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Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

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STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD

WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM
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JERUSALEM ALSO ICD
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PARIS ALSO FOR POL
ROME FOR MFO

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TAGS: OPRC KMDR IS

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 reported that USAF Gen. Paul Selva visited Israel
in the past few days. Other aides of Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton -- James Steinberg and Jacob Lew -- are expected in the
county in the coming days for talks expected to deal with both
regional and bilateral issues.

All media reported that yesterday afternoon a PA police officer
stabbed to death a Druze IDF soldier from an elite unit who was
sitting in a military jeep in a traffic jam near the Tapuah junction
in the northern West Bank. The Jerusalem Post quoted IDF sources as
saying that the attacker was the head of bureau for the PAQs
Ramallah police chief. The Jerusalem Post also quoted IDF sources
as saying that the PA police are trained by a European Union
organization, based in Ramallah, called the EUPOL COPPS (the EU
Police Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support). Israel
Radio cited a condemnation of the act by Palestinian PM Salam
Fayyad.

Maariv (Amit Cohen) led by recalling a series of explosions in the
past two months that have killed a number of Hamas officials and
Iranian Revolutionary Guardsmen. The explosions in question, which
occurred in Damascus, Beirut and Gaza City, were reportedly hushed
up by Syrian, Lebanese and Hamas officials. Cohen notes that QHamas
opted to maintain a low media profile and refrained from pointing an
accusatory finger in IsraelQs direction, as it did in the aftermath
of the Mabhouh assassination.

Leading media quoted the PA as saying that it arrested six al-Qaida
militants.

Leading media reported that yesterday the PA accused former
intelligence officer Fahmi Shabaneh of QcollaborationQ with Israel
and that it issued a warrant for his arrest. Shabaneh had exposed
corruption cases in the PA to Israeli media.

Israel Radio quoted Tzachi Hanegbi, chairman of the KnessetQs
Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, as saying that sanctions are
not the only alternative in countering the Iranian nuclear program.
HaQaretz reported that senior U.N, officials told the newspaper that
a Security Council resolution tightening the sanctions on Iran has
become more likely, and that the resolution is probably going to be
approved. According to HaQaretz, observers in both New York and
Washington estimate that China will think twice about using its veto
on a resolution after Russia recently threw its support behind a
move against Iran. A veto could expose Beijing as isolated and out
of touch with its fellow Security Council members. China could also
abstain from voting and allow the decision to be made by a simple
majority. However, the sources told HaQaretz, the U.S. is still
trying to obtain Chinese support for the sanctions. Israel Radio
reported on the trip to Washington of an Israeli delegation that
discussed the Iran issue with senior U.S. officials Dennis Ross and
Dan Shapiro.

The Jerusalem Post reported that PM NetanyahuQs spokesman Mark Regev
hinted yesterday that LebanonQs infrastructure is fair game in the
event of war.

HaQaretz cited a new report published by the Jerusalem Center for
Public Affairs (JCPA) that Col. Desmond Travers, co-author of the
Goldstone Report, claims that Hamas fired only two rockets at Israel
prior to last winter's conflict. JCPA head Dr. Dore Gold, former
ambassador to the U.N. and an adviser to PM Benjamin Netanyahu,
revealed the report at a press conference on Wednesday. Makor
Rishon-Hatzofe says that Travers is suspected of anti-Semitism.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Nadav Tamir, IsraelQs
Consul-General in Washington, attended J StreetQs first annual
convention.

Israel Hayom reported that Likud officials have made a new offer to
Shaul Mofaz in an attempt to split Kadima. According to the
newspaper, Mofaz has been offered fifteen prestigious executive
positions -- six ministers, six deputy ministers and three Knesset
committee chairs -- if he succeeds in enlisting another 14 Knesset
members to join him in a bid to divide Kadima and to join the
Netanyahu government. The daily notes that if Mofaz does cobble
together a group of 15 Knesset members, as the majority holder in
the Kadima faction he will be entitled to KadimaQs name and, more
importantly, its money. Officials in NetanyahuQs office denied any
involvement in these talks. Maariv and The Jerusalem Post reported
that Kadima is divided over a bill introduced by MK Eli Aflalo that
proposes measures in favor of the Jewish residents of the Golan.
Tzipi Livni is in favor, Shaul Mofaz opposes it.

Russian-language newspapers and Web sites reported that QRussian
immigrant women received special awards have received special awards
from the State Department -- Rita Chaikin was nominated for the
International Women of Courage Award. The QWomen Make a
DifferenceQ video, a project of the NGO QSupportive CommunityQ, won
a top spot in the QMy Culture+Your Culture=?Q online contest.

HaQaretz and Yediot reported on the death at the age of 76 of former
Democratic Texas Congressman Charles Wilson, a friend of Israel who
reportedly was the only Representative who stood by and visited the
country during the Yom Kippur War.

Major media quoted the Israel Antiquities Authority as saying
yesterday that archeologists in Jerusalem have discovered an ancient
street that confirms the accuracy of the famous 1,500-year-old map
depicted in a mosaic floor of a church in Madaba, Jordan.

Erratum: The author of the 2/9 Jerusalem Post op-ed in defense of
New Israel Fund President Professor Naomi Chazan (QA Dark Day for
DemocracyQ) was not Larry Derfner but Gershon Baskin, Co-Director of
the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information.

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

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

I. QA Dilemma on Both Sides

(2/11): QYesterday Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad condemned
the stabbing of an IDF soldier at the Tapuah checkpoint by a
Palestinian police officer. It is hard not to appreciate the
political courage summoned by Fayyad Wednesday in condemning the
killing of an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint in the occupied
territories. But Fayyad apparently realizes that to maintain his
extraordinary cooperation with the Israel Defense Forces in the West
Bank, he needs to compromise on his dignity, even if at a hefty
political price. However, one emerging trend is difficult to
ignore. Most of the fatal attacks in the West Bank in recent years
were carried out by members of Palestinian security forces.... These
attacks create quite a dilemma for Israeli security organizations.
On the one hand, the Palestinian Authority is combating Hamas and
Islamic Jihad, often demonstrating a surprising ability to counter
the Islamist terrorist threats. But the same PA neglects its own
men, including former members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade and
security service men.

II. QLow-Intensity ntifada

Editor-in-Chief Amnon Lord wrote in the editorial of the
nationalist, Orthodox Makor Rishon-Hatzofe (2/11): QIt is worthwhile
recalling that the Israel and world press has totally ignored: last
summer the Fatah convention made the clear decision to continue the
Qarmed combatQ and renew the QstruggleQ at a QpopularQ level.... The
radical Israeli Left is full partner in this Intifada, which is
presently on a low fire.... What can be expected, should the
PalestiniansQ efforts succeed, is not necessarily a war of terror
like the one we saw during the first half of the previous decade.
Abu MazenQs strategy is more moderate: that there be enough violence
to keep the Palestinians in the headlines. It is impossible to
ignore the fact that both recent murders were carried out by members
of the Palestinian security forces. Their actions are inspired by
the Palestinian leadership.


III. QThe Minister of Delegitimization

Senior commentator Ari Shavit wrote in the independent, left-leaning
Ha'aretz (2/11): QThe Foreign Ministry must be just as powerful and
effective as the Defense Ministry. It must adopt the Mossad and
Shin Bet work ethos and lead a complex and sophisticated diplomatic,
public relations campaign, the likes of which we have not seen since
1947. But there's a problem. The minister heading the Foreign
Ministry today is exacerbating Israel's distress over legitimacy
instead of alleviating it. This minister cannot solve the problem
he is part of. The Arab world abhors him. Europe sees him as a Le
Pen-style nationalist. The United States sees him as an
embarrassing malfunction. While Shimon Peres is perceived abroad as
the attractive side of Israel, Avigdor Lieberman is seen as its ugly
side. He cannot thwart the delegitimization assault while his
abusive rhetoric and bullying behavior empowers it. Lieberman is
playing into the hands of those who want to portray Israel as a
racist, lunatic state. Ehud Olmert paid a heavy price for one
reckless mistake -- appointing Amir Peretz defense minister.
Netanyahu may pay a similar price for appointing Lieberman foreign
minister. There are no fatalities in the legitimacy war. In the
short range, it doesn't cost any blood. But in the long range, it
is immeasurably more important than the Second Lebanon War.

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

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

QIran and Israeli Politics

Columnist Nadav Eyal wrote in the popular, pluralist Maariv (2/11):
QIt can be assumed that all Israelis are interested in the
elimination or the cessation of IranQs nuclear program. We would
all want this to be done on our behalf -- through sanctions or a
military assault by others. Still, should Israel reach the decisive
moment, it is important that our decision-makers not be found in a
public-political situation into which they would be pushed by public
opinion. However important it is for the prime minister to be
publicly able to make the decision not to attack Iran -- in
accordance with the rationale and situation assessments that will be
presented to the Government when time comes. As regards Iran,
pragmatism must be particularly strong.

CUNNINGHAM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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