APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday December 12, 2012
Quote of the day:
"If you see a gap of 40% in wages between two people who studied similar professions, there's nothing more discriminatory than that."
--Erez Siniver, assistant dean at the College of Management Academic Studies, whose study revealed the Israeli job market suffers deep discrimination based on skin color and national origin.**
Front Page News:
- Flight of refugees from Syria increasing from fear Assad will use chemical weapons against his people
- Attorney General Weinstein to meet today with Lieberman's lawyers
- Memorial ceremonies for 27 killed in massacre in US
- Court ordered release of asylum seeker, State (appeal) time to deport him instead
- Rating of cost of living: Tel Aviv is most expensive city in Middle East
- Conservative government in Japan won elections by vast majority
- "How will we get over this tragedy?" - Yedioth correspondent with 6-year-old Noah Posner's family in Connecticut - America cries over the massacre victims: 20 children and 6 teachers
- Danger of blindness for children who don't eat fruit and vegetables
- Fresh millionaires - The Israelis who made exits of $37 million and find it hard to absorb their enormous success
- The State Prosecutor to oppose plea bargain with Lieberman without moral turpitude - Today process begins to get swift decision in Lieberman case
- In front of small graves - US began funerals of 26 murdered in elementary school massacre (Hebrew)
- Price of water to rise 3% at end of month
- Reports in Turkey: Secret investigation against Jews from Istanbul and Izmir under suspicion they collaborated with IDF in takeover of Marmara (Hebrew)
- "For a moment I didn't think I'd find myself treated personally by the IDF's highest commander" - Paratrooper injured in training exercise transferred to hospital in Chief of Staff's helicopter (Hebrew)
- Surprising remark: Rabbi Shai PIron (Yesh Atid party): "I promise to vote in favor of all bills that deal with LGBT rights" (Hebrew)
- Country in mourning - America looks for answers and finds difficulty absorbing the immensity of the tragedy
- Solid food for babies - from age six months; Health Ministry changes guidelines
- Personal treatment from IDF Chief of Staff - Gantz heard paratrooper injured and told his pilot to return to place of training exercise to evacuate him
- Minister Lieberman: "Temporary departure"
- Assad's deputy: "The army is not able to overcome the rebels"
- Nurses strike: Court suggested continuing negotiations
- "The economy will grow 3.5% in 2013"
- Berlusconi engaged with his 27-year-old girlfriend
The massacre of children in the US and the process for a swift court decision for resigning Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman remain the top stories in Israeli papers today. Maariv reports on a Turkish report of Jewish Turks under investigation and a number of annual reports paint a grim picture of Israel in 2012.
Today Lieberman's lawyers will meet with the Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein for the first time, following the Foreign Minister's resignation yesterday from his post. Lieberman intends to focus on the legal battle in hopes of getting a swift and clean court decision before elections. The papers write that Weinstein will ask the court for to pass moral turpitude. Meanwhile, some Likud people worry that the pact with Lieberman will scare away voters write the papers, Haaretz reported. Yet Israel Hayom reports that a 'Maagar Mochot' poll found that 70% of immigrants from the former Soviet Union will be voting for Likud-Beiteinu, two percent more than a poll two weeks ago found. Tzipi Livni's party is in second place among these voters, with a scant 8% and far right-wing Habayit Hayehudi is in third place with 7%. The poll also asked if the Lieberman investigation had any affect on their voting and 80% answered 'no.'
Maariv reports that an Islamist paper close to Prime Minister Tayep Erdogan reported that Turkey is holding a secret investigation of five Jewish Turks who allegedly served as translators during the raid by the Shayetet 13 (Israeli Navy Seals) on the Gaza flotilla. But Rafael Sadi, the spokesman of the Union of People from Turkey in Israel, said, "They are trying to scare the Jews and to signal to Israel that if it does not respond to their demands - they have the ability to hurt the Jews in Turkey."
2012 Reports on Israeli society:
The Poverty Report by the 'Latet' Organziation to be published today (Yedioth):
1 of every two children from needy families must go out to work to make a living.
1/5 children drops out of school to work
Human Rights Report by Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) (Ynet):
Discrimination of Arab-Israelis and Palestinians, persecution of asylum seekers, harming of freedom to protest, lack of affordable housing, and rise in water rates.
