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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2880/01 2741013
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 011013Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3467
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
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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 2791
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 9488
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 2892
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3590
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 2825
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0847
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 3555
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0419
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0890
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 7469
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 4916
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 9824
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 3975
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 5920
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 8033
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002880

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:
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Iran

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Key stories in the media:
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Israel Radio quoted Palestinian sources as saying that last night
Hamas handed over an Al Qaeda terrorist to Egypt. In exchange,
Egypt let Hamas and Islamic Jihad members cross into Gaza.

Over the weekend leading media quoted a US official as saying on
Saturday that the US is likely to hold its Middle East meeting in
Annapolis, Maryland. Abbas was quoted as saying on Sunday in Cairo
that more than 36 countries are expected to participate in the fall
meeting, which he said "makes it necessary for us to arrive there
with a clear document that will 'pave the way' for future talks on
the details of a final agreement." However, Ha'aretz quoted
Palestinian sources as saying that it is doubtful whether Syria,
Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia will attend the meeting. On Sunday Yediot
cited assessments in the US that Syria will participate. Makor
Rishon-Hatzofe quoted Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa as
saying that Syria will take part in the meeting.

Leading media reported that PM Ehud Olmert and PA Chairman
[President] Mahmoud Abbas are scheduled to meet on Wednesday. On
Sunday Ha'aretz reported that Israel fears Palestinian positions may
be hardening ahead of the first meeting between Israeli and
Palestinian negotiating teams which will work on a joint statement
ahead of the November meeting. Today Ha'aretz quoted a senior
Palestinian source as saying that the PA will publicly call for the
involvement of an international body to oversee the implementation
of agreements with Israel on economic and political reforms in the
PA. According to the same source, who is involved in the
negotiations, Israel is expected to accept the participation of a
"third party" in the region. The senior official was quoted as
saying that the PA would agree to a formula in which the
international body would function in a similar fashion as UNIFIL.
The makeup of the international body and its authority will be
determined during the summit, but an agreement may be reached even
sooner, according to the senior Palestinian source. The senior
Palestinian official made it clear that from the point of view of
the PA, the involvement of the US alone will not be enough. He was
quoted as saying that the new body will not only be involved in
matters pertaining to negotiations, but will include representatives
from other countries, like Japan, the Arab League and the EU.

On Sunday The Jerusalem Post reported that Chairman Abbas told the
newspaper that an offer similar to the one proposed at Camp David
in 2000 (92 percent of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip) is not
enough. He insisted on the pre-1967 borders. On Sunday Maariv
reported that "very high-ranking" political officials in Jerusalem
told Abbas that Israel will not announce an historic concession on
any of the three core issues of the conflict even at the price of
having the international conference fail.

Ha'aretz reported that Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter told
the newspaper this weekend that the Samaria and Judea (Shai) [i.e.
West Bank] District Police will move its headquarters to the
controversial E-1 area, which links Jerusalem with the West Bank
settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim, by the end of this year, regardless of
whether or not the US approves.

All media reported that on Sunday thousands of settlers hiked to
five empty hilltops in the West Bank and created five new outposts.
The Jerusalem Post quoted Datya Yitzhaki, one of the organizers of
the event, as saying: "It is our answer to [Secretary of State]
Condoleezza Rice," referring to the fall meeting. The media quoted
the IDF as saying that it was planning to evacuate the activists
from the hilltops, but that evacuations might be postponed --
according to The Jerusalem Post, because of counterterrorism
operations being carried out in the West Bank.

Leading media reported that Israel is to set free 87 Palestinian
security prisoners today.

Ha'aretz and The Jerusalem Post reported that Hamas has called yet
again for a cease-fire (hudna) with Israel. Ha'aretz said that a
GOI spokesman dismissed Hamas's statement.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the UN Office for the Coordination
of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned on Sunday that if Israel
carries out its threatened sanctions after declaring Gaza "hostile
territory," it would likely create a humanitarian crisis.

Ha'aretz reported that on Sunday Syria denied that military activity
is taking place at the Dir al-Zur research farm, which was the
target of an Israeli bombing raid in Syria about a month ago,
according to a report last week in Yediot. On Sunday Maariv cited
the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida as saying the Ali-Reza Asgari, the
Iranian general who defected to the West, provided information that
assisted Israel in its attack on Syria. The Jerusalem Post cited a
denial by the Arab Center for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry
Lands in Syria. Over the weekend major media reported that on
Saturday Syrian Vice President Farouk Shara accused Israel of
planning to attack his country, rejecting reports that the alleged
IAF earlier this month targeted a nuclear facility. On Sunday
leading media cited quoted Shara as saying on Saturday that his
country does not want war with Israel "in the distant or near
future."

Over the weekend leading media reported that the UN Security Council
will not vote on imposing tougher sanctions on Iran before November
at the earliest, when the IAEA is expected to submit its report on
Iran's nuclear weapons program.

On Sunday Ha'aretz and The Jerusalem Post reported that on Friday
Britain's University and College Union announced that it is dropping
its controversial plans to boycott Israeli universities, after
deciding that a boycott would be illegal.

On Sunday Ha'aretz quoted the Foreign Ministry as saying that Israel
is concerned by the situation in Myanmar, and that it urges the
government to demonstrate restraint from harming demonstrators.

The Jerusalem Post cited The New Yorker as saying that the US plans
for an attack on Iran are insufficient for Israel. Major media
quoted former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton as saying that he
sees no alternative to a preemptive strike on Iranian nuclear
facilities.

On Sunday Ha'aretz reported that Israel is considering downgrading
its relations with Venezuela in light of the extremist anti-Israel
line taken by the country's government under President Hugo Chavez.
Israel is concerned about the growing alliance between Chavez and
his Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Maariv reported that the Interior Ministry is examining a USG offer
to provide Israel with biometric passports, whose bearers will not
need visas to travel to the U.S. The newspaper quoted Interior
Minister Meir Sheetrit as saying that the nature of the US proposal
is not clear, but that he "would be happy to exempt [Israeli]
citizens from that bother." The Jerusalem Post reported that the
ministry is initiating legislation to introduce biometric passports
by the end of 2008.

Ha'aretz and Yediot reported that Maj. Gen. Dan Harel is scheduled
to take over today as deputy IDF chief of staff from Moshe
Kaplinsky.

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported on the inauguration in Richardson, TX,
of the Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce. Israel's Consul-General to
the Southwest Asher Yashar and Texas Governor Rick Perry attended
the ceremony

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe quoted Bassam Abu Sharif, former senior adviser
to Yasser Arafat, as saying on Sunday that in the 1970s Anwar Sadat
proposed that Arafat join him in a war against Israel, promising him
a Palestinian state.

On Sunday The Jerusalem Post reported that in a meeting in New York
with representatives of the American Jewish community, Turkish PM
Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected allegations that the massacre of
Armenians during World War II was an act of genocide.

On Sunday The Jerusalem Post cited an AP report that President
George Bush has been asked to award the Presidential Medal of
Freedom posthumously to Prof. Liviu Librescu, an Israeli Holocaust
survivor who died trying to save his students during the mass
killings at Virginia Tech in April.

Leading media reported that industrialist Stef Wertheimer and his
family are at number 10 -- the highest position for the six Israelis
on Forbes Magazine's list of the Middle East's 20 richest people.

Maariv ran a feature on a book recently published President Bush's
daughter Jenna, which Maariv says is bound to boost the popularity
of George and Laura Bush.

-----
Iran:
-----

Summary:
--------

The Director of the Interdisciplinary Center's Global Research in
International Affairs Center, columnist Barry Rubin, wrote in the
conservative, independent Jerusalem Post: "Ahmadinejad has not yet
achieved the status of being equivalent to Adolf Hitler or Joseph
Stalin as the world's leading threat to peace and freedom; but he is
certainly trying to rise to this level."

Chief Economic Editor Sever Plotker opined in the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "For 95 percent of Americans, the visit
of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was superfluous, ridiculous
and humiliating.... Just a few days after the end of the Iranian
President's visit to the United States, his demands are beginning to
filter down into the discussions of intelligent, progressive
Americans, those five percent who made the effort to listen to him
and whose influence is great."

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

I. "Ahmadinejad's Agenda"

The Director of the Interdisciplinary Center's Global Research in
International Affairs Center, columnist Barry Rubin, wrote in the
conservative, independent Jerusalem Post (10/1): "Is [Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad] a new Hitler, or a leader with understandable
grievances who should be engaged in dialogue?.... [He] seems to be a
true believer in the Iranian Islamist ideology, which sees
international policy as a struggle between the true followers of the
deity and the allies of Satan. Ahmadinejad's goals, then, are his
control over Iran' Iran's control over the Persian Gulf area
(especially Iraq), and even world domination, in roughly that order.
Ahmadinejad is not a unique phenomenon in modern Middle East
history.... [He] has not yet achieved the status of being equivalent
to Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin as the world's leading threat to
peace and freedom; but he is certainly trying to rise to this
level."

II. "Isn't There Something in What Ahmadinejad Says?"

Chief Economic Editor Sever Plotker opined in the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot (9/30): "For 95 percent of Americans, the
visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was superfluous,
ridiculous and humiliating.... So does that mean we have nothing to
worry about, that Ahmadinejad did not conquer America? There is
something to worry about. Ahmadinejad wove his messages cunningly,
in a web of lies, half-truths, and truths, and with part of this the
American enlisted Bush-hating elite can identify. And this is more
or less what it is now saying to itself, without, of course,
deviating from the politically correct. The following statements
were mostly taken from articles and columns which appeared recently
in the American press:.... 'He is ... quite right when he says that
the Palestinians have paid the price of the Holocaust.... Yes, we
know the story about wiping Israel off the map, and we have checked
it out. From the Iranian delegation we were told that their
president did not say "to wipe Israel off the map," but "to wipe the
name of Israel off the map." This is a very, very big difference.
The expression "to wipe off the name of Israel," served as a
metaphor meaning to change the character of Israel, that at long
last it should be a state of all its citizens, including the
Palestinian Diaspora. Ahmadinejad offers the just solution for the
Jewish problem, a state shared by them with the Palestinians... We
are not a party to the nuclear horror propaganda against him.
What's the problem? Is America alone entitled [to have nuclear
weapons]? And as for the blood-count, our Bush is a bigger
murderer. How many people has the president of Iran killed? Amnesty
International says a few hundreds. That is a grave infringement of
human rights, especially against homosexuals. But ladies and
gentlemen, let us keep a sense of proportion. How many people has
Bush murdered in Iraq? Hundreds of thousands. Hundreds of
thousands! Bush is a war criminal. Ahmadinejad is definitely not
the satanic character drawn by the Jewish- and Zionist-controlled
media -- oops, that was a slip of the tongue.' Just a few days
after the end of the Iranian President's visit to the United States,
his demands are beginning to filter down into the discussions of
intelligent, progressive Americans, those five percent who made the
effort to listen to him and whose influence is great."

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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