Benjamin Netanyahu constantly faces criticisms that he merely pays lip-service to the creation of a Palestinian state and won't take the steps necessary to actually get a deal. That view was reinforced at a recent Knesset debate about whether the government he leads officially supports a two-state deal, where a Jewish Home parliamentarian from the coalition's right wing plainly stated, "Two states for two peoples is not the government's official position." Today, it was a deputy minister from Netanyahu's own party who undermined his begrudging support for the two-state solution.
Danny Danon, who used to sit at farthest right reaches of the Likud until the group's merger with Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party, told the Times of Israel a majority of the governing coalition would act to block any deal that created a Palestinian state. "Look at the government: there was never a government discussion, resolution or vote about the two-state solution,” the deputy defense minister said. “If you will bring it to a vote in the government—nobody will bring it to a vote, it’s not smart to do it—but if you bring it to a vote, you will see the majority of Likud ministers, along with the Jewish Home [party], will be against it.” Likud-Beieinu and Jewish Home make up the two largest blocks in the government.
Danny Danon (C) is taken on a tour of the Temple Mount or Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound the holy site for Judaism and the Islam in Israeli annexed east Jerusalem's old City July 20, 2010. (Ahmad Gharabli / AFP / Getty Images)
The rightward-lurch of the current government stands at odds with Netanyahu's 2009 endorsement at Bar-Ilan University of a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes Israel as a Jewish state, not to mention Netanyahu's many recent appearances glad-handing of the American Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry's frenzied travel schedule over the past months has been centered on relaunching moribund negotiations.
Israeli media report that former President Bill Clinton will speak at an event honoring Israeli President Shimon Peres’s 90th birthday. According to the reports, President Clinton is to receive half a million dollars for his talk, sponsored by the Jewish National Fund. Despite its important role in establishing the State of Israel, in the decades that followed, and especially since the occupation of the West Bank, the JNF has been a leading factor both in controversial and discriminatory land distribution policies within sovereign Israel, as well as in the settlement enterprise in the West Bank.
Julie Jacobson / AP Photo
The Jewish National Fund was founded in 1901, and was one of the first practical projects the newly established World Zionist Organization led. In the next 47 years the JNF was crucial in purchasing and developing lands for the establishment of Jewish communities—kibbutzim, moshavim, towns and villages—despite hostile Ottoman and later British authorities in pre-Israel Palestine. It also played an important psychological role in creating an emotional commitment of Jews in the diaspora towards the Jewish community in Palestine and later on in the newly established State of Israel. Many who lived through those days cherish the famous JNF Blue Box, which was present in many Jewish homes across the world, with kids and grown-ups alike donating their pennies and dimes to plant a tree in the Jewish national homeland.
Yet after the establishment of Israel, which was supposed to be the fulfillment of the JNF’s goal, the organization continued to exist, increasingly taking upon itself controversial policies as years passed. The Israeli government transferred a significant part of the lands it now owned to the ownership of the JNF. The latter, a so-called private organization, was able to implement discriminatory policies that a democratic government committed to the principle of equality could not. In many of the communities established by the JNF, the by-laws require that residents must be eligible to be members of the Jewish Agency, meaning that they must be Jewish. Given that many of those communities were established surrounding Arab communities (in lands appropriated from them by the state), the goal was pretty blunt. Only in the year of 2000, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled this policy as illegal. Yet even today, the JNF plays a major role in the land battles in Southern Israel, where the authorities have repeatedly demolished homes in unrecognized Bedouin communities.
"Following the decision, Muslim students can demand a mosque be built for them to pray on campus; the Christians will demand a church be built, and the Druze will demand a house of prayer for their faith.'
--Israeli organization 'Ometz' slams Haifa University for also making Muslim and Christian religious days vacation days.
