Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction
DE RUEHTV #0906/01 1091007
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181007Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6387
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 3706
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 0345
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 3973
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 4510
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 3720
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 1987
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 4467
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1340
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1784
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 8332
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 5813
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 0723
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 4842
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 6791
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 9551
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
UNCLAS TEL AVIV 000906
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
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR IS
SUBJECT: ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION
SUBJECTS COVERED IN THIS REPORT:
Key stories in the media:
Ha'aretz reported that Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai asked former
U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Monday to tell Hamas leaders,
including Khaled Mashal, that he would like to meet in order to
expedite a prisoner exchange to bring home Gilad Shalit. Yishai's
bureau said he did not ask PM Ehud Olmert for permission to hold the
meeting, nor did he tell Olmert what he discussed. Ha'aretz quoted
Yishai as saying that other Israeli officials erred in boycotting
Carter. During the meeting, he told Carter that he opposed the
former president's use of the term "apartheid" in his book about the
Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Yishai said Carter told him that the
interpretation of his use of the word was fundamentally wrong.
Speaking on Israel Radio this morning, diplomatic-security cabinet
member Rafi Eitan said that only the government was entitled to
decide on contacts with Hamas.
The Jerusalem Post reported that senior defense officials have told
the newspaper that Iran has stepped up its efforts to smuggle
weapons into Gaza by using floatable devices that it drops in the
waters off the coast to be picked up by Palestinian fishermen. In
another story, the paper carried comments by Likud leader Benjamin
Netanyahu that Israel will ultimately have to "bring down" the Hamas
regime in Gaza, and this can done in a way that does not necessitate
a permanent return to the Strip. Netanyahu further said that if the
Olmert government did not know how to stop the Gaza attacks, "let
them clear the way for people who can do it a lot better." In an
interview with Makor Rishon-Hatzofe, Netanyahu was quoted as saying
that if elected prime minister, he won't carry out any peace deal
with the Palestinians reached by PM Olmert.
Israel Radio reported that today the Construction and Housing
Ministry published tenders for construction of 100 housing units in
two settlements -- Elkana and Ariel. The radio quoted Peace Now as
saying that this would spell the end of peace efforts with the
Israel Radio quoted PA President Mahmoud Abbas as saying on Al
Arabiya-TV that Olmert told him that Jerusalem was entirely Israeli,
to which Abbas replied: "So why did you place it on the table?"
All media reported that yesterday the IDF thwarted an attempted
terror attack on the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza. Gunmen opened
fire on the Israeli side of the crossing, but a patrol of IDF
soldiers located nearby fired back, killing one gunman and wounding
another, who fled with a third gunman into the Strip. Media also
reported that yesterday Palestinians fired on Israeli fuel trucks at
the Nahal Oz terminal that brings kerosene to Gaza. Leading
electronic media reported that in the Nablus refugee camp of Balata
this morning IDF troops killed Hani Ka'beh, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs
Brigades activist who was behind a plan to poison diners at a
Ha'aretz reported that a group of Jewish settlers in Hebron insulted
and threatened a visiting German parliamentary delegation touring
the city yesterday.
Citing AP, The Jerusalem Post's web site quoted former U.S.
President Jimmy Carter as saying after meeting with Hamas officials
in Cairo that Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip is an "atrocity."
Carter was also quoted as saying that he had asked Hamas officials
to stop rocket attacks into Israel and defended his controversial
meetings with the Palestinian terrorist group, saying it was
necessary to talk to all parties to achieve peace. Major media
reported that in an interview with The Washington Post, Gaza-based
Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar compared Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto.
Ha'aretz reported that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told
reporters yesterday that "Syria is most certainly an issue in
Yediot reported that Egypt will complete a high-power cable from El
Arish to Gaza within two years. The power line is supposed to
replace Israel's electricity supply to Gaza.
Leading media reported that yesterday the B'Tselem human rights
organization demanded a criminal investigation into the death of
Reuters cameraman Fadel Shana'a in Gaza on Wednesday. It said that
its own investigation, combined with the results of Shana'a's
autopsy as reported in the media, showed that Shana'a was killed by
a Flechette shell fired by the IDF.
Ha'aretz reported that Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupoliansky is planning
to enlist world Jewry in a fund-raising drive for East Jerusalem's
Arabs, in a bid to counter Hamas influence in local schools. The
money will be used mainly for educational projects in the east of
the city, where an acute classroom shortage means many pupils end up
in schools identified with Hamas and the PA.
The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel will fortify its presence in
space next week when Israel Aerospace Industries launches the Amos 3
communications satellite from Kazakhstan.
Yediot reported that PM Olmert has clarified that he will not give
evidence to State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss regarding the
Jonathan Pollard affair, Olmert told Yediot that "what I discuss
with the President of the U.S. does not regard anyone." Yediot
reported that Lindenstrauss threatened to summon Olmert.
Leading media reported that the Justice Ministry's Police
Investigations Department announced yesterday that no indictments
will be issued or measures taken against police officers accused of
shooting demonstrators during the riots in the Israeli-Arab village
of Peki'in in October 2007. A Justice Ministry release said that no
direct tie could be made between specific events cited by those shot
and specific shots fired by police personnel. Ha'aretz reported
that privately police officials are pleased with decision while
residents were "not surprised". Druze spiritual leader Sheikh
Mowafaq Tarif said that "Those who used live fire must answer for
Maariv and other media reported that the GOI's Central Bureau of
Statistics has announced that the unemployment rate has decreased by
4.4% over the past four years to 6.5%. Ha'aretz reported that IBM
will announce today that it is purchasing the Israeli start-up
Diligent for $165 million. The newspaper noted that IBM has spent
almost $500 million on three Israeli start-ups in the past four
months. The media reported that Moody's has raised Israel's credit
rating for the third time in a year. Maariv reported that a
delegation of 35 Chinese business leaders from Harbin will come to
Israel for a meeting with their Israeli counterparts, and discuss
cooperation projects worth $13 billion.
Makor Rishon-Hatzofe published the results of a Maagar Mohot poll
Q: Should Israel make preemptive military strike on Iran?
No: 51%; yes: 35%; 14% were undecided.
Q: (Among the supporters of a Kadima-Labor merger.) Who should head
Barak: 38%; Olmert: 30%; 32% were undecided.
The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: "The IDF must
make every effort to thwart every attempt to harm the residents of
the south.... [But] no military action -- whether a revenge attack
or the renewed occupation of the Gaza Strip -- will lead to real
The nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe editorialized: "It
would be a mistake to keep to the routine and treat the
Palestinian-Nazi messages as noise that should be ignored."
Washington correspondent Hilary Leila Krieger wrote in the
conservative, independent Jerusalem Post: "The U.S. and Israel are
having one of their most public disputes since the second Bush
administration took office in 2001. And the issue, once again, is
over the settlements."
I. "All of Gaza Can't Be Razed"
The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (4/18): "Hamas
can be blamed for the latest conflagration in the Gaza Strip.....
[But] the IDF operation after Wednesday's fatal ambush left the
impression that once again, Israel acts only out of revenge.... The
inevitable outcome of such an ostentatious display of force was that
more than 20 Palestinians were killed in one day, including a
journalist and several minors. When Israel resorts to such
indiscriminate shooting, it is playing by Hamas's rules -- launching
an attack that leads to a retaliation with numerous casualties,
which leads to another attack, and so on and so forth, as if it were
an endless gang war.... The IDF must make every effort to thwart
every attempt to harm the residents of the south -- but only through
targeted operations. At the same time, the statesmen must make
every attempt to reach a political agreement -- even if it is only
temporary -- to calm the area down. No military action -- whether a
revenge attack or the renewed occupation of the Gaza Strip -- will
lead to real calm."
II. "From the Warsaw Ghetto to Netanya's Park Hotel"
The nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe editorialized (4/18):
"On April 19, on Passover Eve , the Warsaw Ghetto uprising
started.... It is no fluke that the most monstrous terrorist attack
also took place on Passover Eve. Tomorrow six years will have gone
by since the Passover Eve massacre at the Park Hotel [in
Netanya].... The massacre changed our perception of the enemy and
the Israel Defense Forces' way of fighting. Immediately on the next
day the IDF embarked on the large-scale Operation Defensive
Shield.... It would be a mistake to keep to the routine and treat
the Palestinian-Nazi messages as noise that should be ignored....
The time has come, like on Passover 2002, to embark on a similar
operation that will limit the strength and capability of the Gazan
enemy. Every senior IDF officer ... will tell you that the IDF has
a military solution for Gaza. We need diplomatic decision and
determination by out leadership.... It is no longer possible to play
by the rules of an enemy such as Hamas in Gaza."
III. "Deconstructing the Debate"
Washington correspondent Hilary Leila Krieger wrote in the
conservative, independent Jerusalem Post (4/18): "Today, [as opposed
to 1992], while no loan guarantees have been withheld, and American
Jewry hasn't been mobilized, the U.S. and Israel are having one of
their most public disputes since the second Bush administration took
office in 2001. And the issue, once again, is over the
settlements.... The current circumstances have pushed the issue onto
the front burner. While it has yet to boil over, Palestinian
Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's tenuous position, Prime Minister
Ehud Olmert's political vulnerabilities, and America's new role of
Roadmap monitor have all added fuel to the fire... [According to
David Wurmser, who advised Vice President Dick Cheney on the Middle
East], the relationship between the two countries and the process
governing the settlements has been changing, since the U.S. has
assumed its new position monitoring the Roadmap, as agreed to in
Annapolis.. 'By setting up a monitoring force, you're taking a step
toward an internationalization of the settlement issue, and that's a
very dangerous precedent for Israel,' he said.... The, he concluded,
'will lead to a tension,' because the way the Israeli and the U.S.
define settlements differs.'"
The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: "As
Iranian leaders employ disinformation, obduracy and guile to keep
the world powers spinning their wheels, we hear Prime Minister Ehud
Olmert insisting that Iran's efforts will, at the end of the day,
fail. [But] the mullahs take their extremist Islam very seriously."
"The Price of Freedom"
The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (4/18):
"Never in the ebb and flow of its long, rich and complicated history
has the Jewish people experienced greater national, political and
personal freedoms than it enjoys now. There are no ghetto walls.
We are Jews by choice and we identify with the Jewish past, share in
the Jewish present and look toward a common future.... [However,]
given the threats the Jewish global collective faces, stemming
mainly from the menace of Islamist extremism, Jews had better stop
dissipating their energies and resources in internal bickering.
Iran is hurrying to build nuclear weapons and the ballistic missiles
to deliver them.... As Iranian leaders employ disinformation,
obduracy and guile to keep the world powers spinning their wheels,
we hear Prime Minister Ehud Olmert insisting that Iran's efforts
will, at the end of the day, fail. The mullahs take their extremist
Islam very seriously. It is the bedrock of their perverted vision
of world domination. In this 'season of our freedom' [Passover] we
need to recommit to our own Jewish and humane values. And if we
cherish our freedom, we need to recognize that it comes at a