“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:
- Serious Riots at Funeral of Shirin Abu Akleh
- Another Terrorist Attack Claims Three Lives
- Lavrov’s Hitler Comparison
- Selection of Articles
1. Serious Riots at Funeral of Shirin Abu Akleh
Journalist’s death will become excuse for terror attacks on Israel
The killing of veteran Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh (…) is a tragedy. Journalists doing their job should be protected, even in the most dangerous situations. (…) some are wildly casting blame on Israel before an investigation has even begun. (…) Those who think the worst of Israel will be willing to accept and believe anything about it – including that it would intentionally target and kill a prominent Arab journalist. (…) A fairly simple joint pathological investigation – clarifying the bullet type and the angle of the bullet entry wound – would go a long way toward determining who fired the fatal shot. But the Palestinians are not interested in a joint investigation (…). The PA has made up its mind about how Abu Akleh was killed and need not be confused by an investigation that could muddle up its narrative. Reasonable people around the world, however, should ask themselves, before jumping to conclusions: why are the Palestinians refusing a joint examination? If Abu Akleh was indeed shot by IDF soldiers operating in Jenin, then Israel needs to take responsibility, review standing orders, and see what can be done to ensure that journalists and other civilians are not harmed, even as the IDF continues trying to tamp down the current wave of terror by going on the offensive throughout the West Bank, including in Jenin. Abu Akleh’s death is terrible. But it is sadly being cynically used to blame Israel, something that will incite others to carry out even more terror attacks against the Jewish State.
Editorial, JPO, 11.05.22
Journalists risk their lives to report the truth, not serve political propaganda
Any journalist covering wars and violent conflicts knows that what happened to Shireen Abu Akleh could happen to them. (…) they do their job knowing that a bullet, a shell, or a bomb dropped from a plane, and maybe even a knife, could end their lives, severely wound them or leave them crippled. (…) The International Press Association reports every year about dozens of journalists who are killed in various conflict zones around the world. In an overwhelming majority of cases, it is journalists from third-world countries, some of whom work for Western media, that get the short end of the stick. But sadly, international media don’t include them in the count. Only when a journalist or a photographer from a Western, democratic country dies do the media respond fiercely and condemn anyone who is so much as suspected of being involved in their untimely demise. You never really know who shot (…) no one has ever been punished for harming journalists, neither state actors nor individuals. And in some cases, there’s no real culprit either. (…) Such cases require an investigation in which an autopsy is performed, as well as a ballistic probe to determine which weapon was fired at the journalist. Only then will it be possible to assess who shot them and from which side. (…) as for us, the journalists who cover conflict the world over — we’re allowed to demand that the risk we take to bring out the truth and the facts as they are seen from the battlefield will not be abused by cynical politicians and clerics to incite and achieve their goals, whether just or not. (…)
Ron Ben-Yishai, YED, 12.05.22
From Muhammad al-Durrah to Shireen Abu Akleh
There are battles where the most you can hope for is to mitigate the damage. This was the goal of Israel’s public relations campaign (…) after the reports of Al-Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh’s death (…) Israel is an orderly country. To get caught in a lie down the road would be worse than claiming things right now that sound beneficial. Due to all the complexities involved, this was the chosen PR approach. As a lesson learned from the Muhammad al-Durrah fiasco, Israel (…) avoided the same trap of Arab propaganda and didn’t admit that our soldiers were the ones who killed Abu Akleh. (…) we still fall short in the court of international opinion (…) When the Palestinians passionately claim “Israel murdered” while we say “perhaps not” – the Israeli side isn’t really able to turn the tables. Against the Palestinian “definitely,” Israel only has a “maybe.” As representatives of a responsible country, however, Israeli spokespeople couldn’t entirely rule out our involvement in the incident. The truth supersedes the interest. And yet, the efforts of Israeli spokespeople bore fruit (…) No serious country came out in condemnation of Israel. (…) Even Egypt and Jordan didn’t adopt the Palestinian version. (…) we lost in the international media arena, but only there and only temporarily. (…)
Ariel Kahana, IHY, 12.05.22
In the ‘investigation’ into Shireen Abu Akleh’s death, too, no one will be found guilty
I knew Shireen Abu Akleh as a person and a journalist. (…) Feelings of anger and sadness, combined with the shock and a refusal to accept the fact that she is gone, filled my heart, just as they filled to the hearts of so many others. The first thing that must happen in this case, as in others like it, is an independent, professional and effective criminal investigation to determine the circumstances that led to her killing. This is (…) an obligation for Israel based on international law. (…) But Israel has never conducted an independent, professional and effective investigation when a Palestinian is killed by the military or police. The departure point for the investigations that have been undertaken is the military’s explanation, and decisions to close cases are always approved by the military advocate general, which is backed by the State Prosecutor’s Office and the attorney general. We know in advance what the result of these investigations will be: The person responsible can’t be identified, or there is insufficient evidence, or the army acted according to the rules and, if not, the killing was accidental, and actually, it’s the Palestinians who are to blame. Israel’s High Court of Justice almost always rejects lawsuits appealing these conclusions on the grounds that it won’t interfere with the professional considerations and independence of decision-makers. It never accepts arguments that those decision-makers may have a conflict of interest. (…)
