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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #0653/01 0801033
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 201033Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5932
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 3575
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 0224
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 3833
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 4384
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 3594
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 1841
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 4340
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1217
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1660
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 8208
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 5691
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 0597
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 4718
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 6670
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 9370
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 000653

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


Please note: Block Quotes only today.

--------------------------------
SUBJECTS COVERED IN THIS REPORT:
--------------------------------

1. Iran

2. Mideast

3. Global Stock Market

---------
1. Iran:
---------

Summary:
--------

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: "In his
last 10 months in office, Bush can still take concrete steps to
restore and increase the momentum against the Iranian regime."

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

"Ten More Months"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (3/20):
"The looming threat from Iran has all but dropped off the American
radar screen. [In his Pentagon speech on Wednesday,] Bush referred
to Iran twice in passing.... Bush is right and his critics are wrong
on the debate over whether the removal of Saddam should be seen in
the context of a wider war. But by this same token, if the U.S.
fails to prosecute that wider war -- the central challenge of which
is to prevent the current Iranian regime from going nuclear -- and
if this failure can be traced to the war in Iraq, then that war was
a failure, too.... Put simply, winning in Iraq is no substitute for
winning against Iran. Indeed, winning against Iran is necessary for
winning in Iraq, and elsewhere over the long term.... In his last 10
months in office, Bush can still take concrete steps to restore and
increase the momentum against the Iranian regime, momentum that was
largely dissipated by the bizarre intelligence report issued by his
administration at the end of last year.... Next, Bush could initiate
actions in international forums to punish Iran for incitement to
genocide and for supporting terrorism, in addition to its defiance
on the nuclear issue. Finally, Bush could meet with Iranian
dissidents as a signal of stepped-up support for the Iranian people
in their struggle to free themselves from a tyrannical regime that
oppresses them and threatens the world. All this would demonstrate
that Bush meant it when he said that 'The United States of America
will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us
with the world's most destructive weapons.' While even with all
this effort he might not succeed in fulfilling this pledge on his
watch, he will at least have given his successor a solid base from
which to do so."

------------
2. Mideast:
------------

Summary:
--------

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "There's no pressure, and nor should there
be.... There's a lever, the Americans always have a lever, but the
complaints against Israel are too minor to justify its application
and no likely result will considerably change the situation."

Middle East affairs commentator Dr. Guy Bechor, a lecturer at the
Interdisciplinary Center, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist
Yediot Aharonot: "Hamas has adopted a tactic that is considered
acceptable in the Middle East, a tactic that we have never
understood: the tactic of symbols."

Ha'aretz editorialized: "On the agenda is a fragile, almost
desperate attempt to advance negotiations with the Palestinian
Authority.... At this critical time, it is incumbent upon us to
bring Meretz into the government."

Liberal op-ed writer Yael Paz-Melamed commented in the popular,
pluralist Maariv: "When the dignity of civilians, the overwhelming
majority of whom are innocent, is trampled into dust, we cannot
expect the dignity of Israeli civilians to be upheld. When a state
loses the basic values of human dignity, it loses them when it comes
to its own citizens as well."

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

I. "Pressure? What Are You Talking About?"

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (3/20): "A few weeks before the Annapolis
summit in November, it was agreed that the renewal of the
negotiations would be announced there. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
thought that was all that was required of him; Rice thought
differently. She sought gestures to the Palestinians, and brought a
list that included, among other things, nothing less than the
release of 1,000 Palestinians. Olmert and his aides were shocked.
The Americans didn't back down. Perhaps, Welch suggested, simply
let the 1,000 longest-serving prisoners go? Foreign Ministry
Director General Aharon Abramovitch, former director general of the
Justice Ministry, explained that Israel does not have the death
penalty, which means that implementing Welch's suggestion would in
effect mean releasing 1,000 murderers. What moral justification is
there for that, Abramovitch asked Welch. That is the lazy routine
of American 'pressure.' There's no pressure, and nor should there
be.... There's a lever, the Americans always have a lever, but the
complaints against Israel are too minor to justify its application
and no likely result will considerably change the situation."

II. "The Tactics of Symbols"

Middle East affairs commentator Dr. Guy Bechor, a lecturer at the
Interdisciplinary Center, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist
Yediot Aharonot (3/20): "We killed more than 100 terrorists, we say
in wonder, how is that so many donQt see that what the IDF did in
Gaza was a victory? We killed over 100 terrorists, the IDF counts
again, without realizing that we are broadcasting on a completely
different frequency than the region in which we live.... Hamas has
adopted a tactic that is considered acceptable in the Middle East, a
tactic that we have never understood: the tactic of symbols. It
declared victory and held a march of thousands to celebrate and
commemorate the event. The very symbolism of the march created
power, since the march makes it possible for millions of viewers in
the world to feel that they are marching with Hamas, to feel a sense
of identity and closeness. Such a march creates an event of its
own. Hamas put on a show. An important rule: the symbol, the
picture, the show, will always surpass words, and what we have are
words. The show will always touch the emotions, and in the race
between the mind and the emotions, emotions will always win, and
Hamas knows how to do the job. Where is our visual show? Where is
our march? We explain, we talk, but we have no symbols. David
Ben-Gurion was good at this. His very figure was a symbol.... Today
we are led by analytic statesmen. We scorn emotion, we consider it
a weakness, something primitive, without realizing that in our
region, a display of emotion, a show, an exhibit, a march, are a
great advantage. This can be compared to a television appearance.
A person can be analytical and well-informed, but if he doesnQt know
how to put on a television show properly, the viewer will be bored
and he will not be invited back. And indeed, sometimes I watch
Israeli ambassadors or representatives in the world toiling and
explaining drearily away, and find it aggravating."

III. "Bring Meretz into the Government"

Ha'aretz editorialized (3/20): "Knesset Member Haim Oron's
impressive victory in the internal elections for the Meretz party
leadership once again raises the question of whether the party will
join the coalition.... This is not the time for party
considerations. On the agenda is a fragile, almost desperate
attempt to advance negotiations with the Palestinian Authority,
which maintains unsteady control of the West Bank alone. This
option, for all its failings, is the only way open for the near
future. This opportunity, like others in the past, should not be
missed. Meretz's entry could breathe life into the government by
liberating it from Shas's threats to dismantle it in the wake of
diplomatic progress.... At this critical time, it is incumbent upon
us to bring Meretz into the government."


IV. "Tibet Is Here"

Liberal op-ed writer Yael Paz-Melamed commented in the popular,
pluralist Maariv (3/20): "Imagine what an outcry would have arisen
around the world, and in Israel too, if we had read a report saying
that the Chinese army was staging Qlive exercisesQ with dogs on
Tibetan residents, in order to check the dogsQ level of readiness
for their missions.... This is the report that appeared this past
Monday in Maariv: Dog trainers from the IDF Oketz ['Sting'] unit
train their dogs at the roadblocks, causing unnecessary humiliation.
The IDF SpokespersonQs Office responded: The exercises are vital
for maintaining fitness... Even under the threat of terror attacks,
we must preserve our humane image. Ours and theirs. Not only
because of the all-too-true clich that every such dog, which jumps
into a car, tramples the food and rummages through the Koran,
manufactures the next suicide bomber, but also because of the heavy
price that we pay for this, with compound interest, within the
borders of Israel. When soldiers send a dog on a pair of elderly
[Palestinians] over age 80 inside their home, and the dog tears off
bits of flesh from these elderly people, while the soldiers stand by
and watch, as was related this week on Israel TV's documentary

program, let us not wonder afterwards that violence against the
elderly in Israel has reached alarming proportions. When the
dignity of civilians, the overwhelming majority of whom are
innocent, is trampled into dust, we cannot expect the dignity of
Israeli civilians to be upheld. When a state loses the basic values
of human dignity, it loses them when it comes to its own citizens as
well."

------------------------
3. Global Stock Market:
------------------------

Summary:
--------

Senior Editor and business correspondent Nehemia Shtrasler wrote in
the independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz: "When the U.S. economy
slumps, Americans buy less, and Israeli exports hurt. The weak
dollar is also hurting Israeli exports."

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

"Before the Showdown Begins"

Senior Editor and business correspondent Nehemia Shtrasler wrote in
the independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (3/20): "Israel's market is
wide open. Imports and exports are responsible for about 90 percent
of Israel's gross domestic product. That is a lot. Not only does
most high-tech export target the United States, this is also a main
growth driver for Israel's economy. When the U.S. economy slumps,
Americans buy less, and Israeli exports hurt. The weak dollar is
also hurting Israeli exports.... Now is the time for cutbacks and
reforms. If a plan is presented to the public, it will understand
that the moment the government reduces its expenses, it would also
be able to reduce taxes. The public will then not fear stepping up
consumption and investments. Thus the slowdown will be more
moderate and the economy won't stop in its tracks. Does [Finance
Minister Roni] Bar-On have the political power to carry out such a
plan? Will Olmert support him?"

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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