APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday June 18, 2013
Quote of the day:
"Shrapnel stuck in one's buttocks."
--Pro-settler Israeli Economics Minister Naftali Bennett reference to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which he claims should not be solved because the West Bank belongs to the Jews.**
Front Page News:
- In the wake of the elections in Iran: Decision on attack expected to be postponed to 2014
- Enriching uranium politely // Zvi Bar'el
- Top businessmen to Netanyahu: Diplomatic freeze endangers Israeli economy
- Night discussions in Knesset to approve (austerity) budget
- After 13 years of legal battles, the lawsuits of the naval soldiers who dived in Kishon were dismissed
- US and UK wiretapped former Russian President
- Nahal Brigades prohibited soldier from reading poem out of fear "of harming the image of the combat soldier"
- New and stricter rules in the Shin Bet: Couples can't work together in the organization
- Starting to immunize children - Education Ministry: Polio virus spreading
- Dear Shimon - 90 - young forever
- Education is not free: We will pay more for enrichment hours for children
- Revival of the notes - Moving story of Italian pianist who is bringing to life the works of Jews who died in the Holocaust
- Wanted: A foreign Governor of Bank of Israel - Appears that next governor will not be Israel, Netanyahu turned to senior economists abroad
- It's possible to talk with them - Special to Yedioth: Christiane Amanpour on Iran
- Bennett: Two-state solution dead; Peri: Sabotaging peace efforts (Hebrew)
- Photo: Clinton and Peres yesterday at Peres Academic Center in Rechovot (HebrewVIDEO)
- G-8 Conference: Significant differences of opinion between Obama and Putin on Syrian issue
- Dr. of terror - Terrorist who served prison sentence for involvement in planning attacks received doctorate from Hebrew University; University: "He was not allowed to use the labs" (Hebrew)
- Attack from home - Incoming Welfare Ministry CEO, Yossi Silman, against senior officials in his ministry: "They live in la-la land" (Hebrew)
- The Syrian mud - Brother of Hassan Nasrallah killed in battles over control of city of Qusayir
- Rouhani: "We will continue enrich uranium" - The tone has softened, but the positions have not: New Iranian President spoke sharply on the nuclear issue
- Shayetet naval commandos furious: "We got ill - and they neglected us"
- Celebrating 90th birthday
- Health Ministry: Check that the children were immunized completely against polio
- All-nighter at Knesset: Budget was voted on
- Bennett, the Palestinian state and the storm: "His opinion is not that of the Prime Minister"
- The race for the Chief Rabbi: "Rabbi Grossman expected to announce he is running for the position"
The Economics Minister said the peace process is dead while Bill Clinton and Israeli businessmen said it is a must, Iran's new President said the nuclear development will go on, but noted his different tone and Peres celebrated his 90th birthday making top headlines in Israeli newspapers today.
**Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu may claim that his government supports a two-state solution, but another one of his ministers claimed otherwise. Economics Minister Naftali Bennett said there won't be a Palestinian state and that all the land belongs to the Jews. The leader of the pro-settler Habayit Hayehudi party told the audience at a conference of the Yesha settler council yesterday in Jerusalem that Israel should annex settlements and establish facts on the ground to dispel the notion that a two-state solution is still viable. "Never, in the history of Israel, have so many people put so much energy into something so pointless," the Israeli minister said, referring to efforts to reach a two-state solution...We need to build, build, build,' he said, adding that the occupied West Bank belonged to "the people of Israel." Yedioth noted that he referred to the Palestinian issue as "shrapnel stuck in one's buttocks" and that he indirectly attacked Netanyahu when he said: "The problem is the lack of leadership willingness to say, 'The Land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel.'" Bennett also slammed remarks made by Yesh Atid MK Ofer Shelach that the occupation is corrupting Israeli society, saying in response, "...what occupation are they talking about? How can you be an occupier in your own home? This is our home." Bennett was echoing statements recently made by Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon.
