Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0006
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #3268/01 3171228
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 131228Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4146
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 2990
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 9669
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 3145
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3774
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 3018
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 1098
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 3742
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0608
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1073
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 7650
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 5103
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 0023
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 4164
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 6102
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 8399
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 003268

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

This morning Israel Radio reported that a top US administration
official expressed unhappiness to the GOI over Defense Minister Ehud
Barak's move to initiate contacts with Syria. Yediot reported that
secret messages were conveyed between PM Ehud Olmert and Syrian

SIPDIS
President Bashar Assad. Yediot reported that Olmert wanted to know
whether Assad was prepared to disengage from Iran. Maj. Gen.
(res.) Uri Saguy has been tasked with coordinating future dialog.
Yediot quoted Olmert associates as saying that the moves were not
made under his authority.

Leading media reported that on Monday PM Olmert told the Knesset's
Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the Annapolis meeting
will change Israel's strategy toward the Palestinians. Olmert said
that the Roadmap will remain in place for implementing diplomatic
agreements, but not as a condition for negotiations.

Leading media reported that Saeb Erekat, chief negotiator for the
PLO, has rejected the GOI's demand that the Palestinians recognize
Israel as a Jewish state. In an interview with Israel Radio, Erekat
said that "no state in the world connects its national identity to a
religious identity." At a pre-Annapolis meeting earlier on Monday,
PM Olmert said that the starting point for all negotiations with the
Palestinians will be the "recognition of Israel as a state for the
Jewish people." "I do not intend to compromise in any way over the
issue of the Jewish state," Olmert added, thereby accepting the
position of FM Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Barak.

Yediot's Shimon Shiffer quoted high-ranking Palestinian officials as
saying that they have proposed establishing a tripartite committee
on which the American representative would be able to decide every
issue on which Israel and the PA did not agree. Yediot cited the
Palestinians' claim that Olmert agreed to it in his talks with PA
Chairman [President] Mahmoud Abbas, but reported that Livni opposes
the idea. The Palestinian officials were quoted as saying that
Livni also opposes basing negotiations on the Arab peace
initiative.

On Monday Ha'aretz reported that Israel will release 300 to 400
Palestinian prisoners before the Annapolis meeting as a goodwill
gesture. However, the newspaper noted that this number falls far
short of the nearly 2,000 Abbas had requested from Olmert.

On Sunday Yediot reported that the US administration intends to
invite representatives of Muslim countries that do not have
diplomatic relations with Israel -- Saudi Arabia, Persian Gulf
states, Indonesia, Pakistan and Malaysia -- to the Annapolis
meeting. Yediot said that PM Olmert is scheduled to fly to
Washington on Saturday night, November 24. The Annapolis conference
is expected to begin on November 27 and is expected to last two
days. Makor Rishon-Hatzofe quoted the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi
as saying on Monday that high-ranking Fatah member Muhammad Dahlan
will be part of the Palestinian delegation to the Annapolis meeting
by personal request of President Bush.

Israel Radio reported that Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zurhi told the
Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida that Hamas is prepared to discuss new
proposals raised by Israel in the matter of the release of Gilad
Shalit.

On Sunday Ha'aretz reported that Israel has turned down a US
proposal to increase the number of Egyptian soldiers deployed along
the Philadelphi Route to stem the flow of weapons from Sinai to the
Gaza Strip. Ha'aretz reported that Foreign Ministry Director
General Aharon Abramovitch and the head of the political-military
bureau at the Defense Ministry, Amos Gilad, told senior American
officials that until Egypt meets its commitments to countering
smuggling along the Gaza border, "there is no room to discuss
increasing the number of soldiers." Meanwhile, Egyptian and
Israeli officers were supposed to begin talks in Rome on Sunday that
will concentrate on the security situation along the border.
Ha'aretz reported that last week Mark Kimmitt, Assistant Secretary
of State for Political-Military Affairs, and Robert Danin, Deputy
Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, visited
Israel as part of a US team set up to assist on the smuggling
issue.

All media reported that on Monday Palestinian police in Gaza fired
at a crowd of Fatah supporters who were marking the third
anniversary of Yasser Arafat's death, killing approximately seven
people.

Over the weekend all media reported that on Sunday Brig. Gen. (res.)
Gal Hirsch publicly charged that the IDF's top brass hid behind
their field commanders, then abandoned them and refused to take any
responsibility for the army's failures in the Second Lebanon War.
An internal IDF inquiry found Hirsch, who was in charge of the
northern border in the summer of 2006, responsible for the abduction
of two IDF soldiers and recommended that he be barred from field
commands in the future.

Leading media reported that differences over Iranian nuclear program
were at the heart of talks on Monday between President Shimon Peres
and his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul. Ha'aretz reported that
Turkey has requested opening a Turkish Cypriot representative office
in Tel Aviv. The newspaper reported that Gul raised the issue at
his meeting with Peres. Peres was quoted as saying that he would
have to discuss the matter with Israel's Foreign Ministry before
replying. On Monday The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel and
Turkey are holding high-level talks on a possible sale of the Arrow
ballistic missile defense system and a model of the Ofek spy
satellite to Turkey. Israel Radio reported that Peres and Chairman
signed a document in Ankara to create a joint industrial zoomed in
Tarkumiyeh, West Bank.

All media reported that rocket firing at Israel from Gaza
continued.

On Monday leading media reported that at Sunday's cabinet session
several ministers sharply criticized Attorney General Menachem
Mazuz's decision to block stepped-up sanctions by Israel against the
Gaza Strip pending a further review of the legal ramification of
such a move.

On Sunday Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported that Israel is weighing a
request by the PA to approve the transfer an overall sum of 105
million shekels (around USD 26.7 million) to banks in Gaza.

On Monday The Jerusalem Post reported that Likud Knesset Member
Yuval Steinitz wrote in a letter to the US Senate that Egypt
effectively condoned Hamas's takeover of the Gaza Strip and has
since stood by and allowed Hamas to build an army. Steinitz wrote
the letter at the request of Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Arizona), with whom he
chairs a joint US-Israeli committee on defense and foreign policy.

Over the weekend leading media quoted a spokesman for German Finance
Minister Peer Steinbrueck as saying that he will not consider
reopening the reparations agreement between Israel and Germany. The
German declarations referred to a statement by Pensioner Affairs
Minister Rafi Eitan, who is in charge of the talks with Germany on
reparations for Holocaust survivors and retrieving Jewish property.
Mainstream commentators also opposed the idea of further such
compensation to Israel.

On Monday Maariv reported that seven years after the IDF left the
compound of Joseph's Tomb in Nablus, the governor of the city
decided to accept an IDF to renovate the neglected site.

All media reported that Moshe Lador is likely to be appointed state
attorney. The new state attorney will decide the fate of Olmert's
files. On Sunday more than 100 police investigators raided 20
offices looking for evidence in three investigations against Olmert.
On Sunday Channel 2-TV reported that the police are expected to
close the case of the sale of Bank Leumi without filing charges
against Olmert. The media reported that on Saturday Accountant
General Yaron Zelekha announced that he would be leaving his post
within a month.

Over the weekend leading media reported that last Thursday the
Rabbi of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinovitch, refused to let a
group of Austrian bishops who were wearing crosses and who were
accompanied by the Austrian Ambassador, visit the Wall.

On Monday The Jerusalem Post cited the Jewish Telegraphic Agency as
saying that 13 Chabad yeshiva students -- mostly from the US and
Canada -- were deported from Russia over the weekend following a
visa incident that prompted a rare case of direct intervention by
the State Department.


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

Summary:
--------

Columnist Amos Gilboa, former head of Research Division at IDF
Intelligence, wrote in the popular, pluralist Maariv: "The Annapolis
conference should be a test, a litmus paper, for the Palestinians
and the Arab states: Are they willing to support a two-state vision
-- a state for the Jewish people and a state for the Palestinian
people -- or are they opposed to this?"

Military correspondent Amos Harel and Palestinian affairs
correspondent Avi Issacharoff wrote in the independent, left-leaning
Ha'aretz: "[The rally in memory of Yasser Arafat was] an important
sign of the frustration in Gaza with the Hamas regime."

Diplomatic correspondent Shimon Shiffer wrote in the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "[Defense Minister
Ehud] Barak and [his choice for negotiator with Syria Maj. Gen.
(res.) Uri] Saguy advocate renewing negotiations with Syria and
believe that already now an agreement can be reached with Assad."

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

I. "The Core of the Debate"

Columnist Amos Gilboa, former head of Research Division at IDF
Intelligence, wrote in the popular, pluralist Maariv (11/12): "At
the 2003 Aqaba summit President Bush, was the first senior US
official to state explicitly and publicly that a democratic
Palestinian state at full peace with Israel would advance the
security and prosperity of the State of Israel as a Jewish state.
The core of the problem is that the Arab states and the Palestinians
(along with several Israeli Jews) are unwilling by any means to
recognize the State of Israel as a Jewish state or the state of the
Jewish people. The most that some of them are willing to recognize
is the State of IsraelQs right to exist. Why? There are three
reasons for this: First, an ideological-psychological reason:
unwillingness to accept the existence of a Jewish state within the
Muslim-Arab world. The Arab world did take a very large step
forward after 1967, when it was willing to accept the fact of the
State of IsraelQs existence (unlike beforehand), but no more than
this. The second reason lies with the Palestinian refugees from
1948. Recognition of a Jewish state means ... Palestinian
recognition of the 'Jewish sin' of their expulsion from their
homeland. The third reason is the Israeli Arabs, or as they define
themselves, 'Palestinian Arab citizens of the State of Israel'....
About 300,000-400,000 of them define themselves as refugees (who
live in Israel, but were forced to leave their homes in 1948).
Their leaderships declare openly that they do not recognize the
State of Israel as a Jewish state, plain and simple. In their
opinion, Israel is a binational state at most. The Annapolis
conference should be a test, a litmus paper, for the Palestinians
and the Arab states: Are they willing to support a two-state vision
-- a state for the Jewish people and a state for the Palestinian
people -- or are they opposed to this? This is the elementary basis
for any structure of peace, for any future discussion of any core.
At the same time, it is also a supreme test for our prime minister:
Is he sincere, can his words be trusted. In other words, will he at
least insist on having such a call issue from Annapolis?"

II. "Cracks in the Armor"

Military correspondent Amos Harel and Palestinian affairs
correspondent Avi Issacharoff wrote in the independent, left-leaning
Ha'aretz (11/13): "Opposition to Hamas in the Strip, and
concomitantly renewed support for Fatah, are on the rise, and the
recent violence is expected to reduce Hamas's status further on the
Palestinian street, as people in Gaza see Hamas using its terror
tactics against its own people.... Al Jazeera, not known for its
support of Fatah, estimated that about 200,000 demonstrators were
present [at Monday's rally in Arafat's memory]. This is an
important sign of the frustration in Gaza with the Hamas regime,
which is unable to ameliorate the distress in the Strip, worsened by
the sanctions Israel and the international community has imposed....
The hard line of the military wing has prevented any easing of the
sanctions on Gaza, and has apparently disrupted attempts at a deal
to release kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. It may also
increase the chance of large-scale Israeli military operation in the
Strip following the Annapolis summit. Israel believes Fatah is
still far from reasserting itself vis-a-vis Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Senior PA officials have warned Israel against moves toward a
unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank. Such a withdrawal, they
say will lead to more West Bank cities falling to Hamas, whose
people are more inspired and organized than Fatah."

III. "The Defense Minister's Private Peace Initiative"

Diplomatic correspondent Shimon Shiffer wrote in the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (11/13): "[Defense
Minister Ehud] Barak and [his choice for negotiator with Syria Maj.
Gen. (res.) Uri] Saguy advocate renewing negotiations with Syria and
believe that already now an agreement can be reached with Assad.
They think that the Syrian track should be promoted also because
they ... believe that there is no chance of reaching a viable peace
agreement with the PA.... Barak thinks that all of Olmert's and
Foreign Minister Livni's attempts to promote the peace process with
the Palestinians are pointless and a waste of time. Barak did not
choose Uri Saguy by chance. The former IDF Intelligence director is
familiar with all facets of the Syrian topic.... Saguy believes that
a peace agreement must primarily address the security arrangements
and normalization can be postponed to a later date. In his study,
the former director of IDF Intelligence agrees with the Syrian claim
that demilitarization arrangements and thinning of forces should
also be done in the Galilee, but not to the same extent as the
demilitarization on the Syrian side of the border. He believes that
most of the residents would agree to a significant withdrawal from
the Golan. In return for withdrawal, Syria might concede its demand
that Israel disarm give up its nuclear weapons."

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN: As COVID Deaths Pass Two Million Worldwide, Guterres Warns Against Self-Defeating ‘Vaccinationalism'

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results

Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>


UN Rights Office: Iran Execution Of Child Offender Breaks International Law

The execution of an Iranian man for a crime allegedly committed when he was 16 years old has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and raised concerns over violations of his right to a fair trial. In a statement released on Thursday, ... More>>