Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2893/01 3591130
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 241130Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9771
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 4775
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 1375
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 5203
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 5579
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4805
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 3234
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 5578
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 2416
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0641
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 9365
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6858
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 1802
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 5868
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7856
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 0696
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 1073
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002893

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

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

Major media led with a possible resumption of the cease-fire with
Hamas. HaQaretz quoted a senior Hamas official as saying in a
published interview that his organization would be willing to renew
its cease-fire with Israel without adding any new conditions.
Yediot quoted senior security officials who say that they have
discerned in the last two days what appears to be a change of heart
in Hamas's attitude towards a possible truce, citing as evidence the
decrease in rocket fire -- six Qassam rockets yesterday-out of the
Gaza Strip. However, over 60 missiles landed in Israel overnight
and this morning. HaQaretz reported that Israel, for its part,
agreed to open the border today to allow food and medicine to enter
Gaza, after days in which the crossings have been closed due to the
ongoing rocket fire from Gaza. Israel Radio reported that DM Ehud
Barak ordered not to transfer the goods today because of a volley of
rockets and mortar shells that fell on Netivot and the south of
Ashkelon this morning. The Jerusalem Post reported that yesterday
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak promised PA President Mahmoud Abbas
that he will step his efforts to renew the cease-fire. The
newspaper also reported that Mubarak is expected to warn FM Tzipi
Livni against a major military operation in Gaza when the two meet
in Cairo tomorrow. Maariv reported that cabinet ministers, former
Shin Bet heads, reserve generals, and senior defense officials are
calling upon the government to bring about the release of Gilad
Shalit in any cease-fire negotiations.

Media reported that three terrorists, who laid bombs at the
Israel-Gaza border yesterday, were killed by IDF forces. Israel
Radio reported that In the Khan Yunis region in southern Gaza, two
Hamas operatives were killed in the explosion of a bomb that they
were preparing.

HaQaretz quoted FM Livni as saying yesterday that Damascus must take
concrete steps to ensure any peace deal signed by Israel is worth
more than just the paper it is written on. The newspaper also
reported that senior State Department officials sent concerned
messages to their Israeli counterparts in recent months regarding
the negative effects an Israel-Syria peace deal could have on
Lebanese sovereignty. QDon't sell Lebanon to the Syrians," American
officials reportedly wrote. The Jerusalem Post quoted a senior GOI
sources as saying yesterday that Turkey is keen on putting a
Qmechanism" in place that would make direct Syrian-Israeli talks
possible before the February 10 Israeli elections. The source was
quoted as saying that the idea was to have a framework up and
working prior to the changing of the guard in the U.S. and Israel.

Yediot and other media reported that Likud Chairman Benjamin
Netanyahu is moving to an unrealistic spot on the Likud list Effie
Eitam, a right-wing leader who has left politics, in exchange for 12
million shekels (around $3.13 million) in his electoral budget.

Maariv reported that, following the security forcesQ raid on farm of
her father, Far-right activist Noam Federman, Yaska Federman has
become the first right-wing conscious objector.

HaQaretz reported that yesterday President Bush granted a pardonposthumously to Charles Winters, a non-Jewish Amerian who broke the
law to supply aircraft to Jews ighting in Israel's 1948 War of
Independence.
Yesterday the leading Internet news service Ynet rported that an
IDF soldier has been arrested forallegedly firing his gun during
settler riots in Hebron.

Globes reported that the American firm Hrmonic has bought the
Israeli company Scopus, whch is developing systems to transfer
digital video data, for $80 million. Globes and Israel Radio quoted
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. as saying yesterday that it
completed its $7.5 billion buyout of the American generic drug
manufacturer Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc.

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

Summary:
--------

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: QOutgoing
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's efforts to advance peace talks with
Syria are praiseworthy -- even if they are unlikely to lead to a
diplomatic agreement within the current government's few remaining
weeks in office.

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: QWhen it
comes to bilateral relations between Israel and Syria, however, it
is hard to lend credence to Olmert's efforts, especially with Israel
in the midst of an election campaign.

The ultra-Orthodox HamodiQa editorialized: QThis is about a prime
minister with a legal hunchback, who lends a hand to an Arab leader
who belongs -Q at least for now -Q to terrorist IslamQs Qaxis of
Evil.'

Senior diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote in HaQaretz (12/24):
QInstead of wasting time in futile polemics with Damascus, Israel
can recommend arbitration.

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

I. "Paving the Way"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (12/24):
QOutgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's efforts to advance peace
talks with Syria are praiseworthy -- even if they are unlikely to
lead to a diplomatic agreement within the current government's few
remaining weeks in office. Olmert has managed to revive the Syrian
track after eight years of stagnation, and will leave his successors
an active negotiating framework, via Turkish mediation. His
achievement is particularly remarkable given Israel's two military
confrontations in the north during his term: the Second Lebanon War,
fought against Syria's ally Hizbullah, and Israel's bombing of a
Syrian reactor in the summer of 2007. In both cases, Israel
enjoyed international support and Syria, seeking to extricate itself
from its international isolation, was forced to swallow its pride
after the destruction of its reactor and renew diplomatic contacts.
Olmert also risked a disagreement with the administration of U.S.
President George W. Bush, who opposes talks with the Syrians. In
recent months, Olmert has made it clear that he will try to advance
the diplomatic process until his last day in office. Thus he has
tried to preempt claims that as a resigning prime minister, he
cannot legitimately conduct peace talks and must not Qtie the hands
of the next governmentQ through understandings with the Palestinians
or the Syrians. Olmert is acting within his authority, and on the
assumption that he will not obtain an agreement, his moves do not
obligate his successors, but they will make it easier for them to
enter the diplomatic process.

II. "The Assad-Olmert QDialogueQ"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (12/24):
QWhen it comes to bilateral relations between Israel and Syria,
however, it is hard to lend credence to Olmert's efforts, especially
with Israel in the midst of an election campaign.... He should have
stressed that irrevocable strategic concessions by Israel on the
Golan could only be justified -- for the overwhelming majority of
Israelis - in return for a true opening of genuine peaceful
relations. Last April, though, Assad said that he would not
QimposeQ normalization with Israel on the Syrian people. If Assad
hasn't changed his mind about this, why isn't Olmert taking him to
task?.... Even Arab observers are interpreting Assad's chatter about
direct talks with Israel as intended to mislead President-elect
Barak Obama into believing Damascus genuinely seeks peace. If so,
Assad is following a well-thumbed Syrian script -- feigning
moderation while stoking violence, unwilling to pay the price of
peace yet anxious not to be ostracized for his intransigence.
Assad's approach is already paying off with some EU countries. Our
question is: Why should Ehud Olmert be smoothing his path?


III. "Diplomatic Coercion"

The ultra-Orthodox HamodiQa editorialized (12/24): QThe energetic
activity of the interim Prime Minster, to seal initial agreements
with the Syrian ruler, is inconsistent with diplomatic integrity.
If President Assad tries to receive from an interim prime minster
what he knows he wonQt get from a permanent prime minister, there is
no doubt that this is a diplomatic transgression. Assad apparently
knows the truth: This is about a prime minister with a legal
hunchback, who lends a hand to an Arab leader who belongs -Q at
least for now -Q to terrorist IslamQs Qaxis of Evil.'

IV. "Arbitration Now"
Senior diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote in HaQaretz (12/24):
QNow is the time to consider a new path [on the Syrian track].
Instead of wasting time in futile polemics with Damascus, Israel can
recommend arbitration. The talks would last a few years, during
which progress on other matters involved in a peace deal could be
made and Syrian credibility tested. Israel would then be portrayed
as a country respecting international rule of law and win valuable
public relations points. Syria's refusal based on the Qholding our
groundQ rationale would present its president, Bashar Assad, as a
refusenik of peace and Israel as righteous among the nations.
International arbitration has a successful precedent in the
Israel-Egypt peace process, in which the two sides transferred the
issue of Taba to review. Unlike the usual outcome today, the matter
was resolved in Israel's favor. In return for giving up the small
town on the Gulf of Aqaba, which was never Israel's, it received
territories in the central Negev and changes to the maritime border
near Eilat. And disputes over the exact border route did not
disrupt the deal being signed or carried out.

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

Summary:
--------

Diplomatic correspondent Barak Ravid wrote in the independent,
left-leaning HaQaretz: QIsraeli officials are hoping that Barack
Obama's presidency will Qrouse the world from its sleep.

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

"The Sanctions Are Not Working"

Diplomatic correspondent Barak Ravid wrote in the independent,
left-leaning HaQaretz (12/24): QFor more than a decade, Israel has
been trying to isolate Iran and push international sanctions against
Tehran in a bid to keep it from going nuclear. But now that Iran is
slightly more than a year away from crossing the technological
threshold that will allow it to become a nuclear power, according to
IDF Intelligence, the sanctions appear to be dying. The only point
of light on the Iran issue is the drop in oil prices and the global
financial crisis, say Israeli government officials. In addition to
being disappointed with Russia's conduct regarding the missiles,
Israel is also concerned about continued Russian assistance with
Iran's construction of its nuclear facility in Bushehr, and Russia's
indifference to the advanced state of Iran's nuclear program.... But
Russia isn't the only country with unwelcome news. Israeli
officials were eager to hear details about Germany's reported plan
for stronger sanctions against Iran, but when a German Foreign
Office official arrived in Israel, he said it was only an idea so
far, and wouldn't get off the ground for at least six months. Worse
still was the situation in Spain last week, where Foreign Minister
Miguel Moratinos rolled out the red carpet for Mehdi Safari, Iran's
deputy foreign minister for European affairs, and said Spain wanted
to improve ties with Iran. But for all the international
indifference to Iran's nuclear aspirations, some Israeli officials
are looking on the bright side.... Israeli officials are hoping that
Barack Obama's presidency will Qrouse the world from its sleep.
Despite some concern over the dialogue Obama is expected to hold
with Tehran, Israeli government officials see the predicted failure
of those talks as providing international legitimacy for far tougher
steps against Iran.

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