Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0007
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2722/01 2531014
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 101014Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3202
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 2708
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 9412
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 2798
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3506
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 2740
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0736
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 3470
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0341
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0810
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 7393
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 4832
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 9742
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 3898
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 5840
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 7866
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002722

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

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

Mideast

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

All media continued to report on the aftermath of the alleged
incursion of Israeli planes into Syrian air space. Ha'aretz and
other media reported that Syrian FM Walid Mualem told EU ambassadors
in Damascus that he expected to lodge a complaint with the UN
Security Council in the coming days. Mualem traveled later to
Turkey, where he is expected to discuss the alleged airspace
violation with Turkish officials. On Sunday major media reported
that Turkey has asked Israel for clarifications after finding two
fuel tanks on its territory near the Syrian border. Israel Radio
quoted Mualem as saying that Syria is prepared to defend itself but
that it is looking forward to peace. Major media quoted Defense
Minister Ehud Barak as saying at Sunday's cabinet meeting that the
IDF conducts "courageous and unusual operations," adding, "This is
an activity that naturally cannot always be revealed to the public."
The Jerusalem Post quoted a senior Israeli defense official as
saying on Sunday that the mounting tension between Israel and Syria
has started to subside. Leading media noted that the Arab world is
keeping silent on the issue. On Sunday Yediot quoted senior Iranian
officials as saying that Islamic states would back Syria.

Leading media reported that PM Ehud Olmert is scheduled to meet with
PA Chairman [President] Mahmoud Abbas in Jerusalem today. Ha'aretz
quoted Palestinian sources as saying that Abbas will press Olmert to
begin drafting a document of principles that will be presented at
the international meeting in the fall,. Ha'aretz said that Olmert
prefers a one-page document that lists five general principles that
will serve as guidelines. Israel Radio reported that Knesset
Speaker Dalia Itzik met with Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad at her
residence. The radio quoted Fayyad as saying in an interview with a
Saudi newspaper that the failure of the international Mideast meting
would have far-reaching consequences for the entire region and that
agreement on the core final-status issues must be reached before the
meeting. On Sunday Maariv reported that for the first time in the
history of relations between Israel and the Palestinians, Abbas has
been invited to address the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense
Committee. The invitation was given by the committee's Chairman, MK
Tzachi Hanegbi. The Jerusalem Post reported that a high-ranking
Israeli defense official told the newspaper on Sunday that the IDF
and the Shin Bet are vehemently opposed to removing roadblocks in
the West Bank as a goodwill gesture to the Palestinians. The
official was quoted as saying that the defense establishment first
wants the Palestinians to prove their capabilities in combating
terrorism in the West Bank.

On Sunday the media (banner in Maariv) quoted Palestinian sources as
saying that IDF special forces kidnapped Muhawash el-Kadi Nuimat
(a.k.a. Abu-Khaled), a Hamas official, out of the southern Gaza
Strip on Friday evening. According to Maariv, he was "recently
appointed the commander of Hamas's military wing in the southern
Gaza Strip. In this capacity he is responsible, among other things,
for the arms smuggling operations from Egypt and he has extensive
knowledge about the state of the kidnapped soldier.Q Coverage was
less intensive in other media.

Ha'aretz reported that on Sunday King Abdullah II of Jordan
conferred with the Middle East Quartet's envoy, Tony Blair, and
pledged his country's support for the group's efforts to shore up
confidence between Israel and the Palestinians, according to an
official statement.

On Sunday The Jerusalem Post and other media reported that, buoyed
by the growing street protests against Hamas, Fatah leaders vowed
over the weekend to step up their efforts to end Hamas's rule in the
Gaza Strip.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Wesley Clark, former NATO supreme
allied commander and 2004 Democratic Party presidential candidate,
told the newspaper on the sidelines of this week's counterterrorism
conference at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya that the US
should embark on a diplomatic offensive with Iran before it is too
late and the only alternative left is war.

Maariv reported that various security branches advocate distributing
biochemical protection kits to the Israeli population, but that
Barak is opposed to such a move.

On Sunday The Jerusalem Post reported that on Thursday the US Senate
passed its version of the foreign aid bill, which includes USD 2.4
billion for Israel and USD 1.3 billion for Egypt.

On Sunday all media reported on Osama bin Ladin's first video
appearance in five years.

Ha'aretz reported that Iran plans to vie for one of the temporary
seats on the UN Security Council, according to a low-key
announcement last week in a routine informational document
distributed by the Asia Group of member states. The newspaper
quoted diplomats at UN Headquarters in New York as saying that Iran
has little chance of beating Japan, particularly in view of the
Security Council sanctions imposed on Iran for refusing to halt its
nuclear program.

Leading media reported that on Sunday the IDF thwarted a suicide
bombing in Tel Aviv, arresting a Palestinian youth who was carrying
three explosive devices at the Beit Iba checkpoint on the outskirts
of Nablus. Earlier on Sunday, a Qassam rocket struck an open area
near a kibbutz in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. Also on
Sunday, Palestinian militants fired four mortar shells at Kibbutz
Kerem Shalom near southern Gaza.

Ha'aretz reported that on Sunday members of the Committee to Prevent
the Destruction of Temple Mount Antiquities petitioned the High
Court of Justice, seeking to stop an excavation by the Waqf on the
Temple Mount. The petition is against PM Olmert, other cabinet
ministers, and the Israel Antiquities Authority. It was signed,
among others, by prominent author A. B. Yehoshua; former Tel Aviv
mayor Shlomo Lahat; Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations;
prominent archaeologists; and The Jerusalem Post, which also claimed
that the Mount is closed to media coverage.

Ha'aretz reported that on Sunday Jordanian authorities prevented the
head of the northern branch of Israel's Islamic Movement, Sheikh
Raed Salah, from entering Jordan. The Jordanians did not give a
reason for barring Salah entry. On Sunday The Jerusalem Post
reported that on Friday Salah reiterated his promise that Israel
would disappear.

On Sunday The Jerusalem Post reported that a UN conference on joint
water management strategies in the Middle East convened in New York
this week. The workshop was sponsored by Hadassah, the Women's
Zionist Organization of America.

On Sunday The Jerusalem Post printed an AP wire report that the US
would cut off funding to the UN Human Rights Council under a bill
passed by the Senate, the latest action by Washington to target an
agency it has harshly criticized since its creation last year.
The Jerusalem Post reported that fertility experts in Iran, Egypt,
Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Cyprus, and Israel have
cooperated with reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Eric Scott Sills of
New York's RMA-Vassar Brothers Medical Center, to publish what is
reportedly the first ever collaborative study on in-vitro
fertilization services in the Middle East.

Major media reported that Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu told the
Winograd Commission that the decision to go to war in July 2006 was
made hastily.

Over the weekend all media reported that a month ago the police
arrested eight Petah-Tikva youths -- immigrants from the former
Soviet Union -- suspected of running a neo-Nazi cell. The suspects
attacked Jewish men wearing skullcaps, foreign workers, homosexuals,
and drug addicts, and filmed their acts of abuse.

The Jerusalem Post wrote that the Economic Intelligence Unit
reported on Sunday that Israel was ranked the 23rd most attractive
country in which to do business over the next five years.

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

Summary:
--------

Military correspondent Amos Harel wrote on page one of the
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz: "It is safe to assume that Assad
will make some sort of move to keep Israel on the edge of its seat
over the [upcoming Jewish] holidays."

Senior columnist Nahum Barnea wrote in the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "Only the government leaders in Israel
are keeping silent.... One may assume that the welcome silence of
the weekend will not last long."

Defense commentator Amir Oren wrote in Ha'aretz: "The present crisis
may blow over, but the fragile nature of relations between Israel
and Syria will continue threatening to ignite at any moment.
Although war did not break out, joy is premature: No basic problem

has been solved. To move ahead to a solution, talk, not silence, is
needed."

Senior op-ed writer Akiva Eldar commented in Ha'aretz: "No military
operation -- not even a victory -- can take the place of a
diplomatic agreement."

