APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday November 27, 2012
Quote of the day:
"State of Palestine."
-- Phrase, which if printed on any official letters to Israeli missions around the world, will mean putting letter in the garbage.**
Front Page News:
- The Likud turned right: Elkin, Danon and Levin at top of list
- Barak announced his resignation, but did not rule out possibility of returning in future
- Israel getting help of US to soften the vote on Palestine (bid) at the UN
- Neonatal departments in dire straits: Woman giving birth sent from Tel-Aviv to Haifa
- Feiglin is in; Begin is out - Victory of the extremists (in Likud primaries): Likud turns right
- "I've given all I have to give" (Barak resigns)
- The new Likud: Without Meridor and Begin (Hebrew)
- Barak leaves, Livni returns (Hebrew)
- "I understood that if I don't fight, there will be a massacre like in Itamar" - Palestinian who broke into home near Gaza border stopped by woman who teaches Krav Maga (Hebrew)
- The Likud moves right - Saar and Erdan at top of list; Ministers Meridor, Begin, Eitan and Dichter - out
- The (last?) surprise: Resignation (Barak parts from political life)
- Mother of four made Palestinian flee from her home; IDF soldiers shot him to death
The right-wing Likud party becomes more extremist just as Defense Minister Ehud Barak retires from politics with two days to go to the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN.
What Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu feared has come true: the extremist pro-settler members of the Likud have pushed out the moderates. Gone are Benny Begin, Dan Meridor, Michael Eitan. At the top of the list, following Likud primaries, are Moshe Feiglin, who has been for years trying to turn the party much righter-wing than it is. The 'Hilltop MKs' known for their support of the youth who make outposts on privately-owned Palestinian land - Zeev Elkin, Yariv Levin and Danny Danon - made it into the top 11 places. Education Minister Gideon Saar got the top spot, followed by Environment Minister Gilad Erdan. Yisrael Katz, who is notorious for getting all his friends from his past job at the Israel Aerospace Industries to vote for him, got fifth place. Hard right-winger Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Yaalon got eighth place.
Ehud Barak resigned, but many commentators say he is likely to come back to politics in the future. Some say he knew he could not be assured his present job in the next government and preferred to leave looking good. Hamas welcomed his resignation, saying it 'proved he failed.'
Maariv's Eli Bardenstein writes that Israel has accepted that Palestine will be recognized as a state on Thursday and now it's just trying to convince countries to make a public announcement of support for Israel. Israeli ambassadors around the world have received instructions to tell states to go up to the podium and make four declarations: 1.) declare their support for Israel as the State of the Jewish people, a statement the Palestinians refuse to declare themselves [most probably because that excludes their fellow Palestinians who are citizens of Israel - OH]. 2.) Regarding the Palestinian refugees, Israel is asking they declare that the solution must be agreed upon by both sides and without affecting the Jewish demographics of Israel. 3.) The Israelis also want their friends to say that the Palestinians should not use their new status to file suits against Israel for war crimes or settlement building at the International Court of Justice in the Hague. 4.) Israel wants countries to declare that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict must be solved through negotiations without pre-conditions.
**Yedioth writes that Israel will likely heed the US request and not take any harsh steps such as revoking the Oslo Accords, but will respond with penal measures such as freezing funds, adopting parts of the Edmond Levy Report and revoking VIP cards for senior PA officials. Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry has instructed all Israel missions to refuse to accept official letters containing the words "State of Palestine," writes Yedioth. Haaretz writes that because of Operation Pillar of Cloud the UK may support the Palestinian bid in order to bolster Abbas. It supposedly will condition its support on peace talks and no cases being brought against Israeli officials at The Hague. Maariv's Asaf Gibor writes from Ramallah that Palestinians believe their President Mahmoud Abbas will bring them a state, but what really concerns them is the harsh economic situation in the West Bank.
- Israel-Hamas talks to begin in Cairo today - Israeli, Hamas representatives to discuss implementation of ceasefire terms; Egyptian officials to mediate. (Yedioth, p. 18 and Ynet)
- New home: Hamas moves political headquarters to Cairo - After a long serach in a number of countries, the organization has moved its politburo office from Lebanon to the Egyptian capital. Mousa Abu-Marzouq, Mashaal's deputy, reveals friction with Iran: "We distanced ourselves because we refused to support Assad." (NRG Hebrew only)
- Woman singlehandedly drives terrorist away - As two of her children with her and two others in next room, Yael of Sdei Avraham struggled with terrorist who infiltrated into her house and trapped him in bathroom; he voluntarily fled the scene. (Ynet)
- Report: Internal Hamas row exposed Jabari - Sources tell Kuwaiti newspaper Israel initially planned to kill Hamas PM Haniyeh, but 'reckless' behavior helped security agencies track down terror group's top commander. (Ynet)
- Islamic Jihad gets hands on IDF documents - Palestinian terror group releases documents including personal details of dozens of Israeli soldiers. 'Maybe one of the soldiers in my reserves unit uploaded list onto Google Docs,' IDF soldier says. (Yedioth, p. 18 and Ynet)
- Police order Palestinian workers off buses to West Bank, at request of Israeli settlers - Settlers say these Palestinians pose a security risk; Transportation Ministry says it is considering adding bus lines between West Bank roadblocks and central Israel; these would be geared toward Palestinian laborers. (Haaretz)
- New baby names in Gaza: 'Fajr' and 'Ahmed Jabari' - Gazans commemorate Operation Pillar of Defense by naming babies after long-range missiles, Hamas military commander. (Ynet)
- Suspicion: Bedouin helped targeting of IDF bases - During Operation Pillar of Cloud, Bedouin-Israelis were detained while walking around near military bases and groups of forces. The IDF suspects they were helping terror groups better aim rockets at military targets. (Maariv, p. 13 and NRG Hebrew)
- PM to pilots: If rockets resume, go back and destroy whatever is left - Netanyahu commends Israel Air Force Sunday for "precise" Gaza operation. Hamas estimates $1.2 billion in Palestinian damage during 8-day Gaza operation, with $545 million in direct property damage. (Israel Hayom)
- Gaza op costs tourism $1.8B in damages - Some 300,000 tourists cancel visits to Israel following Operation Pillar of Defense. Tourism industry leaders hold emergency meeting. (Ynet)
- Thirty percent of haredim answer their draft notices - Recruitment date set for summer 2013 so no one can predict how the draft will really go and whether there will be political changes before slated date that change draft requirement again. (Israel Hayom)
- Chile to Israel: Educate your tourists - A year ago Chile was in a rage because an Israeli tourist caused an enormous forest fire at the famous Torres del Paine. Chile has now asked the Israeli embassy to educate its tourists on safety with fire ahead of the tourist season. (Maariv, p. 16 and NRG Hebrew)
- Students help Jews who came from Arab countries document their stories - High school students from northern Israel take part in the "Tell Your Children" project which records the stories of veteran olim in Israel who immigrated from Arab countries. Project to be displayed in special event in 2013, marking the 60th anniversary of Migdal Haemek. (Israel Hayom)
- Netanyahu, Barak 'Top Thinkers' - Prestigious Foreign Policy Top Thinkers 2012 list includes PM, Defense Minister for diplomatic efforts regarding Iran's nuclear power; also lists Dagan, Diskin for nuclear politics. (Ynet)
- Egypt's Morsi agrees to limit scope of controversial power grab - Move indicates president has accepted a judiciary-proposed compromise to try to defuse a crisis. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Iran criticizes US over delayed Mideast atomic talks - Iranian nuclear envoy Soltanieh says Washington has taken Helsinki conference 'hostage,' wants to 'support Israelis' nuclear weapon capability.' (Agencies, Ynet)
Commentary/Analysis:A harsh indictment (Yehudit Karp, Haaretz) The Levy Commission report's on the legal status of the settlements is a harsh indictment of the government, which is supposed to safeguard the rule of law but in reality mocks it completely. [In 1982, headed a special commission as Attorney General. The Kar Report, "Investigations of Suspicions Against Israelis in Judea and Samaria," found that settlers were engaged in a massive miscarriage of justice against Palestinians. - OH]
Has Likud gone too far right for Netanyahu? (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz) The new Likud – more rightist than ever – will allow the PM little flexibility. He is probably the most liberal and moderate figure to remain on the list.
Toward a Pillar of Fire against Iran (Kadima MK Otniel Schneller, Israel Hayom) The cease-fire is an opportunity to eliminate the Iranian nuclear option with international support.
Likud’s hawkish earthquake sparks new hopes for centrist alternatives (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz) In a tectonic shift sure to worry foreign capitals and Diaspora Jews, Israel’s ruling party purges moderates and anoints pro-settler and anti-peace nationalists.
After the cease-fire, elections (Uzi Baram, Israel Hayom) We are a Jewish minority in an Arab world in which Islamic power is growing. Our duty is to create the possibility for a shared life.
Mowing the lawn (Yoni Dayan, Ynet) IDF aware Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza not a long-term solution to Palestinian rocket fire on south.
In wake of Gaza truce, Washington pundits return to debating Israel-Palestine peace (Natasha Mozgovaya, Haaretz) Contributors to a new book on the peace process weigh in on prospects for the region following recent escalation in the Gaza Strip, and a reelected President Obama.
Egypt's American-controlled pharaoh (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz) Many in Egypt are saying that without the green light from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, they wouldn't have dared to move toward autocracy. From the American perspective, dictatorship seems to be preferable to the secular, democratic opposition threatening U.S. interests.
Netanyahu: visit the little Gazan girl (Eyal Megged, Haaretz) An open letter to PM Netanyahu: Visit the girl whose fingers were severed in Operation Pillar of Defense, and ask her for forgiveness, in the name of all of us.
The limits of brute force - learning from Ariel Sharon for today's Israel (Nimrod Hurvitz, Haaretz) Do Netanyahu and Lieberman, post-Gaza, now understand the limits of their doctrine of force and belligerent speech, as did Ariel Sharon following the second intifada? If so, perhaps there is still hope for a diplomatic solution to the Iran crisis.
Is Barak's retirement goodbye or au revoir? (Yossi Verter, Haaretz) After an eventful political career that culminated in five years as defense minister, he realized it could only go downhill from here. For now.
Ehud Barak: Respected as a general, reviled as a politician (Israel Hayom) Barak's career ranged from daring military raids to controversial peace initiatives. Although the recent Gaza Strip offensive boosted his popularity, he never quite recovered from the missteps of his premiership.
The Barak legacy (Haaretz Editorial) The lesson to be learned from Barak's term is how important it is to have a moderate defense minister who is aware of the limitations of force and is wary of military adventures or steps to further entrench the occupation in the territories.
Israeli politicians never die (Yaakov Ahimeir, Israel Hayom) The Jan. 22 elections may come and go, but as far as we are concerned, those at the top echelon never go away.
The kingmaker of the Likud party primaries (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz) Likud MK Haim Katz, also a powerful trade union leader, has thousands of Israel Aerospace Industries employees doing his bidding.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.