Yediot Aharonot reminds its readers that former IDF Chief-of-Staff Dan Halutz, who has joined Kadima and announced his intention to take an active role in politics, was berated at this week’s state memorial ceremony for those who fell in the Second Lebanon War by a bereaved parent who accused him of attending the ceremony in order to bolster his image. The author says "The former Chief-of-Staff, who deems himself fit to return to the center of national decision-making, should respond to the remarks that were hurled at him by the bereaved father, not because the bereaved families deserve it but because we all deserve it." The paper calls on Halutz to answer claims regarding his role in the decision-making process before the war, his conduct during the fighting and his conduct after the war in not meeting with the bereaved families.
Ma’ariv says that "The Prime Minister is right: The current Government is not to blame for the housing crisis and the middle and lower classes’ economic crisis," and adds that "The housing crisis is the result of the policy mistakenly referred to as ‘privatization’, which is nothing but the Government’s casting off of responsibility for the social situation." The author suggests that "From an almost socialist state that strangled private initiative, we have gone to a regime that disavows the weak and releases the rich and powerful from all restraint. In the spirit of a ‘free economy’, vital monopolies and services have been privatized in the hope that ‘market forces’ will fashion a new order." The paper argues that few of Israel’s markets are truly "free", especially real estate, in which the state owns 90% of all land, and asserts that "The Government’s disengagement from social responsibility is expressed in all areas of the economy: The salaries of social workers and teachers, the prices of basic goods, Government companies’ evasion of their obligations to the bond-holding public, the privatization of heavy-handed monopolies and social services, etc." The author avers that "The country needs social planning, which promises a first apartment to every family at a reasonable price, rental terms for those who do not want to, or cannot, invest in construction, and fair living conditions for every family and individual in society. The state budget, the allocation of land, environmental protection and the other articles in the national budget must stem from this."
Yisrael Hayom calls on MKs to defeat the initiative to establish parliamentary committees of inquiry into the finances of various left-wing organizations "in order to repair the crack in the wall and reaffirm Israel’s status as the only democracy in the Middle East."
The Jerusalem Post discusses intended government intervention in the local book market, and states that “our lawmakers should reconsider blatant intervention in a book market that seems to be working relatively well on its own.” The editor urges the government to consider other methods of encouraging literary activities instead of attempting to tamper with the market, and opines that “special state-backed funds could be set up to support authors.” The editor adds: “Promoting original Israeli culture is an eminently fitting goal that should be pursued by the Jewish state. But tampering with market forces might not be the best way to achieve that goal.”
Haaretz queries the decision by the Ministry of Education to that requires preschool teachers to begin the school day by raising the national flag and singing the anthem, and notes that “This superficial brainwashing joins a series of Education Ministry initiatives in recent years.” The editor points out that “There is nothing easier than getting preschoolers to parrot an anthem and getting them excited by chauvinistic and religious ceremonies,” and declares that “History proves, however, that these practices ultimately shatter the consensus over those symbols, turning them into objects of hatred and making them the property of one camp only: the one that forces its values on others.”
[Ariella Ringle-Hoffman, Hadar Horesh and Dan Margalit wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma’ariv and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]