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.

071156Z Sep 05

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 TEL AVIV 005518

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD

WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
NSC FOR NEA STAFF

SECDEF WASHDC FOR USDP/ASD-PA/ASD-ISA
HQ USAF FOR XOXX
DA WASHDC FOR SASA
JOINT STAFF WASHDC FOR PA
USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL FOR POLAD/USIA ADVISOR
COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE FOR PAO/POLAD
COMSIXTHFLT FOR 019

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. Hurricane Katrina

3. Egypt

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

Israel Radio reported that PM Sharon and his senior
ministers decided this morning that the IDF would
withdraw from the Gaza Strip on September 12 through
15. The decision has to be approved by the cabinet on
Sunday. At the same time, Egyptian border guards will
deploy along the Philadelphi road. Israel Radio
reported that the ministers accepted [in practice] an
Egyptian compromise proposal on border control at the
Gaza-Egypt frontier after the completion of the Israeli
withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Under the terms of the
proposal, Egypt will announce the closure of the
current border crossing at Rafah for renovations that
will last between six and nine months. During this
period, the border crossing for people and goods
between the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza will be relocated
to a new terminal Israel is to build at Kerem Shalom.
Ha'aretz quoted an IDF source as saying that Israel is
to transfer responsibility for most of the area it
evacuated in the northern West Bank to the PA. The
source told Ha'aretz that the IDF would enter the area
only if intelligence information indicated a terror
attack was being planned there.

All media reported that a Palestinian was killed and
three others were wounded by IDF soldiers in Gush Katif
on Tuesday, when they failed to heed warnings and
climbed onto an Israeli tank at the evacuated
settlement of Neve Dekalim. Palestinians subsequently
fired Qassam rockets into Israeli territory. The media
say that Israel sent a sharp message to the PA last
night demanding that it meet its commitment to prevent
mass parades into Gush Katif before the departure of
the IDF. Major media (lead story in Yediot) quoted
senior Israeli military sources as saying that the IDF
must leave the Strip now.

Israel Radio and leading Israeli news web sites
reported that dozens of gunmen stormed the Gaza City
home of former Palestinian security chief Moussa Arafat
before dawn this morning, dragged him into the street
and shot him dead. His son was abducted. A Palestinian
militant coalition, the Popular Resistance Committees,
claimed responsibility for those acts. Israel Radio
quoted Vice Premier Shimon Peres as saying that the
anarchy prevailing in the Gaza Strip constitutes a test
for the PA, which must respect its promise of 'one gun
and one vote' in its territory.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer was quoted as
saying in an interview with Maariv's Ben Caspit that it
is hard to understand the delay in the U.S. response to
the New Orleans disaster, and that many questions will
have to be answered. Kurtzer was also quoted as saying
that nobody had ever imagined that the U.S. would face
such a tragedy

All media reported on Egypt's presidential elections,
which are taking place today.

Ha'aretz reported that an investigation by the
newspaper and the human rights group B'Tselem
repudiates the army's version of events concerning the
August 24 operation in which five Palestinians were
killed by IDF fire in the refugee camp of Tulkarm.
While the IDF claimed that five terrorists were killed
in the incident, the investigation found that the three
teenage boys killed are not known members of any
organizations, and that the two adults killed were low-
ranking militants who were not armed at the time.

Jerusalem Post quoted Construction and Housing Minister
Isaac Herzog (Labor) as saying Tuesday that Education
Minister Limor Livnat and other right-wing Likud
ministers are harming the country's international image
by issuing statements about strengthening its hold on
the territories.

Maariv reported that construction continues at illegal
settler outposts, and that Agriculture Minister Yisrael
Katz instructed on Tuesday that 15,000 dunams (3345
acres) of land be fenced for two flocks of sheep in the
southern Hebron hills.

Leading media reported that Defense Minister Shaul
Mofaz told the commanders of the IDF brigades in the
West Bank on Tuesday that the army should thoroughly
check the Palestinians at roadblocks, even if this
causes traffic jams and anger among the setters.

