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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2326/01 2891227
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151227Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8770
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 4488
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 1095
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 4857
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 5286
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4498
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 2870
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 5260
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 2120
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0345
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 9090
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6579
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 1501
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 5592
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7565
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 0420
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 0609
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002326

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. Iran

2. Mideast

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

HaQaretz and The Jerusalem Post quoted Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice as saying yesterday that she would leave "no stone
unturned" in order to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal before
leaving office, but conceded that time is running out. Speaking to
a U.S. conference on Palestinian business and investment, Rice said
she still hoped to reach the Bush administration's goal of a peace
deal by the end of 2008, which was set at the Annapolis summit
nearly a year ago.

Major media reported that, a day after Kadima and Labor signed a
coalition agreement, Shas is hardening its line for its own
negotiations. "The Labor-Kadima agreement distances Shas from
entering the government," a senior Shas official was quoted as
saying. The official also said that the senior status accorded
Barak, and Labor's veto right for agenda issues, were a cynical
attempt by the party to push through its worldview. Yediot quoted
senior Kadima officials as saying that PM-designate Tzipi Livni is
offering to allocate Shas half-a-billion shekels ($1.8 billion).
Leading media reported that some Labor Party members, including MK
Ophir Pines-Paz, had mixed responses regarding the deal that saw few
of their demands met. HaQaretz noted that a narrow coalition would
face a dilemma: It would have to face a strong opposition, including
Shas, Likud, and Yisrael Beiteinu, or go to elections.

Leading media reported that yesterday IDF soldiers shot dead a
Palestinian youth who tried to throw a firebomb near the West Bank
settlement of Beit El. The media reported that earlier yesterday,
PA authorities informed Israel that Palestinian police discovered a
100-meter-long tunnel in central Hebron during the Jewish holiday of
Sukkoth. HaQaretz reported that IDF engineers blew up the tunnel.
The army is still investigating whether it was meant to facilitate a
terror attack. On Monday HaQaretz quoted Palestinian sources as
saying on Sunday that the PA is expected to deploy a battalion of
security forces to Hebron on Friday.

HaQaretzQs Avi Issacharoff visited the PA-run Nablus jail and found
that the Fatah inmates have mellowed. On Monday, Yediot
correspondents who visited with the Governor of Jenin brought back
mixed impressions.

HaQaretz reported that yesterday the Syrian government condemned
Israel over recent Jewish-Arab clashes in Acre, saying the violence
was an Israeli attempt to drive Arabs out of the mixed city.
"Israel is trying to frighten the Arabs in efforts to drive them
out," wrote Tishrin, the official Syrian government newspaper. "This
is additional proof that Israel hates Arabs and wants to 'purify'
its territory from all Arab presence.Q Makor Rishon-Hatzofe
reported that Hizbullah made a similar announcement. HaQaretz and
The Jerusalem Post quoted the FPLP, which assassinated Israeli
cabinet minister Rehavam Zeevi in 2001, as saying yesterday that it
plans to kill right-wing MK Avigdor Lieberman. Lieberman wants to
transfer Israeli Arab towns to Palestinian jurisdiction and annex
large Jewish settlements in the West Bank. He termed the Acre riots
a pogrom against Jews and the start of an Intifada inside Israel.
The Jerusalem Post reported that U.S. performers were disappointed
by the Acre MunicipalityQs decision to cancel the Acre Festival of
Alternative Israeli Theater in the wake of the riots in the city.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Hamas has launched an Internet site
called AqsaTube, a file-sharing resource enabling users to upload
videos. The newspaper quoted the Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism
Information Center as saying that, while its format and design are
similar to the popular YouTube site, the Hamas version is devoted
entirely to propaganda and incitement. Makor Rishon-Hatzofe filed a
similar report on Sunday.

On Sunday, Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported that Palestinians have
exploited the permits for picking olives to stage provocations
against Jewish settlements in the Nablus area.

On Sunday The Jerusalem Post reported that last week the IDF denied
entry into Gaza to a delegation of Israeli-Arab doctors affiliated
with Physicians for Human Rights-Israel. They were supposed to
perform operations and examinations and consult with patients.

The Jerusalem Post reported that yesterday Israel took a QweQll
believe it when we see itQ attitude to a decree by Syrian President
Bashar Assad that Damascus will establish a diplomatic mission in
Beirut.

Leading media reported that on Sunday liberal novelist David
Grossman attended the dedication of a Torah scroll that was written
in memory of his son, Uri Grossman, who fell during the Second
Lebanon War. David Grossman stated his satisfaction that the
ceremony could be held at the religious-Zionist Yeshiva of Netiv
Aryeh in Jerusalem, which does not share his political views.

