APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday November 12, 2012
Quote of the day:
--Yedioth commentator Ariella Ringel-Hoffman suggests other options besides the military one to solve the Gaza conundrum.**
Front Page News:
- In Israel, discussion of renewing assassinations of heads of Hamas - More than a hundred rockets and katyushas fell on the south in two days
- Defense Minister approved quintupling number of housing units in Itamar settlement
- Abbas refused Obama's request to drop Palestinian statehood bid at UN
- Precedent: Court recognized fatherhood in surrogacy (abroad) without genetic test
- Gift to the state: "Israel Hayom" newspaper to be distributed for free to state employees
- They stole your status on Facebook? This is how you'll guard your rights on the Internet
- Gilon and Horovitz to remain in top of Meretz list
- The Gaza trap
- Politicians live-fire test: What do the party heads suggest?
- The third woman - This is how the CIA revealed the affair
- IDF preparing to harshen response in Gaza and Syria (Hebrew)
- Phenomenon: School teachers and principals trying to find spots in political parties and run for Knesset (Hebrew)
- The State Attorney drafted five more witnesses in (sexual abuse) affair of Rabbi Moti Alon
- Bank details of hundreds of Israelis in HSBC bank likely to be revealed to Tax Authority
- The battle to legalize use of marijuana gaining strength in US following Obama's win
- Baby chat: Mothers who went through C-section can watch their babies in 'video chat'
- Threats and contacts - IDF preparing to continue assault; terror organizations to Cairo: Mediate calm
- Shame of politics - Dream or nightmare? Cadres committee waiting for Olmert //Dan Margalit
- Report: Obama expressed opposition to Abu Mazen's petition to UN
- Meretz's party list: Ilan Gilon second, Nitzan Horovitz third
- Resignation of head of CIA: More discoveries in affair that has taken America by storm
The IDF prepares for more action in Gaza, Israel fires at Syria in the Golan and the Palestinians tell Obama, 'No' making top news stories in Israeli newspapers this morning.
Despite reports in Ynet, Haaretz and Israel Hayom that Egypt is mediating a cease-fire between Gaza and Israel, the papers focused on if and how Israel will strike Gaza, noting that another 100 rockets fell inside Israel. [Reading the Op-Eds calling for 'striking hard' for Israel's suffering and the omission of the deaths on the Palestinian side, it seemed as if the writers were preparing the public for an attack on Gaza and the painful result of more rockets on Israel and possibly casualties - OH.] Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at the cabinet meeting that Israel is ready 'to step up its response' in wake of renewed rocket fire. Commentators, however, say that he is not really interested in making an 'Operation Cast Lead 2' ahead of elections nor at a time when relations with Egypt are unclear. Haaretz wrote, however, that Netanyahu wants to prepare the international public opinion for a Gaza operation that would not be popular internationally. Only Haaretz mentioned that five Palestinians were killed by IDF fire Saturday night, two of them children. But they all reported that rocket pounded Israel in the south, hitting homes in Sderot and Sha'ar Hanegev. No injuries were reported. Maariv and Yedioth prepared a list of how each party recommends solving the current escalation.
Here is what Maariv found:
Likud: Preparing to harshen the response in Gaza
Kadima: Scare and chase the heads of terror
Yisrael Beiteinu: Assassinate the heads of Hamas
Yesh Atid: Renew the targeted assassinations
Shas: No more they shoot and we respond - (Party refused to discuss subject in order not to upset party voters who don't serve in IDF.)
Habayit Hayehudi: Assassinate the terrorists and destroy the infrastructure
Meretz: Long-term agreement with Hamas and open negotiations with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
Etzmaut (Ehud Barak): If there is no choice, enter Gaza again
Hadash: Find diplomatic solution
Labor: Pressure militarily and diplomatically
Here is what Yedioth found:
Shas: Bring back the deterrence - but did not want to say how
Labor: Pressure - Using military and diplomatic means
Habayit Hayehudi: Powerful attack on Gaza - Non-stop assassinations of Hamas leaders, attacking terror infrastructure, and if need be, topple Hamas
Yesh Atid: Renew assassinations - Use unproportional punishment, hold contacts with Egypt and others and explain that as long as Hamas is in power, there is no possibility of quiet.
Kadima: Hit the leadership - Target Hamas heads and terror infrastructure
Meretz: Ceasefire - We've already operated numerous times in Gaza. We need a long term agreement with Hamas.
While the left-wing suggests diplomacy the farther right-wing the party the harder it wants to hit Gaza. Only the right-wing Likud spoke in general terms.
Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas returns to the pages Israeli newspapers after he refuses US President Barack Obama's call to drop his bid for Palestinian statehood status at the UN. The Palestinian Authority says that their request is not meant to delegitimize Israel, but to delegitimize settlements. In his latest bash at the Palestinian President, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Abbas doesn't represent anyone anymore and that his silence over rocket fire at Israel proves the Palestinian Authority is not interested in peace. Abbas is due to leave on a trip to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland to recruit support for the UN bid, just after Lieberman held a meeting with Israeli ambassadors in Europe with the exact opposite goal.
For first time since Yom Kippur War, Israel fired a warning shot at Syria. This came after the fourth errant Syrian shell fell inside the (occupied) Golan Heights. (Ynet VIDEO) Ynet also reported that Golan Heights residents are preparing for escalation. Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned that the tensions in the Golan could potentially spin out of control.
- Ehud Barak approves plans for 500 new homes in Itamar - According to documents obtained by Haaretz, the defense minister approved the plan in September; Jewish council has been pressing for construction since murder of Fogel family. (Haaretz)
- Settlers 'attempt to set fire to home' in Bethlehem village - A group of settlers attempted to set fire to a home in the village of Manshiya overnight Sunday and sprayed racist graffiti on the walls, a local committee said. (Maan)
- Braided and punished - Female soldier reprimanded after braiding her friend's hair in public. Her female commander said it was inconsiderate to do because religious male soldiers could have seen it. IDF Spokesman: "It was a mistake by the commander." (Yedioth, p.14)
- Israelis' Palestinian spouses to be given work permits - Israel also agrees to issue another 3,000 work permits for Palestinians seeking work in the construction industry; about one month ago 1,000 more permits were issued for Palestinians working in agriculture. (Haaretz)
- Secret protocols reveal: Yitzhak Rabin approved an Israeli operation to kill Saddam Hussein
- Despite differences of opinion among senior military officials, Rabin gave the go ahead on Operation Bramble Bush, but the mission was interrupted with a tragedy that left five IDF soldiers dead and six seriously wounded. (Haaretz)
- Medical official: 2-year-old killed in Gaza house fire - The fire was caused by candles the family had lit during an electricity blackout in the neighborhood. The house was completely destroyed by the fire. (Maan)
- State to High Court: Postpone the evacuation of Amona (outpost settlement) - In petition, State claims that some of the homes are not owned by Palestinians and therefore don't need to be evacuated, and that early elections make the postponement necessary. (Maariv, p. 10)
- Shabbat wars: Hundreds in Acre protest opening of store on Saturday - The general manager of the home improvement store says he is responding to requests from local clients to open the store on Saturdays [in this mixed Arab-Jewish city]. (Haaretz)
- Longest administrative detainee released by Israel - Hamas leader Raafat Nasif, 45, had been held by Israel for 44 months without charge or trial since his arrest in March 2009. Nasif had previously served 10 years in Israeli custody. (Maan)
- Study finds identical employment rates among Israeli Haredi and uneducated secular men - Study shows that ultra-Orthodox lack tools to get by in Israel's labor market, resulting in hundreds of thousands of Haredim who can't find work, says researcher Dan Ben-David. (Haaretz)
- 'Islamization of Europe a good thing' - Rabbi Baruch Efrati believes Jews should 'rejoice at the fact that Europe is paying for what it did to us for hundreds of years by losing its identity.' He praises Islam for promoting modesty, respect for God. (Ynet)
- Report: Iran believes U.S. drone was spying on oil tankers - Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander tells the semi-official Mehr news agency that U.S. drone was gathering economic information on oil tankers, warns that Tehran will react if incident happens again. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Labor candidates in hot water for misusing membership rolls - Party members caught scouring membership rolls without authorization for purpose of sending unsolicited campaign emails. (Haaretz)
- Without kibbutzniks, with an Arab representative - For the first time in Meretz's history it did there is no representative from the kibbutz's in a realistic spot on the party list. Surprisingly, Issawi Freij, from Kufr Kassem, got the fifth slot. (Haaretz and Maariv, p. 8)
- Facebook petition: Disqualify MK (Ahmed) Tibi from running for Knesset - A poll by Dialogue Institute found that MK Ahmed Tibi is most popular MK among Arabs. Nevertheless, since the announcement of early elections, the 'Israel Now' movement has gottten 40,000 people to support its petition calling for Tibi to be disqualified from running. MK Tibi: "This is an incitement campaign against me in order to prevent the Arab public from having an authentic and stubborn leadership." (Israel Hayom)
- Israel's top military unit, 'Sayeret Matkal,' donating to commander - Omer Bar-Lev, who is running on the Labor party primaries list, was once the commander of Sayeret Matkal. Now his friends from the unit are getting together to help him raise funds. Until now he raised 122,350 shekels and is considered one of the candidates with the most funds. (Yedioth, p. 10)
- Haaretz Fact Checking / Bennett gets his kingdoms wrong; Maoz his empires - Haaretz scrutinizes declarations by Knesset candidates for accuracy. In this column: National Union's Naftali Bennett and Likud's Shlomo Maoz on the judicial system and the poverty rate. (Haaretz)
- Education protest coming to Knesset - Phenomenon: Teachers and school principals who got tired of how the subject of education is dealt with decided to try to improve the situation as members of the Knesset. Jerusalem teacher Lili Ben-Ami: "The French parliament has 50 teachers." (Maariv, p. 8 and NRG Hebrew)
Is the new group that shows the IDF as do-gooders all it seems?
New movement, Zionists Breaking the Silence, is a response to groups who criticize the IDF, but others stand to benefit. (Haaretz)
Her homeland on the cutting room floor
Exiled Tunisian documentary filmmaker Nadia El Fani visits the International Women's Film Festival in Rehovot to remind Israelis that here, too, religious coercion poses a threat. (Haaretz)
Israel won’t send troops into Gaza but could resume assassinations of Hamas leaders (Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz) In their analysis, the reporters explain the pressure on Netanyahu ahead of January's election to respond more forcefully to rocket fire from Gaza, and Israel's desire to avoid a ground operation a la Cast Lead.
**Don't rush to enter Gaza (Ariella Ringel-Hoffman, Yedioth) Let's admit, when it comes to Gaza, we don't have red lines. We did not succeed in marking one in the 38 years that we sat inside the Gaza Strip and we didn't succeed in making one in the seven years since the disengagement....It's clear that the state does not have to accept continuous harm against its citizens and non-stop rockets. But what is not clear is where the claims on loss of deterrence, Israeli helplessness, hesitancy and fear to respond come from that are flooding the public debate in the last few days. Seven years after disengagement from Gaza and Israel is still fully controlling, not hesitant, over the sea, air and land that leads to Gaza, with the exception of the border with Egypt. Israel decides on entry and exit of commerce, it counts calories (of Gazans), and wages a tough battle against cells (that attack Israel), and if necessary, at the expense of hurting innocent people. The fact that Israel did not assassinate Ismail Haniyeh, yet, as the serial zealots demand, does not signify incompetence, but rather careful and smart thinking, that is based on rich past experience...The same is true for the late decision to rush to "Operation Cast Lead 2," for which there is only one thing that can be said about it confidently: "Operation Cast Lead 2" will bring about "Operation Cast Lead 3." Why? Because there is more (other) things to do. In addition to the demanded chase after the shooters, we could ease the economic siege, for example, which will also give Israel international legitimacy, while understanding that what will determine the quality of our lives next to that border and inside it is not the amount of weapons, but the motivation to use them. And especially, a moment before jumping into the Gaza mud, one must try again and again to find a way to make dialogue with the rulers there, directly or indirectly, because talking always saved blood. And if that means talking to the heads of Hamas - then talk with the heads of Hamas.
Pampered poodles (Aluf Benn, Haaretz) Lapid and Yacimovich are going to become Bibi Netanyahu's poodles, and they are gearing up for their new roles in the soft campaign that they are conducting vis-a-vis the prime minister.
Everybody's a commentator (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) You can criticize what's happening in the Arab world, but you need a little 'knowledge' first.
Gaza dilemma - The operation is on the way (Alex Fishman, Yedioth) If I were a resident of Gaza I would be looking up at the sky praying for rain. And if I were a smart resident of Gaza - I wouldn't send my children to school in the next few days and if possible I would move with my family near the sea, until the fury subsides. The Obama administration gave a green light. When the US Ambassador, Dan Shapiro, said publicly that Israel has the right to defend itself, those are code words whose meaning is: We will accept your operation in Gaza with understanding. The ball is now in the hands of the government of Israel and the IDF. It does not look like there is a way back. Hamas crossed the red lines. It pushed the political echelons in Israel - on the eve of elections - into a corner and made the IDF appear like a gang of impotents that aren't capable of protecting the civilian population from Gaza. The dilemma of the political echelons and of the IDF is how to create a limited military operation , that will not cause Hamas to feel it is losing its rule. Israel has no interest in exchanging Hamas for a more radical (regime). The limited military operation must achieve one central goal: stopping the long-range fire. And this can be achieved if the targets that are chosen take into account minimal harm to the civilian (Gazan) population. The targets need to be of rule and infrastructure, with an emphasis on Hamas and Islamic Jihad military targets. Avoid harming the political echelons and make an effort to harm the top of the military...
Israel tomorrow (Akiva Eldar, Haaretz) The most worrying news that came out of the U.S. presidential elections was that American Jews seem to have lost interest in Israel.
What American Jews see in Obama (Shlomo Shamir, Haaretz) The vote by many of the Jews in favor of Obama was a protest on their part against the ascendancy of the right in Israel and an expression of anxiety about the future of Israel under a right-wing government led by Likud-Beiteinu.
Restraint is weakness (Uri Elitzur, Maariv) Israell needs to use all its instruments, from preventing essential supplies to non-surgical shelling, in order to pressure Gaza despite the international price...The world does not want to see Israel using all sorts of means that will bring condemnations and protest by all sorts of righteous people whose children don't have to run to shelters in Sderot and Ashkelon...
Waking up from the Egyptian Arab Spring (Benny Ziffer, Haaretz) Last week's comments by Israeli official Amos Gilad about a 'terrible dictatorship' in Egypt were quickly hushed, but as banal as his warning sounded, it hit the nail on the head.
Women at risk (Haaretz Editorial) Israeli society has become a dangerous place for women - on the street, at work, and even in their own homes.
Attrition, or decision? (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) Should Israel accept the dangerous deterioration of the security situation around the Gaza Strip or should it risk an escalation of violence by attempting to change the rules of the game?
Who has a tighter iron fist, Hamas or Israel? It's hard to tell (Amira Hass, Haaretz) In Hamas-ruled Gaza, violent dispersal of women protesters inspires governmental qualms and leads to an inquest. In the West Bank, however, under Israel's military rule, a violent break-up of demonstrations ends in arbitrary arrest.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.