APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday November 22, 2012
Quote of the day:
"It has become clear that even a perfect bikini body doesn’t give you a pass in wartime."
--Haaretz blogger Allison Kaplan Sommer writes about the Tweets that got Israeli model Bar Refaeli in trouble.
Front Page News:
- After 8 days: Ceasefire between Israel and Hamas - In the agreement achieved by Cairo, Israel committed to stop attacks and Hamas promised quiet. Except that last night the shooting on the south continued.
- Attack on bus in Tel-Aviv - 28 injured near IDF's Kirya base
- Disputed finale - Beershevans didn't celebrate the ceasefire at all
- Grey color - F-16, missile boats and artillery - the last hours of fire (on) Gaza // Abeer Ayyoub
- Small journalists - A real Israeli journalist should have been in Gaza right now. Without this, and with the negligible coverage from there, we are all little journalists //Gideon Levy
- After 8 days of fighting: Disputed ceasefire - Rockets shot on Israel last night, but assessment is that by morning shooting will stop and residents of south can leave protective shelters; reservists to be released gradually; alongside achievement of elimination of Hamas chief of staff, residents of south and politicians critical of Netanyahu "submitting to Hamas"
- Terror like a decade ago - After 10 years of no bus bombings: terrorist put explosives on bus and escaped before it went off. Soldier severely wounded
- Assessment: Lieberman file to be closed
- Appears that Livni will run - Expected to declare running at head of new party
- IDF stopped the fire, the shooting on the south continued - Pillar of Cloud ended; ceasefire being tested; Netanyahu: We used military might and diplomatic considerations (Hebrew)
- Israel: committed to refrain from assassinations; Hamas: agreed to stop launchings; US: to fund more Iron Domes; Egypt: will work to stop smuggling; Celebration of happiness in Gaza; Reserve officer mortally wounded from rocket
- Ashkelon 23:00 - Two hours after ceasefire (photo of two Israeli women covering their heads on the ground)
- The terror returned to the heart of Tel-Aviv - Explosion on bus number 142 (Hebrew)
- Ceasefire being tested
- PM: "There are those who expected a harsher operation, but we need to take advantage of the opportunity"
- The terror returned to the heart of Tel-Aviv
- Elections returning to agenda - and with it the campaigns
- Entertainment section for children of the south
- Exclusive: Bar Refaeli answers her critics
A ceasefire was reached not before explosives exploded in a bus in Tel-Aviv injuring a couple dozen people. Shooting continued till the last minute and after by both sides killing a child in Gaza- but the Israeli papers focused on the shots they received, not made. Some Israelis complained they did not want a ceasefire while Gazans celebrated in the streets. And in a fascinating interview, a former Israeli defense minister says Rabin and Sharon were murderers just like Ahmed Jabari. But Haaretz does not translate the article to English.
The Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi mediated it and at 9PM local it began. The ceasefire, the quiet and finally some sleep for Gazans and the Israelis in the south. Haaretz's Barak Ravid writes that the agreement is almost identical to the one reached in Operation Cast Lead, giving Israel security assurances and allowing Gazans more freedom of movement. Within 24 hours of the ceasefire, Israel will open Gaza crossings, allowing freer movement of goods and people. Israel also agreed to end 'assassinations.'
Israeli reservists remain on standby, but are expected to gradually be released home. Haaretz writes: While the IDF expects rocket attacks to continue even after the cease-fire, the army intends to respond in a way that will neither lead to additional escalation nor violate the cease-fire agreement. The IDF will respond to rocket attacks only if they represent a real threat or danger, said senior officers. It is possible the IDF will not respond to solitary rockets fired at Israel over the next few days, based on the assumption that enforcing the cease-fire on all the various Palestinian organizations in Gaza will take time.
The US put great pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to agree to a ceasefire. Yedioth's Itamar Eichner writes that US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton told Israel that a military move could cause a regional military escalation. The Americans were concerned Morsi wouldn't be able to stand up to the pressure from the street and they thought Syria's Bashar al-Assad would take advantage of the situation to make a military move against Israel in order to save his own regime.
The violence increased just ahead of the ceasefire. Israel killed two people in airstrikes just at the Egyptians announced the deal, one was 14-year-old Nadir Abu Mugheiseeb, Maan reports. The Israeli papers did not report on this.
Netanyahu said the ceasefire with Hamas was the right thing for Israel. While Hamas' Khaled Mashaal said Israel capitulated to Hamas' demands. (VIDEO) Indeed, southern residents of Israel claimed Netanyahu capitulated to terror. They wanted a ground offensive, not a ceasefire.But jubilant Palestinians spilled into the streets of Gaza in celebration.
No Palestinian organization took responsibility for throwing the explosives onto bus number 142 and then escaping into the streets of Tel-Aviv. No one was killed, most of the 22 people were only lightly injured. Boaz Gaon, a young Israeli playwright and journalist, wrote a very funny and cynical Op-Ed in Maariv about 'Bullshit Mountain.' (See below)
Channel 10's Amnon Levy interviewed former defense minister Binyamin Fouad Ben Eliezer (Labor party) who said that Yitzhak Rabin and Ariel Sharon, both former prime ministers and defense ministers, were murderers just as much as assassinated Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari, who "was a man of his word.' He also said that according to IDF procedure it is forbidden to kill more than one innocent person in an assassination and if one innocent person will die, it can only be to kill a 'ticking bomb.'
The interview is part of the program which investigates the steps taken preceding the assassination of Jabari, Ben-Eliezer was asked by Levy what he thought about Jabari, as someone who was defense minister in 2002-2001, during the Sharon government. From what he said it can be understood that Jabari's assassination was a mistake, because only with "murderers" of his kind, can we reach understandings and agreements that will be respected and observed.
"I know him, I know him," said Ben Eliezer to Levy, "He is a real man, a real man."
Levy: "It was alleged that he was among the moderates. Aluf Benn wrote that in Haaretz."
Ben Eliezer: "If you ask me, his word was his word. When he said, 'I'll give you, then he gave you. You've probably heard me say more than once: 'Release Barghouti.' Why?"
Levy: "So that we can do business with him?"
Ben-Eliezer: "Because you only do business with murderers. Learn this. Only with murderers. Hafez al-Assad was a murderer. Sadat was a murderer. Rabin was a murderer. Arik (Sharon) was a murderer. Hussein was a murderer. True or not true?" (Last night Ben Eliezer told Yedioth Ahronoth, "that he meant to say that Rabin and Sharon were strong people).
Ben Eliezer asked to clarify what he said about Rabin and Sharon is meant that they were "killers," slang for military people with great achievements who are not afraid to be brave and mover towards peace.
An additional disclosure in the program to be broadcast tonight discusses the procedure of targeted assassinations of terrorists. The former military lawyer, Maj. Avichai Mandelblit, reveals that the IDF has a procedure that defines the exact number of casualties that are not involved or are innocent (so-called "collateral damage") that it is permitted to kill in a targeted assassination. According to the former JAG that the number is: one.
Mandelblit tells Levy that the procedure states that first, the target must be "marked for death," but not for crimes of the past, only for crimes or attacks he plans to do in the future. It cannot be targeted killing as punishment or revenge. The second condition, according Mandelblit is regarding collateral damage - that is, the number of innocent people who are allowed to be killed along with the target of assassins: It must be as small a number as possible.
Levy asks what number. "I prefer not to answer that," replied Mandelblit, "but these numbers are very low. Very, very low. Close to zero." (Haaretz Hebrew)
- Soldier critically injured in afternoon rocket attack - Four soldiers and two civilians are wounded when Gaza projectile hits southern community. (Ynet)
- The "special envoy to Cairo" was revealed: Mossad Chief Tamir Pardo - Two possible reasons Netanyahu sent Pardo. He trusts him because Pardo served with Netanyahu's brother in the army. Or, because the Egyptians are furious with the usual envoy, Amos Gilad, who they say broke their trust. (Maariv, p. 5)
- Steinitz and Yishai opposed the agreement - Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Interior Minister Eli Yishai expressed opposition to the ceasefire in the meeting of the forum of nine ministers. They believed the IDF did not achieve deterrene. (Maariv, p. 5)
- Riots break out in West Bank during Operation Pillar of Defense - Palestinian police losing control in West Bank, senior IDF officer says, as dozens of violent incidents occur there. (Haaretz)
- IDF arrests 55 Palestinians in West Bank, on heels of Gaza truce - Wave of arrests follows dramatic increase in violence and demonstrations across West Bank; most of the detainees affiliated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad. (Haaretz)
- Gaza hospitals need more drugs - The nurses at Shifa hospital in the Gaza Strip have seen bombing casualties before, but never on this scale. "It's very hard now, with many injured people coming every hour. Women and children outnumbered men, especially with the new wave (of attacks) targeting houses and civilian buildings." (Maan)
- Naftali Bennett: Tear Gaza in two - Habayit Hayehudi party chairman harshly criticizes government, advocates ground invasion into Gaza. (Ynet)
- Israel's arms industry hoping success of Iron Dome will bring it sales - Favorable press alone will not boost sales; the global market has diverted defense spending to other needs since the global economic crisis in 2008. (Haaretz)
- Israel 'strikes' world opinion using new media - Foreign Ministry, Israeli embassies around the world circulating photos of major capitals under rocket attacks on and social networks. (Ynet)
- Hamas leader condemns killings of accused collaborators - Resistance leaders should use legal procedures to deal with suspected spies through the courts, Mousa Abu Marzouq wrote on his Facebook page. (Maan)
- Journalists 'targeted' in West Bank protests - Palestinian press freedom group Mada said Monday that journalists have been obstructed and assaulted by Israeli forces at demonstrations in the West Bank in support of Gaza during the Israeli bombardment. (Maan)
- Draft Order #8 to his lover - The husband told his wife he was drafted to reserve duty in Gaza. But when she got a telephone call that her car was at the Meridien Hotel in Eilat she understood her husband was with a lover. (Yedioth, p. 18)
- Turkish foreign minister sheds tear in Gaza - Turkey's Ahmet Davutoglu visits hospital in Strip as part of Arab League delegation. (Ynet)
- Egypt protesters firebomb Al-Jazeera Cairo office - 300 protesters storm building of satellite broadcaster Al-Jazeera, hit studio with firebombs; 'They accuse our network of being biased,' reporter says. (Ynet)
- Iran says supplied Hamas with missile 'technology' - Revolutionary Guards commander admits Tehran shared knowledge with Gaza terror organization on how to produce long-range missiles, one of which hit apartment building in central Israel on Tuesday. (Agencies, Ynet)
Iran welcomes Israel-Gaza cease-fire, but not 'optimistic' it will work - The Islamic Republic has urged Arab states to follow its lead and provide Hamas with weapons. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- PA official: Settlers torch Nablus mosque - A group of settlers from Yizhar entered the village of Urif and set fire to the entrance of a mosque. Villagers managed to stop the fire from spreading and chased the settlers out of the village. (Maan)
- Hamas armed wing interrupts Israeli broadcasts - Israeli TV broadcasts were interrupted Tuesday night by short films with Hamas insignia showing an Israeli army tank being hit by a missile. A video uploaded to YouTube claims to show the interruption on Channel 10. The text reads in Hebrew and Arabic: "A message for the Zionist tanks forces," then "Do you remember." (Maan VIDEO)
The end of Bullshit Mountain (Boaz Gaon, Maariv) The phrase 'bullshit mountain' was termed by Jon Stewart of the Daily Show in order to describe the mountain of lies where in recent years the most vocal of the American right-wing leaders live. Those that believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim or that weapons of mass destruction are still buried in Iraq. Yesterday, around 1PM on Shaul Hamelech Street in Tel-Aviv, the Israeli 'Bullshit Mountain' collapsed once and for all. The residents of the local mountain were busy building it in recent years, shovel after shovel. They explained that making war is the surest to achieve security. And making peace, or ceasefire, is a certain recipe for war. According to the residents of the Israeli 'Bullshit Mountain,' where most Israeli right-wing leaders and the commentators on their behalf moved in recent years, Israel does not need regional allies. Turkey can be put to sit on the mat [refers to humiliating incident where Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon called in Turkish Ambassador and had him sit on a very low seat with a camera filming to display later how he humiliated the ambassador - OH], we can put our feet up on Egypt's lap, we can send Jordan to drink from the sea of Gaza - and Gaza we can use as a training field once every four years. Israel, of course, is not really from the Middle East. It's actually a conservative country bordering Florida, or a great Eastern European power that gets its feet wet in the Baltic Sea, and therefore all that is needed to assure the good of Israel is to make it hated regionally. Let Erdogan hate us. Let the Egyptian people despise us. To hell with it, let the President of the United States hate us. And the more he hates us - that secret Muslim - the better the situation of the residents of the south. Assassinations are helpful at any time and under any conditions. Racism is a virtue. "I am proud to be a racist," Likud MK Miri Regev told (Arab) MK Jamal Zahalka this week.) Dialogue is a synonym for treason, unless of course, it's the residents of Bullshit Mountain who declared it essential, for example with someone like Ahmed Jabari, in order to bring back a captive soldier or to curb the shooting at the south of the country. The Palestinian demand for a state, a demand that was adopted by the present (Israeli) prime minister, is diplomatic terror, for which we must focus on advancing the option of "one state" in which the (Palestinian) residents of the West Bank will become residents without a right to vote and Gaza residents will become Egyptian citizens. So what if the Palestinians call this plan a hallucination. It's true that the whole world agrees (with them) and also half the Israeli public. But it doesn't matter what the world, the Palestinians, the people of the region and half of the Israelis think. It's important what Naftali Bennet [Chairman of extreme right Habayit Hayehudi party -OH] says in his illustrated plan called "the plan for calm" for annexing the West Bank, which is like a virtual visitors' hall for those who enter "Bullshit Mountain." This mountain began to crumble, when the Israeli south got lost inside a cloud of smoke and sorrow. It began to split when the first missiles were shot at Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem. It collapsed yesterday afternoon, when bus #142 exploded in Tel-Aviv. Now it's time to attack the Israeli Bullshit Mountain from the air and return to live in reality. For the sake of the State of Israel and the region.
Who won this round in Gaza, Israel or Hamas? Only time will tell (Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz) The true outcome of Operation Pillar of Defense will be clear in time: if there is quiet, the Netanyahu government can claim success, but if there isn't, the next military operation against Hamas will be with much greater force.
A cease-fire that could have come earlier (Amir Oren, Haaretz) Netanyahu and Barak will find it difficult to explain why the right moment for a cease-fire was missed – before the last and sharpest memory of the week of Operation Pillar of Defense became the memory of the bus on Shaul Hamelekh Street.
Promises vs. reality (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth and Ynet) Truth must be told – in the future as well, Hamas will determine how long lull will last.
It's all connected (Haaretz Editorial) The attack on a bus in Tel Aviv, in which at least 20 people were injured, is not just a terrifying reminder of the intifada period. The terror attack is the direct continuation of the results of Operation Pillar of Defense.
The lethal strike of Roni Daniel (Yael Paz-Melamed, Maariv) Every war creates its heroes. In this last round, 'Iron Dome' stars at the top and somewhere at the bottom is the Channel 2 News military commentator Roni Daniel. This angry and determined man is much more than a curiosity...Daniel represents the same views as Israel of yesteryear; one that did not recognize the limitations of power, that thought there is a solution to every problem in our bloody conflict with the Palestinians - and the solution is found in the IDF's upper hand over the enemy, and that if you 'just let the IDF win,' it will give you a corrected reality on a silver platter...Daniel thinks that with might it's possible to change the reality. In contrast to him, the Israeli public matured and sobered since then....
Endgame for Israel and Hamas - but what comes next? (Former US ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer, Haaretz) Despite the cease-fire, it is likely, indeed inevitable, that there will be similar confrontations between Israel and Hamas in the future. Israel needs to learn the lessons of the recent conflict and act on the diplomatic front before the situation deteriorates even further.
The people demand a painless war (Uri Misgav, Haaretz) How is it possible to explain the sweeping public support given to Operation Pillar of Defense since its inception?
Yalla, let's drown Gaza in the sea (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz) People here don't learn from history and the Palestinians have no other choice when Israel has no proposal other than to continue with the existing situation.
About this subject - they don't talk (Oren Persico, Seventh Eye) Last Sunday, an IDF shell killed 11 members of one family in Gaza, four of them women and four children. But there was no sign of it on "Yedioth Ahronoth's" front page. Yet, under the heading "This they won't talk about: 850 killed in Syria this week," (Wednesday) morning's "Yedioth Ahronoth" dared to criticise the international media for ignoring the hundreds of deaths in Syria last week. (Hebrew original translated by Sol Salbe of the Middle East News Service, Melbourne, Australia.)
Time for Israel to take risks for peace (Douglas Alexander, Haaretz) There can be only a political, not military, solution to the fear and suffering of Israelis and Palestinians. The UK Labour Party believes that supporting the Palestinian bid for enhanced UN recognition offers a way to restart the political process and offers a way forward for both sides.
The New Abnormal: Family strife, Iron Dome picnics and Bar Refaeli under fire (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz) Seven days into Israel's Gaza offensive, some notes from the home front.
U.S. must engage with the Arab League peace initiative (Carlo Strenger, Haaretz) If Obama wants to go beyond crisis management of the Israel-Palestine conflict, he should not turn to Abbas but to the peace initiative, which offers Israel recognition, full diplomatic relations and normalization with all members of the Arab League in return for a full retreat to the 1967 borders.
A triple-crown achievement for Obama’s Middle East policies (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz) From Washington’s point of view, Wednesday’s cease-fire cements Egypt’s moderate role and improves relations with Israel but most importantly – averts the catastrophe of an Israeli ground incursion.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.