Jerusalem Post
Yediot Aharonot
Israel Hayom

Summary of editorials from the Hebrew press


The Jerusalem Post discusses International Women’s Day, and is pleased to note that “Increasing numbers of ultra-Orthodox women are entering the workforce and in the process are radically transforming traditional roles both inside and outside the household.” The editor points out that when socialists first began organizing a special day to champion women’s rights at the beginning of the 20th century, the goals were clear, while in contrast today, many in Western countries question the need for a special day for a group of people that makes up half of the population. The author believes that “The struggles of haredi women in Israel remind us that more than a century after the first International Women’s Day was celebrated, there remains a need to work for gender equality, even in Western countries. Indeed, the challenge faced today by many Western countries is how to defend the rights of women who belong to a religious or cultural subgroup that rejects Western values.” 

Haaretz comments on ultra-Orthodox attempts to force PM Netanyahu to alter the agreement that was reached allocating the Reform and Conservative movements an area that would enable them to pray at the Western Wall, and cautions that “Netanyahu’s conduct in this matter, as in other matters, raises doubts about his ability to stand fast against these assaults. The signs of impending capitulation are growing.” The author declares: “The message Netanyahu’s government is sending to the Jewish world is that it’s doubtful the prime minister is capable of translating his grandiose statements – that he wants every Jew, from every movement, to feel at home in Israel – into actions,” and adds: “Israel is thereby deepening its disconnect with Diaspora Jewry, and above all with American Jewry, and sinking further into conservative Orthodox separatism.”

Yediot Aharonot is angered by Israel’s anti-democratic administrative detention policy, a large part of which seems to be based on the belief that whatever the army, police, and Shin Bet say is sacred, and declares: “How fortunate that we live in the only democracy in the Middle East and not in Soviet Russia or Pinochet’s Chile. There, they arrested people for no reason.”

Israel Hayom believes the Arab Knesset members who condemned the decision of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states to label Hezbollah as a terrorist organization have knowingly put themselves on the other side of the fence, and have made a deliberate decision “that aims to cut off all cooperation, good will and reconciliation attempts between Jews and Arabs along the Green Line.” The author contends that the MKs are working under the assumption that “the worse things are for the people, the better for the revolution,” and argues: “The announcement made by the Balad and Hadash parties (both of which belong to the Joint Arab List) has taught us that Israel must go over their heads in its efforts to build bridges with the Arab community.”

[Tamar Kaplansly and Dan Margalit wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot and Israel Hayom, respectively.]