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Cablegate: Special Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2475/01 3111337
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 061337Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9044
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RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 1186
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 4962
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 5385
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4602
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 2987
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 5367
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 2221
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0446
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UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002475

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: SPECIAL ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION

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

Election of Barack Obama to President

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Election of Barack Obama to President:
--------------------------------------

Summary:
--------

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: "In an era
when America became anathema in the world, and the Wall Street
crisis dragged its people and many people all over the globe to the
abyss of uncertainty and fear of the future, America chose the
chance for peace and dialogue and socio-economic repair in the
spirit of the New Deal."

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: "The
members of the new administration will see with their own eyes that
no one wants peace more than Israel. No one. Congratulations
President-elect Obama on a historic victory. Godspeed. "

Liberal columnist Yael Paz-Melamed wrote in the popular, pluralist
Maariv: "A new wind will blow from the White House -- not a hostile
one, but a different one."

Chief Economic Editor Sever Plotker wrote in the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "Obama's electrifying election call, 'yes
we can!' becomes, for president-elect Obama a tough personal
question: 'can he?' Can Obama? Billions of people believe that he
can, and that is already an excellent start."

The nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe editorialized: "As a
whole we must turn to the ancient rule: 'If I am not for myself, who
will be?' This is the lesson to be learned from the aftermath of
the U.S. elections."

Yediot Aharonot printed a letter sent by Defense Minister Ehud Barak
to president-elect Barack Obama: "We assure you that you will find
us to be an ally, an active partner and sponsor of a regional peace
plan in order to bring calm to this conflicted area and to
contribute to stability around the world."

Yediot Aharonot published a letter sent by Likud Chairman Benjamin
Netanyahu to president-elect Barack Obama: "I am confident that we
will be able to cooperate in order to promote peace, security and
prosperity in our region."

Commentator Valery Gertz wrote in the conservative Russian-language
Vesty: "The urgency of solving his country's economic problems and
overcoming the financial crisis will leave little time for Barack
Obama to make efforts to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

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

I. "Treading Carefully"

Senior liberal columnist Akiva Eldar wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (11/6): "The shadow of the Muslim branch of
Barack Hussein's family tree will force [Obama] to be particularly
careful when it comes to the United States-Israel-Arab triangle. In
the past eight years Israel has become addicted to the heady
fragrance of the White House and Congress, which have allowed it to
do as it wanted in the territories. However, George W. Bush has
done Obama's work for him. In the Oval Office, Obama will find
Bush's two-state vision: the Roadmap that promised peace with all
Arab countries by May 2005 and a complete freeze on settlements. He
will also find a copy of the letter Bush sent to Ariel Sharon, in
which he promised that the United States would support an agreement
based on withdrawal from all territories except the main settlement
blocs and the return of refugees to a Palestinian state. Obama will
have to decide when he wants to redeem these debts. The outcome of
the Israeli elections will doubtless impact his decision. If the
Kadima-Labor coalition remains, the president will not have to work
hard to get Israel going in a desirable direction for the United
States. And since Obama's first year in office is PA President
Mahmoud Abbas' last, the American president will not want to be
blamed for the fall of the West Bank into Hamas hands.... The
decision whether to risk re-enacting the confrontation between Bill
Clinton and Benjamin Netanyahu [if polls predicting a victory of the
Right in Israel are borne out], and shake up relations with Israel
and the Jewish community, will depend on two factors: One is how
important Obama thinks an Arab-Israeli peace treaty is in defusing
the crisis in Iraq and isolating Iran. The second is Obama's
willingness to force Israel into translating its songs of peace into
action.... It seems that Israelis who called Bush the 'friendliest
president to Israel' do have something to be concerned about. In
contrast, those who are concerned about Israel becoming an apartheid
state living forever by the sword have new hope since yesterday. In
the meantime, it is only hope."

II. "The Dawn of a New Era"

Ha'aretz editorialized (11/6): "The election of Barack Obama as
president of the United States is a moving, historic event that
inspires hope.... Obama was elected not only because of his good
qualities, his personal charm and his verbal abilities. He was
chosen first and foremost because he represents, in the most acute
and genuine way, the change for which the citizens of the United
States so desperately yearn.... In an era when America became
anathema in the world, and the Wall Street crisis dragged its people
and many people all over the globe to the abyss of uncertainty and
fear of the future, America chose the chance for peace and dialogue
and socioeconomic repair in the spirit of the New Deal.... With his
election, the deepest wound in American society, which was born with
slavery but continued to bleed overtly and covertly in race riots
and discrimination, has begun to heal. With Barack Obama's entry
into the White House, the U.S., and together with it the entire
world, stands on the threshold of a new era. If Obama succeeds in
fulfilling the hope that is pinned on him, the day of his election
will go down as the day that wrought a change in the entire world,
and will grant those living there a reason to look forward to the
future with hope."


III. "Mazal tov, Obama"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (11/6):
"Just as the people of the United States were electing Barack
Hussein Obama as their next president, Hamas was putting the
finishing touches on a plot to abduct Israeli soldiers and break the
relative cease-fire which has prevailed for the past five months....
Even as Hamas-controlled Gaza, fueled by religious fanaticism and
mired in the culture of victimization, pursued its predictable
violent trajectory -- 6,000 miles away, the splendor of peaceful
change, representative democracy and political civility was on
display for all to see.... Those in our part of the world dedicated
to rejectionism, violence, and terror will soon discover anew that
the relationship between Washington and Jerusalem is above
partisanship. And the members of the new administration will see
with their own eyes that no one wants peace more than Israel. No
one. Congratulations President-elect Obama on a historic victory.
Godspeed. "

IV. "The Dawn of a New Middle East"

Liberal columnist Yael Paz-Melamed wrote in the popular, pluralist
Maariv (11/6): "When Israel pledged to vacate 26 unauthorized
outposts and we did not even evacuate one of them, the friend from
the White House [Bush] turned a blind eye.... A new wind will blow
from the White House -- not a hostile one, but a different one. If
[Obama's] advisers for the region are indeed people like Dan
Kurtzer, Dennis Ross, or Martin Indyk, one can anticipate more
proportionality towards Israel and its policy. Those advisers,
together with the powerful pro-Israeli lobby, in addition to
pressure from the Pentagon, will certainly moderate American policy
as Obama might perhaps have wanted to see it. But there will be
change anyway. Apart from our politics, everything is changing, and
the hope blowing from Obama's election is necessary for Israel,
too."

V. "Mr. World"

Chief Economic Editor Sever Plotker wrote in the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot (11/6): "Humankind is united today like
never before. Democracy, in all its various and not always perfect
forms, is more common today than in the past. When people describe
their problems in terms of dreams and not in terms of wars, Barack
Obama is viewed as the right man in the right place. He crosses
borders, religions, and races. All the world is Obama. And yet,
the hard part is still in front of him. Obama has never yet managed
anything except his own election campaign, and that is not much. He
is an American-style social democrat, who is getting America in a
condition of fear and trepidation -- a strong nation, but confused
and expectant.... To win in the elections you have to know how to
make promises. To lead after the elections you have to know how to
keep them. The test of decisions is very different from the test of
speeches. Obama's electrifying election call, 'yes we can!'
becomes, for president-elect Obama a tough personal question: 'can
he?' Can Obama? Billions of people believe that he can, and that
is already an excellent start."

VI. "Why Not Here?"

Columnist and former Consul-General in Philadelphia (INSERT NAME)
wrote on page one of Maariv (11/6): "Only Menachem Begin and Yitzhak
Rabin, each in his own way, knew how to achieve that kind of
majority when broad support was created in the street for change.
One could have added Arik Sharon to that short list had he survived
to prove that he harbored a genuine desire to achieve a peace
agreement with the Palestinians in order to turn over a new national
leaf. But how is it that the best of our elected officials who
belong to the generation that was born into the State of Israel -- a
war hero such as Ehud Barak, the educated and eloquent man such as
Bibi Netanyahu, the experienced man such as Ehud Olmert -- collapsed
like scarecrows? And where are the men and women about whom we
haven't heard any more than the Americans had heard about their
future leader up until two years ago?.... An Israeli Obama is
possible. Nearly everything exists so that he might appear with a
winning voice: That is cause for a smattering of optimism. The fact
that we still haven't heard of him is cause for sorrow and envy of
America, a country in trouble that on Tuesday did a great deal to
get onto a new track. Please do not despair. Perhaps he is being
raised here by a determined grandmother who won't stop at the banal
aspiration of rearing a prodigy pianist."

VII. "We Have a Friend in the White House"

Yediot Aharonot printed a letter sent by Defense Minister Ehud Barak
to president-elect Barack Obama (11/6): "The region in which we live
is a focal point for many [economic and military] challenges.
Herein lies the frontline of the struggle over global energy
sources, and herein lies the frontline of the struggle between the
radical axis that is headed by Iran, which aspires to obtain nuclear
weapons and extends its patronage over jihadist and terrorist
elements, and the pragmatic camp that contributes to the United
States' interests in the region and supports the regional peace
process. The fate of that struggle will have a decisive impact on
world peace. It is this time of test that requires an active
American role and a confident and responsible leadership. We assure
you that you will find us to be an ally, an active partner and
sponsor of a regional peace plan in order to bring calm to this
conflicted area and to contribute to stability around the world."

VIII. "We Will Work Together to Achieve Peace"

Yediot Aharonot published a letter sent by Likud Chairman Benjamin
Netanyahu to president-elect Barack Obama (11/6): "I am confident
that we will be able to cooperate in order to promote peace,
security and prosperity in our region.... From our first meeting in
Washington more than a year ago I recall in particular our agreement
on the Iranian danger. You were attentive and to the point and you
asked: How can I help? I suggested that Congress intensify the
economic pressure on the Iranian regime and, approximately a week
later, you introduced a bill to step up the economic sanctions
against Iran. Regrettably, the danger of Iran obtaining nuclear
weapons continues to threaten us all, and I have no doubt that that
issue will be at the top of your priorities as president. In our
second meeting in Jerusalem a number of months ago we discussed ways
of achieving peace with the Palestinians. I was happy to see that
you took an interest in my approach that the way to accelerate
political peace first goes through promoting economic peace between
us and our neighbors. Parallel to political negotiations and to
establishing security, I intend to propose to the Palestinian
Authority to develop joint economic ventures with Israel, a course
of action that has the ability to promote political peace. It is
self-evident that the support of the United States in this process
would contribute greatly to its success."

IX. "Obama and Israel"

The nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe editorialized (11/6):
"Like in the past, Israel adopted a neutral approach to both
candidates.... At this time, the Mideast policy of the elected
Democratic candidate is unclear. As his latest statements
demonstrate, he might take steps that will lead to a rapprochement
between Washington and Tehran, not between the U.S. and Syria.... At
present it is Israel's duty to prepare anew and set its policy
according to its interests to protect its well-being and the
security of the state. As a whole we must turn to the ancient rule:
'If I am not for myself, who will be?' This is the lesson to be
learned from the aftermath of the U.S. elections."

X. "November Revolution in the U.S. Changes and Hope"

Commentator Valery Gertz wrote in the conservative Russian-language
Vesty (11/6): "As far as foreign policy is concerned, ordeals that
are no smaller than those faced by John F. Kennedy are awaiting the
new U.S. President.... The urgency of solving his country's economic
problems and overcoming the financial crisis will leave little time
for Barack Obama to make efforts to solve the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict ... unless [Israeli] radical leftist circles that view the
new American President as their ideological brother conceive a new
idea of a 'peace experiment' and start an amplified lobbying effort
in Washington.... [Obama's] promise to eradicate American dependence
on Middle Eastern oil in the next ten years is more than welcome --
and most importantly, achieving this goal is quite realistic, taking
into consideration the United States' infinite abilities, as well as
the talent and the will of its people.... Barack Obama has a chance
of triumphing, if he proves to the world that mankind's energy and
ecological problems have a creative and peaceful solution."

CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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