“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:
- Air Strike on Syrian Arms Factory
- Family Netanyahu makes the Headlines
- Compulsory Military Service for all citizens
- Selection of Articles
1. Air Strike on Syrian Arms Factory
When Nasrallah strikes a deal with Syria
(…) There were years when he rightly feared that once he was identified outside his hiding place, Israel would be quick to settle their score with him. When he discovered that the Israelis were almost completely ignoring him, Nasrallah began to fear—again rightly so—that his innumerable rivals in Lebanon or the proxies of his rivals in neighboring countries would seize the opportunity as soon as they could get their hands on him: With an explosive device or pistol held to his head. Nasrallah knows that he is transparent to Israeli eyes. (…) Nasrallah’s public announcement about his trip to Damascus to meet with Bashar al-Assad shouldn’t have surprised anyone. (…) It is much more interesting to ponder what happened in the conversation between the two, and why the deal between Hezbollah and ISIS could not be closed over the phone. (…) the bodies of nine Lebanese army soldiers and an Iranian soldier who were murdered by ISIS will be returned, along with two other live captives. (…) The “liberation deal,” as Nasrallah called it, is intended to relocate the militants (…) in Syria, which is controlled by ISIS and close to the border with Iraq. (…) What is certain is that Nasrallah cleaned up the Lebanese arena for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and the “advisers” from Tehran. More and more signs indicate that the Iranians, who are seeking a parallel regime in Lebanon and are aided by Hezbollah, are coming for a prolonged settlement there. (…)
Smadar Perry, YED, 03.09.17
Israel dare not allow Hezbollah to strike first
(…) will the next round bring the enemy to the point that it can no longer endanger Israel (…), or will we make do, as in earlier rounds in Lebanon (…) No one doubts the IDF’s capability of devastating Hezbollah. (…) the first strike option to the enemy – an extensive reorganization is required. The Home Front Command and civilian organizations must be newly empowered to deal with the mass casualties and chaos that will ensue before the army recovers from the initial blow and sets out to “finish” the enemy. As long as we haven’t crossed the psychological hurdle and understood that we have a duty to strike first to prevent mass civilian casualties, much of the preparation for the battle threatened by Nasrallah should focus on providing maximal protection to the home front, much better than was given in the past. (…) Civilians cannot be trained like an army. If the IDF allows the enemy to launch its missiles first, it is reasonable to assume that the flight and abandonment in the north in the Second Lebanon War, and the Negev in Operation Protective Edge, will be repeated. This time, due to the significant improvement in the enemy’s capabilities, there will be more panic and hysteria. This is one more reason – the main one – why the government should instruct the army to use it’s acknowledged ability to prevent the enemy from firing the first, decisive salvo of missiles.
Israel Harel, HAA, 07.09.17
Vanquish the enemy
(…) Ever since the summer of 2006, Hezbollah has shied from clashing with the IDF. The blow the organization and its Shiite supporters suffered in the Second Lebanon War almost completely reduced their appetite for provoking Israel. (…) With that, Hezbollah was also able to neutralize Israel’s ability to act against it, certainly on Lebanese soil. (…) if Israel’s objective in a future conflict with Hezbollah amounts to preserving the status quo and restoring a tense and illusory quiet along the border, while also coming to terms with Hezbollah’s expanding influence inside Lebanon, then it would be best to invest its efforts in preventing the next war rather than fighting it. (…) defeat and victory are elusive concepts. (…) The main challenge was and still belongs to the political echelon — to specify the desired objective in a new round of fighting with Hezbollah. In this regard, it would be wise for cabinet ministers, not just military commanders, to partake in such an exercise.
Prof. Eyal Zisser, IHY, 06.09.17
Sending a signal to major players in Syria
(…) decision-makers apparently understood that if Israel does not act now, Hezbollah and other terrorist groups may get their hands on advanced weapons systems that would drastically improve their capabilities and threaten Israel. (…) Iran, Hezbollah and the Shiite mercenaries brought to the region by Iran. (…) the strike attributed to Israel (…) states, very clearly, that no place in Syria is safe, and if the activity in a certain site poses a threat to Israel, the decision on whether to target it can be made fairly easily. (…) this sole bombing will not halt Iran’s efforts to tighten its grip on Syria, but it makes it clear that Israel enjoys freedom of action in striking a variety of targets, including Syrian ones. (…) Israel sought to send a clear message to Assad that he must be careful and take into account that if he continues his hermetic coordination with Iran and Hezbollah, Syria and his regime will pay the price. (…) Israel must strike Syria to protect its own interests, chances are that it will. (…) Assad, who serves multiple masters, must understand that any aggressive initiative will be met by a forceful Israeli response. Still, if we have learned anything, it is that one cannot bet on the other side’s logic. Israel must be prepared for any scenario.
Yaakow Amidror, IHY, 08.09.17
Despite recent setbacks, Hezbollah’s future is still bright
(…) the axis that Hezbollah makes up is inching ever closer to growing in strength. (…) Despite Nasrallah’s misfortunes, it seems he has overseen development of some impressive independent capabilities and may no longer be considered a “puppet for the Iranians.” (…) Ironically, Nasrallah is waging a successful war against ISIS on the Syria-Lebanon border and even closes prisoner-swap deals with them. (…) Hezbollah’s learning curve, despite the difficulties, has become one of its stronger suits. The terrorist organization—deemed by some in the IDF as the “second-strongest army in the Middle East”—is now capable of waging regimental war and utilizing offensive drones, along with efficient intelligence gathering and using attack tunnels and caves. It also fires both small arms and artillery while using tanks, all the while growing its ranks rapidly and expertly by 4,000 men in a specific area—as it has done only recently against ISIS. Serving as backdrop to the above is the UN Security Council’s recent decision to beef up United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)’s powers (…). Nevertheless, the IDF is far from content with the political move pushed by US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and is already seeking an increase in activities foiling Hezbollah and Hamas power plays, emphasizing stopping attempts to transfer advanced weaponry to Nasrallah.
Yoav Zitun, YED, 05.09.17
2. Family Netanyahu makes the Headlines
Much ado about nothing
For 20 years, the Israeli Left and its emissaries in the media have been on a ceaseless witch hunt in pursuit of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife Sara and his children. (…) these groups have turned propaganda, mob psychology and the fake news media into powerful machines. (…) Who can count how many newspaper editions, commentary sections and newspaper headlines dealt with Sara Netanyahu’s recycled bottles? (…) After sifting through the smears, mudslinging and slander, all that is left of all the allegations and speculations is one single charge involving takeaway meals. (…) In all probability, after a court hearing is held with open hearts and minds, it will become clear to the court that filing an indictment for a takeaway meal is completely unreasonable. (…) I cannot remember any time in the history of the State of Israel where someone investigated and reviewed state comptroller reports on the cost of events, meals, birthdays and going away parties for presidents (…). In this crusade of self-righteousness and purism, it is astonishing how easy it is to get carried away when it comes to Netanyahu. (…) In light of the sheer number of investigations in cases 1,000, 2,000 and 3,000, as well as the declarations that state witnesses must be secured at any cost, I have a feeling that all of this will amount to a bunch of stale cigars. Therefore, my suggestion to the Left is this: If you want to return to the government, formulate a convincing vision and enlist capable professionals to realize it. It appears toppling the government through corruption investigations is not a winning hand.
Dr. Haim Shine, IHY, 10.09.17
Right under the prime minister’s nose
When Yitzhak and Leah Rabin’s dollar account in Washington was exposed, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin immediately resigned. That won’t happen with Sara Netanyahu’s meals affair. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won’t resign. (…) The draft indictment against Sara Netanyahu evokes mixed emotions. It describes, on the one hand, a systematic theft of state funds and a conspiracy between the prime minister’s wife and a senior government employee to deceive the state. That’s unforgivable. On the other hand, it’s all broken down into small, miserable, childish thefts, which have to do with mental issues just as much as they have to do with criminal issues. (…) I believe this nasty affair should be treated in a less sensational and much more sensible manner. (…) The decision to create a distinction between Sara Netanyahu and her husband, to indict her without even mentioning him, is (…) amazing. (…) When it comes to housework, the husband has no responsibility. He didn’t see, he didn’t know. The entire blame is placed on the woman. (…) The women are crooks. The men are innocent. Netanyahu didn’t know about his cousins and lawyers who were expected to make a considerable profit from his decisions in the submarine affair, he didn’t know where the gourmet meals that suddenly landed on his table came from (…) If there’s any political meaning in the indictment against Sara Netanyahu, it’s the exact opposite of what the couple’s critics seek to achieve. It allows both of them to keep inflaming the feeling among the right-wing public that they are victims. (…)
Nahum Barnea, YED, 10.09.17
Reality Check: One Rule for the Netanyahus, another for the Rest of Us
(…) The Internet, and particularly the hand-in-hand rise of social media and the smartphone, has given rise to the “citizen journalist,” (…) everybody can be a journalist now, if they want to be. (…) Let’s be clear: there is nothing wrong in opposing Netanyahu. (…) But there are certain journalistic rules that apply to these columns: they are clearly marked as opinion and they avoid making unproven allegations of criminal wrongdoing against the prime minister. (…) Prime Minister Netanyahu’s deliberate and demagogic attempts to portray honest media coverage of the myriad police investigations into his alleged wrongdoings as a leftist attempt to bring down his administration is an example of the danger Netanyahu poses to our democracy. (…) One false story, spun expertly by Netanyahu, destroys the effects of the hundreds of correct stories concerning our prime minister’s legal problems. (…)
Jeff Barak, JPO, 10.09.17
Much ado about a meme
I didn’t like the cartoon meme Yair Netanyahu shared. But I didn’t think it was anything important. (…) But given the enormous wave of righteousness about it on almost every media outlet (…) it’s important to present the other side, for the sake of free thought. (…) Over the past few decades, thousands of poisonous articles have been published against the pioneers in Judea and Samaria that used descriptions lifted directly from anti-Semitic literature. The part of the Jew is now played by the “settler.” (…) Let’s revisit the meme Yair Netanyahu shared. (…)Some elements were supposedly taken from anti-Semitic cartoons. “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” described Jews as controlling the world through their money. (…) In March 2015, the prime minister of Israel set out to give the speech of his life before the U.S. Congress. (…) I went down to the floor to read how Israel Prize for journalism laureate Nahum Barnea, writing in Yedioth Ahronoth, saw it: (…) “The members of Congress … are applauding according to orders from the stands.” (…) “From the stands, Jewish billionaires were supervising their proteges downstairs. (…) American politics is currently enslaved to big money.” This is Barnea’s “Protocols of the Elders of Yedioth Ahronoth”: The Jews control American politics through their money. So what if your imagination omitted the lizard that was stuck to Soros in the meme — is that what kept you from being horrified?
Dror Eydar, IHY, 11.09.17
Right failed test in its response to Yair Netanyahu’s meme
(…) it happened in Israel, and the reactions are terrifying. (…) David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan and the top anti-Semite in the United States, shared Netanyahu Jr.’s meme, meaning he supports and approves it. (…) He can recognize pure anti-Semitism when he sees it. (…) There is anti-Semitism in the Left. (…) Most of the public media ignores it. Even worse, some of the people who are helping spread the anti-Semitic propaganda are the media’s darlings. They are invited to more and more panels as legitimate commentators. This is a disgraceful phenomenon, which is only taking place in Israel. (…) I do understand the Right’s claims against the Left, but the claims have nothing to do with the conclusions. Does the entire global Left or the entire Israeli Left identify with these manifestations of anti-Semitism? Of course not. (…) Have we lost our common sense that much that every public debate must begin and end with right and left? Can’t you condemn blatant anti-Semitism without the foolish distinction, at least in this context, between left and right? (…) the radical left is moving closer to the radical right. These two phenomena are connected by racists like David Duke. The Zionist left and the sane right should present one clear and united stance in this context. Neither forgiveness nor understanding, and definitely not justification. But the Right has failed its first test. (…) It’s directing an accusing finger at the Left. And that’s sad. (…)
Ben-Dror Yemini, YED, 12.09.17
Cooking the books? Not quite
(…) The allegations that expense reports were falsified at the Prime Minister’s Residence are of no relevance to her conduct, legally speaking. There is no way of proving that she was involved in any way, shape or form in the accounting practices at the residence. If someone cooked the books, it wasn’t her. (…) The only thing that can conceivably be directly attributed to Sara Netanyahu is that she ordered meals from restaurants for the Prime Minister’s Residence despite the fact that the residence employed a full-time cook — ostensibly in violation of regulations. (…) the average monthly payments on takeaway food were between NIS 6,000 and NIS 13,000 (…). This is equivalent to about NIS 200 per day (…), when there was a cook, to NIS 400 (…) per day when there was no cook. Considering that the official residence includes the prime minister, his wife and their two sons, such sums are not unreasonable. Contrary to the media’s false narrative suggesting that the indictment is a fait accompli, it is too early to tell whether Netanyahu will actually be indicted. (…)
Akiva Biman, IHY, 12.09.17
3. Compulsory Military Service for all Citizens
Ultra-Orthodox MKs should be thanking us
(…) prayer alone cannot sustain a country. For a country to survive it needs to defend itself – its borders and its citizens. That defense comes at a terrible price (…). It can’t be that only some pay that price while an entire sector receives an exemption from it. (…) even if we agree that those who study Torah from morning until night are worthy of an exemption from military service, can we really say that an entire population studies Torah in that way? (…) the Equality of National Burden law (…) contributes to the lives of young ultra-Orthodox men who dream of entering the workforce, who want to take part in the blessed project of building this country for their own future and the future of their children. Rather than railing against it in public, ultra-Orthodox Knesset Members should have sung the praises of this law because it offers a gateway for tens of thousands of young ultra-orthodox men and women into Israeli society. (…) The situation in Israel today in terms of subsidies for Torah study is not one which existed at any point in the history of the Jewish people. This situation is only possible because of the citizens of Israel who go to work every day and pay tax every month. Where is the gratitude of the ultra-Orthodox Knesset Members to all those people who pay for Torah study from their own pockets (…) the people of Israel who make it possible for the ultra-Orthodox population to even consider studying Torah instead of going out to work? (…)
Elazar Stern, TOI, 13.09.17
Haredi draft ruling: High Court at the public’s service
This is a day of celebration for most Israelis. (…) the High Court ruling is an important milestone against the cynicism in which an ultra-Orthodox minority repeatedly prevents the State of Israel from being a slightly more decent and civilized country. (…) The Haredi draft, also known as “equality in sharing the burden” of IDF service, is just part of a much bigger problem. Nearly one-quarter of first graders today belong to the Haredi sector. This means that in the not-so-distant future, they won’t enlist. If we add the Arab sector to the equation, the result is that nearly 50 percent of Israelis will be exempted from military service. That’s an intolerable situation. What makes this whole issue even worse is the fact it’s part of a much more troubling package deal: those who don’t enlist also skip core curriculum studies, receive huge allowances and vanish from the labor market. (…) This is causing serious, gradual damage to the national interest. Instead of a democracy, we are getting a minocracy. (…) In a normal state of affairs, the High Court of Justice shouldn’t intervene. Overturning laws and overturning cabinet decisions should be used as an emergency weapon and only in rare cases. There have been too many times in which the High Court’s intervention was irritating and unnecessary. Not this time. The ruling is justified (…), because waiving an equal share of the civic duty is unconstitutional and undemocratic, and although we have gotten used to it, it crosses a red line. (…)
