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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 10 TEL AVIV 002714

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
CDR USCENTCOM 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. North Korea

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

The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli diplomatic
officials expressed concern Thursday that the world's
reaction to the IDF incursion into northern Gaza,
considered relatively mild, would get much more
critical as the operation wears on. The newspaper
wrote that one official noted that Washington was
dispatching top envoys Elliott Abrams, the Deputy
National Security Advisor, and David Welch. Assistant
Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, next

SIPDIS
Thursday, and that the intervening six days could well
be the window of opportunity the US was giving Israel
to achieve its aims before pressing for a withdrawal.
The Jerusalem Post reported that Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice called on Israel on Wednesday to
"exercise restraint," but that she also advocated
"pressure on Hamas" to stop its attacks.

All media reported that IDF Staff Sergeant Yehuda
Bassel and dozens of Palestinians, some of them
civilians, were killed in Thursday's and today's
fighting between the IDF and Palestinians in the Gaza
Strip. Major media reported that the IDF is
investigating the possibility that Basel was actually
killed by friendly fire. Ha'aretz reported that PM
Ehud Olmert sides with the view of Shin Bet head
Avraham Diskin that the IDF operation should proceed
slowly, rather than with IDF Chief of Staff Dan
Halutz's opinion that it should be accelerated. The
Jerusalem Post reported that PA interior Minister Said
Siam issued his government's first call to arms since
IDF ground forces invaded Gaza last week, appealing to
all Palestinian to fulfill their "religious and moral
duty to stand up to the aggression and cowardly Zionist
invasion." Yediot and Israel Radio reported that
Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz has ordered an
intensification of public transportation security.

Israel Radio reported that the US is opposed to a draft
resolution introduced at the UN Security Council by
Qatar, which demands that Israel withdraw from
territories it has entered in the Gaza Strip. The
radio cited the US as saying that the draft resolution
is not balanced because it fails to mention Qassam
rocket fire and the abduction of Cpl. Gilad Shalit.
Israel's Representative to the UN Danny Gillerman was
quoted as saying this morning in an interview with
Israel Radio that the draft resolution was excessive
and did not mention events that preceded the IDF
operation.

Israel Radio reported that Damascus-based Hamas leader
Muhammad Nazal told the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi
that negotiations over Cpl. Shalit were interrupted.
Speaking on the Israeli-Palestinian radio station Kol
Hashalom on Thursday, Noam Shalit, Cpl. Shalit's
father, called for the release of Palestinians detained
in Israel in exchange for his son's freedom. Ha'aretz
quoted Hamas sources as saying that the organization
would agree to release Gilad Shalit and to stop firing
Qassam rockets at Israel in exchange for the release of
all female Palestinian prisoners and about 30 prisoners
who have been in Israeli jails for more than 20 years.
The sources were quoted as saying that Hamas will also
demand that Israel withdraw its forces from the areas
of Gaza that it occupied during the past week, release
the Palestinian lawmakers that it arrested, and end its
policy of targeted assassinations. Ha'aretz wrote that
the sources confirmed Thursday's report about this
offer in the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat, as well
as Hamas's withdrawal of its previous demand for the
release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners in return
for Shalit. Yediot reported that a member of the
Egyptian security team dealing with Shalit's possible
release told the newspaper that his group knows with
certainty that Shalit is alive. Yediot quoted Muhammad
Abu Radwan of the Popular Resistance Committees as
saying in an interview with the French weekly Paris
Match that Shalit's abductors have received an
instruction to kill him if Israeli forces get close to
his place of detention.

Leading media quoted Israeli police as saying that five
senior Hamas officials operating in East Jerusalem were
arrested on Tuesday, in a continuing crackdown on the
organization's activity in the city.
Ha'aretz reported that on Thursday, The UN's Human
Rights Council adopted a resolution to send a special
observer to the Gaza Strip to examine the results of
Israel's military operations there. The "unprecedented
decision" was the fruit of cooperation by delegates
from the Arab and Muslim countries. It passed by a
vote of 29 to 11, with five abstentions. However, the
resolution that was adopted was more moderate than the
one originally proposed by Arab and Muslim delegates,
which would have sent UN High Commissioner for Human
Rights Louise Arbour to Gaza. Ha'aretz said that such
a step would have escalated the council's involvement
in Gaza to the international level. The Jerusalem Post
and Israel Radio also cited the resolution.

