The Times of Israel liveblogged Wednesday’s events as they unfolded.
Ya’alon says labeling products is ‘prize for terrorism’
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon says the EU decision to label products made outside the Green Line and in the Golan Heights is “a shameful step, giving a prize to terrorism and the people behind it.”
“Even if this or that European has a dispute with the State of Israel regarding the status of the territory and its future, the decision to label products is pure hypocrisy,” he adds.
Hotovely says EU step is a ‘boycott’
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, who traveled to Europe last month in an attempt to prevent this development, says, “Labeling products is a boycott.”
“Europe has today taken a discriminatory and grave step,” the deputy foreign minister says.
Shaked says European ‘hatred’ of Israel ‘crossed every line’
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked calls the move to label products from territories taken in 1967 an act that unfairly singles out Israel, describing the decision as “anti-Israel and anti-Jewish.”
“European hypocrisy and hatred of Israel has crossed every line,” she says following the European announcement.
Shaked tells Israel Radio that the government plans to fight the decision.
“We will study the decision once the full details are released and decide on the appropriate response,” she says. “We will consider legal steps if necessary.”
Peace Now says move is ‘legitimate,’ not a boycott
The Peace Now NGO says in a statement that the European decision to label products made in the settlement is a “legitimate” move.
“Labeling products is not a boycott against Israel or BDS [boycott, sanctions and divestment], but a legitimate move intended to separate products of the settlements from blue and white products,” the NGO says.
Bill banning entry of boycotters moves ahead
The Knesset advances a bill forbidding persons calling for a boycott against Israel from entering the country.
The preliminary version of the bill, which needs to pass three more rounds of voting before becoming law, was passed with a majority of 55 to 31 MKs. It was held as news came from Europe that a decision was made to label products made in Israeli territory captured after the Six Day War.
The bill, presented by Jewish Home MK Yinon Magal, sates that persons or entities calling for a boycott of Israel or representing organizations working to promote such boycotts will not be able to enter the country for any reason.
“Gone are the days when people called for a boycott against Israel, landed in Ben Gurion [airport] and took a taxi to [Palestinian village] Bil’in only to throw stones at soldiers,” says Magal.
Joint List MK Dov Khenin, who voted against the bill, says the “real title of the law should be ‘The law to promote boycotts against the State of Israel.’”
According to the proposed law, he says, “every person taking part in labeling products cannot enter Israel. So it’s all of Europe out. In order to protect settlements they’re willing to pay the price of deeper delegitimization and harm to tourism.”
Michael Oren proposes ‘Made in Europe’ label
Kulanu MK Michael Oren says the European decision to label products “only testifies to its anti-Semitic nature.”
“I call on Israeli merchants to label products made in Europe,” he says. “The Israeli public does not have to buy products from countries that encourage anti-Semitism and prejudice.”
Meretz MK welcomes product labeling
Meretz MK Issawi Freij welcomes the decision to label settlement products, saying the settlements were a painful burden the Israeli market had been stuck with carrying, like a hunchback with a bump.
The decision “can help European customers who do not want to boycott Israel — but at the same time do not want to finance the occupation — to purchase Israel-made goods without worrying that they are thus funding the settlements and the occupation. This is a decision that creates a difference between boycotting Israel and boycotting the occupation, hence its great importance.”
Shin Bet statistics paint picture of typical terrorist
The Shin Bet security service publishes its data for the month of October, painting in broad lines a picture of the typical terrorist profile: Overwhelmingly, attackers are men (91 percent), young (82% are 16-25 years old) and single (86%).
Most attackers came from the West Bank and East Jerusalem (95%) and only 5% were Arab-Israeli citizens.
Two-thirds of attacks (68%) were stabbing attacks. Other forms of attacks are shootings and car-rammings. There were two instances of improvised bombs.
Business owners fume at European decision
Owners of businesses and factories likely to be hurt by the EU decision on product labeling are furious but defiant, according to a Channel 2 report.
The Tura Winery in Samaria, in the West Bank, produces 56,000 bottles a year, of which some 40 percent are intended for export. According to Vered Ben Sa’adon, the owner, the boycott movement achieved the opposite of what it wished. “For five months we had no wine left on the shelves thanks to people who did not appreciate the violence of the boycott movement,” she said.
The Bazelet Hagolan winery in the Golan Heights decided to export its chardonnay with a cap printed with the blue and white Israeli flag. “We are proud of our national flag and hope that other wineries will follow suit and put the flag of Israel on wine bottles intended for export to Europe,” Yoav Levi, one of the owners, tells Channel 2.
The owner of a boutique soap factory in the West Bank says the European move makes him worry for the future of his employees. “When they boycott products without checking first, they hurt working people, in our case people with special needs. In other places it can be Arab workers working shoulder to shoulder with Jewish workers. This is why there’s no place for boycotts. Let’s end this,” he says.
Palestinians launch 3 rockets into sea
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fired three rockets into the sea in a launching experiment, the Hebrew Walla website reports. No damage or casualties were reported.
‘Code Pink’ activists pose near Western Wall
Activists from the Code Pink — a US leftwing group which acts to end American involvement in wars around the world and also supports the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement aimed at financially coercing Israel into withdrawing from West Bank settlements — arrived in Jerusalem and posed with signs calling for a boycott of the Jewish state near the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism.
Ariel Gold, a Code Pink activist whose Facebook cover photo shows her holding a sign saying “Jews say no to occupation,” tweeted and posted on Facebook a picture of another activist holding a sign with the words “Boycott Israel” and “Code Pink.”
— Ariel Gold (@ArielElyseGold) November 10, 2015
“Jewish American @CODEPINK activists unfurl #BDS banner @ Western Wall 4 five min, seized by security #FreePalestine,” Gold wrote on her Facebook page.
On the group’s Facebook page, a photo was posted outside a building which the Hebrew NRG website said was a Remax real estate agency office. There, activists hold a sign with the words “American Jews support BDS, Re/Max sells apartheid. Stop Israeli settlements.”
Netanyahu to return to Israel sooner than expected
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is about to meet US Secretary of State John Kerry in his Washington hotel. The two are expected to discuss possible Israeli steps to calm tensions in the West Bank.
Netanyahu, who has been hoarse for the duration of his visit, has canceled several items on his agenda for the day because he is not feeling well, including a briefing to the Washington Post. His return flight will leave several hours earlier than planned and is expected to land in Tel Aviv early Thursday afternoon.
— Raphael Ahren
Coalition loses vote on bill presented by Yesh Atid
The opposition succeeded in advancing a bill opposed by the government after Jewish Home MKs Bezalel Smotrich and Shuli Moalem left the plenum and cost the coalition two votes.
The bill, presented by Yesh Atid MK Meir Cohen, aims to limit the number of cases a social worker can handle at any one time.
In the vote, 44 opposition MKs voted for the bill, with 42 coalition MKs voting against.
Smotrich made a point of his leaving the plenum, and tweeted shortly afterwards: “I was now absent from a vote over a bill presented by the opposition, in protest for the many broken promises by [Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu to enable planning and construction in Jerusalem. Promises should be kept.”
Associates in Smotrich’s office told right-leaning website Srugim: “Without construction in Jerusalem, there will be no coalition.”
Smotrich is likely to be punished for his disloyalty to the coalition. He may be penalized within his faction, Jewish Home, but also by Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein, from Likud, the party leading the coalition. Smotrich is deputy speaker, and Edelstein may decide to punish him by taking this role from him.
Netanyahu says EU should be ‘ashamed’ of product labeling
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls the EU decision to label products “hypocritical” since it refers only to Israel and not to 200 other conflicts around the world.
“The European Union decided to mark Israel alone, and we will not accept the fact that Europe is labeling the side that’s been attacked with acts of terrorism,” Netanyahu says.
“The Israeli economy is strong and will withstand this. Those who will be hurt are the Palestinians working in Israeli factories,” Netanyahu says. “The European Union should be ashamed.”
Palestinians say settlement products should be banned
The official PLO Twitter account tweets in response to the EU decision that it’s a “step in the right direction” but that the Europeans would do better to ban entirely products of what it calls a “war crime.”
EU Labeling of settlement products is a step in the right direction but insufficient:Products of a war crime must be banned not just labeled
— Palestine PLO – NAD (@nadplo) November 11, 2015
8 hurt in collision between IDF, Border Police jeeps
Eight people were injured in a head-on collision between an IDF jeep and a Border Police jeep on Route 60 near the Adam Square.
Two people were moderately injured and six lightly injured in the collision. Heavy traffic following the accident is causing congestion on both directions. Police officers are at the scene.
— Judah Ari Gross
Palestinian gets 16 years for police stabbing
A Jerusalem court jails a Palestinian man Wednesday for 16 years for the December stabbing of two Israeli border policemen in East Jerusalem.
The court says Mussa Ajlouni, 25, from Jerusalem’s Old City, pleaded guilty in a plea bargain to two counts of attempted murder over the December 26 attack on the officers, near his home.
Police at the time described their injuries as light.
The attack came at a time of frequent clashes in East Jerusalem, as well as a series of “lone wolf” attacks on Israeli civilians.
Nasrallah proud that PM, Obama discussed Hezbollah
The leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, says that his organization “can be proud that the little Satan and the great Satan devoted their meeting in the White House to the issue of Hezbollah.”
Nasrallah is referring to Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama. According to Hebrew language paper Ynet, Nasrallah says that if the US were courting Hezbollah, it would mean that the terror group was not holding the right views.
“Hezbollah is at the forefront and in a real position of influence over the region,” he says.
His comments were part of a speech delivered for “Day of the Shahid,” a memorial day.
UN force turns over Lebanese staffer named as ‘Israeli spy’
The United Nations peacekeeping force in south Lebanon UNIFIL says it turned over a longtime local staffer to Lebanese authorities who accuse him of spying for Israel.
The Lebanese man, who had worked in the UNIFIL administration for over 20 years, is among three people accused by authorities of spying for the Jewish state.
On Sunday, Lebanese authorities said they arrested the three suspects, a Syrian man and his Lebanese wife and a Lebanese man.
But the Lebanese man “was in the UNIFIL compound when authorities requested him,” UNIFIL spokesman Andrea Tenenti tells AFP.
“We asked UN headquarters in New York to determine whether immunity would be applied in his case, and the UN determined that since the allegations were not related to his official functions, immunity from legal proceedings would not apply,” he adds.
The man was taken into custody on Wednesday.
Likud clarifies Netanyahu’s ‘unilateral’ comments
The Likud party issues a statement following comments by Netanyahu made at CAP, a left-leaning Washington-based think tank.
Netanyahu answered a question on “unilateral” steps by saying such steps may only become viable if Israel’s security needs are met.
The one-line comment reverberated in Israel, prompting Likud to issue a statement saying that “Prime Minister Netanyahu did not speak of unilateral withdrawal but of unilateral steps, and those that would strengthen the security and national interests of Israel in the face of terrorism. The interpretation [in Israel] of comments the prime minister said in the US is misguided and incorrect. PM Netanyahu will not evacuate and will not uproot communities. This mistake will not be repeated,” the statement says.
U. of Oregon student charged with shouting anti-Semitic slurs
A University of Oregon student has been arrested and charged with intimidation for allegedly shouting anti-Semitic slurs at another student outside of a Jewish fraternity.
The student was identified as Damien Leon Ramirez, 23, a cinema studies major, the university told the local newspaper, The Register-Guard. The university is located in Eugene, Oregon.
A 20-year old man told police that Ramirez was sitting in his pickup truck parked outside the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi. When the man told Ramirez to leave, he allegedly responded with anti-Semitic slurs. Ramirez then got out of the truck as requested, kicked its side and said he would return with a firearm.
Robin Holmes, vice president for Student Life at the university, said in a statement published on the website of news station KEZI that the university community is “deeply disturbed,” by the October 30 incident, reported by news outlets for the first time on Tuesday evening.
“We do not tolerate hate crimes or threats founded in bias against any individuals or groups,” the statement said.
Holmes added that University President Michael Schill has “personally reached out to express his concern and support for the fraternity. The university will continue to work with Alpha Epsilon Pi to ensure that they have the resources and support needed to feel safe as a part of our campus community.”
In July 2014, unknown vandals etched 11 black swastikas on a cluster mailbox in front of the AEPi house.
Jerusalem deputy mayor prepares for snow
Deputy Jerusalem Mayor Dov Kalmanovitz calls for residents of the city who own a 4×4 vehicle to volunteer for a rescue team that would be deployed in case there is a snowstorm in Jerusalem this winter.
“This year, the snow will not catch us unprepared – we are getting ready now. We’re putting together a 4×4 volunteer unit for extraction, aid and rescue in Jerusalem,” Kalmanovitz writes on his Facebook page.
“In the past few years we have been witnessing extreme weather all over Israel and we have already seen recently malfunctions, flooding, power outages and other problems caused to the residents of Israel,” Kalmanovitz writes.
“In Jerusalem, there has been snow every winter for the past few years and it looks like every time we find ourselves unprepared. It is important to remember that two years ago, thousands of the city’s residents found themselves cut off completely from electricity, transportation and supplies.”
Kalmanovitz left his municipal email address at the end of the Facebook post for those interested in joining.
Eisenkot visits Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot visits Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem.
Israeli man wounded by rocks in West Bank
An Israeli was lightly wounded when rocks were thrown at a bus he was traveling in near Beit Omer in the West Bank. The bus was also damaged.
Israeli man ‘saved’ by a terror attack
Daniel Cohen, 31, was wounded in a stabbing attack in Rishon Lezion last week. What doctors found out when they operated on him in the hospital, however, was that he was suffering from a potentially life-threatening intestinal tumor.
“I was in the middle of a work day,” Cohen tells Radio Kol Chai. “I was in the central bus station, waiting for a line that was supposed to take me to the next place to be checked,” he says. Cohen is a Kashrut supervisor. “I waited for the bus and did not see anything suspicious. Then I walked a few steps and suddenly the attacker lunged at me and strangled me.”
“When Magen David Adom paramedics arrived I was still conscious but when I got to Assaf Harofeh Hospital they put me under,” he says.
“As they were operating on me, they found a growth on my intestine that I didn’t know I had and cut it out. If they wouldn’t remove it, it could have gotten worse,” he says.
Israel is largest recipient of US aid — by far
Israel receives the largest amount of US military aid, a new statistic shows.
With $3.1 billion per year, Israel almost triples the $1.3 billion given by the US to Egypt – the country in second place, with a population 10 times larger than Israel’s. Iraq, Jordan and Pakistan are next on the list, with $300 million to Iraq and Jordan and $280 to Pakistan.
A map published by the statistics website howmuch.net shows countries to scale according to the amount of aid they receive.
Israel suspends dialogue with EU over product labeling
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely says Israel will suspend diplomatic dialogue with the EU for the coming weeks following the decision to label products produced in territories captured during the 1967 war.
“The double standard with which the union treats Israel is incomprehensible,” says a top official at the Foreign Ministry.
Lars Faaborg Andersen, the EU ambassador to Israel, was called for a reprimand at the Foreign Ministry following the decision.
Netanyahu and Kerry conclude meeting
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Secretary of State John Kerry conclude their meeting where they discussed ways to reduce violence between Israel and the Palestinians, to improve the quality of life in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and to advance the peace process.
During the discussion, different ideas were raised, and these demand further examination and ironing out, Netanyahu associates says after the meeting.
Kerry’s assistant Frank Lowenstein will arrive in Israel next week to further discuss the issues.
IAF reportedly hits Damascus airport
Israeli fighter jets attacked targets at a Damascus airport, Channel 2 reports.
It is not clear what the targets were, but Israel has in the past said it would not allow weapons shipments to pass from Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon through Syria.
Israel has never openly claimed responsibility for attacks deep in Syrian territory, but has maintained a “no comment” policy regarding Israeli attacks in Syria.
Palestinian meetings with London mayor off after boycott comments
London Mayor Boris Johnson’s visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories hit a glitch Wednesday as meetings with Palestinians were called off after offending supporters of a boycott of the Jewish state.
The mayor earlier this week dismissed those who support the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign, known by its BDS initials, as “corduroy-jacketed lefty academics,” comments which caused anger on Palestinian social media.
A number of Palestinian groups then refused to meet him while he was also informed his comments had led to additional security risks if he were to visit the West Bank, Johnson’s office said.
His meeting with Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah, however, went ahead as planned.
IDF — No comment on reports of Syria strike
The IDF “declines to comments” on recent media reports that Israeli Air Force jets struck positions in Damascus, an army spokeswoman says.
— Judah Ari Gross
German ruling party spokesman — product labeling ‘a mistake’
A spokesman for Germany’s ruling SPD party tells Channel 2 the decision to label settlement products is not a step to protect customers but will rather create a “stigma” against Israel.
The spokesman calls the EU decision a “mistake.”
2 hurt in criminally motivated shooting attack
Two people were seriously wounded in a shooting attack in Hadera. Police say the shooting was criminally motivated.
Magen David Adom paramedics arrived at the scene, on the corner of Hanassi Weizmann and Sheshet Hayamim streets, near the Hadera mall.
The wounded were evacuated to hospital.