“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.
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Main topics covered in this Publication:
- Israeli Netta Barzilai wins Eurovision Song Contest
- US-Embassy opens in Jerusalem, Protests in Gaza
- Netanyahu and the Iranian nuclear archive
- Selection of Articles
1. Israeli Netta Barzilai wins Eurovision Song Contest
Go, Netta. Go!
(…) Netta Barzilai, a flamboyant, colorful personality (…) took the country by storm. (…) Netta introduced the world to the song she planned to take to the Eurovision: “Toy”. (…) Most of us (…) couldn’t make heads or tales of it. Netta clucking like a chicken? Odd-looking dancers performing equally-odd dance moves? (…) Within hours, the nay-sayers learned that they were clearly the minority. The song was VERY well received around the world. People couldn’t stop singing along. (…) And…it soon became the odds-on-favorite to win the competition. Suddenly, Israel’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest is relevant once again. (…) Love it or hate it, “Toy” is the first song in years that has a real chance of bringing the gold — and next year’s competition — to the land of Israel. (…) Go Netta Go!
Josh Shron, TOI, 11.05.18
A real-life Wonder Woman
(…) respected journalist Ilana Dayan said she was “afraid that someone will take you and promise you a wonderful career, and you’ll follow the same path as everyone else – the first thing you’ll do will be to lose weight.” Barzilai, who is clearly obese, surprised listeners with her quick answer: “I don’t owe anything to anyone, and if I go on a diet it will happen, and I’ll change.” Those words sum up the personality of the singer who won the competition (…). Netta is a real-life Wonder Woman. Without metal bracelets and without imaginary superpowers, she is much stronger and more inspiring than the fictional character. (…) Her story (…) is the story of a girl who was socially rejected and bullied, but didn’t give up and stayed true to herself. Netta defies labels. (…) Netta sees herself as the most popular girl in school, no matter what others think. And that makes her the real Wonder Woman.
Eran Suissa, IHY, 13.05.18
Netta Barzilai’s extravaganza in Tel Aviv during violence: A matter for psychiatrists
(…) In Gaza, people ran toward the border fence and died en masse from live fire. And in Tel Aviv? Tens of thousands, a number of participants that no civil protest could chalk up came to dance with Netta Barzilai, winner of the Eurovision song contest last Saturday. (…) This is not a matter for experts in proper etiquette, it is a matter for psychiatrists. Those esteemed doctors should explain how such enormous repression can occur, how such a crude denial of reality is possible. (…) You don’t need to be a big expert on Hamas or Gaza to understand that a horrifying disaster is growing and mushrooming behind the border fence, one that will explode on Israel. (…) The public, which wants to celebrate life, the rights of the “diverse” and the “other,” the power of the individual and the rights of the individual, secular normalcy, women’s rights, progress and liberalism – all the things that Netta Barzilai supposedly represents – does not understand at all that it is in true existential danger. What do chickens do on their way to slaughter? Apparently they dance to the sound of a looper. (…) And facing them? “I’m not your toy,” scream the dancing masses, in an astounding reversal of reality, because that is what they truly are: Toys dancing foolishly all the way to their disaster.
Ravit Hecht, HAA, 15.05.18
Conflict? What conflict?
(…) while filming her video clip, Netta Barzilai was asked by a (…) reporter what she might answer abroad when asked about the conflict. “Conflict?” replied Netta, “What conflict?” “Not your Toy,” went the song (…). Oh, but she is. Like the teddy bear in the El Al flight safety video, in which a little boy dons an oxygen mask in an image so adorable as to obscure the fact that when the masks drop the plane is about to crash. (…) Israelis mostly feel like the world is doing its best to rain on our parade. Why can’t we just celebrate Netta’s victory at Rabin Square, and rejoice with our crazy, messianic, anti-Semitic friends at the Jerusalem embassy opening in peace? The UN has found that it’ll be two or three more years until Gaza (…) will need to be declared unlivable, so couldn’t they at least have waited until after all our parties? (…) We should be ashamed of ourselves. Yes, a country has a right to protect its sovereignty and its borders. (…) But we are not a crocodile who can’t help slamming its jaws upon the entry of any foreign object. (…) These are unarmed civilians protesting living in the biggest jail in the world. Shooting them the way we are is a war crime. (…) We should be ashamed of ourselves for allowing our government to behave this way, and for allowing them to use Eurovision and embassy parties to distract us from our prime minister’s many corruption investigations. (…)
Yonatan Gher, TOI, 15.05.18
2. US-Embassy opens in Jerusalem, protests in Gaza
While West Bank Palestinians protest Trump, Gaza faces a bloodbath
(…) Not only have Palestinians never been weaker, more divided and more helpless, but they’ve never been more abandoned, even by those closest to them, and even by their own leadership. Trump’s Jerusalem announcement sparked relatively few protests and were concentrated in the most impoverished areas in the West Bank and Gaza. Brutal force suppressed them within a few weeks. (…) those who take to the streets are always the most oppressed and marginalized; poor young unemployable dreamers from decaying refugee camps, while the Palestinian leadership’s family members are kept safe at home in Ramallah’s bourgeois bubble. (…) The portraits of Abbas and Trump joined the rogues gallery of enemies of Palestine. They were burned in Gaza alongside those of Netanyahu, as Trump implemented every last wish of the Israeli government. Losing credibility and leverage as a peace broker in the conflict was a price the American president didn’t hesitate to pay.
Thousands of Gazans, most of whom have been living on bread and salt for months, couldn’t wait any longer. (…) Despite the proven dangers that await, many believe that dying there is better than the slow death they face in Gaza’s refugee camps. (…) The West Bank’s civil society, that same incubator of activism that developed the BDS movement to “represent our cause,” were completely silent. The Palestinian diaspora was missing in (in)action. (…) The demand to return to Israel is a fantasy, but what it really constitutes is a call for escape from a 70-year saga. From the misery cause by the blockade implemented by Israel and Egypt blockade and Abbas’s sanctions. From the whirlpool of Arab betrayal and European silence. From the limbo of Trump’s recklessness and Hamas’s repression. (…)
Muhammad Shehada, HAA, 13.05.18
Hamas incites violence to hide its own shortcomings
Since it took control of Gaza, Hamas has failed politically, economically, and militarily (…). Its recent decision to lead violent protests along Gaza’s border with Israel indicates the adoption of an approach that seeks to confront Israel below the threshold of war and in an arena in which it has comparative advantages—in this case, it is the fight for global public opinion. (…) to protect its sovereignty and border security Israel must neutralize individuals (…) attempting to storm the border at the expense of its international image, while failing to defend its boundaries could result in mass border infiltration and many dead on both sides. However, the IDF has operated with exceptional professionalism, and despite the fog of war it has achieved three important aims: protected the integrity of its border and avoided Israeli civilian and military casualties, minimized the number of Palestinian civilians killed to the extent possible, and prevented escalation to a broader conflict. (…) the new Hamas tactic appears to be another cynical ploy by the group to divert attention away from its failures. (…) Hamas seeking to make political gains by convincing hundreds to attack a border fence protected by armed guards (…) is despicable. (…) Israel has successfully managed to strike a delicate balance between instilling deterrence and avoiding provocations through heavy-handed tactics. (…) As self-interest appears to be the group’s only guiding principle, it seems appropriate to warn Hamas that if they continue to escalate tensions with Israel as a way to deflect from their own failures, they run the risk of losing control of the situation and being dragged into a war they do not want and cannot win.
Amos Yadlin, Ari Heinstein, YED, 14.05.18
Trump’s embassy move intensifies America’s immoral support for Israel’s alt-right government
(…) As a reward for maintaining a more than half-century of occupation, the U.S. will also be moving its embassy to Jerusalem – a decision that only serves to embolden Israel’s illegal actions. It is easy for Israel to celebrate. It’s gotten what it wants: land, international recognition, a quisling Palestinian leadership that maintains security for Israel and barely a whisper of condemnation from world powers. (…) Israel’s establishment seven decades ago came at the expense of the Palestinians. (…) Israel’s actions underline that it is weak and that Israelis have not come to terms with the fact that their country’s existence came at the expense of Palestinians, that it was built upon the destruction of another nation, and that as long as it continues to dispossess Palestinians there will never be peace in the region. No strong nation would gun down dozens of unarmed, caged-in protesters as Israel has done in Gaza in recent weeks; no strong nation would imprison a 16-year-old girl for daring to try to stop an armed soldier from terrorizing her town, as Israel did recently with Ahed Tamimi; and no strong nation would allow its citizens to terrorize an entire captive population, as Israel’s settlers have done with impunity in Hebron and across the occupied West Bank. The 70th anniversary of the Nakba and 51 years of occupation and recent events in Gaza should serve as a wake-up call for Israelis, long in denial about the reality of the country: Palestinians are not going away. It’s time for them to deal with us as equal human beings who deserve the same rights as everyone else. (…) I am under no illusions that the Trump administration, which openly supports Israel’s alt-right government, will do anything. Rather, the change will come only after the rest of the world – whether through the BDS movement or otherwise – makes clear to Israel (and the U.S.) that it will no longer tolerate apartheid.
Diana Buttu, HAA, 13.05.18
The onus is on Jerusalem
(…) U.S. presidents deserve a lot of credit when it comes to Israel. President Harry Truman was the first to recognize the fledgling state. Trump brought the process full circle by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (…) It is now time for Israel’s government and the Jerusalem Municipality to prove the capital is not just sacred to the three monotheistic religions but also habitable for its taxpaying residents. (…) Now that it has been recognized by the largest superpower in the world, Israel’s capital must prove to its residents, both new and old, that Jerusalem is as normal a city as possible. While the incredibly trying circumstances that make this goal all but impossible to achieve are well known, we are nevertheless excited to see that Trump not only makes promises, he delivers.
Yaakov Ahimeir, IHY, 14.05.18
Most US Jews oppose embassy move
(…) Trump won just a little over 20 percent of Jewish votes in the presidential election. (…) the Republican Party’s Jewish presence in Congress isn’t very impressive either: Only two of the 30 Jewish senators and House of Representatives members are Republicans.
(…) a majority of more than 80 percent of US Jews support the two-state solution and (…) about 80 percent are against moving the embassy to Jerusalem in general, or without making significant progress in the peace process. This public sees the embassy move as a dangerous step, as part of the Trump administration’s policy in the region, which could negatively affect America’s legitimacy as a decent mediator between Israel and the Palestinians. Sometimes, it seems like the main political interest dictating Trump’s conduct in the Middle East isn’t the Jewish vote but rather the evangelical vote of the settlements’ Christian supporters who are affiliated with the radical right-wing camp in the US and in Israel. (…) They are the ones applauding him, while most US Jews understand the disastrous consequences this policy is likely to have on the entire region and especially on Israel. (…) the Jewish American public opposes Trump’s conduct, both in general and in regards to his Middle East policy. As Israelis, we must keep in touch with this public, listen to it and understand that they see themselves as pro-Israel and are committed to the state and to its security, while opposing the unilateral moves being promoted by the US and Israeli governments. (…)
Yael Patir, YED, 14.05.18
The U.S. Embassy move: A powerful message, America will stand by our friends
(…) America is at last recognizing Israel’s true capital. (…) Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of the Jewish people for over 3,000 years, and the capital of the Jewish state since its founding in 1948. At the United Nations and UNESCO, we are seeing a concerted attempt to delegitimize Israel, to claim – astonishingly enough – that Jerusalem has no ties to the Jewish people. This ahistorical propaganda is dangerous (…). Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocating the US embassy sends a powerful message that America will stand by our friends and allies, and we will stand up to our enemies. (…) America’s support for Israel is unconditional, and will not be bullied by global media opinion. (…) the bond between our two nations has never been stronger. We stand together for our shared freedom and ensuring our common future.
Ted Cruz, JPO, 14.05.18
A voice of moral clarity and logic
(…) we tend to forget that America’s recognition of the state of Israel was historically deficient: The lack of recognition of Jerusalem as its capital dually implied a lack of recognition of the country itself. This rendered Israel and the United States, two allies, hostage to the Palestinians and the Muslim world. (…) very important Arab countries moved closer. This is certainly one of the reasons a historic opportunity has emerged for a daring diplomatic initiative. And of course, a certain prime minister who knows a thing or two about true strategic patience.
Amnon Lord, IHY, 15.05.18
Stop the sulking
It (…) should have happened much sooner. There was no real reason not to establish a U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem after the armistice was signed following the War of Independence in 1948. West Jerusalem became the capital of Israel quite simply because the Arab side rejected the U.N. partition plan. Had they agreed to the plan, Jerusalem in its entirety would have been under an international regime administered by the United Nations. (…) our ally (…) preferred not to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in the false belief there was some way to turn back time and return Israel to the borders delineated in the partition plan. The establishment of a U.S. Embassy in west Jerusalem should not be tied to any sort of permanent status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and should not prevent al-Quds’ establishment alongside Jerusalem once east Jerusalem is divided between us and a future Palestinian state. (…) The Palestinians must understand that the geo-strategic situation is changing. (…) The Palestinians would be wise to understand that Trump’s ambitious nature could provide them with a unique opportunity. (…) It would be a mistake on the part of the Palestinian leadership to continue to reject in advance any American offer that is made because the U.S. transferred its embassy to Jerusalem. The attempts to find another mediator are reminiscent of a little boy who threatens to run away from home and find a new mother. The Palestinians would be better off arguing about the essence of the peace plan instead of pouting in the corner.
Yossi Beilin, IHY, 15.05.18
Stop the bloodbath
The black smoke that rose above Gaza yesterday and the number of casualties that climbed by the hour did not interfere with the celebratory opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem, highlighting the wanton Israeli treatment of Palestinians in general and Gazans in particular. (…) Israel Defense Forces soldiers will do their best to prevent more mass killings. It is their duty to stop the tens of thousands of Palestinian demonstrators who will descend on the Gazan border fence with means as nonlethal as possible, and with as few casualties as possible. (…) Hamas and the other resistance movements in Gaza refrained from launching rockets into Israel. No Israeli soldier or resident was injured. Israel, on the other hand, acted against the unarmed demonstrators with sniper fire, live fire that killed and maimed. In the furthest place possible from the embassy opening in Jerusalem and the crowds celebrating Netta Barzilai’s victory in the Eurovision Song Contest, tens of thousands of desperate people without a present or future tried to cry for help. (…) The pictures are heartbreaking and horrific, and they are the real reason for the protest at the fence. Lethal weapons won’t deter young people who have nothing left to lose. (…) Israel bears responsibility, although not exclusively, for the Gazan disaster. (…) The IDF is responsible for preventing and deterring infiltration into Israeli territory, but the solution really lies in the Prime Minister’s Office. He must seriously examine the readiness of Hamas to negotiate a cease-fire with Israel and announce steps to reduce the blockade considerably and allow those seriously wounded to be treated in Israel.
Editorial, HAA, 15.05.18
3. Netanyahu and the Iranian nuclear archive
What was missing from Netanyahu´s presentation
(…) True, much of the information disclosed by the prime minister was known – but now it is authenticated. (…) What was really missing from the prime minister’s presentation was a solution to the present conundrum: if the deal is off, Iran will, almost certainly resume its nuclear development activities immediately, yet if the deal is not abolished, Iran will be able to do so within a few years, with little or no oversight. The presentation (…) presented evidence of the technical details of Iran’s past program (…). This evidence is essential (…) the IAEA has to be ordered (…) to verify the above, comprehensively and with complete transparency; supplementary deals, covering the development of the explosive mechanism and covering the development of missiles (…). The prime minister should have presented the possible solutions. It is not too late to do so.
Ephraim Asculai, JPO, 01.05.18
Stop playing make-believe
(…) another Iran, benevolent and responsible, does not exist – rather only the same old Iran, dangerous and manipulative (…). Although none of this information is new or implicates Iran of currently violating the nuclear deal, peeling the Iranians’ mask off isn’t only geared toward pushing Trump to annul the deal (…), but toward reforging an international coalition to again force Iran into a corner (…) Israel fears a nuclear Iran and wants to delay its path to a bomb as long as possible; and (…) it hopes that exposing Iran’s activities at this juncture will also disrupt its efforts to establish a foothold in Syria. (…) Israel has been abandoned in this fight. (…) It’s reasonable to assume, as per their custom, that the Russians will continue sitting on the fence and avoid playing a regional role that is actually constructive. The ball, therefore, is now in three different courts: Israeli, American and Iranian. (…) The Americans (…) presumably will now thrust their hand into the cauldron (…). The Iranians can determine what this next period will look like. (…) Iran is expected to retaliate. (…) the latest developments indicate we are on the brink of the boiling point.
Yoav Limor, IHY, 01.05.18
Persuading Europe to pressure Iran
Israel’s decision (…) to reveal its incredible intelligence operation in Iran (…) was made to influence the (…) struggle over what Europe’s position will be on Iran. (…) The Americans were not the reason why it is important to produce a dramatic media event. The situation is more complicated for the trio of skeptical European leaders: French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May. (…) a process of change began to emerge (…). To reduce the discrepancies between the three European leaders and the American administration (…) the three are ready (…) to push for a new, expanded deal (…) the Israeli intelligence “performance” could help. (…) it does reveal a basic lie at the foundation of the agreement: the danger that will take form in 2025 when enrichment restarts on a large scale. Iran will then begin hoarding fissionable material once again, with the technical specifications on how to build explosive devices and nuclear bombs. Therefore, it is paramount to rewrite the components of the deal to provide an answer to this danger and, in effect, change its essence. (…) If an international apparatus is formed allowing to him to exert pressure effectively on Iran, Trump’s aim (and Israel’s as well) to fundamentally fix the agreement can become a reality.
Dr. Eran Lerman, IHY, 02.05.18
Where the immediate threat to Israel actually lies
The information provided by the prime minister (…) is largely recycled and was intended to persuade the United States and European countries to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran. (…) The immediate threat actually lies in a potential conventional confrontation in Syrian territory. (…) Stopping the arming of Iran on Syrian territory is indeed a supreme Israeli strategic interest, but the question of the price is equally important. (…) Proof of unexpected developments lies in the very fact that Israel, which had maintained a policy of noninvolvement in the Syrian arena, has become actively and dangerously involved and may be dragged by its sloganeering into a military campaign that will get out of control. Syria is not the only front in which Israel is immersed. (…) The Iranian nuclear agreement promises to neutralize the Iranian nuclear threat for at least a decade, something that is good for Israel and good for the world. The conflict in Syria, on the other hand, requires the government to examine alternative ways and means to achieve its goals.
Editorial, HAA, 01.05.18
The clash between Israel and Iran is inevitable and coming soon
(…) Many in the Middle East region wonder why the Iranian military response to the Israeli attack against the T4 airbase in Syria (…) hasn’t come yet, especially after so many loud threats were made by Tehran in recent weeks. (…) a possible answer is that actually there is no delay whatsoever, and the Iranians are operating at this moment. (…) One should expect a move (…). But as painful as they no doubt want it to be, Iran can’t risk stretching the rope too much. (…) the principle is expected to be tit-fortat – an equivalent retaliation. (…) around the month of Ramadan one must expect the window to open for an Iranian move against Israel. (…) Israel should consider sophisticated moves of its own, designed to throw a monkey wrench into the Iranians plans. Iran and Israel are now neighbors, not only in Lebanon but in Syria. (…) If Trump is indeed going to get off his high horse and stay in the (…) nuclear deal with Iran, the least he could do is give Israel the green light to act in whichever way it deems necessary to defend itself against Iran – and this approval has been given, for sure. Even more so if Trump intend to pull out of the Iran deal – because in that scenario, the Iranian response in the region and elsewhere may be quite aggressive and aimed directly against Israel. So both ways, whether Trump pulls out of the deal or not, Israel, unlike Iran, doesn’t have to wait for the announcement from Washington to make its moves. (…)
Amir Levy, JPO, 02.05.18
Yes, Iran lied about its nuclear capabilities. But so did Israel
(…) Netanyahu’s show meant to be both manipulative and devious. Behind the stunning “cloak and dagger” aura surrounding his newly obtained intelligence (…) Netanyahu presented the world with an obsolete picture that was well-known when the agreement with Iran was signed. (…) He presented no “proof” of any current Iranian incriminating nuclear activities (…). (…) the fact that the old Iranian weaponization program exists only in the form of a preserved archival record, that was kept in some obscure storage facility (…) in Tehran without proper security only highlights the inactive, historical, nature of the evidence. (…) Iranian leaders did lie. (…) But Israel itself is not exactly a role model of truth speaking in this field either. (…) Proponents who advocate the dismantlement of the Iranian nuclear agreement have an utterly unrealistic expectation that such action will provide the impetus for Iran to negotiate a second, more restrictive deal. (…) The good must not be abandoned in pursuit of the unattainable perfect. It is hard to tell whether those arrogant voices truly believe their own distended logic or use it merely as a cover for the only other option that remains: War.
Avner Cohen, Ben McIntosh, HAA, 04.05.18
A disastrous pullout
President Donald Trump’s harshly worded declaration that the United States was withdrawing from the nuclear agreement with Iran (…) increases the danger of a clash in the region. (…) Since the European countries, Russia and China will not necessarily follow the U.S., various scenarios could ensue, including the possibility that the agreement will remain in force despite the American withdrawal. (…) According to reports (…) Iran has strictly kept to the agreement with no breaches whatsoever, which could make the world perceive the U.S. departure as a withdrawal from a commitment it made under President Barack Obama. (…) it is not at all certain that other countries have been persuaded that Iran breached the agreement. (…) The fact that Netanyahu is working demonstrably and publicly against the agreement could paint Israel as pushing the world to war. The departure of the United States from the agreement (…) could lead to a rift within Israel’s natural coalition. The prime minister might think that Israelis should be grateful to Trump, but at this point the U.S. pullout endangers the world and threatens Israel. (…) Instead of calming the high level of tension between Israel and Iran (…) the prime minister and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman prefer to heat up the region and flex their muscles. This is behavior that could cost dearly.
Editorial, HAA, 09.05.18
No longer alone facing Iran
For many years, Israel faced the danger of a nuclear Iran alone. (…) In facing the Iranians in Syria, Israel was alone. That was until President Donald Trump announced this month that the United States was pulling out of the nuclear deal. (…) In his announcement on America’s withdrawal from the agreement, Trump emphasized the expanding Iranian presence in the Middle East that had been enabled by the nuclear deal and the danger that this poses to the world. Trump was reading from the same page as Netanyahu. It was clear that, in facing Iran, Israel was no longer alone. It now had the backing of the most powerful country in the world. (…) The United States may stick to Trump’s announced policy of pulling its troops out of Syria and may very well prefer not to assist Israel directly in its confrontation with the Iranians in Syria. Yet if the fighting were to be renewed, the rulers in Tehran would have to take into account the possibility of direct American involvement on Israel’s side. That may restrain their plans to attack Israel. Netanyahu’s persistent warnings about the Iranian danger have resulted in a substantial improvement in Israel’s security position. Even his most ardent critics will have to admit that.
Moshe Arens, HAA, 13.05.18
4. Selection of Articles
Abbas antisemitic speach
Move on Abbas
(…) While it is true that in this speech Abbas didn’t engage in Holocaust denial (…) it was antisemitic through and through, employing some of the oldest and most notorious anti-Jewish tropes. (…) But Abbas’s speech (…) was perhaps even more nefarious because its goal was to delegitimize the foundations of the Jewish state. By falsely characterizing the origins of Jew-hatred and linking Hitler and Zionism, he sought to reject Israel’s right to exist. This sort of antisemitism is the reason there is no peace. (…) Abbas has claimed to be a proponent of peace. (…) But is he? Twenty years of political rejectionism and apparent contempt and disregard to the Jews’ suffering suggest otherwise. The US Embassy move in two weeks should serve as a wakeup call for Abbas and the PA. Their denial-rooted intransigence is not working. They need to come to the table and negotiate. (…) The Palestinians also deserve better. Abbas showed in his speech that he is no longer a relevant leader for them. It’s time for him to move on.
Editorial, JPO, 03.05.18
Jail time for political poet
The terror of poetry
(…) the Arab Israeli poet Dareen Tatour (…) posted “various publications that contain calls for acts of violence or terror and statements of encouragement, praise and identification with acts of violence or terror.” (…) In convicting Tatour, the court has lent a hand to silencing and criminalizing poetry. This is a badge of shame for Israeli democracy, whose judges are made to interpret poems. (…) Tatour said the trial proved that democracy in Israel was only for Jews. Her anger is understandable. The Arabs in Israel are used to hearing cries of “death to the Arabs,” and a chance perusal of social media or the Knesset corridors is enough to see and hear the incitement – but no one is taken to court for that. The atmosphere of incitement (….) is typical of the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, who warned last Election Day of Arab citizens going to the polls in droves, taking advantage of terror attacks to call their loyalty to the state into question. (…) But while the prime minister, whose Facebook page has more than 2 million followers, incites endlessly against an entire group, the establishment stays silent. Tatour – a private citizen who the day she was indicted posted a video that had 200 views – is convicted after a trial lasting two and a half years. It’s inconceivable for a challenge expressed in a poem, as harsh as it may be, to the policy of oppression and occupation to be considered, in the case of Arab citizens, incitement to terror. (…)
Editorial, HAA, 06.05.18
HAA = Haaretz
YED = Yedioth Ahronoth / Ynetnews
JPO = Jerusalem Post
IHY = Israel HaYom
TOI = Times of Israel
GLO = Globes
Published: May 2018
Head of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Israel