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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 TEL AVIV 006655

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD

WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
NSC FOR NEA STAFF

JERUSALEM ALSO FOR ICD
LONDON ALSO FOR HKANONA AND POL
PARIS ALSO FOR POL
ROME FOR MFO
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: IS KMDR MEDIA REACTION REPORT
SUBJECT: ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION


--------------------------------
SUBJECTS COVERED IN THIS REPORT:
--------------------------------

Mideast

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

The tsunami disaster continued to dominat all major
media. The Israeli angle: 22 Israelis are still
reported as missing.

Jerusalem Post quotes Industry, Trade and Labor
Minister Ehud Olmert as saying that Israel will need to
carry out a large-scale withdrawal from the West Bank
after the initial disengagement from the Gaza Strip.
According to Olmert, this should happen whether or not
there is a viable peace partner on the Palestinian
side. Kol Israel cited sources in PM Sharon's bureau
as saying that they reject Olmert's talks about another
disengagement and that the only plan that PM Sharon is
obliged to follow is the road map.

All media reported that Defense Ministry Director-
General Amos Yaron refused to provide details on the
rift between the defense establishment and the Pentagon
over Israel's weapons deal with China in the Knesset
Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting on
Wednesday. His refusal caused a storm among the
members of the committee and some left the meeting in
protest. Jerusalem Post reported that China's senior
foreign policy official, State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan,
has told the U.S. to stay out of its Harpy drone
aircraft deal with Israel.

Ha'aretz reported that the cabinet will view the new
fence route after the PA elections. The paper notes
that the route's approval might spark a conflict
between Israel and the new Palestinian leadership as it
penetrates deeply into the West Bank.

Israel Radio this morning reported that the IDF has
started an operation in the Khan Yunis refugee camp in
the southern Gaza Strip in order to halt mortar and
missile fire at settlements. Three Palestinian
militants were killed during the operation.

Leading media reported that according to IDF figures
released on Wednesday, 118 Israelis were killed in the
war with the Palestinians in 2004, 445 fewer than in
the previous year.

The media reported that a new coalition is unlikely to
be established next week due to difficulties in
negotiations with United Torah Judaism and the Knesset
Constitution, Law and Justice committee's ongoing
discussions on the so-called Peres bill. Maariv
reported that 13 Likud members sent a letter in which
they announced that they will not support the
government.
Leading media reported that according to a new law that
was passed by the Knesset on Wednesday, anyone who
gives money to the family of someone who committed a
terror attack will be considered a terrorist financer
and face a prison sentence of 7 to 10 years.

Jerusalem Post reported that a group of anti-
disengagement MKs proposed that Jews and Israelis
abroad have the right to vote in the Israeli elections.

Leading media reported that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
met with the IDF Brigade Commanders Forum on Wednesday.
In the meeting the PM was told that the settlers are
preparing for a fight during the implementation of the
disengagement plan.

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

Summary:
--------

Columnist Ari Shavit wrote in left-leaning, independent
Ha'aretz: "The Israeli determination to disengage and
the Palestinian readiness to change make the year 2005
a year of rare opportunity. In order to capitalize on
this opportunity, however, we have to move from
politics to diplomacy. We must domesticate the wild
idea of the disengagement and make it into part of an
overall Israeli plan."

Nationalist writer Uri Dan commented in popular,
pluralist Maariv: "Suicide terrorists still stand
waiting, willing to try and flood Israel with new waves
of terror, and only the GSS and the IDF are stopping
them. Whoever believes that Abu Mazen and his gang
will block these trends in 2005 is deluding himself and
his people ... Eventually he will be overwhelmed by
these waves just like in Phuket."

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

1. "Year of Truth"

Columnist Ari Shavit wrote in left-leaning, independent
Ha'aretz (December 30): "The two events that best
define the outgoing year took place toward its end: On
Tuesday, October 26, the Israeli parliament adopted the
disengagement plan, and on Monday, November 12, the
Palestinian people buried Yasser Arafat. In so doing,
within a span of 20 days or so, the face of the country
was changed, as was the face of the Middle East. The
Jewish national movement decided in organized and
democratic fashion to begin the long process of ending
the occupation, while the Palestinian national movement
separated in spontaneous, chaotic and perhaps temporary
fashion from the ethos of terror of its founder. In so
doing, without us even noticing, the war as we knew it
ended. In so doing, without us having even rendered
our opinion, a new peace process was launched.... The
Israeli determination to disengage and the Palestinian
readiness to change make the year 2005 a year of rare
opportunity. In order to capitalize on this
opportunity, however, we have to move from politics to
diplomacy. We must domesticate the wild idea of the
disengagement and make it into part of an overall
Israeli plan."

2. "The Year of the Tsunami"

Nationalist writer Uri Dan commented in popular,
pluralist Maariv (December 30): "There is no reason to
party: 2005 is going, most probably, to be the year of
the tsunami, internationally, regionally and locally.
The waves of terror and war will threaten the lives of
innocent people the same way the waves of the sea took
the lives of thousands of people from Indonesia up to
Somalia.... The Palestinian tsunami: it seeps and
breaks through the smuggling tunnels to the Gaza
Strip.... Suicide terrorists still stand waiting,
willing to try and flood Israel with new waves of
terror, and only the GSS and the IDF are stopping them.
Whoever believes that Abu Mazen and his gang will block
these trends in 2005 is deluding himself and his people
... Eventually he will be overwhelmed by these waves
just like in Phuket."
KURTZER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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