Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0014
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2797/01 3501144
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151144Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9591
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 4737
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 1337
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 5149
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 5541
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4762
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 3187
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 5534
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 2376
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0601
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 9328
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6821
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 1763
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 5830
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7814
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 0659
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 0998
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002797

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. Mideast

2. Iran

3. Global War on Terror

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

All media quoted Khaled Mashal, the head of HamasQs political
bureau, as saying that Hamas does not plan to extend its truce with
Israel beyond this Friday, December 19, which is when the
organization claims it is due to expire. However, Hamas PM Ismail
Haniyeh in Gaza was less definite. Major media quoted FM Tzipi
Livni as saying that Israel cannot leave Gaza under HamasQs control.
The media reported that Amos Gilad, the head of the Defense
Ministry's Diplomatic-Security Bureau, traveled to Cairo yesterday.
Israel Radio quoted him as saying that there is no need to extend
the truce. Many media again raised the possibility of a
wide-ranging IDF operation in Gaza. All media reported that during
a mass rally in Gaza City, Hamas members, including one dressed as
Gilad Shalit, acted out a sense in which the Israeli prisoner begs
PM Ehud Olmert to show consideration for his plight.

Leading electronic media reported that this morning the High Court
of Justice acceded to the stateQs demand for the release of 206
Palestinian prisoners as a gesture out of the respect for the Muslim
Festival of the Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha). They were released today.

Yesterday The Jerusalem Post reported that the more FM Tzipi Livni
speaks publicly, the more anger is growing in Kadima.

Yesterday The Jerusalem Post reported that chief PA negotiator Ahmed
Qurei told Palestinian reporters over the weekend that there is no
room for Jews in the West Bank. Yesterday Mako, a Channel
2-TV-affilitaed web site, quoted Qurei a saying that Israel has
asked PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to concede 7% of the West Bank in a
final status arrangement. Israel has also asked as part of the terms
of the final-status arrangement that the city of Ariel remain under
Israeli sovereignty as well as MaQaleh Adumim, Givat Zeev, and the
Etzion Bloc.

Electronic media reported that last night former Knesset member Ilan
Gillon won MeretzQs internal elections; MK Zahava Gal-On came in
second and former MK Mossi Raz took third; MK Avshalom Vilan and
ultra-Orthodox activist Zvia Greenfield got the fourth and fifth
slots. The partyQs final Knesset list will be composed of those
elected yesterday and members of the new left-wing party, possibly
including journalist Nitzan Horovitz (Channel 10-TV and former
HaQaretz Washington and Paris correspondent).

HaQaretz reported that representatives of the Quartet, the World
Bank, and the International Monetary Fund are asking PM Ehud Olmert
to continue sending funds to Gaza in a bid to avoid the collapse of
its banking system.

HaQaretz and The Jerusalem Post reported that yesterday DM Ehud
Barak accused the justice system of impeding efforts to enforce law
and order in the territories by treating lawbreakers too leniently.

The Jerusalem Post reported that senior defense officials have told
the daily that the Israel Air Force is hopeful that a new Pentagon
plan to buy 60 F-22 stealth fighter jets will include a push to end
a congressional ban on exporting the stealth aircraft.

Yesterday The Jerusalem Post reported on a UN-sponsored conference
in Vienna that tries to bring Israelis and Palestinians together.

Maariv reported that IAEA investigators believe that Israel is
hiding pictures of its attack on the Syrian reactor.

Senator Kit Bond, the ranking Republican on the U.S. SenateQs
Intelligence Committee, was quoted as saying yesterday in an
interview with The Jerusalem Post that QcarrotsQ wonQt work in
getting Iran to stop its nuclear development.

HaQaretz reported on an international conference on jihad that took
place in Jerusalem yesterday, in which American scholar Daniel Pipes
took a more moderate stance than rightist Dutch legislator Geert
Wilders.

The media reported that yesterday the police postponed permission
for a right-wing march scheduled for today in the Israeli-Arab town
of Umm el-Fahm.
Over the weekend all media reported that less than three years after
he took Israeli politics by storm, Minister Ami Ayalon is going to
leave the cabinet and, apparently, politics altogether.

Maariv and other media reported that yesterday the cabinet approved
the pension Qsafety net.

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

Summary:
--------

Military correspondent Amos Harel and Palestinian affairs
correspondent Avi Issacharoff wrote on page one of the independent,
left-leaning HaQaretz: QThe Shalit element in [yesterdayQs] rally
shows Hamas cannot offer its supporters much except a good place in
the next world.

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: QThe
international community sometimes loses track of the fact that the
suffering in Gaza, as Israel seeks to thwart the rocket attacks on
its civilians, is a consequence of Hamas's disinclination to meet
those minimal conditions.

The Jerusalem Post editorialized: QWe can still hope that a strong
Western position vis-`-vis Syria, of the kind [Jimmy] Carter has so
far proven woefully incapable of taking, might one day encourage the
kind of institution-building and civil society that would transform
today's Ba'athist dictatorship into a regime capable of making peace
with Israel.

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

I. "Is Hamas Going to Change its Spots?"

Military correspondent Amos Harel and Palestinian affairs
correspondent Avi Issacharoff wrote on page one of the independent,
left-leaning HaQaretz (12/15): QHamas marked the 21st anniversary of
its establishment by [Sheikh Ahmed] Yassin and a group of students,
with a 200,000-strong rally, according to Gaza reporters. The high
point was particularly repulsive, even for Hamas ceremonies.
Reenacting bus bombings has apparently gone out of fashion, but
Hamas found a replacement: a man dressed in an IDF uniform in the
role of Gilad Shalit missing his mother and father (in Hebrew).
Haniyeh and his aides watched this miserable performance from the
grandstand. From the television pictures they appeared undeservedly
smug. After all, they have not returned even one Palestinian
prisoner to his parents, two and a half years after Shalit's
abduction, while the PA has received more than 900 prisoners from
Israel in that time. The rally shows there is apparently nothing
much to the hope of quite a few people in Israel and the West that
Hamas is going to change its spots. Even now, Hamas continues
promising that Palestinian refugees will return to the homes they
lost in 1948, and that the war will go on until Israel is destroyed.
The Shalit element in the rally shows Hamas cannot offer its
supporters much except a good place in the next world.

