Two papers discuss the protests against the questioning of two prominent rabbis regarding their endorsement of a book that purportedly incites to violence against non-Jews by declaring that it is permissible to preemptively kill them in wartime under certain conditions:
Ma’ariv reminds its readers that "There is only one country in which clerics are above the regular law, in which the state police are barred from investigating them, and if they are brought to trial, it is only in a special court of religious law. This is a country in which they are considered guardians, the supreme defenders of its religious character, and therefore, they receive official privileges by law. In this country, religion reigns supreme. It is the Islamic Republic of Iran." The author asserts that "Unlike Islam, which from its outset cast itself as a conquering and ruling faith, Judaism recognizes the distinction between religion and state," and reminds his readers that "The Israeli state, by law, has determined that once a person is summoned for questioning, he must appear." The paper concludes that "Judaism has many facets. Unfortunately, there have sprung up those who want the death of Israel as a nation of laws, in which there are courts and police…This is the stream of those who have forgotten the rabbinic dictum: [Pirke Avot 3:2] : ‘Pray for the welfare of the government since but for the fear of it, men would swallow each other alive.’ The fear of the government – and of this there can be no doubt – is eroding."
Yisrael Hayom avers that many of those who believe that the aforesaid rabbis are above the civil law are openly calling for a theocratic state and calls on leading ministers to "rise up and defend the Supreme Court and democratic values and not leave everything to the police mounted units."
Yediot Aharonot commends the French government’s recent efforts to combat anti-Semitism in France and notes that "In the past year, the number of anti-Semitic incidents has declined to almost half of the number from the middle of the previous decade."
The Jerusalem Post calls on the US government to rethink its ties with the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt, and points out that “The benefits the Obama administration would derive from ties with the Brotherhood are dubious, while the dangers are many.” The editor feels that it is highly unlikely that engagement with the Brotherhood would reap any political benefits, and suggests the US should reconsider the proposal by Steve Chabot, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, to condition any aid to Egypt on the Brotherhood’s exclusion from the government
Haaretz criticizes the government’s blockade of Gaza, and claims that an embargo policy affecting one and a half million Palestinians does not contribute anything. The editor points out that the economic pressure has not brought about moderation in Hamas’ positions, and adds: “Dealing with Hamas necessitates the use of diplomatic methods which might bring about change in the organization’s approach; the military effort should concentrate on stopping the smuggling of arms.”
[Yaron London, Nadav Eyal and Dan Margalit wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma’ariv and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]