APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday June 11, 2013
Quote of the day:
"This makes it official -- while there is less building taking place in Israel, they [the government] keep building the settlements. Unfortunately that is the Israeli government's response to the Arab peace initiative and [U.S. Secretary of State John] Kerry's visit to the region."
-- Peace Now Director Yariv Oppenheimer on the announcement of a 176% rise in settlement construction.**
Front Page News:
- Netanyahu: Syrian border particularly sensitive and explosive
- The scenario: The night the cabinet decides to attack missiles in Syria (again)// Amos Harel
- Israel sold military equipment to Pakistan and Egypt
- Defense Ministry dismantled (African migrant) tent city in south
- Police exposed details in youth bar affair despite court prohibition
- Professions in demand: engineers, plumbers and welders
- Who is buried in the mass grave in Jaffa: Casualties of '48 or WWI
- The great arak (price) scare
- The uncovering and the embarrassment - 30 minutes after police stood before cameras and revealed everything about the murder at the youth bar, the judge announced: the gag order is again in effect
- Farce live on TV // Tovah Tzimuki
- Tough matriculation exams - After the great storm over the mathematics exam, the students are angry again: "The history exam was also too hard"
- Darkness at the end of the tunnel - This is how the Carmel tunnels can turn into the death trap of the north during war
- Path of success - The 12 stations that brought Waze to the billion dollar deal with Google
- Contrary to the court order: Senior police officials revealed details of the 'youth bar' affair (Hebrew)
- Playing with fire // Baruch Kra (Hebrew)
- Oh the embarrassment // Avi Ashkenazi
- Tzipi Livni initiating forming a coalition obstructive bloc with Lapid to push Netanyahu to negotiate with the Palestinians (Hebrew)
- American spying, Unit 8200 technology (Hebrew)
- Hamas' bankruptcy (Hebrew)
- Bill proposal for a basic law: Arabs of Israel to receive indigenous people status as an autonomous society and culture (Hebrew)
- Circus of (court) orders - The solving, revealing and farce: The suspicions over the murders at the youth bar were revealed - and immediately hidden
- Jewish mind invents for us nano-watermelons
- Now it's official: We turned into the people of the smartphone
- Rising tension regarding Syria; Report: Obama close to approving arms for rebels
- Steinitz: Iran very close to red line that prime minister drew
- Students complaining: History matriculation exam was too hard
The embarrassment over the police revelation of the youth bar murders was today's top story in Israeli newspapers. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says settlement construction will continue while MK Avigdor Lieberman says there was a hiatus in E. Jerusalem. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni has a plan to push Netanyahu to negotiations and avoid 'Danonism' and Netanyahu threatens Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
**Netanyahu said he wanted to resume peace talks, but insisted settlement construction will continue, adding, "We must be smart, not just right. Netanyahu claimed that settlements in settlement blocs don't significantly change the ability to reach an agreement. "The real question is whether there is or isn't a willingness [among the Palestinians] to accept a Jewish state," he said. Being 'smart,' not just right, may refer to the construction freeze in E. Jerusalem. Army Radio reported Monday that since the beginning of 2013 not one apartment has been marketed beyond the Green Line in Jerusalem (i.e. E. Jerusalem). Former Foreign Minister MK Avigdor Lieberman said, "One should view this as a temporary hiatus. We have an interest in [Secretary of State] Kerry succeeding. You don't always have to be right; you can also be smart." The Housing Ministry and the Jerusalem Municipality criticized the government for unofficially suspending construction beyond the Green Line. The Israel Land Authority said the Prime Minister's Office is to blame. Oddly the Yesha settler's Council joined the protest despite data saying that settlement construction in the West Bank is up 176%.
In the first quarter of 2013, building starts on settler homes in W. Bank hit a seven-year high, Peace Now said. If compared to the final quarter of last year (October-December 2012), it is a 355 percent increase. "This makes it official -- while there is less building taking place in Israel, they [the government] keep building the settlements. Unfortunately that is the Israeli government's response to the Arab peace initiative and [U.S. Secretary of State John] Kerry's visit to the region."
Following the statement by Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon last week that the government is not interested in a two-state peace solution with the Palestinians, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni hopes to form an obstructive bloc with Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party in order to push Netanyahu to negotiations, Maariv reports. Yesh Atid is considering the proposal. (NRG Hebrew) And according to Yedioth, Livni is threatening to break up the coalition over Danon's statements. Yesterday she sent a message to Netanyahu to moderate Danon and advance the peace process - or she and the members of Hatnua party would leave the government. "Prime Minister Netanyahu must decide whether to let 'Danonism' take over this government or to give the forces who understand that a peace settlement is an interest of the State of Israel to make decisions," she said. Livni also critized Finance Minister Yair Lapid saying, "I expect Yesh Atid to be more active in this field."
In a comment directed at Syria, Netanyahu said yesterday that "Whoever hurts Israel, or threatens to hurt it, will get hurt." He dismissed rumors of Israeli forces operating in Syria as 'nonsense' and said that Iran has ordered Syria to provide Hezbollah with advanced weapons, which Israel will do everything necessary to stop. But Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that Syria wouldn't open a front against Israel without careful and effective planning. Meanwhile, the US embassy warned Americans in Israel to avoid visiting the Golan Heights during the next 72 hours and a senior Israeli minister said that Assad may win the Syria civil war, with the help of Iran and Hezbollah. Strategic Affairs Minister Steinitz's assessment was quickly disavowed by other members of the coalition government. Meanwhile, the Obama administration is close to approving arms shipments to Syrian rebels.
- Israeli forces shoot, injure farmer in southern Gaza - A 21-year-old farmer was seriously wounded after being shot in the chest by Israeli soldiers stationed near the border, east of Khan Younis. Last week, Ahmad Hamdin, 21, was shot by Israeli soldiers in northern Gaza while picking watermelons. (Maan)
- PA official: Settlers destroy 2,500 olive trees in June - Settlers uprooted and burned the olive trees in the Nablus area since the beginning of June, destroying the main source of income for villagers in the area.The areas primarily affected were the villages of Awarta, Burin, Azmut and Deir al-Hatab, all in close proximity to Israeli settlements. (Maan)
- Palestinian Authority: Israel forging documents for settlement construction - Israeli construction companies have been forging documents to transfer land to Israel for the construction of settlements in the northern West Bank district of Salfit. Twenty five cases were discovered. (Maan)
- Israeli forces issue 8 demolition orders in Silwan - Israeli forces on Monday handed down eight demolition orders to homes and and a car wash in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. The residential properties are home to dozens of people from three families. (Maan)
- Israeli forces prevent Hebron farmers from accessing their land - Israeli forces prevented farmers from the Sabarneh, Sulaibi, Abu Maria, and Akel families from accessing land located near Karmi Zur settlement, north of Halhul. The farmers had previously coordinated with Palestinian and Israeli officials to access their land. (Maan)
- 2 children and a young man injured in clashes as settlers visit Nablus tomb - Three Palestinians were injured overnight Monday during clashes in Nablus as dozens of settlers visited Joseph's tomb. At least 15 buses carrying settlers were seen by the tomb amid a heavy Israeli military presence. (Maan)
- Mayor: Bedouins forced out of Jordan Valley by Israeli-created water shortages - Dozens of Bedouin families have left al-Malih village in the Jordan Valley because of water shortages after Israeli authorities drained water springs in the area, the mayor of al-Malih said Monday. (Maan)
- Defense Minister Ya'alon bars Fatah's Jibril Rajoub from entering Israel for Meretz conference - Meretz chairwoman, MK Zahava Gal-On, said the decision was politically motivated. (Haaretz)
- New program: Wearing uniforms already in high school - In order to solve its manpower problem, the Signal and Communication Corps has found a unique solution: Academic program for high school students that will prepare them for serving in the Corps.(NRG Hebrew)
- Initiative for Basic Law: Israeli Arabs to receive autonomy - Balad party proposes legislative bill requesting to recognize Arab citizens as "indigenous peoples" and giving them cultural and social autonomy. MK Zahalka: "It's possible that in the future we will demand our national and political rights."(Maariv, p. 1/NRG Hebrew)
- Israel to compensate Palestinians killed by Hamas rocket - Qassam fired by Hamas in 2005 leads to death of two Palestinians, Chinese farm worker. Eight years later, special IDF committee decided to compensate families with NIS 1M. (Ynet)
- Israel selling military wares to Mideast countries, Britain says - Report by British government agency reveals that Egypt, Algeria, Pakistan, Morocco and UAE were among clients of Israeli defense industries. (Haaretz)
- Former soldiers in the IDF's Unit 8200 are helping the US administration - In the US they claim that Israeli Verint and Narus companies, many of whose employees are from the former IDF intelligence unit, were a central part of the FBI's method for collecting information. (Maariv, p. 1/NRG Hebrew)
- Lieberman to EU: Leaving Hezbollah off terror list is 'hypocrisy' - In protest letter to EU's Catherine Ashton, Avigdor Lieberman details why Hezbollah should be added to the group's terror list immediately, says leaving it out is 'hypocrisy that cries out to the heavens.' (Haaretz)
- BORO ENTIHAB KON - Iranian youth calling to boycott Friday's presidential elections through an Israeli website in Persian, Tehtel - a Haifa University project. But senior religious figures warn: "Whoever does not vote will go to hell." (Yedioth, p. 8)
- NII director: We're a generation of sexual assault - National Insurance Institute director discusses sexual assault of minors. At same time, Status of Women Committee discusses sexual assault against women. (Ynet)
- Executive with ties to Netanyahu is to join Army Radio supervisory body - Campaign ads for Eretz Chadasha dubbed Yoav Horowitz PM's 'operations officer' for organizing reservist protests after 2006 Lebanon war. (Haaretz)
- Israel, England teams unite against racism - Stars from Under-21 football teams join together to encourage 'Football for All' campaign, declare their support to kick racism and violence out of sport. (Ynet)
