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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2520/01 3181135
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 131135Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9117
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 4606
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 1213
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 4993
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 5408
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4629
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 3020
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 5394
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 2244
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0469
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 9204
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6693
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 1627
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 5706
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7681
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 0534
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 0782
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002520

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

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

1. Mideast

2. Iran

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

All media reported on a wave of layoffs in Israel, and quoted
Finance Minister Roni Bar-On as saying that Qthe man in the street
wonQt pay for the tycoonsQ ills.

The media reported that yesterday the IDF killed four Hamas gunmen
near the Gaza border. One Israeli soldier was lightly wounded in
the action. Although Israel claims to remain committed to the lull
(the tahdiya) with Hamas, the IDF has changed its tactics on the
Gaza Strip border. In the past two weeks, IDF units have crossed
into the Gaza Strip several times to strike at terrorists and foil
potential attacks. A Hamas spokesman told HaQaretz that the group
was not about to cancel the truce but intended to reexamine it. In
response to the Israeli strike, Palestinian militants in the Gaza
Strip fired six mortar shells and two Qassam rockets at the western
Negev, causing no injuries or damage. HaQaretz reported that
defense sources told the daily that the army is now authorized to
act within what the IDF calls the "security parameter" -- a
several-hundred-meter strip beyond the border fence. The troops are
allowed to act only against clear threats and with the approval of a
senior commander.

The Jerusalem Post reported that foreign journalists are furious
over an IDF dictate that bars them from entering Gaza, which they
say was imposed with no formal notice.

The media reported that Iran has test-launched a new
ground-to-ground ballistic missile with a 2,000 km range, which is
capable of hitting Israel Q the QSijil.Q HaQaretz and other media
quoted Israeli experts as saying that the missile was entirely
developed in Iran and that it attests to impressive technological
capabilities. Maariv reported that Israel and Germany are
developing a system for identifying nuclear missiles.
Leading media reported that yesterday President Shimon Peres told
the UN General Assembly that the 2002 Saudi initiative represents a
Qserious opening for real progress" on peace in the Middle East.
Turning to the Arab leaders at the conference Q including Saudi King
Abdullah -- Peres called for a renewal of the prophetic vision of
peace and brotherhood. Israel Radio noted that Arab leaders made no
reference to peace progress in the Middle East. Yediot reported
that the Saudis turned a cold shoulder to Peres.

HaQaretz reported that J Street, a moderate new pro-Israel lobby
that backed Barack ObamaQs presidential campaign, is worrying
leaders of American JewryQs established, conservative AIPAC lobby.

The Jerusalem Post quoted Jerusalem Mayor-elect Nir Barkat as saying
that he plans to invite ultra-Orthodox parties to join his
broad-based coalition.

HaQaretz reported that Labor Party Chairman Ehud Barak has refused
to promise Knesset members negotiating with Meretz about forming a
new center-left party that Labor would not join a government headed
by Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu after the February elections.
A senior Labor official told HaQaretz yesterday that the issue came
up in talks conducted by Barak in the past two days aimed at
preventing key Labor MKs such as Ami Ayalon, Ophir Pines-Paz, and
Michael Melchior from joining the new Meretz initiative. After
Barak's meetings with Ayalon and Pines-Paz on Tuesday night and
Wednesday respectively, it appears both are likely to remain in
Labor.

HaQaretz reported that Peace Now has petitioned the High Court of
Justice against illegal digging and construction activity by the
Israel Antiquities Authority, in cooperation with the right-wing
association QElad-City of David,Q near the Western Wall and the
Al-Aqsa Mosque

HaQaretz reported that the state has petitioned the High Court of
Justice over the IDF granting an incentive for law-breakers to take
over Palestinian land in the territories. A law dating back to 1858
determines that land that was not visited by its owner for 10 years
shall be confiscated. Maariv reported that yesterday the High Court
of Justice issued a temporary order banning further construction and
settling in an outpost near the settlement of Beit-El. The outpost
is built on Palestinian land.

Leading media reported that yesterday the cabinet again rejected a
decision to shield Israeli communities around Gaza.

Leading media reported that yesterday Syrian FM Walid Muallem
suggested that IAF bombs may be the source of uranium traces that
diplomats at the IAEA said were found at a suspected nuclear site.

The Jerusalem Post reported that yesterday in Bethlehem a PA
QmilitaryQ court sentenced a Palestinian security agent to death by
firing squad after finding him guilty of QcollaborationQ with
Israel. The sentence, and other ones pronounced early this year,
must be approved by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who has thus far
refrained from endorsing the verdicts.

HaQaretz reported that Netanyahu is counting on the votes of Russian
Israelis and that he will give three of its representatives three
secure slots on the LikudQs Knesset list.

Leading media reported that yesterday in Nablus the IDF arrested
Samer Zubahi Kassam Mabruk, a senior member of the PFLP, alongside
with two other PFLP men.

Leading media reported that the IDF has sentenced a soldier to 21
days in jail for yawning during a recent memorial service for
assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Maariv ran a feature story about Dina Wein-Reis, an ultra-Orthodox
woman moving between Israel and New York, who has embezzled money
from over 500 American companies.

Israel Hayom presented the results of a poll it conducted in
cooperation with New Wave Research, showing the IsraelisQ voting
intentions (in Knesset seats; figures in brackets show the current
Knesset seats):
Likud: 33 (12); Kadima: 28 (29); Labor Party: 11 (19): Shas: 10
(12); Arab parties: 10 (10); Yisrael Beiteinu: 7 (11); National
Union Party and National-Religious Party 6 (6); Meretz: 4 (5);
United Torah Judaism: 5 (6); Green Party 3 (0).

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

Summary:
--------
The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: QThose
concerned about the well-being of the people of Gaza should put the
pressure where it belongs -- and tell Hamas to stop the violence.

Yitzhak Bailey, who was adviser on ShiQite affairs in the Defense
Ministry, wrote in the popular, pluralist Maariv: QNow is the time
to again point out the military and political advantages of
returning fire.... It will change the increasingly contemptuous
attitude toward Israel in the region.... It will help promote peace
with the Palestinians.

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

I. "The Gaza QSiegeQ"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (11/13):
QHere's what anyone who follows events in the Gaza Strip --
cursorily - might reasonably conclude: An Israeli Qsiege
periodically leaves 1.5 million people hungry and in darkness.
Innocents are Qcollectively punishedQ while the IDF capriciously
QraidsQ Gaza killing Palestinians.... The truth is that Gaza's
misfortunes are largely self-inflicted. Hamas has made battling
Israel its highest priority regardless of the damage this causes
Palestinian society -- its founding charter calls for the
obliteration of the Jewish state. Paradoxically, Hamas remains
immensely popular. In fact, some Israeli policymakers argue that it
would be pointless for Israel to topple Hamas because the population
is Hamas.... Plainly, Israel's Gaza strategy isn't working. Olmert
himself thinks a Qcollision with Hamas is inevitable.Q Hamas has
used the truce to further enhance its sophisticated subterranean
supply lines. Advanced weaponry is brought in; so too, is
everything from tobacco and sheep to car parts -- all taxed by
Hamas's Qtunnels administration.Q So much diesel fuel has been
flowing through pipelines under the Philadelphi Corridor that a glut
on the market has reportedly been created. Only cement and iron
can't easily be smuggled. What now? Israeli defense officials do
not want the cease-fire to fall apart. At the same time, Jerusalem
is not willing to allow a creeping escalation of Hamas violence. If
the Islamists end the cease-fire, the cost must be a relentless
pursuit of their leaders so as to diminish the capacity of Hamas to
govern. Over the long haul, Israel simply can't tolerate an
Islamist regime anywhere between the Mediterranean and the Jordan
that is dedicated to its destruction. Those concerned about the
well-being of the people of Gaza should put the pressure where it
belongs -- and tell Hamas to stop the violence.

II. "Five Reasons to Return Fire at Gaza"

Yitzhak Bailey, who was adviser on ShiQite affairs in the Defense
Ministry, wrote in the popular, pluralist Maariv (11/13): QOne thing
is already clear: closing the crossings as a punishment for one day
or a few days is doomed to fail. As refugees, the majority of
Gaza's residents are accustomed to shortages and arew capable of
managing with little. Economic distress will not get them to raise
their voices against the Qassam rocket fire.... Now is the time to
again point out the military and political advantages of returning
fire: It puts a quick end to the rocket fire phenomenon.... It will
lessen the scope of the smuggling. It will remove the need for a
ground operation.... It will change the increasingly contemptuous
attitude toward Israel in the region.... It will help promote peace
with the Palestinians. A determined image of Israel will make it
easier for the moderate Palestinians to make peace with it, and a
display of Israeli capability in eradicating the fire by ourselves
will also increase the belief of Israelis in the chances of reaching
peace with security.


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

Summary:
--------

Military correspondent Yuval Limor, who holds a similar position on
Israel TV, wrote in the independent Israel Hayom: QYesterdayQs
Iranian announcement ... clarifies to those who wish to avoid the
use of force that they will eventually have to use many times as
much force in order to thwart the greatest threat currently menacing
world peace.

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

QA Finger in ObamaQs Eye

Military correspondent Yuval Limor, who holds a similar position on
Israel TV, wrote in the independent Israel Hayom (11/13): QThe
Iranian announcement about a test of a dual-stage solid fuel missile
should not worry Israel, if only because that announcement is not
worrisome -Q on the contrary, the fact that this is a real and
tangible threat is first and foremost meant to worry the Western
world, which must wake up and at last understand what it is
facing.... Barack Obama was elected just last week. The
administration in Tehran is already poking a finger in his eye.
While Obama is moderately talking about a critical dialogue and
Washington is encouraging the opening of an American interests
section in Tehran, Iran is broadcasting business as usual. One must
hope that after the election turmoil in Israel and in the U.S.
subsides, the West will succeed in establishing a clear and firm
strategy vis-`-vis Iran with defined sticks. YesterdayQs Iranian
announcement shows that there is no choice, and clarifies to those
who wish to avoid the use of force that they will eventually have to
use many times as much force in order to thwart the greatest threat
currently menacing world peace.

CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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