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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 06 TEL AVIV 004238

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. Mideast

2. G-8 Summit in Gleneagles, Scotland

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

At midday, Israel Radio reported on a series of
explosions in London, and that Finance Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu was supposed to participate in a
conference near the location of the first blast.

Yediot reported that the directors-general of the Prime
Minister's Office and the Finance Ministry, who are
leaving tonight for the U.S., are expected to ask for
at least USD 500 million to develop the Galilee and
Negev, and the relocation of settlers to be evacuated
during the disengagement.

Hatzofe quoted an Israeli source close to military
talks with the PA as saying that the Palestinians made
their demand that Israel also withdraw from Netiv
Ha'asara, north of the Gaza Strip, well with the goal
of reaching a 'land swap' agreement with Israel. This
deal would give them an extra-territorial Palestinian
road through the Negev, from the Gaza Strip to the West
Bank, in return for 'conceding' their demand for an
Israeli withdrawal from the Netiv Ha'asara area.

Jerusalem Post quoted chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb
Erekat as saying that there are presently no plans to
arrange a meeting between Abbas and Sharon, although
there is an urgent need for such a summit ahead of the
disengagement. Ha'aretz led with threats made
Wednesday in an interview with a local Gaza news agency
by Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior Hamas official in the
Gaza Strip, of both confrontation with the PA and
continued attacks on Israel from Gaza after the
disengagement. Al-Zahar reportedly said that Hamas had
"lost faith" in PA Chairman [President] Mahmoud Abbas.

Israel Radio reported that, for the first time, one of
the two command centers that are to participate in
evacuation of the settlements in the Gaza Strip will
conduct this morning a comprehensive training exercise
in preparation for the disengagement. Leading media
reported that on Wednesday, the rabbis of the
settlements urged disengagement opponents to start
marching toward Gush Katif today.

Jerusalem Post and Ha'aretz reported that on Wednesday,
in the hope of avoiding additional High Court petitions
on the security fence and speeding up its construction,
PM Sharon accepted a revision to the route aimed at
easing the lives of Palestinians. The new route,
proposed by Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, envisions two
"fingers" enveloping the settlements of Ariel and the
Emmanuel-Kedumim bloc in place of one wider expanse
encompassing them all. Jerusalem Post quoted National
Security Adviser Giora Eiland as saying that the
security fence around Jerusalem could be completed
within months and "Jerusalem can be closed as
originally intended," provided all legal hurdles are
overcome.

Israel Radio reported that the IDF identified and shot
at two armed men in the Nablus refugee camp of Balata,
killing one of them. They reportedly were preparing to
shoot at a bus of Israeli worshipers en route to
Joseph's Tomb in Nablus. Ha'aretz reported that one
Palestinian gunman was killed and a second man was
wounded on Wednesday in an exchange of fire with an IDF
force in the southern Gaza Strip.

Echoing other media reports, Jerusalem Post writes that
Israel has apparently decided to adopt a "zero
tolerance" stance regarding any attempts to infiltrate
the border from Lebanon. The newspaper quoted a UN
source as saying: "It looks like this is a very firm
approach by the IDF, and we have no reason to believe
anything to the contrary."

Ha'aretz and Jerusalem Post reported that last night,
Mofaz ordered the establishment of a special
administration that would coordinate all the work
related to the setting up and operating of the various
border crossings between Israel and the PA in the West
Bank and Gaza Strip.

Jerusalem Post quoted Romanian FM Mihai Razvan
Ungureanu, who wrapped up a visit to Israel, as saying
Monday that in the larger EU, his country will be an
"honest broker" in the Middle East.

Jerusalem Post pictures FM Silvan Shalom and U.S.
Ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer shaking hands
following the signing of a new extradition treaty. The
last such compact was signed in 1962.

Jerusalem Post reported that 21 American academics, who
are here for a week to participate in the Brandeis
University Summer Institute for Israeli Studies, have
been exposed to the "good, bad, and ugly view of
Israel."

A Jordanian official was quoted as saying in an
interview with Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that Amman
is reconsidering a promise last month to send an
ambassador to Iraq. Maariv reported that Al-Qaida has
threatened to kill Egyptian Ambassador to Baghdad Eyhab
el-Sharif, because he served as charge d'affaires at
the Egyptian Embassy in Tel Aviv between 1999 and 2003.
All media reported on the visit of Angolan President
Jose Eduardo Dos Santos to Israel. Jerusalem Post
quoted him as saying that Angola is looking to Israel
to help its economic recovery. Yediot says that
Israeli businessmen in the diamond trade are pressuring
Angola to grant them mining rights.

Ha'aretz reported that a software pirate from northern
Israel was arrested last Wednesday as part of a
worldwide operation run by the FBI and Interpol. In
another article, the newspaper wonders whether the U.S.
is supervising the moves of web surfers on the global
Internet.

Ha'aretz published the results of Tel Aviv University's
monthly Peace Index, conducted June 28-30:
-54 percent of Israeli Jews support disengagement (57.5
percent in the previous month's survey); 41 percent are
opposed (35 percent in the previous month's survey).
-56 percent of Israeli Jews feel there is no danger of
a civil war; 40 percent believe there is such a danger.
-51 percent of Israeli Jews see the assassination of
pro-disengagement political leaders as a real danger;
43 percent are not afraid of it.

------------
1. Mideast:
------------

Summary:
--------

Independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: "The
disengagement of Israeli policy from its religious fuel
is the real disengagement currently on the agenda."

Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized:
"Many 'average' Protestants are truly interested in
helping Israelis and Palestinians reach a fair
settlement to the conflict. It is with them, and not
with officials blinded by anti-Israel political and
ideological agendas, that Israel and the Jewish
community need to engage."

Correspondent Dov Kontorer wrote in conservative,
Russian-language Vesty: "There is no place for dialog
and civil harmony ... in Sharon's new scheme, which is
totally oriented toward scaring the disengagement
opponents."

Foreign News Editor Adar Primor wrote in Ha'aretz:
"Whether or not Japan uses [its involvement in the
disengagement] as a jump-off point to the desired seat
on the Security Council -- it would seem that Israel
has nothing to lose from Japanese activeness. On the
contrary, Israel is likely to benefit from it."

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

I. "The Real Disengagement"
Independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (July
7): "Israeli society is paying for the deliberate
confusion that secular politicians created for their
own convenience between security and the sanctity of
the land, and for the use they made of the religious
Gush Emunim movement to realize their secular policy
goals. The disengagement of Israeli policy from its
religious fuel is the real disengagement currently on
the agenda.... The real question is who sets the
national agenda, and when the state will wake up and
begin to look into what students learn at the yeshiva
in [the West Bank settlement of] Nahliel. The
[planned] mass march to Gush Katif, like the scale of
refusal by religious soldiers, will determine not only
the future of the hesder yeshivas [in which students
combine military service with religious studies], but
primarily whether religious Zionism in its current
incarnation is not a Trojan horse that has infiltrated
Zionism in order to destroy it from within."

II. "Talk to the Laity"

Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized
(July 7): "Add the United Church of Christ to the list
of Protestant churches riding the anti-Israel
bandwagon.... Engaging Protestant leaders in dialogue
has not succeeded in preventing political attacks on
Israel.... It is time, then, for organizations like the
AJC, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and the Anti-
Defamation League to stop wasting their breath on high-
level meetings with Protestant leaders and turn instead
to the laity and the local leadership. It is from
within those ranks that voices of dissent have come, as
ministers and concerned churchgoers have begun to say
to the anti-Israel activists: you don't speak for us.
It would be wrong, too, to give up on Protestants as
potential sympathizers, relying only on Evangelical
Christians for support. Many 'average' Protestants are
truly interested in helping Israelis and Palestinians
reach a fair settlement to the conflict. It is with
them, and not with officials blinded by anti-Israel
political and ideological agendas, that Israel and the
Jewish community need to engage."

III. "Repression and Incitement -- Instead of
Elections and a Referendum"

Correspondent Dov Kontorer wrote in conservative,
Russian-language Vesty (July 7): "The emergency
atmosphere being spread in Israel is intended to make
up for the decision regarding the deportation of Jews
from Gaza and northern Samaria [the northern part of
the West Bank], which obviously lacks legitimacy....
Ariel Sharon demands that an even tougher suppression
of the growing resistance movement.... There is no
place for dialog and civil harmony ... in Sharon's new
scheme, which is totally oriented toward scaring the
disengagement opponents. The latter, who made a
conscious choice in favor of a non-violent opposition
to the Israeli government's destructive plans, are
facing ... open repression and a biased coverage in the
local and international press."

IV. "A Japanese Sun in the Middle East"

Foreign News Editor Adar Primor wrote in Ha'aretz (July
7): "[Current] Japanese efforts to help the
Palestinians are combined with their vigorous wooing of
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.... Koizumi's Japan is
demanding a new status in the international arena.
According to American philosopher Robert Kagan, in the
existing world order, 'the United States cooks the
meal, and Europe washes the dishes.' Japan's role, add
the cynics, is to pay for the culinary event. But
Japan is tired of the status of global sucker.... It is
currently entirely preoccupied with fulfilling a
supreme goal: obtaining a permanent seat on the UN
Security Council. Japan believes that being involved
in the disengagement will give it international
stature, which UN representatives in New York will not
be able to ignore. Israel's attitude to the Land of
the Rising Sun is liable to recall its attitude toward
Europe: more nudniks who want to play with the big boys
and who get underfoot. Whether or not Japan uses it as
a jump-off point to the desired seat on the Security
Council -- it would seem that Israel has nothing to
lose from Japanese activeness. On the contrary, Israel
is likely to benefit from it."

---------------------------------------
2. G-8 Summit in Gleneagles, Scotland:
---------------------------------------

Summary:
--------

Chief economic editor Sever Plotker opined in the
editorial of mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot
Aharonot: "The first world can, and must, help the
third world stand upright. But ... poverty isn't
preordained, and the West isn't to blame for it; local
politicians are responsible for it."

Block Quotes:
-------------
"The Rich People's Money and the Poor People's
Politics"

Chief economic editor Sever Plotker opined in the
editorial of mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot
Aharonot (July 7): "When the G-8 leaders go home, the
following truth will remain: wise economic assistance
can rescue a country from backwardness and poverty, but
it can't produce miracles single-handedly. The poor,
and nobody else in their stead, must want to free
themselves from corrupt and tyrannical regimes, self-
indulgent elites, and economic policies protecting the
interests of a few people at the expense of many. They
must abandon their apathy and their resignation to
their condition, and challenge the latter. The first
world can, and must, help the third world stand
upright. But the third world must first of all raise
its head and view reality as it is: poverty isn't
preordained, and the West isn't to blame for it; local
politicians are responsible for it."

KURTZER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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