Yediot Aharonot argues that "the Iranians have their backs to the wall. The Iranian President’s public visit yesterday to the nuclear reactor, and the chain of attacks against Israeli targets throughout the world lead to one conclusion: The regime in Tehran is under heavy pressure. Perhaps it is on the verge of losing power."
Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press – February 16th, 2012
Ma’ariv recalls that "The photos of the child Muhammad A-Dura and his father Jamal wounded apparently by bullets fired at them at Netzarim junction in 2000, awakened rage against Israel throughout the world. When Dr. Yehuda David investigated the incident and claimed that it was a fraud, A-Dura filed a suit for slander against him – and won. Yesterday Dr. David won his appeal in a Paris court."
The author recollects that, "It is difficult to forget the pictures; a father and his son, Jamal and Muhammad, trying to avoid the angry bullets being fired towards them. The child, so it seemed, went through a death sentence before our eyes. The French television channel, France 2, and its correspondent in Israel, Charles Enderlin, distributed the footage throughout the world, accompanied by a voiceover, which placed the blame on Israel. Usually one must pay for such footage. Not this time. The footage was distributed free of charge. The media world went into ecstasy. The short footage, a few seconds out of tens of minutes which were concealed and have vanished, was broadcast millions of times throughout the world."
The author asks, "So what happened there? How is it that the entire world accepted the version distributed by Enderlin and the French channel? Professor Richard Landis from Boston University researched the subject. He discovered that this was a systematic action. The Palestinians are distributing staged video footage that presents Israel as a country which continuously perpetrates crimes against humanity. The phenomena he designated: ‘Pallywood’. In some of the footage the staging was transparent. We will never know the extent of the phenomena and the amount of videos that are circulating worldwide that are a result of manipulation. There is no need for multiple successes. The success of the A-Dura incident outdoes them all."
The author ponders, "It seems that the verdict that was received, paradoxically, there in France on such a sensitive matter, obligates some consideration here in Israel. Yesterday’s verdict will not alter the fact that in the view of multitudes, it does not matter what really happened there. Facts will not confuse them. And despite that, it is apparent that the struggle of a few intractable people, like Philippe Karsenty, like Dr. David, succeeds to penetrate the wall of lies. The truth is yet victorious, but yesterday it received a shot of encouragement."
Yisrael Hayom opines that, "No one knows who harmed the Iranian scientists, and in all likelihood Ahmadinejad will exact a price in blood. But that price need not deter whoever comes up with a reasonable way of harming the Iranian nuclear program. There is no giving in."
Two papers comment on the latest strike of Israel Railways, and the union’s refusal to comply with the Labor Court order to resume service immediately:
The Jerusalem Post comments: "Even in the 21st century there’s an undeniably intrinsic correlation between railroad expansion and a country’s development and prosperity. But improved rail services in Israel are stymied by one extraordinarily militant and unrestrained union. We need not determine who is right – whether the employees are justly fighting for their jobs or whether the government is indeed out to bust a nepotistic ring that impedes progress to the detriment of us all. Israel Railways’ abysmally failed package must be undone and placed under court-appointed administrators. Its closure will make it possible to sack all employees. A new, overhauled corporate entity might subsequently rehire whomever it chooses on its terms."
Haaretz comments: "The union at Israel Railways crossed the line this week. It has the right to oppose management’s plan to use a qualified outside firm to do maintenance work on the company’s new train cars. But the fight must be rational and restrained; it cannot involve disrupting such an essential service (especially for outlying areas) as train transportation. More importantly, it is intolerable that the union has repeatedly failed to comply with Labor Court rulings and has acted arrogantly, thinking it can turn the train service off and on at will. The silence of Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz and Histadrut labor federation chief Ofer Eini should also be noted. It was as if the matter had nothing to do with their areas of responsibility. They remained silent out of their own narrow political calculations, and their silence will be held against them."
[Ronen Bergman, Ben-Dror Yemini and Dan Margalit wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma’ariv and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]