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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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P 241049Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8875
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RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 5325
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4542
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 2915
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 5305
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 2161
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UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002384

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

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TAGS: OPRC KMDR IS

SUBJECT: ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION

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SUBJECTS COVERED IN THIS REPORT:
--------------------------------

1. Mideast

2. U.S. Elections

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

Israel Radio reported this morning that Shas spiritual leader Rabbi
Ovadia Yosef held a telephone consultation with the Council of Torah
Sages and nixed the partyQs entrance into a coalition led by
PM-designate Tzipi Livni. All media had quoted Livni as saying
yesterday that Kadima has made its final offer to Shas. She added
that she would tell President Shimon Peres on Sunday whether she
would bring a government to the Knesset for approval or give up on
her coalition talks and send the country toward general elections.
However, Maariv reported that Kadima and Shas have expressed
willingness to compromise.

HaQaretz reported that yesterday in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egyptian
President Hosni Mubarak dismissed a claim that Egypt is responsible
for the failure of efforts to release Gilad Shalit. At a press
conference with President Peres, Mubarak said hat if there is a
failure, it is the Qother sideQs.Q He did not elaborate. HaQaretz
reported that the French authorities told Noam Shalit this week that
his son Gilad has received his letter.

HaQaretz reported that two wooden houses were erected Wednesday
night on the ruins of Homesh, one of four northern West Bank
settlements evacuated during the August 2005 disengagement. The
newspaper reported that the IDF promptly pulled them down.

All media reported that an 86-year-old Jerusalem man died yesterday
from wounds sustained from a stabbing by a Palestinian man in the
Gilo neighborhood.

HaQaretz reported that Vatican officials are furious over Minister
Isaac HerzogQs statement in yesterdayQs HaQaretz that the planned
beatification of Pope Pius XII, who headed the Catholic Church at
the time of the Holocaust, is Qunacceptable.
The Jerusalem Post cited a World Bank report published on Thursday,
according to which the price of property in the West Bank is
skyrocketing beyond the reach of most local business and
home-seekers, pushed up by a weak dollar and Israeli control of
large chunks of the territory.

Yediot reported that an Israeli businessman was kidnapped in Ghana a
few days ago. His abductors are demanding hundreds of thousands of
dollars in ransom.

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported that tomorrow IDF Radio is expected to
broadcast an interview with draft evasion leader Yishai Menuchin, in
contrast to the view of IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi.

Oslo Agreement architect Uri Savir told HaQaretz that Benjamin
Netanyahu had sent him on peace missions with the Palestinians.

In an interview with HaQaretz, former U.S. Mideast envoy Dennis Ross
commented about U.S. contacts with Iran: QThereQs no guarantee that
if you talk youQll succeed, but if you donQt talk you will fail.

Leading media reported that a Swedish-based locksmith company that
operates a factory in the West BankQs Barkan Industrial Park
announced this week that it was relocating to the Israeli side of
the Green Line for political reasons. The company is the major
producer of locks in Israel.

Prominent American intellectuals, such as Naomi Wolfe, Francis
Fukuyama, Fareed Zakaria, and Noam Chomsky, were quoted by HaQaretz
on the eve of the elections and recount the Qend of the empire.
All mainstream media reported that a family of four was found dead
in their Hod Hasharon apartment on Thursday morning, apparently
after the father shot his wife and two small children and then
turned the gun on himself. The parents were long-time police
officers.

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

Summary:
--------

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: QLast
week's Economist wondered: QWill the settlers stymie a two-state
solution?Q Of course it is Palestinian intransigence that is
torpedoing such a solution. But with everyone focused on settlers
behaving badly, the Palestinians are getting a free ride.

Former ambassador to Egypt and Sweden, columnist Zvi Mazel, wrote in
the nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe: QIt is impossible to
ignore the fact that IsraelQs leaders appear to be considering a
significant change in IsraelQs peace strategy, which would spell
disaster unless it turns out that it involves weighty reasons.

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

I. "Herzl vs. Hobbes"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (10/24):
QMove over, Peace Now. You've met your match. No group could
better undermine the case for Jewish rights in the West Bank than
settler radicals. In a world predisposed to see all of Judea and
Samaria [i.e. the West Bank], and East Jerusalem, as Palestinian; at
a time when our government, such as it is, remains incapable of
articulating where our boundaries should be drawn -- Israel can ill
afford settlers behaving badly. Settler leaders recently launched
an advertising campaign to tell Israelis why we should feel
connected to Judea and Samaria. But radicals running wild in the
hills of Judea and Samaria achieve the opposite. How sad that a
relatively small group of fanatics has been able to divert the
spotlight onto their misbehavior. As he helped pick olives north of
Ramallah on Wednesday, reporters in tow, Palestinian Authority Prime
Minister Salam Fayyad declared, in a sly juxtaposition: QThe
settlers being here [in the West Bank] is in itself illegitimate.
And, on top of that, they engage in acts of violence...Q Meanwhile,
in its long tradition of loaded questions, last week's Economist
wondered: QWill the settlers stymie a two-state solution?Q Of
course it is Palestinian intransigence that is torpedoing such a
solution. But with everyone focused on settlers behaving badly, the
Palestinians are getting a free ride.

II. "Has the Saudi Initiative Come Alive?"

Former ambassador to Egypt and Sweden, columnist Zvi Mazel, wrote in
the nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe (10/24): QAre we
about to face a significant change in IsraelQs negotiating with the
Palestinians and the Arab states? Israeli President Shimon Peres
left for Sharm el-Sheikh yesterday to present to President Mubarak
IsraelQs willingness to check whether it is possible to push the
Saudi/Arab peace initiative with Israel forward and to hear is
view. Where does this haste to lay the burden of this mission on
President Peres come from? He has no decision-making authority.
And actually at this time? In this interim period this is not
clear. Is it an admission of failure of the Annapolis process, and
of indirect negotiations with Syria?.... It is impossible to ignore
the fact that IsraelQs leaders appear to be considering a
significant change in IsraelQs peace strategy, which would spell
disaster unless it turns out that it involves weighty reasons.

-------------------
2. U.S. Elections:
-------------------

Summary:
--------

Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: QObama's charisma alone is not sufficient to
resolve the Israeli-Arab conflict, and McCain will be extremely wary
of opening a third front in the Middle East, after Afghanistan and
Iraq.

Deputy Managing Editor and right-wing columnist Caroline B. Glick
wrote in the conservative, independent Jerusalem Post: QThe prospect
of an Obama-Livni partnership in policy failure is enough to keep
men and women of good faith up at night. Certainly it should
suffice to convince some Obama supporters to reconsider their
options.

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

I. "Election Limbo"

Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (10/24): QObama has become the peace messiah
of the Israeli left, just as the Jewish right in the U.S. is hoping
that McCain will attack Iran and foil a second Holocaust. Both the
left and the right sides are in for a disappointment, however:
Obama's charisma alone is not sufficient to resolve the Israeli-Arab
conflict, and McCain will be extremely wary of opening a third front
in the Middle East, after Afghanistan and Iraq.... Presidents
behave differently than candidates. Obama or McCain will work to
advance America's interests, and the Israeli leadership's job will
be not to stand in their way, and to take advantage of opportunities
that will benefit Israel.

II. "Testing ObamaQs MettleQ"

Deputy Managing Editor and right-wing columnist Caroline B. Glick
wrote in the conservative, independent Jerusalem Post (10/24): QLike
Obama and Olmert, Livni is perceived as weak and incompetent by
IsraelQs enemies. Unlike Obama, Livni is judged not only by her
words, but by her deeds. As foreign minister, Livni was an
architect of the cease-fire with Hizbullah under which Hizbullah has
taken control of Lebanon and rearmed. She is an architect of
IsraelQs current policy of expanding the Hamas terror state to
Judea, Samaria [i.e. the West Bank], and Jerusalem. She is an
architect of IsraelQs policy of doing nothing to prevent Iran from
acquiring nuclear weapons. The prospect of an Obama-Livni
partnership in policy failure is enough to keep men and women of
good faith up at night. Certainly it should suffice to convince
some Obama supporters to reconsider their options.

CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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