APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday June 23, 2013
Quote of the day:
"Maybe instead of trying to recruit the nations of the world to bring about a halt in the Persian program, we would do well to include it..."
--Dror Zarasky, editor of the famed Channel 10 'London and Kirschenbaum' news program calls on the Prime Minister to change his attitude towards Iranian nukes.**
Front Page News:
- Netanyahu: Ready to sit with Abbas until we achieve an agreement
- 100 cities, a million demonstrators: Enormous protest in Brazil
- It is not possible to stop the Iranian nuclear project // The Economist
- At the end of a chase, the State witness in the youth bar affair was caught
- Gender separation reaches the academia - Dispute over establishing ultra-Orthodox campuses
- Suspicion of murder: Security Agent at Wailing Wall shot dead (Jewish) homeless man - Suspect shot a number of times and claims self-defense
- A month since the murder of the Bedouin sisters, the father who is the suspect still not found - Mother sues police
- Caught - Youth Bar affair State witness
- "I dream to find my daughter" - She was raped as a youth and forced to give up her baby for adoption
- The (Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi) Metzger method - The donation and the recompense
- The fun calendar - Activities calendar of the Education Ministry for the summer
- Government probing: Druze from Syria can return to their villages in the Golan Heights (Hebrew)
- 48 hours of intoxication - What State witness did until caught (Hebrew)
- Survivor, Netanyahu version // Shalom Yerushalmi and Zeev Kam sum up 100 days to Netanyahu's 3rd government (Hebrew)
- Rabbi Uzi Meshulam passed away - questions over the the Yemenite children remain // Ben-Dror Yemini (Hebrew)
- "I was bleeding and they did not want to call an ambulance" - Likud activist injured at Metzudat Zeev (Likud HQ) responds: My head was bleeding and I was screaming that I was going to die and they ignored me (Hebrew)
- The star that united the Palestinian street - From Jericho to Rafah, thousands of Palestinians took to the streets to celebrate 23-year-old Mohammed Assaf's win of the "Arab Star is Born" (Hebrew)
- State witness caught; Police probing itself - Youth Bar affair: Prosecution and police not giving up on the State witness
- Rabbi Metzger questioned again
- Miki stung to death when camping at the Kinneret
- A moment before they get their wings - Graduates of 166th pilot's course
- "Wiretapping - like in a horror film" - The Guardian: "UK collecting enormous amount of information from Internet and phone lines in world"
- Today: Law to extend summer hours to be brought for government approval
- Coalition of "Friends of Syria': Supply weapons to rebels
- Security guard who shot man who prays at Wailing Wall suspected of murder
- Today: Government to vote on cut to gas exports
- India: 30 Israelis who were caught in floods were rescued
A runaway state witness is caught, a Chief Rabbi is suspected and a security guard shoots dead a Jewish man at the Wailing Wall making top stories in today's Hebrew papers. Also in the news was the array of interviews given by the top government ministers on the renewal of peace negotiations. Haaretz reported on the new ambassador of the settlers, while NRG Hebrew reported on the new initiative of left-wing politicians and organizations to make the Israeli public aware of and interested in the peace initiative. The papers also reported that the new Palestinian Prime Minister retracted his resignation letter, but today the media reported that the Palestinian President accepted his resignation. Meanwhile, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as in the Diaspora, united in their joy over the victory of the singer from Gaza in the Arab Idol reality competition. Finally, Druze in the Golan have asked for their sons to be able to return home from Syria.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Washington Post he was willing to sit in a tent between Jerusalem and Ramallah to make peace. "And I'm committed to stay in the tent and negotiate for as long as it takes to work out a solution of peace and security between us and the Palestinians," he said. (He also warned against the new Iranian president, and said Tehran is seeking 200 nuclear bombs.) Finance Minister Yair Lapid said, "There's no other game in town but the two-state solution" and said he was imploring Netanyahu to be 'more proactive' on peace with Palestinians and that the Palestinians must have their own country. And pro-settler Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said: "I won't veto Netanyahu's efforts to renew Israeli-Palestinian peace talks." At the same time, he said that injecting a 'terror state' into the heart of Israel is 'national suicide.' [When he says Israel he means the 'Land of Israel' or Greater Israel. - OH] The statements by the top ministers come days before US Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Israel in his fifth visit and latest attempt to renew peace talks.
Ahead of his visit, a high-profile US delegation secretly visited the disputed E1 area between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim, Channel 2 News reported. The delegation, headed by Vice Adm. Harry B Harris, went to see if construction in the E1 area threatened the territorial contiguity of a future Palestinian state.
The Labor party, Meretz and a row of left-wing organizations are trying to prepare the ground and raise interest in Kerry's efforts, Maariv's Arik Bender reported on the NRG Hebrew website. Today they are holding discussions at various points across the country to advance the public's awareness of the US peace initiative. The central event will take place at Beit Ariella in Tel-Aviv. The events will include dozens of MKs, security experts, diplomats and artists from the peace camp. Among the organizations involved in the initiative are Peace Now, the Geneva Initiative, the One Voice Movement, Ir Amim, Council for Peace and Security, J-Street, IPCRI, Gush Shalom and many others.
Meanwhile, former leader of the Yesha settlers' Council Danny Dayan has become the diplomat of the settlers, Haaretz revealed. He flew to Washington Friday where he will set a precedent: Dayan will be the first representative of the settler leadership to enter the gates of U.S. administration institutions. He will arrive at the meetings with a new title − chief foreign envoy of the Yesha Council. His Op-Eds appear in the most respected English-language papers and he was even invited to participate in the Saban Forum − one of the most prestigious events in Washington dealing with Israel-U.S. relations, where he was the first representative of the settlers.
The media reported today that the new Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdullah supposedly retracted his resignation of last week. However, today the websites reported that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accepted the resignation.
Anyone who lives in the West Bank, Gaza or E. Jerusalem and wanted to sleep early had no chance last night. A Palestinian hero was born: The singer from a Gaza refugee camp Mohammed Assaf won the Arab Idol contest. Amira Hass writes that "Not since the IDF incursions into Gaza in 2002, have Palestinians had a unifying experience on par with Mohammed Assaf's success on Arab Idol." Maariv gave a page and a half to the story, writing that "Mohammed Assaf succeeded in doing what the Egyptians and Turks failed...To unite the Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza." Palestinian President Abbas bestowed him with VIP diplomatic status and UNRWA has appointed him a goodwill ambassador. Even a Hamas MP praised Assaf, despite the opposition of religious Muslims to the Lebanese program with women wearing slinky dresses. The Palestinian Authority said that Israel has agreed to allow Assaf to enter the occupied West Bank to facilitate his travel.
Druze in the Golan Heights who have long declared their loyalty to Syria may be coming to terms with the fact that Syrian President Assad will not be in power much longer. Maariv writes: "History in the Golan: 32 years after they burned their Israeli identity cards [that were forced on them - OH] and declared their loyalty to Syria, the leaders of the Golan Druze hosted Director of the Prime Minister's Office, Harel Loker, and gave him a document with their requests from the government. Locker: "We will seriously consider the requests." The written document calls only for the return of the Druze students who left the Golan and found work in Syria. But one leader said that they are asking for all Druze who left their homes in the 1967 war to be able to return home. It also discusses their grievances over land allotment [much of the Druze villages' lands were given to Jewish settlements in the Golan and the land they have is only allowed to be used for agriculture. -OH] (Maariv, p. 6/NRG Hebrew)
- Public security minister terms Abu Ghosh price-tag attack 'terrorism' - Yitzhak Aharonovitch visits Israeli Arab town days after vandals slash the tires of 28 vehicles, scrawl racist graffiti on walls. "I hope that such despicable, contemptible acts will not strain the good relationships" in the town, says the minister. (Israel Hayom)
- Settlers attack Palestinian shepherds near Nablus - Over 50 settlers from Bracha settlement attacked Palestinian shepherds tending to their animals near the village of Burin. Settlers then set fire to five dunams of land belonging to Burin villagers. (Maan)
- Elderly Palestinian women struck by Israeli car in Nablus area - Zahiya Awda, 70, was walking by the side of the road near near Huwwara village south of Nablus, when she was struck. The driver was an Israeli woman. (Maan)
- Settlers throw rocks at Palestinian cars in Nablus area - Settlers from the nearby Yitzhar settlement were seen throwing rocks at Palestinian cars on Thursday in northern West Bank district of Nablus. Local Amjad Amin Jaber said the settlers smashed his windscreen and damaged the doors of his car in the assault. (Maan)
- Demonstrations across the West Bank, dozens injured - Dozens of Palestinians suffered light injuries Friday as Israeli forces tried to disperse weekly demonstrations throughout the occupied West Bank. (Maan)
- 4 injured in Beit Ummar clashes Friday - our Palestinians on Friday were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets in clashes with Israeli soldiers in Beit Ummar north of Hebron. (Maan)
- 3 injured in clashes at weekly march in in Kafr Qaddum Friday - Three people were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets in clashes after a weekly march in Kafr Qaddum north of Qalqiliya. Soldiers also detained Palestine TV reporter Ahmad Shawr and cameraman Bashar Nazzal after damaging their camera and preventing them from reporting. (Maan)
- Security guard shoots, kills Jewish Israeli man at Western Wall - Initial reports indicate the 46-year-old man stormed the security guards while screaming 'Allahu Akbar;' guard responds by firing several shots; police extended detention of security guard, who is suspected of murder, by four days. Maariv notes that the guard was Druze and that police suspect he shot the victim because he called him a "Druze son-of-a-bitch." (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Prosecutor: Palestine could join ICC - The International Criminal Court head prosecutor believes Palestine qualifies to join the ICC after the UN General Assembly voted to admit the country as a non-member state in November. (Maan)
- Anglican leader visiting the Holy Land - The Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the world's Anglicans, is to make a five-day visit to Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Territories from Sunday. (Agencies, Maan)
- Good evening Cave of the Patriarchs - A special performance by the singer Amir Benayoun to be held tonight next to the Cave of the Patriarchs (in Hebron). Before the performance he met with Shlomo Slonim, who was a year old during the riots of 1929. His parents were murdered, but he was saved by an Arab friend of his family. (Maariv, p. 21)
- Deadly West Bank car accident caught on tape - Two Palestinians killed, four injured as car veers into opposite lane, rams into pick-up truck on Highway 90; injured evacuated to Palestinian territories. (Ynet VIDEO)
- Bill: President won't be able to pardon terrorists - In the wake of the intention to release 100 terrorists as a gesture to Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas), Habayit Hayehudi MK Orit Struk and Likud MK Yariv Levin proposed bill that would prevent them from receiving a pardon and, thereby, prevent their release. (Maariv, p. 16/NRG Hebrew)
- Palestinian prisoners to boycott Ashkelon prison clinic - Palestinians held in Israel's Ashkelon jail will boycott the prison clinic in protest over medical neglect by the doctor who refused proper treatment to sick detainees, mocked them and mistreated them. (Maan)
- (Greek Orthodox) Patriarch to dismiss priest who encourages Christian youth to join the IDF - Father Theopolos decided to suspend Father Gabriel Nadaf after pressure from sources in the Palestinian Authority and Arab MKs. Nadaf: "They are trying to scare our youth and prevent them from integrating into (Israeli) society." (Maariv, p. 21/NRG Hebrew)
- UNESCO adds Yad Vashem testimonials to world heritage list - Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial's "pages of testimony" -- forms filled out by relatives and friends of Holocaust victims in efforts to document their lives -- are the first Israeli entry in UNESCO's Memory of the World Register. (Israel Hayom)
- New IAF pilots mostly math-savvy urbanites - Newest class of pilots, navigators mostly city-dwellers, majored in science, from central Israel. Middle children outnumber first born by 3%. (Ynet)
- Streak of racy soldier photos shows no signs of subsiding - Despite the IDF's best efforts, dozens of photos of scantily clad female soldiers continue to circulate on the Internet. The latest photos, posted on the popular photo-sharing site Imgur, are highly explicit and even pornographic. (Israel Hayom)
- New details emerge on organ trafficking ring between Israel and Costa Rica - Illegal organ trade was uncovered at Ben-Gurion Airport after Costa Rican couple arrived in Israel to 'donate' a kidney. (Haaretz)
- Multilingual Israel news TV to launch July 1 - New Jaffa-based station to broadcast around clock in English and French, five hours each day in Arabic. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Hamas executes two Palestinians convicted of spying for Israel - Executions are first since end of April's amnesty for informants. (Agencies, Haaretz and Maan)
- In Cairo, Egypt's 'Jon Stewart' hosts ... Jon Stewart - WATCH: American television host Jon Stewart appears on a show hosted by Egyptian doctor and satirist Bassem Youssef, who has faced investigation for insulting the president and Islam. (Agencies, HaaretzVIDEO)
- KitchenAid, SodaStream teaming up - Home appliance brand's partnership with Israeli company [based in the W. Bank - OH]will give it access to fast-growing at-home carbonation market. (Ynet)
- Scotsman crafts beer in Gush Etzion (West Bank settlement block) - Established four years ago by David Shire, originally from Glasgow, Lone Tree Brewery offers wide array of flavors to Israeli market. (Ynet)
- Syrian girl, 13, hospitalized in Israel after wounded in civil war fighting - The girl, listed in moderate to serious condition, will undergo surgery. She follows a 16-year-old Syrian boy who was treated for severe wounds last week. (Haaretz)
- Friends of Syria group agrees to give urgent military aid to rebels - Meeting in Qatar, ministers from 11 countries which make up the group also condemn intervention by 'Hezbollah militias and fighters from Iran and Iraq.' (Agencies, Haaretz)
- U.S. leaves some 700 combat-ready troops in Jordan after training exercise - With civil war in Syria persisting, U.S. President Obama says soldiers will remain in Jordan until security situation allows for their departure. (Haaretz)
There's no stopping this song
When foreign musicians come under attack by boycott groups and get cold feet about performing in Israel, Adam Shay, 37, a researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is there to encourage them. (Israel Hayom)
The West Bank on a shoestring: A day along the hottest new tourist trail
A niche industry is developing in the West Bank, with Israeli companies organizing tours for independent travelers wishing to see what life is really like beyond the Green Line. Haaretz joins the day-trippers. (Haaretz)
Soon on TV screens near you: Netanyahu the tour guide
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will soon resume filming for "The Royal Tour," a travel show hosted by renowned journalist Peter Greenberg, who tours countries with the best guides available -- their heads of state. (Israel Hayom)
Brothers in arms
They are under pressure from their families and get threats to their lives. But that's not what will prevent dozens of young Arab-Christians from joining the IDF. After their numbers tripled in the last three years, and with the establishment of a special forum, 'The Forum for the Recruitment of the Christian Sector," to advance the issue, they make clear: "We have made change - nothing will stop us." They just ask: "Help us achieve the levels of draft of the Druze sector" (Adi Heshmonai, Maariv)
On the way to the tent (Haaretz Editorial) An historic agreement with the Palestinians is a paramount goal for Israel and certainly for its prime minister.
