Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0128
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #0524/01 0671113
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 071113Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5725
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 3512
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 0162
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 3751
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 4273
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 3531
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 1726
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 4277
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1114
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1591
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 8146
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 5622
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 0535
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 4656
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 6608
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 9221
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 000524

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

Mideast

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

All media lead with the attack, in which eight teenage students were
killed and the 11 others wounded, last night at the Mercaz Harav
Yeshiva in West Jerusalem's Kiryat Moshe neighborhood. The gunman,
an Israeli citizen and East Jerusalem resident from the Jebel
Mukaber neighborhood, gained entrance to the facility and opened
fire in the library. The attacker was killed by an IDF solider who
was nearby and the identity of those behind the assault is not yet
clear. The Mercaz Harav rabbinic college, the flagship of
national-religious yeshivas, is credited with founding the religious
settlement movement in the West Bank.

Ha'aretz quoted PM Ehud Olmert as saying that the attack shows that
the PA does not sufficiently combat terrorism. Israel Radio quoted
left-wing politicians as saying that Israel should not have a "gut
response." Right-wing politicians were quoted as saying that Israel
should break off negotiations with the PA. Israel Radio reported
that PA Chairman [President] Mahmoud Abbas condemned the assault.
However, the radio quoted Abbas spokesman Nabil Amr as saying on Al
Arabiya-TV that Israel is responsible for what happened because it
ignores chances for peace. Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman in
Gaza, was quoted as saying that the attack was the "natural
consequence" of Israel's military actions. Leading media reported
that thousands of Gazans celebrated last night's attack.

Israel Radio reported that in a phone call to PM Olmert, President
Bush condemned the attack and extended his "deepest condolences to
the victims, their families, and to the people of Israel." The
radio reported that Libya's Ambassador to the UN insisted on
censuring Israeli actions in Gaza, thus preventing UN Security
Council condemnation of the attack. U.S. Ambassador to the UN
Zalmay Khalilzad had introduced a draft statement based on a
declaration by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Israel Radio
quoted Israel's Ambassador to the UN, Danny Gillerman, as saying
that this is what happens when "terrorists" sit on the council. In
another development, The Jerusalem Post reported that the UN Human
Rights Council, in a resolution sponsored by Pakistan and other
Muslim countries, has condemned Israel's military action in Gaza as
"collective punishment." The Jerusalem Post also reported that on
Thursday Israel rejected claims by eight British groups that the
situation was worse than it had ever been since 1967 and that Israel
was responsible for it. The Foreign Ministry placed responsibility
for the state of affairs squarely at Hamas's doorstep.

Yated Ne'eman reported that, due to the security situation, Defense
Minister Ehud Barak canceled his visit to the U.S., which was
planned for next week.

Ha'aretz and other media reported that Hamas and Islamic Jihad
representatives met with Egyptian intelligence officials in the
Egyptian city of El-Arish on Thursday to discuss the Rafah border
crossing and a possible truce with Israel. After the meeting,
Ayman Taha, Hamas's spokesman in Gaza, said that Hamas was open to a
tahdiya -- a temporary cease-fire -- on the condition that it be
observed by both sides and include the lifting of the Gaza blockade.
Khader Habib, who headed the Islamic Jihad delegation at the
meeting, was quoted as saying that Israel must also agree to a
comprehensive cease-fire in the West Bank that includes an end to
arrests of suspected militants. The Jerusalem Post quoted Taha as
saying that Hamas is open to having members of the PA's presidential
guard stationed at the Rafah border crossing, as long as Hamas be
allowed to vet the list of personnel. Taha added that the
organization would also agree to the redeployment of European
observers at the border as long as they lived in the Strip or in
Egypt and not in Israel. The Jerusalem Post and other media also
reported that on Thursday Egyptian Intelligence Minister Omar
Suleiman met with Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern
Affairs David Welch. Ha'aretz and The Jerusalem Post reported that
on Thursday senior IDF officers met with their counterparts in the
Palestinian preventative forces in the West Bank to discuss ways to
maintain calm in the territories following Friday prayers.

The Jerusalem Post cited figures published by the GOI's Central
Bureau of Statistics showing that new construction by Jews in the
West Bank has dropped more quickly than Israel's population as a
whole.

Over the past few days media reported that Philippine authorities
have arrested three suspected Middle Eastern militants for
involvement in a plot to bomb the embassies of the U.S., Israel, the
UK, and Australia in Manila.

