Today’s issues: The right approach, the settlement trap, bad days ahead for Arab leaders, and the Palestinian reflex.
The Jerusalem Post praises Prime Minister Netanyahu’s temporary shelving of the bill that would officially annex Ma’aleh Adumim and place the largest non-haredi settlement beyond the Green Line under Israeli sovereignty, and argues: “There is no reason to risk damaging relations with the US just days after Trump took office. Apparently, the trauma of eight years of sour relations with the Obama administration have taught Netanyahu to be more cautious. Annexation, if that is the right move, can wait until after Netanyahu’s meeting in Washington with the new president.”
Haaretz comments on recent declarations by Israeli politicians on the intention to escalate building in the occupied territories and states: “the attempt to portray con struction in the settlements as an exclusive deal between Israel and the American government is misleading and dangerous.” The editor contends that PM Netanyahu “has tried to destroy every possibility of achieving a two-state solution, the only way to preserve Israel as a Jewish and democratic country,” and adds: “With Trump behind him and a silent opposition, the prime minister is leading Israel to a binational state, which will be either not Jewish or not democratic.”
Yediot Aharonot warns leaders of the Arab world to prepare for tough days to come with regard to their relationship with the United States, and states: “Trump doesn’t give a damn and couldn’t care less about anyone. The kings and presidents of the Arab world should pay attention to the fact that he did it the other way around: First business and millions, and only then rule. He already knows that they do it from the other direction: Only after entering the palace, they learn how to rake in the money.”
Israel Hayom comments that “The Palestinian leadership is responding to the idea of relocating the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem with empty threats, which amount to no more than a knee-jerk reaction,” and asserts: “Whoever refuses to recognize the Jewish state may see Jewish sovereignty in Jerusalem as disastrous, but cannot threaten to ‘revoke recognition.’ The Palestinians use Jerusalem, as well as the ‘right of return,’ as the wrench they repeatedly throw in the peace process’ wheels. Luckily for us, Trump is the only one who can pry this wrench out of their hands.”
[Smadar Perry and Reuven Berko wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot and Israel Hayom, respectively