Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2903/01 3641118
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 291118Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9789
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 4782
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 1381
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 5212
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 5588
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 4814
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 3243
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 5587
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 2425
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0650
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 9371
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 6864
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 1811
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 5874
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7865
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 0702
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 1085
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002903

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. Gaza Operation

2. Mideast

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

Over the weekend all media led with the IAF strikes in Gaza, which
have killed over 300 Palestinians since Saturday (QOperation Cast
LeadQ). The latest developments on Sunday were strikes at 40
tunnels along the Philadelphi Corridor as the defense establishment
received approval to call up 6,700 reservists and that it considered
sending ground forces deep into Gaza to burn down and destroy Hamas
infrastructure. The Jerusalem Post reported that the IAF used a new
bunker-buster that it received from the U.S. -- GBU-39 -- in strikes
against Hamas targets. Many observers noted the paucity of Qassam
rockets on Saturday and Sunday, yet on Saturday an Israeli was
killed in a Qassam rocket strike in Netivot. Also, on Monday
morning Israel Radio reported that in Ashkelon an Arab worker was
killed and several other people wounded in a Grad rocket strike.
Yediot cited the claim of FM Tzipi LivniQs associates that DM Ehud
Barak is trying to belittle her role in the operation.

The media reported on protests in East Jerusalem, Israeli Arab
towns, the Arab world, and around the world. Gordon D. Johndroe, a
White House spokesman, was quoted as saying that Hamas was
responsible for the outbreak of violence and called its rocket
attacks Qcompletely unacceptable. These people are nothing but
thugs,Q he said. QIsrael is going to defend its people against
terrorists like Hamas.Q Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued
a statement that said: QThe United States strongly condemns the
repeated rocket and mortar attacks against Israel and holds Hamas
responsible for breaking the cease-fire and for the renewal of
violence in Gaza. The cease-fire should be restored immediately.
The United States calls on all concerned to address the urgent
humanitarian needs of the innocent people of Gaza.Q Israel Radio
quoted David Axelrod, President-elect Barack ObamaQs senior adviser,
as saying on CBS-TVQs QFace the NationQ yesterday: QThe fact is that
there is only one president at a time.
Leading media quoted Egyptian TV as saying that Gilad Shalit was
injured during an Israeli attack. Yediot and other media quoted
Israeli sources as saying that this may be psychological warfare.

The Jerusalem Post quoted senior Israeli diplomatic officials as
saying that Israel is feeling Qno real pressureQ and that the amount
of time the international community will sit relatively quietly on
the sidelines depends on how things develop.

Leading media reported that this morning an Arab worker stabbed and
wounded four people, one of them seriously, in the settlement of
Kiryat Sefer. Israel Radio reported that HamasQs TV station urged
Egyptian and Jordanian workers to leave their workplaces in Israel.
The radio links the call to previous Hamas statements that it would
resume suicide bombings.

-------------------
1. Gaza Operation:
-------------------

Summary:
--------

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: QIsrael is
entitled to exercise its right to self-defense, including via
offensive measures. But it must not overreach on the ground.

Yoav Limor, the military correspondent of Israel TV, wrote in the
independent Israel Hayom: QHamas yesterday paid the first price for
its sin of hubris, and its erroneous assessment of Israel and its
tolerance. Now Israel needs to be careful.

Arab affairs correspondent Smadar Perry wrote in the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot: QThe big idea, if it
succeeds, is to pave the way for the Palestinian President back into
Gaza.... But Abu Mazen cannot afford to return to Gaza on the
turrets of IDF tanks.

Liberal columnist Yael Paz-Melamed wrote in the popular, pluralist
Maariv: Q[The PalestiniansQ] terrible suffering is always translated
into stronger hate for Israel and adds to their instinct of
revenge.

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: Q[The
Islamists] may give Israel no choice but to topple their
administration.... Hamas must be stopped. And the civilized world
must help stop it.

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

I. "Defend, DonQt Invade"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (12/29):
QIsrael must adhere to the outline of Operation Cast Lead thus far,
eschewing any major invasion that will end in occupation, a military
administration and months (if not years) of fighting the local
forces who will inevitably oppose the occupiers.... Reestablishing
the cease-fire on better terms and with better supervision is a
reasonable goal. Toppling the Hamas regime, or eradicating the last
rocket factory where the last Hamas member is making the last Qassam
rocket, are not reasonable goals, in part because they are
unachievable without a prolonged presence on the ground in Gaza....
The initial aerial assault should lead to a diplomatic move whose
goal is a genuine cessation of fire and the return of Gilad Shalit,
without any winking or excuses by Hamas. Israel is entitled to
exercise its right to self-defense, including via offensive
measures. But it must not overreach on the ground.

II. "The Price of HamasQs Hubris"

Yoav Limor, the military correspondent of Israel TV, wrote in the
independent Israel Hayom (12/28): QHamas yesterday paid the first
price for its sin of hubris, and its erroneous assessment of Israel
and its tolerance. Now Israel needs to be careful not to err in
terms of what Operation Cast Lead is capable of yielding. The Prime
Minister and Defense Minister cautiously avoided setting lofty
goals, such as an end to the rocket fire on Israel.... HamasQs chain
of command was severed; its leaders (those who were not hurt) went
underground; its activists were afraid to get out into the field in
fear that they would be picked off. But all of that applied
yesterday; today is another day and, from HamasQs perspective, it
needs to be a day of revenge and restored pride.... Just one more
warning: The military operation alone isnQt truly going to change
the situation in the south. It will create a platform, an
opportunity, deterrence; but it cannot create a political
arrangement. To that end the government is going to have to operate
immediately in conjunction with the sane elements within the
Palestinian Authority, with the Egyptians and Jordanians, with the
U.S., Europe, and the UN. Ultimately, that is what will give the
IDF the space necessary to achieve the unstated goals, providing
Israel with an opportunity to achieve a real change in the reality
that reigns in the south.

III. "The Flush in Hamas's Cheek"

Arab affairs correspondent Smadar Perry wrote in the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (12/29): QThe big idea,
if it succeeds, is to pave the way for the Palestinian President
back into Gaza. The Air Force is bombing the Hamas security
headquarters two week before the end of Abu Mazen's term. Nobody,
not even the best of the pollsters, can guess the
results of the election, if elections are even held, but Abu Mazen
cannot afford to return to Gaza on the turrets of IDF tanks....
Ultimately, as we've learned, we will return to the point of origin.
The Mubarak punching bag will deflate and Egypt will again conduct
the negotiations. The question is if Israel wants to return to a
limited truce that is liable to blow up again, or should it strive
for a more in-depth discussion and seek creative solutions.

IV. "Within the Warm Belly of the Consensus"

Liberal columnist Yael Paz-Melamed wrote in the popular, pluralist
Maariv (12/29): QThe warn consensus does not allow us to show
empathy to the suffering of the other side.... Mothers who are
bemoaning their children, elderly, fathers, and innocent civilians
are paying the price of HamasQs careless cruelty.... At least we
should know that [this pain] exists.... This is a moral issue, which
also has a practical side: Their terrible suffering is always
translated into stronger hate for Israel and adds to their instinct
of revenge. The more we think about the innocent civilian
population and try to minimize its suffering, the better things will
be for us, too.

V. QA Time to Fight

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (12/28):
QThe IDF's mission is not to bring down the Hamas regime, but to
bring quiet to the South. In a sense we are asking Hamas to stop
being Hamas. The Islamists need to decide whether they want to go
down in flames or are prepared to take on the responsibilities that
come with control over the Strip. They may give Israel no choice
but to topple their administration.... The formula for purchasing
the affection of those who suffer from moral relativism is
sickeningly clear: If one Jew is killed, we get very little piety.
If, heaven forbid, an Israeli kindergarten was to take a direct hit
-- Israel might, temporarily, gain the sympathy of news anchors from
Paris to London to Madrid. At that price we would rather forgo
their sympathy. Nevertheless, we expect our diplomats to work 24/7
to make Israel's case to the international community. Foreign
Minister Tzipi Livni has begun that process. In an English-language
address she said, QEnough is enoughQ -- Israel would not continue to
absorb rockets, mortars and bullets without retaliating. At this
newspaper, we wonder how an international community that can't bring
itself to explicitly support Israel's operation against the most
intransigent of Muslim fanatics expects to play a positive role in
facilitating peace in this region. Hamas must be stopped. And the
civilized world must help stop it.

------------
2. Mideast:
------------

Summary:
--------

Washington correspondent Natasha Mozgovaya wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: QThis conflict does not lack marketing or
attention, but this is a double-edged sword: The world has had
enough of it, and small public-relations victories do not bring a
solution closer in a situation where time works to no one's
benefit.

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

"A Moment before Stepping into the Quicksand"

Washington correspondent Natasha Mozgovaya wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (12/29): QWhile work is underway to market the
conflict to the new U.S. president in the new wrapping of the
Annapolis process, Israel has more urgent things to do. There is
Gaza, there are elections. Sources in the Israeli Embassy in
Washington say that at the top of the agenda of issues requiring
urgent American attention is Iran as a multidimensional threat, and
at this stage it seems simpler to reach an agreement with Syria. It
seems Abbas can wait. The question is, to what extent the new U.S.
administration will want to be the new kindergarten teacher and
persuade the parties that the United States is a friend to both. If
the Bush ideology is to be replaced with a promotion of American
interests, America will not neglect the conflict that endangers the
stability of a region important to it. But the new President has no
reason to risk his prestige in a hasty involvement in a peace
process that has tripped up a number of his predecessors.... The
process may be upgraded by promoting an atmosphere of peace in the
region through the Arab countries. This conflict does not lack
marketing or attention, but this is a double-edged sword: The world
has had enough of it, and small public-relations victories do not
bring a solution closer in a situation where time works to no one's
benefit.

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