Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2210/01 2001024
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 191024Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2355
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 2483
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 9200
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 2547
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3286
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 2518
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0476
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 3249
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0120
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0588
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 7183
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 4596
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 9518
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 3682
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 5622
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 7448
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002210

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

Electronic media reported that on Wednesday the US Ambassador to the
UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, accused Syria and Iran of meddling in Lebanon.
He was quoted as saying that there is clear evidence of arms
smuggling across the Syrian border to terrorist groups.

Israel Radio quoted the international Arabic-language daily Al-Quds
Al-Arabi as saying that Israel will transfer security control of
Qalqilya and Jericho to the PA. The radio later cited confirmation
of the report by PA sources.

All media reported that in reaction to a report critical of the
government's actions on the home front during the Second Lebanon War
published on Wednesday by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss, PM
Ehud Olmert's Office said that "there is a yawning and unbridgeable
gap between the professional and in-depth report that was written by
people in the State Comptroller's Office, and the tendentious and
superficial summary that appears in the report's abstract. "It
apparently reflects the personal opinion of the State Comptroller
toward a number of people, foremost the Prime Minister." Ha'aretz
and other media reported that Eliahu Winograd, Chairman of the
Winograd Commission, announced on Wednesday that the commission will
warn those liable to be harmed by its conclusions and allow them to
respond before publishing its final report on the Second Lebanon
War. As a result, the report's publication is likely to be delayed
by several months. Until now, publication had been widely expected
in October. Any delay will have far-reaching political
implications. The report is expected to harshly criticize PM
Olmert, while Defense Minister Ehud Barak has pledged to pull the
Labor Party out of the government after its publication. Thus for
both of them, the delay means another several months in office.

The Jerusalem Post reported that "in-depth" GOI evaluations of
Syrian President Bashar Assad's speech to the Syrian Parliament on
Tuesday, concluded that Assad is looking to ease war fears. Yated
Ne'eman quoted the Foreign Ministry as saying that Syria is
interested in exploiting Israel to improve its status.

Yediot disclosed that Israeli citizens suspected of grave offenses
are secretly imprisoned in the country.

Maariv reported that next week, for the first time in the Knesset's
history, the Egyptian and Jordanian FMs will appear before the
Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

The Jerusalem Post quoted sources to FM Livni as saying on Wednesday
that she has not changed her opinion that Olmert must resign due to
his mishandling of the Second Lebanon War.

Ha'aretz reported that on Wednesday Science, Sport, and Culture
Minister Raleb Majadele asked PM Olmert to send him to Damascus as a
goodwill emissary. Majadele also reportedly asked Olmert to declare
his government's willingness to "make significant and painful
territorial concessions, as the late Yitzhak Rabin proposed, for the
sake of a diplomatic arrangement that would lead to relations with
Syria and to peace and stability in the entire region."

Maariv reported that ten Orthodox soldiers from a paratrooper
battalion refused to help with the removal of right-wing protesters
at the site of the vacated West Bank settlement of Homesh. They
refused to obey orders after consulting with radical Rabbi Dov Lior
but eventually complied.

Yediot and The Jerusalem Post reported that on Wednesday PA Chairman
[President] Mahmoud Abbas announced that he was working toward
elections for the PA's Palestinian Legislative Council and
presidency.


Yediot reported that Syrian President Bashar Assad will host Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday. Yediot reported that
Ahmadinejad is expected to offer to train Syrian troops in Iran and
send Iranian experts to Syria, similar to those who operated in
Hizbullah's training camps in Lebanon.

Major media reported that on Wednesday the Knesset overwhelmingly
approved in preliminary reading a bill allowing the Israel Lands
Authority to continue selling land belonging to the Jewish National
Fund (JNF) only to Jews, in order to counter a decision made earlier
this year by Attorney general Menachem Mazuz to prohibit
discrimination in land sales.

The Jerusalem Post reported that, in a conversation with the
newspaper, defeated Labor Party leadership candidate Ami Ayalon set
three conditions for joining the cabinet: because of security
developments; if he was needed because of diplomatic developments;
or if Labor remained in the government after the final Winograd
report was released.

Yediot and Maariv reported that Oved Yehezkel, a senior aide to PM
Olmert, is expected to replace Yisrael Maimon as cabinet secretary.
The cabinet will vote on the appointment on Sunday.

Leading media reported that non-Jewish couples will be able to tie
the knot in civil marriages, following an agreement reached on
Wednesday between Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann and Sephardi
Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar. This is the first time that the religious
establishment has given the go-ahead to civil marriage. However,
the new law will be restricted to cases in which both spouses are
not considered Jewish under Jewish law.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Palestinian high-school students
from Ramallah, Bethlehem, and east Jerusalem are working on
technology projects alongside their Israeli counterparts from Beit
Shemesh, Mevaseret Zion, and west Jerusalem in the MEET (Middle East
Education Through Technology) program being taught at the Hebrew
University's Givat Ram campus.

The Jerusalem Post reported that on Tuesday Sapir Academic College
near Sderot received USD 1.7 million from the [US] United Jewish
Communities.

The Jerusalem Post reported that despite a public outcry earlier
this year that appeared to stave off a cancellation of the English
News of the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) on the radio, the
cash-strapped IBA is now proceeding with draconian cuts anyway.

Yediot reported that businessman Lior Dagan, a dual Israeli-American
citizen, was found dead a month ago in his Dubai hotel, the apparent
victim of a heart attack. The newspaper reported that the FBI and
local security authorities later determined that he was murdered.

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

Summary:
--------

Liberal op-ed writer Yael Paz-Melamed commented in the popular,
pluralist Maariv: "New diplomatic initiatives, some of them bold and
surprising ... are opening a small window of hope that the dull man
[Olmert] will one day turn into a leader."

Very liberal columnist Meron Benvenisti, deputy mayor of Jerusalem
from 1971 to 1978, wrote in the independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz:
"The current diplomatic process is liable to repeat the destructive
route of Oslo, creating an illusion of progress fueled by a natural
need to nurture hope, a hope that will be exploited by cynics who
believe they have the power to dictate the rules of the game and
decide who will lose it."

Veteran journalist Evelyn Gordon wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post: "New Palestinian Authority Prime
Minister Salam Fayyad's agenda bears a strong resemblance to US
President George Bush's surge in Iraq: good ideas, but many years
too late."

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

I. "Perhaps Olmert Is a Leader, After All"

Liberal op-ed writer Yael Paz-Melamed commented in the popular,
pluralist Maariv (7/19): "New diplomatic initiatives, some of them
bold and surprising ... are opening a small window of hope that the
dull man will one day turn into a leader -- not a big one, not a man
who should be followed, but someone who will somehow leave his
imprint on the history of this country. He suddenly has an agenda
-- not a simple one, not really a popular one, and he moves with
worthy speed to move it forward without looking sideways. Only
Kadima. [An allusion to the slogan: 'only Likud']. For instance,
consider the decision to release 250 Palestinian prisoners,
including several 'with blood on their hands, to bolster
Abu-Mazen.... Consider the decision to pardon wanted Palestinians
willing to lay down arms.... Let's go on with Israel's shift towards
Syria.... Everything has definitely started [in this direction]....
One must assume that there are indications that something is
happening: talk about a mini-convergence plan; Bush's rather
insignificant speech that still envisages a regional conference;
Tony Blair's arrival next week and the onset of his work; and Fatah
activists on the level of Farouk Kaddoumi being allowed to enter the
West Bank.... One should not forget that [Olmert] has not yet begun
to handle the evacuation of illegal outposts, thus leaving a hot
potato and the proof of his leadership in his hands."
II. "Beware of Oslo's Destructive Route"

Very liberal columnist Meron Benvenisti, deputy mayor of Jerusalem
from 1971 to 1978, wrote in the independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz
(7/19): "The diplomatic process being conducted by Olmert and Bush
serves as a peg on which to hang [current] optimism. The problem is
that the reality does not show signs of surrendering to theories and
desires.... The illusion of the Palestinians, who saw how under Oslo
the settlements were doubled and a draconian occupation regime was
installed, evaporated in a violent manner, shattering the Israeli
illusion that the conflict could be ended without paying the price.
The current diplomatic process is liable to repeat the destructive
route of Oslo, creating an illusion of progress fueled by a natural
need to nurture hope, a hope that will be exploited by cynics who
believe they have the power to dictate the rules of the game and
decide who will lose it. Those who are amusing themselves with the
process, those who are exploiting it to promote their political
aims, those who are becoming addicted to it to fulfill their heart's
desire, and those who want to use it to improve their grievous
condition under the occupation should all recall that it is easy to
create illusions, and it is easy to err because of them. But the
price will be paid by everyone, including those who are moving the
process forward through mere words. The Israeli-Palestinian
conflict cannot tolerate another shattered illusion."

III. "Salam Fayyad's Surge"

Veteran journalist Evelyn Gordon wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post (7/19): "New Palestinian Authority Prime
Minister Salam Fayyad's agenda bears a strong resemblance to US
President George Bush's surge in Iraq: good ideas, but many years
too late.... Unlike the surge, Fayyad's plan may never ultimately be
implemented. Indeed, given the PA's record, any rational person
would bet against it.... Since Fayyad, like Abbas, has already
declared that he will never use force against the militias, the
chances of the armed gangs disappearing look slim.... The same goes
for economic development.... Arafat preferred to invest in terrorism
and his own bank account. Thus following the PA's establishment
Palestinians' per-capita income plummeted and unemployment soared.
And Abbas, again, wasted a second chance, post-disengagement. A
rapid push to develop Gaza would have won massive international and
Israeli support. But he made no move to, for instance, build
housing for refugees in the former settlements.... Overall, PA
development efforts will now receive far less Israeli support than
they would have earlier. Maybe Fayyad will nevertheless work a
miracle. But even if he makes a sincere effort -- which is far from
certain -- it may well, like the surge, prove too late."

CRETZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Cyclone Gita: 70% Of Tonga Population Affected

The full scale of destruction is beginning to emerge from Tonga in the aftermath of the severe tropical cyclone Gita. Around 50,000 people, or almost 70% of the country’s population, have been affected, a third of whom are children. More>>

ALSO:

Gita: Samoas Clean Up After Being Swamped By Cyclone

Apia in the wake of Gita Photo: Rudy Bartley The clean up is continuing in the two Samoas after Tropical Cyclone Gita hit on Saturday morning. More>>

ALSO:


Grand Coalition : Germany's two main political parties set to govern under Angela Merkel.

The liberal-conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) negotiated through the night in a marathon final push to nail down an agreement. More>>


80 Passengers: Kiribati Ferry Disaster

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are working with the Government of Kiribati to support children, families and communities affected by the recent Butiraoi ferry disaster. 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. More

ALSO: