APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday November 26, 2012
Quote of the day:
"I am the leader of Hamas. I tell you and the whole world, we are ready to resort to a peaceful way, without blood and weapons as long as we attain our Palestinian demands: a Palestinian state and the ending of the occupation and the (West Bank separation) wall."
-Khaled Mashaal says in an interview with CNN - largely ignored by the Israeli media.**
Front Page News:
- Because of computer problems: Likud primaries to continue today
- Comptroller Shapira against MK Haim Katz's vote drafting
- Miri Regev wants to be a minister, and no computer is going to stop her
- Gilad Erdan, the Minister for preparing settling in Judea and Samaria
- PLO: A vote against the Palestinian state in the UN will prove that only armed struggle works
- Successful first test to "Magic Wand" missile-defense system
- This is how they get rid of a car repair garage owner who does not suit "the mix at Tel-Aviv port"
- Victory for the party supporting Catalonia's independence in regional elections in Spain
- Bug day for Likud - The computer system collapsed - voting to continue today
- Wand star - Successful test to "Magic Wand" missile-defense system, Israel's answer to Hezbollah
- Together again - After their father murdered their mother and committed suicide the couple's four children lived separately for six years, but are now together with one foster family
- Small businesses competition: Special prize for business from south
- Life according to Kim - Kim Kardashian on the big money, moonlighting at bar-mitzvahs and support for Israel
- Half free - A brilliant marketing move or a sign of troubles? Golan Telecom declared the lowest cellular fees in the world
- Debate in Likud: Where to open the polling stations today - Oversight at primaries: Computers crashed (Hebrew)
- Songs stop here - Commander of Paratroopers brigade vs. one of symbols of the brigade: New order prohibits them from singing song due to sexually explicit content (Hebrew)
- Successful test of "Magic Wand" system (Hebrew)
- The mishap and the embarassment - After many Likudniks could not vote - 50 central polling stations to be open also today
- The magic touch of the Magic Wand
- Hanan Goldblatt "I'm sorry and I apologize" - Four years after entered jail for rape, actor is free
- Egypt: 15-year-old killed in attack on Muslim Brotherhood headquarters
- Golan Telecom breaks the market: 49 shekels a month (for cellphone calls)
- Appears majority in Catalonia support separation from Spain
Embarrassing computer problems in Likud primaries, successful anti-missile system tests in Israel and Israeli fears and confusion over the likelihood of the Palestinians' winning their bid for statehood at the UN this week. Meanwhile, statements by Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal that he'll settle for a Palestinian state on the '67 borders only made it to Israeli internet news sites and Haaretz shares from an interview with a Hamas politician who before he was arrested (again) on Friday, said Israel needs to talk to Hamas.
Four days to go and Israel fears the European Union will support (Hebrew) the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN on Thursday, Maariv writes. "According to messages we received, those countries said that they supported us against Hamas during Operation Pillar of Cloud, and now they must support Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) against Hamas," a senior official in Jerusalem said. Israel still hopes that its decision not to make a ground invasion will affect the decision of the EU states not to "punish" Israel and support the Palestinian bid.
Yedioth writes that Israel still has not decided on what steps to take if the historic move takes place: Should Israel try to bring about the collapse of the Palestinian Authority or just be satisfied with a measured response? Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman supports the former, whereas others (Netanyahu, Barak, and ministers Moshe Yaalon, Dan Meridor and Benny Begin) believe that after the fighting in Gaza, Israel must take the latter response and "judge Abu Mazen according to what he does the day after. If he goes to the International Court in the Hague, then Israel needs to bring the collapse of his rule and treat him like an enemy. Lieberman will be in New York during the vote, but 'has no intention of going to the UN and arguing" with Abbas, Yedioth writes. It appears that the only countries voting against the bid besides Israel will be the US, Canada, Czech Republic and maybe Germany, Yedioth wrote. The Palestinian Authority has no fear of Israel trying to bring about its collapse, wrote Israel Hayom quoting an unnamed official in Ramallah, because if that were to happen "the responsibility for millions of Palestinian citizens in the West Bank would be Netanyahu's." Israel Hayom writes that the Palestinians have a majority support of around 150 of the 192 countries, but may not have the "moral majority": support from the US, Canada, and European countries. Haaretz writes that the PLO has told countries that a vote against Palestine at the UN is a message that only armed struggle works to achieve statehood.
**'Mashaal: Prepared for peace without blood, weapons' (Hebrew) and 'Khaled Mashaal: Hamas' goal is state on '67 borders' were the titles of two Israeli website articles. But the Israeli newspapers did not share on their pages the important statements by Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal. Mashaal told BBC and CNN that he will settle for a Palestinian state on the '67 borders, on condition that the occupation is ended and the separation wall dismantled. Maariv's Arab Affairs correspondent Asaf Gibor wrote about the BBC interview and Ynet's Elior Levy wrote about the CNN interview over the weekend. It's not the first time he has said he supports a Palestinian state on the '67 borders, but it rarely makes it to the Israeli media. Mashaal is set to arrive next week in Gaza for a debut visit, Haaretz reported. Mashaal will arrive in the Strip on December 5, in a visit announced a month ago, to deliver an address at various ceremonies to be held for the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Hamas movement.
Meanwhile, Haaretz published parts of an interview with Dr. Mahmoud Ramahi, the Hamas surgeon and politician who has called on Israel to talk with Hamas. He was also working towards the reconciliation of Fatah and Hamas, a move Israel is opposes. As he explained to Haaretz, last week, the Palestinian reconciliation process would allow President Mahmoud Abbas to resume negotiations with Israel.
- EU looks to compile blacklist barring entry to 'known violent' Israeli settlers - EU committee of Middle East experts recommends move in response to a report on settler violence showing their increasing strength and impunity. (Haaretz)
- Turkey FM confirms resumption of reconciliation talks with Israel - Following Haaretz report last Friday, Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu tells CNN that Israel must apologize and compensate families of activists killed in Gaza flotilla raid, and lift Gaza blockade; Israeli envoy reportedly responds positively to first two requests, and does not rule ending Gaza siege. (Haaretz)
- Gaza cleric calls violation of Israel truce sinful - New fatwa issued by leading Gaza Muslim cleric says honoring truce 'duty of each and every one of us.' (Agencies, Ynet)
- UN envoy urges Hamas: Abide by cease-fire, become partner for peace - Special UN envoy to the Middle East Robert Serry also called on Israel to 'exercise utmost restraint.' (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Hamas to probe 'unlawful executions' of alleged collaborators - Group announces creation of committee to examine executions of Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel during Gaza op. (Ynet)
- IDF chief: Situation along Gaza border seems 'positive,' but only time will tell - Speaking to army recruits following visit to the border, chief of staff refuses to comment on report alleging Israel is monitoring an Iranian ship with arms meant for Gaza. (Haaretz)
- French appreciation for the terrorist who planned to kill Rabbi Ovadia - Among the guests of honor at the diplomatic ceremony held at the French consulate in Jerusalem were the terrorist Salah Hamouri, who was found guilty of membership in the PFLP and was released in the Shalit swap. Also, Hamouri has field a libel suit against (the settler) website Arutz 7. (Maariv, p. 14 and NRG Hebrew)
- U.K. to U.S.: Take more active role on Mideast peace - British FM William Hague warns that it is the 'final chance' for a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Lapid says offered Livni to be his No. 2 - Lapid follows Labor's Yachimovich in calling on former Kadima chairwoman to join his party. (Ynet)
- Nasrallah: Our battle - from Kiryat Shmona to Eilat - In televised address to mark end of Ashura festival, Hezbollah leader urges Arab governments to send weapons, money to Gaza after 'great victory' over Israel.' (Ynet)
- (E.) Jerusalem resident charged with spying for Hezbollah - Indictment suggests Asam Mashara met with Hezbollah officials in Lebanon, received instructions on how to transfer encrypted information. (Ynet)
- Jerusalem: 'Gaza price tag' sprayed on cars in Shufat (E. Jerusalem) - Number of vehicles in Arab neighborhood vandalized; residents accuse Jewish teens. (Ynet)
- (E. Jerusalem) Shuafat man suspected of planting fake bombs on train - Suspect tells police he was motivated by 'images of killing in Gaza' during Operation Pillar of Defense. Attorney: He has mental problems. (Ynet)
- Lieberman defends Gaza ceasefire - In special interview with Jewish News One in Jerusalem, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman discusses recent Gaza conflict, addresses debate over whether ceasefire agreement has won tangible security gains for Israeli public. (Ynet VIDEO)
- Stevie Wonder to perform for IDF - Popular American musician to take part in annual gala of Friends of IDF organization in Los Angeles. (Yedioth and Ynet)
- Still dreaming about America - A poll revealed that the US is the preferred country for Israelis who want to leave their own (33%). Europe (23%) is in second place, Australia (14%) in third and Canada (12%) in fourth. (Maariv, p. 21)
- Persian evening - Persian-Israeli singer Rita was the guest of honor at a 'Persian Evening' the Israeli ambassador to the US held at his home recently. "The Jewish people and the Persian people had friendly relations for 2,500 years," said Amb. Michael Oren. "May we renew these relations in our lifetime and Rita can perform on the stages of Iran and Isfahan." (Yedioth, p. 24)
- Egypt presidency: Morsi decrees 'temporary' - In wake of weekend riots, president's bureau stresses edict granting Morsi almost unlimited power over courts is temporary. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Morsi to meet judges over power grab - More than 500 people have been injured in clashes between police and protesters worried Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood aims to dominate the post-Hosni Mubarak era after winning Egypt's first democratic parliamentary and presidential elections this year. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Egyptian stock exchange tumbles in response to judicial crisis - The EGX30 index dropped 9.59 percentage points, making the losses among the biggest since the turbulent days following the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Explosions rock Egypt security posts in Sinai city of Rafah, four wounded - Twin blasts damage police, intelligence properties near Egypt's border with Gaza, amid renewed popular unrest in Egypt over a series of new presidential decrees. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Lebanon army arrests Syrians over bomb plot - Five men arrested in southern town after being found with explosives, suspected of planning attack on Shi'ite procession. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Syrian activists: Air raid kills 10 children near Damascus - Video footage taken by activists showed the bodies of two young girls, one wearing purple, the other red, on the street in the village, with wounds to their neck and head. (Agencies, Haaretz)
When the left did it right (Aluf Benn, Haaretz) The former Meretz Knesset member will celebrate her 84th birthday this week, giving us an opportunity to yearn for the left-wing leadership that was.
We could have achieved more (Giora Eiland, Yedioth and Ynet) Israel missed opportunity to extensively damage Hamas' national infrastructure, creating even greater deterrence.
Israel's endless season of war (Yitzhak Laor, Haaretz) The people who decide on the assassinations do not think about the dead in Gaza, but neither do they think about the little girl who screams in fear in Ashkelon or the boy crying in his sleep in Ashdod.
There are no magic solutions (Amir Rappaport, Maariv) ...The test of the 'Magic Wand' anti-missile system last week was indeed groundbreaking, but is it the ultimate solution to Israel's security problems? According to what the problematic reality in the Gaza area shows us after Operation Pillar of Cloud, good defense cannot replace IDF's attack capabilities. The challenges that the IDF will face are likely to be many times more complicated than the challenge from Hamas in Gaza.
Operation Pillar of Defense: mission not accomplished (Moshe Arens, Haaretz) If Operation Pillar of Defense's mission was to free the civilian population of southern Israel from the recurrent threat of rocket attacks by terrorists from the Gaza Strip, then it missed its mark.
It ain't over until the centrist lady sings (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz) Three polls conducted in the immediate wake of Operation Pillar of Defense show that the favorites are losing ground while other candidates make surprise gains. But everything is going to change when Tzipi Livni announces her return later this week.
Likud day of judgement is not yet over (Yossi Verter, Haaretz) The ruling party embarrassed itself when its computers crashed on voting day. It holds a primary only once every few years. It has all the time in the world to get the system ready and to test it.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.