The Jerusalem Post reported that on Thursday, Turkish
PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent Ahmet Davutoglu, one of
his key advisers, to Damascus to inform the Assad
administration that Syria to increase cooperation with
Israel and the US in the name of peace and stability in
the region.

IAF commander Maj. Gen. Eliezer Shkedy was quoted as
saying in an interview with Maariv that Syrian
President Bashar Assad has understood the message
conveyed by the overflight of his palace by Israeli
fighter planes. The Jerusalem Post reported that the
IAF plans to install a new, more accurate missile on
aircraft over the weekend and to begin using it in the
Gaza Strip next week.

Leading media reported that Zacharia Zubeidi, the Al-
Aqsa Martyrs Brigades commander in Jenin, as well as
the Islamic Jihad commander in the city, escaped an IDF
assassination attempt Thursday.

Maariv reported that the Israeli defense establishment
is gathering intelligence materials linking the Iranian
nuclear program with the North Korean missile program.
The newspaper reported that Defense Minister Amir
Peretz intends to embark on a diplomatic campaign in
coming days in order to show the Iran-North Korean
connection.

Yediot reported that a Federal court in Chicago ruled
on June 22 that ownership of a collection of 2,500-year-
old Persian clay tablets belonging to Iran and lent to
the University in Chicago in the 1930s be handed to
dual Israeli-US nationals who were injured in a 1997
Jerusalem bombing carried out by Hamas, over which the
victims sued the Iranian government for USD 300 million
in compensation. Iran had refused to pay the
compensation.

Yediot reported that educated Israelis have been
emigrating from Israel more than other Israelis. The
newspaper cited statistics issued by the Institute for
International Education (IIE) that there are 3,600
Israeli students in the US, as compared with 10,000
students from Germany, a country with 85 million
residents. The newspaper also cited data that 3,000
Israeli academics are members of the US academe, while
the entire staff of teachers and researchers in Israel
counts 4,500 people. Yediot reported that a survey
among 320 Israelis living in the US found that 81
percent of respondents said that employment was the
major motive for their emigration; 75 percent cited the
high cost of living in Israel; 66 percent cited the
high taxation in Israel; 75 percent cited the quality
of schools in Israel; the security-political situation
in Israel worried 65 percent of the respondents.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the family of Benjamin
Kurtzer, the younger brother of former US Ambassador to
Israel Dan Kurtzer, who immigrated to Israel Thursday,
plans to rent a home in Ma'aleh Adumim for a year and
that it will "be taking it from there," according to
Benjamin Kurtzer. Ha'aretz and Hatzofe also noted that
Benjamin Kurtzer will live in Ma'aleh Adumim. Yediot
quoted Benjamin Kurtzer as saying that he is trying to
convince his brother to immigrate to Israel.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Likud MK Dan Naveh is
expected to face stiff opposition to his proposal for
the Likud to endorse the formation of a Palestinian
state when he convenes the leadership of the Likud's
ideological bureau on Sunday.

Yediot reported that drawings by around 20 children
from Sderot will be exhibited at Los Angeles City Hall.
The exhibition is sponsored by Los Angeles Mayor
Antonio Villaraigosa. The newspaper reported that
Israel's Consul-General in Los Angeles Ehud Danoch
initiated the connection between Villaraigosa and
Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal.
Ha'aretz devoted the cover article of its weekly
magazine to questions asked of key Israelis politicians
and security figures regarding whether former PM Ariel
Sharon's disengagement plan had failed. While Sharon
aide Dov Weisglass and Internal Security Minister Avi
Dichter highlighted the plan's successes, former IDF
Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon said that it had "fed the
Palestinian struggle for years," and Meretz Party head
Yossi Beilin criticized both the disengagement and
realignment plans, again expressing his support for
coordinated withdrawals.

In a literary review in Ha'aretz, Tel Aviv University
Professor Sasson Somekh wrote that the veteran Cairo
monthly Al-Hilal has "given pride of place" to the
translation and analysis of a work by Israeli Almog
Behar -- originally entitled "Ana Min Al-Yahud" in the
Arabic language ("I Am From the Jews") -- that won the
Ha'aretz (Hebrew) short story contest last year.

Major media cited the Indonesian Foreign Ministry as
saying Thursday that Indonesia has pulled out of its
Fed Cup tennis tie in Tel Aviv because of Israel's
military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Leading media reported that Gideon Meir, who headed
Israel's "public diplomacy" during the Intifada as
Deputy DG of the Foreign Ministry, will serve as
Israel's next ambassador in Rome. Ro'i Rosenblit will
head the Israeli diplomatic mission in Qatar. The new
consul-general in Boston, Nadav Tamir, a graduate of
Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, has
directed the reforms in the Foreign Ministry as
assistant to the ministry's DG over the past two years.

Ha'aretz reported that American actors Debra Winger and
Jeff Goldblum are attending the 2006 Jerusalem Film
Festival, which opened last night.

Maariv printed the results of a TNS/Teleseker Polling
Institute survey:
"Which of the following measures should the GOI take
regarding the current crisis with the Palestinians?"
Release Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the
solider Gilad Shalit: 20 percent; bombard PA
institutions in the Gaza Strip while endeavoring not to
harm human lives: 74 percent; bombard infrastructure in
order to cause lack of electricity and water in the PA:
61 percent; start assassinating Hamas leaders: 82
percent; bombard targets in Gaza, even if this may harm
human lives; 52 percent; enter the Gaza Strip and seize
parts of it; reoccupy the entire Gaza Strip: 32
percent.
"How satisfied are you with PM Olmert's performance?"
Not satisfied: 47 percent; satisfied: 43 percent.
"How satisfied are you with Defense Minister Peretz's
performance?" Not satisfied: 64 percent; satisfied: 28
percent.

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

Summary:
--------

Military correspondent Alex Fishman wrote in mass-
circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "Israel does
not know how to be brutal enough to generate
deterrence. But it is brutal enough to generate more
terror against it."

Senior columnist Dan Margalit wrote in popular,
pluralist Maariv: "A government arose from democratic
elections in Palestine. It has a president, too. It
must behave as a responsible state."

Senior Middle East affairs analyst Zvi Bar'el wrote in
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz: "The efforts to
release the kidnapped Israeli soldier and the renewed
fighting between Israel and the Palestinians have given
some unusual players a chance to appear on the world
stage."

Senior columnist and chief defense commentator Zeev
Schiff wrote from Ankara in Ha'aretz: "It would have
been natural to expect that Turkey would be
understanding of Israel's conduct in response to
Palestinian terror. But such is not the case."

Columnist and former Meretz Party Chairman Yossi Sarid
wrote in Ha'aretz: "As in the Lebanon War, so in the
Gaza war, the aims change on a daily basis."
Block Quotes:
-------------

I. "Brigade Vs. Neighborhood"

Military correspondent Alex Fishman wrote in mass-
circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (7/7): "Israel
does not know how to be brutal enough to generate
deterrence. But it is brutal enough to generate more
terror against it. The armored incursion that has been
going on since Thursday in the Gaza Strip can cause
pain to the other side, but is not able to generate any
change or any deterrence in the adversary's
consciousness. This is an operation tailored to fit
the current Israeli government. The political echelon
in Israel realizes that in order to have an effect on
Hamas something needs to be done. That it is
necessary, for example, to apply pressure to the
Palestinian population. But at the same time it is
afraid that pressure on the population will lead to
international pressure that will delegitimize the
military activity.... Everyone knows that neither the
current level [of pressure], nor the following level
nor the one after that will do the job. Just as
everyone understands that we will ultimately reach the
third and the fourth levels... Another conclusion is
that the Palestinians are ready and fighting.... What
stood out on Thursday was the large quantity of anti-
tank weapons used by the Palestinians. Despite the
call of the Palestinian Interior Minister, the security
services did not take part in the fighting. When they
join, it will mean tens of thousands of additional
fighters. The severe combat is still outside the
cities. It only hints at the scale of forces that will
have to be assembled in order to enter the densely
populated area. The Palestinians are waiting for the
IDF to enter the cities. This is the trap they are
laying. Therefore, at the present stage the IDF
prefers raids on open areas."

II. "A City For a City"

Senior columnist Dan Margalit wrote in popular,
pluralist Maariv (7/7): "[During the cold war],
Russians and Americans turned into one another's
hostages with the assent of their governments. Here,
civilians are being killed intentionally -- mostly in a
war of terror. Now, perhaps with some tardiness,
Israel must erect a verbal security fence and embark
upon a diplomatic PR campaign for several weeks in
order to inculcate the following to world public
opinion: a government arose from democratic elections
in Palestine. It has a president, too. It must behave
as a responsible state."

III. "New Players Appear on Mideast Stage"

Senior Middle East affairs analyst Zvi Bar'el wrote in
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (7/7): "The efforts
to release the kidnapped Israeli soldier and the
renewed fighting between Israel and the Palestinians
have given some unusual players a chance to appear on
the world stage.... Turkey, which was asked by
Washington and Jerusalem to try to use its good offices
with [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, is not the only
one.... As an Egyptian official put it: 'There are two
circles of mediators -- those who can and those who
think they can.' Those who can include Egypt, Saudi
Arabia and certain circles in the Palestinian Authority
-- not official circles, but some of those involved in
armed groups, youngsters who apparently know the
abductors.... The Egyptian source said that those who
"'think they can' would like to put in a short
appearance on the Israeli-Palestinian scene. They
include Russia, Turkey and France (all of whom
Washington and Jerusalem chided for legitimizing Hamas)
as well as Qatar. Now their good ties with Hamas seem
to lend hope of a breakthrough."

IV. "Cold Turkey"

Senior columnist and chief defense commentator Zeev
Schiff wrote from Ankara in Ha'aretz (7/7): "It would
have been natural to expect that Turkey would be
understanding of Israel's conduct in response to
Palestinian terror. But such is not the case.... The
first official statement from Turkey was balanced, but
the second was very critical of Israel, and only of
Israel.... In Turkey's view, Israel is the one holding
up the abducted soldier's release. If a similar
statement were ever made about Turkey (which in its war
against Kurdish terror is taking similar measures to
those currently used by Israel in its battle), the
Turkish reaction would be that it was a one-sided
distortion of the facts that ignores the effects of
terror on the Turkish population."

V. "Orwellian Language Expresses an Upside-Down World"

Columnist and former Meretz Party Chairman Yossi Sarid
wrote in Ha'aretz (7/7): "As in the Lebanon War, so in
the Gaza war, the aims change on a daily basis. That
is what happens when the war has no clear political aim
in the first place, and at the moment it is designed to
save Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir
Peretz and Chief of Staff Dan Halutz. The 'new order'
in the territories will look like the new order in
Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia, and 'rehabilitated
deterrent power' will look like it does in North Korea
and Iran."

----------------
2. North Korea:
----------------

Summary:
--------

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post
editorialized: "The US would be entirely within its
rights ... to state that any further launches, at least
of long-range missiles, will be prevented"

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

"N. Korean and Iran"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post
editorialized (7/7): "Attempts to engage and bribe Iran
and North Korea into better behavior appear not only to
be failing, but to be spurring those nations to
greatest levels of belligerency. The US would be
entirely within its rights ... to state that any
further launches, at least of long-range missiles, will
be prevented. Regarding Iran, there should be no
further extensions of deadlines; the US and Europe
should, either through the UN Security Council or on
their own, impose stiff and escalating sanctions on
Iran to force that nation to end its campaign of
nuclear and terrorist blackmail."

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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