Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press

Yediot Aharonot comments on US Middle East envoy George Mitchell’s  
 


Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press

Yediot Aharonot comments on US Middle East envoy George Mitchell’s recent remarks to the effect that the Obama administration could at some point  consider delaying US loan guarantees to Israel, in the absence of sufficient progress in the peace process with the Palestinians. The author is less troubled by this threat per se than he is by the mindset behind it, which he believes is “an additional disturbing sign of a chill in US-Israeli relations.” The paper suggests that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “immediately say that Israel will, in any permanent diplomatic settlement, evacuate Judea and Samaria, except for the large settlement blocs, and will completely halt construction in all of those areas of Judea and Samaria due to be evacuated” in order to “defuse the increasing tension in US-Israeli relations and maybe even facilitate the resumption of the talks.” However, the author warns, “In a few months, the foregoing will no longer be sufficient, just as the decision to freeze construction, which was made too late, has been ineffectual. In the diplomatic bazaar, the price being demanded of Israel only rises.”
 
The Jerusalem Post comments that the US administration “is heavily invested in re-starting negotiations. Israel is on board. But the Palestinians appear to have adopted Syria’s bargaining approach. Just as Damascus will not come to the table until it is assured – in advance – that its maximalist demands will all be met, the Palestinians, too, have developed an ever-longer list of prerequisites that need to be accommodated before they will deign to talk. Mitchell is due back in the region later in the month. What should Jerusalem do? Continue to show appreciation for the administration’s efforts. Because a viable two-state solution that permanently ends the conflict is in Israel’s interest.”
 
Two papers discuss the latest developments in Israeli-Turkish relations:
 
Ma’ariv refers to Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon’s on-camera reprimand of the Turkish Ambassador, who was given a low chair at a table with an Israeli flag only, and believes that Israel could no longer ignore Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s provocations. The author says, “The time has come to drop the gloves. If obsequiousness does not work, then it is worthwhile to speak the truth: Erdogan is the last one who has the right to open his mouth.  It is not just Turkey’s murderous past, with the genocide carried out against the Armenians, it is the current Turkey. Turkey has eliminated tens of thousands of Kurds, whose threat to Turkey is much less than Hamas’s threat to Israel.  And it is the same Erdogan who, as Mayor of Istanbul in 1995, sent the police to massacre Alevis as they sat in a café.” The paper declares, “The degrading reception that Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon meted out yesterday was the right thing to do but was ill-timed. We should have done this months ago. Restraint was proper once, maybe twice, but enough is enough.”
 
Yisrael Hayom suggests that, “As is known, the phrase ‘national honor’ has faded from international discourse  and Foreign Minister Liberman has been unjustly criticized for trying to restore the honor to ‘national honor’.” The author calls for the recall of Israel’s Ambassador to Turkey for a thorough re-evaluation of Israeli-Turkish relations and suggests that American Jewish organizations likewise reconsider their support for Turkish interests in Washington. The paper also asserts that Israel should have already recognized “the genocide of the Armenian people” and suggests that it do so forthwith, “regardless of the degree of warmth, and mainly the chill, in Israeli-Turkish relations.”
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Haaretz writes: “Former president Moshe Katsav began testifying this week in Tel Aviv District Court in his rape case. The trial is closed to the public but the start of his testimony reminded people that it is taking place and that it has entered the defense phase. Contrary to popular belief, closing such trials to the public is not mandatory. Society seeks confidentiality for the testimony of complainants in sexual offense cases, primarily so they may testify without fear; this does not require building a fortress around a trial involving a clear and exceptionally strong public interest. The Katsav case cannot be covered over with a blackout until the court issues its verdict, several months from now. Justice must not only be done but also be seen to be done.”

 

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