Cold, rain and tragedy — but very little snow
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Hebrew media review

Cold, rain and tragedy — but very little snow

Israelis wake up to learn one of the victims of the Beit Horon attack died and the promised flurries never came

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Shlomit Krigman, 23, died of her wounds a day after being stabbed in the West Bank settlement of Beit Horon on January 26, 2016. (Facebook)
Shlomit Krigman, 23, died of her wounds a day after being stabbed in the West Bank settlement of Beit Horon on January 26, 2016. (Facebook)

The devastating news that 23-year-old Shlomit Krigman succumbed to her wounds on Tuesday morning again demonstrated the fundamental problem of print journalism: There are no updates.

Throughout the Hebrew press, Krigman, who died just after seven in the morning, is referred to as being in critical condition in Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus.

The stabbing attack, which left Krigman dead and a 58-year-old woman in moderate to serious condition on Monday night, dominates the front pages of every Israeli newspaper.

The issue of the permanence of print articles is most apparent in the Maariv newspaper, a smaller Israeli daily, which features a “counting your chickens before they hatch” story about the Arab doctor in Hadassah Hospital who “saved [Krigman’s] life” after the attack.

Yedioth Ahronoth‘s military correspondent Yossi Yehoshua refers to this attack as the latest in “mimic terrorism,” pointing out that this was the third stabbing in a row in which women are attacked inside a Jewish settlement.

“From the start of this terror wave we have seen a fixed trend — the rapid imitation of successful attacks,” he writes.

Medics wheel a wounded Israeli woman into the emergency room of the Shaare Zedek Medical Center on January 25, 2016. She was one of two Israeli women injured in a stabbing attack at the entrance to Beit Horon, in the West Bank. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Medics wheel a wounded Israeli woman into the emergency room of the Shaare Zedek Medical Center on January 25, 2016. She was one of two Israeli women injured in a stabbing attack at the entrance to Beit Horon, in the West Bank. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Emily Amrusi, writing for the right-wing tabloid Israel Hayom, says this attack shows that terror is “knocking at the door.”

Before this attack, she writes, the fear was outside of the home. “After the point-blank murder of Eitam and Naama Henkin in front of their children, I texted my husband: We are not leaving the settlement with the children.”

But now, she says, with multiple attacks occurring within those communities’ fences, not even that will help.

“The grocery story in the community is a place you walk in flipflops and pajamas. A place where between the ketchup and milk you catch up with your neighbors. Searching for little candies for cakes, questioning about the kashrut of a pumpkin, well-wishes to the neighbor for getting a promotion at work. Yesterday that safe place was turned a scene of bloodshed,” she says.

Fences won’t deter terrorists; only “effective punishment” and living freely will do that, she writes.

Haaretz, meanwhile, forgoes an editorial on the attack itself, though former Israeli government minister Moshe Arens discusses the overall wave of terror through the lens of the “Deterioration of Palestinian society.”

Moshe Arens (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Moshe Arens (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

“Children that stab people while calling ‘Allahu Akhbar’ are a sign of the deterioration of the society, in which they grew towards the abyss,” Arens writes.

“In the meantime, Israel can do a lot more to improve the conditions of Palestinians’ lives, though the job of teaching their children belongs to the parents and the Palestinian education system,” he says.

“This latest terror wave, which rests on the actions of individuals, first and foremost children, presents a new challenge to the security forces of Israel. Luckily, they can get help from an alert public,” he writes. “But what will be of the Palestinians?”

The citizenship test

The left-leaning Haaretz, which has already come out strongly against Education Minister Naftali Bennett for not allowing a book about an Israeli-Palestinian love story onto the high school curriculum, again attacks Bennett’s ministry, with new quotes and leaked pages of a proposed citizenship textbook, which appears to include false information about Arab Israeli terrorism and the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Naftali Bennett on the Israel-Gaza Border, on the second day of Operation Protective Edge, July 9, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Naftali Bennett on the Israel-Gaza Border, on the second day of Operation Protective Edge, July 9, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Meretz MK Zehava Galon has been denouncing the textbook, which is required for high school citizenship classes that teach Israeli history and politics, for weeks, though the full extent of the contents were previously unknown.

“[Then] Attorney General Meni Mazuz said it was never proven that the murder of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was due to incitement,” Haaretz quotes leaked pages of the textbook as saying.

“In the fall of 2015, a number of stabbing attacks were carried out throughout the country. Most of them were carried out by Arab citizens of Israel,” the textbook allegedly says.

Following the release of the article, Bennett took to social media, saying those quotes do not appear anywhere in the finished textbook.

Please let it snow

With forecasts for snowfall throughout the night, Israeli newspapers also anticipated a dramatically whiter shade of Monday than the lackluster flurries actually delivered.

The Hebrew media, which for days has been drawing comparisons between the looming snowstorm in Israel and the blizzard that struck the United States this weekend, warns of possible school closures and road closings.

Israel Hayom describes the situation as “The white time” in its weather article, despite the lack of snow in most of the country.

Israelis walk across the lightrail tracks on Jaffa road in Jerusalem on January 26, 2016, (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Israelis walk across the light rail tracks on Jaffa Road in Jerusalem on January 26, 2016, (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Instead, most of Israel was left cold and miserable with chilly temperatures and rain.

Haaretz and Yedioth Ahronoth present a slightly more cautious approach to predicting the snowfall, but still prominently feature pictures of Jerusalem residents huddled amid snow drifts.

So come morning, children were disappointed to learn that schools would operate as normal. But with snow and storms again predicted for Tuesday, they just might be in luck tomorrow.

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