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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2543/01 2341000
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 221000Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2875
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 2625
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 9331
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 2700
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3423
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 2655
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0639
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 3387
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0257
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0722
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 7314
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 4745
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 9654
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 3819
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 5757
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 7710
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002543

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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Israel Radio cited the PA daily Al-Ayyam quoting Palestinian sources
as saying that PM Ehud Olmert and PA Chairman [President] Mahmoud
Abbas may meet this month ahead of Secretary Condoleezza Rice's
visit to the region. The Jerusalem Post quoted the Office of the
President of Israel as saying that President Shimon Peres' talks
with Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad, which were lambasted by the Right,
centered on economics, not diplomacy. Israel Radio reported that
Peres told the UN Middle East envoy that Israel should not intervene
in the struggle between Fatah and Hamas.

All media reported that IDF troops killed six Palestinians in three
separate incidents in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, including two
children aged nine and 12 who were targeted as they tried to collect
Qassam rocket launchers. Ha'aretz quoted IDF officers as saying
that it is possible that Islamic Jihad hired the children to collect
the launchers. This phenomenon had already been observed in other
instances, they were quoted as saying. The media reported that
earlier on Tuesday IDF troops killed three Palestinian militants
near the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip, near Khan Yunis.
This morning Israel Radio reported that a Hamas militant was killed
and two others were wounded in an IAF strike near the Israel-Gaza
border fence. Israel Radio reported that the Al-Aqsa Martyrs
Brigades, the PFLP, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility
for Qassam rocket and mortar shell attacks against Israel this
morning.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Fatah's armed wing, the Al-Aqsa
Martyrs Brigades, announced on Tuesday that it would no longer honor
understandings reached with Israel, and called on its members to
carry weapons to defend themselves against the IDF. The group was
quoted as saying that the decision was made after the IDF arrested
two Fatah gunmen who had been given amnesty by Israel in line with
understandings reached between Israel and the PA.

Leading media reported that the supply of fuel for electricity to
the Gaza Strip will be resumed today following an agreement reached
between the EU and the PA according to which the sides will prevent
irregularities and the transfer of funds to Hamas. National
Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said on Israel Radio
this morning that Israel would interrupt the supply of fuel and
electricity to the Strip if Palestinians keep firing rockets and
shells against Israel.

The Jerusalem Post reported that, preparing for a possible US or
Israeli strike on its nuclear installations, Iran has developed a
remote-controlled launch system that can be used to operate dozens
of unmanned Shihab ballistic launchers in underground bunkers.
After recent upgrades, the Shihab-3 ballistic missiles are believed
to have a target range of 2,000 kilometers. The missile was
initially developed with a 1,300-km. range.

Ha'aretz reported that in an effort to extricate himself from a
scandal surrounding the Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) refusal to
support a bill calling on the Bush administration to recognize the
1915-17 Turkish massacre of the Armenian minority as genocide, the
ADL's national (US) director Abe Foxman did an abrupt about-face.
After consulting with Nobel Prize-winning author and Holocaust
survivor Elie Wiesel, Foxman referred to the Armenian massacre as
"genocide" for the first time. The Jerusalem Post quoted Turkish
sources as saying on Tuesday that the new ADL stand could negatively
impact Turkey's close relations with Israel.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Canon Andrew White, the caretaker
of the Jewish community in Baghdad, told the newspaper from London
on Tuesday that eight Baghdad Jews, who represent the remnants of
the community, are facing security threats so grave that they need
to flee Iraq.

Maariv reported that "like during the Cold War," Russia tries to
obtain influence in Israel though immigrants. The newspaper
reported that Russia will fund Russian-language studies and
establish a cultural center in Israel.

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe quoted Egypt's FM Ahmed Ali Abu al-Gheit as
saying that Egypt has asked the US to let Syria join the
international Middle East meeting in the fall.

Ha'aretz noted that in recent months several Arab countries have
boosted their nuclear programs.

Maariv quoted a senior IDF Central Command officer as saying on
Tuesday that the IDF intends to evacuate soon the farm of far-Right
settler Noam Federman near Kiryat Arba in the southern West Bank.

Maariv reported that the Israeli and Syrian ambassadors to the UN
institutions in Geneva are cooperating on the issue of nuclear
nonproliferation.

The Jerusalem Post reported that organizers of a UN conference
hosted by the European Parliament in Brussels at the end of August
are refusing to make public the list of NGOs scheduled to attend the
meeting, which various organizations have called "one-sided,
partisan, and anti-Israel."

Maariv reported that the joint committee of Israel's National
Security Council and the Academy of Sciences recommends security
supervision over all Israeli biotechnological research due to fears
that information might reach terrorist organizations.

Ha'aretz reported that fifth and sixth-graders in all 52 Haifa
elementary schools will take Arabic-language classes as well as
study Arab and Islamic history as part of their regular curriculum.
The project will be funded by the Ministry of Education and the
Haifa Municipality.

Ha'aretz reported that Likud activists recently told the newspaper
that Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz's allies in his former
Likud party are recruiting people to help him win Kadima's upcoming
elections. According to the sources, the Likud activists want to
see Mofaz replace PM Olmert as Kadima's leader.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the controversy over former
President Jimmy Carter's book on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,
"Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," is set to be reignited by an
upcoming screening of a documentary centered on his book tour.
Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported on the ADL's fight against the book
"The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy," by John J. Mearsheimer and
Stephen M. Walt. Makor Rishon-Hatzofe dubs the book "anti-Semitic."
Yediot reported that New York City Jews are divided regarding the
opening of an Arab school in the city in two weeks. Some were
quoted as saying that the institution will foster hatred, while
other believed that it will further tolerance.

The Jerusalem Post reported that three weeks ago a Palestinian hotel
company petitioned the High Court of Justice, charging that the
state illegally confiscated 40 dunams of land it allegedly owned in
east Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and that it gave it to a
private Jewish businessman to build a hotel.

The Jerusalem Post and other media reported that Dorian Paskowitz,
an 86-year-old retired Jewish doctor from Hawaii, arrived at the
Erez Crossing to the Gaza Strip on Tuesday to hand over 12
surfboards he is donating to Gaza's small surfing community.
Paskowitz was quoted as saying that surfing can bring peace to
Israelis and Palestinians.

The Jerusalem Post reported on love -- and hate -- e-mails sent by
Iranians to the Foreign Ministry Web site.

The Jerusalem Post reported that, even as manufacturers were
reporting growth in exports to the US for the first six months of
the year, investment bank Morgan Stanley is warning that Israel
would be most vulnerable to a US economic slump, given the huge
amount of products shipped to America.

The Jerusalem Post reported that exports of Israel's advanced
Merkava tank systems are expected to reach some USD 400 million in
2008, following 13 percent growth to USD 350 million this year.
However, the newspaper said various factors may damage Merkava
exports. The Jerusalem Post noted that, according to reports,
foreign sales of Merkavas are generally made to the US, Turkey, and
eastern Europe.

Leading media reported that on Monday the Bad Arolsen, Germany-based
International Tracing Service (ITS) handed over a database with
millions of documents from over 50 concentration camps and prisons
-- which includes books recording Jewish deaths, transportation
lists, and medical reports -- to Yad Vashem and the US Holocaust
Memorial Museum. The Jerusalem Post noted that ITS director Reto
Meister met with officials from the State Department and other
organizations during his visit to Washington.

Maariv reported that the remains of Theodor Herzl's only grandson,
Stephen Theodor Neumann (Norman) will soon be re-interred on Mount
Herzl in Jerusalem. In 1946, when Norman heard of the death of his
parents in the Holocaust, he committed suicide in the US.

The Jerusalem Post cited the results of a new public opinion poll
conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, which found
that an overwhelming majority of Palestinians are convinced that the
UN is dominated by the US.

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

Summary:
--------

Senior military affairs analyst Reuven Pedatzur wrote in the
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz: "The Israeli message to European
countries hesitating to impose severe sanctions against Iran is that
nuclear proliferation in the Middle East is dangerous not only to
Israel but the entire world."

Veteran journalist Yosef (Tommy) Lapid, Chairman of the Yad Vashem
Council and former justice minister wrote in the popular, pluralist
Maariv: "Experts ... and of course politicians warned us that war
would break out with Syria this summer.... The problem with
misguided, misleading prophecies is that they can affect fateful
decisions."

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized:
"Apparently even the most careful cartography is mutable.....
Whatever can be retroactively modified to appease implacable enemies
of peace plainly isn't worth the purportedly peace-upholding paper
it is written on."

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "[A] candidate who opts for a message of
disengagement, a withdrawal from the world, will reflect on the US
no less than on the world. It would mean that he does not believe
in the superiority of the system, and in the morality and leadership
of America. What kind of American would want such a president?"

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

I. "Danger For the Entire World"

Senior military affairs analyst Reuven Pedatzur wrote in the
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (8/22): "The renewed focus on
nuclear programs by countries in the Middle East stems from concerns
that Iran will acquire nuclear arms. An Iranian nuclear weapon may
result in an accelerated effort to develop nuclear arms in many of
the countries in the region.... Of course, no one believes that the
countries controlling enormous fossil fuel reserves have suddenly
realized that nuclear technology -- which has been around for six
decades -- can meet their energy needs. The problem is that the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), in which all these countries
are members, allows many of the steps necessary for the development
of nuclear weapons to occur under the guise of civilian nuclear
programs.... The Israeli message to European countries hesitating to
impose severe sanctions against Iran is that nuclear proliferation
in the Middle East is dangerous not only to Israel but the entire
world."

II. "Gambling Prophets"

Veteran journalist Yosef (Tommy) Lapid, Chairman of the Yad Vashem
Council and former justice minister wrote in the popular, pluralist
Maariv (8/22): "Military commentators, publicists, academics,
experts on Arab affairs, senior officers in the reserves, and of
course politicians warned us that war would break out with Syria
this summer. They gambled: If a war were indeed to break out, they
could boast: 'I told you so!' If it did not break out, no one would
remember their error. They would be free to move to the next
prophecy. The problem with misguided, misleading prophecies is that
they can affect fateful decisions. We should remember that for
every military expert who predicts a war, an expert can be found who
will explain why there will be no war.... In the summer of 1973 the
greatest security maven of all, Moshe Dayan, said on television that
no war was expected. During that same broadcast they also
interviewed passersby and a 'primitive,' elderly woman said: 'I feel
in my gut that there will be a war.' Several months after the
broadcast, the Yom Kippur War broke out. Was the elderly woman a
greater expert on security affairs than Dayan? Not necessarily.
She was just a better prophet."

III. "Keeping the Blue Line"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (8/22):
"In May 2000, on the eve of Israel's unilateral withdrawal from
Lebanon, the UN carried out painstaking measurements to establish
precisely where the international border ran. The boundary it
marked is popularly known as the Blue Line. The aim was to make
absolutely sure that Israel indeed indisputably retreated from every
last centimeter of what was ascribed to Lebanon's jurisdiction. In
the end, the UN officially proclaimed its satisfaction that Israel
had exited fully and incontrovertibly from Lebanese territory, as
per UN Security Council Resolution 425. Beirut agreed to honor the
line of withdrawal as certified by the UN. But apparently even the
most careful cartography is mutable.... Thus the UN, though directly
responsible under Security Council Resolution 1701 for curtailing
Hizbullah, might now embolden its chieftain, Hassan Nasrallah, who
last year triggered the war with Israel.... The anyway imperfect
promise of Resolution 1701 has been dissipated by the UN itself.
But even the mockery the UN makes of its own undertakings would be
eclipsed if it were to revise maps of its own charting, and change
its meticulously drawn demarcation lines as per the specifications
of some of the world's most aggressive and uncompromising
terrorists. Put starkly, such a shift would render UN
determinations worthless. For whatever can be retroactively
modified to appease implacable enemies of peace plainly isn't worth
the purportedly peace-upholding paper it is written on."

IV. "The Moral Agency"

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (8/22): "The Republican [presidential]
candidates continue to rely on neo-conservative rhetoric, and their
Democratic counterparts on neo-liberal arguments. Both groups
believe equally that the US should continue to be involved in the
affairs of other states, and all assume that it is good for the
world if the US influences it. Attempts to erode this belief have
proven to pay poor political dividends. After all, the candidate
who opts for a message of disengagement, a withdrawal from the
world, will reflect on the US no less than on the world. It would
mean that he does not believe in the superiority of the system, and
in the morality and leadership of America. What kind of American
would want such a president? In any case, within the policies of
the candidates for the presidency lies a seed of patronizing
arrogance but also of value. This is the approach Fred Thompson,
[a] Republican candidate, summarized a few days ago: 'I don't
apologize for the United States of America. This country has shed
more blood for the freedom of other people than all the other
nations in the history of the world combined.' And, if one believes
its candidates, this appears to be the way it will continue."

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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