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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
04AMMAN399 2004-01-19 15:12:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Amman
Cable title:  

MEDIA REACTION ON MIDDLE EAST ISSUES

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 000399

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/ARN, NEA/PA, NEA/AIA, INR/NESA, R/MR,
I/GNEA, B/BXN, B/BRN, NEA/PPD, NEA/IPA FOR ALTERMAN
USAID/ANE/MEA
LONDON FOR GOLDRICH
PARIS FOR O'FRIEL

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: KMDR JO
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION ON MIDDLE EAST ISSUES

Summary

-- Lead story in all papers today, January 19,
highlights reports about the blast that took place at
the U.S. headquarters in Baghdad yesterday. Another
lead story focuses on the domestic issue of plans for
curricula "development", with Parliament's decision to
refer the Ministry of Education's plan to its
committee on education for further discussions.

Editorial Commentary

-- "Three Israeli trends in the face of the Syrian
initiative"

Columnist Abu Yazan writes on the op-ed page of center-
left, influential Arabic daily Al-Dustour (01/19):
"Three Israeli trends have risen in response to the
Syrian call for resuming negotiations, and not a
single one is serious. They indicate the absence of
Israeli partners for making peace.. The common link
among the three trends is namely the lack of readiness
to make peace, be that in the format of rejection,
reservation or maneuvering .. Israel is not ready to
make peace with Syrian. The Israeli proposals for
Damascus are hard to swallow, and it is likely that
the Syrian track will stay in limbo until a year after
the [U.S.] elections."

-- "Is it not time for dawn to break the Iraqi dark
night"

Center-left, influential Arabic daily Al-Dustour
(01/19) editorializes: "Day in and day out, the
looming dangers of the continued American occupation
of Iraq and the threats resulting from the absence of
a clear American agenda for the next stage become
clearer. The escalation in the field and yesterday's
attack show the lack of security in the presence of
the occupiers and prove the high price that Iraqis are
paying on a daily basis.. The Iraqi scene seems to be
vulnerable to the worst and most dangerous
possibilities, particularly with nationalistic,
sectarian and ethnic disintegration reaching a level
of congestion as witnessed in more than city and more
than area in Iraq.. It is no longer sufficient to
issue calls from one capital or another, or to settle
for disavowing any relationship with Washington's
plans and occupational practices. The deterioration
of the Land of the Rafidayn will not stop with calls
and demands, but with serious political and diplomatic
salvation action on all levels."

-- "Sharon and three years of breaking china!"

Columnist Raja Talab writes on the op-ed page of semi-
official, influential Arabic daily Al-Rai (01/19):
"When Ariel Sharon was elected in March 2001, most
observers expected him to fail drastically and quickly
end his political life. All expectations saw him as a
raging bull in a china shop, breaking everything with
every move. However, these expectations did not
materialize. True, Sharon is Sharon, a raging bull,
but he invested everything towards making the breaking
of china a legitimate thing, starting with the
protective wall in April 2000, through the policy of
assassinations, to shelving the roadmap, and the
building the separation wall, all the way to bombing
the heart of Damascus. Sharon dedicated the three
years of his term in the Israeli government to
breaking everything, and succeeded with flying colors
in taking everything back to square one. The question
is: how did Sharon manage to implement his program
(the breaking of china) so successfully without
significant obstacles? There are a number of factors
that contributed, and continue to contribute, to
giving him the ability to continue his policy of
keeping the peace process in the square one. The
first of these factors is the U.S. bias, which has
always been present, but which became more strongly in
favor of Sharon as a result of various Palestinian and
Arab mistakes and regional developments. As for the
Palestinian mistakes, they are as follows: The
Intifada and the lack of a political program.. The
failure of the Palestinian Authority to invest the
events of 9/11 to bring it closer to the United
States.. The Palestinian Authority's evasive approach
towards the security requirements of the roadmap by
trying to achieve a military truce with opposition
factions, which made the Authority's security decision
subject to these factions' political and regional
interests."
GNEHM