APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday December 5, 2012
Quote of the day:
"Communities for Jews-only is racism."
--Knesset Legal Advisor, Adv. Eyal Yinon, slams Israeli residential communities who keep Arabs out.**
Front Page News:
- Merkel to warn Netanyahu: Israel on way to isolation
- Likud Beiteinu lineup
- Elections 2013: Haaretz examines which MKs were really in favor of social justice; Compromise in Shas;
- Real alarm: Olmert also promised to build in E-1
- Syrian President examining possibility of refuge in Latin America
- Israel public defender: District court judge more severe with African migrants just because of their race
- Also in Israel, now possible to buy music from iTunes
- Lieberman's list - An hour before announcing his party's Knesset list, he called his Deputy at the Foreign Ministry, Danny Ayalon, and told him: you're out
- Assad's moment of truth - Associates: He understands his chances of escaping are zero; In Egypt, demonstrators made the president flee from the palace
- The pupil undressed, the teacher went into shock - She is suing him in court (for disability compensation)
- Serial curser - Maccabi TLV basketball captain Guy Panini said it's unusual for him to curse - but 3 years ago he wished Hapoel Jerusalem fans "an enormous tumor in their heads"
- iTunes makes aliyah (immigrates to Israel) - And it will offer services to non-iPhone users
- Report: Israel could participate in an attack on Syria - London Times publishes today: US preparing multi-national coalition with UK, Jordan, Turkey and Israel. Goal: To neutralize Assad's chemical weapons in case he uses them against rebels (Hebrew)
- (Egyptian President) Morsi flees from the palace (Hebrew)
- Will continue to die: Jordan backs down from 'Seas pipeline,' which was meant to save Dead Sea
- Olmert zigzags: Former prime minister attacked this week the construction in E-1. In the past he said: "It's clear the stretch between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim will be built up. (Hebrew)
- Lieberman dismisses: Yisrael Beiteinu list: Stas Misezhnikov and Danny Ayalon are out (Hebrew)
- Closing accounts, closing party lists - Tomorrow is last day to submit party lists; In Yisrael Beiteinu, Lieberman dismissed 5 - the surprise was his deputy Danny Ayalon; In Kadima, Olmert involved in decided list; In Shas, show of unity ended in fight
- Netanyahu: Watching Syria's chemical weapons from up close
- Egypt: Morsi fled from the presidential palace
- The candle light that survived Auschwitz - Willy Tal went with his patients from the psychiatric hospital to death; His Hannuka menorah was found and donated to Yad Vashem
- Despite the international pressure: Discussion today for construction approval for E-1
- Nurses' strike enters third day; thousands of operations cancelled
- Britain excited: Is Kate expecting twins?
More tension over E1 as the Israeli Prime Minister travels to Germany, Yisrael Beiteinu chairman cleans out his party and the Egyptian President flees from his official residence as tens of thousands of demonstrators come knocking making the top stories in today's Israeli newspapers. Meanwhile, Israel might take part in a multi-national attack on Syria, the Interior Security Minister decides undercover Arab-looking cops are not for use against Jews and the Knesset legal advisor says the slogan "Judaize the Negev and the Galilee" is racist - or not.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu arrives today in Berlin, where German Chancellor Angela Merkel will warn him tonight: Advance the peace process or face world isolation, writes Haaretz. Maariv writes that Israel has already told the US that at this time, it has no intention to build in E-1, the controversial space of land between Maaleh Adumim and Jerusalem that cuts the West Bank into two. (Haaretz has a Q&A about what is area E-1.) Netanyahu's office told the Obama administration that this is only a planning move and it can be stopped at any time. (NRG Hebrew) Maariv also reported that Netanyahu told his PR forum that the "conflict between us and the Palestinians does not deal with settlements or borders...the root of the conflict is that the Palestinians do not recognize the right of the Jewish people in Israel." He also said that, "We can expect many more developments and changes in this changing Middle East...We can expect much more difficult periods soon." (NRG Hebrew) Brazil and Australia have also summoned the Israeli ambassadors for a rebuke over Israel's decision to expand Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and withhold tax revenue from the Palestinian Authority. Britain has said that the EU is not looking at making sanctions against Israel, but rather offering 'incentives and disincentives' to support US efforts to bring Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.
