APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday December 31st, 2012
Quote of the day:
"If my hands are covered in blood, it is the blood of the children I delivered [as an obstetrician]. I am proud to say I brought life into this world, and yet some of you express pride in killing Arab children."
--A visibly agitated MK Ahmed Tibi responds at public debate to students accusing him of being connected to killings of Jews.**
Front Page News:
- We need to come to an agreement with Abu-Mazen; Senior Likud people: The President is interfering in the election
- They will always have Peres // Yossi Verter
- High Court to unanimously rules: Zouebi can run in election
- Poll: Most of Likud-Beiteinu voters favor a two-state solution
- Livni admits for first time possiblity that she joins Netanyahu government
- CEO of public company earns 130 times more than a contractor in his office, according to study by Adva Center on inequality in Israel
- Ministry of Enviroment lagging on air sampling of polluted Haifa bay
- From tonight, marketing of cosmetic products tested on animals to be prohibited
- New approach in Education Ministry: Teaching of inter-disciplinary literature
- 1/4 page LIKUD-BEITEINU ad: When the world is in downturn, Israel is growing - Give us the power to continue our actions
- Ashdod and Ashkelon out, most of the settlements in - Government's new map of national priority (communities) - New list of periphery communities whose residents will receive benefits from government includes 87 settlements , but not the cities hit by rockets
- Embarassment to Netanyahu at election convention in Upper Nazareth - Tens of thousands invested in event at big hall, which was half empty
- New front: Likud vs. Peres - Likud attacked the President after he called not to miss opportunity for peace agreement with Abu-Mazen
- The hidden Shas campaign against the infiltrators [African refugees]
- Peres: There is a clear majority for an agreement with Abu Mazen - In meeting with ambassadors the President said that the only solution is two states for two peoples, and raised a storm (Hebrew)
- His rights and his obligations // Uri Avneri (Hebrew)
- The president goes wild // Amnon Lord (Hebrew)
- The statistics behind the tragedies - Report on soldiers who committed suicide reveals it is number one cause of death in IDF (Hebrew)
- Fear in Likud: Netanyahu will leave Barak as Defense Minister (Hebrew)
- MK Hanin Zouebi opposes draft of Christian Arabs to IDF (Hebrew)
- Parting from 2012 - Maariv photos (3 photos w/captions: IDF soldier guards Sudanese refugees and passes them water through the fence, Arik Zeevi loses at London Olympics, The window of a house damaged from a Grad missile during Pillar of Cloud operation
- "President does not need to get involved in political issues" - Storm following Peres' statements calling for renewing of negotiations: "It's possible to make an agreement with Abu Mazen"
- High Court ruled: Zouebi will run (for elections)
- Young woman spit at (Arab) MK Tibi - Bar-Ilan University students yelled at him during political debate: "Child murderer"
- Suspicion of criminal assassination in heart of Petach Tikva (in front of community center filled with children)
- US: Race against clock to prevent economic collapse
- Improvement: Number of people killed in car accidents lowest in 50 years
- Israel grew: Now some 8 million citizens
- Taste for more: Best Israeli wines of the year
The Israeli President says the Palestinian President is a peace partner and sparks an uproar and the High Court rules that Arab MK Hanin Zouebi can run for office making top news in today's Hebrew papers. Meanwhile, Haaretz and Israel Hayom polls show some very different results, an Arab MK is spat at by a young Jewish woman at Bar-Ilan University and Yedioth reveals that the government prefers to help out settlements over rocket-battered cities.
The Likud blasted President Shimon Peres after the latter criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman for dismissing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas instead of making peace with him. Peres was speaking at an end of year conference of some 100-160 Israeli ambassadors [depending which paper you read - OH]. Maybe Lieberman's absence made it easier to criticize Israel's foreign policy over the last four years and tell those present that "a diplomat is not supposed to scare the world." Peres said that polls show that most Israelis support a two-state solution. Likud-Beiteinu slammed Peres for 'taking sides' and said he was 'disconnected' from the Israeli public on the Palestinian issue. Likud-Beiteinu officials also criticized Peres for holding an off-the-record conversation with journalists, in which he voiced his criticism of Netanyahu and accused Peres of being the 'senior source' in the article in Yedioth Ahronoth last week who said "Netanyahu is leading Israel to tragedy" due to his refusal to push forward the political process vis-à-vis the Palestinians, Haaretz reported. Ynet's Elior Levy reported that Abbas responded saying: "We don't want to intervene in Israel's internal affairs but it's important there is a partner that believes in peace (in Israel). Abbas stressed he was not interested in delegitimizing Israel but rather the occupation. "We want to live as a state alongside Israel which we've already recognized."
While Peres said that most Israelis want a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict the most left-wing and most right-wing Israeli papers presented polls today with very differing results. Haaretz reported on two polls taken in December that showed that even right-wing voters of Likud-Beiteinu and the further-right Habayit Hayehudi voters support a peace agreement establishing a demilitarized Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, Israel's retention of major settlement blocs and a division of Jerusalem. The two polls also revealed that two thirds of all Israelis support such an agreement. The pollster 'Dahaf' found that 57% of the Likud-Beiteinu voters supported a peace agreement and 25% opposed. The Rafi Smith pollster found that 58% supported it and 34% opposed. When it came to the general public, the Dahaf poll found that 67% support it; Smith's poll found 68%. Those numbers rose when augmented by various other "improvements" such as a defense alliance with the United Sates. The polls were commissioned by the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace in Washington D.C. Abraham is a Jewish American millionaire close to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Israeli President Shimon Peres and former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Meanwhile, Israel Hayom reported on a poll according to which, 83% of the public believe that withdrawing to the '67 borders will not bring peace. The poll was commissioned by the right-wing think tank, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, which is led by Netanyahu associate, Dore Gold. It was also taken by Dahaf. It also found that 78% of Jewish Israelis would vote for a different party if theirs supported giving up sovereignty in East Jerusalem and the Old City.
Arab MK Hanin Zouebi will be running in the upcoming election, a nine-justice panel at the High Court unanimously ruled yesterday, overturning the decision by the Knesset elections committee to disqualify her. Even Israel Hayom commentator Dan Margalit applauded the decision, writing that it was a 'Certificate of Recognition of Israel's democracy.' Maariv reported that she sent a harsh letter on (her) official Knesset letterhead to the boycotted priest, Jubarayel Nadaf saying that "by supporting the draft of Christian Arabs into the IDF, you are turning them into the enemies of the people." (NRG Hebrew)
***Meanwhile, Arab member of Knesset and leader of the Raam-Taal faction, Ahmed Tibi, was spat on by a young woman at the end of a highly charged political debate against far-right wing MK Aryeh Eldad. The debate was particularly fiery due to what the student audience had to say. Israel Hayom had the most detailed report on it here:
In a front page story, Yedioth reveals that the new list of periphery communities whose residents will receive benefits from government includes 87 settlements , but not Ashdod and Ashkelon, the cities hit by rockets. A source in the Israel Lands Authority told Yedioth, "We tried to include Ashkelon, but the Ministry of Finance opposed it." Some of the settlements approved were isolated ones [Meaning most Israelis do not expect they will remain in an agreement with the Palestinians. - OH] Nevertheless, the Ministry of Finance claims the decision is not political.
