APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday December 6, 2012
Quote of the day:
"I told them I was Israeli in interrogation. They knew anyway."
--Israeli-American Josh Fattal tells Haaretz that he was not treated any worse by his captors, Iran, for his Israeli and Jewish identity, even though, he says, Israel is wrongly "pushing America towards war" against Iran.**
Front Page News:
- The (party) lists close tonight, effort to unite the center (bloc) - The leak and its punishment: This is how Ayalon was dismissed; Threshhold - New section on the small parties; Kadima is crumbling
- Netanyahu's office torpedoed meeting of (academic) researcher with Merkel because of her (left-leaning) views; Despite the criticism, E-1 plan approved
- Violent clashes in Cairo; 4 advisors to Morsi resigned
- State Comptroller: Excessive salaries, nepotism and improper administrative practices at Bar-Ilan University
- Former police officer suspected of murder and numerous bank robberies caught
- The leading searches of 2012 - Israel in the mirror of Google: Money and cellular
- The right wing is endangering Israel // Ari Shavit
- Fury in Likud: Netanyahu sold us to Lieberman - at last moment, Netanyahu pushed Likud members back and moved forward Lieberman's people
- "You caught me, good for you" - End to the hunt after the "Motorbike bank robber #2"
- Guy Panini speaks - The captain who cursed and got a heavy punishment: "I paid for everything that is bad in Israeli sport"
- From TV to jail? The judge sent Eyal Shani (chef and star on "Master Chef') to prison if he does not pay his creditors (Hebrew)
- The 'Like' contractors - Second investigation in a series on the dark side of the 2013 elections: This is how the battle over the Internet is really waged
- European Union to accelerate legislation to mark (Israeli) products from Judea and Samaria (West Bank) (Hebrew)
- Met for dinner - Merkel and Netanyahu in Berlin; In Prague, PM and wife greeted by Czech Prime Minister, the only EU country to oppose the Palestinian statehood bid (Hebrew)
- Today lists close for Knesset candidates
- Kadima, the end //Mazal Muallem (Hebrew)
- Police arrested suspect in murder of guard at bank branch in Beer Yaakov and in more than 20 other robberies (Hebrew)
- Lost, the south's version: where did the foreign workers from the communities surrounding the Gaza Strip disappear when they left during "Operation Pillar of Cloud" (Hebrew)
- The stage of the lists - Who's inside, who's outside? By 10PM all the parties will present their slates
- Crumbling - Abandoning the sinking ship in Kadima: Four Kadima MKs resign from politics
- Born in sin, died in disgrace // Dan Margalit
- Master, returns - Court: If chef Eyal Shani does not pay his debt by Sunday - he'll be imprisoned for 45 days
- Caught red handed - Suspicion: "Motorbike bank robber #2" caught while robbing his 15th bank
- The most popular woman in Google searches is Bar Refaeli, how could it be otherwise
- Netanyahu: "We are disappointed in Germany's vote at the UN"
- Bar-Ilan family: Every fifth employee at Bar-Ilan University is a relative of another employee
Kadima crumbles, Germany "disappoints" and a successful bank robber runs out of luck. Meanwhile, Palestine turns to the UN while and the EU is set to make sanctions against Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday and both Israel Hayom and Haaretz emphasized that he was the one rebuking Germany for abstaining - and not voting against the UN vote on Palestine. Haaretz wrote that in an interview yesterday with German paper, Die Welt, Netanyahu 'presented a softer position regarding Israel's moves.' Yedioth in its article on the visit, titled 'Warning from a friend,' stressed that it was Merkel who warned Netayahu he must retract his decision to build in E-1 at the risk of Israeli isolation from the world. Maariv reported that this week, the EU will likely approve a series of steps against Israel for its decision to build in E-1, including the marking of Israeli products made in the West Bank and possibly a boycott on them. And, there are attempts in the EU to pass a resolution that will require all 27 member-states to summon the Israeli ambassadors for censure. (NRG Hebrew) Before arriving in Berlin, Netanyahu visited Prague, the only European country that voted against the UN resolution to upgrade the Palestinians' status. There he attempted to ease concerns over settlement construction plans by saying that Jerusalem is as committed to peace process as ever.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was unconvinced and contacted the UN chief to sound out possibilities for a Security Council resolution against Israeli settlement expansion, saying 'E-1 was a redline.' Meanwhile, E-1 got its first approvals by the Civil Administration's higher planning committee. Jibril Rajoub, a former head of the Preventive Security Force in the West Bank and a senior Fatah member said to Ynet: "Why are the Israelis so afraid of the ICC? Only criminals are afraid of court. Are you war criminals? If you are – you have a cause for concern; but if you aren’t – why are you worried?"
- Ruling: 'Price tag' acts akin to terror - Supreme Court renders precedent-setting ruling allowing authorities to apply some of the legal practices used in terror cases to 'price tag' cases. (Ynet)
- Supreme Court okays keeping 'price-tag' suspects from meeting lawyer - Order prohibits three settlers suspected of "price-tag" attacks from meeting with lawyer for 72 hours. Police believe the suspects, who were arrested in the Hebron area, torched vehicles and sprayed graffiti on homes and mosques in Palestinian villages. (Israel Hayom)
- Palestinian 'shot in stomach by soldiers' south of Hebron - A military patrol entered the town of Dura, sparking clashes with local youth Saturday night. Israeli forces used tear gas and live fire against residents, injuring Shadi Salameh al-Masharqa, 22, who was hit by a live bullet in his abdomen and underwent surgery in Hebron. (Maan)
- Settlers burn car, spray paint hate slogans in Hebron - Mahmoud Abu Sundus' car was completely burnt out by the vandals who sprayed hate slogans on homes in the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Monday morning. (Maan)
- Israeli forces demolish mosque in south Hebron hills - The mosque in al-Mafqara village, near Yatta, was destroyed Tuesday by Israeli forces, who prevented locals from removing books and other objects prior to the demolition, witnesses told Ma'an. (Maan)
- UNESCO likely to recognize West Bank village's terraces as heritage site - Designation expected to aid legal battle against separation fence near West Bank village. (Haaretz)
- Israel's High Court hears appeal against controversial 'Boycott Law' - According to the law passed in July 2011, a person or organization calling for the boycott of Israel, including the settlements, can be sued by the boycott's targets without having to prove that they sustained damage. (Haaretz)
- Religious education (system) fighting over Arabic - Only 114 students in the religious highs schools signed up to study Arabic, but a new program will encourage religious students to study the language and give teachers an incentive; One Arabic teacher: "It's important to know the neighbors." (Maariv, p. 16)
- Islamic Jihad warns Israel over settlements plan - "The aggressive polices of the occupation require confrontation," the group said, claiming it would respond to Israeli policies of expanding settlements and displacing Palestinians. (Maan)
- Jailed PFLP leader Saadat backs UN bid - Speaking from Hadarim prison through his lawyer, Saadat said Palestine's new UN status was a step in the right direction, and must be followed by efforts to pressure the UN to make Israel comply with international law and previous UN resolutions. (Maan)
- Israel's immigrants star in OECD education ranking - Non-native Israelis have higher employment rates than sabras. (Haaretz)
- U.S. Jewish billionaire Ron Lauder declared 'persona non grata' in Austria's Jewish community - The president of the community alleges in letter that Lauder offered money to community executive board members to support a candidate he was promoting in last month's elections. Lauder calls allegations despicable and baseless. (Haaretz)
- Obama tops Forbes 2012 power list; Netanyahu 23rd - US president leads prestigious 'Most-Powerful' list. Israeli PM falls shy of top-20; bested by Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei in 21st place. (Ynet)
- Syria war threatens UN troops on Golan ceasefire line - Raging conflict between Assad, rebels threatens to spread beyond Syria's borders once again; UN forces near Israel-Syria border reinforce weapons' lineup; Lebanon security forces on high alert. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Report: Syrian military arms chemical weapons - NBC says Assad's forces have 'loaded chemical weapons into bombs'; now await orders to strike rebels with deadly sarin gas. (Ynet)
- Clashes erupt in Egypt despite proposal to end crisis - Violent riots erupt outside Cairo's presidential palace; over 120 people injured. Muslim Brotherhood HQ in Ismailia torched; three of Morsi's advisers quit. (Agencies, Ynet)
- High-level Indonesian delegation arrives in Gaza - Marzouqi Ali, head of the Indonesian parliament, told reporters at the Rafah crossing that the visit aimed to offer diplomatic support to the Palestinian people. (Maan)
- Kadima crumbling: Prominent MKs quit, only one-third remain - Dalia Itzik, Ya'akov Edrey, and Roni Bar-On have informed Mofaz they are taking a break from politics; seven breakaway MKs have already joined Livni's movement. (Haaretz)
- Fury in Likud: Netanyahu sold us to Lieberman - at last moment, Netanyahu pushed Likud members back and moved forward Lieberman's people (Yedioth and Ynet)
- A.B. Yehoshua, intellectual elite jump on Meretz bandwagon - Other 'stars' are Joshua Sobol, Yehoshua Kenaz, Ronit Matalon, Alona Kimhi, Izhar Ashdot, Ruth Dayan, Alex Levac, Esti Zakheim, Victor Shem-Tov, and Prof. Yechiam Weitz. (Haaretz)
- Kadima names Knesset list - MKs Israel Hasson, Yohanan Plesner ranks second and third to party chairman Mufaz; three women slated in top 10. (Ynet)
- Kadima's Dalia Itzik quits politics - After 20 years in politics Kadima faction chairwoman and former Knesset speaker decides to take time off over 'power struggles in left and center.' (Ynet)
- Marina Solodkin exits Kadima - Party suffers another blow when long-time champion of immigrants' rights leaves over unrealistic Knesset list position. (Ynet)
- Election dark horse Amsellem reveals slate of unknowns - Polls show party winning enough seats to enter the Knesset. (Haaretz)
- The alphabet soup line - Strange coalitions form as activists camp out overnight to book ballot letters. (Haaretz)
- Pirate Party drops anchor - New liberal party presents Central Elections Committee with Knesset list in full pirate gear. (Ynet)
**781 days in Iranian captivity
Josh Fattal was released from an Iranian prison in 2011 after two years. On a visit to Israel, he shares the lessons of his experiences. (By Danna Harman, Haaretz)
President Obama’s must-read primer on clearing 'Pathways to Peace'
Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer is convinced that Middle East peacemaking is 'in Obama’s guts.' Numerous free copies of “Pathways to Peace: America and the Arab-Israeli Conflict” have been sent to the White House in recent days in order to make the book “hard to avoid” for its’ ultimate target audience of one, President Barack Obama. The book, a compendium of articles, edited by Kurtzer and published by Palgrave Macmillan, aims to show the president how to move forward. (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz)
Now you show up, Europe? (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) Good morning, Europe, you're late once again: too little and too late.
Ben-Gurion already agreed to a Palestinian state (Shaul Arieli, Haaretz) Will Israel's government realize that the partition idea, which enables Israel's existence as a Jewish democratic state, is possible only if a 'Palestine' rises beside it in the West Bank and Gaza?
Much ado about nothing (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) Given more pressing events in Egypt and Syria, there is a limit to how annoyed Europe can be with Israel at this time over settlement construction.
The right is a danger to Israel (Ari Shavit, Haaretz) An Israel that insists on national pride but that is harming national security and eroding national fortitude in a dangerous way.
Likud is the new Labor (Avi Shushan, Yedioth and Ynet) Ruling party, which once embraced Sephardics, now completely ignoring their voice.
There is no 'new' Lieberman (Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, Haaretz) Although some have identified signs of pragmatic statesmanship, the 'old' hard-line Lieberman was out in force in Washington last week, and showed clearly that he does not understand the West, or America.
Off with their heads (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) Avigdor Lieberman reminds Yisrael Beytenu members that he is their unquestioned boss.
Israeli politics in America get lost in translation (Vered Kellner, Haaretz) In New York, American Jews, unable to resist temptation, try to set me straight on Israeli politics, though I as an outsider tread cautiously on their home turf of U.S. politics.
Hola America, me llamo Israel (Uriel Lynn, Israel Hayom) The connections we build in the U.S. must expand beyond traditional power centers to include the largest ethnic groups.
Why Czechs were lone EU vote against Palestine (Reuters, Maan) Once the punchbag for aggressive neighbors before World War Two, the central European state of 10.5 million has long backed Israel and its main ally, the United States.
A message from a Gazan to the German people (Issam Younis, Maan) Only in Palestine so many violations of human rights, so well reported, go tolerated, as if the Western values which make up the basis of this law stop at our border. (The author is the director of the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza and was awarded Germany's Weimar Human Rights award in 2008.)A priori and not ex post facto (Israel Harel, Haaretz) Israel is going to pay a heavy price for his bombastic declarations about building in area E-1 - declarations which apparently will not have any cover.
We're going to pay (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth and Ynet) Europe no longer satisfied with mere condemnations, expressions of concern over settlement construction.
Netanyahu is leading Israel into an abyss (Carlo Strenger, Haaretz) Netanyahu keeps behaving in a way that profoundly contradicts the values of the club of the Free World, of which he wants to be a valued member: His disregard for international law and individual human rights of Palestinians simply doesn’t square with the standards of the Free World.
Arab Americans remain politically silent (Abdul-Hakim Salah, Maan) Though their number is not very large, theoretically Arab Americans can play a political role, and possibly affect the outcome of US elections, or at least make their voice heard. However, most of the Arab Americans I met as I visited Washington DC and Ohio during 2012 elections, are not concerned about politics, nor do they cast ballots, for many different reasons.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.