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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #0776/01 0931129
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 021129Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6134
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 3635
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 0276
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 3892
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 4438
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 3648
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 1904
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 4396
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1269
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1715
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 8263
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 5744
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 0649
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 4773
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 6722
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 9453
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 000776

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


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

Mideast

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Key stories in the media:
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The Jerusalem Post and other media quoted senior IDF Intelligence
officers as saying at the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense
Committee on Sunday that Hizbullah is preparing for fresh violence
along the border. Leading media quoted Defense Minister Ehud Barak
as saying on Tuesday during a tour of the Lebanese border:
"Hizbullah is becoming stronger, and so are we. We are prepared for
all eventualities. We watch the pastoral calm, and we know that
other things are seething beneath the surface." Major media cited
the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi as saying that Syria has been
preparing for a large-scale Israeli attack on Syria and Hizbullah,
and that Syria has called up reserves. Former Syrian communication
minister Dr. Mahdi Dahlallah was quoted as saying in interview with
the Arabic-language Kull al-Arab that holding the Arab summit in
Syria despite America's opposition is considered a success. Maariv
quoted foreign sources as saying that Iran has built
state-of-the-art eavesdropping bases in Syria.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Defense Minister Barak appears "to
be on a collision course with the IDF, which has voiced strong
opposition to allowing the PA to regain control of the Gaza
crossings.

The Jerusalem Post reported that on Tuesday the U.S. House of
Representatives has passed a resolution urging that the issue of
Jewish refugees be part of any agreement.

Leading media cited a religious edict issued by a group of hawkish
rabbis this week, according to which Shas and other government
coalition members who permitted the transfer of armored cars and
firearms to the PA are aiding and abetting terrorism.

The Jerusalem Post reported that a World Health Organization (WHO)
report that sharply criticized the IDF's screening of Palestinians
in Israeli hospitals was flatly rejected by defense officials on
Tuesday, who called it "completely wrong."
On Monday Israel TV reported that police are set to question M Ehud
Olmert in the coming days over the purchase of a luxury home in
Jerusalem's Carmia development project (on Cremieux Street).
However, police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld was quoted as saying that
no new significant developments had taken place in the
investigation.

All media reported that on Tuesday Shas MK Shlomo Benizri was
convicted in the Jerusalem District Court of accepting bribes,
breach of faith, obstructing justice, and conspiracy to commit a
crime. The state announced that it would ask the court to determine
that the crimes for which he was found guilty involved moral
turpitude.

The Jerusalem Post and other media cited the results of a BBC poll
of attitudes across the globe toward various countries that was
published on Wednesday. Negative views of Israel fell over the past
year from 57% to 52%, while negative views of Iran's influence held
steady at 54%, giving it the worst rating of the countries tested.

Yediot cited the results of a Dialog poll that found that 40% of
Israelis would have voted for Senator Hillary Clinton, 22.6% for
Senator John McCain, and 9.2% for Senator Barack Obama.


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

Summary:
--------

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: "If
anything sabotages the prospects for Israeli-Palestinian
accommodation, it's attacks on Israeli civilians, wherever they may
be."

Diplomatic correspondent Ben Caspit wrote on page one of the
popular, pluralist Maariv: "[Captive] soldiers must be brought home,
says [IDF Chief of Staff Gabi] Ashkenazi, speaking with gritted

teeth. Like all of us."

Moshe Keinan and Haim Deri, fathers of soldiers who fell in battle
in 2003 and 2004, wrote on page one of Maariv: "Our sons served in
an army that protects an entire country, not in an army that
surrenders in order to protect its soldiers."

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

I. "Don't Politicize Checkpoints"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (4/2): "A
short while after the Rimonim roadblock [between Jericho and
Ramallah] was cleared a stabbing attempt took place near Shiloh,
which is about 30 minutes from Jerusalem and a few minutes' drive
from Rimonim.... If anything sabotages the prospects for
Israeli-Palestinian accommodation, it's attacks on Israeli
civilians, wherever they may be. Thus moves -- no matter how
well-intentioned and theoretically desirable -- whose unintended
consequences facilitate terrorism are likely to torpedo whatever
peace prospects still conceivably remain. No Israeli discerns any
benefit in deliberately imposing hardship on ordinary Palestinians.
We know that most simply want to get to work or school, seek medical
treatment, or visit with family. If Palestinians have anyone to
blame for the undeniable inconvenience caused by roadblocks, it's
the terrorist organizations, whose popularity seems to skyrocket --
among ordinary Palestinians -- the more Jewish lives they take.
It's also significant that factions affiliated with Abbas's own
Fatah movement have claimed responsibility for the Shiloh attack....
Israel has every interest in bolstering a Palestinian leadership
committed to peaceful coexistence and capable of imposing effective
security control on those of its own people who oppose this.
Withdrawing Israeli security precautions in the absence of such
effective control may be well-intentioned, but unfortunately is a
recipe for bloodshed."

II. "The Dilemma in All Its Cruelty"

Diplomatic correspondent Ben Caspit wrote on page one of the
popular, pluralist Maariv (4/2): "Why is Gilad Shalit's life more
important than the life of the soldiers who were killed in capturing
these terrorists? Why is Gilad more important than the lives of the
soldiers who will yet be killed in order to apprehend them next
time? Than the lives of the civilians who will be killed in future
terror attacks that they are planning or will carry out? Moreover,
this inconceivable notion, which exists only in Israel, that the
life of a lone Israeli soldier is worth the lives of hundreds of
murderers, is multiplying at the rate of a geometric progression.
An industry of kidnapping, murder and death is developing on our
doorstep. We created it.... None of the world leaders who visit us
are capable of understanding how an entire country is paralyzed,
petrified and disoriented due to one kidnapped soldier, or three --
ready to go bankrupt, to pay any price, to lose any asset, to give
up any principle, in order to bring him home. On one hand, this is
a national quality in which we can take pride. On the other hand,
it is difficult to accept. The enemies, on the other side, exploit
it to the fullest. A great deal of blood has been spilled because
of it.... Soldiers must be brought home, says [IDF Chief of Staff
Gabi] Ashkenazi, speaking with gritted teeth. Like all of us."

III. "Not at Any Price"

Moshe Keinan and Haim Deri, fathers of soldiers who fell in battle
in 2003 and 2004, wrote on page one of Maariv (4/2): "To the Prime
Minister, cabinet ministers, Noam Shalit, and his friends! When we
heard Noam Shalit saying his son is the only 'sucker' who paid the
price, we said to ourselves that his son is not the only sucker in
the country and is not the only one who is paying the price for its
security.... Our sons served in an army that protects an entire
country, not in an army that surrenders in order to protect its

soldiers.... Constant pressure should be applied to the political
environment surrounding Hamas in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the
European countries -- which advise us to negotiate with Hamas.
Instead of an Egyptian general coming and telling us the price for
the release of the kidnapped soldier, it would be better if he were
forced to come to us after we had put pressure on them. Then we
would tell him the price for easing our pressure -- the return of
the kidnapped soldier! Without preconditions, otherwise we would
serve them with a higher price tag. That is how negotiations should
be conducted in the Middle East!"

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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