|Summary of editorials from the Hebrew pressToday’s issues: The need for an ‘anti-Semitism Czar,’ Israel’s punching bag in Gaza, with opinions comes responsibility, and Hamas’ new direction.
The Jerusalem Post discusses the rising instances of anti-Semitism in the United States and notes that while these manifestations of a resurgence of latent antisemitism have prompted calls for intervention by the governments of both Israel and the US, both governments deal with anti-Semitism ineffectively due to a lack of coordination. The editor believes that the war against anti-Semitism “holds as much promise of success as the so-called war against terrorism – both of them irrational phenomena that involve contempt for human life. There is no way to completely eliminate them, but there must be a better way of fighting them,” and asserts: “Israel’s response to antisemitism would be made more productive by combining its agencies under a single ‘antisemitism czar’ who would direct their efforts, instead of the cur rent situation where responsibilities are split.”
Haaretz warns that the increasing frequency of attacks from the Gaza Strip give rise to concern regarding a new military confrontation, and notes that Israeli policy of holding Hamas responsible even though it knows full-well that that the attacks are being carried out by Salafi organizations close to or affiliated with the Islamic State, “cannot produce the quiet it seeks.” The editor contends that Israel’s government cannot ignore the IDF’s warnings about the dangerous situation in Gaza, and declares: “Given the absence of any intent to conduct negotiations with the Palestinians in general and Hamas in particular, the government must immediately consider other ways of halting the deterioration in Gaza – first and foremost by alleviating the wretchedness of life there.”
Yediot Aharonot comments on the increase in anti-Semitism in the US and elsewhere, and states: “Sartre’s warning against seeing the anti-Semite solely as a person who ‘has opinions against Jews’ rather than as a person who has chosen to hate Jews, and is therefore mentally and morally willing to murder them, rings true with increasing relevance today.” Comparing anti-Semitism to anti-Muslim racism in Israel, the author states: “Whoever writes ‘Jews belong in gas chambers’ may, under certain circumstances, murder Jews. And whoever was raised on the slogan ‘death to the Arabs’ and has adopted it as his world view may, under certain circumstances, murder Arabs—without any pangs of conscience, because according to his perception, they deserve to die. A society that wishes to live and preserve its democracy must, therefore, punish perpetrators to the full extent of the law, and make an example of them for all to see. There are no extenuating circumstances for a murder committed out of faith or ideology. Forgiveness legitimizes the next murder, the next murders.”
Israel Hayom examines the new Hamas leadership, comprised for the most part by people lacking in experience, and declares: “The movement’s current leaders hail from Hamas’ military wing, which rushed to issue a warning this weekend that if Israel continues to strike Hamas targets in retaliation for rocket attacks, Hamas will feel free to force an equation like the one between Israel and Lebanon, where Israel’s hands are effectively tied against Hezbollah. This declaration is undeniably disconcerting, because it indicates the direction Hamas wants to pursue, even if it appears to be trying to preserve calm along the border for the time being.”
[Sever Plocker and Eyal Zisser wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot and Israel Hayom, respectively.