“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:
- Israel Establishes Diplomatic Relations With the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain
- Second Lockdown Due to a Dramatic Increase in New Corona Infections
- Fragile Ceasefire Between Israel and Hamas
- Selection of Articles
1. Israel Establishes Diplomatic Relations With the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain
Hurray for the new Middle East
(…) The proponents of normalization have raised their heads, not because of their love for Israel, but due to their own interests. This is wonderful. I wish the Palestinian could also join the party and act in their own interests (…). Arab countries (…) are not backing away from the Palestinian cause. (…) It is a change in attitude – peace through mutual interests and normalization, not through boycotts. The detractors, even those on our side, continue to stamp their feet, demanding we continue down the path that has failed the Palestinians for almost a century, demanding more boycotts and recalcitrance. This has never worked, but what difference does it make? They are so blind in their antagonism toward Israel that even supporting the Islamist Qatar-Turkey-Hamas-Iran coalition seems normal to them. We need more such breakthroughs with Sudan and Saudi Arabia, with Bahrain and Oman. Maybe even Morocco, where Israeli tourists were already traveling nonstop before COVID-19 struck. This new agreement will not push peace with the Palestinians any further away. Quite the reverse: it will make it clear to them that they must change direction too. There are many good people on the Palestinian side who understand that they need change and this agreement with the UAE and relations with other countries strengthen them. (…)
Ben Dror-Yemini, YED, 01.09.20
Netanyahu’s ‘brilliant’ Mideast peace strategy has a big problem
Benjamin Netanyahu (…) is trying to mint a new doctrine bearing his name. The “Netanyahu Doctrine” is predicated on the principle of “peace for peace.” How logical, how brilliant. Except for (…) its irrelevance for most of Israel’s conflicts with its neighbors. Israel could not have signed a peace agreement with Egypt had it not promised to withdraw fully from the Sinai and dismantle its settlements there. (…) peace always has a price. The peace between Israel and the UAE would seem to contradict this conclusion, but it does not. Israel, in fact, did pay a price: the suspension (…) of annexation in the West Bank, and Netanyahu’s agreement to the U.S. supplying F-35 stealth fighter planes to the Emirates. (…) The peace with Bahrain substantiates the fact that an agreement with an Arab state on the Mideast’s periphery, with no history of direct conflict with Israel, can happen on a basis of a “peace for peace” formula. One of the most troubling results of the otherwise positive deals between Israel and the UAE, and Israel and Bahrain, is that many Jewish Israelis could latch onto the “peace for peace” slogan as a viable policy vis-à-vis the Palestinians, and perhaps the Syrians at some point, too. However, the conflict with the Palestinians involves tangible core issues, such as borders, Jerusalem, refugees, water and settlements, as well as intangible core issues, such as mutual recognition, symbols, responsibility, and more. Agreement on these issues requires not only patience and skill, but also concessions to the other side. (…) adopting the “peace for peace” doctrine in relations with our immediate neighbors is a recipe for a permanent deadlock. (…) Once the fanfare with the Emirates, Bahrain and possibly other Arab states subsides, Israel will have no choice but to revisit and address the Palestinian issue.
Prof. Elie Podeh, HAA, 13.09.20
Bahrain’s move is no less brave than the UAE
Bahraini King Hamad al-Khalifa surprised no one by following in the footsteps of the United Arab Emirates, exposing his country’s long-standing clandestine relations with Israel, and establishing diplomatic ties with direct flights between Israel and Manama. And yet, this was a courageous move on his part, no less daring and perhaps even more so than the UAE leader’s trailblazing move last month to normalize relations with Israel. This is because Bahrain, a tiny island nation off the Saudi coast, is more susceptible than the UAE to national security threats posed by Iran. (…) There’s a great deal of importance to the public alliance between Bahrain and Israel, and not just because of its security implications. Bahrain is a very small country, but has a free market economy that doesn’t rely just on oil. The Bahraini economy is the fastest growing in the Arab world and opens up a plethora of opportunities for broad commercial ties between the countries. On social issues, too, such as women’s rights, Bahrain is ahead of many Arab countries. In the cultural realm, meanwhile, more books are published there than any other Arab country. Beyond all this, Bahrain, similar to the UAE, is an exemplary model of religious moderation, as a counterweight to the radical political Islam spearheaded by Iran, Turkey and Qatar. (…) How ironic that as these Gulf states normalize relations with Israel and emphasize equality between the religions, the Palestinian Authority is signaling it will not allow Muslims who enter Israel through Ben-Gurion International Airport to pray at Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. The tables have turned: Israel, which has regularly been accused of infringing on freedom of worship on the Temple Mount, is opening its gates to all Muslim worshippers who arrive from the Gulf – while the PA is threatening to forbid them from praying there.
Oded Granot, IHY, 13.09.20
Palestinian rejectionism of the UAE-Bahrain-Israel deal and peace
(…) Twenty years ago, the Palestinians launched the Second Intifada against Israel. It was a long and bloody campaign of suicide bombings and other atrocities that took the lives of more than 1,000 Israelis. The victims came from across Israeli society, including Jews, Muslims and Christians. They were people who had been riding a bus to school or work; relaxing, or at work; in a restaurant; celebrating a bat mitzvah or another happy family occasion; or gathering for a traditional Seder night meal. Apart from the lives lost, thousands suffered physical injuries and many suffered from no-less debilitating emotional trauma. (…) The new peace deals with the Arab countries (…) strike a blow against terrorism – be it by Sunni jihadists or Shia Iran and its proxies. The UAE and Bahrain aren’t only making peace and normalizing ties with Israel; they are showing the Palestinians that war and terrorism are not the way. As long as the Palestinian leadership rejects peace, the Palestinian people should reject their leadership. Ordinary Palestinians (…) deserve a chance to live in peace. It’s time to build a better future together. The Palestinians need to realize that the paradigm has changed. This is the perfect opportunity for them to reject rejectionism.
Editorial, JPO, 14.09.20
No UAE peace without an Israeli political process with Palestinians
(…) the peace and normalization treaty (…) is a political production by two politicians, U.S. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, both of whom are in serious distress (…). The cancellation of the dangerous idea of annexation, as the Emirates’ condition for the normalization agreement, teaches anyone who doesn’t understand that it’s not the one-state solution that will prevail in the context of a regional peace arrangement, but only the two-state vision. But the joy of peace shouldn’t interfere with our sober perception. (…) the external security threats are accumulating like storm clouds on the horizon. Iran is continuing inexorably on the path to nuclear power and regional hegemony. (…) The Palestinian arenas in Gaza and the West Bank continue to be explosive (…). Even Turkey’s behavior does nothing to add stability to the eastern Mediterranean, and it is trying to meddle in the Palestinian arena as well. (…) Anger at Israel is still prevalent although muted; what’s happening in the territories strongly influences these feelings. The decision to build 5,000 additional homes in the settlements proves our disdain for their importance. The treaty with the Emirates is likely to turn into a piece of paper, into archival photos, if there is no diplomatic continuation. And that must revolve around the fraught issue of the future of the Land of Israel, Israel’s final border and its relationship with the Palestinian people. That’s not simple politically, and we are seeing the reactions on the Israeli right to cancellation of the annexation. But if anyone thinks that relations with the Gulf countries will develop without a diplomatic compensation for the normalization, let him look at our relationship with Jordan. There are gas exports, there is cooperation in routine security arrangements, but other than that there’s really nothing. This flower of a treaty with the Emirates can either bloom or wilt. It all depends on us.
Ephraim Sneh, HAA, 15.09.20
Mideast peace, Trump style
(…) For U.S. President Donald Trump, Tuesday’s event was vital. It provides him with a wealth of material for his campaign ads and no less critical, it gives him an edge in the upcoming debate against his Democratic opponent Joe Biden. The normalization agreements between Israel and the Gulf states is his sole foreign policy achievement and the only issue that receives bipartisan approval. (…) Prior peace accords signed on the White House lawn have yielded their fair share of achievements, but have also tempered over the years. Peace between Israel and Egypt remains a cold one and Israel is hated by ordinary Egyptians. The peace agreement with Jordan has also soured and the Oslo Accords that were to pave the way for peace with the Palestinians are hanging on by a thread – teaching us that peace must be a continual work in progress as soon as the ceremonies are over, and must not be left to the devices of governments alone. As for Netanyahu, he can consider the deals with the UAE and Bahrain as his crowning achievements. He has made his mark on the Middle East and can claim a legacy. But (…) the world leader who proudly paraded through the White House (…) was before and after this ceremony no more than a politician who has led his country to colossal failure in its battle against coronavirus. The prime minister has two faces that we can see, one that evokes some respect while the other is a national embarrassment.
Nahum Barnea, YED, 15.09.20
Peace with the Palestinians will come without us noticing
(…) the agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain (…) might even improve Israel’s position more than the deal with “our biggest enemy.” Since making peace with Egypt, the Arab world, with the PLO at its center, has moved to a different strategy for eliminating Israel. Instead of military attacks, they have set in motion a strategy to cause Israel to collapse from within. The Israeli establishment woke up to that far too late. The delegitimization campaign has paralyzed the IDF. (…) Top defense officials, who clung to an outdated perception of security that did not provide a solution for the new existential threat, found themselves at a disadvantage in facing the dual threat from the Palestinians and the combination of the international Left and the Islamists. The responses on the Left to the breakthrough reached by Prime Minister Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump show just how major it is. The Left is calling the peace agreements “fraud” and “fake news,” designed to serve only Trump and Netanyahu’s personal interests. (…) Normalization with the Emirates puts a crack in international opposition to the ongoing “occupation,” or in other words, the campaign to delegitimize Israel and cause it to fall apart from within have been dealt a harsh blow. In effect, there is no more “peace camp” in Israel. There is the legacy camp that aligns with the global Left and the Palestinians in their attempt to destabilize Israel during a crisis. (…) Anyone who really ever wants peace with the Palestinians should also be pleased. Because that will happen only when the Palestinian leaders recognize that their tactics have failed. (…)The peace deal with the Emirates brings us closer to the Palestinians recognizing that. (…)
Amon Lord, IHY, 15.09.20
2. Second Lockdown Due to a Dramatic Increase in New Corona Infections
Emperor Netanyahu has no clothes
(…) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (…) is looking around for someone to share the blame. King Bibi, the unbeatable prime minister who assured us he would form a unity government to fight the virus and repair our fragmented society, said he would grant full authority to an expert health professional to lay out a strategy to stop the spread of COVID-19. (…) One letter from Haredi mayors who warned they would disregard health directives and threatened to withhold their political support managed to upended what had been a carefully laid out plan. Netanyahu quickly folded when ultra-Orthodox ministers made their demands of him, haunted by images of his political opponent Naftali Bennett, the head of the religious Zionist Yamina party, being warmly received in the Haredi communities. Lockdowns in red zones including Haredi cities were scrapped despite unanimous agreement that they were vital in slowing the spread of coronavirus. (…) Adding insult to injury, Netanyahu’s long-time political partner Aryeh Deri, the head of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, tearfully insisted that closures must be imposed on the entire country and not just his constituents – and then said that synagogues (of all things!) would remain open no matter what health restrictions were ultimately imposed. Is everything about politics? (…)
Sima Kadmon, YED, 07.09.20
Haredi political games are risking Israel’s public health
(…) It was frustrating to see from the start, but a red line was crossed when the government’s plan to initiate lockdowns in virus hotspots was scrapped due to Haredi pressure, essentially killing coronavirus czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu’s whole new comprehensive outline for fighting the pandemic. It is now clear to all that the state cares far less for the public health than it does for appeasing the ultra-Orthodox. (…) The cynics among us will say that finally the Haredi leaders are willing to tear down their self-imposed ghetto walls and join the general public. If in the past they refused to join the military or teach secular subjects in their schools, now they are calling for all of us to share the burden of a nationwide lockdown. Suddenly, their fates are interwoven with the rest of the public. But this is merely their same motivations and old attitudes writ large. Their values do not allow them to join the military, so the rest can fight and die for them. Their values do not allow them to learn secular subjects at school, so the rest of us need to fund their cost of living. Torah study and prayer are the most important values to them, so they are willing to infect the rest of us and make the entire country go into another lockdown. And everybody but them will suffer the economic consequences. (…) The ultra-Orthodox politics (…) are jeopardizing our livelihood, our health and even our lives. (…) All secular and conservative Jews, from the left, the right and even religious Zionism, must unite to stop this surrender to the ultra-Orthodox before it is too late. (…)
Ram Fruman, YED, 08.09.20
Netanyahu’s deceitful lockdown
(…) Elsewhere in the world, there are other leaders. They work day and night to reduce the incidence of the coronavirus and rehabilitate their economies. Only we have a prime minister who’s concerned only about himself, and for whom any engagement in other issues is intended solely for his own benefit. He doesn’t care about the 1,070 people who have died. He doesn’t care about the 500,000 unemployed. He cares about one thing only – his trial. (…) Who knows better than he that demonstrations can change public opinion, which could cause him to lose the next election? (…) Imposing a full lockdown (…) shifts responsibility from Netanyahu to the public. After all, we haven’t forgotten that he opposed increasing the number of tests and bringing the army’s Home Front Command into the battle, just because doing so would have granted an achievement to then-Defense Minister Naftali Bennett. During the first wave of the virus, he boasted that leaders around the world were consulting him. Today, during the second wave, not one leader is calling. He has dragged Israel into last place in terms of both the daily number of new coronavirus patients and the economy. And it’s purely because all his attention, all his effort, all his being are directed not at the coronavirus or the economy, but solely at disappearing his trial.
Nehemia Shtrasler, HAA, 10.09.20
Israel’s anti-protest lockdown
(…) The pandemic has provided Netanyahu with the emergency conditions that, on paper at least, justify drastic measures and the violation of fundamental rights. But while during the first wave of the coronavirus, demonstrations were exempted from the restrictions and Netanyahu himself supported this, in the current proposal they are not (…). The latest version of the proposed lockdown only permits a person to demonstrate within 500 meters from their home. That is an insult to intelligence; the cabinet is afraid to forbid demonstrations, because it knows that allowing protest is the litmus test of a democracy, so it conceals the prohibition behind the ridiculous decision to allow people to demonstrate outside their homes. (…) Netanyahu must recognize that the protests stem in part from the antidemocratic mood emanating from the premier’s Balfour Street residence. One cannot suppress a protest against undermining democracy by means of a frontal attack on one of its fundamental rights.
Editorial, HAA, 14.09.20
Following new gov’ decisions, it’s up to us now to beat the coronavirus
(…) Once lauded for masterminding one of the most efficient nationwide responses to the coronavirus pandemic, Israel can now claim the dubious distinction of being one of the only countries to send its citizens to a second lockdown. (…) It sounds awfully familiar, but there are some big differences between the state of the country at the beginning of the March shutdown and today. When the first lockdown was announced, there was near-unanimous compliance and acceptance by the populace. There was fear and confusion surrounding coronavirus and a belief that the decision makers had a plan in place that would, if not subdue the pandemic, at least bring it under control to enable a return to a semblance of normalcy. (…) the number of new daily cases plummeted to the tens by the time the shutdown was lifted in May. (…) Will the newly-announced three-week lockdown achieve anything remotely resembling the first? (…) assuming that the shutdown does achieve its goals and significantly reduces the number of Israelis being infected, is what then? If Israel opens up like it did before, we can expect another spike in infections in no time and increased burden on the health system, even more so as we enter the already sicklier winter months. Now is the time (…) to plan for the day, week and year after the shutdown. Our contact tracing system must be improved to immediately identify infected people, instead of a 48-hour lag that enables them to mingle among the population and infect others. A solution must be found for the opening and functioning of schools that doesn’t endanger teachers and the parents and grandparents of pupils. The current pod system does not seem to be working. (…) It’s time to change our way of thinking. (…) ask not what the government can do to beat corona, ask what you can do to beat corona.
Editorial, JPO, 14.09.20
New lockdown is test of public faith in government
(…) no matter what the government decides, it is ultimately up to the members of the public to agree to abide by the directives. (…) During the first wave of the pandemic, the public had a disciplined approach to the lockdown imposed by the government. Israelis felt solidarity with their neighbors and expressed trust in their leaders and the decisions being made. There was also widespread fear of an unknown pathogen and the danger it could pose. But in contrast, the second lockdown comes at a time of widespread criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet, accompanied by a reluctance to accept their diktats without question. The unified messaging of the first wave of the virus was completely shattered by the time the second wave appeared. (…) Small business owners, many of whom had yet to recover from the financial ramifications of the first lockdown, have threatened to ignore the new measures and remain open for business. (…) The government will soon see if the public is willing to once again put its faith in a leadership that has failed them so miserably.
Yuval Karni, YED, 14.09.20
3. Fragile Ceasefire Between Israel and Hamas
Hamas eyes another Israel fight as Gaza teeters on brink of collapse
There are no understandings as far as Gaza is concerned. (…) The way the latest escalation ended is nothing but an invitation to the next round, which may end up being more violent. (…) the Strip is suffering from the worst economic crisis it has known since the Hamas leader came into power. During the latest escalation (…) Sinwar tried to force Israel to the negotiating table in an effort to improve the life in the Strip by October. (…) In the end, not only did Sinwar found himself back at square one, the IDF used the balloon attacks as an excuse to strike no less than 104 Hamas-affiliated targets within the enclave, thus delivering a blow to the organization’s infrastructure in the Strip. Israel’s Fire and Rescue Service and the military were both prepared to deal with the blazes started by the balloon attacks. The IDF also used the opportunity to test a laser-based defense system whose objective is to shoot down drones and balloon clusters. The results appeared to have been satisfactory, as the IDF’s Planning Directorate is now contemplating whether to further develop the system. (…) to Israel’s underground barrier, a countermeasure that aims to torpedo any further attempts to tunnel into the country. About a week ago, Gaza was hit by its own wave of coronavirus, a new development that may have pushed Sinwar to end the current round of aggression. Given that the Strip has a sum total of 120 ventilators, it is safe to say Gaza is on the precipice of disaster. The Strip is under complete lockdown at the moment, no movement is permitted from district to district, and schools and beaches are closed. (…) Even if Israel wanted to throw Gaza an economic lifeline – the coronavirus has made it all but impossible. (…)
Alex Fishman, YED, 02.09.20
Hamas are more than mere terrorists, they are master strategists
(…) Hamas has evolved into an organization with clear, long-term goals, and a strategy to achieve them. (…) Gazans opposed to Hamas’s authority face merciless retribution. (…) Hamas’s rule is strengthening, and it governs the Strip with a firm hand, wielding unchallenged power. (…) Hamas’s negotiation strategy is constantly evolving, while Israel’s approach to negotiations has remained stagnant. Israel continues to demand a cessation of rocket attacks, tunnel digging (…), the end of Hamas’s naval commando threats to the Israeli coastline, border bombs, and recruiting for its military wing. Israel also demands the release of two civilians held captive by Hamas and the remains of two IDF soldiers who fell in Gaza in 2014. In return, Israel offers to solve some of Gaza’s humanitarian challenges, both directly and through the assistance of third parties. (…) This is a losing situation for Israel. Multiple deployments of the same Israeli strategy is not an effective way forward. It is no accident that such a pattern of thinking was apocryphally described by Albert Einstein as “insanity.” Israel needs to reevaluate its negotiating strategy with Hamas. It is time for some creativity – something it could learn from its adversary.
Grisha Yakubovich, JPO, 06.09.20
Hamas’ head-scratching policies
On the one hand, it seemingly wants to rehabilitate Gaza and avoid war with Israel, but is also trying to carry out terrorist attacks in the heart of Israel that could easily lead to the devastation of Gaza. (…) While in Gaza the organization’s policies are extremely self-restrained, indicating strong Israeli deterrence and Hamas’ clear aversion to another military clash, mainly to facilitate Gaza’s civilian rehabilitation, its terrorist activity deep inside Israel indicates a brazenness and willingness to take things very far. (…) From its main headquarters in Turkey, Hamas has orchestrated terrorist activity in Judea and Samaria. (…) Hamas has enhanced (…) methods of operation into an art form. This poses a significant challenge to the Shin Bet, which since 2019 has had to deal with hundreds of attempted terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria – directed from Gaza. That none of these terrorist attacks occurred is a testament to the Shin Bet’s counter-terrorism efforts, but they also indicate the scope of the threat: One attack that slips under the radar could spark a conflagration. It’s hard not to scratch our heads over the policy guiding Hamas’ efforts to strike in the heart of Israel. (…) Hamas is implementing a two-faced policy – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – which could take it down a path it doesn’t want and as a byproduct invite the very same devastation onto Gaza that its other policy is seemingly trying to prevent.
Yoav Limor, IHY, 08.09.20
Israel-Hamas ceasefire is only a temporary solution
(…) It is a positive development each time the fighting stops. Yet, the ceasefire agreement is merely the temporary conclusion to another wave of Palestinian violence that is bound to repeat itself – unless the international community shifts its approach. (…) Hamas repeatedly resorts to violence to extract more cash from the Qataris. (…) Israel has signaled it will respond to aggression when necessary, but its focus is on its northern border. Any broad operation in Gaza would distract and divert resources away from Hezbollah and Iran’s efforts to spread advanced precision weapon systems in Syria and Lebanon. Israel’s improved technological capabilities allow it to respond to low-level violence without significantly diverting much attention from the north. (…) Another war with Israel would also highlight Hamas’s ineffective rule by bringing an unnecessary loss of life and destruction to Gaza’s collapsing infrastructure. Even before coronavirus, Hamas proved itself incapable of providing effective governance. Water and electrical shortages have long plagued Gaza. Protests demanding even meager economic reforms have faced brutal crackdowns from Hamas, which fears any challenge to their precarious rule over the Gaza Strip. Yet, there is always the potential for intentional or accidental escalation that leads to another war. (…) Instead of rewarding Hamas for its mismanagement and terrorism against Israel with millions of dollars, the international community should restructure how it provides aid to the Palestinians. Reform options include the Trump peace plan, which Palestinian leadership in Gaza and the West Bank have vehemently rejected (…). While the status quo makes a significant war unlikely, it also, unfortunately, means the next sequence of cross-border attacks is just around the corner.
Ari Cicurel, IHY, 08.09.20
4. Selection of Articles
Holocaust on TikTok
Let TikTok creators pretend to be victims of the Nazis. It strengthens Holocaust memory
(…) The last TikTok trend which hit the online controversy spotlight was the #HolocaustPOVchallenge. TikTokers posing as dead Holocaust victims (…) This form of expression could have been considered as an authentic interest in and concern about timely political issues by young teenagers (…) instead, “adult” voices in the public debate about the video clips immediately tagged their artistic/political efforts as “offensive,” and their creators, as “disgusting human beings.” (…) those controversial clips were (…) made as part of a popular TikTok trend: POV (point-of-view) videos, a new form of expression in which the creator interprets painful social-political events, such as sexual abuse, racism, school shootings, and various historical tragedies, in a creative and playful but also highly engaged way. (…) these videos indicate a new form of mediated Holocaust-related testimony: an intensive, abstract, even surreal account that circulates rapidly on TikTok feeds, calling for digital response and participation. For this new form of “testimony,” TikTokers adapt the common social media language – hashtags – as an attempt to negotiate different practices of (digital) Holocaust commemoration. (…) Users added the hashtag #fyp (“for you, partner”/”for your page”), encouraging others to generate their own POV Holocaust “moments” as a way of dedicating time to content they regard as meaningful. (…) critics should pause before they slam the creators, or their intent, as “disgusting.” POV offers a new perspective which, perhaps counter-instinctively, does not primarily focus on the creators like in many selfie videos, but on the event itself. (…) obscure as those videos might seem, they are, after all, in principle profoundly humanistic due to their characteristics. (…) many of the POV videos proved something quite valuable in times of growing distance to the past: interest, dedication, creativity, and the effort to render memories from the Holocaust relevant in the (media) presence of the fourth and fifth generations after the events. But our harsh reactions most likely alienated young TikTok creators (…) this sends a clear and depressing message to the platform’s 800 million active users: The Holocaust is one of the topics you do not TikTok about.
Tobias Ebbrecht-Hartmann, Tom Divon, HAA, 10.09.20
Netanyahu Apologizes to the Family of the Teacher Who Was Killed in Umm Al Hiran
Justice for Umm Al Hiran would be true apology
(…) Yaakub Abu Al Qian was not a terrorist. After all of the apologies, it is high time for the residents of Umm Al Hiran to be treated justly. (…) the state has serially reneged on every agreement it has signed with them. (…) the clearing of Abu Al Qian’s name removes a huge burden and affront from the hearts of the residents. However, apologies alone do not address their true problems. (…) We must not forget that Abu Al Qian was killed that morning, after negotiations over the future of the village were cut off at midnight. Hundreds of police officers with drawn automatic weapons invaded the village in a military style operation, in order to secure the village for demolitions. The true way to honor Abu Al Qian’s memory is to end the policies that led to his death. (…)
Arik Ascherman, JPO, 15.09.20
HAA = Haaretz
YED = Yedioth Ahronoth / Ynetnews
JPO = Jerusalem Post
IHY = Israel HaYom
TOI = Times of Israel
GLO = Globes
Published: September 2020.
Dr. Paul Pasch,
Head of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Israel