HEADLINES FROM THE HEBREW PRESS

HEADLINES FROM THE HEBREW PRESS HA’ARETZ 1. HISTADRUT: GENERAL STRIKE FROM TOMORROW; ATTEMPTS TO RENEW CONTACTS WITH TREASURY.


Teachers supposed to decide today that they will join strike. No rubbish collection or parking tickets; reception hours as usual. Hospitals will be on emergency schedules only; Klalit clinics will be closed. Trains will not run; Dan and Egged routes will run as usual. Planes will not take off from Ben-Gurion; Airlines bringing flights forward. Sanctions in stock exchange, post office and banks; ATMs to work as usual. Government offices to close; no issue of passports and ID cards. No theory tests; practical driving tests will take place as planned. 2. Holocaust Day: approximately 285 thousand holocaust survivors live in Israel; Assessment: one fifth have financial problems. AS HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS GET OLDER, NUMBER OF THOSE WITH FINANCIAL PROBLEMS INCREASES. 3. ISRAELI ASSESSMENT: POWELL WILL POSTPONE VISIT TO MIDDLE OF MAY. Delay is meant to ease situation for Abu Mazen; his government should win support of Palestinian Legislative Council. 4. TERRORISTS RESPONSIBLE FOR MURDER OF NINE ISRAELIS CAUGHT. 5. SHARP DECREASE IN FOREIGN AID FOR ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANISATIONS. HATZOFEH 1. Peretz angry with Netanyahu and cancels meeting with Treasury representatives. IF THERE IS NO BREAKTHROUGH IN NEGOTIATIONS, ECONOMY WILL GRIND TO HALT TOMORROW. Peretz accused Finance Minister of breaching agreements he signed. Finance Ministry Director: Strike is superfluous and will cost economy billions of shekels each day. Strike to include all government offices, public companies, local authorities, El-Al, the airport authorities, ports, trains and banks. Hospitals and HMOs to run on Saturday schedule. Schools to close. 2. SHARON AT HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL CEREMONY: JEWS WILL NEVER BE UNDEFENDED AGAIN. Holocaust day ceremonies began yesterday at Yad Vashem. 3. YESHA COUNCIL SUGGESTS: AUTONOMY FOR PALESTINIANS RESIDENTS UNDER ISRAELI RULE. 4. ABU MAZEN TO BE APPROVED TODAY AS PALESTINIAN PRIME MINISTER. MA’ARIV 1. 12 OUTPOSTS TO BE EVACUATED. “If we have no choice, we will use force,” claim security sources, who are formulating operation plan for coming days. Jerusalem preparing for increased international pressure following approval of Palestinian government today. 2. HOLOCAUST AND RESISTANCE. Marking 60 years since the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the Jewish people unite today with 6 million murdered. At 10:00 a two minute siren will be heard. New report: dramatic increase in anti-Semitic incidents. 3. ASSAD TO SHARON: LETS TALK. Congressman Tom Lantos brought message from Damascus. YEDIOT AHRONOT 1. Histadrut: from tomorrow we will bring country to halt like on Yom Kippur. PREPARING TO STRIKE. Expected to strike: Schools, banks, airports, local authorities and government offices. 2. ASSAD PREPARED TO MEET SHARON. Congressman Tom Lantos reported yesterday who met with Syrian President. Sharon’s bureau: it’s just an exercise. _________________________________________________________________ SUMMARY OF EDITORIALS FROM THE HEBREW PRESS Hatzofeh says that “From Ariel Sharon’s comments we can understand that he is trying to prepare Israeli public opinion for withdrawal from ‘conquered territory.’” The editors dismiss the fact that at the moment these are words which have not been formulated into actual policy and urge “those that oppose the establishment of a Palestinian sovereign state within the borders of the land of Israel to raise their voices and express opposition to the plan.” The paper suggests that Prime Minister Sharon’s plan will involve an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders, including the division of Jerusalem, and that the Palestinian Prime Minister elect Abu Mazen “is continuing in the PLO’s path.” The editors urge the Prime Minister to take a different position and emphasize “Israel’s religious and historical right to the land of Israel.” Yediot Ahronot points to the worrying rise in anti-Semitic attacks which has included in some cases, use of live ammunition. Anti-Semitism, according to a report released by the Institute for investigating Anti-Semitism and Racism shows that there has been a rise of cases specifically in Western Europe where “France, Belgium and the UK are leading in anti-Semitic attacks.” In addition to violent attacks, anti-Semitic literature has become more widespread in academic circles. Anti-Semitism is also on the rise in the US where “35 million Americans hold strong anti-Semitic views.” The editors believe that it is the “first and second intifada which has been the principle cause for renewed unrest,” and point out the irony that the State of Israel, which was created not only as a safe haven for Jews, but also as a focus for Jewish identity and pride, “has been the cause of danger for Jews around the world.” Yediot Ahronot, in its second editorial, condemns both the Histadrut for resorting to a general strike and the Treasury for threatening to legislate salary reductions both of which will cost the country heavily. The editors argue that “the public does not have an attorney to defend it…it does not have a way to measure whether the crisis is artificial or real.” The paper urges both sides to make every effort to compromise and arrive at an agreement which is acceptable to all. Yediot Ahronot, in its third editorial, comments “Three members of the coalition traveled with the President to the ‘march of the living’ in Poland. Very nice. Except that in order for them to return to Israel in time for the urgent vote on legislation of the budget – that will, as has been explained to us, save the economy from collapse – the Knesset decided to fund their urgent return with a special flight. For this important purpose, there’s no problem to waste a few thousand dollars from public funds.”