Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #3281/01 3191123
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151123Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4174
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 3004
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 9683
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 3159
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3788
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 3032
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 1112
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 3756
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0622
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1087
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 7664
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 5117
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 0037
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 4178
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 6116
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 8415
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 003281

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. Mideast

2. Iran

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

Ha'aretz and The Jerusalem Post led with Israeli demands to the
Palestinian Authority that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state.
The Jerusalem Post reported that opposition from Palestinian leaders
is intensifying and could threaten the post-Annapolis negotiations.
Ha'aretz and other media reported that the cabinet is considering
making this recognition a precondition for any future negotiations.
Reportedly, Yisrael Beiteinu party leader Avigdor Lieberman is
behind the initiative. Ha'aretz adds speculation from political
analysts that Olmert will work to oppose a government resolution.

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe quoted a source in Kadima as saying that
tensions within the party have grown following Olmert's decision to
freeze settlement construction. On Wednesday Kadima MKs took part
in a Likud-led gathering to protest the possible division of
Jerusalem.

Israel Radio reported that Israel is preparing a list of Palestinian
prisoners to be released ahead of Annapolis.

Maariv reported that Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has approved an
alternative plan to reduce power supply to Gaza that would leave the
responsibility of distributing electricity to Hamas.

Ha'aretz quoted the Israeli group Machsom Watch as saying on Tuesday
that only two of the 24 roadblocks that Israel allegedly removed
recently were in fact removed. The organization said following its
investigation and site visits that most of the roadblocks in fact
never existed. They also claimed that several of the roadblocks
were still in place.

Maariv reported that the IDF is preparing anti-tank defenses in the
western Golan along protective trenches that were previously used
during the Yom Kippur War. The newspaper quoted an Israeli military
source as saying that the move is part of the preparations to
counter possible aggression by Syria. Yediot quoted British
commentator Patrick Seale, a confidant of Syrian President Bashar
Assad, as saying that Olmert's reported rapprochement efforts with
Syria are just Israeli spin, and that Syria does not believe that
Israel has received a green light from President Bush to hold talks
with Damascus.

Maariv reported that 20,000 Palestinian security staff are now
active in West Bank cities (Area B). The Jerusalem Post quoted US
Consul-General in Jerusalem Jacob Walles as saying after a tour of
Nablus on Wednesday that Palestinian forces in the city have made
"some progress" in restoring order.

The Jerusalem Post quoted officials in Jerusalem as saying that the
report on the Iranian nuclear program that EU foreign policy chief
Javier Solana is due to present in two weeks to the five permanent
members of the UN Security Council and Germany will be much closer
to the Israeli position than the separate report being drawn up by
International Atomic Energy head Mohamed ElBaradei. Solana met with
FM Tzipi Livni in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

Major media reported that on Wednesday a French appeals court
screened footage of the September 2000 TV report on the death of
12-year-old Palestinian Muhammad al-Dura, in a case of defamation
brought against France 2-TV and its correspondent in the Middle
East, Charles Enderlin.

Leading media reported that Deputy FM Majalli Whbee told the Knesset
on Wednesday that the Walt Disney Company intends to start legal
proceeding against Hamas, whose TV station portrayed a Mickey
Mouse-like character to incite hatred towards the Jews.

Various media reported that on Wednesday the Winograd Commission
told the High Court of Justice that its final report would not
single out individuals. Speaking on Israel Radio, Meretz Knesset
Member Zahava Gal-On said that Olmert had "made the best deal of his
life" when he appointed the commission. The media also cited
criticism of the commission's statement by right-wing politicians
and human rights groups. Yediot cited the frustration of Israel's
National Security Council for not being consulted on the Annapolis
meeting. The Winograd Commission had criticized PM Olmert for not
seeking advice from the council during the Second Lebanon War.

Ha'aretz reported that the planned freeze in settlement construction
"raises more questions than answers," particularly on the future of
settlements and the implementation of the freeze.

Yediot reported that the US space program Falcon will be able to
protect Israel from an Iranian attack.

Ha'aretz reported that on Wednesday Likud Knesset Member Gideon
Sa'ar and 25 other MKs introduced a bill that would require a
majority of 80 MKs to amend the Basic Law on Jerusalem.

Leading media reported that on Wednesday an IDF officer was slightly
wounded from Palestinian gunfire south of the Erez crossing. Six
mortar shells were fired against Israel from the northern Gaza
Strip, causing no injuries or damage.

Maariv, Yediot, and Israel Radio reported that police are checking
whether Likud activist Shlomi Oz gave money to Olmert when he ran in
the 1999 Likud primaries. Maariv cited denial by the Prime
Minister's Office. The media noted that Oz has been suspected in
various criminal affairs over the past few years.

Ha'aretz reported that while Hebrew-language studies in Egypt are
thriving, Israelis are not welcome there. The newspaper has been
running a series on Israeli-Egyptian ties 30 years after the late
President Anwar Sadat's visit to Jerusalem.

Ha'aretz reported that right-wing Jewish groups have begun to
purchase property in the Druze town of Peki'in in the Galilee
leading to increased ethnic tensions. Peki'in was site of riots
earlier this month between police and Druze villagers. In the
aftermath of the riots, village elders learned that several
right-wing Jewish groups have been purchasing homes in the city
center, mainly from Christian residents, for two to five times the
fair market value.

Leading media reported that on Wednesday the German government
announced that it is willing to begin negotiations with the GOI on
changes to the reparations agreement for victims of the Holocaust.

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

Summary:
--------

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: "Avoiding a
debate on the core issues in Annapolis is not an Israeli
achievement. It is an escape from the main issues, stemming from
political cowardice."

Meretz Party founder Shulamit Aloni wrote in Ha'aretz: "The
government of Israel, with all due respect, does not represent the
Jewish people but rather the citizens of the State of Israel who
elected it.... In other words, it is a state for all of its
citizens."

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: "There
is no way for Israelis to understand the refusal to accept Israel as
a Jewish state other than as a rejection of the two-state solution
and the embrace of the 'strategy of stages,'

Veteran journalist Evelyn Gordon wrote in The Jerusalem Post: "If
there is one thing Rice has proved definitively over the past two
years, it is that she has no interest whatsoever in Israel's
security concerns."

Liberal op-ed writer Yael Paz-Melamed commented in the popular,
pluralist Maariv: "The real threat posed by the Right does not arise
from declarations by [settler leaders] or Olmert's pilgrimage to the
rabbis. It lies in the hills of Samaria [i.e. the northern West
Bank]."

The nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe editorialized: "The
Secretary of State had better invest some fresh thought in less

SIPDIS
comprehensive and pretentious solutions.... The 'two-state solution'
that President Bush presented in 2002 belongs to another world and
to other times."

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

I. "Who Wants a Jewish State?"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (11/15): "On
the eve of the Annapolis conference, Israel has suddenly come up
with the absurd demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a
Jewish state -- after Israel's own leaders have done everything in
their power to sabotage it. It is easy to speak about a Jewish
state, but difficult to find the political courage required to do
what it takes: Settlements scattered in the heart of the Palestinian
population make it impossible to separate between Israel and
Palestine along a plausible and viable border. With each passing
day and each passing year, every settlement expansion, every outpost
and every road built to reach it disrupt the chance to separate the
two nations. Therefore suspending construction in the settlements
is not a prize for the Palestinians ahead of one agreement or
another, but a life-saving medicine for Israel.... Avoiding a debate
on the core issues in Annapolis is not an Israeli achievement. It is
an escape from the main issues, stemming from political cowardice.
Every additional round of futile talks is pushing Israel farther
away from determining its borders and fate."

II. "Still a Democracy?"

Meretz Party founder Shulamit Aloni wrote in Ha'aretz (11/15): "The
government of Israel, with all due respect, does not represent the
Jewish people but rather the citizens of the State of Israel who
elected it. Israel is a sovereign state, which is still considered
to be a democracy. In other words, it is a state for all of its
citizens. Therefore it must not demand of the Palestinians to
recognize it as a Jewish state, because in that way it would be
declaring that any citizen whose mother is not Jewish or who did not
convert with our strict Orthodox rabbis is a second-rate citizen,
and his rights as a human being and a citizen are not ensured....
Therefore it would be better to demand of the Palestinians to
recognize Israel as a sovereign state, and not to coerce them with
what the citizens coerce us -- religion and its rabbis.... If it is
more important to be a Jew than it is to be an Israeli, why do we
demand of the Jews of the world to come here at a time when they are
having it good in the democratic countries in which they live as
Jews?"

III. "The Recognition Sham"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (11/15):
"To Jews and Israelis, it is obvious that if Israel is not a Jewish
state, meaning (at least) a state with an overwhelming Jewish
majority, than it would simply become the 22nd Arab state. Israel
would cease to exist. The Palestinian refusal to accept Israel as a
Jewish state suggests that all their solemn and myriad expressions
of Israel's right to exist did not mean anything.... There is no way
for Israelis to understand the refusal to accept Israel as a Jewish
state other than as a rejection of the two-state solution and the
embrace of the 'strategy of stages,' whereby a Palestinian state is
not an end of claims against Israel, but a down-payment toward
Israel's destruction.... Without mutual recognition, there is no
basis for negotiation. The Palestinians expect Israel to accept
their existence and rights as a people. The Jewish people expects
no less."

IV. "Ehud Olmert's Misplaced Trust"

Veteran journalist Evelyn Gordon wrote in The Jerusalem Post
(11/15): "A premature determination that the PA is in fact willing
and able to take over is a recipe for renewed suicide bombings in
Israel's heartland. The crucial question, therefore, is whether the
U.S. can be trusted to make this determination in Israel's stead....
Since [Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice] will be responsible for
making Israel obey [U.S. security coordinator Lt. Gen. Keith]
Dayton's decisions, Israel could theoretically appeal to her should
it consider these decisions flawed. In practice, however, there is
no chance of her accepting such an appeal -- because if there is one
thing Rice has proved definitively over the past two years, it is
that she has no interest whatsoever in Israel's security concerns.
If that assessment seems harsh, consider her behavior over the
Agreement on Movement and Access, which she brokered following the
August 2005 disengagement.... To his credit, Olmert resisted her on
this issue. But now, in his desperation to demonstrate 'progress'
at Annapolis, he has pledged to dismantle Israel's entire security
network in the West Bank merely on Dayton's and Rice's say-so. He
has thereby created an impossible trap: Either Israel will indeed
have to dismantle its security measures prematurely, leaving the
country vulnerable to a new wave of suicide bombings, or it will
have to mortally insult its closest ally by refusing to accept its
decisions even after having promised to do so. If that is the
measure of Olmert's judgment in the pre-Annapolis talks, none of us
should be sleeping well at night."

V. "The Campaign against Nothing"

Liberal op-ed writer Yael Paz-Melamed commented in the popular,
pluralist Maariv (11/15): "The Annapolis conference died before it
was even born. But Binyamin Netanyahu won't let the facts confuse
him.... [Netanyahu told Shas mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef:] 'The Olmert
government is repeating the mistake of Camp David, where Israel gave
up everything and got suicide bombers in exchange?.' Israel
conceded? When and what?.... More than it was meant to thwart
Annapolis, which others have already torpedoed, the opposition
leader's visit to the Rabbi was intended to check the possibility of
toppling the Olmert government... The real threat posed by the Right
does not arise from declarations by [settler leaders] or Olmert's
pilgrimage to the rabbis. It lies in the hills of Samaria [i.e. the
northern West Bank]."

VI. "The Palestinians Need Israeli Patronage"

The nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe editorialized
(11/15): "The virtual president of a virtual state is posturing as a
virtual partner in a peace conference. What is surprising is that
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is continuing -- even on

SIPDIS
Wednesday -- to voice her support for painful concessions and the
establishment of a Palestinian state..... Doesn't she know that in
light of the Gaza experience, it is because of 'extremists in the
region' that an Israeli withdrawal and the establishment of a
Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank constitute a recipe for
strategic disaster -- not just to Israel and the Palestinians in the
West Bank, but also to the United States' interests? The Secretary
of State had better invest some fresh thought in less comprehensive
and pretentious solutions.... The 'two-state solution' that
President Bush presented in 2002 belongs to another world and to
other times."

---------
2. Iran:
---------

Summary:
--------

Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz: "The Americans say to the Israelis something
like this: 'It is best for you to get used to living with a nuclear
Iran, which will look less menacing if there is an American embassy
there.'"

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

"Get Used to the Iranian Bomb"

Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (11/15): "Israel and the United States are
generally considered Siamese twins, with a common mouth and
heart.... [However], the major differences of opinion can be
summarized as follows: The Americans desire a 'dialogue' with Iran
and the isolation of Syria, and the Israelis want talks with the
Syrians and moves against Iran.... The message of the American
participants in [last week's bilateral strategic] meeting was clear:
Neither the U.S. nor Israel has a military option against Iran.....
Whoever comes after Bush, certainly if he is a Democrat, will throw
these conditions into the trash and will strive for a quick dialogue

with Iran. In less diplomatic language, the Americans say to the
Israelis something like this: 'It is best for you to get used to
living with a nuclear Iran, which will look less menacing if there
is an American embassy there.'"

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>>