(Israel Government Press Office)
Yediot Aharonot believes that "There is no need to emphasize that the infiltrators from Africa constitute a critical and dangerous problem for which it is difficult to find any rational and acceptable solution," but adds: "Israel must find such a solution because it is clear to all that the current situation cannot continue." The author, a Holocaust survivor, remarks that "The very fact that thousands of infiltrators could hold a protest demonstration in Tel Aviv proves beyond all doubt that Israel is a democratic and liberal country." The paper asserts: "Let no countries or self-righteous people accuse us of racism," and claims that many larger, wealthier countries treat African migrants far worse than Israel does. The author strongly criticizes those who illegally employ undocumented Africans, often paying them sub-minimum wages, and says: "Not only are they breaking the law, they are encouraging the arrival of additional infiltrators."
Ma'ariv says: "Before beginning negotiations with the Palestinians, the Government declared that there would be no preconditions. But there were several conditions and the Government succumbed and chose to release murderers instead of freezing construction in the settlements. This was a bad and contemptible choice. But what does the Government do? Before every release, it declares tenders for construction in settlements and thus creates international opposition in which the world 'forgets' that we are releasing murderers (something that no enlightened country does!) and focuses on the settlements." The author also faults a ministerial committee for approving draft legislation "to annex the Jordan Valley," adding that "There will be no annexation, but this contributed to Israel's negative image in the world and gave the Palestinians more public relations ammunition."
Yisrael Hayom compares the way Americans are coping with the severe winter weather that is currently hitting parts of the US with the way Israelis reacted to the storm of several weeks ago. The author contrasts Americans' composure with the situation here in which "Every tree that falls demands a managing director's resignation and every blackout requires the suspension of Electric Corp. personnel." The paper also notes that in the US, "Nobody is standing up in protest against 'government helplessness'."
The Jerusalem Post commends the effort of US Secretary of State John Kerry, who, “singlehandedly and with prodigious exuberance,” has managed “to breathe life into what many thought was a hopeless undertaking – the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” The editor asserts: “Kerry’s indefatigable efforts deserve to be praised and supported,” and concludes: “He is working for an agreement that, if attained, would serve Israelis’ cardinal interests – ensuring that the State of Israel remains both Jewish and democratic, and paving the way to peaceful relations not only with the Palestinians, but with all its Arab neighbors.”
Haaretz asserts that the proposal of a population swap as a basis of the agreement with the Palestinian Authority put forward on Sunday by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman has “the sole objective of further damaging the peace process.” The editor believes that “Such proposals only increase the sense of alienation among Israeli Arabs and deepen their sense that they don’t belong to their country,” and calls on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to renounce it publicly, “the sooner the better.”
[Noah Klieger, Amos Gilboa and Dr. Gabi Avital wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma'ariv and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]