Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press


Four of the papers discuss various issues related to abducted IDF soldier Gilad Shalit:
Yediot Aharonot asserts that „The claim that releasing 40 arch-murderers from Israeli jails would force Israel to confront a threat that it would find difficult to deal with, cracks the perception that we set before Palestinian terrorism and creates the impression of a weak Israel,” but adds that „There is nothing in the foregoing to deny the validity of other arguments being heard against the release.”  The author notes that „There are those who believe that, for reasons of regional and international policy, the delicate and fragile balance that exists today between Israel, the Palestinian Authority, the Gaza Strip and Hamas must not be upset, since it is an asset that serves our strategic interests.”  The paper says that those who hold to this view claim that „Carrying out the exchange deal with Hamas is liable to upset everything and lead to a chain rethat is liable to get out of control.”
Ma’ariv says that „We send our soldiers to fight, die, be wounded, and sometimes be taken prisoner,” and adds that „While the heart weeps for Gilad Shalit, the head must understand that the price of his release is too high.”  The author asks „Will Noam and Aviva Shalit be able to look at the families of those murdered in the next intifada – or even before it – by those released in the Shalit deal?”
Yisrael Hayom claims that „Instead of discovering where Gilad is being held (the ISA) and initiating operations to abduct terrorist leaders (the IDF) and winning global support against Hamas’s brutal refusal to allow a Red Cross representative to visit him in captivity, Israel is left with the diktat that the terrorist leaders presented at the start of the negotiations, as if it has lost self-confidence in its ability to influence the results.”  The author acknowledges that „Gilad Shalit is a soldier who is suffering, and whose life is in danger, and the nation has learned to identify with him and love him,” but wonders that „The 27 Israelis who have been murdered by terrorists that were released in exchange for Elhanan Tannenbaum have been forgotten from the national memory.”  The paper declares that „No sovereign country in the world would agree to the terms being put to Israel,” and reminds its readers that „Past experience proves that most of them [the terrorists whose releases Hamas is demanding], approximately 65% of them, will return to terrorist activity.”   The author concludes that „Symbolically, the problem of the march leaving Mitzpe Hila is that it will end opposite the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem and not be allowed to continue on to the main square in Gaza.”
Haaretz calls on the government to make a deal that will expedite the release of Gilad Shalit: „It seems that the longer Israel delays Shalit’s release, the greater the damage to the state and its people. The deal to free Shalit from captivity must be concluded immediately.”
The Jerusalem Post is outraged by the government’s intent to pass on to consumers losses incurred by regional water authorities, as well as to have households foot the bill for erecting desalination plants, which should have been constructed and fully operational years ago, and are anyway funded by the taxpayers. The editor states that „At the very least, instead of punishing the entire population through unfair and socially regressive levies, it would be better to charge incrementally more for exorbitant water use, thereby educating the public that squandering is costly.”