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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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DE RUEHTV #2579/01 2361136
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 241136Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2937
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RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0657
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STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD

WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
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SECDEF WASHDC FOR USDP/ASD-PA/ASD-ISA
HQ USAF FOR XOXX
DA WASHDC FOR SASA
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PARIS ALSO FOR POL
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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 reported that Assistant Secretary of State for Near
Eastern Affairs David Welch and Quartet Mideast envoy Tony Blair
will come to the region next month ahead of Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice's visit. Israel Radio also reported that the donor
countries to the PA will meet in New York.

Ha'aretz (Akiva Eldar) reported that PA headquarters in Ramallah was
irritated by the lead story in Thursday's Ha'aretz, which said that
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has not definitely rejected Israel's
proposal of establishing a Palestinian state with temporary
borders.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the IDF, predicting that Israel's
future wars will be characterized by unprecedented missile barrages,
has decided to modify its missile defense doctrine and has changed
its deployment of Arrow missiles in northern Israel.

The Jerusalem Post reported that a senior French Foreign Ministry
official told the newspaper that France is acting to provide several
Arab countries with peaceful nuclear programs in order to wean the
region off oil and boost Franco-Arab relations.

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported that the IDF and settlers are
preparing an agreement over illegal settler outposts in which
construction in older outposts would be permitted. The newspaper
cited confirmation by Defense Minister Ehud Barak's office.

Yediot and other media reported that parents in Sderot want their
children evacuated from the city and not attend school there.

Israel Radio reported that last night Ambassador Richard Jones held
a reception in honor of the election of President Shimon Peres and
his 60 years of public service. The radio reported that Peres will
visit Italy and meet with Pope Benedict XVI, the principal Italian
leaders, and opposition leader Silvio Berlusconi.
The Jerusalem Post reported on controversy on Capitol Hill
surrounding Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer's upcoming book, "The
Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy," and Abe Foxman's own book "The
Deadliest Lies: The Israeli Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control."
Ha'aretz also cites the buzz around those books and mentions a new
position paper by former Israeli ambassador to the UN Dore Gold.
Ha'aretz quotes former Secretary of State George P. Shultz's
introduction to Foxman's book, which praises US support for Israel.

Israel Radio reported that the military branch of Islamic Jihad has
announced that all its actions are coordinated with Hamas. The
radio also reported that Ghazi Hamad, spokesman for ousted
Palestinian PM Ismail Haniyeh, has resigned in protest over Hamas's
decision not to initiate conciliation with Fatah.

The Jerusalem Post reported that on Thursday naval and air units
from Israel, the US, and Turkey wrapped up two days of joint
search-and-rescue exercises in the eastern Mediterranean. Bahrain,
Jordan, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan participated in the exercise as
observers.

Ha'aretz and Israel Radio reported that Defense Minister and Labor
Party Chairman Ehud Barak was willing to cede the post of deputy PM
to Knesset Member Ami Ayalon, but that Infrastructure Minister
Binyamin Ben-Eliezer blocked the move.

The Jerusalem Post quoted political sources connected to Likud and
Yisrael Beiteinu as saying that Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu
told Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman that he wants the two
parties to run on a joint list for the Knesset. However, the
newspaper quoted Netanyahu associates as saying that he will not
reserve slots for Kadima rebels.

Leading media reported that Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the northern
branch of Israel's Islamic Movement, was taken to hospital in east
Jerusalem on Wednesday after the police used a stun grenade to
disband a joint conference with Hamas that he organized in the
city's Wadi Joz neighborhood.

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe cited data published by the PA's statistical
bureau that one third of young Palestinians consider emigrating.

Yediot ran a feature about strategic mistakes that have prevented
the US from killing or catching Osama bin Ladin. The newspaper
quoted senior Israeli Intelligence officials as saying that 9/11 was
"the Americans' Yom Kippur," in reference to the Yom Kippur War.


Ha'aretz reported that the Turkish government is pressuring Israel
to help reverse the Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) decision to
recognize Turkey's massacre of Armenians during World War I as
genocide. Ha'aretz quoted Foreign Ministry sources in Jerusalem as
saying that a meeting between Turkish FM Abdullah Gul and Israel's
Ambassador to Ankara, Pinhas Avivi, became "shrill." Ha'aretz
quoted an Israeli ministry source as saying that Gul told Avivi that
"Turkey knows Israel was not responsible for the ADL's announcement,
but is disappointed because Israel could have done something to
prevent it." Ha'aretz reported that Avivi replied that Jerusalem
was not involved in the ADL's decision and that "there is no change
in Israel's position. We are not taking sides, and believe that the
parties must hold a dialogue to clarify and investigate the matter
and determine what really happened." The Jerusalem Post reported
that the ADL will reconsider its opposition to an Armenian genocide
bill.

Ha'aretz (English Ed.) reported that local Christian groups are up
in arms over a letter sent to the White House by evangelical leaders
late last month that calls on President Bush to work toward a
two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Maariv mentioned the possibility raised by Washington Post
journalist Glenn Kessler that Secretary Rice could run for the
governorship of California.

Maariv and other media publish remarks made by convicted spy Marcus
Klingberg providing details about his intelligence work for the
Soviet Union that he hid from his Shin Bet interrogators.

Ha'aretz (English Ed.) reported that Steven Friedland, a US-born
medic in the IDF, is to receive a citation of valor next month in
recognition of his service in the Second Lebanon War.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the chief spokesman of the Russian
Air Force, Col. Aleksandr V. Drobyshevsky, confirmed in writing for
the first time that Soviet pilots, in the USSR's most advanced
MIG-25"Foxbat" aircraft, flew highly provocative sorties over
Israel's nuclear facility in Dimona in May 1967, just prior to the
Six-Day War.

Several media reported that former Meretz Chairman Yossi Sarid is
considering running for the mayorship of Tel Aviv-Jaffa.

Maariv reported that Israeli reporter Nurit Kedar is a candidate for


an Emmy award for her part in producing a documentary on Lebanon on
the British Channel 4-TV.

Ha'aretz (English Ed.) reported that local Democrats are revving up
voter registration in order to increase the electoral influence
wielded by party members living in Israel.

Yediot reported a gang of Israelis residing in the US has defrauded
Americans of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Ha'aretz and The Jerusalem Post printed an AP story citing the
results of a poll by respected pollster Ghassan Khatib according to
which Palestinians overwhelmingly prefer the Western-backed
government of Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad over the ousted Hamas
government, in spite of the fact that residents of the Gaza Strip
believe their security has improved since Hamas seized control of
the area.

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

Summary:
--------

Senior op-ed writer Akiva Eldar commented on page one of the
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz: "The ongoing bitter struggle
between Fatah and Hamas obliges Israel to show special sensitivity
in negotiations on the agreement of principles that is being
prepared for the regional summit scheduled to take place in
November."

Ha'aretz editorialized: "The achievement of an Israeli-Palestinian
understanding on final-status issues would probably expand
participation in the summit to include key players such as Saudi
Arabia and other Arab states, who would give further credibility to
a document of principles."
Military correspondent Yaakov Katz wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post: "The current assessment in the [Israeli]
defense establishment is that Assad is at a point where he can go
either way -- to the negotiating table or to the battlefield."

Deputy Managing Editor and right-wing columnist Caroline B. Glick
wrote in The Jerusalem Post: "If the Americans want to know what
will happen if their foreign policy fantasists take charge of their
affairs, they have only to cast a glance at what is happening in
Israel today."

Jonathan Spyer, a senior research fellow at the Interdisciplinary
Center in Herzliya, wrote in Ha'aretz: "As long as Jewish nationhood
is embedded in the solid structures of economic and technological
development, while its Islamist enemies can root their own ambitions
only in dysfunction and failure, the results of the contest, bloody
though it be, are not in doubt."

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

I. "The Key Is Constructive Ambiguity"

Senior op-ed writer Akiva Eldar commented on page one of the
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (8/24): "The lead story in
Thursday's Ha'aretz irritated Palestinian Authority headquarters in
Ramallah. The story said that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has not
definitely rejected Israel's proposal of establishing a Palestinian
state with temporary borders.... Leaders of Abbas's Fatah movement
became nervous lest Hamas take advantage of these reports to wage
psychological warfare against Fatah.... The ongoing bitter struggle
between Fatah and Hamas obliges Israel to show special sensitivity
in negotiations on the agreement of principles that is being
prepared for the regional summit scheduled to take place in
November. Hamas misses nothing, in any language. A reckless
formulation, of the sort that could be construed to imply
concessions on a 'sacred principle,' could doom the summit before it
even occurs.... Two essential requirements for ... an arrangement
are international guarantees and a timetable. These will stipulate
that if relations across the fence are peaceful, Israel will grant
the Palestinians fair territorial compensation -- in terms of both
quantity and quality -- within an agreed period of time. The term
'fair' enables Olmert to tell the folks back home that he has not
committed to withdrawing from all of the territories, while Abbas
will be able to promise that in the final settlement, the
Palestinians will receive territory equal to 100 percent of the West
Bank."

II. "Summit Wisdom"

Ha'aretz editorialized (8/24): "As the regional summit sponsored by
the President of the US approaches, signs are growing that Israel's
senior political leadership wants the initiative to succeed..... The
new circumstances in the territories and the Arab League initiative
require the political leadership not to miss any opportunities.
They obligate it to show courage and initiative in formulating
understandings that will bring about the prompt establishment of a
Palestinian state, a resolution of the issue of Jerusalem, and a
solution to the refugee problem that would be implemented outside
Israel's borders.... The achievement of an Israeli-Palestinian
understanding on final-status issues would probably expand
participation in the summit to include key players such as Saudi
Arabia and other Arab states, who would give further credibility to
a document of principles. Kadima leaders should not be deterred by
the criticism they will absorb from the right. They have a public
mandate and a solid parliamentary majority to fulfill their
obligation to end the occupation and ensure that Israel remains a
Jewish and democratic state."

III. "Peace and Disquiet"

Military correspondent Yaakov Katz wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post (8/24): "Since the Second Lebanon War,
Syrian President Bashar Assad has sent a number of mixed
messages.... The current assessment in the [Israeli] defense
establishment is that Assad is at a point where he can go either way
-- to the negotiating table or to the battlefield. Now defense
minister, Barak has said a number of times in recent weeks that
Israel is not interested in war and neither is Syria, and therefore
'there is no reason that it should happen.' But what is clear on
the ground is that both countries are conducting around-the-clock
intensive military maneuvers, which by itself is enough to raise
tensions along the Golan Heights. And Israeli officials are taking
the opportunity to warn the public of the possibility of war with
Syria, which is armed to the teeth with anti-tank missiles and
long-range Scud-D missiles.... As time passes, the situation grows
more complex. One of Israel's stated interests in making peace is
also to break Syria's strategic alliance with Iran. Syria and Iran
are purchasing large amounts of weapons from Russia, which, in an
apparent attempt to counter the multi-billion-dollar US-Saudi arms
deal, has also begun bolstering its presence in the region."

IV. "The Rise of the Fantasists"

Deputy Managing Editor and right-wing columnist Caroline B. Glick
wrote in The Jerusalem Post (8/24): "The [US] administration
maintains its slavish devotion to negotiating with Iran over its
nuclear weapons program in spite of the fact that the diplomatic
track failed demonstrably three years ago.... If the Americans want
to know what will happen if their foreign policy fantasists take
charge of their affairs, they have only to cast a glance at what is
happening in Israel today. Because in Israel, the fantasists are
firmly in charge of policy. With the twin goals of fostering peace
and enhancing Israel's international standing, Israel's fantasist
leaders are driving the country to the outer reaches of La La Land.
In the name of peace, the Olmert government is conducting
semi-secret negotiations with Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas.... Israel
is seeking to extend Iran's control over Gaza to Jerusalem and Judea
and Samaria [i.e. the West Bank] and then to fill these Iranian
enclaves with hostile foreign Arabs."

V. "So Dynamic, the Dynamics of Revival"

Jonathan Spyer, a senior research fellow at the Interdisciplinary
Center in Herzliya, wrote in Ha'aretz (8/24): "Both Zionism and
radical Islam are, self-consciously, movements of 'revival'.... Here
lies the difference between these two movements and, for example,
the communism and radical socialism of the 20th century on the
other. The latter two preached a radical break with the past, and
celebrated an unfamiliar, imagined future. Zionism and Islamism, by
contrast, both draw on the deep currents of identification and
loyalty felt by Jews and Muslims to their respective traditions and
history.... In the case of Zionism and Israel, the singular
achievement, underlying success, has been the ability to combine the
archaic with the ultra-modern..... Radical Islam, of both Sunni and
Shi'ite varieties, on the other hand, has at least for the moment
proven unable to perform a similar feat.... If the evidence of
Islamism in power -- from Sudan to Teheran to Gaza -- is anything to
go by, the closed dogmatic thinking of the Islamists cannot allow
the freedom upon which successful development depends.... From the
point of view of Israel and its western allies, this of course bodes
well. We are going to have to spend a very great amount of time and
blood and treasure in the foreseeable future building ramparts
against the attacks of adherents of Islamic revival. But for as
long as Jewish nationhood is embedded in the solid structures of
economic and technological development, while its Islamist enemies
can root their own ambitions only in dysfunction and failure, the
results of the contest, bloody though it be, are not in doubt."

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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