Four papers discuss various issues regarding yesterday\’s Knesset vote to defeat a bill that would have legalized the homes on Ulpana Hill in Beit El:
Yediot Aharonot says that "Despite the settlers\’ brutal campaign, and despite what seemed like a sure thing only a few weeks ago, they failed to meet any of their goals," and adds that "Netanyahu\’s achievement is that he not only succeeded in preventing the passage of a problematic law, but with this vote, he put the settlers in their place." The author suggests that "He won back the power that the Feiglinites robbed from him at the recent Likud convention," and asserts: "In yesterday\’s vote, there was a return to proportions: Perhaps the right-wing controls the Likud convention but in the [Knesset] plenum and even in the Likud [Knesset] faction, there is only one boss and it is Netanyahu, not Feiglin."
Ma\’ariv urges its readers to "Understand how illogical it is that there are those who fight with all their ability to leave in place, in Tel Aviv, people who are not Israelis, but in regard to us, Israelis and Jews who were born here and served here, they are scarcely heard."
Yisrael Hayom commends the fact that there will be accelerated construction within existing communities in Judea and Samaria but believes that "It is difficult to overlook the invective hurled by [National Union] MK Yaakov Katz at Minister Benny Begin and Minister Moshe Yaalon. He called Begin a \’man of Sodom\’ (!) and promised that they would no longer be friends. To Yaalon he said \’He cannot appear in any community, yeshiva, institution or pre-military school. We will hound him everywhere and tell him that just as [former IDF Chief-of-Staff] Dan Halutz was made loathsome, so will he.\’ These are awful remarks and a sacrilege, even if they were said in the heat of the moment. Today, MK Katz and his friends are hurting settlement more than any evacuation of homes."
Haaretz praises PM Netanyahu for preventing “the retroactive legalization of thefts of land from its Palestinian owners, for the sake of building settlements,” and asserts: “Netanyahu proved that when he wants to, he is capable of standing up to pressure exerted on him and his ministers by the extreme right.” The editor believes that Netanyahu’s success was a result of extensive promises to the settlers, including but not limited to the relocation of the houses in the Ulpana neighborhood and the building of an additional 300 housing units in nearby Beit El, and predicts that “The land theft will continue, the settlements will expand, and the two-state solution will be foiled.” The editor concludes: “Instead of bowing and scraping to the settlers, Netanyahu should return to the diplomatic course he charted in his speeches at Bar-Ilan University and to the U.S. Congress: He should strive for the establishment of a Palestinian! state alongside Israel.”
The Jerusalem Post discusses the perceived restriction on freedom of the media, triggered by the attorney-general’s decision “to indict Haaretz reporter Uri Blau on espionage charges for obtaining, recording and hoarding without permission purloined classified military information, even if without intent to harm state security,” and declares: “democracy has the right to protect itself even from the bite of those who declare themselves its vigilant watchdogs.”
[Sima Kadmon, Yael Shahak and Dror Eydar wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma\’ariv and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]