Annual Social Resilience Index: (Ynet)
Only 26% believe the country promises a better future for their children
Only 46% said they felt the State protected them and their families
Only 58% said that Israel was the best country for Israelis to live in
57% stating that their household income allows only a minimal standard of living
59% said they were very proud of their country
78% of respondents said they believed that corruption within the government was either high or very high (the highest recorded in seven years)
54% said that even if they had the financial means, there is low probability that they would leave Israel and relocate to another country
(Note: Israel Hayom ran the same poll as Yedioth and Ynet, but gave it a positive spin.)
Haaretz ran a similar poll that found:
Some 34% saw their children's lives as worse than their s with 23.7% who saw it about the same.
36.6% who would leave Israel and relocate to another country if they had the means.
The reason for half of them would want to move abroad was that it is "Difficult to advance economically in Israel."
What kept half in Israel was "Desire to stay near family."
- **Study: Yawning wage gaps point to deep discrimination in Israel's labor market - Study finds that Russian immigrants and native-born Israeli Jews earn more than Ethiopian immigrants and Israeli Arabs, by wide margins, in the same professions. (Haaretz)
- Palestinian premier calls for boycott of all Israeli goods - Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad tells reporters the boycott is meant to protest Israel's withholding of funds to the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
- Court awards damages to leftists detained in Hebron - Three Yesh Din activists win $4,000 settlement after winning 'false imprisonment' civil case against the police. (Ynet)
- New Zealand government fund divests from Israeli firms over settlement construction - Elbit Systems, Africa Israel, Danya Cebus and Shikun & Binui left out of $23.5 billion New Zealand Superannuation Fund. (JTA, Haaretz)
- NYT retracts claims that E-1 construction plans would divide West Bank - Correction note regarding Jerusalem Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren's December 1 article clarifies that piece 'referred incompletely to the possibility of a contiguous Palestinian state'. (Haaretz)
- U.S. drafts compromise for Lebanon-Israel dispute over natural gas resources - Proposed map, based on versions submitted by both Lebanon and Israel, delineates maritime economic border and defines where each country can search for natural gas. (Haaretz)
- MK Danny Ayalon to remain Deputy Foreign Minister until elections - PM Netanyahu announced yesterday that Ayalon would remain in office, although according to law, when a minister resigns, his deputy should too. (Israel Hayom), p. 7)
- Police incompetence results in teen's murder - Bedouin girl falls prey to 'honor killing' despite boyfriend's frantic pleas for police's help. (Ynet)
- Gantz assists in wounded soldier's medevac - Chief of Staff hears of Paratroopers' training accident while leaving base, orders his helicopter to turn around, evacuate injured soldier. (Ynet)
- Holocaust survivors protest in Jerusalem - Dozens demand reimbursements for medical bills as cabinet convenes for weekly meeting. (Ynet)
- AG backs Eizenkot appointment as deputy chief of staff - Justice Ministry greenlights appointment despite awkward political timing. (Ynet)
- Shas' holy trinity pins its electoral hopes on poverty - Party enjoys support of poor Sephardi voters - and wants to keep it that way. (Haaretz)
- Study: Israeli teens less sexually active than Europeans - New study reveals that Israeli youths have less sex than their Western counterparts, but talk about it just as much. (Ynet)
- The iPad will navigate - Instead of flight books of thousands of pages, El-Al pilots to fly with the help of iPads. (Yedioth, Mamon, p. 5)
- Woman strips in heart of Mea Shearim - Residents shocked to see beggar sitting in middle of ultra-Orthodox neighborhood's main street stark naked. (Ynet)
- 75,000 tourists set to arrive for Christmas - Ministry of Tourism to offer free transportation for Christian pilgrims traveling between Jerusalem, Bethlehem. (Ynet)
- Syrian government attack forces Palestinian exodus from Damascus camp - Jet fighters strike Yarmuk camp in southern Damascus, home to 100,000 Palestinian refugees; local hospital reports it is unable to cope with number of people injured. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Abbas urges Assad to 'spare Palestinians in Syria' - Palestinian president condemns shelling of Yarmouk refugee camp; urges international community to protect Palestinians in Syria. (Ynet)
- Fearing wrath of regime, thousands stream over Syrian border into Jordan - Flow of refugees has increased sharply in recent days, amid fears that Assad will use chemical weapons in a final desperate move. (Haaretz)
- Syria VP says neither side can win war - Farouq al-Sharaa says situation in Syria going 'from bad to worse'; adds only 'historic settlement' can end bloodshed. (Agencies, Ynet)
- 'First we take Damascus, then Tel Aviv - 'Salafist leader warns that once rebels topple Assad's regime they will set their sights on Israel; says 'We won't rest until Palestine is liberated.' (Ynet)
- Report: Ahmadenijad cancels visit to Turkey - Rift between Tehran, Ankara over different positions taken on Syrian civil war grows. (Ynet)
A Jew and a Nazi walk into a bar
Israelis tend to be pretty tolerant of Holocaust humor, but a recent panel discussion asked - how much is too much? (Haaretz)
Woman, to target practice
Spy agencies are changing: More female spies, fewer male spies. It works - ask Bin Laden. (Article has no mention of Mossad - OH) (Maariv Magazine, p. 1)
Ben-Gurion U. to make the desert bloom - in Africa
Israeli desert-studies scientists will be helping to launch a science university in Botswana. (Haaretz and Ynet)
One giant leap for Israeli pupils, one small step for the Education Ministry
International test administrator warns that the education minister's triumphalism following a great leap in test scores may be premature. (Haaretz)
Journey back to the first intifada
Twenty years after his army service in Deheisheh refugee camp, and 25 years after the start of the first intifada, Shay Fogelman returns to the camp in search of the girl whose life he saved. (Haaretz)
Netanyahu in a kippa (Aluf Benn, Haaretz) This is an election campaign, and in an election campaign you have to promise that 'we'll keep Jerusalem' and teach our children about Jewish tradition.
Abu Mazen in Rome - Italian unfaithfulness (Menachem Gantz, Yedioth) "Yesterday evening, Abu Mazen, President of the Observer State of Palestine, arrived in Rome and today he will meet with Italian government leaders (and thank them for voting in favor of the UN General Assembly resolution that accorded the Palestinian Authority the status of a non-member observer state)." Gantz strongly criticizes Rome for deciding to support the resolution at the last moment, after having led Israel to believe that it would abstain. Gantz believes Prime Minister Mario Monti wished to make a break with Silvio Berlusconi's image as a friend of Israel and to curry favor with Italian center-left leader Petr Luigi Bersani, "who leads in the polls and is likely to determine Monti's fate after the February elections." Gantz fears that if the center-left wins the February elections, "Italy is liable to go back 30 years to the days in which the PLO operated in Rome as if it was at home."
Preserve the free press (Haaretz Editorial) With only two TV channels and the same number of daily newspapers there won't be a critical, competitive and biting press.
Is John Kerry good for Israel? (Attila Somfalvi, Ynet) Israeli officials divided over likely nomination of Massachusetts senator as secretary of state.
Obama's cabinet picks (Richard Baehr, Israel Hayom) If the U.S. President picks Chuck Hagel for Defense and John Kerry for State, what message is he sending Israel?
Don't discount Shelly Yacimovich (Yitzhak Laor, Haaretz) Yacimovich does not recognize any discourse that she does not control. As a result, her image as a national leader is fading in the public consciousness.
Outside the Israeli Orthodox ghetto (Avraham Burg, Haaretz) Jerusalem and Babylon are no longer geographic locations, but psychological zones. Jerusalem represents the particular and nationalist dimension. Babylon symbolizes our interface with the world and all it contains.
Abu Mazen test (Amos Gilboa, Maariv) Gilboa discusses the Palestinian Authority's refusal to accept Israel's demand that it recognize Israel as a Jewish state: "This is not an issue of character, but a very substantive matter regarding the very existence of the State of Israel. There is a huge difference between the negotiations that were conducted with Jordan and Egypt and the negotiations with the Palestinians. With Jordan and Egypt, the problem was territorial and the question of recognizing Egypt and Jordan as sovereign states was never an issue, just as they had no claim on the land of the State of Israel. With the Palestinians, the problem is the conflict over the same piece of ground, over their demand to bring Palestinian refugees back to Israel, over the Hamas and Fatah charters that claim ownership over the whole of the State of Israel, etc. There is a basic question at issue here: Are the 'moderate Palestinians' prepared to recognize the Jewish People's right to self-determination?" Gilboa urges the Government to put Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) and the Palestinian Authority to the test by offering to re-start negotiations from where the Annapolis talks left off in 2007, with, "the basis of the negotiations being two states for two peoples - the Palestinian people, according to its right to self-determination, and the Jewish people, according to its right to self-determination."
The IDF echelon is learning how to pick its battles (Amos Harel, Haaretz) Recent events in both the upper echelons of the Israel Defense Forces and among troops on the ground in the West Bank show that the army is learning how and when to engage with its adversaries. Chief of Staff Gantz deserves most of the kudos.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.