Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press


All five papers comment on various issues regarding the seizure of the Mavi Marmara:
Yediot Aharonot says that Israel „imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip both to prevent the entry of war materiel and in order to weaken the Hamas regime, politically and economically.”  The author declares that „The flotilla could not be allowed to reach Gaza.  All of the questions and concerns arising from the itself must be examined carefully.  But let’s not get confused: Despite the diplomatic imbroglio and the public diplomacy embarrassment, the blockade of Gaza must continue as long as Hamas, which controls it, is the Hamas that currently exists.  We cannot allow a sea route into Gaza.”  The paper adds that „It is clear to everyone that whoever rains blows on armed soldiers puts his life in danger.  I do not know that soldiers from other countries, including Turkish soldiers, would have taken murderous blows without responding.”
Ma’ariv believes that „There is nothing surprising in the decision of the UN Human Rights Council,” and reminds its readers that „The Council has issued 40 condemnations to date, 33 against Israel, and nine emergency condemnations, six against Israel.”  The author points out that „Non-democratic countries have an automatic majority in the UN,” and notes that yesterday’s decision was almost identical – in its blatant bias – to that which preceded the establishment of the Goldstone commission.
Yisrael Hayom says that yesterday’s outburst on the Knesset floor by several MKs against MK Hanin Zoabi, who was onboard the Mavi Marmara, „was an ineffective response,” and urges a proper inquiry by the Knesset Ethics Committee and/or changes in legislation.  But the author admits that „Restraint is not easy,” and suggests that „The deterioration in relations between Jewish and Arab MKs, alongside that between the two sectors’ respective publics, has reached a new low.”  The paper notes that „Minister Avishay Braverman [who is responsible for minority affairs] believes that generous budgets, and better labor relations and administrative practices, will achieve the goal of reasonable coexistence.  But there is no such willingness in Umm El-Fahm.  There is no hint of compromise there.”  The author concludes: „In looking towards the future, it seems to me that even if two states are established for two peoples, Israeli Arabs will be seen at the last moment as those who oppose it.  Such a solution will not answer their desires.  One must hope that Braverman the optimist knows what he is taking about since he is the last optimist.”
The Jerusalem Post discusses the broad international condemnation of Israel and its defensive actions regarding the flotilla, which the editor feels is tainted with deeply rooted antipathy towards Jews. He finds it especially disconcerting that the Vatican appears to be chiming in on the wider issue as well, and notes that „We understand that the Vatican is attempting to bolster the beleaguered and diminishing Christian communities within the increasingly intolerant Muslim milieu, but this should not be at Israel’s expense.” The editor adds: „For the sake of the Holy See’s own moral authority, it ought not to jump on the bash-Israel bandwagon.”
Haaretz criticizes the Israeli leadership for not initiating a strategy that would enable it to lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip, The editor states that both Netanyahu and Barak have failed in this weeks test of statesmanship, and opines that „Instead of insisting on continuing a policy that has failed, Netanyahu should pull himself together and minimize the damage of the naval operation. He must appoint a commission of inquiry that will investigate what happened and lift the damaging and unnecessary blockade on the Gaza Strip, while developing a response to arms smuggling.”