27 November 2023. The terrorist attack orchestrated by Hamas against Israel on 7 October 2023 has inaugurated a new circle of violent tensions in the Middle East. This attack with over 1,200 dead and the kidnapping of over 200 children, women and men, created an unprecedented trauma to the Israeli society and almost immediately led both the USA and Europe to express their solidarity. The condemnation of the atrocities by the Western community came as a natural reaction. The joint statement issued by the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the USA on 9 October, for instance, echoed common logic and clarified that ‘there is never any justification for terrorism’.
Israel decided to respond to Hamas atrocities by using military force in the Gaza Strip and combining its aerial and naval bombardment with a ground invasion. The purpose is to push for the liberation of hostages, dismantle the arsenal of the terrorist organization and make sure that no similar attack would be allowed to happen in the future.
read more George N. Tzogopoulos: The Israel-Hamas War: What is Next?
24 November 2023. In her book “Women of Ukraine: Reportages from the War and Beyond” (ibidem, 2023), Anna Romandash, award-winning journalist from Ukraine and M100 alumna, has collected stories from 33 Ukrainian women whom she interviewed between February 2022 and June 2023. The women, from different regions and professions, talk about how they are trying to cope with the conflict and the particular difficulties they face.
You can read the chapter “Fighting for Her fiancé’s legacy in Ukraine” here:
“It was a friend who told me that Oleksandr died,” Anastasiia said, “I don’t remember too well what happened next. I just screamed and screamed.”
This is how Anastasiia Blyshchyk learned that her fiancé was killed in action. It was May 4, 2022.
“For three days, I was in denial, hoping that it was a lie,” Anastasiia recalled, “Then, I got a text from a military medic from Oleksandr’s unit. The text said: ‘I am sorry I could not save him.’ It was the worst thing that could have happened to me.”
read more Anna Romandash: Women of Ukraine
15 Novemnber 2023. On Saturday, 11 November, the Jewish Museum Berlin awarded the “Prize for Understanding and Tolerance” to M100 Advisory Board member Prof. Dr Wolfgang Ischinger, President of the Board of Trustees of the Munich Security Conference Foundation. The laudatory speech was given by former ambassador Ronald S. Lauder. Congratulations!
In a recent interview with the German Handelsblatt (paywall), Ischinger warned of “wildfire-like developments” in the Middle East and that Israel was threatened with a two-front war with unforeseeable geopolitical consequences: “In the south against Hamas and in the north against Hezbollah, which is demonstrably many times more powerful than Hamas,” Ischinger said. “Measures by Israel against Iranian positions in Syria or against Iran itself can then no longer be ruled out. Iran will then resort to completely different means. What matters now, he says, is “that the government in Israel does not overstep the mark”.
He advises, however, that “given the dimensions of this terrorist tragedy, it would be best to refrain from giving cheap advice to the Israeli side from the German sofa at the moment. I am sure, however, that Israel knows that its imminent military action could lead it into a political trap set by Hamas: They want nothing more than as many Palestinian martyrs as possible and the bloodiest possible pictures from Gaza, so that they can whitewash their own terror by blaming Israel. As we can already see, this will not only resonate in the Arab world, but also in (Berlin-)Neukölln, for example, even if it is the height of cynicism. (…) These chants of joy by partly youthful Hamas supporters on German streets are unbearable.”