Two papers discuss the presidential election in Egypt:
Yediot Aharonot says that whoever wins today\’s presidential election in Egypt will have to deal with the following: "Egypt is approaching 90 million citizens. Every nine seconds a baby is born who must be fed. When he grows up, he will join the 12% of Egyptians who are unemployed, 20% of whom are university graduates. 14.2 million Egyptians live on $1-1.5 dollars a day…Whoever talks about open markets and a free economy must take into account the 45% (at least) of Egyptians who are illiterate. What will the millions eat? How will they earn a living? There are no tourists. The investors fled a year ago. The banks are fighting to halt the decline of the Egyptian pound and reassure the stock exchange, which plummets after every upheaval. Egypt\’s external debt has long since surpassed $200 billion. Thirty years of Mubarak\’s corrupt dictatorship has spawned sharp class divisions." The author asserts that "Without assistance, Egypt will collapse," and adds: "The deeper the crisis gets, the more dangerous it will be for us." The paper concludes that "Without a leader, without a constitution, without a government that is expected to resign and without a parliament that received a court order to dissolve, but with enraged masses without hope, Egypt presents a long list of challenges for the new president. The economic challenge will be the most difficult."
Haaretz refers to the second round of voting in Egypt\’s presidential election, which began yesterday, and remarks that “we can only marvel at the way Egypt\’s constitution, legal code and courts determine the country\’s agenda, and at how the political forces, including the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, are ready to comply with the directives of the constitutional court.” The editor finds that equally overwhelming is the “recognition of the court\’s decision and, by extension, of the rule of law – not the law of a dictator,” and states: “Anyone who fears the results of the election and changes in Egyptian policy can take comfort in the fact that it is grounded in the constitution of the state.”
Ma\’ariv questions why it was necessary for State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss to investigate the Government\’s handling of the 2010 seizure of the Mavi Marmara. The author asks: "Were there mistakes and problems in decision-making, intelligence, tactics and cooperation between the various government bodies?" and answers: "Sure there were. It is clear to everyone that tactical and systemic lessons must be learned, mainly regarding the risk to the soldiers. State and military bodies are indeed doing so. But the mistakes were not terrible. They were within the range of the reasonable… The damage to Israel\’s image was negligible. In Europe and the Islamic countries, and among human rights organizations, they were shocked to the depths of their souls, but the world understands that proportionate force was used – enough to halt the flotilla and create deterrence, without harming innocents." The paper wonders: "What ! was the State Comptroller looking for here? Why did he invest the taxpayers\’ money and his own resources in another investigation of an operation that succeeded?" and responds: "In the spirit of the activism that is blowing through the entire judicial bureaucracy in Israel, the State Comptroller decides what, why and how to criticize… It was in the State Comptroller\’s decision-making process that fault may be found. If there were shortcomings here, it is in the infuriating waste of state resources on an unnecessary investigation, the main purpose of which was to inflate the ego, media image and budget of the State Comptroller and his office."
Yisrael Hayom asserts that "The pair of GRAD rockets that were fired over the weekend from Sinai brought good news and bad news. The bad news: The summer may have just begun, but the clouds in the south are darkening fast and threaten to bring with them a major storm. The good news: Despite everything, the communications pipelines between Jerusalem and Cairo are functioning normally." The author says that while Egypt is officially denying that the rockets were fired from Sinai, "Discreetly, they know the situation. Sinai is not under control, is plagued by terrorist gangs and wavers on the border between partial anarchy and a total loss of control. The quantity of weapons there is insane, including advanced rockets and anti-tank and anti-ship missiles." The paper observes that "The shipments arrive from Iran and Libya and serve not only the ! terrorist organizations in Gaza, but also their agents in Sinai who operate sometimes against Israel, sometimes against the Egyptian government, but usually against both of them together. The assessment is that these were behind the weekend firing." The author speculates that those behind the attack want to heat up the border, provoke an Israeli response and embarrass the military regime in Cairo," and concludes: "As Sinai fills up with Al Qaida fighters who were forced to retire in Iraq following the American withdrawal and are now looking for new action – this is a cause for great concern in both Cairo and Jerusalem. But whereas Cairo is dealing with a host of other troubles which are stealing time and attention away from neutralizing the danger in Sinai, we are increasingly looking northward, where the rest of the Al Qaida veterans are streaming, to join the rebels in the war against the Assad regime. And if one adds to this northern stew, chemical weapons, lon! g-range missiles and a long common border, one gets a much greater danger than Sinai, which seems like a kindergarten in comparison."
The Jerusalem Post attacks the absurdly lenient sentences handed out by the Israeli justice system to serious traffic offenders, which “negate the logic of deterrence. They undercut our safety and corrode our faith in the justice system.” The editor asserts: “The only antidote is for the Knesset to, belatedly, enact pending compulsory minimum-sentencing legislation.”
[Semadar Peri, Dr. Ran Bertz and Yoav Limor wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma\’ariv and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]