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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #1591/01 2061026
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 241026Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7656
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 4183
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 0790
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 4496
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 4961
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4175
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 2495
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 4933
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1789
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0001
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 8786
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6266
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 1175
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 5288
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7246
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 0146
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 001591

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

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

Mideast

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

In interviews with all major media, Barack Obama was quoted as
saying that he will pursue a two-state solution and do everything in
his power to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power. He was quoted
as saying that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, but that its
status should be determined by both sides. Israel Radio reported
that both presidential candidates vowed to stop the Iranian nuclear
program.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli diplomatic officials told
the newspaper this week that the U.S. is interested in having Israel
and the Palestinians codify the progress in their talks up to now so
there will be a lasting document to serve as the basis for further
negotiations following the changeover of governments in Washington
and -- possibly -- in Jerusalem. According to the officials,
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will convene a trilateral
meeting in Washington on July 30 or 31 with FM Tzipi Livni and the
PA's chief negotiator, Ahmed Qurei. According to the officials, the
document would be in lieu a finished "shelf agreementQ that
President Bush had said at the Annapolis Conference he hoped to see
before he left office in January 2009.

The Jerusalem Post reported on an expected report by U.S. security
coordinator to Israel Gen. (ret.) James Jones. Contrary to earlier
media reports claiming that the document will slam Israel for its
policies in the territories, Israeli defense and diplomatic
officials told The Jerusalem Post that the report would instead
reflect supposed tension between Jones and another American security
envoy operating in the region -- Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton. According
to the defense official, the report would focus on the failure to
establish an effective PA security apparatus and as a result would
likely conclude that the chances of reaching a peace deal with the
Palestinians by the end of 2008 were slim.

Maariv and Israel Radio reported on GOI plans to partially revive
the Jordan Valley settlement of Maskiot, which were frozen a year
and a half ago following U.S. pressure. The radio noted that the
project still needs the Defense Minister's approval.

Israel Radio quoted the London-based Al-Hayat as saying that a
breakthrough will soon be reached in the Israel-Syria talks. The
radio quoted Syrian adviser Samir al-Taki as saying in Washington
yesterday that his country has decided to reach a land-for-peace
agreement with Israel. Al-Taki was quoted as saying that Syria
could not ignore Israel. He conveyed similar message in an
interview with The Jerusalem Post. The radio cited the Saudi
newspaper Al-Watan as saying that the talks will resume next week.

The Jerusalem Post reported that information recently obtained by
the Mossad and IDF Intelligence indicates that global jihad elements
are working to recruit European and American nationals who have been
indoctrinated with radical Islamic ideology to carry out attacks
inside Israel.

Maariv recorded that in 2007 the settler population has increased by
around 5.5% (15,000 people), as opposed to a 1.8% increase among
Jews in Israel.

The Jerusalem Post reported that an elite IDF unit operating in
Jenin on Tuesday found a large bomb planted in a car that was likely
on its way to explode in an Israeli city.

The Jerusalem Post reported that yesterday a polygraph test
supported an officer's claims that he did not order the shooting of
a handcuffed Palestinian two weeks ago.

Maariv reported that the IDF has removed the soldiers who guarded
the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar. The move occurred after the
local brigade commander decided to suspend the settlement's defense
coordinator in the wake of the attempted firing of a rocket at a
Palestinian village by a yeshiva student.

Leading media reported that PM Ehud Olmert and his team have
informed Attorney General Menachem Mazuz that they are willing to
pass a lie detector test concerning the leaks of transcripts in the
Talansky affair.

Ha'aretz quoted military experts as saying that the Iron Dome
anti-Qassam rocket system will be ready in 2012.

Ha'aretz and Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported that yesterday the
Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee approved granting
more powers to the head of the National Security Headquarters
(currently Danny Arditi). The proposal implements recommendations
stemming from the aftermath of the Second Lebanon War.

Ha'aretz and The Jerusalem Post reported that yesterday the
Anti-Defamation League condemned numerous cartoons that have
appeared recently in the Arab press, portraying presumptive U.S.
presidential candidates, Senators Barack Obama and John McCain, as
lackeys controlled by Israel and by American Jews.

The Jerusalem Post quoted Construction and Housing Minister Zeev
Boim as saying yesterday that American Jewish groups who lobby for
increased immigration of the Falash Mura -- Ethiopians whose Jewish
ancestors converted to Christianity -- to Israel are doing so "to
earn money, collect donations and justify their existence," but are
unwilling to bring these Ethiopians to their own communities in
America.

