APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday December 20, 2012
Quote of the day:
'I represent a generation. Disqualifying me is disqualifying an entire generation of Palestinians."
--Arab-Israeli MK Hanin Zouebi responds after being disqualified to run in the upcoming Israeli elections.
Front Page News:
- Agreement anticipated between Treasury and nurses: 13% addition to salaries
- IDF's last prince - Amnon Lipkin-Shahak 1944-2012
- Zouebi disqualified, Arab parties not - MK Tibi to members of Elections Committee: "Most of you are politicians of class 'zayin' (means a letter of Hebrew alphabet and penis)
- In wake of harsh condemnations, Israel accelerating construction momentum in E. Jerusalem
- Senior Jordanian officials: We warned Israel that a Jihad state could spring up in Syria
- End of the world? Mayan calendar ends at midnight
- What stands behind the dismissal of the National Library architect
- Officer, gentleman - General Amnon Lipkin-Shahak 1944-2012
- Health Ministry: Folic acid for every woman of fertility age
- Nurses' strike on edge of conclusion: Night efforts to arrive at agreement
- After 17 days - Nurses' strike ended, their salaries to rise by 13% (Hebrew)
- Fear in Foreign Ministry: Report by Council of Human Rights on construction in Judea and Samaria to become "Goldstone 2" (Hebrew)
- Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, 1944-2012 - Parting from a hero (Hebrew)
- Opposite reality - Planning Committee to take 350 sq.m. from General Glant's estate, but the general and some of the media say his name was cleaned from the properties affair (Hebrew)
- Opening the heart - Today: Joint fundraising campaign of organizations for deaf to be dedicated to increasing the bank of hearing aids (Hebrew)
- Final party - Ancient prophecy says that tomorrow will be the end of the world; In Israel also preparations for the event, and not with sadness
- Parting from a warrior hero - Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, 1944-2012
- Nurses' strike close to end: Sides on verge of agreement
- Hatnua party "inherited" 1.8 million shekels from the "Hetz" party
- US thwarted condemnation of Israel in Security Council on construction issue
- Dennis Ross: "If diplomacy with Iran fails - there will be use of force"
- Prepare the umbrellas: This weekend the winter return
A general and a gentleman died, Israel gets blasted for its settlement construction plans and approves more, and the nurses end their strike making top news in today's Israeli papers. Meanwhile, the Israeli Foreign Ministry fears that Human Rights Watch's report out today will be a 'Goldstone II,' the Knesset disqualifies Arab MK Hanin Zouebi from running, and Palestinian President wants to bring Palestinian refugees from Syria to the Palestinian Authority.
While the UN Security Council members blasted Israel over its settlement construction plans, Israel approved thousands more new housing units in E. Jerusalem and the West Bank. All the UNSC members, with the exception of the US, wanted to make a resolution condemning the construction particularly in E-1. Because of the expected US veto an attempt was made to make what's known as a joint presidential statement and resolution. But the US refused to approve that, as well, saying it would be 'unhelpful.' So the 14 other UNSC members made their own condemnation statements to reporters. Meanwhile, Israel approved 2612 housing units in Givat Hamatos, an empty swathe of land that, once filled with Jewish homes, will connect with two other southern Jewish neighborhoods over the Green Line, Har Homa and Gilo, to block the southern Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa from Bethlehem. Haaretz+ also revealed that Israel is building a new highway (without proper permits) that will cut Beit Safafa in two. Also on Wednesday, the Housing Ministry issued a tender for the construction of some 1,000 housing units in Har Homa, Karnei Shomron, Efrat and Givat Zeev. This comes a day after the Israeli announcement to build 1500 homes in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood on the city's northern end over the Green Line. Yedioth writes that right-wing activists say that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu does not really intend to build. "Every time Netanyahu wants headlines, he declares building approvals, but on the ground nothing happens," they said.
Meanwhile, Israel Hayom, Yedioth and Ynet report that Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced that 523 homes will be built in Gvaot [an outpost north of Hebron called a 'neighborhood' of Alon Shvut settlement despite being located three kilometers away. -OH] The approval was made prior to the Palestinians' UN bid. The papers write that Gva'ot is significant for two reasons: 1.) the government plans to eventually turn the settlement (outpost) into a city and this marks the first phase of the plan. 2.) This signifies part of a plan made in 2000 to create territorial contiguity between the area in which the settlement is located and the Green Line and the main roads that lead to central Israel. Chairwoman of Hatnua party, Tzipi Livni, was photographed playing basketball with youth in the Gvaot outpost yesterday, where she visited with #4 on her party list, Eliezar Stern. There she slammed Netanyahu for his declarations of settlement expansion, which she said do not help the settlement blocs, but put a large question mark over them in the eyes of the international community. Habayit Hayehudi's Naftali Bennett also slammed Netanyahu for the same reason (NRG Hebrew). Israel Hayom political affairs commentator Dan Margalit suggested that to avoid an international outcry, Israel needs to use the 'salami method' by "announcing construction of 100 housing units a time.
Maariv ran a page 2-3 report on the Israeli fear of what the UN Human Rights Council will publish three months from now in its report criticizing Israel's construction over the Green Line. The Foreign Ministry fears the international criticism will bring punishments. Maariv writes that the Prime Minister's Office and the diplomatic establishment has already begun preparing the counter-attack. (NRG Hebrew)
**The Knesset Elections Committee banned Arab MK Hanin Zouebi from running for the upcoming elections. Nineteen committee members voted in favor and nine against disqualifying her. The ruling was the first of its kind and automatically is referred to the High Court. However, the request to ban the Arab parties was denied. Zouebi said that the Knesset was essentially banning a whole generation of Arab citizens of Israel.
Palestinian refugees are streaming into Lebanon and Jordan from Syria as a battle is waged in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, that has pitted Palestinians against in each other. UNWRA says at least half of al-Yarmouk's population of 150,000 inhabitants have fled the violence. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has asked the UN for help in bringing the refugees to the Palestinian territories. Such a move requires Israel's consent.
- IDF to reduce time Palestinian minors may be held without seeing a judge - The state informed the High Court of Justice of the reduction this week, however the initial incarceration period for Palestinians remains at least twice as long as for Israeli youths. (Haaretz+)
- Israel Air Force chief warns of growing threat from Hezbollah drones - IAF is preparing to intercept small drones launched from Lebanon, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel says, adding that Israel is readying capabilities to deal with Syria's non-conventional weapons after Assad's demise. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
- Uniformed rightists urge IDF disobedience - New videos by right-wing group call on soldiers, teens to actively hinder any military operation involving settlement eviction. (Ynet)
- Likud touts (far-right-wing) Feiglin to lure in religious voters - New campaign featuring far-Right candidate is meant to appeal to national-religious sector. (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
- Comptroller to probe Israel gun laws - Special inquiry to look into gun control regulations following recent incidents involving security guards who murdered their wives, as well as Newtown massacre. (Ynet)
- Cyberwarriors - The answer to Iranian attempts to make computerized attacks - It protects the most critical computers in the country and has succeeded in thwarting a number of terror attacks against Israel. Yedioth reveals the new Shin Bet department. (Yedioth, p. 10)
- Israeli court indicts alleged Tel Aviv bus bomber - Security forces arrested suspects shortly after No. 142 bus was attacked during Operation Pillar of Defense in November; suspect is Palestinian residing in Israel as part of family reunification plan. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
- Secretly: Center in Ariel recognized again as a university - Fear of it being turned over by the High Court brought the Israeli West Bank college to be reapproved through a secret process and using a different text from the original. On Wednesday the Attorney General will tell the High Court that he sees no reason not to accept the college's status change. (Maariv, p. 10/NRG Hebrew)
- Israel ranks 34th (out of 85) in Internet policy - Despite being considered a high-tech country, Jewish state fails to top index ranking countries according to their governments' role in encouraging Internet among consumers, businesses and within government itself. (Ynet)
- Galant cleared of charges in land affair - Two years after scandal broke, regional council determines that mistake in building plan led to allegations that former IDF chief candidate seized public land when building his home in Amikam. Galant: Better late than never. [Note: Yedioth and Maariv write he was only partially cleared. - OH] (Ynet)
- Israel approves Qatar emir's visit to West Bank, in nod to Abbas - Israel approved the visit under assumption that the emir will offer financial aid to the struggling Palestinian Authority, and give Palestinian Authority diplomatic strengthening over Hamas rival. (Haaretz+)
- West Bank Palestinians strike in protest of Israeli sanctions - Following Palestinian success at the U.N. General Assembly, government employees in the West Bank strike in protest of Israeli sanctions withholding some $100 million in monthly customs and delay in payment of wages. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Wall Street leaders raise $23M at UJA event - BlackRock President Robert S. Kapito, Saba Capital founder Boaz Weinstein honored for philanthropic leadership during UJA-Federation of New York's Wall Street Dinner. (Ynet)
- Washington Post vs. Pentagon candidate - Joining several senators objecting Chuck Hagel's nomination as defense secretary, major newspaper wonders if his fringe positions on critical issues won't serve as obstacle to Obama's policy. (Ynet)
- UN seeks $1.5 billion to address Syria crisis - Four million Syrians are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, UN says; some one million are estimated to have fled the country since the uprising began. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Amman warns: Jihadists hijacking Syria revolution, may target Israel, Jordan next - Jordanians saw the first signs two months ago when their intelligence service caught a cell of 11 Salafists who had assembled in Syria and were planning to attack shopping centers and Western embassies in Jordan. (Haaretz+)
U.S. Jews: Don't fall into the trap of fatalism (Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, Haaretz+) Leon Wieseltier no longer believes that peace between Israelis and Palestinians will happen in his lifetime. But throwing up our hands and doing nothing is to leave American Jews, Israel's most essential allies, dismayed, discouraged, and increasingly alone.
Build in Ramat Shlomo wisely (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) By announcing a massive construction plan in Ramat Shlomo, the government has in fact hindered its ability to carry the plan out.
Hamas' gift to the right (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz+) Without Hamas' statements about the existence of the State of Israel, the self-pity of the extreme right in Israel would crumble.
The German-Israeli success story that was lost in the telling (Ute Deichmann, Haaretz+) The miracle of post-war Israeli-German science cooperation ought to be celebrated rather than overshadowed by inappropriate and damaging political considerations.
Will Netanyahu choose Shamir or Begin as a model? (Carlo Strenger, Haaretz+) Netanyahu is likely to be in a comfortable position of having his job assured, but his choice in coalition structure could lead Israel into a historic catastrophe.
Israel's senseless elections (Ari Shavit, Haaretz+) Very quietly, beneath the surface, the 2013 election is a referendum on the final farewell to the democratic Jewish state.
Capitalizing on Jerusalem (Israel Harel, Haaretz+) Likud is once again using Jerusalem to prevent the leaking of votes. In 1996 it was fear from the left, and now, it is fear from the right.
American hero and true friend of Israel (Sallai Meridor, Ynet) Former ambassador remembers Daniel Inouye, the US senator who asked 'What can I do for Israel?'
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.