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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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Carol X Weakley 10/26/2006 04:01:24 PM From DB/Inbox: Carol X Weakley

Cable
Text:


UNCLAS TEL AVIV 04262

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

DISSEMINATION: PD
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: PAO:HKFINN
DRAFTED: PD:RPAZ
CLEARED: AIO:GANISMAN

VZCZCTVI516
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 #4262/01 2990900
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 260900Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7205
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 1106
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 7882
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 0938
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 1873
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 1083
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 8745
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 1810
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 8734
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 9182
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 5864
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 3236
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 8101
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 2356
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4255
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 4848
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 TEL AVIV 004262

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

3. UNIFIL in Lebanon

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

Ha'aretz reported estimations of military sources indicating the
Defense Minister Peretz does not intend to evacuate whole
settlements. According to the sources Peretz intends to demolish 86
illegal structures in the West Bank: 47 built by settlements and 39
by Palestinians.

Yediot reported that Syria is increasing pressure on Hamas's
political chief, Khaled Mashal to release Israeli abducted soldier
corporal Gilad Shalit. The paper also cited officials in Jerusalem
as saying that there is some progress towards a deal but that
nothing is finalized yet.

All media reported of an incident between IDF war planes and a
German naval vessel in the northern part of Israel. The Germans
claimed that Israeli F-16 planes fired missiles towards their ship.
Israel claims that after a helicopter took off from the ship without
identifying itself. Israeli jets were scrambled but the IDF
announced that no missiles were fired, only flares. Defense Minister
Peretz called his German counterpart, Franz Josef Jung, to clarify
the details of the incident he also added that cooperation between
Israel and UNIFIL in the area should be upgraded.

All media reported that following the agreement between Defense
Minister Amir Peretz and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, MK Ephraim
Sneh, would be appointed deputy defense minister, and Peretz would
head a ministerial committee for the non-Jewish communities. The
media reported that in a nightly meeting, Labor party ministers
decided to adopt the decision and to support Lieberman's entrance to
the coalition. The decision will now be moved to the Labor party's
central committee that will gather on Sunday. Leading media cited
Peretz as saying that he estimates that the government [with
Lieberman] can survive a year.

Ha'aretz's territories correspondents estimated that the conflict
between Israel and Hamas will most probably escalate due to a
decision in the IDF to try to thwart the establishment of a Hamas
security service in the West Bank.

Leading media cited the Qatari newspaper "Al-Watan" as reporting
that Syria has raised its army's alert level following IDF training
exercises on the Golan Heights.

Ha'aretz reported that Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has
instructed the police and the State Prosecutor's Office to expedite
the six-year investigation against MK Avigdor Lieberman. Lieberman
is suspected of party-funding infractions in the 1999 elections.

All media reported that European Union foreign policy chief Javier
Solana met MK and designated minister Avigdor Lieberman on
Wednesday. The media quoted Solana as saying before the meeting that
he disagreed with Lieberman his whole life.

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

Summary:
--------

Settler leader Israel Harel wrote in the independent, left-leaning
Ha'aretz: "Lieberman's entry into the government will not turn
Israel into an adventurer. Perhaps the opposite is true.... Once the
principal inciter is domesticated, his rhetoric will be domesticated
along with him. Nevertheless, his entry into the government
underscores our key governmental problem: For the last half year,
the prime minister's chair has been occupied by a man who makes
bizarre and even irresponsible decisions, in the political and
security realms alike."

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

"Days of Decline"

Settler leader Israel Harel wrote in the independent, left-leaning
Ha'aretz (10/26): "Iran's race to develop a nuclear bomb, alongside
its president's calls for the destruction of Israel, have caught us
at one of our worst moments. The public has no confidence in senior
government ministers, who proved their lack of wisdom and their
haplessness in the Lebanon war.... This crisis of civilian
leadership is occurring simultaneously with a no less fateful crisis
of military leadership.... Even worse, it is also difficult to point
to any suitable candidates for the post of chief of staff among the
army's top ranks.... Fear should strike us in light of the
possibility that those responsible for the inconceivable results in
Lebanon, among both the political and the military leadership, will
be manning the top civilian and military posts if the worst of all
happens, and we are forced to repel an attack by the Iranians, or
the Syrians, or a coalition of both (with the possible additions of
Hezbollah and an all-out Palestinian offensive). But instead of
the public debate focusing on these fateful issues, it has been
focused -- despite the fact that it is clear to everyone that it is
not his rhetoric that will embroil us with the Iranians -- on
Avigdor Lieberman.... Lieberman, despite his fighting rhetoric, is
not a monster.... Lieberman's entry into the government will not
turn Israel into an adventurer. Perhaps the opposite is true....
Once the principal inciter is domesticated, his rhetoric will be
domesticated along with him. Nevertheless, his entry into the
government underscores our key governmental problem: For the last
half year, the prime minister's chair has been occupied by a man who
makes bizarre and even irresponsible decisions, in the political and
security realms alike.

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

Summary:
--------

Washington based correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "It's hard to predict the force of the wave
threatening to wash over the Republican Party, but at the moment, it
seems likely to be a big one -- the kind that will be remembered for
years to come.... Bush will be left on his own.... On the other
hand, Bush will also be released from the bonds of the party, and
while it is busy with politics, he will attend to posterity. He will
find refuge in projects aimed at carving out his place in
history.... Lebanon and Palestine are likely candidates. Difficult
cases, but ones that seem worthy of further examination."

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

"Alone during the final stretch"

Washington based correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (10/26): "It's hard to predict the force of
the wave threatening to wash over the Republican Party, but at the
moment, it seems likely to be a big one -- the kind that will be
remembered for years to come.... Bush will be left on his own. He
will be cut off from the party leadership, which will be scrambling
to reorganize in anticipation of the next battle and to repair the
damage to its image caused by Bush. On the other hand, Bush will
also be released from the bonds of the party, and while it is busy
with politics, he will attend to posterity. He will find refuge in
projects aimed at carving out his place in history.... Bush will
find refuge in foreign policy.... Lebanon and Palestine are likely
candidates. Difficult cases, but ones that seem worthy of further
examination.... Bush will not find it easy to succeed in these
arenas either, however. The facts on the ground are deceptive, and
his rivals in Congress also will make trouble for him. Some Israeli
observers believe that the Democrats may actually run a right-wing,
end run around Bush regarding issues affecting Israel. The
Democratic leadership will try to prove that it is not too soft to
rule: some will be as tough as Bush, if not tougher, when it comes
to Iran. They will criticize insufficient implementation of UN
Security Council Resolution 1701 on Lebanon, and they could very
well block Bush on the question of Palestine if he or Rice start
looking for achievements that could be interpreted as coming at
Israel's expense."

---------------------
3. UNIFIL in Lebanon:
---------------------

Summary:
--------

Military correspondent Amir Rappaport wrote in popular, pluralist
Maariv: "This is the time to understand, for those who still don't
understand that from their perspective, neither the French nor the
Germans nor any other force came to do the work of the IDF. They
came as a UN force, whose purpose is to ascertain that both sides
are maintaining the cease-fire agreement. Yes, both sides,
including Israel."

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

"This is Just the Beginning"

Military correspondent Amir Rappaport wrote in popular, pluralist
Maariv (10/26): "For ten years, one of Israel's basic principles was
to prevent by any means the involvement of forces from the
international community in the dispute with the Palestinians or the
Arab countries. We certainly had no interest in having forces from
European countries that are not overly fond of us, right under our
noses.... It was not the wet dream of any one in the security
establishment to see a huge international force immediately over
Israel's northern border, but as we did not succeed in getting rid
of Hizbullah in battle we were left with no alternative. Because of
internal considerations, the government and the IDF marketed the
partial achievement of the arrival of the multi-national force as
good news. But now we are beginning to pay the anticipated price
for internationalization. This is the time to understand, for those
who still don't understand, that from their perspective, neither the
French nor the Germans nor any other force came to do the work of
the IDF. They came as a UN force, whose purpose is to ascertain
that both sides are maintaining the cease-fire agreement. Yes, both
sides, including Israel.... The gap between the way in which the
role of the multi-national force is perceived in Israel in contrast
to the way it is viewed in Europe is the source of many problems."
JONES

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