In April 2018, the six living former directors of the Mossad -- Israel's spy agency -- were interviewed by Yedioth Achronoth. A key theme was their belief in the imperative of the two-state solution for Israel, and their call for diplomacy with the Palestinians.
Debra DeLee, Debra Shushan, MK Merav Michaeli, Nidal Fuqaha, and Lara Friedman discuss the formalization of annexation. Americans for Peace Now's panel discussion at J Street's National Conference April 15, 2018.
This year, communities across the US will gather to honor the annual Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day Ceremony. For
the past thirteen years, thousands of Israelis and Palestinians have stood each year to acknowledge the pain of
those living on the “other side” and envision a better future together.
Join us for a special memorial event based upon the values of recognition, hope, solidarity, and non-violence. We will hear from Palestinians and Israelis who have committed themselves to these values, watch inspirational clips from the Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day Ceremony taking place on the same day in Israel. Joined by musicians from Heartbeat youth band, we will sing, reflect, connect, and renew our community's call to end the conflict in a just and peaceful way.
Yossi Alpher is an independent security analyst. He is the former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, a former senior official with the Mossad, and a former IDF intelligence officer. Views and positions expressed here are those of the writer, and do not necessarily represent APN's views and policy positions.
This week, Alpher discusses the US-led attack against chemical warfare targets in Syria.
Ori Nir and Debra Shushan, April 2018
Since President Donald Trump took office, the Israeli right has launched an unprecedented drive to annex the West Bank, piecemeal or in its entirety. This paper does the following: lays out the recent developments that present a quantum leap in Israeli annexation efforts, analyzes these moves against the historical backdrop of Israel’s 50-year occupation of the West Bank, examines the ramifications of the transition from “creeping” to “leaping” annexation, and considers why this transformation is happening now.
----Ruth Bondy, Auschwitz survivor and journalist, wrote this Op-Ed two years ago and Yedioth re-published it today. Bondy died four months ago*
“Let's face it. If being a 'central inciter' is grounds for capital punishment, Netanyahu and his cabinet would have to hold their weekly meetings on Death Row.”
—After the Israeli army cleared a sniper who shot a motionless Palestinian, saying the Palestinian was involved in leading demonstrations at the Gaza-Israel border fence, Haaretz+ commentator Bradley Burston wrote in an Op-Ed that Israeli officials cannot be believed when it comes to reasons for harming Palestinians.*
Quote of the Day #2:
"The spirit of the IDF - Purity of arms: A soldier will use his weapon and power for performing a mission, only if it is needed, and he will maintain his sense of humanity even during combat. The soldier will not use his weapon and his power in order to harm people who are not fighters nor against prisoners, and he will do all in his capability to prevent harm to their lives, their bodies, their honor and their property."
— A quarter-page ad on the front page of today's Haaretz by 'Breaking the Silence.'
