APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday August 27, 2013
Quote of the day:
"Israel's behavior conveys the following message: 'If you compel me, I will engage in peace talks.' In other words, the only interest that guides the Israeli government is to avoid a colossal crisis with the world."
--Uzi Baram writes in Haaretz how the right-wing description of 'peace' must be ignored and the real meaning of peace must be adopted.**
Front Page News:
- Kerry threatening: Syria to be held responsible for chemical attack
- 3 Palestinians killed in clashes with IDF: Round of negotiations to be held in Jericho cancelled
- Reform begins, but 1/3 of security guards will still be taking their weapons home
- Weinstein points to candidates to be State Attorney
- Testimonies of migrants reveal how 'voluntary deportation' works
- Returning to school
- Until the next vacation // Eshkol Nebo
- The beautiful period // Eli Amir
- Shoshana Chen worked out how much the school year costs us
- The people behind the most famous school books
- Education Minister Shai Piron: What needs to change in the education system
- The battle speech - US Secretary of State John Kerry in dramatic declaration: There was a chemical massacre in Syria. We will punish those responsible
- Assad's head // Alex Fishman
- Spies for life - In one of the most secret operations of the Mossad, Jewish agents were sent to marry Palestinian women and raise families in order to get quality intel: Project Ulysses
- Kerry threatens: Whoever uses chemical weapons must bear the consequences; US administration: Assad army behind the chemical attack (Hebrew)
- 2130,000 children open the school year this morning
- It's in their hands // Chen Kottas-Bar
- Returning to ourselves // Aviad Forhorils
- Not system. People // Carmit Sapir Weitz
- First of all - education // Eyal Levy
- Dispute between Molcho and Livni: Final status agreement or agreement of principles with the Palestinians
- Investigation into operation at Kalandia during which 3 Palestinians were killed: The force acted properly - Undercover force was revealed in the heart of a refugee camp - (Hebrew)
- "Whoever uses chemical weapons will pay" - US Secretary of State John Kerry raises the bar of threats
- May it be successful! School year opens
- My Shileh, today you will cross the gate of school for the first time and enter towards your future // Yehuda Safra
- Our forces were attacked in Qalandiya; three Palestinians were killed
- The battle over the leadership of the Labor party: Herzog to run; Cabel and Margalit support him
- Bank of Israel considering limiting the bonus payments to senior bankers
Peace Talks Highlights:
Following the killing of three Palestinians by Israeli soldiers in a Palestinian refugee camp yesterday, the fourth round of peace talks either did or did not take place in Jericho, depending on which newspaper you read. Maariv also reported that the Israeli negotiators have a deep difference of opinions.
Haaretz and Ynet reported that the Palestinian negotiators said they canceled their meeting with Israelis scheduled for Monday after the deadly clashes, while the US State Department denied the report that the negotiations were called off and Maariv and Israel Hayom reported that it took place. Ynet wrote that the current round of talks was meant to be held in Jericho, likely in the home of Saeb Erekat. Haaretz wrote that the Palestinian Foreign Minister only said that killings of Palestinians would have an affect.
But Israel Hayom and Maariv reported that the fourth round of talks were held yesterday, but as the two sides promised to the US, they did not share information about it. Maariv's Asaf Gabor wrote that the Palestinian announcement on the possible cancellation of the talks was meant to avoid embarrassment for the Palestinian Authority for holding them despite the killings.
Moreover, writes Gabor, US envoy Martin Indyk was called to Ramallah to prevent harm to the delicate negotiations. Indyk had planned on arriving in Ramallah to meet with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, (marking the first time a US official has met with a high-ranking Egyptian official of the new interim government, writes Gabor), but Indyk also ended up working to prevent a crisis between Ramallah and Jerusalem. In his meeting with Palestinian President Abbas, Fahmy warned that Israeli settlement activity and the deadly West Bank incident jeopardizes Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
The three Palestinians were shot and killed early Monday morning when undercover Israeli forces went into Qalandiya refugee camp to arrest an alleged arms dealer. UNRWA, a UN organization that provides aid to Palestinian refugees, said one of its employees, a 34-year-old father of four who was on his way to work, was among the dead. The troops said that once the arrest was made and they began making their exit, they were attacked by hundreds of Palestinians who threw stones and bricks. The soldiers injured 15 other Palestinians, six of them seriously. Based on its investigation the IDF said the soldiers acted properly as they felt their lives were under threat. But Yedioth wrote that the IDF will have to re-examine whether the mission, the arrest of Yosef Khatib justified entering the camp during daylight when it was clear the price would be heavy. Clashes took place during the funerals for the three, which were attended by thousands of people, and this time, like most times, no one was killed.
Meanwhile, Israel's two chief negotiators have a difference of opinions about how to negotiate with the Palestinians, writes Maariv. Yitzhak Molcho is seeking an agreement of principles regarding final status issues, while Minister Tzipi Livni would rather sign a permanent agreement with the Palestinians, which is what the Palestinians seek as well. Maariv writes that Molcho's approach is more likely to win Netanyahu's support because he trusts him on "Palestinian issues" and is a close adviser to the prime minister. (Maan has more on the story in English here and NRG Hebrew has it here.)
A possible US attack on Syria continues to be a top story in the Israeli papers. A Syrian official said Israel 'will come under fire' if Syria were attacked and a senior Israeli team is in Washington as preparing for such scenarios if the US were to attack. The talks with US officials will also focus on Iran's nuclear program, Hezbollah and Iran's role in the Syria crisis. The meeting was planned a few weeks ago, but gained special importance and urgency in light of events in Syria and U.S. preparations for a possible attack there, wrote Haaretz.
The US said yesterday that it is clear the Syrian regime used chemical weapons and US Secretary of State John Kerry warned that those who use weapons of mass destruction would bear the consequences. Haaretz wrote that his strong anti-proliferation message is likely to resonate in Tehran and Jerusalem as well. Haaretz's Chemi Shalev writes that Kerry has "laid out the ideological underpinnings of what seems to be an imminent U.S. military strike against Syria: not regime change, not even retribution for the killing of tens of thousands of innocents, but the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the severe punishment of anyone who dares to use them to commit crimes against humanity. "
Yedioth's Alex Fishman writes that the question is no longer if, but when the US will attack Syria. Fishman says the US plans to make a one-time, quick and painful attack on Assad. The UK, France and Germany have already expressed their support. But how will the Syrian regime respond after the first Tomahawk missile is shot at Damascus? Everything is possible, writes Fishman. What is certain is that Israel must be completely alert for the moment it begins.
- Palestinians clash with Israeli troops near Bethlehem - Two young Palestinian men were hit by rubber-coated bullets and several others were hurt by tear gas during clashes with Israeli troops in Ayda refugee camp near Bethlehem Monday evening. The youth clashed with forces to express anger over the IDF's killing of three young Palestinians in Qalandiya refugee camp. (Maan)
- Israeli forces raid Jenin area village, clash with residents - Two young Palestinian men were hit by rubber-coated bullets, and several others choked as they inhaled tear gas during clashes with Israeli forces who raided Sanur village near Jenin Monday evening to Israeli forces raided the village and ransacked the home of a senior Fatah leader to summon his son for interrogation. (Maan)
- Israeli forces raid factories, confiscate equipment near Bethlehem - Israeli forces ransacked several factories and workshops in the area and confiscated bulldozers and other equipment in the town of Beit Fajjar. (Maan)
- Israeli forces demolish East Jerusalem homes - Without giving prior notice, Israeli forces stormed several homes, ordering the families out and then razed the homes in the E. Jerusalem neighborhoods of al-Tur and Eisawiya. (Maan)
- Israeli forces demolish Negev home - "An Israeli military force, undercover forces, and Israeli police came and demolished the house, turning it into a pile of stones," said homeowner Younis Awad Abu Ghanem of the village of Tal al-Saba. (Maan)
- Netanyahu snubs French minister - until Jewish leader steps in - Visiting French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius' request to reschedule a meeting with the PM was repeatedly turned down until a high-profile Jewish politician and long-time Netanyahu supporter intervened. (Haaretz)
- French FM: EU settlement boycott may be revised - Laurent Fabius, who is visiting Israel, says while the EU stands by its decision to cut economic ties with Israeli institutions located beyond 1967 lines, Brussels can review its guidelines if they prove to have "any unpredictable implications." (Israel Hayom)
- Normalization diplomacy between Israel, Turkey falter - Government sources say Turkey's insistence on calling payments to the families of the Mavi Marmara victims "punitive damages" and not "compensation" brought the negotiations to a halt. (Israel Hayom)
- Israeli lawyer convicted of bilking Egyptian banks in NIS 21 million King David Hotel scam - Israeli collected NIS 21 million, mostly for administrative fees amounting to less than NIS 2,000, as Egyptian banks sought to stake a claim in King David Hotel, Jerusalem. (Haaretz)
- Israel's organized crime gangs trying to buy mayors, police say - Criminal investigations, both open and undercover, under way against top local officials. (Haaretz)
- Newly appointed National Security Advisor Cohen's son reveals moving family story - Former Deputy Chief of Mossad, Yossi Cohen, is new national security advisor; behind his years of service stands a moving family story. (Yedioth/Ynet)
- Terrorist organizations use media to lure potential members - Tayibe resident the most recent of four Arab-Israelis accused of joining Syria rebels; terrorist organizations use online recruitment. (Ynet)
- Labor race: MKs form united front against Yachimovich - MKs Cabel, Margalit stand behind Yitzhak Herzog as he announces candidacy for party leadership. (Ynet)
- Israeli security no longer allowed to take guns home - but deposit spots still not arranged - Regulations introduced after spate of murders by security personnel licensed to carry weapons. (Haaretz)
- Education system remains engine of inequality, statistics confirm - As another academic year begins, achievement gaps divide haves and have-nots. (Haaretz)
- Nixon questions Jewish loyalties in newly released tapes' - It's about time that the Jew in America realizes he's an American first and a Jew second,' Nixon is heard saying to Henry Kissinger on one of the tapes. (JTA, Haaretz)
- Turkey would join coalition against Syria, says FM - Davutoglu says Ankara will join any international coalition even if wider consensus isn't reached at UN's Security Council; Hague reiterates sentiment. (Agencies, Ynet)
Latest IDF-Palestinian clash is worrying, but too soon to predict widespread violence (Amos Harel, Haaretz) The shooting of three Palestinians in the West Bank following a clandestine IDF operation raises many worrying questions, including the timing at a formative stage in the renewed peace talks.
The right wing is trapped (Uzi Baram, Haaretz) A lack of progress toward a just peace and the occupation are damaging Israeli society.
The burning failure of Israeli President Shimon Peres (Omri Ben-Yehuda, Haaretz) President Shimon Peres has always dreamed big, but his actions have always fallen far short of his aspirations.
Light comes from the West, nostalgia from the Middle East (Salman Masalha, Haaretz) The Arab world will never be able to improve its future if it keeps harking back to the past.
Obama and Assad, the best of enemies (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) Obama will strike Assad just hard enough to satisfy world opinion, but still leave him standing and not forced to respond.
C minus in equality (Haaretz Editorial) Many of lowest-scoring schools are in the Arab and national-religious school systems. Officials usually like to talk about shrinking the education gap much more than they like to act.
The Cuban missile crisis in the Mediterranean (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) Will Russian ships come between American destroyers and Syria?
The education gap: not a mistake, but policy (Or Kashti, Haaretz) Israel's Education Minister Shay Piron has to make the issue of inequality his top priority.
Who still thinks we could have left the Golan? (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) For some, the Syrian conflict is Israel's fault, because we didn't sign a peace treaty with Assad, who would have guaranteed our security on the Golan Heights.
Israel is getting bad advice from its best friend (Moshe Arens, Haaretz) Israel is the only island of stability in the region, but Obama turns his attention to the West Bank and advises his friend to abandon it.
If I am not for myself (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) As free Jews in the State of Israel, we must once again internalize the fact that we have no one to rely on but ourselves, with the help of God, of course.
Ankara's loose cannon fires another salvo (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) Blaming Israel for Egyptian coup was in character for Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose reckless rhetoric doesn't always go over well with his countrymen.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.