Three papers discuss various issues related to the ongoing protest over housing prices and the plan that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will introduce today:
Yediot Aharonot contends that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s plan will have little, if any, short-term effect, and complains that "What is really worrying is that we have, in effect, more shooting-from-the-hip," and adds that "Panicked solutions of this kind usually create more problems than they solve." The author advises that "One must be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater: The peak of the current real estate cycle is behind us; the contractors have caught the coming wave and have begun to build – and build a lot."
Ma’ariv says that "It seems that the New Israel Fund is behind some of the protest. And to this one must say ‘So what?’ The Fund also does worthy things. If it is behind some of the tent protests, it is worthy of praise. It also assists weaker groups and a non-profit association for those hurt by the education system. One must criticize what is bad, and there is what to criticize. But when it does something good, it must be praised, not cursed." The author reminds his readers that the protestors are not monolithic and notes that "On Rothschild Boulevard [in Tel Aviv], there are compounds; one flies a blue-and-white flag, another a red flag." The paper believes that ‘The story is not just housing. The story is also cartelization and the tycoons’ horn of plenty, sometimes under the aegis of – and at the expense of – the state, i.e. the taxpayers. This protest cannot be abandoned. That it has streams and sub-streams is not a bad thing. Whoever abandons it because it has rival streams is making a terrible mistake."
Yisrael Hayom suggests that the Israeli middle class is tired of having to support "non-working sectors," even as a small group of tycoons do extremely well. The author asserts that "The Government must act but without being panicked. It must not ignore the middle class and those without means any longer, but everything in proportion. It must deal with the issue constantly and not enter into a frenzy of activity that indicates panic."
The Jerusalem Post feels that it would be a grave mistake for Israel to issue an apology to Turkey over the Mavi Marmara incident, and wonders: “Shouldn’t the US be exerting more efforts to convince Turkey to recognize the legality and legitimacy of Israel’s blockade of Gaza?” The editor adds that “Saying sorry might sound innocent. But in the case of Turkey, it is liable to do more harm than good.”
Haaretz discusses the intended reform of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, and fears that the appointment of senior managers who are close to PM Netanyahu demonstrates that “the Israeli government does not intend to treat the IBA as a public apparatus, but to control and direct it as though it were a political asset.” The editor concludes: “While the reform is supposed to fix the IBA’s managerial failures, its journalistic independence must be preserved by amending the law, so that its managers are appointed by a public, neutral authority, untainted by political bias and removed from government control. Without this essential change, the IBA will continue to be seen as a mouthpiece.”
[Sever Plocker, Ben-Dror Yemini and Dan Margalit wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma’ariv and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]