APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Quote of the day:
"The High Court decision was clear: Brave journalism is preferred over the right to one's good name."
--Tehila Altshuler, a communications researcher, in an Op-Ed in Maariv about a revolutionary High Court ruling**
Front Page News:
- Night negotiations to end the general strike
- High Court on 'Captain R.' Affair: Moral duty to publicize
- Four months after his release, Shalit received in the Elysee Palace
- Israeli sperm bank only taking donations from IDF veterans
- Hunt for bank robber suspected of murder
- End of the world according to Isaac Newton
- Black-market probe plunges local diamond sector into chaos
- Wanted: Serial robber and murderer
- IDF to cancel exercises because of budget cuts
- Night decision – By morning the president of the labor court to determine whether the general strike will continue
- The judge asked for forgiveness from the prisoner – Apologized to Yisrael Bundak for insulting the Black Panthers
- Shalit in the palace – Shalit, who holds French citizenship, went abroad for first time since release (and met Sarkozy)
- Labor court discussed last night the fate of the general strike
- Shai Golden/Elections in the air (Hebrew)
- Hunt in center for dangerous serial robber
- Last photo of Elad Riban (youth who volunteered with firefighters in Carmel fire)
- The great strike: waiting for a decision – Another night of contacts in attempt to arrive at compromise
- Wanted: Robber and murderer
- Declaration of Independence and the mystery of the 38th signature
- Parisian style – Gilad Shalit, who holds French citizenship, met with President Sarkozy in Elysee Palace
- France will not extradite the men who ran over Lee Zeituni
- Twins affair: Father released to house arrest
- High Court accepted appeal of Ilana Dayan in 'Captain R.' Affair
The continuation of the general strike, a killer robber on the loose and a visit by Gilad Shalit to the Elysee Palace were top stories today. The papers also discussed at length the High Court ruling aquiting a journalist of libel for her report on an officer who killed a Palestinian girl. News Nosh also highlights a few other court cases of interest. Also in the news was the discovery that an Israel Hayom columnist is on the Prime Minister's Office's payroll and the new Meretz party chairwoman MK Zahava Gal-On took a jab at journalist-turned-politician Yair Lapid.
Yedioth and Haaretz wrote about the scoop revealed by Channel 10 News last night that a senior Israel Hayom columnist is on Netanyahu's office payroll. Dror Eydar, who frequently pens columns accusing the media of being hostile to Netanyahu, receives NIS 50,000 a year to write speeches and lectures for the PMO, Channel 10 reports. Eydar told Channel 10 that he had also received payments from the Prime Minister's Office in the past as an adviser on issues relating to Evangelical Christians. Israel Hayom refused to respond to the report, Yedioth wrote.
Yair Lapid and Meretz MK Zahava Gal-On have been clarifying their parties' positions. Lapid told kibbutzniks yesterday that he was in favor of the controversial Israel high school tours to Hebron. (Haaretz Hebrew only). While Meretz's new chairwoman Zahava Gal-On took a jab at the newcomer to Israel politics saying that Lapid 's new party will be the 'nice people's party,' Maariv reported. "They want to be on everyone's good side and they also are proud of that, but that is the lowest common denominator." Lapid was "in yeshivas, at tycoons' and in settlements. I hear Lapid's positions and understand he's placing himself in the center-right. He said Jerusalem can't be divided when there is no serious person who doesn't understand that the meaning of compromise is the '67 lines with small corrections and division of sovereignty over Jerusalem." (Link to Maariv's NRG Hebrew)
**The papers were aflurry with the news that the High Court accepted journalist Ilana Dayan’s appeal against a libel verdict that was handed down to her by none other than District Court Judge Noah Sohlberg, the High Court's soon-to-be first settler judge. Ido Baum wrote in Haaretz that 'Sohlberg was taught a lesson on press freedom.' Unsurprisingly, Israel Hayom's legal affairs commentator Dr. Aviad Hacohen disagreed with that. Maariv's Legal Affairs commentator Noam Sharvit wrote that the High Court judges "prepared a cool welcoming" for Sohlberg who will be joining them in two weeks. Sharvit believes the Justice Eliezer Rivlin's verdict hinted that the Libel Law bill, which increases the compensation fines for libel and which will probably be passing soon in the Knesset, was illegal. "In the end," writes Sharvit, "the ruling was a celebration day for journalism and journalists." Tehila Altshuler, a communications researcher, wrote in an Op-Ed in Maariv that "the High Court decision was clear: Brave journalism is preferred over the right to one's good name," while Maariv's right-wing commentator Ben-Dror Yemini wrote the ruling meant "journalism is permitted to distort" information. Most agreed that this verdict "revolutionizes the Libel Law in regards to investigative journalists" and that it will be taught in journalism classes for years to come.
