The Jerusalem Post comments: "Encouraging Israelis and Palestinians to ‘re-engage’ in order to move the peace process forward is one of the professed goals of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as he visits the region this week. But since low-level talks began between the sides in Amman last month, a number of major obstacles have resurfaced, threatening to turn yet another round of peace talks into a dead-end. If he is to succeed in his mission, it is important for the UN chief to understand that despite two decades of negotiations, huge gaps still need to be bridged. While we welcome the UN chief and his efforts and wish him luck, we cannot help but be pessimistic when considering his prospects for success."
Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press – February 1st, 2012
Ma’ariv claims that the recent history of Jews from Arab countries receives far less study than it deserves and reminds its readers that "On the eve of the establishment of the State of Israel, an air of anti-Jewish violence prevailed in all of the Arab countries, accompanied by inflammatory anti-Semitic statements, including at the UN. In their wake came harsh harassment by the authorities, including mob attacks against life and property. All of these compelled Jews from Arab countries to flee, while leaving behind their private and communal property. Today, only isolated Jews remain in the Arab states, from a population that numbered approximately 1 million in 1948." The author avers that current discourse is dominated by the Palestinian narrative and says that, "Israel – both the Government and émigré organizations – must put the issue of Jews from Arab countries on the agenda," both at home and around the world.
Haaretz writes: "At a time when he is making flowery speeches about his commitment to a two-state solution, PM Netanyahu hasn’t spared any effort to create facts on the ground that make a fair and rational division of the West Bank and East Jerusalem more remote. To advance his policy and satisfy the settlers, he created a committee of jurists this week headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy to ‘examine policy tools and operating principles on construction in Judea and Samaria whose status is not regularized.’ Among the matters the committee will consider is how to get illegal outposts out from under High Court evacuation orders. In this way, the prime minister seeks to bypass the State Prosecutor’s Office and the Civil Administration, which more than once have pledged to the High Court that its rulings would be honored."
Yisrael Hayom comments on yesterday’s Likud leadership primary and suggests that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "decided to hold internal Likud elections in order to be in the lead vis-à-vis political moves and to set the pace, as opposed to being dragged along. From his perspective, there have already been two major successes: Yair Lapid jumped the gun and Kadima’s primaries have been brought forward."
Yediot Aharonot believes that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu needs to reform the workings of his bureau. The author addresses the Prime Minister and urges him to "allow at least one of those around you to always tell you the truth, and only the truth, about everyone and everything. Allow him to speak freely, even in terms one might hear on the street. Everyone else around you are ‘meteorologists’ who check your mood every morning before you arrive and then tell you exactly what you want to hear. My father, may he rest in peace, had a special Yiddish term for such people. Courtesy forbids me from writing it but it has to do with the part of the body one uses to sit on."
[Eitan Haber, Tzvi Gabai and Matti Tuchfeld wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma’ariv and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]