Military correspondent Alex Fishman wrote in Yediot Aharonot: "The
Syrians are not yet prepared for war.... In the meantime, they can
promote terrorism in the territories."

The Director of the Interdisciplinary Center's Global Research in
International Affairs Center, columnist Barry Rubin, wrote in The
Jerusalem Post: "Policy must be tough, cynical, and involve equal
trade-offs, rather than proofs of good will or flattery designed to
win friends."

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

I. "Tense Holiday Season"

Military correspondent Amos Harel wrote on page one of the
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (9/10): "It is safe to assume
that Assad will make some sort of move to keep Israel on the edge of
its seat over the holidays. The Jewish New Year [late this week] is
an emotionally vulnerable time. Yom Kippur [in two weeks], with the
fresh historic memory it arouses, is even more delicate. But no one
among the military and political top brass deluded himself that the
story ended the day the aircraft violated, allegedly, Syrian
airspace. On the Israeli side, the leadership is evidently
surprising itself by its ability to impose restraint on the
ministers and generals.... At times of deliberate obfuscation like
now, however, even the most banal statement takes on a slightly
greater significance."

II. "Absolute Silence"

Senior columnist Nahum Barnea wrote in the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot (9/10): "What has been going on over the
past few days among the top echelon in the country is so rare....
Syria is issuing threats. Television stations all over the Arab
world are brimming with anger. Turkey is troubled.... And only the
government leaders in Israel are keeping silent.... One may assume
that the welcome silence of the weekend will not last long. The
story will come out. If not here, then with the help of foreign
reports. If not in the veteran media, then on the Internet. If not
now, then on the eve of elections. Or the next coalition crisis, or
on the eve of a round of appointments at the IDF General Staff, or
at the next interview given by one of those in on the secret on a TV
interview program. The generation of Israelis who took their
secrets to their graves (or at least until they retired), has died,

SIPDIS
and in their stead has risen a generation which does not suffice
with eulogies: It needs instant glory. If there is a headline, it
will appear immediately. And if, after I have gone underground, a
headline appears, let it be protected forever. This is the reason
that these days all the journalists in the country have a problem
sleeping. They would all be happy to be the first to publish.
Mainly, they find it hard to bear the thought that they will be the
second."

III. "Welcome to the Middle East"

Defense commentator Amir Oren wrote in Ha'aretz (9/9): "Israel has
tripped itself up before with the boasting that accompanied its
defeats of Arab countries, even when the defeats were justified....
After each achievement by the IDF comes a timeout, which the
defeated use to grow stronger and tighten alliances. Syria has not
buckled under, despite its weakness vis-a-vis Israel.... In an
interview published in the current issue of the Israel Air Force
journal, IAF Air Directorate Commander Brigadier General Yochanan
Loker praised some of the IAF's abilities to strike its targets.
These are indeed impressive, especially the IAF's superior
intelligence and ability to surprise its targets and their defenses.
But their strategic impact is limited. It is very difficult to
deliver a fatal blow to the will of a government, people, or
organization to go on fighting until it achieves its political or
religious goals. The present crisis may blow over, but the fragile
nature of relations between Israel and Syria will continue
threatening to ignite at any moment. Although war did not break
out, joy is premature: No basic problem has been solved. To move
ahead to a solution, talk, not silence, is needed."

IV. "The Syrian Riddle"

Senior op-ed writer Akiva Eldar commented in Ha'aretz (9/10): "Syria
is playing a double game. On the one hand, it is dipping into
Iran's arms caches, complementing what is lacking there with
purchases from Russia, and sending its surpluses to Hizbullah. On
the other hand, it voted in favor of the Arab League initiative,
which offers Israel peace and normalized relations in return for
occupied territory.... From Israel's point of view, the most
important question is what will happen to the Arab consensus in the
coming months.... According to Israeli intelligence analysts, Syrian
patience will hold out until early 2009. Assad is counting on a
Democratic White House lifting the embargo on Syria and convincing
Israel to renew negotiations. By then, Syria will have completed
its arms procurement program, and Iran may also have completed its
nuclear program. On the other hand, Israel will not have completed
development of the anti-missile technologies that the Defense
Minister has been discussing. These same analysts believe that the
Alawite regime in Damascus is not interested in becoming a pawn in
an Iranian war for regional hegemony. But either way, before being
drawn into a war, all means to prevent it must be sought. And in
any case, no military operation -- not even a victory -- can take
the place of a diplomatic agreement."

V. "Syria Isn't Ready Yet"

Military correspondent Alex Fishman wrote in Yediot Aharonot (9/9):
"Syria has a history of committing acts of terrorism by proxy. And
if the Iranians become involved in this story, we can expect payback
by means of a terror attack against Israeli and Jewish targets
around the world. Hizbullah has sleeper cells in Europe, South
America, and Africa, and they might try to attack embassies or
Israeli commercial companies. The Syrians are not yet prepared for
war. They are not going to do anything that might provoke a
full-scale war. They will be operationally prepared only in 2009,
with the completion of the major arms deal with Russia. In the
meantime, they can promote terrorism in the territories -- mainly in
Gaza. They are going to have a hard time setting Lebanon on fire
against us because Hizbullah, for the time being, is not interested
in having that happen."

VI. "Influence in the Mideast"

The Director of the Interdisciplinary Center's Global Research in
International Affairs Center, columnist Barry Rubin, wrote in The
Jerusalem Post (9/10): "Policy must be tough, cynical, and involve
equal trade-offs, rather than proofs of good will or flattery
designed to win friends. Iran knows that; America often does, and
Europe usually doesn't. That's why flattering Mahmoud Abbas,
showering money and arms on Fatah, and thinking one can turn the
West Bank into a showcase of economic progress isn't going to work.
Nor will persuading the Arab world that America and Europe care
about the Palestinians, want to give them a state, and don't like
Israel. A reasonable strategy requires showing how unprofitable it
is to be an enemy while helping those on the other side only to the
extent that they cooperate. It means not having to apologize but
getting those who ignore your interests to apologize to you. It
requires taking into account regional realities rather than
sentimentalizing them into morality plays. It includes not expecting
to solve neatly problems which have no solution."

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Samoa’s Stunning Election Result: On The Verge Of A New Ruling Party For The First Time In 40 Years

Tamasailau Suaalii Sauni , University of Auckland and Patricia A. O'Brien , Georgetown University Samoan politics is on a knife edge. After the country voted in general elections on April 9, counting so far has resulted in a dead heat between the two ... More>>

Timor-Leste: UN Agencies Support Response In Wake Of Deadly Floods

United Nations agencies in Timor-Leste are supporting response efforts, as floods and landslides left widespread damage across the country, including in the capital, Dili. According to media reports, at least 21 people died in the country and many ... More>>

Myanmar: Stop ‘Widespread Violence’ Against Children, UN Officials Urge

Senior United Nations officials on Thursday strongly condemned the ongoing violence by Myanmar’s security forces against civilians, including children, as the members of the Security Council expressed alarm at the rapidly deteriorating situation in ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Growing Calls For Revamping Development Financing To Ensure Sustainable Global Recovery From COVID-19 Pandemic

Forum to highlight new initiatives to tackle inequalities exacerbated by pandemic With many economies reeling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as inequalities continue to widen, world leaders will discuss options to unlock concrete investments ... More>>

How Can We Vaccinate The World? Five Challenges Facing The UN-Backed COVAX Programme

The aim of the UN-backed COVAX scheme is to get two billion vaccine doses into the arms of around a quarter of the population of poorer countries by the end of 2021. What are the main challenges that need to be overcome, if this historic global effort ... More>>

Department Of Global Communications: UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ Message For World Health Day 2021

5 APRIL 2021 As COVID-19 Reveals Immoral Inequities in Health System, Secretary-General Observance Message Calls for Applying Policies, Assigning Resources to Ensure Everyone Thrives Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for World ... More>>