APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Quote of the day:
"Mixing Israeli academia with an ideology of occupation and oppression undermines [ties with academic institutions in other democracies] and threatens to cause severe damage to the Israeli academia."
--From letter written by more than 250 Israeli academics, including four Israel Prize laureates, to the Education Minister to stop Ariel college from being recognized as a university.**
Front Page News:
- Double terror attack against Israeli embassies; Netanyahu: Responsibility in hands of Iran
- Condition for extraditing criminal to US: Providing kosher food in jail
- Knesset employees closing down all phone lines today
- Israeli company launches TV channel for canines
- "Thankfully the children were not with me" – The Israeli diplomat Tal Yehoshua Koren who was injured yesterday in a terror attack in India
- Assessment: Wave of terror attacks against Israelis has begun
- Mother lives in hell – Pregnant and with an infant, 19-year-old M. escaped from her partner who beat her. Now she lives in the street and sleeps in a bomb shelter. Who will help rescue her?
- Israel Railways 'thumbs its nose' at its passengers – Within six months it stopped working or was disrupted some 10 times – and yesterday another strike began
- Embassies under attack – Wife of Israeli diplomat moderately injured when explosive device was put on her car in New Delhi; in Tbilsi, an explosive device on the car of a driver who works for Israel's embassy was neutralized. Concern: It's just the beginning
- Dramatic development in investigation of hit-and-run accident in north
- Israel Railways workers' committee on strike until further notice
- Wife of envoy injured in terror attack – Combined attack against Israeli embassies in India and Georgia
- "Assad used chemical weapons"
- Also today: Don't wait for the train
- Netanyahu will run for presidency of Likud Central Committee
- IMF compliments Israeli economy
The attacks targeting the Israeli embassies in India and Georgia took the front and many more of the pages of the Hebrew papers today in Israel. There was some news about outpost removals, but no news in the Israeli papers about numerous recent plans to confiscate Palestinian land. Countries are making attempts to get Israel to release Palestinian detainee Khader Adnan before he dies on hunger-strike. And foreigners helped Palestinians plant trees and Palestinians helped Israeli rabbis visit a prophet's tomb.
The Israeli media has two conclusions about the combined attacks where bombs were attached to Israeli diplomats' cars in Georgia and India: It was a lousy job. But this is just the beginning. (See commentaries below.) Netanyahu blamed Iran for the attacks, Iran blamed Israel and its allies. And the Israeli papers hailed the injured wife of the diplomat in India ‘a hero.’ Yedioth and Ynet's Ron Ben-Yishai wrote that the bombs "were meant to signal to Israel that its diplomats were not immune to the modus operandi used to eliminate Mughniyah." Israel was blamed for assassinating Hezbollah military commander Imad Mughniyeh four years ago yesterday.
The Palestinian Authority is racing against time to get Israel to release hunger-striking prisoner Khader Adnan, who is dying. An Israeli military court rejected Adnan's appeal against his four month administrative detention order on Monday, after he entered his 58th day on hunger strike against detention without charge, Maan and Haaretz reported. The PA is in talks with the United Nations, Jordan and Egypt to secure the Islamic Jihad prisoner's release. The UN envoy to the Middle East for the peace process Robert Serry said he was following Adnan’s case with concern.
One step forward, many steps backward. Israel razed three structures in Oz Zion outpost, near Bet-El settlement, that were built on privately-owned Palestinian land, but the residents have already begun clearing the debris to rebuild again, Ynet reported. There is still no final agreement between the government and the residents of Migron, the biggest Israeli outpost. Maariv writes the residents agreed to move the location two kilometers away, but want to keep an 'Israeli presence,' with a building or some soldiers, which the government refuses to do. And meanwhile, a flurry of reports in Maan of Israeli official plans or Israeli settler attempts to confiscate Palestinian land across the West Bank. Here's a list just from the last week:
- Palestinian landowner notified by Israel of confiscation orders for Jabaa village lands to expand Beitar Illit and Gva'ot settlements.
- Israeli soldiers uprooted olive trees in the village of Kafr Qaddum, east of Qalqiliya, order to expand the nearby Israeli settlement of Qedumim.
- Soldiers beat and detained a 60-year-old blocking settlers from razing village land for Qedumim settlement.
- Israeli settlers 'put new homes on Beit Ummar land' for the settlment of Karmei Zur.
- Settlers 'bulldoze 100 dunums' of Yatta lands to expand settlement of Ma’on.
- Israel issues evacuation orders to Hebron farmers in the village of Beit Ula.
- Settlers fired on residents of Qaryut village tried to enter lands under threat of confiscation near Shilo settlement.
Meanwhile, some sixty visiting foreigners helped farmers near Bethlehem plant olive trees through a Palestinian NGO called the The Alternative Tourism Group. The planting is part of the Olive Tree Campaign that distributes over 9,000 trees annually to Palestinian farmers across the West Bank whose land is under threat of confiscation, or who cannot access their land due to Israeli restrictions, Maan reported.
Palestinian security forces guarded Bnei Brak rabbis on a visit to Joseph's Tomb in Nablus. “I state it clearly that visitors are welcome, but those who come to create troubles aren’t welcome at all,” governor of Nablus Jibreel al-Bakri said. The rabbis arrived at the tomb in their own vehicles escorted by Palestinian security forces which remained in place until the visit had ended, Maan reported.
- Israel approves new East Jerusalem visitors' compound, razes Palestinian community center - Jerusalem planning and committee approves construction of new visitors’ center at City of David National Park in Silwan. (Haaretz)
- UNRWA to stop financial aid to impoverished families (Maan)
- Witnesses: Settlers break car windshield with stones – Palestinian driver passes out (Maan)
- West Bank village Qaryut clashes with settlers blocking land Friday (Maan)
- Dozens of Israelis from Yitzhar settlement threw stones at a number of homes in Burin on Friday (Maan)
- Soldiers assault Palestinian man in Jenin - Witnesses said that soldiers took the man to a nearby area of olive trees where they began to assault him. (Maan)
- Mother, sister and brother injured as Israeli forces raid Jerusalem home of freed detainee (Maan)
- 3 injured as Israeli soldiers raid Jericho (Maan)
- Israel's navy detains 4 Gaza fishermen (Maan)
- Palestinian police: Israel encourages drugs trade in Gaza – Ecstasy pills smuggled into Gaza from Israel via the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing, police said. (Maan)
- Hamas' Haniyeh: Armed resistance is the only way to fight Israel - Speaking during Iran visit, Gaza PM adds that compromises agreed to by Hamas as part of unity deal with Fatah serve Palestinian cause. (Haaretz)
- 8-year-old Palestinian boy dies after being hit by jeep (in apparent hit-and-run) (Maan)
- 'Crime in (Israeli) Arab sector has turned it into Wild West' - Netanyahu says crime in Arab sector 'makes their lives unbearable.’ (Ynet)
- Top IDF official defends Israeli social protesters – Comes one day after another general blamed IDF budget cuts on last summer's demonstrations. (Haaretz)
- Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem "disappeared" from Israeli heritage sites list - In past, Netanyahu declared them heritage sites that would get budgets. Now they are not on list and right-wingers claim Netanyahu was concerned about anger of Palestinians and international community. (Maariv, p. 10)
- Prime Minister promised to help former South Lebanon Army soldiers - Netanyahu spoke with daughter of SLA general, asked her not to continue hunger strike. (Maariv, p. 20)
- **Ariel college (in West Bank) moves a step closer to becoming university - Hundreds of academics, including four Israel Prize laureates, petition education minister to nix process. (Haaretz)
- Ariel college (W. Bank) gets two representatives in Council of Higher Education - Education Minister finalizing new panel, which for first time will include representatives from Ariel college, an Arab woman and an Ethiopian woman. (Maariv, p. 29)
- IDC Herzliya college requests from state not to expel three students from Sudan (Maariv, p. 20)
- Director Claude Lanzmann denies sexual harassment charges - Renowned Jewish director, most well-known for his 1985 documentary film 'Shoah,' writes letter to Haaretz. (Haaretz)
- Holyland trialto begin on July 1 - Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert among dozens being charged in most serious graft case in Israel's history. (Haaretz)
- Likud activist and PM's former aide vying for broadcasting authority roles (Haaretz)
- IMF: If Arabs and Haredim worked, GDP would grow by 15% - Only 20% of Arab women work, and in the ultra-Orthodox community, only 40% of men work. Both groups typically earn less than others in the same jobs. (Haaretz)
- Market Report / Tel Aviv investors shrug at overseas anti-Israel terror attacks (Haaretz)
- Israeli Black Hebrews mourn diva Whitney Houston (Israel Hayom)
- After the Jewish vote - Putin asked the Jews of Russia to vote for him in the presidential elections. (Yedioth, p. 3
- Croatia, Slovenia court Israeli tourists (Ynet)
- Montenegro recognizes Jewish community (Ynet)
- Syria rejects Arab League call for UN peacekeepers, resumes assault on Homs (Agencies)
