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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0008
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #3109/01 2991003
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 261003Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3866
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 2906
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 9594
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 3032
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3699
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 2933
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0991
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 3664
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0532
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0996
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 7575
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 5023
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 9943
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 4089
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 6026
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 8255
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
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UNCLAS TEL AVIV 003109

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:
--------------------------------

1. Iran

2. Mideast

3. US-Israel Relations

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

All media reported that on Thursday Defense Minister Ehud Barak
approved economic sanctions on the Gaza Strip in response to
continued Qassam rocket attacks. This will include cuts in the
electrical supply, however essential institutions such as hospitals,
will not be affected. Barak's approval is conditioned on legal
authorization from Attorney General Menachem Mazuz and from the
Military Advocate General. The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli
defense officials told the newspaper that the IDF plan is the first
step toward a "complete disengagement." Avi Issacharoff and Amos
Harel of Ha'aretz gave a similar assessment.

Ha'aretz quoted FM Tzipi Livni as saying on Thursday, during her
meeting with US National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley -- who also
met PM Ehud Olmert and PA Chairman [President] Mahmoud Abbas -- that
the implementation of future agreements with the Palestinians must
be conditioned by the Roadmap. Israel Radio quoted PM Olmert as
saying that the Annapolis meeting is supposed to lay the foundations
for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Ha'aretz also
reported that today Livni will for the first time take part in a
meeting between Olmert and Chairman Abbas.

Leading media reported that on Thursday the US administration
introduced new sanctions on Iran, designed to isolate it from the
world economy. The new measures designate Iran's Revolutionary
Guard Corps (IRGC) and its Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces
Logistics proliferators of ballistic missile technology, and the
Quds Force off-shoot of the IRGC a terrorist organization. Noting
that the step was liable to hit foreign firms, The Jerusalem Post
reported that the Israeli Foreign Ministry welcomed the US decision,
saying it represented "an important contribution through
international means to pressure Iran to abandon its nuclear
program." The Jerusalem Post quoted a senior official in the Prime
Minister's Office as saying: "We totally and absolutely back and
support it, and hope other countries will take similar steps."
Ha'aretz reported that visiting senior Russian Foreign Ministry
officials told Israel that Russia would like Israel to send Syria
"positive signals" in order to encourage it to end its alliance with
Iran. The Russians also presented their assessment that Iran is
nowhere near acquiring nuclear weapons.

Major media reported that new satellite pictures reveal that Syria
recently razed all buildings at the suspected site of Israel's
September 6 strike. Yediot banners: "The Reactor Was Erased." The
pictures were analyzed by David Albright, a former UN weapons
inspector now working at the Institute for Science and International
Security. The Syrians "are clearly trying to conceal evidence," he
was quoted as saying. Yediot quoted Turkish media as saying that PM
Olmert promised Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Israel will
soon make a public announcement regarding the September 6 event.
Meanwhile, the IDF on Thursday canceled part of a major exercise
scheduled for next week in the Golan, to avoid raising tensions with
Syria. The exercise will be limited to the Galilee.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel is upset about comments made
by Abbas to Al-Arabiya-TV that Israeli and Hamas representatives
have been secretly meeting to discuss ending Israel's "siege" of
Gaza, including its ban on exports.

Leading media reported that three armed Palestinians were killed in
two clashes with the IDF in the Gaza Strip. Two IDF soldiers were
lightly wounded. On Friday the electronic media reported on further
fighting in the Gaza Strip.

Ha'aretz reported that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan
Williams, is expected to visit Israel nest week for meetings with
the chief rabbis. The newspaper noted that he blasted Israel's
security policy on previous visits, although he is reportedly
committed to Israel's existence and good relations between Jews and
Anglicans. In another development, Ha'aretz reported that the
Interior Ministry recently canceled all reentry visas for Christian
Arab religious travelers who wish to travel in and out of the West
Bank and the Gaza Strip. The newspaper quoted the ministry as
saying on Thursday that security officials had requested the
rescindment.

The Jerusalem Post quoted the organization Gisha - the Legal Center
for Freedom of Movement - as saying on Thursday that the army has
broken a promise given to the High Court of Justice to renew bus
service for Gaza students to Egypt so that they can pursue their
academic studies abroad.

Yediot reported that the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades are making use of
aerial photographs displayed on the Google Earth site to orient
Qassam rockets.

Leading media reported that PM Olmert's Chief of Staff, Yoram
Turbowicz, testified before the Winograd Commission that Olmert was
aware from the beginning that by hitting back hard at Hizbullah for
abducting IDF soldiers, he would be exposing the home front to
rocket attacks.

Ha'aretz reported that TIME Magazine declared Israeli Benjamin Kahn,
the founder of the environmental group Zalul, to be one of its
"Heroes of the Environment" for 2007.

---------
1. Iran:
---------

Summary:
--------

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "There is no reason to suspect the US
administration does not mean what it says: Sanctions are the tool of
choice, with the hope that they will push Iran into recognizing that
if it does not give in, the US will crush its economy."

Ha'aretz editorialized: "Those who prevent economic pressure on Iran
are making the use of military force against it more likely."

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

I. "A Signal to Iran and the Global Community"

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (10/26): "Washington's belligerent tone has
some of its more suspicious friends warning of an impending military
attack. But talk of a military option is at this stage a mere
diversion from the gray reality of sanctions. There is no reason to
suspect the US administration does not mean what it says: Sanctions
are the tool of choice, with the hope that they will push Iran into
recognizing that if it does not give in, the US will crush its
economy.... [Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice and Defense
Secretary Robert Gates, considered the administration's 'moderates,'

SIPDIS
are harsh realists. They support negotiations, but from a position
of strength. On Thursday they sought to demonstrate this strength
and hurt Iran through tough, but non-military, means."

II. "Sanctions or Force"

Ha'aretz editorialized (10/26): "French President Nicolas Sarkozy
and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown espoused a determined and
coordinated position on the need to stop Iran's nuclear program
during Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's visits to their countries last
week.... Against the background of a noticeable toughening of the
rhetoric against Iran by senior American government officials,
Sarkozy and Brown are seeking to give diplomacy another chance and
to exert 'soft power.' The challenge they face is to persuade two
other key European states -- Germany and Italy -- to join the French
sanctions initiative and cut back on their booming business with
Iran.... The position adopted by sanction opponents is liable to
achieve the opposite of what they intend: Those who prevent economic
pressure on Iran are making the use of military force against it
more likely. If there is still any chance for the diplomatic effort
to succeed, as Olmert says, it must not be missed because of
short-sighted business considerations. This is the moment for
Europe to display unity and leadership and to prove that its way can
achieve results in solving the 'most important international issue,'
as Sarkozy termed it."

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

Summary:
--------

Editor-in-Chief David Horovitz wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post: "Do I think Abbas is going to seize the
moment -- to tell his own people where their true interests lie? I
do not."

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

"Abbas's Opportunity"

Editor-in-Chief David Horovitz wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post (10/26): "We've heard many fine words
over the years... Nonetheless, [Mahmoud] Abbas would serve four sets
of interests -- Palestinian, Israeli, moderate regional, and global
-- if he severed the line from Arafat, defied Hamas and his own
radicals by urging international assistance in the battle against
terrorism, and issued an unequivocal public rejection of the refugee
'right of return' and an endorsement of Jewish Israel as the first
step toward reviving a peace process.... A win-win-win-win
situation, though pregnant with personal risk. Do I think Abbas is
going to seize the moment -- to tell his own people where their true
interests lie? I do not. Whether or not he has the inclination, I
don't think he has the guts. I hope he'll prove me wrong."

------------------------
3. US-Israel Relations:
------------------------

Summary:
--------

Columnist and Law Professor, and former cabinet minister Amnon
Rubinstein, who currently teaches at Columbia University, wrote in
the popular, pluralist Maariv: "There indeed can be no apology for
Walt and Mearsheimer's book, which is impregnated with lies. One
would be truly hard-pressed to believe that so soon after the
extermination of European Jewry, such generalizing accusations would
be uttered against the Jews."

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

"It Is Hard to Be a Jew"

Columnist and Law Professor, and former cabinet minister Amnon
Rubinstein, who currently teaches at Columbia University, wrote in
the popular, pluralist Maariv (10/26): "Pre-Holocaust anti-Semites
should be judged according to the gravity of their lies. Today's
readers of Richard Wagner, Henry Ford, Austin Chamberlain, and their
peers will view them as harbingers of the Holocaust. However, it
should be assumed that they did not know where hatred of the Jews
would lead to. Conversely, today, when the entire world is aware of
this, the return to incitement is considerably worse. There indeed
can be no apology for Walt and Mearsheimer's book, which is
impregnated with lies. One would be truly hard-pressed to believe
that so soon after the extermination of European Jewry, such
generalizing accusations would be uttered against the Jews."


JONES

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