Maariv reported that Likud MK Gilad Erdan has withdrawn a bill
proposal forcing judges to ban publications in the media.

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

Summary:
--------

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: "To survive as
a Jewish and democratic state, Israel needs an American leader who
does not fear the reaction of American Jews and non-Jews who do not
believe in dividing the land to reconcile its two peoples."

Giora Eiland, the former head of Israel's National Security Council,
wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "The only
way to prevent another war is to make it clear that if it should
break out, Lebanon could be destroyed to the very foundation."

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized:
"[Israel] must ... insist that if the UN and its members are serious
about preventing a further degradation of the rule of international
law, if international law is to regain any authority, the blatant
anti-Israel bias must be dropped."

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

I. "An Agenda for a Friend of Israel"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (7/24): "Barack
Obama came to Jerusalem to deliver an old message on the need to
'reaffirm the historic and special relationship between the United
States and Israel, one that cannot be broken.' The hope is that
Obama left Jerusalem and Ramallah with a deeper understanding of the
need to shelve the flowery statements that his Jewish affairs
advisors had devised for him, if he is to truly be a 'friend of
Israel.' One should keep in mind that the interests of the Israel
lobby in America do not always jibe with Israel's interests.
Instead of talking about a 'united Jerusalem,' he needs to become
involved in finding a realistic solution for Israel's torn and
bleeding capital. To survive as a Jewish and democratic state,
Israel needs an American leader who does not fear the reaction of
American Jews and non-Jews who do not believe in dividing the land
to reconcile its two peoples. A friend of Israel, for example,
would be a president who brings Syria and Israel to the negotiating
room, and pours some real substance into Bush's statement about
wanting to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

II. "Who's the Real Enemy?"

Giora Eiland, the former head of Israel's National Security Council,
wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (7/24): "
Israel declared war on the wrong enemy and, therefore, it did not
win. It is impossible to beat an effective guerrilla organization
when: (A) it operates from the territory of another country; (B) it
enjoys the support and full backing of that country; (C) the country
(Lebanon) is immune from Israeli reaction. If these are also the
characteristics of the next war, we will lose. We will lose,
because we will have agreed to take part in a game whose rules serve
everyone: Hizbullah, the Lebanese government, the UN, France -- but
not us. What is truly th reality in Lebanon? The reality is that
Hizbulah and its 'opponents' are very coordinated in preenting a
false facade, in which Hizbullah represets the 'bad guys' and the
Lebanese government reresents the 'good guys.' If there is a war,
Isrel will be 'permitted' only to fight the 'bad guys' but it will

be forbidden for it to damage the interests of the 'good guys.' The
problem is that it will be almost impossible to harm the 'bad guys'
alone, and the 'good guys' are immune from us. The 'good guys' and
the 'bad guys' cooperate happily. The Lebanese government (and the
people) have let Hizbullah become the ruler.... The only way to
prevent another war is to make it clear that if it should break out,
Lebanon could be destroyed to the very foundation.... If anyone had
any doubt about the Lebanese governmentQs position, we can recall
how the murderer Samir Kuntar was received by the Lebanese President
and his cabinet ministers. Is this the message that Israel conveyed
to the president of France during his last visit to Israel? It is
doubtful. I presume that our senior representatives preferred to
agree with the guest that Hizbullah are the 'bad guys' and the
Lebanese government is the 'good guys.' As long as this is the
message, we should not be surprised when we lose next time."

III. "Falk's Law"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (7/24):
"[Richard Falk, the UN's Special Rapporteur on the Occupied
Palestinian Territories], has ... agitated for economic sanctions
against Israel in the form of divestment campaigns; has charged that
'Israel is seeking to obliterate the existence of the Palestinian
people'; and has said that Israeli policies vividly express a
'deliberate intention on the part of Israel and its allies to
subject an entire human community to life-endangering conditions of
utmost cruelty.' Falk has moreover rejected the characterization of
Hamas as a terrorist organization, and has defended Palestinian
terrorism as a 'right of resistance enjoyed by an occupied people
when the occupying power ignored international law and refuses to
withdraw.' None of this is new, of course.... But it is a mistake
to pretend indifference; doing so only allows sour enemies ... to
seize on international law as a club with which to beat Israel....
Israel cannot afford to ignore men like Falk.... It must instead
insist that if the UN and its members are serious about preventing a
further degradation of the rule of international law, if
international law is to regain any authority, the blatant
anti-Israel bias must be dropped."

MORENO

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