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Cablegate: Fm Livni Discusses Lebanon, Syria, and Hamas With

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Carol X Weakley 07/28/2006 05:27:29 PM From DB/Inbox: Carol X Weakley

Cable
Text:


C O N F I D E N T I A L TEL AVIV 02950

SIPDIS
CXTelA:
ACTION: POL
INFO: RES ECON IPSC DCM DAO AMB PD AID ADM IMO RSO
CONS

DISSEMINATION: POL
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: DCM:GCRETZ
DRAFTED: POL:MDPEARLSTEIN
CLEARED: POL:NOLSEN, POL:BBERNSTEIN

VZCZCTVI325
PP RUEHC RUEHXK RUEHDM RUEHJA RUEHLB RUEHJM
RUCNDT
DE RUEHTV #2950/01 2091013
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 281013Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5253
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 1367
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA PRIORITY 0051
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 0636
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 4045
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 3794

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TEL AVIV 002950

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/28/2016
TAGS: PREL PTER UN LE IS
SUBJECT: FM LIVNI DISCUSSES LEBANON, SYRIA, AND HAMAS WITH
CODEL WEXLER

Classified By: DCM Gene A. Cretz for reasons 1. (B) and (D).

1. (C) SUMMARY: Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told
Congressman Robert Wexler July 26 that, when hostilities
between Israel and Hizballah conclude, the international
community must keep Hizballah out of southern Lebanon and
must prevent arms from reaching the group via Iran. Livni
suggested that an international military force could be
deployed in Lebanon to implement these objectives. Livni
said she was leery of any attempts by others to reach out to
Syria, assessing that Syria knew what it had to do to be part
of the international community. Livni also rejected the
notion of strengthening any moderate elements within Hamas
while stressing that unilateralism is simply the result of
having no partner. Finally, Livni discussed Israel's quiet
efforts to increase ties with Indonesia. END SUMMARY.

--------------------------------------------- -----
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MUST ACT AGAINST HIZBALLAH
--------------------------------------------- -----

2. (C) FM Livni told Rep. Wexler that, when
Israeli-Hizballah hostilities end, the international
community must prevent Hizballah from reoccupying southern
Lebanon and must keep Iran from re-arming Hizballah. Livni
said that the international community must act because the
GOL is too weak and because Israel does not want to stay in
southern Lebanon to prevent Hizballah from reoccupying the
south. She also stressed that Israel cannot deploy near the
Lebanon-Syria border to prevent arms shipments from reaching
Hizballah via Syria. Livni said that UNSC resolutions could
establish an arms embargo on Lebanon and authorize an
international force to deploy in the south. The force could
be comprised of NATO members "who have experience fighting,
not just supervising," according to Livni. Livni added that
countries that supported UNSCR 1559 should "put their money
where their mouths are" by including their soldiers in the
international force. Livni claimed that there are no border
disputes or misunderstandings between Israel and Lebanon and
that each country shares the same goal of dismantling
Hizballah and having Lebanon exercise its full sovereignty.
"For the first time, I'm looking for the UN to implement a
Security Council resolution, but the UN is impotent," she
said.

3. (C) Rep. Wexler asked how degraded Hizballah would have
to be before Israel halted operations against the group.
Livni did not respond directly, but stressed that Israeli
operations depended in part on the international community's
willingness to act against Hizballah. She said that if
Israel halts now and Hizballah begins receiving money and
arms from Iran, then nothing would have changed. "What has
this all meant if we go back to first base," she asked.

---------------------------------------------
SKEPTICAL OF ANY EFFORT TO REACH OUT TO SYRIA
---------------------------------------------

4. (C) Livni told Wexler that it is too early to comment on
the advisability of other states reaching out to Syria to
lure that country away from its alliance with Iran, but added
that she is skeptical. She explained that Syria hosts
Hizballah and Hamas and continues to meddle in Lebanese
affairs. "Syria is playing an active, dangerous role and it
is not good to embrace them," Livni said. She added that
Syria knows what is expected of it and if Syria wants to be
on the "good side" and be part of the international
community, then its leaders must demonstrate that.

----------------------------------------
NO DESIRE TO PEEL AWAY HAMAS "MODERATES"
----------------------------------------

5. (C) Livni said that Israel tried to separate the "good
Palestinians" from the bad for many years. The problem, she
continued, is that the "good Palestinians," like Palestinian
Authority (PA) President Mahmud Abbas, are weak. She noted
the similarities between Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora
and Abbas and said their weakness comes at Israel's expense.
Livni stressed that an effort to split Hamas by strengthening
PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh would give legitimacy to a
terrorist. She then referenced an op-ed piece that Haniyeh
wrote, saying that his ideas -- including his statements on
Palestinian refugees -- take the conflict all the way back to
1947. (Note: Livni probably was referring to Haniyeh's
op-ed piece that appeared in the Washington Post on July 11.
END NOTE). Instead of legitimizing Haniyeh, she said, we
should press him to accept the three requirements stipulated
by the Quartet declaration of January 30, calling for Hamas
to renounce violence, accept previous Palestinian-Israeli
agreements, and recognize Israel. If they accept these
requirements, they will be a partner, according to Livni.

6. (C) Livni also discussed Israel's broader policy on
dealing with its neighbors. Livni said that unilateralism is
not Israel's ideology; it is the result of having no partner.
Israel prefers to end the conflict with the Palestinians
with an agreement or with a stable process in place and wants
an agreement that has support of the international community,
according to Livni. She stressed, however, that time is
working against a two-state solution and said that stagnation
hurts Israel. Livni said Israel is looking for any new idea,
"whether imaginative or boring."
--------------------------------------------- -
DISCREET EFFORTS TO INCREASE TIES TO INDONESIA
--------------------------------------------- -
7. (C) Rep. Wexler concluded the meeting by asking about
Israel's relations with Indonesia. Livni replied that Israel
sees some positive signs but that the situation is very
sensitive right now. Recently, she said, a delegation of
businessmen from Indonesia visited Israel, but the visit was
not publicized so that the businessmen were "not
embarrassed." She added that if Israel is discreet enough,
the two sides can get closer and have a more formal and
public relationship. Livni and her aides suggested that a
trilateral approach in which Israeli agricultural experts
would work on USAID projects in Indonesia would be a good way
to discreetly increase ties with the Muslim country.

8. (C) Livni was relaxed and affable, despite the meeting
occurring on a day in which there were significant IDF
casualties and Israel was condemned for bombing a UN post in
Lebanon. Livni earlier met with UN Undersecretary General
for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland, who has been critical
of Israel at times. The meeting took place in Haifa, where
Hizballah rockets have hit regularly since the outbreak of
hostilities. Livni commented that she chose to meet with
Egeland in Haifa so "he can feel for himself" what it is like
to be under threat of missile attack and so that he
understood that the humanitarian impact of this conflict is
not one-sided.

9. (U) Congressman Wexler did not have the opportunity to
clear on this cable before departing the country.

********************************************* ********************
Visit Embassy Tel Aviv's Classified Website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/telaviv

You can also access this site through the State Department's
Classified SIPRNET website.
********************************************* ********************
JONES

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