Israeli media to the US: ‘Told you so’

This picture released by the Iranian state-run IRIB News Agency on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, shows detention of American Navy sailors by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the Persian Gulf, Iran.(Sepahnews via AP)

This picture released by the Iranian state-run IRIB News Agency on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, shows detention of American Navy sailors by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the Persian Gulf, Iran.(Sepahnews via AP)

From the left to the right, Hebrew newspapers seem to relish the schadenfreude of the 10 American sailors captured then released by Iran

(SOURCE)  If the Hebrew media is any indication, there is nothing better than saying, “I told you so!” — especially as it relates to Iran.

On every front page Thursday morning appear the grainy photographs of the 10 American sailors, kneeling on the ground with their hands on their heads as Iranian soldiers boarded their ships.

“‘Friendship,’ the Iranian version,” the Israel Hayom tabloid gloats.

“Humiliation,” Yedioth Ahronoth writes in big letters above its photograph of the scene.

Even the “newspaper for people who think,” Haaretz, can’t pass up the opportunity for schadenfreude. “Iran published photos of American soldiers surrendering and being arrested,” the broadsheet writes above the fold, with an accompanying picture.

The right-wing Israel Hayom takes US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State John Kerry to task for the capture of American sailors, juxtaposing its report on the embarrassing Iranian incident with its story and commentaries about the State of the Union address. (Due to the time difference between Washington and Israel, Thursday’s papers were the first to deal with Obama’s Tuesday night speech.)

“At the same time that US President Barack Obama claimed that ‘America is the strongest nation in the world. Period’ during his final State of the Union address, the US already knew that 10 of its sailors had been captured by Iran, when two of their ships were swept into its territorial waters. The president opted not to discuss the incident, and instead decided to praise the nuclear deal that was reached with Tehran,” the tabloid’s US reporter Yoni Hirsch writes.

Israel Hayom’s Boaz Bismuth, in his commentary, further derides the US president for living in a fantasy world. “In the world, according to Obama, this Islamic State does not present a threat. It’s a ‘dangerous’ organization, but America is stronger as always,” Bismuth writes.

Yedioth Ahronoth also drives home the unfortunate timing of events, putting its coverage of the captured and released American sailors alongside its stories about Obama’s speech.

Its mostly photographic coverage of the incident between the US and Iranian navies conveys nothing but smug glee. “America on its knees” is stamped across the four photos from the arrest Yedioth chose to run, and the photos’ captions only drive home the point further.

The caption “Hands up” accompanies the photo of the beginning of the raid; “Embarrassment for the USA — soldier surrender to the revolutionary guard,” is printed on a photograph of eight US sailors on their knees; “Showing off the loot,” appears next to a picture of the US guns captured in the raid; and “Not secret anymore” is plastered over an image of an Iranian soldier leafing through American documents.
US President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)

US President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)

Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli envoy to New York, writes a rather glowing analysis of Obama’s speech, noting the successful programs and initiatives the president introduced during his two terms. Pinkas notes the Iranian incident at the tail end of his commentary, as an afterthought instead of an indictment.

Chemi Shalev, writing for Haaretz, stands by John Kerry’s decision to thank Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for securing the release of the American sailors.

Though Shalev supports the “mature” response by the secretary of state, as Zarif referred to it in a tweet, the long-time Haaretz commentator recognizes that Kerry’s restraint is not what this incident will be remembered for.

He writes: “But Kerry’s words, intelligent and measured as they were, could not erase the sense of humiliation that overtook the USA with the broadcast of the pictures and videos, showing American soldiers at the moment of their capture, sitting on the deck of their boat, hands on their heads and their eyes darting from side to side in fear. The images sparked fury on the right, discomfort on the left and great embarrassment in the halls of the administration: they will be marked on the flesh of the US, as a symbol of the incident.

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