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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2022/01 1830954
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 020954Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2045
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
RHMFIUU/CNO WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI PRIORITY 2400
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 9116
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 2430
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3207
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 2421
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0351
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 3159
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0032
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0504
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 7099
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 4515
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 9427
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 3601
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 5544
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 7279
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002022

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

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

SUBJECT: ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION

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

1. Mideast

2. Global War on Terror: UK Terror Attempts

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

The Jerusalem Post reported that difficulty in finding 250 Fatah
prisoners, who have been in jail for a long time but do not have
"blood on their hands," is the reason the cabinet was not asked on
Sunday to approve the prisoner release that PM Ehud Olmert announced
last week at the Sharm el-Sheikh summit. On Sunday, in another
development, Ha'aretz reported that Palestinian sources told the
daily that Olmert's coordinator for prisoners and MIAs, Ofer Dekel,
met over the weekend with a number of senior Hamas members
incarcerated in an Israeli prison. Among the prisoners were members
of the senior Hamas leadership whose release Hamas is demanding in
exchange for freeing Gilad Shalit.

Maariv reported that the IDF is about to start a series of
wide-scale maneuvers in the Golan. The newspaper reported that
Israel conveyed a message to Syria that it has no offensive
intentions. Maariv cited the concern of official sources in
Jerusalem that the Syrians might interpret the exercises as advanced
preparations for an attack in the coming months. Maariv reported
that the IAF is considering procurement of combat versions of Black
Hawk helicopters.

Leading media reported that on Sunday Israel transferred USD 118
million in tax revenues to the Palestinian government, as part of a
series of steps intended to bolster PA Chairman [President] Mahmoud
Abbas.

On Sunday The Jerusalem Post reported that State Department
officials, looking to shift US Security Coordinator Lt. Gen. Keith
Dayton's work with Palestinian forces to the West Bank, have begun
holding discussions with Congressional staff on how to restructure a
USD 86-million funding program previously allocated to Dayton's
activities in Gaza.

Media reported that on Saturday six Palestinian militants were
killed in an IAF attack in the Gaza Strip. One of the dead was
Mohammed al-Rai, who was responsible for firing a rocket-propelled
grenade at an IDF armored personnel carrier on the Philadelphi Road
in May 2004.

In its lead story, Yediot marked the first anniversary of the Second
Lebanon War (according to the Hebrew calendar). On Sunday Ha'aretz
reported that on Friday UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed
concern for the lives of the two abducted in Lebanon last summer.

All media reported that Finance Minister Abraham Hirchson submitted
his resignation from the cabinet to clear the way for PM Olmert's
expected appointment of Interior Minister Roni Bar-On as finance
minister as part of a cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday. Israel Radio
said that, like Hirchson, Bar-On's major qualification is his
loyalty to the PM.

Leading media reported that over the weekend Izz ad-Din el-Qassam,
the armed wing of Hamas, resumed firing Qassam rockets. Makor
Rishon-Hatzofe reported that the group has threatened to attack any
international force that enters the Gaza Strip.

Ha'aretz reported that on Sunday the cabinet approved a deal to
allow four Jordanians imprisoned in Israel for killing an Israeli
officer and a soldier in the Jordan Valley in 1990 to serve out
sentences in Jordan.

Major media reported that on Sunday the Labor Party's Central
Committee approved Defense Minister and Labor Party Chairman Ehud
Barak's proposal that if Olmert did not resign after the publication
of the Winograd Commission report, the Labor Party would quit the
government. The media reported that the Central Committee called
for elections in 2008 with Barak as the party's candidate.

Leading media (banner in Ha'aretz) reported that on Sunday senior
GOI officials decided to deport refugees, mostly from Africa, who
have been crossing into Israel from the Sinai Peninsula. The
refugees are most likely to be deported to Egypt, which PM Olmert
said was willing to accept them after assurance from President Hosni
Mubarak. Ha'aretz cited human rights groups as saying that this
would be a "blatant violation of international law."

Over the weekend the media reported on the latest terrorist attempts
in Britain.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the heads of several American
universities will arrive in Israel today for a week of briefings by
Israeli education officials, politicians, academics, and other
prominent leaders.

Ha'aretz ran a feature about Magdi Allam, an Egyptian-born Italian
writer and journalist, who recently published a book "whose name
alone is enough to endanger his life": "Long Live Israel - From the
Ideology of Death to the Civilization of Life: My Story."

The media reported that Thomas K. Mooney, the US Defense Attach in
Cyprus, has been missing since Thursday.

The media continued to report and comment on the Katsav affair.

Maariv reported that American Jews are donating less to the Joint
Distribution Committee and Jewish Agency and instead giving directly
to Israel.

Yediot reported that the principal Israeli diplomats in the US and
at UN Headquarters in New York will be the first diplomats to use
hybrid-fuel vehicles. The newspaper reported that US Ambassador to
the US Sallai Meridor started the initiative. Yediot quoted Foreign
Ministry officials as saying that this is a symbolic gesture, which
could nonetheless bring image achievements to Israel.

Maariv reported that The New York Times listed the (Israeli) Idan
Raichel Project among the most important world music CDs released
over the past year.

Maariv reported that Israeli security guards are providing security
for Walid Jufali, a Saudi tycoon.

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

Summary:
--------

Palestinian affairs correspondent Danny Rubinstein wrote in the left
leaning, independent Ha'aretz: "Abu Mazen will not be able to
fulfill any agreement with Israel without an arrangement with
Hamas."

Shlomo Avineri, Hebrew University Professor of Political Science and
former director-general of the Foreign Ministry, wrote in the
conservative, independent Jerusalem Post: "If Blair tries to
implement in Palestine what he and Bush failed to achieve in Iraq,
he will add another failure to his record. Both he -- and more
importantly, the Palestinians -- deserve better."

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

I. "Fatah Is Waiting For Israel"

Palestinian affairs correspondent Danny Rubinstein wrote in the left
leaning, independent Ha'aretz (7/2): "The embarrassment and
confusion in the top echelons of Fatah stem first and foremost from
the clear impression that the Palestinian street favors Hamas. In
light of this, there is now a situation where Fatah activists on the
West Bank are waiting for Israel and the IDF to do their dirty work
of repressing and eliminating Hamas in Gaza.... The loser will be
Israel, which will be accused once again of crimes against the
civilian population. Among the leadership of the PA, in most of the
Arab regimes, and of course in Europe, America and Israel, nobody
wants Hamas, whose support comes mainly from the general Palestinian
public. It is clear today to every Palestinian that if Hamas is not
in the game, then there is no game. Abu Mazen will not be able to
fulfill any agreement with Israel without an arrangement with Hamas.
Abu Mazen and the PLO, and the Arab regimes, have to get along with
Hamas, and not with the 'help' of a siege, or via assassinations or
starvation policies carried out by Israel."


II. "A Road Map For Mr. Blair"

Shlomo Avineri, Hebrew University Professor of Political Science and
former director-general of the Foreign Ministry, wrote in the
conservative, independent Jerusalem Post (7/2): "There is one aspect
of [Tony] Blair's mission statement which is new -- and in which he
may get some results if he moves wisely and carefully: He is to help
the Palestinians build up coherent institutions.... There is a wider
context here, and Blair should learn from the Iraqi experience,
where he shared President Bush's naive belief that absent Saddam,
Iraqi democracy would automatically flourish.... Tony Blair would be
making a colossal mistake in focusing on trying to achieve another
set of elections, or another chimerical unity government (the Saudis
tried this, and failed dismally). What the Palestinians need at
this moment is not another futile exercise in Western-imposed
democracy but assistance in putting together the building blocs of a
coherent polity.... As European history as shown, before you get
democracy you need a strong and efficient state..... There are no
short cuts, and if Blair tries to implement in Palestine what he and
Bush failed to achieve in Iraq, he will add another failure to his
record. Both he -- and more importantly, the Palestinians --
deserve better."

---------------------------------------------
2. Global War on Terror: UK Terror Attempts:
---------------------------------------------

Summary:
--------

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: "There
is no escaping the overarching truth: We, the West, are under
attack, and will continue to be until we not only recognize that war
has been declared against us, but act decisively and collectively to
win that war."

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

"The West at War"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (7/2):
"Defeating amorphous groups like al-Qaida may be difficult even if
they can be deprived of state sanctuary and the growing prospect of
a nuclear umbrella. But defeating them without addressing these key
elements of sponsorship -- including the billions of dollars still
flowing from Saudi Arabia and other countries in support of radical
Islamist schools -- is not possible. However successfully they were
foiled, the latest terrorist attempts against the United Kingdom
demonstrate that no wide open society can hermetically seal itself
off. There is no escaping the overarching truth: We, the West, are
under attack, and will continue to be until we not only recognize
that war has been declared against us, but act decisively and
collectively to win that war."

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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