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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
02AMMAN3609 2002-07-02 14:12:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Amman
Cable title:  

JORDAN MEDIA REACTION ON PRESIDENT'S MIDDLE

Tags:   KMDR JO 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
					  					
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 003609

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/ARN, NEA/PA, NEA/AIA, INR/NESA, R/MR,
I/GNEA, B/BXN, B/BRN, NEA/PPD
USAID/ANE/MEA
LONDON FOR GOLDRICH
PARIS FOR O'FRIEL
USCINCCENT/CCPA, USCENTCOM REAR MACDILL AFB FL
NICOSIA FOR ILMG
STATE PASS TO AID

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: KMDR JO
SUBJECT: JORDAN MEDIA REACTION ON PRESIDENT'S MIDDLE
EAST SPEECH.

SUMMARY

NEWS REPORTS IN JORDAN'S DAILIES QUOTED THE PALESTINIAN
STATEMENTS THAT NO PALESTINIANS WOULD MEET SECRETARY
POWELL WITHOUT THE GREEN LIGHT TO DO SO FROM ARAFAT.
ASSABEEL, WEEKLY NEWSPAPER REFLECTING THE VIEWS OF THE
ISLAMIC ACTION FRONT, ADDRESSED RARE BUT POINTED
CRITICISM TO THE GOVERNMENT OF JORDAN FOR ITS:
"EXAGGERATED OFFICIAL WELCOME OF THE U.S. PRESIDENT'S
WORST SPEECH SO FAR."

EDITORIAL COLUMNISTS CONTINUED THEIR CRITICISMS OF
PRESIDENT BUSH'S SPEECH, ADDING CRITICISM OF SECRETARY
POWELL'S CALL FOR A CHANGE OF LEADERSHIP.


NEWS REPORTS

JORDANIAN DAILIES ON JULY 2 HIGHLIGHTED THE PALESTINIAN
CHIEF NEGOTIATOR SA'EB EREQAT'S STATEMENT MADE IN CAIRO
THAT NO PALESTINIAN WOULD MEET SECRETARY POWELL UNLESS
ARAFAT GIVES HIM THE GREEN LIGHT TO DO SO. THE SAME
STORY, WHICH WAS VIRTUALLY IDENTICAL IN BOTH SEMI-
OFFICIAL INFLUENTIAL ARABIC DAILY AL-RAI AND CENTER-
LEFT, INFLUENTIAL ARABIC DAILY AL-DUSTOUR, ALSO QUOTED
THE PALESTINIAN OFFICIAL STATEMENT REJECTING THE
"CAMPAIGN AGAINST PALESTINIAN INDEPENDENCE" AND THE
PALESTINIAN CALLS FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE AGAINST THE
ISRAELI CIVIL AUTHORITY IF IT REPLACES THE PNA, AND THE
THREAT TO RETURN TO TOTAL MILITARY ACTION.

ARABIC-LANGUAGE WEEKLY ASSABEEL, GENERALLY REFLECTING
THE VIEWS OF THE ISLAMIC ACTION FRONT (THE POLITICAL
PARTY BASED ON THE MUSLIM BROTHERS MOVEMENT),
CRITICIZED THE JORDANIAN GOVERNMENT STRONGLY FOR ITS:
"EXAGGERATED OFFICIAL WELCOME OF THE U.S. PRESIDENT'S
WORST SPEECH SO FAR." AMONG THE PEOPLE INVITED TO
COMMENT ON THE GOVERNMENT'S REACTION WAS A FORMER
MINISTER OF CULTURE WHO EXPLAINED THE GOVERNMENT'S
POSITION AS BEING INTENDED TO "WARD OFF HARM."
ASSABEEL WAS THE ONLY NEWSPAPER TO QUOTE THE STATEMENT
OF THE ISLAMIC ACTION FRONT THAT CRITICIZED THE
GOVERNMENT FOR "SUPPORTING A SPEECH THAT EQUATES
BETWEEN JIHAD AND TERRORISM" AND THE STATEMENT OF THE
MUSLIM BROTHERS, WHICH SAID THAT THE PRESIDENT'S
SPEECH: "LEFT THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE NO OPTION BUT
JIHAD."


EDITORIAL COMMENTARIES
-- BUSH'S SPEECH AND IGNORING THE FACT OF THE
OCCUPATION
FORMER PARLIAMENTARY DEPUTY HAMADEH FARA'NEH WROTE IN
SEMI-OFFICIAL INFLUENTIAL ARABIC DAILY AL-RAI ON JULY
2: "PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH'S SPEECH TURNED A BLIND EYE
TO THE ONE REASON THAT SPARKED OFF AND ACCUMULATED THE
CONTINUOUS AGGRESSION, CONFLICT, AND FRUSTRATION IN OUR
REGION, WHICH IS ISRAEL'S OCCUPATION OF THE LAND THAT
BELONGS TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE, WHO HAVE BEEN
MARGINALIZED FOR DECADES. PRESIDENT BUSH IS WORKING TO
ENSURE HIS PARTY'S VICTORY IN THE NOVEMBER
CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS, AND TO SECURE A SECOND TERM
FOR HIMSELF . EVEN IF THIS IS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE
PALESTINIANS AND THEIR CONTINUED SUFFERING."

-- A COORDINATED AMERICAN ISRAELI AGGRESSION
THE LEADING COMMENTARY OF CENTER-LEFT, INFLUENTIAL
ARABIC DAILY AL-DUSTOUR READ ON JULY 2: "IT IS NO
LONGER A SECRET TO ANY OBSERVER OF THE MIDDLE EAST THAT
THE CONTINUOUS ISRAELI AGGRESSION AGAINST THE
PALESTINIAN PEOPLE, THE TRAVESTIES, DEATH, DESTRUCTION,
AND TERROR, ARE DONE WITH OPEN U.S. ENCOURAGEMENT AND
WITH UNRESERVED POLITICAL SUPPORT FROM THE
ADMINISTRATION THAT SEES THIS AGGRESSION AS SELF-
DEFENSE AND THAT SEES ARIEL SHARON AS A MAN OF PEACE.
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES IS A
COORDINATED AMERICAN-ISRAELI AGGRESSION, BUT WE WARN
AGAINST GIVING FREE REIGN TO SHARON WHO IS EXPLOITING
UNLIMITED AMERICAN SUPPORT TO NURTURE EXTREMISM,
CONSOLIDATE THE OCCUPATION, DESTROY ANY CHANCE FOR
PEACE, AND PROBABLY DRAG THE REGION TO ANOTHER WAR."

-- A NEW DISASTER
DAILY COLUMNIST JAMIL AL-NIMRY WROTE IN INDEPENDENT,
MASS-APPEAL ARABIC DAILY AL-ARAB AL-YAWM ON JULY 2:
"COLIN POWELL DASHED THE HOPES OF ARAB OFFICIALS BY
ADOPTING THE WORST POSSIBLE INTERPRETATION OF PRESIDENT
BUSH'S SPEECH. HE NOT ONLY RULED OUT THE PROSPECTS OF
AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE IN THE PRESENT, BUT ALSO
AFFIRMED THE PRECONDITION OF CHANGING THE PALESTINIAN
LEADERSHIP, WHICH WAS REEMPHASIZED CATEGORICALLY BY
RICE. SEEN FROM HERE, THERE IS NO AIM FOR THE AMERICAN
PERFORMANCE EXCEPT TO SUPPORT THE ISRAELI PROGRAM,
USING TALK ABOUT A PALESTINIAN STATE AS A WEAK AND
WORTHLESS COVER. IF THE OFFER WERE OF A PALESTINIAN
STATE AND AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE IN RETURN FOR
ARAFAT'S RESIGNATION, WE WOULD BE THE FIRST TO CALL ON
HIM TO DO SO. BUT THIS IS NOT THE CASE. IT IS A REPEAT
OF THE SAGA OF IRAQ AND SADDAM, WHICH IS JUST A PRETEXT
FOR EXTENDING THE SIEGE INDEFINITELY." GNEHM