APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday October 29, 2013
Quote of the day:
"The first thing needed to make peace is to respect the other side, to see the other side in human terms, as an enemy but not as demonic.''
--Uri Avnery, the 90-year-old peace activist and former politician, talks about whether Israel has what it takes to exist in the future.**
Front Page News:
- Military Intel Chief to Netanyahu: Strategic change is taking place in Iran
- Israel to release 26 Palestinian prisoners tonight
- Approved: Engaged couples now able to shop around for religious councils to register their marriage
- Migrant from Africa died because he could not raise money for oxygen generator
- Nisso Shaham dismissed from Police due to indictment against him
- Higher Education Council avoiding dealing with sexual harassment complaints
- The first woman in the Safed/Tsfat City Council hopes to wake up the secular residents
- After her face was destroyed, Carmen lives with the face of another woman
- The hard way // Nahum Barnea on Palestinian prisoner release
- Marriage without the rabbinate
- Compensation for difficult matriculation exam in math raised scores
- IDF to dismiss 4,500 career soldiers
- Enough of text messaging during driving - apps that will keep you from an especially dangerous habit (which one Israeli official said was the cause of 1 in 5 car accidents)
- Nest of spies - US position on tapping of Merkel is exposed
- 26 Palestinian terrorists to be released tonight; Rupture in government worsening
- Faulty conduct // Ben-Dror Yemini writes that the real scandal is that Jonathan Pollard is still in jail (Hebrew)
- Price of indecision // Shalom Yerushalmi writes that the government chose the worst option in framework of peace negotiations (Hebrew)
- Turkel Committee approved appointment of Flug as Governor of BoI without examining documents connected to her version of the complaint against her (Hebrew)
- Police: Evidence of dozens of cases of fake votes (by ultra-Orthodox) in Beit Shemesh elections
- "Der Spiegel": US concealing tapping facilities within structure on roof of embassy in Berlin. Similar structure built on roof of embassy in Tel-Aviv (Hebrew)
- History in Turkey: Continental bridge between Asia and Europe - Today a train tunnel opens under the Bosphorous Straits connecting the Asia side with the European side of Istanbul
- The evildoers are being released
- The minister against the government - Housing Minister Uri Ariel at demonstration against prisoner release
- Bennett is looking for an alibi // Dan Margalit
- In the meantime, in the Palestinian Authority, the incitement continues // Nadav Shragai
- History in the religious services: Tzohar law passed (allowing couples to choose their rabbi)
- Tragedy during walk with baby in stroller: "You protected your grandchild with your body" - Grandmother died when car hit her
- Following the indictment: Aharonovich and Danino dismissed Nisso Shaham from the police
- Israeli pride: Carmel Caves declared world heritage site
Strong opposition among right-wing and bereaved families to the government's planned release of Palestinian prisoners was expressed yesterday in a deepening rift in the government, verbal battles in the Knesset, and a large demonstration outside a military prison. Meanwhile, Palestinian families of those to be released are waiting with baited breath and Hamas poo-pooed the release declaring that the Palestinian Authority is collaborating with Israel in weakening Hamas.
The scheduled release tonight of 26 more Palestinian prisoners has deepened a rift in the government coalition between Habayit Hayehudi party and Likud. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called on everyone to act responsibly, while Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett defending his party's stance, accusing the other parties of trying to 'tame' it and reiterating that his party opposes a Palestinian state and works against it. "Those who support a Palestinian state get support; if you're against, you are called the extreme right, you're called a fascist," he said. "But we will not remain silent. We have clear positions and this assault won't silence us... Our opposition to a Palestinian state and the release of prisoners from before the elections still stands."
The Knesset's Interior Affairs Committee, headed by MK Miri Regev, convened Monday to discuss the matter. Needless to say, the discussion got heated. Regev, a Likud MK, called the prisoner release a sign of weakness, and clashed with left-wing Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg. At night, outside the Ofer military detention center, some three thousand Israelis protested the release, include some family members of those killed in attacks by those who will be released.
At the demo, Housing Minister UriAriel of Habayit Hayehudi said that releasing prisoners wasn't a Jewish value. Moreover, he said: "We'll return to Judea and Samaria, we'll return to the Jordan Valley, we'll build in Jerusalem and in Shilo and everywhere. No one can drive the Jewish nation out of its land...We say here to the world: From the Jordan River to the sea there'll be only one state, Israel." The Almagor group is petitioning the High Court to block the release, asking, "Have peace talks progressed?"
In the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinian families are counting the minutes. Maan visited the family of the
longest-serving Bethlehem-area prisoner, Issa Abed Rabbo from Duheisha refugee camp, who has served 30 years in Israeli jails. Relatives of prisoners to be released told Ynet's Elior Levy that they posed no threat to Israel and that the release will further the cause of peace.
While the Palestinian Authority is giving itself credit for the release of the prisoners, Hamas is making light of it and accusing the PA of collaborating with Israel in order to harm Hamas, Maariv's Asaf Gabor reported. Monday night the IDF made a mass wave of arrests, detaining 20 Hamas members across the West Bank, including members of the Palestinian parliament, students and activists. Hamas said in a statement that the Palestinian security forces allowed IDF forces to make the arrests in Nablus and Hebron. Among those arrested were MPs Nizar Ramadan and Maher Bader. Indeed Ynet ran a story yesterday interviewing Israeli experts who said, "This is the best security cooperation we've had in years."
- WZO government body funds call center marketing illegal West Bank homes - World Zionist Organization supports Amana-run call center catering to people interested in buying housing in West Bank settlements - including illegally built homes. (Haaretz)
- Settlers attack Palestinian vehicles with stones near Bethlehem - Dozens of Israeli settlers from Gush Etzion, Teqoa and Noqedim settlements hurled stones Monday evening at Palestinian vehicles travelling on a main road near the Bethlehem-area village of Tuqu near the Israeli settlement of Teqoa. Israeli police and military forces rushed to the scene to protect the settlers, according to the witnesses. (Maan)
- Settlers assault Palestinian farmer near Nablus - Settlers from Maale Pune assaulted farmer Mohammed Faqha, 45, in the Sinjil area between Nablus and Ramallah on Monday, leaving him with bruises and injuries. Israeli forces then arrested Faqha and took him to an unknown location. (Maan)
- Israeli attacks on Palestinian olive groves kept top secret by state - Olive orchards are being destroyed in the West Bank, but defense and media officials have agreed yet again that everything should be done to respect the public's right not to know. (Haaretz)
- IDF strikes in Gaza after rockets fired at south Israel - Two rockets launched just hours after Israel releases names of Palestinian prisoners slated for release this week as gesture to Abbas; no injuries. In response, Israeli aircraft attack rocket launchers. (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
- Ministers approve bill giving preference to IDF veterans - Bill would allow individuals who served and currently serve in the IDF or national service to receive preference for higher education, land purchases, and employment. Justice minister, attorney-general oppose legislation, saying it endangers equality. (Israel Hayom)
- Israel issues stop-work orders to Hebron mosque, house - Israeli authorities on Monday issued stop-work orders for a mosque and house in a village south of Yatta. (Maan)
- Arab Israeli sues cafe that fired him for 'not being Jewish' - Manager of Tel Aviv Port branch of Cafe Cafe allegedly firing trainee waiter on his first day, citing cafe's kashrut policy. (Haaretz)
- Private law-enforcement agencies abuse powers, report finds - "Private for-profit organizations are granted the authority to use force on citizens," says report. "Private collection agencies that work on behalf of municipalities monitor people's activities and they get to decide whether to foreclose their assets." (Israel Hayom)
- Dozens of Israelis defrauded in Gmail hack attack - Israeli businessmen and women lose tens of thousands of dollars is scheme used to transfer funds. (Haaretz)
- Undercover Israeli forces abduct Jihad activist - Muhammad Salih Badr, 24, an English literanture student, was inside a shop owned by his family in the village of Beit Liqya west of Ramallah, when undercover Israeli agents abducted him. (Maan)
- Yeshiva students from abroad will receive funds in exchange for studying Zionism - In coalition agreement, Yesh Atid was adamant to completely cancel the high payments. But Yesh Atid leader Lapid and Hatnua MK Stern decided: Ultra-Orthodox who arrive in Israel will be funded on condition that they visit IDF bases and battle sites. (Maariv, p. 18)
- Assad's 'spy device' - weather meter from Beit Dagan - Syrian rebels boast they locate an 'Israeli bug' which parachuted via Syrian army airplane, 'a collaborator of Zionists.' What they do not know yet is that Israel's Meteorological Service would be happy to get it back. How did it get there? (Ynet)
- Disgruntled Rihanna fans sue Israeli producers over singer's tardiness - Concertgoers file NIS 13 million class-action lawsuit against local organizers of diva's Tel Aviv show, citing singer's late arrival. (Haaretz)
- Delay to arrival of fourth Dolphin Submarine because of technical problem - Arrival of Tanin submarine [which reportedly can carry nuclear missiles - OH] from Germany to Israeli Navy was supposed to be in 2013, but has been postponed to mid-2014. After 40 years, "Saar 4" missile boats will stopped being used. (Maariv, p. 13/NRG Hebrew)
- Paula Abdul to mark bat mitzvah in Israel - American singer-dancer, 51, who says she always felt proud being Jewish, arrives in Holy Land for first time, as a guest of the Tourism Ministry. Visit to include coming of age ceremony at Western Wall, meeting with President Peres. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Ex-U.K. FM denies anti-Semitic remarks on 'Jewish money' - Jack Straw says he has always 'strongly supported' Israel 'and its right to live in peace and security.' (Haaretz)
- Rapprochement between Israel and Nigeria: Direct flights - New agreement signed yesterday between Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Elkin and Nigerian Foreign Minister will allow for 30 thousand pilgrims to fly from Africa to Israel every year. (Maariv, p. 13/NRG Hebrew)
- Israeli victims recount 'anti-Semitic' attack in Australia - Police arrest three suspects; Arab and Muslim communities join chorus of condemnation from swathe of Australian society. (Haaretz)
- Turkey to open first sea tunnel to ever link two continents - After 150 years, Ottoman Empire sultan's dream become reality as Turkey completes world's first sea tunnel connecting Europe, Asia. However, anti-Erdogan sentiment might ruin party. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Nasrallah: No military solution in Syria, only political - In speech, Hezbollah chief slams supporters of Syrian rebels - namely Saudi kingdom - claims only political solution will work, hinting support of Geneva 2 conference. 'The truth is that the result of the Syrian revolution is failure,' Nasrallah concludes. (Ynet)
- Druze students will not be able to travel to Syria - Druze in the (Israeli-occupied) Golan Heights have long been allowed to study in Syria, but according to sources in Druze villages, the Syrian authorities have given permission to students to enter the country, but the IDF has not yet regulated the transition. (NRG Hebrew)
- Jewish support for U.S. Iran strike drops, AJC poll shows - Smaller drop recorded for an Israeli attack in case diplomacy fails to halt nuclear program. (JTA, Haaretz)
- Netanyahu to Kerry: Let Iran buy fuel rods from third nation - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry: Iran must not be allowed to enrich uranium. Senior Iranian lawmaker Alaeddin Boroujerdi: Iran will never agree to shut down nuclear facility at Fordo. (Israel Hayom)
- Israel army intel chief: Iran undergoing 'significant, strategic' changes - Yet despite reformist shift, Tehran still seeks 'nuclear threshold' capacity, IDF position paper states. Netanyahu received paper a few days before he left for US in late September. But both in his UN address and in other speeches, interviews and statements that he gave in the following days, he made almost no reference to the internal changes happening in Iran, and when he did mention them, he downplayed their importance. (Haaretz)
**Will Israel still exist 90 years from now? Should it? (Bradley Burston, Haaretz) Uri Avnery has lived a life as forward-thinking peace activist. At age 90, he may still be ahead of his time, and also right, both about Israel's future and the present.
Obama's 'new' Mideast policy: Modesty or pullback? (Elliott Abrams, Israel Hayom) The policy defines an American abandonment of leadership in the region.
Nothing will come of prisoners' release (Noah Klieger, Yedioth/Ynet) Apart from Livni, no one here really believes peace will come from her talks with Erekat.
Quid pro what? (Shlomo Cesana, Israel Hayom) Israelis want to know what they are getting in return for releasing Palestinian terrorists.
Releasing Palestinian prisoners is Netanyahu's double defense (Amos Harel, Haaretz) Cabinet protest is of little concern to the prime minister; he knows that freeing prisoners will prevent the talks from collapsing and postpone an intifada.
Soldiers' benefits mustn't come at the expense of Israel's minorities (Haaretz Editorial) The lawmakers behind the softened version of the Contributors to the State bill haven't grasped the ethical failure such a law's very existence entails.
Free construction, not terrorists (Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom) Have we reached a new era where we trade one terrorist for one apartment? Fifty terrorists for a whole neighborhood?
The dismal rise of personality politics (Moshe Arens, Haaretz) Israel's large parties lie in shambles, felled by the contempt of disloyal politicians. This damaging trend must be curbed.
Spy vs. spy (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) The problem is not that the U.S. spied on foreign leaders -- the problem is that they got caught.
Jerusalem's stone-hugging hypocrites, at it with vigor (Uri Misgav, Haaretz) Both of Jerusalem's mayoral candidates began election day at the Western Wall: Did winner Nir Barkat, propelled by the non-religious vote, kiss harder?
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.