Two newspapers discuss Tuesday’s ruling by the High Court of Justice against extending the Tal Law, which allowed exemptions from military service for haredi men under the guise of encouraging them to enlist:
Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press – February 23rd, 2012
The Jerusalem Post remarks that “The mindset of this court, regardless of who presides over it, is still extra-activist,” and notes that “The Tal Law is categorically unpalatable, but leaving a gaping void in its place may be disastrous.” The editor wonders whether the court’s activism “would be directed with equal zeal at the draft exemptions accorded Israeli Arabs (who even refuse civil service in their own communities) and at the egregious draft-dodging by segments of secular, urban, upwardly mobile society.”
Haaretz praises the ruling that the Tal Law is unconstitutional and cannot be extended again. The editor declares that “The prime minister, the defense minister and their colleagues in the government should act now to rectify the discrimination among young citizens and bring about increased equality in shouldering the burden of military service,” and concludes: “It seems that only of late have the politicians begun to hear the rumblings of the secular revolution. Israel can be proud that the High Court is attentive to those voices.”
Yediot Aharonot asserts that "While Iran is plummeting and Assad is sinking, Hezbollah is also losing altitude," and adds: "The Shiite axis is fighting for its life and Hezbollah has become a hated organization in the Arab world." The author believes that "The economic lifeline from Iran that keeps Hezbollah alive is quickly drying up," and says that "Hezbollah has no money to pay salaries and finance projects." The paper contends that as the organization’s concerns regarding its patrons in Damascus and Tehran increase, so do its efforts to paint itself as a genuinely Lebanese movement, even in the face of rising criticism in Lebanon. The author says: "Attack Israel now? Hezbollah certainly could, but it knows that this would be suicide," because "Israel would not be expected to suffice with weakening Hezbollah as it did in 2006, but is likely to aspire toward its elimination." The paper concludes that "Israel has no interest in intervening in Lebanon or Syria in any way whatsoever. Hezbollah’s problems with the Sunni in the Middle East and Syria are its own business, and so they need to remain."
Ma’ariv discusses the circumstances in which Dr. Yoaz Hendel left his post as head of the National Information Directorate in the Prime Minister’s Office in the wake of the so-called Eshel affair. The author says: "Mr. Prime Minister, you chose to be disappointed with Hendel? Instead of commending him and embracing him because he acted with integrity and ‘according to the law as was expected of him’ you showed him a red card? I find it hard to understand that Hendel, Hauser and Locker became the victims of the acts againstfemale employee R, to which Natan Eshel admitted in a plea bargain."
Yisrael Hayom discusses the deaths of journalists Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik in the Baba Amr neighborhood of the Syrian city of Homs, due to indiscriminate shelling by Syrian government forces. The author lauds Colvin’s career, dedication and integrity and urges his readers: "As we listen, watch or read about what is happening in Syria, we should remember those who are risking their lives so that the world might know. The question is whether the world will draw the necessary conclusions from the work of Marie Colvin and her colleagues."
[Guy Bechor, Arel Segal and Yaakov Ahimeir wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma’ariv and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]