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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #3087/01 2981021
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 251021Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3834
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
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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 2900
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 9588
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 3026
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3693
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 2927
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0985
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 3658
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0524
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0990
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 7569
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 5017
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 9937
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 4083
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 6020
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 8240
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 003087

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

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

Israel Radio quoted a State Department spokesperson as saying on
Wednesday that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will come to
Israel and the PA in early November. Major media quoted Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice as saying before the House Foreign Affairs
Committee on Wednesday: "Our concern is growing that without a
serious political prospect for the Palestinians that gives to
moderate leaders a horizon that they can show to their people that
indeed there is a two-state solution that is possible, we will lose
the window for a two-state solution." The radio, The Jerusalem
Post, and Ha'aretz quoted Secretary Rice as saying that that the
U.S. is planning to send senior officials to examine the smuggling
of arms, equipment and persons from Egypt into Gaza. (The Jerusalem
Post reported that PM Olmert is expected to travel to Egypt next
week and focus on the Annapolis meeting.) Rice was quoted as saying
that the smuggling activities are a grave concern and reiterated
what she told Egyptian FM Ahmed Ali Abu al-Gheit two weeks ago about
the need to do more, and "urgently." Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported
that "knowledgeable American sources" told the newspaper that the
main reason for the call to lower expectations is Rice's failure
during her visit the region

Ha'aretz reported that PM Ehud Olmert and President Abbas will meet
privately on Friday at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem.
Ha'aretz quoted senior officials in Jerusalem as saying that Olmert
and Abbas want to get started and delve deeply into the work of the
negotiating teams. Ha'aretz, citing senior Israeli officials, said
that US National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley will arrive today
and that his visit is intended to send a message that President Bush
wants to stay informed and involved in preparations for the peace
conference. Ha'aretz reported that the Israeli and PA negotiating
teams, headed by FM Tzipi Livni and her PA counterpart Ahmed Qurei
(Abu Ala), met on Wednesday. The newspaper reported that the two
sides have not reached an agreement over the continuation of the
talks and a joint statement. Most of the disagreement concerns
Israel's demand for renewed deliberations on implementing the first
stage of the road map. The Palestinians claim that they have
already implemented the first stage, which includes fighting terror,
and that Israel must now evacuate West Bank outposts and stop
construction in the settlements. The Israeli negotiators, for their
part, argue that the Palestinians must demonstrate greater efforts
to fight Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Based on statements made recently in private talks, Ha'aretz quoted
Gen. Keith Dayton, the US security coordinator in the PA, as saying
that he does not believe Palestinian security forces in the West
Bank are capable of enforcing security needs in cities there.
Ha'aretz noted that Dayton's views are seconded by the PA, which
recently informed Israel that it lacks the necessary infrastructure
to deploy police officers in Nablus. Ha'aretz quoted Defense
Minister Ehud Barak as saying during talks in Washington last week
that Israel is interested in furthering a process to enable
Palestinian security forces to deploy in the West Bank. Barak added
that Israel lifted 25 roadblocks in the West Bank recently.

Ha'aretz quoted FM Tzipi Livni as saying a few months ago in a
series of closed discussions that Iranian nuclear weapons do not
pose an existential threat to Israel. According to the newspaper,
Livni also criticized PM Olmert use of the Iranian issue, claiming
that he is attempting to rally the public around him by playing on
its most basic fears. Ha'aretz reported that France is leading the
push for the EU to step up efforts to pressure Iran through trade
restrictions, while Germany is waiting for a UN resolution. Maariv
reported that Russia announced on Wednesday that it will respect all
its commitments to build the Bushehr nuclear reactor. The
announcement was published by the Russian government's news agency
Itar-Tass, which noted that it contradicted a statement by PM Olmert
that appeared in Ha'aretz that Russia would stop supplying nuclear
fuel to Iran.

Maariv reported that IDF maneuvers in the Golan are worrying Syria.
The newspaper reported that Israel has reassured Syria that it will
not attack it. Leading media cited a Washington Post story that the
target Israel raided in Syria looks like a nuclear reactor.

The Jerusalem Post reported that in an effort to bolster the IAF in
the face of Iran's race toward nuclear power, the Pentagon agreed,
during meetings with Defense Minister Barak last week, to move up
delivery of its newest stealth fighter -- the fifth-generation Joint
Strike Fighter -- to Israel by two years, to as early as 2012. That
delivery was expected to commence in 2014.

All media reported on Wednesday's shooting rampage outside Ariel in
the West Bank. Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed
responsibility for the attack. Two Israelis were wounded. Ha'aretz
reported that two Palestinian youths who were near rocket launchers
were killed by IDF missiles in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday.
Israel Radio reported that this morning IDF forces killed two
Islamic Jihad militants in the southern Gaza Strip.

Maariv quoted PM Olmert as saying on Wednesday that Yigal Amir,
Yitzhak Rabin's assassin, deserves to die.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the Mufti of Jerusalem, Ikrema
Sabri, has made the claim that there never was a Jewish temple on
the Temple Mount, and that the Western Wall was really part of a
mosque.

The Jerusalem Post reported that PA officials in Ramallah expressed
concerns on Wednesday over attempts by Hamas and other Palestinian
radical groups to create a new PLO at a conference due to take place
in Syria and the Gaza Strip early next month.

Yediot reported that from 1999 to 2004 oligarch Arkady Gaidamak, who
harbors political ambitions in Israel, invested a large sum in a
Kazakh company mining and selling uranium Yediot noted that an EU
report had criticized him over his access to uranium due to his
involvement in arms trading.

