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Editorials from the Hebrew Press 30-Nov-2006

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    ==================================================================== Information Department, Israel Foreign Ministry - Jerusalem Website: http://www.mfa.gov.il
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 30, 2006
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      Information Department, Israel Foreign Ministry - Jerusalem
      Website: http://www.mfa.gov.il
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      SUMMARY OF EDITORIALS FROM THE HEBREW PRESS
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      (Government Press Office)
      30-Nov-2006

      Haaretz - http://www.haaretz.com
      Yediot Aharonot - http://www.ynetnews.com
      Globes - http://www.globes.co.il
      Hazofeh - http://www.hazofe.co.il
      Jerusalem Post - http://www.jpost.com


      Haaretz comments: "The general strike that began yesterday is thus very easy
      to understand despite the fact that it causes some suffering to everyone in
      the country, from those who are unable to fly out to those whose garbage will
      not be collected. Perhaps this small annoyance, whose cost to the economy will
      exceed that of the unpaid salaries, will remind us of all those who have not
      received a paycheck for months. In a country in which efforts are made to
      persuade people to go out to work instead of receiving welfare, such disregard
      for the obligation of all employers, in the private sector and especially in
      the public sector, to pay salaries on time, is intolerable... The dispute that
      led to the strike is not between the workers and their employers, but rather
      between the local authorities and the Finance Ministry. Years of bad
      management in certain local governments led to large deficits but also to the
      gradual reduction of aid to poorer local authorities - those whose municipal
      tax collection rate is low - that left their coffers empty... Responsibility
      for ending the strike and the labor dispute lies with the Finance and Interior
      ministries, as well as the local council heads. The workers cannot be asked to
      show consideration, after years of receiving none from anyone."

      The Jerusalem Post writes: "It is intolerable that these [striking unpaid]
      workers should bear such a disproportionate price for the failures of their
      higher-ups, both in the local councils and in the central government. It is
      also intolerable that the entire country can be held economic hostage by
      strikes that cut off essential services and spread their punishment far beyond
      the offending institutions... In the short term, it is clear that more failing
      local governments should be taken over, merged, or forced to accept tighter
      oversight. Numerous independent commissions have made such recommendations,
      but their useful proposals have been overcome by the political clout of
      failing councils, and of mayors who happen to belong to parties in power in
      Jerusalem...
      Citizens have a right to demand that government workers be paid, that bloated
      bureaucracies be trimmed, and that essential services not be cut off at a
      whim. The solutions to such problems are well known, awaiting a leadership
      that will push through common sense reforms that serve the public, regardless
      of entrenched political interests."

      Yediot Aharonot comments on yesterday's general strike and believes that both
      sides had good arguments.

      Yediot Aharonot, in its second editorial, wonders why Israel is not on US
      President George Bush's current itinerary.

      Yediot Aharonot, in its third editorial, calls on those who believe that
      Israel should not release imprisoned Palestinian terrorists to look members of
      the Shalit family in the eye and tell them that Gilad cannot be released.

      Hatzofeh discusses the controversies over whether Basic Law: President of the
      State should be amended so as to provide for the election of the president by
      an open - as opposed to the current closed - Knesset vote and regarding the
      manner in which President Moshe Katsav will leave office.



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