Search

 

Cablegate: Special Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #3207/01 3090626
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 050626Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4036
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 2951
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 9633
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 3106
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3738
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 2982
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 1055
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 3703
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0571
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1037
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 7614
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 5066
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 9986
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 4128
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 6066
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 8349
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 003207

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: SPECIAL ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION

--------------------------------
SUBJECTS COVERED IN THIS REPORT:
--------------------------------

Secretary Rice to Israel, West Bank, November 3-5, 2007

SIPDIS

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

All media continued to report on Secretary of State Condoleezza
RiceQs visit to the region. Maariv quoted Rice as saying that
failure is not an option. Israel Radio reported that the Secretary
stated the importance of the Palestinians' future. Leading media
reported that Secretary Rice had agreed to most of Israel's
conditions for the Annapolis summit. Ha'aretz quoted an official in
Olmert's bureau as saying that the premier and the Secretary spoke
about the upcoming summit and "adhering to the principles of the
Roadmap as a basis for progress between Israel and the
Palestinians." Maariv reported that the Secretary informed PM
Olmert of her meeting with Syrian PM Walid Muallem. The
nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe quoted Secretary Rice as
saying that the US and Israel are not opposed to Syria's
participation in Annapolis, while Olmert conditioned such a
development on the Golan issue not being discussed.

PM Olmert was quoted as saying on Sunday that contrary to
declarations he had made earlier, negotiations with the Palestinians
after the Annapolis meeting will focus on the core issues. "All
fundamental questions, the substantive issues, all the historical
questions burdening our debate, are on the agenda," Olmert was
quoted as saying during an address at the Saban Forum, an annual
gathering of Israeli and US political leaders. He was further
quoted as saying that Israel has a "partner." The Jerusalem Post
quoted Olmert as saying: "If we and the Palestinians act with
determination, there is a chance that we can reach real
accomplishments during the Bush presidency. There is no intention
of dragging on the negotiations endlessly."

Maariv reported that in secret meetings Meretz-Yahad Chairman Yossi
Beilin and associates of PA Chairman [President] Mahmoud Abbas,
including Yasser Abed Rabbo, have been devising drafts for the
declaration of principles that could help achieve progress at
Annapolis.

Ha'aretz (lead story) and Yediot Aharonot reported that PM Ehud
Olmert intends to release more Palestinian prisoners as a gesture of
good will to the PA prior to the Annapolis meeting. Ha'aretz quoted
sources in Olmert's bureau as saying that the PM is currently
examining a request by the PA for freeing as many as 2,000
prisoners. Ha'aretz quoted a diplomatic source in Jerusalem as
saying on Sunday that "because at Annapolis there will be no
solutions presented to the core issues, the Palestinians want to
show that they are making gains in routine matters -- both in the
implementation of the road map and in the release of prisoners.
From our point of view, the release of prisoners is the easiest
price to pay, but there are still no numbers. Ha'aretz noted that
unlike other moves that directly affect the quality of life of
Palestinian civilians, a decision to free prisoners is less
dependent on agreement by the Defense Minister and defense
establishment.

Ha'aretz reported that Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Rice on
Sunday that the sanctions Israel has imposed on the Gaza Strip will
not lead to a humanitarian crisis. He also promised to allow
Palestinian policemen to deploy to other cities in the West Bank, if
the recent deployment of 300 PA policemen in Nablus has a positive
effect. The media reported that Rice also met FM Tzipi Livni on
Sunday, who told reporters afterward that the Palestinians "need to
understand that the implementation of future understandings will be
implemented only according to the phases of the road map -- meaning
security for Israel first and then the establishment of a
Palestinian state." Leading media quoted Chairman Mahmoud Abbas as
saying in a speech in Ramallah that Palestinians had abided by 90
percent of the road map requirements and now "Israel must do its
part." Livni was quoted as saying that Israel was prepared to move
forward in discussions with the Palestinians, although the situation
was "complicated ... more than ever." Ha'aretz reported that Rice
told Livni that she hoped her visit would help to "advance the work
you are doing bilaterally with the Palestinians as well as
continuing to plan for the Annapolis meetings."

The Jerusalem Post reported that in an interview with the newspaper,
the Quartet's Middle East envoy Tony Blair urged Israel on Sunday to
make a "psychological shift" from indifference and skepticism about
the prospects of progress with the Palestinians to an active
determination to "make it happen on the right terms." He was
quoted as saying that Israel, which turns 60 in May, would
"absolutely" still be here in another 60 years, but that "to
guarantee its long-term security I believe it needs a viable
Palestinian state." Blair was quoted as saying he was "sure that
the Prime Minister [Ehud Olmert] is absolutely up for it. I've got
no doubt about that at all. The next few weeks will tell whether
everyone is prepared to get behind that."

Ha'aretz quoted Blair as saying on Sunday that he hoped to announce
a series of projects that will help bolster the Palestinian economy.
He told a conference in Jerusalem that formal negotiations over
creating a Palestinian state should not be "impossibly difficult"
but he acknowledged that the path was "utterly fraught" and that
both sides had to take steps to build confidence. Maariv quoted
Blair as saying that another peace meeting might take place in
December, in which the Palestinians would present their plans for
the future.

The media reported that on Sunday four Palestinians were killed in
the Gaza Strip in two IDF attacks against Qassam rocket launchers.
A Qassam rocket hit a high-voltage power line at the entrance of
Sderot, cutting the power supply to the city for two hours.
Ha'aretz quoted Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai, who visited
the region, as saying that Israel might carry out a major ground
offensive in Gaza "when the time is right." Ha'aretz reported that
a private bill introduced by Knesset members Israel Hasson (Yisrael
Beiteinu), Limor Livnat (Likud), and Matan Vilnai (Labor), and
backed by 13 other legislators, calls for withholding Palestinian
tax and customs revenue to pay for damage caused by Qassam rockets.
Leading media quoted security officials as saying on Sunday that
three Jerusalem Arabs have been charged with planning a series of
terrorist attacks in the city, including the assassination of
Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupoliansky, a suicide bombing, and a shooting
attack near the Western Wall.

Leading media reported that the office of the Military Advocate
General is expected to ask the High Court of Justice on Monday to
halt the publication of the Winograd Commission's final report
pending a ruling on the right of response for IDF officers who stand
to be harmed by the reportQs contents.

Major media reported that for the first time, the Foreign Ministry
will be given access to raw military intelligence relevant to
political analyses. The Winograd Commission recommended the move in
its interim report. Under the agreement, the Foreign Ministry will
receive a great deal more raw intelligence collected through signals
intelligence -- namely, communications surveillance -- in particular
developments in Lebanon, Syria, and the PA.

All media reported that the circumcision ceremony of the son of
Yitzhak Rabin's assassin Yigal Amir took place in Amir's prison on
Sunday. Small groups of militants from the Left and the far Right
demonstrated outside the prison. Major media reported that before a
soccer game on Sunday fans of the (Likud-associated) Beitar
Jerusalem club booed the name of Yitzhak Rabin when asked to respect
a minute of silence in memory of Rabin. Leading media reported that
pictures of President Shimon Peres with a kaffiyeh (Arab head-dress)
were stuck on Jerusalem walls. Similar images portraying Rabin were
posted before his assassination.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, who visited Israel
last week, was quoted as saying in an interview with Ha'aretz that
interfaith dialogue is vital for fostering understanding and
preempting further destabilization in the Middle East.

------------------------
Secretary Rice to Israel, West Bank, November 3-5, 2007:

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

Summary:
--------

Senior columnist Nahum Barnea wrote on page one of the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "Olmert is convinced
that the Israelis will not forgive him if he does not exhaust this
opportunity.... [However] some of them will not forgive him for the
very attempt."

Senior op-ed writer Akiva Eldar commented in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "The Annapolis summit is an excellent
opportunity to update the formula for peace posed by the Arab League
and conclude that when the conflict is resolved, the Middle East
will be free of nuclear weapons. No exceptions!"

Columnist Caleb Ben-David wrote on page one of the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post: "Since Israel and the Palestinians are
now already talking to each other on almost every level, Annapolis
looks increasingly less like a shortcut in the Roadmap than a
potentially risky detour."

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

I. "It's Starting"

Senior columnist Nahum Barnea wrote on page one of the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (11/5): "In his speech
to the Saban Forum on Sunday, Olmert made a significant step in
marketing the Annapolis summit to the Israeli public.... Olmert
proved a second time in a week (the first one was the press
conference he convened to talk about his illness) that he knows how
to create drama and control.... Should this depend on Olmert and
Livni, the document to be presented at Annapolis will promise a
debate on all core issues on the day after.... [But] Annapolis will
be a photo-op. The level of representation of the Arab countries at
the meeting will be low.... Olmert is convinced that the Israelis
will not forgive him if he does not exhaust this opportunity.
Arafat is dead. It also depends which Israelis we are talking
about: Some of them will not forgive him for the very attempt. It
seems that the temporary quiet -- some say: the coma -- in the
political debate that is tearing Israel ended on Sunday. A
different, stormy, dramatic, and also ugly period -- as we saw on
Sunday [over the circumcision of Yigal Amir's son] -- has started."

II. No Exceptions"

Senior op-ed writer Akiva Eldar commented in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (11/5): "What will Israel's policy -- or for
that matter, America's -- be, if in Iran's upcoming elections,
Ahmadinejad were to give way to a more moderate leader, who were to
announce that Iran recognizes Israel's right to exist within the
1967, borders? Will Iran become one of the 'moderate' Muslim
states, like, say, Pakistan, which is allowed to develop nuclear
weapons?... What will the Israeli and American policies be toward
the Syrian nuclear program if Assad were to announce his intentions
to step away from Iran, not interfere in Lebanon and seal the border
with Iraq? The struggle against the Iranian and Syrian nuclear
programs, and in the future perhaps the Egyptian and Jordanian
programs, is meant to divert attention from the real problem in the
Middle East -- the war for hegemony over the region between the
religious-extremist camp and the moderate-pragmatic one. The
Annapolis summit is an excellent opportunity to update the formula
for peace posed by the Arab League and conclude that when the
conflict is resolved, the Middle East will be free of nuclear
weapons. No exceptions!"

III. "The Long and Winding Roadmap"

Columnist Caleb Ben-David wrote on page one of the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post (11/5): "Bogged down in Iraq and
Afghanistan, Rice and George W. Bush are in no mood to patiently
oversee the Roadmap process developing [as a self-contained peace
process], as the clock ticks down on their time in the White House.
Instead, they have called a conference in Annapolis whose timing and
purpose appear outside of the Roadmap framework, even as the latter
is now starting to move along down the original route first set in
motion by Bush four years ago.... Since Israel and the Palestinians
are now already talking to each other on almost every level,
Annapolis looks increasingly less like a shortcut in the Roadmap
than a potentially risky detour. So unless Rice can soon pull a
rabbit out of her hat by bringing an Arab state such as Saudi Arabia
into the conference -- a prospect that looks increasingly dim -- it
is only fair to indeed ask, as Olmert did so defensively Sunday
night: Why Annapolis, and why now?"

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

COP24: Rapid Action Urged At Climate Change Conference

Following a year of devastating climate disasters around the globe, from California to Kerala, and Tonga to Japan, the annual UN Climate Change Conference opens with the goal of finalising the implementation guidelines for the Paris Climate Change Agreement. More>>

ALSO:

New Report: Refugees In PNG Being Pushed To The Brink

Refugee Council of Australia and Amnesty International paint a stark picture of a traumatised refugee population hit hard by Australia's recent healthcare and counselling service cuts, as well as continued threats to their safety. More>>

ALSO:

Jamal Khashoggi: UK, France, Germany Join Calls For Credible Investigation

Germany, the United Kingdom and France share the grave concern expressed by others including HRVP Mogherini and UNSG Guterres, and are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness. More>>

ALSO:

MSF Not Wanted: Nauru Government Shows Continued Callousness

The Nauruan Government’s decision to ask Doctors Without Borders to immediately leave shows continued callousness towards asylum seekers desperately seeking a safe place to call home, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said today. More>>

ALSO: