APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday October 29, 2012
Quote of the day:
"I suggest that he asks himself what will happen when millions of citizens in Nablus, Jenin and Jericho vote for the Knesset, or the name that will be given to what happens in Israel when it turns out that millions of people like these cannot vote for the Knesset."
--Ehud Barak questions Knesset Speaker Rubi Rivlin's logic at the Yitzhak Rabin memorial when Rivlin said, "Between the Jordan river and the sea, there can only be one state, Jewish and democratic, with a solid Jewish majority."**
Front Page News:
- Test for Netanyahu: Likud Central Committee to determine future of union with Lieberman this evening
- Precedent indictment against former chairman of Bank Hapoalim (Danny Dankner)
- Elections storm: 400,000 people evacuated ahead of Hurricane Sandy
- New revelations from Agranat testimonies (on Yom Kippur War) - Then chief of staff testified: I felt that the elections influenced the decision-makers
- New committee working to approve bone marrow donations from people unable to agree
- At a farm in the Sharon region, saving neglected and abused horses and donkeys
- Unusual achievement for radical right-wing (anti-Semitic) party in Ukraine
- Hundreds fired - Three big companies, 400 people going home: Better place, Orange, Freescale
- 17 years after the shots at the square, yesterday at Mt. Herzl state memorial for murder of Rabin
- IDF chief of staff under fire - His testimony now revealed from Agranat Commission over Yom Kippur War
- Battle in Likud
- Sandy scare
- 43 mandates for Netanyahu-Lieberman list (Hebrew)
- Likud looked into union with Kadima (Hebrew)
- Closing New York - Mother of all hurricanes (Hebrew)
- Elections in Ukraine: Achievement for right-wing party that calls "to get free from the Jews and the Russians"
- Dairy farmers going to battle against decision on plan to lower prices of milk
- New testimonies on (former chief of staff) Dado at Agranat Commission: I feared that the Egptian sources was a double-agent (Hebrew)
- Netanyahu pressures: Approve the bang; Today Likud convention
- The hurricane that scares America
- Captain Shilon's condition is improving: "It will be difficult, but I'll do everything to go back to the army"
- Examination of satellite photos proves: Weapon storehouses were destroyed in Sudan
Likud votes tonight on unity with Avigdor Lieberman's party, while polls show it won't help them, the testimony of the IDF chief of staff after the Yom Kippur War reveals secrets and a commemoration for Yitzhak Rabin's assassination turns into a political fight on stage making top news stories in Israel. Also in the news, a ceasefire starts but shooting does not end between Gaza and Israel and Maariv reports on dashed Israeli hopes to upgrade relations with Egypt.
Tonight the Likud Central Party holds a convention to vote on the joint Likud - Israel Beiteinu list and Likud activists are demanding a secret ballot, while Likud Chairman and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pressures voters to pass his surprise - and upsetting to many - move to run with ultra-nationalist Avigdor Lieberman.
Three polls taken following the 'Bieberman' unity announcement found that the together the two parties won't be doing much better - and may be doing worse - than if they had run alone. Presently, they have 42 seats put together.
The Maariv newspaper poll gave 43 mandates to a joint Netanyahu-Lieberman list, 20 to Labor, 15 to Yair Lapid, 10 to Shas and 4 to Kadima, with 67 mandates to a right-wing bloc compared to 53 to a (so-called) center-left bloc.
The Channel 2 poll found that the joint list gets 42 mandates, 23 to Labor, 13 to Shas, 9 to Lapid, 6 to Meretz, 3 to Kadima, 6 to National Union-Habayit Hayehudi, 5 to United Torah Judaism. The Arab parties would get 10.
The Channel 10 poll gave 35 mandates to the joint list. Even with this low number, t the right-wing bloc would still have a majority with 14 to Shas, 9 to National Union-Habayit Hayehudi and six to United Torah Judaism. Labor would get 23, 13 to Lapid, 5 to Kadima, and 4 to Meretz. The Arab parties would get 11.
Haaretz's Yossi Verter called it a vote that defies prediction. Maariv's Mazal Muallem called the poll results: "a Valium for Netanyahu."
It was supposed to be a solemn ceremony at Mt. Herzl officially marking the 17th anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination. Except that Speaker of the Knesset Rubi Rivlin opened the event with a speech that caused a raucus. Rivlin said Oslo 'failed' and that the land cannot be divided and that "Between the Jordan river and the sea, there can only be one state, Jewish and democratic, with a solid Jewish majority." (Haaretz) Other speakers strayed from their prepared speeches to argue against his statements. Labor party leader Shelly Yachimovich responded saying, "Rubi, you have sent us back to the deep divide diving Israel. It's such a dangerous position for the Zionist vision." While Ehud Barak said: "I suggest that he asks himself what will happen when millions of citizens in Nablus, Jenin and Jericho vote for the Knesset, or the name that will be given to what happens in Israel when it turns out that millions of people like these cannot vote for the Knesset."
Early Sunday morning after the cease fire had begun, two Grad rockets exploded in open areas near Be’er Sheva. No casualties or damage were reported. Nevertheless, Israel responded shooting a missile at two Hamas militants on a motorcycle in central Gaza, killing one of them. Beersheva's mayor canceled school classes yesterday.
Egypt refused Israel's request to upgrade relations, Maariv reported. Israel wants to raise the relations to the level minister for meetings between the defense ministers. But Egyptian Defense Minister Abdulfattah Khalil Al-Sisi has been avoiding Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak's attempts to call him, writes the paper. Al-Sisi knows the Israeli political elite well, including Barak, but does not want to speak with him because of the sensitivity in Egypt regarding everything related to Israel, claims Maariv. Since the Camp David peace accords were signed in 1979, relations were kept at a CEO level and Israel has long been trying to upgrade them. A foreign diplomat involved in the contacts told Maariv that "The relations are in a freeze, the (Egyptians) won't agree to change them or upgrade them." The paper also pointed to the Egyptian government's difficulty in finding a permanent location for the Israeli embassy (following the attack on the old one) as proof the extreme sensitivity between the states. That said, Israeli security envoys, such as Amos Gilad and Dr. Uzi Arad, visit Egypt from time to time and pass secret messages, the paper wrote. (NRG Hebrew)
- Palestinian officials: Abbas moving forward with bid for UN recognition - Despite continued pressure from both the U.S. and Israel, the Palestinian president is expected to ask the UN General Assembly to approve request for "nonmember state" status in November. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Top US general in Israel for largest-ever joint military exercise - Barak: "We are glad to have General Dempsey here visiting the Austere Challenge exercise, a joint exercise of a significant magnitude to make sure that we know how to cooperate if the need will arrive in the area of anti-missile defense." (Israel Hayom)
- Haredim to be drafted to Border Police under new program - The plan, which will begin before the next Knesset decides on a replacement of the expired Tal Law, will call 50 ultra-Orthodox men for service in the Border Police. New draftees said to be slated for service in the Judea region (W. Bank). (Israel Hayom)
- Sunday Times report details alleged IAF strike on Sudan arms factory - The U.K. paper claims that Israel targeted an Iranian-run missile factory in Khartoum last week; Sudan has accused Israel of bombing the military complex, killing two people. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
- Price-tag: Youth sprayed walls of Dormition Abbey - Police arrested a youth yesterday suspected of vandalizing the Jerusalem church three weeks ago. They are looking into whether he was responsible for the 'price-tag' attack on the Latrun Monastery two months ago. (Yedioth, p. 22)
- Dove's wings flotilla - The new weapon of the (aid) boats to Gaza: homing pigeons. Instead of letters they are carrying on memory discs with pictures documenting the IDF's takeover of the boat and the use of tasers and electric guns. (Yedioth, p. 24)
- IDF pushing to indict (Arab) director of 'Jenin, Jenin' for libel - IDF to present case for indicting Mohammed Bakri at meeting scheduled with Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein. (Haaretz)
- Settlers demonstrated against heavy traffic at the military checkpoint - Hundreds of settlers from the Binyamin Regional Council protested against the traffic jams at Hizmeh checkpoint (an entrance from the West Bank into E. Jerusalem). "It takes two hours instead of 15 minutes," to drive the four kilometer road they said. (NRG Hebrew)
- Cabinet approves south's fortification plan - Escalation in south prompts government to move up vote on PM Netanyahu's defense plan despite absence of State budget. Plan passes with unanimous vote. (Ynet)
- Sderot mayor ends hunger strike -Five days after David Buskila launched hunger strike in protest of Sderot's grave financial situation, government agrees on NIS 22 million aid package. (Ynet)
- Ex-envoy to Belarus sentenced to 4 months community service - Ze'ev Ben Arie convicted of jeopardizing investigation against Foreign Minister Lieberman; sentence part of a plea bargain. (Ynet)
- Israeli dates take world by storm - Sold in six continents, Israeli Medjool variety enjoys 35% global market share. Total date exports expected to reach $60 million in 2012. (Ynet)
- US Navy tests innovative Israeli technology - US reportedly mulls purchasing Rafael's remote-controlled robotic boats, ahead of possible strike on Iran; holds successful test off Maryland coast. (Ynet)
- Egypt transfers decayed corpse of Israeli found on coast to Israel - The decomposed body, found last week on the Mediterranean coast near Gaza, was pierced by bullet, according to reports. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Israeli-French film wins Tokyo festival - Lorraine Levy's 'The Other Son', which takes place on both sides of Green Line, grabs two top honors at prestigious festival. Director dedicates award to Israeli, Palestinian children. (Ynet)
- 'No reason' to shoot Gaza fisherman, family says - Fahmi Abu Riash, father of a one-year-old son, was fatally shot by Israeli soldiers while fishing at the beach in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza in late September. His brother Youssef was shot and wounded. (Maan
- Dennis Ross: What Obama has done for Israel's security is 'without precedent' - Former top White House official says he supports the U.S. president, and ascribes Jewish hostility toward the president as resulting from'disinformation and polarization.' (Haaretz)
- Turkey to return drones purchased from Israel - Ankara says there are technical problems with the drones and it will sue for damages after Israel failed to repair them. Israeli manufacturer says it does not know of any problems with the drones. (Israel Hayom)
Netanyahu: Lieberman will be able to choose any senior ministerial portfolio - Following unification of Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu, PM says Lieberman can choose between the defense, finance, or foreign portfolios; Netanyahu to attend Likud's Central Committee to garner support for the move. (Haaretz)
Olmert waiting for Obama - If Barack Obama is re-elected, it will raise chances that Ehud Olmert returns to politics, say political sources, because Olmert has good relations with US Administration, even during Operation Cast Lead (against Gaza). (Maariv, p. 6)
Deri to focus Shas campaign on anti-Mizrahi bias, senior adviser says - Top campaign aide to Shas star blasts Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu joint list as a 'white' party. (Haaretz)
Ex-IDF chief's testimony reveals truth hidden from public
Full transcripts of Agranat Commission show David Elazar felt greatly mistreated after paying price for failures of Yom Kippur War
(Ynet and Haaretz)
Egypt prevents smuggling of Jewish property papers
Arab media outlets report of attempted smuggling operation of documents belonging to Jewish community in Egypt; papers intended to be sent to Jordan en route to Israel; Saudi daily: Mossad behind smuggling attempt. (Ynet)
The politics of potholes in East Jerusalem
The dedication of a newly named street in East Jerusalem raises grievances and highlights dilemmas of working with city hall. (Joel Greenberg, Haaretz)
Rabin's path will prevail (Eitan Haber, Yedioth and Ynet) Israeli politicians who attack Oslo agreement have never actually read the document.
Learning how to remember Rabin (Yossi Beilin, Israel Hayom) The late leader's ideology is still an issue for many.
At Likud convention, Netanyahu faces tough leadership test (Yossi Verter, Haaretz) Sometime during Shabbat, Netanyahu realized that the situation on the ground wasn't so simple. On Monday, the prime minister will hint that a rejection of the merger will humiliate the party on the eve of an election.
Moment of truth (Haaretz Editorial) A special responsibility lies on the shoulders of several major Likud figures, members of the party's more moderate wing, most of whom have been holding their peace. This is a test for those who are not part of Israel's extreme right.
A blessed match (Uzi Benziman, Haaretz) From now on, all citizens should know that when they put the slip bearing the letters of the unified party 'Likud-Beitenu" in the ballot box, they are voting for a platform that seeks to hold onto the territories, to perpetuate discrimination, to reject any chance for reconciliation with the Palestinians, and to face off against the world.
Missiles and killings - this is also war (Yaron London, Yedioth) Netanyahu praises himself over the fact that during his term as prime minister we did not go out to war. His success he explains is due to the fact that war became unnecessary since Israel with him at the helm showed daunting determination. Approval of his statement we can give only after we first ask what is war. If only the incursion of ground forces into the enemy's land is considered war, then he is right. But if war also includes continuous attacks from the air and tanks shooting from our land into their land - then he is mistaken. During his term, even as these lines are being written, hundreds of missiles were shot at us, factories and schools were closed, civilians and soldiers were killed and injured, and for that we repaid injuries, both in the Gaza Strip and in very far places. How do you call this in laundered language? Maybe we'll call it "a sequence of incidents" or "maybe low-scale warfare...."
Errors and omissions excepted (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) The headline of a news article last week was misleading. Most Israelis do support an apartheid regime, but only if the occupied territories are annexed; however, most Israelis oppose such annexation.
Large political bloc: Good for Israel (Zalman Shoval, Israel Hayom) Large bloc leaves more room for differing political views.
Two of them going nowhere (Akiva Eldar, Haaretz) The decision by Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman to renew their old alliance is good news for the peace camp, democracy and humanism in Israel.
The new Syria - a state within a state (Guy Bechor, Yedioth) Bechor writes that Syria is in the process of breaking up into ethnically-based zones and notes that the Kurdish areas of northeastern Syria have already achieved de facto autonomy. "The break-up of Syria may go on for years even after the fall of the Assad regime because the hatred there is so great, the outrages so horrific (for example, Shi'ites have etched Shi'ite verses on the foreheads of Sunni fighters), the acts of mutual slaughter so widespread (approximately 35,000 dead as of now, hundreds of thousands of wounded and hundreds of thousands of refugees) and the ethnic cleansing on all sides so significant, that the possibility of continuing to live together does not exist anymore." Bechor concludes by wondering what those who advocated returning the Golan Heights to Syria would say now, especially if the foregoing were happening on the Heights, "right next to the Galilee."
Zionist fulfillment (Yitzhak Laor, Haaretz) There is not one element of that Zionist ethos represented by the right wing that did not nest for years in the Israeli unsayable.
The political seismograph has shifted (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) The move toward large political blocs is a welcome change, but it also raises some serious problems.
World's most prominent Jews to descend on Jerusalem, talk money (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz) The 120 most important Jewish policy-makers will gather for two days as part of the Jewish People Policy Institute's Conference on the Future of the Jewish People.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.