The thousands who attended the bittersweet wedding of Techiya Litman and Ariel Biegel, rescheduled after Palestinian terrorists murdered the bride’s father and brother two weeks ago, are the main focus of Friday’s papers, following the couple’s expressed hope that “multitudes will come to make us happy.”
Israel Hayom tops its front page with a photo of the newlywed couple alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, beneath a headline reading: “The marriage that moved the country.”
Analyst Chaim Shain posits that the incredible show of solidarity demonstrates the secret to the Jewish people’s survival, even at times of great sorrow or hardships.
“Yesterday, in a moment of special enlightenment and exuberance, I discovered the eternal secret of the Jew,” Shain writes. “The capability we found yesterday at the wedding, to pass from the pain of losing a father and a brother in a merciless terrorist attack to a wedding which has smiles, happiness and a hope to build a family in Israel, is amazing.”
In Yedioth Ahronoth, the headline emphasizes the sadness of the event: “Tears under the huppah [wedding canopy].” A photo of young guests dancing while waving an Israeli flag is featured within the report on the wedding.
Yedioth also reports on a secret visit by IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot to the Belgian capital of Brussels while the city was on lockdown for fear of imminent terrorist attacks. The report’s critical tone regarding the IDF head’s decision to take part in secret meetings with top US military officials at such a delicate time can hardly be missed, with the underline noting that the visit presented a “major headache” for Eisenkot’s bodyguards.
Haaretz leads with assessments by the Israeli cabinet on the future of the Palestinian Authority following US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to the region, which failed to ease tensions and quell violence. According to Haaretz’s report, key members of cabinet discussed a scenario in which the Palestinian Authority may collapse under the weight of Israel’s military pressure, President Mahmoud Abbas’s weakening in the West Bank, and the ongoing financial strain the body as been dealing with for some time. While some cabinet members were concerned over the aforementioned possibility, according to the report, others stressed that the PA’s disbanding may benefit Israel in the future, and that such a scenario was therefore no cause for alarm.
Israel Hayom also highlights two separate alleged cases of sexual misconduct by Jewish Home MK Yinon Magal and an unnamed high-ranking police officer. On Tuesday, police said they were looking into accusations that Magal sexually harassed former employees at the Walla online news organization. Later in the week, claims that a top cop attempted to kiss a fellow female officer by force surfaced as well, allegations vehemently denied by the accused individual.
While Israel Hayom dedicates separate articles to the two, the paper’s front page seems to be making a judgement about the wave of harassment charges leveled at Israeli officials by posting pictures of Magal and the officer, though the latter’s face is pixellated. Yedioth expands upon both cases even more, going as far as devoting a series of profile pieces to Magal in the weekend magazine, as well as reports showing apparent early signals of alleged misbehavior.
Yedioth notes with sorrow and nostalgia the second anniversary of Israeli singer Arik Einstein’s passing, as the paper reports that his friends and family members gathered at Tel Aviv’s Shablul club for a memorial event in honor of the late musician. Einstein is considered the godfather of Israeli rock, performing such classics as “Ani Ve’ata” (Me and You), “Uf Gozal” (Fly, Little Bird) and “Sa Le’at” (Drive Slow). Yedioth’s seemingly plain headline, “Two years without Arik,” reflects the sense of grief which hit many following the death of Einstein, whose songs were an integral part of Israeli culture for three generations.