APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday October 04, 2013
Quote of the day:
"I don't know what the goal of this government is. Does it want to keep all of the land in our hands, like most of the coalition wants? Does it want to go towards a two-state solution?"
--In an interview with Maariv, former deputy prime minister and Likud MK Dan Meridor expresses doubt in the present government's intentions to reach a peace agreement.**
Front Page News:
- Obama administration opposes additional sanctions on Iran - in contrast to Netanyahu's demand
- One question floated in the court house this week where Olmert testified on the Holyland affair and it is likely to decide his fate: Did he ask Shmuel Dachner to pay his brother Yossi's debts?
- After Rouhani and Obama, Netanyahu will need to break the new Bennett-Lieberman alliance
- Record number of women murdered in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since the beginning of the year
- This is how homophobia serves Putin's hold on Russia
- Woman tried to break into the White House and was shot after a chase
- European Council: Circumsion ceremony harms child and states must block it by law
- "Don't let the Chinese build the (railway) line to Eilat" - On Sunday, the government will discuss the train line to Eilat
- Drama in Washington - Driver who tried to pass White House checkpoint shot dead in what appears to be a string of misunderstandings
- Spoiling the boss - This is how soldiers are used as personal drivers, food deliverymen and children transporters of their bosses
- Tears in the courtroom - Olmert was asked if his trusted aide (Shula Zaken) conducted corrupt dealings, and answered "maybe Shula will answer." Zaken left the room angry
- Prophet of doom - Netanyahu doesn't trust Obama, he doesn't believe Rouhani, and he is ready to do everything to prevent the fall of the wall of sanctions on Iran (Hebrew)
- Believe it or not // Dov Alboim
- Netanyahu won big time // Ben-Dror Yemini
- Alone in New York // Eli Bardenstein, New York
- Report in Syria: UN inspectors began dismantling Assad's chemical weapons
- Senior Yisrael Beiteinu person: Leon will lose in elections for Jerusalem because of Deri (Hebrew)
- Yesterday: Shooting on Capitol Hill (Hebrew)
- After the success in Mitzpeh Ramon: A supermarket owned by consumers to be opened in Tel-Aviv
- Pope on way to Israel - Franciscus I expected to arrive at the beginning of 2014 (Hebrew)
- 84%: Don't believe that Iran will stop developing nuclear arms - Prime Minister in first interview with Persian TV channel: "We are not suckers"
- Shula Zaken yelled: "Why doesn't he protect me"
- Olmert unquiet // Olmert
- Shula isn't able // Mordechai Gilat
- The brutal attack - that wasn't - Young woman believed to have been brutally raped admitted she inflicted wounds on herself
- Fire on Capitol Hill
- Again troubles at 'Better Place': Acquisition deal ended
Peace Talk Highlights
Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams will be meeting for an eighth round, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Jewish-American leaders that talks are stuck because of the Palestinians, while the Palestinians say its because of the Israelis. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia cancelled its speech at the UN General Assembly for the first time ever this week because of its frustration at international inaction over Syria and the Palestinians.
After a two-week hiatus the two sides will talk and this time US envoy Martin Indyk will attend. Indyk was present at the meeting between Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama at the White House and in the meeting of the Mideast Quartet last Friday, wrote Haaretz. He arrived in Israel Wednesday.
Maariv/NRG Hebrew reported that Netanyahu told US Jewish leaders in closed talks that the talks were stuck because "the Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state." [Interestingly, this is a condition that Israeli added only in recent years. - OH]
Ynet wrote that "there has recently been speculation in the Israeli press that Israel will offer some kind of interim agreement, perhaps a Palestinian state in Areas A and B, the 40 percent of the West Bank that is already under complete or partial Palestinian control and includes the main Palestinian cities." Former Palestinian government spokesman Ghassan Khatib said "Israel is not prepared for a final agreement that will mean ending its control over the occupied territories."
**In an interview in Maariv's Mosafshabbat weekend magazine, former Likud minister and MK Dan Meridor discusses the Palestinian and Iranian issues with senior political commentator Shalom Yerushalmi, who notes that Meridor feels more comfortable to speak freely about the Palestinian issue and blasts the government, which he believes is making a serious mistake.
What is the government's goal?