- Syrian defector: Assad using chemical weapons - Assad's forces used nerve gas in Homs under Iranian, Russian supervision, Syrian army defector says. (Ynet)
- Gaza protests Syria crackdown (Maan)
- US to cut funding for Israeli missile defense programs by $6.3M - Republican Jewish Coalition head says cut 'extremely dangerous, worrisome and reckless.’ (Ynet)
- 'Pardo wanted to size up US reaction to Israeli strike on Iran’ - During meeting in Washington last month, Mossad chief Tamir Pardo wanted to see how Obama administration would respond to unilateral Israeli attack on Iran, The Daily Beast reports. (Israel Hayom)
Unequal neighbors: Off the grid in Area C Pylons tower over South Hebron Hills village Um al-Kher, hoisting electricity cables that bisect the agricultural community. But like hundreds of their Palestinian neighbors, this tiny hamlet has no access to the power grid. (Maan)
TIMELINE: From Beirut to Argentina - the life of a global terrorist A look at the life of Hezbollah mastermind Imad Mughniyeh, who was assassinated in 2008. (Haaretz)
Profile: Who was Imad Mughniyeh? The attack on the Israeli embassy in New Delhi serves as a stark reminder that Hezbollah may not have given up on avenging the death of its once top leader. (Haaretz)
Inside the Palestinian Authority arrest campaign in Hebron's hideout - As Palestinian security forces prepared for a raid into the Israeli-controlled zone of Hebron at dawn on Friday, a Ma'an correspondent was given an inside glimpse into the first mass arrest-sweep of this refuge since a 1997 deal split the city. Residents hoped the raid would end the use of the Israeli-controlled zone as a refuge by criminals. (Maan)
Hezbollah failure in India (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Terror attacks in Delhi, Tbilisi attest to Hezbollah's lack of professionalism.
New Delhi attack reflects Iran's limited capabilities (Amos Harel, Haaretz) While it is possible that Iran lacks the ability to strike 'prestigious' Israeli targets, it may have chosen Monday's targets so as not to provoke a strong Israeli response.
No surprises in India and Georgia attacks (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz) Israel has close relationships with the local political leaderships Delhi and Tbilisi, especially with the defense establishments.
A heavy atmosphere in Israel's New Delhi embassy (Barak Ravid, Haaretz) Israeli envoys everywhere received a painful reminder on Monday that terror attacks and assassination attempts are a real possibility.
Border Control / The key is in Netanyahu's hands (Akiva Eldar, Haaretz) The Israeli prime minister is the only one who can boost the electoral chances of both Barack Obama and Mahmoud Abbas. Don't hold your breath.
Life in the ‘Holyland’ (Dan Margalit, Israel Hayom) The celebrity defendants in the Holyland trial were the objects of envy and emulation for those who sought to infiltrate Israel’s jet set.
Israel's welcome step against slavery (Haaretz Editorial) New bill assigning criminal responsibility to the clients of prostitutes is another important stage in this welcome process of change.
A source of hypocrisy (Nehemia Shtrasler, Haaretz) Anyone who still claims that the summer protests didn't achieve anything is wrong, big-time.
Nasrallah replies to Haaretz (Moshe Arens, Haaretz) No wonder Nasrallah feels a little shaky and is trying to shore up his public image by insisting he's an independent factor in the Middle East equation.
The number's up for monotheism (Salman Masalha, Haaretz) Not only has the time come to separate between this monotheism and the state - both the Jewish and Arab state - the time has also come to separate it from the national discourse.
India's trouble (Nadav Eyal, Maariv) "India is not interested in becoming a violent arena in the framework of the Middle East conflict. Only last week it announced that it would continue purchasing petroleum from Iran despite the embargo." The author points out that, "An order to carry out attacks under these conditions is liable to endanger Iran's interests, and therefore, perhaps, the attempts to initiate a deadly, yet isolated, incident are limited in scope – for now."
Desperate race (Alex Fishman, Yedioth) "Yesterday's attack in India and the attempted attack in Georgia are, apparently, the work of local terrorist infrastructures. But the assessment is that they are only part of multiple cells throughout the world operated by the Iranian intelligence organization – the aim of which is to deter Israel from attacking Iranian nuclear scientists." Fishman writes that, "So far, it is doubtful that the Iranian officer in charge of these attacks will be receiving a promotion any time soon."
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.