Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press

Yediot Aharonot discusses the situation in Syria and wonders if President Bashar Assad is merely „weak and panic-stricken,

Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press

Yediot Aharonot discusses the situation in Syria and wonders if President Bashar Assad is merely „weak and panic-stricken, or a great liar who does not intend to carry out even one of the heaps of promises he made in his speech last Monday?”  The author derides the Syrian leader as „weak and detached,” and adds that „After eleven years in power, he has yet to show any charisma, determination, leadership or real decision-making.”  Addressing President Assad, the paper declares: „You are a doctor who has never practiced, but every day you prove anew how much you have betrayed your physicians’ oath.”

Ma’ariv suggests that „Facebook is Israel’s only true opposition today.”  The author bewails the state of Kadima and says that „The doctors are striking, the cottage cheese protest is at its height and the largest party in the Knesset has disappeared.  It has no agenda and nothing to say but slogans and gimmicks.”

Yisrael Hayom on the national home front exercise „Turning Point 5” that is being held this week, and in the framework of which, sirens will be sounded at 11:00 and 19:00 today and the public will be asked to go into shelters and/or protected spaces.  The author speculates that a considerable portion of the public will be indifferent and contends that „The public lives in a bubble.  It is detached from the surrounding threats and has not internalized the fact that thousands of missiles and rockets are constantly directed at every point in Israel.”  The paper believes that „An exercise now will save lives when the missiles are falling around us.”  The author notes the uncertain status and authority of the new Home Front Defense Ministry and says that „It is possible to hope that the Prime Minister will utilize today’s special Cabinet meeting in its new command bunker in the Jerusalem hills to put things in order,” adding that „What is not done now, in time of routine, will be clarified later on by the State Comptroller.”  The paper concludes that „The results of the next war will be decided, in large part, on public resiliency on the home front.  While its current apathy should, perhaps, be a cause for concern, the gaps in the authorities’ preparedness – vis-ŕ-vis planning, responsibility and budgets – is much more worrying.”

The Jerusalem Post attacks what it terms “[Minister of the Interior Eli] Yishai’s divisive meddling” for trying “to reinstate the status of ‘Jew’ on Israeli identity cards – but only for those whom he and other Orthodox Jews consider to be ‘Jews.’”  This means that Reform and Conservative converts to Judaism will not be recognized as Jewish on new ID cards, a move that is in violation of a High Court ruling. The editor states that “Instead of intimating contempt for other Jews’ heartfelt faith, Yishai should at the very least avoid a needless confrontation that might endear him to his more close-minded, parochial constituents but which would alienate and infuriate millions of non-Orthodox Diaspora Jews.”

Haaretz warns of the dangers inherent in PM Netanyahu’s new settlement policy, according to which “the Settlement Department of the World Zionist Organization – the long arm of construction matters in the West Bank – will no longer be required to obtain prior authorization from the defense minister,” and states that “The decision at this time to eliminate even the appearance of supervision of settlement building is hammering another nail into the coffin of the two-state solution.”