APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday October 09, 2013
Quote of the day:
"My father didn't come to Haifa from the Budapest ghetto in order to get recognition from Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas)."
--Yair Lapid tells Charlie Rose that Israel does not need a declaration from the Palestinians that they recognize Israel as a Jewish state.**
Front Page News:
- Netanyahu rejected Abbas' request to move forward prisoners release
- Britain renews ties with Iran
- Nobel Prize to physicists who explained the source of the mass of particles
- Shula Zaken: Dachner courted me, I made a mistake that I took money from him
- Steel ceiling - New report: Gap between women and men not narrowing, but becoming permanent
- Girl who was saved from Taliban on way to laureates stage in Oslo
- Released for publication: Binyamin Felisian is the brother of the accused in the Youth bar affair
- 100 days without a governor for the Bank of Israel - and still no one chosen to replace Stanley Fischer
- On the grave of the rabbi - Hundreds of Israelis, religious and secular, visiting his grave
- Noam returns home - 9-year-old Noam Glick, who was attacked by a terrorist in Psagot settlement, was released yesterday from hospital
- Beyond the Green Line - How the (Palestinian) territories turned into a stronghold for marijuana
- Yishai's people accuse: "Deri is taking over Shas with force and cynicism" (Hebrew)
- Pulling the strings - Rabbi Ovadia's daughter-in-law, Yehudit Yosef, 42, is a strong figure in Shas; Member of Yosef family: "Whatever she decides, that's what will happen" (Hebrew)
- Security establishment having difficulty deciding clear position regarding dismantling of Syrian chemical weapons
- Czech President: "I am prepared to transfer our embassy to Jerusalem": Netanyahu: "Take my apartment" (Hebrew)
- After 1.5 years of disconnect: Contacts to renew cooperation between Israel and the UN Human Rights Council (Hebrew)
- More concessions in Draft Law: Yeshiva students that don't go to the army will be obligated to study 40 hours a week in the yeshiva instead of 45 (Hebrew)
- Bitter ending - Experts warn: Within 7 years the world is expected to have a lack of chocolate due to the increasing demand for cacao and the few sources
- Condolences and uncertainty - Day after (death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef): Mourning, politics and the battle over the inheritance
- Hero in the face of danger - 9-year-old Noam Glick, who was injured in incident in Psagot, was released from hospital
- Shula's crying - Testimony in Holyland trial
- Journalist Jeffrey Goldberge: "Rouhani bragged - this is how I advanced the nuclear program"
- Youth bar affair: The minor who was allegedly sexually attacked was Beni Felisian
Peace Talk Highlights:
Yair Lapid says Israel doesn't need Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, Israeli Prime Minister Binaymin Netanyahu rejects a Palestinian and US request to move forward the next round of release of prisoners, and the Knesset Speaker tells Italian officials that settlement construction is not an obstacle to peace. Two MKs thwart an "anti-Israeli' motion' at the Inter-Parliament Union in Geneva and the Maariv reported that the Czech President offered to move the embassy to Jerusalem, an offer that was rejected by former prime minister Ehud Olmert years ago.
**Yesh Atid leader and Finance Minister Yair Lapid told Charlie Rose he doesn't support the demand set by Netanyahu that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state in order to make any future peace deal with the Palestinians. He refused to answer whether he would insist on an Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley, but reiterated that he rejects the dividing of Jerusalem. On the peace talks, Lapid said, "The problem with the negotiations is that Israel and the Palestinians want two different things. The Palestinians want peace and justice. Israelis want peace and security." See the video on Bloomberg TV here.
Haaretz reported that Netanyahu rejected the US and Palestinian request to advance the date of the next round of releasing prisoners. Nevertheless, he said that he would not block the release despite recent attacks. Right-wing ministers have been pressuring Netanyahu to freezing the planned prisoner release following the recent killing of two soldiers and the attack on the girl in Psagot. But IDF Chief Benny Gantz and other senior officers have said that those were isolated incidents that didn't reflect an organized, deliberate escalation. Maan has a shorter version of the Haaretz article here.
In a round of meetings with senior Italian officials in Rome Tuesday, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said that settlement construction was not an obstacle to peace and that "as far as Israel is concerned, Judea and Samaria (the W. Bank) are disputed, not occupied, territory." At Italy's Parliament, Edelstein was asked why Israel demands that Iran dismantle its nuclear program while refusing to do the same, he said: "That's like a criminal saying he wants a gun because the cop has one."
Israel Hayom and JPost reported that at the Inter-Parliamentary Union meeting in Geneva, MKs Meir Shitreet (Hatunua) and Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) succeeded in thwarting an "anti-Israeli" 'emergency motion' tabled by the Palestinian delegation and calling for all parliaments to boycott Israel and condemn settlement construction.
The Czech President Miloš Zeman proposed moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Maariv/NRG Hebrew reported. Today there is no official state operates its embassy in the capital. Interestingly, Zeman told Netanyahu that Israel rejected the same offer a few years ago, with the claim that "there was no available property for that goal." Official sources in Jerusalem told Maariv's Eli Bardenstein that then-prime minister Ehud Olmert rejected the offer because he was holding negotiations with the Palestinians at the time. The renewed Czech offer will likely stay on paper, writes Bardenstein, because the socialist party is expected to win in upcoming elections and it would not agree to such a move, due to its political ramifications.
Iran and Syria-related News:
AIPAC pressures Congress on Iran sanctions, Israel protests UN appointment of Iran on disarmament committee, and the IDF Chief Beni Gantz warns of a "frightening scenario" for a future multi-front war. Meanwhile, Israel can't decide the dismantling of the Syrian chemical weapons will really deal with them all.
There is now Israeli pressure on Congress: AIPAC is calling not to ease sanctions on Iran and to intensify them if Iran advances its nuclear program. Israel's ambassador to the UN has protested Iran's appointment to the disarmament committee, saying it 'erodes the UN's legitimacy' because it is "like appointing a drug lord as the CEO of a pharmaceutical company."
IDF chief Gantz said Hezbollah has capabilities that many states do not have - in terms of scope and strength and he warned of a 'future multi-front war with terrorists,' writes Ynet, including Al-Qaeda on the Syrian border, Hezbollah on the Lebanon border and Global Jihad from the Egyptian border and missiles falling on Tel-Aviv.
A second chemical weapons team is heading for Syria to destroy Assad's chemical stockpile, but the fear in Israel is that the dismantling of Syria's chemical weapons is just a drop in the ocean, reports Maariv and Yedioth. The security establishment is having difficulty deciding whether the first photos from the UN inspectors at the chemical facility in Syria signify the beginning of the removal of the threat on Israel or whether this is just a fraud. The photos show that the inspectors dealt with 12 out of the some 1000 tons of nerve gas that Western intel believes Syria has. Yedioth's Alex Fishman writes that Western intelligence sources also believe that the Syrian army has hidden some of the arsenal, including chemical rockets and shells, to secret military bases.
- West Bank nature reserve might be trimmed to expand settlement - Civil administration considering plan pressed by settler lobby group to expand settlement in South Hebron Hills. (Haaretz)
- Contacts to renew cooperation between Israel and the UN Human Rights Council - Israel agreed to stop boycotting the UNHRC, which decided to establish an investigative committee to examine settlement construction and the ramifications on the Palestinians. In exchange, all 28 EU states are expected to boycott the discussions the UNHRC will hold according to 'Article 7,' which requires that every time the UNHCR meets it will discuss the human rights situation in Israel separately from the rest of the countries. (Maariv, p. 14/NRG Hebrew)
- Over 80 Israeli soldiers enter Aqsa compound - Dozens of Israeli troops and intelligence agents and right-wing Israelis entered the al-Aqsa mosque compound on Tuesday. The soldiers listened to a lecture. (Maan)
- Netanyahu came to give condolences and left embarrassed - The son of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef humiliated the prime minister in front of the cameras: "My father begged that you don't draft yeshiva boys - and he was hurt that he did not receive a response from you." (Yedioth, p. 2)
- Likud campaign in Carmiel aims to continue 'judaizing' Israel's north - Party using fabricated story of plan to build mosque to woo Jewish voters in local election. (Haaretz)
- Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian near Qalqiliya - Israeli forces shot and injured a young Palestinian man near the northern West Bank village of Azzun Itma. The army said the man was trying to climb the fence. Israeli forces have killed at least 18 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 2013. (Maan and NRG Hebrew)
- Report: Palestinian Authority losing billions to Israeli bans - World Bank says Palestinians could expand their struggling economy by third, slash their budget deficit in half if Israel allowed them to use 61% of West Bank territory that is now largely off-limits. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Tulkarem area woman marries Israeli Jew who converted to Islam - Saedah Haroun said that David changed his name to Dawood as part of the conversion. She also noted that for years Dawood had maintained good relations with Arabs and Muslims in Israel, where he was from. (Maan)
- Israel tightens cooperation with Greece - Netanyahu meets with Greek counterpart to discuss the need to prevent Iran from nuclear weapons, and ministers of education and tourism signed cooperation agreements. (NRG Hebrew)
- Diplomatic embarrassment at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial - During a visit to the Remembrance Hall Tuesday, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras refused to wear a cover on his head (Kippah). This is very rare. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan refused in 2005 and French President Jacques Chirac refused as well, but compromised on a hat. (Yedioth, p. 20)
- Slovakia and Israel agreed on cooperation in research - Science Minister Perry met his Slovak counterpart Tuesday and they agreed to promote research cooperation between the countries. (NRG Hebrew)
- Attack on Europe, circumcision alliance with Turkey - Will the prohibition to hold circumcisions in Europe unite Israel and Turkey - and cause the cancellation of the decision? Israel recently offered Turkey to join together and battle in the diplomatic arena against the decision. (Yedioth, p. 20)
- Air crisis with Jordan - Six months after beginning work on Ramon Airport in the Negev, Jordan expressed opposition to the project. Reasons: "Harm to our air sovereignty and safety danger to Aqaba Airport." (Yedioth, p. 20)
- For third time in six months: Israeli drone crashes into sea off central coastline - Incident follows two intentional downings earlier in the year due to technical malfunctions. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Rabbi Yosef in 1972: In Egypt they thought I was an Israeli spy - Upon being elected Israel's chief rabbi, Yosef spoke to Yedioth Ahronoth's Refael Bashan about his life, what yeshiva students do for Israel's safety, and why it's important to rule with leniency - the full 1972 interview. (Ynet)
- Mossad tried to obstruct Israeli film on family life of agents, producers say - Channel 10 producers accuse spy agency of threatening interviewees and ordering them to pull out of show. (Haaretz)
- Israel 20th on freedom of travel index - List topped by UK, Finland and Sweden, where passport holders are able to visit 173 nations without visa. Israeli passport holders have free access to 144 countries. (Ynet)
- Turkey lifts decades-old ban on Islamic head scarf - Dating back almost 90 years, the ban has kept many women from joining the public work force, but secularists see its abolition as evidence of the government's Islamic agenda. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Pakistan funds construction of Palestinian embassy - Undersecretary of the Pakistani Foreign Ministry Jalil Abbas handed a million dollar check to Palestinian ambassador Walid Abu Ali on Monday to be used for building a new Embassy of Palestine in Islamabad. (Maan)
- Egypt's army chief gives first account of his overthrow of Morsi - General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi describes 'arrogant and tyrannical' manner of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, in first account since coup. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Two years after attack on British Embassy, Britain, Iran working toward renewing diplomatic ties, reopening embassies - Countries will appoint 'non-resident charge d'affaires' tasked with working to renew relations, U.K. foreign secretary says. (Haaretz)
- Rouhani bragged that he advanced the Iranian nuclear program" - US journalist Jeffrey Goldberg doesn't buy the Iranian President's 'charm attack,' and even compares him to Arafat. (Israel Hayom, p. 13/Bloomberg)
Syrian boys in Israeli hospital: We weren't afraid to come here - Two Syrian brothers, ages 12 and 15, have been hospitalized in Safed for a month after being seriously wounded by a mine explosion near their home in southern Syria. Younger boy: I miss my family in Syria. (Israel Hayom)
This cooperation probably won't bring peace, but it is keeping senior IDF officers and police awake. Palestinian drug dealers and hilltop youth smoke pot together and sell the marijuana to Israelis, who are frustrated by the lack of grass following the establishment of a fence on the border with Egypt. The fear: Jewish drug users will become a target for attacks. (Akiva Novick in Yedioth's '24 Hours' supplement)
Now there's a Palestinian movie about a Shin Bet agent and a West Bank informant
'Omar' is Palestinian Authority's candidate for foreign film Oscar, while 'Bethlehem' is Israel's. (Haaretz)
A leadership of gloom and doom (Haaretz Editorial) If Israel is on the edge of the abyss, as Netanyahu claims, he should not be surprised by the flight of the country's young people overseas.
Israel's generation gap stems from economic angst (Ravit Hecht, Haaretz) Young people don't fear they'll be beaten up for being Jewish, like Benjamin Netanyahu's grandfather, they fear they'll end up like the activist who immolated himself during the social protests.
A Jewish journey towards compassion in Israel-Palestine (Richard Forer, Maan) Growing up in the United States in the 1950s and 60s, regularly attending synagogue and spending summers at the Jewish Community Center, I never questioned the stories I was taught about the establishment of Israel.
Bibi, a modern-day Arafat, provides fodder for anti-Israel left (Bradley Burston, Haaretz) Instead of substantiating the concept of Rohani as a wolf in sheep's clothing, Netanyahu's UN speech conveyed Israel as friendless and bellicose, unwilling to negotiate, the odd country out.
Better late than never (Nechama Duek, Yedioth/Ynet) Israel was not wrong to apologize to Turkey; it's important to have an Islamic power by our side.
Oslo's unintended results (Raif Zreik, Haaretz) The accords created a new type of reality in the territories: There is no binational state, no expulsion, and no annihilation.
Life first -- then peace (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) Israeli citizens yearn for peace, but are not willing to commit national suicide for the sake of falsehoods, malevolent smiles and illusions.
Religion matters: Beware the American 'cultural Jew' (Rabbi Leon A. Morris, Haaretz) When being culturally 'Jew-ish' in America means little more than lox and bagels and a vague duty to repair the world, Israel should also be worried.
Preferable to darkness of religion (Yigal Sarna, Ynet) Nothing anti-Semitic about Council of Europe's resolution against ancient circumcision ritual.
Bibi digs in, but ground is shifting (Shaul Arieli, Haaretz) Unlike Israel, the Palestinians have an alternative road to achieve their goals. If the talks fail, they will go back and concentrate on the international track to achieve the same strategic goal - partition of the Land of Israel.
J Street is not pro-Israel (Isi Leibler, Israel Hayom) A group that lobbies the U.S. government to undermine the policies of the democratically elected Israeli government is not "pro-Israel."
Ich bin ein sub-slime Israelische (Asher Schechter, Haaretz) Alarmed as some of its best brains leave, Israel resorts to an old tactic: Mark emigrants as traitors.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.