Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0011
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2233/01 2041201
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 231201Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2399
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 2500
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 9217
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 2564
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3303
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 2535
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0497
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 3267
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0140
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0605
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 7200
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 4615
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 9535
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 3699
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 5642
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 7484
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002233

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

1. Mideast

2. Turkish Elections: AKP Victory

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

The media reported that former British PM Tony Blair, the Quartet's
special envoy to the Middle East peace process, is scheduled to
arrive in the country today for a series of meetings on Tuesday in
Jerusalem and Ramallah. Ha'aretz quoted Israeli political sources
as saying on Sunday that he is expected to stray from his mandate
and try to further diplomatic talks between Israel and the
Palestinians. Ha'aretz quoted sources in the Foreign Ministry as
saying that Blair is unlikely to deal with "technical" matters --
building institutions and mobilizing the support of donor countries
-- instead he will focus on furthering the peace process. Ha'aretz
quoted a political source in Jerusalem as saying on Sunday: "From
this point of view, Israel is less enthusiastic." The Jerusalem
Post reported that Israel made clear on Sunday that Jerusalem would
oppose a widening of Blair's mandate to include a dialogue with
Hamas. Maariv cited assessments which concluded that Blair will
demand that Israel make significant gestures to the Palestinians.

Ha'aretz reported that on Sunday FM Tzipi Livni met with Palestinian
FM Salam Fayyad in Jerusalem in the latest of a series of bilateral
and multilateral talks aimed at reviving the stalled Middle East
peace process. Ha'aretz and The Jerusalem Post reported that on
Sunday Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik held separate meetings with
Jordanian FM Abdelelah al-Khatib and PA Chairman [President] Mahmoud
Abbas. Media reported that Jordan's King Abdullah II will meet
President Bush in Washington on Tuesday. On Sunday Ha'aretz printed
an interview conducted last Sunday with Palestinian FM Salam Fayyad,
in which he stated his belief that only an international presence in
the territories will bring about the necessary change. Ha'aretz
(Akiva Eldar) said that Fayyad "speaks the same lingo as the current
US administration."

On Sunday Maariv reported that the government has decided to "dry
up" the settlements by moving the World Zionist Organization's (WZO)
settlement division to the Agriculture Ministry. Today Makor
Rishon-Hatzofe cited a denial by the WZO's spokesman. The Jerusalem
Post, which today repeated the Maariv story, said that many view the
move as one more step to shift settlement activity from the West
Bank to the Negev and the Galilee.

On Sunday The Jerusalem Post reported that Olmert called this
weekend for direct peace talks between Israel and Syria. Over the
weekend all media cited a report published on Saturday in the
London-based Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat that Iran will give Syria USD 1
billion in aid for advanced weapons procurement, assistance in
nuclear development, and the development of chemical weapons. In
exchange, Syria wants Syria's agreement to stay outside of the
Middle East peace process. Today media reported denials from
Mujtaba Samareh Hashemi, a senior adviser to Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Ha'aretz quoted Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah as saying
on Sunday in an interview with Al Jazeera-TV that his organization
is capable of hitting every part of Israel and that it had the same
capability during the Second Lebanon War.

Leading media reported on the landslide victory of Turkish PM Recep
Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Sunday's
elections. Yediot bannered: "Islam Conquers Turkey." Yediot
reported that the election results were received with mixed feelings
in Jerusalem.

Leading media quoted PM Ehud Olmert as saying on Sunday that Kadima
will continue to rule Israel and that he will remain prime minister
after the elections. The media quoted Olmert as saying that the
government is not completely responsible for protecting Sderot.

All media reported that a female college student sustained light
injuries on Sunday when a Qassam rocket fired from Gaza hit the
entrance to Sapir College, located near the Negev town of Sderot.

All media reported on Sunday that Israeli politicians were in uproar
over the mention of the Arab term "nakba" or "catastrophe" in an
official third-grade Education Ministry textbook for Arab
schoolchildren.

The media reported that on Sunday Egyptian police shot and killed a
Sudanese woman and seriously wounded four others in the Sinai
Peninsula as they tied to sneak into Israel.

The media reported that on Sunday an IDF patrol killed two
Palestinian gunmen in the northern Gaza Strip. The IDF force
commander was lightly injured during the clash.

Major media reported that last night police forcibly removed scores
of right-wing activists following their attempt to reach the
evacuated settlement of Homesh in the northern West Bank. Leading
electronic media reported that dozens of rightists infiltrated the
settlement overnight and began building a synagogue there. The
Jerusalem Post reported that on Sunday the IDF's Civil
Administration told two Jewish families living in Hebron that they
have until Friday to evacuate two shops of an abandoned Palestinian
marketplace next to the Jewish Avraham Avinu complex.

On Sunday The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel's Ambassador to
the US, Sallai Meridor, told the newspaper on Thursday that the
world should launch a divestment campaign, such as the one carried
out against South Africa in the 1980s, to prevent Iran from
developing nuclear weapons.

The Jerusalem Post reported that over 30 American trade unions have
condemned the spate of boycott initiatives by trade union movements
in the UK, branding them "inimical" and questioning the motives for
singling out Israel.

The Jerusalem Post and Israel Radio quoted Frances Townsend,
President Bush's Homeland Security Adviser, as saying on Sunday that
the US would consider using military force if necessary to stem
Al-Qaida's growing ability to launch terrorist attacks.

Maariv and other major media reported that the Histadrut Labor
Federation threatens a public sector strike on Wednesday.

------------
1. Mideast:
------------

Summary:
--------

Arab affairs correspondent Smadar Perry wrote in the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "Officials in the Saudi
King's court have demanded that senior representatives of Hamas be
included in the regional peace conference."

Palestinian affairs correspondent Danny Rubinstein wrote in the
left-leaning, independent Ha'aretz: "The present and future belong
to those who were not [at last week's meting of the PLO Central
Committee in Ramallah], regardless of whether this means Hamas or
opposition within Fatah."

Diplomatic correspondent Ben Caspit wrote on page one of the
popular, pluralist Maariv: "It is not certain whether the president
who succeeds George Bush will be able to repair the damage that his
policy caused to the Middle East in particular and to the world in
general."

The nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe editorialized: "The
moment Assad turned into Ahmadinejad's ally, we moved away from a
dialogue with Syria."

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: "War is
eminently preventable, provided that basic steps to reduce its
likelihood -- by convincing the aggressor that it will be too costly
-- are taken."

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

I. "Saudi Arabia Withdraws From Peace Initiative"

Arab affairs correspondent Smadar Perry wrote in the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (7/22): "Saudi Arabia is
distancing itself from the Arab peace initiative, which was
formulated and presented by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia five years
ago in Riyadh. As a result of King Abdullah's cold feet, and in
contrast to the position of the US administration, Israel, Jordan
and Egypt, officials in the Saudi King's court have demanded that
senior representatives of Hamas be included in the regional peace
conference that will convene in another two months, under
sponsorship of the US administration.... Officials in Amman have
been monitoring with concern the reversal in the Saudi position.
Over the past number of weeks, the King of Jordan had held a series
of meetings with senior Israeli officials in order to advance the
Saudi Arabia peace initiative, 'in the absence of the Saudis,' as
explained to the Israelis. The Jordanian King called his Saudi
counterpart, after the latter insisted on the re-establishment of
the Fatah-Hamas unity government, and pointed out to him the serious
ramifications of ignoring the international boycott of Hamas.
However, it has been learned that the Saudi King insisted on
including Hamas. Israel intelligence experts stress: The Saudis are
frightened by the Iranian threat, which now dictates that they go
underground. The Israeli security officials also noted that the
report in Yediot Aharonot about the secret meeting between Olmert
and Saudi National Security Adviser, Prince Bandar Bin-Sultan,
increased the panic, confusion and concerns in the kingQs court in
Riyadh. After conversing with his Saudi counterpart, King Abdullah
of Jordan called President Bush and asked to meet with him urgently.
The two will convene in Washington next Tuesday, with one focus of
the conversation being Qthe Saudi flight from the peace
initiative.'"

II. "Abbas's Only Chance"

Palestinian affairs correspondent Danny Rubinstein wrote in the
left-leaning, independent Ha'aretz (7/23): "For a moment this past
weekend, it seemed that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
was getting stronger, while Hamas and its leadership were in a
slump. The prisoners' release was presented to the public as a
success for Abbas, who was very keen to point out -- to avoid
finding himself in hot water -- that Israel alone prepared the list
of the released, without him or his aides knowing anything about
it.... The present and future belong to those who were not [at last
week's meting of the PLO Central Committee in Ramallah], regardless
of whether this means Hamas or opposition within Fatah. Such an
opposition does exist, not only abroad but also in the territories,
and among its spokesmen are Hani al-Hassan and Jibril Rajoub, and
possibly Marwan Barghouti. They are asking to hold a dialogue with
Hamas, not just fight against it. Abbas's success is greatly
dependent on the political steps of the Israeli government, which
is, more than anyone, responsible for his weakness. Nonetheless,
Abbas must make order in Fatah, and hold a general conference and
internal elections. Otherwise, he stands no chance of success."

III. "Chirps of Evil and Winds of War"

Diplomatic correspondent Ben Caspit wrote on page one of the
popular, pluralist Maariv (7/22): "In the current state of affairs,
one might have expected the world's responsible adult, the United
States, to gird up its loins and create a formula that would be
tempting enough to extricate Bashar Assad from the embrace of Iran
and return him to the family of nations. Such a measure would
isolate Iran, help the Americans in Iraq, dry up Hizbullah, save
Lebanon, pacify the northern front, calm Israel and allow the United
States and the world to focus on the Iranian nuclear threat without
interference. The problem is that for some time, America has not
been acting like a responsible adult. Rather it has been acting
like the neighborhood bully, who is retarded, doesn't understand
anything, and just runs amuck in the neighborhood, throwing punches


in every direction while the other children run away. It is not
certain whether the president who succeeds George Bush will be able
to repair the damage that his policy caused to the Middle East in
particular and to the world in general. In order to know whether
that will happen, we must try to reach January 2009 in peace or,
alternatively, pray that Bush will fix what he did in a courageous,
correct and penetrating move against the Iranian atom bomb."

IV. "The Threat of War Approaches"

The nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe editorialized (7/23):
"The express agreement reached in Damascus between Iran's ruler
Ahmadinejad and Syrian President Bashar Assad making use of the
'axis of evil' against Israel, in effect annuls the Syrian
President's call for promoting peace with Israel.... The Syrian
ruler has received promises; in exchange, of course, a 'new page'
has opened in relations between the two countries. From now on the
Syrian front ceases to be a quiet one. The first buds of war have
been kindled in the Iranian ruler's speech that was directed at
Israel. The moment Assad turned into Ahmadinejad's ally, we moved
away from a dialogue with Syria. The threat of war has come
closer."

V. "How to Prevent War"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (7/23):
"We do not need Assad to tell us the price of war, a price we have
been paying since the reestablishment of the Jewish state almost 60
years ago. Nor do we need the endless speculation about a war with
Syria that so many seem to expect will occur this coming summer, as
if wars are scheduled like vacations or election campaigns..... It
is the task ... of Israel and the international community to ensure
that such an attack would not be in the interest of Assad's
regime.... We are under no illusions that Assad is interested in
[unconditional peace] negotiations, much less concluding a peace
treaty. But the offer must be, and clearly is, on the table. Peace
offers, however, cannot be relied upon to prevent war because Syria
is not interested in peace. On the contrary, Syria fights peace
with Israel with all its might, including through forces most
opposed to peace with Israel, such as Hamas and Hizbullah.... The
international community can also play an important role in
preventing a possible Syrian miscalculation by clarifying in advance
the diplomatic results of such aggression. If the Assad regime, for
example, understands that an attack would be met with a European and
American initiative to impose Chapter 7 sanctions on Damascus in the
UN Security Council, and full backing for Israel's right to
self-defense, the possibility of such an attack would be greatly
reduced.... War is eminently preventable, provided that basic steps
to reduce its likelihood -- by convincing the aggressor that it will
be too costly -- are taken."

-----------------------------------
2. Turkish Elections: AKP Victory:
-----------------------------------

Summary:
--------

Middle East affairs correspondent Zvi Barel wrote in the
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz: "The key question on which the
new government will be tested will be to what extent Erdogan will
advance a religious agenda."


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

"The Storm Has Not Yet Subsided"

Middle East affairs correspondent Zvi Barel wrote in the
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (7/23): "As far as Turkey is
concerned the outcome [of these elections] is good news: It
represents the continuation of the Socialist, pro-Western line led
by Erdogan. It is also good news for the Turkish economy, which has
grown 7 percent annually under the current government. The key
question on which the new government will be tested will be to what
extent Erdogan will advance a religious agenda that frightens the
army and most of the secular public so much -- the very public that
views the Justice and Development Party as a threat to the
principles of Kemalism and a risk of descent into the religious
chasm."

CRETZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

COP24: Rapid Action Urged At Climate Change Conference

Following a year of devastating climate disasters around the globe, from California to Kerala, and Tonga to Japan, the annual UN Climate Change Conference opens with the goal of finalising the implementation guidelines for the Paris Climate Change Agreement. More>>

ALSO:

New Report: Refugees In PNG Being Pushed To The Brink

Refugee Council of Australia and Amnesty International paint a stark picture of a traumatised refugee population hit hard by Australia's recent healthcare and counselling service cuts, as well as continued threats to their safety. 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: