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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (11/06): Speculation On

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OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #2000/01 3111214
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 061214Z NOV 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3182
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEADWD/DA WASHINGTON DC//DAS-ZD/DACS-ZK//
RUEAHQA/CSAF WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
RHMFIUU/CMC WASHINGTON DC
RUENAAA/CNO WASHINGTON DC//POLAD//
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7390
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 4370
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4223
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 5717
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 4139
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2704

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 002000

SIPDIS

STATE PASS BBG
STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD
WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
NSC FOR ABRAMS
CMC WASHINGTON DC FOR POLAD

JERUSALEM ALSO FOR ICD
LONDON FOR HKANONA AND POL - TSOU
PARIS ALSO FOR POL
ROME FOR MFO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KMDR KPAL KWBG KPAO IS
SUBJECT: JERUSALEM MEDIA REACTION (11/06): SPECULATION ON
PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA'S MIDDLE EAST POLICIES

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Main Stories:
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The three papers lead with Barack Obama's election as U.S.
President. Al Quds states that the world welcomes him while Al
Ayyam notes that, "change has come to America." Al Hayat Al Jadida
leads with comments by the King of Jordan and President of Egypt
looking forward to Obama's contribution to solving the Palestinian
question. Palestinian Authority President Abbas sends his
congratulations and comments about looking forward to working with
the new U.S. administration from Hungary where he is making an
official visit.

Statements by Consul General Jake Walles made during the Consulate
General Jerusalem's November 5 official election gala event in
Ramallah, run on Al Quds' front page and on an inside page of Al
Ayyam. Walles noted that president-elect Obama is committed to the
Middle East peace process and has visited Ramallah twice." Al Quds
adds that Secretary Rice will present the new administration with a
document outlining, "general principles for solving the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Al Ayyam's front page runs a report that president-elect Obama has
offered the post of White House Chief of Staff to Rahm Emanuel, a
"former Israeli Defense Forces officer" from Illinois.

All front pages run reports on the November 5 Israeli military
strike on Gaza, noting that the action calls into question the
ceasefire with Hamas. The papers note that both Palestinian and
Israeli officials have expressed concern that the five-month long
ceasefire could be in jeopardy. Palestinian officials considered
the November 4 Israeli incursion into Gaza to be, "a scandalous
violation of the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire," while Israel's
Defense Minister defends the action as aimed at destroying a tunnel
constructed to abduct Israeli soldiers. The papers also report that
Gaza groups fired off dozens of mortar shells and homemade
projectiles at Israeli targets, injuring two women in Gaza.
Finally, Hamas member Fawzi Barhum suggests, in the dailies, that
Israel timed the November 5 attacks to coincide with the American
presidential election, in hopes of keeping the action out of the
spotlight.

House demolitions and arrests by the Israeli military grab front
page headlines in Al Quds and Al Ayyam, while front page photos of
the bulldozers at work appear in Al Hayat Al Jadida and Al Ayaam.
According to reports, Israel demolished two Palestinian homes in the
central Gazan Strip and three Jerusalem-area houses and a public
hall. Israeli military arrested 17 Palestinians and injured 17
others in Jerusalem on November 5, the reports detail.

Al Quds' front page reports on the signing of a $30 million
agreement between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and MIGA
international to guarantee investments in the Palestinian
Territories. In related economic reporting, PA Prime Minister
Fayyad is quoted on Al Ayyam's front page hoping to direct more of
the PA budget to development projects, after making all outstanding
payments to PA employees and the private sector.

Al Quds' front page runs an update on inter-Palestinian talks in
Cairo. According to Fatah delegation chief, Nabil Shaath, talks
will begin on November 10, with Palestinian Authority President
Abbas, Arab League Secretary General Amr Musa and other Arab foreign
ministers in attendance. Any resulting agreement would be

JERUSALEM 00002000 002 OF 002


implemented after the Eid Al Adha holiday in early December.

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BLOCK QUOTES:
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1) Al Quds' editorial runs under the title, "Obama made a
miraculous victory: Can he live up to the expectations?" (11/06):
"The most important thing to us is his [Obama's] stand regarding the
[Palestinian] issue, means to establish a Palestinian state and
finding a solution to the conflict that has continued in the Middle
East for many decades... We should not ask an American President to
do what we ourselves are not doing. We need to learn from the power
of the Jewish lobby in America [how to leverage influence]... We do
not want to have unrealistic dreams and illusions, but we do believe
that the chances for change will be greater during Obama's term."

2) Mohamad Abdulla opines in Al Quds under the title, "Barack Obama
won't stray from American strategic interests"(11/06): "Obama will
not be the sole decision maker in the American Administration, as
there are lobbying organizations and apparatus that will restrain
his actions and monitor his positions... at the end of the day, he
will have to take positions and make policies that result from
developments in the American and international arenas."

Walles

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