Viewing cable 05TELAVIV1548
Title: ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05TELAVIV15482005-03-16 10:30:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tel Aviv
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 TEL AVIV 001548 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR NEA, NEA/IPA, NEA/PPD 
 
WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE, SIT ROOM 
NSC FOR NEA STAFF 
 
JERUSALEM ALSO FOR ICD 
LONDON ALSO FOR HKANONA AND POL 
PARIS ALSO FOR POL 
ROME FOR MFO 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: IS KMDR MEDIA REACTION REPORT
SUBJECT: ISRAEL MEDIA REACTION 
 
 
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SUBJECTS COVERED IN THIS REPORT: 
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Mideast 
 
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Key stories in the media: 
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All media reported that following a meeting with 
Jordan's King Abdullah II at the White House on 
Tuesday, President Bush reiterated his call on Israel 
to cease settlement construction and to enable the 
creation of a Palestinian state, saying both parties 
must make concessions.  Bush reiterated the United 
States' belief that Hizbullah is a terrorist 
organization, and voiced his hope that "Hizbullah would 
prove that they are not by laying down arms and not 
threatening peace."  The President said that he and the 
King had discussed the concern that Hizbullah may try 
to derail the peace process between Israel and the 
Palestinians. 
 
Israel Radio reported that the PA will assume security 
control of Jericho and the adjacent village of Uja 
today, as only one of three roadblocks around the city 
will be under Palestinian control, and the Jordan 
Valley highway will continue to be under Israel's 
responsibility.  The station quoted a senior 
Palestinian official as saying that PA Chairman Mahmoud 
Abbas had been misinformed about Israel's agreement to 
the release of PFLP leader Ahmed Sa'adat, who was 
behind the assassination of cabinet minister Rehavam 
Zeevi.  Jerusalem Post reported that such a release 
might have jeopardized the move.  Israel Radio quoted 
chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat as saying that 
the PA would continue to demand the release of both men 
as part as the freeing of Palestinian prisoners. 
Ha'aretz reported that an unnamed senior Palestinian 
security official told a group of activists from the 
military wing of Fatah that they could either give up 
their weapons and go home after the Israeli withdrawal 
from West Bank cities, or they could join the 
Palestinian security services. 
 
Maariv cited the defense establishment's concern that 
settlers could set up a new outpost following the 
evacuation of each settlement.  Leading media reported 
that on Tuesday, the police thwarted an attempt to 
block the Tel Avid-Jerusalem highway during the visit 
of foreign dignitaries to Yad Vashem. 
 
All media reported on last night's inauguration of the 
new Holocaust museum at Yad Vashem, during which world 
leaders pledged to fight anti-Semitism.  Jerusalem Post 
noted the conspicuous absence of Arab leaders or PA 
representatives at the event.  Maariv reported that the 
first Holocaust museum in the world for the Arab public 
was inaugurated Tuesday in Nazareth, the result of a 
private initiative by two residents of the Israeli Arab 
town of Umm el-Fahm, who head the Arab Institute For 
the Holocaust Research and Education.  The institute 
printed a booklet about the Holocaust in Arabic, which 
is distributed in schools in Israel and the territories 
and will be given out to Palestinians who pass through 
the Jenin roadblock.  Maariv quoted Attorney Khaled 
Mahmeed, who conceived the idea of the museum, as 
saying: "The Palestinian people paid the price for the 
Jewish Holocaust in that they became the refugees and 
remained without a country. The fact that Jews were 
murdered in Germany led to Palestinians not having a 
state."  Mahmeed added: "As a result of their lack of 
knowledge, the Arabs and Palestinians deny the 
Holocaust."  The Nazareth Holocaust museum site in 
Arabic is www.alkaritha.org. 
 
Israel Radio reported that an Israeli civilian was 
lightly wounded Tuesday night in a shooting attack in 
Hebron.  Ha'aretz web site reported that IDF troops 
operating near Jenin before dawn today arrested two 
Palestinians carrying submachine guns, and that two 
wanted Palestinians were also arrested near Ramallah. 
 
Leading media reported that on Tuesday, the IDF 
permitted four Palestinians expelled to the Gaza Strip 
to the Gaza Strip several years ago of their role in 
terrorism to return to their West Bank to return to 
their West Bank homes on Tuesday. 
 
Gen. Antoine Lahad, the commander of the disbanded 
South Lebanon Army (SLA), who was sentenced to death in 
absentia in Lebanon, was quoted as saying in an 
interview with Maariv's Internet edition Tuesday that 
he is prepared to return to his country if current 
changes there eventually bring about the full 
withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon. 
 
Ha'aretz reported that on Tuesday, the family of Rachel 
Corrie, a pro-Palestinian activist killed by an IDF 
bulldozer in Rafah two years ago, filed a lawsuit in 
the Haifa District Court against the State of Israel 
and the IDF. 
 
Maariv reported that the U.S. army is pleased with the 
performance of Israeli-made protection devices 
installed on armored personnel carriers used in Iraq. 
 
Yediot reported that Iran's new ambassador to the UK 
Mohammad Hossein Adeli has recently met and shaken 
hands with an Israeli diplomat serving in London. 
 
Hatzofe reported that on Tuesday, visiting New York 
City Mayor Michael Bloomberg invited Jerusalem Mayor 
Uri Lupolianski to a "We Love Jerusalem" event in New 
York. 
 
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Mideast: 
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                       Summary: 
                       -------- 
 
 
Nationalist, Orthodox Hatzofe editorialized: "The 
demonstration of right-wing activists at the Ayalon 
freeway on Monday, which included burning tires and 
subsequently blocking this important traffic artery, 
does not serve the residents of the Katif Bloc and does 
not contribute to strengthening public opinion against 
the disengagement plan." 
 
Arab affairs commentator Danny Rubinstein wrote in 
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz: "Even Abbas has 
been heard saying lately that he is not afraid of Hamas 
winning the elections.  So, there's no chance the 
current PA government will send its security forces in 
to clash with Hamas and forcibly disarm it." 
 
 
Conservative columnist Yosef Harif wrote in popular, 
pluralist Maariv: "Bush must explain to Abu Mazen ... 
that he cannot expect to satisfy all his wishes." 
 
Palestinian affairs correspondent and far-left 
Palestinian sympathizer Amira Hass opined in Ha'aretz: 
"Our murdered relatives are being enlisted to enable 
Israel to continue not giving a damn about 
international decisions against the occupation." 
 
                     Block Quotes: 
                     ------------- 
 
¶I.  "Harmful Demonstration" 
 
Nationalist, Orthodox Hatzofe editorialized (March 16): 
"The demonstration of right-wing activists at the 
Ayalon freeway on Monday, which included burning tires 
and subsequently blocking this important traffic 
artery, does not serve the residents of the Katif Bloc 
and does not contribute to strengthening public opinion 
against the disengagement plan.  The Settlers Council 
did well to voice disapproval of this demonstration, 
which only caused harm and did not add even a single 
supporter to the ranks of those who oppose 
disengagement.... No one would be surprised if an 
investigation were to show that demonstrations of this 
sort are initiated by various provocateurs, in order to 
elicit anger and hatred towards the residents of the 
Katif Bloc and sympathy for the disengagement plan.... 
As the date of the implementation of the mad 
disengagement plan approaches, the Settlers Council 
must ensure that no uncontrolled and irresponsible acts 
are carried out.  The residents of the Katif Bloc have 
the right to demand that people do not demonstrate on 
their behalf without their consent as to the nature of 
the demonstration.  Only this way will it be possible 
to neutralize the provocateurs and agents of the Israel 
Police and GSS, who are liable to go far in their wild 
acts." 
 
 
 
II.  "Hamas Is Feeling Its Strength" 
 
Arab affairs commentator Danny Rubinstein wrote in 
independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (March 16): "The 
prevailing wisdom in East Jerusalem nowadays among 
merchants, teachers and professionals is that they feel 
the Palestinian public is angry at Fatah's activists 
who have not been serving the public but rather handing 
out perks to cronies.  The way to punish Fatah, they 
say, is by voting Hamas.  Thus, the party's popularity 
is not because of its anti-Israel policies, but rather 
the result of disgust with Fatah corruption. 
Apparently, the feeling that Hamas is going to succeed 
in the elections has also taken hold in the Palestinian 
leadership, and even Abbas has been heard saying lately 
that he is not afraid of Hamas winning the elections. 
So, there's no chance the current PA government will 
send its security forces in to clash with Hamas and 
forcibly disarm it." 
 
III.  "Road Map to Perdition" 
 
Conservative columnist Yosef Harif wrote in popular, 
pluralist Maariv (March 16): "The feeling that it will 
be easier to achieve peace in the Abu Mazen era 
undoubtedly results from the man's style.... What can 
also be observed is a change in the atmosphere around 
him, and the fact that he is not surrounded by toadies. 
However, as far as substance is concerned, there hardly 
is any difference between him and his predecessor.... 
Peace in the Abu Mazen era is only possible if 
President Bush can instill in the Palestinian leader 
the realization that concessions cannot be expected 
only from one side, as President Lyndon Johnson did in 
his time.  This happened during a meeting between 
Johnson and [Jordan's late] King Hussein, after the Six 
Day-War.... Johnson told [King Hussein]: 'You must 
acknowledge the fact that you will no longer have what 
you had'.  If Abu Mazen truly and sincerely wants 
peace, he must accept Sharon's advice to 'yield part of 
his dreams.'  As to President Bush, who can see that 
Sharon is indeed making painful concessions, and that 
he is likely to make further concessions -- Bush must 
explain to Abu Mazen, in the spirit of President 
Johnson, that he cannot expect to satisfy all his 
wishes.  Prime Minister [Ariel Sharon] has no choice 
but to adhere to the road map, but at the same time he 
must insist on the 14 reservations raised by the 
government when it accepted the plan." 
IV.  "Using the Holocaust to Ward Off Criticism" 
 
Palestinian affairs correspondent and far-left 
Palestinian sympathizer Amira Hass opined in Ha'aretz 
(March 16): "The crowd of world leaders visiting the 
new Holocaust History Museum at Yad Vashem attests to 
the strength of Israel's position in the West.... The 
pilgrimage to Jerusalem of so many European leaders 
shows that they are not deterred by the criticism of 
Israel -- they are taking part in a media event that 
can only be interpreted as support for Israel, as it is 
today.... This widely covered event shows that Israel 
has turned the liquidation of Europe's Jews into an 
asset.  Our murdered relatives are being enlisted to 
enable Israel to continue not giving a damn about 
international decisions against the occupation.  The 
suffering our parents endured in the ghettoes and 
concentration camps that filled Europe, the physical 
and mental anguish and torment that our parents were 
subjected to every single day since the 'liberation,' 
are used as weapons to thwart any international 
criticism of the society we are creating here.  This is 
a society with built-in discrimination on the basis of 
nationality, and the discrimination is spreading on 
either side of the Green Line.  This is a society that 
is systematically continuing to banish the Palestinian 
nation from its land and usurp its rights as a nation 
and its chances for a humane future." 
 
KURTZER