Meanwhile, Palestine has threatened filing war crimes charges at the International Criminal Court if Israel does not halt the E-1 plans, has called on the US to imitate the European rebuke of Israeli envoys and lodged an official complaint with the UN and said that Israel must be held accountable for settlement expansion.
All the papers are taking a stab at former prime minister Ehud Olmert who has attacked the government decision to build E-1. They all discovered that in 2006 he supported E-1 construction. Israel's Civil Administration settlement subcommittee is already set to approve submission of plan to build in E-1. Haaretz reports that yesterday police and bulldozers arrived in the Palestinian Jerusalem neighborhood A-Tur, rising tension. The article has a great aerial photo of Har Gilo settlement from 2011 that when you move your cursor over it shows you what it looked like, sans many homes, in 2003.
"In the case of use of chemical weapons, Israel is likely to participate in an attack on Syria," the London Times reported in an article translated to Hebrew in Maariv. A US official said that a multi-national coalition led by the US would be composed of forces from Jordan, Turkey and the UK. The attack will include ground operations using 75,000 commando and infantry soldiers who will take over the chemical weapons facilities. (NRG Hebrew)
**"Communities for Jews-only is racism," Knesset's legal advisor, Adv. Eyal Yinon, said yesterday at a hearing in the High Court over a law that allows residential communities to have admissions committees, which essentially keep out Arab families, Yedioth reported. A group of Israeli progressive NGOs have petitioned the High Court to annul the law. For years, ministers and MKs called for "Judaizing the Negev and the Galilee, but yesterday the state's official representative said: "Regarding the slogans of 'Judaizing the Negev and the Galilee,' they are prohibited if they are used for racist purposes. Only if the slogans are used to encourage settling there without blocking minorities (are the slogans permissible)." He clarified that encouraging Jews to settle in the north or south of the country does not necessarily mean blocking Arabs. [This is so ambiguous - as if it were possible to know what the minister or MK means when he calls for the Judaization. - OH] The issue has been in the High Court for some years, and at the hearing yesterday before an expanded nine-justice court, Yinon 'shot arrows of criticism at the right-wing party MKs,' Yedioth wrote. But, he defended the law permitting admissions committees, saying that the law clearly explains that admissions committees may not refuse anyone based on their race, religion, etc. Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon (who was kicked out of the top of the party later in the day) said, "The subject of conquering lands is important in nationalist and Zionist terms and we don't have to be embarrassed about it." Yedioth wrote that it does not appear that the High Court will intervene in the law, particularly since no specific cases of discrimination were given. Haaretz writes that the NGOs argued that the law can be used to keep out Arabs, gays and others out of communities.
Two months after it was revealed that for the first time Israeli special forces dressed as Arabs, known as mist'aravim, were used near Hebron to catch settlers attacking Palestinians, the Minister for Interior Security Yitzhak Aharonovich declared it won't happen again. The settlers complained bitterly when they discovered that the method commonly used for arresting Palestinians was being used on them. Aharonvich order the Shai District Police to stop the use of mist'aravim against Jews. (Maariv, p. 18 and NRG Hebrew)
- Union for Reform Judaism denounces Israel’s decision to expand settlements - Board of Trustees of largest Jewish organization in US also condemns 'unilateral' Palestinian move at UN – but it is their public criticism of Israel that is likely to generate controversy. (Haaretz)
- Leaders of prominent New York City synagogue praise UN Palestine vote - The New York Times, which first reported the email on Tuesday, said that it elicited 'shock' from some members and was welcomed by others. (Haaretz)
- Jordan gives up on the Red-Dead canal project - Harsh blow to the plan for a pipeline that would connect between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea to save the latter from drying up. The Hashemite Kingdom announced it would not be able to pay the costs. [Note: The project is very controversial because it could harm the Dead Sea waters. See FoEME for more info. -OH] (Maariv, p. 10)
- Bedouin face displacement in West Bank (E-1) corridor, regardless of Israel's constructions plans - Whether recently approved plans for construction in the E-1 area materialize or not, Israel plans to the relocate the local Bedouin population - against their will. (Haaretz)
- Price tag' suspects revealed as road caution advocates - Settlers launch campaign to raise awareness to road casualties using tombstone-shaped signs that read Price Tag; four who put up signs arrested for 'price-tag' acts. (Ynet)
- Israel ranks 39 on list of most corrupt countries - Despite the efforts of campaigners in different parts of the world, Transparency International's corruption perception index (CPI) shows that of the two-thirds of 176 nations surveyed had a score below 50, which means they are very corrupt. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- 8 paratroopers reassigned over patchouli ban - Combat troops who voiced 'distrust' in their commanders over talisman's ban assigned to administrative roles. (Ynet)
- How Jews and Arabs respond differently to the same Israeli health basket - Study finds that Jewish heart patients are far more likely to undergo cardiac rehabilitation than Arabs. (Haaretz)
- Story by terror operative upsets school kids' parents - Education Ministry suspends Arab studies program featuring text penned by former Popular Front spokesman. (Note: Ghassan Kanafani is a famous Palestinian writer who also served as spokesman for the PFLP. He used his writing to fight Israel. -OH] (Yedioth and Ynet)
- For the first time since '77: The Old City will be revovated - Jerusalem's master plan calls to bring 'modernization' to the captial. Among the changes: Expanding the Wailing Wall plaza, rehabilitating Jaffa Gat and its historic buildings and improving the underground infrastructure. [Note: No Arab residents of the Old City were asked for reactions. - OH] (Maariv, p. 19)
- Israel preparing to test new generation of Arrow anti-missile system - The new Arrow 3 system would be able to intercept unconventional Iranian missiles, says Defense Ministry project chief. Iran is estimated to possess hundreds of long-range Shahab 3 missiles. (Haaretz)
- It's not ironic. Alanis Morissette rocks Tel Aviv - Canadian singer chooses to wrap up world tour in Israel despite pressure by pro-Palestinian groups to cancel the show. (Israel Hayom)
- In Rafah, digging (tunnels) again - A look at life under the Philadelphi Route. (Maariv and NRG Hebrew and Washington Post)
- Friedman: Israel being run by arrogant far-right group - New York Times columnist criticizes Israeli leaders for ignoring US administration that 'did everything possible to block UN vote.' (Ynet)
- Saudi paper presents: Beauties (of) Knesset - Saudi-based Al-Arabiya dedicates special elections feature to what it calls 'surge of beautiful women in Israeli politics.' (Ynet)
- NATO gives go-ahead to send Patriot missiles to Turkey - North Atlantic alliance bolsters Ankara's weapons deployment as tensions vis-à-vis Syria grow. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Assad seeking political asylum in Latin America if forced to flee Syria - Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister held meetings in Cuba, Venezuela and Ecuador over the past week, and brought with him classified personal letters from Assad to local leaders. (Haaretz)
- Jordan's King Abdullah to visit Ramallah - Palestinian Authority to host King Abdullah II in 'first visit by Arab leader in Palestine as occupied state.' (Agencies, Ynet)
- Egypt: Thousands ready to march on presidential palace - Masses gather in Cairo, Alexandria to protest against President Morsi's constitution; say rallies are his 'final warning.' (Agencies, Ynet)
- Report: Morsi may suspend decree - Sky News Arabia reports president is mulling writing off controversial clauses in decree that grants him more powers. (Ynet)
- Iran claims capture of another US drone - One year after shooting down RQ-170 drone, Revolutionary Guard claims intercepted Scan Eagle aircraft over Persian Gulf. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Avigdor Lieberman ousts three controversial lawmakers from Yisrael Beiteinu's Knesset slate - Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov of Yisrael Beiteinu says he is resigning from political life, a day after MK Anastassia Michaeli called it quits. And Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon sparked outrage in 2010 after making the Turkish ambassador sit in a lower chair at a meeting. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
- The price they paid for their scandals - Shock and disbelief were common in Yisrael Beytenu on Tuesday with the news that Danny Ayalon, Stas Misezhnikov and Anastassia Michaeli would not be on the party list in the upcoming Knesset election. (Israel Hayom)
- Take the money and run: Kadima MKs defect, without their debt - Livni's Hatnuah to receive millions of shekels from taxpayers because of Kadima splinter group, leaving behind a mountain of debt from her tenure at the party helm. In heated Knesset debate, lawmakers say Livni shed her image as Mrs. Clean just to win votes. (Israel Hayom)
- Peretz demands Yachimovich pledge not to join Likud coalition - Labor Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich presents plan for a "fair economy." (Israel Hayom)
Two Palestinians make guest appearance on Tel Aviv's art scene
Exhibitions by Palestinian artists Manal Mahamid and Raafat Hattab attempt to address the concept of home using allegory but fall into cliché. (Haaretz)
We won't give up our occupation (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) Forty-five years of successful occupation speak for themselves. Another 87 years remain before Israel has occupied Palestine for as long as France ruled in Algeria, although in demographic terms Israel achieved its aim long ago.
The UN may have given birth to a new peace paradigm (Yossi Alpher, Haaretz) State-to-state contacts between Israel and Palestine could be positive outcome of the Palestinian victory at the UN after the failure of final-status talks based on the Oslo accords. If we can agree on borders, security and a Palestinian capital, we emerge from the United Nations with a two-state reality and a far more manageable conflict.
Limits to force - What will the goyim (non-Jews) say? (Bambi Sheleg, Yedioth) Sheleg discusses the controversy over the government's plans to build additional housing units in eastern Jerusalem and various sites in the West Bank. "I also have a deep and uncompromising relationship with the Bible and the ancient dreams of returning to our land and of a renewed building of our sovereign lives. On the other hand, I also have a deep and uncompromising relationship with reality. In this reality, difficult and tragic, there are two peoples in this land, and this problem cannot be solved only by force...The suspicions of most Israelis towards the western countries has a firm base in reality. But on the other hand, can we really permit ourselves to live in a world which is hostile towards us in every direction?"
How can Jews best help third world? Expertise and innovation (Aliza Inbal, Haaretz) Short-term volunteer work by Jewish youth in the third world has good intentions but exploits the global poor to promote Jewish identity.
End the immunity (Oudeh Basharat, Haaretz) The International Court of Justice was established following World War II, during which horrendous crimes were committed. The establishment of the court is a blessing, not a curse. It's good that the world is helping Israel come to its senses.
Blowback to tidying up Israel's history (Akin Ajayi, Haaretz) Hiding the controversies when we teach children about Israel's modern history is designed to promote a unified national story. But it would be better for our children to have the chance to grapple with the messy reality of their heritage now before those dormant controversies erupt again, as they have done in Nigeria, where I grew up.
When being right isn't always the smartest thing (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) The decision to build in E1 is leading Israel down a fruitless road fraught with unnecessary diplomatic hostility.
Rightward surplus votes (Haaretz Editorial) Those who were hesitating between Labor and Meretz but took comfort in knowing that their surplus vote would strengthen one of the two might find themselves voting Labor but giving Lapid an extra MK
The true ruler of Israeli media: Benjamin Netanyahu (Nati Tucker, Haaretz) Money woes at Channels 10 and 2 have turned the prime minister into industry regulator.
More Catholic than Bibi: Lieberman is now the true Likud (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz) A week after Likud 'princes' were ousted in the party primaries, Yisrael Beiteinu chairman promotes second-generation Revisionists at the expense of his hitherto loyal allies. Does that pave the way to his taking over Likud?
Not pleasant, but not terrible (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) The lack of proportionality exhibited by European nations is truly disturbing.
Punitive measures hurt Israel as much as the Palestinians (Barak Ravid, Haaretz) For Netanyahu, the upcoming election seems to have tipped the balance in favor of harsh measures against the Palestinians, which will only increase Israel's global isolation.
The Left summons its friends (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) If the public can't be convinced, and if reality also doesn't lend itself to their fantasy of peace, it's always possible to count on pressure from abroad.
Netanyahu finally has his ground war: Not Hamas, but Obama (Bradley Burston, Haaretz) The image and the office of the U.S. president help Netanyahu stay on message. And his message to the voters he seeks out is clear: You are only as important as the people you anger.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.