Main topics covered in this Publication:
After Defeating Hamas, Israel Must Pursue Dialogue With Ramallah
(…) the gaps between right and left have been closed out of the desire to deal Hamas a crushing blow. Even liberal peaceniks understood that without a crushing response against Hamas, Israel’s deterrent power, which is the No. 1 catalyst for peace, will be lost. (…) on this question (…) the desire to strive for victory over Hamas (…) for uprooting its combat capability and eliminating its leadership – there is no difference between the right and the left’s vision for Israel’s future. Everyone understands that restoring Israel’s deterrence is a prerequisite for any future accord. (…) Whatever happens, we must be victorious and also realize that the country needs to change not only on the legal and civic level, but also on the diplomatic level: It must relentlessly pursue an agreement with the Palestinians. Now more than ever, it’s clear that there is no possibility of an agreement with fundamentalist elements who draw their hatred from a radical religious ideology. But we must talk with Palestinians who understand that Israel is an immutable fact. The current war must restore (…) the recognition of the necessity for dialogue.
Uzi Baram, HAA, 01.11.23
Israel's Exit Strategy From Gaza That Hasn’t Been Adopted
(…) There are exit strategies from this accursed war. And maybe the next war too. (…) the plan that was prepared in the Foreign Ministry’s policy planning department (…) recommends abandoning the policy of separating the West Bank from Gaza and working towards a gradual transfer of the government to the Palestinian Authority as the legitimate and acting representative of the entire Palestinian population in the territories. To guarantee a stable and functioning PA, Israel must prepare for active involvement in the era following Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. In other words (…) The separation doctrine is passé and ignoring the Palestinian issue is over. (…) In a normal country mired in a profound strategic crisis, the foreign minister would hasten to invite the authors of the document to present it to the war cabinet. But Foreign Minister Eli Cohen is busy cultivating relations with far-right parties in Europe and humiliating American officials. (…) ignoring the Foreign Ministry’s situation assessment and its recommendations is like ignoring the IDF Military Intelligence assessment regarding a security threat as well as the conclusions arising from it. Ignoring it would also be for the consideration of the commission of inquiry that will investigate the 2023 Gaza war.
Akiva Eldar, HAA, 02.11.23
The 4-point plan for toppling Hamas
The goal of the war as defined by the political echelon is "toppling Hamas." (…) Hamas's military wing comprises roughly 30,000 people. Those who survive will leave Gaza permanently, following a similar model to the expulsion of the Palestine Liberation Organization from Lebanon in the 1980s. (…) When Yahya Sinwar understands that he can leave the Strip "alive or dead," he and his colleagues in leadership will choose to save their lives and be willing to exchange the captives. (…) The remaining heavy weaponry in Gaza, after the battles, will be transported in convoys towards the Sinai Desert. There, Israel can afford to let the rockets "go rusty," as was hoped during the pre-Oct. 7 massacre and its flawed misconception. Every humanitarian aid convoy that enters will be followed by a truck loaded with rockets that exits the enclave – no more rockets and missiles in Gaza. Gaza will be declared a demilitarized area (…). Israel will pre-announce its intention to maintain a security zone in Gaza to ensure no further ground incursions into Israeli territory. (…) As Israel has withdrawn unilaterally, it can and must unilaterally change the deployment of its forces and prepare more effectively and securely on a different line. (…) Our neighbors and enemies must know that an attack on Israel means a loss of their territory.
Zvi Hauser, IHY, 05.11.23
Israel must completely separate war in Gaza from the 'day after' plans
The "day after" dilemma in Gaza, as important as it may be, should be currently secondary to the war being waged by land, air, sea, under the ground, and on the international front. Israel's leadership must focus on achieving a complete decisive victory, meeting all the war goals, as defined by the cabinet: a complete negation of Hamas’ existence in Gaza, destruction of its military, governmental, and organizational capabilities, and killing of all its leaders (…) and those who took part in the planning and execution of the barbaric attack on Israel, and first and foremost the return of all the hostages and bodies to Israel. (…) Israel’s responsibility and obligation, after the surprise it suffered, is to fundamentally change the rules of the game, making it clear its reaction will not be the same as before, surprising Hamas with the strength of its overall response. (…) The "day after" in Gaza (…) Israel will be the sole entity to define and control the security arrangements on the ground, for years to come. (…) The entire Gaza Strip will be demilitarized (…) and will not contain tunnels, weapons, or the ability to produce weapons or missiles. Everything that enters the Strip will be fully monitored by Israel, and Israeli security forces will be able to enter Gaza at any time and place, in order to ensure the removal of any potential threat. (…) Israel has no other choice in order to restore deterrence against the "circle of fire" that Iran has built around it, and to restore the public’s faith in the IDF and its commanders.
Jacob Nagel, JPO, 08.11.23
Israel's War Against Hamas Won't End With an Image of Victory
There will be no image of victory from this war, because it won’t end even when the shooting stops. (…) Just ask the parents of the 1,400 people who were murdered; ask the mothers, brothers and uncles of the 240 hostages; ask the people uprooted from Be’eri and Re’im, from Sufa and Nahal Oz, who are spending nightmare-plagued nights in hotels, whether this is sufficient consolation for them. Will the thousands of Gazan children who have been killed to date and will yet be killed ease their minds and their tortured souls? Will the pictures of devastation from Gaza erase the horrific sights of the charred corpses in Re’im, the bodies with their eyes poked out and limbs cut off at Zikim, the piles of hostages loaded like slaughtered cattle onto white Toyota pickups on their way to the tunnels and cellars of Gaza? No image of victory is possible when the people who are responsible for this terrible massacre are still clinging to power and hanging onto the country as if it were a jungle gym in their own private playground. Thus even if there is a military victory in Gaza, it cannot end with removing Hamas. (…) as long as this government is the one planning the postwar scenario, residents of the Gaza border area and the Galilee would do well to find long-term alternative accommodations. That will be their image of victory.
Zvi Bar'el, HAA, 08.11.23
What will Gaza governance look like once the tides of war pass?
(…) early signs of an arrangement suggest some sort of a custodial arrangement governing Gaza, clear of any Hamas. As it stands, some governing mechanisms in side Gaza still answer to President Abbas and the upper echelon of the Palestinian Authority, even 16 years after Hamas took over. Arab states will supply a certain influx of funds for humanitarian purposes, and initially, IDF and Shin Bet will retain security arrangements until a permanent solution can be established. (…) Israel has no wish to stay in Gaza indefinitely, rather limiting its stay until all Israeli communities surrounding the strip will be under no security threat whatsoever. A second stage, more transitional in nature, would follow. While civilian control will be surrendered to the Palestinian Authority, IDF and Shin Bet will retain intelligence capabilities. At this point, US suggests an international force will police the enclave as well. (…)
Ron Ben-Yishay, YED, 11.06.23
Hamas is seen as representative of the Palestinians
There are terrorists and there are terror multipliers. (…) The PA/Fatah missed a unique opportunity to change course, renounce terror, and finally offer the Palestinians an alternative. After many years of promoting, supporting, and rewarding terror, and educating children to see themselves as future terrorists, the unspeakable barbarism of their political rival, Hamas, created for PA/Fatah a unique opening to send a message to the Palestinian people about the evil of terror. Abbas’s PA and Fatah could have condemned Hamas, condemned the indescribable horrors, and told their people to make a choice: continue the old way of atrocity and terror represented henceforth by Hamas alone, or choose a new path of peace – represented henceforth by Fatah alone. Tragically, Abbas and the Fatah party put themselves firmly behind Hamas and its atrocities, celebrating the massacres and even laughing at the victims. (…) With support for Hamas crossing the political divisions, it is no wonder that one week into the fighting, Palestinians marched through the streets of Hebron, Nablus, and even in the PA seat of government, Ramallah, chanting: “The people want the [Hamas’] Al-Qassam Brigades!” As the fighting increases, public support for Hamas increases. (…) By refusing to offer Palestinians an alternative to even unspeakable atrocities and by supporting the “heroic” slaughter, Fatah and Abbas have sent a clear message to Palestinians: Hamas is doing the right job and clearly doing it better than PA/Fatah. (…)
Itamar Marcus, JPO, 12.11.23
Israel's operation in Gaza is a triumph in combat, yet a setback in diplomacy
(…) what began as Israel's greatest military failure is turning into a relatively successful military operation that instills considerable confidence in the military and Shin Bet’s ability to deal Hamas a heavy blow. (…) the current ground offensive in Gaza specifically justifies itself: the IDF and the Shin Bet are achieving significant successes on the battlefield, the most significant among them being the successive fall of Hamas's symbols of power. (…) the removal of Hamas’ rule, is already within reach. (…) The organization no longer controls the Strip, and the best evidence of this is the immense flow of refugees leaving the northern part of Gaza and heading south, contrary to the organization’s desire for them to remain in their homes. Hamas government offices aren’t operational, and the terror organization's leadership is hiding in tunnels and bunkers under the Strip. It's difficult to predict when they’ll see daylight again. (…) This is accompanied, of course, by numerous accusations of Israeli crimes, but also by criticism of Hamas leaders abandoning the population—hiding in bunkers while the people pay the heavy prices. (…) The blow to Hamas' military ranks doesn’t bring the political success required for such a war. Yahya Sinwar (…) is now accomplishing what no previous Arab leader has: he's become a hero for the masses in Europe and even in the U.S. (…) the diplomatic failure and lack of public diplomacy (…) also arises from the feeling in many countries around the world that Israel lacks leadership seeking something beyond expanding Jewish settlements in the West Bank. (…) What's happening in recent days is one of the biggest political and public diplomacy failures Israel has ever known (…). Unlike the military failure - there's only one person to blame for this, and that's Prime Minister Netanyahu. (…)
Avi Issacharoff, YED, 12.11.23
The Palestinian Authority Is Israel’s Partner
(…) Netanyahu does not suffice with making sure that Israel retains overall security control of the Gaza Strip, but instead declared that “There will be no civilian authority that pays the families of murderers.” He was referring of course to the Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas. (…) Netanyahu has dismissed the calls for a return of Israeli civil rule over the Strip, thus distancing himself from the messianic far right. But given that we cannot expect any Arab or international entity to volunteer to pick up this hot potato, the PA is the only party that can take responsibility for the 2.2 million residents of Gaza. Netanyahu’s castigation of the PA is ruinous and shows that the “concept” has yet to be shattered. Netanyahu must say no to terrorism and yes to diplomatic channels, and not just for the purpose of security coordination. (…) Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot (…) must make it clear to Netanyahu that the war should include an end to the diplomatic boycott of the PA and rehabilitation of its standing among the Palestinian people and the citizens of Israel.
Editorial, HAA, 13.11.23
Israel must be given time to complete its mission in Gaza
(…) this war must end the threat the terrorist group poses to Israel and its citizens once and for all. (…) Israel must continue its morally just battle against the evil force that controls Gaza, and holds hostage not only the 240 people in captivity, but also all the innocent Palestinian residents of the enclave. (…) Israel has made the case that it is fighting this war not just for itself, but for the democracies of the West, as part of the battle against Iran’s influence across the globe. The most productive move the leaders of the free world can take right now is to provide Israel with all the time it needs to finish the job and eradicate Hamas, now and forever.
