Kisses from a killing machine
Hebrew media review

Kisses from a killing machine

Violence in Cairo, talk of peace talks in Davos and the head of the SS's love letters in Israel

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

Heinrich Himmler, center, reviews troops of the Galician SS-Volunteer Infantry Division, June 3, 1944. (photo credit: AP/US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Courtesy of Atlantic Foto Verlag Berlin)
Heinrich Himmler, center, reviews troops of the Galician SS-Volunteer Infantry Division, June 3, 1944. (photo credit: AP/US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Courtesy of Atlantic Foto Verlag Berlin)

Nazis, Netanyahu and new violence in Egypt make headlines after a tumultuous weekend in Cairo, a celebrity-filled weekend in Davos and Heinrich Himmler’s letters being unearthed in Tel Aviv.

The bloodshed in Egypt on the third anniversary of the uprising against former president Hosni Mubarak is Maariv‘s top story. It reports on “blood and fire in the streets of Cairo” three years after the revolution. “Egypt today is definitely not a safe place: Violent protests [took place] this weekend in Giza, Almanya, Alexandria, Suez and more.”

“The Muslim Brotherhood claims that security forces dispersed protests with unreasonable force and used tear gas and live fire. The security forces reported to the contrary that rocks and Molotov cocktails were thrown at police officers,” it reports.

The paper runs a column by Cairo resident Mounir Mahmoud, who argues in favor of “an enlightened dictator” and says Egypt has conquered fear.

“In three years Egypt has done what no other country has done. Millions went out into the streets and broke the wall of fear erected over decades. What happened in 18 days in 2011 never happened here before. The people defeated fear in the face of dictators and decided to fulfill its dreams.”

He blames the Muslim Brotherhood for fracturing Egypt, promoting the image of civil war, “and encouraging acts of terror.”

“Egypt lacks a leader, and the nation is allowed to dream of one. Most say that it’s a new dictator. But I say that if an enlightened dictator will save Egypt, we need one like that. If Mohammed Ali of the 19th century, the dictator who built modern Egypt, will return in the form of [Gen. Abdel Fattah] el-Sissi, we’re interested in him,” he writes.

For Israel Hayom, Sunday’s top story is the surfacing in Tel Aviv of a collection of private photos and letters belonging to Nazi Germany’s SS leader, Heinrich Himmler. “Your pappy is murdering the Jewish people,” its headline reads.

The paper sums up the German Die Welt report, according to which the collection sat under the bed of Tel Aviv resident Haim Rosenthal for 40 years. “They came to Rosenthal from two American soldiers who collected them from the house of Himmler in Bavaria,” it reports.

“In the ’80s, Rosenthal looked to sell the collection, and even told the newspaper Haaretz about the collection,” Israel Hayom writes. But just around the time Rosenthal was in the market, the Hitler diaries were debunked as forgeries, and he dropped it.

“Letters of the foe,” is what Yedioth Ahronoth calls the story, splashing Himmler’s picture on the tennis court across its front page. It opts to highlight one quote from the archive, “I’m on my way to Auschwitz, kisses,” which best depicts what the paper describes as “the double life of Heinrich Himmler.”

“In letters from the Second World War era, it’s possible to see how he didn’t hide the exploits of the Nazi killing machine from his wife,” the paper writes.

Haaretz leads off with US Secretary of State John Kerry’s announcement that he would put forward a framework agreement in a matter of weeks. The paper reports that an Israeli businessman who met with Kerry, along with other Palestinian and Israeli attendees of the World Economic Forum, said the American diplomat said he intends to present a memorandum of understanding for the two sides in the coming weeks.

Kerry spoke to the businesspeople as part of the “Breaking the Impasse” initiative, “whose goal is to push the leadership in Jerusalem and Ramallah to move ahead toward a peace agreement,” Haaretz reports.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comment at Davos, on the other hand, features on the other front pages, saying he doesn’t intend to displace a single Israeli citizen from the settlements as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians.

“PM: I won’t uproot any Israeli,” Israel Hayom emblazons on its front page. “Netanyahu: I don’t intend to evacuate any settlement and uproot any Israeli,” reads Maariv’s front page.

Yedioth Ahronoth opts to focus its Davos weekend coverage on Kerry’s warning to Israel and the Palestinians alike that failure of the talks would be catastrophic for both sides. It highlights his statement that “will only embolden extremists and empower hardliners at the expense of the moderates” and that a peace deal would result in mutual economic growth.

Its bombshell piece, however, takes the back page and describes the “warming of relations” between Norway and Israel thanks to Netanyahu the younger. According to the paper, the “proud father” Netanyahu told his Norwegian counterpart that his son Yair has been dating a Norwegian girl who’s studying at Herzliya’s Interdisciplinary Center.

read more: