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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (09/25): Continued Skepticism

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FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6136
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
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INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 7869
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RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 4691
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6182
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STATE PASS BBG
STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD
WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
NSC
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 (09/25): Continued Skepticism
Follows Netanyahu's Speech at the UN

-------------
Main Stories:
-------------News from the UN General Assembly is still receiving
prominent coverage in the local press. The dailies highlight Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech at the UN, in which he
asked the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state to the
Jewish people in order for Israel to approve a demilitarized
Palestinian state. Additionally, Netanyahu criticized the Goldstone
report and noted that Israel has been also attacked by Hamas rockets
without the appropriate condemnation. Netanyahu focused heavily on
the Iranian nuclear program and avoided any discussion of the
settlements issue. Commenting on the speech, the dailies highlight
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who noted that
Netanyahu's government is "an obstacle" and that there is no common
ground to initiate talks. In an interview with the London-based
Al-Hayat journal, Abbas said that he will not accept a partial
cessation of settlements, as this will mean the continuation of the
settlement activities. He also stated that Israel is only interested
in establishing a Palestinian state with temporary borders. Abbas
reiterated that the Arab states and the Middle East Quartet should
adhere to their responsibilities in ending the Palestinian-Israeli
conflict.

Al-Quds runs front page coverage on the Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) issuing a statement that criticizes
the "reversed" US position concerning the settlements. PFLP claims
this has negatively affected the interests of the Arabs and that
this contradicts Obama's June 4 speech in Cairo. The PFLP called on
the PA Presidency and PLO to respect the decisions of the PLO
executive committee to boycott the meetings with the Israelis and
urged the Palestinian factions to end the division and regain unity.


The dailies report news on Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor
Lieberman's holding secret meetings with the Moroccan Foreign
Minister in New York. The reports continue with news that Netanyahu
will meet with the Foreign Ministers of Bahrain and Qatar, which
raises questions about whether some Arab countries are willing to
normalize relations with Israel prior to the cessation of
settlements.

The local press highlights news on Israeli police and settlers from
Maaleh Adumim settlement breaking in to the Al-Aqsa mosque
yesterday. The reports continue with news that the settlers called
for another break in on Sunday September 27 in observance of Yom
Kippur. Other reports also note the break in of 140 settlers into
Al-Ibrahimi mosque in the Old city of Hebron to perform religious
rituals. The act was condemned by the head of Religious Affairs in
Hebron Zaid Ja'bari, who stated that this act is unprecedented and
the settlers were protected by the Israeli soldiers during the act.


Al-Hayat Al-Jadida front pages news citing Wafa News Agency on
former Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz saying that Prime
Minister Netanyahu is not willing to achieve peace with the
Palestinians and noted that Israel must show more flexibility in the
negotiations with the Palestinians.

Al-Quds runs an inside report that reflects Palestinian pessimism
from the trilateral summit regarding the chances that President

JERUSALEM 00001721 002 OF 002


Obama can bring a miracle to the Middle East and launch the
Palestinian Israeli negotiations. The reports quote Zakariya Al-Qaq,
the head of Foreign Affairs at Al-Quds University, saying "we are in
trouble, Obama's ability to push things forward is weakening." He
added "Netanyahu seems to be happy with the current situation."
-------------
BLOCK QUOTES:
-------------
1) Rajab Abu Sirriyeh opines in Al-Ayyam daily under the title
"Washington - a narrow gate to New York" (09/25): "Since his first
day in office, the Democratic President [Obama] realized that he
can't win the support of the Muslim world if he continues pampering
Israel ...he should now realize that time will not help him and that
if he doesn't take tangible steps that force Israel to end the
occupation of 1967, he will face a worldwide revolution."


2) Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul opines in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida official daily
under the title "Why did the US reverse back?" (09/25): "The US
administration tends to forget ...that if the Palestinian issue is
not solved in a way that ensures the rights of the Palestinian
people, peace will never be attained in the region, and the US
interests will always be targeted. Additionally, the success that
Obama achieved during his speeches in Turkey and Egypt will quickly
vanish... Obama has to think thousand times before reversing his
earlier positions concerning the conflict in the region."

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