Real Clear Israel: Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press

Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press via Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Today’s issues: Israel and the refugee crisis in Europe.

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All four newspapers discuss issues relating to the developing refugee crisis in Europe:

The Jerusalem Post discusses the plight of the thousands of migrants forced to flee their homes, but contends that, Jewish empathy aside, Israel made the correct call in preventing migrants from infiltrating its Israel borders. Equating the removal of incentives with the reduction in suffering, the editor suggests that were the European governments to adopt Israel’s strategy of removing the economic incentives that are the main attraction for the migrants, “they could eliminate the incentive for reaching Europe and lives of children like [three-year-old Aylan] Kurdi could be saved.”

Haaretz is frustrated  by the depths of the public’s hypocrisy, which draws inspiration from that of the government and the opposition, according to which it is “permissible and desirable to feel compassion for non-Jews in general, and Arabs in particular, only when they are at a safe distance, and when there’s no need for us to do anything to ease their distress,” and asserts: “Before talking about absorbing refugees from Syria, the Israeli authorities, including the opposition, ought to start taking steps right now to help the groups crying out for humanitarian assistance in our own backyard: the asylum seekers, who are being abused by the government, which is trying to drive them out by any means possible, and residents of Gaza, whose misery is right on Israel’s doorstep.”

Yediot Aharonot notes that “Israel is watching what is known as ‘the refugee crisis in Europe’ with a mixture of sharing in grief and malicious joy. Grief over the refugees, (restrained) joy over the exposure of the hypocritical Europeans’ face,” but warns that the refugee crisis is taking place in Middle East, not in Europe, and “In the blink of an eye, a refugee crisis could arrive at Israel’s doorstep.” The author declares: “Instead of criticizing Europe’s hypocrisy, Israel should be preparing for the not so trivial possibility of tens of thousands of Syrian and Iraqi refugees arriving at its doorstep, seeking refuge in the Jewish state,” and calls on the public to “lower the rebuking moral tone towards Europe and prepare for the definitely not trivial possibility of lines of refugees at our doorstep.”

Israel Hayom calls on Israel to “Do the right thing,” and contends that seventy years after the end of the Holocaust, “we cannot turn a blind eye and ignore our moral duty to be the most ethical nation of all when it comes to such a large tragedy.” The author stresses that while “we can never be anything more than a marginal player in any practical solution to the current refugee problem,”  nevertheless,  “The Jewish state, home of Holocaust refugees, must not stand idly by while the bodies of 3-year-olds wash up on beaches.”

[Sever Plocker and Yoav Heller wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot and Israel Hayom, respectively.]

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