You Must Be Kidding:
Israel Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman refuses to grant entry to 110 Palestinians seeking to attend a joint Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day ceremony scheduled for the eve of Memorial Day for the Fallen next week in Tel Aviv.**
- High tension in the north: Security establishment preparing for possibility that Iran will respond to attack on base in Syria; Senior Iranian official on the attack: Israel’s crime won’t go unanswered
- The target attacked in Syria: the largest air compound that Iran established
- Netanyahu advancing legislation that will hurt High Court; In coalition, they think this is an attempt to push for elections
- State Prosecutor asked to amend an opinion about the reliability of a little girl who complained about a sex crime
- Lieberman prohibited 110 Palestinians from participating in an alternative Memorial Day
- On Eve of Holocaust Memorial Day: the letters from a Warsaw Ghetto orphanage head, who committed suicide
- Even after he sat in jail, the followers of Rabbi Berland have G-d, flesh and blood
- Careful, war // Haaretz Editorial
- They figured out the video clip // Sami Peretz
- Saudi Arabia on the red carpet
- The construction for transferring the US embassy to Jerusalem won’t be finished by Independence Day
- 1/4 page ad: The spirit of the IDF - Purity of arms: A soldier will use his weapon and power for performing a mission, only if it is needed, and he will maintain his sense of humanity even during combat. The soldier will not use his weapon and his power in order to harm people who are not fighters nor against prisoners, and he will do all in his capability to prevent harm to their lives, their bodies, their honor and their property. — Breaking the Silence
- “The Holocaust was my childhood” - Special: The breathtaking text that Aharon Applefield wrote shortly before his death about his life as a child in the heart of the horrors
- Tonight at 20:00, the events for Holocaust Memorial Day will begin
- Facebook’s embarrassment - Mark Zuckerberg declared to Congress, “I made a mistake, the responsibility is mine”
- High tension - Syria preparing for American attack, Israel preparing for Iranian response
- Senior security establishment officials: “If Iran attacks Israel - we will take down Assad and his regime”
- 70 years of Maariv
- We won’t forget - Holocaust Memorial Day Eve
- Facebook admits: “Personal information of 47,000 Israelis was leaked”
- Israel forever - Holocaust Memorial Day
- To remember and to remind: A special project
- Trump prepares to attack: Damascus on standby for being attacked
- Video clip investigation: The Palestinian was warned, shot - and injured
- Yes, the most moral army in the world // Haim Shine
- Netanyahu: “Expand the law (that prevents High Court from revoking laws) - not just about infiltrators”
- Facebook admits: It’s possible that information about 47,000 Israelis was leaked
High alerts in Israel for a potential Iranian attack and at Syrian military bases for a possible US attack, IDF support for one of its snipers who was filmed shooting an immobile Palestinian protestor in Gaza and stories of Holocaust survivors as Holocaust Memorial Day begins tonight in Israel - all this made top news in today’s Hebrew newspapers.
The mutual threats have begun over two separate attacks in Syria, involving four countries. The Israeli military is on high alert after Iran said that the Israeli attack on an Iranian drone base in Syria under exclusive Iranian control, would not remain without response. Israeli security officials responded telling Maariv’s Ben Caspit that Israel would topple the Assad regime in Syria if Iran attacked Israel. Iran confirmed that four of its military advisers were killed in the Israeli attack, which Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said he doesn’t know who made. The Russians were also furious at Israel and summoned the Israeli ambassador for a talking to, which Israel downplayed.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump’s threats of a US strike on Syria in retaliation for a Syrian gas attack on Syrian civilians have Syrian troops on alert. The Russian ambassador to Lebanon warned that any US missile fired at Syria will be shot down. Russia still insists there was no chemical attack and slammed Israel's 'hasty conclusion’ that it was chemicals. In an unusual statement, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said the “attack shows clearly that Syria continues to possess lethal chemical weapons capabilities and even to manufacture new ones.”
*After the broadcast of a video clip in which Israeli soldiers are heard cheering after an Israeli sniper shot a Palestinian standing near the Gaza border fence, some Israeli right-wing ministers, including Education Minister Naftali Bennett, said it was no bigee. However, the Israel army yesterday disagreed and said the cheering soldiers would be disciplined. Nevertheless, the army cleared the sniper, saying that the young Palestinian was leading protests at the fence, which was reason to shoot him. (Links to articles from Haaretz+, Israel Hayom and Ynet.)
Today, the organization of former Israeli soldiers that gathers testimonies from Israeli soldiers about human rights violations against Palestinians, ‘Breaking the Silence,’ ran a quarter-page ad, reminding Israelis when soldiers are supposed to use their weapons and power and when they aren’t. (See Quote of the Day.)
Israel Hayom reported that “Chatter on Palestinian social media indicated that this Friday's border protest will be a ‘firebomb (Molotov Cocktail) campaign,’” for which the Israeli army is increasing its forces. According to Israel Hayom, “Hamas operatives are spotted practicing breaching the fence, rushing IDF posts and abducting soldiers.
- **Israel refuses to let 110 Palestinians participate in Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day event - Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman says alternative event is 'not a memorial ceremony, but rather a demonstration of bad taste and insensitivity.’ (Haaretz+, Ynet and Israel Hayom)
- Lieberman: Slain Gaza reporter was Hamas militant - Yasser Murtaja, the journalist who was killed by Israeli fire on Friday, was a member of Hamas who used a drone to collect intelligence on Israeli forces, defense minister says; Hamas, Murtaja's family deny his allegation. (Agencies, Ynet)
- 'Arabs prohibited': Main West Bank road barred to Palestinians as army protects settlers' prayer - ‘This area under Jewish control,’ reads a sign in Arabic posted by settlers on a critical artery linking villages, now blocked for thousands of Palestinians. (Haaretz+)
- Left-wing party's lawmakers barred from Knesset talks on Gaza border operations - Discussions will be held in Knesset subcommittees Meretz is not a member of; MKs blast that theirs is the 'only part that voiced criticism of the government's policy regarding the demonstrations of Gaza residents’. (Haaretz+)
- Israeli left-wing activists harass soldiers near Gaza border - Activists enter closed military zone, call soldiers "terrorists" in a "terrorist army" that "slaughters innocent civilians in Gaza" • Soldier: Situations like these make it hard for us to do our jobs because people are always trying to put you on trial. (Israel Hayom)
- Slain Gaza journalist, branded Hamas militant by Israel, received U.S. grant - State Department says $11,700 USAID grant to a firm co-founded by Yaser Murtaja was vetted. Israel's defense chief says Murtaja was on the group's payroll, providing no evidence. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Netanyahu Pushing Override of Laws Nixed by Top Court: 'His Real Goal Is Early Elections' - Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon won't support general override power by Knesset, only a specific one regarding asylum seekers. (Haaretz+)
- Israeli army fires at Hamas targets after explosive charge detonates near Gaza border - According to IDF, a military bulldozer was performing infrastructure work when it mounted the charge. No wounded or casualties have been reported. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Palestinian collaborator claims Israel's refused him residency - Forced to stay in Israel after threatened with death by terrorists, Palestinian collaborator says he feels 'abandoned' by the state, pleads with interior minister to grant him legal status in Israel; IDF says he has already been granted permit. (Ynet)
- Israel's High Court attacks state for keeping asylum seekers jailed with no deportation deal in sight - 'There's no agreement yet you're keeping people in prison,' Supreme Court president charges; both Uganda and Rwanda repeatedly clarified they won't take asylum seekers against their will. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
- Multiple anti-expulsion rallies held worldwide - Hundreds of asylum seekers, activists call on Ugandan government to refuse to accept any migrants expelled from Israel in simultaneous protests in south Tel Aviv, Berlin, London and Paris; 'Israel has no refugee crisis, but it does have a leadership crisis,' says participant; South Tel Aviv Liberation Front holds Torah scroll inauguration in retort, symbolizing 'Israeli sovereignty over the African quarter.' (Ynet)
- Israel wanted to bar entry to Dublin's mayor over BDS ties – but got his name wrong - Israel announced it would deny entry to Mícheál Mac Donncha over his ties to BDS, but his Irish name was apparently too much for Israeli officials to handle. (Haaretz ad Ynet)
- Ethiopian captive's family attempts to fight off indifference - After three and a half years in Hamas captivity in Gaza, and 9 days in a protest tent outside the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem, Avera Mengistu's family concedes race played a role in failing to secure his release, no government representatives speaking to themץ (Yedioth/Ynet)
- Netanyahu tells IDF orphans about his brother Yoni - The prime minister meets with bereaved siblings, orphans of fallen IDF soldiers ahead of Memorial Day, listening to their personal stories of loss and sharing his feelings on the loss of his brother Yoni at Entebbe: 'My brother continues to live within me.' (Ynet)
- Number of Jews in the world still lower than before Holocaust - Figures released by Israel Central Bureau of Statistics show there are still fewer Jews living across the globe than in 1939, prior to the Nazi Holocaust; most Jews live in Israel, US. (Yedioth/Ynet)
