Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press


Two papers discuss the situation in Lebanon in light of a CBC report on the investigations into the 2005 murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, which points – inter alia – to Hizbullah’s culpability in the assassination:
Ma’ariv suggests that  Hizbullah Secy.-Gen. Hassan Nasrallah’s dire threats of violence, if the international investigating tribunal accuses his organization of involvement in the murder, are designed to lead to a situation in which, „international concern over a coup in Lebanon will, in the end, lead to the organization’s name being dropped from the list of those responsible for the murder.” The author says that everyone is waiting on the tribunal to have its say and avers that, „On the assumption that the tribunal will not capitulate at the last minute, it will then be Nasrallah’s turn to decide whether to make good on his threats or fold and risk losing his power.”
Yisrael Hayom speculates that, „Whoever leaked to the Canadians is interested in uncovering the truth, in contrast to the approach of Syria and Saudi Arabia, which are interested in hiding the conclusion that Hizbullah had a role in Harriri’s murder,” lest Hizbullah attempt to seize power and, „destroy the last shred of Lebanese sovereignty.” The author says that this would be, „the fire that burns the thin cover on the bitter truth that Lebanon became a Hizbullah state a long time ago.”
Yediot Aharonot analyzes the possibility of extending the freeze on settlement construction. The author declares that, „As one who supports settlement… in my opinion, a three-month freeze is not the main issue, but a secondary one. There is no ideological or practical impediment to not building for a few months as long as it jibes with our interests,” and adds, „All that is left is to define our interests.” The paper agrees in principle to extending the freeze provided that the delivery of an additional 20 F-35’s is anchored in a written deal. The author believes that, „The freeze is bad for Israel, but it is possible to agree to it if Obama will revive the Bush letter and give it practical validity: Unlimited construction in the settlement blocs and Jerusalem tomorrow morning in exchange for a three-month construction freeze in Yitzhar.” The paper asserts that, „The time has come for Ariel, the Etzion Bloc and Jerusalem’s Ramot neighborhood to be recognized and known as part of Israel,” and calls on the government to work towards building a national and global consensus to this effect.
The Jerusalem Post comments on the farmers’ strike, protesting a shortfall of foreign workers: „The present crisis underscores Israeli agriculture’s precarious economic position. Water specialists have argued for the gradual phasing- out of Israeli agriculture as the best way to solve the region’s water shortage.” But „Israel is also at the cutting edge of agricultural technology innovations” and „by abandoning agriculture, Israel would send a negative message to arid countries struggling with water scarcity who look to the Jewish state for guidance. Still, Israeli farmers must gradually wean themselves off their dependence on foreign workers. Aside from the social problems it creates, bringing foreign workers to Israel also exacerbates local unemployment.”
Haaretz criticizes the recent trend of converting springs and other water sources by settlers in the territories into memorials and tourism sites: „Their takeover of the springs does not just deny the Palestinians access to water sources; it also, and primarily, creates a violent provocation. Putting up a sign that erases a spring’s Arab name and invents a Hebrew name to replace it, or destroying an ancient building and putting up a memorial in its place in an attempt to create an exclusive Jewish settler memory, are provocations solely for the sake of provocation.”