Yediot Aharonot discusses the claims of those who are calling for a more moderate policy toward Hamas because, inter alia, "’In the end, we will talk to Hamas’." The author reminds his readers that "From the outset, the Jewish community here has always had interlocutors in the rival camp, but they have been silenced with the assistance of bullets and knives. Thus it was during the ‘Arab Revolt’ in the late 1930’s and in the decades since Fatah was founded." While the paper commends not only Palestinian Authority Salam Fayyad’s pragmatism, as well as the fact that he "has not been killed by the men with knives," it also notes that he has no counterpart in Hamas. The author says that "My conclusion is that Hamas’s leaders (‘the military arm’, ‘the political arm’ and all of the other ‘arms’ that this organization has grown) have not yet finished their course on pragmatism. Until they do so, we must ‘separate their heads from their bodies’ as the Defense Minister put it."
Ma’ariv asserts that "There is no argument that after 42 years in power, the time has come for Gadhafi to go and make way for others who will establish a free democratic regime in Libya that will defend human rights," but adds that "The only problem is that absolutely nobody in the whole world has a clue about how this will actually occur." The author wonders whether post-Gadhafi Libya will be able to avoid the still ongoing tribulations of post-Saddam Iraq. The paper contends that the Libyans would never have been able to overthrow Gadhafi without massive NATO support and suggests that "Tehran and Damascus have monitored the successful NATO operation in Libya with great interest. If there is anything that Assad and Ahmadinejad may conclude from this operation, it is that Gadhafi was a complete idiot to have – in 2003 – renounced the development of nuclear and chemical weapons, thus making himself more vulnerable. The Syrian President, as is known, has already threatened to use the ‘hidden capabilities’ at his disposal if he is attacked and the Iranian President is now hastening to move the uranium-producing centrifuges to a protected underground facility in Qom."
Yisrael Hayom suggests that Israel’s acceptance of Hamas’s request for a temporary truce, which was delivered via Cairo, is an effort to bolster the position of the Egypt’s ruling military council in the face of growing anti-Israel sentiment among the Egyptian people. While the author commends the Government’s "responsible and mature policy," he nevertheless acknowledges that the truce has "left a bitter taste," due to an impression that "the terrorist organizations have yet to be properly punished for the murders north of Eilat and for firing missiles at communities in the center and south of the country."
The Jerusalem Post discusses the “astonishing death throes” of Muammar Gaddafi’s rule, and remarks that “if democracy is to replace dictatorship, if Libya is not to suffer the fate of Iraq or Afghanistan, NATO must work with the [National Transitional Council] to lead an international post- Gaddafi stabilization effort.” The editor points out that there is one more despot to be deposed, and hopes that the Libyan message “is received loud and clear by Bashar Assad of Syria, who only Sunday adamantly dismissed American and European calls for him to step down as ‘meaningless.’”
Haaretz notes that the crisis with Egypt that resulted from the killing of five Egyptian soldiers on Thursday is not over, and states that “the Israel Defense Forces owes the Israeli public some clear, confirmed and reliable answers concerning the circumstances of the incident that precipitated them.” The editor does not accept that the IDF is capable of investigating itself in this instance, and demands an external investigation. The editor declares further that “Such an investigation would also prove to the people of both Israel and Egypt the seriousness with which Israel takes the incident.”
[Yaron London, Oded Granot and Dan Margalit wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma’ariv and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]