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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 4728
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 5165
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4377
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 2735
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 5137
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1998
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0220
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 8978
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6459
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UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002084

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. 9/11 Anniversary

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

All media led with the killing of two IAF airmen yesterday evening
when their Cobra attack helicopter crashed in the Galilee,
apparently due to a technical failure.

Ha'aretz reported that the U.S. has delayed Israel's request for
"bunker-busting" bombs and an air corridor to Iran. The newspaper
noted that this will make it more difficult for Israel to attack
Iran. Ha'aretz and Israel Radio reported that yesterday Israel
categorically rejected Iran's demand that it be condemned over
threats made by Pensioners Affairs Minister Rafi Eitan and DM Ehud
Barak. In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Israel's
Ambassador to the UN wrote that Iran is the last country that can
give Israel moral lessons.

Israel Radio quoted U.S. Consul-General in Jerusalem Jacob Walles as
saying in an interview with the Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam that
Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to talk about East Jerusalem
and the Dead Sea.

The Jerusalem Post quoted senior diplomatic officials as saying
yesterday that Israel wants a fifth round of indirect talks with
Syria in Turkey, amid reports that the Syrians would prefer to
postpone further negotiations until the spring.

The Jerusalem Post reported that yesterday Israel and U.S. officials
were unable to say when Gen. James Jones will present to Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice his report on Israel's security needs
after the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Ha'aretz quoted Shas leader and Industry, Trade, and Labor Minister
Eli Yishai as saying that if FM Tzipi Livni and Transportation
Minister Shaul Mofaz do not manage to form a government, there will
be elections in March. Yediot reported on extensive phony voter
registration leading up to the Kadima primary.

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe quoted DM Barak as saying yesterday that an IDF
operation in the Gaza Strip would have killed the negotiations over
Gilad Shalit. The newspaper also reported that Iran is pressuring
Hamas to carry out a coup in the West Bank, seize power in the PA,
and prevent an agreement between the PA and Israel.

The Jerusalem Post quoted Palestinian sources as saying a
Palestinian in his 20s was killed during an IDF operation in the
Nablus neighborhood of Ras el Ein yesterday evening.

Major media cited a report issued by the human rights organization
B'Tselem that over the past few years Israel has added large tracts
of land to settlements east of the security fence -- principally
through acts of violence toward Palestinians. The Jerusalem Post
reported that yesterday B'Tselem and Hamoked: Center for the Defense
of the Individual charged that in the past year, Israel has stepped
up its policy of separating the Gaza Strip from the West Bank and
forcing Palestinians registered in Gaza or wishing to visit Gaza to
forego their right to live in the West Bank.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the IDF has launched a car ID
system to speed up roadblocks for settlers.

Yom Leyom quoted former PA prisoners affairs minister Fares Kadoura
as saying that he agrees that Jerusalem should not be divided, and
that PA President Mahmoud Abbas is detached from the terrain and
cannot bring peace. Kadoura took part in the recent Istanbul meeting
between representatives of Shas and the PLO.

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe quoted Gen. Antoine Lahad, the former commander
of the South Lebanon Army, as saying that peace with Israel would
end President Assad's regime.

The Jerusalem Post reported that yesterday, during a conference on
terrorism in Herzliya, Iraqi MP Mithal Al-Aloussi called to
establish a joint intelligence network with Israel and the U.S.

Ha'aretz quoted Shas leader and Industry, Trade, and Labor Minister
Eli Yishai as saying that if FM Tzipi Livni and Transportation
Minister Shaul Mofaz do not manage to form a government, there will
be elections in March.

Leading media reported that former justice Eliezer Rivlin, the
Chairman of the Central Elections Committee, decided that it was not
in his power to approve the candidacy of former Shas leader Aryeh
Deri to the position of mayor of Jerusalem. Yediot reported that
Deri can circumvent the "moral turpitude" clause by turning to his
friend President Shimon Peres or the High Court of Justice.

The Jerusalem Post reported on the opening performance of the Alvin
Ailey dance troupe in Tel Aviv yesterday.

Ha'aretz reported that musician Daniel Barenboim was attacked by
extreme-right wingers in Jerusalem and had to use the services of a
bodyguard.

Maariv featured a story about Sam Rasool, who could be the first
Palestinian-American to be elected to Congress.

Maariv presented the results of a TNS/Teleseker poll:
If Knesset elections were to be held today and Livni to head Kadima
with the following parties running, for which party would you vote?
Results in Knesset seats. (In brackets: Maariv's August 26 poll):
Likud: 29 (31); Kadima:25 (23); Labor Party: 14 (12): Yisrael
Beiteinu: 12 (12); Arab parties: 10 (10); Shas:9 ( 9); National
Union Party and National-Religious Party:8 ( 8); Meretz:4 (5);
United Torah Judaism: 5 (6); Social Justice -- new party headed by
Arkady Gaidamak: 2 (4); Pensioners Party:0 ; Green Party 2 (0).

