APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday April 10, 2013
Quote of the day:
"All those verbal and legal gymnastics of the right-wing won't change reality: the term occupation does not relate to land alone, but also to the people living on it, who are held by us like prisoners."
--Commentator Noam Sheizaf writes in Maariv and in English at 972Mag.**
Front Page News:
- Central Bureau of Statistics found: Matriculation scores jumped, the talents and knowledge remained the same
- Treasury initiated rise in tuition, Lapid denied
- Ministers did not attend discussion on financial edicts
- Steinitz demands two director-generals - one for intelligence and one for strategy
- 'Women of the (Wailing) Wall' compromise: An engineering project that will change the site
- The Jewish terrorist Jack Teitel sentenced to two life sentences
- Murder in Beersheva: 74-year-old woman found with severe signs of violence
- Ancient ruins under fire: Sudan reveals its past, in Syria the destruction increases
- Mayor rewarded his employees with a day off that cost hundreds of thousands of shekels (Hebrew)
- The virtual currency bitcoin jumped 1,300% in 3 months
- The MKs' test: Cut 10% in their salaries
- Lapid rebuked senior Treasury official: Why did you threaten to raise university tuition without my knowledge
- Price of remembrance - How much do singers demand and receive for singing at Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers ceremonies
- Mother's protest - Sigalit Betzaleli, whose daughter was killed in a torch-lighting ceremony last year, boycotts this year's ceremony. "Until today no one was punished."
- Only blue-and-white: Sigal Klein models 100% Israel fashion
- Two for 10 - What happened to the popularity of the Israeli flags sold at traffic lights
- Bread prices to drop - Price of a loaf of bread 'achid' to drop 22 agorot
- Security establishment recommended releasing terrorists for (Palestinian) Prisoners' Day - Kerry pressured Netanyahu to release 123 (Hebrew)
- Minister of Economy and Trade Bennett signed to lower price of 'achid' bread by 4.17% (Hebrew)
- Secretary of the (Takam) Kibbutz movement: "It's not right that after we sacrificed thousands of dead they turn us into the problem" (Hebrew)
- Digging war of Morsi and Haniyeh: Egyptian army flooding the tunnels, Hamas digging under the border fence in Gaza (Hebrew)
- The battle gets hotter - Will son of Chich (legendary former TLV mayor) run against (present mayor) Huldai (for Tel-Aviv mayor)? (Hebrew)
- Under a cloud of war: Seoul bustling with life
- Hundreds to be checked for TB
- Lapid's embarrassment and the university tuition
- Bahrain - the first Arab country to declare Hezbollah a terror organization
- Suspicion: 75-year-old from Beersheva murdered, his daughter and her husband detained for questioning
- Two life sentences to "Jewish terrorist" Jack Teitel
An embarrassing incident between the new Finance Minister and Treasury officials and the agreements between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were top stories in Israeli papers today. Meanwhile, bad news for two Jewish terrorists and Israel decides it is, still, in a 'state of emergency.'
Kerry was intent on getting Netanyahu to make a number of gestures towards the Palestinians in order to build up trust. Netanyahu agreed to the economic ones, but not the release of 123 prisoners jailed before the Oslo Accords. Maariv reported that the Israeli security establishment has expressed its support for the release of a few dozen prisoners, who although having 'blood on their hands' are sick and old and no longer present a security threat. (NRG Hebrew) But Yedioth writes that Israel has clarified that if the Palestinians want more gestures, they need to first recognize Israel as a 'Jewish state.' Yesterday, Maariv reported that Israel set that pre-condition to talks in order to force the Palestinians to give up on their pre-conditions for a stop to settlement construction and for Israel to provide a map of borders. (NRG Hebrew) [Note, the demand by the right-wing that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state if they want a state of their own began a few years ago and it appears that its purpose was to thwart the two-state solution altogether. - OH] Indeed, Netanyahu told Kerry that before any maps are shown or settlement construction frozen, Palestinians must first address recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and address Israel's security.
Nevertheless, with Netanyahu's consent, Kerry pledged to work with both Israel and the Palestinians to advance economic projects in the West Bank. (Haaretz) Maariv and Yedioth hailed it as Kerry accepting Netanyahu's 'economy first' plan. Palestinian sources told Haaretz that was not enough to jump start talks and the conditions of addressing borders and releasing prisoners remain. "The economic gestures that are being discussed can improve the situation in the West Bank and the Palestinian Authority's standing, but only in the short run, since the Palestinian issue is mainly a political one, not an economic one," a Palestinian official said.
Bad news for Jewish terrorists yesterday. One was sentenced to two life sentences, the other got his parole cancelled. American-Israeli citizen Jack Teitel got two life sentences for the murder of two Palestinians in 1997 and two attempted murders, assault and other charges. (Haaretz and Ynet) (Israel Hayom has many details)
Ofer Gamlieli, the leader of the Bat-Ayin underground, a Jewish terror group named after the West Bank settlement it was based in, got approval for an early release from the Prison Service release committee. But the Lod District Court cancelled the decision agreeing with the arguments by the Shin Bet, saying he was a danger to the public as he was likely to return to the society and environment from which he came when he committed his crimes, Yedioth and Haaretz reported. Gamliel, 50, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for attempt to murder and weapons violations when he was partner in placing an enormous bomb outside a Muslim girls' school in E. Jerusalem. [For some reason neither the judges nor the newspapers ever referred to Gamliel for what he is: a terrorist. However, Palestinians who plan attacks to kill Jews are called terrorists by the law and by the media, even when they fail in their mission. - OH]
Israel is still in a 'state of emergency,' members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee decided. Yesterday they approved extending this state for another three months, Maariv reported. All members of the committee agreed with the exception of Meretz party chairwoman Zahava Gal-On who called the decision 'draconian' and called it a process of a 'rubber stamp.' A 'state of emergency' is based on legislation that began during the British mandate and includes a variety of decrees, some of them directly security related, while others deal with civilian and economic issues. (NRG Hebrew) [Note, the rescinding of the 'state of emergency' was one of the key demands by Tahrir Square protesters in Egypt because it allows the government to act in undemocratic ways. - OH]
- Female student injured by settler vehicle in Hebron - Alaa Diab Hasan received serious leg injuries after being knocked down by a settler riding a motorcycle near Beit Ummar. A crowd of people prevented the motorcyclist from leaving the area but Israeli forces who arrived at the scene let him go, locals said. (Maan)
- 14-year-old Arab boy attacked with tear gas - Is this an attack with nationalistic motives? "I was near the Kotel (Wailing Wall) on my way home when suddenly from nowhere a guy with a kippa on his head jumped on me and sprayed tear gas on my face," said the boy who turned to police who passed by and was taken to the hospital. The police suspect a Jewish youth who was detained soon after. (Maariv, p. 18)
- Tel Aviv University slammed over Nakba Day seminar - University's plan to host seminar on Arab commemoration of "catastrophe" of Israel's inception vexes social media users. National Democratic Assembly Chairman Jamal Zahalka to face Ethics Committee for saying "Zionism has no future in the Middle East." (Israel Hayom)
- PHOTOS: Israeli troops shoot Palestinian photographer in the face - Israeli soldiers target a Palestinian photographer who was taking pictures of them invading Aida Refugee Camp, shooting him in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet. (972 Mag - WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES and Maan)
- Tear gas canister explodes in Bethlehem school - An Israeli tear gas canister exploded in a school near Bethlehem on Tuesday, injuring several children and teachers. Deputy in the Bethlehem department of education Salah Balu said there are strict guidelines for teachers and cleaners to check school premises each morning before students arrive. (Maan)
- Israel releases 10-year-old boy from prison custody - Yousef Abu Ramadan was arrested by Israeli soldiers north of Jerusalem for allegedly throwing stones. He was released from Israeli prison custody on Tuesday after Palestinian liaison officials contacted their Israeli counterparts. (Maan)
- Israeli border policeman convicted of robbing Palestinian store in West Bank - Saeed Malashe is accused of swiping chewing gum, cola and cigarettes from a convenience store, holding up his weapon and intimidating the checkout clerk so he could leave without paying. (Haaretz)
- Prison Service: Details from the Prisoner X affair will be revealed if jailguards are put on trial - The prosecution is expected to announce that four prison guards will be put on trial for negligence when watching over Ben Zygier, who committed suicide. (Maariv, p. 10/NRG Hebrew)
- Official: Israeli forces shoot, injure worker in Nablus - Israeli forces opened fire at two construction workers near Madama village south of Nablus. One worker was shot and detained by Israeli soldiers, while the other worker is unaccounted for. Dozens of villagers helped to look for the missing worker following the incident. (Maan)
- Israel: Morocco MPs refused entry as had no visas - Israel on Wednesday defended a decision to turn away two Moroccan MPs trying to enter the West Bank from Jordan earlier this week saying they did not have entry visas. (Maan)
- Haifa court sentences Israeli Arab to 7 years for spying on behalf of Hezbollah - Majdal Krum resident Milad Khatib is convicted of assisting an enemy in wartime. (Haaretz)
- Israel demolishes shelters near Hebron - Israeli bulldozers on Tuesday demolished shelters and a water well in the al-Duryat area east of Yatta, saying the area was a closed military zone. Separately, in the Jericho area, Israeli forces told eight families in Ein al-Hilweh to demolish their homes. (Maan)
- Settlers set fire to olive trees near Hebron - A number of settlers set fire to 10 olive trees east of Yatta near Maon settlement. Settlers showered farmers with stones while planting and insulted them. (Maan)
- Israeli forces uproot 300 olive, almond trees in Hebron - Agricultural committee coordinator in Hebron Murad al-Jabarin told Ma'an that Israeli forces destroyed the trees in al-Rahwa village south of Hebron. The village is constantly targeted by Israeli forces, he added. (Maan)
- Designer who sparked anti-Semitic storm likely to dress our representative at Eurovision - Super designer John Galleano, who spoke in the past of his love for Hitler, suddenly expressed his willingnesss to design the dress of singer Moran Mazor. Is he trying to win the hearts of the Jews? (Maariv, p. 24)
- Swastikas scrawled on park sign on Israel's Holocaust Day - A sign at the entrance to Tel Be'er Sheva National Park was tagged with swastikas and slurs on Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day. (Haaretz)
- Suspicion: Stole monument for terror victims, took it to Ramallah - Omar Jabar tells police his gang planned to place monument in honor of 1989 terror attack on bus No. 405 in West Bank city's central square. Bereaved husband: No conscience. (Ynet)
- Device explodes near military vehicle; no injuries - Explosive device detonates near Gaza border fence during routine IDF activities. No injuries reported. (Ynet)
- Esther Pollard urges Kerry to 'end tragedy' - Hundreds protest outside secretary of state's hotel in Jerusalem, wave signs reading '10,000 days - it's enough!' Spy's wife: How much longer can he survive? (Ynet)
- Turkey continues to act in NATO against Israel - After the apology, Jerusalem believed that Ankara would drop its opposition to Israel cooperating in a forum that holds dialogue between Mediterranean countries and NATO. But Turkey made a new veto against Israeli participation. (Maariv, p. 14/NRG Hebrew)
- Amos Gilad: Turkey against a nuclear Iran - Head of Defense Ministry's diplomatic security bureau says reconciliation with Erodogan important; reveals that 'additional crises' were avoided. (Ynet)
- Netanyahu, Peres eulogize Thatcher: A true friend of Israel
- World leaders pay tribute to iconic British premier who died Monday. "She was a woman of principle, a woman of greatness," says Prime Minister Netanyahu. President Peres: "I never saw a more courageous leader. She was a true and dedicated friend of Israel." (Israel Hayom video and Haaretz)
- Bahrain 1st Arab country to blacklist Hezbollah as terror group - Sunni-ruled Gulf state says Lebanese Shiite movement 'instigating violence against the government.' (Ynet)
- UN team awaits Syrian go-ahead to probe chemical weapons claims - Syria has asked the U.N. only to investigate what it says was a rebel chemical attack near Aleppo. Opposition blames Assad for alleged strike, wants U.N. to probe other alleged chemical attacks by the government. Ban wants all-encompassing inquiry. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
- Defiant Iran inaugurates two new uranium production sites - Marking its "National Nuclear Technology Day," Iran announces opening of two uranium mines, which will extract uranium from a depth of 350 meters, and a yellowcake milling plant • President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "Iran has gone nuclear." (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
- US lawmakers seek to introduce harsher sanctions against Iran - Latest effort would mark fifth time since June 2010 Congress has slapped sanctions on Iran. New penalties certain to draw strong bipartisan support. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
- Egypt's Christian pope blasts Islamist president - Pope Tawadros II says recent attack on St. Mark Cathedral in central Cairo 'breaching all the red lines'; claims Morsi promised to protect it. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Egypt destroying Hamas tunnels between Sinai and Gaza Strip - While the Egyptian President and the Muslim Brotherhood hug the heads of Hamas, the Egyptian Army is destroying hundreds of tunnels. In response, Hamas is digging under the border fence. (Maariv/NRG Hebrew)
Called to the flag
Why Israelis are no longer excited about hanging an Israeli flag on their car ahead of Independence Day? We sent our correspondent to traffic junctions in Tel-Aviv, Modiin and Jerusalem with a pile of flags and an attractive discount of two for ten to check. He found that Israeli citizens, or at least those who don't wear knitted kippahs, are no longer particularly proud to hang a flag on their car. (Yedioth '24 Hours' supplement)
Sour illusion (Noam Sheizaf, Maariv/NRG Hebrew and in English at 972 Mag) All those verbal and legal gymnastics of the right-wing won't change reality: the term occupation does not relate to land alone, but also to the people living on it, who are held by us like prisoners.
The money's in the occupied territories, Lapid (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) Israel has made the occupation into a sacred security cow, preventing it from being evaluated economically.
Sanctimonious Jewish bleeding hearts (Isi Leibler, Israel Hayom) I was somewhat taken aback by a letter released in the wake of U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Israel, signed by 100 American Jews including a number of rabbis, communal leaders and academics, many, if not most of whom are politically inclined to the Left but regard themselves as committed Zionists.
Defense budget - the short term for the benefit of the long term (Eitan Ben-Eliyahu, Yedioth) "A settlement with the Palestinians is a long-range existential need for Israel. While integrating the ultra-orthodox into the workforce is a vital long-term interest, getting started will also serve us in the short term. Combining the two will make it easier for the economy; coordinating with the Americans on the Iranian issue, alongside their involvement in the diplomatic process with the Palestinians, will give momentum to our international relations and encourage the economy - and the defense budget will stay in its current framework."
Without Gaza, Israel will lose Turkey (Sari Bashi, Haaretz) In responding to Gaza rocket fire by sealing the Gaza Strip and restricting the movement of its residents, Israel does itself more harm than good.
Future is in Jericho (UK Amb. to Israel Matthew Gould, Yedioth/Ynet) UK envoy in Israel explains why his country invests so much in training Palestinian security forces.
Kerry's troubles (Nadav Haetzni, Maariv) Haetzni writes that US Secretary of State John Kerry, "is looking for solutions for the Palestinians as if some global crisis was at hand," and suggests that, "He should devote more time to events in Iran, Syria and North Korea," and other more threatening issues. Haetzni calls on the Government to make no concessions and hopes that, "Kerry will understand how much he is wasting his time and begins to deal with the true global problems on his agenda."
Amira Hass, settlers and Palestinians: 'Do we not bleed?' (Sara Hirschhorn, Haaretz) Hass' failure to recognize the other as a human being does not dignify the Palestinian resistance, while it undermines the settlers' exact same obligation to basic human rights of freedom from death and injury towards the Palestinians.
Our home, for better or worse (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) Many are choosing not to pay the price of being a free people.
Ruth Calderon in the wonderland of mutilated Israeli ideology (Sefi Rachlevsky, Haaretz) In cozying up to Dov Lior, the rabbi who declared Baruch Goldstein 'holier than the Holocaust martyrs,' the new Knesset member from Yesh Atid can be compared with Wagner-loving Germans in the 1930s who ignored how his Teutonic mythology was being used.
Kerry's pointless frequent flier miles (Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom) The U.S. secretary of state is not going to let facts get in the way of his foreign policy.
Jewish sites in Syria are the latest front in propaganda war (Adam Blitz, Haaretz) Recent and contested reports that a synagogue outside Damascus was burned to the ground should be taken with a grain of salt, as Syria's Jewish sites are a battlefield for misinformation and half-truths by both the Assad regime and its opponents.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.