APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday May 15, 2014
Note: After weeks of not being published Maariv is back in the
newsstands with a new name, 'Maariv This Week,' and a new owner, The Jerusalem Post Group, but
no website. The NRG Hebrew website is no longer connected to Maariv and now belongs solely to the publisher of the
nationalist religious paper, Makor Rishon.
Quote of the day:
"We need to combat racism, violence and xenophobia, to eradicate terror, erroneously called 'price-tag,' and to
strive for full equal rights for minorities, women and anyone who is different."
--Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon calls price-tag attacks 'terror.'**
Front Page News:
Flying government - Ministers of previous government increased number of flights
abroad and suspicion of receiving favors rose
- Meanwhile, in Tokyo, Netanyahu and his wife [main photo]
- Failure in math: Teachers are not suitable and study plans are outdated
- Number of people entitled to apartment without VAT expanding
- Anger in Turkey: "Erdogan responsible for mine disaster"
(New) Maariv This Week
- Germany changes its mind: No discount for warships
- Hurts the pocket - Sentences in Holyland affair will put more than 10.5 million shekels in the state's coffers
- Violent clashes during evacuation of illegal outpost at Maaleh Rehavam
- One of maintenance workers at Petach Tikva school arrested
News and Peace Process Summary:
Today's main stories in the Hebrew media focused on the suspicious rise in the number of flights abroad by Israel's
ministers and the eviction of settlers and demolishing of homes in a settler outpost yesterday, seven years after
Peace Now petitioned the High Court for their removal. Meanwhile, Haaretz+ led with a report stating that Israeli
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is looking for an alternative plan in the wake of failed peace talks and US
Secretary of State John Kerry met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to renew the talks, while Hamas and
Fatah officials met and moved forward with the unity government. US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is in Israel
to discuss security and military aid, while Maariv This Week reports that Germany called off a discount to a deal
for warships. Today is Nakba Day, but it was almost impossible to know reading the Israeli papers.
Haaretz+ reported that Netanyahu is looking for alternative to the failed peace talks after he told a Japanese
newspaper that he is "engaging in consultations with my own coalition partners and with others, to see if we have
other alternatives, because I think the status quo is not a good idea, because I don’t want a binational state."
Reporter Barak Ravid also noted that two weeks ago, Netanyahu asked cabinet ministers for ideas on steps Israel
could take following the end of negotiations and the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. But a number of
Israeli officials told Ravid on condition of anonymity that Netanyahu actually just wants to placate
coalition partners Justice
Minister Tzipi Livni and Finance Minister Yair Lapid rather than solve the conflict with the
Kerry told Abbas
yesterday in London that the door for talks is still
open. Palestinian officials told Israel Hayom that Kerry asked for the meeting in order to find a
way to renew negotiations and he even proposed a new guideline to restart the talks
Meanwhile, Hamas and Fatah officials held a three-hour meeting
in Gaza and concluded that they
would meet the five-week deadline to establish a unity government. Gaza Prime Minister
Ismail Haniyeh said the new government would need parliament's approval
. Hamas holds a majority
in the parliament, which has ceased functioning since the rift between the two parties. In another sign
of Palestinian unity, Hamas vacated Abbas' Gaza City villa
, which has in recent years been used as a base, Ynet
reported. Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi gave his blessing
to the Palestinian reconciliation deal, in a
statement also marking the 66th memory of the Nakba, Maan reported.
Nakba Day was barely mentioned in the Israeli Hebrew media. Israel Hayom reported that
the IDF raised alert levels for Nakba Day commemorations
in the Palestinian
territories and NRG Hebrew website reported that Deputy Interior Minister Faina Kirshenbaum wrote the
Minister of Finance and Minister of Education demanding they implement the "Nakba Law" and deny funding
to universities that
commemorate the Nakba. Haaretz+ published an Op-Ed by Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat,
titled "Israel can't erase the Nakba from history."
