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Cablegate: Egypt Media Trends: August 7, 2006

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DE RUEHEG #4918 2220857
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 100857Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0450
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS CAIRO 004918

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SIPDIS

NEA/PPD FOR ROBIN SMITH AND DAVID BENZE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO PREL PREL IS LE EG
SUBJECT: EGYPT MEDIA TRENDS: AUGUST 7, 2006


1. Summary. The main headlines in today's papers
were the Israeli casualties of the day, Al-Jamaa
Al-Islamia's denial of ties to Al-Qaeda, and the
Muslim Brotherhood's temporary retraction of its
call to send 10,000 "mujahadeen" to Lebanon.
Headlines also revealed displeasure with the US-
France sponsored UN Security Council resolution.
Two television programs - one satellite and one
Egyptian terrestrial - hosted opposing
discussions on Hezbollah. On that note, results
from the latest online poll on popular website,
masrawy.com, showed the vast majority of voters
get their news from satellite television. End
summary.

2. In the headlines. "Black day for Israel: 13
Israeli soldiers killed." "Three killed and 160
wounded in rocket attack on Hayfa." Such
headlines appeared on the front pages of pro-
government, opposition and independent papers
today, as did photos of the corpses of Israeli
soldiers. Absent from the pro-government
headlines, but prominent in opposition and
independent papers were Al-Gamaa Al-Islamia's
denial of "Al-ZawahiriQs Lies about its Leaders
Joining al-Qaeda," "Muslim Brotherhood Members
Refrain from Going to Beirut with the National
Delegation," and "Akef Retracts: We WonQt Send
Mujahadeens to Lebanon Before They are Trained
and Approved by the Arab Leaders." Pro-
government daily, Rose Al-Youssef's headlines
focused largely on reaction to the US-France
proposal. "The Security Council adds fuel to the
fire." "France conceded and sided with America
... the international position weakens Siniora."

3. In the commentaries. Comments on two popular
evening programs showed opposing positions on
Hezbollah. Al-Mehwar TV, a privately-owned
channel broadcast through Nilesat for paying
subscribers, hosted an expert from Al-Ahram
Strategic Studies Center to speak about Hezbollah
on the evening political talk-show, Bebasata
(Simply). The host called Hassan Nasrallah "one
of the prophetQs descendents" and a student of
Shiite leader, Moussa El Sadr. He described
"HezbollahQs relationship with Iran" as based on
"doctrinal religion," and Iran's assistance to
Hezbollah as "not a crime, but a source of pride
in a time when Arab states have left a
strategic vacuum that Hezbollah has managed to
fill." He accused Arabs who criticize Hezbollah
of "trying to cover up for their weakness and
suspicious relations with Israel."

In contrast, government-owned, Egyptian
Television's popular evening talk-show, El Bate
Beitak (Your Home), whose current events, public
interest talk show format appeals to Egyptian
households, hosted Khayr Allah Khayr Allah, a
Lebanese journalist whose spoke against
Hezbollah's abduction of the two Israeli soldiers
as an act against the state "causing the entire
state to pay." He denied any need for Hezbollah
to be armed since Israel's withdrawal," and also
denied claims of Hezbollah's popularity among
Lebanese. "Reality is different from what you
see on television," he said, affirming that
Hezbollah does not need support as it is "an
extremely rich organized group that obtains
weapons from Iran despite the Lebanese
governmentQs rejection." He affirmed Hezbollah's
agenda since the year 2000 has nothing to do with
"resistance" as the group has an agenda other
than LebanonQs interests.

4. Public sentiment. According to the latest
opinion poll in popular Egyptian portal,
masrawy.com, voters provided insight as to how
they get their news about "the Zionist invasion
of Lebanon." Out of a total of 2,211 votes, 63
percent (1,517 votes) admitted to watching
satellite channels. The second most popular
medium was internet sites, with 25 percent of the
vote (589). Official mass media and opposition
papers received significantly fewer votes, with
217 and 39 respectively.
RICCIARDONE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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