APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday August 25, 2013
Quote of the day:
"There's more than a pinch of irony in the fact that the Israeli regime, so supportive of suppressing the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, is led by the 'Jewish Brotherhood.'"
--Sefi Rachlevsky writes in Haaretz that Israelis need to let go of racist talk of the "nature" of Arabs and instead "see to the cultural circumstances, to expand the humanity of each person to include as many as possible."**
Front Page News:
- Pressure rises for intervention in Syria; Israel expects US to attack
- 47 killed in double attack in Tripoli
- Attacking without getting into trouble // Chemi Shalev
- The fear of a diplomatic sin // Zvi Bar'el
- Majority of youth in favor of cancelling matriculation exams in humanities; they want to deal with administration
- This is how the worst schools in Israel look
- Israel Broadcasting Authority takes higher tolls, but does not invest in new productions
- US preparing to attack Syria - World woke up about Assad
- Eyewitness account from the (Syria) massacre: Special to Yedioth
- Without getting into trouble // Alex Fishman
- Obama's dilemma // Shimon Shiffer
- Four suspects // Smadar Peri
- Cancelling matriculation exams: Revolutionary experiment in 200 schools
- His fateful day - Court to rule whether to take control of IDB Holdings from DanknerMaariv
- Israel expects US to attack; Syria: If we are attacked, we will burn the Middle East (Hebrew)
- Winds of war and the interests of the various actors (Hebrew)
- Watershed event // Amir Rappaport (Hebrew)
- Ghost winds // Matan Drori
- Last night in Tel-Aviv: (3,000) people marched at largest demonstration in history of Israel for animal rights (Hebrew)
- Within two months: Half of electricity of Eilat and the Arava region to be solar
- Syria in the crosshairs
- General of Joint Chiefs of Staff Dempsey spoke with Chief of Staff Gantz; Israel expects: Rising liklihood of US attack
- The irony of history // Amos Regev
- Untilo now with Obama, it's been words , words, words // Boaz Bismouth
- How we stay out of the picture // Yoav Limor
- Parting from the summer holiday - School year starts Tuesday
- Will the control of IDB Holdings remain in Dankner's hands?
- Jerusalem: Two-day-old baby girl found abandoned with note: "Take care of her"
- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer resigns; Companies stocks jumped
Peace Talks Highlights:
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reiterates his statement that he would meet with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says Israeli-Palestinian peace will help against the tumult in the Middle East, while Palestinian Foreign Minister says Palestinians don't have high hopes for a peace deal and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat says the Palestinian side is being coordinated with Jordan.
Abbas met the French Foreign Minister Fabius in Ramallah and repeated what he said to a Meretz delegation a few days ago that "There is nothing at all that prevents a meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu at the right time for us to meet or at a time we need to meet." Fabius said after the meeting that successful peace talks will be 'great stabilizing element' for the Middle East.
Top Palestinian diplomat Al-Maliki said Friday in Ecuador that Palestinians have "serious doubts" about Israel's commitment to recently resumed peace talks - noting that Israel has not agreed to cease settlement construction in the West Bank - but that the Palestinians remain committed to participating in the negotiations.
Maariv's Asaf Gabor reported that Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat told Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judah that the Palestinian Authority would not make any advances in negotiations with Israel without a prior approval from Jordan. Erekat told Judah during a meeting Saturday that the Palestinians would update the Jordanians about all the progress being made in talks with Israel. Gabor reports that Erekat said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ordered not to pass any document to the Israeli side without showing it first to the Jordanians nor would the Palestinians declare a position on something that the Jordanians opposed. (NRG Hebrew)
The top story of the day was Israel's assessment that the US will strike in Syria following the alleged chemical weapons attack. And while Assad is threatening to light the Middle East on fire if it is attacked, Israel does not expect a US military strike against Assad's regime to impact it directly, the papers write. According to Israeli intelligence assessments, Assad wants to avoid a direct military confrontation with Israel. Maariv's Amir Rappaport writes that if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad feels his regime is in real danger, then he will try to attack Israel, possibly even with chemical weapons. (NRG Hebrew) Meanwhile, in Nazareth, one family is mourning the death of 21 relatives killed in the Damascus attack. The victims were relatives of the Waked family, 1948 refugees, Ynet reported. Interestingly, the new president of Iran Hassan Rowhani condemned the use of chemical weapons and called on the international community to prevent such attacks, but stoped short of casting blame on his country's ally.
Meanwhile, European countries are warning their citizens: don't do business with settlements. At least five EU states - UK, Germany, Denmark, Holland, and Sweden - began warning businessmen and companies not to do business with settlements, because they are putting themselves in danger of violating local and international law. In one case, writes Yedioth's Itamar Eichner, a European Foreign Ministry contacted a company, which is partner to a commercial project over the Green Line, and told it that its activities violate the law. As a result, the European company is considering abandoning the project and presently, it is being pressured from Israel not to leave. Israel is still in discussions with the EU over Israel's cooperation in the prestigious 'Horizon 2020' scientific project. The EU intends to put an article in the agreement that Israel will need to sign on that says that puts anyone on the West Bank side of the Green Line out of the project. Israel announced it would not sign, meaning it will lose enormous grants.
- Jenin man shot by Israeli forces needs spinal surgery - Ala Abu Khalifa was critically wounded this week after being shot during an Israeli arrest raid in Jenin refugee camp. He was hit by a dumdum bullet which caused severe damage to his spinal cord, said his mother. (Maan)
- Israeli forces disperse West Bank demos - On Friday, in Bilin village, four people were injured and dozens suffered tear-gas inhalation in clashes between protesters and Israeli forces in the village's weekly march against the wall and settlement activity. In Kafr Qaddum, two people sustained injuries and dozens suffered tear-gas inhalation as Israeli forces targeted a mosque while dispersing a demonstration. (Maan)
- Israel's worst elementary schools found mostly in south, many in Bedouin communities - Israel's public education system is considered one of the most unequal in the West. (Haaretz)
- 'Tamarrad' in Gaza says no activists arrested - No "Tamarrad" activists have been arrested in the Gaza Strip, the newly-formed youth movement. The Egyptian Tamarod (Rebellion) movement is a protest group that organized opposition to the rule of president Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader who was deposed on July 3. (Maan)
- Palestinian Authority, France sign agreements worth 19 million euros - Around 9 million euros will go towards paying the salaries of over 180,000 PA employees, while 10 million euros will be used to construct a solid waste treatment plant in the Gaza Strip. The aid is to help against the blockade Israel has imposed on Gaza. (Maan)
- Venezuela to sell oil at 'fair price' to Palestinian Authority - The agreement signed Saturday also guarantees "favorable" repayment terms as well as training of Palestinians on handling and distribution of oil. (Maan)
- Official: Rafah crossing to operate 4 hours daily - Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah crossing on the border with Gaza for four hours on Saturday. Egypt announced it was closing the Rafah crossing "indefinitely" on Aug. 15 for security reasons after deadly violence nationwide. The crossing is the only way most Palestinians in Gaza can enter or leave the territory due to the Israeli air and sea blockade on the Strip. (Maan)
- Dspite rockets, Israelis visit north - Less than 48-hours after rockets land in Western Galilee, Israelis go north to hike, swim. Man at Achziv beach with family told Ynet: "No place is safe... worst case we'll run to a shelter." (Ynet)
- Archaeologists race to save Gaza's ancient ruins - UNESCO, students from Islamic University try to help preserve many archaeological treasures scattered across coastal territory. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Ministry: Jailed Gaza engineer transferred to hospital - The Israeli Prison Service has transferred Dirar Abu Sisi, an engineer from Gaza who was abducted by Israel in Ukraine, to Ramle prison clinic. began a hunger strike on Aug. 16 to demand his release from solitary imprisonment and be allowed visits of members of his family from Gaza. (Maan)
- Erdogan says US response to his Israel comments 'offensive' - Turkish PM says 'upset' by White House statement regarding his accusation that Israel behind military-backed ouster of Morsi in Egypt. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Egypt's premier pledges to protect democracy, restore security - Caretaker Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawy says his government trying to balance firmness and decisiveness in its measures, more than a week after the interim rulers declared a nationwide state of emergency. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Eyptian lawyer who 'spoke Hebrew' suspected of espionage - Alexandria attorney arouses local authorities' suspicion after he is overheard speaking Hebrew at Internet café. (Ynet)
Israel's Military Intelligence aims for transparency with startling revelations on Turkey, Egypt
When Erdogan accused Israel of meddling in Egypt's affairs this week, it wasn't a total fabrication. Something similar happened 55 years ago, and Turkey was involved too, a new book reveals. (Haaretz)
Abbas has proven he's a partner for peace (Haaretz Editorial) With a series of important, courageous statements, Mahmoud Abbas has made clear that the Palestinians have a pragmatic leader who is offering Israel a chance not to be missed.
Israel's demon is national, not ethnic (Dmitry Shumsky, Haaretz) There is no surer way of sabotaging the creation of an inclusive national collective than basing that collective's identity on one of its components, presenting the other parts of the people as 'an inferior race.'
United against terror (Matthew Gould, Yedioth/Ynet) UK ambassador says despite certain disagreements, his country will never compromise on Israel's security.
Back to the future in Egypt (Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) Mubarak is free, Morsi is in jail, and El Baradei is in Vienna. Just like it was in 2010.
How close was Israel to a military coup? (Amir Oren, Haaretz) If there was a 'putsch' against former Defense Minister Barak in the Harpaz affair it should be sought in his efforts to expropriate powers that belong to the entire cabinet.
No substitute for the Iron Wall (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) If the world does nothing about Wednesday's use of chemical weapons against civilians in Syria, its silence will send an unequivocal message that mass killing is no longer taboo.
Watershed event (Amir Rappaport, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) "Up until now, Assad has thumbed his nose at the red line [enunciated by Us President Obama last summer] on the assumption that the US is not really interested in acting against him...Over the weekend, it seemed that the pictures that were broadcast around the world have not left the US any choice but to act in some way," even without a UN Security Council endorsement. "Any attack on Syrian soil is liable to lead to firing at Israel in response. Assad will try to attack Israel especially if he feels that his regime is in tangible danger. And yes, he would be liable to launch chemical weapons at us."
It must be asked: What if the peace talks fail? (Shaul Arieli, Haaretz) To encourage the progress and success of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, John Kerry - and the rest of us - must take into account the worst case scenario.
The silence of the lambs (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) If the world does nothing about Wednesday's use of chemical weapons against civilians in Syria, its silence will send an unequivocal message that mass killing is no longer taboo.
Scrap the Jewish state law (Haaretz Editorial) The right direction for Israel to take is clear, and the prime minister understands it. Israel must set borders within which it has a Jewish majority and move to integrate its Arab citizens.
Sissi: Cincinnatus or Ataturk? (Yossi Beilin, Israel Hayom) The Egyptian defense minister turned de facto ruler needs to decide whether to hold onto power and become a modern day Ataturk or return the nation to its people like Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus did.
Amid the tumult, Israel is acting logically for a change (Yoel Marcus, Haaretz) Israel is right not to intervene or speak out about the events in Egypt. Democratic regimes must come from within.
30 seconds over Damascus (Gonen Ginat, Israel Hayom) All the Americans need to stop the killing in Syria is one jet and one bomb and the ability to identify the presidential palace.
Rosh Hashanah: A chance for redemption (Tova Ross, Haaretz) Rosh Hashanah is, in essence, our Jewish New Year, and offers us a chance to forget the ugliness and misdeeds of the past twelve months and adopt resolutions to do and be better.
Never too late to sober up (Emily Amrousi, Israel Hayom) Before Oslo, there weren't security checks everywhere; we had never seen the black body bags; we weren't familiar with the phrase "suddenly I heard a boom."
American Jewish patronage of Israel is a thing of the past (Yair Ettinger, Haaretz) Israelis must wake up to the fact that they cannot take the support of American Jewry for granted any more.
The Syrian forecast (Alex Fishman, Yedioth) "The likelihood that Syria would respond against Israel if it is attacked by the US is not high, but in the Middle East logic is not always in control," and adds, "If Syria's national honor is hurt as a result of an American attack, the Syrian response is liable to be not rational." Fishman says that the Syrians, "have forced President Obama to make decisions he would rather not make - but has to," and claims, "He must restore the world's confidence in general, and that of the Middle East in particular, in the US while minimizing the risk to US forces and interests...One can only hope that if the Americans do decide to attack, they will inform us several hours in advance so that we might prepare for the possibility that the Syrians will go nuts."
The new epidemic: Lack of trust (Yossi Sarid, Haaretz) The Israeli public may not be quite as susceptible to hype as the government believes. It's time for a new antidote to boost our flagging morale.
Waiting for an empire to strike back, and bring order to the Mideast (Benny Ziffer, Haaretz) Perhaps the model of the 'modern-like state' imported to the Middle East from Europe, is the very unbearable thing that is the source of all the region's problems?
Israel's social-network herd of elephants knows all (Nehemia Shtrasler, Haaretz) The Facebook and social-network people don't represent public opinion. They're extremists who hate everything.
Events in Egypt doom intra-Palestinian reconciliation talks (Amira Hass, Haaretz) Fond hopes that Hamas and Fatah will find common cause are vanishing into the downward Egyptian spiral.
A mediator's guide to the Middle East (Dan Sagir, Haaretz) Has Kerry learned from the failures of past U.S. mediation efforts Or is he repeating Washington's past mistakes?
The end of the world is starting in Damascus (Ari Shavit, Haaretz) If civilians can be gassed to death in 2013, we face the end of the world that purports to be moral and enlightened.
Artificial 'revealed truths' (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) By pressing false "truths" like the sanctity of the 1967 lines, the West encourages Palestinian obduracy and strips the peace process of any realism.
Who needs a free press if it's critical? (Jonathan Lis, Haaretz) Apparently not Yair Lapid or his Yesh Atid ministers. They prefer to avoid criticism by spending taxpayer money on ads and promotional material in Yedioth Ahronoth.
**The irony of tut-tutting 'Arab nature' (Sefi Rachlevsky, Haaretz) Just a few decades ago Europeans murdered more than 100 million people during 31 years of horror. Was that a manifestation of 'European nature'?
Palestinians in Israel have the same rights as Jews (Dmitry Shumsky, Haaretz) An ostracized Palestinian minority in Israel would become all the more radicalized against the state.
Like in Egypt, Israel's army takes on powers it shouldn't have (Zvi Barel, Haaretz) The Israeli army may not fire on its own citizens, but it wields just as much power over them nonetheless.
The Lebanese connection
Lebanon-born (Jew) Eli Kasheq never thought that one day he would become one of the Israeli military's senior electronic warfare experts. "We can change the entire course of a battle within 10 minutes," he says. (Israel Hayom)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.