A suspected serial killer is the talk of the press, which is largely unimpressed with Trump’s foreign policy speech

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)


Run of the mill murders aren’t a particularly common occurrence in Israel, let alone grisly ones Israelis are familiar with from American television. So it comes as little surprise that the police’s investigation of a possible serial killer-rapist gets a load of attention in the Hebrew media.

The man, named as Fyodor Beshnery, 26, of Haifa, an immigrant from Moldova, allegedly killed, raped and burned four women in Ashdod, Tel Aviv and Haifa, police say. The latest news on the investigation is that one of the women who might have been killed by Beshnery was his downstairs neighbor.

Yedioth Ahronothhas a full-page “profile of a killer” in which the author says that “in Israel there have been so many clear instances of serial killers, as we know from other countries.”

The effect, of course, is that even if the suspect is absolved of any guilt (he hasn’t even been formally charged with any crimes), he’s been branded as a serial killer by the press. Beshnery has been held for 47 days, and police are expected to serve him with a motion next week allowing them to detain him after an investigation, but before indicting him with any crime, Haaretz reports. According to Yedioth Ahronoth, police have DNA evidence from two crime scenes that matches Beshnery.

In addition to the two murders he allegedly committed, police sources tell Israel Hayom that they’re convinced he was involved in two others in Haifa and Tel Aviv, but they don’t have sufficient evidence. Police upped the ante, increasing their advertisements in Russian media in the Haifa area in an effort to bring more women forward.

While Haaretz and Yedioth Ahronoth report that the suspect’s ex-wife and current girlfriend deny the possibility that Beshnery could be a serial killer, but only Israel Hayom quotes the man himself denying the charges against him. “I didn’t murder, I didn’t rape, I didn’t burn, I have no connection to any of the women,” he repeatedly told police since his arrest.

Turning away from national news, Thursday’s papers also focus a good deal on the US presidential elections.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clintons’ primary victories in the Northeast states of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania get reported on a day late on account of the results having come in too late Tuesday night to make the press Wednesday. To the astonishment of this author, the great state of Rhode Island finds rare mention in the Hebrew media on account of Bernie Sanders’ sole primary victory in Tuesday’s contests.

The otherwise unimpeded romp by Clinton and Trump, however, make them almost guaranteed contenders for the Democratic and Republican parties, respectively, in November’s national elections, the papers inform their readers.

Fyodor Beijanri (Israel Police)
Fyodor Beijanri (Israel Police)

That in mind, Trump’s much-anticipated foreign policy speech on Wednesday drew the attention of the Hebrew press. Expectedly, Trump’s attack on US President Barack Obama’s policies vis-a-vis Israel is the focus.

“Obama snubbed Israel and treated Iran with tender love and care,” reads the headline on Israel Hayom’s coverage. Echoing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump called Israel “our great friend and the one true democracy in the Middle East,” and the paper notes it in its lead. Needless to say, the focus of its reportage is solely on his comments about Israel and Iran.

Haaretz’s takeaway in its headline is: “The foreign policy presented by Trump: reassuring for Israel, irksome for the world.” It says leaders in Jerusalem “were certainly pleased” by the speech, and as a bonus, “as far as he’s concerned, according to this speech, the Palestinians don’t even exist — all’s well that ends well.”

The paper’s Washington correspondent calls Trump’s sweep of the Northeast primaries “A royal flush for the joker.”

Yedioth Ahronoth, for its part, brings Nahum Barea out of the mothballs once again to opine on American politics, live from the scene. He calls Trump’s outlook as delineated in the speech “cowboy diplomacy,” a term previously used to describe the swashbuckling, high-risk foreign policies of fellow Republican presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

“Many Americans will eagerly buy this approach, and it must be said honestly that so will many Israelis, as far as it concerns Israel policy,” Barnea writes. He’s sure to point out that Trump’s “America first” slogan and ideology first belonged to the pro-Nazi, isolationist party of Charles Lindberg in the lead-up to World War II. Trump, he says, didn’t know or didn’t care about the association.

Trump’s rhetoric, he says, is akin to that of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “It’s no surprise that in Russia they’re fans of Trump,” he says.

As reported by The Times of Israel