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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2162/01 2671547
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 231547Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8523
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC PRIORITY
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RUEAHQA/HQ USAF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
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RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI PRIORITY 4425
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 1031
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 4780
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 5215
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4427
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 2788
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 5188
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 2049
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0271
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 9027
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6508
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 1432
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 5529
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7491
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 0357
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 0496
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002162

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. Jerusalem's Vehicle Terror Incident
2. Tzipi Livni's efforts to Form a Government

PLEASE NOTE: Block Quotes only, Tuesday, September 23, 2008.

--------------------------------------
1. Jerusalem's Vehicle Terror Incident
--------------------------------------

Summary:
--------

Alex Fishman, Veteran Defense Commentator, wrote in the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "Demolishing
murderers' homes and punishing their families is cruel and inhuman.
But does anyone have a better solution for stopping this wave?
Should we wait, perhaps, for peace?"

Military Commentator Amos Harel wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "The attack - the sixth in Jerusalem since
the beginning of the year - undermines the personal sense of
security in the capital after a few years of relative quiet."

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

I. "What Does the Terrorist Have to Lose?"

Alex Fishman, Veteran Defense Commentator, wrote in the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "There aren't any
intelligence warnings, there isn't any deterrence and, worst of all,
the security establishment doesn't have any solutions. And if that
weren't enough, the Israeli legal establishment raises obstacles of
every idea that might possibly create some sort of deterrence. And
that is why we are going to continue to count, on a nearly daily
basis, more and more attempts to perpetrate what are known as
"spontaneous terror attacks," the attacks by lone, non-affiliated
terrorists, people who get up one morning and decide to settle the
score with the Jews by themselves and are prepared to that end to
meet their maker. What has he got to lose? He can die untroubled. He
knows that no one beside himself is going to pay a price. His family
will earn a boost in status and will receive ample compensation. In
certain cases, the National Insurance Institute will continue to pay
them a next of kin allowance. No one is going to damage his home,
nothing is going to be destroyed... So it's true that they promised
us that they would step up supervision over the Palestinian laborers
who enter West Jerusalem and that they would check the licenses and
backgrounds of all Palestinians who use heavy mechanical equipment.
So what? That stopped no one and it certainly didn't deter anyone.
Stabbing attacks and attempted stabbing attacks have become almost
daily incidents.... One successful terror attack will draw in its
wake another successful terror attack and another, until that series
turns into an existential threat. People will be afraid to walk the
streets, just like they used to be afraid to take the bus. So we'll
be just and humane-but we will remain stupid, helpless and
miserable. Demolishing murderers' homes and punishing their families
is cruel and inhuman. But does anyone have a better solution for
stopping this wave? Should we wait, perhaps, for peace?

II. "Prepare for More"

Military Commentator Amos Harel wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "At midnight the police and Shin Bet security
service were still piecing together the first details on the
Palestinian who drove into pedestrians on the Green Line in
Jerusalem. Eyewitnesses described the incident as a terrorist
attack, but this was a private car and not a bulldozer as in
previous incidents, so the police wanted to be sure it was not a
traffic accident. The attack - the sixth in Jerusalem since the
beginning of the year - undermines the personal sense of security in
the capital after a few years of relative quiet. The difficulty in
fighting this new kind of terror in Jerusalem is clear: They are
relatively easy to imitate and almost impossible to prevent. The
freedom with which East Jerusalem residents, who have blue Israeli
ID cards, move about the western part of the city also makes foiling
this kind of attack more difficult... Olmert's observation after the
previous attack in the capital in July is...noteworthy. Anyone who
thinks Israel's occupation in East Jerusalem must continue will have
to take into account more bulldozer attacks....

--------------------------------------------
2. Tzipi Livni's Efforts to Form a Government
---------------------------------------------
Summary:
--------

Senior columnist Yoel Marcus wrote in the independent, left-leaning
Ha'aretz: "When Tzipi threatens to go to the polls if she fails to
form a government within a month, I would advise the belittlers to
take her seriously. This is a lady with iron balls. Maybe that is
why our macho politicians are in such a tizzy, trying to trip her up
before she gets going, with talk of elections, hooking up with Bibi,
and other intimidation. They're just scaredy-cats, that's all."

Op-ed writer Ofer Shelah wrote in the popular, pluralist Maariv:
"The prime minister isn't even a popular job. The actual prime
minister is automatically a disappointment unless he has a prior
aura that conforms to a public sentiment, such as Sharon, or unless
he does something great."


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

I. "Scaredy-cats"

Senior columnist Yoel Marcus wrote in the independent, left-leaning
Ha'aretz (12/21): " At the moment, there is no reason in the world
why Israel should find itself in either of these predicaments, let
alone both - dawdling for months over forming a new government or
being dragged into early elections.... What has happened now is that
a prime minister under police investigation has resigned and a
candidate for that office untainted in the honesty department has
been elected to replace him.... What can we look forward to if the
country is dragged into early elections? In the best case, the same
parliamentary platform headed by the lady who won the Kadima
primary. In the worst case, Likud gaining on Kadima and Labor, and
saddling us with leaders like Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor
Lieberman. What good is that going to do the country? Will it
promote the peace process? Will it improve Israeli society?... In
her victory speech, Livni promised a different kind of politics.
True, politics are politics, with all the tricks and high jinks, but
I wouldn't be so quick to write her off. With Tzipi at the helm,
Israel is embarking on a new era. Things could take a surprising
turn. She is strong and determined, endowed with common sense and a
sober eye. When Tzipi threatens to go to the polls if she fails to
form a government within a month, I would advise the belittlers to
take her seriously. This is a lady with iron balls. Maybe that is
why our macho politicians are in such a tizzy, trying to trip her up
before she gets going, with talk of elections, hooking up with Bibi,
and other intimidation. They're just scaredy-cats, that's all."

II. "Livni's Solution"

Op-ed writer Ofer Shelah wrote in the popular, pluralist Maariv:
"The headlines yesterday reported that Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak
had had a "good meeting." The leaks informed us that they both spoke
about a "stable government that would endure over time and would
persevere with the guidelines of the Olmert government." If all of
that is true, then yesterday was the first day of Livni's
decline.... Barak's actions are puzzling in terms of their logic
and inexcusable in terms of his political conduct.... The prime
minister isn't even a popular job. The actual prime minister is
automatically a disappointment unless he has a prior aura that
conforms to a public sentiment, such as Sharon, or unless he does
something great.... What should Livni have done-which is something
that she can still do? The right thing: Make it clear to Ehud Barak
that everything comes with a price. A person who meddled crudely in
another party's primary; a person who spoke about her dismissively
and in chauvinistic terms and who has violated every written and
oral agreement; a person who is clearly going to try to sabotage her
from the moment she is sworn in until the moment she falls-can't
keep his position in the government.... Instead, the job should be
offered to Shaul Mofaz, along with the title of deputy prime
minister. Mofaz wants to be defense minister. He deserves it owing
to his achievement, it will bring him back into politics in a second
and, will unite Kadima. The Labor Party can choose another portfolio
if it wants, such as the foreign affairs portfolio.... Now, one of
two: Either the Labor Party, which is supposed to know that it will
be destroyed if it heads into elections under Ehud Barak's
leadership, will swallow the bitter medicine it knows that it is
due, or, we'll hold elections.... Both of those two alternatives
are preferable to the current slow and sputtering death, after which
she won't be more than a footnote between Olmert and Netanyahu."

CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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