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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #3548/01 3521151
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181151Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4635
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 3159
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 9824
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 3327
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 3932
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 3179
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 1298
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 3912
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0765
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1236
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 7807
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 5272
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 0186
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 4319
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 6262
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 8652
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 003548

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. Paris Donor's Conference

2. Gaza

-------------------------
Key Stories in the Media:
-------------------------

All media reported that eleven Palestinians were killed since Monday
night in four aerial strikes of IAF among them nine Islamic Jihad
activists. One of the dead is a senior Islamic Jihad military
commander. Islamic Jihad militants vowed revenge in Israel both by
launching Qassam rockets towards Israel and by sending suicide
bombers in country.

All media reported that the Palestinians raised USD 7.4 billion at
the Paris donor's conference on Monday.

Ha'aretz and the Jerusalem Post reported that U.S. former marine
general James Jones arrived Monday night in Israel for his first
visit to the region since Secretary Rice nominated him as her
Special Envoy.

All media reported that U.S. President George W. Bush said on Monday
that he supported Russian shipments of nuclear fuel to Iran for
civilian power, saying they proved that Teheran has no need to
enrich uranium

The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel is sending video tapes to
senior US congressmen and Senators showing Egyptian policemen
assisting Palestinian terrorist along the Egypt-Gaza border.

The Jerusalem Post quoted government officials as saying that Israel
does not have "smoking gun" intelligence that will cause the U.S. to
reassess its NIE report regarding Iran.

All media reported that the Knesset has approved a law allowing the
police to establish a huge database or search engine based on
citizens' phone numbers as well as other communication data.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the U.S. has recently experimented
an Israeli-made assault rifle ahead of a decision of whether to
purchase the new weapon.

Ha'aretz reported a that Yesh Din, a human rights organization has
released information it got from the IDF indicating that since the
second Intifadah broke in 2000, 1091 cases against IDF soldiers
suspected of criminal activity against Palestinians and their
property were initiated. Out of these cases only 118 indictments
were submitted.

----------------------------
1. Paris Donor's Conference:
----------------------------

Summary:
--------

Military correspondent Roni Shaked wrote in the mass circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot: "Perhaps the money will satisfy the greed
and corruption of the high-ranking officials, but it will not buy
peace."

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized: "If Israel's
security and a blooming Palestinian economy do not contradict each
other, as Livni maintains, she must take immediate action to lift
the roadblocks that infringe on the Palestinian economy."

The Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized: "The
billions of dollars in aid pledged yesterday [to the Palestinians in
the donor's conference] is supposed to demonstrate support for
Palestinian leaders.... But if Europe continues to drag its feet in
sharply curtailing its trade with Iran ... then no amount of aid
will save the Arab-Israeli peace process from drowning in an
increasingly radicalized region."

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

I. "The Money Will not Buy Peace"

Military correspondent Roni Shaked wrote in the mass circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot (12/18): "The billions of dollars [raised
in the donors' conference in Paris] will be enough to pay the
salaries of the inflated Palestinian bureaucracy, will allow the
security organizations to buy new cars and camps and even finance
several infrastructure-development projects. Perhaps the money will
satisfy the greed and corruption of the high-ranking officials, but

it will not buy peace. The billions will not be invested in
rehabilitating refugee camps and education for co-existence and
peace, nor will it contribute even a little toward the removal of
one settlement or even one roadblock. While the money will serve
Fatah, mainly its major operatives, it is very doubtful whether it
can contribute to the revival of the movement, which needs
leadership and a new spirit.... The donations may have temporary
positive implications: the money is meant to strengthen Abu Mazen
and his government, and it is likely that we will gain a certain
period of relative calm. But once the Palestinians realize that
money does not buy a state, this could lead to a new conflagration,
a third Intifada with more destruction and ruin."

II. "Roadblocks Counter Funding"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (12/18): "It is
agreed by all that the Palestinian government cannot continue as the
main provider for the Palestinian labor force. It requires an
acceleration in the public and private sectors in order to lift this
heavy burden off its shoulders. But it cannot act alone. The World
Bank report released on the eve of the international donor
conference in Paris states that even if the Palestinian Authority
receives all the funds it aspires to, unless restrictions imposed by
Israel are lifted, economic growth may be negative.... This is so
because the road blocks, whose numbers only increase, and other
trade restrictions imposed by Israel, do not allow the private
sector to flourish and an atmosphere is created where foreign
investment is discouraged. These are not false claims that Fayyad
is trying to disseminate, but the words of the World Bank, which
lays direct blame on Israel's policy. The Foreign Minister is not
entitled to ignore the warning included in this report. Even more
so after Israel promised, on a number of occasions, to lift a large
number of the road blocks, and significantly ease Palestinian
movement between parts of the West Bank. If Israel's security and a
blooming Palestinian economy do not contradict each other, as Livni
maintains, she must take immediate action to lift the roadblocks
that infringe on the Palestinian economy."

III. "Stop Trade with Iran"

The Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (12/18):
"The billions of dollars in aid pledged yesterday [to the
Palestinians in the donor's conference] is supposed to demonstrate
support for Palestinian leaders who have pledged to institute
governmental reforms, fight terrorism and negotiate peace with
Israel. But if Europe continues to drag its feet in sharply
curtailing its trade with Iran -- which constitutes 40 percent of
Iran's foreign business but only 1% of Europe's -- then no amount of
aid will save the Arab-Israeli peace process from drowning in an
increasingly radicalized region."

--------
2. Gaza:
--------

Summary:
--------

Senior columnist Yoel Marcus wrote in the independent, left-leaning
Ha'aretz: "In any major operation, you know how you will enter, but
not how or when you will leave, and how much blood will be shed. We
already had one Vietnam, in the First Lebanon War. We do not need a
second Vietnam in Gaza."

Palestinian correspondent Amit Cohen wrote in the popular, pluralist
Maariv: "It would not be exaggerated to say that Harazin's
counterparts in Hamas are sleeping soundly.... All Hamas' fatalities
in recent months have been from the rank and file. The senior
echelons -- military and political -- have not been touched. This
fact is quite astonishing, because in the past year Hamas has
uncovered its military arm almost entirely."

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

I. "A Vietnam Called Gaza"

Senior columnist Yoel Marcus wrote in the independent, left-leaning
Ha'aretz (12/18): "Even now, when public demand for sending the army
into Gaza is growing, this option is not as simple as it seems. It
is impossible to launch a war in a densely populated area, with
narrow alleys housing thousands of women and children, without the
support of international public opinion. And we cannot muster such
support when we have suffered a single kidnapped soldier and 18
fatalities in six years. Yet the more time passes with thousands of
people living unprotected and in constant fear in Sderot, the
greater the demand becomes for a massive military incursion into
Gaza.... For now, both Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Chief of
Staff Gabi Ashkenazi are putting their feet on the brakes of the
'the big invasion' option.... In any major operation, you know how
you will enter, but not how or when you will leave, and how much
blood will be shed. We already had one Vietnam, in the First
Lebanon War. We do not need a second Vietnam in Gaza."

II. "Hamas Activists are Sleeping Quietly"

Palestinian correspondent Amit Cohen wrote in the popular, pluralist
Maariv (12/18): "In recent months ... the impression has been
conveyed that the war conducted against Islamic Jihad in the Gaza
Strip has not been waged to the same extent against the Hamas
leadership. It would not be exaggerated to say that Harazin's
counterparts in Hamas are sleeping soundly.... All Hamas' fatalities
in recent months have been from the rank and file. The senior
echelons -- military and political -- have not been touched. This
fact is quite astonishing, because in the past year Hamas has
uncovered its military arm almost entirely.... No longer are we
talking about five or six people on the wanted list, hiding among
thousands of civilians. Instead it is a military organization,
which ought to provide Israel with a wealth of targets to attack.
Therefore the question that has to be asked is -- why is the IDF not
dealing with this infrastructure."
JONES

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