Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #0757/01 0921007
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 011007Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6103
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 3628
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 0269
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 3885
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 4431
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 3641
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 1895
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 4387
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1262
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1708
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 8256
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 5737
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 0642
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 4766
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 6715
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 9444
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 000757

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. Dutch Film on Islam

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

The Jerusalem Post and other media reported that PM Ehud Olmert told
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as well as his Kadima faction on

SIPDIS
Monday that he would continue to allow construction in West Bank
settlement blocs and East Jerusalem. Ha'aretz reported that on
Monday Israeli officials announced plans for 1,400 new homes in East
Jerusalem and nearby settlements, just hours after Secretary Rice's
departure. Ha'aretz reported that on Monday, during a tour of the
ultra-Orthodox West Bank settlement of Beitar Illit, Shas leaders
said that PM Olmert had promised to restart frozen construction in
all the settlements near Jerusalem, and lift the marketing freeze
on 800 homes in Beitar Illit in the next few days. In return,
Maariv and other media reported that Shas helped quash a
no-confidence vote in the Knesset. Ha'aretz and other media also
reported that Jerusalem's city hall announced on Monday that it
would build 600 new apartments in Pisgat Ze'ev, a neighborhood in
the capital's eastern sector.

Ha'aretz reported that on Monday Defense Minister Barak softened his
opposition to a plan to transfer control of the Gaza border
crossings to PA government forces. Ha'aretz says that the change,
made at the request Secretary Rice, is considered a major shift in
Israel's policy.. Ha'aretz quoted a senior GOI source as saying
that the change in Barak's position is probably also related to the
discussions that Amos Gilad, head of the Defense Ministry's
diplomatic-security bureau, is holding in Egypt on a "package deal"
that would include a halt to rocket attacks from Gaza, containment
of the arms smuggling into Gaza and reopening the border crossings.

The Jerusalem Post that on Monday Secretary Rice (in Jordan) and PM
Olmert (in a speech to the Kadima faction) downplayed the chances of
an Israeli-Palestinian deal by May. Makor Rishon-Hatzofe quoted
political circles following Israeli-Palestinian discussions and
Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu as saying that the negotiations
are very advanced.

All media reported that on Monday afternoon a Palestinian man was
killed by an Israeli civilian while trying to stab hitchhikers near
the settlement of Shiloh. Israel Radio quoted Palestinian sources
as saying that last night two Hamas militants were killed and two
others were injured in a clash with IDF troops in the central Gaza
Strip.

Yediot cited the Shin Bet's concern that exiled politician Azmi
Bishara will recruit young Israeli Arabs for Hizbullah.

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported that Barak has allocated 30 million
shekels (around $8.5 million) to protect border communities.

Yediot cited the belief of Druze sources in the Golan that 60
students from the Golan studying in Damascus have received Syrian
identity cards for themselves and their families.

Maariv reported that the Foreign Ministry will not allow Prof.
Richard A. Falk, the newly appointed UN Human Rights Council special
investigator on Israeli actions in the territories, to enter Israel
as a diplomat. The paper wrote that Falk has compared Israel to the
Nazis and supported suicide bombings.

All media reported that squabbling in the Labor Party reached the
boiling point at Monday's meeting of its Knesset faction, with a
harsh exchange between party leader and Defense Minister Ehud Barak
and his predecessor, MK Amir Peretz. In an emotional outburst,
Peretz accused Barak of being disconnected from reality and obsessed
with being prime minister. Barak responded by calling Peretz
"pathetic." Maariv reported that Barak told a few of his associates
that he favors a union of his party with Kadima. Maariv reported
that Peretz supporters who collaborated with billionaire politician
Arkady Gaidamak have been ousted from the Labor Party.

Maariv reported that Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and his
predecessor, Shas mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, are backtracking from
their support for a law that would regulate organ donations in
compliance with Jewish law.

The media reported that the carcinogenic substance dioxin was found
on two more IAF F16-I fighter planes. The Jerusalem Post reported
that visiting Czech Defense Minister Vlasta Parkanova told the
newspaper on Monday that the Czech Republic is in favor of Israel
joining NATO in the face of Iran's continued race toward nuclear
power.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Knesset members Yoel Hasson, Nadia
Hilou, Moshe Kahlon, Shlomo Mula, and Ophir Pines-Paz recently met
with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as part of a
legislators' exchange organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater
Los Angeles.

Ha'aretz reported that Bank Leumi outdid Bank Hapoalim in 2007 with
a 3.3 billion-shekel (around $840 million) net profit. All in all,
the media reported that the banks netted a 9 billion-shekel profit.

A poll commissioned by the Knesset's TV Channel and whose results
were released on Monday reveals that 76 percent of Israeli Jews give
some degree of support to transferring Israeli Arabs to a future
Palestinian state.

The Jerusalem Post cited the results of a poll commissioned by the
Washington-based Israel Project and conducted on March 18-20: Israel
is not a top priority for U.S. voters, including Jews, and McCain
backers are more likely to support Israel than their Democratic
counterparts.

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

Summary:
--------

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: "Time is
running out and the self-deception is continuing. Not the
Americans, but rather the Israelis will bear the results of this
continued disorder."

Senior columnist and longtime dove Yoel Marcus wrote in Ha'aretz:
"Olmert's eagerness to achieve a kind of signed and sealed mutual
defense pact with Bush before his term is up in exchange for a draft
agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is not unreasonable."


Columnist Calev Ben-David wrote in the conservative, independent
Jerusalem Post: "As for the claims that the negotiations are moving
forward ... as of now those are still shadows on a wall, only seen
by those deep in a cave of their own making."

Gilad Sharon, son of former prime minister Ariel Sharon, wrote in
the mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "Israel cannot
depend on the term of any American president -- even the friendliest
one."

The Jerusalem Post editorialized: "With Damascus now assuming the
Arab League presidency, it's hard to see the organization playing a
constructive role in ushering in an era of peace and reconciliation.
Still, a good place to begin would be for Arab leaders to address
Israel's concerns about their March 2002 proposal."

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

I. "Fooling Ourselves"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (4/1): "Had
Peace Now not published reports from time to time, it is doubtful
anyone would have been aware of the continuing construction in the
settlements.... During her visit this week, Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice said that henceforth the Americans would keep an
eye on Israel's easing of conditions for the Palestinians in the
West Bank. For years the same old dance has been going on in which
the Americans scold and the Israelis promise, as though the Israelis
have decided to make every effort to thwart the solution that
everyone knows is the only solution. Time is running out and the
self-deception is continuing. Not the Americans, but rather the
Israelis will bear the results of this continued disorder. If there
is any place forbidden for Israel to build even one more house, it
is the West Bank, beyond the separation fence and anywhere it is
clear to anyone with eyes to see that it is part of the Palestinian
state. Such a state is an Israeli interest of the highest order. A
new neighborhood in Ariel or Arab Jerusalem will not advance its
establishment."

II. "Give and Take par Excellence"

Senior columnist and longtime dove Yoel Marcus wrote in Ha'aretz
(4/1): "To sit with folded arms until the inauguration of the next
U.S. administration would be a serious mistake for Israel. The new

administration will face three problems that demand immediate
attention: withdrawal from Iraq, the economic crisis and the Iranian
bomb. So Olmert's eagerness to achieve a kind of signed and sealed
mutual defense pact with Bush before his term is up in exchange for
a draft agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is not
unreasonable.... Can this work? Is it all 'hawa,' [air] as they say
in Arabic? Is it all hot air? Is it political spin? Those who want
to know should keep their eyes glued on Shas. At the moment, the
silence from that corner says it all."

III. "Real Progress, or More Shadows on the Wall?"

Columnist Calev Ben-David wrote in the conservative, independent
Jerusalem Post (4/1): "The point that Plato [made in The Republic]
is ... that all of us might be living in some kind of 'cave,' unable
to gauge the authenticity of the images and words right in front of
us.... If there really is progress being made between the two sides,
the most concrete manifestations can be found in the easing of
Israeli military restrictions for Palestinian civilians, concurrent
with reported improvements in the conduct of the PA security
apparatus in such places as Jenin. Those are indeed encouraging
steps, small as they may be for now. As for the claims that the
negotiations are moving forward, and there is still cause to believe
a peace agreement will be reached by 2009 -- even a 'shelf
agreement' that can be implemented at a later date -- as of now
those are still shadows on a wall, only seen by those deep in a cave
of their own making."

IV. "Negative Energy"

Gilad Sharon, son of former prime minister Ariel Sharon, wrote in
the mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (4/1): "Instead of
making use of her time to explain to the world the blow being
suffered by Israel through terror, the threats hovering over our
heads, and the obligation to defend ourselves, the Foreign Minister
is wasting her time in sterile talks with weak Palestinians who
barely represent themselves.... The Foreign Minister is investing
almost 100% of her energy in something which has virtually no chance
of materializing.... Israel cannot depend on the term of any
American president -- even the friendliest one. Our fate cannot be
shaped primarily by the length of time left in the U.S. president's
administration. There must be a wider perspective."

V. "A Constructive Role for the Arab League"

The Jerusalem Post editorialized (4/1): "Instead of reaching out, an
Arab League in disarray has continued its hard-line, anti-Israel
rhetoric. That's easier than bridging internal gaps between Hamas
and Fatah, and over Iraq, Lebanon, and Alawite-led Syria's
ever-closer melding with the Persian ayatollahs. [Arab League
Secretary-General Amr] Moussa had to make the most of a summit

SIPDIS
boycotted by the kings of Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Morocco,
as well as by Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Yemen's Ali Abdullah Salah.
Hence his denunciation of invented Israeli 'war crimes' in Gaza, and
perhaps also PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's incongruent plea for League
intervention to save "besieged" Palestinians. Comic relief was
provided by Libya's Muammar Qadhafi, who helpfully pointed out that
Arab leaders hate and conspire against each other. With Damascus
now assuming the Arab League presidency, it's hard to see the
organization playing a constructive role in ushering in an era of
peace and reconciliation. Still, a good place to begin would be for
Arab leaders to address Israel's concerns about their March 2002
proposal."

------------------------
2. Dutch Film on Islam:
------------------------

Summary:
--------

Op-Ed Page Editor Ben-Dror Yemini wrote in the popular, pluralist
Maariv: "Radical Islam must be fought, but a racist, actually
anti-Semitic, film only harms this battle."

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

"An Anti-Semitic Movie"

Op-Ed Page Editor Ben-Dror Yemini wrote in the popular, pluralist
Maariv (4/1): "[In the Dutch film 'Fitna'] Islamists march behind
Hitler and plan a Holocaust not only for Jews but for heretics
everywhere.... Most Jews in the world will not support the

Jewish-jihadist stream. In its good days, Kahanism won no more than
one Knesset seat. But according to innumerable surveys, radical
Islam has gained support in the Muslim countries and the Muslim
Diaspora that can be called by a thousand names, but certainly not
'marginal'.... [In Palestine] the majority voted for Hamas, an
anti-Semitic movement and a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood....
However, the film is misleading. Jews lived under the wings of
Islam for centuries. Their lives were not a paradise, but they were
not sent to ovens.... More importantly: Most victims of radical
Islam are Muslims. It is worthwhile looking at the numbers. Many
of them are trying to fight radical Islam. Many reformists are
brave women. All of tnem are harmed by the movie, because it makes
a crude, perhaps even racist, generalization. It places Irshad
Manji, the Canadian writer, in the same boat as bin Ladin. Radical
Islam must be fought, but a racist, actually anti-Semitic, film only
harms this battle."

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