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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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P 041153Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4831
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RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI PRIORITY 0103
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 3014
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 7070
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 7274
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 6511
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 5180
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 7372
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 4128
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 2353
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 1006
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 8525
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 3537
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 7510
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 9597
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 2331
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 3436
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
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UNCLAS TEL AVIV 000008

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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1. Mideast

2. Anti-Terrorism Efforts

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Key stories in the media:
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Maariv detailed what it says is the American peace plan for the
Middle East: The immediate start of negotiations between the sides;
a permanent-status agreement is the objective of the plan; the first
issue to be discussed: the permanent borders; the goal is to reach a
compromise within nine months Q before the end of the settlement
freeze; negotiations over the future of Jerusalem and the refugees;
and President Obama is expected to place letters of guarantee in the
hands of both parties. Maariv says that pressure on the Arab League
is likely during the implementation of the plan.

Israel Radio quoted PA President Mahmoud AbbasQs spokesman Nabil Abu
Rudeineh as saying that the PA will be able to renew negotiations
with Israel only when the latter commits itself (among other
conditions) to withdrawing to the 1967 borders. Yesterday The
Jerusalem Post cited the prediction of a PA official over the
weekend that peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians could
be relaunched as early as February following Qencouraging signs
from he Israeli Government. The Jerusalem Post quoted PM Benjamin
Netanyahu as saying in a closed door meeting yesterday that he has
no intention of restarting negotiations with the Palestinians on the
basis of the pre-Six Day War lines. The PM also characterized as
inaccurate media reports that he has recently shown flexibility
regarding negotiations over Jerusalem and the refugees. Leading
media Palestinian Abbas will meet with Egyptian President, Hosni
Mubarak in Sharm el-Sheikh today to discuss Israel's latest offers
to renew talks with the PA. The Jerusalem Post and other media
reported that while Abbas continues to refuse to sit down and talk
with PM Netanyahu, he is in telephone contact with President Shimon
Peres, who even recently tried to talk him out of resigning. The
Jerusalem Post quoted Peres as saying in an interview with the
Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun on Thursday that he hoped that
Abbas would run in the next PA election, and that his advice to the
PA president was that "winners don't quit, and quitters don't win."
HaQaretz reported that the U.S. administration is making efforts to
convince Abbas to agree to the resumption of peace talks through a
series of goodwill gestures on the part of Israel -- including the
release of prisoners and the transfer of territory under Israel's
security control (Area B) to Palestinian security control (Area A).
Abbas has thus far refused to renew the talks as long as Israel
refuses to institute a complete freeze on West Bank settlement
building that would include East Jerusalem.

The media reported that IAF planes attacked three targets in Gaza
overnight Friday and on Saturday morning, a day after Palestinians
fired Grad-type rockets at Netivot. Some media reported that Hamas
threatens to retaliate.

The Jerusalem Post reported that, fearing violent resistance, the
IDF plans to deploy large security forces to demolish homes that
have been built illegally since the government-imposed moratorium on
Jewish construction in the West Bank took effect in late November.
Media reported that yesterday settlers held a one-day strike and
demonstrated in front of the Prime MinisterQs Office.

Yesterday HaQaretz reported that on Thursday FM Avigdor Lieberman
chastised 150 or so Israeli diplomats for what he described as their
tendency to overly placate their host nations.

Citing The New York Times, HaQaretz reported that the American
intelligence community is reassessing its view of the Iranian
nuclear program, veering from its previous assessment that it
published in 2007. Yediot cited The New York Times that Israel has
been persuaded that this is a window of opportunity for a diplomatic
move involving sanctions on Iran.

HaQaretz reported that the U.S. has recently signed major arms deals
with several Arab states and that Israeli officials have expressed
concern at the scope and content of the agreements. Among the
recipients of the advanced arms included in the agreements are
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the UAE. The shipments are to
include anti-ship and antitank missiles as well as so-called smart
and bunker-busting bombs. HaQaretz reported that in December the
Pentagon notified Congress of several arms deals it wanted to carry
out. The details of the deals were also posted on the Pentagon
website. In its report to Congress the Department of Defense noted
that none of the deals would "alter the military balance in the
region." According to the Pentagon report to Congress, no arms
deals with Israel have taken place since President Barack Obama took
office.

HaQaretz reported that the U.S. will assist Israel in developing and
funding the Arrow 3 missile defense system.

Yediot quoted Gregg Rickman, formerly the Secretary of State's
Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, as saying
following the closure of the U.S Embassy in Sanaa that the last
remaining Jews in Yemen should be rescued immediately.

HaQaretz quoted Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein as saying
yesterday: QThe peace agreement with Jordan is not as warm as we
would have liked, nor as the agreement stipulates.Q Rubinstein, who
was one of architects of the peace treaty with Jordan, was speaking
in a synagogue in the settlement of Efrat. On a different issue The
Jerusalem Post reported that Canada has refused a Jordanian request
to hand over the historic Dead Sea Scrolls, currently on loan to
Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum. The newspaper quoted Israeli
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor as saying: QThe Dead Sea
Scrolls are an intrinsic part of Jewish heritage and religion. The
scrolls have no relation to Jordan or the Jordanian people.

The Jerusalem Post quoted NetanyahuQs former chief of staff, Yechiel
Leiter, as saying that he is Qnot interestedQ in serving as
consul-general in New York. Leiter has been mentioned as the PMQs
candidate for the post.


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

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

I. QWill Obama Attack Israel?

The Director of the Interdisciplinary Center's Global Research in
International Affairs Center, columnist Barry Rubin, wrote in the
conservative, independent Jerusalem Post (1/4): QAs far as Israel is
concerned] what is important is that Obama and his entourage have
learned two things. One of them is that bashing Israel is
politically costly. American public opinion is very strongly
pro-Israel. Congress is as friendly to Israel as ever. For an
administration that is more conscious of its future reelection
campaign than any previous one, holding onto Jewish voters and
ensuring Jewish donations is very important. There will almost
certainly not be a visit of Obama to Israel this year; he'll wait
until it will do him some good at the polls (which is a good thing,
since the less attention he pays to this issue the less harm he'll
do). The other point is that the administration has seen that
bashing Israel doesn't get it anywhere. For one thing, the current
Israeli government won't give in easily and is very adept at
protecting its country's interests. This administration has a great
deal of trouble being tough with anyone. If in fact the
Palestinians and Arabs were eager to make a deal and energetic about
supporting other U.S. policies, the administration might well be
tempted to press for an arrangement that largely ignored Israeli
interests. But this is not the case. It is the Palestinians who
refuse even to come to the negotiating table -- and that is unlikely
to change quickly or easily. Arab states won't lift a finger to
help the U.S. on Iran, Iraq, or Arab-Israeli issues. So why
bother?

II. QBetween Decades

Senior commentator Ari Shavit wrote in the independent, left-leaning
Ha'aretz (1/1): QOn the first morning of the new decade there is no
euphoria in Israel. Our economic and security strength creates a
certain kind of self-confidence. But the challenges are
unprecedented -- the Iranian nuclear project, the missile threat,
the occupation, the loss of legitimacy, the leadership crisis, the
governability crisis, the social woes, and the collapse of
education. In an amazing way, the previous decade did not yield any
substantial response to any of these challenges. It gave us a good
life for the moment without having to contend seriously with our
basic problems. The new decade will not be able to continue this
regime. The processes that are eroding Israel's support walls have
gone too far. Unless there is a sobering up and a change of
direction, the next 10 years could be more difficult than the 10
preceding ones. To avoid waking up despondent on January 1, 2020,
we have to wake up now.

III. QTwo Hats

Contributor and settler Elyakim Haetzni wrote in Yediot Aharonot
(1/3): QRabbi Meir Avshalom Hai was murdered by several of the
leaders of the El-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. This terror organization,
which publicly accepted responsibility for the attack is, like
Tanzim, essentially part of Fatah, which is led by Abu Mazen. He
inherited this structure from his predecessor Yasser Arafat.... A
simple question arises: why is it that those figures, who agonize
over every clause in our agreements with the PLO, choose to ignore
the clearly stated articles in the fourth appendix of the interim
agreement, which provides Israel with criminal jurisdiction over
acts committed in the QterritoriesQ against Israeli citizens as well
as the right to demand the extradition of those suspected of having
committed such acts, such as the fourth assassin of Rabbi Hai? The
reason is that already in the jolly days of Oslo, the Palestinians
announced that they would never extradite a Palestinian to Israel,
and all Israeli governments have accepted this blatant breach of
such a vital clause in the agreement. Such scandalous behavior
continues also under the leadership of the man who devised the
slogan QtheyQll give -- theyQll getQ [Netanyahu].... Lately we have
also been hearing our security services praise the Palestinian
forces for their cooperation in their war on terror -- seemingly
good news. They neglect, however, to tell us precisely whom they
are fighting against, are they also fighting the El-Aqsa Martyrs
Brigades?.... For there is nothing advantageous about their fighting
Hamas and Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. As far as they see it,
this is not a war on terror, but rather a bloody struggle for power,
a gang war, to which they have successfully recruited the IDF.

IV. QKadimaQs Future

Former Meretz leader, former Justice Minister, and chief Israeli
promoter of the Geneva Initiative, Yossi Beilin, wrote in the
independent Israel Hayom (1/4): QThe assessment that was prevalent
after the elections, according to which Kadima was a ruling party
that was incapable of existing in the opposition, was disproved, at
least temporarily.... Kadima, which won 28 seats only due to the
left wing, can only exist if it expresses the aspirations of the
left wing. The split in the party has been postponed for a while,
but it is imprinted in the nature of the contradictions that
characterize it. A centrifugal process will make it a much smaller
Knesset faction. This appears already now as an irreversible
process. Livni can save her party in the next elections only if she
decides to continue the big bang by making Kadima into a center-left
party that replaces the Labor Party. Otherwise Kadima will
disappear from the map, just like Dash [allied to Menachem Begin in
the 1970s] and Shinui [during the past decade].

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

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

I. QIslamic Terror, Remember?

Columnist and former intelligence officer Amos Gilboa wrote in the
popular, pluralist Maariv (1/4): QAfter September 11, 2001,
President Bush proclaimed a third world war against terror, which
would last for many years.... Obama ... removed the word Qterror
from his lexicon: in all his programmatic speeches over the past
year -- in Ankara, in Cairo, at the U.N. General Assembly, in his
address to Congress -- the word QterrorQ did not appear. He knows
no Qwar against terrorQ... The big question at the start of the new
year is this: will the Obama administration change its basic
attitude to Islamic terror and start viewing it as a challenge of
the first order, which requires to be placed high on the United
StatesQ priority list, or will it more or less continue its current
basic attitude and fear to utter the word QterrorQ?.... One of the
key issues at the beginning of this decade is that the world powers
have ceased to effectively influence world affairs. There no longer
is a Qworld orderQ.... Will the Obama administration succeed in
forming a Qworld orderQ with the other powers (Russia, China, India,
the European Union, Japan, and Brazil)?

II. Q443 + 253 = 9/11

Defense commentator Amir Oren wrote in the independent, left-leaning
Ha'aretz (1/4): Q[Eric] Holder, [Condoleezza] Rice, and Obama, as
well as Carter and Clinton, who were both governors of southern
states before becoming president, have copied a simplistic notion of
the civil rights struggle involving American blacks and implemented
it in U.S. foreign and defense policy. Racist white mayors and
state troopers harassing innocent black pedestrians and motorists?
That's exactly what Muslims on Flight 253 and Palestinians on Route
443 must be spared, even if the world blows up. The intrusive
inconvenience to those belonging to high-risk groups, meaning those
who create risks and not those exposed to them, should create a
measure of deterrence and difficulty for terrorists. The price of
misguided lenience in the other direction is much higher.

CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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