Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press

„The Netanyahu of yesterday evening

Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press

Yediot Aharonot argues that „The Netanyahu of yesterday evening [Israel time] was revealed as a leader worthy of applause.  There is nothing in his speech that would cancel out his failures over the years. . . but there is certainly enough in this speech in order to understand that, in contrast to the public-media debate, Netanyahu is a leader who should be taken seriously.  I did not agree with everything he said . . . but I was, never-the-less, proud of the firmness that he demonstrated in the crush of pressure from the White House.  Through my ears I heard the simple, long-forgotten truth, and especially the path.”  The author reminds his readers that „A speech is not policy, but what was presented yesterday evening was the closest thing in decades.  Words shape consciousness; they do not create a new reality.  Whoever expected immediate results and changes from Netanyahu did not understand the speech.  In matters of peace, like in medicine, not all intervention is beneficial.”

Ma’ariv notes that „The leader of the Israeli Right stood upon the Congressional podium and said that the Palestinians and Israel share the same strip of land.  He said that the Palestinian state will be wide and that Israel would be generous.  Three decades ago that was the position of Rakah (the Communist Party) Even Yitzhak Rabin had never said things so starkly.”  The author concludes that „Netanyahu, as a right-winger, has taken many steps forward.  That is not what will bring about peace.  But not because of Netanyahu.  It is Abu Mazen who is now marching in Arafat’s shoes.”

Yisrael Hayom opines that „Diplomatic negotiations will not result from Netanyahu’s speech yesterday, because they are insufficient, and, anyway, Abu Mazen is not interested until Palestinian elections are held in 2012.  It is also unclear whether the Prime Minister succeeded in passing the burden of proof on to Ramallah.  He made an effort, and was answered with resounding applause in a very important place, but not in the arena in which the fate of Israel, vis-a-vis peace or war, will be determined.”

The Jerusalem Post feels that the formation of a unity government would combat international impatience with the lack of a peace process, which is already manifesting itself in capitals around the world, and also send out a powerful message that the Israelis are united in their desire for a solution to the conflict with the Palestinians. The editor states that while “Numerous obstacles stand in the way of a national-unity government, some of which are because of narrow party politics,” nonetheless “The national interest demands unity.”

Haaretz claims that “[PM] Netanyahu wasted his chance to present a vision for peace,” and declares: “Netanyahu is leading Israel and the Palestinians into a new round of violence, along with Israel’s isolation and deep disagreement with the American administration.”