- Yad Vashem: Syria shows mechanisms developed after Holocaust to prevent crimes against humanity are failing - Memorial center's chairman says world's indifference enables mass killing of civilians. (Haaretz)
- For the first time in its history: The Knesset will hold a memorial event for Dr. Rudolf Israel Kastner - Sixty-one years after he was shot to death by (Israeli) assassins in Tel-Aviv in 1957, the journalist and Zionist activist, who saved the lives of tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews and was accused of collaborating with the Nazis, will be commemorated. (Maariv)
- Israel Aerospace mulls launching satellite after Spacecom snub - Spacecom chooses U.S.-based Space Systems/Loral to build Amos-8 satellite over IAI. IAI expresses "surprise" that Spacecom opted for an American manufacturer. IAI-built Amos-6 satellite was destroyed days before being launched in September 2016. (Israel Hayom)
- Facebook: 50,000 Israelis may have been exposed to Cambridge Analytica breach - Twenty eight Israelis installed application that made data accessible – enough to potentially affect tens of thousands of their Facebook friends. (Haaretz+)
- Islamic Jihad leader comatose; group denies poisoning - The exact condition of Ramadan Shalah, 60, is unknown as coma is attributed to stroke, complications due to surgery, or poisoning by foreign agents. Islamic Jihad says surgery, conducted in Hezbollah stronghold, was for a "naturally occurring ailment." (Israel Hayom and Ynet)
- Israel's Labor Party suspends ties with Jeremy Corbyn for 'enabling anti-Semitism' - Gabbay accuses Corbyn of crossing 'a dangerous line' between criticizing the Israeli government's policy and anti-Semitism. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Indian group wins license to explore for gas, oil in Israeli waters - Consortium of four leading Indian companies is awarded three-year license with option for three-year extension • Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz welcomes move, says he plans to step up efforts to attract international investors to explore Israel's waters. (Israel Hayom)
From the Armenian Holocaust to anti-Zionism and pro-settlement, the torchlighting ceremony has long been divisive. (Ofer Aderet, Haaretz+)
The Guerrilla Filmmaker Who Caught Israel’s Black Panthers on Tape
In 1971, American activist David Cort flew to Israel and captured rare scenes of a country presenting a triumphalist image to the world yet riven by internal strife. Nearly 50 years on, the 12 hours of footage he shot has finally been made available to the public. (Asaf Shalev, Haaretz+)
*Gaza killings? Don't believe a word Israel says (Bradley Burston, Haaretz+) Let's face it. If being a 'central inciter' is grounds for capital punishment, Netanyahu and his cabinet would have to hold their weekly meetings on Death Row.
Yes, the most moral military in the world (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) The Left's constant attacks on IDF could potentially weaken the fighting spirit of its soldiers and commanders, just as major threats to the country's security loom.
Prepared for a conflict with Russia, Israel is pushing Trump to take action in Syria (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) The Foreign Ministry’s statement that Assad did use chemical weapons against his citizens on Sunday, despite the Kremlin’s strong denial, is aimed at drawing a red line against the Russians. Israeli officials are concerned that Putin’s diplomatic backing may be interpreted by the Syrian regime as a general legitimization to use chemical weapons—possibly against Israel too.
World’s silence on Syria is a license to kill (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) As the butcher of Damascus keeps massacring his own people, the international condemnations are directed at Israel, which has to deal with Palestinians waving the Nazi flag and screaming ‘death to the Jews.’ Meanwhile, ‘human rights organizations’ are cooperating with this great deception.
The Kremlin is no friend of Iran (Ariel Bolstein, Israel Hayom) Russia was quick to attribute the attack on an Iranian air base in Syria to Israel but stopped short of condemning it, demonstrating the depth of the understandings between Jerusalem and Moscow.
Syrian Situation Calls for Caution (Haaretz Editorial) Is Israel ready for a war on Syrian soil that includes ground forces? Can it count on U.S. involvement? The consequences are dangerous.
Israel won't tolerate Iranian presence in Syria (Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror, Israel Hayom) Russia may demand due consideration but Israel has proved time and again that it will not allow Iran to tighten its grip on Syria, even if doing so stokes regional tensions.
Russia's tough rhetoric shows Israel is losing its leeway with the Kremlin (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Moscow was the first to attribute the airstrike on the Syrian military base to Israel. But its fierce criticism of Israel's policy in the territories is the true warning sign.
Jordan and Lebanon Are Going Broke and Israel Should Worry (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) Living on heavy debt, Jordan and Lebanon face unpopular but inevitable cures like raising taxes. Wait for the 'good war' to erupt.
Safeguarding our religious rights (Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel Hayom) Jordan benefits from its relationship with Israel while stirring up Arabs in Israel. The time has come to point out to our neighbor to the east that Israel has sovereignty over east Jerusalem.
A humanitarian crisis in Israel (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Well-meaning citizens go out and protest the deportation of 30,000 asylum seekers from Israel, but when was there a meaningful demonstration for the children of Gaza?
"Wow, what a legendary video! YES! Son of a b****."
--In a video clip, Israeli soldiers are heard cheering when an Israeli sniper shoots at and hits a motionless Palestinian, who falls to the ground.**
- Security brass pushing for line of attack against Iran in Syria - Russia blames Israel for attack on base near Homs
- Message to Teheran // Amos Harel
- The Russian fire // Zvi Bar’el
- Strategic puzzle // Chemi Shalev
- IDF checking video clip in which soldiers are heard cheering after shooting Palestinian in Gaza
- Head of National Economic Council advancing plan that foreign workers receive less than minimum wage
- Zuckerberg: We did not do enough to prevent foreign intervention in elections, that was my mistake and I am sorry
- Olmert asked for the criminal file against him to be removed - a move that would allow him to return to politics
- Rabbinate: One of the main foods of the Jews of Italy is not kosher
- Diligent snipers // B. Michael
- BBC is in our hands // Amira Hass
- The video clip and the storm: The soldiers who shot a Palestinian and cheered - “Wow, what a video clip! Got him!”
- The attack in Syria, the harm to Iran - reports: Israel responsible for the bombing of a drone base in which 14 were killed, 4 of them Iranians
- With friends like that // Alex Fishman
- Putin test // Yossi Yehoshua
- Message to Teheran // Smadar Perry
- Operational and ethical // (former Military Intel chief) Amos Yadlin
- “For Holocaust survivor grandma, I was her pride, her officer granddaughter” - Special: Keren Brush, the daughter of Mireille Knoll, who was murdered in Paris, writes about hope and missing her
- “I made a mistake, I apologize” - Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg
- Russia accuses: Israel attacked in Syria
- Direct conflict // Tal Lev-Ram
- When Russia says no // Yossi Melman
- Trump hinted about an attack in response to the massacre Assad committed: We will determine who was responsible - and everyone will pay the price
- The storm over the snipers’ video clip - Soldiers uploaded a video clip to the Internet documenting shooting of a Palestinian demonstrator near the border with Gaza with calls of encouragement
- Independence without Honduras
- Iran is not safe in Syria - In the soft stomach: Reports of powerful blow in heart of Iran’s secret drone project; Esteemed commander was eliminated
- Israel drew a clear red line // Eyal Zisser
- In Moscow, they didn’t shed a tear on the Iranians // Ariel Bolstein
- Russia’s surprising show of innocence // Yaakov Amidror
- Joy in the Arab world: “Only Israel had the courage to act”
- Worrying video clip: “Soldiers shot a Palestinian in Gaza and cheered”; IDF: “We are probing”
- He went for the truth: The Polish man who told the world about the horrors of Auschwitz
- Remains of hatred: A Nazi flag found at Sarona (entertainment complex built on former German Templar neighborhood) was transferred to Yad V’Shem
- Taking care of them: Holocaust survivors received stipends of more than 5 billion shekels
Israeli newspapers expressed concern over a video clip in which Israeli soldiers cheered as a sniper brought down a motionless Palestinian, Russia blamed Israel for the bombing of a military base that killed 14 people, including four Iranians, and the President of Honduras canceled his controversial participation in Israel’s 70th Independence anniversary ceremony making today’s top stories.
**In what Yedioth called a ‘bad film,’ soldiers were heard cheering when a sniper next to them shoots down a motionless Palestinian who was among protesters at the Gaza fence. The video made the rounds of social media yesterday and the Israeli army said it would probe the incident.
Shortly after Russia accused Israel of making an attack on a military base in Syria, US officials confirmed that Israeli jets had carried out the bombing on a Syrian air force base, in which 14 people were killed, at least four of them Iranian. Israeli media reported that the site was an Iranian military base for drones and also said that Israel had informed the US in advance. Israel did not admit it was responsible for the attack, but top Israeli defense officials were pushing for an offensive approach in Syria against Iran, Haaretz reported. Russia called it “a dangerous development.”
The attack came when world perception for the Syrian regime was particularly low, hours after the Syrian army had made a chemical attack on its own civilians, in Douma. Israel condemned the chemical attack and accused the regime of 'crimes against humanity.’ But at the UN Security Council, Syria insisted it did not launch a chemical attack, killing 60 people and injuring over 1000 in the city of Douma. Oddly, white supremacists defended Syria’s leader Bashar al-Assad, saying the chemical attack was fake news and that it was just an effort by Israel and ‘globalists’ to keep US troops in the Middle East.
- Angling for a comeback? Olmert asks state to wipe criminal record - Convicted of a number of crimes, former prime minister cannot yet return to the public arena unless the Justice Ministry agrees to his request. (Haaretz+, Ynet and Maariv)
- 7 Jewish activists arrested at Schumer’s NY office after calling on him to condemn Gaza deaths - ‘Your silence speaks volumes, Chuck’ members of IfNotNow chant, demanding that Jewish Democratic senator speak out after 30 Palestinians die during two weekend marches along Gaza border. (Haaretz+)
- Russia slams Israel's use of 'indiscriminate and unacceptable' force against Palestinians - Russia's condemnation comes hours after Moscow claimed Israel is responsible for the Monday attack on a Syrian air base. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
- Arab citizens back Israel, slam Hamas over Gaza border protests - Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Arabic social media outlets, usually brimming with comments criticizing Israel over their treatment of Palestinians, is flooded with remarks by citizens of Arab countries exhibiting aversion of Hamas over its 'exploitation' of Gaza and its residents in Friday's border riots. (Ynet)
- Arab social media users laud Israel for 'putting Iran in its place' - Dismissing criticism of Israel over reported strike on air base in Syria, ordinary Arabs urge Israel to continue raids on President Assad's arsenals, Iranian assets • "Luckily for Arabs, Israel is unwilling to accept Iranian control in Syria," man writes. (Israel Hayom)
- Video of Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi's interrogation released by her family - The full video, viewed by the Associated Press, appears to show interrogators threatening Tamimi, who is currently serving prison time for hitting soldiers. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- $1 billion drone deal between Israel and Germany back on track - The contract was blocked in the German parliament for months, but a new coalition agreement calls for it to be approved. (Haaretz+)
- Israel paid African country last month to take in illegal migrants - Ynet learns that one month before Netanyahu accepted UN plan intended to resolve migrant crisis, before abandoning it and yet again pledging to deport thousands of Sudanese and Eritreans, Israel already completed at least part of the quid pro quo deal with an African 'third country' for its expulsion plan. (Ynet)
- Netanyahu congratulates Hungary's Orban after landslide reelection - PM previously discussed possibility of Israel hosting a meeting of the Visegrad group, four countries whose governments are considered the most right-wing in Europe. (Haaretz+)
- After Re-election, Hungary's Orban May Widen Crackdown on Soros Groups - Parliament expected to pass legislation that would empower government to ban NGOs that support migration and pose a 'national security risk.’ (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Indian group wins license to explore for gas, oil in Israeli waters - Consortium of four leading Indian companies is awarded three-year license with option for three-year extension • Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz welcomes move, says he plans to step up efforts to attract international investors to explore Israel's waters. (Israel Hayom)
- Israel to construct two new desalination plants in fight against drought - Five years into a drought has left Israel's natural water sources at their lowest in a century, prompting calls for government action. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- ‘The sky didn’t fall’: Enlisting in the IDF is no longer a scourge in ultra-Orthodox society - A real change has been underway over the past few years in the ultra-Orthodox world - its members aren't afraid to be seen in uniform. (Haaretz+)
- 'Big Bang' filming to keep Mayim Bialik from Israel's Independence Day torch-lighting - The Jewish-American actress was selected to represent Diaspora Jews at ceremony, but her duties as star of a hit sitcom mean she can't make the trip. (Haaretz+)
Marching in Gaza, my brother risks death - to feel free (Muhammad Shehada, Haaretz+) My teenage brother risks snipers and tear gas at the marches near the Israeli border. But, like all Gazans, he feels he's dying a slow death anyway.
Where is Jewish wisdom? The thousands of Gazan demonstrators can be stopped without a single bullet (Ephraim Ganor, Maariv) We must also ask how after so many years of confrontation with Palestinian demonstrators, creative means have not yet been developed to deal with the phenomenon. Thus, the IDF continues with the same old methods of firing rubber bullets, tear gas canisters and live bullets.
Nu, open fire already (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) Palestinians realize that nonviolence is their winning card, but Israelis neither hear nor see. And if they speak, it’s only in the language of force.
Israel 2018: There is something to be ashamed of (Ron Kaufman, Maariv) Miri Regev may be right in demanding that we not address now what will happen on Israel's 80th Independence Day. Ten years is a long time. Maybe then there will be a dictatorship here, so why waste time on what will happen if a dictatorship can be practiced right now?
Assad ridicules Trump with Syria chemical attack as Israel anxiously awaits next moves (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Netanyahu fears that the U.S. will withdraw from Syria and let Iran and Russia take over. Assad's use of chemical weapons is a display of ownership aimed at the Trump administration.
With friends like Trump and Putin, Israel has no one to rely on (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) If Monday’s strike in Syria was indeed carried out by Israeli planes, it wasn’t just a military move but a diplomatic defiance of both Russia and the US: If you fail to do what it takes to curb the Iranian entrenchment on our border, we’ll launch our own military operations.
Russia Claimed Syria Shot Down Israeli Missiles. Is Assad Revealing New Capabilities? (Yaniv Kubovich, Haaretz+) In the past, such reports came from Syria and were considered an attempt to minimize humiliation over the strikes. This time, Russia announced it.
The chemical attack in Syria raises serious questions about the readiness of the Israeli home front (Zvika Gendelman, Maariv) Chemical weapons are in the hands of all kinds of potential adversaries, and one missile is sufficient to confront us with a phenomenon we have not encountered before. I will be more relaxed to know that every Israeli has a strong protective kit.
Israel signals Russia and Iran: We're not scared of military conflict (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) The attack on the T-4 base in Syria, which was attributed to Israel, raises the tensions between Jerusalem and Moscow and sends a message that Israel will not allow Iranian military presence in Syria, even at the cost of friction with Russia.
Israel is now directly confronting Iran in Syria (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Israel won't say it is indeed behind the overnight strike in Syria, but admitted in the past of attacking the T-4 air base. Iran continuing to establish a foothold in Syria may encourage an aggressive Israeli approach.
Another shadow war: The confrontation between Israel and Iran becomes direct (Tal Lev-Ram, Maariv) One cannot ignore the fact that in two months, at least in two well-known incidents, Iranian fighters and officers were killed by an action attributed to the IDF. In light of Iran's continued entrenchment in Syria, Israel decided to remove the gloves.
Russian response to Syria strike tests coordination with Israel (Yoav Zitun, Ynet) After agreeing on a system to avoid ‘misunderstandings’ between Israeli and Russian forces in Syria in 2015, Netanyahu made the issue his top priority in his many meetings with Putin. Monday’s attack on the T-4 airbase near Homs and the unusually harsh Russian response are now putting this system to the test, following signs of tensions between the countries in recent months.
An opportunity for change: Kill Assad, and the sooner the better (Prof. Arieh Eldad, Maariv) After the war ends, Syria will again become a dangerous enemy to Israel, and perhaps even more dangerous than it was. Assad's cruel use of murderous chemical weapons gives us an opportunity to change this course of events.
A sad excuse for objectivity: My interview with the BBC, a broadcaster in Israel's pocket (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Use the term 'disputed territory' for the West Bank and you're ignoring the fact that Palestinians are subjected under Israeli rule without rights for 50 years.
Elections in the age of fake news and social media (Nimrod Dweck, Ynet) Taking advantage of legitimate tools, political strategists can fill newsfeeds with doctored, false information presented as facts. They can spread lies through hundreds of fake accounts, bolstered by real users who accepted friend requests from fake ones. Slowly voters come to believe that the lies are truth. Fake news as a methodology, orchestrated for a purpose, served up to a willing and captivated audience. [Writer is VP of Darkenu, the largest non-partisan civil society movement in Israel, which aims to organize, amplify, and empower the moderate majority of Israelis to exert influence on government policy and on the public discourse.
East Jerusalem Is the Double-edged Sword of Israel's Capital (Haaretz Editorial) Israel has rightfully earned the suspicions of the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem.
Straightening out to the Right: The Jews in Europe may find themselves in a dangerous situation (Dr. Kirill Pfefferman, Maariv) Whether it is conservative or traditional parties or a more radical right that grows from right to traditional right, its attitude toward Jews is characterized by several things they hold in common.
Trump brings Nixon’s Madman Theory to tense Syrian standoff (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) It’s hard to stay calm when a volatile and unpredictable U.S. president goes up against wily foxes such as Putin, Erdogan, Assad, Nasrallah and even Netanyahu.
A politician who betrayed public trust cannot return to public life. Ever. (MK Mickey Rosenthal, Maariv) I have nothing personal against Ehud Olmert. After serving his sentence and paying his debt to society I admit and leave. He deserves a second chance, but with all due respect - not at our expense.
Israel needs Olmert (Rafi Eitan, Maariv) Israeli society is undergoing fundamental and personal changes and someone with a personality like Olmert is capable of contributing, balancing, and perhaps directing the social system in Israel in positive directions.
On Asylum Seekers, Netanyahu Shows He Is the Exact Opposite of a Leader (Nehemia Shtrasler, Haaretz+) Netanyahu's boasts of launching the Egypt border fence are a stretch of reality meant to hide the failures of a leader enslaved to public opinion.
Nearly two months after the Boston Marathon bombing, Mike Pompeo, then a congressman from Kansas, took to the floor of the House to denounce American Muslim leaders for what he called their “silence” in response to the heinous terrorist attack.
“Silence has made these Islamic leaders across America potentially complicit in these acts,” Mr. Pompeo said, reading from prepared remarks.
In fact, more than half a dozen American Muslim organizations had issued statements condemning the bombing within hours of the attack. In the days following, Muslim groups organized news conferences, blood drives and prayer vigils. Mr. Pompeo was immediately informed that he was wrong, but did not apologize or respond to Muslim groups stung by his remarks.
Mr. Pompeo, now the C.I.A. director, has been chosen by President Trump to replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state. He faces what is expected to be a relatively smooth confirmation hearing in the Senate. But an array of voices are raising alarm over what they say is Mr. Pompeo’s record of anti-Muslim remarks and ties to anti-Islam groups. American Muslims, Jews, civil rights groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and former State Department officials are among those pushing senators on the Foreign Relations Committee to take a closer look.