Summary of editorials from the Izraeli Hebrew press

Summary of editorials from the Izraeli  Hebrew press


Three papers discuss Israel’s representation at the memorial ceremony for Nelson Mandela:

Ma’ariv believes that „Prime Minister Netanyahu needed to attend the memorial ceremony, alongside the leaders of the entire free world,” but adds, „With us there is no foreign policy, only domestic policy. Netanyahu, who was seen as the national squanderer did not want to be criticized again after the recent revelations about water bills, scented candles and ice cream from Metudela Street. He decided to stay home and save the country NIS 7 million. And so, where we need to squander, we save, and where we need to save, we squander.” The author contends that „The international reaction to the Prime Minister’s absence has added to the damage,” which the last-minute decision to send Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein will not assuage.

Yediot Aharonot suggests that Prime Minister Netanyahu might have cut down on travel costs had he decided to travel alone and asserts that his ostensible reason for not traveling – the expense – is „a national insult, „given the extensive world coverage it has received. The author says, „If the excuse is part of Netanyahu’s wrangling with those who have criticized him over his expense account – it is a little sad. It cannot be that Netanyahu cannot see the difference between an official trip to an event that is drawing all the leaders of the world, and grandiose water bills or expenses related to personal vanity.”

Yisrael Hayom says, „The Knesset Speaker is the appropriate person to represent the State of Israel,” but doubts „whether the Israeli delegation will receive the appropriate honor in South Africa since elements hostile to Israel, in conjunction with malicious Israeli media outlets, are trying to persuade people that Israeli policy in Judea and Samaria is akin to apartheid.” The author criticizes elements of the Israeli media for their „reflexive” criticism of the Prime Minister and says, „They spoke of wastefulness and squandering. Now, when the Prime Minister has decided not to travel to South Africa due to the heavy costs entailed, we hear criticism of the cancellation.”

Haaretz comments on the outlines of a future Israeli-Palestinian peace plan presented by the United States to both sides, in which the Israel Defense Forces would continue to control the Jordan Valley, with the border crossings manned by both Israeli and Palestinian representatives, while Israel would have to withdraw its forces from most of the West Bank. The roots of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s opposition to the American proposal „lie in his well-known view that there is no Palestinian partner with whom an agreement can be signed. For years, this view has served as cover for Israeli governments’ rejectionist policies. Israel is imprisoned in an ideology that rejects the solution of peace and views all of the West Bank and East Jerusalem as an inseparable part of the Land of Israel. In this worldview, it makes no difference who the partner is or what security and economic benefits an agreement might bring.  Israel ca nnot – and has no right to – reject this enormous American effort out of hand, without holding a thorough, in-depth discussion that treats the proposal as a worthy opportunity rather than a nuisance.”

The Jerusalem Post comments on the alleged fraud in October’s municipal elections in Beit Shemesh: „Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein’s decision to call for new elections is a necessary step in the process of renewing the faith of the residents of Beit Shemesh in democracy. Moreover, the necessity for new elections is underscored by the breakdown in civil society in Beit Shemesh and the religious conflict into which the mayoral campaign descended.” The elected ultra-Orthodox mayor Moshe Abutbul „should take the necessary steps – resign his position and endorse new elections – before judges Heshin, Sobel and Marzal reach a decision, thus proving himself a responsible politician and forestalling the explosion of resentment and hatred sure to follow a court-mandated nullification of October’s results.