Two papers discuss various issues regarding the Iranian threat:
Ma\’ariv asserts: "Just as in the days of the Clinton administration, the crisis in US-Israel relations is not between the countries, but between the leaders," and adds that "The interests are identical, but egos have rules of their own." The author says that "It is legitimate to demand that Obama set red lines for a military attack on Iran. It would be a great surprise if Obama would accede to this demand in public. Such things must be done behind closed doors. Even in Israel it is acknowledged that American military assistance in the Obama era has been unparalleled. A hostile administration would not do this. Chemistry between the leaders is very important, especially in light of the dangers we face. However, one must not cling to an inflated ego. The interests are the same. The two leaders would do well to meet away from the noise and close a deal. Only good can come of this."
Yisrael Hayom commends Canada\’s decision to sever diplomatic ties with Iran as "a very significant first step, a kind of diplomatic crossing of the Rubicon," and says that Canadian Prime Stephen Harper "apparently understands – better than others – the Iranian threat." The author speculates that Ottawa\’s decision "could pave the way for other countries."
Yediot Aharonot discusses the project to widen and upgrade the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway (Highway #1) between the capital and Sha\’ar Hagai. The author asks: "What is the economic-national logic of investing additional hundreds of millions of shekels in widening the highway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem? If the highway remains in its current condition, without unnecessary widening, and at the same time additional transportation means are opened between the two cities, everyone will benefit. The congestion will decrease, the traffic jams will disappear and use of public – or semi-public – transportation, which saves money and pollution, will increase." The paper replies: "To these and similar questions, there are technically unconvincing answers and political! ly convincing answers: On every infrastructure issue, a mentality of big numbers has developed in this country. An infrastructure project, the cost of which is measured at less than hundreds of millions of dollars, is not worthy of a place on the Government discussion table and will certainly not be considered as a solution for transportation problems. The solution needs to be expensive and grandiose; cheaper and creative solutions are to be scorned because they will not bolster the prestige of ministers and mayors."
Haaretz feels that the pending sale of the Ma’ariv daily newspaper is “good news,” and asserts: “The reduction in the number of media outlets and their concentration in the hands of a few, with little competition among them, will harm the foundations of our democracy. It is to be hoped that under its new ownership, Ma’ariv will fulfill the task of every media outlet in a democratic country and keep at bay the shadow of extinction hanging over the press in Israel and the world.”
The Jerusalem Post is not surprised by the results of a new survey conducted by the Interministerial Committee for the Prevention of Suicide, which shows a significantly higher rate of attempted suicides among gay Orthodox Jews as compared to the rest of the gay population in Israel. Noting that while “Significant steps have been made in the modern- Orthodox communities of Israel and North America in recent years to foster more tolerance of homosexuality without necessarily condoning actions explicitly prohibited by Jewish law,” the editor nevertheless believes that social acceptance can mean the difference between life and death, and calls on the more conservative elements within Orthodoxy to understand that “tolerance and acceptance of the other is not just a luxury better left to more liberal elements in society.”
[Chilo Rosenberg, Eli Hazan and Sever Plocker wrote today’s articles in Ma\’ariv, Yisrael Hayom and Yediot Aharonot, respectively.]