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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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P 250945Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
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RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 3106
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 7170
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 7371
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 6604
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 5285
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 7467
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 4221
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 2446
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 1098
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 8633
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 3630
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 7602
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 9691
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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

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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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With actions that are described by some reports in Israel's
newspapers as having sent conflicting messages, Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu met yesterday with U.S. Special Envoy to the
Middle East, George Mitchell, and spoke about his appreciation for
the U.S. efforts to renew the peace process, while later in the day
he participated in tree-planting ceremonies in Gush Etzion and Maale
Adumim and spoke about Israel's intention to remain in the
settlement blocs. Netanyahu is quoted as saying yesterday in Kfar
Etzion: "The message is clear... We are here and will remain here.
The settlement blocs are part of Israel forever. This is acceptable
to the great majority of Israel's citizens and is gradually being
instilled in international consciousness." Sources in the Prime
Minister's office said that the tree-planting was not an act of
defiance towards the Americans. Palestinian spokesman Nabil Abu
Rudeineh, conversely, said that Netanyahu's statements were
undermining Mitchell's efforts to bring the sides back to the
negotiating table.

Yediot Reported that Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon met
yesterday with U.N. Envoy to Lebanon, Michael Williams, and said
that Israel was following with concern the reports that Hezbollah
was training and arming in Syria and Lebanon. The deputy foreign
minister reportedly conveyed a warning to the Lebanese government,
saying that Israel would hold Lebanon responsible for any rocket
attacks from its territory against Israel. The U.N. envoy, for his
part, protested the ongoing Israeli Air Force flights over Lebanese
skies, which he called a violation of Security Council Resolution
1701.

In an unrelated story, Yediot and Israel Hayom reported that Deputy
Foreign Minister Ayalon met with Belgian Development Cooperation
Minister, Charles Michel, to inform him that he could not visit the
Gaza Strip, so as not to give legitimacy to the Hamas regime. A
debate ensued between the two, in which the Belgian minister said
that he wanted to examine the situation in Gaza for the purpose of
extending humanitarian aid. Ayalon, for his part, said that Israel
was consistent in denying entry to the Gaza Strip and had barred
various European foreign ministers from doing so in the recent
past.

All newspapers reported Prime Minister Netanyahu and President
Shimon Peres are scheduled to travel to Europe to mark International
Holocaust Remembrance Day - Netanyahu to Poland and Peres to Berlin.
The prime minister will meet with the Polish president and prime
minister and participate in a ceremony at Auschwitz. The president
is slated to speak in Hebrew at the Bundestag.


Block Quotes:
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Mideast:
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I. "One Year, Ten Mistakes: President Obama"

Former Meretz leader, former Justice Minister, and chief Israeli
promoter of the Geneva Initiative, Yossi Beilin, wrote in the
independent Israel Hayom (1/25): "These are Obama's [ten] mistakes
[in his first year in office]: He did not read the literature
published following the failure of the Camp David summit, and did
not make a correct assessment of the ways to renew negotiations. He
appointed George Mitchell to a post that was too big for him. After
(saying) that peace was an American interest, he returned to the
mantra that he cannot want peace more than the Israelis and the
Palestinians. He turned the demand to freeze settlements into a
condition for renewing (talks). He wasted unnecessary months on
defining the freeze, and did not understand that 100 days of grace
are only given once. He did not insist on the condition he posed,
(exposing) the administration's lack of professionalism. He did not
hurry to dissociate himself from the statement of Secretary Clinton
that the freeze was an unparalleled precedent in Israel's
governments. He insisted on summoning the sides to a summit in New
York last September, (exacerbating) the feeling that it was
impossible to return to the negotiating track, and deepened the
disappointment in the region. He demanded that Abbas withdraw the
Palestinian demand to discuss the Goldstone report, and failed to
understand that agreeing to his demand would render the Palestinian
leader unable to lead his people. He spoke about the excessive
expectations in a journalistic interview, but he forgot that he is
the US president, and is scrutinized by billions and every word of
his is weighed and has an effect. This way, at the end of a wasted
year and without any bad intentions, his statements inflicted
another blow on the chances of promoting something in our region."

I. "Obama chasing rainbows with two-state solution"

Former Ambassador to the U.S., former Minister of Foreign Affairs,
and former Minister of Defense Moshe Arens wrote in the independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (1/25): "U.S. President Barack Obama confided
to Time magazine (that) he is clearly disappointed, but insists he
will continue to work on a two-state solution.... During this past
year, Obama has learned... that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is
an intractable problem... even when the president weighs in with
full force.... It is hard to be optimistic regarding the continuing
U.S. efforts in this matter, since the president seems to have his
mind set on the two-state solution.... Abbas... is in no position to
implement any such agreement he might sign.... And who will tell
Obama that in seeking a two-state solution, he is chasing the
rainbow? ... That the two-state solution, at least for now, is an
impossible dream? It is not going to be any of his advisers, who
urged him to demand a total freeze on building in [the West Bank and
E. Jerusalem] - making it possible for Abbas to stall on any
negotiations with Israel.... Netanyahu has evidently decided to play
along, rather than confront Obama with alternate ideas. What might
these ideas be? The grain of an idea appeared the other day when
Abbas suggested that the United States negotiate with Israel in his
place. That won't lead anywhere. But how about Jordan negotiating in
Abbas' stead? That would return some symmetry to the intractable
problem and correct the present asymmetry that continues to haunt
the situation."


II. "Save the peace"

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (1/25): "The
diplomatic stalemate and the provocations by Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu's government in East Jerusalem harm not only the chance
for peace in the future but also past fruits of peace. Fifteen years
after the peace (with) Jordan was signed, the two countries are now
deep in a crisis the government is doing nothing to resolve. There
is almost a complete lack of communication between Netanyahu and
King Abdullah II. The Jordanians are boycotting FM Lieberman and
hold few meetings with Israeli officials. Joint economic
projects...are also on hold. Jordan is concerned ... about increased
Israeli pressure on the Palestinians in the West Bank, which could
undermine internal stability in the Hashemite Kingdom. Abdullah is
worried about the absence of talks between Israel and the
Palestinians as well as Israeli activities aimed at increasing the
number of Jews living in East Jerusalem. The Jordanians do not trust
Netanyahu. As opposed to Turkey, Jordan prefers to handle the crisis
discretely. Sacrificing these ties (with Jordan) for the sake of the
Netanyahu government's harmful actions in East Jerusalem
demonstrates a severe deficiency in the management of foreign and
security policy. The prime minister must realize the diplomatic
price Israel is paying for his attempts to placate the right. His
bureau's comment - that Netanyahu would be happy to meet with the
king "whenever the need arises" - shows dangerous indifference in
light of the erosion of Israel's status in the region, and
gratuitous arrogance toward a country whose friendship is
essential."
CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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