APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Quote of the day:
"Had we fired indiscriminately during the many protests surrounding Operation Pillar of Cloud, and shot at every 13-year-old stone thrower, then we would have seen the operation spill over to the West Bank."
--Senior officer at the Judea and Samaria (W. Bank) Brigade tells Ynet.
Front Page News:
- Top Labor party people: "It's time to talk about the (Palestinian) Territories" - Members expressing bitterness in chairwoman's management. The candidates say: "The wink to the right-wing doesn't work - the polls show that left-wing voters are abandoning (the party)."
- Lieberman: For some of the ministers of Europe, our destruction is a given
- Egypt on edge of boiling ahead of approval of constitution
- Court refused Treasury's request for injunction against (striking) nurses
- Jump in (int'l test) achievements of Israeli pupils: 7th place in mathematics, 13th place in sciences
- Self-delusion: Only a small percentage take the exam // Or Kashti
- Pesticide residue found in 56% of food examined
- Dear Prime Minister, Why are you forcing us to beg? // Ariella Ben-Ami, nurse at Barzilai Hospital
- (Nurses') Strike continues today
- Yes, we can - Israeli jump: After continued failure in math we passed Finland - 7th place in world
- White in the eyes, black in the pocket - Snow on Mt. Hermon, but entry fees to site are high this year, too.
- Judge ordered kindergarten to include child in Hanukkah celebrations
- Lieberman: The destruction of Israel is a given in Europe (Hebrew)
- Beit Ezra (in Hebron) will likely remain (in) Jewish (hands)
- Third MK from Likud-Beiteinu opposes including ultra-Orthodox in government coalition: "We don't need to deal with blackmail" (Hebrew)
- This is how Israel succeeded in showing an improvement in pupils scores - It turns out 22.6% of students did not even do exams, 3x more than all the other countries (Hebrew)
- "Jabari is driving, and we are above him" - The drone operators reveal the drama behind the assassination of Hamas Chief of Staff that opened Operation Pillar of Cloud
- Court: Nurses are allowed to strike (Hebrew)
- No injunctions; the nurses will continue to strike
- Certificate of achievement - even Finland is behind us (from 24th place in math in 2007 to 7th place in 2011
- We proved we could //Education Minister Gideon Saar
- The new smartphone includes lewd photos
- From today: Customer service hotlines must answer you within 3 minutes
The Foreign Minister slams everyone, the nurses get permission to continue to strike and Israeli pupils make the country proud with high scores on international exams making top news in today's Hebrew papers. Also in the news, the IDF (mostly) defends its policy of restraint (i.e. soldiers fleeing rather than shooting stone-throwers) while Israeli activists make a Facebook campaign against the soldiers and officers responsible for the death of a Palestinian young man who demonstrated against the confiscation of his village land.
If Mondays' holiday reception was the opportunity of the prime minister to slam the European Union, Tuesday's Yisrael Beiteinu Hanukkah party was the choice event for the party's chairman, Foreign Minister Avidgdor Lieberman. Unsurprisingly, he was far more aggressive. Invoking the Holocaust he slammed Europe's condemnation of Israel's plans to advance construction near Jerusalem and said that some EU foreign ministers 'take Israel's destruction for granted.' He also said the PA won't see 'one red cent' of its tax revenues for at least four months and repeated threats to 'bring down Hamas' warning that any future rocket fire from Gaza will mandate 'full invasion of the Strip.' He blasted left-wing and centrist politicians accusing them of siding with the Palestinian Authority. "I listened hard and I tried to hear (Meretz chairwoman) Gal-On, (Labor chairwoman) Yachimovich and (Hatnua chairwoman) Livni denounce the attacks against Israel, but all I heard were attacks on Israel," Lieberman said. And he leveled criticism at the IDF soldiers who fled a stone-throwing mob in the West Bank last week, saying "the soldiers choose to flee instead of shooting because they fear being investigated by the Military Police."
**Whether the soldiers should have opened fire on Palestinian stone-throwers still engages the press. Only Yedioth quoted senior officers in the West Bank who attacked the decision by soldiers not to confront the Palestinian demonstrators. The paper also interviewed soldiers in the field who said: The rules of engagement for opening fire are not clear, we fear the legal consequences." Yedioth ran an Op-Ed titled "Strategic threat - The fleeing from stone-throwers," by former media advisor to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Yoaz Hendel. "The IDF has the military means to prevent riots and to stop the situation from getting carried away. It needs to use them. The photo of (soldiers) fleeing is worse than the photo of the response..."
But, IDF officers who spoke with Haaretz, Ynet and Maariv disagreed. Haaretz interviewed an officer who responded to the two videos showing IDF soldiers in the West Bank last week. He said the decision not to shoot, despite orders that they can fire if their lives are in danger, was partly out of concern over escalation. Like in Ynet and Maariv, Haaretz quoted officers who defended the IDF's restraint policy. (Haaretz - no paywall) A senior military source told Ynet that the restraint policy pertaining to rules of engagement in West Bank has proved effective in preventing further violence. 'We can't fire at every stone-thrower. We don't want to hurt noncombatants,' he said. "This policy (of restraint) has resulted in safer routes and very few casualties," a senior officer at the Judea and Samaria Brigade said.
Maariv's Asaf Gabor went to the butcher's shop in Hebron, where the Nahal soldiers took refuge) and interviewed the locals who said "it all started with the entry (into Palestinian security-controlled city) by the Israeli soldiers. They got into a fight with the (Palestinian) police and afterwards the whole market protested. Then they entered my shop and stayed here till help came. They confiscated our knives that we use to cut the meat and told us to leave until backup forces come. They looked scared," said the butcher shop owner. At the falafel shop outside, a discussion ensued. "The Palestinian police showed the Israeli soldiers we have a state. They entered here without receiving approval from the Palestinian Authority and the police showed them what's what," said one young man. But another man responded, "You don't know what you're talking about. What state do you have? Without borders, with military checkpoints, and with soldiers on all sides." The title of the (Hebrew) article: "If the Israelis return - they'll get beat up."
Meanwhile, an incident in which IDF soldiers opened fire on demonstrators and killed a young man has sparked a Facebook campaign among Israeli human rights activists, titled in Hebrew: "Who murdered Mustafa Tamimi". Tamimi was killed a year ago this month after an Israeli soldier shot him in the face with a tear gas canister during the weekly demonstration protesting the Israeli confiscation of the village's land. Maariv reports on the campaign writing that 'radical left-wing activists started a Facebook campaign last week where they published photos and names of IDF soldiers from Kfir Brigades who were involved in killing of demonstrator during riots against them in Nebi Saleh village. It includes the name of the soldier who killed him as well as his commanders.' The goal, writes Maariv, is to put the IDF soldiers on trial in International Criminal Court in Hague. "A rock at a soldier in a armored jeep cannot hurt a person," one activist said. (NRG Hebrew)
Yedioth's Facebook poll question of the day:
Should (Arab MK) Haneen Zouebi be disqualified from running for election?
Yes - 94%
No - 6%
- Vandals spray 'price tag' graffiti on Jerusalem monastery - In a separate incident Tuesday night, vandals set car on fire in town near Ramallah; there has been an increase in price tag attacks against Christian institutions in recent months. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Israel raids three Palestinian NGO offices amid heightened tension - Israeli sweep is the first of its kind since the West Bank government won international recognition at the United Nations General Assembly. Palestinian NGO Network official links raids to UN's decision to upgrade PA's status. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
- Jewish families in Beit Ezra to be removed and other (Jewish) families to take their place - The recommendation is expected to be accepted today and to bring an end to the dispute on the subject of the house in Hebron. Peace Now Secretary General Yariv Oppenheimer: "The state is playing musical chairs with the settlers and sending the message that crime pays." (Maariv, p. 7)
- Soldiers admitted: We hit-and-ran without offering aid - Military and police forces were called last week to Kiryat Arba (Hebron settlement) out of fear that terrorists had committed a hit-and-run against a Jewish youth. It turned out that IDF soldiers had escaped their base without permission, hit the youth and then left, fearing they would be put on trial. (Yedioth, p. 16/Ynet)
- Israel's anti-Abbas campaign- Lieberman wants to use ads in foreign papers to portray Palestinian president as Mashaal's cohort. Ads to be posted by Jewish groups. (Yedioth/Ynet)
- Israel eyes US Hispanic community - Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon travels to Florida as part of official efforts to reach out to US minorities. (Yedioth/Ynet)
- For edge against Internet giants, Google looks to Tel Aviv - Google launches "Campus Tel Aviv," a space that will hold regular events for local entrepreneurs and offer access to Google staff and other industry experts. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: The world is flying fast and we're leading the way. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
- Israeli wins prestigious international physics prize - Prof. Zohar Komargodski of the Weizmann Institute of Science is named a winner of the prestigious New Horizons in Physics Prize, which carries an award of $100,000. (Haaretz)
- Israel ranks 7th in international math tests - International studies examining students' achievements in math, science and reading see Israeli students rank above average but point to gaps between Jewish, Arab students. (Ynet)
- Bar Ilan student removed from class over kippah - University's Facebooke page abuzz over incident that saw a student kicked out of class for not wearing yarmulke; University: Institution guidelines clear. (Ynet)
- War of the Australian peace researchers against Israeli professor - Prof. Dan Avnon, who wanted to promote a co-existence program between Jewish and Arab children, was shocked to discover that the "Peace Center" at Sidney University refuses to work with him. "We don't have anything against you personally, but we boycott Israel." Avnon: The center director is fueling hatred between people." (Maariv, p. 12/NRG Hebrew)
- Millions in exchange for studying French - The governor of a province in France funneled 2 million Euros into Haifa's education system on condition that his language be taught in the city's schools. The result: The money almost completely ended the phenomenon of pupils dropping out of French classes. (Maariv, p. 13)
- Turkey: Israel is playing with fire - President Abdullah Gul warns Israel against pursuing E1 settlement construction plans. 'Israel has become a burden to its allies,' he says. (Agencies, Ynet)
- US approves sales of precision bomb kits to Israel - Pentagon notifies Congress it has approved Israel's request to buy 6,900 Joint Direct Attack Munition tail kits built by Boeing. Pentagon: It is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Israel in developing and maintaining its self-defense capabilities. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
- US supplies Egypt with F-16 fighter jets - Mubarak signed deal, Morsi to reap benefits: 20 fighter jets courtesy of US administration. Republicans fume: Egypt yet to prove itself democratic. (Ynet)
- Attack on Syria village wounds hundreds; U.S. recognizes rebel coalition - At least 10 confirmed dead from explosion in Alawite village of Aqrab, opposition-linked Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 125 had been hurt or killed but said it was still trying to find out what happened. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- IMF $4.8 billion loan to Egypt delayed as crisis over constitution deepens - Cairo says delay will allow time to explain austerity measures to the nation; thousands take to streets of Cairo in rival protests Tuesday. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Israel and Iran both holding bases in Eritrea, global intel reports - According to Stratfor report, Israel has a listening station on the secluded Mt. Amba Sawara, as well as, docks in the Dahlak Archipelago. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Top Israel Labor candidates: Election campaign must discuss occupation - Several members are frustrated with Yacimovich's decision to push the party toward the center, and voters are threatening to take their vote elsewhere if the party doesn't start addressing the political issues. (Haaretz)
- Modesty demands force ultra-Orthodox Shas party to remove campaign ads - New Shas campaign features Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who holds anti-haredi views, wearing a haredi kippah with the slogan "Only Shas will prevent assimilation." Another poster depicts Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the slogan "Only Shas will protect the weak." (Israel Hayom)
- Likud-Beiteinu: Third call to disconnect from the ultra-Orthodox - After the remarks by Elkin and Hotoveli against cooperation with the ultra-Orthodox, the CEO of Israel-Beiteinu, MK Faina Kirschenbaum, demands to ende the coalition allignment. "We aspire to create a coalition made up of right-wing and left-wing parties and in this way we won't need to deal with the ultra-Orthodox blackmail." (Maariv, p. 10/NRG Hebrew)
- Will the person who saw Likud's election campaign please stand up? With just 42 days until the elections, the only party that has yet to launch its campaign is no other than the one most likely to form the next government. This isn't a mistake or oversight - quite the contrary. (Haaretz)
- "Livni preserved national interests" - He was once one of the closest people to the Prime Minister, but yesterday Uzi Arad stood beside Netanyahu's political opponent. (Yedioth, p. 13)
- Present from the (ultra-Orthodox leader) Admor: 100,000 shekels for every yeshiva that does not vote - Satmar movement plans campaign that will cost millions in order to prevent the ultra-Orthodox educational institutions from participating in elections. (Maariv/NRG Hebrew)
- Understanding the enigma of Arthur Finkelstein, unseen power broker - The man who masterminded the merger of Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu for the upcoming election is a respected behind-the-scenes player who is full of contradictions. (Dina Kraft, Haaretz)
It's more than a hip-hop and a jump to the moon for this Arab-Israeli band
Lod-based threesome DAM have played New York and Paris 30 times, but Jordan and Egypt just once because they have Israeli passports. (Haaretz)
Palestinians building on Bethlehem brand
Despite its many compelling destinations, West Bank is still not an obvious tourist sell. In bid to increase revenues, Palestinians have a steep path to climb. (Ynet)
Distortion of 'defensive democracy' (Haaretz Editorial) Disqualifying parties that represent the Arab public would be a serious blow to democracy and broadcast a message of exclusion to this population.
Shelly, don't destroy our fantasy (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) The Labor chair absolutely cannot be prime minister so long as she does not say to the Palestinian president, 'Take me, Abu Mazen.' If she's not prepared to join in our fantasy, then let her go to hell.
Feiglin and his donkeys (Sefi Rachlevsky, Haaretz) The messianic racist revolution that swallowed up Israeli Orthodoxy has now swallowed Likud.
Almost the last call (Amira Hass, Haaretz) The festivities of the Hamas in Gaza last week sent a message of 'We told you so.'
We're losing America's Jews (Yitzhak Benhorin, Ynet) Israelis may wake up to reality of one state for two peoples and find that US Jews have abandoned them.
Damascus airport battles indicate the tide has turned against Assad (Amos Harel, Haaretz) Rebel groups' success in disrupting airport activity is a serious blow to the morale of the regime, which is being forced to divert weapons supply planes sent by Iran to military airfields.
Making Israeli settlements 'hasbarable' (Natasha Mozgovaya, Haaretz) The divide among American Jewish organizations is clear as evident from different reactions to Israel's announcement of further settlement construction.
How Israel lost PR war (Noah Klieger, Yedioth/Ynet) Repeated lies turned 360 million Arabs into David and six million Jews into Goliath.
Canada, settlements, and Netanyahu's memory loss (Barak Ravid, Haaretz) Canadian PM Stephen Harper's office confirms that he spoke on the phone with the Israeli premier about settlement construction, but Netanyahu doesn't seem to remember this chat with Israel's good friend.
Strategic threat - The fleeing from stone-throwers (Yoaz Hendel, Yedioth) ...The IDF has the military means to prevent riots and to stop the situation from getting carried away.It needs to use them. The photo of (soldiers) fleeing is worse than the photo of the response...
Why Palestinians yes, Kurds no? (Ofra Bengio, Haaretz) Can we not ask in the same vein, why Palestine should be a state and the Kurdistan Regional Government not?
'Israel's economy is doing pretty well'
CNN International anchor and reporter Richard Quest believes Jewish state needs a peace process to have a growing economy, budget deficit will be next government's main economic target. (Watch interview by Attila Somfalvi at Ynet studio.)
'True Zionists should have small families' suggests Paul Ehrlich, 40 years after writing 'The Population Bomb'
'It makes me sad to see people who don't realize there are more urgent things than military force,' the Jewish-American biologist tells Haaretz. (Interviewed by Netta Ahituv, Haaretz)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.