Maariv told parallel stories of two families: one from Sderot, the
other from Gaza.

In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, renowned American Mideast
scholar Prof. Bernard Lewis compared the "monstrous perversion of
Islam" to the evils of Nazism and Bolshevism and was quoted as sayng
that where it leads will depend on how the West responds to it.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the Weizmann Institute of Science's
Prof. Ada Yonath is one of five women researchers in the world to
win the L'Oreal-UNESCO'S 2008 Women in Science Award, each worth
$100,000. Yonath is one of the world's leading structural
biologists.

Yediot quoted American actor Tom Hanks as saying that he is
interesting in producing his next movie in Israel.

--------
Mideast:
--------

Summary:
--------

Diplomatic correspondent Ben Caspit wrote on page one of the
popular, pluralist Maariv: "[Israel] is ... incapable ... of firing
back at those that fire rockets at its civilians. This is the
'asymmetrical' clash, in which the hands of one side are tied, while
the hands of the other side are soaked in blood."

Columnist Calev Ben-David wrote on page one of the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post: "The efforts by both Jerusalem and
Washington to renew the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority,
interrupted by the fighting in Gaza, will now be officially put on
hold, and picking up the pieces in the wake of this outrage will not
be easy."

Religious-Zionist columnist Uri Orbach wrote on page one of the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "The Mercaz Harav
Yeshiva and the religious-Zionists feel that they are again paying
the price of a policy that is not tough enough."

Deputy Managing Editor and right-wing columnist Caroline B. Glick
wrote in The Jerusalem Post: "It is quite possible that Rice has
simply isolated herself from all information that might force her to
change her policy course."
The conservative, Russian-language Novosty Nedely wrote: "Never has
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice received such a cold welcome in

SIPDIS
Israel as during her visit this week."

Op-Ed Page Editor Ben-Dror Yemini wrote in Maariv): "A Palestinian
state is an Israeli interest -- and a Palestinian one, of course.
However, many Palestinians think otherwise."

Senior Middle East affairs analyst Zvi Bar'el wrote in the
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz: "The reestablishment of a
Palestinian unity government will create a single Palestinian
address vis-a-vis which it will be possible at least to conduct the
conflict, if there is no way at the moment of achieving a
solution."

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

I. "With Hands Tied"

Diplomatic correspondent Ben Caspit wrote on page one of the
popular, pluralist Maariv (3/7): "Exactly 33 years separate the
terror attack yesterday at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem and
the terror attack at the Savoy Hotel in Tel Aviv. Then it was Abu
Jihad's men, who wished to avenge Operation Spring Youth in
Beirut.... The terror attack at the Savoy took place after the Yom
Kippur War, which was the last big war effort by the Arab countries
to defeat Israel. Since then, for 35 years already, this option has
been blocked. The Arabs understood that they would not rout Israel
in a war. They turned to the path of terror. The high priest of
the terrorist effort is, of course, Iran, which operates its forward
units in Lebanon, Gaza and Syria. The method: psychological
warfare; constant undermining of the feeling of personal security;
physical harm by means of rockets and isolated terrorists; taking
advantage of the weaknesses and fears of the other side; and chiefly
the fact that there is a western, relatively liberal society here,
sensitive to human life on both sides; and transparent to the media.
Israel cannot respond to a terror attack with a terror attack. It
is also incapable, even, of firing back at those that fire rockets
at its civilians. This is the 'asymmetrical' clash, in which the
hands of one side are tied, while the hands of the other side are
soaked in blood."

II. "An Assault at the Heart of Zionism"

Columnist Calev Ben-David wrote on page one of the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post (3/7): "Rarely have terrorists chosen
their target with so much malicious care as in Thursday night's
attack on Jerusalem's Mercaz Harav Yeshiva. In striking the
flagship institution of the religious Zionist movement, a Jerusalem
landmark whose history is linked with the founding and fulfillment
of the Jewish national home in the Land of Israel, the gunman aimed
his weapon at the heart of the Zionist enterprise.... The Olmert
government, which until now has been able to contain political
fallout from the rocket fire on Sderot and Ashkelon in part because
of the absence of major attacks elsewhere in the country, will now
find its margin of error -- and survival -- dramatically narrowed.
The efforts by both Jerusalem and Washington to renew the
negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, interrupted by the
fighting in Gaza, will now be officially put on hold, and picking up
the pieces in the wake of this outrage will not be easy."

III. "From Mourning to Anger"

Religious-Zionist columnist Uri Orbach wrote on page one of the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (3/7): "The Mercaz Harav
... symbolizes the national conception of Zionist religious people.
This conception sanctifies the State of Israel and its symbols.
Thousands of people outside those circles aren't convinced that this
is the right way. The anger that has accumulated since the days of
disengagement and [the evacuation of the outpost of] Amona, the
sharp feeling that the events in southern Israel will now again seep
into the streets of Jerusalem may turn the protest into a really
un-national event. Jerusalem is awakening to a new reality. The
Mercaz Harav Yeshiva and the religious-Zionists feel that they are
again paying the price of a policy that is not tough enough. One
could debate this, one could say that it is too early to observe
consequences, but the feeling of mourning is blending with anger and
pain over young lives cut short."

IV. "Condi's Echo Chamber"

Deputy Managing Editor and right-wing columnist Caroline B. Glick
wrote in The Jerusalem Post (3/7): "Some Israelis and supporters of
Israel attribute Rice's irrational championing of Palestinian
statehood to anti-Israel bigotry.... But there is another possible
-- in fact more likely -- explanation for Rice's behavior. It is
quite possible that Rice has simply isolated herself from all
information that might force her to change her policy course....
With only 10 months left in office, unless Bush swiftly forces Rice
to change course, these and other policies pushed by Rice in spite
of their obvious failures will either blow up in her face, or in the
face of her successor. And of course, it isn't only her legacy that
will be harmed by her irresponsible insulation. The lives of tens
of millions of people will be imperiled by her hidebound policies."


V. "'Hot Winter,' Cold Welcome"

The conservative, Russian-language Novosty Nedely wrote (3/6):
"Never has Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice received such a cold
welcome in Israel as during her visit this week. Israeli-American
relations became tense the moment Rice condemned our country for
'killing civilians in Gaza' during the [IDF's] military Operation
Hot Winter. The revival of Israeli-Palestinian talks was declared as
the main goal of the Secretary of State's visit.... Rice was hoping
to convince Abu Mazen to come back to the negotiating table by
promising him, according to well-informed sources, that Israel would
renew the policy of restraint... and release another group of
Palestinian detainees.... However, during her meeting with Abu
Mazen, he declared ... that the talks with Israel will be renewed
only in case of a complete cessation of Israeli strikes on Gaza."

VI. "The Strength of Ideology"

Op-Ed Page Editor Ben-Dror Yemini wrote in Maariv (3/7): "A
Palestinian state is an Israeli interest -- and a Palestinian one,
of course. However, many Palestinians think otherwise. In fact,
they have always done absolutely everything to harm their own
interests. In this sense, Hamas is only continuing the opposition
to the [1937] Peel Committee and the [1947] Partition Plan for
Palestine. The State of Palestine means education, industry,
economy, a sewage system, and postal services. A Palestinian state
would have responsibility for itself. This is exactly what the
Islamic leadership doesn't want.... Israel can deal harsh blows to
Syria and its economy. But it finds it hard to strike ideological
bodies such as Hamas or Hizbullah that operate from inside
residential buildings and kindergartens. This is exactly the reason
why there is no regime in Gaza that takes any responsibility -- and
why there won't be one."

VII. "Daze of Reckoning in Gaza"

Senior Middle East affairs analyst Zvi Bar'el wrote in the
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (3/7): "The reestablishment of a
Palestinian unity government will create a single Palestinian
address vis-a-vis which it will be possible at least to conduct the
conflict, if there is no way at the moment of achieving a solution
-- because even now Israel is talking about a 'drawing-board
agreement' rather than one that can be implemented. Such a
Palestinian unity government, like the one formed last year, would
not prevent the continuation of the political dialogue with Abbas,
to which Hamas has already agreed in any case, and would not deny
him legitimacy as a representative of the entire Palestinian people.
On the other hand, maintaining the split between Hamas and the PA
will leave a permanent conflagration raging on the Palestinian
front. Hamas will continue to use violent means, not only to
respond to Israeli actions, but also to try to continue to force
Fatah and Abbas to turn back the wheel -- in other words, to restore
to Hamas the political achievements it attained in the elections."

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