APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday, April 16, 2012
Quote of the day:"At a time when the Palestinians began a new and less violent strategy, Israel is stuck in the old patterns and uses a heavy hammer to hit three flies at Ben-Gurion Airport."
--Nachman Shai, former IDF Spokesman, explains why the Palestinians have a better strategy than Israel.**
Front Page News:
- The blacklists expanded before fly-in - More than 400 people on stop-entry list without having real information about them
- Amos Harel / Violence and folly before the cameras (Photo: Clip from video of IDF commander beating peace activist with his M-16 rifle)
- Netanyahu: Iran received a gift of time from the West (Hebrew)
- 68 years later - Journey after a boy who did not know the war ended (Hebrew)
- Expansive international study found genes responsible for size of brain and level of intelligence (Hebrew)
- Soon there won't be anyone to tell the stories - Every hour a Holocaust survivor dies, 198,000 living in Israel
- Shame to us all: The poverty and the isolation of survivors
- The deputy brigade commander was suspended - Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner whacked the face of a foreign citizen with his rifle
- Acco/Acre to pay singer Eyal Golan 160,000 shekels for 45 minutes - despite municipality budget deficit
- Storm following decision to mitigate penalty of Maccabi Petach Tikva soccer team
- Israeli disappointment in US stance vis-a-vis Iran (Hebrew)
- He hit and was suspended - Lt. Col. hit face of pro-Palestinian demonstrator with his weapons (Hebrew)
- Ofer Shelach / And when there aren't any cameras? (Hebrew)
- Flytilla protest: 650 police waited for 78 activists who landed in Israel
- The judges gave a prize to violence in soccer - Storm following Israel Football Assocation decision to sweeten punishment of Maccabi Petach Tikva for violence on field (Hebrew)
- IDF Chief of Staff Gantz: The incident opposes IDF values - the deputy brigade commander was suspended
- Dan Margalit / On the insufferable situation in Israeli soccer
- The Iranians celebrated in Istanbul
- Elections in Egypt may be postponed two months
- Because of budget cuts: IDF cancelled Naval show for Independence Day
The much-discussed fly-in protest ended yesterday with little noise, but lots of talk, while photos of a quiet protest of peace activist bicyclists made front page news in all the main Israeli papers when an IDF commander hit an activist with his gun. The storm returned over the decision to moderate the penalty against the Maccabi Petach Tikva soccer team, whose members brutally attacked an Arab player from an opposing team. Other major stories included the Israeli Prime Minister's reaction to the Iran talks and the US President's response to him as well as Holocaust-related stories ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day this Thursday.
IDF Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner (whose father was a well-known rabbi at the 'settlers'' Merkaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem and a pioneer of Jewish settlement enclaves in E. Jerusalem - OH) was suspended from his position as a brigade deputy commander, pending an investigation, after he whacked a Danish peace activist with his M-16 rifle. The Dane was one of a group of activists who set out Saturday to bike down the Jordan Valley together. They were stopped by the IDF near the Palestinian village of Ouja in the West Bank. Ynet has Eisner's version of the event here. Interestingly, trying to clear his name, Eisner's associates reveal to Ynet an unreported crime: "[He] chased after Jewish drivers who had ran over a Palestinian girl and left her on the road." Other activists were also beaten and evacuated to the hospital in Jericho. Israeli leaders were quick to condemn the actions of the officer. National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari congratulated Eisner for his "bravery." (Maariv and NRG Hebrew) Yedioth and Maariv interviewed the Dane, Andreas Ayas, who said that they only wanted to continue bicycling and were stopped by the IDF and after a half hour of talks going nowhere, the activists decided to continue bicycling "and that's when the soldier became aggressive." Ayas, who is visiting the country for the first time, added that he would continue to participate in activities against the Israeli occupation until his departure in May.
Meanwhile, only a handful of peace activists - three according to this report - who were part of the fly-in protest made it to Bethlehem yesterday, 78 others were detained and deported. Israeli officials were satisfied with the authorities' handling of the situation. But many Israelis criticized the hype and security. (See commentaries below.) Some Israeli diplomats were also divided over whether preventing the pro-Palestinian fly-in served Israel's PR interests. And Haaretz revealed that many people were put on the blacklist without having done anything wrong. The article describes how the Israeli security services gathered names of people. Some activists accused Israel and Air France of racism for preventing them from departing from France.
Maariv, Israel Hayom and Haaretz reported on Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's disappointment with the scheduling of another meeting with Iran over its nuclear project. Netanyahu said Iran got a "present of time." Israeli officials are particularly annoyed, Maariv reported, because a secret Israeli delegation dealing with the Iranian issue and led by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon arrived in Washington two weeks ago and met with Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman in order to coordinate positions ahead of the meeting. US President Barack Obama responded yesterday to Netanyahu saying the US has offered no 'freebies' to Iran, but that he believes there is still time for diplomacy.
An 'unprecedented storm' has begun over the decision by the Israel Football Association (IFA) 'high court' to mitigate a severe punishment handed down to Maccabi Petach Tikva after a number of people connected to the team brutally attacked an Arab soccer player from an opposing team. Numerous people plan are protesting including famous players. Many blame the decision on the familial links between the chairman of the IFA and the owner of the Maccabi Petach Tikva team. One team owner quit the IFA. The sports columnists call on boycotting the league or setting up a new one. Some write that the decision gives a green light for more violence on the field. Haaretz has a piece on it in English.
- Egypt's Suleiman: Israel may consider occupying Sinai (Agencies, Ynet)
- Infiltration alert on Egyptian border - Busy night in south as Palestinians report IDF shelling in Gaza, Islamists kill two Egyptian policemen in Sinai. (Ynet)
- Binyamin (settler) vineyard vandalized - Police, IDF investigating, but settlers blamed the Palestinians for uprooting plants on the biggest Jewish farm in the West Bank. (Ynet)
- Survey: Nearly half of Israelis fear Holocaust could happen again (Haaretz)
- Beitar soccer fans march in Jerusalem chanting racist slogans, allegedly beat woman (Haaretz)
- Social protest leaders to form new political party (Haaretz)
- Yair Lapid reveals name of his new Israeli political party: Atid (Haaretz)
- Bill could lead discharged troops to join archeological digs - New bill will enable discharged soldiers to take on work at archeological digs and receive special NIS 10,000 grant as a recognized preferred place of employment. (Yedioth and Ynet)
- Independence Day naval sail canceled (Ynet)
- IDF cancels tribute to reservists over 'budget cuts' (Yedioth and Ynet)
- Thousands of jars of human remains to be buried in mass grave - New program, 'An Honorable Burial,' begins Monday, involving jars of tissues and organs amassed at the National Institute of Forensic Medicine in Tel Aviv. (Haaretz)
- Tunisia marks 10 years since synagogue bombing (Agencies, Ynet)
- Extra charter flights to Turkey as Israelis return - An estimated total of 3,000 Israelis are expected to visit Antalya in April - a figure that is higher than it has been in the past few years. (Haaretz)
- Egypt presidential elections likely to be delayed by months (Agencies, Haaretz)
- UN cease-fire monitors arrives in Syria, as heavy clashes erupt on Turkey border (Agencies, Haaretz)
Otherwise Occupied / From Yamit to the Jordan Valley, expulsions and demolitions continue Three decades after the IDF expelled Bedouins from Sinai, it is still forcing Arabs out of their homes. (Amira Hass, Haaretz)
Netanyahu fears victory over Iran's nuclear program (Akiva Eldar, Haaretz) It appears that the sanctions campaign and/or the fear of a military assault are liable to push the Iranian nuclear issue off the Israeli and international agenda.
Talking peace, waging war (Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom) Israel must act against a nuclearized Middle East before the next world war.
House myth - Laws of others (Yaron London, Yedioth) "We missed home," that's how Israelis living abroad explain their return home...The residents of Migron (settlement outpost) protest when they say "We are being expelled from our home," and are preparing for a battle. "Home" is not just material, but also has a flexible meaning that can be used for very different purposes from each other. Often the two types of "home," material and spiritual, are used together for political purposes...I believe that the material significance of home has received exaggerated importance by us. My view is that most people are not firmly stuck to their homes, unless the move to another home means a worsening of living conditions, a financial loss, disconnection for dear family, or separation from a community with unique characteristics. These are exceptional cases, if not rare ones. Even more exceptional is forced displacement, which includes offense, and the feeling of being a victim. I understand the difficulties of the displaced of Gush Katif, because they suffer all the losses I described above. They were seduced into believing that their settling there was for the good of the people, they put themselves in danger, they succeeded financially, they established a close-knit community, they lost their property and many were forced to change their work...The story of the Migron residents is completely different. This is a group from the second generation of settlers. In their parents' home they learned that few of the laws apply to the Jews in the occupied territories. The minds of those who live there, and possibly were born and educated there, are so falsified that their world is completely different from the world of others. If they lived in Israel, they would need to pay the owners of the land for the use they made of the property, but they live on another planet where the state builds them a settlement at another location that they chose - the slope of the "winery hill" near Psagot (settlement). Preparing the ground will cost 25 million shekels, from my pocket and yours. I'm sure the residents will foster the myth of "expelled from home" and will educate their children on it.
Israel's right to say 'no' (Smadar Shir, Yedioth and Ynet) State of Israel has right to ban entry of two-faced 'peace activists' consumed by hatred.
Losing the media game (Yakir Elkariv, Yedioth and Ynet) Would it have been so terrible to let global activists enter Israel en route to Bethlehem?
**Stuck in the old war (Nachman Shai [former IDF spokesman], Maariv) At a time when the Palestinians began a new and less violent strategy, Israel is stuck in the old patterns and uses a heavy hammer to hit three flies at Ben-Gurion Airport...Israel refuses to understand that the rules of the game have changed. Worse even, it is not Israel defining the game rules, but the Palestinians. Since the terror of the Second Intifada the Palestinians have chosen a strategy of non-violent warfare. The goal is no different and it is aimed at achieving a Palestinian state within the '67 borders. But the means have changed, and they are meant to hurt Israel's international standing, it's legitimacy, it's economy and a variety of civilian issues. Hence, we have witnessed recently, the Global march (to Jerusalem), the flotilla (to Gaza), the fly-in, and propaganda performances as part of the "Israel Apartheid Week." The Palestinians are avoiding a conflict in the battlefield, and chose other arenas where there is no blood, fire and smoke, but the potential for damage to Israel is no less great. It's a war for the minds, both for the Palestinians themselves and for the public in Israel and for the views of the international community...Israel has the ability to deal with the Palestinians in this arena, but chooses the old option, which does not require any thinking or creativity. The letter that Israel gave to the protesters, and first to the Israeli press, told them to travel to Syria, Iran, or Gaza. And here is the typical mistake: Although we are geographically part of the Middle East, culturally, our place is in the democratic and liberal West. So, when we compare ourselves with Syria, Iran or Hamas, we are mutilating the core difference and makingan analogy between those entities and Israel...All the members of the fly-in should have been bussed to Bethlehem and left in the hands of the Palestinian Authority. From that moment we have no interest in them. No damage would have been done to our international standing and our security. However, the great excitement at the airport and the heavy fears that the security forces displayed ahead of the fly-in caused Israel to lose another battle in the war over the minds. And that's a pity.
Israel should never forget its Mideast atrocities (Yitzhak Laor, Haaretz) The major problem in the Grass affair is not the way Israel blackmails every German. Rather, it's Israelis' inability to understand this country other than through the way it's portrayed in our media.
Basic Law: Right-wing Legislation (Merav Michaeli, Haaretz) Coalition proposes a law, which will make it possible to pass a law that was disqualified by the court - as long as it has a majority of votes that happens to be the same as the number of MKs in the current coalition.
The truth most be told (Jeffrey Goldberg, Maariv and Bloomberg in English) Germany supplied Israel with a submarine in order to prevent the possibility of a second Holocaust. Unlike Gunter Grass, its leaders understand that Israel is not threatening Iran's existence.
Let Israelis abroad vote (Moshe Ben-Atar, Haaretz) Such a policy would show a desire by the state to bring all of its citizens closer to their homeland, to invest an effort in tightening their ties to Israeli society and the state, and to encourage their return in the future.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.