If Knesset elections were to be held today and Shaul Mofaz to head
Kadima with the following parties running, for which party would you
vote? Results in Knesset seats. (In brackets: Maariv's August 1
poll):
Likud: 29 (31); Labor Party: 18 (16): Kadima:17 (16); Yisrael
Beiteinu: 13 (11); Arab parties: 11 (10); Shas:8 (8 ); National
Union Party and National-Religious Party:8 ( 8); Meretz: 5 (6);
United Torah Judaism: 5 (6); Social Justice -- new party headed by
Arkady Gaidamak: 3 (5); Green Party 3 (3); Pensioners Party:0).

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

Summary:
--------

Washington correspondent Natasha Mozgovaya wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "The extent to which the next [U.S.]
president will want to make his presence felt in the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict will depend on his willingness to put
all his weight on that frail card [the peace process]."

Meretz-Yahad Party Knesset Member Yossi Beilin wrote in Ha'aretz:
"[Olmert's] successor will be making a big mistake if he or she
treats autumn 2008 as a transition season. Without an agreement of
principles, winter 2009 could be one of the worst of our lives."

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

I. "Seeking s Super-Policy"

Washington correspondent Natasha Mozgovaya wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (9/11): "Israel's limited role in the Obama
and McCain] campaigns is no accident. This time as well, the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not going to be at the top of
America's foreign policy agenda -- not any time soon, and not just
because America is busy with other problems. The population that
will ultimately decide in favor of one of the versions of 'change'
will rapidly be making demands in return. Clinton ended his term by
going all out in a last-ditch effort to reconcile Israel and the
Palestinians, which made Bush uninterested in taking an active role
in the Mideast peace process, for seven years. This time, Bush, and
primarily Rice, will try to leave the next president a peace process
that is still alive, even if anemic. The extent to which the next
president will want to make his presence felt in the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict will depend on his willingness to put
all his weight on that frail card."

II. "The Season for Decision Making"

Meretz-Yahad Party Knesset Member Yossi Beilin wrote in Ha'aretz
(9/11): "The first years of the Bush administration were one big
missed opportunity with regard to the Middle East.... [Eventually],
last November, he launched the Annapolis process that was supposed
to lead to a final-status agreement within a year. But the parties
to the process failed to take up the gauntlet.... Olmert, who has
undergone a great ideological change since his Knesset vote against
the Camp David Accords 30 years ago, believed that the journey he
made would enable him to persuade the Palestinian leadership to
reach an agreement of principles. But the rather small distance
between him and Abbas was not bridged. As a prime minister who has
resigned, he cannot reach an agreement, but his successor will be
making a big mistake if he or she treats autumn 2008 as a transition
season. Without an agreement of principles, winter 2009 could be
one of the worst of our lives."

---------------------
2. 9/11 Anniversary:
---------------------

Summary:
--------

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: "The war
against Western civilization is real, but the enemy is not a
conveniently homogeneous body."

Columnist and historian Tom Segev wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "Seven years after that day in September, the
attack is too distant for tears, too near for understanding."

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

I. "Al-Qaida Lives. Kill It"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (9/11):
"Bush's pledge to hunt down the 9/11 perpetrators ... went partly
unfulfilled because America became sidetracked in Iraq.... Al-Qaida,
along with the Taliban in which it incubates, has been rejuvenated.
What to do?.... The war against Western civilization is real, but
the enemy is not a conveniently homogeneous body. Putting al-Qaida
out of commission will not achieve victory against a metastasized
Islamist threat..... On this meaningful day, let us recall that the
West is engaged in a war not against "terror," but against violent,
expansionist Muslim extremism. The prospect of the forces of
enlightenment prevailing will be immeasurably enhanced if the
heteromorphic essence of the enemy is understood -- and if that
enemy is confronted judiciously, and with perseverance."

II. "Seven Years Later"

Columnist and historian Tom Segev wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (9/11): "Seven years ago today, it looked as
though the world would never again be what it was before the attack
on the World Trade Center.... But within 24 hours of the attack, I
was also thinking about the greatness of New York City....
'September 11th,' as people now say in almost every language, also
offered a good opening for a historical discussion on the decline of
America. The U.S. has lost its status as the sole superpower, and
the recent economic crisis has brought about a situation whereby
most Americans do not believe today that their children will live a
better life than they have. This is ostensibly the most profound
expression of the loss of personal security that everyone attributed
to the attack; after all, the need to remove one's shoes during the
security check before boarding a plane has not really changed the
American dream. Nor is America sinking, of course.... Seven years
after that day in September, the attack is too distant for tears,
too near for understanding."

CUNNINGHAM

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