Three papers discuss various issues regarding the January 22 elections for the 19th Knesset:
Yediot Aharonot says that Likud prime ministers, going back to the late Menachem Begin and the late Yitzhak Shamir, have a record of talking tough during election campaigns but of then making such concessions and compromises as they deem necessary once in office. The author suggests that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will do likewise, "if and when he will be the next prime minister."
Ma\’ariv discusses corruption and the prevalence of politicians with blemished records. The author asserts: "The truth is that I have nothing against politicians and their styles. The blame is ours. The riddle is ours. How did we turn into a public for whom clean hands is not important? When was the moment when we all crossed the Rubicon en route to wealth? Why hasn\’t the National Ornamentation Committee informed us that the new status symbol is a conviction or at least an indictment? How did we decide that theft, breach of trust, perjury, indecent acts without consent, bribery and fraud – that all of these are akin to the childhood prank of swiping chocolate milk from the local grocery store? What can we expect from them when we don\’t care if those who represent us have been warming courtroom benches?"
Yisrael Hayom comments on last night\’s launch of Likud Beytenu\’s campaign and suggests, "The Likud\’s main asset, which Netanyahu presented yesterday, is the claim that he is seen by the public as the most fit to navigate Israel through a rough period." The author believes that, "This is a strong card," but urges that it not be overplayed.
Two papers comment on the upgrading of Ariel University\’s status to full-fledged university:
The Jerusalem Post writes: "Forty years have passed since the last time a university (Haifa) was established. Over that time, Israel’s population has grown by 230 percent. Ariel University, first established three decades ago as an extension of Bar-Ilan University, has come to perform an integral role in Israel\’s academic world. Its student body of 13,000 is diverse and includes Jews and Arabs. The upgrading of its status to full-fledged university should be a cause for celebration, not infighting and threats of academic boycott."
Haaretz writes: "Ehud Barak\’s directive to declare Ariel University Center a full-fledged university was politically motivated, not professional, and certainly not good for the country. It\’s a supremely fitting conclusion to the Netanyahu government\’s current term, as it highlights one this government\’s chief characteristics: contempt for Israel\’s laws and norms coupled with provocative behavior toward the international community, which views Ariel as occupied territory. The price of the witch\’s brew they concocted will be paid by Israeli academia as a whole."
[Eitan Haber, Dror Zarasky and Dan Margalit wrote today\’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma\’ariv and Yisrael Hayom respectively.]