APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday June 14, 2013
Quote of the day:
"But it's an illusion to think that nations do everything only because of economic considerations. Every people has its dreams and its goals, and that's true for us and for the Palestinians. The Palestinians want to be a people, they don't just want to be in a better economic situation. We need to take that into account."
--Outgoing Governor of the Bank of Israel, Stanley Fischer, shares his views on a two-state solution.**
Front Page News:
- Iranian elections: Bread or nukes // Zvi Bar'el
- According to Netanyahu, our situation was never worst // Yoel Marcus
- The terror trial that embarrasses the Chinese authorities
- Israel is actually pleased with the new US ambassador to the UN // Barak Ravid
- War in Syria turning into pan-Islamic front // Anshel Pfeffer
- What Putin and Assad will demand // Amir Oren
- Internal document of Education Ministry warns of sharp jump in hiring contractors
- Remains silent - Youth bar affair: LGBT activist refuses to cooperate with police
- Mysterious limits of knowledge - US Supreme Court: It is not possible to patent human genes
- Athenian education - In ultra-democratic school, the students fire the teachers
- Hope for the strengthening of the moderates in Iran
- Roxana - Iranian blogger - special to Yedioth "They are using us"
- "The IDF kashrut will be harmed" - This is what the IDF Rabbinate warned after the IDF decision to cut 25% of the rabbinate's budget
- The LGBT activist in the youth bar affair is likely to be released - Believed that the activist, who is suspected of sexually attacking a minor, has begun to cooperate with the investigators
- Are you pregnant? Don't paint your apartment. or buy clothes or a car. Reason: Exposure to chemicals transfers to fetus
- Goodbye to the Governor (of Bank of Israel)
- 50 million voters to decide today who will be the next Iranian president (Hebrew)
- Good riddance // Nadav Eyal
- Likud activists: Netanyahu is a burden not an asset, he is destroying the party, we will return the power to the Central Likud party
- Thousands of illegal migrants entering Israel as "Ethiopian immigrants"
- UN report: From beginning of war between Assad and rebels, 93,000 people were killed in Syria
- Import from Gaza Strip: Palestinians tried to dig tunnels under the West Bank separation fence (Hebrew)
- Shas MKs vs. Der'i: He is trying to 'close accounts' with Eli Yishai supporters (Hebrew)
- Youth bar investigation: LGBT activist to be released to house arrest. Believed he will admit and sign agreement as state witness (Hebrew)
- Education Minister felt ill on flight to Israel from official visit to Poland and was transferred to hospital (Hebrew)
- Iran votes, Khameini will win
- Formula 1: Some 100,000 people watched the fantastic warm-up for the show that will take place today in Jerusalem
- Drama on prime minister's plane: Minister Piron fell ill
- Discrimination carriers - In opposition to ethical codes and the law, doctors in Israel discriminating against AIDS carriers; "We feel like we are second-class patients"
- Roman Zadorov returns to court; Tair Rada's father: "Slaughter murderers like him"
- Youth bar: Sexual harassment complaint against LGBT activist
- Tel-Aviv Style: Korean singer Psy to perform in Israel end of July
Iranian presidents, a sick education minister and a suspect LGBT activist made top stories in today's Friday newspapers. Meanwhile, a top Palestinian negotiator told Israeli reporters how Israel can renew negotiations - and avoid a third Intifada. Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon made another controversial remark, but this one was only picked up by Maan. Another Likud MK, and close associate of the prime minister, said the Palestinians were not ready for a state, but Israel's outgoing Governor of the Bank of Israel disagrees. And Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said Israel was not Jewish a Jewish state before everything else.
Top Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath held a press conference in Ramallah for Israeli journalists to tell Israelis the choice the Palestinian Authority was offering to renew peace talks with Israel. However the newspapers either did not give all that information or did not report on it at all. The choice was that either Israel agree to negotiate on the basis on 1967 borders or it freezes settlement construction and releases Palestinian prisoners. "We're not demanding that settlers be removed, just that settlements not be expanded," he said. "At the current building rate in the West Bank, there won't be a Palestinian state left." According to Israel Hayom, Shaath also said, "A quiet settlement freeze will pave the way to renewing negotiations." Shaath also warned that if the status quo persists, there could be a wave of resistance. "We can't guarantee we would be able to prevent another intifada," he said. "We doing the utmost to prevent a violent uprising but an intifada does not have to be violent. It's a reaction against the status quo. We want to preserve our people's hopes." Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habash said in the Ramallah meeting, "We have no other preconditions. Give us some assurance that (the talks) won't fail. If we fail this time, there will be no more talks."
Ynet's Atilla Somfalvi reported extensively on the special press conference, but only Maariv noted that Shaath the event was meant for Israeli reporters and the meeting was arranged by the 'One Voice' movement. The Palestinian press conference took place a week after the controversial statements by Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, who said the Netanyahu government was not interested in a two-state solution. Maariv quoted Shaath as saying, "Instead of Netanyahu, I would fire Danny Danon." The Palestinians are not the only ones unhappy with Danon. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, who is presently in the US meeting with his US counterpart, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, appointed Homefront Defense Minister Gilad Erdan, rather than Danon, to fill in for him while he's gone. Yaalon was reportedly livid with Danon over the statements he made.
Interestingly, Danon made more controversial remarks on Channel 1 yesterday, but only Maan reported on it. "The Jewish people are not settlers in the West Bank, but Israel will make the Palestinians settlers and Jordan will be the one taking control over Palestinians and that's it," Danon said. Asked about Kerry's upcoming visit, Danon said there would never be a Palestinian state, whether Kerry visited or not. Israel will control the empty land in the West Bank and turn Palestinian population centers into Jewish settlements. Arab MK Ahmed Tibi told Channel 1 that Danon was the most honest extremist in Netanyahu's government as he did not hide Israel's plans. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki responded saying Danon exposed the "true face" of the occupation as well as the strategy followed by the Israeli government since 1967.
Indeed, the Palestinians seem to be convinced that the Netanyahu government does not want peace, no matter what Netanyahu and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni say otherwise. Maan noted that the Palestinian Authority "has never refused as adamantly as it is refusing today to negotiate with Israel as long as settlements continue to be built." Abbas' adviser on Jerusalem affairs Ahmad Ruweidi claims the Israeli government and settlers are working together on a plan try and eradicate the Palestinian population from Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank. "The plan, he told Maan, was to establish "a state for settlers in the West Bank inside the Palestinian state so as to task the settlers with security missions in future." Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank, shared Palestinian Authority statistics on the number of settlers in the W. Bank and Jerusalem rose to 631,000, number of settlements and outposts and they amount of land they occupy. And another Likud MK said Palestinians aren't ready for a state. "The Palestinians are not ready to have a state of their own. They are not even ready for full autonomy," said Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Ofir Akunis (Likud), who is considered a close associate of Netanyahu.
**Yedioth published a long interview in its weekend magazine with outgoing Governor of the Bank of Israel, Stanley Fischer in which a couple paragraphs were dedicated to the subject of the Palestinians and the two-state solution. When asked if he agreed to freezes in the transfer of Palestinian tax money to the Palestinian Authority - a punishment Israel has used a number of times - he said "When I disagreed with it, I spoke quietly with the relevant sources in the Israeli government." But then he continued and said that lack of peace was not good economically for Israel and finally he said: "But it's an illusion to think that nations do everything only because of economic considerations. Every people has its dreams and its goals, and that's true for us and for the Palestinians. The Palestinians want to be a people, they don't just want to be in a better economic situation. We need to take that into account."
Meanwhile, Livni made an interesting statement that only Israel Hayom appears to have noted. "I don't accept that the State of Israel is first of all a Jewish state," she said speaking at the Knesset's Constitution Committee. She also said she believed it won't be possible to agree on a constitution, the paper wrote. "The constitution is meant to preserve the rights of the minorities, but it is the minorities, ultra-Orthodox and Arabs, who oppose it. Even if we can't agree, it's time to legislate a constitution," Israel Hayom quoted Livni as saying.
- 3,000 Bedouins protest: 'With blood we'll redeem our land' - Demonstrators against Prawer plan for Bedouin settlements regularization in Negev carry Palestinian flags. Police surprised by large number of protesters, who claim country wishes to take away their land. Knesset vote on plan on Monday. (Ynet and Maan)
- Israeli military judge: West Bank legal system 'impairs' sense of justice for Palestinians - Judge Meir Wigisser recommends using 'non-conviction' method employed by civilian courts, also says court should be authorized to have the option of issuing a warning to the defendant that he or she not repeat the offense. (Haaretz)
- Report: Israel guard shoots Palestinian armed with knife - Israeli media reported Thursday that guards at a checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah shot a young Palestinian who was carrying a knife. (Maan)
- Right-wing NGO funding Tel Aviv University dig in East Jerusalem - The university claims it is working only with the government, but documents show it knows the Elad organization is funding the City of David dig and paying the salary of the researcher leading it. (Haaretz)
- Israeli settlers attack cars, homes in northern West Bank - Dozens of Israeli settlers from Yitzhar on Thursday threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at Palestinian homes and cars in the northern West Bank, damaging several vehicles. Meanwhile, residents of Bracha settlement attacked Burin village, throwing Molotov cocktails at Bashir al-Zein's home. The Israeli military intervened. (Maan)
- Jerusalem: 2 vehicles torched in Sheikh Jarrah - Graffiti reading 'price tag' found near parking lot Friday where cars were set on fire. Police suspect act was racially motivated. (Ynet)
- Christian cemetery in Jaffa desecrated - Graffiti reading 'revenge' and 'price tag' found on tombstones in Christian Orthodox cemetery. Jaffa's Arab residents outraged over government inaction. (Ynet and Maan)
- Meretz MK Issawi Freij on 'Price-Tag' attacks: "They are the result of the racist wind blowing from the leadership" - MK Freij reacted to the attacks on the Christian cemetery in Jaffa and graffiti on the home of an Arab district court judge. "The miserable price tag terrorists feel the wink and the ignoring of the authorities..." (NRG Hebrew updates)
- Israel denies Palestinian forced to drink wine at checkpoint - he Israeli army on Thursday denied allegations by a Palestinian activist that intelligence officers forced a man to drink wine at a checkpoint near Hebron. (Maan)
- Palestinian father: Israeli interrogator threatened son with rape - An Israeli court on Thursday released a Palestinian teenager from Isawiya in East Jerusalem on bail. The father alleged that an Israeli interrogator threatened to "bring a Sudanese man to rape the boy" in order to force him to reveal information. The judge ordered an investigation into the claim. (Maan)
- PM at Auschwitz: Israel will do everything to prevent another Holocaust - Speaking at inauguration of 'Shoah' exhibit, Netanyahu says, 'Allies understood perfectly what was taking place in the death camps, but did nothing.' (Ynet and Haaretz)
- Family of deceased donor met with Palestinian youth who received his kidney - The meeting took place at the Schneider Children's Hospital. "To see Yaakub today is a great joy. Something from Noam still lives," said Sarit Naor, mother of the donor to Yaakub Ibhisad and his parents. "I thank you from all my heart," said Suehila, Yaakub's mother. (NRG Hebrew)
- The price of discrimination in Israel: One year in prison - Justice Ministry issues legal memorandum on new punishment for discrimination based on religion, race or gender. (Haaretz)
- Plan to establish Palestinian security services base above Highway 443 cancelled - Following the report in Maariv/NRG, Israel's Civil Administration announced it had refused the Palestinian request. (NRG Hebrew)
- Israeli ministers mull job and housing preferences for former IDF soldiers - Affirmative action legislation proposed by coalition chairman Yariv Levin would also apply to give Israelis who have done national service, comes in response to early start already enjoyed by those who skip army. (Haaretz)
- IDF to reconsider uniform exemption for haredi soldiers - Chief intelligence officer meets haredi soldiers, says request to wear civilian clothing in public transport to be reviewed to reduce harassment from sector. (Ynet)
- Report: Israel finds tunnels under West Bank wall - Israel's army has uncovered two tunnels under the separation wall, used by Palestinians to enter Israel from the West Bank. (Maariv, p. 1/NRG Hebrew and Maan)
- Mossad and Shin Bet continue their game of hide-and seek in Israel's new budget - The intelligence agencies' budgets are buried deep within the seemingly innocuous 'General Reserves' section of the new state budget. From there the funds will be transferred to a defense item cryptically titled "Defense Ministry Miscellaneous.' (Haaretz)
- Gaza suffers drop in foreign aid over war in Syria - Iran, an ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, has scaled back monthly fund transfers because Hamas has refused to side with the Syrian regime, officials say. Meanwhile, Syrian refugees are trickling into the enclave. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Jordanian, Israeli students learn to save lives together - First class in joint emergency medical B.A. program at Ben Gurion University graduates; officials hope it will increase Israel, Arab cooperation in natural disasters, other regional emergencies. (Ynet)
- Parents fuming after youth movement books 'fun day' at amusement park that segregates Jews and Arabs - Parents say that sending kids to Superland amusement park could create impression that Bnei Akiva youth movement supports racism; Bnei Akiva chief says that while movement denounces discriminatory acts, it does not intend to boycott any organization. (Haaretz)
- White House: Assad used sarin gas, crossed 'red line' - Deputy National Security Advisor Rhodes says intelligence community estimates 100-150 people died from detected chemical weapons attacks in Syria; Obama decided to provide direct non-lethal assistance to Syrian opposition, he reports. (Ynet)
- Iran elections leave little hope for exiles and those who've stayed behind, says Iranian-Israeli artist - Previous election campaign stirred optimism among Iranian people; this time around, no one seems to care. (Haaretz)
- Minister Piron rushed to hospital from PM's plane - Education minister complains of chest pains during flight with prime minister's entourage from Poland to Israel; doctors say no sign of heart attack. (Ynet)
- Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer doesn't rule out taking top job at U.S. Fed - Fischer is due to step down after eight years at the helm of Israel's central bank, citing personal reasons for his decision to end his second term as governor two years early. (Haaretz)
- Israel's Ethiopian beauty queen wows a stylish New York audience - Yityish 'Titi' Aynaw's statuesque beauty, coupled with her good sense and self-confidence, make her a potential hasbara blockbuster. In Harlem, they prayed for her success in the Miss Universe contest. (Haaretz)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.