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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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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
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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

Please note: No Israel Media Reaction on Monday, May 9, 2008,
Israeli holiday of Shavuot.

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

1. Iran

2. U.S.-Israel Relations

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

Both Yediot and Maariv led with statements by senior current and
past Israeli defense sources that Israel will have to attack Iran.
In an interview with Yediot, Transportation Minister (and former
chief of staff and defense minister) Shaul Mofaz urges Israel to act
with American assistance. Ha'aretz quoted Olmert aides as saying
that progress was made in forging a common U.S.-Israeli position on
Iran's nuclear program. Ha'aretz quoted a senior source in Olmert's
entourage as saying yesterday that Olmert told the U.S.
administration that Iran had still not reached the point of no
return expertise. The source quoted Olmert as saying that it is
therefore paramount that sanctions be stepped up. Makor
Rishon-Hatzofe reported that Olmert asked Bush to close Iranian
banks. Media quoted sources in Washington as saying that there also
had been progress in Israel's attempt to purchase advanced fighter
aircraft, and the inclusion of the IAF in the USAF global early
warning system against incoming ballistic missiles. The Jerusalem
Post reported that House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard
Berman, whose panel has hitherto prevented the sale to Israel of the
F-22 stealth fighter jet, told the newspaper yesterday that he was
open to removing the sales restriction to boost Israeli deterrence.


Ha'aretz reported that PM Ehud Olmert told President Bush and
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas this week that he believes he
can overcome his legal and political difficulties and stay in
office. Similar to other media, Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported on a
rift in the government coalition: The Labor ministers have decided
to support the dissolution of the Knesset, which led to Olmert
stating that, should they do so, he would fire them. Ha'aretz found
that without Labor there is not yet enough support in the Knesset to
pass a dissolution measure. Ha'aretz reported that the Arab
parties and Meretz would not support such a move since elections
would most likely return Likud to power.

Leading media reported that yesterday Olmert told

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