Yediot Aharonot discusses why Jews living in Judea and Samaria have suddenly embraced the protest movement despite the fact that "The settlers were suspicious of the protesters from the outset." The author notes that some settlers have been pushing the idea that the a solution to the housing crisis lies in expanded construction in Judea and Samaria, where housing is less expensive, but cautions that "Housing in the territories is cheaper because it is financed by the state, which maintains a complete welfare state for the residents of the territories. Housing is not cheap in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Be’er Sheva and Carmiel because the Government is channeling the funds eastward into the territories." The paper believes that "The settlers certainly bear an important part of the burden, especially in the IDF, but they are also one of the sectors for whose benefit our entire socio-economic structure has been distorted. In this sense, they are in the same group as the millionaires and the ultra-orthodox, each one of which, in its own way, reaps what the majority sows. Therefore, the settlers’ joining the protest is not really related to their social outlook, which has never drawn them out of their homes. It is related to what they have always been ready to demonstrate for: The continuation of the settlements. I guess that National Union MK Yaakov Katz understands very well that it is worthwhile for him to shout that he now favors cheap housing for all, so that we might forget that we are all paying for his cheap housing."
Ma’ariv analyzes the repercussion of Standard and Poor’s decision to downgrade the US’s credit rating and contends that "While the US still has all the signs of being a superpower, its ability to project international strength has been eroded." The author warns that "When America’s financial credit rating goes down, so too does Israel’s diplomatic credit rating."
Yisrael Hayom suggests that US President Barack Obama has been a major disappointment in both foreign and domestic policy. The author says that "It seems to me that this is how Obama sees his presidency: The main challenge was to get elected, to set a precedent, and since his election he speaks, says a lot of things that any liberal around the world who believes in human equality and human rights could identify with, and expects others to realize his dream." The paper asserts that "He received a megaphone to express progressive and even daring positions," but "expects someone else to do the work. He does not understand that he has a double role – outline a way forward and then blaze it himself." The author believes that US President Obama’s re-election is far from assured, especially if the Republicans choose "a reasonable candidate," and wonders what the world will make of the man "who proved that he is incapable of meeting the great challenge that he took upon himself."
The Jerusalem Post maintains that “Standard & Poor’s decision on Friday to cut the long term US credit rating may spur Washington to stop its loan guarantee program to Israel,” but points out that while the loan guarantee program is a highly successful and efficient way to aid Israel at no cost to US taxpayers, the original loan amounts were never exhausted Israel was continually left with a surplus of money. The editor calls on the government to take seriously the recommendations to end the loan guarantee program, and adds: “the responsible financial authorities should examine why the loan program was never used to its full potential in the past decade; if the desire was to illustrate that Israel does not need the money, then it seems that task has been accomplished.”
Haaretz contends that “The Israeli protest has turned into a revolution,” and states: “Following decades in which the public has curled up in its indifference and allowed a handful of politicians to run the country as they wished, with no significant involvement from civil society, the rules of the political game have changed.”
[Gadi Taub, Alon Pinkas and Yossi Beilin wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma’ariv and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]