Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #0475/01 0601114
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 291114Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5616
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 3480
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 0130
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 3717
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 4241
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 3497
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 1691
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 4242
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1082
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1559
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 8114
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 5590
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 0503
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 4624
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 6576
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 9181
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 000475

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:
-------------------------

Yediot reported that Vice President Dick Cheney will arrive in
Israel in late March for a farewell visit and to pay tribute to
Israel's 60th anniversary.

A few media (banner in Maariv) outlets reported that the IDF is now
prepared for a large-scale operation in Gaza. Defense Minister Ehud
Barak was quoted as saying on Thursday that Israel must be prepared
for further escalation and if it should come to it, a large-scale
ground incursion to put an end to the incessant attacks. "We are not
afraid of taking such a step," Barak said. The defense minister
said that Israel would strike at those responsible for the attacks
and vowed that Hamas would pay for its actions. The leading
Internet news site Ynet reported that Barak also sought to clarify
Israel's position to regional and international leaders, among them
Tony Blair and Egyptian Intelligence Minister Omar Suleiman.
Ha'aretz reported that in Tokyo, PM Ehud Olmert "appeared to
suggest" that a major Israeli ground operation against militants in
Gaza was not imminent, saying that Israel's fight against them was a
"long process" and that it had "no magic formula." However,
Israel's Foreign Ministry was quoted as saying later that the
violence "may leave us no choice" but to send troops back into Gaza.
Yediot reported that all the terror organizations active in Gaza
have started to operate joint command rooms. Hamas has placed all
its units on the highest alert: All the Hamas leaders have gone
underground, and the organizationQs installations and government
institutions have been vacated. The imams were asked to hold a
special prayer today in the Gaza mosques for the "victory of the
mujahideen [fighters]," but the hospitals and clinics in the Gaza
Strip are already preparing to receive a large number of
casualties.

Speaking on Israel Radio this morning, Meretz leader MK Yossi Beilin
said that Hamas approached Israel twice via a third party,
requesting a cease-fire.

All media reported that on Thursday night Defense Minister Ehud
Barak approved the installation in Ashkelon of the "Color Red"
warning system (it will be activated today). The system has long
been in use in Sderot and gives residents a few seconds to seek
shelter before rockets thunder in.

All media reported that 17 to 20 Palestinians were killed in IDF
strikes on Thursday, including six children. The media reported
that five of the children were sent to pick up Qassam rocket
launchers from their launching site.

Ha'aretz and other media quoted Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
as saying in Tokyo that the issue of rocket attacks must stop.

Yediot reported that starting this morning, the security
establishment will open the Gaza crossings for the transfer of goods
to enable the Palestinians to fill the food warehouses, and prevent
a humanitarian crisis that is liable to break out in the coming
days. Israel also hopes to show the world that it does not intend
to starve the residents of Gaza.

Yediot reported that a GOI delegation headed by Foreign Ministry
Director General Aharon Abramovitch visited Egypt on Thursday.
Abramovitch reportedly told his Egyptian interlocutors that if
issues related to the Philadelphi route and blocking smuggling are
not raised, no real solution will be found for the Gaza problem.
The newspaper reported that Egypt raised its demand to double the
number of Egyptian border policemen in Sinai from 750 to 1,500. The
Egyptian request to open the Rafah crossing was also raised. Yediot
said that Abramovitch's visit was meant to pave the way for a
meeting between FM Tzipi Livni and Egyptian FM Ahmed Ali Abu
al-Gheit.

Ha'aretz quoted former Foreign Ministry director-general Alon Liel
as saying that Syria would like to restart peace talks with Israel
immediately. Last week Liel met with Syrian Ambassador to
Washington, Imad Mustafa.

Ha'aretz reported that on Thursday the Israeli-Arab group Adalah
petitioned the High Court of Justice to overrule a police decision
barring an event to commemorate the 40-day anniversary of the death
of George Habash, the founder of the Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Police told the event's organizers
that the PFLP is recognized as a terrorist organization. Among
other acts, its members assassinated Israeli minister Rehavam Zeevi
in 2001.

Ha'aretz quoted the Israeli human rights orgainzation B'Tselem as
saying that 146 Palestinians have been killed by the IDF in the
territories in the past two months. At least 42 of those who died
were not fighting at the time and 11 were minors. Ha'aretz noted
that the group also condemned Qassam rocket attacks from Gaza.

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported that American media have started
revealing that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has
had ties with Muslim millionaires, terrorists, and enemies of
Israel

Leading media quoted the Israel Antiquities Authority as saying on
Thursday that an ancient seal bearing an archaic inscription dating
back to the 8th century BCE has been uncovered in an archeological
excavation in Jerusalem's City of David.

Over the past couple of days the media reported that on Wednesday
Microsoft bought Israeli startup YaData for tens of millions of
dollars. Ha'aretz said that the companies wouldn't name the final
price, but YaData investors say they will see "a very nice return on
their investment."

Ha'aretz presented the results of a Dialog poll:

"Were elections held today, for whom would you vote?"
(Results in Knesset seats -- in brackets, 2006 elections results.)
Likud: 35 (12); Labor Party 17 (19); Kadima: 14 (29); Yisrael
Beiteinu: 12 (11); Shas: 9 (12); United Torah Judaism: 7 (6);
Meretz-Yahad: 6 (5); National Union-National Religious Party: 4 (9);
Arab parties: 10 (10); Social Justice (under Arkady Gaidamak) 3;
Pensioners Party: 3 (7).

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

Summary:
--------

Military correspondent Amos Harel and Palestinian affairs
correspondent Avi Issacharoff wrote in the independent, left-leaning
Ha'aretz: "The decision to put Ashkelon, and its 120,000 residents,
within permanent range of their rockets from Gaza may turn out to
have been a mistake on [Hamas's] part."


