Search

 

Cablegate: Special Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #1040/01 1370828
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 160828Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6694
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 3834
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 0473
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 4116
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 4639
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 3849
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 2129
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 4598
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1468
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1912
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 8460
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 5941
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 0851
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 4970
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 6920
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 9709
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 001040

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: SPECIAL ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION


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

Visit of President Bush to Israel, May 14-16, 2008

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

All media continued to report on President Bush's visit to Israel.
The media covered the Bushes' and Prime Minister Olmert's visit to
Masada and highlighted the following remark in the PresidentQs
Knesset address, which focused on the alliance between the U.S. and
Israel: "Citizens of Israel, Masada shall never fall again, and
America will always stand with you." A TV commentator remarked that
an Israeli prime minister would not dare deliver such a Zionist
speech to the Knesset. Israel Radio reported that this morning Bush
will meet young Israelis at Jerusalem's Bible Lands Museum.

In its lead story, Ha'aretz quoted senior officials in Jerusalem as
saying yesterday that Israel is fully satisfied with the results of
Bush's visit, including policy on Iran's nuclear program. Ha'aretz
quoted a senior Israeli official as saying: "In talks with the
President of the United States during his visit it was made clear
that Bush's statements on the subject of Iran's nuclear program are
fully backed in practice." Yediot reported that the U.S. will
include Israel in a satellite warning system that will alert Israel
to launchings of ballistic missiles. The media cited claims by
Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama that Bush
made a veiled political attack on him during his Knesset speech.
Israel Radio quoted Bush associates as saying that the President was
referring to all who favor appeasing terrorist organizations and
their state sponsors.

The media reported on rocket and mortar strikes on the western Negev
yesterday. Israel Radio reported that the IDF engaged a group of
Palestinian militants who were launching a mortar shell. The media
reported that the army's Home Front Command decided yesterday that
the Color Red system, which warns of incoming rocket attacks from
Gaza, will be expanded to additional communities in the western
Negev, specifically the town of Netivot and communities in the Sdot
Negev Regional Council. Israel Radio quoted outgoing IAF chief
Major Gen. Eliezer Shkedy as saying that IAF pilots are now
increasingly at risk from strikes from frequent Palestinian fire.
Ha'aretz reported that Egyptian-brokered talks aimed at reaching a
truce between Israel and Hamas will resume over the weekend. Egypt's
intelligence chief, General Omar Suleiman, will meet a delegation of
Palestinian factions in Gaza today, while the deputy head of Hamas's
Damascus-based political bureau, Moussa Abu Marzouk, will travel to
Cairo. Defense Minister Ehud Barak will be in Egypt on Sunday for
the World Economic Forum in Sharm al-Sheikh. Though Barak has no
meeting scheduled with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the media
speculated that he may take the opportunity to discuss the potential
truce with senior Egyptian officials. Ha'aretz reported that Israel
has asked Egypt to include an agreement to free abducted soldier
Gilad Shalit in the discussions over the truce. If Egypt agrees, it
would mark its return to as a broker for Shalit's release, after a
year's hiatus. "Israeli political sources" were quoted as saying in
interviews with Makor Rishon-Hatzofe that Israeli willingness to
conduct talks with Hamas on the basis of a truce results from a
desire to obtain international legitimacy for a ground offensive in
Gaza.

The media reported on commemorations in the West Bank and Gaza
marking the "Nakba," the Arabic word meaning "catastrophe" that is
used in reference to the founding of the State of Israel. Reports
described clashes at the Erez Crossing to Gaza and the Qalandya
checkpoint north of Jerusalem, in East Jerusalem, as well as
demonstrations at Haifa and Tel Aviv universities. Leading media
quoted FM Tzipi Livni as saying yesterday at the President's
Conference in Jerusalem ("Facing Tomorrow") that in the future, "the
Palestinians will celebrate [their own] Independence Day. On that
day, they will erase the word QNakbaQ from their lexicon." The
media quoted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as saying in a
televised address: "After 60 years since the QNakba,Q the time has
come for the Palestinian people to establish an independent state
with Jerusalem as its capital.Q Israel Radio reported that the
Israeli mission to the UN is seeking clarifications after an
official communique released by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon's
bureau made specific reference to the word "Nakba." The report said
the UN chief telephoned Abbas to express his solidarity with the
Palestinians on Nakba Day. Danny Carmon, Israel's deputy ambassador
to the UN, told Israel Radio that the term "'Nakba' is a tool of
Arab propaganda used to undermine the legitimacy of the
establishment of the State of Israel, and it must not be part of the
lexicon of the UN."

Leading media reported on tensions between PM Olmert and Foreign
Minister Tzipi Livni. Maariv reported that in private conversations
she has criticized Olmert's morality. Maariv quoted her as saying
in her address to the President's Conference: "Every country should
have an internal compass to guide its leaders."

All media reported that PM Ehud Olmert and his former office
manager, Shula Zaken, petitioned the High Court of Justice yesterday
against the prosecution's decision to have a court depose American
fundraiser Moshe Morris Talansky. A three-justice panel will hear
the petition on Monday. Ha'aretz quoted Olmert's attorneys as
saying that if Talansky is a suspect, why is he allowed to return to
the U.S.? Yediot quoted Talansky as saying that he will return to
Israel when he is asked. American billionaire S. Daniel Abraham was
quoted as saying in an interview with IDF Radio that he did not give
envelopes filled with cash to PM Olmert. The police questioned
Abraham about such suspicions. Yediot cited a Justice Ministry
opinion that Olmert does not have to resign if he is indicted.

The Jerusalem Post led with the following story: "A group of Israeli
and foreign businessmen and bankers are finally ready to build a
$3-billion canal between the Red and Dead Seas, desalinating the
water, producing hydroelectric power and yielding profits, clean
water, jobs, and potentially unprecedented regional cooperation....
Jordan's King Abdullah and Saudi Prince Walid bin-Talal have already
given their enthusiastic endorsement to the project, according to
its initiators. The dramatic Valley of Peace initiative in the
Arava was unveiled Thursday ... by ... Israeli billionaire Yitzhak
Tshuva, owner of the El-Ad Group that includes Manhattan's Plaza
Hotel and Delek, Israel's second-largest oil and gas company."
Makor Rishon-Hatzofe also reported on this development.

Israel Radio reported that this week London's Jewish community was
targeted by a wave of anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli graffiti.
Yediot reported that Israeli travelers are ignoring a GOI warning
not to travel to the Indian province of Kashmir.

All media reported on AprilQs high inflation rate (1.5%), as
published by the GOI's Central Bureau of Statistics yesterday.

---------------------------------
Visit of President Bush to Israel, May 14-16, 2008:
---------------------------------

Summary:
--------

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: "Bush's legacy
speech in the Knesset should signal to Iran, and not only to Iran,
that it is facing determined countries and a definite policy of not
allowing it to develop nuclear weapons."

Editor-in-Chief David Horovitz wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post: "Iran, now asserting increasing control
and influence on our northern and southern borders, and waiting for
its opportunity to do the same on the east, has been emboldened by
America's handling of Iraq."

Liberal columnist and anchor Ofer Shelach wrote in the popular,
pluralist Maariv: "The highest rationale of Israeli consciousness in
recent years is Iran.... The questions of why Nasrallah attacked in
Beirut or why Hamas authorized the fire on Ashkelon are less
important."

The nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe editorialized:
"Israel is on the frontline and all the talk about the 'end of the
conflict' and the establishment of a 'Palestinian state in the '67
borders' is empty and damaging."

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

I. "No More Appeasement"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (5/16): "Less
than half a year before the American presidential elections and
eight months before he is slated to leave the White House, U.S.
President George W. Bush yesterday set a high bar for his successor:
to continue the determined struggle against terrorist organizations
-- Al-Qaida, Hamas, and Hizbullah -- and to thwart Iran's efforts to
obtain nuclear weapons that would threaten Israel's existence.
Accepting Iran's nuclearization would be a betrayal of future
generations, Bush said. This was an all-clear signal to Israel, a
warning to Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and supreme
spiritual leader Ali Khamenei, and an announcement to the Democratic
Party's leading presidential candidate, Barack Obama, that Bush will
make use of his authority until his last day as president to shape a
belligerent policy toward Iran. If Obama is elected rather than
Republican candidate John McCain, whose positions are identical to
those of Bush, the outgoing president is liable to take military
action even during the two and a half months between the elections
and the inauguration of the new president.... Bush's legacy speech
in the Knesset should signal to Iran, and not only to Iran, that it
is facing determined countries and a definite policy of not allowing
it to develop nuclear weapons. The proposals that several leading
European countries and the U.S. have made to Iran in order to
encourage it to cease developing nuclear technology have been
answered by Tehran with a counterproposal whose thrust is a desire
to be a partner in solving the 'world's problems.' But with his
wild threats, Ahmadinejad negates any possibility of viewing this
Iranian suggestion as serious and made in good faith. And he
thereby reinforces the resolute voices that are calling for a
military solution."

II. "In the Oval Office, the Sun Is Shining"

Editor-in-Chief David Horovitz wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post (5/16): "[In an interview with this
newspaper on Monday, President Bush] wanted to believe that
Israelis, when they thought about this role, would conclude that 'if
vision accounts for anything, he has got a vision of how to deal
with the extremists and radicals.' And when that 'smart person'
finally did figure out the key achievements of his White House
years, he said, 'one of them has got to be, he clearly saw the
threat and he did something about it'....The way Bush tells it, he's
the trustful, powerful friend doggedly seeking to get us what we've
told him we require to maintain our sovereign Jewish existence....
But looming ever larger in the path of moderation and compromise is
Iran. And Iran, now asserting increasing control and influence on
our northern and southern borders, and waiting for its opportunity
to do the same on the east, has been emboldened by America's
handling of Iraq. And coming to regard Bush's America as a paper
tiger, it has felt capable of shrugging off U.S.-led objections to
its steady, even serene, journey to a nuclear weapon."

III. "The Truth Doesn't Really Matter"

Liberal columnist and anchor Ofer Shelach wrote in the popular,
pluralist Maariv (5/16): "The highest rationale of Israeli
consciousness in recent years is Iran. The Lebanese who I spoke
with this week agree, of course, that no significant move by
Hizbullah, including the latest muscle-flexing, can be implemented
without guidance by, and cooperation with, Iran. But they differ
regarding the question of whether the organization is motivated
solely by Iranian interests.... Israel's military and intelligence
leadership -- which determine the government's perception of reality
and that of all Israelis -- is almost united today in the view that
every branch that falls in the Middle East is part of the battle
between Iran and Israel, or between Iran and the U.S. with Israel's
participation. In this sense, the questions of why Nasrallah
attacked in Beirut or why Hamas authorized the fire on Ashkelon are
less important.... Now we are talking about a life-and-death danger,
an act of protection from destruction. What's left is the order
[for the offensive against Iran and its allies.]

IV. "The Bush Vision's Weak Point"

The nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe editorialized (5/16):
"President Bush is caught up in an erroneous conception. He
declares that the United States will support Israel against Hamas,
but at the same time he talks about a Palestinian state as Israel's
'existential need' that can be established 'within a year.' Has
there been a specific deadline over the past 15 years?.... Israel is
on the frontline and all the talk about the 'end of the conflict'
and the establishment of a 'Palestinian state in the '67 borders' is
empty and damaging.... Palestinian human rights activist Bassam Eid
has recently said that establishing democracy in Palestinian society
precedes peace. This is the kind of thinking that President Bush
could have adopted, but for some reason this logic has not seeped
into American policy."

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