Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press
Yediot Aharonot says that the decision to hit the Palestinian terrorists responsible for the 24.12.09 murder of Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai was doubly embarrassing for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas because “His forces did not succeed in apprehending the perpetrators and because the Israeli exposed his helplessness to both Palestinian and Israeli public opinion.” The author dismisses Abbas’ “empty,” threat to reconsider security cooperation with Israel if such actions continue since this would jeopardize the Israeli-backed US security assistance on which his regime depends.
Ma’ariv notes that an Israeli school principal recently told his pupils that “‘It is impossible to brutally trample values like the State of Israel has been doing for 42 years and then say that we are educating our children for democracy…I do not justify terrorist attacks, but I can understand what causes them.'” The author remarks: “Here you have, in a nutshell, the main points of anti-Israel ideology. Everything, including terrorism, is because of the Israeli occupation.” The paper points out that the same principal said five years ago that “I am not prepared to understand the other side if it boards a bus wearing an explosive belt and tries to kill me.” The author reminds his readers that “We did not compel the occupation. It was forced on us. A majority of the public wants a settlement but nobody gives us the possibility of getting rid of this occupation,” and cites both Yasser Arafat’s December 2000 rejection of what he was offered at Camp David, and Mahmoud Abbas’ September 2008 rejection of what he was offered at Annapolis. The paper calls on the Government to be ready for “any peace agreement…on condition that the Arab side will finally agree to the 1947 UN decision regarding a Jewish state’s right to exist,” and points out that “The term ‘Jewish state appears at least 23 times in that decision.”
Yisrael Hayom says that countries usually propose convening international conferences on the Israeli-Arab conflict because “They believe that they will be able to make a genuine contribution to the peace process,” or because “They want to prove that they belong to the senior league of international diplomacy.” The author suggests that Israel has never been especially keen on international conferences precisely because it sees them as problematic vehicles by which other countries can foist their views on the parties. The paper avers that “This is why Israel insisted that the Madrid Conference, for example, not be a conference in the accepted sense but merely a launching ceremony for direct, bilateral negotiations (even though the negotiations had a not insignificant US involvement),” and speculates that this will continue to be Israeli policy.
The Jerusalem Post is disturbed by the intent of the US to supply large quantities of arms to several countries in the Middle East. Pointing out the internal problems in Egypt, one of the countries requesting significant military aid, the editor notes that “Since 1975, America has invested $14.83 billion in a wide array of AID projects to make Egypt a better place for its people,” and adds that “Helping ordinary Egyptians is where Washington’s emphasis can continue to do the most good. Adding to Egypt’s considerable stockpile of weapons hardly benefits its people.”
Haaretz comments that “Over the past few days, a crack seems to be opening in the ice, and the peace process has a chance to be revived.” The editor states that “Abbas and Netanyahu must sweep away preconditions to renew the talks, even if such conditions are justified,” and declares that now is the time to resuscitate the road map and begin a new stage in the peace process.