APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday June 21, 2013
Quote of the day:
"One of the good alternatives to the Israel-Palestinian conflict that need to be examined and that has been brought up lately, is the Arab League Peace Initiative. The initiative signals the path ahead."
-- Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri of Yesh Atid comes out of the closet and warmly supports the Arab Peace Initiative.
Front Page News:
- Case getting lost - Even if he is caught, the escape of the State witness in the youth bar affair could take a heavy toll on the flagship case of the Tel-Aviv district police
- (Chief Ashkenazi) Rabbi Metzger sent to house arrest on suspicion of bribery and fraud
- Me, a liberal? (Candidate for Chief Ashkenazi) Rabbi David Stav does not understand how he became a symbol of the revolution in the Rabbinate
- We have nothing except to believe in hope - An author from Teheran writes to Haaretz that Rouhani is not the savior, but he wants to heal the wounds
- Israel promised not to attack in Iran without US approval
- Fayyad's replacement (as Palestinian Prime Minister) resigned, Abbas is trying to keep him on
- The old man and the brother - Who is Peres' secret admirer in the Netanyahu government (clue: Not Lapid) // Yossi Verter
- 8 laborers in a chicken coop - Without legal wages or airducts: working conditions of agriculture workers
- An evening of kitsch and drama with Barbra (Streisand)
- Israeli police present: Fiasco - State witness in youth bar murder affair escaped from safe house
- Chief Rabbi suspected of bribery
- With you on holiday - Education Minister decided to make massive change: Education Ministry will also take care of students during summer holiday, not only parents. Plan: Tent in Eilat, telephone call from teachers
- Step in the right direction // Raanan Shaked
- Conqueror - Barbra Streisand, 71, excited 16000 people when she sang at Bloomfield Stadium 'Woman in love,' a song she has not sung for 30 years, then ended with (Israeli national anthem) 'Hatikva'
- US Administration decided to cut 5% from the financial aid to Israel (Hebrew)
- At 7:00, Police discovers: State witness in youth bar affair disappeared from under its nose
- At 15:00, Police announce: Chief Rabbi suspected of receiving bribes
- Palestinian Prime Minister resigned after 18 days; Sources in PA: He discovered the position is empty of content
- Being captivated by her - On the stage at the Bloomfield Stadium, she filled the space with a spellbinding magic. We were glued to our chairs and took off (Hebrew)
- The local alliance - Lapid and Bennett agreed on cooperation between Yesh Atid and Habayit Hayehudi in elections for local authorities (towns), including possibility to run on joint list
- Blood at (Likud center) Metzudat Ze'ev - Likud activist hospitalized, after beaten by Central Likud Committee member over party's internal elections to be held next week
- Youth bar affair: The escape and the embarrassment
- Chief Rabbi Metzger sent to house arrest
- They earned their summer holiday
- Instagram: Now in a video version
- Poll: Majority of public likes Peres, but disapproves of his fancy party
- Barbra Streisand appeared in Tel-Aviv: "This is a special performance"
- US: "Planned a laser X-ray to kill the enemies of Israel"
A state witness in a captivating murder case escapes from his police-guarded safe house, hours later the police announces that the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi is under house arrest on suspicion of bribery and in the evening Barbra Streisand captivates Israelis in a magical moving performance in Tel-Aviv making top stories in Hebrew papers today. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binaymin Netanyahu gave the EU Foreign Affairs chief Catherin Ashton his views on EU relations with Hezbollah and the renewal of the peace process with the Palestinians. President Shimon Peres dropped stateliness to make some political remarks and the #2 member of Yesh Atid declared his support for the Arab Peace Initiative, one day after a former Mossad chief. Meanwhile, the US cut a bit of aid to Israel and the new Palestinian Prime Minister cut home.
A day after the EU failed to reach a consensus on including Hezbollah on its list of terrorist organizations, Netanyahu asked Catherine Ashton, "If Hezbollah isn't a terror group, what is?" Israel is keen for Hezbollah to join the list so that it will be punished and isolated. Netanyahu also said that a planned EU statement on Israeli-Palestinian peace would impede US Secretary of State John Kerry's attempts to restart talks. A version of the statement supported by France and Britain criticizes Israel for continued settlement construction and it calls for imposing labels on products from West Bank settlements that are marketed in Europe. [Oddly, Netanyahu does not think that the settlements themselves are an impediment to peace, despite the Palestinians and everyone else saying so. -OH]
At the closing of the Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, Netanyahu claimed Israel backs Kerry's peace efforts, but that peace hinges on the Palestinian Authority's willingness to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. [Note: This condition was only created a few years ago by the right-wing, likely as an impediment to a two-state solution. Egypt and Jordan were not required to make such declarations. - OH]
Meanwhile, President Shimon Peres expressed his unhappiness at the way the Israeli government is operating in regards to renewing the peace talks. Peres told Shas leader Arieh Der'i that Shas needs to be part of the coalition and advance peace with the Palestinians, Maariv reported. In the meeting about two weeks ago, Peres told Der'i that he does not believe the coalition government will last long and "that if we want to advance the peace process, then there is a real need to include Shas in the government." Peres also expressed his condemnation of Economy Minister Naftali Bennett's statement earlier this week that the 'Two-state solution is dead.' "He may be a senior minister, but he is not a senior politician," Peres said publicly of Bennett on a panel at the President's Conference. (NRG Hebrew)
**While a number of members of the Netanyahu coalition government have expressed their opposition to a peace process with the Palestinians, Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri endorsed the Arab Peace Initiative. The Yesh Atid member said the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of a two-state solution and the establishment of a Palestinian state were obvious Israeli interests.
