APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday January 11, 2013
Quote of the day:
"I represent myself. I don't want Israel to appropriate the film."
--Guy David, Israeli co-director of Oscar-nominated film, '5 Broken Cameras.'**
Front Page News:
- The forecast: Dry - The ridiculous meeting between Yachimovich, Livni and Lapid and the out-of-date televised campaign ads did not blow life into the sleepy election campaign, and in the left they are continuing to fight over the same small number of mandates. What was the surprise that the public was much more interested in the weather this week?
- Amos Oz vs. Yachimovich: She is worse than Barak
- Center without visitors - Journey to look at the flimsiness of the Israel centrist parties // Ari Shavit
- Allegory of the suburbs - Visit at a salon meeting in Kochav Yair, with pleasantries and without excitement
- 7 citizens injured in attempt to assassinate (mob boss) Alperon
- 2 local films on the occupation on the way to the Oscar competition
- The campaign to cleanse the civil service
- The storm is behind us
- 1/4 page ad: Photo of Tzipi Livni: "67% of Israelis have hope, 67% of Israelis are in favor of a peace agreement....Hatnua. Tzipi Livni."
- White days - Israel celebrated two rare days of snow
- Yedioth poll: Likud-Beiteinu 33, Labor 18, Bennett 14, Lapid 11, Shas 10, Livni 8, Meretz 6
- "I understood they wanted to blow me up so I jumped outside" - Nissim Alperon tells how he was saved again from assassination
- Maariv poll: Right-wing getting stronger - Likud-Beiteinu 38, Labor 16, Habayit Hayehudi 13, Shas 12, Yesh Atid 8, Hatnua 7, Yehadut Hatora 6, Meretz 5, Kadima 3, Utzma L'Yisrael 1, Am Shalem 1
- A week and a half to elections: 25% still undecided (Hebrew)
- White ballot - The great storm reached its climax yesterday with heavy snow in Jerusalem, Shomron mountains (north W. Bank), Gush Etzion (south W. Bank), and even in Dimona
- Assassination attempt in the heart of Tel-Aviv (Hebrew)
- A First: Two Israeli films, "The Gatekeepers" and "5 Broken Cameras" are Oscar nominees
- Shake-up in the Shin Bet - Dichter: "Diskin caused heavy damage to the institution when he exposed intimate situations. Look at his successor Yoram Cohen, how can Netanyahu look at him? He already does not feel complete trust in him."
- Sarid to the left - "Left-wing cannot die, by definition. They are exaggerating in the black picture about the situation. Would you imagine that people like Sharon, Olmert and Livni would begin to chant the chants of the left on the dangers of the occupation?"
- Israel Hayom poll - Likud-Beiteinu gets stronger, Livni gets weaker: Likud-Beiteinu 35, Labor 17, Habayit Hayehudi 14
- Afternoon, heart of Tel-Aviv: Attempt to assassinate (mob boss) Nissim Alperon
- Jerusalem of white
- Two Israeli films to compete for a single Oscar; Director of one of them sparked storm: I don't represent Israel
- White weekend: Trips following the snow - from the Golan to Mitzpe Ramon
White Jerusalem, a botched attempt to kill a local mob boss and the latest election polls were today's top stories. Meanwhile, Maariv reported that Likud is threatening the settlers for their support and two Israeli documentaries on the occupation are vying for the same Oscar.
According to the three polls in today's papers, Hatnua party led by Tzipi Livni has lost strength. This comes after the heads of Labor and Yesh Atid accused her this week of lying and of using them for spin when she said after a joint meeting with her that they would not accept her criteria to make a joint centrist bloc. In other bad news for Livni, she finished for the first time behind Labor's Shelly Yachimovich on the question of who was best suited to be prime minister.
Depending on whose poll you looked at Likud-Beiteinu either got stronger or stayed the same. The Maariv poll showed that Likud gained two mandates, Israel Hayom showed one and Yedioth's poll had the party at the same 33. Labor got weaker according to Maariv, but got one more according to Israel Hayom and Yedioth. All in all, Maariv's poll shows a stronger right-wing block with 52 mandates, the center-left with 39, the ultra-Orthodox with 19, and the Arab parties with 10. Yedioth's poll shows an increase for Labor, Habayit Hayehudi, and Meretz and also puts Kadima back in the Knesset with two mandates, up from 0. The extremist right-wing Utzma L'Yisrael also gets two mandates. According to Israel Hayom, there was little change, except that both Yisrael Beiteinu and Labor gained one, Livni lost one and Utzma L'Yisrael won't meet the electoral threshold.
Likud ministers and MKs met with Israeli voters living in the West Bank and made clear to them: If you vote for the other parties you will pay, Maariv reported. Likud-Beiteinu is particularly concerned about the votes from those who are registered Likudniks. The concern is they will vote for Habayit Hayehudi. Likud sources explained: "There was an infuriating phenomenon in the last elections whereby residents of Judea and Samaria registered with the party, but did not vote for it. The claims against them are that they are taking over the party, but they aren't really with us. Now there is pressure on the settlers. The message that was given was that this time they have to be with us - otherwise there will be consequences on the future of the settler enterprise." An example of the message was seen at a salon meeting held last week in the settlement of Psagot with Minister Yuli Edelstein. Residents at the meeting said it was made clear to them after such great support for the settler enterprise by Likud, they must bring people to the polling stations, and if not - the image of the settlers in the eyes of the Prime Minister and other ministers would be affected. "If in the last four years a lot of money was invested in the settlements, then in the next four years it won't be the same amount or level," explained one of the participants. "There are people in Likud who are talking about instead of appointing right-wing MKs from the party as ministers, they need to appoint people from outside that are Likudniks, such as Beni Begin and Dan Meridor." (NRG Hebrew)
**'The Gatekeepers,' the powerful film interviewing six former Shin Bet chiefs, is considered to have a strong chance of winning the Oscar for best foreign documentary. The surprise, writes Yedioth, was that it will be competing against '5 Broken Cameras,' another 'Israeli' film, or so the Israeli papers call it. Actually, the documentary is a joint Israeli-Palestinian production. It was filmed by Imad Burnat, a Palestinian who documents the life of his new-born son and the life of his village Bil'in, which fights Israeli expansionism on its land. Israeli Guy Davidi was the co-director and told Yedioth: "I want our neighbors to live well, that will only serve us. I hope that my film will change the destructive path we are on." He also said he does not represent any country. "I represent myself. I don't want Israel to appropriate the film." He explained to Maariv: "If I did represent (Israel) I would have said, They sent me to represent.' But the truth is that no one sent me to represent it. The film was not chosen by any Israeli source, received no Israeli financing. It's an Israeli-Palestinian production, and in Israel they are omitting that important detail. It's a film by an Israeli director and a Palestinian director."
- Settlers clash with Nablus villages, 2 wounded by gunfire - Dozens of residents of Yitzhar settlement clashed with Palestinians who were playing in the snow in the nearby Urif village, south of Nablus. Meanwhile in nearby Qusra village, settlers from the Esh Kodesh outpost fired on Palestinians, and Samer Masameer 26, was shot in the leg. (Maan)
- Israeli wall traps rain, sewage in Palestinian town - Heavy winter downpours have turned some Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank into a morass of filth and flooding as an Israeli barrier blocks the waters from draining away. (Maan)
- Activist: Ambulance stopped by soldiers in Beit Ummar - Israeli forces blocked the entrance to southern W. Bank town Beit Ummar on Thursday morning, preventing an ambulance from taking a woman in labor and another patient to hospital in Hebron. (Maan)
- Peres blasts Netanyahu: Terror attacks will resume - In interview with New York Times, president says 'silence that Israel has been enjoying over the last few years will not continue' if diplomatic stalemate persists. Adds: Most of the world will support the Palestinians. (Ynet)
- IDF shot stun grenades, tear gas into schoolyard, Palestinians say - According to an Israeli military official, that day an incendiary device had been thrown at a patrol vehicle on the outskirts of Burin, near the school. (Haaretz)
- Mysterious 'adviser on settlement affairs' no. 13 on Habayit Hayehudi slate - The city council was never told what Rabbi Hillel Horowitz's job description was, nor did it ever receive any information on what, if anything, he had done since taking the job in May 2010. (Haaretz)
- Arab belly dancers flock to Eilat - Some 950 dancers from 30 countries - including Turkey, Egypt and Jordan - to participate in world's biggest belly dancing festival taking place in southern Israeli city. (Yedioth/Ynet)
- Israel land appraisals chief ran regulatory body for 4 years with no legal authority - Sarit Dana continued heading the council despite not being reappointed; Justice Ministry officials fear all her decisions, including multimillion shekel deals, may be annulled. (Haaretz)
- Number of IDF recruits to hit 20-year low in 2013 - Gradual decline in number of recruits linked to lower birth rate, drop in number of olim; some 26% exempt from military service; IDF plans major haredi draft. (Yedioth, p. 8/Ynet)
- Netanyahu government is Israel's most anti-Zionist ever, says Amoz Oz - Speaking to about 30 academics who are considering voting for Meretz, Oz compared Israel to an apartheid state and made angry predictions about its future. (Haaretz)
- Soldiers face jail time for selling info to smugglers - Plea bargains for two Gaza Division soldiers who leaked classified data on IDF activity to smugglers on Egyptian border. (Ynet)
- Ayalon tells Jewish leaders: 'Hagel is a decent and fair interlocutor who believes in U.S.-Israeli partnership' - On farewell tour of U.S., the deputy foreign minister presents outline of 'long term interim solution' with Palestinians and declares: 'The Arab world is no more.' (Haaretz)
- US may drop visa requirement for Israelis - If the bill is approved, it will add Israel to the 37 countries in the world whose citizens are allowed to enter the U.S. for a period of up to 90 days without a visa. Previous attempts to add Israel to the list didn't succeed. (Israel Hayom)
- Fatah gunmen form new organization - Palestinians in Balata refugee camp announce establishment of 'army of free fighters' in response to PA's weapons confiscation drive. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades marched in Balata refugee camp near Nablus for the first time since the PA banned the carrying of weapons, and Brigades disbanded. (Ynet and Haaretz)
- 2 terror cells exposed in West Bank - IDF and Shin Bet arrest two terror cells active in stone throwing, rioting and attempted shooting attacks in West Bank. (Ynet)
- Four Palestinians killed in West Bank flooding - Storm leaves several Israeli communities looking like war zones. (Haaretz)
- Egypt: Palestinian rivals agree to enact unity deal - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal meet in Cairo, agree to implement unity deal, official says. (Agencies, Ynet)
- NATO detects launch of ballistic missile in Syria, third of its kind this month - NATO officials say all the missiles were fired from inside Syria at unconfirmed targets in the north; meanwhile, Syrian rebels battling army troops at base in north, as government forces crack down in Damascus. (Haaretz)
- Iran tries to improve ties with Egypt - In visit to Cairo, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi praises Egypt's revolution and its new Islamist government; tries to play down differences over Syria. (Agencies, Ynet)
- West fears Iran will try to seize Syria's uranium stockpile - Nuclear experts believe that the Syrian uranium is enough for the construction of at least five nuclear bombs; obtaining the uranium could help the Iranians begin a secret enrichment program without the international community's knowledge. (Haaretz)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.