INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Israel Media Reaction

Published: Thu 29 Dec 2005 12:48 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
291248Z Dec 05
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 08 TEL AVIV 007090
SIPDIS
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
USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL FOR POLAD/USIA ADVISOR
COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE FOR PAO/POLAD
COMSIXTHFLT FOR 019
JERUSALEM ALSO FOR ICD
LONDON ALSO FOR HKANONA AND POL
PARIS ALSO FOR POL
ROME FOR MFO
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: IS KMDR MEDIA REACTION REPORT
SUBJECT: ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION
--------------------------------
SUBJECTS COVERED IN THIS REPORT:
--------------------------------
1. Mideast
2. Iraq
-------------------------
Key stories in the media:
-------------------------
Israel Radio and leading Israeli Internet news web
sites reported that this morning, a suicide bomber
approached a roadblock in Jabara village near the West
Bank town of Tulkarm and blew himself up. The media
reported that an Israeli and three Palestinians were
killed and three Israelis were wounded in the bombing.
Some media reports mentioned two suicide bombers. The
media quoted Israeli security sources as saying that
the incident prevented a large-scale terrorist attack
in Israel. Leading media cited the belief of
Palestinian sources that Islamic Jihad was behind the
attack.
Leading media reported that last night the IDF carried
out aerial strikes and used artillery fire in the Gaza
"no-go" zone imposed by Israel. Israel Radio quoted
IDF sources as saying that the no-go policy will
continue until Palestinian fire stops. The radio
reported that the PA warned Israel not to harm members
of its security forces in the buffer zone.
Israel Radio reported that Lebanese PM Fuad Siniora
strongly condemned the Katyusha rocket attacks against
Israel, and quoted him as saying that the IAF fire and
overflights of Lebanon are destabilizing his country.
The radio reported that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
condemned the rocket attacks and called on the Lebanese
government to deploy its troops in southern Lebanon.
Israel Radio and The Jerusalem Post reported that on
Wednesday, the Quartet urged all participants in the
PA's legislative elections to condemn terror, recognize
Israel's right to exist, and disarm. The Jerusalem
Post reported that the Quartet called on the PA to
issue a "code of conduct" on the issue.
Israel Radio said that Annan's Lebanon statement and
the Quartet's comments on the PA elections show an
important U.S. influence on the UN.
In its lead story, Yediot wrote that IDF Intelligence
chief Maj. Gen Aharon Zeevi-Farkash told the newspaper
that during a clash along Israel's border about one
month ago, Hizbullah launched sophisticated rockets
that had been sent from Moscow to Damascus. Zeevi-
Farkash was quoted as saying that this exposed the
"ugly face" of Russia and Syria.
Ha'aretz and Yediot reported that on Wednesday,
Kadima's Knesset faction approved the party platform,
which says that the existence of a sovereign, Jewish,
and democratic state necessitates relinquishing parts
of the Land of Israel (i.e. Israel, including the
territories). The platform does not detail the areas
to be evacuated and the extent of the withdrawal in the
framework of a permanent-status agreement. The
platform also includes an assent in principle to the
establishment of a Palestinian state.
Maariv bannered a call by Labor Chairman Amir Peretz on
former party chairman Shimon Peres to leave Sharon's
party Kadima and come back home. The newspaper cited
internal Labor Party polls that show that the party's
ratings have dropped to 17 percent.
Yediot reported that Iran recently warned Turkey not to
serve as an aerial base for Israeli attacks against
Iran's nuclear installations. The newspaper reported
that the visit of IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz to
Turkey last week only fueled Iran's concerns. Yediot
reported that the Russian press is also highlighting
the issue of a possible Israeli aerial offensive
against Iran. The Jerusalem Post reported that a high-
ranking diplomat told the newspaper this week that
Russia has no interest in Iran obtaining nuclear
weapons.
Ha'aretz reported that the Justice Ministry told the
newspaper on Wednesday that Attorney General Menachem
Mazuz will examine, together with the Prime Minister's
Office, a systematic way to determine in what
circumstances the prime minister would be judged
"incapacitated."
The Jerusalem Post reported that "in an unprecedented
move," the Christian Coalition of America, a major
conservative Christian advocacy group in the U.S., will
include the voting records of American legislators on
Israel in its annual National Voter Guide.
