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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #1119/01 1080914
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 180914Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0571
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RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 2792
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 1982
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 9826
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 2724
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 9627
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RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 6709
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 4106
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UNCLAS TEL AVIV 001119

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


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

Mideast

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

Ha'aretz (internet) this morning cited Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as
saying that the U.S. is considering a regional summit with Saudi
involvement. Olmert was quoted as saying that the U.S. is thinking
of a summit that would include: the Quartet members (the US, EU, UN
and Russia) as well as Egypt, Jordan, Marocco, Israel, the P.A. and
Saudi Arabia. Olmert added that there is a possibility that a
delegation of the Arab League will come to Israel following the Arab
foreign ministers meeting Tuesday in Cairo.

All media reported that Secretary of States Condoleezza Rice met
Palestinian Minister of Finance Salam Fayad in Washington on
Tuesday. Talking to the press after their meeting Fayad said they
talked about ways to ease Palestinians' economic problems.

All media reported that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
has reached an agreement with the Islamic Jihad movement whereby the
organization will cease Qassam rocket firing. Ha'aretz quoted IDF
sources as confirming that there has been a sharp drop in rocket
fire as a result of the agreement.

Leading media reported that US Secretary of Defense is scheduled to
arrive in Israel on Wednesday. Maariv writes that Gates' visit
symbolizes the final end of the crisis between the Israeli and the
American security establishments. Maariv adds that the aim of the
visit is to prepare U.S.'s allies in the Middle East towards the
possibility that the U.S. would withdraw from Iraq. The newspaper
said that Iran will be one of the main topics Secretary Gates is
expected to raise.

The Jerusalem Post quoted sources in the Arab League on the eve of a
meeting of Arab foreign ministers as saying that the ministers are
not going to discuss direct negotiations with Israel but only ways
of marketing the Arab peace plan to the world.

Leading media reported that the Shin Bet (Israel Security Services)
said on Tuesday that Iran has been making efforts to recruit
Israelis who are visiting relatives in Iran to spy in Israel for
Iran; the media noted that the Shin Bet caught one Israeli who
agreed to do it. Following these attempts the Shin Bet believes that
it is imperative that legislation is passed defining Iran as an
enemy country in order to prevent Israelis from traveling there.

All media cited reports that Egypt has arrested and indicted three
people for spying for Israel. Two of the three are foreign nationals
-- from Japan and Ireland -- and one is Egyptian.

Leading media cited Syrian President Bashar Assad as saying in an
interview to a Lebanese paper that Syria is preparing for a
potential war with Israel and that it is improving its defensive
capabilities.

All media reported that Israeli President Moshe Katzav's period of
incapacity is ending next week and that he intends to extend it.

All media cited estimations of senior government officials that
Minister of Finance Avraham Hirshzon will resign in the near future
since if he doesn't do it himself, the Attorney General Menachem
Mazuz will force him to do so.

--------
Mideast:
--------

Summary:
--------

Veteran columnist Yosef Harif wrote in the popular, pluralist
Maariv: "The ball is now in the Arab countries' hands. In order for
their declarations to be executed and fruitful they must acknowledge
the fact that true peace means mutual concessions. Without such an
acknowledgment the Israeli-Arab conflict might remain unsolved."

Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: "The Saudis
are being given license to speak with forked tongues. They promised
the US to discontinue their embargo against Israel, a precondition
for entry to the World Trade Organization.... But its commitment was
mere lip-service. Saudi policy did not change.... But the Saudi
disingenuity now comes as Riyadh presents itself as the new would-be
patron of regional peace."

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

I. "No Preconditions"

Veteran columnist Yosef Harif wrote in the popular, pluralist Maariv
(4/18): "Now we are witnessing a serious turnabout when most of Arab
countries, influenced by Saudi Arabia, ... have expressed their
willingness to negotiate peace and normalization with Israel. But
it seems that the wished-for peace is not close. This is because the
Arabs' inflexible demands to open a dialogue with Israel with three
preconditions: Israel withdrawing to the 1967 borders, the
establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its
capital and the implementation of the right of return to Palestinian
refugees.... The only chance to promote peace is with no
preconditioned negotiations.... If there is no change, the Arab
initiative ... shall not succeed since Israel cannot give up
defendable borders so it will not agree to the 1967 borders and the
return of refugees because that means the extinction of the Jewish
state.... The ball is now in the Arab countries' hands. In order for
their declarations to be executed and fruitful they must acknowledge
the fact that true peace means mutual concessions. Without such an
acknowledgment the Israeli-Arab conflict might remain unsolved."

II. "Saudi Hypocrisy"

Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (4/18):
"Contrary to its solemn undertakings, Saudi Arabia has not dropped
its anti-Israel trade boycott.... This travesty has continued for
nearly a year and a half. Worse yet, it is no darkly concealed
secret. The Saudi deception is quite overt, yet no government had

SIPDIS
seen fit to take the world's largest oil exporter to task for fear
of offending it. The Saudis are being given license to speak with
forked tongues. They promised the US to discontinue their embargo
against Israel, a precondition for entry to the World Trade
Organization.... But its commitment was mere lip-service. Saudi
policy did not change.... But the Saudi disingenuity now comes as
Riyadh presents itself as the new would-be patron of regional peace.
It claims to want to serve as the driving force in forging a viable
solution to the decades-old conflict between the Arab world and
Israel.... The notorious old Arab boycott of the Jewish state --
which, incidentally, has failed to prevent or even retard Israel's
economic success -- is fundamentally inconsistent with aspirations
to coexistence. Surely, if the Saudis wish to be taken seriously as
advocates of progress, they must prove their sincerity on an issue
that is most patently under their own control. Failure to do so can
only reinforce those Israeli skeptics who warn that the Saudis are
merely out to further yesteryear's inimical Arab agenda via new
tactics. "
JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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