Summary of editorials from the Hebrew press



Yediot Aharonot
Jerusalem Post

Haaretz comments: “The diplomatic efforts to gain a cease-fire in the confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah have been stepped up in recent days. During the coming week it appears an accepted formulation of a Security Council resolution will be reached, bringing the hostilities to an end and creating a mechanism for the prevention of future conflagrations. As is common in the Middle East, the closer the sides move toward a cease-fire, the more they escalate their operations in order to improve their position before the situation is frozen… This should help Prime Minister Fouad Siniora rally determined political support to create a new reality in Lebanon: a trained, equipped, state-controlled army in all parts of the country; a process that will gradually result in the disarmament of Hezbollah, the last armed militia; an international force that will act as a buffer between the remnants of Hezbollah in the north and the Lebanese army along the southern border; economic assistance to rebuild the destruction caused by Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel and release of Lebanese prisoners in return for the IDF captives… Until the Lebanese army or the multinational force are deployed along the border, the IDF will continue operating against Hezbollah in the area it occupies. In view of the conditions created by four weeks of fighting, this is a reasonable expectation; the strength of the IDF and the actions of the political echelon – two elements that promised much more than they actually delivered – will not achieve anything more. Another escalation, in a final effort to gain a little more, will be too costly and superfluous.”

The Jerusalem Post writes: “Today’s media war is often inseparable from the physical conflict. Neglecting the war of words and images inevitably weakens Israel’s ability to pursue its cause on the ground and in the air… In the aftermath of the Kana tragedy, it took officialdom all day to produce footage of Katyusha rockets flying out of the village toward Israel. Asked why this had not been released earlier, a very senior Israeli politician opined that the overseas channels would not have broadcast it anyway. Politicians who are so adept at interacting with the local press could surely, assuming they have the language skills, do likewise vis-a-vis the international media. A war-room of the sort set up to react to negatives in any election campaign could do wonders in this situation. On the domestic front, our leadership, like that of all democratic countries, understands the importance of crafting messages strategically and getting them out in real time. It is inexcusable that such skills and seriousness are not applied in the international sphere, in the mistaken belief that they will inevitably have no impact. As our soldiers fight on the battlefield, our civilian leadership owes it to them and to the nation to do its job of fighting the media war with no less vigor.”

Yediot Aharonot says that Israel’s two unilateral withdrawals, from the south Lebanon security zone and from the Gaza Strip, violated the land-for-peace principle and adds that, while the view that holding onto those areas was a security burden that we would be better off to be rid of was “logical, it was unrealistic.” The editors assert that, “In the reality of the Middle East, withdrawals without agreement are perceived as capitulation, running away, and giving in to terrorism.” The paper declares that, “The current Gaza War and the second Lebanon War broke out due to the erroneous conception of initiated withdrawals without agreement. Therefore, they need to clearly mark the end of the unilateral era in Israeli policy, the end of ‘disengagements’ and ‘convergences’ and such, and the return to bilateral, binding agreements with the Arabs.”

Hatzofeh says that it understands a reservist from the Judean community of Efrat who left his unit and returned home in protest over Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s recent remark that the war in Lebanon will further the latter’s convergence plan, but nevertheless strongly criticizes the reservist’s actions and says that soldiers in Lebanon “are fighting for all our lives.”

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Posted on August 7, 2006, in News and politics. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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