Cablegate: Damascus Media Reaction: Syria/Saudi Arabia, Palestinian
DE RUEHDM #3305/01 1871224
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 061224Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0179
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 1124
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 4509
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 0731
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA//
INFO RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6870
UNCLAS DAMASCUS 003305
DEPARTMENT FOR PA, NEA/ARN, INR/IC/CD, INR/S:STHIBEAULT AND
JMCCARTER, VOA NEWS CA, NEA/PPD:CBOURGEOIS, DBENZE AND
AFERNANDEZ, IIP/G/NEA-SA RWINCHESTER
WHITE HOUSE FOR NSC
CENTCOM FOR CCPA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR PREL KPAO OPRC SY
SUBJECT: Damascus Media Reaction: Syria/Saudi Arabia, Palestinian
Territories, Syria/Iraq, Lebanon (7/6)
1. Summary: Syrian papers reported that President Asad received
a phone call from Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz which focused
on the situation in the Middle East and bilateral relations.
Papers also reported that Arab and Islamic groups at the UN in
Geneva approved a draft resolution proposed by delegations from
Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Libya, Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia,
regarding the dangerous situation in the occupied Palestinian
territories in light of the Israeli military escalation. The two
groups presented the draft resolution to the Secretary of the UN
Human Rights Council to make it an official document to be
submitted to the Council's extraordinary meeting to study
Israel's human rights violations against Palestinians. The draft
resolution calls for stopping the Israeli military attack on the
Gaza Strip, halting the continuing Israeli violations against
Palestinians, and condemning Israeli arrests of Palestinian
officials and ministers. Meanwhile, the Jeddah-based Organization
of the Islamic Conference (OIC) called on the International
Quartet and the European Union to intervene immediately to stop
the Israeli aggression against Palestinians.
On Syrian-Iraqi relations papers reported that the seventh Syrian
convoy of humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people headed to Iraq
Wednesday to meet the needs of hospitals and health centers. A
statement by Dr. Bashar al-Shaar, Minister of State for the
Syrian Arab Red Crescent Organization, hoped "this aid will reach
the Iraqi people as soon as possible and contribute to easing the
suffering of the Iraqi brethren," pointing to the Syrian Red
Crescent Organization's readiness to offer aid to the Iraqi
End of summary.
2. Selected Headlines:
"President Asad talks on the phone with Saudi King Abdullah about
the situation in the Middle East and bilateral relations"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 7/6)
"Three Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip. Israeli Prime
Minister gives orders to expand aggression against Palestinians
and to assassinate HAMAS officials. The Israeli army sets up a
buffer zone in northern Gaza" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 7/6)
"The Seventh convoy of Syrian humanitarian aid is dispatched to
the Iraqi people" (Government-owned Tishreen, 7/6)
"French daily L'Humanite criticizes France's vote against a
report by the UN Human Rights Council critical of Israeli
human rights violations against Palestinians" (Government-owned
"Former Lebanese Prime Minister Al-Hoss calls for adopting an
overall salvation initiative by a government of national unity.
Former Lebanese Minister Franjieh: Lebanon's interest lies in its
commitment to its Arab identity but not to America's" (Government-
owned al-Thawra, 7/6)
3. Editorial Block Quotes:
"Accusations Do Not Solve the Problem"
Isam Dari, an editorialist in government-owned Tishreen,
commented (7/6): "We do not know whether it was the US
Administration or Israel that invented the tactic of leveling
accusations against Syria and blaming it for every problem in
the region. But we know that the two have always found a party
to blame for their successive failures and crises.
"This American-Israeli agreement to blame Syria for tension and
instability in the region has been an official policy of
Washington and Tel Aviv since the first moment of the Iraq
invasion, and indeed before then, when the US Administration
realized that Syria was a stumbling block in the way of its
expansionist and hegemonic plans in the region, at the top of
which is the Greater Middle East plan....
"Israeli War Minister Amir Peretz accused Syria of capturing
Israeli soldier Gil'ad Shalit in a commando military operation
in Gaza, not in the Damascus suburbs! He also held Syria
responsible for Shalit's life, as if Syrian military forces and
intelligence agencies were deployed in Palestinian territories.
"Peretz and his generals know that these accusations are untrue
and bitterly ridiculous. But we excuse the Israeli government --
its head, ministers, and generals. All of them want to regain
the lost prestige of the Israeli army, which suffered a heavy
blow in the Karm Salim operation, where the Israeli soldier was
captured. Israeli military and political establishments found
out that the operation was a major affront to Israel's most
sacred possession: the army.
"But exporting crises and trying to blame others for the logical
results of Israeli policies and hostile actions will not
rehabilitate an army skilled at killing and terrorism. It will
not solve the problem or bring calm back to the region. As long
as Israel is moving against the current of peace, it will remain
vulnerable to spontaneous revenge acts from a besieged people
threatened with death and with nothing to lose."
Adnan Ali, a commentator in government-owned Al-Thawra,
commented (7/6): "It is surprising that the world is turning a
deaf ear to Israel's statements that its current aggression
against Palestinians seeks to bring down the HAMAS
"Israel is launching a military campaign to cancel the results
of democratic elections through brute force under the eyes and
ears of a world that is doing nothing to defend these values....
"Israel is imposing collective punishment against more than 4
million Palestinian detainees in the West Bank and Gaza because
of one captured soldier.... What is happening is a blatant
incident of arrogance and insolence that will certainly leave a
blot of disgrace on the history of modern civilization...."
"Wars of Windmills"
Khalid al-Ashhab, an editorialist in government-owned Al-Thawra,
wrote (7/6): "Some Lebanese have started to realize, but too
late, that for the United States they are not allies, friends,
or even hired people, but far less than that.
"These people are in a dilemma as they find themselves abandoned
by Americans and rejected by the Lebanese people.... They
realize that their road to Damascus is no longer open, indeed,
that there is no longer a road for them to Damascus, at least
today, and that Damascus' gates, though plenty, are closed to
them and open to all other Lebanese, and they are many. This is
why they try hard to hide behind these others, carry their
banners, and borrow their faces....
"Lebanon's problem today is not with anyone beyond Lebanon's
border. Lebanon's problem is with those who betrayed Lebanon in
the name of defending it, and bargained over Lebanon in the name
of its freedom."