Editorials 7 January 2014

Summary of editorials from the Hebrew press

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    Summary of editorials from the Hebrew press Summary of editorials from the Hebrew press
    (Israel Government Press Office)
    Three papers comment on the controversy over illegal African migrants in Israel:
    Yediot Aharonot believes that "Without an orderly migration policy, the miserable poor from Africa will continue to come to the State of Israel," and adds: "Israel is prosperous and flourishes in a tough region. Its democracy is comfortable. It creates opportunities. The State of Israel looked the other way and created the problem, which it is now obliged to solve. There is no alternative." The author asserts: "There are no good solutions, only reasonable ones. We haven't invented anything. It won't photograph well in Italy, Spain, the US or the UK. It will not photograph well here either. The decisions made by the government are being tested in the High Court of Justice; the substantive arguments are being tested in public discourse."
    Yisrael Hayom discusses the situation of the south Tel Aviv neigborhood of Hatikva. The author, who chairs the neighborhood committee, reminds his readers that migrants "do not just live in the neighborhood, they have taken it over. Today, they outnumber residents." The paper contends that "It is the residents who are seeking refuge and fleeing, from them, and not vice-versa," and concludes: "The residents of the neighborhood have lost hope [tikva in Hebrew]. It is difficult to build, but easy to destroy – and this is what the governments have done by ignoring the phenomenon of infiltration, not just in Hatikva, which is an example, but in many other places around the country."
    The Jerusalem Post believes that left-wing NGOs were the driving force behind Sunday’s demonstration by African migrants, and asserts: “Over the years, these NGOs have been disseminating misinformation about the migrants in an attempt to advance a post-Zionist political agenda that seeks to transform Israel from a Jewish state to ‘a state for all its citizens.’” The editor points out that “Israel, created to be the only state in the world where the Jewish people can exercise self-determination, will never solve the socioeconomic ills of Africa,” and adds: “It does, however, risk losing its strong Jewish majority if it continues to absorb thousands of African migrants.” The editor concludes: “The government’s migrant policy is designed to prevent such a scenario.”
    Ma'ariv discusses Minister Tzipi Livni's place in the current coalition and says: Despite the impressive title 'Minister responsible for the diplomatic negotiations', Livni does not really represent the Israeli government in her meetings with senior Palestinian and American officials. Livni is a separate arm that has nothing to do with the position of the current government. She received this appointment only because it was necessary to prove to the Americans that there is an attempt to return to the negotiating table. It was also necessary to bring her into the coalition for [her party's] six MKs." The author believes that Livni, "the woman who could have been prime minister, the principled woman of conscience, the new politician, became a tool in the hands of Netanyahu, Liberman and Bennett." The paper calls on her and her fellow Movement MKs "to leave the government and join the opposition," and adds: "In any case, in the next elections, the Movement will find it hard to survive. But at least its demise should honor its beginnings. Better to leave the world with one's head held high."
    Haaretz comments on the inequality between different population sectors regarding their contribution to society as expressed by the lack of equality between national service volunteers and Israel Defense Forces soldiers, and is concerned that the expansion of civilian national service currently being discussed by the Knesset’s Shaked Committee will only increase the existing distortions. The editor states: “Expanding civilian national service in its present format would result not in an equal bearing of the burden, but only in a false façade of it.”
    [Yoaz Hendel, Shlomo Maslawi and Michal Aharoni wrote today's articles in Yediot Aharonot, Yisrael Hayom and Ma'ariv, respectively.]