Yediot Aharonot comments on the employment of Palestinians in Israel: "With the number of Palestinians employed in Israel on the rise, the government must lay out a framework for the matter. Instead, they have buried the recommendations of their own commission presented in May 2011. Members of the committee agreed that it was desirable to set a goal for the gradual reduction of Palestinian employment in Israel – not because of security restrictions, but rather in order to weaken the unhealthy embrace of a strong, rich economy with a weak, poor one. The committee recommended, among others, registering Palestinians at their entry and exit from work in Israel, formulating a bill of rights and duties, transferring the Palestinian employees’ salaries directly into their bank accounts in the Palestinian Authority, requiring Israeli employers to provide transit from the checkpoint to the workplace and back. Last year, Palestinian workers brought home approximately $1.7 billion – about $1,000 per month. The average salaries under the Palestinian Authority are lower than NIS 2,000 ($515) per month. It’s therefore not surprising that those with skills, abilities and initiative are looking for every possible way to work in Israel. Those lacking in skills and luck remain on the other side of the fence, their situation is deteriorating, and despair is on the rise. Until a knife is drawn."
Israel Hayom discusses the announcement of a Russian pullout from Syria: "At first, Israel was concerned by Russia’s intervention, but the coordination mechanism that was established put Israel at ease. So now, Israel is watching with some uncertainty as Russia leaves the scene. Russia’s military presence in Syria somewhat mitigated the chances of a clash between Israel and Iran (and the Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist group). If Israel now finds itself under fire again from Iran and Hezbollah, it will have greater freedom of action due to the Russian military pullout from Syria. But Israel has no interest in such a conflict erupting."
Haaretz comments on the upcoming parole board review for former President Katsav: "The assessment is that the board will have a hard time supporting Katsav’s early release, since he has not expressed remorse. It is unseemly for Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to try and lobby the president to discuss the pardon of a former president who was convicted of such serious crimes as rape, indecent assault, sexual harassment and obstruction of justice."
The Jerusalem Post responds to the recent remark by Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich that from now on the police will not deal with anonymous letters that raise suspicions of violations by policemen: "Thankfully, it is up to the State Attorney’s office – not Alsheich – whether or not to ignore anonymous complaints. Alsheich knows that the organization he heads faces major credibility problems. Israel Police is inundated with cases of corruption and sexual misconduct among its highest ranked officers. Shooting the messenger is not the answer. If anything, Alsheich should be encouraging female police officers to come forward and complain anonymously in cases of sexual harassment."
[Sever Plocker and Dan Margalit wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot and Israel Hayom respectively.]