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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Editorials from the Hebrew Press 20-Dec-2006

(Israel Government Press Office)

Haaretz -
Yediot Aharonot -
Globes -
Hazofeh -
Jerusalem Post -

Haaretz comments: "In response to a petition filed by the Palestinian owners of the property on which the illegal settlement outpost of Migron was established, the State Prosecutor's Office asked the court to delay its deliberations on the case for four to five months, in order to give the state time to submit an 'update.' The justification offered for this request was that Defense Minister Amir Peretz had ordered the Israel Defense Forces to hold talks with the settler leadership in an effort to reach an agreement on the voluntary evacuation of the illegal outposts 'in the near future.' If the talks fail to bear fruit, Peretz plans to order the evacuation of Migron within six months... The failure to evacuate the illegal outposts, despite the Talia Sasson report, is an unacceptable scandal. But the case of Migron is especially shameful for the state authorities and the rule of law. The demand to evacuate Migron requires no political justification; the fact that it was built on clearly private land - not lands that were appropriated for various uses by the state, but lands for which documentary proof of private ownership exists - is enough to justify evacuating the trespassers without hesitation or delay. In a law-abiding state, the owners of the land ought to be able to expect the authorities to aid them and restore their property to them. But the government of Israel repeatedly relies on excuses and makes promises that no one believes it intends to keep."

Yediot Aharonot analyzes the deliberations on the 2007 defense budget. The editors urge the government to thoroughly evaluate the costs of the recent fighting in Lebanon "before it approves any further supplements to the defense budget that require additional cuts in social budgets."

The Jerusalem Post writes: "Just in time for Hanukka, Israelis have something to cheer about: Ben-Gurion Airport has been judged the best in Europe. Among 40 of Europe's most popular destinations - including Brussels, Zurich and Amsterdam, to name just a few - Israel's gateway won top marks in a passenger satisfaction survey conducted by Airports Council International."

Hatzofeh notes that next week will - on the Hebrew calendar - mark the first anniversary of former prime minister Ariel Sharon's stroke and completely rejects the "trend of fraudulent nostalgia" regarding his leadership. The editors speculate that, "Sharon would have dealt with the rockets from the Gaza Strip and the Iranian nuclear threat in the same way that Olmert is dealing with these issues; i.e. he would do nothing."

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