The Jerusalem Post reported that this week in Jerusalem academics
and police brass from the US and Israel attended a symposium on
confronting terrorism in civil society. The ongoing dialogue
started in November 2005.

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

Summary:
--------

Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "The only question is how long [Olmert] can
continue to march this way in no-man's-land, until the indifference
turns into disappointment."

Regional correspondent Ronni Shaked wrote in the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "If Abu Mazen wants to succeed at
Annapolis conference, then he must first put his own house (Fatah)
in order."

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in Ha'aretz: "As
someone put it, Bush wants to go to Jerusalem by way of Baghdad
rather than to Baghdad via Jerusalem. [But] Bush no longer behaves
as though he believes what he once did."

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

I. "Policy in No-Man's-Land"

Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (10/25): "Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's trip to
Europe this week once again illustrated that the 'peace process' is
the most convenient diplomatic situation for Israel. Conducting
high-level talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority;
Israel's willingness to discuss the principles for ending the
conflict; and gestures such as the release of prisoners are in
themselves sufficient to remove international pressure on Israel to
withdraw from the territories and to end the occupation.... To
translate the diplomatic language, Olmert is saying the following: I
am responding to international expectations and talking to Mahmoud
Abbas, although it is clear to me and to him that the situation on
the ground will not change as a result of these talks. If I present
a 'diplomatic horizon' to the Fatah leaders, they may have a chance
of surviving on the West Bank. And even if they fall and Hamas
takes control of Ramallah, Nablus, and Hebron, Israel will not be to
blame. Meanwhile, we must not rush with negotiations, and
implementation must be postponed, so that my coalition will not fall
apart and my government will have an agenda.... He is not the first
to benefit from the convenience of an ongoing 'peace process' whose
end is unknown -- 'There are no sacred dates,' said Yitzhak
Rabin.... But Olmert, as opposed to his predecessors, declared from
the very beginning that he wanted to leave the territories.... The
only question is how long he can continue to march this way in
no-man's-land, until the indifference turns into disappointment --
which will increase the danger of a flare-up with the Palestinians,
or could once again ignite the internal debate."

II. "The Trouble Starts from Fatah"

Regional correspondent Ronni Shaked wrote in the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot (10/25): "The Fatah leadership, headed by
Abu Mazen, is careful ... to condemn terror and call for its
cessation. But even while they speak, their soldiers -- the members
of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades -- are immersed ... in terror. In
the past few days, we have received painful ... reminders from them:
the shooting attack in Ariel and plot to assassinate Olmert in
Jericho.... It has not been easy to reorganize Fatah in the West
Bank after it was crushed in Operation Defensive Shield in 2002....
The Fatah operatives in the West Bank enjoy the best of both worlds:
They take advantage of Israel's uncompromising war against Hamas and
Islamic Jihad to gain strength, and have become the source of terror
in the West Bank.... If Abu Mazen wants to succeed at Annapolis
conference, then he must first put his own house (Fatah) in order.
Hamas is pressuring its members to carry out a large terror attack
in order to obstruct the conference, and as a result even Abu Mazen
is fighting against them in the West Bank. Now it has become
apparent that our concerns should be aimed in a different direction
-- that Abu Mazen's soldiers will be the ones who will succeed in
carrying out a large terror attack that will spoil the conference at
Annapolis."

III. "The Voice of the Old Bush"

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in Ha'aretz (10/25):
"The great revolution that Bush brought to the Israeli-Arab arena
was grounded on a change in thinking: All of his predecessors in
the White House from Truman to Clinton viewed the conflict as the
fundamental problem of the Middle East. Solve the conflict and the
region will be changed entirely: from the particular to the general.
Bush was the first to flip the pyramid on its head: Change the
region and the conflict will more or less solve itself. As someone
put it, Bush wants to go to Jerusalem by way of Baghdad rather than
to Baghdad via Jerusalem. [But] Bush no longer behaves as though he
believes what he once did. Perhaps he was persuaded by the
arguments of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, perhaps he was
worn out by heavy international pressure, or maybe he's just
pretending..... [The US administration now] views solving the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the key to dealing with other
regional issues. That's how it is for Bush and his emissaries, but
not his successors in the Republican Party."

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

Summary:
--------

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: "Europe
cannot have it all ways: complaining about American power while
refusing to exercise its own; complaining about an American or
Israeli resort to force while gutting all non-military efforts to
repel the Iranian challenge."

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

"Europe's Awakening?"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (10/25):
"This week in Paris and London, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert heard
some quite encouraging words.... This new wind is not just good for
Israel, it will increase European influence on events in the Middle
East, could help breathe new life into the peace process, and
directly advance European interests. It is even good for the Arab
world, since Arab countries are also threatened by the advance of
Islamofascism and by the severe developmental costs their war
against Israel has imposed. The most encouraging aspect of the
seeming shift is that it might just be dawning on Europe that the
threat of Islamofascism is real, not some American-Israeli plot....
While this apparent growing realization is the good news, the bad
news is that it has not spread far enough and is not being acted
upon fast enough.... Europe cannot have it all ways: complaining
about American power while refusing to exercise its own; complaining
about an American or Israeli resort to force while gutting all
non-military efforts to repel the Iranian challenge.... The prospect
for peace, incidentally, between Arabs and Israelis hangs in the
balance. No Western government should be under any illusions: The
outcome of the conflict with Iran, not this or that diplomatic
effort, will be the primary determinate of whether the Arab world
goes the way of beleaguered moderates, or follows the lead of Hamas,
Hizbullah, and al-Qaida."

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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