APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday October 24, 2012
Quote of the day:
"The more I’m obligated to the public and the less to a small number of wealthy people from whom I begged for money or ate with in a fancy restaurant, my public work will be better. I’ll always remember where I came from, and who sent me.”
--Meretz party candidate Tamar Zandberg explains why she uses the internet to fundraise and why she limited donations for her run for Knesset to 1000 shekels.**
Front Page News:
- Soldiers will have to halt construction without permits in the West Bank
- 8 shells shot at Israel, company commander seriously injured from mine
- Honor of the Emirs: Hamas celebrated "the end of the siege"
- The compensation for the quiet evacuation of Ulpana outpost: Beit El's Yeshiva to receive 50 housing units
- Romney failed in presenting a different foreign policy than Obama and lost the debate
- Find the difference: Yachimovitch and Netanyahu - Chairwoman of the Labor party demands the Palestinians recognized Israel as a Jewish state and refuses their demand to freeze (settlement) construction
- Judge Elsheikh approved the sale of Maariv newspaper to Ben-Zvi
- 70% of high school students get help from private teachers
- Saving Captain Ziv - Mine blew up on Givati Brigade officer on Gaza border
- Way to White House passes through Sderot
- The iPad's little brother
- Author Eshkol Nevo offers: A new horizon (see Commentaries)
- Babylon's secret - How the translation company from Or Yehuda became one of the successes of the internet
- Head of parties agreed to debate, Netanyahu avoiding (Hebrew)
- In the meantime in America: Obama beat Romney in last debate before elections
- Broke the siege - For the first time since Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, a head of state made an official visit to the Strip. Emir Qatar received a stately reception after donating $400 million
- New path for Maariv newspaper: Sold to Shlomo Ben-Zvi
- Givati company commander severely injured in explosion of mine on Gaza Strip border and lost one of his hands (Hebrew)
- For first time: CEO of Bnei Akiva movement to give speech at rally in commemoration of Yitzhak Rabin (Hebrew)
- Tax Authority suggestion: (All) citizens to report income annually
- Qatar to terror - First visit to Gaza by head of state since Hamas takeover
- Tension in south: Rockets and shells at Israel, IDF attacked in Gaza
- 34 times: Israel - Obama won in points, Romney displayed leadership, but the big winner was Israel
- Apple's surprise: 4th generation iPad
- Bomb lab in home in apartment building in center (of Israel)
- Algaby family: "It's not reasonable that a man who goes out to his yard is murdered"
- Get out the umbrellas: Rain expected this weekend
- Bank of Israel expected to limit mortgages to 50%
The main news in Israeli papers today comes from the south: the Emir of Qatar makes an historic visit to Gaza, an IDF officer is severely wounded from a mine and the IDF and Palestinian militants continue to exchange fire. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu makes his presence known in Gilo the day before a meeting with the EU Foreign Affairs Minister Catherine Ashton.
There was much talk of the Qatari leader's four to seven hour visit (length depended on which report you read) to the Gaza Strip. It was the first visit by a head of state since Hamas took over rule of the Strip in 2007 and the Emir promised $450 million in aid. That thrilled Hamas, whose prestige it boosted, and angered the Israelis and the Palestinian Fatah party and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank for just that reason. Gaza Palestinian President Ismail Haniyeh called the visit 'the breaking of the political and economic blockade on the strip." Qatar was one of the few Arab countries that had relations with Israel, but that ended following Israel's 2008-2009 military operation against Gaza. A year later Qatar offered to restore trade relations with Israel, on condition that Qatar be allowed to send building materials to help rebuild Gaza, but Israel refused. Ynet has a video showing the pomp with which the Emir was received.
Meanwhile, the tit-for-tat that began October 7th when the IDF shot a missile at two Global Jihad militants on a motorcycle, has not ended. Palestinians shot seven more mortar shells into Negev Tuesday and Israel opened fire on militants in the north of the Gaza Strip, killing one militant and injuring three others. And an IDF officer who was hurt, apparently from a mine on the Gaza border, is "fighting for his life."
Just ahead of his meeting today with Ashton on the subject of Israel's plans to build 797 homes in Gilo, Netanyahu went with Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat to the Jewish E. Jerusalem neighborhood and pledged that Israel will continue building.
- Israel cut deal with Ulpana settlers to ensure peaceful evacuation
- State promised to build 90 new homes in nearby Beit El under agreement approved by Defense Minister Ehud Barak in August. It is currently being processed by the Civil Administration. (Haaretz)
- High Court petition: Shin Bet shelved complaints about violence used on detainees - Petition by anti-torture advocacy group says that complaint about severe violence being used against Jihad Mujrabi, arrested in 2008, was shelved by ombudsman without authorization. (Haaretz)
- Israeli students don't want to be journalists - The departments of communication at universities and colleges in Israel report on sharp drop in number who have signed up, and on transfer from communications to marketing and development of (internet) applications. (Maariv, p. 13)
- High Court bans work on separation fence near West Bank farming village - Residents of Batir say construction would threaten ancient agricultural terraces and contravene a historic agreement made after the 1948 war. (Haaretz)
- Annual drill envisions tsunami - Exercise prepares hundreds of emergency response volunteers for possibility of powerful wave washing over Israel's shores. (Ynet)
- Reserve soldiers to IDF: "We haven't shot a bullet in four years" - In letter sent by engineering corps company to head of security apparatuses they complain: "Since Operation Cast Lead (2008-9) we have only be called up for four days)." Say they are not ready for battle. (Maariv, p. 16 and NRG Hebrew)
- Tayibe space center not named after Ilan Ramon - New facility inaugurated in Arab-Israeli city; name of Israel's first astronaut downplayed in center's title after MK Tibi's appeal. (Ynet)
- EU Parliament ratifies commercial pharmaceuticals agreement with Israel - The pact, which was tabled for over two years for political reasons, enables the sale of Israeli pharmaceuticals to all 27 EU member states without any delays or additional inspection. (Haaretz)
- Residents: Obama uses Sderot as campaign tool - Residents, leaders of Gaza vicinity town accuse US president of using them as a 'winning card.' (Ynet)
- Palestinians: We were the 'elephant in the room' during Obama-Romney debate - Senior PLO member Hanan Ashrawi says failure to mention the Palestinian question was 'sin of omission'; Abbas spokesman: U.S. cannot succeed in Mideast without solving Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Iran says may stop oil sales if sanctions tighten - Tehran has a contingency strategy to survive without oil revenues, Iranian oil minister says. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Syrian opposition dismisses Assad's general amnesty as a sham - International envoy Lakhadr Brahimi is currently in Syria, attempting to secure a temporary ceasefire between government forces and the rebels. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Diplomatic cables show Labor chief has adopted Netanyahu's rhetoric on peace process - Documents sent by Israel's embassy in Paris to Jerusalem after Shelly Yacimovich's visit to France in July indicate that the Labor leader has also advocated for negotiations with no preconditions, but with recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. (Haaretz)
- Likud attacks Labor as an 'extreme left niche' party - The two parties most likely to garner the lion's share of the votes in the upcoming elections begin their attacks on each other in earnest. Head of Likud's media campaign MK Ofir Akunis: Labor party is nothing more than an Arab-Israeli far-left party in disguise. Former head of military intelligence Uri Sagi joins Labor. (Israel Hayom)
- Labor Party's women, Russians, Arabs rebel against Yacimovich's 'stars' - The party blocs are feeling mistreated due to Yacimovich's attempt to shape a so-called list of stars ahead of elections in January. (Haaretz)
- Back to politics? Livni meets with Peres - Amid speculations regarding former Kadima chair's return to politics, Livni meets with president. (Yedioth, p. 8 and Ynet)
- Israeli Knesset candidates raising funds on the Internet - Adopting U.S. President Obama's approach, Israeli candidates seeking election in party primaries opting for small online donations from general public. Tamar Zandberg, who wants to be on the Meretz list, opened a donation page on the Headstart site. (Haaretz)
- Ehud Barak's battle for survival - In the morning the Defense Minister spoke easily with US officers in the joint military drill. In the evening, at a salon meeting of 50 people in Petach Tikva he tried to fend off hard questions in a desperate effort to pass the threshold to enter the next Knesset. "I won't be the leader of the weak classes, but I can say I will take care of them." (Maariv, p. 6)
- (Yisrael Beiteinu) Yair Shamir: "I oppose a Palestinian state" - Shamir, the son of former Likud prime minister Yitzhak Shamir, is running on the Yisrael Beiteinu list, and spoke at his first public event for the party yesterday. (Maariv, p. 6)
- Reform Rabbi Gilad Kariv and Prof. Yossi Yonah joining Labor party - Labor will score significant points with the addition of Kariv, who is CEO of the Reform movement in Israel, and Yonah, who was very active in the social justice movement. (Maariv, p. 6)
- Israeli politicians balk at televised Israeli debate - Invitations to a debate scheduled for January 1 have been sent out to all party leaders, but no invitee has confirmed they will take part. (Haaretz)
- Public debate? Netanyahu opposes - There's already a date and a place (January 1st, Tel-Aviv University). Even the heads of the big parties agreed (Yachimovitch of Labor, Mofaz of Likud, Lieberman of Yisrael Beiteinu, Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid). But Netanyahu has learned a bitter lesson from a past debate with Yitzhak Mordechai and refuses. (Maariv, p. 8 and Yedioth, p. 6 and Israel Hayom)
- Shas leader will impose unity government, says Deri spokesman - Statement fuels fears that Deri is not necessarily committed to a right-wing bloc and a Likud-led government. (Israel Hayom)
- Yisrael Beiteinu: (Yair Lapid's) Yesh Atid is stealing our agenda - At press conference yesterday, members said that Lapid's party copied the main points of Yisrael Beiteinu's party platform "in an unsophisticated way." Yesh Atid: "Desperate accusations." (NRG Hebrew)
When Turkish diplomats saved Jews from the Nazis
Documentary about little-known heroism screens at Jewish film festival in Ashkelon. (Haaretz)
The Muslim Brotherhood: A pragmatic bunch
The movement learned to exploit the blindness of Egypt’s rulers, but they also got lucky. (Haaretz)
iVoteIsrael: Doing good work for all the wrong reasons (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz) Can a non-partisan organization clandestinely funded by Republican money still be considered non-partisan?
Qatar's Gaza gambit (Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) With his historic trip to the Gaza Strip this week, the Qatari emir is seeking to fill the role of Hamas patron that was formerly filled by Iran and Syria.
The psychology of Israel’s declining democracy (Carlo Strenger, Haaretz) A recent Haaretz poll shows profoundly upsetting erosion in Jewish Israelis’ belief in universal human rights. Most Jewish Israelis acquiesce in discrimination against Arabs on the ground of ethnicity and or religion. If true, this points to a moral and political decline of frightening proportions.
Run together, run (Ashkol Nevo, Yedioth) Let's imagine that the main people in the center and left of the political map succeed in getting over their egos in the next few weeks and beyond the differences they have each other and establish one big united movement: "Ofek" (Horizon), named after the thing most missing in the Netanyahu government. A press conference would present the leaders of Ofek: Shelly Yachimovich, Tzipi Livni, Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barak, Shaul Mofaz, Yair Lapid, Stav Shapir, Itzik Shmuli. At the same conference they would share their vision: A change in the priorities in terms of social justice...and a move towards a peace agreement with the Palestinians based on the Saudi Initiative....Polls taken directly after the press conference will show a close battle between Ofek and Likud. On the 22nd of January there will be great suspense ahead of the results...It's still not too late to make this alternative.
If Israel had direct elections (Aluf Benn, Haaretz) While Netanyahu built his career on the direct vote and it was his political rivals who saw to its removal, he is now the main beneficiary of the restoration of the one-ballot system.
Lesson in arrogance (Hagai Segal, Ynet) Bibi brags about no-war term, but Grad missile on kindergarten can change everything.
Donations from abroad do not a Zionist make (Chaim Levinson, Haaretz) The main achievement of Zionism was to change the Old Yishuv into a sustainable society. There's something sad about Israel's reliance on donations from abroad.
War of the wombs (Haaretz Editorial) The anti-abortion organization Efrat combines racism, nationalism and chauvinism, with the result that a woman's womb is expropriated from her and she becomes a tool in the demographic war over Israel's future.
Women who libel Israel (David Landau, Haaretz) It is plain silly to deny the manifest truth that Israel's state-religion is Orthodox Judaism, and visiting its holy places means respecting its rules of conduct. Women of the Wall are participating in a cynical charade designed to portray Israel as a benighted and misogynous backwater.
Their son of a bitch (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) The explanation for the U.S. presidential candidates' support of Israel is to be found in a statement attributed to President Roosevelt, who said of the Nicaraguan tyrant Somoza: 'He may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch.'
Using the 'I' word (Natasha Mozgovaya, Haaretz) J Street supporters express dismay over a presidential debate in which Israel was frequently mentioned, but the peace process was practically ignored.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.