Yediot Aharanot – http://www.ynetnews.com
Globes – http://www.globes.co.il/serveen
Jerusalem Post –
Ma’ariv – http://www.nrg.co.il
Yisrael Hayom – http://www.israelhayom.co.il
Hazofeh – http://www.hazofe.co.il
(Government Press Office)
Two papers comment on the operation to intercept the weapons ship Victoria:
Yediot Aharonot comments on the C-704 anti-ship missiles that were seized onboard the Victoria and asserts that "If these missiles had reached Gaza, the Navy would have had to substantially alter its activities in the area. The Dabur class patrol boats, for example, would have to move away from the coast and act differently. Indeed, all ongoing security activity, including supervision over maritime ingress and egress from the Gaza Strip, would have become much more dangerous. What is more, if these missiles would have reached Gaza, the IDF would have had to go in and hit them, since they would have been a balance-altering weapon." The author lauds the Navy and the IDF Intelligence Corps.
Yisrael Hayom contends that as far as public diplomacy is concerned, "Foiling the weaponry smuggling does not come at an especially auspicious time," due to the fact that global attention is focused on Japan, but adds that "Even if the public diplomacy gains are small, the security gain is huge." The author continues: "The problem is that this is a drop in the bucket: Despite this impressive operation, there are still very major quantities of war materiel in Gaza."
Ma’ariv asserts that "Sentencing terrorists to death, and extra-judicial eliminations even more so, will only damage Israel’s interests," and suggests that "Pulling back from carrying out a death sentence due to pressures and threats would be 1,000 times worse than not imposing the death sentence. There is also the question of what the consequences of such a sentence might be on IDF soldiers taken captive by terrorist organizations." The author questions the Government’s decision to approve the construction of 400 residential units in Judea and Samaria in response to the Itamar massacre: "There is a horrific slaughter? The answer is construction in Judea and Samaria. What a distorted connection. This plays into the hands of the global critics of such construction. Is construction punishment or the awful murders? …If this Government thinks that it needs to build in the territories – then it should build. It has a mandate. In pinning this construction on horrific killings it is shooting itself in the foot. Typically, Netanyahu has already coined a sound-bite, which he uttered in the house of mourning: ‘They murder and we build. Dear Lord, what a miserable comparison." The paper rebuts possible criticism that is defeatist and says that, "Even pride and strength are not exempt from cost-benefit considerations."
The Jerusalem Post criticizes the use of the graphic photos of the Itamar massacre victims to arouse world sympathy. The editor declares that Israel’s public diplomacy efforts “should focus on making sure that those who want to know the truth have straightforward access to it, pressing media outlets to report our reality fairly and holding to account those that do not,” and adds: “People who don’t care about the truth won’t be convinced by the most graphic pictures.”
Haaretz discusses the situation in Japan, and notes that “In the overall context, it will be a gloomy outcome for Israel if Japan and others become more dependent on Middle Eastern oil.” The editor feels that “Israel would do well to accelerate the efforts to rely on other sources of energy, such as sun and wind, and to carefully reexamine its own nuclear economy – both for security needs and for civilian needs – in light of the events in Fukushima.”
[Alex Fishman, Yoav Limor and Avraham Tirosh wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Yisrael Hayom and Ma’ariv respectively.]