Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0012
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #3222/01 3101121
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 061121Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4058
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 2957
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 9639
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 3112
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3744
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 2988
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 1062
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 3709
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0577
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1043
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 7620
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 5072
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 9992
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 4134
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 6072
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 8357
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 003222

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

Israel Radio quoted a senior US official in the entourage of
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as saying that the Annapolis

SIPDIS
conference will be convened by the end of the month. The radio
reported that the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi quoted Palestinian
sources as saying that the US will draft a declaration of
principles. Israel Radio cited a contradictory US statement. Makor
Rishon-Hatzofe quoted Secretary Rice as saying on Monday that PM
Ehud Olmert has agreed to the establishment of a Palestinian state
by the end of 2008. Israel Radio quoted Defense Minister Ehud Barak
as saying today at the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense
Committee that Israel is prepared to make far-reaching concessions
at Annapolis. Barak also remarked that a large-scale military
operation in Gaza was unlikely to be conducted soon. Yediot
reported that over the past few days Knesset members from the
coalition and the opposition have held consultations around the
so-called "Jerusalem Law" -- voted in 980 -- that anchors the
integrity of centrality of Jerusalem to the State of Israel. The
newspaper said that the issue appears has become current following
PM Olmert's statement that all issues will be open at Annapolis and
later.

Ha'aretz reported that on Monday Yisrael Beiteinu MK Israel Hasson,
a former deputy chief of the Shin Bet, lashed out at PM Olmert's
talks with the Palestinians, terming the upcoming Annapolis
conference "a fantasy, not a vision." Hasson punned that the
upcoming meeting should be called Anopheles, the mosquito that
carries malaria, because it "bears all the signs of malaria:
delusions, tremors and a high fever." Ha'aretz reported that
speaking off the record, senior Kadima MKs complained that Olmert
was dragging the party too far to the left. Ha'aretz reported that
on Monday Yisrael Beiteinu's Chairman, Strategic Affairs Minister
Avigdor Lieberman warned that his party will stick to its red lines,
which bar any discussion of the core issues at the meeting.
However, the party has not yet threatened to quit the coalition, and
Ha'aretz quoted senior Kadima officials as saying that this is
because Olmert has reassured Lieberman on this point. Shas, for its
part, is taking comfort from Olmert's statement that Annapolis is
merely the beginning of the process, not its end. Likud, in
contrast, is urging Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu to quit the coalition
immediately. The Jerusalem Post quoted Vice PM Haim Ramon as saying
that PM Olmert will present any peace deal formulated at the
Annapolis meeting to the Israeli people if his Kadima-based
coalition breaks up following the meeting.

Visiting Representative Gary Ackerman (D-NY), chairman of the House
Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, was quoted as saying
on Monday in an interview with The Jerusalem Post that the US has
not done enough to prepare the Middle East for the Annapolis
meeting. In an interview with Ha'aretz on Monday, Ackerman was
quoted as saying that an estimated USD 20 million is smuggled from
Sinai into the Gaza Strip each month. Ackerman pointed an accusing
finger at Egypt, arguing that Cairo's failure to control the border
with the Gaza Strip helps to empower Hamas.

Israel Radio quoted chief PA negotiator Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala) as
saying at a Saban Forum dinner held at President Shimon Peres'
residence last night that settlement activity should be halted,
outposts removed, Palestinian prisoners released, and the
Palestinian institutions returned to Jerusalem. Makor
Rishon-Hatzofe quoted Peres as saying that failure at Annapolis is
not an alternative but a catastrophe.

The Jerusalem Post and Makor Rishon-Hatzofe quoted Internal Security
Minister Avi Dichter as saying on Monday at the Saban Forum that
Syria is mentally ready for peace, but that it is uncertain whether
Israel or the US is ready.

Yediot reported that 3,000 of Sderot's 22,000 residents have left
the city over the past six months.

Yediot bannered the behavior of fans of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer
team, who on Sunday booed the name of Yitzhak Rabin. Leading media
reported that PM Olmert, a lifelong devotee of the club, slammed the
"violent brutes'" actions. Makor Rishon-Hatzofe said that the fans
"kicked the consensus." Leading media quoted the club owner,
oligarch Arkady Gaidamak, as saying that a soccer match is 'Not an
appropriate" place to hold a minute of silence for Rabin. Ha'aretz
printed an article by former US President Bill Clinton: "What My
Friend Rabin Understood."

Turkish President Abdullah Gul was quoted as saying in an interview
with Maariv that the incursion by Israeli aircraft into Turkish

airspace was a mistake, and that Syrian President Bashar Assad wants
peace with Israel.

Maariv reported that Industry, Trade, and Employment Minister Eli
Yishai is striving to have "Jewish terrorists" (Jews who killed or
tried to kill Arabs) receive a comprehensive pardon.

Leading media reported that the EU is holding two days of talks with
the Palestinians and Israeli foreign ministers.

Yediot reported that on Sunday, in a speech he delivered to the
Saban Forum, Foreign Ministry Director-General Aharon Abramovitch
accused the International Atomic Energy Agency and its Director,
Mohamed ElBaradei of thwarting international efforts to shore up
sanctions against the Iranian nuclear program. Rep. Howard Berman
(D-CA) was quoted as saying in an interview with The Jerusalem Post
that stiffer sanctions should be applied on Iran. Yediot reported
that an Israel Prisons Services representative exchanged business
cards with an Iranian counterpart at a congress in Thailand.

Leading media reported hat the Knesset's Education Committee voted
against Education Minister Yuli Tamir's proposal to include
discussion of the "Nakba" (catastrophe), the Palestinian version of
the events of 1948, in the school curriculum.

Leading media cited the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar as saying that
Hizbullah has conducted a large-scale exercise south of the Litani
River.

Ha'aretz cited AP as saying that on Monday some 200 Palestinian
police sealed the crowded Nablus refugee camp of Balata and traded
fire with militants holed up inside, the first major battle in
Chairman Abbas's campaign to assert control over gunmen and persuade
Israel he can implement a future peace deal.

Yediot reported that the IAF grounded its F-15 fleet due to faults
in the plane's configuration. An F-15 crashed on Friday.

Ha'aretz cited the belief of President Peres that the Peace Conduit
project from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea should be passed on to the
private sector. However, Ha'aretz reported that National
Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer would rather the
government -- that is, his ministry -- pull the strings.

On Monday Channel 10-TV reported that the military censorship
listened to international phone calls from 1973 to 2004.

Ha'aretz reported that on Monday the Histadrut Labor Federation
threatened to declare a work dispute as a prelude to a general
strike, unless the government entered into "sincere negotiations"
with the striking teachers.

Leading media reported that on Monday far-Right activist Avigdor
Eskin was arrested in an eavesdropping affair against Minister
Avigdor Lieberman and the Russian-born, Israeli oligarch Michael
Chernoy that could be part of the conflict between Chernoy and the
Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Yediot reported that Lieberman
claims that he is being slandered over the affair. Makor
Rishon-Hatzofe quoted Lieberman as saying that the men arrested in
the affair wanted to connect him with the Russian mafia.

Leading media reported that Uri Shmuel, V.P. marketing and sales of
the energy company Dor Alon, was arrested on Monday on suspicion of
selling fuel originally meant for the PA without reporting to the
tax authority. Shmuel allegedly pocketed profits totaling about 2
million shekels (approx. USD 505,300) from the transaction. Shmuel
is suspected of income and tax fraud and money laundering.
Investigators from the Tax Authority raided the home of Shmuel,
partner of MK Esterina Tartman (Yisrael Beiteinu), and the homes of
other suspects in the affair.

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

Summary:
--------

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized:
"Compared to the Israeli need to rekindle dashed hopes, the missing
'psychological shift' on the Palestinian/Arab side is of tectonic
proportions."

Zalman Shoval, a senior Likud member and former ambassador to the
US, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "There
can be no doubt that everything that Olmert will say at Annapolis
... will make it difficult for Israel the day when true negotiations
toward peace start."

Very liberal columnist B. Michael wrote in Yediot Aharonot: "One
must totally lack a sense of smell not to sniff a heavy, well-known
perfume coming from the whole story [of the alleged Syrian nuclear
installation]."

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: "Rabin's
assassination proved that with demagoguery and violence it is easy
to undermine the elected government, even if its decisions are
backed by a majority in the Knesset."

Senior columnist Nahum Barnea wrote on page one of Yediot Aharonot:
"The government is now entering the peace process, which will
include an internal battle and controversial decisions. Under
current circumstances, the no-respect syndrome becomes a dangerous
problem."

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

I. "The Missing Shift"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (11/6):
"The premise [in comments made this week by Quartet envoy Tony Blair
and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice] is a tantalizing one:
that there is a fundamental readiness for peace on both sides that
is just waiting for the right diplomatic push. Probe a bit deeper,
however, and it is evident that a far more basic 'psychological
shift' is needed on the Palestinian and wider Arab side before the
desired peace can become reality.... The two-state solution has
always been dependent on two parallel 'psychological shifts': an
Israeli acceptance of Palestinian national rights and a
Palestinian/Arab acceptance of the Jewish right to a state in
Israel. The former did not always exist.... The US and Israeli
positions have changed beyond recognition in this respect. Moreover,
this sea change in Israel has not just been on the governmental
level but has permeated the public and transformed our politics. By
contrast, no Arab or Palestinian leader has uttered the words
'Jewish state'.... For now, not only is there no Arab consensus on
the acceptability, let alone desirability, of a Jewish state, but
defending the notion of Jewish national rights in any part of
'Palestine' is still taboo. Compared to the Israeli need to
rekindle dashed hopes, the missing 'psychological shift' on the
Palestinian/Arab side is of tectonic proportions."

II. "The Trap of Annapolis"

Zalman Shoval, a senior Likud member and former ambassador to the
US, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (11/6):
"There can be no doubt that everything that Olmert will say at
Annapolis -- or what he has perhaps already told Abu Mazen -- will
make it difficult for Israel the day when true negotiations toward
peace start. This is only part of the problem, since Hamas may
salvage any concession made to Abu Mazen.... A basic tenet in
international law says that a government inherits the rights and
commitments of its predecessors.... There also is a principle
allowing a state to free itself from its commitments, should a
fundamental change intervene in the circumstances, or if the other
side radically violates its commitments. Should such a reality
develop after Annapolis, the sides had better know that future
Israeli governments will not evidently accept the view that Israel
will be unconditionally committed to the results of Annapolis."

III. "Syrian Legends"

Very liberal columnist B. Michael wrote in Yediot Aharonot (11/6):
"One must totally lack a sense of smell not to sniff a heavy,
well-known perfume coming from the whole story [of the alleged
Syrian nuclear installation] -- a scent of political-intelligence
spin, nauseatingly resembling the spin that preceded the Iraq
war.... Both here and in the United States. Between emotions rising
from the legends published by London's Sunday Times and the
wonderment at Aviation Week's fairy-tales, one can also devote some
minutes of thought to my version."

IV. "Yigal Amir's Thousands of Sons"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (11/6): "It is
no coincidence that the Yitzhak Rabin Center for Israel Studies
stands deserted, while on the soccer fields, the murderer is cheered
and the victim is booed.... Thirty-eight percent of the religious
public view Yigal Amir as a hero. The Rabin legacy is in fact the
anti-Rabin legacy. At the present time, ahead of talks with the
Palestinians, the legacy will be updated to become an anti-Olmert
legacy.... You cannot preach democracy to those who scorn it, and
who consider the Land of Israel more important.... We should and
must debate Annapolis like Oslo, Taba and Camp David, as long as
common ground exists between those involved in the debate, including
a desire to reach an end to the conflict with our neighbors. The
concern is that the religious right takes no interest in
explanations by this side or that, and views eternal war with the
Palestinians as better than giving up parts of the homeland. That
is the source of the belief that no leader has the right to give in
during negotiations, no matter how large of a majority supports him

in the Knesset; and anyone who does give in is a traitor.... Rabin's
assassination proved that with demagoguery and violence it is easy
to undermine the elected government, even if its decisions are
backed by a majority in the Knesset. The cries of the Beitar fans
on the soccer field are the first warning signs of the horror that
awaits."

V. "No Respect"

Senior columnist Nahum Barnea wrote on page one of Yediot Aharonot
(11/6): "The disease that Israeli society suffers from can be
described by two short words: No respect.... There is no respect
around the cabinet table. The Defense Minister holds the Prime
Minister in disdain, who holds the Foreign Minister in disdain and
so on and so forth.... No teacher would ever permit pupils in his
classroom to behave the way the teachers who were sent to disrupt
the Prime Minister's speech at a conference on Monday in Tel Aviv
did. The codes of behavior in the public arena are like the ones in
a shared residential building in which the tenants are scrupulous
about the cleanliness within their own apartments but toss their
trash out the window into the public space beneath. The government
is now entering the peace process, which will include an internal
battle and controversial decisions. Under current circumstances,
the no-respect syndrome becomes a dangerous problem. People talk a
lot about the incitement that led up to the Rabin assassination. It
was not so much the talk that was damaging than it was the
atmosphere of lawlessness that reigned prior to the assassination.
They succeeded in turning Rabin from an admired leader into a
humiliated and disgraced leader. It is only too easy to imagine what
they will do to Olmert."

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Covid: 250 Groups Urge WTO Chief To Ditch Pharma-Friendly Approach And Embrace Vaccine Patent Waiver

by Jake Johnson, staff writer An international coalition of 250 civil society groups on Tuesday urged the head of the World Trade Organization to embrace a temporary suspension of coronavirus vaccine-related patents, warning against pursuit of a voluntary ... More>>

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>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Awake At Night: S3-Episode 21: There Is Hope

Brazzaville visit to CSI Pilote du Diabete with Health workers at a local government clinic. 2018 - Photo: ©CSI/Dr. Soumya Swaminathan 'When it comes to a pandemic, it really needs global collaboration and solidarity because the pathogens and viruses More>>

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>>