Headlines from the Izraeli Press

Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press

Yediot Aharonot suggests that US media reports about a projected Israeli attack on Iran, the EU decision to impose an oil embargo and statements by Israeli leaders at last week’s Herzliya conference are all part of a calibrated effort to ratchet up pressure on Tehran and speculates that „The Iranians have received the message, but have not yet begun to sweat.” The author believes that a decision by the IAEA Board of Governors next month to transfer the Iranian nuclear issue to the UN Security Council could prompt Israel „to not only lay statements on the table, but to back them up with something more tangible.”

Two papers comment on the crisis in Syria in light of the decision by Russia and China to veto an Arab League-backed UN Security Council draft resolution that – inter alia – called on Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down:

Ma’ariv notes that Venezuela and North Korea support the Russian-Chinese position and says that all four „fear the persistent trickle of freedom,” as embodied, however imperfectly, in the Arab Spring. The author believes that „Beijing’s and Moscow’s veto last night was not just for Assad, but also – and mainly – for themselves.”

Yisrael Hayom notes that „On the one hand, the Assad family has taken care to honor the June 1974 armistice agreement more than any other Arab actor in the area, but on the other hand, it is Iran’s most prominent agent in, and a murderous lifeline to, Hizbullah. Like his father, Assad Jr. is the epitome of brutality,” but wonders, „Will the Muslim Brotherhood that succeeds him (if the regime falls to them) be any better?” The author says that, „Yesterday, Russia and China again lined up, at the UN Security Council, with the axis of evil, or, to be more precise, the axis of murder, between Damascus and Tehran,” and concludes, „If it were up to Israel, I would suggest that it airdrop food, medicines and water to each community in which the Syrians have murdered their fellow Syrians.”

The Jerusalem Post calls on State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss to employ discretion, following reports that he told the bereaved families from the Carmel fire that he would settle accounts with those responsible, specifically Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Interior Minister Eli Yishai: „The state comptroller and his personnel damage the credibility of their own report when they disrespect conventions that require discretion and propriety. This is not only true of the Carmel fire probe but of all probes – regardless of how hot the issues or what the conclusions may be.”

Haaretz comments on the statement by Shin Bet security service chief Yoram Cohen, that „As a community, Arab Israelis are not a target of Shin Bet. They are not a fifth column and we do not view them as such.” The paper writes: „It is very important for the public, and even more so for the government, to view the remarks as clear, professional intelligence analysis. The sense of Arab citizens’ alienation from the state stems from their lack of integration, employment and, most of all, criminality, which the state is not investing sufficient resources to contain. There is a great gap between this analysis and the claims that the right repeatedly make against some 20 percent of the citizens of Israel, who want to live here as normal citizens.”