Ben-Dror Yemini, YED, 13.09.17
The goal: To weaken Israel’s Supreme Court
(…) nine justices decided, voting eight to one, to strike down the exemption for yeshiva students (…) The court ruled after repeatedly giving the legislative branch the opportunity to reduce the discrimination regarding compulsory military and national service. (…) ultra-Orthodox parties denounced the court. (…) there are growing calls to limit the High Court’s authority to interfere with laws passed by the Knesset using legislation. Beyond the hypocrisy of such calls — the court is only acting due to the inaction of other authorities — they reflect a genuine threat not just to the Supreme Court but to the country’s entire democratic fabric, which is in a fragile state as it is. Parties such as Habayit Hayehudi have already declared war on the judicial authorities, especially the Supreme Court. The addition of the ultra-Orthodox parties to such threats signifies a real danger to the system’s foundations. This is a direct threat against the justices — should they dare to rule in a way that is not to the government’s liking, they can expect to have their wings clipped. It is a threat to Israeli society as a whole, to every individual and to every group within it, to close the gates of the only institution that safeguards human and civil rights versus the government’s destructive polices and increasingly extremist attitudes. (…)
Editorial, HAA, 14.09.17
Israel’s High Court: Bull in the china shop
(…) Throughout Israel’s existence, the draft exemption granted to yeshiva students has been an explosive issue in the relations between state and religion and between secularists and Haredim. In recent years there has been an improvement. For the first time, leading rabbis from the ultra-Orthodox mainstream started turning a blind eye – some of them even giving a silent nod – to drafting all those who aren’t engaged in actual Torah study. (…) There is no doubt that increasing numbers of ultra-Orthodox youngsters who have trouble studying the Torah and choose to join the IDF are not denounced as they once were by family and friends. (…) Unlike the ultra-Orthodox establishment, whose approach has undergone many changes in these years regarding the drafting of those who don’t study Torah, radical groups like the Orthodox Council of Jerusalem (…) have continued their war and vehemently objected to any compromise. Now they’re celebrating and rejoicing, conveying a message to the ultra-Orthodox mainstream that “We were right. We told you so. Only war will help.” The High Court of Justice gave a tailwind both to radicals from the ultra-Orthodox community and those from without, like the petitioners who successfully sought the annulment of the law, which could hinder the change many Israelis have yearned for. We’re dealing with delicate processes that develop very slowly, and the High Court in its ruling acted like a bull in a china shop. Instead of strengthening the moderates, it strengthened the radicals. (…) The court, regrettably, gored a very important and necessary law. It gored a delicate, sensitive process that could bring parts of the nation closer to each other. But even sadder, it gored itself. (…) now all the force and energy will be directed at initiating a law to bypass the High Court, a move that could turn out to be daring but redundant. (…)
Israel Cohen, HAA, 14.09.17
4. Selection of Articles
Escalation in Israeli minister’s culture war
(…) For the first time ever, in response to a complaint by the Culture Ministry, the Finance Ministry’s legal adviser recommended (…) to reduce government funding for the Jaffa Theatre over two incidents that, in his view, entailed incitement to terror. (…) The treasury lawyer decided that an evening devoted to a Palestinian poetess who was charged with incitement to terror on the basis of her Facebook posts, as well as a public reading of correspondences between someone imprisoned for terror-related offenses and a childhood friend, were justifications for slashing the theater’s funding. This snowball won’t stop at the Jaffa Theatre. (…) the chilling effect Regev exerts is already working; establishment theaters have virtually ceased staging political shows, and their artistic directors no longer even consider doing so. Kahlon and his ministry’s bureaucrats would have done better to refuse to cooperate with Regev’s artistic McCarthyism. (…) the art world must unite around the Jaffa Theatre. It must not hide its head in the sand and offer audiences nothing but entertainment, repression and denial of reality. (…) this is a test the cultural world must not fail.
Editorial, HAA, 08.09.17
The narrative of a proud world Jewry
(…) Many Zionists trace the Jewish right to the Land of Israel to Abraham (…), this narrative is inaccurate: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob spent significant periods of their lives among foreign cultures, and henceforth, almost uninterruptedly, so did a significant portion of the Jewish People. In fact, it seems that Diaspora existence is as integral to Judaism as the quest for Zion. (…) the Jewish contribution to humanity (…) happened primarily outside of the Land of Israel. Notwithstanding Israel’s significant, outsized and distinct contribution to the world, it seems that rather the absence of sovereignty pushed Jews to build remarkable ethics-based communities, with universal healthcare, education and welfare systems. (…) For all these reasons, a proud world-Jewry leadership must be able to transcend its inferiority complex in relation to Israel and to confidently assert that a vibrant Diaspora is a Zionist imperative. (…) if Zionism is to remain true to its ethos of serving the continued meaningful existence of the entire Jewish People, its condescending outlook must end and World Jewry, in its full diversity, must be embraced so that Israel can truly become the nation state of the entire Jewish People.
Gidi Grinstein, TOI, 01.09.17
Chief Rabbi Rage: A Toxic Clash of Religion and Politics
(…) Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Shlomo Amar, a former chief rabbi of Israel, has provided another example of why it is a bad idea to mix religion and politics. (…) Women of the Wall and non-Orthodox streams of Judaism are deniers of history like Holocaust deniers, even worse, the rabbi said. (…) Amar has two options: either apologize immediately for exploiting his position to insult millions of Jews or step down as chief rabbi of Jerusalem. (…) It is his right as the citizen of a democracy and this right would be upheld without reserve by the same Supreme Court which Amar so thoroughly disparages. Indeed, freedom of expression is reserved especially for the most loathsome comments that deviate from the mainstream, the sorts of things for which no broad consensus exists and which, therefore, are in most danger of being stifled. But Amar is not a private individual. (…) Mixing religion and politics not only compromises democratic values, but also harms free religious expression. (…)
Editorial, JPO, 08.09.17
Kibbutz dwellers don’t deserve more just because their grandparents founded Israel
(…) The kibbutzim are a social and economic anomaly, and despite the changes they’ve undergone, they continue to enjoy extravagant privileges, thanks to their absurd in-between status: neither socialism nor capitalism, but something far more convenient. A kind of ideology-free ideology, which has morphed into a typical mentality: From the moment people get something, they are convinced that they had it coming to them and are unwilling to consider forgoing it. (…) Redistribution of capital and assets? What, have you gone mad? We are the salt of the earth. “We drained the swamps here! We ate dreck here, you get it? (…) It’s only a pity that this isn’t a comedy skit by Uri Zohar and Arik Einstein. Patriotic nostalgia (…). When someone cites the medals of their grandparents as a supposedly admissible argument, you know he has nothing to say about the current state of affairs. He’s bankrupt in terms of morals and values, and certainly has no desire to fix what’s broken. But he forgets that in the end people are meant to exist in their own right, not by right of their grandpa and grandma. Well, forget the grandparents. (…) Let them sleep in peace. Let’s see you get along without them. (…) You don’t deserve a thing. It makes no difference where your grandmother and grandfather (…) were in the War of Independence (…). Memory is the greatest enemy of all those who want to reformulate Israel as an egalitarian state whose citizens don’t use the stories of the past as an obstacle; a fortified wall over which there’s hardly any chance of leaping. Forgetting is an equalizing line. (…)
Nissan Shor, HAA, 02.09.17
The Jewish homeland must not seek political gain from populist aggression against refugees
(…) In our world in need of repair, there are today roughly 60 million refugees. Our share in this humanitarian crisis is less than one-tenth of 1 percent, lower than our relative percentage of the world’s population, and significantly less when considering only developed countries. (…) There are, however, approximately 6.5 million Jews residing today in Israel, and 2 million non-Jews. Does 2.045 million change the status quo? (…) Our pledge to human rights cannot trump our commitment to the viability of the state granting those rights. (…) Undoubtedly some of the 45,000 are here in search of work. It is equally certain, however, that many, especially the Christians from Sudan, who comprise the majority of the asylum seekers in Israel, are indeed refugees and deserving protection. (…) A Jewish home does not (…) view xenophobia as a strength but as a sign of weakness. (…) Tikkun Olam. It’s about the small steps. It’s about all of us across the country, and not only those in southern Tel Aviv, taking equal responsibility to welcome these refugees into the Jewish people’s home. It’s about recognizing our failures. It’s about working to ensure that while our world may not as yet be repaired, it is our obligation to ensure that next year it improves, one step at a time.
Donniel Hartman, TOI, 06.09.17
Kapitulation einer Lehrerin
In an Israeli elementary school, a sign of the times
(…) the affair of the teacher from Meitar demonstrates clearly the work of destroying democracy in this country, which characterizes the tenure of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the path of the right in recent years. (…) By spreading lies about this teacher in Meitar, such as that she “spits at soldiers at checkpoints,” what did these parents do? All they did was take after the regime of lies headed by Netanyahu, who demonizes the left. (…) there are those who think that supporting human rights organizations is a violation of societal or moral standards. Even there, among these certainly enlightened, broad-minded, educated people, they performed a character assassination against the teacher until she no longer had the strength to continue. (…) Many children experience what is known as “shunning.” (…) An aggressive group of children, acting behind a leader – who brings out the worst in them – decides to abuse some child, whether because of her weakness or possibly because of her assertiveness and refusal to bend to the tyranny of the majority. (…) The minimum required from a teacher is to stop this abusiveness immediately, demonstrate to the troublemakers that they will not succeed and deny them any rewards for their aggression. At the head of the State of Israel stands a long list of educators of the public who suck up to the rowdies, reward aggression and encourage the idea that democracy is nothing more than majority rule – and all this only because it is convenient for them politically. This is a severe, disastrous educational failure (…).
Ravit Hecht, HAA, 08.09.17
Neuer Chef bei Teva
Teva: Right person, wrong time?
(…) Kåre Schultz is seen as the right person for Teva. The question is whether he comes at the right time. He faces many challenges, chief among them a burdensome $35 billion debt. Two rating agencies downgraded Teva after it warned in early August that it might not meet the financial covenants relating to part of the debt at the end of the current year. (…) Schultz has a successful record in leading a restructuring. (…) The crisis of confidence between Teva’s management and board on the one hand and the capital market on the other has gone on for some time, but it has become especially acute in the last six weeks, ever since the release of the company’s weak second quarter financials. This is another of the challenges that will greet Schultz. If Teva wants, for example, to improve its financial flexibility by raising capital, it will need the market on its side. It could be that the fact that investors’ expectations of the company have reached such a low level after the recent disappointments will actually help him. (…) Although Teva points out that Schultz has experience in generics, the companies he comes from (Lundbeck and Novo Nordisk) are essentially producers of brand drugs, and that could be significant, especially at a time when Teva is dealing with the integration of its largest ever acquisition – generics company Actavis.
Shiri Habib-Valdhorn, GLO, 11.09.17
HAA = Haaretz
YED = Yedioth Ahronoth / Ynetnews
JPO = Jerusalem Post
IHY = Israel HaYom
TOI = Times of Israel
GLO = Globes
Published: September 2017
Dr. Werner Puschra,
Head of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Israel