Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

null
Carol X Weakley 11/13/2006 04:09:44 PM From DB/Inbox: Carol X Weakley

Cable
Text:


UNCLAS TEL AVIV 04491

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

DISSEMINATION: PD
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: PAO:HFINN
DRAFTED: PD:RPAZ
CLEARED: IO:STUTTLE

VZCZCTVI556
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 RHMFISS RHMFIUU
DE RUEHTV #4491/01 3171250
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 131250Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7567
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 1189
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 7959
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 1040
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 1954
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 1175
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 8842
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 1896
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 8820
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 9264
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 5941
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 3316
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 8195
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 2433
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4337
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 5031
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 TEL AVIV 004491

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. Prime Minster Olmert Visit to the US

2. Mideast

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

All media reported that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert began his visit
to Washington on Sunday. Israel Radio reported that PM Olmert had
met Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and that the meeting was in
preparation for Olmert's meeting with President George Bush. The
media noted that the main topic of the Olmert-Bush meeting would be
Iran and the Palestinian issue. Yediot reported that PM Olmert
would urge President Bush to: "instill fear into Iran." On the
Palestinian issue the media reported that Olmert intended to tell
President Bush that he is prepared to approve the Palestinian Bader
Brigade to enter Gaza from Jordan, provided that the troops come
without their families and that the units be rotated once every
three months. He is also prepared to approve a weapons transfer from
Egypt and to release funds for humanitarian purposes.

All media cited Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali
Hosseini as saying, in response to several Israeli figures'
statements that Israel may attack Iran, that Iran would put its
Revolutionary Guards into action if Israel attacked the Islamic
Republic: "If Israel takes such a stupid step and attacks, the
answer of Iran and its Revolutionary Guard will be rapid, firm and
destructive and it will be given in a few seconds."

Ha'aretz quoted Palestinian sources as saying that several key
positions in the new cabinet of experts will be given to moderate
figures that are acceptable to the US. According to the sources,
the whole deal is subject to the US's willingness to lift the
economic sanctions placed on the PA, and on Israel's readiness to
release the imprisoned Hamas cabinet ministers as part of a
comprehensive deal for the release of abducted Israel Defense Forces
soldier Gilad Shalit. The paper also reported that Arab League
countries have decided to lift economic sanctions on the PA. This
move is in response to the U.S. veto on Saturday in the UN Security
Council of a resolution sponsored by Qatar denouncing Israel for the
IDF operation in Beit Hanun last week.

All media reported that the committee headed by Major General
(reserves) Doron Almog that was set up to examine the IDF's
functioning during the period leading up to Hezbollah's July 12
attack submitted its findings on Sunday, which were critical of the
IDF at all levels. Brigadier General Gal Hirsch, commander of the
Galilee Division (Division 91), submitted his resignation on Sunday
after Almog had warned him a week ago that he would probably
recommend his ouster. The media reported that Chief of Staff Dan
Halutz rejected all criticisms aimed at officers above the level of
divisional commander and demanded that Almog reexamine his findings
on these issues. Yediot quoted senior IDF officers as saying that
only the resignation of CoS Halutz can pull the IDF from the crisis
it is in.

Maariv reported that four Palestinian organizations threatened that
the US would become a target for terrorist attacks. The Palestinian
threat came in the wake of the US veto at the UN Security Council
against the proposed resolution to condemn Israel for the deaths of
civilians in Beit Hanoun.

TV Channel 10 ran footage from the surveillance cameras that
recorded Jonathan Pollard taking classified materiel out of the US
Navy Intelligence offices shortly before being arrested.

Maariv reported on negotiations between MK Atniel Shneler, PM
Olmert's representative, and the Yesha Council regarding illegal
outposts. According to the agreement under discussion, 15 outposts
will be evacuated, four will be partially evacuated, and eight will
be legalized.

All media cited Lebanese President Emil Lahoud as saying that once
the Hizbullah ministers resigned from the government, the Lebanese
government lost its legitimacy.

On Sunday, Yediot reported that the IDF Intelligence Branch has
recommended that the political echelon examine positively signals
that Syrian President Bashar Assad has been sending to Israel about
his willingness to renew peace negotiations between the two states.
According to the paper, neither PM Olmert nor Mossad Director Meir
Dagan agreed with the IDF Intelligence assessment.

Yediot reported that the Palestinians are demanding that Israel
return all documents it seized in its raid on the Orient House in
East Jerusalem in 2001. According to the Palestinians, the documents
contain historic collective memories of the Palestinian people.

----------------------------------------
1. Prime Minster Olmert Visit to the US:
----------------------------------------

Summary:
--------
Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote in a page-one article in
the independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz: "There is a price to pay for
the political handcuffs restraining Bush and Olmert: Israel is
growing closer to war with Iran and getting sucked deeper into the
quicksands of Gaza."

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: "A
realism worthy of the name would begin with this basic premise: The
refusal to confront and punish aggressive tyrants will not result in
their moderation but in the opposite -- more terrorism, greater
threats, and a less free and more unstable world. We hope that Bush
does not need Olmert to remind him of this, and that our prime
minister's confidence is better placed than meets the eye."

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

I. "A Meeting in Handcuffs"

Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote in a page-one article in
the independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (11/12): "In an ideal world,
Ehud Olmert and George W. Bush would finish the weighty part of
their meeting in five minutes and move on to talking about their
families, their children and sports. Bush would promise to destroy
Iran's nuclear facilities and thus remove the existential threat
hanging over Israel, while Olmert would promise to withdraw from the
territories, evacuate the settlers and create a Palestinian state,
thus giving Bush the 'legacy' of a two-state solution.... The
Democratic victory in the Congressional elections, which has been
interpreted as Bush's punishment for getting stuck in Iraq, has
reduced the chances that the U.S. will attack Iran and thus released
Israel from the unbearably difficult decision of whether or not to
attack Iran's nuclear installations itself.... Olmert, for his part,
has recently promised territorial compromises and a mass release of
Palestinian prisoners. These are empty promises, however, at least
until the government in the Palestinian Authority is replaced....
There is a price to pay for the political handcuffs restraining Bush
and Olmert: Israel is growing closer to war with Iran and getting
sucked deeper into the quicksands of Gaza. The hope that the
'international community' would somehow restrain Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is dying. The pronouncements issued in
Jerusalem and Tehran are growing more strident as both countries
increase their military strength and seek diplomatic refuge in the
UN Security Council.... Israel's 'low profile' policy in the face of
the Iranian threat evaporated over the past several weeks as the
world's impotence in dealing with Iran became more obvious.... That
will be Olmert's primary message to Bush. Will a veiled threat be
sufficient to rouse the U.S. into saving Israel and attacking Iran?
Will Olmert's promises to withdraw from the territories in exchange
persuade the administration?"

II. "Bush, Olmert and Iran"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (11/13):
"Prime Minister Ehud Olmert arrives in Washington as a leader with
the dubious distinction of having lost even more popularity over his
management of a war than has George Bush. Unfortunately, Olmert and
Bush may be the last leaders on earth who are at all serious when
they say that an Iranian bomb must be prevented at all costs. In
fact, it is not clear that Bush himself can still be placed in this
category.... It is Bush who stated flatly that the US would 'not
permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the
world's most destructive weapons.' Yet at precisely the time when
his secretary of state seems to have adopted the notion that the US
must stay in lockstep with Europe ... rather than appointing someone
who might countervail the current feckless approach, Bush nominated
a Pentagon chief who can only be expected to reinforce a path of
accommodation, not confrontation. A realism worthy of the name
would begin with this basic premise: The refusal to confront and
punish aggressive tyrants will not result in their moderation but in
the opposite -- more terrorism, greater threats, and a less free and
more unstable world. We hope that Bush does not need Olmert to
remind him of this, and that our prime minister's confidence is
better placed than meets the eye."

-----------
2. Mideast:
-----------

Summary:
--------

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: "The situation
in the Gaza Strip cries out for the world's help. After hundreds of
Palestinians have been killed and hundreds of Qassam rockets have
landed in Israel, and lacking any exchange between the Palestinian
Authority and Israel, the two sides once again cannot extricate
themselves from the miserable situation into which they have
deteriorated. In light of the situation, the world is called on to
intervene directly, as is the norm in other areas of conflict."

Palestinian affairs correspondent Danny Rubinstein wrote in the
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz: "After all the failed military
attempts to stop the launching of Qassam rockets, the time may have
come for a political attempt, based on the rehabilitation of Gaza
with the help of the new Palestinian government. The lever for its
establishment will be the release of prisoners in a manner that
takes Palestinian demands into account."

Columnist Menachem Ben wrote in the popular, pluralist Maariv:
"Olmert is starting to show signs of weakness in all that concerns
our relationship with the Palestinian and Arab enemy who has yet to
give up anything.... Because the more the enemy recognizes your
desire and weakness ... [the more] it raises its demands and makes
everything impossible."

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

I. "International Force for Gaza"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (11/13): "The
situation in the Gaza Strip cries out for the world's help. After
hundreds of Palestinians have been killed and hundreds of Qassam
rockets have landed in Israel, and lacking any exchange between the
Palestinian Authority and Israel, the two sides once again cannot
extricate themselves from the miserable situation into which they
have deteriorated. In light of the situation, the world is called
on to intervene directly, as is the norm in other areas of conflict.
There is no need here to detail the danger to peace in the region
and indirectly to world peace, as a result of the deterioration in
the Gaza Strip. Israel's actions harm innocent civilians, and images
of the killing broadcast round the world intensify hatred of Israel:
At the same time, Israel cannot reconcile itself with constant
rocket fire on its towns. An international force deployed in Gaza,
primarily in the areas that border Israel and Egypt, could calm the
situation. Both Israel and the Palestinians should be interested in
this.... Israel must initiate the move and thus appear interested in
calming the situation. The world, for its part, should volunteer
for the mission. The prime minister, who has left for political
talks in Washington, could bring this idea with him, which has never
been tried between Israel and the Palestinians and, in doing so,
advance a new reality."

II. "Prisoners' Deal is the Next Step"

Palestinian affairs correspondent Danny Rubinstein wrote in the
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (11/13): "Those who imposed the
siege -- Israel and the United States, and most of the nations of
the world, including Arab nations, can congratulate themselves on
their success. The Hamas government is being forced to resign. Abu
Mazen also contributed to this. Although he is not a leader like
the late PA chair Yasser Arafat, whose death two years ago was
commemorated in the territories this week, circumstances caused him
to maneuver in a way that forced Hamas to give in.... Abu Mazen had
no choice but to participate in the international boycott of his
government. Will the Hamas concessions lead to the establishment of
the new government and to a calming of the situation in Gaza? That's
not a certainty. After Fatah and Hamas agreed on the two important
issues -- a common political policy (based on the "prisoners'
document") and a government of experts -- a third, no less serious,
problem remains: the deal to release prisoners in exchange for
kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Without a solution on this
issue, there is no new Palestinian government. In other words,
there is no chance of removing the siege and of achieving calm....
After all the failed military attempts to stop the launching of
Qassam rockets, the time may have come for a political attempt,
based on the rehabilitation of Gaza with the help of the new
Palestinian government. The lever for its establishment will be the
release of prisoners in a manner that takes Palestinian demands into
account."

III. "Signs of Weakness"

Columnist Menachem Ben wrote in the popular, pluralist Maariv
(11/13): "Olmert is starting to show signs of weakness in all that
concerns our relationship with the Palestinian and Arab enemy who
has yet to give up anything.... Because the more the enemy
recognizes your desire and weakness ... [the more] it raises its
demands and makes everything impossible.... Olmert's defensive
reaction to Syrian peace offers is also worrying.... But most
worrying is the crawling of the right of return into the
[legitimate] Israeli [debate].... Instead of Israel sticking to its
righteous [stand] against the Palestinian and Arab non-compliance,
instead of it clarifying out load that anyone who talks about the
right of return actually blocks any possible peace with Israel, a
new division is made between bad Arabs (who want to destroy Israel
directly) and good Arabs who want to destroy us by using the right
of return. Eventually, we could find ourselves signing some sort of
agreement with the good Arabs on the right of return. Because now
the main goal is peace; it doesn't matter that it will lead to the
destruction of Israel later."
CRETZ

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
World Headlines

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.