Summary of editorials from the Izraeli press

8 Feb 2012
Jerusalem Post
Yediot Aharonot
Yisrael Hayom
Israeli press
Two papers comments on the agreement between Hamas and the PA signed earlier this week in Doha:

The Jerusalem Post writes: „Hamas, recognized as a terrorist organization by the European Union and the United States, appears to be undergoing a worrisome process of legitimization of late. Hamas’s latest bid for normalization was Monday’s Doha Declaration, a reconciliation agreement designed to end differences between it and Fatah. Under the circumstances, PM Netanyahu’s reaction to the Doha Declaration was eminently reasonable: ‘President Abbas, you can’t have it both ways. It’s either a pact with Hamas or peace with Israel.’ Unfortunately, the idea that it is impossible to reconcile a Fatah-Hamas unity deal with an Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative was not immediately clear to all. It is imperative that the international community stand by the Quartet’s three conditions for normalizing relations with Hamas. So long as Hamas continues to hold to its commitment to violent struggle, refuses to recognize Israel and rejects past peace agreements, it will be impossible to develop formal ties with Hamas – or with a Palestinian leadership willing to enter into a unity agreement with it. Many in the international community might be under the false impression that recognizing a Palestinian government that includes the terrorist organization will enable the more moderate Fatah to effect change in Hamas. But we believe it is much more likely that Hamas, riding a wave of new-found popularity in the region, will gradually take over Fatah.”

Haaretz writes: „In a Pavlovian response to the reconciliation agreement signed by the rival Palestinian factions, under which Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will also serve as temporary prime minister, PM Netanyahu presented Abbas with a simplistic ultimatum – peace with Hamas, or peace with Israel. Instead of welcoming the bolstered status of a leader who signed the Oslo Accords and reined in terror in the West Bank, Netanyahu opted to present the deal as a capitulation by the PA to a terrorist organization, and to that organization’s policy of rejecting the existence of the State of Israel and opposing a diplomatic settlement. In all of his talks with Hamas, Abbas made it clear that internal Palestinian reconciliation would not budge him one inch from his commitment to a two-state solution and an uncompromising war on violence. Netanyahu must end his obsessive search for flaws in the internal Palestinian agreement and focus instead on an initiative for ending the conflict.”

Yediot Aharonot writes: „Shamelessly, Russia and China are safeguarding a simple economic interest: As long as the foolish Assad needs arms in order to massacre his subjects, Russia and China will provide him with more and more bombs that would make the slaughter mission easier. A moment before it’s too late, Western countries must strike Syria.”

Yisrael Hayom writes: „The primary move [last week] was the U.S. decision to freeze all of Iran’s assets in the U.S. If Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does not understand what that means, his boss, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, surely does. The world is in the midst of a huge diplomatic exercise, and the fact that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton agreed to meet with Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on Tuesday, after they last met 18 months ago, has not eluded senior Iranian diplomats.”

Ma’ariv comments that the continuing silence of the Israeli Arabs in the face of the massacre in Syria is insulting and cowardly.