Ma\’ariv strongly criticizes British physicist Stephen Hawking\’s decision to not attend this year\’s Israeli Presidential Conference in deference to the BDS campaign against Israel. The author faults Hawking for, "hearing again and again the claims against Israel and not doing what any academic is supposed to do – check." The author believes that, "The time has come for Israel to wake up," and warns that Israeli academics are already encountering the, "intellectual terrorism," being waged against Israel. The paper concludes, "Perhaps Hawking will make us understand: We have a problem and the time has come to return fire."
Summary of editorials from the Hebrew press – May 9th, 2013
Yediot Aharonot asks, "Who does Abu Mazen represent?" and adds, "We must know the answer to this question before we start negotiations, not afterward. In other words, Israel needs to demand the holding of Palestinian general elections, for the presidency and parliament, so that we will know that whoever sits across the table has a constitutional and popular mandate." The author asserts that, "As long as this is not done, there is no legal or public validity to the decisions of this leadership of the past, which is no longer elected. New Palestinian leaders will arise in the future and claim, rightly, that the 78-year-old Abu Mazen conducted negotiations without authority and that they are not bound by them."
Yisrael Hayom summarizes yesterday\’s vote in the lower house of the Jordanian parliament to expel the Israeli ambassador from Amman and recall the Jordanian ambassador from Tel Aviv – ostensibly over recent events in Jerusalem – with the phrase, "unpleasant, but not so terrible," because, as it reminds its readers, "The Jordanian parliament has no hand in running the country." However, the author bids Israelis to understand that, "Every action in Jerusalem has direct implications in the Arab world."
The Jerusalem Post comments that "According to the letter of the law, there is nothing wrong with reinstalling the charismatic ex-con, Arye Deri, at the helm of Shas. The question remains whether what is not preventable by strict legalistic criteria is perforce acceptable by civic standards. Deri was not prosecuted because of a forgivable slipup. In his case, a deeper moral lapse appears to have been involved. He added insult to injury by obstructing the course of justice and by fomenting demonstrations via divisive ethnic propaganda – likely to intimidate the authorities. It is only natural to wonder whether he is truly a reformed character, who no longer plays fast and loose with the truth."
Haaretz comments on the bill approved earlier this week by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation that would make it a tort to libel operational activity by the Israel Defense Forces: "Even though the bill includes certain protections (for instance, for material that is true and whose publication is in the public interest), nevertheless, if it is enacted, the threat of lawsuits will hover over any statement criticizing IDF operations. The IDF ought to respond to allegations against its operational activity with real arguments and facts, not by threatening to file a libel suit against the author or publisher. And the attorney general, for his part, should strive to torpedo this bill."
[Ben-Dror Yemini, Guy Bechor and Boaz Bismout wrote today’s articles in Ma\’ariv, Yediot Aharonot and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]