APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday May 29, 2013
Quote of the day:
"The peace process was a convenient alibi for everyone. It's time to get rid of it. An honest declaration from Kerry would save what is left of American credibility..."
--Maariv (and 972Mag.com) commentator Noam Sheizaf says the peace process must be declared over for a new process to begin.**
Front Page News:
- Prohibition to arm Assad opposition canceled; Russia: We will supply Syria with missiles to defend it
- Migrants waiting in jail - 1400 requests for asylum submitted - the state did not complete examining even one
- Israel is a supporting actor // Amos Harel
- Home Front Command drill for chemical attack (photo)
- State did not determine a tax on gas exports and could lose tens of billions
- A loaded arrangement ('hesder') - Number of 'Hesder yeshiva' soldiers increased and more than 20% of (conscripts who are) religious Zionists enjoy a shortened service
- Battling vitamin D deficiency: If there is no sun, drink milk
- Dispute in the US: Is affirmative action for Blacks still justified
- Draft test - Today: Dramatic vote in Peri Commission
- "The abusive judge" will not stand trial
- Adi's book of records - Adi Graft, 10, read more than 235 books in one year
- Sharon Gal affair ((Journalist accused of indecent conduct): New revelations
- Perfect - Without photoshop: Size 44 and up Yedioth readers model bathing suits
- 18%: VAT to rise by 1%: How will that affect us?
- Attorney General representatives in Peri Commission: Extending 'Hesder Yeshiva' military service by one month won't pass the High Court (Hebrew)
- Moscow: We will complete the weapons transaction to Assad; Defense Minister in a hinted threat: "If S-300 missiles arrive from Russia to Syria we will know what to do"; This is how the war turned into a diplomatic crisis between the world powers
- Elia's miracle - Elia Ohion drowned for 3 minutes in a pool; Yesterday, after 3 days unconscious, he woke up without significant damage and recognized his parents
- Palestinian Shin Bet submitted request to establish base that can observe Hwy 443 and the city of Modiin (Hebrew)
- District court judge appointed as temporary liquidator for "Better Place" a lawyer who represented the company in the past
- National Insurance Institute: 35,000 children to join the poor following the austerity measures
- (Defense Minister) Yaalon: "If the missiles arrive in Syria, we'll know what to do"
- Beginning of the end? Obama to Pentagon: Prepare plan for no fly-zone over Syria
- Assad will take advantage of the division between the world powers in order to survive
- In Jerusalem they are already warming the engines - For the first time, Formula 1 show to take place in Israel
- Tragedy: Infant swallowed nicotine drops - and died
- Draft law crisis: Today - part representatives to formulate an agreed upon text
- Lieberman to testify today in the ambassador affair (his graft trial)
- Wife of Attorney General to be fined for hiring an illegal foreign worker
- Livni: "I will stand like a fortified wall against the assault on the legal system"
- National Insurance Institute warns: Another 90,000 people will become poor following the austerity measures
Israel threatens to take action against shipment of Russian missiles to Syria, committee on ultra-Orthodox draft still divided ahead of decisive vote today and some 35,000 children in Israel will become poor if austerity measures go through, warns a government authority making top news in today's Hebrew papers. An Egyptian paper reports that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu seeks to meet with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, but the Americans oppose and the Palestinians seek a plot of West Bank land for a security forces base, but Israel likely opposes. And a European flyover in support of Israel is planned for next week.
After a top Russian diplomat said Moscow will go through with the sale of the advanced S-300 missiles to Syrian President Bashar Assad's army Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon responded with a thinly veiled threat: "The shipments haven't set out yet and I hope they won't. If they do arrive in Syria, God forbid, we'll know what to do." The Russia statement came following the decision by the European Union to end its arms embargo on the Syrian opposition. Meanwhile the US is considering creating a no-fly zone over Syria. The civil war, commentators note, is turning into a diplomatic crisis between Russia and the Western powers. The US told Russia that selling the S-300 missiles to Syria was a mistake.
