Three papers comments on the talks with the Palestinians in Jordan:

Haaretz comments: „The deadline the Quartet gave Israel and the Palestinians for submitting their positions on security and borders – Thursday, January 26 – flew by. It’s as if it never existed. The Quartet’s plan, which was to bring the parties from the UN struggle to the negotiating table, is about to be relegated to history’s graveyard of missed opportunities. The general positions that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu submitted last week through his envoy Isaac Molho during talks in Jordan are a blatant attempt to saddle the Palestinians with responsibility for the negotiations’ failure. Netanyahu, with Barak’s help, has turned the Iranian nuclear threat into an impressive ploy to distract attention from settlement policy and the perpetuation of the occupation. The death certificate of negotiations based on the two-state solution is a badge of shame for Israeli society.”


Yisrael Hayom notes that „Yet another deadline has passed – January 26th. The Palestinians accepted the Quartet’s request for three months of indirect and direct dialogue by responding to Jordan’s King Abdullah II’s proposal to hold direct talks, even five sessions, in Amman, without anyone expecting that anything would come of it. They warned that after the 26th of January the talks would not continue, and that they would look for other ways in which to extract themselves from the deadlock. Now they are dispatching their representatives around the world in order to renew the initiative to gain UN recognition and are fantasizing about non-violent demonstrations which would draw the world’s attention back to their cause. And us? We are following them with interest and waiting for their next step in order to react. What if, all of a sudden, we should initiate something ourselves?”


Ma’ariv contends that „The attempt to paint the secular Fatah as being pragmatic in comparison to Hamas is to play fast and loose with the truth. Haniyeh and Mashaal are bearded extremists, while Abu Mazen and Barghouti are mustachioed extremists.”


The Jerusalem Post comments on the program put forward by Construction and Housing Minister Ariel Attias (Shas) for affordable housing: „Attias should be given the benefit of the doubt when he says that National Insurance Institute representatives called to leave out employment as a criterion for being eligible for affordable housing out of a desire to help the most destitute populations – the haredim and the Arabs – in which the level of participation in the labor market is the lowest. The readiness to attack Attias for partiality has also prevented many from looking at the positive elements of his plan. It is difficult to argue conclusively that Attias’s affordable housing plan discriminates in favor of haredim. Looking closer at the content of his proposal in a serious way leads to the conclusion that the knee-jerk criticism against him may have guided by prejudice against his constituency.”


Yediot Aharonot argues that „The only apparent positive story regarding the suspicions against the head of the Prime Minister Bureau is the fact that three senior staff members – the Military Secretary, the Cabinet Secretary and the head of the National Information Directorate – are the ones who brought the complaint to the Attorney General. This, of course, is exemplary of public responsibility of those who knew that their actions are liable to adversely affect the image of the Prime Minister’s Bureau and with it the image of Netanyahu himself, as well possibly hurting themselves…” The author opines that „There is something disturbing about the fact that people working closely with Netanyahu, do not trust his judgment on such a simple and clear moral issue. It is even more disturbing the fact that they decided to deal with their doubts by not telling Netanyahu, the man who does not know too much.”