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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #1337/01 1751021
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 231021Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7245
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
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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 4021
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 0655
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 4319
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 4826
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4037
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 2333
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 4787
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1654
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 2101
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 8643
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6130
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 1034
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 5153
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7110
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 9963
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 001337

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: ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION


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SUBJECTS COVERED IN THIS REPORT:
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Mideast

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Key stories in the media:
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Ha'aretz and other media reported that the deal between Hizbullah
and Israel for the return of abducted IDF reservists Goldwasser and
Regev will be delayed. Ha'aretz quoted a political source in
Jerusalem as saying that PM Ehud Olmert believes that as is the deal
can not be brought to the cabinet for approval. Ha'aretz reported
that Mossad chief Meir Dagan and Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin are
concerned that the deal would set a dangerous precedent that could
put the life of Gilad Shalit, as well as the lives of any future
Israeli soldiers captured, at risk. Contrary to what had been
previously reported, it appears that Hezbollah has revived its
demand for the release of Palestinian prisoners as part of the
exchange. Ha'aretz quoted sources in Olmert's bureau as saying
yesterday that the demand for the release of Palestinians is a major
stumbling block. However, security sources were quoted as saying
that the Palestinian "element" was overplayed by Olmert's aides for
reasons that are not clear to them. Ha'aretz added that of senior
figures in the defense establishment, only Chief of Staff Gabi
Ashkenazi, who feels it is time to close the Goldwasser-Regev case,
is in favor of the deal. The media reported that Olmert is also
considering proclaiming the two reservists dead.

The media reported that yesterday the High Court of Justice has
issued a temporary injunction barring the state from changing the
status quo at the Gaza border crossings until noon on Monday,
following a petition by Gilad Shalit's father, Noam. Yediot
reported that Noam Shalit was disappointed by Amos Gilad's
explanation of why the cease-fire deal was struck without it
involving Gilad's release. Yesterday Ha'aretz reported that Israel
intends to demand that Hamas alter significantly the list of
Palestinian prisoners it is demanding for Shalit. The dispute,
according to Al-Ayyam, concerns 100 of the 350 prisoners that Israel
is expected to release in the first phase of the deal. Over the
weekend media reported that Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh denied on Friday
that his organization had agreed to stop weapons smuggling from
Egypt as part of the cease-fire with Israel. The media repotted
that yesterday Israel permitted the transfer of basic supplies into
Gaza through the Sufa and Karni crossings -- but only those
considered to meet humanitarian needs.

The media quoted Labor Party Chairman Ehud Barak as saying yesterday
he is determined that members of his party support the first reading
of a bill on Wednesday to disperse the Knesset. Prime Minister
Olmert has threatened to kick Labor ministers who vote in favor of
the bill out of the government. The media reports a growing
fracture in labor with ministers Yuli Tamir are Raleb Majadele
against Barak's position while Amir Peretz and Nadia Hilou are in
favor. Labor is expected to hold a meeting of its MKs this
afternoon to vote on a course of action.

The media reported that yesterday Iran's defense minister, Mostafa
Mohammad Najjar, warned of a "devastating" response to any Israeli
attack on his country. Najjar was responding on Iranian state
television to a New York Times story that Israel had carried out
large-scale military exercises over the Mediterranean. Yesterday
The Jerusalem Post reported that the IAF significantly increased the
number of overseas drills it has participated in over the past two
years.

Media reported that visiting French President Nicolas Sarkozy told
President Shimon Peres yesterday that "if we do not talk with
[Syrian President Bashar] Assad, there will not be peace in the
Middle East." On Sunday Yediot reported that the plan to dedicate
the Red Sea-Dead Sea canal in a ceremony attended by Sarkozy has
been cancelled, because the Jordanians are angry over Israel's
behavior on this matter. According to Yediot, Jordanian official
representatives recently contacted Israeli government officials
asking whether Israel was still keeping its commitment to carry out
the examination of the project before implementing it.

On Sunday Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported that statements made by
Robert Kagan, a political adviser to the Republican presidential
candidate John McCain, elicited furious responses in Jordanian
political circles. Kagan said that McCain believed that Jordan was
the Palestinians' natural homeland and would serve as the best
solution to the refugee issue

Leading media reported that two police investigators will leave for
the U.S. today for a judicial inquiry to probe the path of Morris
Talansky's financial dealings. They will be visiting New York,
Washington, and Las Vegas.

Over the weekend the media reported that three Israeli hikers were
injured -- one seriously -- in a shooting attack in the West Bank.

Yesterday Makor Rishon-Hatzofe quoted said sources in the
Palestinian Interior Ministry as saying that 260 Arab security
officials from Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco will shortly arrive at the
PA's training bases in Jericho to train the Palestinian forces that
are loyal to Abu Mazen,.

Yesterday The Jerusalem Post reported that Nahum Liss, "Israel's top
airport security official," will make periodic reviews of
anti-terrorist measures at Los Angeles International Airport under
an agreement signed last week during a visit here by LA Mayor
Antonio Villaraigosa.

Ha'aretz reported that yesterday PM Olmert extended the tenure of
Mossad chief Meir Dagan for a second time.

Yesterday The Jerusalem Post reported that former U.S. Ambassador to
Israel Daniel Kurtzer has authored a new book, "Negotiating
Arab-Israeli Peace: American Leadership in the Middle East."

Globes quoted Arab journalists and viewers as saying that the
U.S.-sponsored Alhurra-TV has a "basic problem: "It is boring."
Investigative pieces are rare, and critics say the channel generally
doesn't make waves.

Ha'aretz quoted Minister Ami Ayalon as saying yesterday that Israeli
Arabs should be grunted "cultural independence."

Over the weekend the media reported that UNICEF has severed ties
with Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev over allegations that he helped
fund construction in the West Bank.

-------
Mideast:
--------

Summary:
--------

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: "There is only
one correct way out of the entanglement Barak has got himself into:
The Labor ministers must quickly resign collectively, on Wednesday,
before the vote and the dismissals. Only such a step will prod
Kadima to demand that Olmert take leave on the grounds of
incapacity, since he insists on refusing to resign."

Dov Weisglass, who was former prime minister Ariel Sharon's top
diplomatic advisor, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot
Aharonot: "A car has never been handed over in exchange for a
promise by the buyer to come around one day and talk about the
price. Particularly an armed and masked buyer."

Liberal columnist Yigal Sarna addressed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
in Yediot Aharonot: "The door of opportunity has opened for Gilad's
return, and it must not be allowed to close with him behind it."

Professor Eyal Zisser, the Chairman of the Department of Middle
Eastern History at Tel Aviv University, wrote on page one of the
independent Israel Hayom: "Those who believe that an attempt to
appease Hassan Nasrallah's organization regarding the Lebanese
prisoners or the Sheba Farms will quench its thirst and reduce the
threat it represents against Israel. are wrong and deceitful."

Ha'aretz editorialized: "During a time when a new administration is
set to assume power in the United States, Sarkozy's France can play
the role of global superpower, and not just a temporary one."

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

I. "Threats and Deeds"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (6/23): "The
only act Barak has taken is the vote for the Knesset's dissolution,
but the significance of the preliminary reading is that there are
least three more major steps necessary for a bill to become law,
assuming it receives majority support.... The immediate question is
how to deal with ministers who are in theory opposed to their
government's continuation. On this, Olmert draws the threat of
dismissal. He is threatening in order to defeat Labor, or because
he wants to provoke a crisis whose resolution will require time --
that same amount of time he wants to gain while the criminal
proceedings against him continue and the Knesset approaches the end
of the summer session. This is a game of minds and strength between
Olmert and Barak. So far, it seems that Barak is losing. He
selected an odd arena -- early elections -- which he definitely does
not want.... Instead of Olmert having to justify every single day
and every single hour why he is remaining in the prime minister's
post, Barak will be forced to justify why he is eager to stay in the
Olmert government. There is only one correct way out of the
entanglement Barak has got himself into: The Labor ministers must
quickly resign collectively, on Wednesday, before the vote and the
dismissals. Only such a step will prod Kadima to demand that Olmert
take leave on the grounds of incapacity, since he insists on
refusing to resign."

II. "Don't Open the Crossings "

Dov Weisglass, who was former prime minister Ariel Sharon's top
diplomatic advisor, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot
Aharonot (6/23): "Israel's consent to open the border crossings and
(gradually) to renew the transfer of goods into Gaza, and only then
-- if at all -- to renew the negotiations for the release of the
soldier, is an act of folly, which is worse, as we know, than
malice. This will effectively prevent any possibility of releasing
the soldier [Gilad Shalit] within a reasonable time span and under
acceptable conditions.
Many months ago, Hamas presented Israel with a list of hundreds
of the worst murderers, and made their release a condition for
giving up the soldier. It is almost impossible to accept this
list.... Israel has great and understandable difficulty in meeting
the extortionist release demands, and for this reason Gilad Shalit
is wasting away in captivity. The only way to force Hamas to
discuss this issue quickly and efficiently is an ongoing and
toughQas much as possibleQcontinuation of the blockade and economic
siege.... This is how used cars are sold: The car key is handed over
in exchange for cash or a certified bank check. A car has never
been handed over in exchange for a promise by the buyer to come
around one day and talk about the price. Particularly an armed and
masked buyer. Staff Sgt. Gilad Shalit deserves treatment at least
as good as a used car receives."

III. "No Excuses"

Liberal columnist Yigal Sarna addressed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
in Yediot Aharonot (6/22): "Mr. Prime Minister, imagine that the
kidnapped soldier held by the Gazans is your younger son, Shaul.
Imagine that the woman mourning his fate who does not sleep at
night, and when she does fall asleep she dreams of her son lying on
the floor of a dark room, is [your wife] Aliza. Think that Gilad is
Shaul, who instead of looking for an apartment in Tel Aviv for his
young family is being moved in Gaza from room to room, tied, bound,
sometimes gagged, and always frightened. Waiting for the footsteps
of the guard or those who have come to take him.... Like this
country no longer cares for the elderly or for children, for the
hungry or for workers, it also does not care enough, or as it has
promised to do, for those who were kidnapped. Now, in this moment
of mercy in June 2008, when the air has calmed for a moment and
[Lebanese terrorist Samir] Kuntar will return to his home that has
waited for him as the Shalit home has done, the door of opportunity
has opened for Gilad's return, and it must not be allowed to close
with him behind it. Gilad must be brought back as though he were
Shaul or any other Israeli child whose loving parents delivered him
over to the state so that he would guard it, and it will bring him
back home during a time of distress and without excuses."

IV. "No Limit to Cynicism"

Professor Eyal Zisser, the Chairman of the Department of Middle
Eastern History at Tel Aviv University, wrote on page one of the
independent Israel Hayom (6/23): "The lesson [that can be learned
from the prisoner-swap contacts with Hizbullah[ is clear: Those who
believe that an attempt to appease Hassan Nasrallah's organization
regarding the Lebanese prisoners or the Sheba Farms will quench its
thirst and reduce the threat it represents against Israel. are wrong
and deceitful. Israel must understand and internalize who is the
enemy facing it and how necessary it is to behave cautiously and
considerate towards it."

V. "Parisian Option"

Ha'aretz editorialized (6/22): "What does Sarkozy possess that
justifies such excitement [in Israel]? First of all, the French
President stresses his full commitment to Israel's security, to
rooting out anti-Semitism in his country, and his opposition to
Iran's attempts at nuclear armament.... Yet Sarkozy's love for
Israel is not backed up by a coherent Mideast policy.... The lofty
respect with which he received Libyan President Muammar Qadhafi
during the latter's visit to Paris last December is a first
indication that, much like his predecessors, there is a gap between
Sarkozy's words and deeds.... [Still], during a time when a new
administration is set to assume power in the United States,
Sarkozy's France can play the role of global superpower, and not
just a temporary one. It can advance the Israeli-Syrian track and
expedite the discussions over the question of Sheba Farms and the
drawing of a permanent border between Israel, Syria, and Lebanon.
France can also encourage the implementation of the Arab peace
initiative and raise its voice fearlessly against the Iranian
nuclear threat. To assume the complex role that it has sought for
itself in the Middle East, France will be required to stake out a
position rooted in principle, moral legitimacy and strategic
clarity. This will require great courage on its part. Welcome to
Jerusalem, Sarko."

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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