Readers of today’s Hebrew newspapers have the unfortunate opportunity of relearning about the tragedy in which eight members of the Attias family were killed when their car’s brakes failed. Much of the coverage focuses on the sole survivor, 7-year-old Rachel Attias.
“Everybody is dead?” Yedioth Ahronoth screams across the front page, a quote from Rachel after the crash, along with pictures of the family. “Little Rachel, alone,” read Israel Hayom, which goes the extra step and has a picture of seven fresh graves alongside snaps of the family.
Rachel, who is hospitalized, recounted the events to her relatives, who then relayed it to the media: “The car began to speed up and mom told us to say psalms. We knew something wasn’t right and read. Mom kissed me a moment before we overturned. There were screams in the car. Dad called the police before we crashed, he screamed and they screamed,” Maariv reports.
Extensive play is also given to the investigation into possible negligence surrounding the crash, after it emerged the car has passed an inspection three months earlier and had been to another garage for work a month before the crash, and yet the brakes were completely kaput. Writing in Israel Hayom, safe driving advocate Dan Link says the yearly inspection only tests the brakes in motion, without anybody actually looking at the brakes themselves, so that a car would pass the inspection even with worn brakes as long as they worked.
Papers are also filled with advice on what to do if your brakes fail. The answer: downshift and then use the handbrake. Maariv lists a number of hard questions transportation officials must address in the wake of the crash. Among them, why did the concrete barrier between the lanes not work to stop the car, and why do roads not have more emergency shoulders or brake fail stopping mechanisms that could prevent such a tragedy.
The plan on Iran
Iran, which heads to talks today with the 5+1 world powers, is also on the minds of Israeli newspaper writers. Haaretz leads off with a story that the US will be sending a team of envoys to Israel to calm the Jewish state over any possible Iran moves. Based on a well-placed source, the article claims that the delegation “will coordinate US positions with Israel in the talks, and will also try to allay Israeli concerns about possible compromises that the P5+1 group might be willing to make in the talks with Tehran. “
In Maariv, Ofer Shela comments on Israel’s cool reception to the news that the IAEA had comes to terms with Tehran, saying that Israel needs to get over its insistence on discounting everything coming out of these talks. “If Israel wants to turn this into a positive, it needs to be seen as one that’s not fixated on a position of refusal, but as one that’s ready to grant Iran some credit, and then exploit it at the right time [after US elections in November] in order to push the world into real action.”
Black Hawk down
Among the other bric-a-brac in today’s papers is a story in Yedioth about a Black Hawk military helicopter that accidentally landed on a soccer field in Hadera, in the middle of a kids’ match (nobody was injured.) It Seems the soccer-mad crew, with a general on board, mistook the field for a landing pad, which seems pretty boneheaded until the story points that the actual landing pad was another soccer pitch nearby.
Maariv has a colorful (pun intended) story about three girls kicked out of an ultra-orthodox school in Betar Ilit for not dressing modestly enough. The girls, who are secular, were at the school to proctor a standardized test, and made sure to wear modest shirts that covered their arms and skirts that went down to their ankles, but apparently forgot that God hates colors and socks that fail to cover their shins. “I was very careful with my dress,” one said. “I even put on closed socks and brought a head covering if they asked me to cover my hair. But they chose to treat us like pigs. We respected them but they refused to respect us.”
In the op-ed section of Yedioth, Noah Kliger calls for high school trips to Poland to be shortened to become cheaper. Calling the heritage trips “for the rich only,” Kliger says not every parent can afford to pay NIS 6,500 to send their kid to see the camps. “In order to save on the fee, they need to shorten the days they stay in Poland… The high price comes from the travel agencies which have a monopoly on the high school trips and extend them to seven or eight days. That means more nights, more trips on the bus, more money paid to guides and security.”
In Haaretz, the paper’s editorial calls on the army to take a tougher line with settlers, especially in light of a video that shows soldiers standing idly by while settlers shoot at Palestinians. “Responsibility for the safety of the Palestinians is in the hands of the IDF and the police. The policy of handling violent settlers with kid gloves, as reflected in the incident near Yitzhar, comes in addition to inadequate enforcement policies on the part of the police.”