Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #1570/01 2031258
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 211258Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7605
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 4164
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 0771
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 4470
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 4942
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4156
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 2471
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 4914
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1770
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 2217
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 8767
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6247
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 1156
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 5269
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7227
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 0117
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 001570

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

Today most media focused on the third day of Morris Talansky's
cross-examination by PM Ehud Olmert's lawyers. Leading media
reported that Talansky could not remember details of cash transfers
to Olmert. Ha'aretz quoted officials at the State Prosecutor's
Office as saying that by the end of the day the "core of Talansky's
testimony" had not cracked. Yediot (today) and Maariv (yesterday)
published transcripts of Olmert's main police probe, in which Maariv
said Olmert admitted having received expense reimbursement in cash
from Talansky.

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe bannered (and other media cited) Secretary
Rice's statement in an interview with CNN on Sunday that President
Bush is leaving all options about Iran open, and that she refused to
discuss the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran, saying this
was only a "speculation."

Yesterday The Jerusalem Post quoted Israeli defense officials as
saying over the weekend that Israel is scheduled to renew
Egyptian-mediated negotiations with Hamas this week for Gilad's
release. Today Ha'aretz reported that Hamas confirmed yesterday
that the talks were on hold. Today Ha'aretz reported that former
U.S. President Jimmy Carter is trying to achieve a breakthrough in
the negotiations over Gilad Shalit's release. Under the deal,
Israel would release several dozen prisoners as a
confidence-building measure, including Hamas parliamentarians and
ministers arrested after Shalit's abduction in June 2006. In
return, Shalit would be brought to Egypt, where his family would be
able to visit him. After this stage, negotiations for the release
of more Palestinian prisoners and Shalit's return home would
continue. In a separate development, Ha'aretz quoted ministers who
participated in cabinet deliberations on the matter yesterday with
PM Olmert as saying that Israel will have to show greater
flexibility in its negotiations with Hamas in order to free Shalit.
The media quoted Defense Minister Ehud Barak as saying yesterday
that he would like to see a news blackout on the negotiations for
Shalit's release to increase the "chances of success." The
Jerusalem Post reported that Egypt is enraged over Hamas claims that
it is not an honest broker. On Sunday leading media quoted Hamas
officials as saying that they will insist on the freeing of 1,000
prisoners in exchange for Shalit. Media reported that at a
demonstration in Paris yesterday former Franco-Colombian hostage
Ingrid Betancourt demanded Shalit's release. Maariv bannered
remarks made to the newspaper by outgoing head of the IDF Human
Resources Directorate, Elazar Stern. He was quoted as saying that
the price that Israel pays for releasing kidnapped soldiers is too
high, and that it is a pity Israel does not learn from the U.S.

Ha'aretz reported that Israel has gathered and conveyed intelligence
showing the increasing strength of Hizbullah in Lebanon to European
defense ministries. Similar information was delivered to the UN
during a visit to New York a month ago by Brig. Gen. Yossi Baidatz,
head of research at IDF Intelligence. Ha'aretz quoted a political
source as saying that Israel is very frustrated because the
phenomenon of arms smuggling is not sufficiently addressed in
relevant UN reports, including the most recent one three weeks ago,
nor is it fully acknowledged in European capitals -- particularly in
countries that are contributing contingents to the peacekeeping
force in southern Lebanon.

Yesterday The Jerusalem Post and other media reported that IDF Chief
of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi left for the U.S. on Saturday for a week of
talks -- with a focus on Iran -- with top U.S. defense and
diplomatic officials.

Leading media reported that yesterday the Israeli human rights group
B'Tselem released a video showing an IDF soldier shooting a
Palestinian youth with a rubber bullet at short range, his arms and
legs bound by a high-ranking Border Police officer. According to
B'Tselem, the shooting was witnessed by several other soldiers and
officers, including the lieutenant colonel who bound the teen's
limbs. The organization allegedly demanded an investigation be
opened into his role and that the soldier who fired the gun "be
brought to justice." The incident occurred on July 7, in the West
Bank village of Na'alin, where Palestinians and leftists have
increased their protests in recent months against the separation
barrier in the town, and the demonstrations have at time culminated
in violent clashes.

Leading media reported that Barack Obama is scheduled to land in
Israel today for a visit, which will include meetings with Israeli
and Palestinian officials in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Over
dinner, PM Olmert plans to discuss Israel's military intelligence on
the Iranian nuclear program and stress the importance of maintaining
diplomatic pressure on Tehran. Tomorrow morning, FM Tzipi Livni
will accompany Obama on a tour, including a helicopter flight over
the disputed areas with the Palestinians and a visit to the
Qassam-stricken city of Sderot. Later in the day, he will travel to
Ramallah, where he will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Yesterday Ha'aretz reported that last week the High Court of Justice
upheld a ruling for the eviction of a Palestinian family from the
Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, whose house is owned
by religious Jews. The eviction spurred protest by senior PA
officials, and diplomats from several consulates have already
visited the house. The Khurd family has lived in the contested
building since 1956, when the area was under Jordanian control.
After the area came under Israel's control in 1967, the Committee of
the Sephardi Jewry and the Committee of the Knesset of Israel -- two
religious bodies -- presented the Israeli authorities with various
documents showing that they had purchased the area during the
Ottoman rule. Yesterday The Jerusalem Post quoted the PA's official
news agency Wafa as saying that Israel is using rats to drive Arab
families out of their homes in the Old City of Jerusalem. The daily
quoted Jerusalem Municipality spokesman Gidi Schmerling as saying
that the report was "pure fiction," and had no connection to
reality."

Yediot quoted Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, the head of IDF Intelligence,
as saying at yesterday's cabinet session that Israel's enemies are
afraid of a flare-up during the summer. However, Yadlin was quoted
as saying that an action against Israel may be carried out, which
the enemies believe will not lead to war.

Leading media reported that yesterday visiting British PM Gordon
Brown demanded the end of settlement expansion.

On Sunday Ha'aretz reported that real estate mogul Yitzhak Tshuva
will go ahead with his plans to build a massive industrial zone in
the Arava Desert irrespective of the Red Sea-Dead Sea canal.

Major media reported that yesterday the cabinet unanimously endorsed
the nomination of Professor Gabriela Shalev as Israel's first woman
ambassador to the United Nations.

Yesterday The Jerusalem Post quoted the Israeli technology company
NICE Systems as saying last week that Salt River Project (SRP), the
third-largest public power public utility in the U.S., has selected
NICE Smart Center solutions to help SRP manage and support the
growth of its contact centers, which receive over 3 million calls
per year.

Yesterday Ha'aretz quoted National Infrastructure Minister Benjamin
Ben-Eliezer as saying at the end of last week that Jerusalem is
close to an agreement with Moscow that would secure natural gas for
a planned pipeline project between Turkey and Israel.

Ha'aretz reported that Norway is investing half-a-billion Euros in
Israel. However, the newspaper cited the Bank of Israel as saying
that the main cause of the shekel's strengthening is not foreign
investments, but the slowing in Israelis' investments abroad.

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

Summary:
--------

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: "As long as
the West Bank is dissected by innumerable roadblocks and closures,
there is not much value in festive declarations about an 'economic
Roadmap.'"

Columnist and former Meretz Party Chairman Yossi Sarid wrote in
Ha'aretz: "Obama has a good chance of being not just a president,
but a world leader who wants to save himself from himself. Can it
not be that, for a change, what's good for the world will also be
good for the Jews, and what's good for the Jews will also be what's
good for the world?"

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

I. "Don't Waste the Money"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (7/21): "Since
they are unable to substantively advance a diplomatic arrangement
that will end the prolonged conflict in this region, visiting
leaders have developed the habit of comforting the Palestinians with
financial aid while compensating the Israelis by recognizing their
right to live in security and comfort. They add a rebuke about
Israel's settlement policy and season it with a call to remove most
of the roadblocks.... There is no better illustration of the
international community's lack of effectiveness in the violent and
poverty-stricken Middle East. Yesterday it was the turn of British
Prime Minister Gordon Brown to contribute to this depressing
ritual.... At a meeting with President Shimon Peres, he announced
his intention of initiating an 'economic Roadmap' for the Middle
East, which would benefit regional development and stability.... As
long as the West Bank is dissected by innumerable roadblocks and
closures, there is not much value in festive declarations about an
'economic Roadmap.' Worse than that -- the reports about hundreds
of millions of dollars that make their way into the PA's coffers
increase the alienation between the political elite and PA staffers,
who benefit from the donations, and the general public that spends
its days at the roadblocks."

II. "Why Obama?"

Columnist and former Meretz Party Chairman Yossi Sarid wrote in
Ha'aretz (7/21): "When the candidate lands here tomorrow, a fog of
ambiguity will still hover over his position.... Even if Obama is
not elected president, his candidacy has already left a deep
impression. It has changed the path of American policy.... Electing
McCain means continuing the Bush-Cheney-Rice policy. It means
another four years of trouble: The futile war between the
'enlightened ones' and the 'unenlightened ones' will continue;
America's deterrent power will continue to dissipate; a peace
agreement with Syria will be held off until the end of days, along
with an Israeli-Palestinian deal; and the Arab League's peace plan
will gather dust. McCain is not as obtuse as Bush or as corrupt as
Cheney, but he is their successor. McCain has even removed himself
from the international arena when it comes to environmental issues.
Just this month, he supported Bush's plan to allow the greedy oil
companies to continue to damage the ocean environment in sensitive
regions that have rare natural resources. Obama has a good chance
of being not just a president, but a world leader who wants to save
himself from himself. Can it not be that, for a change, what's good
for the world will also be good for the Jews, and what's good for
the Jews will also be what's good for the world?"

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

Summary:
--------

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: "We ought to
welcome all attempts at substantive dialogue that can lead to a
suspension of Iran's uranium enrichment activity in a way that
provides enough reliable safeguards and supervisory measures. At
the same time, Iran's deceptive behavior and policy of buying time
constantly warn against any efforts to pull the wool over our
eyes."

Columnist Calev Ben-David wrote on page one of the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post: "The big question for Jerusalem is
whether this U.S. administration -- or the next -- is going to end
up content simply bombing Iran with more talk, and confining its
victories over it to the basketball court."

Former Mossad director Ephraim Halevy wrote in the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "Iran proclaims its red lines and its
honor as a state with equal rights in the region. Israel has an
identical right -- among the rest by being, as Defense Minister
Barak has said, the strongest power in the region."


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

I. "Talking and Suspecting"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (7/20): "A
noteworthy development has emerged from the Geneva negotiations
between European Union officials and Iran's representative to the
talks on its nuclear program, Saeed Jalili.... Is this a turning
point in American policy on Iran? Undoubtedly, this is at the very
least a new tactical approach by Washington. Perhaps the U.S., with
which Israel has spearheaded a tough, even aggressive brand of
diplomacy against Iran in recent years, now seeks to demonstrate
that it does not oppose efforts to freeze Tehran's nuclear program
by way of dialogue.... Nonetheless, these positive signals cannot
camouflage Iran's determination to attain the status of a nuclear
power. One cannot overstate that it was during the period when the
voices of Iranian moderation were heard, when Hashemi Rafsanjani and
Mohammad Khatami occupied the president's chair, that Iran's nuclear
program was allowed to develop with no interference from outside.
We ought to welcome all attempts at substantive dialogue that can
lead to a suspension of Iran's uranium enrichment activity in a way
that provides enough reliable safeguards and supervisory measures.
At the same time, Iran's deceptive behavior and policy of buying
time constantly warn against any efforts to pull the wool over our
eyes."

II. "Why Washington's New Playbook on Iran Is No Laughing Matter"

Columnist Calev Ben-David wrote on page one of the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post (7/21): "Any softening by Ahmadinejad of
his usual belligerent rhetoric, or by other Iranian officials, is
now going to be charitably explained by those who oppose any U.S. or
Israeli military action toward the country as a hopeful sign of this
new environment.... Tehran ....walked away from the Geneva meeting
with, at the very least, a tie, if not an outright win. That's
because even Ahmadinejad can grasp the concept that projecting a
kinder, gentler Iran in response to the new American initiative,
while in substance actually conceding little or nothing, is the most
viable strategy for a regime determined to press ahead with its
nuclear dreams. And if that is indeed the case, the big question
for Jerusalem is whether this U.S. administration -- or the next --
is going to end up content simply bombing Iran with more talk, and
confining its victories over it to the basketball court."

III. "The Secret Incentives"

Former Mossad director Ephraim Halevy wrote in the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot (7/20): "Incentives [offered to Iran by
the United States and Europe] have never been made public....
Washington is prepared to discuss 'expanded security commitments' to
Iran. The meaning of this is clear: recognition of Iran's
status.... as a regional power and the establishment of a permanent
debate with it about the future of the Middle East.... [Regional
topics] are close to Israel's heart. If this new move gathers
speed, the Israeli government will necessarily make clear that it
will cooperate with the policy of its greatest friend and ally --
provided it is reserved an official seat near the table where its
security and future are discussed. 'Coordination, 'reporting,' and
so on, are not enough. Iran proclaims its red lines and its honor
as a state with equal rights in the region. Israel has an identical
right -- among the rest by being, as Defense Minister Barak has
said, the strongest power in the region."

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:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC