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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2402/01 3021004
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P 281004Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8905
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RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
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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 4536
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 1139
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 4914
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 5338
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4555
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 2928
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 5318
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 2174
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0399
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 9134
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6623
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 1550
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 5636
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7611
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 0464
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 0673
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RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
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UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002402

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. Mideast

2. Iran

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

Major media quoted PM Ehud Olmert as saying that he would remain
caretaker until the formation of a new government early next year.
HaQaretz quoted police sources as saying on Monday that enough
evidence has been amassed against PM Olmert for an indictment to be
filed against him within days, In theory, that could lead to his
ouster from office even before new elections are held in early
February. Leading media reported that DM and Labor Party leader
Ehud Barak has challenged Kadima Chairperson Tzipi Livni and Likud
leader Benjamin Netanyahu to an American-style debate. Leading
media quoted Netanyahu as sayng that he will not give up Jerusalem
or the Golan. Media reported that chief Palestinian negotiator
Ahmed Qurei praised Livni for not removing Jerusalem from the
negotiations. Media reported that Shas Chairman Eli Yishai has
accused Kadima of arrogance and racism. He was quoted as saying in
an interview with Israel Radio this morning that he would tone down
his remarks. Maariv reported that Netanyahu met with Pensioners
Party Chairman and cabinet minister Rafi Eitam, who has since broken
his contacts with Kadima. The newspaper reported that the sides
deny having concluded an agreement between them.

HaQaretz cited reports that have reached the GOI that French
President Nicolas Sarkozy is very critical of U.S. presidential
candidate Barack Obama's positions on Iran. Sarkozy has made his
criticisms only in closed forums in France, but according to a
senior Israeli government source, the reports reaching Israel
indicate that Sarkozy views the Democratic candidate's stance on
Iran as "utterly immature" and comprised of "formulations empty of
all content." According to those reports, Sarkozy told Obama at
their July meeting that that for the new American president to
change his country's policy toward Iran would be "very problematic."
An Israeli source was quoted as saying that following their July
meeting, Sarkozy repeatedly expressed disappointment with Obama's
positions on Iran, concluding that they were "not crystallized, and
therefore many issues remain open.Q According to the Israeli
source, Sarkozy plans to begin intensive negotiations with the new
U.S. administration, regardless of whether it is headed by Obama or
Sen. John McCain, even before the new president takes office in
January, with the goal of persuading him to continue the current
policy on Iran. However, HaQaretz reported that Sarkozy's pessimism
does not stem only from Obama's stance; it also stems from the
overall behavior of the international community toward Iran's
nuclear program, and particularly its inability to agree on a fourth
round of Security Council sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
HaQaretz cited SarkozyQs belief that this foot-dragging will make it
impossible to effect a change in Iran's nuclear policy.

Yediot quoted two American sources conversant with the American
commando operation in Syria as saying that it was actually carried
out in prior coordination with Syrian military intelligence. The
Jerusalem Post reported that representatives of 14 Arab states held
a three-day conference in Damascus last week aimed at reinvigorating
the decades-old economic and trade boycott of Israel.

Maariv reported that Israel protested to Egypt about military
maneuvers that Israel says are directed against it.

HaQaretz reported that DM Barak favors barring right-wing extremists
who attack soldiers or policemen from entering the West Bank and, in
extreme cases, even putting them in administrative detention. The
newspaper quoted Attorney General Menachem Mazuz as saying that
Barak plans to discuss the issue with senior army, police, and legal
officials.

HaQaretz, The Jerusalem Post, and Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported that
at a meeting with IsraelQs Ambassador to the U.S. Sallai Meridor,
Republican vice-presidential hopeful Gov. Sarah Palin told him they
would be working together. HaQaretz and Makor Rishon-Hatzofe
reported that Meridor is also scheduled to meet with Democratic
vice-presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden. Makor Rishon-Hatzofe
reported that the McCain campaign allegedly warned U.S. Jews that an
Obama victory might produce a new Holocaust.

HaQaretz reported that about two weeks ago, 250 Russian speakers
from around the country attended a symposium sponsored by backers of
the Geneva Initiative.

The Jerusalem Post quoted visiting legendary boxing promoter Don
King as saying yesterday that the African American community should
learn from how the Jews appreciate their historical struggles.

Maariv featured the case of Pvt. Michael Handman, an American-Jewish
soldier who was beaten unconscious after he complained about
religious discrimination at Ft. Benning in Savannah, GA. Maariv
said that the phenomenon is widespread on U.S. Army bases.

Leading media reported on, and Yediot bannered, the thwarting of an
assassination attempt on Sen. Barack Obama.

Major media reported that yesterday Bank of Israel Governor Stanley
Fischer cut the bankQs discount rate by 0.25 percent.

Leading media reported that telecommunications software company
Amdocs is laying 500 staff members worldwide, including 200 in
Israel.

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

Summary:
--------

Senior columnist and longtime dove Yoel Marcus wrote in the
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz: QWhat remains to be seen is
whether in the coming election, voters will grant [Livni] the
victory she expects -- and which she certainly deserves.

Former Labor Party Knesset member Uzi Baram wrote on page one of the
independent Israel Hayom: QIt appears that the struggle will focus
on Livni and Netanyahu.

Deputy Managing Editor and right-wing columnist Caroline B. Glick
wrote in the conservative, independent Jerusalem Post: QDue to the
centrality of Jerusalem in Livni's failed negotiations with Shas, it
is apparent that maintaining or ending sovereignty over united
Jerusalem will be the central issue of the coming elections.

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

I. "She Deserves to Win"

Senior columnist and longtime dove Yoel Marcus wrote in the
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (10/28): QNow, in hindsight, it
is clear that the matter was not in Livni's hands at all: Shas never
intended to join her government.... Livni tried to forge a new kind
of politics. Was she too rigid? Yes. Her decision to go to the
President before she had to, for instance, was hasty. But in any
case, there is no doubt that she is at peace with herself. She
proved that she acts according to her own conscience, and that she
speaks from her heart -- something that can definitely be termed a
different kind of politics. What remains to be seen is whether in
the coming election, voters will grant her the victory she expects
-- and which she certainly deserves.

II. QLivni or Netanyahu

Former Labor Party Knesset member Uzi Baram wrote on page one of the
independent Israel Hayom (10/28): QEhud Barak was led to the
elections despite himself.... Benjamin Netanyahu is going to the
elections as a possible winner.... Netanyahu will try to be moderate
and fuzzy on diplomatic issues because he will want to retain the
support of parts of the political center and conciliate new members
who do not partake of the right-wingQs experience. It appears that
the struggle will focus on Livni and Netanyahu. BarakQs situation
looks difficult, but his chances of winning a larger slate of
Knesset seats than currently predicted cannot be dismissed. He has
the ability to fight and convince and the defense issue has not been
entirely lifted from the agenda as a key one.

III. "All Roads Lead to Jerusalem"

Deputy Managing Editor and right-wing columnist Caroline B. Glick
wrote in the conservative, independent Jerusalem Post (10/28): QDue
to the centrality of Jerusalem in Livni's failed negotiations with
Shas, it is apparent that maintaining or ending sovereignty over
united Jerusalem will be the central issue of the coming elections.
If the Left can convince a sufficient number of voters that a united
Jerusalem is a drain on the country's resources or that it is
impossible to enforce Israeli law among an increasingly lawless and
irredentist Arab population, then it will have a fighting chance of
winning the elections. If the Right is able to demonstrate that the
problems that afflict Jerusalem are little different from those
suffered by mixed Jewish-Arab cities throughout the country and are
a consequence of government and municipal mismanagement, and are
therefore manageable, then it will win the elections. Today the
problems that Jerusalem faces stem from its unique demographic
character, municipal mismanagement and the clear if previously
unstated intention of successive leftist governments to eventually
withdraw from the Temple Mount and from the city's Arab
neighborhoods.

---------
2. Iran:
---------

Summary:
--------

Amnon Rubinstein, Law Professor at the Interdisciplinary Center and
a former education minister from Meretz, wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post: QA rejuvenated, cocky Russia does not
pose an existential threat to the West.... [But] Iran, unlike
Russia, poses a real threat to the peace, stability, and welfare of
many countries and to the very existence of the State of Israel.

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

"Choose Your Enemy: Moscow or Tehran"

Amnon Rubinstein, Law Professor at the Interdisciplinary Center and
a former education minister from Meretz, wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post (10/28): QWhoever is elected U.S.
president next month will have to take a vital decision on how to
deal with two clear and present crises: an imminent-nuclear Iran and
an ebullient, post-Georgia Russia. The two issues are clearly
interconnected: Russia under Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev will
not allow -- and will even thwart -- effective UN sanctions against
Iran until differences with a U.S.-led alliance are remedied and the
past East-West understanding is restored. That this interdependence
affects the future of Israel and the entire Middle-East is also
manifestly clear. Simply put, the next president of the United
States will have to decide whether to jeopardize the isolation of
the Iranian regime or somehow placate the Russians by, among other
things, mothballing the idea of expanding NATO to include Ukraine
and Georgia.... A rejuvenated, cocky Russia does not pose an
existential threat to the West.... Iran, unlike Russia, poses a real
threat to the peace, stability, and welfare of many countries and to
the very existence of the State of Israel.

CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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