Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0019
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #0186/01 0231332
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 231332Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5106
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 3298
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 9957
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 3507
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 4065
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 3325
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 1481
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 4060
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0906
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1380
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 7940
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 5412
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 0324
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 4452
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 6399
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 8898
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 000186

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. World Financial Crunch

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

Ha'aretz reported that according to defense sources, Israel intends
to keep the crossings into the Gaza Strip permanently closed and
will only allow emergency humanitarian relief when it deems it
necessary. This new policy will allow the transfer of sufficient
aid and materials to the Palestinians to prevent a humanitarian
catastrophe and minimize international criticism, "but so long as
the rocket attacks continue there will not be a situation in which
one hundred trucks a day cross into the Strip," a security source
was quoted as saying. The Jerusalem Post reported that, following a
wave of international criticism, Israel allowed 725,000 liters of
fuel for the Gaza power plant, 250,000 liters for hospital
generators, 350 tons of cooking gas, and 13 trucks filled with rice,
milk, wheat, and medical supplies to enter the Strip. Leading
media reported that on Tuesday Palestinian organizations fired 17
Qassam rockets at the Sderot area. Israel Radio quoted Hamas
sources as saying that a Hamas activist was killed last night in a
clash with IDF troops near the Sufa Crossing.

Leading media reported that Israel tried to convince members of the
UN Security Council to reject a draft statement submitted by Libya,
chair of the council this month, that calls on Israel to
"immediately cease all its illegal measures and practices against
the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip." The council
met in an emergency meeting Tuesday, called for by the Arab states
amid a growing international outcry at what the European Union
called the "collective punishment" of Gaza's residents. The
Jerusalem Post quoted officials at the Israeli Mission to the UN as
saying that, the U.S. pledged not to agree to any statement
concerning the situation in Israel, and that they expected other
members of the Security Council to also reject the language of the
statement. Leading media reported that Foreign Ministry officials
in Jerusalem clarified that what was at issue was a statement, and
not a Security Council resolution. The Jerusalem Post reported
that U.S. Ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad told the Security

Council that Hamas "bears responsibility for the current situation."


All media reported that on Tuesday Egypt delivered a strong warning
to Gaza's Hamas government on Tuesday after thousands of
Palestinians stormed the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing.
At least 90 Gazans, most of them women, were wounded by Egyptian
border guards using tear gas, clubs, water cannons and live
ammunition to disperse the demonstrators, who were protesting
against the continued closure of the border crossing. Leading media
reported that masked Palestinian gunmen detonated explosives early
on Wednesday next to the border wall separating Gaza and Egypt
causing several holes in the iron barrier. Thousands of
Palestinians on Wednesday morning infiltrated the Sinai after
crossing the Egypt-Gaza border through holes in the wall created by
the blast.

In its lead story, Yediot reported that PM Ehud Olmert's associates
angrily responded to the letter by 50 IDF reservist officers, saying
that they crossed a red line. The associates were quoted as saying:
"If the officers had made as many efforts in Lebanon as in their
fight against Olmert, our situation in the war may have been
better." Yediot and other media reported that bereaved families
whose sons died in the Second Lebanon War wrote the Winograd
Commission, demanding that they adopt strong-minded recommendations.
Maariv cited the IDF's concern that the Winograd Commission will
reveal valuable intelligence. The Jerusalem Post reported that PM
Olmert received a boost from the far left of the political map on
Tuesday when former Knesset speaker Avraham Burg, former Meretz
leader Shulamit Aloni, and Peace Now Director-General said he should
be allowed to remain in power after the Winograd Report's
publication.

Ha'aretz and other media reported that on Tuesday the foreign
ministers of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council
plus Germany agreed to impose additional sanctions on Iran over its
nuclear program. Major media quoted former U.S. Ambassador to the
UN John Bolton as saying on Tuesday at the Herzliya Conference that
there is almost no chance that President Bush will approve a
military strike on Iran before he leaves office. Leading media
reported that on Tuesday cabinet minister Shaul Mofaz, who is in
charge of the strategic dialogue with the U.S., told the conference
that the chances of an attack against Iran's nuclear installations
are growing. Ha'aretz reported that a new round of the bilateral
strategic dialogue talks will start today.
The Jerusalem Post reported that on Tuesday PM Ehud Olmert promised
Shas party Chairman Eli Yishai that he would be updated immediately
on every concession Israel decides to make in diplomatic
negotiations with the Palestinians. Various media reported that
Yishai told Olmert that should Israeli negotiators express any
willingness to concede parts of Jerusalem during their talks with
the Palestinians, Shas would quit the coalition immediately.
Ha'aretz reported that Yishai warned that his party would also quit
if Israel adopts a stance in favor of concessions that violate the
party's "red lines" on other issues, though he declined to publicly
specify what these red lines were.

In his appearance before the Herzliya Conference and interviews with
Israel media, senior EU official Franco Frattini and former Italian
FM empathized with Israel's claims about the Qassam fire from Gaza,
saying that Europe has ignored Israeli security needs. In an
interview with The Jerusalem Post, he was quoted as saying that he
supports "severe [Security Council] sanctions" if Tehran does not
halt its uranium enrichment program with a year.

Ha'aretz reported that Israel is planning to boycott a UN Human
Rights Council meeting in Geneva today that will discuss the
situation in the Gaza Strip. In a move expected to increase tension
between Israel and UN agencies, Jerusalem has urged other countries
to do the same. The U.S., for one, will also be boycotting the
meeting. The EU attempted to find a compromise. The proposed
resolution does not mention the Qassam fire on Sderot that spurred
the Israeli response, an omission that generated a great deal of
anger in Israel.

Media quoted PA Chairman [President] Mahmoud Abbas -- who criticized
Hamas for firing rockets at Negev communities -- and FM Tzipi Livni
as saying that Israeli-Palestinian talks must go on. Major media
reported that at the Herzliya Conference former IDF chief of staff
Moshe Ya'alon advocated a new diplomatic paradigm for long-term
crisis management, not peace.

Leading media reported that at the Erez Crossing on Tuesday, Arab
Knesset members and around 300 protesters demonstrated against
Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip and attempted to bring crates of
food into Gaza. In a showdown along the Israel-Gaza border, the
demonstrators faced off against an opposing group of about 50
people, including National Union-National Religious Party MK Effie
Eitam.

Yediot reported that in recent days a delegation of senior members
of U.S. intelligence branches secretly visited Israel as guests of
IDF Intelligence (MI) to reexamine the National Intelligence
Assessment (NIE) report. The newspaper quoted U.S. intelligence
sources who are involved in the drafting of the NIE as saying that
if information received from Israel sheds a new light on Iran's
nuclear program, they will not hesitate to modify the conclusions of
the NIE.

The Jerusalem Post reported that international agencies asked donor
countries on Tuesday for $462 million in aid to the Palestinians for
2008, to counter rising poverty and the closure of Gaza by Israel
and Egypt.

Yediot and Israel Radio reported that the PA military court in
Hebron sentenced the two murderers of the Israelis Ahikam Amihai and
David Rubin to 15 years imprisonment. The two Israelis were killed
wile hiking on December 28.

Major media reported that Hizbullah presents pictures of parts of
remains of Israeli soldiers on one of its web sites. Media quoted
official Israeli sources as saying this is a new record in the
baseness manifested by the organization and its leader.

Major media reported that on Tuesday PM Olmert examined Stunner, the
missile being developed jointly by the Rafael Advanced Defense
Systems Ltd. and the U.S. defense contractor Raytheon as a counter
to medium-range missiles and rockets. Ha'aretz reported that Stunner
is likely to become operational in four years. Because of the
advanced technologies involved, the estimated cost of each
individual missile is the relatively high sum of several hundred
thousand dollars. Ha'aretz quoted an Israeli defense source as
saying on Tuesday that the missile is meant to serve as the
interceptor element of a defensive system called Magic Wand. The
system is meant to provide a defense against missiles and rockets
whose range is between 40 and 250 kilometers. Magic Wand will
probably be incorporated in the future into a defensive structure
that Israel is developing to counter rockets and missiles. The
first layer of this defensive structure will include Iron Dome,
which Rafael is developing against Qassam and Katyusha rockets.
That system's intercepting missile is dubbed Tamir.

Yediot reported that on Tuesday in Paris Defense Minister Ehud Barak
exchanged a few words with Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf.
Leading media reported that Barak is in the French capital for talks
on the Iranian nuclear threat with President Nicolas Sarkozy and
Defense Minister Herve Morin. On Thursday he will travel to Davos


for the annual World Economic Forum meet with Jordan's foreign
minister, Quartet envoy Tony Blair, and PA Prime Minister Salam
Fayyad.

The Jerusalem Post and other media quoted the Jerusalem Municipality
as saying on Tuesday that the Municipality is planning 40,000 new
apartments throughout the city over the next decade, including
several thousand flats in various Jewish neighborhoods of East
Jerusalem that have already been approved.

Maariv reported on a High Court of Justice ruling that Israeli-Arab
citizens and other non-Jews will be able to lease "second hand"
Jewish National Fund land -- from Jews -- and not just from
tenders.

The Jerusalem Post reported on friction between hostile Israeli Arab
groups and the Jews who fund them. The newspaper quoted
philanthropists as saying that that the struggle of Israeli Arabs
for civic equality is critical to Israel's long-term security and so
they cannot afford to disengage.

Ha'aretz reported that U.S. citizens seeking an appointment at the
embassy or consulate are being forced to wait upwards of six months,
in a system backlog that is raising the ire of American citizens
across the country, and forcing travel cancellations: Families who
were planning to visit the U.S. in the coming months say that
without required documentation, they have no choice but to cancel
their plans. Ha'aretz quoted Embassy officials as saying that they
are processing requests as fast as they can, but that they suspect a
"baby boom" to explain what they describe as a surge in requests for
citizenship processing. Officials also suspect that a "scalping"
system has emerged. "Certain unscrupulous individuals have gone to
our Web site appointment system and have snapped up a large number
of appointments, which they are then turning over for a fee to
people who need appointments," the U.S. Consul-General in Tel Aviv
was quoted as saying.

Israel Radio reported that a delegation of 18 Israeli youth will
leave for Qatar this morning to take part in a simulation organized
by Model United Nations. The Israelis were assigned the task of
"playing the role of Egypt at the UN."

All media reported that on Tuesday the Israeli film "Beaufort" was
declared one of five finalists for an Academy Award in the best
foreign-language film category -- the first time in 23 yeas that
Israel has had a finalist in the competition.

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

Summary:
--------

Prominent liberal author A.B. Yehoshua wrote in the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "The Prime Minister
said himself, and rightfully so, that the failure to remove the
illegal settlement outposts demeans us all, and certainly demeans
our good friend -- the United States."

The nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe editorialized: "This
government is simply incapable of standing by its decisions
following every small trouble."

Conservative contributor Tzipi Hutubli wrote in the popular,
pluralist Maariv: "What the Left offered [the Palestinians] at
Geneva does not interest them.... Erekat answered in words. Hamas
answers with Qassam rockets."

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

I. "Their Honor, Our Honor"

Prominent liberal author A.B. Yehoshua wrote in the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (1/23): "Many Israelis
consider President Bush's administration to be one of the most
favorably disposed administrations towards Israel.... For more than
three years, this administration has been asking Israel to remove
the illegal settlement outposts (according to Israel's own
definition), in order to further the peace process ... and enhance
Palestinian confidence in the United States' brokerage..... During
the [past] three years, Israel has not carried this out ... and is
thereby rejecting the request of its good friend. The Prime
Minister said himself, and rightfully so, that the failure to remove
the illegal settlement outposts demeans us all, and certainly
demeans our good friend -- the United States. What should be done
to restore our national honor and the laws that we enact, as well as
the honor and credibility of the United States? It appears vital to
me that out of friendship, the U.S. should help the Israeli
government in overcoming its fears ... [by] recalling the ambassador
for consultations, which will stimulate Israeli public opinion to

help its government keep its promise. If the U.S. is a true friend
of Israel, it must help it by a symbolic act of protest that will
express its dissatisfaction. It will thereby stimulate and
strengthen Israel, like a loving but firm father, in starting to
kick the addictive and destructive habit."

II. "A Shameful Surrender"

The nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe editorialized (1/23):
"The government decided to impose a blockade on the Gaza Strip until
the Qassam rocket fire stopped. For an entire day the siege worked
and the number of launchings dropped amazingly. The next day Israel
started to pay the price that was known in advance: a Palestinian
propaganda offensive -- with false, staged tears and the well-known,
loathsome tricks.... But the government of Israel surrendered and
broke the siege. Ehud Olmert, who one day earlier had said that
[the Gazans] 'should walk' and Ehud Barak who had pledged 'to do
everything,' broke after a day and a half of rather easy pressure
and ordered to resume the fuel supply. Responding at once, the
Hamas people open boasted about their victory and resumed Qassam
rocket fire.... This government is simply incapable of standing by
its decisions following every small trouble. One need not wait one
more week for [the results of] the Winograd Commission to know that
the wheel of the state is being steered by unworthy hands."

III. "Dialogue of the Deaf"

Conservative contributor Tzipi Hutubli wrote in the popular,
pluralist Maariv (1/23): "[In a program broadcast this week on
Israel's Channel 2-TV], Palestinian negotiator Saeb] Erekat ignored
the fact that over the 14 years from Oslo until Annapolis the
Palestinian Authority neglected to build and rehabilitate itself as
a healthy society. Instead, it built a terror-sponsoring society
and a corrupt regime model, which directs all its capital and its
vigor to terror. On Erekat's side there only are an occupier and an
occupied people; this equation turns all of the occupied side's
actions into legitimate ones. What he consistently does is to turn
a blind eye to one point: his side refused to accept the end of the
occupation, which was placed on the negotiating table in 2000....
What the Left offered [the Palestinians] at Geneva does not interest
them.... Erekat answered in words. Hamas answers with Qassam
rockets."

---------------------------
2. World Financial Crunch:
---------------------------

Summary:
--------

Chief Economic Editor Sever Plotker opined in the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "The scream that emerged from the depths
of the stock exchanges was met by a bold rescue operation."

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

"The Firemen are on the Way"

Chief Economic Editor Sever Plotker opined in the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot (1/23): "Those were 48 hours that the
global economy leaders will not easily forget.... The scream that
emerged from the depths of the stock exchanges was met by a bold
rescue operation. Had the sickness of the U.S. economy not been
serious, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke would not have taken such an
extreme, dramatic measure -- cutting interest rates. Lowering the
interest rate reined in the avalanche on the stock markets, but its
scope was smaller than forecast.... Does this mean that it will be
possible to breathe more easily? I don't believe so."

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: