“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:
- Egypt Mediates Ceasefire in Gaza Strip
- Pious Demands Fuel Protests
- Israel’s International Standing Under Scrutiny
- Selection of Articles
1. Egypt Mediates Ceasefire in Gaza Strip
Nothing New in Israel’s South (Or North)
Despite Israel’s reactions – resolute, as always – to the latest rocket attack on Ashkelon and the entire southwest of the country (…), Hezbollah and Hamas continue to rejoice (…). It may be that this time the crisis is deeper. (…) Nevertheless, a heads-up for Nasrallah and Sinwar: The current policy of restraint (…) began many years ago, under previous IDF chiefs of staff and their counterparts in the Shin Bet security service and the Mossad. It is this defense establishment – the central force of the “disintegration” movement – that allowed you to smuggle, make and stockpile hundreds of thousands of rockets and missiles, almost unhindered. Even when it became clear to it that quantity had become quality and that the missiles created a balance of terror, it did not dare to admit that due to the threat posed to the civilian population and to infrastructure as a result of this balance, the Israel Defense Forces lost its quantitative and force advantages, resulting in a draw between the “superpower” called Israel and the “superpowers” Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south. (…) Israeli intelligence is excellent, as always. It reported in real time on your buildup of power as you strove toward the truly respectable position of creating the balance of terror. The recipients of the intelligence allowed you to continue. (…) Indeed, in the south, as in the north, there is nothing new.
Israel Harel, HAA, 04.05.23
Gaza Deaths Brought Israel’s Coalition Back to Life
“It’s about time,” Itamar Ben-Gvir was quoted as saying in response to the assassinations of the three Islamic Jihad leaders and at least 10 civilians, among them four women and four children. (…) Ben-Gvir is a man of principles. But God forbid we should suspect the prime minister of ordering the assassinations to please Ben-Gvir and remove the threat of his quitting the coalition and bringing down the government. (…) It would be pointless to pull out of the archives the reasoning behind scores of assassinations Israel has conducted of Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials, starting with Ahmed Yassin through Abdel Aziz Rantisi, Yihyeh Ayyash, Abu Ali Mustafa, Ahmed Jabari, Baha Abu al-Ata, regional commanders and missile technicians down to tunnel excavators and ordinary fighters. Each one of these assassinations was supposed to bring us peace and security, stability and prosperity and, above all, deterrence – or at least restore the nation’s prestige or avenge the murder of Israeli civilians. (…) The impression that has been created, even if there are not facts on which to base it, is that Ben-Gvir did to Netanyahu militarily what Defense Minister Yoav Gallant did to him politically. Except for one critical difference: Gallant acted with wide public support, Ben-Gvir acted as a bully. Gallant was ready to pay the price; Ben-Gvir set the price and he can do it again and again. (…) Netanyahu has made him a critical factor when he decides on army operations.
Zvi Bar’el, HAA, 10.05.23
Hamas content to let Israel and Islamic Jihad duel it out
It may come as no surprise that Hamas, Gaza’s most prominent militant organization, has decided to stay out of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). (…) Hamas knew what they were doing. While standing by and supposedly doing nothing while Islamic Jihad is forced to bear the brunt of Israel’s military prowess, a full-scale confrontation with Israel would likely put them in a far less advantageous position. (…) It’s basically your average win-win situation: Islamic Jihad launched hundreds of rockets toward Israel with the blessing of Hamas firmly in tow, which means they can get away with saying that they are a part of this conflict and have by no means abandoned the Palestinian cause of resisting the Israeli occupation. From the Israeli perspective, the IDF, Shin Bet and the State of Israel at large, have been able to focus their attention and aggression toward one enemy, Islamic Jihad. In other words, Israel is doing Hamas’ work for them, as Israel is weakening their main competition inside Gaza. (…) Hamas persistently strengthens its presence in Gaza while attempting to execute additional terrorist attacks from the West Bank, all in an effort to undermine the Palestinian Authority’s status. (…) The Netanyahu government can rightfully celebrate the success of its recent operation. The precise attack on Islamic Jihad leaders without escalating the conflict will undoubtedly be viewed as a victory by the majority of the Israeli public. Islamic Jihad, on the other hand, will emerge from this campaign defeated and humiliated if it ends at this stage. However, it is important to note that even if PIJ agrees to a ceasefire, it is unlikely to last long. (…)
Avi Issacharoff, YED, 11.05.23
Israel’s No-win Situation
(…) It is obvious what the PIJ is going to extract following Israel’s targeted attacks in Gaza. As in all previous confrontations, they will shoot rockets from within civilian populations, thereby causing civilian casualties. Displaying the civilian casualties in front of CNN and other world reporters is just what PIJ aims to do. Understandably, pictures of dead and wounded civilians arouse the world’s outcry and bring condemnation against Israel. In this way, the Palestinians win again. (…) Israel therefore finds itself in a difficult, albeit familiar, position. On the one hand, it must act to fully stop terror and harm against its people. On the other hand, international pressure and condemnation is a sure result of doing this. It is therefore a no-win situation. (…) Israel’s no-win situation has been part of our struggle from the very beginning. Whether in Israel or abroad, our people have had to fight uphill battles which were seemingly hopeless throughout time. Today, this has taken the form of terrorism at home and antisemitism abroad. In the end, Israel and the Jews will overcome in order to come out on top, as is our history.
Jack Molad, TOI, 12.05.23
Israel’s Pragmatic Approach to the Gaza Strip
On August 8, a day after the conclusion of Operation Breaking Dawn, Israel’s three-day preemptive military campaign against Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid offered its two million Palestinian inhabitants a viable path to peace. (…) “There is another way,” he said. (…) “The choice is yours,” he added. “Your future depends on you.” Lapid’s remarks were broadly directed at the Palestinian masses in Gaza, who have suffered through four cross-border wars since 2008. But they were really aimed at Islamic Jihad and its senior partner, Hamas, which has ruled the congested and impoverished coastal enclave since 2006. (…) Lapid hopes that economic incentives that Israel has offered Gaza since 2021, namely 14,000 work permits and import concessions, will have the salutary effect of keeping Hamas out of future fighting and lead to a lasting ceasefire. (…) in the last year the Israeli government has allowed thousands of Palestinians to work in Israel for the first time since 2006. Until then, only several hundred businessmen were permitted to enter Israel with a special permit. A worker from Gaza can earn about 6,000 shekels ($1,850) a month in Israel, compared to 1,000 shekels ($300) in Gaza, whose unemployment rate hovers around the 50 percent mark. Since last autumn, Israel has permitted goods into Gaza that were previously prohibited and allowed the export of more agricultural produce than ever before. (…) It may be a vain hope, but Israel has nothing to lose and everything to gain by fostering better economic conditions in Gaza.
Sheldon Kirshner, TOI, 12.05.23
The operation that proved Israel can unite, deter and maintain legitimacy
Operation Shield and Arrow was intended primarily to get the Islamic Jihad commanders sitting in Lebanon to think twice before instructing their people in Gaza to launch rockets toward Israeli territory (…). Israel can safely say that the operation has achieved this goal. (…) The operatives of Hezbollah and Hamas have now witnessed how Israel’s intelligence directorate identifies and targets senior operatives, striking them one after another, even during combat, despite their attempts to remain hidden. All of this was accomplished while Israel maintained international and public legitimacy to continue its operation, as it demonstrated that it does everything possible to avoid harming uninvolved civilians. (…) The Israeli achievements were felt not only in Gaza but also in Iran, Beirut, and even in Yemen. Both Israel’s adversaries and allies have learned an important lesson from the civilian resilience and domestic cohesion they witnessed in Israel, even during the period of unprecedented social and political division. (…) The leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah and even Iran are not eager to engage in direct confrontations with Israel (…). However, it is not entirely true to say that Hamas was not involved in the fighting in Gaza. Hamas explicitly gave permission for Islamic Jihad to act and even provided some operational assistance, although not to a large extent. (…) Operation Shield and Arrow was (…) a success mainly because it reassured us all that in times of national and personal security threats, we know how to unite and defend ourselves. These characteristics are not only displayed by the pilots of the Air Force, the Military Intelligence personnel, and the Shin Bet, but also by the civilians on the home front, who demonstrated both self-discipline and high morale, and know how to practically and verbally support the IDF and the Shin Bet. (…)
Ron Ben-Yishai, YED, 14.05.23
Killing jihad commanders amplifies an illusion
(…) The operation, impressive and justified as it may be, has perpetuated the false expectation that the Israeli government has a formula to eradicate the terrorist threat originating in the Gaza Strip. (…) The Israeli government does not intend to adopt radical proposals from either the Right or the Left: We will not reoccupy the Gaza Strip, nor will we seriously and persistently deal with the roots of Palestinian hostility. (…) the words of Shimon Peres (…) come to my mind. He used to say that even in moments of crisis, one must not lose sight of the distant goal we are striving to reach. (…) “With one hand we must hold firmly a deadly sword, but with the other hand we must wave the banner of peace and neighborliness.” We must prove with significant and continuous measures that although our sword is strong and sharp, our heart is open and our hand is sincerely extended in peace. In this way, we will strengthen those on the Palestinian side who prefer reconciliation and compromise. The internal battle there is expected to be long and brutal, but our own duty is to give hope to those who desire peace. After all, isn’t it our dream, as well?
Avi Gil, JPO, 15.05.23
Our lives come before those of our enemies
We do not seek to harm innocents; we seek only to protect ourselves. (…) If the heads of the serpent hide behind women and children as human shields, we shall reach them even at the cost of collateral damage to their surroundings. The equation is either our families or theirs. (…) Several media outlets directly or indirectly linked the actions of our soldiers to the “killing of innocents.” (…) These headlines were quoted extensively in Arab media outlets worldwide as proof and testimony right from the enemy’s mouth of the immoral cruelty of the Jews. (…) In several instances, Natan Alterman (…) dealt with the question of morality during wartime, when power and sovereignty were in our hands, and we harmed innocents. The poem “About This” addresses the backlash over the events in the village of Dawamiya in late October 1948, when it became known that war prisoners and civilians who threatened no one had been killed. But this has nothing to do with when our enemies seek to commit genocide against us. In those cases, Alterman left no room for pseudo-moral equivocations that claimed a false symmetry between us and them. In his collection of poems “The Ten Plagues of Egypt” (1944), when addressing the deaths of innocents in the battle with the Nazi enemy as the Allies destroyed German cities, he wrote: “For the dagger is righteous in its judgment/ but in its wake/ always leaves, like a taste of salt/ the tears of the innocent.” Despite the tears of the innocent, Alterman justified the judgment.
Dror Eydar, IHY, 15.05.23
2. Pious Demands Fuel Protests
Can we find a compromise between religious and secular Jews?
(…) When the state was established, Jewish leaders from across the political spectrum worked together in order to declare the establishment of the Jewish state. Despite their differences, they understood the importance of a secure homeland for the Jewish people. (…) The reality is that the haredi sector is expanding, and will likely eventually become the majority in Israel. This successful and prosperous country may soon be entrusted to a religiously observant majority. (…) significant parts of Israel’s non-haredi society are not prepared to bear the economic burden of the haredi community. They are exhausted. The gaps are growing between the haredi and non-haredi communities in National Service rates, contributions to the economy, and the sharing of general social responsibilities, because of their many conflicting values. People are becoming more and more distressed. This unraveling of Israel’s social cohesion is undermining our national resilience. It threatens our existence in Israel and damages our entire society. (…) tens of thousands of Haredim (…) are ready to take responsibility, and they are committed to dialogue and finding common ground between all citizens in the State of Israel. This is big news. There are haredi Jews today who recognize the importance of dialogue. They are no longer defined by who they are not and what they disagree with, but by who they are. (…) We are entering a new era, in which the minority is going to become the majority. (…) The call of the hour is to call for an immediate ceasefire in the internal wars that are destroying Israeli society. (…)
Menachem Bombach, JPO, 03.05.23
The Most Powerful Protest – Voting for Justice
(…) The only means for Israel to avoid the disastrous fate that awaits sectarian nations (…), is a powerful, widely supported political movement aimed at creating an influential party focused on a few basic precepts, all of which come under the banner of secularly defined Justice. (…) Among the hundreds of thousands nationwide protesters of recent Shabbats, there were voters for probably eight or ten diverse political parties, arguably, perhaps even 15. These days, however, the focus – of outrage and of action – should be narrowed. Secondary agenda items should be ignored exclusively in favour justice and sustainability – sustainability for Israel & for the planet. We have seen the results of splitting votes among various boutique parties: Netanyahu and his most nefarious coalitions! We must create a “big tent” Israel Justice party. (…) a broad “All-Star” coalition of high-profile personalities from academe, media, show business, sports, and the arts – “influencers” with a conscience and concern matching that of the protesters. (…) Voters, in large enough numbers, have power to force change. (…) Join your fellow protesters in one political party. (…) Gandhi and Martin Luther King succeeded in their stubborn marches for justice well before the age of Internet, and before most of their followers even had the right to vote. (…) Seventy-five years ago, the ideal that was Israel depended for its establishment on voting support from a collective of otherwise differently aligned countries at the United Nations. Now Israel’s future depends on the collective voting of otherwise differently aligned citizens – voting for a new party that will be determined to bring Israel nearer to the ideal of justice and equity. (…)
Amnon Allan Medad, TOI, 04.05.23
Israel’s mature majority is saving democracy
Here we are, after Israel’s 75th birthday, and… we’re still here! And here we are, not just still a democracy, but an impressive and stable one. (…) A funny thing happened on the way to Democratic Armageddon – The mature majority resisted. This mature majority knows (…) that you toast Israel’s many achievements on Independence Day – including its overlapping Jewish and democratic character – while stuffing your face with yummy barbecue rather than chewing your friend’s ear off with partisan bile. And these patriots know that when protesting, you don’t smash your neighbors’ windows, loot your friends’ stores, or beat your fellow citizens who dare to disagree with you – because we are indeed friends, neighbors, fellow citizens, equally targeted by our enemies. (…) Admittedly, we remain just a handful of hotheads away from disaster. But this crisis has gone on long enough to appreciate the many things that have gone right – and recognize them as characteristic not anomalous. (…) If the Israeli people were as aggressive, divisive, incompetent, short-sighted, cowardly and hypocritical as too many ministers are – the doom-and-gloomers would be correct: Israel would have collapsed long ago. In merely 132 days, this government has made so many Israelis less economically secure, less politically united, less proud of our country, less safe, and less confident about our future. (…) The Israel street is rejecting this government-that-can’t-govern-straight. (…)
Gil Troy, JPO, 10.05.23
Israel’s Reform-mad Antidemocrats Should Focus on the Rabbinate
(…) in contrast to judges, cabinet ministers, soldiers, the president and even the state comptroller, all of whom are obligated to swear allegiance to “the State of Israel and its laws,” the religious court judges are exempt from this yoke. They may swear allegiance to the state, but are free from the burden of being faithful to its laws too. Nice, isn’t it? (…) Israel’s Jewish citizens, without any exception, have been handed over to this bizarre system. Only there do they determine who is a Jew and who is not, who is married and who isn’t, who will convert and who cannot, who has been converted and who has not, who is divorced and who is not … and now they are plotting to expand this authority even more. Has the time not arrived to turn over this system to the claws of Levin-Rothman so they can pluck out all its feathers, as they love so much to do, and finally free the people from the yoke of this rabbinical dictatorship? Or actually, it would be enough to make it a voluntary system, and the “redeemer will come to Zion.” This would be good for everyone: For the frustrated couple, who could rejoice in the destruction of a legal system, for all Israelis and also for our battered democracy. (…)
- Michael, HAA, 10.05.23
The awakening of the Fifth Sector in Israel
We are accustomed to thinking about society as government and politics, business and civic society. Classically these are considered to be three sectors. In recent years, there has been a fourth added which is a hybrid of business and civic society which is now focused on impact investing. Since the outbreak of social unrest in response to the government’s attempt at judicial reform, a fifth sector has emerged. A combination of civic society players, business and ex-military elites and the mega-success of the Start-Up Nation have all combined to mount a vigorous, and so far, successful public campaign against Justice Minister Yariv Levin’s best-laid plans (…). There is an entire sector of Israeli society and the Israeli economy which is populated by entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, bankers and lawyers, many of whom also share very similar sociological backgrounds. (…) The anti-reform movement is backed by Israeli money and elite army organizational and tactical skills. It has proven that there is a powerful and visceral patriotism to the country and its democratic principles; (…) If this political campaign is to become a more substantive event in Israel’s political and social history, it will have to be about much more than the legal reforms. (…) Israel’s new Fifth Sector will ultimately require a salvation element in its revitalized identity. (…) Universal ideas struggle to generate mass movement appeal (…). A more specific definition of the love of the land (in addition to military service, paying taxes and working in hi-tech) is now required, because liberalism, per se, is not enough. (…) Without it, those with a more fervent religious and nationalistic passion will win the day.
Daniel Goldman, JPO, 14.05.23
The Netanyahu Government’s ultra-Orthodox Budget Will Destroy Israel’s Future
In his total dedication to the fight to shore up his rule at any cost, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu isn’t hesitating to forsake the future of Israel’s children. In a sweeping surrender to the coalition demands of the ultra-Orthodox parties, he has decided to sentence large numbers of them to a life of poverty, ignorance and unequal opportunity. Throughout the course of the military operation against Islamic Jihad in Gaza, as he boasted about his militancy and his government’s unwillingness to compromise, Netanyahu surrendered to every coalition demand that was presented to him. (…) Netanyahu has (…) agreed to boost funding for independent Haredi educational institutions by 230 million shekels. That’s actually a doubling of government funding for these schools, which are not subject to any oversight and don’t teach core secular subjects. The transfer of such a large sum of money is also in violation of the law, which does not permit such schools to receive more than 55 percent of what regular state schools get. (…) The funding for yeshivas has also grown to 2 billion shekels a year (…). The Budgets Division has determined that the coalition agreements will send the Haredi employment rate plummeting and cause a 6.7 trillion shekel loss of gross domestic product by 2060, requiring a 16 percent increase in taxes. This will be Netanyahu’s historic legacy – a prime minister who dragged Israel down to the status of a Third World country.
Editorial, HAA, 15.05.23
3. Israel’s International Standing Under Scrutiny
Efforts to repair EU-Israel relations are to be applauded
(…) After years of a steady improvement in the diplomatic ties between Israel and the EU (…) it suddenly appeared that the relationship with the new government was headed back to the tense days that often characterized the relationship during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s previous term in office. Those years were marked by the EU sanctimoniously preaching to Israel and threatening various steps in response to the government’s settlement policies, and by Israeli officials frequently lashing back and accusing the EU of a one-sided and hypocritical approach to the conflict. (…) Neither Israel – for whom the EU is its largest export market – nor the EU, which can only play a regional diplomatic role if it enjoys a modicum of trust among Israeli government officials, benefits from tensions between them. Both sides, after all, need each other to serve interests well beyond the Palestinian issue: Israel needs the EU’s assistance in placing pressure on Iran and the EU needs Israeli natural gas to help reduce its dependence on Russia. (…)
Editorial, JPO, 04.05.23
How Ben-Gvir’s Europe Day scandal could have been avoided
The diplomatic scandal that arose with the European Union’s decision to cancel the Europe Day celebration in Israel, to prevent Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir from delivering a speech at the event, could have been avoided. Ben-Gvir was tapped to represent the government by the cabinet secretariat in a rotation of assignments, with no bad intentions. But in actuality, his deployment was a lack of foresight, given the fact that the EU boycotts him and the members of his party Jewish National Front. (…) The EU’s embassy was humiliated by the far-right minister as the representative of the Israeli government at the event, to which diplomats from around the world and public figures from Israel were invited. (…) To avoid this scandal, the government secretariat could have consulted with the Foreign Ministry, which certainly would have advised against the assignment. The minister is considered a red flag in the EU – a person who represents everything that the EU stands against. (…) This conflict between the government and the EU, which is boycotting Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, was for nothing. (…)
Itamar Eichner, YED, 08.05.23
Are the days of unreserved support for Israel over?
(…) Since the beginning of the protest, the Jewish community in the United States has been in a state of great uncertainty and confusion. Traditionally, the Jewish establishment has echoed the messages from Israel and stood by the country on almost every issue, despite occasional points of disagreement. (…) In the face of the crisis in Israel, the Jewish establishment has become divided. Some want to continue with business as usual and echo vague messages of support for the democratic process, while others choose to “get into the action” and understand that the relationship with Israel will never be the same again. (…) In the past, American Jewry was not ready for a relationship with Israel that included open discussions and different perspectives. Since the establishment of the state, and particularly after the Six-Day War, Israel has been a powerful tool for strengthening Jewish identity in the United States. The main challenge for American Jews has been to maintain their Jewish identity without isolating themselves from the larger society and to embrace their American identity without assimilating. Support for Israel served as the ideal bridge between these two identities. The relationship between Israel and American Jewry has undergone significant changes in recent years, and Israel is no longer the unifying factor it once was. (…) what is needed is (…) a recognition that the relationship between Israel and American Jewry needs to be fundamentally re-evaluated and changed. Even the staunchest supporters of Israel are starting to realize that we have reached a turning point. (…) There is a growing concern that many within American Jewry will seek to distance themselves from Israel because, with the loss of its democratic character, it will no longer be able to function as a unifying factor for the Jewish community. (…) The two largest Jewish communities in the world are at a crucial junction of identity. (…)
Barak Sella, TOI, 09.05.23
A New Playbook for pro-Israel Americans to Resist Netanyahu’s Far-right Rule
A new chapter is being written in the story of the Jewish state, one in which pro-Israel Americans should claim co-authorship. (…) pro-Israel Americans must appreciate the influence we possess – and use it constructively. (…) we should be inspired to pivot by the hundreds of thousands of Israelis pouring into the streets every week to protest the far-right government’s attempts to change the democratic rules by neutering the Supreme Court. These demonstrators are confronting what needs to be confronted, and so should we as pro-Israel Americans.(…) if the decaying mantra of “shared values” is to survive the thread it’s hanging by (…), it’s up to America to adopt a pro-Israel posture that confronts the giant elephant in the room, the occupation, the greatest threat to Israel’s democracy and longevity. (…) Biden, a self-proclaimed Zionist and arguably the most pro-Israel president ever, is best suited to deliver that message. (…) There are three things the right in both countries aren’t lacking: focus, finances and friends. Whether targeting the courts in America or in Israel, or annexation attempts of the West Bank, the Right wing has always been supremely focused on its long-term power grab and its effort to reshape its respective country in its own image. (…) Aside from necessary willpower, not much is preventing the Israeli and American left from uniting to do the same. The United States – encouraged by liberal American Jews – can help shape the story of the next 75 years. (…)
Daniel Bral, HAA, 15.05.23
4. Selection of Articles
Syria Socially Acceptable Again in the Arab League
The Arab World’s Disgraceful Rehabilitation of Syria’s Bloodsoaked Tyrant
And just like that, Damascus once again became a go-to destination for foreign ministers across the Middle East. (…) As they shake hands with the Syrian dictator in his palace overlooking the heights of Damascus, these officials are walking over the corpses of more than half a million dead. They are turning their backs on half the population of this country who live in the camps of humiliation and misery, displaced in their own country or as refugees in neighboring countries. (…) This operation of seduction and rehabilitation vis-à-vis the Syrian regime underlines the weakness of the American position and its British and French allies – in Syria and in the Middle East in general. (…) Above all, this Syria saga shows the inability of the Arab world to deliver a democratic governance model that satisfies the aspirations of its populations. (…) In this frenzied Waltz with Bashar, Iran is the biggest winner, in Syria and beyond. (…) This is quite some reversal of fate for Assad’s dictatorial and bloodthirsty regime, still under international sanctions. (…) The Middle East’s elites are responsible for the state of their region. But they were aided by two former colonial powers, Britain and France, who paved the way for authoritarian monarchies and dictatorial republics respectively, as well as the U.S., which empowered Saudi’s reactionary Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia. On Syria, these powers must now show some backbone. They (…) have a moral debt to pay. If they still understand the meaning of the term.
Akil Marceau, HAA, 08.05.23
HAA = Haaretz
YED = Yedioth Ahronoth / Ynetnews
JPO = Jerusalem Post
IHY = Israel HaYom
TOI = Times of Israel
GLO = Globes
Published: May 2023.
Dr. Paul Pasch,
Head of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Israel