"No longer will Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz be able to compare Israel favorably to Europe...No longer can Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu engage in wordplay about growth and employment."--Haaretz's Nehemia Shtrasler takes the government to task for the enormous budget deficit revealed yesterday.
- EU working on new Mideast peace plan - British, French FMs preparing plan to restart talks between Israel, Palestinians to be presented in March. 'It will drive us into a corner,' say Israeli officials. (Yedioth/Ynet)
- Member of Israel's higher education council resigns over West Bank university recognition - In letter to Education Minister Sa'ar, Ora Limor says council's accreditation of Ariel University shows it is 'political tool' instead of being a barrier between politics and higher education system. (Haaretz+)
- Beersheba country club forbids Bedouin from praying - Heated argument erupts when Rahat resident told by gym manager he can't pray on grounds, should 'go to Ahmad Tibi.' (Ynet)
- Palestinian prime minister urges Arabs to pay pledged aid - Fayyad tells Arab League members financial crisis could lead to the disintegration of Palestinian Authority; says tax rebates frozen by Israel amount to 1/3 monthly operating costs. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Powell says Hagel 'doesn't have to agree with Israel on everything' - Former U.S. Secretary of state defends Obama's choice for Defense Secretary; says he is a 'very strong supporter of Israel,' but should have said 'Israeli lobby,' not 'Jewish lobby.' (Ynet)
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