Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction
Leza L Olson 11/03/2006 02:17:34 PM From DB/Inbox: Leza L Olson
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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
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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: IS KMDR
SUBJECT: ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION
SUBJECTS COVERED IN THIS REPORT:
1. US Israeli Relations
Key stories in the media:
Leading media reported that US top envoys Elliot Abrams and David
Welsh met Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Thursday. According to the
media the two envoys demanded that Israel halts its IAF flights over
Lebanon saying they are undermining the standing of Lebanese Prime
Minister Fouad Siniora. The media also noted that the meeting with
Olmert was dedicated to prepare his visit to the US and that they
did not put forth any new diplomatic initiative on behalf of the
Ha'aretz reported that following the destruction two weeks ago of
structures in the old industrial park during an Israel Defense
Forces operation in the Gaza Strip, Turkey has postponed a visit by
a delegation from Ankara that was supposed to sign an agreement on
developing a joint Israeli-Palestinian industrial park. According to
the paper, the Americans, who are backing the plan, also expressed
dissatisfaction with Israel's action through envoys David Welch and
Leading media reported that PM Olmert met U.S. Director of National
Intelligence John Negroponte on Thursday. Negroponte is visiting
Israel as the guest of Mossad chief Meir Dagan. The media noted that
Negroponte's talks with Israeli intelligence officials are focusing
on Iran and its nuclear program.
All media reported that the IDF operation in Gaza continues. Israel
Radio reported that on Friday a Palestinian militant was killed in
Beit Hanun and four Hamas men were killed in an Israeli air strike
in Gaza City. Also on Friday, Israel Defense Forces troops fatally
shot a top Fatah militant in the West Bank who was apparently
planning to detonate a car bomb.
Israel Radio reported that IDF troops opened fire Friday on a group
of women who streamed to a north Gaza mosque to serve as human
shields for gunmen holed up there, killing one and wounding 10. The
radio reported that the troops have been trading fire with militants
firing from the mosque. According to reports part of the roof
collapsed during the clashes, but it is yet unclear if there were
causalities in the event.
Israel Radio reported that IDF have arrested another Palestinian
Minister Abdel Rahman Zaidan, a Hamas official, in Ramallah on
Ha'aretz quotes security officials as saying that the Egyptians are
doing almost nothing to prevent weapon smuggling into Gaza.
According to these sources the frustration is big because Israel has
forwarded to Egypt the names of the smuggling organizers and lists
of suspects but they did nothing.
Maariv reported that Minister of Defense Amir Peretz has met with a
European negotiator and relayed a message, in which he hinted that
aid in the release of Gilad Shalit could lead to a resumption of
political negotiations between Israel and Syria. The paper noted
that despite the fact that the defense minister continues to open
the door to Assad, it is not clear whether this has been coordinated
PM Ehud Olmert.
Yediot reported that following warnings of a strategic terror attack
on Israel's water supplies, the cabinet is expected to approve the
establishment of a national water security administration that will
also prepare for a scenario water resources poisoning.
Leading media reported Iran has test-fired its Zilzal, Shahab 2 and
Shahab 3 ballistic missiles, which have the capability of reaching
Israel and Europe.
The Jerusalem Post quoted PM Olmert as saying, in a special session
in the Knesset to mark the 11th anniversary of the assassination of
prime minister Yithak Rabin, that the world is too slow in standing
up to Iran.
Leading media reported that generals in the IDF General Staff have
gathered material regarding the conduct of Chief of Staff Lt. Gen.
Dan Halutz during the Lebanon war, and they intend to present it to
the Winograd Committee.
A poll conducted by Ha'aretz and Dialog under the guidance of
Professor Camille Fuchs found:
Seventy percent are unsatisfied by PM Olmert's job; 20 percent are
pleased; 10 percent are indecisive.
Eighty two percent are unsatisfied by Minister of Defense Peret'z
job; 14 percent are pleased and 4 percent are indecisive.
1. US Israeli Relations:
Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote in independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "How do you know that Ehud Olmert is about to
go to Washington? Very simple: Read the cabinet decisions. If you
find promises there to strengthen Palestinian Authority Chairman
Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) and 'to make concessions on humanitarian
grounds' to the population in the Gaza Strip, you can assume there
is a need to satisfy the Americans."
"Words, Words, Words"
Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote in independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (11/03): "How do you know that Ehud Olmert is
about to go to Washington? Very simple: Read the cabinet decisions.
If you find promises there to strengthen Palestinian Authority
Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) and 'to make concessions on
humanitarian grounds' to the population in the Gaza Strip, you can
assume there is a need to satisfy the Americans. The concessions
were made public -- what a coincidence -- hours before U.S.
administration emissaries David Walsh and Elliott Abrams arrived to
prepare Olmert's trip to the United States.... This time the envoys
arrived with an ambitious plan that was formulated by Lieutenant
General Keith Dayton, who is coordinating security vis-a-vis the
Palestinians for the administration. The United States wants to
push Abu Mazen into a military confrontation in Gaza, which will
topple the Hamas government.... There has been less enthusiasm in
Israel.... But it is hard to refuse the Americans; and the solution
was to affirm the Dayton plan in principle, without committing to
its details (which were not even presented to the cabinet
ministers). That way Olmert's visit can take place in a calm
atmosphere and thereafter, the promises will be forgotten, as after
all visits in the past."
Independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: "The flights over
Beirut are currently helping Hezbollah rather than hurting it.
There are enough diplomatic ways for Israel to express its protest.
The violation of Lebanese sovereignty should not be considered the
first resort, nor should it be seen as a trivial matter."
"Provocation in Lebanon's Skies"
Independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (11/03): "In recent
days, Israel Air Force aircraft have repeatedly flown over Beirut to
signal Israel's dissatisfaction with the diplomatic situation that
emerged following the war and with the nonimplementation of United
Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which brought an end to
the fighting after it was accepted by all sides. The assumption that
a provocation of this sort over Lebanon's airspace will somehow
further Israel's interests has been part of Israel's security policy
for years.... There is nothing like overflights of Beirut,
especially the kind that terrorize the residents, to help Hezbollah
justify its continued arming against Israel.... Lebanon is
experiencing an internal political crisis that could alter the
character of the state and elevate Hezbollah and its supporters to
power. It is doubtful that this is the sort of outcome that those
supporting the war thought about when they decided to respond with
force to the abduction of two soldiers.... In such a sensitive
situation, it is doubtful that Israel's provocation over Beirut was
wise. The violation of Lebanon's sovereign airspace is in itself a
violation of the cease-fire agreement, and when its purpose was
political rather than defense-related, it seems doubtful that it
reflected a far-sighted diplomatic vision. Nonetheless, it is clear
that Israel should not accept the continued flow of weapons from
Syria into Lebanon. The flights over Beirut are currently helping
Hezbollah rather than hurting it. There are enough diplomatic ways
for Israel to express its protest. The violation of Lebanese
sovereignty should not be considered the first resort, nor should it
be seen as a trivial matter."