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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 5236
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RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 4181
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RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 8577
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UNCLAS TEL AVIV 000077

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:
--------------------------------

1. Mideast

2. Israel-Turkey Relations

3. Anniversary of President ObamaQs Swearing-In

-------------------------
Key stories in the media:
-------------------------

All major media led with the aftermath of the earthquake in Port au
Prince, the capital of Haiti. Leading media cited President ObamaQs
response to the disaster. The media reported that several Israeli
visitors to the country survived, that some others are missing, and
that Israel and the Jewish Diaspora are organizing to bring a search
and rescue team to Haiti, in conjunction with American or European
authorities. Israel Radio reported that, in an interview with CNN,
Haitian President Rene Preval counted Israel as one of the nations
assisting his country. HaQaretz reported that the IDF is waiting
for the stateQs decision regarding the character of the rescue
mission. Israel Radio reported that Magen David Adom (the Israeli
equivalent of the Red Cross) is waiting for agreement by the
American Red Cross to enter Haiti. The radio reported that Israel
has decided to set up a field hospital in Haiti rather than send a
rescue team.

All media reported that yesterday Deputy FM Daniel Ayalon apologized
in writing to Turkish Ambassador Ogur Celikkol for the way he
treated him on Monday. Maariv wrote that Israel wanted to humiliate
but found itself humiliated. The Jerusalem Post wrote about the
Qdiplomatic shot in the footQ that was Qheard around the world.
Media reported that President Shimon Peres convinced FM Avigdor
Lieberman and PM Benjamin Netanyahu to issue an apology. Israel
Radio reported that Netanyahu had agreed in principle to convey
IsraelQs rebuke to Turkey but not with the manner Ayalon handled it.
HaQaretz and the radio quoted Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who
acknowledged the receipt of the apology as saying that Turkey will
not change and that Israel must amend its relations with the
Palestinians and Syria. Major media quoted Erdogan as saying that
it was "the expected and desired response." Israel Radio reported
that Ayalon told the Knesset that the affair will eventually benefit
Israeli-Turkish relations. Speaking on the radio this morning,
influential Kadima Knesset Member Haim Ramon said that Ayalon should
apologize to the Israeli nation for the unwarranted humiliation it
inflicted on it. Ramon also regretted what he said was NetanyahuQs
approving attitude toward Ayalon. Maariv reported that the Jewish
community in Turkey is enlisting against Ayalon.

Yediot and Israel Radio reported that the soldiers who waved banners
against evacuation of settlements will be removed from the Qhesder
arrangement in which they combine military service and religious
studies. In an unprecedented decision, these soldiers will be
obligated to serve three full years in the IDF, instead of the
shorter army service required of hesder soldiers.

HaQaretz reported that Israel is prohibiting Palestinian lawyers and
the relatives of Palestinian detainees from reaching a military
tribunal via the Beitunia checkpoint west of Ramallah. The
prohibition, which has been in effect for the past three days, means
that Israeli police are requiring Palestinians to use the Qalandiyah
crossing 20 kilometers away, where they must produce an entry permit
to Israel -- which can take weeks to obtain -- if they want to enter
an Israeli military tribunal that is on West Bank land. The court
lies 300 meters south of the Beitunia roadblock, and was built on
land that is part of Beitunia. The restriction contravenes a recent
High Court of Justice decision opening Route 443 to Palestinian
traffic

All media reported that yesterday the leader of the Islamic Movement
(Northern Branch), Sheikh Raed Salah, was sentenced to nine months
in prison for assaulting a policeman and taking part in a violent
demonstration in February 2007 near JerusalemQs Temple Mount.

The media reported that yesterday State Comptroller Micha
Lindenstrauss released an extensive report on the shortcomings of
the defense establishment, focusing on logistical and manpower
problems in the IDF. The comptroller also said that the Arabs in
Israel are exposed to deliberate anti-Israeli propaganda on Arabic
satellite television, especially Al Jazeera and the Hamas and
Hizbullah television channels.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Jared Maslin, an American Jewish
journalist who worked as a senior English-language editor at the
MaQan Palestinian news agency was denied entry into Israel on
Tuesday and that he is scheduled to be deported today. Security
sources told the daily that Qsuspicious signsQ were identified on
Maslin, adding that the suspicions were passed on to the Interior
Ministry.

The Jerusalem Post reported that an American Muslim organization is
denying charges leveled by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) that a
national conference held to combat extremism actually promoted
anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiment. The ADL claimed that the
Muslim American Society and the Islamic Circle of North America
gathering held in December Qhas proven to be a sham and a cover for
anti-Semitism and extremism.

The Jerusalem Post cited a Brandeis University report, QSearching
for the Study of Israel,Q according to which the past three years
have seen a huge jump in the number and variety of courses about
Israel taught in top U.S. universities.

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

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

I. QThe Big Bang of 2010

Senior commentator Ari Shavit wrote in the independent, left-leaning
Ha'aretz (1/14): QIf the political system had worked properly,
Netanyahu would be leading a moderate right-wing party, while Tzipi
Livni would be heading a moderate left-wing party and Ehud Barak a
centrist party. After a brief election campaign, the leaders would
have brought all three parties into a single sane Zionist
government.... [But] Netanyahu is trapped in the hands of the
Likud's extremists, Livni is trapped by Kadima's Likudniks, and
Barak is trapped in a party that loves him just as much as he loves
it. All three are unable to implement their true political
worldviews. None of them can offer a clear way or decisive
solutions. An irrelevant Likud, a Labor that has lost its way, and
a crumbling Kadima are causing the national leadership to remain
stagnant. A distorted political structure is making the next big
bang inevitable.... The silent Israeli majority feels that Zionism
is under siege. The threat is posed not only by Iran, Hizbullah and
Hamas. The threat lies within ourselves: our moral eclipse, our
obtuseness, our lack of feeling, our stupidity. Our loss of faith
in our rightness. So all Zionist parties must come to their senses,
come together and take action. If Netanyahu proves he can lead the
Zionist coalition and unite the Israeli majority, his leadership
will have meaning. But to do so he must make sure that the big bang
of 2010 is a Zionist one, not a cynical one.

II. QMitchell: Blunder or Threat?

Washington-based columnist Douglas Bloomfield wrote in the
conservative, independent Jerusalem Post (1/14): QA State Department
spokesman denied [Senator George] Mitchell was sending any signals
[when he raised the issue of loan guaranteed to Israel], but it's
hard to believe that was an innocent, off-the-cuff remark from such
an experienced diplomat, politician and judge. Administration
credibility was damaged in the eyes of many friends of Israel last
year when it demanded a total settlement freeze and only later
talked about Arab reciprocity -- which the Arabs privately and
publicly rejected. Officials privately admit they're still unable
to get the Arabs to pitch in with anything more than gratuitous
advice.... Chances of success [of MitchellQs upcoming visit] are low
thanks to a collapse of trust between the two sides, weak
leadership, deep divisions among the Palestinians and wide gaps
between the two sides on fundamental issues. Some question whether
the administration really is making a serious new move for peace or
just marking time until both Israelis and Palestinians get leaders
who are ready to make the tough decisions essential to ending the
conflict. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, QThere is a
hunger for a resolutionQ of the conflict and called it Qan
imperative goal.Q You couldn't tell it by listening to Israeli and
Palestinian leaders.

III. QTo Be Israeli Today

Liberal columnist Larry Derfner wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post (1/14): QWhen I try to explain Israel to
Americans, I ask them to imagine that 80 percent of their fellow
citizens were Republicans. Israel has become a one-party country --
the war party. We're at war with the Middle East, with Europe, with
liberal Jews in the Diaspora, and with a pathetically small handful
of dissenters at home. We trust no one. We see anti-Semites
everywhere. We'd like to build an Iron Dome over this whole country
to keep the world out. There's very little oxygen around here;
everyone is breathing the air that everyone else has exhaled. This
country has been stagnating for a decade. And we've never achieved
such unity.

IV. QSaudis Seek Illusory 'Third Way' in Regional Diplomacy

Jonathan Spyer, a senior researcher at the Interdisciplinary Center,
wrote in the conservative, independent Jerusalem Post (1/14): QWhile
holding fast to their alliance with the Iranians, and in return for
nothing, the Syrians have been invited back to the top table of Arab
diplomacy. This, the Saudis hope, will allow for the noble task of
trying to put Humpty together again -- that is, rebuilding Arab
regional diplomacy along the comforting lines of
all-together-against-Israel (at least verbally). The problem with
all this is that it won't work. If the Saudis or anyone else
believe that the pro-Iranian alliance can be stopped in its tracks
by handing it victory, they are sorely mistaken. The result of
surrender in Lebanon has not been to restore QnormalityQ to that
country -- it has been to place it firmly back into the
Syrian/Iranian orbit.... In the Middle East today there is the
U.S.-led alliance and the Iran-led alliance. There is no third,
Arab way. Offering up gifts to Iran's chief Arab partners,
meanwhile, will serve not to satiate the Iran-led bloc, but rather
to whet its appetite.


----------------------------
2. Israel-Turkey Relations:
----------------------------

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


I. QTime to Pay the Bill

Middle East affairs commentator Dr. Guy Bechor, a lecturer at the
Interdisciplinary Center, wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist
Yediot Aharonot (1/14): QIt is absolutely not the right of the
ruling Islamic party to make Israel an instrument by which it
embarrassingly courts the Arab world. It is absolutely not its
right to attack Israel, condemn it, and sow anti-Semitic statements.
Until today, Israel exercised restraint about this, and that was a
mistake. The time has now come to set a price tag for the Turkish
administration, if it should continue the incitement, and the
Foreign Ministry did well to start doing so.... If the Turkish
administration wishes to paint its state in colors of anti-Western
defiance, it is entitled to do so. That is its internal affair. If
it seeks to sweep the country gradually to Islam, that is also its
internal matter. But this must not be permitted to come at the
expense of another sovereign state, Israel. If Turkey continues to
do so, it will also have to pay for the use that it is making of
Israel, and it should take this into account. In the Middle East,
as the Syrians, the new friends of the Turks, have taught us --
there are no free lunches.

--------------------------------------------- ----
3. Anniversary of President ObamaQs Swearing-In:
--------------------------------------------- ----

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

"America and Obama"

Avraham Ben-Zvi, visiting Professor of Political Science at Haifa
University and an expert in U.S.-Israel relations, wrote in the
independent Israel Hayom (1/14): QAmerican society is still
light-years away from full, true equality among the various ethnic
groups that compose it.... As America stood to meet this challenge
successfully, the disturbing fact has been exposed that the foci of
patronizing and discrimination of the other -- as demonstrated [in
QGame Change,Q] the shining opus by [American journalists Mark
Halperin and John Heilman] -- are found in the halls of power, not
in the analphabetic margins of society. Against the background of
this reality, there is room for asking whether the Aerica whether
the American nation did not celebrate ObamaQs entrance into the
White House too quickly.

CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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