- Ariel University acting as employment agency for Israel's Defense Ministry, say workers - The state is employing contract workers through the West Bank institution to get around the shortage of jobs and to reduce its cost of employment. (Haaretz)
- Broken soldiers - Number of soldiers who committed suicide is higher than number of soldiers killed in operations. Between 2009-201,1 69 soldiers committed suicide, 45 of them did not have any mental problems. (Maariv, p.1/NRG Hebrew)
- Knesset: Check who faked our Facebook page - Knesset security officer asked police to open investigation to reveal who created a spoofed Knesset Facebook page in which there were curses against MKs. (Israel Hayom, p. 9)
- Indictment served against former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman - Lieberman expected to face charges of greater severity than originally expected, which could lead the court to attach moral turpitude to his sentence and endanger his political future. (Haaretz)
- Oz Zion evacuation completed after Shabbat - Illegal West Bank outpost cleared later than planned due to Shabbat, but examination reveals several previous cases of Shabbat evacuations. (Ynet)
- Israeli English professor receives nobility title - Prof. Penelope Ur named Officer of the Order of the British Empire; receives nobility title from Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of her outstanding work as an English teacher. (Yedioth/Ynet)
- Prof. Leibowitz waits for Judge Terkel - The committee for naming streets in Jerusalem has again postponed calling a street on the name of Prof. Yeshayahu Leibowitz [renowned religious progressive philosopher - OH], who died 18 years ago. The reason: Committee chairman, Judge Yaakov Terkel is delaying his response in the controversial issue. (Maariv, p. 14)
- Israel Hayom's astrologer predicts a bleak 2013 for the Oslo Accords - Astrologist Tova Safra consulted the stars to see what the new year holds for the agreement signed by Israel and the Palestinians in 1993. (Haaretz)
- 'Tourism Ministry figures groundless' - While ministry reports record year for incoming tourism, Israel Hotel Association says numbers present entries to Bethlehem and Jordan as well. (Ynet)
- Natalie Portman 'best for the buck' - Israeli-born Hollywood actress tops Forbes list of actors offering best return on investment, making $42.70 for every dollar studio pays her. (Yedioth/Ynet)
- Erdogan meets Palestinian girl who cursed soldiers - Turkish PM meets 13-year-old girl who provoked IDF soldiers in Nabi Saleh last November. 'I did it to liberate Palestine,' she says. (Ynet)
- Envoy: Egypt to tighten relations with Hezbollah - Egyptian ambassador to Lebanon says Cairo will pursue relationship with Hezbollah in Lebanon. (Ynet)
- Egypt allows building material across Rafah border into Gaza - Move made by Islamist-led Egypt for first time since Hamas seized control of the Palestinian enclave in 2007, official says. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Israeli man described as 'mentally ill' crosses into Syria - Man's family says he disappeared after declaring intention to cross border out of concern for sectarian crisis there. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Jordan says it can handle any Syrian chemical threat - U.S. and British military experts have provided training in protecting civilians in case of a chemical attack on Jordanian territory. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Iran's Navy simulates enemy invasion - On second day of drill Islamic Republic tests operational capabilities of its warships and submarines, plants mines meant to target potential enemy ships. (Ynet)
- Obama signs law against Iran's Latin America influence - Washington tries to stem Tehran's growing impact in region; orders series of diplomatic and political measures to that effect via 'Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act.' (Agencies, Ynet)
- Prize to murderer of Jewish ambassador: gold - Maariv reported that the US ambassador to Yemen, whom Al-Qaeda has offered three kilos of gold in exchange for his death, is Jewish. (NRG Hebrew and AP report in English)
- Young woman spits at Israeli Arab MK during election panel - Bar-Ilan University, who hosted the panel, apologized and condemned the act. MK Ahmed Tibi: 'I will speak my mind and the mind of the Arab public with pride.' (Haaretz and Ynet)
- High Court rules: Israeli Arab MK Hanin Zuabi can run in upcoming election - In unanimous ruling, the court overturns decision to disqualify the Balad MK over her involvement in Gaza flotilla; Likud MK Yariv Levine: High Court justices will only understand Zuabi does not belong in the Knesset once she blows herself up there. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Livni not ruling out joining forces with Netanyahu after Israel election - Hatnuah chairwoman issues first public indication regarding plans for after January election, also says staying in the opposition remains an option; 'Our goal is to replace the driver,' she says. (Haaretz)
- Bennett: I regret - Ten days after causing an uproar after saying he would disobey orders and not evict settlers, Chairman of Habayit Hayehudi party Naftali Bennett said, "I don't have the right to make a private remark because of its consequences." (
- , p. 9)
- Yacimovich to hold mock video debate with Netanyahu - The "debate" will feature archive footage of the prime minister espousing various social and economic views, and the Labor leader responding with her own views on the subjects. (Haaretz)
- Senior minister: Netanyahu will leave Barak as Defense Minister - In Likud they claim that Barak has lowered his profile in order to give the feeling that he is outside of the game. "If our voters know that he will remain in his position - our situation will be bad." (Maariv, p. 5/NRG Hebrew)
In Israel, freedom of information comes at a price -An NGO's effort to learn about the government's treatment of Palestinian families in Jerusalem involved months of foot-dragging and a NIS 2,000 bill. (Haaretz)
Where are they now? / Maverick former MK explains why Soviet immigrants "really are racist"
Roman Bronfman used to represent Russian-speaking olim in the Knesset. In a new book he explores their "negative political impact" on Israel. (Haaretz)
The Jewish people's ultimate treasure hunt
In his search for Jewish ancestry, Eran Elhaik says he has discovered that some Ashkenazis originated in the Khazar empire, not the kingdom of Judah. (Haaretz)
I don't want to live in fear in 2013 (Julia Chaitin, Haaretz) I live near the Gaza border, but I do not want another year of reinforced concrete or Iron Domes or helicopters and war planes flying overhead day after day after day. It's time to lift the blockade on Gaza and enter into negotiations with Hamas for a long-term ceasefire.
Viewing Israel with one eye closed (Shaul Arieli, Haaretz) Ayone who examines the Israeli reality with both eyes open cannot escape its complexity. On the other hand, those who shut their eyes will be forced to imagine that reality and, operating within that imagined space, will seek to impose fanciful solutions.
Bibi's strange silence on Iran (Uzi Benziman, Haaretz) There is something unreasonable about such an extreme development - from putting the Iranian issue at the top of the national (and international) agenda for many long months, to its almost total banishment from the public discourse.
Netanyahu, the man with the moves (Aluf Benn, Haaretz) The prime minister is riding to the ballots on a wave of militarism and divisions among the other parties will give him the freedom to play one off against the other. What more could he ask for?
2013: It's now or never for the two-state-solution (Ziad Abu Zayyad, Haaretz) Former Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Zayyad says that if the international community doesn't stop Israel from killing the last chance for the two-state solution, this option will disappear forever to be replaced by a long painful bloody struggle which will end in a bi-national state, an option that Israel will never accept voluntarily.
This time the High Court was right (Uri Elitzur, Maariv) "The disqualification of [MK Hanin] Zoabi from the Knesset was liable to have caused fatal harm to democracy, and that is a heavier price than the presence of an insolent, anti-Semitic MK...The verdict by the High Court of Justice was expected, and, for a change, just. As much as this woman's conduct on the Marmara was aggravating and disgusting, in any case she must not be disqualified from competing for a place in the Knesset. The right to vote and to stand for election is basic and more profound than all other rights."
The Supreme Court has again rescued the shards of Israeli democracy (Aeyal Gross, Haaretz) While the Supreme Court may have overturned the Central Elections Committee's disqualification of MK Hanin Zuabi as a candidate in next month's election, the severe problems stemming from the existence of a political election committee still remain.
Two of Israel's most precious national institutions fall victim to Likud hysteria (Yossi Verter, Haaretz) Within eight hours, Likud officials slam Supreme Court, President Shimon Peres; Netanyahu may be Israel's next PM, but must remember that anyone who is attacked by Likud only grows stronger.
Dangers of assimilation (Bambi Sheleg, Yedioth/Ynet) Our nation's future depends on renewal of alliance between Israeli, American Jews.
Free the press (Haaretz Editorial) Why we need to stop limiting the broadcast media during election campaigns and instead allow these outlets to function with the same freedom enjoyed by the print and Internet media.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.