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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (5/14): Contrasting Israeli

VZCZCXRO3835
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #0820/01 1350831
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 140831Z MAY 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1507
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEADWD/DA WASHINGTON DC//DAS-ZD/DACS-ZK//
RUEAHQA/CSAF WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
RHMFIUU/CMC WASHINGTON DC
RUENAAA/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7114
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4101
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 3954
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5452
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 3870
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2432

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 000820

SIPDIS

STATE PASS BBG
STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD
WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
NSC FOR ABRAMS
CMC WASHINGTON DC FOR POLAD

JERUSALEM ALSO FOR ICD
LONDON FOR HKANONA AND POL - TSOU
PARIS ALSO FOR POL
ROME FOR MFO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KMDR KPAL KWBG KPAO IS
SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (5/14): CONTRASTING ISRAELI
CELEBRATIONS AND NAKBA COMMEMORATIONS

-------------
Main Stories:
-------------

The dailies report that Bush is coming to the Middle East with low
expectations of reaching an agreement. Papers highlight Secretary
Rice remarks that, "chances for reaching a peace agreement are not
great." Related coverage on Al-Quds' front page quotes Palestinian
President Abbas' spokesperson Nimir Hamad suggesting that a
tri-lateral meeting between the U.S., Egypt and the Palestinians in
Sharm Al-Sheik may be held next week. Al-Quds also quotes head
Palestinian Authority negotiator Ahmad Quray from his May 13 visit
to Hebron that negotiations with Israel are "difficult." In
contrast, other Al-Quds reporting highlights comments by Israeli
Premier Olmert that, "important understandings between Israel and
the Palestinians have been reached."


All front pages lead with photos and reports on the May 13 visit by
Palestinian President Abbas to the "Camp of Return" in Ramallah.
The camp was set up to provide a venue for events commemorating the
catastrophe or Al Nakba. All dailies highlight comments by
Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad from a May 13 speech in Ramallah
where he asks the rhetorical question, "How can Israelis celebrate
while our people are suffering from the crimes of your settlers?"

Comments by Quartet envoy Tony Blair's May 13 press conference
appear in positive stories run on all front pages. Blair stated
that some Israeli checkpoints will be removed in the coming months
and that a number of development projects will soon begin in the
Palestinian Territories.

According to the front pages of the dailies, representatives of
Palestinian factions will be invited to Egypt next week to discuss
"the zero hour," or definitive date for implementation of a
Palestinian truce with Israel. The dailies also cite an Israeli T.V
report that there is a "possibility" that Israel will accept a
truce.


The May 13 visit of Palestinian Interior Minister Al-Yahya to the
West Bank city of Janin is given positive spin on an inside page of
Al Quds. The paper reports that Al-Yahya stressed Palestinian
Authority determination to make the security campaign "hope and
smile" a success. During his visit to Janin, Al-Yahya met with
Palestinian Authority security officials and spoke of the role of
Israel in on-going security efforts. "Israel has adopted the same
policy as it did in Nablus," Al-Yahya stated, alluding to frequent
incursions into the two cities that undermine the efforts of
Palestinian security forces.

Al-Quds reports on an inside page that the "Center for Jerusalem
Studies" has called upon Arab, Palestinian and Muslim organizations
to stop an Israeli plan to build a synagogue in the area of "Hamam
Al-Ayn" in the Old City of Jerusalem.

------------
BLOCK QUOTES:
------------

1. Independent Al-Quds ran its daily editorial entitled "We suggest
that Bush visit a refugee camp" (5/14): "Bush will arrive in Israel
today to participate in the celebration of its founding... Other
leaders and European presidents will follow him to the same

JERUSALEM 00000820 002 OF 002


celebration thereby making it an historic event. Meanwhile,
everyone knows that the celebration that they are attending is the
result of a catastrophe that Palestinians have been living through
for sixty years. Logic dictates that any president or leader has
the right to participate in any celebration they want... However,
logic [also] suggests that [foreign participation in Israeli
celebrations] will add too the complexity and sensitivity of what
Bush and other leaders are trying to deliver [progress in peace
efforts]..."

2. Independent Al-Ayyam carries an op-ed by veteran columnist Hani
Habib entitled, "Who said that Israel is interested in a truce?"
(5/14): "... The Jewish state has set [truce] conditions that
involve... Gaza without involving the West Bank because, not only is
Israeli policy predicated on fueling internal Palestinian division,
but it also involves different Israeli political and military
calculations for the West Bank and Gaza. All that we have witnessed
shows that Israel is not interested in seriously considering
Egyptian efforts for a truce. Therefore [Israel] continues to
demand [unreasonable] conditions and offer justifications for why it
cannot accept [Egyptian mediated proposals.] ..."

WALLES

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