Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

null
Carol X Weakley 12/04/2006 03:26:28 PM From DB/Inbox: Carol X Weakley

Cable
Text:


UNCLAS TEL AVIV 04713

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

DISSEMINATION: PD
CHARGE: PROG

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

VZCZCTVI601
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 #4713/01 3381027
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 041027Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7968
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 1303
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 8066
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 1156
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 2067
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 1283
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 8979
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 2005
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 8928
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 9372
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 6048
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 3426
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 8303
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 2540
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4447
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 5238
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 08 TEL AVIV 004713

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: OPRC KMDR IS

SUBJECT: ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION


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

1. Lebanon

2. Mideast

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

Israel Radio reported that on Sunday the diplomatic-security cabinet
adopted PM Ehud Olmert's view that the cease-fire must be
reinforced. Ha'aretz cited the cabinet's decision that the IDF will
no longer arrest Palestinians in the West Bank without explicit
approval from either the OC Central Command or the commander of IDF
forces in the territories. Ha'aretz and other media also reported
that the cabinet urged stricter rules of engagement in the Gaza
Strip. Maariv reported that contrary to Olmert and FM Tzipi Livni,
Defense Minister Amir Peretz approves the IDF's stance that Qassam
rocket fire must be countered. Yediot reported that the army is
reducing its activity in the West Bank.

On Sunday most media emphasized Israel's concerns about the
possibility of a coup in Lebanon. On Sunday Yediot wrote that
Israeli officials have believed for a long time that Iran and Syria
have set themselves the goal of overthrowing Fouad Siniora's
government at any price. Today marks the fourth day of the peaceful
siege of Siniora's office by thousands of demonstrators, with
Hizbullah a dominant force among them. Media reported on some
violent incidents between Shi'ites and Sunnis, in which a young
Shi'ite man was shot to death on Sunday. The Jerusalem Post
reported that the latter have begun to rally behind Siniora. Yediot
reported that FM Livni told her colleagues not to publicly support
Siniora. The Jerusalem Post reported that long-range missiles and
truckloads of advanced anti-tank missiles from Iran and Syria have
been smuggled to Hizbullah in Lebanon over the past four months.
Leading media reported that on Sunday the security cabinet adopted
the defense establishment's recommendation to withdraw IDF soldiers
from the Lebanese side of Ghajar, a village straddling the border
between the two countries. In place of the IDF troops, UN
peacekeepers would be deployed.

The media reported that over the weekend several Qassam rockets were
fired at Israel from the northern Gaza Strip. The IDF did not
respond. Israel Radio reported that this morning an Israeli man was
stabbed in the West Bank village of Bidya.

On Sunday The Jerusalem Post quoted EU foreign policy chief Javier
Solana as saying on Saturday that Hamas has squandered an
opportunity to end the international sanction imposed on the PA.
Israel Radio quoted a senior Egyptian source as saying in an
interview with the London-based Al-Hayat that there is a wide gap
between the positions of Israel and Hamas regarding the issue of
abducted IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

On Sunday Maariv reported that FM Livni is examining an EU proposal
to form an armed multi-national force that will be deployed in the
Gaza Strip and will operate in a format similar to the one used by
UNIFIL in southern Lebanon today. The newspaper said that Olmert is
currently inclined to oppose the idea.

Over the weekend various media cited The Sunday Times of London as
saying that Olmert will soon meet soon with officials in Riyadh in
order to establish a peace treaty between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
According to the report, Olmert met last September with Prince
Bandar bin-Sultan, who is considered to be of King Abdullah's close
advisers.

Ha'aretz reported that last week in Athens Deputy Defense Minister
Ephraim Sneh (Labor Party) and a number of other defense-related
personalities participated in an international seminar on the Middle
East alongside Lebanese and Syrians. This was the first time Sneh
participated in such an event in his current capacity.

