BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Monitoring: Media reports
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Monday, 5 February, 2001, 17:01 GMT
Newspapers back their favourites
Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadya Yosef (l) and Likud leader Ariel Sharon (r)
Orthodox Jews hope they are backing a winner
Israeli newspapers have used the eve of the prime-ministerial elections to nail their colours to the mast in support of their preferred candidate.

Religious newspapers had no hesitation in recommending their readers to vote for Likud leader Ariel Sharon.

For the ultra-Orthodox Yated Ne'eman, the choice was so stark that it did not even need to name the candidates.

"One candidate's motto is to eradicate religion and endanger the world of yeshivas, goals in which he believes, as he has proven both in word and action," it said.

"The second candidate's election slogan does not include these appallingly malevolent intentions."

'You guys are history'

The National Religious Party's Hatzofe called for a resounding pro-Sharon vote to consign Ehud Barak to history.

"The Jewish people are saying a huge no to the destructive peace process, and it is vital that it be done loudly, clearly and unequivocally," it demanded.

"A clear and loud voice should announce that the Oslo band, the people who gave weapons to Palestinian murderers, are being expelled in disgrace," it continued.


We can resolve things much more easily with our inoffensive, hat-wearing fellow Jews than with the Arab army-police, armed to the teeth by the notorious 'peace camp'

Vesti commentator Shlomo Groman
"It should be clear that the Barak government was a brief episode we would like to forget as soon as possible."

'Man of steel'

A newspaper aimed at Israel's growing community of emigres from the former Soviet Union also placed itself squarely in the Sharon camp.

An article in the Russian-language Vesti said Mr Sharon was the man to confound Israel's enemies and his links to religious parties were a price worth paying.

Ehud Barak celebrating victory in the 1999 election
Barak: Hoping for a repeat performance
"My alternative to 'Barak-style peace' (namely, a war of attrition) is Sharon-style peace - a peace of strong and proud people, who are respected by friends and feared by enemies," commentator Shlomo Groman said.

"Unlike Arafat and his Israeli representatives, Shas does not seek to annihilate Israel.

"We can certainly resolve things much more easily with our inoffensive, hat-wearing fellow Jews than with the Arab army-police, armed to the teeth by the notorious 'peace camp'," he added.

'Lesser evil'

There was qualified support for Mr Barak in the liberal Ha'aretz.

Its editorial, entitled "Barak - and all he stands for", said that despite his failings, the incumbent prime minister was a better man than his rival.

"Barak is not the optimal candidate - far from it," it conceded.

"His term in office proved that he is not blessed with sufficient political skills and that he suffers from personal shortcomings which limit his functioning.

"Choosing him is a forced option and is demanded by the current realities, particularly when we consider the alternative."

'Duped'

There was a tone of resignation in a commentary in the independent Ma'ariv, which considered why even left-leaning Israelis were likely to vote Mr Sharon into power.


The fact that so many people are going to vote for Sharon shows that even moderate and peace-seeking people are sick and tired of being duped

Ma'ariv commentator Amnon Dankner
Voters feel "duped" by the Palestinians' exploitation of Israeli concessions and their own image as the villain of the piece, Amnon Dankner said in an article headed "Why Barak Is Losing".

"This is the reason for the emerging majority of votes for Ariel Sharon," he said.

"The fact that so many people are going to vote for Sharon shows that even moderate and peace-seeking people are sick and tired of being duped."

But another article in the same paper did raise a rallying-call for Mr Barak, despite the opinion polls.

"Vote Barak. And if there is any sense in the madness, he may even surprise us by winning."

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

05 Feb 01 | Middle East
Barak's stark warning to voters
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Media reports stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Media reports stories