APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday December 24, 2012
Quote of the day:
"This case proves that there are human beings on both sides. The majority in Gaza want peace."
--Haim Koznitz, 57, tells Yedioth after receiving a check from his good friend in Gaza.**
Front Page News:
- State Attorney mulls harsher indictment for Lieberman
- India: Wave of demonstrations against gang rape getting out of control
- Dozens killed and injured in air bombing of bakery in north Syria
- Study: 1 out of 8 students suffers from social anxiety
- Religious issue: Is a kosher restaurant allowed to place a Christmas tree in its domain?
- Yishai worried: Possibility that government formed without Shas
- 1/3 page ad: Following him. We soldiers and officers from elite units, from all sides of the political spectrum are shocked by the organized attack of the Likud led by Netanyahu against our friend and commander Naftali Bennett....
- New evidence against Lieberman
- The ballots you will see at the polling stations
- This is what is done to a pupil who forgot to take his Ritalin - Child sent home from elementary school to take pills, took the wrong pills and rushed to emergency
- From Ramleh to the world tennis summit - His father is unemployed, his mother is a housewife and he has another four siblings: This is how Yishai Ulliel, 12, became the world tennis champion for youth
- I will go far - Four years after a stroke, the former presenter of "World Travel" TV program gives first interview
- Ambassador case opened: Lieberman to be questioned again (Hebrew)
- Peretz's Hatnua (movement) - Sources in Tzipi Livni's Hatnua party: Peretz taking over, almost all the posts distributed to his people (Hebrew)
- Labor's political platform: Without words "peace" and "In the path of Yitzhak Rabin"
- Lawlessness on the Temple Mount - Piles of dirt containing rare archaeological finds were thrown in the Jerusalem garbages yesterday by the Waqf (Hebrew)
- The meter is running, but less - Taxi drivers furious: VAT went up a percent, but they aren't allowed to update the meters on which they earn their living (Hebrew)
- Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood declared its victory in the referendum on the Islamic constitution (Hebrew)
- Assad's regime drowning in blood - Syria's citizens hurting and shocked: "The world abandoned us"
- Justice Ministry: LIeberman called in for another questioning in ambassador affair
- "Housing ministry to Likud - because Shas held back all the reforms"
- (Tennis) World Champion - 12-years-old - Yishai Uliel from Ramleh made historic tennis competition for under-12
- Billions of Christians in the world will begin celebrating Christmas this evening; Also in Jerusalem trees were distributed
- England proud of Harry the eliminator: The prince, serving in Afghanistan, killed a senior Taliban leader
New evidence against Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in the ambassador affair, Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett makes more headlines and a 12-year-old boy from a poor family brings pride to Israel with his tennis racket. Meanwhile, the Labor party released its political platform, but made no mention of 'peace' and Yedioth reports on hope between Gaza and Israel after an old loan between friends is paid.
After causing a storm when he said last week he would refuse orders to evacuate settlers, Naftali Bennett told an English-speaking crowd in Tel Aviv yesterday, "I will do everything in my power to prevent a Palestinian state." (Haaretz) He also said he expects more mandates from his declaration and called on Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyhau not to "shoot inside the tank," Maariv reported. Netanyahu has been leading a campaign blitz against Bennett following the controversial statement and Likud published announcements and uploaded video clips to the Internet portraying Bennett as an IDF refusenik. Yedioth reported that dozens of soldiers from the elite Matkal and Maglan units published a letter of support for Naftali Bennett - and denounced Netanyahu's attack on the "disobey orders" interview. The ad was published on the front page of Haaretz. Earlier, Netanyahu said he would not allow anyone to sit in his government if they support refusing orders. Yet, Yedioth wrote that Channel 2 News reported yesterday on three Likud people who have made statements of support for such acts. Uzi Landau, one of the most senior ministers in Netanyahu's government, said in the past: "A government order to evacuate a Jewish community does not stand up to a moral test. Whoever dares to send security forces to evacuate a community is committing an illegal act." Likud MK Tzipi Hotoveli also said in the past: Refusing orders is legitimate in my view when a man says to his commander: 'I am ready to die in war, but I am not ready to destroy a Jewish house, because it is immoral.'" Likud's Moshe Feiglin has said: "Refusing orders during disengagement [evacuating settlements from Palestinian Territories - OH] is a moral duty.'
The Labor party has released its party platform and as Maariv and Haaretz point out, there's no mention of peace. The platform calls for renewing Palestinian peace talks within three months of elections and supports evacuation of West Bank settlements outside the major blocs. But unlike the previous elections peace is not at the top of the political agenda. "Our world perspective is clear and laid on the table: two states for two peoples," Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich said yesterday. However a separate 'defense policy' document makes no mention of peace or settlement withdrawal. (Haaretz)
**There is "Light at the end of the tunnel and loyalty without limits between Gaza and Sderot," writes Yedioth. The missiles, blood and hostile atmosphere did not harm the long friendship of Haim Koznitz, 57, and his Palestinian friend, 60, from Gaza. Fifteen years ago the Palestinian (unnamed) had financial troubles and Koznitz loaned him 15,000 shekels. Since then there were countless rockets, Operation Cast Lead and Operation Pillar of Cloud. Despite everything, the two remained in telephone contact. Last week the Palestinian told Koznitz he finally got out of his economic troubles - and sent him a check to his bank account via a Ramallah bank.
- Bethlehem celebrates Christmas Eve - Thousands of scouts, tourists and locals will celebrate Christmas Eve in the historic city of Bethlehem on Monday, gathering outside Nativity Church. (Maan)
- IDF denies reports two Palestinians wounded by its fire at Gaza border - IDF confirms shots were fired in the air after Palestinians approached the border fence. (Haaretz)
- Extremists find new way to insult Muslims in Jerusalem - "For Sale" signs placed on used cars around the city with phone numbers lead potential buyers to a recorded message profanely insulting Palestinians and the Prophet Muhammad. (Maan)
- Kashrut in danger over New Year's Eve - Haifa Rabbinate threatens to revoke local businesses' kosher certificates if they host parties on Christian holiday. (Ynet and Haaretz)
- Rabbis regretted and Haifans will celebrate - Following intervention by Haifa Mayor Yona Lahav, the prohibition to hold parties with Christian symbols for Christmas and New Years' in hotels and event halls was cancelled. (Yedioth, p. 16)
- Egyptian blogger's visit to Israel draws criticism from compatriots - Maikel Nabil Sanad, honored at the Hebrew University, calls Egyptian government dictatorship and praises Israeli democracy; his critics claim event is 'cynical exploitation of the revolution.' (Haaretz)
- Jerusalem club prevented Arab woman who converted to Judaism from entering - After her friends didn't pass the 'selector' at the entrance to High Windows, Claudine Liebel wrote a Facebook status against the bar. In response, the manager wrote "...I discovered there is also an Arab woman (give me a break 'Claudine,' her real name is probably Fatima or Aziz) who spent 2 and a half years having fun at Windows and because we weren't willing to let in her 'cousins' [Arab girls] with whom she socializes, she decided to write a (negative FB) status...Claudine, look for places to go out in Gaza because in Jerusalem we have closed the doors on you." (Maariv, p. 14/NRG Hebrew)
- Property owners to be penalized for discrimination - New Knesset bill aims to lessen real estate-related partiality; disallowing discrimination in intermixed cities will advance (Jewish-Arab) co-existence. (Ynet)
- Ambassadors for science - closing the gender gaps - Outstanding female Arab pupils are studying science at the Hebrew University in a program hosted by Intel and then return to their schools to teach. (Maariv, p. 21)
- No money - Palestinian Authority in financial crisis again - Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad claims the Arab states promised to transfer money but did not do so. The civil service employees received partial salaries. (Maariv, p. /NRG Hebrew)
- Gas companies to finance security - Navy to receive four ships to protect gas rigs and facilities at sea. Financing to come from payments the companies make to the government - $400 million. (Yedioth, p. 14)
- Christians in Israel: Strong in education - Data published by Central Bureau of Statistics reveals 158,000 Christians live in Israel, make up 2% of population; 80.6% are Arabs. (Ynet)
- Hasidic Jews go 'Gangnam Style' - Even if you're sick of South Korean hit, you must check out this video. (Ynet)
- West Bank gets 1st modeling agency - In Ramallah, recognized as one of most liberal Palestinian cities, some women have begun venturing out to runway. (Ynet)
- House urges Obama to shut PLO office as punishment for UN vote - Letter signed by more than half of U.S. House of Representatives also calls for defunding of UN-affiliated organizations that similarly enhance PLO membership. (JTA, Haaretz)
- Turkey to resume NATO cooperation with Israel - Ankara agrees to drop ban on cooperating with Israel as third-country NATO partner first introduced after IDF raid on Marmara; will continue to ban joint military maneuvers. (Ynet)
- Turkish medical aid en route to Gaza - Turkey has donated 70 tons of medical aid to the Gaza Strip, an Egyptian security official said Sunday. (Maan)
- Egypt's No. 2 quits as voters approve new constitution in referendum - Vote seen as victory for President Mohammed Morsi, but one that comes at the price of ongoing division in conflict-wary Egyptian society. Vice President Mahmoud Mekki resigns during Saturday's voting. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
- Egypt opposition alleges fraud in vote over new constitution - National Salvation Front also says it is moving toward forming a single political party to challenge Islamists; Muslim Brotherhood claims referendum passed with 64% of the vote in favor of the draft constitution. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- "Sayeret Matkal (elite IDF unit) in Syria" - German paper quoted "Israeli military sources" saying unit in Syria as IDF prepares to prevent danger of chemical weapons. Article does not say what they are doing. (Yedioth, p. 6)
- Congress delivers final approval for new Iran sanctions, missile defense funding - The National Defense Authorization Act also authorizes $211 million in new funding for Israel's Iron Dome missile system. (JTA, Haaretz)
- Lieberman's chances for speedy pre-election trial dwindle as prosecution mulls harsher indictment - The prosecution delayed indictment in order to collect testimony from further witnesses, reducing the likelihood that the case will be wrapped up by the January 22 election. (Haaretz)
- Sources in Livni's Hatnua party: "Amir Peretz is taking over the party" - Since leaving the Labor party, the #3 in Hatnua has taken the reins for the party's PR and inserted his people. "Livni's people were made to understand that they will only get positions that are leftover. (Maariv, p. 1/NRG Hebrew)
- Shas finds itself fighting on two fronts - Fearing they will lose the housing portfolio, Shas party members are trying to leverage against Yisrael Beteinu and Habayit Hayehudi by pandering to Netanyahu. (Haaretz)
- Israel election committee bars party from using anti-plutocracy slogan - In informing the Eretz Chadasha party of the ban, the committee said there is no proof that Israel is indeed governed by the wealthy; party head Eldad Yaniv to petition High Court against decision. (Haaretz)
- Can dishing up dirt clean Israeli politics? One party hopes to find out - Former lawyer and political hatchet man Eldad Yaniv and his party Eretz Hadasha are using YouTube clips to shine light on the system's dirty underbelly. But can they make it into the Knesset? (Haaretz)
The real Likud (Haaretz Editorial) Netanyahu represents the extreme right, which does not believe in an agreement with the Palestinians and seeks to perpetuate the occupation by building more and more settlements, making any peace accord impossible.
Likud-Beiteinu struggles to reconcile charter with Netanyahu's 'two state' Bar-Ilan speech (Jonathan Lis, Haaretz) The idea of 'two states for two peoples' contradicts Yisrael Beiteinu's platform that the Palestinians want Israel to be destroyed, and Likud has never recognized a Palestinian state.
What Palestinians want for Christmas (Nabil Sha'ath, Haaretz) At a time of year when Christian faith and hope are renewed, we believe justice for the Palestinians is possible in 2013, if our brothers and sisters throughout the world act with us in bringing long-awaited peace to the region.
Naftali Bennett - The real question (Yedidia Stern, Yedioth) "Does the Habayit Hayehudi party renounce the rabbis who call [on their followers] to disobey orders and their insubordination doctrine? [Chairman Naftali] Bennett and his party must give a clear and sharp answer to this question..."
(Jewish terrorist) Kahane is alive and well - in some of Israel's leading politicians (Noa Osterreicher, Haaretz) The statements of today's Likud-Beiteinu electoral candidates are not so different from those that got the rightist banned from the Knesset 25 years ago.
This Christmas, remember Palestine's Christians (Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, Maan) One sees that from an historic high of 80% in 1947, Christians now make up only around 20% of the population. While there have been attempts by some with anti-Islamic or pro-Israel agendas to place the blame for this on "Muslim extremism," Palestinian Christians are the first to point out that is an untruth. A poll found that an overwhelming majority of Bethlehem's Christians blamed the Israeli occupation and its effect on the local economy for this migration.
Obama's carbon copy (Prof. Abraham Ben-Zvi, Israel Hayom) On Israel, John Kerry reflects the U.S. president's beliefs, and his support of Israel can be defined as "soft" and bereft of any extraordinary warmth.
Israel lost a great American friend (Moshe Arens, Haaretz) Daniel Inouye, a Democrat from Hawaii, was the U.S. Senate's most senior member, a military hero and a unique American success story.
Abusing their rights (Amos Gilboa, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) Gilboa notes the findings of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center which places the maximum number of Palestinians killed in Operation Pillar of Defense at 178: 168 identified victims, 101 of which were identified as activists in Gaza's various terrorist organizations (71 Hamas; 17 Islamic Jihad; 13 other organizations, including Fatah) and 68 names of civilians. The author remarks that, "For every six terrorists killed, four 'innocents' were killed. That is ratio for which there is nothing like it for any army fighting in an urban war zone. There, for each terrorist (or soldier/combatant) killed, a number of civilians die. The low number of innocent Palestinian casualties during 'Pillar of Defense' does not interest the various human rights organizations looking for a reason to drag Israel's name through the mud."
Vox populi (Yitzhak Laor, Haaretz) Miri Regev is not only our democracy. Ironically, this carnival - and this is truly a carnivalesque experience - is the democratic ideal.
Insubordination -- a first step to anarchy (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) Naftali Bennett's declaration that he would refuse orders to evacuate Jewish communities is a bad example for his voters.
The party with the least votes wins (Aner Shalev, Haaretz) Surveys show that more than one-third of the public has not yet decided which party to support. The party of the uncertain and the despondent is therefore the largest of all, and it is worth some 40 seats in the Knesset.
We are all Eishtons (Aluf Benn, Haaretz) I have no idea who the blogger who goes by the pseudonym of Eishton really is. All I know is that his journalistic work is serious and professional.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.