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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #1421/01 1851022
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 031022Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7364
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 4070
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 0704
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 4372
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 4875
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4089
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 2386
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 4839
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1703
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 2150
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 8692
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6180
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 1089
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 5202
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7159
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 0020
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 001421

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. Iran

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

All media led with yesterday's bulldozer rampage in Jerusalem. The
media reported that three were killed and 80 injured. The media
highlighted the fate of a baby whose mother was crushed to death
while saving her child. The perpetrator was Husam Taysir Dwayat (or
Duwiyat), a resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur
Bahir, who appears to have acted on his own. Dwayat served jail
time following a conviction of rape, and also committed drug
offenses. However, The Jerusalem Post reported that three groups
claimed responsibility for the attack -- Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs
Brigades; the Galilee Freedom Battalion, which is suspected of being
affiliated with Hizbullah; and the PFLP. Media reported that the PA
condemned the attack, saying that such methods harm the interests of
the Palestinian people. The Jerusalem Post reported that Hamas
praised Dwayat's act. Major media reported that PM Ehud Olmert and
Defense Minister Ehud Barak are seriously considering pulling down
Dwayat's home. Israel Radio reported that UN Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon denounced the attack, and that the Israeli delegation at the
UN has asked the UN Security Council to condemn the attack
unequivocally and unconditionally.

All media quoted Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah as saying through
a video link in a press conference yesterday in Beirut that the
prisoner exchange with Israel will take place on or around July 15.
Nasrallah also says a written report that Hizbullah will submit to
the German mediator on missing IAF navigator Ron Arad contains a
"definite conclusion based on ... witness accounts [gathered] on the
ground." He described the effort made in investigating Arad's fate
as unprecedented, but he did not give details. Nasrallah was quoted
as saying that his men have been investigating Arad's fate since
2004, and that they have reached a "firm conclusion" on what
happened to him. In the past, Nasrallah has said he believed Arad
was dead but did not know the location of his remains. Regarding
the welfare of abducted Israeli soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud
Goldwasser, Nasrallah was quoted as saying that "so far Hizbullah
has not handed over any information about the fate of the two
soldiers. Anything said in Israel is mere speculation. We have
provided no information."

Leading media reported that yesterday Palestinians angry over not
being allowed to enter Egypt from Gaza stormed the Rafah border
crossing.

Ha'aretz reported that in defiance of commitments to the U.S. to
freeze construction in the settlements, Defense Minister Barak has
authorized the erection of a boarding school in a yeshiva in
Hebron's Jewish quarter.

Leading media reported that a few hours after the terrorist attack
on Jaffa Road, the Knesset plenum approved in their preliminary
reading a number of bills aimed at stripping terrorists' families
and relatives of their Israeli citizenship or their residency status
in Israel, and prohibiting erection of mourning shelters or public
expression of mourning for a person who has committed an act of
terrorism.

Israel Radio and The Jerusalem Post's web site reported that French
President Nicolas Sarkozy expressed support for Israel in its
struggle to free Gilad Shalit, a dual Israeli-French citizen.
Speaking of yesterday's release of Ingrid Betancourt, who had been
held hostage by Columbian rebels, Sarkozy ended his address with a
"message to Gilad Shalit and his parents." "We have not
forgotten," he was quoted as saying, "France is always ready to
enlist in the battle for a man held unjustly." The Jerusalem Post
quoted Egyptian sources as saying yesterday that Olmert's emissary
on the prisoner issue, Ofer Dekel, and Hamas representatives are
expected to begin intensive indirect negotiations for Shalit's
release within a week to 10 days. Before that time, the
diplomatic-security cabinet is expected to convene and discuss
changing the criteria governing which Palestinians can be released,
to allow Dekel more flexibility in the negotiations.

Media reported that at an economic meeting in Tokyo, top Israeli,
Palestinian, and Jordanian cabinet ministers heard Japanese FM
Masahiko Komura reaffirm his country's commitment to an
agro-industrial project in Jericho.

Upon the occasion of the Fourth of July, six media figures and Alon
Pinkas, former consul-general in New York, write in Maariv about
their perceptions of America. Ilana Dayan of Channel 2-TV hopes
that Obama's election will bring social change; Pinkas sees 2008 as
the "year of democracy"; Yehonatan Gefen, a part-time resident of
New York, says that he has seen racism and ignorance swamp America
in the nineties and this decade; Ron Maiberg affirms that the U.S.,
where all consumer goods are made in China and unemployment is rife,
is an "empty label."

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

Summary:
--------

Military correspondent Amir Rappaport wrote in the popular,
pluralist Maariv: "The tahdiya [truce] in Gaza increases the chances
that in the coming weeks there will be more terror attacks coming
from Judea and Samaria [i.e. the West Bank] or East Jerusalem."

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: "We
must, at the very least, acknowledge that ... the relationship
between Jerusalem's Arabs and Jews, and its security ramifications,
which has applied since 1967 needs reevaluation."

Middle East affairs commentator Dr. Guy Bechor, a lecturer at the
Interdisciplinary Center, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist
Yediot Aharonot: "With wise and consistent Israeli policy, we will
sit on the sidelines and observe how the Palestinians and the
Egyptians fight each other, and not the other way around."


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

I. "The Law of Connected Vessels"

Military correspondent Amir Rappaport wrote in the popular,
pluralist Maariv (7/3): "The law of connected vessels also works in
terror: the tahdiya [truce] in Gaza increases the chances that in
the coming weeks there will be more terror attacks coming from Judea
and Samaria [i.e. the West Bank] or East Jerusalem. Many parties
have an interest in this summer being awash in blood.... It is
important to remember that [one of those], Islamic Jihad, is very
closely connected to Iran, which has no compunctions about
encouraging terror in Israeli territory. Although the Palestinian
organizations have a clear interest in committing terror attacks,
the greatest danger this summer is, in fact, to northern Israel,
from Hizbullah. The signs are accumulating that even though the
matter of Imad MughniyahQs assassination, attributed to Israel, has
dropped from the headlines, preparations are in fact increasing for
carrying out such a terror attack or even a series of terror
attacks. These terror attacks would occur so that the fingerprints
of the organization that commits them would be unverifiable. The
greatest danger is to Israeli and Jewish institutions overseas, but
Hizbullah has already proven in the past that it is also capable of
getting terror attacks perpetrated inside the Green Line.... In any
case, even if some organization was behind yesterday's terror
attack, and even if it was a 'private initiative' by an individual,
we can assume, unfortunately, that this will not be the last terror
attack. "

II. "Terror in Jerusalem"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (7/3):
"The people of Jerusalem have been badly traumatized. There is a
gnawing sense that the tranquility residents have enjoyed for some
years now, since the unofficial end of the second Intifada, may be
over -- and that the biggest danger emanates from within the
boundaries of the city itself.... The Arab neighborhoods that dot
metropolitan Jerusalem -- not just east, but north and south as well
-- were absorbed into the capital's boundaries after the 1967 Six
Day War and its Arab residents issued blue [Israeli] ID cards.
Eligible to apply for full Israeli citizenship, they overwhelmingly
chose not to do so, in solidarity with the Palestinian cause. The
dichotomy under which these Arabs live seems to be growing ever more
strained. They may work for Jews; they may receive health and
social benefits from the Zionist state, but culturally and
politically they are inseparable from the surrounding Arab milieu.
They watch the same satellite TV stations and hear preachers
espousing the same radical messages as their compatriots in the West
Bank and Gaza. We must, at the very least, acknowledge that this
framework -- the relationship between Jerusalem's Arabs and Jews,
and its security ramifications -- which has applied since 1967 needs
reevaluation. To do otherwise would leave us in denial."

III. "Gaza Fell on Them"

Middle East affairs commentator Dr. Guy Bechor, a lecturer at the
Interdisciplinary Center, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist
Yediot Aharonot (7/3): "Yesterday, dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of
young Palestinians began to gather on the Palestinian side of the
Rafah crossing and to throw stones at the Egyptian security forces,
which used water canons against them. These pictures seemed to be

taken from 'our' Intifada. It turns out that if Egypt won't control
Gaza, Gaza will control Egypt.... Just as Egypt knew how to play the
Palestinian card against us, Hamas is using it against Egypt.... And
why does Gaza need the Egyptians so much? Egypt is HamasQs only
path to the world, since only (for now) humanitarian cases enter
through Israel and the Hamas leadership cannot pass. Egypt is
viewed as HamasQs strategic home front, since Hamas's hope is that
now that it has taken control of Gaza, its mother movement, the
Muslim Brotherhood, will one day control all of Egypt. Furthermore,
Hamas wants legitimacy, and Egypt can give it to it. If its border
with Egypt is open, this is almost recognition as a state. Sit
quietly, Israel, don't interfere. With wise and consistent Israeli
policy, we will sit on the sidelines and observe how the
Palestinians and the Egyptians fight each other, and not the other
way around."

---------
2. Iran:
---------

Summary:
--------

Columnist Ari Shavit wrote in the independent, left-leaning
Ha'aretz: "It is far from certain and far from likely that the
coming winter will be an Iranian winter. But Israel must treat this
summer as though the possibility of an Iranian winter were not a
distant one.... After two years of spin, it is time for action."

Editor-in-Chief Amnon Lord wrote in the editorial of the
nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe: "Those who throughout
the current decade invested all diplomatic and military resources in
the disengagement plan ... now discover that the handling of the
existential problem has been forsaken -- certainly so on the
diplomatic level."

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

I. "Facing an Iranian Winter"

Columnist Ari Shavit wrote in the independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz
(7/3): "Here is the wild scenario: In November, after Senator Barack
Obama becomes the president-elect of the United States, outgoing
President George W. Bush will launch a strike at Iran. The strike
might be a naval siege, a military show of muscle or a comprehensive
aerial assault on the Iranian nuclear program. In reasonable times,
reasonable people would dismiss this wild scenario out of hand....
But the times are not reasonable ones, and the men involved are not
reasonable men. The logic that guides Bush and Dick Cheney is one
that Western public opinion and its shapers cannot always
understand.... In any case, the Iran of the ayatollahs is a
sophisticated and strong religious power. If it is backed into a
corner, Iran, too, will prefer to go out with a bang and not a
whimper. No one today knows for sure what the nature and impact of
such a bang would be. A serious state must regard seriously any
scenario liable to shape its future, for better or worse.... It is
far from certain and far from likely that the coming winter will be
an Iranian winter. But Israel must treat this summer as though the
possibility of an Iranian winter were not a distant one.... After
two years of spin, it is time for action. After two years of bile,
it is time to extinguish hatreds and bandage wounds. Israel is not
as hollow and degenerate as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad believes. But to
face Ahmadinejad, Israel must come to its senses."

II. "Israel's Leaders Woke Up Too Late"

Editor-in-Chief Amnon Lord wrote in the editorial of the
nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe (7/3): "The continued
verbal barrage about the Iranian nuclear program includes the claim
that Israel has lost precious time in its preparation for the
critical and that it is now late. If this description, which
appeared in yesterday's Maariv, is true, it reflects
shortsightedness unexpected from Israeli leaders. Many highly
negative things have been said about Israel's leaders. But one
cannot believe that over the past decade one of them could have been
lenient regarding the threat emanating from Iran.... Those who, in
2000 and 2005, didn't see the connection between the incipient
threat from Iran and the dangers that accumulated at Israel's
doorstep were myopic, almost blind. The conclusion from the gloomy
Lebanese and Gazan affairs is that the public cannot rule out the
fact that the Israeli leadership woke up a little too late to the
issue of Iran's nuclearization. Those who throughout the current
decade invested all diplomatic and military resources in the
disengagement plan and in a desperate attempt to neutralize the
Palestinian issue, now discover that the handling of the existential
problem has been forsaken -- certainly so on the diplomatic level."

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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