“Schlaglicht Israel” offers an insight into internal Israeli debates and reflects selected, political events that affect daily life in Israel. It appears every two weeks and summarizes articles that appeared in the Israeli daily press.
Main topics covered in this Publication:
The Gaza battle isn’t over yet
(…) Israel will pay for Monday’s events. (…) Part of the Hamas leadership is demanding revenge and wants to keep pushing the street to the fences so as not to lose the momentum; another part wishes to examine the political-economic achievements Hamas might be able to score from Monday’s victims. It’s quite possible that the clashes will resume. (…) In the internal discourse between Gaza’s different political streams—Fatah, the Popular Front, Hamas—activists are (…) talking angrily and contemptibly about the PA, which they see as an Israel collaborator. They are referring to the West Bank residents as treacherous. Abbas did declare three days of mourning, but it’s business as usual on the West Bank streets. Israel and Egypt are managing the crisis in a transparent manner. The Egyptians are playing “good cop” and Israel is playing “bad cop.” (…) The Egyptians are interested in a calm, as they fear Hamas and the global jihad will renew their ties. Moreover, the Egyptians are now going to demand more serious Israeli cooperation with the Egyptian plan to hand the control over Gaza back to the PA. (…) Now, everyone is waiting: Will Hamas resume the violence in the coming days and on the weekend, or will it wait and try to utilize the ease of restrictions offered by Egypt and Israel? The battle isn’t over yet.
Alex Fishman, YED, 16.05.18
Gaza prejudice and perfidy
(…) it has been incredibly painful to hear global condemnations of Israel this week. It is (…) maddening to see Western leaders (…) succumb with equanimity to Hamas’ obvious criminal stuntsmanship on the Gaza border. By acquiescing in Hamas’ exploitation of its own people’s blood in service of Palestinian rejectionism, they distance the day that peace might be possible. (…) those in the international community who insist on the importance of the 1967 lines are now sympathizing with attempts to rupture that same line around Gaza. (…) why would Israel even consider West Bank withdrawals if it has no support for a robust defense of those shrunken borders? What if hundreds of thousands of Palestinians try this border-rushing trick around Jerusalem or in Samaria overlooking Tel Aviv? (…) It is stomach-churning that people call the Gaza border death toll “disproportionate.” How many Israelis have to die for the sake of symmetry and ersatz Western scruples? It is also annoying that Western do-gooders seem to accept Palestinian “Days of Rage” as tolerable behavior. As if the Palestinians can’t help themselves from throwing a tantrum. As if responsible and reasonable behavior, such as negotiation, democratic discourse and normative state-building, can’t be expected of the Palestinians. (…) It is pitiful that people imply causality between the cynical Hamas offensive against Israel and the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem this week. Again, this is nonsense. Hamas’ border provocations have been underway for years and the border rushing attacks for five weeks. (…). Most of all, it is so sad that Israel is once again being placed in the position where it has to cause suffering in self-defense; where it has to, in grief, shoot at Palestinian intruders.(…)
David M. Weinberg, JPO, 17.05.18
(…) Agriculture in Israel today is the product of hugely innovative technology, the fruits of the Start-Up Nation. Yet it suffers from an underreported, low-tech threat. (…) Palestinian terrorists, for this is an act of terrorism, have attached incendiary devices to kites and cut them loose to land in the fields of the neighboring Jewish communities in the Negev. Hundreds of hectares of crops and trees have been destroyed in just a few weeks (…). Gaza kite warfare has diverted attention from another ongoing, serious phenomenon: agricultural terrorism. Although it is sometimes a thin line that divides nationalist-motivated theft and destruction of property from “ordinary” theft, it is becoming clearer that this line is being crossed. When expensive agricultural equipment and livestock are stolen, it is theft. When storerooms containing agricultural produce, hay and equipment are deliberately set on fire, it is an act of terrorism aimed at intimidated the farmers and ultimately trying to get them to leave the land (…). Destruction of olive trees belonging to Palestinians is, thankfully, rare, yet it has been turned into part of the Palestinian narrative and imagery, as if every religious Jew is a settler and every settler a zealot. (…) Now is the time for the state to come to its senses and form a special branch within the police to tackle agricultural terrorism, or at least for the Agriculture Ministry to fund patrols in the same way that security guards protect buses and shopping malls, hospitals and schools. (…)
Editorial, JPO, 20.05.18
The return of the Gaza numbers game
(…) The high number of casualties on the Gaza side versus the limited injuries and zero deaths in Israel has been portrayed around the world as proof of Israeli culpability. (…) all data starts with Hamas (…). Casualty figures – in particular the number of injured, the nature of their wounds, and the circumstances of their being wounded – are easily manipulated. (…) the numbers of dead and injured tells us nothing about the legality or morality of Israel’s actions. Under international law, the targeting of even one person can be illegal, depending on the circumstances. A soldier can commit a war crime, for instance, if she opens fire without cause on a single individual; it does not matter that there are no more victims. On the other hand, it can be entirely legal and justified to kill dozens of people in combat situations, even if they are unarmed and even, in theory, if they were civilians not participating in the fighting. Unarmed individuals can become legitimate targets if they are performing a military function, such as spotting for other combatants or trying to damage defensive infrastructure in support of an attack. (…) from the perspective of morality, Israel is under no obligation to sacrifice its soldiers and civilians to “balance” out the numbers. (…)
Naftali Balanson, JPO, 21.05.18
There is a way to solve the Gaza crisis
(…) the Gaza affair is far from over. Although neither Israel nor Hamas are interested in war, there is still a high likelihood that the clashes will escalate and deteriorate to another bloody and destructive round of war. (…) we have no interest in toppling the Hamas rule at this time, as it would lead to the creation of a governmental void in the strip. (…) Humanitarian welfare (…) and economic development (…) will calm things down among the population and prevent incitement and use of the population as human ammunition and shields by Hamas. (…) A lull and an improvement in the population’s situation, which will require cooperation with the Palestinian Authority and with Egypt, will also help remove Hamas from its complete isolation and alleviate its fears for the survival of its government. (…) We can reach a calm in the strip that will make it possible to implement the humanitarian and economic Marshall Plan (…) based on a permanent arrangement performed in stages—a military and political compromise under the auspices of an international mandate and power, which would provide legitimization and legal validity. The arrangement will serve all parties and make it possible to gradually dismantle the explosive conflict. (…) it’s possible to reach an arrangement that will be based on a compromise and on international support, even without forcing Hamas to disarm completely. The timing seems suitable. We must take advantage of the state of shock in Hamas and the other Palestinian organizations following last week’s bloody clashes on the fence, as well as the shock in the international, Arab and Israeli arena, to reach an agreement. (…) An internationally-backed arrangement of the situation in Gaza (…) will lead to humanitarian aid and economic projects that will rescue the population from its despairing distress. It will also serve Hamas and perhaps allow democratic elections that will lead to a stable political government in the strip. (…) Israel must take advantage of its good relations with the Trump administration, with Egypt and with Jordan, and it’s not-as-good relations with the Europeans and Gulf states, and work behind the scene to enlist everyone for a quick creation and implantation of a military, economic and political arrangement for the Gaza Strip.
Ron Ben-Yishai, YED, 21.05.18
Parting shot: Blameless, but responsible
(…) Many Israelis – initially alarmed over the high casualty figures or questioning the open-fire tactics of the IDF – breathed a sigh of relief when Hamas official Salah Bardawil bragged in an interview that most of the victims in last Monday’s protest/ riot/invasion along the Gaza border were active Hamas members. (…) our conscience was eased as we drew the conclusion that our soldiers (…) were not randomly picking off peaceful protesters, but actually preventing the bad guys from infiltrating into Israel and staging lethal attacks on civilians. (…) the relative quiet on the Gaza front mesmerizes us into thinking that everything is normal. Well, it’s not. Only a few kilometers from our comfortable existence, the people of the Gaza Strip are suffering, with many living in impoverished conditions that include contaminated water, scant electricity and rampant unemployment. (…) Those who blame Israel for creating a virtual prison in the Gaza Strip by controlling all land and sea access ignore the belligerent threat on its border. (…)the situation in Gaza keeps going from bad to worse. But without the protests and the shootings and the deaths to remind us, does anyone really care? The longer it takes for the situation in Gaza to improve, the level of frustration, anger and desperation in the most densely populated piece of land on Earth will continue to rise, resulting in continuing clashes, suffering and possibly renewed military engagement with Israel. (…) Hamas is mostly to blame, (…) but that doesn’t mean that every effort possible should be made – by the international community, by the US… and by Israel – to help extract the Gazans from their one-way tunnel of despair. (…)
David Brinn, JPO, 24.05.18
Summing up Hamas´s `March of Return´ campaign
(…) To the despair of Hamas, the six weeks between the beginning of the campaign at the end of March, and May 15, or Nakba Day, were a relatively quiet period in Jerusalem and the West Bank. (…) Rather than recreating the unity between the residents of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank (…) the campaign of marches deepened the divide between the two populations (…). This divide is a major boon to Israel since the control of violence is much easier when it takes place on either the Gaza or the West Bank front individually rather than as in the past, which is to say simultaneously. (…) Instead of dividing the Israeli public, Israeli hearts united behind the IDF’s tough policy of zero-tolerance for breaching the fence. Hamas might also have antagonized its own hard core. It said the campaign cost the organization $10 million. (…) Fallout from the violence is also inevitable. (…) Failure, which the campaign clearly was, could be the beginning of welcome change. Hamas might be wise enough to cut a deal with Gaza business leaders and the civil bureaucracy it administers in Gaza and, while continuing to police it, provided a refrain from fighting with Israel. Gaza’s attributes, including an excellent workforce, access to the sea and its proximity to Europe can be tremendous assets once common sense prevails over fanaticism. (…)
Hillel Frisch, JPO, 24.05.18
Looking back, Gaza pullout was a mistake
The recent developments on the Gaza border lead to a grim political conclusion: The experiment called the disengagement failed. (…) Hamas (… ) failed to establish a civilian government there. Instead, it established a wild military regime seeking conflicts and lacking any civilian goals. Israel, for its part, tried to rid itself of Gaza, suffocate it and hand it over to Egyptian responsibility. At the end of the day, neither option was implemented: Gaza is stuck in our throats, today more than ever. The conflict isn’t over. It has worsened, and it likely won’t end on its own. (…) Our siege worsened the crisis in the strip but didn’t create it. It was created by the fact that the Gazans’ fate was placed (…) in the hands of a cruel, violent, illegal and incompetent Islamic terror organization, which was unprepared to rule as a responsible government. (…) Now, tens of thousands of Gazans are protesting under slogans that not a single Israeli can accept or identify with. They’re not protesting against the occupation, against the siege or against the US Embassy’s move to Jerusalem, as the Western media are wrongly reporting; they are protesting against the actual existence of a Jewish state. And we are responding with cruel live fire. We are firing without crying. They are dying without crying. They have nothing to lose apart from a miserable and hopeless existence. It’s a terrible reality. And the hatred is breaking new records. (…) Looking back, the disengagement was a mistake. (…) Israel won’t reoccupy Gaza, but Israel can serve as a critical element in jumpstarting an international move to free the strip of Hamas and restore the PA’s rule. (…)
Sever Plocker, YED, 27.05.18
A false hope
