APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday June 19, 2013
Quote of the day:
"'Arabs out' is the same as 'Jews out.'"
--Shas MK Arieh Der'i declares when visiting the 'price-tag' attacked visit of Abu-Ghosh.**
Front Page News:
- Police admit: Having difficulty rooting out racist crime (Main photo: Two children next to wall in Abu Ghosh that has graffiti 'Arabs out') (Haaretz Hebrew)
- Lavrov: Iran agreed to stop uranium enrichment of 20%
- Peres' birthday festival
- Peresmania events // Yossi Verter , Uri Avineri and Moran Sharir
- Likely that judge suspected of beating children won't be dismissed
- After 26 years, in Netanyahu they remembered they need an Ashkenazi rabbi
- Day of celebration - Peres' 90th birthday
- Crazy exaggeration // Nahum Barnea
- The story of us all // Eitan Haber
- 'Price-tag' attacks spreading beyond Judea and Samaria (W. Bank). Police: Legislation does not deter (Hebrew)
- The antithesis to the Israeli statement // Aviad Fohorilis on Peres' 90th birthday celebrations
- Lapid demanded from Netanyahu to dismiss Gila Gamliel from the Knesset Finance Committee because she acted against the budget
- The brigade commander next to the Syrian pilot POW, the battalion commander under the simple soldier - 40 years after Yom Kippur War, Dr. Miki Weiner, the Golani Brigade doctor, reveals the chilling notes he wrote documenting over two weeks hundreds of injured he treated
- The Magen David Adom bluff - Volunteers for the organization in the Territories were demanded to remove the organization insignia from their jackets for three days, until the end of the visit of senior Red Cross officials in Israel (Hebrew)
- Teva Pharmaceuticals to begin registering patents in Switzerland because of the tax issues in Israel - a loss of billions of shekels to the State
- Police Commissioner: Soon - arrests for 'price-tag' attacks
- Racist and ignorant // Boaz Bismoth
- Apologies from us all // Geula Cohen
- Health Ministry calms: 95% immunized against polio
- The President is shining from joy (90th birthday celebrations)
- Shock following publication of photos of Lapid as Hitler
- Indictment against Nazareth Illit Mayor Shimon Gapso: Tried to bribe council members
- Taxis get more expensive: Ride will cost 3.8% more
News Summary: Police Commissioner speaks out on price tag attacks, President Shimon Peres celebrates his 90th, and the enrichment of Iranian uranium were top stories in today's Hebrew papers. Meanwhile, China hosts a conference to become a Middle East player and Israeli Prime Binyamin Netanyahu disregards his ministers' anti-two-state solution statements.
After Jewish racist right-wing vandals slashed the tires of 28 cars and scrawled 'Arabs out' and 'Racism or assimilation' on the walls of the Israeli Arab village of Abu Ghosh, Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino promised arrests were expected soon. But in a broad hint criticizing the judicial system, the Commissioner said, "When we ask a judge to imprison someone for spray graffiti, he tells us: 'Are you serious? Why detain him?' (But) this is not (just) spray paint. This is an act that can set afire all of Israel, and even beyond." (NRG Hebrew)
***Everyone seemed to condemn the attacks, particularly the right-wing leaders. Netanayahu said it went against Jewish values while Economy Minister Naftali Bennett called it 'immoral and un-Jewish.' Only one politician bothered to visit the attacked village and that was Shas MK Arieh Der'i, who Ynet quoted as saying "'Arabs out' is the same as 'Jews out.'" Some 100 people, Jews and Arabs, protested in Abu Ghosh against the 'price tag' acts, with Hebrew signs that said, 'We prefer a close neighbor than a far 'brother,' hinting to pro-settler Naftali Bennett's use of the word 'brother ' to refer to Israelis. Yariv Oppenheimer, Director General of Peace Now, drew a connection between recent legislation in Israel and Tuesday's incident, saying, "The day after a law is passed that discriminates against Arabs and does not classify price tag attacks as terror, on the ground people act accordingly." Data on the 'Price tag' epidemic shows Israel has opened 788 cases with 154 indictments. There were no numbers given of convictions. The data was released a few days before the Security cabinet decided Sunday not to deem such attacks as terror, despite recommendations otherwise. Instead they were deemed 'forbidden organizations,' similar to groups that funnel money to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Yedioth's Tovah Tzimuki writes that the new classification is just for show and that Netanyahu is afraid of the extremists (see Commentary/Analysis below)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced that 'for the first time in many years' there are encouraging signs in international efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear dispute - Iran is ready to stop 20-percent enrichment. Almost simultaneously, Netanyahu declared Israel won't accept less than a total halt of Iran's nuclear enrichment. He warned against the new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, saying his strategy is to calm the international community while quietly advancing the nuclear program.
Seeking influence, China is hosting a Middle East summit backing the two-state solution, which was barely reported on in the Israeli press. The participants in the two-day meeting that began yesterday include U.N. officials, diplomats, academics, and present and former members of the Palestinian and Israeli parliaments.
Arab MK Ahmed Tibi spoke at the event in Beijing yesterday, slamming Israel's plan to regulate Bedouin lands and calling it racist. He also harshly criticized Israel saying that the state has a "policy of racist discrimination against its Arab minority... Recently, there has been a wave of racist legislative bills that worsen our situation - such as one that gives advantages to people who serve in the army, and the bill that gives Judaism preference in the state and cancels the Arab language as an official one." (NRG Hebrew)
Netanyahu also responded to the anti-two-state solution statements by Economics Minister Naftali Bennett saying, "Foreign policy is shaped by the prime minister, and my view is clear....I will seek a negotiated settlement [with the Palestinians] where you would have a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state."
- Israeli forces begin demolishing school in Azzun Atma - A day after Israeli forces raided Azzun-Beit Amin School and took its measurements, they began demolishing it in order to further the construction of Israel's separation wall in the Qalqilya district. (Maan)
- Two arrested for brutal attack on elderly Palestinian in West Bank - Following an alleged hate crime near Jerusalem, police arrested a man and a boy for the beating of an 80-year-old Palestinian man in the northern West Bank in March. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Settlers threaten to occupy Palestinian village - Extremist Israeli settlers posted a sign threatening to occupy the village of Azzun in the northern West Bank on Tuesday. Writing in Arabic at the village entrance, settlers hung a banner reading "On Tuesday the village will become ours." The banner was signed by "The Women of Samaria." (Maan)
- Palestinians, Israeli forces clash in Nablus village - A large Israeli force raided the village of Qabalan south of Nablus on Tuesday. Around 20 army vehicles and soldiers fired tear gas at residents and their homes. (Maan)
- IDF turns Palestinian land into security trail - Access to agricultural fields belonging to villagers from Awarta, Rujayb, limited by military's Central Command; Land converted into security trail around Itamar. IDF: Balance between individual rights, security. (Ynet)
- Retired South African diplomat: Israel repeating apartheid - Recently retired South African ambassador to Israel, Ismail Coovadia, says he rejected symbolic gift from Israeli government due to country's discriminatory treatment of Palestinians. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- B'Tselem condemns dog attacks - The Israeli rights group B'tselem on Tuesday condemned Israel's use of dogs to attack unarmed Palestinians. "The use of dogs to attack citizens in unacceptable and immoral," wrote B'Tselem in a letter to the legal consultant of the Israeli army in the West Bank. (Maan)
- IDF commander warns of West Bank unrest if efforts to restart peace talks fail - GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon says U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts helped calm situation in West Bank; cautions that violence could escalate should attempts to restart negotiations fail. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- NGO reveals new 'Grand Jerusalem' plan - Israel intends to appropriate land in Bethlehem to expand the Jerusalem municipal boundaries, a Palestinian NGO revealed Tuesday. The Grand Jerusalem plan would see the confiscation of 22.500 dunams (5.55 acres), said Jad Ishaq, executive director of the Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem. (More from Maan)
- Group seeks probe of seizure of moshav land for Arab village - The Ometz social justice group says the Shas party's integrity is at stake over a proposal to "seize" Moshav Beit Hanina's lands to build housing units for Jisr az-Zarqa. Haifa official says it is "hard to believe" proposal will see daylight. (Israel Hayom)
- Dramatic rise in number of Arabs serving in National Civil Service - In 2013 the number of Arab volunteers rose by 76%. Minister Bennett: There are those who don't want to see healthy co-existence. We won't let them win." (NRG Hebrew)
- Trick to hide the Magen David Adom (MADA) symbol - A year ago MADA was accepted by the Red Cross after it was demanded that it does not operate beyond the Green Line. Volunteers in Judea and Samaria (W. Bank) say that for the three-day visit of the Red Cross delegation in the country, MADA decided to give them new jackets without the MADA insignia. MADA: "There has been no change." (Maariv, p. 1/NRG Hebrew)
- Israeli prison guards detain prisoner's mother - Israeli prison guards on Tuesday detained a woman visiting her son at Hasharon prison because she was carrying a mobile phone. She said she forgot to take it out of her handbag before visiting the jail. (Maan)
- Israeli Arabs face extensive barriers to getting college education, report says - Report says that only 11 percent of Arabs are accepted to college, and that Arabs constitute only 10 percent of all those who obtain bachelor's degrees. (Haaretz)
- Approved: 30 million shekel grant to employers of ultra-Orthodox and Arabs - Economics Ministry budgets employers of target sectors after receiving special permission from Finance Ministry. "The plan will create 1000 new jobs." (NRG Hebrew)
- Israel housing minister says settlement freeze in place - Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel on Tuesday implied that a silent freeze on [tenders for -OH] new housing projects in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has been in place since the beginning of 2013. He was speaking to Army Radio. (Agencies, Maan)
- IDF ombudsman submits annual report - Military Complaints Commissioner heard 6,861 grievances in 2012. Almost 60% found with merit. (Ynet)
- Incitement on the Internet: Finance Minister as Hitler - Storm on the internet following publication of photomontage in which Finance Minister Yair Lapid is in the image of Adolf Hitler next to him, bundles of dollars with the words in Hebrew: " Enemy of the Israeli economy." (Maariv, p. 4/NRG Hebrew and Ynet)
- MKs launch new caucus to educate Knesset about U.S. JewsCaucus dedicated to U.S. - Israel relationship to teach MKs about American Jewish community's effect on overall support for Israel, including $3 billion in annual aid from the United States. (Haaretz)
- Undiplomatic attack - Fifteen-year-old son of Israeli diplomat in Cyprus suffered from social boycott at his school at international school and was brutally beaten just because he was a Jewish Israel. With no other choice, the family left the country. (Yedioth, p. 18)
- ADL: Alice Walker conveys 'fervently anti-Jewish ideas' in new book - U.S.-based Jewish group blasts Pulitzer-winning author for drawing parallel between Nazi Germany and Israeli policies toward Palestinians. (Haaretz)
- Hamas to Hezbollah: Keep your weapons aimed at Israel - Hamas on Monday called on Hezbollah to withdraw from Syria and to keep its weapons aimed at Israel. (Maan)
- Hamas: 100,000 children to enroll in summer camps - Trainings includes use of live ammunition, simulated kidnappings of IDF soldiers. (Ynet)
- Congressmen urge EU to label Hezbollah terror group - Heads of Congressional Israel Allies Caucus say 'both sides of the Atlantic must unite towards defending human family from specter of Jihadist terrorism.' (Ynet)
- West's plan: Coup against Assad - In attempt to encourage senior Assad regime figures to depose him from within, G8 leaders promise they will play a role in rebuilt Syria; Putin defends continued supply of arms to Damascus. (Ynet)
For thousands of years the olive tree was the Land of Israel symbol of blessings and abundance, but because of fires and neglect the number of types went from 40 to three. A unique research study by the (Israeli) Volcani Research Center, the Palestinians and Jordan is trying to save the ancient olive trees by classifying the trees and replanting them. (Maariv magazine)
Soldiers suffering from physical and verbal abuse, horrible conditions, and silence around the reality of humiliations and threats in many units in the IDF. Military Ombudsman Report reveals that despite the prestige of the Iron Dome system, the soldiers serving in the batteries have many severe complaints about their service conditions, including a lack of food. Report: "Disregard bordering on closing their eyes and contempt in regards to everything regarding the basic conditions of the service of the soldiers who eat processed food their whole service and don't take showers for weeks." (Maariv Magazine, NRG Hebrew)
The price tag of the stalemate with the Palestinians (Haaretz Editorial) Netanyahu would do better to work energetically to break the diplomatic impasse, desist from his ritual of casting blame on Abbas, and above all, abandon his efforts to evade negotiations.
