Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #1390/01 1821056
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 301056Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7318
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 4051
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 0685
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 4349
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 4856
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4067
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 2363
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 4817
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1684
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 2131
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 8673
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6160
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 1070
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 5183
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7140
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 9993
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 001390

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

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

1. Mideast

2. Darfur

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

All media reported that the Israeli reservists held by Hizbullah,
Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, are set to be released after the
cabinet approved an exchange deal yesterday. After five hours of
tense debate, 22 ministers voted in favor of the deal and three --
Finance Minister Roni Bar-On, Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann, and
Housing and Construction Minister Zeev Boim -- voted against it. In
exchange for the captive soldiers, Israel will release jailed
Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar, who murdered a Nahariya family in
1979, and four Hizbullah militants, the remains of Lebanese
civilians and several dozen Palestinian prisoners. The media quoted
PM Ehud Olmert as saying that "as far as is known" the two kidnapped
soldiers are no longer alive. Ha'aretz quoted sources in Israel as
saying that the swap would probably take place by July 12, which is
when Hizbullah is planning a victory ceremony to mark the second
anniversary of the Second Lebanon War, but Yediot reported that the
deal will not be carried out on July 12. The media reported that
Hamas expects good terms from Israel in the Gilad Shalit deal.

All media reported that. Barack Obama is planning a trip to the
Middle East, including Israel, and Europe this summer. On Sunday
The Jerusalem Post reported that Obama's visit is expected to take
place before late August's Democratic Party Convention in Denver.
The Jerusalem Post quoted Olmert's spokesman Mark Regev as saying on
Saturday that Obama is a "very welcome visitor" and that Olmert "is
looking forward to meeting the Senator."

The media reported that Israel opened the Gaza crossings yesterday,
allowing truckloads of fuels and goods into the Strip.

Israel Radio and the leading Internet news service Ynet quoted a
Persian Gulf paper as saying that a third round of talks aimed at
completing discussion on issues raised in the previous round will
take place in early July. Diplomatic sources were quoted as saying
that there may be several rounds of indirect talks before Damascus
decides whether to launch official negotiations or halt the talks.

Over the weekend leading media, citing a report in the conservative
Iranian Jam e-Jam newspaper, reported that the commander of Iran's
Revolutionary Guards warned that if his country is attacked, it will
barrage Israel with missiles and seize control of the Strait of
Hormuz, a key oil passage in the Persian Gulf. This morning
electronic media quoted Iranian news agencies as saying that a
Tehran court sentenced an Iranian man to death on charges of spying
for Israel. The defendant, Ali Ashtari, 43, a Muslim who owns an
electronics import business, was arrested about 18 months ago by
Iranian Intelligence. Once the prosecution presented the court with
various wiretapping equipment allegedly used by Ashtari in his
espionage activities, he reportedly confessed, pled guilty on all
charges, and expressed remorse for his actions

Leading media reported that yesterday the Petah Tikva District Court
ruled against five IDF reservists suing actor and director Mohammed
Bakri for slander in his film "Jenin, Jenin." Bakri's cinematic
description of Operation Defensive Shield in 2002 alleged that IDF
soldiers had committed war crimes. Judge Michal Nadav ruled that
the film did in fact slander the soldiers; however, since the
slander was directed against an entire group, individuals within
this group did not have the right to file suit.


------------
1. Mideast:
------------

Summary:
--------

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: "What we
must now ensure is that we emerge from [the cabinet's approval of
the Hizbullah deal] stronger and better prepared for the battles
ahead. And Hizbullah might want to remember that by taking on
Israel -- even when we were admittedly not at our best -- it got far
more than it bargained for."

Op-Ed Page Editor Ben-Dror Yemini wrote on page one of the popular,
pluralist Maariv: "Yesterday it was possible to stop the march of
errors, which only encourages further kidnappings, which only harms
human lives. This opportunity was not seized. Prepare for the next
kidnapping."
Veteran journalist and anchor Dan Margalit wrote on page one of the
independent Israel Hayom: "Had it not been known that his intentions
are good and his capacity poor, Olmert might have been described as
a sponsor of Iran's interests in the Middle East."

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "The U.S. does not want a flare-up in Gaza
for many good reasons, but one of these is the fear that a military
escapade could end in mishap."

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

I. "The Cabinet Decides"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (6/30):
"This newspaper opposed the release of [Lebanese terrorist Samir]
Kuntar for the remains of [Hizbullah abductees] Regev and Goldwasser
because of the heinous nature of the crime he committed and because
it will likely strengthen Nasrallah in his efforts to show
Hizbullah's concerns transcend his own Shi'ite community (Kuntar is
Druze and was a Palestine Liberation Front operative). We also
opposed a trade because Kuntar has become an important symbol
throughout the Arab world; because of previous government
commitments made to the family of IAF navigator Ron Arad (missing
since his plane went down over Lebanon in 1986) not to release
Kuntar without a quid pro quo; and because trading Kuntar for the
remains of two dead soldiers will likely complicate the price we
will have to pay for the return of Gilad Shalit from the Gaza Strip.
This latter warning was echoed by the Mossad and Shin Bet, which
opposed the deal. But the cabinet has spoken and its stance is
supported by most Israelis, much of the media and IDF Chief of
General Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, who told the ministers that
he feels himself responsible for all IDF soldiers -- the fallen
included. All of us must now respect the decision. Israel's body
politic has gone through a traumatic chapter. What we must now
ensure is that we emerge from it stronger and better prepared for
the battles ahead. And Hizbullah might want to remember that by
taking on Israel -- even when we were admittedly not at our best --
it got far more than it bargained for."

II. "Prepare for the Next Kidnapping"

Op-Ed Page Editor Ben-Dror Yemini wrote on page one of the popular,
pluralist Maariv (6/30): "The previous deals led to more kidnappings
and more errors. This deal will encourage the next kidnappings, and
that is known, clear and predictable. It is not clear what most of
the public wanted, but it is clear that there was pressure, there
were headlines and there were tears. This was expressed in a
concentrated, exaggerated manner in the past week. Is that what
should dictate the governmentQs conduct? Is that what is called
leadership? And even if we make the doubtful assumption that polls
would have shown that most of the public supports the dealQso what?
If the polls determined anything, then the government would have to
be changed every other day. Olmert would have to go (and he has to
go), and his successor would not last more than two months. For
public opinion here, with or without headlines, with or without
public hysteria, is no more than a seesaw. Yesterday on one side
and tomorrow on the other. Is that a substitute for policy,
principles, national interests, stability? It is customary for us
to say that we are proud of our moral standards. They, the Arabs,
donQt care about human beings, and we do care. We 'do not forsake
soldiers,' and therefore, 'we are prepared to pay any price'.... The
facts indicate the opposite. They are the ones who do not forsake
their murderers. They get out of prison en masse. They receive a
hero's welcome. In general, we have become a bit confused. The
rule of 'don't forsake soldiers' is certainly worthy. But there are
other methods, besides the wholesale release of murderers. The
methods are known. They entail risk. In the case of Entebbe, it
worked. In the case of Nachshon Wachsman [a soldier abducted by
Hamas and whose rescue failed] it ended differently. The creative
and cunning mind of the past has disappeared, in favor of a whining
attitude expressed in petitions and demonstrations. Yesterday it
was possible to stop the march of errors, which only encourages
further kidnappings, which only harms human lives. This opportunity
was not seized. Prepare for the next kidnapping."

III. "A Mixture of Moral Turpitude and Folly"

Veteran journalist and anchor Dan Margalit wrote on page one of the
independent Israel Hayom (6/30): "Olmert has bee retreating from
Hassan Nasrallah. There is no reason for him to prevail and act
properly just as the failed [Second] Lebanon War is coming to an
end. He and his ministers deserve yesterday's decision -- moral
turpitude mixed with folly. Had it not been known that his
intentions are good and his capacity poor, Olmert might have been
described as a sponsor of Iran's interests in the Middle East....
Before he started [talking with Hizbullah], he should have demanded
signs of life; set as an iron rule that living terrorists not be
exchanged for dead abductees ... and that Palestinians never be
released in a deal with Hizbullah except in negotiations with Abu
Mazen -- if at all."

IV. "Image Still under Renovation"

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (6/30): "There are those who claim that
Israel's strategic importance has increased since the war, and that
the Americans, too, despite their disappointment, realize this. The
challenges, topped by the ongoing wrestling with the growing power
of Iran, have not gone away. The theory of an 'axis of moderates'
versus an 'axis of extremists' took on a clearer shape in the course
of the Second Lebanon War, and has been further clarified since
then. Except that this axis has no head.... Whom will the Americans
be able to count on if not Israel? Thus, a few months ago, the U.S.
and Israel agreed on a long-term defense package of unprecedented
generosity. Still, it would have been easier for [the Americans] to
count on Israel without the dispiriting shadow of that war and its
outcome. The U.S. does not want a flare-up in Gaza for many good
reasons, but one of these is the fear that a military escapade could
end in mishap. The 34 days of that war two years ago tested the
world's nerves. The U.S. gave Israel more time to enable a
definitive victory. Despite everything Israel has managed to regain
since then, one thing remains unchanged: Next time it will have a
hard time getting an extension."

-----------
2. Darfur:
-----------

Summary:
--------

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: "Darfur and
its refugees are like an alarm bell for the collective conscience,
and that bell is supposed to ring also when non-Jews are
suffering."

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

"Darfur Is Our Problem, Too"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (6/30): "On
Saturday, the Egyptians shot a 7-year-old girl from Sudan who tried
to cross the border from Egypt to Israel just south of Rafah. Had
she and her family made it through, they would have surely landed in
[the Negev's] Ketziot Prison. The 'new policy' that Prime Minister
Ehud Olmert's cabinet declared vis-a-vis asylum seekers is, in fact,
cruelty by any other name.... Too soon we have forgotten the
suffering that is the lot of the persecuted. Perhaps we have grown
accustomed to concern ourselves only with our own plight after
absorbing Jewish refugees since the founding of the state. Today,
when we are more prosperous, when the reservoir of Jewish refugees
has dried up, there is fortunately no reason to scan the globe for
people who could be considered Jewish and coax them to come here.
And there is no reason to remain indifferent to the suffering of
non-Jews who could contribute to the State of Israel as much as any
Jew. Darfur and its refugees are like an alarm bell for the
collective conscience, and that bell is supposed to ring also when
non-Jews are suffering."

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: