APN's daily news review from IsraelThursday November 8, 2012
Quote of the day:
"At worst, he won't be quick to answer every telephone request coming from Israel."
--Yedioth political commentator's guess as to how US President Barack Obama will respond to Israel after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu supported his rival.**
Front Page News:
- Another 4 years in the White House: Obama won the elections
- State appeals on Olmert's graft acquittals: "Court made a significant mistake" - Olmert vs. Netanyahu: "Intervened in favor of Romney"
- Ultra-Orthodox achievements in the Meitzav (School achievement tests) - the lowest
- Court forced Maariv journalists back to work
- Beilinson hospital study: Those born in winter more susceptible to cancer
- Obama another 4 years
- Uri Sagi resigned from the Labor party race because of a sexual harassment complaint from the past
- State to appeal Olmert (acquittal)
- The Arab students will be have to be tested on the history of Zionism (Hebrew)
- Maariv employees explain: Why we went on strike
- Victory of the new America
- Fear in Prime Minister's Office: Obama will intervene in Israeli elections (Hebrew) Israel Hayom
- Another 4 years
- The State appealed: "Olmert's actions were clearly corrupt"
- WInter has arrived: From tomorrow - rain and lightning storms across country
- Opening window: Nokia wants to re-conquer the hearts of Israelis
Another day where half the news pages of the Israeli newspapers focused on the US elections. This time, it was about the results and the big question was: Will US President Barack Obama 'punish' Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu - and Israel along with him? Also in the news was the state decision to appeal the acquittal of former prime minister Ehud Olmert on graft. And Maariv reported that the Education Ministry will now force Arab students to study the history of Zionism.
**Netanyahu congratulated Obama on his victory and said he was looking forward to working with him, but all the Israeli papers wrote that the fear of a backlash is great in the Prime Minister's Office after Netanyahu gave Mitt Romney his backing. "Right now they are breaking their head in the Prime Minister's Office: What will be the payment that Obama will demand for the failed gamble and how much will it hurt? wrote Maariv. Most say Netanyahu will get a cold shoulder. According to Maariv's Eli Bardenstein, "Obama in his second term in the White House will be freed from the need to be re-elected, consequently, he will be less obligated to Jewish money." With the US working hard to stop the Palestinians from making their statehood bid at the UN, Netanyahu would have difficulty refusing an offer by Obama to immediately renew negotiations with the Palestinians. Yedioth's Nahum Barnea writes that "For Netanyahu, Obama's victory is a no small scratch to his ego. The Israeli who knows the American politics so well - better than the Americans - bet on the wrong horse. The voters in Israel noted that blunder." Barnea believes Obama is not the type to take revenge. "It's not his personality, it's not (his) priority. At worst, he won't be quick to answer every telephone request coming from Israel."
Netanyahu is also concerned that Obama will indirectly intervene in the upcoming Israeli elections (much like Netanyahu did in the US elections). A photo of Olmert, who is presently in the US, with Obama or one of his close associates, such as Rahm Emmanuel, at a party celebrating Obama's win would help Olmert's chances, writes Bardenstein in Maariv.
Netanyahu's political foes tookout their political knives, stating what the papers said. "By betting on the wrong president, Bibi got us into trouble with the US," said Kadima party. Olmert slammed Netanyahu for 'breaking the rules in US elections.' Speaking to New York Jews, said "I'm not sure our prime minister has a friend in the White House,' Yedioth reported. The ever-positive Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair said Obama's win opens the way for a new Mideast push and he expects to see fresh initiative soon. The Arabs felt differently. While they were relieved by Obama's win, they were not euphoric. They no longer have the high hopes they had the first time around. Palestinians hope Obama will change his mind and support their statehood bid. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas congratulated Obama, while Hamas called on Obama to end its bias in favor of Israel.
Maariv reports that a new directive by the Education Ministry forces Arab youth to learn the history of the Jewish people before the founding of the state as a condition to being accepted to matriculation exams. Arab school principals oppose saying the decision comes from, " irrelevant considerations." As part of the studies, Maariv writes, "they will learn about people of Israel in the modern era until the founding of the state. It will include understanding the reasons for the development of the Zionist movement and characteristics and differences between the various streams. Arab students will also learn about the various Zionist immigrations, the influence of the pioneers in the country and the founding of Zionist institutions" as well as the period of the British mandate. (NRG Hebrew)
- State appeals Olmert acquittal - Prosecution appeals former PM's acquittal in Rishon Tours and Talansky affairs. Olmert's aide says appeal is another stage in 'mean-spirited personal persecution of Mr. Olmert.' (Ynet and Haaretz)
- Dozens of olive trees torn down near Ramallah - Week after outpost evacuation, evidence of 'Price Tag' vandalism surface in West Bank village. (Ynet)
- Settlers 'uproot 100 trees, spray racist graffiti' in Nablus - Settlers from Rechalim sprayed "Death to Arabs" and "Price Tag" on the walls of al-Sawiya village. (Maan)
- US Ambassador to Israel Shapiro: Direct talks with PA are only solution - US ambassador to Israel says Obama's reelection could restart peace process, adds president committed to stopping Iran from obtaining nukes. (Ynet)
- Europe condemns Israel's OK for new settler homes - Germany, Britain and France criticize Israel over its decision to okay construction of more than 1,200 new homes beyond Green Line. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Journalists among 6 injured in Salfit clashes - Europe condemns Israel's OK for new settler homes - (It began when) Israeli forces crossed into the Kifl Haris village north of Salfit with bulldozers to demolish houses there, residents of the village said. (Maan)
- 'Netanyahu turned Toulouse memorial into election rally' - French President Hollande tells Paris magazine Israeli PM tried to gain political capital at ceremony honoring terror victims; adds: 'He's obsessed with Iran.' (Ynet and Haaretz)
- Settler rabbi: Time has come to apologize for Rabin assassination - In memorial evening in West Bank, Tekoa's Menachem Froman says: We vow not to repeat the dance of hatred. (Haaretz)
- After jail sentence, Bassem Tamimi declared Amnesty prisoner of conscience - alestinian activist Bassem Tamimi, who has been sentenced to four months in prison in a plea bargain with an Israeli court, is a prisoner of conscience and should be released, Amnesty International said on Wednesday. (Maan)
- Star of campaign to encourage (Jewish) tourism to Cave of the Patriarchs (in Hebron): (former film star) Yehuda Barkan - In video clip produced by Committee of Hebron residents, Barkan (now Orthodox Jew) plays the biblical Abraham. (Maariv, p. 13 and NRG Hebrew)
- IDF tracker jailed for passing intel that helped drug smugglers - The career tracker will be going to military prison for 16 months after passing information about deployment of IDF forces in south Israel; the tracker confessed to the charges against him. (Haaretz)
- Hamas apologizes after police beat female activists - A protest, organized by women's organizations including the general union of Palestinian women, was held outside the parliament building on Tuesday to demand national reconciliation. Journalist Samya al-Zubeidi said female police officers hit her and ordered her to stop filming. (Maan)
- Lieberman's secret workout - Security considerations send FM Lieberman to work out in secret Shin Bet gym. (Yedioth and Ynet)
- Egyptian Consul in Eilat felt ill and was hospitalized - Amb. Ahmed Izzat Abdul-Aziz, 52, felt ill during meeting with the Israeli contact person in Eilat. He was transferred to the hospital in Beersheva, where he will probably get catheterization. (Maariv, p. 18)
- 'Two thirds of US Jews happy, one third is less happy' - U.S. President Barack Obama had a 70 percent share of the Jewish vote, according to national exit polls Tuesday evening — four points less than his share four years ago. Jewish Federations official: Although Israel is important to American Jews, when they walk into the voting booth, they vote on internal issues. (Israel Hayom)
- Strauss-Kahn's sneak visit to Israel - Calcalist learns that last week, former IMF managing director conducted workshop in Israel for senior executives at Asia wealth management. (Yedioth and Ynet)
- Ghana: Mall collapses, Israel sends aid - Four-story shopping mall in Accra collapses, killing three and injuring dozens; IDF, MDA send teams to help with search and rescue efforts. (Ynet)
- Moshe Kantor reelected EJC president - Kantor to serve as leader of organization representing European Jewry for four more years after receiving 73% of votes. (Ynet)
- Turkey to request NATO missile defense along Syrian border - Fearing a potential missile threat, Turkey intends to file an official request to station Patriot missile batteries on Syria border. NATO: Any request will be considered. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Iran's Ahmadinejad attends democracy forum - Iranian president addresses pro-democracy conference in Indonesia; blasts US election as being 'battleground for capitalists.' (Agencies, Ynet)
'Young Iranians desire political change'
Director Till Schauder, who followed American basketball player Kevin Sheppard to Iran, explains why decision makers must watch 'The Iran Job' before choosing between war and peace. (Yedioth and Ynet VIDEO)
On the West Bank Sufi Trail
A new trail offers visitors a look at little-known spiritual sites associated with Sufism, or Islamic mysticism. (Agencies, Haaretz)
Netanyahu gambled, we'll pay (Sima Kadmon, Yedioth and Ynet) Unlike Turkish vengeance, American vengeance develops slowly until it reaches breaking point.
So sorry, President Obama, please forgive Netanyahu (Yossi Sarid, Haaretz) Dear Mr. President, you must continue what you tried to do at the beginning of your term. Then you didn’t succeed, but now we’re telling you: Finish it. For our sake, finish it.
The Washington-Jerusalem line (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) Electing a U.S. president is always an event of great importance for Israel.
New America defeats old America (Prof. Eytan Gilboa, Yedioth and Ynet) To avoid losing three consecutive elections, Republicans must recognize minorities' growing influence.
Iran to take center stage again on new-old President Obama’s agenda (Amos Harel, Haaretz) Even if Obama’s attitude toward Israel seems estranged, he is a ‘responsible adult’ with a sober grasp of what’s happening in the Middle East and of strategic interests in the region.
The day after (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth and Ynet) In second term, Obama will seek to pressure Netanyahu into jumpstarting peace talks.
Obama's test (Haaretz Editorial) Now that Obama has been re-elected, he must face two issues directly relating to Israel: the Iranian nuclear issue and the diplomatic process vis a vis the Palestinians.
The casino tycoon bet on the wrong horse (Tzach Yoked, Maariv US correspondent and NRG Hebrew) The baron of bets from Vegas did everything so that Obama would lose, but he failed. Four other Republican candidates supported by Sheldon Adelson also lost. So, the Jewish billionaire finishes the elections with 0 out of 5, making him the biggest loser after Romney...
Obama the Second (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) Israel needs a furious and determined American president - that is its last chance to save itself from the curse of the occupation - and the second Obama is expected to have greater self-confidence and be less concerned with considerations of survival than the first Obama.
Fill your sandbags (David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom) Obama’s re-election means Olmert will run against Netanyahu and a "grand bargain" with Iran can be made at our expense.
Changing generations (Amir Oren, Haaretz) America is looking forward. With all due respect to past experience, the accumulated wisdom of veterans who brought it thus far, it prefers to build its future on the next generation.
Humiliation at the airport (Irena Bronfman, Yedioth) In 2010, after four years as Ambassador of Chile to Israel, I married a citizen of Israel, and as a result of that, ' I made aliya' two years ago. I am proud of my Jewish heritage which I grew up with and was raised with most of my life in Chile...Now I hold both citizenships. And in this reality I ask to share, with great sorrow and sense of insult, on the disrespectful process that my daughter suffered - the humiliating interrogation by security people at the El-Al counter at the Madrid international airport, on October 22nd, on her way to Israel, and again, when she left Israel eight days later...Even when I served as an ambassador in Israel I was asked strange disrespectful humiliating questions at the airport. I warned that this behavior will cause Israel damage to its image...
Obama's American revolution (Ari Shavit, Haaretz) Backed by a radical, rightist America, Israel could conduct a radical, rightist policy at no cost. The Obama revolution put an end to this Israeli tea party.
Eeeeeveryone's president (Lilach Sigan, Maariv and NRG Hebrew) The true test of leadership is measured when a people are divided – to find the golden mean with which it will be possible to reunite with most people, and not take revenge on the losing side. Both Obama and Romney said nice things in their speeches: The election campaign is over and now is the time to do what is right for all and to set aside the disagreements. While we all know that this is easier said than done, even knowing to say it is something. Would that we could have even that...With us the rift is not between liberals and conservatives but is much sharper: Right and left, ultra-orthodox and secular, Arab and Jew, rich and poor...While we are all asking ourselves how relations between Obama and Netanyahu will affect relations between the two peoples, perhaps we should be asking ourselves another question that starts here. Will whoever we elect in another two-and-a-half months remember the fact that we are all Israelis?
Selling the wrong goods (Niva Lanir, Haaretz) While the Labor Party is busy marketing social democracy to the masses, Netanyahu is dictating the election's agenda: Iran and Middle East peace. The silence surrounding Yacimovich on the Palestinians is an embarrassment.
Republicans weren’t being honest: about themselves, about Romney, or about Israel (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz) It wasn’t Obama who threw Israel under the bus, but Romney and other Republicans who were willing to sow discord and to distort reality in a futile search for a few Jewish votes.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.