Yediot Aharonot refers to the controversy over the defense budget and calls for PM Benjamin Netanyahu to intervene: "With a clear voice, the Prime Minister must turn to the public and explain what he must: Israel’s urgent and special security needs now require belts to be tightened and expenditures to be cut. Forget easements and benefits."
Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press – February 21st, 2012
Ma’ariv says, "The content of the Prime Minister’s statement regarding the resignation of the head of his staff, Natan Eshel, has been media fodder for the past two days. Most of the froth has been over the fact that Netanyahu did not back the senior officials in his bureau who turned to the Attorney General and told him about the suspicions against Eshel." However, the author adds, "For me, something else was completely lacking in Netanyahu’s statement: Any reference to what happened to R, the woman employee whose privacy Eshel infringed on and of whom he even took ‘unacceptable’ photos. R is the true victim here." The paper suggests that, "The Prime Minister, without needlessly humiliating Eshel, who has already been battered enough, could have taken this opportunity to send a sharp and values-based message about ‘infringing on privacy’ and ‘unacceptable photos’ and other types of harassment," and adds that, "It seems that there is a greater problem here than the specific, embarrassing, example of Eshel’s photography: We have long ceased to expect elected leaders to – by word and deed – set value standards. We are much more interested in gossip, i.e. what Sara says and what will happen to Hendel and Hauser."
Yisrael Hayom discusses a recent New York Times story about the operational difficulties of a possible Israel Air Force strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. The author avers that, "The newspaper did not take into account the operational wisdom, the cunning and the stratagems that have turned air force operations into successes that frequently leave the world with its mouth agape," and cites the aerial assaults on Egyptian and Syrian airbases that began the Six Day War, the 1976 Entebbe raid and the 1985 bombing of PLO headquarters in Tunis. The paper adds, "Without getting into the debate over whether or not Israel needs to carry out an operation of this sort or whether or not it can deal with the potential consequences, and with all due respect – and there is considerable respect – to the New York Times, it seems that if there is one thing that the Air Force has taught us it is that if it decides to embark on an operation, it can carry it out. One more thing: The very possibility that Israel might attack is a threatening and important stick in the Americans’ hands vis-à-vis Iran."
The Jerusalem Post discusses the significantly higher price of food and other staple products in Israel as opposed to prices in the OECD countries, and notes that consumer activism is causing the tide to turn. The editor states that “Our society is fed up with the sort of price gouging perpetrated by a host of food manufacturers, brand-name importers, and various other opportunists,” and declares: “Business people who fail to note the sea of change taking place in Israeli society and change their greedy ways will be punished by a new generation of enlightened consumers.”
Haaretz believes that “Iran is a ‘rational actor’ that considers the political implications of its actions,” and wonders whether Iran truly intends to use nuclear weapons for military purposes. The editor feels that “sanctions must be given a chance before trapping the region and the world in a war the final outcome of which is unknowable,” and calls on the Israeli government to “listen to the warnings coming out of Washington and refrain, for now, from unilateral measures.”
[Sever Plocker, Ofer Shelah and Aharon Lapidot wrote today’s articles in Yediot Ahronot, Ma’ariv and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]