Some papers have little girls on their front page, and some papers have pictures of soccer on their front page. And then there is Yedioth Ahronoth, which has decided to blend the two. While most papers trumpet Spain’s win in the Euro 2012 association football tournament which pictures of, oh I don’t know, players, Yedioth chooses to splash a massive picture of a little girl on the pitch with a babydoll and the nonsensical headline “Doll of victory.” Also pictured is the girl’s father, Spain striker Fernando Torres, looking not so much jubilant as plain pooped.
But forget futbol, there’s news in thar pages. Maariv leads off with a story that Netanyahu has sent a secret envoy to Cairo, Isaac Molho to be exact, to make sure that Jerusalem stays tight with the southern neighbor. So far new Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has not indicated he will cut off ties with Israel, though officials believe there will be some downgrade as pragmatic military rulers are replaced by hard-line Islamists. Molho, normally our man in Ramallah, traveled to Egypt over the weekend and met with the Egyptian intelligence and military leader Hussein Tantawi, who was the de facto leader in the transition period, but not with Morsi or his people, according to the article. Oh well.
The testimony of the secret state witness in the Holyland trial, which has caught former prime minister Ehud Olmert and other officials in its web, began yesterday, with Haaretz putting the story front and center. The witness, know only as S.D. (Samson Delilah? Shnooky DeGrupe? Sirlion Delmonico? Shin Dao? Some Dude?), told the judge that the massive project could not have gone forward without Olmert and that a lot of bribery was involved. But the biggest news was that he had to go take a rest after five hours of testimony, being rather unwell; he’s back in court today.
The machinations of the Plesner committee to find a way to include ultra-Orthodox and maybe Arabs in the draft are also front page news, after Jacob Weinroth, considered the representative of the Haredim, became the latest to quit the panel, this time over the issue of personal sanctions on draft dodgers. Weinroth sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying that sanctions would cause long-term damage to the ultra-Orthodox. “Levying personal sanctions will essentially end the process of integrating the ultra-Orthodox into the workforce,” he wrote. In Yedioth, Weinroth says the Plesner panel is not doing serious work. “What’s the big rush? If they requested another few months from the High Court to discuss the issue at a fundamental level it would be granted.”
Shamir back on top
The adage “better late than never” is alive at Yedioth, where they make amends for burying the death of former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir at the bottom of page 1 yesterday which a honking big package at the top today, featuring some kind words from Shamir’s granddaughter Michal Diamant. “For Israeli citizens Yitzhak Shamir was a prime minister, a Mossad official, one of the leaders of Lehi. For me he was all that but mostly he was my grandfather, loved and loving, warm and caring. A normal grandfather, who didn’t understand why his grandkids didn’t eat enough from the wonderful cooking of their grandmother, who was interested in our day-to-day lives, who played soccer with the boys and spoiled the girls.”
Israel Hayom has an expose that most politicians and public figures live in the center of the country, much like everybody else. While Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv metro area boast 39 Knesset members, only 11 live in the whole of the Galilee and 5 in the whole of the Negev. The numbers are not very surprising, but beg the question of whether Israel might be better off moving to a geographical representative system. “Half the country is not represented,” Kadima MK Shai Hermesh, from Kfar Aza, told the paper. “The MKs living in the center can’t understand the needs of the Negev.”
Abandon all hope
In the op-ed section of Maariv Amos Gilboa offers some advice for Israel, which now has to come to terms with a more Islamist Middle East. “First, don’t try to mix in with what’s happening around us. Second, don’t be dragged into provocations and don’t be drawn into adventures, like assassinating Hamas or trying to stand alone against Hamas. Third, abandon the sabotage of a peace agreement or final status agreement or the secular obsession of a quick settlement with the Palestinians — but without abandoning the longing for a cautious peace.”
In Haaretz, Yitzhak Laor calls for the various protest movements to join forces. “The question is not whether to invite Arabs or neighborhood people to speak on the stage. It’s better for Stav Shafir, Alon Lee Green and others to remember this: of course you should invite, but much more than that, you need to call on and connect.”