(Israel Government Press Office)
Three papers discuss various issues related to the upcoming elections:
Yediot Aharonot reminds its readers that last night the delegates to the Likud Convention rebuffed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's efforts to have himself named Convention President by acclamation and suggests that the delegates "were prepared to give him a lot of honor and a lot of power, but not all the honor and all the power." The author says that "The true struggle is over how much maneuvering room Netanyahu will have in setting the Likud's list of candidates for the Knesset," and – predicting that the Likud will emerge from the upcoming elections as the largest party – suggests that the new MKs "will be less disciplined and less loyal to the Prime Minister than his coalition partners; they will limit his maneuvering room." The paper says that last night's session was marked by the large number of religious delegates and concludes: "Dan Meridor, Reuven Rivlin and Michael Eitan represent the old liberalism, which Jabotinsky believed in and to which Begin dedicated speeches. But they have no successors: The next generation of Likud politicians is made from other – more nationalist and religious – materials."
Ma'ariv discusses "the motives of those whom the public has chosen to serve as prime minister," and suggests that "over the years they have completely forgotten that they are supposed to place the public interest before their own interests." The author remarks that "Netanyahu has choreographed the move to hold early elections because it suits him at the moment, regardless of the price. Cancelling the Tal Law will wait, and the solutions that were supposed to provide the answers to the social protest have already been proven ineffectual… The main point is that Netanyahu will be at the peak of his popularity and thus increase his chances of ruling over us for another four years."
Yisrael Hayom believes that "From the moment he decided that in the new political reality he would be unable to lead as he has up until now, Prime Minister Netanyahu took a step that that prime ministers have feared to do for years – renewing the people's confidence in elections. A genuine and decisive move – yes. But is it also correct politically? We will only know after the elections."
Two papers discuss the increase of rampant violence in Israel:
Haaretz believes that “the main problem is the limited ability of local police stations to respond to individual calls,” and therefore little is being done “to counter the feeling that life in Israel has become cheap; that anyone - man, woman, teenager or elderly person - could be the victim of a senseless killing by a criminal or young hoodlum.” The editor adds: “This sense of contempt for life is also connected to the seeming lack of any deterrent against pulling a knife or smashing a bottle and stabbing someone.”
The Jerusalem Post asserts that “After a weekend of tragic violence on our streets, our society is in desperate need of a soul-searching session.” Wary that people will become apathetic, the editor states: “Thankfully, we are all still appalled by the horrific incidents that took place this weekend. We must learn to channel this shock into a constructive, sustained, multi-pronged campaign to fight violence – before indifference sets in.”
[Nahum Barnea, Lilach Sigan and Matti Tuchfeld wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma'ariv and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]