"I don't know what the goal of this government is. Does it want to keep all of the land in our hands, like most of the coalition wants? Does it want to go towards a two-state solution? Netanyahu spoke about a two-state solution in his Knesset speech in March 2011. He said Israel must keep the settlement blocs and Jerusalem. It appears Netanyahu thinks differently from his government. The Americans also made a mistake that they did not grab that speech and they did not build an American-Israeli agreement based on it.
What goal do you want to see?
"The goal is two states. It might not happen because of problems regarding Jerusalem and the right of return. In this case, there is plan B, a goal which is reachable. We need to determine immediately what ar the borders of the state that would have Israeli sovereignty, Jerusalem and settlement blocs. We need to decrease the threat of one-state. To mark for us and for the world the border. I do not invest or build anything beyond that. We are aware that this land is meant for a Palestinian state, we transfer to the Palestinians the maximum governing responsibilities. We build them there a state, even if we didn't get there.
And then we leave the settlements outside the settlement blocs to dry out?
"No, we will still supply them with security. I am simply horrified to hear youth in Ramallah speaking about one-state. This should never happen."
Netanyahu's media blitz against ending sanctions on Iran continues in the US media -with declarations that Iranian missiles could hit the US. He told the BBC Persian that Israelis 'are not patsies' and that he believed the Jewish and Iranian peoples can be friends if the Iranian regime was toppled. Ynet has a video of the interview with BBC Persian here. Later Thursday, Rohani tweeted that "Tel Aviv upset & angry...because the Iranian nation's message of #peace is being heard better. #Iran #Dialogue."
US Secretary of State John Kerry also said that said the US would not be played for 'suckers' by Iran, but added that it would be "diplomatic malpractice" not to test Iran's willingness to comply with international demands over its nuclear program. Meanwhile, a report said that the US government shutdown may undermine pressure on Iran.
In an interview in Maariv's Mosafshabbat weekend magazine, former Likud minister and MK Dan Meridor, who held the 'Iranian file' until the beginning of this year and is considered one of the most in-the-know on the subject, told reporter Shalom Yerushalmi that the talk of use of a military option was not harmful and that now we are waiting for the Iranians to change their direction.
When asked about Netanyahu's verbal attack against diplomacy between the US and Iran, Meridor said,
"If the whole world says 'Let's try,' why do I need to say 'Don't try' and remain alone. We need to coordinate the strategy with the US. Iran wants to remove the strangle over it. We agree to that, but there is a price: Stop the nuclear project."
President Obama spoke positively about (Iran) developing nuclear power for civilian purposes.
"I wouldn't have said that. It's not correct to speak about this before negotiations with them."
One gets the impression that the previous Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was much easier for us.
"I don't accept that. Maybe Rouhani will make a change because he understands that this business has failed."
- Settlers destroy 50 olive trees south of Hebron - Settlers from Susiya raided agricultural land next to the illegal settlement in the Hebron Hills and damaged 50 trees Thursday. (Maan)
- Military alarmed by MKs breaking the law in Hebron - Recent events in which ministers, MKs and rabbis intervened in illegal practices by Jewish settlers raise concern in defense establishment. (Haaretz)
- Official: Israeli forces hang flags on Ibrahimi mosque (Cave of the Patriarchs) - Israeli forces on Wednesday placed Israeli flags on the walls of the Ibrahimi mosque and set up tents in the eastern courtyards, mosque officials said. (Maan)
- Settlers confront Palestinians picking olives in Salfit - Israeli settlers attacked Sami Yousef Radad, 60, and his wife from al-Zawya in Salfit while they picked olives on their land. "...(they) kicked me and my wife off my land at gunpoint," he said. (Maan)
- Eight years after evacuation of West Bank settlement, Palestinian owners return to land - Homesh was one of four settlements evacuated alongside Gaza in 2005, but the area remained under Israeli military's control; years of anticipation were over on Thursday as Palestinians resumed working their long-lost plots. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- MK Rivlin: "I'm ashamed as a Jew of the slogan 'Judaize Jerusalem'" - The 'United Jerusalem' list (running for Jerusalem elections) headed by Shmuel Shakdi and radical right-wing activist Arieh King succeeded in angering Likud MK Rubi Rivlin with its knew campaign posters: 'Judaize Jerusalem - Judaize through construction and Torah.' Rivlin slammed it on his Facebook page, calling it 'shameful,' and suggesting it might be illegal. (Yedioth Jerusalem, p. 32)
