Summary of Editorials from the Izraeli Press

Two papers comment on the series of terror attacks this week in Delhi, Tbilisi and Bangkok:

The Jerusalem Post comments following the “work accident” resulting in the premature explosion of a bomb that Iranian agents were preparing in Bangkok: „The Islamic Republic and Hezbollah have proven in the past that they are capable of carrying out murderous terror attacks – not just against Israel. Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh was responsible for the 1983 US Marine barracks bombing in Beirut that killed 241 American servicemen and 58 French paratroopers, and the 1983 US Embassy attack that killed 60 people in the same city. But Hezbollah is just a proxy for Iran, the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism. Iran’s mullahs were behind the bombing of Buenos Aires’s AMIA Jewish community center and the Israeli Embassy there in the 1990s. Revolutionary Guard operatives and their Shi’ite collaborators have been a destabilizing force in Iraq, murdering US troops and Sunni Iraqis there. Iran also supports anti-Western forces in Afghanistan and smuggles arms and missiles to Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. One motive behind the attacks in New Delhi and Tbilisi was Iran’s desire to deter the West from a strike on its nuclear facilities. A fierce Western response to these attacks, in contrast, would send a counter-message to the mullahs in Tehran.”

Yisrael Hayom asserts that „The main and sweeping conclusion that arises from the wave of terrorist attacks in recent days is that Iran is under pressure,” and adds, „There is no other way to interpret its crude and violent conduct that contravenes almost all operational or diplomatic logic, except that the decision-makers in Tehran are now working from the gut instead of with their heads.” However, the author notes that „Israel had no warning of the current wave of terrorism,” and says that despite the apparent haste and amateurishness of their implementation, „the preparation was scrupulous: Considerable intelligence was collected and the terrorists knew exactly who to look for.” The paper speculates that „Israel is hoping to use the events of recent days (including the growing evidence of Iran’s involvement in helping President Assad violently put down the demonstrations in Syria) as leverage for a diplomatic dividend that would further tighten the siege on Iran over the nuclear issue,” but adds, „Iran’s haste to act despite the heavy cost entailed by its exposure in all fronts should certainly be a cause for concern in Jerusalem and the west.”

Two papers discuss issues stemming from the upcoming State Comptroller’s report on the Carmel wildfire disaster:

Yediot Aharonot cites reports that State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss will offer pointed criticism of Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Interior Minister Eli Yishai and says, „The Comptroller’s report discusses continuing failures in the fire and rescue service, from withholding budgets (Finance) to mismanagement in enacting reforms (Interior). This is very true, but if Steinitz and Yishai must go home, there should be a long line behind them of prime ministers, ministers, Fire and Rescue Service commissioners and many others for decades of neglect and negligence that would have continued had it not been for the disaster.”

Ma’ariv says that Israeli politicians „are prepared to ‘take responsibility’ only in quotation marks, to say so pompously and then to carry on in office as if nothing happened. But they will not take responsibility in the ancient and true sense of the term – and resign.” The author believes that this is because, „Our politicians have completely lost a sense of shame, and therefore it does not matter what is published about them – from the Winograd Report to the Lindenstrauss Report. They neither want nor are they prepared to resign. It is almost amusing, but it is really very depressing, to think about what would cause a failed Israeli politician to leave the leather chair that he is sitting on. Want a hint? The cold, dry language of the law…And if a report is published, even before any reasonable Israeli reads its details, hordes of media spin people are immediately sent into battle, from lawyers to friendly politicians, confidants-of-the-moment and naïve (or less than naïve) journalists to defend whoever is responsible – according to a relatively objective agent – for a hair-raising failure. The claims are clichéd: Everyone was guilty, it could not have been foreseen, it is hindsight, the failure has been going on for years and – the piece de resistance – this is headhunting, an expression that was specially invented for failed Israeli politicians who are trying to claim that they cannot be fired because they cannot be fired.” The author avers that, „Our political system is sick,” because, „Neither politicians nor decision-makers feel the weight of responsibility.”

Haaretz comments on the decision by a subcommittee of the Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria that the Ariel University Center meets the requirements for becoming a university: „As noted by the approximately 300 academics who signed a petition against upgrading the academic center, the initial establishment of a college in Ariel stemmed from political considerations that had no connection to the development needs of Israeli academia. If the government wishes to keep the two-state solution in the public consciousness, and/or to protect the status of Israeli universities within the international academic community, it would do better to call a halt to this dangerous move that the education minister is promoting.”