APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Quote of the day:
"Ideological crime could drive the country to chaos. It starts with small things. Grab some [West Bank] hilltops here, threaten with violence...there."
--Former chief justice Dorit Beinisch slams outpost settlers yesterday in first public comments since resigning.**
Front Page News:
- After the protest, jump in prices of Passover products
- Victory for Mofaz after counting most of ballots
- "Worried about attack on Iran following talk with Barak" - German minister of defense
- One after another, the father and five children were laid to rest
- Naomi Regen will pay a quarter million shekels on literary theft and the book will be rewritten
- The blogger who defeated the program giant
- Won - Revolution in Kadima: Mofaz instead of Livni
- Alone - The tragedy in Rechovot - Avivit She'ar lost her husband and five children in fire
- Kadima chose Mofaz - Primaries results: 62% for Mofaz, 38% for Livni (Hebrew)
- Her whole world - Yesterday Guy She'ar and his five children were laid to rest (Hebrew)
- Going to the field: President Assad visited the city he destroyed
- Victory for Mofaz, defeat for Livni - Primaries in Kadima: Low voter turnout and earthquake for party
- Alone - The five children and husband were buried one next to another, the mother Avivit She'ar could not deal with the pain and did not attend the funeral
- Sanctions in Tnuva worsening: Lack of milk products across the country
The revolution in Kadima and the funeral for five were top stories in today's Israeli papers. Meanwhile, while Germany expressed fear of an Israeli attack on Iran, the US expressed support for more Iron Dome anti-missile systems for Israel and Iranian-born Israeli singer Rita was drafted to reconcile between her two homelands. Haaretz and Israel Hayom reported on the biting statements of the Israeli Deputy Ambassador towards J-Street supporters and Yedioth reported that former chief justice Dorit Beinisch gave her views publicly for the first time. Maariv revealed that Passover might be a holiday of freedom for the Palestinians this year, too.
Everyone thought it would be a close battle for Kadima's leadership. But the Iranian-born former IDF Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz thrashed Tsipi Livni, winning the leadership of the party with 62% of the votes. Haaretz has a profile of Mofaz here. Mofaz told Livni after the primaries, "Your place is with Kadima." But Kadima voters wonder whether she will stay or leave politics altogether. Maariv political commentator Ben Caspit wrote that Mofaz has been working the field for three years while Livni has been working it for three months. Mofaz "won the primaries with great integrity, just as Tsipi Livni earned her fall...The warning message was written on the wall in front of her for a long time, but she ignored it." Yedioth's Sima Kadmon wrote, "It wasn't a defeat, it was a crash, a fall, a complete collapse. Lack of faith...the woman who just three years ago marched Kadima to the Knesset with the most mandates, failed yesterday in her party." See Haaretz commentators below.
After meeting with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere said he was 'more concerned than secure' that Israel might attack Iran and said "some Israeli cabinet members don't estimate enough the negative consequences of such attacks." But Ynet reported that Israeli officials played down yesterday the prospects of an Iran strike saying Tehran's nuclear program could still be set back. "Sometimes there are explosions, worms, viruses," said Vice Premier Moshe Yaalon. Meanwhile, Israel's Foreign Ministry has decided to send the Iranian people a message of peace and reconciliation and it found the perfect voice for the mission: The Iranian born Israeli singer, Rita. For the Persian new year, Nawruz, the ministry recorded her giving a special message in Persian that was uploaded to the ministry's Persian Facebook page, Yedioth reported. Rita said she receives many emails from Iranian citizens.
Haaretz and Israel Hayom were the only Israeli newspapers to report on the J-Street conference. Israel Hayom focused on the criticism the Israeli Deputy Ambassador Baruch Binah gave to his J-Street hosts, while Haaretz's Chemi Shalev wrote that "despite Binah’s call for J Street to stop “pressuring” the Israeli government, his very presence at the gala dinner signifies the increasing acceptance of the credo of J Street and its supporters that Diaspora Jews can legitimately criticize the government of Israel while continuing to claim their rightful place in the proverbial community tent." Another Haaretz article reported on the speeches of the Obama and former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer, who called on Israel to freeze settlement construction. And Ynet ran a piece titled: 'Olmert to J Street: Abbas a partner for peace.' If the Israeli government were concerned by the growing voice of liberal Jews they heard it again when (Jewish) Pro-Palestinian activists disrupted a meeting with Israeli MKs in U.S.
**Former chief justice Dorit Beinisch expressed her views for the first time publicly since her resignation, Yedioth reported. Beinisch wouldn't comment directly on the decision to reject the government-settler agreement on Migron, but said the following: "Ideological crime could drive the country to chaos. It starts with small things. Grab some hilltops here, threaten with violence in order to force acts there. It's a dangerous thing. There are people who say, 'We don't care about the values of the state and the law, we will do everything for our idea. We will expel Arabs from land we want to take.' This is dangerous and the response requires determination." In answer to the question about the danger of the politicization in the appointment of judges, Beinisch hinted to the saga that led to the "crowning" of Grunis, "That's exactly the fear, that a political person will say, 'We will appoint such and such judge and he will owe us his appointment and will make rulings for our benefit.'" Yedioth wrote that for two hours the moderator, jurist Moshe Negbi, and the students tried to discover her views at the evening at the Sciences and Arts High School in Jerusalem. She told the students about affairs that took place before they were born, such as the '300 bus line' and the Jewish underground. The most difficult cases, she said, were the one dealing with security. "There were periods when buses were blowing up around us, and bombs were planted in restaurants. Security people came to us and said they need to do this and that. To torture, for example. The judge is in a terrible dilemma in situations like that. He thinks whether he will be responsible that human lives will be in danger. These are the most difficult decisions. To take responsibility and to tell the security person what is permitted and what is prohibited, when we are not security experts." The Shalit deal was also "one of the most difficult issues we faced." When asked whether she supported capital punishment for terrorists, she said: "I could not give the death sentence even on people who deserve it."
Holiday of freedom for residents of the (Palestinian) Territories - For the first time since the Second Intifada and in light of the lack of warnings of an attack, the IDF is considering not putting a 'closure' on the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria during Passover and allowing residents to travel freely within the West Bank, Maariv reports.
Days of 'closure' of West Bank:
- Contentious Bedouin relocation plan passes PM's Office panel - 'Prawer Plan' calls for relocation of up to 30,000 Bedouin from areas not recognized by the government as residential locations. (Haaretz)
- Organizers fear Palestinian Land Day protests could turn violent - Land Day marks anniversary of protests in Israeli Arab community in 1976 over government land policy in which security forces killed six demonstrators; (international) protest marches to Israeli border are scheduled for Friday. (Haaretz)
- Barghouti calls on Palestinians to launch popular resistance against Israel - Imprisoned Fatah commander issues unusual missive calling on Palestinians to sever economic and security coordination with Israel and urging an economic and diplomatic boycott. (Haaretz)
- IDF DNA - Preparing for the worst of all - IDF improving its ability to its identify casualties and establishing advanced lab for identification by genetic profile. (Yedioth, p. 14)
- Former Arab soccer player: Beitar Jerusalem fans, the 'most dangerous' in Israel - Abbas Suan, a former member of Israel's national soccer team, has also been the target of racial abuse by Beitar Jerusalem fans. (Haaretz)
- Two soldiers arrested in Givati hazing scandal - Military Police arrest two more troops from Givati Brigade's Tzabar Battalion over suspicions they physically abused rookie soldiers. (Ynet)
- Israeli forces injure 3 brothers near Ramallah - Eyewitnesses said one of the brothers stepped out of his house, unaware that Israeli forces were in the village. The soldiers immediately opened fire on him. Another brother was injured when he opened the door to check on his brother, and the third brother was injured when he arrived at the scene. (Maan)
- Hebron teen 'shot by Israeli settler' - An Israeli settler shot an 18-year-old Palestinian in Hebron's Old City on Tuesday morning, leaving him moderately injured, locals said. (Maan)
- Farmer injured in Nablus settler attack - Ayman Loay, 24, was moderately injured near Yizhar settlement when a settler threw rocks at him. (Maan)
- Clash on Israel-Egypt border leaves 2 suspects dead - IDF soliders, Palestinian infiltrators exchange fire near southern border; two suspects killed. Motive for incident still unclear. (Ynet)
- Hamas warns over condition of detained militant - Hamas warned Wednesday that it holds Israel responsible for the mistreatment of a militant leader in Israeli jail who refused to undergo a DNA test. (Maan)
- Elderly man arrested in Hebron, family says (Maan)
- U.S. Congress supports additional funding for Israel's Iron Dome systems - The Iron Dome Support Act (IDSA), which authorizes the President to provide Israel assistance to procure additional Iron Dome defense systems, wins bipartisan support. (Haaretz)
- Pentagon wants more money for Israel's Iron Dome - US Defense Department to ask Congress for additional funding for Israel's short-range rocket defense system (Ynet)
- Should Israelis pay for education of expat children abroad? Jewish People Policy Institute warns of accelerated assimilation, urges Israel to allow Israelis to vote in elections. (Israel Hayom)
- To help childless couples, Israel may allow frozen embryo donation (Israel Hayom)
- Al-Jazeera won't air video of French attacks - Footage from Merah's deadly attacks on soldiers, Jewish school sent on USB key; 'we are not a sensationalist channel,' Arab TV network says. (Ynet)
- Israeli dancers create bellyache for Moroccan dance festival (Israel Hayom)
- Annan says Syria accepts peace plan, fighting enters Lebanon (Agencies, Ynet)
- Report: Hamas, Iran coordinate response to Israel strike - Lebanese paper says Haniyeh discussed Hamas' role in case of Israeli strike on Iran with Tehran officials. (Ynet)
Arab League summit shines a light on a forgotten state Having long been seen by most Arab countries as a focus of terror, Iraq this week hosts an Arab summit meeting. (Haaretz)
Ghost embassy - The Israeli representatives left, the building remains blue-and-white Abandoned of all people, rotting and neglected, but with a guard at the door. In Rabat, Morocco's capital, the building of the Israeli representation still stands, despite the fact that Morocco cut-off relations with Israel 12 years ago, during the Second Intifada. For years, the Foreign Ministry debated whether to sell the building located in an upscale neighborhood. In the last two years Israel secretly sent two delegations to Morocco to see whether it was worthwhile to renovate the building and received a number of offers to purchase it - but nothing moved forward. Sources in the Foreign Ministry said that selling the asset has serious diplomatic significance: If it is sold it could show that Israel has no interest in returning to the country and the few Moroccans in contact with Israel and the small Jewish community there could feel that Israel has turned its back on them. (Yedioth)
A unidimensional Jerusalem A guidebook to the capital city intended specifically for children should always be a welcome development. But it’s tough not be disturbed when a serious writer and an academic institution publish a guide that avoids almost any mention of Christianity or Islam. (Haaretz)
Boycotting the world (Haaretz Editorial) Only an irresponsible government could demand that the whole world boycott Iran, while itself boycotting the whole world.
Between the devil and Iran (Salman Masalha, Haaretz) Among other things, the Arab-Israeli conflict serves as a tool of manipulation for the Iranians in their drive to restore Persian glory.
Israel isn’t powerless (Hagai Segal, Yedioth and Ynet) Day after Israeli strike on Iran likely won’t be as grim as current doomsday scenarios.
Who needs lobbyists? (Avirama Golan, Haaretz) The mobilization of 3,000 motorcyclists who registered as Likud members to lower insurance fees has created a new political phenomenon in Israel.
A bad ruling that must be honored (Uri Heitner, Israel Hayom) The demand to evacuate Migron immediately is completely unjustifiable. It is irresponsible. It is aggressive.
A one-state solution: Do we dare? (Bradley Burston, Haaretz) There is no denying that settlement construction, Palestinian disunity, and other factors are fast rendering the two-state concept impracticable.
Netanyahu Sees Strike on Iran’s Nukes as Worth the Risk (Jeffrey Goldberg, Maariv and Bloomberg) For Netanyahu, Iran's nuclear installations threaten the lives of Jews, so attacking them is something important enough to risk everything for it.
Our double standard toward the UN (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) It is doubtful there is any country that sees the UN as a fair arena, but it is the only arena in which there are reasonable and more or less agreed upon criteria for the conduct of countries.
The big bang theory (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) Even though Kadima and its policies haven't mattered for a while, big things can grow out of its inevitable split and fall.
Primary colors of power and influence (Guy Rolnik, Haaretz) Among the many crucially important things the 'social justice' protest movement neglected to address is the ecosystem that creates these tatty parties.
Netanyahu is sitting on the fence, and loving it (Barak Ravid, Haaretz) While his political rivals are battling one another, the PM headed to the Egyptian border, where he toured the border fence with joy, calmness and a bit of arrogance.
Olmert: Centrist, left-wing parties could keep Netanyahu out of next Israeli cabinet
Speaking to Haaretz in Washington, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says Israelis aren't as right-wing as their leadership, adding that the Israeli public would support a peace deal similar to his 2008 proposal.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.