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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2576/01 3251120
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 201120Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9224
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
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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 4636
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 1243
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 5030
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 5438
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4659
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 3059
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 5429
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 2278
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0503
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 9234
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6723
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 1660
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 5736
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7711
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 0564
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 0824
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002576

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:
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Mideast

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Key stories in the media:
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Yediot and Israel Radio reported that PM Ehud Olmert and DM Ehud
Barak flew to Amman on Tuesday. King Abdullah II reportedly asked
them to prevent a large-scale operation in Gaza. The media quoted
the two senior Israelis as saying that Israel may eventually have to
defend itself. Israel Radio reported that diplomatic sources in
London told the international Arabic daily Al-Hayat that Olmert
updated Abdullah regarding the results of his most recent meeting
with PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Olmert was quoted as saying that
he had presented Abbas with several ideas as a basis for a general
agreement to be signed before he leaves office. Abbas, however, is
said to have turned down the offer and insisted that any general
agreement include all the final status issues. He further insisted
that Olmert halt the deterioration in the Gaza Strip.

The Jerusalem Post reported that defense officials expressed their
satisfaction yesterday with the efforts of a U.S.-trained battalion
of Palestinian policemen in Hebron. The battalion has arrested over
250 terror suspects affiliated with Hamas.

The media reported that the Histadrut Labor Federation intends to
fight the governmentQs economic recovery plan and possibly declare a
strike. More media came out against the plan.

HaQaretz cited a poll saying that Likud is to triple its seats in
the Knesset in the next elections (see below).

Leading media reported that yesterday President Shimon Peres told
members of the British Parliament that Israel would have difficulty
dismantling West Bank settlements without causing a civil war in
Israel. Peres attacked Hamas and Iran. Some 150 students
repeatedly interrupted his speech at the Sheldonian Theatre in
Oxford.

Today, for the first time, the PA is publishing advertisements in
the Hebrew-language press that present the details of the Arab peace
plan. MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List Q TaQal) was instrumental in
putting the project together.

Israel Radio reported that this morning a Hamas militant was killed
by an IDF shell.

Maariv reported that, in order to counter Likud leader Benjamin
NetanyahuQs Qstar recruits,Q Tzipi LivniQs election campaign will
focus on personal attacks against him and try to wreck his
credibility.

Leading media reported that the new right-wing, Orthodox party has
chosen the name QHabayit HayehudiQ (the Jewish Home).

The Jerusalem Post quoted Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter as
saying yesterday that Germany has banned HizbullahQs Al-Manar
satellite television station.

The Jerusalem Post and other media reported that Prof. Arnold
Munnich, a leading French geneticist and pediatrician, who is an
adviser to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, is promoting a project
that would bring Arab doctors and nurses and others from
Mediterranean countries to Israel for advanced training.

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe quoted Netanyahu as saying yesterday before the
United Jewish Communities General Assembly (GA) that President-elect
Barack Obama has pledged to consider a military option against Iran.
Retired U.S. General John Abizaid was quoted as saying in an
interview with Maariv that Israel does not have the military
capability to destroy the Iranian nuclear project. However, Abizaid
said that a nuclear Iran will be weaker and more vulnerable that
todayQs Iran.

The Jerusalem Post and other media quoted Netanyahu as saying at the
GA that there will be a dramatic turnaround in the Palestinian
economy if he is elected.

The Jerusalem Post reported that a coalition of NGOs and educators
hope to improve Muslim-Jewish coexistence in Israel by teaching
Islam to Jews and Judaism to Muslims in the nationQs public
schools.

HaQaretz quoted Mohammed al-Hindi, a leader of Islamic Jihad in
Gaza, as saying that Hamas plans to appoint a new PA president in
January at the end of Abbas's four-year term. Hindi said that the
Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Sheikh Aziz Dweik,
will probably be named to the post. Dweik is currently jailed in
Israel.

Leading media reported that the cabinet made a U-turn yesterday
regarding anti-missile reinforcements for communities near the
border with Gaza.

HaQaretz quoted government legal aides as saying that the police and
IDF have more than 30 days to comply with a High Court decision to
remove settlers from a house in Hebron whose ownership is claimed by
Palestinians. Earlier this week the High Court ruled that settlers
must leave the house within three days or be removed from it by the
state. Israel Radio reported that settlers rioted near the house
overnight.

Leading media quoted the IAEA as saying yesterday that a Syrian
complex bombed by Israel bore features that would resemble those of
an undeclared nuclear reactor and that Syria must cooperate more
with UN inspectors to allow them to reach conclusions. Maariv
reported that Russia is slowing down the pace of its missile sales
to Syria. Maariv links this to IsraelQs messages that the deal
would affect the subtle balance in the Middle East.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the state will pay American human
rights activist Brian Avery 600,000 shekels (around $ 151,170) in
damages in an out-of-court settlement reached yesterday with his
Israeli lawyer, Shlomo Licker. Lecker said that Avery did not have
full medical insurance coverage in the U.S. and that the money would
help defray some of the costs of the operations he must undergo.
Avery was shot in Jenin in 2003 and suffered severe facial wounds.

Major media reported that FM Tzipi Livni announced yesterday that
Israel has made a final decision to boycott the United Nations
"Durban II" conference on human rights this spring, fearing it would
once again be used as a forum for anti-Israeli sentiment.
Ironically, this year's conference is scheduled for Holocaust
Memorial Day.

HaQaretz reported that in recent years, and with the full knowledge
and approval of the Defense Ministry, Israeli arms dealers have
negotiated and sold military equipment to a number of countries
defined by Israeli law as enemy states. HaQaretz sources were
quoted as saying that the ministry has approved negotiations and
sales between Israeli dealers and several Arab states including
Iraq, Libya, and Yemen.

Yediot reported that during his visit to the U.S. next week, PM
Olmert intends to ask President George Bush to pardon Jonathan
Pollard.

Major media reported that, the U.S. Department of Transportation's
Federal Aviation Administration has decided that the safety ranking
of Israel's airports will be downgraded after serious flaws were
discovered during an inspection yesterday. The decision is expected
to harm the image of Israeli airlines abroad as well as incur
considerable financial damage. Israeli airlines will not be allowed
to increase the number of destinations they fly to in the U.S. or
use different planes from those currently approved on the existing
destinations. After the ranking is made formal, Israel will share
its safety ranking with some 10 to 20 other countries, most of which
are developing nations.

HaQaretz published the results of a Dialogue poll: If elections were
held today, Likud would get 34 Knesset seats; Kadima: 28; Labor: 10;
and Meretz: 7. The right-wing bloc, led by Likud, is also firming
up in comparison to previous polls, with 64 MKs versus 56 for the
center-left. In effect, the right is much stronger than the center
left, since the leftQs count also includes 11 MKs from the Arab
parties: They will not be asked to join the governing coalition and
in the current political climate their only use will be as part of a
"preventive bloc" in the Knesset.

Yediot printed the results of a Dahaf/Mina Zemach poll: Likud would
get 32 seats; Kadima: 26; Shas: 11; the Arab parties: 11; Yisrael
Beiteinu: 9; Labor: 8; the ultra-Orthodox parties (apart from Shas):
7; Meretz: 7; the Jewish Home: 6; and the Green Party: 3.

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Mideast:
--------

Summary:
--------

Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: QObama will have to decide whether to take a
clear stance [regarding Iran and the Arab peace initiative] before
the Israeli elections and attempt to affect their results or to wait
until he meets with the next prime minister and coordinate
policies.

Middle East affairs commentator Dr. Guy Bechor, a lecturer at the
Interdisciplinary Center, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist
Yediot Aharonot: Q[A military] possibility [for Israel] is the
wisdom of deterrence. This is the best way. To create a big bang,
a strong and symbolic blow, after which the other side will know
that it does not pay for it to continue to fire. This is also the
accepted method in the Arab world.

The nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe editorialized: QThe
United NationsQ anti-Israeli face has once again been unmasked.

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

I. "Waiting for Obama"

Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (11/20): QIf Obama adopts the Arab initiative,
it will strengthen Tzipi Livni, who seeks a permanent arrangement
and a deep withdrawal from the territories, and say that Netanyahu's
positions are on a collision course with America. If he talks up
economic peace, that would back Netanyahu's claims that he can get
along well with Obama. The attempt to revive the Arab peace plan
and to sell it to Obama fits in with the argument over the order of
priorities of the incoming administration: First Iran and then the
Israeli-Arab conflict, as Netanyahu proposes; QPalestine firstQ to
soften the Arab and Muslim hostility to the United States; or both
at once, working on the assumption that dealing with the
Palestinians will make it easier for the Arab states to support U.S.
measures against Iran, and that dealing with Iran will make it
easier for Israel to withdraw from territories in the Golan Heights
and the West Bank. Obama will have to decide whether to take a
clear stance before the Israeli elections and attempt to affect
their results or to wait until he meets with the next prime minister
and coordinate policies.

II. QWhat Does Bashar Really Want?"

Middle East affairs commentator Dr. Guy Bechor, a lecturer at the
Interdisciplinary Center, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist
Yediot Aharonot (11/20): QThe other side has understood that it has
to move the war into IsraelQs territory. This is how it operates,
whether it is from Lebanon by means of missiles, from Gaza by means
of rockets, or by means of human rockets in the form of suicide
bombers and terror in IsraelQs cities. Israel, conversely, is
barred from operating in the enemyQs territory, which is crowded
with a civilian population that serves as a human shield for terror.
This population is aided by Qhuman rightsQ organizations, the
global media, organizations within Israel, and more. The IDF is
barred from acting, while nothing prevents the other side from
penetrating IsraelQs territory by air or by land. This situation
causes Israel to be despondent, feeling that its mighty army is not
so relevant. There are three options for dealing with this
situation and creating a new security doctrine. First possibility:
passivity and blocking. This is the method Israel is employing
today, in which we absorb and try to reduce the damage, or prevent
it by achieving various truces. Second possibility: pro-activeness
and attack. This method is not acceptable to Israel today, and it
states that it is possible to attack despite the wall of civil
defense on the other side, in the form of targeted killings, and
many swift initiated actions, as well as surprising pinpointed
military strikes. The third possibility is the wisdom of
deterrence. This is the best way. To create a big bang, a strong
and symbolic blow, after which the other side will know that it does
not pay for it to continue to fire. This is also the accepted
method in the Arab world.


III. "The UN, as Is its Custom"

The nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe editorialized
(11/20): QThe United NationsQ anti-Israeli face has once again been
unmasked. Instead of condemning the missile launching in the
direction of Israeli communities in the south of the country, it has
been quick to censure Israel over the harm done to the innocent
Palestinian population.... The UNQs behavior utterly contradicts the
UN Charter that places its mission in the respect of peaceful
relations among nations in the international arena.... The silence
of the Secretary-General of the UN can be interpreted as an assent
with the decision made by the UN representation in Geneva.... Abu
Mazen is the terroristsQ indirect spokesman.... He takes part in the
slanderous attacks against the Jewish state in international
politics, and the UN acts as his advocate.

CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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