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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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DE RUEHTV #1837/01 2331058
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P 201058Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
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RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 0895
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 4626
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 5079
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4282
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 2626
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 5044
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1906
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0119
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 8891
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UNCLAS TEL AVIV 001837

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. Israel: Governance

2. Pakistan: Musharraf Resignation

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

Major media reported that PM Olmert sent a stern warning to Beirut
yesterday, pledging that Israel would not restrain itself if Lebanon
sanctioned a new Hizbullah offensive. Olmert was quoted as sayng
that that the next war "will also reach the cities and the homes of
Israeli citizens, and the goal of our enemies will be to strike at
the Home Front. To this end they are procuring equipment meant to
strike at the population."

Yediot and The Jerusalem Post reported that Olmert intends to reach
a compromise with the Labor Party on the budget and will offer to
increase government expenditures by an extra half percentage point.
Yediot reported that the Finance Ministry threatens a crisis with
Olmert over this point.

Israel Radio reported that Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the
closure of all crossings to Gaza following the firing of a rocket
into Israel yesterday. Earlier Ha'aretz quoted Israeli and
Palestinian officials as saying that Israel had earlier in the day
allowed food and other supplies to enter Gaza through the Kerem
Shalom crossing, which had been closed for months.

Major media (lead story in Yediot) quoted a senior source in the
Pentagon as saying that the Iranian satellite experienced a
"dramatic failure." Israel Radio cited an Iranian denial of the
U.S. statement. Ha'aretz quoted former Mossad director Ephraim
Halevy as saying in an interview with the Arab Alhurra-TV that
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad is the greatest gift ever
received by Israel.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the Kadima chairmanship race was
temporarily halted yesterday when the party's leadership decided to
hold a re-vote in the Kadima council on whether the primary should
be held, due to irregularities in the way the original decision was
approved last month.

The Jerusalem Post reported that according to a ruling released
yesterday, the High Court of Justice has given the state three more
months to work out a mutually acceptable arrangement with settlement
leaders to remove the residents of the unauthorized Migron. Major
media reported that yesterday a wedding was held at the ruins of the
evacuated West Bank settlement of Homesh with the authorization of
the Defense Ministry.

Leading media reported that yesterday the High Court of Justice
issued a show-cause order and an interim injunction in response to a
petition by four human rights groups demanding tougher charges
against two soldiers involved in shooting a bound Palestinian at
Na'alin a month ago.

Yediot reported that contrary to an official Israeli request, Jordan
will release today four Jordanian prisoners who killed two Israeli
policemen in 1990. Israel Radio reported that Aljazeera-TV
confirmed their release.

Ha'aretz quoted a GOI source as saying yesterday that contrary to a
previous report, the daughter of senior Palestinian peace negotiator
Ahmed Qurei has not been issued a blue Israeli identification card.

The Jerusalem Post reported that yesterday Russia's deputy army
chief, Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn, accused Israel of arming the
Georgian military with mines, explosive charges, special explosives
for clearing minefields, and eight kinds of unmanned aerial
vehicles.

All media reported on the passing away yesterday at 89 of Benjamin
Gibli, who headed IDF Intelligence at the time of the so-called
Lavon Affair -- the scandal over a failed Israeli covert operation
in Egypt, in which Israeli military intelligence planted bombs in
Egyptian, American, and British-owned targets in Egypt in the summer
of 1954. Leading media reported that although Gibli promised to
publish posthumously a book about his role in the affair, he will
"take his secret to the grave."

Yediot reported that MIT has selected Technion Institute researcher
Dr. Hussam Hayek as one of the 35 most promising young scientists.
He invented an instrument that can detect cancer using Qsmell.

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe quoted visiting former presidential hopeful
Mike Huckabee as saying that Israel-U.S. connections will become
stronger if John McCain is elected President. Major media reported
that yesterday the Obama campaign appointed Daniel Shapiro as senior
policy adviser and Jewish outreach coordinator. Shapiro has long
advised the campaign on issues connected to the Jewish community and
Middle East policy.

Ha'aretz reported that Olmert will be questioned under caution for
the sixth time this Friday. Yediot cited the possibility that the
State Prosecutor's Office might contact the FBI in order to help
Morris Talansky following his assistance in the "money envelope"
affair.

In an interview with Ha'aretz, former Egyptian ambassador in Tel
Aviv Muhammad Bassiouny denied having spied on Israel, contrary to
recent media reports.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the American Embassy in Tel Aviv
told an American residing in Israel that her children might not be
eligible for citizenship if she spent less than five years in the
U.S. The newspaper reported that a U.S. Citizen and Immigration
Services press officer referred The Jerusalem Post to the law
regulating citizenship. The Jerusalem Post also reported on the
case of a Filipino caregiver of an octogenarian American immigrant
to whom the U.S. Consulate-General in Jerusalem denied a U.S. visa.

Leading media reported that US Airways wants to offer year-round
daily service between Philadelphia and Tel Aviv.

-----------------------
1. Israel: Governance:
-----------------------

Summary:
--------

Columnist Ari Shavit wrote in the independent, left-leaning
Ha'aretz: "Livni feels that she is now the great white hope, and
this hope empowers and obligates her. But here and there, this hope
nevertheless drowns her in fear and trembling."

Block Quotes:
-------------
"The Leading Candidate"

Columnist Ari Shavit wrote in the independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz
(8/20): "The leading candidate for the prime ministry is sure of
herself.... The Foreign Minister feels that she is ready and willing
to lead the country.... She knows that a government headed by her
would not serve Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu's interests, and
therefore, Netanyahu will refuse [to join a national unity
government]. If that happens, there is a good chance that the Livni
government will be a continuation of the current Olmert
government.... The Foreign Minister's intellectual libido has been
invested almost exclusively in the negotiations with the
Palestinians. On the issues of Iran, Syria and Hamas, Livni has no
crystallized views. Nor does she have any about the approaching
economic crisis. Yet when the candidate talks with her associates
about the next government's agenda, she raises a plethora of ideas,
some of which contain surprises. First of all comes changing the
electoral system.... But above all, Livni believes in the sanity she
is offering. With her, there will be no male ego games or macho
competitions. With her, decisions will be made normally and the
considerations will be substantive. Therefore, she is in a hurry;
she wants to get to work. Livni feels that she is now the great
white hope, and this hope empowers and obligates her. But here and
there, this hope nevertheless drowns her in fear and trembling."

------------------------------------
2. Pakistan: Musharraf Resignation:
------------------------------------

Summary:
--------

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: "If the
Arab-Israel conflict were solved tomorrow -- in its entirety -- the
impact on south Asia would be marginal."

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

"Lessons from Islamabad"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (8/20):
"When Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf shook hands with prime
minister Ariel Sharon at the UN General Assembly in September 2005,
Israelis hoped they were witnessing the dawn of a new era in
relations between the second most populous Muslim state and the
world's only Jewish one.... [Musharraf] never even came close to
establishing diplomatic relations with Israel. He did, however, let
it be known that the Palestinian problem 'lies at the heart of
terrorism in the Middle East and beyond.' Musharraf's analysis
demands a high degree of gullibility... Shortly after 9/11,
then-U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell gave Musharraf an
ultimatum: 'You are either with us or against us.' Pakistan's
leadership opted to cooperate with the West, champion moderate Islam
and appease Islamist forces within the country. In a sense,
Pakistan has been 'with us and against us.' Western observers can
draw at least two lessons from the Pakistani experience. First,
instability in Pakistan and Afghanistan is mostly endemic; if the
Arab-Israel conflict were solved tomorrow -- in its entirety -- the
impact on south Asia would be marginal. And second, Western leaders
should stop deluding themselves about the utility of working with
Muslim counterparts who cannot -- or will not -- deliver on their
promises."

CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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