Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #1901/01 1721056
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 211056Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1863
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
RHMFIUU/CNO WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI PRIORITY 2351
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 9071
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 2371
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3162
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 2373
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0287
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 3113
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 9986
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0456
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 7054
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 4470
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 9380
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 3555
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 5499
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 7186
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 001901

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:
--------------------------------

Mideast

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

Major media (banner in Ha'aretz) reported that a regional summit is
scheduled to take place early next week at Sharm el-Sheikh, with the
participation of PM Ehud Olmert and PA Chairman [President] Mahmoud
Abbas. Israel Radio quoted GOI sources as saying that the meeting
will be held on Monday. The summit will be hosted by Egyptian
President Hosni Mubarak and will be attended by Jordan's King
Abdullah II. It aims to bolster Abbas's position and encourage
dialogue with Olmert, following the Hamas takeover in the Gaza Strip
and the establishment of an emergency government in Ramallah.
Ha'aretz quoted a senior political source in Jerusalem as saying on
Wednesday that Olmert reached an understanding with President Bush
during his visit to Washington that it is necessary to support
Abbas. The decision to aid Abbas was made despite skepticism in
light of past experiences about his chances for success. Olmert and
Bush reportedly agreed they must not allow the impression that Abbas
failed because Israel or the US failed him.

Ha'aretz wrote that on his return leg from the US, Olmert told
reporters that he is satisfied with his visit and noted the great
opportunity in the fact with Hamas no longer in the Palestinian
government. Meanwhile, for the first time since the new Palestinian
government was established, senior level contacts between Israel and
the Palestinian Authority took place on Wednesday. Ha'aretz
reported that FM Tzipi Livni spoke Wednesday on the telephone with
Salam Fayyad, the PA's Prime Minister, and discussed the
implications of the Hamas takeover in the Gaza Strip. Livni
stressed the importance of the establishment of the new government
in the PA, saying that "it enables progress in matters that have
been at an impasse during the period of the unity government and
enables progress in the peace process." Ha'aretz quoted sources in
Livni's office as saying that the conversation with Fayyad was
coordinated with Olmert.

Major media reported that, in his first address to the Palestinian
people since the Hamas takeover of Gaza, Abbas went on the offensive
on Wednesday and angrily lashed out at the Islamic militants,
accusing them of trying to build an empire of darkness in the Strip
and pledging he would not talk to murderous terrorists. Abbas was
uncharacteristically harsh in his verbal attack on Hamas. He said
the group attacked national symbols, including the home of Yasser
Arafat. He also hinted at the possibility of replacing the
Palestinian parliament, where Hamas has a majority, with the
Palestine National Council. Such a measure would be necessary since
under current rules, the emergency government would require
parliament's approval after a month. He said Palestinian travel
documents would in the future only be issued from the West Bank and
if recognized internationally, as expected would mean Gazans can no
longer travel abroad. Security personnel will be deployed in force
in the West Bank to restore law and order, he added. Despite the
harsh setback of losing Gaza, Abbas reiterated that the time is ripe
for restarting peace talks with Israel, under the umbrella of an
international conference. At one point, Abbas also described in
great detail what he said was a Hamas attempt to assassinate him by
means of a tunnel leading to his office.

Israel Radio quoted high-ranking IDF officers as saying that there
must be no negotiations or talks with Hamas, not even through
international organizations, as they would only strengthen Hamas and
give it recognition.

Major media (lead story in Yediot) reported that last night 60 Fatah
loyalists were evacuated from the Erez Crossing to Egypt. The
operation was the result of cooperation between Israel, the PA, and
Egypt.

Major media reported that President Bush has talked to British PM
Tony Blair about becoming the Quartet's Middle East peace envoy
after he leaves office next week. The Jerusalem Post reported that,
PM Olmert and other Israeli politicians expressed support for Blair
continuing to play a role in efforts to bring about peace in the
region.

The media reported that five Qassam rockets fired from the Gaza
Strip landed on Wednesday evening in and around Sderot, lightly
injuring three people. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the
attacks.

The Jerusalem Post quoted senior officials in the Prime Minister's
Office as saying on Wednesday that the new PA government must
formally announce that it has accepted the Quartet's three
benchmarks before Israel transfers frozen tax revenues to the PA.
The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel will continue to supply
gasoline, water, and power to the Gaza Strip.

Leading media quoted police as saying that Ala Hamad, a Jordanian
citizen who was enlisted by Hamas operatives in Syria to carry out a
terrorist attack in Israel is under arrest for allegedly planning to
kidnap an Israeli in Jerusalem.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the American Jeffrey Seth, formerly
of North Carolina, who lived in a West Bank settlement, was
sentenced to two and a half years in prison on Wednesday after being
convicted of trying to import weapons that police suspected he
intended to use against Palestinians. Seth was arrested last year.

Maariv reported that four days ago in Cairo Raleb Majadele, the
Israeli Minister of Science, Culture, and Sports, met with Lebanese
Education Minister Khaled Qabbani.

Maariv quoted senior GOI sources as saying on Wednesday that Israel
will not purchase natural gas from the Palestinians as long as Hamas
has total control over the Gaza Strip.

Leading media reported that on Wednesday the UK's largest trade
union, UNISON, advocated a total boycott of Israel over its
continued occupation of Palestinian territories.

Yediot reported that private companies have recently promised 99
percent success in procuring US visas in exchange for hundreds of
shekels (on Wednesday one shekel was worth 4.187 US dollars). The
newspaper cited the claim of travel agents that this is a fraud.
Yediot reported that the American Embassy in Tel Aviv was surprised
to hear about the alleged dealings and that the visa application
process involves only the Embassy and the individual applicant.

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported that a delegation of 14 senior law
enforcement agents, including police commanders and sheriffs from
across the US, will visit Israel for a week to learn how to fight
terrorism. The visit was organized and paid for by the
Anti-Defamation League in New York, which views visits of this type
as a good opportunity for strengthening relations between Israel and
the US.

Ha'aretz reported that Petrogroup, which was taken over this month
by Russian-born Israeli oligarch Arkady Gaidamak, has completed the
acquisition gas stations and convenience stores in Virginia and
Tennessee for USD 46 million.
All media reported that the police will deploy more that 7,000
officers today in Jerusalem to protect an estimated crowd of 5,000
people expected to attend the Gay Pride Parade. Violent protests by
ultra-Orthodox extremists are expected to escalate. Jerusalem's Gay
and Lesbian Center organizes the parade. The Jerusalem Post quoted
Noa Sattath, the head of the center, as saying that her organization
receives about USD 2000,000 a year from the Jewish Federations in
the US.

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

Summary:
--------

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "[President Bush] is thinking in terms of a
generation or two, of how the region will look 50 years from now.
That is a bird's-eye view of the situation, but it dangerously
ignores the problems of the present."

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: "The
only problem is that the enthusiasm with which Washington and
Jerusalem are leaping into this new-old approach is matched only by
the consensus that it won't work."

Ha'aretz editorialized: "Now that Gaza has fallen into Hamas's
hands, no effort should be spared in the attempt to salvage the West
Bank from extremists. [Marwan] Barghouti as a free leader could
greatly assist in achieving that."

Middle East affairs commentator Dr. Guy Bechor, a lecturer at the
Interdisciplinary Center, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist
Yediot Aharonot: "The Egyptians need to understand that there are no
more excuses and that the burden of proof is theirs to bear now."

Deputy Managing Editor Anshel Pfeffer wrote in The Jerusalem Post:
"If the US and Israel are to realize their hopes of a greater
Egyptian involvement in dealing with the Hamas mini-state that has
sprung up overnight in Gaza, it will only be achieved by a
considerable package of incentives, or a serious threat to other
interests of the Mubarak regime."

Liberal op-ed writer Yael Paz-Melamed commented in the popular,
pluralist Maariv: "Only heavy pressure by the residents [of the Gaza
Strip], which would reach their leadership, could bring the latter
to the realization that damage resulting from the continued
detention of [abducted IDF Corporal Gilad] Shalit is considerably
more important that its effectiveness."

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

I. "Between a Vision and a Mirage"

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (6/21): "We should listen to Bush attentively:
His true vision is not the establishment of a Palestinian state but
the establishment of the right Palestinian state. Nor has his
understanding of the causes and the results of the dispute changed:
It is not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that fuels the
extremists, but the extremists who are adding fuel to the conflict.
And they will not stop until they are defeated -- in Iraq, in
Lebanon, in Palestine, in Iran, in Syria and in Afghanistan. Bush
has apparently long since stopped having gloomy thoughts about his
public approval rating. He is thinking in terms of a generation or
two, of how the region will look 50 years from now. That is a
bird's-eye view of the situation, but it dangerously ignores the
problems of the present, the daily life of the Palestinians who are
fleeing to the Erez crossing, who do not have 50 years, or even 50
minutes, to wait. But they will apparently have to wait
nevertheless."


II. "Missing an Opportunity"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (6/21):
"There could hardly have been en more agreement between President
George Bush and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at their White House
press conference.... It was hard not to notice an odd sense of
relief. The previously untenable policy of trying to support the
better half of a two-headed monster has suddenly been simplified.
The operation may have been barbaric, but now that Hamas extremists
and 'Fatah' moderates have separated, the screws can be tightened on
the former and the floodgates of assistance can be opened to the
latter. The only problem is that the enthusiasm with which
Washington and Jerusalem are leaping into this new-old approach is
matched only by the consensus that it won't work.... The fall of
Gaza proves that being against Hamas should not alone qualify Fatah
for massive Western support, even though Fatah -- with some
justification -- is seen as no better, and perhaps worse, in
Palestinian eyes."

III. "Free Barghouti"

Ha'aretz editorialized (6/21): "Modern history -- including Israel's
-- has known national leaders who turned to violence and were jailed
for years, until they were released to become political leaders who
marched their peoples toward independence peacefully. Nelson
Mandela is one such example. The leaders of the Zionist
undergrounds in pre-state Israel are another. Now, the turn of
Fatah/Tanzim leader Marwan] Barghouti has come.... Fatah's moderate
leadership is in a serious crisis. Israel's interest calls for its
consolidation, albeit after outrageous delays, and no one matches
Barghouti's ability to achieve that. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's
promises in Washington that Israel would be willing to take
'far-reaching' measures to assist the Palestinian Authority's
emergency government must be backed by immediate action. Releasing
prisoners is the first step one should demand of anyone who promises
such steps.... The Prime Minister's statements must not remain empty
words -- especially not now, when a practical opportunity for
dialogue with a moderate Palestinian leadership has presented
itself. Now that Gaza has fallen into Hamas's hands, no effort
should be spared in the attempt to salvage the West Bank from
extremists. Barghouti as a free leader could greatly assist in
achieving that."


IV. "Let the Egyptians In"

Middle East affairs commentator Dr. Guy Bechor, a lecturer at the
Interdisciplinary Center, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist
Yediot Aharonot (6/21): "The Gaza Strip today is like a large water
container with two narrow openings on either side, each of which is
stopped up with a finger; the water aspires to burst out. On the
one side Israel is stopping the flow and on the other side Egypt is.
This is a battle of attrition, the results of which are of historic
proportions. The first to give in and pull his finger out, even
cursorily, will find himself flooded eventually with the entire
amount of the water. Neither Egypt nor Israel want responsibility
for the Gaza Strip and that is why both have sealed their border.
The first one to give in -- Gaza will be theirs. A gift.... As long
as Fatah partially controlled the Gaza Strip, the Egyptians consoled
themselves with the fiction that it would be best were the
Palestinians to administer Gaza themselves and not Egypt. At least

that is what they led people to believe. That is probably why they
downplayed the importance of the arms smuggling into the Gaza Strip.
They perceived themselves as mediators at most, and reduced their
real influence to the minimum possible. That fiction no longer
exists. The Egyptians should have no doubt that the terrorist
regime in Gaza will radiate outward into the Sinai peninsula and,
finally, to Cairo itself. The Egyptians need to understand that
there are no more excuses and that the burden of proof is theirs to
bear now: They need to stop letting the weapons into the Gaza Strip
and they need to intervene there more. Not only for Israel's sake,
and I don't expect them to do that for us. But first and foremost
for their own regime."

V. "Calling Egypt's Bluff in Gaza"

Deputy Managing Editor Anshel Pfeffer wrote in The Jerusalem Post
(6/21): "At their summit in Sharm e-Sheikh in January, Mubarak said
in Ehud Olmert's presence that the Egyptian efforts against the
smuggling are sufficient. The small group of Egyptian officers
acting as advisers within Gaza were all withdrawn when the current
round of internecine bloodshed began. The policy remains not to
risk even one Egyptian for the Palestinians' sake. If the US and
Israel are to realize their hopes of a greater Egyptian involvement
in dealing with the Hamas mini-state that has sprung up overnight in
Gaza, it will only be achieved by a considerable package of
incentives, or a serious threat to other interests of the Mubarak
regime."


VI. "Yes, Collective Punishment"

Liberal op-ed writer Yael Paz-Melamed commented in the popular,
pluralist Maariv (6/21): "The absurd situation is that Abu Mazen and
his government can possibly afford to totally disconnect from Hamas,
but at this stage Israel cannot afford that luxury.... Israel must
talk to the residents [of the Gaza Strip] above the head of their
government, and clarify to them that the key to some relief in their
condition lies in an insignificant gesture that they must make.
Only heavy pressure by the residents, which would reach their
leadership, could bring the latter to the realization that the
damage caused by the continued detention of [abducted IDF Corporal
Gilad] Shalit is considerably more important than its
effectiveness.... [Hamas] may then return to negotiating a
prisoner-exchange deal with Israel and somewhat soften their
claims."
CRETZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

New IPCC Report: ‘Unprecedented Changes’ Needed To Limit Global Warming

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require “far-reaching and unprecedented changes,” such as ditching coal for electricity to slash carbon emissions, says a special report that finds some of the actions needed are already under way, but the world must move faster… More>>

ALSO:

Jamal Khashoggi: UK, France, Germany Join Calls For Credible Investigation

Germany, the United Kingdom and France share the grave concern expressed by others including HRVP Mogherini and UNSG Guterres, and are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness. More>>

ALSO:

MSF Not Wanted: Nauru Government Shows Continued Callousness

The Nauruan Government’s decision to ask Doctors Without Borders to immediately leave shows continued callousness towards asylum seekers desperately seeking a safe place to call home, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said today. More>>

ALSO:

Sulawesi Quake, Tsunami: Aid Response Begins

Oxfam and its local partners are standing by to deploy emergency staff and resources to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, as an estimated 1.5 million people are thought to be affected by the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit on Friday. More>>

ALSO:

Decriminalising Same-Sex Relationships: UN Rights Chief Applauds Indian Decision

“This is a great day for India and for all those who believe in the universality of human rights," Bachelet said. "With this landmark decision, the Indian Supreme Court has taken a big step forward for freedom and equality...” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC