APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday January 3, 2013
Quote of the day:
"You (Israelis) have some sort of expectation that the President will immediately support everything Israel does, but you forget that the US is a very big country that does business and has relations with all the countries of the world, not just Israel."
--Reggie Love, former personal assistant to US President Barack Obama, parties in Israel and gives an interview to Yedioth.**
Front Page News:
- UN: 60,000 killed since rebellion broke out in Syria
- With support of (Education Minister) Saar, Shalem Center won academic recognition
- 5000 dunams of privately owned Palestinian land used by settlers in Beqaa Valley
- Actress Zaharira Harifai died
- Commander seriously wounded after basic training soldier lost control of her weapon at a target range
- Reports in Internet: Apple wants to acquire Israeli 'Waze' app for half a billion dollars
- Hebrew Language Academy to decide how to say Alzheimer
- 1/4 page ad: Habayit Hayehudi is against women (ad gives examples of statements by candidates Rabbi Ben Dahan and Moti Yogev and of the spiritual leader Rabbi Dov Lior. Paid for by Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu
- Diskin document - (Former Shin Bet chief) Yuval Diskin participated in the most confidential discussions, sat in the smallest forums dealing with the Iranian nuclear project, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the most fateful security issues. He saw from up close how the Prime Minister and Defense Minister conducted affairs - and he's horrified and worried (Article in Friday's magazine)
- Police Commander on increase to speed limit: It's not serious
- Waze arrived at its destination
- Hilary is recuperating
- The curtain came down: Parting from actress Zaharira Harifai who died yesterday
- Intelligence sources: Iran's response capabilities weakened in case of Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities (Hebrew)
- Quiet, filming - Parties preparing for campaign broadcasts (Hebrew)
- Curtain fell - Israel Prize winner, actress Zaharira Harifai, died of cancer
- Basic training soldier misfired, squadron commander seriously injured (Hebrew)
- Following the technical loss of team of Shira Greenbaum, Basketball Union moving to integrate girls in youth basketball (Hebrew)
- Likud attacks: "Habayit Hayehudi is against women"
- Israel Hayom poll: Likud-Beiteinu 34 mandates, Labor 16, Habayit Hayehudi 14; 43%: Netanyahu - most suitable to be prime minister
- Chief Rabbis: "Killing fetuses - murder"
- Basic training soldier misfired, her squadron commander was seriously wounded
- Weiner appealed to High Court; State Comptroller: Harpaz report to be published Sunday
- Apple believed to be in contact to buy Israeli navigation app, Waze
- Another loss for theater: actress Zaharira Harifai passed away
An Israeli app is about to make a fortune, a famous Israeli actress passed away and an Israeli soldier accidentally shot her commander making top stories in today's Israeli papers. Also in the news was Likudniks' frustration with their failing campaign and the extremism of Bennet's Haybayit Hayehudi party. Haaretz reported on settlers using privately-owned Palestinian land while the owners are prevented from touching it.
As Likud-Beiteinu's popularity drops (5 mandates in one month, according to polls), Likud ministers and the Likud campaign people are exchanging blame. The ministers told Yedioth that the campaign is paralyzed. The campaign directors say that it's the fault of the ministers and their egos. One senior Likud official told Maariv that Jewish-American campaign strategist Arthur Finkelstein is at fault. "He made a mistake when he said the campaign must be run in the last month before elections," the source said. The Likud arrived at this situation, he said, because the public is sure that Netanyahu has not competition and because of the investigation into Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman. (NRG Hebrew)
The latest part of the Likud-Beiteinu campaign has been the 'gender' attack on Habayit Hayehudi. In a 1/4 page ad on Haaretz's front page, the party claimed that Habayit Hayehudi 'was against women.' Yedioth ran a three-quarters page ad on 'Bennett's extremists,' describing the work and views of many of the party's candidates, which may appear extremist to the average Israeli. Two are activist settlers living in Hebron. A couple oppose gay marriage and gay draft to IDF. One, who was the CEO of Bnei Akiva religious youth movement, promoted separation between the sexes. Another is one of the founders of 'Legal Forum for the Land of Israel,' which defends settlers in court. NRG Hebrew also reported on it.
Haaretz's excellent Chaim Levison revealed that in the Jordan Valley part of the West Bank, Jewish settlers are farming private Palestinian land, while the owners are prevented from getting near. The more than 5,000 dunams (1,250 acres ) of land is located between the border fence and the actual border with Jordan. Levison writes: They received the land from the World Zionist Organization in the 1980s. The original owners, some of whom fled in 1967 and returned to the West Bank after the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords and the 1994 peace treaty with Jordan, are still not allowed to access the land because of a military order preventing them from entering the border area.' However, Thai workers from the Israeli settlements are allowed to enter. The IDF spokesman also refused to let Haaretz reporters tour the area.
- Settlers riot in Palestinian village - Group of 20 settlers enters Ramallah-adjacent village of Jallud, stone residents, vandalize property. Palestinians say three people hurt. Soldiers were called to scene and dispersed riot. (Ynet)
- Settlers, officers clash near Esh Kodesh outpost - Settlers continue efforts to prevent Palestinians from plowing disputed field but are removed from site by security forces. (Ynet)
- PLO official sounds alarm over Likud deportation proposal - Senior PLO official Ahmed Qurei said the Israeli Likud officials' calls for annexation of the West Bank "reflect the point of view of extreme hostility, which does not want peace and ends the possibility for a peaceful solution." (Maan)
- Tamoun village reeling from IDF raid, riots - West Bank village where undercover IDF force's manhunt for Jihad operative sparked massive riot trying to resume normalcy. 'We want peace,' says detained suspect's father. 'Without peace there is no quiet.' (Ynet)
- Construction in Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond Green Line peaked in 2012 - According to Ir Amim, 6,932 units were approved for future construction in 2012, compared to 1,772 homes in 2011 and 569 in 2010. (Haaretz)
- Israeli military court indicts alleged mastermind behind Tel Aviv bus bombing - Ahmed Moussa, of Beit Lakiya, is suspected of leading the terrorist cell that orchestrated the attack during Operation Pillar of Defense. (Haaretz)
- 3,000 trees to be planted in Israel to memorialize Newtown victims - Hadassah has raised more than $61,000 toward the planting of trees honoring the 26 victims of the December 14 massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. (JTA, Haaretz)
- Soldier seriously injured in training accident (when cadet misfired and shot at her) - Military Police cadet Naama Yahel suffers multiple gunshot wounds in firing range accident; said to be in serious but stable condition. IDF launches inquiry. (Ynet)
- Concern in IDF over "Dancing combat soldiers" phenomenon - What started as an amusing clip filmed two years ago in the Kasbah in Hebron has turned into a phenomenon. In the last year, numerous combat soldiers have filmed themselves dancing together during training exercise and operational activity and then upload the clips to Youtube. Military source: "The video clips hurt the IDF's image." (NRG Hebrew)
- IAF airmen eject F-16 during landing - Pilot, navigator detect potentially life-threatening malfunction during landing; escape injury. IAF investigating. (Ynet)
- The goal: To bring more Arab students to the campus - Hebrew University decided to appoint Prof. Naif Jarus from the Faculty of Medicine to advice the president on minority issues. Its goal: to initiate activities to make studies more accessible to Arab students. "We will establish a special preparatory program and act to bring back researchers from abroad," he explained. (Yedioth Jerusalem, p. 28)
- Israel recognizes conservative research center as academic institution - Shalem Center enjoys backing of Gideon Sa'ar for academic courses. (Haaretz)
- Israel's prestigious Wolf Prize honors scientists, architect - American, German, and Austrian scientists, as well as architect from Portugal win prize; Wolf winners are considered strong contenders for Nobel prizes. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- New police policy helps reduce murder rate of (Arab) women in Lod and Ramle to zero - Under the new guidelines, when information is received concerning a threat to a woman, an investigation officer, an intelligence officer and a representative of the Social Affairs Ministry are notified, and protective measures are taken. (Haaretz)
- Israel's 1948 icon of femininity, Ziva Arbel, dies at 85 - Ziva Arbel, whose wartime photograph 'shaped self-perception of entire generation,' dies at 85. (Haaretz)
- On Facebook, Fatah incites terror against Israel - PA President Mahmoud Abbas' organization is celebrating 48 years since inception with an array of hateful messages broadcast through social media. "The is year will be the year we breach Al-Aksa; what was taken by force will be returned through force." (Israel Hayom)
- PA cancels electricity debts for every West Bank resident - The PA is cancelling outstanding electricity debts on the heels of a deal that aims to help assuage the electricity companies' own arrears. (Maan)
- Rights group: Israel detains Gaza patient at border - Rafiq Ayesh Abu Harbeed, 38, went to the Erez crossing for an interview with Israeli intelligence on Tuesday, in order to seek treatment in Jerusalem for a herniated disk. Then he was detained. (Maan)
- Lebanese army called in to combat Israeli peppers - Unsuspecting customer picks up a pack of peppers with word Israel printed on the sales tag, calls police. Police refer the matter to the military, who launched an investigation into the forbidden fruit and its path from Israel to Lebanon. (Israel Hayom)
