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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06TELAVIV2618
2006-06-30 08:46:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Tel Aviv
Cable title:  

ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES' JUNE 28 MEETING WITH

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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TEL AVIV 002618 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA
DOJ FOR DAAG BRUCE SWARTZ
NSC FOR LOGERFO

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/28/2016
TAGS: PREL PTER KPAL IS ISRAEL RELATIONS ISRAELI PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS COUNTERTERRORISM
SUBJECT: ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES' JUNE 28 MEETING WITH
ISRAELI FM LIVNI


Classified By: Ambassador Richard H. Jones. Reasons: 1.4 (b, d).

-------
SUMMARY
-------

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TEL AVIV 002618

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA
DOJ FOR DAAG BRUCE SWARTZ
NSC FOR LOGERFO

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/28/2016
TAGS: PREL PTER KPAL IS ISRAEL RELATIONS ISRAELI PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS COUNTERTERRORISM
SUBJECT: ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES' JUNE 28 MEETING WITH
ISRAELI FM LIVNI


Classified By: Ambassador Richard H. Jones. Reasons: 1.4 (b, d).

--------------
SUMMARY
--------------


1. (C) Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told Attorney
General Alberto Gonzales June 28 that Israel is grateful for
U.S. support during the crisis in the Gaza Strip that began
on Sunday with the attack on Kerem Shalom and the kidnapping
of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. She said that there is not much
more that the U.S. and other countries could do to resolve
the crisis, short of applying more pressure on Syria, from
where she claimed Hamas leaders are running Hamas operations
in Gaza. Livni said the GOI had decided, before sending the
IDF back into the Gaza Strip, that all diplomatic
opportunities had been exhausted, and that Palestinian
Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmud Abbas had proven that he could
not deliver a peaceful resolution to the crisis. She added
that, based on past experience, Israel could not afford to
allow a hostage crisis to linger. Asked about the future,
Livni suggested, in Israel's analysis, the crisis
demonstrates that PM Olmert's unilateral realignment plan is
probably the only possibility for resolving the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Addressing other issues that
the Attorney General raised, Livni said that Israel fully
understands the importance the USG places on trafficking in
persons (TIP), labor trafficking and intellectual property
rights (IPR), and expressed her hope that the Olmert
government would make progress on those issues. She said
that the Attorney General can count on her support for having
Shin Bet and other GOI officials provide additional testimony
in two ongoing criminal trials in Dallas and Chicago. She
requested the Attorney General's assistance in dealing with
the phenomenon of NGOs filing lawsuits against Israeli
officials abroad. END SUMMARY.

--------------
MORE PRESSURE ON SYRIA WOULD BE HELPFUL
--------------


2. (C) Responding to the Attorney General's offer of USG

assistance in resolving the crisis in the Gaza Strip, FM
Livni expressed appreciation for USG support, but suggested
that there is not much more that the USG could do except put
more financial pressure on Hamas, and apply "sharp, pointed
pressure of a short duration" on Syria -- and President Assad
in particular -- to make it clear that (a) he must bring
Palestinian rejectionists under control, and (b) kidnapping
will not be tolerated. Livni claimed that the GOI gave
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmud Abbas a chance to act
in order to secure the release of IDF hostage Gilad Shalit,
but concluded that he "cannot deliver." She expressed
appreciation for U.S., French and Egyptian diplomatic efforts
to resolve the crisis, but noted her conclusion that all
diplomatic efforts had been exhausted. Asked how she sees
the crisis resolving itself, she admitted that she did not
know, but expressed hope that the increased pressure on the
PA will either lead to Shalit's release by his captors, or
force an internal confrontation among the Palestinians that
would lead to an end of the crisis. She allowed that the
Israeli military -- now operating in Gaza -- might locate
Shalit and extract him. Visibly tired and dismayed, FM Livni
said that in the Middle East the only choices are always
between "bad options," and that all anyone can do at this
point is to take action and maintain hope. She said that
prolongation of the hostage situation is unacceptable, and
recalled the example of Ron Arad -- the Israeli navigator
captured in 1986. Livni said that Israel tries to see the
world through the terrorists' eyes, and believes that they
view Israel as either strong or weak. She added, "It may be
that by showing restraint in the face of all the Qassams,
that they viewed Israel as weak."


3. (C) Regarding the larger Israeli-Palestinian conflict, FM
Livni recounted how Israel had implemented decisions to "open
a new window for peace" by dismantling settlements and
withdrawing the IDF from the Gaza Strip, thereby giving the
Palestinians responsibility for their lives. Israel hoped
that the Palestinians would see that "Israel means business"
and is willing to take difficult steps. She stressed, "I
myself voted to take 7,000 Israelis out of their homes in
Gaza -- some of whom had been born there and lived their
entire lives there." Livni told the Attorney General that
disengagement "tore Israeli society apart," and caused
Israelis to question their birthright to the land and the
real meaning of democracy. She stressed that the GOI took
the decision, nevertheless, to promote the peace process and
President Bush's vision. In return, she said, Israel was
subjected to terrorist attacks and a constant rain of Qassam
rockets from the Gaza Strip. Gaza, she said, "has been
transformed into a terror nest." She complained that, as a
result of democratic elections, Hamas had come to power: "It
is too late to discuss this, but democracy led to this."


4. (C) Livni said that up until the beginning of the crisis
on Sunday, the GOI had hoped that the debate over the
prisoners document might lead to a change on the Palestinian
side that would make GOI-PA negotiations on the basis of the
roadmap, "or some other basis," possible. Livni stressed
that Israel would never have accepted the prisoners document
as a basis for negotiations as it did not recognize Quartet
principles, but characterized it as something that the GOI
regarded with hope as a means to topple Hamas. She said that
Israel would prefer to reach an agreement with the
Palestinians because doing so would garner international
support. Such a possibility now seems very remote, she said,
and makes PM Olmert's realignment plan look more likely.
Livni stated more than once that it is clear to the GOI that
PA Chairman Abbas cannot deliver. Since the kidnapping
crisis, she said, it has become clear to Israel that Hamas
itself is divided, and that Hamas leader Khalid Misha'al is
"calling the shots" for the Palestinians from Damascus. She
described Hamas as a radical, jihadist terrorist organization
that has one aim -- to build a new caliphate in the region --
and which has a charter based on killing Christians and Jews.

-------------- --------------
GOI INSTABILITY HAS HAMPERED PROGRESS ON ANTI-TIP EFFORTS
-------------- --------------


5. (C) FM Livni did not complain about the latest trafficking
in persons (TIP) report on Israel, or its listing on the Tier
Two Watchlist. Instead, she asked the Attorney General to
understand that turmoil within the GOI over the last several
years -- when elections on average took place every two years
-- made it difficult for the GOI and the Knesset to maintain
a sustained focus on the labor trafficking issue and
legislation addressing it. She stated that Israel recognizes
that the TIP and labor trafficking issues are of significant
importance to the USG, and noted that they are also important
to Israel's society and values.


6. (C) Attorney General Gonzales noted that he also had a
good discussion with Israeli Justice Minister Ramon on the
importance the USG places on intellectual property rights,
and that he had secured Ramon's commitment to helping the
U.S. on both issues.

--------------
GOI WILL COOPERATE IN U.S. INVESTIGATIONS
--------------


7. (C) FM Livni said that she understood that the USG will be
requesting more testimony from Shin Bet and other GOI
officials in two ongoing trials taking place in Dallas,
Texas, and Chicago, Illinois. She said that the Attorney
General will be able to count on her support for having the
requested GOI officials testify.


8. (C) FM Livni noted that an NGO has filed a lawsuit against
former General Security Service Director Avi Dichter, that
Israeli officials are wary about traveling to Europe because
of such legal proceedings, and that Israel now faces the same
situation in the U.S. The Attorney General said that his
office would be willing to share its experience and ideas on
how to deal with such situations involving Europe, and would
look into the charges filed in the U.S.


9. (U) Attorney General Gonzales did not have an opportunity
to clear this message before departing post.

********************************************* ********************
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JONES