Celebrating 25 Years of Scoop
Special: Up To 25% Off Scoop Pro Learn More

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 05 TEL AVIV 002528

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

Maariv reported that PM Sharon decided Thursday that
the date of the disengagement would be August 15.
Israel Radio quoted White House Press Secretary Scott
McClellan as saying Thursday that a possible delay in
the disengagement move is an "internal Israeli matter,"
that the U.S. appreciates Israel's moving forward on
disengagement, and "that's why it's so important that
the parties in the region coordinate closely as this
occurs, and that we make sure that it's a successful
transition."

Ha'aretz quoted a Jerusalem source as saying that
Sharon is expected to meet with PA Chairman [President]
Mahmoud Abbas before the latter's scheduled trip to
Washington next month.

Israel Radio reported that Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz
clarified to PA Minister of Civilian Affairs Muhammad
Dahlan at their meeting in Tel Aviv Thursday that
Israel will not pull out from the Gaza Strip under
fire. The radio quoted Mofaz as saying that security
coordination between Israel and the PA is in the
interest of both sides, but that it is not a condition
for disengagement. The station reported that Dahlan
told Mofaz it will disarm the Palestinians wanted by
Israel in the cities of Jericho and Tulkarm, in which
security responsibility was handed over to the PA, but
that this will take him some time. This morning,
Israel Radio reported that two Palestinians suspected
of involvement in the February 25 bombing in Tel Aviv
escaped from their jail in Tulkarm.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.


The PM's Passover interviews:
-Sharon was quoted as saying in an interview with
Jerusalem Post that although the U.S. has never
supported settlement, "there will doubtless be more
discussion" of the issue with the U.S. administration.
-In an interview with Yediot, Sharon said that it was
the conditions that had changed, not he, and that he
wanted to reach an agreement with the Americans,
knowing time was not unlimited. He said that if he
waited, another plan would sprout, and that he wanted
to save what he could from the settlement drive. He
showed more consideration of Abbas than in his previous
negative "chicken without feathers" metaphor, saying he
was a "chicken that was trying to fly." Asked if he
believed whether a Palestinian state would be
established in this age, Sharon told the newspaper's
Nahum Barnea and Shimon Shiffer: "You are young people.
You have many years to live." When reminded that
President Bush conditions such a state upon contiguity
of land, Sharon mentioned the possibility that
contiguity could be ensured through the construction of
tunnels and bridges in the West Bank.
-In an interview with Ha'aretz, Sharon remarked that he
does not suggest that Israel accept the Saudi
initiative or any other Arab initiative, since there is
a recognized initiative -- the road map. In that
interview, Sharon also stated that the problem between
Israel and the Arabs is the Arabs' lack of readiness to
recognize the Jews' right to an independent state in
their land.
-On Israel Radio, Sharon stated his belief that the
U.S. administration will not turn a blind eye to
construction in the settlements, but that "Israel's
governments have felt it was very important to hold
areas in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank]."
-Asked by IDF Radio whether Israel was prepared for the
disengagement, Sharon said it was, and that he was not
going to respond to comments on the matter by cabinet
ministers.
-Talking to leading Internet news service Ynet, Sharon
said: "All settlement blocs will be fenced and remain
in Israeli hands forever as part of the State of
Israel. The American approach on the matter has not
changed at all." Regarding Abbas, Sharon was quoted as
saying: "As opposed to his predecessor, whom I viewed
as personally responsible and never shook his hand, I
cannot treat Abu Mazen the same way. I can address him
as being responsible for not doing the things that need
to be done. It's clear to me that he wants to [act] --
the question is whether he will."
-Sharon said that Israel would react harshly to attacks
that would follow disengagement.
-Sharon stressed the importance of healing rifts among
Israelis.

Citing documents it obtained, Ha'aretz reported that
the continuing failure of the security forces' campaign
against the smuggling tunnels in the Gaza Strip is the
result of a series of unnecessary delays and unclear
decisions that will soon be reviewed by the State
Comptroller's Office.

President Moshe Katsav was quoted as saying in an
interview with Jerusalem Post that a formal apology in
the name of successive governments should be issued to
Katif Bloc settlers who moved there at the state's
behest and are now facing evacuation.

All media reported that an IDF soldier was moderately
wounded Thursday when the jeep in which he was
traveling was hit by an explosive device near the Gaza
Strip security fence.
Leading media cited an announcement by police Thursday
that Jerusalem police recently foiled a plan to murder
three policemen, chop up their bodies, and steal their
guns for sale on the black market. Police named the
would-be assassins as brothers Walid and Nidal Shubaki
from the A-Ram village north of Jerusalem. Four of the
14 suspects are Israeli citizens -- one Jewish and
three Arab -- and the rest are Palestinians living in
or near Jerusalem.

Maariv cited Wall Street Journal as saying Thursday
that Israel's Discount Bank was among the financial
institutions that unwittingly channeled around USD 20
million to over 45 terrorist groups or charities that
were used as front organizations.

Ha'aretz reported that on Thursday, IDF Advocate
General Brig. Avihai Mandelblit appealed the acquittal
of an IDF officer who opened fire during a May 2003
incident in which James Miller, a British
photojournalist, was killed in the Gaza Strip.

Leading media cited complaints by employees of the
Israeli Embassy in Washington that Anne Ayalon, the
wife of the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., humiliated
them. Yediot reported that the Civil Service
Commission will investigate the matter.

A Yediot/Mina Zemach (Dahaf Institute) poll:
-64 percent of settlers say they will not resist
evacuation; 22 percent say that they will resist
passively; 4 percent say they will forcibly resist the
security forces; 4 percent say they will take part in
demonstrations; 3 percent say they will take part in
the opposition (without stating how); 3 percent are
undecided.
-49 percent of settlers say they will obey the army
rather than the rabbis during evacuation; 39 say they
will obey the rabbis; 2 percent say that it depends on
the rabbis' identity; 10 percent are undecided.

A Ha'aretz survey found that Sharon's popularity is
declining. His performance is rated 5.95 on a scale of
1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest (figures in January:
6.25; February: 6.6; and March: 6.6).

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

Summary:
--------

Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized:
"Chances that the Palestinian people will be satisfied
with Islamists leaders are low, and prospects that the
same people power that crowns them eventually will
depose them are high. The choice, in any event, cannot
be Israel's or any other foreign power's; it can only
be made by the Palestinian public."

Former Mossad director Ephraim Halevy wrote in
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz: "At first, the
process of Israeli-American negotiations seemed to
create a convenient starting point for Israel....
However, it makes negotiations between the sides
superfluous."

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

I. "Whom Should We Back?"

Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized
(April 22): "Today, those of Oslo's supporters who
concede its general failure often agree also about its
misconception concerning democracy. In the spirit of
the American analysis of the Middle East since the
September 11 attacks, Israelis of all stripes should
finally understand that it its not up to them to choose
their neighbors' leaders, nor to back or trip them.
That also goes for Abbas.... Many outside the PA still
question the wisdom of allowing Abbas's regime to be
toppled, one way or another, by Islamists. The answer
to them is that if he has failed to win the people
hearts no external power will salvage him, however
unpalatable Israel might consider such a shift. And if
the people's genuine democratic choice is Islamism --
and we'll presumably get a good sense of this should
elections to the Palestinian National Council take
place as scheduled in July -- then that it what they
will have. Chances that the Palestinian people will be
satisfied with Islamists leaders are low, and prospects
that the same people power that crowns them eventually
will depose them are high. The choice, in any event,
cannot be Israel's or any other foreign power's; it can
only be made by the Palestinian public."

II. "The Coming Pax Americana"

Former Mossad director Ephraim Halevy wrote in
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (April 22):
"President Bush is relentlessly promoting the road map,
which he views as an important instrument to execute
his policy. At first, the process of Israeli-American
negotiations seemed to create a convenient starting
point for Israel and appeared to give Israel
achievements in relation to the U.S. position regarding
various aspects of the permanent solution. However, it
makes negotiations between the sides superfluous. It
makes the United States the exclusive arbiter in all
issues of the conflict and in the future will make it
impossible for Israel to exert pressure on the
Palestinians in relation to subjects on which the
Americans adopt the Palestinian position. The
assumption that the U.S. will always reject Saudi or
Egyptian or Palestinian approaches that are not
acceptable to Israel requires proof. If there are
developments in the region that adversely affect the
situation of the U.S. to the point where it must repay
one of the countries of the Arab world, or if the U.S.
is asked to intervene in Saudi Arabia or in the
northern system and feels it must prove that it is not
facing off frontally against the Arab world, there are
clauses in the road map that will make it possible for
Washington to accept a particular Arab position without
departing from the road map."

CRETZ

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
World Headlines

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.