Search

 

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #3323/01 3251041
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 211041Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4258
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 3033
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 9711
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 3189
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3816
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 3061
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 1144
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 3784
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0650
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1117
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 7692
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 5145
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 0065
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 4206
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 6145
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 8446
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 003323

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

Please note: There will be no Tel Aviv Media Reaction report on
Friday, November 23, 2007, due to Embassy closure.

--------------------------------
SUBJECTS COVERED IN THIS REPORT:
--------------------------------

Mideast

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

Major media reported that on Tuesday President Bush formally invited
Israel and the PA to attend the Annapolis meeting. Ha'aretz
reported that PM Ehud Olmert's foreign policy adviser, Shalom
Turgeman, agreed with U.S. officials that the content of the
invitation would not be made public at this stage. Major media
reported that Arab states, including Saudi Arabia and Syria, are
among 40 bodies that received similar invitations. Leading media
repotted that on Tuesday the Israeli and the Palestinian negotiating
teams met again in a last-ditch effort to prepare a joint document.
The Jerusalem Post and other major media reported that during his
visit to Sharm el-Sheikh Olmert won critical Egyptian support for
Annapolis.

Leading media reported that as a gesture to PA Chairman [President]
Mahmoud Abbas, PM Olmert has approved the handover of 50
Russian-made armored personnel carriers to the PA in Nablus. The
Israeli defense establishment had initially opposed the move. The
Palestinians will also receive 1,000 rifles with 2 million bullets.
Maariv bannered: "[Israel] Again Giving Armored Vehicles to
Palestinians."

Ha'aretz reported that on Tuesday PM Olmert and Egyptian President
Hosni Mubarak devoted considerable time to the issue of combating
smuggling from Sinai into the Gaza Strip.

The Jerusalem Post quoted senior GOI sources as saying that there is
a growing sense in Jerusalem that Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, the U.S.
security coordinator with the Palestinians, is ineffective and
should be replaced. The sources were quoted as saying that a
minister brought up the issue at Monday's cabinet meeting, saying:
"I don't know what Dayton does. I'm not sure what he does." The
Jerusalem Post quoted GOI sources as saying that there was a sense
in Jerusalem that a more "dominant figure" was need in this
position.

The Jerusalem Post reported that earlier this week the state
provided the High Court of Justice with statistics showing that
sanctions on the Gaza Strip will not cause a humanitarian crisis.

Leading media reported that ahead of Annapolis, One Jerusalem, a
right-wing organization led by former cabinet minister Natan
Sharansky, has launched a campaign against concessions involving
Jerusalem. At a press conference on Tuesday the group presented the
results of a public opinion poll, according to which 76.5% of
Israelis oppose handing over the Old City, the Temple Mount, and the
city's Arab neighborhoods as part of a peace agreement.

Yediot reported that on Monday US Under Secretary of Agriculture,
Mark Keenum, asked Israel's Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon to
stop importing pistachio nuts (4,000 tons a year) from Iran -- via
Turkey.

Major media quoted IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi as saying on
Tuesday that he does not expect another Intifada should Annapolis
fail. However, the media quoted him as saying that terrorist
attacks are expected. Maariv reported that the heads of Israel's
three intelligence agencies -- Mossad, Shin Bet, and IDF
Intelligence -- are expected to expound to the security cabinet the
expected repercussions of Annapolis. (Israel Radio reported that
the cabinet will also discuss a comprehensive report containing
recommendations for Israel's national security concept, drafted
around a year and a half ago by former cabinet minister Dan Meridor
-- the brother of Sallai Meridor, Israel's Ambassador to the U.S.
--, and never before discussed by the government) Maariv cited the
belief of the defense establishment that an agreement with Abbas
cannot be implemented as long as Hamas controls Gaza, but that if
Israel does not attend the meeting, Hamas might take over the West
Bank.

Media reported that Israel and the PA have resumed cooperation on
the issues of limited exports of Palestinian agricultural produce
and cellular phone frequencies. Ha'aretz and other media reported
that Israel has offered the PA assistance in establishing a social
security system. (The Jerusalem Post reported that Welfare and
Social Services Minister Yitzhak Herzog has called on Quartet envoy
Tony Blair to encourage cooperation between Israel and the PA in the
areas of welfare and social services.)

Maariv reported that the Shin Bet requires settler youth who wish
to become recruits, to inform on their friends.

Ha'aretz ran features on the conflicting attitudes of two key
European societies towards Israel: The daily's headline reads:
"France is Falling in Love with Israel; in Britain They're Debating
Whether It Has a Future."

The Jerusalem Post reported that on Tuesday Archbishop Antonio
Franco, the Vatican Ambassador to the Holy Hand, expressed
frustration over the decade-old failure to reach agreement with
Israel on tax exemptions, among mounting criticism among senior
Vatican officials on the state of relations between Israel and the
Holy See.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Ambassador Richard Jones held a
party for Yoram Ben Ze'ev, ambassador-designate to Germany. Prior
to this appointment, Ben Ze'ev was the deputy director-general of
the Foreign Ministry, heading the North American desk.

Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported that in the first nine months of 2007,
Israeli industry exported USD 162 million worth of goods to Jordan.
This emerges from data by the Manufacturers Association of Israel,
and is 59 percent higher than in the same period of 2006.

All media reported that on Tuesday the shekel rose to its highest in
nine years against the US dollar (3.898 shekels to a dollar). The
Jerusalem Post reported that the Israel Export Institute warned that
the weakness of the US currency was causing losses of billions of
shekels to exporters, while threatening to significantly damage the
competitiveness of the local export industry.

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

Summary:
--------

Senior Middle East affairs analyst Zvi Bar'el wrote in the
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz: "Israel ... may return from the
conference with things it had not ordered, such as conditions for
moving forward on the real process, the one with the Palestinians."

Ha'aretz editorialized: "Barak's actions are highly suspect: Is he
willing to leave no stone unturned for peace only when he is prime
minister?"

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in Ha'aretz: "On the
eve of [Annapolis], it is ... worth identifying the new chance of
success it offers, whose main component is the victory of the
battered and yellowing Roadmap."

Columnist Calev Ben-David wrote in the conservative, independent
Jerusalem Post: "Riyadh shouldn't delude itself that 'normalization
of relations' with the nation that is still the ground-zero of
Islamic fundamentalism hasn't quite the currency it would like to
believe it does."

The ultra-Orthodox Hamodi'a editorialized: "If this conference does
not end in failure -- that is to say: without a crisis ---, this
will be considered an achievement."

Chief Economic Editor Sever Plotker opined in the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "The uncompromising Israeli demand
towards the current Palestinian leadership, as recently expressed by
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, should be: 'Define your future
Palestinian state as the homeland of the Palestinians.'"

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

I. "Being There"

Senior Middle East affairs analyst Zvi Bar'el wrote in the
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (11/21): "It now turns out that
even an invitation to a conference that is only a get-together -- a
ceremony of declarations -- has become a bargaining chip for Arab
states that have so far been unable to resolve a single conflict.
Not only are they bridesmaids, they are active actors in the
negotiations. As a result, the United States and Israel are holding
two sets of negotiations: one with Abbas, the real guest of honor,
and the other with the Arab leaders, in an effort to convince them
to show up and support the talks with Abbas. As such, the Arab
leaders are given the legitimacy to present their own preconditions
for actually holding a meeting.... As such, Israel, which lowered
expectations for the summit to a ceremony for mid-term report cards,
may return from the conference with things it had not ordered, such
as conditions for moving forward on the real process, the one with
the Palestinians."

II. "Barak - Suspected Saboteur"

Ha'aretz editorialized (11/21): "Barak's speech last Sunday at a
party meeting strengthened the impression that Barak does not
believe in the chances of success [of Annapolis]. Barak threw
Annapolis only a few casual sentences. Additionally, according to a
leak from Monday's cabinet meeting, he spoke in favor of the
settlers -- including those living in illegal outposts. The Defense
Minister has the right not to believe the summit will succeed, but
he is absolutely forbidden from sabotaging it while working for a
government that has decided to strive toward its success.... Barak's
actions are highly suspect: Is he willing to leave no stone unturned
for peace only when he is prime minister? Is he unwilling to assist
the drive toward a peace agreement -- and possibly even hamper it --
simply because he is not at the helm?"

III. "The Victory of the Roadmap"

Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner wrote in Ha'aretz (11/21):
"Annapolis was born of the frustration that is an integral part of
the road map: In the absence of implementation, the peace process
will remain stuck in the first stage.... Annapolis was thought up as
a subversive attempt to bypass this wearisome track. But at the end
of the bypass, the drivers find themselves holding the same map,
traveling forward along the same road. It is possible to call this
a failure: The pretension that was at the heart of Rice's initiative
has been discovered to be baseless.... It is certainly possible to
term the Annapolis summit an unnecessary failure. Nevertheless, on
the eve of its occurrence, it is also worth identifying the new
chance of success it offers, whose main component is the victory of
the battered and yellowing Roadmap. This is a victory of healthy
logic over the shortsightedness of those who wish to cut corners,
the knights of the bypass, who put on airs and then fly off.
Annapolis will be a festive ceremony in honor of our having landed
on the ground of reality."

IV. "Rocky Road from Mecca to Annapolis"

Columnist Calev Ben-David wrote in the conservative, independent
Jerusalem Post (11/21): "It is easy to understand what motivated the
Saudis [when they made their peace initiative public] to take a more
active role in the peace process.... This was shortly after 9/11,
when Riyadh's public image in the West was at an all-time low....
These days, it is the growing threat of Iranian influence that is
motivating Abdullah in his recent charm offensive. The Saudis want
to be as much in the drivers' seat as possible when it comes to
policy re Teheran; they fervently want to contain Iran, while at the
same time desperately want to prevent any outright confrontation
with it, either involving themselves or anyone else.... Israel, of
course, would and should welcome any Saudi participation in
Annapolis as a step in the right direction. But Riyadh shouldn't
delude itself that 'normalization of relations' with the nation that
is still the ground-zero of Islamic fundamentalism hasn't quite the
currency it would like to believe it does."

V. "A Conference with Foretold Results"

The ultra-Orthodox Hamodi'a editorialized (11/21): "Not one side --
the United States, the host country, nor the 40 guest countries, are
convinced that there will be positive or practical results at
Annapolis. If this conference does not end in failure -- that is to
say: without a crisis ---, this will be considered an achievement.
Some will say: 'The importance of the conference lies in its very
convening. The true meaning of that utterance is: Nothing real is
supposed to -- or will -- come out of it."

VI. "Jews to Israel, Palestinians to Palestine"

Chief Economic Editor Sever Plotker opined in the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot (11/21): "Back in 1947, the [United
Nations'] General Assembly already decided that it would be
preferable to maintain a Jewish character, as far as possible, for
the Jewish state, and an Arab character for the Arab state....
Clinton hoped until the last day of his presidency that Arafat would
accept his plan. This was a false hope; Arafat did not dream of
agreeing to a situation where the new Palestinian state would be
defined as the only national home for all the Palestinians. He
understood that if Palestine would be considered by the world as the
'state of the Palestinians,' this would nullify their demand to
'return' to the state of the Jews, which is Israel. If each people
returns to its own country, there is no right of return. The
uncompromising Israeli demand of the current Palestinian leadership,
as recently expressed by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, should be:
'Define your future Palestinian state as the homeland of the
Palestinians.' Only this way will the basic idea of the UN
resolution from November 29, 1947 be fulfilled: a Palestinian state
for the Palestinians, a Jewish state for the Jews. One nation state
for each nationality, and the two will live at peace with one
another."

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN SDG: UN Appoints Twenty Eminent Thinkers To Shed New Light On The World’s Greatest Challenges

New York, 21 January 2021 – Twenty prominent personalities, globally renowned for their intellectual leadership in economic and social fields, will form the second United Nations High-level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Economic and Social Affairs, the ... More>>

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>>

UN: Violent Attempt At US Capitol To ‘overturn’ Election, Shocking And Incendiary

A group of independent UN rights experts released ... 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>>