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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Editorials from the Hebrew Press 21-Dec-2006

Information Department, Israel Foreign Ministry - Jerusalem

(Government Press Office)

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

Haaretz comments: "The unreasonable responses to the Syrian president's efforts to draw closer to Israel give rise to concern that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government will go down in history as a belligerent and uncooperative one. Such conduct, no matter what the reasons for it, is against the Israeli interest in making a supreme effort to prevent a bloody conflict, speaking unconditionally with whoever is prepared to speak with us and ultimately attempting to reach a peace agreement. A disparaging reaction to the Syrian president does not accord with common sense."

The Jerusalem Post writes: "Going into 2007, Israel is facing a host of challenges, some of them exacerbated by the combination of heightened expectation and the less-than-definitive outcome of the summer's war... This week's marked escalation of infighting on the streets of Gaza underlines the deteriorating situation in the Palestinian areas and the diminishing prospects of any diplomatic progress. Hamas, defense officials have warned, has used the past month of cease-fire with Israel to continue weapons smuggling into the Gaza Strip and boost its wider military prowess. The IDF needs to be prepared for the possibility that the cease-fire will crumble, Kassam rocket attacks will escalate and military action will be required."

Yediot Aharonot comments on the recent murder of 13-year-old Katzrin resident Tair Rada.

Yediot Aharonot, in its second editorial, discusses two IDF-related issues. First, the editors praise colleague Nahum Barnea for questioning the need for the army radio station, despite its popularity. Second, the editors state their adamant opposition to continuing "Shirutrom", the IDF's annual fundraising songfest telethon, saying the IDF is in no need of contributions.

Yediot Aharonot, in its third editorial, remarks that US President George W. Bush has finally caught on and admitted that his country's army is not succeeding in Iraq.

Hatzofeh asks whether the Syrians are really ready for compromise and how would Israel be able to extricate itself from the problem of the Golan Heights. By law, any concession on the Golan Height is subject to Knesset approval by an absolute majority. The editors say that Israel cannot reject non-conditioned negotiations with Syria outright.


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