APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday December 21, 2012
Quote of the day:
"But the person with the most influence on Netanyahu these days is Arthur Finkelstein, and Finkelstein says break right. So what if the world is furious about the decision to build thousands of apartments beyond the Green Line?"
--Yedioth political affairs commentator Sima Kadmon writes about what's behind Netanyahu's latest political moves.**
Front Page News:
- After the Spring: Two years passed since the wave of revolutions revealed the people of the region and their power to change - Special issue
- Naftali Bennett: Prefer to sit in jail than evacuate settlements
- Construction in the Territories is dividing the Left //Yossi Verter
- The double battle of the women of Eritrea
- Amnon-Lipkin Shahak laid to rest
- The Kuzarian gene - Israeli genetics connect between European Jews and Iranians
- Knock-out - Nurses' agreement is defeat of weak Treasury
- 1/4 page ad: (photo of man named) Avi Greinik. Actor. Musician...Without fear! Eretzchadash.com
- Storm alert - Today, shortest day of the year, will be particularly wintery; Kinneret expected to rise by 10cm this weekend
- "We loved without borders, without doubts, without games, without pause, with fear...I remain years till our next meeting and from there onwards. Goodbye, Amnonush, my love" - Taly Lipkin-Shahak parts from her husband Amnon, the 15th Chief of Staff
- A whole generation // Nahum Barnea
- Bibi the builder // Sima Kadmon
- This is how Lieberman made the Jerusalem merchant Simo Tobol honorary consul of Moldova
- Netanyahu decided: Steinitz to leave Finance Ministry and be appointed Speaker of Knesset
- Special project: In-depth polling of right-wing voters finds surprising facts (Hebrew)
- Laid to rest, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, the 15th chief of staff
- 'Maagar Mochot' poll on elections (Hebrew)
- Disputed tree of Jerusalem - Municipality placed pine tree in Old City for Christmas. The ultra-Orthodox are furious and on Sunday will demonstrate to have it removed
- Arrived in a storm - Stormiest wintriest whether till now will climax today For first time this winter, snow fell on bottom part of the Mt. Hermon site (Hebrew)
- Boycotted by the the local Greek Orthodox council, he only goes out with bodyguards and on the internet video clips wish his death. Since expressing his support for IDF draft Priest Jubrail Nidaf has become the enemy of Nazareth'
- Minister Yaalon: "As a former chief of staff, I am horrified by Bennett's call to refuse orders" - Storm in political establishment over remarks by head of Habayit Hayehudi
- "Rest in peace, courageous man" - Hundreds of relatives, friends and senior political and military officials parted from the 15th IDF chief of staff, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak
- White in the eyes = Winter rehearsal arrived
- Lieberman: "Barnea is a indefatigable liar"
- Approved: Third deducted from prison term of former finance minister Hirschson
- From France to Mexico: Millions anticipated end of the world
A beloved respected general is laid to rest and the leader of the third largest party says he would refuse an order to evacuate settlers and the weather gets stormy, making top stories in the main Israeli Friday papers. Meanwhile, Binyamin Netanyahu prepares for his third term and so do the Palestinians, Maariv runs a poll that shows surprising facts about right-wing voters, and Yedioth commentator Nahum Barnea raises questions about the resigning foreign minister who calls the respected journalist a liar. Yedioth writes that the security establishment is sure the next Intifada is coming and Maariv writes about the issues (some) Jewish Americans have with Hagel.
Naftali Bennett, the leader of the third largest party, Habayit Hayehudi, made headlines today when he said that he would refuse orders to evacuate settlements. Bennett, a major in the IDF reserves, said in a TV interview: "If I receive an order to evict a Jew from his house and expel him, personally, my conscience wouldn't allow it." He later retracted it saying he has always followed orders.
The papers wrote about Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's third term as a given and there was discussion of which party in the next coalition government would get which ministries. Maariv wrote that Likud will take the defense, foreign and finance ministries and remove housing from the hands of Shas. Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz will be appointed Speaker of Knesset and the present Speaker, Rubi Rivlin, will run for President of the State.
Meanwhile, the Palestinians are preparing for his third term as well, looking for ways to isolate Israel, according to an Associated Press article run in Haaretz and Israel Hayom. Palestinian officials say they are planning to take tough steps including filing war crimes charges against Israeli officials, staging West Bank demonstrations, and encouraging sanctions after elections in January. The Israeli Foreign Ministry warns that such steps are 'delusional and suicidal.' But
Jerusalem sources told Yedioth they believe that the Palestinians are likely to file charges against Israel in the International Criminal Court based on The Hague's ruling that displacing population off occupied territory is a war crime.
**Over the last few weeks, the Israeli government has announced building plans for thousands of homes across the Green Line. (Ynet gives a great rundown of how many homes, where.) Yedioth's commentator Sima Kadmon writes that in their last conversation, a few days before his death, former chief of staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak wished Netanyahu that he have the courage and wisdom to make the right decisions. "But the person with the most influence on Netanyahu these days is Arthur Finkelstein, and Finkelstein says break right. So what if the world is furious about the decision to build thousands of apartments beyond the Green Line? The real threat is Naftali Bennett, and everything else will wait until after the elections, writes Kadmon.
Maariv published a Maagar Mochot poll of 511 adults (including Arabs) who were asked for whom they would vote.
VOTE: Likud-Beiteinu: 37; Labor: 20; Habayit Hayehudi: 12; Shas: 11; Hatnua: 9; Yesh Atid: 7
Afterwards, it asked the 57% (69/120 mandates) voting for the right-wing parties (Likud-Beiteinu, Shas, Habayit Hayehudi, Yehadut Hatorah, Am Shalem, Otzma Leyisrael) the following questions:
1. Do you support the establishment of a Palestinian state in the area of Judea and Samaria that would be a "demilitarized state" - a state without an army?
No 11% Yes 66% Don't know 23%
2. Do you support Israeli construction in Area E1 between Maaleh Adumim and Jerusalem?
Yes 51% No 9% Don't know 40%
3. Do you support giving Jews the right to pray on the Temple Mount?
Yes 71% No 7% Don't know 22%
4. Do you think that the Supreme Court should get involved and void laws passed by the Knesset if it believes it is necessary?
Yes 41% No 38% Don't know 21%
5. If you could add one hour to school education what would you add?
Sciences 51%, Judaism 31%, Don't know and other answers 18%
The poll also was able to make a profile of right-wing voters:
Religion: 54% secular, 27% traditional, 11% religious nationalist Zionists; 8% nationalist ultra-Orthodox
Gender: 58% women; 42% men
Education: 32% elementary school, 44% high school, 12% higher education technician level, 12% college
Income: 21% below average, 55% average, 24% above average
In Yedioth's Hamosaf L'Shabbat, political affairs commentator Nahum Barnea wonders why former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman chose to develop such close relations with Bosnia, a country 'known mainly for the war crimes of its leaders.' He also notes that the one country that Lieberman approved giving an Israeli citizen the title of 'honorary consul' was Moldova. And instead of choosing an Israeli from Moldova, he chose a close friend, Simo Tobol, a Jerusalem businessman who sells building supplies and owns a restaurant. Meanwhile, Israel Hayom and Maariv write how Lieberman called Barnea an' indefatigable liar' for implying that Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon was fired, but reinstated so that he would not testify against Lieberman in the 'ambassador affair.' [Neither of the papers note that Ayalon automatically lost his position when Lieberman resigned, but that Netanyahu reinstated him. -OH]. Barnea also accuses Lieberman's guards of shoving a guard at the tennis court where Lieberman played. In the Maariv article, Lieberman says his spokesman told Barnea he got a letter from the Shin Bet saying the guards did not do that and that Barnea responded: "The Shin Bet lies and always fakes things according to their needs." (NRG Hebrew)
"In the security establishment they don't ask anymore if another uprising will break out, rather under what circumstances and when," writes Yedioth's military affairs reporter Alex Fishman. "This time, the conditions are different: There is a separation fence, the number of Palestinians working in Israel is small and the leadership of the Palestinian Authority does not call for armed resistance. But the motivation on the ground is high, and in the IDF they believe: Most of the clashes will be against settlements and military camps. The worst scenario: cooperation between the residents of the West Bank and Israeli Arabs, which would transfer the violence to within the Green Line."
In an article titled, 'Friend on condition,' Maariv's US reporter, Tzach Yoked, reports that the intention to appoint former senator Chuck Hagel as the next Secretary of Defense has raised criticism among the Jewish community and the political establishment in the country. The article questions whether Hagel really is a 'friend of Israel' by quoting some of his previous remarks: "Despite the special relationship between the US and Israel, it cannot come at the expense of the relations with the Muslim world." Maariv's reporter noted that Hagel has called the right-wing lobby AIPAC "the Jewish lobby." Yoked writes that this is considered problematic in the US because "it tries to assign the support for Israel to Jewish activists only, and ignores support from non-Jews. The phrase was used when saying: "The Jewish lobby scares many people here. I am an American senator, not an Israeli." Maariv also noted that he said regarding Israel: "I am first and foremost loyal to the US constitution." Haaretz's Washington Bureau Chief, Chemi Shalev, writes about the case against Chuck Hagel.
- South Africa's ruling party endorses BDS campaign against Israel - The ANC declared it was 'unapologetic in its view that the Palestinians are the victims and the oppressed in the conflict with Israel.' (Haaretz)
- IAF to receive F-35 stealth fighter jets in 2016 - Lockheed Martin official says the first F-35 stealth fighter jets will arrive in Israel in the second half of 2016. Israel has ordered 19 F-35s, with option to purchase 75. (Israel Hayom)
- Left-wing Israeli activist acquitted of crime after calling IDF soldiers 'war criminals' - Ezra Nawi wins appeal after being convicted of insulting an IDF officer who asked him to leave a closed military zone in Hebron in 2009. (Haaretz)
- Lieberman probably won't be able to be appointed minister in next government - Police began collecting testimonies from members of appointment committtee to see if they were pressured to appoint the ambassador in Latvia. Indictment likely next week. (Maariv, p. 5/NRG Hebrew)
- Human Rights Watch: IDF violated laws of war by attacking journalists in Gaza - Two Palestinian cameramen were killed and at least 10 media personnel were wounded during Operation Pillar of Defense; IDF has no comment on rights group's claim. (Haaretz)
- Israel calls on UN Security Council to condemn rearming of Hezbollah - Israel's UN Ambassador Ron Prosor said in a letter to the 15-nation council that the buildup was in clear violation of a UN arms embargo. (Haaretz)
- Dozens petition to relinquish 'Jewish' status - Following in author Yoram Kaniuk's footsteps, dozens including journalist Yaron London appeal to Interior Ministry to be registered as 'irreligious.' (Ynet)
- Canada adds elite Iran force to terror list - Ottawa adds Tehran's infamous Quds Force to its terror watch list over their links to Hamas, Taliban. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Judy Mozes criticized the US government - and was dismissed from UNICEF - Two months after being appointed Chairwoman of the UNICEF branch in Israel, Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes was dismissed from her position in the UN organization. Maariv learned her dismissal was a result of a Facebook post in which she blamed the US government for the massacre in Connecticut. She was dismissed after refusing to publish an apology. [Nir-Mozes is a wealthy socialite, part owner of Yedioth newspaper who is married to a Likud politician - OH] (Maariv, p. 12)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.