APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday April 14, 2013
Quote of the day:
"It's stunning that you would give a green light to another country to violate the civil liberties of Americans traveling abroad."
--A staffer for one leading pro-Israel lawmaker in the U.S. House of Representatives comments on Israel's unwillingness to fully reciprocate to the US visa-free travel, because of a desire to bar Arab Americans.**
Front Page News:
- Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad resigned
- Fayyad's resignation affects Israel and peace efforts //Barak Ravid
- No suspicion of crime - IDF won't open criminal probe into killing of 9 family members in Gaza during Operation Pillar of Cloud
- Memorial Day events to begin this evening - 23,085 soldiers (92 this year), 2,493 casualties of hostile actions (10 this year)
- Lapid wants to raise the deficit target instead of cutting the budget - Fischer vehemently opposes so he was absent from budget discussions with Netanyahu
- US in a proposal for reconciliation with N. Korea: aid in exchange for dismantling the nukes
- With hearings beginning again: Judge in Mubarak case recused himself
- Tonight at 8PM: Minute of silence for Israel's fallen - In pain and longing
- Pitbull against a 13-year-old girl
- Barbeques in the rain - The weather forecast: Warm on Memorial Day, rainy on Independence Day
- Joining in memory with 25,578 fallen in Israel's battles and hostile actions (Hebrew)
- Commanders write about their comrades-in-arms that they lost during military service
- "The enormous Syrian force was spread at our feet. Our radio networks got mixed up with those of the Arabs' and we could hear the screams of the Syrian tank operator who was caught in a burning tank" - 40 years since Yom Kippur War, our correspondent Arik Bender returns to hell (Hebrew)
- A righteous man and a rebel - Shalom Yerushalmi writes about Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, the 'prodigal son' of Rabbi Ovadia, who was laid to rest on Friday
- "Netanyahu allows the tirade against Lapid" - Senior Yesh Atid party people claim the PM ignores the behavior of the ministers because Lapid threatens him. Hatnua party MK Mitzna: "To appoint Yair to Finance Minister is as irresponsible a gamble as appointing Amir Peretz as Defense Minister" (Hebrew)
- With a bowed head - State of Israel unites with the memory of 23,085 fallen
- Beersheva: Amstaf dog attacked 13-year-old girl
- Lapid suggested Netanyahu increase the deficit target, Governor of Bank of Israel opposes; Dozens demonstrated in front of meeting of Yesh Atid party
- Rabbi Yaakov Yosef - 1946-2013
- Reconciliation attempts with Abu Mazen failed: Palestinian (Authority) Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad resigned
- Report in Syria: At least 3 killed and 15 injured from use of chemical weapons
- US and China agreed: We will dismantle N. Korea of its nuclear weapons
The main stories in today's Israeli Hebrew papers were all about Israel's fallen. Meanwhile, Salaam Fayyad finally has resigned as prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, the Golan Heights border heats up again and Israel thwarts a US pro-Israel law from passing.
Despite US and European pressure, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accepted Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad's resignation. Fayyad has requested to do so many times in the past, but now Abbas has finally ignored Western pressure and allowed him to leave. Haaretz writes Salam Fayyad reportedly quit after a rift with Abbas over policy. US Secretary of State John Kerry had called Abbas on Friday asking him not to accept the resignation, but by Saturday night, the US had to accept the new reality and thanked Fayyad for being a 'strong partner.' Abbas asked Fayyad to stay on till a new government is formed, possibly in the next few days. Relations between Abbas and Fayyad were never good and they worsened last month after the latter accepted the resignation of the finance minister, against Abass' advice. Hamas welcomed the move, which it has long requested as part of a unity deal, but said Abbas' acceptance "has nothing to do with unity agreement" between Fatah and Hamas. [Hamas has long opposed Fayyad serving as Prime Minister, but never said publicly why. - OH] Haaretz's Barak Ravid asks whether Fayyad's resignation is the beginning of the end of the Palestinian Authority. He also says that it was Fayyad's successes that eventually led to his downfall. "His effective management and relative popularity meant he was a threat to too many people."
The Golan border is hot again as Syrian troops widen their offensive in border areas. Pro-Assad forces are battling rebels not only near the Jordanian and Lebanese border, but also near the Golan border and errant gunfire hit near an IDF unit, which fired back with a Tamuz missile. No injuries or damage were reported. On Friday Austria said it would review on a daily basis whether to leave the Golan UN peacekeepers in place, depending on the level of risk to the troops. Austria is the largest part of the UN peacekeeping force in the Golan and Israel fears that if they leave, it will be exposed to attacks by Islamic militants.
**An initiative by 45 pro-Israel legislators to waiver visa requirements for Israeli citizens is likely to be torpedoed by the government of Israel, write Yedioth and Haaretz. The reason: It requires that Israel reciprocate and allow all US citizens to enter Israel freely. But Israel refuses to agree saying it wants the right to refuse entry to some US citizens who represent a 'security threat.' There have been many reports, writes Yedioth, that Israel refuses or delays entry to Israel of US citizens with Muslim or Arab names. Another version of the bill says that Israel be granted the visa waiver status after certifying with the secretary of state that Israel "has made every reasonable effort, without jeopardizing the security of the State of Israel, to ensure that reciprocal travel privileges are extended to all United States citizens." But this version has raised the ire of many in Congress because it is seen as a way to keep out of Israel US citizens of Arab or Muslim ethnicity, without ever giving them a reason.
- IDF won't open criminal probe into deaths of Palestinian family during Gaza war - Nine members of the al-Dalou family were killed in Israeli airstrike intended for neighbors during Operation Pillar of Defense. Military Advocate: Outcome unfortunate but no reason for criminal inquiry. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
- Top Israeli authors plead with Palestinian security prisoner: End hunger strike - In public appeal, group including Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua says it sympathizes with Samer Issawi's cause, and believe a deal we be made for his release. (Haaretz)
- Israelis attempting to visit hospitalized Palestinian hunger-striker detained - Activists trying to visit Palestinian prisoner Samer Issawi are ejected from hospital and stopped by Israeli police. (Haaretz)
- Gaza farmers burn 3 tons of herbs after Israel closes border crossing - Farmers said Israel reinstates closure on commercial crossing just as they were preparing to harvest two tons of mint and a ton of basil, now past their prime for the European market. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- East Jerusalem man: Police pressuring me to sever ties with Israeli leftists - The High Court of Justice will deliberate in May over the request of the resident's family to appeal a court order of eviction from their apartment so that it can be repossessed by the heirs of the pre-1948 Jewish owner. (Haaretz)
- Wanted for the IDF: Civilians with 'curiosity' and 'good interpersonal skills' - In an unusual job ad posted this week, the Israel Defense Forces appears to be reaching out to the general public to fill a position in a classified intelligence unit. (Haaretz)
- PA blasts Canada over FM's East Jerusalem meet with Livni - Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat wrote to John Baird, saying that he had contravened international law by meeting Justice Minister Livni in East Jerusalem. (Haaretz)
- Stephen Hawking coming to Israel - British theoretical physicist to visit Jewish state in June to participate in fifth President's Conference. (Ynet)
- Palestinians building museum to tell their story - The privately funded museum, which has government support, is biggest such project Palestinians have undertaken in terms of scale, space and budgets. "We are looking at a museum that doesn't have one particular narrative," says director Jack Persekian. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
- Jordanian parliament demands release of Naharayim shooter - 110 Parliament members sign petition demanding release of soldier who killed seven Israeli schoolgirls in 1997; 'He's a hero,' says former justice minister; victims' parents say will fight against release. (Yedioth, p. 6/Ynet)
- Peacekeeper briefly kidnapped by gunmen in Sinai - Men carrying automatic weapons stop bus at roadblock near Multinational Force and Observers base in northern Sinai and take away a Hungarian soldier at gunpoint to unknown location. He is later released after local Bedouin tribal leaders intervene. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
- Mubarak retrial opens only to end minutes afterward - After long journey, Egypt's ousted president arrives at police academy courthouse for retrial, but judges adjourns hearing minutes after it began, ruling to change case's venue, after prosecution demand his recuse. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Leader of Egypt's Jewish community dies at 82 - Carmen Weinstein will be buried in the Bassatine cemetery that she worked to save since 1978. Weinstein helped restore four of the 15 synagogues that still remain in Cairo, and just a day before her death went to a synagogue to inspect restorations. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
- Iran says test fired 3 new missiles - Lieutenant commander of Iranian Army's Ground Force declares test on Friday was successful but refuses to disclose type of missiles; says army will unveil new personnel carriers next week. (Agencies, Ynet)
- US, China pledge efforts for nuclear-free N. Korea - After Mideast visit, Kerry travels east to deal with N. Korea. Washington and Beijing declare joint commitment to denuclearization of Korean peninsula in peaceful manner. (Agencies, Ynet)
The politics of water: Palestinians bracing for another dry summer
On average, West Bank Palestinians have access to about 70 liters of water a day per person; inside the Green Line, communities use about 300 liters per person. (Haaretz)
The interception and sinking of the terror vessel Ataviros
In April 1985, 28 terrorists set sail on the ship Ataviros from Egypt to Israel. They planned to reach shore in rubber dinghies, hijack a bus, drive it IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, and carry out an attack. One Israeli missile boat foiled their plan. (Israel Hayom)
For Israeli Bedouin, it's sink or swim
The recent drowning of three brothers in Ashkelon reflects the reality that the 200,000 Bedouin living in the Negev don't have a single swimming pool - not to mention other municipal services. (Haaretz)
The unknown fighter who made history and brought honor to the Druze
"It won't be easy but we'll get through it," those were the last words uttered by Tamir Nevuani, the first Druze fighter in the elite IDF reconnaissance unit Sayeret Matkal, moments before he fell off a cliff; "He was a trailblazer," says Nevuani's father. (Israel Hayom)
Mourning without discrimination (Haaretz Editorial) The State of Israel must strive for complete civil equality in all areas of its existence. There is no place for discrimination. Not in the IDF and not on Mount Herzl.
Why Israelis should still feel like strangers, even when they're home (William Kolbrener, Haaretz) Building an Israeli identity that can encompass Israelis from ultra-Orthodox to post-Zionists may rest on a paradox: We are all at home, citizens of the Jewish state, but we must also feel that we are still in exile, as we have not yet arrived at the realization of our ideals.
Every good cop has his day (Amir Oren, Haaretz) The Israel Police need hundreds, if not thousands, of officers like Ephraim 'Cremeschnitte;' Ehrlich, an old-school cop, a professional who climbs fences even at the price of not climbing up the ranks.
A commander and role model (Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Yedioth/Ynet) On eve of Memorial Day, Defense Minister Ya'alon remembers his comrade Nehemiah Tamari.
Every Israeli soldier has a name (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) The soldier hiding behind the army places full responsibility on the most moral army in the world.
Iran's usual scapegoat (Dore Gold, Israel Hayom) The whole idea that Iran's determination to get nuclear weapons has something to do with Israel is completely wrong.
Undercutting U.S. peace plan (Friday Haaretz Editorial) If the new government continues to stick to its rejectionist policies and tactics, it cannot claim to have washed its hands of responsibility for the failure of the peace process.
On worthless report cards and peace deals (Gonen Ginat, Israel Hayom) If exam grades are higher, who cares that the students aren't learning anything?
In backtracking on flag debacle, IDF did the right thing (Amos Harel, Haaretz) Limiting honors to fallen soldiers who are unquestionably Jewish is nothing but racist discrimination wrapped up in religious excuses.
Support Assad (Daniel Pipes, Israel Hayom) It causes me, as a humanitarian and long foe of the Assad dynasty, to pause before writing.
If not with a stone, then with what? (Yossi Sarid, Haaretz) Those who attacked Amira Hass for empathizing with Palestinian stone-throwing appear ready to condemn any form of resistance.
Peres: 'No doubt Obama will attack Iran if nuclear talks fail'
In interview with Israel Hayom, Peres says Obama will use military option against Tehran if it doesn't halt nuclear development • Ahmadinejad: "Western nations tried their utmost to prevent Iran from going nuclear, but Iran has gone nuclear." (Interviewed by Yori Yalon and Ariel Shmidberg for Israel Hayom)
Machsom Watch founder reflects on her occupational hazards
Since 2004, Hagit Back has been documenting the realities of the occupation on the Palestinian people in the West Bank. Haaretz joined her on the roads less traveled. (Haaretz)
From Iron Dome to unmanned drones: The IDF's vision for the future battlefield
How will Israel's wars be fought in 10 years' time? The person best qualified to answer that question is Ophir Shoham, head of the Defense Ministry's R&D division, who rarely speaks to the media. (Interviewed by Amos Harel in Haaretz)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.