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Summary of editorials from the Hebrew press


 MFA Newsletter 

Summary of editorials from the Hebrew press

Today’s issues: Terrorists, not freedom fighters, punish the clients, not the prostitutes, on racism and criticism in Israel, and you can criticize, but do not incite.

The Jerusalem Post asserts: “Palestinians who use violence to end the ‘occupation’ are terrorists because they are fighting to deny another people – the Jews – the right to self-determination while struggling to create yet another Arab state that denies basic human rights and equality to non-Muslims and women, and rejects freedom of expression and religion,” and adds: “Hamas is a terrorist organization not just because it systematically targets civilians, but because its goals are to destroy an internationally recognized state and create in its place a caliphate run in accordance with medieval Islamic law.”

Haaretz believes that Israel should follow the lead of several Western countries and pass a bill that penalizes the customers of sex workers, not the women who engage in it, and argues: “Criminalizing the client changes the entire legal and social approach to the phenomenon; the social and legal disgrace moves from the prostitute to the client, and it is he who is now subject to sanctions, condemnation and public criticism.”

Yediot Aharonot discusses racism in Israel on the backdrop of MK Bezalel Smotrich’s racist comments, and states: “There is racism in Israel. There is racism in every country. But a sorrow shared is not a sorrow halved. So the question is not whether racism exists, it’s how widespread it is.” The author points out that the election law and Basic Law: The Knesset bar a candidate who incites to racism from running for parliament, and notes he is fully expectant to see Smotrich being barred from election. The author contends: “Anyone who claims a Muslim terrorist represents Muslims is of course a racist. But those who say an Israeli racist represents all Israelis is enlightened,” and adds: “Common sense, needless to say, has never been the strong suit of racists – neither on the right or the left.”

Israel Hayom slams the “vulgar caricature spread this week by a Likud activist showing Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s head in a gun’s crosshairs,” and states that while it is permissible to criticize court decisions, “the criticism should be voiced in a respectful way, and most importantly, one must abide by the rulings, even if they are seemingly mistaken.” The author adds: “One may believe that the statements made by defense establishment leaders about the soldier who shot an injured terrorist in Hebron were reckless, harmful, and damaging to the soldier’s right to a fair trial,” but argues that “the wild, vulgar attacks on the defense minister and chief of staff crossed red lines and brought the public discourse to a place where it must never go.”

[Ben-Dror Yemini and Shai Hajaj wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot and Israel Hayom, respectively.