The Jerusalem Post comments on the Egyptian announcement it would return two Red Sea islands currently under Egyptian sovereignty to Saudi Arabia, and states: “The seeming ease with which this land transfer was effected, and particularly Israel’s speedy endorsement of it, is a clear indication that it is the result of long-standing secret contacts in the pursuit of common interests that have developed from the peace treaty [with Egypt].” The editor is intrigued by the idea that the islands may be used to build a bridge linking Saudi Arabia to Africa, and is pleased that “circumstances seem more favorable for such a concrete step toward Middle East cooperation.”
Haaretz discusses the injustice and shame wrought by the Rabbinical Courts, and states: “The Chief Rabbinate cannot complain about its loss of status when its senior representatives are prepared to undermine such principles as humanity and fairness in the name of a distorted conservative worldview.” The editor calls for “the privatization of religious services as outlined by the High Court of Justice two weeks ago, when it recognized private Orthodox conversions and the possibility of becoming a Jew without resorting to the official rabbinate.”
Yediot Aharonot contends there is no need to over the Russian S-300 deal with Iran, and argues: “The S-300 missile deal between Iran and Russia is more symbolic than an actual threat; Moscow has yet to transfer the missiles, but Israel should do everything it can to ensure its security in an increasingly militarized Middle East.”
Israel Hayom notes Palestinian Authority opposition to the surveillance grid set up on the Temple Mount, which “is meant to finally point to the real provocateurs who endanger the holy site,” and adds: “This aversion is what drives the Palestinian efforts to sabotage a project meant to increase security on the holy Muslim site. The closed-circuit TV grid deals a massive blow to the Islamic groups, most prominently the Islamic Movement and the Hizb ut-Tahrir party, which strive to foster pan-Arab unity around the fictitious claim that Al-Aqsa mosque is ‘in danger.’"
[Alex Fishman and Reuven Berko wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot and Israel Hayom, respectively.]