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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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P 140930Z JUN 07
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TAGS: OPRC KMDR IS

SUBJECT: ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION


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

Gaza Turmoil

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Key Stories in the Media:
-------------------------

Please Note: Block Quotes Only Today, June 14, 2007

-------------
Gaza Turmoil:
-------------

Summary:
--------

Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "But the Hamas takeover in Gaza has a
positive aspect for Olmert: there is no chance Bush will present a
new initiative with the Palestinians during their meeting in 10
days."

Military correspondent Roni Shaked wrote in the mass-circulation,
popular Yediot Aharonot: "It is clear that the new Hamas reality in
Gaza has passed the point of no return. There is no one to stop
them. The United States, and Israel as well, would be deluded to
think that Abu Mazen and his regime can still be saved."

Columnist Yael Paz-Melamed wrote in the popular, pluralist Maariv:
"Perhaps soon, we will manage to leave Gaza finally and truly. We
will leave this dubious pleasure to the countries of European Union
and to the US, and we will erect a real barrier, physical and
mental, between us and all the factions and the camps and the
families and the disputes and the blood feuds, because of which and
out of which the civil war there broke out. Yet there is still one
small problem: the world is not all that ready to take the Gaza
Strip on itself."

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

I. "Olmert's Problem"
Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (06/14): "Olmert's problem is that he does not
have a lot of time to celebrate [Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak's
victory]. The waiting periods -- until the release of the interim
Winograd report, to the Labor primary, to the election of the
president, and the appointment of the new ministers -- are coming to
an end. At its completion the prime minister will have to do what
he does not like to do: present the public with a new and convincing
agenda that would explain where the country is now heading. His
options are not great. The Syrian track is blocked. The Gaza Strip
has turned into Hamastan. It is hard to present Mahmoud Abbas as a
convincing partner in a diplomatic solution, following the blow he
received in the Strip. The national mood will only grow darker in
view of the security threats, in the north, the south and the east
-- in Iran. But the Hamas takeover in Gaza has a positive aspect
for Olmert: there is no chance Bush will present a new initiative
with the Palestinians during their meeting in 10 days. Olmert said
this week that he is leaning toward a policy of containment in the
Gaza Strip. If the West is concerned over the implications of the
Hamas takeover, then they are welcome to deal with it with an
international force."

II. "Two States for Two People"

Military correspondent Roni Shaked wrote in the popular,
mass-circulation Yediot Aharonot (06/14): "Fatah in the Gaza Strip
has collapsed, gone bankrupt.... Within the commotion, Hamastan is
being established on the ruins of the Palestinian entity.... It is
clear that the new Hamas reality in Gaza has passed the point of no
return. There is no one to stop them. The United States, and
Israel as well, would be deluded to think that Abu Mazen and his
regime can still be saved.... Abu Mazen, detached from reality,
lives in the past, ignores the present and has not planned for the
future.... One of the strategic outcomes of Hamas's victory in Gaza
is the creation of two Palestinian areas living separately, with a
different reality and different leadership. The Palestinians are
seeing their nightmare emerge before their eyes -- separation
between Gaza and the West Bank, two states for one people. This
situation is not good for Israel. It can even be said that it is
bad for us.... Israel did nothing to strengthen the moderate camp,
Olmert's meetings with Abu Mazen were futile and debasing. Israel
did not have, and still lacks today, a long-term policy on Gaza.
This vacuum was filled by Hamas.... The new outcome is a Hamas
government in Gaza with which Israel will not be able to cooperate,
but will also not be able to ignore its needs, for it will be forced
to continue to look after the population, and fulfill its needs.
Israel, even if it greatly wants to do so, cannot disengage from
Gaza at this stage, but certainly does not want to return to there.
A temporary solution might be an international intervention force
that would be mainly Arab. But the conundrum of the
densely-populated strip of land in Israel's southwestern corner has
become much more complicated and complex this week."

III. "Their Gaza"

Columnist Yael Paz-Melamed wrote in the popular, pluralist Maariv
(6/14): "Two days ago, in a conversation that Ehud Olmert held with
the Dutch foreign minister, our real process of disengagement from
Gaza may have begun. In that conversation, Olmert raised an idea,
which was more of a request, to have a multi-national force --
UNIFIL, in our language -- along the Philadelphi Road in Rafah....
Whereas until now we were unwilling even to consider having a UN
force in the Gaza Strip, now a far-reaching step is being mooted,
even though it is played down by saying that this should be
considered, and maybe, etc.... It is difficult to overstate the
importance of this proposal, and how revolutionary it is. For the
first time, Israel realizes that all its tanks and helicopters and
planes are irrelevant in the bloody civil war taking place at this
time in the Gaza Strip.... Basically ... Israel came to the same
realization that it came to, again very belatedly, in Lebanon.
There's nothing for us to seek there. Therefore, we have to
disengage. Completely. Not leave behind any traces of responsibility
or commitment.... Perhaps soon, we will manage to leave Gaza finally
and truly. We will leave this dubious pleasure to the countries of
European Union and to the US, and we will erect a real barrier,
physical and mental, between us and all the factions and the camps
and the families and the disputes and the blood feuds, because of
which and out of which the civil war there broke out. Yet there is
still one small problem: the world is not all that ready to take the
Gaza Strip on itself."
JONES

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