Yediot Aharonot discusses the lessons of World War II, which started 73 years ago this month. The author asserts: "This is the timeless lesson of September 1939: Never make light of the degree of insanity of insane leaders and the readiness of their peoples to be led astray by their insanity. The rules of political realism apply to them only when they are still weak. When they are strong, there is only the language of force."
Ma\’ariv notes that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was recently quoted as saying, "When I see that a product in Israel is 50% more expensive than it is abroad, then I get angry because this stems from a lack of competition." The author claims that "Most price increases may be laid at the Government\’s doorstep," and adds: "On the eve of the holiday, we were informed of the intention to increase water rates – which are the responsibility of the Government – by 50%. Before that, electricity and fuel prices went up (due to the murderous excise). Gaps in food prices between Israel and overseas would not disturb the Prime Minister\’s holiday tranquility if VAT on food products was applied in a more rational manner as is done in some Western countries. The failure in managing the state budget compelled the Finance Ministry to be dissatisfied with the existing VAT and to raise it by an additional 1% to 17%." The paper claims that ! the Government has yet to implement the Kedmi committee\’s recommendations on encouraging competition between chain stores due to opposition from agricultural interests, and contends that this is but one example of the Government stalling on proposed reforms due to lobbying from various vested interests. The author believes that due to constraints stemming from coalition politics, the Prime Minister has reached the end of his economic tether and, therefore, is interested in early elections.
Yisrael Hayom comments on the current state of Israeli-US relations in light of the Iranian threat. The author wonders: "Is the reason for the administration\’s reticence related to the elections, as some believe, or is there a more fundamental and worrying reason, namely that there are those in the administration who hold that the world can live with an Iranian bomb despite the risks to America\’s position and despite the severe threat to Israel?" The paper adds: "Netanyahu, as the leader of Israel and the Jewish People, must express his concerns about this, at times even in public, but President Obama must be commended for taking the initiative and hastening to hold a long and detailed talk with him last week and for apparently understanding that some of his aides\’ remarks were not in helpful for the issue at hand, for American-Israeli relations or for his re-election campaign."
Haaretz believes that “Israel needs a leaner public sector,” and asserts: “Israel\’s public sector is inflated, wasteful and extremely inefficient. Too many government workers is a drain on the private sector, which finances the former via taxes.”
The Jerusalem Post discusses the volatile situation in the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority, and states: “Palestinians are frustrated. They get the feeling – rightly – that Abbas is not taking the recent demonstrations seriously.” The editor believes that “Undoubtedly it is Abbas’s inept leadership that is to blame for the PA’s falling popularity,” and adds: “Perhaps one day the Palestinian people will have the wisdom and courage to support a more moderate political leadership that will be capable of bringing true peace to the region. But until that day comes, Israel must do its best to prevent a dangerous regression on the West Bank.”
[Sever Plocker, Yehuda Sharony and Zalman Shoval wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma\’ariv and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]