- IDF officers: Rise in violence in (Palestinian) Territories - Binyamin Deputy brigade commander: "The more time we spend in villages during operations, the bigger the chance of spontaneous riots." (NRG Hebrew)
- Co-existence in the Palestinians zoo - Yesterday, in an atmosphere of reconciliation and unity, Haifa zoo transferred 10 ibex to Qalqilya zoo, the only one in the Palestinian Authority. (Yedioth, p. 14)
- For security reasons: No polling stations in E. Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya - Decision made following string of incidents there. Mukhtar Issawiya: "Anyway, we ignore the municipal elections because we don't receive anything from the municipality." (Yedioth Jerusalem, p. 36)
- NII: Citizens receiving State financial aid nonetheless poor - Senior source in National Insurance Institute of Israel says some 100,000 families are on brink of collapse despite State's financial assistance; 'I stay with my children at my parents' house'. (Ynet)
- Sad lesson - Of 21 developed countries that were checked in int'l study, the standing of the teacher in Israel is the worst. Only 8% encouraged their children to become teachers. Only 13% of Israelis believe students respect their teachers, compared to 76% of Chinese. Israel also last in question: "Do you trust teachers to provide good education to your children?" (Yedioth, p. 3)
- The Garden of Bil'in: Seedlings in tear gas canisters - Palestinian who lives near security fence spent years collecting tear gas canisters in which she planted seedlings. (YnetPHOTOS)
- Israel plans bid for UN Security Council seat - Western diplomats expect it to be a hard sell, given the antipathy of most members of the non-aligned nations bloc to Israel. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Australian Muslims oppose pro-Israel candidate - Grand Mufti threatens to withdraw support from Labor Party over Senate candidate with a 'blind bias for Israel.' (Haaretz)
- Protesters cut through Israel's wall near Jerusalem - Arab and foreign popular resistance activists cut three holes in the wall which separates Jerusalem from nearby Abu Dis on Thursday, to affirm the right to reach Jerusalem. (Maan)
- Gaza militants present: The Jihadist's guide to spotting Israel Air Force planes - The Islamic Jihad publishes a manual - partly copied from Wikipedia, it seems - to a reconnaissance plane used by the IAF. (Haaretz)
- Hamas prevents Fatah official from leaving Gaza - Amal Hamad, a member of Fatah's central committee, said Hamas security forces prevented her from traveling despite having previously coordinated with Hamas through a Fatah official. (Maan)
- Palestinian passport ranks 5th worst for visa restrictions - Palestinian passports have been ranked fifth worst in the world in terms of visa restrictions to access other countries, a report published by a global consulting firm says. (Maan)
- Egypt plans Gaza intervention if Sinai crisis continues - The Egyptian army has established a precautionary plan for military intervention in the Gaza Strip if attacks on Egyptian troops in the Sinai Peninsula intensify, Egyptian security officials said. (Maan)
- Egypt's Brotherhood compares army rule to Hitler's Third Reich - Since Morsi's July 3 ouster, the country's military-backed government has moved against the Brotherhood, banning the group, seizing its assets and arresting hundreds of its supporters. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Israel's universities get lower grades in Time's global survey - Three of Israel's universities made Time magazine's top 200 list last year. This year it only two made it, and just barely. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- How many more Palestinian women have to be murdered? September was the most violent month this year, with seven women killed in Gaza and the West Bank. (Haaretz)
- Report: Hezbollah considering retreat from Syria - Reports from Lebanon suggest Shiite group consulting with Lebanese president regarding possibility of retreat. Hezbollah denies: 'We'll retreat after we finish all we set out to do there.' (Ynet)
- Shin Bet concerned over Israeli Arabs fighting in Syria - Shin Bet concerned about "dangerous" phenomenon of Israeli Arabs traveling to Syria to fight. Returning Israeli Arabs may come back with extremist views and military training. Mother of Umm al-Fahm resident in Syria says she is "worried" about her son. (Israel Hayom)
- Iran investigates 'horrific' death of alleged cyber warfare officer - Officials deny that the fatal shooting of Mojtaba Ahmadi, a Revolutionary Guard official, was an assassination. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Twitter chairman exchanges tweets with Rohani's account - Jack Dorsey says it's 'inspiring' to see Iranian president on Twitter, asks 'are citizens of Iran able to read your tweets?' (Ynet)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.