The ending of the peace talks appears to have had repercussions. German Chancellor Angela Merkel informed Netanyahu
that Israel won't receive the discount for the three German warships Israel ordered
, the new
'Maariv This Week' reported. The ships can carry nuclear missiles. Israel believes that this is a 'punishment'
initiated by US President Barack Obama for ending the peace talks, wrote reporter Ben Caspit. An Israeli sent to
Berlin to discuss it said, "The decision is not final." However, relations with Germany are strained, Caspit
That might be a topic for discussion with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who landed last night in Israel
for talks on regional security and US
military aid to Israel, amid the nuclear talks with Iran and the IDF's severe financial crisis.
IDF evacuates illegal settlement outpost, amid token resistance - Far-right activists had
tried to block access to outpost, the first of three tapped for demolition; IDF bracing for 'price tag' attacks
in retaliation. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
**Yaalon: "We need to eradicate terror erroneously called 'price-tag'" - Defense Minister
Moshe Yaalon slams worrying phenomenon, saying: "We need to combat racism, violence and xenophobia, to
eradicate terror, erroneously called 'price-tag' and to strive for full equal rights for minorities, women and
anyone who is different," he said in speech at ceremony to commemorate the 3,050 fallen members of the kibbutz
movement. (Maariv This Week, p. 3)
Likud activists: "Yaalon is bad for the settlement enterprise" - 60 Likud members signed
a letter against the Defense Minister over the eviction from Maaleh Rehavam outpost and protested against his
intention to evacuate 28 buildings in Givat Assaf and Ramat Gilad (outposts). Ya'alon's associates attacked:
"An exploitive gang does not represent the views of the (Likud) party." (NRG Hebrew)
Three right-wing activists held on suspicion of involvement in hate crimes - Two of the
detainees, both minors, are being held under a special order that prevents them from meeting with their
Israeli forces detain 14-year-old boy in overnight (E.) Jerusalem raid - In the early
morning hours, Israeli forces surrounded Musallem Musa Odeh's house in the Silwan neighborhood of E. Jerusalem
and detained him. (Maan)
Israeli bulldozers demolish structures in East Jerusalem neighborhoods - Bulldozers
entered the Palestinian neighborhoods of Beit Hanina, Shuafat, and Ras al-Amoud, where they destroyed two shops
and a workshop. One owner said Jerusalem municipality workers had issued demolition orders "several times," but
that he had paid a total of 20,000 shekels in fines to postpone the demolition. (Maan)
Cutting power from (Arab) residents of E. Jerusalem (and preparing to help settlements) -
In wake of Palestinian Authority's debt, Israel Electricity Corp announced it would cut electricity for
two hours a day to (Arab) E. Jerusalem residents. IEC also preparing for possibility that Palestinians
will respond by damaging electricity lines to settlements; IEC is supplying them with generators.
PA disputes the amount it owes and wants to involve international arbiter.
(Yedioth, p. 12)
Israeli military vehicles enter Gaza border area - The vehicles escorted six Israeli
bulldozers, which leveled Palestinian fields near the separation barrier in the northern Gaza Strip.
Low pay, no leave: Jordan Valley farmers exploiting Palestinian labor - Critics accuse
Israel of ignoring illegal abuses of West Bank farmers. (Haaretz+)
World Bank transfers $30 million to Palestinian Authority - The funds, contributed by
Japan, will go towards "education, health care, and other vital social services for the Palestinian people,"
the statement said. (Maan)
Netanyahu wants to let largest party form government - Prime minister is expected to
advance legislation that would take away the president’s role in the process. (Haaretz+)
Comptroller report slams rising ministerial travel, slack gun oversight - Many of
the trips were financed by external organizations, some were unauthorized or involved apparent conflicts of
interest. (Haaretz+, Ynet and Israel Hayom)
Petition to Lapid: Prevent those who commemorate Nakba Day from receiving budget money
- A letter sent by MK Kirshenbaum to the Minister of Finance and Minister of Education demanded
they implement the "Nakba Law," which denies funding to universities that commemorate the Nakba.
Israel to seek UN recognition of Yom Kippur as holiday - Yom Kippur should be an official
U.N. day off, just like Christmas and Eid al-Fitr, says Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Ron Prosor. U.N.
recognizes 10 holidays, none of them Jewish. Campaign launched with aim of winning General Assembly vote.
New bill would limit pardons for convicted terrorists - In preliminary reading, Knesset
approves bill that would make terrorists ineligible for presidential pardons unless they pay compensation to
their victims. Meretz leader slams bill, which was proposed by United Torah Judaism MK Yakov Litzman.
Mossad recruiting candidates through Facebook - Former members of Israel's intelligence
community received job offers from the spy organization through the social network. The ad reads: "Life is what
you make of it." (NRG Hebrew)
Israel offers to help Turkey with coal mine disaster - With efforts underway to improve
bilateral ties, Israeli Embassy calls off belated Independence Day celebration in Ankara.
Report: Egypt seeks alternative to Tamar gas - "Interfax": Egypt in talks with
Norway's Hoegh LNG to lease a floating unit. (Globes)
Was secret Iran nuke program trigger for tough sanctions? Past findings says Iran may
have worked on secret bomb program, UN nuclear watchdog says. (Agencies, Ynet)
Hillary Clinton skeptical about Iran nuclear deal - Speaking at American Jewish Committee
forum, Clinton says U.S. needs to be tough on Iran talks, and that U.S. commitment to Israeli security will
never waver. (Haaretz)
Israeli Arab arrested upon return from fighting with rebel forces in Syria - Umm al-Fahm
resident Ahmed Shorabji has been charged with entering enemy country and engaging in prohibited army exercises.
Israel can't erase the Nakba from history
(Saeb Erekat, Haaretz
+) Palestine recognized Israel's right to exist in 1988, but Israel's government is
asking Palestinians to deny the existence of our people and the horrors that befell us in 1948.
Bar the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Amos Oz and half the Israeli cabinet from Hillel
+) The Jewish student organization's speaker guidelines are merely an excuse for
powerful figures to torpedo speakers they don’t like. But why should the U.S. Jewish community be afraid of
real debate on Israel?
Battle for Israel's future should be fought on US campuses
) For the first time in decades, a coordinated pro-Israel student grassroots movement
is gaining momentum in American universities.
Israel's liberal left has forgotten how to fight
+) The right understands what the left does not - everything is political; it
fights on all fronts by placing its people in key positions, while shattering any opposition.
Evacuation is entirely Destruction
(Asaf Golan, NRG Hebrew
) Jews can only be inside Israel. Arabs are allowed to live and build anywhere
in the country even if the price of this construction is the loss of the Jewish majority and the destruction
of the State.
Back to the Israelite Kingdom
(Gideon Levy, Haaretz
+) Western states aspire to be liberal and open, while Israel is withdrawing into
itself. So why do we need a president? Why not a king?
Negotiations: What went wrong?
(Alon Ben-Meir, Maan
) Kerry caved in to Netanyahu's demands to address Israel's security concerns first,
instead of dealing with borders, which Abbas sorely needed to allow him to be more flexible. And yielding to
Netanyahu's refusal to freeze settlement expansion was nothing short of the kiss of death.
King Bibi's Game of Thrones: Israelis are smelling blood. And it's not Olmert's
+) At this point, if Netanyahu loses his mind, will the public, mired in the
hopelessness that is his true legacy and the only remaining source of his strength - even notice?
Closure for Jerusalemites
(Eli Hazan, Israel Hayom
) Once a promising young politician, Olmert turned out to be a complete
failure. It is satisfying that he learned that everyone is equal before the law.
Judge crossed a line in calling Olmert 'traitor'
) Committing the sin of arrogance, Judge Rozen accused former PM of most
serious offense in Israeli book of law.
Yedioth backs the corrupt
(Gonen Ginat, Israel Hayom
) Every Israeli knows who the ones who kissed up to Olmert are -- they are
sitting in the Yedioth Ahronoth building.
We still need a strong army
(Ari Shavit, Haaretz
+) Bashing the army as wasteful has become trendy, but Israel still faces serious
The defense establishment's intimidation tactics
) The defense minister and chief of staff are acting like union bosses,
putting narrow financial interests above the public good.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.