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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
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