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December 7, 2016 / 7 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Yediot Aharonot’

Israeli Government in Cantankerous Rancor over New Broadcasting Authority

Monday, August 1st, 2016

The Likud party has been attacking its coalition partner Habayit Hayehudi party over the memorable debate in Sunday’s cabinet meeting of the establishment of a new Israeli Broadcasting Corporation. The official announcement from Likud called Ministers Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked the “favorites of the left and of [Yediot Aharonot owner] Noni Moses” who support the indefatigable efforts to harm the prime minister and the Likud rule. It was in response for Bennett’s and Shaked’s decision to abstain during the vote to postpone the date when the new corporation starts broadcasting.

One of the most celebrated quotes from Sunday’s debate, all of which reached unusually shrill tones, was from Likud Minister Miri Regev who reportedly cried out: “What’s the point in having a corporation if we don’t control it? The minister should be in control, or what, we’ll give money and then they’ll broadcast whatever they want?”

As the minister in charge of culture (and sport), Regev exhibited a particularly narrow understanding of freedom of the press and possibly of the entire concept of what a public corporation is. One of the fundamental principles of such corporations, outside Zimbabwe and, recently, Moscow, is that the ministers are strictly in charge of budgeting and monitoring public satisfaction of the corporation, but they are absolutely prohibited from dictating and controlling anything.

Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan couldn’t help himself and made fun of the vociferous yet thin-skinned Regev. He told her, “Yes, live with it. There’s no law saying the public broadcasting authority will do what Miri Regev tells it to do.” The two Likud ministers continued to yell at each other (they both ranked in the top slots in the last Likud primaries), until Prime Minister Netanyahu had to shut them up.

Ayelet Shaked on Monday shot back at the Likud’s attack press release, saying that Likud should stop whining, and, anyway, they have their own daily newspaper (tycoon Sheldon Adelson’s pro-Bibi Yisrael Hayom).

Shaked was the second female politician in Israel yesterday who told a fellow lawmaker to stop whining. The other was Shelly Yachimovich, who said she’d had it up to here with her party chairman, Isaac Herzog’s whining about an insult she shot at him last May. She called him Bibi’s lap dog. He threatened to expel her.

But the media’s focus on Sunday centered on that cabinet meeting where Regev let the world know what’s her take on democratic institutions. And just to show you that you don’t have to know democracy to thrive in one, Miri Regev’s culture ministry on Sunday received control over the entire government advertising budget, which comes to about $80 million. That’s everything the Netanyahu government spends on ads, foreign and domestic, despite the fact that the bulk of those ads have nothing to do with the culture ministry.

Minister for Social Equality Gila Gamliel (Likud) told Army Radio on Monday that Regev’s statements were borderline fascistic and that she had warned Netanyahu none of those statements should be allowed to stick to the Likud party.

Incidentally, the reason the Netanyahu government has been attempting to establish a new broadcasting authority was because the current authority is considered inefficient and infested with leftists. But having been under the coalition gun for several years now, the IBA has gone a long way to become more efficient and to sprinkle all its high-ratings hours with rightwingers. So the Kol Israel one hears today is more balanced politically than what it was only a year ago.

Which is the reason Coalition Chairman MK David Bitan (Likud) announced Sunday that he was going to advance a new bill to dismantle the new public broadcasting corporation in favor of the one Israel has had since the British mandate (1948).

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon summarized that unhappy cabinet debate in an interview with Army Radio, where he said, “This entire government has to go on vacation. They must urgently go on summer holiday, before the entire government would end up in hospital.”

JNi.Media

Former IDF Spokesman: Army Radio Hosted Anti-Disengagement Voices While Israel Radio Blocked Dissenters

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

Brigadier General Avi Benayahu, formerly the IDF Spokesperson, on Saturday shared with the Yediot Aharonot weekend supplement that Israel’s official radio channel, Kol Israel, was instructed to block access to MKs wishing to speak against the uprooting of some 8,000 Jews from Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip in 2005.

“During the disengagement (the laundered, government issue term for the mass deporatations), all the rebel MKs, those who objected to the move did not receive access to Kol Israel,” by decree from above, Benayahu recalled. “I allowed them, of course, to be interviewed on Army Radio, and was receiving messages from [Prime Minister] Ariel Sharon that I was providing a platform for the extreme right, the marginal voices.”

“Back then we understood that to be our role,” the former IDF Spokesperson said, reminding many readers that the left-leaning military station used to be a small l liberal outfit.

According to the Israeli media monitoring NGO Keshev (Listening), the Israeli media systematically overstated “the threat posed by those opposed to disengagement and emphasized extreme scenarios.” Keshev’s report states that “throughout the weeks before the disengagement, and during the evacuation itself, the Israeli media repeatedly warned of potential violent confrontation between settlers and security forces. These scenarios, which never materialized, took over the headlines.”

