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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2413/01 3031017
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 291017Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8922
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 4542
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 1145
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 4921
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 5344
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4561
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 2934
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 5324
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 2180
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0405
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 9140
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6629
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 1556

RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 5642
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7617
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 0470
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 0685
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002413

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. U.S. Elections

3. Global Financial Crisis

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

The media reported that Knesset faction leaders decided yesterday to
set the date for general elections on February 10. HaQaretz
reported that Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni and Labor Chairman Ehud
Barak are beginning their struggle for the support of left-wing
voters, with part of the focus being their disagreement over the
Arab peace initiative. Barak, the defense minister, has proposed
that Israel use the initiative as a basis for negotiations, to
smooth the way for both the Palestinians and the Syrians to make
concessions. He also assumes that Israelis are willing to make
concessions in exchange for a comprehensive peace. President Shimon
Peres also supports this view, although his position as head of
state precludes his taking an active role in political discourse.
FM Livni does not oppose the Arab peace initiative, but believes
that efforts must focus directly on the Palestinian track. Livni
has disparaged Barak's approach, calling it, in private
conversation, an "attempt to seek a diplomatic agenda for himself
and the Labor Party." HaQaretz also quoted Livni as saying
privately, "I'm for world peace and regional harmony, too; who
isn't? But is it realistic?"

HaQaretz reported that Livni has not abandoned the regional arena.
On November 12, she will take part in New York in an interreligious
summit hosted by Saudi King Abdullah and UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon, with the participation of President Bush. King Abdullah is
the architect of the original Arab peace initiative, and also
oversaw its reaffirmation last year at the Riyadh Summit. Yediot
noted that this is the first time that Saudi Arabia has invited
Israel to a conference.

All media reported that Knesset Member Dr. Yossi Beilin, who was
chairman of the Meretz-Yahad party until a year ago, announced
yesterday that he is quitting politics and will resign from the
Knesset in the next few days. Beilin was quoted as saying that he
plans to go into business, although HaQaretz quoted sources close to
him as saying that he will continue to be involved in public life
and promote the Geneva peace initiative, of which he was a key
architect.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Assistant Secretary of State for
International Organizations Brian Hook told the newspaper yesterday
that the UN should set up an Iran sanctions committee to help
identify Qcheaters and spoilersQ who are not complying with UN
Security sanctions.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Harvard Law Professor Alan
Dershowitz is defending a possible Democratic Obama administration
to conservative Jews who argued that anyone who was worried about
Israel should be for John McCain. Maariv reported that the economic
situation will determine the vote of American expatriates in Israel,
as 41.2% of those would choose Obama over McCain (36.1%). The
Jerusalem Post reported that yesterday hundreds of expatriates voted
in Jerusalem for next weekQs presidential elections.

The Jerusalem Post quoted PM Olmert as saying in this speech to the
Knesset his week that he is intent on running Israel Qwith the same
sense of responsibility and prudence with which I have acted so far
until his successor is elected. The newspaper reported that in his
address, Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu asked why LivniQs coalition
is repelling IranQs nuclear threat with one hand while bringing
IranQs terror threat closer with the other. Peres called for
rehabilitation, healing, and unity. The ultra-Orthodox Yated
NeQeman reported that Peres hinted yesterday that disengagement had
been a failure.

HaQaretz quoted Palestinian Authority security officials as saying
that the tunnel near Hebron uncovered about two weeks ago by the PA
was used by Hamas as a firing range and for other weapons training.
The discovery of the tunnel is indicative of the kind of pressure
the PA security forces are putting on the military wing of Hamas.
The revelation of the tunnel caught by surprise Israeli security
officials, who reportedly agree with the PA's evaluation of its
purpose.

The Jerusalem Post reported that yesterday the High Court of Justice
agreed to give the state 90 days to test out changes in a military
regulation regarding Palestinians prohibited from traveling abroad
because Shin Bet regards them as security threats. The regulation
was originally introduced in January in response to a petition filed
two years ago by the Association for Civil Rights and Moked
Defense of the Individual.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Syria is keeping a close eye on the
outcome of the upcoming U.S. presidential and Israeli elections,
particularly after Sunday's U.S. raid on a Syrian compound raised
questions about the future of U.S.-Syrian relations and American
foreign policy in the region. The newspaper also reported that
British FM David Milliband has decided to work with his Syrian
counterpart to promote stability in the region.

Maariv reported that yesterday the residents of the village of
Ghajar, which straddles the Israel-Lebanon border, asked the UNIFIL
commander and the Assistant UN Secretary General to try to remove
the uncertainty surrounding their future.

Yediot reported that a police officer from the fraud unit, who is
conducting a judicial inquiry in the U.S., is probing the
possibility that PM Ehud Olmert received an illegal loan from
Israeli-American businessman Joe Elmaleh that was not reported to
the State ComptrollerQs Office.

HaQaretz reported that Israel has decided to prevent an additional
group of left-wing activists from reaching Gaza by sea. About 20
passengers, most of them members of the Free Gaza organization, are
expected to set sail for the Strip on Wednesday from Cyprus. MK
Jamal Zahalka (Balad Q National Democratic Assembly) will most
likely be aboard along with 1976 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead
Corrigan. Other media reported on the planned embarkation.

Leading media reported that Kadima will not give Transportation
Minister Shaul Mofaz a safe second spot on the partyQs election
list.

Maariv reported on the number of lists representing political
parties in the upcoming municipal elections: Kadima: 120; Shas: 90;
Labor Party: 73; Likud: 50; Green Party: 30; Meretz: 50; Yisrael
Beiteinu: 8.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the PA has joined a seven-fold
electric power grid, which will allow it to become less dependent on
Israeli supplies of electricity within four years.
Maariv reported that Shas leader and Industry, Trade, and Employment
Minister Eli Yishai aspires to become education minister. He was
quoted as saying with frustration that Israeli children know that
the Four Mothers organization initiated the Israeli withdrawal from
Lebanon but they are unable to name the QFour MothersQ of Jewish
religious tradition.

Yediot reported that American real estate mogul Donald Trump is
considering building a hotel in Eilat.

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

Summary:
--------

Professor Manfred Gerstenfeld wrote in the nationalist, Orthodox
Makor Rishon-Hatzofe: QIt would be better to turn things around and
watch the Palestinians act to create a peace atmosphere first.

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

"The Israeli Elections and the Lessons of Oslo"

Professor Manfred Gerstenfeld wrote in the nationalist, Orthodox
Makor Rishon-Hatzofe (10/29): QTodayQs negotiators do not
demonstrate that they learned anything from the huge failures of
their predecessors.... The simplest lesson from the failures of the
Oslo people is that instead of first making concessions and seeing
how the Palestinians will behave, it would be better to turn things
around and watch the Palestinians act to create a peace atmosphere
first.

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

Summary:
--------

Columnist Michael Freund, who was an assistant to former prime
minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wrote in the conservative, independent
Jerusalem Post: QObama makes Tehran, Tripoli, and Gaza convulse with
excitement, and that alone should make the rest of us shudder with
fear.

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

"Look WhoQs Rooting for Obama"

Columnist Michael Freund, who was an assistant to former prime
minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wrote in the conservative, independent
Jerusalem Post (10/29): QWhat do Iran's ayatollahs, Hamas
terrorists, Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson, and Libyan dictator
Muammar Qadhafi have in common? They are all pulling for Barack
Obama to win the U.S. presidential election. When Israel's
disparate foes manage to rally behind a single candidate, it should
set off alarm bells for anyone who cares about the Jewish state. If
you think this is just Republican scaremongering, consider the
following.... [Recent expressions of support by prominent Iranian
and Hamas spokesmen are] two clear expressions of preference for
Obama from two of the leading anti-Israel and anti-Western forces in
the Middle East. Both the Iranian regime and the Hamas terrorist
organization view Obama in a positive light and hope he will be
elected. Their enthusiasm for the senator from Illinois is shared
by a number of other long-time enemies of the Jewish state on both
sides of the Atlantic.... Normally, one would expect that such a
motley collection of rogues would be enough to send shivers down the
spine of even the most spineless of voters. In the end, who wants
to be cheering for the same outcome as Qadhafi and Farrakhan?
Nonetheless, if two recent polls are to be believed, Obama seems
poised to capture a significant majority of the Jewish vote.... The
bottom line is that Obama makes Tehran, Tripoli, and Gaza convulse
with excitement, and that alone should make the rest of us shudder
with fear.

----------------------------
3. Global Financial Crisis:
----------------------------

Summary:
--------

Dr. Ofir Haivri of the Shalem Center wrote in the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot: QAs long as no country or viewpoint
offers an alternative to [the American] spirit, the U.S. will
continue to lead.

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

"The U.S. Will Continue to Lead"

Dr. Ofir Haivri of the Shalem Center wrote in the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot (10/29): QAgainst the background of the
global financial crisis, there are increasing voices heralding the
imminent twilight of AmericaQs total economic, political, and
cultural supremacy. But the most relevant answer to that would be
Mark TwainQs remark: QThe reports of my death are greatly
exaggeratedQ. Despite tremendous changes that have intervened in
the United States over generations, the characteristics [of its
culture] have remained constant. At present, they will not cease to
influence the American spirit. As long as no country or viewpoint
offers an alternative to that spirit, the U.S. will continue to
lead.

CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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