Itongadol.- Ma\’ariv comments on the controversy over the selection of two new chief rabbis. The author remarks: "The politicized, interests-laden race is leading to a loss of respect for the chief rabbinate," and adds: "The sole comfort is that it will all be over soon and we will have quiet for the next ten years, or – it is almost certain – until the next scandal that one of the rabbis has in store for us."
Summary of editorials from the Hebrew press – July 8th, 2013
Yediot Aharonot discusses the initiative to build two new private ports, thus breaking the stranglehold of the Haifa and Ashdod ports\’ workers committees. The author says the fact that this or that workers committee may have become too powerful should not lead the government to clamp down on unions or workers’ rights in general. The paper asserts that "The chance that private ports will be built in this country isn\’t great," and adds "The main reason has nothing to do with workers\’ opposition: When – if – the tenders are published and companies from China and Turkey show interest, some responsible person in the security establishment will stand up and ask – Hey people, have you all gone nuts?" The author believes that "The ports must be fixed, not replaced."
Yisrael Hayom analyzes US policy vis-à-vis the recent and ongoing changes in the Middle East and avers: "Obama\’s prolonged adherence to the concept that elections with democratic trappings, in and of themselves, effectively guarantee the existence of a democratic and pluralist system, hurt him and his sobering up from this illusion comes very late." The author concludes: "One can hope that this time Uncle Sam will wake up from the world of illusions and will finally recognize the major gap between the Western democratic model and the nature of the Middle East experience."
Haaretz criticizes the procedure relating to burial of IDF soldiers of various faiths in different parts of the military cemeteries, and opines: “It is not the blood of Jews, Muslims, Christians or others that flows through the veins of IDF soldiers − it is Israeli blood. They courageously risk their lives, sometimes sacrificing their lives, for the same state, the same army and the same commanders.” The editor asserts that “The required separation is not between one soldier and another or between one military casualty and another. It is between religion and the state, between religion and the army,” and concludes: “There must be no separation between common sense and a sense of humanity and the procedures of the army and the state.”
The Jerusalem Post comments on remarks considered to be racist, bigoted and misogynistic made by rabbis who are state employees, and states: “we believe that for the sake of religious freedom there needs to be a separation. Like all citizens of Israel, rabbis are entitled to full intellectual freedom. But in order to provide this freedom the rabbinate must relinquish its state-backed monopoly over religious services and rabbis should stop receiving a salary from the state’s coffers.” The editor concludes: “If rabbis wish to express their opinions, let them do so as individuals who enjoy the freedoms of democracy, not as representatives of the State of Israel.”
[Shalom Yerushalmi, Nahum Barnea and Prof. Avraham Ben-Zvi wrote today’s articles in Ma\’ariv, Yediot Aharonot and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]