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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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Carol X Weakley 10/13/2006 02:55:11 PM From DB/Inbox: Carol X Weakley

Cable
Text:


UNCLAS TEL AVIV 04037

SIPDIS
CXTelA:
ACTION: PD
INFO: POL DAO DCM AMB

DISSEMINATION: PD
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: PAO:HKFINN
DRAFTED: PD:MKONSTANTYN
CLEARED: AIO:GJANISMAN

VZCZCTVI731
PP RUEHC RHEHAAA RHEHNSC RUEAIIA RUEKJCS RUEAHQA
RUEADWD RUENAAA RHEFDIA RUEKJCS RUEHAD RUEHAS RUEHAM RUEHAK
RUEHLB RUEHEG RUEHDM RUEHLO RUEHFR RUEHRB RUEHRO RUEHRH
RUEHTU RUCNDT RUEHJM RHMFISS RHMFIUU RHMFIUU
DE RUEHTV #4037/01 2861022
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 131022Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6911
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAHQA/HQ USAF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEADWD/DA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUENAAA/CNO WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI PRIORITY 1050
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 7832
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 0882
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 1823
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 1027
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 8680
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 1755
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 8681
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 9128
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 5814
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 3186
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 8048
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 2303
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4197
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 4745
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 06 TEL AVIV 004037

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 ICD
LONDON ALSO FOR HKANONA AND POL
PARIS ALSO FOR POL
ROME FOR MFO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: IS KMDR

SUBJECT: ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION


--------------------------------
SUBJECTS COVERED IN THIS REPORT:
--------------------------------

1. Mideast

2. US-Israel Relations

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

Leading media reported that a total of 8 or 9 Palestinians,
including two children, were killed Thursday in two IDF operations
in the Gaza Strip. Five Qassam rockets landed in Sderot Thursday,
causing a blackout in the city. Israel Radio quoted Israeli
military sources as saying that weapons smuggling into the Gaza
Strip has recently intensified. The radio and other media reported
that this morning, three Hamas activists who the IDF said were about
to launch missiles at Israel were killed in an IAF strike in the
Gaza Strip.

The Jerusalem Post reported that sources close to PM Ehud Olmert
accused Defense Minister Amir Peretz on Thursday of ordering the
immediate evacuation of illegal outposts in an attempt to prevent
the addition of Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party to the
government coalition. Media reported on disagreements within the
Labor Party and on Yisrael Beiteinu's disappointment with maneuvers
by members of the Labor Party.

Major media reported that despite concerns of GOI officials that the
international community has been moving too slowly on Iran, a
special ministerial meting on the issue endorsed the diplomatic
approach to halting Iran's quest to become a nuclear power. Olmert,
who convened the discussion, stressed that the efforts against Iran
were being led by the international community.

Hatzofe quoted PA Chairman [President] Mahmoud Abbas as saying in an
interview with Al Arabiya-TV that neither Hamas nor Fatah nor the
PFLP have not been asked to recognize Israel. Israel Radio quoted
Khaled Mashal, the head of Hamas's political bureau, as saying that
his movement does not want to rule the PA on its own, that it is
interested in establishing a national union government with Fatah,
but that such a government should receive orders from the
Palestinians, not from the US or Israel. The station quoted Mashal
as saying that Hamas was prepared to hold a prisoner swap with
Israel involving abducted IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit, in
accordance with previous deals with Israel. Ha'aretz and Hatzofe
reported that Hamas's military wing, Izz al-Din al-Qassam, warned
Thursday that if Israel attempted a full scale invasion of the Gaza
Strip, it would face many "surprises." A spokesman for the group
said at a press conference that Hamas fighters were involved in an
ongoing effort to upgrade their abilities to wage war. Yediot
reported that on Thursday, during a meeting with Palestinian
Interior Minister Said Siam in Tehran, Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad promised Hamas financial aid.

Leading media reported that on Thursday Syria rejected Vice PM
Shimon Peres's invitation, in a television interview, for President
Bashar Assad to visit Jerusalem, saying the Israeli gesture
reflected the country's weak position after its war with Lebanon.

The Jerusalem Post reported that talks over the final withdrawal of
IDF troops from the northern part of the town of Ghajar, which
straddles the Israel-Lebanon border, are to resume next week with
UNIFIL and IDF officials optimistic that a solution will be found to
complete the Israeli pullout from southern Lebanon and the
implementation of UN Security Council. On Thursday, Ha'aretz had
cited anger in Lebanon over the current situation in Ghajar. This
morning, Israel Radio reported that Lebanese Defense Minister Elias
Murr ordered that his country would respond to violations of its
airspace with gunfire.

Leading media reported that on Thursday Hamas militants assassinated
a commander of the PA General Intelligence, who was loyal to Mahmoud
Abbas, and that that Fatah members retaliated by killing Majed
Darbiyeh, commander of the Hamas forces in Beit Lahiya, northern
Gaza Strip.

Israel's Ambassador to Australia Naftali Tamir was quoted as saying
this week in an interview with Ha'aretz that Israel should utilize
its strong links with Australia to expand relations in Asia, whose
population he termed the "yellow race," in which Israel was the
"white race." Tamir was quoted as saying during a meeting with FM
Tzipi Livni that "Australia is not lagging behind the US" in its
support of Israel.

The Jerusalem Post reported that, rejecting charges that he received
bribes from a leading Israeli defense contractor, former Indian
defense minister George Fernandes told the newspaper Thursday he had
approved the USD 268-million deal in 2000 because he feared an
imminent war with Pakistan.

Ha'aretz reported that the panel of eight experts brought together
by the newspaper has published its second ranking of potential US
presidential candidates based on their positions on Israel-related
issues. The panel said that not only does it like former New York
mayor Rudolph Giuliani's positions in the matter, but that it also
believes him. US Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), who continues to get
the lowest overall ranking, also scores lowest on the credibility
index. Ha'aretz said that the real reason for his low ranking is
that the panel has no faith in the sincerity of his pro-Israel
statements.

Yediot presented the results of a Mina Zemach (Dahaf Institute)
poll:
"What is do you think about conducting negotiations with Syria over
peace in exchange for the entire Golan?" Opposed: 64 percent; in
favor: 33 percent.

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

Summary:
--------

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner and diplomatic correspondent
Aluf Benn wrote in the independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz: "Suddenly
the Palestinian issue is becoming a key aim, almost an exalted
one.... Such a simple diplomatic achievement, so very simple. Is it
possible that Rice too has fallen into the trap?"

Deputy Managing Editor and right-wing columnist Caroline B. Glick
wrote in the conservative, independent Jerusalem Post: "The
Secretary of State ... claims that the establishment of a state for

SIPDIS
a people who have distinguished themselves ad the most overtly
pro-jihad, terrorist society of the world would be the greatest
thing American could ever do."

Prof. Amnon Rubinstein, President of the Interdisciplinary Center
Herzliya, who served as (Meretz) education minister, wrote in the
popular, pluralist Maariv: "It is not only Israel that is
threatened.... The plausible victory of Iran-style extremist Islam
also threatens the Christian communities, the cradle of whose faith
is the Middle East."

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

I. "For Rice, It's Time For Palestine"

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner and diplomatic correspondent
Aluf Benn wrote in the independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (10/13):
"The American Task Force on Palestine made history this week....
Rice ... talked about Palestine. Here is a sure sign that time is
passing: Like President Bill Clinton in his day, for Rice, too, the
volume increases as the term approaches its end. Suddenly the
Palestinian issue is becoming a key aim, almost an exalted one.
This, apparently, is its chimerical nature -- after all, it always
looks as though a solution is close enough to touch. Such a simple
diplomatic achievement, so very simple. Is it possible that Rice
too has fallen into the trap? Although she is thoroughly familiar
with the end of Clinton's profound commitment to a solution to the
conflict, she is not perturbed. 'I promise you my personal
commitment to that goal,' she says. 'There could be no greater
legacy for America.' But is this indeed the case? Last July,
opinion pollsters asked the American public whether the US 'has a
responsibility to try to resolve the conflict between Israel and
other countries in the Middle East, or is that not the United
States' business?' The answer was different from Rice's. Only 33
percent of the respondents thought that this is America's
responsibility; 58 percent said it is none of America's business."

II. "Soros Moves On To Israel"

Deputy Managing Editor and right-wing columnist Caroline B. Glick
wrote in the conservative, independent Jerusalem Post (10/13): "The
Secretary of State of a President who was once friendlier to Israel

SIPDIS
than any of his predecessors now claims that the establishment of a
state for a people who have distinguished themselves as the most
overtly pro-jihad, terrorist society of the world would be the
greatest thing American could ever do. Unfortunately, unless
concerted steps are taken by the Israeli government, Israeli
citizens and the American Jewish community, the downward trend in
elations with the US will only get worse. Perhaps most upsetting is
the central role that a tiny minority of American Jews has played in
souring ties between Jerusalem and Washington. That minority has
undermined support for Israel in the Democratic Party, and now seeks
to undermine Israel's position in the US in general.... Not all of
our friends are Jews and not all Jews are our friends."

III. "The Jews Are Not Alone"

Prof. Amnon Rubinstein, President of the Interdisciplinary Center
Herzliya, who served as (Meretz) education minister, wrote in the
popular, pluralist Maariv (10/13): "Is something fundamental taking
place in Europe? Is this an intellectual rebellion against the
Islamic threat? It is too early to tell.... Arab Christians view
themselves as part of the Arab national movement -- in fact, they
were among its founders -- and they are united with their ethnic
brothers in condemning Israel and opposing it. Some of the more
hostile Arab Knesset members, who identify with Hizbullah more than
other [Arabs], are Christian. Nonetheless, Israel radicalization is
detrimental to the Christians and speeds up their emigration from
the Middle East.... The Christian distress changes nothing in the
Israeli-Arab-Muslim conflict and does not subtract anything from the
might of Arab Christians' feelings vis-a-vis Israel. It is not only
Israel that is threatened. The Jews are not alone. The plausible
victory of Iran-style extremist Islam also threatens the Christian
communities, the cradle of whose faith is the Middle East.'


------------------------
2. US-Israel Relations:
------------------------

Summary:
--------

Washington correspondent Nathan Guttman wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post: "The 2006 mid-term elections are,
ultimately, not all that important for the [American] Jewish
community,"

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

"Israel and the Mid-Term Elections"

Washington correspondent Nathan Guttman wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post (10/13): "The 2006 mid-term elections
are, ultimately, not all that important for the [American] Jewish
community.... If there are any differences on the issue of Israel,
they are nuanced and minor. Jewish activists are looking at the
larger picture: What will happen if -- as many analysts expect --
the Democrats takeover one or both houses of Congress? This could
mean a complete change in the leadership of all Congressional
committees. But the activists agree that even here, thought the
changes might make a difference on several issues important for the
Jewish community, they will not affect Congress's strong support for
Israel."
CRETZ

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