Mourning a fighter: 7 things to know for September 17
Israel media review

Mourning a fighter: 7 things to know for September 17

Terror victim Ari Fuld is remembered for his online advocacy and more, while one writer learns a lesson about trying to justify deadly violence

Friends and family atted the funeral of Ari Fuld, who was murdered earlier this morning, at the Gush Etzion Junction, September 16, 2018. (Gershon Elinson/FLASH90)
Friends and family atted the funeral of Ari Fuld, who was murdered earlier this morning, at the Gush Etzion Junction, September 16, 2018. (Gershon Elinson/FLASH90)

1. Death of a fighter: The killing of Ari Fuld in a terror attack Sunday morning sent shockwaves through the intertwined world of media figures, pundits, pro-Israel advocates and politicians, especially in the English-speaking sphere.

  • In tributes throughout the day Sunday, at his midnight funeral and in the morning papers, Fuld is remembered both for his advocacy and for the fact that even after being stabbed, he managed to run after his killer and shoot him, preventing further casualties.
  • “With his last strength he saved lives,” reads the top headline in tabloid Yedioth Ahronoth.
  • “Ari was a fighter, with his body and his soul,” a friend and neighbor says in Israel Hayom. “He volunteered for everything, and one of the biggest things he did was to defend Israel online. Ari was one of the biggest advocates the country had in English.”

2. Visibly angry: ToI’s Adam Rasgon reports that PA President Mahmoud Abbas was “visibly angry” about the attack, telling a group of former Israeli lawmakers that he condemns violence after bringing up the stabbing at the beginning of a meeting in Ramallah, according to former minister Yossi Beilin, an architect of the Oslo Accords who was at the meeting.

  • On Palestinian social media, though, some pictures are circulating showing Fuld in an army uniform — from his reserve duty — as if to insinuate he was no civilian.
  • And the terror group Hamas unsurprisingly praised the attack.

3. Killing coexistence: The West Bank shopping center where the attack took place is often touted as a sign of possible coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians, with a Rami Levi supermarket frequented by both.

  • In Israel Hayom, columnist Hanan Greenwald, who was at the store at the time, calls the attack “a knife in the heart of coexistence.”
  • “The reality of life in Gush Etzion is not dangerous, far from it. By a large majority most of the time Palestinians and Israelis live alongside each other. Buy the same products, even know each other as old neighbors. The disgusting terrorist came with one goal, to kill an Israeli, to kill a chance at coexistence,” he writes.
  • It should be noted that it’s a bit more nuanced than that. The Etzion junction adjacent to the shopping center has seen a high number of attacks over the years. And while incidents inside the actual shopping center are rare, it usually has a fairly robust army or border police presence, and it’s easy for Israeli Jews not to notice the extra scrutiny Palestinians there receive.
  • Plus, in 2011, the Rami Levy store at the shopping center (the locus of the coexistence claims) was actually forced to separate Jewish cashiers from Arab baggers after two got romantically involved, causing an outcry along some local Jews.

4. Solomonic wisdom: It’s one thing to be nuanced — broadsheet Haaretz for instance sheds the “hero” talk and reports on the stabbing as it would any other terror attack — but former Forward writer Danny Solomon kicked any semblance of nuance to the curb with a bout of victim-blaming that invited a heap of criticism.

  • Solomon wrote on Twitter that “it shows a kind of charmed, modern naïveté that people who occupy the lands of others expect to walk around unmolested. Hard to feel much sympathy when this happens to settlers. Sry.”
  • After everyone and their mother chimed in to explain to him what a horrible thing that is to say, putting him in league with Hamas and other violence-justifying baddies, the Forward was forced to come out with a statement that he no longer works for the paper and his views don’t reflect theirs anyway.
  • Some, however, have pointed out that his staff bio was up at the Forward until the storm hit, and he was continuing to present himself as a writer there.
  • Rather than apologize or take down the tweet, Solomon protected his account, so only a few can see his words of wisdom.

5. No chance of parole: Also under fire is the IDF, after the news that it plans on offering terrorists serving life sentence a chance at parole.

  • Several senior politicians came out against the plan Monday, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.
  • Unsurprisingly, families of terror victims are also opposed, with Yedioth reporting on a petition signed by 93 families against the plan.
  • “This is a slippery slope that will lead to many terrorists, with blood on their hands, some of whom actually killed our children, parents, wives, husbands and other loved ones, returning to the cycle of terror and killing more Israelis,” they write, according to the report.
  • Israel Hayom, meanwhile, quotes the army spokesperson saying the move is merely procedural and not an actual change in policy.

6. An Israeli Ceausescu: Former prime minister Ehud Barak kicked up a little storm of his own after a speech in Tel Aviv in which he compared Netanyahu to overthrown Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

  • A number of the reports quoted Barak saying that Netanyahu was a traitor, though those were apparently based on a bad transcript that went out. Channel 10’s Barak Ravid says that Barak’s spokesperson later sent out corrected quotes, based on his notes.
  • Barak did say that it was up to the people to get rid of Netanyahu, earning a rebuke from Likud, which accused him of “incitement to murder.”
  • Ynet reporter Atilla Somfalvi snaps a picture of Barak and opposition leader Tzipi Livni having a chat at the hall where the speech was given, asking if a new joint political movement is taking shape.

7. Waiting for Superman: Haaretz op-ed writer Uzi Baram, though, writes that Ehud Barak should not necessarily be seen as the savior of the left, writing that rather than reacting to the right, a successful left needs to present a clear alternative to Netanyahu that doesn’t pander for votes from the right.

  • “The leaders of the opposition are not afraid so much as they’re worried that supporting anything smacking of leftist attributes will hurt them politically,” he writes. “Thus, I’m not looking for courageous leaders. I’m looking for leaders who will reflect and fight for the values and symbols of democracy.”
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