Jerusalem Post
Yediot Aharonot
Israel Hayom

Summary of editorials from the Hebrew press


​The Jerusalem Post welcomes the 19 members of the dwindling Yemenite Jewish community who arrived covertly in Israel, and declares: “The end of the Jewish community in Yemen can be placed in the context of a larger trend, the increasing intolerance within the Arab-Muslim world for minorities – whether they be Berbers or Kurds or Christians or Jews. At the same time, it emphasizes the importance of the Jewish state as the homeland for a diverse mix of Jews from around the world who face anti-Semitism or assimilation – or simply wish to return home.”

Haaretz discusses a report by Physicians for Human Rights, which has revealed a significant rise in the use of isolation cells in Israeli prisons in recent years, and cautions that “The PHR report’s findings raise suspicions that the Prison Service is using isolation not as a last resort intended to protect the prisoners, but as a punishment or a means of bolstering its control over them, often in violation of the law.” The editor argues that in order to protect prisoners’ rights, “the government must compel the Prison Service to be more cautious in using this tool, draft protective regulations – like having an outside physician, rather than a Prison Service doctor, examine a prisoner’s suitability for isolation – and bolster the mental health-care system in the country’s prisons.”

Yediot Aharonot discusses Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah’s frequent public speeches and media interviews of late, and believes this is because of two main reasons: “He owes many explanations to the Lebanese public and he fears Israel may carry out a preemptive strike against his military infrastructure.” With regards to threats against Israel, the author attempts to calm any fears his readers may have, and notes that Nasrallah “has no capability to precisely target most Israeli strategic sites, and the sites he threatens are so fortified that even a direct hit would cause no damage,” but nevertheless warns: “the threat is mostly empty, but it must not be underestimated.” 

Israel Hayom reminds readers of the deeply rooted voting pattern of US Jews, and contends that “Republican candidate Donald Trump’s lofty promises to AIPAC were only the first step in the herculean challenge of winning any significant portion of the Jewish vote.” The author notes that while his task seems full of pitfalls and almost impossible, “Trump for the first time made an important strategic gambit designed to clear up his positions on Israel and calm representatives of the centrist and conservative sectors of the Jewish public, who are particularly critical of Obama and his administration’s conduct and legacy on Israel, and are eager for a policy change,” and concludes: “Nevertheless, this is only the first step in a long, challenging road toward receiving a significant portion of the Jewish vote.”
[Ron Ben-Yishai and Abraham Ben-Zvi wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot and Israel Hayom, respectively.]