Today the decisive vote over the ultra-Orthodox military draft bill takes place, but the details have yet to be hammered out. The Peri Committee is still divided over whether to criminalize draft dodging by ultra-Orthodox men. Yesh Etid Education Minister Shai Piron referred to ultra-Orthodox men who do not serve in the army, saying that "Parasites will not be 'kosherized'" and he reiterated his party's threat that it would leave the government if the law were not passed as it sees fit. On the other side, Yaalon stressed that the ultra-Orthodox draft must be enforced gently, without threats
Netanyahu has asked US Secretary of State John Kerry to arrange a meeting for him with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, an Egyptian newspaper reported. However, according to the diplomatic sources of 'Al-Yom al-Sabaa,' Kerry told Netanyahu this is not the time for a meeting of that type. Maariv's Asaf Gabor reported on the report. Kerry, the Egyptian paper wrote, prefers that Morsi meet with President Shimon Peres. The Obama administration wants the Morsi administration to commit to three things, wrote the paper: 1. A declaration that Egypt is completely committed to the peace agreement with Israel, something that Morsi has already done. 2. Stabilize the internal political situation in Egypt by holding dialogue with the opposition and preserving the personal security of Egyptians. 3. Morsi hold a meeting with Peres. The paper wrote that the meeting held at the World Economic Forum in Jordan between Peres, Jordan's King Abdullah, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Kerry deeply influenced the issue of renewing Palestinian-Israeli talks and sent a message to Egypt. Egyptian sources told the paper that it is time to put aside the anti-Israeli attitude and to consider responding positively to Israel's desire to meet hold a meeting with Morsi.
Israel received a letter from the head of the Palestinian Preventative Security Services requesting to allot land within the West Bank, Maariv's Amichai Atali reported. According to Atalli, the danger is that the plot of land is raised and overlooks the city of Modiin and the 443 Hwy and if there were an escalation it could be sued for shooting at Israeli cars. The Palestinian request was made known to the right-wing Regavim organization, which follows [and tries to prevent - OH] allocation of West Bank land to Palestinians and of land inside Israel to Arabs. Israel's Civil Administration froze the request. Other sources said the Palestinians froze their request because they knew they had little chance of it being approved. (NRG Hebrew)
Next week a flyover of support will take place in Israel's skies, Yedioth reported. The response of the to the protest flyovers and flotillas against Israel: 17 private planes from Europe will make a flyover in support of Israel and peace. It will fly over the Knesset, Masada and Haifa. The participants in the 'Rall[y for Peace" are members of the 'Euro-France Rally" club, of which no member is Jewish. The person who brought about their arrival to Israel is the Jewish Belgian businessman, Robby Spiegel, Chairman of the Bonds in Belgium. MK Avigdor Lieberman helped make the flyover happen.
- IDF chief refuses to ease rules of engagement in West Bank, fearing heightened tensions - IDF teaches soldiers that fleeing is preferable to fighting, MK Lieberman says; Gantz warns that increased use of live fire will result in rise in casualties, escalation in West Bank. (Haaretz and NRG Hebrew)
- IDF to investigate soldiers filmed beating Palestinian in custody - Security cameras at Ofra settlement shows soldiers punching, kicking man arrested for throwing rocks at them. (Haaretz and YnetVIDEO)
- Soldiers beat family members, damage home while arresting Palestinian teen - Israeli soldiers beat and dragged Abed Al-Rahem Awad out of his home, pepper-sprayed his sisters, one of whose arms was broken, and threw several stun grenades through the family's windows. Earlier this year, IDF shot his brother in back at close range, killing him, when he tried to cross the separation barrier near his home. (972Mag)
- Price tag' vandals mark Borovsky murder anniversary - Numerous cars torched, graffiti sprayed in line of 'price tag' attacks in Jordan Rift Valley, Ramallah and Jerusalem on 30-day anniversary of Eviatar Borovsky's murder. (Ynet and Maan)
- Locals: Settlers torch wheat fields in Yatta - The blaze destroyed 5,000 square meters of crops, "What happened today is an episode in a sequence of attacks targeting our farmers, especially in the fields adjacent to Route 60," said the landowner. (Maan)
- Group: Israel arrests 8-year-old in Jerusalem - Seif Rweidi was walking with his brother when an Israeli jeep stopped and three police officers seized the boy, a resident of Silwan, in E. Jerusalem. He was taken to an unknown location. (Maan)
- Israel looking to mend ties with UN Rights Council, but says 'built-in discrimination' must end - Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin says Israel froze ties with UN Human Rights council last year because of its 'anti-Semitism' and anti-Israel agenda. (Haaretz)
- Once again, Likud's Levin takes aim at courts' power over Knesset - Coalition chairman MK Yariv Levin, who believes justice system is skewed with a leftist worldview, wants ministers to have more say on who sits on High Court and to introduce U.S.-style confirmation hearings • Levin: Current system is undemocratic. (Israel Hayom)
- Israel conducts illegal weapons amnesty - Public Security Ministry promises anyone who hands over unlicensed gun will not be prosecuted; some 6,500 Israelis yet to renew their gun licenses. (Media Line, Ynet)
- IDF to reduce reservists' routine security duties if budget cuts pass - A cut of about NIS 1.5 billion to this year's defense budget has been agreed on with the government, along with a NIS 3 billion cut for next year. This would be followed by a gradual increase over four years. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
- 2 soldiers escape from military prison - One manages to escape from high-security ward, reserved for dangerous inmates; two later return to Prison Four. Company, unit commanders dismissed. (Ynet)
- Obama's okra - A recipe book by older women of various ethnic backgrounds living in Upper Nazareth arrived at the office of Michelle Obama. The First Lady loved it and the book became part of her health project, 'Let's Move.' The book was the result of the 'Ashalim' group, a project of JDC Israel. (Yedioth, p. 20)
- Poor Israeli children will be hit hardest by budgets cuts, National Insurance Institute warns - Planned reductions in government spending will disproportionately affect lower and middle class families and drastically increase poverty, particularly among children, says the NII. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Key green NGO in polluted Haifa-area to close for lack of foreign donations - The Public Health Coalition, which has played a major role in environmental research and campaigning in the Haifa area, announced it is closing down for lack of funding, leaving a void behind it. (Haaretz)
- Israel ranks in bottom tier of OECD's list of happy countries - Israel comes in at 24 out of 36 countries, and Australia keeps title of happiest developed nation for a third year in a row, followed by Sweden and Canada. The U.S. came in at number six, and Turkey scored lowest overall. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Passionate Zionist leaves Greek paradise for IDF service - Ion Braun, son of Israeli commando, says he wants to live his life in Jewish state. He serves as a non-commissioned officer at the coordinator unit for the Palestinian territories. (Ynet)
- Tutu: Strip Israel of U21 championship - South African anti-apartheid campaigner joins calls for UEFA to move Under-21 European championship from Jewish state over treatment of Palestinian sport. (Agencies, Yedioth, p. 26/Ynet)
- 'Israeli tourism to focus on evangelicals in US and China' - Speaking ahead of International Tourism Conference in Jerusalem, Tourism Minister Uzi Landau says: "In Europe, 6% of GDP is generated by incoming tourism [and] in some of these countries the number is as high as 9%; in Israel it is only 2.3%." (Israel Hayom)
- Adelson awarded for 'changing the face of global tourism' - American Jewish entrepreneur Sheldon Adelson is recognized at 2013 Jerusalem Innovative Tourism Summit for his extraordinary contributions to global tourism industry • Adelson has invested more than $30 billion in tourism projects around the world. (Israel Hayom)
- First haredi school to teach core subjects - Ultra-Orthodox educational institution offering history, English and math lessons set to open in Jerusalem in upcoming school year. (Ynet)
- Romania: Israeli teen suspected of murdering father with hammer - Boy, 17, arrested for father's murder says father had abused him. Mother confirmed this. Family emigrated from Israel four years ago after father, former Border Policeman, was injured by brick in evacuation of settlement outpost. (Ynet)
- A kick at racism - A moment before the opening of the Euro Tournament in Netanya next week for youth national soccer teams, the Israeli coach Guy Luzon and his players met with elementary school pupils at Ilan Ramon school in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa to speak about "Preventing violence and racism in sport" (Yedioth. p. 26)
- Iran's presidential candidates clash over nuclear approach - Cleric Hassan Rohani denies allegations he halted nuclear development; says during his tenure as nuclear negotiator Iran demonstrated program's peaceful nature and 'prevented a US attack.' (Agencies, Ynet)
Rewriting history (again): What stance on Arabs will Israel's new education minister take?
A comprehensive textbook on Israeli Arab population, written according to Education Ministry guidelines, was shelved by former minister Gideon Sa'ar. Now, it may again see the light of day. (Haaretz)
The infamous Haaretz photo that was never actually printed in Haaretz
A photograph cropped in two ways, captioned with two newspapers, Haaretz and Makor Rishon, purported to show left-wing vs. right-wing photojournalism. The only problem: Neither newspaper actually published the photo in question. (Haaretz)
American Jews need to overcome their insecurities about Zionism (Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, Haaretz) Rather than being overused, as A.B. Yehoshua worries, the term 'Zionism' is in danger of extinction in American Jewish life, due to the discredit both right-wingers and anti-Israel groups have brought on Zionism in the eyes of many U.S. Jews.
Is Israel's right-wing deputy foreign minister secretly an Arabophile? (Barak Ravid, Haaretz) Without abandoning his opposition to a Palestinian state, Zeev Elkin sounded almost mellow last week when he spoke at the launch of a Knesset caucus to promote a two-state solution to the conflict.
The impasse alliance (Ariela Ringel-Hoffman, Yedioth/Ynet) Right's speakers needn't lash out at Peres' peace statements; Abbas is doing their job just fine.
How dare Peres trust Abbas (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) In presenting Mahmoud Abbas as a partner, Israeli President Shimon Peres defied the Israeli strategy of questioning the Palestinian president's credibility to avoid peace negotiations.
**The truth will win (Noam Sheizaf, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) Peres and Kerry's conduct in Jordan (at the World Economic Forum) were nothing more than pretense. The only way to renew the peace process is to first to eulogize it publicly...If John Kerry was right with the world and with himself, he would announce his next press conference the truth: there is no peace process, and there is no chance in the foreseeable future agreement... What is happening now in the West Bank and Gaza is what will continue to happen, at least in the foreseeable future. Goodbye and see you later. Kerry and many people know that this is exactly the situation, but it is convenient for them to pretend...The peace process was a convenient alibi for everyone. It's time to get rid of it. An honest declaration from Kerry would save what is left of American credibility, and would force the rest of European countries and the world to re-evaluate their collaboration in what has become a permanent occupation. Local and foreign companies that profit from their operations in the Territories would no longer be able to use the excuse that the not "situation is temporary," which is becoming idiotic as the years pass. "The situation" has long become permanent. Fly home, Kerry, and don't come back...
The creeping Jewish fundamentalism in our midst (Jay Michaelson, The Forward/Haaretz) Moderate Hillels are losing to radical Shammais, writes Jay Michaelson, warning that the growing majority of ultra-Orthodox Jews and its 'apparatus of fear, manipulation and power mongering' will have 'catastrophic' results.
Ya'alon, let IDF win (Hagai Segal, Ynet) Policy of restraint in face of Palestinian violence eroding Israel's deterrence.
A Bedouin tragedy, an Israeli tragedy (Moshe Arens, Haaretz) It's a mistake to think that the Negev Bedouin's problems can be solved by adjudicating claims over landownership. It will not raise their education level.
You got the wrong address (Avraham Tirosh, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) The detractors attacked President Peres for his speech in Jordan, while completely ignoring the fact that the things that were said were in coordination with Prime Minister Netanyahu...What does Netanyahu's agreement and his lack of response to the attacks on the President mean? This is the million dollar question...
Israel can stand to gain from Syria's civil war, as long as it avoids interfering (Amos Harel, Haaretz) Recent developments in the war-torn country suggest that the events in Syria may not be so bleak from an Israeli perspective.
Between Hezbollah fighters and Russian missiles, Israel's stakes in Syria war grow ever higher (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz) Nasrallah's gamble on Assad's behalf could tilt Israel to support rebels, but Russian S-300s could be dangerous game-changer, for everyone.
The Salary Defense Forces (Haaretz Editorial) IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz must relinquish secret pay-hike agreement for long-serving soldiers and divert the money to training reserve units.
Why do people hate Israel? (a self-test) (Bradley Burston, Haaretz) It's that time of year, when that same question comes up yet again: Why do people hate Israel?
Will a German exchange student settle for Sayed Kashua's family? (satire Sayed Kashua, Haaretz) What will she say? I traveled to Israel, I ended up with a Palestinian family? Do you know what that will do to her self-confidence?
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.