(…) The idea of a cease-fire is nothing new. (…) It is no coincidence that Hamas uses the term “hudna,” a term anchored in the Islamic tradition that refers to a temporary cessation of jihad against the infidels when they have the upper hand to allow the Muslims to regroup and prepare for further fighting. Hamas hopes to float the idea of a hudna not just as an expression of its Islamic identity but also of its lack of willingness to reach a peace deal with or even recognize Israel. At the same time, use of the term emphasizes the group’s commitment to the continued historical struggle against Israel, just not at this specific point in time. (…) A hudna with Hamas would be a blow to the Palestinian Authority that would send the message to the international community that any financial investment in Gaza should henceforth go through the sovereign and legitimate ruler of Gaza: Hamas. (…) An unofficial and shaky hudna has been in place between Hamas and Israel ever since 2014’s Operation Protective Edge. Israel’s policy is to ensure the border remains quiet, even if that means allowing Hamas to remain in power in Gaza. Israel can and should continue with this policy and reinforce the mutual understandings as pertains to the quiet on the border. (…)
Eyal Zisser, IHY, 27.05.18
Iranian retaliatory strike put on hold, for now
(…) Eleven Iranians were reportedly killed in the IDF’s latest strike. In light of the high sensitivity to Iranian deaths and the pressure from Tehran, the Quds Force will have trouble explaining another failed attack on Israel. Iran is therefore expected to enter a waiting period (…) the IDF and defense establishhment are maintaining a high state of alert and being careful not to fall into complacency or smugness. (…) The army’s real test, however, will take place if and when Hezbollah decides to join the conflict. (…) Hezbollah is capable of firing 1,200 rockets a day and can target almost every spot in Israel at a very accurate level (…). This is where we should stop and ask the ministers, who have been walking around all smug following the successful strike in Syria, what have they done to ready the home front for the next conflict and why haven’t they pushed for the transfer of funds to local authorities to build bomb shelters and safe rooms in northern Israel. (…) The residents of the north should take advantage of this tense period to launch a justified campaign demanding protection, just like the protection that has been provided to the residents of the south.
Yossi Yehoshua, YED, 18.05.18
Does Iran want war?
(…) Israel is considerably stronger than Iran in the Syrian arena and Tehran’s use of its own forces and Shiite militias is predicated on a mistaken conception. (…)Thus far, Russia has not helped Iran in its fight against Israel, and it appears it has no intention of doing so. (…) Iran now has two main courses of action to choose from – both problematic. The first option is using its most effective card for deterring Israel from further airstrikes: triggering Hezbollah’s massive rocket and missile arsenal (…). Israel has repeatedly clarified that missile barrages from Hezbollah will lead to a particularly harsh Israeli response – not just against Hezbollah but all of Lebanon. (…) Israel will still hold Iran responsible. (…) even limited rocket fire can provoke a massive Israeli response (…). Iran has no interest in getting dragged into a wide-scale conflict because its involvement in Syria places it at a disadvantage. A war with Israel would hamper Iran’s attempts to solidify its influence in Syria as well as Iraq and Lebanon. Above all, Israel could see an Iranian provocation as justification for an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites. Iran’s other option is to switch into a lower gear when it comes to Israel. (…) This does not mean that Iran will give up on military action, just that it will leave out the elements that will pose a challenge to Israel before it has a proper response. (…)
Dr. Ephraim Kam, IHY, 23.05.18
Will Iran withdraw its forces from Syria?
(…) The Iranian and Syrian air forces are no match for Israel’s. (…) Israel seems to possess almost real-time intelligence on Iranian activities in Syria (…). On that front, the Iranian military capability is inferior to Israel’s. The Iranians could respond by extending the conflict through the use of Hezbollah, its Lebanese terrorist proxy. (…) Tehran’s use of the Lebanese-based militia movement would represent a substantial escalation in the Iranian-Israeli confrontation. It also runs the risk of causing considerable damage to Israel’s home front (…). The Iranians have to take into account the possibility that an escalation in the Iranian-Israeli conflict might bring about direct U.S. involvement on Israel’s side. (…) In light of all this, would it be the better part of wisdom for Iran to abandon its expansionist plans in Syria? That, no doubt, is being considered in Tehran among the available alternatives. (…) President Vladimir Putin’s advice to the Syrian president is to order the Iranians to leave Syria. Assad’s response is far from enthusiastic. Does he have a choice? Alliances in the Syrian theater of operations are shifting. This shift is the direct result of Israel’s determination to prevent Iranian military forces from approaching Israel’s borders. The danger as perceived in Israel leaves little room for Israeli compromise. That seems to be well-understood in Washington and Moscow. Let’s also hope it also understood in Tehran. Assad may end up being the loser in this development, and perhaps the long-suffering Syrian people will benefit from this change.
Moshe Arens, HAA, 29.05.18
In Syria, Iran is getting in Putin’s way too
The military intervention in Syria is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most important and successful initiative in the international arena in the current decade. Russia has upgraded its status as a leading international power in the Middle East and removed the United States from its exclusive position of influence in the region. (…) Iran is getting in the way of his efforts to stabilize the situation in Syria and trying to compete with him over the economic projects, oil, gas and phosphate initiatives, which Russia hopes to gain millions from (…) the conflict between Israel and Iran on Syrian territory may lead to the collapse of the Assad regime (…). The Russians have a major interest in preserving the Assad regime, as it legitimizes the continuation of their deep involvement in every area of life in Syria. (…) Assad, however, can’t say no to the Iranians, who are demanding that he turn his country into a rocket launching pad and terror base against Israel and a logistic base for Hezbollah. (…) Assad now controls 70 percent of Syria. He no longer needs the Pakistani, Afghan and Iraqi Shiite militias, and he hardly needs Hezbollah to carry out ground offensives. (…) Putin has to choose between an Iranian entrenchment and a conflict with Israel (…). The Russians (…) want to take advantage of the good relations established with Israel to let Assad occupy the Syrian Golan Heights and southern Syria, including the town of Daraa on the Jordanian border, without any resistance. That’s why the Russian defense minister summoned Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman to offer him a deal: We won’t let the Iranians advance to a distance of several dozen kilometers from the border fence with Israel, and you won’t get in the Assad army’s way as it takes over the Syrian Golan Heights and southern Syria. Israel won’t accept (…) an Iranian presence or the presence of any of Iran’s proxies on Syrian territory, as every place they are in will develop into an operation base and a base for the production of precision-guided weapons against Israel. (…)
Ron Ben-Yishai, YED, 31.05.18
6 Reasons why the US must expand, not withdraw, forces from Syria
(…) The pullout of US forces within the next six months (…) is a recipe for war between Israel and Iran. (…) the presence (…) of US forces will (…) give credence to recent demands by the US that Iran leave Syria and stop threatening Israel’s existence with impunity. (…) Whether or not Iran continues to adhere to the terms of the nuclear deal, the American withdrawal from the agreement could motivate Iran to further destabilize the region, support extremist groups, and accelerate its ballistic-missiles program. (…) a continued and enlarged American military presence in Syria would force Tehran to think twice before it further entrenches itself in the country (…) Without American military presence, the US will not be in a position to influence the development of events after the defeat of ISIS. It will be left to Russia, Iran, and to a lesser extent Turkey, to determine the future of Syria, when in fact American allies in the region will be adversely affected in one form or another by the nature of any outcome. (…) The continuing military presence of the US and its further enlargement will prevent ISIS from reemerging in Iraq and Syria. No one should mistake the defeat of ISIS in the battlefield with its ideological durability. (…) The US military presence on Syrian soil has both practical and symbolic implications that ISIS cannot ignore, given their experience in fighting US forces, the most significant factor that led to their ultimate defeat. (…) Nothing will deter the main antagonistic players in Syria – the Assad regime, Russia, Iran and Turkey – other than a robust American military presence. (…) As long as America remains on the right side of history and upholds its moral obligations, it can reclaim its global leadership role (…).
