Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2822/01 3521151
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171151Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9632
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 4750
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 1350
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 5162
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 5554
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4775
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 3202
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 5548
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 2389
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0614
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 9341
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6834
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 1776
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 5843
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7832
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 0672
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 1023
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002822

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:
--------------------------------

Mideast

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

Israel Radio reported that Israel welcomed the UN Security CouncilQs
resolution passed yesterday, which endorsed the Quartet strategy on
the Annapolis Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The media had
earlier cited IsraelQs reservations about the Annapolis process.
HaQaretz reported that PA President Mahmoud Abbas told Israeli
reporters in Ramallah yesterday that the PA will work with any
government elected in Israel, but that it must stick with the
Annapolis process and the Roadmap. Leading media reported that
Abbas pledged to thwart Hamas terror attacks in the West Bank after
the end of the truce.

Israel Radio reported that rockets continue to land in Israel.
HaQaretz reported that Ahaz Benari, the defense establishment's
legal adviser, recently told DM Ehud Barak that Israel should not
use artillery fire to target rocket-launching militants in Gaza if
the fire is aimed at populated areas. HaQaretz reported that over
recent days Hamas arrested members of smaller factions who launched
rockets at Israel.

All media reported that Kadima is holding its first-ever primary
today. Media expect low turnout.

Leading media quoted Syrian President Bashar Assad as saying that
there will be no peace without the Sea of GalileeQs northeast
corner. HaQaretz reported that an Israeli diplomat told HaQaretz
this week that Israel and Syria have both told Turkey that they are
not currently interested in conducting another round of indirect
talks. The diplomat was quoted as saying that Damascus and
Jerusalem explained that they are suspending the Turkish mediated
negotiations due to the political uncertainty in Israel. Turkish
officials were quoted as saying that they believed talks would be
resumed after Israel gets its new leader. The decision to shelve
the process did not invoke much protest from the Foreign Ministry,
where top diplomats have said they are unhappy with the way peace
talks have allowed Syria to break out of its isolation, despite its

classification as a state sponsor of terror.

The Jerusalem Post reported that a top-level German Foreign Ministry
delegation arrived Tuesday for a day of discussions that included a
new proposal from Berlin to step up sanctions against Tehran.

Media reported that journalist/satirist Ori Orbach is holding
contacts with the right-wing Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) party.
Media said that he has chances of being placed on the partyQs fourth
or fifth slot.

Citing the AP, HaQaretz quoted Dutch FM Maxime Verhagen as saying on
Dutch Radio that he will boycott the QDurban IIQ UN racism
conference if anti-Israel statements are not scrapped from draft
texts being drawn up for the meeting.

The Jerusalem Post and other media cited the results of a poll
conducted between November 26 and December 7 by both the Palestinian
Center for Policy Research in Ramallah and the Harry S. Truman
Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at Hebrew University
of Jerusalem according to which 66% of Palestinians support the Arab
peace imitative that calls for a full withdrawal to the pre-1967
borders, while only 36% of Israelis support the plan. When it came
to peace with Syria in exchange for the Golan, 63% of Israelis
opposed evacuating the area.

All media led with the accident of a tour bus carrying Russian
travel agents near Eilat. In the worst traffic accident in Israeli
history, 24 were killed and 31 wounded.


--------
Mideast:
--------

Summary:
--------


Eytan Haber, veteran op-ed writer and assistant to the late Prime
Minister Yitzhak Rabin, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist
Yediot Aharonot: QIf Obama decides to Qbreak the routine,Q Israel
will have to brace for Qcomplex and thornyQ days in relations with
the U.S.
The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: QWhile within
the Green Line, the government is cutting welfare services,
education, health and public housing, and shirking its
responsibility to its citizens, in [Qsettler realmQ] Judea a
glorious welfare state is flourishing.

Former Meretz leader Dr. Yossi Beilin wrote in the independent
Israel Hayom: QThe world is waiting for Obama, America is waiting
for Obama, there is a sense that the troubles can be tolerated in
the meantime -- because soon someone will come along who will know
what to do.

Diplomatic correspondent Herb Keinon wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post: QThe feeling in Jerusalem is that
neither [Brent Scowcroft nor Zbigniew Brzezinski] will have any
formal position, but will rather be in the capacity of Qwise elder
statesmenQ whose advice would be sought after on an ad hoc basis.

Columnist Michael Freund, who was an assistant to former prime
minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wrote in The Jerusalem Post: QInstead
of targeting Iran's illicit nuclear program, or Syria's nefarious
regime, the outgoing U.S. President has inexplicably chosen to
detonate a diplomatic device over the heads of all Israelis.

Liberal columnist Alexander Yakobson wrote in Ha'aretz: QIf Benjamin
Netanyahu forms the next government, the chance he'll be able to
deal with the challenge presented by the [Saudi] peace initiative in
a positive and creative way is just about zero.

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

I. "What Will Obama Do?"

Eytan Haber, veteran op-ed writer and assistant to the late Prime
Minister Yitzhak Rabin, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist
Yediot Aharonot (12/17): QIf Obama decides to continue the path of
his predecessors, a sigh of relief will be heard in the Oval
Office.... But if Obama decides to Qbreak the routine,Q Israel will
have to brace for Qcomplex and thornyQ days in relations with the
U.S., with the latter holding a whip and the ability to do with
Israel (almost) everything it fancies. Now a tense Israel can only
wait.

