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Monday, December 25, 2006

Editorials from the Hebrew Press 25-Dec-2006

Information Department, Israel Foreign Ministry - Jerusalem

(Government Press Office)

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

Haaretz comments: "The meeting between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was too little, too late. It was too late because Olmert waited for a year before inviting the Palestinian leader to a work meeting. And it was too little because in the year that has passed, the political standing of both figures has been seriously weakened. The Palestinian Authority is being torn apart in an internal struggle and is on the verge of civil war, while Olmert has lost public support and is worried about potentially destabilizing his coalition. Under such conditions, despite the importance of the meeting, the two leaders will have a hard time turning it into a real political process... Olmert's test will therefore lie in his ability to continue the political process beyond a single meeting and initial gestures. Only if he perseveres with the process, sticks to his words and isn't deterred by difficulties will the Sde Boker initiative make progress and even be implemented. Olmert's remark at the cabinet meeting yesterday that he would consider freeing prisoners in honor of the Muslim holiday of Id al-Adha, even before Shalit is returned, was the first step in the right direction."

The Jerusalem Post writes: "The sanctions passed in the UN Security Council on Saturday constitute yet another line in the sand, arguably the most significant one yet, concerning international opposition to Iran's nuclear program. But lines alone will not stop Iran. The question is whether the West will prove that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was right to dismiss the resolution as a meaningless 'scrap of paper.' The US and Europe allowed Russia to strike out broad swaths of the proposed resolution, taking a weak resolution and making it into a mockery of international action. The resolution exempts a nuclear reactor project supported by Russia, even though that reactor could eventually supply plutonium for nuclear weapons."

Yediot Aharonot suggests that the plethora of IDF investigations into various aspects of the recent fighting in Lebanon "will not answer the values question raised by this war, such as personal example and personal responsibility." The editors believe that, "They will also not answer the major questions regarding military-political leadership, relations which have not only not been learned since the war but - given recent conduct - have worsened."

Yediot Aharonot, in its second editorial, says that if recent reports are correct, each Hizbullah casualty cost Israel approximately NIS 14 million.

Hatzofeh says that if Prime Minister Ehud Olmert releases Palestinian prisoners unilaterally, it will strengthen Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), but not lead to Gilad Shalit's release. However, the editors note that if the prime minister releases prisoners as part of a package deal, it will bring about Shalit's release, but strengthen Hamas. The editors assert that, "This situation, the lack of an ability to act in the Gaza Strip, like the entire complicated reality there, is possible only because of the disengagement. In the end, the disengagement, as has been proven all along, strengthened Hamas and weakened Abu Mazen, in complete contravention of the interests of the Israeli Left, which supported the move wholeheartedly."


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