APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday May 08, 2013
Quote of the day:
"This is the same municipality that is used as a tool to oppress the Palestinian residents in the east of the city and provides them mainly with house demolition services."
--Gush Shalom calls on singer not to perform tonight at Jerusalem Municipality in honor of 'Jerusalem Day.**'
Front Page News:
- New budget will hurt apartment buyers and academics' salaries; public will pay more for health
- Netanyahu is happy in China // Sami Peretz
- Debates only with the ultra-Orthodox // Meirav Arlosoroff
- Let the weak pay // Ravit Hecht
- Painful but necessary cuts // Nehemia Shtrasler
- Assad reacts to air strike: Israel intervening in internal conflict
- Plan in IDF: Lowering of rank won't hurt pension
- Day of female Jerusalemites - A year of achievements for women in the capital
- In the wake of the tension in the north, Depeche Mode concert turned into a kind of national ceremony
- Decade after they disappeared, three women from Cleveland succeeded in escaping their kidnappers
- Apartment tax - Annoying: Also those who upgrade their humble apartment will pay full purchase tax
- Where is the honesty // Nahum Barnea
- It was possible differently // Sever Plocker
- Netanyahu in China: Avoided giving backing to financial edicts
- My Jerusalem - special supplement
- Netanyahu plans to ease the financial edicts. Lapid associates: He is a populist (Hebrew)
- Wall of tears // Shalom Yerushalmi
- Three women who were missing for a decade succeeded in getting rescued from the house of their kidnappers
- More than a year after signing the agreement between the Histadrut and the Treasury for guaranteeing the rights of contracted workers: 1/4 million guards and cleaners still waiting
- 96 years after the revolution - Because of fear of relations with Russia: No official source would agree to meet the great-grandson of the Czar who arrived in Israel on a visit
- From a meeting in jail to the chupah: Murderer (of Arabs) Ami Popper is marrying the torturing mother from the Elior Chen affair
- Middle Class to pay - The cuts and the taxes are on the way, they will hurt all of our pockets; "Lapid, you disappointed us," says middle class family
- Lapid fears the big guys //Itsik Alrov
- Tough and necessary steps // Chezi Shternlicht
- No taxes - competition // Boaz Arad
- "Ben Zygier scuttled operation to return missing bodies of Sultan Yakub battle"
- 46 years to the unification of Jerusalem
More painful financial edicts, conflicting Syrian threats, Jerusalem Day were top stories in Israeli newspapers today. Meanwhile, Israel unofficially freezes settlement construction.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could no longer ignore the Israeli strikes inside his country and declared yesterday that Syria could deal with Israel. "The Syrian people and its army...are capable of confronting Israel's ventures that represent one of the many faces of terrorism targeting Syria today," he reportedly said in a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi. He also accused "Israel and other regional and Western states' (of) involvement in ongoing events in Syria." A Palestinian official in Damascus from the PFLP organization said the PFLP received a nod from the regime to strike Israeli targets from the Syrian-controlled part of Golan Heights. But another PFLP source told Haaretz that Assad's green light to strike Israel was merely symbolic and that no escalation was expected to ensue, as both sides were likely to exercise restraint. After days of silence, and only after a Turkish-Israeli reconciliation meeting, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan made a condemnation of Israel for the strike, albeit a moderate one, saying that it was 'unacceptable' and only bolstered the regime. Meanwhile, following a meeting between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Russia and the US called for a Syria conference with both sides, saying the alternative to a political solution was even more violence. Russia also expressed concern about the Israeli strikes on Syria.
Peace Now confirmed that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has halted West Bank construction, possibly as a way to open the way for renewing talks with the Palestinians. "It seems that Netanyahu took it upon himself to follow a policy of restraint," Peace Now said in a statement. Netanyahu met with (pro-settler) Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel several days ago, and told him to freeze publication of new government tenders for construction of 3,000 housing units in the settlements and Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, Army Radio reported. A Yesha settler official told Ynet that Netanyahu's office confirmed to him that the prime minister has stopped approving housing tenders. But Israel has not officially notified the Palestinians, said chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat.
Almost 80% of "E. Jerusalem residents live below the poverty line -- the worst rate of all time," the Association for Civil Rights in Israel said in a report released just ahead of 'Jerusalem Day.' The Palestinian population in Jerusalem now stands at 293,000 out of roughly 800,000 residents. Today some Israelis (mainly settlers and other right-wingers) celebrate the so-called 'unification' of the city, i.e. the conquering of E. Jerusalem in 1967. [No matter that most of them don't go to the conquered East side ever. - OH] Meanwhile, Yedioth and Ynet ran a survey that found that Jerusalem has the happiest residents. It also found the capital is enjoying an economic boost. Apparently, it was only looking at the Jewish West side of the city.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said he wants 'sole Jewish rule' in Jerusalem and suggested the Palestinians rename Ramallah as "northern Jerusalem" instead. Barkat spoke in an interview with the Times of Israel that Maan picked up. And, the Education Ministry has been teaching this more or less, Haaretz revealed. An animated film clip provided to preschool teachers gives an historic overview of Jerusalem and explains that only under Israeli sovereignty are freedom and equality given to all of its citizens.
**Achinoam Nini, a famous Israeli singer on the leftish-side of the political map, decided to accept the Jerusalem municipality's invitation for her to perform today in honor of Jerusalem Day at the municipality square accompanied by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. Friday's Yedioth Jerusalem supplement reported that right-wing Jerusalemites opposed the invitation because she had participated in pro-Palestinian ceremonies. "I am shocked by this ugly and stupid falsification," she responded. "I sang at an alternative ceremony where Jews and Arabs remember and cry together over their loved ones, who they lost in the continued wars between us." (Ynet Hebrew) Meanwhile, the left-wing Gush Shalom movement opposes her participation, saying she is cooperating with the occupation. "This is the same municipality that is used as a tool to oppress the Palestinian residents in the East of the city and provides them mainly with house demolition services. In Jerusalem there was no liberation and no unification..." (Ynet Hebrew)
- Israeli stabs Palestinian taxi driver in Jerusalem - A Palestinian taxi driver was stabbed by an Israeli passenger in Jerusalem on Monday, Israeli police said. The attacker fled the scene. (Maan)
- IDF spends NIS 2.8m on private investigations into draft-dodgers, fraudulent assistance seekers - The PI's often tail their subjects and document evidence with hidden cameras or tape recorders; they also obtain photographs and sometimes even administer polygraph tests. (Haaretz)
- Report: Prisoner X scuttled operation to return bodies of Israeli MIAs in Lebanon - Australian Broadcasting Corporation claims Ben Zygier, eager to impress his Mossad superiors, revealed name of a Lebanese double agent, blowing a major operation to return bodies of soldiers captured after battle of Sultan Yacoub. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Israel to negotiate renewal of cooperation with UN Human Rights Council - At Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's instruction, an envoy will visit Geneva in the coming weeks to reach understanding that will allow Israel to take part in the council's annual hearing. (Haaretz)
- Israel to release Fatah lawmaker arrested in 2007 - Jamal Tirawi, 47, was detained on May 29, 2007, in Nablus and sentenced to 30 years in an Israeli jail for being affiliated with the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. His trial was postponed more than 70 times and took over four years. (Maan)
- Netanyahu, in Shanghai, looks to boost business cooperation with China - Speaking to a crowd of Israeli and Chinese businesspeople, the prime minister emphasized government support of private enterprise between the two nations. (Haaretz)
- (Arab murderer) Ami Popper marrying abusive mother from the Rabbi Elinor Chen affair - The prisoner, who murdered seven Palestinian laborers in 1990, met in jail the mother who was involved in the horrid torture of her children. Six years ago Popper lost his wife and son in a car accident and since then has married again and divorced. (Maariv, p. 14/NRG Hebrew)
- Israel looking to renew charter flights to Turkey, amid ongoing reconciliation talks - Shin Bet, Turkish officials move closer to agreement on security arrangements. (Haaretz)
- The general did not come, the rabbi chastised the residents (settlers) - Rabbi of Beit El settlement, Zalman Melamed, admonished residents yesterday following the storm over the planned participation of Central Command Commander Nitzan Alon in the settlement's celebrations for Jerusalem Day. A wave of condemnations began against Alon following the murder of (settler) Eviatar Borovsky last week (by a Palestinian). (Maariv, p. 16/NRG Hebrew)
- Follow celebrity chef's 1st year of aliyah - New 'Joy of Israel' online series documents Jamie Geller and her family's first year as new olim, while showcasing beauty of living in Jewish state. (Ynet)
- Stephen Hawking boycotts Israeli academic conference, Guardian reports - After initially agreeing to join conference hosted by President Shimon Peres, Palestinian colleagues convinced Hawking to pull out in protest of Israel's policies, according to the report in The Guardian. (Haaretz)
- Deputy Education Minister invited Morgan Freeman to Israel - Following the call by Arab students that the film star boycott the Hebrew University for racism, MK Avi Wartzman wrote the actor telling him the claims were baseless and inviting him to find out for himself. (NRG Hebrew)
- Another Syrian mortar lands in Golan - Mortar shell fired during battles between Syrian army, rebels trying to overthrown President Bashar Assad's regime explodes in northern Israel, near border fence. No injuries or damage reported. 'They are firing on our doorstep,' local resident says. (Ynet)
- UN peacekeepers nabbed in Syria - Insurgents insist to be protecting peacekeepers from regime forces; Israel concerned that Golan will become springboard for attacks on Israelis by anti-Assad militants; Ya'alon: 'we have red lines.' (Ynet)
Michal Muskat-Barkan, an Orthodox Jewish woman, and Salim Yagmur, a Muslim Palestinian, are sick of seeing how Jerusalem Day has turned into an annual celebration of the settlers. So they asked tehir friends to document their lives in the East of the city and in the West. They created a joint pluralistic exhibition of two peoples. Muskat-Barkan: "I really love this city, but over the years it pains me more particularly on Jerusalem Day. Even though I am a religious woman and believe and love Israel very much, I feel that this is not my way to celebrate the day." Yagmur: I feel the balagan surrounding the Old City - lots of traffic, yelling, as if they don't care. I think they could celebrate in a more normal way, not in a way that is a kind of jab, provocation." (from Friday's Yedioth Jerusalem 'Mosaf' supplement, p.1)
A primer on the proposed Bedouin resettlement in the Negev
The Prawer-Begin law offers a proposed solution for the many Bedouin living in southern Israel and claiming ownership of the land. But what is it?... Human rights organizations and some representatives of the Bedouin community in the Negev argue that the new arrangement will make recognition of certain villages impossible, and will also lead to the eviction of tens of thousands of Bedouin from their homes. The Bedouin also argue that the lands arrangement gives only partial compensation (in money or land) to the landowners, which is significantly less than Jewish petitioners have received in similar compensation agreements. (Haaretz)
The secrets that die in Jerusalem's earth
Who was here first? Every morning dozens of workers and volunteers come to the City of David [the E. Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan - OH] and raise Jerusalem's history from the ashes of thousands of years. ( Reporter with the diggers in City of David for Maariv/NRG Hebrew)
Disabled Gaza baby lives in Israel hospital
Abandoned by parents, 3-year-old amputee Mohammed won the hearts of his doctors, who fundraise his medical bills. (Ynet)
Nujad was in the delivery room when the guard tried to remove her from there, claiming she did not have an (Israeli) identity card, and Suzanne only wants to take her son to his after-school class, but is prohibited from driving. A decade after the Citizenship Law was legislated, a group of Palestinian woman married to Israel men decided to get together in order to act to achieve 'social residence' - obtaining their basic rights, such as access to medical and social welfare services. "We live like ghosts," they say. (By Liat Shelzinger, Friday's Maariv Sofshavua magazine)
Israel needs to restrict its daily 'threat' intake (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) When red lines are no longer red lines and threats of varying severity can be found around every corner, Israel needs to pick and choose its fights. Let's decide which issues really require a military response.
US, Israel vs Syria (Abraham Ben-Zvi, Israel Hayom) Is Israel carrying out tactical operations with American strategic views in mind?
Can the IDF afford a cut in mandatory military service? (Amir Oren, Haaretz) History has taught that ever time there are discussions about cutting service, a war breaks out; in a time of belt-tightening, senior IDF officials are all but threatening mutiny if they're forced to cover the cost of a reduction in mandatory military service from other items in the defense budget.
Jerusalem: A cautionary tale (Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom) The Six-Day War did not create the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the pan-Arab plan to destroy Israel did.
Britain no longer immune to sinister nationalism (Daniella Peled, Haaretz) The U.K. is the latest European country beset by austerity to see a thinly-veiled racist and nationalist party - in this case UKIP - win widespread popular support.
Silence of the Lambs (Elyakim Haetzni, Yedioth/Ynet) America's promotion of 'softened Arab peace initiative' a spit in the face of Israeli democracy.
Equal service for all (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) Israel can't yet afford its soldiers serving for less time.
Who in Israel can keep Caesar Netanyahu in check? (Sefi Rachlevsky, Haaretz) Israel faces the very real danger that its current situation could turn into an unplanned war. This is not only the business of Netanyahu, who is currently in China, but of everybody whose lives are at risk.
The Jewish nation's DNA (Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom) Jews have lived in Israel for the past 3,300 years. Jerusalem always has been the Hebrew capital.
Google's put Palestine on the map. So has Israel's acting foreign minister (Bradley Burston, Haaretz) By vocally urging Google to stop referring to the Palestinian territories as Palestine, Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin has unwittingly helped further the two-state solution.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.