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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2337/01 2901325
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 161325Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8791
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 4493
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 1100
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 4867
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 5291
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4508
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 2880
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 5270
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 2127
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0352
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 9095
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6584
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 1506
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 5597
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7572
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 0425
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 0619
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002337

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. Iran

2. Mideast

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

All media reported that PM-designate Tzipi Livni was supposed to
meet with Shas Chairman Eli Yishai last night, but the meeting was
canceled. A statement released jointly by their bureaus said the
cancelation was due purely to family obligations on Yishai's part,
and had nothing to do with the progress of the negotiations.
However, HaQaretz quoted Shas sources as saying that earlier in the
day, the party had rejected an offer from Livni to increase the
child allowances by 600 million shekels (around $165,000). Political
sources from various parties thus predicted that Livni would have to
substantially up her offer -- to something approaching the 1 billion
shekels (around $275,000) that Shas is demanding -- to sign a deal.
Shas has also said it would not agree to spread the sum out over a
period of several years, which Kadima would prefer. Livni's
negotiating team did, however, meet yesterday with Knesset members
from United Torah Judaism (UTJ), as Kadima sources were later
surprised by the generosity of Kadima's budgetary offers, which in
many areas even exceeded UTJ's demands. Maariv bannered a statement
by Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, the leader of UTJQs QLithuanian
branch,Q that Qsitting in a government headed by a woman is not a
simple thing.Q The media reported that Livni also met yesterday
with Meretz-Yahad chairman Haim Oron, and that the two parties'
negotiating teams are slated to meet today. Leading media reported
that both that and the meeting with UTJ were meant to signal to Shas
that "we don't need you to form a government," and that, unless it
settled for a more modest increase in child allowances, Livni would
look for ways to replace it. Oron stressed that if any
restrictions are put on negotiations with the Palestinians, such as
Shas and UTJ are demanding, "Meretz will not sit in such a
government." The current coalition, which includes Shas, has 67
MKs; without Shas, Livni would be left with only 55 MKs. If she
could pull it off, however, the addition of both Meretz and UTJ
would bring the coalition back up to 66 MKs.
E
The media continued to report on the financial crisis in Israel and
around the world.

HaQaretz reported that the IAF is developing a computerized system
to quickly predict where a missile will land with considerable
accuracy, very shortly after it is launched. That would enable the
Home Front Command to order people in a relatively small area into
shelters, rather than in broad regions of the country.

Yediot reported that DM Ehud Barak is planning to extend the tahdiya
(truce). The newspaper reported that the defense establishment has
clarified to Egypt that Israel wants to maintain the tahdiya in Gaza
for an unlimited period of time.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Deputy DM Matan Vilnai told the
newspaper yesterday that a demonstration planned for Sunday calling
for Gilad ShalitQs release will be detrimental to the negotiations
slated to be renewed later this week

The Jerusalem Post reported that, for the first time in years and in
the face of IranQs nuclear drive, Israel surpassed Saudi Arabia in
arms purchases in 2008, reaching just over $20 billion.

The media reported that IDF soldiers shot and critically wounded a
Palestinian who threw a fire bomb at them near Ramallah. This
follows a similar incident on Tuesday, in which IDF troops shot dead
a Palestinian youth who tried to throw a fire bomb at the West Bank
settlement of Beit El.

Maariv and The Jerusalem Post reported that four peace activists
were arrested yesterday for vandalism in the outpost of Adei-Ad near
the settlement of Shilo. The settlers vowed to avenge the
incursion.

HaQaretz reported that two Palestinian girls have been detained
without trial for four months.

Yediot reported on newly-discovered photographic evidence that
Israeli fighters executed an Arab prisoner -Q apparently during the
War of Independence.

HaQaretz and The Jerusalem Post reported that yesterday Sen. Barack
ObamaQs campaign dismissed Rev. Jesse JacksonQs assertion -Q cited
in major Israeli media -- that as president, the Democratic
candidate would rid the U.S. of years of QZionist control.

The Jerusalem Post quoted a senior PA official in Ramallah as saying
yesterday that PA President Mahmoud Abbas has turned down an
Egyptian proposal to hold separate talks with Hamas officials in
Cairo before the end of the month.

The Jerusalem Post reported that yesterday Israeli activists decried
a decision by Australia to withdraw a threat to take Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the International Court of Justice
for inciting genocide against Israel.

The Jerusalem Post reported that in an interview with the newspaper,
Miguel dQEscoto Brockman, the head of the UN General Assembly,
professed his love for Israel.

HaQaretz reported that a new book by James Bamford Q QThe Shadow
Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on
AmericaQ -- accuses Israeli high-tech companies of working for
Israeli intelligence against the U.S. However, HaQaretz says that
Bamford totally ignores the two countriesQ close intelligence
cooperation.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the Rabbi Yosef Stern, the head of
the QhesderQ yeshiva in Acre, which combines military service with
religious studies, warned this week of a larger Arab problem that
will have to be dealt with or else it will Qblow in our faces.
Rabbi Stern was quoted as saying that more Jewish families must move
into the city to counter the Qdemographic threat.

HaQaretz and Maariv reported that the Jerusalem Municipality is
expected to name a street after Adir Zik, the broadcaster whose
extreme right-wing remarks against former prime ministers Yitzhak
Rabin and Ariel Sharon aroused fierce controversy and won him
enemies on both sides of the political spectrum.

Yediot reported that Israeli investigators will leave for the U.S.
to probe suspicions against outgoing PM Ehud Olmert in the
Rishontours double-billing affair.

Leading media reported that the Justice for the Elderly faction has
reunited with the PensionersQ Party, from which it split in April
after a bitter quarrel. Leading media
reported that the united party threatens to stay out of the
coalition.
Maariv reported that following arrests of senior Indian officials
for bribing in carrying out missile deals with Israel, the Indian
Defense Ministry has issued special instructions for contacts with
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. and Israel Aerospace
Industries.

Leading media reported that over 35,000 people took part in the
annual Jerusalem March on Wednesday, thronging the streets of the
city in celebration of Sukkoth.

Yediot found a Qhappy communityQ of Israeli researchers at
Princeton.

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

Summary:
--------

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: QIf
conflict comes, heaven forbid, the responsibility will fall on those
who denigrated the dangers; removed the option of force from the
international negotiating agenda, and undermined sanctions.


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

"Falsely Pragmatic on Iran"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (10/16):
QOf all the pragmatic countries in Europe talking sanctions while
stoking the Iranian economy, none disappoints more than Germany....
Germany remains Iran's main European trading partner. Now comes
the news that last month, the German Ambassador to Iran, Herbert
Honsowitz, in contravention of EU guidelines, sent his military
attache to an Iranian military parade. Honsowitz, ever the
pragmatist, is a strong booster of German-Iranian relations,
including trade. This newspaper takes at face value Ahmadinejad's
October 26, 2005 pledge, before the ominously named World Without
Zionism Conference, that QIsrael must be wiped off the map.Q We do
not beat the drums of war. But if conflict comes, heaven forbid,
the responsibility will fall on those who denigrated the dangers;
removed the option of force from the international negotiating
agenda, and undermined sanctions. It will fall most heavily on
those who fueled Iran's economy and were comfortable being
spectators at the parade as the Shihab missiles rolled by.

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

Summary:
--------

Veteran journalist Evelyn Gordon wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post: QNot only has Washington abrogated its
2004 promise, but Olmert has buried any possibility of resuscitating
it.... Bush's letter has become just another bit of fish wrapping.

Former Israeli cabinet minister Natan Sharansky wrote in the
Jerusalem Post: QA [smart] idea would be to try [former IDF
chief-of-staff Moshe] YaQalonQs alternative approach, and to link
the peace process -- Israeli concessions, transfers of money and
authority, etc. -- to a transformation of Palestinian society.

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

I. "Just Another Bit of Fish Wrapping"

Veteran journalist Evelyn Gordon wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post (10/16): QNot only has Washington
abrogated its 2004 promise, but Olmert has buried any possibility of
resuscitating it. Sharon claimed to have secured three American
pledges in exchange for the disengagement: a free hand in fighting
Palestinian terror post-withdrawal, opposition to resettling
Palestinian refugees in Israel, and support for retention of the
settlement blocs. And most Israelis considered this trade-off
worthwhile. Four years later, however, all three have evaporated --
just as disengagement opponents warned that they would. And Bush's
letter has become just another bit of fish wrapping.

II. "Can Israel Approach Peace from the Bottom up?"
Former Israeli cabinet minister Natan Sharansky wrote in the
Jerusalem Post (10/16): QA [smart] ides would be to try [former IDF
chief-of-staff Moshe] YaQalonQs alternative approach, and to link
the peace process -- Israeli concessions, transfers of money and
authority, etc. -- to a transformation of Palestinian society. This
would indeed be a long-short road, and would no doubt take a number
of years to implement. But given the disasters that have befallen
Israelis and Palestinians over the last 15 years, it would be
infinitely better than the alternative. Would a new U.S.
administration accept such an approach? After meeting with both of
the candidates, I have no doubt that regardless of who wins this
November, an Israeli government that would embrace this new approach
would win the support of the White House. Barack Obama began his
public career as a community organizer and argues persuasively in
his books that true change comes from the bottom-up. For his part,
John McCain has repeatedly expressed his view that a reformed
Palestinian society is critical to any successful peace process.
Moreover, either candidate would welcome an approach that would be
different than the previous unsuccessful efforts. Indeed, the real
question is not whether this new approach will be supported in
Washington, but whether it will be supported in Jerusalem. In the
past, initiatives that might have moved the peace process in a
constructive new direction were left stillborn by passive
governments.

CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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