Hebrew press

Summary of editorials


Haaretz –  www.haaretz.com
Yediot Aharanot – www.ynetnews.com
Globes – www.globes.co.il/serveen
Jerusalem Post – www.jpost.com
Ma’ariv – www.nrg.co.il
Yisrael Hayom  – www.israelhayom.co.il
Hazofeh – www.hazofe.co.il


Yediot Aharonot discusses Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Israel and suggests that „The visit was not prepared for properly, mainly by the guest. Benedict did not properly study the sensitivities of his Israeli hosts, or – which is, perhaps, worse – he studied them and decided to ignore them. He did not understand the religious-national complexity of the Middle East, and, again, perhaps he understood but decided to go his own way. In a larger view, it seems that the Vatican did not decide what exactly it wanted from the visit.”

Four papers discuss various issues regarding the Cabinet’s passage of the state budget yesterday:
Ma’ariv reminds its readers that, „VAT is going up by 1% and will be levied on fruits and vegetables. National Insurance payments will increase for high-income earners.  Taxes will be levied on jeeps. The defense budget will not be cut this year and public sector wages will only be partially frozen.” The author asks: „What happened? How did the same draft budget that was presented two weeks ago do a 180-degree turnaround and lead to the resignation of Finance Ministry Budget Director Ram Belinkov? The answer is clear. Netanyahu preferred Belinkov’s resignation to Ehud Barak’s and the break-up of the Government. The budget is one example of the price that Netanyahu is paying – and will yet pay – for the right to establish a Left-Right government.” The paper asks, „If this is the payoff to the Left in the economic field, what the Prime Minister will pay the Right in the diplomatic sphere?” and adds, „We will know soon.”

Haaretz writes: „The first rule in budget politics is that the prime minister should back the finance minister so that the later will be able to withstand the great pressures placed on him. This time, not only did Benjamin Netanyahu not support Yuval Steinitz, he simply ignored him. Netanyahu circumvented the Finance Ministry with the help of his economic adviser, Uri Yogev, who made deals with Histadrut labor federation chairman Ofer Eini and the cabinet ministers. This process introduced new norms of faulty management into the government.”

The Jerusalem Post writes: „The government purchased industrial peace by placating the Histadrut. Finding a modus vivendi with the Histadrut is indispensable because when the labor federation calls for nationwide strikes, these can cause more damage to the economy than the extra spending and higher budget deficit mandated by yesterday’s package-deal. The 2009-2010 budget package was a commonsense compromise – good news for the economy. But the way Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu managed the process, along with the way the concessions were unveiled, gave an impression of vacillation and loss of control.”

Yisrael Hayom commends both IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi’s apology for his outburst at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Ministry Budget Director Ram Belinkov’s resignation over his dissatisfwith the budget and in the wake of his recorded remark in which he appeared to allege that bribery was involved in formulating the budget. The author believes that, „Even though it [the budget] was achieved in a flawed process, it is not necessarily mistaken. Economists the world over are recommending just such a budget as a way to be rescued from the global recession. It is too early o judge whether the budget that was approved yesterday will solve the state of Israel’s economic problems but it deserves a chance.”