Deputy Foreign Minister Elkin appeared to be avoiding giving his own opinion to Bennett's statements by referring only to what the Europeans think. "Not a single foreign minister in Europe would agree with what Bennett said," Elkin said. Habayit Hayehudi's political ally, Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party, rejected the statement saying it was "committed to the two-state solution and calls for the immediate resumption of diplomatic negotiations." Justice Minister Tzipi Livni also rejected Bennett's remarks. But Senior Likud and Shas party people told Maariv that Bennett's statements were a 'stunt meant to help Lapid." According to the unnamed officials, the remarks were meant to divert attention from the discussions on the budget and the austerity measures which were voted on last night in the Knesset. The sources noted that Yesh Atid 'did not attack' Bennett, but just expressed support for the two-state solution. Bennett and Lapid, they claimed, were totally coordinated. (NRG Hebrew)
The Palestinians expressed dismay, but not shock. Maariv ran an Op-Ed by Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat titled, 'Israel wants to be an Apartheid state.' Erekat claimed, "Netanyahu watches what is happening with pleasure. Others are expressing his feelings. His goal, to kill the chance for a two-state solution in the 1967 borders, is being realized.' He calls on 'the international community and every Israeli who believes that a just peace is possible not to fall in the trap of the same old and failed formulas. We need to act clearly to push Israel to implement previous agreements and to adhere to international law. There is a new push to deal with the reality and to finally place on Israel the responsibility for the destruction of the chances for justice and peace." Erekat blamed Netanyahu for matching such statements in his policy, and said the "Israeli government is determined to make (US Secretary of State) Kerry's efforts fail." Nabil Abu Rdeina, spokesman of the Palestinian President, said: "These are dangerous remarks by a minister in the Israeli government which has been expanding settlements and evading all commitments and instead imposing preconditions to negotiations," said
Later in the evening, former President Bill Clinton said there was no credible alternative to the two-state solution. Clinton gave a speech at the Peres Academic Center in honor of the Israeli President's 90th birthday. And top Israeli businessmen also warned Netanyahu that a stalled peace process would ruin Israel's economy, Haaretz reported.
Israeli newspapers today were more cautious about newly-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani following his first speech, in which he said the nuclear program would continue. Maariv called the speech "conciliatory, but worrying, noting that he declared his country was willing to have transparency of their nuclear program. An Op-Ed by Dr. Eldad Perdo of Hebrew University in Jerusalem said, "It is impossible to speak about changing the regime in Iran. It turns out that the mechanisms in the state allow many forces to express themselves and affect the power centers. This is not a democracy, but it is also not a state with a ruler that can be overthrown." Yedioth noted that he called for dialogue with the US and made the rare usage of the word 'Israel' instead of 'Zionist enemy.' Rouhani said sanctions only benefit Israel. Yedioth also ran a one-page guest Op-Ed by CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour who declared that the Ahmadinejad era is over and it is time to renew relatiosn with the moderate Iranians. Meanwhile, Haaretz reported that his election has put off an attack on Iran by at least another year.
- '3 settlers assault elderly Palestinian woman in Jerusalem' - A 75-year-old Fathiyeh Ajaj was waiting for a bus in Deir Yassin, now known as Givat Shaul, when three Israelis pushed her to the ground, tried to remove her hijab and tore her clothes. "My mother fainted and the bus driver saw her, rushing to rescue her," her son told Ma'an. (Maan)
- Light sentence for officers who abused Palestinian - Four Border Guard officers who were caught on tape abusing mentally challenged Palestinian get four months community service. Judge Rafi Carmel: Violence was not severe. (YnetVIDEO of abuse)
- Settlers attack stone workshop near Nablus - A group of Israeli settlers tried to set fire to a stone factory in Rujeib village, near Huwwara checkpoint south of Nablus, damaging it in the attempt. (Maan)
- Israelis living in West Bank demand green laws apply on their side of Green Line - Opponents on the left claim the call for Israeli regulations in the West Bank is an attempt by settlers to promote their political agenda. (Haaretz)
- Israeli troops raid Azzun school - Headmaster Jamal Ayyoub of the Azzun Beit Amin School said the army was trying to take over parts of the school in order to complete the separation wall, a statement read. The Israeli forces took the school's dimensions. (Maan)
- Amnesty researchers visit Hebron Old City - An Amnesty International delegation on Saturday visited Hebron in the southern West Bank to document the conditions of Palestinian families living near Israeli settlements. (Maan VIDEO)
- 'Racist' amusement park says 'sorry' so won't be charged - Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein: Separation of Jews and Arabs at the Superland amusement park violates the principle of equality, but he won't press charges because park's management has apologized and promised to end its separation policies. (Israel Hayom)
