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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2400/01 3011013
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 271013Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8899
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 4531
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 1134
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 4909
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 5333
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4550
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 2923
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 5313
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 2169
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0394
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 9129
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6618
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 1545
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 5631
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7606
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 0459
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 0668
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002400

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. Israeli Politics

2. U.S. Operation against Syria

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

All media reported that yesterday PM-designate Tzipi Livni told
President Shimon Peres that she has exhausted all options of forming
a government. Peres is consulting all factions as Israel appears
headed to general elections in February.

All media quoted the Syrian government as saying that yesterday U.S.
military helicopters attacked an area along the Syrian-Iraqi border,
killing eight people. HaQaretz quoted GOI sources as saying that
the U.S. is taking an extremely harsh line with Syria, especially
when it comes to shielding terrorists. Israel Radio quoted DM Ehud
Barak as saying that the American operation will not affect Israel.

The media reported that yesterday West Bank settlers rioted,
desecrating headstones at a Muslim cemetery near Kiryat Arba.
During the rioting, settlers hurled abuse at security forces
personnel and called for a "revenge attack" against them in response
to the evacuation of an illegal outpost built by right-wing activist
Noam Federman near Kiryat Arba. HaQaretz and The Jerusalem Post
reported that Attorney-General Menachem Mazuz called for an
incitement investigation against right wing activists involved in
the violence.

HaQaretz reported that IDF Intelligence, which until recently
believed that Western action could halt Iran's nuclear program, now
believes this will not be the case, according to a new intelligence
assessment given last month to PM Ehud Olmert.

Leading media reported that Hamas operative Jemal Abu Duabah was
arrested five weeks ago after he infiltrated Israel from Gaza in a
bid to kidnap Israeli soldiers. While in Sinai, he made his final
arrangements to abduct troops, whom he planned to smuggle back into
Gaza. The would-be abduction was intended to capture more soldiers
to use as bargaining chips in exchange for Palestinian prisoners
held in Israel.

Maariv reported that the U.S. Army and the IAF will soon cooperate
on an anti-missile defense system involving the Arrow and an
advanced American radar.

Yesterday The Jerusalem Post reported that UN special rapporteur
Richard Falk censured Israel for failing to halt settlement
expansion consistent with the Annapolis protocols and for violating
the Geneva Conventions in Gaza.

Yesterday The Jerusalem Post quoted Israeli diplomats as saying that
Jerusalem has not received any word of U.S. intention to announce
the establishment of an interest section in Tehran in mid-November,
after the U.S. elections.

HaQaretz reported that Brig. Gen. Rabbi Avichai Ronski, the chief
rabbi of the IDF, has in the past year been visiting prisoners
associated with extreme right-wing groups, some of whom are serving
jail sentences for planning or helping to carry out terrorist
attacks against Arabs. Rabbi Avichai Ronski, who assumed his
position in 2006, has met with the prisoners to teach them about
Judaism.

HaQaretz reported that the Labor Party might remove its support for
Nir Barkat over statements made by the secular candidate for
Jerusalem mayor. Last week Barkat declared his support for the
establishment of a Jewish neighborhood near the village of Anata,
beyond the Green Line (1967 border), on the city's eastern slopes.

Yediot reported that Israeli emigres are coming back to the country
because of the worsening economic crisis overseas. Fifteen
thousands emigres are expected to return to Israel by the end of
next year. Sixty-four percent of the returnees arrived so far from
North America. Nir Barkat

The Jerusalem Post reported that an Israeli delegation of start-up
companies is in the U.S. this week to meet on furthering clean
technology innovation and investment.

Maariv reported that Sen. John McCain has a QweaponQ: an Israeli
documentary about the Islamic peril.

HaQaretz reported that a new Interior Ministry regulation would bar
certain foreign nationals who had illegally lived in Israel and then
E
left of their own volition from entering Israel again. This
severely tightens immigration policy in Israel, as it bars the entry
of foreign nationals from 60 countries exempt from visa
requirements, including Russia, Romania, Colombia and the
Philippines, for at least a year and up to a lifetime. It will
affect tens of thousands of people, including the families of
immigrants from the former Soviet Union and of former foreign
workers, who were granted Israeli citizenship according to an
arrangement for foreign workers' children.

