Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0018
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #0715/01 0661014
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 071014Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9842
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 1772
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 8523
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 1688
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 2583
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 1760
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 9552
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 2493
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 9415
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 9890
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 6505
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 3899
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 8779
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 2998
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4916
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 6150
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 000715

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:
--------------------------------

Iran

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

The Jerusalem Post reported that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
is expected back in Israel during the weekend of March 24, days
after another planned meeting between Olmert and Abbas, and just
before a key Arab League summit in Riyadh.

Ha'aretz reported that a senior Hamas official told the newspaper on
Tuesday that if Israel agrees to persuade the international
community not to boycott the new Palestinian unity government, the
Palestinians "will offer a promise from Hamas and Fatah of a total
cease-fire with Israel, including a complete halt to Qassam [rocket]
fire and suicide bombings." Ha'aretz quoted Palestinian sources as
saying that PA Chairman [President] Mahmoud Abbas plans to deliver
this offer at his upcoming meeting with PM Ehud Olmert. Ha'aretz
said that the meeting is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, though
according to the Palestinians, the date has not yet been finalized.
However, Ha'aretz wrote that the Hamas official warned that, if
Israel presses for a continuation of the international boycott and
refuses to work with the unity government, the existing partial
cease-fire will be in danger. Leading media, however, said that
Olmert plans to use the meeting to urge Abbas to ensure that the new
government, which is currently being formed, accepts the Quartet's
conditions: recognizing Israel, renouncing violence and honoring
previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements. Ha'aretz quoted a
government source as saying: "This will not be a scolding
conversation, but a heart-to-heart talk in which Olmert will try to
exploit the grace period that remains before the new PA government
is established." Ha'aretz reported that Israel is also working to
persuade the EU to continue the boycott should the unity government
not meet the Quartet's conditions.

Over the past few days leading media reported that several US
congressmen have called on the Bush administration to reconsider its
plan to give USD 86 million to Abbas now that he has entered into a
unity government with Hamas. The Jerusalem Post quoted State
Department Spokesman Sean McCormack as saying that the
administration has already been reconsidering the aid in light of

the recent deal. Ha'aretz and Israel Radio reported that the World
Bank recommends that donor countries stop transferring aid funds via

Abbas's office, saying such means of bypassing the Hamas government
have hurt PA economic reforms. The radio also said that the Bank
criticized Israel for not transferring tax money it owes the PA.

Leading electronic media quoted Palestinian security officials as
saying that IDF troops raided the Palestinian military headquarters
in Ramallah early this morning and arrested 18 fugitives who had
sought shelter there. Among those taken was Khalil Shilo, a member
of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. Shilo had been on the run for
seven years, since the outbreak of the second Palestinian uprising
in 2000. The IDF confirmed the raid and said that about 17
fugitives were arrested

All media cited press reports that Iranian general Ali Reza Askari,
whom Arab and Iranian sources said the Mossad and the CIA had
kidnapped on Turkish soil, actually defected to the US with his
family. Ha'aretz named the international Arab newspaper Ash-Sharq
Al-Awsat as the source for this information. The Jerusalem Post and
Hatzofe cited an announcement by Iran that it is building a nuclear
reactor without any foreign assistance.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the State Department singled out
Iran in the 2006 human rights report it released on Tuesday.
Ha'aretz published an AP report saying that the report assailed
Egypt over its poor human rights record -- including torture of
prisoners and detainees.

A senior State Department official was quoted as saying in a recent
interview with The Jerusalem Post that the United States' recent
moves toward Syria do not represent a new US diplomatic opening with
the country.

Yediot reported that Russia is reviewing a Syrian request for
state-of-the-art Sukhoi-30 war planes. The newspaper said that the
aircraft can be compared to the most advanced American planes.
Ha'aretz and Maariv cited the Russian newspaper Kommersant as saying
that its military affairs correspondent, Ivan Safronov, who plunged
to his death from his apartment building window on Friday, faced
threats while reporting on a highly sensitive story that Russia
planned to sell sophisticated missiles to Syria and Iran.

Ha'aretz printed a Reuters story that citing Iranian state
television as saying on Tuesday that Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad urged visiting Hamas leader Khaled Mashal to keep
fighting Israel. Maariv quoted Mashal as saying that Hamas will
never recognize Israel.

Major media reported that on Tuesday Egyptian FM Ahmed Ali Abu
al-Gheit urged Israel to probe allegations that Israeli troops
killed unarmed Egyptian prisoners captured during the Six-Day War in
1967. Media reported that Egypt might turn to the International
Court of Justice in The Hague. "The Egyptian people and society are
extremely angry, and we hope the issue will be tackled in a manner
that understands and feels that Egyptian anger," he was quoted as
saying after a meeting with FM Tzipi Livni in Brussels. Ha'aretz
and Maariv wrote that Livni told Abu al-Gheit that the GOI regretted
the fact that elements in Egypt were "making mistaken and misleading
use of this film, without any proper checks and without any
connection to reality, in order to sabotage relations between the
countries." She pointed out that the documentary about the alleged
episode did not claim that prisoners of war were indeed murdered,
and asked her counterpart to act to calm the atmosphere in Egypt on
this issue. Livni and Abu al-Gheit agreed that a copy of the film
and its text would be transferred to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.
However, the Egyptian media continues to give the issue extensive
coverage. Ha'aretz reported that on Tuesday Israel Broadcasting
Authority (IBA) Director-General Mordechai Shklar and journalist Ran
Adelist denied yesterday that the Israel TV documentary about the
Shaked commando unit alleges that Egyptian prisoners of war were
murdered. Shklar said in a statement that reports about the
documentary in the Israeli press -- including in Ha'aretz, Yediot,
and Maariv -- had relied on the Egyptian media. Shklar was quoted
as saying that such publications had not bothered to watch the
documentary before reporting about it. Yediot reported that members
of the Egyptian opposition threatened to kill Israel's Ambassador in
Cairo should he visit the Egyptian Parliament.

Yediot cited a travel advisory issued by the GOI's anti-terror
headquarters ahead of the Passover holiday, which cites a serious
global threat to Israelis.

The Jerusalem Post ran a feature about the key role of Iran's
Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force in the Iranian quest for regional
hegemony. Ha'aretz and The Jerusalem Post printed an AP wire report
according to which Interpol will discuss next week whether to issue
"red notices," or international wanted requests, calling for the
arrest of nine former prominent Iranian officials sought in
connection with Argentina's worst terrorist attack -- the 1994
bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires. Yediot
reported that on Tuesday in Rome, Iranian Nobel Peace Prizewinner
Shirin Ebadi said that Ahmadinejad's declarations about his will to
wipe Israel off the map are not acceptable. Ebadi was quoted as
saying that Israel has the right to exist alongside a Palestinian
state.

All media reported on Tuesday's meeting between State Comptroller
Micha Lindenstrauss and the Knesset's State Control Committee.
Leading media reported quoted Lindenstrauss as saying that the
criticism in his report on the management of the home front during
last summer's Lebanon war will be "very sharp and liable to anger
many." Lindenstrauss accused Olmert's office of either delaying the
transfer of material necessary for compiling the report or not
handing it over at all. The media reported that Olmert's associates
accused the State Comptroller of spreading lies. The media reported
that on Tuesday Lindenstrauss and MK Zvulun Orlev, the Chairman of
the Knesset's State Control Committee, reached a compromise with the
IDF and Attorney General Menachem Mazuz at the High Court of
Justice.

Leading media reported that the Knesset's House Committee cannot
garner a majority for impeaching Moshe Katsav, the President of
Israel.

Leading media reported on courses at a dance school in New York
offered to outstanding participants of "Born to Dance," a reality
show produced by Keshet, a franchisee of Channel 2-TV.

Ha'aretz presented the results of The Aviv University's Peace Index
poll conducted among Israelis on February 26-27:
-A decisive majority of Israelis believe that Iran's nuclear
armament constitutes an existential danger to Israel. However, only
48 percent of the public think that Israel should destroy Iran's
nuclear facilities on its own.
-About 55 percent of the Jewish public believes that the
establishment of the Palestinian national unity government reduces
the chances of reaching a peace agreement and only 25 percent
believe that its establishment will increase those chances.

-----
Iran:
-----

Summary:
--------

Former Mossad director Ephraim Halevy wrote in the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "In case tangible cooperation between the
US, Saudi Arabia, and Iran comes into being, the very intense
question is coming up whether Israel is bracing itself for such an
era."

Columnist Shaul Schiff wrote in the nationalist, Orthodox Hatzofe:
"[Bill] Clinton deserves a harsh Israeli response, because this is
about our very existence."

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

I. "Parallel-Line Policy"

Former Mossad director Ephraim Halevy wrote in the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot (3/7): "Iran and the US are currently
conducting two parallel and apparently contradictory relationships
.... [Also,] both the US and Saudi Arabia are conducting their Iran
policy in parallel. Alongside the strengthening of its economic
measures, the United States is solidifying its military presence in
the Persian Gulf.... The series of meetings between Prince Bandar
bin Sultan, King [Abdullah's] National Security Adviser, and Ari
Larijani, Iran's nuclear negotiator, have brought forth the
Iranian-Saudi summit meeting and perhaps also contributed to the --
still temporary -- calm between the rival forces -- Nasrallah vs.
Siniora -- on Lebanese soil. The higher tension around the threat
embodied in Iran is rising, the more efforts are being made to
harness it to a dialogue while endeavoring to produce a joint
operational agenda. In case tangible cooperation between the US,
Saudi Arabia, and Iran comes into being, the very intense question
is coming up whether Israel is bracing itself for such an era."

II. "Ahmadinejad Salutes Clinton"

Columnist Shaul Schiff wrote in the nationalist, Orthodox Hatzofe
(3/7): "Former US President Bill Clinton has recently called in a
speech at Kansas [State] University not to attack Iran's nuclear
installations before the diplomatic moves are exhausted. 'You need
to talk to everybody before you bomb them,' [he said]. Saudi
Arabia, the United States' ally and protege, welcomed the Iranian
President with honor fit for kings -- not before it got the United
States' approval and coordinated its steps with it.... Ahmadinejad,
who has repeatedly stated his intention to destroy Israel, does not
feel lonely.... The US and European liberals -- headed by Clinton
and his friends in the Democratic Party -- are acting according to
the moral standards of the Western world. This is a twisted moral
that brought Khomeini to power, with the generous help of former US
President Jimmy Carter.... Clinton deserves a harsh Israeli
response, because this is about our very existence."

CRETZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN Rights Office On Syria: The “Monstrous Annihilation” Of Eastern Ghouta

Since the Syrian Government and their allies escalated their offensive against opposition-held Eastern Ghouta on 4 February, there have been more than 1,200 civilian casualties, including at least 346 killed and 878 injured, mostly in airstrikes hitting residential areas... Ninety-two of these civilian deaths allegedly occurred in just one 13-hour period on Monday. More>>

ALSO:

Cyclone Gita: 70% Of Tonga Population Affected

The full scale of destruction is beginning to emerge from Tonga in the aftermath of the severe tropical cyclone Gita. Around 50,000 people, or almost 70% of the country’s population, have been affected, a third of whom are children. More>>

ALSO:


Gita: Samoas Clean Up After Being Swamped By Cyclone

Apia in the wake of Gita Photo: Rudy Bartley The clean up is continuing in the two Samoas after Tropical Cyclone Gita hit on Saturday morning. More>>

ALSO:

Grand Coalition : Germany's two main political parties set to govern under Angela Merkel.

The liberal-conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) negotiated through the night in a marathon final push to nail down an agreement. More>>


80 Passengers: Kiribati Ferry Disaster

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are working with the Government of Kiribati to support children, families and communities affected by the recent Butiraoi ferry disaster. More>>

ALSO:

Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike. Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures. More

ALSO: