Yediot Aharonot writes: "The claim that despair causes terrorism is not consistent with reality. On the Palestinian side there is despair, but that despair is a function of the illusions they have of defeating Israel, which remain unfulfilled. The despair is homemade; it is not an Israeli product. Hezbollah, like previous Lebanese governments is part of the policy of apartheid against the Palestinians in Lebanon. Palestinians there, by all humanitarian criteria, can only dream about the living conditions of the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria. They are also deprived of citizenship. This apartheid never generated large protests, and certainly not an ‘Apartheid Week’. But Balad and Hadash are for Hezbollah. They have no interest in reconciliation. They have an interest only in deepening the conflict. They are not in favor of the Palestinians. They are against Israel."
Israel Hayom comments on President Obama’s approach to the Middle East: "On the one hand, Obama naively sees the Middle East through rose-tinted glasses, befitting his belief that the region and its people seek modernity and democracy. On the other hand, when the reality of the region blew up in his face, he chose to disengage from it while leaving Washington’s friends and allies to fend for themselves. The result of Obama’s policies – or lack thereof to be more precise – is that on his watch the Middle East has not only become far less stable but is now a more dangerous place where far more lives have been lost to war than at any time during Bush’s presidency, when American soldiers were sent to fight in the region."
The Jerusalem Post comments on the bill introduced by Interior Minister Deri that would cancel the requirement to obtain a government-issued license to publish a new newspaper: "While Deri’s support for the freedom of the press is certainly laudable, it would only be natural to question whether he might have some ulterior motive," in light of his claim that the "Shas party newspaper no longer represents his views. The question that begs to be asked is whether this timid revocation of a British Mandatory law will be the first swallow heralding a spring of other freedoms, or just fade into the legal morass Israel has been mired in since independence." The state of emergency proclaimed in May 1948 with the establishment of the State of Israel remains in force today, along with the emergency regulations, based on British Mandatory law.
Haaretz comments on the efforts of the Ateret Cohanim association to evict the 51 Palestinian families living in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan: "Even if the current efforts are successful and all 51 families are replaced by Jewish families, nothing will change. Silwan will remain a Palestinian village with tens of thousands of inhabitants. This policy achieves nothing but to pour more oil on the fire and amplify the suffering of the Palestinian inhabitants. Consequently, the government must stop encouraging Jewish settlement in Silwan."
[Ben-Dror Yemini and Prof. Eyal Zisser wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot and Israel Hayom, respectively.]