Itongadol.- Ma\’ariv discusses Finance Minister Yair Lapid\’s 2013 draft budget, which the Cabinet is due to vote upon tomorrow, and suggests: "Lapid\’s test is not the 2013 budget, but the 2014 budget," because, "If, by then, the social gaps widen and unemployment increases, his personal magic will not help him."
Yediot Aharonot notes that Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife, on their recent five-hour flight to London for the funeral of the late Margaret Thatcher, enjoyed the comforts of a specially-installed private sleeping compartment that cost the Israeli taxpayers almost "half a million shekels," and asks: "Where is the shame?" The author points out that "Our president, who will be 90 next month, flew 11 hours to South Korea without any special demands." The paper expresses amazement that, "nobody around the prime minister, not even one person, could see how much of a mockery this was. A little common sense; somebody to understand what kind of anger this would arouse here once it got out. Are the people in their ivory tower there that cut off from the public? Perhaps they are afraid to speak their minds?" The author notes that among the items in the draft 2013 budget that is due to be voted on tomorrow is ca ncelling local tax discounts for the elderly and asserts: "Perhaps one can hope that he whose sleep is so important to him will find a way so that elderly Israelis will also be able to sleep in peace."
Yisrael Hayom believes that "Diplomacy will not solve the crisis in Syria," because "In Syria, as in Iran, diplomacy only causes the dark regimes there to play for time and survive." The author believes that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not have an easy time in Moscow, trying to persuade the Russians to cancel their S-300 deal with Damascus because, echoes of the Cold War aside, Moscow will be loathe to lose both a good customer and its last remaining ally in the Middle East.
The Jerusalem Post comments on the “supercilious insensitivity” of Israeli courts, who repeatedly reduce murder indictments to manslaughter charges, “no matter how aggravated the circumstances of crimes that claimed innocent lives.” The editor asserts: “Mind-boggling plea bargains affect the safety of us all and chip away at our trust in the system. Justice not only has to be done; it has to be seen to be done for the public to maintain faith in its functioning,’ and concludes:
“The only remedy, perhaps, is for the Knesset to enact mandatory sentencing
Haaretz calls on the government to outlaw Amana, the cooperative association that is the settling entity of Gush Emunim. The editor asserts that “The purpose of Amana is to create ‘facts on the ground’ and thwart any possibility of a future diplomatic accord,” and adds that Amana “is proof that Israel is not a law-abiding country. It is also proof that official Israeli policy, which states its desire to reach
an agreement with the Palestinians, is nothing but a smokescreen for the exact