Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #1617/01 2101059
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 281059Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7704
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 4193
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 0800
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 4508
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 4971
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4185
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 2508
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 4943
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1799
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0011
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 8796
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6276
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 1185
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 5298
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7256
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 0161
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 001617

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

Ha'aretz reported that after a five-year battle, the defense
establishment has finally agreed to dismantle a 2.4-kilometer
stretch of the separation fence north of Qalqilya. The move will
return 2,600 dunams (around 643 acres) of agricultural land to its
Palestinian owners. The dismantled stretch will be replaced by 4.9
kilometers of fencing closer to the Green Line, at a cost of more
than 50 million shekels. The new route largely follows the one
proposed years ago by the Council for Peace and Security The change
apparently stemmed in part from the views of IDF Chief of Staff Gabi
Ashkenazi, who believes that the government, not the IDF, should
determine the precise route of the fence. The fence in this area
was built in 2003, and residents of several nearby Palestinian
villages promptly petitioned the High Court of Justice against it.
They won several legal victories over the years: The court ordered
the fence be moved closer to the Green Line around Bil'in, Alfei
Menashe and Tzufin.

Yediot reported that Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who left Israel
last night for a visit to Washington, will try to convince the heads
of the U.S. administration not to remove a military option against
Iran. Maariv reported that FM Livni and Transportation Minister
Shaul Mofaz will also visit the U.S. this week. The Jerusalem Post
cited speculation by Israeli defense officials on Sunday that recent
talks that the U.S. held with Iran are aimed at creating legitimacy
for a potential attack against Iranian nuclear facilities. The
Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli officials have expressed doubt
over claims by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday
that his country now possesses 6,000 centrifuges.

Ha'aretz quoted Palestinian sources as saying that Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice is pressuring Israel and the PA to try to
agree on a document of understanding by September, ahead of the UN
General Assembly. The sources were quoted as saying that Rice wants
to be able to present the document to the General Assembly to show
progress in the talks. The document would include agreed-upon
points particularly on borders, an issue where, according to an
Israeli diplomat, the gap is not significant. According to
Palestinian sources, the gap regarding a right of return for
Palestinian refugees has also narrowed. The Jerusalem Post reported
that yesterday, speaking at a Kadima rally in Jerusalem that was
closed to the press, FM Tzipi Livni came out against American
efforts to have Israel reach an interim agreement with the
Palestinians before the end of President Bush's term.

On Friday Israel TV reported that PM Ehud Olmert is seriously
considering quitting the premiership following the mid-September
Kadima leadership race if the winner can form a new government.
Israel Hayom quoted a senior police official as saying yesterday:
"Out of all the Olmert affairs, the Rishon Tours [travel agency]
affair is the most advanced from the evidentiary standpoint." The
official noted that the detectives had gathered enough evidence to
warrant a first indictment of the PM. Former chief of the police's
National Fraud Unit investigator Boaz Guttman was quoted as saying
in an interview with The Jerusalem Post that the spate of media
leaks in relation with PM Ehud Olmert's interrogation is an attempt
by elements working for the premier to signal other suspects in the
probe currently wiretapped by law enforcement to keep silent.

Over the weekend the media reported on extensive Hamas-Fatah
violence in Gaza and Hamas's numerous arrests of Fatah activists in
the Strip.

Major media reported that Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin told the
cabinet yesterday that East Jerusalem neighborhoods on the "other"
side of the security fence are fast becoming Hamas hotbeds and more
"problematic" security-wise than much of the West Bank.

Ha'aretz reported that Defense Minister Ehud Barak is considering
purchasing or borrowing several Phalanx automated cannons from the
U.S. The cannons intercept mortar shells and short-range rockets,
and would be used to defend Sderot and other Negev town from rocket
fire from Gaza. Barak is expected to ask Defense Secretary Robert
Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen to appraise the Phalanx's performance.
Ha'aretz reported that the defense establishment is divided on the
issue.

Ha'aretz quoted Defense Secretary Robert Gates as writing in the
latest issue of Parameters, the U.S. Army War College quarterly,
that a war with Iran would be "disastrous."

The Jerusalem Post quoted John McCain as saying on CNN on Friday he
would move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem if he were

elected president.

Leading media reported that Maj. Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan is expected
to announce at a press conference today that he will join Likud.
Dayan founded the Tafnit movement, which failed in its bid to be
represented in the Knesset in the last general elections. Dayan is
considered an advocate of clean government, and supported a demand
by reserve soldiers for a government commission of inquiry into the
Second Lebanon War.

The media reported that yesterday border policemen and soldiers
killed Shihab Natshe, a top Hamas bomb maker who had masterminded a
suicide bombing in Dimona earlier this year.

Ha'aretz cited Reuters as saying BG, formerly known as British Gas,
announced at the end of last week that it had resumed talks with
Israel on developing its gas field off the Gaza Coast, but that both
Israeli reluctance to pay world prices for gas and political
problems made a deal difficult.

Over the weekend the media reported that a mysterious explosion
occurred in Iran on July 19 in the middle of a military convoy
apparently meant for Hizbullah. On Sunday Maariv quoted Israeli
intelligence sources as saying that they do not believe that the
Mossad would waste operational capability in Iran for a weapons
shipment to Hizbullah, unless they were new weapons introduced in
the arena, such as anti-aircraft missiles. On Sunday Maariv cited
the belief of Israeli officials that Hizbullah will try to focus its
efforts on attacking IAF planes in Lebanese skies.

Ha'aretz reported that Israel is not planning a partial withdrawal
this week from the village of Ghajar, which straddles the
Israel-Lebanon border. The denial came in response to a report
published yesterday by the Saudi newspaper Okaz. Yediot reported
that the IDF will allow Jews to pray at the grave of Rav Ashi, a
4th-5th century Talmudic scholar, which bestrides the Israel-Lebanon
border. Maariv cited the Israeli-Arab web site Panet as saying that
a group of Israelis has requested Syria for permission to visit the
grave of Rabbi Haim Vital near Damascus.

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

Summary:
--------


Veteran journalist and anchor Dan Margalit wrote in the independent
Israel Hayom: "The government must not act on the basis of a
momentary gut feeling. Certainly not in a country that paid a high
price for six years of tahdiya [truce] on the northern border, which
evaporated in the Second Lebanon War."

Former Ambassador to the U.S., former Minister of Foreign Affairs,
and former Minister of Defense Moshe Arens wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "[The story of East Jerusalem's Arabs is
that] of utter neglect, based on the wishful thinking that the city
could be united without all its residents being integrated into its
fabric."

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

I. "Don't Be Blinded by the Calm"

Veteran journalist and anchor Dan Margalit wrote in the independent
Israel Hayom (7/28): "Yesterday, among other security issues, the
cabinet discussed the respite on the Gaza-Sderot front. Ehud Barak
stated his opinion that it was good for Israel. The natural
inclination is to join his opinion.... But the government must not
act on the basis of a momentary gut feeling. Certainly not in a
country that paid a high price for six years of tahdiya [truce] on
the northern border, which evaporated in the Second Lebanon War.
Three issues should be examined: Is the respite bringing the Hamas
regime closer to its end? Not at all. On the contrary, it is
bringing Israel closer to the point where it will withdraw its
demand to return the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority. Due
to Israeli weakness, American and European pressure has collapsed.
Has the accumulation of offensive weapons in the hands of Hamas in
Gaza been curbed? On the contrary, tons of weapons of various types
have been added.... Is the tahdiya facilitating the release of Gilad
Shalit? Certainly not. Clearly, the opposite is true. Mossad
Director Meir Dagan was right when he opposed the truce without
effecting Shalit's release first. Israel now remains without the
main bargaining chip for achieving a release under difficult but
reasonable conditions. Now they will be very difficult, to the
point of endangering the Shalit deal. What, then, is working in
Israel's favor at this time, when all its citizens without exception
want to see the Qassam rocket and mortar shell fire at the Negev
stop? Anyone who says this [i.e. argues in favor of the truce]
should remember the fine, shining, sunny, calm morning in July 2006,
which put an end to the illusion in one fell swoop and turned the
Middle East upside down."

II. "A Story of Neglect"

Former Ambassador to the U.S., former Minister of Foreign Affairs,
and former Minister of Defense Moshe Arens wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (7/28): "[Since the Six-Day War], Jerusalem
was officially enlarged and united, but has in large measure
remained divided to this day.... The challenge of integrating
Jerusalem's Arab residents into the city cannot be overestimated,
and the directions that need to be taken are obvious: equalizing the
municipal services provided to Arab and Jewish neighborhoods, as
well as welfare, health-care and educational services.... All this
could probably have been done only gradually, but in fact almost
nothing was done during the past four decades. This is a story of
utter neglect, based on the wishful thinking that the city could be
united without ll its residents being integrated into its
fabri.... These reflections have been provoked by the tree recent
acts of terror committed by Arab resients of Jerusalem.... It is
well known that the quivalent of the Islamic Movement, Hamas, is at
tis time active and popular among the Jerusalem Ara population,
and no doubt encourages them to vioence against Israel. But it is
equally clear tht had progress been made over the years in properl
absorbing the Jerusalem Arab population into Isrel, the task facing
the Palestinian extremists would have been more difficult.... Those
who believe that Jerusalem should not be divided, and mean by that
that the Arab neighborhoods should not be separated from the city,
should be the first to insist that an active policy be adopted by
the government and the municipality to improve the lot of local Arab
residents. Barring that, Jerusalem will continue to remain a
divided city."

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