The high price of words (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) It is shortsighted for coalition ministers and MKs to speak out against the two-state solution.
It's still possible to divide the land and create a Palestinian state (Avi Shilon, Haaretz) There's no reason to waste more words on the necessity of the two-state solution. What's important to stress is that this pessimism, which feeds on the feeling that we've missed the deadline, stems from shortsightedness and impatience.
Jewish terror - The tag that stinks from the head (Tovah Tzimuki, Yedioth) Tzimuki, the judicial affairs correspondent writes that the Security Cabinet decision against considering 'price-tag' attacks as terror, in contradiction to the positions of the Attorney General, Justice Minister and Shin Bet chief, reflects the current government's fear, like its predecessors, of the radical right-wing organizations. She says the classifying the acts as 'forbidden organizations' is just a show and that the message that is understood very well by the right-wing activists is that they were given legitimacy to continue with their acts of terror..."So we are sentenced to continue to live with the phenomenon of 'price-tag,' of the burning of fields and cars, of the uprooting of olive trees and more. When the political solution is like 'a pain in the butt' and the Prime Minister is unable to make decisions, we need to just pray that the flames will remain under control."
Israel's mad science of Iranian politics (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) Controversy has exploded in the Iran experts' laboratory in Israel. Who gave the order to cook up this elixir called Iranian President Hasan Rowhani?
The emperor has clothes (Elyakim Haetzni, Yedioth/Ynet) PM Netanyahu's statements in favor of peace talks merely meant to placate his coalition partners.
The Gatekeepers' two-state message continues to vex Israel's right (Don Futterman, Haaretz) Who will win hearts and minds in Israel: The two-state conclusions of former Shin Bet heads in 'The Gatekeepers' (now showing on Israeli TV), or the rightist government ministers who want the idea of two states put 'behind us'?
Facing the real tomorrow? (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) The Peres Presidential Conference offers gobbledygook: a foggy, fuzzy brand of "imagination, vision and a considerable amount of defiance," instead of fortifying participants with intellectual value that will help them defend Israel.
Fiasco on the Golan: UN lays bare its peacekeeping irrelevance for Israel (James Kirchick, Haaretz) Rather than scrounging for replacement troops, the UN should ask why Israel should have any faith in the peacekeeping that has failed to protect it so many times in the past.
Wild exaggeration - Kim Il-Peres (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth) Barnea suggests that the praise heaped on President Shimon Peres at last night's birthday gala was exaggerated and overlooked many of the more controversial aspects of his political past. He concludes: "Peres is an excellent president - one of the best we have had. He is the most accepted Israeli in the world - an immeasurable strategic asset. Given all this, he deserves great thanks, not a personality cult."
In light of recent declarations, mystery surrounds who is speaking in Iran's name (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) Piecing together the mystery of Iranian nuclear strategy suggests that right now, the Islamic Republic is perhaps willing to speed up negotiations without preconditions and with greater transparency.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem