Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press

„Three days after Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed agreement to shrink into [settlement] blocs,

Four papers discuss various issues regarding US President Barack Obama’s speech of 18 May 2011 and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with him on Friday:

Yediot Aharonot says that „Three days after Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed agreement to shrink into [settlement] blocs, the Americans proved that even that generous concession did not satisfy them.”  The author asks: „If the opening point of the negotiations is the Green Line, what is left to talk about?  According to Obama, Israel must agree in advance to give up the Jordan Valley and Latrun, and only afterwards begin to hear what Abu Mazen has to say about the refugees.”  The paper reminds the Prime Minister that „A decisive majority of the public here elected him two years ago precisely in order to wage the current struggle in Washington,” and urges him to speak forthrightly to the US Congress on Tuesday.

Ma’ariv suggests that the Americans insisted on referring to the 1967 lines as the basis for a future settlement in order to try and head off a UN vote in September to recognize a Palestinian state.  The author suggests that „Netanyahu apparently thinks that it would be possible to fight the UN decision without referring to the 1967 border.  It is almost ironic that Netanyahu’s sharp rewill help Obama achieve his objective.  The Europeans will only be satisfied if it is clear to them that Netanyahu is not satisfied.  Only if they feel that Israel received the slap in the face they think it deserves, will they possibly agree to pass on the much more painful slap at the UN.  In any case, after his speech to AIPAC this morning, Obama is leaving for Europe for several days.  If he returns with agreement to block the Palestinian initiative, it will be possible to reconsider the gains and losses of last week’s speech.”

Yisrael Hayom contends that „Netanyahu cannot bridge the gap between himself and Obama, who believes that the upheavals in the Middle East herald the coming of democracy.”  The author ventures that „Obama’s policy towards Israel, which stars in US public opinion polls, represents a minority within the Democratic Party, the public and the Congress, which constitutes a bastion of admiration for Israel,” and believes that Congress could serve as a counter-weight to the White House.  The paper asserts that „Netanyahu must leverage this situation,” and „continue the dialogue with Obama, but view Congress as the most promising forum in which to promote his ideas.”

Haaretz claims that “Today’s borders are the ‘indefensible’ ones,” and warns that “Netanyahu’s decision to have Israel clash with Obama is not only a dead end, it could remove the only protective wall Israel has left and sacrifice the country’s future on the altar of hollow ideology and unbridled nationalism.”


The Jerusalem Post fears that last week’s decision by the Knesset Law Committee to allow magistrate’s court registrars to function as judges and hand down rulings in all litigations involving less than NIS 50,000 will lead to the demise of the small claims courts, and states that in the event of such an eventuality, “This would be a giant step backwards for Israeli justice. It may be small money, but the same cardinal principles are at stake.”