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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 004387

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. Global War on Terrorism

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

All media reported that on Thursday afternoon, a 22-
year-old Israeli woman was killed and her boyfriend was
slightly injured in a shelling attack on Moshav Netiv
Ha'asara, one km north of the Gaza Strip. Hamas and
Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility
for the shelling. This morning, Israel Radio reported
on incessant shelling on settlements and Israeli
communities within the Green Line. Hatzofe cited an
announcement by Sharon's bureau that the PA is
responsible for the woman's death because it does not
act to stop terror. Leading media reported that last
night, IAF helicopters struck four Hamas targets in the
Strip. The IDF split the Strip into three parts.
Israel Radio quoted a State Department spokesman as
saying Thursday that, in a telephone conversation she
conducted with PA Chairman [President] Mahmoud Abbas on
Wednesday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told him
that the Palestinian leadership needs to take immediate
actions to find those who were responsible for the
Netanya bombing and bring them to justice. The
spokesman was quoted as saying that Assistant Secretary
of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Welch conveyed
a similar message during a meeting he held with Abbas
on Wednesday.

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Leading media reported that the PA declared a state of
emergency in the Gaza Strip following the killing of
the Israeli woman. The media reported that the state
of emergency was declared on the backdrop of fierce
clashes between PA police and armed Hamas men in the
northern part of the Strip. This morning, Israel Radio
reported that two Palestinian youths were killed and 25
other people were wounded in the clashes.

All media reported that an IDF soldier died Thursday
from wounds sustained in the Netanya bombing. He was
the fifth victim of the attack. Ha'aretz reported that
the Palestinian killed by the IDF in Nablus Thursday
was a wanted, but unarmed, militant.

All media reported that, in a renewed comparison of the
Gaza pullout to the Holocaust, Gush Katif residents are
writing their identity card numbers on their arms to
protest the closure of the Gaza Strip to non-resident
Israelis. Ha'aretz reported that the Yesha Council of
Jewish Settlements in the Territories condemned the
tactic, but that the far-right Jewish Leadership
faction of the Likud reserved its condemnation for the
closure imposed Wednesday, saying: "The Prime Minister
of Israel and the Defense Minister signed an order the
likes of which were last signed in German."
Israel Radio quoted Israeli sources in Washington as
saying that the CNN/USA Today poll aired this week,
according to which 94 percent of respondents are
opposed to U.S. taxpayers footing the bill for Israel's
pullout from Gaza, was not scientific and came in the
wake of a biased news report. Ha'aretz reported that
the USG is demanding that Israel use the financial aid
package it is set to receive from the U.S. to help the
Bedouin in the south of the country and the Druze in
the north. The newspaper quoted senior Israeli
officials involved in the talks as saying that Israel
has agreed to the demand.

Ha'aretz quoted Israel's Ambassador to the U.S., Danny
Ayalon, as saying before a convention of the right-wing
Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) in Washington
last week that if the terror from Gaza continues after
the disengagement, Israel will return to the Strip.
The newspaper, as well as Israel Radio, cited a ZOA
statement that Ayalon "also made clear that all of the
Israelis who live on the wrong side of the security
fence in towns like Beit El, Kadima, and Kiryat Arba
will never be removed."

Ha'aretz reported that on Thursday, the Beersheva
District Court charged a young settler with attempted
murder and another with aggravated assault for throwing
rocks at an unconscious Palestinian on June 29 in what
the army called an "attempted lynching."

All media reported that the body of Anat Rosenberg, the
Israeli woman who was missing in the bombing of the No.
30 bus in London, was identified.

Maariv reported that Andrei Muchalov, who was until
last Saturday first secretary at the Russian Embassy to
Israel, was an intelligence agent whom the Shin Bet
monitored ever since he arrived in Israel.

