Summary of Editorials from the Izraeli Hebrew Press

Summary of Editorials from the Izraeli Hebrew Press

Three papers discuss various issues regarding the January 22 elections for the 19th Knesset:

Yediot Aharonot asserts: „The extreme right is no different than the people on the extreme left or the Arab parties’ MKs,” and reviews recent actions by some of the followers of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane and by Balad MK Hanin Zoabi. The author concludes: „If the Kahanists – as those who seek their disqualification claim – are fighting against the democratic character of the State, then the Zoabis are fighting against the Jewish character of the State. Both are dangerous and both are protected in the framework of freedom of expression.”

Ma’ariv calls on Minister Dan Meridor to not only stay in the Likud but to run for a place on the „Likud Beytenu” list in order to both counter the rightward tug of Yisrael Beytenu and prevent a possible flight of disgruntled moderates to other parties. The author notes that the polls have not been complimentary to Kadima leader MK Shaul Mofaz and says: „Mofaz was, in his day, a good Chief-of-Staff and a worthy Defense Minister, but he has failed as a political leader. His case should bring an end to the automatic coronation of every Chief-of-Staff, while still in office, as a candidate for Prime Minister and to the parties’ courting of him. Most chiefs-of-staff have – one way or another – gone into politics but only a minority has gone far.”

Yisrael Hayom comments on reports that certain elements from the center-left have approached President Shimon Peres about possibly running for Prime Minister. The author believes that „The lack of prominent leaders from the left of the Likud has led certain people to make the pilgrimage to the President’s office,” and adds: „I truly understand the bitterness of their hearts, but they are doing an injustice to Peres.” The author commends Peres’s tenures as Prime Minister and President and concludes: „Now almost 90, it would be a mistake to offer him to return to the boxing ring.”

Haaretz discusses the indictment against former Bank Hapoalim board chairman Danny Dankner, who allegedly “repeatedly mixed the bank’s public funds and his personal affairs,” and states that not only did Dankner fail to separate his interests, senior journalists also failed to draw a line between their journalistic duty and their connections with both Danny and his cousin Nochi Dankner. The editor reminds his readers that “The duo had control of about NIS 400 billion of the public’s money as well as huge advertising budgets, giving them unprecedented power over the press, publishers, lawyers, accountants, regulators and politicians,” and adds: “The process of dismantling the concentration of economic power in Israel has just begun, but there is no guarantee that there will also be a change in the culture, ethics and the professionalism of most of the press in Israel. The weakening of the press from a financial standpoint do! esn’t bode well when it comes to serving the public’s interests.”

The Jerusalem Post comments on the high price of housing in Israel, and states that “The only way to truly fight housing prices is by focusing not on demand, but on supply.” The editor believes that only the government, which is currently focused on elections, can bring about the changes required to reduce housing costs, and asserts: “Voters must demand that a solution to the housing shortage be a central issue in the election campaigns of all the major political parties.”

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