APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday December 4, 2012
Quote of the day:
"No more of the usual and expected condemnations and expressions of concern after each decision to continue to build in the West Bank. From now on, said the official, Israelis will feel on their expense the price of the decisions of their leaders."
--A senior European official told senior Yedioth political affairs commentator that Israel is at the beginning of a new period.**
Front Page News:
- Not just E-1: Israel advancing thousands more (housing) units in E. Jerusalem
- The Atlantic: Israel asked Jordan for support in destroying chemical weapons in Syria
- 28,000 nurses strike for the second day; severe disruptions at hospitals across the country
- Labor cancels surplus-vote deal with Meretz and turns to Lapid
- Law regarding acceptance committees (that keep Arabs out) of closed communities at High Court today
- New successor at Buckingham: Kate and William expecting a baby
- Yachimovich found 138 billion shekels
- Europe: Price tag - Israeli response to world condemnation: Another 1600 units in E. Jerusalem
- New reality // Shimon Schiffer** (Translation below)
- Our right // Hanoch Daum (Translation below)
- The captain paid dearly - After calling a player from opposing team "Nazi"...Maccabi Tel-Aviv captain Guy Penini was dismissed from his job and suspended from games and fined 100,000 shekels. Yesterday he said, "I'm ashamed"
- With happiness and concern - Kate Middleton hospitalized due to severe vomiting and Prince William was forced to announce earlier than planned: We're expecting a baby
- She preempted her dismissal with a resignation: [Controversial Yisrael Beiteinu MK] Anasthasia Michaeli is going home
- Turkish embarrassment - Tax Authority suspects: Turkish Airline hid millions (of shekels) in Israel
- Diplomatic assault: Five (Israeli) ambassadors censured in Europe; Americans joining condemnations; White House spokesman: Advancing construction in E-1 opposes US policy. Netanyahu rebuffed the condemnations and even threatened: We will take additional steps against the Palestinians"
- Maccabi Tel-Aviv captain called (a player) "Nazi" and was suspended
- The trip behind "To sing is like being Jordan" - A note written by (renowned Israeli poet and composer) Naomi Shemer was discovered in the National Archives and revealed: The song was inspired by a Bat-Mitzva trip she made with her mother to the Banias (source of Jordan River)" (Hebrew)
- Suspicion: (Crime leader) Rozenstein operated a crime organization from jail (Hebrew)
- New (religious) ruling: Religious people are permitted to eat at secular people's homes in order to connect between Jews (Hebrew)
- Nurses strike to continue today, too (Hebrew)
- "We won't change the decision, despite international pressure" - White House: "Reconsider"; Europe censures, but does not recall ambassadors
- It's not pleasant, but not the end of the world // Boaz Bismouth
- Israel is right, but not wise //Dan Margalit
- The left-wing is inviting international pressure // Dror Eydar
- Celebration in the kingdom - Baby for the monarchy
- A seventh of the money - Mofaz lost 7 MKs to Livni and millions for party financing and election broadcasts
- Anasthasia (Michaeli): I am leaving politics - The tempestuous MK won't be back for the next Knesset
- The curse and the dismissal - Guy Panini dismissed from job as Maccabi Tel-Aviv captain and suspended after calling Hapoal Tel-Aviv player "Nazi"
- Obama warns Assad: "Don't use the chemical weapons"
Israel bucks Western censure and announces more construction over the Green Line, a basketball captain makes a 'Nazi' slur and gets dismissed and the nurses continue to strike across the country making top stories in Israeli newspapers this morning.
The UK, France, Spain, Sweden, Denmark - all summoned the Israeli ambassadors for censure and to demand (Maariv) or urge (Haaretz) the Israeli government to rescind its decision to build thousands of housing units in the West Bank, including in E-1. French President Francois Hollande said the Israeli settlement plan is contrary to peacemaking. That appears to have had no effect: Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pulled out a plan to build 1,600 more units (Haaretz wrote 1700) in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo in E. Jerusalem. This was the controversial settlement expansion announced - then frozen - during US Vice President Joe Biden's visit in 2011. It will be discussed next week at the Jerusalem Planning and Construction Committee. Germany was one key European country that did not call in the Israeli ambassador, apparently in order not to ruin the atmosphere ahead of Netanyahu's visit, wrote Maariv's Eli Bardenstein. Nevertheless, Yedioth called the 'particularly harsh criticism' Germany made against Israel a 'severe blow.' Netanyahu leaves tomorrow to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, where he will say that implementing the decision to build in the mega-sensitive E-1 area, north of Jerusalem, will take years, Maariv wrote.
Senior European diplomats warned Israel through Israeli journalists: This time it won’t just be condemnation, there will be real action taken against Israel, one told Haaretz. Another told Yedioth "What is for sure is that the Europeans are taking off their gloves in regards to us. We have not seen such harsh responses to Israeli moves in years. (See also Shimon Schiffer's analysis below.) But another official told Maariv that "no side, not Israel, not the Palestinians, and not Europe, want to break the rules of the game." The White House also called on Israel to reconsider its settlement plan in E-1.
Haaretz reported that former US Ambassador to Israel, Dan Kurtzer, said that Washington was angered by an Israeli official's claim that the new building plans in E-1 are aimed at Obama, not the Palestinians, because Obama refused to confirm the 2004 Bush-Sharon letter on US agreement that Israel keep settlement blocs in a final status arrangement with the Palestinians.
Ynet writes that Israeli officials with ties to US administration say that Washington gave Europe the green light to summon Israeli ambassadors over settlement construction."The Americans are at a difficult position having backed Israel at the UN against the Palestinian bid. They did not expect this from Israel. Administration officials feel that Netanyahu is humiliating them and making a fool out of them by creating such a diplomatic crisis," an Israeli official told Ynet. Meanwhile, Australia has also called the Israeli ambassador to protest the move.
Netanyahu aides say that Israel will not cancel the settlement expansion plans. And leading Israeli opposition politicians and even Israeli diplomats say Netanyahu's decision to build in E-1 is bad for Israel. Former prime minister Ehud Olmert lauded Obama’s 'extraordinary courage' in defense of Israel at UN – and slammed the government’s 'offending' response, Haaretz reported.
- Activists hand out fliers at IDF center promoting 'price tag' attacks - Army says Shin Bet candidate, at the induction center for procedural purposes, distributed the fliers without permission. (Haaretz)
- 3 arrested for vandalizing Palestinian property - Young men apprehended after torching car, spray-painting 'price tag' graffiti in Palestinian town near Hebron. (Ynet)
- High Court to hear petitions that towns are using law to keep Arabs out - tPetitioners argue new law would also keep out those with physical or mental disabilities. (Haaretz)
- Report: Israel requested Jordan's 'permission' to attack Syria chemical weapons sites - Netanyahu sent reps to Amman twice in the last two months, fearing Jordan's response if Israel went ahead without approval, Jeffrey Goldberg writes in The Atlantic. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- UN calls on Israel to open nuclear facilities - General Assembly approves resolution calling on Israel to open its nuclear program for IAEA inspection, join NPT. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Sayeret Matkal commander: Stop leaking secrets to the press - IDF commander writes letter after Israeli media outlets publish information regarding Sayeret Matkal's (General Staff Reconnaissance Unit) secret activities, including past assassinations and fatal training accidents. (Israel Hayom)
- EU diplomatic row could cost (Israeli) West Bank factories - Danish Foreign Minister is pushing an initiative to require EU stores to mark products as made in settlements, rather than made in Israel. (Haaretz)
- Ax-wielding Palestinian shot dead in West Bank - Palestinian crashes his car into army jeep, charges at officers with ax before being shot dead. (Ynet)
- Eli Yishai wants to revoke bus bombing terrorist's citizenship - The accused received Israeli citizenship in 1995 according to the family reunification law, which allowed Palestinians who married Israeli Arabs to receive Israeli citizenship. He is being tried for throwing a bomb into a crowded Tel Aviv bus, wounding 28. (Israel Hayom)
- Hamas opens Pillar of Defense exhibition - Hamas displays Jabari's destroyed car, pictures of injured children to present 'horrible actions of the occupation and its crimes.' (Ynet)
- The Arab gang of (crime boss) Zeev Rozenstein - Police suspect that Rozenstein, who has been in jail for 7 years, hired the services of the Abdel Kader Arab crime family from Taybeh. Goal: To keep his business going while in jail. (Maariv, p. 12, NRG Hebrew and Haaretz NOTE: Haaretz does not mention connection to Rozenstein)
- Maccabi Tel Aviv captain Guy Pnini suspended over Nazi slur - Mac. T.A. basketball club fines Pnini NIS 100,000, strips him of his role as captain and suspends him until further notice, after he was filmed making a slew of curses in a derby match against Hapoel Tel Aviv. (Haaretz)
- Footballers protest Israel hosting UEFA Euro U21 - Over 60 players sign statement saying UEFA's decision to stage tournament in Jewish state next year will be 'seen as a reward for actions that are contrary to sporting values.' (Agencies, Ynet)
- Tax officials raid offices of Turkish Airlines in Tel Aviv - The authority is investigating alleged tax evasion worth several hundred thousands of shekels. (Haaretz)
- Alanis Morissette visits Western Wall - Canadian singer spends day before her Tel Aviv concert touring Jerusalem. (Ynet)
- Dead Sea to get its first mall - Global real estate company Bercleys unveils plans to build shopping mall in lowest place on earth at total investment of NIS 200 million. Survey shows one tourist has purchasing power of 17 Israelis. (Yedioth and Ynet)
- Bedouin women want to work, but are impeded by lack of Hebrew - Some 61% of Bedouin in recognized communities are below the official poverty line. The biggest barrier to the integration of Bedouin women into Israeli society and into its workforce is language. (Haaretz)
- US report: Syria assembling chemical weapons - Official tells Wired magazine Assad forces reached the point where they can 'load chemical weapons on plane and drop them.' Obama warns Assad not to make 'tragic mistake' and use WMDs. (Ynet)
- UN chief accuses Syria of violating Golan accord with Israel - Ban Ki-moon says recent incidents across the cease-fire line have shown the potential to escalate Israeli-Syrian tensions, and jeopardize the agreement and the region's stability. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Report: Iran suggests Assad's time is running out - Iranian parliament speaker offers to host Syrian president when his regime is toppled, Lebanese paper reports. (Ynet)
- Iran hints direct talks with US are possible - Iranian foreign minister says Islamic republic may be ready for diplomatic talks with US, as sanctions over Iran's nuclear development take toll on the country's economy. (Agencies, Ynet)
Not only Ashekazi Jews of Polish origin, also those with surnames such as 'Toledano, Cevilia or Batito,' are only one step from an EU passport. Since the Interior Ministry in Madrid announced its intentions to award citizenship to offspring of Jews expelled from Spain - hundreds of Israelis have rushed to the opportunity. (Yedioth '24 Hours' supplement, p. 1)
Throwing Gaza's fishermen a lifeline
Despite loosened restrictions, Gaza fishermen struggle to eke out a livelihood. Concerns abound over diminishing fish stocks and arrests by the Israeli navy. (By Abeer Ayyoub, Haaretz)
Reckless behavior (Haaretz Editorial) Netanyahu's decision to punish the PA has provoked a confrontation with the international community that might plumb new depths for Israel's international standing. This is a heavy price that cannot be explained away as an investment in national security. Why did Israel kill Jabari? (Reuven Pedatzur, Haaretz) Now that the explosions have stopped, we are obligated to delve into the truth behind Operation Pillar of Defense.
Both sides at fault (Emanuel Rosen, Yedioth and Ynet) Israelis, Palestinians engaging in heated exchanges, cheap diplomatic gimmicks as catastrophe looms.
World plays into Bibi's hands (Nehemia Shtrasler, Haaretz) The UN vote on Palestine has allowed Netanyahu to put war and peace back into the center of his election campaign, while throwing out the social and economic issues.
European warning shot (Atilla Somfalvi, Ynet) Europe fed up with Bibi; wants to put Palestinian issue back on the agenda ahead of elections.
Construction in Jerusalem: an ethical move (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) Never again will the Jews relinquish their freedom to decide on their own future and determine their own fate.
Will U.S. Jews stand together in Israel’s next crisis? (Sara Hirschhorn, Haaretz) Although Israel's latest war ended several weeks ago, the battle for the conscience of the American Jewish community has only just begun.
Britain’s dual-track diplomacy: Improving relations while fighting the settlements (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz) Britain's severe diplomatic response to Israel's decision on settlement expansion should not have surprised anyone.
What should Israel do? (Yoram Ettinger, Israel Hayom) Will contemporary Israeli leaders sustain the self-destructive Oslo state of mind, ignoring the Palestinian reality that in the Middle East either you eat from — or become part of — the menu?
We became addicted to the status quo (Noam Sheizaf, Maariv and in English at 972mag.com) Most of the public prefers the status quo over the dangers of annexing the (Palestinian) territories or of the creation of a Palestinian state. In the long term, this is a dangerous choice.
Our right (Hanoch Daum, Yedioth) "We will withstand this diplomatic mini-crisis, mainly because the alternative would be much more dangerous...There is something that the Europeans have chosen to forget: The Palestinians are serial peace-refusers," he writes, saying they rejected of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's proposals and responded with terrorism to Israel's unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip. "To accuse Israel of being unwilling to conduct a diplomatic campaign is both a lie and stupid since every time we held such a dialogue we were rebuffed." Daum suggests that not responding to, "Abu Mazen's unilateral act, which is a gross violation of prior agreements…would have created a dangerous precedent," and concludes: "Today, There is a broad consensus in Israel about the settlement blocs. There are hardly any Israelis who do not believe that these blocs will not remain in our hands even if a miracle occurs and we reach a permanent agreement. The decision to build in those blocs is, first of all, an Israeli right, and only afterwards a step to punish the Palestinians."
Netanyahu's missed opportunity (Shlomo Avineri, Haaretz) How Netanyahu might have responded to Abbas: 'You have already come a long way, Mr. President. In the name of the people of Israel, in all their diversity, I would like to congratulate you.'
**The new reality: We will pay (Shimon Schiffer, Yedioth) In the past prime ministers would react with scorn and ridicule to UN resolutions and of European countries against Israel...But it appears that Europe's assault on the Netanyahu government in light of the decision to build thousands of apartments in the Territories cannot be with a few sharp sentences. Israel is now experiencing a reality it did not know in the past: Europe is going to make 'price-tag' (revenge attacks) for Israel's behavior. No less. A senior official in Europe told me yesterday that we are at the beginning of a new period: no more of the usual and expected condemnations and expressions of concern after each decision to continue to build in the West Bank. From now on, said the official, Israelis will feel on their expense the price of the decisions of their leaders....
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.