APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday June 27, 2013
Quote of the day:
"Hello, I'm the Holocaust. The best thing that happened to whom? To you. Because of me you have a state."
--From a skit by provocative Israeli performance artist Natalie Cohen Waxberg, who will be performing tonight in Tel-Aviv's White Nights.**
Front Page News:
- Likud Minister: For security, Netanyahu will withdraw from most of the West Bank
- History in the US: Supreme Court supports same gender couples
- Israel: Assad did not swing (civil war) his way
- Housing Ministry proposes: National Master Plans will become non-binding guide - riling greens
- Yaron Zlicha to Haaretz: Netanyahu offered me to be Governor of Bank of Israel
- (Chief Justice) Grunis: Find solution to housing shortage in (Arab neighborhood of Jerusalem) Beit Safafa
- Rapist at Gan Ha'ir gets 30 years imprisonment: "Raises terror and horror"
- "Not a human being" - 30 years to rapist at Gan Ha'ir - one of longest sentences given to rapist in Israel
- Polio dilemma - The immunity that raises concern - Education Ministry purchasing more efficient immunizations for children, but in rare cases it can infect the child
- America is proud - Historical ruling allows same-sex marriages
- Initiative: Judges can serve till age 75
- Ministers expected to approve: Non-Jewish casualties to be buried next to Jews - End to the 'burial outside the fence' by the IDF
- History in the US: Supreme Court approved same-sex marriages
- US Secretary of State Kerry arrives today to Israel; Lieberman: Abu-Mazen will blow up the negotiations (Hebrew)
- 30 years jail to rapist from Gan Ha'ir; Judges: "Monstrous acts, the accused murdered the soul of his victims"
- For the first time: State formed united list of all Holocaust survivors living in Israel. Goal: Establishing an authority that will care for their welfare
- Syrian children hospitalized in Israel
- Exorbitant tender for supplying food to Education Ministry employees: 95 shekels for a 200gram jar of instant coffee
- 30 years prison - Rapist from Gan Ha'ir: Tel-Aviv district court made unprecedented sentence
- On the way to a long weekend? Examining a proposal to make one Sunday a month a holiday
- "The boycott of McDonald's insults us - and the Palestinians"
- Health Ministry: Hospitals will have to report on waiting lists for surgeries
- History in the US: Marriage - not just between a man and a woman
- Further worsening of Nelson Mandela's health: Connected to respirator
An unprecedented prison sentence for a rapist in Tel-Aviv, a historic ruling for same-sex marriage in America and declarations ahead of the arrival of US Secretary of State John Kerry tonight in Israel were top stories in today's Hebrew papers. Meanwhile, a former Mossad chief lambasts Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for threatening Syria's regime, the decision by one of the founders of Peace Now not to open a McDonald's in an Israeli settlement has residents angry and worried, and the Knesset Speaker punishes his Arab deputy.
Secretary Kerry will arrive in Israel this evening and meet with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for a fifth round of talks in his ongoing effort to restart Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. According to Haaretz, he is willing to withdraw from 90% of the West Bank. He intends to keep the settlement blocs and to keep a military force in the Jordan Valley. And like Ehud Barak at the failed Camp David, he does not have a map. Kerry said yesterday that "Time is the peace process' enemy" and that he hopes progress will be made before the UN General Assembly convenes in September. Tomorrow he will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan and on Saturday night, he will return to Jerusalem to meet with Netanyahu again. Meanwhile, MK Avigdor Lieberman has repeated his claim that Abbas will end the negotiations soon after they begin - something Abbas has said he would do if he sees the Israelis are not serious.
Meanwhile, the Jerusalem local committee for planning and building gave approval yesterday for the construction of 69 housing units in the Har Homa settlement neighborhood of Jerusalem, Israel Hayom reported. "This a blind provocation against Kerry," said Jerusalem City Council member Meir Margalit, who is a member of the leftwing Meretz party.
Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan made headlines again, this time blasting Netanyahu for his threats to the Syrian regime. Visiting Golani Brigades in the Golan Heights yesterday, Netanyahu said that Israel must 'instill fear of death' in heart of Syria. Dagan remarked: "If you want to shoot - shoot, don't talk," but said that threatening the Syrian leader is problematic, because it gives him a legitimate claim to retaliate. "Assad will not engage in war, but if put in a corner, he is likely to fire at us. We mustn't bring about a situation in which his honor is hurt," Dagan told students at Tel-Aviv University.
After McDonald's decided not to open a branch over the Green Line, in Ariel's new shopping mall, the residents of Israel's largest settlement say they are considering boycotting the American burgers. McDonald's responded saying, "This was and has always been the declared policy" of the franchise owner, Omri Padan, who is one of the founders of Peace Now. Tzachi Nahmias, one of the entrepreneurs behind the new mall, told Yedioth he was worried other brand name stores would follow suit. Habayit Hayehudi Housing Minister Uri Ariel called on Israelis to boycott McDonald's. [Interestingly, it was the right-wing who recently outlawed boycotts! - OH] AFP has more here.
In an exceptional move, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein decided to prevent Deputy Speaker, Arab MK Ahmed Tibi, from running any plenum discussions, Israel Hayom reported. The punishment is for Tibi's reaction on Monday to the discussion over the bill to transfer tens of thousands of Bedouin off their land. Tibi and eight other Arab MKs tore up their drafts of the bill during their speeches at the podium - and Tibi poured water over his copy. The punishment remains until the Knesset Ethics Committee decides if and how it will react.
- Settlers stone vehicles, torch fields near Nablus - Israeli forces closed a main road near Yitzhar settlement after settlers attacked dozens of Palestinian vehicles with stones. Settlers then set fire to olive trees on Palestinian land in nearby Huwwara village, which destroyed over 5 acres of land. (Maan)
- Settlers assault Israeli activists near Qalqiliya - Settlers from Havat Gilad outpost assaulted members of the Yesh Din Israeli human rights organization near Qalqiliya, injuring one activist Yesh Din members were visiting the village of Farata to see the suffering of Palestinians there. (Maan and Yesh Din photos)
- Suspicion: Soldiers from Kfir Brigade used drugs and sold weapons - IDF Military Police examining suspicion that soldiers from Kfir (operates only in West Bank) stole the weapon of another soldier. Investigators raided the house of one of the soldiers in Rishon L'Tsiyon. He was arrested and ohers were interrogated. (p. 8, Israel Hayom and NRG Hebrew)
- Official: Israel rounds up Palestinian workers in Bartaa - Israeli forces rounded up over 100 Palestinian workers early Wednesday in Bartaa Sharqiya, a village cut off from the rest of the West Bank by Israel's separation wall. Many workers with West Bank IDs sleep in Bartaa Sharqiya to avoid having to cross the wall to enter Israel. (Maan)
- Israeli writers appeal against forced expulsion of villagers - Prominent Israeli writers visited the South Hebron Hills on Tuesday to draw attention to the plight of Palestinian villagers being threatened with displacement, said Israeli human rights group, B'Tselem. Zeruya Shalev, Eyal Megged, Sayed Kashua and Alona Kimhi visited the Palestinian village of Jinba to talk with the villages. (Maan)
- Israeli guard 'assaults prisoner on hunger strike' - An Israeli guard assaulted hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner, Abdullah al-Barghouti, dragging him from his hospital bed to the floor and kicking him in the face, causing bleeding, because he closed the bathroom door despite instructions to leave it open. (Maan)
- Supreme Court gives Israel 30 days to resolve controversy over East Jerusalem highway - Residents of Beit Safafa oppose road that would cut their neighborhood in half. (Haaretz)
- Israel agrees to open Muslim prayer rooms in six largest hospitals - Health Ministry assures High Court of Justice that Israel's largest hospitals will have prayer areas for Muslims within a year and a half. (Haaretz)
- Jordan's king: Palestinians could launch own Arab Spring if talks with Israel don't resume - King Abdullah warns of 'new intifada or a new cycle of violence and counter violence' if Palestinians feel prospects for a peaceful settlement of their conflict with Israel have reached a dead end, the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper said. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Israel blasts UNESCO resolution censuring activities in Jerusalem - UNESCO World Heritage meeting in Cambodia becomes Mideast battlefield as members pass Palestinian-sponsored, Jordanian-authored resolution condemning Israel's activities in the capital. (Israel Hayom)
- Palestinians shelve bid to have West Bank village recognized as UN heritage site - Bid for UNESCO recognition of Battir postponed as goodwill gesture to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry; Kerry in Kuwait: Netanyahu, Abbas committed to peace process. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Israel reopens Gaza's Kerem Shalom crossing - Israel on Wednesday reopened the Kerem Shalom terminal on its border with Gaza after a two-day closure and notified the Palestinian side that 300 trucks of goods would be allowed to enter Gaza on Wednesday. (Maan)
- Youths protest water shortages in Bethlehem camp - Palestinian youths burned tires and briefly stopped traffic on a main Bethlehem road Tuesday, as they protested against water shortages in the occupied West Bank. Amnesty International says Israel appropriates Palestinian natural resources and provides an inordinately large water supply to its settler population. (Maan)
- French media analyst convicted of defamation, fined in Mohammed al-Dura case - Philippe Karsenty fined 7,000 euros for accusing France-2 of staging Palestinian boy's death by Israeli fire in Gaza. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Anti-Islam U.S. blogger Pamela Geller barred from entering Britain - Geller had lanned to speak at a far-right rally in London, but Home Secretary Theresa May feared she would 'foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the U.K.' (Forward, Haaretz)
- Israeli wall in 'World War Z' sparks questions - Curious portrait of geopolitics in Brad Pitt's new film leaves some moviegoers scratching their heads: Is wall of unity for both Jews and Muslims ironic commentary on West Bank barrier, or suggestion that wall can be positive force in Middle East? (Agencies, Ynet)
- Attempt to block Israeli UN panel fails - Israel's UN ambassador holds special event showcasing Israeli successes in bid to aid developing countries, despite Arab states' attempt to block, boycott Israeli initiative. (Ynet)
- Hamas releases new video of Gilad Shalit - In video, which also shows photos of Israelis killed by the Gaza militant group, Hamas vows to continue fighting Israel. (JTA, Haaretz)
- Survey: Olim feel veteran Israelis see them as foreigners - CBS: Immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia largely define themselves as Jews first, Israelis second, and Russians or Ethiopians third. But when asked how veteran Israelis perceive them, the above sequence is almost entirely reversed. (Israel Hayom)
- (Right-wing tycoon and Netanyahu supporter, Sheldon) Adelson, takes cue from Peres with big-budget birthday bash - Adelson, who has given hundreds of millions of dollars to Birthright Israel, enjoys celebration in Tel Aviv with over 6,000 Birthright participants and alums. (Haaretz)
- 'EU labels settlement goods but doesn't label Hezbollah as terrorists' - European Jewish Congress appeals to EU's leaders to shelve plans to impose special labels for products made in Judea and Samaria, Golan Heights and east Jerusalem. (Israel Hayom)
- Two wounded Syrian civilians treated in Israeli hospital for second time this week - IDF medical teams transferred the two casualties, a child and a teenager, into Israel late Tuesday night for treatment in Safed's Rivka Sieff Medical Center; total of 30 civilians hospitalized there since start of civil war. (Haaretz)
- Israel disputes Western view that Syrian civil war has swung Assad's way - Senior Israeli security official says that Hezbollah's entry into fighting has backfired badly. (Haaretz)
- U.S. envoy: UN failure to act on Syria is disgrace - Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to UN Susan Rice says Russia and China are to blame for Security Council inaction, not United States. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Israel Shipyards signs NIS 1B contract - Haifa-based shipbuilding company to supply foreign country with marine products in one of defense industry's biggest deals in recent years. (Ynet)
- Report: 4 'Mossad men' in Egypt charged with espionage - Egyptian media reports 6 Israelis - 4 Israeli intelligence officials, 2 Israeli Arabs - are being charged with espionage together with 3 Egyptians for allegedly transferring information regarding army, terrorist activities in Sinai to Israel. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Report: Soviets spread anti-Israel propaganda to Arabs - Book by former soviet officer who defected to West reveals that in 1970s, USSR distributed propaganda against Israel, US to Arab countries. (Ynet)
- Pardoned Jewish financier Marc Rich dies - Billionaire 'King of Commodities,' who secured pardon from President Clinton after being indicted for fraud and trading with Iran, will be buried in Israeli kibbutz. (Agencies, Ynet)
Rohani in 1986: West too soft on Khomeini
1994 Yedioth Ahronoth piece features revelations regarding true colors of Iran's elusive president-elect. On August 30, 1986, a secret meeting took place in Paris between Amiram Nir, the counterterrorism advisor to the Israeli prime minister, and Dr. Haasan Rohani, hen deputy head of Iranian parliament and the secretary of the country's national security committee. Eight years later, Yedioth Ahronoth military pundit Ron Ben Yishai published the transcript of the conversation, which has suddenly grown in relevance in view of Rohani's election to Iranian presidency. It sees the president-elect a canny politician willing to tell everyone just what they want to hear to achieve his goals. What follows is the full piece from 1994. (Ynet)
