Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press

Haaretz – Ma’ariv – Yediot Aharonot – Globes – Jerusalem Post – Hazofeh –

Haaretz comments: „An inquiry committee headed by former judge Vardi Zeiler, which is looking into the failures of the police and prosecution in their handling of the Parinyan brothers case and of the murder of policeman Tzachi Ben-Or, will resume work this morning. But a judicial decision handed down recently in the Parinyan brothers’ criminal trial is liable to undercut the efforts the committee is making to expose negligent and perhaps even corrupt behavior in the top levels of the police… Despite efforts by senior police officers to postpone the committee’s establishment until after the trial of Oded and Sharon Parinyan, the public security and justice ministries decided that the committee’s work would proceed simultaneously with the trial. Thus far, the committee has managed to hear more than 30 witnesses, including senior police officers and prosecutors, and has gathered hundreds of documents and exhibits. The findings to date, as the committee chairman defined them in a letter to the State Prosecutor’s Office, ‘are unflattering, to say the least, to part of the system and to relevant individuals.’ …If necessary, the prosecution should consider postponing the criminal trial in order to enable the committee to complete an investigation that could lead to the ouster of people who are unfit to serve as senior law enforcement officials.” The Jerusalem Post writes: „The highest echelons of the French government – led by President Jacques Chirac and Premier Dominique DeVillepin – went out of their way Thursday night to express sympathy and solidarity with their country’s Jews, following the torture and murder of Ilan Halimi. Their attendance of memorial services at Paris’s Victoire Synagogue for the 23-year-old victim constituted the most unequivocal and authoritative admission that Halimi fell prey to a horrid hate crime. The knee-jerk inclination of French officialdom, however, was refusal to categorize this as an anti-Semitic homicide. Initially there even was reluctance to note the Jewish identity of the victim… Anti-Semitism in Paris isn’t just an internal French matter. It should concern all of us in the Jewish state. We mustn’t be wary of speaking up lest we offend French sensibilities. Ariel Sharon didn’t shrink a few years back from calling on French Jews to make aliya. Our government’s concern over the Halimi murder should be conveyed directly to the French government at the highest levels, and our solidarity more emphatically shown with the embattled French Jewish community.”