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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2374/01 2971047
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 231047Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8857
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 4516
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 1123
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 4895
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 5319
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4536
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 2909
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 5299
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 2155
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0380
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 9118
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6607
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 1534
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 5620
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7595
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 0448
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 0650
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002374

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. Mideast

2. Global War on Terror

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

While Yediot reported that PM-designate Tzipi Livni has offered Shas
1 billion shekels (around $ 260 million), Maariv reported that Livni
signaled to Shas that she can no longer wait for the party to enter
the coalition (major media reported that Shas rejected LivniQs offer
of 700-800 million shekels (around $ 182-209 million)). Maariv
reported that Livni will hold a crucial meeting with Shas
representatives today. Israel Radio quoted a Kadima source involved
in the negotiations as saying that ShasQs terms are irresponsible.
Maariv quoted Livni associates as saying that Transportation
Minister Shaul Mofaz will not vote against a narrow-based
government. The Jerusalem Post reported that Meretz MK Zehava
Gal-On told the newspaper that Kadima is willing to meet most of
MeretzQs demands.

Maariv cited the IDF Intelligence assessment that Syrian President
Bashar Assad is serious about making peace. The newspaper quoted a
senior Foreign Ministry official as saying that Assad is following
Anwar SadatQs course.

Israel Radio reported that yesterday hundreds of people visited the
abandoned West Bank settlement of Homesh.

The Jerusalem Post reported that yesterday the IDF agreed to the
deployment of about 500 Palestinian policemen in the coming days to
participate in a PA-backed crackdown on Hamas infrastructure in
Hebron.

HaQaretz reported that the Chief Military Rabbinate has recently
expanded its educational activities in IDF combat units, and in
doing so has entered areas previously served only by the Education
Corps. Many commanders accept offers of such programs since the
rabbinate pays for these activities, while the units must foot the
bill for events run by the Education Corps. HaQaretz reported that
a senior officer told the daily that the Chief Military Rabbinate's
behavior "harms the delicate fabric of relations between the
nonreligious and religious in the IDF. In a number of cases it is
religious brainwashing and, indirectly, also political
[brainwashing]." IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi,
ordered an investigation of the matter this week and requested to
redraw the "borders" between the rabbinate and Education Corps.

HaQaretz reported that Israel's intelligence community has drawn up
a list of dozens of former senior security officials who may be
targets of Hizbullah attacks. The list was prepared in response to
Hizbullah's threats to avenge the assassination of its "operations
officer," Imad Mughniyah, last February. Hizbullah blames Israel
for the killing. Leading media quoted the Iraqi Web site Almalaf
Yon as saying yesterday that Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah was
poisoned last week and that Iranian doctors were rushed to Lebanon
to treat him, saving his life. The report quoted "western
diplomatic sources" as saying that Israel was apparently behind the
assassination attempt, adding that the Shiite group has launched an
investigation into the incident. Israeli media said that a senior
Hizbullah figure called the report a "fabrication", saying "I
havenQt seen Nasrallah in a week, but I know he is in good health."
Maariv and The Jerusalem Post reported that dozens of cocaine
smugglers and money launderers were arrested in Bogota last week on
suspicion of transferring part of their income to Hizbullah.

Leading media reported that DM Ehud Barak has put forward a new
proposal aimed at pressuring Hamas back into negotiations about
Gilad Shalit. The proposal centers on limiting the visitation
rights Israel awards Palestinian inmates belonging to, or associated
with, Hamas. Barak has submitted the proposal to Attorney General
Menachem Mazuz for review, asking him to cut back on the visiting
hours allotted to inmates. Israel Radio quoted official Egyptian
sources as saying that Israel is going back on its agreement to
release 1,500 Palestinians in three stages in exchange for Shalit,
and that there is no agreement on the PalestiniansQ identity.

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported that Olmert associate MK Otniel
Schneller told the newspaper yesterday that Olmert is striving to
reach a diplomatic agreement if a new government is not formed.

Israel Radio reported that this morning in Jerusalem a Palestinian
stabbed and seriously wounded two Israelis. HaQaretz and other
media reported that yesterday an IDF soldier was lightly wounded in
clashes with settlers near the West Bank settlement of Otniel, while
three border policemen were lightly wounded in clashes with Israeli
leftists and Palestinians near the West Bank town of Na'alin.

Yediot reported that next month Queen Elizabeth will bestow
knighthood on President Shimon Peres.

The Jerusalem Post quoted Agence France Presse as saying that
yesterday the U.S. signed an agreement to give $150 million to the
government of PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel has fallen in the rankings
of the World Press Freedom Index, published each year by the
non-profit, Paris-based, Reporters without Borders. The group
singled out IsraelQs treatment of journalists on the other side of
the Green Line.

Yediot reported that Ehud OlmertQs diplomatic aide Shalom Turgeman
is a leading candidate for the post of ambassador to Jordan.

HaQaretz reported that Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv and former Knesset
member Yael Dayan will soon leave City Hall, ending 16 years of
public service.

Yediot cited a report issued by the Dutch Foreign Ministry according
to which the incident in which Yediot reporter Tzadok Yehezkeli was
seriously wounded while reporting from Gori, Georgia, was the result
of Russian use of cluster bombs in a civilian area. Russia denies
using this weapon.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the campaigns of John McCain and
Barack Obama have enlisted expatriate Americans in Israel,
particularly those hailing from Florida. The newspaper also
reported that American expatriates in Israel will send 42,000
ballots for the elections, including thousands in Ohio and Florida.

The media highlighted the deaths of a veteran IAF pilot and of a
cadet -Q the son of an immigrant family from the U.S. -- in the
prestigious PilotQs Course yesterday when their training plane
crashed in the Negev.

The Jerusalem Post reported that on Monday, the USG transferred to
the Jerusalem MagistrateQs Court its request to extradite the two
Abergil brothers and three other criminals wanted by U.S.

Leading media reported that yesterday an Al-Qaida-associated Web
site endorsed Sen. John McCain.

The media reported on the strong showing of the U.S. dollar on the
Israeli money market.

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

Summary:
--------

Middle East affairs commentator Dr. Guy Bechor, a lecturer at the
Interdisciplinary Center, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist
Yediot Aharonot: QBy restoring some sort of Jordanian option to the
picture Israel will begin to advance towards a final status
arrangement with the Palestinians.

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

"WhatQs So Bad About a Hamas Regime?"

Middle East affairs commentator Dr. Guy Bechor, a lecturer at the
Interdisciplinary Center, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist
Yediot Aharonot (10/23): QSome people in Israel have been
circulating Qhorror scenariosQ lately in which Hamas seizes control
of Judea and Samaria [i.e. the West Bank] as it did in the Gaza
Strip. Is that outcome truly terrible for Israel? Arguably, it
could be a desirable outcome from IsraelQs perspective. That will
bring about an end to the fictional and dangerous negotiations with
Fatah and the Palestinian national movement, as if it were possible
to resolve the problem of the refugees, Jerusalem and so forth. We
need to admit after the rivers of blood that have flown here that
those issues cannot be resolved and only an irresponsible person
would stick his head back into that lionQs mouth, as was done at
Oslo.... And here is the ... most important point of all: it
behooves Israel to open the border between the West Bank and the
East Bank, to wit, Jordan, in coordination with the Jordanians.
Just as the Rafah border crossing is going to be opened with the
Egyptians, which will herald the renewed Egyptian involvement in
administering Gaza affairs, the same thing needs to be done with the
Jordanians, and they know that. Jordan will be better than Israel
at supervising the border -- what and who gets into Judea and
Samaria -- a point that will begin to mark a solution to the refugee
problem: Gaza will be placed under Egyptian responsibility,
Palestinian Judea and Samaria will be placed under Jordanian
responsibility. By restoring some sort of Jordanian option to the
picture Israel will begin to advance towards a final status
arrangement with the Palestinians: the security fence will separate
them from Israel and there will be increased Egyptian responsibility
in Gaza and increased Jordanian responsibility for the Arab parts of
Judea and Samaria. What will the Egyptians or the Jordanians do
with the deposit that is going to be returned to them for the first
time since 1967? Israel needs to aspire for that to be their
problem. If they establish a state or not (the Egyptians and
Jordanians arenQt going to let that happen) -- as far as we are
concerned, that isnQt our problem.

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

Summary:
--------

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: QIn a
telling interview three years before September 11, 2001, [bin Laden]
observed that, clearly, America had lost the will to fight. It has
since costs thousands of American lives to disabuse him of this
notion. Would it not have been better to do so from the start?


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

"Iwo Jima Redux"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (10/23):
Q[Since HizbullahQs attacks on the Marine barracks in Beirut in
1983], America, and especially Europe, have sought to avoid an
unpleasant, even painful confrontation with Iran. And anyway, there
was business to be done. There was, moreover, the delusion that the
mullahs, once Qengaged,Q could be cajoled into being good world
citizens. Consequently, both Iran and Hizbullah have grown ever
more assertive. One works to build nuclear weapons; the other
dominates Lebanon's polity. Offstage, meanwhile, a little-known
Sunni fanatic, Osama bin Ladin, watched America's feeble response to
Iranian and Hizbullah aggression. In a telling interview three
years before September 11, 2001, he observed that, clearly, America
had lost the will to fight. It has since costs thousands of
American lives to disabuse him of this notion. Would it not have
been better to do so from the start?

CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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