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Today's issues: Learning from King Hussein, Philippine President Duterte is an unwanted guest in Israel, before separating religion from state the state must separate religion from policy, and Italy vs. BDS.


The Jerusalem Post laments the animosity towards Israel on the Jordanian street, as expressed by the joy displayed by Jordanians upon the release from a Jordanian prison this week of Ahmed Daqamseh, who served just 20 years for the cold-blooded murder of seven Israeli schoolgirls aged 13 and 14, and reminds readers that after the massacre, King Hussein “personally traveled to Israel to comfort the mourning families and apologize.”  The editor calls upon King Abdullah “to follow in his father’s footsteps and, at the very least, condemn Daqamseh. Ultimately, lasting peace between the countries is a strategic interest for Jordan, just as it is for Israel. It is time for everyone – on both sides of the Jordan River – to understand that.”


Haaretz comments on the forthcoming official visit to Israel of Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines, a leader who has had thousands of his own citizens killed and whose model in the war against drugs is Adolf Hitler and the extermination of the Jews, and states that despite this, as far as PM Netanyahu is concerned, “Duterte is a welcome guest.” The editor says: “It may be hard to expect a prime minister who in recent years has dragged Israel to a moral abyss to have a bad impression of a leader who crudely disregards human and civil rights, and for whom Hitler is a model and ideal,” and adds: “Nonetheless, it would be better if Netanyahu, in his position as foreign minister as well as premier, would display responsibility and find a diplomatic excuse to call off this visit.”

Yediot Aharonot comments on the contro versy surrounding the sermons and preaching of religious leader Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, and asserts: “Rabbi Levinstein can be defined as a anomaly, but the biggest problem is how religion is taking over policy. The State of Israel was established to fulfill the national—not religious—revival of the Jewish people.” 

Israel Hayom praises the vast majority of Italian researchers who are in favor of strengthening ties with Israel, and notes that despite a vocal minority trying to negate Israel's right to exist, “Over the past few weeks, the State of Israel and the Jewish community in Italy won an important battle against supporters of the [BDS Movement]. To win the war, we must strengthen the hands of the academic leadership in Italy and continue all the more forcibly in our efforts to shape world public opinion.”

[Amnon Abramovich and Emanuele Dalla Torre wrote today's articles in Yediot Aharonot and Israel Hayom, respectively.]