Yediot Aharonot remarks that "Israel’s military strength has always been conditional on its diplomatic ability to act: Its power is not only in the quality and quantity of its weapons, but rather the length of the ‘diplomatic rope’ to employ it. What can one do, but our diplomatic standing in the world is determined solely upon what is happening on the Israeli-Palestinian channel; for better or for worse – that is the main issue between Israel and the nations of the world. The absence of diplomatic action by the present Government in regards to the Palestinians considerably shortens that rope. The Olmert government initiated two extensive and controversial military operations; the international reaction – including by those who opposed them – to those operations, was notably moderate, because alongside the artillery fire there was a significant diplomatic effort. Today, with zero diplomatic action, every bullet fired by Israel will awaken riots around the world. Indeed, it is a strategic trap: Diplomatic paralysis which, in stages, also drags along military paralysis in its wake."
Ma’ariv notes: "A sharp message from Tripoli to Damascus: The fall of Gadhafi is a tailwind to the protesters in Syria who are beginning to yell: "Gadhafi was ousted; now it is your turn Assad."
Yisrael Hayom opines "The ouster of Gadhafi is not only the ouster of a tyrant who filled his pockets, and those of his family, with the wealth of his country, it is also the ouster of a man who should have been committed to an asylum."
The Jerusalem Post discusses the defense cuts in the US budget, and warns that “The American downsizing of defense, therefore, will have far-reaching consequences.” The editor concludes: “We, in the Middle East, cannot afford to look on with indifference, nor refuse to adapt to a changing strategic climate.”
Haaretz warns of “Heavy-handed censorship by Israel Film Council,” and points out that “Film council rules state movies can be limited to audiences 18 and over in cases involving an ‘obscene film or one that offends public sensibilities’.” The editor welcomes the intervention of Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat, who requested that the Council suspend implementation of a recent unexplained restrictive rating, and notes that the decision to restrict the film was made “in a way that raises fundamental questions about the criteria [the Council] is applying.”
[Dov Weissglas, Amit Cohen and Yossi Beilin wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma’ariv and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]