After last week’s Syria hype, the Israeli press tired of reporting on the relentless slaughter of innocents and instead pushed stories of secondary importance Tuesday, like the end of Lapid and Bennett’s bromance, sex not being taught in Orthodox schools’ textbooks, and Israel’s reproduction rate.
Only Maariv puts Assad’s mug on its top story, though it’s to try and keep the flame of “he’s going to kill us all” alive. In the red corner, the paper reports on US President Barack Obama launching a campaign to convince Congress to approve action against Syria, and in the blue corner, Syrian President Bashar Assad threatens regional war.
“The Middle East is a powder keg and fire is approaching it,” it quotes Assad saying. “We need to talk about what is liable to happen after the first strike, and not just about a Syrian reaction. There is the danger of a regional war.”
The paper contends that “according to estimates, the vote in Congress on the anticipated attack is expected to determine not only the fate of Assad, but also Obama’s prestige and political heritage.”
Splashed across the front page of Yedioth Ahronoth is a banner which reads “No longer bros,” above the faces of Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Industry and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett. Flip some pages to the article, however, and one finds that it is merely a promo for an interview of Bennett set for publication on Wednesday. The crux of the story, however, is that the erstwhile election allies have fallen out due to political differences.
“We come from different places and it developed in different places,” Bennett tells the paper. “We are completely divided on the foreign affairs aspect. We are divided on the issues of religion and the state.”
The paper’s top story, however, is a brief, picture-peppered article about a textile factory in Sderot shutting down ahead of the High Holidays and why the readers should feel horrible. “On this holiday we won’t celebrate,” the headline quotes one of the laborers saying.
“Close to 30 years after the factory was founded, this time its closure seems certain each day,” the paper reports.
It quotes Itzik Vaknin, a father of 11, who voiced his disappointment with the misfortune befalling his place of employment.
“I look at my children and I don’t know how to tell them that during the holidays we will be forced to save a lot and that means no presents, not a lot of meat on the table, no trips. In short, a scaled-back holiday, very much without flavor. It’s sad, it’s an impossible situation, I can’t believe that the state brought us to this situation,” he says.
Israel Hayom‘s lead article is about the population of Israel breaking the 8 million mark for the first time in history just before the Rosh Hashanah holiday. Leave it to the free right-wing daily to throw in commentary into an otherwise statistics-based story.
“Not bad for a country that upon its establishment in 1948 counted a population of only 806,000 people,” it writes. Israel Hayom then adds in a no-brainer stat that it tries to qualify by attributing it to the Central Bureau of Statistics: “According to statistics of the CBS, since the founding of the state the population of Israel grew 10 times.”
In the last Hebrew calendrical year the country’s populace grew by 1.8 percent.
Haaretz reports that the Education Ministry cut chapters on reproduction and sexually transmitted diseases and their prevention from science textbooks for religious state-run middle schools and teachers colleges. Among the changes were “elimination of mention of the female body, euphemizing texts or depictions likely to offend the religious public, and insertion of examples and questions from situations more relevant to religious public life.”
An unnamed source at one of the textbook publishers tells Haaretz that “the ministry submitted to one of the radical sects in the religious community,” and the paper notes that the move heralds “the first time that there will be a difference between the science textbooks for religious and secular students.”
The paper also reports that Supreme Court President Justice Asher Grunis advised the State and the Palestinians of Firing Zone 918, south of Hebron, to seek an out-of-court mediation for the protracted legal battle over ejecting the Arabs from their homes. The 1,000 or so residents of the area the Israeli government wants to use as a closed military zone have faced eviction from their homes for over a decade.
According to the paper, at the Supreme Court hearing the State reiterated its argument that the area — approximately 30 square kilometers south of Hebron — is needed for IDF training, and that “the eviction [of the Palestinian residents from their homes] will save the IDF time and money.”