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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2816/01 3511138
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 161138Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9621
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 4744
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 1344
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 5156
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 5548
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4769
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 3195
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 5542
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 2383
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0608
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 9335
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6828
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 1770
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 5837
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7826
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 0666
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 1016
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002816

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. Iraq

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

Israel Radio quoted Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as saying
that important progress had been made in the talks between Israel
and the Palestinians even though the goal of an agreement this year
had not been met. After a meeting of the Quartet at the UN, Rice
said that Israel and the Palestinians had discussed, for the first
time in a decade, the core issues. The radio reported that UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised, in his words of farewell for
Secretary Rice, the efforts of the Bush administration to promote
the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and called for
them to continue. Ban was quoted as saying he expected
president-elect Barack Obama to support the effort to reach an
agreement that would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian
state alongside Israel. Israel Radio reported that foreign
ministers from members of the UN Security Council will meet this
evening to approve the principles of the direct negotiations between
Israel and the Palestinians based on the Annapolis process.

Israel Radio reported that representatives of the Quartet declared
yesterday that there would be no retreat from the peace process
between Israel and the Palestinians. They praised the continuation
of talks between Israel and the Palestinians in order to establish a
Palestinian state alongside Israel in peace and security. The
Quartet's representatives condemned the attacks on Israel and urged
the Palestinians to dismantle the terror organizations. They also
urged Israel to freeze the settlements and to restrain radical
settlers. The Quartet's representatives expressed concern about the
siege on the Gaza Strip and demanded that humanitarian aid to the
residents not be affected.

Leading media reported that yesterday President Bush extended his
warmest greetings to the Jewish people during a Chanukah
candle-lighting ceremony.
The Jerusalem Post and Israel Radio reported that Richard Falk, the
UNQs Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian
Territories, was barred from entering Israel on Sunday after the
Foreign Ministry charged him with Qlegitimizing Hamas terrorismQ and
Qdrawing shameful comparisons to the Holocaust.

The Jerusalem Post quoted former ambassador to the U.S. Danny Ayalon
as saying yesterday that U.S. President-elect Barak Obama and his
designated secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, could support an
exchange of territories and populations in the West Bank as part of
an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Ayalon is seeking
a Knesset seat with Avigdor LiebermanQs Yisrael Beiteinu.

The Jerusalem Post reported that dozens of Bedouin citizens were
made homeless after an unrecognized village was razed by the Israel
Land Administration, days after a state-appointed commission
recommended that many unrecognized villages be accepted as legal.

Maariv quoted a senior Israel Prisons Service officer as saying that
unlike Gilad Shalit, Palestinians enjoy particularly favorable jail
conditions. The media quoted PA President Mahmoud Abbas as saying
that the Palestinians will not give up on the release of all
prisoners and IsraelQs withdrawal.

Major media reported that Israeli stocks and NGOs are losing/might
lose dozens of millions of dollars from Bernard MadoffQsQ fraud.

Leading media reported that yesterday Hizbullah Secretary General
Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah called on his supporters to lift the siege
on Gaza.

HaQaretz reported that Israel plans to send one of its most senior
security officials -- the head of the Defense Ministry's
Diplomatic-Security Bureau. Maj. Gen. (res) Amos Gilad --- to Moscow
tomorrow to express concern over Russia's decision to renew contacts
with Iran for the sale of advanced anti-aircraft missiles.

Electronic media reported that last night in Al-Yamun (West Bank),
northeast of Jenin, IDF troops killed an Islamic Jihad militant.

The Jerusalem Post reported that in February the Israeli-made Heron
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle will make its debut in Afghanistan as the
main surveillance drone for the Canadian Armed Forces.

HaQaretz and Israel Radio reported that after expressing
contradictory positions on Sunday, Hamas's leadership on Monday
adopted a united stance: The cease-fire with Israel, which expires
this Friday, will not be extended. Media reported that rockets have
landed on the western Negev this morning. Major media cited a claim
by Israeli security officials that Iran has been applying heavy
pressure on Hamas not to renew the truce agreement with Israel. The
Jerusalem Post quoted Israeli defense officials as saying yesterday
that Iran is replacing Egypt as the main influence on Hamas.

Yediot reported that around a month ago n New York President Shimon
Peres and FM Tzipi Livni secretly met with Bahrain King Hamad bin
Isa al-Khalifa.

HaQaretz reported that yesterday Supreme Court President Dorit
Beinisch blasted the government for having failed to move a section
of the separation fence as required by a court ruling issued 15
months ago, and ordered it to do so with no further delay.

Major media reported that the Jewish population of the West Bank has
grown three times as fast as the general Israeli population over the
last decade, according to a 2007 statistical yearbook published by
the Ariel University Center of Samaria (northern West Bank]) in
conjunction with the Samaria and Jordan Valley regional councils.
The lion's share of the settlements' growth stems from a high
birthrate: However, settlers still accounted for only 3.8% of the
total Israeli population at the end of 2007, and 4.9% of the Jewish
population.

Gen. William Fallon, who in March 2008 resigned as CENTCOM Commander
was quoted as saying in an interview with Yediot that, like in Iraq,
change will be effected in Gaza by a combination of military means
and dialogue.

Yediot reported that the U.S. administration has conveyed to Israel
a list of demands whose acceptance will allow Israel to joint the
Visa Waiver Program. The newspaper quoted Interior Minister Meir
Sheetrit as saying that most demands are just and to the point.

HaQaretz reported that yesterday the Jerusalem District Court
indicted a West Bank settler -Q the son of the spokeswoman of the
Jewish community of Hebron -- on charges of kidnapping and
assaulting a Palestinian minor.

Leading media reported that veteran journalist Gideon Reicher is
joining the PensionersQ Party as the second person on the Knesset
E
list.

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported that yesterday Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi
Yona Metzger met with convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, who told him
that he has great expectation from President Bush and that he hoped
to be released soon.

HaQaretz reported that birthright israel, the popular initiative
offering young Jews free trips to Israel, may be unable to pay for
thousands of such trips in the summer of 2009, due to the financial
meltdown of its largest donor. A $20-million pledge to the group
from casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is now in question.

All mainstream Hebrew-language newspapers led with investigations by
the Health Ministry of the sudden deaths of four toddlers over the
past month.

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

Summary:
--------

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: QIt seems as
though there is no alternative other than to continue the lull and
to dig up from the rubble of history the series of understandings
reached with Hamas in June via Egyptian mediation.

Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote in Ha'aretz: QNetanyahu
will have only one problem: The international community will view
him as responsible for the freeze, and will therefore try to
pressure him.

The nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe editorialized: QThe
Hamas government must take care to return the abducted soldier to
his family, with no connection to a cease-fire agreement.


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

I. "Extend the Truce"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (12/16): QOn
Friday, the Gaza cease-fire will officially expire. On the face of
it, there should be no doubt about it -- the lull has in any case
evaporated.... [However], at present, it seems as though there is no
alternative other than to continue the lull and to dig up from the
rubble of history the series of understandings reached with Hamas in
June via Egyptian mediation. In another two months, a new
government is expected to emerge in Israel, which will have to
decide on a policy toward Hamas. In another month, when Mahmoud
Abbas's term in office comes to an end, there is liable to be an
upheaval in the Palestinian government. Under these circumstances,
it would be better to refrain from causing unnecessary uproar in
Gaza by embarking on operations that are liable to further
complicate Israel's position, particularly among residents of the
western Negev. Empty, threatening slogans certainly do not
constitute an alternative to a carefully thought-out decision, which
must be made as soon as possible.

II. "Now ItQs All or Nothing"

Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote in Ha'aretz (12/16): QThe
stances taken by Netanyahu and Abbas pose a dilemma for the new
administration in Washington. President-elect Barack Obama and
Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton are committed to a
two-state solution, but they will discover that any attempt to
conclude a final-status agreement quickly is doomed to failure....
As far back as 1995, Yossi Beilin opined that the leftist government
had to achieve Qmaximum peaceQ before the next election, lest Likud
take power and halt the peace process. This is the third time since
then that Likud has been poised to return to power. But just like
the previous two times, this time, too, it will apparently enjoy
freedom of action in managing the diplomatic process. Netanyahu
will have only one problem: The international community will view
him as responsible for the freeze, and will therefore try to
pressure him.

III. "The Return of Shalit Even without a Resumption of Calm"

The nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe editorialized
(12/16): QIsrael ... is trying to apply pressure on Hamas to extend
the [lull], but to no avail. According to the Defense Minister,
Gilad Shalit is a reason to prefer calm over a wide-ranging
operation. The Hamas government must take care to return the
abducted soldier to his family, with no connection to a cease-fire
agreement. If not, Israel will continue to abide by its commitments
to the Palestinians, regardless of whether or not there is a
cease-fire agreement.

---------
2. Iraq:
---------

Summary:
--------

Arab affairs correspondent Smadar Perry wrote in the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot: QBush is hated in Iraq
almost the way Saddam was. But it will be hard to uproot, even by
force, democracy, which he established in Iraq and has perhaps been
the occupationQs only achievement.

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

"BushQs Shoes"

Arab affairs correspondent Smadar Perry wrote in the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (12/16): QThe hurling of
the shoes tells the story of the new Iraq: When SaddamQs statue
broke into pieces, the masses took off their shoes to strike the
hated dictator. A year later BushQs images were trampled upon and
the Stars and Stripes was defiled with dirty shoes. Bush is hated
in Iraq almost the way Saddam was. But it will be hard to uproot,
even by force, democracy, which he established in Iraq and has
perhaps been the occupationQs only achievement.

CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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