Summary of editorials from the Izraeli Hebrew press
Two newspapers discuss various issues regarding today’s local elections:
Yediot Aharonot defines „the main problem of our languishing local authorities,” as „too much politics and too little municipal services,” and notes that „Four indictments were filed against mayors in the past year, a fact which strengthens this public feeling.” The author faults the fact that – unlike in national elections – mayors and local council members are elected separately and contends that this strengthens wheeling-and-dealing style coalition politics as mayors try to form governing majorities. The paper says: „Today, the country’s residents will go out and vote for mayor in order to make their lives, and their communities, better. Instead of this they will get a mayor whose main job will be to make life better for the politicians who will comprise the council.”
Yisrael Hayom reminds its readers that while approximately two-thirds of Jerusalem’s 250,000 Palestinian residents are eligible to vote in Jerusalem’s municipal elections, very few will actually cast ballots, thus continuing a tradition dating back to the first municipal elections after the unification of the city in the 1967 Six Day War. The author notes that a large turnout could have a decisive effect on the races for both mayor and city council and suggests the usual minimal turnout by the city’s Palestinian residents suits its Jewish politicians.
Two other newspapers discusss the recent decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid to appoint Dr. Karnit Flug as Governor of the Bank of Israel:
Ma’ariv dismisses the praise of Prime Minister Netanyahu for „admitting his mistake and finally appointing Flug to the job even though he did not want her at the outset and did not see her as an appropriate candidate,” and says, „It is difficult to assume that suddenly now the Prime Minister discovered that she is an excellent candidate for the job but was not three months ago. The proffered explanation for the appointment is that he and the Finance Minister were impressed by her performance as Acting Governor over the past three months. Oh come on; really? This insults the public’s intelligence . . . It is more likely that Netanyahu and Lapid were impressed not by Flug’s performance but by the embarrassing saga and prolonged farce of not appointing a new Governor and the amateurishness and inaction that damaged them both.” The paper reminds its readers that Benny Gantz was chosen as IDF Chief-of-Staff „as a kind of default choice,” after one candidate was disqualified and another declined the position, and adds: „And the result? A successful Chief-of-Staff who is also a mensch. Let us now hope that Karnit Flug, also a default choice, will imitate his success.”
The Jerusalem Post notes: “Much has been made of the fact that newly appointed Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug is a woman,” and adds: “We should be proud that Flug and other women are filling key financial and economic positions. But we should fight barriers that remain, whether these be explicit gender discrimination or more subtle forms of societal attitudes and norms.”
Haaretz comments on the proposed new Basic Law: Jewish nation state, and asserts: “The only way Israel can exist as a democratic Jewish state is by being a democratic state whose citizens have equal rights, but where the majority of its population is Jewish.” Fearful that the new law will be biased against non-Jewish Israelis, the editor argues that “Israel must set borders within which it has a Jewish majority and move to integrate its Arab citizens,” and concludes: “The idea of a Jewish state law, in any possible version, works in the opposite direction and must be scrapped.”