Summary of editorials from the Hebrew press
Today’s issues: A shot in the foot, what Israel has to hide, Israel must not fall into the trap, Hezbollah is flexing muscles, two significant events ignored by the international media.
The Jerusalem Post notes the pending Ministry of Health directive ordering the Western Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya to stop treating wounded Syrian civilians unless the government pays the hospital some NIS 300 million it owes for their care, and asserts: “Unfortunately, with a government whose right hands are too often oblivious to what its left hands are doing, Israel’s humanitarian efforts are being jeopardized by this inexcusable withholding of funds.” The editor argues: “In a world that daily besmirches Israel with the false accusations of the BDS movement, it is time for our ministers to refute such immoral attempts at delegitimization by simply paying the government’s hospital bills,” and states: “It is intolerable for the government to risk further damaging Israel’s humanitarian reputation by s quabbling over paying its hospital bill to Nahariya.”
Haaretz comments on the denial of a work visa to a researcher from Human Rights Watch based by The Interior Ministry’s Population, Immigration and Border Authority, acting on Foreign Ministry instructions, on the grounds that the advocacy organization’s activities further Palestinian propaganda. The editor states that after U.S. officials expressed dissatisfaction with the Foreign Ministry’s decision, Netanyahu had to make a U-turn, and within hours, a firm refusal turned into willingness to issue the researcher with a tourist visa, a sort of suspended sentence whose erasure depends on the organization’s attitude toward Israel, but declares: “the destructive trend led by the right for the past several years continues, from a state that invited the world to come and marvel at its achievements, under Netan yahu Israel has become a state that is closed and closed off, fearful of foreigners who arrive and of Israelis who travel abroad (representatives of Breaking the Silence). It wants only visitors who won’t criticize it.”
Yediot Aharonot discusses the increasingly frequent and aggressive threats against Israel by Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, and warns the government not to fall into the Lebanese trap once again. The author reminds readers: “In the Second Lebanon War, Israel fell into the Lebanese trap and played into the hands of the Lebanese government. Israel fought only against Hezbollah, without getting the Lebanese government, the Lebanese army and the country infrastructures involved in the battle,” and offers a clear conclusion: “If fire is opened at Israel from Lebanese territory, Israel should declare war on the State of Lebanon. There is no one in the world who wants to see Lebanon destroyed—neither the Syrians and the Iranians on the one side, nor the West and Saudi Arabia on the other side. Hezbollah doesn’t want that either. A war against Lebanon, which will inflict heavy damage on all of the country’s infrastructures, will spark an international outcry for a ceasefire after three days, rather than after 33 days like in the Second Lebanon War. It is only from a really short war that Israel will be able to emerge victorious and without serious damage to its home front.”
Israel Hayom comments on the recent saber-rattling by Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, and argues that Nasrallah’s belligerent statements “do not indicate a desire for confrontation with Israel, but rather the direct opposite: a fear of such a confrontation and a desire to prevent it.”
Globes focuses on two significant events concerning the Middle East that were practically ignored by the media: The foreign minister of Saudi Arabia declared in an international forum in Munich that the Jews had the right to the land of Israel, and, for the first time in a history stretching back three and a half millennia, a woman was named governor of a province in Egypt. The author argues that from the Israeli point-of-view, indications of positive change in countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE should be carefully balanced against excessive optimism or pessimism, and adds: “An Israeli government operating within a clearly dysfunctional political system, subject to ideological attack from the right and the left, has to find the way to maneuver with the greatest of care but also decisiveness in this maze called the Middle East.”
[Giora Eiland, Eyal Zisser and Norman Bailey wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Israel Hayom and Globes, respectively