APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday October 31, 2012
Quote of the day:
"We're not looking for a happy marriage with the Palestinians, but for a divorce agreement we can live with."
--Yair Lapid unveiled his political platform on a settlement yesterday.**
Front Page News:
- Death and great destruction in US froze the race for the presidency
- Kahlon considering establishing a party under his leadership; Poll gives him 20 mandates
- Lapid: Without diplomatic negotiation (with Palestinians) we won't be in government
- Negligence by investigators and prosecution caused the collapse of another file of a killing of an Arab child
- Judge resigned from post after claims he copied an academic work during his studies
- State Archives, the historical treasure of the State of Israel, closed due to because it lacked Form #4
- Natural disaster - America is counting the flood and fire damage
- Suspicion: Murder under general anesthesia
- Choose! Celebrities joining special campaign ahead of elections: Calling on people to vote and influence
- Kahlon confidantes: If he runs at the head of a party he'll get 20 mandates
- Strike against young people: The limitations against amounts of mortgages could cause rents to get higher
- Amount of poison in fruit and vegetables in Israel - highest in West (Hebrew)
- The destruction that came after
- Police to try to draft the doctor suspected of murdering the wife of her lover as a state witness (Hebrew)
- The journalist that Yachimovich wanted, and the journalist she didn't
- (French citizen) Claude Hayat, who admitted running over Lee Zeitouni, retracted (Hebrew)
- Rise of prices declared by large food companies went into effect. Gasoline prices to drop
- Israeli researchers succeeded to produce anti-cancer substance from water plant that grows in Yarkon River
- Destruction hit area - A reality that's a horror film
- News for drivers: Tonight at midnight gasoline price drops 36 agorot a liter
- Achievement for Yachimovich: Labor committee approved cancelling reserved places
- Barak: Iran's used of enriched uranium for civil purposes postponed the "moment of truth"
- Suspicion: The doctor supplied anesthesia drugs to her lover the murderer
The disaster left by the US hurricane, the the chances of a new political leader in Israel and a murder with the help of a anesthesiologist lover were top stories in today's main Israeli papers. Also in the news were surprising things the prime and defense ministers said in interviews to foreign media and the political platform speech Yair Lapid gave yesterday. And, Haaretz ran a report from Egypt that put the relations with the new Islamist leadership in a positive light.
Ahead of his trip to France, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave an interview to Paris Match in which he said a strike on Iran was good for the Arabs. (For french readers, the original here.) The papers also reported that Defense Minister Ehud Barak told The Daily Telegraph that if Iran hadn't transferred the enriched uranium for civilian purposes, "we would already have arrived at the moment of truth." Nevertheless, he says the respite is only temporary and Tehran will still have to be confronted by next summer.See original story in The Daily Telegraph (free access) here.
Yair Lapid, Chairman of the Yesh Atid party laid out his political platform in a speech at the controversial Ariel academic center last night. He said he "won't join a government that does not return to the peace process." Peace, he said, was necessary to ensure Israel's Jewish character and he declared "peace is made with enemies." That said, Lapid opposed sitting in negotiations with Hamas under any condition [although Israel has indirectly negotiated with Hamas numerous times. -OH], Maariv reported. Lapid thinks peace is possible without returning the major settlement blocs. He said Israel must keep three of them: Maaleh Adumim, Ariel and Gush Etzion. And he said he opposed attempts to boycott Ariel and Judea and Samaria (settlements in W. Bank). (NRG Hebrew) Lapid expressed support for Israel's policy of targeted killings of Palestinians and said the number (of people) must be increased, Maariv reported. But in the Haaretz article (free access) that was not mentioned. In regards to rocket attacks he said Israel must reinforce the south and expand the anti-missile capabilities, Haaretz reported. On Iran he said there is no place for a unilateral attack: "We need to make the world solve the problem for us." Israel Hayom writes that analysts believe the purpose of the holding the speech in a settlement was to appeal to Likud voters.
Haaretz reported that according to an Egyptian report, Egypt escorted two Israel Navy ships through the Suez Canal to an unknown destination. Israel Navy ships had used the Suez Canal in recent years following coordination and according to existing procedures, the Egyptian official said.
- Israeli Border Police officer acquitted of shooting death of Palestinian child - Omri Abu charged with killing Ahmed Moussa, 10, during a demonstration against the separation fence near the West Bank town of Na’alin; Abu: If you don't respond, it's perceived as weakness. (Haaretz)
- New outposts built in Judea and Samaria, says Peace Now - Peace Now intends to petition the High Court of Justice to remove the new Nahlei Tal and Tzofim North outposts. Residents claim outposts were built on land belonging to established settlements. (Israel Hayom)
- Settlers assault Palestinian at gas station - Adel Khader Atallah, 35, was attacked by four settlers while working at the gas station, and was taken to Beit Jala hospital. (Maan)
- Israeli forces 'destroy crops' east of Hebron - Ghassan Baser said he awoke to find Israeli soldiers destroying his turnip and cauliflower crops as well as his irrigation system in al-Baqqar, causing 50,000 shekels ($12,840) worth of damage. Baser says Israeli authorities have been pressuring him to leave his land, near the settlement Karmi Zur. (Maan)
- 22 groups call for EU ban on Israeli settler products - Religious groups, charities urge European Union to boycott settlement goods saying ban would undercut settlers' economic reason for staying in 'occupied territories.' (Ynet)
- Amid censure of left-leaning politics, Israeli university urged to 'rectify faults' - The Council for Higher Education has given Ben-Gurion University's Department of Politics and Government three weeks to rectify perceived deficiencies before it decides whether to shutter the department, which the right-wing Im Tirzu organization has criticized for its "anti-Zionist tilt." (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
- Jewish-Arab grassroots action returns community center to Lod after 10 years - Jewish and Arab residents of a neighborhood in the central Israeli city of Lod have declared victory in their joint battle to bring the organization that runs most of the country's community centers back to their area. (Haaretz)
- Panel on IDF, national service for Christians riles Israeli Arab community - Priest excommunicated from gathering aimed at encouraging Christian Arab youths to be drafted to the IDF and volunteer for National Service; event initiated by Defense Ministry's Youth and Community department. (Haaretz)
- Number of ultra-Orthodox men exempted from IDF service reaches all-time high - IDF says it expects number of exemptions for ultra-Orthodox to continue rising, unless government decides to draft them; in 2011, a quarter of all draft-eligible Israeli males received exemptions from military service for various reasons. (Haaretz
- Group decries plans for army college on Mount of Olives - A Muslim-Christian group on Sunday decried an Israeli government plan to build a military academy in occupied East Jerusalem. Peace Now settlement watch director Hagit Ofran said on Sunday that notices were hung, giving the public 60 days to file objections. (Maan)
- UNRWA responds to Israel TV's Gaza war claims - A reporter from Israel's Channel Two News claimed that during Operation Cast Lead in 2008-9, Hamas militants operated from inside UNRWA installations and attempted to fire rockets at Israel. It did not provide any evidence. (Maan)
- Israel, Canada announce cooperative venture - New Energy, Science and Technology Fund to create jobs, strengthen countries’ economies. (Ynet)
- French investigators to exhume Arafat's body next month - Palestinian authorities confirmed the November timetable and said a separate Swiss investigative team would arrive in the West Bank city of Ramallah at the same time. No exact date was disclosed.(Agencies, Haaretz)
- Palestinian Minister: Israel frees former hunger striker - Hasan Safadi ended a 93-day hunger strike on Sept. 21 after assurances he would be freed at the end of his current administrative detention term. He was held without charge. (Maan)
- Egyptian court rejects petition to cancel peace treaty with Israel - Israel Radio reports that the court in Cairo said it does not have the right to rule on the treaty because it was a matter of Egypt's sovereignty. Only the president, it said, could make such decisions. (Israel Hayom)
- Syrian troops, rebels clash in Palestinian refugee camp - Activists say fighting in the Yarmouk refugee camp in the capital Damascus erupted overnight Monday. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Iran begins two-day ground and air military exercise - War games involve forces in a wide region in western Iran near Iraqi border and are aimed at upgrading Iran's combat readiness. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- The last performance: Teheran's Philharmonic Orchestra has stopped playing - The official reason is the economic crisis, the actual reason may be the religious institution's opposition to Western music. (Agencies, Yedioth)
