APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday November 29, 2012
Quote of the day:
“We are citizens in the state of Israel, and we support the UN bid."
--Joint statement by coalition of Israeli peace organizations.**
Front Page News:
- UN expected to recognize Palestine as an observer state - at General Assembly today
- Military court president pushing for Israeli criminal law in West Bank
- 83 candidates to compete today for a place in Labor's list for Knesset
- Ex-police chief Shaham faces to be put on trial for sex crimes against four female cops
- Biometric database to begin in January: Citizens to be called to give fingerprints
- 1/4 page ad: APPLY SOVEREIGNTY OVER JUDEA AND SAMARIA - "It doesn't matter what the goyim (non-Jews) say, what's important is what the Jews do. Today 29th of November the vote for recognition on areas of the Land of Israel will take place. We call on the Prime Minister to apply sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. Signed: Just Peace For Israel and Women in Green
- The UN: "Yes" to the Palestinians - Large majority expected to recognize Palestinian state
- Labor party elects
- 9 policewomen in indictment of (former police chief) Niso Shacham
- Heroes of iron - Fate of millions of Israelis depended on them: commanders of 5 Iron Dome batteries
- For sale: A seat in the Knesset - the full investigation
- Pillar of fire - It's time you met the real Roni Daniel (Channel 2 New military affairs correspondent) - the real winner of Pillar of Cloud operation
- Hero - Yael Ram-Matzpun who made a terrorist flee tells about the moments of horror and courage
- Abu Mazen refused to renew the negotiations in exchange for freezing the move at the UN - NY: Historic day for the Palestinians; Judea and Samaria: Celebrations in shadow of fear of riots (Hebrew)
- The pilots' band - 14 years after meeting in pilots' course, the sons of (former Speaker of Knesset) Avrum Burg and (former IAF chief) Avihu Ben-Nun made a rock ban "Na'arot Bavel" (Girls of Babylon)
- Amir Peretz and Buji Herzog in battle for top spot (on Labor list) (Hebrew)
- Department for investigation of police determined: (Former police chief) Niso Shacham to be indicted for indecent acts and sexual harassment of nine policewomen (Hebrew)
- Virtual state - Today, an embarrassing event for Israel: The Palestinian Authority will upgrade its status to "observer state" at the UN; Israel: The Palestinians will celebrate, but nothing will change
- (Arab) MK Ahmed Tibi will celebrate at UN
- The indictment: Indecent acts and sexual harassment
- Yachimovich's test of strength: Labor party chooses its list
- Dankner getting into trouble and the investigation branches out: IDB Holdings shares plummeted 14% in two days; Investigators from the Israel Securities Authority confiscated documents from Deutsche Bank Israel office
- Deadly traffic accident on Hwy 6; soldier died
Today the Palestinians will get UN recognition of their state to Israel's embarrassment and the Labor party members will choose their Knesset list while yesterday the police decided to charge the man who was most likely going to be the next chief of police with indecent acts and sexual harassment making top stories in today's Israeli newspapers.
Today, exactly 65 years after the UN decision to recognize the creation of the State of Israel, the same assembly will recognize Palestine as an 'observer state' and the Israeli newspapers see it as a major Israeli embarrassment. The titles of some of the articles reveal the depth of the diplomatic failure. Yedioth called it a 'Historic loss,' Israel Hayom wrote that it's "embarrassing to Israel and "Not nice, but not so bad." The Israeli government is now trying to make light of the Palestinian move, saying it will have no effect on the ground. Haaretz writes that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman are trying to paint the UN bid as insignificant in order to reduce possible damage to Israeli public opinion ahead of the January election. Israeli officials in Jerusalem are saying that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' goal is to distract Palestinian public opinion from the Palestinian Authority's failure to tend to domestic problems, it writes. But officials in Jerusalem are also admitting defeat, write Maariv and Yedioth. One told Yedioth that everyone will remember that Palestine was established on Netanyahu and Lieberman's watch. Yedioth political affairs reporter Shimon Schiffer writes that the Prime Minister's spokesmen are already preparing the spins that will justify the awkward reality that they found themselves in.
Maariv writes that Netanyahu offered to return to negotiations if Abbas freezes the move, but Abbas refused. [Wasn't that what they did last year? - OH] The messages were passed through the US and France and possibly directly, as well. Maariv's political affairs reporter Eli Bardenstein writes, "contrary to their DNA, Netanyahu and Lieberman are ignoring Abu Mazen's (Abbas') move just like they held themselves back from a ground invasion into Gaza. On the eve of elections, Netanyahu wants quiet and international support in case he needs it to deal with the Iranian nuclear project." Although the Palestinians had a majority without them, the European states' votes are of key importance to the Israelis and the Palestinians. There too, the Palestinians seem to be winning. France on Tuesday became the first European state to come out in favor and since then Spain, Switzerland and Denmark have joined in. Then today, Germany said it would abstain, rather than vote against the bid and now it looks like the Czech Republic will follow. The U.K. has said it will support the bid only if assurances are met. PLO official Hanan Ashrawi said the vote is an 'historic turning point' and that the US stance, opposition to the bid, is 'pathetic.'
**Meanwhile, the Palestinians have received some surprise votes of confidence - from Israelis. Former prime minister Ehud Olmert has broken ranks from official policy and said there is no reason for Israel to oppose the Palestinian bid at the UN. And tonight, Israeli peace groups will rally in Tel-Aviv for the Palestinians' UN bid. A couple of extremist right-wing MKs plan to do the opposite. MKs Aryeh Eldad and Michael Ben Ari, of the new Power to Israel party, will burn Palestinian flags outside UN headquarters in Jerusalem today.
- Military court president pushing to apply Israeli criminal law in West Bank - Palestinian residents currently subject to mix of military orders and Jordanian law; West Bank penal code is generally harsher than Israel's. (Haaretz)
- Artists, Nobel laureates call for military boycott of Israel - Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Alice Walker, Noam Chomsky and Roger Waters among those who signed letter saying Operation Pillar of Defense 'new chapter in Israel's decades-old violations of international law, Palestinian rights.' (Ynet)
- Israeli ceasefire breach: Limited Israeli incursion near Khan Younis - Two military bulldozers crossed 200 meters inside Gaza agriculture lands, but did not open fire. (Maan)
- 7 hurt Wednesday in new breach of Gaza ceasefire - Seven people were shot at east of al-Maghazi and al-Bureij refugee camps and transferred to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital. One man sustained serious injuries. (Maan)
- Israel's navy arrests 9 fishermen off Gaza coast - The head of Gaza's fishing association said Israel's navy opened fire at two Palestinian fishing boats six miles off the coast then took the fishermen to Ashdod. The boats belong to Murad al-Hassi and the Baker family. (Maan and Haaretz)
- Man dies of injuries from Gaza assault - Mahmoud Sami Shaat, 21, was seriously wounded by shrapnel in an Israeli airstrike targeting a car in Rafah during last week's war on the coastal enclave. Over 170 people were killed and over 1,000 wounded in Israel's assault on the Gaza Strip. (Maan)
- Israeli authorities destroy olive groves, wells, barns near Hebron - Israeli forces escorted a civil administration crew with bulldozers to Wadi al-Qatami in Beit Ula where they dug up olive fields, destroyed three wells used for irrigation and demolished three farmsheds. They uprooted around 1,000 olive saplings, which they took with them. (Maan)
- EU donates €11.5 million to UNRWA - EU representative John Gatt-Rutter also paid tribute to UNRWA staff who worked in dangerous circumstances to continue providing healthcare, food aid and educational services throughout Israel's offensive. (Maan)
- Israel's only facility for Arab victims of sexual abuse faces closure - The Social Affairs Ministry offered the NGO operating the center NIS 30,000 instead of the NIS 200,000 they received in previous years, claiming that they did not submit a request for assistance as required. (Haaretz)
- Labor looks poised to take Blich High School's mock election poll - The uncanny ability of Blich High School's mock election to predict real-life results has led political leaders to its doorstep, fighting for the support of its students. (Haaretz)
- Syria: Twin car bombs in Damascus kill 34 people - Two cars packed with explosives detonate in district mostly loyal to Assad; at least 34 killed, dozens critically wounded. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Egyptian figure El-Baradei creates uproar by slamming Holocaust denier - Egyptian opposition figure criticizes Islamist committee drafting constitution by claiming one of its members is a Holocaust denier. (Ynet)
- Egypt police fire tear gas at throngs in Tahrir Square, one protester dead - Hundreds of thousands at demonstrations in Cairo and other Egyptian cities against Morsi's decree expanding his powers are comparable in size to those that toppled Mubarak last year. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Pro-Iran hackers break into IAEA servers; demand probe of Israel nukes
- 'Parastoo' hacks International Atomic Energy Agency, demands open investigation of Israel's nuclear activities. (Ynet)
Recognizing a diplomatic horizon (Haaretz Editorial) Recognition of a Palestinian state is not an obstacle to peace. Both Palestinians and Israelis deserve a real diplomatic horizon.
The time is now: Support Palestine’s UN bid (Palestinian negotiator Nabil Sha'ath, Haaretz) The enhancement of Palestine’s status is not an attempt to delegitimize Israel. It is designed to legitimize the State of Palestine. If the international community is serious about protecting the two-state solution, then each member country needs to make good on their word by voting with Palestine, today.
Danny Danon's state (Ari Shavit, Haaretz) While the center-left is splintering and weakening and failing to present an alternative worthy of the name, the right-right is growing ever stronger.
In the name of the Arab doctor - On war and tolerance (Moti Ravid, Yedioth) WHen Pillar of Cloud began, many young doctors, doing their specialties or their internships, got military draft orders to leave immediately and go to their military units. In many cases, the doctors who replaced them was an Arab doctor doing internship who was called from his house, or had to stay at the hospital and do another shift. The workload of the doctors who were not drafted, among them Arab (Israeli) doctors, was heavy. They all made great efforts to maintain the level of treatment of the patients. The Israeli medical system is, to a certain extent, an island of equality without discrimination on the basis of race, religion and gender...It's sad, therefore, to find that sometimes the Arab doctors experience a cold shoulder and even insulting and racist remarks from patients and their family members. The Jewish team members rarely intervene and in most cases prefer not to hear or pay attention. During war, when tension rises, the number of ugly remarks under the guise of patriotism increases - and Israelis who did not serve in the military [Russian immigrants - OH] tend to be more extremist than others... The Jews throughout history were victims of intolerance...The future depends on equality, tolerance and our ability to accept the other and to create conditions to exist side by side. The common view that "the Arab Israeli problem" will be solved with an arrangement with the Palestinians is not correct. The struggle to erase the gaps and give equal opportunities to all Israeli citizens must include all facets of the populations. The success of Israeli society, and possibly its continued existence, depends on the level of equality and freedom of thought and expression no less than on its military capability.
On November 29 Israel should vote for two states (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) An Israel that opposes the UN resolution is an Israel that wants to strengthen Hamas and a return of terror.
Israel’s disproportionality problem (Richard Baehr, Israel Hayom) Israel stands out like a sore thumb, sort of like the billionaire boss who pays a lower marginal tax rate than his secretary.
Israel, alone and self-righteous (Rachel Shabi, Haaretz) Post-Gaza, pre-UN, Israel looks even more isolated in a region that it has antagonized and alienated with its relentless, grinding occupation of the Palestinian people.
A bird's-eye view of the West Bank (Ephraim Sneh, Haaretz) The Israeli government is working hard to change the map on the ground, while telling the people and the world that we have no partner with whom to talk. (Sneh is a politician and retired Brigadier General.)
Why Benny Begin lost (Uzi Baram, Israel Hayom) Begin failed because settlers are a significant voice in the Likud and won't forgive him for Migron.
Vote for the women (Aner Shalev, Haaretz) For the first time, there is a chance that a female discourse less violent and more intelligent than the macho male version will take center stage in Israeli politics.
Toward a warlike Palestinian state (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) It is simply scandalous that France, Britain, Spain and others are lending a hand to Abbas’ reckless and destructive attack on Israel and the peace process.
Judy Shalom-Nir-Mozes: When Likud politics and UNICEF collide (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz) Should UNICEF's volunteer celebrity spokesperson in Israel monitor her Tweets and Facebook updates more carefully?
The public is shifting Right (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) The Likud shifted Right because the public, overall, has shifted Right.
Israel’s motto on Palestinian UN bid: Speak loudly, but carry a small stick (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz) With recognition for Palestine almost a done deal, Israel finds itself constrained by President Obama’s re-election, by the fallout from its Gaza operation and by the new and hawkish Likud Knesset list.
Will Palestinian leadership keep the ball rolling toward statehood? (Amira Hass, Haaretz) To keep the 'yes' vote from being a merely symbolic gesture, a temporary boost for outmoded political organizations and the hedonist elites that comprise them, will require vast internal changes that are hard to envision.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.