The Jerusalem Post comments on reports – denied by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) – that they used torture methods to extract information from a number of Jewish youths, including minors, suspected of involvement in the July Duma firebombing that killed three Palestinians including an 18-month-old boy: "First, use of torture is against the law. Second, torture does not work. Further, the interrogations often produced false information, ensnaring innocent people, sometimes with tragic results. Third, use of brutal methods against detainees risks undermining citizens’ trust in the institutions of law enforcement and justice. Finally, when the state tramples human beings’ basic rights – whether they be Palestinians or hilltop youth – it risks destroying its legitimacy as a democracy."
Haaretz continues to comment on the selection of the next attorney general: "The selection committee for yesterday recommended that the cabinet appoint Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mendelblit as the next AG – the only recommendation the panel made. Although the cabinet must still approve the appointment, it is not expected to encounter any difficulty here, since Mendelblit has been cabinet secretary since 2013 and works closely with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. That is the very reason the committee should have opposed Mendelblit’s appointment: Proximity to the prime minister could make it difficult when he is forced to make decisions involving Netanyahu personally, and decisions in general regarding the cabinet that Netanyahu heads."
Israel Hayom comments on Israel-Turkey relations: "The recent reports that Israel and Turkey are closer than ever to normalizing diplomatic relations do not yet signify the renewal of the strategic alliance shared by Jerusalem and Ankara a decade ago. The economic question is of course extremely important to both countries, and rehabilitating diplomatic ties will make a natural gas partnership possible. It seems, however, that the economic factor is not the primary consideration driving Turkey into Israel’s arms, but rather Russian President Vladimir Putin. In light of the rapid and dramatic fallout between Ankara and Moscow, Erdogan must seek out regional allies who will help him protect vital Turkish interests against increasing Russian hostility."
Yediot Aharonot writes: "As an expert on the history of the movement which brought him to the President’s Residence, Reuven Rivlin knows that once a leader deviates from the party line or causes damage to its image – there is no forgiveness. He can go out of his way, announce "Good morning from Jerusalem" on the radio three times a day, and mention our capital’s name at every opportunity. It will no longer do him any good. He has been marked in the national camp as the people’s enemy, as a person willing to give up the Land of Israel in favor of "the other" camp."
[Eitan Haber and Prof. Eyal Zisser wrote today’s articles in Israel Hayom and Yediot Aharonot, respectively.]