Two papers discuss various issues related to the ongoing wave of socio-economic protests over – inter alia – housing prices and the cost-of-living:
Yediot Aharonot contends that "The protestors now need a responsible adult, a leader who will take the energies that have sprung up on Rothschild Boulevard and turn them into achievements. But for this, they need to come down to earth from detached fantasies."
Yisrael Hayom says that "After 2.5 weeks of impressive demonstrations, protests and marches, it seems that the tent protest leaders are living in a movie: It seems that they excel in making demands but do not know what the solution is. The protestors in the tent encampment on Rothschild Boulevard have not forgotten anything except one thing – where will the money come from? With all sympathy, even in Communist China in Mao’s day, they would have paled over the demonstrators’ shopping list." The author believes that the Government will answer some of the protestors’ more reasonably priced demands but will reject others outright due to their excessive cost.
Ma’ariv comments on the trial of Hosni Mubarak, which is due to begin today in Egypt. The author asserts that "If Mubarak had correctly read the mood of the Egyptian public in recent years, he would have resigned long before the demonstrators in Tahrir Square demanded his head. And even after they demanded it, he could have saved himself by fleeing for his life like his Tunisian colleague did." The paper notes that while the ruling military council, all of whose members were appointed by Mubarak, sought to postpone the trial as long as possible, "When they were forced to choose between their personal survival and turning their backs on the man in whose shadow they took shelter for many years, they chose to throw Mubarak to the mob." The author asserts that "The Egyptian judicial system usually receives the confidence of the Egyptian public. The problem is that it will be difficult to ensure that a media show trial, such as is now being held under public pressure, will also be a fair trial especially when the generals, prosecutors and judges are all worried that they might be next in line."
The Jerusalem Post discusses the en-masse resignation last week of the commanders of the Turkish army, air force, and navy and declares: “Ominous changes are afoot in the old seat of the Ottoman Empire.” Noting that “The latest developments are part of a protracted erosion of the secular foundations of the republic founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923,” the editor points out that “As the prospects for joining the European Union dim, Erdogan clearly aims to shift Turkey’s focus toward the Muslim east.” The editor further opines that “the unraveling of the Kemalist legacy and the resurgence of Islamist populism at the expense of the military will reverberate well beyond Turkey’s borders,” and adds: “It is a clear and troubling signal – if we are only discerning enough to hear it – that the dissociation of Turkey from the West is already upon us.”
Haaretz comments on a study commissioned by Israel’s Courts Administration and the Israel Bar Association, which has decisively determined that Israeli courts discriminate against Israeli Arabs and calls on Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch to “send an urgent and unequivocal message to every judge in Israel: Sentencing discrimination against Arabs must end.” The editor fears that “otherwise, those who accuse Israel of maintaining an apartheid regime will be justified with regard to Israel’s own Arab citizens.”
[Oded Granot, Yoaz Hendel and Zeev Klein wrote today’s articles in Ma’ariv, Yediot Aharonot and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]