**The opportunity to climb down from the tree (Dror Zarasky, Maariv) Zarasky comments on the election of Hassan Rohani as Iran's next President and suggests, "Perhaps this is the right time to change paradigms regarding the Iranian nuclear program...Maybe instead of trying to recruit the nations of the world to bring about a halt in the Persian program, we would do well to include it and understand that what the ayatollahs do in Tehran cannot be reversed and that human history has proven that the Iranian program would build a 'balance of terror' between Israel and Iran, a balance that would prevent the sides from using the most destructive weapons," he writes and compares it to the 'balance of terror' between the Russia and the US. Zarasky questions how a world leader or a simple citizen might see the injustice of a strong nuclear power, "preaching to its bitter rival that it better not dare to reach the same nuclear ability," and believes, "Israel would do well to internalize the fact that the nuclear program is a done deal and that maybe this heralds good reasons to relax."
Netanyahu, we aren't in the 1940s (Uzi Benziman, Haaretz) In Netanyahu's mental and conceptual outlook, the world of the 21st century isn't different from the world of 1940-1945.
Bennett's 'shrapnel' comment may have been blunt, but his message was clear: No two-state solution (Yossi Verter, Haaretz) Economy minister sees himself as the only guardian of the Land of Israel in the government.
What Peres won't tell you (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth/Ynet) Film screened during president's birthday celebration contains quite a few historical distortions.
Is Israel a legitimate state? (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) The Presidential Conference did nothing to legitimize Israel, just as documenting the wrongdoings of the occupation or pointing out racism aren't to blame for the delegitimization of the regime.
Levin strikes again (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) For the last 20 years, Israel's legal system has been fending off attempts to undermine it. MK Yariv Levin (Likud) has now joined the crusade to undermine the judicial system and the rule of law.
Release the testimony on the Bus 300 scandal (Gidi Weitz, Haaretz) It's hard to believe that Israel's attorney general and state prosecutor don't realize that a healthy country can face up to the dark chapters in its history.
Barrage of mixed messages (Yoaz Hendel, Yedioth/Ynet) Factions in Netanyahu's 'new politics' government appear to have very little in common.
Tzipi Livni, are you listening? (Gonen Ginat, Israel Hayom) If rewarding those who serve is discrimination, what isn't?
A star is born - The missile from Gaza (Smadar Peri, Yedioth) Peri analyzes the latest developments in the rivalry between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. "The efforts invested by Palestinian Authority head Abu Mazen in securing the victory of a singer from Gaza, Mohammed Assaf, in the Arab "A Star is Born" competition seemed much more vigorous and substantial than his efforts to persuade his Prime Minister, Rami Al-Hamdallah, to stay in his post," and adds, "In both cases, Hamas tried to torpedo his efforts." Peri contends that although the Islamist Hamas would prefer to ignore Assaf, it cannot, given the singer's popularity in Gaza as well.
Israel's reality check on the 'New Middle East' (Amiel Ungar, Haaretz) I am no blind advocate of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, but accusing him of political cowardice for refusing to endanger the state is unfair and false. Jumping off a cliff is not courage but foolhardiness.
Needed: A peacemaker with power (Yoel Marcus, Haaretz) Peres has become everyone's president. He no longer supports the settlements, but he didn't take advantage of his status to come out against the extreme right and settlement construction, either.
Give piece (of shrapnel) a chance (Emily Amrousi, Israel Hayom) Ironically, Peres' vision of a new Middle East has become a reality in Judea and Samaria due to the growing mutual economic interests.
Apartheid-building measures (Niva Lanir, Haaretz) An axis of around 40 Knesset members aims to prevent Israel from making territorial concessions and to thwart any peace deal with the Palestinians.
Peres, the penitent president (David Landau, Haaretz) Self-righteous attempts to recast President Peres as anti-hero are blind to the stunning relevancy of his belated, but whole-hearted, repentance for his role in establishing post-'67 settlements and his re-embrace of the two-state solution.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.