Haaretz –
Yediot Aharonot – http://www.ynetnews.com
Globes – http://www.globes.co.il/serveen/
Jerusalem Post –
Ma’ariv – http://www.nrg.co.il
Hazofeh – http://www.hazofe.co.il

(Israel Government Press Office)

Ma’ariv declares that, "Countries like Iran do not play the same game as we do," and asserts that, "Indeed, they cooperate with the illusion of diplomacy but the bottom line is that such a messianic regime ascribes to the price that it would be obliged to pay in exchange for destroying Israel as a legitimate sacrifice, such as that which was paid in the Iran-Iraq war." "Thus," the editors conclude, "we are so anxious here in Israel and are considering ‘taking it to them’ not in order to revive our battered Zionist ego but to ensure that we will have an ego to batter."

The Jerusalem Post comments: "The second anniversary of the 34-day-long Second Lebanon War offers an apt occasion to reflect on its lessons for Israel, now that the dust has settled somewhat. It is almost universally agreed that although the Israeli home front displayed great resilience, the IDF, in failing to harness its overwhelming military superiority, squandered an opportunity to destroy the bulk of Hizbullah’s military presence in southern Lebanon, to crush that group’s state-within-a-state, and to enhance Israel’s deterrence."

Yediot Aharonot notes that relations between the Arab residents of Zur Baher – home of Hussam Duwiyat, perpetrator of the July 2 bulldozer massacre in Jerusalem – and Jewish residents of the Jerusalem neighborhoods of East Talpiyot and Arnona, and Kibbutz Ramat Rachel, were once far better than they are today, and recalls that in 1987, Jews and Arabs joined together to protest a JNF initiative to plant a forest on Zur Baher’s lands. "But those days are gone, never to return," the editors remark, "Since then, we have gone through two intifadas and the construction of the security fence, which cut the village in half," adding that if one were to tell young people from Zur Baher "what happened 21 years ago, how their parents and brothers held hands with their Jewish neighbors in a joint demonstration, they would not believe their ears."

Haaretz writes: "The instinctive opposition aroused by the possibility of a plea bargain with former finance minister Abraham Hirchson stems from the fear among the public that accused public figures benefit from more lenient treatment than others. On the assumption that the punishment of a public figure is less important than the lesson learned, the deterrent effect and the norm determined at its conclusion, a plea bargain usually has a clear advantage. That is true as long as the plea bargain is commensurate with the seriousness of the crimes."

[Yehuda Litani and Shai Schwartzbord wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot and Ma’ariv, respectively.]