Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0012
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #1218/01 1160517
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 260517Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0726
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 2018
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 8757
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 1977
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 2824
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 2013
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 9874
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 2756
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 9657
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0133
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 6739
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 4138
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 9036
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 3232
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 5158
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 6613
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 001218

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. US-Israel Relations

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

Similar to other media, Ha'aretz quoted senior IDF officers as
saying that on Tuesday the IDF foiled a Hamas attempt to kidnap a
soldier on the Gaza border. Apparently as part of this attempt,
dozens of rockets and mortar shells -- for which Hamas claimed
responsibility -- were fired at southern Israel. There were no
casualties. The Jerusalem Post said that Hamas has adopted
Hizbullah's modus operandi. Yediot reported that Israeli
intelligence sources made the same comment. Ha'aretz said that GOI
and army sources predicted that Israel's response would be localized
and not involve a major ground operation in Gaza because no one was
hurt and due to pleas for calm by members of the Palestinian
government. Ha'aretz quoted the sources as saying that Hamas's
claim of responsibility -- the first since it formed a unity
government with Fatah -- should make it clear to all that this is a
terrorist government. On the other hand, Yediot reported that the
IDF recommends that offensive Israeli activity in the Gaza Strip be
resumed. The Jerusalem Post reported that today the IDF plans to
ask PM Ehud Olmert for permission to carry out "pinpoint" operations
against Gaza-based Hamas terrorist chiefs and infrastructure. For
its part, Maariv reported that the IDF's Southern Command is pushing
for such a move, but that the Shin Bet is opposed to it.

Israel Radio cited the UAE newspaper Al-Ittihad as saying that a
senior German intelligence official ("Mayer") is presently in the
Middle East, secretly mediating between Israel and Lebanon to
promote a deal with Hizbullah. Al-Ittihad quoted Lebanese sources
as saying that the negotiations have stalled following Israel's
refusal to release Lebanese prisoners in exchange for a sign of life
from the two abducted IDF soldiers. The Lebanese sources were
quoted as saying that the Hizbullah-Israel deal will be completed by
the end of the summer.

Yediot reported that the Winograd Commission probing the Second
Lebanon War will hand its report to Olmert only two hours before its
publication. Maariv reported that the printing of the commission's
report will be supervised by the Shin Bet for fear of leaks. Maariv
reported that the "Civilian Coalition" head by Uzi Dayan, the head
of the Tafnit movement, is planning a demonstration in Tel Aviv on
May 3 after the publication of the commission's report, regardless
of its conclusions.

The Jerusalem Post reported that a senior IDF officer told the
newspaper over the weekend that, despite protests by Green groups
and orders by Defense Minister Amir Peretz to come up with
"technological alternatives," the IDF has decided there is no choice
but to construct a physical structure along the 30 kilometers of the
security barrier that run through the Judean Desert.

Leading media reported that on Tuesday thousands of settlers and
right-wing activists streamed to the ruins of the settlement of
Homesh in the northern West Bank despite a ban by the Defense
Minister and the IDF Chief of Staff. The IDF refused to allow buses
to the site to take demonstrators back and sources estimated that
about 100 activists remained at the site last night. The IDF tried
to set up road-blocks to stop the march, but there were limited
troops in the area, and they could only prevent vehicles from
reaching the site. Ha'aretz also reported that settlers have
recently been trying to purchase two more Palestinian houses in
Hebron.

Yediot quoted associates of MK Ami Ayalon, a leading contender for
Labor Party leadership, as saying that Ayalon agrees to return the
Golan Heights to Syria -- provided it lease the land to Israel for
99 years.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the Labor Party's central committee
is expected to convene next month to consider leaving Olmert's
coalition, but that Olmert is taking steps to ensure his government
does not fall even if the committee unexpectedly approves the
proposal. The Jerusalem Post wrote that Olmert held a secret
meeting at the Prime Minister's Office on Sunday with Degel Hatorah
MK Avraham Ravitz and made significant progress on a plan to allow
Degel Hatorah MKs Ravitz and Moshe Gafni to join the government
without their four Agudat Yisrael colleagues from United Torah
Judaism.

Yediot reported that the State Comptroller deleted a key article in
its report about irregularities committed at the Trade Ministry's
Investment Center at the time Olmert was Minister of Industry,
Trade, and Labor.

Israel Radio reported that this morning the ministerial committee on
disengagement allocated 640 million more shekels (approx. USD 157
million) in compensation to Gush Katif (Gaza Strip) evacuees.

Ha'aretz reported that, three months after Avigdor Lieberman was
appointed national infrastructure minister in Ariel Sharon's cabinet
a company owned by businessman Michael Cherney (a.k.a. Mikhail
Chernoy), known as the "Russian oligarch," transferred about USD
500,000 to bank accounts of Lieberman associates in Cyprus. Yediot
reported that Lieberman is interested in operating the confidential
"Nativ Bureau" in the United States in order to encourage Russian
Jews to immigrate to Israel. Yediot reported that the Foreign
Ministry is opposed to such a move, saying that it would anger the
US administration, and that Lieberman wants a "foreign ministry of
his own" in the US.

Maariv reported that three public Israeli bodies have entrusted Eyal
Sivan, a left-wing Israeli director who dubbed Israel a "historic
mistake," with the making of an official documentary for the 60th
anniversary celebrations of the State of Israel. Maariv wondered
whether Israel has chosen to commit a "national suicide."

The nationalist, Orthodox newspaper merged with its sister
publication, the weekly Makor Rishon ("First Source"), and is being
published as Makor Rishon-Hatzofe starting today. The newspaper
reported that Egypt and Saudi Arabia are trying to convince Syria to
take part in a conference that will take place in Sharm-el-Sheikh
next week. Makor Rishon-Hatzofe cited the London-based Al-Hayat
that the two Arab states will try to arrange a meeting between
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Syrian counterpart Walid

SIPDIS
Mualem.

The Jerusalem Post quoted Democratic presidential contender Barack
Obama as saying on Tuesday that America needs to ask Israel to help
change the status quo in its conflict with the Palestinians, the
only candidate at a National Jewish Democratic Council conference to
suggest that there is any onus on Israel when it comes to making
peace with its neighbors.

The Jerusalem Post reported that on Monday two US Congressmen --
Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Chairman of the house Foreign Affairs
Subcommittee on the Middle East, and Shelley Berkley (D-NV) --
protested to British officials the boycott against Israel by a
UK-journalists' union and the dropping of some of Holocaust
curricula in some British schools.

The Jerusalem Post reported that a Middle East dialogue session held
at New York University "took place without the protests and the
uproar typical of such events on campuses across America."

Yediot reported that the Defense Ministry is building a
300-meter-high tower at the site of the Dimona nuclear reactor.

Ha'aretz printed an AP wire report that on Tuesday Alberto de Jesus,
a well-known Puerto Rican activist, was under Israeli house arrest
after he climbed a tower near the separation fence and planted a
Palestinian flag on it during the weekly protest at Bil'in.

The Jerusalem Post printed a Jewish Telegraphic Agency wire report
that Boris Yeltsin, who died on Monday at age 76, is remembered by
Russian Jewish leaders primarily as the man who ended generations of
state-sanctioned anti-Semitism.

Yediot reported that over the past decade the Jewish Federation in
New York contributed USD 1 billion to Israeli society and to fund
immigration to Israel.

Yediot reported that Kobi Alexander, founder of the Israeli hi-tech
company Comverse, will be brought to a hearing before a Namibian
court today as part of procedures to have him extradited to the US.
In an unrelated report, Yediot wrote that a mentally imbalanced
Israeli managed to enter the US without a passport.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Delek US Holdings Inc., the US
refiner that had its initial share sale last May, plans to acquire
plants shed by bigger rivals to capitalize on high fuel prices.
Delek US Holdings Inc. is 77 percent-owned by the Israeli Delek
Group, and also operates about 500 US convenience stores.

Yediot reported that Israelis will help eliminate the haze that
shrouds Los Angeles following sand- and dust-storms. Equipment made
by the Israeli company. Netafim and Kibbutz Dorot will be brought
to the site of the dried up Owens Lake, where the phenomenon
originates.

Major media reported that in Houston on Monday a frenzied neighbor
shot and wounded an Israeli diplomat, the husband of Israel's Deputy
Consul-General to the Southwest, Belaynesh Zevadia -- the first
member of the Ethiopian-Israeli community to be appointed to such a
post. The assailant murdered the manager of the building before
committing suicide.

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

Summary:
--------

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: "[Pakistani
President Pervez Musharraf's] initiative and daring deserve much
more than the arrogance with which they were met by the Prime
Minister."

Military correspondent Amos Harel and Palestinian affairs
correspondent Avi Issacharoff wrote in Ha'aretz: "It seems the only
thing that can save the Gazans from civil war is a large-scale
Israeli military operation."

Military correspondent Amir Rappaport wrote in the popular,
pluralist Maariv: "We can only hope that if the IDF is sent to a
large-scale ground operation in the Gaza Strip, an operation that
could cost many casualties, this will not be for political
reasons."

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

I. "Haughty Answer to Pakistan"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (4/25): "Pervez
Musharraf, the President of Pakistan -- one of the most influential
Muslim countries in the world, a historic ally of the United States
and a close ally of Saudi Arabia -- is seeking to advance a
diplomatic initiative for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The gist of his initiative, which has been coordinated with the
leaders of Turkey, Malaysia, and Indonesia -- other non-Arab Muslim
states -- expands the scope of the Arab initiative: diplomatic
relations and normalization in exchange for a solution to the
conflict. Musharraf is thus offering Israel a powerful incentive,
under which not only 350 million Arabs, but some 1.25 billion
Muslims, would cease to view Israel, at least officially, as an
enemy that ought to be annihilated. This is the slow shift for
which Israel has hoped ever since its founding. But it seems that
Israel's government, and particularly the man who heads it, would
rather adopt the stance of a frightened man being assaulted by
mediators than that of a statesman and initiator. Indeed, in
response to Musharraf's initiative, Ehud Olmert chose to mislead and
evade.... Israel and the Palestinians need the services of every
possible mediator, from near or far, in order to extricate them from
the maelstrom that is dragging them toward a diplomatic and military
abyss. Such mediators would replace the language of threats with
the language of diplomacy and politics. Musharraf is a leader who,
in his own country, is confronting radical Muslim groups that attack
him over his pro-American policies and his struggle against schools
run by Islamic extremists. And leaders of this nature are essential
mediators. His initiative and daring deserve much more than the
arrogance with which they were met by the Prime Minister."

II. "The Inevitable War"

Military correspondent Amos Harel and Palestinian affairs
correspondent Avi Issacharoff wrote in Ha'aretz (4/25): "Olmert will
remain unenthusiastic about a large-scale operation in Gaza even
after the report of the Winograd [Commission investigating the
Second Lebanon War] is published. But for years, Israel's response
to Palestinian attacks has been based on one thing only: the
attacks' results. A successful kidnapping, or a Qassam rocket that
causes multiple deaths, will hasten the decision to act.....
Meanwhile, the army is preparing, and on a scale that some liken to
the preparations preceding the first Lebanon War in 1982. In
Israel, such preparations tend to be self-fulfilling prophecies....
[The Palestinian unity] government has not managed to end the bloody
gang wars in Gaza, nor has it ended the Hamas-Fatah rivalry: Both
sides are busily arming and recruiting in preparation for renewed
infighting. It seems the only thing that can save the Gazans from
civil war is a large-scale Israeli military operation."

III. "Searching for a Cause for War"

Military correspondent Amir Rappaport wrote in the popular,
pluralist Maariv (4/25): "Israel and Hamas have embarked on a
collision course. We can only hope that if the IDF is sent to a
large-scale ground operation in the Gaza Strip, an operation that
could cost many casualties, this will not be for political reasons.
On paper, both sides have an interest in a large-scale
confrontation. In Hamas, a sharp internal debate is taking place
between elements who are interested in extending the cease-fire and
the military wing members, who wish to renew the terror attacks
immediately. The latest events prove that the second group has
gained the upper hand, and in any case, it is the one determining
the rules of the game. Israel, for its part, has been searching for
several weeks for reasons to 'incriminate' Hamas.... In any case, it
would appear that a large-scale IDF operation in the Gaza Strip is
approaching.... Besides, the IDF has a feeling that the Second
Lebanon War was a severe failure, which stemmed first and foremost
from incorrect management of the war. If another opportunity is
only granted for a major operation, this time on the Palestinian
front, military officials believe that it will be possible to
correct the impression and present the IDF as a winning army once
again.... Most of the considerations in favor or against a
large-scale ground operation in the Gaza Strip are legitimate, but
there is one consideration that could influence [the decision], and
is completely illegitimate: A large operation in Gaza could also be
the result of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's desire to gain renewed
public sympathy and improve his political standing. In the
discussion that will be held today, proposed reactions may be raised
by the IDF that do not necessarily include an immediate, large-scale
operation deep inside Gaza (for example, renewing the assassination
policy of Hamas leaders). But when a large-scale operation is on
the agenda, the political consideration must not be the deciding
one."

------------------------
2. US-Israel Relations:
------------------------

Summary:
--------

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "The feeling that there is perfect policy
coordination between Israel and the US is slowly eroding. And that
is precisely what the Americans want to happen."

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

"The End of the Era of Perfect Coordination"

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (4/25): "The feeling that there is perfect
policy coordination between Israel and the US is slowly eroding.
And that is precisely what the Americans want to happen.... In any
case, two years remain for the Bush administration, and as the
President becomes weaker, [Condoleezza] Rice and [Robert] Gates are
gaining prominence: She is building up experience and confidence,
including international amity, and he is being viewed as a savior
following the term of his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld. In Israel,
no great fondness or strong emotional attachment has been detected
in them. They look at Israel through different eyes than those of
Bush -- more similar to those of Bush the father. They also
identify the weakness of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as an
opportunity: even if he wants to, it is doubtful whether he would
dare or be able to stand in their way. Therefore, Rice and Gates
are less concerned about whether disagreements with Israel come to
fore. Moreover, when disagreements do surface, they will serve
their purposes well: to strengthen trust in the Arab world in order
to mobilize assistance for America's No. 1 mission: to depart from
Iraq, but not with its tail between its legs and without intolerably
strengthening Iran. And if a Palestinian state results from this,
it would also be okay from their perspective."

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Ramzy Baroud: Year in Review Will 2018 Usher in a New Palestinian Strategy

2017 will be remembered as the year that the so-called ‘peace process’, at least in its American formulation, has ended. And with its demise, a political framework that has served as the foundation for US foreign policy in the Middle East has also collapsed. More>>

ALSO:


North Korea: NZ Denounces Missile Test

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has denounced North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test. The test, which took place this morning, is North Korea’s third test flight of an inter-continental ballistic missile. 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.

Once upon a time, the Soviet Union was the nightmare threat for the entire Cold War era – and since then the US has cast the Taliban, al Qaeda, and Islamic State in the same demonic role. Iran is now the latest example…More


Catalan Independence:
Pro-independence parties appear to have a narrow majority. More>>