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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0005
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2896/01 2761108
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 031108Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3499
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 2804
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 9500
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 2904
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3602
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 2837
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0859
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 3567
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0431
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0902
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 7481
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 4928
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 9836
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 3987
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 5932
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 8059
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002896

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


Please note: There will not be a Tel Aviv Media Reaction report
Thursday, October 4, 2007, due to the Simchat Torah holiday.

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

1. Mideast

2. Myanmar

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

Israel Radio reported that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will
visit the region in mid-October to work on the agenda for the
Annapolis meeting.

Maariv reported that during a meeting with PM Olmert on Tuesday, FM
Tzipi Livni wished to set principles for a final-status agreement,
while Barak called for minimizing the importance of the planned fall
meeting. Israel Radio quoted Barak associates as saying that Barak
and Livni concur on the goals of the Annapolis meeting and that both
believe that the negotiations should be conducted cautiously and
without high expectations.

The Jerusalem Post reported that on Tuesday Israeli defense
officials expressed skepticism Tuesday that PM Olmert's negotiating
team could agree with the Palestinians on fundamental final-status
issues ahead of the Annapolis meeting. The officials were quoted as
saying that with Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu in his government
coalition, Olmert had little leeway in negotiating with the
Palestinians and would be forced to use vague language in the
declaration of principles. One example had to do with the final
borders of a future Palestinian state. The Jerusalem Post quoted
an Israeli defense official as saying: "The declaration will not be
able to say: 'The borders will be the pre-1967 lines,'" adding: "But
instead, it will have to say something like: 'In accordance with' or
'based on' the pre-1967 border."

The Jerusalem Post reported that Fatah leaders warned on Tuesday
that a failure in the upcoming international meeting would have more
dangerous repercussions than the botched Camp David summit in 2000.
Ha'aretz reported that the Bush administration may delay the
international meeting until late November, so that PM Ehud Olmert
and PA Chairman [President] Mahmoud Abbas will have more time to
formulate a joint declaration. Olmert and Abbas will meet Wednesday
at the PM's official residence in Jerusalem, and for the first time,
their negotiating teams will also be present. The two leaders will
meet privately and then brief the negotiating teams on the aims of
the joint declaration. Ha'aretz reported that there are significant
gaps between the two sides' starting positions, and a particularly
bitter dispute revolves around the essence and substance of the
joint declaration. Olmert is now rejecting titles such as
"declaration of principles" or "agreement of principles." Instead,
he is proposing a general "declaration of interests" -- a term that
did not exist in previous negotiations -- that would serve as a
starting point for detailed negotiations following the Annapolis
meeting. He is also demanding that the declaration include a
reference to two previous documents: President Bush's letter to
former PM Ariel Sharon on April 14, 2004, and the Roadmap.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Defense Minister Ehud Barak has
appointed the head of the Defense Ministry's Diplomatic-Military
Bureau, Amos Gilad, as his representative at the talks with the
Palestinians. The Jerusalem Post quoted officials close to Barak
and Gilad said Tuesday it was unlikely anything concrete would come
from the talks and that it was important to begin lowering
expectations ahead of the international conference so it would not
trigger a third Intifada if it failed. The Jerusalem Post reported
that a defense official involved in the talks told the newspaper:
"We need to be realistic and realize that Abbas will have extreme
difficulty in delivering on any of his commitments." "There is also
a real chance that the Palestinians will pull out of the
[international] summit even before it takes place due to Israel's
refusal to commit itself on final-status issues."

All media reported that on Tuesday Sima Vaknin, Israel's military
censor, allowed the local media to report that the IDF had raided an
"unspecified target" deep inside Syrian territory, without
attributing their reports to foreign sources. Media cited the Prime
Minister's Office's "discomfort" over the censor's announcement.
The IDF Spokesman's office was quoted as sayng that it did not
authorize the disclosure of the strike. Israel Radio quoted Syrian
FM Walid Mualem as saying that Israel's action arise suspicions.

Electronic media reported that a Hamas militant was killed by IDF
fire in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza.

Maariv reported that the Shin Bet leaves Palestinian patients
seeking medical care in Israel the choice of collaborating or going
back home without treatment.

Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter was quoted as saying in
interviews with IDF Radio and other media on Tuesday that his call
to end probes of sitting prime ministers did not relate to Olmert
but to future PMs.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton was quoted as saying in an interview
with Yediot that as a US president, she will not let Iran possess
nuclear weapons and that the US will not renounce any options in the
matter.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Jewish organizations slammed
presidential candidate John McCain for calling America a "Christian
nation." The newspaper reported that his campaign told The
Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that the affair was an "unfortunate"
misunderstanding.

Leading media reported that a Reuters photographer was injured on
Tuesday when IDF troops fired warring shots at Palestinians who were
approaching the fence at the Erez Crossing. They were waiting for
the arrival of relatives released from Israeli jail.

The Jerusalem Post and Israel Radio reported that 79 Senators --
including all those running for president -- signed a letter to
Secretary Rice calling for greater Arab support for the peace

SIPDIS
process ahead of the international fall meeting. The Senators
demanded cooperation "from those Arab states with close relations to
the US who have not signed agreements with Israel." Major media
cited a policy paper prepared by former top US officials --
including former US ambassadors to Israel Samuel Lewis, Edward
Walker, and Thomas Pickering -- saying that Saudi participation
should not define the success of the Annapolis meeting.

Leading media reported that on Tuesday hundreds of right-wing
activists began marching toward the former West Bank settlement of
Homesh, despite warnings from the army and police that terrorist
groups were planning to attack Israelis in the area.


Leading media reported that four Hamas police officers were killed
and two wounded on Tuesday when a car exploded outside a Hamas
security headquarters building in Gaza City. At first the
Hamas-controlled Gaza Interior Ministry released a statement saying
the car was hit by an Israeli naval vessel offshore. Israeli media
reported that this was an internal conflict and cited the IDF as
saying that it was not involved.

Ha'aretz reported that leading American Jewish organizations are
planning a PR campaign to urge Interpol to issue international
arrest warrants for the perpetrators of a 1994 bombing attack
against the Jewish community building in Buenos Aires. Ha'aretz
noted that during his address to the UN General Assembly last week,
Argentine President Nestor Kirchner criticized Iran, saying that
Tehran had failed to cooperate with Argentina's law enforcement
agencies over the bombing.

Maariv and The Jerusalem Post cited the British weekly The Sunday
Telegraph as saying that the US and Persian Gulf states will jointly
train ahead of a possible war with Iran. Yediot ran a feature on
the Jews of Iran, who fear they might be exposed to the greatest
perils if war breaks out between Iran and Israel.

Yediot quoted The Washington Post as saying on Tuesday that the US
Marine Corps purchased sniffing dogs from Israel, but that they
failed to detect explosives in Iraq because they only understand
orders in Hebrew.

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

Summary:
--------

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "As opposed to what is commonly assumed, the
real controversy before and after the summit will not be the right
of return, Jerusalem, or borders.... The real gap between the sides
[will be] the question of the timetable."

Prof. Ruth Gavison, a member of the Winograd Commission and the
founding president of Metzilah: Center for Humanistic, Liberal,
Jewish, and Zionist Thought, wrote in Ha'aretz: "A two-state
solution that does not recognize the right of both peoples to
self-determination in a part of their homeland would be a dangerous
and unstable solution for both peoples, and for the entire region."

Military correspondent Amir Rappaport wrote in the popular,
pluralist Maariv: "The fact that Syria has in effect acknowledged an
attack on its soil and that it has not reacted so far to the raid
through military means has greatly reduced concerns about war
breaking out because of Israeli idle talk."

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

I. "Rice's Clock"

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (10/3): "As opposed to what is commonly
assumed, the real controversy before and after the summit will not
be the right of return, Jerusalem, or borders. These have all been
discussed and clarified in endless forums, and a general outline for
solving them has already been written in many versions. At most
they will serve as an excuse, a stumbling block, to conceal the real
gap between the sides: the question of the timetable. An official
involved in the discussion recently offered an interpretation of the
exchange of roles between Israel and the Palestinians. Israel once
accepted the need to give now (evacuation, prisoners, checkpoints)
to receive compensation in the future: an end to the conflict. Now
the situation is reversed. The Palestinians are being asked to
compromise now (Jerusalem, the right of return) to receive
compensation in the future: a Palestinian state. All this, of
course, on the assumption that the principles being signed now will
be only a 'diplomatic horizon' for the future, as Rice promised,
rather than a plan for immediate implementation. Between Rice's
shortening time frame and her preliminary promises, senior political
leaders are detecting with a certain disappointment that impatience
is growing. The clock is likely to win."

II. "The Right and the Return"

Prof. Ruth Gavison, a member of the Winograd Commission and the
founding president of Metzilah: Center for Humanistic, Liberal,
Jewish, and Zionist Thought, wrote in Ha'aretz (10/3): "A just and
stable peace between Jews and Palestinians is a critical interest
for both peoples. The 'two states for two peoples' solution grants
neither everything they desire, but does give each of them an
essential part of it. A two-state solution that does not recognize
the right of both peoples to self-determination in a part of their
homeland would be a dangerous and unstable solution for both
peoples, and for the entire region.... The Palestinians should not
be required to give up the right of return, but Israel does not need
to recognize it. The time has certainly come for the issue of the
Palestinian refugees to be settled in a humane and proper way via
comprehensive diplomatic talks, and the refugees are entitled to
compensation for their lost property. But the realization of their
'right' must not be allowed to torpedo both peoples' chances for a
life of independence, liberty and dignity."

III. "More Is Still Hidden Than Overt"

Military correspondent Amir Rappaport wrote in the popular,
pluralist Maariv (10/3): "The [military] censorship's decision to
allow Israeli media to publish the fact that the IDF attacked on
Syria -- without quoting 'foreign sources' appears to be a technical
matter. In fact it is very significant.... Beyond the very fact of
the raid in Syria, authorization was not granted to publish any
other details from Israeli sources. More is still hidden than
overt.... The fact that Syria has in effect acknowledged an attack
on its soil and that it has not reacted so far to the raid through
military means has greatly reduced concerns about war breaking out
because of Israeli idle talk. But, were all the details ... to be
published ... pressure on Syria to carry out retaliatory action
against Israel would increase."

------------
2. Myanmar:
------------

Summary:
--------

Liberal columnist Larry Derfner wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post: "It's an ugly word we live in. My point
is that Israel is part of the ugliness."

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

"Shalom, Myanmar"

Liberal columnist Larry Derfner wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post (10/3): "In Africa, Israel's best-know
... emissaries were kibbutz agricultural advisers. But then came
the Six-Day War, and the Yom Kippur War, and the hardening of the

Israeli-Arab conflict, and Israel's abandonment of its socialist,
agrarian ideals in favor of becoming a little Jewish Texas, and this
country's best-known emissaries in Africa became mercenaries and
arms merchants. These are the chief emissaries we've sent to
Myanmar, too.... I don't think Israel is unique or even unusual when
it comes to war profiteering and propping up dictators, mass
murderers, mass torturers, and the like. It's an ugly word we live
in. My point is that Israel is part of the ugliness. If we're no
worse than the rest of the world, we're not better, either. We also
help our evildoers, real bad ones, when it's in our interest. But
we don't admit this, we pretend not to know it, we wash it out of
our minds. And from this phony pretext of moral superiority, we
condemn Russia and China and Europe for doing business with Iran,
for selling arms to Syria, to Saddam's Iraq, to any Arab or Muslim
dictator aligned against us."

JONES

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