II. "Repugnant Hamas"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (12/15):
QThe mass rally organized by Hamas in Gaza to celebrate its 21st
anniversary yesterday was a spectacle repulsive to Israelis. With
trademark cruelty, the gathering included a provocative Qplay
featuring a character dressed as captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit,
pleading in Hebrew for his freedom: QI miss my mom and dadQ.... But
the kind of Hamas callousness exemplified at yesterday's rally
should not only be repulsive to Israelis. It should give pause to
the whole world, and most especially to Hamas's co-religionists.
Commendably, most of the international community has resisted the
idea of legitimizing Hamas so long as it does not recognize Israel's
right to exist, abandon terrorism and accept previous
Israeli-Palestinian agreements. But the international community
sometimes loses track of the fact that the suffering in Gaza, as
Israel seeks to thwart the rocket attacks on its civilians, is a
consequence of Hamas's disinclination to meet those minimal
conditions. Even Israel's leaders have not always internalized the
impossibility of dealing with the bleak, unyielding Hamas. But
while Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and would-be Likud defense
minister Moshe Ya'alon have drawn criticism from the Qfree Shalit at
all costsQ supporters, their latest comments unfortunately make
belated good sense. Kadima leader Livni told high school students
in Tel Aviv last week that Qwe all want Gilad to come home, but
there is always the risk of minimum casualties and it isn't always
possible to bring everyone home.

III. "Syria, As It Is"
The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (12/14):
QWhen he met with Assad yesterday, [Jimmy] Carter should have kept
in mind the regime's insecure and vulnerable position. Some of that
insecurity is economic.... But most of Syria's weakness, which has
become ever more apparent since Bashar Assad assumed power in 2000,
is political. It was forced to withdraw from Lebanon, following the
assassination of Rafik Hariri in 2005. It has endured humiliating
incursions into its territory, like September 2007's strike on a
nuclear facility that North Korea was helping to equip.... Assad is
directly culpable for these events.... For all these reasons, now is
precisely not the time for Carter or anyone else to be kowtowing to
Assad, whose position is as tenuous as ever. There may be little
chance of peeling Syria away from its dangerous alliance with Iran.
But we can still hope that a strong Western position vis-`-vis
Syria, of the kind Carter has so far proven woefully incapable of
taking, might one day encourage the kind of institution-building and
civil society that would transform today's Ba'athist dictatorship
into a regime capable of making peace with Israel.

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

Summary:
--------

Veteran journalist and anchor Yaron London wrote in the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot: QThe public is far from
understanding that the threat of [sudden destruction] is the most
important test of its leaders, and it is omitting this test from the
considerations it is taking into account towards the election of the
next Knesset.

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

QUnder the Shadow of the Doomsday Weapon

Veteran journalist and anchor Yaron London wrote in the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (12/15): QWe have to get
used to living under the shadow of the threat of sudden
destruction.... The public is far from understanding that this is
the most important test of its leaders, and it is omitting this test
from the considerations it is taking into account towards the
election of the next Knesset. The horror is so great that most of
us prefer to repress it. The political leadership does not share
its thoughts with us because it does not want to alarm us, for fear
that a public discussion will reveal our weaknesses and because the
finest minds have not yet understood that we are in a state of
emergency. Everyone settles for voicing the slogan Qwe will not
accept nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran,Q knowing that at best,
this can be slightly delayed.

-------------------------
3. Global War on Terror:
-------------------------

Summary:
--------

Middle East affairs commentator Dr. Guy Bechor, a lecturer at the
Interdisciplinary Center, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist
Yediot Aharonot: Q[Palestinian] attacks strengthen Israel and the
power of its claims, and put the Palestinians, Hamas, and Hizbullah
into another context entirely -- not as a regional phenomenon, but
as part of a global terror attack.

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

"Do Not Water the Blossom of Evil"

Middle East affairs commentator Dr. Guy Bechor, a lecturer at the
Interdisciplinary Center, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist
Yediot Aharonot (12/14): QThe more the media cover terror attacks,
the more we encourage them.... The time has come to establish an
international constitution for the media for exactly these cases, in
order to reduce the achievements of Islamic terrorism, which has
already given us a feeling of loss of control on a global scale.
The media already understand that they are not a third party. They
play a central role in the show. Freedom of speech is a sacred
value until it encounters someone who uses it, cynically, for evil.
Freedom of speech must now protect itself. The Americans realized
that by themselves, and imposed strong censorship on the September
11 attacks. No corpse was shown on the screens, no names were
released, the funerals were not seen. Why? Because that is a world
power that takes both national morale and the rejoicing of the enemy
into account. We, on the other hand, are sometimes experts in
bringing ourselves to despair. The Islamic terror attacks have
nothing to do with the QoccupationQ or our conflict. This is an
attack on the values of the West, on freedom and on individualism.
This is also an attack upon Jews only because they are Jews. And
yet, there is some small comfort in shared trouble. Any shocking
international attack such as this improves the world's understanding
of Israel's situation, creates new solidarity, and deepens our
position within the bosom of the West. Those attacks strengthen
Israel and the power of its claims, and put the Palestinians, Hamas,
and Hizbullah into another context entirely -- not as a regional
phenomenon, but as part of a global terror attack.

CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: