APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday October 28, 2012
Quote of the day:
"We haven't learned anything since the murder. We have here unprecedented political radicalization. We've gone farther than ever and now it turns out that the murder was just a stop on the way."
-- Rachel Rabin Yaakov, sister of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, speaks 17 years after his assassination. **(Ynet)
Front Page News:
- Fierce opposition in Likud to union of party lists; Netanyahu and Lieberman in effort to prevent setback
- (Hurricane) Sandy is cooling the race to the White House
- Prison sentence to Berlusconi for tax fraud
- Superstitions for sale - Public auction of ancient amulets in Israel
- Queens of chess looking for a square
- AD from YESHA Settler council: "Letter to Government of Israel...This is the time to approve the Levy Report" [legalizing settlement outposts]
- Storm in Likud - General draft ahead of the vote tomorrow at the Likud Central Committee to approve agreement with Lieberman
- United? The big differences between Likud and Lieberman's positions
- Where's the money? Likud-Beiteinu has 54 million shekel campaign - more than Labor, Shas and Lapid together
- The mystery on the Sinai beach - Israeli left three weeks ago to sail to Cyprus, when the ship returned he was gone. His body was found near El-Arish over the weekend. The Egyptians: Body has signs of shooting
- Remembering together - Some 15,000 people participated in rally commemorating the murder of Yitzhak Rabin
- "I want to return to Israel," wrote (former Mossad chief) Meir Dagan - and he was flown home
- Hamad vs. Ronaldo - Today the Israeli (soccer) striker of Mayorca will meet the star of Real Madrid on the field
- Hour of the gypsies - Dani Karavan speaks at the monument he designed in Berlin in memory of the Holocaust of the gypsies
- Obama offered renewing relations with Iran - The US President initiated far-reaching gestures for after he is re-elected (Hebrew)
- Ministers in Likud: The union will lower the mandates
- Rally with a sign of reconciliation - Some 20,000 people arrived at Rabin Square where prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was murdered 17 years ago (Hebrew)
- CEO of Bnei Akiva (religious scouts youth movement): We must act against the perpetrators of 'price tag' and against 'Anarchists against the Wall,' against people who throw stones at soldiers, whether they do that from an outpost or Bil'in (Hebrew)
- Body of 43-year-old from Hadera found on beach of Al-Arish in Sinai; investigation over whether he was murdered in Israel
- "Scandalous sentence" - Former prime minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, sentenced to four years in jail for tax fraud
- After the rain, temperatures expected to rise till Thursday
- Former head of Mossad Meir Dagan flown to Israel from Belarus and hospitalized in stable condition (Hebrew)
- Movement - after the bang; Strategist Finkelstein: Netanyahu-Lieberman - 45 mandates; In left-wing: Waiting for Olmert
- Meir Dagan hospitalized in Israel
- 17 years since Rabin murder - Some 20,000 attended rally
- Even Italy is bypassing us? This is the last thing the followers of Deri and Olmert needed. Mordechai Gilat on the Silvio Berlusconi's prison sentence
- Sudan threatens: "Israel bombed us - we can hurt Israeli interests"
- The storm before the heat wave: Enormous amounts of rainfall across the country
Likud party against the present prime minister, a rally in commemoration of a murdered prime minister (with some settlers in the crowd and on the stage) and the former Mossad chief returnts to Israel making the top news in today's main Israeli papers. Meanwhile, Maariv reports that the recent attempt by the White House to renew relations between Iran and the US was actually the second try.
The heat is on. The vote in the Likud Central Committee over the agreement of a joint list of Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu takes place tomorrow and the man who surprised his party with the deal, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, is putting on the pressure to vote in favor. The papers say it is expected to pass. Nevertheless, party activists, MKs and ministers oppose it, saying it's good for Netanyahu, but not for the Likud.
Youth were the majority of the people who filled Rabin's Square at the rally in commemoration of 17 years since the murder of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin Saturday night, and for the first time there were even some from the Bnei Akiva religious Zionist youth movement, which is the primary youth movement for the settlers. In the past, settlers did not take part in commemorations for Rabin since they opposed his plan to dismantle the settlements and return the land to the Palestinians as part of a peace process. It was this plan that led to his murder. The slogan of the rally was 'The Struggle for Democracy' and the 'price-tag acts' of settler and other right-wing youth were a subject among the speakers. The famous Israeli poet, Haim Guri, who is Rabin's cousin, said, "A bad wind is blowing in Israel. Today, too, the 'price-tag' people are calling the Prophet Mohammed a 'pig' and adding a Star of David. That is an insolent provocation against all of Islam. As if we did not have enemies already." Yedioth wrote "there was a moment of embarrassment when Rabbi Avi Gisser, the chief rabbi of Ofra settlement stood up to speak and was booed by the crowd who also shouted condemnations against settlements. "You see," he said. "These are the bad signs about which I'm talking. If we want just flattery we'll move the rallies from the square and we'll meet inside clubs - each one in his club." Danny Herschberg, CEO of Bnei Akiva, was criticized within his movement for agreeing to speak at the rally. But his speech won a big applause. "We must act against the perpetrators of 'price tag' and against 'Anarchists against the Wall,' against people who throw stones at soldiers, whether they do that from an outpost or Bil'in [Palestinian village, where weekly demonstrations take place against Israel's wall on their lands - OH]," he said. But he was slammed by youth from Yizhar settlement who accused him of contributing to the 'heritage which led to the murder of many Israelis.' Yedioth reported that for the first time a Rabin commemoration rally will be held in a settlement: at the Gush Etzion Matnas (recreation center) in Alon Shvut settlement and it will deal with the significance of the murder and improving relations between the different camps [anti- and pro-settlement. -OH]. The event was initiated by Rabbi Menachem Fruman of Tekoa.
Maariv's Eli Bardenstein reported that after taking office, US President Barack Obama requested to renew diplomatic relations with Iran, but after a few secret meetings, Iran refused. The first step was to offer opening offices in each other's countries. Maariv learned that there were at least two direct meetings held between US and Iranian officials. The details of that attempt were revealed following the recent New York Times report of a US attempt to hold direct talks with Iran. Maariv writes that it learned that through one of the six powers, the US transferred messages to the Iranians. But it was not clear if officials held direct meetings. Two senior Israeli officials said that from the messages that were exchanged, the US Administration believed the Iranians would be willing to renew direct talks a short time after the US elections. "As far as is known, the offer to renew relations is not on the agenda," Maariv wrote.
- Ahead of Israel election, PA bid in UN may push Netanyahu to harsh unilateral reaction, diplomats say - PA expected to seek UN General Assembly recognition as 'non-member observer state' in November; Israeli envoys warn European Union that move could could lead to a new intifada. (Haaretz)
- Churches condemn Israeli security barrier - Churches say barrier will restrict the lives of families who live off the land. Defense Ministry official: Entry gates will enable Palestinian land owners to work their land unimpeded. (Israel Hayom)
- **Rabin's sister: We learned nothing from assassination - Slain prime minister's sister warns against apathy, radicalization taking hold of Israeli society, blasts Israel's current leaders. (Ynet)
- Sderot mayor launches 4th day of hunger strike - David Buskila, who has been camped outside the PM's office in Jerusalem for four days, says he hopes government won't allow financial situation in Sderot to worsen; southern town's residents to join mayor in protest. (Ynet)
- Study: Despite Steinitz's claims, job growth hasn't increased under Netanyahu - Employment has increased at about the same rate for the last 43 years. (Haaretz)
- Israeli biblical park outfits donkeys with Wi-Fi - Visitors at Kfar Kedem historical park can surf Web while touring land of the Bible. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Israel, US sign telecommunications pact - Agreement will make it easier for American companies to sell in Jewish state. (Ynet)
- One killed, 150 injured during Gaza Eid al-Adha celebrations - Panicking cow kills Gaza resident trying to perform ritual slaughter; Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha commemorates the sacrifice by forefather Abraham. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Palestinians seek work in Israel as crisis deepens - Large crowds of desperate men flock to Israeli military coordination office each morning in chaotic scenes of long lines, frustrated faces and heated arguments as they try to secure coveted work permit. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Al-Qaida leader calls on Muslims to kidnap Westerners - In a two-hour and 12-minute video posted on Islamist websites on Wednesday, Ayman al-Zawahri also called U.S. President Barack Obama a 'liar' and 'one of the biggest supporters of Israel.' (Agencies, Haaretz)
- New satellite images suggest Sudan site hit by airstrike - Photos released by U.S. monitoring group show several wide craters; Sudan has accused Israel of bombing Khartoum military complex, killing two people; Sudan's information minister: Israeli interests 'legitimate targets' after alleged strike. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Sudan: Israeli interests have become 'legitimate targets' - Sudanese president says 'Israeli airstrike' on Khartoum weapons site is 'hysterical reaction to political changes in region;' meanwhile, Sudan's information minister says weapons used in attack were Israeli-made. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Morsi, Mashaal slam 'Israeli aggression' against Sudan - Egyptian president, Hamas chief offer Khartoum their support; condemn 'barbaric attack. (Ynet)
- Egypt to return body of Israeli found in Sinai - Egyptian media report man whose body was discovered off Mediterranean coast in El Arish area had drowned, but later say he was also shot. (Ynet)
- Almost 150 killed as Syria truce collapses - Syrian 'truce' brokered by UN envoy for Muslim holiday collapses in deadly violence as 146 people are left dead across war-torn country. (Agencies, Ynet)
- European parliament visit to Iran canceled at last minute - Tehran nixed the visit after the group asked to meet two Iranian activists awarded a top EU human rights prize. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- UK opposed to military strike on Iran 'at this moment' - British Prime Minister Cameron's spokeswoman says sanctions over Islamic Republic's nuclear program having effect, diplomacy should be given time. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Iran hurting from sanctions, Italian premier says in Jerusalem - Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti says sanctions are “inflicting pain” on Iran and are being rigorously applied and enforced. Monti: Israeli approach on Iran is “slightly different” but complimentary to Europe’s. (Israel Hayom)
- Olmert in closed talks: We must offer an alternative - Following the union between Netanyahu and Lieberman, pressure is increasing on former prime minister Ehud Olmert and those around him think he will return to political life. (Maariv, p. 4 and NRG Hebrew)
- Israel's politicians realign ahead of elections - Economist Shlomo Maoz to run with Likud; Nachman Shai defects to Labor; Dov Lipman linked to Yesh Atid. (Haaretz)
- Lieberman: Cowards using racist card - Foreign minister unmoved by activists claiming merger with Yisrael Beiteinu has turned Likud into 'pork' party. In Ynet interview, he reveals two-state solution to be included in joint platform. (Ynet)
- Request to disqualify MK Michael Ben-Ari: He represents Kach (the outlawed Jewish terror movement and political party) - Following requests to disqualify two Arab MKs, a request was made to Elections Committee to disqualify the Chairman of National Union by Adv. Oded Hermoni, the head of the Labor Party office of Modiin, on the grounds that Ben-Ari represents the positions of Kach, which he admits on his website to being a member of the party and has said in interviews he continues the legacy of Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of Kach. (NRG Hebrew)
- Levy, Shamir back on Likud roster - Yitzhak Shamir's son, David Levy's daughter expected to rank high on Likud elections list following merger with Yisrael Beiteinu. Fathers considered key figures in party's history. (Yedioth and Ynet)
- Likud minister calls for secret ballot on merger with Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu - Michael Eitan criticized the move announced by Netanyahu, saying the deal will 'destroy the Likud movement' and threaten Israeli democracy. (Haaretz)
- Meretz: Lieberman is the Israeli Putin - PR campaign claims Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu merger undermines Israel's democratic nature. (Ynet)
In Israel, Arab MKs seek the impossible - voters
Israeli Arabs have all but given up on the democratic system in Israel, leaving the community’s MKs with the thankless task of trying to galvanize interest. A new survey offers new ideas to dispel the demoralization. (Haaretz)
Circus comes to Gaza – minus lions, ladies
Egyptian National Circus' lone lion, tiger left behind because of high cost of transporting them legally into Gaza. No women performers included in show for fear of offending conservative Palestinians, Strip's militant Hamas rulers. (Agencies, Ynet)
Government should separate military action from its electoral interests (Haaretz Editorial) There appears to be a refusal by the government to recognize the limits of deterrence and the short-lived effects of major military operations.
The real purpose of the Hezbollah drone (Avigdor Haselkorn, Haaretz) Tehran long ago made it clear that hitting the heart of Israel’s nuclear prowess would be a fitting response to any preemptive attack on its nuclear sites.
Why Jerusalem Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship (Yehudit Oppenheimer, Haaretz) Today there isn’t a family in East Jerusalem that is not fearful of losing its residency status, without which it is stripped of the right to live in the city.
In recent exchange of Gaza blows with Israel, Hamas has the upper hand (Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz) As Israel keeps mum on the bombing of a weapons plant in Sudan, closer to home Hamas is taking a more active role in rocket attacks and its prime minister confirms that the siege of Gaza is over.
We have no etrogs (Yossi Sarid, Haaretz) Why is there such a large supply of politicians formerly convicted of corruption returning to politics? Very simple: There's demand. You can't sell on the black market unless there are buyers.
Union likely to lead to return of Olmert (Mazal Muallem, Maariv and NRG Hebrew) The left-center bloc is divided and it has no leadership alternative except if the union in the right brings to life another option...
Bibi's third kingdom (Yoel Marcus, Haaretz) The real failure is that no political force, no party, no person has arisen to present serious opposition to Netanyahu- neither in diplomacy nor in social welfare.
After Netanyahu's announcement of Yisrael Beitenu merger, the Likud house is burning (Yossi Verter, Haaretz) Netanyahu and Lieberman receive reactions of anger and frustration from party members.
When the Shin Bet becomes a political weapon (Amir Oren, Haaretz) If the prime minister wants to investigate press leaks, it is the police, not the internal security service, who should handle the job.
The protest that served Netanyahu (Uri Misgav, Haaretz) The people demanded 'social justice' but they got a paralyzed system whose component parts do not dare disagree with basic conventions. No one talks about peace or completely shaking up the Israeli worldview.
The pigeon economy: growing unemployment in Egypt (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) Egypt needs enormous resources – huge sums of money and a revamping of its educational system – to pull itself out of a deep unemployment rut.
The return of Arthur Finkelstein (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) Netanyahu thinks (unfortunately) that a dichotomous, antipodal, fierce campaign posture will bring him more gains than losses. Perhaps.
The dream has vanished, with the left's help (Zeev Sternhell, Haaretz) The nationalistic and messianic settlement ideology has spread like an oil spill, the dream of a liberal and open society has vanished and the rug is fast being pulled from under the feet of sane Zionism.
New 'Bieberman' party dropped a bombshell, and it's a stinker (Yossi Sarid, Haaretz) We always knew there really wasn't any difference between Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman.
Strange bedfellows indeed (Mordechai Gilat, Israel Hayom) Lieberman allegedly tampered with a witness, obstructed justice, and engaged in fraud – is this really who the prime minister wants to have as his political bedfellow?
With Lieberman at his side, Netanyahu's war cabinet is on a one-way track (Aluf Benn, Haaretz) The merger between Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu obligates the left-wing and centrist parties to offer an ideological and practical alternative to the newly-formed war cabinet.
Who will swallow whom? (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth) on Lieberman-Netanyahu unity "...in all his years in Israel, [Lieberman] never managed to free himself from the influence of Russian fascism. He has no respect for the rules of the game, for democratic procedures. He has no respect for anyone, including the man with whom he resumed his partnership last night. Neither Herzl, nor Jabotinsky, nor Begin is his role model. His role model is Putin. His joining up with Likud's radical, anti-liberal wing is not a good sign. It means that in the next Knesset, there will be an escalation of anti-democratic legislation. Minorities will be pushed down. The opposition will be silenced. The media will be exhausted...
Iran is using Sudan as a backyard (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) If Israeli planes carried out the strike in Khartoum — 1,900 kilometers from Israel — they could easily do the same in Iran.
Weinstein must decide (Haaretz Editorial) Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is fully responsible for removing the obstacle of Lieberman's indictment from the voting public.
Khartoum flames seen in Iran (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Alleged bombing of Sudan arms factory forces Tehran to reassess Israeli threats.
In favor of violence (Kobi Niv, Haaretz) When is it necessary to use violence, and to whom it is prohibited, under what circumstances and restrictions?
Most of us don't want apartheid (Yehuda Ben Meir, Haaretz) There's a lot of room for improvement in Israeli society, but Gideon Levy's article does an injustice to the State of Israel, the Jewish people and the truth.
To powerfully lead (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) If Lieberman succeeds, we can begin to say farewell to Israeli democracy.
Rahm Emanuel to Haaretz: Thanks to Obama, Iran is now isolated from the world
The Chicago mayor is juggling between running one of the largest cities in the U.S. and persuading Jewish voters that Barack Obama is committed to Israel’s security. (Interviewed by Natasha Mozgovaya in Haaretz)
Q. Why exert so much energy over the 2% of the population? Especially considering the fact that 78% of U.S. Jews voted for Obama in 2008, and a recent Gallup poll showed Obama enjoys the support of 70% of Jewish registered voters, as opposed to 25% for his Republican opponent?
"It's an important constituency to a democratic president," Emanuel tells Haaretz on his way from one Ohio event to another. "They obviously play a significant role in key states. I think it's important to communicate to the Jewish community that he has been a good president for the State of Israel, as even noted by people like Defense Minister Ehud Barak, that there has been no better president for Israel's security."
Another thing, he says, is to remind the Jewish community that while Israel is a primary concern, issues of public health, women’s rights, and education, things that are core to Jewish community and our values “he (Obama) has the right values.”
Rahm Emanuel to Ynet: Obama will protect Israel, deal with Iran
Former White House chief of staff and Chicago mayor tells Ynet US president will continue to stand by Israel should he be elected for a second term. (Interviewed by Yitzhak Benhorin in Ynet)
'Obama is not on our side'
The Will to Prevail, a book written by [Likud 'hilltop outpost supporter - OH] MK Danny Danon, hit bookstores in the U.S. with much fanfare and attention from the media. In the book, Danon assails US President Barack Obama, criticizes Muslims, and expresses confidence that the world has sobered up. (Interviewed by Mati Tuchfeld in Israel Hayom)
Q: What compelled you to write this book?
“As part of my job as chairman of World Likud, I participate in dozens of hasbara (public diplomacy) events on behalf of Israel. I always hear people ask why we fail to present Israel’s position better. This question always involves people wondering if there is an alternative to the idea of two states.”
“I thought there was a need to present a solution to the conflict on behalf of the nationalist camp, and this solution states principally and clearly that the concept behind the Oslo Accords is a thing of the past.
Instead of a two-state solution, we should offer up the three-state solution: Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. These are the only states in our region. Palestine will not be established. Israel will gradually begin to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Jewish towns and most of the territory in Judea and Samaria.”
Q: What about the Arab towns?
“The fundamental basis of this idea is maximum territory and minimum Palestinians. They talk about blocs, and I also talk about blocs. Certain blocs will belong to the Kingdom of Jordan, and their size and status will be determined in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. There will be no ties between Judea and Samaria and Gaza, which, by the way, is the situation today. The Arabs of the Gaza Strip will be bound by arrangements with Egypt.”
"Obviously, there will be no willingness to accept this idea, but we first need to convince ourselves. Then we need to convince our partners in the world, and then the governments with which we are negotiating.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.