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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #2823/01 3631107
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 291107Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4774
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 0084
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 2995
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 7051
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 7255
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 6492
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 5160
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 7352
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 4109
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 2334
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 0987
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 8506
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 3518
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 7491
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 9577
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 2312
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 3414
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 002823

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

Recipients: please remove spaces from Web addresses: they do not
conform to cable format.

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SUBJECTS COVERED IN THIS REPORT:
--------------------------------

1. Mideast

2. Anti-Terrorism Efforts

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Key stories in the media:
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Leading media reported that the White House made clear in a
statement yesterday (http:// www.whitehouse.gov / the-press-office /
statement-white-house-press-secretary-robert- gibbs-
construction-east-jerusalem ) that it opposes new Israeli
construction in East Jerusalem. "Neither party should engage in
efforts or take actions that could unilaterally preempt, or appear
to preempt, negotiations. Rather, both parties should return to
negotiations without preconditions as soon as possible," White House
spokesman Robert Gibbs was quoted as saying in a statement. Gibbs
was referring to the plan to build 692 housing units in the Jewish
neighborhoods of Neve Yaakov, Har Homa, and Pisgat Ze'ev in East
Jerusalem. HaQaretz quoted a senior official in PM Benjamin
Netanyahu's bureau as saying: "Everything was carried out with
transparency vis-a-vis the Americans, even if there are
disagreements." The official added that Netanyahu has said that
construction in Jerusalem would not be restricted. Maariv quoted a
senior GOI official in Jerusalem as saying that the governmentQs
move was coordinated in advance with the U.S.

The Jerusalem Post, HaQaretz, and other media reported that the
"terms of reference" for restarting diplomatic discussions with the
Palestinians are expected to be the main focus of PM Netanyahu's
discussions with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt today,
amid signs that Special U.S. Envoy for Middle East Peace George
Mitchell has made inroads on this matter. Mitchell, who hasn't been
here since early November but has continued talks with Israeli and
Palestinian negotiators in the U.S., is due back in early January
and is expected to bring with him a document that would provide a
basis for relaunching the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. The
Jerusalem Post reported that AFP, in a story filed from Cairo,

quoted an Arab diplomat as saying that Mitchell would present "two
draft letters of guarantee, one for Israel and one to the
Palestinian Authority, during his next visit to the region." "The
U.S. is hoping that the two letters will serve as a basis for the
relaunch of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, but we don't know if
they will satisfy the Palestinians, who want a complete freeze of
settlement activity before talks resume," the diplomat was quoted as
saying. One senior Israeli diplomatic source told The Jerusalem
Post that the terms of reference Mitchell is reportedly bringing
would probably closely resemble the statement Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton released soon after Netanyahu announced his 10-month
housing-start moratorium in the West Bank. "We believe," that
statement read, "that through good-faith negotiations the parties
can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and
reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state
based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of
a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect
subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements."
Israel Radio, which echoed the main media reports, reported that
National Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor),
National Security Advisor Uzi Arad, and Netanyahu assistant Attorney
Yitzhak Molcho, accompany the PM to Egypt. The radio noted that the
Egyptians may be interested to hear from Molcho, who is NetanyahuQs
liaison with the U.S., Qwhat the Americans thinkQ about the peace
process. Yediot says that Netanyahu will ask Mubarak to pressure
the Palestinians.

All media reported that yesterday, in a stormy Kadima Knesset
faction, party head Tzipi Livni succeeded in uniting her party
behind a statement rejecting NetanyahuQs offer for Kadima to join
his government coalition without impacting its policies or its
makeup. The faction unanimously endorsed a national unity
government, but only in a true partnership. All media reported that
Livni bashed NetanyahuQs Qgutter politics.Q The media, which say
that the tug-of-war between Netanyahu and Livni will continue, cited
senior Likud membersQ criticism of NetanyahuQs attempted move as
debasing to their party.

HaQaretz and Yediot quoted Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin as saying
yesterday that closing the Shalit deal will be a great achievement
for Hamas but that it will not bring down PA President Mahmoud
Abbas. Speaking to Israeli ambassadors gathered at the Foreign
Ministry, Diskin said that Shin Bet does not believe a third
Intifada is about to break out in the territories at this stage.
Israel Radio reported that Diskin told the KnessetQs Foreign Affairs
and Defense Committee that although the situation in the West Bank
is currently quiet, violence could erupt if currently detained Fatah
leader Marwan Barghouti becomes head of the PA and if other
Palestinians are released.

Major media quoted DM Ehud Barak as saying yesterday at a session of
the KnessetQs Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that IranQs
nuclear facility at Qom would withstand a regular bombing and that
the free world is not supportive enough of Iranian protestors.

Israel Radio quoted Moussa Abu Marzouk, the deputy head of Hamas
political bureau, as saying in an interview with the Saudi newspaper
Al-Watan that his organization does not want war with Israel and
that such a war does not serve Hamas.

Israel Radio reported that Qatom spyQ Mordecai Vanunu, whose freedom
has been restricted since he was released from jail in 2004, was
arrested yesterday after he met with a female Norwegian citizen.

On December 25, The Jerusalem Post reported that a dispute is
rumbling between Israel and the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem
after a U.S. diplomatic car allegedly tried running over a Defense
Ministry security guard recently at an IDF checkpoint in the West
Bank.

The Jerusalem Post and other media reported that a large-scale
emergency drill will take place at Ben Gurion Airport today.

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

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


I. QObamaQs Luck

Washington correspondent Natasha Mozgovaya wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (12/29): QQOnly a miracle prevented a
disaster,Q it was said after the attempted terrorist attack on
Delta-Northwest Airlines Flight 253. A passenger, Jasper Schuringa,
who jumped on the terrorist as he was trying to set off an explosive
device, not only saved his fellow passengers but also the first year
of U.S. President Barack Obama's tenure. The last thing Obama would
have needed was to devote his State of the Union address next month
to the first big terrorist attack on American soil since September
11, 2001. The incident reveals just how delicate a situation the
President with the ambitious agenda finds himself in.... Obama does
not have time.... With regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
that has been pushed to the sidelines of the presidential agenda,
Obama has missed at least two opportunities to present a peace plan.
The PLO representative in Washington has told HaQaretz that the
Palestinians do not need a new plan. QThere are already sufficient
parameters on the table to renew the negotiations,Q he said. If
Obama is thinking about acting without waiting for ideal conditions,
as he has done on a number of other issues, this is the right time
to present his plan.

II. QWhy Netanyahu Wants Livni

Senior op-ed writer Akiva Eldar commented in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (12/29): QAccording to [former left-wing
politician Yossi] Beilin, whose sources are the envy of every
diplomatic correspondent, Netanyahu has agreed that the negotiations
with the Palestinians will be based on the 1967 borders. This is
one of the pillars of the statement of principles George Mitchell is
slated to present during his next visit to the region in less than
two weeks. Netanyahu is not trying to enlarge his government
because a new war is threatening Israel's citizens. Rather, he is
scared the peace process will threaten the wholeness of his
government. He needs Kadima to fill the ranks that will empty in
the wake of the departure of his partners from Yisrael Beiteinu and
the National Union, and perhaps also some members of the Likud.
Netanyahu wants Livni inside so that she will not take advantage of
the coalition's collapse and push him out of office. Because of an
absence of basic trust between the two, Netanyahu is taking care not
to reveal to her the details of the understandings formulated
between him and the Obama administration. He has confined himself
to a declaration of general faithfulness to his Bar-Ilan University
speech.
III. QBully Diplomacy

Ha'aretz editorialized (12/29): QA few days after the Palestinian
President declared publicly that a peace agreement based on the 1967
lines would end demands on Israel, [IsraelQs] Foreign Minister
Qreached the conclusionQ that even returning to the Green Line would
not lead to the end of the conflict. Using blunt language,
Lieberman made clear to his ministryQs staff that his worldview is
the one that represents Israel. The next day, Netanyahu told them
that conditions were ripe for a renewal of negotiations with the
Palestinians. This is not a question of differing nuances; the
conflicting messages show an Israel given over to the hands of a
bizarre government that is deceiving its citizens as well as its
neighbors and friends around the world. Israel cannot allow itself
to have an extreme and irresponsible politician like Lieberman as
its showcase to the world. Lieberman's appointment as foreign
minister is turning out to be one of Netanyahu's most serious
mistakes in putting together his cabinet. If the Prime Minister
really wants to move a peace initiative ahead and win the trust of
the international community, he must correct this mistake and
release Lieberman from his post.

IV. QWorking with the PA

Dov Weisglass, who was former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's top
diplomatic advisor, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot
Aharonot (12/29): Q[Last weekQs] heinous murder of Rabbi Meir
Avshalom Hai called for speedy justice. Most likely the operational
circumstances made it impossible to arrest the murderers and
justified killing them. The many worrying indications of a
resumption of terror acts in Judea and Samaria [i.e. the West Bank]
justified a swift, precise, and forceful action, in order to deter
properly those wishing to renew the acts of violence.... [However,]
the decision-makers in Israel must not forget that without
Palestinian security cooperation, Israel will find it very hard to
maintain security o the level to which weQve become accustomed in
rcent years. In similar circumstances in the futur, Israel must
act in such a way as to prevent ordecrease as much as possible the
affront to the Palestinian security organizations, unless this is
absolutely essential. In the maze of Israeli-Palestinian relations,
the (relative) quiet was fairly stable. Every effort must be made
to preserve it.

V. QThe Victory of Cruelty
Veteran journalist and television anchor Yaron London wrote in the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (12/28): QA year has
passed since Operation Cast Lead. The region surrounding Gaza is
calm and prosperous.... Hamas refrains from firing because it needs
a timeout in order to establish its rule, rebuild the destructed
houses, intensify its military power, and fulfill the Shalit deal.
When its leaders feel that they have completed their missions, when
they believe the time is right, they'll resume their attacks -- and
maybe not. Perhaps they have learned their lesson. In any event,
we cannot doubt the assertion that had we not sent a blow of fire to
Gaza, Hamas would have continued firing.... The operation's results
are the victory of cruelty. It's unfortunate. It brings us back to
reality. It calls for conclusions. As time passes, the world,
which as a short memory, will forget the harsh sights in Gaza,
because more difficult sights, in other places in the world, will
take up all the free space in the collective mind's hard drive. The
Gazans will be the only ones to remember. If we are proven false,
we must arouse their memory with fire. We must not return to the
soaking-up strategy, which is aimed at collecting credit points in
the international public opinion. It has been proven that our stock
of points runs out several days after we deal our enemies a critical
blow. It doesn't pay to wait. We will have to impose the
disproportionate response quickly, even if the rocket interception
measures are not fully developed by then. QDeterrence,Q as security
experts say, Qmust be maintained.Q To this statement we should add
that the determination of the maintainers of deterrence must also be
maintained.

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

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

QRegarding the Obama Doctrine
Zalman Shoval, a senior Likud member and former ambassador to the
U.S., wrote in the independent Israel Hayom (12/29): QA year into
his term, Obama stresses that America has no intention to give up
its status as leader of the free world and superpower power and --
although he does not say this explicitly -- he does not intend to
renounce the United StatesQ role as policeman of the world.... He is
not leaving any doubt that radical Israel terrorism is the main
enemy of America and the entire enlightened world. These are not
just words. America is prepared to act -- not only in Afghanistan.
American forces are currently taking part in the liquidation of a
large al-Qaida group in Yemen. To be brief, the key point in what
is already called the QObama doctrineQ is that there are just wars
that cannot be avoided and that responsible nations must also
understand that military force sometimes plays a role in
peace-keeping (not exactly the messages that Peace Now wanted to
hear from the Nobel Peace Prize laureate).

CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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