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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 04 TEL AVIV 002988

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

Iran: Nuclear Program

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

The media reported that a Katyusha rocket was launched
on the western Galilee town of Shlomi Wednesday night,
the eve of Independence Day, and that Israel
subsequently complained to the UN. Jerusalem Post and
Maariv cited a condemnation of the event by UN
Secretary General's Kofi Annan Thursday. A strong

SIPDIS
explosion was heard last night in the Sheba farms area.
Yediot and Israel Radio quoted Defense Minister Shaul
Mofaz as saying Thursday that Israel will not be
dragged into a military response in Lebanon, but that
he views that country as responsible for the rocket
launches.

Israel Radio reported that this morning in Tashkent,
Uzbekistan, a guard at the Israeli Embassy shot and
killed a suspect who was approaching the building. The
station cited the Foreign Ministry as saying that the
man wore a fake explosives belt.

Ha'aretz reported that PA Chairman [President] Mahmoud
Abbas has begun to implement his promise to collect
weapons from Palestinians on Israel's wanted list.
According to the newspaper, in Jericho, the suspects
have handed their weapons in to the PA and pledged in
writing not to return to terrorism, and in Tulkarm,
implementation is at an advanced stage. On the other
hand, Israel Radio quoted Palestinian security sources
as saying that those weapons have not been handed over
to the PA.

Leading media quoted FM Silvan Shalom as saying
Thursday that there is no justification for Iran's
attempts to obtain nuclear weapons. Shalom also said
that Iran's announcement that that it would resume its
production of enriched uranium is dangerous, and that
nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran would be a
nightmare for the entire world.

Leading media reported that tens of thousands of people
spent Independence Day in the Katif Bloc (Gush Katif),
to show solidarity with the residents and protest the
disengagement plan.

Ha'aretz and Maariv reported that on Thursday, dozens
of settlers invaded Palestinian villages in the Nablus
and Tulkarm areas, and that the IDF had to deploy large
numbers of troops, including special forces, to drive
them out.

Israel Radio reported that the U.S. is trying to soothe
a storm that has arisen in the Muslim world following
rumors that copies of the Koran have been desecrated in
the Guantanamo Bay prison. The station quoted
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as saying that if

SIPDIS
the rumors turn out to be true, those responsible will
be brought to trial.

In an interview with Maariv, Professor Rashid Khalidi,
the director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia
University, apologizes for some anti-Israeli utterances
at his university, but says that pro-Israeli students
who feel uncomfortable about having been silenced
during classes should take other courses. Maariv's
headline: "The Faculty in Anti-Semitic Sciences."
Jerusalem Post quoted Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC)
Executive Director Wayne Firestone as saying that anti-
Israel activity on U.S. campuses this spring has been
at its highest level since the outbreak of the second
Intifada and has successfully pushed through three
divest-from-Israel resolutions. The newspaper quoted
Firestone as saying that pro-Palestinian groups are
targeting U.S. campuses with a low Jewish population.

Featuring the Larry Franklin/AIPAC affair, Hatzofe says
that it could bring down AIPAC's status.

Ha'aretz (English Ed.) reported that the U.S. Consulate-
General in Jerusalem has launched an Arabic-language
web site meant to ease communications between American
officials and the Palestinian-American community based
largely around Ramallah.

----------------------
Iran: Nuclear Program:
----------------------

Summary:
--------

Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote on page one of
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz: "Israel believes
that, despite its radical, zealous image, Iran is very
sensitive to international pressure and is reluctant to
become a pariah state."

Extreme right-wing columnist Caroline B. Glick wrote in
conservative, independent Jerusalem Post: "Today it
would seem that what is really necessary is a
diplomatic campaign aimed not at convincing the
Iranians and the North Koreans to cease their nuclear
programs, but to pave the way both internationally for
military assaults against the counties' nuclear
programs."

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

I. "The Iranian Game"

Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote on page one of
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (May 13): "Iran may
postpone resumption of uranium reprocessing, Gholamreza
Aghazadeh, the head of Iran's Atomic Organization, told
Tehran state-run television on Thursday. Israeli
experts monitoring Iran's 'nuclear diplomacy' assume
the Iranians are playing a game of nerves. Tehran
continually explores the limits of patience in Europe
and Washington, but is careful not to cross any red
lines that would propel the Iranian nuclear issue into
the UN Security Council.... Israel believes that,
despite its radical, zealous image, Iran is very
sensitive to international pressure and is reluctant to
become a pariah state. This reluctance has been
holding back Iran's effort to built a nuclear bomb, so
far. Israel believes that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and
his comrades in Iran's leadership want to be part of
the international community, rather than a boycotted,
isolated state like North Korea.... The Security
Council is not a magic wand.... [But] the Iranians
understand that no good can come for them by having
their case transferred to the Security Council. Even a
long process full of delays could end with sanctions
and painful restrictions."

II. "Diplomatic Dead Ends"

Extreme right-wing columnist Caroline B. Glick wrote in
conservative, independent Jerusalem Post (May 13):
"There is a strong sense in Washington these days that
a large part of the reason that the Bush administration
has yet to construct a coherent policy for dealing with
Iran's nuclear program is that it is hoping Israel will
launch a military strike against the Iranian nuclear
sites, thus obviating the need for any real action.
And yet, if these officials are even mildly aware of
what is happening today in Israel -- with the
government completely obsessed with the Palestinians
and the Gaza and northern Samaria [northernmost part of
the West Bank] withdrawal programs -- they would take
little comfort in that hope.... Many opponents of the
Bush administration have been eager to accuse the
President and his advisers of being responsible for the
failure of their diplomatic attempts to deal with the
issue. But the truth is, given the fact that anti-
Americanism is second to anti-Zionism as the popular
course in the world today for countries seeking to
augment their international standing on the cheap, it
is unclear what the Americans could have done
differently. Today it would seem that what is really
necessary is a diplomatic campaign aimed not at
convincing the Iranians and the North Koreans to cease
their nuclear programs, but to pave the way both
internationally for military assaults against the
counties' nuclear programs. Such a campaign should
highlight North Korea's policy of starving its people
to death and gassing them in death camps. It should
also highlight Iran's abysmal human rights record, the
regime's lack of legitimacy, and its support for
terrorism throughout the world."

KURTZER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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