Keshev’s report suggests the Israeli print and TV media “relegated to back pages and buried deep in the newscasts, often under misleading headlines” items that “mitigated the extreme forecasts.” Editors delivered “one dominant, ominous message:,” such as Channel 1’s Aug. 14, 2005 story: “Police Declare High Alert Starting Tomorrow, Close to a State of War.”

“The discrepancy between the relatively calm reality emerging from most stories and the overall picture reflected in the headlines is evident in every aspect of the disengagement story: in the suppression of information about the voluntary collection of weapons held by the settlers in the Gaza Strip; in reporting exaggerated numbers of right-wing protesters who infiltrated the Strip before the evacuation; in misrepresentation of the purpose of settler protest (which was an exercise in public relations, not a true attempt to thwart the disengagement plan); and in playing down coordinated efforts between the Israeli security forces and the settlers,” Keshev reports.

According to Keshev, the price for this misrepresentation was paid, at least in part, by the settlers, whose public image was radicalized unjustifiably. After the disengagement was completed without violence between Israelis and a sense of unity and pride pervaded society, “the media chose to give Israeli society, and especially its security forces, a pat on the back.”

David Israel

Israeli Elections Set for January 22nd

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

After consulting with the various party leaders, the Prime Minister has set January 22nd as the date for elections, Yediot Aharonot and the Jerusalem Post have reported.

The bill which will disperse the Knesset and set the date for early elections will pass through the Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Sunday and be brought before the Knesset on Monday when it is set to return from the summer break, Yediot reported.

January 22nd comes just short of four years since the last election, which was held February 10th, 2009.

In his recent statement announcing early elections, Netanyahu had emphasized completing four years in office, but also said that elections should take place as soon as possible.

By law, early elections must take place at least 90 days after the Knesset disperses.

Daniel Tauber

U.S., Israeli Officials Blast Media Reports Claiming Obama-Netanyahu Rift

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

JERUSALEM – White House and Israeli government officials criticized Israel’s Yediot Aharonot newspaper for publishing what they described as two patently false stories during the past week.

The paper alleged that the relationship between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama has significantly deteriorated over the issue of a possible Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Yediot Aharonot reported in a front-page story that U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro reprimanded Netanyahu in a private conversation – saying “enough is enough” regarding ongoing Israeli warnings about a preemptive strike – while the White House asked Iranian officials not to attack American installations in the Persian Gulf region if the IDF launches a preventive strike against Iran.

On Monday White House spokesman Jay Carney said that Yediot’s report that the Obama administration had secretly negotiated with Iranian officials about keeping the U.S. out of any armed conflict between Israel and Iran was “false and completely incorrect.” Carney told the Reuters news agency, “We don’t talk about hypotheticals.”

Yediot Aharonot’s publisher, Arnon Mozes, who also controls a substantial share of Israel’s Channel 2 TV network, has made no secret of his antipathy toward Netanyahu. This became evident after American business mogul and philanthropist Sheldon Adelson launched the pro-government Yisrael Hayom in 2007. That free daily paper has overtaken Yediot in circulation.

In an attempt to buttress Yediot’s story about the alleged verbal spat between Netanyahu and Shapiro, Channel 2 News anchorwoman Yonit Levi interviewed Shapiro. When pressed about the alleged verbal row, Shapiro smiled and pointedly told Levy, “I’m sorry to disappoint you, but it never happened.” The ambassador also said that he had a positive relationship with Netanyahu and that the White House and the Israeli government are constantly updating each other and coordinating their efforts regarding the Iranian nuclear issue.

Earlier this week Netanyahu publicly called on the world’s powers, including the U.S. and EU, to delineate a clear “red line” to the Iranian regime, whereby the Iranians would understand that it would suffer devastating consequences if they continued to enrich uranium as part of their effort to build a nuclear bomb. Within the past month, Israeli intelligence officials have informed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that Iran would have enough enriched uranium by early 2013 to build a nuclear bomb.

Reflecting on the debate of whether Israel should bomb Iran, with or without American support, veteran Israeli TV news anchorman and Yisrael Hayom columnist Dan Margalit wrote in Monday’s edition, “As an ordinary citizen, I do not know which opinion to express. Both sides make convincing arguments, and only someone who has all the information can make a decision. But it is also clear to the ordinary citizen that Israel has been forced to spill its hidden secrets in the city square, a process started by former Mossad chief Meir Dagan’s ‘freak show,’ so the question must be considered as it is.”

Margalit added, “The choice is not between an Israeli attack or international action, but rather between these two possibilities and a third option: the acceptance of a nuclear Iran. Opponents of Netanyahu and [Defense Minister] Ehud Barak are hiding their support for this option.”

Steve K. Walz

Netanyahu Furious Over Security-Cabinet Leaks, Cancels Second Meeting

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled the second meeting of the security cabinet due to leaks from the meeting held yesterday about discussions onIran’s nuclear program.

Yediot Aharonot had obtained and published yesterday evening information regarding the meeting, specifically differences of opinion regarding intelligence on whenIran’s nuclear program would enter a “zone of immunity” from Israeli attack.

The intensive 10-hour long marathon meeting was said to deal with other regional-security topics as well.

Today’s meeting was convened, but when it began, Netanyahu announced that due to the security leak the meeting would be adjourned.

“Yesterday, somebody severely undermined the confidence that Israeli citizens give to this forum,” Netanyahu said. “He violated the most basic rules regarding the conduct of Security Cabinet discussions. He also hurt the good name of those present at the meeting who did not leak its contents.”

Daniel Tauber

Syrian Crisis May Top Agenda At Bibi-Obama Meeting

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

JERUSALEM – Next week’s scheduled White House meeting between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was expected to focus on a possible preemptive Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear installations.

The Iran issue may be moved somewhat down the agenda, however, as flailing Syrian dictator Bashar Assad is being pressured by members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to move both his WMD cache and long-range Scud missiles to well-protected Hizbullah bases inside Lebanon.

According to intelligence sources, the Pentagon expressed concern to the Obama administration on Monday after Lebanese Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn, who is aligned with the Hizbullah-dominated government, met with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to discuss increased military aid to the Lebanese army in order to “confront the West and Israel.”

Israel’s mass circulation Yediot Aharonot reported that the Revolutionary Guards and Hizbullah are in a race against time to secure major parts of the Syrian army’s unconventional weapons arsenal before they fall into the hands of anti-Assad rebel militias, who have threatened to “settle scores” with Hizbullah for assisting in the massacre of Syrian civilians and rebel soldiers.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who met with high-ranking members of the Pentagon this week, told American military commanders that the Israeli air force would attack convoys carrying suspicious weapons across the Syrian border into Lebanon. In addition, IDF ground forces reportedly are preparing to reoccupy large swaths of Southern Lebanon in order to thwart any Iranian order to Hizbullah missile units to launch attacks on Israeli cities.

Last week an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander warned that his forces would launch preemptive strikes if the regime felt threatened by impending American or Israeli attacks. The Syrian military possesses some of the world’s most lethal chemical weapons, including the VX nerve agent, which can be mounted onto Scud missiles.

On March 14, Israel will conduct a massive anti-missile drill in the Tel Aviv metro region. Codenamed “Hit in the Heart,” the drill will focus on the aftermath of a theoretical missile attack on a major shopping mall in Tel Aviv by either Hamas or Hizbullah, both of which are equipped with Iranian-produced medium range Fajr-5 missiles that can reach Tel Aviv.

According to some news reports, the IDF would need at least ten Iron Dome anti-missile units to defend major Israeli cities against even a limited number of short- and medium-range rockets.

Steve K. Walz

Israeli Students Urge Bibi Not To Trade Them For Terrorists

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

JERUSALEM – A number of Israeli high school students on the verge of being inducted into the IDF publicly called on Prime Minister Netanyahu not to trade high-profile terrorists for them in the event they fall into enemy hands.

On Tuesday, 12th-grade students from religious and secular backgrounds released the contents of a formal letter they sent Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

“As soldiers, we understand we are obligated to the security of the State of Israel, even if it means costing our freedom or even our lives,” the students wrote.

“We also call upon you to strictly limit the conditions of the murderers who are currently serving their sentences sitting in Israeli jails. The situation where murderers are able to study for academic degrees and enjoy sumptuous meals is a disgrace and intolerable.”

“History has taught us that the release of terrorists encourages more kidnappings,” 18-year-old Daniel Gabbai of Netivot told the daily Yediot Aharonot. Added 18- year-old Noam Sherlo of Efrat, “If terrorists understand we are not surrendering to terrorism, then the motivation to kidnap soldiers will decrease.”

While Netanyahu’s inner cabinet was set to debate changing the government’s policy regarding prisoner exchanges later this week, Ichud Leumi Knesset Member Uri Ariel filed a parliamentary motion on Monday to create a “pidyon shvuyim” (redemption of prisoners) law under which the government would not be allowed to exceed a one-for-one prisoner exchange, especially in the case of kidnapped Israeli soldiers.

Steve K. Walz

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/israeli-students-urge-bibi-not-to-trade-them-for-terrorists/2011/10/26/

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