Two papers comment on the riots in Great Britain:
Ma’ariv suggests that if the British media showed scenes of Israeli police using the tactics that the British police have, there would be an outcry against Israel, regardless of the circumstances of the case. However, in referring to the commander of the British police, the author reassures the British public that "We will not file a claim against him at the international court in the Hague, neither will an Israeli court issue an arrest warrant against him." The paper addresses Britain’s students: "The entire world has seen how your government has used a very heavy hand against civilians. It is not easy to see the nation that gave democratic principles and Western morality to the world letting loose against other Britons. But don’t worry, we promise not to resort to collective punishment because of the actions of your government. We will not prevent British lecturers from teaching in Tel Aviv and we will not boycott Cadbury’s chocolates at the Hebrew University cafeterias. You are also welcome to study here, whatever the results of the recent wave of violence that is sweeping your country. You will get a double lesson for the same price: You will study with excellent Israeli lecturers and you will learn something from your Israeli comrades about non-violent protest. You should try it."
Yisrael Hayom recalls that upon taking power UK Prime Minister David Cameron spoke out strongly against multi-culturalism and substantially raised university tuition and contends that "The clash between England and the minorities that arrived from throughout the empire upon which the sun never sets was only a question of time. This week is that time." The author asserts that Cameron and his coalition government are now being put to the test.
Yediot Aharonot reminds its readers that some in the Government have warned that Israel might abrogate the Oslo accords if the Palestinian Authority unilaterally appeals to the UN to recognize a Palestinian state. The author cautions that "The PA still runs the civil affairs" of the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria," but claims that many Palestinians would prefer either full independence or full occupation, neither of which they currently have, to the present amorphous situation. The author adds: "Therefore, it is difficult to understand why the current Government – the administrative abilities of which have led to protest demonstrations and tent cities throughout the country – would risk itself in a move that is liable to cast upon its shoulders the administration of the daily lives of millions of Palestinians." The paper believes that "as long as the Government toys around with the foolish idea of cancelling the Oslo accords, it is liable to find the Palestinians agreeing to the idea. They, the Palestinians, ‘will learn the lesson’ and we will go back to sweeping the streets in Ramallah."
The Jerusalem Post comments on the sentencing of American USAID worker Alan Gross to 15 years imprisonment in Cuba for allegedly smuggling in and distributing satellite communications equipment and laptops to Cuba’s Jewish community, and notes that “The American response to Gross’s arrest and conviction has been long on talk but short on actions.” The editor feels that after already serving 21 months in prison, Gross has suffered enough and states: “His continued incarceration is unjust, and the US government is not entirely helpless in ending it.” The editor calls on the Obama administration to make it abundantly clear to the Cubans that “the relaxation of travel restrictions will be reversed and any further concessions imperiled if he is not immediately and unconditionally freed.”
Haaretz notes that ongoing wave of socio-economic protests now faces its most important test, that of waning public and media interest, and states that “Now of all times, during the moments that are liable to signal the protest’s gradual end, its leaders must continue to invigorate the language that is taking shape under them.” The editor remarks that the struggle is now at the dangerous stage in which it measures itself by appearance rather than substance, and urges the organizers to not be discouraged: “To change national priorities, one needs to update familiar patterns of protest as well.”
[Dov Weisglass, Eitan Schwartz and Dan Margalit wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma’ariv and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]