HEADLINES FROM THE HEBREW PRESS

22.o9.o3 HA’ARETZ 1. GAP INCREASES: TOP DECILE EARNS 13.4 TIMES AS MUCH AS MUCH AS LOWEST. 2. AT 80TH BIRTHDAY FESTIVITIES, PERES WINS RECOGNITION AND ADMIRATION THAT HAS BEEN DENIED HIM, IN HIS OPINION.


Clinton calls him “Comeback Kid”, Sharon says: “Perhaps we can work together again.” Birthday boy Peres: “It was worthwhile, don’t give up on peace.” 3. JEWS PURCHASE LAND NEAR RACHEL’S TOMB; PLANNING NEW SETTLEMENT. 4. REINFORCEMENT FOR IDF IN WEST BANK: SNIPERS WHO FOUGHT IN CHECHENYA. HATZOFEH 1. Government economic plan continues to harm the weak. WORSENING GAP BETWEEN RICH AND POOR. Top decile earns 13.5 times more than lowest decile. Average top decile wage: NIS 41,840. Average lowest decile wage: NIS 3,100. 4.2% drop in domestic income since 2001. 2. JEWS PURCHASE AREA AROUND RACHEL’S TOMB COMPOUND IN BETHLEHEM. Buyers establish place of Torah study where lessons are held. IDF establishes position in building compound. 3. WORLD VIPS COME TO CELEBRATE SHIMON PERES’S 80TH BIRTHDAY. “Women in Green” demonstrate opposite Cultural Center. 4. ISA OFFICIALS MEET YESHA RABBIS FOLLOWING RELEASE OF DETAINEES. MA’ARIV 1. Center for Strategic Studies: IDF stronger than ever. “ISRAEL HAS BECOME STRONGER, ITS NEIGHBORS HAVE BECOME WEAKER.” Center report determines: IDF doesn’t need so many tank divisions, US overran Iraq with much smaller ground force. 2. AIR FORCE PILOTS DEFEAT GERMANS. For first time ever: Israeli and German air forces competed against each other in secret aerial combat exercise. 3. ISRAELI WOMAN – WORLD WINDSURFING CHAMPION. Champion: Lee Korsitz, 19, from Mikhmoret. YEDIOT AHRONOT 1. World VIPs celebrate Peres’s 80th birthday. SHARON TO PERES: LET’S WORK TOGETHER. PM utilizes festive event in order to propose cooperation. Clinton steals show when he sings with Israeli and Arab children. Sharon, to Cabinet: “Arafat is frightened and is avoiding attacks.” 2. RESCUE UNDER FIRE IN BOLIVIA. Twenty-three Israelis caught in harsh battle between Bolivian army and Indians. ______________________________ SUMMARY OF EDITORIALS FROM THE HEBREW PRESS Hatzofeh censures the UN for “giving a rubber stamp to any resolution proposed against Israel, especially if it is submitted by the Arab states” and says that the decision to demand that Israel stop threatening Arafat is “yet another shameful blot for this international organization, whose contribution to advancing peace, operations against terror and the reduction of violence around the world has been negligible and marginal.” The editors argue that, “The UN General Assembly gave additional legitimacy to terror,” suggest that in adopting this resolution, the organization has again proved that it will automatically accept any proposal which condemns Israel, and add that the only question is which lone states will support Israel. Yediot Ahronot faults the government for two recent “miserable” decisions. The first, to remove Arafat without any concrete plans of when or how to do so and the second, to implement further cuts from National Insurance benefits instead of making cuts in other budgets. The editors believe that the decision to remove Arafat only worked to his advantage and note that the international community immediately expressed their support for him. The paper adds that, “It increased his deadly influence on the Palestinian and Arab street. It damaged the global war against terror and put a wedge between Israel and the US administration.” In regards to the decision to cut National Insurance benefits, the paper comments that while Finance Minister Netanyahu understood very quickly that these cuts could not be implemented and quickly admitted as much, the public outcry on this decision far exceeded that of the decision to remove Arafat.