The Jerusalem Post reported that on Wednesday, former
O/C Southern Command, Maj. Gen. (reserves) Yom-Tov
Samia warned that a section of the fence route near
Mevaseret Zion (a western Jerusalem suburb) would
enable snipers to hit cars on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv
highway. Samia was speaking during a High Court of
Justice hearing on a petition submitted by Mevaseret
Zion residents against a section of the fence.
Over the past few days, the media reported that the
Shin Bet has prohibited Israeli Arab author and
journalist Antoine Shalhat from leaving the country
until the end of the month for fear he may harm state
security. The media said that the measure raised angry
reactions in the Arab community.
Yediot reported that the U.S. Senate has recently
passed a law imposing higher fines on employers of
illegal foreign workers. The newspaper wrote that
hundreds of young Israelis in the U.S. could be
affected by the new law.
Ha'aretz reported that the leader of the northern
branch of Israel's Islamic Movement, Sheikh Raed Salah,
has called for work to stop on the museum of Tolerance
in Jerusalem, arguing that part of it is to be built on
top of a Muslim cemetery.
Maariv quoted senior officials involved in the
investigation of Israel's Ambassador to the U.S., Danny
Ayalon, as saying that the probe was biased. The
newspaper, which noted that the affair started with
mutual accusations between Ayalon and FM Silvan Shalom,
reported that the State Attorney's Office rejects most
of the "special investigator's" recommendations.
Israel Radio reported that a Federal judge in Cleveland
ordered the deportation of John Demjanjuk, the
convicted former Nazi concentration camp guard, to
Ukraine.
All media reported that Danny Rebuck, 36, originally
from London, emigrated from the U.S. on Wednesday.
Rebuck outran Hurricane Katrina by riding his bike 40
km to catch the last flight from New Orleans, where he
lost his home and most of his possessions.
Leading media cited statistics released on Wednesday by
the GOI's Central Bureau of Statistics, according to
which Israel counts 6,986,300 residents, 76 percent of
whom are Jews, 20 percent Arabs, and 4 percent "others"
-- mostly non-Arab Christians.
Ha'aretz quoted an organizer of a tour to Iraq as
saying that a group of Iraqi Jews who were born in Iraq
are planning a spring trip to the Kurdish-controlled
zone, and that they hope to at least approach Mosul,
the city where many of them lived. The report is
reprinted from an AP dispatch.
Yediot cited the suspicion of the New York Police
Department that an unnamed Israeli man, whose body was
found Tuesday in his apartment after a fire broke out,
was murdered.
Channel 10-TV and Ha'aretz published the results of a
survey conducted by Prof. Camille Fuchs of the Amanet
Group's Dialogue Institute among Likud party members of
the Likud's Central Committee. The poll shows that MK
Gideon Sa'ar is the most popular figure in the
committee (after Knesset Member Binyamin Netanyahu and
FM Silvan Shalom, whose spots are guaranteed).
The Jerusalem Post reported that on Wednesday, PM
Sharon's adviser Eyal Arad presented to the Kadima
faction a report claiming that immigrants from the
Former Soviet Union will support Kadima more than any
other party. The poll found that 38 percent of Russian
immigrants intended to vote for Kadima, 25 percent for
Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu, and just 12
percent and 6 percent respectively for the two parties
that received the most support from Russian immigrants
in the last elections, Likud and Shinui.
------------
1. Mideast:
------------
Summary:
--------
Military correspondent Amos Harel wrote on page one of
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz: "Continued attacks
[along Israel's northern border], as well as the clear
fingerprint of the Damascus-based Islamic Jihad on the
Qassam rockets coming from Gaza in the direction of
Ashkelon may put Israel and Syria on a collision
course."
Liberal op-ed writer Yael Paz-Melamed commented in
popular, pluralist Maariv: "Why does no one employ
expulsion warrants from the West Bank against those who
time after time, with a big smile on their faces,
sabotage olive trees and their crops?"
Eytan Haber, veteran op-ed writer and assistant to the
late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, opined in the lead
editorial of mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot
Aharonot: "While it is at its strongest, Israel is
finding itself under an almost existential threat....
In any case, Israel shouldn't be envied."
Block Quotes:
-------------
I. "Collision Course in the North"
Military correspondent Amos Harel wrote on page one of
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (December 29):
"Iran's potential to create a nuclear bomb and
Palestinian Qassam rockets top the political agenda,
and too little time is being spent on another threat.
Under certain circumstances it might have greater
impact on the elections in Israel: Katyusha rockets
coming from Lebanon. The bombardment of Kiryat Shmona
and Shlomi on Tuesday are worrying reminders.... The
danger of escalation in the north also reflects events
involving Syria. The report of United Nations
investigator Detlev Mehlis on the murder of former
Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri left Syria less
battered than it feared, and the German investigator
left the region rather quickly.... Three months before
elections in Israel, the situation on the northern
border is more explosive than it has been in a long
time. Syrian President Bashar Assad may think after
the Mehlis report that violence pays off. But
continued attacks, as well as the clear fingerprint of
the Damascus-based Islamic Jihad on the Qassam rockets
coming from Gaza in the direction of Ashkelon may put
Israel and Syria on a collision course."
II. "And We Are All Silent"
Liberal op-ed writer Yael Paz-Melamed commented in
popular, pluralist Maariv (December 29): "Two days ago,
the Construction and Housing Ministry published tenders
for the construction of 230 housing units in the West
Bank... Worst of all: some settlers, mostly young
extremists, are making a laughingstock of the state,
the rule of law and the law-enforcement authorities,
and they have good reasons for behaving that way. The
connection between these three facts: the settlers in
the West Bank were and remain the lords of that land,
beyond the fence, beyond the laws of Israel, even
beyond our own eyes, which are tightly shut to what is
going on in the West Bank. Hooliganism runs rampant
there, with no appropriate response from the IDF and
the police, and we are all silent. These days
political leadership is drawing up party platforms,
without providing the slightest response to the rising
vandalism and violence of Jews towards Palestinians....
Is it any wonder if what we see today in the West Bank
is the massive strengthening of Hamas at Fatah's
expense?.... Why does no one employ expulsion warrants
from the West Bank against those who time after time,
with a big smile on their faces, sabotage olive trees
and their crops? How did 500 Jews manage to turn
thousands of Palestinian residents of Hebron into
haters of Israel to the last drop of their blood. It's
true that we can entirely despair of the police. But
where is the army? Where is the GSS? Where are all of
us? At this time the image of the country is being
shaped for at least the next few years. The Labor
Party, headed by Amir Peretz, must insert in its
platform a promise to handle these settlers with a
strict hand, as well the dozens of illegal outposts,
all of which began like a summer camp and ended like a
cancer. We have to expropriate the West Bank from the
settlers and restore managing relations between us and
the Palestinian to Israel's political leadership."
III. "2006"
Eytan Haber, veteran op-ed writer and assistant to the
late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, opined in the lead
editorial of mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot
Aharonot (December 29): "The year that will die this
week has not been beneficial to Israel, which still
bends under the yoke of fighting against the
Palestinians and finds it hard to shape its character
as a developed society and matures in a hostile world.
Today, more than ever, when it seems that Israel has
reached records in the strategic and security domains
and that, for the first time in its history, it has no
serious enemies, an existential strategic threat that
Israel has never known is dawning toward the new year
2006: nuclear bombs from Iran, a crazy country. This
is an irony of fate: while it is at its strongest,
Israel is finding itself under an almost existential
threat. In 2006, Israel will have to overcome the
Iranian hurdle with the help of the U.S. and the
European countries, through the diplomatic option and
conceivably through the military one. In any case,
Israel shouldn't be envied."
---------
2. Iraq:
---------
Summary:
--------
Eytan Haber, veteran op-ed writer and assistant to the
late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, opined in an
editorial of mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot
Aharonot: "The President of the U.S. will be eager to
obtain any kind of diplomatic achievement during the
upcoming year; Israel often must pay the price for an
American president's hunger."
Block Quotes:
-------------
"2200"
Eytan Haber, veteran op-ed writer and assistant to the
late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, opined in an
editorial of mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot
Aharonot (December 29): "The President of the United
States would have liked 2005 to be erased from the
calendar ... and not to be remembered.... Two thousand
two hundred caskets draped in the Stars and Stripes,
the faint sound of trumpets, salvos of honor, and the
tears of widows and orphans have upset the support [for
Bush].... Not only is he now a 'lame duck,' but he is
worse off than that. Why is this important to us
Israelis? It is because any American sneezing causes a
cold in Israel, and also -- perhaps -- because the
President of the U.S. will be eager to obtain any kind
of diplomatic achievement during the upcoming year;
Israel often must pay the price for an American
president's hunger."
CRETZ
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media