Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0005
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2986/01 2890606
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 160606Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3668
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 2854
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 9547
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 2983
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3652
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 2886
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0934
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 3617
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0481
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0949
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 7528
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 4975
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 9888
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 4034
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 5979
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 8163
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002986

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

Secretary Rice to Israel, West Bank, October 14-18, 2007:

SIPDIS

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

Major media quoted Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as saying
during a joint press conference with PA Chairman [President] Mahmoud
Abbas: "Israelis and Palestinians are making their most serious
effort in years to resolve the conflict. Frankly, it is time for
the establishment of a Palestinian state." The independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz quoted Chairman Abbas as saying that Israel
should dismantle all settlements and pull back its military to the
pre-Intifada lines even before the completion of negotiations.
Abbas made additional demands, including the release of all
Palestinian prisoners. The Palestinian leader was quoted as saying
that he told Rice of these demands, and that he asked her to help
halt construction within the existing settlements, citing the
relevant clause in the Roadmap.

Ha'aretz reported that Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman
told Rice on Monday that going ahead with a Middle East meeting next
month would be a mistake and that the Israeli government cannot
afford to make to make controversial decisions on matters of such a
sensitive nature. Lieberman also stressed to the Secretary the
importance of security for the residents of Sderot and the area
around Gaza. The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post reported
that Lieberman told Rice that an IDF operation to destroy the
terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip is inevitable.

Ha'aretz reported that Tel Aviv University's "Peace Index" poll
found that some two-thirds of Israel's Jewish public thinks that
from Israel's standpoint it is impossible to go on indefinitely with
the current state of relations between Israel and the Palestinians.
A similar number of Jewish citizens think that among the most urgent
issues on Israel's agenda is the government's attempt to reach a
peace agreement with the Palestinians. Yet a large majority of this
public does not believe that the Annapolis meeting will
significantly advance the process of reaching a permanent
Israeli-Palestinian peace, or even achieve a basic clarification of
the differences between the two sides.


All media led with reports that information received from Hizbullah
during a deal carried out along Israel's northern border on Monday
is hoped to bring to a conclusion the mystery
surrounding the fate of missing IAF navigator Ron Arad. On Monday
evening Israel and Hizbullah exchanged the remains of three
individuals and a seriously ill prisoner. The media said that the
transaction, carried out with the help of the UN and the Red Cross,
is the first overt sign of a mediating process that began six months
ago for the release of the two abducted reservists, Eldad Regev and
Ehud Goldwasser. As part of the deal, Israel received sensitive
information linked to the case of Arad, missing since 1986 when his
jet crashed in Lebanon. The media are divided regarding the amount
of knowledge Hizbullah has about Arad's fate. Similar to other
media, Ha'aretz reported that senior Israeli defense sources told
the newspaper last night that the deal reflects a certain degree of
progress in contacts with Hizbullah, but negotiations are still
slow, and at this stage there is no expectation that Regev and
Goldwasser will be freed in the near future.

Leading media reported that speaking to the Knesset plenum on
Monday, PM Ehud Olmert questioned whether Arab neighborhoods in East
Jerusalem should be defined as part of Israel's capital.

Israel Radio reported that Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the
Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs in Washington on
Monday that the US must leave all options open in the fight against
Iran's nuclear program. Gates did not say whether this meant a
military operation against Iran. Leading media reported that during
his visit to Tehran, Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss
Iran's nuclear program with the Iranian leaders.

Major media quoted police as saying on Monday that the Israeli
police will handle the criminal probe into PM Olmert's activities
when he was industry and trade minister. Ha'aretz quoted police
sources as saying that the investigation is complicated and will
take several months.

------------------------------------------
Secretary Rice to Israel, West Bank, October 14-18, 2007:

SIPDIS
------------------------------------------

Summary:
--------

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: "[Because of
the opposition of right-wing groups to her moves, Secretary Rice]
deserves double the congratulations for her perseverance in
promoting the important tasks she has taken upon herself: preparing
the ground and hearts for the unavoidable compromises on the way to
dividing the land."

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: "The
immediate question ... is whether Livni will insist on this bedrock
Israeli interest [mutual recognition] as a condition for any
document."

Gilad Sharon, son of former prime minister Ariel Sharon, wrote in
the mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "What point is
there to an agreement when it is known that Palestinian terror will
continue?"

Senior op-ed writer Akiva Eldar commented in Ha'aretz: "The good
news ... is that in their four one-on-one meetings, Prime Minister
Ehud Olmert and Abbas have touched on the conflict's most sensitive
issues. The bad news.... is that the two leaders have agreed that
the gaps between them with respect to details are too big."

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

I. "Welcome Involvement"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (10/16): "The
difficulties that have emerged through direct talks between Israel
and the Palestinians do not discourage [Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice]. Rice is once again shuttling between the two
parties.... Rice does not content herself with promoting
understandings between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Abbas.Rice is
attempting to utilize Washington's prestige as a superpower and her
personal influence to persuade the Israeli premier's coalition
partners and party members to cooperate.... In her meeting with
[Israeli cabinet ministers], Rice reminded them that Israel has for
decades avoided the necessary move of addressing the core issues,
and that a decision on the matter is now inevitable. ' Frankly, it
is time for the establishment of a Palestinian state,' Rice later
said. Her words will probably not be greeted with applause from
Israeli right-wing circles nor by Jewish and Christian groups that
have influence over the Bush administrationQs top brass and in
Congress. And for that reason, the visitor deserves double the
congratulations for her perseverance in promoting the important
tasks she has taken upon herself: preparing the ground and hearts
for the unavoidable compromises on the way to dividing the land."

II. "Livni's Mission"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (10/16):
"Regardless of Olmert's motives, Livni's appointment [as the head of
the Israeli negotiating team] would have an important effect on
[the] outcome [of the talks]. She has long taken an interest in the
true pivot of the conflict, the Palestinian demand for the 'right of
return.' Now her goal and motto should be a simple one: Without
positive Palestinian movement on that, there is little point to the
summit and no basis for Israeli concessions.... Successful
negotiations toward a two-state solution cannot proceed in earnest
when one side denies the fundamental legitimacy of the other's
state. Such a challenge violates the principle of mutual
recognition, which must be established as a prerequisite to
negotiations rather than as their hoped for result. One would like
to be fully confident that the Prime Minister would walk away from
any deal that does not advance this fundamental position, but such
confidence is in short supply. The immediate question, therefore,
is whether Livni will insist on this bedrock Israeli interest as a
condition for any document."

III. "With Whom and About What?"

Gilad Sharon, son of former prime minister Ariel Sharon, wrote in
the mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (10/16): "The very
skipping to permanent-status [talks] is the result of the fact that
the Palestinians have not stood up to their commitments in the
framework of the Roadmap and other agreements -- in particular the
cessation of terror, the dismantling of the [Palestinian terror]
organizations and the weapons gathering. What point is there to an
agreement when it is known that Palestinian terror will continue?
Moving to the permanent-status agreement is therefore a stupid and
dangerous solution."

IV. "A Prelude of Niceties"

Senior op-ed writer Akiva Eldar commented in Ha'aretz (10/16):
"Israelis and Palestinians who have met with US Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice in recent days and have spoken with her staff have
gained the impression that she does not really know what on earth
her boss wants from her. It isn't that Dr. Rice has a hearing
problem. Her problem is that US President George W. Bush has
apparently not yet decided what exactly he wants to achieve at the
Annapolis peace conference. His answers depend on who he is
speaking to and on the day of the week.... There are two camps at
the White House and at the State Department. The prevailing train
of thought in one of the camps, led by neo-conservative Elliott
Abrams, who is in charge of the National Security Council's Middle
Eastern Affairs, holds that negotiations with the Palestinians on a
final status solution is an idiotic idea. Members of the other
camp, headed by Rice, believe the time has come to renew the peace
process, but they have no idea how to go about this. The good news
they have heard is that in their four one-on-one meetings, Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert and Abbas have touched on the conflict's most
sensitive issues. The bad news that has been brought to their
attention is that the two leaders have agreed that the gaps between
them with respect to details are too big."

JONES

© 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: