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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #3500/01 3461107
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 121107Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4548
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 3131
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 9797
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 3295
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3903
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 3150
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 1259
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 3883
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0738
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1208
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 7778
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 5245
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 0158

RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 4292
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 6233
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 8601
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 003500

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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Leading media (banner in The Jerusalem Post) quoted PA officials as
saying that Israel's incursion into Gaza is another attempt to
sabotage the peace process. So far, at least six Palestinians have
been killed in the operation. Ha'aretz reported that cabinet plans
to discuss today increase the action to a large-scale operation.
Maariv noted that over 270 Palestinian terrorists and 20 civilians
have been killed in the Strip since May. Maariv cited the IDF's
belief that over 300 Palestinians will have been killed by the end
of the year. Israel Radio reported that this morning 17 rockets
were fired at the western Negev. Islamic Jihad claimed
responsibility for 12 of them. The Jerusalem Post reported that on
Tuesday the state claimed that the High Court of Justice must not
intervene in its Sderot security policy. Speaking on Israel Radio
this afternoon, Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal announced his resignation.

Yediot reported that the first Israeli-Palestinian meeting on the
permanent status, which will be held today, will be devoted to
working arrangements and the establishment of negotiating teams.
Yediot reported that the Palestinians are expected to demand the
creation of teams on each of the core issues. The newspaper
reported that U.S. security monitor Gen. James Jones will arrive in
Israel next week. He will hold preliminary meetings with the heads
of Israel's security establishment. The newspaper also reported
that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is expected to come to
Israel a week later to prepare President Bush's visit, which Yediot
said will take place on January 9. Israel Radio quoted Palestinian
sources assaying that the Secretary of State will not come to the
region, but that she will meet with Palestinian representatives in
Paris.

Maariv reported that following the Israeli response to the abduction
of two IDF soldiers from Lebanon in July 2006, Iran withdrew
Hizbullah Secretary-General Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah's military
authority. Maariv quoted Western intelligence sources as saying
that Hizbullah now needs authorization from the Iranian
Revolutionary Guards to carry out significant operations against
Israel. Meanwhile, Yediot reported that Hizbullah has recently
bolstered its activity, tightening its relations with Palestinian
terrorist organizations. The newspaper reported that Hizbullah has
entrusted its senior operative Kais Obeid, who played a key role in
the abduction of the Israeli Elchanan Tenenbaum to Lebanon six years
ago, with responsibility for the Gaza Strip.

The Jerusalem Post, Maariv and Ha'aretz reported that on Tuesday for
the first time the UN passed a non-political Israeli resolution (on
agriculture). Maariv reported that Iran and Syria did not vote
against the Israeli proposal.

Ha'aretz reported that the Interior Ministry will close down its
operation in Ethiopia in another two weeks, after signing the last
immigration permit for Falash Mura who are eligible to immigrate to
Israel. The Falash Mura are Ethiopian Jews whose ancestors
converted to Christianity.

Ha'aretz reported that on Tuesday the Civil Administration in the
territories told the interministerial committee on unauthorized
outposts that hundreds, even thousands, of planned housing units in
the West Bank have building permits and do not need any further
government approval before construction can begin. The Jerusalem
Post reported that FM Tzipi Livni and Strategic Affairs Minister
Avigdor Lieberman sparred over unauthorized outposts at the
committee meeting.

Ha'aretz quoted PM Ehud Olmert as saying on Tuesday in a speech to
the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University
that Iran remains dangerous. He was referring to the recent
National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report. The Jerusalem Post
quoted Olmert as saying that the debate over the NIE report has
triggered an "exaggerated debate" inside Israel. Former Mossad
Director Ephraim Halevy was quoted as saying on Tuesday in an
interview with The Jerusalem Post that Israel must ensure that it is
a direct participant in U.S. talks with Iran, which appear to be
shaping up. Otherwise, Halevy warned, the future of the region will
be determined in a forum from which Israel is excluded.

Maariv reported that the defense establishment was "surprised" to
find that Israel Aerospace Industries is developing a missile
defense system. The Defense Ministry and the IDF are developing two
interception systems -- one of which is being built by the Rafael
company.

Israel Radio reported that the soldiers of a paratrooper unit are
being investigated for humiliating Palestinians and taking bribes
from them.

The Jerusalem Post and Makor Rishon-Hatzofe reported that on Tuesday
President Bush hosted the family of Daniel Pearl, the American
journalist who was kidnapped and murdered in Karachi in 2002.

The Jerusalem Post printed a Jewish Telegraphic Agency report on
Jewish soldiers in the U.S. Army lighting Chanukah candles in Camp
Taji in Iraq

Yediot reported that on Tuesday in Paris Libyan leader Muammar
Qadhafi told the President of the French National Assembly that his
preferred solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was one
state for two peoples.

Yediot cited the GOI's Central Bureau of Statistics as saying that
in 2006 Israeli Arabs consolidated their majority (53.1%) in the
Galilee. Jews comprise 46.9% of the population in the region.

All media reported that on Tuesday the negotiations between the
state and the secondary teachers' union ended abruptly and that the
National Labor Court ordered the teachers to return to work. The
return to work order will take effect on Thursday.


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

Summary:
--------

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: "[Secretary]
Rice also expressed fear that the construction in Har Homa would
disrupt the Annapolis process.... Israel has no good answer to the
American objections.... At this rate, and with this sagacity, the
Annapolis conference will prove no more than a barren footnote."

Columnist Michael Freund, who was an assistant to former prime
minister Binyamin Netanyahu, wrote in the conservative, independent
Jerusalem Post: "What [is particularly] troubling about her
statement on Har Homa is that it lends credence to the
discriminatory notion that certain places should be off-limits to
Jews simply because they are Jews."

Conservative columnist Yosef Harif wrote in the popular, pluralist
Maariv: "The Labor Party, which has for years shaped Israeli policy,
is starting to lose its specificity and looks like a second
Kadima."

Columnist Gilad Katz wrote on page one of the nationalist, Orthodox
Makor Rishon-Hatzofe: "It is becoming obvious that the
Olmert-Livni-Barak government has no 'holy cows' and that the last
line of defense was ruptured without any special Palestinian
endeavor."

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

I. "From Annapolis to Har Homa"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (12/12):
"[U.S.] administration spokespeople normally oppose any moves liable
to damage Israeli-Palestinian final-status negotiations -- namely,
the settlements. But this time, [Secretary] Rice also expressed
fear that the construction in Har Homa would disrupt the Annapolis
process.... Israel has no good answer to the American objections....
No one in the world recognizes Israel's annexation of East
Jerusalem.... Nor can Israel rely on Bush's April 2004 letter to
former prime minister Ariel Sharon in which the President of the
U.S. said the reality created by settlements in the territories must
be taken into account. Bush's declaration was not a commitment to
refrain from evacuating settlements, does not bind his successors
and has even been demonstratively omitted from other diplomatic
documents.... [Israel's old tricks] merely provide the Palestinians
with ammunition for their propaganda, help Hamas to claim that
Olmert is humiliating Abbas, and push Bush and Rice into taking a
stand against Israel. The Annapolis festivities have ended, and the
test will be in the dull implementation. Thus far, not a single
outpost has been evacuated, not the slightest diplomatic progress
has been made, and Israel is retreating into the worst of all
possible worlds -- subject to terror attacks that the Palestinians
are still not really trying to restrain, yet putting itself, with
its own hands, on the diplomatic defensive. At this rate, and with
this sagacity, the Annapolis conference will prove no more than a
barren footnote."

II. "Condi Hangs a 'No Jews Allowed' Sign""

Columnist Michael Freund, who was an assistant to former prime
minister Binyamin Netanyahu, wrote in the conservative, independent
Jerusalem Post (12/12): "Condoleezza Rice has got some nerve.
First, the U.S. Secretary of State had the chutzpa to compare
Israel's treatment of Palestinians to that meted out to U.S. blacks
during the bad old days of the segregationist South.... Needless to
say, the fact that American blacks were victims of violence and
hate, while Palestinians are its proficient practitioners, seems to
have escaped the Secretary of State's attention. Moreover, Rice's
comparison between Israeli security measures and America's Jim Crow
laws is both intellectually dishonest and morally obscene. There is
no similarity whatsoever between Israel establishing a checkpoint
aimed at catching Palestinian suicide bombers and the state of
Georgia's 1960s era prohibition against serving blacks and whites in
the same restaurant... When Israel decides to build some new
apartments in an already-existing section of Jerusalem, Rice
suddenly finds her voice? Who does she think she is kidding? But
what was still more troubling about her statement on Har Homa is
that it lends credence to the discriminatory notion that certain
places should be off-limits to Jews simply because they are Jews....
Now, following in our ancestors' footsteps, we have returned to
reclaim what is rightfully ours. So step aside, Ms. Rice, and
please do not try to interfere. Like it or not, nothing can stop
this historical process from unfolding."


III. "Kadima II"

Conservative columnist Yosef Harif wrote in the popular, pluralist
Maariv (12/12): "In his speech at Annapolis, [Ehud] Barak said: 'I
... fully support this process and I will do my utmost to make it
succeed.' Thus Barak has now turned into the full partner in the
diplomatic activity of the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister.
This development effectively blurs the differences in diplomatic
outlook between the two large parties. The Labor Party, which has
for years shaped Israeli policy, is starting to lose its specificity
and looks like a second Kadima."

IV. "Total Diplomatic Dismantling"

Columnist Gilad Katz wrote on page one of the nationalist, Orthodox
Makor Rishon-Hatzofe (12/12): "It is becoming obvious that the
Olmert-Livni-Barak government has no 'holy cows' and that the last
line of defense was ruptured without any special Palestinian
endeavor. Starting today, everything will be placed on the
negotiating table: refugees, borders, and Jerusalem -- all at a
discounted price.... The total diplomatic dismantling by [Olmert]
and the Foreign Minister is not obvious to the general [Israeli]
public. Their manipulative claim that Israel is not conceding
anything as long as the Palestinians do not respect their
commitments, is void of contents."

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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