And here are two more interesting court-related articles:
1. Unnecessary night in detention – A 15-year-old boy spent the night in a jail cell because a police officer wanted 'to show the lawyer a lesson.' The Arab-Israeli court-appointed lawyer Alaa Atamneh had asked the court to release the boy at the police station and the court agreed. But at the police station, the officer "saw it as a scheming and decided to show the lawyer a lesson," wrote the District Attorney to the Head of Police Investigations. The police officer said the boy could only leave on bail of 1500 shekels, which the boy's parents did not have. (Yedioth, p. 26)
2. One year jail for youth who ran over and stabbed Arab youths for racist motives. The guilty youth along with an unidentified friend attacked the Arab youth from the village of Wadi Hammam when they saw them on a beach at Lake Kinneret. They hit one of the Arab youth with a car then the Jewish youth got out of the car and tried to stab the boy, who escaped. Then the two Jewish youth got back in the car and tried running over another Arab boy. They hit him then got out and one stabbed him while the other beat him on the head with a club and both yelled, "Die, you Arab." The 15-year-old Arab boy cried for mercy. He was later hospitalized. The Jewish youth's lawyer was an Arab who told Haaretz he had no problem representing his client because his client said he did not attack the boys. (Haaretz Hebrew edition only)
- Hamas's Gaza-based leadership challenges Palestinian unity deal - Gaza leaders come out against key clause in Fatah-Hamas reconciliation deal in which Abbas would serve as both president and prime minister of future Palestinian government. (Agencies)
- Dagan: Israel faces no existential threat - Former Mossad chief presents plan to change Israel's form of government, aiming to repair current situation where minority groups hold excessive power over decision makers. (Ynet)
- Israeli democracy thriving - PM says 'Israel has something to be proud of,' as Knesset celebrates 63rd birthday. (Ynet)
- Druze, Bedouin schools see Shoah plays - Israel's Yiddish theater presents two productions on European Jews' genocide to Druze and Bedouin communities. (Ynet)
- State approves detention ‘campus’ for illegal immigrants (Israel Hayom)
- IDF submarine fleet bans dual citizenship - Candidates for prestigious unit now required to renounce foreign citizenship. Officer: This is absurd. (Ynet)
- Report: Military exemptions for yeshiva students hit all-time high - Since the establishment of the state, the number of yeshiva students receiving military exemptions has increased by nearly 15,000%. (Israel Hayom)
- Soldier left behind affair: Brigade commander will take responsibility but won't retire – "He understood he made a mistake and made sure to correct it," said friends. (Maariv, p. 8)
- Extreme segregation at Jerusalem college cafeteria (Ynet)
- Young Israeli charged with causing enormous forest fire in Chile, returning to Israel – Fined $10,000 and forced to volunteer 1.5 years in restoration of Carmel forests. (Yedioth and Israel Hayom)
- Hollywood tycoon to help develop Israeli formats - Israel-born producer Arnon Milchan signs deal with Israel's ADD Content Agency to help develop Israeli formats. (Yedioth and Ynet)
- German trade fair featuring Israeli fruit and veg for first time (Haaretz)
- Fast, angry and pro-Israeli – Race car with Israeli flag to compete this month in one of most-watched US competitions: Daytona 500. Project initiators are not Jewish. (Yedioth, p. 15)
- Is Palestinian uprising in cards? Flurry of protests hits Palestinian Authority as prime minister attempts to pass austerity plan. (Ynet)
- Iran: We can attack US targets worldwide - America would be making serious mistake, akin to suicide, if it risked a military strike on Iran, Tehran's ambassador in Russia warns. (Agencies)
- Israeli radio in Persian transmits message of peace to Iran (Israel Hayom)
Unholy alliances in the Knesset's hallowed halls How deeply entrenched are the lobbyists? Well, for instance, some parliamentary aides and even some ministerial advisers were hired at their advice. (Haaretz)
New exhibit sheds light on ‘the operation that made the Mossad’ The exploits of Israel’s spy agency typically become known only when something goes wrong. “Operation Finale,” on view in Tel Aviv, sheds light on the complex capture of Adolf Eichmann that helped shape the agency’s image - and bring a top Nazi criminal to justice. (Israel Hayom)
The futility of attacking Iran (Reuven Pedatzur, Haaretz) Defense Minister Ehud Barak continues to drop hints and wink when he speaks about mysterious explosions in Iran.
Israel overcome by paranoia (Alex Fishman, Yedioth and Ynet) Having lost its self-confidence, tiny Israel seeks comfort in large walls and fences.
A new peace is needed (Ari Shavit, Haaretz) Now that the old peace is dead, we must quickly replace it with a new, realistic peace.
Six things to watch on Iran before a possible Israeli strike (Michal Toiba, Israel Hayom) Leon Panetta believes Israel may strike Iran in the spring. There are six markers that will be particularly important to watch before then as they could impact the Iranian regime and shape its future moves.
In praise of Israel's abnormality (Israel Harel, Haaretz) The longing for a normal life is shared by most of the public. But in general, the argument made by those who term themselves 'Israelis' is that we have failed to achieve 'normalcy' because we cling to outdated ideologies and beliefs.
America’s Jews are worried (Yizhar Hess, Ynet) Israel’s Orthodox monopoly has changed from unpleasant annoyance to strategic threat.
The erosion of Israeli leadership (Isi Leibler, Israel Hayom) A new breed of Israeli leader has grown more inclined to put personal ambition above national interests.
A just strike (Gideon Levy, Haaretz) Israelis should embrace Wednesday's strike with the same enthusiasm they joined the summer protest.
Magen David Adom's first Muslim ambulance driver Thanks to family's support, Sherian Kihia overcomes internal criticism and puzzled looks by Arab and Jewish patients on the way to fulfill her dream. 'I engage in saving lives, not in questions of religion,' she says. (Interviewed by Ari Galahar in Yedioth, Ynet)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.