APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday May 02, 2013
Quote of the day:
"It's like summoning the police and then getting billed for it."
--Israeli Arab citizen Osama Halihal, whose was set on fire by Jewish extremists, on the bill he get from the Fire and Rescue Dept.**
Front Page News:
- Police build DNA database of African migrants
- Lapid suggests increasing the budget by 6.5 billion shekels
- Netanyahu concerned Kerry will adopt the Arab League's position regarding land swaps
- Demonstrating across the world against, color, disparities and exploitation - May Day
- Contacts for the release of an Israeli citizen who ran to Lebanon
- Former deputy foreign minister to testify today against Lieberman - Ayalon's goal: Restore the credibility of testimony
- Warren Buffet: No chance that (Israeli tool firm) Iscar will leave Israel
- The discordant chords at the opening of the new cultural hall in Tel-Aviv
- "Israel is the number one country" - Warren Buffet tells Yedioth after acquiring 'Iscar'
- Lapid's solution: Dramatic increase in deficit
- "State Prosecutor (Lador) discriminates against me because I am a woman" - Prosecutor in Leiberman trial: Lador was dominant in tenders committee for position of head of economic committee - they preferred the man the boss wanted"
- Today: Danny Ayalon testifies against Lieberman
- One in a million - Rambam Hospital doctors never came across such a rare case: Baby born when his (stillborn) twin is merged in him. The Siamese twins were separated
- IDF made a drill for reservists: Then released them home at night so as to save (money) on paying them for another day
- Ayalon: My memory does not fail me, there is one truth, and the court will receive it" (Hebrew)
- Chairman of committee on 'Sharing the Burden' Minister Yaakov Peri invited heads of ultra-Orthodox yeshivas for a secret meeting
- State to receive 1 billion shekels tax on completion of the sale of Iscar to Warren Buffet; Source in Tax Authority: "This will save a number of financial edicts from the middle class"
- Hola Amigos: New target of Foreign Ministry PR: Largest minority in the US - Hispanics (Hebrew)
- Emmanuel Rosen affair - (Journalist) Gadi Sukenik testified to the police, (Maariv commentator) Yael Paz-Melamed opposes the conduct of the Journalist's Association (Hebrew)
- Rare peek into a nature reserve in the triangle of the hot borders: Israel-Syria-Jordan
- "It's good to invest in Israel because of the quality of the people" - Warren Buffet in an interview with Israel Hayom
- Law of wishes: Strong government, fewer parties, fewer ministers
- Negligence at the fence in Lachish - Israel Hayom found numerous breaches in (separation) fence in Lachish area. Dozens of Palestinians cross nightly to Israel and steal agricultural equipment, cattle, goats and ammunition
- Expose: Health Ministry will regulate the services of private medicine in public hospitals
- Lapid suggests: Breaking the ceiling of the budget deficit that was set in 2013 by 6.5 billion shekels
- Another tragedy in the Betzaleli family: Grandfather of Captain Hila (RIP) put an end to his life
A testimony against Avigdor Lieberman, a buyout by Warren Buffet and the desire by the Finance Minister to increase the budget deficit were today's top stories. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was not over land. Yisrael Beiteinu proposed a law making it harder to topple the government - and harder for Arab parties to exist. Settlers set up a new outpost to spite Palestinians. And an Israeli judge ruled that African migrants cannot be punished differently than Israeli citizens (but Palestinians can?).
Netanyahu was not happy with the announcement by the Arab League that it accepted that 'small shifts' could be made in the '67 borders, by means of 'minimal' land swaps of identical size in the framework of a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine. The papers report that he was worried that this would determine the '67 lines as the opening point for negotiations - something he does not want. Haaretz reported that Netanyahu was worried about what US Secretary of State John Kerry's stance was about the announcement and where he intended to go with it. [Kerry had been pushing the Arab states to make changes to the original 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, so ostensibly these changes were his baby - OH.]
In a meeting with senior Foreign Ministry officials, Netanyahu further said that the conflict was not even about land, but about Palestinian need to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. "The root of the conflict isn't territorial. It began way before 1967. The Palestinians' failure to accept the state of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people is the root of the conflict. If we reach a peace agreement, I want to know that the conflict won't continue - that the Palestinians won't come later with more demands."
"The goal of a future agreement with the Palestinians was to prevent a reality of a bi-national state and to promise stability and security, but the root of the conflict is the Palestinian refusal to recognize our rights to a state," Maariv quoted him as saying. However, Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said, "Netanyahu has to say 1967," because the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations must be based on the 1967 borders. "If he doesn't say that, there's nothing to talk about. For us, what the Arab League delegation presented in Washington is no different from the official Palestinian position." Erekat noted that the Palestinian Authority had negotiated in the past based on the 1967 borders and had been willing to adjust 5 to 7 percent of the border. But, he added, "We don't see [the Arab League announcement] as recognition of the settlement blocs, as some commentators on both sides try to interpret it."
Yisrael Beitienu is promoting a bill that would make it harder to topple the government. It also calls to raise the threshold to enter Knesset to 4%, which would have kept out all the Arab parties, had it been passed before the elections. Labor party Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich said the bill was inconsistent with Jewish and democratic values. Meretz party Chairwoman said: "Lieberman is proposing a regime of leaders such as in dictatorships Putin-style." Note, only Israel Hayom described the bill in positive terms. Likud sources say the bill was drafted at the behest of Netanyahu.
In retaliation for the fatal stabbing yesterday of Eviatar Borovsky, a settler from Yitzhar, settlers have set up another outpost in the West Bank in his name. The outpost was set up one kilometer from Tapuach (Za'atarah) Junction, where he was murdered. Samaria Regional Council director, Gershon Mesika, has temporarily transferred his office there. (NRG Hebrew)
Meanwhile, the words 'Price Tag' were found on the wall of a home in the Palestinian village of Beitillu early Wednesday morning, Maariv reported. Then clashes broke out between settlers and villagers, but strangely, the article does not explain where that happened - ostensibly in the village. IDF forces 'used demonstration dispersal means.' Moreover, three (of the ten) settlers, who were arrested for throwing stones at the Palestinian schoolgirls' bus, had their detention extended till Friday. (NRG Hebrew) Yedioth writes that Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said he would not hesitate to take steps against 'Price-tag' activists, including acting to prevent those detained from seeing a lawyer, 'similar to the treatment Palestinians receive.'
The High Court has ruled that African workers' punishments should not be more severe than Israeli's solely because they belong to a specific population or social group - in this case, asylum seekers, Haaretz reported. [Yet, Palestinians routinely get much harsher punishments than Israelis for similar crimes. When it comes to stone-throwing, Israeli settlers are often detained then released, as a number were yesterday. - OH]
- Israeli military court releases three Palestinians illegally arrested near Hebron - WATCH: Palestinian man films soldiers making the arrests for being on disputed land in the West Bank; court says a soldier who attacked one of the men could face charges. (Haaretz VIDEO)
- Report: Settlers start over 50 fires in West Bank -Palestinian civil defense report said firefighters dealth with 57 fires set by settlers. Hundreds of olive and almond trees were damaged and large areas of cultivated crops were destroyed. The settler attacks were revenge following the fatal stabbing of a settler south of Nablus. (Maan)
- Israeli military vehicles enter border area inside Gaza - Seven Israeli tanks and bulldozers entered a border area in the southern Gaza Strip near Khan Younis on Wednesday and destroyed agricultural land, including trees. (Maan)
- Foreign Ministry initiating 'PR Attack' on Hispanics in the US - Prime Minister Netanyahu, who serves as Foreign Minister, decided to put emphasis on getting closer to biggest minority in the US, some 52 million people. Already the ministry is working with Spanish-speaking locals at Israeli consulates. (Maariv, p. 1/NRG Hebrew)
- **'Price tag': (Israeli Arab's) car torched, owner stuck with bill - Fire department sends bill to Israeli Arab whose car was set on fire by vandals. Activist: Sending a bill to the victims of the crime is ridiculous. (Ynet)
- Israel to release 2 hunger strikers early - An Israeli military court has reduced the administrative detention of two hunger-striking prisoners from Jenin by two-weeks. Jaafar Izz al-Din and Tariq Kadan have been on hunger strike for 90 days in protest over being held under administrative detention [detention without charges that is often renewed continuously for years - OH] (Maan)
- Israeli arrested by Lebanon army after crossing the border illegally - The Israeli Defense Forces' lookout station near the border only noticed the man after he had made it over the fence and into Lebanon. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Cable car to link Western Wall with rest of Jerusalem - Jerusalem Municipality proceeds with plan to build two-line cable car system to connect Dung Gate with points to east and west. System to transport 6,000 passengers per hour. Mayor says it will be transportation solution and unique tourist attraction. (Israel Hayom)
- Supreme Court hears proposal for 'green' fence along Green Line - Israel's nature authority says a chain-link fence with security systems would balance environmental and security concerns in a West Bank area that could soon be a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but environmentalists and Palestinians disagree. (Haaretz)
- Ramallah's red carpet runway - West Bank city aims to join world's fashion capitals with first Palestine Fashion Week. (Media Line, Ynet)
- Palestinians poll highest among world's Muslims (justifying) suicide bombings - In most of the 21 countries where the question was asked, few Muslims endorse suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilians • 40% of Palestinian Muslims see suicide bombing as often or sometimes justified, while half take opposite view. (Israel Hayom)
