APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday November 19, 2013
Name of the day:
"Israel Trail of the Himalayas."
--Name of new trail for trekkers in Nepal, created with Israel's help [and great for positive PR - OH].**
Front Page News:
- High Court: The State can't be trusted to fulfill its commitments in the (Palestinian) Territories
- Kerry postponed his trip to Israel
- Money for conversion - (Former chief) Rabbi Metzger suspected of receiving millions of shekels of bribes
- Discussion into night on choice of State Prosecutor
- 700 Office Depot employees to be dismissed after the company liquidates
- Education Ministry wants to adopt the Democratic (and Waldorf) schools
- Debate over pension turned into generational battle in kibbutzes
- Suspicion: Bribes between the holy books - (former chief) Rabbi Metzger's confidante became state witness against him
- 780 employees of Office Depot to be dismissed
- Abusive husbands, look at them - Dozens of famous women in a daring campaign
- Famous singer and the minor affair - The father speaks: "I did not try to get girls. Let them interrogate me already. I'm having a hard time"
- The guards disappeared - At Azrieli shopping mall they don't ask to open bags for check anymore
- German soccer player who disappeared became terrorist in Syria
- Netanyahu to Abu Mazen: "Come to Israel's Knesset, I will come to Ramallah"
- Two days before talks in Geneva: dissident group exposed secret nuclear facility in Iran (Hebrew)
- Dismissal of 780 employees of Office Depot is just the beginning: 60,000 other workers in the country are expected to join the unemployed in the next year (Hebrew)
- Treasury accuses Netanyahu's office: "The leaks on lowering taxes - irresponsible"; PM's office: "The Treasury inflated the budget hole"
- Welfare service sources on the five Israelis who set themselves on fire due to economic difficulties: "There is no way to get out of poverty in Israel" (Hebrew)
- Where did G. Yafit get the money to help Channel 10, and who is behind her? // Alik Margalit writes that G. Yafit is very close to the Netanyahu couple (Hebrew)
- Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef attacks: Netanyahu is acting insolently
- Israel: We will fight to the last moment - Signs increasing of a nearing agreement between the powers and Iran in Geneva
- 800 Office Depot employees to be dismissed
- Rabbi Metzger arrested on suspicion of bribery
- Next State Prosecutor: Shai Nitzan
- Heavy rains flooded the country: One man critically injured from collapse of wall
- Report: Haniyeh's granddaughter hospitalized in Israel
Peace Talk Highlights:
The French President gives Israel a 'French bite instead of a French kiss,' calling for Jerusalem as a joint capital and an end to settlements, the Israeli Prime Minister invites the Palestinian President to speak to the Knesset (on his own terms), and the Israeli High Court says Israel is not trustworthy when it comes to the West Bank. A senior Palestinian source says an interim deal is a possibility, the Israeli Defense Minister believes there is 'no partner' and the US Mideast peace talks envoy gets a new assistant, while US Secretary of State cancels his visit to Israel. Meanwhile, a Palestinian poll shows that Palestinians believe the Oslo Accords brought more settlements
A "French bite" wrote Yedioth's diplomatic affairs correspondent Itamar Eichner after French President Francoise Hollande put a wreath on Yasser Arafat's grave in Ramallah and called for an "end to settlements." Maariv also noted that "after the hugs" Hollande called to stop construction in settlements and in a "firm political policy" said a two-state solution must be strived based on the pre-1967 lines with agreed-upon exchanges of territories and with Jerusalem as the joint capital of both states. Speaking to Israeli lawmakers in the Knesset, he also said "The status quo with the Palestinians cannot last" and "Peace requires courage, even more than war." In Ramallah, he said he expects gestures of peace from Palestinian movements as well.
In a Knesset speech, Netanyahu invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to address the Knesset and said he would be willing to visit Ramallah. But the invitation seemed to have a condition: "I call on President Abbas to come here to the Knesset and recognize the relationship between the Jews and the Land of Israel," Netanyahu said. "Get up on this platform and recognize the historical truth: the Jews have a nearly 4,000-year-old link to the land of Israel. The Jews are a people with a right to self-determination," he said.
Israeli High Court judges gave a deadline and a rebuke to the State: six months to evacuate illegal West Bank outposts and a declaration that it is 'no longer possible to trust the commitments the state gives' on the matter, Haaretz and Israel Hayom reported.
A senior Palestinian source close to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and informed on the peace negotiations told Israel Hayom that the Palestinian team agreed to an interim agreement if there is progress on the subject of the Palestinian state's future borders and on security arrangements for borders. If this happens, the other core issues will be postponed to after the end of the nine-month negotiating period. The Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams will be meeting this week, he said.
Meanwhile, Maariv reported that associates of Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon say he believes there is no partner on the Palestinian side. On Sunday, Yaalon said that recent Israeli victims of Palestinian attacks were victims of the peace process.
Former Israeli newspaper correspondent David Makovsky has joined US Mideast envoy Martin Indyk's Middle East peace team, Haaretz reports. [Is Makovsky an Israeli citizen and if so how that will affect the US attempt to appear to be an honest broker in peace talks? - OH]
A Palestinian poll has found that a majority of Palestinians believe that the Oslo Accords brought 'political normalization' but no benefits.
83.3% believe that settlement construction increased "unprecedentedly" in the Palestinian territory as a result of the Oslo Accord.
83.1% say that the Oslo Accords enabled the Israeli side to continue to strengthen the Jewish presence in Jerusalem and gradually change the city to a pure Jewish property.
Iran-related News Summary:
US Secretary of State rebuffs Netanyahu and cancels his Israel trip as Israeli papers say that the Iran-powers agreement is a done deal. Ynet writes that Russia is Israel's last hope for thwarting the nuclear agreement as the Israeli media campaign against the agreement continues.
Kerry said that nothing the US is doing regarding Iran will put Israel at risk and that Israel stands to benefit from a potential deal with Iran. Nevertheless, he will not be arriving to Israel as planned on Friday. Haaretz writes that is to avert a brush with Netanyahu during the P51 talks with Iran in Geneva.
Ynet's Atilla Somfalvi quotes senior Israeli officials who said that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin may be the last hope for Israel to prevent an Iran agreement. Netanyahu will travel Wednesday to Russia and senior Israeli officials claim that the US is dead set on reaching a deal with Iran, but "The Russians have already surprised us in the past, and they don't like the idea that America is the hero of this story. They also don't like the idea of a nuclear bomb in their own backyard." Nevertheless, Putin said that there is a 'real chance' to make a deal with Iran.
In New York, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett has been hammering home Jerusalem's message on a nuclear Iran, as part of Israel's media campaign against an agreement, writes Haaretz. And Netanyahu told a German paper that Iran does not have the right to enrich uranium.
- Settlers uproot 26 olive trees in Nablus village - Settlers destroyed at least 26 olive trees in the Nablus village of Qusra on Monday. On Sunday, settlers destroyed 106 olive trees in Yatta. (Maan)
- 8 hurt, 1 critically, in clashes following uprooting of 26 olive trees - Israeli forces arrived on the scene and fired rubber-bullets at Palestinian villagers of Qusra, injuring eight people. Hamada Abdullah Abu Rida, 18, was shot directly in the chest and transferred to Radifa hospital. (Maan)
- Jewish mob attacks Palestinian man in Jerusalem - "When I stopped at the light, a large number of extremists surrounded my car and began screaming at me: 'Arab, Arab. He's an Arab', while throwing rocks at me from all sides," said Majdi Al-Jarbawi, 40. (Maan)
- Protesters hurled stones at car of Arab man - After Rabbi Abergel's arrest, haredi riots unleash anger at Arab driver. Jewish resident's car harmed during incident. (Ynet)
- 'Hilltop youth' at Jerusalem yeshiva suspected in string of violent attacks - Diaspora Yeshiva denies involvement, but three pupils arrested after near-fatal assaults on Palestinian, Israeli neighbors. Palestinian still in coma. (Haaretz)
- 80 Israeli police officers visit Aqsa mosque - Around 80 Israeli security forces entered the al-Aqsa compound from the Moroccan gate and toured the compound Monday. (Maan)
- Haniyeh's granddaughter in critical condition, hospitalized in Israel - Israel gives permission for Amal Haniyeh, granddaughter of Gaza's Hamas prime minister, who suffers from severe gastrointestinal illness, to be hospitalized in Israel. After doctors claimed survival chances are slim, she was returned to Gaza Strip in state of clinical death. (Agencies, Ynet and NRG Hebrew)
- Legislation favoring military veterans raises serious constitutional concerns, says deputy AG - Orit Koren warns of potential problems, but lawmaker says the bill does not go far enough "for those who contributed to the country." (Haaretz)
- New panel aims to settle Israeli-Palestinian business disputes - Arbitration center seeks to enhance bilateral trade between Israel and the West Bank, provide safety net for business people forced to meet at roadblocks, cash and goods in hand. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Israel cuts power to Jericho village over unpaid debts - Israeli authorities cut electricity to a Palestinian village near Jericho on Sunday, claiming that a local company had failed to pay 3 months of bills. Twelve water wells in al-Jiftlik have stopped working due to the power outage. (Maan)
- Israeli prison guards raid Ashkelon prison, 9 Palestinians wounded - Israeli prison guards stormed the Palestinian section of Ashkelon prison on Monday morning, wounding nine prisoners in a raid that lasted several hours. (Maan)
- Israeli forces confiscate school bus in Yatta, locals say - Israeli forces on Monday confiscated a school bus in Yatta, without providing an explanation. The vehicle had been donated by UNICEF to take children to school in the south Hebron hills. (Maan)
- Israel issues orders to halt construction of Yatta mosque - Israeli forces prevented villagers in Yatta from constructing a mosque on Monday, confiscated stones and construction materials and claimed the building lacked an Israeli-issued building permit. (Maan)
- Israel must be included in Western nations' group on UN human rights council, allies say - If bid by six of Israel's Western allies succeeds, it will be more difficult to isolate and condemn Israel, while it could more easily propose diplomatic initiatives of its own. (Haaretz)
- Study: 45% of fatalities in car accidents are Arab-Israelis - Conference reveals alarming information regarding those involved in car accidents in Israel in recent years. Arab mayor says high number of Arab fatalities caused by poor infrastructure, harsh economic situation. (Ynet)
- (Settlement) farm belonging to Seraiah Ofer becomes new settlement - Following the murder of Colonel Ofer , ten families and 100 yeshiva students took his place. "We are reviving the dream of 'Yaya,'" say the new residents, using Ofer's nickname. (Maariv, p. 6NRG Hebrew)
- Panel taps Deputy AG Shai Nitzan as next state prosecutor - Search committee chaired by Attorney General Weinstein recommends Nitzan succeed Moshe Lador as state prosecutor. (Haaretz)
- Students angry: National Student Union of Israel initiating political cooperation with left-wing organization - Criticism over leadership program "Ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict" with One Voice organization, which is connected to the New Israel Fund. (Maariv, p. 7)
- Iron Dome soldiers deserve proper credit for role in country's defense - "Soldiers of the Air Force Defense Command are combat soldiers, exclamation point," Active Protection System commanding officer Col. Arik Haimovich says. Israel, meanwhile, not resting on its laurels from past successes, is upgrading defense systems and preparing for multiple front counter-attacks. (Ynet)
- Lieberman: We have a commitment to Jewish refugees - At launching of lobby for Jewish refugees from Arab countries, MK Moshe Feiglin claimed that "they were deprived of their property rights without any national struggle." (NRG Hebrew)
- Soldier indicted with theft of night vision gear, officer charged with sexual abuse - Equipment valued at NIS 35,000 still not found, investigators say soldier gave it to family member to sell, share in profits. Meanwhile, IDF major charged with sexual, physical abuse of son. (Ynet)
- Israeli ministers snub dinner with French counterparts - Two deputies attend the event in Jerusalem, but only one Israeli minister. Another showed up in the middle when it was learned the turnout was low. (Haaretz)
- Son of IEC chairman in talks on developing first planned Palestinian city - Ido Ron-Tal has not committed to building infrastructure for Rawabi. (Haaretz)
- PM praises UN interpreter criticizing attacks on Israel - UN Human Rights session slams Israel in slew of resolutions. UN Interpreter forgets microphone on, calls nine resolutions condemning Jewish State 'a bit too much' earning her praise from Netanyahu. (Ynet)
- **Israel trail in Himalayas - At initiative of Israeli embassy in Nepal: A new trail was created in the Himalayas with the cooperation of the embassy and the Jewish National Fund and it will be called "Israel Trail in the Himalayas." (Yedioth, p. 24)
- Senator asks Netanyahu: Keep Philadelphia consulate open - Israel's Foreign Ministry mulling closing one of its embassies in order to free funds for a new diplomatic mission in China. (Haaretz)
- Gag order lifted: Israel's former chief rabbi arrested on suspicion of accepting millions in bribes - Rabbi Yona Metzger is suspected of accepting bribes from heads of organizations in order to advance their interests during the time he served as Ashkenazi chief rabbi. (Haaretz)
- Palestinian Authority pays former prisoners $10,000-$50,000 upon release - In addition to monthly salary paid by Palestinian Authority, Palestinian prisoners serving time in Israel jails receive massive prison 'severance package' that can reach up to $60,000. In one case, PA even picked up bill for prisoner's wedding. (Ynet)
- Clashes at Birzeit between Hamas, Fatah supporters - Several students were injured after clashes broke out Monday afternoon between supporters of Fatah and Hamas at Birzeit University in Ramallah in the central West Bank. (Maan)
- Jordan requests seat on UN Security Council after Saudi Arabia turns it down - General Assembly to vote on whether to give Jordan the seat traditionally reserved for an Arab nation after the Saudis turn down the offer. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Palestinians cast first-ever vote in UN General Assembly - After status upgraded last year, Palestinian delegation participates in international decision-making. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Nasrallah's mystery accessory draws attention of local media - During rare weekend appearance by Hezbollah leader, security guard displayed new protective device. (Ynet)
- Report: Iranian national arrested 'walking' by Israeli embassy - Iran's media report Iranian man is held, tortured in Azeri prison after caught walking near Israeli embassy in Baku. Iranian, Azeri embassies deny allegations. (Ynet)
- Egypt seizes antiquities being smuggled to Israel - Egyptian security forces on Monday seized antiquities dating back to the Roman and Pharaoh eras. Initial investigations revealed that the antiquities were prepared to be smuggled into Israel to be sold there. (Maan)
- UN secretary-general visits Auschwitz memorial - Ban Ki-moon visits Holocaust memorial in Auschwitz where over 1.1 million Jews died, lays wreath on execution wall, tours synagogue. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Iran building secret new nuclear site, exiled dissidents say - New underground site is being built inside a 600-meter tunnel complex, claims exiled Iranian opposition group, which previously exposed the Natanz uranium enrichment plant and Arak heavy-water facility. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Iran claims its new drone can reach Israel - Tehran unveils what it says is its biggest drone yet, Fotros, with range of 1,250 miles. Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan hints that the reconnaissance and combat drone can cover much of the Middle East, including Israel. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
State vs. High Court (Haaretz Editorial) How can Israel demand that its citizens respect and obey the law when the
state itself does not?
G. Yafit - in His Majesty's Service (Alik Margalit, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) The introduction of G. Yafit as a principal shareholder of Channel 10 is alarming. Is the Prime Minister on the way to conquering another major media outlet in Israel (in addition to Israel Hayom)?
P51 not likely to prevail in Geneva (Moshe Arens, Haaretz) Granting Iran the 'right to enrich uranium' is in effect granting Iran the right to build a nuclear weapon.
No good choices in Labor primary (Sefi Rachlevsky, Haaretz) Shelly Yacimovich and Isaac Herzog could only be legitimate candidates if they promise to put all their time into forging a non-right bloc.
On Palestinian 'gifts' (Yossi Ahimeir, Maariv/NRG Hebrew) Ahimeir notes that the Palestinians who murdered Seraya last month referred to their deed as, "'a gift' to the Palestinian people," and asks, "How long will the Palestinians prefer to receive gifts in the form of murdered Jews, while deceiving Israel and the US, instead of finally realizing that they will never be able to receive everything that they are asking for in the negotiations?...How long will we and our allies hide our heads in the sand and ignore Palestinian hatred and violence?...What a pity that Israel did not announce, immediately after the murder of a sleeping soldier on a bus in Afula, that eliminating the release of prisoners was a condition for continuing the talks. The time has come for Israel to set clear and unequivocal conditions - and stick to them - in the face of the Palestinians' hypocrisy, just as it is doing in the struggle against Iran's nuclear ambition."
Dershowitz to J Street: Ditch the distortions, focus on Israel's survival (Alan M. Dershowitz, Haaretz) J Street maliciously distorted my clear support for diplomacy in order to appease their hard left constituents, who prefer containment rather than preventing Iran going nuclear.
The Israeli agency that oppresses Palestinians 'for their own good' (Amira Hass, Haaretz) The Civil Administration's planning council takes the cake when it comes to doublespeak.
Words can kill (Hagai Segal, Ynet) Ramallah's spokesmen, media planting idea to kill Jews in minds of 'lone' terrorists.
French kissing in the Knesset: Netanyahu receives Hollande like Israel's savior (Barak Ravid, Haaretz) France is an important ally to Israel, but let's put things back in perspective: It's still not the U.S.
West shouldn't undervalue its leverage over Iran (Emily B. Landau, Haaretz) Iran is desperate for relief from sanctions, a fact that gives P51 the upper hand.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.