- Arabs: Preferential treatment bill 'discriminatory' - Adalah group says legislation granting IDF veterans various benefits justifies 'discrimination against Arabs.' (Ynet)
- Pet Shop Boys: Israel not apartheid state - British pop duo responds to calls by Pro-Palestinian activists to cancel next week's Tel Aviv concert, saying 'Israel has universal suffrage and equality of rights for all its citizens, both Jewish and Arab.' (Ynet)
- Lieberman initiates polygraf tests for MKs in Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee - Following the leak of statements by the Shin Bet chief about Palestinian President not believing Israel is committed to peace, MK Avigdor Lieberman considering questioning the closed committee's MKs as well as the Intelligence subcommittee MKs bu polygraf. Shin Bet refuses request. (Maariv, p. 24/NRG Hebrew and Israel Hayom, p. 13)
- Peres, Streisand, meet children from Make a Wish foundation - 21 children with life threatening illnesses gather at President's Residence to meet Peres, Streisand; Singer tells children when she sings 'Avinu Malkeinu' at Peres' birthday bash, she will be singing for them. (YnetVIDEO)
- In Israel, Streisand criticizes treatment of women (at Wailing Wall) - At Hebrew University, American singer-actress says 'it's distressing to hear about 'Women of the Wall' having metal chairs thrown at them. (Agencies, Ynet)
- IDF brigade refuses to let soldier read poetry on the radio so as not to ruin 'fighter's image' - Israel's army, once known for holding poetry writing contests, today seems less keen on promoting the art within its ranks; soldier en route to read his poems on Army Radio ordered to refrain from participating. (Haaretz)
- Hamas political bureau urges Hezbollah to leave Syria and focus on Israel - Sources in Cairo tell Haaretz that an on-going meeting of the Hamas political bureau in Cairo is due to internal differences of opinion within Hamas regarding the crisis in Syria. (Haaretz)
- Fiji troops replace Austrian peacekeepers in Golan - Some 170 soldiers from Fiji to join UNDOF at Israel-Syria border after Austria's withdrawal. (Ynet)
- Obama and Putin admit to differences on Syria, but share 'united' goal of ending violence - Russia said on sidelines of G-8 that it would prevent no-fly zone in Syria, to which U.S. said such option not on table at NATO. (Haaretz)
- Gulf source: Saudis supplying European missiles to Syria rebels - Opposition forces armed by Gulf allies, supplied via French, Belgian sources; Riyadh increasingly concerned following defeats at Qusair, entry of Hezbollah into fray. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Assad: Europe will 'pay the price' if it delivers arms to rebel forces in Syria - Embattled Syrian president tells German newspaper that Europe's 'backyard will become terrorist' if weapons sent; meanwhile, Gulf sources say Saudi Arabia began arming rebels about two months ago. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Reports in Syria: Israel attacked another airport - Opposition sources say massive blast at military airport near Damascus result of Israeli airstrike; Assad says rebels behind attack. (Ynet and NRG Hebrew)
- Son's suicide is Rohani's dark secret - 'I hate your government, lies, corruption, religion,' read note published in London by exiled pundit, while domestic press attributed tragedy to romantic misadventure. (Ynet)
Another brick in Israel's apartheid wall (Haaretz Editorial) A new bill being promoted by Israel's ministerial committee, which essentially legalizes discrimination against minorities in Israel, demonstrates the vigorously anti-democratic spirit of Israel's new government.
Obama's Middle East crucible (Prof. Abraham Ben-Zvi, Israel Hayom) Obama's move to arm Syria's rebels seems to be a last resort, but doing it in tandem with the Rohani presidency in Iran makes this a whole new ball game.
The truth that goes forth from Zion (Uzi Baram, Haaretz) Today, the message that is being instilled on the Israeli public by its representatives is that lack of credibility is an almost legitimate behavioral norm.
The Palestinians are blocking Kerry (Zalman Shoval, Israel Hayom) The Palestinians are doing everything to avoid becoming involved in a process that will require compromises and concessions on their part.
Global Leviathan (Yehezkel Dror, Haaretz) Embarking on a mental 'time trip' to the end of the 21st century, much uncertainty is confronted. But some megatrends shaping the future can be identified that require radical changes in global regimes, lest humans go extinct.
Distinction, or discrimination? (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) The proposal to grant preference to Israelis who serve over the lazy, the indifferent and the ideological draft dodgers is logical and just.
Khamenei wanted a moderate president (Soli Shahvar, Yedioth/Ynet) Supreme leader sought to neutralize explosive situation in Iran by giving citizens hope for change.
Long road to change in Iran (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) Rohani will have to please both a regime that wants to preserve the status quo and a people who seek change.
Rohani's only way is up (Smadar Peri, Yedioth/Ynet) Iran's higher authorities won't restrict new president, as long as he doesn't cross red lines.
Khamenei still has the last word (Dr. Ronen A. Cohen, Israel Hayom) Rohani, a spiritual leader himself, is not about to make any significant reforms in the character of the Iranian regime, human rights, the nuclear issue or Iran's attitude toward Israel.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.