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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #3164/01 3041030
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 311030Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3951
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 2930
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 9613
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 3063
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3718
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 2956
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 1014
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 3683
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0551
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1017
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 7594
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 5046
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 9962
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 4108
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 6046
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 8295
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 003164

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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Mideast

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Key stories in the media:
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Ha'aretz and Israel Radio reported that the US has renewed pressure
on Israel to evacuate unauthorized outposts and to broaden efforts
to help West Bank Palestinians in the run up to the Annapolis
meeting. Those media quoted National Security Adviser Stephen
Hadley as saying during talks in Jerusalem late last week that the
US expects Israel to take measures that will assist PA Chairman
[President] Mahmoud Abbas. Hadley's message was that if Israel
wants to delay the discussions on the core issues, it must help the
Palestinians change the situation on the ground and evacuate the
outposts. (Ha'aretz reported that on Monday and Tuesday Israeli
forces evacuated and destroyed the homes of Jewish shepherds in an
illegal outpost in the southern Hebron Hills) Ha'aretz said that
Hadley also made it clear that the White House is fully behind
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, dismissing any notion that she

SIPDIS
is acting independently.

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported that on Tuesday in Cairo, Chairman
Abbas called for a series of conferences. The newspaper quoted
chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala) as saying that
there is no point to talks in the absence of an Israeli commitment
to a timeline. Citing AP, The Jerusalem Post quoted Abbas as saying
that key Arab countries will attend the Annapolis meeting. Makor
Rishon-Hatzofe reported that Palestinian television has resumed
"incitement" broadcasts.

Ha'aretz quoted the Shin Bet as saying in an analysis to Israel's
political leadership that the PA is demanding that Israel
acknowledge the "Peres Letter," which accompanied the Oslo accords
of 1993. The letter promises to allow Palestinian institutions in
East Jerusalem. Ha'aretz reported that in anticipation of
Palestinian demands at Annapolis, the Shin Bet warned PM Ehud Olmert
that he should not be recognize East Jerusalem as the future
Palestinian capital, because it also includes the Old City and the
Western Wall. According to Shin Bet analysts, there are concerns of
a Palestinian "trick" during the negotiations, in which Israel will
be tempted to offer recognition in principle of East Jerusalem as
the Palestinian capital, and delay discussion of the details
including on the administration of the holy sites.

The Jerusalem Post reported that not a single kilometer of the West
Bank security fence has been completed in the past four months. The
newspaper reported that despite claims by the Defense Ministry of a
lack of funds, the Prime Minister's Office says that 500 million
shekels (around USD 125.7 million) remains allocated to the project
in the Defense Ministry's coffers. The Jerusalem Post quoted both
the Prime Minister's Office and the Defense Ministry as saying that
they could not comment on the delay in the work of the South Hebron
Hills portion of the fence.

Major media reported that on Tuesday Israeli troops attacked a Hamas
police station in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip. Four
Palestinians were killed.

The Jerusalem Post quoted Israeli defense officials as saying on
Tuesday that despite Attorney General Menachem Mazuz's order to
review energy-related sanctions on the Gaza Strip, Israel would soon
begin cutting off electricity to Gaza. Ha'aretz reported that on
Tuesday the EU urged Israel to carefully reconsider how cutting
energy supplies to the Gaza Strip will impact Palestinian
civilians.

Ha'aretz reported that on Tuesday Chinese PM Wen Jiabao told FM
Tzipi Livni, who is on a visit to China, that his country is a full
partner to the UN Security Council's sanctions on Iran. Ha'aretz
reported that Livni told Jiabao: "Hesitation in [the Iranian nuclear
issue] is looked upon by the Iranian regime as weakness, and the
moderate states in the region will try to appease Iran instead of
fighting it, in order to reduce the danger to themselves." Maariv
reported that Livni told her Chinese hosts that a nuclear Iran might
lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. The Jerusalem Post
reported that "Livni made no headway in China."

Leading media reported that on Tuesday Syria-based Palestinian
officials announced that a Hamas-led meeting slated for early
November in Damascus would be postponed to coincide with the
Annapolis meeting. Ha'aretz quoted Palestinian sources as saying
that the US will invite Syria to Annapolis if Damascus does not
meddle in the Lebanese elections.

Leading media reported that on Tuesday up to 100 solidarity rallies
for the three captive Israeli soldiers were held around the world.
Ha'aretz reported that B'Tselem, The Israeli Information Center for
Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, is about to open an office
in Washington. The organization hopes this will improve its access
to US politicians, decision makers, think tank members, journalists,
and diplomats, as well as the American Jewish community.

All media reported that on Monday the Galilee village of Peki'in
erupted into violent confrontations between police and residents, in
scenes reminiscent of the October 2000 Arab-Israeli riots. The media
reported that Druze and Israeli-Arab leaders have demanded that the
police apologize for the violence and that a commission of inquiry
be established.

Ha'aretz reported that Abir Atfah, the Cairo spokeswoman of the
United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), told the daily
that the UNHCR is investigating whether Egypt broke its promise not
to deport Sudanese refugees back to their country of origin after
they had illegally crossed into Israel. The investigation, which
also involves Israel's Foreign Ministry, revolves around 48 Sudanese
refugees whom Israel deported to Egypt two months ago.

Leading media cited the State Attorney's concern that the High Court
of Justice may intervene in the affair of former president Moshe
Katsav. The media said that Dorit Beinisch, the court's President,
hurled sharp criticism at the plea bargain which omitted sexual
charges.

Ha'aretz reported that a group of prominent Jewish American
philanthropists has taken steps in recent weeks to separate the
Jewish Agency from the World Zionist Organization (WZO) and end all
political affiliation in the operation of the WZO. Donors and
community leaders in the US are calling for increased transparency
at the Jewish Agency, which is responsible for immigration from the
Diaspora. Major media reported that on Tuesday Interior Minister
Meir Sheetrit told Jewish Agency officials that Israel should not
rush into granting automatic citizenship to every Jew.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Prof. Joseph Almog, a Hebrew
University scientist, has invented a spray that can detect traces of
explosives on bodies and belongings.

--------
Mideast:
--------

Summary:


--------

Eytan Haber, veteran op-ed writer and assistant to the late prime
minister Yitzhak Rabin, opined in the mass-circulation, pluralist
Yediot Aharonot: "Israel [is likely to] be presented as a peace
rejectionist versus the willingness for peace of the Palestinians,
the Syrians, and all of the Arab states."

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "A shared fear of failure rather than hope
for success is propelling the relevant parties toward Annapolis.
That fear is multifaceted."

Conservative columnist Yosef Harif wrote in the popular, pluralist
Maariv: "As the Annapolis summit is getting closer, its principals
-- the United States, Israel, and the Palestinians are showing signs
of sobering up from exaggerated expectations."

Very liberal columnist Meron Benvenisti, deputy mayor of Jerusalem
from 1971 to 1978, wrote in Ha'aretz: "It is almost impossible to
'subtract' neighborhoods [from Jerusalem] without destroying the
fabric of life in the city."

The Director of the Interdisciplinary Center's Global Research in
International Affairs Center, columnist Barry Rubin, wrote in the
conservative, independent Jerusalem Post: "The PA has never really
punished anyone for murdering or trying to kill an Israeli or for
attacking Israel."

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

I. "Deluge in Annapolis"

Eytan Haber, veteran op-ed writer and assistant to the late prime
minister Yitzhak Rabin, opined in the mass-circulation, pluralist
Yediot Aharonot (10/31): "Of all of the people coming to Annapolis,
only Olmert has something to sell, real merchandise -- territories.
Despite extensive advance planning and preparations, Condi ... will
surprise him with demands that will enable her and the United
States, her country, to 'return home safely.' After Condi (and
perhaps President Bush himself), the others, representatives of the
countries that are responsible for world peace, will also try to
explain to Olmert that he has no choice: He has to 'throw a bone,'
give something. As things look presently -- and the emphasis is on
the word 'presently' -- Olmert can sell the entire Land of Israel,

but he will have nowhere to return.... He will not have a
government. People will try to explain to Olmert that Begin did not
have a majority for the peace agreement with Egypt, that Rabin had
trouble with his coalition, and that Sharon, Arik Sharon, pushed
forward the Roadmap and disengagement with miniscule, even
deficient, parliamentary support. Even after these explanations
Olmert will not, apparently, be able to deliver the goods. And
then, at this point, Israel will be presented as a peace
rejectionist versus the willingness for peace of the Palestinians,
the Syrians, and all of the Arab states."

II. "Summit of Fear"

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (10/31): "A shared fear of failure rather than
hope for success is propelling the relevant parties toward
Annapolis. That fear is multifaceted. Palestinian officials warn
against a summit that would fail to meet the Palestinians'
expectations, prompting Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
to resign. This would result in governmental chaos, the
Palestinians warn. Israeli intelligence officials, meanwhile, warn
of Hamas's penetration into the West Bank. Some Jordanians are
worried that Hamas's presence there would cause the Hamas revolution
to seep into the Hashemite Kingdom. Those and other concerns make
up the jigsaw of American fears. Rice calls the sum of concerns
'context,' but in fact it's just another name for the old "linkage
factor" - a theory that links the outcome of American mediation in
the peace process to possible regional ramifications.... The
American mediators have to address another inherent difficulty, a
double fear factor. A recent Gallup poll revealed that 83 percent
of Palestinians have little admiration for the American
leadership.... One way of allaying the Palestinians' suspicions
would be to opt for a real or simulated conflict with Israel. But
that would only serve to create suspicion from the Israeli side. A
recent survey by the [Israeli] Peace Index Project found that most
Jews oppose allowing the US to act as the arbiter on which
concession each party should make if the negotiations reach a
stalemate. To cross that line, Rice will need President George W.
Bush to reaffirm his backing."

III. "Signs of Sobering Up"

Conservative columnist Yosef Harif wrote in the popular, pluralist
Maariv (10/31): "As the Annapolis summit is getting closer, its
principals -- the United States, Israel, and the Palestinians are
showing signs of sobering up from exaggerated expectations, as if
the international meeting will advance the establishment of a
Palestinian state, the moderate Arab states will recognize Israel,
and [the meeting] will contribute to quiet and the stabilization of
the United States' status in the region.... Israel has real
existential demands which it will never give up. It faces a weak
Palestinian Authority, which is unable to make concessions....
Despite her failure to bridge the gaps so far, Condoleezza Rice
still believes that a common denominator can be found between the
sides and that they can be brought to the Annapolis negotiation
table, but it appears that even if the conference starts, the
chances of a real diplomatic process are pretty scarce."


IV. "Who Cares about Where Shoafat Is?"

Very liberal columnist Meron Benvenisti, deputy mayor of Jerusalem
from 1971 to 1978, wrote in Ha'aretz (10/31): "It is almost
impossible to 'subtract' neighborhoods [from Jerusalem] without
destroying the fabric of life in the city, and it is extremely
difficult (and of course immoral) to retract social benefits
previously granted. It turns out that the lack of consideration
created the borders of the annexation, gave birth to unexpected
results and actually led to the economic improvement of Arab
Jerusalem. But perhaps it was not the thoughtlessness that led to
this but rather the colonialist bravado; that those who drew the
borders over the generations added and subtracted thousands of
people without asking their opinions. To day they are 'inside' and
tomorrow, when the fashion changes, they will be 'out.' This
playing around with peoples' lives is the height of folly because
anyone who wants to draw the future of the city must listen to the
wishes of all its citizens, Jews and Arabs alike."

V. "Rules of the Game, Palestinian-Style"

The Director of the Interdisciplinary Center's Global Research in
International Affairs Center, columnist Barry Rubin, wrote in the
conservative, independent Jerusalem Post (10/31): "The PA has never
really punished anyone for murdering or trying to kill an Israeli or
for attacking Israel.... Based on his own interests, Abbas should
have shot [the alleged would-be assassins of Ehud Olmert], which is
what the PA does to people it deems traitors. But they probably
won't even get community service in the end. Why? Because of the
rules of Palestinians politics.... [Those tenets are:] 1)
Palestinians cannot stop other Palestinians from attacking
Israel.... 2) He who is most militant is always right.... 3) More
violence is good and a 'victory' if it inflicts casualties or damage
on Israel.... 4) No Israeli government can do anything good.... 5)
Since Palestinians are the perpetual victim they are entitled to
everything they want and never need to give anything in exchange for
Israeli concessions.... 7) Fatah won't discipline or expel anyone
for launching attacks. 8) Wiping Israel off the map is morally
correct.... 9) The movement sets as top priority the so-called
'right of return'.... 10) It is more important to be steadfast and
patient with a terrible status quo than to make big gains by ending
the conflict forever.... Even if a handful of Palestinians want to
reach agreement with Israel, they cannot -- and even worse, dare not
-- violate those commandments."

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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