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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (11/05): Palestinians Are Leaders

VZCZCXRO3514
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1998/01 3101134
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 051134Z NOV 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3179
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEADWD/DA WASHINGTON DC//DAS-ZD/DACS-ZK//
RUEAHQA/CSAF WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
RHMFIUU/CMC WASHINGTON DC
RUENAAA/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7388
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4368
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4221
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5715
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4137
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2702

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001998

SIPDIS

STATE PASS BBG
STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD
WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
NSC FOR ABRAMS
CMC WASHINGTON DC FOR POLAD

JERUSALEM ALSO FOR ICD
LONDON FOR HKANONA AND POL - TSOU
PARIS ALSO FOR POL
ROME FOR MFO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KMDR KPAL KWBG KPAO IS
SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (11/05): PALESTINIANS ARE LEADERS
OF THEIR OWN FATE

-------------
Main Stories:
-------------

Al Quds and Al Ayyam lead with an almost identical red-font
headline: "Unprecedented voter turnout places Obama at the White
House gates." Al Quds runs a front page photo of Obama casting his
vote, while Al Ayyam runs a front page photo of Obama supporters
celebrating and smaller, inset photos of Obama and McCain both
casting their ballots. Al Quds report says that the economy was a
decisive factor for 62 percent of American voters. Al Hayat Al
Jadeeda quotes Abbas telling the media in Hungary yesterday that he
hopes the new U.S. president will achieve more success in efforts to
achieve peace in the Middle East. "We wait for change and hope it
can make peace possible," Abbas said. Abbas advisor Nimr Hamad
denied alleged statements that Obama promised East Jerusalem to
Abbas during Obama's visit to Ramallah. Al Quds reports on an AFP
story that Hamas chief Khaled Misha'al has said Hamas is ready for
dialogue with the new U.S. President. Israel's PM Olmert is also to
Israel.

Al Quds reports that Egypt has informed Hamas that Egypt's proposal
for a Palestinian dialogue is a general outline and that any
proposed amendments should be raised within the specialized
committees. The report also states that Fatah agreed to a bilateral
meeting with Hamas only after the inauguration of the official talks
in Cairo. Al Quds quotes Assistant Arab League Secretary General
Mohammed Sbaih calling for the inclusion of Hamas in the PLO and
noting there is Arab consensus on supporting Egypt's efforts to
achieve Palestinian unity. The paper also quotes Sbaih saying that
the American Congress should be clear that the Arab countries will
not allow Israel to change the Arab Islamic character of Jerusalem.

Al Quds and Al Hayat Al Jadeeda report on their front pages that six
Hamas Al-Qassam Brigade activists were killed on Tuesday evening by
Israeli fire in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip and in Juhr
Ad-Dik in the central Gaza Strip. The report also notes that Egypt
opened the Rafah border crossing with Gaza and that it will remain
open through Thursday.

Al Quds highlights Prime Minister Fayyad's visit to Hebron to
participate in a campaign calling for an end to Israel's closure of
the old city. Fayyad called for the Palestinian people to show
solidarity with Hebron in light of escalating Israeli settler
attacks there. Fayyad is also quoted saying that the PA is committed
to ensuring security for its citizens.

Al Quds and Al Ayyam report on their front pages that the Fatah bloc
won Hamas-boycotted An-Najah student elections, adding that the
Fatah bloc won 58 senate seats, followed by a bloc of leftist
Palestinian parties' with 10 seats. The Leftist bloc represented
both the Popular and Democratic Fronts for the Liberation of
Palestine, as well as the People's Party. Islamic Jihad gained eight
seats, the Palestinian National Initiative took three and the FIDA
bloc gained two. Hamas's student bloc boycotted the election in
response to an alleged PA arrest campaign, which the PA denied.

Al Hayat Al Jadeeda reports on its front page that the Israeli High
Court is looking into a Palestinian appeal to change the route of
the separation wall that takes away 27000 donums of Palestinian land
between Tulkarem and Qalqiliya in northern West Bank.

Al Hayat Al Jadeeda reports that Israel is concerned about a
possible show-down with Britain over settlements in the West Bank in

JERUSALEM 00001998 002 OF 002


light of British pressure to prevent EU tax exemptions on EU imports
of Israeli settlement products. Al Quds quotes British Foreign
Office officials saying that the Israeli settlements are "illegal
and an obstacle to peace."

On an inside page, Al Quds reports that Michael Schreuder from the
U.S. Consulate General Economic Section at visited the Expotech
exhibit in Ramallah and tested the technology present by making a
call to his family in the US using VoIp technology. He is quoted
expressing the Consulate's readiness to enhance networking between
Palestinian and American technology and telecommunications
companies.

------------
BLOCK QUOTES:
------------

1) Al Quds ran an editorial under the title "No...we haven't
forgotten that wicked promise" that argues "It's a pity that the
Arab nation, with all its resources and capabilities still waits for
the White House and its resident to draft its future and set the
policies of its states. The question is when would this nation turn
into a doer instead of being satisfied with passiveness, monitoring
events and accepting the actions of others and being affected by
their decisions?"

2) Regular columnist Hani Habeen opines in Al Ayyam under the title
"A new American President: He... and us" that "it would be a mistake
to interpret the American vision of the new president based on
intentions, statements or even actions by that president as an
unavoidable destiny. We believe ... that it is up to us as Arabs
and Palestinians to affect the American stand, if we successfully
used the many tools that we have, ... only then we can force the
American President to take the stand that is the least hostile
towards pressuring Israel to reach a just solution. Otherwise, any
American President, whoever he might be, won't take the Arab stand
into consideration, and Israel shall remain the pilot and minaret
for his policies".

3) The Palestine Chronicle editor Ramzy Baroud writes in Ma'an under
the title "A Third Palestinian Intifada in the Making" that
"Palestinian uprisings are often a collective response to hard
questions. Chances are that the next Intifada - as there will surely
be one as long as the occupation continues - will once again find a
popular rejection of the ills which have afflicted the Palestinian
cause. It would once again reassert the relevance, if not the
leading role of the Palestinian people as the real owners of their
fate, and guardians of their own struggle."

Walles

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