“Schlaglicht Israel” offers an insight into internal Israeli debates and reflects selected, political events that affect daily life in Israel. It appears every two weeks and summarizes articles that appeared in the Israeli daily press.
Main topics covered in this publication:
- New wave of Violence
- Speeches of Abbas and Netanyahu at the UN
- Russia’s Military Involvement in Syria
- Selection of Articles
- New wave of Violence
Four steps to de-escalate East Jerusalem
(…) the roots of the current escalation are a result of the radicalization in East Jerusalem, of the escalation at the Temple Mount and in a broader sense of the misguided conflict management of the Netanyahu government (…). The radicalization in East Jerusalem (…) stems from the absence of an Israeli decision regarding the future of East Jerusalem and its inhabitants. (…) The vacuum created by the absence of civic-political leadership is at the root of the violence we confront today. (…) increasing policing is a necessary move. (…) Second, we should implement parts of the Barkat Plan for transferring responsibility over the provision of municipal services to the Arab neighborhoods beyond the separation barrier to the Civil Administration or to the Palestinian Authority. (…) Third, we should examine courageously which of the Arab neighborhoods on the outskirts of East Jerusalem would not remain in any future diplomatic scenario under Israeli sovereignty – neighborhoods which we neither want nor need under our sovereignty – and transfer them to the managerial responsibility of the Palestinian Authority already now. Not sovereignty but civic and operational responsibility. (…) Israel should deepen its cooperation with the Waqf and partner with Muslim bodies operating at the site to enforce order among the Muslim population. (…) The rising violence in East Jerusalem is a clear sign of the abject failure Netanyahu’s policy of exclusive reliance on force. (…) One cannot expect more severe punishments and a doubling the number of cement road barriers to resolve all of the problems. (…) Israel needs a leadership that understands the complexity of life in East Jerusalem because the next Intifada is just around the corner – its seeds are already here.
Hilik Bar, TOI, 04.10.15
Benjamin Netanyahu: A prime minister detached from reality
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has once again proved that he is detached from reality. With the West Bank seething and the ever-distressed Gaza Strip also unquiet, Netanyahu reported to his favorite place, the United Nations General Assembly Hall, and delivered another dramatic, irrelevant speech. (…) Shortly after his speech came another Palestinian terrorist attack in the West Bank: Naama and Eitam Henkin, residents of the Neria settlement, were shot to death while driving near Beit Furik, on the road between Itamar and Elon Moreh. (…) The shocking attack is yet another warning written on the wall: A third intifada is on the way. After years of diplomatic inaction, senseless killings of Palestinians, land confiscations and home demolitions, and in the absence of any hope for the future, an uprising is likely. The only possible response to this danger is by defusing it — not by building unauthorized outposts, not by launching a campaign of vengeance, not with mass arrests, harsher sentences, roadblocks and the choking of dozens of Palestinian villages, as right-wing leaders already demand. (…) Genuine, courageous and far-reaching diplomatic action is the only thing that can head off the violent uprising and put a halt to the risk of bloodletting that is hovering over the residents of the region. A third intifada would be a disaster for both peoples, and Netanyahu would bear much of the responsibility for its eruption. In all his years as prime minister, he has done nothing to advance toward a two-state solution, while paying it lip service. (…) In these dangerous times, instead of fanning the flames of incitement against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and making flowery speeches about the Holocaust and anti-Semitism, Netanyahu must do his duty as prime minister: to prevent further bloodshed by promoting a negotiated solution.
Editorial, HAA, 04.10.15
(…) The atmosphere is extremely volatile. However, a number of factors mitigate against a repeat of the cycle of violence that led to the second intifada. First, PA President Mahmoud Abbas has a vested interest in preventing the situation from getting out of control. (…) Abbas knows that a complete breakdown of security cooperation with Israel could easily lead to anarchy that would endanger his rule. The forces seeking to sustain and expand the Palestinian uprising are coming up against Abbas’s Fatah leadership. Second, unlike the second intifada, Israel’s security forces have so far refrained from making major fatal mistakes. One of the triggers of the second intifada was the police’s brutal response to Palestinian rioting on the Temple Mount, which left seven Palestinians dead and some 300 wounded. (…) So far, we have not seen such a high level of fatalities on the Palestinian side. Third, Palestinians do not want to relive the deep trauma of the second intifada, which claimed the lives of about 3,000 Arabs – including terrorists – and 1,000 Israelis over five years. Avoiding a repetition of those years has defined much of Palestinian politics since. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has exhibited responsible leadership. (…) The chances of progress on the diplomatic front with the Palestinians are so remote that they are practically non-existent. Palestinians’ minimum demands on issues such as Jerusalem, refugees, and borders far exceed the maximum concession any conceivable Israeli government could make. But that does not mean there is nothing to talk about. (…) Both peoples would benefit from deeper cooperation in the fields of security, economics, and the environment to name just a few. Perhaps through true dialogue and mutual recognition of the other side’s basic humanity a measure of peaceful coexistence can be restored.
Editorial, JPO, 07.10.15
What we need is luck
The string of attacks (…) included nothing we had not already seen in recent weeks — attempted stabbings, shootings and vehicular rammings. No terrorist group appears to be orchestrating these attacks. But what ties them all together is the atmosphere. (…) Only luck (and alert reactions) prevented a loss of Israeli lives on Wednesday. But our luck may not hold. A deadly attack could, God forbid, take place at any time. (…) Israel faces two options. On one hand, it could be satisfied with the security measures it has already implemented (…) and hope things simmer down. Or Israel could up its military pressure on the Palestinians and act to impose calm. At the moment, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, backed by top security officials, prefer the first option. They are rightly concerned that additional closures and checkpoints in Judea and Samaria would inflame the situation, with more Palestinians taking to the streets and carrying out attacks, which could spark a wide-scale conflagration. (…) Israel must do everything possible to avoid an escalation. Demonstrating restraint is important, both in terms of diplomacy and politics. (…) Israel’s ability to maintain restraint will be influenced by (…) the scope of further Palestinian terrorist attacks and the tone of statements by top officials on both sides (…). Direct dialogue between Netanyahu and Abbas could create an appearance of shared interests, which might help cool tempers. And most of all, what we need is luck.
Yoav Limor, IHY, 08.10.15
Israelis will have security when Palestinians have hope
A thousand policemen and a thousand soldiers will not cover the burning and murderous fire in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and the sizzling embers in the Gaza Strip. (…) We will have security when they will have hope. (…) Had Netanyahu seen himself as responsible to work to defend this vision, he would have called for negotiations on two states for the two people, with an acceptable border based on the 1967 lines with land swaps. Had he been brave and creative, he would have declared that in order to secure Israel’s future as the Jewish people’s nation state, Israel would have no sovereign demands east of the security barrier, and that he planned to pass a law for the evacuation, compensation and absorption of our settler brothers in Judea and Samaria. (…) But Netanyahu has not said that, and he hasn’t acted anyway. And reality is deteriorating, and people are paying with their lives and with their bodies, with bereavement and loss. Only an internalization of the urgent and crucial need for real diplomatic progress to mark a border between two nation states, and later, for solving the conflict, will prevent an intensification of the external flare-up and of the internal rift. And more importantly, it will stop the deterioration to a futile and futureless life in one state, which will not be egalitarian or will not be the Jewish people’s state. (…)
Ami Ayalon, Gilead Sher, Orni Petruschka, JED, 09.10.15
The dangerous rush to arm Israeli civilians
A new danger has been added to the dangers facing every resident of this country (…) “a gun for every civilian” should and must be foiled. In recent days, there is a wave of populist voices calling on civilians who legally own weapons to carry them wherever they go. Police and local authorities have already started issuing unofficial guidelines for carrying personal firearms. (…) It’s true that in a few terror attacks the perpetrators were neutralized by civilians carrying guns, but the risk of large numbers of pistols and rifles in our streets greatly outweighs their benefits. Multiple firearms in the hands of unauthorized or unskilled people can lead to anarchy. Particularly in the present climate, in which the levels of stress and tension are constantly rising, one shouldn’t expand the circle of passersby wielding firearms. Civilians could rush to use their weapons needlessly, sowing unnecessary death and disaster. Unwarranted shooting, a lighter-than-ever finger on the trigger, misidentification, inaccurate shooting as well as shooting from an inflamed emotional state and out of a quest for revenge could bathe Israel in additional and unnecessary blood. (…) Anyone who wants to know what happens when civilians walk the streets fully armed need only look at the United States. The cities of Israel are saturated with policemen and armed security personnel, whose job is to protect people. This task should not be privatized (…).
