Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #1543/01 1991049
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171049Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7564
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 4147
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 0758
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 4450
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 4929
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4143
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 2450
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 4900
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1757
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 2204
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 8750
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6234
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 1143
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 5256
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7214
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 0092
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 001543

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:
--------------------------------

Mideast

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

All media led with the return of the bodies of abducted IDF soldiers
Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser. Major media highlighted pictures
of PM Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Olmert, and IDF Chief of
Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi comforting the killed servicemen's
families. Media quoted officials as saying that an initial
examination of the bodies revealed that both soldiers were killed
during the assault on their border patrol two years ago, an attack
that sparked the Second Lebanon War. Uncharacteristic of the
subdued headlines in most newspapers, but reflectingQide public
sentiment, Israel Hayom bannered:QOur Pain, their Wickedness," Shas
newspaper Yom Leyom: "Pain opposite a Cruel Enemy," and GlobeQ
"Whom We Deal With." The media reported that yesterday Hizbullah
Secretary-General Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah "left his bunker" to
participate in the celebrations for the release of Samir Kuntar and
his comrades. Media quoted Kuntar as saying that Israel will be
longing for eliminated Hizbullah COO Imad Mughniyah. Yediot quoted
a senior Israeli source as saying that Kuntar is slated for
assassination. Maariv printed a lengthy interview with Kuntar. The
Jerusalem Post reported that Knesset members vowed revenge against
Nasrallah. Leading media cited Israel's concern that Hizbullah will
initiate attacks against Israel and prevent IAF overflight of
Lebanon.

The media reported that Morris Talansky's five-day cross-examination
will start today. Yediot reported that the FBI is probing
Talansky's possible money laundering in the U.S.

Leading media reported that the U.S.-Iran dialogue has resumed after
30 years. Israel Radio quoted the British daily The Guardian as
saying that the U.S. will open an interests section in Tehran next
month. Israel Radio quoted officials in Jerusalem as saying
yesterday that the demand that Iran suspend its enrichment of
uranium has to be a condition for any negotiations and should not
under any circumstances be dropped.

Israel Radio reported that the Pentagon has informed the Congress
that it may sell Israel four warships manufactured by
Lockheed-Martin which cost $1.9 billion. The ships belong to a new
generation designed for coastal patrolling.

Yediot reported that early this month a large Israeli-made drone
crashed in Afghanistan, and implied that it may have fallen into the
Taliban's hands. The UAV was on an intelligence mission at the
service of the Spanish forces

Maariv cited a Reuters news item that many U.S. Evangelicals have
disassociated themselves from Olmert because of his willingness to
divide Jerusalem.

Ha'aretz reported that the Shin Bet and Israel Police have opened a
criminal investigation against former IDF Intelligence (MI) chief
Eli Zeira, on suspicion of disclosing state secrets. This marks the
first time that the Shin Bet has investigated allegations involving
state security against a senior officer -- Zeira is a major
general-- and former MI head. The investigation is focusing on the
allegation that Zeira revealed the name of Ashraf Marwan, the Mossad
agent and Egyptian businessman who died under mysterious
circumstances in London about a year ago.

Maariv advises Israelis to buy property in the U.S. at this time.

Leading media reported that the Israeli pharmaceutical company Teva
is weighing the acquisition of the U.S. firm Barr Pharmaceuticals
for $7.4 billion.

Ha'aretz and The Jerusalem Post reported that Eric Silver, doyen of
the foreign press in Jerusalem, passed away on Tuesday at the age of
73.

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

Summary:
--------

Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote on page one of the
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz: "[U.S. officials'] excuses for
changing American policy vis-a-vis Iran sound exactly like Olmert's
excuses for agreeing to a cease-fire with Hamas and a prisoner
exchange with Hizbullah."Diplomatic correspondent Shimon Shiffer wrote in the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "Hizbullah has proven
over the past two years that his understanding of Israeli society is
not so great as one believes."

Veteran columnist Evelyn Gordon wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post: "Unless the U.S., and the world,
understand that appeasing Hizbullah at Israel's expense will only
invite further aggression, Sheba could well prove the spark that
ignited a chain reaction of international conflicts round the
globe."

Liberal columnist and anchor Ofer Shelach wrote on page one of the
popular, pluralist Maariv: "A strong society, which loves life, does
not bother with vain posturing and promises of revenge."

Ha'aretz editorialized: "The crux of [the] reassessment [of Israeli
policy on prisoner exchange] should be how we differentiate between
the living and the dead, between exchanges involving live prisoners
and dead soldiers -- a differentiation that has become worryingly
blurred in Israeli society."

Middle East affairs commentator Dr. Guy Bechor, a lecturer at the
Interdisciplinary Center, wrote in Yediot Aharonot: "The situation
in southern Lebanon is stable at present and does not appear to be
threatening. By and large the latest developments in Lebanon have
been positive from Israel's point of view."

Conservative columnist Uri Orbach "addressed" the Lebanese people
in Yediot Aharonot: "Israel has no border conflict with you, the
Lebanese people, but we definitely have a big struggle over your
moral limits.... For 30 years you have failed to tell between a
national hero and a child-murderer."

Columnist Ari Shavit wrote in Ha'aretz: "Two years after an
ephemeral militia provoked a regional superpower, the militia is
growing stronger than ever, and the regional superpower is in a
state of turmoil, degeneration and foggy stupor."

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

I. "The Summer of Talk"

Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote on page one of the
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (7/17): "The prisoner-body
exchange between Israel and Hizbullah should be seen in its wider
context.... American officials mock their Israeli counterparts any
time they recite long-winded monologues about the 'struggle between
moderates and extremists' in the Middle East. How does this struggle
exist in the same universe as Israel's agreement to talk to Hamas
and Hizbullah? the Americans ask. But their excuses for changing
American policy vis-a-vis Iran sound exactly like Olmert's excuses
for agreeing to a cease-fire with Hamas and a prisoner exchange with
Hizbullah. The Americans and the Israelis insist that it is not
dialogue, that the tough policy remains intact and that they do not
believe the other side."

II. "Petty Nasrallah"

Diplomatic correspondent Shimon Shiffer wrote in the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (7/17): "Since the
[Second Lebanon] War, Hizbullah ... has been behaving with
restraint. I suggest that Israeli not blame themselves for
everything.... Nasrallah has proven over the past two years that his
understanding of Israeli society is not so great as one believes.
When he wanted to trade body parts of other soldiers, the families
of the soldiers were the first to tell him: 'Keep the body parts; we
won't pay for what you have left.' Udi Goldwasser and Eldad Regev
came back home yesterday because Israel had clarified that there is
a possibility that they would be declared killed in action and that
Hizbullah would not get anything."

III. "Hizbullah's Next Pretext"

Veteran columnist Evelyn Gordon wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post (7/17): "Pressing Israel to cede Sheba is
worse than pointless; it is destructive. By demonstrating that no
border, even if unanimously certified by the Security Council, is
actually final -- that each 'certified' border is merely a starting
point for new territorial claims -- it would preclude any chance of
Middle East peace. Clearly, Israel would have no incentive for
additional withdrawals under these circumstances.... Even worse,
however, a Hizbullah victory over Sheba would eliminate other
countries' incentive to restrain their own radical organizations....
If Hizbullah's tactic succeeds, it would be a win-win proposition
for every government in the Middle East.... It is rare that a single
decision contains the potential for sowing so much havoc. But
unless the U.S., and the world, understand that appeasing Hizbullah
at Israel's expense will only invite further aggression, Sheba could
well prove the spark that ignited a chain reaction of international
conflicts round the globe."
IV. "Tenacity, But No Revenge"

Liberal columnist and anchor Ofer Shelach wrote on page one of the
popular, pluralist Maariv (7/17): "Our problem isn't Nasrallah. The
macabre sights that he produces, including a display of coffins on
live broadcast yesterday, are not really an ingenious toying with
the battered Israeli psyche. If anything, they only confirm what we
think of him, and the sense of our own moral superiority. The
problem is the paradigm of the Goldwasser and Regev families, who
over the last two years have been the epitome of a tenacious and
effective public battle on the one hand, and a noble one on the
other -- but this model has not been implemented in other places,
including in the government and in the media. The problem is that
we are beginning to believe that we are indeed made of spider
webs.... There is no point in looking back, there is also no point
in continuing the festival of crying, which is probably not to the
liking of these two noble families. What we have to remember is: A
strong society, which loves life, does not bother with vain
posturing and promises of revenge. It does not try to repay its
enemies' insults with other insults and cruelty for cruelty, it does
not wallow in its pain and on the other hand, it does not preoccupy
itself endlessly with its image of deterrence."


V. "The Deal and the Reassessment"

Ha'aretz editorialized (7/17): "This marks the end of the deal with
Hizbullah. From this point on, what is needed is a serious
reassessment of the Israeli position. The crux of this reassessment
should be how we differentiate between the living and the dead,
between exchanges involving live prisoners and dead soldiers -- a
differentiation that has become worryingly blurred in Israeli
society. One can certainly understand the Goldwasser and Regev
families, who, until the very last moment, were unable to accept
that their sons were no longer alive and needed clear-cut proof to
start the mourning process. It is harder to understand the
addiction of an entire country to an illusion that was orchestrated
by Hizbullah, but which relied heavily on the Israeli media and
Israeli politicians, who infused the negotiations with promises,
cliches, jingles, bicycle rides, and problematic statements like
'bring the boys back home.' After all, it was clear to all that IDF
soldiers and fatalities are not children, and that bodies cannot be
'brought home' -- only buried."

VI. "Hizbullah's Capitulation"
Middle East affairs commentator Dr. Guy Bechor, a lecturer at the
Interdisciplinary Center, wrote in Yediot Aharonot (7/17): "As a
result of the fighting in Beirut, Hizbullah lost the legitimacy that
had enabled it to dictate political discourse in Lebanon.... The
Siniora government symbolizes a return to normality in Lebanon, and
it is a masterpiece of careful ethnic representation.... The
Christians are over-represented and the Shiites very
under-represented. Hizbullah agreed to this. And what about
Hizbullah's presence in southern Lebanon, south of the Litani? The
IDF has charged that the organization is smuggling arms and
munitions into that area. UNIFIL, in its last report, denies this
categorically. It is precisely the UNIFIL report which is worthy of
credence, because Hizbullah abides strictly by the rules laid down
for the territory south of the Litani.... The situation in southern
Lebanon is stable at present and does not appear to be threatening.
By and large the latest developments in Lebanon have been positive
from Israel's point of view."

VII. "A Letter to the Lebanese"

Conservative columnist Uri Orbach "addressed" the Lebanese people
in Yediot Aharonot (7/17): "Israel has no border conflict with you,
the Lebanese people, but we definitely have a big struggle over your
moral limits. We identified the bodies of our [dead soldiers] Udi
and Eldad within a few hours. And you? For 30 years you have
failed to identify the nature of your Samir Kuntar. For 30 years
you have failed to differentiate between a national hero and a
child-murderer. From your point of view, it is enough for someone
to have killed a Jew, be it a little girl from Nahariya, to be
welcomed among you with honor due to royalty.... This is a sad day
for Israel, but it contains pain, restraint, and pride over
everything we are: a fortified Jewish wall against the spearhead of
the Iranian folly, with your silence and encouragement. Our sons
have come back -- so has the child-murderer to your country. With
great grief we received bodies. You received a bastard. Look at
the difference."

VIII. "Here Are the Results of That War"

Columnist Ari Shavit wrote in Ha'aretz (7/17): "Here are the results
of Israel's war against Hizbullah so far.... Two years after an
ephemeral militia provoked a regional superpower, the militia is
growing stronger than ever, and the regional superpower is in a
state of turmoil, degeneration and foggy stupor.... In two and a
half years of Olmert's government, Israel has failed in four
different campaigns. None of these failures was necessary.
Basically Israel was and remains a very powerful country. However,
when a stupid government conducts a foolish policy in every field
and respect, the result is a resounding failure. This failure could
become a real threat -- no, not a threat to our survival, but
definitely a strategic one."

MORENO

© 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: