Four newspapers discuss the controversy over Jewish Home Party leader Naftali Bennett\’s remarks last Thursday evening:
Yediot Aharonot recalls that "Bennett announced that he would have a very hard time evacuating Jews from their homes, to the point where he would be prepared to sit in jail," and says: "This was a severe mistake on Bennett\’s part, not because of the position he presented, which is liable to scare away voters for whom refusal of orders is a watershed, but because, like a rookie, he fell into the hands of his rivals from right and left." The author notes that "Bennett did not call for refusing orders," and explains that "There is a difference between calling on soldiers to disobey an order and saying that he himself would find it difficult to carry out such an order." However, the paper adds, "This does not matter because in these remarks, Bennett revealed a position that was not known to all of his supporters to the point where not a few of them were wavering between Lapid and Bennett." The author reminds his readers that Pr! ime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested interviews on all three of Israel\’s Hebrew-language channels in order to respond to Bennett\’s remarks because he fears that Likud Beytenu is losing seats to the Jewish Home.
Ma\’ariv asserts: "Even Bennett\’s being an officer in the General Staff Reconnaissance Unit cannot alleviate the seriousness of what he said," and adds that "What is even more severe is the fact Bennett has – at no stage – apologized for what he said. He has merely sought to explain it and attack Netanyahu because he knows that if he recants, he will inflict electoral damage on himself a month before the elections." The author says that Bennett handed the Prime Minister a golden opportunity to attack him.
Yisrael Hayom says that not carrying out a government decision that has been approved by the Supreme Court means that "There is no state; there is anarchy. Without this there is no common denominator to the state of the Jews and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad\’s awful dream of watching Israel crumble will happen before our eyes." The author calls on Bennett to declare that "He would carry out any lawful order and not let someone else do it for him," because, "This is what is expected of a commander and a leader."
Haaretz criticizes PM Netanyahu’s angry reaction to Bennett’s remarks, and states: “Conscientious objection is not a crime in liberal society, whose characteristics include an acceptance of views and beliefs that are not the consensus.”
The Jerusalem Post comments on the success of the recent nurses’ strike, and states: “Under the circumstances, it was refreshing and encouraging to witness the nation’s nurses reach an agreement with the Treasury after ‘just’ 17 days of labor sanctions.” The editor is hopeful that “the salary hike will improve the sorrowful state of affairs in our nursing profession by attracting more women and men to the field,” and adds: “In an environment in which labor disputes are too often solved by force and coercion and the strongest unions exploit their strength, the relatively quick conclusion of the nurses’ strike is proof that things can be done differently.”
[Sima Kadmon, Mazal Muallem and Dan Margalit wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma\’ariv and Yisrael Hayom respectively.]