Summary of editorials from the Hebrew press
Today’s issues: Israeli resilience, the right to abortion without government approval, Liberman’s trial by fire, a moderate response for now, and the other reason Saudi Arabia needs Israel.
The Jerusalem Post comments on how Israelis are refusing to succumb to fear, and, noting their quick return to the restaurants that were the scene of Thursday’s vicious terrorist attack, states: “By insisting on taking part in the positive – if somewhat mundane – aspects of life such as going out to socialize and dining at a coffee shop, Israelis are making a statement: Those who sow nihilism and violence will fail, because life is infinitely stronger.”
Haaretz notes: “A woman’s right to an abortion is first and foremost a matter of her right to her own body. A woman has the right to decide whether to become pregnant and whether to continue to be pregnant,” and states: “The reality dictated by Israeli law has got the point of departure backwards: Abortion is forbidden and any doctor who performs one without the approval of a public commission is committing a crime.” The editor calls for legislation that would allow women to have an abortion under their own free will and by choice, without the need for government approval, and urges the Knesset to pass “this or similar legislation which recognizes a woman’s fundamental right to her body.”
Yediot Aharonot points out that last Thursday’s terrorist attack in Tel Aviv was the first test for new Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman, a trial by fire. The author believes that “his previous polemic must be laid aside to follow defense procedure,” and adds: “his initial reaction has been to stick to previous methods, leading to an unimpressive response.”
Israel Hayom discusses the aftermath of the terror attack last Thursday, and notes that the concern in the security establishment is that responding too harshly will propel the West Bank into a new tailspin. The author contends: “If this is indeed the beginning of a new terror wave, it is unclear if and for how long Netanyahu and Lieberman can sustain their policy of restraint,” and adds: “The significance of their decisions, however, is that for now they clearly prioritize maintaining the calm and avoiding an escalation.”
Globes notes the gradual thawing of relations between Israel and some of its neighbors, especially Saudi Arabia, but notes that it would be a serious mistake “to consider that only shared fear of Iran motivates the growing rapprochement between Israel on the one hand and Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States on the other.” The author contends that there are multiple opportunities for fruitful collaboration between Israel and its neighbors in hi-tech, water management, agriculture and other fields, and asserts: “Everyone now realizes (with the possible exception of Europe and the United States) that the Palestinian question is of minimal significance in the current Middle Eastern context. What is needed is a convenient pretext to sideline it and get on with addressing the main political, military and economic issues.”
[Alex Fishman, Yoav Limor and Norman Bailey wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Israel Hayom and Globes, respectively.]