Monday, April 23, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Mideast cease-fire desperately needed

The renewed violence Tuesday between Israel and the Islamic militant group Hamas hurled civilians on both long-suffering sides toward a deadly new crisis. Israel and the Palestinians need to halt the fighting and tamp down public emotions that are threatening to sweep up even younger generations into a new round of reprisal attacks. The Obama administration should work quickly to put a durable cease-fire in place. Only then can the region begin to address the fundamental grievances that stand in the way of security.

There was no sign Tuesday of a peaceful way forward. Though Israel unilaterally adhered to a cease-fire arranged by Egypt, the break in hostilities quickly ended after Hamas rejected the plan and fired dozens of additional rockets into Israeli territory. Nearly 200 Palestinians have been killed in a week of fighting, and Israel suffered its first death Tuesday on the border near Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel had no choice but to resume hostilities after Hamas rejected the cease-fire. Hamas sees the fighting as a means to force Israel to loosen its grip on the beleaguered territory, and as an exercise in unity that could restore the group's popular standing among Palestinians.

But a war of attrition that leaves mounting civilian casualties is no way to cut a path toward peace. Israel has left open its willingness to abide by a cease-fire, but it also signaled Tuesday that it wanted a longer-term solution from the rockets in Gaza that might require hitting hard at Hamas' military capability. Hamas looks to be testing its international support and the appetite among its people for a tougher approach in dealing with Israel. The world community faces a formidable challenge in ending hostilities before they turn worse, and there is no clear way forward. But if it does not succeed or at least buy time, the result will be more suffering and a hardening of attitudes that make the prospects for peace more distant.

That this violence erupted after Palestinians kidnapped and killed three Israeli teenagers and a Palestinian boy was abducted, beaten and burned to death in apparent retaliation shows how deeply the next generation of these neighboring societies are scarred by the ongoing violence.

A cease-fire is the first step in stopping the killing, the public clamor for retribution and the physical damage on both sides. A sustainable pact will require the Palestinians to renounce violence and Israel to relax its crippling restrictions on Gaza. But those talks cannot take place alongside escalating hostilities that threaten to become an all-out war.

The United States and its partners should work quickly before the impact on civilians and refugees makes the humanitarian crisis even worse — and harder to manage.

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Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Not too many people took then-candidate Donald Trump seriously when he famously campaigned to "drain the swamp" as president. But that shouldn’t give this administration a free pass to excuse the behavior of Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Env...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Allegiant Air’s safety record remains troubling, and the Federal Aviation Administration’s reluctance to talk about it is no more encouraging. Those are the key takeaways from a 60 Minutes report on the low-cost carrier’s high rate of mid-flight brea...
Published: 04/21/18

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Even a strong economy and low unemployment cannot overcome the persistent pay gap affecting full-time working women in Florida. A new report shows women in Florida earned 12.5 percent less on average than their male counterparts, and the disparities ...
Published: 04/21/18
Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

For all the symbolism, Raul Castro’s handoff of the Cuban presidency this week amounts to less than meets the eye even if his handpicked successor, the Communist Party functionary Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, is the first person not named Castro to le...
Published: 04/20/18

Editorial: A missed chance for open primary elections

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission did a lot of things wrong this week by combining unrelated or unpalatable provisions into single amendments that will appear on the November ballot. It also wasted an opportunity to do one thing right. The...
Published: 04/20/18
Editorial: When they visit Nature’s Classroom, kids are right where they belong

Editorial: When they visit Nature’s Classroom, kids are right where they belong

The Hillsborough school district planted a fruitful seed with the opening of Nature’s Classroom five decades ago on the cypress-lined banks of the Hillsborough River northeast of Tampa. • The lessons taught there to some 17,000 sixth graders each yea...
Published: 04/20/18

Editorial: Equality pays off on Southwest Flight 1380

The passengers of Southwest Flight 1380 can be thankful that, 33 years ago, the U.S. Navy took the lead on equal opportunity.Capt. Tammie Jo Shults was piloting the flight from New York to Dallas on Tuesday when an engine exploded, blowing out a wind...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Editorial: Why single-member districts would be bad for Hillsborough commission

Editorial: Why single-member districts would be bad for Hillsborough commission

Anyone looking to make Hillsborough County government bigger, costlier, more dysfunctional and less of a regional force should love the idea that Commissioner Sandy Murman rolled out this week. She proposes enlarging the seven-member board to nine, e...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Editorial: Improving foster care in Hillsborough

Editorial: Improving foster care in Hillsborough

A new foster care provider in Hillsborough County is poised to take over operations in May, only months after its predecessor was fired for what was alleged to be a pattern of failing to supervise at-risk children in its care. Many of the case manage...
Published: 04/18/18

Another voice: Back to postal reform

President Donald Trump is angry at Amazon for, in his tweeted words, "costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy." Yet in more recent days, Trump has at least channeled his feelings in what could prove...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18