Over the past few days, the media have been reporting
on discussions concerning the possible fate of the
synagogues still standing in the evacuated Gaza Strip
settlements. The media reported that, on Tuesday, the
High Court of Justice asked Sharon to check with the PA
and international bodies into the possibility of
leaving the synagogues in place. This morning, Israel
Radio reported that the PA is demanding that Israel
destroy the synagogues or remove them from the Strip.

Israel Radio reported that an Israeli delegation led by
Maj. Gen. Chezi Levy, head of the IDF's Medical Corps,
will leave for New Orleans this morning in order to
coordinate humanitarian assistance to the victims of
Hurricane Katrina. Yediot reported that the "Israeli
solidarity plane" will leave for the U.S. Thursday with
90 tons of humanitarian supplies on board. Israel
Radio reported that 15 tons of food, medicine, and
emergency equipment donated by the Kibbutz Movement
will be flown to New Orleans tomorrow. Yediot quoted
Shas party mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef as saying Tuesday
that Hurricane Katrina was a divine retribution to
President Bush "for what he did to Gush Katif."

Jerusalem Post cited a report published by Palestinian
Media Watch (PMW), which revealed that that after
having signed a deal with the U.S. for USD 50 million
to help with housing and infrastructure, PA officials
called to launch attacks against U.S. soldiers and
portrayed the U.S. as an "enemy." PMW noted that in
recent days PA religious officials in radio and
television sermons described the U.S. as the "most
heretic" among countries and as an enemy who is trying
the Islamic world. One of the officials allegedly
called to intensify terror acts against U.S. soldiers
in the presence of PA Chairman [President] Mahmoud
Abbas.

All media reported that Knesset Member Binyamin
Netanyahu has decided to rethink his strategy in coming
weeks, after his advisors have concluded that he stands
to lose the vote on early primaries in the Likud
Central Committee meeting on September 26.

Citing Pakistan News Wire, Ha'aretz quoted Pakistani FM
Mahmood Kasuri as saying on Monday that his country has
had secret contacts with Israel for at least the past
decade.

Ha'aretz published the results of Tel Aviv University's
Peace Index poll, conducted August 30-September 1: an
overwhelming majority of 71.5 percent of the Jewish
public thinks the unilateral disengagement from Gaza is
not the end of the story, but only a first step toward
an extensive evacuation of West Bank settlements in the
context of a final agreement with the PA. A very small
minority (15.8 percent) does not believe there will be
further evacuations, and the rest (12.7 percent) are
undecided. However, when asked for their position on
an extensive evacuation of West Bank settlements, 34.3
percent said they would support it only in the
framework of a peace agreement with the Palestinians,
13.5 percent would favor it even on a unilateral basis,
and 41.8 percent said they would not support a far-
reaching evacuation in the West Bank under any
conditions.

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

Summary:
--------

Liberal columnist Gideon Samet wrote in independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "The Bush administration thinks
that it is best to defend its precious Sharon ... so
that he can defeat Netanyahu in the [Likud] primaries.
But the White House ... fails to comprehend Israeli
politics."

Nationalist, Orthodox Hatzofe editorialized:
"[Education] Minister [Limor] Livnat, who continued to
sit at the cabinet table when Gush Katif was being
destroyed ... elicits laughter in both right and left
wing circles when she talks about 'not succumbing to
American dictates.'"

Block Quotes:
-------------
I. "Bush Is Also Wrong About the Israeli Hurricane"

Liberal columnist Gideon Samet wrote in independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (September 7): "In the most banal
way, the Bush administration thinks that it is best to
defend its precious Sharon and even internationalize
his protection so that he can defeat Netanyahu in the
[Likud] primaries. But the White House ... fails to
comprehend Israeli politics. If Sharon wins the
primaries because of promises not to advance the peace
process in any way, it would be better that he's not
elected. And Washington is wrong if it thinks that
even Sharon can toss aside such pre-election promises
after the vote. A wise administration would have tried
to get Sharon to stick with his earlier statements, and
would have prepared for two possibilities that are both
preferable to what it chose. One is that Sharon will
win despite sticking to his new policy line. The other
possibility is that Sharon will fail and let Netanyahu
tie the noose of diplomatic recalcitrance around his
own neck. If this happens, then even the most junior
translator of the Israeli media at the embassy in Tel
Aviv would know that Sharon would embark on a new and
fascinating political path."

II. "Empty Words"

Nationalist, Orthodox Hatzofe editorialized (September
7): "Education Minister Limor Livnat showed
determination and courage by defying the U.S.
administration -- truly the pinnacle of heroism....
Minister Livnat, who continued to sit at the cabinet
table when Gush Katif was being destroyed and its
residents were being exiled ... elicits laughter in
both right and left wing circles when she talks about
'not succumbing to American dictates.' The minister,
who succumbed to the amenities of government and did
not follow in the footsteps of her colleague, Binyamin
Netanyahu, taught all of us what value words have when
she and her fellow Likud ministers are the ones who
utter them."

----------------------
2. Hurricane Katrina:
----------------------
Summary:
--------

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: "Make no mistake: this is Bush's America, the
Republicans' America, which rates its citizens only
based on their achievements."

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

"In the Distant United States"

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 (September 7): "[President Bush's] clumsy and
uncaring attitude in the affair of the Katrina disaster
has won him even more enemies than the many he had....
America sealed its ears, its eyes, and its heart to
that latest catastrophe. But make no mistake: this is
Bush's America, the Republicans' America, which rates
its citizens only based on their achievements. The bad
luck of those who remained on the sidelines and in the
storm condemned them to weakness and worthlessness --
to human powder. The United States is a superpower
that knows the concept of 'compassion' only from the
dictionary.... It's a country devoid of compassion."

---------
3. Egypt:
---------

Summary:
--------

Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized:
"Any Egyptian dictator will always need Israel as an
external enemy to distract the people from his
misrule.... Our best long-term hope for security is the
spread of freedom in the Arab world."

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

"Egypt 'Votes'"

Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized
(September 7): "The essence of democracy is the
peaceful transfer of power following an authentic
expression of the popular will.... The only Arab
country that can see such a democracy on the horizon,
despite the plague of terrorism unleashed by
neighboring dictatorships against it, is Iraq. The
irony is that Egypt, though ostensibly much safer and
more 'stable' than Iraq, is nowhere near to achieving
Iraq's freedom of the press, to the authenticity of the
Iraqi election in January, and to the current dynamism
in Iraqi politics.... Israel, for its part, need not
care who rules Egypt, but very much which system does.
We should realize that, despite the peace treaty,
normalization with Egypt has much less to do with the
Palestinian problem than with the democracy problem.
Any Egyptian dictator will always need Israel as an
external enemy to distract the people from his misrule.
Let no one be confused: elections are tools that can be
used to subvert or advance freedom and democracy. No
true democracy has ever threatened its neighbors. Our
best long-term hope for security is the spread of
freedom in the Arab world."

KURTZER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN News: ‘Things Have To Change’ Canada’s Trudeau Declares Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that the world must change, as multilateral systems established decades ago are not working as they should, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada told the UN General Assembly on Friday. “The world is in crisis, and ... More>>

Assange's Hearing: Latest Observations From Court

Despite severe restrictions on observers, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is the only NGO that has gained access to the hearing, and we’ve managed to monitor proceedings on most days. We will continue to do so whenever possible. Yesterday I was in court ... More>>

USA: Investors ‘freaking’ Over Possible Contested Outcome Of Election: Poll

A disputed result in November’s U.S. presidential election is now the number one concern for investors – even ahead of a second wave of Covid-19 – according to a new global survey. The poll carried out by deVere Group, one of the world’s largest ... More>>

ILO: Impact On Workers Of COVID-19 Is ‘catastrophic’

COVID-19 has had a “catastrophic” impact on workers, the head of the International Labour Organization ( ILO ) said on Wednesday, with lost working hours higher than originally forecast, and equivalent to 495 million full-time jobs globally in the ... More>>