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Cablegate: Jerusalem Media Reaction (09/30): American Role in Peace

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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6180
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 001748

SIPDIS

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 (09/30): American Role in Peace
Process is in Serious Question

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Main Stories:
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Lead UN investigator into the Gaza conflict Richard Goldstone's
recommendation that his report be referred to the International
Criminal Court receives highlighted coverage in all dailies.
Leading with the story, both Al-Quds and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida quote
Goldstone in their headlines saying that a "culture of impunity" in
the region has to stop. Other related front-page stories report on
Palestinian families' attempt to have Israeli Defense Minister Ehud
Barak arrested in London for war crimes. Al-Ayyam reports that
Barak's diplomatic immunity shielded him from being arrested during
his short visit to the UK.

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"[Palestinian] Officials in Washington today and tomorrow indicate
the possibility of the resumption of negotiations next month" is the
lead headline in Al-Ayyam. Quoting unnamed Palestinian sources, the
article states that "in light of the retreating American position on
settlements," the meetings that are scheduled to take place between
Israeli and Palestinian delegations with Special Envoy George
Mitchell will indicate whether or not the two sides are ready to
resume negotiations in the coming weeks. Al-Ayyam quotes Palestinian
Prime Minister Salam Fayyad saying that the Palestinian Authority
rejects Israel's attempt to exclude Jerusalem from the ongoing
negotiations.

Al-Ayyam quotes Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyya confirming that
Hamas will sign a reconciliation agreement with Fatah by
mid-October, the result of which should end the internal Palestinian
division. Al-Quds reports that the Palestinian factions are
satisfied with Hamas's position on Egypt's plan to end the internal
division. Reports also note that Egypt suggested that Palestinian
elections be held on June 25, 2010.

Citing Israeli daily Ma'ariv, Al-Quds reports on a document that was
passed on to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton by former Secretary
Condoleezza Rice outlining the US plan to end to the
Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on the 1967 borders.
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BLOCK QUOTES:
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1. Hamada Fara'neh commented in independent Al-Ayyam under the
headline, "Reaching a settlement without a third party" (9/30): "It
is not the first time that the US failed to forge an agreement
between the Palestinians and Israelis, especially in regards to the
final status issues ... It was unsuccessful in reaching an agreement
at Camp David in July 2000. The negotiators left without an
agreement or resolution, and history recorded it as a failure to
make any progress toward ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
The Bush administration also failed to carry out its own plans
launched in Annapolis. The only tangible agreement that was ever
reached between the two sides took place only when the sides were
themselves convinced it was a good idea and without any intervention
from a third party."

2. Independent Al-Quds ran an op-ed by Sa'ad Mahyo entitled,
"America and the Middle East: A dangerous crossroad" (9/30): "There
is a real crisis of an unprecedented American failure. Ever since
the US gained power in the region in the aftermath of the Suez War
of 1956 ... the US has neither been able to win its wars in the
region, nor make peace in it. The question here is: can the US
afford to lose the Middle East? The quick and obvious answer is

JERUSALEM 00001748 002 OF 002


absolutely not. In fact, the US is now facing a battle of life or
death, especially as it relates to its world leadership."

RUBINSTEIN

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