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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2709/01 3481105
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141105Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4601
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 0033
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 2945
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 6991
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 7201
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 6442
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 5099
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 7301
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 4059
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 2276
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 0937
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 8456
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 3468
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 7441
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 9522
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 2262
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 3345
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002709

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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Mideast

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Key stories in the media:
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The Hebrew language newspapers this morning all focused on two main
stories: The first main story of the day is the cabinet approval of
the newly proposed map of national priority areas that includes 90
isolated Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The other major story
is a decision by Defense Minister Ehud Barak to remove the Har
Bracha Yeshiva, headed by Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, from the
arrangement with the IDF that makes it a hesder yeshiva.

All Hebrew-language newspapers reported that Israeli cabinet
approved yesterday the map of national priority areas, by a majority
of 22 to 5. The Labor Party ministers, headed by Labor Party
Chairman Barak, were in the minority, while the supporters consisted
of ministers from the Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu, and Shas. The map
reportedly includes 90 isolated settlements, as well as communities
in the Negev and Galilee and Arab towns and villages.

On the decision to expel the Har Bracha yeshiva from the special
arrangement with the IDF, Defense Minister Barak's office explained
that Rabbi Melamed's statements in favor of insubordination in the
ranks of the IDF undermined the foundations of Israeli democracy and
incited his students. This step was taken by the defense minister
after Rabbi Melamed refused to attend a hearing scheduled for him at
the defense minister's office. Sources close to Rabbi Melamed said,
in explanation of his refusal, that he did not work for the defense
minister. Ma'ariv reports that over 60 graduates of hesder yeshivas
who serve as IDF reservists signed a petition protesting the
decision to cancel the arrangement with the Har Bracha Yeshiva,
stating that if the decision was implemented, they would not be able
to continue to serve.

Yedioth Aharonot wrote that such a firm step by the army authorities
was long overdue, adding that a yeshiva such as Har Bracha will "dry
up" without the army's financial support. The article calls upon the
political-security establishment to continue to stand firm and act
against the supporters of disobedience and violent extremists.
Ma'ariv suggests that Rabbi Melamed's actions were a calculated
provocation intended to spark a crisis, and says that the security
establishment fears a direct collision with the entire
national-religious camp, which is the source of many infantry
officers in the IDF.

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

I. "Finally"

Military correspondent Alex Fishman wrote in the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot (12/14): "This is a blow in the padded and
well-protected underbelly of the group of extremist rabbis in the
heart of Samaria.... Now, for the first time, the defense minister
has made it clear to them: ...You can no longer enjoy the best of
both worlds- study, serve only half the compulsory service, enjoy
the prestige of military service win the national-patriotic honor
that you seek, enjoy all the privileges of discharged soldiers,
receive financial support for the hesder yeshivas, and also spit in
all of our faces.... A hesder yeshiva such as Rabbi Melamed's
yeshiva will dry up without the army's financial support. Now the
political-security establishment has to stand firm and show no fear.
Continue this line. Indict bodies that donate money to disobedient
soldiers, employ an iron fist against the burners of cars, stage a
pogrom against those who burned the mosque. Yes, and we can doff
our hats to the chief of staff and the defense minister, who finally
did what should have been done many years ago."


II. "Clash Feared with National-Religious Camp"

Liberal columnist and television anchor Ofer Shelach wrote in the
popular, pluralist Maariv (12/14): "The behavior of Rabbi Eliezer
Melamed... evokes a sense of an act planned in advance, with the aim
of bringing the relationship between the security establishment and
the hesder yeshivas to a crisis.... Barak, who did everything to
avoid this confrontation ... was left with no choice.... It is ...
clear that (Rabbi Melamed) thinks that he has the power to make the
security establishment fold and, on this matter, history is on his
side. What Melamed knows with certainty is that more than a few of
his colleagues... think as he does and may now face pressure to
reveal their position. Conversely, Barak will find it difficult to
back down from removing the Har Bracha Yeshiva from the
arrangement.... More importantly, Melamed's provocation could ignite
the confrontation that the security establishment fears so badly: A
direct collision not only with some of the hesder yeshivas, but with
the national-religious camp in its entirety, the same camp from
which such a large share of the officers in the infantry brigades
comes."

III. "Your Destroyers Shall Come Forth From Your Midst"

Political commentator Shalom Yerushalmi wrote in the popular,
pluralist Maariv (12/14): "During the settler demonstration that was
held last Wednesday ... several demonstrators distributed an
anonymous leaflet in hundreds of copies, under the heading "No
entrance for inspectors." The leaflet details the names and places
of residence of the Civil Administration inspectors who distribute
the freeze orders and come to enforce [the construction freeze] on
the ground. Most of these inspectors, apparently, are settlers
themselves. "Your destroyers shall come forth from your midst," it
said....The reader of the leaflet can reach several conclusions.
Firstly, the incitement in the settlements has no limits, even when
the people in question are their neighbors, within their own house.
Whoever compares inspectors implementing government policy to a kapo
and links the temporary freeze orders with anti-Semitism, is an
inciter and an instigator. Secondly, (it can be understood that)
the settlers became accustomed to enslaving the law enforcement
agencies to their own needs, until the government decided for its
reasons to also work in the opposite direction. Thirdly, a person
who works in the civil service and follows democratic decisions has
no place in the settlements. I, in their place, would be
horrified.... For decades, the settlers have complained about the
rift between them and other parts of the population. They cannot
understand why they never succeeded in settling in people's
hearts.... Now it becomes apparent that they are actually doing
everything possible to disengage from the state, which until today -
and today, too - has turned them into its preferred sector and
always placed them on the map of national priority."

IV. "The price of the 'price tag'"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (12/14): "The
arson attack on the mosque in Yasuf, near Nablus, which by all
indications was carried out by settler extremists from one of the
neighboring Jewish settlements, should be an immediate wake-up call
to law enforcement agencies in the territories. The words of
condemnation... are not enough. Now is the time for action.... The
burning of the mosque is a link in the chain... of actions the
settlers themselves have deemed the "price tag." The police and the
Israel Defense Forces faced the murky and threatening wave without
taking any genuine action against it.... This seems to indicate that
burned scriptures in Yasuf could be only the beginning, if the
police and IDF do not respond immediately. The more time that
elapses before the perpetrators are arrested, the greater the danger
that they will continue with their misdeeds and that the relative
calm prevailing in the West Bank will come to an end with
Palestinians carrying out acts of revenge. The law enforcement
agencies must respond immediately, unequivocally and with a heavy

hand, in order to stop those who threaten to ignite a great fire in
the territories. Now is the time to charge for the "price tag"
policy."

V. "The real price tag"

The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (12/14):
"The motive behind the torching of a West Bank mosque early Friday
morning was, as the graffiti left behind attested, "To exact a
price." But the vandals who targeted the house of worship in Yasuf
struck simultaneously at the sovereign authority of the state... the
establishment of the Third Commonwealth in 1948 created an
overarching Zionist authority. Those who reject it and turn to
violence are flirting with treason. They are men without doubts. Yet
there were also those who either refused to condemn the attack....
We want to hear more settler leaders and rabbis say... that the
Yasuf attack... is despicable.... Obama (in his Nobel speech)drew no
applause when he declared that evil was real and pacifism was not
the way to confront it. He resurrected a Kennedy-esque Democratic
defense of the use of force, making no apologies for U.S.
behavior.... He also said that America reserved the right to act
unilaterally - also a tenet of Israel's security doctrine. We were
discomfited by the president's oblique implication, in referencing
the Arab-Israel conflict, that Jews and Arabs fell back in the same
manner on "tribe" and "religion" in confronting modernity. That's
patently not true. Yet every time extremist settlers behave badly,
the real price tag is that it becomes harder to make the case that
the Jewish state is a beacon of enlightenment in a benighted Middle
East.
CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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