Editorial, JPO, 15.11.23
A ‘humanitarian ceasefire’ – a war crime
(…) the return of Megidish changes everything. This stunning operation establishes Israel’s military campaign as an effective means of rescuing the hostages, which means that every minute the IDF delays its military campaign is another minute that innocent Israelis remain in captivity. Under these circumstances, any call for a pause in the IDF’s campaign is, in effect, a call to perpetrate further suffering upon Israelis. There is nothing humane about that. In this particular case, not only would a “humanitarian” ceasefire be immoral and cruel to the Israeli captives and their families, but it would also arguably constitute a war crime. (…) What about the people of Gaza? Gaza has no shortage of humanitarian supplies but nonetheless faces a humanitarian crisis, and understanding this paradox is the key to understanding Gaza. On October 11, Gaza’s only power plant shut down due to lack of fuel even as Hamas fired over 8,000 rockets at Israel, each one powered by…fuel. Satellite images released by Israel (…) show Hamas’s massive 500,000-liter fuel storage depot, all dedicated exclusively to the Hamas military machine. Hamas has stolen – en masse – food, water, and medical supplies, all confirmed by photos, videos, and intercepted conversations between Hamas operatives. (…) Hamas steals almost every resource that the world provides to Gaza and diverts it for military purposes (…) the only truly humane solution is to hold Hamas accountable for its actions, the very actions that created this crisis in the first place.
Daniel Pomerantz, JPO, 07.11.23
The call for a ceasefire is fig-leaf diplomacy
The chorus calling upon Israel to agree to a ceasefire grows ever louder. The images of carnage in Gaza; the rapidly rising civilian death toll; the humanitarian crisis; State actors piling on the pressure appear rational reasons for Israel to agree to an immediate cessation of hostilities. But this is delusional thinking. (…) The term ‘Never Again!’ has been adopted broadly as a call for all people, everywhere, to be protected from genocidal violence. ‘Never Again!’ also has more literal meaning. Never again will Jews be murdered in cold blood. Never again will Jews trust the intervention of other nations. Never again will Jews stand by while diplomats urge appeasement. Never again will Jews be observers to the deaths of other Jews. Never again will Jews be accused of going like ‘lambs to the slaughter’. Never again will Jews be defenseless. The call for a ceasefire is fig-leaf diplomacy. Diplomats have nothing to lose calling for it, knowing that it is not going to happen. (…) If Israel is to keep its word to its own population and end Hamas quickly, a ceasefire merely drags out a terrible war and makes it more lethal over time. (…) It is essential that humanitarian aid is provided to the Palestinian people immediately. It is the duty of the International Community to work closely with Israel, Egypt and the relevant agencies and NGOs to get aid to civilians in a timely way. It is not the role of the International community to tell Israel how to think. (…)
Stephen D. Smith, TOI, 08.11.23
Think about people, not about 'hostages'
(…) I am here as part of the critical battle for public opinion in Israel where the opposing side spares nothing. I am here to talk about Shoshan, and Adi and Tal, and Naveh and Yahel, and Sharon and Noam. To tell about them, because they are my family (…). And to remind us all that together with them there are 240 Israelis in Gaza, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, for whom every second is a nightmare. That the clock of their lives is ticking with eternal slowness, with endless anxiety. Because here around us, life is already starting to return to normal, and through the open window I hear the bustle of cheerful children celebrating the birthday of someone from kindergarten, including a clown, on the boulevard. (…) Think about people, not about "hostages." Think that you too could be in Gaza right now. Then you will not be part of the oblivion of everyone else. The decisions are made by the War Cabinet, and especially by the prime minister, whose opinions tend to sway in the wind, to make sure that they will align in the correct direction. (…)
Aviv Havron, YED, 09.11.23
Temporary Cease-fire? No, Israel Must Crush Hamas
(…) a pause of a few days would effectively be a cease-fire leading to the end of the war, and we can’t afford that. After all, we still haven’t achieved the main goal: destroying Hamas. Everyone understands that the moment the missiles stop flying, the people will take advantage of the quiet to go back to routine, and it will be very hard to resume the fighting. (…) we mustn’t stop now. If we did, we would undermine the goals of the war and allow Hamas to regroup. We mustn’t end the war without completely destroying the organization’s military and political power. After all, Hezbollah is watching, and it needs to thoroughly understand what will happen if it attacks us. (…)
Nehemia Shtrasler, HAA, 10.11.23
Pressure to release hostages increases
In the heart of Tel Aviv, at Dizengoff Square, the hostages are everywhere: on flyers, in the light of candles and in the thoughts of bystanders. The central fountain has become one of many memorials to the at least 239 Israelis who are in the Gaza Strip. It illustrates the growing pressure to free the hostages. (…) The hostage`s case is high on the agenda. (…) At first glance, the protest is reminding of the weekly demonstrations held against judicial reforms. But these have not been going on for weeks and nothing has been shown about the fragile democracy. The protesters are demanding the return of all hostages. “Now, now, now,” sounds from the demonstrators’ throats. Criticism against the government is not shunned by the protesters and especially the families. (…)
Gilad Perez, TOI, 12.11.23
Nasrallah’s Speech Cements Iran’s Regional Status, Hints Last Word on Gaza Not Said
Hassan Nasrallah (…) knows how to put on a show. (…) But after the end of the Nasrallah festival (…) the final word has not yet been said. (…) Khaled Meshal “expected more of him,” Nasrallah explained that the basis of his organization’s partnership with Hamas was a “solidarity front,” not a partnership of equals or total sacrifice. Solidarity is elastic (…) the wellbeing of Iraq and Syria are vital for maintaining the security of Iran. The war in Gaza isn’t. This is a Palestinian war “totally so, unconnected to other geopolitical issues,” as Nasrallah was careful to emphasize. (…) But in contrast to previous clashes between Israel and Hamas, in which Iran and Arab states looked on from the sidelines, with the U.S. making do at most with providing an international umbrella, this war exceeds far beyond the boundaries of Gaza, and not just because of threats made by Hezbollah. (…) The war is developing into a dangerous clash between the pro-American bloc in the Middle East and the U.S. itself. (…) The biggest American military base in the Middle East is in Qatar, which is one of the most important suppliers of gas to Europe. Saudi Arabia holds the valve controlling global oil prices, and the Emirates are the most important trade hub in the region. (…) like the U.S., these countries attribute supreme importance to a humanitarian cease-fire, as part of the tough battle for the legitimacy of Washington’s status in the Middle East and for the justification of their continued partnership in the pro-American bloc. This is a moment of political decision Iran is waiting for anxiously, in order to reap its fruits at the expense of these countries.
Zvi Bar'el, HAA, 04.11.23
Nasrallah's speech shows he's still being cautious
(…) Nasrallah's speech was widely seen as a possible turning point. If he had used it to inflame the region and declare more attacks on Israel, it could have led to the opening of a second front against Israel. Israel had warned Hezbollah not to provoke and not to carry out more attacks. Israel's leaders have signaled over the years that Hezbollah threats could have a serious impact on Lebanon – in other words, that any war would harm Hezbollah but also bring destruction to Lebanon, which cannot afford that destruction. The country is already bankrupt and has been ruined by Hezbollah. It doesn't need more conflicts. (…) It appears that, for now, Nasrallah is indeed being cautious. (…) Israel has evacuated Kiryat Shmona and 40 other communities in the north. The evacuees do not know when they will go home. Hezbollah is watching this carefully. It knows that its limited attacks have caused Israel to withdraw civilians from the border. (…)
Nasrallah is worried about any potential escalation. His speech was perceived in the region as a climb-down. It illustrates that Hezbollah may be weakening in terms of its calculations that war with Israel will be a success. It appears to want to distance itself from the Hamas massacre of 1,400 Israelis. (…) Hezbollah sought to emphasize that the Hamas attack was planned by Hamas without Nasrallah or other parts of the Iranian proxy-octopus knowing about the attack in advance. (…)
Editorial, JPO, 05.11.23
Nasrallah presents: Low profile in courage
(…) Nasrallah (…) bitterly disappointed the murderers in Gaza. They had hoped that he would announce Hezbollah's immediate and complete joining of the campaign, but he did not deliver. (…) he also struggled to define two scenarios in which he would escalate the current situation: One, the rate at which the situation in Gaza was developing (…) and the second, the way that Israel conducted itself on the northern border, for example, if it inflicted serious harm on Lebanese citizens. (…) Since the Second Lebanon War, Nasrallah has mostly been a hero from the bunker. (…) He is well aware of the risks he will take on if he still decides to join the war and it is not totally clear that he believes his own rhetoric when he warns the US of the "response" he is preparing to its rapid deployment of force to the region, including the aircraft carriers.
Oded Granot, IHY, 06.11.23
Lebanon is held captive by Nasrallah and Hezbollah
(…) The country's institutions that are not under Hezbollah's control, including schools that are closed and hospitals that have seen most of their medical teams leave the country, are in dire straits amid a shortage of food and medicine.
They are begging for assistance from Hezbollah and, although some stores have reopened, most Lebanese cannot afford to buy meat, eggs or vegetables. (…) Hezbollah's aid agency hands out surplus food to its citizens, but young Lebanese are in a hurry to flee, out of fear of being inducted into the Iran-backed group that has been willing to take in fighters who are not Shiite to its estimated 200,000-strong army. (…) All that is left for that countries desperate population is to express their anger and frustration on social media mocking Nasrallah and calling him a heatless murderer. Some have even expressed the hope that Israel will rid them of his hold on their country, even at their expense.
Smadar Perry, YED, 06.11.23
Amid the Mourning, Israel's Settlement Enterprise Celebrates a Great Victory
Under cover of the collective shock and horror at Hamas' pogrom on October 7, under cover of bereavement, mourning, pain and the anxiety over the hostages' fate, settler militias are accelerating and expanding their attacks on Palestinian shepherd communities in large parts of the West Bank. (…) A gradual three-decade process has received its window of opportunity to near its logical conclusion: expulsion in broad daylight in preparation for the full “cleansing” of around 60 percent of the West Bank of its indigenous people. (…) The incidents are part of a planned, calculated and well-financed program with a clear pattern that exposes its existence. For years the police either didn’t look for the assailants, or they closed the cases or tampered with the investigation. The soldiers just stood back and watched; sometimes they even joined in. (…) Thousands of Palestinians are left to face this violence that aims to expel them. The militias block routes that lead to the people's villages, they sabotage their water supply and conduct daytime raids with off-road and all-terrain vehicles. They conduct nighttime raids and threaten people in their tents, huts and caves, demanding that they leave. (…) Everything they used to do bit by bit and undercover – and then more openly and undisturbed – they're now doing on steroids. (…) The settlement enterprise – which is based on the systematic destruction of Palestinian human and national rights and on viewing the Palestinians as inferior and superfluous – is celebrating its spectacular victory as we mourn and bereave. (…)
Amira Hass, HAA, 01.11.23
As Israel fights in Gaza, settlers wage war on West Bank Palestinians
With the world focused on (…) the fighting in Gaza, Israeli right-wing extremists are using that war to distract attention away from their violence, vandalism, and harassment to tighten their grip on the West Bank and to drive out Palestinians. (…) An estimated 150 Palestinians, including an unknown number of suspected Hamas terrorists, have been killed in the West Bank over the last month and over 2,000 injured as violence has increased on both sides. National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir announced the purchase of as many as 24,000 US-made M-16 assault rifles to arm settlers. (…) Violent settler vigilantes – terrorists – not only have powerful support inside the highest echelons of the government but in the army as well. (…) Palestinians who’ve been attacked by these marauders often report that when the army was called for help, soldiers too often simply stopped by and watched or even took part. (…) As the war in Gaza enters its second month, back on the other side of the country, Netanyahu’s messianic and ultranationalist partners are working to tighten (…) expand their settlements, annex the land, and drive out the Palestinians. (…)
Douglas Bloomfield, JPO, 09.11.23
Harvard is risking moral bankruptcy and opposes human rights
(…) On the steps of Harvard’s iconic Widener Library, a temple of knowledge and American culture, placards were hoisted emblazoned with the slogan: “Intifada, intifada, from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” This is a clear and unequivocal call for the annihilation of the State of Israel – all of it. The issue is not “occupation” or “human rights,” but a fundamental opposition to the right of Jews to have a national home. And what is the response of the president of the world’s most venerable university to this blatant antisemitism? “Harvard is committed to preserving freedom of expression.” (…) This is disgraceful hypocrisy. (…) when 34 student organizations placed all blame for the Hamas massacre squarely on the shoulders of the State of Israel, the university administration decided to sanctify freedom of speech at the expense of the truth. Can a worse “double standard” be imagined? (…) It seems that Harvard, along with a significant number of campuses on both the East and West Coasts, no longer extols human rights (…). Harvard is richly endowed with assets exceeding 50 billion dollars (…). Nevertheless, it is in serious risk of bankruptcy. A moral bankruptcy. Will it wake up?
