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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2642/01 2430339
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 310339Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3056
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 2669
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 9373
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 2751
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3464
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 2699
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0694
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 3430
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0302
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0771
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 7354
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 4793
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 9703
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 3859
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 5801
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 7796
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002642

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. Iran

3. Turkey

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

Leading media reported that three Palestinian children from one
family were killed in a strike against rocket launchers in the
northern Gaza Strip. The media quoted the IDF as saying that it
"wishes to express sorrow for the use of teenagers in terror
attacks." Media quoted a relative of the children as saying: "We
are victims of the occupation and victims of the misbehavior of some
of the fighters, who are randomly choosing our area to target
Israel." The media quoted Hamas as saying that the attack reaffirms
Israel's aggressive intentions and its disinterest in reaching an
understanding with the Palestinians. It called on PA Chairman
[President] Mahmoud Abbas to stop meeting with PM Ehud Olmert.
Ha'aretz reported that chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat
condemned the killing of the children, predicting that violence
would breed more violence.

Ha'aretz reported that a new plan by the US security coordinator in
the territories, Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, calls for the deployment of
five new Palestinian battalions throughout the West Bank. The
newspaper quoted political sources in Jerusalem as saying on
Wednesday that the plan, whose aim is to bolster Chairman Abbas,
requires the approval of Israel if arms and equipment are to be
transferred to the new forces. The plan, which is still in its
early development, is likely to call for the staged creation of the
force, with relatively small units undergoing the necessary
training.

Maariv cited Israel's belief that Russia has greatly contributed to
tensions between Israel and Syria over the past few weeks.
According to the newspaper, Russia passed on to Syria inaccurate
information about Israel's intention to start a war. Maariv
reported that Israel is unable to find an explanation for Russia's
move, except for the fact that it is Syria's main arms supplier.

The Jerusalem Post quoted senior Israeli defense officials as saying
on Wednesday that, contrary to various news reports, the IDF had not
reduced its level of forces on the Golan Heights. However, The
Jerusalem Post noted that "certain messages" had been received by
both Israel and Syria indicating that neither was interested in
going to war.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Chairman Abbas has appointed a
special adviser on Jerusalem affairs -- Adnan Husseini, the former
director-general of the Waqf department in Jerusalem. Husseini was
quoted as saying in an interview with The Jerusalem Post that one of
his first tasks would be to persuade Israel to reopen Palestinian
institutions in the city that were closed down by Israel over the
past seven years. One of these institutions, Orient House, served
as the unofficial headquarters of the PLO in Jerusalem.

Maariv reported that on Wednesday Strategic Affairs Minister and
Yisrael Beiteinu party leader Avigdor Lieberman informed PM Olmert
that he was empowering Israel Hasson, a Knesset member from his
party and a former deputy director of the Shin Bet, to supervise the
negotiations with senior Palestinian officials. Likud Chairman
Binyamin Netanyahu confirmed on IDF Radio on Wednesday a report
published on Friday by The Jerusalem Post that he was interested in
recruiting Lieberman to run on a joint list for the next Knesset.

Israel Radio reported that Michael Williams, the UN envoy for the
Middle East process, has asked Hizbullah to provide signs of life
from the two IDF soldiers it abducted last year. The Jerusalem Post
cited Lebanese news reports that Hizbullah is setting up an
independent wireless phone network throughout southern Lebanon and
in Beirut. Israel Radio quoted a senior Lebanese official as saying
that this represents a blow to Lebanese sovereignty.

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported that over the past few weeks the
Israeli defense establishment has significantly slowed down the
construction of the security fence along the Green Line for
financial reasons. The Jerusalem Post reported that on Wednesday
the High Court of Justice rejected conflicting petitions against the
security barrier proposed by the IDF to protect the Alfei Menashe
settlement, located in the northern West Bank just four kilometers
east of the Green Line.

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported that the Shas party is considering
quitting the government, following PM Olmert's intention to sign an
agreement of principles with Chairman Abbas. The newspaper reported
that the Yisrael Beiteinu party is also opposed to the diplomatic
moves but cited its belief that no agreement will be signed.

Leading media quoted President Bush as saying on Wednesday at the
Annual Convention of the American Legion in Reno: "Iran's active
pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons threatens
to put a region already known for instability and violence under the
shadow of a nuclear holocaust."

The Jerusalem Post reported that Kadima and Likud politicians
reacted negatively to Defense Minister and Labor Party Chairman Ehud
Barak's call on Tuesday for general elections in 2008.

The media reported that on Sunday the IDF will award commendations
to soldiers who served in the Second Lebanon War. Major media ran
features about some casualties and heroes of the war. Israel Radio
reported that Saloum Don, an Israeli Arab who was wounded in a
Katyusha rocket attack on his home in Haifa, passed away on
Wednesday.

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe quoted the London-based Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat as
saying on Wednesday that Chairman Abbas has agreed to solve the
crisis between Fatah and Hamas.

The Jerusalem Post reported that a group of Israeli law professors
has submitted a brief to the US Supreme Court on behalf of prisoners
who have been held at the Guantanamo Bay naval prison for several
years without access to courts or lawyers. The authors of the brief
explain the Israeli system for guaranteeing the rights of security
suspects without sacrificing national security. Two of the
signatories told The Jerusalem Post about this on Wednesday.

Ha'aretz reported that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees told
the Israeli Foreign Ministry that the 48 infiltrators Israel sent
back about 10 days ago will not be returned to Sudan. The newspaper
reported that the Foreign Ministry has embarked upon a worldwide PR
campaign, mainly in the US, saying that Israel has done a lot for
Darfur refugees but that it must take its own security
considerations into account.

The Jerusalem Post and Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported that a cabinet
subcommittee has unanimously recommended ending a visa requirement
for Russian visitors to Israel, a step that could lead to millions
of dollars in additional annual revenue for the country's tourism
industry. The Jerusalem Post quoted Tourism Ministry spokesman
Amatzia Bar-Moshe as saying that FM Tzipi Livni might pursue a
parallel modification that would cancel the visa requirement for
Israelis visiting Russia.

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

Summary:
--------

Oslo Accords architect Uri Savir wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "The [Israeli-Palestinian] accord will
eventually be signed -- even if it is called the Pardes Hanna accord
[after an insignificant Israeli town], it will still be Oslo."

Middle East affairs commentator Dr. Guy Bechor, a lecturer at the
Interdisciplinary Center, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist
Yediot Aharonot: "The next time the Syrians accuse us, as they
always do, of not wanting peace ... we should stand up and announce
in the clearest way possible a declared change in policy: No, with
this Syrian regime we do not want any peace."

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

I. "Still the Only Solution"

Oslo Accords architect Uri Savir wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (8/30): "Without political compromises, this
country would have been torn to pieces by terrible bloodshed -- just
as happened in Yugoslavia. The Oslo Accords should have gradually
led to this country's partition into two nations to prevent the
creation of a binational state, by gradually transferring civilian
powers to the Palestinians and freeing Israel from the burdens of
occupation.... Like any compromise agreement, this is no ideal
accord. However, it grants the Palestinians a diplomatic horizon of
freedom and allows Israel to continue to exist as a national, Jewish
state that will also bring security to the region.... I know every
word in those accords and can attest to the fact that both sides
have violated them countless times; the harshest blow the agreements
suffered was the result of Jewish terror -- the Rabin assassination.
Further problems were Arafat's failure to establish a proper,
non-corrupt regime; the failure of the Palestinians to fight the
terrorist organizations ... Israel's failure to fight transgressors
of the law against settlements; and so forth.... However, it should
be remembered that this is about weaknesses in the implementation of
a just and correct agreement, of a historic decision that is most
crucial to those who hope for the continuation of the existence of a
Jewish, national, and democratic state.... The accord will
eventually be signed -- even if it is called the Pardes Hanna accord
[after an insignificant Israeli town], it will still be Oslo."

II. "To Sing a Different Song"

Middle East affairs commentator Dr. Guy Bechor, a lecturer at the
Interdisciplinary Center, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist
Yediot Aharonot (8/30): "The next time the Syrians accuse us, as
they always do, of not wanting peace, instead of stammering we
should stand up and announce in the clearest way possible a declared
change in policy: No, with this Syrian regime we do not want any
peace. We want no relations with the tyranny of the Alawite
minority, and certainly not peace. Syria is an important country
and a central neighbor. Once it is democratic, it will understand
the meaning of peace and will concede its demand for territories,
behind which lie no peaceful intentions. Then we will have peaceful
relations with them. But with the regime that is responsible for
the brutal murder of tens of thousands of Syrians in the 1982 events
at Hama, the murder of the Tadmor prison inmates, the murder of
dozens of Lebanese politicians and leaders, harsh incitement over
many years against Israel and the Jews, and the people in Damascus
who are responsible for the murder of the Lebanese prime minister
and are soon to be indicted -- with those people we want no
relations.... From the Syrians' point of view, such a new Israeli
position would be a source of embarrassment, since if they try to
cast it as Israeli intransigence they will be turning the spotlight
on the list of their crimes and failures. Here is a paradox for
you: When we claim that we want peace, the senior officials of the
Alawite regime attack us; when we simply say that we don't want
peace with them, theyQll relent. And another comment: Syria does
not have relations of peace with any Arab country. At best
Damascus' relations with the Arab states, and certainly with its
neighbors, are somewhere between hostility and reciprocal loathing.
Syria's relations are somewhere between hostile and cold with
Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian
Authority, and so forth. So what about Israel? Are we beginning to
understand just how absurd our belief was?"

---------
2. Iran:
---------

Summary:
--------

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: "Sarkozy has
shown that he recognizes the seriousness of the Iranian threat and
is willing to stand up to it, and is not trying to pass on the
problem to Israel's doorstep."

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

"A Realist at the Elysee Palace"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (8/30): "For
Israelis, the most important part of Sarkozy's [inaugural
diplomatic] address was his statement that Iran's nuclear program is
the central problem on the international agenda today.... Sarkozy's
assessment is similar to the view of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and
his colleagues in the Israeli leadership, who have made similar
statements and have presented the Iranian bomb as an international
problem that requires an urgent diplomatic solution. Sarkozy has
shown that he recognizes the seriousness of the Iranian threat and
is willing to stand up to it, and is not trying to pass on the
problem to Israel's doorstep.... It is too early to tell how his
approach will shape relations with Israel. It should not be
expected that France will withdraw its traditional objections to the
occupation and Israel's actions in the territories, but it is
possible that France will not appear at the head of the line of its
critics, as in the past. Regarding the US, Sarkozy has stuck to the
adamant opposition of his predecessor regarding the war in Iraq, and
has called for a timetable for an American withdrawal. This way, he
has kept his distance from the views of President George W. Bush.
Sarkozy's statements about Iran and Iraq, and his criticism of
Russia and China, leave no doubt: He considers France under his
leadership a leading player on the international scene. This will
certainly find expression in the Middle East as well."

-----------
3. Turkey:
-----------

Summary:
--------

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: "What is
required in facing down those who would commit genocide ... is an
alliance of all enlightened nations, taking concerted action to
thwart such ambitions long before they are implemented. Striving
for a better future, however, also requires acknowledging and
internalizing the crimes of the past."

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

"Facing Up to the Past"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (8/30):
"While Israel is acutely and understandably sensitive to its
relationship with the current Turkish government, a key ally, the
Jewish state, which rightly protests Holocaust denial wherever it
occurs, cannot possibly be complicit in the denial of genocide
elsewhere.... To denounce the Armenian Genocide is not to denounce
Turkey and its current government: It did not perpetrate these
killings. But its responsibilities are those of a successor
government, and must not be ducked. Our global tragedy is that what
the former Canadian justice minister has described as a 'genocide in
the making' is being perpetrated, right now, in Darfur, in an era of
globalized communication where no nation can claim to be unaware of
what is unfolding. And the next potential tragedy is developing
before our eyes as well, similarly unobstructed by the international
community. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Iranian regime
openly call for Israel's destruction and are seeking the means to
achieve it -- in open breach of the UN's post-World War II 'Never
Again' convention.... What is required in facing down those who
would commit genocide, of course, is an alliance of all enlightened
nations, taking concerted action to thwart such ambitions long
before they are implemented. Striving for a better future, however,
also requires acknowledging and internalizing the crimes of the
past."

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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