- Poll: Kahlon would win 20 seats as head of new 'social' party in Israel - Popular outgoing Likud Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon has been looking into forming his own party ahead of upcoming elections. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
- Arabs refuse reserved spot on Meretz list, say they won't serve as fig leaf - Despite party's pride in Jewish-Arab cooperation, 13 years have passed since its last Arab lawmaker was elected. (Haaretz)
- Senior Likuds politicians rushed to Judea and Samaria (W. Bank) - The high number of settlers who became Likud members caused many Likud politicians to visit the W. Bank. Gilad Erdan visited the pre-military academy in Eli settlement and Reuven Rivlin visited the Havat Gilad outpost, that belongs to the hilltop youth. Both blamed Ehud Barak for not allowing the settlement land to be approved. (Maariv, p. 14)
- Merav Michaeli to vie for spot on Labor's election list - At least 10 women will be vying, along with Michaeli, for the four places high enough on the list to have a reasonable chance of securing a Knesset seat that the party has set aside for women. (Haaretz)
- Yachimovich gave Merav Michaeli a cold shoulder - Chairman of Labor party won victory with cancelling of reserved spots on party list. But she sent Michaeli to speak with strategic advisor Shalom Keital about joining despite not having six months in the party. (Maariv, p. 14)
- Race is on for New National Religious Party chairman - MKs Zvulun Orlev and Naftali Bennett spar over the issues in a live radio debate. Both accuse each other of lacking what it takes to manage the party. (Israel Hayom)
- Shelly Yacimovich: Disenfranchised Likud supporters should shift support to Labor - Speaking at Labor Party Convention, Labor leader explicitly announces she will run for prime minister of Israel; party primaries set for Nov. 27. (Haaretz)
The gypsies of Jerusalem want Israeli citizenship
The Jews barely know them, the Muslims treat them like they are an inferior group. Some 2000 live in E. Jerusalem and are tired of begging to live without rights. "We love the state and want to serve in the army." "Please recognize us as Israeli citizens," asked Abdul Hakim Salim, Mukhtar of the gypsy ethnicity in Jerusalem, of Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat. (Maariv, p. 16 and NRG Hebrew)
A medley of flavors, straight from the White House garden
President Barack Obama - as his critics often like to remind Jewish voters - has not visited Israel since 2008. But, if he misses the region’s flavors, Obama needs to go no farther than the White House kitchen. Vered Guttman sits down with Chris Comerford, executive chef at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. (Haaretz)
Never mind the settlements, it's the absurdity (Amira Hass, Haaretz) We've reached the stage at which much more than labeling produce from the settlements will be needed to make us understand that military superiority isn't a permanent guarantee of our existence in a region where we are a minority, but act like the lord and master.
Kamikaze, Bibi-style (Aner Shalev, Haaretz) It is likely that those Netanyahu supporters who despise Lieberman, or those Lieberman supporters who look down on Netanyahu, will have a very hard time voting for a joint ticket.
Fringe games (Yoaz Hendel, Yedioth and Ynet) Extreme-Right threatens Israel's democratic character; Arab MKs fight country's Jewish character.
The right-wing merger and the Palestinians (Zalman Shoval, Israel Hayom) Lieberman and Netanyahu's policy toward the Palestinians will be as pragmatic as ever.
When 'enlightened' means xenophobic (Avigdor Lieberman, Haaretz) Israel's foreign minister responds to an article by senior Haaretz columnist Amir Oren.
A party in denial (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) It would be more fitting to compare Israel to Turkey, where a nationalist-religious party has turned the country into a single-party nation.
The perennial Peres scenario (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) The Left is so desperate it is considering bringing Shimon Peres back to lead it.
As Hamas grows bold, Gaza violence could overshadow Israel election (Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel, Haaretz) Escalation on Israel's southern border may eventually become a political risk for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Yair Lapid reveals his positions, and stakes out a place in the political center (Aluf Benn, Haaretz) Lapid says he will only join a government that is serious about negotiations with the Palestinians, but he undoubtedly knows how hard it will be to keep this commitment in practice.
Winds in Tehran are starting to shift (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) Reports in Iran of direct talks with the U.S. lend weight to the perception that a diplomatic breakthrough is approaching.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.