Headlines: Yesterday’s new today
> This is a news roundup, but do the newspapers necessarily publish news? This is yet another day when the Yom Kippur War protocols capture the headlines, without revealing anything significant about that war that we didn’t already know. Israel was caught by surprise despite sufficient intelligence? Jordan was a secret ally? Israeli leadership considered extreme measures? These are just about the best known facts about that war.
> Is the city of Lod in the grip of a crime wave? There have been 8 murders this year in a city with a population of 74,000, and 52 shooting incidents. Moreover, almost all the victims are Arabs, who number just a quarter of the city’s population, so for them, it is worse than Colombia. The government’s solution is to get the IDF and Shin Bet (Israel’s internal security service) involved in an attempt to disarm the population. Long-neglected local Arabs express mistrust in the authorities and suggest more focus on investigations, few of which have yielded suspects.
> Former Prime Minister Olmert is standing trial for a variety of corruption charges, including receiving very large sums of money from an American businessman. A witness in the trial alleges that this benefactor was elated when he heard about Ariel Sharon’s illness, which allowed his protégé to rise to power.
The Sidelines: Calls for higher royalties on natural gas labeled “subversion”
> A stormy debate in the Knesset’s economics committee on natural gas royalties predictably degenerated into ugly scare mongering about Iran somehow gaining from decreased profits to gas tycoons. But today’s lunacy prize goes to MK Anastasia Michaeli (Yisrael Beitenu), who suggested investigating those calling for higher royalties for “subversion”.
> Holocaust survivors plan a class action against insurance companies that refuse to cover pre-existing conditions, i.e. anxiety and depression resulting from their past in concentration camps (Ma’ariv, Asakim).
> Opposition leader Tzipi Livni accuses the government of wasting two years instead of moving ahead with negotiations with Palestinians.
> Seven senior ministers met yesterday, but contrary to publications before the meeting, did not discuss the settlement freeze. The issue may come up in a cabinet meeting today, or maybe not.
> Construction of 350 housing units has begun [Heb] in the settlements since the freeze lapsed last week.
> Settlers are preparing [Heb] for a violent conflict over the court-ordered sealing of an illegally built synagogue.
> Prominent Israeli poet, Natan Zach, is willing to join [Heb] the next flotilla. It must have been a tight race, but the first to call for his poems to be removed from school curriculums was MK Miri Regev (Likud).
> A court acquits [Heb] a protester charged for carrying signs against the Gaza war.
> A northern college creates a BA program, tailored for the needs and constraints of single moms (Yedioth).
> A court rules that spousal relations can only exist between a man and a woman.
> A rabbinical court clears [Heb] a rabbi from sexual harassment charges.
> The Justice Ministry’s bill on senior executive pay in the private sector will not set a cap, but will levy higher taxes on the biggest salaries (Yedioth, Mamon).
> Trade unions make initial preparations [Heb] for a general strike, over demands to increase public sector pay.
> The government backs down: it will not stop paychecks for teachers who work in schools that have not completed the licensing process. The schools get another month of extension.
> Substantial gaps remain [Heb] between Arabs and Jews, men and women, in Israel’s SATs.
> Residents of Israel’s central region are richer and healthier than those in the periphery, but less happy (Ma’ariv, Asakim).
> The IDF will have to buy Israeli-made textiles (Ma’ariv).
> Israel’s National Insurance (the equivalent to social security) wants [Heb] people to face jail time if they do not report about a change in their personal status within 30 days.
> The city of Tel Aviv admits it was a mistake to rent out its philharmonic hall to the marketing campaign of a real estate developer.
> Richard Wagner’s great-granddaughter cancelled a planned visit to Israel for fear of sparking controversy.
The Bottom Lines: The social justice deficit
> The government deficit plummets [Heb], but no one is calling for increases in social spending. If the deficit was soaring, we certainly would be hearing about another round of heartless cuts.
> Farmers who move to the Negev will get large plots of land and other benefits. The article does not say, but since they will be settled in the moshavim, it seems this is a plan for Jews only. (Yedioth) Can you guess which group is losing lands in the Negev, right now?