APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday April 12, 2013
Quote of the day:
"Every time there is an assassination or a talked about operation in Gaza, there is a rise by tens of percents in (Israeli arms) sales."
--Yotam Feldman talks about his documentary on the Israeli arms trade.**
Front Page News:
- The middle ages - Finance Minister declared tax on jeeps and luxury apartments, but that's just the small change. In meeting rooms details are being closed on cuts of billions of shekels from government ministries and on a dramatic tax hike. And yes, Riki Cohen from Hadera is also in the crosshairs
- Chief of Staff did not put flag on grave of fallen IDF soldier - because of doubt about his Jewishness
- Robots on the front: IDF soon to operate unmanned vehicles
- Ram Karmi, one of the most remarkable architects in Israel, died
- 6,000-year-old mystery - Why are thousands of tons of rocks lined up in the shape of a cone in the depths of the Sea of Galilee?
- 1/4 page ad: Yesh Gvul movemment invites you to Torch Lighting Ceremony for Memorial Day with hope for a more just and equitable Israel. Torch lighters include Natan Blank army conscientious objector), Hanna Badge (Yesh Din and MachsomWatch), Shimon Levy (theater director and social activist)
- Exclusive - Minister of Education: "Ultra-Orthodox institutions won't get a budget without teaching core studies"
- 23,085 fallen for Israel
- How much will Riki Cohen pay - Treasury recommends to Netanyahu: Significant raise in taxes on luxury items, 1% rise in income tax for everyone, and cut in child allowances beginning with first child
- Depeche Mode arriving in Israel
- Weather for Memorial Day and Independence Day: comfortable
- After a decade of disputes: Health Minister ordered end to fluoridation of drinking water
- Memorial Day - 23,085 fallen from 1860 until today
- No one wanted to commemorate the firefighters who died in the Carmel disaster (Hebrew)
- Professor Asa Kasher: "It is bad to die for our country" (Hebrew)
- Jacuzzi tax - Lapid's plan against the richest: Special tax on luxury apartments, yachts, cigars, and private planes (Hebrew)
- New reality in the north: UK and France demand to arm rebels in Syria, in Israel fear that the move will lead to dismantling of international force in Golan Heights (Hebrew)
- Child allowances: Only 150 shekels for each child
- Twice Netanyahu - Even the audience was surprised: Netanyahu joined the filming of the satire show 'Eretz Nehederet" for a special program to be broadcast on Independence Day [Photo of Netanyahu seated beside comedian who portrays him]
- In memory of the 23,085 fallen
- Enormous recall: 10,000 Japanese cars in Israel called to the garage
- Obama to N. Korea: "We will take all the necessary steps to protect our citizens"
The Finance Minister's budget cuts and the memorial in two days for Israel's fallen were top stories in Israeli papers today. Meanwhile, conflicting reports on the resignation of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad and Maariv reports on Israeli concerns over the consequences of the West's arming of Syrian rebels. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni refused to let settler minister Uri Ariel replace her when she's out of the country and former minister Moshe Arens called for taking down the separation wall, while left-wing politicians supported its existence. Finally, an interview with a documentary film director on the Israeli arms trade.
It's not the first time and may not be the last. Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad offered his resignation. Fayyad and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are not on the best of terms. Haaretz writes that Fayyad's days are numbered due to pressure from the Fatah movement and the Palestinian public. Reuters writes Western allies pressured Abbas not to accept the resignation at a time when Washington is seeking to resurrect Middle East.
Israel fears that if France and the UK do decide to arm the Syrian rebels, the UN international force along the Golan Heights border will dissolve, Maariv reports. In a few weeks, the EU embargo against arming the rebels will end and Austria, the main component of the force, has said if they do arm them, Austria will withdraw its soldiers. Israel does not in principle oppose the arming of the moderate rebel forces, but believes it must be done very carefully. If the UN force dismantles, there is a high likelihood that Islamist forces will take over the UN border positions - including at Mt. Hermon, Israel believes. On April 20th, a 'summit of countries friends with Syria' will meet in Istanbul to try to form a joint position regarding the crisis in Syria. Both US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin will participate. (NRG Hebrew)
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni refused to agree to allow Housing Minister Uri Ariel of Habayit Hayehudi to fill in for her at the head of the ministerial legislative committee. The committee is considered one of the most important and its head can promote or reject dates for hearings of legislative bills. The head also determines the tone for the meetings in that she tells the coalition how to vote in the Knesset in important votes. A source told Maariv that since Livni may be gone often she does not want to leave the job with someone who has a nationalist agenda regarding the rule of law. The source reminded that Ariel used his authority to initiate an examination by the State Comptroller against the Justice Ministry saying that the ministry is biased against settlers.
News Nosh noted yesterday that a small item in Maariv reported that former Likud minister Moshe Arens called to bring down the separation wall that cuts the land in two [and takes Palestinian land with it to the Israeli side - OH]. Arens, a hawk who served as defense minister three times and foreign minister once [not interior security minister as mistakenly written yesterday - OH], told Maariv's website NRG posted a long version of the article later in the day in which right-wing and left-wing politicians reacted to his call. Interestingly, the rightists agreed the wall should be taken down (they all supported a one-state solution) and the leftists said it should remain. Peace Now Secretary General said the wall was important for a two-state solution, but that it just needed to be moved where it took Palestinian land. 972 Mag commentator Dimi Reider discusses their statements (in English) the different politicians say and why here.
