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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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DE RUEHTV #0205/01 0281129
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 281129Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5217
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RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI PRIORITY 0209
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 3120
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 7196
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 7385
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 6618
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 5312
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 7482
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 4235
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 2460
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 1112
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 8647
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 3644
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 7616
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 9719
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 2438
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 3621
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UNCLAS TEL AVIV 000205

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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All major Hebrew language newspapers today highlight (mostly on
their front pages) the incident where a shoe was thrown at Supreme
Court President Judge Dorit Beinish in the courtroom. Pini Cohen,
the Israeli who perpetrated the attack, scored a direct hit on the
unsuspecting president, striking her in the face, knocking her off
her chair and breaking her glasses. A second shoe that he threw
missed its mark, however. Cohen, who described Beinish as "corrupt"
and a "traitor" as he was being dragged away by security guards,
apparently has a history of hostility towards the courts and lawyers
as a result of a painful divorce. The attack on Beinish, who
recovered and returned to work shortly after the incident, produced
a wave of condemnations from across the political spectrum.

Most commentators who opined about the incident are inclined to see
the attack on Beinish in the context of the perceived surge in and
prevalence of violence in Israeli society. Eitan Haber in Yediot
describes Israel as being on a "slippery slope on the way to chaos,"
while Ben Caspit comments in Maariv that the thug who threw his shoe
represents what has happened to Israeli society in the past ten
years: the violence that has spread into every part of it. Dalia
Dorner, the current president of the Israel Press Council, linked
the attack to the mounting criticism of the court in the media (a
notion angrily rejected by Caspit), but Nahum Barnea comments in
Yediot that Beinish, unlike all of the above, viewed the attack on
her to have been the act of a disturbed individual and not as
something that necessarily reflects the zeitgeist of Israel in 2010.


The newspapers also report on President Shimon Peres's visit to
Berlin and his speech in Hebrew before the German parliament
yesterday in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, in
addition to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's speech in
Auschwitz-Birkenau. The speeches are excerpted by the local media,
which also provide a smattering of commentary about their content
and the context in which they were given.


Block Quotes:
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--------
Mideast:
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I. "Iraq, the Israeli Branch"

Eytan Haber, veteran op-ed writer and assistant to the late Prime
Minister Yitzhak Rabin, opined in the mass-circulation, pluralist
Yediot Aharonot (1/28): "Perhaps you remember where shoes were
recently thrown at a person from the regime? That's right, in Iraq.
We can only say about the turn of events yesterday in Jerusalem ...
that we have come to resemble Iraq. There was no king in Iraq in
those days and everyone did as they saw fit.... The State of Israel
is sliding down a slippery slope into chaos. In Israel too, so it
would seem, everyone does as he sees fit and no one is there to stop
him.... The authorities and the law enforcement agencies have lost
control. There is no longer any fear of the law. They shoot here in
the streets. How much worse can it get? The latest fad word is
governance, which is utterly absent. Bureaucracy eats us alive, law
enforcement is disregarded, the police have despaired, the courts
are lenient, and the sense is that there is no one in charge. The
man who threw his shoes at the president of the Supreme Court
yesterday is just one manifestation of the disorganized mess we have
here."


II. "Death of the Zionist Left"

Conservative columnist Nadav Haetzni wrote in the popular, pluralist
Maariv (1/28): "Without ceremonies and eulogies, the Zionist left
wing passed away and was buried in silence. In the past months,
there has been an increase in the Left wing protest concerning what
is called the "settlement in Sheikh Jarrah." This protest bonfire
has served as a rallying point for a coalition composed of
international anarchists, boycott-prone Israelis ... (and) also the
leaders of Peace Now, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel,
and prominent figures ... such as Yossi Sarid and Avraham Burg....
Suddenly, in a few words spoken by the coalition of Sarid and

company, the courts and the police are the real enemies, and the
rule of law-is no more than fascist tyranny. They argue that the
Jews should be dispossessed from their property, because we all
dispossessed the Arabs from their property within the Green Line....
Their position negates the basic principle of the return to Zion.
Various people on the Left - apparently such as Yossi Sarid and
Avraham Burg - still call themselves Zionists, but in light of their
current views, their insistence on the word "Zionist" is pathetic at
most. This line separates between those who continue to believe in
the justification of establishing the State of Israel and our right
to the land and those who have adopted the narrative and worldview
of the enemy. On the Zionist side of this border line, there no
longer remains anything of the camp that was known in the past as
the 'Left wing.'"


III. "Badge of Terror "

The independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (1/28): "There
is no way to describe the settlers' attack on the Palestinian
village of Bitilu but as a well-planned terror attack. The settlers'
"military" organization and violent resistance ... are no different
from the activities of other terrorist organizations. These are not
unusual acts. The term "price tag" ... has long been adopted by the
settlers and transformed to mean retaliation against the Israeli
government's policy.... One cannot but be amazed by the IDF
Spokesman Office's watered-down response to the settlers' terror
attack. But the IDF's evasive terminology is not to blame when the
Knesset is enacting a law to pardon the transgressors who rioted
during the Gaza disengagement. This law ... is now legitimizing the
"price tag" actions. The government is not permitted to protect
these offenders and must treat their actions as acts of terror,
unless it wants to be seen as their partner."
MORENO

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