- Syria's Assad makes rare public visit for May Day - President visits Damascus power station a day after a powerful bomb hit the capital, Syria's state television reports. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Turkey investigates use of chemical weapons in Syria - Officials begin testing blood samples taken from Syrian casualties brought over the border to determine whether they were victims of a chemical weapons attack. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Poll: Americans want US to keep out of Syria conflict - Only 10% of respondents say US should intervene in Syria's civil war; 61% oppose, Reuters/Ipsos survey shows. About one third of Americans neither heard not read about civil war. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Former IDF Chief: Syria chemical weapons must be met with response - Gabi Ashkenazi says it would be 'wrong message' not to respond if Assad regime is indeed using chemical weapons, suggests aiding opposition in more 'concrete' ways such as weapons provision. (Haaretz)
- BBC pulls documentary claiming story of Jewish exodus from Jerusalem is a 'myth' - Israeli-born filmmaker accuses BBC of bowing to 'political naivete' and 'subconscious political pressure'. (Haaretz)
- Hungary bans far-right protest ahead of WJC - As World Jewish Congress nears, Hungarian PM bans 'anti-Zionist' rally, amid fears of rising anti-Semitism. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Obama kicks off Jewish American Heritage Month - Congress legislated Jewish American Heritage Month in 2006 and Obama was the first president, in 2010, to mark it with a celebration. (JTA, Haaretz)
- Qatari prince woos Israeli companies - Representative of Persian Gulf emirate's royal family to visit Jewish state for first time in bid to promote cooperation in field of high-tech, Calcalist learns. (Yedioth/Ynet)
Once upon a time in Iran, and other Israeli tales
Before Iran became Israel's No. 1 archenemy, thousands of Israelis stationed in Tehran lived quite the life there. Dan Shadur's film "Before the Revolution," premiering at the Docaviv Film Festival in Tel Aviv this week, takes an insider's look at this dolce vita that came to an abrupt end in 1979, when under threat to their lives, Israelis were forced to evacuate Iranian territory. (Haaretz)
Africa, Israel [West Bank]
Even after many visits to the Shomron (Samaria, W. Bank) every time anew I get the feeling I have arrived at the Black continent. The skies touch you, the earth screams in its brown color and the panorama is intoxicating. (Beyond the) Green Line never looked better. [The writer visits the Samaritans village and the settlements of Barkan and Itamar - the latter which is home to extremists -and writes that in answer to the question, 'Isn't it dangerous?' that he did not feel insecure on the roads and that he travelled in a regular (i.e. non-bullet-proof) car. Interestingly, the main photo, ostensibly showing the beauty of the area, shows a Palestinian village on the foothills of a hill with a prominent mosque minaret. The caption: A look over Dagan Valley from Mt. Gideon. - OH] (Dubi Zakai, Maariv Magazine supplement/NRG Hebrew)
Waste not, want not, choose to strike Iran not (Uri Misgav, Haaretz) There's no question that the Israel Defense Forces' budget is overstuffed and could use a good trimming. But when it comes to its ability to ward off an Iranian attack, cutting corners appears not to be an option.
Eyes turned to Washington (Avner, Golov, Maariv) Breaking the commitment to stop use of chemical weapons in Syria could encourage the Iranians to cross their red line...In order to get out of this complex situation, Obama needs to form an all-encompassing policy to two threats: he needs to use the Syrian case in order to transfer a message to the regime in Teheran...
Red line's flexibility (Aviad Kleinberg, Yedioth) PM Netanyahu changed tactics after realizing Israel cannot deal with Iranian threat alone.
The big, bad Israeli referendum law (Israel Harel, Haaretz) Only a national referendum on future territorial withdrawal would convince the public that it is truly the will of the nation.
Terror raising its head (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth) Israeli officials believe Kerry's enthusiastic activity in region prompting rise in terror attacks.
The Palestinian elephant (Ari Shavit, Haaretz) Better security and paralysis on peace made Israelis lose interest in the Palestinians. It is a mistake to deny the demographic challenge.
We'll see you in court (Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, Israel Hayom) If Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh want to go to The Hague, we will be there to meet them.
The Arab League offer - No right to despair (Ariella Ringel-Hoffman, Yedioth) The tepid response to the Arab League announcement that diplomatic sources in Israel released yesterday could be good for the books of the voters, meaning for a certain type of voter, but it certainly does not serve the general Israeli interest...
Israel and its tattletale campaign against Syria - and Iran (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) The fear campaign calling upon Obama to bomb Syria has one real goal in mind. It's not helping Syria's civilians. It's a strike on Iran.
All hands on deck (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) While the military seems to be in control of all sectors for now, the violence brewing in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip, and on the northern border, does not bode well.
Stain on America (Ronen Bergman, Yedioth/Ynet) We can already draft apology US will issue in decade or two for not helping tens of thousands of Syrian citizens.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.