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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (5/30): Who Will Be the Next Us

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FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1665
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
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RUEAHQA/CSAF WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
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RUENAAA/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7139
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4126
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 3979
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5477
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 3895
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2457

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 000915

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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

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TAGS: PREL KMDR KPAL KWBG KPAO IS
SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (5/30): WHO WILL BE THE NEXT US
PRESIDENT?


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Main Stories:
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Internal Israeli politics and the uncertainty of Israeli Premier
Olmert's political future top coverage in all dailies. Al-Quds and
Al-Ayyam lead with reports that Israeli political parties have
already begun discussions about early elections. Al-Hayat Al-Jadida
quotes Israeli Foreign Minister Livni calling on her party, Kadima,
to prepare for elections. Washington's reaction also receives
front-page coverage in Al-Quds and Al-Ayyam, quoting White House
spokesperson Dana Perino as "acknowledging" that Olmert's political
troubles could distract attention away from achieving a peace
agreement by the end of the year. Al-Quds also cites an Israeli
daily story by Yediot Ahronot that reports that Secretary Rice may
cancel her upcoming trip to the region because of the Israeli
political crisis.

Al-Ayyam front-pages a report quoting unnamed Palestinian officials
confirming that negotiations with Israel will continue despite
Israeli political turmoil. The report adds that, Palestinian
President Abbas may meet with Israeli Premier Olmert "soon" despite
Palestinian misgivings about the future of Olmert's government.

The visit by South African nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu to the
Gaza Strip receives front-page coverage in all dailies. The papers
quote Tutu condemning the Israeli "siege" on Gaza and the
international community's "silence" on the situation of Palestinians
in Gaza.

Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad's remarks commemorating
"Palestinian Justice Day" is highlighted by Al-Ayyam, quoting Fayyad
stating that the rule of law and building government institutions
are top priorities of his government.

Al-Quds quotes Nasr Yusif, Fatah's Central Committee member,
announcing that preparations for Fatah's sixth general congress will
begin in a few days in Amman.

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

Independent Al-Quds carries its daily editorial entitled, "Truce or
No Truce... That is the Question!" (5/30): "We continue to receive
contradictory reports about negotiations between the Hamas movement
and Israel, currently underway through Egyptian mediation... An
objective evaluation of the negotiations concludes that the Israeli
Government does not want to and probably cannot reach a positive
conclusion to these talks because of the [Israeli] President's
political weakness. This is the Hamas leadership's firm belief as
revealed in their statements despite Egyptian restraint not to make
any pessimistic statements [about the progress of] negotiations...
Hamas has made compromises regarding its original position and has
accepted that the truce will only include the Gaza Strip, not the
West Bank. According to media reports, Hamas also accepted that the
[Gaza/Egypt] Rafah border crossing will not be opened until a trial
period has passed."

2. Independent daily Al-Ayyam runs an op-ed by veteran columnist
Mohammed Yaghi, "Palestinian Preparations for What Comes After
Bush"(5/30): "This is not the time for achieving a breakthrough in
Palestinian-Israeli negotiations since Olmert is either on his way
to court or on his way back home. President Bush will also leave

JERUSALEM 00000915 002 OF 002


the White House soon for his ranch in Texas. Moreover, Israel is
now more occupied by attempts to alienate, through Turkish
mediation, Syria from Tehran and thus isolate Hamas and Hezbollah...
both parties of the Palestinian conflict must accept that Bush and
his politics in the region are ending, if they haven't ended
already. And if I may take a wild guess, the new American president
will not be John McCain, the Republican candidate, because the
American street wants to be rid of Bush's policies... It seems that
the Democrat Barak Obama will be the new American President... who
wrote in "Foreign Affairs" magazine, July-August issue 2007 that his
priority in the Middle East will be to withdraw from Iraq and bring
the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to an end through the establishment
of a Palestinian state beside Israel..."

WALLES

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