- IDF leaflets warn 'wanted' Palestinian youths: We're going to catch you - Israeli soldiers posted leaflets picturing four Palestinian youths from Kafr Qaddum; the boys are their families say they are living in fear. (Haaretz+)
- IDF received NIS 4 million for leadership training by right-wing group - Allocation earmarked for activities conducted by Elad, which promotes Jewish settlement in Arab East Jerusalem neighborhoods. (Haaretz+)
- Settlers attack Palestinian vehicles in East Jerusalem - Settlers from Beit Orot, in the Mount of Olives, threw rocks damaging several vehicles in the area before a number of young Palestinians confronted them. Israeli police officers who arrived on the scene arrested three Palestinians, including Amir and Ahmad Abu Sbeitan. (Maan)
- Dramatic increase in stone-throwing incidents on Jews in east Jerusalem - Legislators lament rise in violent incidents against Jewish residents in Old City and mixed neighborhoods. Feiglin: This all boils down to who controls Temple Mount. MKs urge state to increase enforcement, bolster police. (Israel Hayom)
- IDF to draw up 'social networking code of ethics' after female soldiers post racy photos - Israel Defense Forces is working on a directive regulating social network use by its members and in some cases banning it entirely. (Haaretz+)
- Six Day War breaks out, this time on Twitter - Over six days in June, the Israeli army will reenact the 1967 war with minute-by-minute updates from the front. (Haaretz+)
- Palestinian youth mark anniversary of Six Day war - Palestinian youth on Wednesday marked the 46th anniversary of the Six Day War, mourned by Palestinians as the "naksa" or setback, with a demonstration in Jerusalem. Protesters raised Palestinian flags and raised signs reading "Revolution is born from sorrow" and "Jerusalem is the capital." (Maan)
For the full News From Israel.
The nomination of Samantha Power to take up Susan Rice's seat as the U.S. ambassador the U.N. will surely raise hackles among some of the right-wing pro-Israel community. You see, Power is, according to a few right-wingers, an "anti-Israel intellectual." The former journalist and Harvard academic already faced attack after attack in 2008 during Barack Obama's first presidential campaign. Power was then a close Obama adviser (until she resigned for harsh criticisms of Obama's then-rival for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton), and the pro-Israel right was trying to paint the presidential candidate as an enemy of the Jewish state.
Samantha Power exits the West Wing of the White House in Washington D.C. on Oct. 12, 2010. (Charles Dharapak/AP )
But what did Power do to incur the scorn? As her critics have it, she believes that "special interests" (read: pro-Israel lobby groups) can distort U.S. interests and strategy; said that inking Arab-Israeli peace deals is essential to peace in the Middle East (which seems obvious); wondering why alleged war crimes by Israel didn't make the headline of a 2003 New York Times article noting a rights group's dismissal of charges that Israel committed a massacre; and a quote from a 2003 interview where Power suggested the U.S. may need to impose a solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The last attack is already gaining traction in the right-wing blogosphere and in the Israeli press. In the 2003 interview, Power said, "What we need there is actually a willingness to put something on the line in terms of actually helping the situation," she said. This might "might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import," she added, in a nod to the influential pro-Israel lobby. Power goes on to say that there are "major human rights abuses" in Israel and that a solution might need to be imposed on the parties. None of these perspectives seem totally unreasonable, but Power nonetheless repudiated her stated views in a 2008 interview, and then again in 2011 when she invited the right-leaning Rabbi Shmuley Boteach to her office.
There is a green line that runs through the city of Jerusalem.
It exists only on maps, and pretty much only on maps not printed by the State of Israel or other Jewish institutions, but it exists, and it represents a part of the international border between Israel and the West Bank as of June 4, 1967.
It exists even though official Israel and its supporters have done everything within their not-inconsiderable power to erase it in word and deed, creating a municipal behemoth that is currently one hundred times larger than the city was a century ago, pushing Palestinians out of neighborhoods and family homes and rendering fundamentally unholy the very city towards which Jews pray three times a day.
An activist paints a literal Green Line on June 5, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel. (A. Daniel Roth)
Today is June 5, of course, the anniversary of the opening salvos of the 1967 Six Day War in which Israel captured Jerusalem and the West Bank from the Jordanian army, the day to which many Israeli and Diaspora Jews look as the beginning of a miraculous liberation of our holy city—which is why a small group of Israeli and Diaspora activists chose this day to remind the world that no amount of governmental sleight-of-hand can change the fact that a border exists, and it runs through the very heart of a city that is endlessly declared Undivided.
Anti-occupation collective All That’s Left brought out paint and brushes, got down on the ground, and painted a literal green line where it exists on maps and should exist in political reality. Presumably because they’re good citizens (in Hebrew parlance, yeladim tovim Yerushalayim), rather than paint directly on the ground, they painted on long pieces of cardboard, and as they painted, they engaged with onlookers.
“Some have joined in the painting, others have yelled ‘jerusalem is only for Jews!’,” activist A. Daniel Roth tweeted as he painted, and later: “Religious Jewish woman agrees extremism is a problem, but wont concede the occupation is the cause…. Now the police are reading our literature and asking about the greenline that we are painting.”
"Netanyahu signals readiness to consider 2002 Arab peace plan" read the Reuters headline. Well, I heard Netanyahu's speech live via the Knesset website today, and all I can say is: I don't buy it.
Bibi got up to address the Knesset today because he had to. The previously-postponed "40 signatures Knesset discussion" finally took place today, fittingly, on the day that the Six Day War broke out in 1967. It's the anniversary of the "naksa" or the "setback" for Palestinians. The Knesset discussion took place because of a law that says that if 40 Knesset members sign a petition to summon the Prime Minister to speak on an issue, he is obligated by law to address the Knesset on the subject. Today's subject: the Arab Peace Initiative (API).
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he delivers a speech on June 5, 2013, at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem. (Gali Tibbon / AFP / Getty Images)
And so Netanyahu came, and he spoke. And he said four words that took the media by storm, just as he knew they would. He uttered them in English because "he [Abbas] is not a Hebrew speaker, and my Arabic isn't great." Uh huh. Those four words were: "Give peace a chance." My only thought was: really?
“Pinkwashing”—the calculated exploitation by Israel’s government of the LGBTQ community’s hard-won civil and social gains as a beard for the human rights abuses of the occupation—is a thing. It’s real, it’s documented, and the sheer cynicism becomes even clearer when we consider that the government that conducted a PR campaign around gay-friendly Tel Aviv is the same government that gives disproportionate power to religious parties that reject all that Gay Pride stands for.
But what is also a thing, what is also real, is Israel’s actual LGBTQ community, and the joyous celebration that is Tel Aviv’s Gay Pride Week—a multi-hued happening to which people travel from all over the world, because it’s a blast. Witness the fact that this year’s “Official Video of Tel Aviv Pride Week” (which, okay, I admit: I did not know that was a thing) is performed by the straight and wildly popular Mizrahi singer Omer Adam (video below). Gay or straight, Pride is one of the best weeks of the year to be in the city that I still consider my home.
The big event is, of course, the parade itself, which will take place on Friday. It’ll feature all the usual suspects—Adonises and Amazons in itty-bitty clothes; rainbow flags, clothes, and hair; the famous and the wanna-be. But participants will also find a quieter, ultimately more subversive presence, as well:
Participants wave an Israeli flag at the opening of the annual Gay Pride parade, where tens of thousands flooded the streets of Tel Aviv on June 8, 2012. (Jack Guez / AFP / Getty Images)
Havruta, the organization for religious gay men, and Bat Kol, the organization for religious lesbian women, have been marching in Pride parades in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa for the past four years.
“In the past few years, we realized we bring a different and unique voice to the march, especially in Tel Aviv,” says one of Havruta’s chairmen, Daniel Jonas, explaining how their presence helps bridge Judaism and the LGBT community. “We represent something else, more moderate, more communal,” he says.
He admits that the parade's debauched atmosphere doesn’t totally jive with their taste – “It’s not exactly something you’d see in a synagogue” – but the visibility is important.
"Employing Arab teachers in Jewish schools will be an important contribution that will help promote values of tolerance and acceptance of the other – as racism can stem from ignorance, fear and prejudice.”
--Mohammed Hiadri, the chairman of the Monitoring Committee for Arab Educational Affairs, on the plan to hire unemployed Arab teachers in the Jewish sector education system.
- Nightclub denies Arabs entry, will compensate by NIS 40,000 - Beersheba club bars two Arabs, lets Jewish friends in; lawyer disappointed with compromise: Not full compensation, court lends hand to discrimination. (Ynet)
- Swastikas, anti-Tibi graffiti at hitchhiker's station - Police investigating 'graffiti war' likely between Jews, Arabs, as reflected in hitchhiker's station in southern Israel. (Ynet)
- Dozens of Arabs lob stones at yeshiva in east Jerusalem, 3 arrested - Dozens of Arab youngsters lobbed stones toward the Beit Orot yeshiva in the Arab Abu Tur neighborhood in E. Jerusalem. Security guards in the area fired several warning shots in the air. Several yeshiva students threw stones back at the youngsters. No one was hurt. (Ynet)
- IDF working to curb rock-throwing, Bennett reassures settlers - On his Facebook page, Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett tells supporters "IDF is initiating more operations and taking more preventive measures." Israel Security Agency reports: Palestinian attacks in Judea and Samaria are actually declining. (Israel Hayom)
- In historic first, coalition MKs excluded from Knesset committee that elects judges - Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avidgor Lieberman suffered a blow when the Knesset passed over his crony and elected MKs from Shas and Labor to the Judges' Election Committee. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
- Under-21 national soccer team: a rare feat of multiculturalism in Israel - In these times, when it seems the gap between Jews and Arabs is unbridgeable, the U-21 national team for Euro 2013 that kicks off today is an island of sanity. Guy Luzon’s squad includes six Arabs. (Haaretz+)
- Rights group blasts PA journalist arrest - The arrest Monday of the general manager of a Bethlehem radio station contradicts Palestinian Authority commitments to free speech. (Maan)
- Israeli officials: Al-Qaida preferable over Assad - Army Radio reports that Israeli officials are concerned about the growing strength of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime in recent days. Assessment is that a victorious Assad would be more dependent on Iran, increasing the threat facing Israel. (Israel Hayom)
For the full News from Israel.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, speaking today at the Wilson Center in D.C., delivered an address that was the reverse mirror image of his address to the Jerusalem Post conference in New York in April. The content of the speech was the same: Olmert argued that Israel’s security situation is better than ever before; that neither its traditional enemies (Syria, Egypt) nor its current enemies (Iran) pose a debilitating threat to it; and that it is therefore in an excellent position to make peace with the Palestinians. The reception, too, was the same: just like in New York, Olmert was repeatedly interrupted by angry hecklers in D.C. today. The only difference was that this time, he was taking heat from the left instead of the right.
Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images
Olmert was in the middle of discussing the threat of a nuclear Iran, and his hope that America will take the lead in neutralizing that threat, when a young audience member wearing a black Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) shirt called out, “I’m appalled that the Wilson Center would host a war criminal such as yourself. Be sure that the international community will hold you accountable for your war crimes.” He walked to the back of the room, where another young man unfurled a Palestinian flag and joined him in marching out. There was a small smattering of applause from the audience.
Olmert laughed off the disturbance, noting that he’s experienced much worse in the Knesset, and then continued to make the same argument he’d made in New York: that President Obama doesn’t want his legacy to be a nuclear Iran, and that when he, Secretary of Defense Hagel, and Secretary of State Kerry all say they will not allow that to become a reality, we have to take that commitment seriously. He added that the American leaders are “the ones that ought to lead this campaign against Iran.” And, expressing admiration for the Secretary of State’s “emotional involvement” in the peace process, Olmert said he hoped Kerry would be able to stir Obama to greater involvement “on a daily basis.”
Not every international diplomat has both flown an Israeli Air Force jet, and can do a credible impression of the Israeli accent. Speaking to the American Jewish Congress on Monday, John Kerry employed the latter as he related the former: “Senator!” he said, recalling the Israeli co-pilot with whom he had flown, “You’re about to go over Egypt! Turn!”
Furthermore, not every international diplomat would overtly link Golda Meir’s philosophy of nationalism to the very people whose existence she denied. After quoting Meir (“We only want that which is given naturally to all peoples of the world: to be masters of our own fate, not of others”), Kerry said “the best way to truly ensure Israel’s security today… [is]by reaching a negotiated resolution that results in two states for two peoples, each able to fulfill their legitimate national aspirations.”
And finally, not every international diplomat would say flat-out that Israel’s propensity for unilateralism is actually a problem:
Some are wary because of Israel’s experience following the withdrawal of Gaza and Lebanon. You have no idea how many times I hear people say, “We withdrew from Lebanon, we withdrew from Gaza, and what did we get? We got rockets.” Well, folks, it’s worth remembering—these withdrawals were unilateral. They were not part of a negotiated peace treaty that included strong guarantees for Israel’s security. [emphasis Kerry’s]
Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on May 23, 2013. (Uriel Sinai/Getty)
All in all, the event was a classic Obama Administration affair: Kerry spent the first third of his speech making his audience happy (“I’m so pro-Israel, they gave me the keys to one of the planes!”); the second spoon-feeding them what they already knew (“Palestinians deserve a state too, c’mon”); and the final third telling them what they didn’t want to hear (“unilateralism is terrible”).
On May 4, Google did something President Obama didn’t have the guts to do: they recognized Palestine as a state and gave us our very own homepage. This is far better than being verified on Twitter or having the U.N. General Assembly vote in favor of Palestinian statehood. Palestinians searching for a good time across the West Bank were thrilled to be redirected to google.ps, AKA Google Palestine. They pulled up their pants and went to dance in the streets because if Google said that Palestine exists, it must be true. They do make the maps and everyone knows if you find it on Google it is an undeniable fact.
As Palestinians rejoiced, Israeli settlers in Gush Etzion wept and gnashed their teeth. They had been blindsided when they innocently went to www.google.com and got the suggestion that they try Google Palestine instead of the usual Google Israel (google.co.il). True, their settlement is built on Palestinian land in Bethlehem, but Palestine doesn’t exist, so how could this be happening?
A Palestinian man points at the word 'Palestine' on the Palestinian homepage of Google's search engine in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 3, 2013. (Said Khatib / AFP / Getty Images)
Israeli settlers and those who love them have gone to great lengths to convince themselves and the world that Palestinians don’t exist. Israel forces Palestinians to use different roads and ride separate buses, and even built a wall around the Palestinian villages so the settlers wouldn’t have to see such blight on the landscape. They have also organized aggressive PR campaigns centered on the fact that there is no such thing as Palestinians because they never had a country.
In the short time I have written for Open Zion, every single article of mine has gotten at least one reader’s comment claiming Palestinians don’t exist and therefore they are not being oppressed. Please allow me to respond to my detractors. They are a broken record and I have had enough.
In John Kerry's impassioned plea for Israeli-Palestinian peace last night, he struck all the right chords for his audience at the American Jewish Committee's annual confab. He paid lip-service to the Palestinians' "legitimate national aspirations in a homeland of their own," but this was a speech about Israeli—and, insofar as the rhetorical connection remains a firm reality, American—interests. Much of his speech focused on the consequences for Israel of not attaining peace, but Kerry eventually made the positive case for striking a deal, outlining a "hopeful vision" for trade between Israel and Arab states, of tourism, and where regional extremists are robbed of a "rallying cry" to their cause. Lastly, Kerry spoke directly to the AJC audience, imploring that they use their influence to push a peace deal. "[N]o one has a stronger voice in this than the American Jewish community," he said. "You can play a critical part in ensuring Israel’s long-term security."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks duirng the American Jewish Community Global Forum at the Grand Hyatt Hotel June 3, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images)
The direct ask wasn't entirely new, and neither were the positive and negative cases for peace, so Kerry needed to offer a reason that, this time around, peace was really necessary. "Well, the difference is that what happens in the coming days will actually dictate what happens in the coming decades," he said. "We’re running out of time. We’re running out of possibilities. And let’s be clear: If we do not succeed now—and I know I’m raising those stakes—but if we do not succeed now, we may not get another chance." Yet this refrain, too, will sound familiar. Has the opportunity for peace passed Israel by? "They've been saying that since the late '80s," an Israeli activist, Mikhael Manekin, told me this spring in Jerusalem. No doubt, liberal Israelis like Manekin favor a two-state deal, but fear a hollow process for the sake of process. If they aren't subject to Kerry's two-year timeframe, how will most Israelis—who, as Kerry said last week, lack urgency partly due to their own "prosperity"—react? Kerry's warning that the "the status quo is simply not sustainable" will be as familiar in the region as the status quo itself.
The only new item, in the way of the process itself, Kerry discussed was "an economic investment initiative for the Palestinian Territories" announced last week. But it's contours aren't clear, and how, exactly, it plays into getting a process rolling isn't either. The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has consistently pushed the notion of "economic peace"—that is, improving the Palestinians' conditions even as they remain under occupation. But those initiatives, too, have had less than exemplary outcomes, not least because, as the World Bank has stated, the occupation remains the primary obstacle to Palestinian economic growth. The sort of outside capital that Kerry's pledged to bring into Palestine has failed under these pressures before.
"I have no anger or resentment towards Superland, it is a symbol of what is happening in the country."
--Jalal Toche, Arab school principal from Jaffa, who revealed the segregation of Jewish and Arab youth at Superland amusement park.
- Arab taxi driver attacked by Jewish teens - Jerusalem resident picked up two teens who allegedly threatened him with a knife to his neck; police looking into nationalistic motives; 'they were really close to slitting my throat,' victim says. (Ynet)
- Palestinian source: "Even over the last few days they tried to convince Salaam Fayyad not to resign" - In Washington and the EU, they saw the resigning Palestinian prime minister as an important source ahead of the renewal of negotiations with Israel. (Maariv, p. 8/NRG Hebrew)
- Baghdad warns Israel against penetrating its airspace - Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Hussain al-Shahristani warned Israel not to penetrate Iraqi airspace to attack Iran. He added that if Israel does, there would be consequences. (Ynet)
- Israel's defense minister: Hezbollah moving elite fighters into Syria - Moshe Ya'alon says Israel will not intervene in Syria as long as its security interests do not come under threat, and that he estimates the Russian S-300 systems will not be delivered to Assad's forces before 2014. He said Assad controls only 40% of Syrian territory. (Haaretz and Ynet)
- Yesh Atid seeks to safeguard no-confidence motions - Lapid's party counters Yisrael Beiteinu's governance bill with own proposal, but supports raising electoral threshold to 4%. (Ynet)
- Israel allows Gaza residents to visit jailed relatives - Ninety-eight adults and 19 children visited 48 prisoners, their relatives detained in Israel's Nafha prison on Monday. It was the largest group from Gaza allowed to visit prisoners since Israel resumed family visits in July 2012 after a five-year ban. (Maan)
- Obama signs executive order imposing harsher sanctions against Iran - New U.S. sanctions levied on foreign financial institutions that conduct or facilitate significant transactions in the Iranian rial currency and against people who do business with Iran's auto sector. (Agencies, Haaretz)
For the full News from Israel.
This week, despite pleas from the United States, Germany announced its formal backing of EU efforts to put "Made in Israel" labels on products made within the 1967 borders. Their support to distinguish products manufactured in the West Bank is particularly notable given Germany’s reputation as one of Israel’s staunchest supporters in the European Union; they join 13 other EU countries that stand behind such legislation.
The movement to designate Israeli exports that come from the West Bank is happening alongside another labeling movement: demarcating genetically modified food (GMOs). The two, while holding significant differences, also share some interesting characteristics.
By way of background—the proposed EU legislation would make goods and produce from beyond the Green Line ineligible to enter the EU with duty free status, unlike products from within the 1967 borders. Since 2005, Israeli exporters to EU countries have had to include zip codes and place names indicating where things were manufactured on import papers invoiced to EU tax authorities. However, given the rapid increase of settlement expansion, the EU decided that the products themselves must be marked so consumers can identify a product's origin.
IDF soldiers have once again taken to social media to pose compromising photographs that have caused their commanders to squirm. This time, it’s a group of female soldiers, still in basic training, posting a picture of themselves scantily clad in combat gear, and another image broadcasting their bare bottoms to the world.
Over at Haaretz, my fellow blogger Allison Kaplan Sommer concludes that if they must engage in immature antics, she prefers her country’s teenagers lose their “dignity” rather than their “conscience.” She is referring to previous photos and videos showing IDF recruits dancing to pop music while on patrol, and channeling images of Palestinians through their rifle crosshairs.
Reading the wires this morning, my first thought was that stunts like these will only make it harder to convince the ultra-Orthodox to leave the values-based safety of their cloistered community to comply with the broad draft that the state is trying desperately to implement.
But on further reflection, there’s a lot to parse here regarding gender dynamics and the absurdity of war.
Yaakov Katz on what the delivery of advanced Russian missiles would mean for Israel.