**(Art, politics or Provocation?)
Nataly Cohen Waxberg's likes provocations. She called a recent video clip she uploaded to YouTube, "How would you deal without the Holocaust?" She opened her performance with the sentence: "Hello, I'm the Holocaust. The best thing that happened to whom? To you. Because of me you have a state. Because of me you have an army...How could you justify '67 (War) without me, '48 (War) without me? Because of whom can you run a ghetto of three million people without the superpowers coming together and beating the shit out of you?...You sold me cheap." She has received numerous threats, like, 'Just wait, I will discover where you live and I will slaughter you' and 'Consider yourself a dead person.' "On the other hand, she has a Facebook fan page. She also has a performance on why she does not shave her underarms. "People take social norms as a given," she says.
It will be interesting to see how the crowd that comes to her performance tonight during Tel-Aviv's 'White Nights' will deal with her. (Yoav Birnberg, Yedioth '24 Hours' supplement and YouTube link with English captions here.)
Israel's new biometric ID system: A guide for the perplexed
A pilot to test the biometric identification system in the stead of ID cards starts within weeks. What does this mean for you? (Haaretz)
Middle Eastern Jewish thinkers no one remembers
A collection of essays from 1893 to 1958 depict the views of intellectuals who saw themselves as part of the Middle Eastern cultural sphere, anchored in both Arab and Western culture, living and working in harmony with their surroundings. (Haaretz)
The highway, the village and the road not taken (David Grossman, Haaretz) A major new highway that is meant to link Jewish settlements on the outskirts of Jerusalem is bisecting Palestinian village of Beit Safafa, cutting families from each other and making their lives a nightmare. On a larger scale, it blocks the possibility of a viable Palestinian state.
Official order or no, the children are still gone (Na'ama Katiee, Haaretz) It's disingenuous to say that no wrongdoing occurred simply because no official order was ever found. The racism of the time, and the government's quiet acquiescence, were enough.
The famous 'Jerusalem mix' applies only to pita, not to preschools (Ilene Prusher, Haaretz) The municipality insists I mold my child into one stream of identity by age three and stop being so choosy about it.
A one-state solution is deranged (Yossi Beilin, Israel Hayom) No joint Israeli-Palestinian state will come to be as long as the Israeli government is headed by a Zionist leader.
Wanted: a secular Tel Aviv (Haaretz Editorial) Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai must help and take care of this public, which has despaired of the struggle to separate religion from the state and law.
Jewish before democratic (Hagai Segal, Yeditoh/Ynet) Israel's right to define itself as Jewish state is as important as its right to defend itself militarily.
To remember is not to own (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) When I visited Saatz, not for a moment did I have the feeling that the place belongs to me or to my people because of the memories.
Two states is not the only option (Prof. Ron Breiman, Israel Hayom) If we were open to new ideas, the Jordan River could become the border between Israel to the west and Jordan/Palestine to the east.
Surprise: Netanyahu was right (Ari Shavit, Haaretz) What the world promised would never happen is happening. What Israel's defense establishment promised would never happen is happening. Iran is becoming a nuclear power, while Israel stands alone.
Netanyahu can retake Likud (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) Is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the end of his career in the Likud? The answer is probably no.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.