A Maariv/Teleseker poll conducted this week:
-55 percent of Israelis support the disengagement (54
percent two weeks ago); 31 percent are opposed (34
percent two weeks ago).
-"Do you believe that, after the disengagement is
carried out, terror from Gaza aimed at Israelis will
increase?" "It will increase": 39 percent; "it will
remain at the same level": 32 percent; "it will
weaken": 20 percent.

A Yediot/Mina Zemach (Dahaf Institute) poll conducted
Wednesday among Gush Katif and northern West Bank
settlers:
-64 percent said they would not let themselves be
evacuated (76 percent in a previous poll); 34 percent
said they would (17 percent in a previous poll).
-"How do you intend to act when soldiers and police
come to evacuate you?" "I won't resist": 47 percent;
"I'll resist passively": 30 percent; "I'll resist
forcibly": 6 percent.
------------
1. Mideast:
------------

Summary:
--------

Senior columnist and longtime dove Yoel Marcus wrote in
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz: "This week it
became clear that there is no essential difference
between Islamic Jihad and Israel's nationalist rabbis.
Both are out to destroy the State of Israel."

Military correspondent Amir Rappaport wrote in popular,
pluralist Maariv: "Israel will continue to exercise
self-restraint .... [so] that the process of evacuating
the settlements is carried out with maximum
coordination with the Palestinians."

Senior columnist and chief defense commentator Zeev
Schiff wrote in Ha'aretz: "It is impossible to tell the
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip that they are free and
to keep them bottled up in solitary confinement."

Senior columnist Nahum Barnea wrote in mass-
circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "The Americans
are wondering.... Is Israel building a real border with
the Palestinians or is it trying to have it both ways -
- -- to separate from the latter and to remain in their
territories at the same time?"

Liberal op-ed writer Ofer Shelach commented in Yediot
Aharonot: "It is clear that nobody except Blair [will
intervene]. If the president of the world doesn't do
so, the [Middle East] will be on its own."

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

I. "Good Morning, Disengagement"

Senior columnist and longtime dove Yoel Marcus wrote in
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (July 15): "This
week it became clear that there is no essential
difference between Islamic Jihad and Israel's
nationalist rabbis. Both are out to destroy the State
of Israel -- one by terror attacks and the other by
gnawing away at the democratic foundations of the
state.... No one can take away from Sharon and Mofaz
their courageous decision to evacuate Gush Katif and
leave Gaza for good. But neither Sharon nor Mofaz has
conveyed the message that beyond this planned move, a
brutal and bitter battle is being waged against the
elected government by the Greater Israel anarchists.
Neither of them has conveyed the enormity of the danger
that lies in store if these homegrown enemies gain the
upper hand."

II. "Between Gaza and Lebanon"

Military correspondent Amir Rappaport wrote in popular,
pluralist Maariv (July 15): "With all due respect to
the Palestinian attempt to imitate Hizbullah all the
way, they should remember that they have already erred
once in a big way. This happened shortly after the
completion of the withdrawal from the security zone [in
southern Lebanon], when quite a few Palestinians were
tempted to believe the words of Hizbullah leader Hassan
Nasrallah that Israel is as weak as a cobweb. It took
them four and a half years of terrorism and suffering
to realize that Israeli society was willing to battle
in a much more determined fashion when the terror
attacks were close to home, than to insist on outposts
... in Lebanon, which no one can remember any longer.
Israel will demonstrate the same determination in the
war of terror if Netiv Ha'asara [just north of the Gaza
Strip] is attacked after disengagement. But until
disengagement, the situation, meanwhile, is much more
complicated. Israel will continue to exercise self-
restraint to the best of its ability in the face of
attacks such as Thursday, if only to fully exhaust the
chance that the process of evacuating the settlements
is carried out with maximum coordination with the
Palestinians. Therefore, even after such a severe
attack [on Netiv Ha'asara], in which a young woman was
killed, the response will be low-key. A low-key
response is not promised, however, by the IDF against
Islamic Jihad for the terror attack in Netanya, for
which the account has not yet been settled."

III. "The Conditions For Israel's Withdrawal"

Senior columnist and chief defense commentator Zeev
Schiff wrote in Ha'aretz (July 15): "It is impossible
to disengage from the Gaza Strip and then afterwards to
continue the siege on land, in the air and on the sea.
If the siege by the IDF continues after the
disengagement, this will be a continuation of the
occupation because it is a belligerent act on Israel's
part. The siege, including the siege along the
Philadelphi route, had military logic to it as it was
intended to prevent arms smuggling, especially long-
range weaponry that could hit Israeli cities far from
the Gaza Strip, such as Ashkelon. From the moment it
becomes a matter of disengagement coordinated with the
Palestinians and in cooperation with Egypt, the aim
must be to end the military siege of the Gaza Strip.
It is impossible to tell the Palestinians in the Gaza
Strip that they are free and to keep them bottled up in
solitary confinement."

IV. "The Red Lane"

Senior columnist Nahum Barnea wrote in mass-
circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (July 15): "The
Israelis are convinced that the passages they are
currently building alongside the fence are a wonderful
example of a humanitarian act of charity. Instead of
spending half a day in an exhausting line in front of a
soldier, instead of waiting for a week until goods are
released, the pedestrian will wait one or two hours at
the crossing -- and the freight no longer than one day.
For this purpose, Israel is investing two billion
shekels [around USD 440 million] in new, spacious,
sophisticated, and civilian crossings. What Israelis
see is a crossing; what Palestinians see is an
obstacle.... The Americans are wondering what this
really means. Is Israel building a real border with
the Palestinians or is it trying to have it both ways -
- to separate from the latter and to remain in their
territories at the same time?"

V. "The Boss's Pal"

Liberal op-ed writer Ofer Shelach commented in Yediot
Aharonot (July 15): "[Throughout the Western World]
Bush is the symbol of everything that's bad in America.
In most countries, his reelection worsened hatred for
the superpower. Blair ... is the opposite: where Bush
is perceived as a man of power, self-righteous, and an
ignoramus, Blair is seen as tolerant, attentive, and
intelligent.... What Blair advocated [following the
London bombings] was what Bush has refrained from doing
for almost five years: active intervention, combined
with an international plan and international authority,
in order to rescue this region, which will not be
rescued.... It is doubtful whether Bush, who promised
peace in the Middle East for 2005, knows what he wants
to do on the day after disengagement. He is bogged in
domestic problems: the war in Iraq refuses to end....
Blair is now the addresss. At the G-8 conference, he
led a move of huge economic aid for the Palestinian
Authority -- USD 9 billion.... It is clear that nobody
except Blair [will intervene]. If the president of the
world doesn't do so, the region will be on its own."

----------------------------
2. Global War on Terrorism:
----------------------------
Summary:
--------

Deputy Managing Editor and extreme right-wing columnist
Caroline B. Glick wrote in conservative, independent
Jerusalem Post: "The global economy is fueled by oil,
which is controlled by the same forces that stand at
the foundations of the current war against the Jews and
Western civilization.... It is the duty of the State of
Israel ... to point out this inconvenient reality to
the rest of the world."

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

"The Beginning of the Reckoning"

Deputy Managing Editor and extreme right-wing columnist
Caroline B. Glick wrote in conservative, independent
Jerusalem Post (July 15): "One of the most difficult
challenges for a democratic society is facing up to the
presence of an enemy fifth column in its midst. Aside
from this, the fact of the matter is that the global
economy is fueled by oil, which is controlled by the
same forces that stand at the foundations of the
current war against the Jews and Western civilization.
Much easier than contending with these realities is to
engage in the politics of denial.... It is the duty of
the State of Israel (much ignored by its own leadership
today) to point out this inconvenient reality to the
rest of the world. And it is the duty and
responsibility of all who treasure freedom and the
right to live without fear to accept this reality in
spite of its convenience. Refusing to do so is not
simply a matter of cowardice. It is a recipe for
suicide."

KURTZER

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