Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press

Yediot Aharonot suggests that „There is no chance that the current Israeli government

Yediot Aharonot suggests that „There is no chance that the current Israeli government will begin or hold tangible diplomatic negotiations with the Palestinians.  Both sides are trapped by the conditions they have presented: Israel is demanding from the Palestinians recognition as ‘the national state of the Jewish People’, which will not happen, and the Palestinians are trying to compel Israel into negotiating with a government with the increasing presence of Hamas, which is not an interlocutor for any sane Israeli government.”  The author believes that „if, miraculously, negotiations do get started, then the gap in the sides’ positions ensures that they will fail.”  The paper says that given the foregoing, „The main goal of the Israeli government must be to cultivate a reality that will help, and make it easier for, the current Palestinian administration to maintain security and quiet,” despite the tinderbox that may develop ahead of September should the current „diplomatic stalemate” continue.  To this end, the author calls on the Government to ease economic and other restrictions on Palestinians in Judea and Samaria.

Ma’ariv summarizes the Arab Spring, approximately six months after it began.  While the author believes that „On the administrative plane, the era of stable authoritarian regimes is over,” he asserts that „On the social and ideological planes, the picture is less clear,” and says that the contest between progressive and modern, and traditional and conservative, forces has yet to be decided.  The paper contends that unlike the previous division of the region into American and Soviet spheres of influence, now „No superpower has responsibility; there is no one in charge.”  The author says that given the absence of strong American leadership, „Is it any wonder that in such a situation, the most influential actors in the region are its two rising Islamic powers – Sunni Turkey and Shi’ite Iran.”

Yisrael Hayom reminds its readers that doctors have been holding rolling sanctions for three months as part of their „struggle to improve their pay and advance the public health system,” but suggests that „It seems that Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman and Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Ronnie Gimzu are not doing enough to promote dialogue with the doctors.  Sometimes it seems that the two are even blocking progress that has almost been achieved on some of the issues in dispute.”  The author declares that „The heads of the Health Ministry must take to urgently advance the dialogue with the doctors in order to end the crisis and – together with them – move forward on resolving the basic problems in Israel’s public health system.”

The Jerusalem Post calls on the US government to permit Jonathan Pollard – who has served the longest prison term in American history for spying for an ally –to attend his father’s funeral, and states that Obama should allow this for no other reason than that it is simply “the right and moral thing to do.” Noting on the one hand that “The severity of Pollard’s crime need not be minimized,” the editor points out that “Top American and Israeli officials from across the spectrum have called upon Obama to commute Pollard’s sentence, without so much as a presidential response.”  The editor adds: “Jonathan Pollard was denied permission to attend his mother’s funeral when she passed away in 2001. He should be allowed to attend his father’s.”

Haaretz discusses what it terms the sorry state of readiness of the home front in the event of rocket attack or earthquakes, and in light of last week’s lethal gas explosion in the coastal city of Netanya and the forthcoming national defense drill that begins this week that is meant to test and train emergency service personnel, states that “There’s no need to wait until the drill is finished before reaching the unfortunate conclusions about the way things are being done.” The editor feels that “Israel is liable to be hit by disasters far greater than the gas explosion in Netanya. We must not delay any longer in acting to remove hazards and preparing for the day of distress that is yet to come.”