Two papers refer to the ongoing discussion of the recent remarks by Chief of Staff Eisenkot:
The Jerusalem Post writes: "Eisenkot’s message to the future soldiers was clear: Maintaining the highest possible moral standards in the IDF is an imperative. Even in extreme situations soldiers have a moral obligation to carefully weigh the use of deadly force. The chief of staff did not say it was forbidden to kill when necessary to save oneself or others. He simply was warning the students not to take lightly the value of life, even when the life at stake belongs to one’s enemy. Unfortunately, Eisenkot was attacked by right-wing politicians who seemed to be motivated more by base populism than by a genuine concern for the IDF, morality or human life. Coping with the present wave of terrorism is not easy. It is upsetting and frustrating to all Israelis, including our political leadership. Lashing out at Eisenkot, a fine chief of staff who has done more than anyone else to battle terrorists, is not the answer to this frustration."
Yediot Aharonot writes: "What Eisenkot said accurately reflects the IDF’s rules of engagement, common sense, and the IDF’s values. Beyond that there’s also a practical side: If we learned anything from this wave of terrorism, it’s that every confrontation that ends in death doesn’t increase deterrence – quite the opposite. The attack from the right-wing against the IDF chief derives of their inability to explain to their voters why the wave of violence continues. If there’s any chance to lower the flames, it requires political decisions. Primarily, Israel must dramatically increase the number of work permits; secondly, it must invest in the West Bank’s economy and in the quality of life of the population there; thirdly, Israel must give this population hope for the future."
Two papers comment on the resignation of six members of the Council for Higher Education in protest over the dismissal of council vice-chairwoman Professor Hagit Messer-Yaron and the appointment in her place of Dr. Rivka Wadmany Shauman:
Israel Hayom writes: "In every advanced country, the government is the body that sets higher education policy, just as it decides on other public systems. The ‘independence’ that the council members who just resigned are talking about would be analogous to a council of generals deciding on defense policy separately from the Defense Ministry. Rivka Wadmany Shauman may not be a professor, but who says that a person must be an academic researcher to run an organization? The sitting council has a year left. Education Minister Naftali Bennett appointed Wadmany Shauman for that year during which its operations will be examined ahead of the formation of a new council."
Haaretz writes: "The crisis at the CHE is one more station on Bennett’s journey to limit freedom of thought in the educational system and make it increasingly religious." In the joint letter of the six CHE members, they argued that "Bennett’s conduct undermines the council’s aims, which include ‘maintaining a proper scientific level and the nonrestriction of freedom of opinion and conscience.’ According to them, Bennett deliberately and systematically acts to the detriment of the institution entrusted to him by the public. One can only praise those who agreed to jeopardize their personal futures to some extent for the future of higher education and to uphold their mission. By resigning, the six professors made it clear they would not be partners to the minister’s modus operandi."
[Nahum Barnea and Dror Eydar wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot and Israel Hayom, respectively.]