If there’s one takeaway from the Hebrew press this morning, it’s that the kids are not all right, and neither are the adults. Three of the four papers give prominent coverage to the revelation that many of those involved in the attack on an Arab teen in Jerusalem Saturday night (incorrectly called a lynch by the Hebrew press) were themselves mere babes, the youngest hooligan being 13 (Israel Hayom buries the story on page 11). Yedioth Ahronoth runs the coverage of the story biggest, and like the rest of the press seems more shocked by the young ages of the four suspects (13-17) than by the dastardly deed or the fact that dozens of other bad Samaritans watched without lifting a finger.
Writing in Yedioth, Tali Ben Ovadia wants to know where the parents are, and says they should be the ones held responsible for the sins of the sons (and daughter). “If their kids are suspects in the lynch, they are suspects in the same way, and it is evident that the police should investigate them as responsible for the horrible acts of their kids.”
Maariv points out that this is not the first time Jewish teens have gone after Arabs who dare venture into the Western half of the supposedly united city. In 2009, a taxi driver was attacked in Mea Shearim; in 2010, a number of Arabs were lured into an area where they were beaten and had their money stolen; and just last year a number of youths stabbed to death an Arab teen from Kafr Akeb north of Jerusalem who was spending a night out on the town.
Israel Hayom gives space to Jamal Julani, the sacrificial lamb in all this hand-wringing, writing that he doesn’t remember a thing from the event. “I can’t move at all,” he told the paper from his hospital bed.
If the state of our youth wasn’t bad enough, Yedioth, Haaretz and Israel Hayom also have prominent coverage of the search for Shushan Baraby, the underworld figure wanted in the hit-and-run deaths of three women from the Yagudiyev family. There is not much new to say other than police beleive the vise is closing in on Baraby, according to Israel Hayom.
Netanyans know, though, that he isn’t likely to turn himself in, according to the paper: “There’s no chance he’ll turn himself in. He knows that if he’s caught, he’ll go to jail for at least 20 years,” said one man-on-the-street interviewee in the city’s outdoor market. “Even if he does turn himself in, it won’t be until he has removed every trace of alcohol or drugs.”
The story is more than about the perp, though and all the papers play up the funeral with big sad pictures and Yedioth runs a headline of the heart-rending quote: “We miss mom.”
Maariv’s Avi Ashkenazi writes that the police know the pressure is on to catch Baraby, both to send a message to the crime families that the good times will not roll and that crime does not pay and to somewhat atone for letting the killers of Lee Zeitouni, also slain in a hit and run, flee to France. “The police know that they are not talking here about another search for a criminal, another accident investigation. Instead, Israel’s finest are [being watched]. The public’s trust hangs in the balance. Will this be the Lee Zeitouni saga all over again?”
So the kids are bad and the adults are bad. How about those teaching the kids? You guessed it. Bad too, at least according to Haaretz, which leads with a report that the Education Ministry is backing Eilat’s school system in a court battle to segregate its classes between Israeli citizens and children of African migrants. The court already ruled the city must integrate its schools, but Eilat and the ministry appealed to the Supreme Court over the issue. School starts, by the way, on Sunday.
Cheap peaches and safe beaches
That the papers will be filled with nattering nabobs of negativity is normally a given, but this day Maariv decides to go positive on its front page. Leading the way is a story that the Finance Ministry is looking to reverse a recent trend and actually lower prices in the supermarket. The piece details that the ministry held a secret meeting on Sunday to look into a large reform that would bring prices down while expanding competition, and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz asked that the meeting’s participants keep mum on the plan, for fear of the public’s response. So much for that idea.
Continuing the trend of good news, Yedioth reports that beach-goers in Ashdod can loll in the surf without having to worry about thieves, since a vigilante kiosk owner decided to take matters into his own hands. Ilan, no last name given, though he’s known around town as the ice cream man, set up decoy bags around the beach and when people tried to grab them, he sprung into action, turning them into the police and making Ashdod safe once again for John and Jane Q. Citizen.
Watch your money, and your kids
Haaretz’s op-ed takes aim at publicly owned corporations who make non-disclosed donations to rabbis and religious groups: “Investors have a clear interest in knowing who received donations from public corporations. Transparency is necessary, since not every investor wants to see his money transferred to the corporation chief’s preferred rabbi. There are also investors who are interested in donating to one particular ultra-Orthodox charity but not to another. Only a detailed breakdown of donations will give investors the necessary information so that they can decide where to invest.”
Turning back to the education issue, Eli Sahar writes in Israel Hayom’s op-ed page that if parents want their kids to succeed in school, they need to contribute in the home. “When we were kids, we would fill out our education at home by reading newspapers, books, encyclopedias and watching educational programs on TV, and then would run out to play,” he writes. “The demands came from above, from the parents. Today it is easy for tired parents to leave their kids in the hands of an electronic babysitter — TV, tablets, smartphones — without getting involved.”