HaQaretz (Hebrew Ed.) bannered President BushQs plan to partly
nationalize nine major banks.

---------
1. Iran:
---------

Summary:
--------

Former Mossad director Ephraim Halevy wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post: QNo ally of Israel, however loyal and
attentive, and the United States is just that, can act as a proxy in
defining the sacrifice that Israel might be called to accept and
then negotiate it with Iran in Israel's absence.


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

"The Major Diplomatic Challenges for the 21st Century"

Former Mossad director Ephraim Halevy wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post (10/12): QIsrael, a major player in the
Middle East and a junior player on the international scene, must
ensure that, as of now, it becomes an indispensable partner for any
future coalition that is created to face down international
existential threats whatever the method chosen to deal with them.
One such case in hand is that of Iran, which constantly and loudly
advocates putting an end to the existence of Israel as a sovereign
and independent state. If all other options fail, the military one
might evolve into the only one left Qon the table.Q he dangers for
all parties in such a predicament do not require any further
explanation. But should the QdiplomaticQ option take center stage,
it is more than obvious that the items for negotiation will include
interests that are most vital to Israel. Euphemisms like Qregional
securityQ or Qregional hegemonyQ or guaranteeing Iran's security
interests are inseparably bound up with the most acute necessities
of Israel. Should Iran go for what is enticingly labeled the Qgrand
bargain,Q it is unthinkable that this can be negotiated without
Israel sitting at the table. No ally of Israel, however loyal and
attentive, and the United States is just that, can act as a proxy in
defining the sacrifice that Israel might be called to accept and
then negotiate it with Iran in Israel's absence. This is the kind
of challenge that diplomacy will face in the years to come. And Iran
is but one example -- albeit a very major one -- of the intricate
portfolios that await us. This, then, is our major diplomatic
challenge for the 21st century.

------------
2. Mideast:
------------

Summary:
--------

The Director of the Interdisciplinary Center's Global Research in
International Affairs Center, columnist Barry Rubin, wrote in the
conservative, independent Jerusalem Post: QWhat's the effective
voice in the region? Not the Qpeace processQ concept used in
talking with the West, but the QresistanceQ concept, used in talking
among themselves.

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

I. "Why the Middle East Is Sick"

The Director of the Interdisciplinary Center's Global Research in
International Affairs Center, columnist Barry Rubin, wrote in the
conservative, independent Jerusalem Post (10/13): QIn pursuit of its
vendetta against Israel and the West, the Arab world is committing
suicide -- not only the individual suicide of the terrorist, but the
suicide of entire societies. On a daily basis, this means rejecting
the reforms those societies need. In the long run, it means risking
takeover by radical Islamists. The rest of the world, finding such
talk incomprehensible, either thinks its meaningless jabber, or
ignores it altogether. Surely the problem must stem from
addressable grievances, fixable misunderstandings and emotional
exaggeration? Unfortunately, this is all nonsense. What's the
effective voice in the region? Not the Qpeace processQ concept used
in talking with the West, but the QresistanceQ concept, used in
talking among themselves.... How can the United States possibly tame
a tiger trained and owned by others who both whip and feed it daily?
What does it matter if Arab notables speak soothingly at diplomatic
parties or in Western media interviews while millions at home are
inundated by a very different message? Even if the tie-and-suit,
polished-manners crowd are sincere, they dare not say the same thing
to their people that they whisper into the ears of gullible
foreigners.

II. "Acre Riots"

The Jerusalem Post editorialized (10/12): QWe have no sympathy with
the band of Jewish youths [from Acre] who resorted to rioting when
[the Arab driver Tawfik] Jamal made his appearance. What they
should have done was to call the police while seeking safety if they
felt genuinely threatened. The behavior of the Arabs involved, many
screaming QItbah al-YahudQ [death to the Jews], disgusts us and is a
reminder of how dangerously radicalized segments of the community
have become. We urge the police to identify the lawbreakers and
bring them to justice. Sadly, the usual political arsonists played
their predictable roles. [Arab] MK Ahmed Tibi termed the Acre events
a QJewish pogrom,Q while [right-wing] MK Arieh Eldad also played the
QpogromQ card. Eldad further fanned the flames: QOne should not be
surprised if Jews take up arms to defend themselves while the police
do nothing to protect them.Q Tibi and Eldad, predictably, got it
wrong -- as did local TV reports and several of the Friday Hebrew
newspapers. Using the term QpogromQ in connection with Acre is an
insult to the memories of the many Jews murdered in state-sponsored
pogroms such as those organized by the Russian government in the
1880s. A correct Zionist response is to insist that Arab and Jewish
citizens live by the same rules and obligations. Anyone who
advocates vigilantism undermines the Jewish state and should be
shunned.

CUNNINGHAM

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