“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:
- Iran Agreement
- Freedom for Jonathan Pollard
- Ten Years since the Disengagement
- Selection of Articles
The Iran Agreement
The West held all the aces – and lost
(…) In the Six Power-Iran talks the side with all the aces lost and the side whose hand consisted entirely of jokers, won. (…) Supreme Leader Khamenei and President Rouhani (…) can now turn to the burning questions of how to use the tens of billions of unfrozen dollars, and whom to favor with the business resulting from the cancellation of sanctions: Russia? China? Germany? Why not all three? (…) the deal, if it goes into effect, will result in one of the most volatile and dangerous regions of the world becoming home to at least four and possibly five, nuclear powers: Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and perhaps Egypt. The possibility of international nuclear conflict will have increased exponentially. The second overlooked danger is the possibility of Iran achieving the ability to miniaturize nuclear weapons. (…) The West could use a lot more backbone and fewer “historic” agreements. Selah!
Norman A. Bailey, GLO, 16.07.15
Six strikes against Iran deal
(…) The way in which the negotiations were conducted underscored the weakness of the U.S. The Obama administration was willing to offer almost unlimited concessions to the skillful Iranian negotiators, ignoring all its own deadlines and red lines. (…) Instead of insisting on the dismantling of all uranium enrichment facilities in Iran, as was accomplished in Libya, the U.S. actually accorded international legitimacy to a large-scale Iranian nuclear infrastructure, including thousands of centrifuges. (…) This agreement is a stimulus for nuclear proliferation. Indeed, Saudi Arabia has announced its desire for “the same type of infrastructure” that has been allowed to Iran. (…) The opening of frozen Iranian bank accounts and the projected increased oil production will enrich the coffers of the Iranian regime with more than $ 100 billion. (…) the cash influx enhances Iranian capability for supporting proxies, such as the Shiite-controlled government in Iraq, Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, and the Houthis in Yemen. (…) This accord marks an end to Iran’s regional isolation. (…) This move changes dramatically the regional balance of power, instilling even greater uncertainty in regional politics. (…) American policy is now on a collision course with Israel. The consensus in Israel is that Obama signed a very bad deal, which is dangerous for the Middle East and well beyond it. (…) Thus an Israeli military strike on Iran has become more likely, and in the near future – before the U.S. puts the brakes on military supplies to the Israeli army.
Efraim Inbar, IHY, 16.07.15
Israel’s stance on Iran deal is no laughing matter
(…) The fact is, throughout Obama’s presidency Israel has repeatedly claimed to be committed to a peace deal with the Palestinians, but has done all it can to thwart Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts. (…) On the other hand, Kerry succeeded with Iran – a triumph that might win him the Nobel Peace Prize (…). Despite what the public thinks, sanctions are not a light punishment. (…) before he goes to Congress yet again to try and spark a rebellion against Obama, Netanyahu should rethink what his audacity and arrogance might spell for us. Obama is no lame duck: he still has nearly two years left in the White House. It would be better for Netanyahu to secure continued protection for Israel into the next decade than sow continued strife and conflict in Washington – because that will be very bad for Israel. Hillary Clinton won’t take kindly to Netanyahu coming into her backyard and aiding Republican campaign efforts. (…) Within a year (…) the Iranians will begin to reap the financial benefits of their unfrozen assets, and these things will likely be well received. It’s possible, too, that their ayatollahs will then spend less on the nuclear program and more on the people. Netanyahu, the world’s foremost expert in predicting disaster, has already warned that Iran will spend billions on terrorism against Israel. (…) Wouldn’t it have been better if he said: “If it worked out with Tehran, why shouldn’t it work out with us and the Palestinians? Now that the bells of peace are ringing, we’re also ready to reach an agreement within a decade.” Ah, yes – perhaps that’s why they were laughing in those pictures.
Yoel Marcus, HAA, 16.07.15
Bibi the Terminator
Throughout the negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran, the division of roles was clear. Netanyahu and Israel played Bad Cop. Obama and Kerry were the Good Cops bearing carrots. (…) In any negotiation, it helps to have a bad cop to point to and, of course, what role would anyone expect the prime minister of Israel to play in this negotiation? But Netanyahu (…) played it to the hilt, a Terminator: the modern day destroyer, armed to the teeth, running red lights without seeing what’s in front of him, and willing to pay a heavy price to achieve his single-minded objective. (…) In diplomatic terms, Israel was the loser in this battle over the nuclear agreement. In negotiations, the true job of the bad cop is not to terminate the talks, but rather to help the good cops get the best possible deal. (…) In terms of the nuclear threat, Israel’s situation is better than it was before the historic treaty was announced in Vienna. Instead of an Iran suffocating under sanctions while persisting in its nuclear arms race, the Islamic Republic has now been accepted as a legitimate member of the international community. We still face a terrorism-sponsoring state outspokenly hostile to Israel, but it’s a terrorism-sponsoring state without a nuclear bomb in the foreseeable future. (…) There is an opportunity to get another defense package. And, believe it or not, a window of opportunity has just opened for a political initiative leading to a new regional order in the Middle East. (…)There are always dangers. But perhaps rather than insulting the American president and accusing him of naiveté and lack of understanding regarding the Middle East, we should try to learn something from him with respect to his approach as a leader. Barack Obama was elected because he offered hope and change (…). Meanwhile here in Israel, we have a leadership that plays up fears and promises to defend us against tomorrow, while neglecting other pressing items on today’s agenda. (…)
Dana Weiss, TOI, 21.07.15
The balloon has burst
The agreement between Iran and the world powers is a done deal. The main issue before us now is the never-ending and unresolved conflict with the Palestinians. (…) Like a burst balloon, it will never again be what it once was, no matter how loud a kid yells. (…) The burden of proof has to be transferred to the Palestinians. What we should do now is offer them their own state with provisional borders on the land defined as Area A and Area B, with territorial continuity that will enable them to go from Jenin to Hebron without seeing a single Israeli soldier. And they won’t have to relinquish any of their demands. (…) A political storm is raging around us and the winds are getting stronger every day. (…) And it poses substantial danger for Israel. Our economy is export heavy, and we can’t afford to receive the kind of treatment South Africa got. What’s more, a binational state is a much worse option. Anyone who has trouble imagining what that would look like should pay a visit to east Jerusalem – stones, Molotov cocktails, knives, hatred, death. (…) We have to be realistic and proactive. If we don’t take the initiative, someone else will, and the result will be much harder to swallow. (…) We have suffered a blow from the world, especially from our closest ally, America. Why not make judicious use of the compensation package they’re holding out to us? It’s not financial compensation we need, but American support for a “Palestinian state with provisional borders” program. The Palestinians will be forced either to accept it or to explain why they don’t want a state. More importantly, it will get the world off our back.
Gilad Sharon, JPO, 22.07.15
Freedom for Jonathan Pollard
A procedural matter
(…) Nov. 21, 2015, marks the date on which Pollard is entitled to parole (…), unless the parole board receives proof that he is still a threat to society or likely to behave problematically. (…) The parole board has a judicial-administrative role; it is not supposed to engage in politics. President Barack Obama cannot deny someone parole, and he also cannot overturn the board’s decision if it decides to approve a request. (…) As is the case in other democracies, the prosecutors represented the Justice Department, which subscribes to the same policies as the elected president. It is safe to assume Obama is not eager to see Pollard walk out of jail. Pollard’s fate is in the hands of the Parole Commission. (…) There is also no way of knowing what conditions are going to be imposed on Pollard after his release. (…) Celebrations may be premature, but it is not too early to hope.
Avi Bell, IHY, 27.05.17
A moral duty to free Pollard
(…) The impression created by the Pollard story has been that his lengthy imprisonment was intended to deter dual loyalty among American Jews. Given the nuclear deal recently reached between world powers and Iran, it is important, ironically, to remember that Pollard gave Israel information that helped it deal with the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction. So, in my view, it makes sense that Pollard’s potential upcoming release is being tied to the Iran deal. (…) Iran’s leaders have said explicitly that their goal is to destroy Israel. This will not change following the implementation of the deal. It was Israel which was tricked into believing the U.S. would stand strong and not capitulate to the ayatollahs. Make no mistake, the release of Pollard at this time is not a gesture to Israel. Pollard is nearing the end of a long and torturous three-decade punishment. If the Americans truly want to placate Israel, they should think about how to change the ridiculous deal with Iran and ensure the future security of Israel and Western civilization as a whole.
Haim Shine, IHY, 26.07.15
The lesson of Jonathan Pollard
(…) The five American presidents who have served since Jonathan’s arrest did not keep him in jail because they hate Israel. They kept him in jail because they love America. We can debate what specific interests led them to keep Jonathan imprisoned so long, but each of these president’s took an oath to preserve and protect the United States of America and not its allies, no matter how close those allies may be. (…)We have a special relationship to treasure on many levels, especially when it comes to military and intelligence cooperation. But just as their leadership will do what they think is best for the US – on Iran, on trade, on immigration, and everything else – we must do the same. This realization must also resonate with American Jews. You live in America. You cannot expect more from your leaders who swear an oath to serve Americans. You can lobby, you can pressure, and you can vote people out of office. But the loyalties of Americans will ultimately be to America and not Israel. Jonathan Pollard lived in America, but his loyalty was to Israel. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for that formula to work and to yield positive results. That is why we have Israel: We do not want to be dependent on other countries, no matter how kind and generous their offers. (…)
Dov Lipman, JPO, 30.07.15
Don’t parole Pollard
(…) No one loves a spy. Everyone hates an Israeli spy. Pollard, who has been viciously bashed in the media for nearly three decades, is hated more than most. (…) the now-documented record, bolstered by newly declassified materials and testimony by ranking American officials (…) show that Pollard’s life sentence was “excessive” and “unjust.” Considering the injustice, one has to wonder why Pollard is being paroled after 30 years instead of being set free. Parole is not freedom. It is, by definition, conditional release, which can be revoked at any time, for any number of very complex and often inscrutable reasons, including thinly veiled political motives. (…) under the terms of his parole, Pollard will have the balance of a 45-year sentence hanging over his head. He can be rearrested and sent back to prison for another 15 years – with all the accompanying screaming headlines, at any time for the next decade and a half. (…) No reason would have to be given for his rearrest. It could be done on any pretext for any number of undeclared and unsubstantiated reasons, at any time that the US decides to exert pressure on Israel. As the US has repeatedly demonstrated, Pollard is an easy means to foment world opinion against Israel. (…) Parole is just too convenient a tactic for continuing to keep Israel off balance while holding Pollard hostage for another 15 years. Pollard does not deserve parole. He deserves to be set free.
Editorial, JPO, 30.07.15
Jonathan Pollard is no prisoner of Zion
Jonathan Pollard, who is to be paroled in November after 30 years behind bars, is no prisoner of Zion, much less a national hero. I have no desire to cry over the long prison sentence he received. If there are any tears to be shed, they should be over the stupidity and irresponsibility of the people who recruited someone like him into Israel’s celebrated intelligence service. (…) He was a small spy who was originally rejected by the Mossad, and was willing to work not only on Israel’s behalf. (…) If they could, the Americans would have kept him in prison until his dying day. As a result of Pollard’s actions, the entire intelligence operations of the U.S. Navy had to be turned upside down, and it cost a fortune to repair the damage. That’s also the reason why, even after serving 30 years in prison, Pollard will be barred from leaving the United States for an additional five years. (…) Back in the day, David Ben-Gurion set down an ironclad rule according to which no Jew was to work as a spy within their own community – as a way to head off anti-Semitism. Had that rule been adopted, the Pollard affair would never have happened. (…) Eitan erred when he yielded to the temptation to use Pollard in the first place, without considering the damage that would be caused to American Jewry if he were caught. (…) Eitan, now 88, has done well for himself, transitioning from espionage to business in Cuba, from which he brings fine cigars for his friends. He even chalked up a stint in Israel’s cabinet, representing the Pensioners Party. Pollard might be having slightly less fun, but he’s not a prisoner of Zion, an Israeli hero or Dreyfus. (…)
Yoel Marcus, HAA, 31.07.15
Ten Years since the Disengagement
Know Comment: The malice of Gaza disengagement
(…) the wrecking of Gush Katif wasn’t really or only about peace with the Palestinians, but about the crushing of religious Zionism. This ugly truism was borne out at conferences marking the 10th anniversary of the disengagement, held over the past week at the Israel Democracy Institute and the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. None of Sharon’s aides who spoke at these conferences (…) could cobble together a convincing diplomatic rationale for the expulsion; a logic which stands the test of time. Nor did they express any remorse, despite the obviously catastrophic security consequences of the unilateral withdrawal. (…) The only pint of penitence to be heard from figures on the Left relates to the continuing crime of callousness toward the evicted settlers. Not because of true sympathy for victims of the wreckage that Sharon wrought, but because the failure to properly resettle them makes it hard to convince the public to support a future uprooting of settlers in the West Bank. (…) the disengagement weakened Israel and empowered Hamas. The Iran deal enfeebles America, and indubitably will embolden Iran. Alas, in both cases it seems that the people behind these policies never will admit their mistake.
David M. Weinberg, JPO, 23.07.15
Fragments of Gush Katif
(…) I hope for the two state solution, but I was against the Disengagement (…), against the way it was done, against the callous treatment of the settlers. (…) I hoped that maybe something good will come out of it. Then I watched the rampaging crowds on TV, and realized that we can never have peace if our enemies desire our destruction more than they desire the construction of their lives. (…) I do remember the people, passionate and kind. I remember that in their homes, we always talked about the good of the nation, of helping others, of ways to make the world a better place. Their eyes were earnest, and aglow with a vision of the future. They looked young. (…) We failed. (…) The prayers may have reached the heavens, but politics is what happens here on earth. (…) Pain is too weak a word, really. (…) It is Independence Day, less than a year after the Disengagement. Some of our friends from Atzmona insisted on staying together as a community. They lived in tents for months until the state finally exerted itself on their behalf. (…) they founded a new community (…). And their faces still look young. (…)
Rachel Danziger Sharansky, TOI, 26.07.15
It’s not too late for Israel to right its wrong and resettle Gaza, northern Samaria
Ariel Sharon may have taken to his grave the real reason for his decision to uproot over 10,000 Israeli settlers from their homes 10 years ago. (…) Ten years later, after three major Israel Defense Forces operations in the Gaza Strip and thousands of rockets falling on a good part of Israel, it’s clear to most that he was wrong. (…) Just look at the “improvement” in Israel’s international standing since the disengagement. Leaving these settlements in place would not have changed a thing in that regard. (…) But most puzzling was Sharon’s decision to uproot the settlers of Kadim, Sa-Nur, Homesh and Ganim in northern Samaria. (…) With all the attention drawn to the uprooting of the settlers of Gush Katif 10 years ago, these settlements seem to have been forgotten by most. (…) We will probably never know the reason, if there was any, behind this foul act. Are these unfortunate acts irreversible? Will we see settlers returning to the areas where once stood their homes that have been destroyed? (…) The area remains under IDF control. There seems to be no reason not to let the settlers return to their homes there. That would at least partially correct the injustice committed there 10 years ago. The time has come to give it some serious thought.
Moshe Arens, HAA, 27.07.15
The leading handful of violent settlers
The 10th anniversary of the disengagement from Gaza is a good time for self-examination, both among the settlers and among the general Israeli public. (…) The dry, although grim, facts fail to support the settlers’ claim that the disengagement was a failure. The Israeli death toll in the five years before the disengagement is higher than the death toll in the past decade, including the casualties of Operation Protective Edge. (…) The residents of Gush Katif paid a personal heavy price and are carrying serious feelings of discrimination due to the problematic handling of their rehabilitation and the lack of solidarity from the majority of the public, which supported the disengagement. (…) the lack of solidarity stemmed from the public’s difficulty to distinguish between the support for the move and the acknowledgement of the evictees’ suffering due to the labeling of the settlers – and the evictees among them – as a provocative group which sees the ideology it believes in as the most important thing. This labeling leans on fertile ground which has grown over the years and was demonstrated this week. (…) It seems that the moment they are given the signal, these people leave their homes, their work, their ordinary lives and join the war. And the war is against the State, which feeds the enterprise they sanctify. (…) That handful projects on all the settlers, most of whom are law-abiding citizens who are far from provocations. (…) Nonetheless, this is the place to hope that we will learn a lesson in empathy and succeed in detecting human distress even in the depths of the sea of ideology.
Tami Arad, JED, 31.07.15
Why Israel will never be able to withdraw from the West Bank
Ten years ago, Israel unilaterally pulled out of the Gaza Strip. In one of the most dramatic, toughest chapters in its short history, the state evacuated nearly 9,000 Israeli settlers. The brainchild of then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the disengagement nearly tore the country apart, cost a fortune, spurred a nationwide protest movement, and created deep, long-lasting scars – some of which have not healed to this day. (…) Israel managed to (…) put an end to 38 years of occupation in Gaza (…). On Wednesday, Israel managed to demolish two illegal, empty, half-built structures in the West Bank. After (…) days of political tumult and violent riots, with coalition members openly calling for the demolition of the High Court. (…) The extended, years-long saga that surrounded the demolition of these very ugly, half-built structures serves as yet another example of how much the two-state solution has become an unrealistic pipe dream, completely out of touch with the one-state reality on the ground. (…)The West Bank is not Gaza. Whereas Sharon’s disengagement dismantled a few relatively small, remote settlements in the southern Gaza settlement bloc of Gush Katif, the West Bank is home to nearly 500,000 Israelis, many of whom live just a short drive from Jerusalem. Even if, in the unlikely event of a peace accord, Israel had to evict only a small proportion of those half million, the costs would be enormous. (…) there are the deep changes undergone in Israel’s political discourse, (…) the right-wing is even less willing to cede anything in its fight for dominance than it was 10 years ago. (…) As long as two empty buildings within Beit El are enough to inspire revolt, no one is coming for Beit El itself. (…) Like it or not, the settlements – and with them, the occupation of the West Bank – are here to stay.
Asher Schechter, HAA, 30.07.15
Bizarre, unnecessary demolition
(…) Everything about it was unfortunate: the timing, when everyone is marking a decade since the miserable 2005 disengagement from the Gaza Strip; (…) the decision to raze the buildings only to have them rebuilt; overzealous settlers and gung-ho policemen; and even the blistering summer heat. Even the Arab who claims ownership of the land will have to stand by and see 300 housing units replace the 24 that were torn down. (…) So what have we been left with? Two tense, blazing, socially charged and unnecessary days that will soon be forgotten, and one resonating statement by a Habayit Hayehudi MK, saying the High Court of Justice should be bulldozed. All this took place during the last day of the Knesset session, before parliament took a break for its summer recess — a day that was also bizarre and unnecessary, as it lacked truly important debates, over issues such as the state budget and the future of the natural gas industry. (…)
Mati Tuchfeld, IHY, 30.07.15
Selection of Articles
Teva swallows the right pill
Mergers and acquisitions deals are a matter of strategy but also involve opportunism to a large extent – sometimes an opportunity crops up that begs to be seized. Recent developments in the pharmaceutical industry clearly demonstrate this. (…) The capital market has been waiting for this transformational deal that will change the face of Teva. In 2014, when Erez Vigodman assumed the post of CEO, he took over a company in problematic circumstances with a share price at a low-point and limited confidence from investors. In a conscious decision he decided not to get involved in mergers and acquisitions where deals costing billions and tens of billions had become routine. Vigodman preferred to focus on Teva’s internal basics and only by the end of 2014 did he reach the conclusion that Teva was ready to dive into the deep water of mergers and acquisitions. (…) Teva’s latest step has been received positively by the market with investors giving Teva and its management credit. In premarket trading in New York Teva’s share price reached a record $ 70. This despite the major concern by investors of the black cloud hanging over Teva in recent years, which is now being realized in the form of generic competition for the company’s flagship branded drug – Copaxone for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Copaxone is responsible for about half of Teva’s profit. Every strategic step taken by Teva in recent years, including the current acquisition has been designed among other things to reduce Teva’s dependence on Copaxone. The division being acquired will consolidate Teva’s leading position in the global generics market. (…)
Shiri Habib-Valdhorn, GLO, 27.07.15
Halting demolition of Palestinian village will be the exception, not the rule
(…) the plans to destroy the village might not be carried out. Sussia has become a symbol. And that is precisely the trap. The European foreign ministers know the name of this village in the southern Hebron Hills as if it were a suburb on the way from the airport to Brussels. (…) The call on Israel not to uproot Sussia (…) is specifically included in the conclusions of this week’s monthly meeting of the EU Foreign Council. It is very unusual that such a small place is mentioned in the written conclusions. (…) Because Sussia has become a symbol, along with its courageous and stubborn inhabitants who have so far thwarted plans to wipe out their community (…), it might be saved. (…) But Israeli bulldozers will quietly turn, helped by Israeli public support, to continued destruction of lives and homes in other Palestinian communities, no less courageous and stubborn – just less well-known. Or, on the other hand, perhaps precisely because Sussia is a symbol, Israel will decide to arm wrestle over it, treat it as a special case, and demolish it. (…)
Amira Hass, HAA, 22.07.15
Beware Ottoman land law!
According to Arab claimants, the area of Sussia, which includes an ancient Jewish village that was built about 1,600 years ago, and perhaps as early as the late Second Temple period, is “private Palestinian land” owned by Arabs who started illegally building in the area about two decades ago and have been squatting there ever since (…). Their title, they claim, is based on an 1881 Ottoman Empire Land grant document. (…) assuming that the Ottoman Empire duly gave the land away, it is not relevant to the current controversy. (…) According to the Ottoman Land (…), if a person to whom the land was given (…) was absent (…) for three years and did not use or cultivate the land, or pay fees and taxes, the land reverts to the governing authority. (…) It is clear from documents, historical and more recent observations, maps (1890-1945) and aerial photographs that the land claimed by these Arab squatters at Sussia has not been continuously cultivated, taxes have not been paid and inheritance has not been applied for. Therefore their claims of ownership based on an Ottoman Empire land grant from 1881 are baseless.
Ari Briggs, JPO, 30.07.15
Beitar’s red card
(…) it is important to note that the violence in Belgium was not one-sided. (…) while Beitar aficionados – or at least those ultras referred to as “La Familia” – had behaved in a barbarous fashion, the Belgians were no models of restraint and moderation. (…) There are (…) photographs of Charleroi fans making the Nazi salute in the stadium on the day of the match. (…) Those who claim that sport creates goodwill among nations seem to be oblivious to the long history of orgies of hatred generated by sporting contests, particularly soccer matches. (…) Aggression is practically inherent to soccer. (…) fans – and particularly the extremists among them – are exercised by their nationalistic loyalties and base tribalism. Running, jumping and kicking a ball are not about virtuoso sports ability, they are tests of a nation’s virtue. Defeat on the soccer field is not just proof of players’ weakness, inferiority or instability as sportsmen, it is a humiliation extending well beyond the turf that reflects negatively upon one’s tribe or one’s nation. And that humiliation must be erased. (…) Israel has its own hooligans just as the English, the Italians and the Belgians have theirs. (…) But while the highest-ranking Israeli politicians feel the need to apologize for the actions of a few dozen Beitar fans (…) in Belgium, you do not find contrite politicians and opinion-makers in Belgium, Italy or Britain going out of their way to denounce hooliganism by their fans for fear the very legitimacy of their country is at risk, and rightly so. (…) these hooligans are hardly representative of an entire nation, whether that nation be Jewish or Belgian. (…) However, steps can and should be taken by law enforcement agencies and by soccer associations to punish the hooligans and where possible prevent them from gaining access to stadiums in the future.
Editorial, JPO, 19.07.15
The royal family, the Hitler salute and British policy during the war
The media sensation surrounding the recently released video footage of the Queen of England and her parents happily displaying the Hitler salute for the camera in 1933 might be dismissed as an innocent action at the time. (…) Yet in 1933, a network of detention camps had already been established in Germany where political prisoners were being held, and Hitler was already in the process of using the salute to galvanize support for his political movement. (…) While the Nazis prepared to annihilate the Jews in Europe, the British government approved a White Paper in 1939 that severely restricted Jewish immigration to Palestine under the British Mandate. The White Paper reinterpreted the Balfour Declaration and declared that Britain did not intend to build an independent Jewish state in Palestine. (…) Britain’s policy of denying a place of refuge to Jews facing extermination would have been very difficult to maintain had the public known what the government knew. (…) After the war, the determination of Holocaust survivors to reach Palestine led to large-scale illegal Jewish migration. British efforts to block the migration led to violent resistance by the Zionist underground. (…) The British government turned its back on the Jews of Europe and failed to aid Jewish resistance groups in Europe as a result of political and economic expediency. (…) Only in 2013 did Prime Minister David Cameron become the first British leader to establish a Commission on the Holocaust, and it was only in 2015 that the commission recommended that Britain create a national memorial to the Holocaust – 70 years after the end of the war. (…)
Daniel Wagner, JPO. 22.07.15
The wonders of cannabis
If it were not for its problematic public image, cannabis, or marijuana, would be one of the most common crops on earth. It is easy and economical to grow, it can quickly spread to fill fields the size of forests, it is used to manufacture fabric and paper, and for thousands of years its flowers have been extracted to produce medicine for various ailments. (…) what happened? The fact that the cultivation and processing of cannabis into textile was cheaper than cotton posed a threat to the American cotton industry, and like many other monopolies that hire lobbyists, the cotton farmers tried to find the best way to eliminate the competition. (…) When they completed their aggressive campaign, cannabis had become an illegal drug in most states, even though substances that are far worse, like alcohol or over-the-counter synthetic drugs, are still very much legal. What we were left with was a medicinal plant with amazing healing powers that is prohibited for use because it is an illicit drug. (…) Cannabis serves as an excellent remedy to relieve the symptoms of cancer, Crohn’s disease and other intestinal disorders, and it miraculously treats Parkinson’s disease and epileptic seizures.(…) Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman’s decision (…) to allow medical marijuana to be sold in pharmacies is a declaration, and it announces loud and clear that medical marijuana is in fact a medication.
Efrat Roman, IHY, 28.07.15
Stop exporting arms to South Sudan
(…) Israel has been exporting weapons and security systems to the South Sudan government, in addition to training the South Sudan army in both Israel and South Sudan. (…) Since early last year the United States has ceased its military aid to South Sudan and has imposed sanctions. (…) A year after the civil war began, a complete weapons embargo was imposed on South Sudan by the European Union, which stated that “the civil war has resulted in the death of tens of thousands and in the uprooting of 2 million people…causing serious violations of humanitarian international law and of human rights(…).” The EU has encouraged countries to join the weapons embargo. (….) Israel too must reexamine its defense exports to South Sudan. (…) We must not turn a blind eye away while these horrible crimes are being done, most probably with Israeli weapons and security systems. (…) As a democratic state whose people are all too familiar with ethnic persecution, Israel must put the economic and strategic benefits aside. We are obligated to know to whom and to where our defense export goes and what is being done with it upon arrival. We must demand that weapons which could be used for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and for systematic violations of human rights will not be sent. (…)
Tamar Zandberg, TOI, 23.07.15
HAA = Haaretz
JED = JediothAhronoth / Ynetnews
JPO = Jerusalem Post
IHY = Israel HaYom
TOI = Times of Israel
GLO = Globes
Published: August 2015
Dr. Werner Puschra,
Head of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Israel