Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0010
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #0316/01 0391138
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 081138Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5335
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 3386
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 0039
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 3605
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 4148
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 3406
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 1579
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 4144
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0991
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1463
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 8021
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 5496
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 0412
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 4533
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 6482
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 9034
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 000316

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. U.S.-Israel Relations

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

Leading media reported that last night Israel cut power supply to
Gaza by less than 1%. The media reported that Israel will
eventually lower the amount of electricity it supplies Gaza to a
mere 5% of the original total. Israel Radio quoted State Department
Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey as saying on Thursday: "We continue to be
concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza.... We donQt
want to see Israel do anything that would worsen the humanitarian
situation for the people of Gaza and IQm sure weQll continue to
convey that position." The radio also reported that the Israeli
human rights organization B'Tselem and Human Rights Watch condemned
Israel's actions. Major media cited Egypt's reservations about
Hamas's actions and the tension between the two.

Media reported that eight Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip
in IDF operations on Thursday. During a small-scale operation in
Gaza, the IDF uncovered underground tunnels used by militants to
conceal rocket launchers used to attack southern Israel. Israeli
security sources were quoted as saying that this kind of operational
know-how was taught to Palestinians by Hizbullah. Major media
reported that Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu visited Sderot on
Thursday. He was quoted as saying that the government's policy in
southern Israel is the direct continuation of its policy of
capitulation. He hinted that a government under his leadership
would introduce a tough policy against Hamas. The Jerusalem Post
quoted GOI officials as saying on Thursday that if the Qassam rocket
fire on the western Negev continues unabated, the government will
have to decide whether to further ratchet up its reaction by
targeting top Hamas political leaders.

Ha'aretz reported that according to briefings recently presented to
senior ministers, Syria has successfully developed a new
surface-to-surface missile that would enable it to target with
greater accuracy Israeli installations such as airports, ports, and
factories. According to the information, Syria developed the new
missile with Iranian support, which is further indication of the
tight strategic bonds between the two countries. Many of these
strategic ties revolve around military and intelligence
cooperation.

In Yediot's lead story, prominent liberal author David Grossman, who
lost a son in the Second Lebanon War, lashed harsh criticism of
Israel's leadership and called on Israel to reinvent itself.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Southern Police chief Cmdr. Uri
Bar-Lev has called on the government to build a crucial Hebron-area
stretch of the security barrier.

Citing Reuters, Ha'aretz quoted the Quartet's Middle East envoy Tony
Blair as saying on Thursday that Palestinian security forces had
significantly improved and that they were starting to carry out
their part in the Roadmap.

Israel Radio and other media quoted Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad as
saying in Texas that no Israeli-Palestinian agreement will be
reached this year.

Leading media reported that on Monday Shlomo Mula (Kadima) will be
sworn in as a Knesset member, replacing Avigdor Yitzhaki, who
resigned on Thursday. Mula will be the second Ethiopian-Israeli to
serve in the Knesset.

The Jerusalem Post reported that visiting UNESCO Director-General
Koichiro Matsuura told the newspaper on Wednesday that "Israel has
become a very important part of UNESCO."

Ha'aretz reported that at a meeting on Thursday, PM Ehud Olmert,
Finance Minister Roni Bar-On, and Industry and Trade Minister Eli
Yishai did not ask Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer to
intervene in the foreign exchange markets, despite exporters' hopes
to make the GOI combat the effect of the U.S. dollar's decline.
Ha'aretz (English Ed.) reported that the income of many U.S.
expatriates in Israel has dropped by as much as 20% as a result of
the plummeting U.S. dollar.

Maariv quoted sources as saying that President Shimon Peres will
support granting a pardon to Omri Sharon, the former PM's son, who
was sentenced to seven months in jail for concealing illegal
contributions from secret donors to his father's 1999 campaign for
the chairmanship of the Likud Party.
Ha'aretz reported that Education Minister Prof. Yuli Tamir announced
on Thursday that the 2008 Israel Prize in Political Science will be
awarded to historian and political theorist Zeev Sternhell, Hebrew
University Professor, and liberal Ha'aretz columnist.

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe printed the results of a Maagar Mohot poll:

If the elections were held today, for which party would you vote?

(In Knesset seats) Likud: 34; Labor Party: 19; Kadima: 11; Shas: 11;
Yisrael Beiteinu: 10; Meretz: 7; National Union-National Religious
Party: 6; United Torah Judaism: 6; Arab parties: 6; Greens: 4;
Pensioners Party: 3

In your opinion, did Ehud Barak gain or lose politically by deciding
to remain in the government after the Winograd report?
Gained: 18%; Lost: 57%; No response/other responses: 25%

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

Summary:
--------

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: "Israel should
be interested in the orderly opening of a crossing to Egypt and in
lifting the total blockade on the Strip -- a siege that has so far
not furthered any of Israel's goals."

