Search

 

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 06 TEL AVIV 002294

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

1. Bush-Sharon Meeting

2. U.S.-China-Israel Relations

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

Ha'aretz reported that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
presented President Bush with the latest Israeli
intelligence assessments of Iran's nuclear weapons
program and called on Bush to step up the diplomatic
efforts to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear
bomb. The Iranian issue was the main point of Monday's
discussion during the lunch Bush served at his ranch to
Sharon and the Israeli officials who accompanied him.
Yediot Aharonot reported that in a meeting with Vice
President Cheney, Sharon called on the U.S. to initiate
UN sanctions against Iran.

Isreal Radio at 07:00 AM cited Israeli Ambassador to
the United States Danny Ayalon as downplaying the
disagreements that emerged between Sharon and President
Bush, saying that many achievements were made during
the visit and that Washington's agreement to help with
the development of the Galilee and the Negev is only
one example. He told the radio that the US
administration and Israel expect Abu Mazen to meet his
commitments in accordance with the road map.

Ha'aretz followed up on Foreign Minister Silvan
Shalom's visit to Egypt, in which he yesterday
presented Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak with a new
Israeli road map for peace with Arab and Muslim states.
According to Shalom, Israel will launch diplomatic ties
with seven states; though the names of those states
were not mentioned, they are believed to be mainly
North African and Gulf states. The Egyptian response
to the proposal was cool, noting that while Arab
countries were free to do as they liked, the Arab peace
initiative offers Israel full normalization with all
Arab countries in exchange for a withdrawal from
Palestinian territories. The sides agreed to create a
panel headed by the Israeli and Egyptian foreign
ministers to deal with outstanding matters between the
two states. Later, on TV Channel 10, Shalom complained
about press leaks that made Chad decide not to
establish diplomatic ties this year with Israel.

In economic news, Ha'aretz covered the visit by Deputy
Prime Minister and Trade Minister Ehud Olmert to Japan,
saying Israel has asked Japan to consider negotiating a
free trade area agreement. Olmert proposed the idea to
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at a meeting
yesterday in Tokyo. According to Olmert, a free trade
agreement would significantly increase economic
cooperation and trade between Israel and Japan.

Ha'aretz cited Palestinian sources as saying that PA
President Mahmud Abbas issued an order this week
forbidding the commanders of the PA's security services
from meeting with foreigners, including Israelis and
Americans, without explicit permission from PA Interior
Minister Nasser Yusuf. The order was issued against
the background of mounting mutual suspicion between
Yousef and some of the security chiefs who believe he
plans to replace them.

Ha'aretz reported that, speaking during a tour of the
Erez Crossing to the Gaza Strip, Defense Minister Mofaz
said there will be no Palestinian laborers in Israel by
2008, as funds from donor countries will help the PA
develop an autonomous economy that will provide most of
the jobs there.

Ha'aretz reported that Police Commissioner Moshe Karadi
will visit Jordan today for a series of meetings with
his counterparts in Amman. The meetings, arranged
several days ago, have remained under wraps at the
request of the hosts. Karadi and the Jordanian officers
will discuss the cooperation between both countries'
police forces.

-----------------------
1. Bush-Sharon Meeting:
-----------------------

Summary:
--------

Left-leaning, independent Ha'aretz editorialized: "In
Texas on Monday, George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon marked
out the furthest borders that any Israeli prime
minister can dream of."

Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote from Texas in
left-leaning, independent Ha'aretz: "Despite the good
intentions, the results only emphasized and highlighted
the basic difference between the two leaders.... That
gap is worrisome.... Nonetheless, maybe it was good he
[Sharon] went to Texas, just to hear from the horse's
mouth where Bush wants to go, and thus learn how deep
the differences run between them."

Washington-based correspondent Orli Azulay-Katz opined
in mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "Above
all, the U.S. President made it clear that friendship
is important. The problem is that Bush's current
interest is to show the Arab world and Europe that he
is not in Sharon's pocket."

Veteran op-ed writer and the late prime minister
Yitzhak Rabin's assistant Eytan Haber opined in the
lead editorial of mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot
Aharonot: "But perhaps the fact that the settlements
and the disengagement plan were in the limelight was
meant to distract attention from the real issue
discussed on the Texas prairies: the Iranian nuclear
threat. This is the real issue that should be on the
world's agenda.... Far-sighted leaders must start
thinking what to do, and do it."
Block Quotes:
-------------

1. "The Borders Were Marked in Texas"

Left-leaning, independent Ha'aretz editorialized (April
13): "In Texas on Monday, George W. Bush and Ariel
Sharon marked out the furthest borders that any Israeli
prime minister can dream of.... It's doubtful Israel
will ever find a friendlier president than Bush, and
one more combative toward its enemies.... From Bush's
statement it is clear that there is a connection
between tactic and strategy in American policy. The
final goal is to achieve an agreement between the
sides, and movement toward that goal will proceed
according to the road map. Israel's first step is
evacuating Gaza and the northern Samaria area. The
first Palestinian step is a constant, thorough and
effective campaign against terror. Bush dictated to
Sharon some commandments of the 'thou shalt not'
variety: do not expand settlements, do not leave the
outposts in place and do not beef up existing
settlements."

2. "Bush is from Mars, Sharon is from Venus"

Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote from Texas in
left-leaning, independent Ha'aretz: "It is difficult
to describe a pair more different from one another than
George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon.... The invitation to
Sharon to visit Bush's estate was meant to appear to be
the peak of their closeness and intimacy.... But
despite the good intentions, the results only
emphasized and highlighted the basic difference between
the two leaders.... That gap is worrisome. Either
Sharon does not plan to reach 'the day after,' or he
expects the world to wait on the sidelines 'until the
Palestinians become Finns,' without any demands of
Israel to progress. That trick worked in the days of
Yasser Arafat. It is difficult to repeat with Mahmoud
Abbas, an American favorite. They regard him as the
last Palestinian with whom they can work, and therefore
it is important he succeed. Sharon found it difficult
to say what he could do to help strengthen the
Palestinian chairman. It raises the question of why
Sharon even bothered to make the trip all the way to
Crawford. What did he expect to achieve there? He did
not resolve the dispute with the administration over
the construction in the settlement blocs, he only
sharpened it. He did not strengthen the Bush promise
from last year, about the blocs being annexed to Israel
in the future. His demand that the road map be
postponed until terror is uprooted was not accepted.
Nonetheless, maybe it was good he went to Texas, just
to hear from the horse's mouth where Bush wants to go,
and thus learn how deep the differences run between
them. Bush is from Mars, Sharon is from Venus."

3. "Disputed Visit"

Washington-based correspondent Orli Azulay-Katz opined
in mass-circulation, pluralist Yedi'ot Aharonot:
"Sharon understood full well what the president said
(three times) during the press conference in the ranch.
He demanded sharply and clearly from the Israeli
government not to expand the settlements. Sharon stood
at his side and emphasized that he seeks to establish
territorial contiguity between Maale Adumim and
Jerusalem. This was not the only disputed issue during
the meeting in Texas: Sharon tried to sell Abu Mazen to
Bush as the bad boy of the Middle East. Bush was not
buying it.... The third dispute touched on the
implementation of the road map: Bush sees the
disengagement from Gaza as the beginning of the
implementation of the road map, and demands that Sharon
move on to the next stage after the implementation of
disengagement. Sharon is opposed.... Above all, the
U.S. President made it clear that friendship is
important. The problem is that Bush's current interest
is to show the Arab world and Europe that he is not in
Sharon's pocket."

4. "Welcome Back"

Veteran op-ed writer and the late prime minister
Yitzhak Rabin's assistant Eytan Haber opined in the
lead editorial of mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot
Aharonot (April 13): "In the Prime Minister's Office
jargon, Sharon's recent U.S. visit is described as 'a
maintenance trip.' Both Jerusalem and Washington need
a few meetings each year to 'refuel' their relations,
update, and consult each other. The price of that is,
sometimes, presenting the disagreements, as indeed
happened in Texas two days ago. There is nothing
special in the fact that Sharon was invited to Bush's
private ranch. Reports on a wonderful friendship in
the wake of this private invite were exaggerated. More
than it shows friendliness, it reflects the President's
healthy way of life: this is a time to rest before the
upcoming summer vacation.... Judging from remarks made
in Texas, it does not look like Bush danced with joy
when he heard Sharon speak of 'settlement blocs' and
personally did not repeat this definition, which Sharon
deems important.... But perhaps the fact that the
settlements and the disengagement plan were in the
limelight was meant to distract attention from the real
issue discussed on the Texas prairies: the Iranian
nuclear threat. This is the real issue that should be
on the world's agenda.... Far-sighted leaders must
start thinking what to do, and do it."

-------------------------------
2. U.S.-China-Israel Relations:
-------------------------------

Summary:
-------

Senior military correspondent Ze'ev Schiff wrote in
left-leaning, independent Ha'aretz: "The people in
charge of managing the negotiations in the difficult
dispute with the Pentagon over the sale of defense
supplies to China should internalize what happened
recently between Washington and some European countries
on the same issue.... The U.S. relationship with China
is like an elephant path from which it is best to stay
away."
Block Quotes:
-------------

"Stay off the U.S.-China Elephant Path"

Senior military correspondent Ze'ev Schiff wrote in
left-leaning, independent Ha'aretz (April 13): "The
people in charge of managing the negotiations in the
difficult dispute with the Pentagon over the sale of
defense supplies to China should internalize what
happened recently between Washington and some European
countries on the same issue.... The U.S. relationship
with China is like an elephant path from which it is
best to stay away.... The problem is that the matter
has deteriorated into personal levels, as if Defense
Ministry Director General Amos Yaron decided on his own
about every deal with China. If there was a violation
of an agreement, it was by the system, and not by any
single individual in it. Israel argues that it is
diligent not to harm vital American interests, but
Washington is right when it says that those who should
decide what is in America's interests, and what
endangers America, are Americans, and not the Israeli
Defense Ministry.... Clearly, there's no balance in
this, since on the one hand there is a small ally and
on the other an ally that is a great power and grants
considerable defense aid to Israel. That imbalance is
not only expressed in the dimensions of the parties.
Often, Washington, not Israel, decides what endangers
or does not endanger Israel in the defense sales it
makes to Arab countries. As the small partner, which
expects to get advanced American technology -- for
example, the future warplane -- Israel must accept the
demands made by the larger and richer partner."
CRETZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN Agency: Thousands Flee Fresh Clashes In Central African Republic

Recent fighting between government forces and rebels in northern Central African Republic (CAR) has forced more than 2,000 refugees into neighboring Chad over the past week, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday. According to the agency, ... More>>

UN Chief: World On The Verge Of Climate ‘Abyss’, As Temperature Rise Continues

The Earth’s temperature continues to rise unabated, with 2020 being one of the three warmest years on record, as extreme weather events combine with the COVID-19 pandemic, impacting millions. According to the World Meteorological Organization’s ... More>>

Covid: 250 Groups Urge WTO Chief To Ditch Pharma-Friendly Approach And Embrace Vaccine Patent Waiver

by Jake Johnson, staff writer An international coalition of 250 civil society groups on Tuesday urged the head of the World Trade Organization to embrace a temporary suspension of coronavirus vaccine-related patents, warning against pursuit of a voluntary ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

C40: UN Secretary-General's Remarks To Meeting With Leading Mayors Supported By Cities

UN Secretary-General's remarks to Meeting with Leading Mayors Supported by C40 Cities: “Advancing a Carbon-Neutral, Resilient Recovery for Cities and Nations” 16 April 2021 Thank you for joining me today, and for your commitment and leadership. Cities ... More>>

Awake At Night: S3-Episode 21: There Is Hope

Brazzaville visit to CSI Pilote du Diabete with Health workers at a local government clinic. 2018 - Photo: ©CSI/Dr. Soumya Swaminathan 'When it comes to a pandemic, it really needs global collaboration and solidarity because the pathogens and viruses More>>

UN: Growing Calls For Revamping Development Financing To Ensure Sustainable Global Recovery From COVID-19 Pandemic

Forum to highlight new initiatives to tackle inequalities exacerbated by pandemic With many economies reeling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as inequalities continue to widen, world leaders will discuss options to unlock concrete investments ... More>>