Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09TELAVIV1459
2009-07-06 11:28:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Tel Aviv
Cable title:  

ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION

Tags:  OPRC KMDR IS 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXYZ0003
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTV #1459/01 1871128
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 061128Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2452
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAHQA/HQ USAF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEADWD/DA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/CNO WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI PRIORITY 5615
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 2194
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 6160
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 6425
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT PRIORITY 5658
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 4238
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 6484
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 3292
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1495
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 0184
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 7693
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 2674
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 6687
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 8741
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 1513
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM PRIORITY 2307
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT PRIORITY
UNCLAS TEL AVIV 001459 

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
CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL FOR POLAD/USIA ADVISOR
COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE FOR PAO/POLAD
COMSIXTHFLT FOR 019

JERUSALEM ALSO ICD
LONDON ALSO FOR HKANONA AND POL
PARIS ALSO FOR POL
ROME FOR MFO

SIPDIS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR IS

SUBJECT: ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION

--------------------------------
SUBJECTS COVERED IN THIS REPORT:
--------------------------------

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 001459

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
CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL FOR POLAD/USIA ADVISOR
COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE FOR PAO/POLAD
COMSIXTHFLT FOR 019

JERUSALEM ALSO ICD
LONDON ALSO FOR HKANONA AND POL
PARIS ALSO FOR POL
ROME FOR MFO

SIPDIS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR IS

SUBJECT: ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION

--------------
SUBJECTS COVERED IN THIS REPORT:
--------------


1. Iran


2. Mideast

--------------
Key stories in the media:
--------------

All media highlighted remarks made yesterday by Vice President Joe
Biden in Baghdad on ABC-TV's "This Week" program: "We cannot dictate
to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do when they
make a determination, if they make a determination, that they're
existentially threatened." Some Israeli commentators interpreted
Biden's work as a non-endorsement of an Israeli action. Ha'aretz
reported: "Israel is urging the United States and other countries to
start preparing now for the possibility that Washington's proposed
dialogue with Iran will fail, by readying a 'Plan B' that includes
'paralyzing sanctions' and other measures against Tehran. The U.S.
has resisted this idea so far." The Jerusalem Post reported that
the Israel Air Force plans to participate in aerial exercises in the
U.S. and Europe in the coming months with the aim of training its
pilots for long-range flights. On July 5 major media quoted Mossad
Director Meir Dagan as saying in an interview with London's Sunday
Times that Saudi Arabia will allow Israeli warplanes to fly over its
territory in order to attack Iran's nuclear installations. Makor
Rishon-Hatzofe quoted sources in PM Netanyahu's office as saying
that the British newspaper's report is baseless. Israel Radio
reported that a senior Iranian official warned against an Israeli
attack on his country's nuclear installations.

Maariv reported that today's meting in London between DM Ehud Barak
and Special Envoy George Mitchell will be overshadowed by a new
argument: While Israel claims that 23 unauthorized settler outposts
remain, the American list based on UN statistics includes 100
outposts. Maariv reported that Barak will tell Mitchell that Israel
will continue to build what it has already started, but will not put
up new buildings. This refers to over 2,000 housing units in
various settlements, including Kiryat Sefer and Beitar Ilit.

Ha'aretz reported that, in his meetings with Mitchell, Barak
encouraged the envoy to engage in "shuttle diplomacy" between
Jerusalem and a number of Arab capitals to draft a regional peace
plan. On July 5, The Jerusalem Post reported that President Obama
urged Morocco to lead an Arab-Israeli rapprochement.

Leading media reported that today in Geneva, Gilad Shalit's father
Noam will testify before the Human Rights Council-appointed
fact-finding mission to investigate international human rights and
humanitarian law violations related to the recent conflict in the
Gaza Strip, which is headed by Judge Richard Goldstone. Maariv
quoted Israeli sources as saying that the session will constitute a
"show trial" on Israel's actions during Operation Cast Lead. Yediot
quoted Noam Shalit as saying that his son's abduction constitutes a
war crime. Israel Radio quoted him as saying that it is a violation
of international treaties.

Ha'aretz reported that PM Benjamin Netanyahu told a meeting of Likud
Party ministers yesterday that no deal about settlement construction
had been reached with Washington yet, "and all the reports saying we
have agreed to freeze construction in the settlements are the sole
responsibility of those who publish them." Leading media quoted
Netanyahu as saying at a separate meeting of the full cabinet that
his government had "brought about a national consensus on the idea
of two states for two peoples." On July 3, Yediot bannered a
supposed U.S. plan that would allow Israeli airliners to fly over
Arab countries in exchange for a settlement freeze.

On July 5, Ha'aretz reported that Saudi Arabia and the U.S. are
pressing Syria to demarcate its border with Lebanon, in order to
allow for the beginning of an Israeli withdrawal from the disputed
Sheba Farms, straddling the border between Lebanon and the Golan.

Former PM Ariel Sharon's top diplomatic advisor Dov Weisglass was
quoted as saying in an interview with The Jerusalem Post (July 3)
that Netanyahu must endorse the Roadmap or risk the U.S. imposing
something worse.

The Jerusalem Post cited the Construction and Housing Web site as
saying that first-time home buyers can receive a bigger mortgage if
they move to settlements such as Itamar and Elon Moreh as opposed to
the city of Ashkelon.

The Jerusalem Post quoted defense officials as saying on July 6 that
DM Ehud Barak has approved the transfer of 1,000 automatic weapons
to the PA. Following ballistic tests, the IDF will be able to know
if one of the weapons is used in a terrorist attack.
Ha'aretz quoted the Israeli Interior Ministry as saying that Mairead
Corrigan Maguire, the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize winner, and Cynthia
McKinney, a former U.S. congresswoman, are among eight people to be
released today and expelled after having sailed on a protest ship
heading to Gaza from Cyprus.

Ha'aretz reported that IAF fighter jets and transport planes to "get
a workout" at U.S. bases. The Jerusalem Post reported that, under
pressure from the Pentagon, Israel Aerospace Industries has been
forced out of a joint partnership with a Swedish aerospace company
to compete in a multi-billion dollar tender to sell new multi-role
fighter jets to the Indian Air Force.

Maariv reported that hundreds of Hamas activists are defecting to
the ranks of Al Qaida-affiliated organizations.

Maariv reported that the Israel Land Fund, directed by Jewish
millionaire Aryeh King, is seeking tenants for a luxury house in the
East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, which belongs to King.
The newspaper says that there is a clear goal behind the initiative
-- to settle Jews in the Arab neighborhood. On July 5, Maariv
reported that on Thursday the Jerusalem Municipality approved plans
to build 20 housing units in the Shepherd's Hotel, on the slopes of
Mount Scopus, in the heart of an Arab neighborhood. As Maariv
reported some six months ago, this project was promoted by Jerusalem
Mayor Nir Barkat. Maariv's report produced intense pressure on
Barkat to suspend the plans, mainly from the direction of Secretary
of State Hillary Clinton.

Yediot reported that Doron Eilat, a 17-year-old Israeli from Rishon
Lezion, met President Obama in the White House during a convention
of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

--------------

1. Iran:
--------------

Block Quotes:
--------------


I. "Back on the Agenda"

Diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn wrote on page one of the
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (7/6): "Biden's words should not
be understood as American permission for Israel to bomb Iran's
nuclear facilities. Rather, they were a veiled warning to Iran that
if it does not embark on a serious dialogue with President Barack
Obama's administration, it is liable to be attacked. An Israeli
government source said Biden's statement was not coordinated with
Israel. But it clearly serves Netanyahu, who sees halting Iran's
nuclear program as a historic mission.... Israeli officials argue
that Iran's apparently fraudulent election and its brutal
suppression of the subsequent demonstrations reveal the
pointlessness of talking with Tehran and the need for stiffer
sanctions. The statements of the last few days are meant to bolster
this message with hints of possible military action."

II. "No One Is a Sucker"

In the mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot, senior columnist
Nahum Barnea imagined a speech by President Obama(7/3): "'The United
States will block the Iranian nuclear program. If we do not succeed
in thwarting the project by means of sanctions, we will thwart it by
force. A nuclear Iran poses a clear and present danger not only to
the countries of the region but also to the security of the United
States. But they too will have to do their share.... Israel will
commit itself to immediately launch negotiations with the
Palestinian Authority, with the basis for discussion being the
establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state within the 1967
borders.... I know that this requires tough decisions for all
parties, including us, the Americans.... But leaders are measured by
tough decisions'.... How would Netanyahu respond to such a proposal?
I think I know. He would say, let's see: 'Show me the money,' he
would say to the U.S. envoys. 'Show me what you have received from
the Arabs in the area of normalization, show me what you have
received from Abu Mazen, show me what guarantees I will receive from
America, and you will be surprised to find how generous, bold and
creative I can be. They will meet with similar reactions in Saudi
Arabia....' [By the way,] Netanyahu does not know yet what the Obama
administration really wants."

--------------

2. Mideast:
--------------

Block Quotes:
--------------


I. "Netanyahu's Consensuses"
Ha'aretz editorialized (7/6): "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,
who until last month opposed the solution of two states for two
peoples, has suddenly adopted this premise as his policy....
Netanyahu's repeated statements were designed to ease the
Mitchell-Barak talks, especially given the dispute over whether to
freeze construction in the settlements.... Netanyahu must aspire to
achieve not only national consensus within Israel, but also
international consensus between two nations - Israelis and
Palestinians. To this end, he must stop setting conditions and
return without delay to negotiations on a final-status agreement
with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, either directly or with
the mediation of Obama and his envoys."

II. "Conditions to Avoid a Bantustan"

Shlomo Avineri, Hebrew University Professor of Political Science and
former director-general of the Foreign Ministry, wrote in Ha'aretz
(7/6): "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to be praised for
saying, albeit unenthusiastically, that Israel would agree to the
establishment of a 'demilitarized' Palestinian state. His
statements seem reasonable until one looks at the details: a
demilitarized state with no army, no right to sign accords with
other countries and no control over border crossings and airspace.
As Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, whose country is currently
chairing the European Union, rightly asked, with all these
limitations, what's left of Palestinian sovereignty? Indeed, it's
too similar to Bantustan. It should come as no surprise that the
Palestinians rejected Netanyahu's position outright.... Nowhere in
the world is a country entirely demilitarized with no control over
its borders.... [Yet,] it is impossible to ignore that even if
Netanyahu's proposal is completely bizarre, it reflects Israel's
real security problem.... Arrangements for demilitarization under
these circumstances [involving Egyptian and Jordanian custodianships
of the Palestinians for a transitional period, while a peace treaty
is being forged], even extending to the crossings, could be easier.
This is not a return to the 'Jordanian option.' The Palestinians
are embroiled in a de facto civil war, which requires a search for
creative, unusual ways to reach the desired solution of two states
for two peoples. Sometimes the long road is the short one,
especially since the short road has so far been an utter failure."

III. "The Secret of Failure"

Minister without Portfolio and Likud Knesset Member Ze'ev Benjamin
(Benny) Begin wrote in the mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot
Aharonot; "What is accepted as the 'two-state solution,' as a
mechanism of making a permanent peace, is not in reality a solution.
As far as the Moderate Palestinian Liberation Organization is
concerned, this is still a 'two-stage solution:' in the first stage
the establishment of an Arab state alongside Israel, and in the
second stage, after the refugees enter deep into Israel, the
establishment of one Arab state from the Jordan River to the
Mediterranean Sea. In an effort to verify this conjecture
conclusively or in an attempt to refute it, the Israeli governments
have already conducted all possible political experiments, and the
excuses have now run out. In other words, there will be no end to
the one hundred year conflict so long as the Arab position does not
fundamentally change."

CUNNINGHAM