Yedidia Stern, JPO, 11.11.23
Being a student since October 7, 2023
(…) I am 21 years old and currently a student at Toronto Metropolitan University. (…) Since October 7th, the (…) rise of antisemitic incidents has created a deeply uncomfortable and distressing environment. (…) I have been subjected to verbal and physical assaults, received death threats online, and encountered nasty messages due to my ethnic and cultural background. Walking to class, attending lectures, or simply engaging in everyday conversations has become a daunting task, as they can quickly lead to unwarranted hate and discrimination. These experiences have left a lasting impact on me and other Jewish students on campus as we navigate our way through this challenging period. (…) Like all educational institutions, Toronto Metropolitan University has the potential to serve as a powerful catalyst for understanding and tolerance. As a university community, we can work towards making this vision a reality. When our world is grappling with numerous challenges, it is essential to prioritize education and foster connections that transcend our differences. Our collective strength can ultimately overcome the forces that threaten to divide us. (…) we must remember that our shared humanity is more powerful than any divisive forces seeking to tear us apart.
Laura Barkel, TOI, 15.11.23
Journalists without boundaries
(…) It turns out that Gazan photographers had been accompanying the invading Hamas terrorists almost from the beginning of the attack, disseminating real-time videos and images to news agencies like AP and Reuters and media outlets like the New York Times and CNN. (…) The relevant outlets must conduct an in-depth investigation of the activity of the photographers whose images they use, and announce their findings (…). During the war in Gaza, there were other puzzling blunders. The most flagrant was the immediate adoption of Hamas’s false report on October 17, about “an Israeli air strike on Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza killing 500 civilians.” It was an explosion caused by a failed rocket launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad that fell in the hospital parking lot and caused a much lower number of casualties (…). Events have been unfolding extremely fast, they are dynamic and multiplying at a dizzying pace. (…) Anyone who believes in freedom of the press and Western democratic values must continue to expose these failures because as they surface, it becomes inevitable to acknowledge them and effectively cope with them.
Eytan Gilboa und Lilac Sigan, TOI, 10.11.23
Journalists embedded with Hamas on Oct. 7 violated all media redlines
Many questions arise from the HonestReporting media watchdog report (…) that showed several major news outlets, including the Associated Press (AP) and Reuters, had Palestinian photojournalists on the ground during the early hours of the October 7 Hamas invasion and terrorist atrocity. (…) Government Press Office Director Nitzan Chen demanded explanations from the bureau chiefs of AP, Reuters, CNN, and The New York Times. (…) Chen said regardless of whether the photojournalists had arrived with the first wave of terrorists who broke through the fence or with the second wave of those who carried out the atrocities, they had clearly violated journalistic ethical codes and perhaps international law. The networks should not hide behind excuses that these were freelance stringers, he said. These so-called photojournalists (…) were mobilized by the Hamas terrorists to glorify their acts, help promote their terrorism, and spread fear among their enemies – Israel and the West. In this way, too, Hamas recalls ISIS, which deliberately recorded its beheadings and other barbaric murders. (…) the photojournalists who arrived from Gaza specifically to record the acts of terrorism (…) have made a clear statement on which side they stand. They used their cameras as weapons, shooting footage to help promote terrorism against an innocent population. They breached the border, they breached journalistic ethics, and they crossed a redline clear to all decent human beings.
Editorial, JPO, 10.11.23
HAA = Haaretz
YED = Yedioth Ahronoth / Ynetnews
JPO = Jerusalem Post
IHY = Israel HaYom
TOI = Times of Israel
GLO = Globes
Published: November 2023.
Dr. Ralf Melzer,
Head of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Israel