Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press

Yediot Aharonot contends that „The one who has been deriving benefit from the Syrian regime’s plight is Iran. 

Yediot Aharonot contends that „The one who has been deriving benefit from the Syrian regime’s plight is Iran.  Iranian involvement in Syria is growing in an attempt to preserve – at any price – the Alawite regime, which is one of its strategic assets.”  The author notes that Iranian operatives are assisting in the repression of the demonstrations and reminds his readers that Iranian intelligence has many assets in Syria, which are involved in monitoring both Israel and ordinary Syrians.  The paper asserts that Iran is also assisting Islamist parties and groups throughout the Arab world and claims that „If the West does not wake up, if the Americans do not do something, Israel will find itself – after the „democratization process” in the Arab world is over – opposite a pro-Iranian monster, the arms of which reach from Iraq through Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and Egypt, to Sudan.”
Ma’ariv wonders why the West has not even threatened to intervene in Syria even as they are heavily involved in Libya and suggests three reasons: 1) „They do not know who is going to win.”  The paper suggests that in Egypt the allies realized – fairly early on – that Hosni Mubarak was beyond saving, while in Libya, vis-ŕ-vis Moammar Gadhafi, they understood that „He was opposed by a significant force that could – under certain conditions – topple him.”   The author maintains that the Syrian situation „is completely different,” in that „There is no clear opposition inside the country,” and „There is no military force opposite the President.”  2) „They are suffering from the ‘wrong war’ paradox.”  The paper refers to US President Barack Obama and says that „The accepted wisdom is that the administration lacks the public credit, the military depth and the financial resources to risk another war in the Middle East.”  3) „They do not know who will gain by a regime change in Syria.”  Unlike in Egypt, where the regime change was a fait accompli, and in Libya, where „It is absolutely clear that a new regime will be heavily dependent on Europe and the Americans,” in Syria, the situation is far less clear.  The author avers that Syrian support for US policy in Iraq has led to fears that a regime change in Damascus could adversely affect regional stability.
Yisrael Hayom notes that „Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have proven their desire for freedom and that they are ready to give their lives for it,” but asserts that „This is not enough,” because „Millions of others, especially the residents of Damascus, continue to prefer the relative stability that has prevailed in the country in recent decades under the Assad family’s rule over a leap into the unknown that is liable to lead them to an inter-communal bloodbath, like those in Iraq and Lebanon.”  The author also points out that the largely Sunni rank-and-file in the Syrian army have – for the time being – chosen to remain loyal to their largely Alawite officer corps and says that only time will tell if the changes that have come over the rest of the Arab world in the past decade have also made their mark in Syria, „or whether in Syria what has been is what will be.”
The Jerusalem Post comments on the vehement rejection by the Israel High Court of Justice of a petition against granting the Israel Prize to Shimon Mizrahi, legendary chairman of Maccabi Tel Aviv’s basketball club, and states that the court signaled, more clearly than ever, “that it is climbing down from the blanket everything-is-justiciable philosophy that prevailed during the court presidency of Aharon Barak.”
Haaretz calls on PM Netanyahu to open the Mossad files on the hunt for Nazi criminals, and fears that the main reason this has not been permitted to date is because “Israel did very little, or nearly nothing, to capture war criminals. There were more pressing issues.” The editor calls on the Prime Minister to issue a directive to open the Mossad files on Nazi war criminals “so they can be opened in an orderly, supervised manner at the State Archives.”