- UN rights envoy: Gaza's viability at stake - Human rights investigator accuses Israel of imposing collective punishment, seeks inquiry on alleged torture of Palestinian inmates; Israel, US boycott debate at UN rights forum. (Agencies, Ynet)
- UN expert under fire ahead of Palestinian rights report - A pro-Israel group called UN Watch said that with backing from Washington it would call on the UN Human Rights Council to dismiss top official Richard Falk. Falk called on the UNHRC to investigate UN Watch "to determine whether it qualifies as an independent organization...and is not indirectly sponsored by the government of Israel." (Maan)
- Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant experienced generator malfunction, envoy says - Experts are working to resolve technical problem, Tehran's envoy to Moscow says, stressing that breakdown wasn't linked to recent earthquake. (Agencies, Haaretz)
The empire Hamdallah built
The man appointed Palestinian prime minister helped turn An-Najah University into a flourishing and influential body. On the Nablus campus, students and faculty describe Rami Hamdallah and the institution he shaped. (Haaretz)
Guns n' thongs: Israel sexual politics 101
Four young IDF soldiers, who posed in their underwear, are being punished for stating the unspoken truth about young women in Israel: they are often seen as sexual objects, and nothing more. (Haaretz)
Israel's Absentee Property Law exposes an absence of morality in Jerusalem (Ilene Prusher, Haaretz) Upholding a 63-year-old law allowing Israel to confiscate "absentee" properties of Palestinian-owned homes in Jerusalem sends a dangerous message and puts up a road block to peace.
The end of the Israeli colony (Sefi Rachlevsky, Haaretz) Israel's settlement policy is swallowing it up whole, and it accepts the craziness as if nothing were wrong. The wake-up call, only a matter of time, is going to hurt.
Shooting and Suing (Adv. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Adv. Amir Fuchs, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) The bill that would allow IDF combat soldiers to file libel class action suits will stigmatize the State of Israel, present it as a country that has something to hide and silence.
History lessons: Who's who in Syria (Moshe Arens, Haaretz) The Assad regime slaughtering Syrians now is a continuation of the Assad regime that slaughtered its own civilians then - the same regime Israeli leaders said could be trusted to protect us from Hezbollah, if only we withdraw from the Golan Heights.
The King wears no clothes (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth) Shiffer writes about Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon's statement that the government is not interested in a two-state solution. "Danon is like the boy in Hans Christian Andersen's story about the emperor's new clothes; the boy is not prepared to take part in the charade and declares that the emperor is naked." Shiffer notes that there are others in the Likud who are saying the same as Danon and asserts that they have put Minister Tzipi Livni in a difficult position: "If she stays in the Government she is liable to become a bitter joke in Israeli politics, in which she has a public reputation for integrity, by lending her hand to a charade." Shiffer wonders when Livni will, "no longer hold the hem of the naked emperor's robe, and leave the government."
Be strong, Alicia Keys. Be fierce. Talk truth. Come to Israel. (Bradley Burston, Haaretz) It could just be that the right boycott, run the right way, could help end Israel's occupation of the Palestinians. Not this boycott.
Leaders must seize the opportunity for peace and security (Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson, Maan) As I now return to Palestine and Israel, I do so with increasing frustration that the chance of a two-state solution risks being squandered.
Privacy: What's that? In Israel, PRISM shocks no one (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz) Israelis, who instinctively surrender their bags and pop open their trunks for inspection, were scarcely surprised by the revelation that the U.S. government is spying on its citizens. Are privacy violations a small price to pay for security?
Coalition of refuseniks (Ben-Dror Yemini, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) Yemini notes that Jibril Rajoub was denied permission to enter Israel last week in order to attend a Meretz conference. The author notes that Rajoub has recently said - in Arabic media - that if he had a nuclear weapon he would use it on Israel and that all of Israel is occupied territory, and asks, "Let's assume that he would have received a permit to attend the conference; would anyone in that party have dared to stand up and criticize the honored guest for his words of incitement?...In order to understand that Rajoub is not alone, Deputy Minister Danny Danon jumped in and determined that the Government opposes a Palestinian state. Rajoub wants a greater Palestine and Danon, his political twin, wants a greater Israel...The claim that the Palestinians refuse two states for two peoples, and Israel accepts it, could be one of Israel's most important cards because Rajoub is not alone. Abu Mazen also supports two states but not for two peoples. Now Danon comes and makes it clear that the problem is Israel. One can assume that Israel's enemies sent Danon a bouquet of flowers."
Scenario: The night Israel decides to attack Syria again (Amos Harel, Haaretz) If the Assad regime receives anti-aircraft missiles, and Israeli ministers decide to launch a preemptive strike, the Syrian president - and Hezbollah - will likely respond this time.
Listening to Palestinian officials, longing for Trotsky (Amira Hass, Haaretz) When will the Palestinians learn that the media wants information, and that we're tired of their cliches?
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.