APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday June 12, 2013
Quote of the day:
"Unless there is a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there will not be a Jewish state for very long."
--Jewish-American author, Leon Wieseltier, in an interview at Tel Aviv University after accepting the $1 million Dan David Prize.**
Front Page News:
- Police: Murderer at youth-bar wanted to take revenge on activist in LGBT community who sexually attacked a relative
- Association that runs the youth bar paid compensation to injured
- The LGBT activist: Prefer to remain silent, I will speak in the future
- Unemployment, isolation and danger of war - For the winner of Iranian presidential elections in two days awaits the problematic inheritance of his predecessor // Zvi Bar'el
- Mossad raised 8 million shekels abroad for a gym - Donations from US Jews
- Wealthier Israeli high school students study more advanced math, study shows
- Initiative to establish nature reserve for Mazor Farm monkeys (to save from medical experiments)
- Rabbis lay down law on burekas (pastry) shapes
- Google rich - Israeli app Waze officially sold to Google for more than $1 billion
- Youth bar murder solved: Took revenge and admitted: "I did a clean job"
- Youth bar affair turned into bitter crisis of confidence in the police elite (Hebrew)
- When everyone knows everything // Ben-Dror Yemini (Hebrew)
- MK Orit Struck: "In the significant steps in all of my public activities I will listen to the position of [controversial - OH] Rabbi Dov Lior" (Hebrew)
- All those fighting the IDF draft in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods: Children's drawing competition that degrades ultra-Orthodox soldiers in uniform
- What causes MKs of the 19th Knesset to expose themselves on social networks (Photo of topless Yesh Atid MK Boaz Toporovsky covered with a shirt) (Hebrew)
- Murderous revenge (at youth bar)
- Individuals against individuals // Dan Margalit
- No to collective blame // Emily Amrousi
- Don't give in to hatred // Shai Deutsch
- Formula 1: On the starting line
- The Waze millionaires
- The English author who dared: "I love Israel"
- In Israel, watching Syria with concern: under the surface, erosion and deterioration // Yoav Limor
The solving of the murder at the youth bar and the sale of Waze to Google were top stories in today's Israeli newspapers. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu forbids Likud ministers from attending the launch of a caucus that supports West Bank annexation - but a few surprise MKs showed up. The caucus is headed by Likud MK Yariv Levin and Habayit Hayehudi MK Orit Struck, the latter who revealed to Maariv that she consults with the extremist settler rabbi Dov Lior before any Knesset vote. Meanwhile, the Israeli settlement university Ariel found that fewer Israelis support settlements and Israel Hayom reports on Kerry's multi-phase peace plan.
Numerous Likud MKs attended the launch of a Knesset caucus that seeks to retain the entire West Bank, but Netanyahu prevented Likud ministers from attending. A senior Likud source told Haaretz that Netanyahu did not want any of his ministers caught making another embarrassing declaration like the one made last week by Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, who said the government doesn't support the two-state solution. So Likud ministers Gideon Sa'ar, Limor Livnat and Yisrael Katz only sent letters welcoming the establishment of the Knesset's 'Caucus for Eretz Israel (Land of Israel).' But other ministers did attend: Economy Minister Naftali Bennett and Housing Minister Uri Ariel, both of Habayit Hayehudi, and Tourism Minister Uzi Landau of Yisrael Beiteinu. Deputy ministers from Likud also attended, including Tzipi Hotovely and Ofir Akunis - though not Danon. Likud Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein also came. The caucus has already 40 MKs signed up to it, including many from Likud. Ministers and deputy ministers cannot be members of caucuses. Nevertheless, Housing Minister Uri Ariel said that he would help them with supportive activity. "My office is prepared to build thousands of apartments in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. We are ready like a spring for the moment when it will be possible," he said. Likud Deputy Minister Ofer Akunis said the caucus' establishment "Is not in defiance of anyone, but meant to strengthen the Land of Israel." (NRG Hebrew)
Maariv/NRG Hebrew reporter Arik Bender noted that there were two MKs who particularly stood out by their presence at the event: Yesh Atid MKs Dov Lipman and Pnina Tamnu-Shata. Bender noted that just recently Lipman attended a launch for the 'Caucus for Ending the Israeli-Arab Conflict,' which also supports the Arab Peace Initiative and is headed by Labor MK Hilik Bar. "It is important for those who support a two-state solution to say 'We love all of the Land of Israel,'" he said. However, unlike the other MKs, Lipman did not receive applause from the audience, which was made up mostly of heads of local authorities in the West Bank and of Yesha settler council leaders.
The caucus is co-headed by government coalition chairman, Likud MK Yariv Levin, and Habayit Hayehudi MK Orit Struck, who said the goals were "preventing any harm to settlement and security" in the W. Bank, "advancing legislation that will strengthen settlement," "directing state resources to strengthening settlement and security" in the W. Bank, "rectifying the grave mistake of the disengagement [from Gaza] and preventing its recurrence" and "bolstering the legal status of the Jewish people in the entire Land of Israel."
In an interview with the symbol of far-right-wing views in the Knesset, MK Struck told Maariv that she consults with [extremist -OH] settler rabbi Dov Lior regarding every public step she takes. When the reporter asked her: So basically every (Knesset) vote you make is a decision by Rabbi Lior? Struck answered: "How did (Habayit Hayehudi MK) Ayelet Shaked say it to me? We consult with rabbis and Tzipi Livni consults with sex offenders." Struck hopes to expand the 'Dromi Law' to allow settlers to open fire on Palestinians. "I want to make Israeli citizens able to fulfill their lawful rights according to which if Arabs break into the house of a settler or intend to harm his property, he is permitted to stop them with any way open to him, including shooting." (NRG Hebrew)
The annual Ariel Poll - taken by what was Ariel College and is now Israel's first university in the West Bank - revealed interesting information about Israeli citizens' attitudes towards the West Bank and settlements. There is decreased support for settlements among Israelis living within the Green Line and fewer Israelis who characterize themselves as right wing: from 57% in 2012 to 48% in this year's poll. The public fears the settlement enterprise may damage U.S.-Israeli relations and a majority (53%) support a full or partial withdrawal from Judea and Samaria as part of an agreement with the Palestinian Authority. More here from Israel Hayom.
Senior diplomatic officials told Israel Hayom that US Secretary State John Kerry is set to unveil a gradual multi-step Israeli-Palestinian peace plan - and he has asked the European Union to halt its own peace-seeking efforts for the time being. According to the plan, the two sides will begin first with core issues, then move to gestures, and finally deal with Jerusalem. Unsurprisingly, Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett said he does not see peace on the horizon.
- Britain refused Israel military equipment for fear it would add to 'internal repression' - From January 2008 to December 2012, Britain rejected 52 Israeli requests to buy military equipment, citing concerns it could contribute to Arab-Israeli conflict, damage regional stability. (Haaretz)
- Israeli lawmakers blast Livni for rushing anti-terror bill through committee - "It was a disgrace. The discussion took about 15 minutes, tops. This is a huge bill that contains 134 sections spread over 107 pages," said one participant. An aide to the justice minister, however, noted that if disagreements arise in the future, another discussion and vote will take place. (Haaretz)
- **Jewish-American author receives prize in Israel and says he fears for country's future - Leon Wieseltier, in Israel to collect Dan David Prize, accuses Prime Minister Netanyahu of putting country's survival in jeopardy. 'Unless there is a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there will not be a Jewish state for very long,' he says. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Arab employers complain of discrimination - Economy Ministry survey points to 5% increase in number of Israeli Arab business owners who feel they are not receiving business opportunities, governmental bids due to unequal treatment. (Ynet)
- Bedouin family evicted from Ramat Hasharon residence - Ramat Hasharon inspectors, police arrive at family's residential compound, demolish structures, citing illegal invasion to area. Family insists evacuated because 'we're Bedouin Arabs.' (Ynet)
- Police officer convicted of rape - Ofer Koren, former police officer, raped two female officers who served under his command; Judge asserts case bears similarities to 'hormone-filled movie rather than a police patrol unit.' (Ynet)
- 6 Golani Brigade soldiers jailed for abuse - Commanders, combatants sanctioned for physical, mental abuse of young soldiers in Golani Brigade auxiliary company. (Ynet)
- New survey challenges Israel's gay-friendly image - Survey reveals Israel might be gay capital of Middle East, but lags behind western countries when it comes to accepting its gay brethren: only 40% of Israelis think LGBT community should be accepted, versus 88% in Spain. (Ynet)
- Embattled UN envoy for Palestinian territories vows to stay on, dismisses anti-Semitism charges - Richard Falk rejects calls for his resignation, accuses his detractors of using the 'anti-Semitic card' to intimidate those who dare criticize Israel's policies toward Palestinians. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Shin Bet stops protecting Israeli athletes abroad due to Foreign Ministry strike - Security service informed Culture and Sports Ministry that due to strike, 'it cannot uphold its security duties.' (Haaretz)
- Foreign Ministry hobbled by work stoppages, lack of clout - Ongoing work stoppages at ministry sees diplomats refusing to provide consular services to Israeli officials. Diplomatic staff are not consulted on foreign policy. Peace negotiations with the Palestinians under purview of justice minister. (Israel Hayom)
- 'All of Israel is occupied Palestine, from the river to the sea' - Ahead of visit by Barcelona soccer club, senior Fatah member Jibril Rajoub says: "There was a stupid Israeli attempt to hold a joint sporting event, which we rejected, because the Israelis are trying to use Barcelona as a fig leaf to hide their crimes." (Israel Hayom)
- Israel tops world ranking of smartphone usage - Survey shows Israelis use their smartphones just about anywhere; rising number of Israelis apt to use smartphones during social gatherings. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Lowering profile - At a time when every soldier has a Facebook account, IDF trying to deal with confidential information flowing into the Internet. A new IDF order makes order of how soldiers can use social networks. Those in classified positions are prohibited from opening social network accounts with their personal details and photos. Those in elite units and high-ranking officers can open accounts, but no photos with uniforms. (Yedioth, p. 14)
- Video of naked soldiers goes viral - After naked photos of IDF soldiers gain global fame as 'Gaza Strip,' new video of soldiers dancing naked made public. (Ynet)
- Knesset chairman rebukes MKs after Yesh Atid member posts racy pic - Yuli Edelstein sends sharp letter to all MKs, chastising them over embarrassing occurrences, most recently MK Boaz Toporovsky's revealing Facebook photo of himself in his Knesset office. (Haaretz)
- Special delivery to Arab sector: 10,000 gas masks - In first of its kind, on Wednesday, Home Front Command will distribute thousands of gas mask kits in villages of Wadi Ara, instead of its residents having to travel to another city to obtain a kit. (Ynet)
- Austria begins withdrawing peacekeepers from Golan - First group of Austrian troops moves from Quneitra crossing into Israeli part of Golan Heights; disengagement is expected to be completed within weeks. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Pakistan denies receiving military equipment from Israel - Haaretz earlier revealed that Israel had supplied Pakistan and four Arab countries with military wares, based on a report carried out by the British government. (Haaretz)
- Gulf states pledge sanctions against Hezbollah members - Gulf Cooperation Council says it has decided to "take measures" against Hezbollah members, "whether with regard to their residencies or their financial and commercial dealings." (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
- Israel, EU sign 'open skies' deal - Agreement to allow more, cheaper flights between Jewish state, anywhere in European Union. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Russia's Putin: Iran nuclear push is peaceful - Russian president says Iranian threats to Israel's existence are unacceptable, but he has 'no doubt' that Tehran is adhering to international commitments on non-proliferation. (Agencies, Haaretz)
Europe, stop appeasing Israel: Settlement goods are not 'Made in Israel' (Willem-Gert Aldershoff, Michel Waelbroeck, Haaretz) The EU is finally applying to Israeli settlement products the regulations that should have been properly enacted years ago.
**How long does Israel have left to live? (a self-test) (Bradley Burston, Haaretz) American author and philosopher Leon Wieseltier says Israel won't survive much longer as a Jewish state unless the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is solved. But if Netanyahu has indeed managed 'to take the Palestinian question off the table,' as Wieseltier suggests, could the end be nearer than we think?
Palestinian property, absent justice (Ali Ayyad, Haaretz) Along with many other West Bank Palestinians who own land and property in East Jerusalem, my family is caught in a Kafkaesque trap: We are considered absentee owners - and the Israeli government has the right to take our homes away from us.
Alone in the fight (Yoaz Hendel, Yedioth/Ynet) Settlers chose an easy target - the general who protects Jewish communities in the West Bank.
Civilian service for freeloaders (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) A majority of Israeli Jews support integration of Arabs into society. But that's the same majority that continues to view Arabs with suspicion, whether or not they volunteered for national service.
A counter to the Nakba (Avi Shilon, Haaretz) If the government truly intends to reach an agreement on how to define Jews of Middle Eastern origin, and not just to pose a counter to the Nakba, the equation between Palestinian and Jewish refugees has some value.
The Arab world is on fire - leave them to commit suicide (Alex Fishman, Yedioth) Fishman reviews the ongoing domestic chaos in Israel's neighbors and asks why Israel, "needs to provide them with a pretext to unite around the only common denominator they have - hatred of Israel? Let them commit suicide in peace. While the weapons to Lebanon are dangerous, they do not constitute an existential threat, not like the Iranian bomb."
My false illusion of an Israeli-Palestinian federation (Shlomo Sand, Haaretz) In a response to Dmitry Shumsky, Shlomo Sand questions his critic's support for a binational state and the Palestinian right of return.
How Israel can return to the Middle East (Benjamin Pogrund, Haaretz) Israelis are so estranged from their region that the wider Middle East is another world to us. Now is the chance to test our neighbors' commitment to dialogue - through the Arab Peace Initiative - if we genuinely want peace.
Broken fissure (Avraham Tirosh, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) Netanyahu warns of 'cracks in the coalition,' Begin saw 'malfunctions in the government.' But the remarks by Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon (to The Times of Israel to the effect that the Cabinet - including a majority of its Likud ministers - would vote down any two-state proposal) combine the two and require that he be thrown out of his position. In no normal government would a minister or deputy minister keep his job after such a provocation to the prime minister. (Netanyahu must) send Danon back to being an ordinary MK...But Netanyahu only said a few faint words, as per his faint position in the Likud party. Netanyahu is scared, as usual. Defense Minister Yaalon is Danon's official boss, and he did not say a word. They can't provoke him, definitely can't punish him...
From Turkey reconciliation to Palestinian talks: How Netanyahu made the Foreign Ministry obsolete (Bark Ravid, Haaretz) The prime minister has taken to bypassing the Foreign Ministry by using personal envoys and making it irrelevant to the decision making; Israeli diplomats' appalling pay and benefits is closely tied to the Foreign Ministry's deteriorating status.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.