Today’s issues: Building in the settlements, construction that cynically exploits the terror wave, the fantasy of replacing Netanyahu, and the higher they rise, the harder they fall.
The Jerusalem Post notes that despite Israel’s internationally renowned unique tactical and technological expertise in fighting terrorism while simultaneously maintaining an open society and a vibrant democracy, one of the least successful and counterproductive Israeli responses to Palestinian terrorism is settlement building, and criticizes Israel’s political leaders for continuing to use new building in Judea and Samaria as a form of punishment or a deterrent for Palestinian terrorism. Commenting on the report published by the Quartet, which wrongly took Israel to task for preventing a peace settlement through its settlement building efforts, the editor states: “Building housing is not a form of punishment, nor is it a tactic for blocking the creation of a Palestinian state. It is an expression of Israel’s unique connection to this land and a reflection of Israeli society’s remarkable health and vitality.”
Haaretz attacks PM Netanyahu’s intent to advance the construction of homes for Jews beyond the Green Line, even though plans were approved at the same time for building homes for Arabs as well, and asserts: “The construction plans for the Jewish areas across the Green Line should be canceled and plans should instead be developed within the Green Line in Jerusalem. Construction plans for Arabs, meanwhile, should be implemented to relieve the sharp housing crisis among residents of East Jerusalem.”
Yediot Aharonot examines PM Netanyahu’s chances in the yet-to-be-announced forthcoming elections, and states that while there is no one in the Likud to go up against him, nor another party to oppose him, the author nevertheless believes that: “The PM and his party could be defeated if the political system were to be redefined by a new center-right party and a new, comfortably left-wing Labor.”
Israel Hayom comments on the landmark ruling this week in which business tycoon and head of the IDB Group Nochi Dankner was convicted of market manipulation, and states: “The collapse of the IDB Group and the fall of owner Nochi Dankner from grace mark the end of the conglomerate pyramid era in Israel.
[Amnon Abramovich and Hezi Sternlicht wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot and Israel Hayom, respectively.]