Prominent liberal author David Grossman, who lost a son in the
Second Lebanon War, wrote on page one of the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "Israeli society cannot start to recover
as long as Ehud Olmert is its leader and guide.... The formation of
an [alternative] movement in the void that exists in our public
space ... could start up an interesting initiative, which could
perhaps awaken the good and vitalizing forces embodied in Israeli
society."

National Union-National Religious Party Knesset Member Arieh Eldad
wrote in the popular, pluralist Maariv: "Olmert will not dare expose
Bush's perfidy. We'll have to be on our own when facing Iran."

Block Quotes:
-------------
I. "Open the Rafah Crossing"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (2/8):
"Following a brief and sporadic hiatus, the cycle of violence
recently resumed on both sides in the Gaza Strip.... Israel, just
like Egypt, is of course unable to agree to a breached border that
is open to all. On the other hand, the fact the Qassam attacks
slowed to a near standstill during the days the crossing was open
suggests that Israel should be interested in the orderly opening of
a crossing to Egypt and in lifting the total blockade on the Strip
-- a siege that has so far not furthered any of Israel's goals....
An opening of the Gaza Strip could signal the start of a new chapter
in the history of this poor and wretched territory. This is not a
move free of risk, and the concerns of Egypt and Israel regarding
its implications are justified. It is possible to prepare for them
through close supervision of the crossing. On the other hand, all
the other alternatives, which only imply mutual bloodletting, are
much worse. The Qassam attacks will end only when the Palestinians
have something to lose. This has so far not come about through
Israeli retaliatory actions; it may occur if the blockade is lifted
in the Gaza Strip, at least in the southern border."

II. "Movement in the Void"

Prominent liberal author David Grossman, who lost a son in the
Second Lebanon War, wrote on page one of the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot (2/8): "Israel has great and impressive
capabilities, but what did we see when we looked at ourselves during
the war? We saw a highly powerful body groping its way in a kind of
numb daze, moving around hesitantly and clumsily, and without
knowing where it is headed. We were like a blind giant flailing
about in all directions with his arms, while much smaller, weaker
figures sunk their teeth into his flesh, shedding his blood and
exhausting him, until it appears as if he may fall to the ground any
moment.... Now, sixty years after its founding, Israel must devise
content that will refuel its journey.... Israeli society cannot
start to recover as long as Ehud Olmert is its leader and guide....
But what can be done now, in the situation that has arisen? None of
the candidates to replace Olmert appears capable of creating this
vital recovery process on his own, and some of them will only hasten
the deterioration.... The formation of an [alternative] movement in
the void that exists in our public space, and the very willingness
to fight for something, and the very declaration that we are fed up
with being the victims of such a mediocre, feeble leadership -- all
these could start up an interesting initiative, which could perhaps
awaken the good and vitalizing forces embodied in Israeli society.
Perhaps then, a public shock wave will be created, which will
increase until even the state's leaders will have to listen to it.
Until then, until this happens, we will not come out of it."

III. "Who Needs Enemies?"

National Union-National Religious Party Knesset Member Arieh Eldad
wrote in the popular, pluralist Maariv (2/8): "Bush is apparently
Olmert's friend: he often congratulates him.... But is he a friend
of Israel?.... It is worth remembering that Bush was the first
American president who recognized the Palestinians' right to an
independent state. He is the one who forced Israel to let Hamas
participate in 'democratic elections' and helped it come to power.
He is the one who is pressuring Israel to remove roadblocks in Judea
and Samaria [i.e. the West Bank] and to vacate 'unauthorized
outposts'.... Olmert, whose entire political existence depends on
his friend from the United States and its peace-within-a-year
outline they devised together at Annapolis, without which the
Israeli left would not have given him a safety net [in the Knesset]
-- this Olmert will not dare expose Bush's perfidy. We'll have to
be on our own when facing Iran. I wish we were without Olmert as
well. With a prime minister who failed in war, there no longer is a
need for enemies."


--------------------------
2. U.S.-Israel Relations:
--------------------------

Summary:
--------

Columnist Calev Ben-David wrote in the conservative, independent
Jerusalem Post: "When it comes to Israel in general, McCain ... has
no real problem with his party's conservative base.... There is
little in his past to indicate he would follow any deviant solo
course in his handling of the situation here."

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

"'Maverick' McCain Likely to Follow Consensus on Israel Policy"

Columnist Calev Ben-David wrote in the conservative, independent


Jerusalem Post (2/8): "When it comes to Israel in general, McCain
... has no real problem with his party's conservative base. He has
been a strong, steady supporter of the Jewish State whose views on
the strategic relationship between Washington and Jerusalem, as well
on how to advance the peace process, fall well within the Republican
mainstream.... Filling in the blanks on just exactly how much a
'priority' arriving at an Israeli-Palestinian peace would be in his
administration will no doubt increasingly occupy the minds of
Israel's supporters in the coming months, as McCain comes ever
closer to securing the nomination, and possibly the presidency....
While McCain may well be a maverick in other areas, when it comes to
Israel and its Arab neighbors there is little in his past to
indicate he would follow any deviant solo course in his handling of
the situation here."

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: