PHOTOGRAPHS of Saddam Hussein moments before his death by hanging were on the front pages of all Israel's major newspapers today, and all the papers welcomed the execution of the former Iraqi dictator.
"“Good riddance,” read the headline in the mass-selling Yediot Aharonot....
...“Saddam's reign of terror ends on the gallows,” wrote the right-leaning Jerusalem Post.
Israel considered Saddam to be one of its foremost enemies, both for the Scud missiles that he rained down on Israel during the 1991 Gulf War, and for the steadfast support he provided to the Palestinians, including money paid to the families of suicide bombers.
In 1981, Israeli warplanes destroyed the Osirak nuclear reactor near Baghdad because of suspicions that Iraq wanted to build nuclear weapons.
While welcoming Saddam's execution, the newspapers also warned that his hanging was unlikely to change the region for the better.
“Was it worth it?” asked the liberal Haaretz. “If daily life in Iraq is the criterion by which this question is answered, the execution of Saddam has had no impact.”
Yediot wrote: “No matter what they say about him, he went to his death in dignity, with his head held high, without asking for pity, without clinging to his hangman's feet.”"
The Israelis were in good company; they were joined by George W. Bush, Iran, Maliki, Hakim and Muqtada Al-Sadr.