increasingly marking us as an intolerant society towards others who live in it."
--Labor MK and former minister Ophir Pines-Paz examines the disconnect between Israel's phenomenon of racism and the Jewish collective memory of suffering from racism in the Holocaust.**
Front Page News:
- N. Korea accelerating arming of military and calling on foreign ambassadors to evacuate
- Nuclear talks with Iran ended in failure, the sides did not make a date for another round
- Bennett: Lapid is not crazy about the two-state solution
- New Treasury CEO - The facilitator of Netanyahu's budget cuts
- Pro-Palestinian hackers opened attack against Israeli websites
- Stories on eve of Holocaust and Remembrance Day - Ceremonies begin at 8PM
- Journalist Amnon Dankner died
- Judge: Closing of nightclub will hurt freedom of speech of club's patrons
- Every month 1000 Holocaust survivors die - Tonight ceremonies begin for Holocaust Day
- Cyber alert
- Third generation of heroism - Grandfather was a Dutch Christian who hid Jews during the Holocaust. His granddaughter, Ilian Bastians, is an officer in the Karkal combat brigade on the border with Egypt
- Won the treasure - Meet Yael Andorn, the first woman to be CEO of the treasury
- Appointment of Treasury CEO signals the next budget: cuts and harm to social welfare - Yael Andron, 42, who is in advanced stages of pregnancy will be first female CEO of Ministry of Finance
- The last remains - Holocaust and Remembrance Day
- Demand to investigate Steinitz for threats against him regarding gas royalties
- Yesterday: Cyber attack by Muslim hackers on Israel. Reports of slowing of internet speed
- Amnon Dankner 1946-2013
- Reconciliation meeting between outgoing Knesset speaker Rubi RIvlin and incoming Speaker Yuli Edelstein
- Never again - Holocaust Day - 70 years since Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
- Amnon Dankner 1946-2013
- Cyber attack: Israeli hackers fire back
- North Korea: "Prepare for an attack"
- Report: Secretary of State Kerry to ask Turkey to mediate in diplomatic negotiations
- Following murders by security guards: Security companies to hold emergency discussion
- For the first time: woman to be CEO of Ministry of Finance; Lapid appointed Yael Andron
The opening of Holocaust Remembrance Day events, the nuclear threats from North Korea and the cyber attack on Israel today were today's top stories in Hebrew papers. Meanwhile reports that the US plans to use Turkey as a mediator in negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians and demands by the Palestinians that Israel provide a map of the future Palestinian state have raised opposition among Israeli officials. Meanwhile, a senior Israeli minister and the advisor on national security had some interesting things to say.
Just before US Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Turkey today, a report in the Turkish Hurriet newspaper revealed yesterday that Kerry plans to use Turkey as a mediator in Palestinian- Israeli negotiations. The Israeli papers reported that Israeli officials were none too excited about the prospect. Sources in Jerusalem told Yedioth: "Erdogan can certainly help in pressuring Hamas to accept the Quartet's conditions, but with all due respect, we have a bitter experience with him in the mediation with the Syrians. Erdogan is not a neutral mediator. The fact that we reconciled with him does not delete all the anti-Semitic remarks he made a month ago." Haaretz's Zvi Bar'el writes that Turkey's new role in the peace process was presumably one of the issues agreed on between US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the former's visit here last month, and it will serve as the basis of the normalization of Israel-Turkey relations. Bar'el writes that to bring in Ankara, "the US will need the blessing of both the Egyptian army and of Abbas, who at this stage sees no reason to bring Erdogan on board." Moreover, Egypt opposes Turkey holding the role. Interestingly, Bar'el writes that "Washington is set on giving Turkey a chance to prove itself, in light of their assessment that Hamas consent is critical to any peace agreement."
Tomorrow Kerry will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman then come to Jerusalem to meet Netanyahu. Although he has gotten concessions from both sides - Netanyahu agreed to unfreeze and transfer Palestinian tax monies and Abbas agreed to put a hold on more moves for Palestinian recognition in international organizations - neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians believe there will be any breakthrough during his Kerry's tomorrow.
Moreover, the Palestinians announced Friday that Abbas demands a map of the future Palestinian state before talks resume. But Maariv reports that Israel refuses to transfer a 'map of compromises' to the US because it would hurt Israel's negotiating hand and would be taken advantage of as an opening point for negotiations by the Palestinians. Associates of Netanyahu said that presenting such a map would hurt chances to renew negotiations in light of the large gaps between the two sides. Yedioth wrote that both the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister oppose it.
Despite declaration by Netanyahu otherwise, his new government is not gung-ho about making peace. Minister of Industry and Trade Naftali Bennett, the ally of Minister of Finance Yair Lapid, told the Norwegian Foreign Minister, "We are not too crazy about the two-state solution." When asked whether he was referring to his party's position, Bennett said he was expressing the position of many of his cabinet colleagues, including Lapid, Haaretz reported. [Lapid has outwardly presented himself as a centrist, even leftist, but made a pact with the pro-settler anti-peace Bennett and ruled out the division of Jerusalem - OH.] Bennett did say he supported improving the Palestinian economy and removing checkpoints on West Bank roads, reintegrate the Palestinians into Israeli workforce and, 'if conditions allow, even to remove the separation wall.'
Netanyahu's National Security advisor, Yaakov Amidror, also had some interesting things to say at a conference at Tel-Aviv University Thursday. For one, he said that the US support of Israel in the UN Security Council is 'not promised forever." He said that Israel could not allow international forces to replace the IDF in a Palestinian state because "an international force that finds itself under pressure folds like an umbrella when the rain begins." According to Amidror, without an acceptable [to Israel - OH] agreement on security arrangements "it's better for us to continue to live without a (peace) agreement." Amidror said that a final status agreement with the Palestinians requires exacting security measures: "In the Middle East, the fate of agreements signed without a sharp sword is that they turn into worthless paper." He said he believes that only by showing military force towards the Arabs would they agree to sign diplomatic agreements with Israel. He would not respond when asked whether he supported negotiating now with the Palestinians.
Today is the day of the big cyber attack, when hackers threatened to 'wipe Israel off the Internet map.' It began already yesterday when hackers affiliated with Anonymous group reportedly attacked some 19,000 Israeli Facebook accounts. The climax is expected today at 6PM Israel time. Ynet reported that the cyber attacks on banks and ministries were mostly repelled. Israel Hayom writes how Israeli hackers fire back, taking control of the Anonymous website. More from Haaretz.
- West Bank settlements matched Tel Aviv for home building, despite smaller population rise - The five largest cities across the Green Line, containing majority of region's Jewish residents, enjoyed an increase of 17,800 housing units and 18,500 households between 1996 and 2008, according to a study. (Haaretz)
- Israeli court orders settlers to return land to Palestinian owners - Judge deems sale of 100 dunams of land within the settlement of Alfei Menashe as fraudulent; key ruling further invalidates land laundering schemes that have grown prevalent in the West Bank. (Haaretz)Israeli court orders settlers to return land to Palestinian owners. (Haaretz)
- State to recompense Bedouin injured in military zone - The court determined that the Defense Ministry was negligent in maintaining the fire practice area and that it did not take the necessary measures to protect the civilian population. (Ynet)
- Israeli soldiers clash with Palestinians in al-Khader - Several Palestinians on Friday were injured as clashes broke out between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces in al-Khader village near Bethlehem. (Maan)
- Jerusalem mayor pulls proposal to name street after Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz - Moments before final vote, Nir Barkat puts tribute to Leibowitz on hold when council member claims scholar incited against the IDF and was dismissive of 'fundamental Jewish traditions.' (Haaretz)
- Irish Teacher's Union makes academic boycott against Israel - Union members voted in favor of academic boycott, which will include mainly ending all cooperation with Israeli academic institutions, including research and exchanges of scientists. (Israel Hayom, p. 8)
- Soldier suspected of using BB gun against policewoman - Investigation suggests soldier on active duty fired at police car near Or Yehuda; suspect arrested, gun confiscated. (Ynet)
- Ex-Palestinian-detainee re-arrested on day he was released from jail - Israeli forces seized a released detainee when he was on his way home from Nafha prison on Thursday evening. (Maan)
- Archbishop leads Jerusalem sit-in for prisoners - Orthodox Archbishop Atallah Hanna joined a sit-in organized by Palestinian residents in front of the Red Cross encouraging detainees on hunger strike and in solidarity with the loss of detainee Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh. (Maan)
- Writer Amnon Dankner passes away at 67 - Senior publicist, author, political commentator Amnon Dankner dies Friday. (Ynet)
- Hamas accuses West of spying in Gaza - A senior official in Hamas' interior ministry accused Western intelligence organizations of operating in Gaza. Among the Western countries mentioned Lafi listed the US, Britain, France and Germany. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Teenager's body found at West Bank settlement school - Bodily trauma indicates youth fell from a great height, initial findings indicate suicide attempt; suspect in Netanya woman's murder re-enacts crime for police investigators. (Haaretz)
- Canadian FM says Canada and PA have differences of opinion - Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird visited the Palestinian Authority and met with senior Palestinian officials and remarked: "We have some profound differences of opinion on the way forward, but not on the need to go forward." (Agencies, Ynet)
- Turkey: Claims of pact with Israel against Syria 'groundless' - FM Davutoglu hits back at Assad's claims that Ankara is cooperating with Israel 'to destroy' Syria. 'This shouldn't be taken seriously,' he says. (Ynet)
- EU: Nuclear talks with Iran have failed - Catherine Ashton says talks between Iran, six world powers in Kazakhstan revealed that 'the two sides remain far apart on substance.' (Agencies, Ynet)
Liquid asymmetry: How the Palestinian Authority is forced to support water projects for West Bank settlements
According to a British researcher, the work of the Israeli-Palestinian Joint Water Committee reflects another example of Israel's ability to coerce and restrict the Palestinian population. (Haaretz)
Putting Peace on the Map (Haaretz Editorial) Israel's government will be committing a crime against its citizens if it lets slip away the opportunity presented by the upcoming visit of United States Secretary of State John Kerry.
The inner syntax of the storm (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) Coming to Amira Hass' defense after her controversial op-ed on Palestinian stone-throwing, Gideon Levy argues that the criticism against Hass laid bare the hypocrisy, or the ignorance, of large swaths of Israeli public opinion.
Amira Hass' glass house (Cellu Rozenberg, Haaretz) The Haaretz columnist's recent defense of Palestinian stone-throwing is logically inconsistent, morally indefensible and a rejection of Israel's right to exist.
Ideological timing: How Israel scheduled its remembrance of the Holocaust (Don Futterman, Haaretz) The young State of Israel decided not to schedule Holocaust Memorial Day on an existing traditional Jewish day of mourning, to promote Zionism's narrative of history.
**Racism - Black Flag (Ofir Pines-Paz, Yedioth) ...The memory of the Holocaust, that taught us to protect ourselves from external threats, did not succeed in protecting us from the internal threat that is increasingly marking us as an intolerant society towards others who live in it. Despite the fact that the events of the Holocaust are deeply imprinted in our collective memory, we did not succeed in leveraging the education potential inherent in them. We did not learn to develop from them an expansive anti-racist consciousness, which rises above the point of view of the victim and fights racism in all its dimensions. The racism report recently published points to double the number of racist incidents occurring between the residents of Israel in the last year. According to the report, the rise of the phenomenon is related to words of incitement by public figures, which increased by 80% in the last year. It is impossible not to wonder how our historical experience did not turn us into a sensitive society which is more sensitized to prejudiced vies and racist remarks. Where did this hatred come from? How did racism because such a problem in the country? We must say the bitter truth honestly: In Israel of 2013 racism is not a bad word. Beating Arabs in the street became routine. Fans wave horrific signs reading "Beitar is pure [from Muslims] forever." Rabbis prohibit renting apartments to non-Jews. And this is just the tip of the iceberg...We in particular must zealously preserve a moral anti-racist view and fight this phenomenon determinedly. We cannot let the racism raising its ugly head in Israel win. We all have to fight it an all-out war....A great threat is hovering over our Jewish and democratic state. And if we go backwards, to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, we see there were two opposition groups that fought valiantly, but did not cooperate with each other. ..Today, too, in a time of numerous political disputes, there are things that must be agreed upon all of us. We must understand that racism is a plague that must be eliminated before it spreads. A people that experienced the most destructive magnitude of racism is obligated to fight it more strongly.
Rising up against the Muslim Brotherhood (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz) The enlightened eyes here and around the world should turn toward Cairo and cross their fingers in hope for those bravely fighting for their beloved country, and against the cynical exploitation of religion.
The Iranians watch and learn (Ronen Bergman, Yedioth) "The North Koreans have nothing against us. They are simply looking for friends who are ready to pay for them for the judgment day toys that they are marketing without shame...Even when the crisis is over it will have a very bad lesson for us. Iran's rulers are studying the picture: On the one hand, what happened to Moammar Khadafy - he agreed to give up his nuclear weapons project in return for Libya's being reaccepted into the family of nations. If he had had nuclear weapons when the disturbances broke out in his country, there is no doubt that NATO would not have intervened there and it could be that Khadafy would still be in power. On the other hand - North Korea, which developed nuclear weapons and thanks to them has managed to blackmail the West and impose terror on its neighbors. From Iran's point-of-view, the necessary conclusion is that there is nothing like a nuclear bomb to ensure the survival of the regime, and this is the only thing that, in the end, interests the ayatollahs..."
Israel can protect itself with much less armor (Amir Oren, Haaretz) In order to force the reorganization of the army, one of two things is required: a retired military leader with civic awareness and an esteemed defense pedigree, or a citizen unafraid of disagreements with the military leadership.
Defying demographic projections (Yoram Ettinger, Israel Hayom) Anyone saying that Jews are doomed to become a minority in Israel is dramatically mistaken.
From the diary of a self-hating Jew (Daniel Monterescu, Haaretz) A racist left-wing discourse is spreading in European university circles, a mixture of right-wing anti-Semitic propaganda with self-righteous post-colonial discourse.
The power of deterrence (Zvika Fogel, Israel Hayom) The threat against Israel changes shape, but its goal is the same -- to remove the Jewish people from their land.
Israel owes it to the Kurds to recognize Halabja as genocide (Ofra Bengio, Haaretz) The Jewish people share with the Kurds a common history of suffering from the terror of chemical weapons. With Holocaust Remembrance Day in sight, Israel has a special responsibility to recognize the genocide that Iraq perpetrated against the Kurds.
Israel's great challenge: gun-hating, gay-backing, grass-smoking young Americans (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz) Support for Israel is lowest among the very same demographic groups that are increasingly winning American hearts and minds on domestic and social issues.
For 21st-century patriots, tough love is the only love (Fania Oz-Salzberger, Haaretz) In the wake of the Prisoner X affair, rethinking liberty, patriotism and solidarity is not an abstract game but a tangible priority.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.