Maariv printed the results of a TNS/Teleseker poll conducted
yesterday:

Were elections for the Knesset held today, and the competing parties
be the following whom would you vote for?
(Results in Knesset seats) Kadima: 31; Likud: 29; Labor Party: 11;
Yisrael Beiteinu: 11; Arab parties: 11; Shas: 8; National
Union-National Religious Party: 7; Meretz: 5; United Torah Judaism:
4; Green Party: 3; Gil Q Pensioners Party: 0; Social Justice (under
Arkady Gaidamak) 0.

---------------------
1. Israeli Politics:
---------------------

Summary:
--------

Diplomatic correspondent Ben Caspit wrote on page one of the
popular, pluralist Maariv: QThere will be a Turkish bazaar here
after the elections, and it is possible that even if Livni wins by a
seat or two, the prime minister will be Netanyahu thanks to blocking
work (such as he did this week).

Senior op-ed writer Akiva Eldar commented in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: QThe time has come for someone to tell [Ehud
Barak] that Benjamin Netanyahu has won the battle over the
declaration that Qthere is no partner,Q but the battle for peace is
still on.

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

I. "Everything is Still Possible"
Diplomatic correspondent Ben Caspit wrote on page one of the
popular, pluralist Maariv (10/27): Q[In the upcoming elections]
Netanyahu [will get] a firm core of support, but limited.
The peace camp [will sustain] a severe blow.... Against the backdrop
of the economic collapse around the world and the security
challenges, there is more than a reasonable chance that the next
government will include the three major parties: Likud, Kadima and
Labor. The question is who will form it. Who will block whom.
There will be a Turkish bazaar here after the elections, and it is
possible that even if Livni wins by a seat or two, the prime
minister will be Netanyahu thanks to blocking work (such as he did
this week). The Labor Party? It needs to pray for a miracle....
All this is conditional. In the insane place where we live,
anything possible can happen at any given moment, to reshuffle the
deck and turn all the forecasts and analyses into dust. We should
remember that the incumbent prime minister is still called Ehud
Olmert, and he wants to leave behind something that is not related
to Nasrallah or [Attorney General] Meni Mazuz. A diplomatic flurry
of activity by Olmert could hurt Livni and benefit Netanyahu. So
that everything, including everything, is still possible.

II. "The Battle for Peace Is Still On"

Senior op-ed writer Akiva Eldar commented in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (10/27): QThe candidate of the ruling party
for the premiership will have to reveal to the electorate the
positions she presented in negotiations with the Palestinians.
Because the positions of the Palestinians and of the Arab League
have barely changed during the past year, it will not be difficult
for people to find the differences. And where is the Labor Party,
the one that paved the way for dialogue with the Palestinians and
eight years ago began the negotiations over the final status
agreement?.... Instead of demanding that Livni give an accounting of
her achievements in the negotiations with the Palestinians, Ehud
Barak last week repeated the mantra that Abu Mazen is not ready for
a peace agreement. It turns out that in the draft of his coalition
agreement with Livni, there was no mention of the Annapolis process,
of evacuating outposts, or of freezing settlements. The time has
come for someone to tell him that Benjamin Netanyahu has won the
battle over the declaration that Qthere is no partner,Q but the
battle for peace is still on.

---------------------------------
2. U.S. Operation against Syria:
---------------------------------

Summary:
--------

Military correspondent Alex Fishman wrote in the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot: Qthe Americans decided to send [Bashar
Assad] a public, noisy and humiliating message.

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

"Humiliating Message"

Military correspondent Alex Fishman wrote in the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot (10/27): QThe Americans decided to
humiliate the Syrians. TheyQre fed up with AssadQs games. Every time
his relations with the American regime cool, he punishes them and
opens the border to global jihad groups that train on Lebanese soil,
stay on Syrian soil, and act against the American forces in Iraq.
The Americans protested to the Syrians, but the latter feigned
innocence.... So this time the Americans decided to send [Bashar
Assad] a public, noisy, and humiliating message. The target of the
commando operation was an activist in one of global jihadQs
branches, who was linked to terror activity in Iraq. Israel,
incidentally, did not receive from the Americans any prior notice of
the operation, and itQs good that it was so. Operations of this
sort are built, first of all, on secrecy. The Americans share with
Israel in those cases in which there is concern that an American
military operation will spark a response against Israel (for
example, the U.S. informed Israel three days before the second Gulf
War began). What isnQt clear in this case is why the Syrians, of
all people, were in a hurry to be the first to report the attack on
their sovereignty. Incidentally, they were also the first to report
the Israel Air ForceQs attack.

CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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