Thursday, January 22, 2009

Media Doubt Obama on Iran

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu Media Doubt Obama on Iran

Israeli newspapers, known for making mincemeat out of politicians, have welcomed President Barack Obama with questions on how he can stop the Iranian nuclear threat without a military attack. "Up to now, your speeches have been fantastic. Now let's see your actions," wrote editorial writer Eitan Haber in Yediot Acharonot. "When the festive noise fades in Washington, and in Jerusalem, the joy over the victory in Gaza, the big United States and little Israel must – with or without Europe – look for any and all means to strike at Iran's capabilities – military, economic and diplomatic."

Other Israel news media also addressed Obama. Ma'ariv wrote that the new president "has become the leader of the free world, but does he have a solution to the greatest threat to the free world – Islamic fundamentalism? Radical Islam looks for neither understanding nor compromise; its supporters see no distinction between Obama and Bush," whom the newspaper chided for not waging a stronger war against terrorism.

Israel's new free daily Yisrael HaYom (Israel Today), owned by American Jewish casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, questioned President Obama's inaugural speech. "His call to the Arab peoples to be measured by their positive actions could be interpreted in two ways – on the one hand, a preliminary effort towards rapprochement with Islam, and on the other, setting a tangible condition for any cooperation with them," wrote Dan Margalit.

The dovish Haaretz, in an opinion article by its columnist Bradley Burston, ignored the issue of Iran and took the opportunity to lash out at Jewish development in Judea and Samaria, writing that "settler outposts are the Kassam of the Jews."

He advised President Obama to ignore the "mantra" of evangelicals and the national religious camp "who will tell you that illegal outposts, and settlements in general, promote peace and anchor security."

Burston also argued that Israel's attempt to break down Hamas has made it stronger, and he advised President Obama "to grant Hamas the freedom to fail" by finding an "arrangement both Israelis and Gazans seek - open border crossings and a true end to rocket attacks."

The Jerusalem Post opined, "We have every reason to expect that Obama will support the Jewish state in its quest for defensible borders and genuine acceptance by its neighbors." .

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