The Jerusalem Post comments on the UN International Atomic Energy Agency’s decision last Tuesday to close its investigation into Iran’s past nuclear weapons activities. "Iran’s coffers are now expected to fill as a result of sanctions relief. What will the Islamic Republic do with the billions of dollars pouring in? If it decides, as Israel fears, to pump them into its military and resume its covert nuclear program, can we trust the international community and the IAEA to act? What would it take to wake them up to the dangers posed by the Iranian regime? If the rest of the world chooses to look the other way, it may again fall on Israel to sound the alarm."
Yediot Aharonot writes: "The normalization of relations between Israel and Turkey is a welcome occurrence in nearly everyone’s minds. The Turkish willingness to import gas from Israel is also a positive development. That’s why the breakthrough in the negotiations which have been going on for five years now, which was announced by an "Israeli source" and confirmed later by Turkish sources, is good news. But it seems celebrations are premature, and definitely exaggerated – and that the announcement of this progress was publicized mainly because of the interests shared by Netanyahu and Erdogan."
Israel Hayom writes: "Israelis have been preoccupied with the natural gas framework deal for many months. There were those who saw the considerable economic benefits in it, and those who chose to see the extra shekels that wouldn’t trickle into the pockets of the public. In the meantime, however, another important benefit of the framework deal has revealed itself: It is a strategic asset of the utmost importance, even fostering Israeli-Turkish rapprochement. Over the past few years we have been constantly warned of Israel’s growing isolation. And here, all of a sudden, aside from Turkey we are seeing Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and even Balkan states batting their eyelashes at Israel’s natural gas reservoirs. Israel’s problem isn’t expected to be regional isolation, rather the opposite: It will be how to choose between the different suitors."
Haaretz comments on the attempts by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) to influence the work of the search committee for the next Attorney General. "Shaked’s actions are not illegal, but they are inappropriate and unacceptable." Her meetings raise the concern that she was attempting to persuade committee members to support the candidate she favors, either by voting for that person or by depriving other candidates of their vote, denying them the opportunity for consideration by the cabinet. Reports of Shaked’s actions show how vital transparency is to the selection committee’s work, in uncovering the powers acting behind the scenes in appointing the most important figure in public service. They also show how essential it is to keep the selection process untainted, to ensure the independence of the next attorney general."
[Ron Ben-Yishai and Boaz Bismuth wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot and Israel Hayom, respectively.]