APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday November 13, 2012
Quote of the day:
"Having reached the age of 67, the age of retirement, I watch with trepidation as the 1967 lines fade away, taking with them the outline of a peace that is within arm's reach, the border of a democratic, Jewish and moral state - a country in which it would be pleasant to live the rest of my life."
--Akiva Eldar dedicates his last column in Haaretz to Israeli activists and groups working towards peace, including Peace Now, Breaking the Silence and B'Tselem.**
Front Page News:
- In Gaza Strip, ready for calm; Another day of fire in Golan
- (Shas') Yishai demands 16 times the maximum reimbursement for legal fees in Carmel disaster report case
- Livni announced to her associates that she has no intention of being Olmert's #2
- Another bribery affair at the Electricity Corp; Suspicion of rigging "tremendous amount" of tenders
- Promising start to winter: Rainfall doubles the amount for the season in a number of areas
- In fear, not despair // Akiva Eldar's parting column
- Cost of action in Gaza: Missiles on Gush Dan region
- 9 Cabinet Ministers meeting to discuss Israeli reaction
- There is no military solution // Eitan Haver
- The Israeli who dismembered the body of his wife in Thailand, received pardon
- Difficult photos - Shai Aloni photographs what most of us don't have the courage to see
- America suspects - Was the mistress of the head of the CIA exposed to secret information?
- Egypt threatens: If Israel responds in Gaza, we will bring our ambassador home (Hebrew)
- 'Shayetet' (Israeli Navy Seal) fighter who had severe psychotic episode during his service was recognized as a disabled veteran (Hebrew)
- Eli Cohen, who dismembered the body of his wife, received a pardon in Thailand and is expected to return to Israel (Hebrew)
- For the first time in 13 years: Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) water level already began to rise in November
- Olmert requested from Kadima MKs not to leave party, and invited Yuli Tamir to join him (Hebrew)
- Education Ministry begins campaign in schools against copying
- The hair, the height, the humor. What are the criteria necessary to become a leader? (photo of Barack Obama)
- Between two fronts - Terrorists in Gaza announced: Calm - if IDF doesn't shoot; Israel: We will protect our citizens
- Southern Front: Dozens of rockets fell from Gaza; Direct hits in Netivot
- Northern Front: Not just a warning: IDF shot at Syria - in order to hit
- Olmert to return today to Israel; Will announce by week end if will run
- High Court to rule on appeal against government stipends to married full-time yeshiva students
- After 8 years in jail: Eli Meimoun Cohen, who killed his ex-wife in Thailand, got a pardon
Fire from the north and from the south took the headlines of Israeli newspapers today along with the pardon of a man who dismembered his wife's body in Thailand.
Yedioth's front page and main story as well as the cover story of its '24 Hours' supplement seem to be telling its readers that an Israeli operation in Gaza is not a good idea. The paper writes that the government fears that Israel will pay heavily for a massive operation [without saying that the reason would be because it would likely kill more innocent Palestinians - OH]. The response, wrote Yedioth, would be long-range rockets falling north of Tel-Aviv. And, anyway, Islamic Jihad and the other factions in Gaza promised to stop firing if Israel promises to do the same. Maariv, however, wrote that Egypt threatened to return its ambassador to Cairo if Israel were to make a campaign against the Strip. Indeed, Maariv writes that the IDF already prepared the plans and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu already began preparing the international public opinion, when the messages arrived from Cairo. (NRG Hebrew) The Egyptians explained they are working determinedly to achieve a cease-fire and that they need more time and ask Israel to abstain. Meanwhile, the rocket fire into Israel and the airstrikes on Gaza continue. There were two direct hits on Netivot - a factory and a house - but no injuries.
Only Maan reported that Hamas made a complaint to the UN over Israel's attacks on Gaza killing civilians. As News Nosh discussed on Sunday after 100 rockets rained on Israel, the Israeli papers almost completely ignored the cause for the rocket fire: the shelling of a mourning tent that killed four civilians - two 16-year-olds, two 18-year-olds and wounded at least 25 people, many of them losing limbs. Netanyahu, in his preparation for a wide scale operation on Gaza, spoke with foreign ambassadors and foreign reporters, telling them that Israel will not accept the reality of Gaza rocket fire.The Israeli government cabinet is meeting today to discuss what to do next.
Going north, another errant shell fell in Israel and this time Israel responded with a 'direct hit.' Interestingly, Syrian rebels warned Israel against interference in Syria, saying that Israel's firing was meant to 'aid Assad's criminal regime.' Netanyahu said Israel will determine if the Syrian mortar fire was intentional. Meanwhile, according to one report, Assad's army has tempered its fire near the border .
- Netanyahu's government has quietly doubled funding for settlements, says finance minister - Move was done quietly so that 'elements in Israel and abroad' would not attempt to prevent it, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz tells radio interviewer. (Haaretz)
- Palestinian Authority to present UN bid on Nov. 29 - Palestinian President Abbas to present General Assembly with Ramallah's status upgrade bid on annual Palestinian Solidarity Day. (Ynet)
- Senior Palestinian official discounts Israeli sanctions threat - Mohammad Shtayyeh, a senior member of the Fatah party, said Israel had no interest in bringing about the collapse of the Western-backed Palestinian Authority, which administers parts of the West Bank. (Haaretz)
- Clashes erupt in Bedouin village as Israel's Interior Ministry distributes demolition orders - Bedouin claim Israel Police fired tear gas at local school; police deny allegation, saying tear gas was used to disperse riot 300 meters away. (Haaretz)
- Jerusalem plans to evict 120 Bedouin to make room for waste landfill - The municipality says the 500-dunam dump is expected to completely fill the wadi in about 20 years, after which the plan calls for building a public park atop it. (Haaretz)
- MK Kirshenbaum: Arabs are an economic burden on Israel - 'Arabs in Israel want equal rights, but they don't want to contribute to the state,' Knesset member tells German-Israeli sister cities conference in Jerusalem. (Haaretz)
- Round of appointments in IDF: 3 religious brigade commanders - Also of interest was the promotion of Col. Ilan Malka, who was put on disciplinary trial and not criminal trial for the killing by his soldiers of 21 people from the same family (Samouni) in Operation Cast Lead. It was decided he would not be used for a commanding post for two years. That period has ended. (Yedioth, p. 12 and Ynet)
- Group: Israel re-arrests prisoner freed in swap deal - Muna Qadan, 40, from Jenin was released from Israeli jail as part of the second phase of a prisoner swap last year between Hamas and Israel, having spent three years in prison for being a member of Islamic Jihad. The Ahrar Center condemned her arrest, saying that it violated the terms of the prisoner swap deal. (Maan)
- Iron Dome intercepts 2 rockets over Ofakim - Gaza terrorists continue incessantly shelling southern Israel. Missile defense system deployed in area engaged successfully several times. (Ynet)
- Men who found Majdy Halabi's body sue for reward - Brothers who found missing IDF soldier's remains file court claim against State, Defense Ministry, Born to be Free over $10 million prize. (Ynet)
- Museums may not have to provide Arabic explanations for short-term exhibits - Changes mean museums won't have to translate Hebrew text to get state funding. (Haaretz)
- To NY via Amman for $700 - Royal Jordanian Airlines offering special airfares for flights from Tel Aviv to North America. (Ynet)
- IDF and U.S. Army launch four Patriot missiles as part of mass joint drill - The drill, considered the largest ever carried out by the two countries, will be conducted over the course of three weeks, and will simulate an extensive Mideast war with U.S. intervention. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Threat-focused Iran launches 'biggest ever' air drills - Military drill spans half the country, with Iran warning it will act against any aggressors. 8,000 Iranian troops backed by bombers and fighter planes to participate. (Israel Hayom)
- Thomas Friedman: Obama too busy to take revenge on Netanyahu - NYT columnist writes that during president's second term, Israeli issues will be eschewed in favor of domestic matters. (Ynet)
- Livni, Olmert expected to decide within days on political futures - Both senior Kadima figures expect to announce this week whether they intend to participate in upcoming elections; political sources expect that Livni will only decide to run if Olmert sits out. (Haaretz)
- Finkelstein's fall: Optimistic poll turned out to be wrong - Arthur Finkelstein, the campaign advisor who promised Netanyahu and Lieberman at least 45 mandates (if they run together) signed a painful defeat in the US elections. A poll he took forecast a decisive victory of 16% for Congresswoman (CA-R) Mary Bono Mack. But she lost by 4%. (Maariv, p. 16 and NRG Hebrew)
- MKs Eldad and Ben Ari to run on joint Knesset ticket - The two choose not to run with National Union after the party's decision to join Bayit Yehudi. [They were actually not wanted by Bayit Yehudi for being too extremist - OH] Polls show them winning at least two mandates. Bayit Yehudi-National Union to hold primary elections today to determine list of candidates. (Israel Hayom)
- Ahead of possible return to politics: Olmert turned to Yuli Tamir - Former prime minister Ehud Olmert asked members of Kadima to remain in party. He is expected to announce his decision by the end of the week. (Maariv, p. 8 and NRG Hebrew)
For years he documented dozens of disabled IDF veterans. But when all the galleries refused to exhibit his photographs, photographer Shai Aloni understood that there are some things the Israeli society prefers not to see. "They said to me that this is not attractive, it demoralizes.(But these veterans) fought for us and we are closing our eyes...One senior official at a heritage site, himself a disabled IDF veteran, said to me: 'I would not exhibit something like this. I would not want a 16 or 17-year-old boy who is going to go to the army to see handicapped (veterans).' I was in shock...The handicapped want to be like all of us, we are the ones who have trouble with it. So we close our eyes. The state knows how to preserve the memory of the fallen, but not of the handicapped who talk." (Yedioth '24 Hours' supplement)
Creativity in captivity: A Palestinian art festival
Art works made of bullets and separation wall stones were an important feature of the Qalandiyah Biennale, closing Thursday after two weeks in Palestinian villages and cities. (Haaretz)
Before the 1967 lines retire, too (Akiva Eldar, Haaretz) In a farewell column concluding 35 years at Haaretz, Akiva Eldar urges Israelis to keep the two-state solution alive.
There is no military solution (Eitan Haver, Yedioth) Okay, so let's conquer Gaza. We'll only use massive military might, something like "Operation Cast Lead 2." We'll collapse the Hamas government. That's the wet dream of the Islamic Jihad, Al-Qaeda and others. They will take Hamas' place and they will be worse....
Between violence on Gaza border and Syria tensions, Israel mulls next move (Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel, Haaretz) It seems Netanyahu would rather avoid a significant operation in the Strip, which is why the logical course of action for him would be to increase aerial strikes.
Separation from Palestinians crucial (Ami Ayalon, Ynet) Creating two-state reality only way to secure Israel's existence as Zionist, Jewish and democratic state.
No policy, no deterrence (Alex Fishman, Yedioth and Ynet) Gaza terrorists forcing most powerful Mideast country to play by their rules.
Legitimacy dilemma (Ben-Dror Yemini, Maariv and NRG Hebrew) Operation Cast Lead already proved that Israel is capable of winning in battle and losing in war. Without proper preparation, the next loss is guaranteed in advance.
Step out of the bubble (Ariana Melamed, Yedioth and Ynet) Israelis from all sectors of society must unite to bring about real change.
For Israel, Assad is preferable (Gen. (res.) Rafi Noy, Maariv) No one knows what is hiding behind the (Syrian) rebels, and what kind of state we will find there after they take power. In contrast, we have been able to deal with the present regime for decades. ...We have seen in other places when following the 'Arab Spring' the regime was changed in states in our region, the reality became more hostile towards Israel...
The limits of deterance (Haaretz Editorial) In the absence of any alternative leadership in Gaza, Israel would be better off recognizing that the deterrence formula has limits and adopting the mechanism of informal agreements instead.
Enough of the disingenuousness (Michal Aharoni, Maariv and NRG Hebrew) We have already held negotiations with Hamas in order to save Shalit, now is the time to talk with it in order to protect the lives of hundreds of thousands of residents of the south.
Time for an aerial Cast Lead (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) The Israel Defense Forces is currently chopping off the snake's tail rather than its head. Time to change that.
Army of the people or army of the empire? (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz) Enlisting in the IDF is not acceptable in the eyes of the vast majority of Arabs in Israel. But what raised their ire in particular this time was the attempt to drive a wedge between the different communities.
Iron Dome is not enough (Reuven Pedatzur, Haaretz) The time has come to stop being afraid and demand that the Skyguard laser system and the Vulcan Phalanx artillery system be flown to Israel immediately and positioned alongside the communities in southern Israel.
Subdue the enemy (Zvika Fogel, Israel Hayom) If today we don't stop Hamas from growing in strength in Gaza and prevent it from becoming a vast terrorist army, then in the future we will need to pay a heavier price of war in Gaza, Sinai and maybe even in Judea and Samaria.
There is no Israeli partner (Einat Levy and Elie Podeh, Haaretz) The claim that there is no one to talk to on the Palestinian side is a common one in contemporary Israeli discourse. However, scrutiny of the history of talks between Israel and its neighbors reveals that the no-partner claim has been a part of the Israeli-Arab conflict from its outset.
Rabin, the disobedient son (Salman Masalha, Haaretz) Yitzhak Rabin was murdered for trying to represent all Israelis, rather than just his Jewish tribe.
Restraint and proportionality (Avigdor Kahalani, Israel Hayom) It is clear to us all that Syria has no intention of opening a front against us, especially at a time when the entire Syrian army is busy trying to save Assad's regime.
'Israel and Palestine are my mothers'
If the expectations are fulfilled and the Meretz party wins five mandates, one of those seats will be filled by Issawi Freij (49) from Kufr Kassem, #5 on the Meretz Partp list. (Interviewed by Arik Bender, Maariv and NRG Hebrew)
Q. How does an Israeli Arab feel as a member of a Zionist political party?
"I will define myself as I want and you define yourself as you want. We, in Meretz, have a joint social political economic platform, and that's what guides us. The definition is not personal. I want to say: enough of this perception that determines what is good for the Jews is good for the Arabs and the opposite. Meretz comes to present positions according to which what is good for the Jews is also good for the Arabs. I feel that, and like me, many others feel that in the (Arab) sector."
Q: The Arab leaders, especially the MKs, are accused of dealing too much with the Palestinian issue and neglecting the issues in whose name they were sent to the Knesset.
"I tell you this: I feel like a boy who was born to two mothers. My biological mother is Palestine and my adopted mother is the state of Israel. I live between these two worlds. When I try to get close to my biological mother, the adopted mother says, 'Be careful, you've become a fifth column.' When I try to get close to my adopted mother, my biological mother cries to me: 'You forgot me, you traitor.' It's not a simple conflict., and therefore the solution is to bridge between the two mothers. For the Palestinian minority in Israel peace is an existential necessity. It is more important to us than to the Jews because we are between a rock and a hard place, and therefore it's the first goal for us, but of course, not at the expense of the other interests of the Arab sector in Israel. We have to know what is our place, where are we going....
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.