Alon Ben-Meir, JPO, 31.05.18
Palestinians will never be equal in Israel
(…) Nineteen protesters in Haifa, joining the wave of demonstrations around the country, were arrested for precipitating public disturbance, a charge that the Jewish-led demonstrations did not receive. (…) The violent, oppressive nature of the arrests is both shameful and appalling to spectators (…) institutions such as the police force are given different instructions on how to handle Palestinian citizens. In this reality, Palestinians retain their status as second class citizens. (…) Since the onset of Israel’s military regime, which lasted from 1948 to 1966, the state has dealt with its Palestinian population as a fifth column. (…) The crackdown on peaceful demonstrators in Haifa indicates that the discriminatory policy of the state has reared its ugly head once again. (…) the state continues to promulgate its policy of control and denial of protection to 20 percent of its citizenry. Palestinian citizens are seen as infiltrators, tainting the unique brand of Jewish-Israeli homogeneity, thus rendering their democratic right to challenge the dominant political structure powerless. (…) that violence directed toward the Palestinian minority will eventually harm the Jewish majority. (…) Just last week, Jewish protesters in Tel Aviv demonstrating against the shooting in Gaza, blocked a main street for two hours without any consequences. Meanwhile, Palestinian protesters in Haifa were arrested on the basis of waving the Palestinian flag, which is legal under Israeli law. (…) The argument we are left with is simply that of morality. Perhaps now is the time to acknowledge something that Palestinians have known for a century — in our ethnically defined Jewish state, Palestinians will never be equal.
Abby Kirschbaum, Heli Mishael, TOI, 28.05.18
What it’s like to be an Arab in Israel
(…) Israel’s Arabs know they’re second-class citizens and the most hated group in Israel. That’s not an identity you can leave at home when you go outside. They read newspapers, they’re on social media, they see the tweets and comments. (…) the police are the agents of (…) a kind that protects Israeli society from this community and does not protect it. (…) The state doesn’t let Arabs fully integrate and the government defines them as foreigners, as a bone in the Jewish throat, traitors. It’s known that comparisons mustn’t be made, but isn’t this institutionalized racist hatred in its most blatant and common form? It’s frightening and dangerous to be an Arab in Israel. (…) we’re dipping our feet in the juices of racial garbage. We who complain about anti-Semitism around the world — we’re the greatest anti-Semites in our own country. We’re shameless Arab haters. Much has been written and said about the victim who becomes a victimizer. Not so long ago we were still afraid to walk down the streets of European capitals identified as Jews and now, with a truncheon at our belt, we instill terror in others in the streets of our cities. (…)
Iris Leal, HAA, 17.05.18
Yes to human rights, no to Jewish rights
(…) Jafar Farah (…) fights for civil rights (…). Ever since the recent Gaza-support demonstrations in Haifa, during which his leg was allegedly broken by police officers (…), he has been adopted by the media as its latest darling. (…) Farah was identified as an agitator. (…) the Mossawa Center (…) received $2 million from foreign state entities. The sum of donations from foreign countries is 83% (!) of its overall budget, according to the watchdog group NGO Monitor. (…) special attention should be given to a position paper from 2006 where the rhetoric strikes a disconcerting note and strongly corresponds with the recent images (one masked rioter with a knife was arrested) and the sounds (“in blood and fire we shall redeem Palestine”) from the demonstration in Haifa. (…) official recognition of the Arab minority as a national minority with a national home; legislation stipulating clear recognition of the national rights of the Palestinian-Arab collective; (…) autonomy on matters of education, religion and culture, including the establishment of an independent and separate educational system; the transfer of Waqf assets to the country’s Muslim ethnic group (…); altering symbols of the state, the national anthem and flag; immigration and naturalization equality; official recognition of the “Palestinian catastrophe” (…) and the provision of historical rights. In other words: There would be no Jewish state. The broken bone in Farah’s leg needs to be examined, but the danger of extreme Arab nationalism rearing its head needs to wake us all up.
Sharon Gal, IHY, 24.05.18
From split screens to double standards
(…) Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of Farah before – you won’t be allowed to forget his name now, if he can help it. Farah, the director of the Haifa-based Mossawa Center – The Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel – was detained during a demonstration (…) in sympathy with those killed during Gaza’s Great March of Return (…). Farah claims his leg was broken as a result of police brutality (…). This was not a protest for better job opportunities, cheaper housing or peaceful coexistence. It was an act identifying with an attempt by members of Hamas, (…) a terrorist organization (…), to storm the Gaza Strip border fence and, according to Hamas’s own stated aims, to kidnap or kill Israeli soldiers or civilians. (…) Citizens have a right to demonstrate and the police have the obligation to allow them to do so as long as they present no threat to the general public (…). If a rotten cop deliberately caused Farah’s fracture, he should be dismissed. This should be true whether a rally is being held by Left or Right, Arabs or Jews. Police violence is not acceptable. Period. But there is a long way between what happened when 200 people waving Palestinian flags held a protest in Haifa and calls for a probe by the European Union in Brussels. Thousands of miles and tons of hypocrisy. (…)
Liat Collins, JPO, 24.05.18
The military governor of Haifa
(…) Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav likes Arabs, but only up to a certain size; like those connoisseurs who choose small fish to serve at a special meal. (…) we must inform Yahav that the era of military rule is over. (…) Jafar Farah (…), whose leg was broken at the police station (…) says that Yahav involved the city’s local police patrols in dispersing the protest. Farah adds that Yahav put the municipal operations parking area at the police’s disposal, and that Bnei Zion Medical Center was turned into a military base for all intents and purposes, with complete cooperation between the police and the hospital security apparatus. Even Farah’s medical file was transferred to the police without his permission. (…) it’s a shame that the military government has long ended, because if not, Yahav would have erected barriers at the city entrance to ascertain the intentions of the Arabs who come to Haifa. Dear Arabs, if you come to enrich the coffers of the city, you are welcome. But to express an opinion – no. (…) Yahav is a nice guy (…), but at the moment of truth he’s been exposed as a man without mercy (…). Break the Arabs’ bones, dear policemen. Yahav supports you. (…)
Odeh Bisharat, HAA, 28.05.18
Israel´s Iran sensitivity should not be ignored by the EU
(…) The visit of Netanyahu in Europe is of large significance (…) in a period during which the European Union is attempting to keep the deal alive. The EU approach vis-à-vis Iran is being formulated by a greedy appetite for business. (…) there is nothing wrong with business ambitions (…). The problem starts when business fever leads to ignorance of critical security parameters as the ones raised by the only democratic country in the Middle East, Israel. (…) Netanyahu’s visits in Europe will remind the most powerful EU member-states about Israel’s sensitivity stemming from the policies of the Islamic Republic. (…) The clock does not turn back, though. Ephemeral profits are less important than long-term stability.
George N. Tzogopoulos, JPO, 31.05.18
Israel will not stay quiet
(…) Erdogan’s megalomaniacal dreams are pulling him toward (…) an Islamic caliphate (…). Israel must not ignore the ridiculous statements from the Turkish president, bizarre though they might be (…). We can already start disseminating what we know about Turkish money being transferred directly or indirectly to Hamas (…). Hamas (…) sanctifies the culture of death and martyrdom. (…) For years, Hamas has prioritized building up its military strength over investing in its population. It elects to invest in terror tunnels and rockets and abandons the residents of Gaza to poverty, war, and hunger. (…) Hamas sent them to die at the border. We weren’t the ones who spilled their blood. (…) We need to show it, repeatedly, without tiring, not only in the west but also to the Muslim and Arab world both in Israel and abroad that is being led by Erdogan’s delusions. Israel sending the Turkish consul home on Tuesday should be the first step in a reassessment of how Israel and Turkey should maintain ties. Turkey has to understand that it, too, has something to lose.
Nadav Shragai, IHY, 16.05.18
HAA = Haaretz
YED = Yedioth Ahronoth / Ynetnews
JPO = Jerusalem Post
IHY = Israel HaYom
TOI = Times of Israel
GLO = Globes
Published: June 2018
Dr Paul Pasch,
Head of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Israel