Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press

Yediot Aharonot refers to the upcoming „Nakba Day” and cautions that while Israel and the Palestinian Authority

Yediot Aharonot refers to the upcoming „Nakba Day” and cautions that while Israel and the Palestinian Authority certainly have their reasons for wanting to maintain restraint, „The West Bank is liable to deteriorate into uncontrolled violence due to outside influences.”  The author points out that in the PA, „local committees, which flout the central leadership, are calling on people to march on checkpoints and settlements and confront IDF forces,” but notes that the IDF has reinforced units in the field and will show maximum restraint in an effort to avoid casualties. 

Ma’ariv notes that the Environmental Protection Ministry is not providing any of the NIS 8.75 million in Government funds to promote the Dead Sea’s candidacy as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature and contends that the promotional campaign „is taking criticism from environmental organizations mainly because it runs parallel to the failure in the effort to save the Dead Sea.”  The author asserts that „While the state intends to present the Dead Sea as a global natural treasure, it has done everything to cause its deterioration.”  The paper calls for the rehabilitation of the Jordan River and points out that sewage spills into the river less than a kilometer downstream from the Yardenit baptismal center that draws very many Christian tourists.

Yisrael Hayom discusses US President Barack Obama’s anticipated speech on US Middle East policy and reminds its readers that „The Arab Middle East of May 2011 is very different from that which greeted the 44th President when he moved into the White House.”  The author says that „Against the of the revolutionary wave hitting the area, what is necessary is a clear American message that will inspire the forces and elements that are hoping for reforms and democratization, but without accelerating dangerous anarchy and chaos in those friendly countries which are strategically important to the US (especially in the Persian Gulf area).”

The Jerusalem Post comments on the call by a senior Syrian official to all those who have Israel’s best interests at heart, to ensure that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad survives the current uprising. The editor states that “The imperative here for Israel is to refrain from opining on any ‘desired’ result of the Syrian upheaval,” and calls on the government to remember that “this Arab push for freedom is not actually about us. The temptation to babble is often overwhelming for our leaders. Sometimes there are circumstances where the less said, the better.”

Haaretz remarks on the question of ministerial responsibility, in particular the manner in which Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz dealt with the recent jet fuel contamination crisis, and notes that while “Katz rushed to appear at the airport, planted himself in front of the cameras during peak viewing hours for the nightly news, delivered his message to the people, and appointed the director-general of his ministry to head an investigation committee,” he nevertheless ordered refueling before the fuel pipes had been cleaned, thus causing additional flight delays. The editor declares: “Katz’s response to the Ben-Gurion Airport affair proves yet again that television appearances are no substitute for the transportation minister assuming responsibility for the bodies under his authority.”