Summary of editorials from the Hebrew press
Today’s issues: Sound and fury, an Arab-free Knesset, Israel’s masochistic nature, and a familiar Purim tale.
The Jerusalem Post slams the Knesset members currently engaged with passing the so-called ‘Muezzin law,’ deeming it not only an unnecessary bill that targets Israel’s Muslims, but one that has aroused furor both domestically and abroad. The editor asserts: “In addition to being simply unnecessary, this legislation undermines Israel’s efforts to explain to the world that it is not at war with Islam but just with radical Islamists,” and adds: “It will also make it harder for Israel to continue making the claim that, unlike its neighbors, it is the only country in the region where all religions can pray freely.”
Haaretz notes the Knesset discussion of a proposed amendment to the Basic Law on the Knesset, which w ould add to the oath of office sworn by Knesset members — ‘to be loyal to the State of Israel’ — the phrase ‘as a Jewish and democratic state, in accordance with the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, to preserve and to respect it symbols,’ and asserts: “It is outrageous to demand that the elected representatives of Israel’s non-Jewish minority swear loyalty to the ‘Jewish state.’” The editor argues that “In a democratic state, everyone has full freedom of conscience and no one is forced to swear loyalty as a condition for participating in the game of democracy and exercising the right to be elected,” and declares: “The frequent attempts to pass such laws only send a message of insecurity, as if Israel’s Jewish and democratic identity were in doubt.”
Yediot Aharonot discusses the unreciprocated services Israel provides not only to the hostile Arab residents of the Gaza Strip, but also to the Palestinian Authority and neighboring Arab states, and asserts: “‘In return’ for the services it gives them, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is delaying the American Embassy’s move to Jerusalem, abandoning Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria and in Jerusalem to an American veto, adopting the Saudi initiative (‘with rectifications’”) and reciting a formula of ‘two states or less.’” The author argues: “A normal country that repays its enemies that way would have demanded a diplomatic return, or at least public gratitude,” and concludes: “Politicians won’t help this country. It needs a shrink.”
Israel Hayom compares the ancient Purim tale to current events, and reminds readers: “When a rich outsider, ruling the world’s strongest country, was fooled into policies targeting Jews, his trusted Jewish adviser, related to the king by marriage, stepped in to save the day.”
[Elyakim Haetzni and David M. Weinberg wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot and Israel Hayom, respectively.