Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

Games

This week in Israel: Shalit’s family stages a different kind of protest, Mossad speculates on war with Iran, and Maccabi fans get stranded at the airport

Print Email
Ben Gurion International Airport, May 5; a Euroleague basketball match; the brother of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, May 9. (Left to right: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images; Uriel Sinai/Getty Images; Yoav Ari/AFP/Getty Images.)

Gilad Shalit’s brother disrupted the official state torch-lighting ceremony on the eve of Israel’s Independence Day this week to call for the release of the captive Israeli soldier, who was seized by Palestinian militants in June 2006. Shalit’s brother Yoel and Yoel’s girlfriend, Ya’ara Winkler, burst onto the plaza where the Jerusalem ceremony was being held and waved handwritten placards. Yoel’s read: “My father is an ah shakul [bereaved brother]. I don’t want to be one too!!!” The outburst, which led to the protesters’ ejection from the ceremony, was touted as the start of a “decisive phase” in the Shalit family’s battle against the state. Referring to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Haaretz’s Gideon Levy thanked Yoel Shalit for announcing that the emperor has no clothes (hamelekh hu erom, literally “the king is naked”). Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin derided the protest as “damaging the just struggle (hama’avak hatzodek) for Shalit,” and veteran broadcast journalist Dan Margalit wrote—in a column that the Israel Hayom daily headlinedDavka Batekes Hazeh?” (Davka at This Ceremony?)—that he wasn’t so sure the event that formally marks the transition from day of mourning to day of celebration was really the right venue for the otherwise legitimate complaint. As Maariv put it in a headline, the family is “Kvar Lo Menumasim”—“Polite No Longer.”

Al Jazeera television reported on its website that Cairo has come up with a blueprint for Shalit’s release and that Hamas deems it acceptable. A few days later the London-based Al Hayat reported that Hamas was ready to renew negotiations with Israel, brokered by Egypt. Haaretz quoted Israeli defense officials as saying that while they welcome Egyptian involvement, reports of a breakthrough should be taken with a grain of salt, since such reports have proved false before. A high-level Israeli delegation is due in Cairo over the weekend to discuss the matter, Maariv said on its website, prompting one commenter to write that the trip should have been postponed by a few days so no one could argue that Yoel Shalit’s outburst might have been what set the process in motion.

An Israel Air Force attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities would be “a stupid thing” (“davar metupash”), former Mossad chief Meir Dagan said at a conference for senior civil servants held at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem this week. “The question of questions is what will happen afterward,” he said. “Afterward there will be a war with Iran. That’s the kind of thing where we know how it begins but not how it ends.” Yedioth Ahronoth reported that Dagan had made similar comments to journalists before but that they were banned from publication by the military censor. The Israeli media are legally obligated to get permission from the censor before publishing articles that could potentially damage national security—but there’s a catch, writes Ronen Bergman in Yedioth: There’s no problem as long as the person who makes the statement is the (former) Mossad chief rather than a journalist.

Takeoffs from Ben-Gurion International Airport have resumed since the discovery of contaminated fuel brought them to a halt last Thursday, but the crisis continued to delay outgoing flights throughout the week. Terrorism has been ruled out as a cause, and the airport is awaiting expert findings. The Israeli press gave a lot of play to the hundreds of stranded Maccabi Tel Aviv fans trying to get to Barcelona to watch their basketball team play in the Euroleague’s finals. Fans who stayed home had to face the prospect of missing the final moments of the game because even if it were to go into overtime, Israeli television stations were planning to end the broadcast by 7:45 p.m., 15 minutes before the siren (tzfira) signaling the onset of Memorial Day, Yedioth reported. As it happened, the Israeli team lost the championship to the Athens-based Panathinaikos and listened to the siren in the locker room, via a cell-phone link to Israel. In a way, that loss was a good thing, Yossi Sarid wrote half-seriously, since the “distressed fans returning from Barcelona would disembark from their planes with expressions reflecting their identification with the 22,867 bereaved families” of fallen soldiers.

Print Email

COMMENTING CHARGES
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at letters@tabletmag.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

Mike says:

No understanding of Israel and the complex situation in which she finds herself is complete without understanding the IMMENSE SECURITY VALUE of Samaria, in the northern West Bank.

Read all about it here:

http://shomroncentral.blogspot.com/

I actually do love using the services of your business. Your online layout may be very easy within the eye. You have a very great place to shop. I genuinely enjoyed navigating along with ordering through the site. It is quite, very easy to and simple to use. Great job with a fabulous blog.

We do love employing your business. Your world wide web layout is very easy on the eye. You employ a great place to shop. I really enjoyed navigating and also ordering in your site. It may be very, very user friendly and convenient to use. Great job for a fabulous website.

dvdjoy.co.uk says:

Another Success Story for DVDs — dvdjoy.co.uk,miss it when you lose it!

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Games

This week in Israel: Shalit’s family stages a different kind of protest, Mossad speculates on war with Iran, and Maccabi fans get stranded at the airport

More on Tablet:

Władysław Bartoszewski Dies at 93

By Stephanie Butnick — Former Polish foreign minister, an Auschwitz survivor, masterminded Poland’s relations with Germany and the Jews