A day after former US Ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer said the US may cut security aid to Israel, Maariv reported that the Obama Administration decided to cut 5% - some $175 million of the $3.1 billion, due to the tough economic situation in the US. Maariv writes that the Israeli government was relieved; it expected $500 million to be cut. The cut will not affect the Iron Dome Missile System development and some of the security aid, which is called FMF. (Maariv, p. 1/NRG Hebrew)
Even Barbra Streisand's performance last night got more headlines than the fact that the new Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah resigned last night - after only 18 days in office. The resignation came after a dispute with his two deputies - both close associates of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Some said that he realized his position is devoid of content.
- UN: Palestinian children tortured, used as human shields by Israel - New UN human rights agency report claims Israeli forces arbitrarily arrest Palestinian children in Gaza and West Bank, subject them to degrading treatment, exploit them to scope out potentially dangerous buildings and use them as shields to deter stone throwers. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Watch footage: 'Settlers torch Palestinian shed' - Security camera in Arab village shows torching of storeroom containing building material for water tower. B'Tselem: Settlers did it. (YnetVIDEO)
- Arabs targeted in hate crimes left to cover costs, unrecognized by Israel as terror victims - Government's decision to classify perpetrators of 'price tag' attacks as members of illegal organizations rather than terrorists makes victims ineligible for compensation from the state. (Haaretz)
- Education Ministry official accused of banning Arabic teachers from speaking Arabic - Senior official sends mass email that appears to prohibit Arab teachers from conducting official correspondence in Arabic. The ministry says her quote was taken out of context. (Haaretz)
- The Instagram protest of E. Jerusalem (Arab) residents - In the framework of a Jerusalem Municipality photo competition on Instagram, Arabs of E. Jerusalem uploaded photos that display the less presentable side of the capital. On the menu: Photos of Border Policemen searching an (Arab) bus and breaking up a demonstration. Municipality removing photos it considers 'hurtful.'(Yedioth Jerusalem supplement, p. 48)
- IDF wraps up massive, multi-branch drill amid concerns for Iran-Hezbollah-Syria axis' - We are readying ourselves for the ramifications of a battlefield on multiple fronts,' says army officer. (Haaretz)
- U.S. ranks Israel among countries doing most to fight human trafficking - Report, however also criticizes Israel for treatment of asylum seekers and migrant workers. (Haaretz)
- U.S. officials: Rowhani election shows Iran sanctions are working - U.S. officials hail election of moderate Hasan Rowhani to president as first tangible evidence American strategy is influencing Iran's nuclear policy. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- First Israeli ambassador in Turkemenistan - Two previous candidates were rejected, one because he was a 'spy of the Mossad.' (NRG Hebrew)
- President Peres, Sharon Stone meet Arab bloggers - Presidential Conference opens final day with panels on economics, political Islam. Actress Sharon Stone says 'visionary love is a voice for peace,' meets bloggers from Morocco, Egypt. (Ynet)
- Problems in E. Jerusalem to vote for Palestinian reality star - Residents of E. Jerusalem surprised to discover that they cannot vote for the Palestinian singer from Gaza in the 'Arab Idol' contest using the Israeli cellular phone services. Solution: A local company will be used as a transfer station for the SMS text messages to be sent to the program in Lebanon. (Yedioth Jerusalem, p. 74)
- French Green Party, unpopular with Jews at home, visits Israel - The Greens' parliamentary leaders say they support a two-state solution, but the visit has drawn the ire of some pro-Palestinian critics. (Haaretz)
- Syrian threat: Mortar in Golan, Putin visits S-300 factory - After few peaceful weeks, Syrian fire reaches Israel once again: Stray shell lands near Israeli kibbutz. Meanwhile, Russian leader visits missile production factory, says Moscow will respect agreement with Assad. (Ynet)
- Mubarak to Obama: I don't take orders from you - In jailhouse interview, former Egyptian president describes growing US pressure exerted on him to leave government during time of uprising; Expresses confidence: In army we got used to suffering. (Ynet)
- Egyptians protest against Hamas - Morsi opponents protest Palestinian group. Hundreds demonstrate by Cairo hotel where Hamas leaders stay, demand their expulsion from country, crying out 'No to Mashaal, no to Haniyeh, Hamas is terrorist organization.' (Ynet)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.