Itongadol.- Three papers discuss various issues regarding a projected US-led punitive strike on Syria for the latter\’s use of chemical weapons against its own civilians:
Summary of editorials from the Hebrew press – September 8th, 2013
Ma\’ariv claims that "The UN is bankrupt," vis-à-vis its dealing with the situation in Syria and adds: "The EU is at one of its lowest points," given that "There is no European position; the only thing that the European countries succeed in agreeing on, however sluggishly, is aid to the Palestinians and periodic condemnations of Israel." The author concludes: "History will remember these days for shame, mainly regarding the free world. Despite all its intelligence tools and all its strength, it stands helpless in the face of the greatest humanitarian crisis of the past decade. It cannot agree on what happened or on what is happening. In the foreseeable future, there is also no chance that it will agree on what needs to be done."
Yediot Aharonot says that "In the past week, the American administration lost the chance to win international consensus and this week it is entirely possible – if the current polls, which indicate that a Congressional majority opposes an attack, are correct – that he will lose the consensus at home," and adds: "In such a situation, the American President finds himself facing the world with his feathers plucked: He has no cards for a diplomatic move and no agreement for a military move." However, if US President Obama does secure Congressional approval, the author believes that the strike on Syria will be far more massive than was originally planned for four reasons: "One, a symbolic attack after three weeks of threats would be ridiculous. Two, US Sen. McCain and a not inconsiderable group of Republicans in Congress are demanding a significant strike and have received assurances to this effect. Three, in the meantime, Syria h as moved around equipment and forces, and therefore, more firepower will be necessary in order to score effective hits. Four, and most important, the number of targets has grown due to a significant change in American policy regarding the rebels. Now there is an American commitment to aid the rebels both with deadly weapons and training, and as a part of this commitment, targets have been added that would weaken the Syrian military\’s ability to strike at them."
Yisrael Hayom suggests that US President Obama failed to understand the Biblical dictum "A time for war and a time for peace" and has dithered away the advantage he had immediately following the August 21 chemical attack. The author asserts that "Israel is the American President\’s only loyal supporter and it is also liable to pay a heavy price if Obama honors the commitment that he himself made and does not allow the red lines that he drew with his own hands to be erased. But supporting the US President does not excuse Jerusalem from having to think about how much Israel can rely on its major ally. There is a psychological and diplomatic connection between American policy toward Assad and the commitment that he took upon himself to prevent a nuclear Iran."
The Jerusalem Post commends the agreement worked out in the Jerusalem District Court that resulted in Israel Broadcasting Authority’s consent “to stop demanding license fee payments from persons who do not own a TV set or whose set is not connected to either cable or satellite providers.” The editor notes the general public’s “great hostility toward the IBA’s licensing fees,” and revels in this rare occasion, where “the proverbial little man scores a symbolic victory over the powers-that-be.” The editor adds: “The fees are perceived as a nuisance, if not a much-reviled imposition that most Israelis consider wholly unwarranted,” and concludes: “Some of our involuntary contributions to the public coffers are clearly unavoidable, but IBA fees have become an outright annoyance.”
Haaretz refers to “The flyby over the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp by three Israel Air Force planes 10 years ago,” a significant event for the Air Force, and opines that “Israel should be more than Yad Vashem with an air force.” The editor states that “Ten years after the Israel Air Force flyby over Auschwitz, the awareness of the Holocaust and the dread of its recurrence are consciously and deliberately blended into the air force\’s policy, and into the IDF and defense establishment\’s policy in general,” and asserts: “[The Holocaust] cannot constitute a strategic or security consideration that statesmen and army chiefs must deal with today.”
[Ben-Dror Yemini, Alex Fishman and Dan Margalit wrote today’s articles in Ma\’ariv, Yediot Aharonot and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]