Editorial, HAA, 09.10.15
The intifada of the young and hopeless
(…) As bad as it may sound, the current wave of terror can only be stopped by using force, a lot of force. (…) This fire can be suffocated by flooding the ground with forces, regular presence in centers of friction and sensitive sites, wide-scale arrests of rioters and heavy punishment, including of the parents of the minors involved in the acts of violence. (…) This intifada is being led by young men and women under the age of 20, who are going out on the streets to murder Jews. The possibility that they themselves will get killed plays no major part in their calculations, as the chance of becoming a national hero and gaining appreciation from their immediate surroundings is much more alluring to them. (…) Some kind of solution regarding the Temple Mount won’t guarantee immediate calm. (…) The stabbers and murderers flooding the streets are not lunatics from the margins of society. Nearly all of them are under 20 years old, high school and university students, without a record of security offenses. This bomb was created by years of neglect in the PA and by Israeli disregard. (….) It’s starting to look like sacrifice attacks, as only some 50 percent of the young murderers remain alive. (…) They may be stabbing Israelis, but they despise the PA. (…) One of the scenarios for the breakout of a general intifada on the ground, (…) we have yet to experience, but we are definitely headed in that direction. (…)
Alex Fishman, JED, 14.10.15
Nerves of steel
(…) Israel’s response to terrorism must be firm and swift. First of all, rapid reactions by security personnel and everyday citizens can limit the damage caused by attacks. When an attack is occurring, no one should be concerned about the consequences of killing the terrorist. These are not criminal incidents, they are terrorist attacks, and decisive action is necessary. (…) with all due respect to pencil-pushing critics sitting in their air-conditioned offices, we must let our security forces do their job unencumbered. They deserve our support, even if they make mistakes sometimes. But so far, they have made few, if any, mistakes during the current terror wave. Nevertheless, any operational mistakes that do occur must be probed and corrected. In the face of these horrific terrorist attacks, we must demonstrate nerves of steel, as well as patience. We must not make populist decisions just to please the crowd.
Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror, IHY, 14.10.15
Abbas’s double game
(…) As we find ourselves in a spiraling wave of violence debating whether or not this is the third intifada, journalists, pundits and historians will in the years to come argue about the causes. (…) one thing is for sure: while Abbas may not have been the instigator, he has jumped on the bandwagon of violence with incredible agility for an octogenarian politician who has been so lethargic about bringing about positive developments for his people. Abbas has carefully balanced maintaining security cooperation with Israel while at the same time making statements that can only fan the flames and perpetuate the violence.(…) Abbas finds himself between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, he needs to persuade the international community that he is committed to nonviolence and so continue to receive the funds that are critical for the preservation of his regime (…) On the other hand, 10 years into his four-year term, Abbas has little to show. Moreover, he is accused of being a collaborator with Israel and knows full well that if long overdue elections were held Hamas would sweep into power. The violence gives Abbas the opportunity to play those conflicting interests and also to put the spotlight back on the Palestinians after years in which Syria, ISIS and other regional crises have dominated the headlines. But Abbas is playing with fire. (…) things could easily spin out of control and Abbas has the most to lose.(…)
Ilan Evyatar, JPO, 15.10.15
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas intended to escalate the tension with Israel (…) his speech was a desperate attempt to gain the attention of a United Nations General Assembly (…) But, in what can be seen as a positive non-declaration, Abbas stopped short of calling for an end to security and economic cooperation between the PA and Israel. That’s because he understands that an end to such cooperation would lead to the collapse of the PA. (…) Tens of thousands of PA employees would stop getting paid. Everything from garbage collection to law enforcement would cease to function properly and Hamas and Islamic Jihad would take advantage of the situation. (…) Israel has not kept to the letter of the Oslo Accords in issues ranging from water rights, tax collections and transfer of monies, to settlement building and house demolitions, but it is certainly not a one-way street. And most of the Israeli “infractions” have been a direct result of violations by the Palestinians. (…) the Palestinians should ask themselves whether it is Israeli “occupation” that is the source of all of their troubles or whether they play a role as well. (…) The world should look closely before jumping on the Palestinian bandwagon.
Editorial, JPO, 01.10.15
Abbas, call us when you’re serious
(…) Abbas is threatening that he has run out of patience and Israel will bear the consequences? (…) This reminds me of the story of Hershel of Ostropol, who threatened an innkeeper. Hershel said, “You know what happens if you refuse me? I do what my father did when someone said no to him!” After acceding to Hershel’s demands, the innkeeper bravely asked, “What did your father do?” Hershel replied, “He’d go to bed hungry!”(…) Abbas has requested economic independence (be careful, this means no more European grants) and security independence (be my guest!). Does he really think he would last even a minute without Israel protecting him from Hamas and the Islamic State group? (…) an independent state for the gang in Ramallah will end up like Hamas-ruled Gaza and the Islamic State-controlled areas of Iraq. We in Israel are fed up with people experimenting with our future. By the way, Mr. Abbas, let’s say your flag (…) is raised and you get an independent state. Would your situation be better or worse than it is now? Just look around the region to get your answer. Until then, you know our phone number. Call us when you are serious.
Dror Eydar, IHY, 01.10.15
- Speeches of Abbas and Netanyahu at the UN
Netanyahu’s cabinet proves: Abbas was right
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (…) accused Israel of a systematic violation of the Oslo Accords and a stubborn attempt to finally do away with the two-state solution. (…) Israel’s response came the same day: authorization for illegal outposts in the West Bank, which proves the justice of Abbas’ claims. The message from a government that whitewashes additional outposts is unambiguous: yes to continued occupation, no to a two-state solution. There’s no other way to interpret it. (…) The message is clear: more land robbing and more construction with abandon. No one will enforce the law in this unruly land beyond the Green Line, an area that has spawned violent settlers against whom dozens of investigations have been opened on suspicions of assault on their Palestinian neighbors and their property. (…) There is no more doubt regarding the ambition driving this government: to completely thwart a two-state solution, to further entrench the occupation until it becomes irreversible — assuming that’s not already the case — and to prevent any possibility of a deal with the Palestinians based on a partition of the land. This is exactly what Abbas said at the United Nations.
Editorial, HAA, 02.10.15
The military option is back on the table
(…) Regarding the Iranian nuclear issue Netanyahu’s message is clear. You signed an agreement? At least make sure the Iranians respect it to the letter. (…) The agreement is bad, but if you do not enforce it, we shall force you to enforce it. (…) Netanyahu issued an implied threat that Israel will do whatever is necessary to defend itself. This statement is designed to bring back the Israeli military option (…). Netanyahu was vague and did not explain under what conditions he intends to use the option, but his message that Israel would not shy away from action under certain conditions was clear. (…) This is the threat which led to the imposition of sanctions on Iran four years ago and Netanyahu used it again Thursday at the UN General Assembly to incentivize the West not to make concessions to the Iranians in any area, whether it be terrorism or their nuclear program. (…) At this UN General Assembly most world leaders preferred pushing the Palestinian issue to the side and Netanyahu, rightly, did not want to emphasize again Abbas’s message on Wednesday, regarding the possibility the PA will suspend its obligations towards Israel. Netanyahu, justifiably, prefers to let Abbas’s words evaporate into the New York air and not undermine his message about Iran. One can argue that the speech Netanyahu delivered was a sober one from an Israeli statesman, pragmatic and not ideological, which reminded the world of its moral duty towards Israel in connection with the Iranian nuclear threat.
Ron Ben-Yishai, JED, 02.10.15
Netanyahu’s speech vs UN fantasy
(…) Netanyahu’s brilliant U.N. addresses could not prevent the bad nuclear deal with Iran from taking shape. Perhaps that is why Netanyahu decided that when he appeared before the U.N. General Assembly this year it would be best to follow the age-old adage: Silence is golden. (…) Netanyahu’s task at the U.N. was to make the world understand our reality, even if the world doesn’t want to hear about it. (…) Netanyahu decided that despite the turbulence in the region, he would let the speech carry a glimmer of hope (…). The Middle East is becoming increasingly dangerous and Israel’s security challenges are growing by the day. It cannot just stand idly by as the threats materialize, especially the Iranian threat. (…) Netanyahu (…) expects the international community to monitor Iran’s every move and every action against Israel. He also expects the world to crack down on Iranian terrorism. (…) Netanyahu would like to see Obama become the control tower overseeing the nuclear deal. It is the least Obama can do. (…)
Boaz Bismuth, IHY, 02.10.15
Dramatic silences won’t help Netanyahu amid terror wave
(…) For the first time since the establishment last spring of a right-wing, “nationalist government,” Netanyahu faced attacks from his own camp — coalition partner Habayit Hayehudi — and even his own Likud party. Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Ayelet Shaked, both of them from Habayit Hayehudi, accused Netanyahu of “tying the soldiers’ hands” and failing to “back the commanders.” (…) Netanyahu is feeling the pressure at home. He knows he does not have a real answer to the uptick in terror. (…) Israelis seem to be feeling a loss of control. During last week’s Sukkot holiday, before the murder of the Henkins, Likud social media networks were filled with pictures of worshippers in the Old City on their way to the Western Wall being attacked by Palestinians. In the Holy Basin and “seam” neighborhoods such as Armon Hanatziv (East Talpiot), between East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem, anarchy reigns. There is no law and order. Our rightist government stumbles and fails miserably when it comes to protecting citizens. (…) Netanyahu also senses that his political security and stability are in danger. He greatly fears that his rivals will portray him as a man of talk, all boasting and arrogance that delivers no actions, no results, no achievements. If this situation persists, then neither dramatic silences nor surly scowls will be able to help him.
Yossi Verter, HAA, 04.10.15
- Russia’s Military Involvement in Syria
Russian airstrikes in Syria aim to build Alawite mini-state for Assad
(…) Russia’s military engagement in Syria comes on the backdrop of three major factors: a serious threat to the survival of President Bashar Assad’s regime, Russia’s old Middle Eastern client; Putin’s success at securing the occupation of Crimea and expanding Russian territorial presence in Ukraine; and the evident weakness, even disarray, of the Obama administration in handling the war against (…) ISIS (…). Aware of Assad’s weakness (…) and (…) the Russian leader decided to upgrade his previous strategy of providing military and political support to the regime. (…) Russia seeks to secure an Alawite mini-state for Assad to control, and transform it into a solid strategic base in the region under Russia’s umbrella. (…) Putin has now found in Iran his best ally for building a coalition that includes “Assad’s Syria,” Hezbollah and Iraq, the next target in line. Even Egypt is inclined to work with the Russians. (…) the first Russian airstrikes in Syria, which were conducted on Wednesday, had nothing to do with ISIS. Instead, they targeted moderate Syrian rebels in the strategic Homs area, which threatens the strategic road linking Damascus to the Alawite Coast. (…) Will it be safe for Israel to give the Russians information before an attack on a vital strategic target of Hezbollah or Iran? What if Russia passes this intelligence on to Iran before such a strike? (…) The stronger and closer Russia’s alliance with Iran and Hezbollah on the ground, the harder it will be for Russia to repress the desire to accommodate its friends. (…) The new situation in Syria and the region should provide Israel and the United States with an incentive to coordinate more closely on their political and military strategies concerning the Russian intervention. Israel has a lot to offer in the operative and intelligence field. (…)
Ely Karmon, HAA, 03.10.15
Israel can live with Russia in Syria
(…) Iran is a Russian ally (…). Europe and the US are essentially absent except for making disapproving noises from time to time. Turkey has no idea what to do and has ironically had to fall back on its NATO membership in protesting Russian incursions in Turkish air space. (…) And what about Israel? The Russian fait-accompli is by no means necessarily bad news for Israel. (…) Assad and his father maintained peace on the Syrian border with Israel for many years and Assad has no motivation whatsoever to change that situation. Hezbollah is fully occupied in Syria for the time being. Iranian troops in the area are no particular threat to Israel and stretches Iranian resources of funding and manpower even further. The principal potentially negative element has to do with Israeli interception of supply caravans with Iranian equipment destined for Hezbollah. The Iranians can now claim that the supplies are actually for its own forces and whether the Russians would permit future Israeli interception operations is not clear. To identify a shipment is easy for Israeli intelligence. To determine its final destination is not. (…) Israel is still the strongest military force in the region and the Russians know it. They have no obvious reason to challenge the Israeli position and many reasons to accommodate it. Putin is a rational actor and makes his decisions based on strategic calculations. (…)
Norman Bailey, GLO, 06.10.15
Russian army in Syria: A failure foretold
(…) Russia’s move to the front of the stage shows just how serious the Syrian regime’s distress is. (…) The history of world powers intervening in conflicts in the Middle East does not seem promising for the Russians: (…) Russia brought about the death of thousands of citizens and never defeated the jihadist terror, neither in Afghanistan in the 1980s nor against the Chechens in the 1990s, and it will probably fail in Syria as well. (…) As the Russians land on their shores, the Alawites are returning to the situation of protégés leaning on a foreign power, just like during the French mandate in the 1930s and 1940s, thereby losing the little legitimacy they had left to control Syria. The Russian position is against the Sunni majority. In other words, as far as the Arabs are concerned, Russia, like France in the past, is going against the Syrian Arab nationality. Even if the goal to fight ISIS is holy, Russia is positioning itself as an enemy of Sunni Islam by supporting Iran and Hezbollah. (…) A Russian intervention (…) will violate the balance in the short run in favor of the Shi’ite axis and may have serious consequences. The Russians will arm the Syrian army, which may threaten Israel directly with advance weapons or indirectly by transferring these weapons to its ally Hezbollah. Ousting Assad is the only way to create a coalition against the terror of ISIS and al-Qaeda’s branch, the al-Nusra Front, together with Saudi Arabia and Turkey and European countries. A united Arab coalition with legitimacy from the Syrian people and the international community will be able to free Syria from the terror organizations. (…) A Russian intervention is not a rescue but an invasion. It does not serve our region; it only serves Russia. (…)
Dr. Yaron Friedman, JED, 07.10.15
- Selection of Articles
Why Washington will never resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
(…) In all recent national conflicts – in Cyprus, Kosovo and Bosnia – Washington has failed, despite all its efforts, to produce peace accords which are acceptable to all sides. (…) This has been true for decades with respect to the Israeli-Arab conflict. (…) Only in (…) two scenarios – war or ongoing negotiations – did the United States fulfill a positive and important role: immediate cessation of hostilities and a closing of remaining gaps in bilateral talks that ground to a halt towards the end. (…) In the absence of war or when one or both sides have no will or political strength to reach a deal, American efforts are to no avail. (…) The notion that the United States is capable of resolving the conflict is an illusion, thus placing the responsibility for doing so upon us. (…) Another delusion embraced by the opposition and its leaders is the view that all that’s required is a return to the negotiations table. (…) The opposition should embark on a struggle against government policies on the most important issue: a total and unconditional stop to construction in the settlements, in order to facilitate any negotiations, if and when they resume. (…) One could initiate, possibly with the support of Diaspora Jews, a generous plan for evacuation and compensation for settlers in the West Bank who would be willing to return to Israel in its pre-1967 borders. (…) Why can’t the left follow suit and mobilize moderate Diaspora Jews in order to achieve something concrete – not just declarative – in order to further alternative policies? (…) 20 years, with a rightist government that seems difficult to topple, one shouldn’t delude oneself that salvation will come from Washington and that if we return to the negotiating table the results will be different than they have been over the last 20 years. (…) No external pressure will bring salvation to Israel; only internal pressure will. (…)
Shlomo Avineri, HAA, 08.10.15
Bombings, bans and the ballot-box – Turkey on edge
(…) things soured for Erdogan’s AKP following those June elections, when it lost its parliamentary majority, and the HDP crossed the 10% voter threshold. (…) Both Erdogan and Davutoglu have done their utmost to delegitimize the HDP (…) Following the elections, the embryonic peace process facilitated by Kurdish MPs between the outlawed Kurdish separatist movement, the PKK, and the Turkish state collapsed, both sides now fully immersed in fighting each other. (…) HDP’s head, Selahattin Demirtas, lashed out at the government claiming not only was it delinquent in preventing the bombing but that members of the state institutions were also complicit in the attack. No evidence was provided, but for some in Turkey such a damning accusation didn’t seem so far from an obvious truth; many others believe that Ankara has consistently turned a blind eye to ISIS sympathizers, with fatal results. (…) Sadly, the Ankara bombing victims make up just part of Turkey’s rampant death toll during the last few months. Since the June elections, over 600 Turkish citizens have been killed, whether in terrorist attacks, or Turkish security forces by the PKK, or in operations carried out by the Turkish army in the southeast of the country (…) The AKP has radically failed (…) Turkey could have very well have run off the rails of democracy by now. However, a culture of fear is consolidating in Turkey, and its effects will reverberate not only over the coming fortnight preceding the general elections, but in the weeks and months following it as well.
Louis Fishman, HAA, 15.10.15
HAA = Haaretz
JED = JediothAhronoth / Ynetnews
JPO = Jerusalem Post
IHY = Israel HaYom
TOI = Times of Israel
GLO = Globes
Published: October 2015
Dr. Werner Puschra,
Executive Director of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Israel