- Egypt: 'Israeli behaved in suspicious manner' - Egyptian press says Andre Pshenichnikov failed to persuade investigators of innocence and is suspected of photographing security facilities. (Ynet)
- Report: Israeli arrested in Yemen on spy charges - Local media claim that suspect, arrested several weeks ago, was member of Israeli spy network. (Ynet)
- Egypt's 'Jon Stewart' faces probe for insulting Morsi - Bassem Youssef accused of undermining Egyptian president's standing; case likely to increase worries about freedom of speech in the post-Hosni Mubarak era. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Fatah: Mursi invites Abbas to meet over reconciliation - The meeting next week will focus on reconciliation between Abbas' Fatah party and their Hamas rivals. (Maan)
- Iran says captures two U.S.-made miniature surveillance drones - Fars news agency says lightweight RQ11 Raven drones were brought down by Iranian air defense units in separate incidents in August 2011 and November 2012. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Tehran says hoping for nuclear talks 'very soon' - Iran negotiator says proposal given to Russia; West's concerns about higher-level uranium refining intensify. (Agencies, Ynet)
- UN report: At least 60,000 people killed since beginning of Syrian civil war - Human Rights Commissioner says number of casualties complied over a five-month study much higher than expected. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Habayit Hayehudi fined NIS 4,000 for use of IDF soldiers in campaign photos - "The said photo tries to make the impression that the IDF is identified with [Habayit Hayehudi] and that the party is identified with the IDF," protested Central Elections Committee chairman. Yariv Oppenheimer, Peace Now general director, who lodged the complaint to the Committee, will receive 1000 shekels. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Women candidates play the feminism card at WIZO election event - Shelly Yacimovich spoke about women's status in Israeli society, and referred to a poll commissioned by the event's organizers, according to which only 7 percent of Israelis believed that a woman can handle the Iranian issue. (Haaretz)
- "Shas will win, inshallah" - Senior Shas leaders Arieh Der'i and Eli Yishai received much applause and love when they arrived at the campaign convention in Abu Snen (Arab-Israeli village). "I feel at home here," said Der'i, and called for a joint Arab-Jewish struggle for real equality. (Yedioth, p. 6)
- Lone kibbutz member in next Knesset likely to be from Habayit Hayehudi - Zvulun Kalfa, number seven on the party list, was one of the settlers evacuated from Gush Katif in 2005. He later became community director of Dvir, a secular kibbutz in the Negev, founded by the left-wing Hashomer Hazair movement. (Haaretz)
- Party chiefs exchange barbs - Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman accused Labor party head Shelly Yacimovich of being elitist, while Yacimovich responded by calling him corrupt and accusing him of never caring a whit for the weak. (Haaretz)
- Yisrael Beiteinu trying to buy votes? Election Committee, AG probing possible campaign irregularities pertaining to payments allegedly offered to activists who produce voters' names; Yisrael Beiteinu: We don't buy votes. (Ynet)
- How the parties you've never heard of - and probably never will - could decide the elections - With the electoral threshold standing at 2 percent, two thirds of the parties running for election will stay out of the next Knesset. Their votes, which will go to waste, could detract precious support from bigger parties and influence the size of the blocs. (Haaretz)
- Livni: Feiglin exposed Likud's true nature - Hatnua chairwoman says far-Right Likud member's suggestion to pay Palestinians to leave West Bank, his calls for its annexation 'removed Likud's mask.' (Ynet)
**The president is in Love
He was the man closest to Obama: Next to him 24 hours a day, chose him songs for his iPod, played basketball with him at every opportunity. Reggie Love, the President's former personal assistant, landed here and discovered Israel's nightlife. 'He is aware that Binyamin Netanyahu would kill to know what Obama really says about him confidentially, and no he doesn't understand what we want from his former boss,' writes reporter Danny Spektor.
Love: "Some of the closest people to Obama are Jews or Israelis...I can calm you and tell you that he has nothing personal against you and against Netanyahu. You have some sort of expectation that the President will immediately support everything Israel does, but you forget that the US is a very big country that does business and has relations with all the countries of the world, not just Israel. And, therefore, it's hard to accept every decision only according to how it will be seen in Israel. If you look, you'll see that Obama gave Israel more than any other American president before him."
Spektor: And yet, it seems that Netanyahu annoys him a bit.
Love: True, there were difficulties between them, everyone saw that. There were gaps that needed to be bridged. And yet the fact is that they continued to work together. On the one hand the President wants to support the people of Israel and on the other side he wants peace and to narrow the lack of quiet in the region. All of Netanyahu's actions in recent years have made the situation harder for Obama. The President supports you, but the conditions are not easy." (Yedioth, 24 Hours supplement)
Through the lens
For a moment they left the eternal conflict over political justice and talked. Settlers with Gaza residents, security prisoners with Holocaust survivors and bereaved families with each other. The result was an amazing documentary film that simply says: the story has two faces. On Israeli TV, Channel 2, tonight at 23:00. (Maariv, magazine supplement, p. 4)
The ambassador's house
1988: For one year, the Abuhatzira family from the Kiryat Menachem neighborhood of Jerusalem hosted at its home a student from Illinois studying at the Hebrew University. Twenty three years later and that student, Dan Shapiro, was appointed US ambassador to Israel and returned to visit the family. Now they tell about the young Zionist who worked nights as a waiter in the Great Synagogue, learned to love haraimeh (spicy Moroccan fish) and became the most important diplomat in the country. "For us he will always be Danny with the mischievous smile who loved to have fun and eat," says Fanny Abuhatzira. The family, with modest means, hosted other US students over the years. "We always made sure that they would aspire to go far. One of the reasons we hosted kids from the US was that they teach our children English. Shapiro was the second one. "Even though he was not Israeli by birth, he had natural Israeli chutzpah," telling us when he wanted to eat and asking Fanny to make his favorite dishes. Ambassador Shapiro: "It was the happiest period of my life." Shapiro was closest to the second son, Itzik, and worked with him as a waiter even though he didn't need the money. "He was happy to see how people work in Israel. He had real Zionism and he always was interested in everything that was happening that was connected to Israel," said Fanny. Less than a year ago, a customer told Itzik, who works in a cafeteria in Washington, that Shapiro was appointed ambassador to Israel. The customer, a relative of Shapiro, called him up and within 15 minutes Shapiro, who was in Washington at the time, arrived at the cafeteria. The two met and talked for hours. They made a date to meet again in July in Israel, when Itzik would be visiting and Shapiro would be there. Fanny said she felt "as if two of my sons were arriving from the US." She prepared the finest of Moroccan delicacies for the visit. Shapiro arrived with his security entail, his wife and three children. "The first thing he did was hug us all. He told everyone that I'm like his second mother who took care of all his needs when he was young. Afterwards, he explained that his visit to Israel was the most significant culinary experience of his life." Afterwards, the family said he was invited to come visit whenever he felt like. "What I love about him is the fact that he is not afraid of anything," said Yaakov. Even as a boy he wasn't afraid and also now I feel there is no job that is too big for him. Just like he got to this position of ambassador, so he can be the secretary of state or even the president of the United States." (Yedioth Jerusalem Musaf supplement)
Danger - extreme right (Haaretz Editorial) A dangerous ideology, intended to undermine democracy and the rule of law in Israel, lurks behind Bennett's smile.
The settlers aim: Occupy Israel (Ari Shavit, Haaretz) The political forces now occupying Israel are extremist. Sooner or later they will lead the occupied country to collide with the wall of reality. After the collision there will finally arise a liberation movement worthy of the name, and the uprising it leads will end the second occupation.
Not Baron Netanyahu's clerks (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth/Ynet) Attack on envoy who questioned rationale behind timing of E1 construction plans bewildering.
A dangerous experiment (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) After the many long years in which Israel took pride in being the only democracy in the Middle East - and, as such, got an open line of credit and endless patience from the rest of the world, and gave its citizens a sense of sanctimonious self-satisfaction - an extreme right-wing government will put an end to all of it.
Early happiness (Amir Rappaport, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) "The primary characteristics of the regional reality at the start of 2013 are instability and complexity. Accordingly, the claim that Israel's strategic situation has improved is simplistic (not to say simply: Incorrect)...One must not be mistaken: If ultimately Israel attacks, Iran and Hezbollah today already have a way to respond with heavy fire, to an extent in which 'Iron Dome' and 'The Arrow' will have difficulty coping."
Are there limits to the use of the IDF? (Moshe Arens, Haaretz) It is high time that legislation limiting the government's authority to use the IDF to the needs of the defense of the country be introduced in the Knesset. In the absence of such a law it is by now hopefully clear that law enforcement is not one of the IDF's missions, and that that task is best left to the police.
Gaza truce falling apart (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) Terror groups resumed development of long-range rockets shortly after Pillar of Defense ended.
Egypt's politics stripped naked (Khaled Diab, Haaretz) One young Egyptian woman's explicit nude protests are unlikely to emancipate Egyptian women, but how far does her pushing back against religious intimidation hurt the cause of freedom and equality?
Of diplomats and robots (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) Despite what Yedioth Aharonoth may have you believe, Israeli diplomats won't be pitching anti-government protest tents anytime soon.
Spitting in the well of the pioneers (Israel Harel, Haaretz) The contemporary return to Zion was made possible thanks to the sense of mission and devotion that so many imbibed from the values carried aboard the secular, pioneer Zionist wagon.
Words as weapons (Dr. Aviad Hacohen, Israel Hayom) We live in a society rife with verbal violence, but one man's insult could be another's legitimate protest.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem