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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #1579/01 1511059
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 311059Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1367
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
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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 2233
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 8963
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 2232
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3034
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 2249
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0133
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 2986
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 9867
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0342
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 6946
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 4355
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 9258
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 3440
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 5375
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 6972
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UNCLAS TEL AVIV 001579

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:
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Mideast

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Key stories in the media:
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Ha'aretz reported that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is examining the
possibility of resuming peace talks with Syria through a third
party. According to a government source there are no direct contacts
with Syrian officials but a very serious assessment is being
conducted. The source added that the examination is focusing on what
will Israel gain from giving up the Golan Heights.

Yediot reported that PM Olmert is slated to meet US President George
Bush in Washington in three weeks.

Maariv reported that Israel and the US will begin secret talks in
Washington next week in order to coordinate and progress the fight
against the Iranian nuclear program. The newspaper reported that
Minister of Transportation and Road Safety Shaul Mofaz will be in
charge of the strategic dialogue.

All media reported that six Qassam rockets landed in Israel on
Wednesday, two of them hit two apartments causing damage. No
injuries were reported. Israel radio reported that two more Qassam
rockets were fired at Israel early Thursday morning. IAF struck in
the northern Gaza Strip Thursday morning injuring two Palestinians.

Yediot reported that Minister for Strategic Affairs Avigdor
Lieberman is preparing a political initiative to define the Gaza
Strip as an independent, hostile political entity, separate from the
West Bank. According to the newspaper Lieberman's plan includes
cutting off the power and water supplies and closing all the
crossings to the Gaza Strip.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the Home Front Command plans to
launch a publicity campaign to prepare the Israeli public for war.
This action comes due to the possibility of a conflict with Syria
and Hizbullah and with Iran racing towards nuclear power.

Leading media cited Defense Minister Amir Peretz and outgoing Labor
chairman as saying on Wednesday that Israel must accept the Saudi
initiative as a starting point for negotiations and not ignore the
voices of peace coming from Syria. He added that Israel must not
ignore the threat of war.

Leading media reported that current Labor Party chairman Amir Peretz
will most probably announce early next week that he supports Labor
Party candidate Ami Ayalon to be the next party's chairman.

All media reported that Britain's University and College Union (UCU)
voted Wednesday to promote a boycott of Israeli academic
institutions, protesting Israel's policy towards the Palestinians.

Ha'aretz headlined that South Africa's largest trade union
federation intends to launch a campaign against the Israeli
occupation this week and that it will demand that Pretoria impose a
boycott on all Israeli goods and break diplomatic relations

Maariv reported that the US administration is promoting a bill that
would increase dramatically the number of H1B visas granting skilled
professionals the opportunity to live and work in the US. The reform
would also change the priorities in granting Green Cards to people
who wish to immigrate to the US. According to the paper, up till now
Green Cards were given only to people with family relations and now
they would be given to individuals who have needed and unique
professions.

The Jerusalem Post cited European Parliament President Hans-Gert
Potering as saying to Israeli Knesset Members that the EU will stand
with Israel against any threat from Iran.

Ha'aretz cited a senior Defense Ministry official as saying that it
will be impossible to comply with the High Court's ruling to
reinforce all classrooms in Sderot and in the communities around
Gaza by the beginning of the coming school year.

Leading media reported that the Public Committee Against Torture in
Israel published Wednesday a harsh report in which it accuses Shin
Bet security service and police of severely torturing Palestinian
security suspects.

All media reported that the UN Security Council voted to set up an
international tribunal to prosecute the murder of former Lebanese
Prime Minister Rafik Hariri two years ago.

Yediot reported that ammunition was found in a train that was
attacked on Turkish soil by Kurds. The train was traveling between
Iran and Syria and according to a Turkish source the weapons' final
destination was Hizbullah in Lebanon.

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

Summary:
--------

Eytan Haber, veteran op-ed writer and assistant to the late prime
minister Yitzhak Rabin, opined in an editorial of the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "only it, America, can
put Iran where it belongs ... in all that relates to nuclear
affairs. A big danger is lying at our door and if the beloved
America cannot save us, who will?"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: "The
failure to systematically hold states accountable for terrorism is
the fundamental weakness of the international response to the
Islamofascist threat since 9/11. Until this changes, new conflicts,
like the current one in northern Lebanon, will continue to 'burst
out.'"

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

1. "The Great Fiasco"

Eytan Haber, veteran op-ed writer and assistant to the late prime
minister Yitzhak Rabin, opined in an editorial of the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (05/31): "Policy makers
and decision takers in Washington are frightened ... They have no
answer to what is happening in Iraq. Despite brain storming, the
solution is getting further and further away. The cowboy ruling
from Texas that landed in the White House about six years ago put
down on the great American a hard blow. True, they 'finished' Saddam
Hussein's 'career' ... but they did not think about the end. Now
the world geniuses are sitting in the Pentagon, the CIA, the State
Department, and the White House and are breaking their heads what to
do? ... and until they find out if at all, American families
continue to receive every day their loved ones in coffins draped in
the US flag.... We would not write about this hurtful issue if we
didn't need the US so desperately: only it, America, can put Iran
where it belongs ... in all that relates to nuclear affairs. A big
danger is lying at our door and if the beloved America cannot save
us, who will?"

2. "Hold Terror States Responsible"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (05/31):
"Global jihadist terrorism ... can and must be fought by governments
against the terrorist groups directly, but must ultimately be
understood as a weapon in the hands of states. Though confronting
these states may not be sufficient to stop such terrorism, it is
certainly futile to fight terrorism while allowing state sponsors to
escape responsibility and punishment. This is exactly why the
Hariri tribunal is not only important, but a concept that should be
expanded to include not only assassinations, but support for
terrorism generally.... The failure to systematically hold states
accountable for terrorism is the fundamental weakness of the
international response to the Islamofascist threat since 9/11.
Until this changes, new conflicts, like the current one in northern
Lebanon, will continue to 'burst out.'"
JONES

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