Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0003
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #3271/01 3181116
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141116Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4155
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 2997
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 9676
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 3152
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3781
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 3025
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 1105
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 3749
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0615
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1080
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 7657
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 5110
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 0030

RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 4171
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 6109
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 8406
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 003271

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 mentioned that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
spoke to the United Jewish Communities (UJC) General Assembly in
Nashville and quoted her as saying that "Now the opportunity before
us does not obviate the need for hard, even unprecedented choices by
all parties involved. Israelis and Palestinians alike need to
recognize that peace will require difficult, painful sacrifices to
some of their longest-held aspirations."

Major media (banner in Ha'aretz) reported that Israel will announce
a freeze on settlement construction and declare its willingness to
dismantle illegal West Bank outposts. Leading media reported that
last night PM Olmert aides Yoram Turbowicz and Shalom Turgeman,
along with Foreign Ministry Director-General Aharon Abramovitch,
flew to Washington to clarify the details of this move with
administration officials. Ha'aretz reported that in recent weeks
the US has demanded significant movement on the issue of settlements
and outposts to compensate for Israel's refusal to discuss "core
issues" until after the Annapolis meeting. Ha'aretz quoted GOI
sources as saying: "Of the two [options presented by the U.S.], a
settlement freeze is easier than evacuating the outposts, because
this only involves a declaration, not a confrontation with settlers
in the field." The settlement freeze is also meant to help persuade
Arab and Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab
Emirates, and Indonesia, to attend the Annapolis meeting.

Ha'aretz reported that PM Ehud Olmert intends to present this move
to the Israeli public as a mere reconfirmation of the commitments
Israel took upon itself when it accepted the Roadmap. All media
reported that on Tuesday Olmert met with leaders of the Yesha
Council of Jewish Settlements in the Territories for the first time
since taking office, and told them that the "first stage of the
roadmap speaks of dismantling outposts and freezing settlements, and
that's a document that all Israeli governments, including Likud
ministers, have accepted." Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported that
Olmert admitted during the meeting that the issue of construction in
the settlements was raised in his talks with US officials. Ha'aretz
and other media quoted the settler leaders as saying after the
meting that they feel as if a "tsunami" is approaching. Ha'aretz
noted that Olmert would like the large settlement blocs of Ariel,
Ma'aleh Adumim, Gush Etzion, and the settlements around Jerusalem to
be exempted from this freeze.

Ha'aretz (Aluf Benn) reported that the joint declaration for the
Annapolis meeting will focus on the format and goals of negotiations
for a permanent agreement. The declaration will reference previous
decisions, such as UN Security Council resolutions and the Roadmap.
It will also present the sides' goals for a solution, and mention
the "core issues." Media reported that the two negotiating teams,
headed respectively by FM Livni and chief Palestinian negotiator
Ahmed Qurei Abu Ala), met again on Tuesday and disagreed on most
issues. Ha'aretz reported that Israel has asked the US to pressure
the Palestinians into being flexible and to go ahead and hold the
Annapolis meeting as planned on November 26-27.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a senior
advisor to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, told the newspaper that not
"a single word" of the joint declaration has yet been written.
Ha'aretz quoted Abu Rudeineh as saying that the Palestinians want
the US to "pressure Israel so as to be able to reach an agreed-on
declaration." He was quoted as saying that FM Livni and Defense
Minister Barak were both creating obstacles. Major media quoted
President Shimon Peres as saying on Tuesday before the Turkish
Parliament in Ankara that Israel wants a two-state solution and that
Annapolis cannot be allowed to fail. Mahmoud Abbas was quoted as
saying at the same venue that the Palestinians will never give up
East Jerusalem.
Major media (lead story in Yediot) quoted diplomats as saying on
Tuesday that Iran has met a key demand of the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) by delivering blueprints that show how to mold
uranium metal into the shape of warheads, in an apparent concession
meant to stave off new UN sanctions. However, Yediot quoted the
diplomats as saying that Tehran has failed to meet other requests
made by the IAEA. Yediot quoted Western intelligence sources as
saying that Iran was forced to divulge the blueprints only after
evidence of their existence had accumulated.
The Jerusalem Post's web site reported that the newly formed
Genocide Prevention Task Force, indicated on Tuesday that it will
not examine whether Israel has committed genocide in the Palestinian
territories. The newspaper had earlier quoted former Defense
Secretary William Cohen, a member of the Task Force, as saying that

SIPDIS
the body would consider looking into the issue.

Leading media quoted Science, Culture, and Sport Minister Raleb
Majadele as saying at the Knesset on Tuesday that Israeli law does
not apply to the Temple Mount. He said he was entitled to express
his private views.

Leading media quoted Defense Minister Barak as saying on Tuesday
that Washington and Jerusalem agree that Syrian participation at
Annapolis would be "positive." Ha'aretz quoted Internal Security
Minister Avi Dichter as saying that Syria is the only country among
Israel's neighbors that keeps a quiet border and meets its
obligations to prevent smuggling. Maariv cited the concern of the
Israeli defense establishment that Syria might try to retaliate over
Israel's attack in September by hitting Israeli airliners.

Ha'aretz reported that on Tuesday Israeli sources denied Hamas
claims that new proposals for freeing Gilad Shalit were recently
given to Hamas.

All media quoted IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi as saying on
Tuesday during a visit to a conference of NATO commanders in Belgium
that the "war in Lebanon achieved a few important accomplishments
for the security of Israel and strengthened Israel's deterrence
[capability]. At the same time, I am now just as convinced, that
these accomplishments -- and possibly even greater ones -- could
have been achieved more quickly and at a lower cost."

Ha'aretz reported that the state is reusing to hand over the list of
properties belonging to the Waqf -- Muslim property trust -- in Tel
Aviv and Jaffa, claiming that revealing such information could
possibly damage Israel's foreign relations.

Israel Radio reported that 2,073 Italian intellectuals have signed a
petition comparing Israel to the Nazis. They are demanding that the
Italian government cut diplomatic ties with Israel and repeal the
Berlusconi government's declaration of Hamas as a terrorist
organization.

The Jerusalem Post presented the results of a poll sponsored by the
Israel Policy Center for Promoting Parliamentary Democracy and
Jewish Values in Israel Public Life and conducted by Maagar Mohot:

Some 55% of respondents said that the Knesset should remove PM
Olmert because of the investigations.
Some 65% of respondents said that due to the results of 2005
disengagement from Gaza, they opposed a large withdrawal from the
West Bank.
Some 61% said they opposed removing IDF soldiers from most of the
West Bank and giving control over the territory to the
Palestinians.

Maariv presented the results of a TNS/Teleseker poll conducted on
Monday:

Do you support the [Israeli government's] intention to release 400
Palestinian prisoners?
No: 70%; Yes: 22%; Undecided: 8%.

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

Summary:
--------

Peres Center President Uri Savir wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post: "Now is the time for the Palestinian
side to bite the bullet, to set forth realistic positions in order
to find a common platform with Israel."

Dan Patir, who was the late prime minister Menachem Begin's media
advisor and took part in the first Camp David summit, wrote in the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "The Camp David summit
ended successfully and with a signed agreement -- with an
agreed-upon agenda ... without early commitments to priorities,
solutions or concessions. Success may have resulted from that."

The nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe editorialized
(11/14): "It is not (only) from the police [a reference to the
investigations Olmert is going through] that the government is
fleeing to Annapolis, but mostly) from the problems with which it
is supposed to -- and cannot -- deal with."

Senior Middle East affairs analyst Zvi Bar'el wrote in the
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz: "When it comes to Saudi Arabia,
Washington tends to close its eyes."

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

I. "What the Palestinians Must Do"


Peres Center President Uri Savir wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post (11/14): "To insist that strengthening
Fatah is the task of Israel alone is paternalistic. Only an
internal political process can strengthen the Palestinian peace camp
so that it can better manage Palestinian affairs. And nothing can
strengthen Abu Mazen more than success at Annapolis. To that end,
the Palestinian leadership must aim for a substantive Annapolis
declaration with Israel, offering a timeline for declarations --
say, about one year. So now is the time for the Palestinian side to
bite the bullet, to set forth realistic positions in order to find a
common platform with Israel.... It is time for both Israelis and
Palestinians to pursue a policy of Realpolitik. Israel must make
painful concessions, and so must the Palestinian side.... But I
genuinely believe that both Abu Mazen and Olmert understand the
importance of this opportunity, and I hope -- for the sake of both
peoples -- that our leaders will act accordingly. Annapolis must be
successful. It must provide a solid and implementable basis for
real peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, and act
as an impetus for regional peace."


II. "Making Peace Without Planning"

Dan Patir, who was the late prime minister Menachem Begin's media
advisor and took part in the first Camp David summit, wrote in the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (11/14): "The extreme
differences separating those who hope that Annapolis will lead to
solutions and those who already consider it a failure ... should not
come as a surprise.... The first Camp David conference was not
planned ahead of time; it was not built or conducted according to
previous plans. There were no precedents or recipes. It was born
as a timely necessity, as a constraint, in order to get
Egyptian-Israeli contacts out of the rut.... Some valuable lessons
can be learned: The Camp David summit ended successfully and with a
signed agreement -- with an agreed-upon agenda ... without early
commitments to priorities, solutions or concessions. Success may
have resulted from that."

III. "A Government That Senses Failure"

The nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe editorialized
(11/14): "Our government is deeply immersed in a failure dictated
ahead of time and a lack of trust in Israel's ability to cope with
the existential issues it faces. It is not (only) from the police
[a reference to the investigations Olmert is going through] that the
government is fleeing to Annapolis, but mostly) from the problems
with which it is supposed to -- and cannot -- deal with."

IV. "The King of the Castle"

Senior Middle East affairs analyst Zvi Bar'el wrote in the
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (11/14): "It was [current Saudi
King] Abdullah, as crown prince, and not King Fahd, who articulated
the idea of the 'Saudi initiative' that became the 'Arab initiative'
-- an initiative that promises peace and normalization with the
entire Arab world if in return Israel withdraws to the 1967
armistice lines.... This is the position that has transformed Saudi
Arabia from a 'country that joins' initiatives by others into a
country that initiates. In fact it has been establishing its
position as the Arab world's hegemon over the diplomatic discourse
in the Middle East....Its support for the Annapolis conference --
although it is not yet clear whether it will send a senior
representative -- and the financial backing it is providing and will
continue to provide to the Palestinian Authority are turning Saudi
Arabia into President George W. Bush's most reliable ally when it
comes to managing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and his Middle
East policy as a whole..... The upshot of this is that when it comes
to Saudi Arabia, Washington tends to close its eyes. Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice, for example, has no problem publicly
chastising Egypt for human rights violations. Bush has
unhesitatingly called for the release of the leader of the
opposition Al Raad party, Ayman Nour, from Egyptian prison. Yet
apart from the periodic State Department reports on the human rights
situation in Saudi Arabia, no presidential or other governmental
statement has been heard from Washington concerning the state of
human rights in the kingdom. Today, too, despite Abdullah's
promises to revise the curriculum, one can still read in Saudi
textbooks about the need to hate Jews and Christians, about the
Jews' evil plans and about how some Jews -- true, not all of them --
are devil-worshippers. But what is all this compared to a handshake
between a senior Saudi representative and an Israeli prime
minister?"

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

Summary:
--------

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "It's not necessarily the stance of the
[Democratic] candidates [towards Iran] that has changed, but rather
their political standing. That will become increasingly common as
the Iowa caucus approaches."

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

"Between Tehran and Des Moines"

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (11/14): "It is clear that Democratic voters
-- especially those who will be voting in the primaries -- are in
the camp that fears any hint of another confrontation in the Middle
East. That is exactly the case for the Democratic voters of Iowa,
too. That may explain the huge gap between the tough tone taken by
[John] Edwards when he spoke about Iran at the Herzliya Conference
in Israel and the conciliatory tone he used two weeks ago in the
last debate. It could also explain the gaps found by an American
columnist between what Obama told Ha'aretz a few months ago and what
he now says about making overtures to Iran. It's not necessarily
the stance of the candidates that has changed, but rather their
political standing. That will become increasingly common as the
Iowa caucus approaches."

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Swing States: Gordon Campbell On Why The US Needs MMP

After the bizarre events this week in Helsinki, the world will be hoping and praying that the US midterm elections in November can put a restraining brake on the presidency of Donald Trump. This may happen, but there’s a highly undemocratic reason why such hopes may be frustrated. More>>

ALSO:

putin, trump scalpGordon Campbell: On The White House Romance With Russia

Tough on Europe over trade, at the G-7. Tough on Europe over defence, at NATO. And utterly smitten as usual by Vladimir Putin at the Helsinki summit. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On This Week’s NATO Debacle

For someone routinely cast as a clown presiding over an administration in chaos, Donald Trump has been very consistent about his agenda, and remarkably successful in achieving it, in the short term at least. More>>

ALSO:

NZ Law Society: Rule Of Law Threatened In Nauru

“The recently enacted Administration of Justice Act 2018 is another clear sign of the deterioration of civil rights in Nauru,” the Law Society’s Rule of Law Committee convenor Austin Forbes QC says. More>>

ALSO:

'Fixing' Family Separation: Executive Order Imprisons Families Indefinitely

Amnesty: President Trump signed an executive order today mandating for children to stay with their parents in detention while their asylum claims are processed. More>>

ALSO: