Today’s issues: Protect the nurses, the amendment to extend political persecution, women in combat roles, and threatening freedom of opinion.
The Jerusalem Post comments on violence in hospitals on the backdrop of last Tuesdays shocking murder of a health clinic nurse by a disturbed patient, and is concerned that “things won’t get better in Israel until there is a cultural change underscoring that it is not okay to attack a nurse.”
Haaretz slams the Knesset for approving in secret and with virtually no public debate an amendment to the Basic Law on the Knesset that “increases the chances that candidates for the Knesset or entire tickets will be disqualified, and thereby opens the door even wider to political persecution and gagging,” and asserts: “The amendment is intended to have a chilling effect on Arab politicians and public figures, as well as on Jews who are outside the mainstream, by making them fear to speak freely lest this damage their chances of being elected in the future.” The editor declares: “The Central Elections Committee, aside from the Supreme Court justice who heads it, is a political body that cannot be relied on to make appropriate decisions,” and concludes: “Giving it additional tools with which to disqualify candidates will only help it continue to undermine the fundamental principles of representative democracy.”
Yediot Aharonot comments on the debate aroused by the objections raised by some rabbis from the Religious Zionist camp over combat roles for women in the IDF, and states: “It’s true that not every girl is fit to be a fighter, but neither is every boy. Almost every woman soldier who has completed a physical fitness instructors’ course is likely capable of being an infantry fighter, let alone a fighter in the Armored Corps; the rabbis should focus on what they know, rather than presenting scientific research to prevent female enlistment.”
Israel Hayom argues that “Defense Minister Lieberman’s threat to harm the Bnei David pre-military academy over comments about female combat service interferes with freedom of speech and education and harms democracy,” and asserts: “The preparatory academy in Eli does not belong to a religious party, but to all of Israel. One way or another, when it comes to the Lieberman issue, we hope that the Israeli Right has learned its lesson.”
[Yoav Keren and Dror Eydar wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot and Israel Hayom, respectively.