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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #1866/01 2371044
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 251044Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3173
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 5859
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 2437
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 6443
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 6670
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 5915
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 4531
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 6756
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 3537
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1751
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 0427
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 7939
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 2943
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 6932
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 8984
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 1756
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 2653
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 001866

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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1. Mideast

2. Anti-Terrorism Efforts

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Key stories in the media:
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The media reported that PM Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in London
yesterday. Major media reported that officials in his entourage
continued to lower expectations in advance of his meeting with U.S.
Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell tomorrow, saying
that although there has been a degree of progress in the discussions
leading up to the meeting, a QbreakthroughQ was not expected. Major
media quted State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly as saying
yesterday: QWhat George Mitchell is trying to do is lay the
foundation that will lead to the resumption of meaningful
neotiations. And this is part of that whole process. There have
been some reports that weQre close t a breakthrough. I think I
would say that -- I ould characterize it as that weQre getting
close to an agreement. But any reports that weQve cometo an
agreement, or that we expect one on Wednesday necessarily, I would
have to call premature. ut I will say that we hope that this
particular hase of the discussions will end very soon.Q Leading
media noted that Kelly did not add more details. HaQaretz cited the
belief of Israeli officials that the understandings to be reached
between U.S. and Israeli representatives will call for a settlement
freeze of 9-12 months, but will not include East Jerusalem. Within
the supposed agreement, building that has already begun will be
allowed to be completed.

Leading media quoted Netanyahu as saying upon his arrival in London
that no one will limit IsraelQs sovereignty in Jerusalem.

Leading media reported that today at dawn IAF craft attacked a
smuggling tunnel in southern Gaza. Israel Radio quoted medical
sources in Gaza as saying that at least two Palestinians were killed
in the raid. The attack was a reaction to mortar fire that was
directed at Israel yesterday, lightly wounding one IDF soldier.
Earlier yesterday, a Palestinian gunman was killed in a shootout
with IDF troops on the northern border of the Strip. According to
reports, the exchange of fire occurred after an IDF patrol spotted
the gunmen planting a bomb near the security fence. When the troops
attempted to apprehend the group, they were met by gunfire. Two of
the gunmen succeeded in escaping back to Gaza, while the third died
on the spot. Following the firefight, Palestinians launched a small
volley of mortar shells into Israeli territory. The soldier wounded
was hit by shrapnel from one of the shells. The incident broke
nearly two weeks of quiet along the Israel-Gaza border.

The online service walla.co.il reported that the Binyamin Regional
Council (north of Jerusalem), which published a tender a month ago
for the development of 74 plots in the settlement, has scheduled a
tour of the settlement for construction contractors today.

Israel Hayom and Israel Hayom quoted PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad
as saying in an interview with the London Times that the PA intends
to create a de-facto Palestinian state within two years. Israel
Radio cited Finance Minister Yuval SteinitzQs anger over FayyadQs
remark.

All media reported that yesterday, during a meeting with his
ministry's management, FM Avigdor Lieberman proposed that anyone who
has not served in the IDF or completed national service would not be
eligible to take part in the Foreign Ministry's prestigious cadets'
course and represent Israel abroad. Lieberman is seeking to
encourage members of the Arab and ultra-Orthodox sectors, who wish
to be accepted into the Israeli Foreign Service, to commit to
national service at the very least, if not to full military service.
The media cited angry responses from left-wing and Israeli Arab
politicians. Channel 2-TV suggested that LiebermanQs suggestion and
recent diplomatic statements result from his being apparently
spurned by Netanyahu and DM Ehud Barak, as well as from his legal
entanglement.

Leading media reported that the Shalit family-run campaign for the
release of Gilad Shalit -- whose 23rd birthday falls on Thursday --
intends to protest today against the visit of families of Hamas
detainees to three prisons. The media reported that the Israel
Prisons Service subsequently canceled todayQs family visits to
Palestinian prisoners. The Jerusalem Post reported that several
American Jewish communities will mark ShalitQs birthday on Friday
with a series of events and rallies, as well as a postcard campaign
urging the International Red Cross to visit him.

The Jerusalem Post and Israel Radio reported that The Elders group,
of which former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is a member, will meet a
cross section of Israeli and Palestinian societies during their
week-long visit to Israel and the West Bank.

Maariv reported that Al-Masry Al-Youm, one of the more popular
newspapers in Egypt printed an excerpt from the successful novel by
the Israeli poet and novelist, Almog Bahar, QAna Min al-Yahud.
Maariv writes that the decision to excerpt the book was a decidedly
unusual step to make by an Egyptian media outlet, as many people in
Egyptian intellectual circles are in the midst of a debate over the
translation of Israeli art.

The media reported that, during the past two days, over 10,000
Israelis have signed an online petition that was set up after the
Swedish government declined a request by Israel to officially
condemn the Aftonbladet article that alleged that IDF soldiers
harvest organs from slain Palestinians. The petition calls for a
boycott of IKEA, a home products retailer, and the automobile firm,
Volvo, among other companies. Yediot noted that business was brisk
at the IKEA outlet in Israel yesterday.

Yesterday Channel 10-TV and Channel 2-TV broadcast footage of what
appears to be Hamas executing rebels from the al-Qaida affiliated
Jund Ansar Allah. The video apparently was taken during clashes
between the groups on August 15 in Rafah. Channel 2-TV said Fatah
distributed the video.

Israel Radio reported that Israeli military envoys in Houston have
defrauded the defense establishment.

The Jerusalem Post quoted the Vatican as saying last week that it
would not interfere in a conflict that has flared up between U.S.
Catholic bishops and leading Jewish groups over Catholic
proselytizing.

All media reported that yesterday Bank of Israel Stanley Fischer
raised the lending rate for September to 0.75% (from 0.5%). The
media, which say that Fischer wants to stop an inflationary trend,
noted that the central bank made the move ahead of other nations.

Leading media reported that yesterday the American clothing and
accessories retailer GAP opened a store in JerusalemQs newest mall.

Yediot reported that David Ben-Gurion, an immigrant from Israel, has
been elected Mayor of the Californian town of Calexico that abuts
the Mexican border. Calexico has one of the highest Hispanic/Latino
percentages of any California city.

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

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

I. "WhoQs Not Recognizing Whom?"

Senior op-ed writer Akiva Eldar commented in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (8/25): QAs was reported in this column last
week, the phrase the state of the Jewish peopleQ was omitted from
the prime minister's remarks at the opening of the cabinet meeting
when he presented to the ministers and the media his position on
negotiations with the Palestinians. Instead of that, he said that
he was expecting Qgenuine recognitionQ from them of the state of
Israel, and that was it. The Prime Minister's Bureau went to the
trouble of pointing out this important update to the foreign
diplomats. Eagle-eyed diplomats made a note of the fact that
Netanyahu had exercised self-restraint over the remarks made by the
Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, at the Sixth Congress of the
Fatah, and of the organization's announcement, both of which
vehemently rejected the Israeli demand to recognize Israel as a
Jewish state. In a break with his usual conduct, the Prime Minister
did not look for weak spots in the Bethlehem texts and forwent the
opportunity to gain points in the eyes of the public. Netanyahu's
silence is particularly salient against the background of the choir
of senior ministers who have been competing with one another to
raise their voices about the Fatah congress' decisions.

III. "A Friendship that Has Withstood Tests"

Berlin correspondent Eldad Beck wrote in the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot (8/25): QExactly one month before the
German general elections, whose outcome is far from being clear-cut,
Angela Merkel will this week host Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
in Berlin. The importance of MerkelQs diplomatic gesture cannot be
underrated. She is presently fighting for a four-year extension of
her term. Her willingness to host Netanyahu in such circumstances
is further evidence of her deep commitment to Israel. Netanyahu and
his government do not promote political causes -- neither in Germany
nor in Europe. Most Germans and Europeans love to hate Netanyahu,
its government, and Likud -- not because their policies or their
actions. This is an automatic, traditional, instinctive enmity,
which rejects the Israeli Right without even trying to understand
its positions. The European media, for one, fills a most central
role in this incitement campaign.

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2. Anti-Terrorism Efforts:
---------------------------

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

"How to Lose a War"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (8/25):
QFundamental errors are being repeated in the struggle against
Islamist extremism. People in Europe and America do not grasp why
their troops are fighting in Afghanistan. On Iran, Western leaders
have not only avoided a head-on confrontation with the mullahs, but
are even seeking to appease their Hizbullah and Hamas proxies. In
fairness, Obama has tried to explain that Afghanistan is not a war
of choice, but of necessity.... What message does the Brown
government's decision to play footsie with Muammar Qadhafi -- while
hiding behind the Scottish justice secretary -- send to Britons
already feeling cynical about staying the course in Afghanistan?
This sordid episode, moreover, does nothing to illuminate who really
blew Pan Am flight 103 out of the sky[, as a possible Iranian-Syrian
connection to the crime exists.] If patience is running thin on
Afghanistan, and there is no stomach to stop Iran, the reasons are
obvious. From Lockerbie to Afghanistan, Western decision-makers
have compartmentalized Islamist violence -- rather than defined it
as a strategic menace to the Western values of tolerance and
liberty. The lesson of Vietnam is that wars become unwinnable when
leaders fail to identify their true enemies, leaving their societies
unmobilized, confused and lacking in motivation.

CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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