Security and intelligence affairs commentator Amit Cohen wrote in
the popular, pluralist Maariv: "Within Hamas, particularly among
those who are defined as the 'moderate camp' headed by Ismail
Haniyeh, there are people who are willing to engage in pragmatic
talks with Israel."

The nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe editorialized: "Hamas
is winning.... Israel's representative leadership must recover and
take the necessary steps to put an end to the rocket terror, be it
through deterrence or physical occupation of vital territories."

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

I. "Long-Range Strikes Could Spark Invasion"

Military correspondent Amos Harel and Palestinian affairs
correspondent Avi Issacharoff wrote in the independent, left-leaning
Ha'aretz (2/29): "In another few months, when Hamas leaders find
time to retrace the steps that led to a large-scale IDF operation in
the Gaza Strip, it may be that they will focus on the events of this
past week. The decision to put Ashkelon, and its 120,000 residents,
within permanent range of their rockets from Gaza may turn out to
have been a mistake on their part.... Hamas ... has adopted an
extreme, uncompromising stance. Conversations with its leaders
sometimes give rise to the suspicion that they are out of touch with
the military reality on the ground, in which their forces are
suffering more and more casualties.... Hamas is in trouble. This
stems not only from the losses it is suffering, but also from a
decline in its level of support among the Gazan public. The
organization has been criticized in the Strip, inter alia, for the
way it distributes humanitarian aid from Arab states, providing food
only to its supporters. When four out of every five Gazans live
below the poverty line, this is not the kind of behavior that makes
Hamas popular, even if residents do not dare express their anger in
public or in the media."

II. "Break the Taboo and Talk"

Security and intelligence affairs commentator Amit Cohen wrote in
the popular, pluralist Maariv (2/29): "This is considered the
greatest taboo today. Talking with Hamas means recognition -- even
if partial -- of the terror organization responsible for the most
severe terror attacks that Israel has known. Hamas's unwillingness
to recognize Israel and to try to reach a final status arrangement

also makes the question almost theoretical. But within Hamas,
particularly among those who are defined as the 'moderate camp'
headed by Ismail Haniyeh, there are people who are willing to engage
in pragmatic talks with Israel. There are no aspirations or
pretensions here to a peace agreement or conciliation, only a
long-term hudna [truce], for pragmatic considerations, as proposed
by Sheikh Yassin back in 1996. Hamas knows that they will sacrifice
the rocket fire in exchange for establishing their rule in Gaza.
Israel's logic in going for such a deal with Hamas is self-evident.
Gaza finally has a clear boss, which can instate order there.... On
the other hand, the consensus in the political and military
establishments overwhelmingly rejects any contact with Hamas.
Israeli officials understand that normalizing relations with Hamas
in Gaza would prevent any shred of hope, even the slimmest, for the
collapse of the Islamic regime there. Such a step would eliminate
Abu Mazen, Fatah and perhaps the entire political-secular stream
among the Palestinians. Another fear is of an even greater military
buildup of Hamas in Gaza.... Among ... released Hamas prisoners, who
are ostensibly softened, nothing has changed with regard to their
ideology, which remains extreme and uncompromising. They believe
fervently, as only a devoutly religious person can believe, that
Israel is a temporary matter. They say openly that Hamas will never
recognize Israel and that there will never be peace with a
Jewish-Zionist state. But a hudna is a different story, and that
may be possible to achieve."


III. "Hamas Is Winning"

The nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe editorialized (2/29):
"The Israeli government must reconsider the grave meaning of a
victory of Hamas that freely launches rockets at [Israeli] citizens.
Hamas is winning. Israel's activity signals to the world that its
legal status is weakening; as far as Israel's citizens are
concerned, demoralization is deepening. There is a feeling of
impotence in front of [Israel's] security, political, and judicial
leadership that is incapable of getting together in order to provide
Israelis with a proper response. Israel's representative leadership
must recover and take the necessary steps to put an end to the
rocket terror, be it through deterrence or physical occupation of
vital territories. If this means contradicting the High Court of
Justice, the Attorney General, or the international collaborators of
terror, we should not constrain ourselves."
--------------------------
2. U.S.-Israel Relations:
--------------------------

Summary:
--------

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: "At the
feverish height of a close-fought campaign, those who take on the
responsibility of authoring and spreading news and analysis about
Obama, and about his rivals, should redouble their guard against
disseminating resonant falsehoods."

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

"Resonant Falsehoods"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (2/29):
"The debate about Sen. Barack Obama's policies on Israel is
intensifying. Some opponents have distributed venomous e-mails and
articles claiming he is anti-Israel and a closet Muslim, while his
supporters insist that he is a staunch ally of the Jewish state....
Some of the critics are indeed false. Some of the legitimate
concerns are being directly addressed by the candidate.... American
voters are closely evaluating their candidates for president. Those
who care passionately about Israel will try to gauge whether Obama
-- and his rivals -- will take positions likely to safeguard the
well-being of our state. They will look at the candidates' records,
listen to their speeches, read the newspaper profiles, and compare
impressions with friends. Conventional wisdoms may prove
well-founded or way out of line. Few observers, to take only the
latest example, would have anticipated the incumbent being regarded
by the Israeli mainstream as an exemplary president given the
frictions that scarred Washington-Jerusalem relations under his
father. Voters have the right to expect accurate information and
responsible commentary in order to reach their conclusions. At the
feverish height of a close-fought campaign, those who take on the
responsibility of authoring and spreading news and analysis about
Obama, and about his rivals, should redouble their guard against
disseminating resonant falsehoods."

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:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC