Three papers discuss the controversy over the government\’s plans to build additional housing units in eastern Jerusalem and various sites in Judea and Samaria:
Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press – December 4th, 2012
Yediot Aharonot says, "We will withstand this diplomatic mini-crisis, mainly because the alternative would be much more dangerous." The author complains that "There is something that the Europeans have chosen to forget: The Palestinians are serial peace-refusers," and cites their rejection of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert\’s proposals as well as the fact that they responded with terrorism to Israel\’s unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip. The paper asserts, "To accuse Israel of being unwilling to conduct a diplomatic campaign is both a lie and stupid since every time we held such a dialogue we were rebuffed." The author suggests that not responding to "Abu Mazen\’s unilateral act, which is a gross violation of prior agreements… would have created a dangerous precedent," and concludes: "Today, There is a broad consensus in Israel about the settlement blocs. There are hardly any Israelis who do not believe that the! se blocs will not remain in our hands even if a miracle occurs and we reach a permanent agreement. The decision to build in those blocs is, first of all, an Israeli right, and only afterwards a step to punish the Palestinians."
Yisrael Hayom believes that "Justice is with Israel," but asks, "Is wisdom also?" The author cites "professional diplomats" in the Foreign Ministry to the effect that Israel has squandered whatever goodwill it had garnered in Europe and elsewhere and adds, "Astonishment at Abu Mazen has been replaced by anger at Israel." The paper doubts whether the Government will be able to retract its decisions especially as it looks over its Right shoulder ahead of the January 22 elections.
Haaretz writes: "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu\’s decision to freeze the transfer of funds to the Palestinian Authority and build 3,000 housing units in the West Bank is nothing less than reckless behavior. The decision to punish the PA has provoked a confrontation with the international community, which voted overwhelmingly to accept the Palestinians as a nonmember observer state at the United Nations. This is a heavy price that cannot be explained away as an investment in national security. Netanyahu and his ministers have no right to make Israel an international pariah. Netanyahu should rescind his dangerous decision, unfreeze the funds and cancel the planned settlement drive before Israel\’s international standing approaches Iran\’s."
The Jerusalem Post comments: "There is a horrible irony in the decision by Poland\’s top court to ban ritual slaughter on Polish soil. The country that was the scene of the massacre of the largest Jewish community in Europe at the time has the audacity to adopt a holier-than-thou moral stance on animal cruelty precisely at a time when the 27-member European Union is poised to adopt a sweeping affirmation of ritual slaughter. Hopefully, Poland will make the necessary legislative amendments in its animal cruelty laws so that Jews – and Muslims – can adhere to their religious faith. Failing to do so would be moral hypocrisy."
[Hanoch Daum and Dan Margalit wrote today\’s articles in Yediot Aharonot and Yisrael Hayom, respectively. The print edition of Ma\’ariv was unavailable today.]