Sawsan Zaher, HAA, 12.05.22
You can’t expect anyone to trust the IDF’s own investigation of itself
The death of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh requires a genuine, comprehensive investigation, with no cover-ups, that shows the world what really happened in the alleys of Jenin (…). For the truth to come to light, we need to ensure that independent, credible and respected investigators thoroughly probe this tragic incident. These investigators must be completely detached from the combat forces, given the questions surrounding their conduct in Jenin and the possibility that they shot Abu Akleh. (…) How is it possible to expect anyone – whether Israelis, Palestinians or people from any other country – to accord any credence to an investigation led by someone interrogating his own subordinates? (…) The IDF cannot be trusted to investigate itself over an incident in which it is under a heavy cloud. And it goes without saying that had the Palestinians conducted such an investigation, Israel would have scoffed at the “predetermined” results. Clarifying the circumstances of Abu Akleh’s death will require an investigation with thorough, large-scale international involvement. The “battle over the narrative” must not be allowed to defeat the battle for the truth. Israel owes itself and the world a clear, honest answer to what happened in Jenin – how and why was Shireen Abu Akleh killed?
Editorial, HAA, 13.05.22
Trying to make sense of Shireen Abu Akleh’s death
(…) I am haunted by Muhammad a Dura’s death on the first day of the Second Intifada, and how Israel took responsibility, only for the results of the investigation to prove otherwise, by which time the damage had already been done. (…) Israel has asked to examine the bullet and run ballistics on it. It has even offered that the Palestinians can be present and observe the tests. The Palestinians have refused. Which makes me wonder why. If they are so convinced that the bullet that killed Abu Akleh was from an Israeli weapon, why would they refuse to allow Israel to run tests on the bullet? (…) Could it be that they are more interested in the narrative that demonizes Israel than in the truth? (…) the accusation of intentionally killing her is bullshit. Accidental? More likely. But from which side? (…) This needs to be determined by experts, allowing access to investigate the situation without hindrance. And that is never going to happen because it could threaten the Palestinian narrative. (…) Let’s remember that politics aside, a woman lost her life while doing her job. In the line of duty. Just like the other 1,447 journalists killed doing their job, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine, and God knows where else during this last year. (…) And let us not give credence to the hypocritical double standards of international opprobrium.
Paul Mirbach, TOI, 13.05.22
Neither Israelis nor Palestinians care who killed journalist Shireen Abu Akleh
The story of the death last week of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the Jenin refugee camp activates those giving the stage directions on every side with astounding precision: the automatic talking parrots on one side accuse the “Israel Defense Forces stormtroopers” of executing the journalist from Al Jazeera, while the mechanical bots of the other side blame the Palestinians of the killing itself and of spreading lies (…). It is possible, and necessary, to mention the general and broader context in which this event (also) took place: an operation in occupied territory by IDF and Shin Bet security service units, some of which are plagued by profound moral faults, within a situation that is one of total bereavement and failure: holding territory under military rule whose population is held hostage without basic civil rights. (…) When we try to get down to the real facts of the matter, we discover first of all that no decent person can (…) give an honest and verified answer (…). The Palestinians, who rushed to the scene to remove the body, do not want to give Israel the bullet they removed from it because a “not good” finding from their perspective – in other words, that the journalist was shot by an armed Palestinian – could very well put paid to their magnificent round of exploitation of the incident, which serves the Palestinian Authority on a number of fronts. (…) Israelis too – in spite of all the declarations and the explicit request – do not actually want to receive the bullet (…) As far as the Israeli side is concerned, Palestinian obstinacy is rather convenient, allowing Israel to have its cake (…), and eat it too (…). Since her tragic death, Abu Akleh has served as a vessel for the narrative contractors on both sides, who are exploiting her body. These narratives were cast long before the incident, and an investigation of the truth in this case could damage one of them. Which is why you should not be surprised if the noise surrounding this incident only grows louder and louder, but in terms of what’s happening on the ground – chiefly, the opening of an investigation by a number of organizations – is actually being thwarted.
Ravit Hecht, HAA, 15.05.22
Police violence at Palestinian journalist’s funeral is Israel’s mark of Cain
The events during Friday’s funeral procession of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh (…) are a mark of Cain on Israel. (…) The police dishonored Abu Akleh’s memory, showed zero respect for the mourners and turned the funeral into a mess that should put all Israelis to shame. Even if some people rioted at the funeral, the police’s job is to lower the flames, not raise them. (…) This is a definitive incident that revealed the full ugliness of life under Israel’s occupation. No PR in the world can repair the damage, because there is no “narrative” that justifies the Israel Police’s conduct. This is not only about contempt for the pain and grief of the Palestinians; it is about a fundamentally wrong attitude toward the Palestinian flag. This is the flag of the Palestinian Authority – an entity established as part of a deal with Israel, a deal that among other things enshrines the security cooperation that Israel has enjoyed for almost 30 years – and it is recognized by the whole world, including Israel. The police must stop considering waving the flag to be an act of defiance. (…) Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai, along with Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev (…) ordered an investigation into the police’s conduct during the funeral. (…) To change the reckless and violent behavior of the police in the streets of Jerusalem, those responsible must be identified and replaced.
Editorial, HAA, 15.05.22
2. Another Terrorist Attack Claims Three Lives
Israel’s fight against terror is far from over
The successes and failures of Israel’s intelligence agencies were exhibited recently, in the apprehension of a terror squad, which carried out a deadly attack on the West Bank settlement of Ariel. Forces located the two men who killed security guard Vyacheslav (…) Golev at his post at the entrance to the settlement, in a nearby village. (…) According to security forces, the men acted on their own accord and were not directed by any terror group. (…) Golev, who died while protecting his fiancée and partner at the guard post, was the 16th Israeli victim of the latest wave of terrorism, which seems far from over, according to the Shin Bet Security Agency and the IDF. (…) the fight against terrorism, in all its forms is ongoing and despite reported successes, will continue to be a daily struggle for Israel.
Yossi Yehushua, YED, 01.05.22
Israel needs unity, not provocations, now more than anything
(…) Hamas, a fanatical-radical Islamist movement that has called for Israel’s destruction, is freaking out at the fact that an Arab party is participating in a government in “the Zionist entity.” And it’s not just an Arab party – it’s an Islamist party that is rooted in one of the branches of the Islamic Movement in Israel. Mansour Abbas (…) reminds the public, in both Hebrew and Arabic, that he is here to do what is best for the Arab citizens of Israel. This coalition, made up of representatives of almost the entire Israeli spectrum of society, saved Israel from an seemingly endless cycle of elections and political instability. (…) Those who are spreading fear, trying to portray an image of chaos, and saying the government has lost control, are playing into the enemy’s hands and forget the unrest during “Guardian of the Walls” operation last year. What Israel needs now, more than anything, is unity and fewer provocations.
Editorial, JPO, 02.05.22
Settlement construction should not be used only as terror response
(…) Israel announced plans to build some 4,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The announcement was hard to disconnect from recent (…) terrorist attacks that have struck across the country in the last two months, claiming the lives of 18 Israelis. (…) The government’s approach until now has been to avoid collective punishment against Palestinian civilians. There are now calls on the government to change its tactics. Part of the response now also seems to be settlement construction. (…) If building homes is the right thing for Israel to do, then it should do so as a policy and not as a response or punitive measure to something that was done by the Palestinians. Building homes for Israelis should not be a response to a terrorist attack – and if it is, then it probably should not be done. Using settlement construction in this way makes clear what the government refuses to admit: it prefers not to build in settlements and will only do so when it needs to respond aggressively to something done to it, like a terrorist attack in Elad which claimed the lives of three innocent men. (…) It is wrong since it undermines the validity of Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria by basically admitting that settlement construction is a punishment. (…) Israel needs to decide what it wants and how it envisions its future borders. Ad hoc construction for political reasons is not the right way.
Editorial, JPO, 07.05.22
The Elad terrorists should face the death penalty
The Elad massacre of three Jews with axes on Israel’s Independence Day was sickening beyond description. If convicted in trial, the two suspects (…) should face the death penalty, as should be the case with all those convicted in Israel of terrorism and mass murder. (…) when Israel is prepared to trade a thousand predators for one lonely soldier, it demonstrates, in the starkest manner imaginable, Israel’s commitment to the infinite value of human life. (…) As a father of an active duty IDF soldier, I understand completely why prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the trade. But I will here limit myself to a different angle of the story entirely, one that might obviate the need to trade killers for captured soldiers in the future. IT IS high time that Israel finally instituted a death penalty for terrorists. (…) If convicted after a trial and any judicial appeals, should two men who hacked three Israelis to death with axes, in an act of unparalleled barbarism, be permitted to live? And if so, what is the deterrent to future monsters whose insidious hatred of the Jewish people might inspire them to the same? (…)
Shmuley Boteach, JPO, 09.05.22
Killing Hamas leader Sinwar is a childish fantasy
(…) The terror wave of the past six weeks was deadly, but it was hardly unprecedented. (…) The lethal attacks were all the work of one or two individuals, not of a terror organization, to the chagrin of the inciters and those who wish us harm. Their goals were much bigger: to spark unrest first in Jerusalem and then in the West Bank and in the mixed, Arab-Jewish cities, igniting a sweeping, deadly intifada within Israel an “improvement” on the events during last year’s Operation Guardian of the Walls. (…) the public debate of the past two months has been characterized by panic. (…) It’s time for somebody here to take a deep breath and relax. The horrific attack in Elad was a very painful blow to Israel’s soft underbelly, an atrocity at the end of an uplifting Independence Day holiday. But what does that have to do with the calls by anyone who takes himself seriously to kill the Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar? This would only lead to a bloody conflict with Hamas in the Strip. If that’s what Israel’s political and military leaders thought must be done in order to end the terrorism, then we would have to deal with the results of the response from Hamas. (…) It has become fashionable in Israel to call for his assassination. (…) The terror attacks up to now were characterized by an absence of affiliation with any organization. That includes the murders and maiming in Elad, even though it is not yet clear whether the perpetrators, under interrogation, tied their actions to Sinwar’s calls. The public, in its distress, is looking for someone to blame, and the desire for Sinwar’s assassination to be the response is the product of the childish fantasy that it will put an end to all evil. This has only a loose connection to reality.
Nurit Canetti, HAA; 10.05.22
3. Lavrov’s Hitler Comparison
Lavrov’s insensitive comments drive a wedge between Israel and Russia
(…) Jerusalem relies on Russia to continue allowing Israel to carry out attacks against Iranian targets in neighboring Syria, where the Russians have a significant military presence. But, even though Lavrov’s criticism was essentially directed towards Ukraine and not Israel, both Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid decided to draw the line and set clear boundaries when it comes to the Holocaust. While neither an apology from Lavrov nor a dramatic turnabout in the Israeli-Russian relations are expected, all eyes are on Russia to acknowledge Israel’s request for clarity and apologize. The increasing unpleasant incidents between Israel and Russia aren’t helping to patch up the once stable ties, which are already hanging by a thread since the Russian invasion of Ukraine – which Israeli officials have condemned. (…) Russia sees Israel as moving closer to Ukraine and the pro-Ukraine bloc, adopting principles of the so-called “de-Russification” and Russophobia in the war-torn country. However, it seems that Lavrov’s stirring words have nothing to do with a shift in relations between Russia and Israel. Israel has made sure that the direct condemnations of Russia are spoken only by Lapid, keeping Bennett relatively neutral in the public eye. Even when condemning the massacre in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, the premier made no direct mention of Russia – all as part of the efforts to maintain the status quo in relations between the two countries. (…)
Itamar Eichner, YED, 02.05.22
Zelensky is the comedian; Lavrov the joke!
(…) The claim the Ukraine is in need of de-Nazification, has been presented as the main reason why Russia invaded a sovereign nation, to cleanse it of a barbaric ideology. The fact President Zelensky is Jewish and is highly unlikely to head and support a Jew-hating philosophy does not seem to have made Putin and Lavrov query their thinking; but, of course, this has nothing to do with rationality, but everything to do with twisted reasoning to somehow redeem blatant aggression. This perverted logic has been given further impetus by Lavrov by asserting Hitler’s had a Jewish grandfather (…). Israel has rightly condemned this outrageous claim by Lavrov, but even more insulting to World Jewry is the accusation by the Russian Foreign Minister that the worst anti-Semites are Jews. Yes, it is true some Jews have distanced themselves from their people and made derogatory remarks about Judaism, but there is a vast difference between criticising one’s own tradition and murdering six million Jews. Does Putin and Lavrov suppose these Ill-chosen comments will win Russia friends? Certainly the anti-Semites, around the world, will be delighted to hear the “profound” statement by Lavrov, but the majority of people will not be deflected by the reality (…).
Peter John Beyfus, TOI, 02.05.22
The real face of Putin
Anyone who was shocked by the words of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that “Hitler had Jewish blood” and that “the most ardent antisemites are usually Jews” was apparently not paying attention to Russian propaganda in recent months, which routinely accuses Ukraine of being under the control of a “neo-Nazi junta.” (…) The condemnation voiced by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid is too little, too late. (…) The myth that has been cultivated for many years by oligarchs, by those close to the Kremlin and by populist politicians like Benjamin Netanyahu to the effect that Putin really is a friend of Israel and “good for the Jews” should have been exploded a long time ago. A dictator who oppresses his people, sends his army to bomb Syrians, invades his neighbors and threatens world peace can’t be good for the Jews or for Israel. (…) Israel can rescue itself from the embarrassment of “neutrality” it has adopted and join its allies in the West by imposing economic sanctions on Russia and supplying arms to Ukraine, which is heroically countering the Russian invasion. This is not just about fixing a moral flaw in Israeli foreign policy. The slow progress of the Russian invasion calls into question Israeli assumptions about Russian military and political power and its ability to deny Israel freedom to attack Iranian targets in the skies in Syria. (…) Israel has nothing to gain from friendships with dictators who distort the Holocaust for their own destructive needs. Certainly not now, after Putin and Lavrov have revealed their true face.
Editorial, HAA; 03.05.22
Russia’s antisemitic attack on Israel is shocking and deliberate
An experienced diplomat and an educated man, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov knew perfectly well what he was saying when he erupted into a tirade about Jews, antisemites and Hitler (…). Whoever in Israel once thought that it was OK to keep quiet while Putin and his aides serially compared Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a Jewish president of Ukraine, to a Nazi, and justified a bloody war against Kyiv by using the horrendous, Goebbels-style term “de-nazification,” must come to grips with reality. The Kremlin doesn’t have any problem slaughtering any holy cow. (…) The Israeli establishment was genuinely outraged by these statements, and to many it came as a shock, a sharp departure from what is commonly described here as “Putin’s philosemitism.” But for Russian speakers in Israel, Ukraine and Russia, there was nothing new. (…) As a token of the intimidatory power of Putin’s philosemitism, it should be noted that no major Jewish organization in Russia has dared to denounce Lavrov’s words. (…) The tension between Russia and Israel has been on the rise for the two months since the invasion. (…) But Lavrov’s statements meant Israel had no choice but to react and they didn’t mince their words. So will the Lavrov saga, which was too loud to ignore, actually have a tangible effect on Israel’s policy towards Russia and Ukraine? Given that Israel’s key reason for maintaining its balancing act on Russia was national security, specifically regarding Syria, to its north, where Russia controls the airspace and could interfere at will with Israel’s operations against Hezbollah and Iran, it’s safe to assume that, at least for the time being, there will be no major change in this policy. (…)
Ksenia Svetlova, HAA, 04.05.22
Is there basis to Lavrov’s comments on Hitler, Judaism and antisemitism?
(…) What do history and science teach us about Lavrov’s two assertions: Hitler’s Jewish blood and Jewish antisemites? Lavrov invented nothing. The rumor that Hitler’s paternal grandfather was Jewish, has popped up all over the internet recently and has been around a lot longer. (…) Hitler’s alleged Jewish grandfather will continue to haunt the lore – Israel’s protests only amplify it – like the other, easily disproved legend that the Fuhrer did not kill himself in his bunker but rather escaped to Latin America. The man was so perplexingly evil. He killed and uprooted so many millions and changed the course of world history so dramatically that humans will never stop speculating about him. And what has science to say about Jewish – or any other – blood? There are four major blood types and there are sub-types. Science tells us that these are essential to a person’s physical functioning but irrelevant to his or her character or morality. But blood has become a metaphor for the alleged genetic inheritance of character traits. (…) the German theologian Johannes Pfefferkorn, born Jewish and converted to Catholicism, launched a life-long struggle against Judaism. He demanded the destruction of the Talmud and the forced conversion, expulsion or enslavement of Germany’s Jews. In the Western world, Jewish self-hatred has never vanished. It appeared in particularly inhumane forms during the Nazi period. (…) What drives this hate, which some express today in their denial of the right of Israel to exist (…)? All minorities that live among majorities know that individual members will drift out and assimilate. In every generation, Jews have quietly tip-toed out. But some would then return to loudly join their persecutors. (…)
Shalom Salomon Wald, JPO, 08.05.22
4. Selection of Articles
Day of Remembrance for the Victims of War and Terror
Joint Israeli-Palestinian Remembrance Day ceremonies blur lines
(…) Nowhere is there a country named Israel/Palestine. But that’s how it is often perceived around the world and right here at home. How else can one explain the growing desire to connect Remembrance Day to honor Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism with Palestinians who have been killed by Israeli security forces? (…) There is no small number of Palestinians who have been unjustifiably killed by Israeli security forces since 1948. It’s a terribly painful and unfortunate side effect of the constant war of terrorism that has been conducted against a sovereign country. It’s commendable that some Israelis and Palestinians are sensitive enough to feel each other’s pain, and a joint memorial service is a wonderful and welcome expression – just not on Israel’s Remembrance Day. It becomes even more of a thorny issue when Palestinians who are not so innocent are added to the equation. The deaths of those who were actively involved in aggression – including rock-throwing, bomb-making, violently protesting and actual murder – should in no way be conflated with the deaths of Israeli soldiers who died defending their country or victims of Palestinian terrorism. (…) It is noble for both Israeli and Palestinian families to come together over a common bond of loss and say, “No more.” (…) But Remembrance Day is not about Palestinian loss. It is about the sacrifice that Israel has made because the countries surrounding it, and the people that share the land with it, refused to accept its existence. (…)
David Brinn, JPO, 03.05.22
Is there no other way?
(…) Why is it that violence makes so much more noise than peace? Since when was the sword mightier than the pen? (…) It’s always the death, terror, blood and gore that make the headlines. (…) It’s so damn important to go to all these events, (…) to the Nakba sharing circle, to hear the stories of people’s pain, to hold them, to hear them, to really show we want the pain of the past to be healed – in fact we want to help heal the pain of the past. That’s what activism means. Being active. (…) we are supporting each other and showing we are friends and our land can be shared and we can live in peace – but if there are many, many people in the world who don’t see that, what are we supposed to do? Fight violence with violence? Do the peacemakers also have to goad the police into violence against them? Do we really need to murder or inflict harm for our voices to be heard? Is there no other way?
Shoshana Lavan, TOI, 15.05.22
Israel Celebrates 74 Years of Independence
The danger of Israel becoming a bi-national state
Democracy is crucial for the government’s health. (…) Lacking democracy is similar to lacking good health, we notice when it’s not there anymore, and when we do, its hard to breath, grow, think, know, and love. At the end of the day, non-democratic regimes always collapse (…). Israel has not just survived 74 years, it survived them well and with honor. (…) Diversity of opinions and discourse are the bread and butter of democracy – not its weakness. The power of democracy lies in its ability to settle disputes, move on, and prosper. (…) Change is what saves democracies, protects them – it’s also what destroys dictatorships over time. There is no such thing as a perfect democracy, and no one is more familiar with this struggle than Israel. (…) As of today, Israel is a flourishing democracy, hence also a thriving economy and society. The reality, however, is that the security constraint that forces Israel to continue occupying parts of the West Bank clashes with the ideals of most democracies, and it’s very difficult to come to terms with. But, it is not enough to regard Israel a dictatorship or an authoritative regime. The real problem will surface years down the road, when the binational state will inevitably be established, uniting Israel and the West Bank. As the solution of two states for two nations dwindles away, this dangerous idea grows closer and closer to becoming reality. That binational state will be a defective crossbred creature with no chance of survival. (…) bi-nationality in Israel would put an end to this country as the Jewish and democratic state. And Israel’s democracy is the foundation for our independence. We must use all our resources and collective efforts to prevent the dangers of a binational state from happening before its too late. So, as we celebrate this Independence Day, we must remember that had it not been for democracy, the Jewish state would not have stood the chance at survival.
Sever Plocker, YED, 04.05.22
HAA = Haaretz
YED = Yedioth Ahronoth / Ynetnews
JPO = Jerusalem Post
IHY = Israel HaYom
TOI = Times of Israel
GLO = Globes
Published: May 2022.
Dr. Paul Pasch,
Head of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Israel