APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday November 30, 2012
Quote of the day:
"In 1949, there were not a hundred persons in the entire world who believed in this solution. Not a single country supported it...Mine was a lonely fight."
--Peace activist, journalist and former politician Uri Avneri writes in Maariv about his idea in 1949 to set-up a Two-State Solution. (Maariv English)
Front Page News:
- The world decided - 65 years after the historic division plan, the UN General Assembly approved by an absolute majority recognition of a Palestinian state in the '67 borders, that is not a member; Abbas: Israel is a war criminal, but we are willing to live next to it in peace; Diplomatic failure for Israel: Even the friends in Europe voted in favor; Netanyahu: "We will respond accordingly"
- The stars of Shfaram and Yafia (Arab villages in Israel): Moshe Feiglin and MK Danny Danon
- Medical students: It's our right to refuse to treat HIV patients
- This is how Dov Weisglass tried (and failed) to put Ehud Barak at the head of a united central bloc
- Waiting for results - Polling stations for Labor party primaries closed, the list will be declared this morning (results)
- War courtyard - Der'i against Yishai, Leitzman against Prush - The enmity in the ultra-Orthodox parties is at an all-time high
- 1/4 page ad: A new country without fear - 'New Country' - name of new political party
- The UN decided: State of Palestine - Historic vote: 138 countries awarded the Palestinians status of observer state in the UN, 9 opposed, and 41 abstained; The painful blow: Even Germany refused to vote against and abstained; The Israeli answer: Amb. Prosor: We offered peace, we got terror; The diplomatic failure: Netanyahu did not realize the extent of the anger in the world towards Israel and chose to ignore it; The Palestinian celebrations: Dancing in the squares
- Hate speech - Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) dripped venom at Israel in the UN: accusing it of war crimes, ethnic cleansing and leading an apartheid regime
- A vote also in favor of us // Sever Plocker
- In Praise of freedom // Hanoch Bar-Tov
- Um Shmum // Noach Kliger
- Yedioth poll - Elections 2013 - Likud: 37, Labor: 19, Livni: 9, Lapid: 9
- Livni in contacts to bring (former State Comptroller) Lindenstrauss on board
- The UN decided: Palestine to become observer state - Symbolic achievement of the Palestinian Authority, diplomatic failure for Israel; Majority of 138 states vs. 9 who opposed and 41 who abstained; Abu Mazen accused: "Israel is making ethnic cleansing and killing Palestinian women and children"; Netanyahu: "Speech of hate and venom"; Secretary of State Clinton: "Unfortunate step"
- We cannot fall asleep - The Palestinians move is a complementary step to terror// Amnon Lord (Hebrew)
- Day of happiness // Uri Avneri (English)
- (Renowned Israeli author) A. B. Yehoshua to Italian newspaper: Disconnect the electricity to the Gaza Strip and stop transferring food
- Battle Legacy - 10 years ago the mythological commander of Meglan unit, Dror Weinberg, was killed in Hebron. This week his son Yoav began commanding a team in the elite unit
- Labor party voted - Battle till the last minute between camps of Yachimovich and Peretz in primaries (Hebrew results)
- Iron Dome for a friend - Defense Minister Ehud Barak accepted yesterday decoration from the US administration and gave his colleague, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, a mini-sized copy of the Iron Dome missile
- Israel: UN gave a prize to terror - 138 voted in favor, only 9 opposed: The Palestinian Authority became an observer state in the UN; In an aggressive speech full of venom Abu Mazen accused Israel of war crimes and murdering whole families in Gaza; PM: "This is false propaganda, this is not the way a man who wants peace speaks"; In Jerusalem they are emphasizing: It does not matter what the situation is on the ground; In Ramallah they are celebrating, but many admit: We fear Israel's response
- The bells did not ring - Israeli diplomats have fallen asleep at the wheel // Dan Margalit
- The big lie of the UN - Abbas played the part of the Jew after the Holocaust// Dror Eydar
- Israel Hayom poll: Likud - 39, Labor - 20
- Labor voted: "We will begin to work"
- News for drivers: Gasoline prices to lower by 6 agorot on Saturday night
Palestine is a state, the Labor party voted (and elected many social justice activists) and a quarter of Israel is poor making top stories in the Friday papers of Israel. Meanwhile, a renowned Israeli author made some surprising remarks to an Italian paper.
In historic vote, on an historic day, Palestine became a non-member UN state with observer status. Haaretz has a list of who voted what here, but if you don't have a Haaretz subscription and you are good at world geography you can see the results here. Haaretz emphasized that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in his UN speech: enough of aggression, settlements and occupation. The rest of the Israeli Hebrew papers condemned Abbas as did Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu calling it a 'hate speech' that was full of lies and emphasizing Abbas' condemnations of Israel. (See front pages.) The papers all discussed Israel's major diplomatic failure and how humiliating it was for the country, which tried so hard to stop the bid from being accepted diplomatically and yet even the Europeans voted in favor of Palestine. Barak Ravid writes in Haaretz that Germany did not vote against it and ended up abstaining because Israel wouldn't budge on settlements. The Europeans just did not believe that the Netanyahu government was trying to make peace with the Palestinians. The US, which of course, voted against the bid, says the UN resolution 'does not establish that Palestine is a state.'
That did not stop Palestinians from celebrating. Ynet's Palestinian affairs correspondent Elior Levy was on the ground in Ramallah and his report was in Yedioth's print edition. (Link with video.) Haaretz's Amira Hass was also in Ramallah as was Maariv's Asaf Gabor, who wrote that "it's not clear who what the Palestinians will get out of this, but one man who did earn was the owner of the keffiyeh and flag shop who in hours sold as much as he does in half a year.
The Israeli papers emphasized that the decision was made on the 29th of November. This is a very significant date for Israel. For News Nosh readers who don't know why, you aren't alone. Over 70% of Israelis also don't know that it was the date in 1947 when the UN General Assembly partitioned the British Mandate of Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab nations, leading to the establishment of the State of Israel. Yedioth's article was titled, 'The Palestinian 29th of November.'
Yedioth writes Israel may punish the Palestinians by not transferring the tax money Israel collected for cars and and commerce at Israeli ports for the Palestinian Authority. Israel has used this method of punishment four times in the past, but renewed the money transfers after a few weeks. [The tax money is the main source of income of the Palestinian Authority - OH]. One source told Yedioth, Israel may stop the transfers and not renew them this time. Israel may also stop replacing old and damaged bills for the Palestinian Authority in order to hurt its ability to do commerce. The Palestinians use the Israeli shekel as they do not have their own currency.
Maariv, a right-wing paper, writes that although Netanyahu publicly called Abbas' speech "a hate speech full of false propaganda" Israel is already moving behind the scenes to return to negotiations without preconditions and to minimize damage. Moreover, Israel is not expected to put harsh sanctions on the Palestinian Authority (as it threatened since last year) and it will try as much as possible to avoid hurting the PA's governance, writes. Maariv's Eli Bardenstein. Israeli politicians are criticizing the decision to try to convince Abbas not to make his bid through the use of threats and trying to convince him it is better to wait till after Israeli elections. "It turns out there were a number of other options that were raised in the many discussions in the Foreign Ministry and Prime Minister's Office, but they were shot down," writes Bardenstein. One of them was to try to influence the text of the Palestinian bid. Israel approved for other European countries to try to influence the text, but refused to discuss it directly with the Palestinians until last week when Netanyahu sent Yitzhak Molcho to Washington to put changes in the text with American help. Another option that was refused was that Israel offer it's own bid that Palestine be recognized as an observer state, which would include the points important to Israel. That was shot down because of the perspective that Israel cannot act in opposition to agreements it signed on. "It appears that despite the harsh words Abu-Mazen said in his speech, he left an open window to continue the negotiations with Israel. He says he is not asking to de-legitimize Israel or stop efforts to bring about peace through negotiations. Abu-Mazen also hinted at the fears of Israel, the US and the EU when he said he does not intend to request membership in the International Court of Justice at the Hague in order to sue Israel. Abu-Mazen said, the Palestinians plan to act 'responsibly and positively' with regards to their next steps. That said, he did not call to renew the negotiations without preconditions, as Jerusalem had expected," Bardenstein wrote.
Meanwhile, Maariv ran a report that renowned left-wing Israeli author A. B. Yehoshua made 'surprising remarks' in an interview to the Italian newspaper, 'La Republica,' last week. "It's time that Israel understands that Gaza is the enemy and to act accordingly: Stop supplying electricity and stop transferring food. Declare that we are in a state of war and act according to the situation," said Yehoshua. Maariv called it a "quote, that sounds like it was taken from a right-wing MK." When he was asked about the suffering of the people in Gaza he answered: "I ask you the opposite question: do the people of Gaza care about the people of Sderot who live in the horror of rockets that were shot at them from Gaza? The people of Gaza are participating in the war against Israel. We expelled the settlers, we left, why do they continue to shoot? The people of Gaza elected Hamas. The present situation destroys the Israeli public trust in the possibility of peace with the Palestinians. The Israelis today think that a withdrawal from Judea and Samaria (W. Bank) will lead to the same result like in Gaza, and will put Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem within rocket-range." When Maariv contacted him abroad, "Yehoshua sounded a bit more qualified, and explained that it's possible he was not understand exactly. According to him, in the past he did think (Israel) needs to disconnect contact with Gaza, including disconnecting electricity, water, transfer of commerce, but in his opinion, that should have been done immediately after Israel left the Gaza Strip," Maariv wrote.
- VIDEO: Border Guards attack young Arab in heart of Jerusalem - Serious incident (near Zion Square): Sabri Sayed, an employee at a kiosk, was attacked at the kiosk by numerous border guards Thursday after a verbal incident with a female border guard who cursed his brother and he cursed her back. The police used a taser gun on him, beat him and even set a police dog on him. (NRG Hebrew VIDEO)
- Border Guards indicted for abusing Palestinian - Indictment filed against two former officers paints picture of abuse against Palestinian at checkpoint. 'I was severely beaten all over my body,' victim says. (Ynet)
- Report shows poverty growing among Israeli families - More than 440,000 Israeli families (1.8 million people) live in poverty, according to National Insurance Institute report. Israel continues to have one of the highest levels of poverty and income disparity in OECD. Israel's economic recovery has not reached all segments of the population. (Haaretz, Ynet and Israel Hayom)
- 300 Israelis rally in support of Palestinian statehood - Leftist activists gather in Tel Aviv to express support of Abbas' bid for UN recognition. (Ynet)
- WATCH: (Extreme right-wing MKs) Michael Ben-Ari and Arieh Eldad try to burn Palestinian flag - The police stopped them. (NRG Hebrew and VIDEO)
- Yachimovich opposed UN decision and opposed Netanyahu and Lieberman - Labor party head Shelly Yachimovich said the two Israeli leaders "need to ask themselves how on their watch we were humiliated and the Palestinians got a present on the 29th of November." (NRG Hebrew)
- 51% of Israelis: Peace with Palestinians unlikely - Most Israelis skeptical of negotiations, only 40% think peace possible – in 5 years; 58% willing to give up nukes for non-nuclear Middle East. (Ynet and Haaretz)
- UN chief: Peace process is on life support - Hours before UN vote on Palestinian bid, Ban Ki-moon sounds more pessimistic than ever about prospects of peace. 'Two-state solution seems ever more distant,' he says. (Ynet)
- Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad: Hamas delivered, we have not - Attending the premiere of a documentary about his own work, Fayyad expresses hope that UN recognition will help bolster Palestinian independence. (Haaretz)
- Israel ranked among best countries to be born in - Israel fares surprisingly well on list of best countries to be born in, ranking 20th, ahead of many European countries. Switzerland comes in first, Nigeria comes in last. (Israel Hayom)
- Jewish towns get up to 14 times more buses than Arab counterparts, report finds
- The report by Hagit Naali-Joseph, a researcher for Sikkuy - the Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality in Israel, was presented recently at a convention in Umm al-Fahm, attended by senior Transport Ministry officials. (Haaretz)
- Son of Nazi hunters threatened over support of Israel (military operation) - Arno Klarsfeld, 46, son of famed Nazi hunters Serge and Beate Klarsfeld, publically expressed his support of Israel during Operation Pillar of Defense invoking wrath of French Islamists: 'They threatened to kill me.' (Yedioth and Ynet)
- Government to declare Turkish group IHH a terror organization - In Sunday's cabinet meeting, the Israeli government is expected to declare eight group and organizations terror groups. Among them is IHH, which led the Turkish flotilla to Gaza. The request was made by the Shin Bet, the Mossad and the Defense Ministry. Also included: Quds Force (Iranian branch of Revolutionary Guards); List of Reform and Change, name of the organization Hamas used when running in 2006 elections; Charity coalition, umbrealla organization for Islamic funding groups of Hamas around the world; Iranian People's Committee for liason and support of the Intifada, which transfers money to families of shahids. (Yedioth, p. 15)
- Stevie Wonder to pull out of IDF fundraiser - Representatives for Wonder, who performed at a 1998 gala honoring Israel's 50th anniversary, say the performance would be incongruent with his status as a UN 'Messenger of Peace.' (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
- Dutch anti-Israel comedy sketch irks Jews - Video made to look authentic shows PM Netanyahu boasting how Israel proudly targets Gaza civilians, particularly children. (Ynet)
- Supreme Court: Israeli suspected of war crimes can be extradited to Bosnia - Court rejects Aleksandar Cvetkovic's appeal, in which he claimed he was not involved in the deaths of hundreds of Muslim civilians. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Turkey lifts ban on headscarves in schools - Ankara lifts ban on female students wearing headscarves in religious schools. Secularists criticize move, see it as evidence of Erdogan regime's Islamic agenda. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Assad regime cuts Internet across Syria - Two U.S.-based companies confirm blackout; cellphone services also cut in some areas; roads to airport closed due to rebel, regime fighting; Emirates and EgyptAir temporarily suspend flights to Damascus. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Egypt's assembly votes on constitution draft as crisis deepens - Eighty-six out of the assembly's 100 members attend the voting; opposition: assembly aims at rushing a 'faulty' constitution. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Morsi: What do we have to lose with Palestine? A day after over 100,000 people rallied against Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, Time Magazine has released an interview with the Egyptian president, who is in the lead for the weekly publication's Person of the Year title. (Ynet)
- Iran Navy unveils new submarines, missile-launching warships - Iran claims to have become self-sufficient in manufacturing all types of military vessels, but insists it would use its military strength only for safeguarding peace and security in the Gulf. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- U.S. gives Iran until March to cooperate with IAEA - Comments by U.S. diplomat Robert Wood to IAEA board signaled Washington's growing frustration at a lack of progress in the IAEA's inquiry into possible military dimensions to Tehran's nuclear program. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Labor's new list packed with socio-economic activists - Social justice protest leaders from 2011 occupy slots high on Knesset list alongside veteran politicos, in what was a good night for former leader Amir Peretz. Right attacks list as a radical team "that wants Israel to withdraw to 1967 borders and create a centralized economy." Yachimovich: I could not envision a better line-up. (Israel Hayom)
- Veteran MKs lead new Labor list, with several new faces close behind - Journalist Merav Michaeli and social-protest activist Stav Shaffir in top 10; six women in top 20. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Yedioth Poll: Livni strongest against Netanyahu - Survey conducted less than two months before general elections shows Likud gaining strength; Israelis believe Livni stronger premiership candidate than Yachimovich. (Yedioth and Ynet)
- Israel Hayom poll: Right-wing bloc holds clear majority - Joint Likud-Yisrael Beytenu list will receive 39 seats in Knesset election on Jan. 22 • Labor to come in second with 20 seats. 32.8% of respondents say Benjamin Netanyahu is most suited to be prime minister. (Israel Hayom)
- (Two most extreme right-wing parties) Habayit Hayehudi, National Union merge - Chairman Naftali Bennett says joint list will 'bring Jewish spirit back to nation of Israel.' (Ynet)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.