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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #0615/01 0580942
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 270942Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9638
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAHQA/HQ USAF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEADWD/DA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUENAAA/CNO WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI PRIORITY 1729
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 8483
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 1635
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 2508
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 1716
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 9506
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 2451
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 9370
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 9845
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 6465
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 3858
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 8734
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 2957
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4871
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 6070
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 000615

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD

WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
NSC FOR NEA STAFF

SECDEF WASHDC FOR USDP/ASD-PA/ASD-ISA
HQ USAF FOR XOXX
DA WASHDC FOR SASA
JOINT STAFF WASHDC FOR PA
CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL FOR POLAD/USIA ADVISOR
COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE FOR PAO/POLAD
COMSIXTHFLT FOR 019

JERUSALEM ALSO ICD
LONDON ALSO FOR HKANONA AND POL
PARIS ALSO FOR POL
ROME FOR MFO

SIPDIS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR IS

SUBJECT: ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION


--------------------------------
SUBJECTS COVERED IN THIS REPORT:
--------------------------------

1. Mideast

2. Iran

-------------------------
Key stories in the media:
-------------------------

The Jerusalem Post quoted sources in Washington as saying that Under
Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns is slated to

SIPDIS
head the American side negotiating Israel's new aid package. The
newspaper quoted "individuals close to the issue" as saying that the
designation of the number three at the State Department as the team
leader indicates the seriousness with which the Bush administration
regards the talks. However, The Jerusalem Post reported that the
State Department declined to confirm Burns' participation in the
talks. The Jerusalem Post quoted former Israeli ambassador to the
US Danny Ayalon as saying on Monday that Israel should ask the US
for increased military assistance, with the option of one-time
special aid, to deal with "real and present" strategic threats, but
avoid asking for any outright civilian aid. Ayalon remarks came as
a high-level Israeli delegation began talks in Washington on the
subject. The Jerusalem Post further quoted Ayalon as saying that it
was wise to try and reach multi-year agreement with the US now,
under the Bush administration.

Ha'aretz reported that on Monday Hamas political bureau chief Khaled
Mashal visited Moscow for a series of meetings with the Russian
leadership on the Palestinian unity government. Mashal is scheduled
to meet today with Russian FM Sergey Lavrov. During his visit,
Mashal called for the lifting of the international embargo on the
Palestinian government, and blamed Israel for the diplomatic
impasse. Ha'aretz also reported that PA Chairman [President]
Mahmoud Abbas met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo on
Monday to discuss the future of the unity government and the
American demands that it abide by the Quartet's demands.

The media (banner in The Jerusalem Post) cited the Shin Bet as
saying on Monday that IDF troops have arrested two Palestinian
youths for the murder of Erez Levanon, an Israeli whose body was
found north of the West Bank city of Hebron late Sunday. Ha'aretz
reported that the largest Israeli raid in the West Bank for months
continued on Monday, with a full curfew imposed on tens of thousands
of Nablus residents as soldiers raided the city's old market in
search of militants and arms. The forces uncovered an explosives
laboratory, the second in 24 hours. This morning Israel Radio
reported that the DF troops have left Nablus.

The Jerusalem Post quoted Turkish diplomatic officials as saying on
Monday that Ankara is in the process of putting together its
excavations at the Mugrabi Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, with the
inspectors expected to arrive some time next week.

The Jerusalem Post reported that FM Tzipi Livni told UN special
envoy Michael Williams on Monday that the world must stop the
rearming of Hizbullah if it wants to see stability in the region.

Ha'aretz reported that IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi will annul
most organizational changes made by his predecessor, Dan Halutz. A
report prepared by reserves General and former police superintendent
Herzl Shafir found that those changes caused harm during last
summer's Lebanon war.

Ha'aretz reported that, during her recent visit, Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice met with Meretz Knesset Member Zahava Gal-On. The
newspaper wrote that Rice did not express much interest about
Gal-On's views on the peace process or the Palestinians, but that
the talks focused on the fight against trade in women.

Ha'aretz reported that on Sunday the Yemenite government airlifted
45 Jews from Sa'dah, in the north of the country, to Sana'a, the
capital, after suffering from threats and harassment by opposition
supporters. Ha'aretz said that those Jews emphasized that they do
not want to immigrate to Israel currently.

Media reported that new Social Affairs Minister Yitzhak Herzog was
also appointed Diaspora Affairs Minister. However, Ha'aretz said
that the handling of the return of Holocaust-era assets will remain
entrusted to Pensioners Affairs Ministers Rafi Eitan.

Ha'aretz and Maariv reported that US Marines in Iraq will get
Israeli-made armored vehicles, following the success of Rafael
(Armaments Development Authority) in a Marines' tender for vehicles
to be deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rafael will supply 60
armored personnel carriers, worth USD 37 million, in a first stage
of the deal. Several American and other companies contended for the
tender last week, consisting of 4,000 armored vehicles. The
contenders had to fulfill strict requirements, including protection
from roadside bombs, mines and RPG rockets.

All Hebrew-language media led with domestic issues, principally an
expected general strike on Wednesday.

------------
1. Mideast:
------------

Summary:
--------

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: "Matityahu
East is the latest in a series of such affairs in which the
separation barrier, supposedly serving Israel's security needs, is
used to annex West Bank territory to expand the settlements."

Palestinian contributor Daoud Kuttab wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post: "US diplomats complain that [the Mecca]
Agreement 'complicates things.' This is a shameful position."

Block Quotes:
-------------

I. "Legitimization of Land Theft"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (2/27): "The
theft of private land and lawless construction, with the
authorities' collaboration, have long been routine in the land of
the settlers. The scope of these deeds and their seriousness are
described extensively in the report on illegal outposts compiled by
Talia Sasson, formerly a senior state prosecution attorney. The
report was buried almost two years ago. However, the decision of
the Supreme Planning Council (SPC) for Judea and Samaria [i.e. the
West Bank], which was revealed in Ha'aretz on Sunday, to legitimize
the plan to build the Matityahu East neighborhood in Modi'in Ilit,
beyond the Green Line, marks a nadir.... Matityahu East is the
latest in a series of such affairs in which the separation barrier,
supposedly serving Israel's security needs, is used to annex West
Bank territory to expand the settlements. The Defense Minister is
dragging his feet on everything concerning the evacuation of illegal
outposts..... If the government does not quash the planning
council's decision to allow construction to continue, the High Court
will have no choice but to respond to the recent petition. It will
have to abrogate that decision, to protect both the rule of law and
the rights of those victimized by its breach."

II. "Support the Mecca Agreement"

Palestinian contributor Daoud Kuttab wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post (2/27): "It gives me pleasure, but at the
same time it is kind of sad, to see the Israelis and the Americans
squirming.... The Mecca agreement represents a clear shift in
Hamas's alignment, from the Iranian-Syrian axis to the Saudi side.
In response, however, US diplomats complain that this agreement
'complicates things.' This is a shameful position. It is a shame
for a superpower to say that the outcome of a democratic election --
isn't that supposed to be Bush's legacy? -- and a deal for
Palestinian unity aimed at ending internal Palestinian bloodletting
and saving lives 'complicates things.' It is shameful that the
Americans are demanding of Palestinians what they have not demanded
of the Lebanese, Saudis or even of the Iraqi regime operating under
US occupation. Washington has not demanded that sovereign Arab
countries recognize Israel. But it is demanding that a government
that is not sovereign recognize the very state that is occupying its
land -- a state whose borders have yet to be determined.... The fact
that the Islamic leaders have agreed to a long-term 'hudna,'
provided that a Palestinian state is created within the 1967
armistice lines, shows that the vast majority of Palestinians, Arab
countries, the US and the international community are all in
agreement about the two-state solution. What is missing now is for
the Israelis to agree to begin talks on how to accomplish this goal.
Bush did declare it to be one that his administration was hoping to
accomplish.... The fact that the Islamic leaders have agreed to a
long-term hudna, provided that a Palestinian state is created within
the 1967 armistice lines, shows that the vast majority of
Palestinians, Arab countries, the US and the international community
are all in agreement about the two-state solution. What is missing
now is for the Israelis to agree to begin talks on how to accomplish
this goal. Bush did declare it to be one that his administration
was hoping to accomplish."

---------
2. Iran:
---------
Summary:
--------

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: "Our
government should be doing more than reacting to this or that
political or diplomatic fire. The times demand comprehensive
thinking, a coherent strategy and concerted action."

Block Quotes:
-------------

"Strategy and Action"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (2/27):
"The picture painted by our intelligence agencies of the year ahead,
in a presentation to the cabinet on Sunday, was not a pretty one....
The truth is Israel is not helpless. The problem is that our
government leaders seem to be too preoccupied with the stability of
their coalition and the next day's headlines to develop and follow a
national security strategy. Such a strategy would be beginning with
what has become the central lesson taken from the last war: the
folly of allowing our enemies to amass huge arsenals on our
borders.... [But] confronting Iran's proxies in Lebanon and Gaza
does not deal with the main source of these problems, the mullahs in
Tehran.... The task of isolating Iran should not be left to the
world's leading governments, but should also be pursued from the
ground up, like the campaign against other dictatorial regimes.
Also, governmental action should not be limited to Iran's nuclear
program. The Security Council should also be acting against Iran's
international aggression through its support for terrorist proxies.
And the signatories of the Genocide Convention (almost all nations)
should be seeking an indictment of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for
incitement to genocide, which is a punishable crime under Article
III of that treaty. There is, in short, much work for Israel to do,
both publicly and behind the diplomatic scenes. Our government
should be doing more than reacting to this or that political or
diplomatic fire. The times demand comprehensive thinking, a
coherent strategy and concerted action."

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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