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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 4718
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 5155
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4367
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 2725
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 5127
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1988
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0209
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 8968
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UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002057

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

1. PM Olmert's Legal Entanglement

2. Global War on Terror

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

Ha'aretz quoted a police source as saying yesterday that there is a
good chance that PM Ehud Olmert could be convicted of money
laundering, a crime which carries a maximum 10-year jail sentence.
While a bribery charge is regarded as much harder to prove, the
source added that it would be difficult for Olmert to evade the
money-laundering charges. The media reported on the controversy
sparked by Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann's comment that the
police have "toppled" Olmert. Although Olmert announced on July 30
that he would resign the day after the Kadima primaries, The
Jerusalem Post quoted Kadima leadership candidates and their
loyalists as saying that he must go a step further and leave the
Prime Minster's Office now.

Ha'aretz reported that a special ministerial task force has
completed drafting a list of 450 Palestinian prisoners whom Israel
would be willing to release in exchange for Gilad Shalit. The
newspaper says that a ministerial committee headed by Vice PM Haim
Ramon finished drafting the list on Sunday and submitted it to
Olmert. In the next few days, Olmert will discuss it with FM Tzipi
Livni and DM Ehud Barak, and if the three approve the list, it will
be sent to Egypt for transfer to Hamas as a formal Israeli offer.
This is the first time Israel has submitted a list of its own,
rather than merely approving or rejecting names submitted by Hamas.
At the same time, Israel is threatening to take "various active
measures" should Hamas continue to delay talks over the captive
soldier. Israeli officials sent this message to Hamas via an
Egyptian mediator last week. Yediot reported that a growing number
of members of the Israeli defense establishment want to break up the
"tahdiya" (truce) in order to create pressure on Hamas to resume
the talks to release Shalit. Nasser a-Din a-Shaer, who was Hamas
deputy prime minister, was quoted as saying in an interview with
Israel Radio that most of the Palestinians were willing to end the
conflict with Israel if a permanent agreement based on the 1967
borders were reached. He said he himself was willing to recognize
Israel if this step were mutual. He urged Israel not to ignore
Hamas and not to persecute its activists in the West Bank, because
it is better to work with people whom one knows, and not with people
operating as an underground. He added that PA President Mahmoud
Abbas need not fear a Hamas takeover of the West Bank, since Israel
would not allow it. A-Shaer pointed out that although he served in
the Hamas government, he himself is not a member of the
organization.

Ha'aretz reported that Gen. James Jones, Washington's security
coordinator for Israeli-Palestinian talks, will arrive here tonight
for what will probably be his last visit in this capacity. Ha'aretz
reported that Israeli security sources told the paper that it would
be a mistake to make security concessions in a formalized document
outlining Israel's security needs if no corresponding
Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic agreement is reached.

Ha'aretz reported that yesterday former Shas chairman Aryeh Deri,
who was recently released from prison from prison for "crimes
involving moral turpitude," is considering running for mayor of
Jerusalem, and has secured the support of the spiritual leaders of
two religious parties: Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv of United Torah
Judaism and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef of Shas. MK Meir Porush of United
Torah Judaism had hoped to win the election.

Yediot reported that in order to increase her chances in the Kadima
primaries, FM Tzipi Livni will try to convince Internal Security
Minister Avi Dichter or Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit to quit the
race.

The Jerusalem Post reported that a three-country panel (including
Nigeria, South Korea, and Azerbaijan) was chosen yesterday to
examine Israel's human rights record as part of a Universal Periodic
Review this year of 64 countries by the UN Human Rights Council in
Geneva.

Leading media reported that the Russian company building the Iranian
nuclear reactor of Bushehr announced yesterday that the works at the
plant had reached their final stage. Israel Radio quoted President
Shimon Peres as saying that Russia will eventually join sanctions
against Iran. Yediot reported that Pensioners Affair Minister Rafi
Eitan hinted in an interview with the German weekly Der Spiegel that
Israel may kidnap Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Eitan took
part in Adolf Eichmann's abduction.

Ha'aretz reported that Israel is preparing for a Hizbullah terror
attack in the country or overseas in revenge for the murder of
Hizbullah operations chief Imad Mughniyah in a Damascus car bombing
in February. Security sources were quoted as saying that Israel was
preparing for various possibilities, including a hit on an Israeli
embassy overseas, the murder of a senior Israeli incumbent or
retired official overseas, an attempt to abduct Israeli
businesspeople overseas and even an attack on the northern border.
Israel Radio quoted the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida, based on
Israeli sources, as saying that Shin Bet and Mossad have recalled
seven former Israeli officers residing in foreign countries because
of possible Hizbullah threats on their lives.