II. "His Mission Impossible -- The World Awaits Obama"

Former Meretz leader Dr. Yossi Beilin wrote in the independent
Israel Hayom (12/17): QWill [Obama] appoint a Middle East envoy?
Will it be Dan Kurtzer? Dennis Ross? Richard Holbrooke? Colin
Powell, or even Bill Clinton? Will four-five envoys be appointed,
with a super-envoy over them? Will the dialogue with Iran be held
before the elections there, or only afterwards? Will it indeed be
Syria first or will he want to quickly reach an Israeli-Palestinian
agreement? The former staff of the Clinton administration are busy
preparing foreign policy papers for the incoming president and
secretary of state, even if they admit that Obama's main
preoccupation will be the economic realm. They believe in his
ability to delegate authority to others and guide them in following
a plan in which he believes. Only Obama knows. The world is
waiting for Obama, America is waiting for Obama, there is a sense
that the troubles can be tolerated in the meantime -- because soon
someone will come along who will know what to do. Conversely, it is
clear to everyone that there are no magic solutions to the
deteriorating economy in the U.S, and around the world, to the
Iranian nuclear program or to the leaders in conflict regions who do
not believe in peace and will always find proper excuses to reject
it.... The United States prays that this indicates the ability to
perform an impossible mission, and the world prays along with it.

III. "Israel Watching ObamaQs Appointments to Find Out About the
Course of His Mideast Policy"

Diplomatic correspondent Herb Keinon wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post (12/17): QJerusalem is carefully watching
the posturing in Washington over top Middle East positions in the
new administration. Hoping this will provide clues into
President-elect Barack ObamaQs priorities.... QPeople like [Dennis]
Ross are seen as tougher on Iran, [a Jerusalem] source said. QPeople
like [Daniel] Kurtzer are seen as feeling that if you deal with the
Israeli-Palestinian situation. You could jump-start a dynamic that
could change the Middle East and also have a trickle-down effect on
IranQ.... The feeling in Jerusalem is that neither [Brent Scowcroft
nor Zbigniew Brzezinski] will have any formal position, but will
rather be in the capacity of Qwise elder statesmenQ whose advice
would be sought after on an ad hoc basis. [A U.S. official] said it
was likely that Clinton would take what U.S. Condoleezza Rice had
achieved in the Annapolis process and Qmake it her own.

IV. "BushQs December Surprise"
Columnist Michael Freund, who was an assistant to former prime
minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wrote in The Jerusalem Post (12/17):
QWith just a month left to go before he leaves office, George W.
Bush has decided to pull the trigger and drop a bomb on the Middle
East. Only instead of targeting Iran's illicit nuclear program, or
Syria's nefarious regime, the outgoing U.S. President has
inexplicably chosen to detonate a diplomatic device over the heads
of all Israelis. In a move that was said to have been Qpersonally
ledQ by Bush, diplomats from the 15 member nations of the UN
Security Council convened for an emergency session on Saturday to
discuss the text of a proposed resolution aimed at tying the hands
of Israel's next government. The draft resolution, which was slated
to be passed Tuesday, calls on Israel and the Palestinians to
continue to negotiate Qcore issuesQ such as dividing Jerusalem, even
after the present Israeli and Palestinian governments leave office
in 2009. Knowing full well that a new Israeli government, most
likely headed by Binyamin Netanyahu, will take power in February,
Bush prefers not to let the people of Israel decide their own fate.
Instead, he is attempting to impose a diplomatic straitjacket on
Israel's democracy by trying to compel the next government to
continue with the largely futile process of negotiating with the
Palestinian leadership. This is Bush's December surprise, a last
ditch and pitifully transparent effort on the president's part to
salvage what little remains of his once grandiose plans to establish
a Palestinian state.


V. QThe Flourishing State of Judea

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (12/17): QEven
if the Ariel University Center is interested in inflating the story
of the demographic and financial-social success of the settlements,
one would have to be blind not to see how the State of Judea has
been established alongside the State of Israel -- a golem that has
turned on its maker. And while within the Green Line, the
government is cutting welfare services, education, health and public
housing, and shirking its responsibility to its citizens, in Judea a
glorious welfare state is flourishing. That's because it is on the
pockets of the collapsing middle class that are providing the
settlers with wonderful infrastructure, a long school day, secure
transportation to school and extracurricular activities, state and
military security, extra social services personnel and other
benefits. Most settlers work for state institutions and enjoy tax
breaks. The declared standard of living makes no mention of the
danger level in the face of terror attacks. No wonder most of them
are so content.

VI. QWhereQs the Israeli Initiative?

Liberal columnist Alexander Yakobson wrote in Ha'aretz (12/17):
QPresident Shimon Peres tried recently in his contacts with Arab
leaders to formulate a positive and flexible position toward the
Saudi peace initiative. He praised the document, emphasized its
positive foundations and called for negotiations based on it,
without accepting all its sections in advance, including the
problematic part on refugees. This is exactly the position the
Israeli government should have adopted, but such a clear position
was never presented by the Kadima government. If Benjamin Netanyahu
forms the next government, the chance he'll be able to deal with the
challenge presented by the peace initiative in a positive and
creative way is just about zero. That's another reason to worry
about the political importance of the return of Netanyahu to
power.... The lack of an Israeli peace initiative will turn the
Saudi initiative in its present form into the Qonly game in town.
Every hint of moderation and pragmatism in the Arab world must be
answered in a positive way, without ruling out any proposals just
because they contain problematic components, but also without a
sweeping adoption of those principles and an attempt to deny their
existence.

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:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC