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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2571/01 3241203
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 191203Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9211
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 4630
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 1237
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 5021
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 5432
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4653
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 3050
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 5423
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 2272
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0497
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 9228
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6717
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 1651
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 5730
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7705
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 0558
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 0814
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002571

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. U.S.-Israel Relations

2. Iran

3. Mideast

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

HaQaretz quoted President Shimon Peres as saying in London yesterday
that U.S. President-elect Barack Obama proclaimed himself Qvery
impressed with the Arab LeagueQs peace planQ when he discussed it
with Peres during a brief visit to Israel four months ago. HaQaretz
reported that senior Saudi sources have called on Obama to turn the
initiative into his Middle East diplomatic plan. The Jerusalem Post
quoted Peres as saying yesterday that making peace with Syria
depends on whether it is prepared to rein in Hizbullah. Israel
Hayom reported that Peres hinted that Israel would return the Golan
to Syria. Israel Radio reported that yesterday Obama called
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and vowed to continue pushing
Middle East peace efforts. In their first conversation since the
November 4 U.S. elections, Obama also reportedly reiterated his
strong support for a Palestinian state living alongside Israel.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli officials still fear that
President Bush will open an American interests section in Tehran,
despite the strong message the U.S. official Stuart Levey carried to
them this week that the outgoing administration intends to stay the
course of isolating Iran diplomatically.

Israel Hayom wrote that the governmentQs emergency economic plan
might not provide an answer to the crisis.

Leading media reported that the IDF is gearing up to forcibly
evacuate the so-called "House of Contention" in Hebron, presuming
its Jewish residents continue ignoring a court order to vacate the
premises within three days. The deadline expires at noon today.
Media reported that yesterday Knesset Member Nissim Zeev (Shas)
moved into the building.
HaQaretz reported that PM Ehud Olmert is expected to call several
senior defense officials today to discuss the possibility of pulling
out of the northern part of the border village of Ghajar and
relinquishing control to UN forces.

The Jerusalem Post reported that top Israeli defense and political
officials are increasingly concerned that Germany might sell
Dolphin-class submarines to Egypt.

Yesterday HaQaretz quoted President Peres as saying on Monday that
when Barack Obama asked him, during a conversation, what he could do
for Israel, he replied: QBe a great president of the United
States.

HaQaretz reported that Hamas's military wing announced Tuesday it
was "prepared for a confrontation with Israel" and for the end of
the cease-fire with Israel. However, political sources said the
cease-fire was expected to go on. The newspaper reported that over
the past couple of days, Hamas has tried to rein in the other
Palestinian factions and restrict rocket fire.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Mirzan Hassan Dinnayi, a former
adviser to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, told the daily yesterday
that religious extremism is the biggest threat facing Iraq today and
that it could ultimately see the war-torn country emptied of
minority populations.

The Jerusalem Post and HaQaretz quoted the Iranian news Website
Jahan News, which is affiliated with the Iranian intelligence
community, as saying on Monday that Hossein Derakhshan, an Iranian
blogger who has visited Israel twice over the past three years, was
arrested in Tehran upon his return from Canada. The Iranian
blogger, who also holds Canadian citizenship, reportedly admitted to
being involved in espionage for Israel.

HaQaretz, The Jerusalem Post, and Israel Radio reported that Israeli
officials reacted angrily to comments made yesterday by UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights Navanathem Pillay, in which she called
for an immediate end to its blockade of the Gaza Strip, which she
said breached international and humanitarian law. The Jerusalem
Post reported that yesterday PA officials n Ramallah accused Hamas
of staging the latest blackouts in Gaza in a bid to win sympathy and
incite the Palestinian public against Israel and the PA.

Israel Hayom reported that yesterday Michigan Governor Granholm, an
Obama associate, visited HaifaQs Carmel Hospital to promote the
establishment of a joint vascular development center between the
hospital and Michigan counterparts

Leading media quoted former IDF chief of staff Moshe YaQalon, who
joined Likud yesterday and might become defense minister if Likud
wins the elections, as saying that the Qpath of withdrawals must
stop.

HaQaretz, Israel Hayom, and The Jerusalem Post reported that
yesterday a Cairo court ruled against an Egyptian government
resolution to sell natural gas to Israel, and issued an injunction
halting the supply. However, HaQaretz quoted legal sources in Egypt
as saying that the court did not put a timeline on its ruling, and
meanwhile the gas continues to flow.

Leading media reported that the dollar continued to strengthen
yesterday, gaining 1.25% to close at 3.964 shekels. The dollar is
up 7% since the beginning of November, but only 3.2% for all of
2008, after losing ground over most of the year. Since its lowest
point in July, the dollar has gained 24%.

--------------------------
1. U.S.-Israel Relations:
--------------------------

Summary:
--------

Columnist Elliot Jager wrote in the conservative, independent
Jerusalem Post: QOf course I worry that Obama may be bad for Israel.
But will he be worse than Richard Nixon, who allowed Israel to
slowly bleed during the 1973 War so that Henry Kissinger could start
from a more advantageous bargaining position?

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

"On Obama Q What, Me Worry?"

Columnist Elliot Jager wrote in the conservative, independent
Jerusalem Post (11/19): QOf course I worry that Obama may be bad for
Israel. But will he be worse than Richard Nixon, who allowed Israel
to slowly bled during the 1973 War so that Henry Kissinger could
start from a more advantageous bargaining position?.... Will Obama
be worse the George Bush Sr., whose secretary of state, James (f-ck
the Jews) Baker, gave out the White House switchboard number during
1990 Congressional testimony, telling Israel: QWhen youQre serious
about peace, call us.Q Worse than old Bill Clinton, who helped
engineer Oslo, which begot the second Intifada and 1,000 Israeli
dead? Will Obama be worse than George W. Bush who was the first
president to explicitly make the creation of a Palestinian state
U.S. policy? As if Palestinian society is now ready for the
responsibilities of statehood.... so please excuse me if I donQt get
all bent out of shape -Q at least not before he even takes office -
at the prospect that Barack Obama will give Israel a hard time. One
other thing: No U.S. president can be reasonably be expected to be
more Qpro-IsraelQ than Israel itself. If our next government canQt
build an internal consensus on where our borders should be, or what
IsraelQs red lines are, on which settlements we keep and which we
would give up for real peace -Q thatQs our problem. DonQt get me
wrong. I am not saying Obama wonQt give us some tough innings.
What I am saying is that weQd play a better game if we knew what we
wanted and pulled together. And Obama might then hear what weQre
saying -Q instead of a cacophony of conflicting voices.

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

Summary:
--------

Correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in the conservative, independent
Jerusalem Post: QApplying the pressure [on IsraelQs nuclear program]
... will achieve the exact opposite of their intended outcome,
unless a miraculous way will be found with which Iranian plans will
be tamed.

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

"Pressuring Israel to Suspend Nuclear Activity Will Not QBuild
ConfidenceQ"

Correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in the conservative, independent
Jerusalem Post (11/19): QA world free of nuclear weapons is a
desirable thing. A Middle East in which no country will be touting
nuclear weapons would also be a positive development, providing the
countries involved live generally peacefully and do not try to
destroy one another. The Institute for Science and National
Security in Washington, which deals with such matters regularly, has
a new paper that Israeli media were quoting this week with ...
enthusiasm.... The paper, one must admit, does include a
controversial recommendation: QThe Obama administration should make
a key priority of persuading Israel to join the negotiations of a
universal, verified treaty that bans the production of highly
enriched uranium for nuclear explosives, commonly called the Fissile
Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT). As an interim step, the United
States should press Israel to suspend any production of fissile
material for nuclear weapons. Toward this goal, the United States
should change its relatively new policy of seeking a cutoff treaty
that does not include verificationQ.... HereQs the problem: Where
[David] Albright and co-author Andrea Scheel see a plan that Qwould
establish international confidence in the peaceful nature of Middle
Eastern nuclear programs,Q Israel will see a plan concocted by
people who failed to deal with a neighborhood bully and turned their
attention to other places as to avoid a necessary confrontation.
This is not establishing Qconfidence in the peaceful nature....Q Q-
but, rather, establishing disbelief in the ability of the
international community to deal with aggressors. In fact, applying
the pressure that the authors seem to want will achieve the exact
opposite of their intended outcome, unless a miraculous way will be
found with which Iranian plans will be tamed: It will make Israel
even more suspicious, and much less prone to give up on whatever
capabilities it might have to defend itself. And rightly so.

------------
3. Mideast:
------------

Summary:
--------


Veteran journalist Hemmi Shalev wrote in the independent Israel
Hayom: QMaybe more than any Likud recruit, YaQalon is a multipurpose
electoral asset.

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

"Multipurpose Asset"

Veteran journalist Hemmi Shalev wrote in the independent Israel
Hayom (11/19): Q[Moshe] YaQalon is the second chief of staff to join
the Likud, after Shaul Mofaz. As Netanyahu has it, he represents
the Qold Land of Israel.Q Maybe more than any Likud recruit,
YaQalon is a multipurpose electoral asset; alongside Benny Begin, he
drags votes from the Right due to his opposition to disengagement
and to Qfurther withdrawalsQ; together with Dan Meridor, he holds a
image of pure politics and clean hands, as a counterweight to Tzipi
Livni; and especially with (former IDF Northern Command commander
Yossi Peled and even [former police commissioner] Assaf Hefetz.
But, more than they, he also pulls votes from the hawkish Right.
This is the same crucial reservoir of ten mandates that was known in
America as the QReagan Democrats.

CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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