**Israel's occupation and armed conflict against the Palestinians helps the revenues of the Israel arms industries, says Yotam Feldman, the son of renowned left-wing lawyer Avigdor Feldman. The younger Feldman was the focus of an interesting feature article in Yedioth's weekend '7 Days' magazine today. Feldman, a film director, has just finished 'The Lab,' a riveting documentary on the world of Israeli arms dealers to be screened at the DocAviv film festival on May third and on Hot TV on May 8th. In the film he shows rare interviews with a number of Israeli arms dealers who agree to expose themselves for the first time and discuss the moral issues. "No less interesting are the interviews with former senior IDF officials, marketing people in security companies, philosophers and military experts who describe how the Israeli-developed combat methods are disseminated across the world," writes the interviewer Alon Hadar. Quotes:
"I wanted to ask questions about interests, and not to create political slogans. Who profits from the situation of control over large populations? There are places that have oil, we have the Palestinians, a living conflict that yields profits. All the divisions between left and right don't exist here. The left is very invested in the industry of the conflict."
"In arms deals they star videos that docmunet IDF operations in the Territories. Every time there is an assassination or a talked about operation in Gaza, there is a rise by tens of percents in sales. Senior officials in the (arms) industry told me: 'What would we do if we didn't have wars?'"
- Palestinian seriously hurt in clashes with settlers in West Bank - Settlers from the Netzah Binyamin outpost allegedly entered the Silwad village and began beating 60-year-old Palestinian judge with steel pipe, prompting villagers to storm outpost and burn down a shack. (Haaretz and Maan)
- Price-tag attack against Palestinians near Bethlehem: "Arab get the heck out of this country" - Some 90 trees were found destroyed Thursday in a Palestinian plot of land near Nahal Tzufit. At the same time, hate graffiti was found in the area including: "Hello from Bat-Ayin" (settlement)." (NRG Hebrew)
- Settlers escorted into Jenin village - A group of Israeli settlers entered the Jenin-area Araba village on Thursday to pray at a shrine. Two military jeeps accompanied the settlers to secure their arrival to the site, locals said. (Maan)
- Israel holding Palestinian-American teen for rock-throwing - The boy's father says his 14-year-old son was taken into custody early last Friday morning by eight assault-rifle wielding soldiers. (Haaretz)
- Will '5 Broken Cameras' be screened at Israeli schools? (Co-) Director Guy David has started a campaign to get schools to screen the film and people from the National Culture Basket organization which is connected to the Education Ministry have expressed interest. (NRG Hebrew)
- Peres: I have no doubt that if the talks fail, Obama will attack Iran - In special interview, President Shimon Peres says that preventing Iran from achieving nuclear weapons is a US interest, too. (Israel Hayom, p.5)
- Dispute between hamullahs (extended families) in E. Jerusalem: Police refused to intervene, Palestinian police prevented murder - 600 residents of the E. Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya arrived at the Shweiki family home and set it on fire while dozens of family members were inside. The reason: They believed that the father murdered one of Issawiya's residents. The family: "The Israelis said they would not endanger soldiers' (Border Police) lives for this, Palestinian police saved our lives. (Maariv, p. 11/NRG Hebrew)
- Israel aid remains untouched in 2014 US budget proposal - Under 2014 budget proposal submitted by U.S. President Barack Obama to Congress on Wednesday, Israel would receive $3.4 billion in total military aid, including $220 million for the Iron Dome anti-rocket system. (Israel Hayom)
- No entry to the Temple Mount? Pray in the street - Police is preventing Muslim worshippers from praying at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. In response, a campaign on Facebook and Twitter has begun calling for prayer protests in the streets. The organizers say they oppose violence and only want to use prayer as a means of protest. (Yedioth Jerusalem supplement, p. 42)
- Lawyer: Guards assault prisoner who lowered Israeli flag - Israeli guards fractured the hand of a Palestinian in Rimon jail, when he protested the death of a detainee Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, a Palestinian with cancer who died in Israeli custody, by lowering the Israeli flag. (Maan)
- Combat Jets nearly collide during dogfight drill - Two aircraft fly 50 meters apart against safety rules; IDF official: These things happen; latest in string of accidents in IAF. (Ynet)
- The most special buses in the district - Five buses of the 'Jerusalem Ramallah Bus Co.' were prepared to carry mobile libraries near the driver's seat. The project by students of Bir Zeit University provides passengers with reading material. (Yedioth Jerusalem supplement, p. 42)
- Hate mail to Bennett: You'll end up like Sharon - Economy Ministry receives threatening letter directed at Minister Bennett; 'Pulsa diNura was invoked,' letter says, warns 'not to play with ultra-Orthodox.' (Ynet)
- Israel bars Eurovision contestant from wearing Galliano garb over designer's anti-Semitic jibe - Moran Mazor intended to wear dress at competition by controversial designer John Galliano known for his anti-Semitic and racist comments, until the Israel Broadcast authority directed her to drop plans. (Haaretz)
- Reporter: Israeli tanks cross Gaza border - Israeli tanks penetrated onto lands east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday. The tanks were seen about 150 meters over the border line close to the Kerem Shalom crossing. (Maan)
- Sharp rise in Hamas attempts to abduct soldiers - Shin Bet says 33 attempts to kidnap soldiers foiled since beginning of 2013; Shalit deal encouraged terror groups, IDF officers say. (Yedioth p. 4/Ynet)
- Hamas failing to probe executions of suspected Israel collaborators, says rights group - The slain men were serving prior jail sentences for passing information to Israel when, Human Rights Watch said, gunmen pulled them from their cells and killed them. (Agencies, Haaretz)
Hamas says 'collaborator' campaign a success - Hamas claimed success on Thursday in their month-long campaign to encourage people in the Gaza Strip accused of collaborating with Israel to turn themselves in. (Maan)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.