Leading media reported that the GOI's anti-terror HQ has warned
Israelis not to stay in the Sinai. The advisory follows an
announcement by the Egyptian government that four Palestinian
terrorists are roaming the area with a view to attacks Israelis.

Over the weekend the media reported that the UN General Assembly
passed a resolution on Friday calling for the withdrawing of Israel
from the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights.
The resolution passed by a large majority of 157. Seven countries
voted against: Israel, the US, Australia, the Marshall Islands,
Micronesia, Nauru, and Palau. Ten members abstained.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel will not cooperate with a UN
fact-finding mission to investigate last month's botched IDF
shelling in the Gaza Strip that killed 19 people, but will not bar
entry into the country to the mission's head, South African Nobel
Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu.

On Sunday Hatzofe reported that Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad spoke skeptically over the course of the weekend about
Israel's ability to continue to exist. In the course of a meeting
between Ahmadinejad and Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in
Doha, Qatar, the Iranian President said that the entire world knew
that Israel had been planted in the Middle East in order to
strengthen the hegemony of the colonialist countries and their
control over the Islamic world. Hatzofe reported that Haniyeh
thanked the Iranian government for its support on Palestine, and
said that the popular Palestinian Intifada would continue until the
occupation was lifted and Jerusalem was liberated.

On Sunday leading media reported that, in its first detailed
response to the Peace Now report that alleged that 40 percent of the
lands of the West Bank settlements are privately owned Palestinian
lands, the Council of Jewish Settlements in the Territories said
that the report was an act of "fraud and deceit by means of which
Peace Now tried to trick Israeli society and the international
community in order to create pressure for a full withdrawal from the
areas that Israel liberated in the Six-Day War."

Outgoing Israeli Ambassador to the US Daniel Ayalon was quoted as
saying in any interview with Globes that Israel should give
preferential treatment to US products such as Boeing aircraft.
Ayalon also said that the Residence of the Israeli Ambassador in
Washington should be demolished and replaced with a building
corresponding to the needs of the 21st century.

Ha'aretz reported that on Sunday the GOI unanimously approved the
establishment of a Ministry of Strategic Affairs, even though AG
Menachem Mazuz wrote a legal opinion in which he points out that the
authority of the office is ambiguous. Avigdor Lieberman has been in
charge of the office.

Ha'aretz reported that the Israeli-Arab community is demanding the
return to villages abandoned in 1948. The newspaper cited other
demands, such as the modification of Israel's national flag and
anthem. The newspaper reported on the role of the NGO The Mossawa
Center - The Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel, in this
development.

Ha'aretz reported that former Defense Ministry counsel and Mossad
staffer Harold Katz has filed a USD 500,000 suit against the state
in Jerusalem District Court. According to the attorney, the state
prevented his travel to the US to recoup moneys seized by
authorities there, due to concerns he would be interrogated
regarding his role in the Jonathan Pollard affair.

Yediot reported that the low rate of the US dollar on the Israeli
markets has created a crisis in real estate in the country.

The Jerusalem Post ran a Jewish Telegraphic Agency feature about
General Motors' alleged collaboration with Nazi Germany.

------------
1. Lebanon:
------------

Summary:
--------

Professor Eyal Zisser, the Chairman of the Department of Middle
Eastern History at Tel Aviv University and a senior expert on Syrian
and Lebanese affairs, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist
Yediot Aharonot: "The United States will also pay the price [for
Syria's takeover of Lebanon], since the fall of Siniora will mark
the end of its adventure in Lebanon and will also mark the path to
the Americans' preparing to leave Iraq and the end of President
Bush's vision of a new Middle East."

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: "It would be
wise to move forward on an Israeli withdrawal from Sheba Farms,
which would grant the Siniora government a diplomatic achievement.
And more important ... is the conducting of effective negotiations
with Syria."

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

I. "Israel Will Pay the Price"

Professor Eyal Zisser, the Chairman of the Department of Middle
Eastern History at Tel Aviv University and a senior expert on Syrian
and Lebanese affairs, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist
Yediot Aharonot (12/3): "At this stage, Nasrallah will settle for
Siniora's acquiescence to some of his demands, the principal one of
which is the establishment of a new government in which Nasrallah
and his allies in the Shi'ite camp will have influence and the right
to veto every decision. This is Nasrallah's goal for now, since in
the long term he has wanted to rule Lebanon for a long time since
the Shi'ite community is the largest in the country. But Nasrallah
has patience, and he is willing to wait until conditions are ripe
for the big move. Prime Minister Siniora is behaving with
extraordinary courage right now in the face of Nasrallah's
threatening display.... [However], if the supporters of Syria indeed
regain control of Lebanon, those who will pay the price will be
those same courageous Lebanese who hoped that Lebanon would embark
on the path of democracy and liberty. The next to pay the price
will be Israel, which will discover that while it succeeded in
driving Hizbullah away from the northern border, it has gotten it as
the kingmaker of Lebanese politics and of the next government in
Beirut. In the end, the United States will also pay the price,
since the fall of Siniora will mark the end of its adventure in
Lebanon and will also mark the path to the Americans' preparing to
leave Iraq and the end of President Bush's vision of a new Middle
East."

II. "A Test of Strength in Lebanon"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (12/3): "The
demonstrations launched by Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah
in Beirut are meant to topple Fouad Siniora's elected government and
replace it with a new one. The immediate pretext was the Siniora
government's approval of a resolution to establish an international
tribunal to try those responsible for the assassination of Rafiq
Hariri in February 2005.... But it seems that the argument over the
tribunal is merely serving as a launching pad for Nasrallah's
political ambitions.... This is a situation in which the
international community, which mobilized quickly to adopt
Resolutions 1559 and 1701, cannot behave as a mere bystander,
watching as the progress achieved in Lebanon is blown to bits. The
Siniora government currently needs more than declarations of
support. A meeting of donor states, which would help the Lebanese
government to extricate itself from the economic crisis that
engulfed it after the war, is an urgent necessity. At the same
time, it would be wise to move forward on an Israeli withdrawal from
Sheba Farms, which would grant the Siniora government a diplomatic
achievement. And more important than either of these is the
conducting of effective negotiations with Syria, whose goal would be
to remove Syria's label as an 'evil state' that supports terror in
exchange for its keeping its hands off Lebanon, completely and
permanently. This is a task of the greatest importance if the
international community, the region and Israel do not wish to see
the start of another local war."

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

Summary:
--------

Diplomatic correspondent Ben Caspit wrote in the popular, pluralist
Maariv: "There are some situations in which you have to grit your
teeth, close your eyes, plug your ears and employ restraint. We are
in the middle of such a situation."

Senior op-ed writer Akiva Eldar commented in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "The urgent need to bolster a coalition of
pragmatists, lend added importance to a settlement with the
Palestinians. This is a wonderful opportunity to hold Olmert to his
word."

Former US Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk wrote in Yediot
Aharonot: "The most urgent issue facing the United States and Israel
... is whether they can find common ground with [the moderate] Arab
countries, which are threatened by Iran's move to achieve regional
hegemony."

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: "If we
don't try [to counter the anti-Israeli mood around the world],
nothing will improve and Israel will have an increasingly hard time
winning acceptance, attracting tourism, selling its products,
conducting scientific research or engaging in cultural dialogue --
in short, keeping its rightful place among the family of nations."

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

I. "Grit Our Teeth"

Diplomatic correspondent Ben Caspit wrote in the popular, pluralist
Maariv (12/4): "There are some situations in which you have to grit
your teeth, close your eyes, plug your ears and employ restraint.
We are in the middle of such a situation.... Anyone who heard Javier
Solana, Condoleezza Rice, the foreign ministers of Germany and
Austria praising Israel's restraint, realize that sometimes you have
to deposit some credit in the bank, instead of spending it.
Therefore, better not to use aspirin against terror now, so that we
can perform emergency surgery, in field conditions, with a lot of
blood and tension, later on. That's the truth. Why will there
apparently be a military operation in Gaza? Because there is no
other choice. Why must we not agree to a cease-fire in the West
Bank? Because a month afterwards Qassam rockets will start falling
on Kfar Sava. The figures show, clearly, that Hamas has made a
strategic decision to link up with Iran, to assimilate completely
the Iranian strategy and become an obedient branch of the
Revolutionary Guards on our doorstep. Since the American pressure
started, with the closing of the Saudi charity and the international
siege, Iran has become Hamas's number one fund provider. Hamas
members go to Iran, train, and return to Gaza through Egypt with
instructions, with new abilities and with plans. In Judea and
Samaria [i.e. the West Bank], the Hamas infrastructure has been
smashed. Any break in IDF activity there would link Hamas's 'land
of ability' in Gaza with the 'land of possibility' in the West Bank.
This would be a fatal link that would turn central Israel into a
battlefield. And therefore, we cannot allow this to happen. And
therefore, we have to employ a little restraint right now. For
later."

II. "Hold Olmert to His Word"

Senior op-ed writer Akiva Eldar commented in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (12/4): "If there is any credibility to
Olmert's words, then the man who rebelled against his leader,
Menachem Begin, and who opposed the first Camp David agreement, has
undergone a major ideological revolution.... It is possible that...
the words were all talk and spin. It is possible that the Sde Boker
address was aimed at the ears of the gentile George Bush, and of the
gentiles in Europe.... [Whatever the case may be], the growing
threat of the spread of radical Islam in the Middle East and the
urgent need to bolster a coalition of pragmatists, lend added
importance to a settlement with the Palestinians. This is a
wonderful opportunity to hold Olmert to his word."

III. "Facing a Piping Hot Middle East"

Former US Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk wrote in Yediot Aharonot
(12/4): "In his speech at the remembrance ceremony for David
Ben-Gurion, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered the Palestinians an
olive leaf. But the address also contained another, less
conspicuous but more important peace proposal: an offer to the Arab
states, which he invited as full partners with Israel and the
Palestinians in making peace, based on the 'positive' details in the
2002 Saudi peace plan.... The most urgent issue facing the United
States and Israel ... is whether they can find common ground with
[the moderate] Arab countries, which are threatened by Iran's move
to achieve regional hegemony. This will be the focus of discussions
next week in Washington at the Saban Forum between senior American
and Israelis officials and experts. This is also the context in
which Olmert's offer to the Arab countries should be understood.
The only effective strategy facing the Iran-Syria-Hizbullah axis is
the construction of an alliance of moderate countries and leaders
that have similar views, and which would include the US, Israel and
those Arab states."

IV. "Branding Israel"
The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (12/4):
"Like corporate products, nations too can be regarded as brand-names
and their standing in the international marketplace evaluated
according to a wide range of criteria. That is what the Anholt
Nation Brands Index does four times annually for 36 nations. This
time Israel too was tested and it came a cropper -- last among the
36 and close to rock-bottom in all categories examined.... Though
the odds undeniably weigh heavily against Israel, given how long we
have neglected the task, there is no excuse for failing to mount a
spirited counter-offensive.... Anholt predicts that even the
cleverest counter-offensive may take 30 years to yield tangible
results. Perhaps, but we can at least try for a quicker turnaround.
One thing is certain: If we don't try, nothing will improve and
Israel will have an increasingly hard time winning acceptance,
attracting tourism, selling its products, conducting scientific
research or engaging in cultural dialogue -- in short, keeping its
rightful place among the family of nations."

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>


Pacific Media Watch: How Pacific Environmental Defenders Are Coping With The Covid Pandemic

SPECIAL REPORT: By Sri Krishnamurthi of Pacific Media Watch Pacific Climate Warriors - creative action to trigger better responses to climate crisis. Image: ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>