The Jerusalem Post quoted the Civil Administration as saying that a
series of Israeli good will gestures to the Palestinians in the West
Bank has helped strengthen the Palestinian economy since the
beginning of the year.

Major media reported that yesterday Gabriela Shalev, Israel's first
female ambassador to the UN, submitted her credentials to the
organization's secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon.

Ha'aretz reported that the rail line under construction between
Jerusalem and the Mediterranean coast crosses the Green Line at
several points. The paper reported that leading Israeli authorities
are seeking a novel way to ensure that the train benefits both
peoples.

Ha'aretz reported that the "Pilgrim's Route" leading from Jerusalem
to the Dead Sea is undergoing development. Makor Rishon-Hatzofe
reported that the Palestinian Tourism Ministry is organizing tours
of the West Bank to teach the "Palestinian legacy" and show the
Palestinians' hardships.

Yediot cited a complaint by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
dancer Abdur-Rahim Jackson that he was stopped and forced to dance
at Ben-Gurion Airport because of his Muslim-sounding name.

Ha'aretz reported that Palestinian director Amir Nizar Zuabi, the
director of the Palestinian National Theater, is going to put up
Federico Garcia Lorca's "Blood Wedding" on an Israeli stage.

Maariv reported that a philanthropist will establish a "Bush Plaza"
in central West Jerusalem.

The Jerusalem Post and Ha'aretz reported that Israeli and American
scientists working at UCLA have, for the first time, recorded
individual brain cells in the act of calling up a memory; targeting
where in the brain a specific memory is stored, and how to recreate
it.

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe cited the results of a Harris poll conducted
among Palestinians and Israelis:

56% of Israelis support bombing Iran's nuclear installations if
international measures fail to prevent Iran from going nuclear; 32%
are opposed.
59% of Israelis are opposed to the Saudi peace plan.
Only 38% of Israelis (as opposed to 68% of Palestinians) support the
Roadmap.
74% of Palestinians support abductions such as Gilad Shalit; 21% are
opposed.

-----------------------------------
1. PM Olmert's Legal Entanglement:
-----------------------------------

Summary:
--------

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: "Following the
Kadima primary, the new government must be put together as quickly
as possible, to cut short the period during which Olmert will serve
as transitional prime minister."


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

"Go Home"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (9/9): "It is
worth putting things in their place, not allowing the fabrications
Olmert and his associates are spreading to take root in public
opinion. The police have not deposed an incumbent prime minister,
as Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann had the audacity to claim
yesterday. This false accusation is reason enough to terminate his
tenure together with that of the Prime Minister.... The Prime
Minister will apparently be brought to trial in the coming months
and will end his tenure in office well before then. To the credit
of the political system, it can be said that it succeeded in making
him leave long before the time when the law obligates him to....
Following the Kadima primary, the new government must be put
together as quickly as possible, to cut short the period during
which Olmert will serve as transitional prime minister. From the
moment he resigns, the question of his innocence will become his own
personal matter. The question of whether someone suspected of
accepting bribes and who has the audacity to attack the
law-enforcement authorities for revealing this to the public, can
remain in office for even one more day -- that is the public's
business to decide."

-------------------------
2. Global War on Terror:
-------------------------

Summary:
--------

New York correspondent Yoav Fromer wrote in the popular, pluralist
Maariv: "9/11 was supposed to change history. But that day, which
should have advanced the world toward a newer, better age, has
dumped us at the same place."

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

"The Great Pass-Up"

New York correspondent Yoav Fromer wrote in the popular, pluralist
Maariv (9/9): "The 9/11 Commission unambiguously determined that
America cannot continue bolstering anti-democratic Arab regimes.
But nothing has really changed. The Egyptian and Saudi governments,
close allies of Washington, and which supplied 16 of the 19
hijackers, have remained stronger and more tyrannical than ever....
All moderate factors in the Arab world, who promised to fight
extremist Islam, have almost disappeared. Instead of challenging
Islamic extremism, they chose to grovel before it. The surrender of
the Siniora government in Lebanon to Hizbullah, of Gaza Palestinians
to Hamas and the Tehran moderates' to extremists prove the extent of
their destabilization.... 9/11 was supposed to change history. But
that day, which should have advanced the world toward a newer,
better age, has dumped us at the same place."
CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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