Three newspapers discuss various issues regarding the Iranian threat:
Yediot Aharonot suggests that in addition to his concerns over an Iranian counter-attack against American and allied Arab targets, a sharp jump in oil prices and Israel\’s being caught up in a diplomatic and military imbroglio, US President Obama also opposes a possible Israeli strike against Iran because he believes that diplomacy and sanctions have yet to be exhausted in a manner that would confer legitimacy on any pre-emptive strike. The author notes: "Obama says that sanctions are working. Netanyahu says that they are not. The problem is that both of them are referring to two different stages of the sanctions. The first is to economically and financially strangle Tehran and the second is to bring about a change in its nuclear policy. Obama is referring to the first stage, which has been achieved, and Netanyahu to the second stage, which has yet to be achieved." The paper dismisses the claim that “one must doubt Obama\’s r! epeated commitments to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability in light of the fact that the US has previously voiced similar statements about countries like North Korea, and did not meet them," and reminds its readers that "In the case of North Korea, the two countries most threatened, South Korea and Japan, opposed the use of force and preferred diplomacy and sanctions." The author believes that the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, including the strong American response, is a better analogy vis-à-vis the US stance toward the Iranian threat. The paper concludes: "The public exchange of blows between Israeli and US leaders have caused major damage to the efforts to stop a nuclear Iran and to US-Israeli relations. Since both sides agree on the magnitude of the threat and the need to prevent it, it is necessary to have a greater understanding of both sides\’ motives and considerations and to restore security-diplomatic trust and coordination."
Ma\’ariv derides much of what is being written about Israeli-US relations and the Iranian threat: "The lion\’s share of what we are publishing is nonsense and not public discourse in the proper sense of the term." However, the author does believe that "Amidst all the verbiage, Shimon Peres\’ remarks against an attack on Iran were well considered and expressed the importance of cooperation with the US."
Yisrael Hayom analyzes the repercussions of the Iranian crisis on Lebanon and asserts that "The more that the Iranian-Syrian-Alawite chain breaks down, the greater the opposition to Hezbollah inside Lebanon. Lebanon currently serves as an arena for violence, inter-communal abductions of politicians and citizens, and statements and activity against Syria and the terrorist militia that is Hezbollah." The author contends that "Nasrallah does not need to beat himself with a chain until he bleeds to understand that if Iran is hit, he will be hit too, and that his patron is now hungry, due to the Western sanctions, and cannot finance its terrorist satellite."
Haaretz relates to the recent discovery that several public corporations have been donating large sums of money to various rabbis and their religious institutions, and states that “While we cannot find fault with philanthropic activity of public corporations in Israel, it must be done with complete transparency.” The editor believes that public corporations should not be permitted to make donations “merely according to the personal proclivities of their CEOs,” and adds that “Such donations are often used to legitimize improper business activities, or for the promotion of company controllers.” The editor concludes: “In recent years the Securities Authority has expanded corporations\’ obligations for transparency, as in the case of reporting matters concerning the environment. Donations should be revealed in exactly the same manner.”
The Jerusalem Post discusses the recent terror attacks by Jews against Arabs, and states that “Too often, politicians and leaders denounce Jewish attacks on Palestinians not because they are morally reprehensible, but because they could ignite a third intifada.” The editors feels that even though “Palestinians have chosen terrorism as a central element in their push for national self- determination,” he nevertheless believes that “a clear distinction must be made between legitimate acts of self-defense aimed at protecting Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, and pointless, immoral acts of violence and bigoted, undemocratic sentiments directed against Arabs and Palestinians that undermine Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. The trend of tolerance toward these sentiments and actions has to stop.”
[Eytan Gilboa, Amos Gilboa and Dr. Reuven Barko wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma\’ariv and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]