Real Clear Israel: Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press, Sunday June 21, 2015


Today’s issues: The possibility of Israeli intervention in Syria, unsolved arson attacks of churches and mosques, Israel’s culture controversy, the United States’ lame duck president, the approaching deadline of the Iranian negotiations.

The Jerusalem Post explores the Israel-Syria relationship, and asserts that Israel is wise to refrain from entering the internal war, despite pressure from Druse leaders in Israel for the government to extend aid to the Druse communities in Syria. The editor reminds readers: “Israel is hated boundlessly by all combatants and imparting the slightest impression that the Druse beyond the Golan’s northeastern border are under Israeli protection would only justify further predations on them as traitors,” and cautions: “The Druse outside Israel are not our friends, despite their familial ties to the Israeli Druse. They are invariably among our most implacable foes.” Pointing out that “Syria is immeasurably more complex than Lebanon, with more participating fanatic forces, to say nothing of Iranian proxies ,” the editor concludes: “Any foray on our part into the Syrian bedlam would constitute nothing less than Israeli madness.”

Haaretz comments on the torching of the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish at Tabgha, near Tiberias, last Thursday, one of 18 unsolved arson attacks on a church or mosque over the past four years, and remarks that the government of Israel would never ignore the torching of synagogues, the destruction of tombstones in Jewish cemeteries or assaults against Jews in other countries if governments were lax in investigating such crimes. The editor asserts that it is therefore incumbent upon the Israeli government to “show determination to uproot such hate crimes from areas under its jurisdiction, defining perpetrators as terrorists who endanger Israel’s security, no less than those who send car bombs into city centers.”

Yediot Aharonot discusses the Culture Ministry/artists controversy, and asserts: “It’s every actor’s right to personally avoid performing in front of an audience or a community for personal ideological reasons, and he will settle the score for fulfilling this right only with the theater he belongs to.” The author decries any attempt by the state to punish the artist privately for this, but states: “On the other hand, a theater which receives governmental funding cannot boycott a certain Israeli audience unless it gave up the funding in advance.”

Yisrael Hayom asserts that US President Barack Obama has turned into a lame duck since his re-election, and even more so after the midterm elections in November, with the only thing practically left for him to do is to hold large private social events or to give interviews to the media.  The author contends: “In a parliamentary system like Israel’s, Obama would have resigned and asked for a new mandate,” and warns:  “the global hot spots need a strong America.”

Globes comments on the approaching deadline to the end of the negotiations with Iran on the Iranian nuclear program, and  states: “It is almost a sure thing that either there will be no deal or a bad deal, unless the soap opera is continued yet again for another meeting in two or three or four months.”

[A.B. Yehoshua, Yossi Beilin and Norman Bailey wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Yisrael Hayom and Globes respectively.]

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