“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:
- UNESCO approves controversial Resolution
- Appeal to the UN-Security Council
- Selection of Articles
1. UNESCO approves controversial Resolution
UNESCO was a diplomatic defeat for Netanyahu
(…) Netanyahu has told journalists and cabinet ministers that Israel’s international standing has changed; that “the world” is tired of the Palestinian problem (…) Netanyahu claimed that Israel had received the world’s permission to continue the occupation and the settlements, and the Palestinians could go to hell. But now along comes UNESCO’s approval of a resolution that described the Temple Mount and its environs in accordance with the Muslim narrative and reminded Israel that even the Western Wall is occupied territory according to international law. Humiliatingly, the Western Wall Plaza was called Al-Buraq, with the Hebrew name in parentheses. (…) It turns out the world hasn’t changed. Israel may be accepted behind the scenes, in back-channel dealings, but when the lights go on, legitimacy belongs to the Palestinians. (…) Netanyahu (…) remains vulnerable to the international community, which opposes his annexationist policies; and only American support protects Israel from harsher measures. (…)
Editorial, HAA, 16.10.16
How UNESCO erases history
(…) Hebrew was also the language used by Jesus 600 years later when he entered Jerusalem riding a donkey. Maybe that’s why the latest decision by UNESCO is so offensive and infuriating; it denies the connection between Jerusalem and Jews (and Judaism). (…) UNESCO decided to wipe out the history as it really was for political reasons. (…) it wiped out its own integrity, its goals and any remaining faith and respect anyone may have had for the organization. (…) The obsession of some UN organizations towards Israel is no secret. (…) The UN Human Rights Council has condemned Israel, a democracy that abides by international law and protects minority rights, more times than the rest of the world combined. Other UN organizations have also taken part in this madness. (…) Facts apparently don’t concern the various UN organizations. When you tell them the only logical explanation is anti-Semitism, they appear shocked and say it’s appalling that Israelis always use that argument. (…) Do you have another explanation for the obsessive focus on one nation, one group, on conflict? (…) Aside from the fact that the resolution is scandalous, it’s also dangerous. The Temple Mount is the most sensitive site in the Middle East, maybe the world. (…) When young Palestinians who have already been fueled by incitement against Israel read a decision like this one by UNESCO, they become convinced that the conspiracy theories are true. The next stage is that they take a knife, a gun or a Molotov cocktail and carry out a terror attack. People will die. Innocent people who have done nothing wrong will die. That’s usually what happens when irresponsible organizations get involved in complex situations which they don’t understand.
Yair Lapid, TOI, 18.10.16
UNESCO’s disgrace actually strengthens us
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is not the problem, but the solution. Against its will, the institution grudgingly serves as a tool that will ultimately reinforce what it is attempting to deny: the eternal connection between the Jewish people and the core of its religious and national identity. (…) Jews distanced from their religious and national identity are now forced to concern themselves with the question of their people’s connection to the “epicenter” in the heart of the city whose memory sustained us in the Diaspora, and which prompted our return to Zion. (…) the world’s nations strive to sever us from the land where we live and fight the Jewish return to Zion. They are often helped by our own, as with the attempt by B’Tselem’s director to slander us in a despicable appearance at the U.N. Security Council after Yom Kippur. (…) Ironically, the U.N. resolution comes at the same time as the news of an archaeological find that links the Jews to their city: a papyrus document dated around the second half of the seventh century BCE that contains the world “Jerusalem” in ancient Hebrew letters, part of a certificate of delivery to the kings of Judea, possibly Manasseh, Amon, or Josiah. At that time, Solomon’s Temple stood on the Temple Mount. (…) History will settle the score with those who chose to abstain from the disgraceful vote, and certainly with those who voted in favor of the lie.
Dror Eydar, IHY, 27.10.16
Our holy sites vs. their holy sites
On the sidelines of the manufactured hysteria over UNESCO’s resolutions on Jerusalem, a pair of contemptible traits to which the Bibi government has given renewed life once again emerged: hypocrisy and its permanent partner, chutzpah. The UNESCO resolutions, incidentally, don’t even touch on the question of the Jews’ connection to the Western Wall and the Temple Mount, or lack thereof. Not by so much as a single word. It’s all spin, it’s all a bluff. And this Israeli lamentation is no different from Muslim lamentation (…) over the fact that the UNESCO resolutions didn’t confirm the truth of Mohammed’s ascension to heaven on the back of his winged horse. (…) It’s true that there’s more than enough convincing written evidence that a Jewish temple once stood in Jerusalem. But there isn’t even a shred of evidence, archaeological or otherwise, as to its location. (…) There are as many theories as there are scholars. (…) This whining is both arrogant and hypocritical, especially coming from a state that has destroyed dozens of mosques so thoroughly that their burial site is unknown. (…) In Jerusalem, a museum is being built. It’s called the Museum of Tolerance. And the name is apt. In Jerusalem, “tolerance” is indeed a museum exhibit. This museum, too, is built on an Arab cemetery. (…) this, after all, is the way of our world: Our holy sites are holy forever. Their holy sites are like the dust of the earth — a lot on which to create a park, scaffolding on which to build temples to “peace and tolerance,” or just a sea of stones (…)
Michael, HAA, 28.10.16
Islam has never denied the Jewish connection to Jerusalem
Religion (…) is the No. 1 enemy of nationalism. But under conditions of tension, such as tribal warfare, these polar opposites combine into a toxic soup that consumes all common sense. (…) The poisonous blend of religion and nationalism not only drives mad all the inhabitants of the land, Jews and Muslims alike; even worse, the prolonged conflict over the protected land also drives them to change their religions. (…) with the deepening of the occupation (…) God is fragmented into rocks and stones. (…) The deepening occupation and the ongoing conflict are also driving the other side out of their minds and their religion. (…) Islam has never denied the Jewish connection to Jerusalem. On the contrary, anywhere you look in early Islamic literature, if it discusses the city at all you’ll find its Jewish connection. (…) Islamic literature places a special emphasis on the “rock” over which the golden dome was built in the seventh century. (…) Because this site, with all its Jewish baggage, also became holy to Islam early on, (…) the situation today is very complicated. (…)
Salman Masalha, HAA, 21.10.16
Do UNESCO and ISIS seek the same – deletion of Jewish history?
(…) If there is one lesson from Israel’s history as a state and the decades of terror it has faced, it is that while terrorists might start their attacks against Israel, they quickly move on to other countries, other faiths and other people. Israel might be chosen first, but when hundreds of people are then murdered in Paris, London or New York, the targets become one and the same. (…) To allow resolutions like UNESCO’s to pass this week is another failure to recognize just that. They might start with Jerusalem, but they will quickly move on.(…) Since this country’s beginning, Israelis have found themselves living in the shadow of a guillotine, under constant threat from across its borders. But (…) Israelis haven’t lost their sense of optimism or resilience. They plowed forward and built a country that today is an economic and military superpower. (…)
Yaakov Katz, JPO, 28.10.16
2. Appeal to the UN Security Council
B’Tselem head: Why I spoke against the occupation at the UN
I spoke at the United Nations against the occupation because I am striving to be a human being. And human beings, when they take responsibility for an injustice against other human beings, have a moral obligation to take action. (…) I am an Israeli. I have no other country. I have no other citizenship and no other future. (…) I care about the fate of this place, the fate of its people and its political fate, which is my fate, too. And in light of all these ties, the occupation is a disaster. (…) I (…) have reached several conclusions (…): The reality will not change if the world does not intervene. (…) There is no chance Israeli society, of its own volition and without any help, will end the nightmare. (…) the United Nations (…) gave us a state in 1947, and that decision is the basis of the international legitimacy of our country, the one where I’m a citizen. And with every day of occupation, we not only chew away at Palestine with delight, we also destroy our country’s legitimacy. (…) The occupation is not the result of a democratic vote. Our decision to control their lives, as much as it suits us, is an expression of violence, not democracy. Israel has no legitimate option to continue this way. And the world has no option to continue treating us as it has so far – all talk and no action. (…)
Hagai El-Ad, HAA, 16.10.16
The radical Left lies in the service of terrorism
(…) B’Tselem Director Hagai Elad sat among Israel’s sworn haters and provided the world with an excuse to forcefully enter the Jewish state and to impose its own agenda. (…) In contrast with its false propaganda, this group enjoys the tolerance of Israeli democracy, which allows it to fool the world with its constant slandering in the name of distorted morality. The half-truths that Elad used, devoid of historical and geopolitical context, will advance diplomatic terrorism against us (…) “Human rights” organizations like B’Tselem have returned to the ways of the ancient religions, which can be found today in radical Islam: They are not satisfied with verbal repentance for what they believe is Israel’s guilt, rather they seek to sacrifice Jewish lives on the altar of their political aspirations. (…) This is an extreme faction, the spearhead of a small social group that despises its nation, hates its country and reaps the benefits of the appearance of so-called morality that it presents to the world in relation to Israeli society. However, this group essentially cares only for itself, for its status and its earnings at the expense of its brothers. (…)
Dror Eydar, IHY, 16.10.16
Human rights groups are not Israel’s enemies
B’Tselem and Peace Now representatives at a UN Security Council session (…) received tons of condemnations and attacks from the Israeli president and right-wing politicians. The organizations’ representatives are presented as Israel haters, who are plotting against the state, driven by burning self-hatred and shamelessly degrading Israel’s image. But that is not the truth. In most cases, we are talking about sincere Israeli patriots, who are desperately seeking to divert Israel from the bad road leading the state to the edge of an abyss. (…) Our current image as a dark nationalistic society is actually being saved by the spokespeople of these organizations, who are making it clear that there are quite a few peaceful people among us who support democracy and human values (…). It takes courage. In the face of the aggressive wave of nationalism, these organizations’ leaders are being exposed to waves of enmity and even to physical threats. (…) The human rights organizations’ representatives are not Israel’s enemies, and the world is not driven by anti-Semitism. (…) The world does not hate us because of our existence, but because of our conduct.
Rafi Walden, JED, 22.10.16
We are all B’Tselem head Hagai El-Ad
The speech by B’Tselem chairman Hagai El-Ad at the United Nations Security Council should be the updated platform of the opposition, in response to Benjamin Netanyahu’s government of occupation and annexation. (…) Forty-nine years of Palestinian misery and repression, and the insatiable expansion of Israeli settlements, must end. There is no more important national matter, and there is no other matter worthy of the opposition’s attention. (…) opposition members must stand at the podium and deliver the same message: We are all Hagai El-Ad. Enough of this immoral occupation that endangers Israel. If they are silent, there’s no justification for their official status outside the government. (…)
Editorial, HAA, 23.10.16
A reply to Hagai El-Ad
(…) At the UNSC, two permanent members (Russia and China) are occupiers, human rights abusers, and international law violators. (…) Critical journalists and opposition leaders are eliminated by the Kremlin. China occupies Tibet. (…) The UNSC, in other words, is hardly an appropriate venue to make the case for international law and for human rights. Indeed, what Hagai El-Ad did was almost tantamount to pleading for chastity in a brothel. (…) Theoretically, Israel could withdraw unilaterally from the West Bank (…) to end its partial control of the Palestinian population (…). But the precedent of the 2005 Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip has taught us a lesson foreseen by many: that the alternative to partial military rule after unilateral withdrawal is recurrent and military confrontation. (…)Even if Israel were to end the legal military blockade of Gaza, Palestinians there would still be oppressed by Hamas. (…) the UN is an organization where Muslim states and autocracies have a numerical majority at the General Assembly, at UN agencies, and at the Human Rights Council. (…) It is the UN that sat idle as a genocide was taking place in Rwanda in 1994 and as a massacre was perpetuated in Srebrenica in 1995. It is the UN that has looked the other way for five years as more than half-a-million people have been killed in Syria. And it is the UN that has just “declared” that the Jewish people has no historical connection to the Temple Mount. (…)
Emmanel Navon, TOI, 25.10.16
Trump is still better for Israel
(…) Hillary Clinton was asked about Wikileaks revelations that she had favored open borders in private (…) speeches, but takes a vastly different position publicly. Her answer, though ridiculous (…) has generated little follow-up. Of great interest to Israel-oriented voters, however, were emails revealing that her campaign was uniformly advising her to steer clear of any mention of Israel at Democratic campaign events — unless addressing Jewish audiences. This is worrisome for what is says about where the Democratic Party now stands regarding Israel. Campaigning Democrats talk big to Jewish audiences about their “unshakeable” commitment to Israel. Then they turn around and undercut Israel’s security and diplomatic positions. (…) In fact, it is Republicans — including Donald Trump — who stand up for Israel unapologetically. (…) The Democrats, by contrast, debated platform amendments condemning Israel’s “occupation” and “illegal settlements.” (…) The Democrats have become the home to the growing ranks of BDS supporters and those who delegitimize the very existence of Israel. It is not at Republican events that Israeli flags are burned. It is worrisome. (…) Hillary is kowtowing to that wing of the party. From her naming J-Street darling Tim Kaine as her running mate to the alarming hostile-to-Israel voices advising her, we are getting a better idea of what a Hillary Clinton administration would mean for Israel. And it is ominous. The presidency is about more than just the identity of the president. It is also about the entire administration a president puts in place. No matter how unpleasant the prospect for some voters, those with a concern for Israel’s future will do a lot better putting the Republicans back in power.
Abraham Katsman, Marc Zell, TOI, 21.10.16
Clinton’s troubling list of donors
(…) I went over the list of Hillary Clinton’s mega-donors and felt great discomfort. (…) of the nine top private donors to Clinton’s election campaign, eight are Jewish. All of her top five mega-donors are Jewish (…). Together, they donated about $69 million to Clinton’s election campaign. (…) I am not a racist. As a Jew, I am proud of the wealth and influence of American Jews. And if I am haunted by some unpleasant analogies from Jewish history, it’s my problem. These are my ghetto-like fears. After all, it’s as clear as daylight that not a single sensible American will argue that Hillary Clinton, as the president of the United States, will have to serve as a puppet in the hands of the Jewish money which funded her election, right? Say “you’re right” and I’ll calm down. (…)
Sever Plocker, JED, 30.10.16
In this crazy election, most American Jews are acting normal
(…) Jews are set to play their usual historic role on Election Day. Polls suggest that (…) once again most Jews will vote Democrat. And once again, despite all the talk about “The Jewish Vote,” Jewish influence will be felt most through checkbooks rather than voting booths. (…) in recent presidential elections, Jews donated as much as 50 percent of the funds Democrats raised from individuals and 25% of Republican funds. (…) The Jewish vote tells more about American Jewish identity than about American Jewish power. (…) most American Jews remain proud liberals (…) voting Democrat is often considered as central to the American Jewish inheritance as are an inspirational immigration story, silver candlesticks and grandma’s matza ball recipe (…) American Jewish liberalism stems from the great mutual love affair between America and its Jews, rooted in American exceptionalism (…).
Gil Troy, JPO, 25.10.16
The Trumpification of Israel
(…) despite the far-reaching differences in concrete circumstances, it’s surprising to discover how similar the political developments that have occurred in America are to those that have taken place in Israel. (…) the leftist parties have lost the support of the ordinary people; lower- to-middle class workers have largely switched to supporting right-wing conservative parties. Rightist parties (…) were once based on members of the educated bourgeoisie (…) today (…) primarily reflect the moods and tendencies of the lower class, which feels excluded and oppressed. (…) Whether or not Hillary Clinton wins next week’s presidential election, what has happened to Likud will also happen to the Republicans. Just as Likud is undergoing an energetic process of Trumpification, in which the gaps between Likud’s voters and its leaders have been closing, the gap between the elitist Republican establishment and the ordinary people who support the party (…) is also being closed these days by Donald Trump, and by the many similar people who will yet come in his wake. (…) The mass movement of the lower classes to right-wing parties, both in Israel and in the United States, is too serious a matter to be left to mere excuses. The fact that left-wing parties in Israel are currently obligated to focus first and foremost on diplomatic issues absolves them of the immediate need to deal with this paradox. But from a broader and more farsighted viewpoint, it’s clear that the left needs to think about how to reinvent itself from the bottom up. (…)
Tzvia Greenfield, HAA, 31.10.16
The Jews will lose in November
(…) While no one can predict with certainty whether a President Clinton would set a new course with Israel and for American engagement abroad, there are plenty of warning signs that the divisive and bitter presidential campaign (…) will leave more permanent scars on the country, and on American Jews. This is also the case should Donald Trump emerge as the upset winner (…) the overwhelming share of anti-Semites in America are now on the Left, and particularly among growing minority populations, (…) the ascendance of the radical Left (…) has proven that harsh criticism of Israel is now acceptable among elected officials in the Democratic Party. (…) On the Left, there is increasing momentum every year to challenge American and Democratic Party support for Israel, and transfer it to their “victims,” the Palestinians. (…) Jews who support Israel and/or were critical of Trump (…) have made no new friends and ticked off others. The group that has always been an easy scapegoat may become one again.
Richard Baehr, IHY, 27.10.16
4. Selection of Articles
Shut down public broadcasting if it’s turned into a tool for Israel’s politicians
(…) The justification for the aggressive move of closing down the old Israel Broadcasting Authority (…) was based on two basic assumptions. The first was that the IBA was so tainted, and the waste of money and inefficiency so great that there was no possibility to rehabilitate it through internal reforms. The second assumption (…) was that the rot in public broadcasting stemmed from the entrenched political control (…). The IPBC was meant to solve both these problems. (…) Bitan emphasizes only the financial motive, but if the IBA remains as before, it will allow Netanyahu to continue to directly control the appointment of the IBA’s management. This means a return to the old system of political appointments, which created a dependent public broadcaster carrying out the politicians’ wishes. If Netanyahu’s plot to harm the IPBC succeeds, there is no justification to pay for politicized public broadcasting to the tune of hundreds of millions of shekels a year. Such a body, which will be a tool in the hands of the politicians, has no right to exist, and it should be completely shut down until a way is found to bring it back in a truly independent format.
Editorial, HAA, 21.10.16
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decisions surrounding the creation of a new and revamped public broadcasting body – the Israel Broadcasting Corporation – appear to be full of contradictions.(…) Establishment of the IBC has cost hundreds of millions of shekels. Dismantling it now and rehabilitating the IBA would cost us taxpayers even more. (…) Democracy – and capitalism – rest on the assumption that citizens, voters, consumers and business owners have access to information. (…) If the free market is left to its own devices, the sort of independent journalism that uncovers the connections between politics and big business, that analyzes regulations and legislations and determines their impact on the individual citizen, that ranks the level of services provided by the government, will cease to exist. That’s why it is so important that the State of Israel, for the sake of democracy, allocate taxpayers’ money to the creation of a professional, independent and free public broadcaster. (…)
Editorial, JPO, 31.10.16
Competing interests collide in Mosul
(…) Winter is around the corner, serving as a type of deadline for establishing facts on the ground until spring, before it becomes too cold and muddy for a ground advance, and too cloudy for airstrikes. (…) The chilly winter will also cost the Russians and Iranians earnings as significant oil and gas exporters, which is another reason to stake facts on the ground before their financial capabilities and confidence are bolstered.(…) the time for a pincer movement to squeeze the group and its capital city of Raqqa is now, with the Russian-backed Syrian army from the West; Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. from the east; and Turkey providing logistical support in the form of air bases and breakthrough points from the north. The American desire to exploit this window is drawing other forces into the fray. The Kurds (…) want to make strides on the ground (…). The Turks fear that any Kurdish success in Mosul and its environs would boost Kurdish separatist aspirations in Turkey’s southeast, adjacent to the Kurds’ autonomous region in northern Iraq. (…) Even the besieged Assyrians, who reside in Mosul and Nineveh Province in northern Iraq, are taking part in the fighting in the hopes of winning a type of autonomy of their own. And finally, Iran is also hurling its own Shiite militias into the cauldron, seeking to open a ground corridor into northern Syria. Amid this array of competing interests, it’s possible that a symbolic liberation of the city from where Islamic State first began its expansion will in fact lead to a bloodbath between the various sides on the day after.
Dr. Netanel Avneri, IHY, 20.10.16
Mosul as an allegory of Gaza
One should hope that all eyes of the Israeli intelligence and operations officials are on the battles in the Mosul area in Iraq, as Mosul is an allegory of the city of Gaza: An experimental field of technologies, tactics and Western weapons vis-à-vis the resistance of a fanatic guerilla organization, which is fighting for its life in a large, crowded urban area. How can we defeat it without getting stuck in the mud for years? When Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman tells the Al-Quds newspaper that the next conflict with Hamas will be the last, he is talking about destroying the government in Gaza. Such a statement should be backed by a military plan, otherwise it is worthless. (…) In all the major conflicts, Hamas expected the IDF to enter the big cities, but defense ministers (…) did not let that happen despite political pressure. Mosul has been in a blackout for a month now. (…) There are about one million people in Mosul right now, including 5,000-6,000 ISIS fighters. In Gaza, which has 700,000 residents, there are more than 10,000 gunmen today. (…) In both cases, the goal is to claim unreasonable prices from the attacking side. In both cases, their weak spots are dealing with the accurate guided weapons and the airstrikes. The Americans (…) are using extremely advanced means to deal with obstacles through teleprocessing, robotics and electronic and psychological warfare. If the IDF is indeed preparing to occupy Gaza, it must be updated on the effectiveness of these means. (…) The cannon fodder in the fighting is the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi army units, and that’s what makes the whole difference between Gaza and Mosul. Israel doesn’t have Kurds and Iraqis to send to Gaza. The cannon fodder is ours.
Alex Fishman, JED, 27.10.16
What might happen if women in the Holy Land waged peace? We’re about to find out
Good things are happening in Israel.(…) what might happen if, say, thousands of women in the Holy Land banded together to wage peace? What might result if the women included Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Muslims and Christians, residents of kibbutzim and residents of settlements, secular and observant, supported by other women and men as well, in countries far across the world? (…) The movement is unique in a number of ways, not least because of the inclusiveness of its message and its non-partisan activism. (…) They don’t have a specific solution to demand. Their near-term goal is to see Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic negotiations resume. And they vow not to stop their activism until an “honorable political agreement, which will bring us, our children and grandchildren a safe future, is reached. ” (…) You can decide that these are just words. But in this place, there is no such thing as “just words.” Words themselves are enough to start wars, stoke mass killings, ruin our lives. At the same time, the right words, from the right people, can initiate tectonic changes for the better. Changes for good. (…) There are thousands of women here determined to see all of this through to a peaceful end, no matter what and how long that may take. I’m with them.
Bradley Burston, HAA, 16.10.16
We have a partner among Palestinian women
It looked like a mirage in the heart of the boiling desert. Hundreds of Palestinian women, most of them wearing traditional clothing, emerging from dozens of buses, excitedly meeting thousands of Israeli women dressed in white. (…) Locked arm-in-arm, we march towards the baptism site. (…) I seem to detect an awakening among Palestinian women, as well as among Israeli women. I detect both between us and them, and within ourselves, a new and different discourse. A discourse which includes compassion and responsibility and concern and a shared fate, without accusations, without victims, an egalitarian discourse directed at emotions. It seems like a mirage, but all of us here today are reclaiming the right to hope.
Zeruya Shalev, JED, 20.10.16
Israel’s national puppet theater heads to settlements
There’s nothing new in the desire of the settlers, Israeli citizens living in territories that are not the country’s sovereign territory, to normalize their residence there (…). Nor is there anything new about the fact that the Israeli government is promoting the appearance of “normalization” in a situation that is far from normal, in occupied territories, where in effect there is an apartheid policy: One population enjoys full rights while another lives under conditions of oppression. (…) For the first time, the management of a public theater is publishing a declaration that also links the fact that it is a “national” theater to the idea that “we are interested in continuing to provide high-quality culture to all the citizens of Israel,” (…) and condemns any attempt at a cultural boycott in any place where Israeli citizens live.” (…) It’s clear that the theater is totally dependent upon the good graces of the government and the minister (…). The fact that the government and the settlers are using culture and its institutions to put a kosher stamp on a politically and morally unacceptable situation is another expression of the self-righteous policy of “robbed Cossacks.” The Habima management’s provocative consent to this is a moral stain worthy of condemnation.
Editorial, HAA, 26.10.16
Cultural cross fire
While Israel wages its ongoing battle against the assault on Jewish history and culture in the United Nations, in the smaller arena of local politics the struggle over the control of the arts has once again erupted regarding an upcoming performance of Habimah, the national theater, before the Jewish community of Kiryat Arba. (…) Habimah’s entire budget is provided by the government. This is why Israel’s national theater performs in Israeli communities wherever they may be found (…). Regev’s heavy handed promotion of Israeli culture is not confined to West Bank settlements, but is part of an ethnic-political hybrid that drives her to spread the arts to the country’s long-deprived periphery. (…) While Regev’s statements and actions might seem aggressive at times, we believe that all Israeli towns, no matter where they are located, should be eligible to enjoy the arts. An Israeli in Kiryat Arba is no different than an Israeli in Tel Aviv when it comes to the arts. This is the case as long as the government decides that Israelis can live in Kiryat Arba. (…) Until the government changes its policy there is no reason to discriminate against any Israeli when it comes to the arts, just because she or he might live over the Green Line.
Editorial, JPO, 29.10.16
Interviews are no dates
(…) For all those pundits, journalists, and veteran columnists who may not be aware of the proper conduct during interviews, here is a reminder: An interview does not involve asking the interviewer to come up to your hotel (…) Sure, a journalist may be all smiles and seemingly interested in what you have to say, but that is just because she wants to hold a professional conversation and make a living. (…) journalists are duty-bound to follow the law and uphold ethical guidelines. You cannot be a pundit and tell us what is morally right or wrong and feel free to impose yourself on a woman and humiliate her. Such incidents prove that our public norms are distorted.
Naama Lanski, IHY, 30.10.16
HAA = Haaretz
JED = JediothAhronoth / Ynetnews
JPO = Jerusalem Post
IHY = Israel HaYom
TOI = Times of Israel
GLO = Globes
Published: November 2016
Dr. Werner Puschra, Executive Director Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Israel