APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday October 08, 2013
Quote of the day:
'Yosef was the only major rabbinic figure to make the courageous ruling that preserving lives was more important than retaining territory...(But he) also represented a racist version of Judaism, claiming that non-Jews were born only "to serve us. Otherwise, they have no place in this world."
--Haaretz Editorial describes how along with his virtues and achievements, Yosef will also be remembered as a man who contributed a great deal to the polarization and division of Israeli society. **
Front Page News:
- Shas leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef died; 800,000 attended his funeral
- Sharp drop in number taking hardest math matriculation exam
- Study: Israel has worst rate of brain drain in West
- Kerry: "Assad deserves credit for honoring weapons agreement
- Battle against Muslim Brotherhood expanding
- In rare move, Palestinian whose son served in IDF to receive permanent residency
- End to the battle: Women of the Wall to pray at new egalitarian space
- 800,000 part from Rabbi Ovadia (Hebrew)
- Shas the day after: On the way to an all out war between Arieh Deri and Rabbi Shlomo Amar
- Rabbi Ovadia Yosef 1920-2013 - Some 850,000 at largest funeral in state's history
- Report: "IDF arrested two brothers suspected of injuring the girl in Psagot"
- The last day in his life: Family and President Peres parted from him
- Rulings, the Torah and the vision: The legacy of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
- Even abroad they reported on his funeral
Peace Talks Highlights:
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators meet again, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas tells a group of visiting Israelis MKs he opposes the West Bank settlement attack as well as Israeli incursions and explains why he went to the UN for statehood recognition. A Palestinian official reveals the purpose for meetings with Israeli politicians.
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met on Monday in Jerusalem for the ninth time since peace talks were renewed at the end of July. A senior Palestinian official told Reuters that the talks were intensifying, with the negotiating teams agreeing to meet for up to eight hours a day and to see one another more regularly. US envoy Martin Indyk participated in the meeting last week between the but missed yesterday's session.
In Ramallah, Abbas met Monday morning with Israeli members of the Knesset caucus for the resolution of the Israeli-Arab conflict at the Mukata compound. Abbas mentioned the recent attacks on Israelis in the West Bank settlement of Psagot and in Hebron, as well as the killing of four Palestinians in Qalandia, adding that he opposes bloodshed and hopes this position is clear to all Israelis. Abbas also said Israel should stop its army raids into Palestinian cities and refugee camps, which might harm future coordination, because security coordination between the two sides is at its highest.
Labor MKs Hilik Bar, who heads the caucus, and Isaac Herzog said that, together with other MKs of the caucus, they represent a huge public who believes in a deal with the Palestinians based on the principle of the two-state solution. They added that most Israelis would support such a deal. The MKs from Shas cancelled their participation due to the death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Israel Hayom reported.
Muhammad al-Madani, the head of a PA committee for interconnection with Israeli society, explained that the purpose of the meetings being held with Israeli politicians at different levels was to prepare for future political moves and to prepare Israeli society for peace. Such meetings, he said, are also attempts to deter the Israeli right-wing forces, who oppose the two-state solution. The meetings will continue in future, he told Maan.
On the issue of the Palestinian Authority's seeking unilateral statehood through the UN, Abbas told the delegation that the reason the Palestinians went to the UN was because "the changes of leadership in Israel led to the fact that we did not see eye to eye on the renewal of the negotiations, and therefore we were forced to go to the UN so that it would recognize Palestine as a non-member state."
"It is clear to us the Palestinian issue and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be resolved only through an agreement and not by going to the UN and making unilateral steps."
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said he did not reject a diplomatic solution regarding Iran. But in a meeting the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon he also said the sanctions should not be eased. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Czech President Milush Zaman in Jerusalem and noted that the Czech Republic is one of 17 countries around the world that produces nuclear energy without centrifuges for enriching uranium or heavy water reactors and asked why the Iranians are adamant to have both if they are only producing energy for civilian purposes. (NRG Hebrew) But Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif insisted Monday that his country has the "absolute right" to enrich uranium on its soil. 'Iran will have to show the world it is peaceful,' said US Secretary of State John Kerry. Zarif also said that Iranian legislators and scholars may have ties with their American counterparts, the Iranian news agency IRNA reported.
- World Bank: Israel to blame for Palestinian financial woes, dependence on foreign aid - According to a new report issued by the international development institution Israeli restrictions in the West Bank cost the Palestinians more than $3.4 billion annually. (Haaretz)
- IDF detains Psagot attack suspects in el-Bireh - Palestinian website says IDF detained suspects, who are brothers, in el-Bireh; army finds knife with Noam Glick's blood near scene of Saturday's attack. (Ynet)
- Israel demands Yatta villagers remove solar panels - Israeli forces on Sunday demanded Palestinians remove 10 solar panels serving 10 families from their rooftops in the Yatta region south of Hebron. (Maan)
- Israel issues demolition orders to 6 families - Israeli forces on Monday issued demolition orders to six Palestinian families living in Bardala village in the northern Jordan Valley, giving the families until Nov. 11 to evacuate their homes. (Maan)
- Israeli forces, settlers raid al-Tuwani village - For the second time, Israel forces raided the main mosque in the village and residents' sheep stables, and ransacked people's homes, firing stun grenades late Sunday. No detentions were recorded and the Israeli army spokeswoman said she was not aware of the incident. (Maan)
- Israeli settlers to vote in municipal elections within Green Line - Residents of Nof Hasharon, a suburb of Alfei Menashe, will vote for a regional council within the Green Line in the forthcoming municipal elections. (Haaretz)
- Palestinian father of IDF soldier granted permanent residency in Israel - Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar's decision to grant residency to Adel Hussein is highly unusual and precedent-setting, attorney says. (Haaretz)
- Israel frees Hebron prisoner as health deteriorates - Israel released Palestinian detainee Hatem Yousef Ibrahim Amro, 51, from its prisons last Thursday because his health had seriously deteriorated. Upon his release, Amro underwent an Angioplasty operation. He had been detained without charges since August. (Maan)
- Dutch watchdog: El Al discriminated against dark-skinned passengers - Group rules on 2011 case, saying dark-skinned passengers were questioned before boarding flight to Israel, while white ones weren't. (JTA, Haaretz)
- Palestinian PM meets Gaza private sector delegation - In a meeting in his Ramallah office with a delegation from Gaza, Interim prime minister Rami Hamdallah, said Palestinian government is ready to ship any goods to Gaza Strip and continue to ship medicines. However, pressure must be exerted on the Israeli government to make this process easier. (Maan)
- Report: Israel has worst rate of brain drain in West - Taub Center: Emigration rate of Israeli researchers is now highest among Western countries. (Haaretz)
- Verdict in Lieberman graft trial to be handed down in November - Attorney-general says will appeal if former foreign minister is acquitted, and if convicted, will seek moral turpitude ruling. (Haaretz)
- Beersheba conference urges Arab candidates to oppose Prawer plan - The conference urged all Arab candidates for local Israeli municipal elections in the region to sign a written document declaring their opposition to the implementation of the plan in their villages. (Maan)
- Israeli reality TV format sold to leading French broadcaster - Musical talent show 'Rising Star' to be broadcast live at annual MIPCOM festival in Cannes. (Haaretz)
- Hasbara you can dance to: New music video puts twist on anti-BDS message - Pro-Israel clip sends message to musicians in a language they can understand. (Haaretz)
- After 40 years, Yom Kippur War facts still disputed - Both Eli Zeira and Zvi Zamir, senior security officials in 1973, questioned why reserves weren't called up; members of the audience interjected that they were. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
- Egypt: 794 Gaza tunnels destroyed so far this year - Egyptian forces have demolished 1,055 smuggling tunnels under the borders with the Gaza Strip since January 2011, according to the commander of the Egyptian border guard forces. (Maan)
- Turkey building wall on Syrian border to stem illegal migration - The wall would span just a fraction of the 900-km (560-mile) border, but highlights Ankara's growing concern about the spillover of violence from northern Syria. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Report: Iran agrees to stash Syrian jets - German newspaper cites intelligence that Iran signed deal with Syria to allow Syria to station its aircraft in Iran to protect them from possible attack. Syria has reportedly already transferred jets to Iran. (Israel Hayom)
- Newspapers around the world join the Iranian 'jeans protest' against Netanyahu - An inaccurate remark by PM Netanyahu turned into an object of ridicule and sarcastic remarks around the world. First it was the Iranians who, on social networks, made fun of Netanyahu for saying that if they were really free they would be allowed to wear jeans. Newspapers of the world, including the Guardian and the NY Times, have joined in. (Maariv, p. 13)
Gaza auto racers struggle to compete abroad
A Gazan member of a group of Palestinian students of the Khan Younis Training College attends the debut Jerusalem screening of a new film that chronicles his group, which built the first Palestinian Formula One race car from older cars, including dated Fiat Puntos due to lack of imported parts. The film documents the group, which travels to England to enter a competition - and get culture shock along the way. (Maan)
**Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: A mixed legacy (Haaretz Editorial) Along with his virtues and achievements, Yosef will also be remembered as a man who contributed a great deal to the polarization and division of Israeli society. Yosef was the only major rabbinic figure to make the courageous ruling that preserving lives was more important than retaining territory. But he also contributed to the polarization and division of Israeli society, with scathing remarks like "secular teachers are donkeys." or that Supreme Court justices are"empty, reckless and wicked." Yosef also represented a racist version of Judaism, claiming that non-Jews were born only "to serve us. Otherwise, they have no place in this world."
Bar - Ilan 2: The speech that was not (Gili Harpaz, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) The "Bar-Ilan 2" speech remains rooted in the past and did not offer a vision for resolving the conflict with the Palestinians. Netanyahu preferred to speak like a historian rather than lead... Netanyahu's rhetoric actually demonstrated the real root of the problem: obsessive preoccupation with the past and the lack of political vision for the future. Israelis, Palestinians, rightists and leftists often drag the discourse into mutual accusations. Whoever really is not interested in the end of the conflict can continue to argue about the exact date it broke out, but won't advance us toward a solution. Netanyahu explains that in order to solve the problem you need to get to its roots. True, the past is important and can not be ignored, and the long years of conflict and blood will not be deleted on paper signed by pen on the White House lawn. But to reach a political solution does not require agreement on the exact date when the conflict broke out; there is also no need to agree on who is more to blame - Israel or the Palestinians. It's enough to examine the real red lines of the two sides in light of the existing pragmatic solutions. The Prime Minister reiterated his red lines in his speech: demilitarized Palestinian state alongside clear security arrangements and recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, and giving up the right of return of Palestinian refugees. Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas - Abu Mazen - presents Palestinian red lines on every possible stage: the establishment of an independent Palestinian state based on the '67 borders, with its capital in East Jerusalem. The red lines of Israel and the Palestinians are not mutually exclusive, and existing solutions (the Clinton guidelines, the Geneva Initiative and the Annapolis recommendations) provide answers to the fundamental interests of both sides. Most of us grew up in the shadow of Israel's wars, and we accept the complex reality of our lives here as a necessary evil. Our leaders are better at giving speeches and explaining how we got into this situation. It is time that we demand from them to show us where to go from here.
In defense of our just cause (Hagit Lalum, Israel Hayom) Was Netanyahu able to bring discussions about the Iranian nuclear issue back to reality?
Only those suffering from wishful-thinking syndrome are annoyed by Netanyahu (Moshe Arens, Haaretz) The laudable desire for peace often leads to the abandonment of rational thought - like believing the smile on Hassan Rohani's face.
The rabbi who changed Israeli politics (Eitan Haber, Yedioth) Haber says that Rabbi Yosef, "indeed sat at his desk night and day tirelessly writing religious rulings," but asserts that, "The secret of his power, which cannot be denied, was the number of seats Shas had in the Knesset and the movement's special place in Israeli politics."
The mind of Netanyahu (Elliott Abrams, Israel Hayom) The world expects us to handle Iran, stabilize Jordan, help Egypt, and confront Hezbollah. And we may just do it.
Death of Rabbi Ovadia: the corona did not return to its former glory (Ben-Dror Yemini, Maariv) Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was able to lead the integration of the ultra-Orthodox religious moderation and national life of Torah and work...Yemini characterizes the last three decades as, "the Shas decades," and contends that under Rabbi Yosef's tutelage, "These three decades have been characterized by only one thing: Those who left Islamic countries, who are called Sephardic, and maybe Mizrachim ["Easterners"], became more and more ultra-orthodox. Evasion [of IDF service] grew and participation in the work force declined...There is no argument that one of our generation's greatest passed away yesterday. He could have led the ultra-orthodox... to a combination of moderation in both matters of Jewish law and national feeling. This did not happen. It also does not detract from Yosef's greatness in Jewish law that his rulings on conversion and the seventh agricultural year, for example, were moderate. But there was something frustrating in Rabbi Yosef's path and personality." Yemini hopes that among his many students will be those who will lead in a more positive direction and notes, "In the legacy he left behind, there are also bases for this direction. May his memory be blessed."
Battle has just begun (Zalman Shoval, Israel Hayom) Was Netanyahu able to bring discussions about the Iranian nuclear issue back to reality?
The Israeli-Gulf link (Dr. Ronen Yitzhak, Israel Hayom) Gulf states are finding themselves aligned with Israeli interests.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.