(Government Press Office)
Yediot Aharonot declares that "The Israeli left is living in a complete illusion. Since Prime Minister Netanyahu's Bar-Ilan speech, in which he officially recognized what is being called the 'two-state solution', the leftists have been convinced that the debate over territories and peace has been decided in their benefit...Wrong. While most Israelis are indeed prepared to countenance the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, the state that they have in mind is not much different from the Palestinian Authority that exists today – neither geographically, diplomatically nor militarily. Ask now in a poll how many Israelis are ready for the evacuation of 150-200,000 settlers from Judea and Samaria, an IDF withdrawal from bases in the Jordan Valley, the deployment of Palestinian border police between Kalkilya and Kfar Saba, a new border in Jerusalem and turning the territories into a foreign country that will absorb hundreds of thousands of militant refugees from the camps in Lebanon – and see how the numbers of those who support a 'two-state solution' drop to near zero."
Ma'ariv notes that a fast toll lane to Tel Aviv will open on the Ayalon highway in 12 days and asserts that the project "symbolizes a faulty culture of transportation project management in the State of Israel." The author reminds his readers that in addition to "the costly and complicated toll collection system, within the Transportation Ministry, a special authority has been created for the project, all of which unnecessarily raise costs," and believes that the new, additional, lane – "a lane for the rich" – will lead to Tel Aviv being even more crowded than it already is. The paper asserts: "Instead of a toll lane, a simple lane for public transportation and high-occupancy vehicles should have been paved, with an electronic enforcement system, a railway station and a large parking lot. Thus the state would have succeeded in keeping more cars out of the city instead of encouraging easier travel for those who are prepared to pay for it."
Yisrael Hayom recalls that "The Chairman of the Palestinian Authority was quoted as saying that 'We will not agree to Israelis in the territory of the Palestinian state.' At first glance, his remarks are similar to those of the rabbis, only backwards. Yet we have not heard similar criticism. Wait, there is a major difference: While the rabbis spoke from the depths of racism, Abu Mazen spoke as the beacon of enlightenment."
Haaretz calls on President Shimon Peres to fight Israel's mounting racism, and states: "As head of state, Shimon Peres must express that which unites and consolidates us and loudly and clearly take a stand against hatred, racism and violence between ethnic groups and communities. "
The Jerusalem Post editorial was not available today.
[Sever Plocker, Gil Melamed and Dror Eydar wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma'ariv and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]