The Jerusalem Post discusses the fire that broke out in the Jerusalem offices of human rights group B’Tselem, and notes that while arson was eventually ruled out, “It was difficult to miss the glee with which some people, particularly those with a left-wing agenda, jumped to the conclusion that B’Tselem’s offices were set on fire by far-right activists and was the product of government-sponsored incitement.” The editor attests that “Israeli society is incredibly splintered. There are few, if any, political principles that rest on a broad consensus,” and warns that by allowing ourselves to demonize those who think differently from ourselves we may also be polarizing our society.
Haaretz contends that the overt investigations carried out on a regular basis by Israel Police, but in particular in light of the investigation into the terror attack on a bar in Tel Aviv at the beginning of the month, raise questions about the police’s conduct and attitude toward Arab citizens. The editor notes that the police do not operate in a vacuum, “but rather in tandem with the message conveyed by the Israeli government and its leader, who incite against Arab citizens,” and asserts: “In a democratic state, the police and security forces must conduct themselves as professional agencies responsible for the security of all citizens, Jews and Arabs alike. This cannot be undermined by the evil winds blowing from the government.”
Yediot Aharonot reports that Israel is concerned by the lifting of economic sanctions imposed on Iran, due to take place this coming Friday, not least because Russia is already deep in talks with Tehran on the sale of advanced weapons. The author notes that “The EU and the US are in a rush to lift the sanctions because of the Iranian elections in February,” and adds that senior Israeli officials “have accused the American administration of ignoring – knowingly and intentionally – the military aspects of the sanctions removal.”
Israel Hayom contends that the Left has yet to recover from the loss of its political majority in 1977, and argues that “The Left refuses to accept reality and it does not let facts get in its way. So the Left, backed by its friends in the media, relies on incitement, slander, deception and intimidation.” The author cautions that “there are a considerable number of ideologues in Israel who have grown tired of democracy and have chosen a dangerous path which, God forbid, could lead to a civil war,” and asserts: “They must lower the flames before the fire starts burning the edges of Israeli society.”
[Alex Fishman and Haim Shine wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot and Israel Hayom, respectively.]