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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (7/23): America has No Permanent

VZCZCXRO4069
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1335/01 2051100
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 231100Z JUL 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2253
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEADWD/DA WASHINGTON DC//DAS-ZD/DACS-ZK//
RUEAHQA/CSAF WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
RHMFIUU/CMC WASHINGTON DC
RUENAAA/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7221
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4206
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4059
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5557
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 3975
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2540

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001335

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KMDR KPAL KWBG KPAO IS
SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (7/23): AMERICA HAS NO PERMANENT
ENEMIES

-------------
Main Stories:
-------------

Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas' July 22 meetings in
Ramallah and Jerusalem lead coverage. The three dailies report that
Abbas commented during a meeting with Fatah members that, "the
Palestinian people are having difficulty negotiating with the
Israelis." He added that if Israeli Defense Forces continue West
Bank incursions and the humiliation of Palestinian security forces,
he will withdraw Palestinian security forces from the city of Nablus
and hold Israel responsible for the decision. In related coverage,
front pages report that Abbas met with Israeli President Peres in
Jerusalem. During a joint press conference, Abbas confirmed that,
"a better future should greet our coming generations." Peres stated
that Israel and the Palestinians will continue to work on solving
the problems between them through "difficult compromises" made by
both sides. Peres also focused on the need for the establishment of
a Palestinian state living side by side with Israeli in peace and
hope, according to coverage.

Palestinian Authority Premier Salam Fayyad's July 22 press
conference in Ramallah captures headlines. Speaking after a meeting
with members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, "not-including
Hamas members", Fayyad stated that foreign aid has not yet
materialized and the financial situation of the government is
difficult. Fayyad confirmed that the Palestinian government is,
nevertheless, making every effort to pay the salaries of public
employees. Al- Hayat Al-Jadida quotes Fayyad stating that,
"reunification of the homeland, under any scenario, is a top
Palestinian priority, and that Israel has not presented any
solution, "that Palestinians can accept." All dailies cover news
that Fayyad will meet with Israeli Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak,
on July 23 to discuss a number of issues, especially Israeli
incursions into the Palestinian Territories.

Front pages highlight the "bulldozer attack" on July 22 in West
Jerusalem. In an apparent break from previous reporting on similar
attacks, the dailies simply describe the perpetrator as an
"attacker" and remain silent about a possible motive, thereby
denying the dead assailant and his act, the customary glorification.
All dailies report that the "attacker" was 22-year old East
Jerusalem resident Ghassan Abu Tayr and also note that 16 Israelis
were injured in the attack. The dailies run front page pictures of
the crime scene.
Quartet representative Tony Blair's call on the European Union to
play a greater role in the peace process is front page news.
Blair's call came during a July 22 meeting with EU foreign
ministers, during which he also expressed his optimism about the
possibility of Israelis and Palestinians reaching a peace agreement
by the end of 2008.

Al-Ayyam highlights news that Hamas leader Sa'id Siam told local and
Arab press in the Gaza Strip on July 22 that Hamas will not deal
with Palestinian Authority President Abbas after January 2009 in his
capacity as president. Siam added that Abbas has no intention of
launching national dialogue and stressed that Hamas has already
shown too much flexibility on the issue.

The three Palestinian dailies, Wafa news agency and a number of
local news websites ran the July 22 Haaretz story alleging that the
U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem is increasing tension between Washington
and Tel Aviv. Al- Hayat Al- Jadida runs the story on its front
page.

JERUSALEM 00001335 002 OF 002

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BLOCK QUOTES:
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1. Independent Al-Quds runs its daily editorial by Rasim Ebaydat
from Jerusalem, entitled, "America has no permanent enemies, when
will Arab moderates learn that???" (7/23): "...America sees that
engaging Iran... is better than encountering it militarily. This
Iranian-American relationship should switch on a lightbulb for
moderate Arab countries, who are... dependent on what they call
their American ally and friend. Many indications show that this
ally cares chiefly about ensuring its own interests... all the
world... obeys the strong and not the weak. In several cases there
has been a retreat by moderate Arab countries from their role and
presence [in the region] which has enabled other regional countries
to play a larger role... [moderate Arab countries] should know that
being dependent on the American ally does not guarantee security.
If America feels that these countries are a burden, it will find
pretexts and justifications to not only... [exit the relationship],
but also bring them before international courts..."

2. Independent Al-Ayyam carries an editorial by Hani Habib
entitled, "Obama...prey to Israeli extortion" (7/23): "...pleasing
Israel is what the two candidates [for U.S. presidency] seek... so,
it is not strange to see Obama and McCain making statements about
their foreign policy regarding Israel. This makes the competition
for the White House a question of seeking Israel's approval... in
our opinion, Obama faces a difficult job in Israel. His
contradictory statements on the Middle East conflict have made
Israelis more skeptical of his policies... McCain has taken
advantage of [Obama's contradictions] and accused [Obama] of a lack
of political experience... in addition to all that, some Israelis at
the Foreign Ministry are afraid that Obama is an unknown quantity...
Obama will Qce difficulties and extortion in seeking Israel's
approval... and the Jewish state will push [him] psychologically,
financially and morally via the Jewish lobby in the United States,
to clarify his policies..."

Walles

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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