“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:
- Another Stalemate at Parliamentary Elections
- Rosh Hashana
- Netanyahu Threatens with War
- Selection of Articles
Netanyahu’s era is over, Israel is on a new path
(…) Despite Israelis’ long experience with sudden political upheaval, one can safely say that the latest elections were a heavy blow not just for Netanyahu, but for the whole of the Likud and the entire right-wing. (…) it’s hard to see how Netanyahu can escape a situation where Blue and White outstrips the Likud. (…) Netanyahu needs a miracle to be able to form a government. These days, Netanyahu is not a man of miracles, not anymore. (…) The election results are proof that the people are fed up with Netanyahu. Benny Gantz may not be viewed as the ultimate leader, but he is viewed as a viable alternative to Netanyahu, and an alternative is what Israel wants. (…) we’re dependent on people who haven’t shown a sliver of leadership skills, and it’s hard to imagine any of them showing any today. But now, we have someone who stepped up (…). Avigdor Liberman is not only the winner of these elections, he’s also the one who gets to choose the identity of the next government. (…) the chairman of Yisrael Beytenu could very well change the face of the country. And now the Likud, whose members signed a declaration of eternal loyalty to Netanyahu, needs to act. It’s not easy turning your back on a leader, especially in a party like the Likud, but it’s ineitable. If the Likud doesn’t pull itself together, we could find ourselves on a slippery slope to a third round of elections. (…)
Sima Kadmon, YED, 18.09.19
Now is the time for unity
The joint government of Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Shamir (1984-1988) was one of the best Israel has ever had. It got the IDF out of Lebanon, stopped the runaway inflation of the time, and began the transition from a socialist to a free market economy. No less important, it put an end to seven years of bitter feeling between the Right and the Left. After two tough election campaigns and with a population that everyone agrees is torn, a unity government is what Israel needs now. (…) After so many months and years of rifts and incitement, it’s time to calm down, put an end to internecine wars that result in nothing and which the public has long since tired of, and devote our energy to what really matters – which is moving the country forward. Unity is one of the Israeli people’s best-kept secrets. (…) working together doubles our power, and we need that power right now more than anything else. Benny Gantz, leader of the Blue and White list and a true Israeli patriot, knows all this. The only way he could build a coalition would be to depend on the Joint Arab List. Is that how he wants to assemble his first government? (…) Gantz has a lot more to lose from a third election, which would cause his “package deal” to split apart. (…) Gantz is in a position to exercise leadership and lead the Israeli people into a unity government with Netanyahu. If he does, he will go down in history
Ariel Kahana, IHY, 18.09.19
Four scenarios for forming the next Israeli government
(…) 1. Netanyahu brings the Labor Party and the Israel Resilience Party into his coalition (…) Netanyahu will insist that the public supports him, and will try to split Blue and White, to tempt the Labor Party, and get more MKs to recommend him as prime minister than Benny Gantz. (…) 2. No candidate is recommended by 61 MKs, and President Reuven Rivlin asks Gantz or an MK from the Likud to form a government (…) after Netanyahu failed to form a government the first time around, if the election results are published and Blue White is the leading party, the president is likely to feel entitled to charge Gantz with forming a government, even without recommendations from 61 MKs. He can also choose another Likud MK instead of Gantz or Netanyahu. (…) 3. A rotation as prime minister between Gantz and Netanyahu: Gantz first, followed by Netanyahu after he is acquitted. (…) During the first part of the rotation, Netanyahu can be a minister in the government until an indictment is filed against him. (…) an indicted minister cannot continue serving in the government, and Netanyahu will therefore have to resign as a minister if he chooses to undergo his trial while serving as an MK. If acquitted, he can return to his position as a minister and/or prime minister. (…) 4. The Likud splits and joins a Gantz government (…) There is a clause in the Knesset rules allowing a Knesset faction to split. If one of the splitting parts is composed of over two thirds of the faction’s total members, that part is entitled to use the party name. (…) This measure will be difficult to carry out, because there is currently no solidarity and cooperation among the Likud leadership. Anyone who dares to come out against Netanyahu will be accused of treason by Likud members. No politician wants to be the first to take such a stance, out of fear of paying a personal political price for it.
Tal Schneider, GLO, 18.09.19
Stable government – Israel´s strategic necessity
(…) It is striking how very similar the platforms, policies and pronouncements of Likud Party head Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White Party head Benny Gantz are. (…) Likud and Blue and White not only share mostly the same Zionist, liberal ideology but also a strong sense of national determination, social justice and a willingness to use military force defensively when necessary. (…) They agree on preventing Iranian nuclear weaponization, on Israel’s defensive military operations, on the Jordan Valley, even on building in Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem and within existing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and on retaining the larger communities in the territories (…), let alone on the need for reforms in housing, land, electoral and religious-services policies, as well as on national service/draft issues. (…) The differences are a matter of nuance, not principle. (…) For Bibi, this will assure his legacy; for Gantz, this will demonstrate his leadership capabilities. For Netanyahu, it’s a stepping stone into history; for Gantz, a stepping stone into the PM’s office. Carrying out the major reforms needed to stabilize the political system and the economy, and to improve our relations with our neighbors and friends/allies around the world, can only be done with a strong centrist government not held hostage by any of the smaller, sectoral and interest-driven parties. (…) Bibi and Gantz and Rivlin can rise above the petty politics of these past few months (…) and create the stable, strong, visionary government coalition the majority of Israelis so clearly wants and deserves.
Aryeh Green, JPO, 19.09.19
An end to Netanyahu’s incitement
Even when he’s battered and bruised, the prime minister of incitement, Benjamin Netanyahu (…) continues to deliberately conflate the Arab minority’s battle for equality with Palestinian terrorism, as if they were the same thing. This is unbridled incitement and propaganda against Israel’s Arab citizens. And aside from the whiff of nationalism and racism it emits, it serves him as a strategy whose goal is to prevent the center-left bloc from forming a government. Netanyahu is trying to push the button of the so-called nation-state law in his attempt to move entire parties, or parts of parties, into his bloc and thereby set up “a strong government, a stable government, a Zionist government” – in other words, a government of Jewish purity. (…) Benny Gantz and the other leaders of center-left parties will bear responsibility for fighting the delegitimization of Arab Knesset members and the large community they represent. Instead of apologizing, getting confused and acting defensive – and thereby playing into Netanyahu’s hands – they must say, plainly and simply, that Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh is a legitimate partner in any government, that the Joint List is a legitimate party in any governing coalition, and that Arab citizens are entitled to be partners in any administration. Labor-Gesher head Amir Peretz did well (…) when he invited the Arab parties to the negotiating table. It would be only right and proper for an election that revolved around the question of whether Netanyahu the inciter would remain in power to end up being the election that enabled the necessary historic change that has been too long in coming.
Editorial, HAA, 19.09.19
I did the math and don’t see a coalition
(…) I did the math and don’t see a coalition. (…) On one side, you have a right-wing bloc that maxes out at 55 seats, and on the other, a center-left bloc that maxes out at 57 seats, both of them agonizingly short of the magic number of 61. (…)right now, all that matters are those numbers. (…) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (…) can bluster all he wants about a “Zionist coalition,” but where will he find those missing seats? (…) And what about Benny Gantz’s center-left bloc of 57 seats? Gantz can bluster all he wants about a “secular unity coalition,” but where will he find his missing seats? (…) Even the much-discussed union of Likud and Blue and White, which Netanyahu is apparently considering, looks like a pipe dream. Why? Because it would necessitate two highly unlikely scenarios. The first is that Netanyahu would be replaced as leader of Likud, something he’d fight to the death. The second is Gantz teaming up with Netanyahu, something he’s sworn he’ll never do. And in the middle of this messy stalemate is President Reuven Rivlin, who has promised he’ll do everything he can to ensure a coalition is established so as to prevent yet another “do-over” election. But numbers are numbers. No amount of effort from Rivlin or anyone else can fit square pegs into round holes. (…)
David Suissa, IHY, 20.09.10
Appeasement vs. incitement: two takeaways from the Israeli election
(…) For years, the Arab Knesset members (…) would not even recommend anyone to be prime minister lest they be accused of having any association with Jewish candidates from Zionist parties. (…) But in this election, MK Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint Arab List, changed course. (…) While Odeh ruled out the possibility of joining a Netanyahu-led government, he presented four conditions for entering a Gantz-led government: “The first is the construction of a new Arab city (…). Second is a government focus on fighting crime in Arab areas (…). Third is in the welfare realm including building a public hospital in an Arab city, and raising stipends for the elderly. Finally, there must be direct negotiations with the Palestinian leaders to bring an end to the occupation and to establish a Palestinian state, alongside canceling the Nation-State Law.”
The first three conditions focus on needs also relevant to the Israeli community and could be easily accepted by Benny Gantz. While the last condition is more complicated, the very fact that their leader is placing real day-to-day issues on the table as a possible entry into a government energized much of the Arab population, making them feel that it was worthwhile to vote to try to place their representatives in positions of influence. (…) the other reason for the high Arab voter turnout: the message that incitement doesn’t pay and only strengthens the targets of the incitement. (…) Netanyahu’s campaign included consistent fear-mongering about the dangers facing an Israel led by Benny Gantz of Blue and White, because that would lead to Arab leaders serving as ministers in the Israeli government. (…) It is my hope that all parties will learn that the divisive language helped no one to victory, and only served to strengthen those whom they sought to defeat. (…) I hope these lessons of tolerance, unity and positivity can be themes of the parties and values of the new governing coalition.
Dov Lipman, JPO, 20.09.19
Netanyahu, the end
(…) Rather than concede political mortality, as any normal politician in his place would do, he threatens to entangle us in a third round of elections, in demoralization and paralysis. A leader who turned power for his people into his only real ideal now turns against the interests of his people, confusing their well-being with his own. (…) Netanyahu’s remarkable staying power – this summer he became Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, outpacing David Ben-Gurion and Menachem Begin and Yitzchak Rabin – comes from one source: his ability to project power, to embody the Jewish will to survive. As the Middle East convulses, Netanyahu has kept Israel prosperous and safe. (…) In the midst of an election campaign which he micro-managed, he commanded a multi-front silent war against Iran and its proxies, hitting Iranian bases in Iraq and Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon. (…) But now Netanyahu has exhausted his capacity to protect us. (…) A week before the elections, rockets fired from Gaza forced him off the stage of a campaign rally in Ashdod. It was an embarrassing moment: His political opponents mocked him for his failure to curtail the ongoing rocket attacks. Netanyahu felt his credibility at risk. And so (…) he convened the security experts and told them to prepare for war against the Hamas regime in Gaza. The army balked: Were these rockets any more a threat to Israel than the thousands of rockets that have been fired at us in recent years, none of which provoked Netanyahu to declare war? The mad plan – which could have been dubbed, Operation Protective Shield for the Prime Minister’s Honor – was shelved. The old Netanyahu would have never been tempted to risk Israeli lives for political calculations. That too was a source of his power. (…) Even Israelis who detested the prime minister knew he would not create new bereaved families unless Israel’s interests were truly at risk. And now that credibility is gone. An Israeli leader who lacks the moral authority to take this country to war can no longer keep us safe. (…) After a decade of uninterrupted rule by Netanyahu, Israel desperately needs a leader who will treat its democratic institutions as precious assets rather than as obstacles to his goals. (…) Whatever happens in the coming weeks, this election is already a victory for Israeli democracy. (…) The Likud’s attempt to intimidate Arabs from coming out to vote by placing cameras in polling booths in Arab communities backfired; instead, Israeli Arabs acted like free citizens in a democracy. And (…) Netanyahu’s last desperate election promise – to annex the Jordan Valley and extend Israeli law to settlements – has also been shelved, sparing us the threat of a bi-national state forced to choose between its essential Jewish and democratic identities. (…)
Yossi Klein Halevi, TOI, 22.09.19
Israel’s Labor Party, a shadow of its former self
The Labor Party nearly disappeared (…). The party that established the state and the Labor movement that built the nation nearly left the national stage. It failed to regain its place in the new Israeli history and did not remake itself. As a result, its glorious victories of the past became its errors of the future. (…) The second generation of the immigrants who were placed in ma’aborot, refugee absorption camps, refused to forgive the party, leading to its decline over the years. At the end, Peretz made the mistake of not joining forces with Ehud Barak to form a bloc that would have enhanced Labor’s power. He also misread the dynamics and hurt the party’s base. (…) The public saw it as archaic and old-fashioned, too old to cope with the challenges of the future. (…) Labor’s story is one of the Zionist movement that created the State of Israel. After the state’s founding it plowed on forcefully, but its past achievements became today’s problems. Building a new home requires a new foundation and new materials, something the party’s leaders failed to internalize over the past 20 years as they focused on the primaries that fractured it. Perhaps the decline will only be temporary, until a new generation can reverse it. (…) The country’s geographic and social periphery created a new identity for itself, and Israel’s Arab community gradually withdrew from it. Neither Israeli workers – whom it neglected for years – nor the kibbutz and moshav agricultural cooperatives, once the source of the party’s strength, looked any longer to it. The party’s voter base is dying out. (…) Throughout the world, global capitalism is thriving and its values have left their mark in Israel, too. It is difficult to navigate new trends without recalculating one’s route. (…) Israel needs the Labor Movement and the values it represents.
Moshe Ben-Atar, HAA, 25.09.19
It’s crunch time for Netanyahu and Gantz
(…) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is still seen as unbeatable, although he certainly didn’t win the recent elections. (…) it seems Gantz isn’t suffering from overabundance of appreciation among the political camp that has him as its leader. Although he overcame the critics that labeled him as a sleepy gray lump and showed massive improvement in his public appearances, managing to lead a ragtag party to the brink of victory, the former Israeli army chief is still treated as a helpless chick who can’t be left alone lest the conniving political fox that is Netanyahu gobble him up. (…) Netanyahu’s calls for “unity” (…) are being viewed as him laying the groundwork for a declaration that forming a coalition has failed, and then Netanyahu will either bring Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu into the fold, or Israelis can all look forward to another round of elections. Gantz on the other hand, is viewed like all he needs to do is to sit at home, stomp his feet and yell for Netanyahu to quit – like he doesn’t need to convince countless citizens that he actually wants to lead them out of the stalemate that has dominated a entire year of life in Israel. The fear of Netanyahu’s unrestrained behavior and the suspicion toward Gantz (…) are a logical byproduct of the unending reign of the former, and of history itself. But above all, it seems that these sentiments are the best way to repress the truth and avoid dealing with the absurd situation created by Israeli voters. Israel isn’t divided, it’s locked up tight, and at the most dead end of dead ends. Gantz can be as conniving as he wants, Netanyahu can yell about his 55-seat bloc until the cows come home; neither has any choice but to break their election pledges or go to another round of elections.The rest is nothing more than spectacular speculation that is good for nothing more than filling air time for news channels.
Einav Schiff, YED, 26.09.19
Don’t accept Rivlin’s false symmetry
For almost a year, Israel has been in a state of political fog and a sense of governmental instability. However, despite the attempt to create symmetry in the endless blame game between the sides, this must be stated simply: The current crisis is a direct outcome of a multiyear right-wing regime of incitement and instigation, which is determined to destroy Israel’s democratic infrastructure and has delegitimized millions of citizens, whether minorities or political rivals. So President Reuven Rivlin’s bid to forcibly mediate between the master inciter, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the opposition that arose as authentic resistance to the destruction he sowed, defeats the extremely important purpose the Israeli citizen now faces – to end the ongoing nightmare in which Israel is immersed. (…) Rivlin has sketched out a false symmetry in his efforts to prevent another election because “the nation doesn’t want it.” This is what makes Kahol Lavan’s refusal to serve with Netanyahu in the same government a tool in the hands of the prime minister’s proxies. Suddenly, anyone who won’t cooperate with Netanyahu – a man charged with crimes (…) and who deliberately chose incitement as his hand to play in the political game – has no concern for national stability or for the welfare of the people. The opposite is true. Benny Gantz must persist in his refusal to be a partner in a government in which Netanyahu has a major role, or to have any discourse with a monolithic “right bloc” that has proved in the past four years that it stands for nationalism, racism, extortion and incitement. (…) Gantz and the rest of the opposition members must not fall into this wretched trap. They must remember exactly why they received 57 Knesset seats: to end the insanity, deceit and confusion of the Netanyahu era.
Editorial, HAA, 27.09.19
2. Rosh Hashana
5780 – The year of Jewish unity
(…) As we reflect on the year 5779, we note with gratitude the many ways that our Jewish communities (…) around the world have been blessed with good fortune and with warmth and support from our neighbors. But we also note that this year saw the worst antisemitic attack in the history of the United States, terrible mass murders in the US and around the world, and much suffering from war and natural disasters. Compounding these tragedies has been a growing effort to divide our community along political and religious lines. (…) despite differences of opinion on political and policy issues, overwhelming majorities in both communities believe that a thriving Diaspora and a thriving State of Israel are vital for the longterm future of the Jewish people. The figures point to symbiosis, not schism. We are united by a common history and culture. (…) we make extraordinary efforts to stay connected to each other. (…) None of this is to say that we don’t have our differences. America and Israel are both dynamic societies, growing and changing all the time. We face different challenges, and our democracies are built on different political systems and traditions. (…) May the New Year bring unity for our people and health and happiness for everyone. We wish you all a Shana Tova.
Mark Wilf, JPO, 27.09.19
(…) On the eve of Rosh Hashanah and the Jewish New Year of 5780, it is worth asking (…) Is the Jewish state a model nation, one whose actions and principles can be copied by others? Does it still shine light in the dark corners of the globe? In some respects, the answer is a resounding yes. Israel in 5779 continued to open its doors to new immigrants from Ethiopia, the former Soviet Union, and Western countries like the United States, the United Kingdom and France. It continued to offer medical aid to countries in need across the globe (…) Israelis continued to innovate, and its technology continued to help improve the lives of those in need. (…) And across Israel (…) tens of thousands of food packages were distributed by a variety of organizations to people in need. The eve of the New Year is a time when Jews traditionally come together and think about the poor (…). Where we have room to improve though is in our political system. (…) Israel has a lot to be thankful for as it celebrates the New Year. (…) Its people are vibrant, free and able to openly criticize their elected officials. They can say what they want and practice the religion that they want. No one is hanging anyone here because of sexual orientation. As we reflect on the year that was and plan out the year to come, there is an opportunity to consider what we have achieved as a nation, and where we want to go. (…)
Editorial, JPO, 28.09.19
Rosh Hashanah 2019: The year racism divided the Jewish people
When the history of the Jews from the start of the last exile to the 21st century is written, 5779 will be remembered as the year when the split between the two Jewish peoples was imminent. (…) Each of the two greatest Jewish communities ever to exist had a dismal low point this year. Both were caused by racism. But only Israel’s was self-inflicted. It was the creation of the Union of Right-Wing Parties seven months ago at Benjamin Netanyahu’s behest. That moment when the neo-Kahanists were included in this right-wing bloc (…). Netanyahu deserves the largest portion of blame (…). But there were so many accomplices. Thirty-five years ago, when Meir Kahane was elected to the Knesset, every other MK, left and right, religious and secular, routinely walked out of his speeches. Now his unrepentant spawn are welcome, as long as they can muster enough racists to vote for them. (…) Unlike previous fractures that broke the Jewish people apart, this one is not about religion, at least not in the traditional sense. Or about geography. (…) The split isn’t about “Zionism” (…). The Jewish world isn’t split between Israel and the Diaspora. It’s split over the question of what kind of a country Israel should be (…). Never in Israel’s history has the internal struggle for the nation’s soul mirrored so completely the political divides in the countries where the Jews live around the world. (…) Two Jewish peoples drifting away from each other.
Anshel Pfeffer, HAA, 29.09.10
Rosh Hashanah in an Era of Climate Change
(…) Hayom Harat Olam, we chant over, and over. (…) Harat Olam, the world is pregnant. The question before us is, how will we treat that pregnancy? (…) How are we treating the world, the Earth (…) with sea level rise as the least of its harmful side-effects. In Israel our concern is more about longer and deeper droughts, their effects of food production, on health, and on civil instability (…). The realities of Climate Change call for something the scale of the Copernican Revolution. That change wasn’t just about the facts of whether Earth circled around the Sun or the other way around. It was about an entire world view, about authority (church vs. science), trust, and values. The same is true today as we are challenged to accept that humanity’s hunger for power has spilled over into disrupting the basic life-support systems which make our lives possible. The Earth, after all, does not revolve around humanity. This epoch calls for a new awareness of the destructiveness of our greed, and a step forward into our roles as part of the eco-system instead of its overlords. (…)
Rabbi Moshe Givental, TOI, 29.09.19
Electoral deadlock distracts Israel from growing threat in Gaza
The director of the Shin Bet security service must be holding his head in disbelief and asking himself, how did he fall into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trap, by taking seriously his demand to land a sweeping strike onto Gaza on the eve of Election Day. (…) the director (…) should have immediately figured that Netanyahu was playing a game of “chicken” with him once again. (…) It is clear to the heads of the security forces that Israel is currently standing in a corridor leading it straight into another military conflict in Gaza, one that doesn’t necessarily depend on its actions or scandals. (…) The recent resumption of Palestinian aggression from the Gaza Strip is meant to preserve Hamas’s rule, which is undermined by continuous economic sanctions. Hamas senses that the Palestinian street is starting to lose its patience and is trying to direct this frustration to the border fence with Israel, hoping to rake in economic achievements as part of agreements to calm the area. (…) Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar has no other way out but to use every means at his disposal against Israel. Deep in his heart, Sinwar was and still is the leader of Hamas prisoners, power playing the wardens to get benefits. Today, his prison is the Gaza Strip; the prisoners are the residents and he is ready to use measured violence and pay heavy prices just to achieve his goals. If you push him into a corner and he starts to feel that he’s losing the “prisoners,” he might start a bloody rebellion at the prison – meaning another military confrontation with the IDF. He isn’t far off that point, with or without the elections. (…)
Alex Fishman, YED, 25.09.19
A war would save Netanyahu
Despite hopes that the second election in one year would clarify the direction Israel wants to take, the situation remains unsettled with Netanyahu unable to construct a ruling coalition. Contrary to conventional wisdom Netanyahu remains the odds-on favorite to become the next Prime Minister of Israel. First, as Prime Minister he is likely to delay or prevent prosecution of the criminal charges for bribery and breach of trust looming against him. Second, he has a better path to form a government because he controls future events. (…) When questioned during the elections Netanyahu promised to deal with Hamas at the time of” his choosing”. To preserve his power, that time might come soon. A war will also delay and possibly prevent Trump from introducing his peace plan saving Netanyahu from the need to confront the Israeli Palestinian conflict for a long time.
Josef Avesar, TOI, 26.09.19
Should Israel invade Gaza?
As Israeli frustration mounts about violence coming out of Gaza, the idea of a ground invasion, and once and for all to finish with Hamas aggression, becomes more appealing. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has endorsed this approach (…) Others agree. For example, Ayelet Shaked, leader of the Yamina party, calls for a widescale military operation in Gaza (…) what should Israel’s goal in Gaza be? The occasional show of force against Hamas interests has failed, as has destroying Gaza’s infrastructure; so too the opposite policy of goodwill and the prospect of economic prosperity. It’s time for something altogether different, a goal that transcends sending signals and punishing misdeeds, something far more ambitious. Victory is such a goal. That is, aim to impose a sense of defeat on Gazans, from the head of Hamas to the lowliest street sweeper. Aiming for an Israel victory is entirely in keeping with historical war aims but it is out of step with our times when even the words victory and defeat have dropped from the Western war lexicon. The Israeli security establishment seeks just peace and quiet vis-à-vis the Palestinians; Inbar speaks for them in dismissing the goal of victory over Hamas as “naïve.” Negotiations, mediation, compromise, concessions, and other gentle means have replaced victory. (…) they have failed in the Palestinian-Israeli arena since 1993 and blindly persisting with them guarantees more destruction and death. (…) Israel’s security establishment needs to (…) map out a sound strategy and to offer reliable counsel to the political leadership. That done, with victory as the goal, Israel finally can address the hitherto insoluble problem of Gaza.
Daniel Pipes, IHY, 27.09.19
Greta Thunberg’s Fight Against Climate Change
What we’re learning from Greta Thunberg
I don’t recall where I first saw her name, but I started following Greta Thunberg on social media a few months ago, when she was “just” a 16-year old Swedish, autistic climate activist whose solo protests had begun to spawn a worldwide movement. Within the last few weeks, she has come crashing onto the world stage, sailing across the Atlantic to speak at the UN and in Washington, DC, and to raise her voice to an ever-growing audience. There is so much that we can learn from her. (…) Thunberg is a prime example of such diversity (…) she is (…) teaching us about prejudice. (…) we can all look at Greta Thunberg and learn from her. She is teaching us about the power of youth, the power of conviction, and about the power of diversity.
Judah Koller, JPO, 26.09.19
Venal Politicians Exploit Children as Pawns
Is it morally right to abuse children’s feelings and emotions to achieve political ends? Who should be held responsible for such abuses and called to account for the victimization of children? (…) The Left, by portraying Greta Thunberg as the current “child prodigy and face of the youth movement to combat climate change,” are in fact using her as an agent of their farcical political agenda. That is while scientists and researchers have not yet reached a conclusive conclusion on the causes of climate change and its impact. Now, the question is, how the climate issue can be solved through hysteria and propaganda by a child who in fact should enjoy her childhood and learn to love and live. Using her as a political pawn is beyond shameful. (…) The angry way that she spoke in the United Nations shows how her innocent sentiments have been abused by narcissistic opportunists who stop at nothing to achieve their crooked ends. (…) the Leftists/Globalists have resorted to exploiting an innocent child in a vicious campaign of hatred against the president of the United States. That is shameful.
Fred Saberi, TOI, 28.09.19
HAA = Haaretz
YED = Yedioth Ahronoth / Ynetnews
JPO = Jerusalem Post
IHY = Israel HaYom
TOI = Times of Israel
GLO = Globes
Published: October, 2019.
Dr Paul Pasch,
Head of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Israel