One smile, many tears
Hebrew media review

One smile, many tears

The murder of 21-year-old Hadar Buchris strikes a chord in the Hebrew press, highlighting the stress and sadness caused by the security situation in Israel

Adiv Sterman is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Hadar Buchris, who was murdered in a stabbing attack at the Etzion Junction on Sunday, November 22, 2015 (Facebook)
Hadar Buchris, who was murdered in a stabbing attack at the Etzion Junction on Sunday, November 22, 2015 (Facebook)

The stark contrast between the photos of 21-year-old Hadar Buchris’s captivating, carefree smile adorning the Hebrew papers’ front pages and the accompanying articles depicting her death in a brutal, senseless stabbing attack, serve as a melancholy memorandum to the reality that has become part and parcel of life in the country since the current round of violence flared up early last month.

Buchris, killed yesterday by a Palestinian terrorist at the West Bank’s Gush Etzion Junction, was originally from Netanya but had been studying at the Zohar College for Women in the settlement of Bat Ayin.

Yedioth Ahronoth leads with a picture almost half a page in size of Buchris spreading out her hands and beaming on a beautiful beach in India, with an inscribing of a heart shape above the words “miss you” carved in the sand. “Hadar’s last smile,” reads the caption to the image.

“The Etzion Bloc protest: ‘We have no security,'” reads a substantially sized headline beneath the photo of Hadar. The Etzion Junction has seen multiple terrorist attacks in recent weeks, including a shooting last Thursday that killed three people. “Anger and frustration in the Etzion Bloc after Hadar Buchris is murdered at a bus stop in the ninth attack within a month,” the sub-head says, and, in order to drive its real point home, adds that unnamed locals are voicing the opinion that Prime Minister Benjamin “Netanyahu must wake up already.”

Israel Hayom has another heartbreaking picture from the scene of the deadly stabbing at the Gush Etzion Junction, showing Buchris’s friends alongside a small monument made of stones which they erected in memory of the slain woman. A small and almost unnoticeable headline announces, as if an afterthought, that the IDF will not allow Palestinians to enter the Etzion Bloc today.

Haaretz also reports on Buchris’s murder and elaborates more on the restrictions set to be placed on Palestinians, which include a security search of every vehicle entering roads shared with Israelis in the West Bank.

Reporter Jackie Houri offers an informative and worrying piece on the Beit Hahessed rehabilitation center in Haifa for Arab former prisoners, which is set to shut down due to a lack of funding from the state. Since the center is the country’s only institute of its kind which specifically caters to Arab Israelis, released ex-convicts may find themselves without any form of official support to help guide them back into society. According to the report, in the years 2012-2015, eighty-one ex-prisoners took part in programs at the center, with nearly 70% of them managing to return to normal, crime-free life after graduating.

Yedioth picks up on an unusual dance routine performed by girls taking part in shows organized by the Jewish religious Bnei Akiva youth movement across the country on Saturday night, a topic that has been making rounds on social media over the past two days. According to the paper, in several of the youth movement’s chapters, girls, in some cases as young as 11, performed in the dark with only their ultra-violet bracelets and bands visible to the audience. While the aforementioned performance may seem somewhat cool, I guess, to an outside observer, the real reason the creative dance was chosen is because apparently some organizers deemed hip-hop routines by preteen girls to be indecent and even sexually suggestive. Boys of the same age, it should be noted, were allowed to perform in full light, for all to see. Unsurprisingly, the striking, perhaps sexist, discrimination was frowned upon by many parents, who expressed their opinion that the youth movement was becoming more and more conservative as the years go by, and that its leaders were sending a warped message on sexuality to Bnei Akiva pupils.

Israel Hayom reports that Tal Ramon, the son of the deceased Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, has chosen a career as a musician, and is set to release his first single to the radio in the coming weeks. Ilan Ramon was killed in 2003 during the Space Shuttle Columbia’s return to earth, when the vessel exploded. Tal, 25, is also set to publish an album soon called “Dmut,” which translates from Hebrew roughly as character. “The path is full of challenges and tasks, question marks and decisions, all of it in order for the music to come into the world,” Ramon recently wrote to his friends, the paper reports. “It came out really beautiful,” he adds of the album and its artwork.

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