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Cablegate: Codel Pelosi Discusses Two-State Solution, Syria, and Iran

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FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0855
INFO RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 2035
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 2069
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS 2813
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0110
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 9092
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 6689

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 001288

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PTER KPAL IS SY LE IR IZ
SUBJECT: CODEL PELOSI DISCUSSES TWO-STATE SOLUTION, SYRIA, AND IRAN
WITH FM LIVNI

1. (SBU) SUMMARY FM Livni met with CODEL Pelosi and emphasized that
Israel and the U.S. share challenges and values. Speaker Pelosi and
the Representatives reaffirmed their commitment to an Israel at
peace with its neighbors. Livni stressed that the missing soldiers
and the trafficking of arms to Hezbollah are the most pressing
issues for Israel regarding Syria and Lebanon. She maintained there
is no possible way to negotiate an end to the Palestinian-Israeli
conflict at this time and there will never be room for the right of
return in an acceptable two-state solution. The delegation and
Livni agreed that a nuclear Iran would destabilize the entire region
and that military force to prevent this must remain an option. End
Summary.

--------------------------------------------- ------
Missing Soldiers Top Priority for GOI and Delegation
--------------------------------------------- ------

2. (SBU) Representatives Hobson (R-OH) and Slaughter (D-NY) asked
what message they should relay to Lebanon, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.
Rep. Slaughter expressed her optimism at a potential breakthrough
with Syria. In response, Livni highlighted two major problems: the
abducted soldiers and the trafficking of arms from Syria to
Hezbollah. It is vital that the international community demand the
release of the captive soldiers. The delegation affirmed the
commitment to conveying this priority on their future stops and
later reiterated this directly to the families of the missing
soldiers. Livni added that the flow of weapons from Syria to
Hezbollah is against not only Israel's, but also Lebanon's,
interests. Livni cautioned that Syria already "knows what it has to
do to gain legitimacy." She claimed that Asad often misinterprets
messages to suit his purposes and considers high-level visits a sign
of approval.

---------------------------
No End to Conflict in Sight
---------------------------

3. (SBU) Representative Rahall (D-WV) noted that UNIFIL forces have
been effective in southern Lebanon. Could this serve as a model for
the Golan Heights or Gaza? Livni clarified that Hezbollah is still
a threat, even from its new position north of the Litani River and
UNIFIL's area of operation. Israel accepted the deployment of a
more robust UNIFIL force in order to support the Siniora government
and military, not as a means to defend Israel. Israel "gave the
keys to a responsible adult." Israel cannot do the same with the
Occupied Territories until the outstanding issues of
demilitarization, safe passages, infrastructure, and other
Palestinian needs are decided.

4. (SBU) Livni said the real question is "Is there a possibility to
end the conflict now?" She said she believes that even if all the
Palestinians' demands were met, Abbas could not guarantee the
conflict would be over. Furthermore, any dialogue with non-Hamas
members of the national unity government (NUG) legitimizes the
entire government, in her view. As such, there is too much risk in
"choosing the wrong channel to end the conflict." While Israel has
no desire to continue "the image of the Israeli soldier and the
Palestinian child," any final status agreement would have to follow
the roadmap and would require compromise from both sides. Livni
"cannot see today's Abu Mazen making these concessions." Israel
will engage Abbas on "the nature of a future Palestinians state" in
order to keep the door open to dialogue on practical matters
(passages, demilitarization, water, electricity), but Livni said she
feared that building up expectations for final status talks would
only lead to disappointment and renewal of violence. Nonetheless,
Livni stressed that Israel does not want stagnation or to control
Palestinian life.

--------------------------------------------- -------
Right of Return Incompatible with Two-State Solution
--------------------------------------------- -------

5. (SBU) Livni further asserted that the solution will be built on
the concept of two states, two homelands. When Palestinian leaders
speak of two states while simultaneously demanding the right of
return for Palestinian refugees (to Israel), they are speaking
"against the heart of a two-state solution." She maintained that
Palestinian leaders understand Israel will not negotiate on this
matter, but publicly say otherwise. Livni fears the refugees'
growing frustration, encouraged by their leaders, will incite more
violence.

----------------------------
Iran Threatens Entire Region

----------------------------

6. (SBU) Representative Waxman (D-CA) inquired if the threat of a
nuclear Iran will result in moderate Arab states moving closer to
accepting Israel as a partner. He added that he is "not encouraged"
by Saudi Arabia's role in the Arab League. Livni believes that the
Gulf States do comprehend the threat of a nuclear Iran, and is
heartened by the international determination in opposing Iran's
nuclear program. She cautioned that appeasement would result in a
domino effect throughout the region. Speaker Pelosi later voiced
the underlying concern: To whom would Iran give a nuclear weapon?
Livni was hopeful that regional actors will view Iran, not Israel,
as the threat. While Livni firmly supported the primary use of
diplomacy and sanctions, she emphasized that the willingness to keep
the threat of use of force is key to preventing a nuclear Iran.

--------------------------------
Improving Regional Relationships
--------------------------------

7. (SBU) Livni suggested that Arab states could assist the peace
process by normalizing relations with Israel before the end of the
conflict, rather than waiting for a peace agreement. If the Arab
states could support Israel's positive steps, this would be
"win-win" for all parties involved.

8. (SBU) Representative Lantos (D-CA) encouraged Livni to view the
recent Congressional votes on withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq as
positive for the future of Israel.

9. (U) CODEL Pelosi cleared this message on April 27.

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