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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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SUBJECT: ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION

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SUBJECTS COVERED IN THIS REPORT:
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1. Mideast

2. Iran

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Key stories in the media:
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The Jerusalem Post cited recent Israeli intelligence assessments
that Iran will make the political decision to enrich uranium to
military-grade levels once it has accumulated enough fissionable
material for a small arsenal of three to four nuclear devices,
according to latest intelligence assessments. Maariv quoted a
senior official of the Israeli defense establishment as saying that
the secret nuclear installation at Qom is the Qtip of an iceberg.

Leading media reported that Eli Yishai has ordered the legalization
of Beit Yehonatan Q a controversial Jewish-owned building in the
Arab neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem. Various legal
decisions had ordered the house pulled down. HaQaretz reported that
the move is likely to fail.

Major media reported that PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Yisrael Beiteinu
head Avigdor Lieberman announced yesterday that they intend to
promote a bill that would let Israeli citizens vote from abroad in
Knesset elections. According to Israel Hayom, the proposed
legislation would bring eight more Knesset seats to the Right.
However, HaQaretz quoted Likud sources as saying that it would not
alter the composition of Israeli politics. Coalition parties Shas
and Labor oppose the bill, as do many opposition parties, which
HaQaretz says would lead to the adoption of a softer bill. Kadima
filed a no-confidence motion against the government over its
intention "to enable people not living in Israel to vote in the
elections and determine the fate of those living here." "All
decisions for Israel's future must be determined only by those who
chose to live here and shape its future," HaQaretz quoted Kadima
sources as saying.

The media reported on increasing violence against judges. In a
lecture yesterday, Justice Dorit Beinisch denounced the overall
phenomenon of violence in Israeli society.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Palestinian leaders will urge the
International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate alleged Israeli
war crimes during last yearQs war in Gaza. The Palestinians will
tell the ICC that IsraelQs probe into the operation is not
credible.

Yesterday The Jerusalem Post reported that the Anti-Defamation
League gave President Obama an QFQ for failing to deliver in the
Middle East. According to The Jerusalem Post most Knesset members
agree:Q QAQ for good intentions but poor grades for results.

The Jerusalem Post reported that yesterday Israel opened the Jalama
crossing to the West Bank to tour buses.

The Jerusalem Post reported that yesterday Khaled Mashal, the head
of HamasQ political bureau, accused the U.S. of Qvetoing
Hamas-reconciliation efforts. Mashal spoke during a visit to
Moscow.

Yediot reported that the Foreign Ministry has started distributing
notes to Israeli officials visiting foreign countries. The notes,
issued by the authorities of those countries, ensure the Israeli
officialsQ safety. The first Israeli who benefits from the move is
Deputy FM Daniel Ayalon, who is presently in London. In another
development, HaQaretz quoted deputy directors-general of the Foreign
Ministry as saying yesterday at weekly meeting the ministryQs
management that FM LiebermanQs instructions are Qcrazy.Q They were
referring to a new instruction to limit the distribution of
diplomatic cables, a move meant to compartmentalize the ministry.

Media reported that Border Policemen targeted Palestinians with
non-lethal fire in the northern East Jerusalem neighborhood of
Shuafat. The police were looking for wanted Palestinians.

Israel Radio reported that Likud Knesset Member Ayoub Kara is slated
to meet with Ambassador Cunningham with a proposal to import water
from Syria.

Maariv reported that foreign ambassadors posted in Israel, including
Ambassador Cunningham, have requested to be dispensed from the water
tax. The diplomats reportedly cited an international treaty.

Luis Lieberman, the Jewish deputy of newly elected Costa Rican
President Laura Chinchilla, promised in an interview with Maariv to
strengthen his countryQs ties with Israel.

The Jerusalem Post reported that two Israelis organized the massive
snowball fight in WashingtonQs Dupont Circle in Saturday.

The Jerusalem Post cited the results of a survey conducted between
May 18 and June 16, 2009 by Pew Research CenterQs Global Attitudes.
Ninety-five to 98 percent of those polled in Arab countries held an
unfavorable view of Jews. Only 35% of Israeli Arabs expressed a
negative opinion of Jews, while 56% voiced a favorable opinion. In
Turkey, the number of people who said they had a Qvery unfavorable
attitude towards Jews jumped from 32% in 2004 to 73% in 2009.

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

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

I. QThe Year of Capitulation

Diplomatic correspondent and television anchor Ben Caspit wrote on
page one of the popular, pluralist Maariv (2/9): QWhat has
NetanyahuQs term in office given us until now?.... Anyone who takes
an interest in what is going on in our backyard is horrified by what
they find. In order to survive, Binyamin Netanyahu has recklessly
mortgaged our Zionist future here. He has placed our foreign
relations in Avigdor LiebermanQs irresponsible hands; our internal
affairs have been placed in Eli YishaiQs hard-working hands. They
donQt need more than that. When the cat is away, the mice go on a
rampage. Lieberman has done so heavy-handedly. Yishai has done so
quietly, behind closed doors. That doesnQt mean that he has been
any less efficient. Sometimes, the impression received is that he
is far more efficient.... The question that has to be asked is what
is Netanyahu surviving for? What is his goal, what is his agenda,
what are his aspirations, what does he hope to achieve? To what
end, or for whom is he operating? A year has passed already, and
there is no sign of a real, courageous and earth-shaking agenda.
With one hand he freezes settlements as no one has frozen before,
and with his other hand, he stymies every effort to achieve real
political progress. Everything is frozen, everything is stuck. The
important thing is that heQs there, in the Prime MinisterQs Office,
pretending to be the director of affairs, which run of their own
accord. There is no law or judge, nothing goes in or out. Once we
wake up and realize where all of this is heading, it is going to be
too late.

II. QNo Return to the Land of Our Forefathers

Senior columnist and longtime peace advocate Yoel Marcus wrote in
the independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (2/9): QAfter the Six-Day
War, the emergency government turned into a paralyzed unity
government. It focused on settlements in the territories and turned
Israel into an occupation state, whose price we are paying today.
If Netanyahu really wants peace with Syria and an arrangement with
the Palestinians, he must first get rid of Lieberman and his party,
and perhaps Shas as well, and add Kadima to his government. Kadima
leader Tzipi Livni may be miffed, but this is no time for settling
accounts -- it's a time for closing ranks. With Livni as vice
premier and foreign minister and Mofaz as internal security
minister, it would not be a paralysis government but one that could
march us to peace and security. Come on Bibi, forward march.

III. QIsraelQs Empty Suitcase

Liberal columnist Professor Aviad Kleinberg wrote in the
mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (2/9): QThe Saudi and
Syrian peace initiatives are complex political moves full of
successes and impediments. Before signing a peace treaty, one
should carefully examine the small print. But the Israeli response
is not a logical expression of caution. Instead of reacting with
enthusiasm and openness, instead of offering gestures and
confidence-building measures, hastily declare that the whole thing
is a bluff, a plot. Nothing will come out of it.... Israel has a
vital interest in peace. The [government] coalition has no such
interest. Peace means plenty of trouble. It might anger the Yesha
Council of Jewish Settlements in the Territories, for instance.
What interest will the government prefer? IQll let you guess.

IV. QA Dark Day for Democracy

Liberal columnist Larry Derfner wrote in the conservative,
independent Jerusalem Post (2/9): Q[The Jerusalem PostQs] decision
to cancel the column of Prof. Naomi Chazan, a worldwide respected
academic, a former member of Knesset from the Zionist Meretz Party
and currently the president of the New Israel Fund is a badge of
shame on The Jerusalem Post. The posting of the Im Tirtzu
advertisement with its explicit anti-Semitic motif of a caricature
of Chazan with horns was dangerously anti-democratic I am also in
favor of full disclosure of the sources of funding of all civil
society organizations, including Im Tirtzu, NGO Monitor, El Ad,
Ateret Kohanim and all of the other civil society organizations
working on the right side of the political map. One standard for
all -- full disclosure and transparency of funding is what should be
legislated by the Knesset. As for The Jerusalem Post, it is not too
late to rescind the decision to cancel Prof. Chazan's column.

V. QI Would Have Done the Same as my Editor

Columnist Shmuel Rosner, who was HaQaretzQs correspondent in
Washington, wrote in The Jerusalem Post (2/9): QThe NIF [the New
Israel Fund] has nothing to do with the Goldstone Report. [But] It
has too many friends who support the Goldstone Report. Whether one
likes it or not, those friends will define NIFQs image in the eyes
of the Israeli public.... The NIFQs attackers should remember that
these are good people trying to do good things for Israel.... I
really hate the campaign against NIF -- it's ugly, brutal and quite
disgusting. But the demand that it will be censored, and that media
outlets would refuse to carry it, should be considered carefully.
Bad taste isn't good enough reason to cease from posting an ad.
Chazan -- now the new face of the Israel-is-becoming-McCarthystic
[sic] campaign -- should have been well-advised to write her next
column on the controversy surrounding NIF rather than trying to
silence criticism by legal means. Maybe she can still take this
course.

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2. Iran:
---------

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

QLegitimacy Was Granted to Iran

Berlin correspondent Eldad Beck wrote in the mass-circulation,
pluralist Yediot Aharonot (2/9): QSince the international
confrontation around the Iranian nuclear program began, the Germans
have taken care to invite representatives of the AyatollahsQ regime
to voice their radical views -- including Holocaust denial and the
rejection of IsraelQs existence... Indeed, Chancellor Angela Merkel
personally promotes stronger international sanctions against Iran
and makes sure that German firms freeze their many ties with that
country. . But the German establishment meticulously maintains
communication channels with TehranQs representatives and provides
them with public stages to disseminate their sickly views. There is
nothing to do, the spirit of Munich still hovers above Germany.

CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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