APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday May 30, 2013
Number of the day:
--Age of a boy shot in the face yesterday by Israeli forces at clashes at the village of Al-Khader. Last week, an IDF commander told settlers it was problematic that Israeli snipers shoot 12-year-old Palestinians for throwing stones at Israeli cars.**
Front Page News:
- Israel: We will hit missiles that Russia supplies to Assad
- Lapid moving to cancel the public housing law - Previous treasurers blocked such moves
- Lieberman: According to my moral codes - I acted reasonably
- Military draft reform passed - criminal sanctions - with the approval of the Defense Minister
- Prison Authority ordered severe isolation conditions: Prisoner handcuffed to bed for half a year, 10 youth also held in isolation
- Apartheid at Superland (amusement park): Days for Jewish pupils and days for Arab pupils
- Syria: We will respond immediately if Israel attacks again
- Yaakov Peri: I don't hate ultra-Orthodox Jews
- IDF rules: Who is a combat soldier - The combat soldiers complained and soon cyber soldiers and Iron Dome operators will be called "Operators of attack weapons"
- The punishment a teacher imposed on a 7-year-old: Two weeks in the corner for fours a day. Teacher at Zichron Yaakov elementary school was suspended
- Polio virus found in sewage water in (Bedouin town of) Rahat
- Senior Likud members: Lapid escaped instead of standing behind his decision - Finance Minister Lapid left the Knesset minutes before the vote on raising the VAT and traveled to Paris (Hebrew)
- Amidror to the ambassadors: We will act so that the S-300 missiles that arrive in Syria will not be operational (Hebrew)
- Knesset IDF Committee: 'Iron Dome' soldiers won't be considered combat soldiers (Hebrew)
- Collective agreement at Burger Ranch franchise: Employees have rights to funding for driving lessons and a trip to Poland
- Love in the air - Female combat pilot forced to change squadrons after she became the girlfriend of her commander (Hebrew)
- Won't get a street in his name - Jerusalem Municipality ruled: Gen. Uri Ben-Ari, one of the commanders of the liberation of the city, will not be memorialized in it. Reason: "Lack of ties to Jerusalem" (Hebrew)
- "We will fire 2000 employees, we will cancel the (employees') free electricity benefits" - Minister of Energy and Water Silvan Shalom has marked a target: Basic reforms in the Electricity Company
- VAT rose to 18% - Minister of Finance left the Knesset before the vote to fly to Paris for meetings - and for a private vacation
- New battlefield: Combat soldiers - and "Operators of attack weapons"
- Peri Committee approved the draft bill for military draft of ultra-Orthodox - with sanctions
- Amidror threatens: "We will prevent S-300 missiles from becoming operational"
- Lieberman testified (in his graft trial): "...Ayalon was obsessive"
- Interior Minister: Supports extending summer days till end of October
Mutual threats between Syria and Israel over S-300 missiles, the approval of a bill to draft ultra-Orthodox and a new definition of combat soldiers leave some wanna-bes out and making top stories in Israeli newspapers today. Meanwhile, Jordan's Prime Minister says that his country's relations with Israel are affected by Israel's negotiations with the Palestinians.
Will Russia send Syria the S-300 advanced missile systems? Israel believes so. And it has warned Syria that the missiles won't help it. Speaking to a group of 27 European Union ambassadors in Israel, Israel's National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror said that Israel will act "to prevent the S-300 missiles from becoming operational" on Syrian soil. Amidror also reiterated what was said in the past by other Israeli officials regarding weapon shipments to Hezbollah.: "We will only act (in Syria) when needed to protect our security, and thus we will prevent in the future the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah."
And although he himself asked other government ministers not to comment publicly on the S-300s, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the group of ambassadors: "If the missiles are provided and become operational Israel's entire airspace will become a no-fly zone," adding that "the missile transfer is a significant security challenge to Israel and we will not be able to stand idly by." Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Moallem promised 'immediate retaliation' if Israel strikes inside Syria again. He also said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will remain in power until elections take place in 2014.
Meanwhile, in an interview with Maariv at the World Economic Forum, Jordanian Prime Minister Abdallah Ensour said there is a direct correlation between Israel's diplomatic process with the Palestinians and Jordan-Israel relations. "If there will be progress, and there will be positive results on subjects connected to the negotiations, Israel's relations with Jordan and with the rest of the Middle East's countries will improve immediately. On the Jordanian Lower Parliament's vote in favor of ending the peace agreement between the two countries and expelling the Israeli ambassador, Ensour said it was a democratic decision, "but they don't make the decisions. The legal legitimacy is in the hands of the government. It needs to make decisions regarding expelling the ambassador or cutting off relations with other countries." Ensour was extremely critical of Israel's conduct in Jerusalem. "After what happened at Al-Aqsa Mosque, [when right-wing Israelis escorted by security forces were allowed in the compound and clashed with Muslims praying - OH] we summoned the Israeli ambassador for a harsh discussion, and we sent a message to Israel that it needs to act responsibly regarding everything having to do with places holy to Islam. Israel cannot hurt these holy sites without expecting a harsh reaction." (NRG Hebrew)
- **Palestinian Boy, 11, shot in face in clashes at al-Khader village - Israeli forces shot an 11-year-old boy in the face with a plastic-coated bullet on Thursday during clashes in al-Khader south of Bethlehem. (Maan)
- Israeli forces demolish 2 homes in East Jerusalem - Israeli forces surrounded the properties in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina. before bulldozers moved in. " I tried to reach my home when I heard from neighbors but Israeli officers banned me. I wanted to take out my wife's gold and money from one of the drawers," Badran al-Salameh said. (Maan)
- Israel holding more than 100 prisoners, including minors, in isolation under harsh conditions - Knesset debate held in wake of Haaretz report on incident at Eshel Prison reveals systematic practice of long-term isolation in Israeli prisons, in cells with no light that are damp and full of bugs. (Haaretz)
- Settlers uproot olive trees near Nablus - Israeli settlers uprooted over 300 olive trees near the village of Awarta southeast of Nablus. The trees were within the boundaries of Itamar settlement, but belonged to Palestinians. (Maan)
- Israeli forces briefly detain Hebron schoolchildren - Israeli forces briefly detained 27 students from al-Tuwani high school east of Yatta, south Hebron while they were heading home from school. Parents called the Palestinian Liaison Office which intervened and secured their release after three hours. (Maan)
- Segregation at Superland: Separate days for Arab and Jewish students at amusement park - Jaffa Arab schoolteacher says he encountered policy of segregation at Israeli amusement park when attempting to book tickets for a class trip. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
- Alice Walker urges singer Alicia Keys to cancel July concert in Israel - In open letter to the R&B musician, author of 'The Color Purple' and proponent of the BDS campaign calls on Keys to boycott Israel and visit Gaza instead. (Haaretz)
- Haredi draft dodgers to face criminal sanctions in 4 years time - Committee on burden equality votes in favor of imposing harsh sanctions on ultra-Orthodox draft dodgers. Defense minister bends to PM's demand, vote carried 4:1, with one abstaining. Poll: 67% of Israelis favor jail time for haredi draft dodgers. (Israel Hayom)
- Study shows chronic exposure to Gaza rockets spikes Israeli teen violence - Novel research findings suggest that chronic exposure to rocket attacks launched from the Gaza Strip toward the Israeli Negev increases severe adolescent violence. Increasing exposure to rockets equaled increasing adolescent violence -- from bullying to weapon use. (Israel Hayom)
- MK demands lobbyists in Knesset committees identify themselves - During Knesset's Finance Committee meeting, Labor MK Stav Shaffir asks all present state names for record, chasing lobbyists out of room; intends to ask House Committee that everyone present in Knesset committees identifies so that MKs know whose interests are promoted. (Ynet)
- Netanyahu: Anti-Semitism is fashionable again - At 4th International Conference of the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism, PM says neither Holocaust nor Israel's creation quelled hatred toward Jews. "Today's it's fashionable to say, 'I don't hate Jews, I just don't want them to have a state.'" (Israel Hayom)
- Bennett: Modern-day Haman is racing to acquire nuclear weapons - Minister tells Anti-Semitism conference attendees that anti-Semitism has always had the same template: First dehumanize the Jewish people and break their spirit, and then physically destroy them. Says modern anti-Semitism is being anti-Israel. (Israel Hayom)
- Jerusalem mayor: We will bring 10 million tourists to Jerusalem - American Jewish entrepreneur Sheldon Adelson awarded prize for innovation and excellence in tourism. Mayor Nir Barkat: Sheldon Adelson is a beacon and an inspiration. (Israel Hayom)
- Mother appeals for surgery for son imprisoned in Israeli jail - Murad Abu Moleq's mother and father were able to visit their son in April. She said he had already had one surgery, but suffered serious infections after the operation and his condition worsened. The family received information Murad was in a coma in a hospital in Beersheva. (Maan)
- IDF names elite unit base after Amnon Lipkin-Shahak - 15th IDF chief of staff, who died last year, honored in ceremony attended by defense echelon top officials. (Ynet)
- Israeli forces arrest Fatah, Hamas, and Jihad leaders - Israeli soldiers raided Balata refugee camp in Nablus and arrested local Hamas leader Yasser Badrasawi, 47, ransacking his home and damaging the interior, locals said. In East Jerusalem, they detained the Secretary-general of the Fatah Youth movement Thaer Anis, 32, after raiding his home in al-Eizariya and two youth from the Wadi al-Joz neighborhood, aged 12 and 15. Five others were also arrested. (Maan)
- Israeli army mulls: In high-tech age, who is a combat soldier? Growing dominance of technology on battlefield challenges the traditional definition of a combatant; Iron Dome operators to be included in classification. (Haaretz)
- Rabbinate: Palestinian Coke not kosher - Chief Rabbinate warns Israeli public against Coca-Cola manufactured without supervision in PA. Businesses asked to avoid selling beverage 'so as not to get public used to purchasing products without kosher mark.' (Ynet)
- Israel to extend daylight savings time by one month - Extension would bring Israel's daylight savings time into line with the commonly accepted practice in European countries. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Historic decision at the Knesset would redefine business sector - Knesset panel votes to restrict size of large conglomerates. Overall effect could increase competition as large corporations would no longer be able to control large swaths of economy. Committee head: No longer will a few families run the economy. (Israel Hayom)
- Knesset approves VAT raise amid bi-partisan criticism - After fierce debate Knesset passes bill to raise VAT to 18%; absent finance minister slammed by coalition, opposition, accused of folding to tycoons' demands. (Ynet)
- Israeli military vehicles, bulldozers enter Gaza - even bulldozers flanked by four military vehicles crossed into a border area near al-Bureij refugee camp at around 6 a.m., penetrating 300 meters into fields and leveling agricultural lands, An Israeli army spokesman said there was "routine activity along the fence." (Maan)
- Israel's police chief apologizes to Bedouin elders for mishandling of children's murder case - Danino's meeting with Bedouin elders follows dismissal of top Arad police officers who ignored mother's complaints prior to the murder of her two children. (Haaretz)
- Family of Bedouin killed during arrest still awaits justice, five years later' - I don't find in this country a true will to bring the truth to light,' says brother of deceased, who accuses police of whitewashing the case. (Haaretz)
- Saudi pledges $86 million to UNRWA - Saudi Arabia has pledged $86 million to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees to fund projects in the West Bank, Gaza and Lebanon. The kingdom allocated $54.5 million to reconstruct 1,000 residential units and to build six new schools in the Gaza Strip, as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council's project to rebuild the war-torn enclave. (Maan)
- FIFA to help solve PA-Israel sports dispute - President of soccer's world governing body promises Palestinians to help put an end to long-running problems with Jewish state that severely restrict sport in territories. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Sources: Jordan military drill in preparation for Syria conflict - Western sources claim international forces will stay in Jordan after joint military exercise 'to prepare for possible intervention in Syria.' (Ynet)
- Israel and U.S. generals draw up theoretical scenario for attack on Iran - Article co-written by retired generals James Cartwright and Amos Yadlin states that it would be preferable for the U.S., rather than Israel, to carry out an attack on Iran. (Haaretz)
More bullets against more stones? (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) Giving soldiers near complete authority to open fire on stone throwers could dramatically increase the number of casualties on both sides.
Basic Law: Apartheid in Israel (Haaretz Editorial) The proposal put forth by Coalition Chairman Yariv Levin is nothing short of an apartheid law, aiming to provide a solid legal basis for the exclusion of Israel's Arab minority.
Levin's dangerous law (Dr. Aviad Hacohen, Israel Hayom) MK Yariv Levin's proposal to change the makeup of the Judicial Nomination Committee may significantly undermine the public's faith in the legal system.
The great American withdrawal (Ari Shavit, Haaretz) The disillusioned U.S. has commenced on a journey of withdrawal from the tormented Middle-East and its politics of chaos, a move that bodes ill for the region's downtrodden.
There are no do-overs in war (Zvika Fogel, Israel Hayom) The defense budget cuts that are certain to damage the reserve army will weaken the only branch we are all dependent on -- the defense establishment.
A new look at Arab education in Israel (Or Kashti, Haaretz) Recent statements by Israel's new education minister Shay Piron suggest a refreshingly healthy attitude towards the Arab education system; positive policy must follow.
Indeed, there is a future ('Yesh Atid') (Yael Paz-Melamed, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) "If the Peri outline in equalizing the burden passes all the long and wearying procedures that yet await it, it will indeed be a great achievement. Perhaps not historic in the terms that we were familiar with in the first years of the state, but still considerable. For the first time, the Knesset will pass a law imposing the compulsory draft on every ultra-orthodox young man who reaches 21, with criminal sanctions alongside. And this is happening less than three months after Yesh Atid entered the coalition and pushed out the ultra-orthodox." Paz-Melamed notes that there will certainly be parts of the Yesh Atid platform that will fall by the wayside, but claims that Yair Lapid's and Yesh Atid's, "serial detractors will talk only about what has not been implemented. They will not allow anyone to take from them a good disappointment."
Ben-Gurion's dark side (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) The time has come to move past the cult of personality surrounding Israel's greatest leader and evaluate his actions honestly.
Servant of two masters (Hazem Saghieh, Al-Hayat - article translated and printed in Yedioth/Ynet) Arab journalist says Syrian war shows conflict with Israel was never a top priority for Hezbollah.
Divide and conquer (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) Assad is winning because Russia is standing firm, America is confused and the EU is not convincing.
Sensing West's weakness (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) Russians will be the only ones to decide when and how Assad will step down.
How Israel can learn to love the Iranian bomb (Ilai Saltzman, Haaretz) The academic giant Kenneth Waltz, who died recently, could make Israeli policy-makers think again about the threat posed by Iran gaining nuclear capacity. He argued that nuclear weapons rationalize decision-makers.
Revolution in Iran - The opposition under the table (Efraim Sneh, Yedioth) Sneh suggests that Western attempts to reach a deal with the Iranian regime in which the latter would agree not to enrich uranium to a level that could be used in nuclear bombs in return for dropping sanctions are, in effect, a discouraging message to the Iranian people, that their struggle against the regime does not matter. Sneh notes next month's presidential election in Iran and speculates that the potential for post-election unrest is greater than it was in 2009 because, "the economic distress is much worse and the Iranian public has less to lose." Ahead of the elections, Sneh calls on the West to greatly step up sanctions and, at the same time, send clear messages of support and admiration for the Iranian people.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.